So You WANT To Be A Loser?

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~Marianne Williamson

Why do we voluntarily want to be losers? Why do we chose to be less than what we were created to be?

We work jobs just to pay bills. We tolerate awful relationships so that we won’t be lonely. We hang out with people whose vision is just as invisible as ours is… and yet we convince ourselves that we are doing great.

The quote above is one of my favorites. I’ve posted it in a previous post, but it always rings in my head. We’re afraid of our own power! We’re afraid that we are greater than we could ever imagine. We’re scared to step outside of the box we’ve been placed in because we won’t be with our friends or families. We want to be comfortable inside the box because that’s where everyone else is. But what good is that doing for you? You regret half the decisions you make, you’re angry with yourself for not doing better, and most of the time you don’t even like your life! DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

I don’t know about yall, but I’m tired of living just to be living. I’m tired of not making a great impact on the world around me. Who knows what will happen when I decide to live out my purpose and change the world around me? Who knows if when I step out and decide to be great, that others will believe that they too can be great?

WE CAN ALL BE GREAT!! We are filled with the amazing power of the Holy Spirit, which is God inside of us!

I’m talking about the same God that created the earth. I’m talking about the same God that gave Moses the power to part the sea. I’m talking about the same God who created every single person on this earth, whether they want to admit it or not. I’m talking about the same God who knew how to craft women’s bodies to birth a child on the inside. I’m talking about the same God that created all the different types of flowers, trees, birds, animals, fish, foods, and people.

That God lives on the inside of you and I! Which means that we have access to all that power! We can change nations! We can change lives! We can create and affect the places around us! We have the power to do so!

So why do we live mediocre, safe lives? Why are we afraid?

Let’s do better! Step outside of that comfort zone. Step out from among those who aren’t trying to do anything but eat, sleep, work, and die. Let’s stop pushing everyone else’s vision and make everyone else money, and let’s push our own vision and make our own money!

Stop Being a Loser.

~Ally A.

My Epiphany of Beauty

A few days ago, My Black is Beautiful was spreading the word about their search for My Black is Beautiful Ambassadors. I was excited and read through their Official Rules. Within the rules was the question “What is Beauty?”. I sat up and paused for a moment. I looked over at my Mr. and sparked up a conversation about what we thought beauty was. Of course his answer was intellectual and amazing (lol), but I couldn’t put into words what beauty was… and then as I started to answer, the words began to flow…

Beauty is the uniqueness of a person. It seemed to cliché of course, but at the same time, it has a new meaning.

After reading about the new OCD (Check out my blog about it!) being Obsessive Comparison Disorder, this epiphany about what beauty is took my mind on a different route. We sit and compare ourselves all day to someone else, envying and coveting who they are, what they’ve done and what they have, that our sadness and depression comes from not being them. The issue is that we disregard who we are to covet who they are, ignoring the fact that we have accomplishments, success stories, and so much more that we’ve done. We’ve forgotten about celebrating one another and owning who we are… our unique gifts to society.

Do you realize that there is no one else on this plant and that there will be no one else on the planet to look, talk, and walk like you do? There is no one who can travel the path you have traveled, endure the hardships you have endured, and tell your story like you can. You are unique. God wanted to do it that way because He knew through the different being He created on this planet, He could do different things. If we all looked alike and did the same things, what use would there be for differences?

Picture yourself in an audition room. They call your name. You walk up but they’re confused because you look just like the last person. There’s nothing to make you stand out from everyone else because everyone is trying to be everyone else. Some want to look like Beyoncé. Some want to look like Nicki Minaj. Some want to look like Taylor Swift. Some want to be Jay-Z. Some want to be Trey Songz. But it seems like NO ONE wants to be themselves. Everyone wants to put together pieces of other people to represent themselves… and that is simply NOT YOU!

Who are you when all the influences from the outside world are taken away? If no one told you that you’re a good singer or dancer, would you even be doing it? What do you have to bring to the table? What we’re all trying to bring now has already been brought. We don’t want remakes, WE WANT ORIGINALS!

There is a reason that there are only 7 Wonders of the World. They each embody something that has never been seen or done before. It takes the breath away of those who lay eyes on it. It can’t be duplicated. People travel from all over the world to see them. People spend money to see them because they know that they will never see it anywhere else. The unique qualities about you is truly a wonder because it has never been seen or done before. But if we spend our time trying to mimic and be something else, we get looked over because “that’s been done before.”

There is beauty in the differences the we all have. There is beauty in your hair, your body, your voice, your talents, your gifts, your smile, your eyes… you are beautiful just the way God made you because He made NO ONE ELSE LIKE YOU. Embrace and enjoy the beauty in the uniqueness of others, then look at yourself and embrace your own.

~The Mrs.

The New OCD: Obsessive Comparison Disorder

If you haven’t already read her blog on the Huffington Post website, I’m sure you soon will. J.N. Salters has a new blog post called “My 20s Weren’t Supposed to Be Like This: Getting Through the Quarter-Life Crisis”. She gives us a brief insight into what 25 looks like (an age I’ll be hitting this mid-July). Basically it sucks in so many words (lol) She mentions something that stuck out to me called the new OCD- Obsessive Comparison Disorder. Crazy right? Too bad majority of us have it… including me.

OCD- Obsessive Comparison Disorder is a term coined by Paul Angone from his book “101 Secrets For Your Twenties” to describe “our compulsion to constantly compare ourselves with others, producing unwanted thoughts and feelings that drive us into depression, consumption, anxiety and all-around discontent. It encourages us to stay up late on Facebook pouring through all 348 pictures of our frenemies’ “My Life is Better Than Yours” album, and then it sends us to bed wondering why we feel so anxious.” (Angone, 2013; Read More…) Sound familiar?

Now of course I’ve already written about this in a previous blog (Read Here), but after reading Salters’ blog, I felt the need to talk about it again, but this time offer suggestions on a home remedy for this disorder that is causing us to:

1) Feel depressed about our own lives

2) Cause gaps and separation within our relationships with people

3) Discourage ourselves before we even start

4) Causing us to shop and spend money we don’t have and eat food we don’t need, to only turn around and feel bad about ourselves again when we see our friend in a two piece bathing suit or wearing a fitted shirt that we wouldn’t dare try to wear because of our Santa bellies

Home remedy #1: Take A Hiatus from Social Media: I just got back from a Social Media Hiatus for a month and it felt great because I wasn’t somewhere self-torturing myself looking at everyone else! Trust me, the world is not going to fall apart if they don’t know every thing you’re doing and eating. Your friends will not die if they don’t know what you had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. YOU will not die if you don’t tell the world your opinion on the dress you saw this woman wearing at Wal-Mart. When I took a break, I noticed that I didn’t care as much about stuff as I did when I felt the need to update on social media.

Home remedy #2: Celebrate Others: Now I don’t mean be fake and make yourself happy for someone. I think one of our issues as people is that we don’t celebrate other’s accomplishments, but choose to get angry because we aren’t where they are. Then we find the flaws in their accomplishments to make ourselves feel better. STOP! It’s okay that he/she got engaged. Maybe she was ready for that. If someone gave you a ring today, you might not be ready! It’s great that she got a new job… but that’s her job! You have your own job! You have your own life! I’ve learned that I cannot desire someone else’s life because I don’t know what they went through to get it and that maybe if I press myself a little further, I could get one too! Just be HAPPY for people!

Home remedy #3: Celebrate Yourself: Yes, this is something that we don’t do enough for ourselves. No one is saying to brag and be conceited. But I am saying that you should take joy in what you’ve done. You’ve made it over some humps in your life. You’ve fought through some battles and you’ve WON! That is a reason to celebrate. YOU are something to celebrate. You’ve made it to places in your life you probably never dreamed of. Celebrate YOU! Don’t down play the person you’ve become or the accomplishments you’ve made because you’re not someone else…. Celebrate what you’ve done and keep going.

Home remedy #4: Work on Loving Yourself: We have to work on our own insecurities. It goes beyond the external things, but deals with the internal as well. We begin to define ourselves according to what others have that we don’t. People use the same old slogan “the grass is greener on the other side”… but my pastor use to say “your grass would be greener too if you watered and took care of it!” The more you work on loving everything about you, including your weight, your pimples, your hair, your skin tone, your style and your mind, the less you feel the need to compare yourself because you realize that you are something great and unique.

You were made that way on purpose 🙂

~The Mrs.

Our Society Given Identity: Beauty

Today I spent most of it watching videos about people working to break society’s view on beauty. There was a particular video that caught my eye, which was one about a makeover and photo shoot done for a few women to give them the cover girl look. Their makeup and hair was done and the pictures were taken. Then a professional photoshop editor was brought in to create what the normal cover girl would look like. Many were made smaller, their skin lightened and airbrushed, and some of their “flaws” or unique characteristics were done away with such as freckles or bone structure. When the new photos were revealed to the women, they didn’t like them… because it wasn’t them. Their identity, in a sense, was taken away so they could be “beautiful”.

What is beautiful?

My kids at the YMCA have made statements referring to their beauty, thinking that because their hair isn’t long, or because they don’t have a different eye color, or clothes to wear, that they aren’t as beautiful. They want different names and different hair… when they are really some of the most beautiful young women I’ve ever seen.

On Monday, I had a similar issue. Last Saturday, I got a sew-in, which is basically having fake hair sew into my braided hair with some of my own hair left out to cover the tracks. (Google it if you need more lol) So from last Saturday to this one, I dealt with an itchy scalp, having to style this hair I now had, and having to work with my own hair to make it blend in with the fake hair. It was AWFUL! Then I discovered that I had damaged my own hair because of heat. I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I took it out. (No my husband was not mad lol) On Monday, my own hair wouldn’t act right and I felt ugly. I felt like I look like a Chia Pet with this curly hair just plopped on my head, short and just nappy looking. I’ve always had a pride about my hair. If it doesn’t look right, then I feel like I look crazy overall. I didn’t feel pretty. My clothes didn’t fit right because I had gained weight. I didn’t want to smile because I have more fat below my chin. My cheeks are too big. I just noticed everything that would make me ugly… but whose definition was I using?

I feel like everyone had an issue with comparing themselves to those who are placed before us. I feel like my cheeks are too big because when I look on television and on Facebook, the people who are getting a lot of attention are smaller in the face. I feel fat because I have some extra where society says I don’t need extra. It’s not because the doctor said I need to lose weight, but because of what society tells me is not okay… and they do it to everyone. When we look in the mirror, we not only see ourselves, but we see pictures around us of those who society has told us looks better that us. We see the women and men that people fantasize and make a big fuss over and we feel unwanted because we don’t look like them. People on magazine covers and on television are made to look like dreams while we sit at home and feel like nightmares.

But I’m tired of feeling like this yall… I really am. I’m sick of feeling less than because I’m not the dream woman. I sick of my fellow women, young girls, men, and young boys feeling less than because they don’t look like someone on TV or in the magazines that we see every time we go to the store. I’m tired of being made to feel like I need makeup or liposuction or no food because society has told everyone that without it, we’re ugly and fat and would never have a chance at being models or on a front cover or simply beautiful. I’m sick of thinking of the word beautiful and my own name not being associated with it.

And I’m not the only one.

I am Beautiful. Even if I’ve gained weight and have curly frizzy hair, and broad shoulders… and even if I have to fight to tell myself this every day, I’m up for the struggle.

Are you up for the struggle?

I challenge you and myself to not view ourselves in a mirror to simply compare ourselves to what we don’t look like, but to look in the mirror and appreciate what you see. It may be hard at first, but let’s work on getting to the point where we don’t need to compare ourselves to anyone else. So that when we are walking down the street, or log onto social media, or turn on the television, we don’t slip into a state of comparison and depression, but we appreciate them for who they are, recognizing that who they are and what they look like casts no shadow and hold no weight to what we look like.

We are Beautiful.

~The Mrs.

Married Life > Promiscuous Life

As I stated on my website, I would start to discuss this a little more because it’s an area of my life I tripped up and messed up the most, but Glory to God I’ve learned so many lessons and now I want to help someone else out that may be headed in the same direction.

I use to be caught up in the “New Day, New Dude” scene (not literally lol) and I enjoyed it at times. To sit up and try to act brand new like my crazy life wasn’t fun would be a LIE. There were plenty of times I had a BALL in the club, drunk, and flirting around with guys to see who’d bite the bait. So SN: If any Christian tries to tell you that life wasn’t fun, 95% of them may be lying. I say 95% because some people force themselves to do it to only fit in for a short period of time, knowing they hate it.

Flirting around was fun. Having random cute guys come up behind you and dance with you for 3 or 4 songs and then flash a smile when you turn around to face one another and exchange numbers. It was fun. Now for me, the daring moments when you sleep with someone you haven’t known more than 24 hours was NOT fun. Even getting to the place where you slept with someone and you didn’t even for real LIKE them wasn’t fun. That “morning after” feeling where the shame kicks in and the guilt kicks in… then of course for us women, the question “What if I’m pregnant?” kicks in like an automatic response to having sex with anyone… even kissing makes us nervous! (Sounds drastic, but it’s real!) Then of course the concern if you caught something, regardless if you wore a condom or not… it just was NOT fun.

It’s not fun to sleep with someone random who you had a mini crush on for a night, then try to scrub off the scent the next morning. It’s not fun to give up the goods, thinking they’ll like you more, to only find out that they life you less or didn’t like you at all. It’s not fun to give up your body to someone who has no idea how to treat you the next day, let alone for the rest of your life.

I was getting in bed with my Mr. the other night and I just laid on his chest and EXHALED. The comfort in knowing he isn’t going anywhere made me feel amazing in those few seconds. See I’ve realized that with your spouse, you can go to the club, dance the night away, maybe even have a few drinks… but the difference is that you don’t have to CONVINCE or CON your spouse to come home with you. Honey at the end of the night, you KNOW where they’re going and when you wake up in the morning, you don’t regret ANYTHING you did. You can go home, kick off your shoes, take off your clothes, and act a FOOL, and be able to LET GO and EXHALE.

I don’t care what anyone says. When you’re just sleeping around with random people, you can never be your full self. There’s always some part in you that holds back because you never want to give it all away. You never want to fully let go and act a fool, but also get attached and be in the moment. In marriage, there are no bars, no restraints, no nothing. You can mentally, physically, and emotionally get involved with the person you’re ONE with. There will be times you’ll want to almost be their skin just so you can be so close to them. WHEW!! (LMBO)

There is nothing like the security of knowing you don’t have to scan the dance floor and find a victim so you won’t be alone that night. There’s nothing like not having to regret and repent for what you did that night. There’s nothing like real love… true love. Lust can seem like love because it’s temporarily the replacement for love…until lust reveals its true self.

To all my single folk, this post is not to tell you to stop having fun, but it is to inform you that there is something better for you out there. You don’t have to keep living your life from night to night, trying to find the “One” or whatever the next best thing is. You don’t have to keep crying yourself to sleep thinking about the shameful things you did. You don’t have to keep trying to fill that void of loneliness by empty nights of sex with someone you don’t even know and possibly might not ever know. Don’t let the movies get you confused. Sex does not always reveal love… point blank. You’re not going to make love that night and then fall in love holding each other, and then be hooked for the rest of your life.

It’s time to be free from all those empty nights and shameful feelings because they aren’t doing anything but hurting you more when it’s time to be alone… trust me, I’ve been there and it’s not fun… AT ALL.

Start to take better care of yourself and set higher standards for yourself. Having trouble? Pray about it… that’s what I did. I still messed up at times. Still had sex before marriage. It’s hard to give up and let go of… I know. But you can do it. 🙂

~The Mrs.

Watch How You Talk To Me!!

Me and the Mr. have been making it a habit to stick to a Marriage Bible Study with YouVersion’s Bible App called One: A Marriage Devotional by Jimmy Evans. Today we read from Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) which read;

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 

Jimmy Evans went on to explain how important it is to speak to your significant other in a more gentle, and calm tone than one that would let everyone know you all are having it out. He had a challenge at the end for the husband and wife to discuss better way to talk to one another and discuss ways they needed to improve. My Mr. and I have already had this conversation a few times about us watching how we talk to one another when we argue and even on a regular basis. Are we kind to one another in our words? Are we mindful of the other person’s feelings in the situation or do we just care about how we feel and just want to get our point across to prove we’re right?

We don’t realize how much power we have in our words when it comes to speaking to our significant others. Many times we’re the only positive input in their day. Think about a husband that goes to work everyday at an ungrateful place. All they hear all day is complaints and things they’re doing wrong. So when he gets home, he needs encouragement. He needs to be built up in some way. Women deal with the mental processing of having to be constantly compared to other women in the world. Her hair is either not long enough, too long, and she may wear too much or not enough make up, while not wearing the right clothing or having the best body. Women step outside and feel like we just walked onto a runway, where we’ll be judged for how we look to others. So when she gets home, she needs encouragement, as well as words to make her feel good. So many times as a spouse, we don’t pay as much attention as we should to how we talk to someone… when and how to say things…. how to just be encouraging.

Of course we may deal with a spouse who’s hard headed and doesn’t listen, or a spouse who does nothing to change when we say we’re upset, but we have to be mindful in our speech towards one another. When you get into a marriage or relationship, you’re making a commitment to care for this person. You’re saying to them “At the end of the day, you can come to me and I will take care of you.” “The world may not know how wonderful you are, but I do.” “I care about you.” But how often do we show that to the other person? How often do we tell the other person? How often do we show that, without having to say it, through our actions on a daily basis?

I challenge you to take the time to work on how you speak to your significant other. Even if you’re pissed off, talk to them how you’d like to be talked to and dealt with. Sometimes when pointing out the other person’s flaws, we forget that we have problems too. We forget that we’re not perfect. We forget that we can get on somebody’s nerves too. Take the time to be patient and monitor what you say to one another. Build each other up. Encourage one another. Take time to listen. I promise you’ll see a change in your relationship. 🙂

~The Mrs.