someone recently asked me what was one of the biggest insights i’ve had in my 58 years here on the planet.
cool question, yes?
how the heck do you answer that one? (feel free to pop your answer in the comments!)
what i came up with was – it’s not just a trite saying – it’s incredibly, deeply true – you can’t really love another until you love yourself.
for a long long time, i just thought that was one of those trite sayings you toss around when you’re in the mood. i have done a complete turn around on that, and see it as vital. and so darn difficult. and so worth our efforts.
some time after that, i watched a talk with elizabeth gilbert, and someone from the audience asked her about that very same thing. apparently liz said that at some point, and this person struggles with that thought because she offers lots of love to others, just not to herself.
so liz backtracked and said she didn’t really think that. that she could see that it would be one more thing for people to beat themselves up about, she knew plenty of really loving people who were their own worst enemies, and maybe it was enough to just be friendly with yourself.
i gotta say, i felt let down.
but! i get what she was saying. she was being compassionate, and trying not to load more things on people who already had really big loads. and i totally get that. and i don’t want to do that either.
so i thought about it some more. do i really believe it? do i think it’s only true for me? like maybe it only fits for me because of my personal life philosophy. and maybe if people have different philosophies, it doesn’t fit.
i don’t know about that – about the other people with different thinking. i honestly don’t know. and i guess it doesn’t matter. that’s for everyone else to figure out for themselves. but for me – i still believe it as much as i thought i did.
and while i can see self love being a load for all of us to carry – cause, let’s face it, who the heck REALLY does have self love down? – i think it’s an incredibly cool thing that it (in my opinion) is the link to really loving. in fact, i think it’s beyond incredibly cool – i think it’s a dose of divine.
and i don’t think we should backtrack on it to save on pain. i think we should hold it as a beautiful challenge that will make us all more. and that is a gift.
i have watched how i have ‘loved.’ i have seen how many of the things i would have said were love, were not. and i have seen that to truly offer love, i have to dig thru my own issues, i have to find the healthy inside of me, i have to honor the healthy inside of me, and i have to love who i am. i have seen it. i have totally not done it. and i have done it. and i know there’s a difference. and i think i will spend the rest of my entire life working on it.
it reminds me a little of soap making. yeah. i think it does. i’m just learning how to make soap. and it’s such a big darn chemical mix. and you throw in the wrong amount of something, and it doesn’t come out like the pure bar of soap you were looking for. but that’s okay. you learn. you adjust. you get more exact. you pay attention.
i think that’s love. and if our issues get involved, it’s like throwing the wrong amount of chemicals into the mix. it doesn’t come out like that pure love you were looking for. but that’s okay. you learn. you adjust. you get more exact. you pay attention.
yeah, it’s a big big challenge. harder then chemistry. (which i find very hard) but that’s okay. it’s a GOOD thing.
let’s not backtrack on something because it’s hard. let’s embrace it and help each other learn!
i got to thinking about the voices in my head this morning.
i have lots. i was specifically thinking of the negative ones, or the self doubt ones.
and i got to thinking about how false they are.
which led me to thinking about my ‘inner compass.’ i hope everyone knows what i mean by that. and i really hope that everyone has one. cause it’s an awesome thing to have.
it’s just that ‘knowing’ deep inside, right? that’s what i mean by ‘inner compass.’
so i started writing about that this morning. just in my general scribblings to myself. how that was where the truth was – the inner compass. how it wasn’t in the voices.
but then i got to thinking about some of the other voices in my head. not the negative ones or the doubt filled ones. but the voices of my imaginary friends. and the wisdom that i get thru those voices. sometimes i’m amazed at how incredibly wise they are.
and i stopped my writing. i didn’t want to dis the voices, ya know? that didn’t seem right. like it was a complete insult to the wise ones. or even just the really good ones to clump them all together like that.
and so i stopped. and i’ll go back to writing more later. but with that thought in mind.
so, why on earth am i blogging about this?
because i am learning that every act that we do, no matter how small, is either an honoring or a dishonoring of who we are.
and i caught this one. and it feels to me like i easily could have missed it. and i need/want the reminder to pay attention. to everything i do.
and nah, i know i won’t. but the better i get at it, the healthier i’ll be.
yep! it’s not often i take the day off! and when i do….i relish it!
figure this was a good time to shout out about our bone sigh arts prime day! yep! if you didn’t hear it yesterday, we have a 40% off sale on four of our matted prints! just to join in on the prime fun! today is the second and last day.
noah redid the home page all pretty for this. so you really should check it out! and there’s news to share as well. and that can be found in our newsletter that went out yesterday. so if you didn’t see that, you can find that here!
picture me out talking to the waves right now. and keepin’ my eyes out for the dolphins. for some reason, when i see them, my whole insides just leap right along with them. i have to wonder if i was a dolphin in my past life!
pass the suntan lotion! and shake the sand outta the towel. we got relaxing to do today!
and you know how some days all the stuff shows up at once? and you feel like each piece of the stuff is sitting on your shoulders and your back and your head just to make sure that you’re feeling their full weight?
well, that was happening.
and it was hot out.
that morning, before the stuff showed up, i had run the riding lawn mower around fast in the front yard. things were so shaggy, i just needed to do it. but as i rolled around on that loud, wonderful mower, i could see that it all needed to be topped off with the weed whacker.
nah. too hot. i’ll wait, i told myself.
thing is, i waited last week.
okay. okay. so i rode around and argued with myself. and bossed myself around. ‘what else do you have to do?’ ‘you can do it tonite.’ ‘you have time.’
so, i decided i’d wait for a bit of shade and catch it later that evening.
but ya see, between that time and the evening, the stuff had started to visit.
so by the time evening hit, i really didn’t want to do it. i dragged my feet. but i had left the weed whacker out. and it was staring at me. so i did it. i went out to ‘just get it done.’
i whacked those weeds with force as i bent over with the stuff of my day all over my back and neck.
and then…. as i was trimming the tall grass in the front drainage ditch area lost in my thoughts… completely out of the blue… came the most delicious, gentle, soothing, refreshing breeze.
it blew against my hot face and wrapped itself all around me.
i stopped. closed my eyes. without hesitation, i knew. i just knew. ‘there’s god.’ i thought.
and i just let that breeze soothe me.
my shoulders relaxed. my heart opened.
and then i went back to weed whacking. with such gratitude for that moment. the heat came back. no breezes. just summer sun. i finished up with a smile on my face.
and i thought about how i wouldn’t have been outside if i hadn’t been doin’ what i’d been draggin’ my feet to do. and i thought how i would have missed that moment. and how much i needed that moment.
want to kinda remember this when i don’t feel like doin’ something. you never know what moments are tucked into your day. you just never know.
i love taking things into the weekend with me. here is my choice this time around.
wanted to share so you could take it with you too if you wanted.
“You cannot be protected from the things that frighten you and hurt you, but if you identify with the part of your being that is responsible for transformation, then you are always the equal, or more than the equal of the things that frighten you.” – Jordan Peterson
when i was a kid we used to travel up ‘north’ to visit family.
the thing i loved most about it was that their colors were different there. and i loved them. they had the blue spruce. and just blueish greens that made my insides gasp.
i always thought that’s just the way it is. ‘they’ have got it. ‘we’ don’t. and unless i move up north, that’s the deal.
but! the other day on my walk, i stopped and stared at the cattails. they had that blue green! they had it!
something i’ve noticed about these cattails – they change color all season long. they are never the same. toss in the different angles of light – and they give off quite a show if you’re looking.
well, that morning, they had the color that i love so much!
and i thought – ‘wow. look at that. you’ve got the colors, terri. you’ve got them. you just gotta look.’
yeah, i know that it really is a bit different. and different places have different looks. but maybe….just maybe…if you’re longing for something, all you gotta do is look a little harder. maybe you’ll find it.
maybe that’s what those ever changing cattails were telling me…