This is a big word for me. I did not place much value on it until I began following a therapist on social media. She did a series of posts and stories about this that have helped me understand the importance of belonging. We are social creatures and crave community, belonging, and of course security and love. Without it, I feel we do not have a chance to fully develop into our healthiest and best version of ourselves. 

When I was a child, I felt out of place and like I did not belong. I used to think it was because I grew up in the 1970s and seemed to be one of the very few in my circle of friends and in my classroom that did not have the typical nuclear family. I had my grandparents and mother, but I did not have a father that was present or supportive in any way. I had a family who did care for and provide for me, but even that did not establish a meaningful connection in every aspect of my young life. I grew up with the nagging feeling of not belonging. In high school, it only got worse. I was often not included in activities that had been part of my culture and family heritage–such as debutante clubs, socials, or other activities that involved two parents and the financial stability to participate. I constantly struggled with trying to fit in. I was always the “extra” or the third wheel. I was excruciatingly mindful of this. 

Once I graduated from high school and began working, I slowly began to find my tribe. These were the friends who just saw me; not my family background nor my lack of connections to influential people. They saw me for who I was. Gradually, I began to feel that sense of belonging and community with the tribe of friends who grew to become family. I was blessed with building those lifelong friendships in my 20s and 30s that have sustained me to this day.

Life happened and I relocated a few times. I always struggled to attain that elusive feeling of belonging and what I often refer to as HOME. I would often say, “This place doesn’t feel like home yet.” After a few years, I’d grow my network of friends and special places and that feeling of belonging would come back to me and I would cherish it. I didn’t quite understand this intangible thing I felt but it filled my heart and soul with love and a feeling of belonging and home.

This brings me here. I have been living in this part of North Texas for several years now. I have never felt at home or the sense of community and belonging I have craved to further my growth and healing process. I have become more socially isolated and oftentimes, it is by choice. 

Here is what I have learned…

It was always up to me to be open to new friendships/relationships and seek out those connections and networks. I understand that it becomes more difficult if you are struggling with problems in your personal life or at work. As we age and grow through life’s stages and struggles; our views, feelings, and even habits may change. Every new challenge will either force us inward like a cocoon or push us out of the protection and essentially, the comfort zone or “resting period” as I like to call it. 

I am not the bar scene-free-spirited 25-year-old I was years ago, but I’m not quite yet ready to join a senior community center either. I am somewhere in between rediscovering myself in this new phase of life– post-divorce, post Covid, and with new responsibilities and interests; and wanting to feel connected to old friendships while also being open to creating new ones in the present. I am quite comfortable going to do things alone and although that is a wonderful feeling of independence and confidence; doing things with a friend or two brings interesting conversations and a new perspective. This damn anxiety has forced me to seek out nature more than “crowds.” I’m not complaining, but I am recognizing that nature is so healing for me and I’m going to take advantage of it as much as I can. 

I recently made a trip back to the small city that I was born and raised in–South Texas. These trips back down south were rarely filled with excitement or longing. Instead, they were filled with dread, worry, anxiety, and frankly, general unease about the whole thing. I was a little anxious this time around too and honestly, I was tempted to cancel the entire trip; but I had family obligations and recognized that the “belongingness” I was missing was right there for the taking. I knew it was time to reconnect with those important relationships that are so important to me and I pushed myself out of that “comfort zone of isolation.” I have zero regrets.

I kept waiting for the anxiety to hurl me back to my “comfort zone of isolation” which happened to be my hotel room, but I persisted and resisted. I was worried about that general feeling of unease, anxiety, dread, and fear starting to creep up and consume me. I was waiting to feel like…’this place isn’t home,’ kind of feeling. Guess what?! It did not happen. I learned that feeling of home, community, and belonging; is all within me and the relationships I cultivate and nurture. I have been searching for something outside of myself to give me the comfort and acceptance I needed and that was so severely lacking in my life. I finally got it. Home is not a place. It’s the environment we create with the ones we love around us. It’s feeling safe and loved. It’s laughing and sharing both happy and sad moments with your friends and loved ones. It. Is. So. Many. Things. Thank goodness I learned this so I can finally stop searching for what was never going to be found in a place. 

Stagnation and Self-Awareness

Photo by Tobias Bju00f8rkli on

Stagnation: lack of activity, growth, or development

That is the definition of how I have felt for nearly two years now. I have been in a holding pattern with no direction, enthusiasm, or motivation. I’m seeing a pattern here–maybe even a lifelong pattern. I’ll have periods of rapid growth and moving on or moving forward; and then, there is stagnation. The periods of stagnation are after some sort of major event or trauma. The best analogy is that I go into a cocoon of darkness and just stay there for however long I need until I either get tired of being in the dark and isolation for so long OR I get fed up with the pitiful circumstances I am in and somehow push what little ounce of serotonin I have to get me up and over the next hump!

I don’t want this blog to be about me whining, bitching, or having a pity party. I want it to be about unbecoming all of the things I became when I was living in survival mode and did not understand the “why” behind my behaviors and actions. I want to heal, move on, let go; and give myself all the things I was seeking “outside of myself.” Throughout this entire process, I have learned so much about myself–that I had trauma, some PTSD, and unhealthy boundaries. I have been broken open. That is the only way to describe what has happened. I’ve been broken open and now I am sitting with a huge heap of stuff I have to unlearn.

First, I am learning that I am worthy. I am worthy of being treated with respect and consideration even though I did not have the easiest of circumstances growing up. I am worthy of taking up space here because I was chosen to be here in this place and time. Although I have made some poor choices in my past; I am in a place where I understand the ‘why’ behind them and I am working on healing so that the next decisions that I make will be decisions based on the wisdom and lessons I have learned. 


What have I discovered about myself?

I have had a problem with boundaries. I am a sensitive and empathic person that feels too much sometimes. I tend to overextend myself when it comes to obligations and such and then I resent myself and the situations I find myself in and that surely is not good. My nature and calling have led me to work in public service professions; hence, I’ve been on the front lines. The pandemic has changed the scope of my job and society has changed dramatically. I feel that I am losing the fire I had a few years ago for sure. I still am passionate about the mission of my career, but I’m questioning the changes and direction we are headed. Do these changes reflect my values and ideals about what I want for myself and how I want to share my gifts? I honestly can’t answer that right now because if I do, it would be a resounding no.

I feel change is necessary. I feel as if I need to take time to ask myself how best can I serve and also allow more personal growth. I am mentally and spiritually exhausted and I know it is many things and not any “one thing.” I need to lean into the emotional and mental support of close friendships and I have not taken time to nurture and protect those relationships due to time, distance, and overwhelm. I am also in therapy to break down some of the trauma, issues, and patterns of my past. It turns out healing from my divorce was easy, but peeling the layers back to reveal all the things from my past that led me into this space is some serious work.  I am talking to God more these days. I’m sharing what is in my heart and mind and know I am in a holding pattern. This is where He brought me and I will not leave without knowing where He needs me to be next. I have some things I am pondering and trying to work through but I am not just a survivor, I am a warrior. I am confident about finding my way even if it is taking me down a narrow path.


I would be totally lying if I pretended I was not struggling with my emotional well-being right now. I have had more bad days than I care to say. Honestly, it is not any one thing but many things compounded and maybe I am not the only one struggling. I guess I can begin with the post-divorce healing process. It was a difficult time for me but we are coming up on almost two years now and I feel ok. Of course I miss the friendship and companionship, but deep down I know ending that marriage was the best thing for both of us. I own that.

Second, I had Covid pneumonia just over a year ago and my lungs and breathing are not the same. I still have less than 50% of my sense of taste and smell. I get extremely winded doing things I found easier to do pre-Covid. I find myself taking more breaks during a strenuous task as well. I am hoping that these things will not be the same things I am struggling with a year from now. I am hopeful that with some extra self-care, I can get better.

Work has been both a blessing and a struggle. I am so grateful I have health insurance and a job when many others have lost their job or are still struggling with unemployment and financial stability. I also wish I had been able to work from home or maybe find better ways to work with the public without feeling I am putting myself at risk health wise. I love what I do. It’s been a most unusual process to fall into my job, but it’s been one I have zero regrets about. Am I doing all I can be doing? No. That may be some of the restlessness I am feeling.

One of the greatest struggles over the past few months has been coping with waves of grief and mourning over the sudden loss of our beloved dog, Chance. I was blessed to have the spunkiest and loving Cairn Terrier rescue. He was small but fierce. He was my protector, my best friend, and my favorite little person to be with. His love and companionship helped me begin the healing process post-divorce. He made everything better just by being himself. Coming home was more joyful knowing he would be waiting to greet me. Sleeping was more restful feeling him next to me. He wasn’t a great cuddler, but when he was in the mood, I so enjoyed it. He was my “tricky woo!” I miss him immensely. I struggled trying to absorb why this happened at this time. I did not have a crisis of faith, but I did have some serious discussions with God. I don’t have to understand why things like this happen. I just have to trust that someday, I will see my fur baby again.

The loss of him not being here has affected us all differently but we all feel it in some way. I believe with the pandemic, the stress of illness, work, and the crazy in the world; coping has been difficult. I have had people who say, “Get another dog. It will help.” I cannot. I would not ever say, have another baby to cope with your miscarriage. Get a new spouse if yours has passed. I do not believe they’re being insensitive. I think they have forgotten that grief and mourning are a process that just has to be walked through. It comes in waves and some days the waves are crashing over me and others, it’s just a small ripple. I have struggled with self-care and I am not ashamed to say, I often neglect it. I am working on getting better with it though. I am not the kind of person who stays down in the pit for too long. I am a fighter and a survivor. I don’t get up or give in easily. I know how far I have come and I believe God has more joy planned for my future.

I have come to believe that somehow pain and loss have a way of purifying us. It forces us to get back down to the basics–what is important and what can be let go of. I have let go of feeling guilt for not being more productive or driven right now. I have let go of comparing where I am at with others. My journey has been nontraditional and that is ok. I have given up pushing myself beyond what I know I am capable of for that day or moment just to prove to someone or myself I am worthy. So….if you’re curious about some of what I am doing for self-care during this time, I will share. It is what has helped me and some of these are totally nonnegotiable.

I finally have established a halfway decent morning routine.

  1. Drinking water first thing before coffee is one. Also, reading my devotional or something spiritual and saying a short prayer to begin my day is something I will always make time for now.
  2. I don’t rush thru my favorite coffee of choice. I savor it and sip on it slowly.
  3. Scheduling a regular massage, pedicure, or facial–anything relaxing that I deem to be pampering has become routine. Yes, it’s a sacrifice financially but I have found ways to make it more affordable by going to beauty schools or looking for special discounts.
  4. Making time to read for growth as well as fun. I love to read and I often times feel pulled in so many directions with my responsibilities that I don’t make time for it. Even if all I can fit in is 15 minutes of silent reading. It helps.
  5. Connecting with friends, groups or organizations that are good for my mental and emotional well being has been wonderful. It has helped me learn that we are all struggling in some way and doing our best. Those connections can make the difference between having a bad day and a “I’m gonna get thru this” kind of day!
  6. Limiting time with toxic or energy draining individuals is a must. I have learned so much about myself and how empathic I can be. I have to be vigilant with certain types of people that are energy vampires. This is where practicing healthy boundaries has come in handy.
  7. And lastly, I am just being more mindful of being more of service to others struggling around me. I feel that God wants us to do that now more than ever.

I hope that when you feel like you’ve had enough, you remember that many of us are struggling right now as well–whether it be for something or someone we have lost or because we miss the way things were just a few years ago. I believe God has a plan for us to follow and part of our growth is to be willing to face the hard things with an attitude and mindset of growth….even if it’s painful. In the meanwhile, here is my best boy.

Chance….good boy, loyal friend, and little badass!


According to Merriam-Webster, faith is a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. 

Do you have faith? I will be the first to admit, I have not always been as faithful as I should have been. When tough times hit, I used to be the first person to get angry or act on emotions without clear-headed thinking. I would feel this sudden sense of urgency to take care of the problem as soon as I could. That thinking got me into more trouble and problems than I care to admit. Now, as a middle-aged woman, I can sit back and see all the times I needed to be still and have faith. Maybe things would have turned out better. Maybe I should have trusted that things would work out exactly as they should. It’s taken me a long while to accept that through all of the struggles, God knew everything I was going to do even before I did. He also knew I may have needed to go through those things to learn some hard lessons and finally develop the faith and longing for a more personal relationship with Him. My faith journey began back in 2015. I was a hot mess.

I was stagnant. I had been stuck in a really hard place for a few years. I knew I was capable of so much more and yet I was not able to reach out and grab it. Going through a period of difficulty can play a number on your self confidence and sense of self worth. If you do not have a strong support system at home, it makes the healing and perseverance all the more difficult. Did I mention, I had not been to church in years. I had been angry at God for certain events that devastated me and hurt loved ones. I could not find it in me to trust Him when the people I loved the most were taken from me. I never stopped to think that someday I would understand how all things work together for a greater purpose. 

I was very lucky that in spite of my hurt and anger, God put the right people in my life at just the right time. They helped me see that God had never left me. He was there all along. Although He could not control some of the things that happened to me, He was always there for me to turn to in my time of need. I have learned that now. He is the first one I want to reach out to in difficult times. He is the one I want to say “Thank You!” to when I receive good news or a blessing. 

This period of loss and renewal has taught me so much about myself and the whole process of letting go, accepting what is, and finally; learning to be still and have faith. I feel like I have a ways to go to finish healing and growing but I am on the right path to “home” for the first time in a very long time. 


If I could sum up the disastrous year of 2020 and the last 15 months “post-divorce,” I’d use the word HEALING. What I have learned about healing is worth sharing because the true goal of learning is to share knowledge. 

First, healing is not linear. It ebbs and flows with time, circumstance, and honestly; the level of effort you’re applying towards healing. It is work! When the pandemic first hit last March and we shut down, I was positive about creating a rigorous schedule for myself to stay hyper-focused on healing. It all went down the tubes as the shelter in place didn’t bode too well for me. I started strong with daily walks outdoors, to-do lists, and a promise to stay productive. Depression snuck in through the dark corners of my mind and deciding to let go of the friendship I had maintained with my ex-husband was a difficult choice, but one I had to make to progress in healing. 

After committing to a “conscious uncoupling,” we were adamant about remaining friends and supportive of one another’s new lives apart. I quickly found out that was not going to work for me. I found myself regressing and wanting to reach out for the familiar comfort and closeness we shared. It left me on an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows. Frankly, it was time to get off the ride. Some people can stay connected and move forward with healing. Some cannot. I fell into that category of those who cannot. Of course, I miss the friendship and wish him well, however, I value the time I have had to let go of that anguish and pain I had been holding onto for so long. 

Second, during the healing process, old wounds crept up. It was like peeling off the layers of an onion. I realized just how much pain and resentment I had been holding onto from my childhood and family of origin. I was flailing in all directions. Combine this with the shutdown/pandemic, job responsibilities shifting dramatically due to the pandemic, and getting infected with COVID-19 pneumonia; I was losing myself. Something had to happen….and I called it a “God Shout!.”

A God Whisper is that small sign that sparks something inside of you. A God Smile is a kind word from someone that helps to instill a sense of confidence and shares a message of positivity. A God Shout is that huge thing you cannot deny any longer! It can be a message you get repeatedly from different sources throughout any length of time. It can come at any moment and from daily interactions with life and people. Mine happened to come from a longing I had been feeling for quite some time. I knew I needed to delve into some self-help books about healing, gaining more confidence, and moving on. I wanted to find my way back to the person I was before my heart was broken. I decided to start with a bible study. For 90 days, I committed to daily reading, deep reflections, and some journaling. The best part was that one of my dearest friends did it alongside me. My eyes were opened. My heart was full. The joy I experienced in reconnecting with a part of myself I had shut down years ago was profound. For the first time in a long while, I felt my heart healing. I felt myself desiring to let go of any resentment and anger from my past and the person(s) who were part of that hurt. I felt love. It was a watershed event in which I could not get enough of reading the right materials in tandem that put me on the path I am on today. Bibliotherapy!

I discovered that there inside of me all along was the love I had been searching for. It was just there…waiting to be watered so the seeds could grow. I love the woman I am coming home to. I love the people in my life who are helping to grow those seeds of love and healing. I am blessed! 


When I was a girl, my beliefs about love were pretty uncomplicated. I daydreamed of a big white wedding in a big cathedral and a husband who was the epitome of a knight in shining armor that would sweep me away to a beautiful life away from all the hardship and sorrow I felt had been such a huge part of my life. He was going to be kind, have a great sense of humor, be tall and strong; because I needed his strength to hold me when I was sad or weak.

As I grew into my young adulthood, I started thinking about what a true partner in love should be. I did not care so much about the big white wedding or having babies anymore. Babies would be a bonus but not a requirement. I wanted someone who would enhance my life and together we could grow and accomplish anything we set our minds to. I thought I knew what love was not. To me, love was not lies or manipulation. It surely wasn’t being disrespectful or disloyal. Love was not fickle. It was unwavering and if it was really great, it lifted you up and brought more peace and joy into your life. I lost this mindset in my mid thirties and realized love can be a choice (albeit a good or bad one). That “free will” thing can truly mess things up for us. 

Now I know, love is God. No one can love me more than He can. No one knows me better than He does. No one knows what my needs are more than He does. If I start with Him first, how can I go wrong? I have spent the last few months rekindling this beautiful relationship I had let fall by the wayside and it has brought me peace, healing, and even hope. I talk to Him daily and He responds in kind with signs and messages throughout my journey. Love is also about healing and recognizing that I am worthy and deserving of love.

Someone recently asked me, “What is my definition of an ideal man?” No one has asked me that in a long while but I was quickly surprised by the words that flowed out so easily and not one had to do with looks or wealth! Instead, they include:

A man who is confident in his faith will be a spiritual leader in the home so we can pray together and share our faith. If we do not have God at the center of our relationship, it leaves room for deception, irrational expectations of one another, and a relationship filled with letting one another down.

A man who has a provider mentality will take care of his loved ones and family. He does this willingly and as a form of self respect and not begrudgingly. This has nothing to do with wealth and more to do with responsibility. This leaves the gates open for me to flourish in my role as a lover and nurturer of our relationship, family, and home. This does not mean I refuse to work to make our dreams come true. It means, I do not have to worry because my work, although it is part of our success, is not so much that it takes away from my role as a nurturer in our marriage and home.

A man who has a growth mindset and loves learning will always be willing to grow and change for the better. I do not mean he needs to work on his doctorate but he needs to have a desire to explore, learn, and grow. Minimum effort equals minimum results. I am mature enough to know that life is about ups and downs and a true partnership is about balance and encouraging one another through the ups and downs. It should not be the job of one person in the relationship to do all the growing and learning. It ends up creating a chasm between you and leaves room for someone to be left behind. 

A man who is a good communicator and does not walk away or ignore problems is a force to be reckoned with. I need someone who is open and honest about his vulnerabilities, pain, and fears. It is not for me to criticize or condemn him for them, but to share them and help him through them. 

A man who is consistent in his efforts to show love, affection, and work on his relationship is a man who values what he has. He doesn’t have to bring me flowers every week but he needs to remember that nothing works if it is neglected for too long. My love language is acts of service. Love is reciprocal and a woman gives more when she feels appreciated and courted. If he is constantly distracted with his hobbies; it is a reflection of his priorities and I need to be number two (after God). 

Lastly, who doesn’t want a partner with a sense of humor. You need to be able to laugh and be comfortable in sharing who you are even if it’s a little crazy sometimes. 


This is a big word for me this year. I have listened to several teachings about the act of forgiveness and how much it benefits me more than the person I am choosing to forgive. I will be the first to admit that I can hold a grudge like the Statue of Liberty holds her torch! I have a strong sense of loyalty and when I feel disrespected or that someone has done or said something to cause me hurt or pain, I will be the first at the table to walk in unforgiveness and pain. I openly admit to this. 

What I have learned is that the only person I am hurting is yours truly. I choose to hold onto the action that person did to hurt me. It festers and grows and in reality, holds me back in more ways than I can write about in one post. The act of being unforgiving has led me down some dark roads that I have yet to recover from fully. What I have learned is that holding onto the anger, the bitterness, and the hurt is just too costly to my mental and emotional health. 

I can choose to forgive, but I can also have a healthy boundary. 

I can choose to forgive, but distance myself from toxic people. 

I can choose to forgive, but I do not have to rush into letting go of the hurt because all wounds will heal in time. 

The most important part of forgiveness is that I am choosing to release that person from owing me a debt that will never get paid. 

How did this revelation on forgiveness happen? I believe in signs and divine timing. I was listening to the Proverbs 31 Ministries Podcast (linked below) and they discussed the six practical steps to forgiveness. It was another a-ha moment for me to learn how this tangible process of forgiveness can be a step towards moving forward and putting it behind me. Writing a true Statement of Forgiveness lays it out there and is like a pseudo affidavit that puts your feelings and thoughts into action and hopefully, with mercy, we can choose to forgive. When I was writing out these “statements” of forgiveness, (Trust me, I have plenty to forgive!) I recognized the most important person I have to forgive is myself. I am my own worst judge and jury at times and I have not forgiven myself for mistakes I made when I was young and foolish or the big mistakes that I made when I felt alone and broken. After decades of living with regret, I think I finally found a way to forgive.

Letting good enough, be Good Enough!

One of my 2020 goals is to try and write and add more to this blog. Working full time, suffering through anxiety and a bout of depression–mostly due to the ending of a decade long marriage; has left me barely keeping my head above water. On evenings that I blow dry my hair instead of falling asleep with it damp, I call it a win! On mornings that I wake up just 15 minutes earlier to drink a full glass of lemon water to start my day, I am pumped! Never in a decade would I have been able to convince myself that these were small reasons to be proud of myself! I am learning to let good enough, be good enough.

It’s been almost three months since my divorce was final and there have been highs and lows. We are still friends and talk once in a while and I miss the sound of his voice and laughter. At first, I found myself deleting everything related to him from my Facebook and Instagram page and then I had an epiphany. Why do I want to erase a decade of my life when that relationship played a role in who I am today? So, I stopped trying to erase a part of my life that I am actually grateful for in spite of how it ended. Maybe that means I am finally finding some peace in this whole experience.

Learning to be single again is weird with a capital W! Of course, I haven’t been single long enough to really feel single but the aloneness has set in. I have friends who divorced and went buck wild partying and hitting the bar/club scene like they were 25 years old all over again. That is not for me. I also have friends who became a gym rat and starting dating immediately after the breakup. That isn’t for me either. And then there is the “soul searcher.” That is me! I feel like I’m waking up from a decade long coma and everything has changed around me. I’m in somewhat unfamiliar territory and don’t quite feel safe just yet. I know I probably need to invest in some type of therapy or life coaching to help me out of this funk and for now, I’m doing something similar on a much smaller scale. I’ve joined Danika Brysha’s YouYear 2020. She’s a self-care and lifestyle expert and God knows, I need that right now. I am hoping for camaraderie, inspiration, and accountability. It is a small step in the right direction in learning how to take care of myself again. I’m also doing tons of reading and I’ll be adding those books and ideas on my book posts. In the meanwhile, I’ve jumped on the WORDS of the YEAR bandwagon. What are your words? Mine are:






Happy 2020!


During the last few weeks leading up to my divorce hearing, my emotions were all over the place and at times seemed to be spiraling out of control. Although our divorce was mutual and we took the time to consciously uncouple, it has been difficult to fathom a life without my best friend and partner of the last ten years. My emotional eating was out of control. Sugar and carbohydrates were my best friends. I was on a roller coaster of highs and lows. I felt like I was losing what little control over my life that I had.


It’s been three weeks since “the divorce.” I’ve begun the healing and moving on process. I realized once again just how important taking care of myself is; especially at this time in my life. It has been a chaotic, messy, and emotional year but I am confident that I will come out stronger and more resilient as long as I continue to stay focused on finding my happy place again. Recently, I was faced with rethinking the boundaries and self-care regimen I thought I had down pact. I was reminded that sometimes we lose sight of what we need to be doing to stay in that healthy place. Sometimes, life just happens and before you know it, you are in the thick of a tough situation and begin to feel the overwhelm creeping in.

A few years ago, a coworker walked by my desk and asked me if I made any New Year’s resolutions. My immediate response was, “I don’t make resolutions. I make boundaries.” She came back to my desk and we talked more about what that truly meant for me. It was a profound moment in my life because I had finally begun to realize that my inner work on boundaries was beginning to take hold. Like most empathetic individuals, I was always doing more than my fair share of giving. We are the peacemakers. We are the caregivers. We are the ones to be counted on by family, friends, and even in the workplace. Taking on everyone else’s problems can be a daunting task and can wear you down emotionally and physically.  For decades of my adult life, I spent it people-pleasing, being afraid to speak up, and tolerating negative behaviors—all for the sake of keeping the peace and not wanting to be confrontational. I ended up working myself to exhaustion with a serious bout of anxiety with depression.  That was the beginning of my wake up call.

For the first time in my life, I accepted that it was ok to say no. It was ok to live with limits. It was ok for me to not answer the phone when “that person” called me for a favor. It was ok to speak my mind and stand up for myself. I was not a bad person. I was a tired person who had given way too much and needed to focus more on myself and filling my cup in ways that made me a better person and eventually a better ‘giver.’

What I learned through so much introspection and therapy is that we can only give what we have to give. Setting boundaries and limits are difficult. It is even more difficult if you’re a wife and a mother. It is necessary. Do I feel guilty or bad about saying “no?” Absolutely! Do I allow those feelings to force me to give or do more than I am capable? Absolutely not! I love my family. I love my friends and even the work that I do. I love with boundaries now. I love in a way that helps me take care of myself. If you’re sensitive or an empath, please don’t ever be afraid to say no. Sometimes it is necessary. 

Letting go.

I’ve waited a long while to write this because every time I began, I started to cry. I read a quote somewhere that when you can tell your story and not cry, you are on your way to healing. For the last several months, I have been going through a divorce and honestly, I’m not on my way to healing just yet. This was the second biggest event I have ever gone through and although it was amicable and we chose to consciously uncouple; the pain and heartache was and IS still there. How do you let go of your best friend because your marriage sucked?! I couldn’t even begin to understand how hard it was going to be to adjust to so many little things I had become accustomed to over the decade of our relationship. The first week I slept alone was awful. I hardly slept more than a few hours each night. All of the little things we take for granted in relationships will be the things you miss the most when they’re gone. Even so, I am grateful for the years we had together.

I’m not sure of the stages of divorce but mine was anger at first. I was mad as hell. Once I calmed down and was able to think with a more rational mindset, I began to understand and accept that this was for the best for both of us. We both deserved to have peace and for a long while, we had none. I used to have this idea of marriage as something we just “did” in spite of how wrong it felt or how difficult it became. Now, I believe differently. I resort back to my youthful belief that “good love” makes you both stronger, a better person, and you grow together. Is love always easy or good? No. It can be hard and sacrificial as well, but in the end, the good should always outweigh the difficult.

And now begins the WORK….

I am beginning to realize the dynamics that played a negative role in our marriage. Everyone brings their “stuff” into their current relationship. It is part of human nature. We bring our family of origin. We bring our past experiences with love and relationships. We bring our current mindset of what we believe our version of love to be. In the end, it is truly the uniting of two lives and all of your past experiences that shaped you into who you are today. It is important for both of you to be aware of your “stuff” and be willing to work on overcoming it. You have to be a united front going in because you will face so many challenges as a couple and if either of you are not fully embedded in the success of the relationship, it allows cracks to seep in and over time, those cracks will break you apart. I was listening to a podcast the other day about the topic of divorce. Two things I arrived at after listening to it—nonnegotiables and dating. What are my nonnegotiables going to be when I begin dating again and when will I feel ready to begin dating? I kind of have an idea of what my nonnegotiables will be and as for dating—two puppies sounds more up my alley right now! I need to spend lots of time on myself (self- care) and in nature when I can. Nature, water, friends and family fill my cup!