Tag Archives: trust

On humbleness, respect, and reality checks.

Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve gotten hints, reminders, little lessons in humbleness and it’s really made me stop and think, stop and change, stop and shift.

It reminds me that I’m not perfect. That my journey is not over, it’s lifelong.

For example, my fitness journey? Of the barre n9ne variety? It continues. Practicing mindfulness in eating. It takes committment. It’s not a sprint. Ever.  Practicing ‘smarter not harder’ is also ongoing. I can’t cram it all in, but what I do know is whatever ‘me’ workouts I get a week, go big or go home.

Don’t half ass a run.

Don’t take a class but zone out…zone IN.

Focus. Drink it all in. Learn more (because there is always, always, ALWAYS more to learn, even after almost two years instructing). I feel invigorated in this new season – literally and figuratively – as I set my own mini goals, to continue growing, refining and challenging myself, my body. As an instructor  at barre n9ne, to continue bettering my abilities, and being humbled by the knowledge that I can always always always improve. And that I want to always improve. Strive for better. Strive for stronger. Not only a passion but a committment. 

It reminds me that respect, trust and honor are three traits never to be taken lightly, or for granted.

These things take time to build, and an instant to be crushed instantly. This weekend, I mourn that this was taken from me, in a friendship I very much respected, trusted and honored, and as much as it saddens, shocks and upsets me very deeply, I know that sometimes, its irreparable…once the damage has been done, there’s truly no going back. And I realize how much I value those traits and how much I value the friends that do respect, trust and honor. That commit to a friendship 10000%, and it is making me reach out to those friends most right now. That I value more than maybe they even know.

It’s felt like I have gotten a few of these lessons in humbleness, respect, and reality checks this week, and I sit here, readying myself for the week ahead, I feel renewed. Clear-minded. Ready. Leave it all behind, and move forward, embrace the journey, the good and the not so good, because it all shapes you, it makes you better, and it gives you perspective.

As I read Jeff Goins’ latest newsletter (the genius behind the Slow Down Challenge), my jumble of thoughts here came together…he writes:

A thought came to mind. In the pursuit of our dreams, maybe we need to remember two things:

How far we’ve come.

How far we still have to go.

One makes us grateful, and the other makes us humble. And I think we need both those things in order to do great work without going crazy.

Without humility, we’ll become arrogant or settle for less than our best. And without gratitude, we’ll never be content and make those around us miserable.

The best art comes from a place of both contentment and unrest. It’s a paradox. We need to always be striving for better and at the same time resting in who we are, not just what we do.

As you attempt greatness today (whatever that looks like for you), I hope you’ll consider this. I hope you’ll take note of how far you’ve come and still how far you’ve yet to go.

I don’t think I could have put it any better if I tried. Attempt greatness today, practice gratitude, embrace humility.

On taking a chance…three years later.

Three years ago today, I walked into a restaurant, anxiously awaiting my date to arrive. It was my self-proclaimed ‘last ditch effort’ at match.com, after almost two years of on and off online dating, I was ready to throw in the towel and do some soul searching. But there was this guy that caught my eye, as if every single word of his profile was written AT me, and I couldn’t resist, I had to take one more chance.

He walked through those doors and I had nervous anticipation. What if he wasn’t who he said he was. What if he wasn’t what I expected him to be. What if…it was another letdown. But as soon as he got closer, all of that melted away. Because he already *seemed* to be who I thought he *might* be. And when he greeted me, I looked into his eyes and I saw…him. And it felt right, and familiar, in a way, and my anxieties quickly dissapeared. As soon as he guided me to our table, placing his hand gently on my lower back, I melted. The small touch of chivalry…just spoke to me.

And from that day forward, three years in the making, here we sit. That was the beginning of my first (and last ‘first!’) date with M, the man I was meant to meet and  marry. It blows me away every time I think about the last three years. Of where we have been together. Of what we have experienced. Of the love that we have cultivated. Of the best friendship that we have built. Of the life we brought together. Of us. Of the home that we now live in…and? The marriage that has united us, forever.

Three years ago, there was no way I would have ever guessed that, fast forwarding to today, my life would be what it is today. Five years ago, I would not have believed, or perhaps trusted, that my life then, broken, alone, heart shattered, would transform into the life that it is now.

It honestly makes me speechless. It gives me chills. And a wave of thankfulness, blessedness and happiness washes over me.

Three years with the man that has made me believe in true and utter love, to the soul love…the love that you see with the catch of an eye, the turn of a smile, the comfort of a hug and the passion of a kiss.

Love that – had I not gone through what I did, had M not gone through what he did – that would never have happened. Love that came together because of what we both went through. And again, that brings us both to the realization, yet again, that we were brought together because we were meant to. Because we trusted, had faith and took a chance.

Truly.
Truly.

So, about that secret…

About this time last Sunday, we were putting an offer on a house (the secret!). One that we felt, at the time, was ‘it’. Everything we were looking for. An offer that got accepted late on Monday evening.

And today, at almost the same time, we are backing out of that very offer.

I sit here in tears, saddened at what I thought – what we thought – was truly the house we had been looking for, as it had the perfect mix of move-in condition, yard and deck, and feel to it that screamed ‘us’ and in a town that we both really love.

But after a home inspection yesterday, and some sage advice from a few close family members, combined with our own growing apprehension about these concerns they, and we, began to have, it became clear that maybe, just maybe, this wasn’t *it* after all. As hard as it is to see past the plethora of good qualities in this house – and the list is pretty endless – the bad, the possible warning signs became just too evident, and hard to see beyond. From a very old roof (that we’d likely get stuck footing the bill for) to questions about past flooding (three sump pumps seemed three too many…), to some bowing in the floors that seemed perhaps more than just age and natural settling, we began to wonder if those opinions of others were right…and that maybe we were letting the good qualities of this home cloud our judgement.

After watching another episode of Joel Osteen this morning, his message was focused on praying BIG prayers, and not settling for less, or for ‘just enough.” Dream big, expect more and don’t settle for less. If that isn’t a universal truth and screaming clear message, I don’t know what is. As we sit here and mourn the loss of ‘what couldn’ve been,’ we are focusing on blind faith, trust, and the bigger truth of ‘what WILL be’ in our future...the right home, the right time, the right next step to continue where our story began.

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The power of letting go: freedom.

Lately, M and I have been watching Joel Osteen on DVR on Sunday mornings and this week, though it was a rerun episode, it really struck home with me. The episode  (you can watch it here) was about letting go, and letting Him take the wheel.

Joel talked about how easy it is to fall into dissapointment, feeling bitter and let down, when something doesn’t work out. When you don’t get what you want. When life doesn’t go the way YOU want it to. But when you put your faith and trust in God, and let Him take the wheel to drive you towards your destiny, that is freedom

Emotional and spiritual freedom. 

Ding, ding, ding. You mean, trust that the RIGHT thing will happen at the RIGHT time? Yes, pray. Yes, have faith. Yes, try for your goals and dreams and aspirations, no matter how big or small. But when it doesn’t work out, when life goes in the opposite direction? Know that it was for the right reason.

When he said that, and gave some really good real-world examples of when live goes in the opposite direction you were praying it would, I suddenly felt calm. Joel said ‘it’s a freeing way to live. Not worrying. Trusting.’

Um, yeah, no kidding.

This goes right in line with my quest to quell my overthinking brain,to shift my focus, and to trust where life has led me, to know that anything I face, I can conquer. I think the biggest example of this for me, is two-fold. My divorce. Obviously. For as much as I try to recall the happiness in those ten years with my ex-husband (and can’t.), whatever happiness I had then, has NOTHING on the happiness I feel now, in a relationship with M, the man I truly believe I was meant to be with. As we drifted to sleep last night, I muttered to M, as I slid my face into the crook in his neck where it fits so perfectly, ‘I am so glad that we just ‘get’ each other so well. We have similar goals and interests and support each other so much. I love you.’ It’s amazing when I look back at the last 3+ years and think about how many times I questioned whether I would ever feel love again, and whether I’d ever meet someone that truly matched ME, not just sort of, not just mostly, not just in 9 out of 10 ways, but in every way. So to you, and to those I know are struggling with this very thing, let go. Trust. KNOW it will happen. And at the same time? Know that your decision, whatever it was/is at the time, was the right one. 

At that same time, going through divorce, when I was really struggling with defining (and redefining) who I was, what I wanted to BE and where I wanted to take my life (this is the two-fold part, for those following along!), it was easy to slide into resentment, frustration and sadness, and not see the big picture. To see, as Joel says,’ the bigger view from God. That He may have closed the door, because you were believing too small, because you shouldn’t aim for second best. Trust him enough to take the wheel, to bring you towards your destiny.  Don’t consume yourself with thoughts of bitterness, and unfairness, shake off the self pity, push aside the feelings of unfairness, let it go, move forward, confidently towards your destiny.’ <(paraphrased).

And now, looking back at what I have built up for myself, I know there were times where I may have been aiming for second best, or self-preservation mode (staying in a job for 2+ years too long, miserable, rather than pushing myself out of the comfort zone sooner, for a better, bigger opportunity, for example), or even, from a fitness perspective, forcing something that wasn’t ‘me.’ Group Kick…was not me. I thought it could be. But I’m no actress. My emotions are written all over my face. I’m naturally calm, deadpan (a little), and matter of fact. barre n9ne? Right. Up. My. Alley. One door closed, hurtfully, in a sense, at that time, but another door opened, just about 4 months later, and the rest…is history. I even think my ‘stint’ with running half marathons falls into this category. Wanting and willing for something that wasn’t me. That may never quite be me. Running for me, and my own challenges? Freeing myself of something that doesn’t fit? YES.

I guess I just have this topic in mind lately, as I have been talking to a few people, friends, family, etc, that are struggling with some goals, love, decisions, and change. And watching this episode of Joel Osteen’s ministry really reminded me, personally, to let go. Just a little bit more. To trust. And to those people struggling with some of these very same things? Please trust…whether you believe or not, trust yourself, trust this message, trust this premise. That everything truly falls into place at the right time. It may take patience, it may take courage, it may take shifting your focus and adjusting to the discomfort of leaping without a net or stepping out of the comfort zone. But no matter what? It’s almost always worth the risk.

So this is me….remembering to loosen the grip just a little bit more. To let go just a little bit more. To embrace that freedom. 

I love this…and again, if you aren’t religious, the message is somewhat evergreen, isn’t it?

Stories that define me: Trust.

*This is the first in my mini-series on stories of my past that define me. I’ll write these periodically, as the ideas flow. Enjoy.*

Growing up, trust felt innate to me. I trusted my family. I trusted my friends. The one person that I never quite trusted growing up, though? My father.

As I have shared in brief before, my relationship with my dad growing up was rocky almost my entire childhood and much of my adulthood, too. My parents separated when my sisters and I were young but officially divorced when we were 10. He never had any custody of us or, to the best of my recollection, cared to, either. We’d spend time with him from time to time, but he would so often break promises, go against his word, and just be completely awful to us (‘hiding’ his money to avoid child support…to the measly sum of $25/week for three kids, no less…, picking fights with us or my mom and then dissapearing for months at a time, with not a word uttered and no clues to where he was living or what women he was living with, or uh, marrying etc).

So I just never trusted him. Even when we’d be in a good place with him, my sisters and I, and we’d get along, it was usually short-lived and would end in an eruption of anger and hurtful words. And when we’d reunite again, I still never completely trusted him, nor said ‘I love you’ to him, no matter how often he’d say it to me on the phone or in person. It was my coping mechanism, a way to protect myself.

It’s probably the only example I have of my inability to trust someone, especially someone in my family. To this day, even though we are all back to being quite close to my dad (my niece Isabel, as I’ve said, has really united us together, and my dad has really stepped into the grandfather role so well. I am proud of him for that), I won’t say ‘I love you’ to him. Because there’s still that part of me that doesn’t completely trust him. And if I don’t trust enough or let him in enough, he can’t hurt me. Yeah, I’m coping and defending myself against any future hurt by him, but I think I deserve some semblance of self-preservation.

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The only other example I have of trust issues is when I got divorced.

…and started dating. 

That thing called trust?

Well, first of all, in the beginning, I trusted too easily. I took their word for it…when they say they’d call, when they say they wanted ‘more’ than just something casual, whatever they would say, I trusted that it was true. Because that’s how I’d always operated. Innate trust.

Obviously, you can see where this is going. Burned. Burned again. Burned some more. To the tune of a one night stand that I call accidental, because I didn’t see it coming and wasn’t expecting it to be just one night, either. (isn’t that always the case, though, incidentally? Most of the time, anyway?).

After that incident, I banished trust from my vocabulary when it came to dating. It was frustrating to question every single word I’d read or hear out of whomever I was on a date with or dating at the time. I wondered if it was a line, if it was an excuse or legit, if they meant what they were saying.

Because I am a firm believer in - mean what you say and say what you mean – yet that is SO hard for so many people to do, isn’t it? Especially in dating.

And then, after many, many, many first date ‘one date wonders,’ dates that fizzled after a few, non-starters (first dates that just sucked, in other words – hehe…remember 10 second guy?!), I met M.

And that thing called trust?

I felt it. Almost immediately. I trusted every word he said, every gesture, everything.

He said what he meant and meant what he said.

And that’s when I knew we were going to go the distance. Truly. When I naturally trusted him. And when that trust was reciprocated…from a self-professed non-truster, no less. A man that had also gotten burned by friends, family, his ex-wife, and women he’d dated too.

We got into this very conversation the other night…about trust. And how hard it is, sometimes, to open up and trust people. And then I asked him how he trusted me so easily and readily.

And he said, he just did. 

Simply put. But so true. Because I did too.

I still do. With all of my heart. 

Trust is a powerful thing. It’s not always innate (nor should it be), it’s not always deserved (nor should it be!) and it’s often elusive.

But when you have it, keep it, honor it, and respect it.

Trust. Is this a hard one for you? Do you have a hard time trusting people? (I hope you enjoyed my first installment…more to come!)