U Are the Key to Success

10677368_sWho is the key to your success? U are! Okay, so we all know this already. It’s kind of like a “duh” statement. But for me, it went from duh, to “OH!”

I was having dinner with a friend the other day when he said to me, “You have the whole package. You have the personality. You have the looks. And you have the intelligence. So why aren’t you successful?” ouch!

My quick, without thought answer was, “I don’t know! Life maybe?” But can I really blame circumstances on my lack of success?

I went to bed that night asking the question, “Why aren’t I successful?” I awoke in the morning continuing to ask the same question. I pondered it all day. Later in the day I was talking with a friend about how sometimes a belief system can enter into our subconscious that affects our behavior and patterns. As we talked about the past, I had a sudden illumination of a belief that I had about success and hard work. Deep into my little girl mind, I had been imprinted with the idea that if you work really hard, you will lose your family. Now before you start arguing with me, I want to point out that things that get imprinted into your mind aren’t always truth, but often simply child-like perception. And those perceptions affect your behavior as an adult. Often this behavior, which can be rooted in a lie, can have serious negative consequences on your life.

I’ve always been one to examine my life. I like to find hidden lies, and replace them with truth. I call these “lie epiphanies.” The above was an example of a “lie epiphany.”

You see, when I was little, my dad was laying a foundation for success. He went to law school when I was a toddler. He got his first job as a lawyer when I was 4. He then started his own law practice and even became a county attorney. All of this took his time away from his little girl. The interesting thing about being imprinted with lies, is that the truth is hard to see through them. Often when I think of being a young kid, I think of missing out on time with my dad. I think about rarely seeing him. I felt like if I wanted to see him, I would have to go to his office. And then I felt like I was interrupting his “life.” But the truth is, he was working hard to build a solid business foundation. Every year we went on a 2 week vacation. We would often take an evening and play a game or go bowling. I fondly remember racing home from the bowling alley with my dad hot on my trail, even though his six foot frame with long legs could have easily left me in the dust. Why do we imprint the lost time rather than the in person time? I really don’t know the answer to that.

Usually a lie is formed by a hurt that gets scabbed over and simply stays, like a scar on life. We all have them! Sometimes they affect the way we treat or react to others. Sometimes they create fear around certain issues. And sometimes, they prevent us from being successful. The lie I believed with every ounce of my being is that in order for me to be successful, I would lose my family in the process. So, what that did was kept me from doing the long hard work that would be required. Here’s a truth. Sometimes it takes a lot of work to build a successful business. It’s not a get rich quick thing. It’s a take the stairs, one step at a time, and climb, climb, climb, until you cannot climb any more.

When I fell in love with Mike, he was working very long hours because he was building a business for himself. Knowing that I would end up not getting to see him because of all the long hours, I simply joined him in his work. I feel like he lost part of his family because of his work. Further imprinting the belief that if you work hard, you will lose your family.

It happens. I know it happens. But knowing that it happens is what I believe to be the entire reason that I am not successful. yet. My success was blocked by that scar that people who work hard lose their families. And family was absolutely the most important thing in the world to me.

My kids are almost all grown now. I know I won’t lose them by working hard. But still, I have this attachment that says I must be everything for them. I must not miss an opportunity to spend time with them, even if it’s to drive them to work or school. But the reality of my situation is if I don’t work hard, I mean, really hard, then I will end up in a really bad financial state at the end of the day (life). I could easily take full days tending to the needs of people around me. I felt like I was doing the right thing. And it is right to tend to those in your care. But in doing so, I’m not working hard.

It’s a tough thing to look in the mirror and say, “U are the reason you aren’t successful.” “U are the missing link in the puzzle.” “U are failing.” But when the epiphany happened, that was exactly what I had to do.

Now that I have illuminated the reason, I know that I will be able to set aside the things that distract me and move forward into success. Which interestingly, when I get to the place of success, I will have more time to focus on the needs of my grown children. When bills are getting paid on time, I will have time to go to a movie with them. When my client base is established, I will have more time to enjoy a vacation with my grandchildren.

It’s time for me to start building a future!

What’s blocking U?

The Photos I Hate of Me

This morning I was tagged in this photo. My first thought was, NOOOOO. This picture is horrid. Then I began that self talk that is most definitely not “ta-dah!” worthy talk. It is not the kind of talk that a daughter of the Most High King would think. It was the talk of a self-centered human would think. Why do I look so fat? I look so tired. What a goofy smile. Those were all thoughts that wanted to take up residence in my head. Then, if left unchecked, which they were, the thoughts started going down a very slippery self-loathing path. Me? I’m not a self-loather. But when confronted with a horrible picture of myself staring at me on my FB profile, tagged for all the world (or at least my 2400 FB friends) to see, it happened. Self-loathing heading to the path of self-destruction. I wanted to cancel my golf date today. Really? Because of a photo??? Yep. Because of a photo. 

As I often do, I figure if I have bad thoughts about something, maybe there is someone else who might also think like me, and we can learn from each other. So I asked my “friends” why they would like the photo that was clearly horrid. I wasn’t fishing for compliments. If someone had said, “you don’t look fat.” I wouldn’t have believed them anyway. I just wanted to commiserate with my friends about how horrible it is when you’re tagged in a picture that looks horrible.

But what I received along with a few commiserations was truth. Truth that said to me, “ … own your beauty. You are beautiful, just the way you are. God made you and He does not make mistakes. You are a real mom, and a real woman, with a real life, and a real body. And we love you. Allow the tags, so we can rejoice with you along your journey!” 

This was followed by the amazing words, “I don’t even know you but the few times I’ve had the pleasure of meeting u I was I can’t explain it. You made me feel joy. Everytime I see your precious smile I feel the joy. I love your ‘ta-dah’ and everything that goes with it. Trust me when I say seeing u with no make up or whatever the case may be will not kill that joy u originally gave me. I will still feel it. It’s God thru u. He can never make u look bad.”

Those words changed everything for me. I mean it. They changed me. I have kids who don’t want me to post pictures of them. To me, that’s ridiculous because I see the beauty in them, regardless of the weird look on their faces, or the strange way they are standing. I see the love I have for them. And there I sat missing that people will see the essence of who you are in a photo, regardless of the lack of perfection. 

I had a friend once tell me that I’m not photogenic. What he was really saying is, “You look way better in person!” But the way I processed the words made me feel a bit like I shouldn’t let anyone see photos of me. I’ve now changed my mind. You can do that you know. You can change your mind! You have the power – I have the power – so, here’s to changing my mind about “bad” photos of me. There simply can’t be a “bad” photo. It is simply a one dimensional view of a multi-dimensional daughter of the Most High King who is loved by many – simply for being the person God created ME to be. 

I welcome you to post a photo in the comments. You know the one. The one you’re almost ashamed to post because you look —- less than perfect. As my friend said, “Own your beauty!”

A Brush With Death

Bryan hours old  As I lay in bed, I instinctively, lovingly, rested my hand on my pregnant belly.   Little did I know as I felt the kicking of my unborn baby that in just a few short minutes my life would be changed forever.

The time was getting nearer for our baby to be born. I had been having contractions all day. I figured our baby would be born that night or the next day when I went to my scheduled appointment.

A New You by The New Year

You all know about the ecomony. Are you about as sick of hearing about it as I am, gloom doom gloom doom. I suppose if the only thing you see is the bad stuff, it might really look like that. I’ve been trying to see with different eyes. In our part of the country we have a lot of new buildings being constructed. I can’t find a place to park when I go shopping. It looks to me like we’re thriving here. Even my real estate business has picked up a bit. I guess it would be pretty hard to not pick up when I didn’t have any sales for six months last year. Miraculously we survived and made it through the rough patch.

The Plans I Have For You

She came to me – with that look on her face. I had known her for 21 years. I knew her looks. She was nervous, scared, and needed “to talk.” A list of possibilities ran through my mind. I suggested we go for a drive. There is something safe about driving around in the car talking. No interruptions. No distractions. Just she and I together in the car. We sat in the car for a moment. I turned to look at her. A tear fell down her cheek. The look in her eyes was that of fear, excitement, nervousness, and disappointment. I don’t remember the exact words we exchanged that night. But I know I had to pull the words out of her. I reassured her that nothing is insurmountable.