What I see in the mirror isn’t “right”

Yesterday, I looked in the mirror and I thought, “It doesn’t match what I see on the inside.” For basically my whole life I’ve thought I was ugly. But yesterday I realized ‘ugly’ wasn’t the right word. I don’t know the word for it. It’s just what I SEE isn’t “right.” Maybe the problem is in my physical-ness. I could straighten those teeth (again), finally cure that rosacea, get the right haircut, do my eyebrows, etc, etc.

Or maybe (likely) the problem is in HOW I interpret the data coming in at me. That’s the work I’ve been doing for a while (3 years? 1 year? 15 years?) I no longer think I am ugly— we’ve come a long way from that, but I’m still not “satisfied” so to speak.

Maybe this journey will never be done, but I do know that I am on a mission to love myself fiercely in every way.

One thing I notice is my pretty recent craving for bigger earrings. {Do you like these new ones from Estes Park?} Sometimes I want bright red lipstick. Sometimes I think about dying streaks of red or purple in that virgin hair. I’m 40, and it’s not a mid-life crisis, but a mid-life awakening. All things that I *think* might close the gap between how I look and how I feel. Because every day that passes I feel more like a strong, powerful, confident, smart, leader and coach. Every day that passes I gain a stronger desire to be loud— in one way or another.

What do you think? Does my look match my vibe? How about for you?

If you are ready to match what you see on the outside to what you feel on the inside, download my free Starter Guide to a Shame-proof Life here.

I give thanks for the hard stuff

I am practicing being grateful for the stuff that’s hard. The stuff we don’t normally give thanks for.

I give thanks that my mom died when I was 20. It shaped who I am today.

I give thanks for not having close relationships with my family of origin. It makes me even more grateful for the ones that are in my life daily. And it has forced me to create family by choice.

I give thanks for not being popular in school and having to face my own shame and disappointment consistently. That helped me figure out who I wanted to be.

I give thanks for not going to church when I was an older teen and young adult. It helped me see I really wanted to be there, and to return for the best reasons.

I give thanks for feeling depressed and lonely during the year we lived in Germany. It led me to life coaching and THAT is the best ever.

If you are ready to learn how to give thanks for the hard stuff, download my free Starter Guide to a Shame-proof Life.

Our hearts determine what we will become

Our hearts–the sum total of our desires, affections, intentions, motives, and attitudes– define who we are and determine what we will become.

David A. Bednar

You can totally reverse-engineer this one: who do you want to be? That will tell you what your desires, affections, intentions, motives and attitudes should be.

Tell us- what is one of these specifically you would like to develop in order to become the person you want to be?

Me? I want to develop my desire to be heard and seen for the benefit of others. I tend to believe that I don’t have much to add that is helpful. And I hide and stay small by default.

I have some stories to share about that, but for now, just ponder what you could decipher in yourself. And then come comment to make it a real intention.

If you need help figuring out who you want to be, I would love to help you. Download my free Starter Guide for a Shame-proof Life here.

The Knowing Within

It’s nothing short of a miracle that I turned out to be a fairly functional person.

My parents were teenagers when I was born. And alcoholics, drug addicts and high school drop-outs. Although they were both brilliant in their own right.

There was very little money. I remember my parents getting into a fight because I wanted a tennis skirt. (But of course always money for beer and weed (and sometimes speed or cocaine.))

We lived in the middle-of-nowhere-town where opportunities were limited.

I was sexually molested by an extended family member.

I was bullied and teased by both classmates and even a teacher.

And yet. Here I am. Living the “American Dream.”

So many people in similar situations never make it out. I often ask myself how I did it.

I doubted and shamed myself, lived in constant fear and insecurity, but SOMEHOW when it came to the big important things, I was able to listen to the knowing voice inside of me.

Instead of giving into the sex-and-drugs culture I was raised in, I always knew that wasn’t the life for me. My buffer wasn’t alcohol, pot, attention from boys (well maybe a little!), crime or self-harm, but over-achievement. It served me well for a long time. I was driven toward college, even though my parents supported me in anything. I took the “hard” route.

When my mom died before I graduated from college, I didn’t give in to the blaming and family drama and depression. The knowing voice kept me strong and putting one foot in front of the other.

When my husband and I had to figure out what a good marriage looked like without any models, we both turned to the knowing voices within.

When I had the seemingly perfect Christian suburban life, yet I was desperately unhappy still, I didn’t allow myself to give up. The knowing voice within told me it was possible to be happy and fulfilled. And I kept searching until I found the answer.

Listen. If it’s possible for me, it’s possible for you. The odds were stacked against me, so I know no matter how steep this mountain looks, you can climb it!

If you want to live the American Dream, let me help you. Sign up for a free consultation call here.

My dad lost his job and I thought it was my fault for 30 years.

When I was 5 years old, my dad lost his job.

I was awake, watching Looney Tunes, when I heard his alarm going off.

It continued for several minutes, so I carefully walked into my parents’ room where they were both passed out in their bed.

I remember standing there next to my Dad’s side of the bed, looking at him, looking at the alarm clock and not knowing what to do.

I remember thinking “Should I wake him up? His alarm is going off. But he’s an adult, so maybe he wants to sleep through his alarm? But then why would he set an alarm?”

It was an internal battle of not knowing what to do.

Then suddenly, my Dad’s eyes flew open and he looked at me, then looked at his alarm. He jumped out of bed and got dressed and out the door faster than anyone else I know.

I remember him asking me “Why didn’t you wake me up?”

I didn’t have an answer. I may have been perceptive, but I wasn’t yet able to put my thoughts and feelings to words.

He lost his job for being late one time.

Now I know he didn’t mean to blame me.
Now I know that it’s not a 5 year old’s job to wake her Dad up.
Now I know that my parent’s financial struggles had nothing to do with me.
Now I know I couldn’t have prevented any of my mother’s depression or my parent’s relationship problems.
Now I know none of it was my fault.

But for 30 years I thought it was my fault. For 30 years I thought I could have done something differently that would have changed the entire trajectory of my parent’s life and my life. For 30 years I was carrying guilt and shame that I didn’t need to carry.

Because nobody told me.

If you are carrying any guilt or shame from your past, I am here to tell you: it’s not your fault. Your choices wouldn’t have changed anything. It was all supposed to happen exactly that way.

If you have a life better than you expected, more than you dreamed of, you even have the Gospel of Jesus Christ, yet you still feel miserable, it might be because of guilt or shame you are unnecessarily carrying.

It’s time to put it down.

You’ll be better for it, I promise.

I’m launching a group coaching program January 27th. If you want to do the work of letting go of the shame, I invite you to schedule a free shame assessment here.

My real reason.

You see that woman second from the left?

Everything I do is for her. She is my reason.

You thought I was going to say that these people are my why.

They are too, but I’ve realized that it has to be for me first.

Selfish? Maybe.

But salvation is an individual matter. Even if I wanted, I can’t do the work to get them into heaven. They have to do that on their own. And I have to do mine on my own.

Anything I do, I do it to grow her, to help her become the next best version of herself, to do the work the Lord intends for her.

And that’s what I want for you, too.

When you grow yourself, you grow everyone around you. So selfish? Maybe not.