What If What You Believe About Yourself Is a Lie?

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

The other morning I did my usual morning meditation but chose a guided meditation on self-esteem. One of the questions asked was what is a negative view or thought we hold of ourselves? Typically these negative viewpoints/thoughts come from an experience, person or time in our childhood or adolescence. Right away, I knew what that negative thought was. We were told to think on it… to decide if we felt if it was true. To consider if we are ready to let that thought or view go, or if we are ready to consider that that thought we have about ourselves may be completely false.

I knew exactly from the moment it was asked what negative view I’ve held of myself for quite some time. I know exactly– or about where this thought originated from– or how it grew into a monstrous bad belief/self- view. As I meditated, I started to cry. I realized that for many, many, many years, I have held onto this thought or belief, including being surrounded by one or two people back in my past who confirmed this negative self-belief of mine.

It’s funny. We often don’t know why negative or bad people come into our lives, but I think it often stems from our own bad beliefs of ourselves. These negative people confirm our own bad thoughts about ourselves. The experience then “confirms” that we are indeed, bad or not good. We then continue to choose bad people who then repeatedly confirm these negative thoughts … these people then provide us with bad experiences and so we say, “Look! I told you. I am horrible. If I weren’t horrible, this wouldn’t have happened.”

This is why it is so key to have self-love and self-esteem. When we love ourselves and care for ourselves, we pick partners, people and friends in our lives who love us and care for us. I have noticed that since my divorce, I have chosen better people and better situations for myself because my self-esteem has improved. I am attracted to good people—and I spend my time with only good people. Good men and good women. I distance myself from people who don’t make me feel comfortable, and I spend time with people who make me feel happy and good. I am no longer attracted to “bad boys” as I was in my twenties, and I find good men– kind hearted folks, appealing.

Self-esteem really is everything. Ask yourself if what you believe about yourself is really true… or not.

Lovingly,

Laura

Forgiving Yourself Is As Important As Forgiving Others

https://unsplash.com/@thenata

Growing up with parents coming from two different religious backgrounds has so many pluses. One is it has made me more open to others’ viewpoints. At the same time, I don’t feel aligned with any religion really. I do find both Jewish and Christian traditions interesting and meaningful. So, I am spiritual but I’m not religious.

But for the first year ever, I thought about what Yom Kippur really means. Asking for forgiveness for sins and forgiveness of others. Supposedly, it’s the time of year where G-d decides your fate and therefore, you’ve got to make amends, and fast.

I thought about who I would apologize to, however anyone I may have wronged I’ve certainly apologized to. And if there’s anyone out there I offended, well, I am truly sorry!

But I think the person I am most sorry to is myself. For being so hard on myself.
The way I’ve talked to myself and about myself.
The way I’ve judged myself and compared myself.
The way I’ve doubted myself and criticized myself.
The way I talk to myself is most often, much harder than how I’ve talked to anyone else!
It is like I’m in some competition where the goals to be fabulous are so high and not obtainable that I beat myself to death for not being enough.
But if there is one thing I am, it is tenacious and persistent. I try so hard to be my best self. To be better. To do better. Be a better mom. Person. Partner. Friend. Worker. Etc.

Here is what I don’t do: give myself a break. Be kind to myself. Compliment myself. Believe in myself.

So here is a huge apology to myself for being so bad to myself at times.

Lovingly,

Laura

One Compliment Can Change Your Day

https://unsplash.com/@artbyhybrid

Today, I set up a time to meet someone new for a potentially good creative opportunity for me. The person and I chose the time and when emailing me back said, “I saw a video of you giving a speech and I’m so excited to meet with you. You’re super adorable!”

I was so flattered and surprised. It’s not often I get to hear that. It made my day. In fact, when I was exhausted and tired from a day of working and virtual school and found a massive dead spider in my house, I called upon the compliment in my mind and it cheered me up.

Truly just one compliment can change your day. Imagine then how much joy you could give someone else by complimenting them? For me, a man who is verbally demonstrative is a huge must. And in friendships and at work too— verbal affirmation matters to me. This one compliment changed the whole tone of my upcoming meeting. Imagine the power of just a few words!

With that said, don’t forget to compliment someone once a day. We all need it!

Love,

Laura

Under the Knife: Dealing With Medical Anxiety

https://unsplash.com/@hush52

As a kid, I had no fear of doctors or dentists. I had Lymes Disease as a teen, and I barely fussed when they came to my house to put in a PICC line. My dad on the other hand, almost fainted.
When I had to go for an MRI to check for a potential brain tumor, I thought it was too enclosed, but I dealt with it and wasn’t nervous about the tests.
Boy, have times changed me!

i’m not exactly sure when it happened, but I would say my anxiety towards medicine, doctors and being sick really started when I was pregnant and had Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Things started happening to me that I had never experienced. I’ve never been in a hospital so much in my life until that time. A few years prior, someone in my family had gotten really sick. A few years prior to even that, another family member had quite a few major surgeries and Cancer. I think as we get older, it’s more likely that we will deal with illness and health issues. My experience with Lymes taught me that I had some drug allergies, but I rarely complained. I got blood work constantly and I wasn’t anxious, but did want to get better.

Now as an adult and single mom, I’ve learned I have many allergies to medications and I really get anxious when it comes to medical situations. I think getting a divorce and becoming a single parent through the years also heightened my level of anxiety: I must be ok so I can be here for my daughter.

I’ve learned a few things though to help manage these fears, and it’s a work in progress always:

1. Don’t Google Your Symptoms.

2. Meditation Helps You Manage Anxiety.


3. Taking Charge of Your Health Through Diet and Exercise Helps.

4. Find a Friend Who Understands Your Anxiety as a Support.

5. Don’t Google Your Symptoms.

Those five things definitely help me! Not to mention realizing I can only control so much. Diet, exercise, fresh air, supplements, and rest are also key tools to keep me in as control of my health as possible.

So, today when I learned I might need to have something cut open on me— nothing major— I felt anxious. But not like I normally would. Sure, my stomach is grumbly. Sure, I’m worrying about it a bit more than I’d like, but it’s not overtaking me. I am doing what I can to avoid having to do that, and in the meantime, I have as much of a plan as I can. I called a supportive person and that helped also.

The moral of this anxious story? When it comes to anxiety, it’s important to understand what may have triggered your anxiety or reasons for having it. For me, a rough pregnancy and becoming a single parent definitely contributed to my anxious feelings over medical situations. Knowing this and realizing that I tend to worry over these things has allowed me to help take control over my fears and refocus in a more positive way.

Breathe in and Breathe Out,

Laura

What If Nothing Is Really Worth It?

https://unsplash.com/@crawford

The other weekend, I found myself in the woods with someone I’ll call a friend as there is no real word to describe him. It was a beautiful day and a nice hike together.
Of course, I had a great and special time. It was a beautiful evening and late afternoon. But a few times as I walked an occasional muddy path, I thought back to a really horrible memory for me. At 14, I was basically taken advantage of by a 22 year old male. Thirty years later, I can still envision myself lying in the leaves that late summer evening. I can remember wanting it to stop.

This wasn’t the “Me Too” days. This was the “It’s My Fault” decade, where women and girls and men and boys alike all remained silent about these things.
I shook the memories off, and was able to fully enjoy the time with my friend who is at times, very creative and thoughtful with plans. This was a surprise trip and a thoughtful one at that. I wanted to go back with my friend and expressed it right away. We were hiking or walking mostly on a flat path amongst a garden and the woods. It was really special. It gave the woods a better definition for me— superseding those bad memories which have left a mark on my mind that will never go away. No one tells you that. That the memories never leave but the power they once had does— if you work on it.


Lately, I have felt a struggle to stay on an enlightened and positive path. I have made huge progress and gotten so far and I’m proud of that, but I keep falling and stumbling anyway, without fail. Perhaps it’s the isolation of COVID, or maybe it’s being a single parent for a long almost seven years, but I wonder if I have anything to offer. If anything I’m writing resonates or clicks within others. I wonder if I’m really connecting with people. I see myself hitting roadblocks and nothing I do seems to get me past them, despite the fact that I work very hard. If you know me, you know I’m a dedicated friend and partner and parent. That when I commit to something, anything— I really commit to it. That’s why I drive almost an hour to train weekly. Because I’m committed.

But I have to wonder if all my hard work is really getting me anywhere and if my writing really natters anymore. If I matter anymore. Maybe it’s best I just go dark and stop writing. Maybe I’m not really offering anything to anyone.
In the small of my mind where it is quiet and dim, I feel a real loss and feel directionless and hopeless at times.

Everyone feels stuck. Everyone feels darkness and hard times. The question I’m wondering is when it ends? And when does someone’s years of dedication and hard work really pay off? When do things pay off for me?

Maybe though me writing is not adding up to anything. Maybe there is nothing left to say because, nothing has changed for me. To develop, I need new experiences and I feel I’m not finding them. I feel defeated.

Peace and love is solely underestimated. To me, it’s the only things worth living for. Without peace of mind and love, life is worthless. Money can only carry someone so far.

love,

Laura

When a Night Out Isn’t Just a Night Out: Life During COVID-19

8781D414-5DE0-4289-8624-706D17B7FF90

It’s amazing how quickly we adapt to a new way of living. I almost can’t remember a time before this pandemic. As an extrovert, being isolated or relatively isolated has been challenging. I really enjoy working from home as I am very organized and good at time management, so it works for me, but I miss seeing my friends. I miss having normalcy for my daughter especially, as well.

But it’s almost as if this is the way it’s been for a year or more— not just five months.
Wearing a mask that matches your outfit sort of makes sense now. I haven’t really had a use for masks other than the quick trip to the drive thru or at the beach boardwalk, but I started to realize that if I’m going to need masks, I might as well make them cute.

82878F41-2579-464F-8522-0D6EFACBF94A

Tonight was the first night in a long time that I got to enjoy dinner out. It wasn’t crowded, I was masked and I felt comfortable. I was worried it would be too mobbed but since it was a weekday evening, I made out well.

I came home happy. It had been such a long time since I got to enjoy a meal and socialize. I realize that this pandemic has been harder on me than I thought. A lot harder. The isolation has been intense. I miss my family and sadly, I can’t see them as my parents are high-risk. Worse, someone I love has dementia, and I could be missing out on the last precious moments of this person’s cognizance thanks to COVID-19.

This is how it is though— for now. I decided to stop looking to the future and instead, focus on the day. Yes, much like the alcoholic’s anonymous credo, (and nope, I’m not a drinker and never was—- I’m a two drink date!) I’ve decided to focus on one day at a time. And for today, it felt a bit like old times, albeit in a very pretty tie-dye mask. I’m willing to bet Barbie would wear my very outfit and mask.

Hugs to All Of You Alone and Lonely,

Laura

3 Reasons It’s Great to Get Away After Being Hurt By Someone You Trusted

khachik-simonian-nXOB-wh4Oyc-unsplash

https://unsplash.com/@khachiksimonian

It is rare that I get a moment to myself. In truth, when I’m not with my daughter, ( who I’m basically with 24.7) I miss her terribly. It’s so weird being without her!

I got a few days to myself and so, on the spur on the moment, I decided to get somewhere to stay overnight for a night. Nowhere fancy at all because mama’s on a budget, but just somewhere close to the beach.
Normally I’d never make a plan like that, but I had a really bad week. Someone really hurt my feelings and it seems like things have just been difficult no matter what I do,  so I decided to pack some books and just find a place to lay my head at the end of the night. With it being Covid, I won’t go anywhere minus to pick up food or eat dinner and lunch  outside or hang far away from others by the beach.  I follow the rules.

Here are 3 reasons to go away after someone has hurt you or done you wrong … or heck, even if you’re just in a bad mood:

Change of Scenery May Cheer You Up

Sometimes a new location can help you snap out of a funk or bad mood.  It’s also a great distraction! Sunshine tends to help me when I’m upset, so being away for one day should hopefully boost my Covid and “dealing with someone’s hurtful choices“ bad mood.

Some Quiet Time May Help You Think

Getting away can help you find time to think and reflect. I’m personally hoping to do some deep thinking and make some big decisions in my mind while I’m taking my quiet time.

Doing Something Nice For You Can Boost Your Spirits

Going away or taking a day trip can be a great way to treat yourself and cheer yourself up.
I know after dealing with disappointment after disappointment, I could use a pick me up.

Find a Quiet Spot,

LL

 

 

 

Why You’re Avoiding the ONE Thing You Really Need

madison-lavern-4gcqRf3-f2I-unsplash

Photo by madison lavern on Unsplash

The one thing I really, really, really needed to do was meditation.

Not just here and there, but daily. I needed it to help me with anxiety and channel my focus. While I am a disciplined and focused person, I am an anxious person– and time and again, it would be suggested to me to try meditation.

I resisted. And resisted. The few times I had tried it before, it felt like torture. Two minutes felt like two thousand.

Besides, I already worked out, danced and tried to take some “me” time to unwind. Wasn’t that enough?

No. It wasn’t.

So I did something different for a change:

Continue reading

7 Things You REALLY Need During the Covid-19 Outbreak

jon-tyson-UK61KZPnpyY-unsplashPhoto by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Like most of us, you are probably at home and social distancing. My kid and I are on week 3 and as time has gone on, we’ve gotten into a “new normal” as we work and learn from home.

I myself vacillate between feeling good and cared for, to scared, alone and overcome with fear. I’ve done my best to battle those bad feelings with exercise, fresh air, music, and FaceTime with loved ones.

For me, it has really taught me a lot about myself:

Continue reading

Is Your Life Full of Meaningful People & Purpose?

mercedes-bosquet-g6oL2ENVG10-unsplashPhoto by Mercedes Bosquet on Unsplash

We all have a reason and purpose for being here, although some may argue that there is no purpose at all other than existing. But in my opinion, I believe we all have a path to carve as we are here on Earth.

We all have people, things and activities that propel us to wake up every day. Inside of all of us, is a light. Some of us are able to harness that light and shine it to others well, and some people, not at all. Maybe that person is not “well.” Maybe that person is depressed or traumatized. Whatever the case, we all want to shine that light, whether we feel able to or not. And at different times in our lives, we may be able to focus that light and share it with others whereas in other times, we may feel dark and dim.

I know that I personally feel my absolute brightest, when I am able to give love to others and feel needed and wanted in return. I feel lit from within as well, when I am creative, whether through writing or dance. Singing. Working together on an idea.

Continue reading