It’s Hard Sometimes

It’s hard sometimes.

To say what we mean.

And mean what we say.

To follow our heart.

And show it the way.

To live for today.

And plan for tomorrow.

Letting go of the past.

And all of our sorrow.

With each ounce of pain.

And every tear shed.

Is an ounce more of wisdom.

And pleasure ahead.

For each stone over-turned.

And pathway walked down.

Will lead you on home.

With the joy that you’ve found.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yours Truly,

Erin Terese

P.S.  Hope you enjoyed this mini poem and that you enjoy this big, beautiful, broken, bountiful, breathtaking, beautiful, bold world.

Avoid, Rinse, Repeat. – I am breaking the cycle.

I struggle with when to stay and when to walk away in romantic relationships, friendships and even in my career.  This is a sensitive subject for me.  In order to discuss this and have any kind of opinion on the matter, I am going to be vulnerable and air my dirty laundry for all to read.  I don’t like this.

So here it goes…

I don’t think I really noticed how wounded I was until I started writing this blog.  I didn’t fully understand how strongly I hold my loved ones in my grasp.  I didn’t realize that some I would fight for endlessly and others I would let slip away as if they had meant nothing to me. To the outsider, it may seem haphazard – but there is surely a rhyme and definitely a reason.

The thing is, it is the same thing every time.  I will fight to save and help and encourage the people in my life.  To no end.  When they call, I am there. Even if it has been years, my heart beats for my loved ones.  I truly carry their heart in my heart.  This is true until this one thing happens.  Until I think that I might be left. If I fear that I may be at fault, have done any wrong and that I might be abandoned, I leave. I rewrite what has happened in my head and make it seem as if it was my choice to be drama free – when really I was guarding my heart.  And wounding it further along the way.

Same story, different boyfriend, lover, friend – every time. Avoid, Rinse, Repeat.

And yes, some of those relationships are better left where they lay.  It was a blessing.  But some could have been nurtured.  Some I could have taken the time to reach out again and listen with a patient heart.  I could have asked to hear what I had done, if anything, that lead to the growing canyon between us.  But my standard response was to speculate and write the story in my head. As if I knew. As if there was anyway I could really have known what happened.

My cowardice in confrontation has left me with lost friendships and lovers that perhaps could have been life-long friends or loves of my life, had I not been so fearful of their judgment.  Had my insecurities and childhood wounds not left me so fearful of being brokenhearted. And on the flip-side, I may not have even been their friend or lover had I not been seeking their approval in the first place.  Knowing this is a trip.

What I have learned from all of my writing, the endless hours dissecting my thoughts, and countless hours learning to quite my mind, is the truth. The essence of me. (And I know many of you are going to relate to this) I have a large heart.  A big one.  I could fill a football stadium with my loved ones. I would fly around the world and scale the highest mountain to help any one of those dear ones.  But have I always given myself that same amount of love and dedication?  Sadly, I have not.  Not until now.

nurture

Now I am going to fight to save and help and encourage myself in this life.  This means that I will lean into the discomfort of conversations to find the truth.  I will no longer walk away when things get scary, I will stay and talk them through and hug everyone on the way out – whether it is for the last time or if I will see them bright and early the next morning.

I am giving up on the idea of never.  The idea that you have to even walk away. It doesn’t have to be a forever goodbye, slam the door in your face and never hear from you again.  It can be a “So long my friend, I wish you the best.  I love you.  Until will meet again”.  Because guess what?  Life is short.  It is crazy.  There are twists and turns and chapters we can never imagine. Leading characters may fade into the back, and supporting characters may swoop in and save the day.

You never know.

To assume and wonder and speculate does no one any good.  Ask for your answer.  Hear it with an open heart.  If you do not get an answer, then do your best to release it and bless it on the way out – “until we meet again”.  Or at least that is my plan.  Instead of “Avoid, Rinse, Repeat” it is “Love, Nurture, Forgive”.

Yours truly,

Miss Erin Terese

It’s Okay to be Sad Sometimes

It’s okay to be sad sometimes.  It’s okay to feel the weight of things.  It’s okay to cry and ask for time alone.  It’s okay to feel hurt and betrayed and wounded. It is.

It may not feel good, or you may feel foolish about your weighty emotions, but when they arise it is important you acknowledge their presence.  These moments of despair and loss and sadness reveal what is important to you.  What makes you tick.  Who you are, where you have come from and what you have learned.

Whether this bout of sadness is grounded in a break-up, an illness, a death, a job loss, a bankruptcy or a mistake you have made, the feelings are valid.  Even if you cannot place the reason for your sadness, it still needs to be addressed.  Nursed.  Tended to.  Loved and  cared for with kindness and patience.  When you find yourself in these moments, you need allow the feelings to be, address them, and then dig into your bag of tricks and exercise the things that help you heal and reset.

We all have them: the cure-alls.  Not the glass of wine, cigar, romp in the sheets or fist fight you might be yearning for – but the real medicine.

The moment alone.  The walk in the park.  The deep breaths.  The nap.  The tall glass of water.  The talk with a friend or words in your journal.  The tears on your pillow or tea in your cup. The coins tossed in the homeless person’s hat or hand on the weeping woman’s back. The gratitude and forgiveness. The prayer or plea or pause for reflection.  The gentleness with yourself.  This is the real medicine.  The real cure.

Sadness

When you take a moment to still your mind and ask yourself what you really need, the answer presents itself.  The answer always lies within.  We forget this sometimes.  And sometimes we see the answer and because we don’t like it, we push it aside. We need to take the time to address what ails us and to sit with it.  To understand it.  To heal it and forgive what needs forgiving.  To love it and feel gratitude for all that we have and for the opportunity to change and grow.

The important thing is that we take these moments as a lesson.  A lesson in learning more about who we are and how to love ourselves more kindly, with the gentleness and care that we deserve.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

P.S.  How do you care for yourself in times of sadness?

Reconciling the Past, Present and Future Self

The journey of life sure is an interesting one, packed with twists and turns, flips, back flips, and quite a few head-spins.  One of the things I find most interesting is how much we change, how frequently we change, and how difficult is seems to reconcile the many versions of ourselves.  Maybe some of you fit in a pretty little box that never changes, but I am more like a hermit crab constantly finding a new shell.  I am Fifty Shades of Erin.

hermit crab

There are things in my past I would never want to repeat and things that I am not proud of; but I do know that every little thing has shaped me into who I am today, and because of that I wouldn’t change a step.  Where I am now is a result of all of those things. Every last one. All of the people that I helped and people that I hurt.  All of the things I learned and trouble I made.  All of the people I kissed and the ones that I dissed. All of the people that harmed me and all of the people that helped me. Yup, every choice and moment has led me here.

It’s honestly amazing to me, how that young girl has become the woman I am today.  It’s amazing how her outlook has changed.

How she was once glass half full, then glass half empty, and back to glass half full. How she trusted in the good in people, felt everyone had an agenda, thought the world might end, that there was a master conspiracy, and that love heals all.  How she thought she wanted to be a photographic journalist, an economist, a financial planner, a business owner, a writer. How she wanted to be married with children, single and in the city, how she just wanted to be happy.  How she cared about others first, thinking that was selfless, only to learn she must care for herself first before she can properly care for others.  How she thought being a good friend was making others happy and later learned it’s about being authentic.

As you change, some friendships and relationships deepen and others fall by the wayside.  Some go quietly and some go with a fight. Some jobs change and other times you change your job. With all of the people that have come and gone, houses I have moved into and out of, jobs that have given me a paycheck and those that I have given my two weeks notice to, there is one resounding similarity: I could never have planned or predicted the change. At least not in the beginning.

While I am learning to accept the past and to be grateful for everything that has lead me to this moment, so too am I learning to invest less into what I think my future should hold or should be.  It will be what it will beWhat matters most is this moment.  Who I am now and who I am creating myself to be. This current version of Erin is no longer making life decisions based upon past circumstances or the things she envisions for her future, but rather from who she is today and how she would like the future to feel.

She would like the future to feel very much like it is today: filled with love, passion and purpose.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

P.S.  This reflection comes one week before my 30th birthday.  This new decade seems to have my mind doing a review of the Shades… If you have any comments or feedback, please share!  xo