Sunday, November 9, 2014

I refuse to accept feeling "less than" you?

Has anyone ever told you that you look "too skinny"? What about that you look like "you gained weight"? Even worse, has anyone ever told you that you "need to EAT SOMETHING" or that you would look better if you "lost about 10 pounds"?

First of all....who feels like they have the right to say those I right? Second of all, I have heard all of this. You see, I have been "too thin" (when my medication was causing significant weight loss). I have been "just right"..."sexy", even (when I had gained some weight back after being depressed, but also was still outside of my normal range because of medication). I have been "fat" (when I was within my normal range, healthy, and off of medication).

I have experienced the range of cold remarks and I have felt hurt by them. I have felt objectified. I have felt shamed. I have felt insecure. I have felt pressured.

I overcame a battle with an eating disorder of over 10 years. I was so proud of myself for that. It is why I started this blog. I wanted to provide hope for others to have faith in have hope and know they can overcome self-hatred and self-doubt. Peace and inner happiness are at your all of our fingertips.

However, I must admit....I have not been holding true to my beliefs. Recently, my body has been changing. I am in my late twenties. My body takes a little longer to see results. Which is totally fine. I accepted that....because frankly, it won't do me any good to beat myself up my body's natural hormonal changes. However....I am human. I have been looking at the countless photos of women in which the new sought after body is almost unattainable without implants/constant workouts/waist trainers/intense diets. Big butt and hips, teeny tiny waist, ample breasts, full lips, contoured face, shiny hair.....did I miss anything?

If you are human like I am, you may have noticed this new trend and you may have felt ever so "slightly" inadequate.

Now, this is where I need  to stop us in our tracks. This is where you need to listen (and believe me, I am taking my own advice!). Feeling inadequate? Feeling like we need to succumb to the pressure of looking "perfect" for fear of being ostracized?

This is where it stops.

You see....I decided that feeling like that just wasn't going to work for me.

 I have decided that feeling like I wasn't "enough" just wasn't going to work out for my life. 

I am enough.

....and you are, too. 

I dare you all to stop feeling like you aren't enough. I encourage you all to stop looking at photos of people you wish you could look like when your perfect YOU is looking at you every day in the mirror.

I refuse to accept a life in which I always feel inadequate. I absolutely refuse. I cannot accept that. I will not accept that. I will work every day to love myself and my imperfections.

I will work to help the women around me feel empowered and beautiful and capable and deserving of feeling and KNOWING that we.are.all.enough.

Life is only the blink of an eye. Years pass by so quickly....more quickly than we realize until we realize that a year, or 5, has passed.

Do you want your life to pass by while you hate yourself? Or do you want every moment to be cherished? Do you want to look back and wish that you had loved yourself enough to enjoy each day? Or will you be looking back and wishing you stopped trying to be perfect and learned how to simply "be"?

Do not accept a life in which you constantly allow yourself to feel like you are not enough.

Trust are more than enough. 

Please, tell yourself right now, at this very moment: I am enough. I am worthy. I am deserving of happiness and love. I love myself. No matter what anyone says, I will continue to love myself because I am worthy of being loved.

Repeat it over and over until you believe it....eventually, you will.

Until you can believe it yourself, I will tell you...

You are enough. You are worthy. You are deserving of happiness and love. You are loved. No matter what anyone says, you can continue to love yourself because you are worthy of being loved.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Worthy or unworthy? You decide.

"Feelings are just visitors. Let them come and go" -Mooji

Who do we allow to define if we are deemed worthy or unworthy?

I recently felt dejected by multiple thoughts. My past has had moments of darkness and I have risen above them, fighting and clawing and scratching my way to avoid sinking into the dark abyss of a  life that is not fulfilling.

I got out. It was a battle. It is sometimes a daily struggle...but I got out.

I went from having no idea what I wanted for my future to working my way up in my career. I went from being deeply involved in an eating disorder to developing a healthy mind, body, and spirit. I went from questioning God to praising Him and thanking Him for those trials to build me into a better person. I went from entering into relationships because I was lonely to loving myself enough to understand what love really means.

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2

Yet, do those around me who knew me in the darkness notice? Or will they forever see me as stuck in that dark moment? Will I forever be someone they are not proud of, someone who will never see their photo or achievements being shared? If I continue to be more and more successful, will they be proud? Or will they constantly have a half-hearted smile and roll their eyes when I walk away? Will I never be enough for those people who saw me in my darkness? The fact that I have come to accept is that I may never get that praise that I always so desperately wanted from the people I admired.

Yet, the comfort I have found in this is something so, so simple. The fact is....I will survive if they never see me for who I truly am. I will survive, and better yet, I will thrive. However, I will not do it to please them. I will not do it to fulfill a void of being unloved. I now strive for success because I love myself. I strive for success because I want a life that is full of happiness and light and inner peace and strength. By letting go of the desire to please people who will never be pleased, we allow others who love us as out true selves to enter into our world and we allow them to accept us unconditionally. We also allow for self-acceptance.

When we do not follow the path of others, we may have people look down on us. We may have people question us. The fact is this: everyone needs to life their life as they are able to. Everyone needs to be able to reach their moment of clarity at different times. Some people can reach their goals quickly, others may have to search until they find what they are looking for. No judgement is necessary for either group.

Those people that judge us? Perhaps their path was different than ours. Perhaps that's why they don't understand ours....and that is okay. When we accept that they may never accept us, we also must choose to accept them. We must choose to release the anger and the hurt that we felt and understand that they are only human, too. We felt sadness and they felt confusion for our choices. All of our feelings are different, but we all have feelings. Feeling are fleeting. We cannot let them control us. We cannot worry about who we are pleasing, or about trying to be "perfect". Why? This is our ego speaking. This is our ego saying, "Look at me! Look at how far I have come! Acknowledge me! Praise me! Love me!". What if we turned our ego off? What if we said, "I accept that you may never accept me. I accept myself. I love myself. I accept you and I love you. I will continue to thrive because I choose to because it makes me happy". Doesn't that sound so much more peaceful?

What matters is the inner peace with ourselves and the peace with others. Accept that those who love you will love you. Those who will not, will not. Accept these feelings for being as simple as they are. Life is complex. Feeling are complex....but we must not let them rule us.

"Feelings are just visitors. Let them come and go" -Mooji

Monday, October 27, 2014

Beautiful women of the world….

Beautiful women of the world….

I urge you to think before using your looks to get what you want. I know it is tempting. I know it may seem easy…but hear me out.

I urge you to think before using your glistening eyes to seduce and convince. Instead, use your eyes to lovingly seek to understand others. Use your eyes to comfort those in pain.

I urge you not to use your body as a deadly weapon to make the necks of men snap in your direction. Instead, make your body strong. Nourish it from the inside out. Keep your body sacred. Love your body enough to understand when a man really loves it and you or when he simply lusts after you.

Rather than using your feet to make your hips sway in that dress to catch the attention of the men at the bar, use them to take you far in life. Go and go and go until you reach your destination of exactly where you want to be. When you get there, embrace where you land. Walk barefoot and feel the world beneath your feet and know that you have the power to make your dreams a reality.

Instead of using your luscious lips to lick and bite and leave men entranced, use your lips to ooze kindness like honey into the hearts and ears of those around you. Never let someone leave your presence without hearing a kind word.

Rather than keeping your breasts on display, focus on what’s underneath them-your heart. Use it to guide you. Consult your brain, too. Get them to agree (most of the time) and you’re golden.

My point is to use your inner beauty to glow from the inside. I promise you…you will look and feel even more beautiful than you imagined. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Are you a "good" person?

What does it mean to be a “good person”?

This has been a thought that has plagued me for years. I have always done my best to be a “good person”. To do the “right thing”, but was always confused on whether or not being a “good person” meant I was doing the “right thing” for my own life.

I recently overheard one woman telling another that her husband stood by her while she was battling alcoholism. She said, “That’s what good guys do”. What if the wife would have never overcame that? Would it make her husband a “bad guy” for wanting more out of life than tending to an alcoholic?

I also think about women with traditional values who are abused. Many of them stay in abusive and chaotic marriages for years. They die inside because they are trying to be a “good wife” and do the “right thing” by standing by the man who beats them because they said “til death do us part”…..

I can’t help but wonder if the death of the spark and fire and soul of the abused woman is enough reason for them to part.

If a woman is pressured to stay in an abusive marriage by her family because they believe it is the “right choice”….this does not make it the “right choice” for the woman.
I have come to the conclusion that doing the “right thing” is not just a “one size fits all” type of thing. What one person can endure, another person may not be able to handle. I strive to do what’s right for me. For example, I am the type of person who has to say what I feel, especially if I feel like I am being taken advantage. Some people think the “right thing” is to stay quiet. Unfortunately for me, I am unable to do that. I have accepted this and teach and train myself to use this trait in the right “way” according to my life. I don’t just say everything on my mind, especially if it would be hurtful. However, if I need to defend myself or others, I will do so. If I need to share my opinion, I will do so. I strive to do what’s right for ME so I can look in the mirror and feel like I am being the best version of me that I can be. Some others may not agree with my version of “right”. Some others may not agree with your version of “right”. I urge you to think about your own values and needs and wants and choose the right decision for you.

I want you all to be able to look in the mirror every day loving and understanding yourself enough to make the best choice for you. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Choose to have a loving heart....despite the ugliness of the world.

I'm sorry I have been absent for so long, friends. I have had a lot going on personally, part of which involved moving to another state! So, things have been quite busy, as things sometimes are...but I'm back.

I have been having many thoughts streaming in and out of my conscious mind throughout these past several weeks. Today, I thought about admiration. I thought about devotion. More specifically, I thought about what these words mean and how they feel when we associate them with a person.

I came to the conclusion that feeling those things may, quite possibly, lead us to disappointment. 

My first example will be from someone that you have all heard a lot about in the past few years if you listen to the radio at all. Yes, I am going to talk about Beyonce. Hear me out.

Young women everywhere sang along in satisfaction when she belted out lyrics about a guy who didn't treat us right being totally "replaceable". We embraced our curves singing along to "Bootylicious". We applauded her for having a beautifully "real" and "curvy" body (again, "real" and "curvy" are all subject to opinion). We felt empowered to be single when we shook our hand and danced to "Single Ladies" when we were out dancing with our friends. She became huge. She became a role-model.

And then.....

People disagreed with her using her married name for her tour. There were disapproving people scowling at her dancing and her dress code. She is accused often of photoshopping her pictures.

Suddenly, people are in a frenzy. They are questioning her and saying things like: "How could she do that?!", and "What kind of role model is she after all?!"

Okay, that's Beyonce. Most of us probably haven't met her, right? However, what happens when we use this kind of thinking with people in our real lives?

I have someone in my life who I adored greatly. He was always there for me. He made me feel like I wasn't alone, like I had some comfort in my life. In my eyes, he could do no wrong. I would defend him. I would take his side. I felt like he was the hardest working person I ever knew and I felt like I would grow old with him being as close to me for the rest of my life and being my role model. I felt like he would meet everyone I loved. I felt so lucky for having someone like that who I could trust, depend on, and who loved me. We can't choose family, so I felt blessed to have been given someone freely who was that fantastic.

Then, one day...things changed. One day, this person's life changed. He had different priorities, and I was no longer one of them. We would have months where we wouldn't speak to each other. When I saw him, I felt like a stranger in the life of someone I once knew so well.

So, what did I do? Sure, I cried. Sure, I mourned the loss of someone in my life....but then, I realized that this person was always a human being, just like I am. Just like we all are. I realized that this person was capable of hurting me, of making mistakes, and that didn't make him a bad person. It made him human. I accepted that our relationship would never be the same, and I looked back fondly on the memories of what once were. I could have stayed angry forever. I could have always talked badly about him and lamented to others about how much he changed and how I don't know what came over him....but I don't want that negativity in my life. It wouldn't make me feel any better, actually. Not at all.

I acknowledged the awkwardness and the change. I cherished the last hug we had, even if it was only me that cherished it (however, one can never know what is in the heart of another), because I realized how short life is and how quickly things can change. How nothing lasts forever, and how it's our choice to love or be bitter....

 I chose to love instead. 

I always choose to love instead, even if it isn't reciprocated because my heart is the only heart that is in my control. I want my heart to love. Just remember that a "loving heart" is not a "push-over heart". A "loving heart" is not a "needy heart". A real "loving heart" simply chooses to be at peace with the reality of what is. This kind of heart is strong because it understands it will be let down and it understands people are not perfect and life isn't perfect, yet, despite that....this kind of heart still chooses to take the higher road. To find peace and joy in life, even when it is hard to do so....

Darlings, life goes on. Life can be cruel and cold, but we have to choose to stay warm and seek the beauty in everything. How we view these heartaches and losses in life is entirely up to us. Choose to embrace the reality for something that we can learn from instead of something that will break us. Choose not to blame people who hurt us and instead just accept them as being human and capable of such things. Choose to love instead of being angry. When we use love to push the sadness out, it flows out far more smoothly than if we try to push sadness away with anger.

When I chose to have a loving heart, I learned to separate myself from that place of adoration and moved myself into a place of reality.

So, my beauties, my point is this: choose to have a loving heart that understands that people are only human. Love people, but avoid placing them on pedestals because they are only human...just like you. Just like me. Forgive them. Forgive yourself.

....and take care of your loving hearts.

Monday, August 11, 2014

What is your eyes?

I recently completed a survey asking people to answer the following questions: 

1. What is your age?

2. What is your relationship status?

3. Based on your experiences in life, please provide a definition of what you think “love” is in no more than 10 sentences.
4. In your opinion, how do you think society defines love? How do your friends and family view love?
5. If you could change one thing about your current love life, what would it be?

 I asked for the following participants: single aged 16-20, in a relationship aged 16-20, committed but not married 20-30, married 20-30, single 20-30, and finally, married over 20 years. The answers impressed me and I wanted to share them with all of you. This was an eye-opening experience and I am grateful to have soaked in the words from all of my participants. I hope you enjoy this, because I certainly did. 

Our hearts all tell a story. Perhaps the views of others will remind you of that....

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What is your choice?

It's been a while. This happens sometimes in life. We sometimes need time to refocus, reconnect with people and situations are us, rediscover our path.

I have discovered recently that every action we make helps to develop our future path.

Let me explain.

I have been thinking a lot about love. I am an observer and I observe the way people look at each other. Their comfort around each other. Their love that cannot be hidden, and that they couldn't fake if they tried.

One common thing I have seen about people in love (and yes, I have asked them questions to come to this conclusion) is that love is a choice. Many of these people did not have an easy start. Many had to endure hardships financially, heartbreaks within families, relocation, lack of stability--many, many things. Yet, they actively made a choice to work as a team and stay together. These are people I have seen experiencing lasting love.

This is where it gets tricky because too many people think they should continue trying when the relationship is only  one-sided or abusive. No. This is a big, fat, no. When you are truly with someone who loves you, it is no longer a game. You both put 100% in to provide peace, love, and happiness to each other. You never actively try to hurt each other. You work through things together. Even the moments that aren't so pretty. You communicate and respect each other. If you feel like you are the only one putting those positive things into you relationship, perhaps it's time to take a step back and reevaluate.

Real love means you are being authentic to your true self, and so is the person you love. Real love is freeing. Real love is healing. Real love should not cause pain or heartache.

Real love is lasting. Real love surpasses lust and reaches into your soul instead of merely grazing over your body.

Learn the difference and make your choice from there.

We choose to love, or we choose not to. It's as simple as that. We are not good or bad for choosing one or the other--we must be true to our needs and desires. So simple, yet so complex...right?

What's your choice?