Life Choices

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We begin making choices about our lives at a very early age. To cry or not to cry. To play or not to play. What to play. Whether we are going to share with our friends or siblings. We don’t really recognize these as choices but nonetheless they are. We are being taught right from wrong with these early decisions, a lesson that we will carry with us for the remainder of our lives. Hopefully, regardless of how amazing or how crappy your parents were, you were given the best information to make you a decent member of society.

As we continue through this journey, we go to school. We have to decide do we make fun of others, stand up for others, or are we “the others” hiding in the corner praying we don’t get a swirlie in the toilet after class?

In high school, we must decide whether to go on to college, which college we want to attend, if we want to party like a rock star the night before exams, what to wear, what our dating styles will be, if we want to go to prom, and millions of others. Are we even smart enough to make choices like this in high school? Some of these stick with us for the rest of our lives! And I’m not sure about you but when it came to knowing about real life issues, in high school, I was as dumb as a brick. Well, not dumb, but definitely naïve.

When I look back at my life, I see so many opportunities that would have set my life on a completely different course if I had made a different choice. I also see that dang brick. While I have to own my choices, take responsibility for my decisions, there were also lessons I didn’t learn, or learned via observation that influenced these choices.

So when my life is not going in the direction I had hoped, what are my methods of moving past the hurdle? Do I drink enough alcohol to drown my sorrows? I’m not gonna lie. I have in the past. Many times. Do I turn to street drugs? Nope. Do I seek advice from friends I cherish? Usually. Do I eat my way through a pint of Graeters black cherry chip ice cream? If I’m lucky! I also spend time in prayer & turn to my bible to see what God has to say about my life.

I’m not saying I always know how to get past the muck. Sometimes, I get stuck in the muck. Sometimes I need a few days to cry, whine or feel sorry for myself. When I get like this, I prefer to be left alone. I may send my close friends some whiney poor baby texts so they can try to cheer me through to victory. I don’t like to post my mess all over my social media. I don’t like to whine about every little detail. I try to only be a cry baby about whatever the particular issue is that has me feeling down.

This is a technique that I have had to master through years and years and years of trial and error. I can’t allow everyone to see everything. Only what I’m willing to show. Fortunately for me, my amazing therapist reads this blog. I would bet my next session that she is shaking her head & throwing up her hands. (So sorry Josie! Lol!) While I appear to be completely together on the outside, my head gets a little messy at times.

But physically, I keep from doing overtly intentionally harmful things to myself. Sure, I do the ice cream thing. But I don’t usually eat the whole thing at once. Just a third. Typically. On a bad binge. Half. And what I do is on me.

So why do I feel that I have to fix what other people do when they choose bad things, like smoking, drinking, drugs, meaningless sex, eating disorders or abusive relationships? Would I hold them accountable for my mistakes? For my 10 pounds due to black cherry chip? Nope. Why am I holding myself accountable for the decisions of others? Because my heart hurts for them. I hate to see people I love making decisions that are completely self destructive. I get angry with them for not being more mindful of their choices. Don’t they care that smoking causes cancer? Don’t they care that abusive relationships create more pain? Don’t they care that my heart is breaking for them as they are drowning themselves in booze? Plus, if I happen to know what has them so hurt, I can promise you that my heart is truly hurting.  I can feel it in my heart.

I love my peeps so deeply and so fiercely that to watch them hurt causes my heart to hurt. But to watch them self destruct-UGH! I want to scream at them to pull themselves together! I do realize the insanity of this thought since I do not always have it together. However, few people know when I am at my wits end and I do not resort to seriously destructive behavior. And I take it to my confidants so they can lift me in prayer, cheer me up and pull me out of it. That’s why I love my peeps.

I want to be that peep for others. I think in many cases, I actually am. But when I am not, and I see someone start drinking, despite having a father that is an addict, I want to know what broke them & try to fix them. I can’t. I can only love them. I can pray for them. I can give them back to Jesus-figuratively, of course. I only have so much in my arsenal against brokenness.

So as much as I love someone, my love is only going to heal them so much. They have to make the decision to work on themselves for additional healing. They have to decide to seek the right choices. I cannot do that for them. For someone that has a deep love for others, this is the epitome of hell. For the people with the broken heart, they probably think at times I’m a complete arse. I do not hide the frustration well. But I try to recover quickly and remind them of my love for them.

So if you ever tell me you began smoking & I act like a complete arse, (you know who you are.) remember how much I love you & only want the absolute best for you. I see the beauty in you & don’t want to lose you earlier than I am supposed to, because my life would be a lot less awesome without you. Also, I am sorry for being a jerk.

Maybe before we start or restart something not so good for us, a bag of chips, casual sex or heroin, maybe we should take our pains to people we trust, get some professional help if needed, and look up. Take it to prayer. I don’t know what will fix the issue but I do know a case of beer & a carton of cancer sticks will not.

So please make healthier choices. I need you around. For a long time. Remember how much I love you. Have a lovely week.

Talk to you soon.

 

Sisters, Listen Up!

Dearest Lovely of Lovelies,

Would you like to know how I spend my first few minutes in bed almost each and every night? No, it’s not like that! Get your mind out of the gutter. I spend it fat shaming myself for eating too much or because I didn’t feel motivated to work out-again. I also do it throughout the day. Especially at work because I sit all day and I can feel my stomach rolling over itself or over the top of my pants or my boobs that sag like a basset hounds ears drop down & touch my belly.

Guess what? Even skinny, teeny tiny people have a roll when they fold their bodies in half to sit down. All women with natural boobs of any significance sag with age. Our upper arms get chickeny & flap in the wind like wings, our hips get wide, our butts sag, our face wrinkles, we get facial hair (ps, NOT fair. We have soooo much hair to deal with!!) and frankly, I could go on and on and on.

But this isn’t a lesson on aging.

This is a lesson on love.

I have a friend with an eating disorder. I have friends that get fat shamed. I have friends that get SKINNY shamed (Are you kidding me?? We all want to be skinny! Why are we being such jerks?!?)  I have friends that obsess with working out. I have friends that obsess over the foods they eat. I do not know of one woman on this planet that gets up and loves herself for the beauty that she is in that moment. Instead, we spend our mornings attempting to “perfect” the ugliness before we walk out the door and begin to judge one another on how she looks.

Yesterday I had a conversation with a coworker about her workout routine. She has a baby and a school age son, so rather than sacrifice her time with them, she gets up at 4am & then runs at lunch. She said she views it as something she needs to do for herself. She also told me about an overnight her son had. They had doughnuts for breakfast. Her son ate 3 in one sitting. The friend had one and made fun of her son. Then he came back for another. And another. And another. Totaling 4. She said to him “You made fun of Jason for eating 3 doughnuts. You made him feel bad about himself. But you just ate 4. So I want you to think about that before you say something to someone about what they eat or how much they weigh.” She said the boy’s mom is like that at home.

I have had more conversations about women’s self images lately than I can even begin to count.

See lovelies, our self bullying is not actually only hurting ourselves. Oh, it is. Definitely. But what it is doing is in-breeding a culture of hatred. We see better hair (oh, the dang hair again!) better clothes, better boobs, better butts, better jobs, better cars, better husbands, better kids, bigger houses…everyone is better than us.

We take that self hatred, refuse to see it for what it truly is, and begin to speak negatively about ourselves & others. Our kids see our obsessions, hear our words. ALL OF THEM!! And then we have passed along the curse. So when you comment on the neighbors new car, or her boob job, what are you telling your kids? When you say at the dinner table that you can’t eat dessert because you need to lose 3 pounds-every day, what have they heard?

The culture we have created of needing more stuff, needing to look a certain way, it being the norm that kids are having to be criminally prosecuted for bullying has gotten this way because of us. As much as men may rule the world, women steer it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that being overweight is healthy and we shouldn’t exercise or eat right. What I’m saying is, eat the piece of cake. You will still be beautiful with chocolate in your teeth and icing on your face. I’m saying the zit on my chin, I’m going to own it. Proudly. Those saggy boobs (Do your boobs hang low, do they wobble to and fro? Can you tie ’em in a knot? Can you tie ’em in a bow?) are two squishy trophies I get to carry through life because dang it, I have made it this far. That roll hanging over my pants today? My potato chip dinner. Know why? Because I’m an adult and some nights that’s all the time I have. Some nights I just want them.

We need to work on loving ourselves where we are in this very instant. So put down the phone. Stop looking at Facebook for subliminal self “improvement” hints, or more appropriately-accusations. Once we are able to stop speaking hate over ourselves and begin to fill our hearts & minds with life & love, our entire outlook will change. We will feel beautiful-because WE ARE! Which will in turn change our household. Our families will be happier, healthier and more content. Bullying in the schools will decrease. Suicides will decline. And the world will become a less ugly world.

We need to be a source of strength and encouragement for one another. Tearing each other down & judging one another is destroying us. We are strong. We are fierce. We are mighty. And sometimes we are mean. No One wins when we throw our self hatred at another woman.

So lovelies, listen up closely.

LOVE THE UGLIES!! LOVE who you are. LOVE the woman next to you. You are BOTH absolutely positively BEAUTIFUL!!! Use your words to speak LOVE only.

And if you can’t-keep that beautiful mouth shut. It’s much prettier closed than it is spewing negativity.

I love you all! Have a LOVEly day!