The power of words

Words.
They can be beautiful and uplifting, or negative and hurtful. 
By simply focusing on words, I have the power to guide my journey.  

Being surrounded by negative energy will have a powerful impact on my emotions. It clouds my thoughts and impedes my growth. Knowing this I need to make it my goal to push those out and replace with postivity and strength. 

I choose to think of positive words. 

Encouraging. 

Uplifting. 

Powerful. 

Successful.

Fearless.

Extraordinary. 

I choose to think of things I enjoy.

Watermelon.

Ice cream.

Boxers.

Halloween.

Laughter.

Family.

Clean bed sheets. 

Sunshine.

12 things I learned from my mom

Today I woke up to the news of a friend’s mother passing. They were very close and I cannot even imagine the pain that she’s feeling. I can’t help but fear how will I handle that loss. This made me realize that I need to tell my mother how I feel about her.  Not how much she drives me nuts and annoys the hell out of me sometimes. I need to tell her the amazing things that I see in her, the amazing things that she taught me and how grateful I am to have her as my mother.

  1. You’re always there for family, no matter what. 

Growing up my family was very chaotic and dysfunctional but one thing was always for sure, no matter how angry you were at each other when trauma or hardship fell on a family member my mom threw it all aside and was there, even if it was her worst enemy. No matter how crazy my mom’s sisters are, that’s one amazing thing about them. 

  2. Her never-ending ability to be there for me and my kids.

I was 18 years old, alone and single, pregnant with twins. My mother was my Lamaze coach, bought me nearly everything I needed for my babies, and stood next to me during delivery. Five years later I was pregnant with my son, again alone from a failed marriage. My mom’s husband’s uncle had committed suicide, and he was like a father to her husband. The next day I went into labor, my mom came rushing and stayed with me, held my hand and fought the doctors to keep me safe. She helped raise my kids when they were young, giving me the needed breaks for my sanity. She was a cheer leader at their school and sports events. She is the best grammy, devoted and loving. 

  3. Strength.

My mom is the strongest woman I know, both physically and mentally. My mom has lost everything and stood strong and rose from the ashes, dusted herself off and was ready for more. She proved a woman can do anything a man can. She taught me to never depend on a man or anyone else. To be independent and strong. 

   4. No matter how hard it gets, you are mom.

I’m sure my mom had many days she wanted to run away, abandon all the responsibilities of raising kids and live a different stress free life. It’s hard work and too many times you feel unappreciated. You’re always on duty and your life revolves around what the kids need. You want new shoes? Too bad, kids need them first. My mom taught me to sacrafice my wants for my children, that they come first. And you work as hard as you can to give them a safe and good life.

 

 5. Even moms get weak and that is okay.

All the stressors of life gets heavy, even for a super-mom’s shoulders. The load sometimes becomes too much to bare and you fall. You get off track, you get a little selfish and want to put yourself first for a change. This is normal. It’s okay to fall. It’s even okay if you need a little pill every day from your doctor to help deal with the stress, as long as you get back up. You cannot stay down. You must regroup and get back to doing what needs to be done. No if, ands, or butts.

   6. Home-cooked meals are the best.

There is absolutely nothing like a home cooked meal made by my mom. Even as an adult I think my mom’s food is better than mine. It’s the love and memories from all the years she created full course delicious meals on a very limited budget while running on fumes. Everyone sat down to eat and chatted about their day, together. It kept us close.

   7. Have respect for what you have.

My mom came from a poor family. Her father’s parents came to the United States as immigrants from Croatia. Her mother grew up right here in South Omaha on 13th Street. They had 7 daughters in a very small home and it was normal for my grandmother to take in neighbor kids or relatives who were in need. While they didn’t have much money, they appreciated what they had. The small home was well kept and always clean. Growing up my mom was this way as well. We didn’t have much money but anyone on the outside was always impressed with our immaculate yard and home. Laundry & dishes done daily, vacumming and sweeping. No one came to our house messy, ever. 

Once my sister spilled red kool-aid on our new cream colored carpet in the living room. Quickly she tried to clean with bleach to remove the stain before our mom had a chance to see it. Long story short we all had to spend a whole weekend bleaching that carpet to match that stain, with windows open and gasping for air. My mom was raised to respect and take care of what she had, to take pride in yourself, your home and your family.
 

 
   8. The kids are a reflection of the parents. 

As kids, we were always clean and had nice clothes. Me and my sister’s hair was always braided or in pig-tails. We were taught respect and manners. It was obvious my mom worked hard at being a mom like she had with the many stories she shared about her childhood. She took pride in that and made sure to carry on those values with her children.

  

   9. Work hard.

My mom always worked too much. Probably 60 hours a week or more, whether it was with one job or spread out with two or three. She strived to have nice things but knew the value of hard work. My mom was never afraid to get her hands dirty. Whether she cleaned apartments for side money, or took on projects like a rental house deal, she never cut corners and always cleaned everything so it was fit for a king. And she never let the long hours at work affect her home. That woman would run on just a few hours of sleep. She never slept through the night, she would get up to switch the laundry over and fold the finished load through the night.  I’m sure it would have been easier to cut herself some slack, but she never did.

   10. Most importantly she taught me the importance of tradition. 

The Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunts

Santa Claus 

The tooth fairy

Holiday dinners with close family and friends

Family vacations

It was not uncommon for a last minute invite from my mom to one of our holiday dinners. If she found out that someone she knew had no plans for the holiday my mom instantly opened our home so that person would not be alone. My mom would stay up all night baking pies, up at the crack of dawn to start the turkey, everything from scratch, everything amazing. When I hear of other families memories, I think yours could not compare to my mine. When I come across somebody whose family does not celebrate; on one hand (now that I’m the parent hosting these dinners) there’s a bit of me that feels jealous. Like that would be so nice to just sit home and relax on that day off. But if they have small kids, if they have little children, my heart breaks. The loss of those memories those kids are missing out on makes me sad. 

    11. Be silly, be you and laugh

I love my mother’s laugh. It’s contagious. She’s comfortable with who she is and doesn’t worry about what others think. She is who she is and I love that. She taught me to love myself and not give a shit what other people think. 

   12. Sometimes be impulsive

When you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, it’s easy to forget how to have fun. You get stuck focusing on all the responsibilities you have, bills that are due, groceries to buy, appointments to make. You forget to live life. Sometimes you need to buy yourself those shoes, or do something crazy like get a tattoo. Sometimes be spur of the moment. 

   I’m so very grateful for my mother. She taught me so many wonderful things about being a strong person and a wonderful mother. Because of her I have raised great kids who are thoughtful, loving and kind. She taught me to believe in myself, to value who I am and to be proud of what I’ve accomplished. On a rough day at work I can hear her telling me how smart I am and how impressed she is with me. That helps me regroup and get back to being my fierce self. She reminds me to know my worth and never settle. She has become my voice of reason when my frustrations cloud my emotions. I could not be who I am without her.

Mom, thank you for being you. 

Never have I

Never have I felt so loved in this world. It’s a different feeling and I fought it off for a long time, afraid of getting attached and because of that I almost lost him. But his love is hard, deep and pure and he has a fight in him more powerful than all my fears.

He knows me better than I probably know myself. His touch is seductive and sensual, strong but soft. His eyes look at me in amazement and you can see his love sparkle. He is driven to make me happy and I have no idea how I got so lucky to have him. 

Part of me is angry at myself for the time I wasted trying to push him away. I focused on all the things wrong, I refused to accept his love. I couldn’t allow myself to believe someone could love me, especially the way he did. So I guarded myself, protected my heart. But deep down my soul ached for him. His touch, his conversation, his strong arms around my waist, his gaze looking at me. The warm feeling I get when he is near me, secure and adored.

From the first message I felt like I had known him forever. I opened up to him like no one before. As scared as I was of the fall, I couldn’t walk away from him. I couldn’t imagine not having him to make me laugh, or feel his touch. The connection was so strong, it felt like a drug and I needed more. But my fear of losing myself, losing control, that was more powerful. That is until I lost him. Then I crumbled and realized as hard as I tried, as cold as I was, it didn’t work. I still fell for that asshole with every piece of my being. 

Now forever with him doesn’t seem long enough. 

I choose to be better

It’s no secret I have a temper. It’s hard wired in my genes. When I get pissed there’s usually an exhausting process but is always the result of being hurt or disrespected. I fight back tears. My chest feels like it’s going to explode, I can’t breathe, I shake, my blood is literally boiling and I’m ready to tell you all the reasons you can fuck off. I can insult you like you have never seen. Fuck going below the belt, I can take that bitch off and beat you with it. I will make sure you think twice before disrespecting me again. If I’m pushed to physical blows, I can briefly black out and when I come to, I’m drowning in confusion when I realize what’s happened and I see you on the floor. It’s actually a terrifying feeling for me as much as it is for you.

Now I choose to be better mentally. To avoid being on the defense. I have learned to breathe and step away from the situation regardless how much you deserve to feel my roar. I feel the rage pulsing through my whole body, from my toes to the top of my head. I want to explode but I’m actually protecting you. When I completely calm down, it’s like a weighted blanket wraps me. My heart finally slows down and I feel the heat leave my body. My ears even burn and the pressure releases leaving an ache in my head. To not explode is actually more physically exhausting for me, it’s a crash. Fighting would be energizing, like a wrestler punching his chest. Instead I’m drained of every bit of energy to save you from my wrath. Eventually I feel better and proud of this accomplishment. Very few people can help me with this process. So thankful for my best friend having this gift so I can continue to grow into being a better and stronger person.

Letter to Emily

You don’t know me. You only know what he said when he was hurt and trying to convince himself that I was not his forever. This isn’t a letter of hate or jealousy, it is a letter of apology and thanks.

Before I met Bud I had lived alone for eight years with my children, raising them on my own. Five of those eight years I lived in hiding from an abusive and usually psychotic ex husband. That marriage was a constant war and unfortunately it left me scarred, afraid to live and afraid to love. I avoided connections, people and life. I was always looking for “the fall” as I call it. Even though he was a work in progress, definitely not perfect by any means, Bud was always amazing and wow did that man love me.

As amazing as he was and is, I always loved him from a distance. Anyone who knew him would tell you that he adored me. Even though I heard when they’d talk about it with admiration, I still couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t allow myself to expect that love, to count on it or depend on it because of my past. Terrified of the embarrassment of giving myself completely to another man just to have them leave, I refused to appreciate and enjoy the things that he did for me. Loving somebody who’s right there in your hand yet constantly trying to find a way out would probably make most people run. Eventually they would say enough is enough, but Bud never did. When he wanted to keep fighting, I told him not to. I pushed him away, I told him it was over. I told him to move on. I didn’t say these things to be hurtful or spiteful. I honestly believed I could walk away, that I could save myself the fall whether it was going to be in five years or ten, I could avoid it by just letting go now.

Bud always being respectful of my wishes did not fight, he let go only because that’s what I wanted. And if I thought that would make me happy, he was willing to sacrifice his whole being to give me that. But it broke him and he needed love. Then came you.

Seeing that photo of you two was a huge wake-up call. I knew he would never have moved on, he would never have left if I didn’t make him go. I thought of all the things he did for me, our connection and our bond, our deep belly laughs and inside jokes. I thought of our blended family and how much I missed those girls. And it was at that moment realized I might have just lost him forever. And I knew my fears caused the fall. I reached for him in an a desperate attempt to save something, even if just my friend because I couldn’t lose him. And with that, your world fell.

Now I have my best friend back, and because of you I learned to let myself love him fully. No tip toe, no ready to run, I want him forever. Because of you I realized I need to shake my heart out of these shackles and give him what he deserves, my all. Because of you I will make sure he knows I love him, how much he means to me and my world is incomplete without him. Because of you I realized I can’t lose him. You gave me the best gift of all, you freed my heart and by doing so saved my life. In this process you were hurt and for that I am truly sorry. I hope you find your forever person, your best friend because you helped me realize that I already had mine.

Relationships are hard

Relationships are hard. It’s easy to focus on everything wrong and forget all the good. It makes it easier for you to run, to shut yourself off. Less chance of heartache. 

I’ve spent the past 10-15 years building walls. Except for my children, I love everyone from a distance. I avoid connections. I stay detached with my running shoes next to me at all times. When I start to feel my heart warm, I pull away. This is how I am assured to never fall again. To never be rejected or pushed aside. If I don’t care no one can hurt me. But I was hurting myself. With the loneliness and fears. Awareness of this was something I really always had. But now I have something different. Hope for tomorrow and happiness for the future. 

Brutal self reflection

Self reflection is not for weak. It’s hard to open your eyes to your own flaws. But my goal in life is to be better than who I was yesterday, and that takes hard work.

I can be a very cold person. I’m not mean but to others especially those I love, I see now, my armor can be cruel. But it’s been my safety net. 

I don’t want to admit to myself I care because that is a hard fall. It gives them power to hurt me. I carry a lot of internal baggage. Scars from previous relationships left me terrified to love again. It crippled me in that department. Even when someone is the safest person I’ve ever met, I made myself doubt their love and dedication to me because I couldn’t allow myself to believe. I pushed him away in an effort to save myself the heartache from the fall. I was always preparing for it. I convinced myself all the things he did was not a big deal. That no one could love me, not the real me buried deep inside hidden from everyone. The scared, scarred insecure me. Even when everyone in my family said “he adores you” I refused to focus on or acknowledge how special the things he did for me was. And honestly, I never realized how deep my scars are until I actually saw myself in his eyes. To hear how my actions made him feel. How closed off I was and how that must have felt for him. For a year and half he stood by my side, protecting me from my fears even at his cost. He needed to feel loved, he deserved that. And while he knew I loved him, he knew it wasn’t all of me and he accepted that. 

I always say “we are all human; flawed individuals trying in a tough world to become better”. This human right here has learned a valuable lesson about love. True love. Real love. Deep in your soul love. It’s real and it’s scary but it’s worth it. Keep pushing through your fears. 

 

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