Strength

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Typically, when we hear the term ‘strength‘ we associate it with physical abilities and attributes.   However, over the years after going through different experiences some good and others rather challenging,  I’ve learnt that strength is so much more than just a physical thing.

What do I mean?

Well, during my difficult moments it was my strength of mind, spirit and family that helped me overcome those not so sunny days.   Let me explain.

  • Strength of mind – this is when we know who we are and no longer allow self-doubt or negative people to have control over our thoughts and emotions. 

 

  • Strength of spirit – this is where our faith and our beliefs come in.   It is in times of adversity that this strength once nurtured and developed can help bring us through those tough periods in our lives.   Without it, we are like sheep among wolves.

 

  • Strength of family – this strength is often overlooked.  The love, support and encouragement of family is so important in our lives.  They usually rally around us in our time of need.  They usually stand by us through the good and the bad times.  Those of us who don’t have families like that may still be blessed with a few individuals in our lives that we have formed very close and strong bonds with who over the years have become your family.  This is just as significant.

These three aspects of my life have made such a difference in the outcome of various events in my life that I will forever be grateful.  So, am I strong? YES, in every area of my life that matters most to ME.

Am I going to have challenging moments in my life from time to time? Yes!  Why? Being strong in those areas does not mean we won’t have issues or challenges.  Those strengths just mean we would be better able to cope with the obstacles than individuals who have not developed those areas yet.

We use food and exercise to strengthen our bodies but how do we go about strengthening our mind and spirit?

Some things we can do to strengthen those areas include:

  1. Through prayer.
  2. Reading and trying to understand the scripture.  I understand that this can be a bit challenging as we would not always understand everything we read but I believe if we trust and ask God to open our minds and hearts to what he needs us to see and be he would point the way.
  3. Paying attention to what we put in and what we allow those around us to contribute.
  4. Be mindful of the people we surround ourselves with as negative energy breathes negativity.
  5. Take control of our thoughts.
  6. Facing our truths whatever they maybe and choosing to understand, learn and move forward.
  7. Practice forgiveness.  Not just for those persons who have wronged us but ourselves. We are often very tough on ourselves.
  8. Practice self-love.  I believe that even with our imperfections we are still worth love and appreciation.

I’m merely sharing my experience. I can only tell you what has helped me.  Strength is God’s gift to each of us.  Are you prepared and willing to tap into yours?

Thanks for stopping by.  Make today and this weekend a great one.

Who’s directing your steps?

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It’s a constant struggle at times to keep my bearings
He tries to control me because he gave me this ring
and these diamond earrings
I can hardly remember what I was like before we met

Some say full of life before I became his wife
I look in the mirror and all I see is my silhouette
How much did I allow myself to forget?

Always flexing and changing, never doing my own thing
In an effort to please him, I hide how much I’m hurting
Maybe it’s me, always trying to be ‘me’
I never thought our ‘unity’ meant losing my identity
His fight for control is unhealthy I’m told

He is my husband should I not do what I’m told
He says,” I am the potter and you are the clay
I am going to mold you and you’ll thank me one day.”

I hide to talk to my friends and family
For if he knew, he would be most unhappy
I feel so alone in this prison I call home
So I pray and I pray that God will show me the way
The blind leading the blind no more, no way.

God wants me to be happy and he wants me to know his love
This abuse will not continue!” declared my Lord above
My home-made prison is now a home filled with love
My controlling husband is now a peaceful dove

Thank you Heavenly Father
For answering my prayer from up above.

By: Cherylene Nicholas

This is not my reality.  However, there are women out there in situations similar and some even worse.  I was inspired to write this for them.  Abusive relationships of any type are unacceptable.   Pray and talk to God about your challenges and ask for guidance.

 

Love does not live there anymore

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Do you remember when we were friends?

Thought we would be together until the end

You and me together and free

That’s how I thought we would always be

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

With each experience we grew stronger

Falling in love more and more with each other

I had eyes only for YOU, so I thought my love was true

Always thought that was how love was supposed to be

Me loving you and you loving me

……………………………………………………………………………………

As time went by we moved out of range

Moving in different directions, we were destined to change

Arguments became the new routine

Now cold as ice, you grew mean

…………………………………………………………………………………………

The waves were beating against our ship

I tried to save us but that was it

Enough is enough, it was time for me to get tough

It was time to jump ship and go ashore

Because love does not live there anymore.

By: Cherylene Nicholas

 

What does it really mean “to love yourself”?

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We all hear and make the statement “love yourself” from time to time and I stopped and asked myself what does that really mean?  To “love yourself ” can mean different things to different people. For some it means not taking any crap from anyone; for others it could mean taking good care of their bodies and their health; and for the rest it could be as simple as liking and accepting the person steering back at them in the mirror. 🙂  All of these acts are expressions of self love.

What is self love? Self love is when we choose to love, care and nurture our minds, bodies and spirits through our thoughts, experiences and our relationships. Self love does not happen in a bubble or in isolation. It impacts our self-image and self-worth.

Can we say we truly love ourselves when:

  1. We allow people who are constantly negative with us to remain major players in our lives.
  2. We constantly over indulge in activities that can be harmful to our health.
  3. We are the negative voices in our own heads feeding doubt, fear and insecurity.
  4. We do things that are against everything we stand for.
  5. We stay in relationships that constantly cause us pain.
  6. We don’t make time for ourselves to rest or relax.

Self love looks at the big things and the little things we often take for granted.  How we let the people in our lives speak and treat us can affect our self love and our self-image.  I have heard it said that “respect is something you earn” and I agree with this statement. However, I also believe there are times in life when you have to demand respect as  a human being.

I show myself ‘self love’ in some ways but not all.  So I too am guilty of not truly loving myself the way I should.  I make time to relax.  I remove myself from toxic people and relationships.  I am yet to master the caring for my body the way I should.  I love to eat but I am not as active as I should be but I am trying to live better one day at a time because I am worth it!

Nobody is perfect but we should strive to always do what is right, healthy and best for us especially in negative and unhealthy situations.  Take it one step at a time. Look at the three main areas for self love: mind, body and spirit and try to incorporate positive behaviour and thoughts to start loving yourself more and more each day.

 

Mind- clear the negativity from your mind and your life. Meditate, pray, go on a weekend retreat, have a spa day just try and relax to clear your mind. Remove the negative elements from your life. You know who and what they are!

Body- pay closer attention to the foods you eat. It’s all about balance, quality and quantity. Exercise a few days a week for a few minutes – go jogging, walking, running, dancing, swimming whatever form you feel like enduring – go for it!  I am no fitness guru but I started exercising and I have started feeling better.

Spirit – this one is all about what you believe in.  Fill your mind, heart and life with so much inspiration, motivation and positive stuff that you just want to burst.  Music, scripture, church, books or poetry. Whatever positively drives you to be better hold onto that because that is where the nurturing comes from.

So let’s promise to love ourselves a little more each day.

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Healthy is not a number but a lifestyle

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As women it seems our weight is always an issue not only for ourselves but more so for those around us.   We’re either too big or too thin.  If we’re in the middle, we need to tone up.  Everybody has their own idea as what sexy and beautiful should look like and wonder why we’re not trying to get with the programme.

Some of us have come to terms with our bodies and our differences and have chosen to tell such people “to piss off or mind your own business”.  Nobody likes to be constantly compared or reminded that they don’t match the world’s ideal body type.  We’re all different and we should embrace our differences regardless of whether we’re a XS, S, M, L,  XL, XXL, XXXL or higher.

I’m not totally satisfied with my weight and I’ve procrastinated about doing something about it.  The decision to do something about it comes from my discomfort about how I feel at times.  Oh yes, I have my noise makers who so freely point out that I’m not as small as I used to be but I try not to let their words bother me.  I often have to point out that they too have much-needed work to be done in their own lives and suggest they focus on getting their own act together. Amen! 🙂

My goal is not to make myself pleasing or more pleasing for others but rather to get healthier because it is in my best interest to do so.  If my getting healthier through improving my eating habits and getting more active results in some weight loss and dropping a few inches here and there and better health overall – then great!

I found in the past that I just lacked the drive to actually follow through with the workout routines and diets.  It’s hard to lose weight on your own unless you have a strong will. Now with a change in my attitude and a different outlook on life I have come up with the following for 2017.

I made the following promises to myself:

1. I’m going to focus on getting healthier such as eating and juicing more fruits and vegetables.

2. I’m going to start slow and not be too drastic in my eating decisions. Be realistic.

3. I’m going to follow through with this and I’m not going to give up.

4. I’m going to stop making excuses.

5. Try and recruit other people interested in achieving the same goals.  This way we are able to support and motivate each other.

6. Get more active. Go walking, jogging, running, climbing stairs, dancing, buy some weights or maybe even a bike. Either way, I need to be doing more than I’m doing now.

7. I’m not going to let other people’s negativity impact on how I see and feel about myself.

So let’s forget about our weight and focus on being healthy. Let’s do things that help our bodies not hurt them. Ultimately, it’s about balance, moderation and self-control.

I am making a promise to love myself more by taking better care of my body inside and out.  Do you love yourself enough to make those tough decisions?

 

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15 Signs of a Toxic Relationship

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What is a ‘toxic’ relationship?  For me, a toxic relationship can be described as any relationship that is constantly filled with negativity that makes you question or play down your self worth.  Any relationship where you feel like you have no voice or say in your own life.  One where your thoughts and needs are not up for consideration.  This type of relationship is often a breathing ground for constant anger, sadness, depression and resentment.  If there is any joy or happiness it is often short lived and for some reason can never really last for any meaningful length of time. It is not gender specific as there are some good men out there in toxic relationships too. This is an article for anyone out there in a toxic relationship.

I have been there and I’ve seen more toxic relationships than I care to count.  Looking back on my own experience I can honestly say, that I never thought my relationship was bad or ‘toxic’, just that we had some issues to work on.  I did not realize the damage I was causing myself psychologically and emotionally.

Here are some of the observations I made looking back not only on my own experience but some other relationships I saw around me.

1. Always made to feel as though you are never good enough.

2. Sometimes discouraged from spending time with friends and family.

3. Always made to feel paranoid about any negative observations –  even when your  suspicions turn out to be true.

4. Always made to feel as though any problems the relationship has is your fault.

5. Your partner may be very secretive and not forthcoming about his or her affairs but would inquire about every detail in your life.

6. Your partner frequently apologizes for hurting your feelings but would do the same stuff over and over.  This applies to physical, emotional and psychological abuse.

7. Try to numb yourself emotionally. Trying to not let the things he or she does affect how you feel but we both know that does not really work because now you’re just beating up yourself internally rather than externally making a scene.

8. Withdraw from your friends and family because they sometimes share things about your relationship that you just don’t want to hear.

9.   Make tons of excuses for their  behaviour.

10. Blame yourself.  “Maybe if I didn’t do this or say that…” ; “Maybe if I would dress more like this …” ; “Maybe I am too sensitive or making too much of a deal about it.”

11. Always looking for ways to make them happy even though they aren’t reciprocating.

12. You are always the person making the comprises.

13. Often try to use your insecurities to control you or even create insecurities.    Example: “A woman like you, should feel lucky to be with someone like me.” or “A man like you, should feel blessed to be with a woman like me.”   People who truly care about you would always try to lift you up not break you down.

14. Extra moody and snapping at other people for little things rather than dealing with the real issue that is bothering you.

15. You feel drained emotionally and physically sometimes. This is because the work of constantly trying to fix yourself or the relationship is always on your mind.

I have only listed 15 signs of a toxic relationship but please note that there are other signs that the relationship you may be in, is unhealthy for you.   I honestly believe that deep down we know that the situation we find ourselves in may be hurting rather than helping us.

If you are reading this and find that you can relate to any or all of these feelings or experiences, then my friend it is time to say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”.  This situation that you have called “home” all these years or months is not what a healthy and loving relationship should be like.  I know and understand how scary the thought of having to find someone else seems, but that’s the problem – don’t focus on finding a replacement,  focus on finding YOURSELF.  Only then would you be truly ready for a real relationship.

I pray that you find the courage and strength to TAKE ACTION and TAKE BACK CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE.    YOU are AWESOME and YOU DESERVE BETTER!!   The only happiness you should be concerned with at this point is YOUR OWN.

The choice and power to fix this lies within YOU.