You did not try hard enough…

Ever failed at something and find it hard to shake it off?

Maybe you enrolled in a program and gave up midway because things were overwhelming…

Or committed to trying a new diet and gave up midway because you are not seeing results…

Now, ever shared your feelings with someone and in their attempts to encourage you or make you feel better, they tell you that “you should try harder” or  ” you did not want it bad enough?”

Don’t be that person!

“We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less.” –Diogenes

Let’s talk about how it feels, shall we?

In many cases where I shared with someone something that is haunting me, I have done the self-critic and self-reproach part already and I am not looking to feel worse than I was already feeling.  Granted, excuses abound and I can probably find infinite reasons why I cannot reach my goals.

When someone shares a burden, a failure, a shortcoming with you, how about you take a few steps back and find out what the person needs from you?

You could ask, why they shared with you and what they are hoping that you can help them with.

For example, I often share how I am trying really hard to lose weight but the scale won’t budge. I might share with you because I noticed you shared some pounds or you are confident and comfortable in your skin. I might share my thoughts so you can give me tips.  When you start off by telling me that I did not want it bad enough, it is hard for me to hear past that. I am also wary of people who are quick to give compliments, it makes me question the authenticity of what is being said.

Here are my suggestions:

Get comfortable with silence

take time to process what is being shared and to check yourself. You might get upset that the person shared things with you especially if it is heavy and you have your own “mess” to deal with. It’s ok to take a few deep breaths and if you need to, let the person know that you heard them and you just need a moment.

Thank the person for being vulnerable:

it is never easy to admit shortcomings, failures or challenges, especially not in this world where everyone is showing their best lives on Social Media. Feel honored that someone shared with you what many try so hard to keep secret. 

Be honest

Sometimes, being honest is saying that you really don’t have a response to what was just shared or that you have a lot going on and you can’t help them. This could also be a great opportunity to redirect them or assist them in seeking the right resource.

Ask questions

Many of us tend to just spill our mess when the opportunity comes it is not until we are done sharing that we realize what we needed. Sometimes we just had to vent and feel heard. Sometimes we need someone to say “I see you, I hear you but get it together.” or sometimes we need someone to say ” I am sorry because what you are dealing with really sucks.”

Not everyone masters their own “how to” guides and in this day of age where we stare at screens more than we look at each other, acts such as giving that person a genuine moment can be priceless… And in cases where you don’t have someone to do listen, you can extend the same kindness to yourself...

Let it go…

Have you done an inventory lately? What are you holding on to?

As for me, I’ve been reorganizing things and it is amazing the things that we hold onto just to feel secure. I learned that I’ve got to let go of some things in order to make room for greater, better things.

What would you let go off despite the hurt, to make room for better things?

cheers to an amazing and freeing week.

Happy mother’s day every day…

When I was younger, I wanted to be flight attendant because I loved their outfits and the idea of going around the world. My mom told me that if I wanted to have children and a family one day, I may want to rethink that… I changed my mind immediately because I knew early on that I wanted to be a mom.  The day I heard my daughter’s cry was the most beautiful and emotional day of my life. I did not care that my hair was a mess, that I was alone or that I was in pain, she was finally in my arms and she was so breathtaking…

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I thought I loved before but what I  experienced that day and every day since was beyond me… I whine, I complain and I cry… A LOT! But I will do it all over again…

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Happy mother’s day!!!

…to every mom here on earth and to those in heaven.

Because there are many of us, and some of us, for whatever reason, might not hear it from someone else today, Single mommies out there…

Mama! In case you have not heard it yet, please allow me the honor to tell you that you are doing great and there is so much more where that comes from. Happy Mother’s day!

 

Forever Young…

What would the soundtrack of your life be? Would you write it or would you pick your favorite artist to sing it?

I re-read “Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want” by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy a few weeks ago. If you are still confused about where you want to go in life and what you do, this might be a good start for you.

When I bought the book in 2016, I was embarking on what I thought was a journey that would lead me to fulfillment and Joy.  I felt that I was drifting and I wanted direction in my life. However, I read the book back then and barely did the exercises that were recommended. I put it on the shelf with the intention of revisiting it later.. almost 2 years later, here we are…  It could be that I am just getting old or it could be that I have been reading way too many self-help books but the need to take this seriously kicked in and I felt the need to do the exercises this time around… This is what I learned about me…

I want to be forever young…

“So let’s just stay in the moment… Leave a mark that can’t erase, neither space nor time. So when the director yells cut we’ll be fine”- Forever Young lyrics

Yes! every year, on my birthday, I am forever 21 but that’s not what I mean…

I want to be forever young in all my life accounts: In religion, family, career, friendships, hobbies, etc. I want to be as passionate, as eager to learn and as hungry for growth as I am on the first day of a new experience.

As I focus on the expectations that are set for me, I tend to feel like I am way behind, I become very impatient with myself and I tend to give into negative self-thoughts.

If I remember nothing else about my life plan, I want to remember to extend to myself and others some grace.

I will definitively write the soundtrack of my life, but when the director yells cut, I sure hope everyone that crossed my path remembers my “youth.”

 

Every day is a new day…

This entire week, I was uplifted by the lyrics of the song that I am sharing today… Not necessarily a big fan of the saying “TGIF”  because my wish is that we all feel awesome about our lives every single day of the week.

I still hope that these word make you smile and that you dance a little or a lot this weekend and every day…

“Let the rain come down and wash away my tears
Let it fill my soul and drown my fears
Let it shatter the walls for a new, new sun…” Stephan Richard Moccio and Aldo Nova wrote the lyrics and Celine Dion sang it…

On living a little…

In 2013, my philosophy was “Que sera, sera, whatever will be will be, the future’s not ours to see… que sera, sera…” (yes I still love the song and yes! I used to repeat those words to myself quite often)… Well, 2013 quickly became the year that I had to fight the most difficult internal battles and let’s just say that I now look back and ask myself “what on earth was I thinking?” It was not all bad, in fact, it was the year that I really started making my own life decisions. I was 25 (if you have traditional African parents, you will understand).

Why am I bringing this up? People have been telling me to live a little. While some of them are right (I do need to find more ways to have fun), Some of them were really confusing. For example, I am at a point in my life where I cannot justify spending over a certain amount of money on clothes, regardless of how good it looks on me. Yes! I work hard and no! that is not why I work hard.

In reflection, I realize that when I decided to adopt that philosophy in 2013, I also stopped dreaming. I stopped living intentionally and I let life happen to me and it was really the worst thing I could have ever done at such a prime time of my life.

As I am approaching another decade of my life, I know that I AM LIVING.  I am choosing to be intentional about every aspect of my life (spiritual, career, financial, social, family, physical and personal development) because…

“Where water is the boss there the land must obey.” — African proverb

God has the final say but there is a reason why we have to ask before we receive. While it is not always fun to say no to “living a little,” keeping my “why” in mind is a great reminder that it will be worth it in the end.

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”
— Aristotle

On getting validation

If you are like me, you question everything. It is very hard to take that first step unless I see the full picture and I know exactly where I am headed.  Well! my world stopped when I realized that I had to go to Chicago for a week. It was my first time being away from my baby and it was like pulling a tooth for me. Every step leading to the trip was painful, however, I went…

Right before a snowstorm and freezing temperature so I did not see much of Chicago. However, I accomplished the mission that took me there, I completed my first residence in the Social Work program, yay!

As painful as the whole process was, I am glad I went because I left Chicago feeling confident about my skills as a Social Worker and I also got the validation that I am on the right track.

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I did not realize that I was seeking validation for what I chose as a path for my career and I realized that (thanks to the amazing people I spent the week with)  I have not given myself permission to be Social Worker because I am interested in so many other things.  I was terrified of wearing that title because I am interested in doing many other things and I did not want to limit myself.  I made peace with the idea that my abilities are limitless and I can wear as many titles as I want.

Do you find yourself raising walls around you and resisting to grandiose dreams? well, I learned this lesson this week and I am sharing it with you: DON’T!