suddenlysinglewomen

Becoming the best version of yourself

For Today, And Every Day . . .

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

10.  Don’t be afraid of other people’s empty judgments.

10.  Don’t be afraid of other people’s empty judgments.

“The greatest and most gratifying experiences in life cannot be seen or touched.  They must be felt with the heart from the inside out.  There’s nothing more inspiring than the complexity and beauty of human, heartfelt feelings.  Sadly though, many people let the fear of judgment numb and silence them.  Their deepest thoughts and feelings often go unspoken, and thus barely understood.

Do NOT let people invalidate or minimize how you feel.  If you feel something, you feel it and it’s real to you.  Nothing anyone says has the power to invalidate that, ever.  No one else occupies your body, or sees life through your eyes.  No one else has lived through your exact experiences.  And so, no one else has the right to dictate or judge how you feel.  Your feelings are important.  Never let anyone or any circumstance lead you to believe otherwise.

Remind yourself that there is a great freedom in leaving others to their opinions, and there is a huge weight lifted when you take nothing personally.”

 

This is a great last part of this series of posts I’ve been sharing.  It is so validating to me to read this and I’ll tell you why.

When I published my book on divorce recovery and “survival” as a newly single woman, one of the first points I tried to get across to my readers was “your feelings are YOUR feelings”.  Don’t ever let people judge you or tell you HOW to feel, and WHEN to feel and WHAT to feel.

People are always going to try to tell you what to do, when to do it, how to do it, how THEY would do it, and so on.

Friends and family (one hopes) want what’s best for you – that’s great.  However, you have to walk the path of your life yourself, in the way that you feel is best for you.  You’re going to make some people mad; you’re going to receive  some criticism both behind your back and to your face.  You may have to live with knowing you’ve disappointed those who are closest to you . . .

Let it roll off like water on a duck’s back.

If we’re trying to be the best version of ourselves this year, then we need to listen to our hearts.

Can you hear it?

3 Comments »

9.  Don’t be afraid to live out some of your dreams.

9.  Don’t be afraid to live out some of your dreams.

“There are thousands of people who live their entire lives on the default settings, never realizing they can customize everything.  Don’t settle for the default settings in life.  Don’t hide behind laziness.  Find your loves, talents and passions, and embrace them fully.

Seriously, too many people dream only at night in the quiet of their own minds, and then awake to find it was all an illusion.  Don’t be one of them.  Dream by day, too.  Be one of the people who dream with their eyes wide open, and who works to make some of them come true.

And forget popularity too.  Just do your thing with passion, humility, and honesty.  Do what you do, not for an applause, but because it’s what’s right.  Pursue it a little bit each day, no matter what anyone else thinks.  That’s how dreams are achieved.”  

(Read Tuesdays with Morrie.)

 

Sounds so simple doesn’t it?  I’ve now entered what I lovingly refer to as the last 1/3 of my life.  OK, so my Mom just turned 100 on Christmas Eve, so maybe I’ve got a bit more time, but seriously?

What am I waiting for?  If it’s not something that is holding you back (like finances) but something that you can dream about, then accomplish – what are you waiting for?

I’ve mentioned before, the last year of college, I set myself some life goals.  Of the five, I didn’t finish the fifth and final one till last year.  I graduated college in 1975, you can do the math.

So now I’m setting myself new goals.  They’re also larger goals.  I may not make them all, but I surely won’t if I don’t dream about them then plan for them.

What are your dreams?  What are you goals?

Are you with me?

 

Leave a comment »

Some Days You Hear Sad Songs . . .

That moment when you realize that a 20+ year tradition, of one of your most favorite activities, has gone and left you behind?

That moment when all those fun memories haunt you because you have to come to realize, you’ll never have the opportunity to add to them?

That moment when you begin to come to grips with parts of your “old life” passing you by and there’s nothing you can do about it?  And people don’t really understand why it bothers you?

That moment when you try so hard not to let your heart hurt for another one of life’s disappointments?

There are going to be days like this.  You are going to have times where all you hear are the sad songs.  It’s OK.

But I promise that tomorrow you’ll feel better, I know I will.

I don’t normally “interrupt” when I’m sharing a “series” with you all, but I knew you’d understand my need to connect today, on a sad day.  Because just like that old fashioned bobber on the end of a cane pole fishing line, the weight of sadness will not keep me under water.  I’m a bobber, and I will pop right back up to that surface – because life’s sad days happen, but will never define me.

Leave a comment »

8.  Don’t be afraid to learn something new.

8.  Don’t be afraid to learn something new.

“As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.”  Life is a book and those who do not educate themselves read only a few pages.

When you know better, you live better.  Period.

And remember that all education is self-education.  It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in a college classroom or a coffee shop.  We don’t learn anything we don’t want to learn.  Those of us who take the time and initiative to pursue knowledge on their own time are the only ones who earn a real education in this world.  Take a look at any widely acclaimed scholar, entrepreneur or historical figure you can think of.  Formal education or not, you’ll find that he or she is a product of continuous self-education.”

 

Whether you’re reading a new book on a subject you’re interested in, taking a continuing education class in a school or university, learning a new craft or skill, beginning a new job, or learning a new method in an old job – it’s learning.

Challenge your mind, challenge yourself.  Keep that brain working.  As easy as a crossword puzzle, or playing Words With Friends on your phone, your brain should never be at rest.  Like the Nike ads:  Just do it!

Leave a comment »

7.  Don’t be afraid to make more time for the right relationships.

7.  Don’t be afraid to make more time for the right relationships.

“Not everyone will appreciate what you do for them.  You have to figure out who’s worth your attention and who’s just taking advantage of you.  If your time and energy is misspent on the wrong relationships, or on too many activities that force you to neglect your good relationships, you can end up in a tedious cycle of fleeting friendships, superficial romances that are as thrilling as they are meaningless, and a general sense of wondering why you always seem to be chasing affection.

Choose yourself rather than settle for those who treat you as ordinary.  YOU certainly aren’t.  Never settle for being someone’s option when you have the potential to be someone’s priority.  You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with.  If you hang with the wrong people too often, they will bring you down.  But if you hang with the right people, they will help you grow into your best self.  These people will love all the things about you that others are intimidated by.”

 

Flashback – it’s like my Mother is sitting here as I write this and I’m typing quickly to get all her words in.

Doesn’t this sound like a lecture/piece of advice we all received in Middle School (OK, it was called Junior High when I was there!) from our parents??

If we’d listened, would we be happier today?  Well, it’s never too late because re-reading that which I’ve shared above is something you cannot do too few times.

I’ve joked that in the past years, I’ve whittled down my Christmas card list to the real people, the true friends.  But that’s just a simple way of saying I know who the best people in my life are now.  And this means either gender in my life, friends and/or family.

Do not accept bad treatment from anyone, do not sink to their level and allow them to bring you down.

You’re worth so much more.

4 Comments »

6.  Don’t be afraid to give yourself enough mental and emotional space.

6.  Don’t be afraid to give yourself enough mental and emotional space.

“If you think and you think and you think, you will think yourself right out of happiness a thousand times over, and never once into it.  Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace and potential.  Stop over-thinking everything.  Life is just too short.

Your biggest limitations are the ones you make up in your mind.  The biggest causes of your unhappiness are the false beliefs you refuse to let go of.  You are capable of far more than you are often thinking, imagining, doing or being.  But in time you will gradually become what you habitually contemplate, so clear your mind and let your hopes, not your fears, shape your future.  How?  Meditate.  Run.  Breathe.  Write in your journal.  Find the space…. to set your mind free.”

 

You’re welcome.  I jus saved you thousands of dollars in therapists charges.  : -)   Mic Drop!

Leave a comment »

5.  Don’t be afraid to say “no” to unnecessary obligations.

5.  Don’t be afraid to say “no” to unnecessary obligations.

“In a world with so much noise and clutter, you must make room for what matters.  That means pruning nonessential commitments and eliminating as many distractions as you possibly can.  No wasted time, no fluff, no regrets.

The mark of a successful and peaceful person is the ability to set aside the “somewhat important” things in order to accomplish the vital ones first.  When you’re crystal clear about your priorities, you can painlessly arrange them in the right order and discard the activities and commitments that do not support the ones at the top of your list.”

 

Hallelujah!  Priorities, right?  I think this one might also come along with age, and I mean that in a positive way.

When we’re younger, say . . . post college, and into that career rise and family growth mode, we take on the world.  We figure out a way to handle it, hopefully, with some balance if we’re lucky.  What we wear, who we associate with, how our children perform in school, how our passion to save the world (or at least make it a better place) ignites us with a call to action.

As we get older, and more accepting of our limitations, we can come to peace (grips) with our inability (or desire) to be all things to all people.  We understand that it’s OK to focus on our own needs.

Ditch the noise and the clutter, make room for what matters – taking care of #1 as my Dad used to say.

Because no one else will.

2 Comments »

3.  Don’t be afraid to live your truth.

3.  Don’t be afraid to live your truth.

“Tell yourself, “I am ENOUGH” anytime you begin to feel otherwise.  Accept your flaws.  Admit your mistakes.  Don’t hide and don’t lie.

Deal with the truth—your truth—every step of the way.  Learn the lessons, endure the consequences of reality, and move forward.  Your truth won’t penalize you.  Your mistakes won’t hurt you.  Only your denial and cover-up will.  Flawed and vulnerable people are powerful and strong.  Liars and phonies are not.  Every beautiful human being is made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions and finished with trials and errors.

So keep reminding yourself that you are YOU for a reason, and that the journey is worth it.  Ignore the distractions.  Listen to your own inner voice.  Mind your own business.  Keep your best wishes and your biggest desires close to your heart, and dedicate time to them every day.  Don’t be scared to walk alone sometimes, and don’t be scared to enjoy it.  And don’t let anyone’s ignorance, drama or negativity derail you.”

 

This is really good for me.  For years I let other’s negativity and their need for drama trauma get in the way of being true to myself.  There was nothing wrong with me; I was a valuable person with a big heart and a willingness to always help others.

These days I appreciate and value those qualities in myself.  Sure I have many flaws and have made many silly mistakes.  I’m OK with that, I’m human!

But the important thing I’ve learned?

I AM GOOD ENOUGH!!  Say that to yourself, mean it, embrace it, live it and be thankful everyday for being you!

4 Comments »

2.  Don’t be afraid to trust yourself.

2.  Don’t be afraid to trust yourself.

“You may not be where you want to be yet, but you’ve also come a long way from where you once were.  Appreciate how far you’ve come.  You’ve been through a lot, but you’ve grown a lot too.  Give yourself credit for your strength and resilience.  You have good reason to believe that you can trust yourself going forward, not because you’ve always made the right choices, but because you’ve survived and grown from the bad ones.

Good things take time, and you’re getting there.  So don’t allow yourself to be crippled by stress and self-loathing.  Everything is only as it is.  There’s no reason to let it cripple you.  Remind yourself to breathe—to let every moment be what it’s going to be.  What’s meant to be will come your way, and what’s not will fall away.  And remember that life’s best gifts may not always be wrapped the way you expect.”

 

Boy is this a good one for me.  For years I didn’t trust myself, not that you could tell that from the outside looking in.  My friends would have told you that I showed confidence, inside I was the total opposite.  When you live with a narcissist, and that person makes sure you know how much you “disappoint”, you start to believe.

When that person is no longer in your life, you begin to learn to trust yourself.  You begin to realize that all along, you were just fine.  People may not always agree with my decisions, but I trust myself to make the best ones FOR ME!

I am a work in progress, aren’t we all?  I spend more time now with the “go with the flow” instead of the “swimming upstream”.  You do learn to breathe, you do learn to be more relaxed.  And yes, I appreciate how far I’ve come because I remember well where I started.  I trust myself and have grown so much in the past post-divorce 11+ years.

I like “me”.

Leave a comment »