Just Start

Just Start

I’m talking to myself here, too, just so ya know. What I might find helpful for me might be helpful for you, so that’s why I’m sharing. But this also serves as a reminder for me, and sort of my “showing up” session(s), because I need to start showing up for myself. So, with that said, let me stop rambling and get to it. And please forgive me as I do tend to ramble. I’m a southern gal and maybe it’s just my thing.

I’ve been stalling for oh, such a very long time. Stalling on so many things.

I wrote a book on how to heal trauma, revised many times, had beta readers give me their opinions and feedback, then created my book proposal and query, and started sending out my query and proposal to literary agents. I sent to thirty-something agents and one publisher that allows submissions. Not one person asked to read my manuscript. And then, I stopped sending to anyone. Fear and Doubt crept in.

I started this blog/website a while ago, finally posted in what, May? Then, I stopped.

I used to write every day and every night, and I suppose, sometimes, I do still write but it’s all contained in my journal, and I haven’t shared with anyone, YET.

Risk-takers, UNITE!

I used to take risks. Like, big risks. I started a business once on the spur of the moment, not really giving the thought much contemplation, just sort of going with the cool idea, and jumping into the deep end immediately. Granted, I did have a steady job at the time, so I knew I had a safety net if my idea didn’t pan out. I sent out like 20 business letters with my card and my resume to various firms and within 2 days, my pager (back when they were in fashion) started going crazy, and I was booked solid for months, giving me the opportunity to turn in my 2 weeks notice, and then I ran that business for years, quite successfully. But life changes, the economy collapses, and I have to make another plan, which was actually offered to me at the time, so I took the safe path and took the job, which I didn’t want to do, but I was thankful I could still earn an income while I watched many others get laid off. I didn’t want to complain, so I sucked it up and tried to be grateful.

I suppose I’ve taken risks since. I quit corporate America to find a way to work from home so I could be a present parent for my child, who was in middle school at the time. All my life, or since I was about 2, I wanted a little girl, and I got married, and had that little miracle, and I wanted to be there for her, a shoulder for her to cry on, her sounding board, easily attained advice in-person and not over the phone, more laughter, more hugs, more fun memories, more time together, rather than trying to get through rush hour traffic only to get home and cook supper, supervise her homework, bathe, talk for a few minutes, and then off to bed. I needed to be home for her. So, I found a way, gave 2 weeks notice, and started working from home. It’s one of the best decisions I ever made and I’m still working from home and have been since around 2012. Has it always been easy? Definitely not. There have been client losses over the years and bills piling up. But has it been worth it, even with some struggles along the way? 100%!

An Epiphany!

But somewhere along the way, I stopped taking risks. I used to believe in myself more. I used to have a small percentage of faith in myself. And POOF! I just had a realization… Maybe it wasn’t belief or faith in myself that I actually had at the time of taking those risks. Maybe it was mere curiosity, along with drive and ambition and a reason to go for it. Perhaps it’s THE REASON I need to focus on, and not make it about ME. I really do tend to get in my own way. I overthink EVERYTHING and when I do, I lose. Because I allow Fear to join the party, and then the party’s over, and everyone runs out, screaming. Joy hurriedly left. Curiosity just fell out and someone dragged her away. Trust rolled her eyes, threw her hands up, and went to someone else’s house. Creativity? I don’t even know what happened to her.

What Was My Process Again?

So, risk taking… with the new biz, I thought up a fun and cool idea, went for it immediately, threw some stuff together in a day and put out the feelers. I had a safe job in case it didn’t work out. What was there to lose?! I didn’t overthink anything. The reason? To have a better gig, to push myself, to leave the crappy job with crappy employers, to make more money, to not have a boss – many fun and interesting reasons, don’t ya think? I didn’t consider the negatives at all – no health benefits, but I knew I was healthy, and never went to the doctor for anything unless I was dying. I’m not a big fan of doctors to begin with, if ya couldn’t tell.

With working from home, I wanted and needed to be with my kid and be there for her when she needed me. Reason? I reached my limit with working for other crappy people who think they are gods, and are rude, and condescending, and, and, and… Plus, I really wanted to be there for and with my girl. Time goes soooo fast and I was so tired of missing it. I wanted to be with her more. So, I found a way. I looked at my newly found online job, how much I’d make every week, the expenses I had and what expenses I wouldn’t have as a result of working from home, like the gas I’d used on those commutes to and from someone else’s building. And I could see I could make it work. My ex was helping with her new school tuition. Yup, I moved her from public to private school, because her public school teachers (at least one, in particular) and little bratty bullies were damaging her spirit, so ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Especially when it comes to your most beloved people.

Road of Overcoming

Guessing I forgot what it took to take risks. I guess I got up in my head and stayed there too long. Never a safe place to be. Mindset is one thing. Living in your head is something completely different. You start telling yourself all the lies about why something won’t work out, or why you’re undeserving of good things, or believing God or the universe isn’t supporting you because of all the stupid and bad decisions you’ve made in your life, and you start punishing yourself instead of empowering yourself.

If you’re anything like me, you believe God is punishing you, but what I know to be true, and need to remind myself of daily, is that God does not punish, at least not since Jesus came. I’m not a Bible thumper (and I don’t mean that in a rude or disrespectful way, though it might sound like it) or a religious person, but I do love God and Jesus. My relationship with God is just a bit strained sometimes. However, I am on this road of overcoming. Overcoming fears, limitations, limiting beliefs, anger, hate, self-hatred, unforgiveness, and many more strong weaknesses that I’m not wanting to continue.

I had a recent God experience a few months ago that I’ll eventually share more about but the main nugget I grabbed, but still fight with off and on, because I am a FIGHTER, is that He’s not punishing us. Sure, we’ve all done some stupid shiz. We are human. It’s in our DNA. He knows we have weaknesses. He’s not mad. He sees so much more value in us that we see in ourselves. He doesn’t give so much thought to our weaknesses like we do. Sometimes, it’s all we focus on. He sees our beauty, our heart, His perfect creation, our love, our forgiveness, our strength, our perseverance, our character at our core. He sees us when we’re weak, sure. But He’s not judging us harshly in those moments. He’s loving us. He’s rooting for us. He’s whispering in our ear,

“You got this. It’s okay. You are gonna do amazing things. You can do anything if you just believe. Believe in yourself a little better. Overcome. Build yourself up. Love you like I do. Love others like I do. And be gentle with yourself. You are precious to Me. Do more good things. People can benefit from your help, help that only you can give. Because just like the stars, you are different and special and have your own distinct qualities and gifts and you can shine your light like nobody’s business.”

Dude, the Dude is all about love and forgiveness. So just know that He does meet you where you are, whatever you are doing, or not doing, in the middle of your hot mess of a life, He is there, loving you, wanting you to love yourself and pick yourself up. He does help, but we also have to do our part and help ourselves, and help others. He’s not an angry God or hateful punishing God like I thought He was, and sometimes still think He is. I see the lies more than the truth sometimes. Gotta stop that. God is good and He loves you more than you can even begin to fathom. It’s a love that’s so ginormous, it pushes out tears to make it’s fullness in your heart.

A Daily Visual For You

In part of my God experience a few months back, God was inside of me, outside of me, He was in every fragment of the experience. Hard to explain, really. The sun shined in a way I’d never seen before. It made me stop and be still and take notice. I saw the grass greener and freer than I’d ever seen it. Flowers were in bloom and they radiated a glow as if to say, “I am more than flowers. I’m more alive than you know.” G (God) sort of stuck His head out, briefly, and whispered,

“I made the sun for you. I put it out there just for you, so that you might find joy in it. I placed the soft green grass there to soften your step and give you enjoyment. I gave you these beautiful flowers so that you can experience beauty in your life every day, and with the change of seasons, there will always be beauty for you. It’s because I love you so very much. You are special to me and I take joy in you.”

This was such a powerful life-changing moment for me. I KNEW in that moment that He loved me, has always loved me, and there’s nothing I can do to ever make him stop loving me. And when He told me this, He said it in such a way that I knew it was His truth for me and my heart, and for you and your heart. He feels this way about each and every one of us, and He wants you to know.

So, close your eyes if you want to visualize this conversation with Him and the energizing and invigorating but individual rays of sunlight illuminating your hair and your face in a deeply enjoyable restful peaceful state, and see the rays casting a glow on the soft green grass and the lovely blooms on pretty pink flowers or whatever color you choose, feeling their presence in your heart, feeling their love for you, and know that you are connected with them and them with you. We are all connected, to each other and every single thing. Know that the sun, the grass, the trees, the flowers, the rain – all of it is for you. They are gifts for you. And feel G saying loving things to you, because He does and He is. And then open your eyes and see all the beauty around you. Even the seemingly off and negatives and hard things are here FFFFOR you. They are to learn from, to overcome, to better, to build character, etc. There’s a reason for all of it, even when you swear there’s no good reason. It is for your good. You just have to remember you are a warrior spirit and you can overcome and ask for help and reach for what you want, take action, and allow the help to come. Just know it’s not coming served up on a platter. Living means doing. There can be a time for complacency but only if it helps you to eventually see what you need to do, moving forward. So, even in your complacency, do not beat yourself up about it. Give yourself grace and room and love. Gentleness with yourself is HUGE!

Taking Some Action

In this realization, I am cutting myself a new path. Or perhaps I’ll take an old path – the path I used to take when I wasn’t scared of risk-taking. I will decide what I want to try and just do it, and keep at it, and trust the process, and find the enjoyment. No pressure. I’m not quite ready to try the book publishing thing again, because there’s still a lot of fear there (something I need to work on, for sure), but I can still show up for me, and perhaps help someone else in the process. Who knows? I will blog and post to Instagram. I used to love blogging back in the day. I had another blog years ago and I blogged ALL the time. One social media outlet can be enough for now. I’ll even start sending out emails to my followers/subscribers, at least… hmmm… once a week? Once a month? I’ll figure it out. I know I get sick of superfluous emails and I don’t want to hear from anyone every single day except my family. Plus, I get so sick of peeps selling something. It seems every email I open, they’re trying to sell something, but there’s no real value their offering. It’s just about their bottom line. Not everyone is like that, I know. But it seems the majority of my emails are sales from people I don’t even remember following. And I’m in the process of slimming down those subscriptions, believe me.

Is there something holding you back from taking a risk? Can you find your safety net and give it a try anyway? Would you be willing to set aside fear, get out of your head, look at the thing you want to try, find or make a way, and just go for it? Find your reason. Let it be big enough that you do actually want and need change. Don’t think on what ifs. What if it doesn’t work out? What if it’s not meant for me? What if I fail? What if I succeed? These are not meant to be considered when risk-taking. The What Ifs take all the fun out. Risk-taking should be exciting and fun and adventuresome, maybe a little scary, but not scary enough to make you freeze. If you want big fun things in your life, you HAVE to take action, or you’ll never know how great you and your life can be. Honestly, if I’d never taken a risk, I never would have worked for myself, I never would have published anything, I never would have worked from home and had that precious valuable time with my kiddo as she grew up and took her own risks and found success, and I never would have realized I could make my own way through this life. I believe we can have what we dream of, but it takes effort. You have to take action. I have to take action. We have to jump into the deep end and try and try and try to swim, and not give up when it feels hard or impossible. What do you get when you don’t try? What do you get when you give up? We get nothing, complacency, sadness, depression, anxiety, misery, boredom, oldness, ultimate failure.

Ultimate Failure

Ultimate failure is what you get when you don’t try, and when you give up. There’s nothing wrong on giving up on something that doesn’t bring you fulfillment and joy. Just don’t give up on yourself or your dreams or some crazy idea that sounds like the best thing ever! We don’t get anywhere by playing small, or maybe you actually can, because playing small means you’re actually playing. But you won’t get anywhere by not playing at all. If you tried, then you can put yourself in the winner’s circle, because it seems like those who try are the risk-takers. No effort means automatic fail by omission.

We can actually get somewhere by playing small. But you get nowhere not playing at all.

Whatcha gonna do?

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