|What do you need freedom from today? Drama? Heartache? Anger? A Toxic Friendship?|
I've been talking a lot lately about my 40's. Mostly, I've touched on the effort it takes to look nice, to stay young looking, and embrace 40 gracefully.
There's another aspect of being 41, and today, as we celebrate Independence Day, it's a good time to talk about freedom - a different kind of freedom.
I've been through some tough things in my life. I've weathered storms that even I am not ready to talk about. Things happen to us in our lifetime - divorce, loss, heartache, friendships lost, misunderstandings. We navigate our way through one crisis at a time, and with every road that we successfully make it down, the rough patches seem to get a little easier to get through. My divorce seemed like it would be the toughest thing to process, but during that time, I found a strength within that I really didn't know existed. I came out stronger, smarter, and had more clarity than I had in years. Over the past decade, I've faced every joy head on, and used those wins to help me ease through the losses. I've had situations where what I really wanted to do was scream profanities from the rooftop and cut people off at the knees, but I learned something so valuable through my past mistakes that would be the sure fix every time. Love. When all else fails, choose love.
When people hurt us, whether intentional or unintentional - something small or something big - our knee-jerk reaction is to be angry. I'll show them who they're messing with! I have found a better map to use when navigating through the murky life waters and that is inked in with love love love. This is the freedom I'm talking about. Freedom to release yourself from things being personal - it's not about you. 99 times out of 100 it is NOT about you. Repeat to yourself next time someone hurts you - it's not about me. Unless you are this horrible person who creates drama everywhere you go and causes damage in your warpath (if it is because of that - you've got to stop) - it probably is not about you. Give yourself the freedom to find peace in what people do to you. Walk away. Let it go. Say to yourself that you are fine just the way you are. You are a good person, a good friend, a good daughter or sister. It doesn't matter how many square feet your home has, what kind of car you drive, how many pairs of shoes you have. No one cares - and if they do, they aren't the kind of friend you need anyway. What matters is that you show up to life. That you are you. That you give someone the benefit of the doubt and smile at them. Change the vibe you give off - I know it's so much easier to be pissed at someone, but if you put just a little more effort in, and rearrange it in your head - it's not about me - you'll find the freedom of the burden of drama in your life by using love as your shield.
But I deserve an apology.
You do. But let it go.
But she/he almost ruined me.
But the world is still spinning, and your heart is still beating.
But it wasn't my fault.
It doesn't matter anymore.
But I lost so much time over him/her.
That's why you shouldn't lose any more time over it.
We all have relationships that are waiting to be healed. In our families, with friends, maybe neighbors - we have conversations waiting in the wings, longing to be freed from lingering over us and weighing us down. Often times challenging things happen in our lives and we are forced to take a long hard look at what is happening and what we need to do to find our peace. Do you have a relationship that you need to heal? Swallowing your pride for your own peace of mind isn't as hard as you might think. Sometimes you have to do what is best for your own healing and if that means extending an olive branch to someone who hurt you, then do it. Make today your Independence Day. Heal. Love. Laugh. Live. What will really make all the difference in your life is by doing first what you expected someone else should do.
This message is inspired by real life events. I was deeply hurt by someone I care about - but I know it is not about me at the end of the day. I did what I had to do for my own healing, and my own peace - and I did it with love. I am not going to say it was easy - but it wasn't nearly as hard as you'd think. I don't need all of the drama, hoopla and fireworks in my life. Life is too precious. If someone wants you in it, then embrace them and be there for them and it will be enough for them for you to just be you. If someone doesn't want you in your life - it's okay. Be at peace, give yourself the gift of the freedom to move on.
Cheers & Happy Independence Day - today - and any day you need it.