Permission to feel.

From Jami:

I desire to be known. I value authenticity. I desire real community and believe that begins with being honest. I also believe that the ability to be real/vulnerable is a gift and can often be abused or turned into something painful. To that end, I'm drawn to this space because I trust you (Mel) and the community you have created. The past few years have been very introspective ones and I'm slowly able to give words to the groaning that has been so near. I'm hopeful this process will further me along in my own journey, as well as be an encouragement to someone else.

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I've always said I lived a full life by the time I was 24, and I still believe that to be true in some ways. I was born on a mission field, grew up in a small town, traveled and studied abroad, and was involved in as many things I could get my hands on (sports, music, serving, leadership, etc.). I've been an adventurer on good days and a wanderer at the heart of me. I've known deep loss and a persistent craving for fulfillment.

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I'm a worker, a bit of a performer and a believer that I can always do better. Be better. That, among all else, has been the driving force in my life: Don't settle. Push harder. Sacrifice. Don't quit (“Fiedlers don't quit!”) And make sure to do all of this without taking up too much space. Be independent enough to hold your own and dependent enough to not be proud. And for goodness sake, figure it out already!

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I'm exhausted. Have been for a long time. Striving is so draining. And the most tiring part about it is the facade:  The constant tweaking of reality to ensure that the real me isn't ever fully seen by the public… Even though I say I value authenticity. 

I guess what I long for the most is the freedom to truly be at peace with being me. Without agenda. Without the rush to be more, do more, succeed more. To finally live a life that reflects who I am now, not who I think I'm supposed to be. Honestly, I don't even know who that girl is sometimes. 

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I miss her. The adventurer. Risk taker. Deep feeler. Free spirited lover of life. Beauty finder. Small town country girl with a heart for the world.

I miss me.

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I've always been told that I'm serious. Deep. Emotional. And it's true, I'm not the life of the party or the one that's good at chit chat. I'd rather hear about your feelings and true thoughts on something other than the surface things that consume so much of our lives. It's that desire for authenticity and connection that is rooted so deep inside of me.

When I was younger, I remember feeling so frustrated when I would ask someone how they were doing and they would just give a short “I'm fine” answer... Especially if I knew they weren't fine. I wanted to connect, to let them know that they weren't alone and that I was there to listen and to just be with them. 

This was especially painful when it involved family or close friends. I felt rejected and like I was the weird one for wanting to talk about feelings or emotions. 

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Eventually, I learned how to shove my feelings like a lot of other people do and to not let on too much that I cared so much. And as I did that, a big piece of me began to grow cold. I began to believe the lie that feeling deeply is foolish and that being strong and independent is best. As I did this, anger, resentment and bitterness began to push joy, compassion and gratefulness out.

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It's only been in the past couple of years that I've begun to see that ability in me as a strength and something to offer a hurting world. I still wrestle with the bad habit of shoving my feelings instead of embracing them, but I'm noticing that tendency more quickly. I desire to be more like the 12 year old Jami that had a heart that was full of love and compassion for others and who was willing to deal with the pain that can come from feeling deeply. A life lived like that is far more joyful than one of bitterness and self protection.

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I would offer myself more grace and give myself permission to feel.

 I am so hard on myself. Always. There is rarely a day that I think, “I did that well today.” Or “I was the best version of myself today”. I wish often that I would be comfortable in my skin and embrace ALL parts of me, instead of wishing many of them away (or working hard to rid myself of them). 

I would love with less fear, more courage and a whole lot more grace. 

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My name is Jami Lynette and I feel deeply, value authenticity and seek to add beauty in the world and in the lives of those around me. 

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