Is loving someone a decision or a feeling?

I was scrolling through Instagram this morning (which is my morning ritual to help me wake myself up). I came across one of my favourite poet’s account, R.H.Sin, and noticed that he had responded to a follower’s comment. This follower asked: “Is loving someone a decision or a feeling? In your personal opinion.”.

Right away this question intrigued me and I was excited to see what one of my favourite authors thought. He started by answering the questioning how I thought he would, he said: “I think you decide who has the opportunity to be loved by you.”

I love this answer. If someone were to ask me, my answer would be that loving someone is a feeling, but Sin’s answer puts a lot into perspective.

He continues by saying: “Think about it, logically, when you choose to entertain some sort of relationship with someone, you’re making the decision to let them in close enough to be loved by you.”

Wow. Preach RH Sin, PREACH.

I needed to hear this in this very moment. I sat there and realized a lot about my most recent situation. I was in control of letting this person mistreat me. I was in control of allowing myself continually give and not get anything in return. Yes, of course it’s easy for me to sit pouting and pointing fingers at this individual, but in reality, I am giving them the opportunity to mistreat me.

Sin ends by saying: “People have to ask themselves what they base their love for someone on and at the end of the day… good or bad, people make the decision whether or not they believe a person is worth falling for and sometimes they’re wrong, it happens. It’s all a lesson to be learned.”

I have made the mistake of believing a person is worth falling for (more than once if I’m being honest) but I tend to be quick to blame the other person. I am very guilty of blame shifting.

Did I deserve to be mistreated? No. But, did I have the control to walk away from the situation when I realized it wasn’t benefitting me? Absolutely.

This individual is not a bad person, but he certainly isn’t acting like a great man or even friend towards me at this point.

Walking away from someone or a situation isn’t always easy. But staying with someone because they make you feel good for simultaneous moments isn’t good or healthy either.

Someone told me the other day, that they would rather be hurt by the truth, than heartbroken over a lie.

I would rather feel lonely for a little while, than being left feeling empty by another person.

-A

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He loves you so good, but does he stay the night?

I often get passion mistaken for love, and when I say often, I mean almost always.

I am so tired of people leaving me feeling more lonely than when they found me. More empty instead of more full. And I really have no one else to blame but myself.

Time and time I again I chase after the type of man that doesn’t want to be caught. That doesn’t want the love I am offering and doesn’t desire what I have to offer.

But why do I do this to myself? Do I enjoy the pain, the heart break or the disappointment?

Am I replacing my past pain with the continuous sting of rejection?

The truth is I don’t need another person to make me whole. But the lie I tell myself is that I do.

I can’t wait until your bitter after taste becomes only a memory. And your smile is something I no longer see as my light, but as a subtle glow in my past. Reminding me that I was my own light all along.

I hope one day you realize how much I could have given you. I hope you smile in my memory, and feel a sting of my long gone laugh echoing through your head.

And if you don’t, I hope you learned a lesson. That a girl with a soft heart is fragile and should be handled with care.

But I also hope you realize that she didn’t end at you. You fed her fire to find someone deserving of what she was to offer.

I hope you one day regret, that your hands explored more of her than your heart ever would.

-A

What are you choosing to care about?

I am in the middle of reading the book, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”. And when I say I’m in the middle of reading it, I mean that I randomly pick it up every once and a while and read a random chapter.

I highly recommend this book, especially to people like me, who care way too much about everything (not to say that isn’t a great characteristic to have).

The chapter I’m on is called: “You Are Always Choosing”. It basically talks about how we are responsible for everything in our lives. We may not always be responsible for what happens to us, but we are ALWAYS responsible for how we react, how we respond and how we move on from events in our life.

The book asked you these questions: “What are you choosing to care about? What values are you choosing to base your actions on? What metrics are you choosing to use to measure your life? And are those good choices, good values and good metrics?”

I really had to step back and think about these answers. I have been feeling very down lately for multiple reasons. Health, friendships and relationships and family.

My health is under control right now. I have not had a seizure in 2 years. I take my medication daily and am getting a prettying decent amount of sleep. I think I could almost choose to care a little more about my health. Getting some sort of exercise every day, eating properly and enough and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule.

I have had a hard time with friendships this year. Trying to balance which friendships I should out my time and energy into and which friendships I might need to let go of. I have finally realized that no matter how much love and respect I put into a friendship, that doesn’t mean I will receive the same back. I can’t choose how people treat me, but I can choose how I react to their treatment, and unfortunately, I have had to choose to let go of some people recently. I need to focus on the friendships that I have in my life and putting my attention and energy into making those friendships the strongest I can.

Relationships. It is completely my fault that I keep going back to the people that have hurt me, or a certain type of person that will end up hurting me in the end. I cannot allow myself to do this anymore. It’s no healthy, fair or beneficial to me. Being lonely is not a good enough reason to allow people to walk all over me. Never allow someone to make you an option when you’re making them a priority in your life.

Am I happy right now?

My short answer would be no. I feel lost, negative, ran down and stuck. But when I take a step and think about how I’m measuring this question, is the answer actually no?

I have a great group of friends. Friends that check on me and want the best for me. I can’t be friends with everyone. That’s just how life works. I am healthy and haven’t had a seizure in 2 years. I can’t predict or worry about the future when all I can do is concentrate on the now and doing everything I can to promote a healthy future. In relationships, I am the one who sets the standards of how people treat me. I need to stop accepting anything less than I deserve and if that means that I need to let people go, I need to accept this and trust that if these people want to be in my life, they will fight to be there.

I know this post was a huge ramble. Really, it was a post mostly for me to see that I can control whether I allow myself to continue to be sad and negative, or I can snap out of it and realize that I have people that love me in my life. I have people that want to see me succeed and want to see me smile.

It’s okay to have bad days. But it’s important that a bad day does not mean a bad life.

-A

Mindful

I don’t even know where to start writing. It’s been so long! I thought about writing an update on my life, and then I realized I don’t really have a lot to update you on. I could talk about my recent trip or my recent work, but I haven’t quite found a good enough purpose to write about either of those. I could talk about fitness or mental health, both topics I love writing about, but again, I have not a lot of motivation to do so.

So I have decided to write about something cool that happened the other day. Two of my best friends and I went out for brunch to a local restaurant. We sat, chatted, laughed and ate. We talked about outrageous things that probably shouldn’t be talked about in public and every once in a while our server would catch a glimpse about our absurd topics and giggle along with us. She was the cutest server, that was so personable and honest. She was one of those people that just by talking to her, you could tell how kind she was.

After brunch, we all went along with our ways. I ended up having to go straight to work because we chatted our way into the afternoon. I didn’t check my phone until later that night and saw that I had a direct message. It was from the server we had in the restaurant earlier that day. She reached out telling me she recognized me from school and wanted to thank me for speaking about self-harm.

I love getting messages like that because I often don’t think my writing reaches anyone. I also sometimes find it hard to be so vulnerable in such a small-knit city. It feels like I’m standing naked in front of everyone, allowing my flaws and imperfections to be seen.

She also made a comment in her direct message, that I really needed to hear. Usually, around this time of year, I would be heading into calendar shoot weekend for the professional cheerleading team I was previously on for five years. This means at this time last year I had dieted and exercised my way to the “ideal” body that society would approve of. I would have a fresh tan and freshly highlighted hair.  Not always being able to maintain this body and ‘perfect’ look is a hard reality to swallow sometimes and has definitely been an adjustment for me. Finding a balance has been hard and is something I am definitely continuing to work on.

At brunch, the server had offered to take a photo of the three of us at our table, I laughed and told her: “No thanks, I look ugly right now with no makeup on”. I never really thought much about this comment, I just laughed it off. In the girl’s message, she said this comment hurt her heart. She not only thanked me for speaking out and giving people someone to relate to but she made the great point of saying that: “we often want others to feel this way (beautiful) but forget to remind ourselves”.

I needed to hear this comment. I speak so often about loving ourselves and being positive, I need to step back and be mindful that I am also living this way. I have come a long way from the hate I used to have for the way I looked and the body I was given, but this comment made to realize that I need to continue to work on loving myself and speaking to myself positively like I speak to the people around me.

Sending someone a message is such a simple act but can be immensely impactful.

Remember to take the advice you give others and speak to yourself with as much love as you do to those around you!

-A

The Lessons of Love

I think this post is going to be a lot more for myself, than for you guys (I’m sorry!!). But stay with me for a second. I want to go through all my old types of relationships, and explain what I learned from each of them.

“But Ashley, isn’t that a little cruel and harsh to your exes?”

Well for 1) I won’t use their real names and 2) I have nothing against the people of my past. I’ve come to learn that everyone enters your life for some kind of reason. I think all of them come with some kind of message or lesson.

Let’s begin!

My first love. Everyone has a first ‘love’. That first person that makes your heart flutter, your knees weak and your brain cloudy. I think this one for myself, was full of an important lesson. I wasn’t ready for love. I didn’t love myself enough, to be in love with another. I also couldn’t love someone else, into loving myself. If that makes sense. No matter how much love I could give another, if I couldn’t give that same amount of love to myself it wasn’t going to work. Simple as that. This first love for me could really have been two people from my past. They both taught me this extremely important lesson.

The love that got away. I truly don’t wish this kind of feeling on anyone. I think I could have fallen deeply in love with this person from my past, but my mind was to sick at the time, I didn’t treat them or any other people involved fairly. From this love, I learned that an unhealthy mental state makes you selfish, harsh and cold-hearted. It not only breaks your own heart, but it breaks the hearts of those around. I learned that loving someone with mental health problems is sometimes unbearable and isn’t always fair, especially when the person isn’t ready to get better.

The wrong place, wrong time love. I fell hard and fast into this love, engulfed by the perfect life we had set up for ourselves abroad. This love was in paradise, away from society, away from pressures and away from reality. This love taught me that I didn’t know myself well enough yet. I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted my life to go in and I wasn’t ready for that amount of love and commitment from another person. I learned that I hadn’t given myself enough time to learn who I was before I could possibly learn who I was with another person.

The love that tries to change you. This is still a tough love for me to talk about and reflect on. This person tore me down continuously and I don’t think they will ever really understand the damage they did (the fact that I am still in a negative mindset about this person, proves that I still have healing to do). This is the type of love that you never feel good enough for. You never feel pretty enough, or pure enough, or smart enough, or successful enough. This is the type of love that tries to mould you into the person they want you to be instead of loving you for the person you are and the potential you have within your own vision. This love caught me a lot. It taught me that I am enough. It taught me that if a person really wanted to change me that much, they didn’t deserve me. And it taught me that no person should ever feel that they are not good enough for someone.

The empty love. This is the type of love I’ve found myself in time and time again. It’s the love that you continually give more than you receive. You put this person first, make time for them in your busy schedule and often get lost in. It’s the type of love that you float blindlessly through, hoping that they will one day give back to you what you’ve given to them. These people left me feeling more empty. They play mind games. They trick you into thinking there is a future and they tip top around the word “commitment”. These people may not think they are doing anything wrong because “we’re just hanging out and having fun”. This type of love is tricky. You can’t convince them to want you as much as you want them. But you also can’t wait around forever. This type of love taught me, that sometimes the only company you need is yourself. Filling voids with people will not do any good in the long run.

I have a hard time letting go of things. I struggle holding grudges against people who have long gone forgotten about me. Holding onto lost love, hurt feelings and other negative things does nothing but hurt yourself. Reflecting on the types of love I’ve endured and felt has helped me realize the type of love I want. It has helped me move on and understand why things happened the way they did, and why certain people entered my life and then left. As hard as heart break is, I think one day it is something I will be grateful for. Thankful that I can share my lessons with you all and appreciative of the love I hope to one day find.

“There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit.’ It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over — and let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out.”

Ellen Goodman

-A


I miss you.

I think sometimes, as humans, we just need to be told we’re missed by another person.

The “I miss you” words, don’t necessarily have to be said with intent, but they just need to be heard.

These words could come from an ex, a faraway friend, a long lost family member or anything in between, but these words are proof that you did make a difference in another person’s life. That your presence left an impression, one that they miss from time to time, or maybe a lot.

An “I miss you” could give you the comfort that another person thinks about you, maybe as much as you think of them.

It shows that you crossed their mind, that something in their day to day life, reminded them of you.

It proves that despite how things were left off with this person, they still have a positive memory of you, enough to miss you, to miss your presence, your smile, your laugh or simply your being.

Always remember that, even on your lonely days. Someone misses you. Someone out there is thinking about you. And someone enjoys you just the way you are.

Almost.

The almost relationship.

The break up that you can’t even call a breakup because you never actually dated the person.

The heartbreak that you feel stupid for having because you don’t feel entitled to feeling hurt.

The wasted time, the lost words and the forgotten feelings.

Holding onto absolutely nothing.

And letting go of even less.

How do you get over something that was never there, to begin with?

How do you get that part of your smile back from someone who doesn’t even know they took anything from you?

Would you trade the almost love, the almost relationship, for not meeting this person at all?

Would you trade the laughs and memories, the things that now leave a bitter taste in your mouth?