Walking Your Truth…

Woman-Smiling-In-Black-And-WhiteLast year I asked everyone to define themselves and after that, answer who they really are. The responses I got back were not unexpected. A lot of people do not know who they are and the scary thing is they are not aware of it. How you define yourself has nothing to do with how you see yourself in the physical sense.Meaning stop looking at the successes in your life or the things around you. Stop looking at your clothes, or the shape of your body. Stop looking at all of those things and instead look at your inner person. Going back to the mirror. Look closely at the person staring back at you with naked eyes and think long and hard about what makes you. You are not like me. You are not like your friends and family. You are a totally unique entity and that is fine. As a matter of fact that is more than fine, it’s perfect. You are one of a kind. Who cares if you are a square peg trying to fit into a round slot. Maybe you aren’t meant to fit. Maybe your spot is in an entirely different puzzle and you are the most important missing piece. download (6)

Learn to accept the limitations of yourself as well as the limitless sky. In the example above, no matter how much you try to force your way into that round slot you will only succeed in causing unnecessary discomfort to yourself in the process. Your limit then is simply accepting that is not your place. Learn to walk your truth. What that statement means is simply learn to walk as truthfully as you can to the only person that matters… the person in the mirror.download (3) A lot of people hate the word validation because they assume it means that a person is looking for outside approval. That is not the case.  I see personal validation as a way of confirming to yourself that you are the best and can be trusted. When you validate self you acknowledge that the person in the mirror thinks so highly of themselves that they verify that this person is valid and true. This person is more than just what someone else has designed this person is me and that is an awesome thing.

Walking your truth is walking in all honesty. There is no room or need for hiding because you are completely open. This personal journey is something that no one can follow but yourself. As stated above everyone is uniquely them and that is the best part. Your truth may differ from mine but they are both the truth. Like two sides to a coin they are one and the same and yet each side is different. That difference is evident and essential. If you ask me how I define myself I would tell you I define ME by how I see ME.images (8) I am no different or better than how I view the person in the mirror because that person is pretty darn cool. I am sure of myself because I am perfectly imperfect. I am human and I make mistakes. I am emotional so I cry freely at movies and puppy videos. I am simply me in all of my idiosyncrasies. What is your truth? How do you see yourself. How do you want to see yourself? Aside from the physical, how would you like to change the person you are if you could? Is this change as a result of your choice or is it because someone suggested it to you?

images (11)Growing up we look at ourselves through different eyes than we do as adults. When we were kids we were sure of what we wanted to be and who we were to a certain point. We knew our identity because it wasn’t complicated finding that out. We knew that we did not like to play certain games or eat certain foods because we trusted in ourselves enough to say that powerful word ‘NO’. As we age , this one word has seemed to have lost its place in our vocabulary in the face of propriety and trying to please the masses. We may not have completely stopped saying it to others but as we age we truly started saying it more and more to ourselves. Every morning we look in the mirror and put on that favorite sweater and pair of jeans only to change because it doesn’t fit what others might think is the style. Every time we pack up all of the things that make us unique, we tell ourselves NO. We tell ourselves NO to individuality. NO to personal image.

Our perception of our true self gets warped based on us trying to fit ourselves into a peg not meant for us. This may not seem like a big deal to some but how many of you are actually living your dream (not your career or what you do to make money but your dream)? When you finished high school did you chase your dream of becoming an artist or did you go to school for business because you were afraid of failing at what you love? Or maybe someone told you that you would fail? After all in the eyes of a critic, not all artists are as talented as Picasso. But why compare yourself to him when you can just be as fabulous as YOU? Furthermore that critic is not the last person in the world.  How many people are living their life as they see fit? How many are living their lives naturally?  I decided to live my life the way I want to that meant for me I had to get rid of all of the negative things in my world that were not mine to carry.balance,black,and,white,dress,girl,photography,rails,railway,tracks,walking,woman-e3b0a57db379f7e933dd1f0153e4aaea_m  I walk my truth and I acknowledge my validated identity. I content with my ability to not fit in. I fit in perfectly with me. Sure that won’t make me the belle of the ball but it makes me the Queen of my story. Walk your truth. Discover your identity and hold onto it like a starving man. It is yours alone and no one can take it unless you freely give it to them. Practice saying yes to YOU. Say yes to individuality. Say yes to standing out. Say yes to being completely and imperfectly you.images (13) 

CARPE DIEM… SEIZE THE DAY!!

Fox Theater - Jan 2011In the wake of the winter storms that have hit the south, several of my family and friends were stranded in the cold for several hours before making it home. I was talking to a friend and listening to him  wax on and on about what he saw as the coming “End of Days” . This made me think long and hard. Watching the string of messages on Twitter and Facebook it appears he wasn’t alone in his thoughts. Normally I am not a religious person. I have a strong belief system but I am not in church every Sunday. As I was thinking I started pondering how something that seems far-fetched to some can be a starting point for change. Bear with me for a second while I explain. I understand the teachings of a lot of  religions, but lets use them in a more practical and worldly manner. If this really is the last days for humanity, why not live them as a human being? As children we are taught to “Do unto Others as you would have them do unto you”. Well how about saying  “Do unto Self as you do unto Others”? Since some of us have not begun to live our lives because we are so busy living for others. We have grown accustomed to treating them as royalty but forgetting about our own desires, wants and needs. Why not use this time to change the person in the mirror, kicking old habits and leading the life you were supposed to. images (4)

The truth is  tomorrow really is not promised to us so even if you don’t believe that the end is coming there is no guarantee that tomorrow will get here for you either. We may all go in our sleep tonight and whether we go to heaven or simply are rejoined to the earth,  let’s try to be a positive force for now. IMG_11567106353748You’re life at this moment in time is your own. When  you look in the mirror, no other reflection is staring back at you but you. You hold the power of CHOICE and CHANGE. Choose your journey wisely. Choose your life as you see fit to live it. Choose the people you associate with. Choose the battles you fight. Choose to be accountable for the things  good or bad that you have done or will do. Choose to let go of all that you can not control. Choose to be kind. Choose to live and love the life you lead. In other words make the choice to be happy. Take a chance at actually living instead of existing.

The more I thought about the idea of time dwindling down the more I really began looking at everything in a more open manner. I began to think of the phrase ‘Carpe Diem’ (SEIZE THE DAY). It shouted to me in my thoughts more and more. I began to think, why not take this moment to change all the things that you don’t like. For instance if you are in a bad relationship,  both parties do whatever you need to either fix it or let it go. If you are filled with insecurities about yourself , every day starting today start trying to build on those one at a time. Remind yourself that you are strong as iron. You can not break you can only bend and even that takes tremendous force. For those of us that are in negative situations like abusive homes, make today the day we break free. Even if you can’t escape physically for the moment, begin your plan. Begin to see the day where that abuse is no longer a part of your reality and push for it. Reach out for help if you need to. Call friends, family, shelters or even churches but make the CHOICE today to say enough is enough and act on it . Choose to not live in FEAR…images (2)

carpe-diem-e1336613057712Carpe Diem…. CHANGE how you see yourself. Change how you perceive the world around you. Change all of the negative energy within you to one that is positive and pure. Learn to meditate and release all of your frustrations and anger. Cry when you need to. Laugh when you want to. Smile because you can. Scream when you are overwhelmed. Feel whatever you need to feel. Change your life so that fear of the future holds no weight. It is natural to be afraid of the future but don’t allow an exaggerated perception of reality keep you chained to a life not meant for you.

CARPE DIEM!…. SEIZE THE DAY!… Today might be your last so why not live it the way you are meant to. Open your minds and your hearts. On this day choose to no longer hate or be filled with anger. Choose to be positive. Choose to speak true life unto yourself. Choose to speak it to others. Seize this moment to be totally human. You will make mistakes and you will not be perfect but you will be walking your own truth… even if it is only for one day. If you are granted another day beyond this one then continue to walk your path. Your life and world are yours to govern. download (1)

I Was Not Built To Break & Neither Were You….

139136870_4fadd2f255I didn’t know my own strength. Its unreal the way so many of us doubt the strength that flows through our veins. We assume that we can’t do something or that the problem we face is too great. We sell ourselves short or we lean on those we don’t really need to. We are stronger than we know. We just have to reach deep inside ourselves and find the power and gumption to do what we need to in the time needed. For a lot of us that insurmountable problem is actually only a mole hill masquerading as a mountain. Other times that mountain really is a vast chasm of space. If we stepped outside of ourselves and our fear long enough we could more than likely see the truth staring back at us. We are never helpless. We are never weak. Just because you lack physical strength doesn’t mean you have to allow the mental and emotional disappear. Even in pain you can retain control. Below are lyrics from Whitney Houston’s song  “I didn’t know my own strength”. This song got me through the toughest trial of my life. The loss of my child. Now years later I find myself drawn to it more during my struggles….download (4)

Sometimes I need a reminder that ” I was not built to break”…. And neither were you. Life has a way of fooling us into thinking that troubles will last forever. Sometimes when we are going through we assume that things will never get better or that all light is gone. We lose hope.  I understand that pain. That hopeless feeling is normal, especially if you have a legitimate reason for YOU.  I may not understand the depth of your individual pain but I don’t need to. The only thing I have to do is understand that you are in pain. Its normal to feel hopeless but hope has never left, we just have to find our faith. We have to learn to believe in the future.Know your strength.images (4) Being human I have had several low points in my life. Days where I just simply did not have a clue how I would make it through. I shed thousands of tears and clenched my teeth in frustration at the things that I assumed I had no control over. I did not grasp the fact that NOTHING is under my control. I simply adapted and  created strategies to deal with my life but I could never control it. I don’t have that power. Neither do you.

I worried about the problems that permeated my life from my relationship  to my children. I was depressed and angry. I know a lot of you have felt this same way. You may have felt the loneliness that I did. You may feel that way now. Although we can’t control life what we can control is how we view our own. The first step to dealing with pain is to acknowledge that you feel it. Feeling pain does not make you weak. Neither does crying. Cry it out. Shed a tear. Throw something but for your own sanity allow yourself to feel whatever you need to feel. Don’t hold your emotions inside for so long that they burst out in a torrent of incoherent babble. You don’t have to have suffered the loss of a loved one to breakdown. It can be the loss of a dream. The loss of a job. A loss is a loss and acknowledging your upset is OK. Next  step is knowing when to ask for help. Instead of throwing in the towel, open your mouth. Stop suffering in silence. So many of us suffer from depression and fail to get treatment because we assume that to acknowledge it makes us weak. It doesn’t.images (5)

images (3)Being smart enough to seek assistance takes true courage. Stop selling yourself short. You really are extremely strong. You can pick yourself back up. You can continue to go on. Have faith. Every day that you draw breath is a chance to change the course of things. Its a chance at a new beginning. Every day you wake is a restart. You can survive your darkest hour. This trial is simply an event in your life meant to shape you not break you. You chose which. You have the power to overcome. Its OK to crash but dust yourself back off and rejoin your fight. Yesterday can not be relived. If a lesson was needed learn that and move forward. You hold control over you. I didn’t know my own strength but now I do. I know I am strong even when I feel weak. I am tough as nails because I see myself that way. I see the same for you. 

“I Didn’t Know My Own Strength”

Lost touch with my soul
I had nowhere to turn, I had nowhere to go
Lost sight of my dream
Thought it would be the end of meI thought I’d never make it through
I had no hope to hold on to
I, I thought I would break

I didn’t know my own strength
And I crashed down and I tumbled but I did not crumble
I got through all the pain
I didn’t know my own strength

Survived my darkest hour, my faith kept me alive
I picked myself back up, hold my head up high
I was not built to break
I didn’t know my own strength

Found hope in my heart
I found the light to life my way out of the dark
Found all that I need here inside of me

I thought I’d never find my way
I thought I’d never lift that weight
I thought I would break

I didn’t know my own strength
And I crashed down and I tumbled but I did not crumble
I got through all the pain
I didn’t know my own strength

Survived my darkest hour, my faith kept me alive
I picked myself back up, hold my head up high
I was not built to break
I didn’t know my own strength

There were so many times I wondered
How I’d get through the night
I thought I took all that I could takeI didn’t know my own strength
And I crashed down and I tumbled but I did not crumble
I got through all the pain
I didn’t know my own strength

My faith kept me alive
I picked myself back up, I hold my head up high
I was not built to break
I didn’t know my own strength

I was not built to break, no, no
I got to know my own strength

Getting your own copy…

IMG_12469332427966A few people have asked me how to get a copy of my book so I am sharing the link again. This is my first published piece and is a little rough but it is a good read. It is primarily about the ways that we women have changed over the years. If you follow my blog http://jeweledangel37blog.com/ you will have some idea of the premise behind it. It is my belief that only through personal acceptance, acknowledgement and validation can a person truly recognize and understand their OWN truth. 

http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Sexuality-Identity-Morality-Women/dp/1494727277/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390448539&sr=8-1&keywords=the+evolution+of+sexuality%2C+identity+and+morality+in+women

No Such Thing as DOG, Male or Female…

imagesOne of the biggest sources of upset and disillusionment for women for  so many of us starts at home with our relationships. We all desire to find that perfect mate. We want to be loved. We want to have that romance that is seen on TV or written about in those cheesy romance novels. What we oftentimes fail to remember is that those are fantasy relationships are created by a writer and they are written to be perfect. Men and women do not have the same reactions as those fictional characters so why do we still look at the ones we love with the expectation that they should? In the journey to the new you it is important to also look at your significant other. They are an extension of you after all. If that extension is rife with negativity then it may be time to do some house cleaning.download (2) Don’t assume that means you need to change them. You can beat your head against a wall a million times over and you can never make someone ELSE change. What you can change is you and the way that YOU react to THEM.

First step to cleaning house is holding yourself accountable for the things that you have done and the decisions that you have made. It is easy to blame another person for your unhappiness. They don’t love you enough. They don’t listen to you. They don’t love you. They don’t do the things that your friend’s boy/girl friend does. download (3)I have been there. I blamed my ex for a lot of my pain. I called him a ‘dog’ and said he was a ‘bad man’. I was bitter because my relationships always seemed to end with the same result. I kept finding the same man no matter where I looked. It was so easy to say that because all of them turned out to be the absolute worst then all men are ready for the pound. It was easy but it was wrong. It wasn’t that the men I was dating were all dogs. I was simply misguiding myself.  I based my idea of the perfect relationship on that fictional novel and  when it fell short I was left feeling unfulfilled and upset. I also kept CHOOSING the same type of guy. It was like going to a restaurant and ordering the Peking duck and after eating it and finding it tastes like dirt, I kept going back and ordering it again and again. Even though it is the most expensive item on the menu I still payed for it each time. Its the same with relationships. The common denominator in all things is you.

images (1)Take off the rose colored glasses. Be objective. Be real. You can not see what you continually keep blinding yourself to. Know what it is you want out of yourself first and then add in what you want out of your relationship. This is crucial because again women and men get so caught up in getting that relationship we fail to plan for it. We don’t know what we really want. One of my biggest pet peeves with this is when women use sex to capture a man’s attention knowing that they want more than just a physical. Remembering who we are we should be able to tell a guy exactly what we want while still wearing our clothes. Don’t beat around the bush. If you present yourself as a two piece chicken dinner don’t be surprised when a guy reacts and doesn’t take you seriously. If he treats you like dirt then there are two things to remember; you hold power over YOU. NO man/woman can make you feel bad about you unless you allow him/her that power. Remembering that fact is not easy when you are in their presence and the person you love is being a jerk. Words can hurt but how you react to them is the way the pain blossoms. By knowing you and being comfortable in your own skin,  when faced with someone else’s negativity you have the greatest weapon ever…. SELF CONFIDENCE and validation.

The second thing to remember is that you are worth so much more than you will ever imagine.download (1) I tell people sometimes you have to be a little conceited with yourself. You have to place that extreme value over your OWN well being in order to truly value the person  in the mirror. The minute you start to see yourself as the gem you are is the day you become one. You are worth a relationship that is not fictional. It will be tailored to you and the way that you think and see life. Your significant other should be an individual that compliments you. Stop looking at the relationship of others. Theirs should only be an example and not a guideline for yours. Watch who you choose to share your world with. While it is true that some men/women can be jerks we still make the choice to be with them. We still decide to continue dealing with them. We choose to keep ordering that unappealing dish. There are no such things as dogs, male or female. There are only the men and women that we choose to interact with and they can only do what we allow them too. You can’t control them so control you. It won’t solve all of the relationship woes you might have but it just might give you the strength to either push forward or walk away.

Keep Moving For Your Future.

Martin-Luther-King-Jr-9365086-2-402Today is the day we recognize one of the most influential men in the country, Dr. Martin Luther King. He was a great man that accomplished great things. As I thought of him I couldn’t help but think of myself and asked the question who am I, and am I really free and living my dream? Dr. King had a dream for peace and equality but what about my dreams in my own life? What about yours? DO you have a dream? When you were a kid, what was the one thing that you wanted to do above all things? What did you desire to be? Did you accomplish any of the things that you set out to do? My dream from as early as I can remember was to write. I wanted to be the next great author. I wanted to influence the world. I wanted to be remembered long after I was gone from the earth like some of the greats. I wanted to mean something to the world. As I realized my dream of completing my first novel I was amazed at the freedom that I felt. I realized my dream to write but what about the one of meaning something?images (31)

I made a discovery within myself that I hope that you can as well. I discovered that while my dream was to influence the world my greatest accomplishment was not in the words on paper but my belief in myself that I could do it. I set out to do a task and I did it. The lesson I learned was that dreams are attainable. It may take years but it can be done. It may seem to take forever but they can come true if we are willing to work at them and do whatever it takes to make that dream a reality.  Today is not just a day for honoring a man but it can also be a day where you dare to look at self. Dare to look at your dream…. Open that memory scrapbook and relook at what it is that you desire out of life and make the steps you need to get there. You hold so much power over you and your future. I can imagine Dr. King’s dream as if it were a reality because it is attainable. It can be done but we all have to first see that it can. Your dream is the same. Stop being a roadblock in your own future. 

mlkWhat I mean by that is so many of us have simply stopped. We have stood still in our lives, unwilling to step outside of our comfort zone. We look at things like our desire to be a doctor or lawyer in terms of reasons why we CAN’T do it instead of the ways and things we CAN do to realize it. Keep looking forward. If you want to be that doctor and your serious make the sacrifices to do it. Study hard. Take out a million student loans if you need to but get into medical school. Dreams take time. You may not get there within the timeline you set for yourself. I get that. Life happens. But that should not stop your dream only change the course of it. It might mean that you have to take a different approach. You might have to wait a few years to finish school. You might even have to adjust your dream to instead of becoming a neurosurgeon, you change to heart specialist. Either way your dream of being a doctor is still realized and maybe in time you can revisit medical school for the degree you want. If you want to be an artist, be creative. You may not make millions but the joy of being who you want should make you feel free and happy. Don’t be afraid to dream. Dream Big and Think Hard. Live your freedom.

Letting You Go…

images (6)We all have that one person in our lives that is truly ‘The One” or so we thought until they changed or showed their true colors. Or maybe it was us that changed. Maybe we outgrew them or lost sight of the emotion. We forgot that we once looked at this person with all of the love and innocence of the young and assumed that what we had would grow and last a lifetime. The devastation of knowing that the lifetime we planned wasn’t meant to be, is crippling to think about. Especially if it was really me doing all of the planning and not us. We often hear the phrase “It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all“. This statement is true to a point. It is better to have loved but it hurts like heck to lose that love. Sometimes that pain is so strong it will make a person pine for a lover six months to 30 years . What should we do then if that moment of reminiscing becomes too great or coincidentally we meet the object of our affections in the street? Should we try to rekindle the romance that was there in the past or do we move on with our lives content with the memories only?images

When we think of new beginnings like the start of a new year or the change in a new life it is oftentimes better to leave the past in the past no matter how tempting it is. Meaning if a person was toxic to you in the past then time passing may not change that fact. Sometimes it is better to remember that love that was once there and leave it in the past. I understand the pain of wanting to believe that a person has changed but don’t allow that hope to cloud you to the truth.images (2) I understand longing because I have experienced it in more than one way. I remember getting an email out of the blue from a former love of my life and it made my heart skip. I was shocked to hear from him and immediately, I thought about talking to him again. I remembered just in time that he was the toxic person in my world. During the course of our relationship there were three sides to the story. There was my side that romanticized things and saw him as prince charming with tarnished armor; His side that he saw himself as a ladies man and not tied down (to him there really wasn’t a true relationship): and finally there was the truth. Our entire relationship was a lie built on top of a lie. I had blinded myself to his faults and lost myself in him. I did everything to make him happy even to the point where I no longer recognized the woman in the mirror. Our relationship was a lie because I was not real. But then neither was he. He was just as big of a phony as I was. True we were the best of friends and had known each other for years. We shared a loss. We were almost inseparable but we weren’t real unless we were intimate. I say all of this to show how the mind can sometimes trick you into thinking of only the good times and glossing over the truth. In that moment where I got that email I remembered all of the love and good times that I had with him. It wasn’t until I sat contemplating my response that reality hit me like a ton of bricks.

Walking away from the past saved my sanity and is the reason why I am so calm and at peace today. I know that it is not easy to do and not everyone is like me. Not everyone will have someone who was truly a fiend in your story. Not everyone has been through what I have and that is fine. Just remember that just because your fiend wasn’t as bad as mine doesn’t negate that he/she existed. If the person from your past is truly toxic to you don’t get enamored by old emotions. Remember that people can change but allow that person the chance to prove it before you invest your heart again. Don’t be so quick to fall back into the trap of loving someone that hurt you before simply because a time has passed. Be wary. Be smart. images (3)If you start noticing that the feelings you have are simply the residual emotion of yesteryear, maybe it is time to let that person go.  A lot of us try to make that connection because we are searching for closure. Sometimes the closure you need can be found in your own heart. I chose to let my former love go symbolically. I erased him from my life. Not an easy task. But necessary. I will never forget him. I don’t want to, but I no longer feel compelled to reconnect. I no longer felt the pain of the ‘what ifs’ , because I had long since made peace with those. I know that even if he hadn’t changed I have. I am no longer that person, that loved him. I let her go just as I did him. 

downloadThe former you may have had a relationship that ended in heartache and longing but that you is in the past. The present you is free from that if you allow her/him to be so. You are free if you choose to let go of the past and live for the future in the best way you can. You can be happy again in the present and possible future. The past is gone and can’t be relived so let it go.