I can tell you the perfect recipe for a ruined life, for the complete destruction of the great light within you; the one sure way to put out your fire, to shrink your wild life, to dim your sparkle to one faint flicker: Settle.
The moment we allow ourselves to settle is the moment we start agreeing to live a mundane life.
I think, for a long time, I got lost in someone else. When you let someone become your entire world, it feels like your world has ended when they leave it. I’m not going to let that happen to me anymore. Because I don’t want someone to become my world. Instead, I want to share my world with someone…someday.
Last week, during a trip to my grandma’s house, I discovered an old book called “The Book of Me” from when I was six years old. Illustrated in the style of Dr. Seuss, the book contains a variety of miscellaneous questions, everything from “how many freckles do you have?” to “what do you want to be when you grow up?” According to my answers, six-year-old me had one freckle (false) and dreamed of becoming an artist (true, but ill-advised based on my drawings throughout the book).
Precious girl, I see you and I’m with you. You love hard and give generously. You dream big and serve well. You are kind yet fierce. You wonder if self love is selfishness, and if you ever do enough. There’s a constant battle between whether you’re doing enough or being enough. And you never seem to win.
I was first exposed to the power of affirmations from my sister, Mary. I was a freshman in high school and terrified of taking my first final. I woke up the next morning to a post-it note on my bathroom mirror saying, “You can do this, G. You are smart and you are prepared.” Waking up and seeing that note changed my entire day. I believe I passed that exam largely because of the words my sister wrote, boosting my confidence knowing someone believed in me.
Forgiveness takes a lot of inner strength. You have to put aside your anger and punishing thoughts and try to understand and calm your mind to see things in a different way. If you go through life unable to forgive, it will eat you alive, kill your happiness and leave you terribly vulnerable.
Forgiveness takes time but will set you free.
You may have experienced a few days in the winter when the chill sets in, not only in your fingers and toes, but in your mind and mood as well. It’s a little harder to push yourself out of bed when you hear the alarm. It’s a little easier to hit the snooze button a few times. It’s a little more common to feel like you haven’t accomplished anything when you’re headed home from work as dusk falls, or you’re headed to the gym because it’s too cold to jog outside.
Oh, the joys of being 14. Those awkward years of transitioning from a little girl into a pre-teen, wearing far too much eye liner to my first dance in the school gym, praying my crush would tap my shoulder during Nelly's 'Over and Over'... (such fond memories...)