I will just say these things, because the point is…I have things to say and they are going to continue to be said. My stories are a much a part of me as my art. 😉
1. Wear sunscreen. Even if you don’t burn. No matter how easy the solution, hearing the words we found melanoma will be one of the scariest moments in your life. In my case it was/is/will be a simple easy fix, but the terror that overcame my heart and mind that day and today, is something that lingers, and I am told it always will. Also reapply…I learned this the hard way 2 weeks ago. Peeling is not attractive.
2. There is no substitute for time. Patience is not one of my virtues. So when someone tells me alright We’ll see where we are in a few weeks…I don’t like. When someone tells me there is no real solution, I don’t buy it. When someone tells me this too shall pass…I don’t care…I want it to pass now. As I type this, I am trying to force myself to listen to your inner voice, say, “Patience, Grasshopper.” I am a natural-born fixer. There is nothing in this world I can’t fix, until I met the one thing I couldn’t and then I realized, I had never really fixed anything. TIME and lots of prayer had.
3. Never, ever, let anyone convince you that you are anything less than extraordinary. Trust me, even at your worst when your words are mouth vomit and you wish you could take it all back. Even when angry texts go flying all over the place and you say things that you would never dream of saying. Even when you heart is on the floor and your back is against the wall, you are awesome. Never, ever, underestimate that, and it is more than okay to let your awesome flag fly at all times and never let anyone take it away from you. It is even more okay to share your awesome flag with someone who may be feeling a little less than awesome that day.
4. Forgive – 77 times…forgive. This benefits you 10 folds exponentially times infinity to the fifteenth degree a million. You get the point. This is a great post on it that says it better than I ever could. Even when you are wavering on homicidal first and foremost, homicide is illegal (joke), – just forgive. Forgive them and more importantly, forgive yourself!
Forgiveness is a tricky thing! I mean have I really forgiven if I still hurt? If I still want to hurt them? If I throw it in their face? If I can’t stop thinking about it? How do I know? How many times do I have to say “I forgive you” for it to be enough? Jesus told Peter, “seventy-seven times.” Seventy-seven times!! Goodnight! Why?? Because forgiveness is elusive, it is invisible, it slips through my fingers and it doesn’t seem to stick!
Mark Gungor’s definition of forgiveness in his marriage series “Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage,” is probably my most favorite definition. He explains that “Forgiveness has more to do with your mouth than your head or your heart.” He elaborates by saying that someone may remember what another did to him and feel the pain of that offense until the day he dies. Forgiveness is a choice! Gungor states, “Forgiveness is choosing not to speak of it again to you or to anyone else ever again.”
So now there’s something I can work with…I may feel it, I may think of it, but I can choose not to speak of it! When you truly forgive another, you lay down your right for revenge, you lay down your heart on this matter and you place it into the hands of the only one who can bring true healing and restoration. Seventy-seven times!
“I choose not to speak of it….” the Kitchen Table
5. Trust in people. over all, people are good. Yes they will hurt, you. Truth be told, I have hurt many and probably will hurt another too. I refuse to believe and will never let anyone convince me that anyone has the intention to hurt another. Open up your heart for them to earn your trust, sometimes, it’s the little push they need. When they hurt you, remember that they are human. Treat them as such. Confront respectfully. Release the pain and forgive-77 times…I am still working hard on this one…really hard on all accounts. When all is said and done…set your boundaries, stick to them, and love.
6. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Swimming…swimming…swimming…. one day you will swim in style. One day you will float on your back, while the sun shines on you, just wear sunscreen. Just keep swimming. Don’t lose ground. Don’t give up. Don’t be shark bait, and on the days that you feel like you are, don’t be afraid to swim anyways. Put yourself out there. Whether it be in a job, in a personal adventure, or in love. The worst that could happen is a no, and then you are one stroke closer to yes. Confidence is key. Faith it till you make it. Your arms will tire. You will be out of breath. You will be exhausted, but trust me, on this one, just keep swimming, life is worth it, the paper rainbows the swimming leads to, they are worth it.
lifetimes of paper rainbows….W