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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

To Julie

This post is dedicated to my sister, “Jules”, my first friend…my forever friend…who is daring to take the steps in her life to find happiness again...to find “herself” again…..

“A time comes in your life when you finally “get it.” When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks, and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out: ENOUGH!

Enough crying, fighting and struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears, and through the mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening.

You realize that it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that you are not Cinderella and he was no Prince Charming, and that in the real world there aren’t always fairy tale endings and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you. And in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who you are or what you are…and that’s OK. And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself. And in the process a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you, and that it’s not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself. And in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers…and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties. And in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself and the world around you is a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all that you’ve been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, and how much you should weigh, what you should wear and where you should shop, what you should drive and how and where you should live, what you should do for a living, and what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents. You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view, and you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing, and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown or should never have bought into to begin with.

And in the process…you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive and that there is power and glory in creating and contributing. And you stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build your life.

You learn that you don’t know everything, it’s not your job to save the world…and that you can’t teach a pig to sing!

You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say: NO!

You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love, romantic love and familial love; how to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away.

You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship.

You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more loveable or more important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would like them to be.

You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love.

And, you learn that alone does not mean “lonely.” And you look in the mirror and stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you “stack up.”

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK…and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want…and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect; and you won’t settle for less! You learn that your body really is your temple, and you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise.

You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear so you take more time to “rest.” And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels the soul. So you take time to laugh and play!

You learn that…for the most part…in life you get what you believe you deserve...and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it’s OK to risk asking for help.

You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time…”fear” itself.

You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens…you can handle it…and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live on your own terms! And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you deserve, and that sometimes bad things happen to good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things.

You learn that God isn’t punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It’s just “life” happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state…the ego. You learn those negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to admit when you are wrong and begin building bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon this earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed…a long hot shower.

Slowly…you begin to take responsibitly for yourself by yourself; and to make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever, settle for less than your heart’s desire. And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally….with courage in your heart and with God by your side….you take a stand! You take a deep breath and begin to design the life that you want to live as best as you can!”

~ Author Unknown~

We are proud of you! You are strong…you are capable. Believe in yourself! We do!

Avec Amour,

Peps, Gigi, Mark, Mickey, Suz and Anne-Marie


  1. Ok...THAT made me extremely teary eyed!!! I'm going to send the link to this post to my beautiful sister after I go and blot the tears from my eyes. Thank you for sharing this:)

  2. Wow...just beautiful Michelle! I am going to save this one. Thank you so much for sharing these lovely words. Jules is very lucky to have a sister like you!

  3. Beautiful post Michelle!! That is a keeper for sure. Hugs for your sister!!

  4. That's a wonderful post, dear Michelle! Jules couln't wish for a better sister and hopefully she will find her way.
    Hugs to both of you,

  5. Sending big hugs for Julie, and some for you too, Michelle - you are a very special sister.

  6. That was by far the most beautiful thing I've ever read about life. Thank you for sharing that. I've told you before, all are fortunate to know you. You are an angel and beautiful and wise.

    I've had the rug pulled out from beneath me more times than I care to admit. It is life but I was never prepared for it at any age. If I've learned anything in my life it was that be prepared for the next big let down. Keep smiling until that day but move forward and stand tall and proud.

    Hugs to you and your sister.

  7. Such a lovely post, I too have tears in my eyes and also have a sister going through enormous changes in her life. i intend to forward this link to her too.
    Thankyou for sharing and you should feel proud to be such a support to your beloved sister as I am sure she is proud of you for caring enough to give her this powerful message.
    Donna xx

  8. Hi Michelle,
    You truly brought tears to my eyes! You are so lucky to have your sister and she to have you! I am an only child and I have longed to have a sibling my entire life. Someone to share secrets with and fun outings. I am just so happy that my boys have one another. They don't know it now, but they are truly blessed!
    Have a great weekend my friend!

  9. Hi Michelle,
    I left you a little present on my blog.
    Check it out!

  10. Thank you! What a wonderful post. I just discovered you in blog land and need to go back a snoop thru your blog. Some of your photos are of me I think.
    Enjoy your day

  11. Wow my sweet friend,
    What a post. Lord, I have tears streaming down my cheeks. What thought & love went into those words. I am saving this in my favorite post file, also I am sending to my own sweet sissy who needs to hear JUST that. I could never had said that the way you did, the message is clear & so filled with love. She is a lucky girl to have you for a sister. I hope you have a very Happy Mother's Day. Lisa
    PS Had to laugh at some of the pics, I think I had the same Brady Bunch curtains & bedspread. Maybe the plaid pants too. LOL

  12. Absolutely beautiful tribute to your sister. I've been where she was/is before. My marriage was falling apart at the same time I was losing my mom to cancer. I can attest that with God's grace she will pull through it & I promise come out stronger on the other side. It's the learning to stay true to yourself after you've taken awhile to rediscover who you even are that matters most.

    Found your blog thru Welcome Wagon at Cozy Little House. LOVE it! Please stop by mine and visit often. I'd love to have you follow me and to count you a friend.

    Blessings to you & your lovely family! ~ Merana


Taking the time to share your thoughts...your words...and your inspiration fills my soul....Merci.