My Love Shack(les): Break Free.

Ever since my divorce and especially lately, I’ve been thinking about what being “in love,” actually looks and feels like. I’m pretty sure it’s a terrible idea to carry these thoughts on for too long in one’s head, especially with the committee that resides in my noggin. Still, for several weeks, I’ve been extra “think-y” about the qualities I’ve spotted in the men I tend to fancy the most.  Continue reading “My Love Shack(les): Break Free.”

Little Girl Found, Kicking & Screaming

And once she learned to kick and scream, the monsters quieted down.

When she knew she was safe to stop kicking and screaming, the monsters left

forever.

She was left with some permanent scars that she saw as rich and beautiful, because they were perfect to her and not because they had to be, but because they just were.

The little girl healed and the woman flourished.

The little girl and the woman agreed to coexist as the caretakers of each other and providers of the ointment that would protect and honor her scars

forever.

Continue reading “Little Girl Found, Kicking & Screaming”

Feelings… wo wo wo… Feelings

I spend a great deal of time and energy thinking, writing about, examining, preaching, ripping apart and putting back together, all things about “FEELINGS.” I have no doubt that this is time and energy well spent. (This is your cue to roll your eyes.)

Time and time again, embracing feelings and the depth of feelings that I feel or have felt, almost immediately turns me to examining facts – I am an ardent supporter and believer in evaluating and trusting facts over feelings, but processing feelings is a MUST.  Continue reading “Feelings… wo wo wo… Feelings”

The Shadows & Shame & Stigma of Sex

DISCLAIMER: I am angry, and this will likely be a rant. If this post offends you, I urge you to examine your own views of sex, how you use or don’t use it, your own comfort level and how you communicate and/or act in your day to day life.

If I had a penny for every woman and girl who felt some shame about sex and her own sexuality, I could retire immediately. Even women, like myself, who feel very comfortable in their own skin and embrace their sexuality, carry some semblance of shame. Continue reading “The Shadows & Shame & Stigma of Sex”

Sickness, Surrender, & Softness

When things feel extra craptastic, I always commit to finding the good in them. I like this about me. I’ve been trying to recover from a bout of viral meningitis and have run the gamut of feelings, (real or imagined): Continue reading “Sickness, Surrender, & Softness”

The Ugly Truth About the Weight of Beauty

Yesterday, I posted some photos of my daughters on social media. They’d been out of the country for a few weeks, so when they returned a few nights ago, I posted their photos like the insanely thrilled mom I was, to see them, spend time with them and hug and kiss them.

Aside from my two daughters encompassing inner beauty – depth, compassion, philanthropic awareness and serious smarts, they are also beautiful on a base external level. I don’t think I’m biased just because I’m their mom, I’ve noticed that the physical attributes of my daughters receive a great deal of attention from a large and diverse audience.

For every compliment on their physical appearance I receive, (which has little if anything to do with me), I just smile and try to say, “Thank you,” without saying,

Their looks aren’t what’s most interesting about them and I wish more people would focus on who they are from the inside out.

And things like,

They’re going to drive the boys crazy.

LOCK HER/THEM UP.

…sigh…

These generous complimentary people are kind and very well-meaning and most of them, I love and respect very much. Plus, I agree that my daughters are physically beautiful. I also realize that if photos are posted by me, I expose people to their physical looks and not their clever wit, charm, genius brains and huge hearts. Their compliments are lovely, but I don’t share any of them with my daughters and that is intentional.

I never want them to think their value is tied to their physical appearance. Our society dictates enough of this. Let me be a safe haven from that.

When people kvell over my daughters’ looks, there are times, where I find myself wanting to scream or at the very least, protect them. For far too many years of my life, I became almost totally reliant on my outer shell. So much so, that my innards became atrophied. This is something I intentionally stress with my daughters because I know how empty it feels to think being attractive is the most important part of me and if I lose my looks, I am nothing. or, a man is only interested in me because:

  1. He thinks I’m pretty/cute
  2. I have a flat stomach and 9% body fat
  3. I am a dancer and contortionist
  4. All of the above

My youngest daughter is comfortable with who she is, and my teenager, continuously finds the flaws in her skin, hair, body, etc. It hurts me to the core when I hear her saying negative things about her physical appearance. The rub is that I totally understand it and empathize with her. While I was considered cute, or pretty or whatever, I never actually thought it about myself. I never felt thin enough, my nose wasn’t perfect enough, and my hair was enormous and curly, etc. So basically, I put all of the weight of my own self-value into something, (my outer shell), I didn’t even find all that pleasing.

When my teenager beats the crap out of her looks, I often find myself thinking, “I wish you’d put this energy into apologizing to your sister for being mean to her.”

Now that I’m older and definitely wiser, I understand that I couldn’t really appreciate my outer shell because my insides were totally stunted. Now, my insides are pretty great and my outsides have shifted and aged. I feel more beautiful today than when I was seen as really beautiful. I’ll take it any day over how I felt as a young person.

Several years ago, a blog post changed my life and how I parent my girls. If you have daughters or people in your life who struggle with their self-worth, I highly recommend you read this and then practice at it. It literally changed how I talk to my own daughters and frankly, how I talk to myself.

How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body

The suggestions in this article are incredibly helpful. I hope it helps you and anyone else who doesn’t know in actuality, how really beautiful they are.

Happy growing.

you are beatufiul

Cutting, Keeping & Nurturing the Right Ties, Redux

Things have changed since the original post, but the peace really hasn’t.

I originally wrote this blog post a few years ago about my ex-husband and daughters celebrating our wedding anniversary together. Some people found this pretty weird, and others celebrated our vastly improved relationship since we chose to exit our marriage. 

Either way, this is our life and how we choose to live it. 

For anyone who believes they despise their ex, or spends a lot of mind and heart space on reliving the bad, I hope this article includes benefits for you.

Being divorced and co-parenting isn’t always easy. In my own experience, walking through a divorce and then making an intentional choice to stay kind and loving as co-parents, takes work and commitment. (And then, more work and re-commitment.) The truth is, I’ve been far more committed to, (and successful at,) being a good ex-wife, than I ever was, at being a good wife the entire time I was married.

The commitment to working on a healthy relationship with my ex has been one of the most poignant and growthful experiences of my life. 

I wish you peace, joy and harmony for all parties, even where dissonance exists.

_____________________________

Originally Published on June 16th, 2016

Yesterday was my 14th wedding anniversary. My ex-husband and I honored each other and our children, with an evening of celebrating together. We’ve been divorced for five years, and separated for a few years before that.

I don’t regret marrying. I learned a great deal about my own insecurities, my willingness to forgive, my desire to take risks, and my openness to learn and grow from my mistakes. Our marriage also resulted in two beautiful daughters who bring us daily joy and an abundance of gray hairs.

Last evening, as I enjoyed my nontraditional family, I marveled at our kind and empathetic friendship, one that we committed to work on when we first split.  When we initially made this commitment, it was for the kids. I think we’ve both realized how much it nourishes our own health and well being. The kids benefit from our example of care and respect for each other and for our own selves.

My ex-husband and I are good people. We both agree that we didn’t like ourselves when we were together. We were incapable of lifting each other up to our best selves in our marriage.

My divorce, while painful for obvious reasons, has been a very positive experience in my life.

Now, I mostly embrace my life as a single, working mom. My mind, heart and spirit are open to possibilities, but the same mind, heart and spirit are extremely discerning. If it’s not right, no thanks.

In all ways, I am interested in matches where I am encouraged to be my best self so there are possibilities to reciprocate fully, ever reminding myself, and everyone else, that I am never trapped in anything but my own thoughts.

Leaving my marriage was my first best lesson in learning that being trapped in a relationship is never, ever actually true.

EVER.

______________________

“You are enough, right now, just as you are.”

Doug cut

 

Taking a Lover Who Takes & Takes

Every so often, I consider, “taking a lover.” This always sounds so romantic to me, but I don’t spend much time daydreaming (or night dreaming) about it, because in actuality, I tend to react rather swiftly with… BARF. HIDEOUS IDEA. EW.

I had an epiphany the other day and it was a biggie. 
Continue reading “Taking a Lover Who Takes & Takes”

The Mother Load

Lately, I’ve been extra depleted physically, mentally and emotionally. This is not a complaint, but is provided as a frame of reference for the possible drivel I’m about to write.

While in this diminished state, I considered writing 100 things I love about my Mother, but the truth is, 100 isn’t nearly enough. I have way more than 100 things I love about my amazing Mom.

Instead, I thought I’d fantasize about 100 Mother’s Day gifts and/or events I’d absolutely love. Some are real, and some are imagined. Most are imagined, but I hope they’re real someday. Continue reading “The Mother Load”

The pessimism in positivity, with or without donuts

Just recently, I was told that my positivity, is downright irritating. It wasn’t just one person who mentioned this to me, it was at least two and perhaps a third was nodding in agreement. If you are a fairly recent friend or colleague of mine, you may be nodding along. Also, you may be right.
Continue reading “The pessimism in positivity, with or without donuts”

Jake Lawler

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