Finally, the day you have all (most likely) been waiting for – I grew up a little bit!

I have come to realize that my search to define myself in the last year has been both beneficial and detrimental to me.  Beneficial because I have learned a lot about who I really am, not who I want to be or think I am but who I really am.  Detrimental because during this whole time I have been so focused on myself and all my own little problems that I haven’t taken the time to really “see” other people and their struggles with their own, every-day lives.  My self-focusing has caused me to miss out on my greatest joy – helping others.

I’m a helper, always have been.  I’m a great listener, a secret-keeper, and I love to help, even to serve.  If I go to a party at your house you’re more likely to find me in your kitchen, helping bring out the food and picking up the extra dishes lying around and bringing them back to the sink.  When I help other people I feel good, I feel so good that I actually get energy from helping others and leave feeling more alive than I did when I walked in.

I’ve missed that feeling.

I’ve missed helping others walk through their problems.

I was born to help people and I’ve missed that part of being me.

When I set my focus on “finding myself” I ignored several parts of “being” myself that I already knew I loved being.

I was wrong to let those go while I was searching for “something more”.

Today I am smarter, bolder, stronger, braver and more willing to speak out against what is wrong.  But I am still compassionate, loving, kind, helpful and caring.  I had thought I couldn’t be both… but I can!

I can be frustrated and upset without worrying that I’m going to lose my salvation.  I can be kind and sweet without being a doormat.  I can understand where my husband is at emotionally and respond to him appropriately without losing my marriage.  I can survive my teen-aged daughters crazy schedules and multiple health issues without going insane. (I am, however, going broke… ugh!)  I can say no to helping people without feeling guilty when I need to step back and take care of myself.

I was created to survive and survive I shall.  Not only will I survive but I will grow and blossom right where I am.  I will not allow life’s circumstances to stop me any longer.

I purchased some little metal puzzle pieces to hang on my key-chain.  They say:  I am Valuable; I am Grateful; and I am Authentic.  They help me to remember who I am.

From now on my relationship with God is first.  Taking care of my family is second. Meeting my own needs and helping others is going to have to be a tie for third.  When I can help you I will and with joy and gladness in my heart.  If I need to rest and take care of myself I will tell you I’m very sorry but can’t help you at that moment.  And life will go on for both of us because survival is just the beginning…

Now I want to learn how to live!