New Beginnings and Changing Seasons

Spring is coming.  With it it brought the promise of new beginnings.  The thrum of the frozen ground as beats into new life.  A chance to start fresh.  To slough off old disappointments and breathe in the hope of something better.

I know you never thought you would make it here, but you did.  Here you are.  You survived the harsh winter, the broken hearts, and the nights you cried yourself to sleep.  You had to take time to heal and that is okay because you did heal.  You picked yourself up with a resilience that you should be proud of. It takes more than a broken heart to break your spirit.

Its been a year now.  You try to forgot the way the snowflakes stuck to his eyelashes or the way he smiled at you as you ran away from the rest of the world.  You try to forget, but you also try to remember.  The memories don’t sting as much.  In fact they have a beautiful element to them, because even though it came to a bitter end, in those moments you felt hopeful and in love.  You need to hold on to that feeling.

Spring is coming.

A breathe of fresh air after a long desolate winter. Spring is coming and bringing the promise of something new, something good and full of hope.  And you can’t help but hope that maybe things will be different this time around.

Spring is here, and so are you.  You with your gentle heart and your old soul.  So strange how life keeps moving and seasons keep changing without barely a notice.  How interesting that you should notice now.

Summer is coming.

The promise of freedom and adventure, as new beginnings turn into late night stories.  The world is alive under your toes and at the tips of your fingers, and you can’t help but to feel alive as well.  You can’t help but feel like nothing can hold you back.

Summer is here and you are sitting on a fence watching the sun set over the rolling country hills.  Your skin had that feeling it gets when it has been immersed in sun and water all day.   You are sitting there in silence, watching the sun go down and the stars come out.  The misquotes had come out hungry and angry, sticking to the tears that were gliding down your face.

Sticky summer tears that came with no explanation.

But You knew.  You didn’t want to admit it, but you knew.  Healing is a funny thing.  It never happens as quickly or completely as you think it should.  You think you are fine, but then pain sticks its thorny hands back into your heart and rips open the scabs.  So you cry about strangers who become friends only to become strangers once more.  And just sit on a fence alone with the misquotes and your thoughts.

It can be easy to play the victim.  To stay here and cry.  To get angry and wonder why life can be so cruel.  It can be easy to sit here and feel sorry for yourself, all while missing everything that is right in front of you.  But you won’t let yourself give up that easily.  So you fight back, and you refuse to play the victim.

It’s okay to stop running.  In fact it is time.

Hold your breathe and jump in feet first.  Sink or swim – the nervous anticipation as you wait to see which one it will be.  Before long you know that cold desolate winter will be here once again.

Feet florida

Photo Credit: Lori Rensink

Advertisements

A Bold Bandana

That Crooked Nook

I was driving home from Indiana last weekend with my boyfriend’s mom when suddenly, two vehicles ahead, a car veered a sharp right and zoomed off the road.

It plowed down the ditch, up the ditch and across a plain of grass until it smashed into a tree.

In just seconds, the car had reached its final destination, yet the wheels were still spinning.

A young woman, a middle-aged man–they jumped out of their vehicles and sprinted through the ditch and across the grass. They tried to yank open the car door, but it was locked. They pounded on the windows, again and again, fists hitting glass hopelessly.

No one answered, but the tires kept circling, around and around and around.

IMG_1063

It’s late on a rainy Monday night, and I should be going to bed.

Instead, my mind is living in that fantastical (and absolutely crazy) third-eye place, where it narrates my thoughts as though I were…

View original post 451 more words

Life in the Slow Lane

I have always been fast.  Ever since I could walk, I started running and I didn’t stop.  It’s just in my blood.  I want to go, I want to move.  I never saw this a problem until recently.  Life has turned into a blur.  I can barely separate the days out from the last year.  Christmas has come and gone months ago.  Now spring is here begging for my attention.

How did this happen without my notice?  I thought this was just something that happened when you get older.  When you no longer have a school calendar to break up your time, everything kind of runs together.  I started to get nervous.  I am only 24.  Am I going to blink and wake up 50?  Life was moving too fast, and I was letting it.   Where am I in such a rush to get?  Certainly not my death, so where?  Where am I going that is going to be so much better than where I am?

Something was wrong, something needed to change.

I woke up, another Monday morning, another week laid out in front of me.  All mornings are tough, but Monday mornings are notoriously tough.  I woke up this morning thinking of all the things I would have to survive this week before the sweet beautiful weekend arrived once again.  You are probably reading this thinking, “I feel ya sista” without a second thought as to how backwards this way of thinking is.   Since when did life become something we need to survive?

It is hard to just be.  There is so much uncertainty that surrounds us.  We begin to notice all the things we tried so hard to hide with our busy schedules.  We notice how lost we feel.  We notice how hard life has been.  When we stop we give ourselves a chance to listen to the small guiding voice.

We get gentle.

We take a moment to breathe.

To process.

To hit pause on a life that never seems to stop moving.

I went on a hike a couple of days ago.  It was beautiful.  Spring was emerging.  Green grass breaking through cold melting snow.  I was eager to blaze the trails and get to my destination.  But I didn’t.  I went slow.  I took my time.  I soaked in the nature and let it effect me in the way that only nature can.  Winter melting into spring, just as the seasons of my life are melting into each other.  New life coming from what was once barren and ugly.

I took a moment to listen to what I had been to busy to hear.

My journey has taken me far and wide.  The last year alone has been filed with devastating disappointment and overwhelming joy.  I have broken and I have rebuilt.  I became both malleable and resilient.  And slowly I started to turn into the person I never thought I would be brave enough to be.  How could I not be grateful of a journey that has brought me so far and taught me so much?

I have been so focused on where I am going that I have completely lost sight of where I am right now.  I have being living my life like the destination is the point.  It’s not.  It’s the journey.   It’s about finding the person we never believed we would be brave enough to be.

Life isn’t just about the big moments that take our breath away.  It is also about the small moments, the forgotten moments.  It is about taking our time to get where we are going.  It is about life that is sweet and slow, not a life that is rushed through.  It’s about taking the time to ponder where we have been and where we are going.  It’s about being fully present in the moments we are given. It is about a life lived in the slow lane.

Hike.jpg

Dear You – You Were Made for More

Dear You,

You were made for more than to just be born and die.  You were made for more than working 8-5 and looking forward to Friday.  You were made for more than paying bills and living paycheck to paycheck.  Dear one, this is never the life that I had planned for you.  When you were breathed into existence, there was far more dreamt up for you than this.

You work so hard to do everything that you are told you are suppose to do that you completely miss the things that you are meant to do.  You are so busy following who those around you tell you to be that you silence the voice in you that says they want to be someone different.  Find that voice again.  Find your voice again.

You were made to struggle, to explore, to rebel, and to thrive.  You were made to live – in every definition that one can live.  You were made to laugh, and to go off on adventures.  You were made to take chances, and yes even to fail sometimes.  Stop trying so hard to survive that you miss every reason that you are alive.  There is so much that this life holds for you if you only stopped to notice, if you only believed you could have it.

I want you to do great things,  I want you to believe in great things, and I want you to fight for great things.  I want you to see the world as a beautiful place, and to see yourself as a beautiful person.  Life is too short to let you insecurities silence you.

There will be tough days.  Days that challenge you.  Days that make you want to hide and cry.  But on those days you will learn what you are truly made of.  You will push back because you are resilient.  You will not let the bad days ruin the good days.

There will also be good days.  Days that you laugh so hard you cry.  Days when you will make memories you cherish forever.  Days when you are brave.  Days when you are kind.  Days when you fall madly in love.  Those are the best days – the days that makes us glad to be alive.  On those days never believe that you are not deserving of this much happiness.  You are every bit deserving.

Life won’t be everything you have dreamt it to be, but if you let it, life will be more than you expected it to be.  Stop molding your life to everyone else’s expectations and go chase your life.

Feet.jpgPhoto Credit: Lori Rensink

Confession of a Clutterholic

I create clutter.  I am not sure why, I don’t do it on purpose.  In fact I really hate clutter.  I hate everything about it.  I hate having drawers so full that you can’t find anything.  I hate having mountains of stuff that I never use.  I am a minimalist at heart, but somehow I always end up with clutter – with crap that I don’t need and will never use.  But I am also a die hard sentimentalist.  Which means I can’t even throw away a scrap of paper without getting teary-eyed about “that one time”.   Do you see my problem?  I am beginning too . . .

I think my problem starts with my love of shopping, combined with my waste not want not attitude.   I feel like a terrible wasteful person any time I throw something away.  So instead I stuff my life into drawers.  The dozens of scarfs I amassed in college when I thought I was a scarf person – stuffed in a drawer.  Lotions that I use and buy in mass when they go on sale -stuffed in a drawer.  Items I have no idea why I am keeping but don’t want to look at anymore – stuffed under my bed.  Old Halloween costumes I will likely never wear again – stuffed in the back of my closet (looking at you giant peacock skirt).  The sombrero I got at Chevys for my 21st birthday – stuffed in the trunk of my car.

I cleaned out about two garbage bags from my already small closet, only to find that my closet was still too full.  My life is still too full.  I don’t need all of this stuff, and furthermore I don’t want it.  I am a firm believer that we need to have margins in our life.  Margins of time, space, and our future.  We need to have room to grow, room to breathe, and room to rest.  I have found that the best things in life happen in the margins. It is time I start creating margins in my space.

Maybe I am getting spring cleaning fever a bit early, but I can’t wait until spring to get here.  So I am going to spend my day getting rid of crap and hopefully start living a more free and spacious life.  So here is my plan of attack for today.

My decluttering goals:

– Get rid of clothes that I haven’t worn in the last year;

– Stop using the trunk and backseat of my car as a storage facility (this one makes       me want to cover my eyes and do a walk of shame);

– Stop hiding things I don’t want under my bed, including getting rid of said items that are currently hiding under my bed;

– Get rid of bathroom/hair/nail/girly products that I will never use because I don’t even like the product;

Whew, that is a lot to do in one day, but it needs to be done.  Here goes nothing.

Do you also struggle with amassing clutter?  Tell me your struggles – strength in numbers after all.  I think once we can identify what it is that causes us to create clutter, it becomes that much easier to avoid it.  After all you can’t fight a war if you don’t know who your enemy is.

Or, are you a master declutterer, who would care to leave some tips?  Please do, my comment section is open to all.

Happy Sunday and wish me the best as I dig myself out of clutter!

clutter

Playing It Unsafe

I have done it.  I sent in my law school applications.  I thought I would feel a huge sigh of relief at having it done.  I mean I spent months working on getting everything ready.  Writing, revising, starting from scratch and writing more.   I was finally done with all of it, so the stress should be done too.  It wasn’t.  It seemed to have doubled over night.  Now all of the hard decisions I am not ready to make are quickly approaching their deadline.   I need to have answers that I cannot find.

It is starting to get real, and that is terrifying.  It is no longer a far off thing I hope to do.  It is right up close knocking at my door, and I am hiding under the table pretending not to be home.  You may think that is a metaphor, but no I have actually hide under my table when I didn’t want to answer the door.  I can be a hider when I don’t want to deal with things.  People or decisions.  I burrow my head in the ground and pretend that the world isn’t still moving above me.  I will fly to Africa and rock climb without a second thought, but put me in a confrontation or in charge or making a decision and I am done for.

If you have been reading my blog for any time at all, you will have noticed how adamant I can be about chasing dreams – pulling the life we dream of into our reality.  Now it is time for me to practice what I preach.  I know I cannot get where I want to be in life my staying here comfortable.  I know I need to make the hard decision, take a leap of faith, and not look back.

That isn’t to say that it won’t be hard.  I have gotten very comfortable here.  I like my job,  I like my house, I like my roommates, I like my city, I like being close to my family, and I like my friends.  I finally feel peace about where I am in life, and now I am shaking it all up.  That is hard.  It is hard to walk away from a good thing in hopes of finding a great thing.

Living a full life doesn’t happen by staying where we are comfortable.  It happens when we realize that we want more, that we can do more, and we go chase it.  Dreams are wonderful on paper.  They are wonderful as those thoughts you have right before you drift into sleep.  They are wonderful things that we tell people we hope to do someday.  Living dreams is hard and terrifying and uncertain.  It requires stepping out blind and hoping you don’t get hit by a bus.  What is even more terrifying is being too afraid to ever take a chance on yourself.

Maybe sometimes it’s riskier not to take a risk. Sometimes all you’re guaranteeing is that things will stay the same.” – Danny Wallace

Life moves fast.  The older I get the more I am learning this to be true.  Life moves fast whether or not we play it safe.  One day my life will be over whether or not I chased my dreams.  To me, that is even more terrifying than stepping out of my comfort zone.  Life doesn’t wait for us to silence our fears – it just keeps moving.

Here is to the uncertainty, the unknown, the unsafe – where ever it may take you.

Railroad.jpg
Photo via Her Paperweight

Meet Sophie

I have always been a fan of the underdogs.  The scrappy ones.  The fighters.  The ones who aren’t suppose to win but do.  I think it is because I have normally been an underdog, the type of person that people under estimate.  I also have a weak spot for strays.  It doesn’t matter if they are animals or people.

It was just a normal night in the Summit house, when my roommate and one of our friends came back with a little bundle.  She had climbed up into a farmers engine to stay warm, and ended up riding all the way into the city with him.  Until he stopped at a gas station and she climbed out and found my friends.  They brought her back to our house.  I held her in my arms and it was love at first sight.

Frozen cuties.gif

Don’t take me for some crazy cat lady, but I couldn’t help but feel like we were meant to find each other.  That in some way we belonged together.  I just knew from the very moment I held her, that I was never going to let her go.

Sophie

I know I told you, it was love at first sight, and I was not going to let anyone take her from me.  It was not without challenges though.  I had to convince my roommates, some were easier than others.  Next came a very well planned out speech to my landlord.  There was a lot of uncertainty during that week, and with that came the tears at the thought of losing her.  But my some miracle, probably the same one that brought us to each other, she became officially mine.

She makes it easy to love her.  She is the sweetest and most fearless cat I have met.  She will love anyone.  The only time she ever makes noise is when she is purring.  She sometimes follows me around like a little puppy dog.  Its quick adorable.

I took her to her first vet visit last night.  I had guessed she was probably about 6 months old.  To my surprise the vet told me that at not even 5 lbs, little Sophie was already about a year old.  She did not grow normally due to being malnourished during her first year, and it was likely that she would never grow to be the size of normal cats.  To break my heart further, the vet also told me that the tip of her tail had fallen off due to frostbite.   And she currently didn’t have enough muscle mass to be able to hold her tail up.  He gave her medicine for her respiratory infection, ear mites, and roundworm. She was a trooper through all of it.

I think that is why I fell in love with her right away.  I could tell she was ridiculously tough but also immensely sweet.  A combination which is just as rare in cats as it is in humans.

It breaks my heart to think of her being cold and all alone with out any food.  How can something so sweet and little have such a hard life behind her?  We are also just starting the heart of South Dakota winters.  Meaning we have negative temperatures with windchill making it even colder.  I can’t help but thinking that if I hadn’t found her when I did, she would have likely not survived the winter.

I think it can be easy to save that I saved her.  While that is true, I think it is more accurate to say that she saved me.  I can’t explain it other than she has just made my life better.  Sometimes I think she is a little angel sent to me in cat form.  I know she will always be in my corner, because she is a fighter like me.

She is my little badass survivor.

Sophie 2

 

 

The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About by: Gretchen Kelly

 

2015-11-23-1448298256-9782624-shutterstock_135964364.jpg

There’s this thing that happens whenever I speak about or write about women’s issues. Things like dress codes, rape culture and sexism. I get the comments: Aren’t there more important things to worry about? Is this really that big of a deal? Aren’t you being overly sensitive? Are you sure you’re being rational about this?

Every. Single. Time.

And every single time I get frustrated. Why don’t they get it?

I think I’ve figured out why.

They don’t know.

They don’t know about de-escalation. Minimizing. Quietly acquiescing.

Hell, even though women live it, we are not always aware of it. But we have all done it.

We have all learned, either by instinct or by trial and error, how to minimize a situation that makes us uncomfortable. How to avoid angering a man or endangering ourselves. We have all, on many occasions, ignored an offensive comment. We’ve all laughed off an inappropriate come-on. We’ve all swallowed our anger when being belittled or condescended to.

It doesn’t feel good. It feels icky. Dirty. But we do it because to not do it could put us in danger or get us fired or labeled a bitch. So we usually take the path of least precariousness.

It’s not something we talk about every day. We don’t tell our boyfriends and husbands and friends every time it happens. Because it is so frequent, so pervasive, that it has become something we just deal with.

So maybe they don’t know.

Maybe they don’t know that at the tender age of 13 we had to brush off adult men staring at our breasts. Maybe they don’t know that men our dad’s age actually came on to us while we were working the cash register. They probably don’t know that the guy in English class who asked us out sent angry messages just because we turned him down. They may not be aware that our supervisor regularly pats us on the ass. And they surely don’t know that most of the time we smile, with gritted teeth. That we look away or pretend not to notice. They likely have no idea how often these things happen. That these things have become routine. So expected that we hardly notice it anymore.

So routine that we go through the motions of ignoring it and minimizing.

Not showing our suppressed anger and fear and frustration. A quick cursory smile or a clipped laugh will allow us to continue with our day. We de-escalate. We minimize it. Both internally and externally, we minimize it. We have to. To not shrug it off would put is in confrontation mode more often than most of us feel like dealing with.

We learn at a young age how to do this. We didn’t put a name or label to it. We didn’t even consider that other girls were doing the same thing. But we were teaching ourselves, mastering the art of de-escalation. Learning by way of observation and quick risk assessment what our reactions should and shouldn’t be.

“It’s the reality of being a woman in our world. It’s laughing off sexism because we felt we had no other option.”

We go through a quick mental checklist. Does he seem volatile, angry? Are there other people around? Does he seem reasonable and is just trying to be funny, albeit clueless? Will saying something impact my school/job/reputation? In a matter of seconds we determine whether we will say something or let it slide. Whether we’ll call him out or turn the other way, smile politely or pretend that we didn’t hear/see/feel it.

It happens all the time. And it’s not always clear if the situation is dangerous or benign.

It is the boss who says or does something inappropriate. It is the customer who holds our tip out of reach until we lean over to hug him. It’s the male friend who has had too much to drink and tries to corner us for a “friends with benefits” moment even though we’ve made it clear we’re not interested. It’s the guy who gets angry if we turn him down for a date. Or a dance. Or a drink.

We see it happen to our friends. We see it happen in so many scenarios and instances that it becomes the norm. And we really don’t think anything of it. Until that one time that came close to being a dangerous situation. Until we hear that the “friend” who cornered us was accused of rape a day later. Until our boss makes good on his promise to kiss us on New Years Eve when he catches us alone in the kitchen. Those times stick out. They’re the ones we may tell your friends, our boyfriends, our husbands about.

But all the other times? All the times we felt uneasy or nervous but nothing more happened? Those times we just go about our business and don’t think twice about.

It’s the reality of being a woman in our world.

It’s laughing off sexism because we felt we had no other option.

It’s feeling sick to your stomach that we had to “play along” to get along.

It’s feeling shame and regret the we didn’t call that guy out, the one who seemed intimidating but in hindsight was probably harmless. Probably.

It’s taking our phone out, finger poised over the “Call” button when we’re walking alone at night.

It’s positioning our keys between our fingers in case we need a weapon when walking to our car.

It’s lying and saying we have a boyfriend just so a guy would take “No” for an answer.

It’s being at a crowded bar/concert/insert any crowded event, and having to turn around to look for the jerk who just grabbed our ass.

It’s knowing that even if we spot him, we might not say anything.

It’s walking through the parking lot of a big box store and politely saying Hello when a guy passing us says Hi. It’s pretending not to hear as he berates us for not stopping to talk further. What? You too good to talk to me? You got a problem? Pffft… bitch.

It’s not telling our friends or our parents or our husbands because it’s just a matter of fact, a part of our lives.

It’s the memory that haunts us of that time we were abused, assaulted or raped.

It’s the stories our friends tell us through heartbreaking tears of that time they were abused, assaulted or raped.

It’s realizing that the dangers we perceive every time we have to choose to confront these situations aren’t in our imagination. Because we know too many women who have been abused, assaulted or raped.

“Maybe I’m starting to realize that just shrugging it off and not making a big deal about it is not going to help anyone.”

It occurred to me recently that a lot of guys may be unaware of this. They have heard of things that happened, they have probably at times seen it and stepped in to stop it. But they likely have no idea how often it happens. That it colors much of what we say or do and how we do it.

Maybe we need to explain it better. Maybe we need to stop ignoring it ourselves, minimizing it in our own minds.

The guys that shrug off or tune out when a woman talks about sexism in our culture? They’re not bad guys. They just haven’t lived our reality. And we don’t really talk about the everyday stuff that we witness and experience. So how could they know?

So, maybe the good men in our lives have no idea that we deal with this stuff on a regular basis.

Maybe it is so much our norm that it didn’t occur to us that we would have to tell them.

It occurred to me that they don’t know the scope of it and they don’t always understand that this is our reality. So, yeah, when I get fired up about a comment someone makes about a girl’s tight dress, they don’t always get it. When I get worked up over the every day sexism I’m seeing and witnessing and watching… when I’m hearing of the things my daughter and her friends are experiencing… they don’t realize it’s the tiny tip of a much bigger iceberg.

Maybe I’m realizing that men can’t be expected to understand how pervasive everyday sexism is if we don’t start telling them and pointing to it when it happens. Maybe I’m starting to realize that men have no idea that even walking into a store women have to be on guard. We have to be aware, subconsciously, of our surroundings and any perceived threats.

Maybe I’m starting to realize that just shrugging it off and not making a big deal about it is not going to help anyone.

We de-escalate.

We are acutely aware of our vulnerability. Aware that if he wanted to, that guy in the Home Depot parking lot could overpower us and do whatever he wants.

Guys, this is what it means to be a woman.

We are sexualized before we even understand what that means. We develop into women while our minds are still innocent. We get stares and comments before we can even drive. From adult men. We feel uncomfortable but don’t know what to do, so we go about our lives. We learn at an early age, that to confront every situation that makes us squirm is to possibly put ourselves in danger. We are aware that we are the smaller, physically weaker sex. That boys and men are capable of overpowering us if they choose to. So we minimize and we de-escalate.

So, the next time a woman talks about being cat-called and how it makes her uncomfortable, don’t dismiss her. Listen.

The next time your wife complains about being called “Sweetheart” at work, don’t shrug in apathy. Listen.

The next time you read about or hear a woman call out sexist language, don’t belittle her for doing so. Listen.

The next time your girlfriend tells you that the way a guy talked to her made her feel uncomfortable, don’t shrug it off. Listen.

Listen because your reality is not the same as hers.

Listen because her concerns are valid and not exaggerated or inflated.

Listen because the reality is that she or someone she knows personally has at some point been abused, assaulted, or raped. And she knows that it’s always a danger of happening to her.

Listen because even a simple comment from a strange man can send ripples of fear through her.

Listen because she may be trying to make her experience not be the experience of her daughters.

Listen because nothing bad can ever come from listening.

Just. Listen.

 

Original post found at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gretchen-kelly/the-thing-all-women-do-you-dont-know-about_b_8630416.html

Lessons on Love Part 2

It is no secret that the people we love the most have the biggest ability to hurt us., because they should have known better.  We understand that the world is not fair.  We expect strangers to let us down or to be rude to us.  We don’t expect that from those we love.  Which is why it hurts so much when they do.

People are complicated.  At least I know I am.  We have layers of the battle scars love has left us.  We do irrational things when we feel vulnerable.  We become sensitive to actions and words that were never intended to hurt us.  But they do, and we are left just as confused by it as the person who hurt us.

We barely understand ourselves sometimes, and yet we expect those we love to understand us.

Relationships are complicated.  It is just as complicated no matter if it is a relationship with a family member, best friend, or a significant other.  Any relationship worth having takes work.  It takes constant communication.  Because we have all been hurt and we all have the ability to unintentionally open up an old scar.

It will happen.  It does not matter how much someone loves you, people are complicated and we hurt each other even when we don’t mean to.  When this happens we have two ways we can react, love or hate.  We can get angry, we can hate them, and we can try to hurt them back.  Or we can choose love, which is immensely harder to do.

Hate is me focused.   When we hate, it becomes all about what we need, how we were hurt, how we didn’t get what we wanted.   If we focus on only us, we think others are out to get us.  We get angry when people don’t treat us how we think we deserve to be treated.  We become frustrated when life doesn’t seem to give us what everyone else is getting.  We get so stuck looking at our own two feet that we cannot see everything else that is happening around us.

Hate pushes other’s away, love pulls them closer.

Love is seeing past our own reflection into someone else’s reality.

Love requires us to look at the situation from the other person’s point of view.  It is understanding that they never meant to do us wrong.  In fact sometimes we may realize that we were the one being selfish.

Love is realizing that a relationship isn’t all about us.  When we love someone that means we have to put them before us sometimes.  We have to forgive them.  We have to fight for them.  We have to trust that when they say they love us they mean it, even if they don’t always show it.

For most of my life, when people hurt me I push them away.  I don’t fight for the relationship, I just run away from it.  It is hard for me to trust people – to be vulnerable with them.  It is only recently that I have started to respond in love.  To forgive someone when they have hurt me and to know that sometimes I react irrationally.  It is a lot harder, and I do mean A LOT harder.  But is also worth it.  Because when we work to restore relationships they always bounce back stronger.

hands

Photo Credit: Unknown