I’m flawed yet BEAUTIFUL!

Self Love

I was sitting here earlier and came across a post from a fellow blogger that made me stop and think about my life. More specifically to all the triumphs I’ve had despite my failures. Yes I’m talking about you thehappywappyblog. You can click the following link to find the post that got me on this thought process here: Confidence Booster!

A few months ago I started a project for a friend of mine. I wanted to do something to cheer her up. The project was a bit bigger than I expected, and I haven’t completed it yet. Not for a lack of not caring about her anymore or anything like that, I’ve just not been able to finish because it’s a lot of work; I really hope she isn’t reading this.

While I generally try to be a positive person, there are moments when I have to be really intentional about loving myself. To make an effort not to tear myself down, and to feel like I’m enough. While I’ve not had any kind of mental, physical, or deep financial turmoil in my life. I’ve been fortunate to not have any health or mental issues, despite that I’ve not been entirely content with my life. In a way I suppose that’s actually more normal than abnormal. Who really is 100% content with the way their life is, after all there is a Life Coaching and Self-Help Industry. 

In the lead up to the project for my friend, I started writing some quotes, things that I try to tell myself regularly. My thinking is that to love another person, you first have to love yourself. If you don’t love yourself first, it doesn’t matter how great the other person is, you may be asking them for too much. Relationships are already hard on their own, putting more burden on the other person, to love you more than you love yourself, might not be a task for everyone. I think the most important thing to any kind of success, whether it be career, family, or relationship; is for you to love yourself first. The truth is there will be large portions of time when you’ll be by yourself, not in a lonely kinda way. You might be driving, sleeping, working etc. Other’s may not be talking to or interacting with you, but you are in your own head. What better place to start loving yourself than in your own head. 

Here are a few of the quotes I like the most, and thought I’d share, enjoy!

  • Tell yourself “I Love you” speak loving words to yourself at every opportunity you get. Be conscious of your negative self-talk. If you find that you’re being negative to yourself, then change those occurrences to positive words.
  • Yes you’re broken, it’s OK. The truth is EVERYONE is a little broken. Your mistakes don’t define your life, they do however add dept to the wonder that is YOU. Even the most beautiful things have cracks, and in most cases they add to it’s beauty and character.
  • Whenever you look in the mirror today, tell yourself “I Love You” “I’m Enough.”
  • You can find small victories despite your circumstances. Believing that you can is the first step. Don’t let one bad occurrence corrupt your entire day.
  • YOU are everything you need. You don’t need anyone else to complete you, perhaps compliment. You’re already complete; thinking of yourself in this way allows you to feel more self-love.
  • Tell yourself I am worthy, and I have value as an individual.
  • From time to time we all fail at various things. But failing at one thing doesn’t make our entire life a failure.
  • Learn to sometimes be in the moment, if you’re too focused on the past or future, you may miss the good in-front of you TODAY.
  • ALWAYS do your best, sometimes that means you can only give 50%. If that’s what your capable of that day, then give that. Tomorrow is a new day you can do more then, just don’t overcompensate for what you didn’t do today!
  • Sometimes you have to “fake it until you make it.” If you think positively, that could eventually lead you to start feeling that way.
  • Learn to “Let it Go” occupying your time with thoughts of negative self worth only leaves you feeling defeated and depressed. Learning to let go of thing you can’t control is a great step towards Self-Love.

If nothing else I’ve said so farLove language-affirmation resonates with you, remember that you’re the person best capable of loving YOU. Others may try, but they can’t love you quite like you love yourself, after all you’re the one walking in your shoes. Treat yourself with love, care and grace. Speaking affirming words also applies to yourself, don’t forget to compliment yourself; of course I don’t mean any of this in a narcissistic way.

Advertisements

I thought 2014 was my year, maybe it’s 2015!

2015It’s the time of the year when most people make their New Years Resolutions, then just a few weeks later, they’re off the wagon already. Instead of doing that, last year I looked at things I was doing well at the end of the year, and worked on doing better in the new year. Looking back, 2014 was a good year, and I’ve come so much further today than I was last year. Word Press sent me the stats of my blogs this year, and showed me what you my readers were most interested in. I’m going to be a bit selfish and highlight a few of the post that inspired me the most. This was quite a long list, so I’ll try to keep it short.

Lessons from Criticisms! 

One of the posts that effected me the most was “Lessons I learnt from Criticism” While my feelings were hurt initially, this really made me stop and ask myself “How is my view of the world and myself different from what others see?” While criticism is mostly meant to hurt, I also asked myself if there was truth hidden in there too. Sometimes people are hurting, and whether it’s intentional or not, they want others to hurt too. I’m willing to recognize that you and I may not see things the same way, it’s not beneficial for me to prove you wrong. Instead of proving you wrong, I can spend the time finding out what’s driving your emotions, instead of sympathy, I can show empathy for you.

What’s your Mix-Tape!

While it may not have seemed like it, I had fun writing “What’s your MIx-Tape” All too often we get caught up with the daily rigors of life, whether it’s work, school, family, girlfriend/boyfriend, bills etc. Life is hard and sometimes getting a moment to collect our thoughts are rare. While you’re not actively thinking, your mind is still subconsciously feeding you messages. With so many medias these days, it’s easy to get caught up, and to not realize that you’re hearing subconscious messages. Lol and I’m not saying that you’re hearing voices, or that aliens are talking to you. I mean you’re always hearing about a new product to make you better, more beautiful, smarter, more money … If you’re not conscious you end up feeling like you’re not enough, and you need that NEW and IMPROVED THING that will make your life better! In addition to all those messages, if you’re telling yourself that you’re not smart, beautiful, or worthy. If you’re also having a lot of negative self-talk, that can be a lot on your confidence. Instead of your thought being held captive by whatever new thing is playing, why not be kind, loving and gracious to yourself. Make it a point to consciously feed your mind positive messages about yourself.

As one season Ends…!

The title “As one Season ends, so another Begins” mostly explains itself. Aside from changes in my own life, 2014 was a year of changes for many of the people around me, and it’s important to remember that life is for but a season. There are times when you’re in your Harvest Season, and other your Sowing season. You might not see the benefits of what you’re going through now (either good or bad) until another season. Advance warning, I’m going to get Biblical for a bit here.

And we know that God causes everything to work together  for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 – NLT

Time and time again, whether you’re a person of faith or not, you hear someone say “WHY God, why did this happen to ME?” This is just one example, but what this passage doesn’t say is that God only lets good things happen, it doesn’t even say anything about the BAD. It actually omits that word, and it does say that God causes everything to work together for the good… I’m probably going to make some people upset by saying this, but the world is full of good and bad, and while someone dying is a tragedy. That tragedy can cause a chain of events that work for good. Sometimes even in bad circumstances there could be opportunities for good. As we go through the seasons in our life, it’s important to remember that even in the worst of situations, there could be a opportunity for you to show, love, grace or kindness or comfort to someone who’s hurting.

My masculinity is a Gift!

Through a series of posts ending with “What does it mean to be a Strong Man?” I embarked on a journey to understand what it means to be a Man. As a man I’ve been lead to believe that:

  • Good men are strong and powerful.
  • REAL men don’t cry or show emotions.
  • The Man is supposed to be the provider.
  • The Man is supposed to be a hero, to come in on his white horse to save the damsel in distress.

What makes me a man, is it because of what society tells me? Am I a man because of the ‘THINGS’ I’ve amassed. Do I just live by my carnal desires, and allow myself to be controlled by my sexual desires? We get bombarded my so many messages, and sometimes it’s hard to understand what’s real or not. In many cases we’re not thought healthy ways to deal with stress or our emotions. Through this post I was thought to stop and recognize that I have male energy, and how to behave around female energy, and some healthy strategies to handle stress and life. I’m learning to live with intention, I certainly don’t have all the answers. I’m however learning to ask questions, and to recognize my short comings, and most importantly to deal with them in healthy ways.

The Meaning of Life Quotes:

One of my all-time favorite comedians is Jim Carrey, it wasn’t until I heard a commencement speech he gave to a group of College graduates did I realize how smart he also was. For the full post check out “The Meaning of Living-According to Jim Carrey” Here are a few of my favorite quotes from that speech:

  • You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you Love
  • Live your life asking how can I have an effect on the world while I’m here?
  • Ask how can my gift change the world, not what can the world do for me.
  • What if people see me without my mask! 
  • To find peace you first have to let the Armour go. 
  • Our need for acceptance, can also make you invisible. 
  • To find Peace we must let our Light shine through, and take the risk to let ourselves be seen.
  • Don’t let Wealth, Fame, Prestige … distract you from your true purpose in life, which is to let your Light shine through!!
  • There should be nothing more important in this world than you. 
  • Don’t let your EGO(the voice that tells you that you’re not good enough)fool you, know that you already possess everything you want, believe it and it will come to pass.
  • Stop worrying about how your dreams will come through, just believe, and don’t get caught up on what the vessel looks like. If you miss your chance, the Universe will find a way to bring it back around again.

I’m an Extroverted Introvert!

While I didn’t cover it in any specific post, I learnt quite a bit more about being Introverted. I’m learning to embrace myself in a more loving way, to be kind to my emotions and quirks. There are times when I don’t mind being social, but at some point I’ll need to be alone, that’s how I re-energize myself. I’m learning how to be unapologetic about needing quiet time for myself. I also learnt that in my quiet times, that’s when I’m actually much more creative, I need time to process my thoughts

When it’s all said and done, while these are the things that mean a lot to me. What I’m learning to do is to not put my stock in things such as money, possessions, or things that are temporary. There are things in life that despite our best efforts, we don’t have control over them, and life itself could be gone in but a moment. Instead of focusing on things that are fleeting, I’m going to spend this year focusing on things that are eternal, such as love, grace and kindness. I’m going to spend my time trying to make an impact on the world in a way that can make my story last for eternity. The reality is that one day I too will pass on, and how the world remembers me is far more important than money, or THINGS!

Dating: An Extroverted Introvert’s Perspective

“You’re to live the life you want, then the idea is that you’ll attract the person best suited for you.”

image

As the Title says “I’m an Extroverted Introvert” what the heck does that even mean you wonder? If you’re one you’ll get this, but if not, it simply means that I’m an Introvert with many Extroverted qualities. If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting me in person, you’d never know that I’m an introvert. Not that introverts don’t smile and can’t be interesting, but I sometimes come off as friendly and easy to approach. If I had to quantify it, I would say I’m 70% Introvert and 30% Extrovert. Why is any of this important you may ask, aside from a window into who I am, it’s a bit of a conundrum when it comes to dating.


I really wish I didn’t have to have a conversation with you! 

Being more on the introverted side means that I have limited energy for social situations. While I might generally enjoy your company, there comes a point when I’d rather not be around you, and it’s not personal. How do you tell a date that, “hey you’re really interesting, but I’d rather not spend another minute talking about your…” I find this even more interesting because for the past 7 years I’ve worked in various jobs that are people facing, and I aspire to be a Life Coach or Counselor. Oh boy sounds like I have my own issues I need to deal with! While I find people quite interesting, sometimes they’re also too much, sometimes I just want to be by myself. Getting back into dating, I’m finding that sometimes I don’t have the energy to be social. Part of that could be because I’m not where I’d like to be career wise, and I’m in a transition phase. Sometimes I feel that work takes most of my energy, and then I don’t have any left to be social.


I both admire and envy those who seem to be living! 

I’m sure each of you reading this has one of those friends, or perhaps you’re that person yourself. They’re always doing something new, going somewhere, volunteering for something. Even trying to have drinks with them isn’t easy, you always have to ask them to “pencil you in.” If any of my friends are reading this, I hope you’re not offended, and if you are well… If we’re really friends I hope I don’t have to explain that last joke. I find myself ammmazed (not a typo, it’s just that amazing what you do) that they have the energy, because time is limited, and they don’t seem to have time to do everything anyway. When I say I envy them, it’s not in a bad way, I just wished that I had that kind of energy to get into that many social events. Then again I’m more comfortable in solitude, so that lifestyle isn’t for me anyway. I’m also well aware that it comes at a cost, being involved in multiple things all at once, isn’t for everyone, it takes a certain type of personality to pull that off.


Is there hope for an extroverted introvert?

I’m currently at the stage of my life where I’m discovering more about who I am. For the first time I can say with some certainty, that I’m actually looking for a life partner. I’m enjoying learning new things, or re-discovering old traits, but I also know that I have to put myself out there. It’s time to put on my big boy pants, stop being a recluse and get out there. Of course in today’s age, it seems delayed gratification is a thing of the past. With so many self-help books, new dating sites, all promising to help you find “the One.” I feel like sometimes they all set you up for unrealistic expectations. It seems that the idea is that there’s a single strategy that can quickly solve my dating problems. Some people can go out to a coffee shop, or go out to dinner, or go to a show, by themselves. While I’m introverted, going to a public place and being alone, is not my idea of a good time. Marriage for me is a very serious endeavor, it’s not something I’m to go into blindly, or ill-prepared. The analytical  side of me wants to approach dating as if it’s a math problem, to be solved by numbers, statistics, and reasoning. Humans are complicated, and dating is a bit more of a competitive arena. Amy Webb the author of Data: A Love Story (check out her TED talk), wrote a compelling story of how she has used stats to break the code of Online Dating. Lets face it though, I’m not a statistical genius, so that’s out. What now, how do I use what I have to get the results I seek?

I’ve decided to turn the lens on myself, instead of lamenting on other peoples relationships, I’m posing the question to you. Not in the manner of a quick fix, but given what I’ve described about myself, how do I use that? As an extroverted introvert how do I approach dating? Given some of the other topics I’ve written about, I hope you understand how seriously I’m taking my search for my next relationship. Hopefully you understand that I don’t think that a mystical creature out there “the One” exists, who will come along and make the world a much better place. I understand that life is HARD, and sometimes we all face obstacles. With that in mind, if you were in my shoes, how would you proceed?

Aside

Doubt, Fear, and Shame. The enemy of Happiness!!

“God’s promises are not contingent on my feelings or my failures” – Renee Swope

Aside from feeling a bit under the weather, I’ve been feeling a wave of doubt clouding my thoughts. Doubts about my future, whether I’ll accomplish the things I desire. Will I remain single longer, but then again I’m not exactly looking for a relationship either. I’ve been focusing my time on discovering what traits are important to me, so that when I do search for a life-partner I’ll already know what traits are most important to me. While I’m generally a positive person, there are moments when I don’t feel so optimistic about the future, but I suppose everyone has those moments.

What’s the source of my turmoil!

It’s interesting that when I started to feel doubtful, it wasn’t prompted by someone telling me I wasn’t going to succeed. My doubt came from within, I was my own critic. As I thought of that, I remember telling a friend earlier this week, “surround yourself with people that will lift you up.” I believe I also commented in someone else’s post telling them “when you’re hearing doubt, it’s more than likely that it’s coming from YOU” Then here I was a few days later falling into the same trap. It’s interesting to me though where my answers come from. Just as my doubt started internally, with prayer and reflection, the answer usually comes from within also. I’m not saying that I alone can solve my own problems, but I do believe that God/the Universe (depending on your beliefs) gives you the answers to your questions. By being plugged into yourself and your spirit, you will often hear the answers from within, and if you’re not plugged in someone will tell you that message.

Loving yourself first is the first step!

It’s not easy to admit, but sometimes being single can be awfully lonely. Of course with your single status you have the freedom to carve out your own path. This weekend I went out on one of my usual Sunday/Funday Hikes in the Mountains. It’s always fascinating how beautiful nature is, and it gave me time to reflect and be in my own thoughts. Being ok with the silence is definitely a good indicator of your level of self-love. In those moments what’s the message you hear? If it’s positive and hopeful, chances are you’re doing good on the self-love continuum. Of course the opposite is true, if you’re playing out thoughts such as “you’re not enough” “beautiful enough” “smart enough” etc. Chances are you need to work on loving yourself better. I read recently in a post “it’s ok to give yourself a break” sometimes we’re our worse critic, and we have to remember that sometimes we’re the only one talking bad to our-self.

Enjoy the stage you’re in!

As a closet planner and goal-oriented person, I feel as though I always have to be working towards something. I’m taking a bit of a different approach now. My faith teaches me that I’m “Right where I’m needed”, I believe that my life is divinely planned, and while it’s important for me to make some plans, I also have to follow where my spirit leads me. It’s hard for me to relinquish control and to not have EVERYTHING planned out. A friend sent me 2 quotes that I’d like to share:

Stay single until someone actually compliments your life in a way that it makes it better to not be single. If not, it’s not worth it.

Being single doesn’t mean no one wants you; it means God is still busy writing your love story.

Both these things ring true, I’ve written in length in previous posts that relationships should be mutually beneficial. Meaning that both people should be helping the other be their best self. I heard on the radio today “a marriage should be two people dutifully sacrificing everything for the other person, that is the meaning of a marriage.” Being single doesn’t’ have to be a stigma, after-all aren’t relationships about being happy, why be in a relationship if it means you’ll be unhappy. So while you have time to learn, grow, and love yourself, enjoy it. Learning to love yourself first is practice for loving someone else unconditionally.

As I write this, I feel my mood improving. I guess it’s true, writing is therapeutic! This get’s me back to my first quote, while I may not be feeling optimistic about myself, the world continues to revolve. Other’s still love me the same, even though I may doubt myself. You see regardless of how I feel about myself, others don’t necessarily feel the same way. The caveat is that could have both positive and negative effects, for the purpose of this though we’ll just speak about the positives.

Have you been feeling doubt and fear about the future? Where is it coming from, is someone else doubting you, or are you doubting yourself. In most cases we can’t control others, they’ll do what they want. You however have some control over your own thoughts. Remember that your words have weight for you also. So speak love, kindness and grace to yourself. Treat yourself with Love.

Aside

Is it Really that much better on the Other Side?

Looking over fence

Why is it that we can look at something that we don’t have, and fantasize about it, dream about how much better it is? I know this is going to sound counter intuitive, but that’s why I try to stay away from Social Media. Sure people are having fun, but they only post the Good Moments. Sure their new Baby picture is awesome, but you don’t see the other 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. How much of that was their child crying, throwing a fit, or just other kid stuff. The truth is, sure from your perspective they have a great life. You want to know a secret, they’re looking at your freedom, and singleness, and they’re reminiscing about how great they had it. Chances are if you’re looking at someone’s life and thinking that they have it great, they’re also looking at someone else and thinking that they have it great. So why write this, no I’m not angry or am I going to lament about someone else’s life. Rather I’d like to talk about how we can be content with OUR LIFE, ways that we can find joy in the everyday things we do.

Are you seeing the Whole Picture?

Yesterday I went for a Hike as part of my Sunday/Funday Adventure, towards IMG_1098the end I came across a beautiful view of a beach. Sometimes I feel that when we compare or lives to others, or we see a snapshot of their lives, we’re forgetting a few important details. This picture was taken from a few hundred feet up, people appear as little specs. The climb up to this spot was treacherous, just one slip and I’d fall all the way down to the bottom. It was nearly vertical, so much so that I was also climbing with my hands. I’m not saying this to get credit, but to point out that to get to this beautiful view, it was at the expense of my life. Sometimes I feel that we see other people’s lives and we don’t ask. How high up did you have to climb to get there, is it something I’m willing to do? How long did it take you to get there, do I have the time to invest in that? How did you get down from there, is it worth my life? So my point is that if you saw this picture and thought wow that’s a great view, and didn’t think of what it took to get there, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Without more information you don’t know if what someone else has is something you’re even willing to do. Whether you’re capable of duplicating what they did.

Poor Pitiful ME!

I’m not saying this to be insensitive, or to down play your problems, but sometimes it’s important to remember that EVERYONE, has their problems. Everyone has moments of doubt, shame, and regret. At times we all will hear that voice in our heads say you’re not “good enough” “pretty enough” “smart enough.” I was watching a movie “Mom’s night out” a few nights ago, there was a scene when the main character was going through this very battle. She was questioning everything she had set out to do that night. It seemed that everything she had tried to do was going up in big horrible flames. As she was asking out aloud if she was enough, another character turned to her and asked “enough for who.” While this is a simple statement, it’s implications are so vast. When you’re comparing yourself to others, or even doubting that what you’re doing is worthwhile, who’s the one doubting? Chances are, you’re questioning yourself, no one else is physically there doubting you. Ok so I know that this is not always the case, for some people they’re surrounded by parents, family, and partners who belittle them, and make them feel insignificant. I’m not talking about those scenarios, and even for those, I would say be intentional about who you surround yourself with. Are you around people that will build you up and make you strong, or those who would use their words to hurt you. If you’re your only critic, then learn how to be less critical of yourself. Learn how to remove your own obstacles from in front of you.

Life is still happening ALL around me!

It’s discouraging to think, but the world doesn’t revolve around me! When I’ve fallen down and scraped my knee, when I’m feeling depressed, when I’m feeling that I’ll never accomplish what I’d like. Life hasn’t stopped, you’re still out there posting your awesome pics of your life, you’re still having great parties, you’re still telling EVERYONE about your awesome relationship (or the good parts of it anyway). Life is still going on despite of what I’m going through. It might sound a bit sadistic, but EVERYONE has problems, think about it, no one is immune from bad things happening. I find this reassuring, and it’s not because “misery loves company” but it helps keep me grounded. In my head I feel as though others are living in a Utopian bubble, they’ve found the love of their life, they have an awesome career, and the’re living their dream life. Reality tells me that this is more of an illusion. So if it’s true that LIFE goes on despite my sad moments, then I have to go out and seek out my own happiness.  I have to find my “little moments of joy” Yesterday was a perfect example of just that, after a great hike and breath taking views, I found out I was 2 hours late for work. My schedule had changed, and I hadn’t double checked it. Not to mention, once I got there, there just seemed to be multiple problems waiting until I got there. Bad things will happen, I’ll also be depressed, I’ll also compare my life to yours. Despite all that, I have to be intentional about seeking out “moments of joy” I have to go out and live life, instead of life dictating how I spend my time. If I have a choice, I will surround myself with people who lift me up and inspire me. Whether it’s fellow bloggers giving me kind words, or even my kind words coming to someone when they need it most.

I believe that we are all connected in a way, I’m not just talking about religion. I believe that we have the capacity to sense when others are hurting and are in need. For me I’m learning how to embrace this and to send words of encouragement, especially when you need it most. I’d like to step away from my usual writing and share a quick story. Another reader OwlOfKnowledge, sent me a thank you a few days ago. Apparently I had sent her a reply to one of her posts a few months back. For reasons unknown, my reply was not read at the time, but in a time that she needed encouragement, my old response resurfaced. Just when she needed those specific words of encouragement, that’s when they found her. I don’t write because I’d like to have a certain number of followers, or that I’d like to think of myself as important. I write because of little moments like that, I’ve had a few of those with close friends of mine. This is the best way to reach more of you, to reach you in your quite moment when you’re not sure of your world around you. The moments when the Universe brings you the kind and encouraging words you needed.

Don’t wait for the Perfect Moment, go out and find your Joy. Look at the animals, they don’t have a care in the world, all they worry about is eating, and being the specific animal that they are. So be like the dog, cat, lion etc…Take time to be YOU.