13RW: I’ve Been Disappointed

Watching 13RW stirred up a lot of emotions inside of me. It brought back some memories of high school that I never wanted to relive. As I contemplated all that these characters went through it made me realize it’s so similar to stuff I have experienced as a full grown adult.

Crazy I know! But there are some very hurt, selfish, and immature people in the world who are  allowed to vote, buy liquor/cigarettes/firearms, and enlist in the armed forces (i.e. adults).

But like I said, it stirred up so many emotions. It was almost like watching my HS years float by me. It was like watching the last year of my life replay. So needless to say I was a little unsettled as I watched the series (in 3 days). It had me reflecting on many things.

I’d been feeling a multitude of emotions before watching the show. I’d NEVER do anything to harm myself. So there’s no need to put me on a suicide watch. But I sure was able to count 13+ reasons why I have had some deep feelings of frustration and disappointments some days. I, like Hannah, made a list of people that have hurt me in some awful ways. {LOL} I almost wrote a post about those people, summarizing those things.

Since I actually forgave them all, and I didn’t want to hurt another person I chose another avenue of thought to express myself and hopefully enlighten some people as to why I live and move a certain way through this world. Very few people know my whole story. (I always joke that all of my friends can never be alone together or they’ll be able to piece together my skeletons! LOL!) So, it can be hard for them to understand me. Some of that’s by design. Other portions of that come from other things: assumptions, and not taking time to get to know me.

So I thought about all of the major madness I’ve been through, and what was at the core of those hurts. And I came up with 13RW I’ve Been Disappointed:

  1. Lies- As an adult I have had people lie to me and about me on a regular. I’m not talking your run of the mill lies. I’m talking lies that I have vandalized an ex-bf’s house, an ex-bf’s car, stalked an ex-bf…Lies that have altered and could have altered my life. My favorite line is “You aint got to lie to kick it.” ~Silkk the Shocker I hate liars. Yes, HATE!
  2. Bullying- Seems like this wouldn’t happen to grown-ups. But I’ve had my phone and email account hacked, had my phone spoofed so the person could make it look like I was harassing them and an ex-bf, purposely excluded from professional activities, intimidated, etc. All in an effort to abase me and keep me from excelling in some fashion or another.
  3. Lack of Support- I don’t ask for help often. It’s not about pride. I just believe there are certain things that I should have to do (on my own). More times than not when I do I am ignored, forgotten, or not given the support I truly needed. So to avoid this altogether I simply don’t ask unless I am pushed up against the wall.
  4. Lack of Recognition- I work hard because that’s just what my family does. But let me tell you what…It would be nice every once and a while for the entities that I work for/with to recognize my efforts that benefit them beyond my required efforts. It doesn’t take much to do. A card, email, public thanks…choose 1.
  5. Assumption That I’m a Super Hero- I cannot..I repeat canNOT do all I need to alone. I am far from Wonder Woman, Super Woman, or Shera. I know that God will only give me what I can bear. But some loads are meant to be shared. So, when I don’t get support I have to figure it out on my own. When I do that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t at some type of cost to my mind, body, or spirit. It may look seamless and effortless. But trust me, it never is.
  6. Loss of “Friends”– Yeah…it’s hard losing people you thought that you were close to. I expect my friends to be loyal. I take the role seriously. But not everyone does. It’s too bad. There’s a lot more that we could accomplish if we did. Losing “friends” can be tougher than losing a mate. It’s why I keep enough to myself. I just don’t have the energy to go through those ups and downs +(see above).
  7. Other People’s Fears- My favorite personal quote is “I will not be limited by limitations you’ve placed on your life.” I don’t get scared by too much. But it sure irritates me when people try to limit me based on their fears. I have had people try to talk me out of my dreams because they would not ever do those things. Okay, that has nothing to do with me. So stop trying to stop me because you’re scared.
  8. Self-Centered People– I think this speaks for itself. Some people are so focused on them that they miss out on the blessings and opportunities around them. They often think by expending energy on other people/things will take away from their growth. But we all know that’s not true. It’s about balance. As much as I try to encourage balance some people would rather only care for self all alone.
  9. Abandonment– I’ve been set aside by various people for various reasons. There have been occasions when I thought I was not good enough to “keep”. But I love me some me, and I know that’s not true.
  10. Being Alone– Some days I hate it! It’s not like I can’t keep myself company. My mom taught me how to entertain myself as a child. After so many years of doing that; I’ve come to a place in my life that I’d rather not. I’d rather intentionally spend time with people.
  11. *Repeat Above*
  12. *Repeat Above*
  13. *Repeat Above*

So thanks 13RW! Your series made me think and come to a beautiful place of understanding about myself. It was a little painful to go through. But I am thankful because I feel fully cleansed from these issues. They have no space in my world. They’re just memories of why I’ve been disappointed in my life.

13RW: (Why) You Should Watch 13RW

Some weeks ago I saw a friend or 2 post about  Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why“. I asked about it and was told “Just watch it.” Then I began to hear more buzz about it. I’m not one to really follow trends. So, I did not start watching the series until I made significant room for it in my life (because I’m a binge watcher).

Before I decided to watch I did a little research, and was like “Whoooaa! What? Really? Okay.” I think I’ll watch. Maybe I’ll have my son watch with me. Then I saw a news segment that warned against it. So, I chose to watch it myself first, then decide what to do about my son.

So…if you aren’t hip. 13RW is a 13 episode series on Netflix that chronicles the 13 reasons why a teenage girl decides to commit suicide. After 2 episodes I wasn’t sure if I could watch all the way through. It was heart wrenching. The series is so well written and played that I fully empathized every character as they intended. But I continued to watch. As I thought I wanted to hurry it along a new issue came into play that had me thinking “How…Why…?” I really wanted to know how it could all go unnoticed? Why didn’t people speak up? Why were the adults so passive?

I don’t want to give up the entire plot. But it’s not just about teen suicide. here are so many issues addressed. If you are parent, want to be a parent, work with youth, or want to work with you in any capacity I’ve got 13 reasons why you should watch this series. I can honestly tell you as a victim of sexual assault, physical assault, and bullying that this is the best portrayal of what it’s like. It’s not fantasized or glorified. It’s real and earnest. You’ll quickly see they all did their homework to drive home a thorough message to the world.

So…Here are my 13RW you should watch 13 Reasons Why:

  1. Support a cause to address serious issues in our society that affect us all, not just our youth. -They had a goal. It’s not just art for art’s sake. They wanted to bring these issues to light so conversations and change can happen.
  2. See how harmful bullying is. -Bullying is not just kids being kids. They do not have a threshold for any of their behaviors because their brains are still developing. This too effects the impact on the victim emotionally.
  3. Get an idea of how young people formulate their thoughts and then make decisions. If you have raised a teen you know how illogical they can be. It only deepens when they are being influenced by their peers…who are not very logical all the time.
  4. Understand the emotions of a bullying victim.
  5. Recognize the value of regular adult/parental/guardian engagement. -It’s more than a quick chat or text during the day. They need us to hold them accountable on a steady basis. They need us guiding and redirecting them on a regular too, even if we feel like pests.
  6. Gain more awareness of sexual assault. -We do not talk about this enough out in the open with our young people. It happens more than we care to admit. And when it does we tend to brush it under a rug, and encourage the victim to just remain quiet.
  7. Gives you an awareness of the multi-faceted social issues teens face. -We say it with every generation and it’s true, “They’re going through things that we did not have to at their age.” So we need to be aware. And this show is brutally honest about these things.
  8. Prepares you to have open dialogue with the young people close to you about these issues.
  9. Learn more creative and thorough ways to be advocates for our young people. -It’s more than joining an organization or committee, attending a conference/workshop. There needs to be constant action and engagement.
  10. Recognize signs of mental health concerns.
  11. Witness the emotional strain on victims of sexual assault.
  12. Face the realities of the many issues our youth face every single day; either first hand or as bystanders.
  13. In the series you will find a character that you identify with, have met, or know.

Now go watch…

Being an Empath

Early this week I had a rocky day that lead to a rocky night. So I called a friend. I had some idea as to why I was out of sorts. But how in the world was I going to explain it. Would anyone understand? Believe me? Sympathize? Help?

As I started shedding she sweetly interrupted part of the way through my tears and snot, and said “It’s not easy being an empath.” I wasn’t 100% sure what she meant but I rolled with it. I mean I’m a smart lady. So I know what empathy means. So I can clearly figure what an empath is as well…

You see, I was struggling with the many emotions that came with my awareness of several situations of people close to me; none of which were positive. This information did not come by way of them telling me, but my intuition and sensing of energy in the atmosphere. I was hurting for them and self. My mind was swirling and my emotions were everywhere. I simply could not take it anymore.

I felt better after talking with my girl. But I still was unsettled. Shoot! I’ve been unsettled since then, taking each day and moment as they came. I have truly only been able to take in so much at a time. So I looked further into what an empath really is.

I quickly came across an article at “The Mind Unleashed”, and OH MY GOSH BECKY it’s even overwhelming to read let alone be one. The article said all that I needed to read to affirm that I am an empath. As I delved into the list of empath characteristics I felt like someone was reading an overview of my mind and spirit.

I knew most of this about me: knowing things without being told, sensing others’ emotions, taking on others’ physical ailments (I was stuck in the bathroom at work at the age of 15 with terrible abdominal pain when my best friend went into labor. I had no idea she was in labor either.), inability to watch violence, compassion for the “least of these”, becoming a dumping ground for others, don’t surprise easily, creative, loves nature at animals. hates clutter, and strives for truth (relentlessly in my case… I cannot help it.). But for some reason reading it affirmed me. It assured me that it’s not abnormal and I’m not unusual. It gave me a sense of relief and stability amidst the rapid flow of energy that fills my being.

I consider myself pretty aware of self. But this final statement helped me understand me even that much more:

(An empath) “Can appear moody, shy, aloof, disconnected: Depending on how an empath is feeling will depend on what face they show to the world. They can be prone to mood swings and if they’ve taken on too much negative will appear quiet and unsociable, even miserable. An empath detests having to pretend to be happy when they’re sad, this only adds to their load (makes working in the service industry, when it’s service with a smile, very challenging) and can make them feel like scuttling under a stone.”

Now this makes even more sense. There are many times my life is wonderful, but I still feel out of sorts. My empath nature is why.

Now what? I’m not really sure. But the full awareness of this aspect of myself has given me some grounding near the end of a very different week. I see where I need to adjust how I expend my energy and receive that of others. It’s the only way I can take care of self, so I can take care of/hold space for others. Because with the sensing and knowing I quickly move to holding and helping (prayers, energy, devotions, readings, etc.).

In order for me to be the best me as an empath I have to make sure I am well in mind, body, and spirit first. So I shall.

 

 

The Golden Ticket

I really love to write. I used to hate it in high school. My friend Jamie (from high school) was so great at it. She always helped me make sense of it all. When we went to college I declared I’d be “better than her” one day (iron sharpens iron…I really just wanted to be as good as her if possible.) Our insanely (brilliant) Senior Writing teacher Dr. Repko had given us rubrics throughout the year, and told us to keep them for college. Jamie and I were 2 of the “crazies” that kept them.

When I got to college I remember my first writing assignment. I was so scared and nervous. My first thought was “Call Jamie!” But I didn’t. I had my rubric. I remember thinking that my friends would laugh at me if they knew what I was doing. Then…I knew my classmates would laugh too if they knew I was using some high school rubric to write this paper. But I did anyway.

When our assignments were returned I had built a few relationships in class. So when I received my paper they were asking about my grade. I had an ‘A’! Say what?! They asked “How’d you do that?” They were sincerely intrigued and wanting help. So I pulled out my rubric and showed them. It was like I had the *Golden Ticket*! You should have seen their faces! They created such a buzz that other students came to see what the fuss was about.

I had people asking to copy it by hand or if I’d Xerox it for them (This was 1996. So we said Xerox back then.)! It was quite a sight to see. I was more than entertained. For a moment I had no intention of sharing my *Golden Ticket* with anyone. But then I thought, what if Dr. Repko never shared it with me? What if Jamie never helped me. What if…I was them?Needless to say after class there were quite a few of us in the English Department library getting our Xerox on!

Because I was so quick to be helpful I never really focused on my previous thought not to. Too often these days folks don’t want to share the *Golden Tickets * they have. I promise sharing insights will NOT take anything away from you. Who cares if you don’t get any credit (on earth) for the other person’s success because of “your” *Golden Ticket*. Truth is, all you have belongs to God, and is meant to bless all of His people, not just you.

I firmly believe my sharing that day opened the channel from heaven for my continuous flow of blessings in the area of writing. I’ve been published 4x. I’m sought after to assist with proposal writing and editing. I was well-known in college for resume writing, and producing amazing cover letters. And what’s next for me is so awesome I’m not allowed to say it!

So please don’t block your blessings. Go on and share your *Golden Tickets*!!!

Perception Plan

I, like everyone, had some joys and struggles in 2014. I am not big on resolutions because I am constantly working on me. A turn of a year is not my indicator for improvement. However, as I reviewed 2014 I noticed an unsettling trend: too many people have poor perceptions of me. Now don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that perceptions are not reality. Likewise, I do not go around altering the core of who I am just because of what “people” say. But I do believe that in all things perception does matter. With that being said I am determined to change those “people’s” perception of me in 2015.

As I have thought on this issue I’ve tried deciding how in the world I will do that. How can you change what people think? When folks have their minds made up you usually can’t change them. Really…how am I going to do this without changing me? My core? My essence?

Today I finally figured out what I am going to do!

  1. Think positive things about negative people.
  2. Be the person I desire in others.

I’m sure it sounds a bit “tongue in cheek”. But I am excited! And I think it’s the best plan to stay me, improve “people’s” perception of me, and enjoy my life far more. But what in the heck does this mean Guru Libby? What does it look like? I’m so glad you asked.

Think positive things about (negative) people. I am a huge culprit of thinking nasty, negative things about people I do not care for.

“Awe dag here comes that clown…Ughh, gotta go and listen to her nonsense…I hope he doesn’t write how he speaks…Is she still asking the same dumb question…” I’ve caught myself making these statements far too much when I am about to encounter people I do not like for one reason or another. I’ve started to feel really bad about it though. It finally hit me. This is probably what people do when they see me, and is what keeps the negative perception rolling.

I have to stop!!!

Instead I have chosen to ask for forgiveness when those thoughts roll out, and come up with a more positive statement/mantra in return. This can be really difficult when you are not fond of someone. But I’m starting small. After time I am hoping to build to improvements in interactions with these people. Here are some ideas:

  • There’s _______. Smile and say hello Olivia; even if they won’t.
  • Recall a pleasant thing they have done.
  • Try imagining them as their family/friends do. (Not everyone hates them. IJS)
  • Keep interactions short to start.
  • Find something simple to compliment.
  • Share information they may be interested in.
  • Ask how a family member or friend you know is doing.
  • If this were you what would you want people to think, say, or do?

This is all fairly simple. It won’t be comfortable at first. TRUST ME! But after a while it will become second nature, and what will “people” have to say about you/me? She/He always smiles at me. She/He never has anything negative to say. She/He is always giving me good insights. Then what happens? Their perception begins to change!

Just what we wanted!!!

The cool thing about this plan, is that even though it calls for adjusting 2 ways of thinking/behaving; they’re both rolled in together. Take a moment to think on it. We don’t want others thinking nasty, negative things about us (ever), so don’t do it. If you want people to smile and speak…smile and speak. If you want people to assist you when you’re unsure…help others. If you don’t want people spreading rumors… don’t do it. If you like being around cheerful, courteous people…be cheerful and courteous.

You get the point. It’s not hard. There goes your “Be the person I desire in others.” I’m a firm believer in treating others as they want to be treated not how we wanted to be treated. That’s the platinum rule. But if your way is more appealing and leans farther on the side of supreme customer service go with that (i.e. Speak to people even if they don’t like to be spoken to or don’t respond. It’s just polite. Old fashioned, I know, but polite.).

I know I’m ready. I think my plan will work. If not, I’ll just retune and move forward. I am determined for “people” to know me better. No, not everyone will be willing to transform. But they certainly won’t be able to say anything negative about me, because I’m going to think positive and be who I desire!