Yes, it’s true. I’m a certifiable THERAPY JUNKIE. I have a love/hate relationship with that damn leather couch.

The journey with my therapist started about 5 years ago. I found myself in the kind of place that no preacher’s kid, mom of two, ordained minister and worship leader wants find her little ol’ self. {Bless my heart}

I was a healthy mix of tired+sad+angry+hurt+overwhelmed+hopeful+ready. And you know what? As long as you have those last two ingredients in there then you can dig out of whatever shit pile you’ve thrown yourself into. 

The details of my situation aren’t important for this conversation. I don’t want to muddy the waters by laying out the particulars of my pain… because I don’t want you to walk away from this page thinking you can’t relate. Here is the down+dirty, nitty+gritty truth for every last one of us.

We ALL have pain. We ALL struggle sometimes with this whole “navigating life” situation. We ALL get whiplash from just living these lives in this ridiculous world of ours. The details may be different, but when it comes down to it we can all relate to riding the struggle-bus of being human.

So, loves… I thought I would share some of the lessons my very wise and extremely patient therapist has talked me through over the years. Not all in this one post, of course. Because you have a life and things to do and you DON’T have 973 hours to sit here and learn everything in one sitting.

How about we start with one thing. One thing that you can ponder+argue with me about+implement+ignore if you want.

1. The only person responsible for your frustration level is YOU. Stop putting blame on someone/something else for your feelings.

So what if you’ve been lied to. So what if you feel betrayed or used. So what if that “other person” started it. They will have to deal with the consequences of their mistakes. But they should not be able to control what our response to their idiocy will be.

That’s on us, loves.

Choose love. Choose forgiveness. Choose peace NO MATTER WHAT.

I would bet the $2.75 that I have left in my checking account (it’s the end of the month… UGH) that none of us ENJOY being angry or walking around full of bitterness. I would also venture a guess that you would prefer to not be constantly frustrated by your quirky partner/annoying as you-know-what co-worker/drunk uncle.

Guess what?! They don’t have the power to get you all riled up unless you give it to them.

This was a revelation to my over-stimulated heart! My angst was ON ME. My anger was ON ME. Ultimately, living in emotional pain was something that I had chosen and not something that was forced on me by anyone else.

The victim mentality is a little bitch – let’s be honest. It can creep up on us if not kept in check and honestly I just found myself exhausted with it all.

If we are frustrated, we have CHOSEN frustration over acceptance.

If we are angry, we have CHOSEN anger over forgiveness.

If we are fearful, we have CHOSEN fear over peace.

So can we just work on making better choices? It really can be that simple. And let me say that SIMPLE does not equal EASY. It is difficult work to make good choices every day. The simplicity of choice is because there is no grey area here – you KNOW the best choice is to love, forgive, walk peacefully. You KNOW that the results of the those choices feel a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

Living peacefully does not come when you jump over a magic line of forgiveness. Yes, forgiving is the first step. But honestly, we have to wake up EVERY DAY and choose to forgive them/ourselves/the universe. There are some things that happened to me years ago that I have to make a daily choice to move past… there is no magic line where one day you are in the depths of despair and the next day you are bouncing around on cloud 9.

And listen to me, loves! You are so valuable and fantastic and there is NO ONE like you! I would argue that we are being the most selfish when we choose to live in un-forgiveness/fear/frustration… because we absolutely can not contribute successfully to the world when we are buried under a pile of pain.

So let me end with this challenge… start today by making the choice to extend forgiveness (for your own benefit, not their sorry self) and to walk with your head up and not cowered in a corner because you’re scared out of your mind (You are missing out on LIFE when you say no to everything).

These really are simple choices that will change your life!

(Also: FIND A GOOD THERAPIST ASAP. Even if everything seems fantastic…. just trust me on this.)

I sure do love you all. (especially YOU!)