growth and learning and becoming should always be allowed

This week as I was driving into work to make it to my seven A.M. shift, I was listening to a radio station that everyday mentions three things “you need to know before going into work” that day. One of the three “necessary” topics I apparently needed to be aware of that day was that Kim Kardashian announced that she was going to pursue a career in law and that she would soon begin an apprenticeship before taking the bar in hopes of becoming a practicing lawyer in the future.

Personally, I do not usually keep up with the personal lives of any celebrity however, I am not against those who do, so by me writing this  article I am not condoning nor am I against those who obsess over the lives of celebrities. I am also not writing in defense of Kim Kardashian however, after hearing an uproar of backlash against her pursuing this dream, I felt inspired to address the negative reactions and the affects of those negative  reactions.

I understand that a third of the world loves Kim K, a third of the world loves to hate Kim K, and a third of the world couldn’t care less. However, if you put who she is and how you personally feel about her aside, don’t you feel some sort of admiration toward her that she is 1) pursuing her dream 2) not letting her image and how she’s perceived stop her of that pursuit 3) sending a message to girls and women, young and old, that it is never too late to work toward what you want and to not allow others to put you down and stop you from getting where you want to get.

For me personally, I was annoyed and a bit frustrated by all of the people commenting: “what a joke,” or “she’s a joke,” or “who would hire her?” or “she’ll never make it.” These comments send the message that we as humans are limited to being just one thing, and that once we’ve shown the world that we are this one thing, that we can’t break free of that and become more.

I believe that we should always be in pursuit of growth, that we should be continually learning and challenging ourselves, and evolving. We are multifaceted. We are not limited to being just one thing. We are not singular, we contain multitudes. So to say that someone who does hair for a living cannot go back to school to become a nurse and then a doctor is wrong. To say someone who is hilarious cannot also be serious and sensitive is false. Because we are all more. Inside each of us is more and the ability to continually become more.

So why is it so awful that Kim K is pursuing this dream to follow in her fathers footsteps and practice law? Why is it a joke that a reality TV star wants to do meaningful work that has the capacity to help others? Why is she deemed stupid for even trying? Why do we see this dream as too big? Why do we limit people to who and what we perceive them to be based on what they show the world?

Am I saying she can do it? No. Am I saying she shouldn’t? No. Am I doubting her? No, because I don’t know her and neither do the millions of people who feel like they do just because they follow her on Instagram. Do I think she should try and pursue this dream? Yes, because why not? We should all be pushed to pursue our dreams and ignore those who feel that these dreams are too big.

When are we going to reach the point where we understand that people are multifaceted beings and  that people are more than what they show themselves to be on social media?

Why force her to be confined to this one bubble? Why force her to stay within the realms of beauty and reality TV and internet breaking ass pics? If she wants to be more than that, LET HER. Let the woman be who she wants to be and stop putting her down for having goals and going after them. Do I believe she can do it? Yes, because she spoke it into the world and now she has millions of people saying she can’t do it so damn right, I believe she’ll prove them wrong for herself, her daughters and son, and for kids and adults all over the world. She is going to prove herself while sending a message: Don’t let the naysayers get you down, and don’t let other peoples doubts or perspectives of you stop you from pursuing whatever it is you want. Live your life, become who you want to become, and continue toward the path of growth.

This is less a defense of Kim K, and more a defense on allowing people to expand themselves and seek continual growth without the limiting backlash/criticism from others deeming something impossible or worse, setting you up for failure because you’re dream is too big. If anything, the negative words you wish against someone deeming whatever they’re after is impossible, gives that person even more motivation to see it through to prove you wrong and to prove that if you put your mind to something you can accomplish much.
The point is that we start taking people seriously when they share a dream, no matter how impossible it may seem. The point is to start seeing people for what they are which is multifaceted beings capable of wearing multiple hats and being interested in multiple things and containing multiple dreams. Stop limiting people to who you think they should be or who you think they are based on what they tweet. Stop seeing a person and what they post on social media, and thinking you know who they are based on their feed. Stop feeding into a culture that is ambivalent towards dreams. Stop putting people in boxes.

We don’t see Kim K as a multifaceted human being, we see her as a woman who climbed her way to the top in an unorthodox way and now we expect her to stay in her “lane” which lies in the realms of beauty and reality TV and showing off her ass. Let her use her voice for good. Let her set an example for little girls and boys everywhere that no matter what people think or say about you, you can become exactly who you are. Let her set an example for women and men who are in their 30’s and 40’s and older, that it is never too late to pursue a dream. If anything, it is ironic that people are always talking about how worthless she is and how little she contributes to society, but here she is desiring to make a difference and she is receiving negativity and backlash.

The reality is, we should all be striving for growth continually and therefore we should put any negative thoughts aside in regard to Kim K pursuing a career in law and really anyone else who we feel is dreaming too big or not staying in their lane. Lets encourage those who take steps towards learning and growth and fulfilling their dreams.

Let her be woman, let her be human; which is to strive toward a goal, which is to be continually becoming and evolving. Let us live in a world where we encourage people to be who they want to be and not limit them to who we think they should be.

Travel: an investment in yourself 

travel

Have you noticed that more and more people are investing their money in experiences rather than material things? It used to be that people valued having luxurious things such as expensive cars and big houses, and that they felt successful through the ownership of these things. But there has been a shift in what we value and in what we see as success. Everyone values different things and for everyone, success means something different to them. But what I’ve noticed is that more and more people are investing their money in experiences but more specifically, travel. We are not saving up for that Audi, but rather, we are saving for that trip to Bali or Ireland or any of the wondrous places outside our home. We have evolved into valuing experiencing new places, with new people, and new food. We enjoy pushing ourselves out of the comfort of our own city, to experience life outside the ones we live everyday. We see more and more students choosing to travel abroad, more and more couples making the decision to cut back on the wedding in order to have an even better honey moon, and more and more people setting goals to see the world. I’ve had an ongoing resolution for a few years now that is to go one place I’ve never been every year. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy or out of budget, it can be just visiting another state or even a city close by that you’ve never been to, but the point is to get yourself out and to experience different things. I listen to many podcasts, and often the question of success comes up. And what I’ve observed is that for so many people, success means that they get to travel. That they are financially in a place where they can buy a ticket and go.

It’s no surprise that there is such a value in travel now more than ever. Social media has made it possible for us to search any location, and dream and drool over the different sights and foods each place has to offer. Of course after seeing someones post about their over water bungalow in the Maldives, you’re going to walk away with wanderlust. As much as I love shopping, I would trade a shopping spree for a chance to go someplace else because there is so much more to gain.

Through travel, you get to immerse yourself in a world unlike your own. It’s a learning experience and vacation all in one. You get to meet new people, experience new cultures, new foods, and try new things. Travel is the best way to learn and the best way to understand. All the yummy meals and insta-worthy photos aside, you get to see how different and similar you are to the people who live where you’re visiting. More than anything travel allows you to grow, because after immersing yourself in whatever location your vacationing to, you gain understanding which is the root of empathy.

Travel will change your life and the only way you’ll figure that out, is by saving up, buying a ticket, and going. Go anywhere and everywhere. Create a colorful life for yourself by going elsewhere.

I intend on making a quilt of my life, which each square serving as a different experience, and at the end, I want to see a big, beautiful blanket that holds all of my life’s memories and growth.

Traveling is the most fun thing you can do with your money. Travelling will take you places both physically, and spiritually. Travelling opens you up to new connections and allows you to learn and to grow. There’s no better investment than seeing the world. Experiences change you in ways a Mercedes Benz will not. Salsa dancing with that stranger in Colombia, or trying escargot for the first time in France, or buying that pashmina in India, or ziplining through the Amazon in Brazil, these are all significant investments in yourself. These will change your perspective and allow you to see life and the world differently. These will make you grow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

surround yourself with growing things

growth

To live is to know life around you. What are you surrounded by? The trees thick with green, shading your eyes from the suns intense kiss? Or is it the squawking of seagulls by the shore as each wave rushes in and out to greet your toes? Or are you enclosed in a man-made entity of brick and cement, where your only glimpse of nature are the succulents sitting on your windowsill?

What are you surrounded by, and is it helping you grow? Is what you see inspiring the life in you? Is it awakening your soul to possibility and beauty in each breath that you take?

No?
Oh dear, then I’m afraid you must move. Change your scenery.
For if the life around you is not moving, what will inspire movement in you?
If you’re not surrounded by growing things, how will you yourself grow?

To live is to know life around you. And the life around you must be beautiful, wild in ways, and full of momentum.

Surround yourself with growing things and better yet, growing people.
What you surround yourself with, will inspire your own thoughts, and actions.

Fill your space with flowers and plants. Water them, and watch them grow.
Reflect on what self-care will do to your own growth and inspire those around you with your flourishing.

You’ve heard it said before that “you’re a product of your environment”, so make sure it’s encouraging you in the best way possible. The people you choose to walk alongside you in your life will either push you forward, keep you stagnant, and pull you down; choose wisely. The space the create for yourself must be tidy, light, and reflective of who you are. Create a dream board, open your curtains, have flowers always, and make sure you have means of expression and learning: books, journals, an instrument, art supplies, whatever it is that will stimulate you into movement, and appreciation of life and the beauty it holds. Stir your soul with good, growing things, and see how colorful a life you’ll live. Keep on the path of learning and you will bloom all your days.

 

Fill your space with inspiration, fill your life with all things growing.

the significance of storytelling

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Humans have been telling stories since the beginning of time. It’s a way of connecting each of us to something, to someone. I believe storytelling is essential and needed now more than ever because we lack unity not only as a country but on a worldly basis as well. We need to close the gap between “othering” (which is the act of viewing or treating a person or group of people as intrinsically different from and alien to oneself) and listen for the “me too”‘s. We need to stop focusing on what makes us different from one another and open our eyes to what makes us the same. Don’t think “well his experience is surely unlike my own.” NO: think “how can I connect to his story?” Why can’t we be open to one another and the stories we hold and the experiences we own , from the beginning, rather than separating ourselves from the start because we fear being moved to a place of empathy or being misunderstood. You don’t have to agree, you just have to aim to connect. Embrace difference of thought, experience, and perspective. Allow yourself to be challenged by other world views. We need to push ourselves to be storytellers in the best way possible, with pure intent: to put voice to our inner-beings and connect with others. We need to be both the speaker and the listener. We need to be open to others, to be respectful of their journey thus far and of their experiences whether like or unlike our own, and to allow them a space to share; to use their voice, and to be heard. We need to close the gap between othering and misunderstanding and fill it with truth, understanding, and empathy. Only then will we be brought to genuine connection and true understanding and acceptance of one another. All anyone wants is to be heard, understood, and loved. To be given space, a space of their own in this vast world. We must close the gap between “us” and “them,” and “you” and “me.” Think about who you thought about when you read “us” and who came to mind when you read “them.” Who in your head are you othering? Who in your head lacks a voice of their own? Who in your head do you need to hear to be brought to a place of understanding, and more importantly, love? What will come of this bridge we begin building is empathy and that is exactly what this world needs. We need unity, we need love, and in order to get there we first need storytelling: sharing our truths, our experiences within one another, to be listened to, to be heard, to be understood and to connect. Connection is the bridge to empathy and from empathy is the train to love and unity. We need to share our truths, and love the pain out of one another.

To be human is to experience both the joys and the pains of what it means to live. We are all already united in that fact right there: everyone of us has and will continue to experience the joys and the pains of humanness. Why not start there? Why not discuss our joys and our pains with one another. Don’t you think you’d benefit from having a few people listen to what’s burdening your heart? Don’t you think you’d feel relieved to have people see passed the pretty, put-together person you are on Instagram, and to know your anxieties and encourage you passed them? How beautiful it would feel to me to know my Instagram “girl crushes” have insecurities too, or that there’s something that keeps them up at night, something that I can say “ahhh, me too.” Isn’t it such a beautiful feeling to hear someone say “me too” and to know you are not alone?

 

The whole idea behind this blog is to share  the human experience according to Kimberly O’Brien. I hold just one chapter in this big book of life and I choose to share my sentiments here in order to put voice to my thoughts, and to connect with and inspire others. What space are you giving yourself to connect more often with others? Whether its bravery, or confidence, or courage, what do you have to make a conscious effort to put on, in order to be transparent and open with another human being? Sometimes, all it takes is just listening to someone else speak, for you to realize that this is what we are meant for: to listen and share with one another. Speaking our truths, sharing our human experiences, is the path to understanding which is the road to love. Don’t you think we could use a bit more love?

 

Storytelling is much more than what you post on Instagram, because you’ve heard it said that most of the time, what we post on social media, is the good in our lives. We share the highlights, the joys, painting a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing picture of our lives. But what about the monotonous aspects of life? What about the mornings when you wake up and just feel plagued by sadness? What about when your hair doesn’t look like you just stepped out of a Pantene commercial? What about when you fail a test, or you don’t get the job, or you need a mental health day? Where are all of those posts? Where on your Instagram, are the raw and real everyday aspects of life? It’s okay if they are not there. It’s okay for your Facebook and Instagram to serve as a positive scrapbook of your life which highlights the joys and good memories. But we need to be aware that there is more than that. We need to stop comparing our real life struggles with other peoples highlight reels. We need to start communicating with one another, we need to tell our stories.

What’s my story today? Well it’s 7:20 am. I woke up at 5:30, got ready for work, made peanut butter and blueberry toast, and drove to work against the dark and foggy morning. I clocked in, put Lilo & Stitch on as background noise (I work with kids) and began to write about the importance of sharing any story, including this short, dull, and tedious excerpt of a Friday morning in October. I feel sleepy (really in need of a nap) but I’m excited the weekend is in arms reach. And in this moment, I crave nothing more than to be on the beach.

That wasn’t hard, in fact, it was very painless. Some stories won’t be so easy to share. Some feelings won’t be so fun to put into words. Some thoughts or memories will be hard to speak out loud. But it is important that we do it. It is important that we communicate with one another, because that’s what makes life less hard. Real human connection that is what we’re missing. Stop hiding behind your phone, stop denying yourself the voice you were given to put to use. Use your words to paint a picture of who you are and what you’ve experienced. Storytellingthat is what will close the gap between you and them, between you and I.

 

 

 

a safe place

whyididntreport

A current “controversial” topic, and one that I am quite passionate about, has made a lot of headlines recently and has been a source of both negative backlash and positive support. The topic of rape/sexual misconduct is always heavily debated. I am choosing not to be specific regarding the current story that is all over the news and our social media feeds, but I cannot say that this current story, did not encourage me to write this post. I have always felt the need to address rape especially since I am a woman, but also a victim of rape. However, I was always met with feelings of apprehension, nervous that discussing such a serious and real topic would be too transparent. I also was anxious that it would not be well received. But as always, the powerful little voice in my head reminded me of how important it is to share our personal narratives, in order to connect with others and close the gap between us. By using my own voice, I hope to inspire others to be brave and use theirs as well. Our stories need to be heard. We each have a place in this world and we are meant to take up space.

I want to speak generally about rape and how society perceives and receives those who claim to have been raped or sexually offended. It isn’t a new statement, but it is a true one, that women do not report rape/sexual misconduct because they feel that they will not be given the support and justice they deserve. We know that we will not be well received. We know that we will be asked a number of questions that make us feel less like a victim and more like a suspect. “Are you sure you said no? Did you make it obvious that you didn’t want it? What were you wearing? Were you under the influence?” Because well, if the woman was wearing a mini skirt, she was asking to be violated. Because if the girl drank too much and lost control of her body, she clearly wanted three men to take turns with her. Because if she only said “no” once, she didn’t really mean it.

As victims, we know that we will not receive empathy or even sympathy. We know that we will be put under a microscope to determine whether or not we “brought it [the misconduct] on ourselves.” We know that we will be looked at with shameful, judging eyes. We know that some will even deem us as dirty or attention-seeking.

We know there is no space for us to tell our truth. Because society doesn’t want our truth if it’s not pretty. And that’s what women are supposed to be: pretty. Pretty, delicate creatures who do not use their voices to stir up anything. We are not to communicate our power, we are to remain silent. But we are a force. Women are the seeds which hold and bring about life. We are strong. Our voices matter. We deserve justice, we deserve empathy, and we deserve to be met with support and love, especially when we are suffering. Our voices MUST be heard.

There’s a powerful hashtag that has gained popularity in recent weeks: #whyididntreport
Women all over the world are explaining why they didn’t/don’t report sexual abuse.
Because we’ve been shown time and time again that reporting only hurts and humiliates us more. Remember Ke$ha’s story? Big time pop singer, loved and respected by many, and even she didn’t receive justice. So why would I, a “nobody,” even imagine that I would?

I was raped when I was fifteen years old, and it broke me. My thoughts, my perceptions of the world, were forever altered. I began to see the world as an unsafe place, I became overly anxious all the time about everything, I began to question my worth. I was traumatized and became depressed, but even still, I told my parents I would rather die than report the boy because I knew I’d somehow be blamed for ruining his life. Ironic, right? I didn’t want the whole school knowing what he did to me, I didn’t want such a personal event to be made public. I didn’t want others to weigh in on the conversation and to decide whether or not I was right in reporting a 15 year old boy for rape. So I didn’t. It remains a heavy burden I will always hold onto. A memory I can never forget.

Why didn’t I report? Because I couldn’t stand the thought of people feeling bad for him over me. I couldn’t stand the idea that people could blame me for what happened or worse, see him as the victim. Because “boys will be boys” and “kids, they don’t know any better, they make mistakes.”
But I needed a guarantee that he would be held accountable for his actions. I needed a guarantee that I would be met with love and support, and not scrutiny or judgement.

I am angry and disappointed, by the way we treat women who come forward. I am angry and disappointed that we continue to teach women how to protect themselves from predators, and how to prevent misconduct, rather than teaching men not to rape. I’m in disbelief when I think about the lack of empathy and support given to those that our vulnerable and brave, who put themselves and their truths out there to receive justice.

 

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We don’t give women the space to tell the truth.

Women already go through life feeling unsafe. We already live knowing that “pretty is the most important thing we can be.” We already live knowing we are seen as the lesser sex. Why not give us one safe space where we are encouraged, supported, loved, heard? The space to not be persecuted when we attempt to share our narratives?

We shouldn’t have to bury our pain deep inside of us. We shouldn’t have to hide any aspect of who we are. We need to feel like we share our human experiences. We all need that space. A space where we voice our inner-sentiments, a space where our voices are heard,  a space where we connect and say “me too” or “you are not alone,” a space where we use love to close the gaps between you and me.

 

Simply put, the world needs more compassion, empathy and love.

 

 

love and loss

When I think of my grandpa, I think of love in all of it’s forms.
And every thought of him, blankets me in love;

I can almost feel his intentional gaze upon me and smell my grandmothers cooking and hear Telemundo on the TV in the background.

Thoughts of him, thoughts of them, are still so very real to me, fresh.
And I never want to experience a day where it isn’t so.
A day where the memories feel more like pictures that I’ve seen rather than moments that I’ve experienced.

When I think of my grandparents, I think of the importance of family, and how necessary it is for love to be the centerpiece.

 

I don’t really know where I’m going with this post, but I know that I want to touch on  two very significant pieces of life: love and loss.
Everyone will experience both in their lifetime, and everyone will feel its effects change them in some way. Love and loss both have the capacity to make you stronger, but also weaker, and to make you better, but also break you.

I think loss truly pushes us to appreciate what we have and in a way, loss forces us to love harder. Loss has an aggressive way of trying to knock sense into us, yelling “look around, look at who and what you have, appreciate what’s in front of you, because it won’t always be there.” And it’s true.

If there’s something I’ve taken strongly since my grandparents passing, it is this:

It may seem as if we have all the time in the world, but we do not. We are not guaranteed another 10 years, we are not even guaranteed another ten minutes. Most of us do take for granted our loved ones, and it is easy to allow little things to get in between vital moments, moments we will not get back. So your mom is lecturing you again about your future, don’t storm off and lock yourself in your room. One day, you’ll wish you spent those three or four hours with her rather than being stubborn in your room. I think we all need a wake up call, we all need a spirit of love to come alive and overflow out of us. We need to see our present, our surroundings for what they are and take advantage of what’s in arms reach. My grandma, she’s not in arms reach anymore, and though I’d love for her to be, that longing has only made me more aware of who I do have in arms reach.

I believe there needs to be a greater emphasis on the importance of family. I believe we need to open our hearts to loving deeper and more intentionally.

I think what makes me the most sad when I think about my grandparents, is thinking about their house, the environment. In my memories, the house just feels warm and untouchable, like all of us great-grand-kids, and grand-kids, and kids, and friends who turned into family were a force. We were united in that house as one, in a place where we were home, a place where we were safe, a place where love grew.

 

Shortly after my grandpa died, I got a tattoo, one that I felt captured his spirit. It came from a verse in the bible: “three things will last forever: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.” The words in bold, those are imprinted on my side as a reminder that the greatest gift we are given, the greatest gift we will ever receive, and the greatest gift we can give, is love.

The world needs more love. Now more than ever, we need a spirit of love to take a hold of us. We shouldn’t need loss to show us what we had when we have love to show us what we have. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t let yourself regret not spending enough time with this person or that person. Use the present to take time to appreciate what’s in front of you. Don’t let today slip away, don’t allow your heart to go unused. Open your eyes, and open your hearts to those around you.

 

Give love permission to rule your life and see what beauty it unfolds.

 

Allow loss to break you and then mold you into something even more magnificent.

It’s okay for loss to create a small hole in your heart. A person once lived there, so of course there’s a hole that only that one person can fill. And what a gift it is to have loved someone enough that a piece of your heart disappeared when they did. But when the hole creates aches, let that be a reminder to see the world around you and love a little harder and appreciate a little deeper.

 

Awareness creates change, change awakens growth, and growth stirs up love.

With or without loss, love needs to be a constant, stirring force within us.

 

love-and-loss

love yourself first.

love-yourself-first

Lately I’ve become more and more aware of how reliant we are on our romantic relationships and how often we seek others to fulfill us in some way.

Strolling through Facebook I saw a post about a break-up that read: “Feeling so lost without him. I don’t know who I am anymore. I want my happiness back.” Big red flags obviously go off in my head because we should never feel that our identity or happiness lies within someone else. We should never lose ourselves in another person, and we should never seek to be completed by another person.

Romantic relationships aren’t meant to complete us, they are meant to compliment us. Yes, it is okay that your significant other makes you happy. Yes, it is okay to want to spend the rest of your life with one person. But it is not okay to only feel happiness when you’re with that person and it is not okay to feel like your life has stopped when you’re not with that person. We are to seek wholeness within ourselves, happiness within ourselves, and love within ourselves. We need to put more of an emphasis on nourishing our relationships with ourselves, before trying to nourish a relationship with another human being. We need to be more rooted in our identities so that when a break up does occur, we don’t feel like that person took away who are. We need to be confident in who we are alone, before we pursue a relationship with another.

What I’ve learned in my own relationship, is the importance of two separate journeys, mine and his, that unite as one. By that, I mean, that he is allowed to have his own dreams, goals, desires, and I am allowed to have mine. We are supposed to honor our own journeys, and not feel guilty for living out our individual dreams.

I was having a conversation the other day with someone close to me who said: “I’ve always wanted to study abroad but now that I’m getting married, I can’t.” To which I immediately asked “why?” Her response was that she didn’t want to uproot her future husband from his job and home. But I told her that she could do it on her own, that she wasn’t obligated to bring him, that she shouldn’t have to throw away a dream for her relationship. But she wont do it without him.

It’s frustrating because though relationships are a commitment to the “we,” they are also a commitment to the two separate selves that make the “we.” You should not have to give up your dreams for your partner, you and your partner should be committed to a life where you nourish each other by encouraging one another to go after each dream.  Why can’t you have both: a healthy, committed relationship with your significant other, and a healthy, committed relationship with yourself? You’re an individual way before you become a couple, so why not nurture both? Why do we put more pressure on finding “the one” rather than putting more emphasis in being our best selves? Why do we seek pleasure outside ourselves more than intrinsically? Why do we feel like we’ve failed if we are not in a romantic relationship? Why can’t I just be me without having a he/she?

I don’t know about you, but I want my cake, and I want to eat it too (because what good is cake if you can’t eat it?) I want a healthy relationship with my boyfriend alongside a healthy relationship with myself. I want to be able to travel whether with him or without him because that is a passion of mine. I don’t want to feel held back or guilty for doing something for myself. We are allowed to be who we are and still be in a relationship. We are allowed to be in love with ourselves and also be in love with another person.

There are days where I take a step back and truly reflect on every facet of my relationship with my boyfriend to confirm that we are being supportive and encouraging to each others individual journeys, that we are pushing one another towards our goals and toward inner growth, and that we are doing all of this while nourishing who we are as a couple. Hand in hand, we’ve committed ourselves to staying rooted in who we are, both individually and together. We’ve talked about marriage and we continue to discuss how important it is to have a life outside one another even when living under the same roof. You need time for yourself, you need time with your friends, you need time apart. It is so important to be confident and secure with who you are solo, so that you don’t feel lost when your partner isn’t around. You cannot be defined by your partner; you cannot allow a relationship to rob you of who you are, and what you value.

If you have recently gotten out of a relationship and you’re feeling lost, commit yourself to mindfulness. Ask yourself what you value, what your passions are, what you love and what you don’t, and what your goals are. Then, align your life with those values, passions, and goals. Do the hard inner work. Love yourself first. Buy your own damn flowers, take yourself out to the nice restaurant, go on vacation alone. You do not need another human to complete you. Do you, for you, and never let a relationship create a self-love deficit.
By all means, love others. But create a solid foundation by loving yourself first.
Honor your own journey and seek to become whole within yourself, before taking on the challenge of committing yourself to another.

 

And remember: you are born complete.