Living In the Ouachita Mountains

In my mind, I am living in this house. Me, single mom of 8, living in this gorgeous lakeside home on the side of a mountain. It truly is a miracle that I am here. My life has not been easy but it has been wonderful. When I first divorced my ex-husband and was unemployed, unskilled, and scared that I would lose my home, I could never have imagined being able to afford a home this beautiful in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas. #findingthejuicy

Life can change dramatically if you are willing to make it change. I believed I could go back to school and become a nurse. Although, I did some stupid things and tried to sabotage myself, I managed to keep picking myself up and getting to the next right thing. I managed to not just live but thrive! But never will I claim that I did this by myself. I had lovely angels that encouraged me and guided me when I really needed some encouragement and guidance.

I want to talk about the importance being supportive. So many times, people have the belief that it’s necessary to tear down others to make themselves more, more powerful, more strong, more intelligent, more. They have the belief that to be more important, they have to show the weakness or the faults of others so their faults are not obvious. I remember after the first MFR, at which all of my 5 daughters attended, my daughter Alexis (#1) called me crying. She told me the story of how she and several of (female) co-workers were at a bar hanging out. During the 3 hours they were there, nobody had anything nice to say about any other women. Not one nice word was said about each other or any other women they encountered. Not one word of encouragement, understanding, compassion, or support was uttered for another women. The only thing they could find to discuss about each other and other women were catty comments and derogatory remarks. In three hours, not one nice word. My daughter called to say thank you. She said, thank you Mom for creating this space where women can support each other, a space that uplifts each other, even if they disagree, they build each other up instead of tearing each other down. It was a powerful lesson for her and for myself.

People have gotten so focused on their dreams, their goals, their lives, they forget that we don’t live in a bubble. We have forgotten that it is possible to build each other while working toward our goals. It is possible to encourage and support other people while doing our work. It is possible for ALL of US to be strong, powerful, and wonderful people. It is not mutually exclusive. There is not a limit on the power of the universe.

Just because I am powerful and strong, it does not mean that You cannot be powerful and strong. In actuality, because we are all intimately connected, the more we build each other up, the more powerful we can become. It is possible for all of us to encourage, support, and build each other up all at the same time.

I can be pretty and smart AND you can be pretty and smart. I can be friends with lots of people AND so can you. By tearing each other down, we are destroying a part of ourselves, the best part of ourselves. Each act of tearing someone down is a small act of violence, not just to others but to ourselves. We destroy our belief in others’ goodness and kindness.

Flipping the coin, each act of building someone up, creates a connection, a heart string with someone but it also strengthens the heart strings in ourselves. We change ourselves by helping others. We become better. We become more powerful through simple acts of kindness. Simple acts of caring and support for each other can change the world, can change our world.

Too many times, women make the statement that they would rather work with men than with women (in the work place, etc). How sad is that? When they elaborate the reason is because women are too bitchy, catty, and dramatic. Are women really too bitchy, dramatic, and catty? Maybe they are and that is incredibly sad to me that women have become socialized to be assholes to each other. Why do you think this is? I have theories…

I believe that we are set on incredible pedestals and are held to ridiculous standards of “smile”, “look pretty” and our value is judged at a much harsher standard than men are judged leading to incredible competition between females that results in women acting in cattiness and competition. We have chosen to set aside our nurturing self because it doesn’t serve us in a patriarchal world. We have chosen to not embrace those “softer” characteristics such as kindness, respect, support, and encouragement because they are portrayed as being soft with the implication that softness will not get you success.

It’s time to set these believes aside. It’s time to embrace ourselves and be ourselves. Maybe you are not the most nurturing supportive person, but you can practice small acts of kindness and support instead of sabotaging each other in the pursuit of our personal power and success.

Forget what the world teaches us about the drive for success being a cutthroat world and competition, create something new. Be kind to each other. If you can lift someone up, do that. If you can encourage someone, do that. If you can help someone become more successful, do that. We do not live in isolation. We are not in a bubble. Kindness will multiply and our small acts will change the world. Change your beliefs about success and power and you will be part of the revolution to change the world.

#findingthejuicy #livingmybestlife #bebetter #sistershelping

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