Monday, July 20, 2015

CHANGE the Place that You Are

"If you aren't happy in the place that you are, 
change the place that you are."

I used to think I knew what that meant.

And so I spent a lot of time and energy looking for the place that would make me happy, looking for the place where I would fit.  I would dig in and engage until it started to feel like I didn't fit, until I wasn't happy.  Then, I would think, "Jo... if you aren't happy here, then find a new here."  I would disengage. I would search for a new here -- and I would start again.

But what if that's not what it means?

What if the answer doesn't lie in picking up and moving... but in staying and changing the actual place you've already set down roots?

What if it means that you aren't meant to be forever searching for a place that is made uniquely for you...  but that you're meant to be setting yourself down and having a meaningful impact on the place that you already are?

What if you're meant to stop looking for the place you're meant to be and instead to start creating the place you're meant to be...?

What if you were looking at it all wrong?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Forget You Knew My Name

(on Saturday)

"Forget you ever knew my name."

He had pulled me into his arms, his scent filling me, and whispered those words into my hair. He had pulled back to cup my cheek in the palm of his hand, seemingly on the brink of saying more...

And then he was gone.

Forget I ever knew his name? I laugh now.

Maybe it would have been easier if it hadn't been for all the other things that were so hard to forget.

If I closed my eyes, I could still feel his hand on the small of my back as we walked, his lips on my neck when he woke me in the early morning. I could still feel the warmth of his hands as they skimmed my skin.

The beat of his chest. The scent of his hair.

I think of him when I touch my coffee cup to my lips each morning. I think of him when an old song comes on and I remember the way we danced. I think of his laughter. The hard spots and the soft spots. The ways he made me crazy and the ways he made me love him.

Forget I ever knew his name?

How can you ever forget something so terribly right that went so terribly wrong?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Chasing My Own Worth

I used to believe that it was me. I used to believe that if a relationship went through a dry or untended period, it must be because of me.

It was something I had done. It was something I had said.
It was something I hadn't done or said, but that I should have.
I had gone too far. Not far enough. Crossed a boundary without respecting it.
Mostly, it must be because I was lacking in some important way.

I would make myself crazy -- actually crazy -- trying to figure out what it was. I would blame myself. I would think less of myself. I would earnestly believe that there must be something wrong with me. Something I needed to fix.

But that was something that proved impossible because of one important detail.

It was never about me. And eventually, I learned that.

Maybe it was about how busy they were.
Maybe it was about the stress level in their lives.
Maybe it was even about the priority, or lack thereof, they put on our relationship.

But it truly wasn't about me. It certainly wasn't about my worth as a person. And there really wasn't anything I could do to change what was.

Somehow...  somehow that was freeing. And I stopped chasing them.

Friday, July 10, 2015

A Vulnerability Circle

Making yourself vulnerable to others can be a hard thing. It comes with the risk that you could be hurt -- that your heart could be somehow trampled on, leaving you broken and burned.

It is placing your most private corners in someone else's hands -- gambling that they'll respect the trust you've placed in them -- but knowing that they might not.

Sometimes that comes when I share my innermost secrets with a person, trying to be real and transparent. Sometimes comes just when I've written something here. And I hope that you read it the way I spoke it -- that you will understand it. That you won't ridicule my heart offering.

And I suppose that's why it means something when someone allows themselves to be vulnerable with me -- when they give me the power to trample -- when they put themselves on the line to ask what I think about what they've made - what they've offered.

A vulnerability circle, if you will, that circles to infinity as long as you maintain respect and trust.
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