The Audacity to Love Yourself

I love myself.

This is a declaration I must make on a consistent basis.  For so long, I didn’t love myself.  I experienced some traumatic family situations when I was young.  These life events dramatically altered how I saw myself.  I thought something must be wrong with me, or else these things wouldn’t have happened. This is often how children process trauma.  No matter how many times my folks would tell me it wasn’t my fault, and it wasn’t anyone’s fault, it was too late.   My brain already processed it as partially my fault. Without realizing it, I began to see myself as less-than-worthy.  I sought out attention as a teenager and young adult to try to “prove” to myself that I was good enough.  Relationship after relationship, trying to “make them see” how valuable I was.  I didn’t realize that I first had to learn to love ME in order to be whole enough to love others and to receive love in a healthy way.

Am I there yet?  Yes and no.  Yes, I do love myself and it’s taken so much work to get to the place where I could say it and mean it.  But, no, I’m not always good at it.  Some days I have to purposely declare it and purposely remind myself that I am worthy.

Faith Component:  For me, God is central to me loving myself.  He created me and loves me with a love so overwhelming that I cannot fully comprehend it.  And I experience God’s love in such tremendous and often unexpected ways, that I cannot deny it, nor would I want to.

Today, if you do not feel loved, or don’t love yourself, I want to remind you of how special you are. You are most certainly meant to be here.  You have purpose.  You are incredible.  I know sometimes days are not easy, but, please know that you matter.  Your existence is not pointless.  You have a lot to give, even if you cannot see it at the moment.  Know that I am at least one person, one voice here to remind you of your worthiness!  You are in my thoughts and prayers today.

If you feel you need more support than just reading a blog post, please visit my Resources Page to find extra help in the way of counseling or crisis support.  Sending oodles of love your way!

Blessings,

~ Kay Dee

©2019 I AM KAYDEE, “The Audacity to Love Yourself”

Photo credit: pixabay.com

Life

Life is multifaceted.
We juggle wants and needs, responsibility and desires, practicality and extravagance,
and everything in between.
We give large parts of ourselves to different things at different times.
It’s easy to feel like life is a constant struggle for balance.
Many times we tend to feel as though we’re wasting our time with mundane responsibilities,
often feeling trapped by them.
But, BEAUTY is not only found in the things that spark joy and passion in us.
Beauty can also be found in the daily grind, in the fulfilling of our duties, in the handling of our responsibilities.
We show up. We work hard. We provide for families. We care for loved ones.
There is honor in that. And we must include it in the totality of who we are.
Our lives ebb and flow, twist and turn, are unbalanced and balanced again.
We have seasons where certain things take up more space in our lives than others.
Sometimes things we want to do or be are delayed due to these life circumstances.

But, that doesn’t mean that we can never have those things or dreams that spark joy in us?
We absolutely can! But we must be mindful of the full picture. The fruition of things is often seasonal and the timing is rarely in our control.

Life is not one thing OR another. It is the summation of all things together. So, when we look at life, we should not define it by just ONE thing, aspect or season only.

Maybe life is less about “settling for mediocrity” or resigning ourselves to our “lot in life”.
Likewise, maybe it’s less about being fulfilled only if we have everything we want.
Instead, maybe it’s more about embracing the WHOLE experience, in all its many facets.
Maybe it’s about redefining our expectations of what life “should be” and embracing ALL of what it is.
Maybe it’s about recognizing and respecting the season we’re in, and flowing WITH it, not against it.

@i.am.kaydee
©2019 Life Together with Kay Dee “Life” by Kay Dee

Why Do You Worry?

Why Do You Worry?

by Kay Dee

My mind often goes there… It spirals to that place of a million thoughts happening seemingly simultaneously. I tend to worry. I want to blame it on genetics. My mom worries a lot. I might be predisposed to it. But, it’s something I’ve had to learn to manage. When things are out of control in our lives, we tend to like to control as much as we can. For instance, if you’ve experienced trauma at a young age (or at any age really), one way to cope is to control as much as possible going forward so that you prevent yourself from experiencing further trauma. The only problem with that is that there is so much in this life that is outside of our control. And when we cannot control all of the variables of life, it tends to breed anxiousness.

One definition of anxiety is: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. [google]

I tend to get anxious about uncertain outcomes. I want to control the outcome so that it will be a pleasant or happy one. Why do I want happy outcomes? Who doesn’t? But, for me, it is likely because I experienced traumas as a child and as a young adult. These series of events affected me deeply and it took a lot of time to recover from them. Trying to control as much as I could was a safety net for me. It made me feel secure. It made me feel like I could determine how things would progress. Most importantly, it made me feel that I could protect myself from hurt. Unfortunately, it didn’t. Life happened anyway. I had to learn that being anxious for things that hadn’t happened or might not happen only succeeded in making me feel terrible. And I had to learn that there was no possible way to control all outcomes. It was better to learn to enjoy what life had/has to offer and to learn ways to manage my anxious feelings should they arise.

To be honest, it’s something I consistently work on. I don’t have all of the solutions. Different things work for different people. One of the things that helps me is using basic MINDFULNESS techniques. Another thing that helps is reminding myself of TRUE statements to replace/counteract the anxious or fearful statements that arise in my thinking. For me, prayer also helps. My faith is an integral part of who I am, and reminding myself of the truth of scripture and of God’s love helps me to refocus my thinking. During prayer, the statement that frequently comes to mind is “Why do you worry?”. It’s as if God is reminding me that He is in control and I needn’t worry. I have his guidance and peace to accompany me throughout my daily life. This helps.

For some folks, anxiety can be debilitating and more focused, professional treatment may be needed, including counseling/therapy, psychotherapy, medication. There is no shame in any of this. Life is stressful at times and depending on what we’ve been through, what we’re going through currently, and how we have learned to manage and cope with life stresses and events thus far, this will determine how we handle when difficult things arise. You may need more help at certain times than at others. That’s perfectly okay. Love yourself and do right by yourself. You’re the only you that you’ve got. Be kind to yourself and learn to recognize and address your needs. You’re worth it!

Blessings!

LISTEN TO MY PODCAST at anchor.fm/kay-dee7 for more encouragement!

Mindfulness Info HERE

©2018 Life Together with Kay Dee, “Why Do You Worry?”

Ode To Parenting

Parenting by Kay Dee (@i.am.kaydee)

Parenting is never boring! It’s the adventure that keeps on giving (even sometimes when you wish it wouldn’t. Lol.)  And if we’re receptive (have open hearts) we can learn so much from the experience.

Children, no matter the age, have this uncanny way of causing us to face ourselves…a humbling experience I assure you. They also have the ability to draw out of us a love so deep and so strong that the intensity of that love often surprises us.

Although there are a multitude of resources available on the subject of parenting, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for being the perfect parent. You will make mistakes. It’s just a fact. But, you will also do many things right. You will learn many lessons as a parent, so, be open to the process.  In parenting, you will learn to rediscover through your child’s eyes the innocence, the awe and the wonder of this world. You’ll also find that there are often times you have to:  eat our own words, apologize, be firm (though you may want to do the opposite), let go (as they grow), be supportive (even when you don’t agree), and spend thankless hours cooking, cleaning, driving (chauffeuring), nursing sickness, consoling hurt feelings or broken hearts, and so much more.  You will at times be too hard on your kids, and at times too soft (enabling).  It takes a while to find a balance.  Don’t be too hard on yourself.  At times, you will be underappreciated and overly stressed. You’ll wonder how you will make it through certain situations, but, hang in there.  Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint.

In their teen years, you may wonder what ‘alien being’ snatched your little love muffin and replaced them with a ‘meany-pants’ that you may often want to run and tackle for being mouthy or attitudinal. In these years you will re-learn what it is to love them unconditionally.  They will need that love (even if they act like they don’t). I promise your love muffin will return…but it will take some time, so, hunker down and gather reinforcements (i.e. other parents who can relate, fun hobbies to reduce stress, counseling, etc.) as you weather the teen years.  If you are fortunate enough to have an uncommonly pleasant teen, count your blessings and know that is not the norm. Lol. Teen years are an onslaught of hormones they’re trying to figure out how to manage, plus they’re learning how to assert their independence.  This is the season when much negotiating will go on.  Stand firm on some things, be more lenient on others.  Pick your battles.  Slowly begin to allow them to be independent people to begin to prepare them for young adulthood.

Lastly, sometimes there will be hurt or offense or misunderstanding between you and your children during this parenting journey.  But, there will also be opportunities to mend fences, apologize, talk, heal.  Take those opportunities! Do not let them pass by.  Your children will need you differently at different phases of their lives, but, they still need you.  Here’s to parenthood.  Much love!

~ Kay Dee

copyright 2018, ‘Ode to Parenting’ by Kay Dee for Life Together with Kaydee / and @i.am.kaydee IG

images: pixabay

The Art of Letting Go

I’ve never mastered the art of letting go. I’d like to say I’ve gotten better at it over the years, and in some aspects I have, but it’s still hard. I am one who likes to hold on until the bitter end, even when things CLEARLY are over. I could say that I don’t know where that comes from, but that would be a lie. I believe it stems from my childhood.

Now, I am not going to go into some blaming session toward my parents. They are good and decent people. Did they make mistakes? Yes, but we all do. Did they purposely cause lasting trauma in our lives? Absolutely not. Did their decisions have a lasting effect regardless? Yes, some of them did. I have a good relationship with both parents today. That took work and lots of forgiveness (and still takes work and forgiveness) but I am thankful for what we do have.

My parents divorced when I was almost a teenager. To say it was traumatizing would be an understatement. It has caused some issues. All of the talk in recent years about having “daddy issues” has become a joke of sorts, but, it does not lessen the truth of it. I think lots of people have “parental issues” that still affect them today.

Back to my story. I won’t go into explicit detail, but, I will say that I was daddy’s girl. When my parents divorced and my dad immediately married another woman, I was left crushed, devastated, confused and very, very hurt. In my mind, he abandoned us. He abandoned me. I was left feeling (as most kids do) that somehow part of this was my fault and if daddy really loved me then how could he leave? Fast forward to my teen years and seeking love in boys who didn’t know the meaning of the word. Fast forward to college years and picking guys who were slime balls (not all were, but most were). Fast forward to trying to get my life right with God and marrying a guy who used to be a huge player, but, told me he was changing his life around and getting right with God. He wasn’t. He didn’t. The marriage was a long-lasting fiasco and complete “hot mess”. The best thing to come out of that union were my kids. Fast forward to my divorce. It caused within me such devastation that took me years to get over. Fast forward to me dabbling in relationships post-divorce. The incidences were few and far between but I will say that I did experience deep, deep heartbreak again. I also experienced going out with men who would consistently disappoint or hurt me. Ultimately, nothing has worked out so far. But, I still have hope in spite of it all.

How does this all relate to daddy issues? Answer: the abandonment. I felt my father had abandoned me and I spent an entire marriage trying to “fix” that abandonment by marrying someone similar to my dad in some major ways, but, that someone also treated me badly. You see, I was trying to stay married to someone who was unavailable to me. Someone who would leave. Someone who was not a good person. Why? 3 Reasons: (1) By staying in the marriage I was subconsciously trying to fix my parents’ marriage. If I could stay married, I’d somehow “win” by avoiding divorce. (2) I didn’t want to somehow disappoint God by getting a divorce. (3) Because subconsciously I felt a I didn’t deserve any better.  Deep down, I felt like something was wrong with me because the person I had loved with all my heart in my early years, (my dad) had left me. If I wasn’t somehow “good enough” for my dad to stick around for our family, then, I must not be worthy of love or good treatment. I couldn’t have rationalized that at the time. I was in the thick of it and often when you’re in the middle of an unhealthy situation, you’re not able to see how bad it was until AFTER you’re free from it.  And because I’d been unconsciously operating this way for so long, I didn’t know any better. Therefore the unhealthy pattern was strung through my post-divorce relationships (or attempts at relationships) as well. It took some counseling to realize it. I began to see that I always chose someone (whether a good person or not) who was not fully available to me (whether physically or emotionally or both) and of course the relationships or dating situations ultimately never worked out.

What can be done to change the cycle? First, be AWARE of the cycle. Second, when you realize you are going down the same path, catch yourself earlier and earlier so that you can “let go” and proceed in a different direction. It is actually going to take work. You will not be perfect at it. But, you will begin to see that harmful pattern sooner and sooner, so that you can stop yourself from going down that old road. The other part is realizing that you deserve GOOD. You deserve a healthy relationship with someone who IS emotionally and physically available. Someone who will treat you well. Someone, who, although not perfect, is balanced and emotionally healthy and will invest in the relationship WITH you.

What if you feel that you cannot navigate this on your own? You may want to go to a licensed professional counselor who can help walk through this process to find healing and make healthier choices. There is no shame in it. I realize there is still a stigma around going to counseling or therapy, but, think of it this way… If you are injured physically in some way, you go to see a physical therapist. If you are injured emotionally, you should see an emotional therapist. We are multidimensional human beings and therefore must care for ALL parts of ourselves. You’re worth it.

Hope this has helped someone.

~ Kay Dee © 2018 “The Art of Letting Go”

Random Bits of Wisdom

Random Thoughts:

  • If you don’t deal with your own stuff/issues & keep ignoring them, they’ll seep into every other area of your life.
  • Sometimes you have to be alone to figure out WHO you are, what you want & what’s important to you. It’s in that alone time where you get to know yourself best, because there are no other distractions.
  • Waiting is not fun, but, sometimes it’s the best option. We tend to want everything immediately & immediate gratification is not always best. If we got everything we wanted immediately, (1) we might not be able to handle it all (2) we might not fully appreciate it or know how to take care of it properly (3) we might mess it up.
  • Sometimes when you get back what you lost, you realize that it needed to stay lost.
  • Sometimes lessons learned the hard way are the most lasting & life changing.
  • You have to purposely decide to work on yourself, improve yourself, be your best self. No one can do that for you.
  • You can want the best for someone, but, THEY have to decide to want the best for themselves. You cannot change them.
  • Don’t you love when you finally “get” something you’ve been trying to learn or understand? It’s the best feeling!
  • Oftentimes, it’s not until later in life that you can look back and understand WHY something happened the way it did (or didn’t).
  • Some things we will not understand on this side of heaven.
  • Learning to love yourself and accept yourself is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself.
  • Truly experiencing the love of God is life altering and life-elevating.
  • Stop boxing yourself in. Stop putting limitations on your capabilities and dreams.  You can do infinitely more than you can imagine.
  • When you get knocked down, get back up, dust yourself off, learn the lesson & keep going!
  • When you’re going for your dreams and goals, you may face many hardships & failures along the way. Remember it’s all part of the process & don’t give up.
  • Surround yourself with good people.
  • Some friendships are seasonal. They’re not meant to last forever.  And that’s okay.  Thank God for the blessing of that friendship at the time you needed it.

That’s it for today.  Be blessed folks.

@KayDeeSpeaks on FB, IG, Twitter & YouTube & WordPress

©2017 Kay Dee Speaks “Random Bits of Wisdom”

Photo courtesy of morguefile.com

Forgiveness = Freedom

Gosh, it’s so hard to forgive. We know we should. We feel we ought. But, sometimes we’d just rather hold onto that grudge and let it stew a little. Let it marinate. Let the venom build up so that we can spew it at any given moment when reminded of the person who offended us or the situation which embarrassed us. Oh, we’ll show them!

But will we?

I mean, what good does it do to hold onto anger and resentment or even to have vengeance in your heart? It only serves in making you a miserable human being. And all of your energy is wasted on these awful feelings. Maybe I’m oversimplifying this whole subject…but maybe not.

I’m not for a moment suggesting that whatever was done that hurt you is not awful. Not at all. Maybe whatever happened really hurt. Maybe it was really wrong or unfair or mean or uncalled for or damaging. I’m not discrediting whatever happened to you. I’m not trying to say that you shouldn’t feel wronged or hurt or betrayed or offended. What I AM saying is that holding onto unforgiveness really doesn’t do you any good.

It is like ivy. Have you ever seen ivy grow along the walls of the outside of a house. It may start with just a few vines creeping up the walls, but over time, it literally takes over. It spreads covering every possible surface. If you don’t manage it, it will completely take over. That’s how unforgiveness is. It may start small. But, if left unchecked, it can grow to overtake you.

climbing-ivy

Don’t believe me? I’m sure we’ve all met or known at least one bitter person who has been holding onto the same grudge for YEARS. They bring up the topic of their offense repeatedly like a recording on a loop. They never got over whatever it was. They’ve stewed in their unforgiveness for so long that they’ve become this awfully negative, toxic, bitter person and/or their personal growth was stunted. Because they never got over the offense and never chose to let it go, they’ve remained STUCK. They’ve not grown or changed for the better. It’s like an invisible restraint, prohibiting the person from moving forward. But, the only way they can break free is if they choose to break free by forgiving – and setting their own heart and mind free.

I didn’t say it was easy. It’s almost always difficult. But, it begins with a CHOICE at first. You have to choose to forgive. And most of the time it is not an instantaneous fix. You won’t always feel better immediately. Most of the time it is a process where you make the conscious decision time and again to release that offense or person from the mental jail you’ve put them into. You’re not really punishing them, so much as you’ve been punishing yourself by brooding.

This is such a large topic to cover and this post is only scratching the surface. But know that forgiveness is often a process and yes it can take on many forms. Sometimes it means quietly within yourself choosing to forgive. Sometimes it means confronting someone in a safe setting. Sometimes it means actually telling the person you forgive them. Though you forgive, that doesn’t mean you have to return to the previous state of friendship or relationship. Forgiveness can involve you realizing that you must construct healthy and necessary boundaries. Sometimes those boundaries may include reducing, limiting or prohibiting further contact with that person or those people who offended or harmed you. There are various scenarios. But, the important thing is that you FORGIVE FOR YOUR OWN WELL BEING.

From a faith perspective, God says we must forgive others because He forgave us, this can be also difficult to swallow. But, if this is your belief, then you understand that we have been forgiven much, therefore, how can we, in turn, choose not to forgive others. But, forgiveness is not something we’re left alone to grapple with. God helps us via his Holy Spirit to have the capacity and desire to forgive. We have His assistance. And all of the above (in this article) still applies. God desires our freedom from things that would be negative and that would bind us. He knows that if we choose to hang onto unforgiveness it is like a poison to us and he’d rather we are free from any poison in our lives.

It is my hope and prayer that something said here has helped you, whether you’re a person of faith or not, forgiveness is key to our health and well-being.

Blessings.
-KD

©KD Corner 2015 “Forgiveness = Freedom”

Photo credit – Google Images