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Go Ahead: Toss Your Big-Girl Panties

Even today, when frustration was high, I tried to talk myself into being close to something utterly adult. I really did. I know all the right things to say. The laundry list of “be-here-now’s” meant to calm myself down. All those beautific affirmations I would like to believe…but, on days like this….I just don’t. At one point in my life I had read so many self-help…”You-could-get-your-life-together-if -you-would-only-do-THIS” books, I decided to stack them on my bathroom scale. Sure enough, they weighed more than I did.

Especially after a series of WTF days, don’t you just feel like throwing yourself on the floor and having a good kicking/screaming fit like a 2-year-old in the mall.

And, as far as those big girl panties, don’t you think they are highly overrated? Ugh, I mean really. Like telling yourself to just shut up and get over yourself. I say POOIE!!! on that idea. If you are always telling yourself to suck it up, get over it….chances are you will never get over whatever the IT is. In the history of someone telling you to “CALM DOWN”, when have you (or anyone) actually been able to calm down?

And, when we find ourselves getting in the habit of stuffing “IT”, along with all the other irritating “ITS”, repeatedly dismissing our deepest needs, for years, only to have an absolute shit-fit about something ridiculously unrelated, …for example, like when the extra spaghetti sauce we poured over our Stouffer’s Family-size Lasagna, explodes in the microwave. WE EXPLODE OVER THAT.

And, hard as I try, I’ll admit it…I turn to the only thing that has soothed me with such profound results. No, not KIT KATS. Those are stashed in the glove compartment only for mildly frustrating days.

I’m talking Grand Kahuna, stomp your feet days, “I’m-not-taking-this-any-more-days”…coming after three or four or ten straight nights of waking up to your teeth. Grinding.

Drum roll, please. Here’s my truest confession about “dealing” with life when it has flipped completely upside down. Apple Fritters. From 7-11.

My creative rationalization juices swing into action. If I buy fritters, while filling my gas tank, I’m multi-tasking, no? Of course I am. It’s called Life Balance. Feeding the car and myself. So there.

When my taste buds are leaping in the air while I eat the whole stale, grease-soaked, sugar slathered blob of dough….while hunkered down in the car, nowhere near my neighborhood, and when I lick all the crusty sugar off my lips and carefully smack it off each finger, the glory of utter rebellion courses through my veins.

I interrupt this confession with a diet tip: When you eat in the car, and you use your hand-vac to remove the crumbs, calories also disappear.

Of course they do.

This whole process from empty tanks, to fill-er/her up, to hiding the evidence can feel like 30-45 minutes of freedom from every “should” I’ve ever invented for my life. Even though I know the rush of sugar and the thrill of being sneaky, and managing to perpetrate a “cover up” without going to prison is going to pass….the moments of temporary triumph are such a release.

Peggy Perfect has left the building.

But here’s the deal.

Living life with a certain set of mile-high “standards” is just so hard. Measuring and weighing in on every move, every outfit, every idea….to win approval from others and yourself, based on what YOU THINK everyone expects of’s pervasively exhausting. Not just bone-deep tiring. It’s a total soul suck.

I was at a retreat a few years ago. All the participants were women. We were each given a mirror. There was a lot of nervous twittering and giggling going on, while we were waiting for instructions about what to do with them. The leader said. “Look at yourself. Look in your own eyes. Now, tell yourself “I LOVE YOU” and mean it. Say it silently and don’t look away.” The room went so still you would think all the electricity had suddenly gone off. She then asked us to whisper “I LOVE YOU” to ourselves, while still looking into our own eyes. Next, she asked us to tell ourselves “I LOVE YOU” out loud. Just writing this paragraph takes me back to the uncontrollable tears being shed in that room that night.

When was the last time you looked into your own eyes with love?

Sometimes it is just ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to fall down on the job of your life’s many pursuits of perfection. Sometimes we need to release the pressure valve on the inner Insta-Pot.

Sometimes we just need a day to eat fritters in the car. Then, we can look into our own eyes in the rearview mirror, not with disgust, but with love, compassion and deep affection for our very own humanity…and say,

HEY! I’m HUMAN and I’m having A DAY.

I’m doing my best.

I will let myself be loved…by ME.

P.S. This is important. As you know, my mission is to propel positivity in the world….AND, to deal with life as it comes. No one is positive ALL THE TIME. We all know Pollyanna people. They pretend to be positive on the surface while boiling and snarling inside with hideous judgments of themselves and others. That would not be me, as evidenced by today’s “confessional”. I am SO HUMAN. My gnarly bits are always giving me plenty of opportunity to grow in depth and breadth to be a person unafraid to own her stuff and move forward with purpose. Right now, I have a sweet tooth that triggers when life is not being sweet with me. I am working on finding ways to deal with how I respond more lovingly and more effectively to these automatic triggers.

THAT is THE ESSENCE of being POSITIVE ON PURPOSE. Being fully aware of my tender spots. And being kind to myself in the process of committing, every day, to looking for the positive path in dealing with the endless challenges…having faith that they will cause me to grow, not only in depth and in breadth, but also in kindness and compassion.




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