There’s a whole body of research around what’s called “the mental load.” It’s something that women also disproportionately bear. … It’s all of the stuff that you have to keep in your mind.
Here’s a quote from a journal titled Invisible Work by A. Daniels from Oxford University Press that speaks on both women and impactful volunteer work
The lack of social validation implicit in disregard of all the [home planning] required tells women this effort doesn’t count as work; and they themselves often discount the effort it requires. Another area where the folk idea of work is too restrictive is in the distinction between paid and unpaid labor commonly associated with work–even in the public world. The work of community service volunteers is useful, but that it is not paid tells others— and volunteers themselves that it is not needed, not really important work despite all the lip service about the value of altruistic endeavor.
Daniels, A. (1987). Invisible Work. Social Problems,34(5), 403-415. doi:10.2307/800538
I don’t need all this “credible” validation but it makes for better writing when you add quotes from people who paid a lot of money to have authority to say them. I’m taking a break from the invisible and visible domestic duties. I felt like sharing so other women who share their home can take a break with me. Then we’re not in this alone. I don’t mind breaking alone but aren’t we so much better together.
If you allow it too much to fall into your bucket of things worth fighting for you’re going to get off track from your true calling. It’s easy to end up fighting battles that aren’t yours to fight. For me, there are only three things I think are worth fighting for, relationships as in my family and friends, my dreams, and being honest about my truths. Anything outside of that, is a distraction or entertainment.
I want my family and friends to have a life where they grow up knowing their worth, their voice, and what they bring to the table. I want to bring those things into their lives. In the past I did drop the ball on those things but I have rebuilt myself so many times that the only thing I want to bring into their presence from here on out is encouragement, empowerment, support and what ever else goes with loving them unconditionally.
My dreams have been my only reason to get out of bed. I lean on them. My hope is that my dreams will outlive me. What else is better to have in our darkest times than hope in our dreams?
I was a quiet girl. Sometimes I was a coward to keep the peace. Sometimes I blew up because I kept my mouth shut too long. I’ve made a lot of mistakes by not being honest about my feelings and about who I am as a person. Sometimes I even say things I don’t mean when someone treats me as if I’m worthless. And for those inappropriate things I’ve said, I’m sorry. I reacted and I shouldn’t have. I understand some things I have said can’t be taken back, but I will show you with my actions that I didn’t mean them. Please know, everyday I push myself to be honest about how I really feel. Everyday I try to explain why I’m angry, sad, or quiet. I’m not out here trying to be malicious with my honesty. I’m not using my honesty to prove to you that I can say things that are going to upset you. I’m honest because I know it’s my best option.
Those are my priorities. Those are the things I want to focus on. What are your top three priorities in life. I’d love to hear them.
I write for my family. When I first started writing a few years ago, I was an anxious mess. After writing and learning to accept the many different aspects of myself in order to build honest characters, it made it much easier for me to understand those around me. I can listen with more intention. I can see when there is a miscommunication or when someone needs to define their terms.
The world becomes a weird place when you take the time to understand what makes us human. Well, at first it does. After a while the weird stuff becomes normal and you forget it’s weird stuff until someone looks at you funny for talking about the weird stuff. So when I noticed these things, I wanted to make sure my daughters were handed the weird place too. I hope they find some guidance in their weird place from mine.
There’s a lot of great reasons to write for your family. These are just a couple of mine but they keep me going
Are you tired of giving more than you getting? Are you straight up miserable in your life? It might be time to cheat on your lovers with yourself.
There comes a time in your life where you have to step back and look at the bigger picture. What is the bigger picture and how do you step back? How do you become an observer? These are questions to ask when you’re feeling like life isn’t going the way you’d like.
When I step back to observe, I like to think about the decisions I make and how they will affect my future. I’m not usually an in the moment fuck up my future type of person. But don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a little spice here and there. Now that I’m focused on my goals and I’m able to step back and observe, the things that may have fucked up my life in the past have become the things to propel me toward my goals. So how do you look at the bigger picture? First you have to know your goals. What do you want for yourself? What do you want to leave behind? Does any of that matter to you?
When thinking about these things it doesn’t matter how much you fucked up yesterday. All that matters is that in the present you are consistently trying to work toward your future. Working towards a future means a lot of failing until you get there. So, for me, as a writer, it looks like, today I will write 1000 words and I will not sleep until those words are written because I want to write novels for a living. Start making commitments to yourself. Start small and forgive yourself when you miss the mark. Then get back on track.
Another way to look at the big picture is to think about how your choices will affect your environment. Your environment impacts the paths you take to get to your long-term goals. Your environment is impacted by those whose opinion you’d most likely listen to. So, surround yourself with those you respect and support and who would do the same for you, not because you did it for them, but because that’s just who they are. So, you need to build and nurture relationships with those who are interested in you. I’m not talking networking. This is building valuable relationships with people that you’ll miss while they’re away from you. These are the people you invest in on your free time.
And what about those who drive you away from your calling?
It also means staying away from those who drive you away from your calling. Who are they? They are the ones who: ask too much of you even after you say no, don’t support or respect your calling, don’t respect your time, bring you to the point where you’re unable to function properly. Those are the ones you have to love from a distance.
The best way to focus on your goals is to get your goals to weigh heavier than anything else around you.
I had trouble with my temper in the past. Thankfully, with a lot of hard work I’ve learned to control my temper and walk away when I feel myself losing control. But when I’m angry there is no bigger picture. The only thing I can see is the thing that stands in my way. In those moments, I can’t see around it. Even mantras didn’t work for a while because when I reached that point in my anger, the mantras had no weight. They had no meaning. I say this because your bigger picture must weigh heavier than anything else. Your reasons, your values, your disciplines, they have got to be fleshed out so that when something tries to deter you from your goals, you can walk away and feel confident in that decision. And when you start getting confident in yourself, your life is little less miserable. For that moment at least. Then you have to go at it again. You might fail but that’s ok. You’ll get eventually. And your confidence will grow. And you life will become fuller because you’ll start making better choices for yourself and for your future.
Unconditional love is an act worth living and dying for.
Yesterday, I posted something on Instagram but archived it because I wrote, my love is only for those who can face me with the truth.That is such a false statement and doesn’t describe my philosophy in any way. I act in love no matter what is going on outside of me or inside of someone else. Another person’s journey shouldn’t limit my ability to show love. I want to act in love no matter what.
What this means to me
My opinion is that love comes down to action. It’s not some theoretical abstract concept for me. It is knowing and understanding that we are all learning. We are all either acting out or healing from past wounds. We are all trying to survive and for some, survival requires a robotic lifestyle that doesn’t allow much thought. Let me make this clear, I absolutely do not belittle this behavior or mindset. I understand survival is innate and some of us are simply trying to live another day. I accept this. I listen. I use my own past mindset as a tool to empathize with the survival mindset. Loving unconditionally for me means showing acceptance to myself and others no matter where we are in life.
What this doesn’t mean to me
My desire to love unconditionally absolutely does not mean I will allow unhealed wounds to destroy my space. One of the most beautiful acts of love is stopping toxic behaviors. Whether that means loving myself enough to step away or owning up to and apologizing for a toxic behavior of my own. I understand why you are toxic. I understand that you are not ready to heal. I understand what you’re healing from regardless if you tell me with your words or actions. But what you are not going to do is manipulate me and treat me of little value. I will step away from manipulating words that have yet to be backed up with actions. You may choose to live that way and I can smile at you and hug you, but a line will be drawn once you attempt to limit me into submission. Not gunna happen.
The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.
― Stephen Kendrick, The Love Dare
I am going to continue learning to love myself and others unconditionally. How does it look to work on unconditional love?
1. working on my values so my character has something to fall in line with.
2. knowing and understanding myself
3. challenging my own limiting behaviors and beliefs
4. learning to value myself and my space
5. spending time alone
6. finding different ways to encourage myself
8. find ways to hold myself accountable
9. tell the truth
Doing these things for yourself is doing it for others. It helps after doing it for yourself because when you mindlessly limit yourself, you will unintentionally limit others. When you mindfully accept yourself, you mindfully accept others. These steps toward unconditional love listed above help you to bring your limiting beliefs and behaviors into a more concrete thinking space, or in other words, into awareness.
These actions are easy to suggest and write down but putting these into action is only a small piece of the hard part. When you begin to work towards unconditional love, it’s going to irritate the few who don’t feel they deserve it for themselves and they will automatically reflect that self-limiting belief on you, acting as if you also don’t deserve unconditional love. This is a lie. You deserve unconditional love for yourself.
Then there’s going to be a few who see your ability to love unconditionally and it will cause a ripple of acceptance, and what else has anybody ever wanted in their life?