Tag Archives: Standards

Strength

What do you do when you notice a close family member has the same characteristics as your abuser? I decided to love both from a distance as I’m currently unable to get rid of either one of the parties. However, just like AA recognizing the problem is the first step. I’ve recognized it and now I have to put a plan in place. A plan for negative things like this to not deter me or slow me down when pursuing my life goals. So often I hear folks say cut this one off, cut that one off. However, how are you growing when you eliminate people left and right. 

A talk with a long-time friend really encouraged me that I’m learning how to deal with things I can’t control but also allowing them not to affect me is key. I started to speak my truth as we were getting off the phone and she could understand so clearly that a call back was rendered. We finished our conversation in depth and we both grew from it. I thanked her so much because I needed it as much as she did. How do you deal with relatives that have the same characteristics as abusers? You love them from a distance, you steer the conversation, and you limit their time and topics that you will address with them. There is no love lost as these people are our relatives and there was a day when we would stop the world for them. However, in the growth of wisdom, we start to see things through clear not tinted eyes. We start to assess and address things for what they are. 

I’ve learned that I’m actually building strength in speaking to them. I’m learning how to deal with the next person I  come in contact with that has these characteristics. I’m learning to recognize the patterns immediately and how to remove or distance them from me and my mental capacity. Life is not only about learning but it is also about expanding our mental capacity and learning how to deal with and address things as soon as they happen. How to stop negativity at the drop of a dime. How to not respond to the start of a conversation addressing something negative. Is this the kind of energy you want to have in your spirit for the day? Nope! 

I’ve always been a go-to person that doesn’t go to anyone. I know there are people I can call but I believe my issues are my own burden to bare. Problems and issues are also a chance to address my choices and find where I made the choice that landed me in a hard spot. We have all the answers if we will be brutally honest with ourselves. I don’t even want to use the word brutal because it’s negative, let’s say truly honest to ourselves. Truly is the only thing you should want from others and you should give to others. However many find comfort in putting on a persona. The truth always comes to light there is not even any point in lying to yourself or others. 

Over the last few years being truly honest with myself has given me so much wisdom. Stopping and asking myself why I deal with people, what is the comfort in a negative relationship, what is good, and what is bad. All questions that are very telling of our mindset. 

Your mind is one of your most important assets and it is a terrible thing to waste. So take a moment to pause and ask yourself, what got me here and how can I change it?

Tune in to my podcast Resources in the Valley for more tidbits on getting out of the valley and climbing the mountain to success!

Relocation Part 2

Whew, I’m a long way from leaving home for 4 years, then coming back almost 4 years ago.

As I look back on the knowledge that I have gained through various wonderful and terrible experiences. I can ultimately say I am grateful. Today I am anyway. I had a conversation with my now podcast co-host that I was going to go through a period of depression when I returned home. She asked me, “Why did I think that?’. I responded as I had visually seen the future. 

Sidebar: Be careful what you speak into existence.  

About 2 months later I moved back home. Depression was immediate and tough times became tougher. Honestly speaking, I knew I couldn’t depend on people but I gave them a chance, anyway. This was not just one person, this was many. In the first 3 months, I went from already being homeless to also losing my children and my vehicle, as well. Devastated wasn’t the word, not even depressed, I was defeated. I was waving the white flag, just giving up. My family and friends tried to encourage me as much as they could, however, I felt like I had totally failed at life. I didn’t even want to serve my clients. Many of them wouldn’t take no for an answer. So I straightened up as much as I could and pushed forward. That first year really was a blur. I just tried to make myself happy in all the wrong ways. Through 4 places I stayed and 2 cars I acquired but didn’t have, I was still homeless. The first day I went back to work my transmission went. It took me a year to get that car fixed. 

The second-year was better than the first. I finally got my own place. A month in my own place I realized I was not in a good relationship and needed to get this out of my life. At the same time, in the back of my mind, I was scared to do things on my own and felt like I needed a person, a partner, a friend. I tried to push through unnecessary drama and still carried things on my own, I still felt like I needed him. When in reality, I didn’t. I was taking care of everything because I’m a superwoman. I really hate that, honestly, but I’ve always played that position even during the hardest of times.  It took me too long to get out. I grew during that year though. I grew mentally, physically, and spiritually. 

Through the even tougher times as I struggled to get back to me, I learned a lot. I assessed a lot. I asked myself why are you allowing these things in your life. I finally made up my mind to remove them in the third year. That was even more drama. However, on the other side of that relationship, I renewed my belief in myself. I realized that through all that mess, I looked for someone to save me and the only person I needed to save me was me. Relocating and removing myself from my environment created a different level of resilience that I’m not sure I was capable of before. 

So this year, I’m a superwoman for myself and my children. Year four, I’m dedicated to taking care of myself. I had to embrace that I am a super and will always be my own hero. I will be a superhero, for me!

Trust

Everyday is still a constant challenge. You realize you may need a help mate in life however it’s hard to trust people. Hard to depend on others. It’s hard it truly is. Trusting some one as a friend and trusting some one as a roommate or partner are two different levels. Thru the last few years many have offered many I turned down. Not because of lack of friendship but because of lack trust. Lack of trusting someone with your full life not just part of it. I’ve mastered the trust with part of it side not the trust with all of it side. Most don’t meet that standard. I’ve realized that over this time of lack. I don’t trust anyone with my whole life, I’m not sure if I ever will.
I have a method of avoidance. Consistently avoiding fully opening up or fully disclosing. Only partial,  always partial. I call it protecting my heart.  However I recognize it’s toxic.  Early childhood experiences from so called friends that betrayed me in many ways. I remember a distinct incident of a girl that came to my birthday party so they would have something to talk about. Through these incidents  I made an unconscious choice on how to deal with people in the future.  Don’t let them get too close.   Moving around has driven me insane and hasn’t made my trust any better.  So as I prepare to make more changes, I also prepare to open myself up to fully trusting someone.

Distance made the picture clearer

The further you step away from something the clearer you can see. The blessing here lies in walking away.  As I walk away I see more reasons why I should have a long time ago.  Why did I allow such things? What did I believe was wrong with me? I already knew abuse was not love, but I still continued to allow it.  Some men truly believe that violence will control a woman and some women fall for it.  I was her, when I thought I would never be her.  Truthfully I was more scared than I was in love.  I knew certain nights I wasn’t going to get sleep and I would mentally prepare myself for the bullshit. Weather, I was going to be woken out of my sleep to argue fight or cater to him.  Either way, I wasn’t sleeping.
Why did I think I needed someone I was supporting?
Ups were high and the lows were low.  Everything we’re not supposed to be doing always feels great.
It didn’t feel great when I’m around my friends and I’m the only one without my man.  It didn’t feel good when we would go anywhere in our hometown and he would find an excuse to leave.
It definitely didn’t feel good being smacked because my landlord called me after 9. Smacked choked, or yelled at ‘just cause’ in reality.  A lot of those incidents were just cause.  I was a fool.  Foolishly, supposedly in love. 
Love doesn’t hurt,  love doesn’t make you lower your standards, you don’t have to endure your confidence being diminished.
Love is truly patient,  love is kind,  it is not selfish.  Love does not cost anything.  Love is understanding.  Love is never disrespectful. 

Desire, dedication & determination

Desire: to long or to hope for; to exhibit or feel desire for; to express a wish for.
Dedication: devoted to a cause, ideal, or purpose: given over to a particular purpose
Determination: firm or fixed intention to achieve desired end. ; the act of deciding definitely or firmly. Also, the result of such an act of decision.

These words represent three states of mind you have while pursuing your goals. These mindsets determine your approach and the work you will put towards them regardless of how soon you see results. When you start a business, you must work for a future return, not an immediate return. If you are looking for an immediate monetary return, be very careful. I’m not saying it can’t happen, I’m here to say that consistent actions towards the completion of a project or management of a business is required before you can truly enjoy the rewards. Work is required.

Desire is the first phase. I call this stage the ‘dream mode’. In this phase, you decide that you want to start the business. You start to talk about it and ask questions to find out what starting this business may entail. During this phase, you decide if this is going to be a dream or reality. You decide that you can do this, or you decide that you would love to do that one day. You tell yourself you’ll put it off until  “I have time, when I have money, when I retire, etc.” The excuses roll in and this dream of starting this business becomes just that–a dream. Your dream becomes something you put off to the side and never work on. If you are currently in this phase, research methods of support, different streams of income to include, ways to start things for free, true professional costs, licenses, and insurance, etc. Make a plan and find a mentor. A good mentor is going to encourage you and help push you thru this process. A business consultant can do this as well. If you would like to work with me, check out http://www.blainelacar.com

Dedication is the second phase. During this phase, you consciously decide your next steps. You decide to dedicate your energy towards this cause. You do more research and you find more ways to get this business started. You decide that this can be done and you want to do what it takes to reach the goal. Your desire to reach this goal has expanded and changed into a passion to get this thing done. This is the phase where planning becomes action and you usually start to lay the foundation of the business. You have a need to reach success. You start working in the evenings towards your new business. You may even quit your day job to commit more time to this business and live off your savings. This phase is exhausting. You’re working and seeing some return, but you would like to grow bigger. With a bigger business comes more sacrifices and a greater investment. You definitely want to grow so you move to the next step.

Determination is phase three and this is the phase before things truly take off. This is the phase when you have worked so hard, you may start to become frustrated. You may feel like “maybe I should end this and move on to something else.” You feel like you are stuck. This phase is painful yet beautiful. Your tears of pain, passion, and confusion will turn into tears of joy. You gain a compassion to take your business to the next level. You find plans of action, investors, partners, and new products or services to include. During this phase, many become tired of working towards something without output. You’re investing more time and not making much profit. You may be taking a loss, you may be doing all the work, or you may be having trouble finding dedicated help. This is the phase where you should take the time to analyze. Make sure you are using all of your resources and delegating responsibility properly. Most importantly, keep working towards the goal. On the other side of determination is SUCCESS!

Rest, recharge, refocus

I learned today that when you are told to rest. Rest! My planned rest day, that only included lunch with a friend, quickly turned into a busy day. Started working at 7:30 and didn’t stop, other than lunch, until the evening. My motto, there is always something to do, makes it very hard to take a break. Despite the day, rest didn’t happen. This is often the story of my life and as I keep hearing “just rest”, being whispered to me more and more, the harder I’m working. Well, life directs us and you will find out how God speaks to you whether, it’s thru symbols, the word, quiet time, running, etc. Every relationship is different, just know when your being directed and follow the directions.

Over the past year, I have been told to rest in every way shape or form. My personality ignores it, I try to half rest, but I do something else. As the new year came upon us. I began to question my routine. Routines that I started and ended. Routines that I let get away from me, even though the results were great.

On the third day of the year , fell. I make most of my immediate income moving around. Throughout the challenges my family and I faced over the past few months, I let things that I was working on get away from me.  With adding immobility into a long list of challenges, I truly had to rest. I can’t move around as freely and as I regularly as I am used to.  I truly started to focus on the word rest. We mostly associate rest with sleep, doing nothing, watching a movie, spending time with family etc. I started to evaluate my routines. I don’t allow my family time to be cancelled, I consciously try to consistently make time to spend on myself. I started to ask myself what’s missing: development. My development time has been cancelled and pushed to the side.

So all though I kept receiving the word rest, it really wanted me to focus. I needed to rest to determine what was missing. I needed to rest to have reflection time. I needed to recharge and refocus. I needed to get back down to basics, the foundational stuff. Any house without, a firm foundation will always fall, the same goes for your business and your life.

So thru the challenges and thru the unplanned and forced rest, I recharged and refocused. Sometimes we hear a word or choose a word fo the year and it may not be that particular word you are supposed to focus on, that word may open the door for a more important word. Watch your focus, remove distractions, and rest before you are forced.

Everyday you get a chance to make a change thru your choices!

This Strange Feeling

This feeling I have, I’m trying to dismiss.

Yet every way I can push him he doesn’t resist.

He’s sticking around, to me that’s a little scary.

I’m so intrigued in one way however frightened in another.

That L word HELL NO That’s a place I don’t want to go.

However our souls collide and the vibes are right.

And I must admit he’s like a thief in the night he steals my thoughts.

Yet I don’t want this to happen I am losing this battle.

What battle are you fighting? Don’t make up an invisible one.

Are you in actual war and your heart needs to be protected or

Are you at war with fear of letting someone see you naked?

Are you running from happiness?

Are you running from your gift? Are you running from your soulmate?

Are you going to turn your back on this?

Could this be love? Is it real or fake?

These are the many questions we ask ourselves. To trust or not trust?

Is the question itself?

Do you open all the way to be let down again?

Or do you walk away from what could be because fear says don’t let him in?

Washed Up

“Washed up, left for dead, dissed and forgotten, they hoped that I’d be gone, stiff and rotten”, Nas said in Ether. So many people feel this way, men, and women, about past relationships, and the times they have put their hearts on the line.

I’ve placed my heart in the hands of men that didn’t have any good intentions, I’ve planned weddings with people that still had someone on the side, I’ve taken care of people when they couldn’t take care of themselves, while I could barely take care of myself. I’ve been a victim of physical abuse, I’ve been verbally abused. I’ve fought through mental abuse, I’ve been constantly torn down instead of loved. I’ve been his fool, I’ve been used, I’ve been deceived. I’ve even been patient while waiting for him to get it ‘together’. I’m sure many of you have conquered these things with me.

These things are not a mark of dishonor, they are actually a mark of an overcomer. You have overcome despite, being used, taken advantage of, unloved, fooled, the constant challenges, the constant heartbreak, the depression, and strife. These things have made you stronger, not weaker. Don’t be ashamed of the things that you have overcome. For you have gotten over the hurdle. You made it even though. You completed the challenge and continued moving forward. Your heart was broken and you tried again. This time is no different from any other time. You’ve learned a lesson, you’ve gained wisdom and knowledge. You may not be able to see it now, but this made you smarter, it made your actions more precise. We can make it thru this. Your failures are not what defines you, your actions after it is what develops character, strength, and perseverance. That’s what I admire. The perseverance that no matter what, I’m going to get up and try again.

Did you know that horseshoe crabs shed their shells? The process is called molting, this is how they grow. Sometimes, we may feel like we are that shell, hard on the outside and don’t want to let anyone in.  The shell that has washed up on the beach and has been left behind. When in reality we have shed our shell. We’ve taken another layer off, to expand our knowledge, our reach, our minds. We had to shed to grow. We had to go thru the lost to learn this lesson and experience this growth.

Do you know someone is looking up to you? Everytime you get up, someone else decides to get up too, because you tried again. You gave them the strength to do the same. There are many people that didn’t have much it easy growing up, yet they are relentless in their pursuit of success. It’s because they saw their parents/guardians get up and make the most out of every day, regardless of the outcome. It never stopped them.

Don’t let it stop you!

Dating vs Courting

My plan was not to make this blog about dating or being single necessarily, but to discuss hurdles we all may have to conquer eventually. As a single woman in my mid-30s, this topic comes up often. I’ve heard many women ask how to tell whether you’re courting as opposed to dating. Many women who are practicing celibacy state they would like to court not date. I decided I wanted to discuss this to see what your opinions are and if people, in general, have the same opinion.

So I asked FB, lol. If you’re not googling it these days, you ask facebook. I actually received some great feedback. Some of it was expected, some unexpected. My favorite comment so far stated at the end of it that, “dating can become courting and courting can never become dating.” This struck a chord with me as this demonstrated the seriousness and the commitment of courting. This also made very clear that in courting, if you’re not moving towards the goal of a serious relationship or marriage, you’re not even interacting. To me, this speaks volumes and shows courting as very intentional in the growth of the relationship. Most of the feedback said the difference is that when courting, your focus is on the future and on that special person rather than dating which is spending time with anyone available.  I agree with all of the feedback I received.

I can definitely agree courting it is totally different from dating and may be something you may not be familiar with until it occurs. I’m honestly not familiar with it myself. I believe that the conversation is different, the reactions to one another are different yet intentional. You care about the other party’s feelings and opinion. You speak about finances in depth. You speak about health in depth. You speak about families in depth. Discussion of pet peeves and desires, not expectations so much, because you are both in a position where you want to set the expectations together. This is what I believe courting will entail. I also hope for courting to include the absolute want to understand the other party. The need to feel accomplished until they can fully understand thoughts and maybe even actions.

I don’t believe in dating much, as I truly believe it is a waste of time at my age. I believe that dating should be finished after the first or second date. At this point, you should know whether you truly have an interest in this person or not. It may be able to go on a little longer to turn into courting, however, I don’t think it takes that much time to truly gauge seriousness.

How do you know if you’re dating or courting? I still don’t know, however, I’m trying to learn. How can you recognize the difference? Let’s learn to recognize the differences together.

Please leave your thoughts below as this is only the beginning of this topic. Let’s list out the characteristics of courting so that my ladies looking for this will know what to expect.

 

Be Who You Are…

This week I came to terms with a relationship that did not need to be. I confirmed something that I suspected all along, but I would not follow my gut. It only took a few months in this relationship for me to realize that things weren’t right. However, I still carried on to give this person the benefit of the doubt. Of course, as most men do every time I tried to cut ties, he all of the sudden found a way to reel me in.

As I reflect on this situation to learn the lessons that I needed to learn I found several things. First, I have to stop waiting to see what I already suspect. When we suspect something it disturbs your peace. No relationship should disturb your peace. If anything, it should bring you more peace of mind and self- confidence. Second, I realized that you don’t have to give anyone the benefit of the doubt. Do you give your platonic friends the benefit of the doubt? Not as much as those we give in a romantic relationship. Why is that? It’s because we desire companionship. However, companionship is not made of confusion. The third thing I learned is you must be who you are. I realized that in my pursuit to find a companion I have watered myself down. I have softened up, I have become nicer (putting some of my standards aside). I call myself spreading agape love, which we should give to everyone, however, our personal emotions we still must protect. I found myself trying to love someone into loving me. None of this works, ladies, stay strong, stay independent, stay busy. Keep your standards, stick to your guns, and the person you are supposed to be with, will not think you are too much. I must be me at all times. You don’t have to change for the one that is yours. For there will be no hurdles or walls high enough to block what is supposed to be. Many women of our status feel that there is a shortage of men that can handle us, when in fact there are not. We are just giving the wrong ones the benefit of the doubt.

I promised myself, I wouldn’t do a new year, new me, and not going to make this blog that. However, it’s a new year and you need to be who you are. Don’t curve, or bend, who you are to fit someone else’s ego. You only end up with the short end of the stick. Be confident, you are beautiful, you are strong, you are smart, you are desired. You are attractive! Vet your relationships the same way you vet your friendships and don’t take any shorts. You don’t have to. Ladies, you are wonderful! Be Who You Are! Your blessing comes without your mask.