It is 25 days before my wedding day and I am feeling full of the love and support of the many women in my life. Last night, I had a bridal shower/bachelorette that was organized by my maid of honor and another really good friend. Both of these women are phenomenal in my book, but they are also emotionally supportive and always help put things in perspective for me. They also (always) take the time to tell me what they love about me and why they think I am important to them. As you get closer to your wedding day, it is important for you to surround yourself with people who cheer you on, and to soak up all the love and adoration that you can. This is the time to know what you do well, to claim it, and to receive all the support you can get to keep being so fabulous.
Let me break it down a bit more here. We live in a society that is often very emotionally confusing when it comes to taking responsibility for our actions. On the one hand, committing a crime can land you in jail for a long time, but on the other hand you can move to a new and bigger city to get away from taking any responsibility for the emotional bridges you burned with loved ones. Yep, it’s kind of crazy but it’s the world we live in.
Remember what I said about an emotionally sustainable wedding? It’s a wedding that allows you to go through your range of emotions, recycle anything that can be reused for the good of everyone involved (including yourself), and let go of the things that are nothing but emotional waste. It’s easier said than done, but I need you to listen very carefully.
The first step to having an emotionally sustainable wedding is understanding your value and taking credit and responsibility for the things you do very well.
How come it’s so easy for many of us to talk about how we are not great parents, friends, cooks, partners, etc. It’s fair to know and acknowledge what you are not so good at in this lifetime, but then after doing that why don’t you name all the things you do well.
Here are thing things I do really well. Actually, I don’t just do them well. I am actually a ROCKSTAR when it comes to the following:
1. I am a great cook.
2. I have the emotional capacity to love people deeply and dearly and to let them know they are loved by me.
3. I am a bad ass educator. I still have some of my student’s in my life, and it means the world to me when they show up and let me know how much my presence in their life impacted them.
4. I am a good listener.
5. I am not only good at listening, but I am really good at reflecting back to the other person what I think I am hearing them say.
6. I am pretty good at receiving compliments and praise. I do not dismiss them or pretend what someone is saying and acknowledging about me is not true.
7. I am also pretty good at being accountable for my actions by listening to others who need to express their criticism or feedback about my actions towards them or others and how they were affected by it.
8. I am good at drawing boundaries, especially with my family of origin.
9. I am really good at being a “connector” and bringing people together who I believe need to meet and “connect.”
10. I am extremely resourceful, and do a pretty great job with this. Instead of saying, “I can’t do this or afford that”, I figure out how to get what I need.
11. I am a really good giver and receiver. I love to give to the people in my life, but I also enjoy and am able to let people give to me. This one comes in handy when you are planning your wedding!
12. I love to laugh and I do it really well. I need to express this one, especially because while growing up my family always told me not to smile because they said I had crooked teeth. Well, I never got braces and my smile and laugh brings me joy and gets other people laughing as well. Friends tell me how much they love my smile and my laugh, and I am grateful to them for reminding me of this.
So far, this is my list. I will think more about it, and add more and share this list with you as I continue this blog. I encourage you to make your own list.
In order to understand your value, you need to make your own list of the things you are really good at. Try and get as specific as possible. If you are having a difficult time coming up with your list, ask your friends to help you!
Once you make this list, you can then step back, look at it and keep it tucked in your purse or pocket throughout this process. If you come from a dysfunctional family, then you might need to remember that you are a really great friend, especially when some aunt of yours reminds you that you always flake and were never good at doing things for your family. This is not the case for all weddings, but I want you to walk away from this day with as much joy as you can muster.
So, make your list and refer to it as often as needed. Stay tuned for An Emotionally Sustainable Wedding Part 3!