“Words – If You Say Them, Mean Them”

I’m the ultimate “word girl.” Words are important to me, especially the words someone I love speaks to me, whether it’s a friend, family member or significant other. Yet throughout my life I’ve come to believe that words only mean something if the person saying them has the actions to back them up. Actions do speak louder than words and it’s the actions that make the words true…or not.

If you make a committment, keep it.

If you make a promise, don’t break it.

If you say “I love you” to someone be sure they can feel it every single day.

If you say your care about someone’s feelings, don’t hurt them.

If you say you’ll be there, be there.

If you say that you’re a friend, be one.

If you tell someone that they’re important to you, make them a priority.

And most importantly, if you’re going to say any words at all, mean them.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“It’s Your Own Fault”

~This is an excerpt from my new book, “My Collective Soul,” which will be released in Octover of 2017~

shoot 25

 

We live in a time of blaming others for our shortcomings. It’s easier to blame someone else than to take our accountability for our actions. I see it all the time. People living less of the life they want and pointing the finger at everyone else. They blame others; they say it’s someone else’s fault; they don’t know how to stand in their own truth.

And they do that because it’s easier to blame someone else than to look in the mirror and claim our part in what makes us unhappy.

No one wants to look in the mirror. It’s the mirror of our face, our shortcomings, our faults, our weaknesses, yet what most people don’t understand is that it’s also the mirror of our strength, of our successes, of our truth.

Most people fear the mirror because they don’t always like what they see, yet what you see is what you can change, if you choose to. What we see is our soul and our heart and if you can’t come to terms to accept what you see, then you, my friends, have the right to change it.

You were gifted the ability to change in yourself and your life what you don’t like. If you look in the mirror and see a weakness then go out and strengthen it. If you look in the mirror and see your faults then change it and see your strengths. If you look in the mirror and see and ugly person then change it to make yourself beautiful, and I don’t mean in looks.

Our hearts dictate our beauty. Our hearts allow the outside world to see who we are. Our hearts are the keepers of our secrets, and they also hold the keeper of our truth.

Let it out.

Look in the mirror and yourself and see your beauty. See your strengths, see your accomplishments, see all that you endured, see your illness, see your broken marriage or relationship, see the pain and the hurt.

See it all…

And then look again.

Look at YOU.

Stare at yourself for as long as you need to.

And within a few minutes your face will look different; your demeanor will change; your soul and heart will start to break through the negative sight of what you see and show you the light.

Let it.

Let go.

And know that all that stuff that happened to you is simply that: stuff. Let it go. And accept that anything that happenened to you was meant to. It was a lesson from your Higher Power to stop and take a look at your life; to take a look at yourself.

We all have a hand in our life. We love to blame everyone else, yet it takes two people to argue; two to fight; two to find love and two to end it. It takes two people to have an affair and two people to join together in marriage.

Stop blaming and take a step back.

Look in that mirror, point the finger at yourself and say: “It’s your own fault.”

And then forgive yourself for not being perfect, because you’re not supposed to be. You’re supposed to be human. You’re supposed to make mistakes, and you’re supposed to learn from them.

You’re supposed to feel pain so that you can feel happiness.

You’re supposed to give freedom for your heart to break so that you can learn how to heal it.

You’re supposed to fail at some things so that you can succeed at what you were meant to.

You’re supposed to cry so that you can smile.

You’re supposed to end a relationship so that you can begin another one.

You’re supposed to be human.

You see, you are amazing. You are an incredible individual and no one else is like you. We all have faults and that’s okay because the right friend or partner will love you for them. We all fall and we all can get up and we can get up stronger.

We all can make a choice; we all can take a chance; we all can fall deep down to the bottom.

And you can choose to get up.

So pick yourself up and get it right. Straighten up and straighten up. You can do it because I have. I’ve fallen so deep throughout my life that I couldn’t see the sun. I’ve been so weak that I lost sight of what strength felt like. I felt so alone that I forgot what love was.

And then I looked in the mirror.

I looked long and hard, and at first I didn’t like what I saw.

But I kept looking.

And within a few minutes I saw a girl who was simply broken from all that life had handed her. I looked her hard straight in her eyes and saw something that she didn’t: her will.

I wanted to be strong, I wanted to be better, I wanted a different life.

I kept looking at this girl who had become a stranger to me and felt compassion for her, and in that moment I realized I was feeling compassion for myself.

So I forgave myself for everything.

I knew it was my fault because I allowed it all to happen.

But as I looked at her in the mirror I let it gave, told her I loved her, and changed my life in that moment, just like that.

She changed.

She became strong.

She believed in herself.

She loved herself.

And no matter what was her fault, she forgave it all.

And she forgave all the people that were a part of it.

And she cried tears of sadness as she let go and tears of happiness as she stood in her truth.

And all was right with her world.

And never again would she say “it’s your own fault” because she would never allow it to be.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“On The Outside Looking In”

invisible me 3

There are times in my life when I feel like I’m on the outside looking in and I know in my heart that it’s okay to feel that way, because:

“Sometimes you need to step outside of your life in order to see what’s inside of it”.

Do you ever find yourself getting lost in the midst of your day to day routine? Getting lost among your loved ones, finding yourself wondering who you are anymore? Are you a mom, a wife, a “life partner?” And where are “you?” Where did you go?

It’s not a conscious decision to be on the outside. It just happens. One day you wake up and don’t feel like yourself; you feel like you’re “on the outside looking in.” At least for me that’s how it happens. And there’s no time frame for it; you feel that way for as long as it takes to see and learn what you need to, and it could be a day or two, or longer.

Sometimes amidst the routine of loving and caring for my nearest and dearest I suddenly find myself wondering where I went to…where am I in all this. It seems like everything is about everybody else, but not me.

I feel like no one notices me unless they need something, and tempers are shortened when I’m not doing what I should be…for them. I spoiled them by doing it all, and I love doing it all, but I also love being loved and cared for by THEM. I want them to spoil me just a bit, I want them to notice my feelings, I want them to reassure me of their love and commitment to me as much as I do to them. I don’t want to be taken for granted.

Yet on the other hand, I believe that being on the “outside” is most often times the only way we can observe our life; it’s the one way we can be objective by looking in from the outside at each person and each situation; it’s the best way we can see what is or isn’t and learn from it.

It’s the best way to see ourselves objectively.

And that’s when the lessons are learned.

We observe the behavior of others towards us; we see how they’re treating us and how we’re reacting to it. We see what the truth of our relationships are and what they aren’t. We see our strengths and our weaknesses, and we can see whether or not we’re speaking our truth.

Often times we find ourselves on the outside when we’re holding too much inside; we’re not speaking our truth for fear of the outcome. It’s that fear thing holding us back and keeping us on the outside.

I’m looking from the outside at all the excitement everyone around me is having; new adventures, exciting opportunities, and movement, yet I’m not a part of it. I’m here, in a life of laundry and cooking, responsibility and reality.

I’m looking at this girl I once knew who had one adventure after another, more excitement than she knew what to do, and an appetite for life and all it had to offer. Life slowed down on her, and she stepped back and she stepped into solitude; the woman who’s life revolves around every one else’s became invisible to those she loved most.

Yet, it was her fault. She allowed it, she contributed to it, and by not speaking her truth, those around her never knew how she was feeling. She had hoped that they would; but they didn’t. And I guess in the end,  it doesn’t matter, because that’s what being on the outside is about, and she knows that it’s up to her to get back to the inside.

So, here I sit on the outside, observing, making decisions, and making big changes. I want those adventures again; I want to feel the excitement of my passion again; I want to be me again.

And so I will. I believe that everything happens for a reason, even being on the outside, and once I  get back to the inside I feel that my life will be even better than it is now.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

outside looking in

“Love Them Enough To Let Them Go”

Two of my children moved across the country, and people always ask me how I manage missing them and not having them home for every holiday. My answer is this: I love themkids1 enough to let them go.

I’ve learned a thing or two raising five kids in the last 28 years and learning to let them go without a struggle, or  too many tears, or guilt is one of the biggest ones.

No one said it was easy, but it does get easier as you learn how to do it and I’ll tell you this, my kids are thankful that I’ve learned how to do it. My one son told me that he couldn’t do “at home” what he could accomplish across the country. He told me that the best thing I did for him was to let him go and do it on his own. And he did, and I’m so proud of him for it.

What I had to learn is that as much as I want to protect them and shelter them from the craziness of the world, I can’t. They’ll never learn what they need to learn; they’ll never make mistakes that will become valuable lessons for them; and most importantly, they’ll never learn how to stand on their own and be strong.

I realized that I had to learn from my own mistakes and I shouldn’t interfere with their free will to do the same. It’s a simple concept, yet hard to do, but if you truly want the best for your child, you have to love them enough to let them go. And trust me, they always come back.

It’s a funny thing: love travels across the miles with them, and their love for me travels back. Love can’t be taken from them, love goes with them.

I didn’t learn this lesson overnight, as my oldest son would tell you, but as the years passed my faith in them increased. I knew I had taught them right from wrong, and one day they’d have to take all I taught them and do it on their own. And I’m proud to say that they’re all doing pretty well!

I see so many parents struggle with letting their kids go, enabling bad behaviors, doing everything for them that these kids grow into adults who don’t know how to do anything for themselves. They don’t know how to cook, clean, do laundry; they don’t know how to battle their own demons because someone does it for them. They don’t know how to grow up because someone won’t let them. They don’t know how to take responsibility for their actions because someone is always making excuses for them.

And that’s the worst thing you could do to your child.

kids2I’ve been a mom for almost 28 years and have loved every minute of it (well, most every minute of it!) It was so much easier when they were younger and thought everything we said was truth; when we could simply kiss a boo-boo and make it go away; that loving them was enough for them.

And then they grow older and challenge what we say; broken hearts replace simple boo-boo’s that we can’t kiss away; and loving them suddenly doesn’t seem like enough. They want our love, yet they also want the freedom to live their life the way they want to, not the way we had hoped.

They want the right to do it on their own, learn their own lessons, and make their own mistakes, and if you can’t love them enough to let them go, they’ll do all those things but come crying back to you to fix it when it goes wrong…and you can’t do that. Why?

Because then you become an enabler, and an enabler does so because they can’t control their own life, and if you really love your child, why would you enable them? Why would you enable their bad behavior? Why would you enable them to stay dependent on you?

I know, it’s a slippery slope, but I know from my own experience as a parent that the best thing I could have ever done for my kids is to “love them enough to let them go;” love them enough to live their life the way they want; love them enough to make their own mistakes and learn from them.

I miss my  three older kids who are scattered throughout the country, but I know they’re happy, living their dreams, and doing well. And isn’t that what any parent wants?

I’d rather take the hurt of missing them than put guilt on them for living far away.

As long as they’re happy, I’m happy.

And they were very happy that I was the kind of mom who could “love them enough to let them go.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Then and Now”