Unique Not Different…. Why Are You Insecure?

images (15)Why am I so insecure? A lot of us ask this question daily. We look at ourselves with critical eyes and without knowing it we already see the person in the mirror as lacking. We may compare ourselves to friends or coworkers. We may look at someone on television and instead of seeing ourselves as the vision that we are, we see someone possibly lacking. We think we don’t look as good as them or that we can’t possibly measure up to them. 1899925_10152126409942819_1375523898_nIn truth you can never measure up to anyone. The only person you can measure up to is YOU. You are as beautiful as YOU see that you are. You are as handsome as YOU see that you are. You are not like everyone else and that is the way it is supposed to be.

download (4)Personal validation is imperative to your own growth and understanding of self. Daily I see or hear people looking for outside influences to tell them that they are worth more than they should already know that they are. You are much more than you think if you would just see it. This insecure view that we have of ourselves feeds this strange loathing of the person in the mirror. Eventually everything that you despise, you start to hate. That is a normal reaction but in this case it is not founded. You might look at yourself and see someone less than perfect but that doesn’t mean that you are right in that belief. Believe it or not Insecurity is a learned behavior. We are not born hating self. We are not born feeling inadequate. We are born exactly as we were meant to. We can not change the circumstances of our birth. We can not change genetics. We are who we are for a reason.

images (76)Learning to be secure is vital to our survival as a species. Turn off the destructive thoughts in your mind. They are actually not really yours in the first place. A six-year-old does not know that she is not perfect unless someone outside of herself tells her that she isn’t. And not in the way that you think. I am not talking about some mean person or kid telling her she is ugly. Imagine being a little girl with black hair in a room full of blonds.Because she is not like everyone, she may begin to feel like an outcast. images (24) She wasn’t meant to be. She is uniquely opposite from them because that s the way that she was created. She is not different. She still has the same two eyes, two hands, two legs as the others, she is simply genetically structured in a different manner. Now here is where the learned behavior comes into play. These same little girls have been taught by parents, media and society that different is weird. Different is not weird. It is UNIQUE. 

Turn off society. Turn off parents and friends. Turn off those that seek to tear us down. Turn on your own acceptance. So what if you have black hair, blond hair or blue skin.You were born that way. There is nothing you could’ve done to change that. We can’t change genetics. Physical changes that we do to our person to alter our appearance are superficial. We can dye our hair. But it will not change the fact that genetically you still have black hair and that is OK. We have to come to terms with that acceptance of self.  I am not saying that you can not change yourself.  I am saying that before we start heading to the surgeons office to get a nose job at 16, or seeking to imitate the person we see on the TV or on the web, first see what it is like to walk around in your own unchanged and accepted shoes.

images (98)Even modeling agencies are starting to understand that unique can be beautiful. If you were to use that same critical eye that you look at yourself and look at some of the models in Vogue magazine you might find yourself smiling.  Sure most models have perfect bodies on film or camera but most of that is airbrushed and photoshop. They can look exactly like you and I without all of the makeup and pizzazz. So before you look at Beyonce’, Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie or even Jennifer Anniston and start to feel inadequate, look in the mirror and smile. images (55)You are just as beautiful as they are. YOU just have to see it.  Before you start looking at your friends or people around you and assuming that you don’t measure up, understand you were not meant to. Physically they may be different but again that is simply on a genetic level. We are still equal. There are no mistakes in nature so stop looking at yourself as if you are. 

10174843_527287297380881_793382060538508488_nLearn to be Vain with you. Every time you walk past a mirror start blowing yourself a little kiss. Start looking at your nose or cheek bones as an asset to the unique you. Start seeing that although you may not look like someone else it doesn’t make them better. It doesn’t make you worse. It doesn’t mean you are not as special. They are not a threat in your world because you are both the same. You are just as fabulous as me. No more and no less. I am just as awesome as you. No more no less. We are all truly perfectly imperfect and that is OK.  Validate YOURSELF daily. You may not be God’s gift to the world but you are his gift to YOU. Don’t insult him by acting as if that gift is cheap.

If Your Love is Hidden Is It Real?

images (92)On three different occasions yesterday I was asked what I thought about a woman who is a ‘Side Piece’. Did I think they were wrong or delusional? Did I believe that two people could fall in love and be married to others? Did I believe that the relationship could last? Did I believe in a non traditional love? Did I believe love can be hidden? All of these questions brought me back to the same question. “How do YOU see Love?” First off let me say this, I am not a relationship guru nor am I a therapist but I am an advocate for self-awareness and growth. I also strongly believe that love is NEVER to be hidden. A man or woman who is being unfaithful is not always doing so because they are unhappy in their homes. Some are simply greedy and wanting more. Sure it is easy to pretend to have an unhappy married life so that you can play on the emotions of another.images (94) In fact that is one of the prime excuses a lot of men and women use when seeking an unsuspecting prey for their debauchery. “I’m not happy in my marriage. (Wink, wink).” ; “I’m only staying because of the kids (ages 21 & 25).”

images (95)Whatever excuse that is being given, the fact still remains that this relationship that has you pining and crying late into the night is actually built on a lie. It is not real. The emotion you might feel for that person may be, but the relationship itself is only a figment of your imagination. I know that sounds rough and a lot of people may dispute it but be objective for a moment. Using the typical male/female dynamic lets say you meet a guy and you guys click. He may or may not tell you right away that he is married. Either way you start liking him a lot because you guys have so much in common. He begins to tell you that he is unhappily married to this harpy of a woman and miserableBSzBdkKIMAEhZhJ. Most of us would immediately start to feel saddened that this wonderful man that we see before us is being treated like crap at home. He uses this unhappy life ruse every time he wants to get with you. It is a play on your emotions. Don’t fall for it. What Mr. No Good has failed to tell you is that he and his bride are actually very happy and have two kids at home and one on the way. He is content with their life he is just being greedy and wanting a piece of pie on the side. RARELY is it ever a case of a bad marriage.

795bf6f6abe1f8162f307d65390f35c8Now let’s get to you or me. We are home most evenings watching shows like Scandal and playing games online waiting for a phone call or visit. We are so blinded by the forbidden love that we feel that when he does show up we don’t mind hiding or the fact that we can never be seen with each other. After all we don’t want to make things hard for our man right? He already has enough to deal with. He doesn’t need her getting wind of us and putting him on child support or blocking him from seeing the kids. All of these things we tell ourselves when we should be looking at something more important. What is it about me that I am willing to accept all of these excuses without question? I am not desperate or miserable. I am not a fool. I am not ignorant so why am I willfully blinding myself to the obvious? Is this love? I know that I claim to love him but do I also love me? Is this really worth it?

images (96)Each of those questions are the reason behind this post. Not the relationship but the reason why you are in it. How do you see love? If you see love as this fictional relationship from the movies or books then you are only seeing the created reality of a writer not the true reality that is life. Loving someone means being able to see yourself in their eyes. If you give your most precious gift of self to someone, don’t you want to have the same in return? How can you get that from someone who is already taken? The biggest mistake a lot of us make when we have these hidden relationships is imagine ourselves as the exception to the rule. We start to think that we are not like others and that the man or woman we love is not lying to us and will actually see us as the queens and kings that we are. download (14)We assume that the relationship that they are lacking with their current wife/husband will suddenly blossom once they are with us. Rarely is this ever true. Take off the rose-colored glasses. Start seeing this for what it is. This same rule applies to both women and men: If you have to remain a secret, then chances are you always will be. Stop assuming based upon a hope. I am not saying there is no such thing as non traditional love but that there is no such thing as a hidden love.

The greatescandal-memesst love of all is the love of self. This love should be so powerful that it makes you want to shout it from the rooftops. You should be jumping for joy at the thought of sharing it with someone truly worthy of you. Someone who values you just as much as you value them. That type of love can not be hidden and is the premise behind those romance novels. It is the idea behind all of the screenplays. If you want to romanticized love,  make sure you think in terms of real life situations. In other words instead of looking at Scandal and thinking  ‘Awww’, think of yourself and your reaction if it was you or your husband. Stop putting down the spouse and acting as if there is some competition for this person you both want. There isn’t! The funny thing is most women on the side are so busy hating the spouse that they fail to recognize that his wife or girlfriend may not have a clue they even exist.  If that man or woman wanted either of you he/she will make that decision not you. Stop trying to draw attention to yourself and be seen. Instead start stepping out and being seen by someone who only sees you.

Forgiving Me Because My Pain Doesn’t Define Me….

10255552_678360658877149_909292316099306892_nNearly every person alive has faced a trial or two and wondered if things would ever end. We have all had that moment however fleeting or long where we despair over whether or not we can make it through this one time.We survive every day but do we get past them? Are we able to truly deal with and put the trials behind us? Or are we simply placing band aids over broken legs? Meaning are we hiding from our problems by either ignoring or shoving the pain into a manageable corner? The truth is almost all of us chose to simply ignore the past.…. We ignore yesterday…  We assume that the test of time will make everything that we went through go away. That is simply not possible. Those of us that have suffered abuse are twice as likely in my opinion, to be the ones to choose to move beyond the pain that we suffered by simply forgetting it. A friend and I were talking the other day and she was discussing that there were several things in her childhood that brought her pain to think about. My response to her was to try to let that pain go. I am not saying that you have to forget what we have suffered only to remove the power that we give over to those memories. After all we can never go back in time and change them so the only thing we can do is move beyond it. The first steps are Acknowledgment and Forgiveness.10168156_673159756063906_1755916207_n

  • Acknowledgment: As hard as it is to admit our pain happened. Yes I was abused mentally, physically, or sexually. Yes I went through emotional torment… Yes I went through several things that I could not control…. I went through all of that and it was not my fault. None of my past DEFINES me at this moment in time. A part of getting to know the real you is looking at yourself with an objective eye. Not a critical one. Looking to your past does not mean you are accepting blame only that you are accepting that something happened. Unless your name is Marty McFly there is no way to go back and change that fact so rip off that band-aid and break out the tissue paper. Sure we may cry and feel hurt by memories but that is normal. Feel that pain. Accept it and let it go. It should no longer haunt you to the point where it shapes you.
  • download (13)Forgiveness: Everyone always see this word and immediately assume that to forgive means to forget or to admit defeat. Forgiveness means none of those things. It simply is a way of you not losing but REGAINING your strength. By forgiving those that hurt you, you are saying ‘You have no more power over me.’ … You hold all the control over your emotions. You also have to remember that the most important person to forgive is the person in your mirror. You would be surprised how freeing it is to look to self and declare that I Forgive ME. Even though we may know beyond a doubt that we did nothing wrong, most of us still unconsciously feel like we did.images (69)

So why do I need to Acknowledge and Forgive? What does that have to do with going through and getting past anything?… Have you ever wondered why sometimes a few of us have a tendency to self sabotage. We may unconsciously always seem to pick the wrong person to fall in love with, we may pick the wrong jobs, or friends. We may even choose to push everyone away because we just want to be alone. All of those things we may be going through NOW. Today. Not yesterday… We are struggling today. What does our past have to do with it?…. Well it has everything to do with it. Using our failed loves as an example if you have never learned to value yourself then it is not much of a stretch that we may end up in a codependent relationship with someone who we give control over how we think or see ourselves.10007245_676286422417906_1721310549_n

At some point in time we lost ourselves. Where? When? We can never find the answer to those questions unless we delve deep into our history. For some of us it is like willingly sticking our hand into a nest of fire ants. We know it will hurt and we will feel that pain for a while to come but we must do it anyway. We really have no choice. We must learn the lesson that the past is meant to teach us. We have to understand the whys in our lives. There is no way to actually grow beyond the past if we don’t understand how or why something happens or keeps happening. Going back to the above example what if the reason we choose badly is because we were hurt in the past so we are choosing those few people that we know are really toxic to us because we believe we can’t do better? We may choose the first man or woman coming because we are too afraid of holding out for better. Because we have never experienced love in our past we may develop a codependent relationship with a fictional lover. What I mean by that is we are in love with the image of someone and seek that in everyone that we date.

images (67)Looking objectively at the person in the mirror. The common denominator in a lot of our issues is US. Removing the emotional ramifications of that revelation look at what we are doing and try to break the cycles if there are any present.  Looking at myself I kept falling for narcissistic men because I tied my self-worth into pleasing. To me a strong-willed and self-assured man meant that he was strong. I did not notice until too late that neither of the men that I loved actually cared about the way that I was being treated or felt. I put up with abusive behavior because I had no sense of self value. I did not recognize my identity because I did not yet have one. And to be honest I never saw it as a problem. I like so many others always laid the blame for my pain at the hands of the man I chose instead of looking at my own accountability.images (72)Only after really taking a step outside of myself did I begin to look at my past and recognize a pattern. Going deeper into me I saw that the ultimate reason was my lack of identity which was hampered by my past. I eventually learned to forgive my abusers as well as myself and in doing so I learned to place value back in me. I took back control over my memories. They no longer hurt me. I learned to forgive myself for being me. I forgave my penchant for willingly choosing the wrong men. I forgave me for not LOVING ME. Once I did that I was able to look at life through clearer eyes. I know that I am not perfect but I no longer see myself making that same mistake again. I learned the lesson that my past was teaching me. You can do the same.

Your Inner Circle…. NOT Necessarily A Circle…

32102_20121029_050518_315615_155556964538198_111129862314242_283008_429989077_nDepression is horrible enough without the added insult of others. Sometimes the people closest to you are the ones poisoning the air you breath. People have a tendency to forget that just because a person wears the label friend, that doesn’t mean they are your friend. In other words before saying that life sucks make sure that you check the circle of people around you first to make sure it is not that you are surrounded by a bunch of toxic individuals or if we are the toxic ones…. We all desire to be loved and that is a great thing. We need and crave that in our lives. But don’t be so blinded by the desire for love and acceptance that you find yourself feeling like you don’t matter. You might see yourself as an outsider that doesn’t quite fit in. The loner that is always hurting or the friend that is always there for everyone else but no one cares about.1795500_687332761309123_11995162_n

People can be selfish. This includes the ones we love like family as well as those related by blood. There are no exemptions. Most of us are so single-minded that we can look at ourselves in the mirror on a daily basis and tell ourselves that we are truly good people and yet we treat others as if they don’t matter. We don’t notice that slight until it happens to us. We don’t see that we are just as guilty as the rest of the world. We see only the things that we want or we wear rose-tinted glasses and see only the good that we do. We overlook the bad. We overlook the arrogance and ignorance that we ooze out of every pore. We allow our own insecurities and control issues to cause us to act in different ways that are not beneficial to anyone but the person in the mirror and then wonder why the world shuns us.

images (8)Understanding people and being a good person means stepping outside of your own mirror for a second and trying to put yourself in the other persons shoes. Sure you may have gone through similar issues than them but that doesn’t make you better. It should color the way that you treat them however. Instead of tuning up your nose, I suggest you remember that just as you came up you can also be brought down harder than you can ever imagine. Karma is truly a beast. She does not care if you have a thousand degrees, claim to have a heart of gold or are simply skating through life with butter shoes. I continually talk about being a good person and not simply saying that I am one. I say this because I genuinely believe that I am a good person. I assumed that because I try to see the good in people that would make them good. I believed in loving everyone. I did not see myself hating another person even though they may have done me false. I still worry and try to love them with the open heart of a friend. I began to wonder why if I loved the world did the world not love me back? I began to see that people for all of their posturing are really not as good as they claim.IMG_11552626953112

My heart would break all of the time, because I felt so alone even though I was surrounded by people. I was in a one-sided relationship with the world around me. I loved them and they loved themselves. For all of my professions of love and understanding in the lives of those closest to me I realized I did not have the same meaning in theirs. I was not as important to them. I would go out of my way trying to not hurt their feelings while they did nothing to spare mine. The term friendship to most of us is a loose term just like the word good. We pretend to be friends but we are actually simply holding the door for others to exit our world. I found out the hard way that my inner circle even though it was very small was actually not even close to being a circle. It was more of a squiggly line of dots with me in the center trying hard to survive. I felt alone because I was alone.

IMG_81699196655347But there is light at the end of the tunnel. It may seem hard at first but like me you can hopefully understand that you don’t have to be alone in a room full of people. You can be alive in one. You do NOT have to simply fade into the wallpaper.You am not invisible. Refuse to not be seen. Refuse to accept being unheard. A woman once said to me that “If you have to dumb down to be friends, then you just need better friends.” I realize the truth in that statement now. I deserve better friends and so do you. Stop settling for the adage that life sucks… No life doesn’t really suck maybe the people we know do. Stand up and fight this one battle. Depression is hard enough. Some things we can not do to change that but this is one that we all can. Stop allowing others to run roughshod over your emotions. Start speaking up. If a person is really your friend then they will hear and understand and if they don’t then oh well. Open the door to your heart and politely show them the way out of it.1394794_623290497713350_1504712568_n

Free To Be….

images (22)Can you imagine your life without limits? A world where you hold control over everything you can possibly hope for without struggle? Can you imagine if you were truly free to be You?  We all have those moments where we fail to live  up to our true potential. We may simply become complacent with the way our lives have become…. We may choose to not reach for the stars… We may even be blinded by the pursuit of our dreams that we fail to see we are only a few feet away from us. Either way sometimes the main thing holding us back from certain success is the person staring back at us in the mirror. We hold ourselves back. Whether that hold in unconscious or not is really not the issue. Instead it is the acknowledgement that we are holding back something.push-forward-hold-back-copy

We may choose to stand on sure ground instead of stepping out on that limb because we fear failure. We may try to find excuses why we can not do the things that we desire. For instance if you have a desire to be a doctor but you are afraid that you can’t be the neurosurgeon that you dreamed of. Instead you train your thoughts to think of the cost and your age perhaps and eventually the thought of going to school is erased from your mind. Besides dreams we also hold ourselves back from being individuals. images (25)This delusion is also a result of not recognizing the true YOU. You can do all things you set your mind to. The only thing you need is the determination and confidence to see yourself through it. You can stand out because you were never meant to be like everyone else anyway. That was not how nature and God created you.

When you think of your own personal Validated Identity, your mind should be open and limitless. You know you are more than worthy of the dream. You know that you deserve it. So why not put in motion the steps needed to obtain it. You know you do not need or desire to blend into the environment so why bother?download (6)Shine through the mundane that is life. Step out and simply BE! Your identity is tied to your dream. Your entire life is spent in the pursuit of something. If you are truly walking your truth and living your life as you should then you will notice that things around you from a different perspective. You will see light where there is dark. You will begin to understand that life is just as infinite as it is definite. So why stop at the middle of the staircase instead of shooting for the top?

images (23)When you are discussing your identity, understand that there is no judgement. You are you and that is that. So be truly you. Dance in the rain…. Sing in the shower….Be YOU! Find out what it is that makes your heart jump for joy and do it. There is a saying that you only live once. That is not true you live every day. You can only die once. Your future is yet to be written by you. Do you really want to waste your time trying to fit into a mold that was not meant for you? Be the hero in your story. You are greater than you can ever know. Its time you showed that to the world. download (7)