* The photo to the left and quote were borrowed from http://www.whats-your-sign.com. The fir tree is a celtic symbol for honesty, progress, longevity, resilience, friendship, and perceptiveness. You’ll understand why I chose to include this in my post after reading my “10 not-so-secret-anymore truths.”

1. I struggle with the concept of religion. Not the whole “Is there a God” type of thing. I have faith and I believe in a higher power and a life after death. I believe  everyone is made up of energy and that, depending on where they are in their lives, they put out certain vibes to others positive, negative. I believe everything happens for a reason, and that you and only you have the power to control how you respond to it. And I believe that there is a purpose in everything that happens to us, a lesson to be learned, and step to climb. I’m just not sure where church, the Bible, Jesus, scripture, etc. etc. fits into all that.

2. I do not like to talk politics with ANYONE although I have some strong political views of my own (though I’m not sure exactly what they are based on, perhaps gut instinct like most of my views in life). To me politics is confusing, it’s a reason for major conflict, a reason for wars, and strong feelings and hurtful words, stories, etc. and I don’t believe we EVER hear the whole story. This may sound like a cop out for  not being more politically involved or aware, but it is a work in progress.

3. I have a younger sister who is so unlike me it is refreshing, frustrating, and down right annoying some time. We look different, we think differently, we feel differently, we respond differently to just about everything, but we love each other just the same, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to share my life, stories, family and sisterly heart with.

4. I am a little neurotic and get anxious when things feel out of control. It can be caused by a cluttered house, a long laundry list of to-dos that I can’t seem to organize in my mind, or simply waking up on the wrong side of the bed. My daughter called it OCD the other day, but in pulling out the DSM IV diagnostic manual I am thoroughly convinced that it hasn’t gone that far. My obsessions aren’t getting in the way of everyday life, on most days they don’t cause me undue distress and though my behaviors may seem repetitive at times, it’s only because as a mom of three children who love to be picked up after, and wife of a clutter-producing, seemingly disorganized but highly methodical husband, I have to continually redo the things that have been undone.

5. I suck at keeping in touch. I buy greeting cards I don’t send them. Just ask my mom, her birthday card from Feb. 3 is still sitting unmailed on my counter and she was only a mile up the road that day. I think about calling someone while driving to an appointment and forget about it by the time I get home. I get birthday alerts via email, only to delete them after the date has passed and I have, once again forgotten to send the card that I purchased weeks ago … which brings me to Truth #6

6. I have very high expectations of my friends which include being truthful (regardless of how I feel about that), loving me “warts and all,” having the ability to talk only twice a year but when we get together it’s as if no time has passed, knowing that distance means NOTHING in friendships and … understanding that they are thought of often (even on special occasions) even if they don’t hear from me at those times. And they should expect the same in return.

7. I HATE people who live without integrity. People who tell people what they want to hear even though they have told three other people completely opposing things. People who claim to be one way and act another, and people who live hypocritical lives. People who appear to be kind and caring, but who lash out at others in secret and/or behind their backs. People who use their power to negatively effect others lives.

8. Despite my TRUTH #7, I often give people the benefit of the doubt (sometimes to my own demise). “Screw me once shame on you. Screw me twice shame on me.” I try to understand why people behave or react to certain situations the way they do, and I often check myself, and redirect my own actions if I’m beginning to become the type of person described above in #7.

9. I live with positive intentions! I don’t do things to be rewarded in the end. I don’t respond to events with an alterior motive. I don’t act with the intention of hurting people, and I’m always looking within to see what I can do better to make sure that this is how I live my life, because as we all know, even though we tell ourselves we are doing things with positive intentions, when we delve deep into our very being and ask those tough questions, we may find the truth within to be otherwise.

10. I am not afraid to apologize or say I’m wrong (although this hasn’t always been the case because I have been known to be stubborn — truth #11 but who’s counting) when it is called for. I’ve been known to apologize to friends, my husband, my parents, my sister, my kids, even though it may at the time cause me great pain, but I always feel better knowing it was needed and called for.

Now that these are written down for all to see, I give you all permission to check me at the door when you don’t see or hear me living these truths. Yikes. Now that’s putting it out there.