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Posts tagged ‘self-esteem’

Shine On


Shrouded in darkness, unable to find the light

Told by many that she’d never amount to much

So for years, she remained mostly out of sight

Too afraid of being seen, of failing, and such


Somewhere in the dark, someone found her

He showed her that there is joy within the sun

That life is not meant to be lived in a hazy blur

But instead is to be enjoyed, to actually have fun


More so, He taught her about a forever love

That there’s one who would always be there, no matter how dark it became

And that there’s beauty and worth within her, recognized from up above

A worth that would burn brighter than the most fiery flame


He called her to be seen and heard

If she’d but open her heart and trust

She found truth within His word

Letting go so she could move forward was a must


Shine on, for you have a great future ahead

No longer shall you live a life void of light

A life within the sun, that’s what He said

Spread your beautiful wings and take flight


The Art of Self Love


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. 💞

Confidence Breeds Success, Conceit Undoes It.


There is a difference between being confident and being conceited. Many suffer from a low self-esteem, myself included. It is good to see the good within, to love yourself, and take pride in what you do. But there is a fine line between having a healthy sense of self worth and being arrogant.

Something else that troubles me sometimes is when people feel the need to tear others down to build themselves up. There isn’t a need to do this, not even when say businesses are in direct competition with one another. That is part of why I hate to watch political debates or ad campaigns. Even simple advertising for products we all buy put down the competitors. Why can’t people or companies simply put their best foot forward and let their work speak for itself?

Comparing your work to others to make a sale or win a vote seems to be a smart move,  but when doing so blatantly puts the others down, that honestly just takes away any interest I may have originally had in you or your product. Everyone has their own philosophy, but mine is, if you want my business, you will earn it by being hardworking, respectable, honest, and be able to show me the talent you possess WITHOUT putting down the talents of others.


Blind to the Beauty Within

purple butterfly

She saw the beauty in everything around her

Even in the places where many couldn’t

In a rotted tree, a wounded bird, and even in death

She had this ability to see the good in all around her

And yet she couldn’t recognize it in herself.

Appreciating where you are….

IMG_0154(2) (532x800)

I was inspired by Evan‘s blog today. Sometimes it is hard to give yourself credit for where you currently are in life because we’re often too busy dwelling on where we want to be instead of where we are now, what we have already accomplished. I am so guilty of doing that, so busy focusing on what I haven’t yet achieved. I beat myself up too much mentally, so many of us do, perhaps without even realizing it. We can be our worst critics and find it hard to accept praise when we feel we could have done so much better or that we should be in a better place than where we are.

If you met up with my 16 year old self and asked me where I’d be when I am my current age of 34, I would have given you an answer like this: I’d have graduated college, be working a job I really love, be happily married, and have two or three kids. I’d be the soccer mom, taking her kids to their practices, still busy writing and maybe even have something published, be active in church and probably a member of the choir, and just have an overall busy and successful life.

If you’d asked me that same question when I was 25, I’d probably has said: I know I didn’t do it as early as I’d planned, but I will still be done with school, working a decent job, maybe happily married, at least happily dating a wonderful man who accepts my son, still writing and maybe have something published, and hopefully busy with music, church, etc.

If you’d asked me this when I was 30, I’d have said: I will either be done with school or at least nearly finished, be working a good job, losing hope on the happily ever after thing…but still hoping somehow though that I have found the right guy, working on my writing, be busy with church and music, hoping to have more time with my son, and just trying to do the best that I can.

Here I am now at 34, not exactly where I’d envisioned myself. I, for so long, berated myself as many other people did for not being successful, for not being like so many others in my family. This last year has changed a lot, not just my circumstances, but how I view myself, my past, my present, and my future. I may not have a degree, a husband, any of my writing published, and so on, BUT…I have accomplished quite a bit.

My 20-23 year old self was consumed with being accepted, hanging out with the wrong people, getting into trouble, and not being responsible. My 24-28 year old self was slowly getting her act together, but still had a long way to go. My 29-33 year old self was beginning to feel better about where I was headed. So, where am I now?

I am starting school, been accepted and everything, in April. Everything with my grandma since July of 2012 has been so trying and the old me would have given up a long time ago. I have had my moments of weakness, but I have pulled through. I have an amazing boyfriend, one whom I truly believe I will be marrying one day. He is amazing with my son, treats me with such respect and love, and is good to my friends and family. I am still writing and now sharing it with more people than I ever have before. I am connecting more with God than I have in a long time, keeping my faith alive…which has got me through so much. I am much braver when it comes to my music. I even auditioned for America’s Got Talent last year via YouTube. I didn’t get anywhere, but I did try.

I am bolder, more confident, more responsible, more comfortable with who I am, and am truly proud of all I have overcome and achieved. I may not be where I want to be, but I am a lot closer than I have ever been. I don’t see a failure when I look in the mirror anymore. I see someone who is trying, someone who is capable of doing such great things, someone who has already accomplished a great deal, someone who is worthy of respect, success, and love. It was a long road, I tripped, and fell many times along the way. Here I stand now, dust brushed off, and ready to keep moving forward.

Where will I be when I am 40 or even 35 when I have my birthday this year? I really couldn’t say. I have dreams and goals, which I will pursue. I will also though remember to live in the moment that is now. Where I am now is not bad and I must remember that. My wish for all of you is that you can do the same.

Hello again!

I haven’t posted in a few days. Shocker, huh? 😉 I have been so busy I haven’t found the time to read posts or make my own. It feels so weird not having sat down checking it throughout the day for four days. 😉 I hadn’t even been on my Facebook account all that much. Oh no! *laughs*

In my four day absence, I have been busy running errands, job hunting, spending time with friends, and making some changes in my life. The biggest change happening for me right now is that I am joining the gym with my boyfriend. He’s going to put me on his account and I will have the minimal membership for $10 a month, but it includes everything I need. I will be able to come in, do my cardio, do some lifts, and work on my goals whenever I want…so I am set.

In early 2004, I was 104 and I went on the birth control shot. I didn’t gain much of anything in that first year, maybe six pounds or so. 110 didn’t bother me much. I had been 108 before I got pregnant in 2002. In 2005, I began to hit 130 and then I was freaking out. When you’ve been so small your whole life, it’s difficult to adjust to this. In early 2006, I was about 140. I was getting so upset, but I liked the effects of the shot otherwise. I didn’t know what to do. By early 2008, I was 169. I had had it. My asthma had gotten so bad and I was so depressed by the weight I’d put on. So, I got off the shot and also met with my doctor who helped me start a food journal. I went from 169 down to 146 in four or five months just by changing my eating habits, exercising more, and even just doing things like parking further away when somewhere just to get that extra push. I was beginning to feel good.

Somewhere in there, I got on a different form of birth control to try to regulate my cycle and help with the pains I was getting. Between that and a huge bought of depression, I went from 146 to 180. I look back at pictures of me from 2009-2010 and feel horrible. In 2010, that is when my huge bought of depression had sunk in. I moved to Appleton to try to have equal time with my son. I got screwed over and I just wasn’t fitting in, though to be honest, I had no desire to do so. I lost my job there and in the end, came back to the Milwaukee area. It was early 2011 when I moved back home, mid-February I began the process and by March 1st, I was done. I had a job within three weeks of being home and was starting to feel so much better. The next time I weighed myself, I was 163. From 180, that felt like progress. The job I had kept me on my feet 95% of the time and I was still trying to get other forms of exercise in like bowling league on Mondays. I felt pretty good about things. I was dropping a little at a time, 163 to 158 first I noticed. Then I was 148 when I finally looked again, then down to 145. I was about 138 when all was said and done. It was about September of 2012 then. I lost my job in July of ’12, but then I was working on the house almost non-stop to get it ready to bring Grandma home.

Since late October, early November, I noticed I was gaining weight again because of how my clothes weren’t fitting. When I last looked at the doctor the other day, I saw I was 158. Despite bowling every Tuesday since October and every other Sunday since September, I had gotten lazier in between. My eating habits haven’t been great either, have had a lot of fast food since beginning dating Doug because it’s been convenient for us on league nights and when we just feel like grabbing something to eat. I have been cooking a lot more too, but not enough. Winter has also played a role in it, with my depression being worse and not feeling up to doing much. 

Well, I finally had it. I am tired of looking at my body and wanting to cry. I am also tired of being so out of shape. My asthma gets so much worse when I am heavier. Getting winded this easily doesn’t sit well with me. I have a 10 year old son who is full of energy, like I once was, ha ha. I want to be in shape so I can at least somewhat keep up with him. 😉 I have a nearly 25 year old boyfriend who is in a lot better shape than I am. When I was 25, I had the same high metabolism. 😉 It also helps that spring is on its way! My mood has been lifting. The mania is hard to deal with, but I have been channeling it into getting things done. We’re going to keep bowling, find a summer league when our other two finish up. Like I mentioned before, going to be going to the gym with Doug, about two to three times a week. Also, I have decided to cut out fast food, what little soda I drink, and cut way back on the alcohol consumption. I need to get back to eating veggies and fruits like I used to do and learn to portion my meals better. Just because I can eat a whole Jack’s pizza doesn’t mean I should. 😉 I don’t fry anything, all broiling and baking. I eat whole wheat bread and I make sure wheat is in the first ingredients on the label. I am cutting back on sweets and going to work on moderation. There is no reason I can’t have ice cream or chips, but not like I have been eating them.

I am going to get to my goal this time, 130. I no longer wish to be 104 or even 110. I want to have curves and look like a woman. 130 would be about perfect for me. When I was 138 or so, I was feeling so close to where I wanted to be. I was so much healthier and I felt better about myself looking in the mirror too. I was about a size nine and that’s not bad, got a lot of compliments on how well I’d been taking care of myself. If I happen to hit 138 or so again and that seems to be my limit, I’d actually be alright with it. 

I am also working more on my publishing goals. A couple of friends of mine said they know people who can help me out, so I am going to compile some of my best poetry and see where this takes me. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, writing is a huge part of my life. I know I need to do more with it than I have been. I will keep you all posted on any developments. I also need to find time to work on my stories, can’t forget about them this time. 😉 I am hoping this is a year of major developments in my writing career!

Doug and I celebrate five months together tomorrow! I am so excited! It’s also my niece’s second birthday and we’re going up there to celebrate with her. Doug will finally get to meet my siblings, step-mom, etc. It should be interesting to say the least! I get to see my family, celebrate with my precious niece, and get to see how my family and Doug get along. He’s met some family on my mom’s side and that’s gone over well, so not really worried about well it will go over, just wonder how interesting things will get. 😉 

I love Doug more and more every single day. Being with my best friend has been amazing. The connection we have isn’t something I can explain. I love how we work together to better ourselves and us as a couple. I love that we communicate, compromise, and stick together. Is it really so wrong that after five months, there hasn’t been any problems between us other than minor annoyances?

I know some of that will change when we actually live together. It’s pretty close now, spending roughly four to five nights together, but I know it’s not the same. Having a toothbrush and few random things at the other’s place isn’t quit the same as actually living together, am not naive enough to think it is. However, if we keep working together as we do, which I believe we will, then I know we will make things work. We already talk about things like cleaning, helping one another out, having our own identity be represented in the home, etc. We know we can’t be fully prepared for how it will be, but we want to at least be as ready as we can be. He’s messy, I know this already. I am a neat freak and have major O.C.D. issues with being overly tidy and organized, he knows this already. 😉 We work together on it. We embrace our differences as well as our similarities. For the first time in my life, I finally am getting this relationship thing right. It’s about us, not just him or me. We share in our sorrows and struggles, as well as our joys and triumphs. We don’t always agree on things, but we talk about them and try to understand where the other one is coming from. When a compromise can be made, we do it and when one can’t be, we respect the other and don’t put them down for how they feel.

He’s nine years my junior and yet in some ways he is more mature than I am. He is traditional, down to earth, respectful, hardworking, and very stable. I admire him so much. He sees past the bi-polar, the O.C.D., my random quirkiness, and sees the heart of me. We both love God with our whole hearts and want to honor Him. We’re both tied strongly to our families and to our friends. Our core values are the same and that is huge. We’re both stubborn, but he has more patience than I do, for most things. He is simply outstanding with my son. My son adores him, largely because Doug spends time with him, talks to him, and really wants to be a part of his life. Seeing me happy helps, I know my kiddo just wants me to be happy like his dad is with his step-mom.

Well, Jason and I are finally getting there! We’re both in positive relationships and along with getting older and maturing, it’s gotten easier for he and I to work together to parent our son. That helps with my stress too, not constantly fighting with him. I think things are finally going to be alright and Zach’s stress should ease now as well. Knowing we couldn’t stand the other had to have been hard for our son to watch. I never wanted Zach in the middle all of this. All I have ever wanted is to work with his dad so that he can have a good life. I am so happy we’re finally doing this, it’s great for us and a lot less stressful and most importantly, best for Zach.

All I really need to now to fall into place is to have a steady income. Between working on my writing being published and job hunting, God will provide the way. God has a plan for me. Sometimes I wish He’d flash neon signs in the right direction, but that’s not how it goes often times. He is speaking, I just need to sometimes quiet everything around me and listen. The way will show itself. Overall, I am blessed. My life is so much better than it’s ever been. Sometimes it’s difficult with Grandma, Zach won’t behave, or I wonder how a bill will get paid….but it all works out in the end. Each struggle too makes me appreciate the joys in my life. 

So, there’s my update for you! I hope all is going well in the land of WordPress! Enjoy the weekend, spend time with those you love if you can! Me time is great too and if you do get some of that, make the most of it…especially for those who get so little of it. 😉 Much love to all of you!

Find the beauty within



Seeing one’s own beauty and worth can be difficult. The world around us is good at making us feel like we’re less than what we should be. If you lose weight, get your breasts done, wear make-up, wear clothes that flatter your curves, talk the way people want you to talk, get the job people expect you to have, gain weight in some cases, befriend those high on the popularity throne, and simply put…do as your told, then maybe, just maybe you’ll be worth something, be found beautiful/handsome, get where you want in life. So many people spend so much time trying to please others, trying to be what others want them to be, even though it violates their very core. There is so much fake now a days. It’s become hard to see the true beauty in those around us, in ourselves.

It’s not wrong to want friends, acceptance, to be loved, to want to find our soul mates, or to want people to be proud of us. However, when we lose ourselves to achieve any of this, then that’s when we have violated the natural order of things, committed a crime against ourselves. Deceiving others in the name of anything is just wrong. It’s just so hard to not give in sometimes though, is it not?

That beautiful girl, if I just change who I am, she will be mine. She is so intriguing, lovely, intelligent, and wonderful. Surely sacrificing my integrity, morals, and interests is worth it, right? If I can hold her in my arms, all will be well, right? That dream job, making it big, all they want me to do is become someone that can sell records and to do that, I just have to change everything. But then, I will be rich, famous, everyone will know who I am, and I will get to be on stage, where I belong. So, it’s a small price to pay at the end of the day, right? If I lose weight, change the way I dress, and pretend not to like school, then maybe the boys at school will notice me and the girls will stop teasing me. It’s hard going home at night, crying because I am never invited to the parties and never asked out on a date. I don’t really like those girls, but I’d rather be one of them than all alone. 

The world around us expects us to be a certain way. Do this or do that and we will all be accepted, loved, adored, noticed. Don’t be comfortable in your own skin, that’s just not right! Be like me and you’ll be cool! Be you and be shunned!!! I know that’s not true of everyone. I know there are a lot of people out there who accept another for who they are, but there are so many out there who don’t.

I urge you to find the beauty within. Change isn’t always bad, it just depends on the change and why you’re doing it. I want to lose weight, but not because the media says I’m fat. I don’t care if I look like a model or can wear a size two anymore. I simply want to be healthy, toned, able to keep up with my 10 year old son. I want to know what I am putting into my body is good for me. I want to take care of the vessel that God gave me. I will do it naturally, as I have been. There won’t be pills, diet fads, starving myself, etc. I have been trying to eat healthier, workout, park further away on purpose just to get some exercise, etc. I joined bowling league, two of them. I am doing this for me and my health, not for a guy or for anyone else. 

If you want to change your wardrobe, weight, job, appearance, etc, do it for you. If your main reason(s) for change is to please others, re-evaluate things. To have another’s true acceptance anyhow, you need to be you or you will forever wonder if they like you for you or something else. Living with doubt is not fun and really not necessary. Be true to yourself and the right people will accept you. Those who don’t accept you don’t need to be a part of your life.

Again, find the beauty within, both inside and out. Love who you are and let that confidence show. I have been told for years that confidence is a huge turn on, as long as it doesn’t become conceit. Those who constantly put themselves down aren’t going to get the attention they want, not going to get where they want to be. Clinging to pity isn’t healthy either. Find a way to hold your head up high. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re worth something, no matter how others treat you. Show your talents, find a way to use them. Be proud of your abilities: Drawing, sculpting, singing, writing, driving, cooking, cleaning, raising a family, sewing, designing, playing a sport, playing an instrument, being a good listener, taking care of animals, and so on. We’re all good at something and even the things that often get overlooked are important. Being good to those around you is a talent so many people don’t possess and even more don’t value it. Whatever your talent(s) might be, use them for good and let yourself shine. Let your vibrant light shine.

I try to find beauty in everyone, even those that are so hard to find it in. We’re all here for a reason, all have worth. I sometimes get laughed at for those I befriend. I don’t hang out with anyone just to up my cool points. If you and I have a connection, if you’re a good person, if you mean something to me…then it doesn’t matter what anyone around me thinks. And of the people I just don’t like, I still try to see them as God would. They are worth something, perhaps not much to me, but to God and to others. Putting others down doesn’t lift me up. I am going to keep trying to see the beauty, even when it might be so hard to see.

I know my worth. For years, I had very little confidence in myself. I have been scolded for putting myself down, for being too hard on myself. It’s taken years to see my own beauty. Kids at school made me feel ugly, stupid, unimportant, and unworthy of friendship. I let them determine my worth. I am now strong enough to see past what others think. I see myself as a beautiful woman, both inside and out. I have a compassionate and loving soul who wants those around me to be happy and successful and when they’re not, I do what I can to help, even if it’s just being someone to vent to. I am a talented writer, always with room for growing and improving, but talented none the less. We can all grow and improve, can we not? There is no such thing as being the best, in my opinion, because even “the best” can improve. I am a talented singer and photographer. I am great with details, planning, and organization. I am worth a lot, to others and finally to myself.

Do you see your worth? I hope that you do and if you struggle with it, I pray that you find a way to overcome any doubts you have. Your view of yourself is in your control. If you feel someone has it other than yourself, you need to drop that illusion. Take that “control” back. Each of you reading this is worth a lot, whether you believe it or not. I encourage you to compliment yourself. Do it every day, the more you do, the easier it will be for you to believe it and spread that kindness to others. Let us encourage confidence and kindness.

Author Joanne Reed

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