Getting There: Reflecting on REACH

I took a by-week for REPAIR so it felt good to be VOWing again. This past week was defined by REACHING in every sense of the word.

I stretched myself to meet a challenging work deadline and actually made it — miraculously. I crossed over the school-year summit and am finally winding down the other side of the academic year mountain, reflecting back on my accomplishments.

Josh and I arrived on vacation to support a beautiful and much beloved couple tie the knot. It was a gorgeous and intimate ceremony that I was and am beyond honored to have participated in. Catching up with my tribe reminded me what I desire for so strongly here in my new city.

I spoke to a beloved friend via Skype (still holding strong to those friendship intentions!) and felt that connection and love over many miles, united by computer screen. I was reminded that there exist some bonds which re-link with the most slight of outreaches; and how wonderfully easy it can be know you’re seen and heard and appreciated regardless of how and how often you show up.

I unfortunately hit a breaking point with another friend with whom I attempted to reconnect, wanting to shed light on the dark spots of our relationship that I have struggled with over the past year. I couldn’t REACH him, he was either too closed off or too unready to fix what has been damaged. So I bowed my head, acknowledged that sometimes things and people and friendships change, and decided to wait with an open heart should he attempt to contact me in the future. I was reminded that there exist other bonds which need more maintenance or more communication or more grace than they’ve been given. To no one’s fault, I suppose. But it hurts all the same.

And throughout all of this, I consider myself fortunate that always within arm’s length was my Person; ready to offer a hug or a cup of coffee or to stand in as the minister (for the rehearsal).

A lot of our lives are spent trying to get to the next milestone — be it a promotion at work, a marriage proposal, a number on the scale — and sometimes when you REACH those, you feel invincible. And other times you admit defeat because no matter what you try, you not only miss the bullseye but the dart doesn’t even hit the wall. Those successes are personal and shared. Those challenges are made easier by your posse — or sole individual if that’s who you have. And all of it is a flux; we REACH our goals or our limits or another person’s heart, only to need to show up and re-earn it all over and over again.

This week we take it all in as we REVEL

#VOWreach & The Feelings You Haven’t Felt Yet

Hope.

That seems to be my word these days, or at least it’s trying to be.

It started following me around a few weeks ago, like a freshly learned vocabulary word, and I am not really sure what to do with it but try to use it in the sentence that is my life.

Hope can mean two different things: a feeling of expectation or desire for a certain thing to happen or a feeling of trust.

I think the latter is what I am getting at. What I am trying to reach for more days than I don’t. Because, to be honest, I don’t know what I want exactly, but I know its something.

There’s this specific stanza in one of my favorite poems, “If” by Rudyard Kipling:

…If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools

It’s those last two lines that get me and always have.

They have me thinking that hope is both dirt under your finger nails and a good word given.

It’s you showing up; stretching just a little more, even if you’re not sure exactly for what it is or where it is or if it even exists; and shaking hands with something bigger, agreeing that, eventually, it will all be okay.

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately, and this week, I’m going to try to spend a bit more time enjoying those that-kind-of-night moments hope gets you as we…

REVEL.


Steph’s REACH mantra: If you knew the size of the blessing that was coming, you’d understand the battle you’ve been fighting.

Steph’s Song of the Week: Beautiful Rose by Sean McConnell

& Don’t Miss Lin’s #VOWreach post (coming soon).

#VOWrepair: The Journey of the Warrior

The thing to know is that, for me, repair does not mean to make whole. It does not mean to complete. It does not mean to make anew.

Repair means to fix or mend (a thing suffering from damage or a fault).

I like that.

You fix things you care about. You mend things you need in your life. Sometimes you just work on things, refurbishing them, for no other reason than love.

And sometimes you don’t do those things for all the same reasons. You walk away because you care, for no other reason than love.

I sat on the beach early on in the week. Or rather I lie there. And I didn’t try to fix or mend anything. Nor did I try to walk away. I was simply still.

The day after I came back, I saw Glennon Doyle speak on Thursday night, and it was completely perfect.

That’s the thing I’m learning to trust, by the way, that the Universe Buddha God, sometimes brings beaches and books and bold fucking females to you exactly when you need them.

Anyway, she talked about the thing that I highlighted and underlined (yes, I do both—highlighting is a for passages that speak, and underlines are for points within that do) when I first read Love Warrior.

She was writing about Bikram (something I have a close personal relationship with) and a Pema Chödrön passage about the journey of the warrior:

So even if the hot loneliness is there, and for 1.6 seconds we sit with that   restlessness when yesterday we couldn’t sit for even one, that’s the journey of the warrior.

Glennon reflects:

What if pain—like love—is just a place brave people visit? What if both require presence, staying on your mat, and being still? If this is true, then maybe instead of resisting pain, I need to resist the easy buttons. Maybe my reliance on numbing is keeping me from the things I was born for: learning and loving. I could go on hitting easy buttons until I die and feel no pain, but the cost of that decision could be that I will never learn, love, or be truly alive.

That’s #VOWrepair.

It’s about caring enough about what you went through to let it cause you pain. And valuing that experience and loving yourself enough to be worthy of what that pain could teach you.

As Elizabeth Gilbert wrote, “Ruin is the road to transformation.”

And as you know, Sister and I are big fans of that road and the women who have helped us learn how walk it (Brené first and foremost, followed by Elizabeth and Glennon and Cheryl).

And this week, we continue on with the journey of the warrior as we…

REACH.


Steph’s EXPLORE mantra: We are not meant to stay wounded.

Steph’s Song of the Week: Hard Feelings/Loveless by Lorde

& Lin’s taking a bye week for #VOWrepair but meet her back here for #VOWreach.