“Good” Friends Are A Gift You Give Yourself

You know you are blessed in your life when your friends and family see you as more than you do.  You know that you are blessed when people want more for you than they want for themselves.  And you know you are blessed when these amazing people in your life hold you to a higher standard.  They remind you to follow your dreams and to not settle for anything less than who you can be.

It’s never easy chasing dreams no matter how big or small.  It takes guts, courage, strength, sacrifice, and love to believe that you deserve the opportunity to bring these things into your reality.  You have to put down your fears of the unknown.  You have to put down your fears of self-doubt.   You have to put down your fears that you you simply aren’t enough.  And, throw caution to the wind and  JUST GO FOR IT, even if everyone thinks you are crazy or they don’t understand.  

For far to long in my life I tried to please everyone, I tried to put my wants and needs second to everyone else’s and the only thing that got me was a lifetime of feeling like I was somehow less than I could have been.  It wasn’t until I realized that what I wanted and what I thought was important even if no one else thought so.  One of the hardest truths  for me to realize was that I was the only one that I had to face in the mirror and explain myself to.  Ya see when you stop listening to your heart and you kill your own spirit - you are only half of the person that you can be.  And as a half a person, you can never find happiness, you don’t believe in yourself and you rarely  follow through on your dreams .

So I have to say now when friends and family don’t understand my choices I just smile and no longer feel the need to change their minds.  That is their opinion, its not mine.  I appreciate them, I’m happy that they are in my life but they don’t live my life.  They are not me.  There job is not to always understand me, but to love me and support me.  I no longer live my life looking for approval and needing to please everyone anymore cause you can never make everyone happy.    The only thing that did was burn me out and left me feeling empty.  Empty because I didn’t try and believe in myself enough to go for what I wanted.  

There is a Gabonese Proverb that says “Bad friends prevent you having good friends”.  Good friends love you no matter what. Good friends push you to be better than you are.  Good friends challenge you.  And a good friend believes in you even when you don’t.  So don’t let bad friends hold you back because they are jealous, envious, or simply don’t understand.  Be your own best friend and surround yourself with lots and lots of good friends.  “Good” friends are a gift that you give to yourself - my update to Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous quote.  And love those friends who stop you from remembering who you are from afar. 

Life is too short to be half of the person you can be.

Till next time,

Lisa

Hating Yourself A Little Less

I happened to catch the last few minutes of an old program called Huge the other day.  Its was ABC Family show that is based on a group of kids attending fat camp and learning to make better choices and how to better understand why they overeat.  As a former fat kid I could certainly relate but I have to say the last few minutes of the show have stayed with me.  Wil is the lead girl, (played by Nikki Blonsky) and she asks  the Director, Dr. Rand (played by Gina Torres) who is now thin “So do you still  hate yourself?”  And the director replied “A little less now”  And Wil didn’t like her answer and was like “That’s it, that’s the big secret”.  It was such a great moment in the show and it parallels life so much.  Sometimes as the fat kid you long to be the skinny girl but you never realize that the skinny girl may be desperately afraid that she’s not enough either and she has her own issues too.  

As a big girl who is now a normal sized woman I can tell you I have the same insecurities that I did back then they are just a little less.  Some days you still hate yourself, some days you like yourself a little more - that never really goes away.  But the good days definitely outweigh the bad ones now.   Some days you do every thing you can to avoid a mirror or getting your picture taken I think more out of habit than necessity now.  And, I still have a tough time accepting compliments and have been known to look behind me because I think, “he’s not talking to me”.  It is the craziest thing going from trying to hide and not being noticed to people looking up and smiling when you walk into a room.  I have come to understand it requires a different kind of confidence in yourself that I certainly never had before.  

We are all just people, we all have the same basic needs to be loved and it is truly unbelievable at the lengths that people go through sometimes to get love.  And when you have been hurt in the past we have a tendency to put up walls and sometimes those walls become part of our appearance and our part of our identity.  

It’s moving past those wall, putting the insecurities down, believing in yourself and finding an inner confidence that you never knew you had that helps you “Hate yourself a little less today”  and one day you’ll be able to “Fully embrace the woman and the beauty that shines from within you”.

Till next time,

Lisa

Broken promises to yourself

Have you ever made a promise to yourself that tomorrow would be different?  that tomorrow you would exercise?  that tomorrow you would eat better?  that tomorrow you would make better choices?  I think we all do this to ourselves all of the time and its a really bad practice to get into.  When you can’t keep your own promises to yourself, what do you think that does to your own self-esteem?  to your own belief in yourself?  and to that annoying voice in the back of your head that always reminds you that you are not good enough?  It gives them power over yourself - you make that damn voice louder in your head cause you’ve given it more references to remind you why you can’t succeed the next time you fully intend to.  And quite honestly, I’m beyond sick of the crap that makes its way into my brain when I’m trying a new challenge or trying something completely new for the first time.

I finally have learned to turn down the volume of this negative voice - a friend of mine calls this voice the “Wizard” its not magical in any way but it sure seems to think it knows all doesn’t it?  It sure has an unsolicited opinion about everything I want to do.  I’ve learned that when I really want something, I get excited and start to make moves in a positive direction but then the “Wizard” magically shows up.  And the question is - why and where does he come from?  The “Wizard” is simply all of your fears and insecurities all rolled up in one really loud voice.  And it seems the more you have given into this voice - the louder he thinks he is and the more influence he has over you.  The absolutely only way to turn down his volume is to keep on going after what I want and to reach my goals.  The more goals I reach the less power he has over me and the less and less I pay attention to him.

So I started small and learned to keep the promises that I make to me and this absolutely keeps me in check.  It reminds me to make sure my goals are realistic cause every time I follow through the “Wizard” has less and less power to influence me.  And as the goals get bigger they are so much easier to reach when there isn’t a really loud, annoying voice playing in your head giving you a laundry list of why you’ll never have what you want.   What do you think, want to play with me and turn off your own “wizard” in  your own head?  We’ve all heard the saying “to thine own self be true” I’d like to add keep the promises you make to yourself, they are greatest and simplest gift you can give to yourself.

Till next time,

Lisa

Are you gonna sink or swim?

Why do we get so much push back from ourselves?  Why is it so scary to stand up for yourself and speak your mind and tell someone exactly what you want from them?  If I believe in happiness & that it is something that you create - how can you create happiness with someone if you are afraid to tell someone that something is bothering you?  The short answer is you can't.  So if you can't learn to communicate, be open, honest with yourself and those who love us - how do we ever think we are gonna move past our old BS and pasts?

The truth is trusting someone is so hard to do, but  when you've been betrayed it feels like Mount Everest sometimes? Do we really expect to always be betrayed - I don't believe that at all.  One persons actions does not equal another's.   But what I think is the hardest lesson for me to learn and wrap my brain around is that I betrayed myself first.

So now that life has presented me with amazing opportunity to trust another person - the question remains have I truly learned from my mistakes?  Can I truly trust another completely?  And most importantly will I betray me again?  The problem is there are no easy answers - the only way to test and see if I've learned my lesson  is to truly give this a try.   And, we're not talking about sticking your toe in the water - we're talking about going all the way in so you can't touch the bottom.  So are you gonna sink or swim?  So far I've been swimming but when I freak out, have a melt down about something that really isn't relevant to now and is more about my own insecurities - I feel like I swallow a giant mouth full of water and I'm treading water.  To me treading water is like being stuck.   And,  it comes down to a simple question are you gonna learn to trust and swim or are you gonna stay stuck in fear and eventually sink?  That choice is absolutely yours and I don't know about you but I'm so over being afraid that I'm swimming and never looking back.  :)

Till next time,

Lisa