10 Life-changing things I wish I had known about before my 40’s

1. Dealing with Narcissists/Covert Narcissists: and how often it’s a root cause of #3 and #4. (how did I live 40 years NEVER having been exposed to this disorder when it hits so close to home?)

2. HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) #thisisme (it’s not about feelings being hurt… it’s about how you experience/absorb everything around you.) 
3. Spiritual Abuse (what it is, how to respond, how prevalent it is in the church, and the trauma it causes, etc…) 

4. Trauma and what can cause it and what the symptoms of it can manifest as. (Especially in regards to adoption, abuse of all types, and ongoing chronic stress)  #thebodykeepsscore

5. There is a difference between racist people and racist systems and how a person can be easy to condemn and be vocal against but yet we continue to uphold the systems in our everyday actions and conversations. 

6. The personal cost of fighting against racist and unjust systems. And how little marked progress will likely be made in one’s lifetime but still it’s worth it. 

7. Not to put spiritual leaders on a pedestal…no matter how awesome their theology/methodology may truly seem.  Just don’t do it.

8. How what our kids need the very most is connectedness with their parents. To be heard, to be seen, to be known, and to be responded to. (instead of the discipline/behavior-based type of parenting I pursued before. 

9. That thing you’re feeling guilty over being/not being as a parent… another parent is out there feeling guilty over just the opposite. You have to just act and move forward in humility knowing that you’re not going to get it all right or all wrong.  

10. That various desires and opportunities to pursue things will come in various decades and growth doesn’t always mean it gets easier or wealthier… It’s okay to have captured the world on film and styled everyone’s hair and have a thriving social life in my 20’s … and to have put most of that aside and loved the craziness of babies and bottles and adoption processes and church planting teams, and Texas living in my 30’s….. Then now in my 40’s to feel like I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing apart from putting to the test the things I have always believed to be true, digging up hurt and navigating healing, and trying not to fail as a parent too much. I’m just hoping that this season is where even though what is supposed to be taking up my days and years is exhausting, stressful, and challenging that one day, it proves to be just as incredible and beautiful as the decades before. I have faith that it will.

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