Deeply Hidden Truths

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Don’t you just love “a-ha?!” moments? You know, those times that leave you feeling like you’ve just figured something out? Something that has previously alluded you. Something that you maybe knew was there all along, like the beautiful sea shells just beneath the surface of the sand. Even though I know they are there, I am always surprised when I come upon them. Just like an “a-ha” moment. Well, I had one of those today…

I was at a conference for work, an event that I had worked very hard on for months. The presenter was talking about managing challenging behaviors in children. (I work in early childhood education.) She laid out an intervention plan that took the most tried and true methods of behavior guidance and organized them into a simple, portable, effective method for dealing with difficult behaviors in children. Her presentation involved active participation {as many of them do}, and that’s when it happened. Right there, in the middle of a training session, a reality about myself hit me like a ton of bricks…

She explained that her techniques were based on relationships and that they are only as good as the relationships they are built upon. Well, now that makes perfect sense, right? One of the exercises was to close our eyes and think about a relationship in which we felt completely safe. What was it about that relationship that made us trust it? Why did we feel safe in it?

Here come the ton of bricks, my reality – the one that hit me slap in the face – is that I don’t have one. Not one. There is not one single relationship in my life in which I feel 100% safe.

I’m hoping that I’m not completely alone and that maybe you know what I’m feeling, too. (Not that I’d every wish any of you to feel alone in any way. Ever!)

My thoughts don’t dwell on what the lack of those relationships says about others in my life, but what it says about me. I am ALWAYS waiting for the other shoe to drop. Always. Because, it’s gonna drop, you know?! It’s only a matter of time. At least, that has been my reality for as far back as my memory goes – and that’s a long time.

What I know in my head is that this is no way to live. What I know in my heart is that this is the very underlying issue of so many things in my life. I don’t trust. I can’t. Everyone I have ever loved – starting with my mom and dad – has left me. Relationships are too hard for me. Too scary and too likely end badly. I just can’t go through another one of those.

The  very good news is that I don’t have to. I can lead my life with a focus on Him and the wonderful plans He has for me. I don’t know all the details, and that’s okay {scary, but okay}. He is the one constant in my life. When everything {and everyone} else has come and gone, He remains. So, that is where I’ll put my faith and my focus.

So, if you’re at all like me – an adult that is just figuring out some truths about yourself – know that you’re not alone. Ever. These truths are what connect us to one another. And although each of us is unique and special, we are much more alike than we are different.

Girl Power

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Friendships among women can be tricky. Let’s be honest, they can be downright hard.

And, truth be told, I’ve never really understood why. What’s that about? The whole “mean girl” mentality never really made sense to me, but I was definitely on the receiving end more than a few times.

I have a theory…. Women who come together, with authentic hearts & genuine motives, can move mountains & accomplish amazing things. And there are forces at work that definitely don’t want that to happen! As my grandmother, Pat-Pat, always says, “You know you’re on the right path when you run face first into the devil. Any other time you’re likely walking along side of him.

One single woman can do big things. So imagine what amazing things we could do if we allowed God to bring us together & use our strengths to complement one another for His glory. I’ve made a commitment to do just that. Won’t you join me?

Now, I am aware that this may be cheesy; but, perhaps John Lennon was on to something when he wrote “Imagine”…. Imagine no egos or competition among the women in your life. What if we all came to the table for the purpose of lifting one another up. How much stronger and wiser and better could we all be working together instead of always feeding that need to be the best, do the most, & have the latest.

Because in the end, we are only feeding that need because of what we think it says about us…. that we are worthy and we are good. And we become competitive & insecure when we see something in one another that we wish we saw in ourselves. Sure, I would love to come home at the end of each day to a clean house & feel like baking fresh cookies with my kids every night. But, I don’t. Alice doesn’t work here & that’s okay.

I have learned a very powerful lesson over the past year – what other women can carry out in their lives says absolutely nothing about me and what I can or can’t accomplish in my life. When we stop trying to be  who we think the world wants to see & realize how God sees us, then we are more likely to celebrate one another. And then, we can truly change the world by bringing up a generation of strong, connected women.

Who’s with me? Where are all my girls at?!