Reality Is - What's Your Reality?
I am sure you have heard it said time and time again “you can’t love someone else if your don’t love yourself” or “no one will ever love you as much as you love yourself”. Oh, that is unless you factor in a mothers love (we will save that one for another day). It has been said to me and by me more times than I can count. To be honest I am not sure if the saying is true – for everyone that is. For me I have to say I can think of times when I was sure it was love, like when I wanted to run away but the love for my children made me stay. I am pretty sure I was very low on the to "be-loved list" in that case. Never the less, I do remember loving myself at some point – just not has much has I loved everyone else in my life.

I remember when I first realized how much I loved my husband – a feeling like nothing else. Yet I will admit that even then the feelings for myself was not what could be called mutual. And the answer to your question is – No, I did not think I deserved to be loved (only selfish people think they deserve things – another one for a different post). In my reality love was something you give, to get and it came from someone else, and it was based on how much you gave. You shouldn’t have to ask for it – if you gave enough you would get it in return. That was just how it worked. Don’t ask me what enough is - I never learned the answer to that.

I’m not sure where I picked up that belief, but it was a strong one and it shaped all of my relationships and interactions with everyone I met. If you are a responsible person with a family – working long hours and then coming home to finish you work day, before falling to sleep on you sofa – beat – you don’t have room in your life for much. Most people struggle day-to-day to prove to others that they love them. Running when told – jumping when told and not forgetting to ask how high. To prove – without asking – that they deserve love in return. Trying their best to prove this to their parents, their children, their spouses and friends. To their extended family and even their hardly there family. It is enough to wipe you out.

For some people keeping that up is just too much, something has got to give. The easiest way to free up space is to start from the bottom. You do remember where I told you I was on that list. How can a person who does not love themselves feel love? How can they know love? I believe it starts from  a memory. Yes, at some point I stopped loving myself but, I never said that I never ever, loved myself at all. And it’s a good thing that the memory survived. Because at some point I got tired of having a “prove your love” to do list two miles long that I wasn’t on. New habits formed, beliefs changed and slowly I made it back on to that list.

Slowly I worked my way up that list and the strangest thing happened – when I reached the top – the love I had been looking for was right there in the spot next to my husband, my children and no longer distant family members. Whenever I thought about doing something nice for someone else – not to prove my love to them but simply to say I love you, that nice thing was something we could do together. I also found that those I love, loved doing the things I loved doing, simply because I loved it. There was room in my life for me to love everyone including me.

In my reality loving myself made loving everyone else easier. I was no longer angry and depressed. I no longer felt obligated to please everyone in order to get love in return. I was a happier person and those I loved got the best of me everyday and I began to get the best of them. Yes, some of those people on that list got left behind, with the anger and depression. They should never have been on this list to begin with. They were actually only put on the list as a way to justify the anger and depression. I could count on them to keep me down when I was down. It was only right that they went when the anger and other bad habits went.

I added a few new habits, bright ones that attracted that love I was taught never to ask for and better than that I made it clear to everyone that I deserved to be loved and if it wasn’t clear in my actions well, I just asked for it.

I am Cynthia Williams and My Reality there is no relationship stronger than the love affair I am having with myself.

I like to think of myself as the type of person who could run on fumes if need be. I can remember running on empty during an event I was in charge of. The place was pack and everyone needed something from me. That was a 16 hour day. I am very proud to say no one ever knew I was one minutes away from falling down or passing out. Even then I was dealing with some kind of pain.

Today, well it is going on 8pm and I am in bed - I left my day job early and barely made it in the door. I am battling this nerve thing (I say nerve thing because we don't really know what it is yet). It causes pain and numbness that comes and go. It comes more than it goes. I can be up one moment and stretched out on the floor the next. The pain is constant and I am taking more drugs than I wish to, they come with their own set of problem. Not to mention that I am always exhausted for most of the day. It may sound like I am complaining but I'm not. This is my reality - for now - and there is not a day that goes by when I am not thinking about those days when I was taking on more than one project - hell,  four or five at my best.

But today was not one of those days and I am not so sure how I feel about that. There was a time when it would have been very hard for me to accept that  my health or anything else could get in the way of my plans. I mean we are never taught about the road blocks that take longer clear and de-rail us, sometimes for a undetermined about of time. Thankfully I learned that fighting my present reality increases the recovery time needed. What I mean is when my body is giving out, if I wait for it to totally collapse it will take me much longer to bounce back.  You maybe able to force something square into a round hole - if you push it hard enough and long enough but, the end result  will be something very battered and bruised.

So this is the only work I will be doing tonight. Today was not a good day to go flying  close to the sun - I would get burned for sure. I am going to watch a DVD with my youngest daughter until I fall asleep. This is one of those times when knowing my reality has helped me to make a better choice. Today I choose to take it easy and tomorrow I'll try putting on those wing again.

I am Cynthia Williams and My Reality needs to rest.

Well what’s wrong with your hose? No hose, what about a bucket? Don’t have access to water? So what if you don’t. Maybe your lawn is starting to brown and there may be more bald patches than you can count but you do have a lawn and that means you are blessed.

Let just say that the person you are so envious of IS living a full and happy life – maybe they ARE completely happy in every area – what can you do about it? Well, spending time and energy comparing your life to theirs is the last thing you should be doing. You should be focused on your own grass.

One place you can start is by taking a good long look at where you are in your life.  Starting here can be uplifting believe it or not. I don’t mean get out a ruler and start measuring your failures or weighting the things that have been disappointing you. If you can only think of one good reason to be you – hell one great reason to be you then you are off to a great start. If you can find one, you can find another - it may take some digging but you may find more reasons to celebrate your life than you expected. If you find that you are not where you want to be – don’t waste time being jealous of the neighbor, friend or co-worker who may be completely happy (or not). Instead take that energy and invest it.

Here’s how to keep your own grass green and healthy:

1. Do your homework – Do you know your grass?  What type of grass is it? (Take time out to get to know who you are and what will make you happy). Not all grass is the same. (Not everything is for everyone).

2. Invest in the right tools – A well keep lawn requires the proper tools. (Should you be taking that class you have always wanted to take? Maybe it is time to join that gym you have said you would be joining?)

3. Lawns need plenty water and lots of nourishment as well. (Find a friend or support group something that will help you stay focused and positive). Be careful what you use on your lawn – chemicals can be harmful. (Get rid of the people and stay way from the places and things that are toxic or doing harm that could interfere with positive forward movement).

It is hard to find time to be jealous of someone else when your busy with your own life. This year make it your business to put yourself first, meaning – do the work needed to grow your own patch of thick green grass. It may take some time -  a few days or maybe weeks but, once you get on a roll you will find that going after what makes you happy will become easier.  The only thing you will feel when looking at your neighbors grass will be joy. You will able to take in its beauty and appreciate it.

I am Cynthia Williams and my Reality will be growing sweet bell pepper this year

Sometimes what we are seeing in others may very well be behavior we would like change about ourselves. To be able to realize that  habits that others have which we find annoying could be habits we are guilty of as well is a great way to connect and improve current relationships.

Lets say that you find yourself constantly arguing with your spouse about the way he keeps the basement. You find yourself annoyed by the stacks of boxes that have been growing over the years. All of the extra cars parts and tools he seems to have no plans for – and you won’t even start on the pile of dirty gym stuff next to the weights collecting dust.

You may find yourself frustrated by his unwillingness to tidy up behind himself but if you were to hold up a mirror and take a good look at yourself would you reflect the image you feel he should be portraying. Are you setting the example you feel he is not. Are you the pot calling the kettle black.

We all have habits that we are sometimes unaware of. There are somethings we do that are as natural as breathing. We don’t intend to annoy others and most of the time we have no clue we are doing so. Sometimes it is only brought to our attention after a big fight or argument. This is when you are most likely to hear the words “YOU ARE ONE TO TALK”.

Another place to double check your motives is when giving advice. If  a friends comes to you with relationship problems do you:
  • Listen closely giving them a chance to express all of their fears and concerns and afterwords ask if there is anything you could do to help.
  • Listen as long as you can – all the while shaking your head because you have told them time and time again that it was going to happen or
  • Do you get right down to business ignoring what they are saying because you have been there done that and heard it all before.
If you said anything but A you may want to re-evaluate why you want to help this friend. While it is true that one can learn from the mistakes that others may make, believing that because you have been through the same situation that gives you the right to judge another does not make you the greatest of friend. Your advice would not be too helpful if it is based solely on you going through a similar circumstance. Often our advice to others is filled with our own should’da, would’da, could’das, and is a reflections of our own realities – a case of the pot not knowing it’s own coloring.

The best example of this can be found in parenting. As parents we want the best for our children – as adults we often use our age to excuse the bad habits we continue to exhibit all while trying to keep our children from making the same mistakes. We believe we are older, there for wiser and and know better. That is why they should listen to us and because we are older it is to late for us so we are exempt. They should not smoke or drink, but we do – they should be careful with our money – but we’re not – they should save themselves for marriage but we didn’t or we’re not married at all.

These may very well be wise roads to follow and wanting our children to be their best, do their best and have the best is natural – but when we find ourselves angry or fighting with our children over their life (especially grown children) is the anger really about what they are doing or what we have done wrong. Maybe what we are still doing even to this day. Are you trying to to live in their reality or are you trying to make them live the reality we wished we had lived.

Remembering that Reality is Relative – That we create our Reality based on what we believe to be real, our past and present experiences – How much of this is about you and not them. Just something tho thinks about my dear Pot from you friend the Kettle.

I am Cynthia Williams and my Reality has many shades of Gray.

How  many times have you heard someone say either of the following: “Sure, in your world.” or “Yeah, on your planet.” Most people get offended whenever they hear those words but, in some cases it’s true,  we do live in our own world or on our own planet. This is not always a bad thing. Coming to grips with what you view as real could be the  key to achieving happiness and satisfaction in your life.

I once saw an interview of Warren Buffet – he was asked something to the effect of – how did he come so successful? He gave credit to a number of things but the one thing that stood out to me was – he never listened to what others told him coud or could not be done.  He never let others doubts get in the way of his goals. He took chances others never dreamed of and was told he was making mistake after mistake but, he believed in himself and what he knew to be true. Needless to say he knew a thing or two that others didn’t and because of his belief in himself he is now one or the riches men in the world.

I am sure he was looked upon as being more than a  little crazy while taking what others believed to be huge risk but, what others saw as a crazy risk he saw as a oppurtunity for success.

Also being interviewed at the same time was the rapper Jay-Z (given name Sean Carter). His rise to the top had a much different beginning.  Jay-Z was a drug dealer, turned rapper, turned music mogul. He maybe one of the richest rappers in the history of the business. How did a kid from Marcy projects grow up to become part owner of the New Jersey Nets and many owner companys bearing his name? Well, failure was never a part of his reality. He credits having to struggle to make it day-to-day doing what he had to do so that he would never have to do it again. He took the struggles that were a real part his life and use them as motivation to become the man he is today. But for him becoming a successful rapper was not enough he wanted to be a force to be reckoned with and became a pioneer of sorts the first to do the very things people said could not be done.

For both of these men, what could not be done was a part of the reality they dreamed they would do. They ignored the doubts others had and used the struggles of their everyday lives as fuel – as ammo and kept moving forward never looking back.

When I say to people – What’s your reality? – they normally respond with what do you mean? Sometimes I have to do a little  explaining and give a demonstration of  how it can affect ones life  – putting a straggle hold on your hopes and dreams  – I usually get their attention and the idea does provoke questions. It is often eye opening, even life changing. The reaction to learning that your beliefs have been the main road block in your life can bring on a bout of depression. I can often see the darkness move in  before our conversation is half way through but, when I explain the upside to understanding your reality and how any and every mistake or wrong turn can be used to jump start them into a reality that is in line with the life they say they what to live, the sun starts to peek through and light smile begins to show.

The best part of introducing one to their reality is hearing them say “SO I’M NOT CRAZY FOR WANTING SOMETHING MORE, SOMETHING DIFFERENT?”  It is like a load has been lifted and they can finally breathe. They begin to question everything and everyone. They begin to see things a little clearer and can relate to those they have never been able to understand.  For some of them - for the first time in a very long time - they begin to plot out the future they were told is not real or just a dream. They begin to trust themselves and take risk they were too afraid to take before being able to tie their beliefs to their actions or lack there of. Those who express disbelieve or doubt become the fuel needed to excel and succeed. Life becomes more than worth living it also becomes worth celebrating.

Both Mr. Buffet and Mr. Carter learned this well before I and are living proof that if it is a part of your reality than you can live it.

I am Cynthia Williams and
My Reality is keeps challenging me.