Ordinary

I want to live simply. I want to sit by the window when it rains and read books. I want to paint because I want to, not because I’ve got something to prove. I want to listen to my body, fall asleep when the moon is high and wake up slowly, with no place to rush off to. I want not to be governed by money or clocks or any of the artificial restraints that humanity imposes on itself. I just want to be, boundless and infinite.

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via Goodreads

THE ART OF BEING YOURSELF (EVEN IF A LURKING VOICE INSIDE YOUR MIND DISAPPROVES)

Wronophobia:
(n.) The fear of being seen as you are. The incessant thinking that you can’t be loved being yourself.

As I sat down, trying to put my story into words, I was overwhelmed. I came to the realization that I’ve never liked who I was. I grew up, believing that I lacked something; that I was inadequate, flawed and wrong in some way. I didn’t think I was lovable or good enough just the way I was. In a young age I experienced how my behavior was linked to my likability. I saw how people reacted with love and appreciation, if I followed the rules, was manageable, pleasing and complying. I learned, that I could manipulate, and adjust myself to gain more praise and become whatever I thought would be most appealing. This strategy worked wonders for many years. I was happy, easy-going and in control. I had a great life, with everything seemingly figured out. But underneath the surface, reigned the diminishing belief that I couldn’t be loved being myself, and that I somehow needed to compensate for that.

Most of my life, has been a devastating struggle. Trying to be more than I was, because being myself was not an option. I was running around, short of breath, trying to lose my own shadow, striving to be someone I wasn’t, engaging in things I didn’t care about, to impress people I didn’t know. It was a restless thrust forward driven by the applause instead of the cause. I was pushing myself, to be persistently achieving something to conceal my underlying low self-esteem, poor self-image and general deficiencies. I was hiding behind flawless and overcompensating behavior with a patchwork of identities, ceaselessly changing like a chameleon to meet the shifting expectations of my surroundings. I became a selfless people-pleaser with an insatiable thirst for outside acceptance and admiration.

As I grew older, my expectations to myself and my life proliferated into unreasonable demands and delusional ideals of perfection. I was convinced that I had to change myself to be loved. I had to hide my flaws and smooth out my edges, deny my feelings and pretend to be different. The fear of being unloved, unwanted, unattractive and unworthy was just too great to overcome. So I separated myself from the parts I couldn’t accept by spurning the ugly, flawed, crooked and inconvenient parts. I had initiated a quiet but detrimental war against myself, battling to shape and oppress aspects of my core that I feared would be objectionable. Split between who I was, and who I thought I should be, I ended up alienated from myself, cloistered in a hollow and artificial shell, distant from my genuine feelings and true identity.

The consistent self-rejection persisted for many years, but what began as an innocent wish to be accepted, evolved into a disabling fear to disappoint, fail and be exposed as who I really was. It was like living with a shattering secret. I knew that the girl people liked and admired, was not the real me. She was only who I wanted to be, and what I wanted others to see. The real me was never good enough, pretty enough or capable enough. My self-esteem was like an empty bucket I desperately scooped worth into only to realize there was a big hole in the bottom leaking it all out quicker than I could fill it up. I didn’t know how to value, or validate myself so I became addicted to the reassurance and approval of others to neutralize my recurring self-sabotaging thoughts. But the more people said I was amazing, the more I felt like a fraud. The discontent I felt towards myself was like a virus poisoning me from the inside out. I was excessively self-conscious, and purposefully blowing my own mistakes out of proportion. I had a cynical demon inside me feeding on my flaws and every imperfection was just confirming what I already knew: I was completely wrong and utterly flawed in any- and every possible way. Inadequate and unimportant. Simple as that. I had accepted my wrongness as a fundamental fact. Indisputable like gravity, there was no way around it.

I was burying myself in self-resentment, and the yearning to feel confident, significant and special became all-consuming. But my unrelenting self-doubt made me susceptible to comparison and competition. I compared myself to others, only to point out my own lack. People just served as a benchmark for my own worth, telling me how good or bad I was. I could list a thousand things that I was failing to do, be or accomplish. My worth as a human being became a fleeting thing that changed minute to minute depending on who I was around and the changing whims of my mind. It was like building a castle of confidence in sand, only to see it being swept away by the next ocean wave.

The process of comparison solely lead to desperation, and left me in a permanent state of scarcity and dissatisfaction. I was condemning myself for not being able to live up to my unattainable ideals. But no matter how hard I tried to fix myself, push myself, or be better than others, I always fell short. I was impossible to please and impress and I chose to turn that boiling frustration inwards. It was like being in an abusive relationship with myself, where motivating and berating were two sides of the same coin. But shame and self-abuse didn’t tame the demons, if anything they only fueled the fire; a fire that got out of hand, the moment I found comfort in addictive and compulsive behavior. I chose to drug myself with food to alleviate the disappointment and hate I felt towards myself. Binge eating brought me into a trance-like state of perfect tranquility; allowing me to temporarily vanish into oblivion. In those moments I was free. I was trying to escape the miserable reality I had created, but the consolation of the eating disorders was short-termed and only brought with it a craving for more. The escapism completely shattered my grip on reality. I couldn’t tell whether I was hungry, sleepy, happy or cold. As if my taste-buds suddenly went numb leaving me unable to distinguish sweet from sour. I was aware of my self-destruction, but ultimately I didn’t care anymore. I was trapped in a perpetuating circle of imploding powerlessness that had me spinning so fast, I couldn’t see clear anymore. I couldn’t see the point in living and the meaninglessness was like a dense fog threatening to choke me. I had ignored every danger sign and I was steadily pushing myself over the precipice towards an inescapable and unfathomable depression.

Things had to get so painful and out of control before I understood that something had to change. My greed for admiration, and fear for rejection made me compromise myself and abandon my true feelings, wishes and desires. I had ascribed too much value to what other people thought of me, that I was willing to sacrifice myself for their applause. I was just an ingratiating puppet paying lip service, frozen at the core, cut off from the natural rhythm of my own heartbeat. I was too busy competing with others, that I failed to realize the only enemy was inside myself. I realized that as long as I was fighting, compromising and oppressing myself, I would never be happy. If I continued to betray who I really was, I could never grow. The war inside me, would only ablaze if I persisted on living my life out of fear of what others might think of me.

With my personal work and art I wished to challenge the way I perceived flaws, imperfections and other interpersonal differences. By embracing and accepting my edges, instead of fearing them, I can reclaim the disowned parts of myself, and create a strong foundation for acceptance of what I ordinary deny, hide and push away

If I can refrain from defining myself in terms of what is expected of me, I can let go of who I think I should be, in order to be who I truly am.

I’m not a perfect porcelain doll. I’m vulnerable, complex and edged. I have been broken so many times. I’m full of cracks, flaws and scars. But every edge is part of my unique distinctiveness. They define, complete and unite me. They are my greatest gift as they give me strength and character. If I dare to worship the beauty of my inner edges and imperfections and adorn myself with them, I can reclaim my authenticity, and become more whole, more powerful and more true. This can seem frightening, but in reality it is freeing. I refuse to let fear and shame govern my life anymore.

I’m still a work in progress, but I’m confident now, knowing I have my art to remind me that my beauty, strength and uniqueness lies within my inner edges.

—Written by Sabine Rahbek

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Putting Labels On People

Do not be defined by the brand of the clothes you wear or by how you clothe yourself. You are more than how you look on the outside. Choose to be loved by the nakedness of your heart and mind and not by mere #ootd’s. You will find the realest and greatest love in your simplicity, and in your most unfashionable self.

Do not be defined by how many or how little likes you gain from your Instagram or profile photos. You are more than the number of your likes and followers. These numbers should not define your security and your confidence. You’ve got a bigger world who truly loves you outside the different social media channels.

Do not be defined by how dark or how light your skin is, or by the size of your clothes and how much you weigh. Beauty is beyond color and weight. Who you are is skin deep. Fair, white, dark, thin, curvy, or whatever, these are mere labels. We may look different from each other, but we’re beautiful all together.

Treasures, fame, popularity, status, and other temporal things aren’t forever. Do not allow yourself to be defined by something that would not last. It might leave you an emptiness that’s hard to fill in. Labels will not affect and define you unless you let them… 

Read the full article here.

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Daily Prompt

I Will Never Be A Well- Behaved Woman

by Janne Robinson

I would rather pass my days lying in the middle of dirt roads, staring at the full moon with a bottle of summer red in my palms.

I would rather have kids when it suits me, not when society expects or throws shoulds.

I would rather live in a hammock on a beach for six months, and write like my soul means it.

I would rather be horribly broke at times, than married to a job because a mortgage payment has my ass on a hook.

I would rather own moments, than investments.

I would rather eat alone, than sit with women who bore me at “Wives’ Night.”

I would rather swim naked with bioluminescence, have it fall like fireflies from my hair, my breasts, my back.

I would rather do handstands naked in the moonlight when no one’s watching than pick bridesmaid dresses.

I would rather drink seven year old rum from a sandy bottle, smell of smoke and ash than sit in church.

I would rather learn from life than rack up debt, in a desk.

I would rather drink the ocean, again and again—celebrate being madly alive.

I would rather my love be defined by love itself, and nothing more or less.

I don’t need a ring on my finger to prove that I am in love.

I would rather take the chicken bus, than spend useless money in safe gated communities. Sit beside a goat, listen to raggaeton and eat green mango with sugar in a plastic bag sold from the woman who harasses the bus each time it stops.

I do not need a degree to prove that I am intelligent.

I do not need to own a piece of earth with some wood on top of it—to feel successful. No one truly owns the land, anyway—we just think we do.

My savings account has diddly to do with my richness.

I would rather sprawl my single ass out like a lioness each morning and enjoy each corner of my empty bed.

I will take a job I love and freedom over a pension, any day.

 

I will not work and work and work to live when my body is old and I am tired.

Stocks are for people who get boners from money.

Not everyone should have kids, and my eggs aren’t expiring.

I will not drink the societal Kool-Aid on a bus, nor will I drink it on a train.

Not on a plane, with a goat, in the rain, in the dark, in a tree, with a fox, in a box!

I will not jump through societies’ hoops and red tape, the treasure hunt in the rat race we chase.

If we must have milestones—mine will be measured by how much joy I have collected at the end of each day and how often in this life I have truly, deeply, opened.

Seek, see, love, do.

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Daily Prompt

The Honest Musing

Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I barely recognize myself. I run my fingers across my face, and it feels like I am touching a stranger. 

On some nights, sadness envelopes in ways that I feel myself melting away, little by little. I have said things that I never thought I would, and I have done things that I never thought I would.

No matter what all the fucked up, popular quotes say, I don’t believe that anyone ever finds themselves entirely. I don’t think anyone ever will ever make sense of everything that is inside them.

And as scary and terrible it sounds, I think that’s part of the beauty. I think that’s part of the magic.

We are all shores, and we all change every time the ocean of life touches us, no matter how briefly. Maybe we are not the destination; perhaps we are the roads which go endlessly changing with time.

Maybe it is not about finding yourself. Maybe it is about being a mosaic of too many beautiful moments coupled with a devastating melancholy and the tragic sense of nostalgia…

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Finding The One

Is it really that difficult to find someone? The answer probably is no, it isn’t. This planet of ours is crawling with all sorts of possibilities. It is so easy to think that all one has to do is to walk out there and choose.

But when I look at statistics and listen to people, read blogs of singles on dating sites and hear their experiences, I can only conclude that finding a partner is almost next to impossible.

Sometimes, it amazes me to see pictures of lovely independent capable seems intelligent enough ladies who are available but having difficulties finding their significant others. And on few occasions, I had opportunities to talk to these women in real life and I was completely baffled by the fact that most of them are:  for the lack of a better word I would say__ a good catch?  They have a lot to offer to potentials lovers, so why on earth they are still singles? What’s wrong with these women? Why they cannot find suitable partners?

Oh, I know about choosy, picky, high standard women because I am  one myself.

But I’m talking about ladies who have ordinary demands and sober enough expectations, the ones who are willing to make compromises in exchange for real feelings and long lasting relationships. I’m talking about girls who are girlfriends and wife materials, the uncomplicated sweet simple caring undemanding kind, not some bitchy lunatic gypsy weirdo who is very much attach to her personal freedom like me. The ones who are supposed to be what every man is looking for, but seems doesn’t want. Why? 

Or I am supposed to be asking what is the matter with the men instead? (yes I know, every coin has two sides) Perhaps meeting someone is indeed easy, but the chance of finding the right person might be a little bit more complicated than I originally thought, and if the new found relationship is going to work, stand the test of time and will end up in happily ever after is a completely different story altogether. 

I am nowhere near expert on this topic, not only for the lack of interest but also for the lack of experience. I don’t know what makes the men ticks and I don’t care either. I don’t give a damn if they stay or go faithful or not or if they fancy me or never look at me,  they can do whatever they wish as long as they don’t bother me much and not fooling me behind my back, it is good enough for me. There are a lot of things I rather do than keep busy analyzing how their minds work. But it’s just me. I don’t know about others.

Perhaps they’re trying too hard, looking constantly over their shoulders, too conscious and too focus finding  the right person? Maybe enjoying life and making the most of being single while waiting is the right approach, I don’t know…  

There are billions of people on this planet, there bound to be one someone for each single person out there? Which brings us back to the root of the problem… where is the one?

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Murmur

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of childhood, for new metaphors, for life…

~ Hermann Hesse

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Goddesses and Martians

Roaming this planet long enough, observing and absorbing life, devouring whatever reading materials I can put my hands on, I have seen a lot of cases and read so many articles about the differences between opposite sex; mostly written by women who are trying to figure out/intellectualize/analyse men whom they claim are from Mars and themselves from Venus and I think to myself: C’mon people, those are dead planets.

Though we are all born and bred here on earth and not in some distant galaxy (I know the reference to Venus and Mars is just a figure of speech) we are all different whether it is male or female. Heck, even siblings who had shared the same background, upbringing and genetic make up become two completely different individuals when they grow up. What is more with two strangers who have met for the first time…  The truth is we can never know for sure what makes men tick and vice-versa; they are also clueless when it comes to us women. So, why not cherish the difference and let them be.

It is impossible to figure out another human being, whether it is a woman or a man; they will stay when they want to stay, leave you when they feel like it, lie, cheat and deceive if given a chance and respect and love you if they think you deserve to be treated that way.

But one can stand on ones head, cry bucket of tears, practice emotional blackmail, crawl on the floor and bark, do your best and give him/her everything you own if s/he is not really  into you, s/he will disappear sooner or later. Remember that.

Like my father used to say: you can put someone inside a chest and throw away the key if that somebody really wants to escape that person will find some Houdini maneuvers to get out. In short: if there is a will, there is a way.

Trying to dissect why men (or women) do certain things is a lost cause and a waste of energy. For one thing, John is not Peter and Peter is not Paul; one rule cannot be apply for every male (or female) and besides people constantly evolved, circumstances change and so does feelings. One cannot simply say men do these unexplainable (to women) things because they are from Mars (figure of speech or not) and we react emotionally etc to whatever they do because we are from Venus.

Bad things happen sometimes to unsuspecting people. That’s the way of the world and that will always be whether we spend so much time thinking about the hows and the whys and read tons of (self-help) books and articles hoping it will give us some clue on how to solve the puzzle or not. 

Instead of making ourselves crazy figuring out men and their mystical ways, why not devote our time understanding ourselves and change our ways for the better so, we don’t need another human being to lean or depend on and we don’t have to define ourselves through them. In that manner we can become whole and complete without help from others especially the opposite sex. So, when they say goodbye we will not be left hurt broken and miserable, whining about this and that blaming what happened to some theoretical myth about inhabitants of the dead planets we have read or heard somewhere and adapted it as ours to give us excuses when the time comes, and do it all over again the first opportunity we got. We need to be able to stand strong alone before we can be any use to anybody. No one but us can change ourselves. Anything outside that is beyond our control. We have to stop thinking that we can change another human being. The changes have to come from within.

If you’re in love (or think you are) savor the moment and do not spook yourselves fantasizing all doomed scenarios and don’t confuse yourself asking why this and that, does he loves me or not, would he leave me or not, is he having somebody else or not. Don’t worry you will find it soon enough maybe even sooner than you think because you see nothing last forever and the only constant in this world is changes. What you have to do for the meantime (and for crying out loud) is enjoy the magic while it lasts.

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