Living Life Purposefully

Where Purpose Meets Passion

Monthly Archives: February 2014

In This Moment, Your Best Is All That’s Needed

Today is an off day for me. I woke up and my energy was low. I realized that feeling “concussed” was probably responsible (not looking forward to the possibility of visiting someone’s ER if I don’t start feeling better). That energy has since followed me into this morning and I felt it was going to be “one of those days.”

To be honest, I was a bit really sad about this. I made this “To Do” list last night and then I woke up this morning feeling not good. I found myself crying as I got up to start my day. I was tired and to top it off, I was feeling not-so-smart. There was even a little voice in my head saying, “I told you that you weren’t going to do it. Just be mediocre because that’s all you are any way” (even though my self-talk is improving, it is still pretty cut throat).

But I decided to keep going any way. Actually, I didn’t decide. My inner will wouldn’t let me stay still.

As I got up to get ready for church, I turned on my #RadicalSelfLove playlist on Spotify (thank goodness I started it two days ago) and told myself that my best in my present moment was my best. That moment was paramount.

I needed those words.

So I decided to jot a few notes and then transfer them to a post because maybe someone else needs to see that.

Your Best in Your Present Moment IS Your Best. It’s All That’s Needed!

I felt pushed to share and so that’s what I’m doing. I’m still not having an awesome or great day but I am putting my best foot forward. And that’s all that’s required.


You Shouldn’t Complain!

That’s probably the phrase I have heard in life that I dislike the most. When people say it, even with their best intentions, it’s almost as though they brush your feelings of a particular situation to the side. The phrase that goes hand-in-hand with it is, “But it’s all in your head.”

What does it mean to complain? According to the Merriam-Webster Online, it means two things:

  1. to express grief, pain or discontent
  2. to make a formal accusation or charge

After reading this very simple definition, I decided to look up the etymology (the history) of the word and found that it meant “to lament,” and to speak of something “from the breast.”

For a moment, I was a little upset. I thought to myself, “Why are there people who say you shouldn’t complain? Do they even know it means something this simple?” The more I thought about it, the more agitated I became. After about 15 minutes, I decided to make this my morning topic. For 30 minutes, I would write about my feelings on a person’s right to complain.

To start with, know that I believe every person has the right to express their feelings of their current position in life. A person’s feelings about their reality are valid and should be respected as such. Period. 

For me, it’s simple. It’s point blank. It’s black and white. It’s your life, you live it and you can express your feelings about it. What I can do is help you try to find a solution but I’ll never knock what you bring to me. Why? Because there are many times I feel I can’t even express how I really feel about something without being told to “suck it up” or “it’s all in my mind.” Right now, I’m a jumbled ball of feelings thinking about a conversation I’ve had with a person where my concerns were dismissed. It was hurtful.

I finally get why.

To say to someone that they shouldn’t complain about something is dismissive. To say to someone that it’s all in his or her heads (or minds) is ultimately disrespectful.

I get that many people who express their dissatisfaction of hearing others complain simply want them to see it from a different angle, but have you thought that maybe they need to get that out before they can?

Have you thought that maybe the person trusted you enough with their experience of life to be imperfect and share their dissatisfaction only to be reprimanded about an emotion and observation?

Have you thought that maybe by sharing that they are unhappy they are trying to find another way to experience life? That this is their way of asking for your help?

Or are you too self-absorbed, too self-reliant, too evolved, too “loving” to acknowledge that sometimes people have bad days and that’s okay?

Are you so happy that you can’t be bothered with another expression of human existence?

Are you so mentally stable that you can’t fathom why someone would think a particular way about a trial they are facing?

I wish people understood that when a person’s feelings are dismissed as irrational, childish or unnecessary, you have served to do more harm than the good you wish to do by helping them to see a bright side. Instead of telling people they have no room to complain, we should start our conversations of loving grace with something that lets them know we understand why they would feel the way they do and we accept them in that moment.

On the Topic of Validation

Yesterday, I realized I don’t like the word validate. Usually, when I’ve come into contact with it, it’s in the form of another person asking why I need outside people to “validate” my thoughts.

What’s more trying about having a conversation on “validation” is that it’s usually a person who wants to seem really self-assured or they are pushing their level of consciousness on you. It’s almost as though you become less “evolved” or less “aware” by recognizing something that they consider validation.

One: that annoys me. Two: that’s not what I’m usually speaking about.

But what started this? I mentioned on Twitter that a lot of what we think about ourselves isn’t considered true until someone else confirms or agrees with it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I should have explained it this way:

In this existence that we live, social interactions dictate two things – how we think of others and how others think of us. It’s not validation in the sense of “I can’t ever say this about myself until someone else says it about me first.” It’s validation in the sense of “I still think this theory/thought/assessment is right but now someone else thinks so too.”

I guess this is the Scientist-in-a-Past-Life inside of me. I don’t think of validation as some ill that we should shy away from in our personal growth. I think of validation in the sense of a science experiment. Your life experience will dictate more than a few hypotheses (educated guesses about anything) and you receive validation about the extent of your educated guess from others. Here’s an example:

You think of your self as being a kind person (this is your hypothesis). You meet person A who confirms (validates) this for you by expressing they believe you are a kind person. Your self-worth isn’t hinged on their assessment – your educated guess was just validated. Then you meet person B who also says you are a kind person BUT offers you another perspective of yourself (or a way to be more kind) through your interactions. Meeting person B doesn’t mean you are not kind, it just means you have work to do and you can be more kind.

And that’s what I think of when I call to mind validation.

The way I see it, there is nothing wrong with validation. It’s a tool for self-assessment and growth. Honestly, if validation were as big of an issue as others make it, then we wouldn’t even have the entire consciousness movement – which is a constant stream of validation (if you ask me). I think we should move the conversation from “Why do you seek others’ validation?” to “What are we doing with the information that the Universe validates for us?”

If that makes sense.

Removing Labels, Accepting Imperfection and Rewriting Your Story

“My imperfections made me perfect for this assignment.”

Lisa Nichols

On today, I made the decision to rewrite my story. For the past couple of days, I’ve been experiencing a shift. Granted, I’m sure it has been going on for quite some time, but I literally feel different now. I feel…well, there is no other way to describe except by saying it’s different.

I don’t feel lighter. I don’t feel heavier. My energy just feels different. It’s almost as though it’s begun to embrace me fully and I’ve subconsciously decided to just go with it.

That’s why I decided to rewrite my story. In the past, I’ve lived my life in a way that meant I conformed to allow others to feel comfortable in their space. My epiphany today was that it is much easier to be someone’s statistic than to inform others that those stories and experiences are only things that happened to you – they are not you. Because I’ve felt different, I’ve started to really question, “Well, if I’m not those things, then what am I?”

It’s a hard question to ask when you have become used to being the child of an alcoholic. Or the girl who was homeless in high school. Or the girl who was abused by her alcoholic parent. Or the girl who is the product of a rape. Or the girl whose father was unavailable until he was ready to be around. Or the smart, funny girl who wasn’t exactly unforgettable.

For a long time, I’ve allowed my experiences and labels to define me. I would tell my story to other people and whatever they decided to attribute to me was fine. Sort of. It was comfortable and it made sense. Slowly, I’ve come to realize that even though the labels “made sense,” they didn’t fit. It’s almost like buying a pair of shoes that work in the store but pinch your toes when you wear them with the socks you really like. They fit…but they are tight. And it’s too late to take them back because you wore them.

That’s what a label felt like to me. They were okay but they were uncomfortable. They helped me to sort out and place my emotions. But it still felt like something didn’t click. And this is what I came to understand – a label is convenient. But what a label does is reduce you to something less complex. Labels reduce the glare of “imperfection” from the picture – you can acknowledge it but don’t point it out. Labels remove a piece of your humanity. Ultimately, labels define your existence from another person’s perspective.  You accept them and you’ve allowed others to write your story.

The space that I’m in now doesn’t want me to do this any longer. I can’t continue on the path that will take me to the life I want if I continue to define myself as the experiences I’ve lived through. Yes they happened to me…but they aren’t me. I have a lot of healing to do still but accepting this truth makes things a little easier. A little. My imperfections are what they are and I make the choice today to remove the labels for the sake of other’s comfort.

I don’t know if this made sense because I feel like I’m rambling but I had to get this out. Remember your imperfections. As Lisa Nichols said, “They made you perfect for this assignment.”