Are You Leveling Up In Life?

I’m sure anyone reading the title of this article would want to answer… “Hell yes!” I’m certain of this, because I would also like to answer with a resounding… “Hell Yes!” The truth is, somethings never change. The reason why they never change is we believe that they will never change. Change your beliefs and things will change. Why is that? Your beliefs create your reality. Beliefs are the reason we live the way we live. If we believe that work is stressful, that will not change. If we believe we can’t put the bottle down, you will not be able to stop drinking. If you continue to stay in a toxic relationship your belief of love is that it’s supposed to be painful. Your beliefs create your life. This is my leveling up thought for the day.

“Beliefs can be created about anything & everything in our world.”

Creating a new belief that better serves you can be challenging, but challenging does not mean impossible. I grew up with limiting beliefs, I believe most people do. My dad was doing his best with what he knew or believed to be true. He loves his kids and I know he would do anything for any of us. I see now that the most important thing he could have done for us was to love himself the way he has always deserved to be loved. He believed that our lives being stuck in poverty was what he deserved, so he continues to remain there. Even now I see him struggle. I help him… but the only person who can truly help him is himself. He is an amazing person, but he doesn’t know that. I hope to help him see that someday, I’ve been trying for over 29 years. He survived a difficult home life as a child… being beaten and berated. He had never dealt with that pain & so naturally, he became a man that never dealt with the false statements that were said to him as a child. I know this left him with the feeling he would never be good enough. This belief transferred to me. I get my heart from him. He is truly a selfless human being and I adore him for that, and I also know that he still needs to know his true value and aware of his self-worth.

My dad and my son.

I evaluated my success by other’s happiness. This is a formula for disappointment. I would break my back helping my family to prove I was good enough. This eventually led me to validating the same beliefs my dad still holds to this day. I know I’m not a bad person for believing that for so long. It was my belief because that’s what I was taught. If I decided to do anything based on my own happiness those actions were going to be considered selfish. I couldn’t become a selfish person. We had always said that mom was selfish, because she decided to leave, and that wasn’t who I wanted to be. I had to be the opposite to make my dad happy. I continued to put myself last. I learned how to be the best people pleaser. I believed this was ok.

Leveling up in certain areas might be getting a promotion, buying a home, or maybe just moving into a bigger one, maybe paying off that debt. These are examples of what could change so that one might experience an exterior leveling up, but what I am experiencing and hope to share so others may experience this fully is a broad awareness of now. Awaking to the moments that have carried you to this particular destination. In order for one to level up, you must rise above your own understanding of why your world is made up of the things that are in it. It’s acknowledging the critical patterns and beliefs that creates behaviors that will alleviate you from the things that plague you.

For me it was becoming fully aware of my limiting beliefs. It has been holding me captive and I demand now to be released to experience the things I know I deserve.

In my love life, I will no longer accept what I have in the past. I am not anyone’s trophy or plaything. I am someone who will be treasured and loved with a matched intensity. I will love fully by giving of myself. If that can’t or won’t be reciprocated, I will create the environment where it will be reciprocated. Being kind and loving to myself is not being selfish. Those who truly love me do not want to see me in pain. Those who truly love and trust me will not control me. I am a loving person and I can freely express my love to others without it being seen as evil or deceitful. Love is God, God is love. I will no longer repress the love I have for myself. The old limiting beliefs for relationships that I have held onto are gone. I’m fully capable of loving myself and being completely self-reliant and not feel guilty about it.

My children will see me as a person that will never leave them, but as their biggest support. The best thing I can do is to model self-love and to teach them how to value their unique characteristics so that the world may appreciate and love them with the purest of intentions.

I fully accept the abundance that has been waiting for me to accept it. I accept the energy of having more. More love, more money, more time, more freedom. I hope you will also accept the abundance of good things that are waiting for you!

So much love from my heart to every reader! Life is just beautiful if you believe that it is!

Poorly Constructed Play…

Entering the scene: An innocent child walks upon broken eggshells.

She timidly tiptoes through the mess, fearing a misstep will awaken her very own concept of hell.

This appears to be leftover shrapnel, sprayed about the floor, more added everyday.

Fight or flight, her consistent, constant state

Now we watch as her mother departs, we watch as she drives away leaving her family behind.

The mother continues down this other path, hoping this other man would ease her own troubled mind.

We see the little girl, distraught & abandoned, feeling powerless against this one thought “I’m not good enough.”

We watch as she nervously applies layer after layer of mortar and brick.

First, she will fall for anyone who sees her as a beautiful person not someone unworthy & sick.

A novice at life, not even a teen. The child begins to build her very own wall.

She would realize at a later time in life, that the higher she builds it, the harder she’ll fall.

We see her wander around like an obedient puppy, seeking out a treat.

Consistently reinforced, her own desires are quick to retreat.

The people pleasing attitude

She believes that everyone must be pleased with her & what she can do.

A pattern established in her life before the age of ten, “ditch them 1st before they can leave.”

The pain she hides from the world, it’s hard to describe, even harder to conceive.

No one can abandon her if she’s the one walking away.

Her father now comes into view, we see him trying to raise three kids on his own.

She doesn’t know who to be, or where to go.

The words spew from her father’s mouth, the insults spoken of women stunting her mind.

“Don’t be like your mother, the only thing she ever did well…was lie.”

Echoes of his bitterness and pain can still be heard in her ears.

Growing up too fast, too many bad things to deal and not enough years.

Empathizing with her father’s pain as she tries to help him heal.

Growing up in fear, she learns to lead her life by how things feel.

The pain of this tragedy, so fresh, she still has no idea of how long it’s been.

Mapped out for her by this painful past, she takes the long way which leads to self-hate and sin.

She obeys what “they” say, believing their lies.

Not yet learning her own untethered way.

Ignoring the red flags, her own self-respect just to numb the pain.

Her own happiness,she decides can be found by making others smile.

Her own state of well-being would not be discovered for awhile.

Underneath her fake expression and silence…

her fears have successfully harnessed her self-confidence.

The innocence that carried her through half of her life…

She discovers was only hidden. It had not yet died.

The past she had carried, she releases as it was poorly constructed.

What do we want the audience to learn from her “Start loving yourself and don’t be self-destructive!”

Photo:zm406 “Always ❤️ YOU”

Monsoon Kind Of Pain

Standing in the rain…

Feeling this monsoon kind of pain.

The drops hit my face

Scattering my tears all over the place.

There is no way

To wipe the tears away.

Living this monsoon kind of pain

My path once aligned with the storm’s

Destroying nearly everything, leaving me torn.

I suddenly look up and realize

That these are my skies.

Still standing in the rain

Still noticing this pain.

I look back and understand

There is no one there to take my hand.

No one can pull me from this path,

I’ve chosen this route this is my own wrath.

Consequences of turning away from the sun.

This left me wailing & completely undone.

Standing in the rain

Feeling this monsoon kind of pain.

I look forward…

I see something, but it’s blurred.

I move toward it

I can see that

I’ve stepped beyond the rain

No longer living in pain

The sun dries up my tears

& my pain disappears.

The moral here is this…

You may not always live in bliss.

Keep moving forward on your path…

Simply knowing you are in charge of that.

Photo:406 peace and love.

Peace to you all!

I’m looking at the “GREY”

More specifically, I chose to finally add “Grey’s Anatomy” to my list of things to do when the world stopped functioning normally and told all of us to stick it out inside of our homes (for an unspecified amount of time.) I knew this was a lofty goal to set… to complete this mega-series. I just had to do something.

Why had I waited so long to start watching GA? … Well, I asked myself this exact question just a day or so in to watching the show.

The series had started at the end of March, 2005. The cast is full of McDreamy’s (@PatrickDempsey) and McSteamy’s (@EricDane) and the line up of actresses are women you either want to ask to be your friend (@SandraOh) or emulate. (@EllenPompeo) they did amazing with casting.

I could have used this show in 2005, but during that time in my life, I am not sure that I would have appreciated it near as much as I do now at 38 years old. At that time, I was about to wrap up 4 years of active duty service at my final duty station, Ft.Benning, Georgia. Just finishing up my time as a war-seasoned E-4, Corporal. I was struggling a bit to find myself knowing that I was no longer the small-town girl I was when I entered the military. How had I lost myself so much during these 4 years away from home? Had I experienced too much independence, maybe? Is that even a thing, too much independence? Was it necessary for me to go through all of these things to lose her? The person I was told to be. (Sorry writing out loud.)

The Infantry Center Chapel, Ft. Benning, GA

I wasn’t going back home or back to that small town. I had just gotten engaged and had been busy planning my wedding, which was quickly approaching in just a few months. I would sit for hours after work sewing on my wedding dress, pondering what the rest of my life as a soldier’s wife would be like? Truth! The idea of a wedding at this point petrified me. I did know that I wanted to hold onto that respectable soldier, and this was the next step. We managed to stay together for 4 years. He stayed in the Army and I moved back home. The call of the familiar was too loud for me to just ignore.

This is the exact pattern I used to make my dress.

I created a fantasy future while absorbed in a different series. A series that involved Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda & Samantha. Yes, I was living out lifestyle fantasies with the girls from Sex in the City. I wanted to go live in New York City and have a sophisticated lifestyle comparable to theirs. Instead, what I opted for was marriage to that respectable soldier and a move to Ft. Bragg. I guess I did a few things to live like those gals and still do. I shop like all of them (*thrift stores) act confident like Samantha & write like Carrie ! 😂

I believe the real reason I didn’t cave to watching Grays Anatomy at that time, was I didn’t just do what was popular or on trend, I did what I wanted, when I wanted. The truth was, I had no idea what I was missing out on. This show is a dream come true for the person with BPD. (Borderline Personality Disorder) So many of the characters deal with trauma, had I watched this in 2005 it may have been too early in my life, it wouldn’t have resonated then the way it does now.

You can see two characters in particular display great growth throughout the show as their characters suffer major losses and heartbreak. Meredith Grey and Alex Karev are very relatable and you grow to cheer for their success despite whatever chaos they invite into their lives.

Thank you @ShondaRhimes for creating such a great series! Your talent is amazing and inspiring.

Just watched Season 10: Episode 14 this song came on and it just makes sense about changing the world. The only thing we have to do is start with OURSELVES.

Man in The Mirror

This show was more than entertaining for me it was therapeutic and the cast became friends for me during the lockdown. I know I will watch it all over again because it made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me feel, which showed me life isn’t over. To end this little blog post this is a little quote that Meredith Grey’s mother would always say to her.

🎠 “The carousel never stops turning” – Ellis Grey

So pick your favorite seat and hang on! Have a great day and if you decide to watch Grey’s Anatomy let me know what you think. It was a 10/10 for me!

“Monday start the carousel ride”
Photo:Zm406.Mon.0830

Saving The Floor & Foundation…

On Friday, I was forced to work from home, reasons beyond COVID. The building where we have classes had to shut off the water… plumbing issues. Hopefully they will have it all figured out by Monday.

What the east hallway looked like.

So we did what we always do… we press on! Understanding the difficulties and adapting to overcome those difficulties.

I don’t think masks are necessary over Zoom. Better safe than sorry! Gotta love those Aloe Vera plants! The cure to almost any ailment!

Teaching on Fridays, normally plays out with me in my classroom, students joining me on Zoom at 9:00 to attend class. We have our Distance Learning instruction, they can ask for assistance, and then I distribute assignments. The rest of the afternoon is for planning and entering data. I love Fridays at work. But this past Friday that didn’t happen. We managed to have class, but the enjoyable afternoon I normally have didn’t happen. Instead, I came home to a construction zone with tons to do.

Taken during construction… 🙁

I’m dead tired. Friday night we were up until 6am. Saturday up until 1am. We have tons left to do. I hope I can handle it.

Here I am… a little overwhelmed.

I’ll post the after photos as soon as new floor is in. I’m looking forward to the redesign aspect of this job though. I love looking at how amazing something can potentially be. Pray for us! This stuff is hard work.

Zoom Teaching

I enjoy using zoom for classes. I have received mixed responses from my students. Some love it and some need still need the one on one learning experience.

Zoom will open with proper codes

I know there is more for me to learn to be the best online instructor. I’m just excited when my students are able to log on. It was challenging at first and these enhancements (hurdles) in learning occurred because of COVID. We are still learning how to conquer these obstacles.

Hurdles are always going to be in the way.

I know I’ve heard from other teachers that distance learning is too difficult. I tend to think that we could give distance learning a chance. We haven’t given it much of a chance. Look at the old model of education, it hasn’t been the greatest and how long have we been supporting that?

Is it safe to say that I may not be old school? 😊

Have a blessed day! Enjoy teaching whether it’s face to face or online.

We all appreciate sacrifices.

Sometimes things are out of my control! Sometimes they aren’t!

I will be ok. We will be ok! Lord guide us all to a place of peace and understanding. This morning didn’t go quite as expected and that’s ok. Things that were out of my control played out as they will everyday and that’s ok!

God was already preparing me this morning for this change in seasons. Life is a blessing pure and simple. We should all be grateful for the simple blessings we receive each day. I know that he puts us in situations at times to make us stronger and to challenge the love we have for ourselves. I look up to the sky as I do most days and say “Thank You Lord!” Thanks for making me stronger. I do wish at times I could hear his reply, but I feel it. I feel that he is telling me to learn from the situation and be stronger. As I get older I realize this more and more!

God bless you and yours and remain faithful to yourself and to what you have been called to do.

Sometimes things are out of my control. I can learn to live with that. Sometimes things are within my control and those good decisions make me stronger. Stronger in character. Stronger emotionally. Stronger overall.

✌🏻 & ❤️

Have a blessed day!

Doing My Best… Back in the Classroom!

I start the day, just like everyday. I wake up, turn on the Keurig and head to the shower. I then go start my coffee, add some cream because I am not a psychopath. ( it’s fine if others don’t use cream.) 😀

Cup of Happy!

I carry the cup of motivation with me into the bathroom. I begin to put on my makeup the same way I always do. First moisturizer, primer, foundation, blush, eyeshadow, brows, mascara. That’s good enough. Now I must decide what to do with all this hair. I don’t want to always wear it up in a messy bun. What would be the point of having all of this hair if I’m just going to pin it all up all the time. I opt to curl it in big waves and pin the bangs back that I’m growing out, I must do this since I impulsively cut them a few months back. Then I dress, grab my coffee pour it in a to-go mug, refresh it, and head out the door. I drive almost a mile to my job. (Yes, I know… what a long commute.) Things look a little bit different now, because of COVID-19, but not really. It’s just that everyone now looks like a bandit about to rob a stage coach or train cart upon entering our school. (Minus the stick horse.)

I start my day now always feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all, I have learned to take a stoic approach and I remind myself what is happening around me is beyond my control, all that I can control is how I respond. So… I arrive to work and wipe down tables, prepare for class and spray disinfectant spray on the areas I know people will touch. I display the homemade cloth masks I have made for my students on my desk, they may take one if they need one. I tell them I have made these so that we all remain healthy and it’s the least I can do to help.

I had one student show up for class today to take a test. I had scheduled 2 to take a test. I have to keep class size at no more than 6 students at a time, it seems like a small class size, but it’s necessary since I teach adults. COVID-19 seems to be more brutal for adults.

It should be relatively easy to keep class size down since most people aren’t sure of what to do with their futures right now. Even as an educated and seasoned person the future doesn’t appear as bright as it once did. I continue to pray that this year will continue as close to normal as possible and that we will be ok. I hope that we can maintain some sort of defense against the unknowns. Even if that defense is simply maintaining control of our reactions. This year has made it more evident than any other year that life is short and surprises both good and bad are bound to happen. I pray for everyone’s protection and sanity during this time of uncertainty. Please pray that I am able to be light for my students who are in darker places. Please pray that I can help them see a future even though we don’t know what is happening right now. This has made it so difficult for me to teach the way I have in the past. Please pray that I can make the changes necessary to be a good guide in their learning experience. Thanks for those of you that read and pray! God Bless!

HBD

Financially Toxic Parents

For starters, I’m a teacher in Oklahoma. The pay here isn’t the best, but I’m especially thankful for what I have been able to earn during these uncertain times. Knowing just that little bit of information about me should be enough to make everyone aware of the stress it brings when my already tight budget gets even more pressed when one of my parents requests help every month with paying their bills. Add to that the fact that I am already helping them pay a portion of their bills automatically each month. A big part of me feels obligated to help as I have been the “pleasing & obedient” child since my parents divorced when I was just 9 years old. I wasn’t aware until recently that this feeling I have of obligation to care for this parent may also be a side effect of spending the greater part of my childhood in a toxic and emotionally abusive environment.

I was ok with helping him out on occasion. He had always helped me out when I would find myself in a bind. I was also the one taking care of his paperwork/bills like a voluntary secretarial service. He tells me frequently that it’s better if I just do it now, because his memory is shot and he isn’t smart enough anyways to handle all of it. I do what he says. After all he is my dad. I do what I can to help when I see that he just doesn’t have the money to cover his expenses.

Two years ago, his reliance on me got even worse when he drove in to my driveway with a brand new car. Oddly enough, he didn’t need my advice to get that deal done. I know why he didn’t ask my advice, because I would have told him flat out that he couldn’t afford it.

He kept the car. I just continued to enable his reliance on me and let the stress build on me and my finances. I finally cried out yesterday after he asked me to pay his rent for the month. He said “ this is the last month. I’ll be done after this. When we get this paid …this place will be put in your name.” My response, “dad, I don’t mind helping when I can, it’s when I can’t! It kills me. It also kills me that I know once I figure out what to do to solve this problem you will bring me next month’s financial problems to solve.” I believe this can all be summed up by saying, I am having so many conflicting emotions about establishing healthy boundaries here.

I have been trying to pull myself out of this ditch of living paycheck to paycheck for several years. This is very hard to do when someone keeps randomly digging right beside me, spontaneously. I know I need to remove myself from this toxic place especially if I want to achieve my hopes and dreams. My hopes and dreams remain pretty simple. Give my kids what I never had. A stable environment, good financial guidance and unconditional love & support. I want to give my kids at least a mound to start from not a ditch.

Some links I have found are listed below sharing more information with grown children that may deal with financially irresponsible parents.

When you Find Yourself Paying for Your Parents’ Financial Mistakes

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/my-mother-lives-below-the-poverty-line-but-i-stopped-paying-her-debts-2016-07-09

https://m.economictimes.com/wealth/plan/3-things-ageing-parents-can-do-to-stop-being-financially-dependent-on-their-kids/articleshow/72599908.cms

(7/7/20) OL.

Mirror

Back when she was just a little girl .

Smiling back innocently at herself

A rapidly changing, shifting world

Scared to be imperfect, she chose to withdraw

She backed away from the image, she knew that she saw

A fragile, terrified image. An easily broken little girl.

What the world could behold now was only this confused blur

Photographs by Victoria Audouard

No fine details to describe

No shape left of her to trace

Withdrawn into camouflage, no seek just hide

Just one more star fleck in space

A few years had passed and she had grown

What peered back at her was still unknown

Looking at herself, seeking her lost reflection

Certain she’d been hiding from this place

Decided that now it’s time for this correction

To adjust the focus on the blur, to find her face

A few more years had passed

She had grown once more

What peered back at her

Had become a bit more restored

No more concealing her identity true

To find the right masks that fit the crowd or master the new moves

In order to correct her blurred view

She must adjust the focus on herself to…

Find out what makes her real

Find out what makes her feel

She looks in the mirror today

She sees wrinkles and scars

Evidence that the little girl she thought would break

Had made it through more than just a few wars

The beauty is not in her face, but in what she can take.

The mirror doesn’t hold the importance it once did.

As it can’t see the remarkable internal mechanics of a kid.

I no longer look for my reflection in a flat surface called the mirror

But in the smiles on my children’s faces. I’ve never seen myself clearer.