Lessons from this Semester

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This semester was a big one, a few months that changed me forever.

I have learned that maybe I am not as put together and I once thought I was. And maybe that is more okay than being perfectly pieced together.

I have learned that sometimes the closest friend you could ever have is your own skin and bones.

I have learned that the path through change isn’t straight. It isn’t smooth. It cannot be given a time limit. It cannot be controlled.

I have learned that each person is more similar than meets the eye and our differences are things to be celebrated, not reasons for separation.

I have learned that you must be a sponge around those that you love. You have to soak up every moment, passed the point of being full, soak it in until you are dripping in love.

I have learned that it benefits you, in the long run, to trust others. Trusting others brings more magic into your life.

I have learned that conflict isn’t something to turn away from, but to press in to. Conflict isn’t something to try to avoid. It creates bonds that can hold the weight of relationship even in the midst of disagreement.

I have learned, again, that The Lord truly has your best in mind.

I have learned, again, that The Lord never leaves you, even in the darkest moments of abandonment.

I have learned, again, that The Lord will come through. Despite my confident doubt in The Lord’s plan, he came through.

I have learned that life is a process and your goal shouldn’t be destination, but just learning to love the ride.

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

Lessons Love has Taught Me

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Happy Valentines Day!

Well, due to the fact today is the day of love…I feel a beautiful obligation to post something along the lines of romance. Now, as a young woman in her first serious relationship, I am far from a relationship expert. BUT, I have learned waaaayyyy more than ever expected within these last 18 or so months. I have decided to share some of these lessons that I have learned.

Now, I am aware that some of you, beautiful readers, might not be in a romantic relationship, or even might be in a disaster of a romantic relationship, or that maybe you do not want to ever be in a romantic relationship. These lessons I have learned are true for any relationship (romantic or not). So, regardless of your Facebook relationship status, I do encourage you to read on. (Ps: if you are in a disaster of romance…honor and respect what you truly deserve. Which is all the good things the world has to offer)

#1. Forgiveness is key.

Something that I learned very early on within my relationship is that forgiveness is key to a successful relationship. Forgiveness allows a healing of shortcomings, wrong doings, and disappointment. Forgiveness allows a relationship to restore the connection back to before the hurt took place. Forgiveness allows you to continue to develop a pure (untainted) relationship. Forgiveness has allowed my relationship to blossom without any sort of hindrance in my heart, or his.

#2. Your partner is human, too.

When I dreamt about my future relationship, I pictured me and all the things of me but I never pictured him and all of his things. I never pictured things like his strengths, quirks, or insecurities. I did not imagine that my partner would have an overwhelming amount of grace or that he would have an obsession with movies. I did not imagine the required time to learn someone. I did not imagine the required space to allow someone the space to fully express themselves, the good and bad. I appreciate who he is, all of him, and I have learned to allow him the space needed. This lesson has translated into non-romantic relationships, too. The ability to allow someone to be is incredible.

#3. Communication is the most beautiful gift.

Being a communications major, I truly see the glory of communication. I recognize that communication is pivotal to creating the life you want to live. But, I have learned a new depth to my love for communication by being in a romantic relationship, The experience getting to communicate, share, and open up with all of my deep insecurities, needs, and desires is an extremely humbling experience. It is absolutely terrifying to share your inner thoughts and feelings, but communication allows us to create a mutual intimacy. Communication is liberating. It allows me to know my partner more and allows him to know me. It is one of the most beautiful aspects of a relationship. So, be brave in your communicating. Be brave in your expression, even if your voice shakes.

#4. Sacrifice is an honor.

One thing that I didn’t fully recognize until this relationship was the power of sacrifice. I knew that you had to sacrifice for things you love and that anything you say “yes” to requires you to say “no” to other things. but, I did not really realize that I could absolutely find joy within sacrifice. I truly find joy to sacrifice for my partner. I find joy in getting to say “yes” to him everyday and, in turn, say “no” to other things.

#5. Do not overthink it.

One thing that I completely failed at in the beginning of our relationship was that I got caught up with my worries way more than I reveled in the wonder. There is something so special about a new crush and a fresh relationship, but I was so paranoid by what others might be thinking or if I was making a mistake. When I think about my relationship, I get sad by the fact that I let worry steal some of my wonder. I let worry rob me of the gift set before me. Now, with a deep desire to have learned my lesson, I refuse to allow doubt to steal my wonder, excitement, or joy anymore. (I think I will write more on this one day, but if you are in a similar spot I would LOVE to talk more about this. Reach out!)

#6. Find your “perfect” relationship.

Going in to my first serious relationship, I kind of expected things to look like they do in the movies and the tv shows. I expected to constantly gaze into each others eyes, never worry about the amount of coffee drank, and always be in the best outfits (that never had any fashion disasters). What I quickly realized was that those relationships depicted in television are not true relationships. My partner and I had to find the things that work well for him and I. It isn’t about a “supposed to” but finding what works for me and my partner. So, don’t be consumed with supposed to but instead figure out what makes your heart come alive and share that with your partner. Find out what makes their heart alive and celebrate that with them. I now spend my time watching movies, going to music stores, and I drag him with me to explore the aisles of grocery stores.

#7. Love is always worth it.

No matter what you are facing, I promise to you…love is worth the risk. Love is a risky experience. It requires humility, vulnerability, and facing fears head on. Regardless of the difficult things my partner and I have had to face together…experiencing the love we have built and chosen is worth every fear and insecurity and difficulty.

 

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Recent photo with the boyfriend. ❤

 

 

Thanks so much for reading. I hope that, today, you would be surrounded by love (regardless of what that looks like for you). Let me know your V-day plans in the comments below!! ❤

XO,

M