I don’t have a daughter but will be gaining a daughter-in-law in a few months. Despite raising sons, I know raising daughters can be difficult especially in times like this. You don’t have to go far to see slim looking Barbie doll women in the media, magazines, tv and movies. Even when I was growing up it was so easy to see perfect sized women in the media. I never seemed to fit the mold, being overweight and not having a thread of confidence. Yet here I am…I managed to overcome all that pressure girls are thrust in and I can only hope that girls of today (including my sweet niece) make it unscathed.
With these thoughts, I hope moms and dads can raise their daughters to:
Be themselves and not waste energy comparing to others
Believe in themselves despite what others say or do
Look in the mirror with a strong love and acceptance
Love their body and accept it
We can only hope that our girls and young women are taught to thrive, being entirely who they are despite messages from society.
Do you notice that every year the Christmas card pile gets smaller? Just a few years ago the card deluge would commence the last week of November and every day after you could expect cards in the mailbox. It was always fun hearing from family and friends that you aren’t in constant contact with. Sometimes pictures or annual newsletters would accompany the colorful cards.
I think the Internet craze and messaging has threatened snail mail and the urge to send cards. Many people decide to use Facebook or email to send Christmas wishes. This way it’s instant, easy and free. But I have a problem with this. I enjoy going to the mailbox and being showered with stacks of colorful envelopes! After the cards are opened and read, then comes the display.
I have a little card carrier that I housed my cards in a few years but the problem was that you couldn’t see them. I saw on Pinterest a couple of years ago where someone placed thick felt ribbon down the cupboard doors with the cards stapled to them. This year I draped thick red ribbon across our doorway and stapled the cards to it. It’s simple and easy and looks good.
I admit that my Christmas card list is condensed and always changing! Many relatives and friends have passed away and new friends reappear and are added. This year I almost skipped the tradition due to a lack of time. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn’t want to send my holiday greetings on Facebook. This morning I worked on six cards and sent them and each day will do a few more.
Another Christmas card tradition of mine is to save my favorite. I strung groups together with shiny ribbon and put them in my basket. The basket is in the livingroom and now and again I browse through them. I still have some from loved ones who have passed away and so their words are preserved.
Do you still send Christmas cards or do you use social media?
I’m wishing many blessings for you all and your families. Hug your loved ones today!
This book spoke to me so much that I reread it after finishing it. My neighbor and friend Anita suggested it and lent me the book. After I told her how I loved it, she gifted it to me. It’s a special gift because it has made me think of my learned behaviors and how toxic they are. I’m trying my best to apply these Four Agreements to my life.
The Four Agreements are as followed;
1. Be impeccable with your word. Stay true to your word and say positive words and not negative. This not only applies to talking to others but to yourself! Don’t talk down to yourself but choose uplifting words. If you speak negatives it becomes your reality. Positive words will pave your way to freedom of sorts…away from a living hell.
2. Don’t take anything personally. What someone thinks of you is not your business, did you know that? I have always wanted and demanded that others would like me without judgments and in turn I take situations personally, thinking that maybe their opinions are my fault. No, this isn’t true! What matters is what you think. Not everyone in this life is going to accept or like you and the sooner you face this the better your life will be.
Another side note is that when you take everything personally you are thinking that the world revolves around you! That’s not true. Everyone has a reason for what they do and most of the time it’s not about you but them.
3. Don’t make assumptions. Most of our lives we have made assumptions and made them truths to ourselves. When we don’t really know the truth, our thoughts become reality but that’s not good. Our brain has a mind of its own ( haha, good pun) and is constantly thinking and producing unwanted garbage.
4. Always try your best. This applies to the other three agreements. Living with holding these strong principles orchestrating the way will not always be easy. If you have a tendency to gossip then it may be a hard habit to break. If you fail, get up and try again with a determination that you want to live free of that toxin.
I highly recommend this book to you. It’s a quick read but one to be savored, thought about and reread again. It’s changed the way I’m approaching situations and I love the enlightenment I feel at this point in my life.
A few months ago I read somewhere that “comparison is the thief of joy.” Ever since I keep revisiting that thought. It stuck with me because truthfully I’ve compared my life to others, when I was younger. Haven’t we all compared our life to another at one time or another? Maybe you’ve had fleeting thoughts of that how unfair it is that a person gets all the good breaks. How come that person seems anointed with luck and you continue to receive the short end of the straw?
It all stemmed from insecurities and what seemed to be competition from others. I think I, like many people, have developed a strong sense of self and with that competition and comparison has thankfully fizzled! As that maturity ages like a fine wine, my realization has been that engaging in this is a negative act.
I know some people who compete with others in everything they do and fortunately I’m not made of the same cloth. I’m just me and live the way I want, free of that whirlwind race. It shows how unhappy some people are and how comparisons can be toxic and damaging to their lives.
I try to think of it this way, EVERYONE LEADS A DIFFERENT LIFE! You have been led on a unique path, a collage of all your experiences that have happened to you. Have faith in your path and remember that your journey is entirely unique.
Stop comparing! Be happy with what’s dealt to you and refrain from toxic comparing. Sometimes it seems like others have a free ride, but you don’t know the whole story and they may not be happy. What matters is your joy and truly loving your moments, without longing for someone else’s life. Feel the joy in your life and cherish those special moments without comparing. Once you LIVE and LOVE YOUR life, there’s a freedom and a let go of comparisons.
Relish the joyful times and stay strong during the rough bumps. Maybe you’ve had a hard period and times have tested you but it WILL end. Stay positive, pray for guidance and be happy for people. You will join them in your own blessings soon enough but for now it’s a test. Do you have the strength to pass? I think so!
A co-worker and friend told me a few months ago that she couldn’t understand why I was the kindest person to other people but don’t give myself the gift of kindness. Why is it that I can smother others with free flowing kindness but can’t share with myself? Maybe it’s from habit or from my genes and how I’m made up but it doesn’t matter why. What matters is that I’m happily changing in my life. RIGHT NOW!
Being gentle to yourself means you care enough of your well being and life. Accepting yourself, shortcomings and all. It’s an acceptance of all your traits, even the ones you particularly want to change.
It means that you don’t have to take yourself serious all the time. I’ll never forget a comment a classmate wrote in my senior yearbook…”Don’t take life so seriously.” Good advice, Brandon Fied and it’s stayed with me all these years! Thank you.
Being kind to yourself is a habit you can practice, even if you don’t feel it. The more you do it and forgive yourself, I would imagine it gets easier. My friend and fellow blogger Debbie has a wonderful site on forgiveness at Forgiving Connects.com. Debbie practices self forgiveness and that has inspired me to go easy on myself with love and forgiveness. Check out her lovely blog which focuses on forgiveness, love and acceptance!
This is a new day, an opportunity to destroy my low self esteem for once and for all. I vow to wake up everyday and simply love myself as I do with others. I deserve the same precious kindness I share with others. When you’ve lived all your life beating yourself up, it’s tough changing. Despite this, I’m traveling the road to self acceptance and love.
How about you….do you treat yourself with the kindness that you deserve? I hope so, if you don’t let’s do it together! Any suggestions on ways to show myself kindness and forgiveness?