Monday, September 19, 2016
I know without a doubt that I'd get a lot of arguing on this one from many different groups of people. I challenge you to hear me out on this subject. It is my life mantra that you can not give anything you do not have, yet I see the people around me struggling to do just that. It wasn't long in my childhood that I realised we didn't work on all four cylinders if you will. There wasn't an undertone of "team" in the house that each person born into the current family was one more valuable team member. First, our job as a team is to pull together and understand we have one more person here to feed, bathe, and cuddle with so that they feel loved. Once that part of the life is underway, we are to instill value in them. They are to become the best human being they can possibly be. I don't see parenting being viewed as a gift of life that allows you to instill value in someone else while also doing so for Yourself. I see it as a more obligational status more than anything. For me the depth of knowing "yourself" comes from a place called the beginning. What type of beginning did you have? What was taught to you about your existence and how it impacted the family? When do you recall that being alive brought more prosperity to the whole team? Did you learn that everything you do for yourself and for others can be the deciding factor between success or failure? Once again, I stress that everything comes from your beginning. You can not be feeling valuable just because you're alive. It is to be given to you each day by your parents. You are to be taught value from the smallest parts of yourself. By learning about your body and your brain. By taking on more responsibilities and handling them well. By seeing things through you are building value and learning the value of being responsible and building on that. Sounds like a no brainer but I can't sit here and tell you 3 people who really have ever said those exact words to me about their parents and what they call their childhood. If you're one of the few who have had it, kudos to you and your families for they are no doubt reaping the benefits for living in a way that is valuable and places value on others. It can be done. It can be learned if it wasn't taught to you in your childhood. I wanted so badly to understand what my value was as a young child but the more I sit and think on what it was that I did as a child the more I remember the repetitiveness that was school and church. I don't remember much in between there. I know it's mainly because of what I was experiencing at home but we weren't alone on that matter at all. I've heard it said that you send your kid to school 8 hours a day and only an hour to church on Sundays. How are we going to catch what the brain is developing on if we don't spend time investing in the children. Isn't having children a choice to bring life into the world. "TO INVEST" in them? Once again with sadness, I sit here and wonder what most parents think makes them good parents and what their job is as a parent? I find most parents act as glorified babysitters. Just making sure the human doesn't die til the end of the day. Reality is that this behavior has it's drawbacks and this is what happens when we bypass the essential state of knowing our own value. It has been my experience that once we have gone so far feeling like a burden or like our single existence has no bearing on making the world a better place then do not make the choices to help the world around us by taking care of ourselves completely. We have to see that our whole body, choices, finances, emotions, thoughts, words, spirituality make an impact on the world around us. WHY? Because we are valuable. If we don't start from a state of awareness that we are valuable then the latter happens and we feel insignificant and worthless. Many times in my life when I thought those feelings were being lifted away, I was filling the voids with things or people (mainly cute boys). It allowed me to stave off the feelings of not being enough for a short while. Only problem was the bandaid only kept away those feelings while I was taking care of an immediate need. I wasn't coming from a place of total value in my whole body and understanding that my value came from the moment my conception had begun. God had placed value in me even though my family had not been able to mentor that in me. It wasn't unusual for me to be in deep thought with God about the value he placed on each person's life. If he had done that and it hadn't been mentored in me to be seen and felt on a daily basis then what is a person's recourse for not having what they need to survive? Change. It meant starting with myself. So that my whole self mattered I had to start over. I was surrounded by people who weren't living by that mantra of self, so it was a painful slow process to uncover things deep in my childhood. My whole approach to life to not be in secret didn't seem to be in the water supply around town so I seemed to be different than the people I was around. It did hurt on some level but the more I lived life the more I realized no one was without some dirty little secret. They just weren't as bent on dealing with it as I was. I wanted the easy life, ya know. HA! Some pipe dream that was. I have had just the opposite. Struggle after struggle after struggle. At the same time not a hair out of place. I was so blessed even from the beginning that no matter what has been thrown at me, I see the value in myself and that is what allows me to face even the most disastrous of issues in my life. If we had been taught the value of "Ourselves" from a young age we would have the ability to stand up more quickly and take the responsibility of our consequences. I know we will never be without challenges as humans and this isn't about bypassing anything in this life. It's about facing this life. Period.
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Funny hearing this word come from a hairstylist and have it not be a well-known hair product company. No, this time I'm talking about the social group that had started in my church that I went to growing up. When they started the group, it met on Sunday nights and was centered around bringing in people from the local community after graduating High School til mid 30's. It was an unusual surrounding and was themed after a low key jazzy coffee house. It was the complete opposite of anything I had ever seen before (or been around) and I really looked forward to going and catching up with old friends and making new ones. I started to reconnect to some of the guys from youth group before we all had graduated. It was nice. Familiar faces and the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. Really for me, I wanted to see if there was going to be anything different to dating in a church group. I wanted to see if I hung around people who wanted God in their lives then things must work out differently. I was on a new revelation (pun intended) that people were people and the real difference comes in when "we", meaning ourselves, get it. I was so boy crazy and trying to figure out "Was I pretty, was I likeable"? Could I fit into this group of people who had a tendency to be a little "Law crazy" (that's church speak for legalism). I wanted to find people who wouldn't hide what they were going through and be open and honest about what was going on in their lives. I don't have much to hide other than when I'm asked to get in a bathing suit then that's a different story. I wasn't finding many people choosing to be the way I was. I seemed to be the most outgoing and most talkative in the group. I had to break through somehow and find new friends to hang out with. I met this older girl we'll call "Bossy" for short. I must have pinged her hormonal radar because every fifteen minutes she would remind me to stop staring at boys or to stop flirting. I just let it roll off my shoulders. I was on my own and I didn't need her telling me what to do. I didn't much like people telling me what to do and usually I would look directly back at them and think "If I tell them what to do are they going to like it"? How about we start a true friendship that allows feedback or criticism to be applicable. I just heard nag nag nag. I wanted an opportunity to live life. Every time I turned around someone was trying to slow me down, turn me around, or make me do something their way. I made mental notes in my head not to do this in my future when it came to the people in my life. Not to tell them what to do but to go through it myself and share my experience. I was growing through this whole process although it seemed to drag on. My 20's were an incredible roller coaster ride. I didn't even know at the time how many lessons I would learn. When you think about your 20's, are they inspirational?? Yes...I have to say yes, mine were. I had a very introspective year when I left Luis behind and moving on wasn't that easy. I had my fair share of panic attacks and anxiety stricken car rides, not to mention songs that were forever ruined because of the memories that shared the same head space. I was learning through seeking out different avenues of relationships that all relationships are the same. They are built on what? A "foundation" which was really dependant on where you had come from and how much you took the time to be better than that. A rocky or immature foundation doesn't want the whole person, it wants a piece of the pie if you will. Meaning it wants company, stature, sex, control, money, security, basically whatever you can get from another person without putting much into it yourself. This tactic works great for the passive aggressive legalistic bunch I was finding at church. It wasn't truly impressive if you asked me to be part of a group that was hiding the same exact thing you would find in a nightclub. We struggled the same as other people. Sad, we thought that finding Faith at a young age would somehow bypass Satan in our lives. Nope. I learned to understand the only difference about a Christian woman and a Non-Christian woman was where she was Sunday mornings between the hours of 9-12. You laugh but it was completely true. We should be much more quick on the draw to admit our shortcomings, seek out a plan to be better, and to mend whatever relationship we were stressing at the time. What I was experiencing though was just more secrets. The year I remember most was the year 6 Nexus babies were born out of wedlock from the group. Golly, who was going to address the panty droppers of the group????? Um, did we not have enough scripture over the year to warn against such things???? Oh, it wouldn't have mattered. We had missed the whole reason for understanding who Christ was and what was the purpose of putting our trust in him. We hadn't been focusing on what mattered most. OURSELVES.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
I was tired of everyone's lies. I knew better than to believe the outside deception everyone had been putting on around me. I was in a seriously sticky situation and I had put myself there believing the lies of the devil. I had sought out this man since the moment I laid eyes on him and he did the same thing to me. Which at the time I wasn't picking up coherently that it was because both of our opposing "spirits" caught each other's attention. It really is a strong connection. I remember the way I was continually drawn to him and it really was the same way he was with me. Then there was the drug addiction which you could never tell what mood it would put him in. Let's face it, I liked the challenge. I wanted to be the winner. I wanted to let him know that he was NOT in charge and he was never going to win this game called life. I have always known my own strength and personality are intense and, on some subconscious level, I knew my spirit was strong as well. I have always wanted to be some kind of leader. There's this want or desire to be used in some way to slay evil. You can shake your head or read in disbelief, but I'm totally serious when I mean I will stand up to drama and evil all day long. What made this relationship so challenging was that I really wanted it. I hadn't chosen much of the relationships that had been giving me a hard time, but this one I did. I can honestly tell you I can not name one person in my life at that time that had a relationship that I would have wanted to emulate. Not one. So everywhere I looked it appeared I was better off. I mean break it down so you understand what I mean. I was young...check. I was in a great career.....check. I was living on my own with a new car.....check. I was working on my body image and weight issues......check. I liked myself and who I was trying to become......check. I had Faith and it was growing through this process.....check. I had a boyfriend (every young girls dream)despite the fact that he was abusive which was a drawback or glitch......check. I figured I had so much going on that the one thing that was keeping me from getting ahead right now was the one thing I could change. It wasn't that easy. You do not control other people therefore you can't be so sure that things will end in a way that is leaving everyone in one piece. That's no exaggeration when you are in a toxic relationship with a drug addict. The one thing I could rely on was the work week. It's what gave me my peace of mind. I could get the time with the clients that I wanted and I could push myself to be better at the things I could control. I wanted my life to be good. I wanted my life to be fulfilling. I wasn't quite on that path just yet. I was going to be better, somehow someway. I knew counseling was going to be my best bet. It was amazing to me how each time I was there I learned more and more about why I made the choices that I did. Even if those choices meant hurting myself. I know how to pick myself back up. What I didn't learn was how to be proactive in this category instead of reactive which was what I kept running into by making these mistakes in my life. Luis had a sweet friend from his homeland of Puerto Rico. His name was Gabriel. He was likeable enough. Sweet and funny. Definitely a sweeter spirit than Luis. I always knew he liked me but now is about the time he and I started to hang out more while trying to keep away from our toxic friend. He was really sweet to me knowing how I was trying to change the way the relationship had taken a turn and knew going back to church to hang out was what I wanted right now. He would meet me at the local diner right on the edge of town on a Sunday night to sit with me and laugh about how our lives were turning out. I loved it. I was easy to sit with someone who knew the good and the bad about Luis and knew he was wrong for hurting me. Honestly, Luis would have killed him if he had ever told him he was hanging out with me. He just kept it to himself and continued to hide his crush he had on me. He would tell me about their childhoods and it gave me a glimpse into how terrible both of their beginnings really were. They barely made it through high school and didn't have parents to call their own. Of course, they had parents somewhere but there was no home or life to go back to. They were just roaming the earth however they wanted to and looking for anything to fill the void only God could. Heartbreaking. He would tell me they were around Catholicism, which meant they had heard of God but didn't practice anything seriously. OF COURSE NOT. YOU DON'T HAVE A FAMILY, WHY WOULD YOU JUST FOLLOW JESUS? They could have had missionaries or evangelists come into their lives and share the Gospel but it hadn't happened to them. Yet. I look back now and it was just the type of soft closure I needed to confirm that this wasn't just me who was seeing and knowing Luis was wrong for my life. We just didn't know how hard he was going to fight to keep me under his control. It wasn't long before Gabriel had a hit on one of his online dating sites for Puerto Rican girls in the US. He was moving to New York to be with what he called his soulmate. Why? Cause she likes your picture? I knew it felt wrong but there was no stopping this young man who literally had nothing to keep him here or nothing to call his own. What a bleak picture these young men had. I had at least the hope that God would allow the right person to come into my life because I WOULD acknowledge him. I didn't want any of us hurting but it seemed I had used up all my "Laura" on this one and had to ride out the consequences here at the end as I tried to close this chapter for good. Adios Amigo.
Monday, September 5, 2016
Counseling?????!!!!! There's your sign. Something was wrong if I was seeking counseling again. I had been there before for food issues and I was there again for boy issues. They're all linked together. Thank you family dysfunction. Well, no matter how you look at it I needed help because I found myself in another type of mess I knew God didn't intend for my life. I was facing the the same wall in my brain as to how to go about changing the choices I was making so no more drama came my way. (little did I know drama is everywhere, and if you're the one calling it out all the time that's all you'll see) It makes sense right? I mean everywhere I went I was asking questions either in my head or out loud to another person. I found very quickly my choices weren't so different than other people's choices, it's just that I was facing them out in the open. I really wanted to find out what the heck I kept running into in relationships that didn't allow me to face the issues as they came up. I found myself stalling like I had the brakes on. I wondered what was in my brain that was getting in the way of facing the issue right then and there. I really wanted to be healthy. I mean all the way around. Not just in food but in everything I was touching. I wasn't going to get any better if I stayed in this abusive relationship. Why was I finding all the wrong relationships now?? I felt all grown up to tell you the truth but I really was so young. 22 years old is hardly grown up. For starters I had been told what to do and when to do it by the adults that had surrounded me up until then. I had gone to High School and then went to beauty school, had gotten a job and been working it to the best of my ability. I had been alive for 2 decades and each decade been given a little more responsibility until I took on full responsibility at the age of 18. I had now been on my own for about 4 years when I realized I did so many things well but find decent relationships to be around. How is it possible to grow up into something that you haven't been taught to be? Is it possible? I don't find any rationality behind such a thought and based on my own experience it's highly unlikely to have it all given to you based on personality type. This isn't a stab at every human being on the planet who hasn't had the best of beginnings, but this is an eye opener for people who want to take a serious look at what's going on in their lives. Especially their relationships. I am going to tell you that even though I thought I had myself down pat totally under control, I didn't. I wished I had grasped that in the second decade of my life where I picked up on so much of the "Whole Family Tree" dysfunction that it had been feeding me or fueling me for the last 10 years of my life. What I mean by that is each decision I made came out of liking or disliking something they did. That doesn't give much value in the whole relationship category. Just because I was around didn't mean anyone was putting time or effort into me. I came away wondering what the point of all of it was other than obligation. So tell me how out of that environment I learned to give more in all the relationships I had managed to be in and also center myself around people who would do the same for me. I didn't. That's not to say that I wasn't making strides in the right direction of course. Not all was going to hell in a handbasket. It's just that if you want more out of life you're going to have to figure out what WAS put into your brain through parenting and relationships around you and go from there. Similar to going to school you're going to need to put yourself in a situation where you can add data to the brain and reprogram what is bad inside the brain. It's not hard it's just outside of the normal thinking. I thrive on not going with the crowd. I figure it's too easy when you get a whole group of people doing the same thing and they are all in agreement on it????? FISHY RIGHT? You can never get a large group of people all doing the same thing unless it speaks to their hearts. So how did we end up here where my heart was being broken, I had no one to relate to, I had family members who were so far from reality to talk about relationships. I wanted more out of my life and I wanted more to strive for then ducking this guy's fists. How do you go about telling another person what's going on in your life? You have to be willing to put the work in. You have to be willing to lay it all out whether you change anything or not and be accountable to the information and it's impact on you and the world around you. You have to be willing to go through questioning the status quo and how it's been done in the past. YOu have to be willing to answer for what you've done so far based on your abilities and be willing to say you're sorry to yourself first so you can then forgive others in the process. You have to be willing to show up on the good days when you think you don't need any help. You have to be willing to be better than you were yesterday even if the world around you doesn't hold up that same goal. You have to be willing to come out on top knowing why you do what you do and be willing to be the only person up there to high five with. You have to be willing to communicate even the smallest detail of your life so that you can allow all details to matter no matter how small they are. Why do we allow all that time growing up to go under our belts without any checking up on how well it set us up for life? I mean, had I gone into the counselor's office perfect......she'd of sent me on my way with an "A+" stamped to my forehead and said well done. I wasn't afraid of not being perfect. I was afraid nothing would change. I saw in my own parents' life that nothing changed the more time went on except for more laziness and negligence to be found in every room. I didn't want to end up feeling things out of negligence. I wanted to feel things because I had chosen them and was proud to explain why. I have no secrets. I have found them to not be useful in a human's life. I challenge people who come in and out of my life how the secrets of what they are going through is linked to the feeling you're not equipped to handle real life in real time. I find that if I give myself the opportunity to lay all things out on the table it is in that moment I uplift myself to believe I can take a handle on things and get a different result. Just because the people who came before me did not believe in their self worth coming straight from the Lord didn't mean I had to follow suit. It would then require that I did all things differently from there on out. Not the mistakes differently......No no....the cleanup.