Love Truly

Learn how to love someone without requiring them to be completely pleasing to you first. (Including yourself.)

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Prayer Request for Dad

If you pray, please pray for my dad. He had a mild stroke last night and fell down four stone steps, landing face first. He is alert and talking, but still pretty dizzy and disoriented at times, plus having some speech problems on occasion. His knee and face took quite a wallop as well. Hoping he’ll be released tomorrow if there are no complications, but we are still waiting on results from several scans. Thank you ❤️

Wisdom from Past Me

I reread what I wrote years ago and sometimes I’m embarrassed…but tonight, I’m reading words I need to hear again. Words that were so profound I didn’t even know how true they would be for my life at the time. Words that hinted at my struggles within myself, which have evolved into a mental health diagnosis and a course of completed treatment. Words that revealed I understood, on a subconscious level, a lot more about the possible futures of my life than I thought I did.

So many say the past is dead, it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t have any bearing on today…but for me, the past forms the floorboards of my life. I can’t very well live in a life with no past, just as I can’t live in a house with no floors. The past has made me what and who I am, and it is woven together into a story and a testimony. And it’s all captured in the wisdom from Past Me, those thoughtful words I happened to write down before they fled my head.

So even though I don’t have to fall through the floorboards into my past every day anymore, I still walk on them…those events are still there and they are important to understanding me as a person. I won’t let anyone shame me into ripping out those events like they didn’t happen. I won’t forget myself, even if they don’t understand.

Being Broken (And Asking for Help)

If you’re broken and ashamed, clap your hands! 👏 👏

if you’re broken and ashamed, clap your hands! 👏 👏

if you’re broken and ashamed, tired of getting bad advice, if you’re tired of all this crap, clap your hands! 👏 👏

Okay, joking aside, this post does have a genuine message. Being broken as a person–which can come from life events, developmental difficulties, abuse/trauma, and a host of other things–is not anything to be ashamed of. This goes against the steaming piles of “advice” you’ve likely read and received over the years, but it’s true. If you’ve felt shattered for months, years, or even decades, there is STILL no shame in it–life is not a race to see who is fastest at healing and developing, after all.

But know this: you don’t have to stay ashamed and broken, either.

Why? Because there is also no shame in getting treatment for your brokenness, for whatever has been standing between you and happiness/peace. It may seem unbelievable, but even if you have very few/no family or friends able to help, there are other, professional folks ready and willing to help you, to assist you in paying for treatment, to recommend doctors to you, even to get you to appointments. All it requires is asking for help–communicating your need in whatever way you feel most comfortable.

Now, I know exactly what I’m asking of you, and how insurmountable it might feel at first. Asking for help is often the last step of a long journey toward realizing that life shouldn’t suck this much. (I lived that way for seven years, slowly crawling my way closer to even being able to call a mental health care place–I thought I wasn’t worth helping!). Asking for help can feel ridiculous to those who have become used to the feeling of isolation and self-sufficiency. Sometimes you can even view your isolation as a point of pride, because it’s all you know anymore! (Been there!). But asking for help is also the first tiny step of a whole new journey, one of possibilities and wonder–discovering who you are again, discovering new things about yourself, and recovering parts of who you used to be.

It’s definitely not easy, and there are days you’ll long for the comfortable stasis of your old life because you at least knew how to manage that tiny prison cell of a life. Been there, too! But you are worth loving and you deserve comfort, peace, and joy in your life. You deserve someone fighting for you–even if at first, you are the only member of that army.

So let this be your rallying cry to battle, to fight for yourself and your life. You are not just someone’s employee, someone’s parent, someone’s spouse, someone’s child. You are SOMEONE and you MATTER, and the shame, guilt, fear, and blame others have put on you does not define you. Wave your flag, assert your right to exist, and claim your life as yours again.

And if you’re not quite ready for this momentous battle–that’s okay, too. You will be someday. The first thing to do is chip away at those prison walls around you, those beliefs that tell you you’re not good enough, strong enough, smart enough, worthy enough, or whatever other lies others have taught you. Let this be your cue to start taking apart those walls brick by piece of brick…and someday, you’ll emerge onto the battlefield ready to fight for yourself, too. ❤️

Winks from Heaven

My experiences with Mom since her passing have made me aware of all the little moments in my life that look like winks from Heaven. Finding that perfect parking space on a crowded day at work? Yep. A sweet little squirrel perched on a branch, looking at me seemingly to get my attention before it bounds away? Yep. Meeting an old friend by chance and being able to catch up with them? Yep.

If I wasn’t looking out for these tiny things, I could easily dismiss them…but now that I keep an eye out for them, and now that I interpret them as “winks from Heaven,” they give me a smile and a sense of comfort and hope. This practice really helps me feel like God is looking out for me and all of us. ❤️

Worthiness

I’ve been living most of my life trying to prove to myself that I’m a good person, while secretly believing I was garbage just because others told me that.  That’s a staggering realization, but necessary.

All during my school years, I kept thinking if I just make the best grades, just do enough good deeds, just love others enough, I’ll transcend the distance between “living garbage heap” and “actual worthwhile human.”  Meanwhile I was rotting inside because I had taken in others’ jealousy and hatred and believed it; I believed having a good opinion of myself was conceited, and I didn’t want to be conceited because conceited people were inherently “bad.”  I desperately did not want to be thought of as bad, so I tried to be good in all the ways I knew how.

And yet, in spite of this, so many different people over the years told me I was trash and suggested I should kill myself–how could all those people be wrong?  The majority opinion carries, doesn’t it?  I argued that case so many times in my head during my growing up years, and every time I was convicted:  I was indeed trash and had to earn any love I dared to want.  No matter how many people told me I was good, I knew the “truth”–that I was inherently a “bad” person, and that’s why others were mean to me.  I came to believe every person I ever met would scorn me and seek out ways to hurt me as soon as they found out I was imperfect (read: unlovable and worthless).

I am almost completely freed of these poisonous ideas now, and it feels pretty amazing to be able to have a good self-belief at last.   I no longer have to be perfect to feel worthy of love.  I no longer need to earn others’ friendship, or put myself down.  I am imperfect but not unlovable, flawed but not worthless.  Others’ opinions of me do not override what I know about myself–that I exist for a purpose, and that I am loved no matter what.

What ringing truth in my ears, truth filled with so much love that it makes me weep.  Just feeling worthy of love felt so impossible when I was younger, and now it’s a gift I can actually believe is mine to open.  I still am astounded at it.  When you finally believe you’re worthy of love, it helps you exist without being afraid, without having to rely on others’ judgments–and it helps you see others as worthy of love, too.  It’s a freeing experience.  💕

A Little Wink from Heaven

Today, I found my wedding veil at a local bridal boutique. I went in not really expecting to find “the” veil, but maybe just to get an idea of what they had in stock. I looked through elbow- and fingertip-length veils, not really finding anything…and then, I heard a whisper: “look at the one on the wall.” Hung on the wall behind the shorter veils were their longer veils, the ones that hit the floor (chapel, cathedral, etc.). The one in the center was ivory, similar to my dress.

Just for giggles, I asked the saleslady if I could see that one–I didn’t expect to like it or want it, but I figured I’d at least try it on. Well, I pretty much knew I liked it as soon as she began to unwind it from the hanger. Not giving away any more details than that, but I will say that in my head I was comparing it with my dress’ details and thinking it would look good, at least.

We put it on, I walked around with it a bit, and soon after that I was buying it. It was that quick and easy–even the owner said “That one must have been here just for you.” Much like my dress, it wasn’t what I had thought about buying at first, but after I saw it, there was no other real contender in my mind.

However, I haven’t told y’all the best part yet. I brought it home and compared the veil to my dress–I expected there to be a little color and style difference, since I am no decorator/fashion maven, but I thought I could make it work anyway. Instead, I found that the color of veil and dress EXACTLY matched, as if they had been designed to go together…even the little details matched much better than I thought they would!! These two items were bought at separate stores, in two different states, at two different times, yet they were perfect together, and this veil was the last of its kind in the store, to boot.

After everything I’ve experienced, I know enough to know when Mama’s been at work arranging things again. No wonder a cardinal flew over my car as I drove down the driveway…I just winked at it and said, “Thanks, Mom <3″

Hope, Anxiety, and God

Hope: “Oh! What if this amazing thing happened?”

Anxiety: “Yeah, but what if this bad thing happened because of it, and then what if that bad thing triggered this other bad thing and–”

God: “Haven’t you realized I’ve got this, either way it goes?” ❤️