A few years ago I subscribed to a website called The Brave Girls Club. I am sure many of you have never heard of it, so let me tell you what it is. Basically, it’s a motivational site ran by woman who want to help and inspire other woman through their own life experiences. Part of being subscribed to their site includes a daily email called “A Little Bird Told Me…” which is a message full of positivity, and a little reminder that no matter what life has thrown at you, you are going to make it. Months go by where I don’t open the email, but I always save them just in case I want to go back and open the message one day. A few nights ago I was clearing out all the junk in my email when I ran across a few of these messages that were sent over the last few days. The first one I opened spoke to me, and I want to share it with you…
“Dear Compassionate Soul,
Everyone has private little hurts that no one really knows about. Struggles and loss are part of this life.
So even though someone might have a smile on their face and is going about their day, doing their best to make the most of life…often there is a tinge of pain there. It is the human part of us.
The most important thing we can do, the most HEALING thing we can do is to recognize this human-ness in others. Sometimes when someone seems grouchy, distant or irresponsible, it is because they are doing all that they can to hold everything together. Sometimes this is truer than true about our own selves.
Let’s be kind.
Let’s be compassionate and patient with each other.
Let’s look past the way things look on the outside and SEE the way things really are.
Let’s love each other in all of our frailness, in our weakness and in our worst moments.
You are not alone in the way that you feel. Each person beside you, in front of you and behind you is also working through something right now.
You are so very loved.
I couldn’t believe how perfect that message was for me that day, and I think from here on out I will start opening them and reading again. So, any of you women (or men for that matter) who need a little lift every once in a while, I suggest going to the website and subscribing. You won’t regret it.
Anyway, the last 21 days have been surreal to say the least. Since my last post there have been many good days, but there have always been days where I wasn’t sure how I would ever move on. Thats normal right? I don’t know, but I try and tell myself that it is. As I’ve tried to combat alcohol and mend a broken heart at the same time, there have been moments that have definitely made me question what the universe is trying to tell me, and also what the lesson is I am supposed to learn here. Why me? Why did I have to be the one who goes through this? Why, why why? In those moments, when staying positive feels impossible, I wonder if things will truly get better, or if people are just telling me that just to make me feel better. But, at the end of the day when I’m laying in bed and everything is quiet, I’ve realized how much better things have gotten and all the little miracles that have been placed in my life when I’ve needed them most. I’ve realized all the amazing things that have happened, and all the people I have reconnected with despite all the grief. Its in those moments that I’ve started to see the light at the end of the tunnel that I never thought I’d see. The light may be small, but its there, and I know it will only continue to get brighter. Giving up and playing the victim is not an option for me anymore, no matter how broken and lost I feel some days. It’s also in those quiet moments that I realize how many people out there have it much worse than I do. There are mothers who have lost babies to miscarriages or other tragic accidents, there are fathers who’ve lost their jobs and don’t know how they will support their family, there are children fighting cancer and many others who are diagnosed with terminal diseases every day. These people could be living next door to us and we would never know. It really has put things in perspective for me and has turned negative moments into moments of hope and strength. As they say, there’s always blessings in the storm if you look. So, in this post I am going to list a few of those blessings and miracles that have come into my life the last 21 days. I am doing this mostly for me so I never forget, but also for you if you are having one of those days where it seems like life is over. As non-religious as I am, “count your blessings” seems to be a phrase that has popped into my head a lot recently.
- Babies, especially this one here. This is my niece Addison Mae, but we call her Mae. When everything happened a few weeks ago, my sister was preparing to go back to work after being on maternity leave for 3 months. I had just quit my job as a CNA, and along with all the other events that had taken place in my life I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had the option of going back to my previous job, but wasn’t 100% sure thats what I should do. So, in the midst of all this, my sister asked me if I would like to nanny for her and take care of little Mae while she and her wife work. I took that opportunity and I can’t even tell you how grateful I am that I did. This little girl has been an angel and has hugged me and snuggled me on the worst of days. This may sound cheesy, corny, or whatever you want to call it, but in a way it feels like heaven is wrapping its arms around me every time Mae puts her arms around my neck. I feel that this experience was no accident, and that everything came together like it was supposed to. So, thanks Mae Mae, I can’t wait till I can tell you just how much you helped me when you were just 10 weeks old .
- My family. There are so may people out there who don’t have family support and haven’t been given the parents and siblings that I have. Because of them, I have a job, a roof over my head, and someone to talk to when I need advice. Although all of them are amazing in their own way, the one that I have to mention is my sister Abbey. One of these days I hope I’ll be able to fully express to her what she has done for me the last 3 weeks and how much her words have comforted me. My sister has a way of making anything feel possible and gives the best advice of anyone I have ever met. She has loaned her couch to me some nights, given me a job, and has talked to me for hours on end when I am sure she is tired from caring for a newborn and working so hard. I have called and texted her probably 100 times a day and she responds to every single one of them. She has helped me believe in myself and shown me through her own life experiences that things do get better. She is an inspiration to me, and I love her for so many reasons I can’t count them all. I feel like there are people out there who are given the gift of light, and she is one of them. Thanks for always having my back Abbey, and for being the best sister I could ever ask for.
- My mom. If you’ve ever seen any of my posts ever on instagram or Facebook, you know how special my mom is. She is the perfect example of unconditional love and acceptance. She loves her kids so fiercely that most the time she puts herself second. She is the mom that picks up every single time you call no matter what time of day it is, the mom that brings you meals when you are sick, cries with you when you are sad, and laughs with you when you are happy. She has your back no matter what, gives tough love when it is needed, and protects you when you need shelter from the world. She is perfect in every single way and is the type of mom I want to be one day if I ever get the chance. She has done everything she can to make me feel peace the last few weeks whether it be doing my laundry, calling me to see how I am doing, or buying me sweet, meaningful gifts to help me get through the day. She is one of a kind you guys, and I feel like the luckiest person to call her my mom.
- Friends. You all know who you are. Some of you though, I’ve realized there was a reason why I met you to begin with, and that reason is for this very moment in my life. Rebekah, you are one person who I know will listen and try to understand the best way you know how. You will do anything to make me feel like I am worth every second of sometimes time and that I will get through this. Caitlin, I think the reason I was supposed to go to St. Lucia on my honeymoon was to meet you. Even from a few states away, you make me feel better, and I love how alike we are. It is like you are my twin that I am just meeting and I love that you understand EVERYTHING about me. Thanks for talking to me for hours on end and for all the advice and genuine concern you give to me. I can’t wait to come to Chicago to see you, and I love you so very much my midwest bestie. Amanda, although you are in heaven, I can feel you near me. You are truly and angel and have shown me you are there through all the pennies I find on a daily basis. I can’ wait to see you again one day and hug so very tight. Fly high sweet angel. Emily, just wow. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate you. You have shown up again in my life at the perfect time and have been a sounding board when I have so many thoughts to get out. You have listened to me cry, laugh, and all the stuff in between. I am grateful for you. Melissa, you know without me even explaining how much I love you. 12 year of friendship, which means 12 years of tough experiences that we’ve both been through and come out on top. You give me hope for a new day and help me realize that things do get better. Tiffany, even though I’ve never met you in person, you are my soul sister. Thank you for all your marco polos and for helping me stay sober. You are like a sponsor that I’ve never met. I hope to meet you one day. You have inspired me in more ways than I can count.
- And last but certainly not least, my little Annie girl. Who knew a dog could mend a broken heart and make life so much easier. Her and I have been through hell the last 8 years and every single time she never fails me. Never. She cuddles me all the time, sometimes too much, licks my tears as they fall, and is most the time the reason I get out of bed every day. Annie is the funniest dog and makes me laugh so hard with her little quarks. She has truly become my best friend and is the sweetest little shih tzu in the world. What makes all of these amazing things in my life even better is that Annie is able to come to work with me and be my little side kick while I nanny little Mae. Everything happens for a reason, I believe this now more than ever.
It is so clear to me when I put myself on the outside of my life and look in, how many miracles have been given to me. It’s amazing actually. And if there is one piece of advice I could possibly give you, it’s to try and look for them in your own life and write them down. Because if you look closely, they are unfolding around every corner you turn. The universe, God, or whatever you choose to call it, is watching out for you. I know this because if you are reading this, you’ve made it through 100% of the bad days that have been thrown at you, and you will make it through the ones that are sure to come. You are awesome, you are amazing, and you are going to make it. Don’t underestimate yourself or your worth. Mike Dooley said it best…
“Do you have any idea who you really are? Do you have any idea your affect on others? Do you know what its like to be touched by you? To be held in our glance? To be smiled by you? Do you even know what its like to brush up along side of you in the streets? To see you from a distance? Up close? Do yo know what its like to see you approaching? Do you know what its like to watch you walk away? Do you know what it does for someone when they realize you’ve been thinking of them? No, you don’t. Kind of sad. Your insights, beauty, strength, courage, and humility changes lives every day and you don’t even know it. It’s especially sad because those you touch think you do, so they might not remind you. Since you don’t know it, and since others may not tell you, let me. You are a light in the darkness – a bringer of the dawn. Your touch heals, your gaze inspires, and your smile is like cool water to parched lips. The sight of you stirs ones spirit, and your departure is always too soon. Your profoundly unique journey has been one of a kind, and it has yielded compassion and insights as rare as yourself. You are a pillar, an icon, and a champion to those who know you, and to those who wish they did. Your affect on the world today, as you are, where you are, is awesome. Shine your light because, while your significance may sometimes escape you, it changes others forever.”
So, on to day 22, here we go. Stay positive my friends.