Because you are.

How many times have you been driving and you stop to let someone go and they don’t go?  You just sit there waiting for them to appreciate your kindness and they seem oblivious.  So you tut and sigh and perhaps curse and say something along the lines of ‘well I’m not waiting here all day’ or ‘you’ve lost your chance now’ as you drive on irritated with them.

Or perhaps you bump into someone and immediately say sorry, the other person then looks at you and tuts or gives you a dirty look, perhaps even a stern ‘look where you are going next time’, and you instantly get annoyed, maybe even shout after them ‘well if you weren’t standing in the middle of the aisle’ or maybe even something worse?

How many times have you tried to be kind to someone but they are rude back and then you enter in to an argument with that person, you know full well it is their fault because you tried to be the better person?

Perhaps you have tried to be nice and then an argument has escalated and perhaps that person has gone as far as to push you.  To hit you even.  So, you of course hit back.  They started it, you were trying to resolve the issue?

What has happened in all of these circumstances is you have placed expectations on other people to act how you want them to act.  To do as you think they should do.  You have based who you are on their actions and when they haven’t acted as you expected them to you have become defensive and angry.

Now before I go any further I must point out that we are all human and therefore we will all have good days and bad days and sometimes do right and sometimes do wrong, but, if we can understand our behaviour then we can at least learn from it.  If you are a respectful person – or pride yourself to be – then you should be respectful always, not just when someone is respecting you.  You don’t have to tolerate disrespect and you certainly don’t have to match disrespect.  If you are a kind person, be kind always, don’t excuse cruel behaviour by blaming someone else.  Just because someone is cruel to you it doesn’t justify you matching that behaviour.

Be who you want to be, be the person that you think it is right to be.  If you want to be kind then you must be kind when challenged, when pushed, when provoked.  You always have the choice to close your mouth, hold your hands by your side or walk away.

Preaching that you are a type of person and then letting that be determined by someone else’s attitude is not being true to the person you say you are.  The person you want to be.

The other day I could feel myself getting irritated with a man on the train, I was tired and had a headache and I was in the middle of reading a really good book and this man was talking so loudly on the phone.  He was trying to get through to someone presumably talking to a receptionist first.  I looked over at the man and could feel myself wanted to shoot him an irritated look but I stopped myself, I stopped for a moment and thought ‘Rachel, it is your own fault you are wound up with this man, we have been underground for some time and he might need to make this call, stop being so rude’.  This was the telling off I gave myself.  I tried to go back to my book but couldn’t concentrate so decided to wait patiently until the man was off the phone.  A few seconds later I heard him say ‘yes sorry I haven’t been at work my mother passed away this weekend and I’ve taken a few days off but I will be back tomorrow and can sort it then’.  He then had to repeat it several times as the person on the other end of the phone clearly couldn’t hear him, which was perhaps why he was talking loudly in the first place.  Well didn’t I just feel like a prize idiot.  This man is grieving and trying to sort out his work in the meantime and here I am annoyed because I can’t concentrate.  In that moment I was so thankful that I observed my thoughts and took responsibility for my actions.

You never know what someone is going through or why they are acting out.  The angry woman shouting from her car, the man that bumps into you without saying sorry, the miserable cashier, you just don’t know why they are acting that way and by you being nice, or patient or just polite, you may be helping them more than you know.  More than even they know.

So be nice because you are nice.  Be kind because you are kind.  Be respectful because you are respectful.  Just because YOU are those things, be them.

Kindly respecting all of my lovely Pride.

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Build it your way

There is no ‘right way’ or ‘wrong way’ of doing anything.  There is only the  way it feels right or wrong to you.  There is no higher power saying you must get all A*’s on your school exams or you will be a failure.  There is no higher power saying you must eat with your fork in your left hand or you have no manners and there is no higher power saying you must work for someone else all your life, get married and have children before you are able to relax for 20 years.

There is also no higher power saying that any of the above are wrong.  See where I am going?  Everything we see in society has been created by other humans and we then try to fit in to that way to feel established.  But that isn’t a way of establishing yourself, that is a way of establishing someone else’s influence or idea of ‘right’.

Now I am going to give you some advice but please, feel free to dismiss it, because again, it might not be right for you:

DO WHATEVER YOU FEEL TO DO

Follow your heart, follow your dreams.  Don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done.  Anything can be done.  There is no rule book.  There is no set way of doing things.  The only real thing we do know is that:

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

Apply yourself freely to what you love and you shall reap reward.

Be kind to others and you will create a kinder world.

Love conquers all.

There is no such thing as failure, only a chance to learn.

All of these things need to be remembered.  You do not have to be earning a certain amount by a certain age to be deemed successful.

You do not have to have a 9-5 job to be taken seriously.

You do not have to meet someone and settle down to be considered loveable

You do not have to love women, or men, or both or for that matter, neither.  You should love who you  love (I must question the woman who fell in love with a tree though, but hey, each to their own).

You can create any life you want and by never forgetting that you are a living example to others and you will help them live a free life true to themselves.  Fear is the only thing stopping us so let’s be brave and be everything we want to be.  We are all headed out of this life the same way, don’t spend it following the herd!

Here’s to living Pride!

Do it how you want it!

(photo from anonymous source – Facebook)

Pretend you are the person that you want to be, that you dream of being.  The only thing stopping you being that person is you acting differently.  Stop watching other people, stop worrying about them watching you.  Watch yourself and enjoy the view!

SCAREDY CAT OR WARRIOR LIONESS?

Are you ever scared? Shy? Embarassed? Nervous? Weak?

Do you ever make mistakes?

Do you break down in front of people?

Do you admit these feelings in front of anyone?

If not, why not?

Somehow, someway, society views admitting these feelings as a sign of weakness. A sign of being dramatic or seeking attention. But we all have these feelings. We all share the same feelings and emotions, our circumstances might all be different and some people will feel some more than others and they will mean different things to different people, but we all have the same feelings and emotions. So why on earth are we made to feel like we should hide some of them?

The only reason we hide these feelings is because of fear. Fear of being judged. Fear of being ridiculed. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear of facing them, I could go on and on but you get the idea.

In this life we have two types of feelings – good ones and bad ones. These are then broken into many categories but the bottom line is we either feel good or we feel bad. We need to be able to feel both to appreciate our lives. If you never felt bad you would never understand how great it is to feel good. If you never felt good we would have no purpose.

So again, why do we feel ashamed to feel bad? We need to own it. We need to be true to ourselves. I don’t mean to imply we should tell every passer-by our deepest and most personal fears and worries, but we shouldn’t hold back from talking to someone, or opening up to someone when we feel the need to. We shouldn’t feel silly for how we feel. You are not silly, you are human. Being human means you have a soul operating a fantastically complicated machine and you need to work out how this machine works so that it doesn’t spiral out of control. We cannot do this by ignoring parts of it.

Sometimes we need to vent as a one off and sometimes we need to discuss a problem over and over and over again. There is no set way of opening up and you have to do what you have to do to work through it. Sometimes the best way is to simply talk about it out loud. The chances are that other people have felt something similar and will be able to empathise and even help.

I know I have touched on this subject before but it seems that it is a subject that needs to not only be touched upon, but really and truly fondled!

Taking you so, so seriously as a member of the pride, fellow Lionesses…and of course Lions!

So there!

(photo from anonymous source – Facebook)

Don’t people please.  Maybe leave out being evil and mean but you get the point right!  Have standards and limits and boundaries and value them pride!

You got the power!

We have got to take responsibility for ourselves and teach our children to do the same.  
Imagine if in every argument we had, instead of throwing accusations and blame towards someone else, we actually took responsibility for our own feelings and actions.
You have control of your life you just have to actually take it. If someone is making you upset or not treating you right then why on earth are you still bothering? Why are you attacking them for not changing or behaving the way you want them to. Take responsibility for yourself and recognise that you do not want to be there and you want to find someone who treats you in line with how you want to be treated.
When someone is making your life ‘hell’ change your behaviour in the situation.  
Yes it might be scary and feel hard but its the only way you will really get what you want and teach others how to do the same.  
We have got to stop blaming the world for how our life is and realise that we are shaping our own life all the time.  
Set your standards, don’t lower them for anyone and be ready to make the decisions your life will require from you.
Your life, your way pride!

Uncontrollably in control

Society today can be tough right? We are told how to look, think and act and then we are told to ‘just be ourselves’. Wow, sure, ok.

Then we have people. People love helping other people. Advising them. Telling them what to do and how to behave. I’ve already covered the topic of people advising you based on who THEY are rather than who YOU are. Most people want to fit in to society – and then believe they are different from anyone else. Which ironically they are when they stop trying to be like everybody else.

And finally we have fear. Fear is painted as a person shaking and looking terrified. But fear, like the devil, wears many disguises. It is the cause of people wanting to fit in and look perfect and not be singled out. It is the cause of those advising you to keep quiet and put your head down and not upset anybody. It is the quiet voice in your head that says ‘you can’t do it’, ‘you look stupid’, ‘don’t cause a problem’.

Some of us are aware of the ‘truth about fear’ and some of us are not. Some will come out and say ‘I am far too shy for that’ ‘I can’t stand everyone looking at me’ ‘I am just not brave enough’. Some lather themselves with excuses and stories to avoid people questioning them or so that they can avoid speaking their truth or just to feel better in themselves.

I haven’t always been one to face fear. In fact I used to be the Queen of excuses. I was living in a ‘woe is me’ world drowning in my victim river. I haven’t always been able to be truthful and express my feelings without trying to belittle others or feeling the need to put them down and have the last word.

Why did I do this? Because I didn’t like who I was. Because I didn’t feel good enough to be listened to. Because I didn’t have the courage to say how I felt. Because I would feel stupid or silly for feeling the way I did. Because I valued myself based on other people’s opinions. And a whole list of other reasons, none of which benefited my life.

However that was a long time ago and mixed with a whole load of other problems that I had to face on my journey of becoming a Lioness. I have learnt the reasons behind all of those and in turn, studied others. Watching people convince themselves of their place in today’s society. Watching people excuse the things they are unhappy with and play victim to win sympathy off of others and it is quite fascinating.

I believe very strongly in being true to yourself. True to your creative side. True to your feelings. True to your likes and your dislikes. True to your own worth. And I believe something else:

Bollocks to anyone who doesn’t like the authentic version of you.

The most interesting part of my journey is most definitely the other people around me. Since I am no longer influenced by other people’s opinions of me or the need to ‘fit in’ anywhere, people see me as a potential problem, I know right? Little old me! Well the reason is that I will not people please or hide from how I feel. I will not try to ‘fit in’ for the sake of other’s opinions. I will not act according to anything other than the way I believe. For example:

I am happy to speak to a man sleeping on the street and bring him a hot drink or something to eat – people often fear those that they do not understand and often worry about their own or my safety when I talk to someone homeless.

I am happy to offer help to a stranger and do not fear rejection – If someone looks like they could use a hand I will lend it, if they say no (for whatever reason) that is fine too. At least I offered, this is often embarrassing to other people, they feel silly for trying and fear what others around them are then thinking.

I am not affected by someone disliking me – Other people’s opinion of me is none of my business. If they wish to tell me what they dislike or cast judgement that is fine by me. I know who I am. I know my intentions in this world and I also know that their opinion is not a reflection of who I am in this world but rather, who they are. It is a compliment to be thought of enough to be disliked.

I am not able to be controlled, muzzled or put off of speaking my mind – I won’t be told who I can or cannot speak to or confront. If I feel the need to confront somebody when they have upset me I will. I don’t believe in putting someone down or trying to scare anybody at all but I do believe my feelings are important and I should be able to express them without being made to feel like I am causing a problem. I will always consider how it may make someone feel and use my words carefully. I will always try to express hurt or anger after I have calmed down and I will aways take responsibility for my own feelings. If someone is afraid of confrontation that is THEIR problem. I will not stay silent just to keep the peace – silence isn’t truth. There are no rules on how to deal with a negative situation but it is my personal belief that you have to be true to yourself and speak the truth to others. I won’t look you in the eye and smile whilst secretly seething inside. It is not me. I will not be told what I can and cannot say or to whom. I will also have the intention of making peace with someone and clearing the air.

I won’t change who I am for anybody. If someone doesn’t like me or accept me then my suggestion is to not be around me. To leave me be. If you feel embarrassed or awkward or uncomfortable with any of the ways in which I live my life then I won’t be offended if you step away. I do not wish for you to do anything you don’t believe in either.

Why should we be anybody but ourselves or made to feel like we have to change who we are in certain situations? We are human. We are each imperfectly perfect. We do great things and we make mistakes. We have good days and bad days. We have beautiful days and not so beautiful days. Why are we so ashamed of being ourselves? Of excusing those around us? We are not responsible for anybody but ourselves so why would anyone try to justify anybody elses truth? Why should you tell someone how they can or can’t act because YOU are scared of what the other person might think.

Be you

Be every part of you

Do right. Be right.

Do wrong. Be wrong.

Learn

Grow

Be brave

Be shy

Be beautiful inside.

Be anything you want to be. Be everything you want to be. Don’t be sorry for being you. Be sorry when you feel sorry but don’t be sorry for being you. Don’t let anyone make you feel you should be. Let the world know you will always be you and you won’t be controlled by anybody. Let them fear that, it’s not your problem and none of your business.

In the words of Lesley Gore – ‘You don’t own me, don’t try to change me in any way’!

100% Lioness 0% Mouse

Here’s to YOU Pride.

Take responsibility!

So often us women tear down men for the way we are treated:

“He doesn’t make enough effort with me”.

“He doesn’t message me enough”.

“He never calls me on the phone”.

“Why hasn’t he asked me out yet”.

“Why does he always put his friends first”.

“Why doesn’t he dress smart when we go out”.

“If he just changed a little bit he would be perfect”.

And so on…..

But the thing is girls, you are the ones accepting this behaviour and by doing so deeming it acceptable. You hold these high standards but yet you are not making anyone actually meet them. Instead you accept this shoddy behaviour and expect the man to raise the ‘standard’ bar himself. Well, he is not going to do that.

If you don’t like how you are being treated then DON’T PUT UP WITH IT. Address the issue with him perhaps once and if it continues – walk away. You will soon see if he is willing to meet your standards and treat you the way you deserve to be treated. If he isn’t willing to do that then why on earth would you even want him around? Stop digging your claws into deadweight guys and start living your life the way you want it to be and do it for you. You deserve it. It’s not about being demanding or high maintenance, it’s about only accepting the best in life which I am sure is what you are offering a partner in return.

You don’t need the wrong man you need the right one and the only way you will ever meet him is if you cut away all the men who are far from good enough for you. have some self-respect and treat yourself by the same standards you want someone else to treat you. You can survive a little bit of heartbreak, disappointment and insecurity whilst you forget about the latest deadbeat. To live a life being treated like you are not a Queen just so you don’t run the risk of living alone for a small while IS NOT living. It is clinging.

Demand more for yourself through your actions. You don’t need to give someone a list of rules or tell them off for what they aren’t doing. Just know that you will not stay for something that isn’t worth it and prove it – by leaving situations that are bad for you.

Stronger than ever before Pride!

Why believe anything else?

IMG_1260-0

(photo from anonymous source – Facebook)

Life is sure to have its dark days and we know that nothing lasts forever so why not trust there is always light waiting to shine. Light that takes away the darkness, for a second, a minute or perhaps the entire day. Beautiful, exciting, warm and hopeful light.

Isn’t the thought of thinking that wonderful?

Enjoy your weekend pride!