I had an interesting conversation with a male friend recently. Ours is the type of friendship that is being built on the foundation of a “safe space”. I could, and do vent to him regularly about things and vice versa…or so I thought.
The conversation started with him expressing displeasure over something that had taken place earlier that day. He was explaining how a situation had affected him emotionally because of a broken promise.
Upon only hearing the pieces of his story that my own bias filtered to my ears, I was readying myself to give him the “it’s not that serious” speech. Truth is, I was only listening to respond, instead of giving him the time he required to speak.
Then I remembered a post I had seen recently : ‘Men need a space to vent. Without judgement or concern of their feelings being used against them….’
You see, contrary to what we’ve grown up believing, men have feelings too.
And they can and should be comfortable being vulnerable.
It got me thinking about all the other times I may have hindered a male friend, partner or even a family member from being able to express his feelings about something to me.
How many times have we told men what they should do or judged them for appearing too vulnerable or emotional over something? (I know Im guilty of this.)
Men are human too. They like to be cared for and given attention. They desire nice things. Some like to be wined and dined. Spoilt even. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Even in moments when we show we care, like when buying gifts for example, we give them what we think they need and not what they might actually like, want or enjoy . How many times have we heard men complain about the annual predictable gifts of ties and socks?
When was the last time that we actually sat down and planned a gift or an experience that a male friend, partner or family member would truly like.
For me, it was earlier this month for a birthday celebration. I really wanted to give my friend something special – something that spoke to him and his kind nature.
So, I did a little search on ig and found ‘The Gift Box TT’. They offer these really nice personalized gift boxes. I was able to choose items that I knew he would enjoy having. It was a good balance of treats, personal care items and gadgets.
I think that presenting him with the package was more fulfilling for me than I expected. Needless to say, he was truly surprised.
So, if you’re thinking of gifting yet another tie or pair of socks for a birthday or celebration of any kind, ditch that idea completely and create a gift box of things that he might actually desire.
Cut Yourself Some Slack! Remember, It’s Not a Sprint.
Whew. November has been a year! I don’t know how to begin unpacking all the things that’ve taken place. Between the number of times I’ve had to type “R.IP.”or “condolences”, the amount of Covid-19 cases rising globally and other disappointments here and there – I’m going to need December to give us an ease up, please and thanks.
It’s been tough and equally mentally exhausting. For me, at times I’ve been feeling stuck, like I’m not doing enough, not achieving enough or not pushing as hard as I should be. It’s frustrating to say the least, especially when you look on social media and others appear to be doing big things and moving forward in life.
From time to time, my mind goes to that place of negative self-talk as I begin to compare myself to others and the unrealistic standards set by ‘society’. But I’ve had to remind myself that this life isn’t a sprint nor a marathon – it’s a journey and on this journey there are many paths to follow. Everyone’s path is different. Everyone’s speed/progress is different. It doesn’t make anyone more special than the other. It just means, we’re all unique.
Believe it or not, everyone is dealing with some sort of challenge or issue and trying their very best to push through it. Honestly, there are days when I complete all the tasks on my to-do list and then there are those days where getting out of bed is the biggest achievement. Sometimes when you’re in that zone the simples, everyday task can seem like the most difficult thing to do.
If you’ve felt like this or you’re presently feeling this way, please know, it’s okay. Take a breath and release some of that pressure. You’re human and you’re allowed to feel drained, tired or even demotivated. So cut yourself some slack because we all feel this way at some point.
In those moments what helps me the most is reminding myself of all things that I have been able to accomplish thus far. This allows me to see that I have made some sort of progress along the way. It also helps me be kinder with myself so that I don’t judge ‘me’ too harshly for feeling the way that I do.
Another thing that really works for me is doing activities that relax my body and put my mind at ease. Don’t call me weird but I love the smell of vanilla 😂…. Something about that scent calms me. I find peace in those little things, like scented candles or drinking a cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea. Taking these intentional moments to pause, I get to destress, recharge and refocus for all that I have to do next.
Recently, I found myself in desperate need of these sacred moments. So, I contacted the folks at Boxed Kreations on Instagram, and explained my dilemma. I told them some of the items that I really like and I later received a beautifully wrapped package with coffee, scented candles, chocolates and body lotion! Much to my delight every item they selected was either in the flavour or scent of vanilla!
Needless to say, break time has never smelt so good! Cut yourself some slack and call ’em up for that special fix that’ll sooth and restore you! We all deserve it.
Fight For Your Fairytale. And This Is Why!
Love is not a drill.
I grew up in church hearing accounts of a love that never failed. A love that took on the blame of others and made a way for them to be saved – A love that surrendered and conquered all.
In my personal life I felt that to love someone meant to work hard to please them. Make them comfortable at all times , become all that they needed, avoid conflict with them, never anger them, aways ensure that they were happy…. So, that’s exactly what I had set out to do in this world.
But, as you can imagine, I was utterly disappointed by the harsh realities of life. I failed on every account. And no matter how hard I tried or how committed I was to ‘making things work’ – I never found the ‘love’ that I was searching for.
You see, love isn’t one dimensional. It’s not this or that – it’s everything. And between the burning and learning, the heartbreaks and the ups and downs, I eventually acknowledged that I was ‘doing it wrong’. This fairytale-type idea of love that I had wasn’t ideal, or was it?
I was neglecting myself. Scrap that. I didn’t know myself. I didn’t love myself. I didn’t even know what love was. Yet, I was desperately searching for something that I knew nothing about.
I was kind, patient and committed to being the best thing everyone ever had except it was a facade. I wasn’t kind to myself. I wasn’t patient with myself, nor was I committed to being the best version of myself for me.
It took being alone, with nothing but my thoughts to begin this process of self-discovery and love. Every bit of love that I had ever given out so freely I had to call back to myself. Imagine always being around someone you disliked. Well, that’s how I felt about myself. Sad, right?
Repairing that broken image of myself in my mind took a lot of intentional work and rebuilding that relationship I had with myself took a long time. It really wasn’t easy. But, in order to live a fulfilling life it was necessary for me to do.
I started with baby steps. Learning to say kind words to myself, looking in the mirror daily and giving myself a compliment, allowed room for growth. Spending time alone and getting to know me, doing therapy- all in all, it was a lengthy undertaking and I’m still learning and growing, but I’m 100% not where I used to be and for that I am grateful.
Nowadays, I know myself and my worth. My time, my love, my energy, my loyalty is precious and I choose very carefully what or who I invest in and/or align myself with. I didn’t come this far to settle nor am I compromising my standards for anyone or anything. I do not negotiate when it comes to my peace of mind. I will block, delete or walk away from anything that no longer serves me. I deserve the best. Even when things don’t go according to plan or disappointments come, I know that I’m working towards a greater purpose for my life and everything will move into place as I continue to push through and progress.
Within the process of learning me, I set goals and have a vision for my life. I know my purpose and I want my fairytale! My happily ever after where I achieve all of my goals and fulfil my destiny, with or without ‘Prince Charming’.
So yes, I want my cake and I want to eat it too…once it comes from Sweet Surrender TT though. Their pies, cupcakes, cakesicles, cakepops, cookies and more are to live for! Those delicious goodies can be the best pick-me-ups, desserts, treats or anything you want them to be. With mouth-watering flavours like Cappuccino, Baileys, Ponche de Creme, Blueberry, Caramel chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Red Velvet… Need I say more?
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