Low self-esteem

JUST SAY NO. END OF STORY.

“When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” – Paulo Coelilo

I can bet that there are a ton of ladies who can identify with the negative of that statement. Me inclusive. There are more women suffering guilty and self-deprecating thoughts of always wanting to please others other than ourselves.

So that we find ourselves in gatherings, parties or other engagements that do not align with us and we end up feeling sorry for ourselves by the time its over or we regret the things we should have done but didn’t do because we had to go somewhere with someone we couldn’t say no to.

We gradually watch our lives diminish with very little confidence and gut because we are constantly blaming someone for the opportunities we missed and the chance we didn’t take.

It is a compulsive subconscious urge to self-reproach, one of self-betrayal. We make it look like we are completely helpless, that we are stuck with these people who constantly drain us and demean us.

What we must realize however, is that as long as we keep allowing these negative influences into our lives, we will keep losing grip of our ability to take hold of the reins and choose our own path.

No one has the power to make you feel inferior unless you give them the permission. When you constantly say ‘no’ to yourself and your inner truth, you give other people the permission to ruin your plans and inadvertently your life.

It is only by saying ‘no’ that you can concentrate on the things that are really important. – SPJ 1955-2011

It is okay to say no. So long as you are not saying no to your priorities, your plans, your potential and your peace of mind. As far as you are not saying no to your self-esteem, your self-confidence and your dignity, you are free to say ‘no’ to anything or anyone that volunteers otherwise.

People most of the time are not clear themselves about what they want or where they want to be so in the bid to get approval, they try to rope others into their plans and mostly they will prey on the persons they consider to be weak-willed or not having a mind of their own. They will prey on the impressionable and the wimpish but this doesn’t have to be you.

At any given moment, you have the power to say, ‘this is not how the story is going to end’. – Unknown

Decide that you will take charge of your life and that you will begin to say yes to your own priorities and values, to your own sanity and your liberty. The more you say yes to your inner truth the clearer you become about the things and or persons that do not compliment your authentic self.

You become bolder at ‘saying no’ to time wasters and busy-bodies and to negative minded people who once preyed on your ignorance. Now you know better and you don’t have to worry your head over who is upset or offended by your ‘NOs’; that becomes the least of your problems.

At every given point in time make sure you are ‘saying yes’ to yourself and ‘saying no’ to insecurity, low self-esteem and self-deprecation. Do not cower for fear of being perceived as mean or insolent either. As a matter of fact you are better off because you now see clearly, and can distinctly identify the people who need your attention, love and affection.

From now on, whenever you are faced with a situation requiring your decision or commitment and you can tell deep down that it doesn’t look like an explicit ‘yes’, just say no, end of story. Try it today; knowledge does not apply itself, we learn by doing. Begin to say No!

“If it’s not an Absolute Yes, it’s a NO.” – Cheryl Richardson

YES_NO_MAYBE

RULES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”
― Dalai Lama XIV


Maybe I’m a rebel at heart. Maybe we all should be rebels at some point in our lives. Maybe that is the way it should be if we must hone our unique abilities. You should be ready to break the rules when it gets to your turn. This isn’t suggesting you become a mindless rebel, like going without clothes because it is your unique ability to wade off the scorching sun or freezing weather! That would be insanity wouldn’t it? Even though following your heart sometimes can be likened to insanity, but of course you do know what I mean right?

Once, I use to think that people who did great things were special people. That they had, literally, a silver spoon in their mouths when they where born. No kidding. I used to be that clueless. I would stare at these images in glossy magazines and would spend tons of hours in front of the TV because I had to have my dose of mesmerization and there was never enough to go round. My eyelids would hang wide open in awe,  gaping with my mouth dripping, my internal senses stirred and roused, desiring to be like these superstars. These awfully lucky superstars.

Of course now, I know better. Now I know that people only become special because of handwork. Persistent handwork and mind drilling intentions. Now I know that I too can be special no matter the circumstance and that I can be a superstar if only I do the work, and then of course break some rules.

It’s a lot clearer now what I mean by breaking rules, isn’t it? It has to do with being great, being special and being a superstar. You probably have heard this before, that there is no such thing as luck only hard work. And that there is no such thing as talent, only persistence. Meaning if you work hard at it long enough, developing your skills and all you’ll become talented and you’ll be successful and then people will say, “oh look how lucky she is…”

Well, now you know the secret, that the only reason why you are still a spectator, observing all the wonders happen to the minority other than yourself is well, one of several things. You need to start breaking rules. You need to leave your confort zone and try the unusual, which is relative of course, I mean how do you try the unusual when you don’t even know whats usual for you. Big question.

Rules are good, don’t get me wrong. Rules are good because they show to you your limits, and what better growth is there than the one that stretches you beyond your limits. Rules show to you what others have done to get their own results, and in a way gives you clues of what you can do that no one has ever attempted. Rules show to you a road map of the routes available that you can take to reach your destination, and if you studied them long enough, you will begin to see new routes that no one ever knew existed.

It is the whole essence of life, to create and co-create. The process is on going and that is what makes life exciting — breaking the rules. If you are still feeling uneasy about this, then perhaps you are thinking about principles and not rules. Rules are man-made, and anything that is made by man is subject to errors, and alteration by another human. While principles operate by laws and laws exist by nature so whatever you do, no matter how ground breaking your intentions are, you can never cheat the laws of the universe. They are constant, they are real and they are alive.

So congratulations! Now you are free to break any rules that have kept you in the dark, held you back from shining like the star you were born to be. Only follow your heart and your big dream, you may rip a muscle or two in the process, but it would be worth it. Also find someone who can help guide you, someone who has gone ahead of you and believes in you, that is so important. As you go in pursuit of your goals, its always great to have a guide, like a coach or a mentor who is willing to support you and helps you navigate the thorn bushes of life. Again, congratulations!


“Following all the rules leaves a completed checklist. Following your heart achieves a completed you.”― Ray Davis


Eleanor Roosevelt 1884-1962

3 important questions that sum up your entire existence

Did I love? Did I live? Did I matter? – Brendon Burchard

Did I love?

True love that is genuine and whole, is love that is first, love of self before it can be shared with another. Love that is truly pure, giving, and selfless must first love the being that embodies it. If you don’t love yourself, you cannot truly love another. In the bible, it says, Love your neighbor as your self. You can only know how to love another when you have immersed yourself in self-love. Did I love myself for myself? Did I love myself for who I am and what I am? Did I love my self with all its imperfections and inconsistencies? Did I love myself and believe in what I could become? Did I love?

Let’s continue doing good things for ourselves and each other, and dance to the wonderful tune of life

The answers you find, will tell you what to expect when you take the question to the next level. Did I love the people I came across during my life’s walk? Did I encourage or demoralize? Did I embrace or push away? Did I give or did I selfishly drain? Did I love or did I judge? Did I love or did I hurt? It goes to say, if you loved and accepted yourself, you will love and accept others. However, if you are in conflict with yourself most of the time, you will inevitably be in conflict with others. If you are a loving, centered, happy person, you will only give to others what you have not what you don’t have.

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate – Oprah Winfrey

When answering this very personal, and intimate question, remember to shine the flashlight on yourself first. Have you connected with your inner self enough to love who you are for yourself? Be kind with yourself, rather than being brash and mean, be gracious. There is no condemnation, discover your truth and make amends, after all it isn’t the end of your life yet. There is plenty of time to make amends. Begin now.

 

Did I live?

Create your own life story and make it a real epic adventure

I am an advocate for living life to the fullest. My friends know me well for taking risks and preaching the gospel of ‘risk taking’. Some say I am a free spirit, no actually the statement in question actually went thus “You are too much of a free spirit.” I still laugh at the memory of that conversation because I know a large part of it is true.

I just cannot stand for a moment anything that looks like or threatens to take away my freedom. Why should I be a caged bird when I can have the sky? Why should I be content with being someone’s pet — a gold fish in a fishbowl — when I can be my own boss in the deep blue sea? It is a risk I am willing to take, to be thrown into the deep blue and discover new territories of dominion. It’s been scientifically proven that a gold fish will grow more than twice its size when it is made to live in a swimming pool. Imagine what it could become if it were thrown into the ocean. I am all for taking risks and stretching beyond our comfort zones.

Dream no small dreams, for they have no power to move the hearts of men.
~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Dream big and live life outside the glamorous, comfort of being a show piece in a fish bowl. Take your risks, write your our stories and be brave to tell them. And when you do, watch how it moves the hearts of men. Did I live? Did I give my best? Did I try all I could? Did I seize my opportunities? Did I play my cards or did I shy away in denial? Did I live or did I settle for less? Did I live or did I succumb to fear? Did I live or did I remain a coward? Did I live or did I fade into mediocrity? Did I live or did I give up my rights to be heard?

Life was meant to be lived and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn their back on life. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Again be kind to yourself, and be true as being true can get. Find what gives you the most fulfillment, pursue it because you love it, and in doing so you will achieve it. And whatever that means to you, make it your mantra to seek out what you love, and follow it till the end. Dare to go on your own adventure of self-discovery.

It could be taking photographs, and freezing moments of special memories for people and their loved ones, that may be the very thing that gives you zing. Or teaching in a local school and providing free education for poor children in a distant village. If that is what makes your heart beat faster, by all means be that person. Live!

To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable. – Erich Fromm

Did I matter?

Life is service to humanity. Therefore finding the balance between self-gratification and that service is the place where your life begins to matter. Did I matter or did I simply sail by? Did I matter or did I fade into the background? Did I matter or was I only a spot on the huge canvass of life?

If you can not feed a million people, then feed just one. – Mother Teresa

There is wisdom in beginning right where you are while you keep your eyes on your big picture. Start with a loved one, a friend needing assistance, begin to spread your magic with your little circle of influence and witness the effect of your small touch spread into large waves of transformation. You can enlarge your circle of influence with just one meaningful action of purpose like the drop of a single stone in still water, the rippling effect will always spread beyond your physical effort.

However, if you get carried away chasing your dreams and riding your white horse to utopia, busying yourself with checking off your adventure list, harvesting and gathering, filling your truck with stuff and more stuff, and proudly waving the flag of having worked hard to deserve all your plunder; you adorn yourself with medals and with pride gaze upon your trophies and rewards, remember this,

Remember happiness is a way of travel, not a destination. – Roy Goodman

Remember that true happiness is not in what we acquire but in what we relinquish for the happiness of others. It lies in the reason why you have been beautifully endowed with so many talents, and ideas and genius. It is so you can fill empty cups, seal up leaking roofs, provide lamps for those in the dark, some gratification for people who follow you, a bit of hope to those who look up to you, and providing fishing nets to as many as you can teach to fish.

It is so that you can matter. Isn’t that the reason why we work so hard, so that our lives can have some sort of meaning, so that we can feel some essence bubble up our souls and flow through us to as many as possible, quenching their thirsts and satisfying their patched lips? Isn’t that why we spend so much time putting in the work and staying up at night?

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. – Mother Teresa

In the long run, never hold back, never pull back, always be doing and always be giving, never feel you are not doing enough, always try to do your best. Remember the law of giving; give and expect nothing in return, give your best, give your all and your reward will come from places you least expect.

Did I love? Did I live? Did I matter? – Brendon Burchard

Angel's friend

You are good enough just the way you are

Forget what you’ve lost and focus on what you’ve learned – Marc & Angel


 

You have recently been fired and your morale is hanging on a loose thread, struggling for dear life. You do not know how to respond to those recurring questions over the phone, “Oh aren’t you at work today?” “Are you on leave?” You used to saunter around town with your fine silk suits now you sneak around with a hood and sunglasses.

You have taken the shreds of a single event and woven them nicely into defeat, failure, no-good, final blow, down and out. You have taken the letter of termination and made it into your label, a sticker that boldly reads — this is the best I could ever be. This is all that there is about this diva. The story ends here.

You allow a single detour, determine the stretch of your zeal to continue along the path that leads to true fulfillment. You allow little bumps along the way define the rhythm of your life and you sit slumped over in defeat and shame and regrets of all kinds. Fading away beneath the shadows of what could have been.

How about what you can become? How about what awaits you on the other side of the valley? How about what could be if you reached the summit? How about what you have put in, the time, the energy, the sweat, was it all for a silly self-imposed sticker?

Pain can be a nightmare, and with pain you have two choices. You can choose to wake up learn the lessons pain teaches you about what is missing, what went wrong, and what is needed for you to move on, or you can choose to numb your pain and hide from your reality.

I hope  you choose to learn from your pain, and not run from it. I hope you learn to nurse your wounds, and not lick them in self-pity. I hope you find the courage to look yourself in the mirror and say to yourself, in spite of your circumstances, “I am good enough…”

And indeed you are. You are good enough just the way you are because you can be better from the very spot you find yourself, however downcast you may feel, if only you will find the courage to move on. A drink or two is needed when you feel drained and exhausted from trying, but to sit back and watch life pass you by is to wilt away for lack of enthusiasm and zeal.

If you will only look within, you will find just what you need to take the next step and move on, and the next step is all you need to begin your walk in this new direction. If you will continue to follow your dreams, you will most certainly be pleasantly surprised in the end.


 

Experience is what you get when your life don’t go as planned,
but with a positive attitude you will always be pleasantly surprised – Marc & Angel

I love my life

WHAT ARE YOU SAYING WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING?

“It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life, it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power!” ― Robert T. Kiyosaki

There are two groups of people in the world. We encounter them daily. Our concern however is not so much about who these people are than it is about which of the groups we belong in. The first group are those who supposedly boast about everything they are going to become in life, what they would achieve, and how they would turn out better than the expectations of people around them. People who supposedly do not wish them well in life.

While the other group of people are those who somewhat say the very same things but in fewer words and with different inferences and attitude. They are not outrightly gunning to shun anyone so to speak but are rather gunning to create something for themselves in the world. So here are two seemingly similar notions both seeking success but only one group actually makes it in life and you guessed right, the latter are those who actually become what they say they would become.

Why is that so? Weren’t both groups vocal enough about what they wanted? Isn’t that part of the rules of success, to always say what you want? Well, yes and no. I’ll get to the point in a minute. It is not so much what you talk about becoming but what you think of yourself every second of every day. What you are saying to yourself through what you are thinking. Thoughts seldom proceed from the words we say, it is our words that proceed from what we think.

The world we have created is a product of our thinking;
it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. – Albert Einstein

So you have this big dream and you wonder why you are still marking time after what seems like donkey years and you’re wondering why it seems some of your friends have checked off their dream list in the blink of an eye. As you go through your routine, you are wondering and thinking, “What is wrong, with me? Why do I always lag behind? Why do I always do the wrong things and choose the wrong career? Why aren’t I as lucky with jobs? Why does everything fall apart right in the middle of beginning? Why aren’t I as good at anything?”

You are genuinely worried about your life, which is good, but what you fail to realize is that you have said the very somethings to yourself for as long as forever. You may not realize it but you have always ‘thought’ yourself to be not-good-enough, not lucky with jobs, always giving up half way because something always goes wrong.

That has been your self-talk, your thoughts about your potential and that is why they do not correlate with your supposed affirmations. So that even though you have been going on and on about how you are going to conquer the world, deep down you believe that the best you can actually do is conquer your run down kitchen. No matter how optimistic you may sound on the outside, if you do not think optimistically about you in your mind, there is very little positivity you can experience in your life.

No matter where you go or what you do,

you live your entire life within the confines of your head. ~Terry Josephson

Imagine you are out with friends, old schoolmates, or say you are at an alumni dinner of some sort, and everyone is seated around the dinner table catching up on good times had at the university. Remember also, that there are two groups of people  present at this dinner.

Drumroll, conversations kickoff and everyone is chatting away about their lives. Someone makes a gesture about how her homegrown business, a crèche, is going to go global in a few years. As a matter of fact she has just acquired a piece of property which is currently being renovated and once that is done, she plans to move the business from her home into this haven and thereafter triple her revenue by becoming the prime creche in that neighborhood.

Guess what you say to your self, “How laudable. Triple her revenue. Go global. Why can’t people be realistic for heavens sakes. Why do they have to shoot themselves in the leg in the name of being ambitious. I can’t imagine running a business from home and then say in public that I am going global after only 1 year!” Well, guess what, there is no way you would go global even if you had the chance to build the same business for two years from your own living room! You have just shot yourself in the leg! We become what we believe.

The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes,
rather than with their minds. ~Will Durant

The evening gradually comes to a close and everyone is made to talk about what their next steps are and where they hope to be when they gathered again in another 12 months. It got to your turn, and with your best smile you talk about this fantastic job you have and all, and how you hope you to begin a small business on the side soon. You go on to reiterate how you are not a believer of closing shop at the office to begin a business, so you’re going to do both side by side.

Everyone applauds you and someone chips in and suggests you consider taking a small loan and offers you a promising package at his bank. “Once you are ready to begin and you think you will like a loan, I’m sure you’ll find something that works for you from all our great offers…” You go, “Oh wow, great idea, ain’t I lucky to be here. Please give me your number…” He reaches for his pocket and pulls out his card, and as you tucked it into your purse, you say to your self “Loan in indeed. What if the business fails, who is going to pay back the loan when that happens…*sigh*”

Brian Tracy says, “You do not get what you say, you get what you expect”. Yet, every time you wonder why your dreams are epileptic. Have you tried asking yourself, “Why do I keep whispering these silly things to myself?” Meanwhile, at every chance you have been given, you have consistently drawn conclusions of failure in your head. You do not realize that it isn’t just about what you say you would do, or what you say you would become, it is about what you believe of your abilities and potentials. It is about what you are thinking, while you’re saying it and after you say it, that is what drives your life. You become what you think about.

You and I are not what we eat; we are what we think. ~Walter Anderson

You think you are not good enough. Each time your girlfriends come around with a new idea, you go, “Hmmm, so you mean this thing can work… Hmmm, seriously I don’t know…I’m not sure it’s for me…” “I’m are not the ambitious type,” that is what you say to console yourself each time you are offered a more lucrative and rewarding job.

You think you can never be better than average. So every time an opportunity comes for another promotion at the office, you join the office gossips to guess who it would be, you never try to ask yourself “Why not me?” You align yourself among the poor majority because every time you se something you would love to have, you are like “These rich people and their fancy toys, or you rich people and your lush lives”. So automatically, you have given yourself a position at the bottom of the ladder.

Never climbing or trying to climb, but always nagging everyone who comes around and dares to rise up the first few rungs. You warn them of the flight up the ladder, how they will suddenly lose their minds from trying, like you’ve given it a try yourself. Nothing is good enough for you. There has to be some danger and some misfortune. No one says life is free of hazards but should we all be locked in for the best parts of our lives because there is a storm out there?

Be less afraid to think the best thoughts about yourself. You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything lovely and beautiful to gain. Like a blooming garden, plant one good thought after another in your mind about yourself and what you can become and watch with delight how your life unfolds. Like the flowers in spring.

I like to think of thoughts as living blossoms borne by the human tree. ~James Douglas

cherry-blossoms

BE YOUR AMAZING SELF

Be true to who you are and what you stand for. Be true to who you are becoming and who you wish to be. Be true to yourself, accept what is and chose that it can be better because you have the power to change it.

Who am I? What do I love? Who do I love? What do I believe? Who do I believe? Where am I? What am I doing here? Why am I here?

These are questions that require our answering them daily. They realign our focus and keep us pondering only on what matters most. When we look at our lives through the looking glass of self-love and self-belief, we quickly are refreshed to take on whatever challenges that may come our way.

Can you really and truly describe yourself as amazing? Is this what you think of yourself anytime you hear your name or hear your own voice? Do you feel loathe or do you feel joy. Do you scream back at yourself, “Shut up already!!” or do you reaffirm in your loudest voice “You go girl!”

Do you pinch yourself to sit back when your but starts to rise at the roll call for the hall of fame? Or do you say to yourself, “Who told you, you belong to that group?”

Do you look at your handwriting and say to yourself, “What a mess, how do I possibly send this note with such a chicken handwriting? I’d do myself a favor and send an email instead.” Or do you let your mind love your scribbling because of the message that it carries?

Do you look at yourself in the mirror and try as you might to avoid looking at your self while you comb your hair or pull on that dress? Does your reflection repulse you or attract you?

Do you hold your breathe anytime you are the topic of attention, or do you drink in the moment, allow the blood rush to your cheeks and go pink from excitement rather than shame?

Who are you when you wake up, your amazing self or your grumpy old self? Who are you when you pick up the kids from school, your amazing self, or your drab, cranky self? Who are you when you make dinner after a long, long, day, your amazing self or your dissatisfied, bitter self? Who are you when you go on a date, your amazing self or your irritable, snobbish self?

Who are you now, today, this moment? Do you per chance think it is absolutely beyond your power to call yourself one thing when you feel something contrary? Do you think you would be unrealistic or are being unreasonable to expect thus from yourself at all times — to  love yourself, to be happy with yourself, to constantly smile and laugh at yourself even when it hurts to do so?

Can you really, truly, absolutely call yourself amazing? Let me give you an assignment that would change your life forever. Whenever you find yourself in a low place, speak out loud to yourself, ‘I AM THE AMAZING MARY, GOD’S GIFT TO MANKIND.”

Of course, if your name isn’t Mary, be gracious enough to insert your name in that space and without doubt or shame or regret; Be your amazing self!

Amazing-self

LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE

How does a girl know if she is living her best life? Easy, check with your conscience. Check with your gut feeling. Check with your sweet spot. That place where, when you have done simply amazing stuff, you feel a tingly in the bottom of your stomach. A faint rumbling that whispers to you, “Wow, I am gorgeous. I was fab back there.”

Half the time we are day dreaming about how our tomorrow is going to be great, oooh we are going to be absolutely fabulous. Then when occasion calls for us to show up and be the best we can be, we sabotage our golden opportunity. By the way, every opportunity, and any opportunity at all that requires you bringing your energy to the scene to perform or to observe, is a golden opportunity.

Time is our greatest resource. Therefore, any occasion that demands your time is a golden opportunity. So, question, what have you been doing with your golden opportunities? I’m thinking  about mine in the corner of my mind and I must confess, not so good either.

Are you familiar with the phrase, “I’m not in the mood…” It is a second rate status that leaves us being second rate versions of ourselves. What does that statement mean anyway? Let’s take an instance: You happen to be at a gathering where the compere has just, unfortunately, cancelled on the celebrant. Your friend says to you, “Oh goodie, you are here! You can do this, it is your forte…” What do you say in response, “I’m not in the mood, because blablabla…”

You dampen the moment with excuses and sourness. Your friend gives you the break you need because you asked for it and someone else takes the spotlight. Then the inevitable happens. Your stomach sinks to the bottom of your belly. You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have just let down your inner Mojo. You haven’t lived up to expectation!

That is probably the best definition of what it means to live your best life. Live, not to, but beyond expectation. Go the extra mile. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying live up to the expectations of people rather live up to the expectation of your highest potential.

Live your best life
Only you know deep down what your capabilities are, but most times we are crippled by fear and anxiety, and other people’s opinion. We let the fear of failure drown us in the sea of the unknown, the sea of uncertainties. Then we allow the many voices of other people’s opinion drive our inner voice to the background, crushed against a brick wall.

Each time we reject a golden opportunity, we shortchange our radiance in the world. We throw a blanket over our luminescence, and instead of shining, we are dingy. The more golden opportunities we giveaway, the less we believe we were created to shimmer and to gleam and the more we become comfortable with grim, drab and shabbiness.

Act your best life at all times. Give the best that only you is capable of giving and be that gift with gratitude and with graciousness. Fulfill your time here on earth by filling your cup at all times with the best wine pressed from the best grapes in your vineyard.

Make up your mind to be the first rate version of yourself everyday, make it a lifelong mantra and your life will always swing back with more strength and more zeal and drive than you’ve ever imagined possible.

Arrive at every event, every place, every moment with the intention to serve your best juice and you will be amazed how many of us have shown up with empty vessels waiting to be served and refreshed with your sensational offering.

Red wine

Fighting my battles

I find myself in a dark place. I’m taking slow baby steps with my two kids by my side and a crumbling marriage on my mind. I can’t see what is ahead and I cannot wait to make a fire. I do not know how to make one even if I tried. These are strange territories, there is thick darkness all around me, my heart is sinking beneath the weight of the past 6 years, and my mind is screaming all kinds of menace at me. I can barely think!

My body shudders for terror and my hands clench with fear, my kids moan with fright. They grab my hands, each on one side. I can feel their bodies tremble as well, even in this darkness I could feel how the tremor of the horror I felt, crept through my veins into their tiny hands. I drag my two kids closer to myself, I try to take quicker baby steps, but I must go slowly still. I’m feeling the grounds around me for pitfalls; I do not want to end up in some booby trap, not with my babies.

I know I have to make a fire, I need to, so I can see my way in this dark place but the screaming in my head will not stop. It would not let me think. I can hear all the voices of accusation from the last six years, they are growing louder and angrier. How did I get here? How did I find myself at this unfortunate bend? How is it possible, that I am here now, with two toddlers and a fractured marriage, walking blindly through a dark, dark, dark place?

Have I made the right decision to leave? Is this the right thing to do at this stage of my life? To be without a husband and a home? Should my kids be a part of this now at this point of their development? Should I have stayed for their sakes? Should I have bore it all; the verbal abuse, the mental degradation of my self-pride, my self-esteem and my beliefs? Should I have stayed to receive the constant battering of my mind, bore the loss of my self-dependence and self-containment? Should I have let him suck out the life from me so long as he didn’t lift a hand to physically overpower me? Should I have bore it all in silence?

Where does one draw the line between verbal abuse and physical battering? How does one determine the PH value for abuse? When does it cross from alkalinity to acidity? How long before verbal abuse morphs into physical battering? What are the parameters for determining how and when physical battering can lead to maiming or death? When do you take precaution? What is precaution? Is it the loss of faith and belief in the vows that you’ve hung unto for as long as you can remember? How does one condone abuse? Do you shot your ears from without or from within? Without I can hear him call me all these names; he has given me an identity that is tantamount to useless and worthless. Within I can hear the indictment, of self-abasement and self-accusation. So tell me, how do I shut out the accuser? Who is the accuser? Is it my self-absorbing husband or my guilt stricken self?

Daily I am becoming this monster, this monster that he has brandished me, this monster that I have remorsefully nurtured, like a werewolf, I have become this being, and I cannot recognize who I am becoming. My head is swelling with regret and anger and with confusion. My heart pounding with fear and with terror, and frustration, for I became a prisoner in my own home. I thought a woman’s home was meant to be her castle, her palace, her fortress. I thought it was meant to be her citadel, her stronghold, not her jailhouse.

Woman in the mirror
When I look in the mirror, I do so, not to examine the shadow I have become, but to find the girl I once was; that rich, zesty, and centered girl. She held her own and had this strong presence about her. Her voice rang out with gusto and with pride. Her strides, long and assertive with strong athletic feet that bounced with exuberance. Her vision sharp like that of an archer, her bow in one hand, arrows in the other, she had a dream, she had a plan. This marriage was meant to be part of that plan. I stare into this marred image, searching, hoping, weeping. Where has that girl gone? Is she asleep? Did she fall off a cliff and break a limb? Is she badly injured or is she on a journey? Will she be back? Will I still be here when she returns? If she returns, will she find a home or a wasteland? Will she recognize this body to be encapsulated by it? Will she recognize this battered mind to embody it?

After much pondering, I chose liberty above detention. When it came to it, I had to choose my humanity above being a werewolf. I chose my sanity above mental torture and deficiency. I chose this temporal darkness and I reject the artificial lighting of my glorified prison. Permit me to say that I chose life above death; death of who I am — really and truly — my worth, my beliefs, my dreams, my values. I chose my invaluable self. Hence my new creed and statement of belief; I choose my true authentic self even though now, I am only a shadow of that girl.  I choose my strong, beautiful, and ambitious self, even though now, all that is left are shards and pieces of what she used to be. I chose my strength, my resolve, my dreams and my pursuit of happiness, even though there is barely a trace of such left.

My heart is wrenching in two places as I walk away from the one whom my soul loves. I can barely contain this feeling, for it is gruesome as well as liberating. I feel pain and I feel joy. How is this even possible? Why does following my dreams have to be so grisly? How can love suddenly transmute to abhorrence? My heart is wrenching, and I feel bloody lumps of flesh fall off and splatter around me as I walk away with a broken heart. Which brings me to the question; am I walking away from love? Am I walking away from what could have been? Or am I walking away from abuse; am I walking away to find safety? Am I walking away for dear life?

One minute I was contemplating jumping off the balcony of my home, the next minute I am scrambling with my kids in one hand and in the other, a dozen fragments of what was meant to be my luggage. I am desperate for life. So I chose to leave through the front gate and not the balcony. I chose a flight to safety by plane, not a leap off the terrace with despondency. After much running, I find myself here, in this dark but safe place. It maybe dark now, but soon, would light up with brightness, and with sunshine from within, like the rising of a phoenix. I know I will find myself again. It may take a while, but look out for me like you would the rising dawn. It is not too long from now.

I do not know where the road ahead is going to bend, but first, I must fight my battles and overcome my demons. I must overpower each of these growling voices within; monsters fighting for my soul, I am certain they will not win. I will yet rise. First I must heal, I must believe again, I must hope again. I must awaken the girl within, I must find my strength. I must choose my life again. I must love my self yet again. I must nurture my dreams again. I must get back on the race. I must run to win. I was born to win.

I don’t know how to fill this hole in my heart but with each step I take towards the light, I remind myself that this walk is not going to last forever. Nothing is cast in stone. Everything is but clay in my hands. I smile. I’m hopeful. I can now see the light ahead. It is like a tiny dot on a thick black blanket. Like a sparkle at the end of a tunnel. If I can hold that image long enough, I know it would emerge anytime now and the light will flood my being again…

…but first, I must fight my battles…

Tell me when, the time we had slipped away,
Tomorrow turned to yesterday,
And I don’t know how…
Tell me what can stop this river of tears,
It’s been building up for years,
For this moment now…

Tell me how the road ahead is going to bend,
And how to harness up the wind,
And how to say goodbye?
Tell me how to fill this space you left behind,
And how to laugh instead of cry,
And how to say good bye?
– Michael W. Smith

“For Vanessa and all the women who suffer abuse in silence. XOXO”

Keeping strong

Strut Like A Peacock

Okay I actually mean that in a good way. I’m not saying be ostentatious, rather be self-assuring and assertive. Strut your turf. That’s what girls do; we swagger, we sashay.

 

Whereas the average individuals often have not the slightest idea, what they are, what they want or their own opinions, self-actualizing individuals have superior awareness of their own impulses, desires, opinions, and subjective reactions. — Abraham Maslow

 

So what is it you really, truly want? Are your core activities in alignment with your deepest desires? Do you know why you indulge those routines day in day out? Can you truly describe the life you would rather have? If you did, would it in anyway look like the one you’re now stuck with or forced to tolerate?

 

You’ve got to have your antennas straightened and sharpened with heightened frequencies of your identity and capabilities as the girl of the moment. You cannot afford to slack. Slackers are average. And we already agreed that average isn’t an option. You can be your best self but first you must discover who she is, what she wants and where she wants to be. Then you must be her ambassador, be her forerunner. Be the go-between. Be the intermediary between your amazing self and the world at large. Be bold. Be proud. Be assertive. Strut your stuff. Walk the room, be a shinning vision of light. Allow the world the privilege and honor of enjoying your essence as you walk these paths. Overcome the temptation to cower behind the crowd and join the flock to no-man’s-land. Stop waiting for an invitation to do the very thing that only you could possibly contribute to humanity.

 

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment. — Tao Tzu

 

We mostly take pride in predicting the world and the people around us. We like to lead conversations about tough subjects and political crises. We enjoy showing off our knowledge about mundane issues and everything else around us but once the spotlight swings our way for us to say something about ourselves, our wishes and our dreams, rather than seizing the moment to shine, we freak out and dampen it with excuses and denial. Instead of swanking, you duck. Instead of being the star of the Opera, you recline into the back seats of the theatre. Instead of brightening up the moment with the story of your milestones, you submerge it in gloom and toss the golden opportunity to another. You pass on the lamp, the genie and your three wishes. You slam the door shut on your benefactor. You are quick to embrace insignificance. You grasp tightly the delusion that says, you must never let your voice be heard, never let yourself be noticed, never embrace the spotlight when it’s your turn. You must hide, because you don’t belong in that circle. You don’t belong in that circle where you too can raise your head, smile and glide, and boldly claim your spot in the world. You cower. You recoil. You fade into the backdrop.

 

“They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.” ~Confucius

 

What then can one do to live dynamically and not monotonously? How will a girl find her way out of the maze or make sense of the mess she’s in. How can she possibly be aglow, it’s a dark cloud all around her. She can begin by first choosing to be happy no matter what. She can choose to laugh at her mistakes and pick herself up again. She can choose to realize that who she is, is the doorway to wonders never before known, never before heard and never before seen. She can choose to love herself. Celebrate her victories. Sing her praises. Let her hair down. Dance for joy. Laugh with abandon. She can choose to love herself. Love conquers all.

 

Love yourself, accept yourself, forgive yourself & be good to yourself because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things. – A wise one

Strut your stuff...

Strut your stuff…