Last night I couldn't sleep. I was tired. I needed sleep. Badly. But here I was, still awake at 3 a.m. in a tornado of body hatred. Why won't you sleep, body? Do you hate me, body? Do you not know how badly we need sleep, body?
So as one would expect at 3 a.m., I wrote my body a nasty-gram. Like a really mean letter. Ryan found it this morning. Like a coach's husband, he said "honey, I want you to do what you would tell a client to do. Write the exact opposite of this letter to yourself. Then read it. A lot.
I actually love the revised letter. Not quite as much as I love my husband for telling me to do it. Read on to see how I transformed a moment of true self loathing into exactly what my body needed to hear:
You are the most brilliant magnificent work created by God. You deserve to be loved and lavished with all the good things. You deserve deep nourishing sleep.
I know you are doing your best, body, and that sleeplessness and excess belly fat are a message from you. Those bags under my eyes and extra weight do not diminish my beauty. They are a sign that I am a human who sometimes ignores the messages her body sends.
You are worthy, powerful and deserving of all the love and support that you need to thrive. In addition to all the healthy food and habits, I acknowledge that sometimes, body you just need a good, sweet perfect brownie. I will not deprive you of this if that is what you truly ask for. I declare, right now, dear body that I will stop caring for you in the way that society tells me is best and I will take care of you in the ways that you show me you need. I am done, body.
I am done ignoring you in favor of what the current and fleeting wisdom on health tells me. I am ready to listen to your message. If that message must come to me at 1 a.m., I will listen and act accordingly. Thank you, body. Thank you for continuing to communicate with me even when I plug my ears and hum at you while you do it.
Do you believe your words have the potential to impact your finances?
Let me tell you a story. When we first moved to California, we set up our life to have the exact same things we had in Minnesota. Kids in private preschool, house, same pets, new car, same eating out budget.
The cost of living in California and Minnesota is not the same. Not even actually close. So we felt broke. Probably at least once a day we would say “we can’t afford it.” Or we are so broke. This went on for a year. Until the fateful day we got the year end statement from our kids preschool. The statement said we spent $30K on preschool in 2016. A light bulb went on. Holy shit, we’re not broke, we’re heavily leveraged in the Spanish preschool industry.
I made a resolution to never say “I can’t afford it again.” As I stopped saying “can’t afford it” and “broke” something weird happened. I stopped being broke. 2017 was the year that we started giving 10% to our church. It was the year that we started affording things that were written in my goals…trips, new beds, business courses and still fancy preschool.
I had known the power of words for a long time, but never really thought about their power to actually change finances.
Everything that comes out of your mouth is a little prayer to God. So if you are trying to get your money to get you more of what you want, saying “I can’t afford it.” Or “we’re broke” is like a little prayer to stay in your current financial reality.
Practice using your words to create the financial that you really want. If you want to continue to be able to not afford the life you desire, for sure keep saying “I can’t afford it.” If you’re ready for a new reality, here are some new words to create a new reality.
10 things to say in place of “I can’t afford it”
Educating our kids is important to me. Honestly, so is alone time. I am an unbelievably introverted human who needs a lot of alone time to maintain life as a me. This investment seems astronomical to lots of people, but it is still worth it to me.
This is what we’re doing in Buh-Bye Broke. We’re setting priorities. We’re making our money deliberately match our desires. We’re learning how to use better language, budgeting tools and being honest about what we want to create a reality that we actually want to live in. If you’re ready for more luscious living and less broke, you can still enroll at the presale price of $197. We start January 11, just in time to make good on your New Year’s Resolution.
There's a narrative that happens whenever the topic of mental health comes up. Check in on your loved ones. Make sure they know you care. I'm here to drop a truth bomb on you.
I don't fucking need you to check in on me.
I don't need one bit of the lip service that comes with a perfunctory text or FB message saying "I hope you are well." I just don't. Those are actually insulting because mental illness does not arise from a crisis of me not being aware that people care if I'm alive or not. I am actually very well aware that many people care enough to text me when I post something worrisome on Facebook or when they haven't seen me at the gym for a while. I'm grateful-ish for this level of caring in my life.
But here's the truth. When I dig into virtually every bout of depression I have suffered through, it boils down to this...I don't have a community. I don't have a community because the world of adult friend making sucks. I'm pretty convinced that's why moms put their kids in so many sports. Because in the absence of sports and activity, there is just no good way to make friends as a grown up.
I have tried to schedule play dates, only to be given the "we're busy for the next 10 months. How does next July sound." Next July sounds shitty. I suppose I could put my kids in a bunch of stuff. But they truly are not interested. Soccer? Hard no. Cheerleading? Nope. Robotics? You guessed it. And since my husband and my kids are currently my ride or die group, I wish not to offend them (and waste my energy) dragging them to activities they don't like in the hope I'll friend another mom.
I cannot figure out how to break the barrier of moms that stands between me and a group of ride or die friends. I held off on writing this because I thought "maybe you're just alone in this." But I see comments all day every day about how alone moms feel. I see and experience first hand how hard it is to build a community. And let me be honest with you. I have no interest in being part of a community of check ins.
Friends, I don't know the answer. But I know this, mental illness is an epidemic in this country. People are suffering in mass from lack of real connection. People are crying out for ride or die friends. While this is happening, we just keep busying ourselves. We are exhausted from working in jobs we may or may not like and living in places that may or may not suit our needs. We are tired from keeping up super mom masks. Tired from bringing our kids to all their sports and events. All this exhaustion means that we have no mental capacity left for building community. And what American needs to fix what ails us is community. In order to form community, we need time to find our people.
So if you are planning to check in with me and have said no to 10 invitations for real connection? Save your 2 minutes. I don't need a check in. I need a community. We need a community. I share my suffering loudly because so many of us suffer really quietly. I have spent actual decades summoning up all my courage to ask people to make plans with me and I am tired and frustrated. I'm likable so people are usually like "yeah...someday." Someday almost never arrives. And because I always wanted to stay likable, I never say what really goes on in my head.
Not knowing why people say no to me is soul crushing. Asking people to hang out only to have them last minute cancel is heart breaking. Offering to fly my people out to see me and having them refuse over and over again wreaks a havoc on my heart that those people will never know (until they read this, then I guess they'll know). I have been praying for a couple days now. Dear God, what is in me that needs to be spoken. Dear God, why am I so tired no matter how I sleep? This is the answer to my tired. I'm tired of trying to build a community. And I'm tired of pretending I'm not hurt by how poorly it's going.
I want to give voice to people who struggle silently and alone, hoping a community will come through for them. I feel you. I am you. I hurt alongside you.