Love lost, lessons found

I was listening to Ariana Grande’s Thank u, Next. It’s quiet a catchy song but when you really listen to it, you realise that every relationship you’ve ever been in served a purpose. The song is all about Grande’s previous relationships. In the song she says “I’ve got so much love, got so much patience, learned from the pain, turned out amazing…” Her choosing to see her previous relationships as lessons and reflecting on them shows that she has learned and she knows better. (Don’t worry I’m not her PR person). And I think that’s what past relationships are for. Lessons and moving on.

In all honesty this song made me realise that she might be on to something. In every relationship I’ve ever been in (and no I haven’t been in many relationships), I realised that I learned more about myself, the person I was with and what I want in my next relationship. Sure we all want a peachy relationship with roses and teddy bears but the truth is, relationships are not smooth sailing. Yes there are great moments but there are also times whereby it’s all a crapstorm (forgive the profanity). We go through love’s rollercoaster, one minute you are up and the next you are down. (Reminds me of a Katy Perry song. Sorry).

Relationships are like that, one minute it’s all love and the next minute you can’t stand each other. Either we find the one who makes it all worth it or we move on to the next. We either stick it out or ship out. When we decide to move on, it’s with ease because we’ve learned so much about ourselves and what we want from our next romance. We fix how we communicate, we don’t tolerate smoking or a person going MIA for two days, we know better. All that is because we’ve learned from our previous relationship. Had we not experienced pain, disappointment an’t other things then we wouldn’t be trying to do better.

Moral of the post
Past failed relationships serve as a compass in our present relationships. As much as we’ve been hurt and we’ve hurt others too, it still doesn’t change the fact that from our mistakes we learn. We know what to do, when to do it and who to do it with in order to have a healthy relationship. We compromise, sacrifice, communicate better, we trust and we love all because our previous relationships taught us that that’s what we lacked. Our past relationships failed because we didn’t do something or we did something. That’s why we must be greatful with the lesson learned and move on to better things.

Remember, Live , Love, Learn and be Happy.

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What your fear is doing to you

My teacher once asked me what my biggest fear in life was and I said failure. No, I didn’t mean failing tests or grades, I meant failure as in failure to be anything or achieve anything in life. Side note, my classmates looked at me like I was crazy because ‘normal’ people are scared of snakes, heights and all that is visible and rational. Oh yeah, back to the post: I carried this for a long time and looking back, I realise that fear of failure held me back. I know I’m not the only one with a fear people think is irrational and crazy but that’s what fear is: it’s irrational and crazy.

It’s sad because I let fear of failure stop me from doing anything in life. I don’t know how to swim and I’m scared I’ll fail at it so I don’t go near any swimming pool. I’m good with people and crowds but I didn’t engage with people because I was scared that I wouldn’t sound smart or wouldn’t fit in so I became a loner. Everything I didn’t do or had fear of doing, I didn’t do because I didn’t want to be bad at it or fail at it. Looking back now I realise that I let a lot of things pass me by and I didn’t live to the fullest because I was scared I wouldn’t be good at it. I locked myself up in a prison of fear.

If you (whoever is reading this) would look at my blog record you’d see that I started this blog in 2015 but the amount of posts I have don’t show that and the reason is because I was scared no one would read my posts, no one would comment or I didn’t know what I was talking about. I was scared and writing this post now I realise that I held myself back. Truth is, had I faced my fears head on then I’d be better by now. I’d be a better writer, I’d have more followers and honestly I would’ve faced my fear a long time ago. I guess I had to see now, how this fear of failure paralysed me.

Fear, any fear is a prison. We lock ourselves up in fear of the unknown that we don’t reach our full potential and we stop living. This blog for me is just one foot out of that prison. If I didn’t fear failure maybe I would’ve achieved more than I know, maybe my life wouldn’t be the way it is and maybe a lot of things. I can’t know for sure because I gave into fear and I’m not the only one. Fear stops us from progress really, we get scared of falling in love, of having fun, of starting something because we are afraid it won’t work but the sad truth is that not doing anything is the worst form of punishment.

Fear feeds off itself. If you become too afraid to do anything then you are not going to do anything in life. You won’t know love, you won’t write anything, you won’t get to climb the highest mountain. Another thing about fear is that it leads to regrets. You end up living a life filled with bitterness and regret because you couldn’t master up the courage to just do it (I think I’m in love with the Nike slogan now more than ever). You end up resenting other people and being bitter about their success for doing what you should’ve done but didn’t because you were too afraid.

Moral of the post
We all have fears but that doesn’t mean we should let fear rule our lives. Fear stops us from living and reaching our full potential. It steals from us and if we continue to lock ourselves in the prison of fear then we stop ourselves from reaching our goals. We end up resenting others and being bitter because they are doing what we could do if we weren’t so scared. So we must find the courage to face our fears if we want to live lives without regret.

Remember live, love, learn and be happy

ONCE YOU START, DON’T GIVE UP

An awesome thing about a new year is all its promises. The new year presents us with a chance to start over, live better, budget, go to the gym, quit smoking and even find love amongst other things. We make new years resolutions because we want more from ourselves and the year. We want more from life. We make plans because we’ve learned from the previous year on what to do and the new year gives us the opportunity to show all that. That’s why the beginning of a new year is so awesome, it’s like being given a second chance and with that, we have hope, chance and possibilities.

As much as the new year brings with it many possibilities, it also comes with challenges. You see, the toughest thing about starting over, making plans and resolutions is maintaining them and being consistent. When the year starts we are motivated but a few weeks or months down the line we are back to eating junk food instead of going to the gym, we stopped working on that company we started and give up on other things. The thing is, as the year goes, we realise that it’s just another year, its not very different from the previous one and lose motivation.

Lack of motivation and consistency are two of the toughest challenges in doing anything productive in life. However, they are just challenges and challenges don’t mean we give up and let go. They mean we have to be strong, consistent and not give up. Truth is, we won’t be full of energy and motivated everyday but we must keep pushing. We need to motivate ourselves when we feel like we can’t go on any more. It’s very easy to give up on something, the challenge is to not give up. We have to learn to take the good with the bad, the easy with the hard and the sweet with the bitter.

When we realise and accept that challenges are a part of life then things become a bit easier. Challenges teach us more about ourselves, they show us our strengths, weaknesses and teach us how to do better and find solutions. Once we realise all this and continue with gym, that company we started or anything we planned to do then it becomes easier to go on and even fighting for it. We need to fight for it to survive. It can be a relationship, a business, a blog, a company, anything really. We have to stay motivated, face challenges and have fun.

If we are not having fun then all of it is pointless. We should enjoy the process. We shouldn’t feel trapped, angry and bitter when we do something. Those feelings either mean we don’t want to do whatever it is we are doing and they are a recipe for giving up. If we don’t like what we are doing and don’t have the motivation to do it then it’s pointless to do it. Of course there are times when we will feel like giving up but that’s what passion and motivation are for. It’s not easy to give up on something that you love and when you are motivated to do it then it becomes easier and worth it.

Moral of the post:
The year has just begun and with it comes a lot of possibilities and opportunities. Grab those opportunities and make the best of them as you go along. Yes, you will stumble along the way and face challenges but that doesn’t mean you have to give up. The best thing you can do is to remain consistent and motivated. Do things you love and enjoy, don’t pressure yourself and no matter what, keep going.

Live, Love, Learn and be Happy

LESSONS FROM 2018

When the year ends we always focus on what could’ve been or what should’ve happened. We usually sum up the end of a year with all the bad things that happened to us and rarely look at the good too. I’m saying this because I’m also guilty of it. I found myself reflecting on 2018 as the worst year ever but in truth so was 2017,2016 and so on and so forth. The truth is every year has its challenges and that’s what life is, life is about challenges.

I found myself looking at all the people and things I lost, missed opportunities, things I could’ve done better and how I let myself down. I kept on beating myself up over all that and I know I’m not alone in this. Every year we make resolutions and have all these expectations but when things don’t go our way we sulk, give up and close the year off as the worst.

In truth no one can say they’ve had the best year, they just managed to make the best of the year and that’s what we should do. Take each day as it comes, live, learn and move on.

Yes 2018 was a tough year but it was also a good year in its own way. I learned a lot in 2018 and I’d like to share what I learned with you.

1. NOTHING LASTS FOREVER.

It can be pain, happiness, loss, change or whatever you are going through. It doesn’t last forever. Situations come and go, seasons change, we cry and we laugh, we lose and we gain. It’s all a part of life. It’s not permanent, so you must experience it, live it and and learn from it.

2. THERE IS A LESSON SOMEWHERE

When something bad happens we always cry and shut down but that shouldn’t always be the case. Sometimes there is a lesson in situations we go through and all we need to is open our eyes and try to find the lesson in whatever we are going through.

3. ITS OKAY TO FEEL BAD SOMETIMES

I bet even Batman feels lousy once in a while. Nobody is perfect and we need to understand that. It’s okay to feel sad, angry, emotional or any negative emotion out there. Life gets us down and it will get us down so it’s okay to feel bad. You can’t be jolly and full of smiles when you fail an exam or find out your puppy died. Feel whatever emotion you are going through and after all that pull yourself together.

4. SOMETIMES A LOSS ISN’T A LOSS

I know it doesn’t make sense but trust me, sometimes a loss is a gain. Losing bad friends is not a loss, letting go of toxic relationships and people in life is not a loss, losing anything that doesn’t benefit you is not a loss at all. It’s all good, you gained something. You might not feel like it but letting go of bad things will do you good.

5. YOU ARE YOUR OWN HINDRANCE

I won’t get much into this because our situations are not the same but sometimes the end result is always the same. Sometimes you want to try something or go somewhere but you can’t because you have mixed feelings or you are not too sure or you are scared and you experience all those emotions that stop you from actually doing something. That’s you stopping yourself from living and possibly your breakthrough, stop self doubting and just go with it.

6. COMFORT IS DANGEROUS

Being too comfortable in any situation is dangerous because it can stop you from doing anything. You get so comfortable in a situation that you don’t see when it’s detrimental. Get out of your comfort zone and you will achieve many things. You can never lose anything because it’s all about learning.

7. MOVE ON

There is no point in focusing on the past and what should’ve or could’ve been. If it happened, it happened and if it didn’t then it didn’t so move on and stop holding on to ghosts of the past.

8. SET REALISTIC GOALS

It’s awesome to have goals, goals are why we get up in the morning. We aspire to be someone, we hope to achieve something, we want to amount to something and we can only do so with goals. Goals help us achieve our dreams, so that’s why they must be realistic. You can’t wake up in the morning and say your goal is to be a different race. That’s just insane. Set goals that you can and will achieve, set goals that are realistic and will get you to where you want to be in life.

9. IT’S OKAY TO BE SELFISH

I always say this to my friends, it’s okay to be selfish with yourself, time and emotion. Sometimes you need to invest in yourself, take time out just for you to focus on you. It’s okay to want to be alone and focus on your career or hobby or whatever really. You don’t have to please everyone.

10. LOVE YOURSELF TO INFINITY AND BEYOND.

I can’t stress this enough, LOVE YOURSELF. It doesn’t matter whether you are big or small, fat or thin, whether you have scars or not or whether you are rich or poor. Nobody is ever going to love you as much as you love yourself so you might as well do it and do it to the fullest.

Happy 2019.

Live, Love, Learn and be Happy.

Don’t let expectations hinder your progress

Its been a long time since I’ve done this, it feels strangely good to be honest. I thought I lost my will to write but it turns out all I needed to do was just write and it would come back to me. I know where I went wrong and I know why. The truth is we expect too much from ourselves and when we fall short , we break down and just give up. I did that. I had huge expectations of myself, my blog and writing experiences that when I didnt see all that happening the way I saw it in my head I got disappointed.

The truth is sometimes expectations can kill us. I mean we expect so much that during that process we only focus on what we expecting and we dont look at our achievements. We focus on one thing but while we are doing that, life happens. We meet challenges, we go in different directions, we fail, we succeed and overall we live.

In 2018 I realised that sometimes our expectations can hurt our progress. Dont get me wrong, I’m not saying that expectations are the devil, im just saying its good to also go with the flow, don’t expect too much and when we dont meet our expectations then it’s also okay. Life happens. As much as we can plan, scheme and try to control situations, life happens.

Happy 2019. To a year filled with love, laughter, lessons and less expectations.

Why do we need validation???

Stupid approval! That’s what I’ve been singing for the past few months. No, not self-approval, approval from the masses or better yet approval from my peers. I know that I am smart, beautiful, funny and all that but it sounds so self centred and vain when I say it. However when someone else says it it’s like heaven just opened and I was kissed by an angel. I feel happy when I’m praised or when I get compliments. Maybe that’s the problem. We get a sense of pride and joy mostly when someone else appreciates and approves of us. come on, I mean even baby Jesus was adored by the Magi at birth, so can’t these people who we’ve lived with for so long and did so much for adore us? No I don’t mean get us gifts of gold and all, (it would be really awesome though) no. I think we just want someone to say ‘Well done or you are beautiful and oh my God you are the bomb’.

I bet you’ve felt that too. wanting to be praised and acknowledged. Wanting someone to pat you on the back, pull their thumbs up and and say way to go, you did it.’
Why does it matter though? Why does your value rely on someone else? Have you ever thought that maybe you are enough? I don’t mean being tired or over something but enough in terms of being complete, being the ultimate package. Just being whole and not needing anything?
I won’t judge because there was a time in my my life where the masses would matter and so did their opinions of me.
I remember not feeling good enough. I used to feel complete in the eyes of Someone else or rather what they thought of me. If they thought positive of me then I’d be content and if it was negative then I’d sit down and curse myself.

I think this happens with everyone. When you get a new hairstyle its not a big deal until someone says ‘Oh my God you look amazing’. We measure ourselves based on how people see or classify us. Take me for instance, I completed my degree, I’m smart, I’m beautiful, funny and all that but I didn’t feel this way about myself until someone else said it. For me to believe all that about myself I needed to hear it from someone else. I needed someone to put value and validate me.

Here is my crazy story: A very close friend of mine is a photographer and I’ve known the person for years. Not once has the person ever taken a picture of me or pretended to take a picture of me and that put a dent on my confidence. I started feeling ugly and didn’t appreciate myself only because this one person didn’t take a picture of me.

Looking back at it or writing it down I’m thinking man, that was stupid but at that time it was a big deal and it hurt. I knew that I’m beautiful don’t get me wrong. Just that this one person or rather their photographic opinion if you would call it that meant so much that I belittled myself and started feeling low about how I looked all because they never took a picture of me. In my mind it felt like if Beyonce never wrote or sang a song about or for Jay-Z, imagine how Jay-Z would feel. That’s where I was.

Regardless of what I knew, it still hurt and bugged me. I think that’s our problem, we know but we still want to be told . If you know something for a fact then why do you doubt yourself? Why do you feel the need to be praised by someone else. Personally I figured what if I took different poses, the butt pose, the smile, the shy look and all these other poses then the person would have to take a picture of me. This one person would find me beautiful. The sad thing is other people did take pictures of me, they offered and some even begged me to send them my pictures but this one person, this one person mattered so much that I saw myself as ugly and I just saw negativity in myself.

Its the same way as a wife with a new hairstyle hoping the husband compliments her but what if he doesn’t compliment you, what if he doesn’t see the change in you, he just stares blankly at you while you are busy swaying your head from left to right in the middle of a soccer game and he is just not paying attention to you, does that mean the fault is with you, are you incomplete without his compliments?

Why do we need validation? Why is it that someone’s approval of us matters much more than how we see ourselves. No one can say I don’t love myself because I woke up feeling that way. No, some magazine said you need to be a size 28, someone didn’t take your picture or find you beautiful enough to capture, someone said you are too dark.

That’s why you have a problem with yourself. What if you just woke up and felt like the bomb. You just woke up, got in your size 40, took your own picture and posted it on Facebook and just decided to tell yourself that you are the bomb and actually believed it. You wouldn’t need the Magi to adore you. It wouldn’t matter what anyone did or said because you know better and you know yourself much better. You adore yourself enough for the masses, you find no faults and flaws in who you are. You don’t need fake validation. You don’t need fake praises.

Perdonally I feel like this is a sickness that we all suffer from and the only cure is to look at ourselves and see ourselves for who and what we really are: beautiful, handsome, smart, intriguing, complete and amazing people amongst other things. The truth is that no one has to look at you and put a stamp of approval on you but yourself. Your happiness is not and should not be found or should not lie in someone’s words.
Don’t ever give someone that much power over you. You are enough and people don’t have to say it for you to know it. You know that you are enough and that’s enough on its own.

You don’t need someone to validate your existence and praise what you already know is amazing. Be content with who you are and adore yourself. Your life will be filled with peace and so much of love.
Be okay with who you are and how you look. Love yourself. Loving yourself can be many things, find your beauty, write yourself letters and poems, be crazy, take yourself on dates, face your fears, take pictures of yourself, motivate yourself. Don’t give anyone power over how you see yourself. Never give them so much power that when they don’t do what you expect of them then you are left shattered. Take that power back, compliment yourself, praise yourself and just be happy with yourself. Never let anyone make you feel bad about yourself.

Letting go is not easy but sometimes it’s necessary.

Have you ever built a prison for yourself only because you were scared to do the right thing? Yeah I’ve done that too and trust me nothing good ever comes from it. I had imprisoned myself to the point whereby my life was filled with regret and resentment. What was I expecting? I created a prison myself and expected the garden of Eden with chocolate fountains and marshmallow clouds.

Why do we do that? Why do we imprison ourselves in situations that not only kill our spirit but damage who we are? I found my answer to that question and I figured it’s because we want to please others. We want to be loved, we want to be seen as noble, we want to be seen and appreciated for our efforts. Well at least that’s why I imprisoned myself in a situation. I’m not over the situation hence I can’t even write what the situation was. That’s what this thing does to you, it takes your power and makes you weak.

Imagine staying in a toxic relationship simply because the two of you have been together for too long so you can’t leave. Imagine working for a person who constantly harasses you and belittles you every chance they get. Why would you stay there ? Why would you do that to yourself? As humans we sometimes choose to endure so much pain to only destroy ourselves later.

My situation left me bitter, self hating and hating many people around me. It left me feeling alone and scared. It left me feeling ashamed of who I was or rather who I had become in the situation. We let situations doctor us so much that we even lose ourselves. Why? Why do we let that happen. I knew the situation was bad for me. Oh enough with the situation. I was in a toxic relationship. There I said it. So much better. I knew at some point that the relationship had turned sour, it had changed and I wasn’t happy but still I stayed. Why? Don’t ask me why , I made excuses for the person and told myself that it would get better. But what was better? What was better than my own happiness, my own self respect? Its amazing how we justify the bad things that happen in our lives.

We look for excuses, we make excuses and if not for ourselves then for the people involved. We tend to hope for the best even when the situation on its own is bad. We always say what if even when there is no better alternative . I don’t know why I stayed but I know that at the time staying was the only option I thought I had. I wasn’t threatened to stay, I wasn’t stuck to the person by glue and I wasn’t going to die had I left but it felt like it was the only option I had. I had imprisoned myself so much so that I was the prisoner and the warden at the same time. I had sentenced myself to misery and pain. The sad part of it all is that I knew I had to leave, I knew I wasn’t happy and there was a small voice telling me to let go and it will all work out but I was scared. I wasn’t scared so much about what will happen to me, no I was mostly scared of what people will say, what will happen to the person I’m with and what if I become more unhappy. I made excuses repeatedly. I let myself die repeatedly.

I know that I am not the only one who has suffered from mental imprisonment only because of fear. Sometimes we are scared to take chances, to live, to laugh, to start over. Sometimes we are scared to jump because we believe that gravity will pull us down, but what if we fly. Sometimes what you think is best at that particular time is not best for your future. We become victims of our own doing. We cry and not do anything about a situation. We don’t change it and yet we hope for the best. The best sometimes can be letting go. The feeling of freedom. The will to live again, to smile without fear. To just be happy.

I left my relationship and now I can proudly say that I am happy. I don’t have any regrets and I love myself. I’m happy with who I am. I don’t have to please anyone but myself. I have peace. That’s what comes with making decisions for yourself, you find love and peace. You find happiness. You are not scared to look in the mirror anymore. You are content. I understand the fear of letting go because you don’t know what’s on the other side but the truth is it can’t be worse than a mental prison you have created for yourself. Letting go is never easy but sometimes it’s necessary. It’s necessary when you want to be happy, when you want to start over. Living at the mercy of someone or something is not life. Its prison. You become a shadow of what and who you used to be. So from a former prisoner to someone who want to be happy I say it’s okay to let go. It’s okay to be scared but it’s not okay to let a situation dictate your life and make you unhappy. You can free yourself, all you have to do is say yes to your inner voice. Listen to it and do what’s best for you.