Reclaiming the mess

This spring, I’m helping coach a local Girls on the Run group (GOTR is an amazing program, by the way, and if you have one in your area, make sure every young girl you know is participating!). Today we are talking about converting negative self talk into positive.

I love when things outside of my life line up with what’s going on with me, emotionally.

I’ve posted on Instagram about how I’m going through a particularly dark period in my stepmom life. I honestly don’t even know how to cover it all here, but in sum, we’re dealing with my stepson doing a stint in juvie, false accusations against my stepson from BM, and straight up parental alienation and custodial interference with my stepdaughter. For most of January and February, I woke up wondering what fresh hell awaited me that day.

It can be difficult to talk about these things when you’re living this kind of life.

People don’t understand. You feel like a drama queen. It feels like you can’t get your act together. There is ALWAYS. SOMETHING. GOING. ON.

(Wait…is that negative self talk?)

I have been trying for the better part of a decade to learn how to rise above the bullshit. For a long time my motto was “Talk about your blessings more than you talk about your burdens.”

See how positive I am? How I am not even paying attention to the negativity and choosing to just be grateful for the good shit?


Do you know what the problem with that is? Oh…where do I even start?

  1. You cannot possibly keep it all in. Choosing to only talk about your blessings means you’re not processing the burdens;
  2. If you do choose talk about your burdens, you feel like you are failing at living a positive life;
  3. You are denying yourself the right to experience your life and turning that experience into something you feel shame towards;
  4. Thinking of your challenges as burdens robs you of the value they bring to your life (and yes, they do have value).

I understand that the point of the aforementioned saying is to encourage less complaining and more gratitude. And that is a good start. But when you live a life of perpetual chaos, the positivity has to come from a different place.

I don’t want to feel shame for things that happen in my life over which I have zero control. I want to acknowledge each blow, each obstacle and stand upon them in all my strength, celebrating the new heights each one has helped me achieve (how’s that for positive imagery??). I am not going to cower in the corner and hide my life like it is something to feel ashamed of. There is so much power in saying LIVING THROUGH THIS HELL MAKES ME INCREDIBLE.

Don’t hide it, don’t shy away from sharing it. Find your power (hint: it’s your incredible persistence) and bang your sword on your shield, Stepmom Soul.

You are a warrior.

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