I could have underlined every sentence in this chapter, so it’s hard for me to share my thoughts because I just want to share one quote after another! Basically, what I’m telling you is that I’m really bad at celebrating in life, in general. I mean, shoot, I could celebrate just waking up every morning or the fact that I can walk to brush my teeth. There are so many things to celebrate, and yet I find myself completely stuck in this line from the chapter, “I like to feel prepared for anything negative that might happen… My thought process is that if I expect the worst possible result, nothing will catch me off guard…I didn’t have the energy to find something for which to be grateful because I was spending all my energy waiting for the other shoe to drop…You know, so when it did, I’d be prepared” – and that’s the line that got me.
I don’t think I realized why I was doing all of this worrying. I was trying to not get my hopes up, so I wouldn’t be disappointed when something bad happens and I’d be prepared. BUT, that’s not true! You can’t prepare for it and you’re going to be disappointed no matter what, so I gotta start celebrating the small stuff- like the sun coming out today! Or my health! My kid’s health! The very food I put in my mouth! Ok, you get the picture!
And then this line… I mean, damn. This one hit hard.
“Your refusal to celebrate is not a neutral activity. It hurts you.”
She says right before this line, “If the art of celebration and gratefulness isn’t cultivated, sarcasm, disappointment, entitlement, and negativity quickly sprout in its place.”
Y’all, I’ve gotta celebrate more. I think I’ve been living scared because of the trauma of day to day life growing up with an alcoholic mom. I think I was constantly on my guard, so I wouldn’t be disappointed and I’d be prepared. I’ve gotta let it go, and I NEED to start celebrating.
Tell me, how do you celebrate in your day to day life? What does it look like? I need help with this.
There is so much great wisdom about comparison in this chapter. Don’t you think? There was a time when I despised Instagram. Yes, that was complicated, since it’s one of the main tools I use for my job. I couldn’t go on there without questioning my life and feeling like there was something wrong with me. My sister pointed out that maybe I was following the wrong people. So, I switched things up and started following lots of uplifting people. She then pointed out that Instagram was everyone’s highlight reel, which made sense, but I STILL found myself feeling inadequate. And to make it worse, it was happening by simply looking at pictures of my friends (friends who would want nothing but good things for me!). Here’s why– I would see friends and bloggers that seemed really happy day in and day out with lots of energy and getting crazy amounts of things done, and it made me feel extremely inadequate. I wanted to be that happy. I wanted to get that much done. But instead, I was struggling with feeling sad, overwhelmed, and anxious. Which is why I underlined “When we compare ourselves with others, we nurture a lack of respect for our own journey.” I was on a journey (still am). God’s got me, even when it’s hard for me to “feel” Him (that’s a whole different post -ha!). I owe it to Him (and myself) to respect the journey he has me on, and if Instagram is boogering that up, I should take a break from it until I feel better about my journey. Because going on there was not helping me respect where He had me, it was making me resent my journey. I’m on the other side of these feelings (for now), but if I find myself back there, I’m coming back to this chapter!
“Do the work of processing your pain.” -THE MOST IMPORTANT LINE FROM THIS BOOK.
To me, this line sums up this entire book. You want your girl back? She’s still there, but you gotta do the HARD work of processing your pain to get her back.
Don’t know if you’re in pain? Pray about it. Ask God.
I have a sister and friends that I can completely fall apart in front of. Those same people love me so much that they can also constructively help me get back to center, need be. They know, know the real Carly. The importance of authentic relationships is something that I can’t even describe. I’m being truthful when I say this, I don’t know where I’d be without these people God has placed in my life. Do you have this in your life? If not, start sharing the real stuff with the one person you think is really wise and trustworthy and see what happens.
The way she compared a butterfly’s transformation with our transformation as “girls” was really beautiful -”struggling to break free from all that constrained it but also all that would create its beauty.” That’s good, isn’t it? And then this, “But I’m also asking you to embrace the struggle.” Do you see a theme for me here? I need to make peace with the struggle.
You can find more of my final thoughts on part 6 HERE, too.