The mind is a powerful tool,
Capable of convincing the body
To do great things when in our youth.
But as age takes hold, the body rebels,
And the mind knows not to argue,
For it too has become wise with age.
It must now serve a new ‘purpose’ – –
Provide comfort, reassurance, solace
To its companion, the body,
For it knows all too well
How lonely life can be without it.
~ Moylom Enterprises ~
Contents written: April 14 2015
Contents edited: May 2 & 4 2015
Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises
As a kid, I had very low self esteem. I grew up in a culture where a family’s way of showing love is to fill you up with food. I don’t remember being hugged much. And I don’t remember being told “I love you’ much either. But I was fed, clothed, cared for and given an education too, but ultimately food equaled love.
I had 3 aunts who lived a five minute walk from each other, so when mom dropped me and my brother off to play with our cousins for a few hours there was an abundance of food at each house. I’ve always had a healthy appetite so needless to say, I was a chubby kid!
Luckily I grew out of my chubby state by the time I became a teenager but by then I had already developed an unhealthy self-esteem and getting in shape wasn’t because I wanted to be healthy but because I wanted to have cool friends and perhaps have a boyfriend too. I wanted to be liked — I wanted to be loved!
My parents mostly criticized and almost never gave praise. My brother and I were expected to be successful but there were very few positive words of encouragement to help boost our endeavors. Instead we were ‘scared straight’ 24/7 as though in boot camp. Here is an example of my mom encouraging me and my brother to do well at school:
You better study your lessons and do well in school or else you’ll become a vagrant! (vagrant = homeless person)
Mom, why do you always have to preach ‘doom and gloom’? Why can’t you say something nice for once?
Because you better not grow up to embarrass me! You better grow up to be somebody!
Me thinking to myself:
I’m gonna become a vagrant just to spite her. Hmm, yeah, that won’t do any good as she’ll just disown me and I’ll still be a vagrant. Terrible plan…
(I was a book worm and my brother hated to read anything, let alone study)
Why can’t you be more like your sister. She ‘might’ amount to something, at least she’s trying, but you, what the hell is wrong with you?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll study mom, relax already…
Yes, all you know how to do is relax. You’re a smart kid but why are you so lazy. You’re just like your father!
By this time everyone in the house has had a dose of mom’s “encouragement”. The dogs are the only ones home free but that’s just because they’re outside in the yard and not in her immediate path. But they’ll get there’s come dinner time as one of them is bound to get in some kind of trouble either with her flower beds or vegetable garden or would have rolled around in something disgusting requiring a bath. Oh the horror!!!
I don’t know how my brother processed mom’s words but I internalized them, deeply. They hurt. They cut deep. Sometimes I believed them. And sometimes, just sometimes, I hated them so much that it lit a fire in me to prove her wrong.
Those ‘sometimes’ moments eventually grew. I learned to ignore her ‘doom and gloom’ talk and began to speak my own words of encouragement to myself. If she said I couldn’t, I’d say, “yes I can” and I did! I became stubborn. I became bold. I started taking control of my own destiny and soon there was a power struggle brewing in my childhood home. Dad was present but not involved (unless mom instructed him to “DO something!”) so there were no words positive or negative from him. He was the comedian, he made us laugh. I guess we all needed to laugh amid all the negative but I needed dad’s voice but he was mostly silent. My brother seemed unaffected so it was up to me to fight for the positive atmosphere I needed. I had to break free.
By 16 I started pushing boundaries and mom pushed back, hard, but she was losing control and she knew it. By 18 I had ‘one foot out the door’ but in my hometown you’re not considered ‘of age’ until 21 but I couldn’t wait that long!!!! And by 19 I was gone. How? One of my aunts rewarded me with a vacation trip to celebrate my successful completion of high school and for scoring well in all my exams and that was my ticket out. I didn’t know it at the time, but yes, that’s the day I left home and have not been back since.
In a new country, in a new culture, in a new atmosphere, I slowly began to feel free. Free to be myself; free to surround myself with positive people and free to nurture my inner spirit — to finally begin to heal the emotional scars inflicted upon me for as long as I could remember. For every good I accomplished I learned to praise myself. I never felt entitled to anything (and still don’t), for everything I had then (and do now) I’ve had to work hard to get it. There’s nothing wrong with hard work for it certainly builds character, and such character pays for itself ten times over when others appreciate you for who you are and see your inner strength and beauty. The important thing however, is knowing ones own worth. What good is it to have others see value in you if you don’t recognize your own value? Perhaps you do see your own value but there’s someone, a special someone, who thinks the world of you and you just can’t see why. How do you wrap your brain around this new phenomenon? It’s foreign! It’s never happened before and you don’t know how to process it. How can this person be telling the truth when all your life no one else had seen/validated such value in you? The only way to know for sure is to test it. How? With time.
Will that person still see your value six months from now? A year from now? Do their actions match their words? Does that person’s character and the people with whom they keep company speak of good quality? Is that person always true to their word? Ultimately, only with time can all these questions be answered. The real question is, do you want to find out? Or will you simply dismiss this person as crazy for seeing something of value in you that you don’t think is there? To dismiss them may mean passing up an opportunity for a great friendship or perhaps something more. But in the end the choice is yours.
‘Self talk’ can be a useful tool when positive but can be detrimental when negative. I’ve done both and it is so easy to beat myself up when I’ve done less than I thought I could/should have. A simple bad day can become so much worse if I allow unhealthy thoughts to attack me from the inside. Focusing on the positive yields better results but it takes practice. And it helps when I can take the focus off myself to help or be there for someone else instead of wallowing in a pit of self-pity or self-defeat.
But sometimes I just want to be alone, after all I’m an introvert. My strength comes from within and it is in those quite moments alone that I can focus on the voice of God speaking. It is in those moments that I can look up to the one who is greater than I — God. He carries me when I’m weak and makes me strong. He sees my value, He cherishes me, He provides for my needs before I can even speak them and all He asks is that I keep Him close. I don’t feel I deserve His love as my inherent need to ‘earn’ the love and respect of others gets in the way of accepting His love at times. But I need not ‘earn’ His love because He Loves Me unconditionally. He loves me in spite of the things I cannot do and delights in the knowledge that there are things I can do and that I use the gifts with which He’s blessed me for good. And though I feel unworthy (still) I’m humbled that He loves me so.
This unconditional love allows me to speak positively to myself. It boosts my inner strength. It makes me know that even on the bad days — the days when I’m not at my best, I’m still okay; I’m not a ‘write off’; I still have value; I’m still worth it. It’s sad when others don’t see your value but it’s even more sad when you don’t see your own value. But if God thinks I’m worth it, if He thinks you’re worth it, if He thinks we’re ALL worth it, then who are we to question His omniscience?
I choose to believe that God has a plan for me. Sometimes my faith is weak and I grow impatient as I try to figure out what that plan is, forgetting completely that all will be revealed when the time is right. And so I also choose to believe that if God sees value in me then His plan for me must be awesome!
I try to extend this same consideration to everyone as I try in earnest to see the good in others. However, given the crazy world in which we live, that trust is often abused/taken for granted. It certainly can leave one feeling jaded and over time can even discourage trusting in others period. But it’s hard to silence a trusting heart. It’s hard to silence a heart that loves deeply. It’s hard to silence the heart of one who loves unconditionally. It’s just sad that sometimes the one who is loved so deeply does not feel worthy and so refuses to accept unconditional love when given.
There is one such person out there who has my unconditional love regardless of where life takes us. I see his value. I see his strengths. I see his weaknesses. I see his heart. I see his humor. I see his intelligence. I see his gentle nature. I see his smile. I see his warmth. I see his faith. I see His willingness to be led by God. I see his love of God’s word. I see his willingness to be a good person — a better person. I see his ability to love. But it’s sad that he doesn’t think he’s ‘worth it’. I see his worth though, and to me he is worthy of my love and always will be.
Contents written: October 24 2015 | Originally published: October 24 2015 | Copyright 2015 – 2016 Moylom Enterprises
Tomorrow, if the good Lord allows my eyes to open to see another day, I will be celebrating another birthday – – the big 41!!
I’ve survived a lot to get here and I have much for which I’m thankful. I won’t bore you with those details for if you’ve been following for a while you already know my journey has been arduous. But on a lighter note I must admit that I’ve changed. How? Well the little dustings of silver that once sent me for the tweezers to Pluck away all evidence of aging, has now become little streaks of silver aka salt n pepper. I am now in the valley of decision as to whether I should start coloring my hair or if I should accept my new look and bravely age gracefully.
There is a librarian at our local branch whom I admire tremendously. Whenever I see her, her salt n pepper hair is always done up so nicely in one updo or another, her makeup is always impeccable but suitable and she’s always dressed fashionably appropriate for her slim-fit body. And of course, she’s always vibrant and smiling. She exudes confidence and is just a pleasure to observe — I want to be her! I want to be the woman who owns her self — is confident, is comfortable in her own skin, is vibrant, is cheerful, is 60, 70, 80 and a pleasure to be around!
So today, I’ve made myself a cake, I’ll spend a bit of time pampering my hands and feet with munchkin getting in on the action, and tomorrow back to work (unfortunately my birthday is not a national holiday… At least not yet… Up next a letter to the president on this very important matter lol) but I do resolve to accept the streaks that have come to usher me into a new era of my life and try my hand at aging gracefully. Wish me luck!
Now join in as I sing LOUDLY,
Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday to me.
We all want to matter!
We all want to know that someone cares.
We all want to know that our efforts are not in vane.
It hurts when you are just an after thought,
Even when all you do is care for others!
How can this be?
How can the ones you care for be so cruel?
How can the ones you place ahead of yourself not return that same amount of consideration?
It’s a tough pill to swallow, I know, but there it is, plain as day — you don’t matter as much as you thought you did (shrug).
Oh, but you DO!
See, it’s not that you don’t matter, it’s just that those who have come to rely on you so diligently, always expect you to be there, rain or shine, no matter what. Life with you there seems so automatic, so right, so easy, that they’ve just come to expect your presence as normal. But, the minute you change the routine, and stop being so present, so available, so accessible, it is without a doubt that your dependents will take notice.
The following are a few easy tips and tricks to boost your importance to the ones who matter: kids, spouse, boss, colleagues, friends and even clients.
Take some time off
Not only will this time away help recharge your batteries and renew focus when you return, but it will also give your dependents a chance to miss you. Nothing screams I MISS YOU more than when the ones who rely on you everyday to ensure smooth sailing on the open seas, feel absolutely lost without you.
Your time away can take any form you want, the following are just a few examples to get you started:
An evening out:
If you’re a single parent this can be especially beneficial since you don’t really get much time off. You are the soul bread-winner and must also be both parents in one. Finances might also be limited, so this may not be a splurge you can afford often but for the sake of self-preservation it can be definitely worth it. Have a sitter come over while you go out and really try to enjoy your time away guilt-free. The kids can survive one evening without you, promise! If you are part of a couple, then the other parent can certainly be trusted to handle the kids solo for one evening. Even if you are just a couple without kids but feel you need time apart and you can benefit from an evening out, then by all means do it. You’ll be so happy you did!
A day off:
If an evening out is not what you had in mind, perhaps because it doesn’t seem to be enough time to really unwind, then a day off might better suit your needs. Schedule it well in advance so you have time to include all the things you want to do, and for goodness sake please don’t spend this day off running errands! The purpose of the exercise is to unwind, so please do something fun or relaxing, okay?
If a night out or day off sound great but what you really want is to get away completely then a vacation is more your cup of tea. The amount of time away is entirely up to you, but do stay within budget and do have fun. Sometimes a change in scenery is just what you need to put things in perspective upon your return so relish this time away — you deserve it!
If you would love a week or two off but your budget won’t allow you to leave the state or country, then a stay-cation it is! If you have kids then sending them off to the grandparents, or to camp for the duration of your stay-cation would be ideal. If those options aren’t viable and you would prefer to leave just to escape the house for a few days, then you can go to a local Bed and Breakfast for a long weekend while the kids stay with the second parent, friend, grandparent etc. If no kids, and you are quite comfortable relaxing at home and doing tourist-like activities for a few days then that’s fine too. Whatever your choosing, the goal is to separate yourself from your surroundings or from the ones who rely on you daily and just relax. The trick though (for all the examples mentioned), is to not stay away too long, since inevitably they (your dependents) will learn how to do things without you — it’s just human nature to adapt.
During your time off (described above), whether it be a fun vacation, stay-cation or if it’s just a day away from the kids, try to spend a few hours absolutely alone. This quiet time will allow you to find your center — the place deep inside that speaks to you! What is it saying? Do you need more sleep? Have you been wanting to read a good book? Are you still interested in seeing that movie or play? Are you long overdue for a bit of pampering? Or are you in need of a bit of spiritual renewal — some alone time with God? Just be still and listen. What ever your need, it will reveal itself so you may act upon it. It may even be wise to schedule a Time Alone day off to help you plan your ideal vacation.
The trick is to plan your alone time wisely. Don’t spend so much time in the thinking phase that there isn’t enough time left to actually do what you’ve decided. The last thing you need is to feel rushed since the purpose of this exercise it to de-stress and recharge. If you need a day to think/plan, that’s fine, as long as you implement the plans you took such valuable time to create.
This can be incorporated into your time off (vacation, stay-cation, evening out or day off).This activity should involve something you haven’t done in a long time or have never done but always wanted to do. It can be anything but here are a few suggestions:Visit a dear friend; go on an outing; have a picnic; see a play; enjoy some wine (if it’s not something you get to do); pick/buy yourself flowers; have a manicure-pedicure, facial, massage, hair cut, gourmet chocolate or whatever treats that excite you – – Anything you haven’t done in a long time that would make you feel special! Something that is sure to put a smile on your face. The trick is to be mindful of your budget. Don’t spend money on something extravagant that would put you in enormous debt. This will only bring additional stress down the road. Be wise, be frugal, be creative, and think outside the box!
Accept compliments gracefully
Now that you’ve rested, done something fun and have a smiling glow on your face, your entire aura just beams! You are bound to receive a compliment or two and you need to be prepared. Have you ever been given a compliment and you just shrug it off with a dismissive response like, “Oh, no, little old me?” or “Oh stop, you’re just saying that to be nice!”
Are you the type that can’t even recognize a compliment when given one because you’re surrounded by ‘takers’ and no/hardly any givers of compliments? Well it’s time to take yourself out of that environment for a while just to regroup. Spend some time in the company of those who care for you and are genuinely interested in your well being (especially if you haven’t seen them in a while ). They will be excited to hear of your alone time and fun activities and most importantly, will be lavishing you with compliments. Accept them, soak them up, be graceful, be appreciative, be humble. This will not only boost your spirit but allow you to feel cared for, which I’m sure would be a nice change of pace. The trick is to not get caught by someone who gives a compliment just before bombarding you with criticism. Even though constructive criticism is good, for the purpose of this exercise such an person should be avoided.
Make a list of your accomplishments
You’ve set goals all your life (I hope) . If you were to make a list of all your accomplishments to date what would that list look like? Even those things you never set out to accomplish but achieved anyway, yep, those too!
Now that it’s written in black and white, how do you feel? I’m sure it’s a pretty awesome list! Now reach round and give yourself a huge pat on the back, yes you’re pretty AMAZING if you say so yourself! Thetrickis to not get too swell-headed – – No one likes an obnoxious braggart. The purpose of this exercise is to lift your spirits and establish self-worth, not turn you into a narcissist, self-centered, know-it-all!! ^_^ (just kidding)
What are people saying about you ?
Companies do customer surveys and employee evaluations all the time to gauge their success. But as an individual how do you get such feedback to see how much you are valued, appreciated or loved?
A girl told a story once, about going home, hiding in a closet, waiting for her boyfriend to get home, then staying there for a long time to see how long it took him to inquire of her whereabouts to family and friends. She needed to know how much he cared!
Yikes!! That was an extreme, somewhat bizarre scenario, but there are more subtle ways to get feedback that won’t freak people out!
Family members don’t always tell you directly how much they cherish you, but they may tell someone else in the family and that someone may tell someone else. What is the grapevine saying? What little notes do loved ones write in your birthday cards? (If you save such things perhaps it’s time to retrieve them). If someone were to write your eulogy what would they say? (A little morbid, yes, but you get the point).If you have a blog, what would your audience say about your little time off or treats to yourself? Do you surround yourself with positive, encouraging people? (If you don’t it’s probably time to re-evaluate your friends).
These are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling on this very important exercise in finding validation. You may be inspired to try other methods of your own. If so, please feel free to share your findings, it would be a pleasure to hear from you. In the mean time, enjoy the journey! ^_^
This post was inspired by a fellow blogger and friend Marisa (https://mrsmariposa2014.wordpress.com/). Thanks for always being a source of encouragement and a woman of Christ as we journey along in this crazy life we’ve been given. Hugs!!
Contents written: April 18 2015 | Edited: May 18 2015 | Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises
You see, every three years I raise my rates in order to keep my business afloat so as not to be seeing red at every turn. But inevitably, this rate increase usually causes a huge upset in my cash flow as some clients cancel service because they don’t have the budget to keep up. I am usually not too surprised by this because it is these same clients who cause me to operate at a loss in the first place. They usually want/request more work than everyone else but are too cheap to pay the rates to go along with it or can’t afford to do so. In short, they don’t see or appreciate the true value of the service my employees and I provide (the ones who appreciate us never complain and are happy to pay extra to ensure we never leave).
As the new rates took effect March 1st, one such client, unappreciative of our true value, sought it best to use an incident from almost 2 yrs ago (an employee did something rather stupid which caused a lot of grief to both the client and our company) as the reason for canceling service which I thought was rather odd. Was it her pride that didn’t allow her to give the real reason for cancelling — lack of finances? Or was she a threat that needed to be eliminated now before she became malicious later on citing said incident from 2 years ago as her reason? To be honest, I don’t know, only she and God really know the truth. But I am glad I got to see her true nature now.
To rectify the issue back then, I offered her a refund (which she declined to accept), filed a police report (she did and I gave the employees relevant info), terminated the employee and continued to provide the best possible service we could given the circumstances. We granted favors that were not necessarily part of our job description, but weren’t terribly inconvenient to carry out — anything we could think of. The fact that she would wait almost 2 years, all the while referring other clients, laughing and talking normally every time we were there as if nothing happened, to say she expected us to do MORE and that I should have INSISTED she take the offer by not charging her for subsequent visits, is what gets me! Such people scare the crap out of me and I stay far far away when I am aware of their true nature.
Delegation was a foreign term to me and it was a daily struggle to relinquish control to others and even to God! It is for this reason that I spent many years operating my business alone (no employees) for the simple fact that I was notorious about quality control. (Control freak? Yes. OCD? Yes. Therapy needed? Yes — I am in session NOW since writing IS my therapy). But when I decided to hire help as maternity leave was imminent, above said client supported my decision wholeheartedly (at least so it seemed at the time) and said she understood that there was a lot to do and she would not mind if I kept on an assistant even after maternity leave. I was thrilled at the prospects of growing my business, but nervous to the core because I knew I had set the bar very high and an assistant would dilute the quality somewhat.
Nevertheless, I tried and tried to develop a formula to make ANY assistant successful like other franchise operations do with a set way of doing things, e.g Mc Donalds, but ultimately the one failing point wasn’t the formula but the integrity of the employee. I was doomed to fail just on that one factor alone since my job was so personal-data-personal-space sensitive!
Over the years, employees have come and gone, and I’ve seen the financial rewards remain steady when I was the only one — no dilution. And with that knowledge I am now faced with the enormous decision of whether to keep things as is with the employees that remain or scale back once again to the army of one — just me. I am also flirting with the idea of a completely different career altogether, one that offers human contact, but with a safety bubble of sorts in place, kind of like blogging — interacting with people but from a distance.
Not knowing a person’s true intentions, and having been burned many times because I gave people the benefit of the doubt only to have them prove me very wrong, is where my mistrust comes from. Inherently, I believe in second chances, as so many second chances have been given to me by others who genuinely care and ultimately by my heavenly Father. So for this reason, I strive to be more like HIM, but human nature is unpredictable, and with that knowledge I have often been heard repeating the phrase, “I will like you more if I saw you less”. Sad, yes I know, but my quest to find genuine friends/companions has always left me with a mild distaste for human contact when bonds made were eventually broken due to the hidden agendas of others, forcing me to keep my distance as a form of self-preservation.
It is not until you appreciate your own value or self-worth then others around you will understand they need to meet your set standards or move on. Allowing others inwith different values/standards will do one of two things: force you to lower yours or force them to raise theirs. Playing the waiting game to see which ultimately happens is dangerous unless you both know going in that there is mutual need for growth in a specific direction –up!
My mom once told me that I am way too picky and if I wanted to find a mate I must lower my standards a bit. I thought back then that since she’s my mom she, more than anyone, would know what’s best for me, so I took her advice and in the end saw negative results. I have since learned to take ALL her advice with a grain of salt, as they say, since she and I see and do things very VERY differently.
I am still learning, still growing, still aspiring to be more, to be better, to be stronger, wiser, kinder, etc etc. But the one I have my eyes set on is Jesus for it is only in HIM that I can be all those things and without HIM I an nothing! He knows my worth for I am His creation — we all are — AND humanity would be in much better shape if we all focused our sights and aspirations on HIM!