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The Art of Self Love

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Many of us are harder on ourselves than we are on others, than others are on us. We struggle to forgive ourselves, let go of the guilt and regret, and see the beauty within us.

That saying that we’re our own worst critics is often true. We hold ourselves to higher standards than we need to and when we fall short, we berate ourselves. No matter how much others may love us, we often struggle to love ourselves. We don’t see ourselves the way they do.

It takes great strength to see past our flaws, mistakes, and failures. However difficult it may seem though, I’ve learned it’s not impossible to achieve. There is hope for us, if we choose to see it.

The art of self love is one that takes a lot of work. Rising above our feelings of inadequacy, self loathing, guilt, and shame takes a strong will and lots of determination, but it is possible. We have to learn how to let go of the negative and see the good. Learning how to take compliments, without getting a big ego, and see the truth in them helps. Taking some time to see ourselves the way others do, especially those that see our beauty and worth is huge. Those that love us have their reasons and striving to know and understand them can go a long way towards having a better outlook on who we are.

I urge us all to try to set aside what we see, to instead think of those that love us most and try seeing what they see. I believe that may be the key to the beginning of a beautiful soul finding its worth. We all have our strengths, traits that make us amazing, so much beauty within, and a lot to offer. We just need to see it for ourselves, to truly believe it. No amount of praise erases self doubt, but changing how we view ourselves can. ๐Ÿ’ž

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The Truth About Partnership

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I think most of us have heard the saying, a partnership is 50/50. The truth of it is, many days it is not 50/50. There are times when either our partner, better half, significant other, spouse, best friend, etc or ourselves are not able to pull our weight in the relationship. There are times when it is more like 70/30 or maybe even 90/10. There are times when the other will carry the bulk of the relationship on their shoulders and will likely feel stressed by it, but should remember that sometimes it’s the other way around.

A true partnership has many ups and downs. No relationship is perfect, no matter how wonderful some make theirs look to their loved ones, every relationship has its issues. All of the posts about flowers they got from their boyfriends or husbands, the amazing meals and gestures their wives or girlfriends made them, the romantic nights, the terrific family vacations, or how perfectly happy they appear in pictures, there is always more to the story then the rest of us see or yes, more than we ourselves share when we’re the ones gushing about our amazing partners and “perfect” relationships.

Growing up, many of us have fairy-tale relationship expectations. We think we will find our prince or princess and ride off into the sunset together, living happily ever after. Happily ever after does exist, but not in the perfect state of bliss we imagine it to be. There are sleepless nights, arguments over petty stuff, short tempers, illnesses, financial struggles, death of loved ones, loss of a job, differences that are hard to overcome, lies, grudges, rough days that lead to one or both taking it out on their partner, issues with the kids, and so much more that get in the way of perfection. They say, “don’t go to bed angry.”, but the truth is, sometimes it happens. Sometimes we are too hurt or angry in the moment to talk calmly, sometimes we need moments to ourselves to calm down, sort things out. None of that means that a couple is unhappy or that their relationship is failing. Every relationship struggles from time to time.

Does the good outweigh the bad? Do you trust your partner, do they trust you? Do you respect one another? Do you make one another laugh, smile, and enjoy life? Do you love one another? If so, then you know that the bad will come, but it will pass and until it does, you work together to get through it. It won’t always be 50/50 through those tough times, but that’s okay. Expecting 50/50 all the time is unrealistic and unfair. What should be expected is that you give your best, whether it happens to be 10% or 90% at any given time will vary, but always give the best you can. When you’re the one pulling a lot of the weight, try to remember the shoe will be on the other foot and when your partner is the one lifting you up, be thankful for that and do the same when they need you to do the same for them.

A true partnership works together daily, giving the best of themselves each day to make it work. Whether you’ve been together one week, a year, or 50 years, nothing changes that it is a daily effort to make your relationship last. If it is worth it to both people, then both must give of themselves. It won’t survive on the efforts of just one. We may not be able to give 100% of ourselves each day, but we can give the best we have each day. I urge you to look at your partner in a new way today, to see them the way you did in the very beginning. Think about how they have changed over time and about how you have changed, the good and the bad. How have you inspired one another while together? Let’s face it, partners habits, ways of thinking or doing things, and so on rub off on one another. Have you helped your partner become better throughout the time you’ve been together, have they done so for you?

Let today be a day of reflection about our relationships, our partners, and ourselves. May we work on lessening the weaknesses and making the strengths even stronger. May our relationships grow, may we get closer to our partner, and may we find more love and compassion for ourselves as well. We can be our own worst critics, so I also urge us to find ways to see us the way others see us, especially those who see our beauty, strength, and worth. When we love ourselves, let go of guilt and regret, we can be better partners and also better parents, children, friends, and so on. May today be the beginning of changes, healthy ones. Our relationships will benefit from them, as will we and those we love.

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What a cute little nose

And tiny little toes

Deep dark brown eyes

Seeing such wonder in the skies

 

When you sleep, what do you dream about?

A young mind full of wonder, I have no doubt

Do you think about kitties, milk, and colorful things?

What do you hope each new day brings?

 

Little girl, though you are so very small

You give so much love, hope, and joy to us all

With every smile, laugh, and loving look you give

You show us what it means to truly live

All Lives Matter

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With everything that has happened in our country, one would think there would be some unification. Instead, there seems to be more division than ever. The level of violence, intolerance, and hatred makes me both sick to my stomach with grief and so very angry. We are Americans, we should start acting like what a true American should be, instead of what we’ve become. This statement is about our country as a whole, I do realize there are many individuals that show the level of love, compassion, integrity, and honor that many expect, but not nearly as many demonstrate.

Some preach things like, “Black lives matter” or “Gay lives matter.” You know what? They most certainly DO matter. The things that people do to one another simply because they don’t like one’s color, religion, political views, sexual orientation, and so on is sickening. It is downright awful that people assault, rape, vandalize, and more in the name of “their people”. We are in a country where we are supposed to be free to be who we are, but how free are we really if we have to fear for our lives for being true to ourselves? We don’t have to like everyone, but we should at least be respectful and decent to one another. It is possible to co-exist.

Why do we feel the need, as the human race, to tear one another down? Why, since the beginning of time, have we felt the need to control, dominate, and do whatever it takes to get what we want, no matter who we hurt? Why do we pick a race of people and say they’re either inferior or superior? Why do we attack others for believing in something other than what we do? Why? And why do we have to continue to divide, among our own citizens and throughout the world?

I am one that will never pick one group and think they’re better or worse than another. I will not put them down or attack them. I will not put another down for having different views or faith. I am human and I am not perfect, but I will do my best to love everyone, regardless of color, faith, political views, etc. I don’t care if you’re gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgender, etc. What matters to me is how you treat me, treat those I love, those around you. If you show me respect, I will do the same for you. There are many out there who feel the same way that I do and to you, I tip my hat. Let us stand together and show everyone that love’s power is infinite and our voices can be heard. Let us continue to show love in the face of adversity, compassion in places where it seems to have vanished, and kindness to even those who hard to be nice to.

Let us show the world that ALL lives matter, that the senseless violence needs to stop. Let us show the world that we don’t need to hurt those who are different from us. You can be who you are and be accepted, loved. I get why some say things like, “Police lives matter.” They’re simply standing up for a group of people that have been wronged. I loathe all senseless violence. I respect the views people have and do stand on the side of making things right. It’s just that for me, I think separating people into groups is causing more division, instead of banding us together. So, I will continue to say,”ALL LIVES MATTER!” Let love be the force that is heard today, showing others that we do matter and that coming together is what we need to do, not drift further apart.

School Is In Session!

I can hardly believe my first born is a high school freshman. How did time fly by so quickly? I remember when he was a little boy, holding my hand to cross the street. Part of me is so excited for him to grow up, to see what his future holds. Will he go to college? What career will he pursue? Will he get married? Will he have kids? Will he travel the world? Will he be happy? I want only the best for my young man.

Part of me is really sad watching him grow up so fast. There are times I wish that he needed me for everything. Sometimes I miss singing him to sleep, teaching him how to read, playing with his Matchbox cars and racing them throughout the house, having our Disney Channel marathon New Years Eve celebrations, and just knowing I still had so many years left to enjoy his childhood. Watching your child grow up is a bittersweet feeling.

 

My daughter is almost a year and a half, but I know I will blink my eyes and she will be in high school. I am trying to enjoy every phase of hers, remembering just how quickly flies by. From the teething to the tantrums, it’s all worth it. Every smile she gives me, each hug, every cuddle, and each moment we spend together is precious. I am enjoying the firsts. I missed many of those with my son, so I am trying to make the most of it this time around.

Both of my children are precious, not ready to let them go. Luckily, I don’t have to just yet. From soccer games to seemingly endless renditions of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I still have many moments of their childhood to savor. I know my son isn’t overjoyed about school beginning, but I have high hopes that this will be his best year yet. Here’s to an amazing year ahead, the sky is the limit! Go get ’em! And parents, let us not waste a single moment we have with them. From homework to teenage angst, we must remember that this too shall pass and not forget to enjoy the good moments. ๐Ÿ™‚

Perfect Parenting

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Many parents have their idea of what perfect parenting is, a style they feel works best and it will often vary from another’s. The thing to remember is just because someone’s views on how to raise their kids is different from how you raise yours, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong or less of a parent. So many sit in judgement and it’s not okay.

It doesn’t matter if you, say, breastfeed and other moms don’t. What some don’t understand is not everyone can do it. Some moms just don’t produce, no matter what they try, some babies refuse to latch, etc. And even if someone can and chooses not to, it doesn’t make them a bad parent. The same goes for whether someone makes their own baby food and another may choose to use the prepackaged stuff, such as Gerber. Either way, the kids are getting their nutrients and are developing just fine. What about potty training techniques, how one might get their baby to sleep, disciplining, how they teach their kid to read, whether or not their kid gets paid to do chores or not, how early they start helping out around the house, curfews, whether their kids go to private or public school, or perhaps neither and they do home schooling, and many other parenting topics.

I’ve been the parent that has had others point, stare, and whisper. I have also had the nosy moms that don’t know the situation butt in while at the store, throwing their unwanted two cents in and have seen it happen to others. It is infuriating to have another try to tell you how to raise your kids. If we don’t like something, fine, it’s our right to disagree. However, just because we can verbalize our difference of opinion, doesn’t necessarily mean we should. Sometimes it is best to keep our thoughts to ourselves. And honestly, where do any of us get off judging another because we don’t give into a child’s tantrum, because we let them have McDonald’s once in awhile, are on a different sleep schedule, decide to home school our kids, bottle feed, or use a different method of punishment for acting out? If the child in question isn’t being abused or neglected, it is really no one’s business how they’re being raised. If there’s genuine reason for concern, fine, but then go about it in the proper manner. If not, it is usually best to butt out.

Sometimes we will ask for advice or help, I mean, they say it takes a village. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sometimes too, we see someone struggling and we want to be there for them. That is all well and good, but then when we’re coming from a place of kindness and not a harsh or judgmental one, we need to still respect our boundaries. Never put the parent down and don’t make it all about you and how you raise your kids and ALWAYS listen, be respectful. Parenting can be challenging at times and it makes it that much harder when we have others essentially bullying us because we’re not doing things “right”. We want our kids to turn into well rounded, kind, smart, and hardworking adults, which is made easiest when we have a good support system and try our best not to judge one another. These are just my thoughts on it today and not just in parenting, but in life. We should lift one another up, not tear one another down. โค

Love-Heals

Hate is powerful and it destroys all it touches, causes great devastation in its wake. Hate fuels a mind to do awful things and sometimes it seems like there isn’t a weapon strong enough to stand up against it, so we lose hope.

Yet there is something that is more powerful that can be wielded against it, something that can triumph. Love is a force that can overcome hate’s strongest arsenal, against its every attack. Love is what hate fears most. If we, one person at a time, seek within ourselves that strength, we can stand up to hate.

It’s natural when provoked to get defensive, lash out with harsh words and hurtful actions. That’s what hate is counting on, for us to let anger, jealousy, greed, spiteful behavior, and the temptation to succumb to the dark parts within us to win.

It takes true strength to resist the dark sides within us, to find the good and let it prevail. When we know love, both how to give and receive it, it’s easier to listen to the goodness we have in our hearts. Sometimes it’s hard when we’ve been hurt to trust in love’s existence and in its power to heal. It’s easier sometimes to build walls and keep it out, to try to prevent it from hurting us again. What we don’t always see is that it’s not love that hurts us, it’s the absence of it that does.

It took me awhile to see just how strong and wonderful love really is, but now I know its power and refuse to turn from it ever again.

I’m grateful for love. I’m blessed with knowing many forms of it. I have God’s love with me everywhere I go, a love that overcomes everything. I have the love of two wonderful kids, a love that lights up the darkest days and shows me what it’s like to love another without reservation, a love that will last as long as I live. I have the love of an amazing husband, the kind of love one reads about, but isn’t sure really exists. He’s my best friend and partner. I have the love of family, a bond both bound by blood and something more special. I have the love of incredible friends, a love not bound by blood, but something just as strong. What’s even greater still is that I have the love to give back, love that inspires and fuels me daily. To be able to give and receive love is the biggest blessing I have been given.

Let love fuel you, heal your wounded heart, help you let go of anger, and inspire you to show it to others, so it may help them as well. Show a little love today!

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