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Posts tagged ‘respect’

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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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.

A New Venture

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I have been passionate about photography since I was given my first camera, which was my mom’s old 35mm. For quite some time now, I have been thinking about having a photography business of my own. Capturing lifelong memories is an incredible thing, in my mind. Over time, our memories fade and pictures are one way to revisit and renew them for us.

Well, I finally decided to go for it. I created a Facebook business page for my work, been putting the word out to family and friends on there, and now I am reaching out to my WordPress family! Help me spread the word and get my business going! I want to capture precious moments for as many people as I can.

My mission statement, if you will, is to create lifelong memories and to do it with honor, integrity, and love. I want my heart to show in every picture I take and for everyone who has my work on their walls and in their photo albums to know that they’re more than just clients. Each person I work with will be treated with respect and compassion.

My goal is to be a great photographer, always learning and to be a good mom at the same time. I have a four and a half month old daughter that is my light. I didn’t spend nearly enough time with my son when he was small and I regret that. I want to make sure she has that time and energy. I feel this is a job I can work around my husband’s work schedule most times and also be able to take her with me when I can’t. I want her early years to be full of memories of time spent with me, learning and growing. I also want to do something that will help add income to our household at the same time and feel good about myself and the work I do at the same time.

Thank you in advance for your never ending support. You, my amazing friends and family, inspire me daily to do and become more. Every step forward is partially in thanks to each of you.

Here is the link to my site if you want to check it out and share it with others: Carissa Gray Photography

Now, go out and make the most of today! Capture each precious moment!

The War on Valentine’s Day

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People have varying opinions about Valentine’s Day and Sweetest Day. Now that we have social media, those opinions are flooded all over the internet. One can’t possibly escape seeing them, unless they choose not to be online.

My own views about such days have changed over the years. I was once one who longed to have someone to celebrate it with and do the cute and romantic things. Usually, I was single and I tended to be bitter about it. The exception to that has been that I would still make it special for my son. Even though a lot of the ads and deals are about couples, those days aren’t only meant for couples to celebrate. It’s supposed to be about celebrating love in general.

My views later changed to feeling that it’s just another way for stores and restaurants to make money. I also felt that so many are just greedy and want another excuse to get more stuff. Whenever I would see someone brag about what their sweetheart did for them or complain because they didn’t do enough, I rolled my eyes. Shouldn’t love be about more than just what we can get from others? Is it really so superficial? Do we really need presents to show love to one another?

I still held onto that view, for the most part, even after I got together with my now husband. I am the hopeless romantic type, but I also felt that I didn’t need grand gestures to know how he felt about me and he most certainly didn’t expect them from me either. For the most part, I felt that the greatest gifts you can give or receive are time, energy, and love. Gifts are nice, but they’re not what’s most important.

While I still feel that way, I have also come to see that putting down those who wish to celebrate it isn’t a healthy way to look at things. Since days like these are supposed to be about celebrating those you love, how can I really tell someone they’re foolish for wanting to celebrate them? I think if you wish to do something nice for those you love, do it and don’t feel shame in doing so.

If you’re one that hates those days simply because you’re single and will feel ignored, I would urge you to remember an earlier point that I made, those days aren’t just about couples. You can still celebrate with friends and family as well and have them be meaningful. There were a few years when I was single that I did just that, bought candy and cute little things that didn’t cost much for people at work, my son, others in my family, and my friends. It’s not about how much you spend or if you even spend anything at all. You can make handmade cards and gifts if you want to do something nice. It’s about the thought behind the gifts, not the gifts themselves.

That is something some forget and I am still highly annoyed with those who feel they’re entitled to amazing gifts and trips for these or any occasions really. My opinion on that sort of attitude is to stop being a spoiled brat and remember what your relationship is really about. If you want to celebrate, great, but don’t make it a competition between you and your partner or you and your friends, who can give or get the better gifts. Attitudes like that tarnish any positive meaning behind the holidays to begin with.

My husband and I don’t personally do much to celebrate them, because we feel that we don’t need those days to tell or show our love for one another. We’ve gone out to dinner a couple of times, but that’s been more or less of an excuse to not cook and do dishes than it is to celebrate the holidays. Some years, I admit that I have gotten a few little things for him. (Though other years, I have done nothing.) I am, as I mentioned, the romantic type. I haven’t done anything out of obligation, but out of a desire to give. I do random things through the year as well, just because. That’s just who I am, a giver. But, it’s about a lot more than that. He’s not been one to buy me anything. Do I feel less loved because he doesn’t buy me flowers or shower me with gifts? No and that’s because he shows me daily that he loves me.

Every day, he tells me he loves me. He kisses me every morning before he leaves for work (or going anywhere without me, even the grocery store.) and at night before we go to bed. (and plenty in between) We hold hands when walking somewhere or even when driving sometimes. He rubs my back randomly and now lately with my pregnancy, he’s been rubbing my feet too. He cuddles with me, tells me I am beautiful, and does things like take care of the housework when I am sick or having a very bad day. He worries about me, encourages me, and believes in me. So yeah, sometimes when people brag about the flowers they got on their anniversary or their birthday, I feel a tinge of jealousy. I will say this though, it doesn’t last long because I remember all that he does and how much he cares. He just shows it in different ways than some do.

That, to me, is the key in relationships. Know your partner, your friend, or family member. Don’t expect them to be someone they’re not and find the ways they show their love and loyalty and then cherish those things they do instead of being upset about the ways that they don’t. If you’re the type that celebrates and wants to make a big deal about holidays and other important days, great. But, if your partner isn’t, learn to accept it. Do not try to change them and don’t let them try to change you either. Like I said, for me, sometimes I still do little things because I want to. I know he won’t, but that’s fine. In that way, we’re very different. But, we accept one another as is. If the love isn’t strong enough that it’s too much of an issue, than perhaps it’s not a relationship worth staying in, only you can figure that out. Know your priorities and know theirs and whether they match, whether the bond you share is going to make it through the times when you don’t agree.

All in all, I am going to sum it up this way, Valentine’s Day and the like are days in which we can ignore them or celebrate them. Whatever you decide is your choice and you’re not wrong for whichever side you land on, just don’t try to get others to agree with you. If you want to celebrate, go for it and make it a day to remember. If not and you wish to treat it as any other day, then just make it the best day possible, as we should strive for every single day. Just be respectful of how others feel. 🙂

A Request From a Sensitive Heart

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When watching a movie I have seen so many times

I still cry when it gets to the emotional scenes

It was only a harmless joke, so my friend did say

Yet it still got to me in such a profound way

 

I often hear phrases like, “Why does that bother you so much?”

And another common one is, “Don’t take things so seriously.”

Berated for wearing my heart on my sleeve is a common occurrence

It’d be nice if now & then people instead offered respect & reassurance

 

I’m not necessarily asking you to walk on eggshells around me

My skin isn’t that unbelievably thin, I am not as fragile as I seem

So don’t hold the truth from me because you think it’s more than I can take

Highly sensitive I might be, but know this tender heart of mine won’t break

 

I just ask that if I take something more to heart than you might

To not put me down, to not sit there & call me weak

My sensitive nature isn’t really a bad thing after all

It helps me help others, once they’re ready to break down their wall

 

My compassionate nature & sensitivity go hand in hand

I am not ashamed of that, nor of who I am

We’re all made the way we were meant to be

So please stop trying to toughen my skin, stop trying to change me

Side By Side & Heart to Heart

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Oh might I just say that I love everything about you

Especially your heart that’s so giving, loyal, & true

I can say that I’ve seen you at your worst & at your very best

But even in your darkest hour, being loved by you leaves me feeling so blessed

 

And you love me as I am, never asking me to forsake my mind or my heart

Because our love is built upon mutual trust & respect, we’ll not be torn apart

For daily we work together on our relationship that’s worth it to defend

One where we walk side by side as one another’s lover and friend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the mother of a son who will one day date your daughter….

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It’s a longstanding “joke”, though not a joke in some cases, about a man who cleans his shotgun(s) and makes any man who takes his daughter out nervous, who lets the young man know that he is to respect her, not harm her, and have her home in time…and if he doesn’t, he knows he’ll learn the meaning of fear.

I am a mother and I don’t have daughters, just one unbelievably handsome son. On one hand, being a woman, I see wanting to protect your girls from men who would take advantage of them, who would harm them in any way. I have dated some lousy men in my past. As a parent in general, we don’t want to see our children get hurt, to end up friends with the wrong sort, to end up dating/married to an abusive person….and by abuse, I don’t just mean physical abuse. Verbal abuse is both mentally and emotionally damaging, which can also result in negative physical effects as well. We just want our children to be happy, long story short.

Well fathers, I am here to tell you that I am a mother of a son who is first instructing him how to treat others. I want him to have respect for his fellow man, to know how to treat his elders, how to treat his bosses, and how to treat women…with respect, dignity, and class. I want to make it perfectly clear to him that it is not acceptable to hit, talk down to, or mistreat another, especially women. I am also teaching him though that it is not okay to be walked all over just because he’s a nice guy. Men, some of your daughters aren’t so saintly and you need to realize it’s not always the man at fault when a relationship is unhealthy, when things go sour. Sometimes the women beat the men, talk down to them, use them, lie to them, cheat on them. It is not okay to treat others like this, no matter the gender. My son will know that if he should harm a woman, regardless of his age, he will still answer to me. I taught him better and he will be put in his place. However, should a woman hurt my son, she will find she’ll be answering to me too. 😉

Learning the hard way myself, I have seen that love can be a difficult journey….finding it, nurturing it, and keeping it alive. I do feel though that if two people work together that it is a beautiful path to take, to embark on as two souls who are somehow separate, and also one. I want my son to have that one day, with a woman who loves him as much as he loves her. I want them to grow together, bring out the best in one another, work together because it’s going to get rough at times, who will not give in at the first sign of stress. I want him to find someone who makes him laugh, who can be silly with him, who will accept him as he is as he accepts her as she is, who will treat my son with the respect he deserves….knowing that he too is a gentleman and respectful to her. I know it’s possible, one day, though for now…he’s busy being a 10 year old boy. But rest assured fathers of your lovely daughters, he’s being raised well, with proper values. When he comes to your door, know she is in good hands, that he will bring her home happy and unharmed….or you won’t have to even threaten to shoot him, he has to come home to me and that might just be worse. 😉

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