to be known and, yet, loved.

I think it’s safe to say that there are few things in life we want more than to be totally known and still loved at the same time. If you were to break down each and every insecurity I have to its bare bones, you’d probably find this deep-seated desire.

To be known and, yet, loved.

This blog has been the vehicle by which I achieve self-love. By being honest and vulnerable in my writing, I’ve learned how to look myself in the mirror — through my reflection as well as at it — and be fully delighted in the image before me. (Well, for the most part. We never really arrive, do we?)

But, as far as letting other people love me, I’m not entirely sure I’m there yet. I still seek it. I still crave it. I still wish to, whether it be romantically, familially, or relationally, be surrounded by a small, yet fierce group of individuals who know every deep, dark, twisted ingredient to my soul and still find me worthy of love. However, despite this burning passion (which, as I learned recently, comes from a Greek word that actually appropriately means “willingness to suffer”) to be known and loved, I still find myself holding back out of fear.

I’m just so scared to let many people get close enough.

They get kind of close, I guess. Pretty close, even. But not that close. Not close enough to “smell my farts”, if you will. (Confused? Refer back to this post.)

I lamented over this desire to a friend over lunch last week. As I clumsily poked at my thai noodle soup with my cheap, splintery chopsticks, swirling the chives and roasted duck in a deep brown broth, I breathed my fear into the steam rising from the bowl.

“I’m just so worried I’ll get found out, you know?”

And there it is.

You begin a relationship with someone and, at first, everything is perfect. Everything is coming up roses, as they say. But, as time passes, you get “found out” — the roses begin to wilt and droop, leaving behind a soggy soil of past regrets, hurts, and insecurities. That can be scary. It is, at least, for me.

“When I first met you, I knew you were a hot mess,” my friend replied.

Well, okay but tell me how you really feel?

“But that’s not you anymore,” he clarified. “And those who really know you know that.”

A statement almost as comforting as thai noodle soup. Almost.

The story isn’t over when the roses wilt. If the soil is still there — albeit quite messy — beautiful things, lovely things, can still spring from it.

Allowing someone to get close enough to you to bend down and work their fingers through your dirty soil also allows them to plant seeds of life — beautiful words of encouragement, trust, and, yes, even love can foster the growth of a gorgeous garden of a real life worth loving. A real relationship with a real person worth celebrating.

The ability to be known and, even still, adored.

things i love thursday! (january 3, 2013)

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here’s the first TILT of the new year. If the first week of 2013 is any indication, this year is gonna be a good’un.

becky__NYE

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Not having any New Year’s Resolutions. (Last year’s? Gain 20 lbs and be okay with it. I gained 40 and was still okay with it. Then I lost 50, soooo….)
  • Spending time in my hometown with my family.
  • Watching my baby boy figure out his new toys! He’s so smart, y’all. Oh and he’ll probably be a drummer.
  • Seeing one of my besties for the second year in a row on New Year’s Eve!
  • Getting to see what all the fuss is about concerning Sister Hazel.
  • Finally seeing The Dark Knight Rises. (May or may not have had to watch it in two sittings because I’m, like, old and got tired and needed to go to bed halfway through it but WHATEVER OKAY IT’S A LONG MOVIE DON’T JUDGE ME.)
  • Beer and champagne.
  • New glasses. Yeah, I’m a hipster and I don’t care who knows it.
  • “Bartering” with my husband.
  • Getting a full night’s sleep for the first time since Dax was born. And then doing it all a second time! My husband is the best.
  • Reading books. Like, just because.
  • Friends going into labor! YAY BABIES!
  • Eating junk food.
  • Productive healing exercises.
  • Catching up on Parenthood on Netflix. (When will season 5 of Mad Men be on there?! COME ON, NOW.)
  • Bubble baths. Even if they’re too hot.
  • Watching my baby boy sleep and clutch his blankie. UGHHHHH THE CUTENESS.
  • Being dubbed a “long lost sister”.
  • Food you can eat with chopsticks.
  • New beginnings. Old finishes.
  • Being loved. Like, really loved.
  • Loving others. Like, really loving them.

What do you love this week? Happy 2013!

the power of affirmations.

For those of you who missed it, I’ve recently begun seeing a counselor on a regular basis. Counseling, in my opinion, has gotten a bad rap. You hear that someone is seeing a counselor and you immediately assume he or she is either battling a porn addiction or so depressed even this can’t help.

[Disclaimer: Should my terribly dry sense of humor be offensive to you, please know that I am NOT suggesting that depression be taken lightly. If you are clinically depressed, especially if you feel strongly that you want to hurt yourself or those around you, please know that your condition should be taken seriously and you deserve to be helped.]

I assure you — neither is the case for me. Rather, I believe that anyone who has spent five minutes on this broken earth trying to interact with other imperfect people can benefit from counseling and should, finances and time permitting, actively seek it out.

My counselor’s name is Dr. Maki. She is a bit older, and she’s refused to dye her hair anymore as a physical representation of her acceptance of her own body. This gives her a lovely grey-to-black ombre style. She has big, kind eyes that, when focused on you, seem to be searching your soul for answers. She wears a ring on each finger, each with a different but equally emboldened stone. She is, based on the three sessions I’ve had so far, simply wonderful.

Two weeks ago, when I saw Dr. Maki last, I was in a very bad way. I hadn’t slept in weeks and was battling such real and crippling anxiety I was literally vibrating uncontrollably. I couldn’t even handle my day-to-day activities. I had to call in to work. I was losing control of everything.

[Side note: Later that night I put 2 and 2 together to figure out that my Mirena IUD was causing these symptoms and I made an appointment the next day to have it removed. I have since gone back to my old self. But. That’s another blog post entirely.]

When Dr. Maki asked me what ran through my mind when I was battling the insomnia, I told her that, really, nothing was going through my mind at all. I wasn’t thinking anxiety-inducing thoughts. The insomnia was a side effect of the jitters from my IUD as opposed to something caused by a racing mind. But the thing I did keep thinking over and over was this:

“Why can’t I sleep like a normal person? Why am I so broken?”

As I spoke these words, tears sprang to my eyes and rained down my burning cheeks. I truly wanted the answer to that.

“Why am I so broken?” I repeated, hoping she could enlighten me. She took one of her many rings off and handed it to me.

“This ring is broken,” she said.

I examined the ring — a lapis lazuli stone in a beautifully intricate silver setting. Nothing about it looked broken to me. I pulled it closer to my cloudy eyes and tried to make out any flaw.

“If you look closely, you can see a little black crack that has been mended by a jeweler,” she continued.

As she said that, my eyes found what she was referring to. The slightest dark mark showing that the stone was, indeed, broken.

“Every morning when I put that ring on, I say to myself, ‘I am not broken. I am perfect just the way I am.’ For now, I want you to wear it and say the same thing.”

My eyes shot up from the stone to meet her gaze. “Really? You want me to wear your ring?”

“Yes,” she reassured. “For as long as you need. I’ll get it back. Someday. But you need it right now.”

To be real with you guys, I felt so weird about it. But I did it.

“I am not broken,” I said with a smile I couldn’t contain. “I am perfect just the way I am.” And I slipped the ring on my right ring finger.

not_broken_ringI’ve put that ring on every day since then, keeping my promise to Dr. Maki to repeat the affirmation each time. It has gotten less and less weird with the dawn of each new day and, believe it or not, has even become something I actually believe.

Because this has been working so well for me, I decided to try it with something else I put on each morning — my wedding rings. Now, whenever I put those on, I say to myself, “I am loved.”

I am not broken. I am perfect just the way I am. I am loved.

It is my firm belief that the truth sounds the most beautiful when it comes from within yourself.

friday favorite: jeans.

Okay so maybe this post is a humble-brag. And maybe by “maybe” I mean “absolutely, 100%, no doubt about it.”

Today I am stoked to say that, at four months postpartum, I officially fit back into all of my pre-pregnancy jeans.

Including, but not limited to, the smallest pair I owned before. WHAT WHAT! Nice to see you again, Pacific Sunwear size 9’s that I wore as a college freshman!

dork

What’s that? You don’t like my dorky bathroom picture? You hate fun, don’t you?

THAT SAID, I’ve got to cover my own butt on my body image blog, here. Some disclaimers:

  • NO I am NOT dieting or even exercising, really. Nor do I advocate that for new moms. I am not, nor have I ever, been trying to lose weight since Dax was born. My husband (and my late-night white-chocolate-covered-Oreo binges) can back me up on this. I have just been really, really, REALLY stinking lucky.
  • The reason this is exciting to me is less about having my “body back” (because I couldn’t give a rat’s behind about that) and more about the fact that I don’t have to spend money I don’t have on new jeans because oh my LORD, you guys, diapers are expensive. (See also: I’M WEARING JEANS I WORE MY FRESHMAN YEAR OF COLLEGE. PLEASE NOTE THAT THEY ARE NOT STYLISH. THEY AREN’T CUTE. I KEEP THEM BECAUSE I AM TOO BLOODY PRACTICAL TO BUY NEW CLOTHES. LIKE EVER.)
  • The size of my pants and the number on the scale have nothing to do with how much I appreciate my postpartum body. For proof, please refer back to this post.
  • No number will ever, ever, EVER define me or my happiness. Period. 
  • Except the number of dollars I don’t have to spend on new clothes. That number does, sadly, define a whole heck of a lot of my mood.

Happy Friday, y’all!

things i love thursday! (november 29th, 2012)

I took last week off of the blog for the holiday. Hope you’ll forgive me for that. But despite losing sleep over a teething four-month-old and my own unnecessary hormone ingestion (blog post in the works) I have so much to be grateful for! Let’s get to it.

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • He’s finding his hands! So cute.
  • Getting to spend Thanksgiving with my mom! She drove all the way up here for me! (Okay, let’s be honest — she drove up here for Dax. And who can blame her?)
  • Seeing a doctor that finally listened to me about my issues with my IUD.
  • Days at home with my boy.
  • Lunch at Red Lobster.
  • Encouraging text messages.
  • Leftovers.
  • Melted marshmallows on top of pumpkin pie. GENIUS!
  • Gratuitous Emoji use.
  • Making music with good friends.
  • Salt and vinegar chips.
  • Coffee.
  • Birthday celebrations.
  • Our amazing nursery and our friends!
  • Bathtime.
  • Jammies, particularly those of the “footy” persuasion.
  • Beer.
  • Starting and ending my work day by nursing the boy.
  • My “broken but not broken” ring.
  • Gingerbread lattes!
  • My kid being “not impressed”.
  • Cupcakes.
  • Bagels.
  • Carbs in general, really.
  • Hearing that Chrissie is having a baby girl!
  • New beginnings for good friends.
  • An early Christmas for the Durrenbergers.
  • Spiritual truth.

What do you love this week?

friday favorite: cojones.

That’s right, you guys. I have cojones.

Not literally, of course. The fact that I bore a child almost four months ago attests to that fact.

But figuratively. I’ve got some balls. And that’s my favorite thing about myself this week.

There are certain aspects about our life that Dan and I aren’t content with. I say that vaguely, because for the most part it’s great. But there are certain things about that we feel called to change. So we’ve started exploring some options on how to do that.

One of my ex-coworkers and his wife did things kind of the way we’d like to. So, a couple weeks ago, I called my coworker and then emailed his wife. Today I had lunch with her.

How does that take cojones, you ask?

Well, before our lunch today I’d never met her. Ever.

Takes some pretty big balls to go out to lunch with someone you’ve never met. But had I not reached out to her, I wouldn’t have had a great meeting and gleaned practical knowledge for motherhood.

Good job, self! Way to go!

things i love thursday! (november 8, 2012)

Oh heeeeey there, Thursday. You’re looking swell. Oh, what’s that Thursday? You say you’re less than a month away from my birthday? So glad you remembered! How about I repay you with a list of gratitude?

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • HEAT and HOT WATER because so many people are without right now. 😦
  • Dax’s “Trick or Treat” jammies.
  • All of Dax’s jammies, actually. Footies for the win!
  • Barbecue chicken pizza. “Vegan” style.
  • Brainstorming and song writing.
  • Playing Libby’s REAL piano! I want one of my own so badly, but this will do! (Weighted keys, where have you been all my life?!)
  • People who have asked, “How can I pray for you?” and meant it.
  • AMBIEN.
  • Lazy Saturdays with college football and my boys.
  • Playing music with my friends.
  • Staying at church until almost 10PM because a certain baby boy was passed out on my chest.
  • Being productive.
  • Seeing my friends start dating each other!
  • Snuggling on the couch watching The Daily Show with Hamlet and Romeo. (Poor attention-starved kitties.)
  • Getting ADORABLE pictures sent to me by the girl who watches Dax on Tuesday. (See above. Is he not a lady killer? A chunky one at that!)
  • Election night drinking games.
  • And, of course, BARACK OBAMA!
  • Also: White People Mourning Romney. Because duh.
  • The Internet, for that matter.
  • Leftovers.
  • Jeopardy!
  • gChat/IM at work.
  • Coffee.
  • The sweet card my hubs got for me completely unprovoked.
  • “Small is beautiful.”
  • My friends. Period.

What do you love this week? It’s okay if you say Mitt Romney. We’re all friends here.