You Are Awesome. Don’t Ever Forget It.

don't ever forget it.People come into our lives to teach us valuable lessons. Sometimes those lessons alter who we are and our lives forever, and sometimes, the lessons are fleeting and we move on. Either way, people come into our lives to teach us valuable lessons.

We don’t enter into our relationships knowing that. We don’t even consider it. We just enter into the relationships. Because in the moment, it feels like the right thing to do, and our hearts are pulling us towards it, and we know we want to be friends with this person, or we think we can love this person, or an inner voice is telling us to follow our hearts. So we do. Sometimes, those friendships last a lifetime, and you keep learning and growing from each other. I believe those are some of the best relationships. The one’s where both are willing to learn and grow and teach each other what there is to learn and to keep growing together. I have a friend like that. We can have an argument but we are both so committed to working it out, it doesn’t occur to either of us that we may lose each other. We won’t.  Then there are the friendships that last many years and you learn and grow together until there is nothing more for you to learn from each other. We often mourn those relationships. We try and hold onto them with everything we have, but we just need to let them go. Sometimes, the friendships are short-lived, and sometimes, that’s simply because the lesson is a quick one.

If it’s meant to be, it will be. Won’t it? If that person is meant to be in your life, won’t they be?  But we get scared. We start to hold on. Our lives will never be the same if we aren’t in each others lives. What happens if something big happens and we can’t call each other? What if…What if?

I suppose the lesson in that is that there are no guarantees in life.

When we fall in love with people, we do so willingly. We do so openly.   Some have a hard time with it. Some want it…and they long for it…but they can’t quite bring themselves to give someone else all of themselves. Offering ourselves up is too hard. We have our past holding us back. We have conversations that are 10, 15, 20 years old that tell us we are not good enough, or we’re not worthy, or we’re not reliable, or someone cheated on us, or we cheated on our partner, or we’re not good people. Everyone has some conversation running in the background of every relationship. Everyone. We just don’t always pay attention to it. I can’t say I blame us. It’s tough to wrap our heads around the fact that this thing happened in our lives, and that we’ve carried it with us since then.

You might think you’re a bad person because of something that occurred in your past.  But are you? Are you really? You live your life like you are a bad person. You find ways to convince the people in your life that you are bad and then you act accordingly. You push away the people who love you because you couldn’t possibly measure up to who you know you’d have to be for them. The jig is up. You now realize you’re in love with this person and you have nothing to offer them. You are so focused on the fact that you did something bad once…Or you hurt someone once…so you keep on hurting people to perpetuate the background conversation. You leave destruction, and a trail of broken hearts behind you, but you’re unwilling to do what it takes to deal with, confront, or face whatever your demon is. So…you move on. You disappear from the lives of those who love you. Only to do it again. Somewhere else. All the while, losing sleep over who you think you are.

Meanwhile, the people on the receiving end? What happens to those people? What happens to the people in the path? The one’s who are stuck under the rubble?

They start to question who they are. They start to wonder what THEY did wrong. How is it possible that love simply wasn’t enough? But love is supposed to be enough. Love is always supposed to be enough.

And sometimes…it’s just not.

What happens to the people on the receiving end? We start to question our own goodness. Our ability to love the people in our lives. Are we really as fabulous as we claim to be? Am I really that good a person? This person who I thought i knew isn’t who I thought they were…what does that say about me? How did I not see it? I should’ve listened when they told me they were bad person. I should’ve heard them. I should’ve asked why. I should’ve paid attention.  I should’ve been able to make a difference. I should’ve known better. I should’ve been smarter.

We should ourselves to death. We think that by asking the questions and going over all the “should’s” we’ll have the answer to the “what happened”.

Until someone we know says something in a one minute conversation that we may not have heard at any other time and makes a difference. We DID make a difference. That bad thing that they did in their past…they never did that with you. They never behaved that certain way. They never said that certain thing. Yes. They may have broken your heart on the way down. In fact, it may even appear like they broke your entire life. But when you look yourself in the mirror every day…give yourself a kiss. Or at the very least, a high-five. You deserve it. You loved someone who didn’t think they were worthy. You loved someone more than you ever could’ve imagined doing. You gave someone the benefit of the doubt. You trusted someone with your whole life. You trusted them with your heart.

Not everyone in the world is willing to do that. Not everyone believes the world is good. Not everyone believes that everyone has an ulterior motive.  That someone is always out to get you. That you have to watch your back. It takes a very special kind of person to live a life believing in everything. All the time.

While at times, it can be heart wrenching to imagine that bad things can happen to good people…they can. And they do.

The real strength, which is something I’m only just getting (hence my almost year long hiatus), is that no matter what happens…I’m always awesome. And nobody gets to make me forget that. No matter what.

People come into our lives to teach us valuable lessons. We may not see it right away, but always.

You. Are. Awesome. Don’t ever forget it.

Ever.  No one gets to take that away from you.

No. one.

~ Rita

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We Are Not Our Failures (WDS2013 recap)

everything in moderation

Showing up at the World Domination Summit this year was a tough call for me. Although I went last year and had the most amazing and life altering experience, and bought my ticket right there on the spot when we were given the opportunity, how things rolled out wasn’t exactly how I would’ve thought they would’ve rolled out. Funny how life keeps handing us circumstances and we have to keep dealing with them. Or we don’t. I suppose all of life is a choice isn’t it?  I had enough circumstances in my life over the past couple of months that technically, I could’ve gotten away with not going. I could’ve just cancelled the hotel, and lost the price of the ticket, and not gone. Especially since the circumstances just kept piling up.

What kind of circumstances? Well. The things that happen in life. We roll along, everything’s good, and then BAM! We get hit in the face with unexpected things that happen in life. In my case, the first of many circumstances was the unexpected ending of my relationship. That was just the first in a series of things that have happened over the past couple of months. I walked into WDS heartbroken on so many levels. So. Many. Levels. It’s been a very very long time since I’ve been this unhappy for this long a stretch of time.

So far, all the blog posts and tweets and Facebook status updates have all pointed to “WDS is about the people.” I would have to second that. It really is about the people. There is a level of conversation that happens in a few minutes with strangers that doesn’t happen in everyday life.  We are all there to get connected.  To bond and fall in love with all of those like minded individuals who make us grateful to be alive.

We learned about how to be happy, and how to dream bigger, how to speak with confidence, and let go of fear. We heard people talk about meet ups and catch ups and all kinds of ups. I saw people crying in corners because they were so moved by the experience, and other times I saw people crying because they weren’t sure they belonged here…to this tribe of people. I say, if you were there, you belonged.

I didn’t think I belonged at the weekend either. I had a lot of thoughts about skipping out of it.  Staying in my hotel room until it was all over.

Walking into the weekend,  I felt like a failure.

Throughout the course of the weekend, I cried a few tears. Had a lot of conversations. Was moved by so many of the speakers. Especially Jia Jiang who spoke about 100 Days of Rejection Therapy. How unbelievably awesome of him to go out into the world and try and get rejected as a way of working through his fear of rejection. So many of us, including me, see rejection as a failure.

We don’t get the job we want.

We failed.

We don’t get the girl/guy we want.

We failed.

We don’t get (fill in the blank).

We failed.

And then, Donald Miller took the stage and put this slide up on the screen.

we are not our failures

What if he’s right? What if we are not our failures? What if what we are is simply extraordinary people doing extraordinary things? What then? What if feeling like a failure is a whole lot different than actually BEING a failure?

He shared about a relationship he had that he royally effed up…you could tell, he has regret. Remorse about how it went. But he did the work. He did what he needed to do and only a week before he gave this talk, got engaged to his lady.  I needed to hear his words. I needed to know that what’s going on with me, isn’t something that is personal to me. It’s more common than we think.

Yes, there are a lot of people who think that they can’t go to the conference until they quit their day jobs. Or until they find their passion. Or until they start traveling or whatever their reason is. None of that is true. I haven’t quit my day job. I’m not some social media expert. Sure, I blog. A lot. But I’m not expert at much of anything. Except life. I have a commitment to put an end to bullying. I don’t know how. But I do know that bullying has got to stop. That’s what I’m working towards. A world where people express love more than anything else. Freely. Without judgement. Whether that expression is in their art, their work, or their words. It doesn’t matter. I just want there to be more love in the world.

Even if it means I’ll end up heartbroken more often.

I think it’s safe to say that WDS is the epitome of awesome. Some of the best people in the world coming together to facilitate making the world a better place. A Conference for Good, if you will.

And one very powerful takeaway? That every single person in that auditorium wanted me to win. No matter what I said, or did, they would’ve cheered for me, even if they didn’t know me. Because that is who these people are. I spend a lot of time in my life believing in others. Making sure that the people in my life know that there is nothing they can’t succeed at because I believe in them. Well, I have to tell you, this was my very first time being fully present to the experience of that for myself. And for each and every single person in that room.

At WDS, you can’t fail. It’s not even a possibility.

And what’s beautiful, is once we leave Portland and come home…all over the world…it’s up to us to keep that magic alive.

And THAT is where we get to own our awesome.

I walked into WDS2013 questioning the goodness in the world. Wondering if I was wrong in where I was standing for the world to be a better place and that there is a lot of love when you look for it. I walked into the weekend wondering if the cynics in my life were right. Maybe the world is full of people who are just out to get you. Maybe nothing does come for free. Maybe, people really are the opposite of good.

And then…I spent the weekend with enough people to remind me that my view of the world is MY creation and yes, although there are people who may not want to be responsible for hurting others, or people who may hurt us…it doesn’t change the fact that if you allow yourself to see it, the world is filled with richness, goodness and wonder.

I don’t think I have enough words to capture, how grateful I am to have my faith in the world, restored.

go forth and dominate the world through good things.

rita