Unapologetically Me

I love this so much!
I remember a time when my Mom said, stop apologizing! I said, what do you mean??
She told me that I apologized for everything, all the time, even for things that I shouldn’t. What’s crazy is that I didn’t even realize I was doing that. I became so accustomed to saying I’m sorry that it basically became a habit.
I’m what I like to call a “recovering people pleaser.”
I’ve spent most of my life trying to make other people happy, a lot of times at the expense of my own happiness. What I realized is that, in striving to be everything to everyone, I forgot about me. I was like a chameleon, changing (sometimes moment by moment) to adapt to who I was around; just being who they needed at the time. Well, you do that for long enough and you can wake up one day with the realization that you don’t even know who you really are.
Losing one of my identities only complicated this further. I was Jonathan’s wife. So, when I lost him, I really lost my sense of self. For almost 6 years now, I’ve been on a journey of grief, only parenting grieving kids, trying to maintain a household by myself, navigating my way through changed relationships, deconstructing (and reconstructing) my faith, and trying to learn to live again.
One of the biggest things I’ve had to face is seeing myself for who I really am. I realized that I felt my worth was all about what I did for others.
I was Jonathan’s wife
I am Chase and Brenna’s Mom
I am a daughter, a sibling, an aunt, a friend
I am still all of those things and they are important, but above all else, I’m Joni.
I am not what has happened to me
I am not who I used to be
I am not the mistakes I have made
I am not who others think I am
I am not invisible or anonymous
I am not what I look like
I am not what I do
So many of us practically kill ourselves trying to be something or someone else. Desperately and tirelessly attempting to fulfill this imaginary list of qualities or capabilities that we think will make us feel loved or happy. And then we have to spend a ridiculous amount of time tearing through the layers of unrealistic pressures and expectations we have put on ourselves. It’s exhausting. I know because it’s what I have done.
I am the daughter of the most high God, who created me in His image. He doesn’t make mistakes. He formed me with His very hands. He loves me. He created me completely unique, down to my fingertips. So why shouldn’t that be good enough for me??

Be unapologetically YOU ??

Published by Joni@GrieftoLife

Gotta love the 'About Me' sections of everything. I feel like I'm either in a one sided interview or trying to create a dating profile. "I like starry nights and long walks on the beach" Ha! All jokes aside, it is necessary to share your story. Especially in a place like this where you hope to reach people through your struggles. So here goes everything... Hi everyone 👋🏼 Grief is a journey, an ever changing and painful process. It can isolate you and make you feel more lonely than one could ever imagine. That is why I write and share my story. We need support. We need people that "get it." We need each other. I was married to the love of my life, just shy of 13 years. We went to school together, known him since elementary. He was my "boyfriend" in 5th grade. I even wrote "Joni Roberts" in my notebooks and cheered for him when he played basketball at recess 😂 We came back together when we went to the prom, as friends, our senior year in high school. That was in 1997. We started dating seriously in the summer of 1998. He asked me to be his wife in February of 1999. We said "I do" on October 2nd of the same year. We had our first child in October of 2000, our son. We had our daughter, 22 months later in August of 2002. In the time we were married, we went through more than most could go through in a lifetime. We never gave up on each other. In June of 2012, he and I were in a horrible car accident that claimed his life. In an instant, my entire world was shattered, leaving me a grieving single mother of two grieving children who are now teenagers. I'm walking day by day through life without the one that would be with me forever. I would have never imagined that this is where I would be in my life at 38 years old. But, I am doing everything I can to be strong, to raise our two children, to take this grief and use it to fuel the purpose for the rest of my days here on earth. ONE. DAY. AT. A. TIME. Today: I am in the waiting room for my first neurologist appointment. It is in the same office as my surgeon from the accident. I'm sitting here remembering myself horribly hurt and in a wheelchair and I'm overwhelmed with feelings but mostly reflecting on how far I've come. I love and miss my best friend every single day. I'm positive that won't change until we are together again. I am choosing to try and live my life in a way that would honor him and make him proud. Living With Purpose.

49 thoughts on “Unapologetically Me

  1. Thanks for sharing and being open! I used to be the same way lol. I remember they would tell me, “You say sorry for everything.” I was like that to and well I’m still trying to balance things out. I want people to be happy but I try to not exhaust myself to make others happy like I used to. It’s a learning process but it’s cool to find someone I can relate to. God bless and keep it up! You’re doing great.

  2. You are enough, precious one. Each of us lives, to some extent, to please those around us. I find that, when those who I want to please ignore me, I am actually being given more permission to be myself. I hope you always give yourself permission, from this day forward, to be Joni. <3

  3. A really close friend of mine has the habit of apologizing all the time. He apologized for nothing and it always drove me crazy. It was after a lot of effort but, I finally made him stop apologizing.
    Great post! ?

  4. Thanks for sharing… you have dealt with dark days with courage and determination, always looking forward… you need not apologize to anyone…. 🙂
    “When you are truly inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project… your mind transcends its limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world! Then those dormant forces, faculties and talents inside you become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” Patanjali “

  5. Hi Joni: It is so good to see that you are accepting yourself for the special creation of God, because that is who you are, and Whose you are.
    You don’t need to compare yourself with, or to anyone, except our Lord Jesus Christ, since you are made in His image, His Spirit lives within you, and you are His Ambassador.
    Before you were born, God had a purpose and plan for your life. And even better news is; He prepared you for all His Plans He has for you, He prepared the plans to be done by you, and then, God Himself works in you to desire to fulfill His Plan, and to act accordingly to fill each plan, for His Purpose.
    God has great things for you my friend, seek Him and you have the best, most fulfilled life possible.
    Ephesians 2:10
    10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
    Philippians 2:13
    13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
    Philippians 1:6
    6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
    Matthew 6:33
    33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
    God Bless you and your family Joni,

  6. Well stated and from the heart no doubt. You are special and God has special plans for your life and family because you honor Him. You sacrifice for others but allow yourself to enjoy life to the fullest as well. Enjoy your relationships while cherishing the memories.

  7. That is a very healing realization when we acknowledge we are not what we are based on juxtaposition to those around us. We are not the events of the past. We are who we are, and that can only be summed up as you’ve so aptly said. I’m a Son or Daughter of The Most High. Nuff said.

  8. This is so timely and so on point. As woman we tend to wear so many hats, as you do beautifully stated in your post. We are Moms, wives, teachers, cook, coach, doctors of many studies in the home. If we work in or outside the home we are everything they need us to be for that organization. Let us not forget about the many family and friend hats. So we are constantly balancing, exchanging hserving and pouring out.

      1. Exactly! What’s funny as I was correcting my reply, a text from my wonderful daughter, “I’m ready, can you pick me up.” Rushing as I switch my hat to Lyft Mom, I hit the “REPLY” button. I laughed, said to myself, “typos.” Took a deep, smiled… Motherhood is a full time ministry, but I will maximize & take moments for me.

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