“People say I love you all the time - when they say, ‘take an umbrella, it’s raining,’ or ‘hurry back,’ or even ‘watch out, you’ll break your neck.’ There are hundreds of ways of wording it - you just have to listen for it, my dear.”—The Curious Savage (John Patrick)
“I was drawn to all the wrong things: I liked to drink, I was lazy, I didn’t have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. I didn’t make for an interesting person. I didn’t want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone.”—Charles Bukowski (via fuckinq)
1. What is more difficult for you, looking into someones eyes when you are telling someone how you feel, or looking into someones eyes when they are telling you how they feel?
2. Think of the last time you were REALLY angry. WHY were you angry? Do you still feel the same way?
3. You are on a flight from Honolulu to Chicago non-stop. There is a fire in the back of the plane. You have enough time to make ONE phone call. Who do you call? What do you tell them?
4. You are at the doctor’s office and he has just informed you that you have approximately one month to live. Do you tell anyone/everyone you are going to die? What do you do with your remaining days? Would you be afraid?
5. You can have one of the following two things. Which do you choose? Why? Love and Trust.
6. You are walking down the street on your way to work. There is a dog drowning in the canal on the side of the street. Your boss has told you if you are late even once more, you are fired. Do you take the time to save the dogs life? Why or Why not?
7. Would you rather be hurt by the one you trust the most or the one you love the most?
8. Your best friend confesses that he/she has feelings for you more than just friendship. He/she is falling in love with you. What do you (or did you) do/say?
9. Think of the last person who you know that died. You have the chance to give them 1 hour of life back, but you have to give up one year of yours. Do you do it? Why or Why not?
10. Are you the kind of friend that you would want to have as a friend?
11. Does love = sex?
12. Your boss tells your coworker that they have to let them go because of work shortage, and they are the newest employee. You have been there much longer. Your coworker has a family to support and no other means of income. Do you go to your boss and offer to leave the company? Why or Why not?
13. When was the last time you told someone HONESTLY how you felt regardless of how difficult it was for you to say? Who was it? What did you have to tell the person?
14. What would be (or what was) harder for you to tell a member of the opposite/same sex, you love them or that you do not love them back?
15. What do you think would be the hardest thing for you to give up? Why would it be hard to lose?
16. Excluding romantic love, when was the last time you told someone you loved them. Who were they to you?
17. If there was one moment and one time in the last month what would you change and why?
18.Imagine it is a dark night, you are alone, it is raining outside, you hear someone walking around outside your window. WHO do you wish was there with you?
19. Would you give a homeless person CPR if they were dying? Why or Why not?
21. You are holding onto your grandmother’s hand and the hand of a newborn that you do not know as they hang over the edge of a cliff. You have to let one go to save the other. Who do you let fall to their death? What was your rationale for making the decision?
22. Are you old fashioned?
23. When was the last time you were nice to someone and did NOT expect anything in return for it?
24. Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a broken heart, or never loved at all? Why?
25. If you could do anything or wish anything, what would it be?
I don’t know about you, but I spent the better part of my early 20s feeling like I was missing something. Not like I forgot to put on socks that day—but like I was missing something that mattered.
Did I like the kind of music I was supposed to like? Did I dress the way I was supposed to dress? Was I allowed to like T.V. as much as I do? Should I have finished college? Should I be married already, and was it my fault that I wasn’t? (Maybe I should’ve just said yes when that guy asked me out… I mean, I hadn’t been asked out in a while, maybe that was my shot and I blew it?) Was I supposed to be ready to settle down and have a family? That’s what everyone around me was doing; perhaps I needed to get with the program. I spent (read: “wasted”) a lot of my time worrying I was lacking something.
“I’m not my scars and my history.”
We allow a lot of things to define us. Personally, I’ve caught myself defining who I am based on my circumstances. Which is the silliest thing because, really, circumstances change all the time. When you’re stuck in a tunnel, it can be easy to forget that eventually there will be light. When you’re struggling with life, it’s hard to keep perspective and remember the only constant is change, and things are often temporary. And when you fail at something, it’s tempting to just assume you’re a failure.
But you are more than your scars. Your history doesn’t define you. They hold only as much power as you give them. Choose today to see yourself through a different lens and start listening to that voice that’s been buried for so long. That voice that tells you that you deserve so many things, and all of them start and end with joy.
“In Your love, I’m waking up. There are true things inside of me I have been afraid to see”
For so long, I put myself in this little shoebox labeled “Lauren.” All of my personality traits, likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, plans, and gifts were contained in there. And if it wasn’t in the box, it didn’t exist. Not for Lauren. Most of the things in that box had been put there by the words of others and by mistakes I had made along the way—and the options in the box were fairly limited.
Then something amazing happened. Someone loved me, and I really let myself feel that love. I let this person love me and tell me things about how they saw me, and I began to trust them with the deepest secrets of my heart. I let air get into the places I closed off long ago, and suddenly I was being healed.
“I am loved, and I am free.”
I heard something this week that gave me goose bumps because of how true it is: “Courage comes from a heart that knows it’s loved.” It’s been terrifying to let someone get that close, but it’s because of this love that I’ve allowed myself to think outside the box. I began to let myself have new dreams and consider a different path for my life.
Please hear this: You are loved. You are loved more than you know, and you are more than you think, beloved. There are so many things on the road ahead of you. Take courage and know that you don’t walk that road alone.