Ruthie Collins

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I live the dream, singing and writing songs in Nashville. My favorite things (besides music) are thrifting, DIY projects, wine, puppies, and anything vintage.

She's Gonna Listen To Her (Messy Car) Heart

She's Gonna Listen To Her (Messy Car) Heart

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A couple weeks ago I was out with my friend Lindsey having some drinks and taking some pics for the gram and I mentioned to her all about this book I was reading called the Secrets of Attraction by Sandra Ann Taylor. I also told her that I was about half way through this 40 day love ritual and I how I was learning so much about how so many of my beliefs for my whole life were basically ass backwards.

You see, I had been taught and fully believed in the golden rule. Treat others as you would like to be treated, or something like that… So basically, if you’re loving and kind and caring to those around you, those around you will be loving and kind and caring in return. Sounds simple enough. But if I’m being honest, I mostly had a history of trying to be loving and kind and caring to those around me, especially in my romantic relationships, and then those around me…well… taking advantage of this kindness, walking all over my love and caring about themselves or their agenda much more than they cared about me. And yes, they might have thought or said and maybe still believe that they care/cared for me, but their actions said anything but.

And what I am learning is that life doesn’t give you back what you give to others. It gives you back what you give to yourself. So what had I been giving to myself? Well I always called it the “burnt toast syndrome”. It was how I was raised. Give the perfectly toasted bread to your loved ones, and you eat the burnt piece. After all, you don’t really care about toast right? And besides, giving to others is your service to the world. It makes you happy. Fulfills you even. So many of us, especially women, live this way. Giving others the best, and saving little or nothing for ourselves. Putting our oxygen masks on second. (Come on, I know Southwest Airlines taught you better than that!)

And hey, your calling in life could TOTALLY be serving others. And that’s awesome. I’m not saying that that’s a bad thing. But if you only serve others and deny yourself, you will eventually become surrounded by those who will deny you as well. So I realized that in only ever taking care of my loved ones, and assuming one day that meant that they would take care of me, I just kept getting let down. Thinking, “when is it my turn to be consoled, taken care of, told that it’s gonna be ok…” I even remember thinking “when it is MY turn to have an emotional breakdown.” I literally felt like for years all I did was lift people up out of their own darkness, yet when I had a traumatic experience, not only did I find myself alone in my turmoil, the fact that I was left alone in it made it so much harder to bear. In short, the “golden” rule was pretty bleak.

And the more I learned, the more I meditated, the more I read and listened to podcasts proclaiming self love FIRST from the mountain tops, I figured, what the hell. I’d tried everything else and was pretty much living in the definition of insanity.

So I started putting myself first. Literally. First thing in the morning was me time. Reading, journaling, meditating, walking, yoga, first thing before anything else. Ok coffee first but you get it. And if I had an early day and didn’t have time to do those things in the morning, well that be damned, I did it anyway. A few times I’ve set my alarm for 5:00 am and gotten up before the sun to get the things that I knew my heart needed to heal done. And come on guys, for me? A night owl musician? That’s huge. AND CRAZY.

So… long story short (ha!) and back to the beginning. I was telling Lindsey about how shocking this whole backward feeling self love thing was, because people were starting to treat me better and it was blowing me away. The more I was loving on myself, the more people in my life were showing up for me, respecting me and truly valuing me. And being the wise sage that Lindsey is she replied “well of course. It’s the messy car heart metaphor.” Uhhhhhh… Say what?

Lindsey explained that basically, your heart, your soul, your being, whatever you want to call it is essentially like a car. Say you treat your car like shit. Say you throw granola bar wrappers and sunflower seeds on the floor, you spill Mcdonald’s coffee on the dash and never clean it up, (guilty) have ten million mugs in the backseat (so freaking guilty) and basically the whole thing is just a wreck. When somebody else gets in your car, they’re not gonna feel like they need to treat it like some pristine sacred temple. They’re just not. They’re also going to throw their granola bar wrappers on the floor and spill their coffee and not clean it up. And why wouldn’t they? You have sent a message to the world that you don’t value your car, it’s not worth being cared for. YOU set that precedent, and in turn, the world/universe follows your lead. Catching my drift huh?

Your heart might be a messy car. My heart was definitely a messy car. And why would people be kind and loving and caring to my heart if I was treating it like a 1998 Chevy Lumina van that had been rotting and rusting away in some junkyard in some shitty little town. Answer? They wouldn’t.

Oh Lindsey, why are you so wise?

Needless to say, the very next day I cleaned every corner and crevice out of my beloved gold 2006 Honda CRV. I scrubbed her inside and out, took her through the car wash twice and now she shines brighter than a diamond. And damnit if it isn’t Hackberry Tree Sap Season in Nashville so I’ve had to really keep up with it!

And my heart? My heart gets plenty of love too. All the meditation time, lots of pretty crystals to hold onto for strength, tons of journaling to move through old hurts and keep her open, and plenty of yoga and luxurious essential oil baths so she can know that she is worth all the love in the world. Ok this whole referring to my heart as a she and a separate entity from me is getting kinda weird and creepy but you guys get the gist.

This was a life changing lesson for me. That next day, not only did I clean up my car. But I also booked a solo beach trip. I drove to the ocean and gave my soul what it desired for 48 full hours.

And here’s the kicker: I would’ve stayed longer but right after I booked the trip, I got an email from the head of CMT cordially inviting me to the CMT Artist of the Year awards. Oh and would I mind sitting right dead center/best seats in the house where I would be heavily featured on camera all night? Hmmmmm…. I don’t mind at all.

And there it is: I did something (beach trip) to honor and value myself and in return, the world gave me a beautiful gift telling me that I am honored and valued. And on top of that, I was one of the names that Karen Fairchild spoke as one of the most deserving female artists for country radio to support. (You can watch her speech here. She starts naming names at about 1 minute 43 seconds.)

It truly is a wild ride kids.

She’s gonna listen to her (messy car) heart… It’s gonna tell her what to do.

How are you guys honoring yourselves in this season in your life?

All my 💖,

Ruthie

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