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Posts tagged ‘happiness’

Beauty defined


What is beauty? What is happiness? What is love? Many have different definitions for all three and come to their beliefs through various means.

Some simply use the dictionary. Let us start with that. For the word beauty, I chose the first definition listed:

The quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind,whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).

And for the word happiness, I saw two definitions and choose to post them both:

The first one is: The quality or state of being happy and the second one is: Good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.
And for love, I chose the second definition:
A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.


Others may have been taught by others, such as parents, teachers, or peers what things mean and have adapted to their way of thinking. Others may disregard all teachings and decide for themselves. Today, society seems to have their own interpretations and feed them through various forms of media. But, to be honest, our race has struggled greatly with these since long before t.v., the internet, cell phones, and the like.

I have seen a number of my family members and friends struggle with self-esteem issues a lot over my lifetime and it’s been hard to react properly because I too have struggled with my own. Usually, I have just tried to tell someone who thinks they’re ugly that they’re beautiful or someone who thinks they’re not worth anything just how valuable they are. But, having dealt with this personally, when you truly believe that you’re not good enough, the kind words mean a lot, but they don’t really sink in. Of course there others who will beat themselves down verbally simply to get a reaction out of others, so they can hear how wonderful others think they are. In either case, I have come to find it disheartening and even a bit aggravating when people constantly talk negatively about themselves or worse, others, even celebrities.

Even the most confident person struggles with things we don’t know about, things we don’t understand. Putting anyone down and pointing out their flaws doesn’t make us look better. The memes that say things like, “In a world full of Kardashians, be Princess Diana.” or “If we give you Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and Lindsay Lohan, will you give us Robin Williams, Janis Joplin, and Frank Sinatra?” bother me. Posts like that show just how ugly this world can be. They may be just meant to make people laugh, but they honestly disturb me. What right to we have to judge others? If our lives were all over the media like theirs, believe me, a lot of us wouldn’t look so great either.

In today’s world, it is hard to fit in, to feel accepted, to feel beautiful, to obtain happiness, and just get by without totally losing our sanity. It would be a lot easier if we treated one another better and ourselves as well. So many labor under the pretenses that to be beautiful, you must look, dress, and be a certain way. To be happy, you must have a significant other, nice home, expensive car, great job/money, and the newest and best of everything. To be loved, we must sacrifice all that we are and be someone we’re not to attract someone and then to keep them. If we fail to be the ideal anything, we’re not worth much, if anything, and we’re destined to be unhappy. And how many lash out at others and put them down when they’re not happy? I think a great deal of people can say they’ve been guilty of it from time to time, even without meaning to.

We don’t have to have the perfect body, be within a certain height or weight range, wear make-up and get plastic surgery, have the greatest smile, most lustrous hair, be toned and perfectly in shape, and have the latest and greatest wardrobe to be beautiful. Many think because they’re not as thin as they were 10 years ago, they’re single and have a bad track record when it comes to dating, they don’t look like so and so, etc that they are not beautiful. Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy and in shape. In fact, a lot of us struggle with it and self improvement is something we should all work on. But, some go too far and become obsessed.

I, myself, was once very thin. I weighed 105 at most throughout high school and maybe topped 110 before getting pregnant with my son. After I had him, I was able to get down to 104 without trying. Due to medications throughout the years, I have struggled since I was about 26 with weight. I know how it feels to look in the mirror and be upset because I don’t weigh or look like I used to. When my scale started to reach 130, I was mortified. But, it didn’t stop there. I got up to 170 and decided something needed to be done. So, I got off my medication and made a few changes. I went down to 146 and was starting to feel better. But that was short lived, my new medication and depression sent me back up and I reached 180. I again made changes and with an active job, I got myself down to 135. And at that point, I actually felt good about myself. When I was 104 and first reached 130, I felt huge. But after being 180, I saw 130 differently. Since then, medication once again and not eating the best rose me back up, this time I hit 190. I was able to get down to 180-185, but since then struggled. But, it is more than a vanity thing at this point, I knew I was outright overweight. The doctors told me I was reaching a danger zone with having problems like diabetes. There’s a difference between wanting to get in shape and lose a few pounds and needing to lose weight for the sake of your health. I have beaten myself up a lot though over this. So many have told me I am still beautiful, but it’s not always easy to see that. But, I have come to see that while changes need to be made for my health, that doesn’t mean I am ugly. Being overweight should be addressed and taken care of, but it should never be made fun of and it should never diminish who someone is.

We put too much stock into what we look like, plain and simple. We then beat ourselves up when we don’t match what we think being beautiful is. Sometimes that self doubt stems down from being bullied or made fun of growing up, a mate that put us down, society telling us what we should look like, or suffering from a mental health illness. There are others as well and sometimes it’s more than one thing that factors into how we think and how we see ourselves. It can sometimes be very hard to see the beauty within ourselves. It is something I would urge everyone to try to do though. As I have been told a lot since adulthood, confidence is attractive, so long as it doesn’t become arrogance. Negative thinking turns others away from you and that is something I have learned the hard way. It is hard to overcome it and the truth is, I still struggle with it sometimes. But, I am reminded daily that as a child of God and as the love of my husband’s life that I am beautiful. It’s something I am trying to believe too.

I have seen what constant beating myself up does. At first, people feel bad for you and they try to convince you of your worth. But after awhile, people come to believe you’re never going to change your mind and you’re always going to be hard on yourself. So then, they turn their backs and walk away because they simply can’t handle the pessimism anymore. They feel if you’re determined to see only the worst in yourself, then there’s nothing they can to change your mind and don’t want your negativity to drag them down. And when listening to others now, I can see why others had a hard time dealing with me. No one wants to listen to someone who constantly whines and puts themselves down. Negative thinking is simply not an attractive quality.

Something else I have learned, if you want others to see your beauty and your worth, you need to believe it first and you need to let it shine. That confidence goes a long way. I have seen others that look a lot like those who put themselves down be happy with who they are and because of that, they have the lives they want. They don’t whine and complain about who they are and how unfair life is, these people face adversity head on and go for what they want. I have learned a lot from them. You need to see your worth and then, others will too. It’s not always easy and in fact, sometimes it’s very difficult to get over the negative thoughts. But, I know it can make a huge difference when you begin to see yourself in a better light.

Being happy ties in with all of that. We put too much stock into “having” and often feel that if there’s something we want and don’t have, then we can’t be happy. Having doesn’t only refer to inanimate objects. Some feel that without a romantic relationship, a boat load of friends, or close ties to family, that their lives are missing something. So often we let our relationships define our level of happiness. We need others to like ourselves and we need them to be happy.

Something many used to tell me when I was often single and bitter about it is that I needed to learn to be happy with who I was before I could be happy with anyone else. It sounds so cliche sometimes, but I have come to see that it’s very true. We don’t need to be attached to someone to be happy. It is nice to have people in our lives that care for us, want to spend time with us, and make memories with us. I do feel like a big part of why we’re here is to be with others, give joy and love, and get it in return. But, it doesn’t or at least it shouldn’t define who we are. We need to be our own individuals, alone and even when we’re surrounded by loved ones. Losing ourselves within others so that it becomes hard to tell who we are anymore isn’t a good thing.

And if material possessions and money is what we think will make us happy, we’ll never have enough and we’ll never be happy. Having the latest gadgets, driving an awesome car, living in a very nice house, and the like isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. It’s okay to own things, especially when you’ve worked hard to buy them. Enjoy the things we are given and the things we can buy, just don’t let having things become more important than the people around you. Happiness they say can’t be bought and in many ways, I agree with that. Yeah, we can buy things that make us laugh, make life easier, and enjoy life. But, they’re just things. In the end, I feel that there’s a lot more to life than what we have. Sitting outside and enjoying a sunset, feeling the wind on our skin, listening to a bird sing, watching a baby take their first steps, and other things that you can’t put a price tag on are so important. Happiness is not so hard to obtain when you know where to find it. It is something that starts with us and then works its way outward. Trying to find it in others or in things will only leave us frustrated and feeling unhappy.

Love is a word I feel that can’t be readily defined. I also feel that it’s more than a word. It is a word and it has meaning. But, it is also a feeling and an action. There are many forms of love. Again, so many put so much stock into romantic relationships when talking about the word love. That kind of love is real and it is powerful, definitely not a form to be underrated or dismissed. But, it is not the only form of love out there. We feel love towards our family – children, parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. That form of love is also very real and powerful, but it is not the same as the love we’d feel for our spouse/partner. And even within familial love, those forms are different as well. The love one would feel for their child is not the same as the love they’d feel for say their cousin or sibling. There’s also the love felt between friends as well. Let us not forget the love we feel for ourselves, any God we may follow, pets, and even things like our passions. Each form of love is very real and not to be overlooked.

The feelings it leaves with us is intense and it has the power to change our lives. It has the power to heal and to save. Love is an amazing power that some overlook. It’s not just simply shown by giving things on Valentine’s Day, someone’s birthday, an anniversary, etc. It’s not about gifts, gushy sentiments written in cards, or words we say. Yeah, those things are nice and of course, we can participate in those things. It’s not a bad thing to do, but it’s not necessary. Love is shown by how we treat ourselves and others. It is in the kindness we show, the respect we give, by listening, by willing to put another’s needs ahead of your own at times, and by being willing to also to take care of yourself too. It’s shown in the hugs we give, holding one’s hand, by simply being there during for someone during a rough time, by not talking about them behind their back, and by wanting them to be happy.

Love is a noun and it is a verb. It is not devoid of meaning and when saying it, it shouldn’t be used lightly. Do not tell someone you love them if you don’t, not even if you might and aren’t sure yet. When someone believes you love them and you really don’t, it’s a very hard thing to get over. Love is to be respected, even if you don’t feel the same way. Love is honest and it is kind. Love doesn’t deceive. When we have our hearts broken, it’s not love that has harmed us, it is the absence of it that does. And when we fail to love ourselves, we’re harming ourselves too. It’s weird how complex love seems and yet how simple it can be. When I hug my son or feel my daughter kick within my stomach, love seems incredibly easy. It’s not hard to love, even though sometimes it seems like it is. Loving people who are unkind or sometimes just loving ourselves seems likes an impossible thing to do. But, I find the more natural it is for someone to love, the easier it becomes to just do it. Sometimes learning to let love in is hard, very hard in fact. But, it is not impossible and once it takes hold, it can change your life forever and it gets easier from there.

We strive for beauty – to have it and to see it, for happiness – to obtain it and hold onto it, and for love – to find it, receive it, and never lose it. All three seem daunting, but when in the right frame of mind, all three are easier to achieve than thought possible. We just have to look inside ourselves to find all three and then project them outward.

Our Love Story

our love story

I was walking down memory lane tonight. I feel like telling our story. January 13th, 2012 is when it all began. Though little did either of us know that we’d be where we are today. I first met Doug that cold January night at an A.D.O.B tour show. I didn’t give him much thought that first time I saw him. He was dating someone else and I wasn’t over an ex of mine. Neither of us were in a position to really consider one another anything more than friends, though truth be told, we were just acquaintances for several months. We talked a couple of times when our group was hanging out. I remember one conversation in particular actually. We talked for awhile about music. It was the first time I’d really talked to him. 

It wasn’t until the summer of 2012 that we really started getting to know one another. We started chatting in August and on the 30th is when we hung out for the first time, just the two of us. He knew I was in a rough spot and needed a friend, so he asked me if I wanted to hang out. Not once did he make a move on me. He was strictly my friend for a little while. It didn’t take me long to consider him a very good friend. He was someone I could talk to about anything, turn to if I was having a bad day, that could make me laugh, made me feel comfortable, and accepted me as I was. I realized a few weeks into hanging out and talking nearly every day that I was falling in love with him. It was as our friends predicted long before we were anything more than casual acquaintances, that we’d get along, that we’d be a good match. It seemed after awhile that maybe he had feelings for me too.

As it turns out, he did. Though when I first asked him how he felt and told him that I liked him, he wasn’t as enthused as I’d hoped. He did admit to liking me, but thought we’d be best suited as friends. I was so hurt and confused. That was on Sunday, September 30th. What an awkward conversation that was. But, then the next day, he asked me if I wanted to go to a Brewer game with him. His sister couldn’t use their tickets. So, he, myself, Petrina, & Joe went to the game on October 3rd. It felt like a date, with him picking me up, walking me to the door when he dropped me off, etc….except that it was a bit awkward. Our friends knew something was there between us and well, so did we….but something was keeping us from acting on our feelings.

On the 4th, feeling frustrated and confused, I decided to ask him to watch movies with me at my apartment after work. He accepted the offer and came over. It was still awkward for awhile, but eventually, he put his arm around me. We kissed later and from then on, that was that. (the 11th was our first date, courting me at that time I guess you’d consider it.) Even though we didn’t start officially dating until the 16th. He asked me out much the same way that he proposed to me, very nonchalantly, casual. Over the moon with happiness, I didn’t care that there wasn’t some grand romantic gesture. It was enough to know the feelings that were behind the question.

January 5th, 2013, he told me he loved me for the first time. The joy I felt in that moment still lives within me today and has been growing ever since. May 23rd, 2013, we moved in together. And then we just celebrated living together as a family for a year last month. What Zach, Doug, and I have is special, beautiful, and worth more than any amount of possessions. When Doug asked me if I wanted to get married on the 21st, (it was after Midnight after all.) not a doubt was in my mind that it was time. I’d been ready for awhile, well in many ways, to marry him. But looking back on everything, I am glad it’s now that he’s asked and not then. It’s given us time to grow, solidify our relationship, and make sure we were both ready. So, the next chapter will be written on Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 when we say I do and we become husband and wife. I am beyond elated to make what we have official in the eyes of God and the state, before our family and closest friends. I will walk beside you for the rest of my life, through the good and the bad. I love you.

As Long As I Live, I Will Always Love You


I was ready to give up on finding the one for me

So very ready to put my heart under lock & key

I wanted to fall in love & see it last the test of time

But my track record suggested I’d never know that feeling so sublime


Over the years, my heart had been shattered too many times to recall

And yet after each heartbreak, it was all to easy for me to yet again fall

A few times I even broke a heart or two of my own

One way or another, I always ended up alone


A hopeful heart can become so very jaded

Leaving that feeling of hope worn out & faded

Would it always be this way for me?

Making mistake after mistake, never knowing how great love could be


When I met you, I was not sure what to think

My belief in a love everlasting for me had already begun to shrink

But while your shyness was found by some to be alarming

In the end, I found it to be quite charming


It took time for us to bond, to become friends

But others said they knew for awhile how it would end

They said they knew we’d end up together one day

How they saw it before we did, I still can not say


But I am glad that they were right

Since you came into my life, within me I found a new light

You’re my very best friend, the first one I go to

The one who always cheers me on & in difficult times, gets me through


When you stand with me, I feel confident & strong enough

To become a better me, to accomplish my goals, no matter how tough

When I see your handsome face, my eyes light up the night’s sky

Being with you makes my heart feel like it has wings, like it could fly


Thank you for believing in me, even when I am not sure I can

For reminding me you’re with me & that God has a plan

Thank you for being who you are & for all that you do

Know that for as long as I live, I will always love you

You Set Me Free


For years, I wandered through the ashes of my past

Dwelling on pain, guilt, & heartaches that I thought would forever last

“Will I ever be able to move on, from my yesterdays be set free?”

I cried out to anyone who was willing to hear me


Scattered memories lingered deep within my mind

I just couldn’t seem to find a way to leave them behind

There too was laughter, light, & love among the remains

But the darkest memories sang the loudest of refrains


As much as I yearned for peace, for the ability to again trust

I was afraid of getting hurt and thought I’d forever deal with a world so unjust

At arms length, I thought it best to hold any promises of hope & love

Though silently, I prayed for things to change, hoping You’d hear me from above


Over the years, doubt, hurt, guilt, & fear have been losing their hold

It’s in Him that I have found the ability to be courageous & bold

To tell the evil that both surrounds and lives within me to get out

I do still falter now & then, but most days I am able to push away the fear & doubt


I look around me now & see a future so very bright

You have shown me the way by shining Your great light

I am not alone, for You are always with me

And now I want all to know that from my past, You’ve set me free

God, Lead The Way Each Day


As the cold clings to my bones

Refusing to let its hold on me go

The sun shines, radiating off me a golden glow

Renewing within me a fierce hope


I have faced worse than this

And always have made it through

I know that there is joy in the days ahead

Realizing this, I no longer face this day with dread


Reflecting silently upon my life as it is

It’s not as hopeless as it might seem now and then

Even now, with the difficulties that lay before me

There is so much to be thankful for, more than I sometimes see


For every thing I can complain about

There is twice that at least that I can be grateful for

We can easily get wrapped up in the woes we face

It’s not always so easy to remember the beauty, love, & grace


But here I stand today, looking up at the sun

And instead of complaining about the cold chill in the air

Somehow I am able to be thankful for that great golden light

Today, I will fight all doubts, insecurities, and fear with all of my might


Each day, new struggles arise in the world

As the sun rises, I also face the demons from within

Sometimes I will fall flat on my face, not sure I can last the day

But, as each sun sets, I’ll see I made it because God led the way

The Key To Happiness….



The key to happiness can’t be found in someone else’s possession. It should be on a chain around your own neck, ready to open any door you’re ready to walk through to make your dreams come true. No one is in charge of your life, your dreams, or your happiness but you. If you want to do something or go somewhere, then do it. Don’t look for validation or ask for permission when it comes to what you do with your life. Yes, we should think of other’s feelings, not be crass or rude, but when it comes to your life….don’t let others call the shots. Don’t make excuses. Don’t look to friends, family, or even your spouse/partner to take charge of your life. If you want to be happy, it’s on you to make it happen. It’s your life, remember that. ❤

My sentiment for today, for my love….


I don’t want the world in my pocket. I don’t yearn to climb the highest mountain or slide down a majestic rainbow. I don’t want you to give me the sun, the stars, or the moon….though being with you does make my eyes light up like the night’s sky. What I want, I already have and that’s your love. ❤

The Perceptions Square

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In happiness my words I lack, in grief they overflow.

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