This is such a broad statement to make, but it’s true. As a society, we have been “conditioned” to believe that more is better. We want more money, more fame, more clients, more options, more opportunities, more cake…(okay, that last one is just me!). My point is we spend every waking hour of every day satisfying our gluttonous desires to get more. We do this with aggression. We do this with fervor. We do this as a means to an end. “When I get more X, then I can Y!” Our intentions are good, but our perceptions are piss poor wrong.
More does not equal better!
Better equals better!
Let me break this down for you. I want to use a practical example; let’s go with friendships. I don’t know why we all desire to be Facebook celebrities, but “likes” don’t equate fame. Yet we do everything in our power to gain those likes…and those friends…and those comments…and those shares. All for the sake of numbers. Now, unless you can transform these numbers into something useful they don’t mean much outside of this social media platform. These “friends” that you’ve accumulated over the past few weeks, months, or years – do you know three things about them that CAN’T be found on their profile? Have you ever met them in person? Do you know their middle name (like, the government name…not the OhSoSweetandSassy listen on their profile)?
Chances are, unless you know them personally, the answer is no. So why do we put so much emphasis on having the most number of friends online? Why is it a badge of honor when we’ve maxed out our two thousand friends and have to create a “fan page?!” Sure, you have all of these people linked to you, but how are they benefiting you? How are you benefiting them? Are you really that concerned about their overall well-being, or are you concerned about the overall number of friends that you’ve accumulated? What’s going to happen when shit gets real and life happens? How many of these people are doing to do more than just post, “Praying for you!” under your status?
Think about it for a moment. What’s more important – knowing you have true friends that have your best interest at heart, or knowing you have a high number of individuals on your profile page? In the thick of it, which one really matters?
This concept can be applied to so many other areas of your life as well. Just because you have the MOST of something doesn’t mean you have the BEST of something. More isn’t always better…neither is bigger always better. Sometimes, the less you have the better off you are in the long run.
It’s time to take inventory over your life. Where are you weighing heavily because you have too much of something? How can you scale back so you can really reap the benefits? Let me know in the comments below. If you need assistance with assessing your quality versus quantity let’s chat! Email me at email@example.com for a complimentary 30-minute call.
Ahh…Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. The day we shower our loved ones with candy, cards, stuffed animals, and other trinkets. It’s also the day we curse for being fake, commercialized, glamorized, and created for profit’s sake.
Your thoughts about Valentine’s Day are valid…because they’re your thoughts. Maybe you love the day. Maybe you loathe it. Maybe it brings up beautiful memories of how you met your spouse. Maybe it’s not even recognized as a day and you’re still pretending it’s February 13th. Whatever the case may be, look past the “holiday” and see the purpose of it.
This day is about love. It’s about caring for individuals in a way that may or may not be deserving. It’s about putting someone else’s needs before your own simply because you value them that much. To me, Valentine’s Day isn’t a chance to show off how much you love your mate to the public. It’s a day to prove to someone that you love and value them…in private.
That can be hard to do, especially if you’re still healing from a broken heart. I understand because I’ve been there. Hell, technically I’m STILL there! There are different levels of pain when it comes to a broken heart. There’s the level due to the loss of a love one through death. There’s the level due to loss of a loved one intimately (breaking up). And there’s the level due to loss of SELF! This is the level I want to address because – in my opinion – this is the hardest heart break of all to heal from – but it’s also the EASIEST to recover.
When I say, “loss of self,” what I’m referring to is forgetting about the essence of who you are. This could have been done for the sake of pleasing someone else. It could have been due to extensive responsibilities. Or maybe you were never taught how to love your self so you didn’t, in fact, lose it…you never had it. When we neglect our own needs it becomes hard to meet the needs of others. When they don’t understand this neglect of self and still demand things from us, it can also make us resentful.
This is dangerous for several reasons. Resentment blocks our ability to reason. It prevents us from seeing the full picture because we’re so focused on what’s being taken from us; we don’t stop to see what we’re giving ourselves. It also makes it harder for others to love us because we automatically group everyone in the category of “leeches” and assume they just want to stick their grimy straws in our backs and suck us dry. That may not be the case, but when we have no love for self and set no boundaries it sure can seem that way.
That’s why it’s important to step back from everyone and everything for a while and refuel your own cup. You need to get into the habit of loving you even when it’s hard to love others. We get so wrapped up in trying to prevent others from breaking our hearts that we don’t see how we’re breaking our own hearts daily. Love isn’t outside of you. It’s within you. When you love yourself properly it begins to REFLECT outside of you. So the love that you believe others have – or don’t have – for you is really a REFLECTION of the love you have for yourself.
Now the question is how are you loving yourself? What have you done to please you lately? Do you even know your love language? If not, find out what it is here. Once you know how to love you, then you can fall passionately in love with your SELF. Then and only then will the additional love from others have true meaning.
This Valentine’s Day, spend some time loving you even if you’re recovering from loving others. It’s okay to still show love to others as well, even if you’re working on healing yourself. No one has ever been hindered by love. Lust…yes. Love…no way! The best way to heal your heart is to use it. Start inward and work your way out. The more you love, the faster you’ll heal.
How will you love yourself this Valentine’s Day? Share your ideas below.
Are you struggling with learning to love yourself? Let me show you how vital love is to your personal growth.
I can truly attest to the fact…FACT, I tell you…that when you stand strong in your faith you can overcome anything! And I do mean anything!
Two Saturdays ago I was in a very unsafe predicament. While going around a curve on the highway the tire rod on my front passenger side came loose. Immediately, the ride got very bumpy. I pulled over onto the median (where two highways merge) to step out and look at the tire. It looked like it was in tact, so I made an attempt to merge to the right so I could get off and take the streets to my destination just in case it wasn’t all good.
Guess what? It wasn’t all good!
I didn’t even get clear out of the median before my tire really went haywire! Thank God the shoulder was right there. So I pulled over and commenced to making phone calls.
Here is where my faith test began.
The first call was to my insurance company. In the past, they offered road side assistance up front. Meaning they contacted a tow company, had your car towed to wherever you chose, and paid for the towing. Now I’m being told that I have to call a tow company, have it towed, pay for it, and they’ll reimburse me a set amount. *insert major eye roll* So I hang up with them and search for tow companies.
The next call was to one that I chose based on ratings. They said they could have someone out within 30 – 45 minutes and gave me a price…which was DOUBLE what my insurance company would reimburse me. *insert second major eye roll* Given my location (highway) safety level (way too low) and the fact that I wasn’t alone (all three kids were with me) I set it up to have them pick up my car and tow my car to the dealership.
The third call was to my dad. (Daddy ALWAYS saves the day!) Thank God he was home. I told him our location and he said he was on his way.
The final call was to the dealership letting them know my car would soon be on their lot. I told them I thought my axel was broken, but wasn’t sure. They said they would check it out when the car arrived.
Fast forward 30 minutes.
Still no tow truck. Still no dad. Still no safety zone…and these cars are FLYING by trying to get to the exit! By now I’m having to honk to alert them they’re nearing the shoulder. I called my dad and my mom answered. He gets on the phone and realizes he was on the wrong side of the highway. Attempt #2 has begun.
Fast forward 20 minutes.
He pulls up behind me. Still no tow truck, but by this time my boys are freaking out and my daughter (who can’t seem to contain her laughter in serious situations) is near gut-busting level with tears of hysteria. We hopped in the car and pulled off.
Super fast forward to Monday. I call the dealership to find out the particulars of my car. This is when the faith test goes into full throttle. They tell me the inner AND outer tire rods are broken, something came loose (may have been tampered with, but that’s another blog for another day), and to repair everything would be damn near the amount of my rent!
Now, my emergency fund was cleared out leaving a very violent situation. I’m in the process of recouping it, but haven’t made much progress. And now I have to contend with this. So, not only do I have the standard first of the month bills to cover, but I also have to squeeze in a repair fee…that may have been done intentionally by some spiteful being or on his behalf.
*turns up the faith knob*
I freaked out, naturally, for a few hours. Then, that night, when it was time to say my prayers I gave it all to God. I said, “God, I don’t know how you’re going to fandangle this (and, yes, I said fandangle – God knows how I talk), but I know you got me this time like you’ve always had me before. Yes, I might stress because I’m human, but at the end of the day what you say goes so I’m going with the flow.”
That was Monday night. By Friday, I had accumulated enough money to cover my expenses AND my repair!!! No cash advance needed, because that’s the route I was going to take if need be. Now I believe even stronger than before that when you ask God for a need he will supply it right in the nick of time!
Inevitably, situations will arise. Sometimes it’s to test you. Sometimes, shit just happens. Either way, it’s an opportunity to strengthen your faith, increase your vibrations, and test your belief that things will work out accordingly in the end. Sure, it may not be to your liking (there are a myriad of ways I would have rather spent that “extra” money), but it is definitely in your favor. When it happens – and that’s “when” not “if” – take full advantage of the opportunity to grow. Yes, it sucks in the moment and feels really uncomfortable, but in the end you’re stronger, wiser, and have a better perspective of your life and your current situation.
What recent situations have required you to stand strong in your faith? Comment below! And if you feel like your faith isn’t strong enough, allow me to be your ally!
They say it takes 21 says to change a habit 30 days to solidify it, and 6 months to a year to make it second nature. If that is true – and I believe it to be so – then any habits you’ve set out to change – or resolved to change – are now in the green!
*hi-five up top*
So what is there to do now? Keep going! The temptation will be easier to ward off. The desire to backslide will be less and less. That doesn’t mean you won’t be tempted to go back to your old ways, but let’s think about this for a second.
You’ve gone 21 days – TWENTY-ONE DAYS – into your new lifestyle. How do you look? How do you feel? How is your energy…your drive…your determination? Are things going for the better? Do you feel as if you’re on the right track? Or did you slip up along the way?
No worries! You still have time to get back on track. It’s still early in the game. Bottom line…NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO QUIT!!!
Keep moving forward and before you know it you’ll have better days ahead of you and a bad habit behind you!
No one likes death. Even though it’s simply a transference of the Spirit from one realm to another, that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. What’s even worse than death is an unexpected death. The removal of someone from your life in, what has been called, “an untimely manner.” This type of death leaves you asking a million questions, the main one being, “Why?”
Here’s the thing though. Death isn’t always the absence of life in the body. Sometimes, it can be the absence of life in other areas as well. Last year was full of unexpected deaths for me, but I’m not talking about the death of a loved one (although that, too, struck a strong chord with me). I’m referring to the death of relationships: three to be exact. And every single one was unexpected in it’s timing, process, and outcome.
Who were these relationship deaths? *breaths* The death of the man I was in love with. The death of my marriage (no, it wasn’t the same person…soon you’ll understand). Finally – and probably the most painful – the death of my best friend. All of these relationships ended within months of each other. It felt like I was spiraling out of control. Hindsight can be 20/20 at times. Right now, this is as clearly as I can see – we’ll call it 15/20 – because I’m not done grieving yet.
So how did I deal with these deaths?! Well, at the time I was all over the place – or so I thought. Today, I realized I had been going through the grieving stage – and didn’t even know it. There are five main stages of grief (along with sub-stages) that I went thought…and none of them were fun.
Denial: Nah, this wasn’t really happening. I wasn’t being choked in my own bedroom by my ex-husband in front of my son. He was just stressed. I wasn’t still in love with a man that said he loved me, but wasn’t ready to commit. I broke that feeling years ago. Our bond was 20 years solid…she didn’t just abandon me like that. It was the wedding and school stress that caused her disappearance. I made an excuse for every single demised relationship. I blamed it on schedules, mind games, mercury retrograde…you name it, I faulted it. I faulted everything except the parties involved. I mean, things happen and soon we’d get it together…right? Wrong! That man I was so madly in love with…can’t even return an email. The ex-husband who wanted to “work it out?” I guess he decided I’d be better off dead. And my best friend of 20 years? Well, I guess that’s not long enough for loyalty.
ANGER: Oh, I was mad! BIG MAD!!! How could I commit so much of myself for so long only to reap nothing in return? How was I so stupid to believe that my marriage was real, or that “he” was the one, or that the way I treated and supported her would be returned when the shoe was on the other foot? How could they all abandon me like that, leaving me in a dust pile of nothingness, covered in scars, blood, and tears – and not even say they were sorry? And how could I let them? Where was my self-respect? How did I not see this coming? Why were they placed on pedestals while I was merely an option in a cabinet? He told me he wasn’t ready. Why did I fall in love with him anyway? He told me he was from the streets. What made me think he would be a good husband? I was always – ALWAYS – there for her. Where in the hell was she when I needed her?
Depression: If I wasn’t so against medication I’d probably be on every psych pill known to man. This shit hurt, I mean HURT! This wasn’t a one night stand, or a 6 month boy toy, or a casual chick I’d hang out with if I was super bored. This guy was the epitome of everything I wanted in a man. This man was the one I committed myself to in front of a judge AND God…after driving NINE HOURS to get to him! This was a 20 year friendship filled with kids, birthday parties, clubbing nights, hospital visits, and family connections. These weren’t just everyday people. These were individuals that had my heart…my SOUL! Casual acquaintances be damned…these three meant EVERYTHING to me and left me feeling like I meant NOTHING to them! No amount of cake, music, or clinical therapy in the world could take the pain I was feeling – and am still feeling – away.
Bargaining: Talk about making deals with – nope…I’m not going to say it. But I will say this is my current stage…yet within the last few days it’s flipped. At first, I was thinking of reaching out to these people – well, everyone except my ex-husband. He can go f**k himself! But I wanted to reach out to the man I loved and see if maybe, just maybe, we could be friends. I mean, sure he may still not be ready, but we can be friends…right? I was thinking about reaching out to my ex-best friend. Maybe it really was the stress of school and the wedding. Maybe she didn’t know what to say or how to say it. Maybe she tried – she really tried – but she just couldn’t come out and say what she really wanted to say. I battled with my mind and my ego back and forth on this for weeks. The holidays – ugh – they were the worst! It just wasn’t the same.
And then it hit me…the bargaining isn’t about getting back with them; it’s about getting back on track.
That’s where I am right now. I’m no longer trying to find ways or excuses to rekindle dead relationships. I’m no longer beating myself up for trusting individuals. I’m no longer playing “victim” nor “survivor.” I’m simply trying to find a way to move on in life without them. I’m finding ways to heal from the hurt. I’m finding a purpose for the pain. I’m making a deal with myself to be a better version of myself.
What’s after this? The final stage: Acceptance.
No, I’m not completely there yet, and that’s okay. These stages bleed into one another. So I guess you can say I’m at a healthy 4.7; still bargaining, but I have pretty much accepted the fact that I may never see nor hear from these individuals again. It used to hurt, but I’ve been though that. I was mad about it, but I’ve been though that. I was sad about it, but I’ve been though that. Now it’s time to get real about it. Their season is over in my life. My season is over in their life. No one is any more right or wrong than anyone else. Who knows, they may feel a certain type of way about me. If that’s the case, and on the rare chance they’re actually reading this, I apologize. Nothing was intentional; it was simply the actions of a broken person, not an evil spirit. I’ve learned and grown from it and I pray that you have, too.
The reason why I’m sharing this with you is two-fold. First, I need an outlet. Since I have no BFF anymore – outside of my Misfits – there’s no one I trust enough to vent to that could handle it. It’s part of my bargaining stage: to face what was, what is, and what is soon to be. I’m okay with that. The second reason is because as a coach this is what I help other women overcome. I didn’t have anyone to hold my hand through my stages. I want to be that hand for the next person…as a support system…without judgment or belittlement. I’m not a therapist, nor do I want to be. All they do is ask a bunch of repetitive questions based on the past. No real, current healing can begin that way. (Not knocking therapists…but from experience it just didn’t work from me).
Grieving can cause road blocks that prevent you from living, laughing, and Loving again. It’s imperative to get back to life after death. You may not know how…but I do, and I’m here to help you. What are you grieving in your life? How are you handling it? What stage are you in? (If you say none it’s denial! LOL! I KID!) No matter what life used to knock you down, no matter what relationship, opportunity, or career path has died, you can recover and you can move on.
Leave your story below. Inspire someone else. Need more help, guidance, or clarity? Contact me at www.isyspublications.com/contact.
It’s time to get back to YOU again!
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