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Community is a Necessary Evil

I’ve just come away from organizing a successful fundraiser for my church community. Everyone showed up for the fundraiser bringing food and auction items and they enjoyed laughing and dancing within that community of people. This is the sort of experience that strengthens our individual selves as well as the community. Makes us feel wanted, needed, and gives us a sense of belonging.

And then there’s those other moments as a part of a group. When someone says something that pisses you off. When you feel taken advantage of or attacked when you meant only the best, of course. And those moments will ruin many years of good intentions and community bonds. Because we’re human and messy and sensitive and lousy communicators.

I have never been a part of a community until this one. And while we’re not best friends with anyone, there’s a definite knowledge that if we needed help in any way, we would have a boatload of people show up to deliver that help and take care of us. They are like family in that way. That’s the kind of support that we need as individual and for our families. That’s the definition of community.

Community is a Necessary Evil on Shalavee.com

 

While the dust was settling from a nasty divorce with his first wife, my now husband received some advice from a bartender. He said, “At first, all women will seem evil. Then only one woman will be evil. And eventually, women will be a necessary evil.” Community is a necessary evil. Without it, we have no mirrors to gauge ourselves, see if what we feel is normal. We have no support system and we have no one to sing and dance with and keep us warm.

I can see now that the most hurt I have experienced has come from people putting their fears onto me. Those are the moments when I want nothing more to do with them or the place where I know them from. But where else can we practice compassion for ourselves but inside a community of like-minded people? By giving them the chance to be human and make bad choices and be forgiven, we can offer that to ourselves as well.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. 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 Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

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

Four Self-Value Phases

This self-valuing process is very slow and laborious. When you start at such a deficit, low low low self-esteem, there’s a lot of work before you even begin to notice yourself. Because it takes as long as it takes. You can not hurry the process of peeling off the layers of self-doubt and disdain and distortion. You can only commit to working through them. Or even begin by recognizing this is even a “thing” that needs working on.

The First phase in the journey then is to recognize you may have any value in the world.

That “worthless piece of trash “ stuff can run pretty deep. If you were abandoned or neglected emotionally by a parent in your formative years, you have a good chance of having low self-esteem. Yes, your parents were doing their best but it might not have been enough at the time. Every child has an innate understanding that they deserve to be loved without strings and patience.

I stayed pretty clueless and isolated for most of my life. So  it wasn’t until I was 40 something before I realized that I had low self-esteem. And then I vowed that I deserved to feel better than this and set out on my journey that has involved therapy, creativity, social media, and medication to help me see me.

The Second Phase in the self-value journey is to see your value through others’ eyes.

This is when you stop isolating and reach out to other like minded people. Through communities both in person and online, I spent many years communicating and creating relationships. This built my esteem in a very basic but wondrous way. I am definitely through that phase but I teeter at the next phase.Four Self-Value Phases on shalavee.comases

The third phase: recognizing my awesomeness myself.

It requires not tossing away people’s compliments like trash but taking them into your heart and letting them sit there like a song bird perched and singing. It requires interacting with people and being your authentic self and seeing you through their eyes and then agreeing with them. And it could require some self-affirmation phrases, as heinous as that may sound. It may ask that you get a therapist to consult a third party neutral on what the truth about you really is.

The last and final phase in the self-value journey is to be Riding that Value like a Magic Carpet ride into your Future. Sounds like a fantasy but I’ve seen people reach that place and begin to live different lives. In order to see more of them, I suppose I need to be one of them.

I highly recommend Jen Sincerro’s Badass books for a boost and a whole different perspective on how the world is rooting for you. I also recommend saying “Thank you” to anyone who gives you a compliment. It’s polite and it may make their day to accept their gift graciously.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. 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 Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

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

You Are Not Alone So Find Your Clan and Prove it

There is a noble suffering thing that we seem to do as humans. We freak out when things start to go wrong but somehow we’re convinced that we are the only ones. First time business owners, first time menstruating teenagers, first time Moms, and first time submitting writers all have first time doubts that they feel single them out. Male or female, it feels so personal, scary, and devastating.

Somehow in this world of drive-throughs and Amazon, we’ve forgotten that we are still a group of people. That community being the family household, the neighborhood, the school, the work organization, or the clan that you choose, we are never actually alone. Unless we choose to be.

So what would it take for us to stop being so painfully unique with our problems and reach out? What do we need to know in order to –Boom- alleviate ourselves of our painful personal destinies and share them with one person who would say, “I get it, me too” ?

Ironically, I found a community online when I decided to come out of my shell and be authentic. And then I reached out and made a group within my home community of like-minded women. Being witnessed is some powerful stuff but I had to be willing to be authentic and vulnerable to enjoy the benefits.

Fear is only trying to protect you but it has us making stupid choices and one of those is that you are supposed to keep quiet about your pain. So let’s all just make a promise that we will reach out instead and find at least one person who knows what we are afraid of so that we came feel less afraid. And then find another and another and make a clan of people you can trust whenever anyone feels that again.

That is community living at it’s finest and it is how we will heal ourselves and the world. Within a place where the sum of the parts is a great source of compassion for the the individual. Amen.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. 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 Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

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

Wow, It’s My 8th Year Blogaversary

Hard to believe I’ve been writing this blog for 8 years. I didn’t really read blogs or know what they were in 2011. But there was this woman I was trying to befriend and she insisted that, as a writer, I needed to start one. My blog should have a theme and I would gain an audience, a readership. So I went ahead and set up my free WordPress blog in August of 2011.

I wanted to call it Chez La Vie, The Home of My Life in French. (Chez La is pronounced just like my name, Shalagh). But that domain was taken by a French restaurant in an English resort town. So I settled for Shalavee and away I excitedly went.

I don’t know that I can adequately describe all the changes that this choice has put me through. I was introduced to Social Media and all the ups and downs that that entails. I discovered I can make a community with people all over the world that I’ve never met. I found my voice, I found my art, and I found a good part of me. I’ve been trolled, I’ve sat in a lot of silence, and I’ve become a way better writer.

Wow, It's My 8th Year Blogaversary on Shalavee.com

I’ve also stayed very small. I’ve watched many other bloggers become bigger and bigger. I try not to compare my lack of progress to their progress but it’s there. But all of us have different journeys we have to make and take. Mine has been a round about way of finding my way back to me without stressing myself out with popularity and stats. Staying true to myself has always been a priority.

But I can tell you, that sooner than later, my blog will transform form the chrysalis into a butterfly. And I hope you are here to watch this happen.

Here’s to growing and blooming in the pots that we are planted in. And for joining with others to make our own gardens. I’ll keep writing my blog and I hope you’ll keep reading!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. 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 Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

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

She Said She Truly Loved Herself

It is an immense joy to talk with women in all sorts of places about their lives. I strike up conversations in stores or online about so many facets of living as a woman and a mother and I always come away feeling like we are searching for the same connection. Our future depends on this.

During a visit to my bank recently, I had a candid conversation with a lovely hard working mother of eight children. I spoke about liking myself. She said she not only liked herself, she truly loved herself, and I wondered what that was like.She said she truly loved herself on Shalavee.com

We all start in different places in our lives. Many of us are more disadvantaged than we realize in our beginning. And we have farther to grow to gain what other children are easily given. Self-love is one of those gifts.

I know it does our world and our children no good to be so hard on ourselves. The disrespect and judgment we show ourselves will only poison the next generation to do the same. The answer is always in love. That if we shower ourselves in love and compassion, our children will do the same.

This lovely bank lady? She’s showing all eight of those children how it is to treat a lady. She is proud and beautiful albeit slightly unsure of the problems her forties will bring her. I am staring down the barrel of 53 years and feeling frustrated that my body wants to spread out in my skin. I ask the nurses to please not tell me what my weight is, thank you.She said she truly loved herself on Shalavee.com

But Love myself? I think that is a darn good goal. In fact, I’d venture to say it’s the most important goal any of us can achieve that will ensure our happily ever afters. The lovely Mom at the bank has given me a goal to work on harder than any goal I’ve ever worked on. Self-Love.

 

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. 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 Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

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

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