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.

 These word said in the right context can be the most loving words you will ever say. You can not MAKE me happy. Happiness is not something anyone can give. Happiness is a choice. Yup a choice. The truth is anyone can try as hard as they can but never come close to giving or bringing the happiness you are looking for. It is a state, a state of mind, a state of being.

So, is it fair to expect your partner to be your only source of happiness in your relationship. The truth is they can only take part in the happiness you allow yourself to receive. If you are with a person because they make you happy – if they are the only source of happiness you're able to tap into, you have set yourself up for disappointment. Even if you believe you are destined to be with this person for the rest of your life, the slightest change can disrupt your happiness. If you are not the type of person who can be happy just being you and you rely on others the bring you joy, life is probably not has full as it can be for you.

Happy couples are happy people when they are with their partner and when they are alone. They are content and it is not based on the relationship they are in. Their relationship is only a part of their happiness. These are also the same people who are able to move on when a relationship ends. They recognize that what they had was only one page or chapter in the story that is their life. The grieving period is much shorter for them. They share their happiness and are happy to be a part of the happiness their partner has to share.

So ask yourself are you working on making yourself happy, just has happy as you would like your partner to be? Would you be able to enjoy spending the day alone? Must you do everything thing together? If you are unable to spend the day or do something with your partner, would that ruin your the whole day for you?

The answer to these question will help determine just how happy you an be.
If the Grinch and Scrooge are the bad guys at Christmas time, then who would be the villain of Valentines Day. If ever there is an opening for that position I would jump at the chance. I would volunteer – to be the girl who stole Valentines Day.

I all ready know what your thinking “someone didn’t get any cards when she was young”. No that’s not case at all. I just hate how people get all worked up spending a crazy amount of money on cheap and cheesy gifts, crowd into overpriced restaurants and spend all night listening to bad music all in the name of love. The list of reasons why I hate this holiday is way to long and I am well aware of how sad that is but I am not embarrassed to say…
Bah Hum Bug.

You may be one of the lucky ones. You may get something perfect and shiny and bright. Your meal may turn out to be first rate or better still someone may pop the question this year (how original). So what, Valentines Day -what we celebrate today is still a crappy holiday and here is why.

Valentines Day should be everyday POINT BLANK! I love candy (I would eat a chocolate covered brick if you gave it to me – holiday or not) and roses are my favorite flowers – not red, yellow and peach please – they light up the room. If you ever walk pass a vase full of roses they will brighten you day for sure.  I am not a jewelry person but, I do own a few very nice shiny things in my box (gifts from my husband).

And again SO WHAT. If my husband picked one day a year to shower me with gifts, make passionate love to me and take me out to dinner – I would be very, very, VERY cranky. Valentines Day does not give you a get out of romance free card that you can use for the rest of the year.

One day a year, are you kidding me? And then you want to know what’s wrong with your relationship ( I am rolling my eyes so hard my head hurts now). No, No, NO! Hundred dollar chocolate, champagne and roses may work once in a while but real love is more than these things and more than once in a while. Real lovers know this and for them Valentines Day is just one of many days to show just how much you love your mate.

Chocolate melts, champagne goes flat and the flowers are dying before you even get them in the vase. What you should have everyday of your life is a love that is as sweet and rich as the best chocolates, that pops and sparkles like the best France has to offer and is as sensual and smooth as rose petals - a love that lights up all of your senses.

I am Cynthia Williams and
my reality – hates Valentines Day

I come from family where marriage is optional. My mother and father did not marry but my mother did marry another man when I was about 14. They split as well – it was not what anyone would have called the perfect marriage. What I remember of my mom and dad’s time together was nothing like fairy tale either. What I learned from my mother was how to insult and belittle, bruise then crushed and how to curse a guy out so bad I could bring him to tears. She was my hero. See she didn’t take no stuff and that was how I was going to be with my guys (note the plural use of the word). I did not trust men and expected them all to try something funny. It didn’t help that I was way to young to be in a serious relationship with any body and the lack of supervision and sound advice kept me from making wise decisions. And then I met my husband and something happened. He was nothing like most guys I knew – nothing like the men I knew either - he was different and I was not ready for who he was. 

We settled down – very young with an unplanned family - we married and did our best to play house as grown ups. Most, I would say 95% of the time we were the love birds you hear about, but perfect it was not.

We yelled -  well, I yelled and screamed often, had great make up sex and then we would repeat – never knowing what the argument was really about. They were so few and far between we often forgot there ever was an argument. Till one day he left. Yup, just like that. I had no idea what happened. We were telling each other “I say this all the time” but, neither one of us could remember pass talks, conversations or shouting matches. All we knew was we’d had enough. We just wasn’t sure what we’d had enough of. Our arugements were not making any sense and we were just tired.

It was a long fall and before we knew it, we where spending Christmas a part. Me in South Carolina and him at his mothers. We had stopped fighting and there was no shouting, just a puzzled look and a lot of trouble explaining what went wrong. Oh we could remember all the mean stuff the other had said but, never why it was said or what it all meant was beyond us. The only thing that was clear to me was how much I missed him - I had no idea but he felt the same way. And then one day my mother say to me “what do you want?” I told her I wanted my husband back – she said “go get him”. I started to write a letter trying to apologize but I couldn’t, I didn’t know what to apologize for. I realized I wasn’t listening – I never listened. I yelled and he would clam up. So I had not clue what I had done so wrong. There was no other woman - no other man. Our bills were paid on time and we had great sex.  If it wasn’t money, sex or another person then why were we fighting? My husband had no clue as well, it was beyond us. Oh there were small things we thought it could be but honestly they were just small things that could have been worked out, if we wanted them to.

I was speechless for the first time ever. So I decided to introduce myself to him and tell him what he would get if he took a chance on me and he did the same. A few week before our anniversary we were trying to work it out - we were talking but most importantly we were listening and learning and reliving the love we shared. Not much had changed we were still the same people only now we were listening to each other and learning even more. About our hopes and our dreams and our fears.

The years have passed, this December we will have been together for 20 years and with each passing year I’ve learned to say what I mean as lovingly as I can, to be clear and not forceful – that is unless it is really needed.  We truly live in two very different realities sometimes, but we often go on joy rides through them together. No body knows me better and vise verse. I listen very closely to what he says and for what he’s not saying. Then I respond at the right time with the right words – I have had a lot of practice.

We are by no means like the Cleavers there are days when I just shake my head and he does the same but we have learned the secret to a happy marriage is knowing not to say anything – sometimes all there is to do is just listen.

I am Cynthia Williams and My Reality Listens to him.