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…..
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~
I know….Where have I been?! There is so much I can that would fully explain my disappearing act, however there is two words which sums it all up: “In Process.” This journey of accepting myself, changing careers and discovering the deeper parts of who I am has been a major endeavor. This type of transformation leaves one quiet, reflective and feeling quite lonely. They say a change of this kind usually occurs in your late teens/early twenties, but the truth is it can happen at any age or at any time. You simply have to be open to it and willing to do the necessary work to complete the process. I have experienced many highs and lows thus far, nevertheless they have all played a role in moving me into a greater sense of purpose and identity. Some call it an awakening or an epiphany, but I’d rather call it seeing what lies “Beneath The Surface.”
The journey of self-discovery is one trip everyone should at once (or twice) in their life time. Life experiences and events have a way of shaping many aspects of who we are. I guess that’s why I ended up in Social Services serving youth and families. The study of human behaviour, the nature of families and how we relate to one another has always interested me. Yet I have come to realize we don’t take the same time to assess and critique ourselves; analyzing our own patterns of behaviour, take inventory of our own thoughts and boldly looking behind things in our lives that are just taking up space. This is where the work really is. Asking yourself the hard questions and being willing to search for the answers.
Some think if you get a new wardrobe or hairstyle, job/position, house or relationship that you have somehow transformed or invented yourself. In some small way you have, but that is not the kind I am referring to. Real transformation happens from the inside out. Looking at yourself – the good, the bad and the ugly – and deciding to make changes. Going beyond the temporal circumstances of life and seeing all that is within you. This is not an easy thing. Truth be told this process has probably been the most challenging time of my life. Enduring the pain, discomfort, uncertainty, loneliness and at times even shame until I arrive at a deeper understanding of who I am and what the next phase in my life will be.
We live in a age where people hide. Hiding who they are, how they REALLY feel about themselves and where they are at in life. They hide behind relationships, position, social status’, money and so much more. I for one got tired of wearing a mask a long time ago and I made a promise to myself. That I would do whatever it takes to ensure my freedom to walk boldly and confidently, with my head held up high, no matter the current circumstances. This resolve has allowed me to cultivate gift I didn’t know I had and firmly ground myself in all that I am 🙂
Being authentic and genuine is offend the road less travelled. You wouldn’t think that, unfortunately it is true. Whatever process you choose to start be committed to seeing through until the end. Don’t cheat yourself; you are worth it!!
And keep in mind you have to dig for gold and it gets purified through heat and fire. Make the hard, but good choices. They may in fact lead you into probably the greatest chapter of your life.
Greetings Everyone!! I do apologize for the delay of this post. I did not post last week because I have been grappling with this particular idea and struggled to convey it in a way that would clearly express a clear of thought. However I am thankful for recent conversation I had with a dear friend. It has helped me to gain a broader perspective and much clarity enabling me to move ahead with this blog. So here it is!!
How we relate to one another is a telling sign of the unspoken things within our heart. Evidently people often forget over 80% of communication is body language. Much of what you say has nothing to do with actual “WORDS”. What you do and how you behave will always tell someone how you really feel. I have longed learned to see behind the plexiglass smile in search of the deeper things. Through years of observation, having relationships and just living life I have noticed a distinct pattern. At first I thought it was my own perspective for it can be a little jaded at times, but through various conversations with different women from all walks of life, age demographics and cultural lineages it is evident there is cause for concern.
Although women are very caring, nurturing, compassionate individuals there is another side to our gentle nature. This side usually is not the dominant one; the one influencing all our decisions, affecting our judgement or impacts our relationships. Nevertheless it is a side that lurk underneath the surface and comes to light whenever provoked. This side am I referring to is much more primal. The one that is cunning, calculating, decisive and at times even deceptive. The need for this nature does occasionally come in handy for genuine self defense purposes and when protecting someone else. Yet sadly I have found it being used more often for self-serving agendas.
The driving force for this primal nature is FEAR. It comes to light whenever a woman is feeling threatened, insecure. Also if there is a possibly of her loosing something or someone and if she is endangered of not getting what she wants. It will cause her to turn on family members, destroy a friendship, cross anyone and immediately change allegiances if it meets the sole purpose of protecting her personal interests. I have seen it happen far too many times to deny there is merit to this argument. For I too have experienced the wrath of the darker side.
A number of years ago I agreed to help my mother with something. She’d asked me for help before, so it didn’t seem like anything our of the ordinary; only to find out in the end she had been withholding information, lying to my face and using me for her own selfish agenda. Clearly she was building a house of cards and I was the last to know. When everything came crashing down I was astonished and mortified that she was capable of doing such a thing, and to her own daughter! She was blinded by her own need and fear drove her to across a line any loving mother would normally NEVER cross.
Now I know I am not a Psychologist, Psychiatrist or a Therapist, but I have noticed men seem to not have this particular hang-up (at least most of them). We as women are ALL susceptible to giving in to these tendencies specially during moments when we feel threatened, vulnerability, etc. How we relate to each other will forever shed light on our own issues as individuals. If we frequently feel the need to resort to such tactics it is a clear indication of a large issue.
So I feel it is quite apparent from my previous posts that I believe:
A woman’s size does not determine her beauty or her value.
That true beauty transcends beyond a person’s physique.
Whatever the size a woman should wear and have access to stylish, flattering, sexy clothing!
I do also fully support a healthy lifestyle; one which incorporates a healthy diet and regular exercise. However regardless of the stage a woman is at in her life she still needs to where clothes, right?! And I am always been intrigued at the fashion choices for the larger than average size woman. As I have mentioned before I have been plus size for the majority of my life, which includes middle childhood, adolescents and young adult/adulthood. Currently I am on the lower end of the plus size spectrum, but still am categorized as plus size nonetheless.
As a young girl I hated clothing clothing. I disliked shopping in general. Going from store to store, trying on item after item, searching through bins and racks, it was hardly my idea of a fun time. I always saw it as a task that had to be done rather than a experience to be enjoyed. You see when I was in elementary school and high school plus size clothing across the board was dreadful (at least on the Canadian side of the boarder). There were only a few places to shop and style seemed like a foreign concept. Anything that could possibly fit me seemed only appropriate for a senior adult or elderly person.
I soon then turned to shopping in the mens department; sad, but true. It was easier to find sizes to fit and I felt less awkward (go figure). As long I found clothing that fit I was happy and relieved. But a lot of time has passed since then and I haven’t fully let go of my “frump” girl complex. Even when I began to loose weight I was continuing to wear larger size clothing. Still working through the shame I felt towards my body I felt extremely uncomfortable to have it exposed in any way. So I remained in hiding. Even with my massive weight-loss in 2006/2007 I have had a hard time adjusting to wearing different clothing and seeing myself in a new light.
Since then I have yo-yoed up and down with my weight like I fluctuate regarding my clothing selection. Granted there are more options for women who are not a size 2 (namely me!), but I have yet to completely crossed over to the other side. I do the girly girl thing for a few weeks or so (if that) and then I’m back to my track pants, t-shirts, hats and head-ties (guy type stuff). If it wasn’t for going to church I don’t think I would ever dress up at all! So here I am. In the process of letting go of the old me while embracing the new me.
As I continue to walk out this journey I encourage you to take it one step at a time knowing that who you are or were does not determine who you will become. In the end you just might surprise yourself!!