‘Authentically me.’

Stacy’s husband, Marty, has been contributing to our Adventure Sisters’ literary adventures by helping edit our blogs. Stacy and I are writers, not editors, totally different beast. Marty says he’s no editor, just a hack trying to help out (He added this remark! He’s a funny guy too!) We still appreciate his help very much.

I tell you this because he had mentioned that he noticed my use of the phrase “authentically me”.  It is one of my favorites along with “Protect what you love”, which I put on my campaign t-shirts. He said we should make an T-shirt that says “authentically me” and I absolutely love the idea. He even worked up some ideas.

I would like to tell you the back story on how I learned to be “authentically me.” It comes from my mother who used to be a little rough around the edges. My mom raised me by herself. Well mostly, she was a single mom who got help looking after me from her parents, siblings and good friends. Friends, who I still think of as family today. She was kind but tough, with a heart was large as Lake Superior, but a bullshit meter with a hair trigger.

Mom would often say what was on her mind in front of anyone. Especially if they deserved it or just plain needed to hear the truth. She has softened somewhat with age, but still has her opinions, as we all do. My mom was fluent in profanity and handed the linguistic skills of a sailor down to her daughter. I used to be annoyed when people would tell me how much I am like my mom, but now I am very proud to hear it.

My mom is a strong woman, who has not had an easy life. She was the oldest of five siblings and was depended on to help raise them. She was a mother hen very early in life. People thought she was bossy. I have come to find out that ‘bossiness’ means she cares. She taught me the value of a good work ethic and loyalty. She taught me that, even if you don’t want to do something, sometimes you just have to anyway. Sometimes, the hardest and the right thing, are the same.

My mom was the perfect example of someone who knows how to love unconditionally. She taught me it is okay to fight. It is okay to get mad. It is okay to hash it out but in the end… we still are family and you are still loved. My mom taught me the value and grace of unconditional love and let me tell you, I tested those limits plenty. I could be a stinker! I was a good girl, when I was younger. I got good grades but I would do rebellious things, just for the thrill of it.  I made her worry a lot. I do feel bad for this now.

Mom is an outgoing person most of the time. She taught me the importance of being social and caring for those around you. When it is time for a party, she’s the first one to show up with food and treats and the last one to leave. That’s because she’s the one helping you clean up. Just like most of us, my mom can be hard to like occasionally. She doesn’t pull any punches and I appreciate her frankness. After all, I would rather know the truth about someone’s feelings and beliefs, than some sugar-coated BS. My mom is a straight shooter and I have tried to be the same because I respect that in her.

There were times that I would be mad at my mom in my younger years, for being over protective. Although I can’t blame her, at times I bet it was like trying to tame a wild horse; raising this free spirit! Yet, looking back now that I have been a mom and concerned for my own daughter, I see what made her act in that way.

A mother’s love is fierce, impenetrable and often unable to be expressed in a way that is easy to understand. As with most mother daughter relationships, we’ve had our ups and downs. I now realize the downs were there to help us learn from one another and appreciate who we were becoming.

It’s tough when your relationship changes, because YOU change.

I am not a free spirited ‘know it all’ teenager anymore. I have learned it is hard to let go of the pieces of your baby that you cherish. Sometimes you just want them to stay the same. Life has a way of helping us mature, even while our relationships lag behind. This causes growing pains, but it is for the best. I find that we get along much better now that we can appreciate each other for who we truly are.

Authentically me. Authentically her. I learned from my mom to accept that I am perfectly imperfect. If by chance someone does not appreciate my authentic self… well… that’s okay. Or like Gena (mom) would say “F’ em.”  Because I have learned to love and accept myself and that is what matters. I have to live with myself every day. I know who I am inside and out and that others only see a snapshot.

I have learned its okay to make mistakes because the important people in my life, know that I am human, and they love me anyway. I like to give others the same courtesy. I learned that from my mom also and she learned it from her mom. I have learned my family ‘rocks my face off with awesomeness’ and I need to put more time and appreciation in now. I learned that lesson the hard way with losing my grandparents and having things left unsaid.

She taught me to say what you need to say. Trust in your own voice. As Gena says: “This is the only voice I got!” If you know her… you are laughing right now but you know you love her too. I feel blessed that she taught me by example how to speak up for myself, to know my voice and opinion matter as much as anyone else’s.

I am thankful to have been blessed with a mom who loved and supported me through all the growing pains. Never once was she not there for me. Another life lesson not to take for granted! I am so thankful for my mom, husband, daughter, family and friends who love me. The real me; inside and out. Authentically me. I love you guys!

What helps you stay authentically you?

What keeps you grounded in your purpose? Please share your thoughts! I really would love to hear from you.

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

EmyforHouse.com

@emyminzel

@EmyforHouse15A

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

I have learned what is important to me.

I have learned what is important in life to me, after learning some lessons the hard way. Losing friendships and failed relationships have taught me a lot about what is important as I travel through life. I have taken for granted, very important people in my life, only to regret it after it was too late to do anything. Losing my grandparents within a month of each other was a giant slap to my ego. I learned some major life lesson’s the hard way, for a few years after that.

The saying “You don’t know what you got until it’s gone.” Had significant meaning to me after these tragic events. I did not get to tell my grandmother, to her face, how much I truly looked up to her and that I believed she was a real-life hero. I did not get to thank her for her the love and kindness that helped shape who I had become. As a writer, I am much more comfortable writing out my feelings then expressing them with my voice. Yet, these experiences have taught me I must use ‘my voice’ when it is important for me to do so.

It is important, that I let the people I love, know just how much I love them and why. Many people in the world are sensitive, self-conscious and really do wonder if they are truly loved. I spent time, running circles in my own head, when I was younger wondering what made me worthy of love? Did just being born mean that I was entitled to love? I had a long and difficult journey, in my youth, learning just how to love myself. Learning how to give myself the respect and significance, I often gave freely to others, yet didn’t feel worthy of myself. In time, I found what I was looking for. Me. I was there all along.

I am grateful I have learned to love my perfectly imperfect self. That was because I also learned how to love others unconditionally first. I learned that nobody is perfect, and I should not expect myself to be either. I learned that I love other people’s imperfects just as much as I love the things they are really great at. My daughter is sometimes too shy to come out of her shell. When I see her acting this way I think; “I wish she knew just how wonderful she truly is. She is so smart, kind, witty, generous and has a heart of gold. I wish she could see herself as I see her.” I often wonder what others see when they see me. Do you?

I have learned what matters and is important to me; is that I let others know the wonderful qualities I see they possess. I have learned to appreciate my own mother, so much more, after the death of my grandparents. I am an only child, like my daughter. I learned what it felt like to have your one and only child move out and grow up. Never once, when I was younger and moving out on my own, did I even think of my mom’s feelings about the situation. I was so excited to be moving on with my life that I didn’t even realize she was also beginning a new journey herself.

Learning to appreciate the experiences of my elders, like my mother, is also important to me. I would much rather learn some lessons through the experiences of others, especially if they are difficult ones. Learning that with age comes wisdom, was a turning point for me. I started to reach out to others more experienced then I. Life experiences are meant to be shared; sometimes they help you and other times you can use your experiences to help others.

Another value that is important to me is connection. To feel heard, to be appreciated for who I truly am. I have learned to always try my hardest to be ‘authentically me.’ I have learned that when I’m not me, when I try to fit in and follow the heard, life gets more difficult. It became of utmost importance to me, to listen to my heart and the callings of my soul. It was difficult at times, but I never felt more purposeful in my life then when I started to truly be me. Quirky humor, type ‘A’ personality, Nature loving hippie chick, who really wanted to let my light shine.

I wanted that light to shine in a way that helped others the same way I had learned from the strong women in my life. I wanted to pay it forward and decided that if I wanted to change the world, I had better work on myself first. So, I did. I started looking within for the answers instead of searching for external direction. I figured out that nobody knew what I needed, to feel fulfilled, but me. I just had to ask myself the hard questions and hold myself accountable for the changes I wished to see.

It became important to me to practice kindness. To share my love for life, the planet and for others in a way that felt good and healthy. I started by gardening organic produce. Working to learn about and implementing Permaculture practices around my home. I wanted to nurture the Earth as she nurtured me. I learned to respect my mother’s opinion instead of rolling my eyes like a teenager. I learned that my young daughter had more wisdom then she led on. I learned I was also full of wisdom I could chose to use as well.

I learned that my husband’s commitment to me was the foundation I depend on to be brave enough to shine my light in the political arena. Without him offering a safe place to fall, I would have not felt comfortable enough to put myself ‘out there.’ I have learned to not take this very special relationship for granted. I have learned to be better at keeping up relationships by taking responsibility for contacting my friends and family instead of waiting for the phone to ring. I do this because my relationships are important to me.

People are important to me; my family, friends, community and the strangers (friends) I do not know yet revolving on this planet around me. We are all connected on this big old Globe. I see that we have so much more in common then we could ever have in differences. I work to shine my light to promote peace, community and working together.

This is me. I have learned that it is okay to be as me, as I can be, while loving others for who they truly are as well. Warts and all. I truly believe most people are good in their souls, they just have to choose to foster the good and utilize it. I do my best to do the same. It is connection that is most important to me, not money or power. It is the divine spark of life within that connects us all that I like to promote in myself and others. This is what I find most important.

Empowering others to be as authentic as possible to themselves is what powers me to be and do better every day. The good in me, sees the good in you!

What is most important to you?

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

EmyforHouse.com

@emyminzel

@EmyforHouse15A

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com