Lie #5: Loving Him Is Enough For Me

Have you ever had a relationship with someone who you were enthralled with? Someone who you thought was the perfect ending, only to end up being your personal demise? Rachel Hollis has this exact experience laid out in Girl, wash your face.

As much as I am embarrassed to admit it….I was there.

In The Beginning

We all know how it goes. You meet someone new. You’re instantly smitten with everything about them. The two of you spend endless hours talking of your hopes and dreams. You have exciting adventures together!

I had one of these. The closer we become, the more the outside world began to fade away. All that mattered to either of us was spending time together. All we could think of and focus on was building our happy ending. It was fast and magical….so I thought.

Reality Moves In

After the “honeymoon phase” begins to wear off, you settle into a routine. A routine that you think is NORMAL. One where you jump when they say “jump”! One where your every decision revolves around THEIR happiness.

I did it. I took on new interests and hobbies. HIS hobbies. To this day I’m still not sure if I enjoyed them or not. But I did them….because he expected me to. I thought it was normal. Normal….Hahahah. Now that’s a strange word. What IS normal? Now I know what it is NOT! Normal is not pushing your friends away because you’re expected to spend all of your time with him. Normal is not having to check in with him constantly to report your whereabouts and doings. It’s just not.

The Awakening

Wow…I had no idea I was allowing this to happen to me until it was over. Most of us don’t. We think it’s NORMAL. It’s just not.

Once I was outside looking in, I was able to see all that I had lost simply because I wanted to please him. My friends, closeness with my family, time with my children….all took a backseat. Your partner should be someone who wants you to be happy and support you. They should be comfortable with each of you having some of your own interests. I know that now.

How I Healed

I learned to love myself. It wasn’t easy. I had looked to him to make me happy for so many years. How was I supposed to make MYSELF happy???

I learned meditation and journaling. Praying and reflecting. I strive to do it daily. I don’t always accomplish that, but give it my best! It allows me to reconnect with my thoughts, my dreams, my inner peace.

I read and listened to numerous books and videos. Learning to love yourself may be the toughest thing you do. It can be painful. But I’m the end it is filled with amazing experiences!

I realized that no person or thing can make me happy. Only I can make me happy. Wow!!! To realize I have had that power all along? Amazing.

You have the power too! Go!!! Make yourself happy.

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Lie #4: I’m Better Than You

We all do it….we see someone across the room and a thought instantly pops into our head.  We didn’t mean for it to, but it does.  And it’s gross and grim and makes us feel horrible after. It shows its ugly face more often than we are willing to admit…..It’s called Judgment.

The Past

In high school I was a cheerleader.  Go ahead and judge me based solely on that.  You want to!!  It was the early 90’s.  Cheerleaders were cool.  They got the cute boys and had the cool friends.  And the BIG HAIR!!!!  Well, I was not that cheerleader.  I marched to the beat of my own drummer.  While the rest of the girls were trying to get their hair as big as they possibly could, with the help of some good old Aqua Net, I had mine cut into a “pixie cut”.  I was the one on the outside of the “cool crowd”.  Yes some of them were my friends, but not close friends. My friends ranged from kids in the band to track stars, girls in my dance studio to kids from Math Club, and everything in between.

If you saw me then you would have judged me.  I judged MYSELF!!!!  I wasn’t that cookie cutter that I should have been.  I didn’t get asked to go out with everyone on Friday night.  I used to panic and worry about whether or not I would even have plans.  I was a chronic dater because I wanted to fit in. I’m not sure what i was even looking for. Looking back, it’s all so silly.  But it IS the past.

Guilty As Charged

Fast foreword 20 years or so. I started finger pointing…You know you have done it.  We all have.  We tend to look at things through tainted eyes.  Eyes that only want to see things the way WE want them to be. The way someone reprimands their child, the outfit someone chooses to wear, even the food they choose to eat….we point our finger at them accusingly because they’re doing something differently than we would.

Take dating for example.  As I embarked on the adventure of adult dating following my divorce, I was VERY judgmental.  I judged how men thought about relationships, how they reacted (or didn’t) to me, and even how they chose to raise their children.  I had high expectations and I was determined to find someone to meet them. If they didn’t fit into the perfectly packaged ideal I had in my head, they were cast aside.  I was horribly judgmental.

After I finally faced that awareness head on and worked through it with the help of books and journaling, I finally loved myself.  I have REAL friends now…friends who guide me and support me on my journey. I began to allow myself to see things through new eyes….eyes that didn’t criticize or condemn.  I allowed new experiences without judgment!  Yes you read that correctly! It was so freeing.  Do I ever revert back?  Of course!!!  But now I know the signs, take time out, and start again. I journal and meditate daily. I focus on loving ME and know that in return I will receive love! ❤️

Try These Things

Love yourself.  Truly and deeply.  We look at others the way we love ourselves.  If we don’t love ourselves, how can we love others?  Self growth was key to my happiness.

Surround yourself with goodness.  Good friends, good vibes.  We tend to do what our “posse” does.  If you are surrounded by judgmental friends, GET NEW FRIENDS!

Take a good look in the mirror.  Judgment is really us not liking something we see in someone…something that reminds us of ourselves.  We judge because we don’t like what’s inside of us.

Lie #2: “I’ll Start Tomorrow”

In chapter 2 of Girl, wash your face , Rachel Hollis talks about all of the things she has “said” she would do….but never did. BOY can I relate!!!!

Failed Starts

How many of you have a “Bucket List”? I do!  How many things have you actually crossed off of that list?  I hope it’s more than I have.  My bucket list is beautiful.  It is filled with dream vacations, exciting adventures, new lessons and achievements, as well as goals and dreams.  THREE…..That is how many things I have crossed off of that list.  Sad.

It seems as though in this day and age, life has taught us how to “start over” when we fail.  It’s taught us how to get back on the horse after falling off, and ride into the sunset.  What it has not taught most of us is HOW TO STAY ON THE HORSE  in the first place! We have never really been forced to focus on how to stay strong and push through.  Well sister, it’s time for that to change.

The Dreaded Disappointment

When someone disappoints you or lets you down, repetitively, how does that make you feel? Probably pretty crappy…maybe unimportant or even worthless.  In turn, when someone always keeps their word, how does THAT make you feel?  AMAZING!!!  Imagine if you treated yourself this way.  How many times have you disappointed YOU? Books you’ve committed to reading and never finished, a new health journey you gave up on (ten or twenty times), a career change that you swore you were making “next year” but never took the leap?  We do this because we have conditioned ourselves this way.  It has become a pattern.

My dreaded disappointment is my studies towards becoming a Personal Trainer.  I bought ALL of the materials in April of 2011.  SEVEN years ago!  I started studying immediately.  One month later I met a man who swept me off my feet.  It was a whirlwind love.  We were married within three (yes you read that right) months. My studies became a mere blur in my rearview mirror.  We went on with our life for a good four years before our marriage fell apart before my eyes.  This past January I committed to myself that I would start studying all over again.  Guess what?  I did!  And then I quit, because, well…..life.  NO MORE.  I AM finishing that certification by the end of 2019.  I have made the commitment and I am sticking to it.

adult athlete body bodybuilding
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Breaking The Pattern

Start with one promise to yourself and break it down into smaller pieces.  When you want to give up, because it’s your pattern, ask yourself how good you would feel if you just pushed through.  Push past that hump that you are conditioned to stop at.  I have committed to breaking my studies down to one chapter or topic per two weeks…..20 minutes per day, five days per week.  THAT I can do!

Maybe your goal is to organize your home and pitch out all of the old clutter.  That sounds pretty overwhelming!  Pick a room.  ONE room.  Start by tackling a closet in that room one week.  The next week the drawers.  Slowly, but surely you will begin to see your home decluttering before your very eyes!

This blog was something on my bucket list.  I had put it off until “next month” for over a year.  I took the leap and I am loving it!  I hope you are too. 🙂

Think Before You Commit

Choose ONE goal.  One small goal.  Tackle ONE drawer.  Walk ONE mile. Write ONE paragraph.

Think carefully before you commit.  Rachel tells us to “slow down your yes”.  Stop and think before you say “yes”.  Is this something that makes you happy?  Is this something that you truly can accomplish?  Does this fit into your life’s goals?  If it does, go for it!

Be honest with yourself.  Take a look at your own level of commitment.  Who or what have you cancelled on within the past few months?  Within the past few weeks?  How does that feel?  You don’t wasn’t to be that person….the one who is know for bailing.  Hold yourself accountable to your “yes”.

Now GO….start TODAY!

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Lie #1: “Something Else Will Make Me Happy”

The First Chapter

In Rachel Hollis’ book, Girl, wash your face, she describes twenty lies that we tend to tell ourselves.  The first one is that “something else will make us happy”.  I completely agree with her, on the fact that social media can make us feel that our lives are not nearly as “good” or “fun” as our friends’ lives are.

The truth is, most people usually only post the good and the fun.  They are embarrassed to reveal all of the messy parts of their lives.  We get to hear about the fun exotic trip they took with their friends or partner, the competition that their child won, or their parents’ 50th Anniversary celebration.  We don’t see the eye rolls they gave their boss that day, the horrible fight they just had with their partner, or the many tears they have shed over inner battles.

I Am Not Perfect

Society can make us feel that we have to be “perfect”.  Our life, our children our career are all supposed to be perfect!  When these things aren’t perfect we tend to give up.  Guess what?  I AM NOT PERFECT!  I have made so many mistakes in my life that I don’t even know where to begin.  I have failed marriages, yelled at my children, skipped my workouts for days on end, and even had M&M’s and a bottle of red wine for dinner.  Shocking I know.  The clean eating fitness buff has weak moments.

For years I beat myself up over the fact that my children did not grow up in a “normal” household of both Mom and Dad together.  But….is that really normal? I then realized that normal to them is a loving parent, time together, seeing me be strong as a mother and a woman….and seeing me fail, but get back up fighting.  That’s normal to them, and to me.  We are anything but perfect, but we are happy.

Stop Doing These Things

1-Stop comparing your life to someone else’s.  Comparison will kill your soul.  This is YOUR life and YOUR journey.  Focus on yourself, not someone else.  Through journaling I have found that I kind of like my life.  Actually I love it, flaws and all.  It’s not perfect and I don’t ever want it to be.  I want to live the ups and downs, and continue growing from them.

2-Stop allowing negativity into your life. Positivity makes a difference.  If you swim in a sea of positivity, things begin to look differently.  When I started looking for gratitude in every situation, I felt so much better.  Sometimes it was REALLY difficult to find a positive but I did.  I unfollowed things and people on social media that brought negativity into my view.  I searched for more books, blogs and YouTube channels that were filled with positivity.  If I can do it, you can too.

3-Stop doing the things you don’t truly want to do.  I used to volunteer for my children’s parties and things at school when they were little.  I used to help friends paint their living room, or sew their clothes for them.  Guess what???  Those things did NOT make me happy.  In fact I dreaded them!  (Insert the not so perfect mom and friend.)  Now I do things that contribute to MY happiness.  I take my daughters on dates.  We actually get to spend time together! I meet my friends for coffee or dinner.  We actually have conversation and laughter! Sometimes we even share tears, because we can.

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The Inspiration Behind My Health And Wellness

We all have something….and illness, and injury, a social disorder.  We all have a story to tell.  This part of my story is about my illness.  I have Multiple Sclerosis, but it does NOT have me!

What Is MS?

MS is a long-lasting disease that causes damage to the nerve endings in your brain, spinal cord and/or optic nerve.  Web MD has this to say about MS, “MS happens when your immune system attacks a fatty material called myelin, which wraps around your nerve fibers to protect them. Without this outer shell, your nerves become damaged. Scar tissue may form.”  It affects everyone differently.  It can cause numbness and tingling in the extremities, vision impairment, nausea and dizziness, paralysis, weakness, extreme fatigue, memory loss….among other various issues.

My Diagnosis

One Saturday in June of 2009, I was getting ready to head to work in my retail management career.  Out of the blue I felt a tightness in my chest, could not catch my breath, and was crying uncontrollably without even realizing it.  My sister was in from out of town and came to my rescue.  She drove me to a nearby hospital.  On the ride, I lost feeling in my left arm.  Of course we thought I was having a heart attack.  The ER exam and testing ruled out a heart attack and they kept me for observation.

That evening as I awaited my dinner tray, I lost feeling and function in the left side of my face.  When I rolled over to look at my sister, she was as white as a ghost.  They put me in an ambulance and rushed me to a different hospital where they had Neurological specialists.  In the ambulance I lost the feeling in my left leg.  Now we were all thinking stroke.  MRI’s and other testing ruled out a stroke, Lupus, Lyme’s Disease and other possibilities.  The Neurologist on call refused to give up.  She ordered a spinal tap for Monday morning.  She had a strong feeling about my prognosis….you see, my mother has MS as well.  She was diagnosed at the age of 19, in 1963.

During my spinal tap I had two seizures and my heart rate dropped below 30.  All I remember is thrashing around and waking up drenched in sweat.  The rapid testing revealed that my “O Bands” were 99% positive for MS.  I began 5 days worth of IV steroids and the doctor ordered for me to start daily injections of Copaxone which is one of many DMD’s (disease modifying drugs).  The next few weeks were a blur….Occupational and Physical Therapy, nurses coming and going from my house, and learning a “new normal”.  How do you put your hair in a pony tail?  How do you walk with a normal gait?  How do you pick up a penny?

Eventually I regained most of it with the help of many people.  I returned to the gym very slowly and hired a personal trainer who helped to change my life.  I was in the early stages of a divorce, and also lost the career I had worked so hard at developing.  But for the first time I was slowing down.  I was enjoying my daughters.  They were 3 and 9 at the time.

My Future

Here I am 9 years later.  I have gone through so many life changes that I will tell you all about in the future.  I am happy to say that I have only progressed to RRMS (Remitting-Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis). My symptoms are extreme fatigue, numbness and tingling in my left hand, arm and side of my face.  Some cognitive function hurdles are present along with the occasional bout of vertigo.

My daughters are now 12 and 18.  They are my drive.  I am so blessed to have them.  I workout regularly to maintain strength.  I have built a life that has contributed to my happiness and inner peace.  I may have to do things slower or in a different way, but I still live my life.  I tell anyone and everyone who asks me about my disease.  I will educate people and have helped quite a few newly diagnosed patients deal with their “new normal”.