She was tired

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She was tired.  Exhausted really.  Tired of trying to be someone she wasn’t.  Tired of trying to contain and stuff and hide the real her.  Why must she sugar coat herself?  Why did she continue to people please.  Didn’t she know they wouldn’t be happy?  Didn’t she know you can’t water yourself down?  Didn’t she realize there was nothing wrong with the she that she needed to be?  She was perfectly imperfect.  She was like no one else.  Why should she bend and twist and try so hard to fit the mold that wasn’t even made for her.  Just say what’s on her mind.  Do what she wanted to do.  Yes, she could be a miserable bitch.  She could also be a sensitive woman.  Highly emotionally.  She had almost forgotten what it was like to feel.  She had been hurt and saddened and disappointed so many times that she had stopped feeling.  She started lying to herself.  She started telling herself whatever she needed to hear to believe that she didn’t need to feel.  So she held it inside.  She stuffed it away.  She crammed it in and became this other person.  The one who pretended she didn’t care.  Pretended she didn’t want or need or feel.  She shut it off.  But that day she was tired.  She realized it took too much energy to be this other woman.  It took too much fighting and too much negativity.  One day she stopped lying to herself and finally admitted the truth.  She felt sad and hurt and foolish and broken.  And she just wanted to cry.  To let it out.  But it was stuck.  Like the day her friend passed away.  It had been stuffed in and pushed away and hidden behind the shadows until she didn’t even know how to get it out.  How to let it out.  So she sat down and closed her eyes and took a deep breath.  Breathe.  That’s all she needed to do.  Just breathe.  She took a deep breath and another and another…  and she let it out…  and that’s when she realized she was enough.  She was all she needed to be but she needed to be who she really was.  She needed to have feelings.  To be a woman.  She hadn’t felt emotion in so long because she didn’t want to get mad or upset anyone so she would just smile and stuff it all away.  Until the day she broke through and realized those emotions were meant to be felt.  You were supposed to feel.
And she thought, “I don’t know how to do this!”  I’m scared because I haven’t felt.  I just want to feel.  And she knew that she could.  This was the day she realized it was time to live.

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Music and Words Awards

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Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I would like to thank T. Wayne from a A Joyful Process for the nomination for this award.  It is an honor and a pleasure to be here!  I would like to thank the little people that made this possible along the way and most of all I would like to thank…Oh wait…what?  This is just a blogging award?  Oh well, I am still flattered!  Thanks T. Wayne for nominating me for the Music and Words Award.

Of course, there are always rules involved with these awards so here they are:

Link back to the person who nominated you.
Answer these questions with words AND music.
Pass the award to 5 bloggers who inspire you with posts about music. (Even if they are award-free?) Well see about this one.
Tag your post with #MWA, for Music & Words Award so we can all follow you down the line.
Quote these five steps and the award icon in your post. You can display the icon on your sidebar as well.
So, here are the questions.

WHAT DOES MUSIC MEAN TO YOU?

Music is my peace of mind.  If I am having a bad day, it can lift me up.  Music takes me to another place and time, music can bring back memories, good, bad, happy and sad.  Music is life!  I can’t imagine life without it.  Sometimes music says more and expresses my feelings better than I ever could

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST MUSIC RELATED MEMORY?

Church.  When I think about my first memories of music I think of singing “Jesus loves the little children” in church.  I also think of my sisters’ record collections ranging from Michael Jackson to Men at Work to Sting and the Police and of course Rick James.  I think of Ann Murray because my mom always played her music.

I remember the kitchen being filled with men smoking and drinking budweiser while my dad played his guitar. It was usually some Johnny Cash or Marty Robbins.

WHAT’S THE FIRST ALBUM YOU’VE PURCHASED YOURSELF?

Hmmm I can’t say I remember the first album.  I know my first concert was Debbie Gibson and I definitely had her cassette tape, Out of the Blue.  I also remember recording song off the radio when I was little.

WHAT IS THE LATEST MUSIC YOU’VE PURCHASED? (NO ONLINE STREAMING OR FREE DOWNLOADS, I’M TALKING ABOUT CASH HERE!)
I’m not sure the last CD I purchased, but for Christmas my son bought me India Arie’s Christmas Album.  I wanted to buy it because I wanted the actual album but couldn’t find it.  My son found the very last copy in the state and gave it to me for Christmas.  That made it that much more special.

WHAT SONG DID YOU LISTEN TO LAST? (NO CHEATING, COME OUT WITH THE DIRTY PLEASURES!

J. Cole – Wet Dreamz

AND THE NOMINEES FOR THE MUSIC AND WORDS AWARD GO TO…

Just Plain Ol Vic

Tunisia Jolyn

Pearls Before Swine (Awards free)

 

Tangerine wallpaper

Deb was Here

 

Warrior Woman

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So last week I was inspired to write a post Loving Me which was a love letter to myself.  In fact, it encouraged several other bloggers to do the same and I hope it continues to spread.  A couple days later I found some old emails to myself and shared them in  A Little More Love (cause you really can’t have too much)
So, as I continued to go through some old journals, I stumbled across this letter I wrote.  If you have been reading,  you know that I talked about how I thought I wasn’t worthy of love.  It wasn’t for me.  There is a song by Anthony Hamilton called Dear Life and one of the lines says,

” Ooooh sometimes I go on through life
Thinking that love is something that’s
Not meant for me.”

I remember listening to the song after a break up one night and crying, not even because of that person, but because of the fact that the lyrics described exactly how I felt.  Today I found this letter and was encouraged to share it with my readers. 

For so long I thought I wasn’t worthy of love. I kept thinking, oh, make them run.  I will only hurt you. You will fall in love and I will break your heart because that’s what I do. I will bend over backwards. I will be and do and say everything you want and you will love me. A black widow,  I will then tire of you, push you away, gasping for air and needing room to breathe. You will grasp on tighter and I will turn.  I will freeze over like the ice queen and you will cry and beg for the person you first met. You will clutch on, cling and it will feed my ego for a short time, but then I will grow bored of you. Maybe that’s not the case. Maybe I will be thrilled with the idea of love. The idea of saving or fixing you. A love of nurturing you. But you cannot fill my needs and once I realize this I will let go. Maybe I was settling. Maybe I was looking for the wrong things. I no longer see this. I no longer feel the need to impress. I am me. I am loving. I am nurturing. I’m an amazing woman. I no longer feel the need to prove myself. No longer need your acceptance. I need to be more than what you need me to be. I need to be free. I need adventure. Room to grow, to feel, to love, to explore, to breathe and to fly.  In time and in space. To change. To nurture me. But thank you all for the journey. For the lessons along the way. To teach me who I really am. A warrior woman with strength. I finally realized I am too strong and you never could have battled me.

I continue to write my letters, to encourage myself of the need to let go of perfection. Because I am slowly realizing my biggest flaw is nothing more than trying to be perfect.

My Truth

Do you ever find something you wrote a long time ago and amaze yourself with how smart you were?  Sometimes I think we need to remind ourselves how much we really know.  Many times we know the answers to the questions we are asking but ignore them because they aren’t the answers we want. 

Truth. Honesty.  It’s amazing how speaking the truth does so much for one’s well being.  Being honest with yourself.  That is the key.  Why do we lie to ourselves?  Sometimes we are even afraid of our own truth.  Amazing.  Once we begin being truly honest with ourselves can we open up and allow the truth to flow around us.

Trust not just in other people but in ourselves!  That is the real truth.  Knowing ourselves and what we want.
Taking ego and fear out of the outcome.  Speaking your truth just frees you.  No matter the outcome, once you are sure within yourself, other people’s response will not matter.  You will simply feel free because you are confident in yourself.

I read this and thought to myself, wow! I wrote that??  I wish I had taken my own advice months ago when I shared my first blog post.  The one that was posted on Wendy Jane’s Soul Shake.  The one that I was terrified to post because even though it was speaking my truth, it was also sharing a piece of me.  It was very personal because ultimately I would realize it was my way of working out who I am on paper.  It was really me pouring out pieces of my heart and soul onto paper. 
I was so scared to share it because I was worried what people would think of me.  I still get nervous when I share it, that it will be read wrong or offend someone, but I know that it is written in love.  It came from my heart, my thoughts and my feelings.
So here is my personal essay on Why I Love Black Culture.  Love it or hate it, it is my truth. Here is my personal essay…

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Just Me —– by Elissa Butson

When I think back and try to figure out where my love and interest for black culture came from, I still can’t pinpoint it. I can remember being in Evan’s
market with my mom and my baby doll and hearing a little girl say, “mom why does she have a black doll?” I was so upset by the comment. Why would she say that? I remember feeling embarrassed, like I was the one who had done something wrong. At the same time, I felt confused. I couldn’t understand why it was a big deal.

Continue reading “My Truth”

Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert

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So I have recently been questioning just which one I am.  Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert.  Now if you have known me as an adult you would probably say that I’m an Extrovert.  I am a social butterfly, always ready to talk to strangers, will go out and sit at a bar all by myself for dinner, and over all I just love meeting new and different people.  Now, if you knew me as a child you may say I was an Introvert.  I was pretty shy and quiet.  Although I was a talker, I was a big scaredy cat.  In kindergarten, I would go to the nurse’s office on a regular basis, sick to my stomach, but  I came to realize later it was just nerves.  I was the kid who would go to sleep over a friend’s for the night and once it was time to go to bed, I suddenly fell ill and needed mom to come pick me up.  I know if you didn’t know me then, you would never believe it.  Actually, I’m still this way.  If something bothers me or I’m afraid, I will get sick to my stomach.  I’m still somewhat of a scaredy cat.

So then I got to thinking, maybe I’m both.  Maybe I’m an ambivert.  So thanks to google I found this article on the Huffington Post telling me Yes, It’s Possible To Be Both An Introvert And An Extravert.  So I thought I would check it out.  According to this article it says, “Being an introvert or extravert isn’t just a question of how friendly or social you are. According to the “arousal model,” it’s more a matter of how stimulated you are, particularly in the neuron-dense neocortex of the brain, which acts as the center for higher mental functions such as spatial reasoning, conscious thought, language and sensory perception.”  I started thinking about this.  I do like to be social, however, big crowds like concerts, sports events and loud places do often drain me.  I need a good balance of social and quiet.  I need to recharge from time to time.  So I read a little further to discover the article then describes this “Ambiverts, by definition, are right in between the two when it comes to arousal — either because they go back and forth between being over and under the optimal level of arousal, or because they’re usually in the middle at a comfortable level of arousal — so they’re generally comfortable with a balance of both calmer and more stimulating experiences.”  Which totally makes sense.  Upon googling some more info I found one of those online quizes to tell me exactly which one I am.  The results are in and it says…I’m an introvert.  You can check them out here:  quiz results.

After all this research, I still haven’t quite decided which one is correct, although it is very interesting.  I guess I really don’t have to label myself as anything and I don’t have to fit every characteristic of any of them.  So, which one are you?  If you would like, take try the quiz here: Quiz

Sources/Links:

Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/24/both-introvert-and-extravert-ambivert_n_6177854.html

The Quiet Revolution Personality Test

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=scaredy-cat

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary

Photo Credit:  Nigel Fubara of Zoo Media

 

Knowing Your Worth

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What is speaking the truth?  Speaking my truth?  Speaking your truth? It’s all different.  What is true to me may not be true to you.  But what matters is that we are true to ourselves.  To our true, authentic selves. 
I was out the other night, for drinks and really wanted to go dancing.  Once I got out though, I started to get this anxiety.  I saw different people, some I’m not fond of, and realized that I immediately started hearing voices in my head.  Their voices.  I was imagining what these people were thinking of me.  Whether I was right or wrong, I was imagining them all judging me.  I started looking around the room, I started feeling small, like I wanted to hide away.  Crawl into a corner.  Me!  I always seem so calm and confident.  I am the one who will go to a bar or restaurant alone to enjoy a meal.  I don’t care what people think.  WRONG!  I realized I was sitting here thinking all these people were judging me in some way.  Feeling uncomfortable.  Feeling Insecure.  I started feeling like I wanted to run and hide. Then I talked to myself.  I stopped for a minute and said, “Elissa!  What the hell do you care???? Really?  What if they do think those things??”  I looked around the room again, observing.  Changing my thought patterns.  I started asking myself these questions, who are these people?  How much do they matter to you?  What do their opinions matter? Are these people you want to base your self worth on?  All of a sudden I felt empowered,  for many reasons.  First, I just didn’t care.  If these people were actually thinking these things of me, the ones I had made up in my head, who cares?  They obviously don’t know me.  Who were they to judge me? Then I took it a little further and thought, why am I even here? Yes, I came to meet my niece for a bit.  Yes, I wanted to hear some good music (old school 80’s and 90’s r&b) but really, are these the people, in this room, that I want to base my worth on?  Is this what I want to be doing a week, a month, a year from now?  NO! 
I looked at my just finished drink.  I looked at my tab.  I looked at my surroundings and my situation and thought HELL NO!  This is NOT where I want to be.  This is not how I want to invest my time, my money, my thoughts, my feelings and my energy.  It was like a wake up call.
Now don’t get me wrong, there were people in the room that I like.  People that are very nice, that were just out with a group of friends.  Overall, I do enjoy to go out and dance.  I love going out with my girlfriends and shaking it on the dance floor.  But, in the grand scheme of things, I want so much more out of life!  I could be spending my time and money so much better.  I could be home in bed all cuddled up with…my journal. Lol  Honestly, this is where I would rather be.  In fact, that’s what I came home and did.  Here is a glimpse of what I wrote:

Sometimes we need reminders of where we don’t want to be.  Where we came from.  To let people think what they want to.  Stop caring WTF people think!  Today is my day to say I’m done!  Done with small minds and simple living.  Done with not knowing my worth.  With placing my worth in someone else’s hands.  Done with focusing on a number.  A scale.  Who the F cares??  These people are not important in the grand scheme of things.  Not worth energy or thoughts.  I have so much more to worry about.  To focus on.  Put my energy into.  I can’t be bothered with pettiness.  I want so much more in life.  I need to focus on what I want and need in my life.  I have been so blessed already.  

I realized that I want to do something with my life.  I don’t want to live the day to day, ho hum, everyday 9-5 life.  I want to live!  I need to make a plan to get out!  I need to do something meaningful in this life. Put my time, money and energy into what I love.  Into writing, into people, into making a difference.   I need to stop focusing on losing weight.  Stop focusing on my weight at all and focus on DOING something!  Who cares what I weigh? Move more.  Eat Healthy.  Do things you love!  Dance, Sing, Write, LIVE!!  Let go of the made up critical voices in our heads telling us we aren’t worthy.
I only share this because I KNOW I am not alone.  I know there are plenty of people, (I’m guessing everyone of you has had this experience) with the voices in your head feeding you negative thoughts.  STOP!  Take back your power!  Know your worth!  Start putting your time and energy into you and what you love.  Don’t worry about anyone else.  Just be true to you.  

PHOTO CREDIT:  I do not own the rights to this photo it was found on the internet

Attitude of Gratitude

wp-1451537647407.jpegThese days we live in a world where every time you turn on the tv someone is trying to sell you something to fix your flaw.  Weight loss products, hair color, hide the back fat, whiten your teeth, stuff these pads in your pants to give you a big butt!  We can all find something we would like to fix or change about ourselves, but did you ever stop and think that maybe the one thing that bothers you most, is the one thing that makes you, well, YOU!  It sets you aside, makes you authentic.  What if God said, “I’ll give her a crooked smile” or “I’ll give him a gapped tooth.”  What if that birthmark was God’s final touch to make you unique?  My cousin and I were talking about Jennifer Grey’s nose job.  (She was the lead in the movie Dirty Dancing, pre nose job and played in Sex in the City post nose job)  We were saying how much different she look afterwards and my cousin said she looked better.  “I don’t know,” I replied, “she just looked so different.  What if that was what made her, her?  What if God cried a little that day because he had made her just right and she went and changed it?”  I still don’t look at her the same.  Her nose does not make her who she is but she just looks so different to me.
We all have that one thing that bothers us.  We all have that one thing that makes us self conscious.  For me it is my weight.  I have struggled off and on with my weight over the years.  I have done Atkins, Weight Watchers, you name it, I have tried it and I have succeeded many times.  Here’s the thing, even when I have gotten to the weight I thought I wanted to be, I wanted to lose more!  I still found something I wanted to change about myself!  Here’s the other thing, my weight does not define who I am!  I am still the same person no matter what.  My friends and family love me regardless.  Now, this is not a pity party in anyway, I actually have a point to make.
Recently I have been reading and seeing a lot about the power of positive thinking.  Oprah has had different shows and speakers on the Law of Attraction and the science of positive thinking.  Whether you agree with these theories or you believe in reaping what you sow, once you begin to be grateful for what you have, your perspective will change.  For example, I struggle with my weight and wanting to lose weight, but if I look at some of my skinny friends, they have struggled to gain weight.  When I look at others who have health issues and illness, I can be thankful for my health.  I can spend my day complaining about my job or I can be grateful that I have a job.  With 2015 coming to an end, I want to start my new year out right.  So, I have begun to start each morning by getting up a few minutes early to be grateful.  To take a few minutes and write down what I am thankful for.  What I love.  They say attitude is everything and I am finding that this helps to put me in a good mood for the day.  Throughout the day when people irritate me or things go wrong I try to step back and look at my issue from a different perspective.
With 2016 around the corner, I want to take the focus out of the flaws. Too often we focus on the wrong flaws!  We watch the news and see all the real world problems going on.  We have flaws in the government, flaws in the justice system, flaws in equality.  Here we are feeding into our own superficial flaws.  I’m tired of feeding the negativity.  I want feed the world with love and positivity.  I plan to try out something I heard about.  Pick a person each day and send them an email, a text, a card or a letter telling them why you love them or what you admire about them.  You can even just let them know you are thankful for them.  Encourage others to do so.  You will be surprised to know that it not only makes the other person feel good, but being grateful can make you feel good as well.  Let’s see if we can cause ripples of love throughout the nation.  Let’s look at our flaws from a different perspective.  One of love, acceptance and thankfulness. Let’s be grateful.

Tsunamis in my mind

“Wow! You’re a great writer” they say. Yet, I question them. It’s funny to me, because really, I’ve been doing this my whole life.  I had no idea other people would want to read my work. I didn’t know people would enjoy reading my thoughts, my feelings, the tsunamis in my mind. It’s really just how my brain works. Just spitting out words and arranging them on paper. Somehow words seem to organize themselves better when they move from my brain to the paper. Not so much when they move from my brain and out of my mouth. Somehow they just don’t flow the same.  They become jumbled and confused at times. But when pen hits the pad it’s like my brain just flows, the words spill out and it all makes sense. It’s like a cleansing.   It’s my therapy.  It’s how I clear my head, calm myself, bring peace to my inner being.  And once I am done and the pages are full, the tsunamis in my mind are calm once again. For a brief moment my mind can rest.