Maybe you’ve kept so focused on being “nice”, understanding, polite…
Maybe you’ve let one too many wolves tell you they’re sheep.
Maybe some times you just didn’t know how to say “no” or “That doesn’t work for me.”
Maybe for years you’ve suppressed the darkest parts of yourself for fear of the capabilities. You’ve kept your boundaries written in erasable ink and far too many carry an eraser.
Jordan Peterson, a modern philosopher and Toronto professor, says that not having a dark side isn’t what makes you virtuous. It makes you just another thing to take care of. What gives us virtue is having a dark side and knowing how and when to use it.
There’s sheep, a vulnerable thing to take care of. There’s the wolf, a dark and predatory thing with bad intent. Then there’s the shepherd, who takes the care to tend to the sheep and will also shoot the wolf dead if needed.
There’s nothing wrong with your anger, your ‘no bullshit’ meter, your fire. They’re our internal alarm system telling us when a boundary has been crossed or needs to be readjusted. (If we’ve been violated or betrayed a lot in life, our alarm system will be much more sensitive, but that’s a different post for a different day.)
Say “that doesn’t work for me”
And watch who stays.
Watch who says you’ve changed and phases out of your life…
Chances are they were either sheep, preferring other sheep to do sheep shit with or … they were wolves, looking for an easy kill.
Judgmental people exist. It’s part of life, and many of us live in fear of the judgment of others.
However, it’s very rare, as an adult, that we experience judgment in a direct fashion. It usually comes as an undercutting comment or a question disguised as innocent curiosity or as encouragement… but intuition hints at contempt.
Widows know this hint well.
“Do you ever feel guilty for dating? “
“What do your kids think of the new baby?”
“You don’t have to feel guilty about falling in love again.”
As a widow personally speaking, I’ll just go ahead and take the time to answer this now.
I don’t feel guilty.
If I felt guilty, I probably shouldn’t be dating… How could I possibly have a healthy relationship with Mike if every time we did something that mattered, I felt guilty about it?
Answer: I couldn’t.
When we feel guilt, it is either warranted or not.
Sometimes, we feel guilt because we just should… Because we did something wrong or are doing something wrong or because we’re about to do something wrong.
Other times, we feel guilt that’s unwarranted for no reason at all. And when this is the case, we still shouldn’t be doing the thing we’re about to do… Why? Because we will likely sabotage it for ourselves because we feel undeserving.
When we feel guilty for no reason at all that’s an indication that there’s something internal that we need to explore. There’s healing to work through.
So do I feel guilty for meeting and falling in love with Mike and Myles? For getting the opportunity to carry and give birth to another beautiful baby?
No. I don’t.
That series of questions insinuates that my children and I don’t deserve the experience of loving and being loved by new people. Further, it also stems from an archaic notion that the grief we were tossed into is over once new love is introduced. I reject both of these ideals. One because it’s ridiculous to think that we don’t deserve love because we’ve experienced loss. Love is a blessing, and we will take all the blessings that we can get.
Guess what? I’m still in it here. I’m still working through missing Scott every day, especially the holidays. I’m still sad that I can’t share all of the good things that have happened for us with him. I can’t introduce him to Mike, Myles, or Lukas. He won’t see Sophie progress in cheerleading, clap for Lydia at her first home run, or seeing Jax on the ice as a goalie.
I still wipe their tears after a cemetery visit. I still answer hard questions and hold my daughter in her bed for as long as it takes because she just read her baby book and found a letter that I wrote to her back then, and she can’t understand why there’s not a letter in there from her dad.
“Where’s Dad’s letter?” She asks disappointed, near frantic, “everything’s in your hand writing, Mom.”
So I’m the person who tucks her in from something like that, heads upstairs and cries; because when I wrote that letter 12 years ago, there was so much love in my heart. And hope… so much hope for my infant daughter… that she would read it some day, as a teenager and know how loved she was… but here the time came, and instead all she could think was: where’s Daddy?
Never in my nightmares, did I ever think when pouring my heart into that beautiful letter, that it, along with so many other things, would be tainted…
So, yes, yes we will take some new, fresh, and pure love.
These are the types of things that I manage and help three children manage all of the time. The only difference now?
I have help.
We have a wonderful person who lives with us, loves us, supports us through living to the fullest and healthiest and supports us through our evolving grief.
Do I feel guilty for that?
No. And no person should feel guilty for living despite heartache and strife, widowed or not.
I felt guilt when I wasn’t able to get to my husband the minute I knew he was not safe.
I felt guilt I wasn’t able to bring him justice.
I felt guilt that I gave him so much shit when he was alive.
I felt guilt for not doing my part to make myself happy in our marriage, losing myself in a relationship, and putting the pressure on him to make “us” happy. Codependency at its finest.
I felt guilt for loathing traditions like balloon releases and leaving an empty chair at holidays.
I felt guilt that I relied on my kids too much, too early.
I felt guilty for living. Often.
I felt guilt when it was the wrong guy. Definitely.
But not any more and never….
Have I, for once, ever felt guilt for loving Mike.
The other day, we visited the cemetery so the kids could take time to talk to Scott about all that’s happened in their life. Jaxson brought his school stuff to show. The girls talked about the new baby.
Afterwards, there were tears (as there usually is), but the kids were conflicted.
“Mom, I miss Daddy but that means we wish away Mike, Myles, and Luke.” One cried (and another child later expressed similar feelings.)
They feel guilty. I thought. And for a split second, a combination of my empathy, and my own self doubt gave me the residuals of that guilt. I almost took it on.
Was I wrong? Did I curse them with internal conflict by moving forward and asking for more from life?
I quickly reminded myself that they’ve been given a gift. Forever feeling the loss of their father and cursed with grief, they’ve been given the opportunity to love and be loved. Again, here was another situation they needed my guidance on.
“You can feel both,” I said, “You don’t have to choose between hurting and missing Daddy and loving and enjoying our life now. You were made strong enough to handle both.”
And in order to coach my children on this, I have to believe it and live it out myself.
And I do. No guilt here. Just love. Because God made us strong enough to handle it all.
To you: Life is complicated, unpredictable, and really really hard anyway… might as well do what we want and live it. Big love, Meg
I recorded this 2 years ago before heading into a writer’s conference. It makes me cringe 😬
It also serves as a reminder to how much I’ve grown, how many times I get back up after failing, and how much life can change (for the bad and good)…
Don’t mind me while I indulge and reflect, take what works for you and leave the rest 🙂
2019 was truly the worst year of my life.
Yes, we had devastation in 2016 when I’d lose my husband to a car accident on his way home from work, all while he and I talked on the phone. I would spend 2017 and 2018 trying to rebuild, thinking I was close, but later learning that it was an illusion.
Once the trial came in 2019, nothing could’ve prepared me for what I would experience. A spiritual pain so real that it manifested itself physically in an instant. Agony. Right there in the court room, feeling every nerve in my body scream in pain and willing myself not to pass out.
Still, playing “tough guy”, after it was all over, I would insist that I was fine.
I was not fine.
I went on a war path.
I bleached all color from of my hair. (Screaming inside)
I jumped into a relationship with someone who ended up being not right for me and not what I stand for. (Screaming inside again.)
I remodeled my house, allowing someone to demolish walls in my basement and wreak complete havoc on my home.
I heavily drank, telling myself it was ok because it was only wine. My bills were paid. My kids were healthy. I’ve been through a lot and if I didn’t deserve to drink, who did? But that would get to be too much also.
I grew obsessed with becoming financially successful in real estate. A career that I once chose, as a single mom, in order to work my own schedule for my kids.. started to completely consume me. I was working 14 hour days showing houses, writing offers, driving everywhere, recording videos, sending marketing material. Losing sleep over transactions.
While I’d forgiven Daniel Tobey (yes, I have. Another blog for another day), I could not get over the callous ways of his defense team. I wanted them to see my face on a billboard and know that they didn’t “get to me”. My anger fueled my ambition, which wouldn’t be bad if it weren’t fueling me in the wrong direction.
And I have to admit that I still hope they remember Scott’s name forever. I hope they never forget my face in that courtroom, and some day, when my daughter, Sophia, who’s life’s mission is to become a judge, becomes one, I hope these attorneys have to stand before her, and oh, I hope she gives them Hell.
I digress though.
It all came crashing down in September 2019. After a series of very difficult events, I had something stop the record completely. Screech. Yet again.
Every belief that I’d ever had was shook. I think it’s what they call: a paradigm shift.
I was now upside down from my upside down, and it was only then that I realized I wasn’t healing as deeply as I needed to be.
I once wrote on my blog about building a beautiful castle (The Lonely Castle) around the hole in the land that was my heart; I didn’t realize that while building a castle is wonderful, admirable, and eventually necessary, some times we need to sink our fists, elbow deep into the soil and find our way to the other side of the earth, of our world that’s been flipped.
And while I won’t waiver from the need for mindset work, healing is not always as easy as a workout routine and positive affirmations. At some point, we have to get our hands dirty. Look at ourselves with honesty and ask what really needs to be done. Ask ourselves the questions we’ve been scared to say aloud.
One thing that I’ve realized is that when we finally decide to get honest with ourselves, God will literally move mountains to help. Two years ago, I was recording this video still very lost, trying to “come back”, but I still had so much dirty, gritty healing to do. So many questions I still needed to answer to myself. I wouldn’t know the rewards that were to come as a result of it all.
▪️2 years after this video (a turning in my healing journey),
▪️Almost 3 years after the trial,
▪️5 years after the tragic loss of Scott,
I am closer to my children, in a loving, healthy relationship to Mike, someone who continually surprises me with his depth of character; a step mom to Myles, and expecting a baby within weeks. 🤰
My anxiety and depression is balanced out. I’m not medicating. I respond instead of react. I am in the moment instead of somewhere else.
( And my hair is better too 🙂)
It’s amazing how life can change for the good just as fast as it does for the bad.
And while I fought God so hard on this for the last few years, I am ready to say that I am letting go of real estate. It doesn’t serve me. It wasn’t meant for me. I used it to fuel an unhealthy side of my heart, and it’s time to move on.
Life will have us white knuckle gripping the edge of a cliff. Sometimes it is for a moment. Sometimes it is for years. Just dangling and THINKING of ways we can get over this ledge. For me, my mind was determined to utilize real estate (and other things) to boost me up over it. God wants us to stop thinking and start praying. When we pray to God and are open to His answer, we realize that there’s no need to hold on to that cliff. Because maybe our feet are able to touch the ground the whole time? Or.. maybe we can fly?
So that’s why I am letting go 🦅
Thank you for reading this far!
Some of you have followed and supported me before our life became a local headline. Some of you right around that time. Some of you just started. And I am just ever so grateful for each of you. ❤️
I hope you all have lovely day, and if you feel compelled to, follow my blog and support me on social media (Click here for either)
You wouldn’t take a shower in the morning, if you didn’t have the idea to shower first. You wouldn’t be in the field of work that you’re in, unless you had a single thought to pursue it. Every task begins with an idea.
Some of our ideas are big. Really big. They urge us to fulfill a purpose that just feels “right”. I won’t even give you an example of this because right now, as you read this, you have your own example in mind. And chances are that the example you hold in your mind is thee ‘big idea’ that feels right to you.
What to know: As soon as anybody is brave enough to acknowledge his or her big idea, doubt will immediately begin its work on you.
My friend, fellow real estate agent, and mentor, Olivia Chambers, and I did a FB Live last week to discuss the topic of Doubt and its sources (*to see a replay of this go to www.facebook.com/31MainStreet ) I will now expand on the things that we discussed…
The 3 Main Sources of Doubt:
Natural Obstacles and Challenges
Self Doubt — This can be the most challenging of either of the other sources of doubt, as we can’t escape ourselves. We can leave or change our environment; We can manage or prevent obstacles. While we can’t leave ourself (or get a lobotomy as Olivia jested), we can change, manage, and prevent doubt from creeping in to chisel away at our dream. It should be noted that once we master self doubt, there is no other source that can hinder us, so this is truly the most important to manage of them all. Ways to manage self doubt include…
Walk Like It, Talk Like It, Act Like It – Break it down for yourself. You are not going to conquer it all at once, but by trying simple tasks like adjusting your posture, you can transform your mind in incredible ways. The brain takes cues from the physiological actions of the body, and if you’re standing tall, then you’re doing the “walk like it” part. The “talk like it part” would be repeatedly affirming your own worth. Make so much time to speak and think positively about yourself that negativity doesn’t have space. Suffocate it. So what’s “Act Like It” then? “Act Like It” = “Walk Like It” + “Talk Like It” . Master one. Add the other. Master that. Now, you’re acting like it. Once you’re acting like it, you will be treated like ‘it’. See the domino effect?
Plow Through – You’ve heard the old saying “Feel the fear, then do it anyways.”? Well, yes. Feel it. Maybe give it the middle finger. Then, do what you want anyways because no one tells you what to do. Not even you.
Doubt from Environment — Some of the most well-intentioned people in your environment can create the most doubt in association with your idea. “Innocently toxic”, as Olivia coined. So how do we handle our environment?
Choose your own support system – when you decide to pursue your passion, consider the people in your life who naturally fall in line to support this. Those are your people. You don’t have to cut anyone out per se, but pick and choose where you spend your time.
Understand what they don’t know – they base their opinions from information they’ve collected along their own life path. It’s not your job to explain anything away for them. That will only siphon your energy. Rather, just know that they don’t know. And move on.
Obstacles and Challenges — The word is… SETBACK. There are always setbacks. We have setbacks in tasks that we didn’t even choose for ourselves. Why wouldn’t they exist in tasks that we did choose? You’ll notice Olivia and I laughing during this part of the FB Live (around 2m:50s). It’s because we had the setback of technical difficulties, which led to us losing our entire audience. She and I could’ve easily gotten discouraged and said ‘screw it’ for the day. Instead, we made some adjustments in our technology and tried again. Did it produce perfect results? No. We lost our audience and to be honest, the first recording was a bit funnier. BUT… it did produce a video, which led to this blog post, which is reaching a few thousand people right now. Done is better than perfect. Setbacks are no reason to stop your pursuit to what you want to accomplish. If they make you feel doubtful, recognize it for what it is, and then do it anyways. Plow through.
I’ve been known to say that doubt is a hologram.
What I mean by this: It’s power is only in its illusion. Once you walk right through it, you see that there was never anything to truly fear on the other side. Doubt is the Wizard of Oz. You need only pull back the curtain.