My Favorite Hashtag and Why I Continue to Use It

From Fear to Freedom
From Fear to Freedom GUIDE topaz enhance sharpen hiresDOWNLOAD GUIDE

When I was growing up, love was not a freely given gift but a commodity to be earned.

Now, that wasn't the experience of my younger sister, Linda, who was loved unconditionally. Was it because she was the youngest? Maybe. Was it because she was the most well-behaved? Hmm. I doubt it.

Linda was born into this world loved. Period. (And she attracted a man who loved her unconditionally too! Born into love and has always felt loved.) Amazing, right?!

(So, no, you're not crazy if your experience of your family is different than everyone else's. Just sayin')

My older sister, Cindy, and I were not treated the same way. We did everything we could to earn any tiny scrap of love we were given. And even after we earned it, that little moment of love could disappear in an instant, and often did.

As I entered my 20's, I couldn't shake the belief that I had to earn love which I translated into: I had to be perfect, accommodating, and better than everyone else.

You can guess I failed miserably.

But I didn't stop trying.

I just switched my target of love.

Instead of trying to feel loved by my family, which was a losing proposition, I turned my focus to men.

Maybe THEY would love me.

So I started dating, A LOT!

Sit down for this one...

Between the ages of 17 and 30 (when I met my now ex-husband), I dated more than 100 men. If I didn't feel loved by one, I'd go off and find someone else to love me. Yes, I was THAT desperate for love.

When I met my (ex-) husband, I felt saved from the revolving door of "Do you love me?"

But getting married, wasn't the cure-all I had hoped it would be. In fact, I still felt like I had to earn love.

  • Make pasta three times a week? Loved. (He was Italian!)
  • Be a sports widow? Loved.
  • Start my own business? Not Loved.
  • Gain weight? Not loved.
    And on it went...

Loved. Not Loved. Loved. Loved. Not Loved. Not Loved. And so on...

Now, you might be thinking this was all in my head. Maybe they did love me, and I just couldn't believe it, see it, or feel it. Could be.

Because even if that hunky guy says they love you...it doesn't mean - based on how you were raised or how you think about yourself (and no matter how hard you try) - you may not be able to take it in and believe them, even if you're dying to.

That's what kept happening to me.

Plenty told me they loved me, but it always felt conditional and, therefore, temporary, and that would make me feel exactly like I did growing up.

My conclusion: I must not be worth loving.

There was no getting around it; I was taught that I had to earn love if I was ever going to feel accepted, loved, or seen. And this belief drove me for decades.

Until it didn't. Until I decided something that changed my life for good.

The decision was a thought I'd been toying with for years, but for a long time, I just sat on my hands refusing to DECIDE to ACT to BELIEVE to TRUST.

It was a decision I refused to make.

But after another few more miserable years of not getting what I wanted and not feeling loved no matter what...

I finally had enough. I was willing to do whatever I had to do to change my life. (There was nowhere to go but up)

DECISION TIME.

I was finally on my knees, ready to do what was necessary to CLAIM my LIFE, LIVE my LIFE, LOVE my LIFE.

I decided I didn't want to think negative things about myself anymore or force myself to earn love anymore or keep feeling unlovable anymore.

Until I DECIDED to change how I thought about myself, I really didn't believe I had a choice. I really thought I had to keep earning love, and that was just the way it was.

But once I DECIDED I truly wanted to change the way I interacted with the world, I got to work.

I took one class after another, devoured books, and dove deep into spiritual practices and neuroscience.

I quickly realized that most people make the mistake of either leaning on their heart or leaning into their intellect. But one versus the other doesn't get you out of the bind but rather keeps you in it.

I knew I couldn't only lean on spirituality OR only on the psychological aspects of neuroscience and mindset. I had to live in the paradox of both. And to do that, I had to master fear (the thing I avoided naming and facing for so long.)

After a bunch of other things happened over a bunch of time, which I will share in future letters, I started to change.

  • I was no longer the girl who believed she wasn't worth loving.
  • I was no longer the girl who felt she couldn't get unstuck.
  • I was no longer the girl who didn't believe in herself.
  • I was no longer the girl hampered by her past.

My outsides had always tricked people into believing I was happier, healthier, and more awake than I was, but finally, I could say that my insides matched my outsides.

It was not only shocking how different I felt about myself and how I responded to the world, but it also shocked my family and anyone who knew me.

I didn't know back then how potent a decision could be.

So what are some of the decisions I made? (there I go again making decisions).

This allowed me to show up fully as me. Not hiding any part of me. Not ashamed of who I was or what I did. Not embarrassed by my past.

I quit trying to earn love but instead, decided to accept all the love that came my way.

I embraced my imperfections, my faults, and yes, my failures.

And yes, I had to do the work to change those thought patterns and become friends with fear to live a life of freedom.

When social media rolled into our lives, I created a handy hashtag to remind me that we are all human (including me!)

What was the hashtag I created?

#lovemeanyway

It was shorthand for: I'm not perfect. I make mistakes. Forgive me for being human. And yes, #lovemeanyway

I missed your birthday...#lovemeanyway
I showed up late for your important event...#lovemeanyway
I forgot about your surgery, your mother's illness, your brothers fall...#lovemeanyway
I didn't remember what you told me last week...#lovemeanyway

#lovemeanyway

You and I have been through enough crap, haven't we?

We've held ourselves to impossible standards and all because of the desire to be better. We did it for the right reasons, or so we thought, but if you're like me, those reasons don't work anymore.

They are too limiting. Too confining. Too suffocating. Even if people tell us we're amazing while we're doing all of that.

Psst. Other people's praise should not come at the expense of your soul.

So DECIDE to break free today.

Feel free to use my handy hashtag #lovemeanyway as your daily mantra for the next week to start to free yourself from any judgments and failures you're still carrying around.

#lovemeanyway

Go ahead, try it.

#lovemeanyway

Use it anytime when you're about to beat yourself up, blame yourself, or think you're anything less than beautiful.

DECIDE to practice it. DECIDE to believe it.

And I promise, I will #loveyouanyway

From Fear to Freedom
From Fear to Freedom GUIDE topaz enhance sharpen hiresDOWNLOAD GUIDE

When I was growing up, love was not a freely given gift but a commodity to be earned.

Now, that wasn't the experience of my younger sister, Linda, who was loved unconditionally. Was it because she was the youngest? Maybe. Was it because she was the most well-behaved? Hmm. I doubt it.

Linda was born into this world loved. Period. (And she attracted a man who loved her unconditionally too! Born into love and has always felt loved.) Amazing, right?!

(So, no, you're not crazy if your experience of your family is different than everyone else's. Just sayin')

My older sister, Cindy, and I were not treated the same way. We did everything we could to earn any tiny scrap of love we were given. And even after we earned it, that little moment of love could disappear in an instant, and often did.

As I entered my 20's, I couldn't shake the belief that I had to earn love which I translated into: I had to be perfect, accommodating, and better than everyone else.

You can guess I failed miserably.

But I didn't stop trying.

I just switched my target of love.

Instead of trying to feel loved by my family, which was a losing proposition, I turned my focus to men.

Maybe THEY would love me.

So I started dating, A LOT!

Sit down for this one...

Between the ages of 17 and 30 (when I met my now ex-husband), I dated more than 100 men. If I didn't feel loved by one, I'd go off and find someone else to love me. Yes, I was THAT desperate for love.

When I met my (ex-) husband, I felt saved from the revolving door of "Do you love me?"

But getting married, wasn't the cure-all I had hoped it would be. In fact, I still felt like I had to earn love.

  • Make pasta three times a week? Loved. (He was Italian!)
  • Be a sports widow? Loved.
  • Start my own business? Not Loved.
  • Gain weight? Not loved.
    And on it went...

Loved. Not Loved. Loved. Loved. Not Loved. Not Loved. And so on...

Now, you might be thinking this was all in my head. Maybe they did love me, and I just couldn't believe it, see it, or feel it. Could be.

Because even if that hunky guy says they love you...it doesn't mean - based on how you were raised or how you think about yourself (and no matter how hard you try) - you may not be able to take it in and believe them, even if you're dying to.

That's what kept happening to me.

Plenty told me they loved me, but it always felt conditional and, therefore, temporary, and that would make me feel exactly like I did growing up.

My conclusion: I must not be worth loving.

There was no getting around it; I was taught that I had to earn love if I was ever going to feel accepted, loved, or seen. And this belief drove me for decades.

Until it didn't. Until I decided something that changed my life for good.

The decision was a thought I'd been toying with for years, but for a long time, I just sat on my hands refusing to DECIDE to ACT to BELIEVE to TRUST.

It was a decision I refused to make.

But after another few more miserable years of not getting what I wanted and not feeling loved no matter what...

I finally had enough. I was willing to do whatever I had to do to change my life. (There was nowhere to go but up)

DECISION TIME.

I was finally on my knees, ready to do what was necessary to CLAIM my LIFE, LIVE my LIFE, LOVE my LIFE.

I decided I didn't want to think negative things about myself anymore or force myself to earn love anymore or keep feeling unlovable anymore.

Until I DECIDED to change how I thought about myself, I really didn't believe I had a choice. I really thought I had to keep earning love, and that was just the way it was.

But once I DECIDED I truly wanted to change the way I interacted with the world, I got to work.

I took one class after another, devoured books, and dove deep into spiritual practices and neuroscience.

I quickly realized that most people make the mistake of either leaning on their heart or leaning into their intellect. But one versus the other doesn't get you out of the bind but rather keeps you in it.

I knew I couldn't only lean on spirituality OR only on the psychological aspects of neuroscience and mindset. I had to live in the paradox of both. And to do that, I had to master fear (the thing I avoided naming and facing for so long.)

After a bunch of other things happened over a bunch of time, which I will share in future letters, I started to change.

  • I was no longer the girl who believed she wasn't worth loving.
  • I was no longer the girl who felt she couldn't get unstuck.
  • I was no longer the girl who didn't believe in herself.
  • I was no longer the girl hampered by her past.

My outsides had always tricked people into believing I was happier, healthier, and more awake than I was, but finally, I could say that my insides matched my outsides.

It was not only shocking how different I felt about myself and how I responded to the world, but it also shocked my family and anyone who knew me.

I didn't know back then how potent a decision could be.

So what are some of the decisions I made? (there I go again making decisions).

This allowed me to show up fully as me. Not hiding any part of me. Not ashamed of who I was or what I did. Not embarrassed by my past.

I quit trying to earn love but instead, decided to accept all the love that came my way.

I embraced my imperfections, my faults, and yes, my failures.

And yes, I had to do the work to change those thought patterns and become friends with fear to live a life of freedom.

When social media rolled into our lives, I created a handy hashtag to remind me that we are all human (including me!)

What was the hashtag I created?

#lovemeanyway

It was shorthand for: I'm not perfect. I make mistakes. Forgive me for being human. And yes, #lovemeanyway

I missed your birthday...#lovemeanyway
I showed up late for your important event...#lovemeanyway
I forgot about your surgery, your mother's illness, your brothers fall...#lovemeanyway
I didn't remember what you told me last week...#lovemeanyway

#lovemeanyway

You and I have been through enough crap, haven't we?

We've held ourselves to impossible standards and all because of the desire to be better. We did it for the right reasons, or so we thought, but if you're like me, those reasons don't work anymore.

They are too limiting. Too confining. Too suffocating. Even if people tell us we're amazing while we're doing all of that.

Psst. Other people's praise should not come at the expense of your soul.

So DECIDE to break free today.

Feel free to use my handy hashtag #lovemeanyway as your daily mantra for the next week to start to free yourself from any judgments and failures you're still carrying around.

#lovemeanyway

Go ahead, try it.

#lovemeanyway

Use it anytime when you're about to beat yourself up, blame yourself, or think you're anything less than beautiful.

DECIDE to practice it. DECIDE to believe it.

And I promise, I will #loveyouanyway

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