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….
Thank YOU to all who are taking time to read this blog!! It really means a lot!! It is my desire that this blog will not only discuss the idea of “REAL” beauty and challenge the current stereotypes and social norms surrounding a woman’s appearance, but also take a hard look at the many issues which impact women specially in the area of self-esteem, relationships and world views. As mentioned before women are complex. There are many sides which make up a woman and none should ever be overlooked or taken lightly! Yet time and time again women some how get reduced to being a sexual object with the sole purpose of satisfying ones sexual pleasure. This sadly is not a new issue, but one that has plagued women centuries.
Now I’m not a feminist by any means, but I have often wondered what it was like for women in the year days who fought for women’s rights. The right to an education, to work and earn money, to own property or even run for political office. The rights I freely exercise today! It is amazing to think it wasn’t that long ago women were given the right to vote or permitted to hold positions that were solely designated to men. Nevertheless even in the mist of progress to this day women are fragrantly portrayed and often treated as women sexual objects. With the media, the entertainment industry both film and music [mainly pornography and rap music] along with human trafficking playing a huge role in perpetuating these archaic ideals the real problems lies when women themselves adopt these notions into their own core values.
Over the course of my career in Social Services I have had the opportunity to speak with numerous young girls and women and I am always astounded by what they believe about themselves. An array of experiences have brought them to that place, but the root of it all the same. A lie. At some point a lie was presented masquerading as the truth. Deception set in and the lie was embraced truth. Strangely enough many have shared they all felt something was wrong with what was said or done and yet never challenged it. Giving life to the lie that they are an object ie. “if it happened or if it was said it must be true.”
Being objectified is a degrading and deeply wounding experience. It rips at the fabric of a woman’s soul. If not addressed it can become a wall barricading one from ever having a full life; like a self inflicted prison. Because the truth is you can never out run what you believe about yourself. It is virtually impossible! In some form or another whether big or some every woman has experienced this, myself included. I too have had to fight to not believe the lies that were once presented to me as truth. It is a battle I still fight today in some ways. I am fortunate to have a great support network including friends and family, my faith and a strong church who constantly speak words of life and positivity into my life. Always reminding me that the past and what said or done does not dictate nor determined who I am or what I will become.
Never let the actions or the words of one person over shadow the beauty of who you are. You are NOT an object nor is your sole purpose for someone else’s personal gratification.
You are so much more than that!! Never forget it!!