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~
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…..
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.
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…..
Understanding the nature of human behaviour is a never ending area of study. Much can be learned by simply watch people and observing their responses to various situations. Over the years I have noticed a pattern which has proven to be harmful and rather destructive. This combination has the ability to bring someone with amazing capabilities and seemingly limitless potential to their knees. If allowed to go unchecked it will cause great instability in one’s life thereby cultivating an ego size problem. The desire for power, position and control in conjunction with personal insecurity is a toxic connection. These two complex paradigms if allowed to co-exist can end up destroying every possible opportunity one could ever receive. The grip of insecurity together with a position with power and authority can truly be disastrous.
When in a position of authority where the right to make decisions is given one must handled it with EXTREME caution. Although it is unrealistic to wait until an individual is thoroughly prepared/equipped when placed in a role or position such a person should continue to work on their character and/or shortcomings while in their role. There are no perfect people, but life has a way of throwing imperfect people into demanding and influential positions/situations. With no prior notice everything about your life can change over night, nevertheless the weight of the power, influence and authority being extended should never be taken lightly.
I have witnessed individuals with raging gaps of insecurity covertly use their position and power as an avenue in which to gain validation. Often it is fueled by an attempt to make up for negative past experiences or acquire social-emotional support that was never received and even compensate for feelings of inadequacy. In the process of doing this they dominate over individuals, misuse the power and authority given. The sole purpose of this is to fulfill their own personal needs. Operating under the view that they are managing their personal property they used and abused power/authority as if it were a pawn in an chess game. In the end giving them personal gratification.
We live in a world where people are not valued. Where climbing the corporate ladder and gaining success ie. money, power, position and recognition is of the upmost importance. But if you do little research you will see success through the eyes of power and control does not bring happiness or fulfillment. They only lead to destruction where you live a sad, empty, meaningless life. Having aspirations is great!! Part of success is having a goal(s), making a plan, working hard and self-discipline. However the highest form of success is being able to handle the pressure achieving that role or position, and maintaining your integrity while still allowing your character to be refined. Success without character is a big fat F ie. Fail!!
Validation through manipulating powerful or control is a recipe for disaster. I guarantee your success will be short lived. I have had the privilege of learning from other peoples mistakes. I have learned the quest for power and control is highly overrated. It is a key I am not sure I am willing to use. The stakes are just too high….
I desire to be successful and achieve all I am called to do, but the higher you go the greater the risk. The risk of loosing perspective and claiming ownership of something that is not your own.
Honestly being willing to work on yourself on the ground level is the greatest gift you can give yourself. If something comes up and you get moved ahead that’s great and if not consider it a blessing.
Cause if you’re not ready, you’re not ready…….
~I am fearfully and wonderfully made~
Along the road of self discovery I have had to lay aside many things unnecessary for the journey. I am amazed at what junk I have been carrying around with me. But the more I purge myself of things like bitterness, unforgiveness, hurts from the past, distorted perceptions and world views I feel more content with who I am and where my life is going. How I see life, things, people has drastically changed. I have shifted and am continuing to shift in my way of thinking. The one thing that has altered most is my desire to fit in. I have accepted or rather embraced the fact that I will never fit the mold.
In this day and age it means much to be confident; content with who you are, where you’re at and what you feel you are called to do. Nevertheless we live in a society where they are quick to judge and compare, essentially undermine your unique design/make-up as an individual. Needless to say every institution you go through in life manages to reduce you to a number or category leaving no room for originality or distinction. This is where I have always had a problem.
I can name many well know individuals who are original, unique, authentic, exceptional and rather outstanding. When I looked into their stories the majority of them had trouble in school, family issues, poor peer relationships, criminal involvement, etc. Strangely enough the most common theme among them is a “non-conformist” type of attitude. And this is where I actually fit in! My entire life I have been forced to act and behave in a way that suited others. Always pressured to fit the mold of whatever expectation laid out by whoever was in authority over me. Hence I had an issue with rebellion, authority and was at one point every very abstinent. Sadly almost everyone I came across in a position of authority abused it and for some reason hated my strength, boldness and tenacity.
There were many attempts to undermine my integrity, make me feel inferior and cause me to question my gifts and abilities. And it actually worked. However once I realized that I was the one allowing it to happen I began to see things through a different light. My strength, boldness, tenacity is a gift. Being original, authentic and having this kind of distinction is a blessing. I should embrace not fight it!!
I thankful to be at a place in my life where I am comfortable with who I am. Now unfortunately this may rub some people the wrong way. Nevertheless this is something I am willing to live with. It has been my experience that the ones who oppose your originality or distinction are usually the one who wish they had the courage to stand out and be different.
I am thanking God He has truly made me this way. I no longer have the desire to fit in or be accepted my the masses. To be a real person of change you must be willing to break the mold, stand apart and take the road less travelled.
Refining Beauty ~I am fearfully and wonderfully made~
Now they say confession is “good” for the soul, so here is my confession……
I am currently in a situation where finances are extremely “tight”, therefore things that are not essential have to be cut. However I already live a minimalist type of lifestyle, so there isn’t much to cut. I have removed most things which in reality are luxuries compared to the how the rest of world lives, but there is one thing in times past I have always managed to keep. A gym membership. I have longed struggled to get to my “goal” weight, but I never want to gain weight or worst return to where I was in 2001 when I was pushing 400lbs.
I have tried to come up with alternatives to keep my fitness regime going. In the past I have used a home workout program called “Insanity”. It is a high intensity workout where you need no weights or machines. I know a number of people who own it, so I spent some time trying to track a copy down. Unfortunately I have yet to actually get one in my possession. But in all honesty not working out theses last few weeks has proved to be very enlightening. During this time I actually started experiencing intense moments of anxiety. At one point the whole idea of not exercising/weight gain/diet began consuming my thoughts.
What I found most interesting was the words my mother used to say to me began to replay over and over in my head. Like “you’re a cow”, “fat pig”, “a slob”, “a glutton”, etc. Sadly these are some of the nicer things she used to say if you believe it! I came realize to these words were still haunting me. As long as I worked out and did all I could be to be healthy I felt good about my body and my appearance. When I didn’t the old thoughts would resurfaced. The truth is exercise is more than just a weight-loss tool. I used it drown out the other voices in my head. I never saw this before…..
Feeling beautiful is easy to do when you are achieving the standard you set for yourself. As long I was working towards being a better me what was said in the past didn’t phase me much. But now that I am restricted there is a temptation to revert to my old way of thinking; calling into question my self image/esteem and have I REALLY changed. The answer is YES I have changed. It is still a bit painful at times, yet I push past my feeling and hold onto what is true. The past seems to be something I have to constantly bury even though it tries to resurrect itself. Those words only have power when I choose to believe them. Everyday I choose to forgive what was done and believe truth about who I am now. I am NOT that girl anymore.
Don’t let the past hold you back….No matter what it is….