As a woman and JOYsister, I have spent much of my life living under umbrellas of unrealistic expectations, mine and others. Mine for myself and mine for others. And other's unrealistic expectations of me. When we talked about developing the JOYsister community we wanted to cultivate and nurture a place where women build women. Where women pray for or sent positivity to other women that need it. Where women look for the good, lift and love. AND... a place where a sink of dirty dishes, an enormous pile of laundry, a craft room where no surfaces are easily discoverable, a broken heart, depression, tragedy, hurts...are all safe here. We wanted to live by the motto, Have Courage and Be Kind.
Recently my niece came to visit and took family photos. She left me with over 1700 images. Yes, you read that right. But I wanted to pick for myself and I am the blessed recipient of my generous and talented niece. Of those images about 100 are framable. I guess if you were a pessimist, you would say that is only a 6% success rate. However, to capture that much JOY and happiness in my family, I call it a WIN, a VICTORY! This picture above represents one I might not frame, but I love it. I have hesitated to take pictures for years. I am well over the weight I feel comfortable with. And it is easy to shy away from the camera. Unrealistic expectations keep me from loving me, right now, right here, right in the skin I am in at times, I am working on it. I am a work in progress.
But as I went through the pictures and found this one it made my heart so happy. After some "mom and sons" shots the boys were instructed to hug their mom. Complete pandemonium broke loose as they almost knocked me down, laughter, silliness and JOY. I love these boys of mine. I love that this imperfection I see in myself is really just me, in the now, being a mommy to a lot of kids. I carry loss on my body. I carry some trials and some hard days. But I am so grateful for this body that has carried me. I am so thankful for my life. And I am going to be more realistic... more real about the fact that though I am not perfect, I am pretty great, I am trying, I keep going. And I am not giving up. And YOU! Yes YOU! You are pretty terrific too. So next time your MIC (my inner critic) isn't just trying to get you to self examine for some good reason, but gets, instead, down right ugly and mean, kick that voice out of your head for the day, shut the front door, put on some dance tunes and remind yourself how awesome you are. Set some realistic expectations of yourself, check some accomplishments off your to do list, and pat your cute self on the back. And LOVE YOU! We do! We are JOYsisters. We're all in this together! So lets gather up and cheer each other on!
Love and Light,