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Posts tagged ‘relationships’

When the Past Hurts Say Hello…

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Sometimes the past stays away for a long time and then unexpectedly knocks on the door, says hello, brings in their baggage, and wants to stay.

You hear a song, see something on TV, look at old pictures, find old things, have a conversation, read something, or have a dream that brings the memories of old to the surface. Though you’re living in the now, the past sometimes tugs at your sleeve, begging for your attention. Psst, don’t forget about me….

Sometimes our memories are pleasant, making us smile and laugh. Inside jokes, family gatherings, vacations, fun times with friends, your kid’s art projects and memorabilia collected throughout the years, something or someone that helped you grow and change for the better, firsts, buying your home, anniversaries of jobs, marriages, friendships, and so much more. While we should live for today, it’s okay to remember yesterday. It helped us become who we are today.

But sometimes, the memories and feelings they stir up are anything but pleasant. I had a moment like that this morning. Someone is celebrating their birthday tomorrow and dreads it each year, because they keep hoping their dad will acknowledge them and then is disappointed every time. I know this feeling. I share a birthday with my dad and he’s not once called, sent a letter, come to visit, asked me to visit, or done anything to wish me happy birthday. I’ve done so for him and every effort is ignored.

It’s hard to ignore the past when it’s part of your present. There’s still a part of me that longs for my dad’s love, effort to have a real relationship, and healing for all the pain over the years. Despite all he’s done, he’s my dad and I do love him. I think a part of him loves me, but sometimes I’m not really so sure.

I needed to lift myself out of the depression I felt trying to swallow me whole, but wasn’t sure how. I felt the tears coming and kept trying to stop them. I turn 40 this year and I still feel like a little girl begging my daddy to love me. How do I not dwell on this???

Some advice I gave this young person was though it’s easier said than done is to try to focus more on those who are there for them and less on those that aren’t. Advice can and is usually easier to give than take, but I knew I needed to try. I had just posted recently about moving forward, not staying in the past. I knew I owed it to myself and anyone I’ve given this advice to, to take it to heart myself.

A part of me does long for my dad’s love and attention, but if I dwell on that or anything else that I can’t control, I’ll be an emotional mess every day. I can’t control others or many situations, only myself and how I react to what happens. I may not have the affection I seek from him or many others, but I do get it from so many more. They show me love and it’s that love I should focus on, treasure, and give to them in return.

So, past and even present pain, I say this to you, you’re not welcome today. I will take your baggage for you, place it and you in an Uber, and send you on your way. You will not destroy me with your negativity, not today, no not today. I hope this helps even one of you who may be struggling this way yourself. May you know you are loved and use that as a light to get through to a good place. When the past hurts say hello, let us tell them goodbye.

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The right path isn’t always paved with gold….

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Sometimes the path most worn, most traveled looks like the safest and best one to follow. I mean, if many take this path, it can’t be bad, right? It looks easy and safe, so why not? I don’t have time for bumps, puddles, or any obstacles really, so I’ll just play it safe.

I have felt these things myself plenty over the years, but something I’ve often found is that taking the way most traveled or the seemingly easier path just led to more problems than I had before. Sometimes what we want most is not just so easy to get, but we can be an impatient sort, can’t we? 😉

I’ve heard people say that if it’s worth it, it’s going to take patience and hard work. Now and then, we do happen upon good things, but often, we do need to work for it and we have to be willing to wait. Sometimes, we’ll stumble, fall, and end up looking and feeling pretty worn out and sometimes we’ll even end up not getting what we want. But when failure, rejection, or disappointment leaves us feeling defeated, we shouldn’t give up. No one gets everthing right the first time or even the 50th and really, no one gets everything they want period.

We all face hearing no, not getting our way, not getting something right, failure, and disappointment. The most successful aren’t those that seemingly get things right every single time or who have it all. They’re those that have felt defeated and let down, but kept on going. They are the ones who don’t quit and the ones who know that it’ll be worth it in the end to travel that bumpy road.

I sometimes want to make a break for the smooth path for a bit, to catch my breath, but I just end up swimming through raging currents in the end. With each wrong step, I try to see them as lessons now. And now, instead of feeling ashamed, I use them as tools to inspire others. We all fall, knowing that can be uplifting, when we see how they made it through. I know that’s been the case for me, so I want to do the same for you.

Whether you’re on high ground, feeling pretty good or stuck in a ditch, feeling hopeless, never forget, neither one lasts. We can all help one another too, remember that as well. We can use our journey, the good parts and the bad ones, to inspire others. You use your success or your failures to help someone. The one who is hurting can see that you’ve struggled and that you have found your way out and the one who is doing well can use that as well, to fuel their journey onward and upward.

What we want may not cone easily or at all, but we ought to keep trying and throughout, let our stories help one another. May we give hope, courage, compassion, and love to those around us and may we be willing to accept it when given in return. It certainly makes things a lot better, to have others to share your journey with.

Another year gone, another just beginning…

2017 is over, wow. I remember the 1980’s, how is it 2018 now? *shakes head* Last year was a roller coaster of highs and lows, as I suppose is true of every year.

My son has been struggling. He’s been getting into trouble, so much acting out and defiance. He’s unhappy at his dad’s, which I know is part of the reason he’s been in trouble. I think he’s got mental health issues, which his dad isn’t dealing with. Part of it too is he’s just not making good choices. We have court soon to try to switch primary placement back to me. I’m hoping the judge sees that a change is needed, that him coming home is what’s best for him. In the end, I think it’ll be what’s best for everyone. I’m tired of watching my son suffer and I’m tired of watching him throw his future away. I hope 2018 brings change for the better for him. He’s a bright young man that can have a wonderful future, but things need to get turned around somehow.

My daughter turned one last year and now she’s nearly two. She’s grown, learned, and changed so much. She’s so inquisitive and I love watching her figure things out. She’s gotten sassier, those terrible two days have come. But even with the challenges, it’s been a great year with her. I love spending my days with her. Her laugh is contagious! When she smiles at me, wants to cuddle, plays with me, shows me she’s understanding what I’m saying, or does something new, it makes my day better. I can hardly wait to see how she grows and learns this year.

My marriage hit a couple of bumps, as have our finances, but we’ve tackled everything head on, together. We’ve faced loss, the death of his grandma hit his family, the death of my aunt hit mine and I’ve lost friends. It’s been hard, but we’ve helped one another get through each day. Marriage, parenthood, and all relationships are maintained one moment, one day at a time. I think 2018 will be better, because we work to make it so.

My first year in business went far beyond my expectations. I met so many wonderful people, some of whom became friends. I’ve learned a lot and aim to continue learning. I expanded my studio, so I can accommodate bigger families. I started doing weddings, newborn sessions, cake smash sessions, adult milestone sessions, etc. I hope to add more styles/types of sessions to my repertoire. I’m excited to see where 2018 takes me and my business.

Here’s to an incredible year we’ve left, may the lessons we’ve learned and great memories we’ve made stay with us. Here’s to a great year ahead, may we continue to learn, grow, and enjoy life while we can.

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.

The Cost of Empathy

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Most of the time, I feel my ability to empathize with others is a valuable trait. To be able to put myself in one’s situation and allow myself to feel as if I was going through whatever is going on has helped me help others. It, in many ways, is really a blessing. Empathy and sympathy are two different animals and not many realize that. To sympathize is simply to feel bad for someone and to empathize is to truly feel the sorrow, pain, anger, frustration, and so on yourself. Not everyone is able to empathize with others and when you’re able to use that ability to help someone and it’s successful, it’s an amazing feeling.

Sometimes though, it takes a lot out of you when you feel too much and often times, there’s not much you can do to get away from that. Sometimes seeing or hearing about bad things happening around the world will get to you. When there’s so much weighing on you, it can pull you into pits of despair. Sometimes that very thing we may call a blessing one day, well it can feel like a curse the next. It can be really hard to separate yourself from the pain that surrounds you, especially when you yourself have things going on.

When you’re struggling, some may even tell you it’s okay to take a step back from everyone else and focus on your own life and while you know on some level that they’re right, this overwhelming sense of guilt haunts you. “But they need me! What if I can help?” And doesn’t it sometimes help us when we’re able to help others? Yes, sometimes helping another can heal your own soul and what a gift that is. Sometimes though, it can be too much to handle. How though, do you convince yourself to actually put yourself first?

There is a great cost to one’s self when you empathize with others. We don’t always see it or wish to acknowledge it. Sometimes we feel that is why we’re here, to help others so that they’re not alone, so that we might do some good in this world, especially when there’s so much hate surrounding us. But to open yourself up and allowing other’s lives to touch your own and get to you, well it changes you. It can become depressing, keep you up at night, make it hard to eat or push you eat too much, cause crying fits you don’t always understand, and cause damage to your well-being and relationships. People may ask, “Why do you always put other’s needs ahead of your own?” “Why can’t you tell people no?”

Some find their ability to empathize a great strength, for it takes a lot to be able to do this. To make yourself vulnerable really does take courage not everyone possesses. Some though, they feel it is a weakness to make yourself a “slave” to others emotionally, if you will. Some feel that it makes you weak to be that vulnerable, to feel that much, and to allow it to drag you down. I feel, after really thinking about it these many years, that it is both, for me at least. I think it can make me strong, especially when it allows me to truly help another, to make things better for someone, even if just a little. I hate seeing people in pain, of any kind, especially those closest to me. If I can help ease their pain at all, I am glad to do it, most days. There are times when I feel it does hinder me though. There are times when I feel like it’s too much and that it’s taking its toll on me. Sometimes I do feel weakened by it.

I will admit that there are times when there is so much going on and my mind feels as if it’s going to come unhinged. And while there’s some feelings of guilt for “abandoning” people who need me, sometimes I admit it is best when I shut myself out from those around me so that I can focus on me for a moment, so I can think and sort things out. Sometimes I need a breather, some time to relax and let the stress levels come down. Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever needed to walk away from everyone else for a little bit so that you could fix your own problems? Have you ever felt so dragged down by what everyone around you is going through that you feel like you’re about to lose control of yourself? What do you do when you feel these things? And how do you convince yourself that you’re not being a bad friend or relative? How do you convince yourself that it’s okay to look out for you before others sometimes?

Mostly, I do feel being, what some call an Empath, is a good thing. But yeah, it really can cost you. The trick is to find a healthy balance, but often times we don’t know how to achieve that. I think it’s a learning process, one we may never fully succeed at, but perhaps get better at as the years go by. Here’s to learning, growing, helping  one another, and yet not neglecting ourselves. May we get even a little bit better each day and finding ways to improve both our lives and those around us.

Happy New Year

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Another year is gone and a new one has began. A new chapter has started, it’s time to make these 365 pages, well 364 now, count. Things will happen that are out of our control and we’re bound to face loss, death, illness, and so on. But, that doesn’t mean we have to let the bad circumstances we find ourselves faced with bring us down. They say our lives are what we make of it, so I am trying to keep that in mind as I wake up each day. I am ready to face this new year head on, are you? 🙂

No excuses, no blaming the past, no pointing the finger at someone else, and no giving up! Let’s see what we want to achieve and begin, one step at a time – Rome wasn’t built in a day they say, and make things happen. Want to publish a book, start a business, go back to school, move, get a new job, find love, make new friends, strengthen the relationships you already have, or maybe even just something like dye your hair and do something to feel better about yourself? Whatever it is you have in mind for 2017, you’re in the driver’s seat, so go on and make things happen! Now, I need to take my own advice! Happy New Year, friends! Let’s make this one great!

A Journey to Becoming Me

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I was determined to avoid looking like I’d just rolled out of bed 20 minutes ago and thought I was doing well too. That was until I was in the café I frequently went to, waiting for my friend to arrive, and looked in the decorative mirror on the wall and saw chunks of sleep in my eyes.

I looked around, feeling a bit embarrassed, to see if anyone was watching. When I was satisfied that everyone was busy, either glued to their smart phones, eating, or staring off into their own little worlds, I hurriedly got the gunk out of my eyes and checked the mirror a few times until I succeeded.

I was zoned out, thinking about nothing in particular, when I heard a loud clutter of pans hit the floor in the kitchen. Looking up from my reverie, I could see the cook putting one on the counter and heard him muttering to himself. Well, it appears as if I’m not the only one having a rough morning.

My friend is nearly never late, wonder where she is, it’s been almost been 45 minutes. I hear the rumbling my stomach is making and begin contemplating ordering my food. It’s a good thing I’m a regular here or I’m sure they would have been done with me just drinking cup after cup of coffee.

An hour and a half has gone by since I arrived and I’ve decided it’s time to eat. I look for Sasha, so I can place my order.

“Hey, Sasha, I don’t think Autumn is coming. I’m just going to go ahead and order now.” I told her once I’d gotten her attention.

“Sounds good, Felicity, your usual then?” she grinned.

“Actually, I was just thinking it’s time to be a little less predictable. So, let’s make it French toast today.” I smiled back.

“They say change is the spice of life.” Sasha said and winked at me.

“Yeah, it could be. I’m just tired of my days feeling like I’m a part of Groundhogs Day. I need to shake things up a bit.” I said with what was sure to be my infamous grimace.

“I hear ya, girl, I hear ya. So, any other changes you plan on making today?” she asked.

“I’m not sure, might just start small.” I said thoughtfully.

“Well, we all have to start somewhere.” she said and went to greet a new customer.

I was halfway through eating when Autumn rushed over and sat down. She had dry tear stains and smudged makeup on her face. Oh, there’ll be a good explanation for her being late, no doubt.

“Hey, sorry I’m late, Fel. I had a very rough morning and last night wasn’t so great either.” she started.

“I can tell. What did Nick do this time?” I asked, trying not to sound insensitive. I really don’t like that guy at all, but he hangs the moon and stars in her eyes. Still, after five years of this, you’d think she’d have tired of it by now. 

“Really, girl, really?” she said with a touch of anger. After a brief pause, she continued on.

“Okay, so I suppose that wasn’t uncalled for. But, this time it has nothing to do with him. He’s actually away on business and so he hasn’t been around to pick fights. No, this is far more serious than our little spats. I found out my cousin, James, you remember him don’t you? Well anyway, I found out he’s in need of kidney replacement and he’s pretty low on the wait list. I’m scared for him. He’s looking to come here to wait and for the surgery. I want to help him, but he and Nick really don’t get along, I mean, worse than you two. I don’t know what to do.” she said, sounding stressed out.

Well. I do have a spare room. But, he and I dated years ago, only briefly and she doesn’t know about that, so I don’t know if that’s a wise idea. But, the more I look at Autumn and see how worried she is about him, the more I decide that perhaps I should help.

“Hun, I have a spare room, as you know, and I can easily put my art stuff elsewhere for a little while to give him somewhere to stay for awhile.” I told her, half hoping she wouldn’t take me up on my offer.

“Oh, Fel, that is wonderful of you to offer! I’ll text him right now and tell him! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Have I told you that you’re the best lately?” She smiled brightly.

“Not since Tuesday, so I think you were overdue.” I smiled warmly back at her. Well, so much for starting small, I thought, stuffing more French toast in my mouth.

 

 

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