The Best in Friends

For the past 2+ years, I have hosted a couple of online women’s groups. Friendship circles, actually. And, in those spaces, grace showed up and taught me how to navigate the somewhat tricky terrain of connection.

I’ll admit, I struggle with the whole idea of friendship in general. You know, that whole letting “my guard down, opening my heart, and truly letting people in” thing. It’s defInitely been hard for me.

You see, a million moons ago, around the high school time frame, I had a “best” friend. And, I mean “attached at the hip, did every-single-thing as a team, if one was faint in breath, the other one would pick up the breathing slack, type of friend. We celebrated together, cried together, lifted others up together, supported each other together, dreamed big together. We had tremendous life goals and were going to accomplish amazing things! Game plan? Check. Grand ideas? Check. Gonna rock the world? Double check.

It was all sooooo great, until it wasn’t and we didn’t. The friendship ended painfully and abruptly and with that, I think half of my heart fell out.

Eeks!! Wouldn’t it be easy to just sum it up to lessons of an impressionable youth? Just slap a “that happens sometimes” sticker on and move along. For me, though, the loss ran much deeper and stayed around for so many years.

Honestly, I haven’t had a “super gigantic, all inclusive, complete trust-filled, laugh “til you both wet your pants, open your heart ALL the way up, singular, best friend” since.

Scars do that, you know? Scars crust things over. Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t completely give up, I tried again. If you’ve been through it, you may understand that draw, that craving, that quest almost to try to fill in that gaping hole. For me all of those things equaled the perfect pathway directly into settling. As in, settling for friends. Boy, has that been a bumpy trail.

The other day, I told you that I’ve been working through the book, “The Artist’s Way.” Basically, it is a tool to help unblock limited beliefs and things that can slam on the brakes to creativity. During my work, interestingly, I discovered that I have some kind of attachment to the word ‘one.’ Like, if I get one of something, I hang onto it for dear life. One pair of shoes, one towel, one purse, one pen, one way of doing things. I hang onto things until they are completely worn out, barely functioning, and actually, right now, in this moment, I’m wondering if it stems from that huge, heartbreaking friend loss all those years ago… Makes sense. Fear of something ending badly sure can sway the trajectory of things.

Call it life lessons or perhaps just some wisdom plus maturity, but my grand adventurous journey of finding and essentially replacing that one best friend has ceased. Instead, I have opened my heart space up to the notion that friendship isn’t a one size fits all venture and for me, maybe it never was.

In fact, an amazing soul sister I know recently shared something so cool with me! It was along the lines of: different people can make up whoever it is we need. So, in my thinking, one person could be the “laugh ‘til tears run-er.” Another could be the “talk openly to-er”. The next one is maybe a “sure, I’ll help you feed a family, let me go grab a meal-er.” And, another may be the “having something at your house, I’m going to show up-er.” And, another could be the “cry if you want, I understand-er.” And, a whole bunch of them all put together could be the “cheer-ers, celebrate-ers, let’s dream big-ers.”

Wow! What a cool concept!

So, wherever you are in your quest for best friendship, let’s honor that. If you have one fabulous bestie- bravo!! If you’re more like me and have an ever expanding **value pack** of friends- bravo!! Or, if you’re still on the quest to find best friends, bravo!! Keep trying!!

What a lesson! Who knew that some thing from so long ago could have such a hold? And, that maybe in my lifelong mission of trying to find the best of friends, I actually found the best IN friends.

P.S. I think today I may do something I’ve never done before!!! Go buy TWO pairs of shoes! ❤️

Thank you for reading, I hope you have an glorious day!

The Middle

Where to start writing after a six plus month period of not writing. Tricky. The beginning sounds sort of reasonable maybe, but some ‘begin to now’ timeline feels a bit more linear today than I’d like. My last post was a self invented challenge of sorts to not post any photographs and simply write, words. To essentially get back to the roots of why I started this blog in the first place.

From May to now, I have a whopping zero posts done. None. I suppose I could chalk it up to all the normal stuff that comes into play: busy with other things, life, this and that, the days tic by and before I knew it, half a year had passed. Those certainly are a huge chunk of it. But, also intertwined in the mix was a combo of blocks. Maybe you know them? Writer’s Block, Artist Block, Creativity Block. Seems like they can sneak in when we are preoccupied with various things and they can make themselves right at home. Soon, staring at a blank screen or blank notebook can lose its appeal and become an avenue of “I should write/ draw/ create, but I can’t. Nothing is coming out.”

Which, really, is not the coolest thing ever. It’s like sitting on the edge of some grand-to-me idea but not being able to pinpoint what exactly it is. Last spring that is where I was. I had a feeling I was meant to be doing some ‘thing’, but couldn’t figure it out what it was.

Until I did. An amazing tool showed up. Enter the book called, “The Artist’s Way.” I love that, don’t you? How tools show up? Especially those times when they really, truly resonate. As I did the tasks, the blocks started becoming clear. Where they came from, how they got there, why they stuck. Things I had totally forgotten about such as: comments made to me in my youth, getting yelled at by the art teacher in sixth grade in front of everyone, competitiveness carried over from many years, and more. As I continued to do the work, more things unraveled.

What a gift it is to let all that stuff go, even now. To open up and let my authentic in like I have never been able to do before. It’s been a somewhat hard, but beautiful adventure. I saw old patterns and even figured out why I’ve never had the confidence to stand up for myself or on my own. Enlightening, to say the least. Anyway, tonight I had a draw to the blog, to write some post about whatever came to mind. This is it, ha ha. It feels really nice to sit down and write something again. So instead of starting at point A and going to Z, I believe I’ll keep writing from right where I am, in the middle.

This Wonderful House

Have you ever moved? Ugh. It’s sooooooo much work.

For days, I’ve been in this big frantic panic to get my house completely perfect in case someone wants to look at it to buy it.

The selling market in our area is super good right now and I want my beautiful house to look really nice for someone, so I’ve practically been knocking myself out to get all of our “life” out of it.

Seems like there’s a lot of pressure to fix a house up just so, to sell it. The internet is full of advice on everything from curb appeal to how to arrange the cupboards in order to sell a house.

I’ve completely fallen for it, too. Yesterday, I packed up every nook and cranny of my pick up and hauled our stuff to a storage unit in town. It’s not the first load that’s gone there either!

Last night on Facebook, I posted the picture below of my cleaned up kitchen cupboard. I was so proud of myself for organizing it so it’d look beautiful for someone else.

That’s pretty ironic and makes me chuckle now, because, come on! My cabinets never look this good. Who has time for this kind of fancy? Ha ha.

This morning, a friend commented about how in the old days there wasn’t such a fuss to get a house ready to sell. She mentioned that people just came over, and if they liked it, they bought it. They sold four houses that way.

Now there’s a concept. Live your life, in your house, with your things, and invite buyers in. For real? Even with dust on the piano and crumbs on the counter?

This reminder came at the perfect moment. When Little Bit was a baby, someone with grown kids gave me some excellent advice. She said:

‘I wish I would have played with my boys more when they were little and vacuumed less. I was always so worried about having a clean house. They grew up so fast.”

I’ve kept that with me and I try to live by it. I’m usually not a stickler for housework, it can wait. Little boys are only little for so long. Dust isn’t going anywhere!

So, my friend’s comment today really got my thinking about what kind of message I’m sending not only to my kiddo, but to myself, if I feel like I have to hide my life away in some storage unit so that strangers can see my home?

Then, something shifted and it suddenly dawned on me that I don’t have to do that. I can choose to just live here until we don’t. I can choose to let Little Bit play and scatter his things about until we sign on some line that we live somewhere else.

What a gift this is! I sure don’t want him having 9 great years here, but only remembering some perfect version of our house with none of our things in it before we even moved out! Eeks.

So, here’s what I’d love the ad on my house to say:

“Want to see my house? Come on in! Thinking of buying my house? Let’s take a look around. Let me share some stories. Look out the windows. Come back at night and see the stars. Look in my messy cabinets and toy filled rooms. This isn’t a perfectly manicured magazine cover, this is a perfect house. One with wood floors for bare feet. One with views of the neighbor’s old barn and silo. One with a tree in the backyard that’s been struck by lightning many times, but is still standing. This house has been filled with Christmases and birthday parties. The yard has flown kites and been filled with Easter eggs. This house has been a haven and a refuge. It’s kept us warm and dry. It’s been filled with laughter. If you feel at home here, then this is the house for you.”

That’s it!! I’m giving back the “have to’s” and the extreme urgency I’ve been feeling to get everything about selling this house right. It’s already “right!”

Wahoooo! Forget cleaning! Today we are playing cars, reading books, and playing in the hose.

Soon enough, someone else will be doing that here, because I know in my heart, that no matter how many perfect kitchen cupboards I have, this wonderful house will sell itself. ❤️

Divine

You are the most beautiful thing there ever was in this entire world.

Yes, you.

Let me guess, you’re looking side to side, trying to figure out who I’m talking to.

Perhaps you’re even glancing behind you, thinking there could be no possible way I could be talking to you. Trust me, I totally get that.

There have been many times in my life I would have been like, “Who, me?????” “Are you sure?” “That can’t be right.” “I must look like whoever you’re talking about.”

I mean, come on! We’re talking about life here. And, we all know life can be filled with ups and downs, ins and outs, and some serious pot holes.

Beautiful and messy all at once.

A few days ago I had a huge revelation! Gigantic! I was chatting with some friends when this truth hit me and it literally changed everything. In the moments that followed, those sweet souls urged me to write about it, so here goes.

For the past nine months, I’ve been doing some serious inner work and inner healing. Digging around in the details of days gone by has been critical on my path to finding my true self.

I’ve come a loooooooong way. You see, in my early twenties, I went through some pretty rough stuff. Needless to say, I’ve spent many years trying to make sense of that time and let it go. (You can read about Letting Go here, if you like.)

Some things like yoga, self-help books. breath work, prayers, and spiritual classes have helped me work through that time period in my life. Recently, forgiveness has been a key factor. But, honestly, forgiveness wasn’t the big cure all that I thought it’d be.

You know what I mean? Forgiving somebody is a really monumental thing- it can take years to get up the nerve to forgive and it takes serious guts to even think about doing it.

So, when I looked backwards and forgave many things, I thought I was done and that chapter was closed. Um… no. Things kept coming up anyway.

Really??? Really????

Last week, while walking to my mailbox, I suddenly remembered myself at age twenty one, completely out of the blue. I hadn’t thought that particular situation in years.

I’ve been meditating a lot, so later, I decided to try a visualization I’d heard about. I imagined myself at age twenty one with a suitcase at my feet.

Ok, that imaginary suitcase was absolutely bulging! I don’t know how it was even still closed. When I opened it up, it was filled with all kinds of things such as:

  • not worthy
  • worries
  • jealousy
  • not good enough
  • too sensitive
  • don’t wear your heart on your sleeve so much
  • guilt
  • shame
  • lonely
  • you don’t do anything right
  • mean words
  • self doubt
  • no self esteem whatsoever
  • nightmares, scars, bruises, and sadness.

Dang!!! That’s a heavy suitcase! And, I’ve been carrying remnants of those things around for twenty plus years?

In the visualization, I started pulling all that crap out, one by one, until that suitcase was empty! Empty! There was not one thing in it. Then, I started filling it back up with:

  • giving
  • loving
  • really smart
  • has faith
  • a good friend
  • compassionate
  • works for God
  • big heart
  • sensitive is a gift
  • worthy
  • full of light
  • kind, sweet, and funny

Omg!! I can’t even tell you how light I felt afterwards. From a visualization! Then, the lesson came.

We pick up stuff and we carry it. Sometimes for ten minutes, sometimes for ten years. But here’s the thing, we don’t have to. We can set stuff down. We can give stuff back.

Why?

Because it was NEVER EVEN OURS.

Sit on that for a second.

What we are is: loving, giving, glittery, all sparkly, hilarious, faithful, understanding, soulful, caring, intelligent, and any other positive word that comes to mind. We are butterflies and sunlight. We are the moon and stars. We are every single thing in this world that is right.

We may have taken on those jagged words, mean comments, or judging eyes, but that’s not who WE are. It never was. Imagine this, trying going back to that time and seeing yourself as a mirror. A pane of reflective glass with a frame. Now imagine all of those things coming towards you, but bouncing off the glass, and going back to where they belong.

They never belonged to us. All that crap is someone else’s.

Freeing, don’t you think?

I want to end this with something really fun we can do together so that you will start to realize that you ARE the most beautiful thing there ever was in this entire world. Practice saying this with me:

“All that junk was never even mine. I am beautiful and I’m divine.”

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Jessica