Summers End

Summer is over. I used to get really bummed at the prospect of fall, only because winter is on our doorstep. I don’t mind the snow, I just hate it when it gets bitter cold. Hopefully we won’t experience that very much as the months grow colder. I still love seeing the leaves change and we are close to October ( my favorite month ).

There were some challenging days this summer but I managed to fumble my way through it and I’m grateful. Another chapter has begun and it’s starting out pretty damn great. So many wonderful and unexpected things have come my way.

What I’ve come to learn is that my life is now in such a wonderful place not in spite of the dark times a few years ago but because of those times. I’ve learned how to take care of myself and in turn have become a much better person for it. I try to look for the good in people. I try not to judge. And I live to laugh and enjoy my life every single day. When you find yourself in the bottom of a seemingly endless pit, it is possible to climb your way out and become stronger because of it.

There’s nothing better than to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and not hate what you see. It can be challenging not to fall into old patterns of self-destruction. I do falter, there are times when I don’t think I deserve the awesome things I have in my life. There are times when I wish I could share my story, not to gather sympathy but as a cautionary tale. To show people how it’s possible to break from the things that bring nothing but harm. To tell women that they are worthy and good and there are times when it’s not your fault.

If we allow our bad experiences to hold us down, we are the only ones who suffer. Discovering what makes you happy, what give you bliss and what is really important. I no longer have to play the chess game of what will make me happy. I don’t have to lie, cheat or steal. I only have to look around at what I have and enjoy. The work is worth it. Even when I get home and I ache from head to toe after a long day at my store, I’m still thankful and happy.

I give all the credit to the “Rocks” in my life. Those that helped pull me out of my own head and propped me up until I could walk on my own two feet again. My family, friends and my kids who love me whether I have a bad day, week, month or in my case a few years. A therapist who essentially told me to “Knock it off and start living my life.”

Forgiveness and love go a long way in turning yourself around. Finding the tricks to keep you from re-treading old bullshit.  And realizing that your life is full and you are a better person for it. If I hadn’t hit rock bottom, I never would have found my true strength and determination not sit back and say “Well this is my life.” I won’t settle anymore for things when I know there are better things to come-I just have to be patient.

Being kind fills you with kindness. Giving love fills you with love. Forgiving others help you forgive yourself. When you look at others with compassion and empathy you realize that no one is worth hate. No situation can hold you back. Nothing can take away your ability to rise every morning unless you allow it to.

There will always be people who don’t care. Who barrel through life with the motto of “What will make my life easy.” I’ve learned to feel real sadness for them because I was once in that same position. But when you’re forced to realize that things/people aren’t worth your own destruction and as long as you live your truth and not deny it, you’ll be okay.

There will always be things that will never change. Deep rooted emotions that will never die. The good news is that they will fade into the background. Their hold on you will slowly ebb. Yes, every now and than they may pop up, they may haunt you for a bit but soon you’ll find that years of regret and hurt will turn to months, then days, then hours and then minutes. They can become nothing more than a flicker that you can snuff out and get on with your day.

It takes work. You have to stop asking why and stop feeling sorry for yourself. You have to realize what you do have is a gift. That everyday is a new promise of what can be. Even in moments of weakness, you’ll be able to pull yourself out of your own head and keep moving forward and too never, ever settle for anything.

In the grand scheme of life I have everything I need. I have my store, my family. I have 3 awesome, wonderful and kind kids. I have a supportive family and a wonderful close-knit group of friends who’ve been with me for over 25 yrs. Compared to a lot of people, I am richer and happier and most of all satisfied. And when the pangs of my past read their ugly head, The happiness I now have is more important than ever.

As the Beatles said. “It’s not the love you get but the love you give.” And when you reach that moment in your life when instead of hate, you have love…well what more can you possibly ask for.

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