Good Grief.

Pain is pain. Hurt is hurt. We like to give rank to some pain over others, and though it might hurt more to lose someone to death than a breakup, for example, we don’t get to lessen someone else’s hurt. A lot of the time pain feels the same…it’s the duration that changes. It’s our capacity to feel it even.

Pain feels like pain regardless of the severity of the problem.

I have come to an understanding in myself on this very topic. For a time in my life I kept my pain inside, because I thought it was petty. I thought it would sound stupid or sound like complaining. Honesty doesn’t promise to be pretty…much of it isn’t at all. I had a wonderful life and family and no reason to be ungrateful. Here’s the thing though, I kept inside that I felt certain hurts in my life, because I made it small, and guess what, that harvested so much negativity. Negative thoughts and actions, and all of that could have been avoided, if I hadn’t avoided it to begin with.

Years later I’ve come to realize that grieving is a GOOD thing.

I remember reading in a book a few years back that pain demands to be felt. It’s hard to pay attention to something else when your stomach hurts or you’ve broken a bone, right? So why do we have such a hard time understanding that our emotional hurts do the same thing to our physical selves. These experiences change how we interpret the world. How we see ourselves. It’s crazy to me that we can probably all relate to this feeling. This heavy, exhausted, don’t want to talk about it, desire to be anywhere else, any other life, get me to the next picture I can post life. I’m guilty of it, and I don’t even want it. Oh the tension. Haha.

Today I know that you don’t get over pain that you make small for the world’s sake or even your neighbor’s. You have to feel your way out. You have to understand the weight of what hurts you and work your way through the ugly why. You come out understanding yourself better, which allows you to treat yourself with respect and teach others to treat you with respect, AND treat others with respect.

I hear people casually put themselves and the hurts and pains they feel down more than I’d like to say I have. It’s so commonplace in the society we’ve created. This “get it together” world is what we’ve created and it’s hurting our relationships and our souls. We feel isolated in this overstimulated place. How is that?  Numb. That’s what happens when you are overstimulated with all the things this world has to offer. You are in synaptic overload. Emotional overload. “Perfect” world overload. We push down the things in our hearts that hurt us and leave them there to fester, because “time heals all wounds”. No actually it doesn’t; God does…and it takes time. If we leave hurt alone for years, guess what comes up years later in our relationships, our family life, the rules we run by, the games we play…oh that ugly little thing we thought we’d buried. We forgot that just because it can feel good, procrastination doesn’t solve problems.

We’ve forgotten the importance of grieving. Whether it’s the loss of a job or a friend or maybe your favorite restaurant that’s closing. (I get that those aren’t “equal” but the point is it’s not a sin to grieve something regardless of the bigness of the thing.) I’m not trying to say we should grieve every little thing in life, but if it bothers you grieve that it’s gone…and learn to let it go. Yeah it might sound dumb…but that’s how you heal. That’s how you become a genuine human being. That’s how you recognize and give importance to something you truly enjoyed.

I started doing this very thing two years ago and it changed my life. I learned to lament. Which sounds kind of stupid, let me clarify, I learned to ALLOW myself to lament. Actual lamenting is a natural thing that we do without having to learn. The allowing ourselves is a totally different beast. Now I get it, lamenting a closing restaurant probably isn’t the case, but you can still grieve it and move on. Lament is a crying out. Wailing out. Complete lack of words for the sadness.

I think as a society we need to quit praising faked strength. Do you ever see a post on social media that looks like a strong stand up quote or revelation?

Sometimes I wonder if it’s honestly an outward expression of inside pain. And don’t get me wrong sometimes it benefits us to consciously stand up for the pain we feel by posting something or doing something to remind ourselves we aren’t sitting in it. That might look fake because it’s not maybe 100% where we are right at that moment. It’s not wrong to do that. That’s ok, I’m not knocking that. I will say that sometimes I hope that people have a best friend or spouse to share the truth with when I see those posts. It tugs on my heart.

I knew someone years ago, who didn’t share their inner pain often. And to be honest, I think their inner pain ate them from the inside out. Not literally, of course. But their thoughts, the way they interpreted situations, the way they treated people closest to them, it was completely rationalized as this is the smart thing to do.

I cannot emphasize this enough…find someone you can trust and find accountability. You are not alone.

Social media doesn’t need to know your whole life. Let me repeat that. Social media DOES NOT need to know your whole life. But we are built for community and vulnerability.

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Relationships.

Falling in love is easy. You don’t see it coming. You just kind of trip in.

Staying there might take every ounce of who you are…and who you aren’t yet.

Relationships regardless of whether it’s friendship or marriage take work. We’ve all heard this.

I can’t bypass planting and cultivating a garden and still reap a harvest. I also can do everything in my power to get a harvest and I have no actual power over how many flowers or fruits grow abundantly. Some things will be harder to grow than others.

I think the world, myself included, forgets that love and trust and understanding aren’t inherent in the definition of friendships or relationships. I think we assume that they will bring companionship and intimacy.  Sometimes we just expect that everyone else will treat us how we want and forget that not everyone has the same ideas about how to do so. We are in our own heads and therefore that makes sense.

Love and trust and understanding, however are characteristics people possess. That’s what makes certain relationships right for certain people and not work out for others. You have to find someone who is willing to grow and live how you want to as well. Shared vision and purpose is more important than liking all the same things. You have to put in love to reap it. Learn to forgive to get it. If we take out more than we put in, we are like dogs frantically digging deep holes. You can’t reap a harvest from a garden of empty holes.

I see a lot of the world around me doing just this. I’ve been there myself, I’ll probably be there again.

But I urge you to look at the life you have. How many times have you been hurt in this life? Lost someone you loved? Got dumped? Were lied to? Felt left out? Felt uncared for?…This world is full of hurt. Too much to even count.

But the way we decide to move forward is the difference. It’s what grows you. It’s what builds you. And by being the very person you hope to find, to inspire and attract that in your own life.

Impatience.

Impatience.

Thick like mud. Like humid air. Like sweat beading on your skin.

Type. Delete. Search. Exit window. My fingers type wildly for an outlet.

Lists increase in size and the dreams in magnitude.

I’ve planned ten trips in two weeks. Added three destinations to my watch list on the hopper app. Visited Airbnb at least a dozen times. Checked car rental prices and wish lists so many times it’s not even surprising that all my ads on facebook have changed to travel ads.

Each of these searches ended in the exited browser window.

My mind whispers into my longing heart…don’t wait anymore. My heart aches at that, but it also knows you can’t make things happen or work out any more than you can get a cat to listen to you. It will move on its own.

Part of me wanted to put this part of me down. Wish or pray it away. This girl who longs so much for fresh open air, to lay back on completely uncomfortable rocks, and not care that she has dirt on her skin or the seat of her yoga pants and probably a powdery feel to her hair. This is me. Raw, and true. In my most comfortable state, when the worries fall away…slip off, I’m left as my soul so in love that nothing else matters. The freedom I long for every day.

I wanted to pray for contentment and patience. But I’m realizing it’s not discontentment or impatience, though it’s always good to pray for more of those things. This is a part of my spirit. I have to learn how and when to use this part of my heart. This part of me shouldn’t be wished away. It should be molded and guided. And that, my friends, is very hard to do.

It’s been a little bit since I’ve typed anything. Since I’ve tried to make sense of what’s in my head. Life has been on autopilot…that might be my least favorite type of pilot.

Sometimes the best thing we can do for our souls is just stop. Stop trying to make things work out. Stop trying to make life happen. Just stop.

Sometimes I’m forced to stop, which is more than often the case.

My heart has not felt present in the space I’m in. But God has been disciplining my heart to understand. I can love being in new places, but I CANNOT want the place over his presence.

I have so much to learn.

Sunrise, sunset. 

Do you think sometimes God gets tired of making amazing things?
This thought crossed my mind, as I sat on the lakes edge and watched the sun go down. God are you tired of making beautiful sunrises and sunsets each day? Tired of wooing my heart?…Am I high maintenance? hahaha
I looked out in front of me and thought, this was the kind of sunset that didn’t make a big deal about itself. It wasn’t overly vibrant. Not orange or yellow and red. It didn’t fill the whole sky. It just melted behind the clouds like it was no big deal, as life moved quickly into evening. Blurring one day into the next. A transition I think little about. Maybe no one posted a photo on instagram of this sunset and no ones breath was taken away when they walked out the front door. No second glance or double take.


And I heard God tell me in that moment that God created things so they don’t have to be managed. He’s not putting on a play, where he plays all the characters and the stage crew and he runs everywhere and if he misses his cue the sunset is less than overwhelming. He’s not tired of pursuing my heart with pretty sunsets, or wild, white flowers, or snow peaked jagged mountain tops, or acoustic versions of my favorite songs. See the pursuing of my heart isn’t always the sunset itself. He’s helping me become aware of my surroundings and that’s how he woos my heart. Through relationship. Through presence. It isn’t the flower, or sun, or even the mountains themselves. It’s the awareness of pursuit that truly makes the thing in front of me matter.
But in spite of Him being the all powerful God of the universe it’s amazing that He gave us 6 days of working, creating, wooing…and then day seven He taught us the importance of resting in it. Of being and not having to do all the things. Of simply sitting in creation in awe that all the world is autonomously working as instructed, while we rest in its beauty. (In my best Gru impression)
“light bulb”.
The world is designed with forward motion. To autonomously function without constant instruction. It’s built in. Sometimes our circumstances and choices make for sunsets that don’t draw attention to themselves. And our hearts inward focus to less awareness of him and more awareness to the problems crowding our life. Then there are times when God grabs us with sunsets that bring us to our knees in tears. And you can’t help but be in his awareness. Fully immersed. But it’s always important to take a second and rest your heart when it feels too heavy. To remember to sit in who he created us to be instead of striving to hit all the marks. Sit and recognize that autonomously we too are created to woo. With your kindness, your smile, your very presence. It’s important.

Rainy Morning Vibes. 

This morning I took my coffee to the park and sat at the lake’s edge. The past few weeks have felt emotionally tiring, I’ve probably felt all the emotions under the sun in just seven days. If I didn’t know better I might think I was losing my mind. So despite the impending rain, I made myself do something I knew deep down would jump start my soul, check my heart. 

Inadequacy has been weighing heavy on my shoulders, especially at the thought of not being able to fend off negative thoughts recently. I fell back on the earth and closed my eyes, feeling the weight of what felt like failure. I ran my fingers through the grass and when I pressed my palms to the earth, I felt like a child with her hand on your dad’s chest. Safe. If I lay long enough maybe I’ll feel a heartbeat. I brought my hands up in front of me in the air and my focus shifted to the trees beyond. 

I realized most of this tree I can’t actually see. Most of this tree is below my feet. And it’s standing steady. 

Most of the world will never know your struggle the way you do. Most of the world will never know what it feels like to rest in your heart, breathe in weighty breathes in your lungs, and most of the world will never ask. The beauty I’m focusing on here is that breakthrough happens in the parts no one sees. Becoming. It’s awful. I want to jump into a safe feeling and forget that sometimes I do put on a smile to be viewed as “professional”, “likeable”, “put together”, not crazy…(I know this is false, but it’s a very real thought through one’s mind in this world sometimes). 

My heart has been holding in my emotions lately, because I knew they might be viewed as negative. I was afraid that my emotions would lay heavy on another person if I shared them. I was afraid of what it might mean to let them out. And all of that is too many afraids to be even one good reason not to be honest about my heart. Last year I told myself that I don’t pretend to have it together anymore. I have an amazing group of friends who I trust with my vulnerable feelings and they have changed my life. So yes I don’t have to deal with everything alone, but I am responsible for myself and where I go from here. I deserve to be able to feel all the emotions for a moment, acknowledge the weight, and then part ways with things not fitting on me. That last part is vital. Not every day is good, great, or even decent. And getting through hard things isn’t a one time event. It can look like refusing the same bad thought thirty times in one day over the course of three months, until it no longer has an effect on you. 

It’s hard. It’s intentional. And most of it happens in the quiet parts that no one, or at least not many, will ever see. Just know wherever you are that God has got you. You don’t have to be afraid of where you aren’t. 

Laughing at Fear. 

Live your beautiful life. The one you have. The one you dream of. The one your afraid to admit you want. The one others might judge you for because they may not understand. Live it.
I played so safe for too long. Most of my life. Afraid to let people down, to be too much, or not enough…to be too spunky or loud or quiet. Trying to fit the mold of what it meant to be…human? American? A woman? A daughter? To be bright? Or beautiful…and all of that led me to nothing sustainable.  
But when I gained perspective I lost sight of what fear tried to get me to understand. I gained the perspective to understand that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The unknown is scary, but it holds bad things and it also holds great things. If we do only what we know we grow nowhere. We cap what we can do. And what God can do. Be smart. Be informed, but don’t be afraid. 

On the Road Again.

14 days

16 cities

7 states

4 airports 

3 time zones

3 finished books

2 rental cars

Roughly 300ish cups of coffee…just a rough estimate. 😂
This has been life for me the last two weeks. 

It’s exhilarating…and exhausting at times. 
It’s completely comfortable and terrifyingly uncomfortable. 
It’s an interesting place to be. This inbetween. 
The last 24 hours have not felt good. Coming from the amazing trip I just took with friends transitioning to this work trip has felt completely different from the last. And I’m reminding myself that there were plenty of uncomfortable moments with the last trip so I need to push through to find the growth and beauty this place has to offer.
I’m pushing myself to accept that I need to go with the flow here.
I’ve been awake since 4 am and got in last night around 10, which is 1 am at home, registration isn’t until 10 so I’m making the most of this incredibly cold, snowy morning at Lake Tahoe and going to find a view 🙂 

Happy Sunday friends. 🙂