I am here to give you some real-talk advice about thriving in the world with a big, wild heart. This one comes from a dear childhood friend of mine, more like a sister. This is her, and now my best tool for choosing to LOVE WILD. [read about the Love Wild style when it first came out!]
It’s called “bless and release.”
I met my oldest friend, Mandy Carter, in the back of our mothers’ jazzercise class when we were 2 years old. She is a teacher of middle school (respect!) and a mother and wife to the beautiful Millie May and Jay, respectively. She first exposed me to the “bless and release” 10 or so years ago and it changed the way i move and live in the world. we laugh and say ‘bless and release’ when we come upon a person that just does NOT align with how we see the world, who is spewing fear or hate, who maybe is coming from a place of toxic self-centeredness.
This person, in our youth, would make our heads spin and fire shoot out of our ears. We would spend the our whole damn evening talking about how ridiculous they were! Now that we are evolved (ha! we try), we utter ‘bless and release’ under our breath and walk away smiling.
It is so important to take account of how much of your precious energy you spend telling or wishing others to be different. They get to be how they choose to be, you get to be how you choose to be. The end.
‘Bless and release’ allows you to maintain your offer of love while not wasting unnecessary fucks on anyone else’s choice of how to live in the world. This can be hard. Releasing the care of others’ opinions is as important as hearing your own opinions. I’ll give you a couple of life examples.
You are in the grocery store gathering the things you like to eat and drink. An older woman walks up to you and glances into your buggy. She looks at you disapprovingly and says, “you know that eating all that dairy is not good for you!” My past self would have said, “yes ma’am, I’ve heard that but, but it’s a weakness of mine and I’m having a bad day and I need two tubs of pimento cheese and two pints of ice cream because I’m weak and gross and full of dairy sadness…” and then walk away, head low, feeling bad about myself and wishing I had more willpower. Dreading the judgement I was sure to face in the checkout aisle.
NOW it goes like this:
She says, “you know that eating all that dairy is not good for you!” I respond with a smile and my head held high, “thank you for your opinion, ma’am.” and walk away repeating “bless and release” in my head as I make sure I have enough crackers to consume all that delicious pimento cheese with. The “bless” is an offer of love for their unwanted health bulletin, i’m sure she felt like she was helping and loving me. And the “release” is a stiff breeze that blows away her judgment and any leftover concern about her opinion.
BONUS: this goes for close friends and family as well as strangers. That uncle of yours that will NOT stop bugging you about your life choices; nod and smile… bless his heart, thinking he gets any damn say in how you live your life. “Thank you for your opinion, Uncle” then bless and release.
My point is: You do you. With pride, with love.
Some will see you in all your glory and just won’t be able to get enough. Some will not ever be able to see you, so bless them on their way and release any power they have over you.
Choosing love means that when you approach a new or very familiar person you come from a place of love. You listen openly and with acceptance and decide whether you are going to ‘bless and release’ or ask more questions.
You get to choose who and what you give a fuck about. Only you.
As we head into the holiday season, keep this tool tucked in your belt. It will come in handy.
with SO much love for you,
stay brave and authentic,