Choice

I will begin with a trigger warning.
*This post contains opinions on abortion.
*This post contains opinions on faith and religion.
*This post contains facts that may change your perception of me.
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All that being said, it is time. I have authored this post over and over again in my head for years. I have thought about the way in which I wanted to tell my story. I have talked myself out of sharing this time and time again ….. mostly due to shame.
Over 30 years ago, I had an abortion.
Full stop.
The story of how and why…those are mine to own. I do not have to share my reasons with anyone. I share those parts with those who deserve the details.
I live with the choice I made each and every day. To dismiss my choice by saying it was the easy way out is to not understand the weight and gravity of the choice.
I remember every part of the events leading up to and after the day of my appointment. There are certain sounds and smells that trigger the memories when I least expect it. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my whole life……and I went alone. I lived with my secret for years out of shame from my church, from my friends and my family.
I was raised Catholic and taught Catholic school for over 20 years. Once I got married and had more children, I raised them Catholic. I went to mass every week and I prayed every day for forgiveness. But the longer I stayed and prayed, I could not escape the nagging feeling that the God I loved thought less of me because of my choice as a young woman. The God, the Jesus, the Mary that I pray to each day were ones that believe in forgiveness. I just needed to forgive myself. Not for having the abortion….but for allowing the church and others to make me feel ashamed for the choice I made.
Once I forgave myself, I made another choice. The choice to leave a church that preaches shame over empathy, condemnation over acceptance and hypocrisy over sincerity.
I have written before about my faith. My faith is steadfast and strong. I still pray daily, but I pray to the loving, accepting God that I believe created each of us in their image.
I live with the choice I made every single day. But here’s the thing….I HAD A CHOICE.
I had a choice because the government recognized that the choice is personal and should be made with a medical professional not a priest, pastor or politician. I am fortunate enough to live in a state that protects a woman’s right to choose but I fear for my children, especially my daughters. They now live in a country with less reproductive rights than I had at their age.
The reasons a woman would choose to have an abortion are as individual and unique as each woman. Each and every woman should have agency over her own health and choices.
I realize that finally sharing my story opens me up to criticism and commentary. I am ok with that. If the fact that I had an abortion in my 20’s changes the way you feel about me, well then that is your choice to make and I respect that choice.
I will always help those who need support. I will always be a safe space and place for any woman. I will always support a woman’s right to choose.
Peace.
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

2s-day

Today is 2-22-22.
It is such a magical number and an even more magical day!
It falls on a Tuesday!
It is a palindrome date (same backwards and forwards).
And I am the #tutulady!
The number 2 is an angel number (Angel numbers are recurring sequences of numbers that have spiritual significance, according to numerology). The number 2 represents balance in nature as all life is about balance. The number 2 also represents opposites such as left and right and up and down. When we are balanced, we are in harmony with life. Seeing the number 2 repeating is a gentle reminder that I need to work on balancing some aspects of my life. I mean wearing a tutu and running/dancing is all about balance!
The number 2 is the most feminine of all the numbers, and its vibration resonates with the vibration of joy, balance and peace. It relates to the desire for love, health, harmony and happiness within all relationships. People who see this number regularly are authentic, artistic, creative, tolerant, emotional, highly sensitive, loyal, devoted and intuitive.
2-2 is my angel number. I see the number 2 a great deal. I need things in pairs or even numbers in my home and in my life because I crave balance. Anyone who knows me knows I surrounds myself with the word peace and symbols of peace! And joy? Have you met me? I live my life from a place of constant joy!!!
This special 2-22-22 Tuesday is one that will not appear again for a long time, thus we need to make the most of it! As it is a day of balance, peace, and joy, let’s make the most of it!
Make a list of 22 things that bring you joy! The items on the list can be grand or minuscule….just put them on the list! They will be powerful reminders to look for joy today and every day.
Then make a second list of 22 people that bring you joy. Take a moment today to reach out to each one of those people with an email/call/text and thank them for bringing you joy!
Let’s celebrate the number 2-22-22 today by sharing peace and JOY!
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

Grace

Grace. Giving grace to others is about showing kindness even when it is not always deserved.  To me, grace is going out of my way to show compassion, kindness and love to someone even if they might not appreciate it, or return the favor. It is choosing to do the right thing even when someone may have hurt me in the past or might even hate the sight of me. Giving grace to others means I take the high road.
That high road is long, lonely and exhausting. Doing the right thing, giving grace, is not always my first instinct nor is it always easy. It is often difficult and painful. But in the end, I know that it is the right thing to do.
These past few years I have done what I thought was the right thing over and over again. I have witnessed my children in deep pain in many different ways. I have soaked it all up like a sponge. I have slapped on a smile and kept my mouth closed all while absorbing their pain. They each lash out and emote in different ways. I see and feel their pain like only a mom can. My momma heart knows that I am the ‘safe’ one. They know that my love is stable and unwavering, that I am not going anywhere. So they emotionally vomit all over me and I just clean it all up. I continually offer them grace.
I want things to be easier for my children. I want to take away all the pain and make things easier for them. I want to feel all the hard feelings for them so them don’t have to experience any of it. But I can’t. I know that ‘you have to feel it to heal it.’ So I offer them grace.
The same it true for my friends. I see and feel their pain too. I absorb it all. I am an emotional sponge. And I offer everyone grace.
I am terrified to let any one down, scared to disappoint anyone. It seems that no matter what I do, not matter how hard I try, it is never really enough. Doing the right thing, taking the high road, supporting everyone, is exhausting and I am so very tired. I keep trying to balance all the spinning plates, but can’t stop some from stopping, falling, breaking. There is little to no grace left.
After it is all said and done, at the end of each day, I become so overwhelmed with trying to fix things and protect people that I lose myself in the process. I struggle to find myself in it all and find my center. I struggle to find a piece of that grace I so willingly and generously offer to others.
So what then? Well, I grab the little scrap of grace that is left and hold on for dear life. I cling to what remains like a drowning person. A person drowning in an ocean of tears and feelings. A person who is struggling to stay afloat. I remain in that space, floating, until I can regain my composure, find my footing and begin again.
Give yourself some grace before there is none left for you. Allow yourself to float for a minute…or more. Because when you offer yourself grace, it is so much easier to offer it to others.
Peace.
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

Cheetah

Turns out ….
I used to think I was crazy. Why? I was made to believe I was crazy. I was told over and over that I was crazy. I was gaslit until I did not know up from down and forward from backward. 
Turns out….
I used to be an angry, broken woman. Why? I was told over and over that I  was angry for no reason and I was broken beyond repair. 
Turns out….
Life is difficult and glorious and more exciting than I ever realized. Why? I forgot who I was and that I can do hard things like step out of my comfort zone to use the word no. 
Turns out….
I know more than I ever thought possible once I trust my own knowing. 
Turns out…..
I hold the power to create the beautiful, untamed life I want for others and myself. 
Turns out….
I am not crazy or angry or broken. 
Turns out….
I am a GODDAMN CHEETAH.