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I want to see you be brave.

26 Jun

IMG_4916The quote pictured above is actually supposed to say “Speak the truth even if your voice shakes,” but I’m only interested in speaking my truth.  That’s why I changed it to read, “Speak your truth even if your voice shakes.”

There was a time in my life, early 20’s, that I felt like I had to shout my beliefs to the world.  I felt that I had something to prove.  I thought I knew it all…  I look back at myself and shake my head.  I was a total idiot who knew nothing.  And no one gave a crap about what I had to say.  The more I tried to assert myself, the worse I felt, the more people I alienated.  And the more I experienced, the less I felt like I understood the world…  The less I understood about myself.

The past 5 years of my life have humbled me.  I found myself in a place where I had to admit that I didn’t know much of anything.  So I kept my mouth shut and I observed.  I listened.  I started from the most basic questions in life and pondered, prayed, and studied until I felt sure.  Some things I still don’t feel sure about and that’s okay.  I don’t have to know exactly what I believe about everything.

I’m grateful for my education and my life experiences.  I’m grateful for my faith and spirituality.  These things have brought me to a point in my life where I feel like I know mostly what I believe about the world.  They’ve also taught me to be open to learning and changing.  But I have been afraid to share.  Afraid to alienate people, afraid to offend people, afraid to be wrong, and afraid that I would be alone.  But I’m not alone.  And that’s exactly why I’m taking a brave step today.  I want others to know they aren’t the only ones who feel this way.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of my personal beliefs, just the ones that I think I need to share at this time-

  1. I believe I should live and let live. Of course, I don’t want anyone to tell me what I can and cannot believe.  I don’t want anyone to interfere with the way I live my life.  I don’t want to be judged for my beliefs.  And thus, I can’t rightfully want to do the same to anyone else.  You and I don’t have to agree.  I’m going to respect you anyway.
  2. I believe in the Constitution of the United States.  I remember my US History teacher in high school.  I remember learning about the Constitution and realizing just how amazing the document was.  I believe in the rights it protects and I believe that all men are created equal.  I believe that the Constitution supports civil rights movements.  I believe it supports equal freedoms for us all regardless of race, sex, ability, sexual-orientation, age, class, etc.  I also believe that our Constitution protects freedom of religion and I think that allows churches to decide what they will or won’t do in certain circumstances.  I also believe in freedom of speech.
  3. I believe in love.  I don’t know how else to put it.  In every lens that I look at this life with, I see that love is critical to our survival.
  4. I believe in the value of human life.  I believe that we are all brothers and sisters.  Every single one of us has value.  We are all flawed.  Every last one of us.  Some of our brothers and sisters can’t or don’t see the value of human life and they make self-centered decisions to hate/harm/kill others.  But if we turn around and perpetuate their hate, we are only moving their cause forward.  The only way to combat hate is with love.

You might call me an idealist.  You might call me naive.  You might call me liberal.  You might call me stupid.  I might agree with you.  I might disagree with you.  I will definitely respect your right to your own opinion.  You might say that I’m not really saying anything at all, so let me be clear:

Racism is still a problem.  I’m glad that same-sex marriage is now legal, but I’m also glad that as of now churches have the right to decide whether or not they will perform those marriages.  I will fight for it to stay that way.  I personally would not seek an abortion, but I’m not about to tell someone else what they can or cannot do with their body.  I believe that we will be judged for our actions and that it is not our responsibility to decide what each other is doing is right/wrong.  I believe that we are responsible for ourselves.  I think we can and should focus on our communities and be of service to those around us.  I choose to use my example as an influence.  I choose love over hate.

If you disagree, I’m cool with that.  I might unfollow your posts on Facebook, but I’ll love you just the same.

The Green Monster

8 Feb

image

I accidentally found out that my ex-husband is engaged the other night… To the same woman he was living with before our divorce was even final. To the same woman he left to come back to me 18 months ago.

I feel…

Look, I don’t want him back. I don’t want to deal with the constant infidelity, lying, fighting etc.

I’ve already taken him back once since the divorce and he was unfaithful almost immediately.
I don’t need or want that in my life.

I know for certain that I have changed. I’ve worked hard to move past all of the negative that developed during the years of that unhealthy relationship. I’m not perfect, but my heart is changed.

But it still hurts. It hurts because I loved him and I wanted it to work.

It hurts because I’m lonely.

And I think if I’m really honest, this all boils down to jealousy. Why does he get to be loved and I don’t? Why do people continue to accept him even after he hurts them?

I don’t want this bitterness in my heart. I don’t like it one bit. So, I’m going to pray. Pray for a change of heart. Pray for forgiveness. Pray for him and his soon to be wife.

Truly, I’m praying for him. I hope he has faced his demons. I hope he is happy and healthy. I hope this for all involved.

Escape Artist

8 Mar
Escape Artist

Photo credit: Street Inc.

 

I’ve had an idea forming in my mind for some time now.  A sense that this next stage is my life is about me being alone.  I’ve fought the idea tooth and nail because, quite frankly, I don’t like it.

In fact, I pretty much hate it.

I want a family more than anything.  I’m 32 and feel like time is running out.  I just went through a divorce and spent the last part of it very lonely, why would I want more of that?  I don’t want to rush into anything, but I feel like I have to get out there and try to find someone before it’s too late.  I don’t want to end up alone.

Those are the subconscious thoughts running through my head all the time…  Yikes.

That kind of mentality is not going to find me something healthy and stable and ultimately what I really want!  I need to be okay inside of me if I’m going to find a relationship that will be fulfilling.  I want to be worthy of a great partner, be able to recognize someone as such, and be in the right place to provide them with a great partner/relationship in return!

Which is the real reason I need to be alone right now.

When I love people, I put their needs before my own.  It’s just my nature.  I think in many ways, I do it on purpose.  I do it to avoid myself and my issues.  I don’t just do it with my significant other.  I’ve been known to do it with my siblings, family and sometimes friends.  I can’t do that right now.

This season is about me.  And that makes me feel uneasy.  I’m purposely putting myself in a position where I have no escape.  I’m forcing myself to deal with myself.  Gosh, that sounds really crazy to me…  But it really, actually, totally makes sense.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s ever felt this way!

Dear Dad,

18 Aug

I have to admit I’m a little lost right now.  I’m mostly just going with whatever I feel these days because everything else seems so difficult.  I don’t know what I believe in anymore.  I don’t know what I want anymore.  I’m just drifting, and that scares me to death.  I’m tired of grasping at straws, clawing at the banks of this river of despair trying to take control of anything that might make me feel like I’m living my own life again.  I know I need to surrender, but I’m not sure what exactly I’ll be surrendering to.

Dad, if you never take anything I ever say to you seriously in my entire life- please listen now.  This is my cry for help.  And I’m pretty sure you’re the only one who can help me.  I know that I have to get some resolution if I’m ever going to have a healthy relationship with another man.  And I have to start feeling good about myself.

A friend of mine sent me this video today.

 Boyce Avenue – Broken Angel

I’m not sure how he knew.  I don’t talk about it to anyone.  I try not to think about how I feel like such a failure in your eyes.  I try to use logic to tell myself that it’s okay we don’t have the relationship that I wish we did.  But I can’t deny that little girl is in there wondering what’s wrong with her.  Why isn’t her daddy proud of her?  What should she do to win him over?  Is she even worthy of love?  Is it all her fault?  This is where I know I’m starting to lose you.  You don’t like this emotional stuff.  I know Dad, and I’m sorry.  But I can’t keep it in any longer.

Please don’t misunderstand.  I’m not bashing you or blaming you or hating you.  I love you so much.  You are a good man and I have never questioned that.  You took on three young girls and always worked hard to provide for us.  But I always knew you were unhappy.  And I always saw that sadness in your eyes when you really stopped to look at me.  Is it because I reminded you of Mom?  Because I reminded you of how much of a disaster that time was?  I need to know.

All I ever wanted was your approval.  I wanted to know that you thought I was good and wonderful and smart and beautiful.  But I feel like you thought I was damaged, problematic, annoying, emotionally unstable.  And maybe I am all of those things.  BUT I AM ALSO GOOD AND WONDERFUL AND SMART AND BEAUTIFUL!  And I deserve love and acceptance from you.  And I need it.  I need it so badly.

I need more than a phone call on my birthday and holidays.  I need more than small talk about work.  I need to see you more than Christmas and family reunions.  I need you to invite me to your home.  I need to know that you love me unconditionally and that you accept me for who I am and what I’ve become and even my many faults.  I have accepted yours.  And I love you no matter what mistakes were made.  Yes, it was a mess and yes, I’ve struggled because of the things that happened so early in my life.  But all is not lost, Dad.  Please don’t give up on me.

I love you.

Me

Spiritual Crisis

2 May

Almost a year ago, something within me snapped.  I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to process and understand it, and maybe I still don’t really.  Maybe I never will fully understand.

I had been experiencing one of the greatest spiritual moments of my life when I started detecting trouble.  I felt a shift in my home.  Knew my husband was pulling away from me.  He wouldn’t pray or read the scriptures with me.  He wouldn’t share his testimony with me.  I felt prompted to action.  I had the missionaries over to talk about it, but was only criticized for being a hard person to be married to.

I questioned my instincts and decided to leave it alone.  To just accept and wait, but I couldn’t help feeling that something was wrong.  Within months, I was made aware that I had a reason to worry.  That my instincts had been correct, that something was indeed very wrong.

And something happened inside of me.  Everything I thought I knew, thought I believed, somehow dissolved. I felt like I had been duped by the spiritual leader of my family.  That he was pretending to believe something while he acted out something very different away from church.  It made me question everything.  But most of all, I felt completely abandoned.  I felt like the church was more interested in helping and protecting him than it was me.

In the months that we were apart, repairing ourselves- I didn’t try to make myself believe anything.  I tried to let it all sort itself out within me.  Tried to remove my beliefs from the conviction of others- of my husbands.  I wanted to make sure my testimony was mine all mine.  And slowly, bit by bit, I was able to form a new testimony.

But I still felt hurt.  Still do.  I know I shouldn’t, but I haven’t figured out how to make sense of it all.

I love my husband and we have worked hard to repair the broken parts of our marriage.  We have emerged stronger.  I have managed to forgive him and have done my part to make this right.  This isn’t an attempt to dredge up old hurt feelings about him.  I just need to get this stuff out.  I can never talk to anyone about these things.

What I want is to feel that connection I had a year ago.  I want it more than anything, but I wonder if I will ever find it again.

The Unpleasant Truth

24 Mar

Folks, I know you really don’t want to know, but the constipation issue has reached critical mass and well I’m just not sure what to do!

My Dr.’s office suggested stool softeners yesterday which haven’t helped yet.  I spent MOST of the day yesterday on the toilet and in pain.  It was honestly probably the worst ever.  I won’t even begin to tell you what my dear husband has helped me with, and he is sworn to secrecy!

In a desperate moment last night, he ran to CVS and bought me an enema which I was too afraid to use.

Any suggestions?  My doc is unwilling to do anything else until Friday and I’m not sure I can make it until then!  All I know is that I CAN’T use laxatives.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Confession

22 May
I really don’t want to do this.
I don’t want to have to tell you about how far off plan I found myself yesterday.  I don’t want to admit to having Burger King and then later two bowls of brown rice with margarine and parmesan cheese.  UGH.
But in an effort to be true to this process and hold myself accountable, I have to come clean.
Why did it happen?
1.  I wasn’t prepared the last two days and I think it threw me off.  I didn’t have breakfast at all Friday, then ate a very low point lunch from Subway, and then in a moment of frustration and hunger decided to sabotage it all and get Burger King for dinner.  For Pete’s Sake!  That’s pretty much the WORST place I could have picked to eat.
2.  Because I’m gonna screw up from time to time.  I can give up or I can keep going.
I choose to keep going.
I got up this morning with a new attitude and I’ve had two good meals and I’m right on target for the day.  My indiscretion may keep me from seeing a loss on the scale Monday, so I’m prepared for that.
I’m approaching next week from a whole new angle.  I’ve already got a plan!  I will be sharing that with you next week, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, tell me- What are you most likely to break plan for?