Foolish or Fearless?

I feel like I want to tell you something, but I should “whisper” it …

This morning, I had the pleasure of waking up at “The Healing Resort”, owned by the Billings’ in Mesa.  It started with an invitation from Dawn Billings to join her for an Italian dinner.  When I said I had my dog, she said, “No problem, bring her – you’ll have your own suite”.  What are a couple girls to do?

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I had the most incredible evening laughing until I cried with some of the most inspiring women.

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As I sat last night taking it all in, I realized how alike we are.  We all have hurts, worries and hardships.  We also have joys, love and an unwavering spirit to make a difference in the lives of others.  I believe at the end of the day, women only need to feel understood, loved and appreciated.

I thought about the light that shines within each of us – just like the candles I watched melt into a puddle of wax.  As the night went on, the light shone brighter long after the candles were gone.  These women oozed light.

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The beauty of this, is the more I listened and laughed, the more I realized we were all survivors of something.  Something bigger than us.  Our individual abilities to overcome our obstacles were spurred on by various things – but we shared one common thread.  We had either overcome or are in the process of overcoming.

This morning, more conversations ensued over breakfast, and as we talked about  business, marriage, etc., it occurred to me that so many of us are so consumed with what others think of us we lose sight of who we are.  We become somewhat lost.  Lost in our marriage.  Lost in our business.  Lost in our spiritual life.  You name it – we’re lost.  We think we’re living, but we’re walking through life half-dead.  We go through each day, fulfilling all the obligations the world imposes on us – never giving thought to the foundation slowly crumbling beneath our feet.  That foundation being our spirit and soul.

When it comes to relationships, whether it be marriage or otherwise, without a standard by which to measure behaviors – you risk waking up one day S.O.L.  You risk asking yourself, “Who am I and how the hell did I get here?”  The short answer is YOU allowed it.  YOU helped create it.  YOU made choices each and every day to either contribute to the outcome or accommodate another person’s behavior (or both).  YOU set yourself up with a standard by which to measure the success of your situation and you either failed to set the bar high enough or you compromised, letting it slowly slip lower and lower. YOU rolled the dice.

Using marriage as example, for my visual friends … picture a sheet of paper.  The right-hand edge of paper is what YOU bring into the relationship (you essentially decide what you’re willing to invest).  The left side is what your partner brings into the relationship (you decide what you’re willing to accept from this person as acceptable behaviors).  The entire sheet symbolizes the emotional health of the relationship.  The “standard”, if you will, by which to measure the success or failure of your mutual efforts.

Sometimes, without realizing it, one of you veers off course.  One gets lazy.  Maybe YOU get lazy.  Or tired.  Or weak.  Or sloppy.  Whatever the case, it becomes like a seesaw on the playground where one child weighs less than the other.  No matter how hard they squirm, adjust their position, and frantically throw their bodies up and down, they will NEVER balance the scale enough to touch their feet to the ground.

Just like a child can’t control their lack of ability to push that seesaw down, you can’t control the willingness of someone to invest in anything they don’t place enough value in.  Besides, what’s it really worth if you have to beg for it?  If it doesn’t come from a place of love and desire, it’s merely an empty shell.  God will only bless you with the ABILITY to manage your own behaviors even though you have a DESIRE to control someone else’s.

So… back to the sheet of paper.  You wake up one day and realize that one of you slowly moved off the paper.  Perhaps you’re both off the paper.  As one or both lowered their expectations, he or she kept moving further and further away.  Whatever the case, BOTH are equally to blame for the end result.  You’re still S.O.L.  You’ve still been a willing participant in something that failed.  #boom #ouch #chinupbuttercup

Welcome to the real world…where unicorns don’t exist and no one shoots glitter out their ass.

As you think about bringing yourself back towards that sheet of paper, you may feel excited and invigorated with the thought of your new level of awareness and your desire to get it right.  #jackpot

My hope and prayer for you would be to arm yourself with every tool you can possibly put in your toolbox to get it RIGHT.  There are SO many resources to work through issues.

You may; however, realize you aren’t ready to put yourself back on that sheet of paper – it would be like stuffing yourself into a box you outgrew.  Perhaps the process of journeying off the paper was over the course of years, not months or weeks.  Perhaps through those years, you got tried.  You worked hard.  You’re simply tired. #whatnow

The thought of emotionally placing yourself back into the same cycle of behaviors you’ve already subconsciously grieved and buried makes you feel even more dead than you already are.  The thought of trying one more time makes you feel like you’ve failed before you’ve even tried.  Even a baby will eventually stop trying to put a round peg into a square hole.

This can be a sad place to be.  Especially when you’re a survivor.  An overachiever.  A perfectionist.  A believer.  A hopeless romantic.  A believer.  #giveyourselfgrace

It’s a sad day when the thought of giving up is the only thing that makes you feel alive again.    

Here’s the whisper … lean in.

It’s OK to end one of the chapters in your own storybook.  No one can take credit for your story.  It’s yours and yours alone.

Whether it’s a dead-end job, a dead marriage, or a one-sided friendship that you’ve worked tirelessly on.  When you know in your heart it’s over … IT’S OVER. 

This is when you put your big-girl panties on and get to work.  I’ve told hundreds of women throughout the years, “The only way to make a change in your life, is to make a change in your life”. 

Not everyone is going to understand.  You don’t need permission from anyone to write the story of your life.  Just “do you” and “do you” to the best of your ability.  Be kind to others and yourself.  Love others and yourself.  Be the light.

It’s going to sting.  It’s going to be sticky.  It’s going to be scary.  You’re going to feel disingenuous because how on earth can you be the light when some think you’re a piece of shit for “doing you”? #ilovejesusbuticussalittle

The one thing I can promise, is the moment you step out in faith, God will provide you with the strength you need.  The peace you desire.  The renewed hope you crave.  The understanding that you’re going to be OK.  A peace that truly surpasses all understanding.

He will put people and situations in your path that will be totally mind blowing.  You can be praying for forgiveness and grace one minute, yet feel his loving arms around you the next – witnessing the majesty of the universe responding to your heart’s desires.  You won’t understand it – and the interesting part is, it doesn’t unfold until YOU move into that big ole’ scary space in total faith.  Sounds twisted, right?

There’s a HUGE difference between living FOOLISHLY and living FEARLESSLY. 

Living in fear is how some of us began walking around trying to look alive, while feeling dead inside.  FEAR is not of God.  It is learned.  No one wants to be different.  Most just want to fly under radar.

But sometimes, my friend, you need to be fearless.  Even when your stomach flips inside out.  Your heart palpitates.  Your feet and hands won’t stops sweating #truestory.  You either can’t stop eating, or you can’t stop losing weight even though you’re trying to eat.

There WILL be light on the others side, but there is only ONE path there.  It’s the dark, sometimes scary one without the streetlights.  You have everything within you to live the life you’ve imagined.  Surround yourself with those who love you enough to support the decisions you make in your life.  Decisions to create the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Choose to live unapologetically.  Make life choices that serve the highest level of your source energy … your soul and spirit.  Make a conscious decision every day to feed the light within you so you can go out and share it with others.

And if, by chance, you’ve been blessed with living the life you’ve dreamed of – be the guiding light for those in the dark.

“Be brave, be kind, be bold, be fierce, be YOU”

-Jules-

 

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