Sowing the seed…..oh, you didn’t plant any?

There comes a saying, passed down through the ages….”you can only reap what you sow.” In money, friendships, love and retirement (not the same as “money”) there will only be a return if we have invested something in said venture.

Now, is it prudent that we, as consumers, throw it all to the wind and wish that there will be enough some day for us to have a savings, a friend, a lover or a retirement if we do nothing to nurture that pasture now?

No. In fact, if you are throwing your future to the wind, you are certainly dumping roundup on your said “pasture.”

The love we feel for ourself today will absolutely determine what’s ahead of us in that department. If we only love ourselves as part of a couple, we are shorting ourself the greatest love of all. We have to be certain of our own worth as an individual before being anyone’s partner. If you’re “partnering” with someone who breaks you down or makes you question yourself, silently show yourself to the door and get away from the toxic behavior. Trust your gut enough to know that the issue is with them, not you. You are way too good for that.

Love that temple you call your own. Invest in your happiness and the rest will follow.

Love yourself, Period!

Stace

I love the Thought Catalog. Samuel Leighton-Dore’s “8 Steps You Need To Take In Order To Love Yourself First”–

AUGUST 11, 2014

8 Steps You Need To Take In Order To Love Yourself First
By Samuel Leighton-Dore

1. Stop caring about how you look.

Yes, we live in a society obsessed with beauty. There’s no two ways about it. We’re raised to admire beautiful people: successful actors and models with dimpled grins, defined waists, and toned arses. As a result, we inherently associate our perceptions of attractiveness with success and happiness.
If we’re to truly love ourselves, we mustn’t allow the way we look to define our personal value. It can’t be our sole “calling card” for love, sex, or relationships. It can’t be what dictates our worthiness of joy or family or a promotion at work. Think about it: the people who know and love us the most really couldn’t care less about our weight, skin tone, or hairstyle.
So why then do we continue suffering at the manicured hand of some self-imposed criteria for beauty?
If we really want love — the kind that lasts — we must first hold our pride in what we do, not how we look. We must hold it in our ability to write beautiful words, or paint striking paintings, or explore creatively that for which we’re passionate. These are qualities a future date will remember. It won’t be the dress or the shoes or the shade of your lipstick. Trust me. It will be the passion in your voice.

2. Let go.

If we’re to redefine the love in our lives, we must first attempt to reconcile previous experiences of heartache. We tend to carry around the tiny fragments of failed relationships, folded up neatly in our breast pockets. We let them weigh us down; allow their judgement to dictate our confidence, their disappointment to taint our optimism.
Here’s the deal: we’ve all been hurt. We’ve all been let down. We’ve all had that someone who didn’t message back, or stood us up on a date, or treated our hearts like monkey-meat. We’ve all been left feeling exposed and vulnerable and weak, our trust abused and our egos bruised. We can’t resent these feelings, for that would be handing them more power than they deserve. That would be handing them our futures.
We need to forgive. We need to move on. We need to let go.

3. Win yourself over.

You’re an absolute 100% drop-dead catch, so don’t you dare treat yourself otherwise. You might need to occasionally remind yourself, surprise yourself, woo yourself. Bowl yourself over with your thoughtful ways.
I’m talking about buying your favorite tub of ice cream and hiding it in the back of the freezer, only to be rediscovered on a rainy day, when you know that you’ll need it most. Or grabbing yourself that bunch of flowers from the farmer’s market, and realizing that even though they’re temporary, you deserve their color and beauty in your day.
Why not take a weekend class? Learn how to do yoga, or speak french, or play the acoustic guitar. Then write an acoustic song in French, and sing it to yourself in the downward dog.
You can’t rely on future lovers treating you to the specialties of life. Lovers are great, but they’re fundamentally uncertain in a way that your joy shouldn’t be. They’re not to be counted on for something as crucial as personal happiness. They can’t be the source. It has to come from you first.
So do whatever makes you feel good, even — and especially — when you don’t.

4. Don’t compare yourself.

Life’s not a race. Love’s not a race. Stop competing.
Yes, what’s-her-name might be in a longterm relationship and kicking major goals at work, while you’re still single as hell and stuck in a minimum wage job. Who cares? Life has a funny way of evening out in the end, it just takes everyone a different amount of time. Chill.
Remember, she’s is probably looking at your life and wishing she had the same level of independence and freedom. The grass is always greener. It’s important to enjoy your own pasture, safe in the knowledge that it’ll grow and thrive at its own pace.

5. Build strong friendships.

Being in a relationship really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s not going to define who you are, where you go, or what you achieve. You know what will? The people you choose to surround yourself with in day-to-day life. The love and support of beautiful like-minded friends can’t be undervalued. Carrie would’ve been nothing without the company of Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte. Let’s be honest, the audience was never invested in Mr. Big. He was just a cameo.
Men didn’t carry the show — the friendships did.
So build yourself an intelligent, bashful, sharp-witted support cast — and feel content knowing that the show will go on regardless.

6. Get healthy.

This isn’t about the way you look; it’s about the way you feel. Try swapping the rush of wine for the rush of endorphins. Rediscover the beauty of hangover-free Sunday mornings. Sit in the sun, read the newspaper, form educated opinions on politics, drink a green smoothie, take a spin class, stock up on chia seeds and kale and goji berries and free-range eggs.
Let yourself be that annoying, overtly ‘together’ person — the one with the inner glow. Why? Because you deserve it. Really.

7. Travel alone.

There’s nothing quite as empowering as getting completely lost in a foreign country by yourself. You should work hard in a shitty job for six months, not go out on weekends, save what little money you can, and buy yourself a plane ticket to somewhere you’ve never been. Wake up and know that you have nowhere to be, no deadlines to meet, and nobody to see. Turn your phone off. See the local attractions. Walk everywhere. Ask strangers for directions. Try a cocktail you can’t pronounce. Smile for no reason.
Let yourself become totally disconnected from the world as you know it — and realize that time moves on regardless, that you’re okay by yourself.

8. Know what you deserve.

It’s corny, but true:

"We only accept the love we think we deserve.”

You deserve someone who loves you the next morning, when your hair’s in knots and your mascara’s smudged. You deserve someone who remembers the way you take your coffee, and buys it for you when you’re caught in the sweaty grips of a hangover. You deserve someone who takes the time to learn all your insecurities, and why exactly you have them. You deserve someone who doesn’t judge you for them, someone who loves you regardless — someone who offers up assurance, not through their words, but through their actions. You deserve someone who thinks your arse is the perfect shape, and loves the slight dimple in your thigh, and strokes that stubborn roll of winter-laziness fat — because you have flaws, and so do they.
You deserve someone who makes you feel beautiful, someone who makes you feel special. You deserve to be someone’s first priority.
And in good time, chances are that you’ll find that person.

But for now, that person has to be you.

Because you need to love yourself most today,
Stace

featured image – Emily Lucha

Your Gut is your Guide Baby–You Aren’t Crazy

How many times have you watched the news or an episode of Law & Order SVU and one of the victims will make the statement "I just had this feeling……"
How many times has it happened to you? That little voice or pang in your core that says something is "off" or "Danger Will Robinson!!!" In any situation, it doesn't have to be crime related (just saw that on a rerun), we question that voice. Sometimes we ignore that voice. Other times, someone else makes us think that listening to that feeling, pang or voice means that we are "insecure" or, God Forbid, crazy. Usually, the latter person's credibility or intentions are in question when those kind words are dropped on you.

But, think back on your life, when did you know something before it was actually known? How many times have you thought to yourself "Damnit I KNEW that was going to happen…." I'm certain you can say more than a few for every century you've been here. It's called "intuition."
"—A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning."

Yep. It's a thing. Paying attention to our feelings and how situations and people make us feel does not make us crazy, it makes us strong. It's warding off danger instead of walking into the eye of the storm. It's taking another path because the hair on your neck stood up when you passed someone sitting in their car in a parking lot. It's walking away when we feel threatened.

It's feeling a not-so-great feeling and choosing to talk about it and fix it. Fixing things means that they aren't broken or damaged any more. Fixing things means that there won't be any more discomfort. Being quiet and leaving something to fester is not a fix. If you have an issue within yourself, you talk to a doctor or specialist. If you have an issue with someone else you talk with them about it. It's called "adulting." I'm not going to swallow my pain because you're uncomfortable. I'm
Uncomfortable when I'm
In pain. If communication is good, all can be turned around Or is a result of a misunderstanding. Whew, that was nice!

But, if it doesn't get fixed, and you still have those pangs inside, choose another path. No matter what someone tries to
Tell you, listen to your gut, every time.
You've never been crazy and you ain't startin today.

You can do this because you love yourself more today-
Stace

Really, it’s not about You

It is amazing, truly, how much we can internalize our surroundings. What is it that makes us take actions, words or lack thereof so personally? Or, what is it that we are lacking? Why do we search for comfort outside of ourself?

There are physical items and symbols that bring comfort. A baby learns to settle down when she feels even the tiny silky tag on her wubby. (Substitute any lovey term that your most recent experience with a young child used….) You’ve seen the look in a young couples’ eyes when they realize that they left their child’s wubby behind at their last stop. Yes. Sheer Terror.

We are creatures of habit but more so of comfort. We find peace in the easy and the effortless and euphoria in the safety of familiar. Stepping out of that familiar box and working toward something else is terrifying. Letting those “passies” or “wubbies”
Go to the appropriate fairy is more terrifying to the parent than the child giving them up. Why?

Because it’s the beginning of the next chapter. It’s the step into the unknown. It’s moving towards some place where we must learn to satisfy a part of our safety that was taken care of by an object,a person or a position. We learn to incorporate things into positions that satisfy us when relationships don’t provide what we need. Instead of working on them and maybe dissolving them, we bring more things into the equation to pacify and satiate us. Distract us. Or maybe it’s not tangibles, maybe it’s work, social media or projects around the house that keep us from working on what we really need.

If we don’t do the work, Time goes on. The wubbies and the loveys take the place of the touches and the feelings. We put ourselves on the back burner and want everyone else to be happy. Except they aren’t. Because if we aren’t satisfied with ourselves we are teaching our kids to look for things to pacify them and make them happy. There is no greater statement than “If Momma (or Daddy) isn’t happy, no one is happy”. So true. Shit flows downhill.
No one and no thing can MAKE us happy. They can definitely try to steal your happy, but they can’t give it back.

You have to believe in yourself. You have to get back to those things that make you truly smile. You know what you bring to the table and you know who you want at that table with you. If they don’t want to be there or are compromising their seat, let them go find another table.

Allow basic joy back into the plan. Stop comparing your things to their things and get back to the business of sheer happiness. Shuck the shit and live more simply. Have you ever remembered seeing a happier girl than Laura Ingalls Wilder running down that hill on Little House on the Prairie? How is she breathing without an iPhone or internet? Happy as hell to be running in that field with her siblings, though.

Be grateful for three things every morning, making sure one is that you even woke up.

I’m a little grateful I saved my kids’ wubbies for their kids to use someday……

Love yourself a little more tonight.
Stace

Doing the hard work first…..learning to love yourself before setting up your online profile.

We have heard it a zillion times from half as many sources…..one must love thy self before ever being able to love another.

Seems so simple…"I like my hair today…my bank account is pretty good…..I don't have many creditors calling me…."surface surface surface.

Do we look at this task of "self love" as a checklist of what a potential partner might be looking for or are we actually taking a hard look at loving the person inside? The whole person, beautiful flaws and all? Loving ourself for the reason of loving ourself, not as a step to finding love with someone else. Investing in ourselves first.

The dating apps today make us all so dispensable. Knowing that you're not only being judged by your "cover", "profile"and the texted responses before you ever meet a person is not for those faint of heart. Texting has replaced the old "first date." Void of emotion, the words on the screen represent everything about you. Blah blah blah. When you've lost interest? You can just delete the other person and move on. No need to say a word. Gone.

I have a few good guy friends who share dating woes with me. I've seen my "competition" and have seen pictures that are enticing and salacious on these apps. I may or may not have posted them as well, but, it was advertising in the game. Does anyone post a picture of them first out of bed in the am? Hell no. Made up, boobs up, staged pictures, some of these are professionally taken. Posts of people with celebrities or better looking friends….why? What are we trying to connect with and why do we think the truth won't come out? I know that there are people out there who only want to text and talk. That's ok if that's all you want too.

Believe me, I'm writing about my own experiences. Many friends have shared their experiences as well. Jilted, led on, catfished (really wtf is the purpose of that?!)…it's happened to everyone and we've wasted time with people who aren't authentic. Have there been days that I felt like a million bucks because 10 guys were texting me through an app? Such an ego boost. Have I felt jilted because someone deleted me that I thought I had "chemistry" with? Devastated. It's the social version of crack–the highs are addictively high and the lows are gutterville low.

My point is that it's a dangerous game if you don't care about yourself. You can lose your identity in an instant inside of a virtual world. Is it necessary? It's certainly where everyone is at one point or another. All I'm saying here is make sure that you are strong and sure of what you hope to achieve before you venture out into the land of the Swipers.

The day I woke up and realized they were all just words on a screen and that the connection wasn't real, I deleted it all. I know what "real" feels like and that's what I want in my life.
The day I deleted my profiles I began an intimate relationship with the one person I can always depend on….
Me.

Love yourself most tonight,
Stace

Perception

"Perception." To refer to it, I wanted to make sure I had the definition correct in my head. So, of course, I googled it. There were many sub definitions of "Perception". I'm going to go with the "psychology, zoology" (?!) definition here: "The neurophysiological processes, including memory, by which an organism becomes aware of and interprets external stimuli."

Primal perception. How we, as a living, breathing, feeling person absorb something, anything, external and manifest it in our mind and/or soul.

You can look at the same exact picture every morning at 6:59 am for 5 days straight. It may make you feel elation and joy for 3 days in a row and then indifference on the 4th day. Repulsion by the 5th. Why? Why do we vacillate? Why are we "all over the map" when the landscape hasn't changed at all?

One reason we perceive the way we do is because of experience. Connections. They say that smell is our strongest sense that can directly associate stimuli to an emotion:

"Smells get routed through your olfactory bulb, which the smell-analyzing region in your brain. It's closely connected to your amygdala and hippocampus, brain regions that stimulate memory and emotion."

I completely agree with this and can tell you, without hesitation, that there is certain fabric softener that takes me back to a very happy place in my youth. ❤️

But I digress, in the here and now, are we really giving our external stimuli the clean slate it/they individually deserve? Or are we immediately evaluating it/them based on our experience with something/someone else?

Please don't confuse this with "learning from your mistakes" or "paying heed to red flags" because I thoroughly believe in both. I'm simply referring to being Open. Yes, I capitalize important words and this is an important one for me. Are we Open to the opportunities and people that come into our life? Open to paths we never considered before someone else showed the way? Or, are we so firm and staunch in our path that we aren't paying attention anymore?

Be mindful of your perceptions and being Open. It may bring you joy in unexpected places, like the fabric softener aisle.

Love yourself more tonight,
Stace

My Baby

I have been an author for as long as I can remember. A romantic to the core, I ultimately find my greatest pleasure in making everyone else's life easier and happy. Sometimes, this comes at my own expense. Giving and giving without any refilling can ultimately exhaust you, not to mention your emotional and financial resources.

My children are my greatest achievement and their happiness will always be my medal. Their successes are theirs, alone, and my only care is that they succeed in living their authentic self. Giving to them is my motherly duty and I love them wholly. Their father and I chose to bring them into this world.

Now……
My happiness is no longer on the back burner. I continue to fight the "guilt guidelines" I was raised by to reach my personal goals in life and love.
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Opening this site is like an uncorking of a shaken champagne. It will be full of stories, ideas, misses and gains. Some will be raw and some may be cold. There is a line of nature vs nurture here. There is a line of faith vs religion here as well. I have met so many souls along this journey, so many have inspired me and so many have taught me lessons.

If this speaks to your soul and you can relate, or you completely disagree, respond to me. I only request that all remain respectful.

Love your self more today,
Stace