Two weeks of moments…

So!

These past few weeks have been filled with activities.  Weddings, galas, bridal showers, night out w/friends, finals, finishing up my second semester of Law School and celebrating Easter.

 All in the past TWO weeks! 

I get to catch my breath for about a week or so, and I intend to get a physical, meet up with friends, sneak in a hike, register for my next semester of classes, catch up on emails, make some important phone calls, and read.

All in ONE week!

As I reflect on the past few weeks and the encounters I’ve had, they were gut-wrenching and rewarding.

“I apologize for that,” ” I wish you knew,” “I wish someone would have told you,” “you look like you are living your best life,” “are you a Republican?”,  “that’s okay,” “thank you, thank you, thank you,” “I feel beyond blessed and honored I get to be a part of your life,” “teach me your ways,” “you are brave.”

 These were some of the highlights of several conversations I had in those past weeks.  Some moments took my breath away in both a revealing and humbling way.  If I am going to be perfectly honest, I am emotionally drained. These are words spoken to me and of me.  As I read them back, I thought, wow so much has been seen, tasted, felt, and given by my engagement in life.

When we decide to show up and be engaged, we set ourselves up to be vulnerable to people’s opinions and comments.  We allow ourselves to be accepted and rejected.  We give others permission to draw from our experiences and make conclusions of their own.

So as this next week comes around for me to catch my breath and disengage for a moment, I want to leave you with a few words of advice.

Don’t beg to be loved, just love yourself.

Don’t expect others to do what you are supposed to do for yourself.

Don’t give what you cannot afford to live without.

Don’t lose your dignity to fit into someone else’s narrative.

Don’t forget to rise up and be thankful for each and every experience, it has shaped the strong person you are.

Don’t forget to love unconditionally, but be prepared that your heart may break often.

Lesson:

Life is an unpredictable…smile while you are living it!

‘Til Tuesday

-Annette Ortiz Mata

Words matter…all the time!

I love you, I hate you. Go away, please stay.  You are amazing, you are ugly. You are a failure, you are brilliant.  Hello, Goodbye.  Will you marry me?  She’s gone.  You failed, you passed.  Go to Hell, God is Love. It’s a boy, I am sorry for your loss.

These are words I have heard said to me at some point in my life, and I am sure so have you.  In the past week, we have read and said words to each other that are false and true.  They are both hurtful and exposing.  Our world is in a crisis, unlike anything I’ve witnessed in my lifetime.  We are yelling at each other through a keyboard. We are repeating hateful words behind a screen.

We disguise our concern with criticism first!  

What we say matters. How we say it matters and who we say it to matters.  Before we continue to go on with rhetoric that may not bring unity let’s stop for a minute. Check our hearts, pause long enough to re-think our tone, our execution and more importantly our words.

Every new day we are given the gift to speak a kind word to someone that you may not know may be hurting.  Every day we get a chance to start again and share a moment with someone that may need it more than you ever imagine.  We need to stop thinking of ourselves first and think of what others may be suffering. As the famous quote says “Always be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”.

What would happen if every day we shared a word of encouragement with someone?  If everyone you came across you paid a compliment?   Let’s stop judging each other, tearing each other down.  I want to be happy, not necessarily always right.

Don’t you?

Lesson:

“Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk.  Be gentle with one another, sensitive.  Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-31) – Message Translation

“Til Tuesday

Getting older….feels great!

I remember when I was a child, my brother Joey and I would always dream of turning 35!  Yes, 35!  It was the oldest number we thought we’d become.  You see we were 10 and 12, so 35 felt like a lifetime lived.  We’d often fantasize about where we’d live…  marriage? careers?  More importantly what we would look like….!

Now that I am waypast 35 I think about those conversations and chuckle to myself.  We were children, young and innocent with honestly no idea what growing older really meant.

As I am getting older, I love it!  I have come to understand and respect the knowledge and real understanding that comes with experiences that bring shift and change. With aging comes the confidence that at 20, 30 and even in my 40’s I never had.  I suffered from people pleasing and judging folks.  In all fairness to me, I had some interesting life experiences that led for those awful character traits to live themselves out.

As I age, my no is no and my yes is yes.  My acceptance is real, honest with no strings attached.  I have come to accept forgiveness and give forgiveness and simply move on. I do not dwell on the past and pick up other folks offenses.

I live with the clear understanding that I am living the life God intended me to live with much more to come and that gives me a renewed purpose and hope each morning.

I respect people’s privacy, and their opinions while guarding my own and living in my truth.  I learned that prayer and stillness trumps reacting and trying to fix things that sometimes don’t need or want to be fixed!

I learned that my body may change, my skin might not look as tight and my hair is grayer than I ever wanted it to be, but my heart, mind, and soul are whole and full of peace.  My outward appearance may define my age, and I am okay with that.

The newfound wrinkles are from laughing too hard or crying so intensely.  My extra weight is from the children I carried and the delicious food I shared with my family and friends and the workouts I missed, just to sit at home and watch tv alone or with my family.

You see there is no reason to stall aging or reverse it.  It’s the marker in time that lets folk know that you are living and have lived a full life.  All the ups and downs, fears and triumphs have given definition to your words, that everything you say and do have a purpose.  When we show up, we want to be there.  When we stay home, we want to enjoy the solitude of our space.

Aging is not just the process of growing old,  but the process of living out a life out loud.

Lesson –

Don’t be afraid to age.  It’s the gift of life that arrives each morning..embrace it and make it the best moment of every day.

‘ Til Tuesday