What to do: Life Crisis

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Ya know those moments, in life, where you feel like you are reconsidering everything? Those moments where you are reevaluating who you are, what you’re doing, how you’re going to accomplish life, why are you doing what you’re currently doing? Welcome to my last two weeks…

I have been back in Cincinnati, Ohio (where I am from & where my immediate family is) for the last two weeks. Each time I come home, I feel as though I can finally exhale. I feel like I can take a pause on my “real” life in order to find peace again or explore my options. This trip home, though, there has been no rock unturned.

I have been evaluating my job, my education, my relationships, my future, my dreams, my 5 year plan, my personal identity, and more.

Do I want to keep working at my job? Do I want to change my major? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? Who do I want to be? Do I like where I live? Are my friends adding positive things to my life? Am I sure? Am I sure? Am I sure? Am I sure?

There has been a lot of self-doubt. There has been a lot of questions. There has been a lot of emotions. It has, honestly, been a really taxing experience.

I have discovered that I am at a fork in the road.

I have every possible choice within my grasp and I simply get to choose what I want.

As someone who prides herself on her core value’s about self-love, self-connectedness, and listening to one’s heart…you would think that the answer of what do I want would come easy to me. Wrong.

I have had to fight for the last two weeks to distinguish what my heart is saying. It was easy to hear the voices of my parents, or my bosses, or the self-critic. But it wasn’t easy to hear my quiet and insecure voice.

Have you ever been at this spot? This confused, clueless, and seemingly helpless spot? (I know that I am not alone!) Well, I am sharing all this for Y O U ! (and for me the next time I get to this place)

What to do when You’re Clueless AF?

Step One: Journal

Journal out all of your thoughts, feelings, concerns, etc. Write out (personally I recommend by hand…because it forces you to really look at your thoughts) all the mumbo-jumbo floating through your brain. GET. IT. ALL. OUT. Even the ugly stuff, or the silly stuff, or the seemingly unimportant stuff…write it all down.

 

Step Two: The Goal of Identity

Who are you? Who is it that you want to be? When you imagine your future, what kind of human are you? Write it down. This is the first puzzle piece of your answers.

Who you want to be is the goal for your character. It is the vision board of where you want to head.

 

Step Three: The Results are in

Take some personality tests. The reason I love personality tests so much is because they give words to things you’ve thought or felt that you might not have had language for. For example… I took the Strength Finders test and discovered that one of my top 5 strengths is Connectedness. This means that I believe there are links between all things in life and that everything has a reason. Knowing this about myself explains so much to me. It shows me that believing in connections isn’t an odd thing I do, but it is part of who I am and it is part of what I bring to the table. This test helped me learn a bit more about myself!

Myers Briggs: This test is incredible because it not only tells you about your personality, but it also tells you how you act in friendships, romantic relationships, work, and which careers would be good for you.

Enneagram: This test was interesting because I discovered that I am a Type 1. Type 1’s are called “The Reformers.” They are fixated on perfection, responsibility, and are constantly looking for improvement. These results are totally me, but I had a hard time hearing that. The qualities that I shared (perfectionist, high responsibility, and are constantly looking for improvement) are qualities that I have always resented in myself. I don’t like that I am constantly trying to look for improvement in myself or others. I don’t like that I am always striving for perfection. Despite the difficulty of accepting this personality type, I have taken these results are a positive thing within my life. Knowing this is the type of person I am, allows me to own it more and allows me to give grace to myself when those aspects of who I am rise up.

 

Step Four: Pros VS. Cons

I know this advice is a little overused, but it is honestly so helpful. Make a pros and cons list. Simplify the positives and negatives to each decision and organize then. Making a pros and cons list has helped me recognize what is important to me and what isn’t important. The list does not have to be long, just a few short things to help you see the decision for what it is.

I did this in trying to decide which degree I should pursue. Until I made the list, I had so many positive and negative thoughts about every possible major, but making the list allowed me to actually see the positives and negatives.

 

Step Five: Moments of Peace

My last little piece of advice would be to find your place of peace. It might be late in the night, or early in the morning. Maybe it is in the chaos of a city street or maybe it is within a coffee shop’s four walls. Whatever that place is, it is the place where your thoughts seem clear.

For me, it is the morning time. Just me & a cup of coffee.

When you get to your place of peace…it isn’t time to over think but it is a time to expect the best…to expect answers.

 

Step Six: Repeat Steps 1-5 as many times as necessary

 

As someone that is still very much within these steps… I’ll keep y’all updated on more things and keys that help me. But, I think I have gotten over the hump of the chaos. Sometimes life can be so difficult. But, it is encouraging knowing I am not alone.

Let me know your tips and tricks for making major life choices and for reevaluating your life!

Thanks for reading!

XO,

M

The Power of Me (Guest Post: Destiny Story)

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One thing I want to use this social platform for is to promote and celebrate the people around me. I am someone that searches for lessons & inspiration from those around me and I want to share those stunning people with you all!

This first guest post is by a woman that is dear to my heart. She has been in my life for almost two years and I am deeply blessed by her:

Destiny Story EFC06971-A31D-486D-A638-69E09A6FAE27.JPG

When I think about who Destiny is I think of one word: brave. She is a woman that looks at life, her challenges, her fears, her dreams and responds to them bravely. Destiny has bravely stood in the wilderness of life and come out to the other side. She has stood, alone and scared, and yet she has not turned away.

Destiny Story is a brave woman.

In this post she has written, she shares about some of her wilderness. She shares about a process that I’ve had the privilege to watch her walk through. And as a witness to this time in her life, I can safely say that she has a lot of wisdom & inspiration on the things she shares. So, let her sweet words inspire you!

XO,

M

Ps: You can check out D’s blog here: https://destinystoryblog.wordpress.com

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My whole life I’ve felt like I wasn’t enough, or honestly, that I was just too much. I’ve felt not skinny enough, not talented enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not funny enough, not good enough. I’ve felt too loud, too tall, too fat, too opinionated, too passive, too emotional, too sensitive, too different.

I’ve always felt like I was different and I’ve spent most of my life just trying to decide if what made me different was good or bad. But I think somewhere around 7th grade I subconsciously decided that it was a bad thing, a really bad thing, that would forever keep me separated from those around me. I thought I would never be able to connect with people because it felt as if people never wanted to connect to me (my parents and friends) or that I was always “too much, not enough” for the people around me to connect with. I felt creative but was never shown it was okay to be creative in ways that didn’t quite make sense and I was never shown it was okay for it not to be perfect. I buried myself in perfectionism because it seemed all the amazing people were, and the sad part was that people around me wouldn’t have known because it was all in my internal world! It revealed itself in my self talk and my constant attempts to “fix” myself that only led to me feeling suicidal.

Even after I became a Christian, it only intensified. Except this time thankfully I was healed enough to not feel suicidal, but I did feel like the weight and the pressure of always doing things perfectly would eventually break me. I had somewhere, along my journey in life, picked up this idea that the real me was too messy and would never be good enough so I needed to make up for it with perfect actions. Ha! Funny, huh? I mean this was definitely not something I would consciously know I was doing! It would look like me trying really hard, being praised for my actions, and then making a mistake and beating myself up for it for days and thinking “what else could I have done? I’m doing everything I can and it’s still not enough!” and then eventually trying to make up for it by pretending like it didn’t happen and continue doing more things that would look perfect.

But the problem with this is that I had equated being “enough” to things that were unattainable, like never making a mistake or never hurting anyone’s feelings. Anybody ever been through something like this? Ever try to perform for love? I’m guessing that I’m probably not alone in this. I’ve noticed as a human race, generally we have more grace for others than we do ourselves.

But sometime last year I decided this thing that made me different may not have actually ever been a bad thing! What if my imperfections made me beautiful? What if my emotions made things fun and are natural? What if my sensitivity wasn’t a weakness, but a strength? What if my chubby body could be enough for me and eventually someone else? What if making mistakes only made me human? Could I still be loved if someone saw them? If I were fully me, mistakes and all, would I be enough?

These were the questions running through my head and I made the decision that I was going to try being seen. I decided to show people that I was different. I decided to try allowing myself to be loved through my mistakes. Because when I try to be “perfect” I still don’t feel like I’m enough, and I never get to be truly authentic. And that life wasn’t working for me.

I went to Oregon last year on a missions trip and after days of barely sleeping and not being able to control a single thing, I could feel my emotions starting to rise. And as they got closer to the surface I could feel them starting to bubble over into my actions. I was short with people and I was crying uncontrollably. I felt embarrassed but free. I knew that these people doing life with me would see a side of me I was afraid of showing to people that hadn’t been in my life for an extended period of time. But I couldn’t care anymore. I decided to take a risk and be vulnerable and see how they responded.

And to my freaking surprise they still loved me!

And not only that, they complemented me! They asked me what I needed, they encouraged me, and they loved me through it. And not just once, but repetitively. I was UNDONE. This was not a way of life that I was familiar with! But I knew I could never turn back.

I’m coming up on a year since that trip and as I reflect I see that my journey of accepting myself and being vulnerably me, has not been a fun or pretty journey. I have hid, I have made some of the most painful mistakes I’ve ever made this past year and I’ve been the most myself I’ve ever been in my whole life. I’ve never been as open with those close to me quiet like I have in this past year. I’m loving who Destiny is more than I thought possible and I know there’s only so much more!

You see, perfectionism tells you that until you do everything right, you aren’t enough. But a life of freedom looks like vulnerability. It looks like showing the world who you truly are and not wavering in the truth that,

you are enough. No questions asked.

A life of freedom consists of making mistakes and allowing the people who are close to you into them because you do not deserve to be alone during it. A life of freedom looks like you being confident in what you enjoy doing and wearing. A life of freedom looks like creating without comparison.

Being vulnerably you will set you free from perfectionism or performance. There’s nothing quiet like when you allow yourself to be who you’ve always been in the inside. And I promise dear friends, there are people who are dying to love you as you. All your unique characteristics, all the things you’ve thought were too much, all of the parts of you that you thought weren’t enough, they are worthy of love. Because we all have them, let’s be honest. None of us have it all together. But none of us have to pretend like we do anymore. I’m starting to see that the people I admire the most are people who are unashamedly them. Unwavering to the opinions of others, they stand tall in who they are and they let themselves show. This is strength. This is vulnerability. Vulnerability is strength. And this is who I want to be. I am deciding that I will no longer look at people on social media, the models on tv or Pinterest, or even the people around me and think “I wish I were like them”, but instead I will say

“I’m thankful that I am ME. Because no one can be ME.”

So dear ones, will you join me in living a life of being vulnerably us? Will you join me in leaving perfectionism and comparison behind?? Let us celebrate who we are and what we create and what we do well, because we were always designed to do it the way only we can do it.

Xoxo

Destiny Story

#MoreSelfLove

#BodyLove

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Happy February! The month of love! This month I have challenged myself to be a bit more active in my relationship with myself. I want to be more intentional about the love I am extending to me.

To start this month off, I wanted to write about the power of loving your body (yiiikes).

#BodyLove

As someone that has struggled with body image issues my entire life, I know that some of you will not want to read this post. I wouldn’t have, but I promise it is worth it! No Shame Allowed.

Why should we pursue a positive attitude towards our bodies?

Our relationship with our bodies affect everything. It affects our quality of life, our confidence, our perception of the world, our adventures, and our relationships. It affects our mental, emotional, and physical health.

Our bodies are a representation of ourselves. Our bodies are the first thing we share with the world. Our bodies is what takes up space in this world (a space that each of us deeply deserve).

The beauty standards of our society (at least in America) are impossible. Did you hear that? I M P O S S I B L E. Jes Baker, in her book Things No One Tells Fat Girls, states that for 95% of women it is completely impossible for their bodies to achieve the current beauty standard of America. In order for a man to achieve the current beauty standard of America, that man would have to dedicate his entire day, everyday, to achieve that body. To me, these statements make the beauty standard null and void (but does not diminish the pressure to achieve those standards).

Lastly, if we added more acceptance, more love, and more positive attitudes towards our bodies, we would change the world. The world is filled with comparison, anger, anxiety, and filled with people that believe they are worthless. If we all began to accept our bodies, allowing ourselves to take up space in this world, we would fill the world with more life. The world would become a fuller and more beautiful place.

How do we pursue a positive attitude towards our bodies?

I think it begins by making the powerful choice to fight. You must decide to face the monster of body-hate and instead, actively pursue more acceptance and more love towards your body.

After you’ve made the brave choice to fight, you have to be gracious to yourself. For me, I have about eighteen years of bad habits towards my body…I need to recognize that I won’t solve those in a day or two. It I going to take time. It takes time to change those patterns. Everyone has good days and everyone has bad days. I have bad body days and so does the next body positive advocate. So, be kind to yourself and recognize that body-love is not just a switch of a flip…but taking a step forward each day.

I think the act of body-love looks like acceptance. It looks like you stop fighting against your body and instead fight for your body. Instead of hiding who you are, boldly share who you are with the world and yourself. Acceptance is a journey, but each day you are presented with small opportunities to accept your body.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, flood your life with truth. This looks like being educated on topics about bodies, and specifically your body. This looks like surrounding yourself with people that are fighting this battle for body acceptance, too. This looks like drowning your thoughts and talk with truths. This looks like declarations (declaring what you want, higher truths, and positive things). I read this book once, Love Yourself: Like your Life Depends on it by Kamal Ravikant, about a man that hated his life and wanted to die. After spending one month consistently telling himself “I love myself” his perspective about himself and life completely changed. ONE MONTH. Declarations change things!

Body love isn’t an easy thing to talk about, face, or pursue. But, as a woman that has fought hard for the love she has towards her body…it is  w o r t h  it! If you are just beginning to give your body the attention and love it deserves, don’t worry! You aren’t alone and welcome to the #BodyLove club!

I want to leave you with this quote from Jes Baker (from her book Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls)…

“We build our lives around the belief that we are undeserving of attention, love, and amazing opportunities, when in reality this couldn’t be further from the truth.”

To all you lovely men and women, YOU deserve some body love, too! I would LOVE to continue this conversation down below. Leave your comments, questions below. Also, tell me how you are loving your body boldly today!

XO,

M