Tag Archives: love

The Spin

22 Feb

Today I was jealous of an old lady.

No, not because of her wisdom or even her lifelong loving relationships…

…it was because of her LEGS. They were absolutely not old-lady legs AT ALL. They were model legs. For real. I’ve never seen an older lady with such young, skinny, tone, tan model-legs before (honesty, is that even possible??) but I promise you, they were the greatest legs. So great that I am openly obsessing over them to you, bloggy world. They looked that good.

Okay, before you think I’m a huge creeper for staring at some lady’s legs, just know I was at the gym. Why do skinny people even GO to the gym? I mean, do they get paid by the gym owners or something to make their gym look good? You KNOW they were probably born that way, with great genetics that run in their beautiful family of skinny people – they dont NEED the gym. How dare they want to be physically fit and healthy. Those aspirations are for normal people with “slow metabolisms” and a love of fast food and desserts. Hmpf.

But anyways. The gym.

So there I was, thankful to reach the end of a tough spinning class. Have you ever been to a spinning class? It is the empitome of death and life (talk about your spiritual metaphors!) You feel like you’re going to die for an hour, but afterwards you feel accomplished and awesome like you could take on the world… after a quick nap of course. Okay so I’m no spinning superstar, but since I hate strongly dislike working out, I figure surviving something that intense once or twice a week should at least help me make SOME progress. Baby steps people.

At the end of the class the instructor makes sure everyone stretches out, using your stationary bike as a prop. You put your leg up on the seat and stretch, switch legs, cross one over, stretch the calves, etc etc… So I climb off the bike, thankful to be alive, and put one leg up on the bike. Of course, I can’t really reach my foot all the way up to the seat of the bike (like some over-achievers), so I stick with the middle of the bike, totally acceptable. As I am doing this, standing to the left of my bike with my leg/foot extended towards the right side of the room, I see my spinning neighbor to the right doing the same. That is, if by “the same” you mean stretching like a yoga master contortionist with her foot aaallll the way up on the HANDLE BARS and then squatting down and forward… practically doing a split standing up. Now, normally, I would just shake my head in disgust (in my mind, of course – I’m too tired to actually shake my head anyways) and look away, preferable towards one of the few guys in the class (men are horrible stretchers)… but that is when I noticed my spinning neighbor’s LEGS. Good Lord those were amazing legs. 

Which brings us back to the whole jealous of an old lady thing. Of course, I didn’t realize she was an older lady until she switched fancy yoga poses and I caught a glimpse of her face. WHAT?! Those legs do NOT, cannot, belong to her. I may have stared, but only out of disbelief and slight confusion, for everything I knew to be true about getting old were apparently lies. But seriously, I almost said something. As if I had to acknowledge the amazing legs. But how do you compliment someone on their legs?

“Uhh, hi, excuse me, sorry to interrupt your very important show-off, I mean stretching time, but I just wanted to let you know that you have the most beautiful legs, not that you dont already know, I mean, they are YOUR legs, but I just can’t stop looking at them, not that I’m staring or looking or even noticed really. I’m not a creeper, promise.”

After thinking through the possible outcomes of opening my mouth, I decided it best not to boost her ego, because you know, she probably hears that all the time. I forced myself to look away and tried to trick my brain into thinking that she got those legs from simply going to spinning class once or twice a week… so, my legs will totally look like that, probably by next class. Or something.

And this is just what we do, as women, as females. Compare ourselves to those around us. Never satisfied until …well … until never – just NEVER satisfied! We always want to lose more, no matter how good we may already look. Sure society is to blame, growing up in a country where thin is beautiful and overweight is ugly. There are few role models in the spotlight with a strong, healthy, confident self-image (and who aren’t teeny tiny sticks). However, there are some, and it gives me a huge smile when I hear them speak the truth in their own ways.

[Kelly] Clarkson strikes back against those who have criticized her waistline, saying: “When people talk about my weight, I’m like, ‘You seem to have a problem with it; I don’t. I’m fine!’  The 27-year-old ‘American Idol’ champion turned music supserstar says that like everyone else, her “happy weight changes,” and that “sometimes I eat more; sometimes I play more.” Clarkson says she’s not concerned with her image, and the only reason she exercises is for her “psyche.” She says she’s “much better when those endorphins are going. It’s a release. And I also love food, so there’s a payoff!” …”For me, it’s the times when I’m not paying attention that I end up losing weight. But I’m never trying to lose weight – or gain it. I’m just being!” Clarkson adds. (- http://www.popeater.com)

Kelly Clarkson has been constantly criticized for her weight gain since she arrived in the spotlight back in 2002, but it is refreshing to see her brush it off with such true words – THEY are the ones with the problem, not her. And if we were honest with ourselves, we may discover the same could be true of us. If only we did not care so much about looks, and cared a little more about the issues that truly matter.

And speaking of issues that matter, here is an excerpt of a “personal note” from Pink found on her website about her latest video for her song “F**kin’ Perfect”:

Cutting, and suicide, two very different symptoms of the same problem, are gaining on us. (the problem being; alienation and depression. the symptoms; cutting and suicide). I personally don’t know a single person who doesn’t know at least two of these victims personally. A lot of us have seen certain starlets showing off their latest scars on a red carpet somewhere, usually right before they head back to their favorite rehab.
Its a problem, and its something we should talk about.
We can choose to ignore the problem, and therefore ignore this video, but that won’t make it go away.
I don’t support or encourage suicide or cutting.
I support the kids out there that feel so desperate/numb/powerless, that feel unseen and unheard, and can’t see another way.. I want them to know I’m aware. I have been there. I see them.
Sometimes that’s all it takes.
Making this video was a very emotional experience for me, as was writing this song. I have a life inside of me, and I want her or him to know that I will accept him or her with open and loving and welcoming arms. And though I will prepare this little munchkin for a sometimes cruel world, I will also equip this kid to see all the beauty in it as well. There are good people in this world that are open-minded, and loving. There are those that accept us with all of our flaws. I do that with my fans/friends, and I will do that with my child, whoever they decide to be.

That’s right, even those who do not profess to be followers of Christ recognize the need to be happy and confident with who you are, the way you were made. That is because it is a REAL PROBLEM. In a world full of depression, hate, and alienation, how much more should we, His people, be spreading that message of hope and acceptance and sharing the love with one another? How much more should we be supporting the women around us, letting them know that they are beautifully and wonderfully made and encouraging them to be confident and hold their head up no matter what others say. Now I’m not saying we should all just sit around and be fat and lazy and it’s okay as long as we are “happy”. We can certainly help eachother lose the weight, cheering one another on to reach the goal of a smaller, healthier size – but being thin should NOT determine our level of happiness! True joy comes from the Lord and true self-worth and value comes from finding our identity in our relationship with Him! Our self-esteem affects us (and those around us) in so many ways, and we must not fool ourselves into believing that fixing things on the outer surface will also fix our deeper issues underneath. While it is certainly okay to want to be healthy and beautiful on the outside, it is important not to neglect our inner health and beauty. 

Find someone to encourage. Tell them they are beautiful. Bring to light their amazing inner qualities that they may be unable to see anymore. Be real. Be honest. Be love.

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“love is a violent flame not to be ignored” -AE

24 Dec

I heard the most horrible story the other day. I am hesitant to write it here because it is so sad, but I want to convey the reality of this painful situation… (or is it the painful situation that is reality?) I am currently working at an insurance company, and a lady called first thing in the morning – she was distraught, asking about accidental death coverage for her mother. She went on to explain that her mom passed away earlier in the week. Her mother had dementia and wandered out of her sisters house somewhere up north where she was staying, while they thought she was sleeping. When they realized she wasn’t there and couldn’t find her, they called the police. The police searched the house and one of them went to the back of the house where they heard someone gasping for air. There was a freezing cold creek behind the house that she had fallen into. They rushed her to the hospital, but it was too late and because she had been in the creek for a couple hours, she froze to death. The lady on the phone began to cry as she said the words. My heart was so so broken for her. There was so much hurt and sadness on the other end of that phone line.

Its crazy how this time of year, the holiday season, is supposed to be so joyful and full of hope, and yet there are people all around who are in tremendous pain. About a month ago I was out watching some friends play football for an annual Turkey Bowl game they always participate in around Thanksgiving time. I sat next to a lady who was watching her son play. We small-talked for a while, and I asked about her Thanksgiving plans and her family. When I asked if she had any more kids who would be home for the holiday, she choked up. She told me through held-back tears and a quivering voice that she used to have 2 sons, but one was killed in a car accident 1 year ago to the day, right before Thanksgiving on his way home from college. She had taken the day off from work because she knew she wouldn’t be in the right mind-set, and came to watch her other son play football and spend time with him. My heart sank. Brokenness and pain was sitting right next to me.

Those stories ruined me. Each time for the rest of the day and the days thereafter, I could think of nothing else. Their sorrow left an ache in my heart, and the soreness would not go away. I wanted to do something, to say something, to somehow make things better, but what could I do? What could anyone really do?

In darkness like that, there is only one source of Light. I honestly don’t know how people get through life without Jesus. He is my rock, my comforter in times of sorrow, my support, my healer, my helper, my salvation, and so much more. What is the meaning of life without Him? What is LIFE without Him?

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:26

Hearing those stories prompts me to put my life back in perspective, remembering what and who is truly important and forgetting the rest. Their hurt reminds me to be kind to those around me, strangers or not, and constantly be showing and sharing His love in whichever ways I can. The holidays will never be the same for these ladies who have lost so much, as well as so many others with similar heart-aching stories. A little kindness can go a long way. Even a hug can go a long way. Even a listening ear and a caring heart can go a long way!

Don’t be so consumed in the holiday season that you walk all over those around you. In our American consumer-driven world, it is so easy to get caught up in what we need to get done, and who we need to buy gifts for, and who we are going to fight for the last Tickle-Me-Elmo doll (flashback!). Of course I am included in this, and just as guilty for making this season all about me and not about sharing the Love.

And so, with a heavy heart I challenge you (and me) to take a good look around. Be aware of those who are hurting, and extend your (fill-in-the-blank) in compassion and love. Make a positive difference in the life of someone who could use a little support. Thank your friends and family who have been that support for you.

Live your life for someone else for a change.  This is the message of Christmas.

Love is a powerful thing. Share it with someone.

“Love is a violent flame not to be ignored” – Andrew Ehrenzeller (musician)

So love, and do not stop.

Un-Pimp ze Attitude

10 Oct

Help! Im drowning in the sea of Strategic Finance!! Its true. I very much do not like this class. Very much. Buh. Its the worst. In fact, it may be my least favorite class ever (no offense to you smartie pants out there who actually like/understand financial hooplah – also, WHY?!?) To quote the Plain White T’s: “Hate is a strong word, but I really really really don’t like you.” So boo on you, Finance class! *spit on the ground*

That’s right. Im complaining about school again. Don’t act like youre not used to it by now. You know youve missed hearing about my awesome procrastination skills and how much I loathe studying. Yes. You have missed it. I can tell.

But I shall say no more of that dreaded “F” word (for now) because, quite honestly, it depresses me. And I do not want to be depressy anymore. And I do not want to bore you with such depressy things. Thanks, but no thanks, Debbie Downer.

Instead, I shall try to tell you of more interesting and exciting and happy things, such as my new boyfriend, or my new haircut, or my new love of those salt and vinegar chips that come in that purple bag (SO yum!)

But srsly. I apologize for my bloggy absence. Things have been crazy / hectic / busy blah blah excuses excuses. Life happens. You know how it is.

So, in order to silence the silence (yeah, that’s right) I have decided to blog. Right now.

However, those of you who are still reading this may have noticed by now that I do not, in fact, have anything of importance to blog about. Well, to that I say, you are quite right. How very observant. But lets focus on the important things here. And the important thing here is that I am even blogging at all. For you. Whoever you are. Yes, a new blog has come. So just embrace it.

All this talk of being busy and doing crappy schoolwork and being in depressy moods has got me thinking lots of thoughts about attitude. I mean, if you think about it, attitude is actually really powerful. Like, really really powerful. It can change everything! It practically controls your mood – which in turn controls your whole outlook on the things that happen to/around you (life). Your whole day could be either completely ruined or completely awesome based solely on your attitude… your viewpoint… your perception.

So yeah, attitude. Lately, mine has been sucking. And while I can easily justify all the reasons for it, Id rather not. Id rather just stop.

Is that possible?

(haha that reminds me of this commercial from a while back that my friends and I used to quote all the time… “its definitely sucking”) :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCIF6JF1O5U

and here’s 2 more bc I think they’re all awesome:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgEvy60bZYI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuC6jeKjTdg&NR=1

Maybe instead of un-pimping your auto, you should un-pimp your attitude. Corny tie-in, I know, I know, but I just thought about it, and it works! I mean, come on, its the same thing! Replace your ridiculous, sucky attitude with an awesome one. V-Dub in the house… Oh Snap!

You are the only one who can change your own attitude. You can change your outlook on life, the way you see things, the position you take. Each morning is new. Each minute is new. A new chance to literally count your blessings, and start over with a fresh take on life. And you don’t have to wait to start over. It’s a choice you can make anytime, anywhere. A choice to gain a little perspective.

Sometimes we are limited more by attitude than by opportunities. – (Anonymous)

And that’s the heart of it. A sucky attitude is LIMITING! IT LIMITS YOU. It constrains you, holds you back from accomplishing all that you can. It skews your vision and causes you to see opportunities as hardships and obstacles to be avoided rather than a challenge that can be utilized to your advantage. We should be going for it! All in! Go big or go home. Don’t you want to live life to the fullest? To seize every moment and every opportunity to grow and become all you were meant to be? To live a life of joy and excitement rather than mundane and ordinary?

Confession: I so much want to be so much more than I currently am.

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.  – (William James)

Its crazy to think we have the power to alter the course of our lives. Yes? Im not saying attitude adjustment is easy, Im just saying its worth it.

The interesting thing about changing attitude and perspective is how different it can be from one minute to the next, once you introduce a little more information. I mean, you think one way about something, and then you learn a little more about it, and it totally changes the way you were just thinking, almost instantly sometimes.

I recently started working in an insurance office, and there is a huge picture of the sinking Titanic on the wall. Its all beautiful and tragic and whatnot. And at first, I thought “How horrible! People are coming in to pay bills and are upset about money and all their other financial troubles (especially in this economy), and they look up and see the sinking Titanic?! Doesn’t that just scream ‘all hope is lost!’?” But then, today, I heard the real purpose for the picture (yes, there actually was one). It is used as a sot of visual tool. Nobody thought the Titanic would sink. It was referred to as “the unsinkable ship” –that God himself could not sink! And yet it did. You never think bad things are going to happen to you, or know when they will – all you can do is be as prepared as possible. And then, there was an instant shift in my perspective. My attitude was no longer slightly offended and depressed, but future-thinking and hopeful. You can choose to see a sinking ship or you can choose to see a lesson to be learned. Lost hope or found hope. It’s all about perspective. And perspective is powerful because it directly influences attitude.

Its usually once you know the whole truth that you begin to really understand and are “set free” as the Bible says. Our attitudes can so easily be the outcomes of our jumping-to-conclusions and assumptions (and we all know what happens when you assume… “you make an ass out of u and me!”) So really, seeking the truth in all situations kind of overlaps this whole attitude idea, because if you seek the truth, seek to understand and get to the core of things, then it changes your view of those things.

And the truth is, that you and I are blessed. Incredibly, ridiculously, abundantly blessed. Blessed above and beyond what we deserve. Im serious. Just look at the world around you. There is an abundance of good and wonderful things in your own personal life. Yes, there is. And when you start to literally count those blessings, its hard to be all depressy. In fact, its hard not to be grateful and overwhelmed with the love that flows freely and constantly from God to His children.

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you … we are in charge of our Attitudes. – (Swindoll)

It’s a choice, every day. One that we have to make a conscious effort to make. Every. Day. Sometimes twice a day. Sometimes 10+ times a day. But I promise you, when you refocus on whats truly important, remember how very blessed you are, and allow your attitude to reflect the joy that Christ has given you, the Love that lives inside, you wont regret it. (I need to remind myself of this more often.)

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. – (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Each day is a gift. And today is really all we have.

Time to un-pimp ze attitude. (hehe)

the opposite of love

17 Aug

So I have been obsessed with my new favorite band of the moment – Mumford & Sons. I was just introduced to them this past weekend… by 3 different people… in the same day (coincidence??) I don’t know how it took me so long to “discover” them, but I’m thankful that it finally happened. I love their music.

There’s this one song in particular called “Sigh No More” (the title track of their latest album) that I just love because of these lyrics:

“Love that will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, it will set you free – be more like the man you were made to be…”

They paint a beautiful, powerful picture of love –but it’s not one that everyone has experienced. Some of us are fooled by what we think is love, only to realize later that it was destructive and controlling. For someone that has been deeply hurt by so-called “love” (something disguised as love) it can be hard to become a believer in the idea reality of love as a good, loyal, and freeing type of experience.

But that’s exactly what love is.

Its empowering… freeing… overwhelming even. I mean, I am far from the expert here, but I do know that there is power in TRUE, transformational, life-changing, action-filled L. O. V. E.

Love is NOT a prison. Real love doesn’t make you feel trapped and insecure and weak. It does the opposite. It empowers you to be able to live to the fullest possible extent – to where you can be all of who you are meant to be, without feeling held back and without fear. There is no fear in love.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – I John 4:18

Sometimes we get confused and think that the opposite of love is hate. But the opposite of love is NOT hate, its FEAR. Love is trust. Fear is the total lack of trust.

God wants to meet us exactly where we are –He wants to drive out all of our fears with His perfect love… so that we have nothing left to fear! Because fear has to do with punishment. A lot of people view God as having a list of rights and wrongs, punishing those who do wrong and only accepting those who do right. But God is not only on the side of those who have it all together. God is on MY side. Your side. The side of sinners and the side of those who fail and screw up and get overlooked. God’s love is about grace, not punishment. Its about bringing people together, not division.  His perfect love drives out fear – we have been forgiven, accepted, redeemed. Its about grace.