Bleeding Hearts

 

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Photo by Aaron Moeller

The bleeding heart type is always willing to self sacrifice or engage in martyrdom only to later remind you of all that they have done for you.  You must be indebted to them because they were there for you.  Gratitude is seldom enough.  Their help will be incessantly brought up to you like a specter at the feast to secure their entitlement to your time, attention and efforts.The bleeding heart type is not be confused with a person who wears their heart on their sleeve.  That is an entirely different type of person.  Bleeding hearts are those who will do anything for you with durable invisible strings attached to the deed;  whereas, someone who wears their heart on their sleeve is someone who does not hide their emotions to others.  They exhibit empathy and sincerity to others and may be out to help but they help for the sake of helping – not for the sake of getting something in return like recognition, or favors.

If you are helping someone and expecting something in return, you’re doing businessNOT kindness.

Bleeding hearts expect something in return and when they do not get what they are expecting, they become hurt and often vilify the perceived perpetrator as a calculated user who took advantage of them and their kindness.  Somehow, this is the recurring theme in their lives.

Bleeding hearts bleed because there is a hole in their heart that needs to be filled.  It cannot be filled by offering things and favors to garner acceptance, love, attention, recognition or affection, etc.  This method is a slippery toxic slope that causes the hole in the heart to turn into a cosmic black hole.  The gravity of the debt is as boundless as the dark rendering it virtually impossible for anyone to plug it up.  This vicious cycle is emotionally painful and psychologically exhausting as it brings with it strife and dissension.   In extreme cases, manipulation and abuse (not necessarily physical) tactics are used against the person who had not given what was expected in return.

People who interact with others like bleeding hearts are not likely to be able to successfully maintain a healthy fulfilling relationship whether it be platonic or otherwise.

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At this Conflict Juncture…

When a relationship becomes more serious and all the idiosyncrasies that were once cute lose their luster, and in comes the bickering and resentment, you may feel like you have boarded the Express Train to Splitsville. Your relationship is full speed ahead towards the same old and all the energy spent fighting over the same things repeatedly can leave you so emotionally drained that you yearn for something different.

Anything different is better

Today we take the “anything different is better” mentality and interpret it as “anyone different is better” without ever really considering “any thought/action different is better.” Who says once you’re on that train that there are no stops? Is it possible to pull an emergency break, get off and take a different route? Simple answer is yes! It doesn’t have to end in a train wreck!  You may have to build the track… TOGETHER! It will take some hard work but it is not impossible.

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Photo by Aaron Moeller

Many times we have a very myopic scope of our relationships and laser focus on our own needs and how they are not being met by our partner. Being unable to see the full picture and understand what you’re looking at makes it extremely difficult to move forward.  Ask anyone who wears glasses or contacts!   In terms of a relationship we cannot see where we may be coming up short on delivering for our partners.  Couple that myopic view point with continual arguments with phrases like, “you always” and “you never” and we can almost see city limits of Splitsville on the horizon.
With the raw materials like love for one another, the desire to be together and the will to make a change then you are already ahead of the game, my friend! When we get caught in that vicious cycle of arguing about the same thing over and over again, there are two things we become experts on: how the topic makes us feel and how our partner will respond.

Can we talk…?

We have to laser focus on what is being said to us. Although we may not agree with everything that is being said to us, we must make a choice of trying to understand the message that is being conveyed to us and accept that it is important to the person we love. Because the person we love is important to us, we cannot always bombard them with our own needs and points of view. It is easy to recognize when we have begun bulldozing our partners during a difference of opinion when every other complete though begins with “I feel,” or “I think” … And every other statement ends in “to me,” or “about me.”
Opening lines of communications with open ended questions creates a dialogue that can help get to the root of the problem. Many times we get caught up in arguing about an issue and never addressing the real problem; when we do that, the problem reemerges in a form of another issue and we are back on the hamster wheel reacting off one another. Someone needs to take initiative and just listen for a moment: listening intently without thinking in your mind what to next while someone is speaking is a sure fire way to finally “get them.”

Not really sure what I think about it

Just because someone is speaking does not mean you are obligated to respond right away. Every now and then we get thrown a hay-maker in a conversation and don’t know what to say. It is okay not know and maybe ponder on what is being said to you until it resonates with you enough to form your own thoughts and feelings. We are not computers! It can take time to process information and let our heads catch up to our hearts. Immediate responses are not always appropriate. Keeping in mind that immediate responses are not always appropriate keeps us from saying or doing things we don’t actually mean and end up having to apologize later.
Someone has to take the first step and be the catalyst and lead by example.  Who is it going to be, at this juncture?

Standards of Beauty: Are Women Fighting a Losing Battle?

20131204-171943.jpgStandards of beauty change throughout time, like any other fad.  Whether it is a slender ballerina body, an hour glass body, a full round bum or toned legs with a thigh gap, we are told by them what is “in” and what is “out.”

I have always wondered who are they?  Who are they to tell us what part of our bodies are in and out?  What ever happened to celebrating the diversity of feminine shapes?  As with all preferences, people are attracted different things.

Variety is the spice of life, is it not?

Variety does not seem to be promoted nowadays.  As a result of that, more women have resorted to body mutilation.  So many women are attending parties and injecting mystery substance into their bodies.  Some women have had permanent side effects, and other physical deformities that are unpleasing to the eyes, and others have died.  And for who?  Are we as women doing this to attract men?

Men don’t seem to like all the war paint!

04e30f2c519e8240371454e6ea6609fd6fbe74 Despite what we may see and read, of my years of experience I have always found myself defending the need to apply make up.  I suppose make up invokes the confidence women need to face the external world.  Men, don’t quite get it.  The father of an Ex-boyfriend of mine who was 70 years old at the time had once said,  “Women wear make up for other women. It’s like war paint.”    That is a very interesting analogy.  Now, 20 years later, with my own wisdom and experience, looks like Tony might have been on to something!  I was never any comment short of, you look so much better without all that on your face!

Make up trends have now evolved into contouring and those very interesting Egyptian hieroglyphic like eye brows which are quite disturbing to some.  The nose slimming, cheek boosting, highlighting methods morph a woman’s face to the point where they are unrecognizable when the make up comes off.  No one appreciates false advertisement.

I must, I must, I must increase my butt!

butt_implants When it comes to this new craze, aside from celebrities sporting their designer bum, there are scores of photos of this Murphy’s Law procedure that are horrific and sad.  These procedures are not safe.  Similar to Botox parties, there are Butt Lift parties where people inject (who knows) into their bodies.  Many have died hours later because the injection substance has seeped into their blood stream or lungs.

NEVER EVER go to an underground party and let someone who is not a registered medical doctor perform any procedure.  The complications of such a decision could end your life!

Aside from fatal complications any implant is a foreign body.  The immune system recognizes this and begins to work to reject it.  This can result in the implant detaching and slipping or becoming calcified. It can also result in infection.  Any implant in the body must be monitored every few years to ensure it is properly positioned and not leaking.  One must also be prepared to replace them if need be.

Again, with implants, men have a similar take on make up.  The look and feel is often unnatural.

So, what standard of beauty stays  “in“?

I read A Look Back at Beauty Through History it begs the question, if the standard beautiful body images changes throughout time, what does one do?  If the standard of beauty is not conducive to your own body type, what is there to do?  Manipulating your own body can be a solution but what happens when that body type is no longer “in”?  We lose!  That is what happens!

In my lifetime I’ve seen the heroine chic, skinny waif type that was frail with ribs shone.  A teen back then, I was forbidden to even attempt to achieve such a look.  Those who are naturally like that, I suppose are “out of style” in today’s world.  So, how does one survive this feeling of invalidity  when their body is not structured to achieve the current revered shape?

You cannot celebrate anything you are ashamed of.

Answer is, CONFIDENCE.  No one has come off an assembly line.  We are not Stepford women.  We are individuals with a uniqueness that should be celebrated.  How can you celebrate who you are if you do not see your value or are ashamed?  There is something to be said about not being like everyone else.  Everyone has a jewel of uniqueness.  This is what sets you apart. When chasing some image you are told to aspire to, you starve that genuine uniqueness that people – no just men are attracted to.

Despite what pop culture and the media may insinuate,  confidence cannot be bought or sold or made.  Confidence comes through self actualization and self acceptance.  Instead of putting energy, time, money into a potentially life-altering or life-threatening situation, perhaps putting energy, time and money into accentuating your unique attributes is  better prescription that going under the knife or getting injections or piling on layers and layers of make up.

Be  your own standard of beauty!

 

The 20s to 30s Threshold

During the 20s quest of finding ourselves we meet many cool people along the way.  These people may be part of your entourage and run in a pack with you doing all sorts of things together and sharing all sorts of new experiences.  Some of those experiences could be so momentous that we always hold that moment near and dear to our hearts.  When college is over and marriage is on the horizon or prenatal jargon becomes part of our everyday conversation or relocation comes to pass… we find ourselves in an unfamiliar territory and it can be difficult to adapt or relate.

We are not always experiencing life events at the same time.

Many times static begins occur and BFFs fight, act out, and sometimes fallout altogether.   You may find yourself one less bridesmaid, for example.  You may not get as many phone calls.  You may not be met with the same level of excitement and enthusiasm as you express your interests or your new ventures.  Things just aren’t the same anymore.  This is not a bad thing.  It is a great thing.  It is an exciting thing.  We have to accept the situation for what it is because there is so much more ahead.

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Photo by Aaron Moeller

Change can often feel like loss.

Life is a journey that is designed for you to keep moving forward.  Life is designed for you to have goals and once you achieve those goals, you are compelled to set new goals to achieve.    As your goals change, you entourage may change too.   This is not to say that you must end your previous friendships, but evaluate them to make sure you are not setting unrealistic expectations on the relationship.  As our needs change we expect people to change with them and this is not always possible.  Not everyone is meant to stay for the whole ride.  We must respect that they too have their own journey.

Whoever is meant to stay in your life can never go.

Just because someone is off on another path doesn’t mean you won’t reconnect down the line.  Lifetime friends will always remain your friends despite time, location, trials and tribulations – they will always be around for you – especially when you need them most.

Want Vs. Need

I’ve found myself engaged in the same conversation with different people as of late. The  common denominator was being on the brink of making a choice that would essentially change their life’s direction and possible who they are. Every now and again we do come at a fork in the road and almost like a multiple choice question, the answers all seem similar but yet there is trulyunnamed “just right” – just as there is only one path that is truly just right, for you… right now…

Deep down we all know the answer. Deep down we have the answer but what leads us to perceive we have difficult choices before us is what drives us. Desire or Necessity?  Want Vs. Need. These two one syllable words are deceptively simple concepts that can easily be misconstrued and misinterpreted at any given time.

After all, one can want something/someone they do not need and one can need something/someone they do not want. – Lolitasays

Wants (desires) are essentially wishes to that one hopes to fulfill that is believed will make them happier or mores successful.

Because nothing is as good as you can imagine it. No one is as beautiful as she is in your head. Nothing is as exciting as your fantasy. ― Chuck Palahniuk

Needs (necessities) are essentially means to sustain one’s well-being; this encompasses the physical, spiritual, psychological, and emotional aspects.

Wants are never truly concrete but more abstract are hardwired to egotistical/vain concepts that are not truly tangible which is why getting what we want is not always as gratifying as we anticipated. Sometimes it can be downright disappointing leading to “now what!?!”

The unreal is more powerful than the real, because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it.– Chuck Palahniuk

Needs are simply means you absolutely cannot live without. Needs are concrete and facilitate your existence and ability to thrive in a healthy and positive way. Many a time, needs are not presented in an attractive package like wants are but nonetheless if you go without a need it has a more detrimental impact than going without a want. Getting what we need yields contentment and a lasting gratification particularly when one knows what it is like to go without.

Something to think about when you’re trying to decide which way to go…

10 Things Every Woman Needs to Know About Men

anm_logo2_400x400Let me just start by saying Sabrina Alexis and Eric Charles have been a part of my life for some time.  I’ve been following their amazing blog anewmode.com circa 5 years and they cover a wide array of issues and topics on two things women can never seem to talk about enough, Fashion and Relationships.  Laser focusing on the relationship front, the blog is chuck full of articles on topics that we women often feel the need to congregate and start  make-shift think tanks to decipher certain circumstances and behaviors. I personally appreciate their style of writing because it does not have a condescending tone like some authors on dating tend to have.  When you’re caught admits a situation, it isn’t easy to see things as clearly as someone that is observing from the sidelines.  Eric and Sabrina get that.  I appreciate that tremendously.

hes-not-that-complicated-book-image2-247x300Anewmode gives off a conversation over brunch with a close friend vibe that I believe made it not only unique, but extremely popular; writing a book (or two..) was only a matter of time.  I’m so glad they did.  The first book, “He’s Not That Complicated” was a total slam dunk!  This is what I had to say about that….

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Fast forward four years to Sabina and Eric to book #2, “10 Things Every Woman Needs to Know About Men.”

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Sabrina and Eric delivered another a well written book with so much insight on things we overlook or misinterpret in relationships. This book differs from the previous one because “He’s Not That Complicated” focuses on situations and circumstantial behaviors. “10 Things Every Woman Needs to Know About Men” focuses on emotional and psychological aspects that help or hinder the ability to make and maintain a real connection.

They are candid with their own personal experiences and lessons while providing a wealth of information and challenges for the reader with exercises to help the reader see and experience what they are conveying for themselves.  All in all the book is insightful, encouraging, challenging and empowering.  It’s definitely one of those books you’ll keep as you may need to go back and reference a few things from time to time.  It can easily be a book you’ll end up purchasing over and over again should you lend it to a friend.

I cannot buy it for you… but I can highly recommend it to you.

“10 Things Every Woman Needs to Know About Men” is available in digital and paperback at  Amazon.com

Also, I encourage you to pick up “He’s Not That Complicated.”  It will at the very least equip you with great useful advise to give your girlfriends who are single and ready to mingle.  And by all means check out Anewmode.com for fashion, dating, and relationship tips that will change your life!

Destination GOAL

blogWhen we set goals, somewhere along the way we hit unexpected circumstances and bumps in the road.  These situations may cause us to get side tracked, stop dead in our tracks, detour or a take a turn for the worst.  The consequence of not staying on course is  abandonment of hope, loss of determination, inability to focus on what’s before you in order to complete your goal.  There will be times where you will be viewed as unrealistic or crazy.  You may not get the support you expect or the support you think you need and this can be extremely discouraging.  As discouraging as this may be, it’s just a part of the processes.  The road ahead is yours and yours alone.  Some may travel with you along the way but ultimately it’s your own personal journey.

Anything worth having takes hard work and sacrifice.  It’s definitely not easy.  The most important thing is to look straight ahead with tunnel vision and realize obstacles may slow you down but by no means should stop you.  This is the only way to endure unpleasant experiences and complete tasks you otherwise would not do.  Keeping your eye on the prize is paramount.

If you don’t keep a clear eye on the direction you’re going… how will you ever get to your destination?

Worrying about what others think and do will have you exasperated chasing your tail rather than your dream.  Stop. Look. Focus.  The finish line is just beyond the horizon.  Each step forward is a step closer.  Don’t stop.  Don’t talk.  Keep moving. With each step remind yourself what you want, why you’re doing this and how much closer you are today than you were yesterday.

5 Things You Should Do When You Receive a Medical Bill:

1.  Call the doctor’s office

If you do not understand what you are billing for, ask the doctor’s office. Although we rely heavily upon computers and information technology, we cannot take for granted the information we are being given is correct. Not only do people make mistakes, in this day and age in the ever changing world of health care, but computers do too. For that very reason, it does not hurt to call the doctor’s office and go over statement to be certain the amount due, in fact, your responsibility.

2. Call the insurance company.

Remember, you are a subscriber to your insurance plan and are entitled to a detailed explanation on how your visit was processed. There is a Member Services telephone number printed on the back of your insurance card. Don’t be afraid to use it and interrogate the insurance company like a parent wanting to know where their child had been because of broken curfew. Compare notes with the representative to the statement in hand for inconsistencies. * If there is an inconsistency, ask the representative to conference call you in with the doctor’s office to insure you are all on the same page.

3. Take Notes

Jot down the names of everyone you spoke with and ask for a reference number for the phone call. It is not unusual for a medical claim to come back to haunt you after having been reassured things were resolved. Computers and people make mistakes. If you come across another statement you have all your references together to them where to go…. To speak with whomever it concerns, of course.

4. Ask Questions about that particular service

Often you may end up having to pick up the tab for certain services that aren’t considered part of a doctor’s office visit. For example, when a patient sees the doctor and the doctor runs a necessary diagnostic test every time a patient comes to monitor their health, this might generate additional copayments or a deductible charge weeks after a patient was seen. IF you happen to be a frequent flyer type of patient, it wouldn’t hurt to look over that portion of what you may be held responsible for down the road.

5. Make a payment plan

If you’re like me, and are not part of the 1%, you can get taken aback at the cost of your stint in the hospital, MRI Center, blood lab, etc. To avoid collections and all other nightmares that follow, request a payment plan. A small percentage monthly beats 100% of nothing and all providers dig that. If you’re on a fixed income, apply for hardship and they will certainly work with you. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Over the Moon for Olive Oil

As I continue my research and education on skin care I came across a myriad of reasons why everyone should make a concerted effort to care for their skin.  The skin is, after all, the largest organ on the human body and it also absorbs everything you put on it into your blood stream.  What you put on your skin largely contributes to the level of toxins in your blood, thus possibly having an impact on your health.  This is terribly alarming. 

At risk of going off topic, I strongly recommend you do research on the amount of toxins you are exposed to daily and the possible adverse effects of products you use on your skin like lotions, makeup, hair dye, after shave, perfumes and of course body soaps.  Soaps comprised of chemicals essentially defeat the purpose of cleaning the body if they are effectively contaminating your blood stream. 

So… what do we do about it?

I’ve long since gone organic after reading countless articles and studies that support the claim we are unwittingly absorbing toxins into our blood stream every day.  Aside from Witch Hazel, and Coconut Oil..  I have become a huge fan of olive oil.  Olive oil has many healthy benefits to your skin.  It has many uses aside from cooking with it.  Some of the major beneficial properties include healthier skin and anti-aging properties.  Organic olive oil based skin products really make a difference and it’s also very good for hydrating the skin and removing make up.  It is also sensitive skin friendly.

I tend to be on the go with a life mantra of “there aren’t enough hours in the day.”  It is quite important to make sure I make the most out of my daily routine.  It makes perfect sense to incorporate an organic skin product with an active ingredient that has multiple uses.

  • Removes dirt and makeup without over stripping the face causing break outs

  • Sensitive skin friendly

  • Positive effects on blood stream if it sinks into the skin – even better

  • Repairs and maintains skin health

Loveyouoliveoilsoaps

http://www.loveyouoliveoilsoap.com

You’re winning all around if you can get these benefits out of one product – particularly soap.  I prefer all natural handmade products with ingredients that are beneficial to over all health which is why I am taken with Love You Olive Oil Soap.  Aside from being made from love, you’ll be loving your skin by cleansing it with ingredients that promote health rather than contributing more toxins to your body thus compromising your health.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  You can purchase these soaps online via the website.  Love You Olive Oil Soaps are $7 each or you can get a bundle of 4 for $20.  

 

Weighing In On Self Worth

I had the pleasure to meet a remarkable young woman by the name of Mar Ortiz a few years ago.  She is now a reality television star on a show called Big Women: Big Love .  Recently, she found herself catapulted into an arena that is as courageous and inspiring as it is absurd.  A photo and a statement… would soon be a platform of debate.

I love my love handles!

I scrolled upon this photo in my Facebook feed and I commended Mar because there is nothing more beautiful than being comfortable in your own skin.  As this picture went viral and people began commenting, I was actually appalled at the thought that anyone would even suggest that Mar was “glorifying obesity.”  That’s absolutely absurd!  It is becoming harder and harder in this day and age to “be beautiful.”  What is beauty? Is it running around scantily clad?  Is it looking like a superhero? Is it systematically butchering your body parts to resemble a celebrity?

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It’s absolutely ghastly and unnerving for someone to be scrutinized for appreciating their God given body.  That concept within itself has been so lost in translation for some time.  In a world of Photoshop, filters and plastic surgery … what’s so bad about posting a picture and being content with yourself.

Love yourself at any size or glorifying obesity?

Not everyone is petite, tall, thin, or even full figured.  What is wrong with enjoying what you have and working it with confidence and acceptance?  We must be careful with the type of message we are sending and be wary of it being lost in translation lest we raise a generation of self-loathing anorexics with a skewed perception of what beauty truly is.

From the outside it is very easy to point and shake a finger at people who put themselves out there.  On the other hand.. “out… there..” are many people who maybe suffering for various reasons that are not afforded the opportunity to attempt to fit into this highly unrealistic ideal of beauty.  In addition to what they are facing, they should not be made to feel that they cannot be happy within themselves or pleased with their appearance because it is seemingly is not acceptable to the norm.

Self-acceptance should be celebrated and woman like Mar empower others.  In turn they should be supported and not blasted for simply being happy with who they are and proud of their appearance.