Reflection

XCIX: Love Doesn't Always Win!

We are raised with the fairy tale versions of love and romance. Disney tells us watered-down versions of tragic stories that somehow end in love and not the tragedy that they really ended in, and television shows sell us versions of life that simply don’t exist anymore.

THE REALITY IS…

Rarely do you end up with the love of your life. Rarely do you end up not regretting your ultimate choices. What we miss in all of the Disney stories and TV shows is the fact that reality is much different. When you fight and that loneliness kicks in, the vulnerability kicks in harder and mistakes are made.

When you think that there is no fix to your relationship — because who shows up at your window with a radio playing you guys’ song anymore and apologizing — you take the easy road and you quit because there’s always someone who is also alone who will “help you through your break up”.

Next thing you know, you’re married and regret everything. Love does not “always win” anymore.

RESPONSIBILITY, TIMING, EASE, AND COMFORT ARE THE REAL WINNERS!

Responsibility

Sometimes, doing the right thing is hard and it means hurting 1, 2, or 3 people to ‘be the bigger person’. Sometimes you have to lose everything in the name of being responsible. And sometimes you have to live out everyday knowing full-well what you’ve done and why you’ve done it — you’re stuck. Not in love, but in life…

Timing

The less time you have to spend actually hurting, reflecting and healing, the better, right? These days lazy is the default.

I mean, who wants to sit around and think about the hurt that they’ve caused or actually grow up when they can just scroll down social media or look around and find someone who also doesn’t want to be alone. Next thing you know, we’re calling a fling of convenience “heaven sent” and timing wins again.

Ease

Don’t even have me ramble on in this section, we all know that we are sliding, full force, into the time of ease. Whatever’s easiest is usually the choice for MANY people, and, I mean, in the age of everyone needing attention there are very few people making things anything other than easy.

Comfort

Comfort kills.

And the thing about it is that the first thing that many people say is that they live outside of their comfort zones. But, I guarantee that if you spend one month with them (and not even that long) you will soon see that their comfort zone is their home. It’s all they know. And they are only fooling themselves.

Comfort is what keeps a lot of people where they are. It keeps them for going for what they actually want. It keeps them from trying. It keeps them from being honest. It keeps them from bliss.

But, let them tell it, 🎶comfort don’t live here anymore🎶. Lies.

WITH THESE THINGS BEING THE FACTS OF OUR DAY…

I don’t know whether I’m in full support of leaving any and all situations when they aren’t right or fighting for what you have. I can tell you that I used to fully advocate for fighting for what’s yours, fighting for what you’ve worked at, fighting for “love”.

But…

These days, people are so selfish with their decisions that they really make you have to fight for something that you should have already had! They’re so selfish that they expect any and all of their bad actions to go unpunished. They’re so selfish…

These days, all relationships give me pause — friendships, dating relationships, significant others, etc., with the way a lot of people play, I’ve learned that this game/joke that they’ve made out of love is NOT FOR ME.

so, I DON’T KNOW WHO NEEDS TO HEAR THIS, BUT:

Don’t be their fallback plan.

Don’t be their second choice.

Don’t be the reason that they’re “stuck”.

Don’t be the one who makes your children suffer through a bad marriage just to keep a marriage.

Don’t be the one who ignores all of the signs.

Don’t believe that love won’t knock on your door again.

Don’t convince yourself that you don’t deserve more.

Check yourself.

Check your spouse/partner/bf/gf.

Be real with yourself.

Be real with others.

Keep your head up.

Don’t you ever forget that Love is a privilege reserved for the victor.
— Eli Pope

LXXII: Oh, So You Just Have NO Self-Control... ?

Song: I Hate Giving You Everything by Arlissa

Some situations have ‘unhealthy’ written all over them. And yet, they are so appealing!

I have never encountered a situation that worked, didn’t and then became unhealthy to the point of having to split before NOW. How human of me, right? I hate it.

So, the mind is a crazy thing. Add to that the powers of the heart and you’ve got nothing but trouble. All of this leads to my current feelings:

I: I really want to keep something around that really needs to be let go of

II: I really miss having someone around who really shouldn’t be around

III: I really wish things went differently, when who knows if that situation was even for me

I could rack my brain and play out scenarios for days where we don’t lose what oftentimes feels special or different, but then how will we become who we are meant to become? But let’s slow it down:

Honestly, in all of my moments of weakness surrounding this whole ordeal, I find myself missing our laughs, our random conversations, our arguments and disagreements, our crazy and random adventures and so much more on the broad spectrum. On the narrower spectrum, I find myself missing his eyes, his laugh, his touch, his insane sense of humor, or the way that his face just works (maybe even left-handed things)!

These are the moments that I think, ‘Oh, one text message wouldn’t hurt’, or ‘Hmm, maybe we should just hang out and keep it light’. IT’S LEGITIMATELY AN INTERNAL BATTLE.

 

Sidebar: Have you ever been in a battle with your mind and your heart? That is the most uncontrolled fight you will ever take part in. Impulse is literally the only winner when those two are fighting and my impulse is usually an ‘okay, send the text’. I give in!!!

 

BUT HOW WILL I GROW IF I’M NOT EVEN WILLING TO EXERCISE SELF-CONTROL IN THIS INSTANCE?

My biggest fear in “letting myself grow away from this situation” or in exercising self-control (as I’ve put it) is that maybe I am not supposed to let it go so easily (and I use that loosely because it has not been easy). Maybe I am supposed to fight for it. Maybe this one is worth it (chuckle chuckle, because, are they ever worth it? 🤔).

Two factors, however, control what I can do in this situation: (1) I can’t fix it alone — teamwork makes the dream work, and (2) I don’t want to fight for something that will land me in a worse position than the one I’m already in!

These two factors usually help determine what you should do, or which direction you should go next with whomever this person-in-question is. The fact that giving up is easier than actually putting in work for what’s worth it makes it to where teamwork would be impossible in my situation. Some people like complacency and everything that comes easily is preferred. If they have to work for it, then they don’t want it. And secondly, with a person like this, how would I not end up in a worse position?! I’d be fighting for something that the other party would just drop the moment it gets difficult!

If my two factors above establish whether or not self-control needs to be exercised, then it is abundantly clear that this situation has got to go and that it’s on me to exercise enough control to ensure that it does!

In 100% transparency, I have completely said self-control be darned and just given into it at every avenue, but at some point we have to acknowledge that:

THIS NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE IS EXACTLY WHAT WAS NEEDED TO SPARK THE LIGHT THAT LIT THE FIRE IN WHO I AM ABOUT TO BECOME.

You can’t grow if you don’t change what is not good around you and within you. Exercise of self-control is just a step. Perseverance is a requirement. Self-awareness is imperative. Reflection is crucial. And, knowing your self-worth will literally save your life.

With that, I’ve let it go! 🤷🏾‍♀️

LXVII: What I've Learned, Thus Far, From 2018?

Here we are! Another installment and another year of lessons!

I’ve changed things up this year and entered into it feeling a bit more liberated than I was in 2017. I had decided early on that I was going to do what I wanted, when I wanted and try things. But, with that, I also opened myself up to people which is something that I normally steer very clear of.

Whenever you open up your heart, mind, and ears to new people, you’ll definitely be learning new lessons, however. Trust me!

So, here are a couple of the lessons that I’ve learned, thus far, this year:

STEER CLEAR OF THOSE WHO WANT YOUR RHYTHM BUT NOT YOUR BLUES

Wanting my rhythm and not my blues simply means that someone wants to be around me when I am happy and having fun, but when stuff hits the fan of life, they want to hit the road.

I’ve had this type of person in my life plenty-a-time!

The bad thing about me, however, is that when it comes to people who I have allowed into my life, I genuinely try my best to keep them.

BUT, sometimes in life you go through things, not to learn to work through them, but to learn to walk away from bad situations

This year has been one big lesson on walking away for me. It gets so lonely sometimes, but walking away from people who want to be around when all is well but leave when things get difficult is a very necessary reality. 

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING

The way you view a situation says a lot about the way you view the world and the way you view yourself.

Now, I generally look at situations from a very realistic standpoint. I also use facts from the past that have created a pattern to assist with the way in which I view those situations. So, in short, when a situation presents itself, I’m an absolute realist through and through.

Now, this year has been filled with ups and downs, and I’ve worked at keeping my outlook on things upbeat enough to allow myself the ability to continue on in whatever direction I am attempting to go in life without letting things get me too down.

Changing my perspective on a lot of the things that have happened to me lately has seriously helped. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been so necessary. A lot of times, perspective comes through in the form of a glass being half empty or a glass being half full. 2018 has taught me to look at things with the glass half full which has allowed me the opportunity to fill it the rest of the way on my own.

WHEN SOMETHING IS FOR YOU, IT WILL ALWAYS BECOME YOURS

This is super important for me to remember! 

I oftentimes work overtime to keep friendships and relationships with people who have never even deserved my time in the first place. It’s in my nature, however, to nurture those relationships...

BUT, when a relationship is for you, it will be yours without all of the tug-of-war! I forget this so much and it results in me making people feel way more needed than they actually are by trying to keep them in my life.

This is a habit, in me, that needs to be left in 2018. Because, trust me, you won’t be forcing the friendships and relationships that are meant to happen!  

BE REAL WITH EVERYONE AT ALL TIMES 

Now, first and foremost, you have to be real with yourself! But after that, you have to be real with everyone else.

I met someone this year who was such a gem! A beautiful soul inside and out. But, if you asked me, now, whether or not I still know this person, then my answer would honestly have to be ‘no’.

This person was so good at pretending to be the great person that I grew to very fondly enjoy, but [as you’ll read below] people can only pretend for so long (and sometimes for too long) before their true colors show.

It turns out that this person was a complete stranger to me when they showed me who they really were. What a shock!

I can see from that situation that it is, a lot of times, hard for some people to just be themselves which, to me, seems like it would be more work to pretend to be someone or something else. But, I digress, …

People usually teach me the biggest lessons and from this person, I’ve learned that you have to be super mindful of who and what you are. Remain true to yourself no matter the situation.

Real will attract real, but you have to weed through a lot of fake to get to it.

PEOPLE ARE GOOD AT PRETENDING — WATCH FOR SIGNS

I have made the mistake of underestimating the amount of time that people can live while being fake and, trust me, they can go the distance. 

But, I’ve learned that, eventually the real will always come out. 

I’ve had two friends while in school that people have completely warned me about but I ignored it and instead defended them because I wanted to base my reactions to them solely on my experiences. In hindsight, I completely wish that I would’ve listened to those people, but I didn’t, so I had to eat that loss.

I didn’t believe these things because people are so good at pretending to be things that they are not. They immitate the things that they see being attracted by others. They become so good at the facade that it’s undetectable to eyes that want to believe what they see.

But, I’ve seen that faking it gets exhaustive and they will eventually show their true colors. Some people don’t last a week, others take months, and one took years!  

 My advice to myself and others would simply be to jump ship as soon as the first sign becomes apparent. We’re so inclined to ignore the little signs because we’re enjoying the bigger moments, but trust me, cutting these people off early on is always best. 


So, there you have it! 2018 has taught me A LOT about people and how I should approach the next batch that I meet in life.

But, most of all, 2018 has taught me to look at situations from multiple angles: yes, losing a job will hurt, but there are so many benefits to it; yes, losing a ‘friend’ will hurt, but I’ve gained so many more who actually seem good; and, yes, loving someone is difficult, especially when you’re on completely different wavelengths as far as life is concerned, but opening your heart to someone has the never-ending benefit of showing you so much about yourself!

So for that, 2018, I thank you! 🎊🎊🎊

XLIX: Self-Love in Steps... ? Yes!

Self-love is so important, as we all know! A big part of it that I forget, however, is the fact that:

SELF-LOVE IS AN ONGOING THING!

I often engage in activities and practices in self-love and then, for some reason, end up taking a break which results in me feeling down. Lately this feeling has come up at least once a week which is just TOO MUCH for me. So, this post is all about the Steps to keeping the Self-Love flowing!

STEP ONE: Take Time To Self Check!

When I initially started blogging, I published what I think is my best post yet on maintaining a mentally-healthy and a mentally-happy lifestyle.

This was an important post for me because I do believe that my thoughts and [maybe] my feelings keep me from being as happy as I could be. However, my Self Check post (click the link to read) laid out four steps to keep you in check if you begin to fall victim to the negative thoughts and feelings:

Step One: Acknowledgment

Step Two: Quick Disengagement

Step Three: Inward Reflection

Step Four: Application

Step One was all about acknowledging that your feelings are a bit out of whack. Sometimes, we get to wrapped up in all that we have going on that we forget to check on ourselves and our emotions. So, this was all about taking a tiny look inward so that we can fix what’s going on.

Step Two was about taking ourselves to a new space. This space will allow us to clear our minds and free our hearts so that we don’t continue to be bogged down by the same things.

Step Three was all about using our time away (from the Quick Disengage) to reflect on how we got to that negative space, talk ourselves through feelings that we don’t quite understand, and just be! This step is usually done alone.

Step Four was about applying this exercise to our daily lives. Once we get in the habit of the Self Check, it becomes more like second nature and THAT’S the goal.

We, essentially, want to master our emotions, reactions, feelings and thoughts.

STEP TWO: Stop & Do Things That Make YOU Happy.

I oftentimes forget that my school work and my job search will be waiting for me when I am done taking care of ME.

I act like I cannot leave my desk until I know all that there is to know (so, basically I’ll just die here), or like I have to find my Forever Career today or I’ll be a loser for life. But these thoughts are just that! They are concocted by our subconscious and do nothing but bring us down.

That’s why it is so important to do things that bring you joy! I, for instance, really enjoy eating, going to the movies, and photography. I am not one who finds it troubling to do things alone, so I actually enjoy solo trips to the movie theaters and to restaurants/bars to eat!

The only problem is, I don’t do these things often enough. So with this post, I’m going to make it a point to do things that make ME happy, more times per week.

Do not put a cap on your own happiness.

STEP THREE: Positive Affirmations.

Now, this is a new one for me!

This came about because it’s actually very much needed in my life right now. I’ve put myself in situations that haven’t left me feeling my best, so I have to bring myself out of this slump and into a happier place again.

Doing this is usually not as easy as we’d like for it to be, but it is so necessary. So, because it’s a bit harder this time around, for me, I’ve added a little positive affirmation mantra to my daily routine.

Now, the writer in me doesn’t allow me to stand in front of my reflection in a mirror and chant these things over and over. I get my positive affirmations out by taking a pen to some paper. So far, it’s been working!

You have to love you before expecting someone else to.

SteP Four: Take Life One Day, One Step, & One Problem At A Time.

So, I like Costco because you can buy in bulk, and I’ve found that this is the way that I usually want to solve my problems, IN BULK. But, life just doesn’t allow you to do that type of thing! It’s made so that you learn that you must address life issue by issue, day by day.

There will always be things going on, you will always feel like you’re running out of time, but this is usually when you’re trying to take life in chunks.

I am making it a point to approach issues in a much calmer manner, and definitely one at a time. In this I’m also taking the days as they come… One day, one step, & one problem at a time.

You will not master life, but you can master your Here & Now if you just take it slow.

XLV: Why I Am Not Afraid To Say That I Am Not Enough... ?

in·ad·e·quate

inˈadikwət/

adjective

  1. lacking the quality or quantity required; insufficient for a purpose.

  2. (of a person) unable to deal with a situation or with life.

I am not afraid to admit that I struggle in many areas. I am not afraid to admit that I have issues: with trusting people, with communicating, with eye contact, with disloyal people, with accepting when I am not right, with failure, with confidence (some days), with trying to please others, and the list could go on for miles.

I am not afraid to admit that I sat in the shower and cried last night because of all that I fall short in. Every loss is a lesson to me, but some losses are so big that they seem to rock the world that I was comfortably living in before their quake. 

Some losses take a toll on my insides, my outsides, and everything in-between, and I am currently living in the wake of loss.

I cannot change the parts of me that have been fashioned by my past. I have come across many people, done and seen many things, and gone many places. All of these things have shaped me, whether it be negatively or positively, regardless, they’ve changed me.

In being sheltered, I couldn’t understand that people weren’t like me, that they didn’t grow up in the church, that they weren’t selfless but instead were selfish, and that they weren’t compassionate and understanding. I couldn’t understand that they weren’t remorseful, that they weren’t forgiving, that they weren’t humble. I can’t understand that I am not worth a change to these people, at least.

I put a lot into people. I give a lot to people… As scary as that is, I always find one person who is “worth it”, that is, until they aren’t and even then, I still want them to be. I have faith in people that they will treat me and cherish me the way that I treat and cherish them; that they will work with me when I am willing to work with them; that they will appreciate me the way that I hoped they’ve seen that I appreciate them. The reality is, however, that sometimes you just aren’t worth their effort, you aren’t worth their forgiveness, you aren’t worth them choosing you…and YES there is a choice to be made.

It sounds bad, I know, but look at the world that we live in…

Finding out that you aren’t worth a change to someone that you considered special hurts. But there is always a bright side… (I’ll let you know when I find it).

This post is mainly about reminding myself that it’s okay to feel this way as long as it’s temporary. It’s okay to be hurt, as long as it doesn’t control my life. It’s okay to not be okay, regardless of what social media says.

In this post, I’m not asking for a response, I’m not asking for love, I’m not asking for answers… I just wanted to vent.

Thank you to all of my faithful readers. Y’all make my blogging experience all the more wonderful!

All that glitters isn’t gold, & all that hurts is fleeting.
— Brianna J.