Poem #239

Can’t you see it’s still me behind this mask.
I thought you would see through this version of me.
Just believe there are good intentions behind this.
I know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions
but I am paving my road back to me. Can’t you hear
these tired steps that I am taking?

Be kind to yourself

We hear phrases such as “Listen to your gut” or “Love yourself” everywhere. They are screaming off social media platforms, life coaches use them, we see them written everywhere but do we really grasp the concept of being kind to oneself and loving oneself and listening to our gut?

As always, I’ll start from experience. A few months back I got my bachelors in Italian and Spanish philology. There I was, all proud of myself for finishing the three years without failing one single class, with a title in front of my name and then the time came for me to start my masters which would have taken me two years to finish. That feeling… I’ll never forget that feeling. Every time I thought about going back to my university, spending hours in classes, studying, preparing for exams… It made me want to die. I had extreme panic attacks. My gut was yelling “Hell NOOOOOO”. I told my gut she should shut up because society and my family told me that the field I was in, which was foreign languages, was nothing without a master’s degree. So I listened to what others had to say and I started my masters.

The panic attacks increased. My health was deteriorating. I had to use every single piece of strength I had to pull myself out of bed and attend a single lecture. I hated the world. Negativity was oozing out of my skin. Then my gut decided to fight against my decisions in every way possible. I was never the one to oversleep. If my alarm went off, I was on my feet already making my morning coffee. All of the sudden, I started oversleeping. I wouldn’t hear my alarm and I started to miss my lectures. After a while, I started failing exams. It took me a while to gather the strength and say that I quit. Right then and there I placed the label “FAILURE” on my forehead in big, bold red letters for everyone to see. I called myself a failure.

I promised my family and myself that in a year I would enroll in a private university and start a masters in International relations and diplomacy which costs a lot of money but I came to an agreement with my mom that we would get a student loan from the bank. Since I considered myself to be a failure, I didn’t start looking for a job in my field of expertise because the part of my brain which told me I was a failure also told me that there are people with masters and PHD’s in languages, people who studied abroad who were better than me and that no one would hire me because they could hire those other people who weren’t failures like me. I got a job as a waitress. Regarding that experience I think it’s enough to say that I can’t count how many times I had to drink to make it through my shift but I considered my behavior to be okay because I was a failure.

Time passed by, my health was getting worse, I was making all of the wrong choices regarding relationships in my life and then it hit me. I hated myself and I resented myself so much that I was torturing myself at a job I hated and punishing myself just because I didn’t fit in with societies norms. The time came for me to get the student loan. I was depressed for weeks. I didn’t talk to anyone. I ended up in the emergency room because I couldn’t breathe normally. Life was just bitch slapping me and then, after months of banging my head against a wall and living just to survive I decided I can do better.

I quit my job and started a new one where I am somewhat in the proximity of my field of studies. I said no to the private university and decided to attend lectures in Digital marketing because this is something that gets me excited. How did this shift in my behavior happen? I started to be kind to myself.

I scrapped off that “FAILURE” label from my forehead and told myself that it took courage to drop out of school and start finding myself. It took strength to admit that I was lost and unhappy. It took fucking balls to take control of my life and start living it according to my rules. The shift first happened in my head and then it manifested in my life. All I had to do was give myself a pat on the back and tell myself that I am doing the best that I can and that it’s okay to take time off to find whatever it is that’s missing from my life. Changes aren’t painless. Changes aren’t easy but if during that change period you hate yourself and have negative self-talk you will only make things worse for yourself.

Do I know what the hell I am doing with my life? NO
Do I hate myself for that? Also NO

I still relapse into my old behavior patterns such as drinking, smoking and hating myself for not being the poster child for society norms but I also identify that behavior quickly and implement positive self-talk into my life. Don’t call yourself a failure and don’t put yourself down. You are so much more that what others think of you. Hell, you are so much more than what you think of yourself. Give yourself credit for how far you came. Recognize your mistakes and learn from them, don’t use them as fuel to the fire of your self-hate.

You need to reconnect with your inner world in order to start being kind to yourself.  You have to do this via a process that suits you best such as writing, meditating, exercising etc. That voice in your head that is trying to put you down will always be there, you just need to be louder than it.

Poem #232

I see you hiding in the shadows
of what they told you that you should be.

I can feel your heart break every time
they bend your will.

Step into the light, there’s nothing to hide.

The world always judged those
carrying change in their heart.

Positivity Press #43 – Gratitude

 I’m so grateful to have supportive people around me. I don’t think we appreciate truly decent human beings until we don’t have any in our lives. I’ve only had two people in my life who were unconditionally loving and caring. A friend of mine pointed out that most of us think we love unconditionally, but we don’t. There always seems to be some little part – conscious or subconscious – that has reservations. So when we find someone who cares enough to step in (or out) when we need them – someone who’ll kindly tell us what we need to hear instead of what we want to hear so we can pull ourselves out of our own craziness, we’d better value that person. They are a rare human being.

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Choose yourself

Everyone is so afraid of loneliness that we rarely become aware of the fact that we are actually never alone. While endless thoughts are flying through your head, you are not alone. Loneliness comes creeping up when we lose a friend, our family’s support, when we are single or when we just don’t feel connected to other people. Because of this we often “drown” ourselves so much in other people and please everyone just to keep them around that we become unaware of the damage we are causing to ourselves.

The problem of loneliness isn’t in not having anyone, it’s in not being aware that we have ourselves.

First you have to establish a healthy connection to yourself. You will know when that happens because in that moment loneliness will no longer be a problem and the silence won’t feel so creepy. It’s good to choose yourself. It’s good to work on yourself. It’s good to become a bit introverted in order to find your inner peace.

Putting your own needs ahead of everything else isn’t selfish – it’s necessary! People who will turn their backs on you for doing so don’t have your best interest in heart. I am not trying to say that you should shut the world out and only give yourself all of your attention. Be there for your family and friends but also think about your needs, put yourself as a priority and stop neglecting your needs and dreams. As long as you are not happy you will never be able to fully integrate yourself in the world and that feeling of loneliness will keep on haunting you.

If you are a career oriented person, sometimes you will have to cancel a coffee date or a night out in order to rest and have enough time for your work or studies. There’s no need to feel bad or left out because of it and if your friends or boyfriend/girlfriend criticize you about it that means that your wellbeing isn’t so important for them. Don’t keep your goals and plans quiet. Explain to others why you do what you do and those who sincerely care about you will support you and find a way to understand you.

Every now and then find a night to close the doors on the world, be alone, turn off the internet and work on yourself and on your inner peace, to make clear plans about reaching your goals. Don’t always cater to other people’s need and ignore yours. You are just as important as other people and on your list of priorities you have to write with big capital letters “ME”!

Find your indicators

We hear from life coaches and Instagram quotes that we need to identify our triggers to avoid negative and harmful behavior and situations. I do believe that’s true but there’s also something else we need to identify. Our indicators.

We live in a world where pain and struggle are being praised for no apparent reason. If you have eye bags, finish your 5th cup of coffee by 10 in the morning, always have troubled relationships you somehow feel validated in this world and I can say that I am also one to blame for this type of behavior because I do have eye bags, drink a gallon of coffee in the morning and go into one shipwreck of a relationship to the next.

Also, we became very detached from our emotional state and feelings. We just deal with negative feelings by ignoring them. We all live using the famous line “That’s just how it is”, “It’s no big deal” etc.

It’s not how it is and it is a big fucking deal.

We often ignore the notion of being in a negative, unhealthy situation just because we got used to it. We got used to feeling crappy, tired, exhausted, unmotivated… We became very mechanical in day to day life and forgot how to live and that’s why we need to find the indicators and patterns that help us realized that we are in a bad situation.

My personal indicators are smoking and writing. People who are close to me know that I have the tendency to obsessively smoke when something bad is happening to me. I tried breaking this awful habit several times but after two, three weeks, maybe even two months of not smoking something stressful happens and I just find myself buying cigarettes and looking like a chimney. As for my writing, when I put down something on paper I always read the whole thing in the end and I can sense the tone in which I wrote it and that is a strong indicator of the way I’m feeling.

Indicators are something like behavior patterns and you need to find them. When you catch yourself doing those things, repeating those patterns find the reason why and try to problem solve with logic the situation in which you are in. Indicators are mostly bad habits like smoking, drinking, binge eating etc.

I know it’s sometimes painful and hard to just get in touch with your emotions, with yourself and admitting that you are in a bad state but it’s necessary in order for you to pull yourself up and get stronger.

I hope this all made sense because I struggled with describing all of this and just find the words. Let me know in the comments what do you think and what are your indicators.

You are not an excuse – making machine

You are not an excuse – making machine. God, I wish someone had told me this sooner because for the last 22 years, I’ve been an excuse – making machine. When people would wrong me, treat me bad I would make the excuses for them. If a guy played me, lied to me or if a friend cut me out of their life I would just make an excuse for them in the lines of “He/She is going through a lot now”, “The job is stressing him/her out”, “I know he cares, he’s just too scared to show it”. Damn, I really am a writer. Always making stuff up, explaining, elaborating, making everything poetic.  I need to put an end to this and so do you. Yes, you.

Making excuses for someone’s behavior is stupid, selfish and harmful all at the same time. This is especially noticeable in relationships so I will take them as examples to explain my point better. Let’s start with why this is harmful behavior. If you constantly make excuses for someone, it means that you are constantly ignoring all of the red flags in a relationship and you will end up hurt in the end. We all ignore red flags because we want to believe that the person we met is great but what we are doing is not. You need to be objective. If you feel like someone is ghosting you, ignoring you and only calling you when they are bored or horny then don’t make an excuse for them. They are not busy, they don’t have a lot on their plate, the little attention they give you isn’t anything special – see them for who they are. Not interested in you.

Now, why making excuses for others is stupid. Because it just is. You are actually giving a free pass to someone who is obviously telling you lies, neglecting you, playing with your feelings. You are literally making it easy for her/him to hurt you and that’s just stupid. It’s hard when you like someone, or even when you’re in love with someone, to admit that the person doesn’t want you. It’s hard to stop inventing fairytales about the person we like and admit they are not who we believe them to be. I honestly think that people fall in love more with the people they imagine in their heads than the real people standing in front of them. I think that the best way to stop making excuses for someone is to stop reading too much into the situation. You got dressed up, ready to go and meet him/her for a night out and they cancel with some lame excuse such as my head hurts or suddenly they have a family emergency. I’m not saying stuff like this has to be false but if it’s happening repetitively then it’s probably lies. You need to accept they are not being honest, don’t answer their messages and just try to let go before you fall in too deep.

And my favorite one. Making excuses for others is selfish. You probably think I am not really normal to write this since making excuses for other’s is literally handing someone an excuse so they would continue doing their thing, you are actually doing them a favor but that’s just what we see on the surface. The underlying issue of it is that you can’t accept the truth because it would hurt you so you make those excuses for him/her in order to make yourself feel better and to feel loved by someone. Just to feel that someone actually cares. This is harmful behavior and to be honest, I am guilty of this. Often, when I would feel alone or when I would get attached to someone I would become a victim of this type of behavior and it’s incredibly difficult to break this cycle. We all have the need to have someone around and then it’s just hard to accept that the person we thought was around well… isn’t. Probably never was. The time you spend making excuses for someone, spend doing something that will make you feel better. Turn off the movie in your head, stop replaying everything that happened, stop asking questions you will not get an answer to and go and run, workout, meditate, read a book, get blackout drunk (but give your phone to someone first). Do something other than digging your own grave.

If you feel like I just stabbed you and started twisting the knife inside of you, don’t worry I feel the same because all of this that I’m writing I need to start applying to myself so maybe, possibly I will be strong enough to take better care of myself. No matter how weird it sounds, sometimes taking care of oneself is the hardest thing to do so we indulge in behaviors as making excuses for others, becoming extremely depended on other people, getting attached to quickly to others, neglecting our own needs to constantly cater to others so that they would like us etc. I could go on forever but we’ll leave those subjects for other posts. Just stay strong and work on loving yourself more.

Sending love and positive vibes,
Luna