Needing LESS and Feeling MORE

I want to talk about the topic of being “perfect” and thinking that “getting more” and “doing more” is going to make us “more”.

That’s a ridiculous word but so many of us are stuck thinking that “if only” we did this or “if only” we could do that…our lives would finally be a success.

We know it’s ridiculous and yet we still worry incessantly about minor details which have nothing to do with our true selves.

Who are you?

I have been doing some deep reflection over the past few years. I am a firm believer in self growth; just as much as I believe in exercise for my body…this is exercise for my mind, spirit, development, belief and more. This is everything I had been missing for years.

Through my learnings recently, I had an epiphany that all of the past few years were actually a blessing in disguise.

Now if you had dared to utter that sentence to me earlier, I would have bitten your head off.

A blessing???

Moving across the world, not once, but TWICE  in less than two years time. From being financially secure to struggling to pay off credit card debts and working to get ahead after the recession hit; not to mention how expensive it is to move overseas.  The stress on our family, the unknown of what was going to happen and where we were going to settle in. The emotions, the guilt, the arguments, the fact that now we are living with a small amount of our “belongings” as most of our stuff is still sitting in a storage box overseas. Why? Because it costs another small fortune to bring it back, plus the fact of getting the grunt work set up to pack it all up and move it when we aren’t physically there.

I know we will have the rest of our “stuff” back. I know we are happy to be where we are, finally free of the unknown and imbalance within ourselves of what we truly agreed upon within ourselves. Life is a struggle all it’s own. So adding this ginormous topic was a heavy burden to carry.

But it was a blessing.

I can now say that with confidence and clarity. First of all, because I see within my children, the joy and understanding they have within their hearts and souls that I could never have taught them on my own. I see my husband, put all outside issues away to focus in on his immediate circle and grow himself in many ways. I see how I’ve also grown and learned to understand areas that I was incapable of accepting before.

So, we don’t have our “stuff”? This was a topic I had been complaining about for the past year or so…until I recently heard a woman’s story that sounded oddly similar to ours. She also moved to another country with her husband and children, and in doing so, SOLD all of their belongings, except for what would fit into a suitcase to move.

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We didn’t SELL all of our stuff.

But instead of complaining about this fact, she now writes about minimalism and how it’s changed her life. Here, I’m complaining that I need my “stuff” and she is proud that she doesn’t have a lot of “stuff”. Their family has also moved back again and now keeps their stuff to a minimum.

But what about my photos, my wedding album, my china, my everything else??

This is what I had been complaining and stressing about. What was this woman saying? She said that they had sold everything except of course, what they could pack into their suitcases and she also saved her china and wedding albums. These items, they put into storage before they moved. Now that they have moved back, she has yet to open the storage and use these “saved” items. She shared that she now asks if that had been a wise choice to save these “things”.

Wow.

I was blown away because this was the complete opposite of what I was saying. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still would love to bring back my wedding items and photos and “stuff”; but the reality is it’s not what is truly important.

The important things are not “things” at all, but are my husband and children, and they are with me now and have been with me the entire time. I had been looking at it wrong because of the outside stresses and elements and unknowns.

The important lessons have been learned and we continue to grow and thrive in these blessings that occur. I now understand that stuff is just stuff. I haven’t seen the stuff in over two years and I’ve been getting along just fine without them. Seems that we tend to put a lot of undue importance in things that don’t really have much to do with our daily lives.

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Amen. I see it now and it has calmed my need to be “perfect” and have all of my “things”.

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Are You Struggling Today?

It’s amazing to me when I hear people assume that if you don’t complain or talk about your struggles; that you must no have any.

BULL!!! 

Our struggles are our stories!!! Embrace them and learn to grow from them.  That is your message to the world around you.

In keeping with today’s topic; I will share some of mine…

I am a very happily married woman of almost 20 years to my amazing hubby.  Do you think that it’s been bliss ever since the day we said, “I Do”???

FAR FROM IT!!!

…and to those of you who are, or have been married know that it would have been a complete lie for me to say otherwise.

We started out as your average “happy” young couple with dreams of a family life, successes, growing in our faith and many blessings.

While I can’t say we aren’t enjoying all of these today, it sure has not been “easy” in any respect.

Which reminds me of a joke my son told us this summer;

“Why did the washing machine stop working?…. Somebody threw the towel in…”

=D =D =D

We all have struggles and if we stick with what needs to be done consistently; we can work our ways through them and come out stronger than ever. This doesn’t mean it’s a great idea to complain to everyone around you or share all over social media about your issues…

Because there is such a thing as an “unfollow” button and that will get pressed if you make complaining a habit. Instead, act as though everything is going great and your reality will become so. You have more power over your progress and success than you know.

My point is that although life has had it’s share of ups and downs for us, we never gave up. We kept refocusing on helping each other and moving forward in the best way we could understand at the time. There is no fairy tale life. There is no perfection for anyone. I know we will continue to have our struggles but without them, we wouldn’t be as happy and as strong as we are today. My hubby is my best friend and I know he has my back just as much as I do, his.

But you have to get a little bit (sometimes, a LOT) uncomfortable before you feel proud of where you’ve come from…

Let’s focus in on the happy parts of today!

Is it Graduation Season yet???

Whoa! It’s been awhile since I last posted and I realized I left you hanging with my “panic disorder” announcement….

Did you think my issues went array??? Not so much! I’m back and I’m so glad to be here…although I really hadn’t “gone” anywhere to tell of. I just have a busy life, just like you do, and have to really plan my tasks accordingly or the day (aka; my kids and hubby) “eats” it all up before I get a chance to realize it.

Yes, I ended about my panic disorder and how that has definitely brought me to where I am today and giving me an awareness that I know I would never have had the patience to understand. We all fight our “inner demons” and battles; large or small.  We all have the same choice to either lie down and let it beat us; or stand up and fight like you’ve never fought before…

And you WILL win!

This is an example I want to instill upon my children. Yes, I tell them quite often that they need to be strong; stand up for what they know is right; think in a positive light; etc…but there is nothing better and more lasting than good ol’ experience!

Take for instance, my 18 year old daughter. She has been through a lot of moving around while attending high school.. and mind you, high school is ONLY 4 years!!! But we have been in and out of the country many many many times and let’s just say it hasn’t done well for her school credits…as a whole.

Now, don’t think for a second that I am complaining, because I am most definitely NOT! (although I’ve heard through the grapevine that many have thought my writing about our recent moves were negative…NOT!)  I am thankful for everything our family has done. I know that it has taught us so much and it continues to do so. My children have experiences that will last them their entire lives and we have all come together as a family in a new way completely.

Back to my daughter and her less than stellar high school credits. The first time we withdrew her for our overseas adventure, she was a freshman in high school and we left just prior to year end finals. Although we had returned soon enough and re-enrolled her back to her previous school; she was starting off the year behind the rest due to the fact of final scores missing.

The second time we decided to move, she missed more than a semester and although we tried to enroll her in school overseas, it proved to be far too complicated due to the last few years of high school and the credits needed to graduate at her level. (that just means she would have had to attend school overseas for an extra year or more to catch up to their standards and obtain their assignments and scores). She has re-enrolled one more time this past January and let me tell you, this girl is a trouper!!!

OMG!

Seriously, her counselor helped her tremendously (and we could never have done it without her help!!); she assured us that my daughter would indeed earn her diploma this school year but also warned us of the work load that was to come.

And she wasn’t kidding…

It seems like she went into overdrive starting this past January and hasn’t stopped since. In fact, the work load just continues to INCREASE as the time ticks closer to graduation day. But, it isn’t deterring my daughter from her goal of graduating with her class. And I could not be more proud as a mother. Talk about a lesson of life and commitment!!

She wanted to graduate with her friends and since it was such a deep desire within her, she has decided to give up (for now anyway) time with her friends on the weekends, staying up late/sleeping in late, and just acting like a “normal” teenager. She has decided, instead, to start up a workout program with me and follow the meal plan that is included. This is NOT a “diet” but a way to follow the best guidelines for her meals, food choices and portion sizes.

All in all, I have to say that my daughter has become my hero of the moment. I don’t know many people who would do what she is doing and with a great energy and drive that I know will help her continue into her early adulthood following her graduation ceremony.

This serves as a lesson for us all.  She took a difficult situation and made a solid decision to see it through to the end.  Are you able to do something this challenging without wavering and throwing in the towel; for a reward at the end of the struggle? I know I’m pushing harder these days because of her 😉

and guess which parent will be sobbing like a baby on May 28th at a local high school graduation? And I will do it proudly…and maybe without mascara!!! 😉

 

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