It’s been quite some time since I’ve had a guest contributor write on our home page. Sorry I’ve been hogging up all the space as of late.
Interestingly enough, this post by proud HWC member and author, Christine St. Vil, was written prior to me leaving on sabbatical in August and has been waiting to be read by you ever since.
When reading it, I was reminded of a conversation I had last week with organizers for an event I was asked to speak at next year with 550,000 women (yes, there really is a an event in the US that over 500,000 women attend annually).
Although they initially inquired about me speaking solely to those married or engaged), there were two things I told them I’d also love to share with the single women attending:
1) Don’t settle.
2) Go after your personal dreams before and after you say “I do.”
That message isn’t just for single women, however. It’s also for us. Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean.
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!
Not long ago I was living the definition of insanity. You know, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?
In my instance the insanity was staying in my corporate job even though it was literally making me sick (anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and having Braxton Hicks contractions early in my pregnancy). But in my mind, I thought that I needed to just stick it out…that things would eventually get better. Well, after three years on the job, they only continued to get worse.
Three years ago, I did the scariest thing I had ever done in my life. I walked away from my corporate job when I was almost seven months pregnant with our third child…no plan B, no emergency fund, nothing. After several months of agonizing over the decision (my husband was very supportive of me leaving), I realized that keeping my sanity and preserving the health of my unborn child was going to take a leap of faith.
While I thought I knew beforehand, at that particular moment I was clueless as to what it meant to find and walk in my purpose. Nor, did I think it had anything to do with my marriage. And it wasn’t until nearly a year after I left, that I realized God needed to get me away from all of the distractions in order for me to clearly see my purpose. Leaving my job was the only way I was able to shut out the noise in order to uncover my own purpose in life.
I’ve talked about the importance of being a happy wife and how it starts with you. But part of being a happy wife is understanding what makes you happy? Who is the happy, motivated and care-free person you used to be before you were married? (Or if you were never there, then that’s a whole other post for a different day.) How do you take time out to celebrate yourself? How do you take time out to spend on cultivating your goals and dreams?
What I learned was that not being fulfilled was a big factor in my lack of happiness. I wasn’t unhappy with my husband or in my marriage. But because I wasn’t happy in general, it began to manifest in my marriage. Looking back, I’m just glad I married a man with eternal patience and mercy.
In my new book, Whose Shoes Are You Wearing: 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be, I talk about the importance of finding your God-given “shoes,” your purpose. Here are 4 ways uncovering your purpose benefits your marriage:
1. It allowed me to dream again. I didn’t really understand what it meant to “dream big” before I took that leap of faith three years ago. But now, I have daily conversations with my husband on what our dreams are for our future and our family. I fall in love again with my marriage on a daily basis.
2. It caused me to take better care of myself. In order to find my purpose, I had to get back to loving myself, which meant taking better care of myself. And in doing so, my husband and I take better care of each other. We spend more time on loving and less time on fussing. He sees the passion I have for what I do, and in turn, it ignites a fire in him.
3. It taught me how to say ‘No’. Just recently, I was given the opportunity to spend an evening with some amazing celebrities (all of whom I am a fan of) and get VIP access for backstage interviews. The only problem was it was a very last minute invite and it would’ve meant even more time away from the family evening that was already planned. Three years ago, I would’ve jumped at the chance and not given it a second thought. But I could tell that although he would never tell me not to go, my husband was happy that I said “thanks but no thanks”. When you understand your purpose, you understand that opportunities will always present themselves.
4. It helped me to look better. Uncovering my purpose allowed me to get back to taking care of my external presence. I don’t know about you, but when I look good, I feel good. Loving who I am on the outside is just as important as loving who I am on the inside. And of course, the starstruck gazes from my husband only magnifies the “feel good” feeling.
I figured out that I had to learn how to put myself back at the top of my list of priorities. Some may call it selfish but I call it self-love and self-care. You have to be comfortable and happy in your own shoes in order to be fully comfortable and happy in your marriage.
Now that I’ve finally found my shoes by uncovering my purpose, I know I’m a better and happier person. My husband supports me and my heart melts when he tells me how proud he is of me. He sees how happy I am which only makes him happier.
How has walking “in your own shoes” strengthened your marriage?
THE NEW YORK TIMES® BEST-SELLING BOOK: It’s been described as, “Like Eat, Pray, Love but not down on marriage.” Make sure to check out the Happy Wives Club book. I had the great honor of traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, with 1 mission only: to find out what makes marriages happy…and keeps them that way. It’s a marriage book like none other. Guaranteed.