I came across this post recently from Faith Fitness Fun and think it is such a great idea that I plan to add my own daily reflections of self-love during the month of September too. I think it will be a wonderful exercise and will get me more into the habit of finding the little slice of positivity I sometimes (okay, often!) need to realize that I’m worth it, and my next step is closer than (maybe) I think.

Here’s how it works:

What: 30 Days of Reflection for Self-Love

Who: Anyone!! Literally – pass this along to whoever. Share it on your blog or with people outside of the blogosphere. Everyone can participate. This is NOT a prayer or Christian only cause. It is for every person who wants to take time to love him or herself and gain a new perspective on their value. Call it prayer, meditation, self reflection, quiet time…whatever. It is for EVERYBODY! If you know you want to participate and feel like this can reach others the same way I believe, CLICK HERE to join!

Where: Here on Faith, Fitness, Fun with a very short post published every morning with the brief message to reflect on each day.

When: I will begin the daily reflection posts on September 1 and they will continue for the 30 days of the month of September. Take literally 5 minutes sometime throughout each day to reflect on the topic.

How: Click and comment on THIS POST to let me know of your interest. Then, simply jump in by taking a few minutes each day for self reflection on the given topic. Comment as much as possible on the daily reflection posts. I want there to be more focus on taking the few minutes for reflection over anything else. However, participating with comments helps you to declare the affirmations and something about having them in writing makes it feel more real. Also, I’m hoping for this to continue in future months and plan to include thoughts/quotes from other bloggers in future reflection posts.

So, if you are interested, check out her blog, or click on the button I created to join in. I think it will be a great experience!!

(and yes, for those with their mind in the gutter *raising hand* the “self-love” challenge does sound a wee bit dirty, but I kind of dig it. Just sayin)

I had sort of a frustrating day today, all around, and to top it off, the snowy commute home was sort of the nail in the “grumpy pants” coffin.

And then I watched this week’s Joel Osteen sermon and two powerful, yet very simple messages came jumping out at me and sort of crystallized a few things to me, personally, and more holistically, in life, in general.

The first – if it works out, great, and if it doesn’t, no big deal.

What was Joel talking about? Goals and wants. If they don’t come to fruition – for example, if that man doesn’t enter your life or the man IN your life isn’t the right fit, then that’s okay, because the right one is out there.

Why did this resonate?

After date #1 with CBE, I came away from it with optimism, looking forward to a potential date #2. And I got so much positive feedback – both “blog” and “real” friends/family – for taking the chance with the “older” guy, and in fairness, also words of “wisdom” making sure I’m doing what I’m doing for the right reasons. And, I am. I’m just following my gut, seeing what happens, not getting overly wrapped up, but still having optimism, because that’s who I am. But optimism doesn’t mean rose-colored glasses, it doesn’t mean I’m jumping in with both feet, it just means I’m exploring it. Neither end of the spectrum – just playing the middle road.

So…if it works out and there’s something there, great, and if it doesn’t, no big deal. It wasn’t meant to happen if that’s the case. And I’m totally okay with that. I’m comfortable with that, and I hope that comes through in conversations with friends and family on the topic of my dating life, and with my blog friends. I know I open myself up to plenty of advice and comments either way just by the fact that I post it on here in the first place, so I’m prepared for that, but I just thought that message tied in so well to what I’m feeling today. I’m grooving along, but I’m not just going after anyone, and I’m not going for convenience, I’m just living my life, seeing what’s out there.

And the second message – release your goals and wants – yeah, that’s right.

This message is so powerful to me, because of how difficult it is to do.

Trust.

Know that it will happen if and when it’s supposed to. Any goal, any dream, any want. Joel says:

“Don’t hold on too tightly to it- release it – turn it over to God. Don’t live your life frustrated because it  hasn’t happened. Trust His timing, know that He knows what’s best for you. And even if it doesn’t happen, be happy. Live and enjoy your life, don’t live your life upset, release the frustration, release the worry and come to that place of peace.”

That is so difficult to do – to just let it go, know that what’s meant to happen will, and be at peace with it if it doesn’t. I just had a frustrating work day, and sometimes struggle with “what I want to be when I grow up” – where I want to be in 5 years, 10 and beyond. But then I realize that I can’t always look so far ahead, and get ahead of myself. I need to deal the hand I’ve been dealt, do the best I can do, and trust that He has a plan for me. I’m going to release it, trust that it will happen when it’s supposed to. And you know what? I already feel more peaceful and less anxious thinking about.

I’ll leave you with Joel’s closing, which again, so simply sums it up, and is something I think we can all probably relate to, in one way or another:

Don’t let frustration steal your joy. Life is too short waiting to be happy. Enjoy your life right now. You don’t need those other things to be happy, you can be happy right where you are.

The last time I traveled alone was about two weeks before “the situation” began, and it was a business trip I took to Dallas. My first trip taking a plane by myself (believe it or not!), first time hailing a cab, finding my hotel, making my way to the conference I had to go to, first time staying in a hotel by myself. I look back on that time and remember being absolutely petrified, scared out of my mind, hating that I didn’t know where I was going and didn’t have Pete to be the “assertive one” to get us around. Looking back also on saying goodbye to Pete at the airport, I was a wreck, sad, scared, not wanting to leave, and he wasn’t too emotional (he would usually be just as sad as me), and I just thought he was being supportive and trying to give me confidence. Of course, it was probably because of all the doubts in his mind about what he was (or was not!) feeling about our marriage.

Looking at where I am now, while this is the first trip I’ve traveled alone (basically. my boss is coming, but not on the way home), I am not NEARLY as petrified (partially because I’ve traveled quite a bit on my own, with friends and family, but not with a significant other), I have basically looked forward to the trip (except for lack of sleep!), and I don’t have that sense of dread I used to. It feels like a huge leap for me, and I’m so glad I’ve grown so much across the board since this all began. I haven’t really had an “a-ha” moment lately on the post-divorce journey (perhaps a good thing – a sign of solid moving on-ness!), but this one feels pretty awesome (and, to be honest, looking back, Pete wasn’t really that assertive, he just appeared to be, since I had not an assertive bone in my body! He’s middle of the road, in that regard, I think, which is fine, but I saw it so differently then).

Funny how yet again – perception is NOT reality. I’m stronger than I thought, just didn’t give myself the opportunity to prove it.

As I head into d-day on Friday, I’ve been thinking a lot about all the support I’ve gotten from my mom, my sisters, my grandparents and some very, very special friends. And I am focusing today’s post on my grandparents. They have been simply amazing since the moment they found out Pete and I were divorcing. From being very supportive and just THERE for me (in particular, during the holidays)…they have this way of silently showing their support in so many ways, and it has boosted me up and made me feel stronger, and happier.

They’ve also brought me closer to God, and introduced me to an amazing minister – Joel Osteen – a minster that has infused a new fire in me, helped me see things in a completely new light, and given me amazing perspective on the obstacles I have faced. Joel has this way of expressing various passages in the Bible in such “real world” terms that just hits me in the right way and is just so inspiring. For example, when saying goodbye to my grandparents today in Maine, they mentioned how touching and so “right” Joel’s message was today. I just watched today’s episode, and they were right, it was perfectly timed to where I am right now.

It was focused on facing obstacles head on, and not focusing so much on what you are going THROUGH, but focusing on what you are going TO. I love that!! He goes on to say that we need to take the hand we are dealt in life – whether it be a divorce, financial strife, or other hardships and WIN with it. Realize that you are strong enough, and you can move past whatever you are being challenged with, and keep that “never say die” attitude. To light a new fire on the inside of you, and become everything God created you to be. That’s so powerful, and it’s so empowering. And I would never have found Joel, or found my way back to God, if it weren’t in large part for my grandparents’ gentle influence. I am so lucky to have them, truly blessed.

In closing, Joel’s final statement that I’ve captured: “have victory in your DNA, don’t complain, don’t give up, because a new season is about to begin.” Couldn’t be closer to the truth.

Happy quote Friday everyone!! It’s a very special Friday…why? Because it’s the start of my vacation!! Very excited for time in Maine (will have to break away from blogging for a few days – Sun – Thurs – will be VERY hard!)…so, I decided on a broader quote today that I’ve been saving for awhile:

“By stepping forward-even when you’re sure not ready-you’ll find genius, power, and magic.  Your way will become clear.  Often times, we’re foggy about our purpose, not quite sure what we want, and it’s only because we’ve been too timid to stick our necks out”

This is a huge reminder to me to always challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone – whether it be personal, work, or workout related – I always want to stretch myself. Why? Because that’s how you grow and develop and EXPERIENCE new things. The more I have gotten out of my comfort zone, the more I’ve learned and the clearer my path has become. I want to run away from timidness in life and run towards genius, power and most of all, magic. I know it’s there, I know it wants to come out, I just need to push it along.