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Run Your Own Race

We live in a society where social media has a platform that many people are so desperately trying to stand on. Everywhere we turn there are women who glamorize for showing nothing but a piece of dental floss as a swimsuit, or those couples who so affectionately showcase their love “too much” to your liking because You are actually bitter and single, or even sometimes that Facebook friend that continuously broadcast their new home, new car, and or new job and it looks as though life is going great for her. BUT what you DONT see on that invisible platform we glamorize all too much  is that woman is secretly crying out for help due to deep insecurities and lack of self-care, or that couple you envy is actually in a very unhealthy and toxic relationship which should have ended years ago, or that woman is always showcasing her “accomplishments” because she is deeply needing validation from people because she didn’t receive the proper care of cheering from her childhood. Too many times we are comparing our lives to others, who would switch with us in heartbeat!  Too many people are creating an image that glamorizes the pleasures of our lives, but secretly hide and are ashamed of the pain that life has brought us also – which can give a false feeling that struggle does not exist.

Too many people are looking at other people lifestyle, and constantly comparing it to their own – which can sometimes a deep level of not being satisfied with their own life; especially if the other party life is perceived better. But did you see the word perceived? Perception can be deceptive if you’re not careful in your “observation. You are comparing your life to others who in all honesty do not have that much more than you! We are so hard on ourselves and we fall victim to taking criticism from people around us who do not even have any reliable credits!

We must be more invested in running our own race because it is OURS. No one else. Understanding that you should not be in competition with anyone; even if people are secretly competing with you… (Did you catch that?) It is important to understand that there are no timelines or no specific stop on our journey where pain or trials and tribulations will stop. If we took the time to ENJOY OUR OWN LIFE genuinely, intensely, and unapologetically, and all that it throws us we would not have the time, energy, or concern to focus or compare our lives to others. So instead of trying to figure out what size gym shoe, someone else wears go to the store and get YOU a new pair to wear for your own race.

-Sho

…No, I’m Not Okay

You remember as a kid hearing your parent yell the familiar chant “you want something done, you gotta’ do it yourself!” as you walk away utterly confused? You remember vividly that they didn’t even ask you to help them in the first place. You had no problem assisting them in their time of need, but you figured your assistance was not needed because it wasn’t asked for. Now you have an irate parent that is upset you aren’t helping when you weren’t asked to help… I think it’s because in the back of the parent’s mind the child, “really didn’t want to help,” but how would they know if THEY NEVER ASKED! That mindset some of us have grown up has carried well on into our adulthood. Needing help desperately, but not wanting to ask and then getting upset when no one helps you. But why are we so afraid to ask for a lending ear when we need to vent, or a shoulder to cry on when life is tough, or just plain ol’ HELP. Why are we so afraid to acknowledge that we don’t have it all together, and sometimes a second-hand is needed?

It is important to understand that we have to be willing to admit that we indeed need help. Seeking to identify our vulnerabilities is a beginning step to actively and correctly care for ourselves. We as women carry the weight of the WORLD it seems every single day, and there is nothing more depressing than feeling alone while doing it. We lock ourselves up in our minds and create the delusion that no one understands our struggles, and we don’t have anyone to talk too. That is no one, but the enemy that wants to keep you in isolation to make you believe that lie. DONT DO IT. I have found myself harboring emotions, and feelings to myself because I didn’t want to burden to anyone venting about my issues. Because after all, they are my issues. I found myself in the midst of a mental breakdown because I created this image that nobody wanted to hear about my damaging issues that were silently affecting me. It wasn’t until I did tell a close friend of mine, and the outpouring of support and love was overwhelming. I WAS INDEED NEVER ALONE. She had no clue the pain I was in because I never said anything. Not one single word. You see so many women who are experiencing the same struggles as I was needed to hear my troubles. But what I was finding out is that my isolated thoughts were causing me so much chaos and pain in my life, because my mind was being disturbed. I was desperately needing help but was so ashamed to ask for advice. Understand that “help” doesn’t have to be a thing…”Help” is an ear to listen, a shoulder for a hug, a talk for confirmation, a journal for healing, or even a cry for release. However, no one can give you those things if you never ask for them…

Pastor John Gray said “It is important that people genuinely ask you “How are you doing”, but it is even MORE important, to tell the truth at that moment.” Too many times we are punishing people in our lives for “not being there”, or not understanding us, but the truth is simply, some people don’t know that they are actually needed in your life…(did you catch that?) Until we fully understand that it is okay to not be okay all the time, so many of us will continue to live a life in isolation fighting battles that you don’t have to fight alone…

-Sho

You Like Living In Chaos?

In a world where we are accustomed to living in unsettled situations that create chaos, it seems as though Peace is hard to come by. You find yourself running opposite of what peace is trying to offer because you have mastered the art of tackling destruction, even when you are the reason for the destruction that was created. You begin to think that chaos and confusion are normal, and you have no reservations about trying to find anything different. Because sometimes desiring something you never had is quite scary isn’t it?

We tend to find comfort in chaos because (let’s be transparent) “that’s all some people are used too and have accustomed too.” We have become so used to dysfunction, problematic avoidable situations, and then when “all hell breaks loose”, we are left wondering what went wrong? Majority of the chaos in our lives can be avoided, and even for the most part removed, IF IT DOESNT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH US! Yes, read that again! We, especially women have a such a terrible tendency to take on the burdens of others that we have consistently made other people problems our own! We tend to have a niche at fixing things that when we don’t have a project to work on, we have no clue what to do with our spare time. We then find that the chaos in our lives kept us busy, while inadvertently running from prospering seasons in our lives where peace would have been given.

I think it is important to understand that we are also are living in a culture where we are used to “something, (in regardless of how big or small) going wrong in our lives, that when something is going right – we aren’t able to accept it correctly. We have got to change our thinking that had led us to believe that chaos and havoc are comfortable – while peace and serenity are hard to come by.

-Sho

The Importance Of You

In a world where confidence and self-worth are embedded in our skulls from birth it, it seems the importance of self-care has been forgotten about. We as children grow up and watch our moms over exhaust herself providing for the family, always being there every beck and call, cooking, cleaning, etc.-  yet no understand that even she gets tired and her cup that she is always pouring from is actually empty. That is because we live in a society that displays a generational and cultural message that a good woman is a self-sacrificing woman.  Bullsh*t!

Somewhere along the lines of women becoming more in tune with who they were, and what they stood for, and simply taking care of themselves has been deemed selfish.  There’s a sense of scarcity; of having to choose between caring for yourself or others and we aren’t allowed to do both. It’s a double head sword which we lose if we care for ourselves because we end up feeling guilty, and we lose if we neglect self-care because we end up feeling resentful. When in the end, we actually hurt ourselves more, because we spent so much of our time caring for others when in reality we have to put ourselves FIRST. Think of it this way…How do you identify yourself first… a woman right? So we have to remember that even though other titles come (mother, wife, sister, daughter) you are a woman first and she needs to be taken care of!

Loving and taking care of ourselves is important and essential to how we develop our greatest potential. A woman who cares for herself is NOT selfish…She is powerful, and harder to control and manipulate. Don’t let society “norms” trick you in a world wind that will have you living a life of regret, resentment, and sorrow while the people who you have taken great care of our living a fulfilled life taking care of themselves.

-Sho

Is It A Healthy Or Harmful Friendship?

In a society of “No New Friends” makes me question everything I know about the importance of healthy relationships – how are we suppose to grow and connect with people of different diverse backgrounds, and cultures if we only maintain the friendships we’ve known since we were in middle school? What happens if that 10+ year friendship that has been filled with chaos, jealousy, and undeniable envy is still lingering on? Or what happens when as you continue to grow and elevate yourself for wanting things differently out of life, and those old friends don’t? Why are we so afraid to cutoff thee unhealthy friendships that we are fully aware of how toxic they’ve become? Friendships are so very important and essential and they have an everlasting effect on our lives in more ways than we realize.

I believe we have abused the word “Time” when we describe why we are still holding on to toxic friendships. I think we believe that longevity automatically means progression and it doesn’t.  You can meet someone last month and can feel like they a more genuine, trustworthy, and dependable friend then someone you’ve known for years. Now don’t get me wrong, healthy friendships are important because they give us vital life skills,  some friendships help you define your priorities, and grow as a person, be that shoulder to cry on during hard tough times, etc. etc.  BUT what happens when some friendships are consistent arguments that leave you all not talking for months, or blast each other secrets on social media, or even sometimes becoming physical with each other? Why do we hold on to those tumultuous draining friendships- but will turn our nose up and snicker at the new girl at work?

As we get older, and continue to prosper into our potential, it is important to understand the value in creating and maintaining healthy friendships. We have to be able to identify first what is a unhealthy friendship, or even sometimes who is actually making it unhealthy. We have to band together with friends who will push us to your potential, give us reality checks, and also be our voice of reasoning when the whole world is telling us to do otherwise.

-Sho

Who Made Up These Rules?

“Physics, this shit ain’t!”…one of my favorite lines from my all time favorite movie -Love Jones. I find myself reciting that one line over and over again when I look at things we are calling love nowadays…BUT it seems as though before we can even get to the blissfully love-filled relationships our heart desire; we have to pass this awkward phase of “talking” which can lead to untimely situationships we sometimes can’t get ourselves out of. Why is dating so complicated, especially in 2017? Maybe its because society tells us “don’t you dare call first”, or “don’t you text again because you texted last”, or “continuously checking their social media account.” These invisible rules that we follow are slowly becoming our demise to eventually ending up alone.

It is important to understand that we must all give and take in some aspects of our life, but it seems as though our generation’s hardest task is compromising. It seems as though open communication is a thing of the past, and keeping a mystery locket of emotion inside is normal. We make interactions with other individuals so difficult and I don’t know why. We allow our insecurities to get the best of us and will cover it with pride because appearing vulnerable is a sign of weakness. Everyone wants the beautiful house with the white picket fence, but don’t want to lay the first brick down for the foundation.  Society has made it the norm that showing genuine interest is thirst, and playing hard to get is the way to be. This new age of texting has taking over genuine intellectual conversations that are needed for healthy communication. Everybody don’t want a “Wyd” text!

If we learn to live by our own rules and date the way WE want too, healthy relationships and happiness will prosper without those “invisible rules” and won’t be so difficult. However, it is also important to understand that you cant change, anyone, …simple! BUT you can be considerate and patient while they are learning to give you what you are asking for…

-Sho

You Gotta Do It For You!

Often times I wonder who is really happy? And I don’t mean who is making the most money, or has the most attractive spouse, or even the biggest house in the neighborhood…but legitimately happy? The feeling of happiness that you are exactly where you want to be in life, doing exactly what you want to do and the feeling of that undeniable joy is unexplainable? It seems legitimately easy, right? The problem is that it is one of the most unattainable feelings to get and I think it because no one wants to do what makes THEM happy anymore. Isn’t it crazy that people will Sacrifice their own peace and self-satisfaction for the approval of others? When those same people aren’t sacrificing their goals and or happiness to appease you?

We have so many internal battles within ourselves when it comes to whats best for US! But isn’t it crazy that we can be fighting ourselves for the best ultimate decision for ourselves? You would think you know what you want right?  For example, If it was up to me, I would have never gone to college…(yes yes I know) But, instead, I went because I thought it would make my family proud. Having an accomplishment that now 7 years and thousands and thousands of dollars in debt later, I’m in a career field where the degree doesn’t even matter or even pertain to what I went to school for in the first place. Society tells us to do what we want to do, but in the same breath will tell us “but not like that though.” It is important to understand that we ultimately are the ones who have to settle with our decisions in our life, so why do we consider so many other people’s opinions when it doesn’t affect them at all? It underlies a great feeling of acceptance, appreciation, and validation we crave from others that we think we need so bad…BUT WE DON’T!

What we often forget is that not doing what truly makes us happy will ultimately leave the feeling of emptiness, resentment, and regret in our hearts in the end. You are the only one who will have to deal with the choices of your life and it is important we remember that when we are making them! Because at the end of the day you gotta do what’s best for you!

-Sho

 

Stop Settling And Then Complaining After

You knew that you didn’t want to date a man without any substance, but yet every night you lie in bed giving yourself to a man who doesn’t even have a job. You knew that you didn’t want to date a man with kids because you didn’t have any, but now you find yourself on Instagram arguing with his baby mommas. You knew you wanted a man who would build you up and push you to your furthest potential, but yet now you are dealing with someone who makes you feel lower than caskets in the ground. Because somewhere between “loneliness road and desperation street”, you stumbled upon an exit called “Settling” and haven’t been able to find your way back yet…

Society makes it as though being single is a curse that has dark gloomy clouds hanging over, which I think forces people to settle just so that won’t have that label…but at what cost? We are willing to sacrifice our peace of mind and our increasing body count just to say “That’s Bae?” We have to stop doing that! Forcing ourselves to be with individuals who we KNOW are NOT for us, AND still complain afterwards! ITS YOUR FAULT! Nobody told you to get in a relationship (I’m using that term very loosely) with an individual who couldn’t even tell you what your last name was. Now, you are mad at the world, and calling your friends everyday to vent about a the very man you told them you would never even give a chance! I often wonder why do we settle? Is it for the satisfaction of not being the “single “bitter” friend” out of the group, or even extreme pressure from your parents to give them grandchildren, or more often times than some, it beats being alone. Society has conform our mind that even being a “side chick” is the new norm, so being single is a thing of the past. But what society doesn’t tell us is that settling can sometimes make some very deep insecurities we have down below come to light. Sadly thinking that you aren’t worth anyone greater or of substance that we know we deserve, so we will take “whatever we can get” in the meantime.

 It is extremely important to realize and truly understand our WORTH. Understanding that sometimes our much precious time in figuring out who you are, and what we truly desire from a companion is time spent alone.  Remaining patient, strong, and confident in your stance of not compromising will have an impact so great so that you won’t have to settle ever again…

-Sho

Yes, It Was Your Fault!

Don’t you hate a victim? And I don’t mean the victims that were sincerely damaged by caused by the pain inflicted from others. I mean the victims that moan, grown consistently about what everybody else has done to them, but never taking ownership of the damage they have done to others? Why are we so afraid to be held accountable? Why are we so afraid to ADMIT that sometimes we are the toxic person? Yes, sometimes YOU are the reason for pain that someone else is feeling. Yes, you are the reason that some relationships have ended; But instead of taking responsibility, some people take the coward road, and will blame others…because that’s easier right?

-I think that it is important to understand that just like people can hurt us, WE HURT PEOPLE TOO. Some ways unintentional, and other with some intent and no regards to their feelings. But its like we don’t want to recognize it, or be held accountable for damage that is done. We are not perfect human beings (no matter how sometimes we try to act like we are) so its important to know that its OKAY to fall short sometimes. However the problem comes from not accepting that you actually DID fall short. Our pride, and egotistical mindset sometimes wont allow us to admit fault, even if it will cause significant pain to people we care about. Understanding there is a time to be unapologetic about issues concerning yourself and your well-being, but seeing the detrimental damage that can be done to others around you is the key here to accept the responsibility that you f*xcked up! We HAVE to start listening to people when they are expressing their hurt that you caused them, instead of defensively trying to persuade them “you didn’t mean it like that.” Understand and realize that in that moment, we have to take accountability for our actions, because it has in some way or another cause disruption in that person’s life.

Sometimes you are the person that messed up…sometimes you are the person causing turmoil in someone’s life, and sometimes you are not the victim! But by accepting responsibility is not only the right thing to do, but the effects of it will improve in how people continue to choose how to deal with you…

-Sho

Stop Apologizing For Who You Are!

I think we got used to how good it sounded as it rolled off our tongue each and every time…”I’m sorry.” Think about it, every time you got an incline in “your mind” that you were reacting wrongly, it flowed out so effortlessly – “I’m sorry.” Accepting ownership that wasn’t ours to take over in the first place, but it’s what we do best. I think as women we are taught to be apologetic at all times, even when our own integrity or moralities could be compromised; and that is where the urgency to rectify what’s not wrong with you needs to STOP! It is absolutely foolish to apologize for behaviors that were inflicted by someone else which inevitably made you who you are at this very moment. It is because of our struggles and our breakthroughs that make us who we are…so why do we apologize for it? We as women have become so conditioned to follow-up every flaw, mistake or embellishment of pain perceived by others with “I’m sorry”,  because the remembrance of our imperfections, sometimes we simply cannot bare.

It is important for us to stop apologizing for our actions and especially our emotions that were caused by someone else who never uttered the words “I’m sorry.” Thinking back on previous conversations I have had people I’ve dated, I always found myself apologizing for my high sensitivity. I felt as though me apologizing would soften their perception of me so they wouldn’t think I was overly emotional. But you see, I AM! I had to get to a place of not wanting to accept that part of my mental makeup because that is ultimately who I was as a person. It goes back to not wanting to accept flaws of you that are actually NOT flaws. We as women overly apologize to avoid the criticism and disapproval from others before it even occurs; in a conscious wish to placate and please them at the same time. In one sense rejecting the “rejection” before it even occurs (if there is even one!)  It is a defense mechanism that puts an emphasis on us being flawed, but also forgetting we are human.

Now, I’m not saying in no way apologies are not needed, because right is right and wrong is wrong; that’s a given. However, continuously apologizing for our individuality and creative sense of warmth, passion, sensitivity, or even emotional qualities are traits that we can no longer be sorry for.

 -Sho