Who Are We Not to Be?

I’m spending the week as a dorm mom/camp counselor at Tech Trek, a science and math camp for middle school girls. I am the youngest staff member by about 30 years, undeniably making me the “cool dorm mom”. I have 11 girls that I am responsible for, they are the sweetest little angels – even made me personalized signs to hang on my door!

I feel so blessed to be here this week. There are 88 girls from all around northern California who have an interest in STEM fields and completed a competitive application process to get here. Being with them reminds me how important it is to be a source of encouragement and positivity in people’s lives, especially young girls. Although females have made wide strides as far as equality in education and the workforce, (as we celebrate the 40th year passage of  Title IX), we still live in a male dominated society where girls are reared to be passively cute and compliant. I have such an amazing opportunity to empower these young girls and instill in them the importance of hard work and their ability to overcome adversity.

And it’s not just these girls. Not just this week. Every day, every where we are, every person we encounter, is an opportunity to be a positive influence. Because you never know some one else’s situation. And that smile or kind word could be the only thing getting them through the day. Today we held a big money management activity and I was walking around helping the girls with it. I walk over and bend down to help this one kinda awkward little girl with glasses, and she says “omg your so pretty”. I chuckled up a smile and said “thank you, so are you sweetheart”  But it really did flatter me, not because I have horrible self esteem, but because thats not something I really hear, from strangers at least. And it feels good. And it just made me think, how much of an impact little words can have. And if I could be that little voice, that little feel good in someone else’s life, even if just for a day, then I think I’d be doing my part.

We are so powerful.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

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reflection

I struggle with a lot of things. One of them is focusing on flaws in other people, especially when they are people who are close to me and who’s behavior hurts me. Today I was reminded that the only reason we should acknowledge the flaws in others is only to deepen our hatred of what is ugly within us. In turn, deepening our wonder of a God who forgives so much. It’s not to say that people don’t suck or let you down or make poor decisions, but its about redirecting your thoughts to yourself and reflecting on how that characteristic might appear in your own life. It’s about always striving to be better.

being okay

I had a good day hanging out at my friends company’s warehouse, sewing some stuff for the the summer line. Then I spent the rest of the day at our neighbors house caring for their dogs while they are out of town. I love coming over here, their house is absolutely gorgeous and so peaceful. I love just laying on the couch reading my book and cuddling with the dogs. I think it’s important to spend time with yourself.  You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by others. It’s important to be able to just sit and be with yourself and allow yourself to feel and go through things and not always rely on other people for a listening ear or feedback. Try sitting and listening to yourself and seeing how you feel about the situation and what you think about it. You have to validate your own feelings before you allow othes to validate them. You have to be okay with yourself before you can be okay with other people.

I think its normal to want things to be okay, for things to go right. But when you are living with people who are struggling with addictions, you cant hold onto expectations of okayness. You have to expect that things are not going to be okay, and you have to prep yourself to deal with those situations when they arise. Otherwise, your life turns into one of those awful Lifetime movies full of conflict, despair and Joan Allen breakdowns.

Understanding that your happiness is not dependent on whether or not someone else drinks or uses or lies or engages in any other destructive, self-seeking behavior, is key to being okay yourself. It’s a daily decision of choosing to focus on what you can do, and only what you can do.

Sometimes is really difficult. And it sucks. And it sucks the life and hope out of you.

And on days like that you escape from being around those people and you be with yourself. you read and watch Oprah re-runs and drink too much coffee and think about all the things that you are proud of yourself for. Because at the end of the day that is all that really matters – that you are proud of who you were today.