A Letter to My Mom

Dear Mom,

You are forever 30 in my mind, which is weird since I’m 37. As I was cleaning my house and getting rid of so many things, I saw this photo of us. I framed it about 10 years ago because I just loved it so much.

I put it in my purse because I just wanted to have it on my desk at work where I can see it more often. We have so many great pictures and even better memories, I wondered why this picture means so much to me. Obviously, your hair and sunglasses are amazing, but I think it’s the way that you’re holding me and the way I am holding on to you. My protector, my guide and my nurturer. As an adult, I realize that what you are most is my compass. You will forever be who I turn to when I am unsure about which direction to go or what path to take. I come to you when I am happy, when I have good news or bad news and most of all, when I need to remember who I am. You are home to me.

As I have journeyed through life thus far, I’ve realized that what I have in the way of family is the exception. People aren’t this lucky, this blessed, or this loved. I often joke that I should be better because I have the absolute best parents and you always say, “no, you are so good”. You always lifted me up and made me believe that I could do anything. Thank you. I never doubted that I was capable, smart, strong, kind, beautiful and worthy because of you. Thank you.

I know that right now you would say that it is God in you that I see. His love, His grace, His compassion and wisdom. You are right, and I acknowledge that completely because the other gift you have given me is faith. Thank you.

When I think back to being a child or a teenager, all I can say is, I get it now. I used to wonder why you worried so much, why you cared so much, why you did so much. I get it now. I would move mountains and fight tigers for my kids and I worry far too much.

Even today, you are constantly giving your time and attention to your kids and grandkids. When I thank you, you say that you feel so blessed that you can help. Seriously, the world needs more of you and I think…what a different world it would be if more people had mothers like you. A mom who shows up, who loves unconditionally, who is humble and constantly evolving. What a difference that would make.

I can’t imagine I will ever be an age that I don’t need you. I will always need you. I am so grateful that I can hear your voice in my head. Before you say it, yes, it’s all good things!

A lot of parents give their kids hundreds of reasons to get therapy. Thanks for not doing that and letting me go out and create my own reasons. Ha! C’mon, you know I had to lighten the mood.

I love you with every ounce of my soul. I hope I only get better, evolve and make you proud. Lord knows I am proud that you’re my mom.

Thank you for letting me see you and know you completely. It is by far the biggest gift of all. Because you did, I know that it’s ok to:

Make mistakes

Worry

Love so hard I might actually burst

Force people to eat every time they come to my house

Make a mess

Dance in the kitchen

Have empathy

Get mad when it’s warranted

Have the second glass of wine

Make time for my girlfriends

Pick up a good book in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep

Talk to myself

Laugh at myself

Stand up for myself

Draw boundaries in life

Love myself

Forgive myself

Move on

Thank you for the loving way you held me in that swing and for holding me in your heart every single day.

I am my Mother’s daughter, and nothing makes me happier. I love you.

Love, Dolly

P.S. Pops, your letter is coming ❤

Accepting What Is

I think I have some pretty good friends, but then I see a reflection of myself in a door and notice a piece of my wild, curly hair sticking straight up and realize that I have no friends at all. Thanks a heap, guys. I can’t wait until you have something stuck in between your teeth so I can carry on a long conversation with you, then simply walk away with the satisfaction of knowing I’ve sentenced you to death by embarrassment.

Anywho, I have been listening to a weird sounding German/Canadian man talk to me about The Power of Now and it may be changing my life. Yes, I’m aware it’s very “New Age” and spiritually out there, but if you know me at all then this should be no surprise. Please withhold your judgment. In fact, just pack it away in the box of Hopes and Dreams stored in your parent’s attic. I’m gonna keep listening and then read it old school style, so deal with it. And for the love of God, why does the “Insert” button on the keyboard even exist? WHO is using this button?! And for what purpose? Please don’t answer, I’ve already stopped caring.

As I am attempting not to be so concerned about the future (which is going not great so far by the way), I find myself becoming much more self-aware which actually is great. Sometimes, I think God said, “give Melissa feelings, give her ALL the feelings” and then He did.

I’ve accepted that I just feel things deeper than most people. I know that’s a strange statement coming from me. I’m the sarcastic girl, the anti-social one who would rather talk to your dog than you, but alas I have tear ducts after all. Truthfully, once you’re in my circle of concern, my love knows no bounds. My capacity to forgive is damn near endless (not always a great thing), my loyalty is fierce and I will protect you with everything I have. There is a downside. Sometimes, that same love, loyalty and forgiveness is not returned. Fortunately, I can count on one hand how many times that’s been the case and I have gained wisdom from that pain.

Speaking of pain, let’s get back to The Power of Now. Mind you, I am only a third of the way through and my pal has promised me a book club type of discussion after I read the entire book (which he will soon regret), but I’ve already had some “AHA” moments. One is about pain so here we go…

“The pain you create now is always some form of non-acceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is.”

Wait, humans are resistant to change and things they don’t want? Whaaa? Just kidding and that may seem like a no brainer, but really think about it. When something we don’t want to happen happens, we don’t tend to be passive and just let it be. We fight. We fight for all kinds of reasons. Maybe it’s a painful change, maybe it’s not what we want and maybe it feels unfair or unjust.

What does our non-acceptance and resistance do though? Does it change the circumstance? Does it change the person? No, it changes nothing. It does however cause a great amount of anxiety, stress, unhappiness and disappointment. Yet still, we resist. I don’t even think it’s on a conscious level, it’s reactionary and illogical. I’m so very guilty of this and believe me; it will take quite some time to kick this habit. However, I will try.

I’m aware of the connection between our minds and our reality. I understand the importance of perspective and what we think, but sometimes I still have trouble accepting what is. Damn my humanness.

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”

That’s a tall order, Tolle…but I will try because it all makes so much sense to me. It speaks to me on the deepest level. The place where my soul is at peace and I know what is true.

Everyone’s truth is different and I’m no expert, but I do know myself very well and I know what I need. The hardest thing for me has always been to stop overthinking and listen to that part inside of me that knows exactly what to do. Call it intuition, God, your subconscious, the Universe…all I know is it’s the truest part of me and the best guide I have.

Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..”

“Happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events” – Dalai Lama

No matter what you believe, I think most of us can agree that our thoughts have a great influence over our lives. Those who don’t agree are most likely mouth breathers. Anyway, if you find yourself in a church pew on Sunday mornings, then more power to you and I hope it feeds your soul. You may want to avoid this one though because I’m still confused.

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I never feel the need to explain my beliefs, but when someone is genuinely interested, I do and I’m grateful for the conversation that led me to this book. I’m grateful for people who are open minded and enlightened. I’m grateful every day that I’m alive and have an opportunity to evolve even more. I am far from perfect, but I never want to stop learning or challenging myself and I’ll always be weird so deal with that too.

I’m also grateful for sunshine and music. This gem is from Emeli Sande’s latest album and if you’ve followed my blog, you know I adore her. I love how vulnerable she allows herself to be and the poetic nature of her lyrics. Ok, I’ll stop. Just listen..

I love how much she craves a deeper meaning and connection. I get that, I crave it too. I love that some people are just drawn to one another. It can’t be explained, it just is.

I get that some events and pain are unavoidable and unpredictable, but if there is some pain that we can lessen or avoid by accepting and not resisting what is, I think it’s worth a try. Also, underneath it all I absolutely believe that what’s for me will always be for me.

Wherever your journey takes you, I hope you find what’s meant for you. Choose your humans well.

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Just a tip though, it will never be a pair of Crocs or a man bun. Those aren’t meant for anyone.