Long ago there was a girl. She had just gotten married to a boy. Both were full of dreams and fears. Both had their own past as well as ideas of what their future would be like. Right and wrong, guilt and judgment were as much a part of this new marriage as was joy and excitement, hope and confidence. 

As they continued to build their home, they thought that their life was based on love and the promises they made to each other. They were so very wrong. Although they were filled with passion for their lifetime together, they brought with them additional ingredients. Their upbringing, belief systems, education and culture - all found cozy little spots in the home they shared together. Perhaps even lifetimes of trauma and ignorance sharing this beautiful couples shoes, and sitting with them for their morning coffee. But this is one of the wonderful things about marriage. It's a relationship of dancing around scabs until the love switches gears - and the only way to move forward is to heal instead of avoid. 

It's hard to believe sometimes that the girl in this story is me. My family has been through so much. Undocumented pain and growth has forced an evolution. I'm happy to be a non-conformist who follows heart over rules. I'll gladly be taking this even further, if it means true happiness and peace with who I really am and the legacy of my family. 

Where do the ingredients in your life come from? How does it taste to you? Is it infused with love? Or do you follow the recipe exactly - for fear that your own spice might not be as good as the one they told you to use? So much healing has graced my heart -  and healing will never stop. I will be altering the ingredients that fulfill me my whole life. And this comes from learning and letting go. 

I was reminded of this tonight because of the simplest thing. After a long day of lots of activity, learning and life - I placed my children's dinner on the picnic blanket on the living room floor and turned on a show. Yikes!! The younger me would have had an unnecessary dramatic reaction to this. Not because I cared either way if this is common practice for anyone else. But simply because it was placed in my belief system that in order to have a healthy family life - all members must sit down at a table together and enjoy dinner and conversation. This is one of the things I had always said my family must do. Why? Because society had placed the idea in me that if we didn't we would fail. Wow. Think about that for a moment. Who or what has the power to make anyone feel that bad about something so personal? Culture does. Culture is not necessarily a good thing. And that is the truth. 

Family dinners never really worked out for us. Not weekdays at least. I am perfectly ok with this fact now, but I realized tonight that it was the first time I had truly released all guilt about it. Husband is rarely home when the rest of us eat. He's working hard for the family he loves. Is there something wrong with that? No. Sometimes the boys and I eat dinner at the table, sometimes we park ourselves in the living room and melt. Still together not only surviving but thriving! Usually we eat lunch together - but always breakfast. This morning meal is when we thank the start of a new day. This is when we state our intentions and desires. Not talk about what's already done, but declare our wishes along with asking for support when we need to. This is our very own ingredient. This is our flavor. And to us - it tastes Divine. 

Find your way,

💚✨🦋 Jess

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