Circle of Support

As I begin to shift gears at such a poignant time in my life I am having to reflect on the last couple of years. I have learned some very valuable lessons in my last blog post. I must say the nature of my demeanour has changed; towards life and people. Some might SAY for the better and others not so much, but nevertheless a change has been made. I am choosing to embrace it and I will explain why. Achieving any type of success or goal is not an easy task.  Whether big or small it takes guts, true courage to step out and do something new or attempt something that has never been done. This is why it is imperative for you to surround yourself with the right people.  People who believe in you. People who believe in what your trying to accomplish and will support YOU along the journey to making your idea, dream or goal a reality.

This selection process can not be taken lightly or done without careful deliberation. Sadly many look FOR sameness; individuals who look and talk like themselves. Unfortunately that kind of criteria will most likely get you individuals who are weak in character and are not secure in themselves with respect to their own talents and abilities. Allow me to tell you why. The moment you begin to excel, display notable growth or gain any type of success and receive praise they begin to feel threatened, insecure and inferior. This will undoubtedly leads to jealousy, envy, sabotage and even betrayal. I never thought this theory held any merit, but regrettably I have experienced and observed this first hand. It’s as if there is an unspoken rule; “I’m here rooting for you. Be great, be a successful…..just don’t be better than me.” In hind sight what was offered was never really support at all, however the process along the journey to you achieving your goal will always expose the true intentions of the people around you.

Now some may say I sound cynical or have become jaded and hate people. This is not true.  I simply have accepted the facts and will not turn a blind eye to the nature of the human condition. I choose to be more selective in whom I allow in my inner circle. I was cautious before, now I am all the more careful. In the past I have made some very poor choices and suffered greatly because of it. I have opened myself up to people who I thought believed in me and supported my dreams and goals only to find out they were operating on their own agenda. Sadly I kept the relationship going because I did not want a confrontation. I felt I needed them to like me and approve of me; as if to say their so called support was something I couldn’t live without. But at some point it became too high of a price to pay.

Within our human nature there is this intrinsic desire to be liked and accepted; a feeling of belonging or the idea of fitting in. However at what expense should one go to fulfill what is an obvious natural need. At the day of the day your dream or desired goal is just too much to loose for the sake of one person’s good opinion. Holding onto false supporters is a sure fire way to never achieve anything in life. On the flip side finding true supporters doesn’t happen over night. There is some trail and error, but most of it is watching and observing people over time.  I am so grateful to have the people I have in my Circle of Support.  They are not perfect; far from it. However I can trust them and rest in these three things. They believe in me, in what I am pursuing and will do anything in their power to help me along the way.  Their egos are in check and the possibility of any success I may obtain will not change how they treat me or diminish the support they give me.

Take an inventory of who is in your relationship circle. Seriously evaluate the purpose of each and every relationship. Trust me, it will be time well spent.
Refining Beauty
~I am fearfully and wonderfully made~

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Being Yourself

Taking a closer look at the nature of dating and relationships has been quite enlightening so far.  In my previous post I touched on the “Unspoken Fears” women deal with when in a committed relationship.  It has caused me to do my own personal internal spring cleaning; to take a closer look at myself and any insecurities I may have.  Many avoid doing it, but I have learned it is needed periodically throughout life.  Working through such things affords you the opportunity to grow and mature.  This will ensure you have a positive dating experience and help you choose a suitable and compatible life partner.  The better you know yourself the more equipped you are to enter into and maintain a life long relationship.

I’ve often wondered why people hide aspects of who they are during the dating process.  I’ve even heard stories of individuals who pretend to be someone else through the ENTIRE dating period right up until marriage.  This is a frightening thought!!  I would assume it is because there are parts of themselves that they are ashamed of or insecure about.  For some there may be other reasons, but it has been my observation that this is the case.  Yet if building a long, lasting relationship is your end goal, being yourself is the only way to ensure the relationship is successful.

In speaking with a close friend she shared her experiences from a past relationship.  In her case she sacrificed much of who she was to make her mate happy.  Surrendering her identity out of fear among other things.  She subjected herself to a man who was controlling, inconsiderate and unwilling to work on himself or contribute equally to the relationship.  Now looking back if she was given another chance to do things over she definitely would.  And oddly enough I am at that the same place.

I no longer believe fairly tales, however I do believe in committed relationships based on honesty, respect, acceptance, communication, kindness and trust.  I have also held myself back out of fear of rejection.  Nevertheless I have come to realize any relationship where I have to change who I am in order for it to work and be accepted is a relationship I don’t want.  Don’t forfeit your happiness out of a fear of ending up alone or whatever other thought crosses your mind.  Settling for such a reason will only ensure your own unhappiness.

Being happy with yourself is more important than someone else being happy with you…..

Refining Beauty

~I am fearfully and wonderfully made~

Unspoken Fear

In my previous blog I spoke about connecting with other men and women in order for them to weigh in on who should “Break The Silence” first when there is a mutual attraction ie. dating/romantic interest.  However there has been a change of plans.  I did begin speaking to a few individuals and have already gathered some interesting information, but I came across something I found rather interesting.  While scrolling on Facebook a friend shared a video.  After watching the video I had a very in depth conversation with the  male friend who shared the video clip.  Through the course of the conversation many thoughts and feeling came to the surface in which I felt compelled to share.

The scenario is as follows.  A couple is on vacation and making a stop at the beach.  The narrator begins the breakdown the fear women have about their husband or boyfriend looking at other women and what is actually going through mind of a man when the incident actually occurs.  The Unspoken Fear women have is if her mate is looking at another woman, he finds her more attractive, is secretly dissatisfied in the relationship and therefore will end relationship to seek a more fulfilling one with someone else.  He then explains the thought process of men and how the fear women have in this area is unfounded.  The clip made a very strong argument and got me thinking.

Currently I am not in a relationship and haven’t been in one for quite some time, however I too have some fears surrounding a man being happy with my physical appearance.  I have always had weight issues.  At one point I was almost 400lbs and although I am no longer at that weight I wonder if someone would be satisfied with me ie. my weight and composition.  Currently I am working towards getting to a weight I am more comfortable with, but these thoughts do still cross my mind.  I’ve never really felt desirable or thought that any man would be satisfied with me (at any weight), and yet the basis of this mindset will set up any relationship I have to fail.  I will always be looking for something to “nick pick” at and doubt their heart and affection for me because deep down I struggle with accepting myself.  Entering a relationship like this will destroy it before it starts, intern reinforcing how I already  believe.  This what you would call a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Working in the area of Social Services I have seen this pattern far too many times to count.  What you secretly fear ends up happening because you make it happen. What you believe impacts your decisions, perceptions and how you interact with others.  If you are constantly living in a cloud of insecurity, attached to shame about your body, while hurling accusations at your significant other you will hinder the strength of your relationship.  Therefore your behaviour pushes the individual, thus creating the reality you don’t want.

First off….ENOUGH WITH THE BODY SHAMING!!!  If you don’t like how you look take the necessary steps to change it, however in the mean time LOVE yourself in whatever state you’re in.  Secondly do NOT project your own distorted views of yourself onto somebody else.  Embrace the idea that someone may actually find you attractive and, dare I say, desirable.  Don’t push someone away simply because of a few outlandish thoughts; thoughts that are based out of fear. From a woman’s perspective I am not fond of the whole idea of “I can look, I just can’t touch”, nevertheless we live in a world that even as a woman it is hard not to look.  The reality is men are made to be stimulated with what they see.  Needless to say a glance is not really enough to reduce your self-worth and question his satisfaction within the relationship.  I know this is easier said than done, but I feel it is worth effort especially if the relationship means something to you…..

Refining Beauty

~I am fearfully and wonderfully made~

Video Clip:

Breaking The Silence

We all know there are many differences between the sexes.  Since the beginning of time it is very apparent men and women think, feel and perceive things in very different ways.  This is especially true in the area of communication.  Nevertheless no matter how each sex chooses to engage with each other one must choose to “Break The Silence.”  Today’s topic is one that has caused many heated discussions and continues to be debated whenever it comes up in conversation.  Just recently I was at a wedding and this particular topic came up during the course of the evening.  Unfortunately it kind of put one poor soul on the hot seat, however it did further support my personal theory on the subject.

When first initiating any form of dialog with someone of the opposite sex each side tries to hold out and insists the other person should do it first.  It often feels like a group of kindergarden age children refusing to play fairly in a game of tag ie. “You’re it!….No YOU’RE it.”  As you can see the pattern and the potential it has to continue unnecessarily.  The cycle usually continues because no one is willing to take the first step, be honest about their feelings and show some vulnerability.

I have often wondered WHY men take SO (so, so, so very) long to approach a woman that intrigues them and that they clearly find attractive.  I am told it is because they want to be really sure, but come on!!  Like how “sure” do you need to be in order to make a move…… Currently in our contemporary society with Feminism and female empowerment there is huge expectation for the woman to establish the lines of communication.  I for one am not a fan of this because it give the excuse for the man to do absolutely NOTHING allowing the woman to do all the work.  However I can see how this would help a more shy, self-conscious type of guy.  At any rate I still feel that expecting the woman to break the silent is an excuse to find your true feelings and invest very little in a relationship you claim you want.

Although I personally am more traditional and want to be pursued if indeed a man has feelings for me I am not opposed to equal levels of disclosers from both sides of the fence.  But at the end of the day someone has to take the first step, and I feel the man should do it!!!

Our next post I will have talked to a few different men and women to get their perspective.  Like, comment or share!! I would love to her from you!!

Refining Beauty

~I am fearfully and wonderfully made~

Relationships: The Introduction

The area of relationships is one that I could spend many hours of study.  Human behavior is so fascinating; the how’s and why’s behind peoples thoughts and behaviours have alway peaked my interest.  Needless to say in the area of dating or dare I say romance I have found it rather intriguing, but at the same time perplexing.  Over the next couple of weeks (or maybe longer) I am going to be digging into the matter of relationship between men and women.

I will be sharing sharing some of my own personal experiences as well as some stories from a few of my close friends.  We will be looking at why women act or respond in certain ways ie. what are our triggers and areas of sensitivity, and the same with regards to men.  I will be relying on some of my male friends to to fill in the missing pieces when it comes to the male species.

I look forward to this series evolving and I hope you will join me as I delve deeper into this topic!!

Refining Beauty

~I am fearfully and wonderfully made~

Knee Jerk Reaction

It is amazing how time is just flying by!! The first month of 2015 is coming to an end and so much has already begun to take place. In my last post I spoke about a “Real Resolution”; the kind that would actually bring about a change in your life. However the kind of change I proposed is not for the weak or faint at heart. It requires a bold, stout hearted individual to stand against personal fears, face insecurities, and step out from the crowd and be different!! I have to admit it, even thinking about it I experience butterflies in my stomach. For although I write about these things and I am committed to walking these principles out in my own life I am not exempt from the process or from how it affects me as an individual.

To this day I still experience fear when having to face certain situations. I often am frustrated at my responses because it almost feels like a “Knee Jerk Reaction.” Many times when I recount the incident over in my mind my first question usually is “Why did I do that or respond in that way?” Over the course of picking the situation apart it all boiled down to one word. Fear! I have to say that in the moment it isn’t always clear that I am afraid. However what is extremely evident is how quick I unconsciously go into defense mode, hence the knee jerk reaction.

An area as personal and intrinsic as fear is something that should not be overlooked. Taking the time to ask yourself these questions is important if you desire to uncover what is causing your responses to certain situations. I am NOT talking about mediation or listening to your inner voice. I am saying look at the hard facts. Remove the rose coloured glasses and get to the root of action/reaction or pattern of behaviour that may in fact be hindering your life in some way.

We have a tendency to gloss over the little things that we say or do and categorize them an idiosyncrasies ie. “quirks” in our personality. Nevertheless something impulsive as a “knee jerk reaction” if not addressed can be potentially dangerous. It usually comes with no warning and is driven by very strong emotion. Often the target of this kind of response is unsuspecting. It catches them completely off guard. At one point we all have be on the receiving end of this and I’m sure it wasn’t pleasant. Thinking about the person on the receiving end of such an outburst can help with choosing how to respond.

I strongly suggest in those moments to not respond or at least say as little as possible. Take some time to reflect on the situation, consult with someone who you respect and has a track record of giving sound (wise) advice. I personally pray about these type of issues. I gain much clarity and am able to work through my emotions more effectively. All this is to say take time to think before responding. Some times when facing fear a bold and courageous response is in order. Thus breaking intimidation and feelings of inferiority. However a knee jerk response is birthed out of a perceived fear and is usually associated to a past experience or false perception.

Something to think about……

Refining Beauty

~I am fearfully and wonderfully made~

A Real Resolution

2015 has officially begun!! I know many are used to hearing “New year, New Me” slogans or even participating in the timeless tradition of making New Years “resolutions.” Needless to say these things are popular at the start of a new year. It gives structure and motivation to some who are desiring to make significant changes in their lives and to help them achieve certain goals. All in all not a bad thing. Nevertheless for most it is just another “feel good” activity only to camouflage the fear of making any REAL change. It hides the lack of discipline to see a resolution through into an actual lifestyle change. That being said I personally have decided to shift my energy elsewhere.

In the year of 2015, if we are indeed going to break free from the past; its limitations, hinderances, personal insecurities and experience REAL change, approval from other people is something you are going to have to live without. There is a saying that “If you live for people’s approval you will die by their rejection.” And this is a harsh reality for many. Their identity is solely wrapped up in the acceptance and approval of others. It’s as if they are sentenced to live within the confines of someone else’s thoughts, opinions and/or personal like or dislike of who they are. Many surrender their desire for change in some area of their lives (or even worst their dream) because it may in fact directly conflict with someone else’s personal opinion.

It is a dangerous thing to have your self-worth relying so heavily on such individuals. You render the power to people who are often not: A. Walking in their purpose or pursing a dream of any kind, B. Setting goals where they are challenged or stretched in any way (ie. they continually choose what is comfortable and safe), and C. Wanting anything more out of life (ie. they have decided this is as far as they are going to go). They secretly have given up somewhere along the way and whether knowingly or not they want you to remain in the same boat with them. But this is where I draw the line……

In the year of 2015 I have NO desire (whatsoever) to follow people around in circles just because they have given up on their dream and/or purpose AND are afraid to take the necessary steps to move forward. I am not interested in making plans or “new years resolutions” of which I have no intension of following through with. And if this is your desire let me warm you some within your relationship circle may not like or approve of your proposed changes. In fact some relationships may suffer or dare I say end due to your choice! The key is to not let the short term pain impede your ability to make effective long term decision.

Now don’t get me wrong relationships are a wonderful thing; a great blessing. However it shouldn’t prevent you from pursuing whatever dream/goals that is within your heart. Within every relationship love and acceptance should be given freely; it should be a two way street. It should never be withheld at the cost of one’s dream or purpose. That is just too high of a price to pay……

In 2015 choose to breakout and break free from anything or anyone that will impede your progress!! I can honestly say one man’s opinion is not enough for me to forfeit my dream…..

This is the year to be more than ever before. Don’t let anything stop that from happening. A new years resolution is nothing without the boldness to walk it out…..

Refining Beauty

~I am fearfully and wonderfully made~