V-Day PSA #FillYourOwnPitcher

I’m about to give you a glimpse into the kinds of conversations that happen between me and my Mama. You’ve been warned.

While on the phone last night:

Mom: “Who’s going to be your Valentine?”

Michelle: “Myself.”

Mom: “Me, too.”

Michelle: “It’s a good thing I love myself otherwise that would be awkward.” *giggles*

That “profound” conversation reminded me of something. What they say is true, “You can’t fully love someone else until you first love yourself.”

Fill up your own pitcher first, so you can give that love to others! You can’t give from an empty vessel.

IMG_7808Whether you’re single, taken, hitched, or somewhere in between remember to be your own Valentine today AND every day. And if you love chocolate (or chocolate covered strawberries like I do) be sure to treat yourself today! You ARE worthy and you ARE loved. Always. <3

#LoveHugsAndSunshine #FillYourOwnPitcher #HappyVDay

The Down and Dirty on Staying Positive #ItsAChoice

I’ve been told that I’m a role model/inspiration for the way I live my life and while that’s very sweet and warms my heart that’s a whole lot of responsibility. The truth is I’m just Michelle. I’m not belittling myself by being “just Michelle.” I’m human. I’m not perfect. BUT I do wake up making a conscious choice to be become a better version of myself with every passing day.

Let me tell you a secret, being a true positive person (at least for me) doesn’t mean I see nothing but sunshine and roses–that’s not being very real or authentic. There’s darkness in this world, in all shapes and sizes, and in all places. Being a positive person is recognizing the darkness, dealing with it, and then making the choice NOT to dwell on it. Sometimes this means recognizing the darkness inside of ourselves and finding ways to deal with it and let it go.

Spoiler alert! I’m not Suzy Sunshine ALL the time sometimes I become Mopey Michelle. I’m horrible at hiding my true feelings. I can keep my mouth shut but if something is bothering me it’s written all over my face (sometimes in red) and in my body language. There are dark places inside of my heart. I’ve thought I’ve dealt with those places but sometimes buried in the corners of my heart they remain. When those doors to those dark places break open boy do they wreak havoc on me. Majorly. The worst part of those opened doors is being upset and not understanding why.

Another spoiler alert! I hate crying. After spending over a year in tears every time I cry now it feels petty and stupid. My heart knows its not but my head is really irritated by it. Yesterday I had a really REALLY bad day. I cried a lot. Four separate times. Four times! One time is too much for me but by the time I curled up in bed I was a mix of sadness, anger, and frustration. I even asked myself, “What the heck is wrong with you today?!”

Typically when I feel this way I journal—writing it out works for me but I’d glared at my pen all day unable to pick it up. That’s how twisted I was feeling. Just pile on another layer of frustration—the author can’t even write. Grr. I couldn’t get my feelings out but they were boiling inside me. Then I broke down and texted a friend. Notice how I said that…broke down…I felt broken and crazy and frustrated that I couldn’t figure this out on my own. I have a very difficult time asking for help. I know it’s necessary but I’m much better at providing help than requesting its receipt.

After my wise friend reminded my stubborn heart of the rational side of things including the fact that I wasn’t broken or crazy AND “God did not intend for us to go it alone,” she started asking questions and suddenly it all came out. I’d been digging all day in the wrong place but as soon as I handed her a shovel we dug together and found the root of my discontent. It included two things from long ago instead of just last week. (I knew it was something more than what was in my face!) Suddenly my feelings made sense and I was able to put them (and myself) to bed.

Today I woke up to the most fitting skyline to match my heart, sunshine breaking through the clouds. I took the time to dig up the root of my discord and that freed me. You see positive people make the choice to be positive but every choice must be backed by action. That action is dealing with your emotions, digging to find the root, and understanding those dark and hurtful circumstances so you can let them go and move forward.

I didn’t actively pursue this type of healing until I lost Chris. Because the pain of that loss was in my face it left me with a choice live in misery or face the pain. Through counseling I learned how to face the pain, how to dig beneath the surface, feel all the hurt, and then let it go.

I hope you don’t have to face a situation like I did to realize the healing power of facing your feelings head on. Take a page out of my book, make the time to deal with what’s troubling you, seek out a friend, a counselor, a trusted advisor, someone who can help you get to the root of your troubles. Take it from me, there’s no greater feeling than waking up to sunshine in your heart when you’ve felt nothing but darkness the night before.

Positivity is an unending process—it takes work, dealing with uncomfortable situations, letting go, and walking forward. Being a positive person is a choice backed by lots of action. But I promise you having peace in your heart is worth all the tough stuff.

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#LoveHugsAndSunshine #PositivityIsAChoice #FindTheRoot