Tag Archives: hope

You are not alone

I was not at my best the other day, and I admitted it to a friend. I’m still learning that it’s okay to admit that to a friend. Or anyone. I still somehow can get stuck with needing to be “strong” and look “strong.” No matter how much I write here that it’s strength to not need to be strong, I can get stuck needing to be strong.

But I admitted my struggle and challenges. I admitted a bit of my fears. You know what my friend did? She offered to go out of her way – way out of her way – to be with me. So that I wouldn’t be alone.

I am not alone. We are not alone. Somehow I forget that. Often.

Another friend reminded me the other day that she has a disease that lies to her in her own voice. I too have a disease that can lie to me in my own voice. It tells me I’m not okay, or that I have to be solo and strong. And somehow, for a little while, I believe it.

And then a friend offers to be with me. To sit with me. To stay with me. To remind me that I don’t have to face anything by myself. I don’t have to be afraid, or at least not afraid alone.

I am not alone. We are not alone. You are not alone.

As human beings we need others, and as human beings we can somehow separate ourselves from others. When there is so much love around and within us. When there is so much beauty and joy and connection to share.

I am so thankful for my friend. Her simple offer to stay with me was such comfort, comfort beyond belief. My heart and soul were touched and soothed.

We are not alone. You are not alone. I am not alone.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Sometimes it’s strongest not to be strong

Perhaps those who know me well would say that my biggest “addiction” – or behavior that I can’t put down – is my need to be strong. Strong enough. Stronger than others. Stronger than you’d expect.

(Some might even say that’s why I lift heavy weights.)

And yet when a friend recently pointed it out to me…again…all I could do was raise two fingers to her in a (loving) curse at how right on she was.

I’d explained two recent situations to her that were, to me, unrelated, and that I was doing my best to learn from. One involved a relationship and how I was (still) compelled to potentially try harder to fix it. And one involved a physical challenge that I was facing and how I had given up and given in to a way out.

“You know,” she said. “You know they sound similar to me. It sounds like, in both cases, you found a way that works for you and keeps you happy and healthy and whole. And then you decided you would do without that way that works for you, to prove how strong you are.”

Hence the two middle fingers pointed in her direction. It hurts in such a good way when someone points out for me my fallible thinking and behaviors. Especially the ones I just don’t see.

I do do that. I somehow think that being strong means that I don’t need protection, or help, or things that make it easier. I somehow think that I have to show how tough I am and prove that I don’t need anything. I even (seriously) asked both my husband and my oldest child if they would somehow think less of me if kept doing the things that work for me instead of soldiering through. They both said something to the effect of, “Are you crazy? Of course I won’t.”

Sometimes (often) it’s a show of strength to not be strong. Sometimes (often) it’s a show of strength to ask for help. To find something or someone that works for you, and to keep at it rather than giving it up to prove something. Something that apparently doesn’t need proving.

I will keep lifting heavy weights. And I will keep, most likely, cursing (lovingly) at my friends and loved ones who point out my crazy, warped thinking. And I will keep doing the things that keep me happy and healthy and whole…and do my best to laugh when my crazy, warped thinking tries to convince me otherwise.

That, my friend, is true strength.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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I’ve found the steps to letting go

Something was irking at me, hard and deep. I was hurt and angry, and I couldn’t seem to find my way through or past it, no matter how much I wanted to be through and past it.

I wasn’t sure what I should do, or could do, even though I teach people what to do when they’re stuck. Somehow, all the usual suggestions and guidance I offer fell flat.

I know I process verbally, out loud, talking it through – at times ad nauseam much to the chagrin of my friends and family. I need to process; I need them to listen. And listen some more.

I grabbed a friend and asked her to listen. And listen some more. I poured out my pain, my anger, my confusion. I questioned if I was taking full responsibility for my part or full responsibility for the other person’s part as well. I can often take too much responsibility, as this friend (and others) have reminded me. “Am I trying to be perfect?” I asked. “Am I trying to fix?” “Am I trying too hard?”

I poured. I purged. I promised to do nothing until my surge of pain subsided. I know better than trying to be rational and to come from love when I’m lost in my own perspective and ache.

I remembered that on my way to meet my friend, a yellow bird had flown past me, and on my way home from meeting my friend, a yellow bird flew past me again.

Yellow birds are one of my interpretations of the universe reminding me that I’m loved and cared for, of the universe reminding me that all is, and will be, well. Yellow birds are a hug, an affirmation, a blessing. A reminder that I am blessed and that I always have the ability to rise above anything. Even if it hurts.

Another friend from my Positive Psychology course emailed me pictures of the yellow bird that visited her on her deck. I now have many, many people looking for yellow birds.

My hurt and anger lifted. I don’t know exactly how. I don’t know exactly why. I’m pretty sure it was my steps, and I don’t want to question it.

My steps:

  1. Let it out. Get it out. Find a friend or someone with whom you (I) can process and purge.
  2. Let the universe remind you – however it reminds you – that you are loved and all is well.
  3. Believe it.

I’m at ease, at least for now. If my hurt or anger come back, I’ll follow my steps again.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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