Of fathers and the advice they offer

Lately when I’ve been talking to people, I’ve noticed a lot of “My dad told me…” or “He instilled in me…”.  After almost losing him this year, I’ve taken what he’s taught me more to heart than ever. Since I love lists, here’s a list of things I’ve learned from my dad.

*Dress for the job you want, not the job you have

*Be grateful for the small gestures. It still means that person cares enough to try.

*Pick your battles.

*Basic self defense.

*The ins and outs of the working world, especially our industry.

*Recognizing when I’m getting frustrated and when to walk away.

*If someone breaks my heart, no matter how much he likes said person, he wouldn’t give a second thought to killing them, burying them face down in a shallow grave, and making sure that person is never heard from again. 😉

*Don’t take the world too seriously.

*Getting older is required, growing up is optional.

*You can never say “I love you” too much.

*The strength to take a deep breath, get up, and keep going.

*If you insist on throwing things during a tantrum, make sure it’s soft and you’re not aiming at anything living.

*Graveyard humor (as it were).

*There’s no shame in sobbing into someone’s shirt (read: his)

*Know your flaws and be patient with yourself. Don’t let someone else bring out the worst in you.

*Laugh

Now is the time to start planning something ridiculously over the top for his 60th birthday. I’m thinking Vegas. 😉

XOXO!

Motivational Monday: Unrealistic Goals

I’m the queen of setting unrealistic goals.

Participate in a triathlon in 3 months when I can barely run a mile? Totally! Lose 20 lbs and get back to my high school weight when my body composition has completely changed? I’m on it! Become fluent in a foreign language in 6 weeks when I don’t even know how to say hello? Why yes, thank you.

Show me your hands if you’re with me, faithful readers.

In spite of all my dislike and objections to AA, they were good for one thing. One day at a time. At first, it was a totally abstract concept to me. One day? Is that like living in the moment? What the hell am I supposed to do with that? It’s literally one day. Twenty four hours. One thousand four hundred forty minutes. Eighty six thousand four hundred seconds. Can I commit to [insert task here] for a 24 hour period? Sure, that doesn’t sound so hard. Considering I’m asleep for 7-8 of those hours, that narrows down the time frame even more.

I set a goal of not eating fried food. Not for the rest of my life, not for the rest of the year, not for the rest of the month, not for the rest of the week. I set a goal of not eating fried food for one day. I was successful. Let’s try it again! I know this is a total “duh” moment for some people, but it was something I’d never really tried in earnest. I’d think “Whatever, I can do way more than a day!”. Nope, sure can’t. I’ve seen it time and time again. I had to rein myself even more. It was tempting to set 5 or 6 daily goals.  That’s setting myself up for failure, too. I picked one goal for one day. I happened to stick to the same goal (cutting out fried food) every day, but whatever works for you. One day you may pick walking continuously for 10 minutes. The next day you might decide to not drink soda. The third day you might pick working on your spiritual practice of choice. As I said in my post week before last, don’t force yourself to do something because you think you should. If it doesn’t speak to you, don’t do it.

It may be a long term goal like improving your health, your spirituality, or your relationships. It could be something you just want to try out. I tried cutting out cussing for a day. Let me tell you, that was a show. Regardless, one (1) goal per one (1) day is the starting point. The success will become motivation in its own right.

Motivational Tidbit Takeaway: 24 hours. And go!

XOXO!

Of healing and the best way to do it

Once again, time to head back to the reason I created this blog in the first place.

I spent a very long time trying to heal from my sexual assault. I went to therapy. I spoke with other survivors. I read every blog post and inspirational quote book that I could get my hands on. It all helped, but none of it really hit me on that deep, emotional level. It was an inch here, a step there. Then, one day, the right words popped into my brain. I posted them here first. The last line of the second paragraph “I forgive myself for hanging on to something so horribly broken, I cut myself in the process” encapsulates my watershed moment. All those advice blogs and posts had pointed me in a direction that allowed me to come to that conclusion. Ultimately, I put it into a form that truly resonated with me. A part of me always knew that I had a hand in what happened. He actually ended up dumping me when all was said and done. He chose to end it and like the classic abuse victim I was, I tried to hang on anyway. I hated him by the end, but I was more afraid of being alone. Better the devil I knew than the devil I didn’t. Again, I was young. He was young. Neither of us knew what the hell we were doing.

It’s incredibly freeing to write that down. It sounds totally counter-intuitive, but it’s my truth. I accept the role I played in an incredibly toxic relationship. It wasn’t 100% his fault. These situations rarely are. When I look at the woman in the mirror, she looks back at me with the benefit of that behind her. Those experiences allowed me to enter into the best and most amazing relationship of my life. It shaped the self confidence and awareness to be the partner I want to be. It also allows me to say no or stop or walk away from a situation. I know when to let go before I hurt myself again. That’s the best part of it all.

Whatever you’re recovering from, whatever you want to heal, whatever pain you’re fighting with, trust the words in your own head. It’s not the words that perpetuate negative self image or self harm. It’s the quiet voice hiding in the back whispering your truth. I do my best to offer my experiences to help guide others. What worked for me may or may not work for you. If nothing else, perhaps I can point you in the right direction to find your own watershed moment. May you find your peace, whatever form that may come.

XOXO!