“I learned that people have three basic needs – To be seen, to be heard and to know they are loved.”
Molly Barker

My friend, Molly, is an amazing woman. Each day I look to her for courage, advice and wisdom. She never fails to inspire me to be a better human. She is such an important part of the tribe of women I am blessed to call my friends. My tribe sees, hears and loves me in so many ways that make me stronger every day. 

I think in my heart I have always known this but somehow forgot.  I think that I somehow have always wanted to make people feel that they matter but somehow lost focus. I think it is all I have ever wanted and didn’t know it. 
I have longed to be seen. I have become bigger and  larger than life to take up space and force people to take notice. I have done things I am not proud of to get attention. I have gotten louder in order to be heard. I have lost myself, compromising my values and myself in order to be loved. 
It took a major life change to force me to face reality. Looking back, and with the help of therapy and friends, I realized that I have given others what I so desired. I have treated others to being seen and heard and loved but forgot about myself and those closest to me. As I lost myself into a rabbit hole of giving to others, I had nothing left for those that needed it most. I covered up my own needs with excuses. My own needs and the needs of my kids got sucked into a vacuum of pleasing other people. I gave everything I had in search of what I had right in front of me. My children needed me to see them and I needed them to see me…the real me. My children needed to be heard and I needed not only to listen and to hear them but they needed to listen and hear me as well. My children needed my unconditional love and I sooo needed the same from them. I needed to peel back the layers, toss off the cloak of secrecy and get real. 
It has been messy….so, so messy. I am not talking a few grass stains in the knees messy. I am talking “covered in mud, wresting with pigs and the pigs winning” messy. It is still messy and will be for a long time but anytime life gets real….it seems to get messy. 
The kids and I love to cook together. Everyone has a specialty in the kitchen and the food tastes amazing when complete but cooking is messy so the kitchen becomes a disaster in the process. Life is like that too. Growth and change are messy but the end result is beautiful and sooo worth the effort. Our lives are going to be messy for a while but we are in the process of cleaning it up…and as we work together we are seeing each other. We are listening to each other. We are loving each other in a way we never thought possible.  It is perfect? Hell no!  I have teenagers. No more cute pictures on social media of faces covered in food. No more posts about behavior that makes other moms nod but kids cringe. My kids are also seeing the real person that is their mom….the human being….who is messy too. 
I am learning to see, to listen  and to love my children, myself and others in new ways and it is an amazing journey. Would I wish this journey on any one else? FUCK NO! It has been Hell on Earth. There have been times that I wanted to run….far away and never look back.  Thanks to my friends that did not happen. They saw me. They heard me and they loved me. All the parts of me…the good, the bad and the messy me. My friends knew just what I needed and when, They have gotten messy with me on this journey of love. They have allowed me to find my way back to my heart. 
It is a debt I can never repay but will pay forward until my last breath. 
Thank you to my tribe.
Forward is a pace.

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