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

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

When Healing Takes Longer Than Expected

Waking up on a Sunday morning, my mind is full of EVERYTHING including the weird but persistent dreams I had last night.  One of the subjects of my dream was a former love interest … perhaps the phrase ‘love interest’ is not completely accurate.  He was a former potential love interest… there, that’s better.  I had to qualify it. Though I have moved on with life as normal, and time has passed, this particular person has been particularly hard to just ‘get over’.

To be fair, I rarely just ‘get over’ anything. I’m a person of process. It takes me time to work/think things through.  I am also a person who feels deeply, cares deeply and loves deeply.  However, due to prior life situations, disappointments and hurts,  I have learned over the years to temper my feelings.  I try not to allow myself to invest so quickly in anyone because, unfortunately, there are a fair amount of people in this world who will take advantage of (abuse/misuse) a loving heart.  So, I have learned to hold back.  I’ve learned to be watchful, wise and careful.  I’ve learned to see signs of those who would try to use me for their own selfish desires instead of caring for my heart.  There have been one or two who have slipped through the cracks of the security filters I have put in place, but, for the most part my system has served me well and protected me from harm.

However, this one person was not like that.  He was unlike most I had encountered in that we ‘vibed’ intellectually, culturally and conversationally.  He was/is a gentleman. (Why is that so freaking rare these days? I digress). We had similar senses of humor.  We seemed to understand one another well.  And he was/is a very kind and genuine individual.  However, we were at two different places in life and therefore reaching for two distinctly different outcomes.  It ended amicably.  However, I hadn’t realized how much I had allowed myself to hope in this situation.  I hadn’t realized that my heart had begun to become attached, to feel, to care….until it was over.  No one knew of my pain and disappointment, save a few close and trusted friends.  And at a certain point, I even stopped talking to my friends about it because I felt like I was grieving over it for too long.

Being single at this stage in life is particularly challenging.  I’m divorced and a single mom of teens and young adults.  Put on top of that being a Christian woman of deep faith and high standards.  Finding a quality man is not easy anyway, but, it’s especially not easy when you want to find a good, godly, stand-up individual who you actually gel well with.  This particular person met some of those key characteristics and thus, made him appealing.  A cut above the rest.  This was new for me.  The majority of prior prospects… hmm… okay ‘prospects’ is too strong a word.  The majority of prior ‘suitors’?  Nah, let’s just say the majority of prior dudes who’ve tried to talk to me have been only interested in something very shallow, which was always met by me with a polite “no thanks” in some form or another.

So, when you actually find someone that is fitting some of those key things you seek, your inner hope alarm goes off, “Ding, ding ding! We have encountered a potential candidate here!”  Problem is, I got ahead of myself in a major way.  I thought I was being careful and cautious (and I was, outwardly), but internally, I was riding the wave of excitement at having met someone who seemed pretty compatible.  I was leading with emotions instead of wisdom and patience.  However, soon enough, the differences in other key areas began to surface and it became evident to both of us that it was best to part ways as friends. Still, it wasn’t easy.  However, it was done respectfully and peaceably, for which I am thankful.

So what have I learned through this healing process?  I always say if you learn something then you haven’t truly lost.  As I look back on this particular situation with this person, I see places where I should have been more careful with managing my feelings.  I should have paid closer attention to particular conversations where clear messages were being expressed.  I also see places where I compromised within myself where I should not have. I also was gifted with the following gems: I learned that there are good men in this world who are kind, supportive, funny and who will like you just as you are.  I learned that two good people may not be ideal for each other (for whatever reason) and that that is completely okay.  So, you see I’ve learned plenty.  I am thankful that even though the healing process has been slow, at least it has been actually progressing / moving forward and I can really see how far I have come.

For those of you who are secretly trying to figure out who this was and when it happened…that is not important.  Suffice it to say it was in the past.  But, I wanted to share my experience in hopes of being a blessing to someone else.  Much love, much peace.

Kay Dee

Shake Yourself FREE

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You
Yes, you!
You’ve been lost.
You’ve been tangled in the maze of the familiar.
But now you must shake yourself FREE from folly, from indecision, from old patterns
that keep you on the hamster wheel running FAST…and going nowhere.

What must you do to be different? Better? Changed? Improved? Healed?
What must you do to permanently BREAK the chains that have bound you for so long?

You must begin to make better choices
And NOT allow yourself to be SEDUCED by the familiar.
Because the FAMILIAR is toxic, is dangerous, is distorted reality.
The familiar has kept you asleep…unconscious…brain dead for too long.

You must begin to see clearly
Even if the bright light of TRUTH hurts your eyes at first.
You will soon learn to adjust to walking in the LIGHT instead of the darkness.
You will learn to look beyond the surface in order to see the SOUL of a thing
Whereas before…you’d to been blind to it.

Somewhere along the line you fell for the LIE that you weren’t “good enough” for the best things in life because someone mistreated you…and made you feel like you were less than you really were.
And as a result, you made choices about life and love based on this lie.

But, no more!
It’s time to rise up!
It’s time to be free!
It’s time to walk in truth!
It’s time to fly high!
You’re worth it.

Begin.

©2016 Kay Dee Speaks, “Shake Yourself FREE”

Image from Google images via freedomworldwide

Being Human

Isn’t being human fun? Haha. I know some of you rolled your eyes…and others laughed. Define “fun” you say. Well, let’s just say that being human is definitely an adventure. We are unique and complex beings.  We are able to experience the world physically and emotionally.  We’re able to interact with others and express thoughts, ideas and feelings in various formats.  We’re able to create things.  It’s really quite amazing! What’s not fun about being human?  Disappointments, death, hurt/pain, sadness.  But, without the yucky parts of life, it’s harder to truly appreciate when things are really good.  When something good happens, you feel joy, relief, elation, etc.  Whether  you realize it or not, you mentally compare the good moment/experience/event to the bad one(s), and you’re extra thankful for the good.  Life is full of challenges.  Situations are challenging.  People are challenging.  Sometimes there are misunderstandings. Sometimes there is blatant harm.  But, whatever you’re going through or whatever you’ve been through, please oh please, allow it to make you better, stronger, more patient, more loving, more COMPASSIONATE, a better listener, a better giver, etc.  Bless others. 
 
To inspire you, I recently saw Alicia Keys perform a song on Katie Couric’s daytime talk show (I couldn’t find this clip but I found another performance).  The song is called “Brand New Me”.  It’s on  her new album “Girl On Fire”.  The song stopped me in my tracks.  This melancholy melody blossomed into a chorus of strength.  It seems to be about coming out of an unhealthy relationship, but, can be related to other things as well.  Please take the time to read the lyrics below and listen to the song here –> “BRAND NEW ME” (note: She does a piano solo at beginning.  If you want to skip this, the singing starts at approximately 2:50 minutes)
 
Brand New Me – by Alicia Keys
 
It’s been a while, I’m not who I was before
You look surprised, your words don’t burn me anymore
Been meaning to tell you, but I guess it’s clear to see
Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand new kind of me
Can’t be bad, I found a brand new kind of free
 
Careful with your ego, he’s the one that we should blame
Had to grab my heart back
God know something had to change
I thought that you’d be happy
I found the one thing I need, why you mad
It’s just the brand new kind of me
 
It took a long long time to get here
It took a brave, brave girl to try
It took one too many excuses, one too many lies
Don’t be surprised, don’t be surprised
If I talk a little louder
If I speak up when you’re wrong
If I walk a little taller
I’ve been on to you too long
If you noticed that I’m different
Don’t take it personally
Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand new kind of me
And it ain’t bad, I found a brand new kind of free
 
Oh, it took a long long road to get here
It took a brave brave girl to try
I’ve taken one too many excuses, one too many lies
Don’t be surprised, oh see you look surprised
Hey, if you were a friend, you want to get know me again
If you were worth a while
You’d be happy to see me smile
I’m not expecting sorry
I’m too busy finding myself
I got this
I found me, I found me, yeah
I don’t need your opinion
I’m not waiting for your ok
I’ll never be perfect, but at least now i’m brave
Now, my heart is open
And I can finally breathe
Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand new kind of free
That ain’t bad, I found a brand new kind of me
Don’t be mad, it’s a brand new time for me, yeah
 
Toodles ♥
 
 Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 
© “Being Human” by KD Corner 2012

Make Time

Today’s post is short & sweet. Make time for those most important to you. So much of the time we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off, keeping up a very busy pace, always going-going-going. We go to work, meetings, social events, etc. But do we take time to make time for those most important to us…our families and those closest to us?

When your child asks you to play a game, or watch a show with them, or go to the store with them (a store you may not like)…. When your spouse, boyfriend, girl friend or best friend asks you to go to a certain event, or spend some time, but you’re not in the mood…. When your parents or grandparents want you to call or come by to visit, but, you’d rather not…

What do you do? Now, I’m not talking about going into any unhealthy situations. I’m talking about healthy, normal relationships. Are you going to look back on your life and say, “Wow, I wish I had gone to another meeting instead of spending time with my son/daughter.” or “That TV show was waaay more important than spending time with my friend/spouse.” Or “So glad I let my excuses keep me from seeing Grandma before she passed away.” No! Of course not.

Life is a gift and life goes by quickly. I just want to encourage you to make some time for those who matter most to you. Sometimes it takes a sacrifice on your part, perhaps doing something you don’t enjoy, but the other person loves. But when you look back on your life and the choices you made to spend quality time when it counted, you won’t be disappointed. 🙂

Toodles

Image courtesy of: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A Father’s Day Memoir…

Happy Father’s Day to all of you fathers out there!  Daddy, Dad, Papa, Papi, Pa…or any other variation.  As I reflect on my own father, a mixture of emotions come to the forefront. I love my dad, whom I lovingly refer to as “Daddy-o”.  Growing up, my dad was my hero. I practically worshipped the ground he walked on.  He was cool, funny and a blast to hang around. Yes, I was a “daddy’s girl” as a young child.  But soon, times for our family got tough.  My parents split up when I was nearing middle school.  It was a devastating blow to all of us.  I felt abandoned, even though he kept in touch.  This played out in my life in the form of becoming a depressed and rebellious teen. (My poor mom handled my drama so well. Mad props – that is, much respect – to Mom). The divorce affected my performance in school, relationships and other areas in my life.  It took me many years to heal from my parents’ divorce.  It took lots of prayers and counsel from those wiser than me.

I’ll never forget when I first realized my dad was not superhuman, and that he was in fact a person with good qualities and flaws just like the rest of us.  I had to come to terms with the fact that the ‘superhero dad’ of my youth was in fact, a mere mortal.  I had to forgive him within my heart for the offenses for which I’d held him captive for many years, and accept the man I had come to know as an adult. A tough process, but one I’m glad I allowed myself to work through.  So where do things stand with dad today?  I love him. He’s still funny and the life of the party.  I’ve come to him on more than one occasion for advice.  And he still always knows when something’s bugging me.  Is he perfect? Not at all. But neither am I.  I love him as he is, warts and all.  He does the same for me.