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Life's Little Lessons

"If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud." – Emile Zola

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friendship

The Other Woman 

I dread the doctor’s office. I dread showing up on time and then sitting through the long wait. I dread the paper thin gown with the white strings in the back that inevitably rip off before I can tie them. I dread just about every last thing, but you do what you go to do.

So I showed up, I waited, I tied and I dreaded.

And inevitably accidentally eaves dropped on a conversation that was happening between two women that sat behind me…and when I say accidentally, you know what I mean. Ears are hard things to close.

The one was talking about a mutual friend and it was NOT pretty. “She this,” and “She that.” Had she known I was going to write about the whole thing, I am sure she would have changed her tune, but that’s ok because a helper was on the scene. She was sharing with one who I’ll just gloriously crown, “The Stand Upper.”

This other woman was amazing. It was like she paid the words of her friend no mind. She was rock solid, didn’t miss a beat and didn’t jaunt in defensively; to save or to fix, but rather meandered slowly but surely.

She was matter of fact.

She PRAISED the poor woman her friend was bashing till a wealth of treasure was bestowed upon the invisible woman’s feet. There was no face to the name, but I pictured her…

“Thats never been my experience of her. In fact, she is extremely dedicated and loyal. She has always been there for me when I needed her. She is incredibly encouraging. She has a full plate and manages the best she can.”

I sat there, wanting to turn around and shake her hand. I wanted her autograph, a picture, anything…and if I could be 100% honest, I was so incredibly attracted TO her in all the right ways. This other woman had something I wanted to possess; her ability to stand up and stay steady rather than being swayed and staying silent drew me in.

She was a needed breath of fresh air.

I sat in my seat waiting for my name to be called and thought about all the times I have been a giver and a taker. Since I can only assume that I’ve been the recipient of someone else’s side conversations, I’ll share about my first hand knowledge of how I have dished out my fair share of negativity towards others unbeknownst to them and have felt validated in doing so. Yes, I have played innocent.

I can honestly say, EVERY TIME, it’s a sure tell sign the issue is mine.

Jealousy*Comparison*Pride*Arrogance

Insecurity*Anger*Offense*Rejection

Which can pretty much be summed up in one word, right?

*FEAR*

So what are my issues then if I just sit back in my seat and refuse to stand up when someone begins to drudge another through the mud and the muck? Are the issues really that much different? I think not.

*FEAR*

I think the woman who stood up today was confident in WHO she was. She wasn’t afraid to disappoint and wasn’t out to people please. Fear of man was not a forethought and if it was, she was secure enough to push through the trembling and the best part was…she didn’t do it in a way that was ballsy or brash. She was loving and kind and steered the ship into a peaceful harbor. I appreciate accidentally eavesdropping…so very much.

It made me wonder what I would look or sound like if FEAR were not an option. If I removed THAT…WHO would I be? I want to be ME, but I want in large parts to be the other woman too.

Stand Uppers are one of a kind, in fact they are one in a million. They cannot be swayed by your opinions and are not afraid to go against the grain and form their own. They are tried and true friends.

Everyone doesn’t just NEED one, they need to BE one.

 

 

 

the intervention

this was me for a bit today, standing alone in what felt like this massively wide space. one thing however that i’m learning is this: we are never as alone as we feel. god had other plans for me, plans to extend his hand and invite me out of my vast and deep forest, the very place i wanted to get lost in.

his plan for me was jen.

i was fuming at my desk and in the midst of the worst possible time, she calls. i look down at my phone and see that it is her, my dear and sweet college roommate who i know only means well but hasn’t a clue about the space i’m in. i quickly answered instead of sending it to voicemail and said hello. after that, the next words out of my mouth where along the lines of, “i answered just to let you know i can talk, but don’t really want to. i’m mad. in fact I’m…” and well, the conversation just went from there and my words were colorful and not nice. i thought for sure she would get the hint and say, “whoa. we’ll talk another day.” but she didn’t. SHE PERSISTED. before i knew it, i was a bundle full of words and tears.

she has been safe and compassionate and always in my corner for over 25 years.

and before i know it, she sees my blind spot and calls out what i cannot see.

“your people pleasing root is being pricked.”

for.the.love.

she is right. i couldn’t see for i was blinded by offense.

have you ever woken up and then shown up, like FULLY to the best of your ability? it’s not your desire or your intention to be graded or measured and you don’t care to “do” good and you understand that your efforts will produce mistakes and you are ok with that. as much as you have heard it said that “no one can make you feel a certain way”, you want to call it bullcrappery for the day. people actually CAN say and do things that TRY to tell you that you are either TOO much or NOT enough and before you know it, you are placed upon the scale and weighed.

now i have to choose to believe efforts are unintentional, but reality is, it often seems personal when i know that it’s not. i often liken it to one ginormous head game of chess.

i move my pawn here. you move your rook. i capture your queen.

i am done playing games.

i swear that is why god’s other plan for me called today. “i can’t talk right now because i am too over the top LOST in this DEEP whatever…”

“that’s fine” she says. “i’ll just sit here with you and we will have awkward phone silence.”

she tricked me you know. she was my secret intervention, unstaged of course. my heart was closing off, how could she know? it was growing cold and the hot embers were burning out. as much as i wanted her to make it about them, she flipped it all around, sat me in the middle of the room in love and turned the tables…

PEOPLE PLEASER

those two words. once i remembered that i am doing the best i can, i stepped down off the scale and realized that even though what people say or do may make me FEEL a certain way, it is ultimately up to me to decide how i am going to respond and if it’s truth. truth was, i AM doing the best that i can. even if i wasn’t, even if i was slacking off, i do not need to flitter through the continual fluid place of too much or not enough…

when i realized that’s what i was doing, it wasn’t at all about what i thought it was. it wasn’t about other people and what they have done or didn’t do or what I have done or didn’t do. everyone was left off the hook. it was about me not trying so hard to make everyone happy. it was about my people pleasing.

i feel continuously pulled to have the attitude that says “to hell with you” and “oh i am so sorry, let me fix.” yes my heart gets torn in how to balance the space in between and how hard or soft i should land when i come in…so for today, i have resolved thanks to me dear friend jen, that if i show up and do my best, HOWEVER THAT LOOKS, it is simply

enough.

 

 

 

 

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