It Takes Two

It takes two

In any relationship (business, friends, marriage, family, ect…), it takes both people to be willing to adapt and change in order to grow together.  For this, you need honest communication…Be honest with each other AND yourself.  Even when the topic is uncomfortable, be true to yourself and with yourself.  Change can’t happen if the truth isn’t known.  So, Speak up, Be honest, and Find true happiness.

Stay True to Yourself

My Protector

Stay strong and continue to accept and love who you are.  You are entitled to your feelings…don’t allow anyone try to bully you into doubting what you feel.  Own your feelings with pride, don’t be ashamed of them…and don’t be afraid to express who you are.  The more you accept and love yourself, the easier it is for you to accept others with calmness and love.  Broadcast your message…some people will accept it, and some people won’t… And that’s okay.   Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and feelings… EVERYONE

Realization #15

#15.  There is no blame, nor good or bad….There only lessons to help you become the best person you can be.

We honestly do create our own happiness…Life is what we make of it.  So many of us are lost in a life of false obligations and unhappiness.  We choose to live there because we were taught to accept it.  The problem is, we weren’t put here to live in unhappiness.  We are suppose to learn and grow from the bad times so that we can find the love and joy.  What we consider “bad” really is put in our life to help us understand and accept the “good”.  Every person is playing their role in your life…don’t hate them for that.  They are helping you become the best version of yourself.  As you start to accept them/it, you begin to change the way you see life and how you feel about people/situations.  You are the one who has changed, not the other person…yet they now seem harmless, because you don’t allow them to rule your thoughts and feelings anymore.

I saw this post today and realized the impact that it had on me… “Some people will never let go of your past because their life is still there.  They will only see you for who you were then, because they can’t benefit from who you are now”…Trent Shelton, RehabTime.  The past is the past and I refuse to dwell there.  I am in charge of myself…I can’t control what others’ feel or think or say, and that is none of my business.  I am in the business of creating my own happiness!!!  I get to decide how I see the world around me.  It’s only hurtful if you allow it to be hurtful… You allow hurt, fear, joy, happiness, etc… You decide!!!  If someone says something/does something “bad” to me, I have the choice to be offended, get angry, and ruin my mood…or I have the choice to think why they said/did it, accept it for who they are, and go about my day not giving it a second thought.  If I do think about it, I have the choice to examine my feelings and adjust my own life accordingly.  Let’s say that I didn’t get enough sleep, I woke up late, and now I am one step behind with everything I’m doing in the day…I’m distracted and not in a pleasant mood.  I overhear some people talking about me, saying how mean I am today… I can get insulted and be angry with those people (who do they think they are!  I’d like to see them handle my day!), or I can look at myself, realize I am being mean, and adjust my mood and behavior for the rest of the day (being thankful for those people for making me aware of my behavior and how it was affecting everyone).  I can choose to learn, adjust, and let go of the past.

When you are in any relationship (romantic, family, business, friendship), you choose the way you accept and love the other person.  Growing up, I never felt a true love between me and my father.  I wanted him to show his love in my “idea” of what he should be doing for me and how he should be treating me.  I didn’t accept him for the man that he was and therefore, I didn’t understand that he was doing the best he could, loving the best he could, and expressing the best he could.  I kept this anger in my heart for decades… Then my mom died.  Now I’m left with a choice…Do I want to live the rest of my life hating my remaining parent, or do I want to have a peaceful relationship with him.  So I sat down with him and had some honest communication.  I told him my thoughts and feelings, and he told me his.  We both cried.  It ended in the most loving hug that I had ever felt between us.  Through that honest communication, I gained a better understanding of who my father is.  I appreciate who he is and I accept him for the man he is.  I may not always agree or like what he says, but I now understand it and accept it for what it is.  I see my dad more now than I did for the last 20 years.  We have genuine conversations, and can express our feelings without fear of rejection.

Did you ever ask yourself, “What’s wrong with me!?”  The answer is – The only thing wrong is the way you are choosing to think about yourself and the things that unfold during your day.  We are only human, we have human emotions and reactions.  But at the end of my day, I choose to forgive myself and start fresh the next day.  Learn to forgive any perceived wrongs, learn to accept and let go, learn to choose happiness.   There is good within the bad, there is light within the dark, and there are lessons within the hardships… Only you can make the choice on what you see.

Realization #14

#14.  You are not alone…People really do want to help you.

Everyone needs someone to talk to…through sadness, joy, hard times, and accomplishments.  We need someone to care about us, and someone we can care about.  I didn’t realize how much love I really had in my life until I started letting people into the inner circle of my everyday activities and emotions.  All my life, I would pray for love…and I didn’t even know that I already had it!!!  There are many types of love…and levels to those types.  People love in different ways…so be aware of when someone is loving you the best they can.  I have a few close friends, I had two parents and two sisters, I’ve had several romantic relationships, I have two sons…and they all show their love differently, but I know that they do love or have loved me.  It took me 40 some years of my life to understand and appreciate all of the love that I really do have in my life.

When I was at my lowest point, on the verge of a breakdown, confused and scared about my future, screaming at God for taking my mom…I had friends who would call me just to make sure I was ok (they would patiently listen to my sob story), come to visit me (or eat lunch with me in a secluded room) just so I could cry on their shoulder, text me daily so that I knew someone was thinking about me.  I remember asking, in the middle of my personal storm, “but what about me…who is going to love me! If I go to the hospital, who would come to see me?”  I got my answer when my son had to be admitted overnight…I had a friend run to my house, run to the hospital, bring me food…I had friends call and text…I WASN’T ALONE!!!  I began to see how loved I really was.  I had people who genuinely cared about me, they wanted to be part of my life…  I now want to share my joys, and quirks, and accomplishments with them.  I enjoy texting them, calling them, and getting together to share our lives.  I enjoy sending a daily/weekly text to them, just to remind them that I love them too…We need each other in our lives, and it is each a special kind of love.

Realization #13

#13.  Life gives you exactly what you need to learn and grow.

Everything will happen, and does happen exactly how it is suppose to…You can’t force it and you can’t stop it.  Sure, we all have choices to make…different paths we can choose.  We still have the free will to do it.  When you don’t have the foresight to slow down and think about these choices, you make the best decision you can at that time…and life gives you what you need to become a better you.  Every choice you make brings you an event and the outcome of that adventure.  You can speculate that the other choice would’ve been easier, but you just don’t know that…because in the end, you were meant to have each of those lessons to become the person you are destined to be.

You are meant to go through certain lessons to gain the first hand knowledge so that you can be a more authentic you.  You can’t talk about an event, with understanding and empathy, if you don’t have the knowledge that comes with those life experiences.  There is no light without the dark, there is no joy without the pain, and there is no learning without the doing.  You don’t know what it is that you do want until you discover what it is that you don’t want.  You must go through the rejection, and loss, and unpleasantness to strengthen your resolve and create the new ideas of where you want your path to lead you in the adventure of life.

I know and now accept that I am suppose to be a teacher, a guide, and a light to the sensitive souls around me.  I am here to listen, to give advice, and to guide them when they need it.  The source of my inner light shines brighter because I can speak to people with certainty and clarity because of my own life experiences.  My students always tell me, with amazement, how good I am at the examples I give with the art lessons that I teach…and I tell them that they wouldn’t listen to a thing I said if I didn’t demonstrate that I knew what I was doing.   The same is true with life lessons…both hard and easy, good and bad…You have to go through it to really know what you are talking about.  I had to go through the struggles of finding my own niche with my art, failing a college course because I didn’t know how to gather information and study, have a failed business because I didn’t understand everything it takes to run it, wallow in the broken heart over rejection from relationships, and experience the depression of the death of a loved one.  I had to experience the anxiety of a new job, and the disappointment of stupid mistakes, and the frustration of losing my motivation and passion…But I also experienced joy, and hope, and a sense of pride.  Through my struggles, I found the acceptance of who I am and the person I want to be.

I also realized that life will continue to give you the same lessons over and over again until you learn.  Usually they become more intense if you resist learning, growing, and changing.  So my advice is to slow down and understand each choice that is presented to you,  Think about your choices and the consequences that will follow, and be at peace with any outcome.  Life is a journey to be embraced and enjoyed.  Not all experiences are going to be pleasant … so remember that they are put on your path for a reason and try to see what good you can learn to become a better version of yourself.

Realization #12

#12.  Don’t be a martar. .. Responsibilities and obligations are not worth your happiness. They are only excuses to not face your own fears. 

I was raised to be the good girl…to give in to arguments, to selflessly listen to others’ problems and concerns,  and to always honor every promise I ever made ( even if the promise was decades old and extremely outdated).  My mom tried to raise me to be prepared to take care of myself yet she was rooted in the archaic ideas of women sacrificing their values and happiness for the best of the family and public image.  I was concerned about keeping the peace and making everyone happy…everyone but myself.

And I used these beliefs as excuses to stay in the rut of who I was and where my life was forcing me to become.  I talked myself into believing that I didn’t have a choice because I made commitments and had obligations to live up to.  I was so busy trying to please people, not disappoint my family, and be the responsible adult that I evolved into a person that I didn’t even recognize.  I remember telling someone that I felt lost like my life wasn’t going where it needs to go…but I didn’t do anything to change my situation, I recall being reminded that I had the good paying job with the insurance…and therefore I felt trapped, and I felt the weight of arguments that I felt strongly about but gave in to … so things could remain the same.  I was a doer, a pleaser, and a keeper of the peace.  I was stuck in the easy rut because I was afraid of change, I was afraid of failure and disappointment, and I was afraid to trust in myself.  So I used these obligations as my excuses to remain in my rut of life.

But life moves forward, and so should we.  Your first responsibility is to your own happiness.  So some promises shouldn’t be honored, and some jobs should be left for someone else, and some arguments are worth fighting…because you shouldn’t be expected to please everyone, and you shouldn’t feel responsible for everyone, and you shouldn’t trade your own personal happiness for the illusion of love and/or acceptance.  We are human, we all make promises.  But because we are human, we all grow and change.  Out dated promises are not obligations.  If you feel something is an obligation, then you are not performing at a level of happiness.  Responsibilities that are done out of obligation become a chore.  You must be able to give freely with happiness in your heart…and only then does it become a gift of love.

Realization #11

#11.  Take responsibility for every part of your life…everything you said and did, every decision you made.  They were all choices you made to either act, react, or take no action.  Stop blaming others…look at what you chose to do or not to do.

When I would feel frustrated or resentful or sad… I would try to talk about it. I would get laughed at, and nothing would change… But I still stayed. I made that choice to stay, no one else forced me… It was my decision. I can’t blame anyone else or the events of my life…. I have free will and I chose to accept my current situation without change. So if I couldn’t respect myself enough to do what was needed for my happiness, how could I expect someone else to care about it.

But I stayed and didn’t work on finding my own inner peace with my situation. I remained frustrated, resentful, and unhappy… And this affected the person that I was. I allowed myself to lose myself in negativity… My self respect was faltering, my confidence was leaking away, and my lust for life was draining from my soul. I was allowing myself to die inside because of the choices I was making… I wasn’t being true to myself, I was trying to be who everybody else wanted me to be. That wasn’t  fair to me or the people around me.

And then, in about a year to the date… My husband left me and my mother died. I was left questioning my own identity. Who am I suppose to be now, why is this happening to me, who is going to love me…  These events were my wake-up call… And now I had another choice to make. I could wallow in my self pity, or I could search my heart and find out who I really am. I did wallow in my self pity for a while because old habits are hard to break, But it wasn’t bringing me and peace. I had to pull up my big girl pants and find myself again. This time, I also had to find the courage to be true to who I am.

I missed the real me…the girl who found happiness in every day, before I let my fears get in the way.   That loving soul started slipping away when I was old enough to understand that I was expected to find the love of my life, get married, and have children.  I no longer played in the woods until I got hungry, or listened to my headphones while staring at the clouds, or got mesmerized by the biggest fishing worm that I had ever seen.  So throughout high school and college, finding a man to love me was more important than anything.  I didn’t know what I was doing…I thought I was building my happy future.  I always had my moments of happiness, but they were less than could sustain my soul.   What I didn’t understand was that I was afraid of not being loved( we could get into the psychology of my childhood and daddy issues for this one, another issue I had to make peace with).  So circumstances spun, events came and went, and I got exactly what I asked for…Marriage and children (and many animals to give my love to).  My marriage was exactly what I needed at that time and my children are the joys of my life.  So I am very grateful for that time in my life….but even that could not replace the fears, doubts, and worries.

Once the outside “love” was stripped away, I was forced to face those fears and find the source of love within myself.  Not everyone has the same fears as me, so not everyone will have the same type of wake-up calls…But you will have them.  You will be faced with an event that is meant to force you to face your fears, change your life, and find the answers within yourself.  Let the pain come…sit with it until you are comfortable with just being with yourself.  You will find the joy of your your own company and the love of who you really are.

Realization #10

#10.  Learn to accept everyone for who they are.  We are all doing the best we can to live and learn our lessons in life.

It’s time we stop pointing out peoples’ differences as if they were a bad thing…They are unique qualities that are special to each of us.  There is only one love, one light, and one source…and we all come from it.  We need to be grateful for each unique gift that each individual human brings to this world.  We, as humans, are no better or worse than one another. We are all here to learn our lessons and to find the love within ourselves. We all have different paths to follow that will lead us to this love.

When you learn to accept people, you begin to understand them. Understanding leads to forgiveness and healing. When you heal, you learn to love people for exactly who they are.  When healing yourself, welcoming forgiveness, and embracing unconditional love… The most important part of the process is learning to not judge people. You must accept them for who they are no matter if you agree with them or not. None of us are perfect… We have all raised our voices, talked about someone, or just pretended not to notice. But in the end, you must strive to be that better person you are accusing someone else if not being.

I have been on both the giving end and receiving end of judgments.  I didn’t realize how jaded I had become until I overheard a co-worker talking about me… It hurt, but it also opened my eyes to the things that I just let casually slip out of my mouth.  I never thought about the daily jabs that I thought and actually said.  I started to ask myself, would that hurt my feelings if someone said it about me…If the answer was yes, then I realized that I was being judgmental.  I monitored my thoughts before I spoke…and I also forced myself to think of something positive to counteract the negative thought I just had.  I reminded myself that I don’t know that person’s life.  I don’t know if they have a nice family life, or enough food to eat, or if their pet just passed… I have no right to judge because I do not walk their path.  What right do I have to get upset when people are just being who they are.

Accepting people means that you have to stop feeling betrayed when they are just being true to themselves.  You have to stop being offended when they are honest with you.  You have to respect their right to be a unique individual.   You will have to find something positive to be dramatic about…like your child’s first steps, or your mom’s retirement, or the perfect shoes that your best friend just found.  Then you can start to get excited about the original things that people contribute…the perfect essay that your son wrote, or the dance recital that your daughter had, or the toaster that your dad miraculously fixed…all accomplished with unique talents.