A Couple Dents in my Fender…

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barbieI’m a very lucky girl because my subconscious is a very rich place. I get to have wonderful dreams AND I tend to remember them.

On the flip side, I have pretty intense nightmares, too.

But, for today, we’re gonna stay on the “dream” side of things.

I’ve written about my ridiculous dreams before (married to Justin Timberlake, for example). They can be quite lovely.

Last night I had 2 dreams I can remember. In the second dream I was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer with some friends and my brother. A pretty nice dream.

It’s the first one that’s bugging me; especially when I combine it with one from last week.

Last week I dreamt I saw my reflection in the mirror and it caught me off guard because I was not my current weight, but slender, and I had a thigh gap. My subconscious self was so elated that this dream became about my shock that I had a thigh gap.

I don’t think I’ve had a thigh gap….in.my.life….teach-body-hate

Like Ever.

In fact, I distinctly recall being called “thunder thighs” as a child, so I’m just gonna go with a “nope” on the thigh gap
existence.

That was last week, so let’s dig into last night’s first dream.

I was in a huge and lovely home. It wasn’t mine, but I remember feeling like it was familiar and I was comfortable in it. I walked down a set of stairs and heard my brother talking to someone. I couldn’t tell who it was, but it was someone with whom my brother was comfortable because they were joking around together.

Eventually I realized it was a guy…I realized this because he greeted me and said he had to change clothes. The part of me that was an audience to this dream still didn’t know who it was, and my brother made the comment of “Is that always how you greet your fiance?”

Oh, so I had a fiance! This is a good dream, then, right?!

He came out of the room after changing his outfit, and I can tell you this is not the type of man to whom I would be attracted in real life. He was wearing plaid shorts and a polo shirt (that was maybe a soccer club shirt). He was Italian and very muscular. (My ladies who were at the Royals V Tigers game with me a week or so ago will know who my subconscious used as a model). Although his physique was attractive, his personality was obnoxious.

I’m taking all this in: me in a nice house, my physically attractive fiance, my brother approving of the guy, when the part of me that’s in the peanut gallery watching this movie chimes in, “There’s no way a guy that hot is your fiance.”

souls-not-bodiesWhat the heck?!?! My subconscious is a straight up bitch, guys.

Who says that to someone?

But wait, isn’t my subconscious the product of my thoughts and experiences?

Then I think I have a real problem here.

And I think many people, not just girls, suffer from this same kind of thing.

We gain our value from our appearance.

We constantly evaluate our self, and others, on our shell.

AND WE KNOW BETTER…at least I do.

You guys know me. I am the encouraging one. I am the one who tells people to love themselves and I work with kids…

And I am so so so careful not to body shame myself in front of kids or body shame anyone when small humans can hear.

Maybe I can save them from having this voice in their head when they’re older.

Maybe it’s not too late for me.

body-blooming

I’m a very lucky girl because my subconscious is a very rich place. I get to have wonderful dreams AND I tend to remember them. On the flip side, I have pretty intense nightmares, too. But, for today, we’re gonna stay on the “dream” side of things. I’ve written about my ridiculous dreams before (married […]

#BlackLivesMatter

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Before I dig in here and reveal what’s going on in my heart and my mind, I’d like to throw out a disclaimer to my friends and family:

You may disagree with me.

dangerI hope that even if we disagree you will not see it as a need to stop speaking to me, or interpret that I disapprove of you in any way.

I am on a journey to greater understanding and accountability as a human on this planet.

I’m not trying to say YOU are bad. I am not trying to say YOU are blatantly and actively racist.

I’m saying there is a deeper problem beyond white cops ending black lives.

I’m saying I can’t be a silent witness or casual observer anymore.

I think some of this process of standing up and speaking out means acknowledging what is wrong inside of me. I am not willing to point at others without first looking inside.

I don’t know that I actively think any life is less valuable than my own. In fact, I probably value my own life less than those of strangers.

Thus, when I take in words professing that black lives are not valued, it doesn’t resonate as something I feel within me. I don’t mean to imply that it’s not true for others, or that it’s not how it feels to others, but it’s not what it true for me.

The feeling that I think is more accurate for me is fear.

When I walk alone along a street and encounter an able-bodied man (read: not elderly), I have a sense of fear.

When I walk alone along a street and encounter an able-bodied black man, I have a greater sense of fear.

That is prejudice.lives end

That is racism.

And I know it.

If I can know it; a person who is empathetic, compassionate, a lover of all people and most animals, a hater of any kind of pain or exclusion; if I can know that my inherent, yet somehow learned fear, is racist, then why is it hard for others like me to see that it is absolutely an ingrained systemic problem?

I have never been harmed by a black man. I HAVE been harmed by white men.

I have never been harmed by a cop.

Yet, when I pass a patrol car or encounter an officer’s vehicle on the highway, my heart leaps to my throat and beats a little faster…..fear.

Because I know I am speeding.

I’m not afraid they will harm me.

I’m afraid I will get an expensive ticket and my insurance will go up.

I’m not afraid I will be killed.

Other than the unknown factors contained within my vehicle, I’m not afraid I’ll be killed because I think no officer would assess me as a threat. There’s the fear factor again.

Do I see cultural disdain for law enforcement? I do. And you know what, I see it from people of all colors. I work with kids who do not trust LEOs, MANY of them are white kids. The thing is, unlike their black peers, they don’t have to worry that the color of the skin puts an automatic target on their backs.

Please understand this: Many people I love are law enforcement officers. I believe they are good men and women. I do not believe they would shoot someone unless they had to for safety. I think I believe this about most police officers. I want them to get home safely at the end of each shift.

I’m willing to believe that some of the officers who have killed our black citizens were/are even good people.

The reason I believe it is because I believe I am a good person, and I can acknowledge the racism that exists within me.

If I’m willing to believe there are some officers with inherent biases who ACT on them, conversely, I’m willing to believe some of the humans killed actually did criminal things. From what I can tell, it doesn’t seem like shooting them was a reasonable response in many cases.

I know those are not popular beliefs.

In my heart I know the brutality is not acceptable, and I don’t want to stay silent anymore just because someone may disagree with me and unfriend me on facebook. If we can’t disagree and still be people who love and care for each other, then I am not sure we have a solid basis for a relationship to begin with.

If I encounter an educator who treats students unfairly based on racial bias, whether or not that educator was aware of it, would you WANT me to say something to them? If it was your kid, or your co-worker’s kid, or your high school friend’s kid, would you want it addressed?

Yes. If it were happening to someone in your circle of influence, even someone on the fringe of your circle, you would feel it and want it to stop.

If we wait until it gets that close it will be too late.

It’s too late for so many right now.

You know what else I have witness in my own life that I know to be true? Change and redemption.

We can do this if we surrender our defenses and embrace this struggle through love.

Let’s not make the beast of racism more ferocious by feeding it with denial and malice.

It is biting us right now, and before long it will tear us apart.

As I have finished writing this the news is breaking from Dallas.

Cherokee

Before I dig in here and reveal what’s going on in my heart and my mind, I’d like to throw out a disclaimer to my friends and family: You may disagree with me. I hope that even if we disagree you will not see it as a need to stop speaking to me, or interpret […]

Relation to Race

Deep Thoughts No Comments

**This is from my heart. It’s my attempt at processing and feeling through these experiences, and not intended to simplify or pretend to know what anyone else experiences**

brothers and sistersToday I visited a small town, just north of KCMO, with my family. Since it’s Tuesday, there weren’t a lot of people out on enjoying the shopping and incredible weather. In fact, we were the only shoppers on the block.

I spotted some vinyl records inside one of the antique/jewelry shops. The Captain and Tennille and “Love Songs of the 50s” were on top. The covers were in good condition and still brightly covered, and I thought of a friend who is a music producer.  When my parents were getting rid of some of their records 15 years ago he nabbed some, so there was some schema there.

I sent my friend a Facebook message about the records and described the street where the shop was located, as well as a couple other stores since he mentioned looking for decor.

As the conversation was winding down, I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that was incredibly unsettling. Was I sending my friend into danger?

Let me be more specific: Was I sending my black friend into danger in small town Missouri?

As I was thinking, my friend posed the question as to whether or not it was a friendly place for him….and my heart felt as sick as my stomach.

I couldn’t answer with an immediate “yes” because I didn’t know that to be true.

As much as I wanted to say it, I knew the answer would be based on my own experiences; which are provided by a whole lot of privilege.

I reached out to two other friends familiar with the area to see what they thought, and while I waited for their replies, I was taken back to other times in my life where I was confronted by racism concerning my friends.

Around ages 21-22 (I’m almost 35 now) some ladies and I went to a late night bar in Gladstone with a long-time no one is born hatingblack male friend. While sitting a booth, as a group, my friend became uncomfortable because an older, white, bearded man at the bar was turning around frequently to stare at him. I had not noticed this one bit, and when my friend explained that he should probably leave, I became indignant. In my mind I was indignant FOR him, and put my arms around him in what I thought was a show of support and an “eff you” to the man at the bar.

What I thought was a good move, or something I could visualize happening on TV, was naive. I’ve looked back on that moment many times over the years and realized how stupid I was. I could have endangered my friend. Although I could never imagine someone harming me, the reality may not have been the same for him.

Another time, also around the same age (It’s the bar-going age, after all), several friends were going to a small bar in Northtowne for karaoke. I invited a ton of people and my friend (the same from the current “records at the antique store” tale) asked if it was safe for him. I looked at him strangely, as if he was nuts to as that question in the 21st century, and said yes. Just after I did, two of my friends, who were/are married to each other, looked at each other, then looked at me and said, “no.” The husband was/is in law enforcement and is Latino. We didn’t go to that bar. In fact, I never went back again…..

How was I so oblivious?

That answer is easy. I’m white…and I was naive.

But I’m not anymore, and that is why I couldn’t give my friend an immediate “yes” when he asked about going to check out the records.

Eventually, the two opinions came back in agreement that it would be “friendly” for my friend, but that doesn’t mean it’s correct.

In fact, it feels very wrong to have to ask if a place is safe for a black person near our world-class city.

I know racism is alive and strong in so many places. I know it doesn’t look like a man in a white hooded outfit. It doesn’t sound like the vile N word.

It manifests in more subtle ways, and that’s scarier to me because it’s harder to recognize with my eyes and ears…

who wants to changeYet somehow, my heart still senses it every day as I scroll through Facebook; watch TV; and see generational, cyclical poverty.

 

The only thing I know to do about it is to acknowledge it; to stop pretending that it doesn’t exist just because we check certain milestones of the list.

Much like any true change and conversion, it doesn’t come with just acting better and watching our language in public. It doesn’t come from a checklist. (I would say all of this about “Religion,” too)

Meaningful, long-term change….It comes from the heart.

How’s yours?

Love,
Lisa

**This is from my heart. It’s my attempt at processing and feeling through these experiences, and not intended to simplify or pretend to know what anyone else experiences** Today I visited a small town, just north of KCMO, with my family. Since it’s Tuesday, there weren’t a lot of people out on enjoying the shopping […]

“When the Waves are Crashing…”

Deep Thoughts | Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) No Comments

Hey everybody! Anyone still out there?

Long time, no post…I know.

From Pinterest

From Pinterest

I’m hesitating with how to start this off, because I don’t want it to seem like I am always struggling.  The thing is, when I’m in the midst of a tough internal (and external) struggle, I do a lot of thinking, and when I do a lot of thinking it leads to a lot of feeling.

What I’m realizing today, as I write this, is all that thinking and feeling, that feels like chaos and pain, is really me wrestling and breaking through into a moment of growth.

So, I think I might have to reframe my processing. Instead of referring to it as struggling, from this moment henceforth (I hope you’re using an English accent in your head like I am)….henceforth I shall refer to these moments as times of growing…not struggling.

The gamer in me says I’m gaining XP and leveling up. *nerd alert*

Aaaaaaanyway….

The last few weeks I’ve really been in my head and heart and relying on some old ways of thinking and acting; unhealthy and scary, really.

It’s been pretty isolating; to feel so unworthy that you pull away from most things…and then the isolation and shame begin to poke holes in the life you’ve fought for and spiral into the most critical and demeaning thoughts. I felt very much like I felt 5 years ago before I accepted Christ; and that was pretty low.

Honestly, some of the thoughts I had last night were deep and dark.

I was feeling alone. More and more I have felt like I don’t fit in with my closest friends anymore. A lot of this feeling comes from thinking I’m left out because of this phase of life I’m living.

It used to be that my friends were married, but we would still hang out after I got divorced. Then it progressed to them having kids, like, on purpose…then more than one…on purpose. Their families were building and there were baby showers and births and 1st birthdays; reasons to get together.

And then there’s now…and the families are established and growing up…and I am in my parent’s basement; alone. Forgotten, or at least an afterthought…according to my own thoughts and feelings.

This is how the thoughts start….and they spiral from there; but I want you to know this is truly a hopeful post, so I’m not going to dwell there because it’s not where I am right now.

Image belongs to Suzanne Davis Harden

Image belongs to Suzanne Davis Harden

So while I’ve been “growing” these last few weeks, I’ve been praying to God to come get me out of it. Take me by the hand and pull me out…wash the dirt off me; and let’s move on.

Today, at church, listening to the story of Jesus walking on water toward his disciples, my mind began to shift away from “get me out of this” to something totally different.

When the disciples were in their fishing boat on the stormy waves, they weren’t too shaken up by the conditions. They were used to stormy seas. What got their attention-what made them afraid-was seeing Jesus walking toward them on the waves….like a boss. They’d seen him do amazing things already, but this? I can’t imagine how crazy they must have felt, and in awe at the same time, to know they knew well the man doing that impossible thing…surely he must be who he says he is.

Jesus never told them to quit being wusses. He didn’t try to offer a silver lining to what they were going through, or minimize the situation.

who caresGod’s not looking at me going “Hayden, seriously. I have these people with cancer, and this ISIS thing, and Trump…don’t even get me started….and you feel ‘lonely’?! Cut the crap, girl.”

He’s not watching me waiting for the most meaningful moment, right before my fingertips get submerged, to reach in and pull me out.

While I was feeling unworthy in my relationship with my creator, I was making Jesus into something he isn’t. I know my verb tenses don’t match…just go with it.

Jesus is an “all-in” kind of God. He’s not just gonna stand around and watch while I struggle, and in the moments I look to him give me a half-hearted shrug.

He’s here fighting with me already. He is IN the mess. He’s not a “wait outside until the messy part is over” kind of God.

Jesus doesn’t want me to “give up.” He wants me to surrender. And there’s a big difference between the two.

And so I will.

Because He is “I am.”

And that’s greater than any storm.

john 6 15

Hey everybody! Anyone still out there? Long time, no post…I know. I’m hesitating with how to start this off, because I don’t want it to seem like I am always struggling.  The thing is, when I’m in the midst of a tough internal (and external) struggle, I do a lot of thinking, and when I […]

Untitled

Deep Thoughts | Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) 4 Comments

I’ve never written fully about this experience before. I barely talk about it.
Before I do so now, I want to warn those of you who have been through a sexual assault of any kind, that this post may contain triggers. It will not offend me in any way if you can’t read it. To be honest, my writing this is triggered by hearing that Bill Cosby has finally been charged with one of his numerous crimes.

I’m not even sure I can post all the details; nor that I should, but since a new year is coming, and we like to look at those things as new beginnings, I think I’ll get this done. Please forgive any errors in language. This isn’t something I want to read over and over.

In 2009 I was in the beginning stages of a divorce. Most of you know the end of the marriage included a miscarriage and my ex-husband attempting suicide; then 5 months later we were officially separated. To say I was grieving and bearing a great deal of emotional weight would be an understatement.

I was a lost woman, and I was acting out in ways that were unhealthy and also unknown, so no one could help me.

When I became unattached, married men came out of the woodwork to support me, and much to my own shame, I appreciated the attention. In my testimony of becoming a Christian, you can read that I slept with a married man (once, for the record, and never again), but something happened before that, with another man.

I’d dated him a decade earlier, as a very innocent freshman high school girl (I remember we broke up because I wouldn’t have sex with him), but now he was married with a happy family, and I was headed for divorce. They took me under their wing when my marriage ended. His wife was very kind to me.

She went out-of-town around his birthday, and he asked me to celebrate it with him. I agreed to go to dinner with him, his kids, his mother and her friend. I even asked his wife if this was ok, as it was eerily similar to the catalyst that ended my marriage.

I didn’t intend it, but just me asking caused a fight between husband and wife. That should have been a sign.

The day of his birthday approached and the plans for celebrating kept changing. We weren’t going to dinner with his family. His kids were with a sitter. Some friends were coming out for dinner instead. Another sign.

I arrived at his house to watch what now seems like a charade of friends cancelling on him or not answering their phones; so it was just the two of us for dinner. Another sign.

He paid. Another sign.

We picked up alcohol because people were going to join us back at the house. That wasn’t completely true. One more female friend came over. We drank some. I felt very drunk-very quickly. Another sign.

At one point he showed us his guns. He put them on his bed.

We listened to music on YouTube. Music that still triggers me back to this night.

He put his hand on my knee. I assumed it was out of excitement. He was incredibly attractive BUT married; there was no way it was flirting. I was convinced I was a bad person for thinking he would flirt with me. His wife was beautiful and I was fat. More signs.

Eventually I could no longer keep my eyes open. He made me listen to a podcast about binary code, but it was only on his phone which he couldn’t turn up very loud, so we had to sit close together. Another sign.

I’d had a lot of tequila and the podcast was super boring…I knew I couldn’t drive and was going to sleep on the couch.

He insisted I sleep in his bed and he would sleep on the couch. I refused several times. He did not back down. Another sign.

At some point he told me he’d set out things for me to sleep in on the bed. I was thinking shorts and a t-shirt. I was stunned to see 3-4 of his wife’s negligees from which to choose. Another sign.

I vehemently declined; told him I was fine; and got into the bed fully dressed (minus shoes). He insisted on staying to show me how to work the remote for the TV in the bedroom.

I covered my face and asked him to go. He insisted saying it wouldn’t take long. I remember pulling the blankets over my face.

valid sexual assaultAnd all at once we were kissing. For about 17.2 seconds I think I thought it was ok, until he hurt me (there were bruises from this). Although that was scary, the pain jolted me back to reality and I told him to stop. He didn’t.

I shouted for him to stop as I tried to hold my body together like a brick.

He did.

My thought processes were shot. I knew I had just interfered in a marriage, but I didn’t stop to think that I needed to get out of there; that I was in danger.

I just couldn’t think clearly.

I told him “we” should not be doing that.

He begged me to stay and said he would go to the couch.

I laid there and knew I needed to leave, but my shoes were by the couch. It was winter and there were at least 6 inches of snow on the ground.

I went to retrieve my shoes. He apologized and asked me not to tell. It was completely dark. I sat down next to him and asked if he was ok. I asked HIM if HE was ok!!

Suddenly, his hands were on my head pushing my face toward his exposed genitals. I yelled at him to stop and twisted to the floor. His hands were around my neck and head still pushing my face down.

I grabbed his thigh as hard as I could and he let go.

I ran out; leaving my footprints in the deep snow.

Somehow I made it home and called a friend at 3 in the morning.

For the next several days I watched the bruises on my breasts, thighs, and neck change color and fade away.

It took me 8 days to realize I was the victim of a crime. I thought I was a slut who had broken up a family.

When I went to report it to the police, I was made to stand and tell the story in the lobby through a vented window to a male uniformed officer on the other side. Someone else was reporting a car accident next to me.

Once I finished the officer had me wait while he called a detective. After a while he came out and said he was instructed to ask me one question: “Why did you wait so long to report the incident?”

My reply, quite simply, “I thought it was my fault.”

I started having nightmares after that. I had to sleep with my lights on. I would dream that I woke up with him standing above me in my room.

Just as I began to move on, I ran into him, with his whole family. Thankfully my best friend was with me. I was shaking so badly. The nightmares started again, but went away more quickly this time.

What happened to me was minor in comparison to so many other victims, and yet it still had those effects on me.

Twice in the last 5 years the man’s wife has contacted me. Most recently (this year) she asked why I had never showed up to any of the court dates. I replied that I had never been made aware of any court dates. My address has not changed, nor my phone number, for 15 years, yet I was never informed. I even called after the first time she contacted me, yet no one in the department could find information for me.

The man is still a public servant, and is probably quite good at his job, but I will always believe his position kept him safe.

If you read this, then you probably know me, and maybe even feel some kind of warm feelings toward me. Thank you, for that, by the way. But maybe reading the story of someone you know will help you to judge victims of assault less harshly. No matter what I did/wore/said/drank that night, nothing would add up to consent for what happened.

I KNOW I was in the wrong place. I KNOW there were lots of warning signs.

Even though I know those things, NONE of that granted him permission to place his hands upon me once I told him to stop. NONE of it meant I deserved and earned the bruises on my neck, breasts, and thighs; nor the scars to my psyche.

There is so much more I could tell you to make my point so much more clear, but I don’t feel like I can write anymore about it. I’ve said what I needed to say.

I’m still ashamed. I’m still embarrassed. I’m still scared, at times.

I concede I ignored my intuition, and I learned a hard lesson for it.

Do you think he learned his?

<3, Lisa If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual assault and you don't know what to do, please check out these websites: http://mocsa.org/services/24-hour-support http://www.safehorizon.org/ https://rainn.org/get-help/help-a-loved-one https://www.victimsofcrime.org/help-for-crime-victims

I’ve never written fully about this experience before. I barely talk about it. Before I do so now, I want to warn those of you who have been through a sexual assault of any kind, that this post may contain triggers. It will not offend me in any way if you can’t read it. To […]

Apparently I Have a Fan Club

Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) 1 Comment

This is my 8th year as a school counselor, and my 7th year in my current position between two schools. This year some of my “babies” will leave and move on to the rest of their lives. My school is K-6, so we have been together 7 years; since they started Kindergarten. They were new to school when I was new to school.

I’m kinda fond of them.

Here’s the deal; this week was supposed to be awful: Red Ribbon Week, Halloween Week, World Series (for us Royals fans here in KCMO), and a Full Moon smack dab in the middle of all that.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a tiring week, yet something totally wacky happened: I survived and thrived.

And that’s a good thing, because Saturday was a rough day. It was a day where I realized I am the common denominator in a lot of my relationship problems (namely my inability to trust my friends). I cried a lot Saturday, but in the midst of it, I kept having these random words of affirmation ringing in my ears because of something unique that happened Friday.

My mom was off work Friday, so I invited her to come to school for a bit to see our Halloween parade. All of our kids and staff dress up, and I thought she would enjoy it. 🙂

She got there early, so I took her around and introduced her to the different kids in my grade levels—and that’s when all the wackiness began.

Each and every staff member I introduced to my mom said kind things.

proudI took her into a 5th grade classroom and asked the kids to wave to my mom. One boy leapt out of his seat and said “I am a huge fan of your daughter. Great job raising her!”

Um, I’ve known this kid since he was in kindergarten, and I don’t think I would have told you he liked me AT ALL.

Another boy jumped up and said “I have to hug you. It’s tradition.” (His family went through rough times and I worked very closely with them over the years, so he hugs me every time he sees me)

Next I took her to see the 6th graders (my babies she’s heard so much about for 7 years) at their Fall party. There were a few parents in there, and one mom, who has a wonderful daughter with whom I’ve worked over the years, said very kind things to my mother about me. I was just so glad my mom got to hear that I turned out alright (even if some days I’m not so sure…haha!).

We headed for the table where the kids were eating pizza and I introduced her to that group. One of my boys stood up, looked at my mom and said “Ms. Hayden’s mom, you should know she is awesome; like the best.” We got a good chuckle out of him calling her “Ms. Hayden’s mom.”

You see, I’m a girl who appreciates being appreciated. Education is often a thankless job in comparison to the load of work and the emotional toll.

For me, the staff members, parents, and kids who said those things were a straight line from God to my heart. He knows that I’ve been struggling lately, and I bet He knew Saturday was going to be rough, so He sent me these little messages.

It’s a difficult thing to admit that I can’t gain control over my self-doubt and inability to trust others. It’s tough to admit that I can’t do this on my own. It sucks to know I am defeating myself with my own thoughts and feelings (stupid feelings).

I’ve reached out for counseling, and hope to get that started soon; and in the meantime I would appreciate your prayers or well-wishes.

Thanks for reading.

Lisa <3

My dad sent me this video once and it made a big difference. Maybe it will help you, too.

This is my 8th year as a school counselor, and my 7th year in my current position between two schools. This year some of my “babies” will leave and move on to the rest of their lives. My school is K-6, so we have been together 7 years; since they started Kindergarten. They were new to […]

Perhaps a Proctologist Could Help?

Deep Thoughts | Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) 5 Comments

Friends. I’m struggling inside. I’m mostly happy, but I can’t seem to let go of some bitterness and anger, and it’sdont fake beginning to overpower the general “happy” I work with daily.

This morning, on my way to work, I was trying to figure out how to get past these things that I’m letting upset me and something on the radio sparked a thought:
If I’m struggling to feel the peace of Jesus in my heart, then it means I’m relying on something else to make me happy, so what am I letting get in the way?
The answer was easy after a few seconds: my relationships.
I rely on relationships with people in my life to make me happy.

This isn’t all bad because I really like people and I love making them feel loved, but I’ve failed at this lately because I have felt so disappointed with most of my relationships lately. I don’t even have the will to reach out anymore.

When one person lets me down I am bummed, but when it feels like a repeating cycle of friends cancelling plans, or not inviting me to things, then even tiny things like not answering a text or a phone call becomes the biggest insult ever. And even the legitimate reasons for cancelling become “just another excuse” to me.

I’m at the point where I’m isolating myself from my friends because of the hurt I perceive. I’m on the verge of shutting down to most people in my personal life.

I know no one is doing these things intentionally to hurt me, but it certainly feels like I’m not being considered at all.

And it’s not just isolated to one group of friends; It feels like it’s everyone. That’s not realistic, but when it happens so much it feels like everyone.

20 years ago the easy answer would have been “Find new friends.” That’s not an option here; and not because I’m not friendly or capable of making new friends. No; these people who I feel so hurt by are truly my friends who love me and have invested in me. These people mean so much to me, and I know that is part of why I am hurt so much.

give and receive loveOpening your heart up to people and relationships means opening yourself up to the chance of being hurt. What I’m failing to absorb are the wonderful chances I have to feel loved.

I can love people rather easily, but allowing myself to feel loved is so much more challenging-Nearly impossible, in fact.

So how do I let it go?
Pray more? Read the Bible (admittedly, I struggle with the Bible, in general)? Quit everything?
I’d love 5 practical steps to get on over this, but I don’t really think that’s gonna happen.

Have you gone through something like this before? If so, do you have any words of wisdom or other advice for healing?

Realistically, I know I need to pray, and I am and will continue, but that makes me feel like I am asking God to solve my problem instead of working on it myself.

In 4 days I celebrate 4 years of knowing Jesus as my savior. As you can see, that doesn’t make everything hunky-dory, but I have no doubts about that decision.

This is just part of my journey for now.

Thanks for reading.

Would you pray for me or send positive vibes my way?

Lisa

fix my attitude

Friends. I’m struggling inside. I’m mostly happy, but I can’t seem to let go of some bitterness and anger, and it’s beginning to overpower the general “happy” I work with daily. This morning, on my way to work, I was trying to figure out how to get past these things that I’m letting upset me […]

2 Up. 2 Down. Flag on the Play.

Online Dating | Point and Laugh No Comments

This weekend I was the personal attendant in the wedding of a dear friend of mine. The experience was truly a blast and a blessing.

Now, as many of you already know, I was born boy crazy. Turns out, there were some guys around this weekend.

Thursday evening I met the some of the bridal party downtown for dinner and then shenanigans at UpDown. When Iiceberg talk first arrived to dinner I sat next to a friend of the groom. He was very personable and we casually made conversation….and it’s possible I noticed he was cute, so it was nice to sit next to him. After about 10 minutes, he noticed I hadn’t ever gotten a drink and asked if I wanted something. Friends, that’s when it really happened; I knew he loved me. As the night went on we all continued to have a great time, laughing and playing games. My future husband and I had some things in common: He’s in secondary education and loves reading… yada yada yada…true love.

At the end of the night he gave me a side hug (leaving room for the holy spirit and all) and as I drove home I began to ponder just how our relationship would work with us living in different states.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!!?!? Guys, I didn’t even know his last name! I’d already named our first 3 kids (last name pending).

Apparently guys shouldn’t be nice to me…ever….unless they want to marry me.

Anyway, I played it cool all weekend: I didn’t dedicate any songs to him or try to give him any earrings….no grand gestures. (If you didn’t read that hilariously embarrassing post then please click here)

That’s the good news.

Now I gotta share the bad news about something that happened to me at the reception.

At some point in the night, a tall, dark, and handsome gentleman began to chat me up…and asked me to dance several times. Throughout the night we made conversation and danced together. I was excited. I couldn’t believe someone found me appealing enough to intentionally pay this much attention to me.

I just didn’t know what to think.

At one point, my new friend said he was going to step outside and smoke a cigar, and perhaps leave from there if I’d like to join him.

Most people who know me know how I feel about secondhand-smoke, but also, I was not about to go outside alone with this guy, no matter how kind he had been to me.
He asked again, and I again declined, but mustering all my confidence stated, “No, but if you want my number you can just ask for it.”

This man who’d been approaching me all night, taking my hand while dancing both to slow and fast songs, and chatting me up, suddenly had a change in tone: He put his hands to his chest and spoke to me as though I were the fool, and said “Oh. I’m sorry. Did I…?? I’m married.”

I turned his hands over and showed them to him to call his attention to the lack of a ring, and said “Really?!”

He replied, “Well, let me ask you this, if I wasn’t married would you consider me?”

I stated, “I don’t have time for that game…and they’re playing Miley, so I gotta go!”

I made my way to the dance floor and continued having a blast with my friends and the other amazing people at the reception.great man

For at least 3 hours he intentionally mislead me and wasted my time, so it appears that for as much heat as single people take for trying online dating, that this “in-person” stuff isn’t as great, either.

It’s frustrating. It’s hurtful. And it makes me leery to try at all.

Thankfully, my life is great, and although I would love to find companionship and be married again, my happiness does not depend on it.

Thanks for reading!

Lisa

This weekend I was the personal attendant in the wedding of a dear friend of mine. The experience was truly a blast and a blessing. Now, as many of you already know, I was born boy crazy. Turns out, there were some guys around this weekend. Thursday evening I met the some of the bridal […]

(Untitled)

Deep Thoughts No Comments

Today I read a post by one of my favorite author/bloggers: Donald Miller.

It was titled “How to Overcome a Past Success to Make it Happen Again.” Here’s the first two lines from that post:

“Success can be the worst thing that ever happens to you. Many people can handle failure, but very few can handle personal accomplishment.”

greatest loveThe post goes on to talking about folks who have received notoriety and how it can really be a detriment if you let it all get to you.

I spent a bit of time thinking about if and how this applied to me while discussing it with a close friend once I realized why it struck me on a hurtful chord.

You see, my first year as a school counselor, after at least a dozen interviews, I was desperate for a job and really did all I could to get a position in the KCMO school district. The school year had started and I showed up to the district headquarters in downtown KC ready to show how much I wanted the position. I brought lesson plans I’d made while pursuing my degree. I had multiple copies of my resume, cover letter, and curriculum vitae. The district big wig with whom I was interviewing displayed some kind of emotion when she said to me “Oh, look at you. You really want this job, don’t you?”

I did.

And I got it.

And I loved it.

I was hired for a K-7 position in an urban school with another first-year counselor. We kinda knew what we were doing, or at least we knew what we thought we should be doing, so we did it.

I think we did alright. 🙂

But did I let that go to my head?

At the end of that year our positions were cut and I was very fortunate to interview in a bigger, better district AND get the position.

I traveled to 2 schools and worked with 3 other counselors, from whom I continue to learn so much about being a counselor and even more about who I am, specifically, as a counselor.

At the end of my second year (end of the first year in the bigger, better district) I went to a training with some staff for a program we ultimately did not opt to use. The man facilitating that training had been my assistant principal in my first school; the urban one. At a break he approached the table at which I was sitting with two of my peers and said to them “You probably already know this, but you have a great counselor.”

I told him he was very kind to say so.give love

My peers said nothing.
Realistically, these two peers hadn’t really ever worked closely with me so they legitimately may not have known if I was any good, but the moment had some unfortunate lasting effects on my psyche.

Looking back now, I think that was the moment I started to doubt myself.

I don’t always know if I’m any good at it anymore.

I don’t always know if I’m liked by my peers.

I don’t know if I fit in.

Wait, are those even the same thing?

Nope. They’re not, and as much as I WANT to be liked by my peers, I’m not sure that’s the right place for me to focus. #notaboutme #aboutthekids

So a new school year approaches; the beginning of my 8th year as a counselor–seven of them traveling between schools.

bruce leeI’m looking forward to the Global Leadership Summit this week. I’m hoping it will help me be a better leader, or at the very least, a better person and better teammate.

If I won’t be liked or approved of, I hope I can at least still be good.

This isn’t finished, yet.

I’m not finished, yet.

Looking forward to more of the journey.

Thanks for being on it with me.

<3
Lisa

Treasured. Sacred. His.

Today I read a post by one of my favorite author/bloggers: Donald Miller. It was titled “How to Overcome a Past Success to Make it Happen Again.” Here’s the first two lines from that post: “Success can be the worst thing that ever happens to you. Many people can handle failure, but very few can […]