Where Vulnerability Matters Most

Minute by minute, the world is becoming more stoic. More glossed, flawless, rich, clever, deceptive, and rebellious. Less actions are based on selflessness, but on self-gratification. Love isn’t as important as models walking on a runway, and virtue falls behind the priority of harmful media. Plenty think chivalry is dead and many women are treated like objects. Recklessness & insensitivity runs rampant with women and men. Complicated imperfections are covered and sealed away with a profile picture and a smile. Simultaneously, loads of temptations are uncovered & readily available, and are being downplayed to be harmless. The spirit is being stifled, quenched, and shushed. We are being attacked at all angles. No wonder it’s so difficult to be vulnerable.

Who is going to handle our vulnerability with care? When we see others holding a perfect facade, how can we genuinely connect and be vulnerable with them? How can we be honestly whole-heartedly imperfect? Spoiler alert: IDfreakingK.

I’ve written plenty about being vulnerable in the past and thought I was making progress…but years…(oh MY gosh)…have passed since then, and let’s just say I’ve had ups and downs when it comes to being vulnerable. For example, I cringe reading my old posts…realizing I seem pathetic or imperfect or dramatic. Heaven forbid anyone read something that embarrasses me. Heaven forbid anyone see something I’m not absolutely stoked about. Heaven forbid someone doesn’t absolutely love everything about me! HEAVEN. FORBID. AMIRITE? Well, I hid some of those posts anyway. BECAUSE I AM HUMAN.

I don’t know where I’m headed with this, to be honest. I’m just hoping to re-ignite my passion for vulnerability.

I found a quote in one of my posts that literally said “being vulnerable is scary but it will not fail you”

Ugh did I truly write that & completely mean it?? (Yes, I did.) Also…hahahah…how incredibly pretentious is it that I just quoted myself? Woof. Anyway, vulnerability. Yeah. Just trying to feel a connection to it’s loving power once more. Sometimes I think searching for vulnerability feels a lot like chasing a door in a dream. No matter how long I run, the door never grows closer and the doorknob is forever unattainable. I’ve had failed attempt after failed attempt in embracing vulnerability…but the road less travelled is nobel & right…right? Even if it hurts like heck? You know….maybe being hurt isn’t a sign of failure but a sign of success.

FINALLLLLL

XOHILLARYROSE

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We Are Watching

Yes, I know who Jimmy Fallon interviewed last week, I have my faves on the Bachelorette, and I don’t think I want to live in a world without John Mayer breathing, singing, and instagramming…but, for our generation, where does the people watching end? Whether it’s celebrities, politicians, athletes, or our insta-acquaintances…we keep tabs on lots of unnecessary people. We’re enthralled with this idea of seeing the life of another through a screen. Judging, assuming, advising, and deciding what others should be, see, think, or do. And our opinions {like who Andi should kick off the Bachelorette} are strong. Because DUH, we know better! We see the big picture. We know what’s happening. But honestly, I think many of us care too much about these [basically imaginary] people. Do we have as much conviction in our own lives? I think sometimes we, as a culture, focus on the actions of strangers more than we do our own. So are we planning our lives or theirs? Are we “better” at planning the lives of others because of our distanced point of view? And, if so…could this potentially dangerous fixation be utilized to enhance our own abilities to shape our lives in a meaningful way?

*WARNING: the following is an imaginary situation & could become confusing if you aren’t focused…or maybe it just won’t make any sense at all….in which case….sorry in advance.*

1st off, there’s YOU. You are the one reading this blog post. We will label you as #1. Because, duh. YOU’RE NUMBER ONE.

2nd, there’s hypothetical you. He/she lives in a completely different (yet identical) world to your own. They are #2.

3rd, within this identical world, there’s a clone of hypothetical you. We’ll call them #4.

JK. Just making sure you were paying attention. We’ll actually call them #3.

Right now, you (#1)…are merely imagining this situation about to be presented to you. And, if you’re like me, you love life but think maybe you could/should be as objective & decisive about your own life choices as you are about the Bachelorette’s.

-HAH-

Now imagine person #3. Everything about him/her is the same as person #2. And everything about person #2 is the same as you. You are all physically, mentally, emotionally, & spiritually identical. You all make the same choices, think the same thoughts, and feel the same feelings in any given situation.

In the hypothetical world, 2 and 3 do not interact. 2’s life is consumed by his/her job to constantly sit behind a sheet of glass to watch 3 live. #2 is basically watching #3 the way we all watch reality shows. Except for this reality show is actually a person’s entire life. 2 sees 3 smiling at strangers and smelling roses, making terrible choices and enduring life crisis. But, as #2 sits, judges, assumes, and decides…he/she has no idea that what they are truly reacting to is basically themselves living life. They’re judging themselves but have no idea. They have the same viewpoints, thoughts, feelings and all as #3….but receive an objectivity to #3’s entire life simply because they do not know they are basically watching themselves. Make sense?

So here comes my main question: how would you react to watching yourself live if you didn’t know it was you? What would you be saying about your life? How would you be narrating? Do you think, #2 (with the objective viewpoint) would agree with #3’s actions, feelings, and choices about life? Would #2 be disappointed #3 gave up so soon? Would #2 be more inclined to be kind to #3? Maybe #2 would see a flaw #3 should immediately work on. What solace, advice, direction, and comfort would #2 try to communicate? What would 2 be yelling at the screen to #3? And you #1…what do you think about all of this? Do you see yourself in a new light? What do you think “objective you” would be yelling at the screen? Would they be yelling “dump them!”? Or… “the world isn’t over!”? How about, “GET.A.GRIP.”??? Would you give yourself a second chance??? Are you viewing yourself the way you ought to to be viewed? Are you way too harsh on yourself? Or are you just oblivious? Our focus determines our reality…a wise Jedi Master once said. And it would be a shame if our “focus” was blurred. Maybe it can be cleared up with a different point of view. Just some thoughts.

Many of us have seemingly developed a knack for feeling responsible for unnecessary details in the lives of others…so maybe, with a little imagination and redirection, we can employ our skills of being watchful and objective of others, on ourselves. More simply…maybe we can gain the clarity of watching the game while we’re living the game.

XO,HILLARYROSE

Buildings Are Burning

I’ve been having a rough day and have been thinking about a bunch of things, including being my best self, when I began to imagine a scenario which I feel I need to clarify via writing. So…I don’t know where this is headed, but here we go.

Imagine that you woke up on the 100th floor of a metropolitan skyscraper, and the walls around you were all on fire. A blindingly rich brick-red color crawls from floor to ceiling and engulfs nearly everything you see. You glance to the door only to see flames. The windows are covered and your bed is about to catch fire, too. You suddenly see a firefighter walking towards you. How’d he get in? You have no idea. You don’t care. You’re just thankful he’s there. You’re not concerned about the bite sized taxis and pedestrians below, you don’t think of anything previous to this point in time, it’s just you and this fireman fighting for safety. Your world is in high speed and slow motion all at once. Your body is fighting the stress but your mind is heightened to the chaos. The fireman picks you up and begins to carry and protect you from room to room and floor to floor. You travel down a shaky stairwell and realize this is going to be a long journey…one you might not even be able to handle. Trying to avoid a fiery passageway, you zigzag through other rooms. Rooms with loud crashing, rooms with blaring alarms, and rooms filled with crackling flames and smoke. You pass through wall-less floors hot enough to bake cookies, and closets charred enough to block out any glimmer of light. Every once in a while a room gets so bad you pass out. But there are floors untouched by the fire. Unharmed and abandoned. The fireman let’s you walk next to him through the staircases and ballrooms unconsumed by fire when you have the strength. You see large rooms filled with natural light, beautifully smooth marble, and gold trimmed ceilings. It’s beautiful. Wow. . . . . .But you can’t just stop moving. Enjoy, but keep moving.

The building is burning down, remember?

And no no, you can’t take the elevator when you’re exhausted, it could trap and suffocate you. The best way is the stairs. No matter how much effort it takes. Sometimes the stairs are covered in burning coals or shattered glass. Oh & by the way you’re not wearing any shoes so it takes extra time. Things get miserable. New fires develop, you see pipes burst, large walls collapse, pathways are compromised, and you doubt the fireman’s abilities. Yes, he’s still there. You notice, though, that the fireman never tires. He is never done saving you, and that’s fine. It’s in his job description. Through each floor and each room and each changing moment, you wonder how he adapts. How he can handle THIS room and THIS staircase. The floors look so unstable and thin, but he walks along them confidently, and you rarely receive burns that could be truly detrimental. He sees the dangers you don’t see, he knows the risks of taking certain exits, and he knows the reward of your well being is the most important aspect. The firefighter though, he’s had every burn there is. He’s seen every type of fire there is to be seen. Turns out, he knows it all. He’s been in fires that looked impossible to escape, and lived. He doesn’t ADAPT because…to alter a Bane quote…He was BORN in the fire. He knows it inside and out.

This is such a random little story that came to my mind, and I don’t know why I’m sharing it, but I thought it was kind of neat. What’s great about metaphors is they can be personalized . This is how I’m interpreting it ….

The building is life. Some buildings are tall and long-lasting , some are short and sweet. Some have ornate decorations and others prefer a rustic look. Each is individual specific. Some people have a fire that starts in the basement of their building and they endure the most testing parts of their lives right at the end, when they reach the bottom of the last stair. Some could experience 50 floors of straight brimstone, while others may find sporadic fires every other floor. Who knows. It’s your fire, it’s your building. Your building/life is a learning experience tailored for you. No matter how unfair it may seem, every building has a fire to fight.

The outside world is, well, the outside world…or heaven. Once you get to the end of your building and pass through those revolving doors, there you are. Whichever interpretation you choose to imagine, both are seemingly full of people you never really knew existed, and people who have endured their burning buildings. There are a few familiar faces, and some of these people are watching your life with awe, wonder, or…terror. (hahah) Some walk by and are too preoccupied to care. Some embrace you with a brilliant zeal, thrilled to see you’ve made it. Some want to watch you burn. Maybe some are firemen themselves. Who knows.

The fire, in my eyes, represents a few different things, depending on where it is found in the building. If you’re inside of your building and run into a fiery room or wall, in my mind, it represents trials & tests, hardships & heartbreak, or the like. If we’re talking about the outside of the building being aflame, it represents your whole life being on fire. And what I mean by that, is the urgency of your life. The proof that each life has an expiration date and needs to be traveled through. The tough situations must be faced. You don’t merely climb to the top of the building and catch a nearby helicopter, you can’t skip the experience of you life, but you adventure through the different phases and stages  and floors of the building with the firefighter.

Speaking of the firefighter… (it’s probably pretty obvious by now)…in my mind, he represents Christ. Of course feel free to pick whoever else you think better suits your personal beliefs, but that’s the way I’m seeing it. He knows every situation. He’s been there, he’s done that. He’s within reach. He carries us. He breaks through walls and barriers we cannot break through on our own. He takes the high road. He enjoys the beautiful rooms with us while he protects us through the treacherous ones. He lets us choose if we want to be saved by sticking with him or if we want to attempt to fight the floors of uncertainty alone. Of course, some would still prefer to remain unscathed and unchanged in the helicopter situation, and some would risk the elevator ride despite warnings received. Those who choose to take the easy way out do not easily know who the firefighter is, learn from him, receive guidance and counsel from him, or enjoy the safety he provides. We wouldn’t learn about ourselves, or what a life of growth is like.

The beautiful rooms exist even if it may seem the building is totally encapsulated in fire. I’d like to think that most of us are fortunate to have a building full of mostly beautiful and enchanting rooms filled with music and brimming with smiles. They are rooms where the going is a little simpler. Where it’s a little easier to be happy, and a little harder to seek for the safety of the fireman, because we feel safe in these rooms. We forget the building is on fire, we forget that we are not invincible, we become prideful sometimes, and abandon our safe spot with the fireman.

In this synopsis I also found some significance of starting at the top of the building. Many analogies talk about the stairway to heaven (cue the Led Zeppelin) and we get an image of climbing up stairs rather than going down, which is what makes heading down the stairs to safety unique. It means something different. Going down the stairway isn’t about heading to light from darkness but it’s more about dealing with rough patches and staying safe. Our “building on fire” is our opportunity to rely on Christ and remain humble through trials. The point is to be progressively humble, submissive, and obedient… which could also be considered as “going down a floor” so to speak. Losing our pride. Losing our imperfections. Losing whatever keeps us from being able to love others more than ourselves. Making it to the ground level where Christ resides. In safety. If we are to live life, to truly live it and become better people, we can emulate the firefighter and become perfected through submissive learning, patience, and diligence. We can only emulate the firefighter if we choose to be led by him and learn of him through close proximity…through both the fires and the beauty we experience in our buildings.

Granted, this is a simple scenario, and I forgo some elements that could probably be present in a longer post…but might be good to think about…(e.g. other people in the building {some you see for only moments while some people follow you through many floors}, what the elevators represent {probably mistakes, or the “easy road”}, the perfecting qualities of burning and fire, more traits of the firefighter, being outside of the building, the gain of life {e.g. not the physical building, because that burned down….but you have experiences and a changed soul}, what if the firefighter was also the architect of the building?…etc)

At the end of the day, this serves as yet another little reminder that friction and fire are catalysts to progress and joy, and we are not alone.

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XO,HILLARYROSE

Violets Are Blue

Sugar is sweet and so is Valentine’s Day! It’s the month of LOVE, y’all! Many of you have already heard my spiel on why Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday, but give me a quick paragraph to re-document my case. Attention to my V-Day-haters out there. You’ve more than likely been duped into believing you need a BF/GF to be happy on February 14th, or maybe fooled into thinking Hallmark started it all, or assume that Valentine’s Day is pointless without a grand gesture of love. This is a sad way to live, my friends. I’ve always said that you don’t need a convertible on Thanksgiving to be thankful just as you don’t need a significant other on Valentine’s Day to show your love. Valentine’s Day is about creating, enjoying, and expressing love. And let me just say there’s nothing like a sweet word, flower, or treat to do just that. X’s & O’s, roses..I mean…all of my favorite things, really. Reds, pinks, & creams are speckled through crowds of people and lipstick matches hearts decorating the streets. Poetry, music, and honest declarations of love are everywhere. There’s so much more I could say about this aspect of the holiday…it’s just all so lovely…but there’s a deeper meaning to my passion for his day. My zeal for Valentine’s Day really boils down to my personal definition of love of which I really can’t speak of without talking about the love of Christ.

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Recently I’ve been reflecting on how much warmth and love I’ve felt for my life, my friends, myself, and even strangers within the past year, and it’s overwhelming. I’m sure many of you start to feel the same if you think about it too.

We often say we “love” things, but I think it’s usually because those “things” makes us feel loved. You know? Whether it’s serving others, enjoying beautiful scenery or nature, attending a great concert, playing with puppies, or having a meaningful conversation…love can abound when we search for it. But this isn’t just “love” we feel. I think it’s the love of Christ. And when we are filled with the tenderness and charity of Christ, we’re filled with light. And when we share that light, it only grows. I want to point out, though, that this selflessness is available whether we’re in a committed relationship or not. We need not be lonely when we are “alone.”

On the flip-side I think sometimes in the relationships we do have, we may feel our selflessness and love is inadequate or just absolutely unreciprocated…but when we show Christlike care to to others, we become better people either way. This isn’t a coincidence. His love is perfecting. This truth has taught me to rely on Christ for the love I need to feel & show, and has taught me millions of things about being an improved individual. Love is how Christ communicates to anyone. No matter what flaws, religion, gender, race, or age. We can all feel it. His adoration and mercy rids us of multitudes of imperfections and mends hearts faster than you can say “Get me a pint of Haagen Dazs mango sorbet stat.” The genuine love of Christ is honestly the most grand thing I can think of.

Moroni 10:32 states… “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.”

The first and greatest commandments are to love Christ as well as one another. So maybe that’s the greatest reason why I adore Valentine’s Day. I used to wonder why these were the most crucial commandments, but day after day my eyes begin to see the bigger picture. Keeping the commandments (which includes showing our love) is how we express our heartfelt feelings to Christ, it brings us closer to him,  and it simultaneously perfects us, all while filling our souls and others with his love! It’s amazing. My heart swells just thinking about it. You know how loving someone can make you want to be a better person? It is the same with Christ. And how lucky we are all to have the love of Christ surge throughout us!

Voltaire once said that “Every man is guilty of the good he didn’t do.” but I’d like to alter it to…”Every man is guilty of the love he didn’t show.”
Let that not be us. Valentine’s Day is a day to really honor the greatest commandments. To show that love and push ourselves in a positive direction. Love is nothing if it is not selflessness and charity. If you’re concerned about feeling unloved on February 14th, or ever, just focus on showing your charitable love to others and Christ. I promise you’ll have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.
XO,HILLARYROSE

Stars Are Shooting

Have you ever laid outside on a warm summer night to watch the stars? It’s one of my favorite things to do, and it’s bittersweet to lose that once the cold weather settles in. But man a clear frigid night can produce some prime star gazing opportunities…if only it didn’t feel like taking an ice bath. On Wednesday night I drove from Logan to Salt Lake for the winter break. I was listening to some music and enjoying the solitude of the canyon. A lone car far in front of me glimmered a little, but the rest of the highway was desolate and dark. The moon was hidden somewhere, but was bright enough to illuminate the snow and shape of the mountains. There wasn’t a cloud to be seen, only crisp stars. I found myself getting a little distracted by them because, well, the elements couldn’t phase me with my seat warmers, heat, and John Mayer on full blast. I had only been able to steal a glance at the stars for a few moments when a shooting star  came into view. It flew across the span of the four lane freeway and twinkled behind the peak of a mountain. I knew I had to hurry and make a wish. (wishes are serious business, you know.) I was surprised at how quickly the wish formed on my lips. As I kept driving I realized that the thing I had so immediately wished for was basically what I ultimately want right now. And now I’m not going to give away the wish, but it said a lot about me. It just took me one hurried wish to realize what I really want out of life. Then I wondered, what if I hadn’t even been looking up at the stars? That shooting star would’ve passed right on by without me realizing it. Without me realizing what it is I really want out of my life right now. Funny how that works.

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This isn’t a post about shooting for the moon or airplanes in the night sky…this isn’t a rant about how insignificant we are, and I’m not here to talk about the necessity of darkness in order to see light. I could quote some of my favorite lines from Coldplay, or some Jack Johnson, or even Shakespeare….but I think we’ve all heard a lot of that. And you know….stars are always above us. Even when the sun is out. MILLIONS of shooting stars pass above our heads every day. Shooting, whizzing, and flying in all sorts of directions. But are we looking for them? {PS to be astronomically correct, they aren’t actually shooting stars, but bits of sand, ice, and rock that fly into our atmosphere and catch fire creating a stream of light across the sky}  {{which also means that no two shooting stars are the same}}

But when you see a shooting star…what do you do? If you’re like me, you have a mini freak out …then you wish. The phenomenon of seeing something so breathtaking and wonderful gives us hope enough to wish and wonder. I think that’s a fantastic ability of the human heart. On the flip-side, I think wishing can bring a sense of sadness and longing for something we don’t have. To be looking at the stars is looking into the past, really. The light we see is hundreds of years old. So it’s interesting that we would presently wish for something to happen in the future as we gaze at stars. It’s almost like we’re dipping into the past, present, and future all at once.07625b5e5deab9b9c41b9805280fb4af

I’d like to relate shooting stars to the opportunities awaiting us. They’re innumerable and always changing. They pass us by so quickly we may not even realize it. When we see a perfect opportunity the possibilities are endless! There’s so much excitement! Sometimes they can’t be seen through clouds and sometimes there’s a meteor shower but we don’t know which ones to focus on. Opportunities can show us what we want most out of life and make us wish with all of our hearts for something. Opportunities have a way of showing us our own flaws and insecurities as well as showing us our values and priorities. Just as making a wish on a shooting star, might.

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Opportunities will not sit and wait for you to catch them. But will soar until their seized! And how can you seize an opportunity if you’re not looking for it? I believe some opportunities can be created by ourselves…but if you look for them, your opportunities could be exactly what you didn’t know you were looking for.

XO,HILLARYROSE

Risks Are Painful

Contrary to popular opinion, I think pain isn’t quite as terrible as people make it out to be. Granted…pain is pain and no matter the degree, it matters. I think a few of us brush off pain as if we aren’t supposed to be feeling it. At least, sometimes I do. If I’m hurting and I start talking to someone about said feelings, sometimes I end up saying… “It’s not a big deal..” or “I shouldn’t be feeling this way..” (Which is sometimes true..but sometimes a cover-up…) Am I the only one? We almost blame ourselves for hurting. And I think it’s an interesting phenomenon. We’re hurting, we beat ourselves up for hurting, and we make our situation worse. It’s a vicious cycle. Maybe this is related to putting up walls and not allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, which I have talked about before, but how do we stop the cycle?

The thought of potentially feeling pain can be debilitating to the point where we take no actions at all.

This isn’t just about allowing ourselves to be comforted, but allowing ourselves to feel pain. Not to wallow in it, but to accept it for a moment. Sounds kind of twisted, but trying to absolutely block ourselves from reality might prolong and magnify our pains. Whether self inflicted or not, we must deal with our discomfort and move on.

In my practice of yoga over the last couple of years I’ve learned a lot of things about myself. One is that when I have bad feelings, I tense up and try to ignore them, but by doing that I almost lock those feelings within myself. I tense up and catch those feelings instead of allowing them to pass through me…much like a chinese finger trap. Remember those? You place your pointer fingers from each hand inside of a little woven tube and the more you strain, fight, tug, and pull your fingers the more they are stuck in the trap. Just as the more you push, pull, and avoid your feelings…the more your heart and mind tend to seize up and keep those feelings captive. Whereas, if you relax and let things go, your fingers are released and you’re free! (easier said than done, of course)…but step one of freeing yourself from pain is allowing yourself to feel it in a healthy way. I think when we tense up and keep these emotions unfelt it keeps us from acting, and we fail to move forward.

We’re afraid to feel hurt for many reasons…but feeling hurt doesn’t mean anything bad about you or about others. You know what feeling pain means? It means you care about something. It means you’re human. And it means you have an ability to love and have compassion. And with that potential within us, why do we allow pain to stop us from acting? Pain is the name of the game! (obviously not entirely…but….you know what I mean)

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About 3 weeks ago I saw the movie “Say Anything” for the first time. It’s an 80’s chick flick with a classic plot line, and it’s great. In the most famous scene, the main character holds a boombox above his head to play a song for the girl he’s trying to woo. Amazing, right? But it was a risk! Earlier in the movie it’s made clear that everyone thinks this girl is out of his league and his friends are concerned that he’s going to get hurt. After they voice their concern about him being shut down by this beautiful girl, he bluntly says…

“I WANT TO GET HURT!”

I loved that. He gets it. And you know what else he gets? THE GIRL. (though it wasn’t easy)

In the wise lyrics of Gwen Stefani…”Take a chance cause you might grow.”

A lot of risks are too important to avoid just because we might get hurt. It’s a risk to be nice to an ex. It’s a risk to ask someone out. It’s a risk to hold our tongue when someone is rude to us. It’s a risk to run for a high up position. It’s a risk to tell someone how we feel. It’s a risk to end a negative relationship with someone we care for. It’s a risk to be alone. It’s a risk to try new things. But most importantly….

It’s equally risky to not take a chance as it is to take a chance….so why not take the chance??

What We Risk Vs. What We Gain

Potential Risks (things we may lose)

  • popularity
  • comfort
  • companionship
  • pride
  • social standing
  • approval
  • time
  • influence
  • dependence

Potential Rewards (things we may gain)

  • confidence
  • strength
  • willpower
  • diligence
  • virtue
  • knowledge
  • love
  • self-sufficiency
  • spontaneity
  • anything, really

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Whatcha waiting for?

XO, HILLARYROSE

Loves Are Tailored

Let’s say you’re in the middle of France and you’ve never had a day of French lessons in your life. It’s been two weeks and you haven’t had a decent conversation with anyone. I don’t know about you, but at this point I’d be going mad. It’s impossible to build relationships if there isn’t communication. For example, Mr.Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. Their relationship was definitely on the rocks due to a mess of miscommunication and quickly straightened itself out once they were on the same page. How much of the problems in our relationships can we blame on our poor communication abilities? Sometimes when we’re in foreign territory we have the guts to ask “Why aren’t you speakin’ my language??” But in relationships when we say language, we don’t mean English. We mean the language of our hearts, the language of our souls! If we are lucky, we meet a friend or a significant other who already speaks our language, and connecting on a personal level  comes fairly easily. But this, as we all know, is rare. Language barriers must be broken!

There’s a thing called “The 5 Love Languages” (Sounds hoakey, but it isn’t.) There’s a quiz associated with it that basically tells you how you feel loved, and it breaks it into 5 categories. It’s accurate and fun to see. I’ve made plenty of past roommates and family members take this quiz so I could understand them, love them, and “speak their language” a little better.

{ If you’re curious about what your results may be, you should check it out here…  http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ }

The five categories are….

1.Words Of Affirmation

2.Physical Touch

3.Acts of Service

4.Gifts

5.Quality Time.

Of course all of these things make us feel cared about, but each to a different degree depending on a couple of different variables. (who, when, why…etc)

My top result (sometimes tied with Quality Time) is Words Of Affirmation. Tell me I look dang good, tell me I’m smart, tell me I’m fantastic {& be sincere about it because I’m not that gullible} and I’ll feel cared about. Send me a sweet handwritten note? Golden. Tell me my hair is looking fantastic? Solid. I love yearbook days and birthday cards, cheesy compliments and kind texts out of the blue. I’m a fan of saying “I love you” as much as I can. Words are the world to my heart. Having the reassurance that I’m a somewhat decent human being is heartwarming. On the flipside…insult me and I could crumble right in front of you. Blatantly ignore me and I might dwell on it all day. No, this does not mean I’m an incredibly insecure person. Nor am I Kanye-West-vain. Verbal affirmation is just meaningful to me.

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Have we had a long conversation? Did I light up when you said something sweet to me? Have I ever complimented you? Most likely, I have. Maybe you’ve noticed I do it frequently. A compliment from me may not be a rare occasion, so maybe it doesn’t feel super special to you, but it doesn’t mean it’s any less sincere. I mean every compliment I share. It’s how I show I genuinely love you and notice great things about you, just as I would hope you would do for me. But I can’t just expect people to know that, or expect that said compliments will make them feel as good as they would potentially make me feel. Also, that’s definitely not the only thing that makes me feel loved…and, well, the complications of my individual preferences when it comes to loving cannot be simply explained in one measly paragraph, but I think I’ve painted enough of a picture….This is all beside the point..

My point here is to emphasize loving in a way that is tailored for others. Loving in a way that might be unusual for us. Loving outside of the box.  Absolutely everyone is different. Some people hardly show affection while others could hug you for hours!  You know what I’m talking about. Some guys love a nice gift and others might just want to spend all day with you. I love a beautiful bouquet of flowers while another girl may just want you to do the dishes for her. These things show what is particularly meaningful to each individual when it comes to showing love. I think little things like this can be really telling.

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The best way to show love to others {in my humble opinion} is to see how they show their love and  try to mimic them. To be mindful of how others feel loved and not just assume our way is the best way. We connect with those we love much better if we simply think about their needs and focus on the 5 main ways we can show our love to them. How do they treat others?  Do they vacuum the house as an act of service or hug you when you’re sad? It is our responsibility to understand how others feel loved more than it is their responsibility to explain themselves. The way they act daily is how they’re explaining themselves! Take notice! Go out of your way to love in ways that don’t come quite as naturally to you. It brings a heightened care for the other person and a heightened appreciation for their primary love language.  This not only helps our love be more effective, but gives us a chance to grow in ability and in heart. Try to learn another language and soon you’ll be fluent! We can not go to France and expect everyone to understand English just as we can’t have a relationship where love is present and assume that we will not have to learn a few things ourselves. Learning another language might not be easy, but it’s worthwhile. What’s life if not but an opportunity to love and be loved? And how boring would the world be if we only spoke one language?

XO,HILLARYROSE

Novembers Are Ignored

If there’s one month that seemingly passes by with little to no notice for me, it’s November. Snow, Christmas music, classes, and stress crescendo to the point of distraction. And gosh dang it, I ‘m determined to not let that happen again this year. It’s frustrating to me that it gets overlooked because the main focus of November is gratitude and giving. (And, well, we also needed a label for another 30 days of the year) But it’s a month who’s point is to slow down and appreciate life….but it can become a month where the wonders of life are especially rushed and ignored.

Being thankful isn’t only about feeling thankful, but about sharing it. Sharing the goodness of your world with others. Showing that there is hope and greatness in small things. By sharing our gratitude we clarify to ourselves what is really most important as well as help others see the positivity in their own lives.

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How often do we hide how we feel? 80% of the time? 90%? I think it’s a constant thing. Whether positive or negative feelings…we always hide something. I mean…it would be impossible to share each feeling we feel, and I think we all know about hiding our negative feelings, but what about our positive feelings? Why don’t we focus more on sharing those?

Last year I had a sweet roommate and the rare thing about us was that we actually went to bed around the same time every night. We had great talks and fun times laughing before we went to sleep. I started this thing a while back and shared it with her and my other roommates. I call it “Rose&Thorn”. Basically, you share the “thorn(s) and rose(s)” of your day. I always looked forward to this part of the day, being able to count what I was grateful for and hear what was important to my closest friends. We bonded over our hopes and our fears and our gifts and our trials. We somehow found a way to look on the positive side of the “thorns” we talked about, and we encouraged each other’s joys. I miss that. I plan to keep this little tradition with my future family, and whoever I get close enough to, but recently it hasn’t been very present in my life. It makes me kind of sad. The other day I thought…maybe I haven’t been sharing my roses enough. So I’m going to here.

I’m thankful that amidst sad feelings, a positive horizon is always present. I’m thankful for roommates who know the power of a good conversation and a movie marathon. I’m thankful for friends who listen and accept me even after I’ve been M.I.A. for 3 weeks. I love those people who can pick up a relationship like it never had a pause. For rain and snow and sunshine and wind. For flowers and givers of flowers. For a smile from someone who has no idea I’m upset. I’m thankful for the rare moments I impress myself and the days where I’m filled with loving thoughts. I’m thankful for love whether it’s reciprocated or not.

I’m thankful for the few who really make me feel cared for. I’m so thankful for trials and the opportunities they provide. I’m thankful for my weaknesses because they humble me and teach me  to grow. I’m thankful to have room to change and goals to fulfill.  I’m thankful for the life I live. I’m especially thankful for my brother and how loving he is. He brings a joy with him that I too often fail to mention. I’m thankful for family. I’m thankful for forgiveness and second chances. I’m thankful for yoga and beautiful scenery. I have a huge love for the temple and the peace it brings. I’m thankful to see kids raking leaves for elderly couples and men opening doors for women they love. The emotion behind a poem and communication through a glance. A perfect hug and a laugh in unison. I’m thankful for inspiring professors and good books. I’m thankful for Beyonce. (and for jokes) A beautiful day and thank you notes. Long drives and those lyrics that just make sense. Eyes filled with hope and tears brought about by something meaningful. I’m so thankful for the emotion that brings a realness to every interaction I have with others. I’m thankful for each and every one of you. And last but not least, there’s nothing like a cliche blog post.

…What are you thankful for?…

XO, HILLARYROSE

Hearts Are Beating

Yup. Right now. Right inside your little body cavity (on the left hand side) you have a beating heart. You didn’t build it or search for it, it just happens to be entirely yours! The Tinman is so envious. You don’t have to remind it when to pulse, when to speed up, slow down… or anything! The more I think about it, the more amazing the heart becomes. And heart surgeons? Props to them. The complications of the heart are crazy! Your heart pumps de-oxygenized as well as oxygen rich blood through your body the ENTIRE time you are living. If you live 66 years, your heart will beat 2.5 billion times! Geeze. If only we earned a dollar with each beat… maybe we’d all exercise more. (hah) But the heart isn’t just there to beat. The heart has been the inspiration of millions of sonnets, poems, love letters, and songs. Books and movies try to portray everything the heart feels. I have so much I could say about the heart…but I’ll try to keep this concentrated and simple.

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Hearts break, beat, mend, repeat, and eventually wear out. Physically, we need our hearts to survive. We can withstand plenty of  brain damage, but our hearts must always beat..more on that another day, though. The heart keeps us alive and whatnot, but what amazes me most is how it can feel when we’re having an emotional moment.  Like, it can physically feel the things we’re experiencing emotionally. It skips when we’re excited and warms up when we feel loved. But what does this say about the heart? Why does it feel like our hearts are doing all of the feeling? Why the heart? It’s capacity is seemingly endless. Is it where the soul and body connect? Is it just the dopamine? Or is it the crossroads of this world and the next? Is it merely part of our anatomy or is it evidence of our souls? Hmm. Lots of questions I really can’t answer…but just some thoughts. I love the heart. It’s a complicated and magnificent thing. Though sometimes I do wish it was indestructible.

Depending on damage done to cells of the heart, whether physically or emotionally, recovery times vary. After a heart attack, for example, cells in the heart are so damaged that they’re unable to reproduce and the cardiac tissues contract much slower than normal. This basically stops healing altogether. This type of damage requires a highly trained surgeon to fix. One tough part of these surgeries and procedures is finding a material that is cohesive with heart tissues. But guess what? Doctors have found a way to use gold to create nanofibers that can replace/patch dead tissues and maintain heart function. Yes you read that right…g o l d. This brings a whole new meaning to having a “heart of gold”, right? (heh) But HOW.COOL.IS.THAT.?

Let’s talk about gold.

Gold is the most precious metal in the world. It’s also incredibly heavy and durable. The annual supply of gold in 2011 was 4,000 tonnes….just 60 tonnes would be able to make a wire that could travel the distance from Earth to the SUN. Let’s not forget golden slumbers, golden hair, golden doodles, gold jewelry, grillz, olympic medals, or just the color. Gold is grand. But now it can heal your heart!  One of the most sought after substances on the Earth is used to heal the heart, as if our hearts weren’t already insanely valuable. It’s amazing what influence surgeons providing gold can have on the heart. There’s a metaphor just dying to happen right now.

There are heart surgeons in hospitals as well as heart surgeons in our personal lives. And those in our lives can be whoever we want them to be, really. A higher being, friends, family, or significant others..the list goes on. They can supply light/love/whatever–the “gold”–we need to patch up emotional heartbreak. Kind of a fun thought. People are crucial in our lives. We need to hold them in high esteem, and see that their contributions are golden. Who knows what someone else can supply to help us on our way, and who knows how our influence could be just the type of gold someone else needs.

Your heart is a muscle, and if you use it, it gets stronger. And remember that in order to build muscle fibers, you have to tear them. Heartbreak will lead to strength. Don’t be afraid to let your heart play a bigger role in your life. Take advantage of the gold within your grasp.

XO, HILLARY ROSE

Passions Are Important

I’m not talking passions of the body, I mean passions of the soul. Why are we always bashing and avoiding things we dislike instead of promoting and searching for those things we truly love? It’s common to point out flaws and dullness, what’s impressive is a person who can share and explore goodness.

I got to thinking today…What are we doing to ourselves? Why are we waiting to be the people we want to be? Why do we (*sometimes unnecessarily) save the best for last? I don’t know how to explain this really, but… let’s say I have five pens on my desk. Out of the five I only really love one of them…but I make myself use up the others before I allow myself to use the one I love. Would you do that? Sometimes I do that with chapstick… Is this getting weird? I promise I have a point. Do we do this with our passions?

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Maybe it’s just me but I find myself creating too many pointless rules and restrictions on myself. Am I keeping myself from what makes me feel good? This is a basic example, but sometimes I wonder.. why do I wear ANYTHING I don’t find beautiful? (okay I know things like money, location, weather, activities, and laziness all play a role here) but WHY do I let myself do this? Why don’t I wear my favorite clothes TODAY? What am I waiting for? What are any of us waiting for, really? Do we delay compliments? Do we always wait for the movie version of the book? I don’t know… Why do we let the time pass while we fill our time with mundane and unnecessary things when we could be following our passions and joys instead?? Well… it’s easier probably. But if we wait, that just shows our passions lack importance and urgency. And if our passions don’t feel important or urgent…are they really passions?

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I’ m not trying to sound high maintenance here, but if we are a little more selective…whether it be friends, clothes, hobbies, or whatever it is…maybe our lives would be simpler and richer. Maybe we’d have less, but everything would just be more quality. That’s what I want at least. Like, I don’t want 75 items from the D.I. if I could choose 50 from J.Crew. I don’t want 6 hours of free time spent on something mediocre, I want 6 hours of free time doing something I LOVE.  I don’t want a million sorta-friends. I want 10 genuine friends who I can have meaningful relationships with.

Why are we waiting to fulfill our noble passions? Today is a special occasion!

XO, HILLARYROSE