I have a best friend of mine who is my wingman in life; I received an email from her on Sunday asking me to proofread another paper of hers and I quote, “Be as critical as you want.” The email continued off of our conversation from Saturday where I listened while she cried, and offered my best advice for continuing forward …
You see she is a devoted wife, a mother of two, maintains a household, student teaches, and is finishing her Master’s in Education. Most days she is up before dawn and doesn’t go to bed until way after the late show. And that is just the daily routines; then comes into play are meetings, appointments, and plain old responsibilities like balancing a checkbook. Not to mention the unexpected hardships in life– such as on Friday, her Grandmother-In-Law passed away. She gives herself too little credit; is the most critical judge and in turn doubts her abilities as a mother, as a wife, as a teacher, as a student, and as a friend.
Sound familiar? Like you just took a look in the mirror?
She is so flooded with the negative components, that she has completely blocked the positive affirmations of her life. Positive affirmations like the way her little girls admire their mother, and in their eyes you can see they respect her and wish to be her some day. Or in the eyes of her husband who from across a room watches her, without her knowing, and you call tell is asking, how did I get so lucky to have her? Or in the eyes of her best friend, who will drop anything to be at her side, yet wishes it was she that knew that she provided more comfort than she was acquiring.
Sunday night, I traveled out to Cedar Hill’s Chapel Hill Funeral home and sat next to my wingman and tried to provide comfort. I held her when she cried, cracked jokes when I felt she needed them, and walked with her, without a sound, holding her hand, as if silently to remind her … I am right here, always. I then sat on a sidewalk, in a skirt mind you (the things we do for friends ….) and proofread her paper. The sad part is that even after assuring her the paper was wonderful, and that she is doing a tremendous job with the existing components of her life – she still met me with such promise that she was failing – at everything. Her metaphor of the way she wrote her paper was speaking volumes to the attitude she felt of her present surroundings.
Then yesterday morning I received an email from her. After reading the email, and being granted her permission, I have chosen to respond to her through this weeks column in hopes that if one of you are too in the “doubting yourself mantra”, you also may find strength in simple words of a friend desperate to give back a little peace of what her wingman grants her … inspiration, and motivation.
Why do you doubt yourself? Your abilities? You look past your achievements and center yourself in misgiving. I wish you could see what I see; you would be amazed at the radiance that engulfs you. Like we spoke on Saturday I will remind you that burning a candle at both ends will inevitably be a disaster. How do you expect to achieve success unless you are ready to give into the fact that not everything is going to be perfect; sometimes the dishes will be left undone, the grass not cut, the laundry piled up – you may forgo making your bed three mornings in a row and use that extra 15 minutes to devote to your homework, and in essence gain 15 minutes to devote some where that matters most ... like family dinners, or playing a game, or chasing the girls in the back yard through the sprinkler system. You tell me all the time you don’t “know how I do it” but love I am telling you, cutting corners in the not so serious matters of life is how I made it through, how I continue to make it through. And it is not a bit easy …
There are still times when I push myself too hard and have to deal with the consequences – I believe you put it best in your email when you hoped I was not running myself too thin these days. I wish I could say that I wasn't, but as you know me too well you then know I take on too much; try to cut corners, and when my efforts come up short guess what? I know its going to be okay! Truth be told, the main secret to remember is embracing the moment and when strength comes up short ... I turn to my support system, a system that you are an intricate part of. Just like I am always a phone call a way, I feel the same with you – and it shows. When I feel I have nothing left to give, at the end of my rope, exhausted and depleted, you show me I still can. It’s so amusing because you write of how I am an inspiration, a role model, full of charisma and personality --- did you not get anything from my conversation Saturday??? I am this person that you see because of people like you. It is YOU I see inspiring, you I view as a role model; you have a sense of humor that is enlightening and a personality that dances with amazement. The hope you have for one day being as much of a help to me is long over – you help me every day – to be a better mom, a better friend, a better person. I strive to be the best, because I am surrounded by the best – and that is a wonderful circle to be a part of. And I thank you for that.
I want you to do me a favor: walk into the girls’ rooms tonight, while they are sleeping and take in the beauty of what you and Mike created. Step into the master suite and kiss your husband goodnight (and if something else happens I don’t want the details!) and give into the moment of just being … in the presence. Then step outside, glance up at the sky, and smile at the place on earth you are at in this moment in your life - the here and now. How much better off if we all could just live in the now and not so strategically plan our lives. When you have looked around you and embraced the true creation of a humble, loving, ambience of aura around you … I want this thought to come to your mind:
As proven, you are going to find, today and always, that the hard and difficult only seemed that way before you began …. During and after you have the resources around you that assure you that failure is not an option … its time to begin … begin giving yourself a break and enjoying the abundance around you.
And just in case, have I told you lately that I love you?
And to you readers of Plan B … Have you stopped to look around you today? When will you begin giving yourself a break and just enjoy your abundance around you? There is always going to be deadlines, responsibilities, and to do lists – but with prioritizing, organization, and not so much of a push, you can both achieve your goals, and take pleasure in the moment of today. You can achieve true medium… both the bliss and the fuss, enter-tangled in a web of a chaotic, incredible, breathtaking life … if you are daring enough to break free, and regroup. Besides, don’t you deserve balance in your life? It’s not that far from your grasp; if you are willing to make the reach ... Take two moments for yourself, and thank me in the morning.