brigitte kathleen

rediscovering my heart


Leave a comment

7 Things To Tell Yourself When You’re Hurting

Thought Catalog

1. I am going to face it.

Don’t run away from it. Don’t treat it like it’s not there, like it has never happened — this will only prolong the period of suffering, and delay the healing. Talk about it, not avoid it. Things only get nastier when you try to sweep them under the carpet. Face that bitch right in the face. If it’s gonna hurt, it will. But after that, it will be fine. It will get better.

2. This pain is necessary for growth.

You tell yourself that it is NOT all bad and no good — that something good CAN come out of it. That through pain you become stronger and better as a person. That going through tough things and shit situations are part and parcel of life. People can break your heart, but it is up to you whether to seal it up on…

View original post 471 more words


Leave a comment

Emergency Grocery Store Run Results in Existential Crisis: The Salmon Edition

Tonight started like any other Tuesday night. I got home from work shortly after 4 to catch the last part of Ellen. Then I flipped on the news (insert “SHOCKER” here). After I cleaned up last night’s dinner dishes (left over due to the fact that the Bachelorette was on and that consumed most all of my evening), I decided to start thinking about dinner. I knew I had a salmon fillet left over from grandma’s generous unloading of frozen meats she bought from some Schwan’s rival, and I decided to make a lovely salmon fillet with a lemon-dijon sauce, and a side of broccoli and tortolini. A little fancier than a usual Tuesday night meal, but it was the first thing I thought of, and I stuck to it.

I made my dijon sauce, and started the water boiling for my pasta. When I reached into my freezer, I remembered that the salmon had been in there for quite some time and I started to worry that it wouldn’t be good anymore. I was right. The salmon fillet was severely freezer-burned and had all the markings of “bad fish.”
[As a side-note, I should also tell you the following:
When I got home, I knew I didn’t have plans tonight so I washed my face, and took all my makeup off. At this time, I was reminded that I needed a new toothbrush.]
Continuing on…

I had already made my lemon-dijon sauce, crushed my breadcrumbs, and started my water boiling, so there was no turning back. I decided to halt everything and make an emergency salmon run. I turned off my oven which was fully preheated, I turned off the stove, I grabbed my keys and out the door I ran. I was not even halfway down the first flight of stairs (there are six) when I realized that I wasn’t wearing any makeup. I almost turned around but knew that I just wanted to go and get back so I could continue making dinner. To be sure it “wasn’t that bad,” I pulled up the camera on my phone to take a look at my face to see if I was even close to publicly presentable. I wasn’t. But as they say in the ‘biz,’ “the show must go on,” so I forged down the rest of the stairs, and made my way to Rainbow.

Now is the time when I take a brief moment to be completely honest with you about something I’m sure you don’t care about only because you don’t need to and you’ve probably never thought about it. Ready? I NEVER leave the house without some kind of make-up on my face. Sometimes it’s to actually cover something up. Sometimes it acts as more of a security blanket. And before you start going and blaming my mother saying things like, “Why did she teach her that?” or “Why didn’t she instill more self-confidence in her?” please note that this has absolutely nothing to do with my mom. Actually, my mom has frequently tried to tell me that makeup doesn’t matter. She, herself, doesn’t even wear much. This obsession I have is no one’s fault but my own.

When I got to Rainbow (for you out-of-staters, Rainbow is a grocery store), I knew something was off. The moment I saw someone, I looked down at the ground- and my eyes never left it (except to look at which salmon, toothbrushes, and tupperware containers I was purchasing). I stared at the ground during the entire 7-10 minutes I was in the store. I went through the self-checkout because I didn’t want to have to look anyone in the eyes. Every time I walked by someone I was reminded that I wasn’t in my usually “pretty” state. I wasn’t wearing makeup. I was in a state that is only ever embraced when I’m alone in my apartment. Shame had completely consumed me.

As a woman, I’ve been conditioned to believe that “beautiful” looks a certain way. As someone with terrible self-talk and self-esteem, I’ve conditioned myself to believe that I am not it. As much as this is a problem, I don’t think it’s completely my fault, nor do I believe that it’s completely the world’s fault. Sure, media tells me that “beautiful” comes in pretty much one form- long, beautiful hair, big, beautiful eyes, thin, tan, nice boobs, and a nice ass (for all you ass guys out there). I don’t fit this mold—– AT ALL. For those of you who know me personally, you know that this is true. Yes, some of you will tell me that I am beautiful, however, the key to understanding where I’m coming from is that I don’t fit the beautiful mold. There’s a difference.

I’ve told a guy friend of mine, on at least two occasions, that “guys like him are the reason girls like me are single.” I usually drop this bomb when we discuss how “hot” Carly Rae Jepsen or Kellie Pickler are (I’m only using him as an example because I guarantee you he doesn’t read this). I really don’t mean anything by this when I say it, but then I reflect, and I realize how much I actually believe it. “Girls like me” don’t fit into his or most men’s cookie-cutter mold that the world has come to know as beautiful. And as smart as I am, or funny, or [insert endearing quality here] as I may be, I’ll never be, and other girls who don’t fit into the mold will never feel like we are a complete person because we know that men are looking for something more. Essentially, we’ll never be the complete package.

Now, I’m sure you’re trying to tie this back to the whole “leaving the house without make-up” thing, so let me help. The second I stepped out of my apartment, fresh-faced, and flawed, I felt the pressure of the world on my shoulders. I knew that, as a woman, I was supposed to be something in particular, and by stepping out without make-up on, I was failing to measure up to that standard of excellence. I couldn’t tell if I should be ashamed of myself, or ashamed that the world had conditioned me to feel like this. At that point, it didn’t matter. My reality was that I DID feel like that, and for 7-10 minutes, walking through Rainbow, I felt inferior to everyone around me, and I felt that I had little-to-no worth.

It makes me sad that my 12 year old sister will grow up in a world like this. It’s funny, because she’s starting to dabble in makeup, and worry about fashion while I’m constantly telling her it doesn’t matter, and she’s so beautiful. As much energy as I put into telling her that, I put just as much energy into telling myself that she won’t believe it because I don’t believe it for myself. The world (and I hope you understand that by “world,” I mean “American society”) has put these standards on us as women AND MEN (trust me guys, I know you’re dealing with it too, and women are not totally innocent in that), to live up to expectations that no one can reach. Not even celebrities. Do we need to talk about the significance of airbrushing and retouching photos? THIS is the world we live in- not only are the “realistic” levels of expectations too much for us to handle, we have a whole separate set of unrealistic expectations to live up to.

If you know anything about Brene Brown, you’ll realize that this post goes against everything she teaches and talks about. Brene Brown researches shame and vulnerability and encourages people to live into that vulnerability, and embrace who they are. I love her work and her writing and I will encourage any and everyone to read her books, but tonight was a clear indication that some of her teaching is total and complete idealism. What she talks about is not the reality that you and I live every day. We feel pressure to look right, to have enough money, drive the right car, go on the right vacations, be members of the right church, or country club. It’s hard for me to embrace myself because I’m living in a world that’s constantly trying to take who I am away from me. And guess what? You might not know it, but the world is doing it to you, too.

So, how do we get over it? I have no idea. The problem is systemic, and systemic problems are the hardest to fix. You can love yourself all you want, and embrace who you are as much as possible, but we are all fighting the exact same battle… and we’re fighting it against ourselves and each other. I can promise you that I will probably never leave the house without make-up again because I can’t. It causes me to feel actual pain in dealing with the shame that I experience. Your battle might be something different. I don’t know what it is for you, but the battle is there and the key to fighting it is understanding what it is.

I will never be as beautiful as the FSN Girls (don’t even get me started), I’ll never be as charismatic as Jennifer Lawrence, and I’ll never look like Megan Fox. Don’t be fooled– celebrity women aren’t the only ones my struggle is with. I went to High School with a bunch of girls I STILL wish I could be. But there comes a time when the need to face reality overcomes the need to live up to expectations. If that means that I’m single for a really long time because I’m not pretty enough to date (a guy in high school told me this one time), then so be it. Luckily, life goes on whether you’re a little ugly or not. Life goes one whether you’re a size 2 or a size 20. Life goes on whether you make $30,000 a year, or $300,000 year. The beautiful part in this is that life does, in fact, go on.

Your battle is your battle, and I’m sorry you have to fight it. I’m especially sorry if you’re fighting it alone. If at all possible, find comfort that though we might all be fighting separate battles, we are fighting them together.


Leave a comment

A Letter to My 12-Year-Old Sister About Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About

Dear Little Sister,

You just finished 6th grade! Congratulations, you’re officially half-way through your childhood– wait, WHAT? This letter couldn’t be coming at a better time for you! Being well into my adult-hood (although I try to stay young, and you help me do that– especially since we wear the same size clothes), I believe I can offer you a little insight about what you’ve already experienced and what you have around the corner. Ready? Here we go!

1. Mom and Dad

Mom and dad are really great. They each have certain things about them that make them really AWESOME people. You might not feel that way right now because they’re always telling you to clean your room or practice piano, but they really are doing it because they love you and they want to see you succeed. I know that sounds corny, but you have to trust me- I’m your older sister.  It might seem like sometimes they’re just giving you work to do they don’t want to do. Guess what? They are, and they can. They’ve earned that right. It might suck, but that’s part of earning your kid stripes.

Mom and dad really are awesome people, and they’re really, really smart. They’re not going to make you do something that’s going to hurt you, but they’re trying to teach you things about what it means to grow up. Trust them. They know what they’re doing.

2. School

STUDY. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. I know it seems pointless sometimes and a lot of times, teachers just give you busy work. But here’s the deal- YOU HAVE TO DO IT IF YOU WANT TO GET ANYWHERE. Not only will doing your homework teach you the material you’re learning, but it’ll also teach you about discipline, time management, and prioritization. None of this means anything to you right now, but I promise it will.

Being able to bounce back is a really good skill, but don’t use it a lot. In 7th grade advanced math, at mid-quarter I had 14 late or missing assignments and I still pulled out a B in that class. What did that teach me? Nothing, except the realization that I could finagle my way out of almost any situation and still be above average. While this is respectable, it’s not admirable. Strive to be admirable. Show us what you can do because you can, not because you have to.

One last thing- do everything you can to be amazing. Study hard. Be involved. You know why? Not only will this just continue to prove to everyone that you are, in fact, AWESOME, but you’ll also start applying for college someday (the money talk is next… get ready), and the more free college you can get because you’re awesome, the better. Make schools WANT you to come to their school. Make them WANT your awesomeness. Because, girl, you are.

3. Money

Money sucks. And it’s only going to get worse. Here are my rules– pay attention.

– SAVE. SAVE. SAVE. Save your money. You’ll thank me and yourself later.

– Students loans are terrible, but they’re a reality. This is why you need to do awesome in school– the less student loan debt you have, the better. Trust me- my student loan debt is the reason you won’t be an aunt or sister-in-law for a very, VERY long time.

– Be responsible. Don’t be impulsive. Your good credit (once you have some) is next to Godliness. Be careful.

– Money is not the end of the world or the defining quality of a good life. If you’re responsible with your money, you’re paying your bills, and you don’t have much money left but you’re happy, that’s all that matters. Money will not make you happy. As long as you’re living the life you want, and you’re happy with who you are and what you’re doing, that’s what matters.

4. Friends

Some friends stay forever. Some friends stay for a week. Friends will hurt you. Friends will love you. All of the experiences you have with your friends will become a part of who you are, and you, in turn, will be a part of who your friends are. I have three best friends (and they might not even know who they are), but I have a small group of really close friends, too. Each of my friends has turned me into the person I am, and the person I’m continuing to grow to be. You’re young, you have a lot of growing left to do.

If a friend hurts you, make sure you forgive them. But you also need to remember that you’re worth being treated like gold. If you’re friends don’t respect your, or use you, or hurt you constantly, make sure you know that you deserve better than that, and that  maybe it’s ok to walk away from that relationship. This way, you can invest more in the friends who love you and care about you and will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. But make sure you’re the best friend you can be to your friends, too. Respect and love in friendships is a two-way street.

5. Boys/Love

This is last because it’s the least important. I know you’re not experiencing it much now, but you’ll start (sooner than I’d like). First of all, boys are dumb. They’ll never understand what is going on in your head, so don’t expect them to. Second, boys aren’t worth it. Guys are almost worth it. Men are sometimes worth it. You have TOO MUCH to focus on right now (and through high school) to get caught up in “boy” drama. Wait until you meet a man… then come to me and I’ll let you know if it’s time and if he’s good enough for you.

No boy/guy/man is worth your tears. If they’re not nice to you, get out right away. Make sure that if whatever feelings you have for him aren’t mutual that you either tell him that, or get out. Your broken heart or his broken heart isn’t worth the dragging out of something that isn’t there– TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.

Don’t let mom, dad, grandma, or any of our aunts or uncles make you feel bad about your relationships or lack thereof. Eventually, you’ll be smart enough to make your own decisions without knowing that your family is judging your every word or move. Your relationships are YOUR relationships– not anyone else’s… except I expect to be overly involved. I can. I’m your big sister.

Little Sister, you are so incredible, and you don’t even know it yet. You’re not even your whole person yet! That’s what’s so exciting about being 12. You have so much time to make mistakes and correct them, and to make masterpieces and enjoy them.

In closing, here are the things I love about you, because sometimes it’s nice to hear things like that:

1. Your loving heart

2. Your willingness to try new things

3. Your excitement to learn about new things

4. Your beautiful artistic abilty

5. Your musical ability

6. Your creative spirit

7. Your unconditional love for people (sometimes to a fault)

8. Your beautiful smile

9. The fact that you are a bed hog

10. I love that you laugh at my jokes

Dream big. Be awesome.

Love,

Your Big Sister

stocks


1 Comment

It’s OK to Hope for a KitchenAid Mixer

This past Christmas, I did something I probably shouldn’t have: I asked for a 5-quart KitchenAid mixer (with accessories) in the iconic Empire Red color. It might not be every little girl’s fantasy to someday own a KitchenAid mixer, but I feel like once you  hit a certain age, it’s OK to start wanting some of those “adult” things (and actually be excited about them). Here’s the problem- Everyone I know who has one of these wonderful contraptions is married. The KitchenAid mixer is traditionally known to be a wonderful wedding gift from a wealthy family member who is just close enough to want to spend that kind of money on you, but not close enough to want to help with the wedding (like a rich uncle).

kitchen aid mixer

 

It’s no secret that I’m in my mid late 20’s and as single as I’ve ever been. That’s why I had a difficult time adding my KitchenAid mixer to my Amazon.com wish list. In my mind, the Empire Red KitchenAid mixer is a “coming of age” item. To me, it means you’ve arrived- you’re officially the domestic queen that your grandma has always hoped you be. I even thought that actually receiving, purchasing, or owning this kind of item would mean I’ve given up all hope in my future and become settled with being single for the rest of my life (it’s a symbolism thing…).  This whole life of limbo I’m living in really got me thinking about one HUGE question: How do we realistically plan for the future without having a clue what the future might even look like?

This question has been in the back of my mind since I started grad school. When I started seminary, I was toying with the idea of becoming ordained and everything that entailed. At that point, I was single and fine with being sent wherever they were going to want to send me, and I knew that would be a strength I had going into my interviews. After that idea went out the window, I considered moving to New York (you might remember that post from September). I remember people being so concerned with the idea of moving to somewhere new by myself, but my excuse was that I had nothing holding me down here.

Skipping ahead, I’m now 27 and I’m trying to figure out what the latest versions of my 1, 5, and 10 year plans are. When you’re recently graduated with a lot of components in your life that keep changing, your own idea of the future ends up morphing and it can be difficult to keep up. When you’re from the heartland, people are getting married young, and beginning their lives together, meaning they can make a 1, 5, and 10 year plan together. Now, don’t get me wrong- this is not a “poor me, I’m single,” story. This is simply a discovery of what life for 20/30-somethings who are ready to make a game plan looks like when they make that game plan without knowing who they’ve got on their roster.

As cynical as I may be becoming, I still believe in the power of hope and faith for the future. Though your present may either be really great, or really not-so-great, you still have a future waiting for you. The beauty is that your future is just as unknown to you as it is to people who spend their whole lives planning for theirs. So dream. Dream big. What do you want your future to look like? Think about it in terms of painting a picture. The thing that I think a lot of us take for granted in planning without knowing is that our canvas is blank and waiting to be painted on. People who are planning with and around others in their life already have brushstrokes they need to work into their artwork. I’m not saying that people who are married, dating, have kids or family responsibilities, or anything tying them down can’t dream, and more often than not, the art that they’re having to incorporate into their painting is beautiful. I just know that, although I’m a terrible visual artist, I have a huge sense of hope and imagination when I’m staring at a blank canvas.

Another thing that I think we forget, especially when we get deep into “planning mode,” is that plans rarely work out the way we envision them. If you would have asked me 10 years ago what I’d be doing now, I can say with 150% certainty that THIS would not be it. I pictured myself married, maybe with a child, living in a house, and successful in whatever career I may have landed in. Grad school was never on my radar, and I wanted to get done and start life as soon as possible. I’m 27, single, childless, and a recent graduate who feels clueless more than anything. My future, your future, his future, her future… our futures are not static. It’s not a situation of, “Let it be said, let it be done.” Our lives are fluid and we have to make changes and recalibrate when things happen all the time. Some people believe that God has a very precise plan for them (I don’t know if I’m one of those people or not), and if that is the case, then guess what? We still don’t know the plan, and we have to prayerfully accept the dance God has invited us into, and let him lead.

I think there’s a huge leadership lesson in this for us. Leaders are people who can not only anticipate their own needs and the needs of those around them, but they are also people who can adapt to changes, including ones they weren’t expecting. Leaders are also people who are self-aware, know who they are, and what they can offer. I think there’s a big difference in knowing what you can offer and knowing what you want to offer. When we make plans for the future, we’re already limiting ourselves to what we think we’ll want to offer instead of letting opportunities present themselves. When you don’t have your piece of art completed before you begin, life gives you new colors, shapes, and brushstrokes to make it a masterpiece you didn’t know you were capable of.

In closing, I want to swing this back around to my lustful desire for a KitchenAid mixer. I’m not married. I’m not dating anyone. I’m not really even close. But I also know I’m not getting any younger, and that owning a KitchenAid mixer shouldn’t be contingent on weather or not I’m getting married. What’s important is that I’m allowing my canvas to be painted one brushstroke at a time, and when I’m ready for my Empire Red brushstroke that represents my KitchenAid mixer to finally find its home amongst the other colors that make up who I am, I think it’s going to be an excellent addition to the magnificent piece of art my life is turning out to be. And when I’m ready to merge my masterpiece with another person’s, it’s going to be more lovely and intricate that I could have ever imagined.  So go on, dream big, and get yourself a KitchenAid mixer.


Leave a comment

Before Someone Loves You, You Must Love Yourself

Thought Catalog

Someone is going to touch your hand in a dark movie theater where a scary movie is playing but you can’t remember a single thing that happened in the story because you are too busy concentrating on your own breath and how close this person is to your body. They are going to reach out and touch you and it is going to feel like a thousand needles pushing into your skin at once, the kind of pain which is as much a thrill as it is an object of fear. You are going to forget how to breathe, how to look normal, how to pretend to be the person you were only a few seconds ago. And it will be good, but it won’t be love.

I dated a guy for a time who was very nice. We’re used to the descriptor “nice” as having become almost a euphemism…

View original post 836 more words


Leave a comment

20 Things Single People Shouldn’t Have To Justify To Anyone

Would someone please inform my family of this? Plz & thx.

Thought Catalog

1. How long you’ve been single. Three months is okay. Three years is okay. I’m currently coming up on five years of singledom — having completely redacted one relationship from the record. (I was feeling desperate.) If it keeps up, I’m just looking forward to my ten year reunion of singledom, where I can get drunk, wear a nametag with a fake name on it (Stinky Weaselteats, at your service), find out everyone I dated has ugly babies or got ugly and throw someone in a pool. I will be king of the singles.

2. The number of bad dates that you’ve had. Being bad at dating doesn’t make you a bad person, and sometimes it’s genuinely not your fault. Recently on OKCupid, my “Match” referred to the website’s dating algorithm as the “OKCupid fag hag” and an old beau told me that bisexuality was a “hippie new age affectation.”…

View original post 1,124 more words


Leave a comment

Morning Walk Musings: To Be Loved

SPRING HAS SPRUNG! Obviously, this means that I want to spend as much time outside as possible, so I started walking this week. My first day of walking was Sunday. I walked almost 10 miles between two different trips outside.

This past weekend and early part of this week has been particularly trying so I’ve been finding solace in putting in my ear-buds and drowning out the world. That’s why I had no problem spending almost four hours outside on Sunday. On my second walk that day, I went a route I knew but had never walked before. As I was walking down the sidewalk, I came across this message in the pavement: Image

It might be hard to read, but this is what it says: I wanted to tell you the name of the street where I crashed my bicycle, got my best scar, or how I went walking at sunrise to see dawn’s great evacuation of star. There must be some method, when two people meet, to explain to each other who we really are.

This got me thinking, first of all, about relationships and how we allow them to develop in our  lives. What does it mean to know someone? What does it mean to care about someone? What does that look like for us as someone who cares, but also what does it look like for someone who is being cared for? Although an important conversation, it’s one saved for another time. The other thing this made me think about is my last post that listed things that made me who I am. In the middle of this unexpected existential moment, I realized that this pavement poem could have been written about me. I remember crashing my bike and I have scars. But the other thing I realized is that I haven’t seen a sunrise in a long time, so I decided that I was going to start getting up in the mornings to go walking. Not only would this be a healthy choice, but I’d be able to watch the sunrise… while walking around a lake. I just described what I’m pretty sure heaven is like.

So, to the musings from this morning…

It was about 5:45am and I’m 2/3 the way through my walk as I walk past the Como Lake Pavilion. Normally, I wouldn’t stop because I wouldn’t have a reason to, but this morning, this caught my eye:Image

It was surrounded by a few other chalk drawings, but this one was the largest art piece on the sidewalk. It also happened to be the message I needed to hear. Like I said, I had a difficult weekend. Work, relationships, a never-ending concern about what the future looks like… you know, all the normal stuff that normally fill my relatively large plate, but this weekend, I had a buffet’s worth. I’m not sure if it hurt or helped that Pastor Jon’s sermon could have been written for me, and I cried through the whole thing. So yeah, a pretty difficult weekend despite the comfort that people were attempting to surround me with. It wasn’t until this morning that I really felt it all come together.

Unfortunately, some of us don’t realize how loved we are by the people who matter until it seems like things are falling apart. And even then, sometimes we don’t understand, believe, or trust them. But guess what? IT’S TIME FOR THAT TO CHANGE. You know why? Because. You. Are. Loved.

You are a child of God and worthy to be loved. That is, you are beloved…allow yourself to Be. Loved. A friend of mine tweeted this to me last year. He has a way with words and has wisdom beyond his years. Mostly, he’s a very calming presence and has a beautiful assurance of God’s love that he’s not afraid to share with people. When I saw the message on the sidewalk this morning, my first thought was, “I hear this all the time.” And it’s true, isn’t it? We are always being reassured that we are loved- commercials, jewelry stores, Church. But do we believe it?

I think my friend’s words nail it on the head– sometimes we need to be reassured that we are a child of God and the promise that lies in that knowledge is God’s unconditional love (I’ll get to fellow human love in a second). That means we are sons and daughters of the only presence who can and will and does love us to extremes we can’t fathom. What this also means is that we-you, me, everyone- are worthy of love.

Did you catch that? By the simple fact that you are a living, breathing, existing child of God, you are worthy of love. Don’t get me wrong- this doesn’t mean that everyone is going to love you, nor does it mean that everyone should love you. What it means is that you get to open yourself to the people in your life and allow them to love you in the way they are going to. But this also means you need to open yourself up to that. The people that love you are going to love you despite your flaws, your shortcomings, and everything you think is wrong with you. But guess what? It’s not your decision for them to love you– It’s your decision to let them.

I only know this because I may be my worst critic, but I’m also my worst enemy. I face demons every day, some of them easier to overcome than others, and it is a fight for me to remember that yes, I am not perfect, but I have people who will continue to love me anyway. And usually, there will be nothing I can do to change that. And in that case, it’s a lot easier to let them love me instead of telling them why they shouldn’t.

See how I used the word “usually” there? There’s a reason for that- here comes the flip side of the coin. We’ve established that we all deserve to be loved, right? Well, here’s the deal- If you’re worthy of being loved, then you’re not worthy of being un-loved. People who come into our lives and spend their presence there un-loving us are the people who poison our ability to accept love from the people who are giving it freely. You need to love yourself enough to let those people go. They’re wasting their time by not loving you, and bringing you down with them at the same time. You’re not worthy of treatment like that because you are only worthy of love. Do you hear me?

YOU ARE ONLY WORTHY OF LOVE. YOU DESERVE TO BE LOVED.

YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO BE UN-LOVED.

It’s so easy to keep those poisonous people around and I think it’s because when and if they do show us some sort of love or appreciation, we feel like we’ve earned it. Trust me– I’ve had friendship upon friendship that has been written like this. In fact, until recently, this is almost every relationship I ever knew. When someone would treat me well or affirm me in some way, I felt like I had won the game and was able to validate our friendship by the mere fact that they were being nice to me. I still catch myself doing it every now and then. I’ll see how much I have to do before I receive some kind of notion of satisfaction from people. And let me tell you, the second I recognize what I’m doing, I snap out of it right away. Why? Because I don’t have to DO anything to win your love. God has already validated my existence, and my existence is proof that I’m worthy of love. While these poisonous relationship might feel good to have around for validation, these are the relationships that seep into your healthy relationships and start to eat away at you and everyone you’re in a relationship with. Not only is it unfair to you to have these un-loving individuals in your life, it’s unfair to everyone who loves you, too.

I know I’m the last person who should be giving any kind of guidance on this front. Like I mentioned, I struggle daily, and most of this is easier said than done. However, I believe that if you’re going to become who you are meant to be and fully embrace the love that is being offered to you by people who honestly and earnestly care about you, the first step is to figure out how to embrace your worthiness of the love they have to offer you…. and the love you have for yourself.

It seems fitting that I’m listening to the new Michael Buble album today, To Be Loved. If you’re interested, I’m WAY digging his version of Something Stupid, featuring Reese Witherspoon. I’ve loved that song since forever, and I always thought it would be a perfect go-to karaoke duet– who doesn’t love Sinatra karaoke? But Michael and Reese kill it and it is awesome. You’re welcome for that tidbit of the day.

So friends, go forth… love others, and don’t be afraid to let them love you back.