I’m in a “support group” of sorts – it’s a recovery program that helps people overcome addictive thoughts and behaviors. We’re all dealing with different types of addictions, from overeating to overthinking.
One of the women in the group – let’s call her Bliss – is struggling with her husband’s emotional abuse and alcoholism. They’ve been married for 24 years, and he was drunk the day they met. In hindsight she wonders why she chose to marry him. Now, she said, she’s stuck in the marriage because she doesn’t want her son to come from a broken home.
So Bliss is staying in an unhealthy, abusive marriage for her son’s sake. Later, as she and I were leaving after the group was over, she told me her son is 22 years old, attending university halfway around the world. And she’s starting to take her anger and unhappiness out on him because he isn’t grateful for her sacrifice.
What is the real reason you aren’t Blossoming?
You can see that Bliss is holding herself back. She is choosing to stay married to an abusive alcoholic, for “her child’s sake.”
She’s not the only one! Here’s how I’ve been holding myself back:
Ten years ago I volunteered at a sleepaway Christmas Camp for adults with physical and mental disablilities, through Easter Seals. The camp ran from Dec 22 to Dec 26, and the volunteers’ job was to help take care of the campers so their year-round caregivers and guardians could have Christmas off.
That was the best, most magical, most meaningful Christmas of my life! Maybe it was the snowy rural setting (complete with sleigh rides) and the campers’ childlike belief in Santa Claus (his reindeer-drawn sleigh landed on the roof on Christmas Eve, and the place went wild!!!). Maybe it was the Christmas crafts, cookie decorating, joyful gift opening, or the idea of giving up my Christmas so the caregivers could take some much-needed time off.
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Whatever the reason, I Blossomed that Christmas. And yet…I never went back.
What are you holding back from yourself?
Look at your life, your hopes and dreams, your passions and wishes. What if you were the only thing standing in your own way?
“In middle age we are apt to reach the horrifying conclusion that all sorrow, all pain, all passionate regret and loss and bitter disillusionment are self-made.” – Kathleen Norris.
What if you really are in control of your own life?
Guess what I’m doing this Christmas? Going to Christmas Camp, y’all!
I’ve been talking about it for the past decade; every Christmas I tell my husband that I want to volunteer because I need to serve and give and help and be part of something magical again. And every year I ignore my most heartfelt desire – and we don’t even have kids! I don’t even have a child to “blame.” We spend Christmas with loved ones…but those loved ones are adults who we see and talk to regularly. It’s nice and pleasant.
I was holding myself back from a magical, purpose-filled Christmas because I wasn’t sure what people would think. And I was lazy and passive (because it sure is easier to relax throughout the holiday and let slide the work that needs to be done at Christmas Camp!).
My friend Bliss isn’t Blossoming because she wants her adult son who lives a million miles away to come from an intact family.
What is the real reason you aren’t Blossoming? Who or what are you putting in your own way?
How might you free yourself? It may be easier than you think. And more exciting than you could ever imagine!
In peace and passion,
P.S. We’re flying to Vietnam via Taipei at 2 am tonight for a 3 week vacation, so I may not send an update next week. We’ll see how Vietnam unfolds…take care of yourself while I’m gone!
Fresh Blossoms This Week
7 Ways to Know If Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For – Have you reached the tipping point in your relationship? Here’s how to know if your relationship is worth fighting for, or if you should throw in the towel and start another round with someone new.
How to Find God and Heal Your Broken Heart – “You reference God in most of your writing,” says Fiona on 7 Simple Ways to Mend a Broken Heart. “Does God heal broken hearts and wounded souls? Does he care that I have been wounded? Does not think I have gone through enough with the process? I feel like I should of been healed years ago. People say God is the answer to your healing. How true is it and how long does it take for a broken heart to heal?”
12 Creative Ways to Celebrate and Honor Your 40th Birthday – These ideas will show you how to celebrate your fortieth birthday in meaningful, fun ways and create memories that will last the rest of your life. I gathered these tips to help you remember that turning 40 isn’t just about 40th birthday gifts and parties – just like a marriage isn’t just about the wedding ceremony and celebration.
How to Deal With Guilt After the Loss of Your Beloved Dog – Feeling guilty after the loss of a dog is more common than you think. Here’s how to deal with guilt after putting your dog down or somehow causing your beloved pet’s death. If you accidentally hurt your dog – or you put your dog to sleep and you regret it – you’ll find hope and healing here.
What an Introvert Really Looks Like – An Introvert-Extrovert Quiz – You can answer the “am I an introvert?” question right now with this fast, accurate introvert extrovert quiz. I actually included two different introverted personality tests in this article – and I bet you’ll be surprised by some of the habits and characteristics of introverts!
Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.