Tag Archive | authenticity

An Imperfect Masterpiece 

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to do a photo shoot.  It was an amazing opportunity,  as I won a contest and the hair, make up and sitting fee was all free. I said “yes” to the opportunity immediately, and was so excited! I have grown a lot in the past few years and I was excited for the chance to honor my growing sense of who I am through this.

However, as the weeks went on, the self doubt started to creep in. I had done a previous photo shoot with this studio (decoroportraits) and they had done a wonderful job. The couple who own the studio are friends and are both talented, gifted people who do amazing work. They are trustworthy and good business people as well.  But, the last time, it was a photo shoot with my daughter, and I had been really focused on her and my hope that it would be good for her and her self esteem as a teenager. Even though I had individual portraits done as well, my focus was on her.

This time, it was going to be about me and me alone. Aack! That made me nervous.  The negative voices in my head were saying,

“Oh come on. You’re 48 years old with adult children. Who do you think you are?”

“People will think you are vain and full of yourself ”

“You need to lose weight and work out for months before you should do that”

And on and on…

I almost cancelled so many times.  I would look in the mirror or step on the scale, and the negative self talk would start. It was a battle for weeks.

Then, my friend suggested we watch a documentary called “Embrace” (which can be downloaded through itunes) . It is about a woman’s journey with her own relationship with her body and learning to love herself just as she is. It was timely, and caused me to realize how hard I was being on myself and how much I had allowed society to dictate the definition of “beautiful “. I thought I had come to a pretty good place in terms of my self esteem and self worth. And, compared to several years ago, I had.  But, this opportunity highlighted for me how unhealthy my own view of my body was. I came to the jarring realization that I had been at war with my own body and didn’t even realize it.  I needed to see that!

So, I went. As the photo shoot progressed, Kevan and Leah made me feel so comfortable. …not just with the shoot itself….but with ME. Their philosophy of honoring each woman’s unique beauty came through in their approach.  With each wardrobe change (some of which required me to be very brave and vulnerable), I began to feel more and more beautiful.  Just as I am. ..right here, right now.

By the time it was done, I was tired… but I was also at peace with myself. And thankful. I haven’t even seen the proofs yet. I know the quality will be amazing.  But, to be honest….that is secondary. The growth that came from pushing myself out of my comfort zone is priceless.

Loving Who I Am

This has been such an important part of my healing journey.  What my ex-husband did to me and how he treated me will never be right or okay. But, without those experiences, I would never have become the person I am today.

I love who I am today!

I am still always growing and learning and working on myself.  But, I have learned so much about myself and who I am.  I am able to choose to live more from a place of authenticity and have people in my life who honor and respect that.

I have chosen to see the gifts in what I went through. That is so freeing. I am thankful. 

Welcome Back

I keep experiencing the importance of being true to myself.  It feels like this season is about understanding more deeply who I am and embracing that. As I know myself better, I am making decisions that are more aligned with my true self. The result is that, at this moment, I am feeling more at peace than I have in many, many years. I had a moment today when I found myself crying tears of happiness that I feel so at peace. 

Welcome back.

No more fear

image

I have been doing some pretty intense work on my inner world. I have been realizing how much fear has been playing a role in much of my decision making.  I thought I had already done a lot of work in this area, but apparently there is lots more to do!

I am being intentional about checking in with myself on a regular basis and noticing when I have a fear response.  Sometimes it is very clear, but most times it is very subtle.  And I can rationalize it behind all kinds of reasons that sound perfectly logical.  But, in reality, I am choosing fear and letting fear rule.

I don’t want to do that. I want to choose, act, live, love, be…. from a place of courage, openness, vulnerability, authenticity, LOVE.

It’s not easy. But, I am checking in with myself throughout each day….trying to catch myself responding to something in my life from fear….and shifting to a place of openness instead.

It’s a process. But, as I keep working on this, I feel lighter and more at peace.

I am open to the good in my life now and the good that is coming.

The Chaos and the Courage

image

Anyone who knows me well knows I like calm. I like peace. I like gentleness.  People use these attributes to describe me. I long for these things.

Yet, my life has been a whirlwind with chaos and upheaval and change. Much of which has been brought into my life by choices I have made.

I need balance. It is good to have some excitement and some change. But the person I am finds too much of that exhausting.  I’m exhausted right now.

I am doing a lot of self reflecting.  Every choice I make in my life hugely affects my kids. They are adults, yes….but they still need me to continue setting the tone for our healing journey as a family. I have created some detours to that path which will take some recovery time for all of us. I didn’t intend to do that, but I did.

I am feeling the weight of that, and it’s a heavy burden.

I need to stay on that healing path and stay focused on that. My kids are watching for me to lead the way.  They need me to.

I know that I am also showing them, through my humanity and mistakes, that you can be strong and brave enough to change directions and course correct when necessary. I am not sure they see the good part of that right now, but I hope they will. We are learning and growing together as a family, and I am thankful that we have open and honest conversations together.

My story is not gentle and easy and smooth.  It is not peaceful and lovely. But, it is beautiful in its brokenness and stunning in its strength.

I pray that my story will speak of healing and hope and courage. And maybe….a peaceful chapter is coming. ….

It Matters

image

Fear. It always seems to pop up in my life when I am not prepared for it.

At first, when it shows up, like an unwelcome house guest knocking at my door,  I get irritated.

But, I go to the door anyway to see what it wants. Well, to be truthful, sometimes I let the knocking go on for awhile, hoping it will go away. It never does. Fear is persistent.

That’s because fear always shows up when it’s message is about something that matters.

So eventually,  I get tired of the knocking and go to the door.

“Yes? What do you want?” I ask Fear.

And Fear proceeds to tell me what matters. Fear reminds me that there is something important in my life that I need to deal with.

I  close the door and take a deep breath.

There is another knock.

I open the door cautiously, concerned that Fear is returning to give me more to think about.

I am delighted to see Courage show up at my door!

“Remember me?” Courage says. “I’m always here. You just forget to let me in sometimes. ”

I  swing the door wide open and let Courage in. And right behind Courage comes Faith and Joy, along for the ride.

I got this. Even if it hurts, it’s because it matters. I have all I need. I got this.

Never Too Late

image

Of all the challenges that come with the end of relationships,  the silver lining always is that I am once again able to evaluate what I want my life to look like.  I am in charge of my life and the direction it is going.

The truth is…I always am. But, when in a relationship,  there is always some accommodating and compromising. It has to be that way to blend two lives together.

For now….I don’t need to do that. I can make sure I am once again grounded in who I am and what I want for my life. Then I will be able to do that accommodating and compromising once again without losing myself.

That is my goal.