There's something to be said about the phrase, "The truth will set you free."
I needed some freedom in my soul. And being honest was the answer. Being honest is something I am not very good at because I'm so polite. My husband may have referred to it as "painfully polite" once or twice. I smile through most things and go out of my way (waaaay out of my way) to help make things better for others. I'm someone who would rather be hurt myself than see someone else hurt and will support someone's direction, even if I think it's terrible.
I also let people walk on me a lot. Let them trample all over my truth. But I've hit a breaking point. That point was right around the time of my last post. Perhaps I had a slight mental breakdown...but I felt like it led to some life-changing revelations.
After feeling I was in the lowest of my lows, I knew something had to give. I couldn't keep letting others drag me into their negativity for the sake of being perceived as "polite." I also couldn't keep allowing myself to take the backseat in my own life to please everyone around me. It was time to get honest. With myself, and most certainly with those that were dragging me down.
I had some really difficult conversations with people I really respect. And you know what? It made things better. The clouds parted. I felt relieved and mutual respect was gained. Addressing the negativity honestly shed light on things the other people didn't even realize existed, or were getting as bad as they were. And I even stood up for myself and what I wanted. That felt good. Steps to make things better were discussed, hugs were dealt, and even better, I felt the atmosphere shift for the better almost immediately.
The honest conversations that I forced myself to have with...myself...were the hardest and will be on-going. I felt very empowered by being "the bigger person" that I wanted to be (leading with action) and by sticking up for what I needed (living my truth). But, after my honesty soaked soul-cleansing...there were points when I felt a little too empowered. In those moments, Tim McGraw's song 'Humble and Kind' came into my mind (God bless that man). I'm now trying to find balance between being polite and being honest. Being kind and having a spine. Being who I am and sticking up for it.
How do you think being a little more honest could help you right now? All I have to say is that if there is something really bothering you, don't let it fester, don't take it out on others, don't take it out on yourself. Acknowledge that something is wrong and consider whether or not a little honesty with someone else...or yourself...is needed. Live your life with gentle honesty in all of your interactions, big and small. I'm sure going to try.
The only way I can describe my current state of mind is by comparing it to a sinkhole. I can visually picture my skull - smooth, undisturbed, protecting the most important part of my body - caving in. Giving up. Giving in?
I can't grasp a reasonable thought. My filter (which is normally switched to overly polite) isn't working. I can't communicate a thought clearly in any setting. The words that do come out of my mouth aren't thought through beforehand, leaving me discouraged when I walk out of a room. I'm beating myself up big time...and it's starting to hurt.
There have been several things in my professional life that have gotten into my head over the past few weeks. The workplace is always a sensitive space. Maintaining professionalism while bringing your unique, personal presence to the table. My auto-overly polite psyche normally navigates me through being a grown-up, career woman without issue. But when it doesn't show up to work with me, I start feeling like I do right now. In one hand, it's empowering, because I've probably said some things I normally wouldn't have. On the other hand, that's not something I'm comfortable with. My words are thought out, not spur-of-the-moment. That's just not how I operate. There's always a breath (or a day) before I thoughtfully respond.
Among other things, I've felt intimidated as of late. That's another feeling I'm not used to. "You do you, boo - I'll do me" is how I normally react to others that come at me directly or passive aggressively. I'm not a competitive person...with anyone outside myself anyway. I'm the only person I like to challenge.
This feeling of intimidation has gotten to me, and I believe it is the largest contributor to that figurative sinkhole in my head I mentioned earlier. Instead of walking into a room with my own ideas, I try to predict how I'm going to one-up whatever comes out of someone else's mouth or how I'm going to defend a decision I made. And when I share my original thoughts, and they're disagreed with, that only adds to the weight of the shell I've been curling myself into. It makes me question whether I should be doing what I'm there to do. And it certainly makes me question whether the people around me know or understand ME at all.
I know, as with all things, "This, too, shall pass." It's just that in the present moment, it doesn't feel very good. You know what it's teaching me though? The value of observation - especially of others' tone/body language/presence. Empathy. Open-Mindedness. It doesn't feel good to be the odd woman out. And I don't want anyone else to feel that way.
I have a lot to think about over the weekend. (TGIF!) I think a little music therapy, sunshine, and husband time will do the trick. It's in times like this where you truly need to connect to the things in your life that remind you that you're just having a bad day, not a bad life.
We're slowly continuing to make progress at The Farm. Although the to-do list seems overwhelming a lot of the time, one thing is for certain, it feels like home.
Most of our big indoor projects are done for now, so we've been focusing on what needs to be done outside. We've raked, weeded, and sprayed...mowed, trimmed, and transplanted. Next on the agenda is to power wash the house and decks, seal and paint those areas as needed, and then hopefully get into some landscaping! My goal is to focus on creating habitat gardens, which This Old House describes nicely in this article. I want as many birds, bees, butterflies, and bats as we can handle...along with any other friendly creatures that want to join us.
We had hoped to get chickens yet this year, but have come to the conclusion that might be biting off more than we can chew at this point. Because we may not see any chicks this year, we plan to engage with the wildlife around us instead. We've already placed many birdhouses throughout the property and plan to hang a Mason Bee hive (or two...or three). I'll post a DIY tutorial on the hives when they are finished and tell you a little bit more about these friendly bees!
When you move to an acreage, your head is full of plans and ideas (at least ours were). But due to this darn thing called 'time'...and our issue of not having enough of it...has forced us to reconsider what should be done now and what can be done later. Priority projects become evident fairly quickly and you have to continuously readjust your expectations.
Here I've went on and on about work, work, work...projects, projects, projects...when I should mention - we're enjoying ourselves a bit, too! There is literally nothing like waking up to the bright, open sky; a light breeze coming through the open windows; and so many birds chirping it sounds like a chorus singing just for you. And at night, walking out to the fields to see how much the crops have grown; watching the sun set; and observing the world quieting down. The peace that The Farm has brought to us (and our pup) makes all of the work and projects worth it!