Be Your Own, First

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How many times have your relationships not worked out? We could be here a while I know…
Now that you’re thinking about it, do you see a commonality?
In all of my experiences and relationships, I take personal responsibility for my part in it. Yes, I may have been cheated on and had my heart crushed multiple times and yes, it was awful and terrible. Yet in all of these instances, the one consistency is ME.
Learning to love myself was one of my greatest lessons in life thus far; it’s a relationship that you have to work on continuously. In retrospect, a lot of my relationship issues were caused from not loving myself enough. I stayed in relationships because I was too scared to leave; because I didn’t want to hurt the other person; because I didn’t realize my self-worth; because I didn’t know I deserved better. The majority of relationship problems stem from miscommunication and perspective. The tricky part is that our perspective is widely affected by our self-esteem. How can we view and treat others with respect and love if we don’t respect and love ourselves first?
That’s why learning to love yourself is the first step to accepting love from others. We can only receive the love we think we deserve. You should come to the realization that you deserve a love that fills every inch of you; a love that makes your heart smile and persists and thrives even in times without light. But first you need to learn to fall in love with yourself. <3

The Universe Doesn’t Make Mistakes

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When the world seems chaotic and everything seems off, it’s often difficult to give in to the idea that we have very little control over the Universe. We must surrender that need to control every little part around us and accept that there are just some things that are beyond our reach. During Mercury Retrograde, when it seems so apparent that the world has gone nuts and your thoughts seem to go haywire…use this as a humbling experience. We are such a small part to this extraordinary life. Just flow with it. Thankfully we can go back to “normalcy” today-Wednesday. (Honestly not soon enough…. I’ve had it….)

Excerpt from Zen and the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss.

Be Courageous

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Push yourself to accomplish your goals. Tell someone how much you truly care about them. I promise you that when you’re courageous, amazing and positive things will occur. Try it and tell me how it goes. ♡

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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Perspective and Letting Go

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Smile Wrinkles and Daydreams

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The Problem With Being a Dreamer

I think the reason why I get heartbroken so easily is because I fall in love with the anticipation; the excitement of the possibility of falling in love. I’m a dreamer and the problem with dreamers is that we tend to envision the potential of a multitude of situations. You become connected to the fantasies that you dream up –the way that he pushes back your hair behind your ear to softly kiss you, or when he makes you laugh; when he looks over at you and really LOOKS at you; and the way his hands always find their way to yours….I fall in love with the beautiful possibilities. I fell in love with the imagined mountains that he moved for me…and the heartbreak that I feel now is entirely my own fault.

I got caught up in my emotions and in the way he spoke to me and I did not take a step back and view the situation fairly. I believe that I built sturdy, resilient walls around my heart but they tend to collapse like props from a movie set –falling down like styrofoam at the faintest touch. By the time I realize that the barriers have been compromised, it’s already too late –my façade of confidence and strength is like that of a paper doll.

So what now? You wept like a little girl over the loss of something that was never there. He wasn’t willing to explore something amazing with you –he wasn’t even inclined to make any time for you. Trying to overanalyze his words and actions will not change his mind from walking away. Believing his words,

“So at least for now this is a goodbye….maybe later we will find each other again,”

is only an empty promise to soften the blow. He was fearful of the possibilities whereas, you were exhilarated by them. Being frightened of love will only create more loss; anticipating love and remaining hopeful despite the heartbreak illustrates resiliency and strength.

The  problem with dreamers is that we become weary from the reveries –in the end, we just need someone to dream with…

And unfortunately, he did not want to dream beside me.

Mind Reading and Writing

“So if you don’t ask questions, how do you think you’re going to find out what you want to know? I’m not a mind-reader,”

After he said this I felt like I was crazy woman because as I always do, I overanalyze everything to the point where it becomes some huge thing made up in my mind. Yet, when you sit down to communicate your feelings, you realize that it’s not as complicated as it was built up in your head. But really…men should just be mind-readers…it would be easier.

When something is bothering me I reflect on it and then my feelings bubble up and get mixed into the equation. Then my worries and anxieties start to take over:

“This could happen and he probably means this and he’s thinking this! GASP!”

You would think with as much advice as I provide, I would actually take my own. Yet, sometimes, I completely contradict myself.

I’m a very methodical person –I like to write things out and organize them to comprehend them more easily. Sometimes you have to borrow other approaches from different parts of your life and find out if they work for you in other aspects.

Feelings and thoughts can get complicated, so if you feel it will work for you, write it out, make lists, attempt to make sense of the lustrous thoughts in your head. Once it’s on paper or you speak out loud, it becomes concrete and tangible and you’re able to easily make more sense of it.

We become confused because we let our emotions take over. Learning to separate it is important and lets us communicate more effectively.

While on the subject of written word, try writing down your wants, your needs, and wishes. Writing by hand greatly affects your brain:

When you are writing something down with a pen and paper, you are stimulating a collection of cells in the base of your brain known as the reticular activating system. The RAS is the filter for all of the information your brain needs to process and it gives more attention to what you are currently focusing on. The physical act of writing brings the information to the forefront and triggers your brain to pay close attention.1

Communication is the most important piece of human interaction –not only with others but for yourself as well. Speak and write what’s on your mind and make it real and tangible. The more observable your thoughts and feelings become, the more effectively you’re able to convey them.

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  1.                 http://dailyinfographic.com/how-does-writing-affect-your-brain-infographic

 

Some Hearts Are Meant For More

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Some Hearts Are Meant For More

Just Learn to Breathe

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Just Learn to Breathe

Love and Emotion

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Love and Emotion

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. :)

 

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