Who are you REALLY?

 

woman holding mirror against her head in the middle of forest
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I heard or read somewhere recently that everyone who has ever seen you or met you, has a ‘version’ of you living in their head. Let that sink in for a minute…

We have all used the phrases ‘in my own little world’ or ‘in your own little world’. The terms sound cliché but are uncannily accurate. We all live in a universe of our very own, and our worlds do quite literally revolve around us.  If each of us is, in fact, an individual universe, that means there are a million versions of “you” out there, and not one of them is the real you. Yet all these versions of you are living in these other universes. Sometimes our parts are big, other times they are so tiny as to barely exist. But we are there, living our imagined lives.

 

Think about this in your own world. When you pass someone in the mall or in traffic; at the doctor’s office or at the park, your subconscious immediately makes assumptions about people based on your past experiences. Within seconds, this person and the life you imagine they live now occupy a space in your universe.

You may have seen me drive by in a 2017 Dodge Challenger mean machine a couple weeks ago. You may assume I am wealthy, care-free, definitely Type-A, and all that means I must be a pretty confident and ambitious person, right? If I caught your eye, you might wonder what I do for a living, or where I was going. A version of me now exists in your world. What you did not know was that I was driving a rental car because I had just had a car accident. I really drive a total mom-mobile Toyota Camry. Driving gives me extreme anxiety ever since a bad car accident when I was 17, and this recent accident has just taken me back almost 30 years of progress. I am still living paycheck to paycheck. At 45 I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. And my bipolar self is FAR from a Type-A personality.

Let’s take this a step further with another example. You. Imagine the you that lives in your family and closest friend’s worlds. The people who would know you best. Do you think they see the same flaws you see? Do they obsess over your weight, the texture of your hair or the imperfections of your skin? No way. They are not aware of your internal negative self-talk (yes, we all do it!) or your struggles with anxiety or addiction or whatever specific personal issues you deal with on a daily basis. The version of you that they know is an effortless flow of your best qualities and your quirks. They love you for your strengths and accept your weaknesses. In their universe, you just…..are.

casual friends friendship happiness
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Now back to reality. My world. Your world. Am I a badass, mean machine driving, alpha female? Or am I an anxious, aging, bipolar mouse? What if I am just perfectly uniquely both? What if the real me is not the me that I imagine at all? But an intricate and precious blend of all of the “me”s that have been brought to life in other’s imaginations. I am an ever-changing free spirit who loves the way she feels in a muscle car, has to remind herself to breathe every now and then, needs lots of hugs to keep depression at bay and loves mimosas and sunshine. Are you the perfectly coiffed bombshell that I saw leaving the salon 3 weeks ago that I imagine has personal assistants, her own fashion line, and an Instagram following? Or are you the frazzled, cereal crusted, weary mom of

woman girl beauty mask
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3 whose workaholic husband gave her the gift of a day at the salon for their 13th anniversary? What if you are a splendid combination of capable and vulnerable? A confident mother with a teachable heart who loves hard and is absolutely adored by her family. An independent woman who thrives on encouraging others and recharges with dark chocolate and solo adventures to the spa.

 

None of us are exactly who we think we are. As the saying goes, we are our own worst enemies. We know we shouldn’t judge others but have we learned to not judge ourselves? I have been trying to build a new habit of thinking of

and looking at myself from other people’s points of view. I try to see myself as I exist in all those other universes. It is such a difficult habit to create because I must replace my old habit of being self-critical. But, WOW!!!! This new me I am getting to know, she is pretty incredible. She is everything I want to be; loving, accepting, encouraging, carefree and everchanging. She has no limits!

You should try looking at yourself through her eyes. Or through someone else’s eyes; a stranger, the barber, your mentor, someone who you admire, and lastly and most importantly, someone who admires you. Next time you walk by a mirror and are tempted to judge, just glance and smile at the version of you that is beautiful, confident, capable, and worthy of so much love and acceptance. A perfect blend of all of the million imagined versions of yourself. That is the real you. And SHE IS SPECTACULAR.

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Ready…. Set….

Hello world! Flower In The Mud has taken a little bit longer than expected to get up and running, but I have been working hard in the back-ground. I should have a few great posts coming next week! So keep an eye out!!!!

Since I am new to blogging, I am sincerely hoping for feedback! Good, bad, and everything in between! See a typo? Let me know! Grammar nazi? Lend me your skills!!!!! Like a particular piece and want to know more? Tell me! Am I rambling on and need to cut to the chase? Help me out!

Stay tuned! And Thank you in advance!

Welcome to Flower In The Mud!

yellow petal flower
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I chose the name Flower In The Mud in 1998. At the time I knew it was me, and it was important, but I was not sure why. It is a small piece of lyric from one of my very favorite songs “Am I Getting Through?” written and performed by Sheryl Crow. The song resonates with me because I can look back on my life and see that it was the cry of my heart, and still is. The soft statement “I’m a flower in the mud” became my definition. I knew even then that it is who I am, and who I will always be. Here I am in 2018 and I know I am still a flower in the mud. If you want a glimpse into my heart and soul, just listen to the song. I am made of a million pieces, and this is just one, but it is a perfect representation of that piece. Through this blog, I hope to show you why. And maybe, just maybe, I can help others who are stuck in the mud see that they are flowers too.

I will be writing about the things I know and have experienced, things I am currently going through and am still trying to process. I will always be brutally honest, and if I am wishy-washy, it is because I am still trying to figure out where I stand. As often as possible, my posts are meant to encourage or connect, but sometimes I may be struggling to accept or understand something, and that may be the sole purpose of a post. Putting my thoughts in complete sentences helps me wrap my head around things and I find peace in that. I have opinions and you will see them here. My opinions may change with time or new experiences, that is the wonder of growth. My opinions are just that, my opinions, and are never intended to tell you that yours are wrong or that you are not entitled to them. I will never try to impress my opinions on you, I am simply giving food for thought. I am always open to feedback, especially if you think you can help me see things from another point of view. While our opinions may be different, neither are wrong. It may appear that some of my thoughts or ideas contradict each other; all I can say is that I honestly feel both ways. While I believe myself to be an optimist, not all of my posts will have an upbeat ending. I am very passionate about forgiveness, but sometimes you might still see me angry.

sepia photography of green plant on top of open book
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I believe my purpose in this life is to be an open book. I am willing, even eager, to share my stories, good, bad and ugly in the hopes that someone who needs to know they are not alone will hear me. My life experiences acting like a beacon allowing me to draw in wounded people from all walks of life. In the times that I have felt most alone, abandoned and discarded, I have been blessed with people who have crossed my path at just the right time and provided me with the support I needed to keep going. I want to return that favor. I have always tried to be an open book for friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, fellow church members and even strangers. Often to the dismay of the other players in my life, and the discomfort of those who were not ready to hear or willing to accept my truth. But I refuse to cover myself up with a mask or hide my scars behind a pretty picture for the comfort of others. I was chosen for this path because I was strong and brave enough to travel it and now I hope to guide others who may be traveling it after me. I pray this blog will help me reach and encourage those weary travelers who need a place to recharge. A place full of love and free of judgment.