On Love

Love is supposed to free you of all of your baggage. Not because it diverts your mind from the baggage, but because only with love can you grow the wings strong enough to fly away from it. Love is supposed to be as beautiful as a full moon, or as brilliant as the sun.

I’ve only felt this kind of love once in my life. That’s not to say that people who’ve been in my life haven’t loved me. Of course, they have, but regardless of how much they loved me, I still found myself in a cloud of sadness at the end of the day. No, this new kind of love that I felt was true and pure, and I doubt if the person who gave it to me really understood what they gave me. Even to this day, I’m sure he does not know. With his love, I cut through those ties with my baggage, starting with the horrible relationship I had been in for 9 years. I thought love meant that you stay by someone regardless of how hard it gets, regardless of how much pain is inflicted. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

While I was still loving this other person, he wasn’t loving himself, and he certainly wasn’t loving me. I do believe he has love for me, but his actions were not out of love. They were out of self-loathing, and for this reason, I am sorry for him. I reacted with the same kind of love, and eventually, our relationship crashed. He burned, and I was reborn.

I had found love for myself. I found it in the eyes of another, who reflected back to me what I had always needed to see but never could. He became my mirror. All that I should have loved within myself, I loved in him. And it wasn’t until he and I split that I realized this. And I realized that it was real love, though it didn’t remain romantic.

He remains my very good friend, and through our romance and breakup, he’s never said a word in an attempt to hurt me, though I’ve not always been so calm. In the transition, I became angry. Not with him, but with myself. How could I be so inadequate that I couldn’t keep this love? And in our silence, I learned that really, I had been so happy with him because he made me love myself.

You’d think that after ending a relationship that held so much meaning, after leaving one that occurred during almost a decade of my life, I’d be a broken mess. And I thought I would be too. I’m not. I’ve learned to love, not just him or myself, but everyone. And when you slip on those rose-colored shades, you find a few more reasons to smile. If I could find the proper words to thank him for leading me to happiness, I would thank him every day. Something like that can only be felt, and I truly hope that one day, you feel it too.

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A Little Something Special For You

Sometimes I get that feeling that I am boring. I’m not very special, and there are other people that are far more interesting than me. I don’t get that feeling just when I’m depressed though, I get it randomly. Weather or not I’m trying to progress in life or just sitting there watching the cat’s sleep. I get it.

I realized something though. No matter how many other people can write better than me. No matter how many other people have the exact same hair style or taste in music, no matter how many people like chocolate and vanilla ice cream but do not like them in a twist ice cream, I will be the only me. There will never be another combination of human traits quite like me. That of the 7.5 Billion people on this plant, I am the only one that ever is, was, or ever will be.

I think that’s something special, don’t you? I think that each and every one of us is as special as the next person because we are rare. As a species, not really so rare, at least not on Earth. But individually we are so rare that we are all on the endangered list. We are all a protected life form, because we are so rare. And that is why we have to treat each person that we bump into with love and respect.

That is why you have to treat yourself with love and respect, undoubtedly. 

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The Road to Self Love

My apologies. I’ve not been writing for a while. I’ve started this new job of mine and been busy trying to balance the work life, my health and my time off. That is the main thing. Balance. 

 

What comes first in your life? Is it your health? Your job? Happiness? Family or friends? To some, the answer is obvious. Their image means most to them and they will do all that they can to make sure that their image is not damaged. This is usually very bad for their health, and for the relationships that they have in their life. Then there are those who put their health first. These are the people who tend to be happiest, even if they don’t have everything worked out yet, their mental and physical health is taken care of and they are fully capable of handling what life throws at them. And then there are those who put everyone else first. Neither their image or their health matters most, and these kind souls are usually the ones that burn out. They take care of others as long as possible and then burn right out, like a candle that ran out of wick. I used to be, and sometimes still can be, this type of person. I would sacrifice my happiness to make someone else happy and it wasn’t until my last friendship failure that I realized what I really needed to do. I needed to focus less on others, and more on myself because you simply cannot pour from a pot that is empty. And trust me, I’d love to share all that I have.

These days, I come first. At first, I felt selfish. Very selfish. I don’t like turning people down because of my ‘health issues’. I don’t like making them feel like they don’t matter to me but even if I were to try and help another while I’m in a bad state of mind, I wouldn’t be giving them my all. In the back of my mind, I would be thinking of myself. I would be  halfheartedly listening to their problems or questions. How would that help them? It wouldn’t help either of us, and a real friend would want to help, to really help. Sometimes help comes in the form of just an ear, open and willing to hear. Other times, that help comes out in what you can do for them. You have to be working at full capacity to be there for another.

Luckily, self care isn’t hard to do. It’s not tedious, it’s not terribly time consuming. At first, though, it can feel overwhelming. And lots of people might not understand the sudden changes you are making. You might not even fully understand them. I will give you a few tips, things that I’ve learned, but of course you must know that I’m no expert. I’m just journeying on this path, wandering more like. I too have been lost, and at times I still am lost. All that I can do is give you tidbits of knowledge that I have found through my own experiences. I can’t make you see the truth or feel any kind of way. I can pour you the cup of tea but I cannot make you drink it and I cannot make it heal you. That is what you can do for yourself.

So I ask you this, with this post and all posts you will come across in my blog, I ask you to be open. You won’t agree with everything that I say and that’s okay. I ask that you also do not judge. Take what you need and leave the rest. I won’t be offended or hurt. You’re you, not me. Everything that works for me won’t work for you. But most of all, I ask that you take a moment, now or later, to be honest with yourself. To give yourself a moment to just feel. To just love yourself. You can do so in many ways, and I’ll tell you a few now.

The first thing I learned about self love was that I have to love myself. This has always been hard for me. I grew up being told I was a bad child because I threw fits, I was defiant, and I stole from my mom and stores. I did so because I was battling for control of my own life and I was losing simply because I was the ‘child’. My mom has the mental capacity of a child, and once I surpassed her, the problems really began. Things got worse when I needed more, new clothes or personal hygiene items. I began craving real food, rather than the fake cheap stuff she would buy for me. There were many battles, and because I started defying her and stealing money from her to buy the things I needed (or just stealing them from the store), I was known as the bad child. And because I wasn’t getting the healthy food that I was craving, I began to gain weight. Thank you puberty. My hormones made me become insulin resistant (a side effect of PCOS) and I gained weight but have never lost it, regardless of how much I’ve tried. So here I sit, 240 pounds. I’m technically overweight. Everything makes me look bad, I think. So the first step to self love was hard. Still is hard. I’ve got it in my head that all I do is fuck up, and that I’m gross. But I sit here telling you, no matter your size, color, hair style, income or mental status, you are god damn beautiful. You are a masterpiece. You own you, and you own it well. Lift up your head, walk with your chin up, and make eye contact with those around you. Smile. Even if it feels weird at first, I promise it begins to feel good. When you walk into a room with your head held high, there will be a sense of confidence about you that others wish they had. This isn’t to make anyone jealous, it’s to create that confidence in yourself. Holding your head high is the first thing you can do to promote self love.

Secondly, get enough sleep. Please. Calculate when you should go to bed, get at least 6 hours of sleep, but if it’s possible get 8. Fall asleep in your comfiest clothes (or lack of). Hug your pillow. Make friends with the bed. You need sleep to survive. You have to dream to be healthy. There have been many studies done on the topic, I even did a paper in school about the effect of dreams on health. Did you know that people who don’t get enough REM sleep have lowered immune systems and are more susceptible to stress, depression and mental illness? So go to sleep. Take a nap! If you’re yawning and you have time, take a nap instead of make another cup of coffee.

Third, eat something good. I don’t mean brownies with peanut butter frosting. I mean go to the store, buy a pomegranate and some kale. Snack on the pomegranate seeds, put the kale on your hamburgers or ham sandwiches. Make salads. Drink tea. Use almond milk, or cage free eggs. Real cheese instead of processed cheese. Real meat instead of processed meat. Drink water. Eat something that is good for your body. Start small, make it a habit. Have an apple a day. Use almond milk creamer in your coffee. Snack on nuts instead of chips. Start small and add to it. Don’t just overwhelm yourself with foods that you have no idea how to even use. And yes, they can be more expensive. That’s where my next tip will come in handy.

Guess what, kale is super cheap. So is spinach. And peppers. But do you want to know what’s cheaper? Seeds. Grow something. Even if you start with easy herbs. Cilantro, chives, mint, parsley, dill, basil, oregano, ect. Use those super fresh herbs in your food. You’ll come back later and thank me. Once you’ve mastered growing those, go grab some pepper or tomato seeds. Those tend to be easy to grow. Spinach, kale and cabbage, onions, garlic, cucumbers, squash and carrots are also easy. All of these can be grown in pots too, so you can grow them on a balcony. And you’ll have fresh food to eat, that costed you less than a dollar. The dirt and pots can cost a little more money that one would want. Get the dirt on sale, or in bulk, and pots are sold at dollar trees, and can be made out of many things as well. Herbs and small plants can be grown in anything. Cups, bowls, bottles, coffee cans ect. Be inventive. 🙂

The next two can fall into the same category. They are also the two that I would stand on a box and yell out to everyone. Meditate or do yoga. (Or both.) I know, a lot of people feel that yoga is a fad, and I can’t blame them. It seems that there are many going around, like the gluten free diet that possibly has no positive effect on people who aren’t gluten intolerant and is expensive just because it’s a fad. Yoga is not that kind of fad. Yoga has many many benefits, proven benefits. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t need a yoga mat to do it, just something you won’t slip on. However, if you can afford it, do get one. It makes yoga life easier. And there are thousands of yoga videos on youtube. The one I started out with was Yoga with Adriene. Branch out and find what works for you. Adriene has many many other videos, but I like her because she encourages you to not be perfect. Take breaks when you need to. If you can’t do a pose, don’t freak out because before you know it you’ll be doing it like a pro. As for meditation, I’ve been told many excuses as to why someone can’t do it. “My mind won’t quiet down enough.” “I tried it and it didn’t have an effect.” Well, meditation’s effects aren’t seen as quickly as something like yoga. Meditation can take a month or so for you to actually see an effect. Stick with it. It will help, but it takes time to form the habit and to change your brain (and yes, meditation can alter your brain.) When you meditate, and your mind won’t stay quiet, just keep sitting there. You are a mountain. Imagine yourself as such. Your thoughts are clouds, and they are passing by. Meditation is not about clearing your mind, it is about living in that moment. Know that the thought is there, and just let it be. Don’t think on it, don’t try to force it out, and don’t give up. It will pass. Focus on your breathing. In, out. In, out. Deeply, using your stomach, not your chest. Slowly, deeply. In, out. If it helps to light a candle and focus on the flame, or an incense and focus on the smoke, do that. Your mind might never be completely quiet, but that’s okay because you’re human.

The last tip I’m going to give you today is to be honest with yourself. Don’t lie to yourself or try to convince yourself of anything. You feel what you feel, you think what you think and that won’t change if you give yourself the illusion that it has. If you want something to change, work on it, but don’t convince yourself that it has already changed. The same goes for weather or not it should change. As long as you harm no-one, then you are okay. Believe what you want, feel what you feel. Be solid in what you feel and believe, and explore everything else. Be open minded, and if your mind is changed about something, accept it. Don’t fight it, you are progressing. When we refuse to change, we refuse to grow. And when we force ourselves to feel or think another way, we do more self harm. Things have to happen naturally, and when you’re ready, so live in there here and now and let things happen.

Self love takes a while to get used to. Self love isn’t something you can learn, it’s not something you can teach. All that you can do is be open to receive the message that those around you send out, and that your body sends you. Above all else, listen to yourself. Do what feels right to you, step out of your comfort zone at your own pace. Don’t let anyone force you.

In a money hungry world…

I always have trouble understanding why money is what rules the world. I was in the car with my dad the other day when he went to the ATM and pulled out money he owed his mom. Nice crisp clean bills. Brand new. I could almost smell them in the passenger seat. Just as he folded the rectangle pieces of paper it hit me that they were really just that. Pieces of paper.  This is what the world is currently obsessed with. Once it was water-the substance that we literally need to live. We die after just three days without water so it’s easy to understand why our ancestors chose the rich valleys of rivers to settle. It’s easy to see why they fought over that land. Now we are obsessed with something that we can literally make as much of as we want. It’s not needed to live and it’s not rare. Yet we are totally willing to ruin another person’s life to get it, we are willing even to kill for it.

I know someone who’s currently facing a lawsuit because she couldn’t pay her credit card bills. I know another person who had an ex wife take out a credit card in his name, not even caring how it would effect his credit. I myself have had a member of my boyfriend’s family steal my social security number and attempt to use my credit. Why are we so willing to cause harm to another just for these little pieces of paper, or worse. Now it’s also small rectangle pieces of decorated plastic.  It saddens me to know that humanity can be turned against it’s-self for something so small and seemingly worthless. It makes me sad to know that the people that are my age are unable to get a proper education because of a lack of money and that they must put themselves into debt if they want to attain a higher level of education. Once, education was valued. Now it’s only the money that gets you the education that is valued. We have more than enough resources to educate each human being on this planet, as well as feed them. The only thing stopping us is money. How will humanity ever progress?

I’ve found that I can be happy without money. I’ve never really had much of it to begin with, but I know that I will have a smile on my face regardless. I know that the fresh air outside and the feeling of the cool green grass between my toes is worth more than the number of paper bills in my wallet and the number that adds up in the bank. I know that the soothing sounds of the rain storm and the smell of a fresh brewed cup of Earl Grey are all that I need to feel at peace. I have found that I feel richest when I am in a room with those people that love me and we are talking about the world, laughing and ranting together. Breathing together, learning together. In that moment, we are the richest people on this planet. I wouldn’t trade that for any dollar amount. You couldn’t walk up to me and tell me I could have fifty billion dollars if I gave up my family and friends. I would become the poorest person alive, and even a warehouse full of tea couldn’t fix that.

Remember, the next time you look into your wallet, that it does not define how rich or poor you are, and it never will. Remember that there are far more valuable things in this world, things that are worth dying for, things that you would miss long before you missed your last dollar.