{Past Tense} This Thing Called Us

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 10:00 AM




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it scares me like a stranger with concealed motives who knows all my secrets. this thing called us turns me inside out, upside down and backwards. i can't deny it or hide from it.

when I was but a glimmer of possibility, the needs that i never knew i would have were being personified in you. When i look in your eyes, my soul connects with you and i see you.  i see in you what i love in myself, and i fear the things that aren't reflected in me.

old ideas told me i shouldn't want this thing. saying that it doesn't fit, it doesn't guarantee, and it's always left when everything else points to right. telling me to fall back. find easy. find normal. because i've never had those things – at least not when it comes to love. thought i was supposed to have those things - if this indeed was the one for me.

but this thing here defies any narrow representation. the expected definitions don't fit. so, i have let go of my context for normal and give up my prerequisite for easy in favor of finding the courage for love.

this thing is full of purpose like a divine mission.  it opens me and exposes me to the places and stories that fear created inside of me and i projected onto the world. when I run, when I fall, when I hide;iI peek out and it's still right there looking like light at the end of the tunnel, feeling like heaven and sounding like my favorite song. this is us.  no easy, no normal, no fear...all love.

************
 
What is {Past Tense}?  It's explained here.

Captured: Day 13 {Before/After}

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 11:55 PM




Before



After



I almost decided not to finish the challenge.  And then I thought okay, I'll finish it.  And then I changed my mind again.   Waaaa!  So, finally I've decided that I'm going to finish, but I'm just going to do it in my own time.  It will help me to still have content to share with y'all while I'm studying.  Right?  Right. 

So, about these photos...

I washed and conditioned my hair (pre-conditioned, then shampooed, then oil rinsed, then conditioner rinsed) then braided my hair with just Kinky Kurly Knot Today and Shea Radiance Hair Butter.  I left those braids in for a couple days.  The second photo is second day hair.   The second and third days of my braid outs look the way I wish my wash and go's looked! 

P.S. If you wanna, you can check out my latest on Transitioning Movement here.  Also, I've been feeling some type of way about my mom lately and wrote about it for PLPT.

{Past Tense} What Are You Moving Away From?

Monday, August 27, 2012 10:00 AM

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What are you moving away from?
Regret. I am moving away from negative thinking and self-doubt. I’ve stepped out of the box of my fears and anxieties. I’m moving away from people that don’t feel right in my life, and food that doesn’t feel right in my stomach. I am open to all possibilities and opportunities to try again. There’s no such thing as defeat.

What are you moving against?
Pretenses. I am moving against the conditioning that has trained me to hide myself and stifle my voice. I am moving against the headwind of depression and sadness. I’m side-stepping the judgment and criticism that I may encounter on my journey. The interference of limiting ideas and past mistakes are only in my way if I allow them to be.

What are you moving with?
Free will. I am moving with grace, forgiveness and humility. I am moving with nightlights of positive affirmation to illuminate the valleys. I am picking up and taking with me all the good things I thought I’d lost like faith, hope and courage. I’m asking the questions and aligning myself with solutions. I have the support of my loved ones and the armor of God.

What are you moving towards?
Fulfillment. I am dancing down the soul train line to my own beat towards abundance and peace. I am finding the joy in the ride. I see success down the road. There’s creative expression along the way and lots of breaks to smell the flowers and do cartwheels. My story of healing is waiting to be told.
 
************** 

What is {Past Tense}?  It's explained here.

{too many people}

Sunday, August 26, 2012 10:00 AM



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Too many people overvalue what they are not
and undervalue what they are.
~Malcolm S. Forbes

35 Seasons

Saturday, August 25, 2012 6:00 PM



31 years old with bestie (transitioning)

 My birthday is coming up this Fall, and I'm starting to get reflective.  I'll be 35.  Sometimes I feel old and sometimes I feel young.  At this point, I think I'll feel that duality until I leave this place.  I love the silly and the carefree in life too much to ever take myself too seriously for any extended amount of time.  Those times when I'm feeling old?  It's because I'm taking myself too seriously. 

|You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair. ~Douglas MacArthur|

Before I ever knew what a blog was, I was a photo album fanatic.  I took pictures of everything and couldn't wait to get the film developed and displayed in an album.  Needless to say, times have changed.  The other night, I wanted to cuddle up and reminisce over some photos of the last ten years and found that most of them were saved to an online account instead of a tangible album.  This made it much easier to share a few with you. 

My other half, who is very anti-social media, would find this quite disturbing.  He doesn't understand how or why I post personal photos online and interact with people online who I can't see. I know where he's coming from, but I'm grown.  So, here we are. 

24 years old with my first munchkin (relaxed)
I'd be lying if I said I didn't care about the physical aspects of aging.  I always want to look younger than my actual age.  I do.  I have a sister who is in her late forties and easily passes for 30 years old.  Looking at her, I know what 50 can look like and I want that.  Vain?  Sure.  What about being healthy and of sound mind and all that?  Of course those things are more important.  Absolutely.  Fa sho.  But to be 50 and look 30 would be haught

I've become much more health conscious in my thirties, because I want to age healthily and be agile and active for years and years and years to come.  And wear cute clothes.  And have good sex.  Even when I'm a grandma.


27 years old pregnant with Ravy Sparkles (relaxed)

While I see some natural physical changes occuring over the years, it's the personal growth from my twenties to my thirties that has been staggering.  My early twenties were exploratory and irresponsible.  My mid-twenties were full of crisis and contradiction.  I made sure that things seemed okay on the surface, but behind the scenes - it was messy.  28 and 29 were painful.   I couldn't find many pictures of myself from those years.  Mostly the kids. 

Things have been looking up since 30.  Right now, I'm staring down 35 and refusing to be defined by it.  I'm just happy to be here and to be awake.  Still many more discoveries to make and iterations of myself to evolve into. 

|The sun shines different ways in summer and winter. We shine different ways in the seasons of our lives. ~Terri Guillemets|


30 years old with another bestie (still transitioning!)
 
As women, many of us put timelines on ourselves which usually serve to bring us down when they're not met.  Career and family goals, financial goals.  "By this age, I want to have accomplished this, this and this...."  

Do you do that?  What do you think would happen if you let those expectations go, and allowed yourself to be open and willing to experience each moment, each day, each year without judgment?

A big part of this is getting comfortable with uncertainty.  Being okay with whatever space you are occupying at the current moment.  You might now know what the hell you are doing with your life, but you are here.  So, just breathe and sit with yourself and absorb what you are experiencing so you can learn from it and eventually teach from it.  Be humble and faithful through your questioning years.

|There are years that ask questions and years that answer. ~Zora Neale Hurston|


{pockets of chaos}

10:00 AM



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I may be justifying my pockets of chaos, but
I will always choose people over perfection
and the heart over task and tidy.
~Betsy Cañas Garmon

{Past Tense} Blindspots

Friday, August 24, 2012 12:00 PM




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I have these blind spots, see. I suppose we all do. I can't (won't) see them until someone points them out to me. When these blind spots are pointed out, I usually feel hurt, salty, exposed, misunderstood, guilty, whatever...I could go on...I've got an emotion for everything.

So anyway, being in a relationship is like welcoming someone into your life to constantly point out your blind spots. Sometimes I want to see them, and sometimes I just don't. Sometimes I want to be babied. I want the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes, I want to be allowed to do and say things that would piss me off if they were said or done to me. Sometimes, I want to be faultless.

But I do resist. I resist the urge to counter every observation with an observation of my own. I resist the urge to go tit for tat. Grrrrr. This is not easy.

He insists that I see myself even when I don't want to. He doesn't back down or try to protect me from myself. He wrestles with my nerves. Sharpens my awareness of how I affect people. How I affect him. My antagonist and my helper.

I do have these blind spots. I know I do. I'm trying to see them but it hurts my eyes and gives me a headache. I really am working on it though. That's all anyone can do.

I can see his blind spots from a mile away with a blindfold on. Funny how that works. 

**********

What is {Past Tense}?  It's explained here.

Preparing for the Fall

Thursday, August 23, 2012 9:03 PM





Fall is by far my favorite season.  I was born in the Fall so that may have something to do with it.   But it hasn't always been my favorite.  I used to love Spring the best, and for awhile it was Summer.  My grown woman self loves Fall, though.  Open windows.  Layered clothes. Earth tones. Good hair days.  I don't mean to wish away the summer, but the promise of Fall is already enticing me.

Through the rest of August, September and early October, I'll be highlighting some content from my archives in order to keep my blogging momentum going while I'm studying. These posts will be marked with the label {Past Tense}. I hope you will enjoy.

As always, thank you so much for coming to see me.  What's your favorite season?

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The Bright Side of Life

1:35 PM






Snippets from my life this week
 
I'm back on my feet now, getting around and getting out and about.  I haven't felt this rested in a long time.  Yet I can't shake the feeling that I'm behind on many things that I could have been doing instead of resting.  I'm sure you know the feeling.  There's still so much laundry, so much studying, so much writing to do.  Catching up with friends and family.  Tackling home projects.  Working on my book.  Oh and my photo challenge - what happened to that?  (I will be playing catch up on that in case you missed the update here.)
 
This morning I woke up and decided to stop the madness.  To stop badgering myself and just ride. In The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle says, "To stay present in everyday life, it helps to be deeply rooted within yourself; otherwise, the mind, which has incredible momentum, will drag you along like a wild river."
 
This is exactly what's been happening with me since I had Sky baby two years ago.  I've been very overwhelmed with my life since then.   I have moments of peace and clarity - particularly when I write or when I'm spending time with my girlfriends - but when I'm alone and my thoughts get loud, I struggle to quiet them.
 
Further, he says "Not to be able to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction, but we don't realize this because almost everybody is suffering from it, so it is considered normal. This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being."
 
Speaking of stillness...  As I'm typing this, I'm sitting on my front porch, no wait, it's a stoop.  Drinking iced coffee.  Listening to the sounds of crickets and birds.  Looking overhead and hoping that I don't get pooped on. Thankful that I can run and jump and dance.  Breathing the fresh air. It's a beautiful, sunny day and it deserves my attention.  I have a whole beautiful life that deserves my attention.  It's sad that sometimes I don't feel present for it because I'm distracted by the constant searching that goes on in my mind. 
 
The searching has a lot to do with having a mother with schizophrenia and how I deal with it.  I've allowed it to add a layer of complexity to my life where I'm constantly evaluating my mental and emotional health to make sure I'm not losing myself.  This unnecessary vigilance has superceded my need for stillness and presence.  How did that happen?  Where is the freedom in that? 
 
Does this make sense?  I'm realizing that everything doesn't have to make sense.  How brilliant.  So brilliant that I think the sun just started shining even brighter.
 
 

Giveaway Winner Announced

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 11:00 PM




Thanks so much to everyone who entered My Favorite Things Giveaway.  Of course it was fun and helpful for me to be able to read your feedback and connect blogger names with twitter names, etc.  I'm going to do more of these in the future.

I used random.org to generate the winner based on the order of the comments and the number of entries and without further ado, Jessica, one of my favorite writers, bloggers and mommies is the winner!

Jessica, I'll contact you by email to get your info!

4 Things.

Monday, August 20, 2012 10:00 AM




Sweet Cheeks Cracker Face Baby


{1}

So, I've totally fallen behind on my 30 day photo challenge and haven't even addressed it.  Between the surgery and my kids starting school today, it couldn't be helped.  I'm going to be caught up by the end of this week.  I'll double up, triple up, if necessary.  Whatever it takes, my plan is to be caught up by Saturday.  There.  I feel better about it now.

{2)

The giveaway closed on Friday.  I'm going to announce the winner on Tuesday!  Be sure to check in if you entered!

{3}


I've been thinking a lot about my relationship and if I'm doing my part to keep it fresh with everything else that I have going on.  It's so easy to slip into a routine of co-parenting -- talking about the children, bills and work 95% of the time.  I find it hard not to put the kids and household business first.  Like, always.  I'm not sure if that's right or not or if there is even a right or wrong.  It's just what I instinctively do.  


{4}

Do you think that happiness is the absence of sadness?  This is the question I've been asking myself.  I've been very emotional lately.  (No, I'm definitely not pregnant).  Happy.  Sad.  Excited.  Lovey.  Melancholy. Overwhelmed. Inspired.  Frustrated.  Anxious. Silly. Annoyed.  Just all over the place.  Yesterday I cried because the kids lost the living room TV remote AGAIN.  I'm not ordering anymore, I'm just not.  Probably more sex would help me relax, but when is there time?  See number 3. 

So, how have you been feeling?!

Idealistic Chatter {Worth Reading}

Sunday, August 19, 2012 2:00 PM



I'm a people watcher.  I observe people and wonder what they're really like.  If they look lonely, I wonder if they have friends and family who love them.  If they look uptight, I wonder if they ever have sex.  Don't you?  Ever?  Well, now you know that you're not the only one.  It's true to form for me.  I'm very curious about human nature and behavior.

When people behave badly, I'm usually intrigued by what causes them to behave that way.  There must be a reason, my heart says.  Are there good intentions peaking out from underneath their sloppiness?  Or is their arrogance an attempt to hide their insecurities?  These kind of thoughts distract me from the initial annoyance I feel and help me to be tolerant.

There have been at least a million times in my life where I've needed a little tolerance, a little kindness - and I got it.   What about you?  Always remember to pass it on.


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Where I Talk About Writerly Things and Mental Health

Friday, August 17, 2012 7:42 PM




My surgery was on Wednesday and I'm happy to say that all is well.  It's only been a couple days and already I'm tired of laying down.  But lay down, I shall - eating, sleeping and healing.  I'm not supposed to be writing right now.  No, I should be studying.  That's next on my list of things to do, I swear. 

When you're a writer and you feel reflective, you should write.  Even if the words don't come to you immediately.  It's hard to concentrate on anything else until you do.  It's got to be one of the most frustrating things in the world to feel the arousal of expression and not be able to release it. 

It's like the man and I.  He's all verbal all the time, whereas I tend to stutter and get tongue tied.  Sometimes during crucial moments, I just can't find the words.  Probably because I'm overthinking what I want to say.  We speak different love languages and more than anything else, I don't want to be misunderstood.  Some things, I'm plain afraid to say out loud. 

I have feelings and I have words and sometimes they just don't come together.  And I don't want to be bothered with anyone or anything until they do.  I can't move past the things that swirl around in my head until I write them down.  Maybe if my mother had an outlet, she'd have been able to bridge the gap between her mind and the world.  But you have to want it.  What if she tried to find an outlet and just couldn't make a connection?  Could it be that choosing insanity, for her, was the easier choice? 

You don't have to answer that.  The way I see it, I can view my quirky nature as a blessing or a curse. And of course, I choose the former. I'll never lose myself, like she did, so long as I can write.  Channeling all of my imagination and confusion into my craft, I'll leave my insanity on the page.


Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. The chasm is never completely bridged. We all have the conviction, perhaps illusory, that we have much more to say than appears on the paper. 

~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Captured: Day 12 {Self-Portrait}

3:20 PM








Today's photo was supposed to feature bold eyes, but I didn't plan that out so well considering the fact that I'm laid up recovering from surgery and my face and neck are all swollen.  So, instead I'm posting a photo taken last week when I went to the salon for a blow out and trim.  I pin curled it that night and took it down the next day to lovely curls that fell as soon as I stepped outside.  Bygones.


Captured: Day 11 {Friendship}

Thursday, August 16, 2012 3:40 PM







She is my friend. She's my family. My insides. She will be fine because she has to be fine. That's how important she is to me.
~ Sex and the City

This is my oldest, bestest friend.  She's been my rock and my better half since we were 9 years old. 

"Hi Vonnie. Vonnie Hi." 

Captured: Day 10 {Something Blue}

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 9:00 AM






"Mom, can I wear my new sneakers to the store?"

"No.  Wait until the first day of school."

"Ma, can I wear them to go outside and play?  No one from school will see them."

"Huh?? No. I said they're for school."

"Can I wear them to bed?"

"Ask me one more time and we're returning them to the store."

Pause.

"Mommy, can we find some blue nail polish to match my shoes?  Please!!!"



#3 - Habits of Self-Loving Women

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 4:00 PM




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There's this woman that you spend all of your time with and no matter where you go or what you do, she comes with you and she talks to you. That woman is you. So, it's up to you to set the tone for your conversations and keep yourself engaged with uplifting ideas to fuel your decisions and actions.

There’s no need to look outside of yourself to feel beautiful. What you seek you already are. Instead of lamenting what you think you don’t have, take what you are and what you have and make it work for you. Believe that you have divine inner vision and strength to create the life you want. When we sell ourselves short through self-destructive thoughts and behavior, we are in effect blocking our own inherent magic.

Think about what you say to yourself and learn to direct your thoughts to peace, love and acceptance. Anger and contempt aren't good for your health or your appearance. Remember these wise words that are credited to Audrey Hepburn, "Happy girls are the prettiest girls."

Here are some more related quotes for your journal:

Glamour is a shooting star, it catches your eye, but fades away, beauty is the sun always brilliant day after day. ~Mike Dolan

Taking joy in living is a woman's best cosmetic. ~Rosalind Russell

Beauty... when you look into a woman's eyes and see what is in her heart. ~Nate Dircks

And My Favorite:

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Captured: Day 9 {Guilty Pleasure}

11:00 AM








Cupcakes are the answer. 
Who cares what the question is.

Captured: Day 8 {Lunch}

Monday, August 13, 2012 4:00 PM








The kids and I had pizza and carrot sticks for lunch today. This is their last week off before school starts. I'm celebrating it and grieving it at the same time. The summer is full of relaxed routines and late nights. All of that is about to end. Is it just me, or did summers seems to last longer when we were kids?

Captured: Day 7 {Someone I Adore}

1:53 PM




 





I love her light brown cottony hair
She's a baby, a little girl and a grown woman all at once - just like her mama
She looks like a kitten and smells like cotton candy
She loves her big brother more than life
Climbing trees, playing with worms, painting her nails and
putting on a one woman fashion show are all in a day's work
She loves to rub her face on her daddy's whiskers
She's a joy, an enigma, a muse, a miracle
and a lovebug
She trusts and she gives
She resists and she protests
She is life and love and spirit
in a pink romper.

{A poem written by me. About someone I adore.}

2 Things.

Saturday, August 11, 2012 4:00 PM




{1}




I hope everyone had a great week!  I'm fighting a nasty summer cold, which by the way, has reared its ugly head just in time for a bachelorette party weekend that I've been looking forward to forever.  I won't let it shut me down though.   I'm definitely feeling the 'challenge' part of the 30 day photo challenge, but I'm enjoying it nonetheless.  One of my e-buddies, Steph from Steph Writes Here is doing the challenge on her blog as well. 



{2}
Have you entered the giveaway yet?  It closes on Friday!!!



Captured: Day 6 {Self-Portrait - No Makeup}

10:35 AM







It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not. ~Andre Gide


Captured: Day 5 {Clutter}

Friday, August 10, 2012 1:32 PM






The top of my dresser.  My catch all.  When I come home from work, I take off my jewelry and either take my hair down or pull it up, depending on how I wore my hair that day.

This kind of clutter doesn't bother me as long as there are only my personal adornments and girly things lying around.   I think it's peaceful clutter. 


Home is a place not only of strong affections, but of entire unreserve; it is life's undress rehearsal, its backroom, its dressing room. ~Harriet Beecher Stowe


Captured : Day 4 {My Handwriting}

Thursday, August 9, 2012 11:29 AM






It is sweet to let the mind unbend on occasion. ~Horace

Captured: Day 3 {Something I Adore}

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 1:12 PM






Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot




Captured: Day 2 {What I Wore Today}

Tuesday, August 7, 2012 8:58 PM






I love pencil skirts. They always make me feel feminine and in charge.  And how about the belt?  It's my favoritest.  I have it in two colors.


I have a new respect for all the fashion bloggers who post photos daily! You really need a dedicated partner in crime or a tripod to do it right. 

By the way, have you entered my giveaway?

Captured: Day 1 {Self-Portrait}

Monday, August 6, 2012 6:47 PM




 


What we do flows from who we are. ~Paul Vitale



4 Things.

Sunday, August 5, 2012 10:02 PM

{1}

Starting tomorrow, things will be a little bit different around here for awhile.  I'll be starting a 30 day photo challenge

As I've explained, the timing is ideal because 1) I want to experiment with other forms of expression and I've been stalling for too long, and 2) I have that test to take again and need to spend a minimum of an hour studying each day.  I didn't want to just disappear like I did last time, but I won't be able to write here as often.  I'm always inspired by blogs with beautiful photos and visual inspiration, so this will give me a chance to experiment with that in a more focused way.  Hopefully, you will get to see a different side of me.  Hopefully, I'll come out of it less afraid of myself.

This evening, I discovered another photo challenge going on over at Inspired by Beatrice Clay.  I've been following her on twitter for awhile, but I don't think I've ever clicked through to her blog.  Gasp.  I always get so excited when I find blogs like hers.  In her words, she writes about "truth and pretty things."  Be still my whimsical heart.  She started her challenge on August 1.  Definitely go check it out on  her blog and on her instagram @BeatriceClay.

{2}

Aliyah S. King, author and freelance writer, is hosting a 30 day posting challenge. When I read that I was like "Doh!" -  I was a month early!   But it all works out because I would not have been able to do it this month because of my studying.  She's asking writers to use the hashtag #30in30 and share their posts on twitter.  So, if you're a writer or blogger, I highly encourage you to join the challenge!  


{3}

I discovered another  new blog that has me smitten called Stylish Thought.  Here's an excerpt from the About page:

Stylish Thought™ believes that every young woman is a force to be reckoned with and empowering that force is our greatest mission! Stylish Thought™ believes in having a power color and a theme song that renders you invincible. We believe in being true to yourself and taking as long as you need to find yourself. We believe that style is personal, work should be filled with love and neither your life or sartorial choices are up for debate.

Stylish Thought believes the journey is less about the destination and more about the people you meet, experiences you have and happiness you create along the way!

Stylish Thought believes women can build the lives, careers and wardrobes of our dreams one stylish thought at a time!


For me, it was love at first sight.  Go check it out and browse through the archives.  Lots of girl power, motivation and solid advice.   All done very stylishly.  Run don't walk.


{4}
Don't forget to enter my Favorite Things Giveaway. It closes on Friday, August 17.

A Little Piece of My Day

Saturday, August 4, 2012 7:19 PM



We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher





Hope you're having a great weekend!

Summer Hair | Ponytails

10:00 AM


I've been rocking humidity-induced ponytails for most of the summer.  It's the perfect compromise between wearing it in a bun and wearing it down.  Most days are just too hot for me to leave it all out.  So throwing it up in a loose ponytail has been my go-to style all summer.   

I'm still using Shea Radiance Moisture Rich Hair Butter to seal.  Fortunately, their products will be available in Target in just a few weeks.  Between me and the girls, we run through that stuff so fast and ordering online is not always ideal.  I was featured on their site to share how much I love their products!   You should be able to find them in your local Target by September. 

I'm going to blow it out this weekend, so maybe it will be straight for my first photo challenge on Monday.  Maybe not. 







A Giveaway {A Few of My Favorite Things}

Friday, August 3, 2012 12:00 PM





So I'm wrapping up the 30 day posting challenge on Sunday!  It's been everything I thought it would be and I can easily see myself doing another one in a few months (after I pass that test and finish the first draft of my book).   Having a platform like this to hold myself accountable really helps keep me in check. If one of your personal initiatives is to express yourself more and become less shy about what you do, I highly encourage you to engage in some type of challenge and just see what comes out of you.  

To show my appreciation to you for reading, commenting, emailing, tweeting, to show your support - I'm hosting a giveaway. 

One reader will get a little care package with a few of my favorite things, as follows: 


Gail McMeekin's 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women: A Portable Life Coach for Creative Women


A journal for you to dedicate to capturing your dreams, plans, musings, and goals. It's important to have an outlet for the random thoughts that pop into your head. You think you'll remember, but it's best to write it down. Have a place to scribble, doodle, write down lyrics or excerpts that inspire you. Whatever your heart desires.


A goodie bag containing some of my favorite beauty goodies. I'm going to have so much fun putting it together!! (This is not the exact bag, but I wanted to give you a visual).


In order to participate in this giveaway:

{1} Leave a comment below telling me which of the 30 posts (from July 6 through August 5) was your favorite and why.

{2} Tell me if you follow me on twitter, instagram and/or pinterest and that will give you extra entries. 

So you get one for answering my question, one for following me on twitter, one for following me on instragram, and one for pinterest.      Make sense?  Tell me if that's confusing.  As you know, this is my first giveaway!




All entries must be in by 12:00 AM on Friday, August 17.  I'll announce the winner on Monday, August 20.  

Don't Be Your Own Martyr

Thursday, August 2, 2012 5:00 PM




When I was a kid and felt misunderstood or mistreated by my mother, I'd think to myself, "I hope that I get sick or get hurt.  Then she'll wish that she'd treated me better."  There were times when I even took it so far as to pretend that I was actually sick.  Kids are so reasonable, right?

Year later, I was an adult (so to speak) living with a grown man, where I was the only one bringing in a steady income.  I still believed that I could get what I wanted through passive aggression.  So, I worked and toiled and huffed and puffed.  You know, hoping he'd take a hint and bring something to the table.

I bet you can guess how that turned out.  Yeah, somehow seeing me work myself to the bone didn't motivate him to help out.

It really comes down to agendas and priorities.  We often make the mistake of thinking that our loved ones and friends should have the same priorities that we do.  Not so. 

My mother's priority was to teach me a lesson, not to make me feel comfortable.  At the time, I couldn't understand why she wouldn't just listen to my excuses, so I felt sorry for myself instead. 

The man's priority was to be with a woman who would hold him down while he ran the street.  Instead of recognizing that, I preferred to live in denial, complain, and cry.  Hoping that he would see my suffering and repent.

In both cases, they saw my suffering but didn't care.  For different reasons of course.  But my point is that every situation we face is offering us a chance to learn or leave.  Or learn and leave, sometimes.  Either way, self-pity won't get you what you want.  Passively exploiting your suffering to the person who is causing it, won't get you what you want either. 

Your resolution must come from within.

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Note:  I know I didn't post yesterday. I'm going to make it up by posting twice today!