Tag Archives: forward

Moving Up, Let It Go

There’s a trick to the “graceful exit…” It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over-and let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out.

-Ellen Goodman

Admittedly, letting go has never been a thing I am good at. In fact, it is sort of the resounding story of my life that I hold on tightly until I injure myself. It’s like holding onto a rope and the desire of whatever is on the other end is stronger than you are. The rope is cutting into your hands, but you keep holding on. You feel the pain, but you can’t see the extent of the damage until the other side pulls so hard that you have no choice but to let go. Then, you are left staring at your hands, maybe crying, and subsequently having to clean and heal the wounds without whatever was on the other end. This metaphor applies to so many things in my life. I sometimes wonder if I will ever learn.

I had this life altering moment seven years ago. It did not seem life altering at the time, but since then year after year it makes more sense. I was on vacation with a girlfriend. It was just the two of us and after years of mothering two young children, one with special needs, half on my own, it was a very liberating trip. I felt a freedom I had not felt since my teenage years. One morning we were seated at brunch with this older couple. I say older, I was thirty at the time and they were probably late forties, early fifties. We made small talk. We did not get into life stories. I think we disclosed our marital status (all of us being married), children (all of us having children), etc. We did not delve into anything very personal, and there was no way it could have been construed as a heavy conversation, with all of our outlooks being the lighthearted that only comes from having no responsibilities for a time. We parted after having a lovely time.

The next day I was out and about on my own and I ran into this couple. The wife approached me, and the husband hung back a little. She seemed serious and maybe a little nervous, but I could tell she was grounded in his presence. It was very sweet actually. She gave me a hug and then she said something to the effect of the following: “I have something I want to tell you, but I don’t want you to think I’m crazy.”

I shook my head, giving her a look that I hope conveyed, “no you go right ahead.” However, there was a little unease associated with these people being virtual strangers.

She continued, “I was up half of the night last night because God put on my heart that I needed to pray for you.” She looked at me, making sure it was okay to go on. I’m not sure what she saw on my face, but inside I was somewhat incredulous. I mean, I had met her once for less than an hour. She said, “I just got the impression you need to hear that you need to let it go.”

I was somewhat dumbfounded. Now, looking back, I should have made a joke of what was obviously not really one, and asked, “Did he tell you what exactly?” Instead my eyes welled up with tears a little, at someone being so caring towards me. I hugged her, thanked her, and I have never seen her again.

That meeting set the stage for the coming years of my life where I would let go of just about everything that passed through my mind as possibilities that day. There were three things that stood out. I’ve let go of all but one. When I tell you those things were traumatic to release, I could not be more serious. I felt like a walking wound for a very long time. Everything hurt me. Things that were not designed to intentionally hurt me did. I was like the metaphor. I had no idea what holding on tightly was doing to me, but when I let go, it became painfully obvious.

The first one was my marriage. I would say that it was a marriage that I had outgrown, but that is an oversimplification. The fact of the matter is that when we got married I was nineteen. I had no clue who I was or what would be my needs in a relationship. I am thirty-seven and I am just now figuring it out, slowly. But suffice it to say the ways in which we were incompatible impacted me greatly. They impacted my self esteem and self worth. They made me stop trying and become complacent. They made me bad at a thing I felt so confidently good at in the beginning, relationships.

After that cruise I left my husband. The cruise was in November, I left him right after the new year in 2013. I got my own place, I furnished it, and then I went back to him. I was scared. Scared I was making the wrong decision and scared of how people would see me, and just scared. Honestly though, I was not afraid of losing him. For me, sadly it was never about love. In retrospect, after surviving actually leaving and being divorced, I can say that as hard as I thought it was going to be then, it was even harder. We separated one more time before it actually stuck. Again, I was scared. And I let things weaken my resolve. However, I don’t regret any of that because I know I tried again and again. I know the ultimate decision was the right one. It was right for him and it was definitely right for me. However, to get to the place where I now know that fact took about eight hundred and twelve baths, seven thousand bottles of wine, losing some friends and probably alienating others, twenty million text messages with my completely amazing friends, and too many tears to count. I did things that hurt myself and set the healing process back, but I wouldn’t change those either. They have all taught me and some have been practices in letting go.

The second thing was the person I thought was the love of my life. I could write a book on the details of our decades long relationship, but I have turned the page on all of that. I have successfully let it go. I know the timing of this is questionable, but the truth of the matter is that it was an affair of the heart. He was not at all the cause of my marriage ending and he was not the cause of my marriage being a bad fit. I saw him a couple of times over the years and we spoke intermittently. We never did anything physical while I was married, but as soon as my divorce was final it was a door I either had to walk through or close. The truth is that I romanticized a person who could never have been what I needed. It was a traumatic end, but it was an end.

And now I’m finally at a place where I have let go. The wounds on my hands are now scarred over. The skin there is tougher than it was before. I will try not to use that as a means of holding on to things longer than I should. I hope when my kids are ready to fly the coop I am able to let them go gracefully. I hope I have learned. At least, I hope I have learned to let go of the things that take more than they give me. But I will say, the art of letting go is a continuous process, but God knew what I needed to hear that day. And he’s whispered it to my heart many days since.

Stronger Than Yesterday,

 

-Alice

Stop Waiting And Do

Stop waiting…..

Sometimes in our life we can want something so bad that we put things on pause to try to make sure it happens. A lot of the time though that is how you lose not only what you want but also lose your peace. More recently for me there was someone who came into my life. I developed feelings for that person, and I waited. I waited for this person to open up to me the way I did them; I waited for them to tell me how they felt like I did them; I waited for a direction, all while my businesses, my self improvement and my goals all fell to the wayside.

This person isn’t a bad person but I had to stop waiting. My peace of mind and forward movement was at stake. I still care about this person deeply but how things are right now are painful for me. Instead of waiting I am holding a place, a place they may or may not fill, but I know if that person is meant to be in my life they will fill that place when the time is right. In the meantime I am working as hard as ever. I’m growing past a certain set back I’ve had, and I am crushing business and personal goals.

I’m living my life and not holding still. Knowing whats meant for me will always find a way to me.

Always be unapologetically true to yourself,

Ali

Unbreakable

Webster’s defines unbreakable as:   NOT ABLE TO BE BROKEN

There are times when you will embody the definition of this word more than others, you will wear it like a cape–UNBREAKABLE and the people that try to screw with you will quickly come to understand that this word…it is your SUPERPOWER.  Weak people allow circumstances to dictate what happens to them, WARRIORS move the circumstances around to suit their needs.  Sometimes that is hellish, to walk through heartbreaking betrayal, disappointment, unexpected changes…we fall for a moment, we cry, we are shocked, hurt, stunned, saddened and then we RISE, we change our thinking, we get some gratitude for closed doors, we remember that ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD—NO MATTER WHAT KIND OF SHIT STORM IT LOOKS LIKE.

We get up, we get moving, we keep in forward motion, we remember WHO we are.  We remember what we have already walked through and we remember that we may bend, however—we DO NOT BREAK—EVER.

We are a special breed, the unbreakables…we understand what ‘ripped your heart out’ means…we know what ‘betrayal’ feels like…yet we remain happy and optimistic because we KNOW that we are here to bring LIGHT, to foster GOOD, here to remind people of their strengths…to remind them that they too will RISE.

Some Life Advice …on Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday, a time for new beginnings and new seasons. Time to shed the things that aren’t working and start living the life that you want to live, doing that often means taking stock of how things have been and making adjustments as needed. Spring and Easter are excellent times to do this, so late last night I penned some life advice for myself and it seemed prudent to share it with you. Enjoy.
Life Advice after 46 years…

• Make sure that you feel ‘at home’ in your own home. This is your place of grounding and peace, if you can’t restore yourself there then everything else will be out of balance
• Keep things in order, houses, desks, closets, cars, papers, etc. Disorder brings disjointed states of mind…it is difficult to operate in excellence with disorder surrounding you
• Get rid of stuff that doesn’t serve you—relationships, items, whatever isn’t serving you is stealing your energy and holding you back (whether you want to admit it or not)
• Try new things…always
• Don’t worry so much about whether or not you are doing things ‘right’—life is a process…make adjustments as you go
• Be smart, read, learn…never stop learning
• Be funny and don’t be mean
• Don’t complain, criticize or make fun of…you get what you give
• Put away money for a rainy day
• Have FUN with your life, we only do this here once, make the most of it
• Cultivate your “REAL” friends, let the superficial bullshit go—it just wastes time
• Enjoy your own company
• LIVE—stop waiting for your ‘real’ life to begin, these moments right NOW—these ARE your life—so LIVE them OUT LOUD
• Feel your feelings and express them responsibly
• Respond, don’t react
• Remember your words have power, use them to help not hurt
• Tell the TRUTH—always—NO EXCEPTIONS
• See yourself as others see you and be mindful of how you treat people and remember karma never loses an address
• Be READY for whatever comes, always have a plan B, maybe C and D too
• Expect the BEST, you deserve that
• Remember that nothing is too good to be true, if you do the work you deserve the reward because you EARNED it
• Don’t enable people, let them learn like you have
• Keep your peace—no HIGH highs, no LOW lows—leaders are STABLE people, they keep their JOY in all things and they keep going
• Keep moving forward, don’t look back—you are not going that way
• Be aware of your blind spots, we all have them. Work on them and don’t let them trip you up—pay attention
• Don’t ignore the obvious just because you don’t like it, if it is being revealed to you then there is a reason—something there for you to see
• If you have children PARENT THEM, discipline them, teach them to produce results, teach them that actions have consequences. Kids don’t need you to be their friends—they need you to be their PARENTS—you are putting people out into the world, so make sure that they are ready.
• Be of service, help others.
• Leave things better than you found them
• If someone shows you a behavior, BELIEVE IT! Actions will tell you everything you need to know about someone. Words are just lip service.
• Don’t overthink. When in doubt, go with your gut. Period.
• If it doesn’t feel right to you, it ISN’T—-so don’t do it. Period.
• TRUST yourself.
• LOVE yourself
• Make peace with your past
• Forgive, not for them, for YOU
• Welcome your future
• Do your best
• And above all—TRUST GOD—ALWAYS—NO EXCEPTIONS!