• The truth about the expectations that tell you you're behind | lauraemichael.com

    You own your timeline: The truth about the expectations that tell you you’re behind

    Hey friend, I need you to know something.   Those expectations that tell you you’re behind, that your timeline is off, that make you feel unworthy, like you’re failing? They’re completely and totally made up. That’s right. Made up by society, culture, even our families.   And if you’ve ever needed evidence that this is true, our current situation is it.   Expectations of how productive we’re “supposed” to be and what we’re “supposed” to feel during an unprecedented, never-before-experienced-by-anyone-in-this-lifetime pandemic showed up within what seemed like minutes of the stay-at-home orders. Yet, no one knows how to do this. No one has lived through this before. There is no…

  • How to break free of ruminating thoughts | lauraemichael.com

    How to break free of ruminating thoughts

    I’ve been a ruminator for as long as I can remember.   In high school, I’d lie awake at night thinking about all that could go wrong the next day. As I grew older, I realized that by ruminating on what could be, some part of me believed I could prevent it from happening. Surely, I thought, if I experienced it enough in my own mind, I could keep it from manifesting into the real world. Simultaneously, I believed that somehow those repetitive thoughts, cycling through my mind like a preview to a movie I never wanted to see, were preparing me. If this ever became reality, I would be…

  • Grace over comparison: Why we don't need to compare our pain for it to be valid | lauraemichael.com

    Grace over comparison: Why we don’t need to compare our pain for it to be valid

    “At least you have a husband.”   Yep. I’ve said it. Probably more times than I can count. Maybe not out loud, but certainly in my mind. Someone is telling me a frustration or challenge they’re having with their spouse, and the whole time I’m labeling them as ungrateful. You have exactly what I want, how dare you complain about it?   Have you been there, too?   It’s easy to do if we aren’t careful. To take our own feelings and frustrations and project them onto another. To label or judge someone else’s pain. To assume someone must not be grateful for what they have because they’re struggling to…

  • The truth about someone else getting what you want | lauraemichael.com

    The truth about someone else getting what you want

    “It’s never going to happen for me.”   How many times have you had this thought when you found out that someone else was getting married, or even just got a boyfriend? This thought that because someone else has what you hope for, it can’t or for some reason won’t happen for you now? Honestly, I think my own personal count is probably nearing the thousands. But there’s something I’ve come to know that I need to tell you, in case you’ve found yourself in that place today, and I desperately hope that you’ll hear me:   Just because something happens for someone else before it happens for you, doesn’t…

  • How to restore hope when you doubt what's possible | lauraemichael.com

    How to restore hope when you doubt what’s possible

    So there’s something that you want.   Maybe even something that you’re working hard toward. You’re scrolling through Instagram, and BAM. Right there, before your eyes, you see someone else has it or has done it first. What’s your first thought? I’ll be honest. My immediate instinct, the second I realize someone else already has what I want or was hoping for is to think “That’s it. It can never happen for me now”.   Have you been there, too? If you have, know you’re in good company.   But have you ever thought about why? Why do we believe that because someone else got there first, it’s suddenly out…

  • Life on the other side of broken dreams: Embracing the unexpected and unplanned | lauraemichael.com

    Life on the other side of broken dreams: Embracing the unexpected and unplanned

    All my dreams didn’t come true in 2019.   In fact, they didn’t come true even in the last decade. I started 2010 face down on my bed, sobbing into a pillow at the stroke of midnight. I had been dumped just a few days earlier, a time when I once thought I would be getting engaged. Ten years later, I thought it would be a pretty rad story if I could post that I spent New Years Eve 2019 next to my husband, or at the very least, my boyfriend.   Well, if you saw my NYE post, you know that’s not what happened, but in a surprising twist,…

  • Letting go and moving forward when life doesn't go as planned | lauraemichael.com

    Letting go and moving forward when life doesn’t go as planned

    A few weeks ago, an improv group came to do a workshop for our team at work.   I promptly deleted the invitation when it landed in my inbox, as getting up in front of a group and making up a fictional story WITH ZERO PLAN is my worst nightmare. But the day of, I relented to the peer pressure of my co-workers (I hadn’t had my coffee yet. I was weak). Little did I know that I would leave that workshop with something I could not shake. The leader of the group was explaining that in improv, you can truly only react to what happens. You may have a…

  • How our generation can change the way the world thinks about singleness | Singleness | Christian Singles | Going First | Be the First | Living Well | Dating Tips | Being Single | justbeautifullyhonest.com

    How our generation can change the way the world thinks about singleness

    I was at a work conference recently and the speaker said something that I haven’t been able to shake.   He was talking about how hesitant people are to do anything (in fact, they may even think its impossible) until they see someone else do it first. Then suddenly, once one person has done it, everyone else feels like they can do it too. That thought threw me back to the way I used to look at living life as a single girl.   Growing up, I had never seen a woman live and thrive in life without a man.   That wasn’t the story in my family, nor in…

  • Why our beliefs about our singleness matter | Singleness | Being Single | Words Matter | Words are Actions | Be Positive | Singleness Advice | justbeautifullyhonest.com

    Why our beliefs about our singleness matter

    A few months ago I changed the tagline of my blog to “Changing the Way We Think About Singleness.”   Though I’ve been writing for several years now, I never quite knew what I wanted my message to be. Then I noticed a theme. My writing had become an extension of my own personal journey with singleness, and there was one aspect that evolved most throughout the story:   The way that I thought about singleness.   You see, early on in my journey with singleness, I drew conclusions based on what I thought I saw around me. Those conclusions became repetitive thoughts, that eventually became beliefs:   Everyone I…

  • What it looks like to be content single, and still looking (and why we can do both) | Content Single | Contentment | Singleness | Being Single | Single Christian | Dating Tips | justbeautifullyhonest.com

    What it looks like to be content single and still looking (and why we can do both)

    What was your reaction the first time someone suggested being content in your singleness?   I’m pretty sure my internal response was something like “Um sure, thanks for your input. Now please take that thought with you and get on up outta here. Also don’t come back. Thanks. God bless.” I literally could not wrap my mind around it. To me, saying yes to contentment meant saying no to ever being married. It felt like giving up. If I was content, why would I keep looking? How would it ever happen? I honestly used to have those thoughts.   But then last week, as I sat alone on a beach…