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…..
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…..
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…..
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….
In my previous blog I mentioned the negative impact television and the music/fashion industry can have on a female mind. The constance images can set an unrealistic standard for women to follow and cause much harm. More importantly they emphasize very little on valuing a woman’s true inner beauty or promoting a positive self-esteem. Yet with all of this there is still a far greater enemy that women face. One more fierce than any music video, magazine ad, television show or negative childhood. You won’t have to go very far to find this adversary. All you have to do is look in the mirror! Yes, that’s right! You are your own worst enemy or as I’d like to call you “Public Enemy #1!”
Now I know what I have just said may seem a bit harsh, but allow me to explain. Have you ever witnessed (or participated in) this scenario: A group of women are talking. One attempts to given another a compliment. No sooner is the sentence complete does the woman receiving the compliant says “Oh no I’m fat or ugly” or whatever word you care to use. She totally rejects the compliment! Tearing themselves down with their own thoughts and words women speak against who they are. Sadly this occurs often and is quite the norm. The reason why I know this to be true is because I used to do it on a regular basis myself. The filter in which all my thoughts and words ran through was entirely negative. I do believe my upbringing played a part in it, still it is does not mean I have to keep the cycle of dysfunction going. You can change the way you think!
Negative thoughts/self talk is a killer. It destroys any form of real confidence one may have. Too often women base their value on what they have, how they look, their relationship status, if they have children or what they do. All these thing are subject to change. Your value however is unchanging, therefore your confidence should be based on who you are as a person. Yet we give way to negative thoughts/words when we do not meet our own list of criteria. For me I found myself repeating things that were said to me throughout my childhood; things no child should ever hear. Over the years also I added few words of my own. I realized much of what I found myself saying I didn’t actually believe, but they had somehow became a part of me. I had grown accustom to hearing them and change seemed almost impossible. But this is far from the truth!
There is a saying “a house divided against itself can not stand.” You can not love and hate yourself all at the same time. Using your own thoughts and words to tear yourself down is a form of self-hate, plain and simple. You can portray whatever image you like and you might fool some, but the truth will remain. You must stop bashing yourself through your own thoughts and words! Being your own enemy will sabotage whatever quality of life you desire. You deserve a good life, so give yourself permission to have one!
It took me a long time to silence the internal chatter. I had to learn to be more kind and gracious to myself. Confidence begins from the inside and my thoughts and words played a role in that. I was NEVER going to meet every requirement on my list of criteria I had laid out for myself, so why beat myself up?! Being my own enemy was not leading to the life I wanted. Something had to change. I could no longer seek external validation to silent the voices within, that was my job. As my words changed so did my thoughts. Soon I began to see myself in a different light! The past was in the past and I was now free to live without any further self-sabotage!!
Your future will be so much brighter if you were on your own side!
Greetings One and All!! I realize it has been a number of months since my last post. Between my computer crashing and taking it in for repairs twice plus breaking my finger on my writing hand I haven’t written much as of late. The good news is although my finger is still healing something recently happened and it got me thinking. Now this topic reaches a bit beyond the realm of fashion, but it does however strongly look at the idea beauty and peoples personal define of it. And frankly as a woman I know I am not the only one who has thought this, so I am just going to put myself out there!!
There is a saying that says “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. I suppose it is true to some degree. I have often heard this phrase used in a positive ways; to encourage and increase self-esteem or to introduce new points of view. Yet as positive as it may seem I am now seeing it through different eyes.
Growing up I assumed everyone was special and unique in their own way. I was always interested in getting to know the heart of a person rather than just to size them up by what they looked like! However I learned very quickly through society, the media and sadly through certain relationships that this is not how the world works. It was made very clear to me at a young age that appearances are of far greater importance than character, integrity or the condition of one’s heart. The notion “beauty is to be found in every person you meet” is considered outlandish or down right laughable!
So the question is “Who decides?” Because if beauty is truly in the eye of the “beholder” then that leaves everyone subject and at the complete mercy of every person with opinion. Case in point: You have two women. Woman #1 is a fitness model type; aesthetically pleasing by industry standards (fitness/product promotion). Woman #2 is in shape a well, however not to the same degree as woman #1, but nevertheless stunning. Woman #1 does photo shoots and travels due to her physique. Woman #2 does not. Is one more beautiful than the other? The fact that one is a fitness model and is considered beautiful/attractive by a specific group of people does that nullify the beauty of the other woman because she is not in the same category? The answer is NO!! And if by chance a man came along and looked at both women, and decided he was interested in woman #1 that would be his choice. A woman’s beauty needs no affirmation from a man or any other outside source. The sad thing is some men cannot see true beauty, so just because they can’t see does not mean it is not there!!
The truth is REAL beauty goes beyond aesthetics. I am tired a woman’s beauty being reduced to the size of her “rack”, the circumference her backside or any other physical attribute someone chooses to highlight!! Real beauty exudes from within….And if you don’t got it there is no physical enhancement that can compensate for that!! In all honesty I would rather be woman #2 any day of the week. Physical enhancements I can get, weight I can loose, but true beauty….that stuff just ain’t lying around at the local corner store!!!
Know and value your own beauty…if you don’t no one else will!!