Joy

…is an inside job. Its something I knew I wouldn’t find joy from a job, a man, a new country, or really even with financial gain. I knew joy was an inside job and that it required work.

Work work work work work (cues Rhianna).

But seriously, nothing good comes to us without some work. Sure, there are instances where an opportunity come, but we have to do the work on maintaining a blessing that has seemingly “dropped” in our laps.

So, for the past few…years, really, I’ve been doing work. Work on my self esteem, work on my relationships with God, work with my mindset when it comes to obstacles and entitlement, work with my need to be accepted and acknowledged by men, by my friends, by my family.

The work I have done is leading me into a new freedom. Free from the opinions of others, I am discovering that my Joy simply comes from the Lord. Knowing that I am completely utterly and unconditionally loved and accepted by God NO MATTER WHAT has been the key to my joy and my hope and my freedom. I recognize that He is number one. He is most important and because I am human and I will fail, His grace is the best gift that never stops giving.

I can smile in the midst of defeat. I can laugh in the stead of failure. I can shift when I feel stuck because he gives me joy…that passes beyond all comprehension. Its amazing, its fulfilling, and its free. I didn’t earn it. I don’t deserve it. I can’t repay it. And it will never be taken away from me. Incredible love. Incredible joy.

Advertisements

Love yourself

Name 3 things you love about yourself.

That sounds taboo, right? So often we are focused on the things that we can fix or improve. Let’s take a moment and acknowledge self love. I love myself. Flaws and all- that is where my confidence comes from. If nothing else I have to choose to love me. I mean, I want others to love me. Why would I request or require of them something I fail to give myself? It doesn’t make sense.

So, self love and self care is real. We had a morning meeting and my student asked, “love yourself more than your mom?”. I replied, “well, if you don’t love yourself first it is very hard to love someone else”. We talked about it. I shared that for me, God, self, others is the order of my love.

Receiving and feeling loved by God first then reciprocating that love on me and passing it to those around me has proven difficult and yet so simple. I love because I am loved. You’d be surprised how many kids chose not to share a compliment about themselves to the group. My students are not shy, they are intelligent speakers, and I was really taken a back by the fact that only 50% of them shared what they “love about” themselves. We are going to work on this.

I told them to never lose the ability to encourage and build themselves up- it is a magic power. It is healing and warm. It is necessary and yet stolen so young. We teach children that recognizing their strengths is bragging. No it isn’t. I am a good teacher. That is true. I’m not putting anyone else down. It doesn’t mean I don’t have room to grow. I simply am a good teacher, right now, in this moment. As my students are in PE, I am filling my cup and preparing for the day ahead. I practice what I preach. I tell them to read and write daily and I do. I teach them to be confident and kind- and I am. I want them to solve problems and change the world and that is what I do…one lecture at a time, one lesson at a time, one book at a time, one blog post at a time!

I love myself.

Love yourself.

IMG_2561

Cramping so you know it’s real

I said I’d post daily and it’s 1am, so I’ve already failed. Let’s technically call this yesterday’s post.

Monday I felt like a mad woman and I knew “aunt flow” was coming. My emotions, hormones, attitude, and “feelings” were high. Today it was confirmed that I’m not crazy, I’m just a woman.

“Just a woman”. Ha! Oxymoron. This evening I cried. My laptop almost died while I was on an online interview after my laptop mouse failed to work properly and I … I remembered that I’m single and no one could sneak me my charger. I have friends and “people”. I have help and support. Yet, at that moment the reality of my singleness stung. I almost cried into the screen.

I hadn’t planned to be 30, divorced, and single. There was a time when I was 24, married, and hopeful. Then I was 25, married, and alone. That shift happened quickly and tonight I cried. I mourned my marriage. My heart broke again for the loss of a husband, once a friend. I retold and reread my story again. And say with the reality that I was always have “been married”. I’d love to be a big person and say I’m thankful for the lessons marriage taught me but so much of it was hard and sad and draining that  I can only really say, dating was fun and my marriage was supposed to be a good thing.

I don’t assign too much blame. I played a role, he played a role. One of us is a husband, a father…

One of us is single and healing…

Maybe both of us are free.

Podcast: https://anchor.fm/cassandra-bruington/episodes/Division-of-a-marriage-e1h7sn

 

 

 

 

 

Here we go again…

Weekends. They aren’t much different than my weekdays. I wake up early, I have things to do and I take action. Yesterday’s todo list consisted of grocery shopping, dishes, laundry, and planning, organizing, catching up with a friend and family, Instagraming, Netflixing, Facebooking, and resting. The rest came when I fell asleep sprawled across my bed with every light in my apartment on and 3/4 of the cabinets open. I looked like a mad woman train who had literally ran out of steam. Or a child who has been going all day and is stopped in her tracks but the sleep monster.

 

Ah, well…thats how weekends go. They are little more flexible and free than my weekdays but they compete in productivity. I get a lot done. Always. So today, I’ve realized, I didn’t really rest. I want to go to the beach, but I have two books I want to read, a book club at 7, and planning to do for the work week. I don’t think I’ll stay to watch the sunset as previously decided. Something has got to give. So, in true Cassandra fashion…I’m writing my goals down here, so that I can get to them.

Today:

  1. Close cabinets
  2. Pack for the beach
  3. Go to the Beach
  4. Be free at the beach (work or don’t work, read or don’t read, whatever…and take pics)
  5. Leave before sunset (you have planning, cooking, Book Club, and sleep to get)
  6. Book Club, plan, cook, sleep
  7. This list is too long.

 

Revised list:

  1. Plan for tomorrow
  2. Go to the beach
  3. Book Club
  4. Sleep

This blog was for me, but I hoped it help you. #prioritizerest

My theory about me

I’m so glad my password was saved and worked this time. I change passwords nearly every week. The range is from Spotify to bank sites to my amazon acct (not really that one is locked in tight). I gave my students an assignment to write about their theory of themselves and here is what I gathered about Cassandra (me).

 

Cassandra is complexity at its best. Resting #)$*@ (stone for the PG audience) face with a heart the texture of a marshmallow encased by ceramic pieces. She loves herself, she loves God, and she is learning to truly love others. Cassandra is driven…almost to the point of madness. She is an idea machine and her brain moves faster than the speed of light. She’s like a flickering lamp, constantly illuminating with ideas yet exhausted by energy expensed. Rapid fire ideas frustrated by the speed of man. Men. Cassandra is a lover. She loves children. Beaches. Change. Growth. A natural girl.

Mourning Divorce

I knew this would be a process, but geez! A week ago I had another dream. I have reconciliation dreams. Dreams where he comes back or he stays…or we are together. They are never beautiful. I always wake up with a feeling like “why can’t I stop dreaming this nonsense”. I’ll do a better job of capturing the feeling next time.

Its like an annoying reminder that we could have pushed through, could have made it, but…he wasn’t cut out for the struggle. And honestly, he wasn’t built for me. I’m a fighter, I’m tenacious, I’m a handful of love and energy and adventure…! I have my flaws and they are the same things that make me beautifully fearless and unique and strong.

I just finished a sermon series on relationships and I’m taking away a newfound appreciation for my singleness. (Its great for EVERYONE- single, married, divorced, dating, engaged)

Click and enjoy: https://youtu.be/H7h5BHax06c

For the past several months, I’ve been flirting with the concept of contentment in this stage, but its solid now. I go as I please, I travel solo dolo, I have friends visit, and I really just pursue purpose on my own terms. God is in the driver’s seat and I am learning to trust Him fully. I still mess up and start trusting myself and my own understanding, but I have taken Proverbs 3:5-6 to heart:

Proverbs 3:5 King James Version (KJV)

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

 

 

I feel like writing

Its funny that I don’t have anything specific in mind. I’m just going to begin typing and see what comes out.

Dance. I joined a contemporary class and its challenging. If I walk into class with heaviness in my heart it shows up in my movements and in my patience with my progress. Last class I was pissed. The instructor was moving too fast and I didn’t remember much as I was expected to run through with a group of two- the other two in my line.

I was irritated. I didn’t remember. I needed more time. I wasn’t ready and I hadn’t mastered these moves, so why on Earth would I want to “run through it with my line”? I struggled through after two suggestions to “feel the movement” and do what I could remember. Still sounds absurd, but I’m trying to apply that to life.

 

  1. Feel- be in the moment.
  2. Cast off the concern of perfection.

Story.

Of.

My.

Life.

 

One day I’ll get there. I’ll dance like no one is watching. Like the steps are mine to create. Like each movement is perfect without rehearsal. And until then…I’ll check the mirror but look at it less. More feeling, less thinking. More in the moment, less planning. More living, less analyzing my life.

Starting now.