Picture credit: @cakeandconfetti
Happy Tuesday, everyone! And happy March! How is it already March!? I feel like the older I get, the faster time seems to slip on by! Anyone else feel like that?
I’m so excited to do another “Life Lately” post where I’ll be sharing all the deets on my feelings, thoughts, and things I love as of lately. It’s always fun to sit down and just write out exactly how I’m feeling and let you in on fun (and maybe not so fun) things that are going on in my life. It can be quite therapeutic for me since it’s like writing in a journal (and I’ve been horrible at writing in an actual journal the past couple of years).
So, let’s get this shin-dig started!
I just looked up how to spell “touchy-feelys” and apparently there’s no one right way to spell it (because maybe it’s not a real word or phrase), so I’ll just go with that spelling, ha! But really though, I’ve been feeling all the touchy-feelies lately. Some days I wake up feeling so excited to be alive and other days I’m overcome with stress, sadness, and anger. I guess that’s just part of life, but the downs seem to be a little worse than normal lately.
My feelings have in large part been the result of withholding authenticity in order to please others. There are so many things I refrain from standing up for and sharing because I know that some of the people in my life haven’t been taught to show the kind of empathy that I’d need to receive in order to share my feelings/thoughts with them. Brené Brown, one of my favorite authors, says, “You share with the people who earn the right to hear your story.”
The kind of people I won’t be sharing with are the ones who would say, “I’m disappointed in you,” or, “You shouldn’t be saying/thinking that way,” instead of trying to understand how I’m feeling/what I’m going through. Unfortunately, a lot of people aren’t taught to have empathy, so for now all I can do is stay close to my husband (who is incredibly empathetic, intelligent, and wonderful) and work on myself. I’m not quite at the point where I feel I can be completely vulnerable yet, but I’m working on it and know I’ll get there!
In fact, as difficult as the rest of this post is to write, I can’t stand idly by when I know people are suffering, so I’m choosing to step way out of my comfort zone and be a bit vulnerable.
Every time I think I can’t love this band any more than I already do, they do something else that proves me wrong! Their music is obviously amazing but what I think is even more amazing is how they’re standing up for what they believe in and trying to instigate important changes. Dan Reynolds, the main singer, grew up Mormon (and is still an active member of the church, I believe) and is using his platform to speak up about LGBT rights and religious shame/guilt. His decision to be honest about his convictions is incredibly brave and admirable decision considering the backlash that people often get for sharing differing opinions and beliefs.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, “Utah could be doing significantly more to help prevent youth suicide, which has increased each year nearly four times faster than the national average, a new federal report says.” It’s difficult for me to even go check in on social media because of the intense pain I feel when I see so many people showing lack of empathy, and doing more harm than good when it comes to making sure people don’t feel more alone, misunderstood, and alienated.
I also love how Dan Reynolds is spreading awareness of the unhealthy methods that are used to shame many youth and even adults for their differing beliefs and sins. Some are even sent home from missions or from their universities when they do what they consider to be the right thing and confess their sins to their bishops. Their tremendous bravery in being honest and seeking help is often met with intense shame in the form of sending them home to parents who are extremely disappointed in them.
The truth is that there is an epidemic in Utah and amongst Mormons all over the world and something needs to change. People need to stop turning their heads and pretending these kind of shame tactics and lack of empathy aren’t happening. People need to stop sticking up for the wrong things just because everyone else is doing it and start actually caring about people. Speaking your truth and standing up for what’s right is incredibly difficult but so important. I know I’m not at the point that I can do it very well and even writing this simple post has made me feel extremely susceptible to shame from family/friends, so Dan Reynolds is honestly one of my hero’s for being so brave.
(P.S In regards to a comment Dan made in the video, for me personally, I didn’t think it was okay for me to have sex just because I loved someone. Unlike Dan, I believe in waiting until marriage. But I don’t shame others for not waiting. That’s their decision to make. I just wanted to clarify my thoughts on that. I don’t have to agree with everything he says in order to think he’s brave for speaking his truth.)
Okay, enough deep talk for now! There’s been some super-duper happy things that have happened lately, as well, believe it or not!
Here are a few things I’m grateful for lately:
- Connor and I are going on our cruise in 33 days! We’re so excited for our much-needed little getaway and also excited that we’ll get to see family before and after our cruise! Yay!
- I got my first Happy Light! After waking up to a boat load of snow the other day, I’d had my last straw with this depressing weather! I decided to get myself a happy therapy light that’s supposed to improve your mood and increase your energy levels. I’ve heard great things about them so I’m excited to use it!
- I have a new favorite song that I’ve been listening to non-stop. It makes me sososo happy!
- Our office room is currently my favorite room in the house (probably because it’s the most finished at this point). It’s so soothing to go in there and see all the pretty inspiring prints and decorations. Connor says it’s a bit girly but he has the garage all to himself and the rest of the house isn’t very girly so I’m not gonna feel bad about it, haha!
One of my favorite renowned therapists is Dr. Julie Hanks, owner of Wasatch Family Therapy here in Utah, is doing her part to help youth by encouraging parents to show unconditional love and support no matter what they believe or what decisions they make. In a recent blog post she said,
“As the mother of four children my goal is to help them to become who they want to become. Several months ago I asked one of my kids if they ‘liked’ or had a crush on anyone at school. They replied with a sheepish grin, ‘Yes.’ To which I asked without thinking, ‘Boy or girl?’ I want my children to be honest with me, open with me, and know that I love them no matter what. My kids already know my spiritual beliefs and my life choices. My job isn’t to mold them into a mini-me, but to help them become more of who they are and to create the life that they want.” –Heterosexuality Isn’t ‘a Choice,’ Neither is Homosexuality
Brené Brown is another one of my hero’s! I’ve learned more about shame, boundary setting, being authentic, and having empathy for others from her in the past few months as I’ve been reading her books than I have in my entire life. Here’s a few of my favorite quotes from her books.
“Compassionate people ask for what they need. They say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. They’re compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment.” – Rising Strong, Brené Brown
“Choose discomfort over resentment.” -Brené Brown
“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what’s fast, fun, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.” -Rising Strong, Brené Brown
“If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.” -Brené Brown
When you first start trying to be vulnerable, people are going to freak out. And there will be a pushback. You will scare some people, but vulnerability is a great filter. If people can’t accept your vulnerability, they don’t deserve your trust.” -Brené Brown (and vulnerability is honesty and honesty is good)
And to finish off my post, here’s one more I recently found!
“Boundaries are hard to set and maintain if we doubt ourselves and our assessment of the situation. We often wonder if we are overreacting or being too sensitive. We need to set healthy boundaries if someone’s behaviors show their lack of respect for us and our feelings.” -Shannon Thomas