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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Guilty Pleasure

You've heard the phrase Guilty Pleasure; perhaps you have used this phrase yourself. This afternoon I've been thinking about a conversation with a friend yesterday that has really stuck with me. A conversation about guilty pleasures.

Growing up in my family, in my efforts to please my parents, I often pretended to dislike things that I actually liked and to like things that didn't appeal to me. Why would I do this? Just for a bit of parental approval, I guess. I was very swayed by the opinion of others. But, as it happens, I must have convinced myself of these long-standing falsehoods too because into adulthood I've spent years rediscovering myself, rediscovering things that do indeed bring me pleasure. I acknowledge that, in fact, I find it difficult to label a thing as pleasurable.

I do know where the guilty part of guilty pleasures comes. Many strange messages spin around in my head and make it difficult to always understand where I stand on things. If not for my oddly dysfunctional family of origin and from the church, I might not struggle with such prisons of the mind. Even to this day I still have moments where I am able to free my mind of still-entrenched and hidden shackles. Shackles of the mind.

While my dear friend and I were talking yesterday, one of the revelations that came to me in a moment of our conversation was a thing that has been stewing in my mind for decades:  the idea of escapism. When reading a great book, performing intricate hobbies, watching enchanting film, we often say that we are participating in such activities for reasons of escape. Escape from the drudgery of life, I assume, escape from boredom. Maybe escape to things too: to felicity, to enjoyment, to bliss. I hadn't thought of that before.

In my home way back, such an idea as escaping from reality was harshly judged. I would never have admitted to such a sentiment as escapism. But while my friend and I were talking we began considering this idea and how absurd it is to avoid the pleasures of escapism and of guilty pleasures.

Why oh why should pleasure be guilty?

And so I have decided to eschew guilty pleasure. From this moment forward there are only pleasures. Open, honest, delightful. 
I reclaim the idea of doing things simply for the purpose of self care, self interest, self, luxury. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Disempowerment / EMPOWERMENT

No apologies.
No support.
No acknowledgement of misdoings.
No encouragement toward healthy choices.
No explanations.
No clearing of the air.
No closure.
No validation of your effort.
No love for the real you.
No care for the vulnerable you.
No acceptance.
No end to the drama.

Maybe it is your partner. Maybe it is your parent, your child, your church or pastor, your boss, your best friend, your belief system, your community, or any other toxic entity. You are a kind, vulnerable, loving person who has been targeted by someone or by something and you are now disempowered.


Disempowered does not mean that you have no power. 
It means that your personal power has been systematically removed from you. 

Probably in ways that seem ironic.

By complimenting you.
By saying how necessary you are.
By saying how capable you are.
By saying how strong you are.
By calling you beautiful.
By saying that you are their everything.
By saying that no one compares to you.
By saying that they need you.

By saying that their world revolves around you.
By saying that you brought them back to life.
By saying how kind you are.
By being attracted to your innocence.
By finding your sensitivity attractive.

Regaining the Power

Locating your own personal power may seem like a very lofty goal right now; it may even feel like an impossible goal because you have felt so wounded and fragile, culpable and to blame, inadequate, undeserving, or unlovable for so long. Remember, there was a YOU before this toxicity took you away from yourself and that YOU is still there, waiting for rediscovery.

First, even before you believe it, even before you move forward, even before you believe you deserve it, even before you begin to believe in yourself, and even before your mind and body feels strong enough, know this: that toxic party does not own you. 
YOU own you. 

  • There is one person inside of your head and it is YOU.
  • There is one person who has power over your body and it is YOU.
  • There is one person to whom you owe life and that is YOU.
  • There is a person you can count on and that is YOU.
  • There is a person who can make every effort on your behalf and that is YOU.
  • There is a person who will always be there for you and that is YOU.
  • There is a person who will never, ever leave you and that is YOU.
  • There is a person with the power to completely forgive you and to thoroughly heal your pain and that is YOU.
  • There is a person with the ability to comfort you and bring you home and that is YOU.
  • There is a person who is your own personal cheerleader and that is YOU.
  • There is a person who knows all you have done and all you have not done and still loves you and that person is YOU.
  • There is a person who helps you make better and better decisions each day and that is YOU.
  • There is a person with the ability to weigh choices and opportunities and to figure out what to do with your life and that is YOU.
  • There is a person with the ability to reach out for help and to grow in new and unthinkable ways that that person is YOU.
  • There is a person with a wealth of personhood that they will blog their own damn mind and that person is YOU.
  • There is a person who makes mistakes but who will always have your back and that is YOU.
  • There is a person who struggles, fails, feels like hiding, fights to feel worthy, is unsure of their own worth, doubts, fears, cries, gets back up, tries again, tries harder, and who deserves your love and attention, no exceptions, and that person is YOU.