About Be-loved and other musings

 

Okay, now write something inspiring. No wait, just be real. Right… that’s the point.

seaotter

The best creature that exists. totally unrelated

For whatever reason I landed back on an old video poem thing that I created a couple years ago. After the first few seconds of cringing at something so vulnerable that my slightly younger self had revealed to the world, I was startled to feel the emotion of it. I felt where I was when I made the video, where I was when I started this blog. And suddenly I realized that this blog was not as selfless as I’d like to have thought it was. It wasn’t just about trying to help other people feel loved. It was also about some part of me searching for something better. It was me expressing myself instead of keeping everything bottled up. It was a chance to be vulnerable. And it was an attempt to convince other people of a reality I was trying to convince myself of. That I was loved, that I was valuable, and that I mattered. For whatever reasons those ideas seemed ludicrous to me at the time. The blog was a way to start putting myself back together again, bring out the darkness in me and force it into light. It has been a painful, terrifying and extremely rewarding process to have this ol’ blog, and I’m so glad I did it.
Posts are getting fewer now mostly because I seem to have just enough time to pull myself together, and not so much contribute to this wonderful process that I often convince myself isn’t important. Also I think it started to get stranger and stranger to tell all this deep personal stuff to the Internet, even though it seemed to yield positive results.
I don’t really know what this blog is about right now, but I know these words are some of the few things I can find these days that isn’t trying to be perfect, or look it.

All I want to say is, it is cool to see how this blog helped me grow, learn, and come to love myself in the ways I have learned to, although I learn more each day. I guess maybe I’m not sure if I have as clear of a direction, or if I know what I have to tell lately. But maybe something will come to me. Or maybe whoever reads this could give me some advice on what I should write about. Or that my consistent rambling about life is something that I should keep doing. Or maybe I’m just tired and emotional and I’ll regret posting this in the morning.

Authenticity is hard to find these days, but I think we all know that it’s still important.

Peace and Love, thank you for reading to the bottom of this post during your likely busy day. I Hope you feel loved today

Emily

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I Need Connection

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It’s so much easier to write the resolution than the journey. But sometimes, in the moment of clarity you can see in retrospect what you needed. We continue forward, with the idea that we know what we’re doing, but often we don’t know what we were looking for until we find it.

This past week was difficult. With multiple final papers due, my schedule is wiped clean so I can sit down and write, research, repeat. I have a mixed relationship with writing essays. On one hand, there are great things to be learned in forming an idea using other people’s ideas. But mostly, this week I have denied myself most of what makes me feel whole in order to meet deadlines. And sometimes, that’s life.

This week, and many others, I forget how incredibly important it is to simply connect with another human. To be able to express the confusion and sorrow that we are feeling, and to hear that someone else feels it too. To my dear friend Anna, thank you for reminding me of what I had forgotten.

I hate loneliness. I hate it because it fills so much of our lives. It’s the reason I’ll have music playing wherever I go. It’s the reason there is always a tv on, a phone in hand, or a computer screen open. We live in a way that praises self-accomplishment, and individuality. We pride ourselves on our uniqueness, but at the same time we are terrified of being different enough that people won’t want us around. I try to find the balance everyday of satisfying the parts of me that want to be expressed fully, while trying to be normal enough so as not to stick out too much. And it’s not because I don’t know who I am. It’s because sometimes I’m not always sure who to be in the world.

But I live within this paradigm as if I understand its purpose. To achieve, to succeed, to compete, to be the best.
Because nothing, absolutely nothing is more satisfying to me than sitting across from someone who says “Yeah. I understand. I’ve been there” Nothing beats revealing the parts of you that are scared, insecure, overwhelmed and exhausted and for someone to recognize that within themselves. To be with someone in the depths of life, not just the surface. I’m so tired of walking around acting like i’ve got my shit together, like I’m on a train of amazingness and there’s no stopping me!
Or, on the other hand, connecting with others only by means of complaining. Of how life isn’t giving me what I wanted, and how I’m annoyed, angry or indifferent. When I am unable to express my real feelings and experiences with others, they get bottled up in my head and I begin not to trust myself. With no affirmation, no outward processing, no connection, I become the enemy of my own mind. I think that I must be doing something to feel this way, or else I blame the only good things in my life that I could place blame (aka my partner). I’m left up to my own devices, and let me tell you they are limited. Because I am just one experience. I am just one perspective. And I can’t fix everything myself.

I want to re-label “anxiety” with “need connection”. Because then I wouldn’t be able to cut myself short by saying “I’m going to stay in because I’m feeling anxious”. What’s really happening is I desperately need connection, but maybe i’m scared to be vulnerable. Maybe I’m convinced that I’ll figure it out on my own.

No. That’s not it Em, stop trying to be your own therapist.

I NEED CONNECTION. I need to joke about the ridiculousness of trying to write about the history of a marginalized group, as if “they” have one, a complete and documented story that can be told within 500 words. I need to talk about how I can’t stand walking into a classroom to sit beside one another to learn about how to show “empathy” when we could be connecting with one another and actually experiencing it. I need to talk about how I’ve been so emotionally overwhelmed that I try to control it by telling my partner he’s being selfish. I need to talk about how I want community, how I want to know people. I need to talk about how I don’t know how to navigate a world of “how are you” “fine” because all I want to say is “I am so freaking overwhelmed right now.”

I need connection. I need people. I need someone to say “Hey, it makes sense that you’re feeling that way, sounds like you have a lot on your plate”. Because yeah, I have a LOT going for me, and life COULD be worse, BUT THAT’S NOT A REASON TO DENY YOUR FEELINGS.

Because I am feeling. I am always, feeling. And I’m tired of just thinking about it. Labeling it “in my head” or “my mind is racing” and trying to push it away. Maybe our erratic minds and constant need to be doing something is because we are terrified to face the fact that we are lonely, and everybody else is busy.

I know people make a lot of empty promises these days. We make plans and cancel, we put that we “might” go to things on Facebook, and we settle for harmless, easy, conversation. But if you feel like talking about what’s really happening in you life, or what you’re feeling, or what you just realized, or what you’re really excited about, and you don’t know who to tell, I would really love to hear it. My email is emily.scott93@gmail.com, and since I am a university student, my computer is open almost all hours of the day. Feel free to email me the real “how are you” and I’d love to chat.

Alternatively, if you don’t feel like talking to me because a. you don’t know me b. you don’t want to email your feelings to someone on the internet… then please, if you need connection like I do, find the people in your life that care about you and let them know you need them. I don’t think we are good at needing people these days, but I’ll be the first to say that I do. And every area of my life starts crumbling down when I forget that.

Letting Go of Bitterness and Facebook Friends

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I never thought clicking ‘unfriend’ could be so liberating. Until I understood why.

Sometimes, when there isn’t much else to do, I will scroll through Facebook, as many of us do. Over the past little while, I began to notice how many unfamiliar faces were popping up, and eventually, I began to recognize an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach. Seeing faces of people along my journey, I could feel a ball of negative energy building up inside of me. For a long time I never understood it, nor did I give enough spotlight to deal with it. I had had a few casual conversations about the amount of “friends” I had accumulated on Facebook, and how I wished it wasn’t such an arduous task to whittle it down a little bit.

Nevertheless, one night I took to my Facebook page, and began scrolling through this 900+ list of people that I shared my internet self with. What I thought was going to be a quick clearing of old acquaintances, turned into something remarkably liberating.
As I began scrolling through images of familiar faces, I started to feel that familiar gut energy bursting with negativity. A face from high school, a face from camp, a face from an old job, a face matching a friend of a friend that I met at a party one time. Seeing all these faces at once made me feel one thing: bitterness. But how could I feel bitter toward so many people? What if they knew I felt this way about them? Had they really done anything to harm me, or create this ugly sensation in my mind?

Once I started the train of questions there was no turning back. What was happening?

I was matching faces to my own life experience. When I was in a period of doubt, confusion, and anxiety, anyone with a shred of certainty around me earned the privilege of deserving my emotional weight, all the stuff I never said out loud. When I was insecure, the people I was surrounded by became confident, and I hated them for that. Now hate is a strong word, and often we don’t want to admit to ourselves that we hate someone or something. So I would justify that bitter feeling by putting an easier term to it. Thinking to myself “I hate them for being so certain, they’re so full of it” or “They only THINK they’re happy”. As much as I don’t wish to admit it, the amount of bitterness I could simultaneously hold for various people was astonishing. Even worse, these may be people who see me positively, yet I would never be able to believe that behind my thick wall of blame.

Think about how you can listen to a song that reminds you of a certain time, and before you know it you are met with the same emotions you had once felt.  the same thing happens with people, but we fail to label it as the feeling and instead we label the people as the source for our hurt.

I saw pictures of different people, I also saw pictures of my life where I was lost. Finally, I stopped ignoring the truth that was staring me right in the face.

First, I began to feel an immense amount of guilt. How could I blame all of these people, as if they are the source of my problems? I desperately hoped that my internal resentment had not reached the surface and made its way into anyone else’s consciousness. But I couldn’t be sure. Though I feared the thought of someone feeling rejected by my ‘unfriending’ I put aside my own pride, and took to unfriending like it was the last thing I would ever do.

I will not deny the reality of betrayal, lies, abuse, all of the things that do occur. The times where we need supernatural strength to forgive.

Yet, there is a kind of bitterness we (I) hold on to. It’s the one that makes people raise an eyebrow as we vent about all the ways the world is against us. Its the gossiping and the insulting and the anger that we attribute to all of the people who, as we believe, are causing us pain. It’s the blame we place on authority, institution, religion, systems and people. Not because what they are doing is wrong (though it happens), but because we are convinced that they are hurting us intentionally, and we want them to feel the pain that we feel.

We just don’t want to feel how we do, and so we try to project it onto other people, hoping that they can bear the weight of it. Most of the time we don’t intend to actually communicate this, or else we fail to recognize the problem, and allow a face to bring up all these emotions. Instead of seeing the pain we see a criminal, someone who played a part in life being difficult.

You see, I realized that there are a lot of people who have been in scenes of my life. The good and the bad. And it just so happens that some were there when I needed a hand but couldn’t ask for it. Eventually, it took a Facebook friend purge to help me realize that there was no one to blame for it all. And the more I held onto that blame, the more I would cause old wounds to resurface.

Healing has begun to take root and change the way I see my relationships. The more I can see someone as their own person, trying to find their way through life, the less I need to place on them the extra burden of all the ways that my life hasn’t exceeded my expectations.

Are you holding on to bitterness? Does it surface when you see your old high school friend, your old teammate, your uncle, classmate or co-worker? Do you let yourself shrink back into safety mode every time you see someone who was a bystander in the chaos of your life?

There are enough things in life that we cannot control. There are times when we will get angry, when we will feel betrayed. But if we let our skewed perspective of other people build a mountain of bitterness inside of us, something needs to go.

I get it, we don’t want to carry that weight ourselves, we want it to go away. But it’s not an effective strategy, and you will pay the price that you think someone else is supposed to.

Let go of bitterness, because it’s not doing you any favours.

To anyone that I may have blamed for my own battles, whether you could see it or not, I am sorry. And if you got unfriended, all clichés aside, it truly is not you, it’s me.

This is me admitting I struggle

I had a post written ready to share, which I probably will do soon enough, but I was blown away by the honest words of this post I read today so I wanted to share it first.

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Many of you are aware of my obsession with To Write Love On Her Arms, I love everything they do and stand for, they have greatly impacted myself and others in so many ways. They speak out against the stigma of mental health, and provide support and hope for those struggling.

In this blog called A Present Struggle, Brandi Mathis talks about hers. About how she’s not there yet, and how easy it is to just talk about the things we’ve already recovered from. How it’s easy to encourage others to embrace their struggle, but harder to do that yourself.

That’s me. When I write I have to consciously remind myself that even though the words are meant for others, it’s important that I believe them to be true for myself.

But if what I wrote didn’t have a personal attachment than i’d probably run out of things to say pretty quickly.

It’s so easy to talk about what you’ve already overcome, what you’ve beaten, and the part of your story that’s been dealt with or “fixed”.

It’s harder to say that where you are right now isn’t where you’d like to be, or that you currently struggle and don’t have all the answers.

Present tense.

What if we took action in the present tense instead of waiting until it was all resolved?

What if we were honest enough with ourselves to be in the struggle with the ones we are fighting for?

So present tense, here goes.

Presently, I struggle with anxiety, and with trying to convince myself that it’s not real most of the time.

I spend a lot of time focused on how people see me, or how they don’t.

Some days it seems real, some days it doesn’t, and they each exist separately which makes for a roller coaster of emotions.

I avoid talking about it if it means i’ll have to do something about it, and i’d much rather help others with their struggle. I’d much rather speak hope over others rather than myself.

But I also realize that in order to create community, we need to be honest and transparent. And that’s what I desire this space to become: community. A loved community.

So presently I struggle. Present not meaning just today, yesterday or tomorrow, but meaning that my story continues. As does yours.

Wherever you are at is important, even if it’s not where you want to stay. What your current struggle may be is important, just as your current victories are important.

The more we speak of these things, the easier it gets to talk about. The easier it is to know you’re not alone and people care about you. And the more we can understand each other, love each other, and be real with each other and ourselves.

Present tense.

comment below or email info@be-loved.net with your story of the present tense.

You can read the full blog post by Brandi here:

http://twloha.com/blog/present-struggle

and visit www.twloha.com it’s awesome.

I Thought You Didn’t Like Me! 10 Things We Want to Say But Don’t

ImageDon’t we all love that magical moment when you and a friend finally have that conversation where you both realize you were intimidated by each other but didn’t want to say it? That maybe you had doubts about how that person felt about you, so you were wary of being your complete self around them. Perhaps they came across to you as very confident, so you weren’t willing to share your insecurities. Maybe you overanalyzed parts of the relationship, thinking that certain things they did must mean that they don’t care about your friendship as much as you do, even if you were in your own head making those assumptions.
There have been so many times I have had those conversations and while they are fun and exciting and “eye-opening”, they always make me feel like I need to make up for lost time.
Like I need to make up for that time they thought I didn’t like them, or the times I thought they couldn’t possibly like me.
It makes me sad that we can build friendships that are built on so much doubt, that it can take months before you discover that you were both in the same space of doubt, but no one wanted to be the first to say it.
In the poll I have going at the bottom of this blog, you guys answered saying that it’s hardest to believe that ‘my friends genuinely love me for who I am’. I agree with that. It is hard.

Why is it so hard?

What if we broke out of our own shell of insecurities and doubts and were the first to express our love to our friends?

What if we just said what we thought about them?

It’s strange that this can be such a common thing, and it happens between friends, not just strangers. We can care enough to spend time with each other, to get to know each other, but still have our guard up, because what if they don’t actually like me? I don’t want to have to be the first to say something, what if I look stupid?

If I could have it my way, I would hope that no one ever thought I was too busy for them, or that I didn’t like them, because chances are, unless there is some huge pressing issue or reason I wouldn’t, I probably think you’re great. And I probably want to tell you that, but within myself is this desire to be in control, and being courageous enough to speak your mind can feel the opposite.

I wish we could say these things to each other, and give each other confidence. I wish we could validate our own friendships and tell each other the good things we see in them, I wish we would never have to have that conversation “oh, I thought you didn’t like me!”

So if I know you, or if I don’t, here is what I want to say but don’t. Here is what I think you need to say, because there’s probably someone who needs to hear it.

Hey [Insert name here],

  1. I think you’re awesome. I really do.
  2. I don’t always tell you because it seems like you already know it yourself.
  3. Sometimes i’m intimidated by your confidence
  4. Sometimes I wonder if you really like me, and I get in my head thinking maybe you don’t.
  5. I love spending time with you, I think you are an incredible person who brings so much to our friendship.
  6. Even if I appear busy, i’m probably making it look that way, when in reality I would jump at the chance to hang out with you.
  7. I don’t want to be the person who’s ‘more’ invested in the relationship, so sometimes I won’t initiate anything, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be friends, it just means I’m scared to need it more than you.
  8. I want to share in our doubts together, I want to work through our struggles together
  9. I love you for who you are. You don’t need to be anything.
  10. I’m insecure. Just so you know. In case that’s not obvious.

Please, call out the good in your friends. If you’re scared, that’s okay. But I can guarantee you that they aren’t as confident as you think they are, and you affirming them will probably make them feel good. Give them another reason to be confident.

Be loved challenge:
If any of the above 10 things resonated with you, I challenge you to SAY it to someone, even if it takes a bit of courage. And then comment below or send an email to info@be-loved.net to share what happened!!

As always, you can follow this blog to get new posts each week, and send an email if you’d like me to write about anything at all.

BE loved today.

Original Photo Attribution: tracerbullet999

TBH: 5 Reasons We Don’t Ask For Help

2012468692_4ddcbc9a53_zIt’s true. I said tbh…

Because to be honest, I don’t think we are. Today will be slightly an extension of last week’s post because I think this idea is crucial. Last week I talked about why we need to stop trying to be ‘okay’ all the time, today I want to talk about why we do that, why we don’t ask for help. As much as this might be cliché, I think it starts with a little bit of TBH.

So I’ll start.

I spent most of last year never asking for help. I thought that not asking for help was a sign of strength and willpower. I thought that I was the person other people came to for help, but I didn’t need to ask for it. I thought that being happy meant figuring out how to do life right. I liked the idea of approaching people once I had everything figured out, as if that would make it easier to be in community. I thought they wouldn’t want to hear it, or else they wouldn’t get it.

But why?

Here are 5 reasons why we don’t ask for help.

1. Pride

It can exist in more than one way. Often pride is perceived as being arrogant, cocky and overconfident. But I believe it also manifests itself in a way where we are too good to ask for help. We’re not ‘that’ person, we don’t need ‘their’ help. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a proud person, by never admitting that you need anyone in a way says just that: you don’t need anyone. If you are going to ask for help, you’ll need to knock yourself down a peg or two which is hard, I know. But what’s the point in being at the top of the ladder if there’s no else beside you to enjoy the view? When you ask for help you must acknowledge that you are no better than the person you are asking. Which is true, and completely okay.

2. Admitting Defeat

No it does not mean you are weak. However asking for help DOES require you to admit that you CAN’T do it on your own. This can feel like weakness, admitting that you can’t do it. When so many other people seem to be doing just fine, why do you have to be that person to ask for help? You must be weaker than the rest right? Nope.
Admitting defeat is a pivotal stepping stone to achieving victory. Ironic huh?
It’s nice to have the idea that we’re on a forward journey, and maybe you are an independent person who wants to get there alone. But something will always come up, and you will have to accept the fact that the obstacle is too large to beat alone. Maybe defeat to you is admitting that you have an eating disorder or addiction. Maybe it is admitting that you don’t know where you’re life is headed and that scares you. Maybe it is simply admitting that you thought you were strong enough to do things alone, but you don’t want to anymore. Maybe it is admitting that you are lonely. Whatever it is, once you admit it, the power that it holds over you is now conquerable. I firmly believe that once darkness is brought into the light, it’s a lot easier to beat. Fighting it alone is like not seeing the blindfold, defeat is when you let someone take it off. Even if that starts as writing in a journal, any kind of outlet is better than letting it sit in your head.

3. Accepting That Others Might Know More Than You

Okay get ready, here it is…

Other people can be smarter AND wiser than you.

mind = blown.

Alright so maybe it’s not, but for many of us it is hard to believe and accept the fact that other people have lived through more than you, have experienced life, and have something to offer you. Many times they may be older, but I don’t think that always has to be the case. This can stem from the pride issue, but it can seriously hinder our ability to let people in if we don’t let them be more knowledgeable. I think that is why many people may be hesitant to see a counselor, because you’re admitting that they know something you don’t, and they might be able to help. I think it’s safe to say the majority of us have experienced this with our parents. Yes they are probably right, yes they probably know a little more, does that make it easier to not be the one in control? Not usually.
Putting your life in someone else’s hands is a difficult thing to do but the reality is there ARE people who know things. And they probably know them because of experiences similar to yours. So give them a chance to give advice, they’ll be happy to do it. But on the other hand, also know that they won’t always be right, and that’s okay too.

4. Trusting That Anyone Actually Wants To Help

This is hard. How do we know that people really mean what they say? Well, you don’t. That’s where trust comes in. You might have been hurt in the past, you might have had your trust shattered, and I know that it takes a long time to build back up. But you must trust that there are people who WANT to help. In the same way that you need to let go of regrets (see No Regrets), you need to let go of the idea that people can’t be trusted. It’s true, some can’t. But don’t generalize the entirety of your relationships to the one that didn’t work. It’s so easy to never reach out to people and assume that they wouldn’t actually want to help, but you just won’t know until you ask. In reality, most peopel would be willing to help. In our head, that number drastically decreases. If trust is hard for you, let someone in just a little, and let that trust grow as the relationship does.

5. Expecting People To Know That You Need Help Before You Ask

I probably could have numbered this the opposite way around, or maybe we’ll just say 5 represents the MOST IMPORTANT. This is my biggest weakness, so I completely understand anyone who feels this way.

” They must be able to see me in pain”
” If they cared, they would say something”
” They know me well, how can they not see something is wrong?”
” I’m clearly not okay, but no one notices”

Stop giving people so much credit. If they don’t ask you if you need help, that doesn’t mean for second that they don’t WANT to help. We lead busy, hectic lives, and as much as I’d love to believe that we are completely aware of how those closest to us are doing, we don’t. At least not to the extent that most of us need. It is so easy to wait for someone to ask, as if that makes it more real. Help can only be offered, not requested right? That’s what I’ve thought, and it doesn’t achieve anything. Whether you ask for help, or help is offered to you, it is still help. It doesn’t matter if it’s organic, if someone noticed something was off with you or if you called for their help. Like I said here, it’s not fair to expect people to know you better than you know yourself. Give them the credit to help, but don’t give them the credit to just know.

I’ll say it again. It’s hard to ask for help. But it’s worth it. I hope that you have the courage to do that today.

And if you want my help, it is always offered. For real.

Be loved today:
What is the the reason you connected with the most out of the 5? Why?

Also, check out the poll/survey thing at the bottom!

Original Photo Attribution: Kandy Jaxx