Living with Regret

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Guilt is regret for what we’ve done.
Regret is guilt for what we didn’t do.”

Guilt comes in many forms. You can feel guilty for eating that bowl of pasta on your low-carb diet or you can feel guilty for hurting someone you love. I have learned that there is healthy and unhealthy guilt. Healthy guilt helps us to recognize what we did wrong so we can amend the situation. For example, you can do an extra 15 minutes of cardio to negate the effects of the pasta.

Unhealthy guilt on the other hand can consume you and can become a constant reminder of not so good choices we made in the past. This reminder is called regret ~ the feeling we get when we wish we did something differently in our lives. Now that we got that straight....raise your hand if you have regrets in your life. (*raises hand*) I believe we all have some regrets.

However, holding on to regret can stop us from moving forward. I often think about certain choices I made in my life, the "should haves", the "what ifs" and the "if only I hads". Wow! There are so many of them. Should I have done some things differently? Yes, in some cases my decisions weren't always the best. But the question is how long should we live with regret? Regret can be a constant reminder of choices we made that we wish we hadn't. Regret has a way of replaying the outcome of these decisions in our head like a broken record. Regret can steal your joy and destroy your self-esteem. But only if you let it. The only way to get rid of regret is to learn to deal with the consequences of those choices. This is where forgiveness comes in. Thank God!

We need to forgive ourselves even if others can't. Forgive ourselves for the things we wish we did and didn't do. Forgive ourselves for those decisions that turned out not to be the best ones. Forgive ourselves for hurting the ones we love. I can no longer hold on to unhealthy guilt. While dwelling on past regrets our present life can be passing us by. So instead let's learn to forgive ourselves, make amends where we can and let God handle the rest.

Feeling the Sunshine!

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's hard to believe that it was only three months ago that I had a dream that I was speaking to a room full of young girls. Although, I couldn't tell from the dream exactly what I was speaking about......when I woke up a little voice God told me exactly what my message was.
It wasn't long until I turned my dream into a vision and then the vision into my purpose: to educate, inspire and empower young girls.

After talking with hubby and doing some serious research I decided to begin a mentoring program for young girls called 'I Love Me! Unconditionally. I reached out to a small group of parents who I thought may be interested in having their daughters attend a week long summer camp for girls. I could not believe the positive response that I received which just confirmed that this IS my purpose. Then I got busy planning and preparing the topics that I would address as well as the activities to go along with the daily workshops. It was amazing how it all came together so smoothly, almost as if I had been planning this for years.

The summer camp was called the I Love Me! Summer Workshop for Girls and it took place July 11-15. It was an amazing week! Not only did the girls learn how to trust and believe in their dreams this week.... so did I! By the end of the week the girls had shared their feelings, recognized their strengths and weaknesses and learned that the way they feel about themselves is more important than how others feel about them. They bonded with each other in ways I couldn't even imagine and they made life-long friends. Both the girls and their parents want to know what's next for I Love Me! Unconditionally... this is just the beginning of what is in store so stay tuned...the best is yet to come!

Friday night after the camp was over I celebrated the success of the week curled up on my couch with a glass of wine and some yummy Chinese food. After I finished eating I opened up my fortune cookie and it read:

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves"
Instantly tears came to my eyes because today I am really feeling the sunshine!

Check out the website to read more about I Love Me Unconditionally.

Meet Phenomenal Woman, Shannon!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Since I started Loving Me Unconditionally I have meet some phenomenal women in the blogsphere. Shannon is one of them! Even though we have never met face to face we have so much in common that I feel like I have know her all my life. Check out her blog Her Cup Runs Over for encouragement, inspiration and a good laugh! She is truly a phenomenal woman!

Hi! My name is Shannon and I am a Chef, a Maid, a Counselor, a Nurse, a Chauffeur, a Teacher, a Detective, and on my days off I really love to BLOG. Just kidding, I am officially not any of these things, but I, like many of you have a family {so you know what I mean}. My BLOG is an extension of me and well, my heart mostly. A place where you can expect pieces of my perspective on what I call {Faith} {Froth} {Fabulous}.

{Faith} First and foremost, my very uncut and real walk with my Lord.

{Froth} That extra "stuff" that comes with a good cup of Joe, you know, head tilted back laughter and life's crazy fun.

{Fabulous} When I come across anything that I love...I just have to share it!

Speaking of love. I'm married to my high school sweetheart and a mom {agent} to 2 very favored young people.

When beautiful Nikki asked me to write something to be featured as a Phenomenal Woman on Loving Me Unconditionally I was HONORED and so excited. She is such an inspiration to so many of us and to get to be a part of this beautiful blog is amazing! I was thinking about what I should share and honestly the word Phenomenal gave me the shakes. What a huge word, full of meaning and power. It's not everyday that you hear people use this word. Needless to say, I did not take this assignment lightly. I kept asking myself, what makes me Phenomenal...*crickets* I had nothing. Then I decided to look up the word.

*highly extraordinary or prodigious; exceptional
uncommon, outstanding, surpassing, unprecedented.*

Now, I'm a word girl. I love them and use them often, hee hee. These were all words that I would use to describe someone I'd really like to meet, be around, spend time with. Words that I'd encourage my kids to look for in friendships. How many times have I told my kids that they are who they "hang around"?

That was it, Phenomenal is my God, my creator, my best friend. When we get close to Him and develop a relationship with Him, He makes us Phenomenal. Over my parenting years I have tried {still working at it} to encourage myself, kids, husband, friends and family to "hang out" with God. To be Uncommon, Outstanding, Surpassing, Exceptional and Unprecedented in our faith. I can never just settle for regular or normal...when I'm your friend, we are bound together. When I'm your mom, you can't shake me. When I write, it pours from my heart. When I eat...well let's just leave that one alone.

I am deeply honored to be able to share what I love with Nikki's friends. I thank her for revealing this powerful word to me that has given me such new meaning.

So very nice to meet you all!!!

Loving Him "As Is"

Thursday, July 7, 2011

When women love we love unconditionally and while this is a good quality when in a relationship it can be difficult to always do. How so? Loving someone unconditionally means that you love someone regardless of their qualities or actions. In other words you love them "As Is".

Let's say you meet you a man who has almost all the qualities that you desire. However, you like him so much you are willing to overlook a small minor flaw in his character or a habit that you are not fond of. What happens when you can't ignore those qualities anymore? Should you attempt to (dare I say)....try to change them?

Now trying to change anyone can be a difficult task....trying to change a man is almost impossible. One thing that I have learned is that most men don't respond to subtle hints they need to be told exactly what is on our mind. If when you meet your husband and he wasn't a "romantic take you to dinner and give you flowers kind of guy" chances are he is not going to turn into one over the years. However, if that is something you need now in your relationship there is nothing wrong with telling him.

No matter how long you are in a relationship you should never take for granted that he knows how you feel or what you need. You see I think that since men don't hesitate to say what they want or how they feel they assume we do the same and the truth is most of us don't. Why not? Well, for me sometimes I want him to figure it out on his own but unfortunately it doesn't always work that way so then I just have to say it and he respects that.

Now there are certain things about our men that although we may not love we would never change because it makes them who they are. We all have flaws. I know I have a few that my husband has graciously learned to accept or ignore. Loving him "As Is" doesn't mean we shouldn't speak up when our needs are not being met or when we are unhappy about something in our relationship. It means we love our men enough to tell them how we feel in hopes that they love us enough to listen and and try to change on their own.