Car Declarations

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Yesterday I made the drive out to the desert to see my family, a quick return after just being out here a few weeks ago. The two hour commute has become somewhat of a sacred ritual for me – a time to go on autopilot as I head to my happy place, allowing my mind to process and dream and pray for those two precious hours I get alone in the car.

I’m a daydreamer by nature, which has led to equal amounts of pain and joy in my life. I’m trying to re-write the belief I hold that all the daydreaming I’ve done has been harmful, and instead believe that it’s actually a lovely gift of mine, to have the ability to imagine and dream up beautiful things. But in the moments where it does more harm than good and leads me down a path of longing rather than progress, I’m aware of how I need to catch the spiraling dreams and gently keep them at bay.

In this particular daydream session, one falling under the broader category of “Things I Would Love to Hear From Elevated Importance Person,” I imagined receiving a text message filled with words I longed to hear – ones that would make me feel particularly seen and loved and validated.

Lately these have been less frequent and more easily contained, so I noted the surprising appearance of this one. Before mentally getting to the end of said desired-yet-non-existent-text-message, I cut my brain off and took a step back. Why do I need to hear these words from this particular person? What is it that I’m really looking for or seeking in that exchange? What is it that I’m not already believing about myself that hearing from an outside source would “change” in my mind?

It’s interesting how even when we feel especially confident or proud of our own decisions or life, there’s still something about hearing those feelings echoed in the voice of someone we love and admire that holds so much weight. The problem is, all the outside validation in the world doesn’t end up changing the core truths about who we are and the work we’re doing if it’s coming from a true and inspired place.

I realized I must be needing my own dose of validation and affirmation for the path I’m on and the work I’m doing at this point in my life. So in a tender and awkward gesture of self-love, I began speaking the words I longed to hear out loud in the car, to myself, drenched in tears. Highlighting just the big-picture parts of it, it went a little something like this:

“Sara I’m so proud of you.

You are brave.

You are doing good things.

Don’t stop.”

And in a weird and beautiful way, I was able to accept my own words, feeling as grateful and full as if this notification had just popped up on my phone. I think I maybe even uttered a tearful “Thank you” back to myself.

Affirmations from others are wonderful and important and can be so helpful and encouraging. But there’s nothing quite like hearing the words you need to hear from your own precious voice. So write or speak out the text message you’re waiting on. It will feel awkward but oh-so-sweet to give yourself that gift.