On Sunday and Tuesday, I introduced you to the ever-amazing Elaine Hamilton. If you haven’t had a chance to read my interview with her, please take the time to go back and read those two posts. You won’t be sorry.

For me, a few things stand out from my conversation with Elaine:

First, her reflections back on her early days of motherhood are very validating to me. It’s so nice to “talk” with someone who now has the benefit of perspective. When you are in the fray of young children, it’s just practically impossible to pan back and relax a little bit and let go of the white-knuckled angst. I want to be kinder to myself in this stage of life. I want to make it a priority to take care of myself, especially my mental and emotional health. It’s so good to hear Elaine validating those desires.

I also really appreciate her words on marriage. “Since I’m staying, what do I need to do to move forward?” I feel like there is great power in those words. A sense that we have the ability to stay and to make things better. Sometimes we feel powerless in life, in relationships, and I like how this simple question gives us back a sense of healthy control. What do I need to get unstuck? How can we make this a better place for both of us, since we’re here to stay? I’m not trapped. I’m not a victim. I’m choosing to stay and work things out. So what do I need to make that happen? That concept is really meaningful to me.

Lastly, I love how both Elaine and Rickelle talked about surviving significant trauma by going through it instead of ignoring, resisting, escaping. Participating in our own healing. Wanting to get well and be well. To me, this is the definition of being brave. Allowing myself to be resilient—to get up each day, to keep breathing, to be happy—even when it might seem easier to just disappear.

Thank you, Elaine, for teaching me so much about life and love and keeping it real.

Anything else from Elaine’s interview that speaks to you?

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