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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Just Vulnerable Me..

Vulnerability is the essence of connecting with someone, and to truly connect with someone is the essence of life.

So then, why do we grow up believing vulnerability is a bad thing?

Why is it so hard to let our weakness and doubts show and to really reveal ourselves?

I have spent my entire life, in some shape or form, hiding some parts of who I am. Whether I am wearing a mask or just withholding parts of myself, I have been ashamed or afraid to show all of myself to anyone for as long as I remember. The older I get, I still find myself holding back in some of the relationships in my life. I find myself only giving away little bits and pieces to everyone I know. Until I met my wife, I don't know if I really even knew I was doing it until everything just sort of spilled out to her. Until I was really seen, just bared soul and completely authentic.

Image result for vulnerability quotesBut, even now, knowing how I hide parts of myself, I still do it. I find it so hard to just let my insecurities and doubts go. I tuck them away and bury them in the corners of my mind. I put myself out there in the way I want to be seen, not in the ugly and scarred way that I exist. I don't want to live like that, a picture perfect life veiled in optimism. I'm flawed and scarred and have deep insecurities that make me wonderfully vulnerable. There are some aspects of me hidden deep away that only My Love has seen. But, I'll be brave and share some of my true authentic self, with you. Parts that shouldn't be hidden because there is nothing wrong with them. 

One of the biggest insecurities I have, is the discomfort I feel when someone asks me about coming out late in life. Immediately I feel like there is something wrong with the fact that I just didn't know. I avoid the conversation and squirm when I'm forced talk about it. Even with those closest to me know, I don't often open up about it. The thing is there's nothing wrong with it. I didn't have a label for myself when I was younger, and that's okay. I'm okay with the fact that I was confused for a lot of years; my path was what it was but I feel like it's not acceptable to the world. Like we should all just be born knowing and that's that. But, not me, I struggled. I learned a lot and I was hurt and found significant growth through the process. My path was what it was. Sure, I wish I would have figured it out a hell of a lot sooner, but I didn’t and I shouldn’t be ashamed of that. I shouldn't squirm like maybe something is wrong with me because I was with men for a lot of time before. I think of it like anyone who is looking for the right person; you have to figure out who it is. I just was a little off course and got stuck in Manville. But, how that's perceived shouldn't be of concern to me. I should just put it out there in the world, let other late bloomers know it's okay to have been oblivious. To be stuck in some hetero-normative life because the course seems predetermined, is unfortunate but it happens. It happened to me, and to that I say, better late than never. 

Another of my vulnerabilities, is the fact that I'm an emotional person. I cry. I cry when I'm hurt, happy, sad and even super angry. I have strong emotions that just happen to come out my eyeballs at inopportune moments. I don’t know why that is, I think I just feel very deeply. It can be extremely annoying on this end at times when you're so angry but tears is all that comes out. But they do. Unfortunately, I think tears and emotions in general are something we are taught at a young age to hide at a young age,

don’t cry,

be tough,

don't let them see you cry,

be strong.

Tears make you vulnerable. Vulnerability is strength. I know what I feel and how to express it. I don't feel like showing my emotions makes me weak in any way. I think keeping my feelings bottled up is far more damaging to me than a tear from my eyes could ever be.

Image may contain: ocean, sky, outdoor, nature and waterThe last of my insecurities I'll share that I keep tucked away, is my guilt. The guilt of what I've put my kids through. I don't mean just divorce and a mom who came out as gay. I feel so much guilt for the years I chose to stay. All the years I thought I was doing what's best for them by staying. My boys lived through a very unhappy marriage and I feel guilty every day because of it. I question whether I should have left sooner to spare them some of the memories they now hold. I worry seeing the fights and hearing the anger will have lasting effects that will reverberate to their future relationships. I wonder if they will blame me. The effects of my weaknesses will not be known for years to come. It scares me. I don't talk about it because it hurts me; it cuts me deep in my heart. But, that vulnerability of mine is there, it now guides my decisions and is something I have to live with and learn from.

I know everyone has things in their life that they keep in; masks they wear. Daily we try to portray the image of what we think we are supposed to be. Let that go. Be you. Be your gorgeous self. Being vulnerable is not a weakness, it's stunning. We are all struggling souls on this earth who are seeking approval and connection. We want to find happiness and contentment in this life we have, but the only way to do that is to let go and just be the beautifully flawed human that you are.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

15 Questions for your kids

Everyday in the car ride home I always ask my boys, “how was your day?”

To my frustration the answer is always, “good”.

That’s it. All I get.

So, being  the genius I am, I created a two step plan to get my kids talking. 

My first plan of attack began this past fall. It was risky, but, I grit my teeth and weathered the complaints; I completely cut out any electronics from the table. No TV, phone, tablet, nothing
Honestly, it’s something I should have done long ago because dinner up to that point, consisted of the boys at the table nose deep in a device. My kids were not happy with this change at all! I'm pretty sure there may have even been some tears.. But, it’s made all the difference in the world. Now, dinner is spent completely focused on one another and really engaging in conversation. Part 1 of my plan was a success.
Part 2 of plan was to really get the kids talking. I mean really talking. Beyond the tattling on one another, I wanted real conversation to get to know the little men I’m raising.  So, I did what you would do when you are getting to know someone, I asked questions. Now, I have googled and thought and asked a gazillion questions since I started this, and some have led to some awesome conversation. Some nights dinner is spent just going around the table asking questions. Both are better to the alternative and I promise either way you will learn something.

To help jump start you at your own dinner table here are a few questions that have led to some awesome conversation with my little men:

Tell me about the best part of your day.

What was the hardest thing you had to do today?

What’s something you did today to show kindness?

Who did you play with today? What did you play?

What’s the biggest difference between this year and last year?

What rules are different at school than at home? Why do you think they are different?

Who do you sit with at lunch?

Tell me 5 words to describe you?

What do you love doing that makes you feel happiest?

What’s the most wonderful thing that’s happened to you?

What was the worst? What did you learn from it?
   If you could travel back in time 3 years earlier and visit yourself, what advice would you give?
What are you most grateful for?

Who is your best friend, why?

How would you change the world if you could?

Obviously, you can’t ask the same questions every time. A lot of times we don’t even make it through the list I have, because dinner is over but there have been some nights we stay at the table way past being done; those nights are the best. So, nab these questions or come up with your own but give it a try. Try to keep the questions positive and thought provoking and have fun with it. It’s so much fun to listen to their answers and get a glimpse at the world through their eyes.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Happy Soul

Image result for happiness quotes

I'm a glass half full kind of girl, always have been.

No matter the situation or the struggle that's happening in my life, I always dig as deep as I can to see the best in every thing and every one. There are some, more so than others, who make easy to do. There are situations, no matter how hard I try I cannot see the best and emotions take over. I'm flawed. But, because of the innate desire in me to see the world as I want it to be and not how it is, I am genuinely a happy person.

To see the positive things in your life and ignore the negative is, I really truly believe, the key to happiness. No matter what your life is like, you will always find someone who is better or worse off than you. The richest person in the world could still find something negative in his life if he wanted to. It's there, but it's all about perspective.

Individual happiness is so attainable. Your first thoughts everyday set the tone. The way you react to stress, controls your perspective. The way you view your struggles, controls your perception of your victories. Actively seeing the positive is hard. It takes practice and work, but I promise, what you put out into the universe will come back to you. So, smile. Refuse to see the bad, block out the negativity, love like you will never be hurt and take the time to do something that makes your soul happy.