Bitter Boots

 December is always a time of reflection for me. Once Hell Week is over and exams are done, I get to home home, relax, and think about what the year has taught me. This past December went a little beyond reflection for me though, as I found the resolve I needed to start my quest for a stronger relationship with God.

As it stands, I feel that college has helped me learn myself pretty well and I know that one of my biggest personal challenges is managing my frustration when it’s combined with long-term stress and aggravation from outside sources. I’m not perfect and I know the best thing  I can do (for myself and others) is learn to manage the way I handle situations that trigger angry responses…Which brings us to my journey with God.

Walking with Him has made me more aware of not only my daily actions but my thoughts as well and that’s half the battle. Ever heard the phrase “Change your mindset, change your life”? Acting takes thought and consideration. If your mind isn’t quite in the right place to act on frustrating situations…well you guessed it…you’re not going to handle them in the best way possible. The scripture I posted in the picture above is one of the most helpful I’ve come across since I started my year-long Bible plan. I’d read it one day and- I kid you not- two days later it was the first thing that came to mind when one of my roommates thought it best to get snippy with me unnecessarily, after weeks of nit-picking. Taking the time to strengthen my bond with God allowed me to keep my head leveled when I could have very well (and justifiably) gone off the deep end. Hearing this scripture repeated in my mind kept me from giving foothold to the Devil.

I’m sure that if you’re human, there have been times when you’ve had trouble deciding whether or not you should turn the other cheek or go to the other extreme. Be it the aggravating kid that kicked you in the leg at the grocery store and his negligent parents, the irritating co-worker that likes to work your nerves more than their actual job, or the roommate that loves to pick fights with you…you’ve had the test and either passed or failed.  It takes time and patience to change your mindset enough to start passing more than you fail, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that through Christ, all things are possible.

If you find yourself in need of a mindset make-over, my recommendation is that you try talking to God about your situation, praying for answers, and putting the Bible app to use. Sometimes it takes more than advice from friends and parents to create the shift in your attitude that you’re looking for. It takes some soul searching and a commitment to yourself and God that you’ll start handling the people and situations in your life with more care. But fret not! It’s possible. Create a plan to reach your goal and take it day by day. Believe me when I say the trials will come… But You Can Do it!

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#KWK

  There’s a certain kind of delicate art to Killing With Kindness. It’s not the easiest task by any means and it takes a certain level of maturity or two… not to mention a monk’s patience. As I’ve said before, some people just don’t like to see anyone else happy and go out of their way to ruin the next person’s vibe. But what’s that go to do with us? Well, we never know what the next person is going through, for one, so there may be more to the puzzle than we know . From bad customer services representatives to the most random instances where the next person just decided it might be a good idea to push all 27 of my buttons at once, the Lord saw fit to equip me with lots of KWK experience. And for that, I am glad. People skills are about as essential to the soul as laughter.

Becuase of my last job working for a property management company as a leasing agent, I can attest to dealing with plenty of senselessly angry people who sometimes, despite their issues being completely unrelated to our work in the office, decided to take their frustrations out on us anyway. But by being kind and coming from a place of sincere concern, we were usually able to either coax them out of their anger or they’d storm off and come back later and apopogize for their behavior. Fighting fire with fire is usually never he answer. 

“What about the people that I already know don’t like me? And the ones that are always coming for me?” Good question. My golden rules for dealing with people in those categories is as follows:

1. If it’s something you did that’s causing tension, apopogize and if they accept it, great. If they don’t, well you did your part. Keep it cordial and keep it moving.

2. If it’s something that doesn’t involve you being blatantly disrespected, keep minding your business. It’s not your job to please other people when they don’t like you for reasons that don’t have anything to do with you.

3. If you are being blatantly disrespected, address it like a grown up (which almost always takes well-thought-out  conflict resolution planning). Try to come to terms with the other person that allow both of you to be able to either function cordially if it’s someone you have to interact with regularly, or go peacefully about your merry ways.

Not everything and everyone are worth the energy. I personally don’t like bickering back and forth about issues I have nothing to do with and things that aren’t my problem. Although it’s not always the easiest thing ever, it’s usually less work in the long run to be civil and mature.

You Smart…You Loyal!

imageIt’s not uncommon for us to spend time on people who don’t deserve it. It’s human nature and, beyond behavior, we can’t predict the future or control the next person’s actions. But just in case you’ve forgotten: Time is an invaluable asset that can never be recovered once spent.

Inspired yesterday by the #WomanCrushWednesday posts I saw of some of my followers’ best friends on Instagram, I began thinking of one of my best friends and felt a deep, sincere appreciation of everything that she’s done for me since we’ve become close. It’s nice to have someone who appreciates and cherishes my friendship as much as I appreciate hers; good friends are hard to find. I never have to wonder if I’ll have a comforting shoulder when I’m in need, keeping it 100 is never a question, and more than anything else, she consistently puts in effort to be a great friend. And that’s what’s important. Effort.

Like many people, I’m no stranger to  “friends” and significant others who have used and abused the perks of having me around. It took me until the end of my last “relationship” to truly understand that…unfortunately some people will let you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders for them, but leave you hanging when you ask them to hold your purse. It’s life. I had a friend in high school that only really bothered to ask me to hang out if I could drive us around once I got my driver’s license (haven’t heard from her since Fall 2013 lol…) and even now by virtue of just being in college, there are people around that literally only bother to talk to me when they need something and think it’s okay…but should I ever need anything, #WhereDeyAtTho?

My mother taught me that as a Christian, you do what you can to help people in need when it’s in your power to do so, and that’s the life I lead. She also makes it a point to remind me every so often that, despite my loving, generous nature and bad tendency to completely ignore the flaws of others while trying to find the good in them…not everyone is worth my time and effort. “If they want to be in your life…if they want to be around, they’ll show you through their actions. And that applies to everyone. I don’t kiss a** and You don’t have to kiss a** for anyone either.” -Mom

It’s pretty discouraging to think that some people can be so relentlessly selfish. But there are ways to cope without becoming hard-hearted. If you’re as sensitive as I am and get as upset as I do by people’s selfishness and lack of effort after they’ve gone out of their way to drain you of your energy here’s something that may help:

Accept them for who they are, and put them out of your life. You’re not obligated to deal with anyone who doesn’t put in effort to be as good to you as you are to them. I’d even go as far as saying dealing with those people is stupid and shows a serious lack of self-preservation. Be brave enough to take the time to treat yourself better than they ever will by leaving them behind where they belong. Pray about it and keep it moving.

Enough, Debby!

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Everyone has encountered a Debby Downer Dream-Smasher  or, in some cases, may have even been the Debby. I say “give it a rest!”

Some people can’t stand to see others happy. We can’t help that they’re unhappy with themselves and have to inflict that negative energy onto everyone that crosses their path, but we can avoid being affected by it by doing a few simple things.

1. Surround yourself with positive energy and people. By doing this you’ll have your attention so wrapped up i the good things that you have going on that you won’t have time to pay attention to who’s trying to sneak their way in to crush your fabulous dreams and aspirations.

2. Stop telling everyone your next move. It’s okay to be happy about the good things that you have going for you, but sometimes it’s also okay to keep your business to yourself. The Haters can’t stifle what they don’t know is even going on. Don’t give them fuel to spread the negativity.

3. Believe in your Dreams so much so that people can’t distort the image you have of your success. Don’t let anyone take away from you the work that you’ve done to cultivate your dreams into a reality of prosperity. Just focus on being great.

Let’s face it, some people just can’t stand to see people be happy, and that’s okay, but we don’t have to let them rain on our parade with bitter words and negative talk. Simply ignore them and keep it moving forward toward your goals.

Drama? What’s that?

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Part of what I do as a Social Media Intern for RegalRealness.com is coming up with affirmations and posting them up on our social media pages for our followers/subscribers to see. Through that, I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to inspire other women with the same words and mentality that I have for myself. I decided to expound on this affirmation because it’s one that I keep close to my heart.

In high school I kept a limited amount of friends as I wasn’t very social even though I was involved in many extracurricular activities,  for fear that we wouldn’t remain friends and to avoid high school drama. And although I did avoid a lot of unnecessary drama in high school, it took College to teach me how to be social with everyone without confusing that with being “friends” with everyone.

As I’ve matriculated, I’ve been able to learn myself, make real friends, and accept the fact that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, and be completely okay with that. I’m focused on my work, taking advantage of great opportunities, and working on being the best version of myself that I can be. I no longer have the extra energy to care what negative opinions people have of me or to engage in situations that I can foresee will become negative. I’ve taken it upon myself to spend the remainder of my internal battery being creative and positive for the sake of myself and those around me.

Many people get lost in the adrenaline that fuels Drama and forget who they are and what their purpose is. As hard as it was for me to discover how to live out what I always felt my purpose is, which I believe is to help and guide others, I can’t afford to be distracted from my path.

If you feel like you’re becoming distracted and engulfed in negative people and situations, my suggestion is that you step back and reevaluate. Decide what’s really important..simple as that. You owe it to yourself to develop a tunnel-vision for following your passion and purpose. At some point we should realize and accept the fact that what’s not an attribute to life truly belongs by the wayside.

Do it for You.

imageThis is for all the people who identify with this IG post I kept seeing a couple weeks ago….since Today is February 1st:

After an unexpected breakup of sorts a few months ago, and about 5 failed attempts at rushing my Annual Soul Search, followed by a long talk with my mother and The Lord in December about where my young adult life was headed, I decided to get myself together for the new year, and for good.

So far, what I call my “21st year glow up” has been going nice and….well I can’t say “easy,” but definitely not bad. I’ve been steadfast in my journey of Faith…I’ve been getting over the sad ending of an interesting situationship more each day…and I’ve been trying to keep my composure as the world grows more ludicrous!

Last year I really struggled with sticking to my goals and taking care to see things through, but before this year started I made a promise to myself that I’d get it together and keep it together. I’m pretty good at keeping promises (mainly because I’m smart enough not to make them) so if nothing else, I can at least see to it that I keep the promises I make to myself. I owe Me that much.

I’m sure if you’re reading this, I’m not too far off the mark by saying you may have made some sort of growth-related resolution for the New Year. I also don’t think I’d be remiss in saying that although it’s only a month and some change into the year, even the little we may or may not have kept up consistently hasn’t been easy. But at least you’re not alone.

After contemplating a little the other day about some of my personal goals (which include but are not limited to getting my GPA back up and drinking more water), I began to wonder when I started to get so soft on myself. I used to expect a lot more from Me. And as soon as I was about to beat myself up for not being where I want to be, I heard my inner voice clear as day, saying “You’re not going to be where you want to be overnight Simone. Every small victory is another step to completion. You don’t start out at the end.”

Now if you’re like me and have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that life isn’t an episode of one of your favorite Netflix Originals, with all the little elements of nicely-written predictability you like…..you’ve also dabbled in the fears of not knowing the outcome of your future which scares you half to death most of the time and keeps you up at night for the rest of it…You’re constantly having to tell yourself to stop freaking out and “get a grip.”

Here’s my suggestion:

Remember that you’re only human and that if you let it, being only human can be a great experience. You WILL make mistakes, and that’s perfectly fine as long as you’re learning from and evolving past them. Make plans, see how they work out, change your course of action, and try again. We’re young and life is about evaluation and elevation. Keep in mind that no matter how far we get in life, we’ll never know it all…..but we can enjoy figuring it out…So keep pushing!

Buh-bye Haters

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Sometimes I wonder if life for women in the U.S. has always been this way. You know…women being cutthroat with one another.

I can’t speak on behalf of the women in other countries, as I’ve only ever been a resident of this one, but it seems like we American women spend way too much time acting as crabs in a barrel, rather than lifting each other up to new heights. And it’s a shame.

I’ve had to look up different quotes for women’s empowerment and inspiration to post on social media for an internship with RegalRealness.com and this one stuck out to me more than the 60 or more that I passed to see it. Why? Because it’s the truth. A woman who owns and wields her power is a force to be reckoned with, but even more so, a entourage of women doing just that.

So why is it that we have such a hard time, as women, figuring out how to cooperate and work with one another for the greater good? I’m a firm believer that if women were to come together by some Miracle of God and start being good to one another, that our homes, our communities, our children, and our families would be so much more invigorated and pleasant.

My suggestion for us? To do more complimenting than downgrading. Promote more camaraderie than man-stealing. Do more helping each other instead of hanging each other out to dry. Men will never respect us if we don’t get it together, and worse…we’ll never respect each other.

What is that?

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One of my followers posted this the other day, and in an effort to become more active with my social media community, I decided to respond.

I’ve personally given up on labeling the whole awkward, pre-dating/ getting to know each other phase because at the end of the day, anything without real commitment is only minutely more than irrelevant…for the simple fact that we give the situation the time of day.

I understand that those first few evaluative efforts are about trying to appear as the crème de la crème to the opposite sex in addition to seeing if things are worth pursuing, and that’s okay….But both young men and woman should keep in mind that it’s all fluff.  At this point in my life and after my experiences, I honestly feel that until I can see that someone is working to be my permanent One-and-Only (yes, a Husband, not that I’m looking for that any time soon), I don’t have it in me to take anyone too seriously.

Dating is great if you like that sort of thing. Going out to enjoy new restaurants and movies is fun! But here’s my mentality: I don’t have to stop my life for anyone and I’m not obligated to push aside my plans for or lose sleep over anyone, either. I’m living my young life happily, fully understanding that people come and go.

So my recommendation? That anyone who hasn’t done so yet, places a some sort of personal ban against the phrase and phase “Talking” and instead tries to become more objective as others may try to get to know and court them. Doing just this has allowed me to attain a sort of self-control and self-respect that I’d like to believe cannot be swayed or broken. It repels those who may not be up to my particular standards and it discards the rose-colored glasses so I can evaluate the amount of time that I should spend on any given situation, with a leveled head.

Time is an invaluable asset that cannot be replaced, so don’t waste it on situations that aren’t relevant, and certainly not “Talking.”

Handle your Business

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So, for my first “Food for Thought” piece, I decided that I would let this picture be my guide. A friend of mine sent this picture to me in a text saying that it reminded her of me….and if you only knew the self-inflicted struggles that I undertook by being in my last relationship, you’d definitely understand. Although that’s a story for a different day, here’s what I would like you guys to take from this, especially because I know first hand that this is not always our area of expertise:

You have to let that SH*T GO! In many cases, love is blinding. Actually….relationships period are blinding. Why? Because we let ourselves get caught up with people who don’t truly care about us one way or the other. You have to know when enough is enough and when it’s time for you to start looking out for your own interests. As women we love hard and we’re emotional, and that’s Okay, because if we didn’t, who would? But when you let your feelings for someone start to interfere with your future..your Education…your Money? That’s a problem. At that point, the power over yourself and your actions, that should undoubtedly belong to you, is now in the hands of someone else.

Suggested solution? Open your eyes and start being more Objective, or these people will run you into the ground, leaving you unfocused and broke, just like the picture says.

#Tbt Webisode from WakeUp to This

So since it’s Throw Back Thursday, I figured that I’d revisit my very first post for my mini-series last summer called Wake Up to This! I can’t wait to share the new topics with everyone!

I’d love for you all to comment topics that you’d love to see featured on Simone Says!