Friday, February 28, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up

*If you've come from reading Julie's article in the D-News today (WELCOME!), you can find all of the inspiring stories of women in the "My Name is"  series  HERE*

Wowzers! So much has been going on in our neck of the woods that I've missed a few Weekly Wrap Ups.

Here's a glimpse of what we've been up to:

First, I got to spend some quality time with my Momma at a Phoenix Suns game. This is seriously one of the best women around-- and she's a die hard NBA fan which is always so much fun. She's got a mean whistle ;)





























Then, Seth and I decided to get out of suburbia for a bit and hit up our local Indo-Pak restaurant in a rundown strip mall. It's one of our favorite spots and we enjoyed the most delicious chicken tikka and punjabi curry.

However you know you're weak for spice when a jovial Indian man sitting across the room says with a laugh "Oh! Come on! You can do it,  it's good for your blood!"

By that point I had been through 3 glasses of water, my mouth was on fire, and the tears were flowing.... and I ordered MILD. Let's just say I'm working on building my heat tolerance :)





















While Little Dude was away, we also spent some quality time together by hitting up the golf course and playing 9 holes. The weather was spectacular. Perfect. Couldn't have been better. My golf game, on the other hand, suffered. I shot 20 over par, but Seth made up for us and shot 2 over par. I love that this is something we can do together :)


While Little Dude was still away, we decided early one morning to be adventurous, break routine and hike the Santan Mountains.  It was really really really awesome... and HOT... and my bootie was scarily sore after our "casual" hike..... but the view was totally worth it!































Once Little Dude got back, he had a CRAZY HAIR DAY and all the kids swarmed around him at school because he looked so cool ;) I love this silly kid!





























Then Seth and I both wore purple on Wednesday in honor of my friend, TC, and for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. By the way, I was totally blown away by the love and support for that cause... it was truly awe-inspring... ;)





























We hit up Costco, which is always fun...



And then I spent the entire day on Wednesday getting caught up on Taxes. Ugh. Reconciling two different companies, a nonprofit organization, and personal taxes in QuickBooks can make for A LOT of work. I still have a headache and I'm not even done yet. Eeeeek. Procrastination anyone? 





























Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! What are you up to? Anything fun?

P.S. I typically post the day-to-day stuff on Instagram... Follow me there by clicking HERE....  It's FUN! And I will follow you too because I love getting to know you :)


XOXO

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Power of the "My Name is" Series


**If you've come from reading Julie's article in the D-News today (WELCOME!), you can find all of the inspiring stories of women in the "My Name is"  series  HERE





















Good morning everyone!

I have some exciting news today!

Do you remember my amazing friend Julie?  The inspiring woman who participated in the "My Name is" series back in 2012? Well, her lovely face is plastered all over the inside of the Deseret Newspaper this morning AND she even made it on the FRONT page to boot! How amazing is that?















Because of her viral "My Name is" post, she was recently interviewed and the D-News published a fantastic article all about her trials and the hope within her to share her story in effort to help others. It was amazing! Please read the article HERE and give Julie your love ;) 

Alright, so that's that and I am just beaming today!

I seriously just love this.... I love what this blog has become in my life.... what it means to me.... it's interesting how it's not really about me anymore.... it's about US!

With our stories.... with our courage... with our willingness to share..... we are making a difference... we can change the world.... we ARE changing the world!

Totally awesome if you ask me ;)


**If you're interested in participating in the "My Name is" series and would like to share your story, shoot me an email entailing your information, a brief synopsis of your story and what you'd like to convey. From there, we can determine if it'd be a good fit for the series. I look forward to hearing from you!  Email: jacyleeclemons@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Name is TC and I Have an Eating Disorder


I remember texting my friend from the hospital  “do you think you can come pick me up?”  My husband, Jon, knew where I was, he was the one who took me to the ER earlier that day, but I didn’t want him to have to come get me, I was too ashamed.  On the short car ride home I don’t remember talking to my friend, maybe I did, but by that point my brain felt like it had been contaminated by thick fog, my body felt weak and sloppy.  I do remember one thought I had… 

HOW DID I GET HERE?

And then a second immediate thought…

I’m fine.  This isn’t that big of a deal.   

I’ve learned that this is a pretty typical thought or justification for an addict or for anyone who has lost complete control of his or her life… which is what had happened to me. 

My name is TC and I have an eating disorder.






















I was nervous to walk in my front door.  I was full of shame and guilt.  My family didn’t deserve this.  My 3 beautiful children, my loving husband, they didn’t deserve the pain I was causing them by my choices.  I was scared to face them.  

When I finally walked in the front door I was surprised by who was there to greet me… my husband and… my parents.  
At this moment it occurred to me that THIS is serious.  

My parents should  have been lying under the beautifully warm sun on the radiant beach in San Diego, not at my home in Arizona.  They had been planning and looking forward to this California vacation for a while, but as soon as they arrived they were interrupted by a phone call from Jon… “TC is in the ER… I’m really worried”.  My parents were aware that I had been struggling with eating so when they heard from Jon they immediately jumped in their rental car and, from California, headed straight to Arizona.

The next day was a mixture of agony and relief.  This was inevitable.  I needed help.  I was sick.  I was slowly dying and I needed to be saved.  The people that were in my life that loved me knew this.  They understood that I could not pull myself through this place that I had put myself in.  Inpatient treatment was immediately decided.

Less than 2 days after my parents arrived in Arizona they were leaving again.  Only, this time they were leaving with something that belonged to me.  They were taking a priceless treasure of mine. 

They were leaving with my 13 month-old daughter. 


A few months before leaving for inpatient treatment






























They were going to care for Bella while I was away, in treatment.  It was the best thing for our family but no matter how I tried to rationalize this, it didn’t comfort me as I watched my loving parents drive away with my beautiful baby girl.  

I was devastated.  Everything felt like it was in slow motion.  I was heartbroken.  I judged myself harshly.  I hated myself.  Why couldn’t I just eat?  I loved my family, I wanted to be with them and all I had to do was start eating… but I couldn’t.  When did this thing get bigger than me?  When did I lose control of my very own life? 

My name is TC and I had to leave my family to save myself.

The next day I said heartfelt goodbyes to my boys, Brayden (5) and Jack (3).  What could I say to them?  How could I explain the situation to them?  I didn’t know how long I would be away.  I didn’t know when I would see them again.  So I just held them as long and as tight as I could.  
























I was terrified as Jon and I arrived at Remuda Ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona.  It was time to say goodbye to my husband.  I begged him to take me back home… I told him I would eat, I promised him that I could fix this on my own, but he knew better.  Words never really escaped my mouth as I was overcome with emotion watching him walk away, leaving me all by myself.  

Going to Remuda Ranch was necessary but it was HARD.  I had to do hard things.  I had to eat.  For 2 weeks I ate nothing but liquids (the “soft” diet”) for breakfast, lunch and dinner and my body hated me for it.  My body struggled remembering how to digest and absorb food.  I was in physical pain and emotional turmoil.  























I had to weigh in every morning wearing nothing but a hospital gown.  I had to eat everything off my plate or be supplemented in calories by drinking Ensures.  If I walked too fast or walked too much (in an attempt to burn calories) I had to drink MORE Ensure.  I was threatened with the option of putting a feeding tube through my nose.  I was told some harsh truths and I had to own up to some very painful realities.  I had to learn to live in the uncomfortable and deal with hard things in healthy ways.  


Top: My husband, Jon, and I during "family week"
Bottom: A few of the women I grew really close to while at Remuda




I was gone for 75 days.

I missed Halloween.  I missed Jack’s 4th birthday.  I called him on his birthday and had all the girls from my house sing “happy birthday”.  When they were done I heard Jack laugh on the other end of the phone call, then he said, “Mom, it’s my birthday, why aren’t you here?”  Right then I hung up the phone, I had to.  I couldn’t even find my voice as my regret and emotion took over once again.  

My name is TC and I believe lies.

Eating disorders are no joke.  They are all different and they are all uniquely complex.  I spent a lot of time listening and learning about how so many dynamic, smart, happy, lovely, fun, beautiful women ended up with eating disorders that were drastically affecting their lives.  In my experience, the universal problem was that we all trusted lies.  Every single one of us, on some level, believed lies.

The lies I trusted had a lot to do with being worthy.  I absolutely believed that I was unworthy… of everything.  I was unworthy of God, of love, my family, my friends, my children, my marriage… everything!  I believed that I could and would never be worthy, that nothing and no one could possibly EVER love me, simply because I was unlovable, I was unworthy of love.  And I believed this with all of my heart.  To me, this was reality.  

My name is TC and I am learning to believe truth.

I have been home from Remuda Ranch for over 5 years now and I still have to proactively put forth effort to stay healthy.  I constantly have to catch my first thought (which is usually a lie), challenge it, and change it (to a truth).  I have to have a plan in place for the times when I start feeling the pull to engage in eating disorder behaviors.  Some days, weeks, months seem to come and go with little effort but some days, weeks, months come and I feel as though I am back on the front lines fighting for my life.  The difference in my fight now, is that I finally believe that I am valuable and that I am worthy!  I am not only valuable and worthy enough to fight these battles, but I am actually worthy enough to win them! 


5 years to the day I went to Remuda Ranch. We celebrated by letting 5 balloons go.






























I believe that eating disorders are REAL.  MY eating disorder is real.  Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any other mental illness.  I believe that eating disorders are serious.  I can finally acknowledge that MY eating disorder is serious. 

I believe that starving myself or binging after eating was my desperate attempt at controlling my life.  It was my lame attempt at making myself feel worthy.  It was a lousy coping mechanism and a very false form of self-soothing.  

I believe that all the pains and fears and insecurities that I hide myself from by turning to my eating disorder will ALWAYS inevitably and eventually catch up to me.  I have learned that the best way to move through my painful mess is by simply (or not so simply) sitting in it and feeling it and validating it.  Pushing it away by running to an addiction or a false form of self-soothing is only delaying and magnifying what will eventually come.  

My name is TC and I have learned some very hard things.

I have learned that my eating disorder will never go away, much like an addiction it will always be “there” inside of me.  I will always have to be proactive to keep myself in a healthy place, even after all these years I have to consciously “fight” against my eating disorder and the lies it wants me to believe.  

I have learned that if I work, if I use the things I have been taught and the tools I have been given, then my eating disorder will only take up a tiny little space somewhere in the back of my brain, rather than consume it like it has in the past.

I have learned was that I CAN’T trust my eyes to tell me the truth about myself.  This lesson wasn’t one I easily accepted and for the longest time I couldn’t understand this concept.  I was told that my very own eyes were incapable of accurately seeing my reflection in a mirror.  How could I agree that my very eyes that lovingly watch as my children play, my very own eyes that can recognize when someone needs a friend, the same eyes that can recognize God’s love by watching a colorful sunset in the Arizona desert… those eyes that see so many realities are capable of seeing accurately ACCEPT when I am looking at MYSELF?  The tests I took while working at Remuda Ranch proved that I saw myself, my very own eyes saw my reflection, as 52 pounds distorted.  This news was so unbelievably painful and confusing to me, and in some ways it still is, but I am learning to trust and accept (with great sadness) that my eyes possibly don’t “see” me.


I have learned to be patient with myself.  I have messed up… and I have messed up big time and I have messed up a lot.  But I have realized that, for me, recovery isn’t pretty and it isn’t clean and it isn’t a one-time fix.  I have learned that my recovery is very ugly and very messy and I have learned that I will fail sometimes.  But I have also learned how to see the bigger picture.  I have learned how to hold on to hope and how to give myself grace while I heal.






I haven’t quite learned how to entirely love the physical part of my body, but I haven’t given up on the possibility.  However, I have been able to learn to love my body for all the things it can do for me.  I have learned to appreciate what my healthy body is capable of and I have learned to be grateful for it.

My eating disorder will probably be a part of me for the rest of my life but I believe that the harder I fight the easier my battle will be.  I have hope that I can heal.  I have hope that the people who love me truly love me for who I am, not what I am.  And I have hope that one day I will sincerely and completely love and embrace my whole body with all my wonderful flaws.  

My name is TC and I have hope that I can and will love myself completely. 





























It just so happens that this week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. How beautiful is that?  In hopes of spreading more awareness about the reality, the seriousness and the hope that is out there,  I am asking (and begging) for your help.  I am trying to rally together some major support for eating disorder awareness this week.  Will you PLEASE wear purple sometime this week (I am on Wednesday) and if you feel comfortable, take a photo of yourself wearing purple and email it to me? There is so much POWER in numbers! I promise I have big plans with great intentions in mind! You can email me your photos at leticejolley@gmail.com

Also, you can find more in-depth details of my personal journey on my blog at http://apeaceoftice.blogspot.com

For more information about Eating Disorders, check out the national website at: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

*TC... You, my friend, are such a magnificent person. I know this is such a personal journey you've been on, but thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing it. Your bravery to speak honestly and openly is, no doubt, not only blessing your life, and that of your family, but also the lives of countless other women who are enduring the same struggle. It IS real. Thank you for being so strong and for reminding us that we can all overcome- even if it's something we have to work on every single day, for the rest of our lives. You are remarkable.

**Please remember that it takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to share our stories. The purpose of this series is to open our hearts, to interact, to uplift, to support and to grow.  TC will be reading the comments and I know it would mean so much to hear from you. So, if you feel compelled, please reach out and give her your love.

(Read more about the "My Name is" series and the stories of other inspiring women, HERE)



Monday, February 24, 2014

A Reason to Smile

After posting the meme yesterday about being the reason someone smiles, I walked outside and my eyes beheld this lovely site:


























































Little Dude was proactively sweeping the leaves off of the neighbors driveway, all on his own.

Now that made me smile.

I think it's safe to say that I've got myself a great kid!

Ahem... now... how to get him excited about cleaning his own room? That's another story. 

Any ideas?? :)


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Name is ERIKA

My name is Erika and I was the driver of a car that rolled over and killed my little brother.



It all happened over fall break on October 4th, 1991.  I had just gotten my learners permit, so Mom decided to let me drive to get some of my hours in.  My parents had divorced prior, so it was just me, Mom, and my siblings: Karin, Kristin, and Brian.  We were headed to St. George for the running marathon and I was doing great. I kept the speed on cruise control at 70 mph... perfect

What a smooth ride, I thought to myself.

About an hour into the drive, around Nephi, Utah, I started getting thirsty.  I took a few sips, but this time, as I leaned over, I took my eyes off the wheel for a split second. One split second that changed everything. To my surprise, I looked up and saw that we had drifted to the left, heading right toward the median. I panicked. I pulled the wheel to correct myself, but I pulled too hard as my adrenaline kicked into gear. 

The next thing I remember is waking up. My head was smashed into the steering wheel and all I could see was blood dripping. I couldn't move. The roof of the car had crushed down on top of us, holding us hostage. We were stuck. I did not know what had happened. I was trying to put the pieces together, but everything was a blur. I called for my mom and she reached over and held my hand. 

"What happened? Where are we?", I asked, confused.

She informed me we had been in a car accident. In that moment, I began to gain the knowledge of the awful truth. I was the one driving... I caused this... ME. The pain of this knowledge began to seep in. Right then I wanted to die because I knew I could not live with myself if I hurt my family. I wanted to wake up from this nightmare that was now my reality. This was not real. It couldn't be. 


















NO.

Facing reality was the thing that scared me the most. I can still hear the horrific sounds as I sat trapped, waiting for help. The cries of pain, the echoing screams in my ear, magnified by my horrible guilt. It's like a horror movie replaying itself in my head, only it's real, and  it continues to haunt me. I caused my family this excruciating pain! Their sufferings were more than I could bear. And all of these feelings were taking place at the sound of the saw, the saw they used to cut us out of the car. I wished that maybe I could wear the invisible cloak of Harry Potter so that no one would find me. I wanted to disappear because I knew when they found me, I would have to face the reality of what I had done. 

My little brother, just 9 years old, was dead. My family was in immense pain. All because of what? A split second. That's all it took and our lives were forever changed.

My little brother Brian

I used to think that I was invincible. I used to think that things like that wouldn't happen to me! To us! But the truth is, none of us know what's coming our way. Life can change in the blink of an eye, a split second, even. This is when I became acutely aware of how fragile we all are, yet how strong we all are.

Time just seems to stand still as the shock settles in. I was numb to the fact that my brother was dead. I did that. ME.

But I believed he was going to come home any day. He was. He had to. He was going to walk through the front door. I knew it.  I waited.... and waited. But he never did come. I guess this all wasn't just a dream after all. 

I even said goodbye, as I held his hand after they had prepped him for the burial.  It couldn't be him. He looked so different. Everything was different. 

Both of my sisters were staying at Western Rehab, where they remained for three months to recover. We were lucky they were both alive. Had the doctor driving next to us not listened to his prompting to bring his medical equipment in his car, my sisters would not have survived. Instead, they suffered broken arms and legs that required rods in order to heal correctly. My sister Kristin was recovering from a severe head injury- she didn't even know who I was when I visited her. And Karin, my other sister, had a rock stuck in her throat. 

The guilt I felt constantly tormented me. 

What was I to do with this new place I was in? 

I couldn't focus on anything. Depression seemed to open it's big ugly jaws to devour me. I tried to numb the pain in more ways I care to admit. Since that was only temporary, I went from numbing to trying to FEEL something. How did I survive??? I wasn't supposed to survive it, and after all of this, I didn't want to survive it. 


How strong is your foundation? 

I had many cracks in mine, cracks that needed to be filled.

This is why I believe that God knew what he was doing. Sometimes we don't know why... those darn  "why's" can drive you crazy, but I do know there is a reason. And if that reason is only to learn and grow... well that's what we're here for right? Because of the lessons I've learned and the growth that has taken place in my life, I know I am stronger and more resilient to the wave of trials that continue to come crashing down. 

But each and every time we crash and burn I believe that we have a choice. When we choose to bring light into the darkness, this is when we start to find hope. I know without a doubt that we are all stronger than we think. We are all MADE to be knocked around a bit. There would be no learning without pain and disappointment. This is why I'm sharing my story with you today... to help others because if my story will lighten someone else's burden somehow,  my own pain doesn't seem so heavy anymore.

Me (on the left), my Mom, and my two sisters






















My name is Erika and I was saved; not only saved from that fatal car crash that day, but saved from the place in which it took me. I owe everything to a loving Heavenly Father. Through it all, he wrapped his arms around me and carried me through my pain. He poured out his loving grace to me with such compassion, such love, such mercy. I've witnessed many spiritual experiences along the way that I will never forget.  And even though I didn't see it at the time, I see it now, and I am blown away. He has given me all that I have, all that I am, and all that I will become. I am forever grateful.

My husband and I with our 5 children


















The time we have with each and every one of our loved ones is unknown.  Enjoy every moment to its fullest and FILL the cracks in your foundation. So that when the horrendous trials DO come, you will welcome them with open arms, because HE is holding you in HIS arms, with the perfect strength and knowledge of His wisdom and love. 

Shortly before my brother died, he drew a picture of a smiley face with the words "keep that face". 























All of us have this picture framed in our homes as a reminder that he is happy and he wants us to smile. He wants us to keep that face no matter what comes our way.  This gift has given me a way to see the positive when things seem so negative. My brother Brian gave us this gift of hope, the gift of peace. So when I'm feeling down, I remember his words, "keep that face" and suddenly I start seeing all the things in my life that are worth smiling for. 


*Erika, this is so very tender. Thank you for finding the strength to recount this time in your life and to share your story of tragedy, deep loss, hope and love. You have no idea how much your words have impacted me.  I want to always "keep that face" in the time of adversity and I hope to continue to fill in my cracks with love and faith and hope.

**Please remember that it takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to share our stories. The purpose of this series is to open our hearts, to interact, to uplift, to support and to grow.  Erika will be reading the comments and I know she'd love to hear from you... if you feel so compelled, and are touched by her story, please reach out and give her your love.

(Read more stories of inspiring women in the "My Name is" series, HERE)




Tuesday, February 18, 2014

D-Day February 18th





























A day I will never ever ever forget

A day I could have never anticipated.

A day I could have never prepared for.

A day that, quite honestly, I thought would destroy me.

4 years ago today was my "Discovery Day"-- a discovery that changed everything.

You can't describe the feeling, the overwhelming sense of emptiness, unless you've been there. The days that followed my d-day were harrowing. The physical pain was excruciating. And the emotional pain... well, desolation is the closest word I've found to describe it.


des·o·la·tion
ˌdesəˈlāSHən/
noun
  1. 1.
    a state of complete emptiness or destruction.
    "the stony desolation of the desert"
    synonyms:bleakness, starkness, barrenness, sterility


Somehow, for some reason or another (one that I honestly have no idea how or why I mustered the strength to do so), the day after my discovery day, I published my first post on an anonymous blog. In doing so, I hoped that someone, anyone, would hear my plea.  I silently typed, with tears as my only companion, and my broken heart, longing for someone, anyone, to relate, to understand, to offer support in the moments I thought (and literally feared) I could curl up and just die from the heartache.

Among many other things, here is what I wrote that snowy cold, bleak 18th day of February 2010:

"So, here I sit today with tears streaming down my face, wondering how I'm going to survive this? 
Please........ please...... if you are out there and have gone through something similar, I need some help. I have no one to turn to.  I'm ashamed, embarrassed, and so confused. 
I've been up all night with a gut-wrenching feeling.  Not a wink of sleep.  I've just been replaying it all over and over and over again. 
I never thought this would happen to me.

My life was so beautiful until the events of yesterday."

I continued to write to myself, into the abyss of cyberspace. Documenting what I was enduring,  I had never before felt so alone.

To my amazement, after writing pretty consistently for nearly 3 months, a comment finally came in. Someone out there was going through the similar catastrophic blow. I remember weeping for joy when I read her simple words.

And then, a few months after that, another comment by a different woman, with a different story, came in.

And then, a few weeks after that, another comment from a different woman, with a different story, came in.

And then another.

And then I received an email.

And then another.

All different women, different stories, looking for help, support, love.

The exact same thing I was searching for.

And then one day, I got really brave, and decided to meet up for lunch with one of these women in August of 2010.

And then, after some time passed, I met up with another.

And then another.

And then another.

All different women. All different stories. All different ages. All different situations.

Suddenly, the empty parts of my life were being filled in with the most healing of gifts: sisterhood. Something that (next to giving birth to my son, and marrying Seth last year) is one of the most beautiful blessings I have ever been given, I think.

It is real.

You just cannot deny it.

Since that day in February 2010, whether we have connected through this blog (or the old one), email, phone, text, Facebook, The Togetherness Project, girls weekends, counseling, etc, I have come to know hundreds of new friends. Hundreds. All of whom are just trying to figure out the unexpected parts of life.

Because of this, I no longer define my "discovery day"as the words I heard that changed my life. Instead, I remember it so much more positively (and I think time helps with that).

My discovery day is about everything refreshing and beautiful that I've unearthed since that time.

That's why I love the word "discovery" so much. Because it's not all doom and gloom.

Had that day not been in my stack of cards, as painful as it was, I would have never learned everything I have learned about me, about love, about life, about my strength within, etc.

I would have never met Seth.

I would have never started the work I'm doing with the nonprofit.

I would have never been led to all of you- to this amazing community of women.


Take all of those things away, and I simply cannot comprehend it.

Thank you for being here.

For loving me.

For befriending me.

We all need each other. 

This place has helped me heal. Think whatever you want.... but 4 years ago, I started on a new and very lonely journey, one that has made me a better woman, and this blog (and my old anonymous one) has played a huge role in where I am today.

So on this memorable day (both horrific and enlightening all at the same time), I will carry each of you in my heart. I can see your faces.  I can close my eyes and envision your painful/triumphant stories in my inbox. If we've chatted on the phone, I can hear your voice. If we've met in real life, I can reflect of the numerous breakfast, lunch, dinner dates we've had. I can see us hugging, crying, and holding one another up. I can hear the bad jokes (because sometimes it's just hilariously funny), I can see the people all around us eavesdropping and giving us crusty's because our conversation is quite blunt. I can see resiliency, dignity, class and grace. I see courage at its finest.

The last 4 years are flashing before my eyes right now... I would never go back and change any of it for anything.... And now I'm crying. lol.


You are part of my beautiful discovery.

For that I am eternally grateful.

For those of you who just experienced a d-day, or are recovering from a past d-day, please know that you are not alone. You are loved. Time doesn't take it away, but time sure does help. It does get easier.



Love,

Jacy

p.s. "My Name is" post is tomorrow :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love is a Way of Life



























I think sometimes we get so caught up in the way we are loved by others and our expectations of how "it should be", that we forget how we are loving: first and foremost ourselves, and then ultimately, the other people in our lives.

So this Valentines Day, instead of hyper-focusing on everything Seth is to me, and all of the wonderful things he does for me, and the things he buys for me, and all of the reasons I am blessed to have him, I am actually going to focus on loving myself (I wrote a post about that, here- it's impossible to love others unless we love ourselves, first) and how I love him. 

What I am doing on a regular basis, all throughout the year, to ensure to show MY love for the people that are special to me (my husband, my son, my friends, my family members, my neighbors)?


That's what this day means to me. That's how my definition of love has shifted these past few years. 

I still believe everything I did before.... about love being patient and kind and about creating something beautiful together. I'm all about connection and vulnerability and communication (we could go on and on about that :)

But I'm realizing that love is more than just one feeling- or a conglomerate of feelings really. 

And while it is fun, love is far more than chocolates, shiny balloons, of beautifully smelling roses one day a year. 


Love is a way of life.


Wishing you all a very Happy Valentines Day. If you don't have anyone to "celebrate" the romance with today, I hope you will treat yourself to something special.  Today is about LOVE... and that includes loving YOU (and/or the other special people in your life).

Love is love.

xoxoxo

*Anyone have any fun plans? With or without a man? ;) What are your traditions?

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