You cannot have what you refuse to build

Life seems to be littered with motivational sayings and feel-good memes, which is nothing I’m turning my nose up to as sometimes one or two may resonate with you.  Today, that happened.  I was flipping through my IG feed and saw this…

I have been in a relatively good place of late, despite having lost my dad and allowing myself moments of grief in between work, self-improvement, parenting and current love-status.  Those moments of grief feel overwhelming and require several deep belly-breaths to bring the feelings of despair and loss to a relatively sane state.  Loss is a cornucopia of emotion; anger, sadness, isolation, irrationality, betrayal, relief, healing – I could go on.

That’s not why I’m writing today.  I woke this morning with terrible bags under my eyes which is ALWAYS a sure-fire indication of many shed tears the night prior.  I am uncertain if what I’m going through is the consequence of grief, but if I could show you inside my soul, brain and heart, it would look something like this.

I think any life event like death or marriage or divorce or the birth of your first child or employment loss or economic instability can guide you towards some self-reflection.  You become introspective and may ask a lot WHYS and HOWS and NOW WHATS.

The loss of my dad has made me wonder what his last lucid moments were like, when he willingly faced his own death.  He knew his heart would stop, his lungs would rise and fall for the last times, his eyes would blink, but not open and that which we have no knowledge of was impending – death.  With that willingness of the end, he must of been reflecting – what could have he done differently; who could he have loved more; did he ever want to get a perm again or travel to places he’d never been, eat Jalebi or ride a donkey; had he wished he ran or tried the holla hoop, got that tattoo he’d been chatting about or even just find peace in being alone.

I am certain of a few things in my life.


I only want to make people better and happier.  When I started training women, I had an amazing desire to help them see their own ability, to work through the crap in their heads that prevented them from doing something they feared they could not.  I had a trainer who helped me with that, and I cultivated this belief of “you can” so intensely in my own soul, I knew I could help others find it them as well.  This takes time and attention. It takes focus on who you are with when you are with them.  It means putting down your phone when you are just sitting beside someone so the attention and energy is in the moment.  Every second you have with someone you love or even that stranger on the bus, lends you an opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face, lift their spirits or even take their minds away from their own distractions of life.  Talk about a super power!  I love the tangibleness of having so many chances in every day  to make a positive impact if we just took the time to recognize those moments.  This takes effort.

You cannot have what you refuse to build.

I will continue to give where I can, even if it means going without.  There was a time in my life, while in my marriage and refusing to talk openly about finances, where I had to cash in all my retirement savings to pay my bills.  I remember waking up in pure panic knowing that my bank account was in overdraft, my three credit cards were maxed out and I didn’t know how I was going to make ends meet.  I took a risk last year at this time and have afforded my life the opportunity to have zero consumer debt, investments for my future (ish – I truly believe in enjoying life while you can!), and a lifestyle that is still modest with occasional enjoyment.  I open my bills when they come in (I never did), I pay everything on time, and I plan for big expenses.  And most of all, I give where I can.  I financially support those things that are close to me and the ones I love.  I give when others are in need and like giving surprises where I can! This takes effort.

You cannot have what you refuse to build.

My health and abilities are top priorities unmatched to any other time in my life.  My dad loss the use of his legs about four weeks before he passed away.  You can imagine what follows that – almost entire dependence on others for assistance.  At almost 300 lbs, I remember how terrible it was to get out of bed, to walk down and up the stairs, to play with my daughter, to have sex with the lights off, to struggle with feeling like I was outside my body ALL THE TIME, the headaches, the joint pain, and the everlasting feeling like I was never enough for those around me – that I was my weight and nothing more than that.  I am not pushing myself physically and emotionally and spiritually to look super hot, I am doing it because I never want to think “I can’t”. This takes effort.

You cannot have what you refuse to build.

Love and heartache will be apart of my life.   This sounds both wonderful and sad at the same time, doesn’t it?  Being in a long term relationship as I had been for 21 years, I was shielded from the heartache of break-ups, although ultimately this happened.  Love is the fun part, but I have learned from past reflection, you need to work really hard at it.  I failed to do that.  You need to listen, and talk, and care, and touch, and say thank you, and say I’m sorry, and stay connected, and enjoy alone time, and share, and cry, and have amazing sex, and cook together, and read together, and travel, and giggle, and kiss passionately and tenderly, and know when something is off, and most of all, not compromise who you are to keep the other person happy.  I wont be shushed, or held back, or be any less of who I am for someone else.  I wont fall silent.  I most certainly will not be afraid of the heartache that may come if it means we are being true to who we are.  This takes effort.

You cannot have what you refuse to build.

Effort is needed for our lives to be in ever-forward motion.  We have to choose to wake up in the morning, feed our bodies well and move to add to longevity, love hard and often, embrace our kids and make them feel protected, do well at work to earn money to fund food in our bellies and a roof over our head.

But, most importantly, we have decide.  And once we decide, we have to put in the work to build.

Because, how different our world would be if we stayed the same, with no innovation, no art to love and talk over or new foods to taste and savour.  Someone along the way decided to NOT refuse to build, but to take the first step towards that which they wanted.

I encourage you to do the same.




6 thoughts on “You cannot have what you refuse to build

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