Untangle Yourself

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I never really understood the extent and significance to this statement. Once you learn to relax and let loose the massive grasp of control you have on every detail in your life, the more likely the Universe will be able to intervene more impressively. I have always struggled with anxiety and depression and the one thing that has become my safety net is my attempt to control everything around me –because in my eyes, this is how I can become less anxious, and less fearful of what may happen –I “know” what will happen, because I’m “in control of it!” Right? No, fortunately this is not the case in life. Yes I may feel “safe” and “guarded” due to my safety precautions, but in reality, I am not letting myself live my life –I am forcefully controlling and steering, and that’s truly not the point. This leads to anxiety, frustrations, and negativity. We are meant to be steered and guided by a greater force –in whatever you believe, the Universe helps and aids you in every aspect of your life. Once you open up, and let yourself be helped, your world opens up to these extraordinary possibilities.
Over the past year I have been trying to go back to school. I only need a few more classes before I am able to transfer to a 4 year. Because of my domineering attitude in my decision making, one obstacle kept springing up after another. “I need it THIS way, not THAT way. I CAN’T do it that way, I don’t WANT to do it that way.” Because of this, I became increasingly frustrated, and was very close to giving up. I took a break from my endeavor and unceremoniously came back to it recently. It just so happened that the day that I tried to sign in to apply again, my old password came to me, and some way or another, I signed up exactly a week before classes started –not only that, but the one class that I needed in order to transfer had a few spots still open and it fit into my schedule right after work. There are honestly no words to express how extraordinary and amazing the Universe is… how things come to you, how things just fall into place at exactly the right moment. All you have to do is learn to relax and let go and really absorb and understand exactly what that means. <3 

Don’t Over-Complicate Life

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Definitely had to be reminded of this today. I’ve been super frustrated with work lately and I realized that it really doesn’t need to be like that-I’m only reacting that way. So I stop myself, breathe, and figure out what I can do to make the situation better -put music on, change my methods, and recognize that these little irritations don’t matter as much as the big picture. I am so grateful for the life that I have. That I’m here and that I’m ME-everything that I’ve done in my life, the steps, the words, the directions I’ve taken, it’s all led me to this point now and I’ve affected everyone that I’ve come into contact with. We are all more meaningful and influential than we give ourselves credit for. I’m thankful for kissing all of the frogs in the past and being found by someone that makes me realize that all of those terrible dates, and boyfriends, and searching, and frustrations may have only led me here for an amazing reason… We live in this absolutely beautiful and stunning place and whenever you walk outside into the sunlight, let it awaken your gratefulness for all that you have, all that you will receive and all that is yet to come. ♡ 

The Stars Within

She stepped barefoot through the wet grass,

Green flecks sticking to her toes.

The wind pushed back her hair like invisible fingers,

Tracing the outline of her features.

She held a cross-body bag close to her hip,

Her hand clinging to the top zipper,

Fearful that its’ precious contents would spill out.

She gently undid the top of the bag,

Wedged her hand inside and grasped a small book.

It was drenched in stardust,

Trickling onto the ground and her skirt; sticking to her palms,

There was a trail of wet, dewy stars trailing behind her.

She carried a tiny, infinite universe within her bag,

It held endless possibilities and it was up to her to dream and create them.

She wrote and drew all of her wishes, hopes, and desires in her star-kissed book.

Every time she did, she created more stars, nebulas, and everlasting life and light.

Anything and everything she wanted,

All she had to do was visualize and she instantly created it.

 

She was grateful for her gifts and abilities,

However, there was a loneliness inside her heart,

She yearned for someone extraordinary to share her creations with.

She began to write down all of the qualities she would like in another,

She was detailed in her wishes and a small nebula started to form.

It was tucked away in the corner of her universe, between two planets.

She waited patiently but the nebula did not expand as quickly as others had before,

It seemed suspended in its’ growing state.

She continued on, designing more and more of her unbounded universe,

And soon she put the beautiful, odd nebula out of her starry head.

 

With every dream and star she created,

Another piece of her was unmasked,

Gathered from the lush and vaporous universe.

Soon, her whole heart was revealed as she gazed at her cosmos, satisfied with her innovations.

In the corner of her eye, the unusual nebula began to spread out,

Clouds of colors and light start to form until an immense orb of light shoots out into the vastness.

She shields her eyes.

When she regains her vision, the nebula is gone.

All that remains is the night sky and stars in the distance.

 

Perplexed by the strange occurrence, she scoops up her bag and continues walking.

Tiny droplets start to fall from the clouds up above,

Beads cling to her cheeks and eyelashes as she starts to jog out of the rain.

Puddles form on the ground and she realizes that they are full of stardust.

She looks up at the clouds and they emulate the nebula mist she saw in her universe.

 

She sees something up ahead through the starry haze and her breath is taken away.

On the path, there’s a bright figure of glimmering fog floating in her direction,

As the silhouette glides closer, she senses a sparkling energy in the air, pulsing from the tiny, electrifying cloud.

Distance starts to close in and a feeling of familiarity and intimacy rush and warm through her heart, radiating outwards.

Her legs pull towards the cloud like a magnet,

As she approaches, reaching her fingers out, the mist envelops her in its’ stunning, warm light.

It seeps into her skin, flowing through her body, filling and saturating her.

All at once, she feels full, whole and light as an angel’s feather.

Her eyes are shimmering more than ever before.

She is the most brilliant and radiant star in her sky.

She is complete –filled with all of the love she has given to every starry fragment.

She is her ultimate creation; she is her universe.

 

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I’ve been working on this short story for a few weeks now. I kept going back to it, changing and revising it because I never felt like it was complete. In the beginning, I had planned to have her meet the love of her life in the ending but it just didn’t feel right after it was all laid out on paper –something was off. It seemed like one of those Disney fairytales where the princess cannot be truly happy or whole until the prince comes to rescue her. In my feminist habits, this is absolutely furthest from the message that I wanted to convey.

However, writing this has been a journey all on its’ own for my own realization that the only true love that you should be looking for is the one with yourself. You know in your heart that you deserve more than the relationships that you’ve had in the past, so why don’t you act with that purpose? Knowing is one thing but acting with that knowledge is true wisdom.

You can only find your better whole when you’ve created yourself first. That’s one of the major lessons of life –we’re uncovering so many different pieces of ourselves along the way. Sometimes our path gets shrouded with missteps and we end up following our emotions rather than what our heart is really trying to tell us. I feel it’s rather simple but we overcomplicate it so much that we lose the true meaning of life and of love.

Create yourself and I don’t mean in the way that you need to make up who you are. You already are who you are –give as much love as you can to every piece of yourself; you’ll unfold and blossom. Use that passion to build yourself up, never tear yourself down; learn what works and what doesn’t; take time to heal when another’s actions harm you –your scars are lessons that make you resilient. But truly, once you find that passion within, it’s like you unveil all of the parts of yourself that you never realized were there. Your own creativity and your love will move the mountains that you place in your own way. And once you fully act with love, there’s no reason for your true self to be covered up anymore. And maybe that’s when you’ll find someone that sees that beauty and loves every piece of you.

 

The Only Exception

I always make it a point to write from my heart on all of my topics; however I prefer to keep my personal romantic endeavors quite vague and inexplicit. This article will be an exception to that.

I’ve come to a point in the last few months that I was considering deleting my online dating account. Honestly, trying to filter out who’s actually genuine and real is draining and exhausting. It had made me despondent and I started believing that there really are no gentlemen left –only lost boys disguised as them.

In my experience over the last four months, I have come across only one noteworthy man. Let’s call him Gary for anonymity’s sake.

Gary seemed very put together –he was handsome and witty; he was working on his MBA, had traveled all over the world, and had studied abroad in different countries for school and for work. For all intents and purposes, he actually had his life and future together which was quite refreshing. Frankly, I was intimidated –he was intelligent, articulate, but for some reason, it was hard to ascertain his attraction towards me. I had honestly never met anyone like him before; he made me flustered. However, his conversations with me came off as ostentatious and hard-hitting. This gave me the impression that he thought I should inform myself more on social issues –which is not entirely false, but there’s a gentler and cordial approach that could have been used. I responded with silence and felt stifled. Despite my instincts telling me we were absolutely wrong for one another, I continued our puzzling friendship and intimate involvement; mostly out of boredom and curiosity. I wondered if he would ever open up and really share himself with me; but I took it for what it was and concluded that he did not want anything more than our current arrangement.

A little over three months went by and we had a routine that we would hang out every weekend; I would sleepover and quickly and quietly leave in the morning. I had never been in a situation like that before so not having those definite borders within an established relationship was new to me. And although this different approach was thrilling and exciting; in retrospect, I was settling for comfort and fun over my well-deserved butterflies, romance, and passion. He never made me feel that he wanted to be amorous with me and it was my fault for continuing on, letting him believe that I was content with it. Again, another self-respect lesson. Why settle and spend time with someone you know you have no future with? You’re only postponing for when the right one will come along.

I sent him a message explaining how we weren’t perfect for one another, how our fling had obviously fizzled out, and just being respectful of our friendship and our time together –because in all honesty, I did really enjoy his company –he is a very distinctive and clever guy. I was basically giving him an out if he wanted it –testing the waters to see if I should just move on or not.

Now I’m not going to go into detail about the events that transpired afterwards. As much as I am hurt and saddened to not have him in my life any longer, I am not the type of woman to rant to the online world about the specific wrongdoings of another. When two people are not right together, no matter how much you care, it just won’t work out. And he made it clear that he truly had no idea what he wanted –and it definitely was not me.

The Universe pushes us in the right direction all the time –especially when we’re off track. If we don’t make our move and sit in the wrong place for too long, we get burned by our inactions. Settling for something not meant for you is being indecisive and you’re only hurting yourself. You become too afraid to make a choice to walk away. And truthfully, I was afraid to walk away –as casual as it was. Closing the door to a situation is always frightening because it’s hard to see yourself without them or having things be different.

This circumstance has positively changed my perspective and opened my eyes. Of course there were a lot of other interactions with different guys and possibilities, but none of them are worth mentioning. I truly know what I want in the man I give my heart to –whether he’s online, already in my life now, or I meet him someday. Settling for anything less than what I want is unacceptable. Being “casual” with someone is completely overrated and absolutely beyond complicated. Adding sex into the mix of an already confusing situation made me feel attached to someone I really didn’t feel a strong connection to in the first place. I need to be clear-cut and honest about my feelings with someone and I want that fully reciprocated. I don’t deserve being tossed back and forth because someone doesn’t know what they want. I want someone that knows exactly what he wants and isn’t afraid to express that and go after it. I want to be chased, I want to be pursued, I want to be won over by someone. I want romance and I want to be treated like he believes I’m the most incredible woman in the world. Because at this point, I’m aware of how easily I open up my heart to people and that’s really not being fair to myself. How can I let someone fight for my heart if I just openly give it to them initially?

So whether I meet someone online again, he’s already in my life, or I haven’t met him yet –he’s got to pull down the stars from the heavens if he truly wants me and my love entirely.

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Unacceptable

His words cut through me like a knife,

“I’m looking for someone I could potentially get married to. Anything less…you and I…this is just not acceptable to me anymore.”

And I knew we weren’t right for one another –we were far from good together. I didn’t feel the sparks, I didn’t feel that warmth rush through me when he looked at me or when he said my name –there was no romance –I felt none of that.

And for me, that was unacceptable because I want the butterflies, and I deserve the passion and the love from someone that takes my breath away. All I felt from him was comfort –like the arms of an old sitting chair –you know it smells musty but it’s so comfortable and worn in that you don’t want to move. And now that that contentment was gone, I was angry; angry that I wasn’t the one to say it first. It wasn’t fair to either one of us. We both deserved more…

The Universe pushes us in the right directions all the time –especially when we’re off track. If we don’t make our move and sit in the wrong place for too long, we get burned by our inactions. You have to keep moving, you have to be proactive in your decisions.

No one can ever make you feel a certain way without your permission. Yes, they can make you happy, yes, they can break you down and hurt you; but until you realize that you are the final say in the matter, anyone can affect you however they want. You are the only one in control of your own life; so you have to take charge of your own happiness -it’s a chosen perspective. Do not settle for what is not right for you. Surround yourself with those that would bring down the stars for you.

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Moving Past the Haze

            You meet someone and you’re instantly attracted. Your physical and emotional magnetism is electrifying. Your lips touch and you begin to feel that lovey-dovey haze trickle down, obscuring your vision. Your hands embrace each other and you feel that rush from your inner hormone cocktail mixed with: dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and oxytocin; which stimulate your crazy, love-induced behavior.[1] The mixture of emotions effervesce when you hear their voice. Temporary insanity arises when you await their call or text.

            We’ve all experienced the beginning of love when it takes over our being. Our judgment and decision-making is skewed and all we contemplate or desire is to be with this other person. Yet every so often, this screen that is formed becomes so rigid and firm that this lovely cloudiness does not fade away easily. This may not happen to everyone but when emotions run high, situations can become more complicated than they should be. This hazy vision begins to confuse your judgment of this person and you look past their undesirable traits and behavior. It’s as if this passion has high-jacked your brain and you’re only able to notice their enjoyable and pleasing characteristics. After becoming sexually involved with your love interest, it only goes downhill from there –the hormones that are stirred up after sex only increase your love and attachment ten-fold. These fuzzy feelings are fantastic –at first; but they can cause you to only see minor parts of a person. So how do you clean off this filmy condensation of love and see this person for who they really are?

            I’ve been in unhealthy relationships that have lasted way past their expiration date. Yet even in retrospect I am unsure of the reason that I stuck around. Last year I was in a relationship that was detrimental to my wellbeing. It was an incredibly, emotionally abusive involvement and I became numb and oblivious. I felt like my head was in a cloud and that I could not see the relationship or him objectively. I did not feel like myself and I continually felt off. I was determined to clear my mind so I began to reflect on myself and the relationship in its entirety. Personally, I look at the potential of a person –the good in them regardless of their bad choices and actions. I realized that his over-protective and manipulative behavior was coming from a very insecure place within himself –this had nothing to do with me. I looked past what I loved about him and the good times that we had shared and saw the situation for what it truly was –unhealthy. Training yourself to have a fluid perspective is a beneficial way to see past your emotions. Emotions are meant to aid you in your decision process yet sometimes it’s hard to look past these intense feelings.

            This type of overwhelming passion is represented in various media varieties. For example, the Bachelor television show airs a competition of twenty-five women contesting to win the heart and a marriage proposal of the main love interest. In my opinion, this show is degrading and belittling towards both sexes. The program nationally broadcasts open ‘relationships;’ aggressive hostility and competition for the attention and love of a man that is fawned over mainly for his physical appearance and sexual potential.

            Due to the excessive media exposure of this past Bachelor season with Juan Pablo, I decided to catch a few episodes –mainly for the strong and independent women that confronted the sexist and disrespectful Bachelor. It was interesting to see how this superficial love affected a lot of the women on the show; and what was more fascinating was seeing them snap out of it when they realized who he truly was.

            Juan Pablo is nothing more than a handsome face that turned out to be extremely rude while utilizing the excuse of being honest. He slut-shamed his pursuers, only spoke of himself, and for the sake of being ‘truthful,’ was not genuine with his feelings towards any of the contestants; especially the last remaining women. Nonetheless, it was apparent how strongly, Nikki, the woman that he chose, was under the spell of this love haze. She stayed with him regardless of being disgraced after he stated on the last episode, “I’m not 100% sure I want to marry you, but I’m 100% sure I do not want to lose you.” You could see the disappointment in her eyes and how much she was holding back her hurt feelings whenever he spoke to her. But why did she continue to stay considering her unrequited love? Whether this performance is staged or not, this represents what so many people experience in dating and relationships –inability to separate strong emotion from our perspective.

            Emotion is defined as: “a subjective, conscious experience characterized primarily by psychophysiological expressions, biological reactions, and mental states; it is often associated and considered reciprocally influential with mood, temperament, personality, disposition, and motivation.”[2] Emotions are evolutionarily meant to aid you in decision making to keep you alive and carry on the species.[3] However, I feel that over the centuries, our culture has embraced our emotions more tightly than to our basic gut instincts.

            Learning to consider your emotions and feelings with a grain of salt is difficult but not impossible. In some cases, you may feel overwhelmed by your feelings about certain people or situations –this makes it difficult to assess and make wise, healthy decisions. In order to attempt to move past the hormone-stimulated, “honeymoon” feelings, contemplate on the following ideas:

Self-Reflection: Take a step back from the situation. Choose a few days to be on your own. Reflect within how you feel about yourself and your circumstances. Regaining your perspective is key in seeing something or someone objectively. Also, being solely by yourself helps reclaim your own personal perspective –when we are with others, we tend to veer our perception to match those around us.

Self-Awareness: Consider all of your feelings, not just the ones that make you feel good. Have you been ignoring some of your thoughts? Did your love interest say something that made you cringe? How often does this happen? Assess how you feel in every situation. Are you more comfortable by yourselves than with your friends or in public? Is there a reason for this? Do they ever make you feel bad? Are you feeling manipulated? Contemplate your initial responses. Trust your gut instinct!

Objectivity: Be aware of yourself in every situation. Do you notice your emotions overriding your decision process? Do you put this person ahead of yourself? Increasing your self-awareness aids you in becoming objective about the situation and people. You have allowed yourself to step back; you are not as emotionally attached to the situation so you are neutral and less biased. Now look at the person and the circumstance without all of the intricate emotions laced into it. You’re able to see things more clearly and your awareness and instincts will guide you. (Wake up your inner wolf! Haha..)

Communication: It is always best to communicate your feelings. However, use your best judgment in expressing yourself. Specifically word your conversation as to not put the other person on the defensive. Try: “I FEEL like this WHEN YOU…” Focus on how they react and handle your interaction. Do they openly listen and respect you? Do they become defensive? Can these issues be resolved? Will change occur? Keep in mind that people do not change entirely, so if there is a trait that bothers you about this person, really stop and think if you can get past it.

            These steps help guide you to utilize your emotions in your decision making and to increase objectivity within your perspective. Emotions are there to help, not to overwhelm you. No matter how intensely wonderful you feel, your emotions can overshadow your true insight. Regain control over your brain! Just because you feel a certain way, does not make it true. Become aware of yourself and those around you and listen to what your heart tells you. Regardless of how your situations work out, you will always gain an experience, a lesson, and a story to share. Absorb as much as you can from the world around you and be mindful of your instincts. Wake up the inner YOU!

[1]http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/hottopics/love/

[2] “Theories of Emotion”. Psychology.about.com. 2013-09-13. Retrieved 2013-11-11.

[3] Monique’s well educated brain. :)

 

Image( http://www.mymodernmet.com/photo/2100445:Photo:410229 )

 

How Your Outlook on Life Helps You Realize Who You Are

There is a saying from Stoic ancient philosophy, “There is no good or bad, there is only perception. ” I feel that this statement can be accurate when describing different outlooks. Life happens all around us and despite our convictions, it does not stop or slow down. So how do we preserve our character? –we change our perspective. It is our choice whether to look at life positively or negatively and once we choose, that is what we seek.

In high school, I was a predictable moody teenager; yet depression and anxiety became an ever-growing setback. Unfortunately, depression runs in my family so that gloominess stuck around me for quite a few years. It was hard to shake off but there was a succession of days and weeks where my outlook slowly started to transform. I began to reflect being negative and despondent was absolutely exhausting and pointless. Picking out the bad only brought upon more negative because I was searching for it –I was familiar with it. Our minds are endlessly fluctuating by means of our environment, the people around us, and most of all, our attitude. Human beings are an amazing species because we alone can change our viewpoint on the world. We can choose whether to be ignorant, informed, optimistic, or pessimistic. We can decide to look at things in a certain hue –once this occurs, we start to seek out this color in everything we experience.

Being positive definitely does not mean that you are happy and carefree one-hundred percent of the time. Having a positive outlook means that you are able to look for the good in everything that you see and experience –it means that you perceive things differently. In every day that passes, you prefer to explore the good even when depraved things occur. Like attracts like. Those that inflict pain and hurt in others are only breaking themselves apart. You cannot expect good things to come into your life if you do not first create good and positive feelings in yourself and in those around you.

Being positive leaves you with more of an open mind and you tend to make clearer choices. You are able to let go of the strong emotions that are connected to certain situations and can view it objectively. You see a path cut out for you and can perceive your future fearlessly. Your anxieties and nagging fears stray away because you know that everything has a purpose. Your self-esteem and confidence are ignited. You feel as if you can do anything -you are limitless. You find that there is no point to regret or be depressed about what has already been. Being anxious about the future is useless. When you are living in the moment, you are truly at peace. Of course you can have bad moods and feel melancholy at times, but the difference is that you know that this passes.

Do you continually have problems with that unpleasant voice in your head? –stop and tell yourself something positive. For every negative thought passing through:

“You’re fat,” “Why would you do that!?” “You’re not good enough”;

tell yourself something positive that you love:

“Being fit doesn’t happen overnight -I’m working on it,” “I can’t change what already happened so I’m moving on and I can only go up from here,” “I will always be great and enough! I am ME and there is no one in the world exactly like me”

This is a lifestyle change and an improvement that I myself strive to work on daily. You have to make an effort to retain positivity. Instead of saying “I have to,” to something that’s not favorable (I.e. chores, homework, work, etc.), start saying to yourself “I get to,” and it will slowly change the way you think about it. Remember, not everyone has the life that you do so be grateful for yourself.

Being positive shouldn’t be looked at as a chore –it’s a standard of living and it gets easier to acclimate yourself so that it comes as second nature. It becomes simpler to let go of things that do not better you. This makes you realize your goals and how to pursue them and gives you the ability to let go of your fears regarding them. You become more accepting of criticism because you know that you can always do better.

Some people have approached me telling me that because of my bubbly and optimistic outlook on life, I am therefore naïve and have “obviously not had hardship in my life.” Quite ignorantly said and furthest from the truth. Every one of us goes through our own journey –we should never compare ourselves in regards to our path in life –there is NO COMPARISON. It is absolutely silly to assess because we are all so different and we are meant to learn various lessons. The reason that I am this way is because I’ve embraced who I truly am. I look for the good in life because I believe that that is what I am meant to search for. When you are going through hardship, it is easier to accept when you look at all of the beauty around you. Sometimes not everyone can see or be aware of it so they need someone to point it out to them. And, yes, of course there is death and suffering in the world, but as with everything, there is balance. Once you get through the tough times, you become so much more grateful for the good in your life.

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