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Is It Harder to Give Up on You or Give You a Chance?

At any given moment, we have at least these two choices : we can set to work on the tasks we see ourselves in need of accomplishing to get to where we think we want to go. Or we can give up on ourselves and decide the effort is not worth it. Or we’re not worth the effort. When you don’t feel worthy of the effort, you live a lifetime of giving up.

I asked myself, what is more difficult, giving up or giving yourself a chance? You’d think that working toward something , be it a better life or self-esteem or relationship with yourself would be harder work than giving up. But I think the opposite is true.Is It Harder to Give Up on You or Give You a Chance? on Shalavee.com

It’s hard work resigning yourself to your lack of worth for the effort. Believing in your complete lack of value is the hardest most painful work of all. To continue to endure your devaluation of yourself is very tough to do and yet, this is what it means to have low self-esteem. Everyday you resign yourself to being less than. You tell yourself you aren’t worth the effort. You recreate what you believe the world told you when you were little.

 

When you don’t feel worthy of the effort,

you live a lifetime of giving up.

 

I stayed in abusive relationships because I didn’t feel worth the effort to leave. I gave up everyday on me and my need to find happiness. But the staying was so much more work than the leaving eventually ended up being. Perpetuating hopelessness is exhausting.Is It Harder to Give Up on You or Give You a Chance? on Shalavee.com

Telling the truth is actually way easier that maintaining a lie. I chose to recognize that the relationship was a reflection of my bad self-worth. And that I was choosing to keep myself in pain with it and I could be done and no longer choose it. Life got immensely easier after that. And I discover that every time I work hard towards a goal which I’m excited about, the thrill and pride I feel for myself show that was the easiest work I could have done.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Edit Your Story and Persist with Faith Like Cinderella

The story that is our life, up to a certain point, is written and told by others. We do not choose our parents or where we are born or the social status we are born into. Nor do we have control over who keeps us alive and what they teach us as littles. Our lives are a given in many ways and at least we can be grateful for our chance to exist. But then the story becomes ours to tell. 

Cinderella was loved and wanted when she was born. But bad things can happen to nice people. And the reverse is also true. We can be born into chaos and find a way to rise from the ashes. In my own personal experience, holding tightly to the resentment of my unlucky creation and existence doesn’t serve me. It keeps me routed to where I was and not able to move forward.Endure and Persist Like Cinderella on Shalavee.com

I would also say that a little adversity creates personal character. Cinderella is interesting because she somehow holds that love she had as a child and endures the cruelty with a faith for her future. We would expect her to want revenge for the ill-doings of the step-people but instead her inner-beauty is what gives her a chance to rise. Were she to hate them, she’d just be slumming with the haters instead of rising above as she does.

There aren’t any fairy godmothers per se, but I believe we can create our own hope and magic. And it starts with the basic understanding that we are all worthy of the effort and the hope. The only way I’ve moved on from my darkness is to maintain a blind faith that I was worth the work it has taken to get here. As if I was my daughter, an odd but profound thought.Endure and Persist Like Cinderella on Shalavee.com

As parents, and as women, we are teachers by example. Knowing that what I do is so much more powerful than what I say, I rise with as much power as I can to my life and the occasions I am creating to grow. Because deep down, even with devastating self-doubt and low self-esteem I suffered from, I still believed that this life was worth working on. And it is within my power to change my perceptions and choices and shift my life in directions of empowerment instead of self-destruction.

As women, I don’t think we will make any progress shifting our power back to ourselves until we acknowledge that we are much more than our circumstances and that our worth is a given worth fighting for. The rest of the process is figuring out how we rise as individuals to add our wealth of selves to the collective. What do we each need to learn about compassion and courage to continue our journeys to become who we authentically are? That is our real goal and the path that lights us on fire to our destinies.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

On Thought Leadership and Cyber Love

I fell down a cyber hole the other day and landed on an article written by a gentleman named Paul Jarvis, about how you can become a thought leader by just declaring yourself one. If you say you are, you are. Those who say it better can charge more. I was a little like “Well Yeah” and a little like “Oh No”. Because I’ve been thinking that I might actually consider myself a thought leader one day if I ever wrangled my thoughts in a comprehensive way to put them out there for people.

I detest how the charm of the internet also seems so littered and corrupted by all the greed and need. People need you to buy what they’re selling and what they’re saying. And a part of me thinks that these types are ruining it for all us nice people out here.On Thought Leadership and Cyber Love on Shalavee.com

But then I’m reminded that me and my nice friends are still hanging out on our media channels and we have honor and integrity. We’re feeling supported and not pressured by our connections thus proving that the internet can actually be a very supportive and lovely place if used correctly.

I believe that we’ve always been a society of egomaniacs. We aren’t so certain of what we are so that when we hear differing opinions than ours, we assume we’ve been affronted, even if we’ve not even been addressed. In the old days, our mothers would warn us to be polite even when we heard things we didn’t like. We would at least need to act respectfully in public for goodness sakes. But the online format has given people permission to forget what their mothers would have told them to not do.On Thought Leadership and Cyber Love on Shalavee.com

And so a climate of intolerance is unchecked and is growing. Where differing opinions used to be and still need to be respected to allow for humanity’s growth, we are now seeing more and more intolerance. I believe it’s just a fear shadow and I am compassionate for the pain of so many feeling this.

The opposite of fear is love. So love the heck out of you and everyone you meet today and see what happens. Surprise them and themselves.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Kindergarten Homework

With our enthusiastic “Go get’em” faces on, we waved our son onto the number 14 bus bound for Kindergarten. Maybe September allergies made my husband’s eyes water or maybe it was his relief that our child survived being stuck at home with me for the past 5 years. I contained my giddiness as I snapped that fateful picture of him waving back from the bus steps. We were each about to learn what going to school and developing new systems meant to us.Kindergarten Homework

The little guy loved school. Early in the year, I paid a visit to him and his 17 pint-sized classmates in their new classroom. I wanted to meet his teacher and to gather context for my son’s random, and sometimes jarring, disclosures of daily happenings. I’d been told she ran her classroom as smoothly as a Barney episode and I agreed after seeing her in action. She was generous with her praise and commendably judicious with a spastic group of five-year-olds. I felt my heart burst for all their sweetness and hardships. I wanted to wipe the pizza sauce off their faces and tie all their dirty untied shoelaces. And then I had to leave. Better her than me.Kindergarten Homework on Shalavee.com

Why was I surprised when the ridiculous quantity of paper began to flood our house? We got monthly activity schedules and cafeteria menus earnestly printed on green and pink papers followed by the “homework” sheets for the math and reading “clubs”. After a twenty-year hiatus, I had “homework” because it would take a herculean effort for my five-year-old son to list ten books we read in any given month plus their authors. Instead, he drew pictures for two books he liked. His reward was tattoos and bookmarks. I was rewarded with the return of these same drawings caught up in the paper river flowing from his “Dolphin” folder.

I absolutely loved my son’s drawings of primitive smiling suns and the stick people who suddenly had on pants because one of his bossy girlfriends proclaimed them necessary, although his stick figures soon returned to their original nakedness. And, of course, I liked the pictures where I was a part of the action. Sadly, only five percent of the rest of the book bag busyness consisted of these. Instead, I got glued, cut, colored, and constructed things of all sorts randomly based on holidays or nursery rhymes. Paper dolls tenuously perched on Popsicle sticks, sticker books, cereal cemented to construction paper, and drawings from his classmates. These barged into our home and tumbled out of his green backpack onto the kitchen table, sofa, and floor. And each and every loving one of these papers was suddenly and forever my responsibility.  

If I had kept every one of these suckers, in twenty years I’d have ended up on one of those hoarding shows, walking between mountains of papers and being buried alive under them. And, left up to my son, each little scrap of paper he’d ever put pen, crayon, scissors, or marker to was precious enough to keep forever. So, I smiled and nodded as I placed everything in the basket on top of the refrigerator, the paper avalanche repository. I had a secret stealth plan called The Purge, the goal of which was to land all the papers worth keeping into an out-of-sight place in an orderly fashion because the opposite of an overwhelming landslide is doable chunks.Kindergarten Homework on Shalavee.com

The three-step Purge system started with the placement of the papers in the basket atop the fridge. I then stealthily moved them to a drawer upstairs and, after being sorted essential from non, they would go into a portfolio in a closet. My theory was that if you were to mark the start and end of the monthly paper ocean with a ribbon marker in the basket, after a week I feel pretty sure the child would have forgotten about that hunk of stuff between the markers. There’s an official month of paper stuff to sort then. But out of sight means out of mind; I couldn’t let the child become an obstacle to The Purge.

Only when I was alone in the house, did I attempt to ruthlessly sort and cull this mess for the essence of my child. Parental wisdom must fight that guilty voice. One drawing of trees and kitties and a page of E’s are great but twenty of them are not. Into a paper recycle bag went the extras plus that which does not at all show the talents and charms of my child. I felt guilt-free when I pitched the gigantic paper penny, nothing against my man Abraham. And while I may have been kind and offered my in-laws the opportunity to take from the bag any art they may have liked, then Hi Ho Hi Ho off to the grey recycling container it went.

The final step was to create the holder for everything I’d culled. For his daycare artwork, I’d made a giant cardboard pita pocket portfolio and taped up the edges. It worked out nicely. Poster-board would work with packing tape seams. Certain well-known crafty people have made these attractive with fabric covered foam core and ribbon ties. I saved the pretty for later after I’ve mastered the simple de-clutter. This was the trench-work for the kindergarten homework clutter attack and it was all about biting off only as much as I could chew.Kindergarten Homework on Shalavee.com

I visited his classroom again that year. His lovely teacher and I spoke about educational mandates. All the busy work is still proof to the parents and legislators that the children are learning. And conversely, the clubs’ homework proves the parents are working with and reading to their children. She said if she had her way, there would be two recesses for her kindergartners (and 7 years later she would finally get that when she taught my daughter in Pre-K). Maybe there are too many cooks in the educational kitchen substantiating the price of their ingredients, but they’ll never pay this magnificent teacher enough. In fact, she’d been saving his “special” work from his year in a scrapbook she gave us parents at the end of the year. Why was I doing any of this when she’d had it covered? 

None the wiser for his mother’s devious deeds, my busy-brained boy continued to be overly stimulated as he dumped out his paper laden book bag. One day in March, he came home excitedly talking about Rosa Parks and Harriet “Tubb-s-man”. Apparently, he’d learned a lot about civil unrest and the Underground Railroad for black history month. They sang freedom songs, made paper buses, and discussed the mistreatment of the slaves. I was a little thrown by the sudden candidness of the subject and I commenced with a serious “discussion” about the ramifications of slavery and the inherent rights of all human beings to their freedom. After a long thoughtful silence, he said “Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s play slaves!” Nothing new there.

(This piece of creative non-fiction was one of the very first as I began to write on-line and Published on Divine Caroline, a writing site that gave me reason to write. I then began this blog a year later but never republished it here. This Kindergarten Homework’s grand edited revival.)

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest  too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

 

A Choice Between Perfectionism Or Doing Your Best

I have recently felt an internal shift from all-out perfectionism to just trying for my best. “Doing” used to essentially be how I valued myself. I was a human doing. And there was never enough doing I could do to fulfill the undefined expectations I had about being done. Fear and perfection were my guidelines for living. Industrial Over-focused was my coping mechanism for the fear.

I was a human doing.

As I peeled back layer upon layer, I ousted the lies that were my fears and began to understand that in the grander scheme of things, sometimes just doing something, anything, could thwart the desperate feelings of perfection and fear. I noticed that if I made one effortful action toward my goals, it was a huge hopeful relief. Like taking that first half-hour walk to start an exercise routine. Or starting an art project. Or calling someone I’d put off calling. The effort felt like hope.Perfectionism or doing your best on Shalavee.com

Perfectionism is insidious. The bar will continually raise and there will never be enough doing. If the goals are undefined, the results are never enough. Add on the doubt that your best will never be good enough and you’re not only a hamster on a wheel, but you are sinking in quicksand at the same time.

But what if we were to have a little faith in our efforts. No, my abilities may never match others in gardening or graphic design. Ever. But what if I did my best and let go of the rest including the perfection. What I realized is that I can applaud myself for making an effort and usually people see that effort and not as much the results. It’s a faith gesture but it’s also permission to be kind to yourself. To credit yourself with the intention to get better. Because you won’t become better, or even the best, unless you keep doing that thing over and over and over.Perfectionism or doing your best on Shalavee.com

I have let the medium be my message and made sure I went forth with a simple vision in mind. Sometimes the effort of hanging a few decorations in the right scale makes a huge impact. Sometimes posting a few powerful words says way more than pages and pages that won’t be read. And sometimes giving ourselves the space and the credit to begin can move us on in profound ways. I am proof that progress is there but for the effort.

And that perfectionism is a crappy cowardly roadblock to a more beautiful and easier way of living. We just need to get out of our own ways and onto proving it.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest  too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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