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

Introverts… Speak Up!

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Years ago, a key person in my life once encouraged me to “speak up” and share my thoughts / ideas. Why? Because they have value. You see, I was your classic introvert. In addition, I used to be in an emotionally abusive and manipulative relationship for many years. On top of being an introvert and a people-pleaser by nature, being in this kind of relationship proved to be very toxic/unhealthy and disastrous. Thankfully, I’ve never been in a physically abusive relationship. My heart goes out to those who are or have been. I hope that you have gotten out or soon will. In regards to physically abusive relationships, I credit my parents, especially my dad for instilling in us girls that no one, absolutely no one should ever put their hands on his daughters. Period. And if they did, they’d have to answer to my dad among other males in my family. I was a quiet person, but, if you got “stupid” with me, I’d have to pull *that* girl out of my pocket (so to speak) and “check” you. Don’t get it twisted.  But for many in these types of relationships it’s not easy to just “get out”. I pray that if you’re in such a relationship, you take steps to get out and get into a healthier place.*

But, back to my story. What did happen instead of being in a physically abusive relationship, was that I got into a codependent and emotionally abusive & manipulative relationship. In my opinion, this can happen for varied reasons, which I will likely post about another day. In emotionally abusive relationships, mind games, blaming, emotional manipulation (the kind that always make the perpetrator seem like the “right” one, while you’re always the one to blame) were the order of the day. Thankfully that ended many years ago. I got out of it, but, not without some emotional bruises. When you’re in that kind of relationship, and you’re the recipient of that type of constant treatment, it takes its toll (and takes time and concerted effort to heal). Your mindset is one of defending yourself, while secretly believing that maybe somehow you’re to blame. Or either you’re afraid to speak up, so as not to “upset the balance”, which would in turn cause more drama and perhaps abusive behavior. Even if you’ve not experienced any type of abusive behavior at all, and perhaps you’re just a quiet or shy person by nature, it may be extremely uncomfortable or feel very unnatural to speak up on any occasion because it’s not part of your natural makeup. You’d rather be in the background and/or invisible.

So, when an extrovert tells you to “speak up” it’s a frightening and foreign concept. After all, extroverts tend not to have a problem with being noticed or being on center stage.  But, when a fellow or former introvert encourages you to “speak up”, you listen, because they understand where you’re coming from. The point is that you have good ideas and suggestions. You have important perspectives and questions. The point is, you have value. Your input has value. Don’t keep this locked away. If you have something to share, then you should share it, yes respectfully, but share it. If you have something to ask, you should ask it. If you believe in something, then stand up for it. If folks don’t want to grant your request or agree with your perspective, that’s okay. But, at least do not keep what is valuable bottled up inside. You matter. So be open to the idea of sharing your perspective on varied topics. Yes, in all things use wisdom. There’s a time and place for everything. Speaking up doesn’t always involve being the center of attention, which most introverts seek to avoid like the plague.  You can “voice” your ideas or opinions creatively, by writing, or joining a particular group, or working behind the scenes for some cause, organization or event, and add your input that way.  Behind the scenes people are vital to the success of front-line people.

I now consider myself an intro-extrovert… or what I recently learned is also called an “ambivert”. Definition – a person having characteristics of both extrovert and introvert (and I would add… knowing WHEN to operate in each characteristic). It took some time for me to get to this place. I have my moments where I’m totally in “introvert mode” (yes, leave me alone… no, I can’t (don’t want to) go out…. no, don’t call me … yes, I’d rather stay at home and watch PBS with some delicious food, wine and my thoughts, in my ugly “chill out” clothes, etc.). And there are times when I’m an extrovert (Where’s the party? Let’s go!…. Just tell me when, I’m there! …. Let’s post that on social media … Let me organize an event…. You should go talk to him/her… Ask him/her what they mean by that, … Try that new thing!…etc.). But, my purpose in posting this today is to let you know that if you’re typically not one to speak out, I can relate. And I’m coming alongside of you as a friend saying, “Your voice matters.” You can “speak up” and have your say. Don’t be afraid of others not agreeing with you. It will take some time to get used to this.  This is not a comfortable feeling for an introvert. But, you’ll soon learn that it’s okay. Everyone is not going to agree with you, but, your voice still matters.

Some other personalities would take this encouragement to “speak up” and use it to hurl abusive statements or to blast others in a brash way in the name of “sharing their perspective”. This is NOT what I mean. But, often times, these types of personalities will act in this reckless manner regardless of any warning or counsel. Don’t waste your energy on folks who like drama. And STILL be encouraged to speak up.

*I want to end with this…. If you’re in an abusive relationship, it may not be as easy as “speaking up”, but you can take steps to free yourself from this kind of situation. It’s not easy and it won’t be easy, but IS POSSIBLE. Your life, health & well being is sooo worth it! And if you have children, the lives of your children are worth it! If you can do nothing else, try contacting the Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visiting www.thehotline.org. They can help you find a local shelter where you can go. And they can help you create a *Safety Plan* :
“A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave. Safety planning involves how to cope with emotions, tell friends and family about the abuse, take legal action and more.” They’ll help you whether you’re alone with an abusive partner, whether you’ve got children or pets involved, or whether you’re pregnant. I hope and pray that this helps.

Sending love!
~K.D.

Photo credit

@2014 KD Corner / K.D. “Introverts… Speak Up!”

You ARE Good Enough!

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A friend of mine recently posted a picture on her Facebook page of someone holding a sticky note that says “you are good enough!” It hit home. I don’t know about you, but, so many times I question, “am I good enough?”

Am I good enough to be loved?
Am I good enough to fit into that social circle?
Am I good enough to be accepted?
Am I good enough to be respected?
Am I good enough to complete that project or reach that goal?
Am I good enough to seal that huge deal at work?
Am I good enough to be valued by others?

The list could go on and on. What makes us question our own value? Have we been told by someone that we’re not valuable? Has it been demonstrated by another person’s actions toward us that we are not up to snuff? Have others made us feel that somehow we’ll never measure up to the perfection they expect? Or has it been communicated to us somehow that others don’t see us as able enough, talented enough, or intelligent enough to obtain a certain goal?

I daresay most of us have had such an experience in our lives. Sometimes we experience this type of criticism or rejection by well-meaning people in our families, friendships, social or professional circles. The trick is not believing the naysayers. Constructive criticism is one thing. It is usually given in such a way as to build up the person. It should be given with care and in a way that will help the person see where they can tweak or improve in a certain area without tearing them to shreds verbally.

But, if you’ve received harsh criticism or if you’ve been overlooked, berated, undervalued, etc., I’ve got news for you. You ARE good enough! The truth is that God made each of us uniquely special. We don’t all have the same set of talents and abilities, but, there is greatness in each of us!  There is something each of us are wired to do and to do well. Don’t undervalue your unique gifts.  Develop them and use them to bless others.

As you move forward to develop your gifts and talents, you may experience instances or periods of failure.  But, remember this –  failure at a task or a goal does NOT equal your failure as a person.  Your “who” is not determined by your “do”.  Some things you will have to continuously practice at to hone your skills in a certain area. Other things you will try and then realize that particular thing may not be for you. But the important thing is that you TRIED. You didn’t hold back. There will be no regrets because you attempted it. John Maxwell (author) has written a whole series of books, CD’s called “Fail Forward”. Even if you fail at something, if you learn from it, you’ve not failed at all. You’ve gained more valuable knowledge with which to move forward and tackle the next goal.

Your value  as a person, is not and should not be defined by people, but, by God. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. There is no one exactly like you. You are loved with a love that never wanes and never ends. And in those times where others put you down or you experience failure of some kind, you’ll need to remind yourself of this fact: YOU are SPECIAL.  If you have to, write it on sticky notes and stick it all around your house or apartment.  And surround yourself with positive people!  We each need people who are in our corner and believe in us!  It’s important.  Also, one of the best things you can do is let someone else know how special and important they are. I’m a huge advocate of paying it forward.  There are so many people in the world who have not been told how valuable and special they are.  And God may use YOU to be the one to tell them.  You can plant a seed of love into someone else’s life.  And you never know how big that seed will grow or what it will develop into.  Maybe because of you, someone who wanted to quit life, decides to continue on and becomes an amazing motivator of others.  Maybe that person who was going to quit med school goes on to become a world renowned physician or surgeon.  You never know.  So, as I hopefully breathe life into you, so, breathe life into others.  Remember how spectacular you are!  Silence the voices of the naysayers and shout out loud, “I AM GOOD ENOUGH!”

© KD Corner “You ARE Good Enough” 2013

photo credit here

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

Play Dress Up

Hey guys & gals! How’s it going? I hope all is well. Today, let’s talk about dressing up. Why? Well, I’ve read on more than one website that dressing up is one way to pamper yourself. I submit to you that dressing up gives the ol’ ego a boost. You can go all out and dress to the nines or you can just pick something a bit more modest but flattering. But whatever you choose, choose something that makes YOU feel and look good. Some of you may be wondering why I chose to write on this topic. Well, it’s because I believe that sometimes we need to be our own encourager, our own best friend and do something for ourselves that will remind us how special we are. Sometimes it’s nice to indulge just a little.

We, typically, are creatures of habit. We like routine (nothing wrong with that). But sometimes we allow ourselves to get stuck in a rut and we neglect ourselves. We tend to do the same thing day in and day out. It’s good break from the norm and remind ourselves how unique and special we are. And if you’re feeling down, dressing up can really make you feel better. I’ll never forget, when I was a teenager, I was kind of down in the dumps one particular day and that day I happened to talk to my dad. He gave me some advice. He said, “You know, when I feel down, I do something nice for myself. I dress up in my favorite outfit…and it just makes me feel good. Do it for YOU!” So, I tried it. I did my hair in a style I liked, and I wore a favorite dress to school that day, and the compliments I received were really nice (mostly…you know some teen boys are goofs no matter what…lol). Anyway, I remember walking home that day loving the way I looked in my dress and feeling like a million bucks.

So go for it! It can’t hurt. It may seem silly to you, but, don’t knock it till you try it. No, clothing doesn’t make you who you are. But sometimes it’s just a nice treat to ourselves by spending a little time sprucing up. So guys, put on that outfit that makes you look AMAZING and don’t forget a dab of that cologne that smells so great. Spruce up your hair and beard or mustache and go out that day looking & feeling phenomenal. Ladies, maybe wear your hair in your favorite style, paint your nails (if you like) and put on that ensemble that makes you look like a SUPER STAR (because you are) and don’t forget those cute shoes! Then, strut your stuff. Do it first and foremost for yourself. This is just another way to show love to yourself. You’re worth it!  Have a great day!  Let me know how it goes. 😉

Toodles ♥

Image from Google / fashionchoice

© KD Corner 2012

Reaching Beyond Ourselves

Recently I heard a story of a young girl (15 years old) who committed suicide because she felt trapped by her past mistakes.  It had to do with content she posted when she was a bit younger – in ignorance – that followed and plagued her no matter where she went.  To add on to her struggles, she also had an unfortunate interaction with a young man who preyed on her naïveté and low self-esteem.  The boy had a girlfriend who beat up this young lady.  The result was that the school at large turned against her, telling her she was worthless and that she should end her life, which eventually she did.  She apparently left behind a youtube video chronicling her struggles and asking for help.  My heart broke for this young lady.  Yes, she made some foolish decisions, but, who of us hasn’t? The difference is that maybe your blunders (mercifully) didn’t have such a large audience.  So, we shouldn’t throw stones.  Instead we should have compassion.  And if you cannot personally relate, then think of your kids, nephews, nieces, god-children, grandkids, neighbors, friends, etc. These kids matter and they are our future. 

I shared the story of this young lady with someone of that age group, who quickly informed me that there are many similar videos on the web, some of which I viewed.  There are so many young people who have been bullied, verbally abused and publicly or privately humiliated/berated on a consistent basis.  This hurts my heart.  I do not understand people (no matter what the age) who want to hurt other people.  How can people treat others so cruelly?  Whoever said “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” obviously didn’t realize the falsehood of this statement.  Words CAN & DO hurt.  But what can be done?  I wanted to reach through the screen of each of those videos and tell each of those kids how special & important they are!  That they DO matter and they have lots to offer!

We don’t realize the power we have within our reach to positively influence someone else.  Maybe just a word from you makes the difference in someone’s life for the better.  Maybe if we start spreading more genuine kindness and care for our fellow-man, we can counteract all of the hate and poison that is spewed out by the negative people of this world.  I heard about a young man who uses his Twitter account to say nothing but positive and encouraging things and that he has tons of followers!  Sounds like there are a lot of people out there who need those words of hope … words that build up instead of tear down.

Maybe you don’t have a master plan or even a large platform from which you can effect change worldwide, but you don’t have to.  There are people all around you every day with whom you come in contact.  Start there.  No, not everyone may not appreciate your random acts of kindness, but, keep on sharing and caring.  It WILL make a positive difference in this and the next generation.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net