Rise Above Your Circumstances – A Story of Milk & Flight

flightFlight. What an amazing thing. The Wright brothers discovered back in the early 1900’s that to fly, you must defy the law of gravity. They were essentially working against that which is meant to keep us here on Earth.

Just imagine the mindset of the Wright brothers as they were hard at work trying to defy the natural law of gravity, and running into obstacle after obstacle. Plus, people must of considered them crazy back then. It was absolutely absurd that they even thought they could leave the ground.

I too have a story of flight.

When I was in 10th grade I was forced to drop out of school due to the conditions of my home life. Long story short, a preacher’s family took me in and tried to give some normalcy to a pretty hectic life. They tried enrolling me back into school but was told they couldn’t since they were technically not my legal guardians. I would have to go into state custody to go back to school.

I was forced to get my GED, but it always bothered me that I lost my opportunity to graduate high school.

Fast forward to when I was 24 years old. I was married, working a clerk job and had a young son. I went to Walmart to purchase milk for my child one day and was short at the registered. I went home digging for change…crying the whole time. I couldn’t buy milk…MILK! Something had to give.

I told my then husband that I wanted to go back to school so that I could change our lives. This barely making it paycheck to paycheck was no longer working. He told me I’d never make it. I went to the local technical school anyhow.

I took the entrance exam and was promptly told that I would have to take remedial classes before I could even begin the college courses. Isn’t that just great, I thought. I pushed forward and made it happen.

For six long years, I was a full-time mom, wife, employee and college student. Eventually, I switched from a technical college to a university. Life was difficult and I gave birth to two more children during this time.

I had come to a point in my life where I knew I had to take flight or I wasn’t going to go anywhere. Like the Wright brothers, I had to defy gravity – I had to overcome my circumstances. I discovered a will inside myself to not just live, but to thrive!

Moral of the story is that you are the only one who can determine whether you fly above your circumstances or allow them to hold you down. People will tell you that you can’t do it… especially those closest to you. The beautiful thing is that you don’t have to have anybody’s approval. Your internal belief that YOU CAN AND YOU WILL succeed is all you need.

The Wright brothers could have easily listened to the critics and gave up on the notion of mechanical flight. I could have easily wiped my tears and said it was just a gallon of milk.  Thank God my story didn’t end there.

I walked across a stage on December 13, 2013 as my three children watched from the stands. Their momma was the first person ever in her entire extended family to graduate college. They are now happy & healthy, and I haven’t cried over milk since.

Find your voice…your courage. Defy gravity and write your own story of flight.

blog graduation

 

Love Yourself – The Secret to a Meaningful Relationship

blog-waterfallI did this random thing last year. I decided that I needed to invest in myself by going to a counselor once a week for a minimum of 3 months.  I did just that.

Every Monday like clockwork you would find me with my counselor for a solid hour. I explained that I just needed to be able to gain trust for someone, a counselor, and be able to talk out some things I had never been able to. Face some demons so to speak. I wanted that open line of communcation.

One of my assignments during this time was to write down what I wanted in a relationship. Well, why? I knew what I wanted and started rambling them out to my counselor. He just shook his head and gave me some of the best advice I had ever gotten.

He explained that by clearly knowing what I wanted in a relationship I would be able to easily determine if I could be on the same wavelength with somebody. There is no perfect person or perfect relationship, so don’t think that your potential mate has to meet ALL of your wants 100%; however, they should meet the most important.

If you don’t take the time to write down what it is you really want, then you are liable to keep compromising. If you keep compromising then you are essentially only hurting yourself. Compromising on your fundamentals is a form of not loving and respecting yourself. If you want to attract the right person then you need to first love yourself, and you do that by understanding what it is that is going to make you happy. Don’t go looking for a life partner in a playmate.

Then, after I wrote down what I wanted, he told me to think about what men like that would be looking for? Are you actively working on yourself so that the best “you” shines through? Are you taking time for yourself and working on your goals as to attract that potential mate? The answer was no…I wasn’t working on me.

I was so consumed with the world of dating and trying to find what I was looking for that I absolutely had lost sight of who I was. When you shift your focus off of yourself and put your energy completely into something like dating, then you do more damage than good. You have to find the right balance.

Want the secret to a meaningful relationship? Learn to love yourself first!

Six tips to self love:

  1. Forgive Yourself – If you have made some mistakes that have made you feel less than worthy, then you need to let that go. Move past it. Recognize that you’re actively trying to better yourself and part of doing that is letting go of the past. You are worthy. Repeat that to yourself, I AM WORTHY.
  2. Learn What Makes You Happy – Take some time to figure out what makes YOU happy. Are you really into hiking, gardening, painting, writing, etc.? Take the time to unplug and really learn yourself. Make sure that you always leave a space open in your life to constantly fill your “happy tank” by allowing yourself that outlet. Never get to a point that you’re putting your passions to the side to cater to someone else. Find that balance.
  3. Care About Yourself as Much as Others – “It sounds simple, but many of us simply don’t do this because we think we are being selfish or that our own needs are not important. They are. It is not selfish to care about yourself. Compassion for yourself means showing concern for your own feelings as well as for others. Treat yourself the way you would treat your children or your best friend—with gentleness, concern and caring.” – Deborah Ward. 3 Ways to Learn to Love Yourself
  4. Get Real With Your Emotions – Understand your emotions and respond correctly to those emotions. If something doesn’t bring you  joy, then be honest about it. In life you have to compromise, but never allow yourself to hide your feelings in hopes to not upset others. If you dislike something very much or if something makes you uneasy then learn to speak up. Learn to be honest with how you feel so that you can show the world that your feelings count. Love yourself so that others can too!
  5. Know What Your Want In Life – Take time to write out what you want. What are your goals? By taking the time to write it out you’re setting the coordinates on how to get there, so to speak. I want XYZ in life, so I must do  ABC to get there. You wouldn’t get in your car and try to get to a far off destination without knowing the address, right? Exactly. Writing out your goals is like turning the GPS on in your life.
  6. Grow Spiritually – Oh man, this is a big one. Take time daily, shoot…hourly, to get your spiritual life on track.  Time with God is absolutely the best way to love yourself. I have said it a million times, but pray even when you don’t feel like doing so. Bow your head throughout the day and just say hey. Before you know it, you will have a wonderful connection with the man upstairs. Go to church and put yourself around other positive, Christian people. Focus on God and he will help you focus on yourself.

Be happy, love yourself and lead a fulfilled life. You deserve it!

1 Corinthians 13:13