Southern Drawl - "Keepin' It Real Y'all"
Just keepin' it real y'all. Do you ever just want to loosen your belt, kick off your shoes (and ladies take off the underwire!) for awhile and let it go for a bit? Emotionally? Physically? Mentally? Well I do! I am one of those "never give up" type of ladies who tries to keep it all together, who pushes forward no matter what, but some days I just want to scream "Stop I want to get off!" Oh not because I don't love life and not because I am unhappy or any such nonsense as that - but because I am human! Yep I said it. This southern belle is less than perfect.
I would love nothing more than to post on my community pages every day, to have a red hot blog post every week, to write an advice column monthly, to grow by leaps and bounds in my business ventures, to keep my house spotless and my yard immaculately manicured 24/7; to be an emotional reservoir of love, a bundle of joy and a basket of southern charm, but some days I am a hot southern mess and not in a good way! Somebody said that "confession is good for the soul" though southern mamas tend to teach us early on that we simply don't air our dirty laundry in public for all to see. I guess I fall slap dab in the middle of those two philosophies. I want to be transparent without being tasteless and crude, so I guess I try to keep my heart blinds raised for y'all to see inside, without the window being open for you to hear the mutterings of my soul all the time! And if my attitude stinks on occasion, I'd rather you see my determination to smile in spite of it all rather than smell the rotten thoughts that try to choke out that smile.
So today I just felt the need to do as the now famous Disney tune has declared across the globe - "Let it go!" Lawd have mercy I think I am just as sick as the rest of y'all over hearing that song by every wanna be stage star, but we have to admit, the message stuck with us all - whether we wanted it to or not! Indulge me a minute or two to explain my need to "let it go" today.
If you've followed me on the web or blog sites or social media for any length of time, you know I'm all about speaking positive, being encouraging etc. Many of you know why. I've had my share of "hard row to hoe" circumstances and it was the encouragement of others that helped me to "never give up" through them all. So me and the good Lord kinda made a pact that I would pay forward that encouragement to others who are having a hard time of it. Here's the thing about "paying forward." You have to survive your own "stuff" to have what it takes to pay forward. What I have learned through the "mess" is that in order to survive, thrive and pay forward, you have to deal with all the stuff that is kicking you in the knees, hitting below the belt and trying to eat your lunch. I guess if I could put it all in a "K.I.S.S." statement it would be to "be kind to yourself!" If you aren't kind to yourself then there is no energy left to be kind to others you want to help or pay forward to.
Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle - maybe not your kind of battle, but some kind of battle. So rather than compare your battle to theirs, just fight your own battle and take care of yourself in the middle of the conflict. Otherwise you will get yourself ambushed! My biggest battle has a name - it is a debilitating condition known as fibromyalgia. That compounded with degenerative disk disease, peripheral neuropathy and a rare anti-body in my system that rejects B-12 makes certain days tougher than a two dollar steak! These health challenges have presented secondary challenges financially, career-wise, and with relationships and life goals. But those of you who know me know my motto - "NEVER GIVE UP!" The only way to stay in the fight, to win the race and never give up is to embrace those moments and days when things are a bit tougher than usual. You know those days when your body feels like it has been rung through the ringer, when your mind feels like it is going to explode with all the thoughts running through it and your heart feels like it is going to emplode. Mama said there would be days like this, and the only way to get through them is to accept them, change what you can, let go of what you can't and BE KIND TO YOURSELF!
I guess what I want to say is you are not the sum total of how much work you can do in a day, how much time you can devote to others, how much joy you can muster to be a ray of sunshine to those you love. I am not the sum total of whether or not I post on my community or business pages every day, or write so many words in a day or week. I am not the sum total of how spotless my home is or how engaging my conversation with my loved ones is. I am not the sum total of what the mirror shows as appealing. I am so much more than that and so are you. What we do or give is not who we are! It is just outward manifestations of who we are inside. Don't feel guilty for taking time to regroup, relax, recoup. Your family, friends, fans, followers, fighting buddies and everyone in between will thank you! Just keepin' it real y'all!