”The Year We Fell Apart And That’s Okay”

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“Look for something positive each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.” 

Not because I don’t think it will be (because, okay, it will be). But because that’s not helpful to you where you’re standing right now. That’s a thing we say to each other when we can’t find any other words.

It will be fine. It will be okay. Everything will work out.

These are all real and true statements that apply to you, no matter where you stand. I have enough trust and faith for the both of us that everything you and I are walking through at this moment, we’re both going to come out the other side wiser and happier than we ever thought possible.

But the truth is, those words don’t help. Instead, they usually cut us on a level we didn’t know pleasant words of comfort had the ability to cut.

Because even if it’s true that it will be okay… it’s not okay right now, and sometimes that’s all we can see and feel and hear. Sometimes that’s all we can register inside our weary bodies.

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It’s not okay that someone you loved is no longer living and breathing and giving their gifts and presence to this world. It’s not okay that everything is falling apart around you, that your world is imploding more and more every moment of every day. It’s not okay that the bank accounts are at zero, or possibly into the negative, with no sign of relief. It’s not okay that someone was nasty or cruel to you in ways that shattered your heart. It’s not okay that you’re exhausted to the point you can’t make it through a single day without curling into a sobbing ball on your kitchen floor. It’s not okay that you’re swimming in failure or shame or a grief like you’ve never known.

Whatever it is for you… it’s not okay right now.

So we tell each other it will be okay… because we don’t know what else to say, and we don’t know how to climb into the sh*t with someone and just hold their hand while they cry or scream or rage it out.

I’m not going to tell you it’s going to be okay:-That everything is going to work out.
I’m not going to tell you it will be fine or to buck up.
That you’ve got this and you’ll see it soon.

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Instead, I’m going to tell you that I see your pain:- I understand how much it sucks right now. How your heart is heavy and your spirit is weary. How it’s taking everything you have just to get through the day. I see you. I feel you. I love you. I know… I get it, I really do. And I also know exactly how much willpower it takes to not punch someone in the face for telling you it will be okay. Especially when it feels like “being okay” is completely out of reach, no matter how hard you fight to find your footing and dig your way out of the darkness that’s nearly consuming you. I see your pain and I’m holding you in my heart with all the love I have to give. Because it’s okay that everything is not okay right now.

I’m going to tell you that you’re stronger than you know:-Because you are, my friend. You are powerful beyond measure whether you know it or not. You have a purpose and a contribution to this world that only you can make. I know it doesn’t feel like it when all you can do is find a way to get yourself out of bed each morning when the hours begin to weigh on your chest like a ton of bricks and breathing becomes more difficult the longer you’re forced to be awake and upright. But you’re doing it, love. It may not be at a rate or pace that you want, but you’re doing it. Just by getting out of bed and finding a way through the next moment that smacks you in the face. And you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for.

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I’m going to tell you that trust and faith go a long way:-I’ve never tried to pretend that trust and faith are easy. They’re not. Not even a little bit. But they are all we have when nothing is okay and everything is falling apart. They are all we have to make it through to what’s next. I say this from a place of walking through some seriously dark life chapters.

Chapters filled with depression that nearly killed me by my own hand, with being so broke that I owed the bank money and was being threatened with losing my house. Chapters that ripped someone from my life in the most abrupt and tragic way, and that have torn everything known and stable and secure from my hands. Somewhere along the lines, I found trust and faith, and I’ve never let go, regardless of the chaos around me. Trust and faith. It’s all we have, and they go a very long way when everything feels impossible.

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I’m going to tell you that you’re not alone:-Even though I know it feels that way like you’re the only person in the history of the world who has experienced this much loss and pain and struggle. Even the happiest and successful people have been through some sh*t, or are probably walking through their own storms right now.

You’re not alone. You do not have to do this alone. If ever there was a thing that lifted me out of the depths of grief, it was being reminded that I wasn’t alone. That I didn’t have to do this alone. You, my friend, are not alone.

I’m going to tell you that I love you:-Because I do. Because you’re here and you’re having a bad day. Because you’re human and that makes you beautiful and messy and all things lovable.

”Sometimes We Screw Things Up When Life Is Good”

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”Maybe it’s a little depressing to think that my vision of a perfect world is actually so messed up, but I think it means that I don’t really understand what ‘perfect’ is.”

Feeling like a total mess-up in life? Become kinder to yourself by relaxing your rigid pass/fail mindset.

Today, I want to talk to you about what you should do when you feel like you are an utter, utter screw-up in life and steps you can take to help make yourself feel a bit better, that you don’t feel like as much of a mess-up and you get a bit more realistic about yourself.

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That got your attention, didn’t it?

And what is the number one way that people screw up life? By taking it for granted. Assuming there will be time to fix things, find the right person, make the changes you should and be happy… later.

Think about the last time you lost someone close to you. It could be that they passed away, maybe it was a friendship that suddenly went south, or possibly a relationship that ended abruptly.

If you’d have known that it was the last hug, kiss or conversation, would you have made more of an effort? Would you have listened deeply, while appreciating the sound of their voice? Would you have given them a real kiss, not just the hurried, routine version? Would you have said “I love you” with every fiber of your being?

We never know when our last moments, kisses and conversations with the ones we love are going to be. Yet we choose to ignore this truth and take the people and things in our lives for granted.

We put them off, prioritize other things that aren’t actually more important… and we certainly don’t show up in each moment with those people and things (jobs, experiences, life) with the attention, present-minded focus and care that we should.

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We’re All Human: –And that means that this is a natural state of being. We fear death, goodbyes, and loss… so we don’t keep that a top of our mind. We assume that it will be down the road, we’ll deal with it then. We’ll get better and more focused later. It’s okay to put these things off for just a bit longer because there’s always the weekend. Except that sometimes there’s not.

Sometimes tomorrow really never comes and life really does change in an instant.

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Live With a Sense of Urgency:- Choose to be more than “just human” and live with a heightened sense of urgency. Not in the sense that “there aren’t enough hours in the day” or that you have way too many things on your to-do list. You probably do, but that’s not my point…

My point is that there’s value in living your life constantly aware of and accepting the fact that one day, it will end. Whether that’s a breakup, loss of life or time running out… all things must come to an end. Don’t allow yourself to be one of those people that kicks themselves for having wasting precious moments. Rise above the human condition…

Do better. Love deeper. Experience more. Be present.

Say I love you like you really, truly mean it.

We throw around “I love you” in relationships like we say hello and goodbye. We just do it because we should. Sure, we love them… but do we take that pause before speaking to really feel and express it? No. We just pop the words out with a standard kiss on the way out the door.

We aren’t present in those moments. We don’t give them the love they deserve. We don’t give ourselves the love that we deserve. And this goes for more interactions than just the “I love you’s” that you’re throwing around mindlessly.

Do better. Love deeper.

Make real memories with the ones you love.

Life is busy and sometimes it’s hard to make time for the important things. The anniversaries, the birthdays… the seemingly unimportant moments of moving into a new home together or that first big promotion at work. We say that we’ll celebrate later or assume that it’s not a priority. But what will you have when you look back at your time here? A lot of missed opportunities to experience life to its fullest?

Make life a celebration. We’re only here once, that we’ll know of, so live it like you mean it! Live it fully. Show up to each moment, truly experience it and create real memories.

Don’t just go to the park, have a picnic. Make it a full day, take pictures and be present for it. Work and expectations will be there when you get back either way, better to leave them behind and really show up in the moments that count.

Never, ever settle for less than you want or deserve.

Even if you get to live a long one, life is short. Time flies. Everyone says it and you know it’s true. Why waste it with people, jobs or things that are less than you deserve? Less than you want?

If you want a love that is deep, passionate and life-altering, then don’t spend another minute with someone that you don’t connect with deeply. If you want a job that allows you to do great things, leave your mark and feel fulfilled at the end of each day, don’t settle for any old job that will cover the bills.

Don’t stay with people or in a job because you feel like it’s the best you’ll get… or that “it’ll do.” You can do better if you feel like “it’ll do.” You can have extraordinary, passionate, deep, mind-blowing, colorful, lively, exciting, romantic and so much more. You just have to stop settling.

If you feel the slightest twinge of “meh” or “that’ll do,” run in the opposite direction. You can waste years of your life at the wrong job, with the wrong person or in the wrong city.

I’m not saying you have to make huge, life-altering changes right this minute. But change things. Put the plans into place to move your life from “it’ll do” to extraordinary. You deserve it.

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Just Be You:- Don’t waste time trying to fit in, live up to your family’s expectations or be the perfect [fill in the blank]. Just be you. Be messy, moody, opinionated, passionate, eccentric, wild and picky. Don’t eat what you don’t like, don’t go to movies you hate, don’t do things just because everyone else wants to.

Don’t give a single thought to what other people think of you. It doesn’t mean be insensitive, destructive or mean, it means stop caring if everyone likes you. Stop worrying that you’re embarrassing your mother or that the others will think you’re lame. It’s who you are. They can take it or leave it.

There’s no sense in wasting time pretending to be someone you’re not so that you’ll fit in with the people you don’t belong with. Life is short, spend it with people who love and appreciate the real you.

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Take Action Now! :-You deserve better. You deserve a life that has deep connections, meaning, memories, love, and happiness. Take a moment to assess your life…

Where are you not showing up? Where can you do better and stop taking people and things for granted? Where you can you be more fully yourself?

If you only had a year to live, how would you want to spend it? When you have that answer, share with me one step you’re going to take this week to make that dream a reality.

”How to Recover From Your Worst Mistakes”

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”Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.

Your mouth is dry, your stomach is in knots, your palms are clammy, and you suddenly feel short of breath. Why? You just had the gut-wrenching realization that you’ve made a major mistake.

We’ve all been there. And, while that moment of sheer panic is likely enough to inspire you to cower under your desk, you already know that’s not your best course of action.

Instead, follow these  steps to bounce back even better than before:

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 Own It-After you’ve made a slip-up, the worst thing you can do is attempt to sweep it under the rug and cross your fingers that nobody notices. Respectable, ethical people instead own up to their mistakes–immediately.

Accept fault right away, and don’t attempt to make futile excuses or drag other people down with you. Any attempts to save face will only make your ownership seem halfhearted, forced, and disingenuous.

Apologize-Nobody operates in a vacuum. So, it’s likely that your blunder had an impact on someone else–whether that’s an employee, colleague, supervisor, client, or even friend.

Owning your mistake is one thing. But, it’s really only half the equation. When your misstep had negative consequences for the people around you, you also need to apologize. No, a flippant, “Whoops, sorry!” comment in passing doesn’t cut it. You need to be genuine and sincere.

Yes, everybody makes mistakes. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t need to apologize for them.’

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Accept Consequences-When you’ve made your apologies to the others involved, your next step is to see what you need to do in order to patch things up and remedy your error. While your mistake might have impacted numerous other people, it’s still up to you to shoulder the majority of the fallout.

That might mean some late nights in the office or a lot of extra work on your plate. But, apologizing without accepting your own consequences is pointless–and even a little condescending.

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Learn From It-Now that you’ve done damage control, it’s time to focus on how you can use this experience to improve.

Take a magnifying glass to your slip up and determine where things went wrong. Were you working too fast? Did you neglect to check in with other members of your team? Were you just being lazy?

Get specific with what exactly caused your error, and then develop a plan for how you’ll avoid committing the same oversight in the future. Stick a post-it note on your computer monitor if you have to!

After all, making a mistake once is understandable. But, doing so repeatedly? Not so much.

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 Let It Go-The final step of recovering from your goof-up? Letting it go and moving on.

Yes, this can be easier said than done. However, continuing to obsess over your failures and shortcomings won’t do you any favors. In fact, it’ll likely just distract you from being productive everywhere else.

So, when you’ve done what you needed to in order to smooth things over, take a deep breath and move on with a clear head.

Nobody likes that “stomach in your shoes” feeling when you know you’ve just made a major mistake. But, it’s not what you did that matters most–it’s how you bounce back from it.