The disease of more.

*A lecture to myself, so when I say "you", I am actually talking to myself.

I put a full plate in front of my two year old for lunch. She glanced at it and before she had even taken a bite she yelled, "more please!" It stopped me for a moment and I had to ask myself, how often do I yell for more when I have a full plate right in front of me? I have struggled learning to find sincere gratitude for what I have, and to not allow what I lack to destroy my happiness. I also know my tendency to always want more of anything good. If it makes me feel good, I want more. As the wise Britney Spears sang to me in junior high, "I can't get no satisfaction." (calm down, I know The Rolling Stones sang it first, but my loyalties remain with Brit.) Always wanting more destroys your ability to develop gratitude, and in turn kills all potential for lasting peace.

When you always want more, you don't see what you have. Focusing on the deficits in your life creates such a vacuum of negativity. You literally become blinded to all good, because you manage to turn it into bad. Sure it's fine, but it could be better. No thing, person, or experience is ever enough. Cue the downward spiral of relationships. People thrive from feeling like they are enough, like they are truly accepted. You aren't able to give them that approval when you only want more. 

When you always want more, you procrastinate happiness waiting for something that will never come. You might think you will be happy when you get a house, make more money, lose more weight, get to take a vacation, have a better wardrobe, or get more naps, but you won't. You could be handed your every desire on a silver platter and guess what? It wouldn't be enough, you'd still. want. more. (I highly encourage napping at every chance though.) This is the biggest issue. Convincing yourself you will be happier when a circumstance changes is simply a lie you tell yourself to justify ungrateful behavior.

When you always want more you get yourself in trouble. The advertising industry thrives from people like you. They play to your areas of dissatisfaction, and tell you they have a way to fix it. You buy it. The craziest part is that you can actually fully convince yourself that you need x,y, or z to be happy instead of looking inward to see peace and satisfaction are intrinsic traits that can never be achieved through circumstances. There aren't enough donuts in the world to change your happiness. There is no vacation long enough to bring you peace. Nothing will ever be enough for you.

When you always want more, happiness is fleeting, So you finally get what you want, and you were right! It feels amazing. For a minute. Then you quickly find a reason why is just isn't enough. You move on through your list, wanting the next thing, or sometimes just the bigger, better version of what you just got. For some reason you can't see the pattern of wanting, getting, and still not feeling happy or satisfied. The moments of fleeting happiness convince you that getting what you want IS what you need. It DOES make you feel better. When that feeling quickly fades you blame it on needing more, rather than recognizing you simply can't acknowledge the full plate in front of you.

When you stop wanting more, even an empty plate somehow becomes enough. You start to see everything differently. The world looks different, life looks better, but reality hasn't changed. You have. The people around you suddenly become inspirational and amazing rather than lacking and unreliable. You start to feel sincere, authentic gratitude for what you have, and you quit entertaining thoughts of what you are without. You set goals and work for them from a place of positivity. You still hope for houses, vacations, and naps, but your happiness doesn't depend on them. You take responsibility for your behavior and your happiness. You no longer allow life to control you. You find a place of unwavering peace. You learn to turn what you have into enough, whether it actually is or not. 

xoxo Julie

How to love yourself.

I haven't always hated myself. I have vivid memories from my childhood of thinking I was about as cool as it got. Somewhere through the years those feelings slipped away and were replaced by intense feelings of self hatred. Hating myself really became my normal for a lot of years, and became magnified and intensified when my depression hit. For a while I associated all my self hate with my appearance. Then one day a little over a year ago the realization came to me that I could be handed my ideal body, and I would still hate myself just as much. This was a big wake up call for me. It is what lead to me starting to fight for myself.  Today I like myself. It didn't happen overnight and requires daily action to maintain. Like most things worth having in life, self love isn't something you can kick back and wait for (except for Kanye maybe, seems to just flow with him). It takes work, and it takes action.

  1. Acceptance. Accepting yourself today, right now, as you are, is the first step. You don't have to like it (yet) but you do have to accept it. Accepting your reality will give you a strong base to build upon. This means throwing out all the "I will be happy when..." and,"I would like myself if..." kind of talk. No conditions, no procrastinating. For me this was hard. I didn't want to see things as they were, because my reality was ugly. Acceptance doesn't mean you are deciding to live this reality forever, it only means that today you can see things as they are, for better or for worse.
  2. Stop the negative self talk. Right. Now. There are many tactics to help with this. Old habits die hard, and this is a tough one to break. It takes conscious effort and a lot of practice. Anytime an abusive comment pops in my head now I combat it with something I like about myself. I do the same when I look in the mirror. Then each night I make a little list of the things I liked about myself that day. Sometimes it is a short list of seemingly insignificant things, but it keeps me consciously working on changing my thinking. Searching for the good to silence the bad. 
  3. Separate your behavior from your identity. You are going to do things you aren't happy with, and you are going to make mistakes. You can be unhappy, disappointed or upset about your behavior, but that doesn't mean you have to hate yourself. Sure, our actions make up our identity, but we all do the wrong thing sometimes. If you pin all of your feelings about yourself on your behavior, you will be upset with yourself almost constantly. When I lose my patience with my kids that doesn't mean me, my identity, my life, and my whole personality suck. It means I made a mistake. Keeping these separate allows you to identify and correct your behavior without slipping to self obsession over it. Hating yourself over shortcomings, failures, or bad choices will only throw you deeper in the pit and strengthen the cycle of bad behavior and self hate. When you can see them separately, you will be in a place to generate change. It is also key to remember that hating yourself in essentially just a form of self obsession. (You and Kanye are seeming alarmingly similar now right?)
  4. Take positive action. Like I said, you can't sit around and wait to love yourself. When you have accepted yourself, decided to stop verbally abusing yourself, and can see yourself separate from your behavior, you will be in a place that fosters self improvement. You will be able to identify the things that need a little work and take action to fix them without ever having to slip into hating yourself over it. You can work on becoming the best version of yourself. The difference is you will be doing it from a positive place. A place where you are already good with yourself, but can see ways to improve. You will have more clarity and self awareness. You will encourage yourself and celebrate successes rather than dwelling on your failures. This in when self love fully blooms and you start to become the person you always wanted to be. The problem is had you waited to love yourself until getting here, you never would have made it. It takes loving yourself to become a person you want to love.  
  5. Remember that relapse isn't failure. Self love and self improvement are life long journeys. You are going to relapse into your old ways every now and then possibly for the rest of your life. But the frequency and intensity will lessen with time, and it doesn't have to break you. One bad day doesn't rob you of your progress. Give yourself a pass, allow yourself to be a human. 
I never wanted to have daughters because I felt incapable of teaching them to love themselves when I hated myself so intensely. You might think you are the only one who suffers from your self abuse, but the ugly truth is that everyone around you feels it. Loving yourself releases your mind from thinking about yourself constantly and in turn allows you to learn more, love more, and deepen your relationships with everyone. Loving yourself is how your dreams will come true. I wouldn't go to that level of cheesiness if I didn't believe it SO MUCH. 

xoxo Julie

Please stop telling me to love my stretch marks.

I like myself. I'm new to liking myself honestly. But the truth is that I do. I don't always love my behavior, but I do always love myself. I also love my body. It is nothing short of a miracle. It enables me to do so many amazing things and really, gives me life. I have never loved my body more than in the process of delivering my kids. For the first time I saw by body as a miraculous tool with a divine purpose rather than a vessel to hold all my imperfections and insecurities. That feeling has always stuck with me and reminded me to respect my body in times when I could only see its flaws. I love my body, I respect my body. I love my body, but that doesn't mean I adore everything about it.

Comparison is always a deadly game, but especially when it comes to bodies. Even more so when you take it to the postpartum body level. The truth is that pregnancy just doesn't impact everyone's body the same. We all gain different weight in different places, stretch out in different ways, and are left with varying levels of destruction afterward. As someone who was once told by my doctor that I had one of the worst cases of stretch marks he had ever seen, it felt a little more than unfair to see women with smooth, tight torso skin post baby. If stretch marks must be a thing, they should be a thing for everyone. Misery loves company I guess. 

I know I am not alone in struggling to accept my post baby body. In reality, I was never good at accepting my pre-baby body so it really isn't shocking. I started noticing articles popping up all over telling me to embrace my new body, and to wear my stretch marks with pride. Telling me I should focus on the gratitude for what these scars represented. No shame, only love and celebration. I get it, but for some reason I felt like they were missing something. 

This is my body. I only get one. This is me. Suddenly I am looking in the mirror at something completely foreign to me. Experiencing such rapid weight gain accompanied my permanent scarring is rough. In that moment, I didn't need to hear that I should be grateful. I needed to mourn. I needed to mourn the loss of my body as it was. I needed time to accept  what had happened to me. Give me a minute to process this change. A permanent change to your body is a big old deal. 

I realize weight gain and stretch marks seem trivial in the grand scheme of things. I know how blessed I am to have a healthy, strong body. I obviously feel my kids were worth it all. But please allow me to adapt to getting comfortable in my skin. I have come a long way. I hardly notice my stomach now, mostly because I have simply been able to accept it as part of me, as part of my story. I have a respect for it almost. I would be lying though if I claimed to wear them with pride or as a badge of honor. I don't. They aren't my favorite. I still get jealous of those who "bounce back" beautifully post baby. But they do not define my body, and they surely do not define me. I love my body, and I accept it as it is now. I had the right to mourn my loss, and the right to take my time processing and accepting the new normal. It isn't something you can force. Understanding that loving my body didn't require me to love every detail, but rather to accept and respect it as it is has brought me to a place of peace with it. 

xoxo Julie

Maybe it has nothing to do with you.

This morning as I endured a rather fierce attack from my two year old, I started thinking. She has been rough on me lately. She says mean things, refuses to talk to me, and is always quick to choose anyone else over me. She hasn't always been this way, and honestly, it hurts. I know she is two. I know I shouldn't take it personally, but in the moments of the meltdowns and hearing "I not want to talk to you" for the millionth time that day, it feels personal. Naturally I started evaluating my behavior. What had I done to make her act this way, and how could I fix it? Then a memory hit me. High school. My mom and I were in a particularly bad rough patch. She picked me up from some rehearsal or something and I got in the car and immediately assumed jerk mode. She started crying and asked, "What did I to to make you treat me like this? What can I do to fix it?"... I looked at her and said, "Did you ever think that maybe it has nothing to do with you?"

That was the truth. It had nothing to do with her. I was going through a thousand hard things that were tearing apart my teenage self. I didn't know what to do with any of it, so I took it out on her. The problem was with me, she was just the unfortunate recipient of my venting. In all honesty, I acted that way because I knew she was a safe place. I knew she loved me, I knew she would always be there for me. With her I was safe. In hard times, I think it is common to unload wherever you feel most safe. I stayed true to this pattern in my marriage. I started to fall apart individually, so I took it all out on the person who made me feel the safest, my husband.

It isn't right, and it certainly isn't fair to take your own issues out on those who love you most, but it does happen. Often. This is an important thing to understand not just for yourself, but as a parent/spouse/friend of someone suffering. It is important because you must remember at all times, that in most cases, this has nothing to do with you. Obviously there are cases where this is untrue, but more often than not I believe this is the truth.

To be able to really help someone suffering, you have to be able to remove yourself from the situation. If you stay so caught up in the role you play in the issue, you will miss the root of the problem. You will overlook the real cause of their suffering, thus rendering you helpless. My toddler doesn't hate me. She might be tired, or hungry, or stressed, and I am the closest, safest place to unload. I didn't hate my mom in high school, I was scared, stressed, and struggling and she was the closest, safest place to unload. I didn't hate my husband. I hated myself, I was depressed, and I was sick, and he was the closest, safest place to unload. The sooner we can detach ourselves from the situation, the faster we will be able to identify the problem and send aid in the most effective way possible.

When you take on responsibility for others behavior you are harming yourself and them. You are putting a huge pressure on them in saying that they control your happiness in life. They can't let you down. They have to act a certain way. That kind of pressure can crush a person, and with surely destroy a relationship. You also hurt yourself by believing everything is about you. It just isn't. You can't take on the burdens of your loved ones. You can care, but you can't control them. The more attached you are to believing their suffering always has to do with you, the faster your own peace and stability goes down in flames.

Don't take everything so personally. More often than not, it has absolutely nothing to do with you. Just keep loving, just keep being that safe place, and remember to keep your own serenity in check before worrying about anyone else's.

xoxo Julie

Finding contentment.

Not attaching your happiness to circumstances is really the key to lasting peace in life. A huge part of this is simply learning to be content with where you are. I say simply, but it isn’t simple at all. I struggle so much with staying present, enjoying the now, being grateful for what I have and being content. I always want more, or different. Most recently my struggle has been with finding peace with being a stay at home mom. I recently began staying home full time and it has not come easy. It isn’t my forever situation, but it is my now. I have been thinking about ways I have been learning to cope honestly. I realized the things I have been learning apply across the board. Regardless of what your current situation is, you can find peace and contentment in it. Here are a few things that help me.
  1. Don't force gratitude. You know, the whole "someone always has it worse" mentality. It doesn't work. Sure people have it worse, but comparison of any kind will never serve you. Trying to force gratitude this way only leads to still feeling ungrateful while now adding guilt to the situation. Two things to never feel guilty over: food, and not feeling grateful. It is plain unproductive. Instead, try and create authentic gratitude. In any situation there are things you can sincerely feel gratitude for. Feelings of gratitude might not flow naturally, but deciding to choose to find something you really are grateful for is a positive action that will start to invite more gratitude in your life. Being grateful is a learned behavior.
  2. Don't rely on outside validation. We all want to be validated. Praise feels good. It is ok to like it, but you can't depend on it. There is not enough praise in the world to make you happy with yourself if you aren't happy with yourself. You will waste a lot of time, and lose sight of the most important things in life chasing validation from the world. That chase will rob you of ever feeling content with the present.
  3.  Be confident in your choices. This goes along with the danger of endlessly seeking outside validation. I spent a lot of time giving everyone I met my resume. I needed them to know I wasn't just a mom, I wasn't just a hairstylist, that I wasn't just a college student. I was so insecure in every part of my life I used every angle to try and convince everyone I was accomplished. Now when I meet people I give them myself as I am that day. Whatever role I am playing, that's it. No one else needs to agree with what you do with your life. That's entirely up to you, and the sooner you stop caring what other people think of it the sooner you will fully accept your life as it is and find contentment in that.
  4. Don't play the martyr. Please stop! There is no nobility in killing yourself off in "service" of others. When you aren't well emotionally or physically, you have nothing to give. Making proper, meaningful self care a priority will save you and the people who depend on you. You've already read my thoughts on self-care here, but I can't stress the power in it enough. You have to be well to be content.
  5. Beware of resentments, My biggest problem that arises from being discontent is that I go to a place of resentment in the blink of an eye. If I am unhappy, it has to be someone's fault. Naturally I take it out on my husband and kids, which is so crazy unfair. I have to take responsibility for my reality. Going through the motions of life begrudgingly and unhappily creates a reality I don't want to live in. 
I have a long way to go, but these things have brought me a ways from where I began. These aren't one time things, but rather things I have to apply to my life a hundred times a day. Slowly, I like my now a little more than I used to. I have good days and bad, but overall I see progress. 

An apology to the depressed.

My depression came to me in the form of postpartum depression. Before that, I had never experienced anything close to it. In fact, I had spent many years thinking of mental illness as a myth only the weak fell for and used to justify poor life behavior. People who claimed to be depressed actually just needed to step it up and decide to get better. Depression was simply a label slapped on people who lacked drive, focus, discipline and self-control.

Then suddenly, I found myself in a thick, all consuming cloud of darkness. A darkness I didn’t expect, didn’t understand, and for the life of me could not overcome. I couldn’t even fight it. It was the most overwhelming feeling of helplessness I have ever experienced. I wanted to fix it. I wanted to make it go away. I wanted to change my mind and overcome it. At the very least I wanted to understand what this huge darkness was that had consumed me. What was this paralyzing force fighting against me? This was depression.

My misconception and prejudice against mental illness was boiling up and staring me straight in the face. I was wrong. I was so, so wrong. All at once the shame of my years spent in superiority hit me. Depression was real. As real as the new baby I held in my arms as I pondered my newfound suffering. It had always been real, and I hadn’t been willing to see that.

The prejudice I carried against depression amplified my suffering. I was not only in the thick of the illness, I felt worthless for having it. After all, this was an issue saved for the weak. I made a vow to myself to never tell anyone how I felt. No matter how bad things got, I promised to never let anyone know I was broken. I was better than this, I had to be.

Eventually I came to understand depression had nothing to do with me, or with anyone else it haunted. My judgment turned to understanding, my prejudice softened into empathy, and my superiority changed to respect. Now, in the purest humility I have ever experienced, I apologize. I apologize for rolling my eyes, for telling you to try harder, and for all the times I silently judged you for struggling. I’m sorry for thinking of myself as better than you. I am so sorry for not trusting you enough to believe your struggle. I am sorry for not caring enough to reach out. I am sorry for my ignorance.

xoxo Julie

*I share my story to try to help others understand the reality of mental illness. It is too often ignored, downplayed, and misunderstood. The face of depression is misrepresented. I am the face of depression. Without a doubt someone you know personally is the face of depression. Fostering beliefs that mental illness is not real inhibits progress in saving the lives of those who suffer.

Quit keeping score.

Successful marriages are made by equal partnerships. However, I believe the term “equal” to be subjective. I have tried applying it literally and ended up discontent and so self-centered. From day one of married life I wanted things to be fair. If I did yesterday’s laundry than my husband better do today’s. I did these dishes, you do those ones. When it really became a problem was when we added kids to the mix.

I became obsessive about what I perceived to be inequality in my marriage. I wasn’t angry that I had to get up with a baby, I was mad that my husband didn’t. I wasn’t angry that I had to clean up the house, I was mad that I did it more than he did. I wasn’t angry I cut my work hours down to be with our baby more, I was mad that his career didn’t take a hit. When I would leave I would honestly hope the baby was super hard for him, so he would experience how much harder my life was than his. His life was so easy. He got to come and go as he pleased, chase his dreams and still have a family life at home. I was so angry all of the time. Life wasn’t fair.

In reality my husband often got up with our baby while I slept, and never harbored any resentment toward me for it. He also more than carried the load at home while I worked and went on to finish my degree, a goal I had always had. He made a lot of sacrifices to make sure I was getting what I needed at home and in my career goals. He has always been my strongest supporter and my biggest fan. He carried an unfair share of our life for years, but didn’t feel sorry for himself over it. He wasn’t even keeping track. This isn’t what I saw. No matter the reality, I was busy keeping score and counting all the ways I always came up short.

I was full of self-pity, resentment and anger. I wanted equality. I wanted everything fair, literally. Turns out, that just isn’t reality. Equality in marriage is vital, but it doesn’t always mean splitting tasks down the center. It means showing up in the part of life you are responsible for. Don’t play the martyr while secretly resenting your spouse for not doing more. There is no nobility in that.

Most of all ask yourself, “do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?” You can’t always have both. Life is full of little things that simply have to get done. Running a house, keeping a family alive, and just plain living are going to require plenty of mundane responsibilities. Marriage is a partnership. Communicate about what equality means for your relationship, because it is unique to each relationship Sometimes your load might feel heavier than that of your spouse, but that is what being a true partner is. Find the gratitude for the times they have carried you through, and step up to do the same. Live each day in gratitude and service and above all, quit keeping score.

xoxo Julie

What I learned from leaving home.

To be fair it should be known I moved away from friends and family a short five months ago. So I am sure the lessons will just keep coming, but I already feel like I have learned a lot and you can’t discard your knowledge now based on the potential of learning more in the future. The first day of September 2015 we packed up all our stuff in a U-Haul and started our journey from Utah, our home, to Ohio. I had made one other cross country move in my life and it was both hard and the best thing possible. This time has been about the same, except rather than being a tween full of angst, I’m the mom. So far, here is what I have learned.
1.       I took family and friends for granted. I love my family, but I could be found majorly complaining about having to attend yet another family event. Didn’t we just get together? Don’t they know we are busy with our own stuff? Now we would give anything to pop into the crazy, chaos filled Sunday family dinner. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone! Stop whining and appreciate every minute you get with supportive family and friends.
2.       I was too passive in my relationships. Building upon number one, I wasted a lot of time not building sincere relationships with the people around me. Because I saw them so regularly I just sort of tuned out and struggled to be present. I wish I had engaged in more conversation and taken the time to really invest in the lives and interests of the people close to me. I have learned that being geographically close in no way guarantees you a close relationship. I am actually closer to certain friends and family now that I’ve been away but chosen to invest time in reaching out to them and chatting regularly. You can see someone every single day and really not know them at all. Make your people a priority.
3.       I should have said no more often. Living with such a huge social/family circle close by can be really overwhelming. I was often overbooked just trying to do things with everyone and make people happy. My life was full of all good things, but too many good things. Spending a few months in a city where no one knows you can be therapeutic. The slower pace of life really suits me, and my small children. It’s ok to say no thanks to a day at the zoo for no reason other than needing a rest day. Slow down!
4.       I need to open up more. I was so isolated and closed off to new relationships. I had my family and friends already, I didn’t need anyone else. How many amazing people did I miss out on!? Since we have moved I have been so grateful to all the MANY people who have opened their lives and their homes to us. It has made me realize how little I reached out to the people around me based on my own insecurities. I missed so many opportunities to learn and grow and love new people. Make new friends!
5.       I am tougher than I think. I can handle loneliness, and I am brave enough to explore the unknown with three kids by my side. I don’t need people around me all the time. I don’t need babysitting help all the time (though I do miss it, and it does complicate things) but I can handle it. This season in life for me isn’t about child free vacations and career aspirations. These small people need me, and like it or not I have to handle it. There were a lot of things I considered necessities that really ended up being nonessential conveniences.
6.       Don’t compare your new home to your old one. There are pros and cons to every city in the world. There is plenty I miss about Utah living, but this is Ohio. I choose to embrace Ohio. There are endless things to love about being here so why waste this experience by dwelling on how Utah was.
7.       Home is where you make it. It has been a new sensation for me to miss a place yet have no desire to go back to living there. I think it is mostly because it isn’t my home anymore. My home is here, with my husband and kids. This is where I want to be.  Going back for a visit sounds great, but I really have no longing to return permanently for now. I know I am where I am supposed to be. I think to really thrive in a place you have to be all in. This is easier to do however because of the strong base of people I have who love and support me. My Utah friendships are lifelong ones, and I often rely on them to be able to move forward here.
8.       I’m finding me. I think it took stepping back and starting fresh for me to really start to know myself. When you live in one place a long time it is almost difficult to change because so many people around you unknowingly hold you to what you once were.  It is hard to evolve when your world is sitting still.
9.       Less is more. We got rid of so much stuff when we moved. I can’t explain the bliss that having less has brought into my life. Less mess, less stress, less complicated. We have what we need, and have forgotten the rest. Even if you don’t move, consider purging your life of all the excess.

10.   You, not your circumstances, make you happy. My favorite tangent of all, not allowing circumstances to control your happiness. You can be happy anywhere or you can be miserable anywhere and it has zero to do with location or proximity to family and friends. I came to Ohio determined to love it, and that is exactly what has happened. 

       Like any experience worth having in life moving has been hard and wonderful and mostly I am so grateful for the ride.

Marry a Hero: Depression and Marriage

So much in life comes down to attitude. We can’t always control what happens to us each day, but we can control how we react to it. I am a big believer in self-fulfilling prophecies, especially in marriage. Our spouses can play the villain or the hero, it all depends on which role we assign to them. When you search for the good in people you find it, you magnify it. When you search for the bad, bad is all you find.

It is easy to channel anger and resentment toward our spouse. It just is. I was miserable and angry and someone needed to be responsible for it, so the blame went on my husband. He didn’t make enough money, he didn’t help me enough around the house, he didn’t take interest in my hobbies enough, and he was apparently incapable of closing the cupboards after getting something out. This was my line of thinking and he just kept proving me right. He kept falling into this pattern perfectly making me more and more convinced I was justified in being so angry at him all the time. He was clearly the worst.

Now fast forward a bit. I now have the greatest husband. He works hard and sacrifices a lot to put my comfort a top priority, he is super hands on with the kids and always does his part in his role as a parent, he not only takes interest in what I like but does it so enthusiastically I become convinced they are his interests too, and he is quick to reply “you bet!” anytime I ask for help with anything. He just keeps getting better. Most days I find myself wondering how I managed to marry up so dramatically.

So what changed? Not my husband. His behavior has been consistent. The only thing that has changed is how I see him. I spent years setting him up to fail. Nothing he did would ever be enough, because it had absolutely nothing to do with him. Sure, he fit into the pattern of failure I set out because I forced him into it. No matter how much he did right, I could always find something he did wrong. The other problem, which is lethal to any relationship, was how silent I was. I demanded he read my mind and when he couldn’t I would put another check in the “fail” column.

I don’t mean to paint an overly perfect picture of our reality now. I still get mad. He still doesn’t close cupboards. But it is different. I set him up for success with me now. I communicate my needs, and my frustrations instead of storming away in a fit of rage. I want to see him as the hero. I want him to be great. I want him to succeed. I want us to succeed. That is the pattern I force him into now. Whatever it is you search for in a person, they will prove you right. Search for the good. Good grows on good and your relationship will only keep getting better. Show up, take responsibility for you. How you treat others is a direct reflection on how you feel about yourself, though that is a post for another day.

When you walk in to find the sink still full of dishes, and your husband wrestling with the kids in fits of laughter, you choose which one to focus on. You choose which one to see. The best way to be married to the perfect person is to start seeing them that way. 

xoxo Julie