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 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.

Focus on what you get from sex.

Let’s talk about giving and receiving in relationship. Specifically with sex.

Many of my clients have an underlying belief that sex is for men. That the purpose of sex and sexuality has nothing to do with women, other than they are required to show up, at least in the case of a monogamous relationship.

(I’ve been there friends.)

This naturally leads to the idea that when engaging in sex, women are only giving, not receiving.

If this is true for you, of course you don’t love sex! You are constantly giving and serving everyone around you, and it’s just one. more. thing.

You may even feel like you have lost yourself amongst all the giving.

You don’t think of sex as a necessity, at least in the strictest sense.

Sex is the means to an end: having children. And sure, sex is for bringing husband and wife closer together.

But what if sex is also about receiving?

Photo by Hanneke Laaning on Unsplash

Think about compliments. When you give a compliment, it feels good. You have lifted someone else’s day.

What about when you receive a compliment? Does that feel good, or is it a little uncomfortable? Are you able to receive it graciously? Can you say ‘thank you’ and then just sit with the compliment and let it sink in? Or do you immediately feel the need to reciprocate? Or justify. “These old shoes? My sister gave them to me!”

Are you able to receive well?

How does it feel when you give someone a compliment but they explain it away or immediately reciprocate with a compliment for you?

It’s like they didn’t really hear you.

Now imagine you give a compliment and then they say, “Thank you- I am going to take a moment to fully receive this.”

THAT feels good. As the giver and as the receiver.

Let’s bring it back to sex.

I promise, it’s not all about giving, but also about receiving. Your husband wants to know that he can give you pleasure and that you want to be with him.

You receiving him well is like receiving a compliment well. It feels good for both of you.

Receiving is also giving. It’s a gift you give to the other person, whether we are talking about compliments or sex. You are saying, “I see you. I hear you.”

You can only see and hear others as well as you are able to allow yourself to be seen and heard.

This also means you can only give as well as you are able to receive.

If sex is only for him, you probably aren’t receiving it well and it’s limiting your capacity to give of yourself in an intimate way.

In this case, focus on what you get from sex. And if you aren’t getting anything is it because your husband just isn’t giving or because you are not acknowledging his gift?

My challenge for you this week is to pay attention to how well you are able to give and receive. Is there anything you would like to improve? Does making a conscious effort to receive well change your ability to give well?