Raise Your Standards

Can I be honest? Lately, life has been whooping my a$$. I’ve been having the most awkward and uncomfortable, vulnerable conversations. I’ve had to out myself about shortcomings and secrets I’ve been hiding for years.

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It’s one thing to share your truth with a friend, or even a randomโ€”like a bartender or the unfortunate stranger next to you on a flight. ๐Ÿ˜† It’s a WHOLE ‘nother thing to share your truths with your offspring. To expose your most vulnerable secrets to the one person whose opinion matters most… is terrifying.

Well, I did that about a week ago. My daughter is a bit more mature than most her age, and we have a really close relationship. There are boundaries, of course, but we talk. And as much as we talk, there are some things that we hadn’t talked about, because I was afraid of how she’d view me if she knew. Little by little throughout the year (especially after Easter’s grand event ๐Ÿ™„), I’ve been telling her bits and pieces of my past, but this issue is in my present.

I came clean because my secrets were impacting our relationship, and she deserved to know the truth. I came clean because I know there is one person who would love to kick the legs from under our connection, by telling her something I had not shared. I came clean because our relationship matters to me more than any other relationship on this earth and her trust matters.

I have never liked for anyone to have power over me because of a secret. When I was a little girl, one of my siblings (I won’t say which ๐Ÿ™„) threatened to tell on me so they had me working as their personal butler. I was tired of running around following orders, so I went to my mom. I told on myself, THEN I told on them for using it to control me. They got in trouble. ๐Ÿ˜† So as far back as I can remember, I never tolerated being controlled by a secret.

I’m still that way. I like to be in control of my narrative, as much as possible. If you read my other blog about my ex, you understand why it’s so important for me to tell my stories myself. I learned the hard way, that when other people tell our stories, they subtract and add….

One beautiful gift my amazing daughter gave me this year is unconditional love. I was used to giving it, but not necessarily receiving it. However, no matter what stories I shared with her, she has loved me anyway. Our relationship has grown closer.

It might seem like a “duh” moment to you, but it was a surprise for me. My greatest terror for years was that if she knew all about me, like really knew me, she would reject me. But she didn’t. A few days ago, I revealed my deepest shame and she loved me anyway.

Through her response, she helped me raise my standard. She offered me unconditional love and I was moved. It healed me. And then I realized, that’s what I offer to others. I deserve to get that in return.

I offer unconditional love and that’s what I expect in return. I believe the people in my life have good intentions, and that’s what I expect in return. If someone I care about is struggling, and I’m able to help, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, and that’s what I expect in return….

I am now at a point in my life where I am acknowledging my worth. My standard now is to receive the love I give. This is no longer an area where I settle and say, “opposites attract.” I’m attracted to reciprocity.

I offer love that feels like love and that’s all I’ll accept in return. I’m done chasing people. I’m done with one-sided friendships and relationships. I’m done being confused on where I stand. “Love feels like love” is my test for evaluating if what I’m doing, and who I’m doing it with, is worth my time, effort, and presence….

This season of life has been challenging AND I’ve learned so many lessons. I still believe “all things have purpose.” I still believe that “God” loves me too much to have me go through for no reason. I still believe that things happen for me, not to me. And I believe to my core that “love feels like love.” That’s my standard, and I’m sticking to it.

Maybe it’s time to raise your standards. Maybe it’s time to accept that you KNOW you deserve better and choose that you get to have it. Maybe it’s time to give to yourself what you desire from others.


Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

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Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist is a single mom who lovingly shares her insights here for free. BuyMeACoffee offers readers a great way to support her work. You can securely send her a gift (a cup of matcha) as a thank you for this post. Simply tap the photo. Then, to the right of the screen, choose “Support” (to send her a one-time gift) or “Membership” (to give monthly). You can even add a thank you message! Blessings!

Published by Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

Marlene Dillon is the CEO of MDillon Designs & Publishing. I teach girls to believe in themselves and choose relationships that support their goals. I teach children that their dreams are possible and that they are lovable. I teach parents to communicate with their children in healthy ways. In short, I.U.S.E. people. Inspire. Uplift. Support. Empower.

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