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Mamia. Daughter of the King. Leadership enthusiast. Family first. #MomBoss Proverbs 17:1

Empower Your Inner CEO – How to Lead When You Have No Authority

You have people skills. You were bossy as a kid and that has translated into self-confidence. You are bold and assertive – unafraid to speak up. You don’t seek the approval of others. You are good at being in control and it’s easy for you to step in where you are needed. You want to lead people to be successful, but…you’re not the boss. So now what?

With intention, dedication and practice, you can develop and hone your natural leadership skills to empower your inner CEO and open up a world of career (and life) possibilities!

Be your own best example. 

Closely watch people in positions of authority whom you respect and want to emulate. What are their values? What are their habits? How do they treat people around them? Decide what being a leader looks like, and start doing those things.

Cultivate relationships.

Put your people skills to use. If you work in an office environment, get to know everyone you come into contact with. The door man, the security guard, parking lot attendants — all the way up to the executive level. Be visible and be authentic in your interest and care for people.

If you work remotely, get out of your space. Attend networking events and grow your circle of influence. Introduce people you meet to others and help them grow their circles, too.

Find a mentor.

Reach out to someone within your organization that you look up to – preferably someone who can introduce you to people at the top. Take an interest in them and ask them questions about their careers and ambitions. Ask them about the struggles they’ve had and how they have overcome. Share with them your goals and ask for feedback and suggestions.

Become an expert.

No matter what your job or task is, do it exceptionally. Be the person that others go to when they need help. Change with your environment and stay ahead of trends by learning from leaders in your field. Read books, listen to podcasts and practice new and better ways to get your job done.

Be an encourager.

Make a decision not to talk about people. Earn trust and respect by not participating in gossip. Have a positive impact on your company culture.

Observe the people around you and compliment them when you see them doing something well. Highlight their skills and talents to their peers and their supervisors.

Collaborate with individuals and teams rather than competing over tasks, projects, and accounts.

Commit to better communication.

In a modern world full of jargon and emoticons where people struggle more and more to connect with one another, make it a point to communicate well. Take time to think about what you want to say in a way it will be well received. Listen with the intent to understand the perspective of others. In person, make eye contact and avoid distractions (emails, texts, social media notifications). If what you have to say is written, read it several times before hitting send. Read it as though you are on the receiving end.

Confront conflict well.

In every situation, remain grounded, calm and in control (of your reactions). Breathe before you speak – it will almost always slow things down and diffuse volatile situations. Have a sense of humor and be able to see the brevity in everything. Remember not to take things personally!

Be brave enough to hear feedback.

Be brave enough to offer feedback, as long as it’s helpful.

Own your mistakes.

Be a person who can be held accountable. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Not only admit to the fault, but apologize authentically and do what it takes to make up for it. If you can correct something, do it. If you can’t, work hard to earn back any trust you have lost.

Lastly, repeat.

Growth as a leader, if you are serious about it and committed to it, never stops.

“Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself. After you become a leader, success is about growing others.” – Jack Welch (CEO, General Electric)

Over time, people will see that you are set apart. They will see that you are focused, consistent and go out of your way for the good of the organization and those around you. Step up, step out and lead.

Lessons from Brene: Living into your Values

It’s not an unfamiliar word. Like, at all. There’s no way to go through life without hearing the word values. But, full transparency, I never truly thought about what it actually means until I read (um, listened to) “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown.

Until recently, values to me just meant things I believe in, things that are important to me. How to treat people. Don’t steal. Don’t be mean. Do the right thing.

Not even close. It’s way more specific than that. So specific, in fact, that I’m almost positive the ones I have aligned with and chosen to “live into” may change with the seasons of my life. Or at the very least, morph into newer and more updated versions of the original. But this exercise has been fruitful for me. To really evaluate what matters and how those things should impact how I treat myself and others – how I lead. Most importantly, I’ve come to understand that the values I’m about to share and explore with you are a work in progress in my life. I can’t live them out perfectly all the time with everyone. So for starters, if you choose to go down this path, give yourself permission to flop. Because you will. Just commit to practicing – values are a thing you align with and then practice. Every. Day.

You ready? Start here. And know that if you are planning on having “work values” and “real life values” as separate entities, you have to start over. The first part of this process is knowing that you are you no matter where you are.

Next step is to narrow it down. The linked list above has 100 values on it! It’s slightly overwhelming and may require several rounds of narrowing. Keep in mind, too, that some words/values that resonate with you may fit nicely together in a sweet package allowing you to cheat a little if there are some you just can’t overlook. End goal? Shoot for two.

So many considerations and situations were swarming around my brain when I began this process. Experiences in my career, both good and bad. My life as a mother. What I want to communicate to and accomplish with my son. Relationships I’ve had, and maybe still have – where I have been the jerk or been jerked on by someone else. Church life. Home life. What I want and who I want to be in the future. It’s all in here. In the two little words I’m about to break down.

Courage:

The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.

That quality of mind which enables one to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits; valor; boldness; bravery; spirit; daring; resolution.

Authenticity:

The quality or condition of being authentic, trustworthy, or genuine.

Genuineness; the quality of being genuine or not corrupted from the original.

Truthfulness of origins, attributions, commitments, sincerity, and intentions.

Courage for me personally is not living life without fear – it’s living life in spite of fear. This journey we are on is hard. And sometimes? Incredible amounts of fear, maybe even terror, show up and you have got to know who you are and how to get to the other side. That’s when courage is so essential. It’s owning the fear and stepping through it bravely – knowing that making the right choices, the hard choices will bring you to the other side of challenges with confidence and Hope in what’s to come.

Courage for me is also stepping outside of my comfort zone with the intent to learn, understand and/or grow. The courage to be curious and ask questions. The courage to be vulnerable and connect with people on a deeper level. The courage to listen to and accept feedback. The courage to think independently. The courage to stand up for what is Good and Right and True. Not all of these comes easily or naturally to me, but I’m committed to them.

My desire to live into authenticity stems from my passion to find the truth in all things. I strive to know myself fully so that the person I present to the world is aligned with the person I wake up with every morning. (That’s me.) Not to be predictable in a boring sense, but that I can be counted on by myself and others.

Authenticity to me is knowing who I am, what I believe and why – so that my words and actions speak directly to my character. I have experienced so often in my life people who are tragically unresolved for fear that what they think or feel may differ from those they accompany. They fear exclusion. They desperately want to belong. Personally, I choose to be true to who I am in order to find acceptance and love. Genuine connection only comes when two people are completely honest with themselves and each other.

“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

― Brené Brown

I set out to read some books about leadership. To learn some hacks to pass onto my readers and clients. To get some ideas for content. But what I took away was a new vision for my life. A new perspective on what it means to have and hold values. To own them, make them mine, live them out – knowing that when I don’t live up to them, I can just keep practicing.

Confessions of a Recovering Sales Rep: Don’t Stay Stuck – Beat the Slump!

Some say there is no such thing as a slump. Perhaps it depends on how you define the thing. It can show its ugly self in so many ways throughout your sales career. Maybe you can’t uncover new opportunities no matter how hard you try. Maybe you can’t expand your existing accounts no matter how much value you show your clients. Maybe you are shy of your quota and you have no idea how to drum up enough revenue to reach your goal. Maybe you’re just plain tired.

No matter what it is or how it looks for you, take a deep breath, pour yourself another cup of coffee and come along.

Know Your Why

We spend so much time as sales professionals trying to uncover the why with our customers and prospects, but you have one, too. And it’s time to revisit it. Maybe even change it. Give it a makeover.

Review your goals – not your company goals, but your personal goals. Remind yourself where you want to be next year, in five years, even in ten years. Break it down into three categories: personal, financial, and tangible (think toys, cars, new clothes, etc.).

Sit and dream about all that for a few minutes while you sip your coffee. Better yet, self-actualize all of it.

Get Basic

You are probably stretched so thin each and every day, feeling like you will never get everything accomplished. There are more and more fires to put out every time you think you have your day managed. But take some time to review the “simple” parts of your job and make them a priority.

You need to make x calls per week. You need to schedule x meetings per week. You need to do x demos per week. None of that happens without your initiative. Take it one piece at a time, one day at a time, one hour at a time. Small wins with the basics will propel you toward the other side of the doldrums.

When these simple tasks become a habit, you know that you are always working on your pipeline and your slumps will become fewer and farther between.

Lift the Weight

Yup, the phone is so heavy when you are slumping. But likely, it’s your only way out. Try this suggestion on for size: call someone else. If you feel like you are calling the same people over and over again from your lists, from your CRM, etc. and you are tired of hearing their voice on their outgoing message – call someone else!

Research contacts from within the same companies you’ve been calling on. Maybe they have a similar title. Maybe they are lower or higher on the food chain. Get into a dialogue with someone! Learn all you can about a target.

Research brand new companies. Branch out with your calling campaign an engage your brain while you do it. Expand your search to include competitors of your targets, other companies that touch the industry you sell into. Get creative and shake things up a bit. Slumps sometimes come with simply being bored.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison

Remember what gets you up in the morning, stick to daily habits, and pick up the phone. It won’t be heavy for long.

Confessions of a Recovering Sales Rep: Making the Most of the Monday Morning Meeting

Okay, so maybe it doesn’t happen on Monday. But you know what I’m talking about. That hour of your week where you have to explain to your manager everything you are working on, what you expect to close, and why you aren’t exactly hitting your numbers. (Even if you are hitting your numbers, this is still relevant. Keep reading!)

It’s something you all dread. No one likes to feel like they are being micro-managed or watched for any and every time they miss the mark. Why aren’t you prospecting for new business? Why aren’t you entering your notes into the CRM? Why isn’t your pipeline more robust?

What if, instead of viewing this hour of your week with dread and bated breath, you used it as an exercise for your own personal development? A roadmap for staying on task, thinking critically about your sales strategy, and filling your bank account with commission? Yup – sounds so good. Consider how awesome it would be if you were so proactive with your calendar and territory that your manager had nothing but praise for you on that Monday morning phone call.

Are you in?

The first thing you need to do, if you haven’t already done it, is take your annual goals and break them down by week. It will help to keep you focused and on track down to the granular details.

Review last week:

1.   Did you work towards getting additional business from any existing clients?

2.   Did you spend time prospecting in person or over the phone?

3.   Did you meet with anyone from your network to share referrals?

4.   Did you ask any of your clients for referrals?

5.   Did you use your time wisely to maintain your existing accounts and ensure your pipeline is full and moving?

Consider the new opportunities you uncovered last week and make sure you have a scheduled next step in place.

Consider both highlights from the week and things that were challenging as well.

Consider what you could have done better. Push yourself. Challenge yourself. (Imagine what you could do with an extra bonus…)

Prep next week:

1.   Decide which clients are ripe for additional business.

2.   Determine who you will target for new business development.

3.   Look through your network (LinkedIn) for people who sell something different into the same industries you do. Find time to buy them a cup of coffee…

4.   Plan for any upcoming meetings and sales calls. At a minimum, decide what you want to get out of those calls and ask questions to get you there.

5.   SCHEDULE YOUR TIME! Don’t go into your upcoming week without blocks of time for all critical activities.

Consider your overall goals for the upcoming week. Don’t limit yourself to number of dials, number of appointments, or number of orders. Think bigger. Do something that will make you a better sales professional.

Consider how many new opportunities you’d like to uncover and what it will take to make that happen.

Consider any challenges you might face and what you can do to plan for and mitigate them.

No sugar coating here. This takes some time. Especially the first time you sit down to do it. It does get easier. It will help you to think critically and be better positioned to build your network and fill your pipeline. Chances are you will close more deals and make more money.

And you know what else?

Those Monday morning meetings will be one of the best hours of your week.

Confessions of a Recovering Sales Rep: 5 Tips for a New Mindset

I’m not perfectly sure when it happened but it most certainly did. That moment when I decided that being just okay at a job was uncomfortable and not enough.

I have the need to sell. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. Whether it was peddling stationary door to door so I could save up and buy a bike, or selling grapefruit to raise money for a school trip, I’ve been in the business of filling a pipeline for many years. It was easy then; it’s gotten harder.

I have a firm handshake. I’m pretty likeable and can be outgoing. I don’t have much fear of rejection. I’m decent at overcoming objections. I’m not afraid to make a ton of phone calls. I like to think people trust me and buy from me because they know I’m not out to get them. I love commission checks. You know what all of this amounts to? A very average sales rep.

Anyone can establish rapport. Even if they’ve never read “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

Anyone can learn enough about a product so that they can do the features & benefits show for a customer or prospect.

Anyone can take on the book of business that’s been handed to them, wait for the phone to ring, and take credit for orders that would have come in anyway.

Here’s what I wasn’t doing. And you probably aren’t either.

  1. Lose Your Ego – I know you have to be confident. But I promise, you don’t know it all. And you haven’t mastered the sale. You probably have some great skills! But you can learn more. You can do more. Sales is constantly evolving and so is business. In order to remain relevant, you have to be willing and open to change. Criticism isn’t always fun, but when it’s constructive, it can propel you forward in awesome ways.
  2. Get Coached – You aren’t an athlete. (Well, maybe you are…) But coaching is critical no matter what. When you are too involved in a situation, it can be nearly impossible to see the forest through the trees. Talk about your deals with someone else. Maybe it’s your manager. Maybe it’s your spouse. Maybe it’s another rep. But allowing someone else a view into your opportunities may just give them some vision into what you may be missing.
  3. Own Your Calendar – You get pulled in so many different directions! You have to take care of your customers. I get it. But if you aren’t setting aside time for activities that will pay you more than you are currently making, you’re doing it wrong. Set aside time in your calendar every single week to prospect for new business. (Yes, I’m talking about making cold calls.) And then DON’T LET ANYTHING STEAL THAT TIME. Even if it’s only an hour a week (shame on you), you have to do it.
  4. Have a Plan – I’m not going to preach the old adage “fail to plan, plan to fail,” but… I’ve only recently learned how to plan my days, weeks, and even months. Without a plan, I find myself staring at a computer screen with no one to call, no one to coach and nothing to do. Figure out what you need to accomplish. Make a list. Review what you did the week before and be sure to fill in the gaps. Get to things you didn’t finish. Prioritize. (Clearing out your email box is not as important as you think it is.) If it’s in your plan, it remains top of mind and you are more likely to work diligently.
  5. Be Uncomfortable – We call it avoiding the warmth of the sun. Get out of your own way and allow yourself to grow. Allow yourself to fail. Afraid to call a CEO? Do it anyway. Afraid to go to business networking events? Do it anyway. Afraid to actually ask your prospect what their budget is? Do it anyway. Afraid talk with your boss or manager about how you can get better at your job? Do it anyway. I think you get the point…. Be brave. Take chances. Be more than you are in this moment.

It takes the right attitude and the right mindset to make changes to the status quo. You have to be ready. You have to know what’s important to you. It’s not easy but it’s so incredibly worth it.

Recognizing the Battle

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It’s different from just not loving where you live. It’s not wishing you had a nicer place, or lived in a better neighborhood. It’s worse than obnoxious neighbors who scream at their children constantly, throw huge parties that keep you up all hours or cover their yards with lawn trash.

It’s a prison. And not just because you don’t care for or respect the other inhabitant, but because your home has become a place of anger, bitterness, and oppression. For a person who knows the Lord, I recognize that these emotions are not from God; in fact, the complete opposite. However, it’s taken me a minute (or a month) to come to grips with that, accept my role in it, and take some steps to reconcile myself to my Heavenly Father.

It was a pivotal weekend for me. I have a long way to go in deciphering myself and my circumstances, but God was absolutely present with me this weekend and His angels surrounded me. I experienced rest and joy this weekend. Spending most of every hour away from home, I found myself breathing deeply, slowing my thoughts,  and keeping my focus on positive things. I had the freedom I’ve longed for; to hike with my puppy, to spend time with people I cherish, and to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.

I was surrounded by other Christians all weekend, and saturated by faithful people of God last evening in my parent’s home.

I felt God’s love. He was close. And I am so grateful. Especially because I have not been drawing close to Him…

But it came to a screeching halt last night when I arrived home. It’s difficult to describe what happens to me when I’m there. It’s like being snuffed out. It’s like trying with all your might to scream but no sound comes. It’s like being turned upside down in an ocean wave and not being able to find your way to the surface for balance and for air. The worst part for me, though, is the searing heat of anger that engulfs me and takes control of my thoughts.

At first, I just assumed it was because of my circumstance. An unhappy marriage, a lonely pregnancy, a looming divorce… But after hearing from others, more than once, about “bad vibes” in my home – it stuck.

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Oppression from satan is a very real thing, and it is much more easily recognized after having been in the presence of Jesus Christ. And though it may sound crazy and totally holy roller to many people, that doesn’t at all refute its existence.

I prayed about it all night; for the desire to forgive my enemy, love my enemy, and not allow the devil to get a foothold. I also recognize sin in my life that needs to be dealt with before I can fully wear the armor of God.

The first step for me is to be on my knees, literally and figuratively. I am resistant to give things up that have brought me comfort. But I also know that my comfort and strength can truly only come from the Lord. I am vehemently resistant to forgive my enemies and even less willing to pray for them. But I know that God doesn’t merely suggest this, He commands it. The battle is His and I need to get out of the way.

This morning, thanks to a wonderful woman I’ve never met, I’ve been given some verses to digest and pray about – through gritted teeth. Tara Ziegmont shared the following scriptures that I am using today to light my path:


 

And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. – Ephesians 4:26-27

Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper – it only leads to harm.      – Psalm 37:8

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. – Colossians 3:8, 12-13

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:31-32

Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God.

For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the Lord.

Instead, If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. – Romans 12:17-21


 

What I need to repeat to myself constantly is this – I am a daughter of the One True King. His love for me endures. And I will persevere.

 

Sweet and Sour: A Mixed Bag of Blessings

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It’s fairly safe to assume that when we think about blessings in our lives, we think about positive things. The love of family and friends, that great new job, a kind word from a stranger, a sound night’s sleep or a perfectly beautiful spring afternoon. But what if all blessings don’t look like blessings? What if blessings appear like a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Is it really possible to be blessed by horribly negative situations?

“What if your blessings come through rain drops?”

I think it is, and though I barely know how, it seems like I’m learning more and more as I muddle through my life.

I found myself in the midst of two conversations yesterday that were both very difficult – one painful, and the other absolutely infuriating. They were the kind of convos that don’t leave you. You replay them over and over in your mind and try to come to terms with what was said and how you need to embrace it. Or discard it. Or maybe punch it right in the face.

Anger has become part of my emotional repertoire lately and I’m just not okay with that. It’s extremely uncomfortable. It makes me feel like I’m wearing someone else’s skin; unclean skin. I know what brings it on, I know where it lives, and yet it’s so difficult to master when it feels like righteous anger.

“Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

It’s not slow anger I’m experiencing, it’s quick and penetrating. It’s waiting right at the surface to devour me. But last night I had enough.

I am choosing to refuse anger’s control over me. I am choosing to disallow the source of my fury to manipulate and direct my path as it has these past years. I am seeking joy and peace.

The first step for me is to use that feeling of anger as a welcome confirmation. A confirmation that the source doesn’t know me or my character on a deep level (or any level, for that matter), a confirmation that the source is solely focused on its own needs, and above all else…a confirmation that I have made the right choice to move forward with my life without that source. Confirmation is a blessing.

Know what else is a blessing? God’s promise to fight our battles for us. There is comfort in those burning coals.

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

I still want to defend my own honor. I still have to fight hard the urge to use my linguistic skills to rip that source apart. My biggest challenge lies within praying for people who rip joy from my soul like a thief in the night. Recognizing that challenge and an area where I can grow is a blessing.

With regard to that other conversation, the one that brings about hurt, I’m beginning to see it in the same light. This chapter of my life has brought forth friends, both new and old, who are my friends through it all. “Through it all” friends are hard to find but are such a sweet treasure. Having the discernment to recognize who plays that role is a blessing indeed.

“The strong bond of friendship is not always a balanced equation; friendship is not always about giving and taking in equal shares. Instead, friendship is grounded in a feeling that you know exactly who will be there for you when you need something, no matter what or when.”

Today is better than yesterday, and that is a blessing. God really does hold my future, and that is a blessing. Life is hard right now, but joy comes in the morning and that is the greatest blessing of all.

Why Do You Ask?

  
All of a sudden, after three years together, he began asking her how she was feeling. Now that she was 22 weeks pregnant with his child. Now that their marriage was nearing its needed bitter end. 

“Why do you ask now?” She inquired of him. “Why do you all of a sudden seem interested?”

His response was delayed, but through the very thickly worded paragraph, she received the message loud and clear – don’t misconstrue his intention as love. Be sure to understand he only asks out of concern and interest in his son. 

The wife he never loved. The son he never wanted. The role he’s only obligated to play. 

She knew. It wasn’t a surprise or a secret. It had been made plainly clear over the weeks and months they’d spent together. The pain she felt came from the effort he made to get his point across. If only that effort had been used to bless instead of wound. 

She’d rather prefer he stopped asking. 

Hope and a Future

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A lot had happened, and yet nothing, since the day she chose to walk out that blue door.

 

She’d been praying for a way out. And though she wasn’t sure if that was an acceptable request, her anger towards God had brought her to a crossroad: disconnect and don’t pray, or pray out of earnest desperation for an end. For hope and a future. Clinging to that promise felt so futile; she was being punished for making a horrible choice, wasn’t she? She knew that she had rushed her own agenda – paying no attention to what God had in store. Did that make Him angry? It must have, because he hadn’t been around. Sin separates.

 

Silent. Dark. Fruitless. A back turned.

 

It was foolish to go her own way, knowing full-well that she was marrying the wrong man. She recognized now, how reckless it had been. Looking back on those first days painted the story of the life that was to come. All of a sudden he was someone else. Who would she become? All of her words and actions created some dark angst in him that she had not seen and she didn’t know how to respond.

 

That first wave of panic hit her like a tsunami – leaving her cold, shaking, and battered. Within the first week of her marriage, she realized she had made a terrible mistake. Such a grievous loss of self, future, and any hope for happiness. She couldn’t breathe, she couldn’t tell her friends or family. She knew that despondency was crouching at her door, waiting to devour her, if she didn’t reach out for help.

 

Months of therapy. A safe place to weep and mourn for the woman she had once been. A place to be angry. But most importantly, a place that granted her permission. Permission to leave her husband.

 

There is freedom in permission.

 

The length of time she endured between getting permission and actually choosing to leave was long. During that period she experienced very little joy. But she did suffer under the burden of disappointment, then frustration. She became angry and bitter. Resentful. She had to fight off the hatred and even disgust she sometimes bore towards him.

 

Peace, however, had flooded her heart and mind the morning she left. And it had stayed by her side during the weeks that followed as she made preparations for a life alone. Alone but not lonely.

 

Authentic, unrestricted, free.

 

She began to feel a measure of tenderness towards a man that had shackled her for what felt like an eternity. Though it was easy and gratifying to charge him with the crime of what she had withstood, she came to understand he was incapable. As was she.

 

Incapable of meeting one another’s needs.

Incompetent to fulfill one another’s desires.

 

The tools with which each of them had been gifted were intended differently. Lives built with other people; likely the antithesis of who they each were. It’s impossible to carve an ice sculpture with a blow torch or do brain surgery with a baseball bat. They were not equipped for one another. And that gave them permission to leave. Permission to move forward with some good memories and many lessons learned.

 

Permission to claim that hope and a future.

 

 

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