Tranquility Within

Last time I talked about choices and how we have the choice to take responsibility and control for our lives. I also mentioned a tidbit about the choices I made as a teenager. Today I want to expand on that. This is going to be one of my most vulnerable posts to date and I do want to warn you that if you have struggled with any of the things I’m going to talk about today, this post might be a trigger. So what will I talk about? Sex, drugs, alcohol, and looking for love outside of myself. While some of these things might be a trigger for some of you, I am sharing in hopes that I remind you that you are not the only one and that there are others of us who have been there or are currently there.

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Episode 9: Tranquility Within

Failing Imperfectly
Episode 9: Tranquility Within
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Loving oneself leads to so much freedom in life. But what if you don’t love yourself?

Why Don’t We Keep Dating?

Dating is such a wonderful thing. We are energized and excited to get to know another person. We are exploring places we might have already been, but with a new person so it feels new. We hold hands. We hug on each other. We kiss often. So much laughing and giggling and love.

Then as the years add up, dating becomes less important. We see each other all of the time and know pretty much everything there is to know. We rarely hold hands or kiss, especially around other people. We just live life each day and don’t focus on the things that kept us as physically close as we used to be. Less giggling, some laughing, a different kind of love.

As time goes on, there is less conversation. Things we never cared about before start to becoming extremely annoying. We get on each others’ nerves easier. The love is there, but life has changed and so has the relationship since we fell in love.

But why? Why do we lose the dating? Why does everything become so serious? Why do we forget about the little things that used to bring us closer together?

I don’t know. I don’t have an answer for any of this. What I do know is, that no matter how good or even great our relationships may be, the loss of dating and these little things make a big difference in our daily lives. I also think that right now, today, the day this is posted, we are living in such a different time in life that is challenging all of us. Some of us are spending literally all day every day with our spouse. We might only have a wall, separate ends of the house, or different levels of our house between us. We are always around each other. While, yes, we agreed to a life together, we may need time away from one another.

I think Eddie and I are definitely at this point. We spend too much time together and things that never used to bother one of us, are definitely bothersome. We are finding new ways to be apart while being together. I’m going to the grocery store by myself more often. I’m sending him to his cousin’s and best friend’s. We are finding new ways to get out that won’t put us in a position of encountering someone who may be ill. We are working to get into the mountains more without being at popular destinations. I’m pushing for us to find our own hobbies and goals more than I ever have.

While going out on dates right now is not as easy as it once was, there are things we can try to do to change up our seemingly monotonous days. I saw a TikTok where a couple wrote up a list of things to shop for that reminds or describes the other person. Those became gifts for each other. It looked fun and like a great way to date while working around social distancing.

Let’s get creative and find new ways to date after many years in our relationships. We’ve got to bring back those feelings we had early on and laugh and giggle and kiss again.

How Do You Talk to Yourself?

My journey to self-love and healing has involved a lot of changes to how I speak. Not only to others, but to myself. Most importantly to myself. How I speak to myself has been absolutely shitty for most of my life. I most definitely cannot say I have perfectly corrected how I speak to myself, but I can say I am getting better.

The biggest improvement I’ve made in how I speak to myself is around my weight and how I look. I quite frequently told myself how fucking ugly I am and how disgusting I am because I have cellulite, flabby arms, and a bit of a gut. I am not a size 2 anymore. Even when I was a size 2, I still told myself how fat I was.

It’s been a couple of years since I was a size 2 and I couldn’t work out hard enough to get to that point again even if I wanted to. To be fair, size doesn’t actually matter. Especially because I’m anywhere between a size 6 and size 14 depending on the brand. Over these couple of years, I have been up and down in how I talk to myself.

In the past couple of months, I have made big strides in how I speak to myself about my weight. What changed? Honestly, the inputs I have in my life. I have been seeking out and following models who are not perfect in societies eyes. In fact, some of them are models but show through their accounts how models move and pose to hide all of the things that we are told are ugly. I’ve also hung out with friends at the pool who are just like me, real women with our own perfectly imperfect bodies.

When we think about how we speak to ourselves, we also need to look at all of the inputs we have in our day-to-day lives. Who are you following? What message are they sharing? Are they sharing realistic messages?

As you speak to yourself, ask, have you been speaking out of love or out of hate? If it is out of hate, what are you telling yourself? Why are you sharing that hate with yourself? Where does the hate come from? If you’ve been speaking out of love, ask yourself how you can love yourself more.

Like Brené said, talk to yourself like you would talk to someone that you love. Love yourself first, even if you don’t like everything about yourself.

Special

I just want to feel special.

Ever had that feeling? No? Are you sure?

I thought I was above that kind of need. I didn’t want to be a person who needed to feel special. I saw those people as being self-centered.

Until I started doing self-care and personal growth. Then I realized that it is okay to want to feel special. In fact, feeling special is such a good feeling that not many people get to experience.

By now, if you have read any number of my other posts, you might recognize that I wasn’t really ever made to feel special growing up. I grew to believe that I didn’t deserve it. (See What We Deserve) I made events like my wedding about everybody else. I didn’t even demand to have much for myself, it was all to make sure everybody enjoyed the day and everybody else was taken care of. Oh and things went according to schedule. I truly regret this about my wedding. But I didn’t know any better.

It is only within the past few weeks that I have started to allow myself to desire feeling special. So I thought. Well, at least in conversations with my husband. But during my meditation this morning, I realized that I was holding onto a past dream because of the feelings of being special I have wrapped around it.

I have been holding onto the feeling of getting pregnant and the baby shower that is all about me and the baby. I have been holding onto the dream of feeling a baby move within me while having people be interested in me without there being some health issue that I’m working through. I’ve been holding onto what I deemed the love that I would finally get because I got pregnant.

I wanted to feel special and in my subconscious, getting pregnant would give me those feelings.

I don’t have to get pregnant to be special. I’m not going to get pregnant just to feel special. That doesn’t work anyways.

I just have to treat myself as though I am special. I cannot expect anybody else to do it for me. To feel special, I have to start treating myself that way.

I want to feel special and I am going to treat myself as though I am.

Valentine’s Day

I hate Valentine’s Day. There, I said it.

So why am I writing about it? Because there is a stigma and way too much fucking pressure on our society to honor this holiday. We have to stop letting the commercialization of holidays dictate how we live. Yes, this post is all about a rant that I have with our society. Keep reading, or don’t, but I suspect I am not the only one and I want you to know that you aren’t the only one.

Flowers. Chocolate. Fancy dates. Surprise deliveries. Expensive jewelry. Money.

I don’t want any of that because of some date on the calendar that has morphed from the original intention of honoring a person, or something. That’s the thing, who the fuck even know’s the true reason of Valentine’s Day? I am willing to bet that 90 to 99 percent of my generation does not. Even the Encyclopedia Britannica indicates there is conflicting information. What it does say is:

The holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day. It came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century.

After that, Encyclopedia Britannica goes on to explain that there are many accounts of where the day may have taken its name from. It goes on to say when Valentine’s cards were first given out and it’s been a really long time. Like hundreds of years.

I don’t care how long it has been. I still feel like our current society puts so much pressure on everybody to take part in this day. Some people ask if my distaste in the day is because I’ve never received good Valentine’s gifts. No, no it is not. I hate being forced to do things and spend money because everybody does it. I could go into a rant on many other holidays, but I will spare you.

When my husband and I first started dating, I told him not to get me anything. The first year his mother convinced him to even though I said no. If I recall he chose yellow roses to meet me and his mother in the middle. Okay, that works. Since then, he hasn’t done anything and I am happy about it. Prices on everything gets stupid and I don’t want to spend money on it. There are plenty other things we can and probably will buy that is overpriced. One thing he does tend to do after Valentine’s, depending on what day of the week Valentine’s falls on and what our schedules are, is go to Costco and buy the much discounted Stargazer Lily’s for me since that is my favorite flower. I’m okay with that, even if the quality of the flowers aren’t perfect because they’ve sat there longer.

If you don’t like Valentine’s Day, then don’t do it! You do you and don’t give a fuck what society says.

I was more than happy to have a work trip that brought me home late on Valentine’s Day. No need to do anything special, I don’t celebrate this one by spending gobs of money.

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day?

Fear

Fear is a topic that is everywhere I look this week. More than one of the coaches that I learn from have spoken about fear through one of their channels. With one coach, it’s just a focus of theirs. With more than one, yeah, it is something I need to talk about. I don’t know if people are focusing on fear this week because it is Halloween or that it is a coincidence, but fear is a big deal.

Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

We all have fears, whether we want to admit it or not. Two of my biggest fears are getting in trouble and being late. I suspect that the second one ultimately leads back to getting in trouble. Other than these two, I have countless fears. A new fear I didn’t know I would develop, is the fear of breaking the screws in my spine.

Our fears can be fears we’ve held for all of our life because we developed them as a child, or they can be brand new fears, developed at any time. Some fears stem from a difficult childhood, some from phobias that are common, and some from life changes.

My fear of getting into trouble most definitely stems from my childhood. My fear of breaking a screw comes from getting the screws added to my spine and seeing pictures and hearing of the pain that comes from broken screws. I can easily identify where those fears come from, but I have no idea where my fear of being late comes from.

Regardless of where our fears originate, they don’t have to rule our lives. I say this while fully disclosing that I have an enormous amount of work to do on my fears. I know that my fears don’t have to rule my life. I also know that I can only tackle overcoming so many fears and other issues at once. If I were to try to overcome everything I need to all at once, I’d be an absolute mess and would most likely give up and go back to my comfort zone.

While Michelle Polar of Hello Fears tackled 100 fears in 100 days, I am taking a different approach. I am working on specific fears alongside other issues over time. Right now, I’m working on my fear of not being loved. I am afraid that my family and friends don’t truly love me and that they just tolerate me. There is so much emotion and feeling from my childhood to unpack with that fear, I couldn’t take on another fear at the same time.

Fear is something that some people only attribute to things like sky diving or cliff jumping. It’s also something that people live with every single day without other people knowing. Fear can be an afterthought, or it can rule our lives.

Fear has ruled my life for so many years. I do not wish the pain that living with fear causes, on anyone. Most of my life, I thought my fears meant I was damaged, unworthy. I was wrong. My fears simply meant that I needed to do work on myself to overcome fear while also learning to love myself first. I know that I can’t expect anyone to love me if I can’t love myself first. But I haven’t always known that. I have put in the work for many years, off and on, and now more consistently, to teach myself how to heal.

My steps to overcome my biggest fears is to identify the fear, dig deep to learn what the root cause of the fear might be and how the fear is triggered, and to learn what is the best thing that can happen if I face that fear.

When was the last time you were facing a fear and asked, what is the best thing that can happen?

Assumptions

Assumptions are my kryptonite. I frequently devise my own assumptions before I know truth. I have always battled my assumptions and I assume I always will.

An assumption is defined as something that is accepted as true or certain to happen without proof.

My assumptions are what Eddie and I disagree over the most. Eddie pretty much doesn’t ever assume anything. I tend to assume everything.

One of my most frequent assumptions, regardless of who is in question, is that a person is mad at me. Sometimes it is even that I assume the person is angry at me. Or ashamed of me. Embarrassed by me. Hates me.

If you were to name any person in my family or friend group, at any point in time, I could tell you what I assume they feel about me. It isn’t just the assumption that is the problem though. The problem is how I react to that assumption.

My assumptions are always causing me problems. I am starting to realize that my main love language is words of affirmation. I believe that because I pretty much never hear words of affirmation from a person, they are mad at me or worse. I think that I connect never hearing good things from people with negativity.

This is a learned behavior. Learned as a child. Never corrected. Just identified. Literally. Just. Identified.

I saw the quote “Assumptions are the termites of relationships” from Henry Winkler this morning. I knew I had to talk about it. I sat to write this post and had no idea where I was going with it. I wrote and deleted, wrote and deleted, wrote and deleted, again and again. Then I started writing and got to a couple paragraphs above. It just flowed.

I finished listening to The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman this morning. I’ve been trying to figure out my primary love language and I think I just did.

I need to hear from my husband, my family, or my friends that they love me. And I need to hear it often. Some would call it needy. Prior to listening to The 5 Love Languages, I would have agreed. Now I know that is normal to need to hear words of affirmation. It is normal to not feel loved if I don’t hear it.

When I don’t hear words of affirmation, I jump to negative assumptions. These negative assumptions dictate how I act around and interact with people. I make it worse for myself because I start an interaction off with a negative tone.

My assumptions are eating away at relationships that I have. A little here. A little there. Little termites eating away at each and every relationship.

What I need to do now, is pay attention to each assumption I have and meditate on it to determine if that thought is truly an assumption or if it is the truth. I need to focus on my day-to-day relationships, then work on the relationships with those that I see often, then those that I see less often.

I can see how I can improve relationships that I have put a strain on. I can adjust my assumptions and adjust my expectations based on those assumptions.

I will not let my assumptions control my relationships any longer. I am going to take control of my assumptions. I have to.

 

Assumptions are the termites of relationships.

Words of Affirmation

I started listening to The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. I’ve taken the quiz before, in fact, multiple times, but I had not yet read or listened to the book. I can’t even remember what I determined my love language is. As of writing this, I can’t even tell you all of the love languages.

What I can tell you is what I realized about myself in the first hour and fifteen minutes of the book. Gary Chapman talks about all the different types of affirmation and provides amazing examples of each. He also talks about being able to provide others with words of affirmation.

I thought I was really good at giving affirmation until I heard Dr. Chapman explain it further. That’s when I had an aha moment. I am really good at saying ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ and extremely good at apologizing for everything. What I’m not so good at is complimenting or recognizing small acts.

One thing Dr. Chapman talked about that made complete sense to me was that those of us who rarely or never heard words of affirmation, don’t necessarily know what we aren’t saying.

I think I’ve touched on this before in another post or on my Instagram, but I am one of those people who pretty much never heard any words of affirmation. I wasn’t told that I was doing a good job in school, that I was pretty, that I had a great personality, that I was good enough just as I am, that I did a good job keeping the house clean, or anything similar. I was criticized and made fun of, even by my parents. I heard, at least graduate high school before you get pregnant; you are big-boned; look at that bubble butt; you are just afraid of needles; if you are going to cry, I’ll give you something to cry about; you are just like your Aunt K; stop being so bossy; and so much more.

I don’t remember my parents telling me they love me except for when my mom was begging me to give her money. I think my mom might have told me she was proud of me at my college graduation, but I didn’t want her there so I wasn’t in the mood to even talk to her. And I really didn’t.

I learned at an early age that I wasn’t going to get love from my parents so I wanted it from the people they complained about the most, their sisters and brothers and their spouses. I can look back now and realize that what I needed most during those formative years in my life were words of affirmation. I needed love through words.

I can think of a few friends who give me words of affirmation and I don’t know how to receive them. At the same time, I feel like an ass because I suck at doing the same without being prompted. I can think of instances where I could have given words of affirmation to many people, but I didn’t.

Regardless of other people’s love language, I want to be better at freely giving people words of affirmation. I don’t know if it will make someone’s day or if it will roll off their shoulder. What I do know is that there just might be someone out there that doesn’t know what they need to hear until it is said.

How often do you give words of affirmation? What about receiving words of affirmation? What was the last thing you remember being told? How did it make you feel?

Funny enough, one of the things I recently was told on one of my Instagram posts was that my eyebrows were on point. I remember that every day. It makes me feel so good.

How can you make someone’s day?

When Alcohol is Love

As I started reading the chapter When Food is Love in The Soul Frequency by Shanna Lee, I immediately had light bulbs going off and bells dinging all around my mind. I’m pretty sure it all started with just the title of the chapter.

I had my last drink of alcohol 45 days ago. Since then I’ve done really well. Until this last week. I wanted the taste of wine so bad. I looked forward to events coming up and felt sadness around not drinking alcohol of any form. I associate alcohol with almost everything in my life.

It’s not like I need the effects of alcohol for any reason, I literally just want the taste of it. I have fought for so many years not to be considered an alcoholic like my parents and I can still say, I am not an alcoholic. That isn’t why I quit alcohol. For why, read Alcohol Part One and Alcohol Part Two.

But I digress.

When I read the title of the chapter, When Food is Love, it was like a slap in the face. DUH! Of course that explains everything. Alcohol is what helped me to break free of the worst of my shyness. Alcohol is what helped me make friends with the popular kids. Alcohol is what made most of my future friends. Alcohol is how I let loose from my fear of so many things. Alcohol has been love for me.

As I look back at the years since I started drinking, so much of the love I felt came when alcohol was involved. Love is why I look at events coming up and don’t know what to do without alcohol. I’ll tell you what I do at these events: DRINK WATER!!!

Alcohol is not love. Now that I have identified my emotions around alcohol, I can begin to retrain them.