Please let me introduce you to a genuine truthteller.
My good friend at LimitlessLessons is passionate about everything she does. In her life, with her family, in her career, in her writing … she is true. And while she is a wonderfully positive person, her writing and reflection is not all sunshine and rainbows and puppies. She does what I don’t do sometimes–she shares the ugly parts, the vulnerable parts, the absolute true and hard to admit parts. Which is why her writing speaks to us all. We find our souls are sitting there, nodding their collective heads in understanding while we read. It is just one of the reasons why I admire her so much. You are going to love her, too.
Please welcome LimitlessLessons to MommyVerbs and Verbify the Word Wednesday!
I started LimitlessLessons about a year ago for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons being I was searching for something, although I’m not sure what. Maybe I was searching for the key to happiness, or searching for others who were like-minded, trying to better themselves, and searching for something as well. Or possibly I was searching for an outlet to discuss experiences I was either excited or confused about. I’m not really sure, but I was definitely searching for something that would make my life more peaceful and fulfilling.
When MommyVerbs was kind enough to invite me to be a guest blogger for her and explained I was to focus on a verb, the word “search” may have been an obvious choice. But, if there is one thing I’ve learned this past year, it’s that the most concise and beautiful path to a content life is tostop searching and start accepting.
Just as the word “accept” seems like a pretty uncomplicated verb with a straightforward meaning, you would think accepting life as it’s presented to you would be straightforward as well. Well, it’s not…at least not for me. Did you know that according to the Encarta Dictionary: English (North America) there are actually twelve definitions for this simple word? I’ve picked my top 6 definitions to assist me in taking a look at what I’ve learned (and continue to learn) over the past year as I’ve trudged along on my happiness quest.
1. Take something offered
I’m learning the importance of taking something offered. More often than not, that “something” is a helping hand, words of wisdom, or simply just a hug. Accepting others’ help is very difficult for some people (me!) as it can be misconstrued as weakness. The truth is, it takes great strength to acknowledge your shortcomings and admit you are in over your head.
2. Say yes to invitation
I am saying yes to more invitations…literally and figuratively. I am not very comfortable around people I don’t know well, so making new friends has always been challenging for me. I have been stepping outside my comfort zone and saying yes to new people and new opportunities as well as reconnecting with old friends I have lost touch with. Just in the past year I have started yoga, participated in a bowling league, became an advisor for my sorority on campus, painted my first painting, started tennis lessons, and traveled out of the country for the first time with my husband. Agreeing to write for MommyVerbs falls in this category as well. There was definitely a time I would have politely declined because I would have been fearful my writing would not have lived up to the expectations.
3. Come to terms with something
This is a biggie. There are so many things I’ve had to come to terms with. Friends can become strangers as quickly as strangers can become friends. I can’t stop my kids from growing up or our parents from getting older. People can be incredibly mean-spirited, but they can also be incredibly kind. Life goes on even when you don’t want it to. Endings are always painful. The quality of your friendships is much more important than the quantity. People will always judge you, and although you may not live in your past anymore, there will be some who try to visit you there often. You never know someone’s true character until they are angry at you.
4. Endure situation
This definition says to tolerate something without protesting or attempting to change it. I have spent my life trying to change people and situations or trying to persuade people into seeing things my way. Once I realized that wasn’t working, I spent years trying to change myself. Although change can be good, I have focused lately on accepting myself each day wherever I am. I’m always striving to be a better version of me, but I am finally learning to accept the current model with all its bugs and flaws.
5. Believe something
I believe that attitude is everything. It governs the way you perceive the world and the way the world perceives you and a good attitude helps you achieve your greatest potential. Although I believe this with all my heart, I have a ways to go with my own attitude some days.
6. Take blame for something
I am not perfect and have never claimed to be. I have made plenty of mistakes and will continue to do so. I have hurt people and I have handled situations in counter-productive ways. My parenting is a work in progress and I’m not always the best mom, wife, daughter, sister, employee and friend, but my heart is always in the right place. No one can be harder on me than I am on myself. I’ve also realized that sometimes all someone wants to hear is a simple “I’m sorry”.
Unfortunately we can’t be selective about what we accept…we must accept it all. This is the hard part. Stewart O’Nan says,
“You couldn’t relive your life, skipping the awful parts, without losing what made it worthwhile. You had to accept it as a whole–like the world, or the person you loved.”
As I work tirelessly to find acceptance in the experiences, challenges, and people God lies at my feet, I find my happiness grows in direct proportion.
Laozi, a philosopher and poet of ancient China, encourages us in our acceptance by saying,
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
So, in the words of my inspiring MommyVerbs friend and colleague…Let’s all, Go. Do that!
See. I told you so. Don’t you just love her!? Go check her out at www.limitlesslessons.com and like her page on facebook for more daily inspiration.