4 Character Traits of the Victim Mindset | victim mindset | minorities | black and white | women’s rights | equality | radical responsibility

The Victim Mindset: When Minorities Attack

Surprise! I’m a black woman. I am two minorities mixed into one. Actually, I’m three. I’m a mixed woman, which is a whole different animal.

Why am I telling you this?

Well I’ve been thinking about feminism and minorities lately, and I have a few things to say specifically to the feminists and minorities:

  1. Feminism has gone a step too far. In an attempt to secure equality, women have swung the pendulum so hard that it’s suddenly acceptable for women to be bitchy, hurtful people. They can say whatever they want about men, treat their own bodies like objects and violently riot in the name of equality. It’s not cool.
  2. Minorities (including women) are so concerned about being treated equally that they think everyone is out to get them. Your boss looks at you sideways and he’s declared to be a sexist, racist asshole. Your neighbor doesn’t laugh at your joke and it’s clearly because she hates black people.
  3. Being a victim is a state of mind. A lot of women and other minorities are victims because they choose to be victims. They are victims of verbal abuse. They are victims of hate. Victims of sexism, racism, prejudice. They can’t get ahead. It’s always because they’re a woman. It’s always because their black. It’s always because their Hispanic. You see what I’m getting at?

Ok, so now that I’ve stepped on everyone’s toes…. Let me say one more thing. Continue reading “The Victim Mindset: When Minorities Attack”

Can’t I Just Blame My Problems on Hormones (an Overtly Religious Post about Church Culture and Adolescent Turmoil.) | Teenagers are a little crazy. American church is a little crazy. Put them together and you might have a great excuse for a practically psycho young person. I truly found God when I stopped trying to be a good Christian and just followed the path of love – loving myself, loving others and loving God.

Why I Quit Trying to be a Good Christian

(an overtly religious post about church culture and the adolescent turmoil)

I was driving into work the other day and I had a sort of mundane epiphany.

(Now for all of you non-religious readers, you may want to turn away now. Or, you may want to see what I have to say. I am NOT going to get crazy or anything.)

I realized that I believe in God. (I’m not to the epiphany yet.)

Kind of weird I know. It’s not that I’ve never believed in God, because, actually, I always have. But I just realized that I really do believe. Like, I can’t separate myself from that belief.

In the same moment, I realized (here is the epiphany) I don’t have any doubts about God.

So when I say “God,” I’m talking about the whole Christian spiel: Jesus, miraculously born of a virgin and dying on a cross to save the world because he loves us. I have literally no doubts about it.

God loves me. God loves you. Jesus was real. What he did really happened. (I’m kinda making myself itchy just writing these things because I really don’t like religious jargon or flowery spirituality, but there comes a point when you just have to rest in who you are.)

Let me explain why this was an epiphany and a mundane one at that. Continue reading “Why I Quit Trying to be a Good Christian”

Perfectionism: The Silent Killer | for The Gratefulist

Have you ever struggled with perfectionism?

I certainly have.

It’s kinda funny, last week this lady at work was getting on to me because apparently, I don’t pay enough attention to detail. I’m always misspelling something or leaving off an important person from an email or something like that.

It bothers her that I’m not perfect.

And what she doesn’t know is it bothers me too.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not super detail oriented when it comes to things that are not high on my priority list. I kinda have a no-big-deal attitude. And I’m not sure that’s a good thing… but whatever.

BUT when it comes to something I’m creating (painting, writing, singing, designing), it needs to be perfect. I have this idea that if I create something haphazardly, then it reflects poorly on me. So I’m quite particular, and things end up taking me ten times longer than they should to complete.

Anyway, what I’m getting as is, perfectionism kinda crushes our human spirit. It certainly doesn’t lead to contentment. If anything, it leads to just the opposite. Continue reading “Perfectionism: The Silent Killer | for The Gratefulist”

Contentment Is Not Complacent | Everyday I write about being fully present and finding contentment right where you are. But I also think one way to find contentment is to look to the future. Look ahead just a little and plan just a little. Because after all, the future becomes the present and if we are at least a little bit aware of what’s going to happen, we can make it as beautiful as possible. We can make today count by looking to tomorrow. Wouldn’t you know I learned all that from my piano professor in college while playing Kabalevsky.

Why You Should Live In the Moment But Also Look Ahead

I Don’t Play Piano.

Ok, I do play piano, but I’m way below average. However, I had a one-year-long period where I was only slightly below average. That’s what this post is about.

As a senior in college, I had finished all required classes for my major, so I decided to take on a minor in music. I thought, oh I can carry a tune, I like Rhianna. Why not make this my minor.

Silly girl.

Music Is Not Easy

Music is not easy. And music theory is a language of torture. I cried many a time while building minor chords and identifying deceptive cadences.

I even took it a step further and chose my concentration as piano. The only thing is, I don’t play piano. Well, I do but I’m way below average. So…

My first day of piano lessons, my professor scared the living daylights out of me. She said, “You have one week to learn bass clef. I expect you to have it down when you come to class next whatever-day-it-was.” I almost passed out. Continue reading “Why You Should Live In the Moment But Also Look Ahead”

3 Things to Remember if You Think You’ll Never Get Married | So many women think they’re never getting married. We think we aren’t good enough and that no one will love us for who we are. Often, we cover up our desire for companionship by blasting our female power and pushing men away. I think feminism is healthy, and I think being single and singleness in general is fantastic, BUT many women want covenant companionships and become depressed when they don’t have them. So click through for three things to help you feel better when you start lamenting that you are a single girl.

3 Things to Remember if You Think You’ll Never Get Married

From a very young age, I was sure I’d never get married. (Spoiler, I’m married).

I think I was about 13 when I decided I was going to travel the world, help people and stay single like some kind of millennial Mother Theresa. I genuinely thought it was my destiny to be alone.

In middle school, I actually had this moment where I fell to my bedroom floor and wept because I “realized” I would never get married. Gosh, I was dramatic.

I carried it around with me like a trophy. In a chaste, proud manner, I would tell people I wasn’t meant to get married. I was meant to be an independent woman warrior for Jesus.

Let me tell you all something I don’t have time for these days: independent women warriors – Jesus or no Jesus. Continue reading “3 Things to Remember if You Think You’ll Never Get Married”

4 Ways to Keep Yourself From Being Completely Out of Control and Stay on Track While Setting Goals | After I found myself eating almost half a cake all by myself, I realized I needed to learn how to have self-control. So here are four ways to stay in control, exercise self-discipline and work towards your personal goals. 1) Have a plan 2) Buddy Up 3) Find a Middle Way 4) Give Yourself Grace. With these four tips you can maintain a balanced life.

4 Ways to Maintain Self-Control

This is the Story of a Girl Who Was Completely Out of Control

A few months ago, I walked into work and an entire cake was happily resting next to the coffee maker.

This wouldn’t have been an issue if the coffee maker wasn’t directly in front of my desk. So, I tried not to look at it. (I’ve never been so interested in my emails before.) But eventually everyone went to lunch, and I didn’t go to lunch. And it was just me and the cake. Alone. Together.

I’m currently trying to lose weight (and by currently, I mean I’ve been trying for the past two years.) So I knew I didn’t need to eat the cake. I needed to have self-control.

But, in a crazy out-of-body experience, I found myself suddenly next to the cake.

And soon, I was cramming an entire piece down my throat as fast as I could so no one would catch me in the act. It was soooo good. So good that I immediately ate another piece while hunched over the coffee maker. Continue reading “4 Ways to Maintain Self-Control”

4 Ways to Keep Yourself From Being Completely Out of Control and Stay on Track While Setting Goals | After I found myself eating almost half a cake all by myself, I realized I needed to learn how to have self-control. So here are four ways to stay in control, exercise self-discipline and work towards your personal goals. 1) Have a plan 2) Buddy Up 3) Find a Middle Way 4) Give Yourself Grace. With these four tips you can maintain a balanced life.

4 Ways to Daily Set Your Intention (and the Scientific Benefits of Doing So)

What Breathing Like Darth Vader Taught Me About Intentional Living

Star Wars Yoga

I recently started going to my first yoga class. Like I’ve been twice. And I kinda love it already. I had this idea of yoga in my mind that it was a super spiritual, naked kind of activity. But it’s nothing like that.

Instead, at the beginning of the class we warm up (even though it’s about 82 degrees in the room so I’m already sweltering), and then you set your intention for the class.

The instructor asks us to think about why we are taking the class. What are we trying to accomplish? Are we doing it for ourselves, for others, for our physical or mental health?

She gives us a moment to think and then she asks us to exhale that intention out into the room. Also, there’s this weird thing where you’re supposed to breathe like Darth Vader, so literally everyone heaves a heavy breath of intention out together. It’s kind cool… and Star Warsy.

And that intention, whatever is it, colors the rest of the workout. We go through all kinds of slightly torturous poses, and we do the sun salutation about a million times.

As everything is winding down, the instructor asks us to recall our intention we set at the beginning of class. We are encouraged to remember it and take it with us throughout the week. Let it lead and guide us in our actions and thoughts. Continue reading “4 Ways to Daily Set Your Intention (and the Scientific Benefits of Doing So)”

3 Ways to Find Contentment When Life Seems Bleak | Finding contentment is possible when we shift our perspective and willingly see the good. Sometimes we must embrace the journey, rather than pine after the goals. Click through to check out three ways to find contentment, one of which is purposefully watching the sunset.

Staring Directly at the Sun (and Other Obvious Ways to Find Contentment)

Burning My Retinas

I have this thing where I like to stare directly at the sun. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the blinky spots it leaves on my eyes. Maybe it’s the allure of doing something that could possibly destroy my retinas.

Anyway, I don’t do it all that often seeing as I do value my retinas a little bit. (That and my husband gave me a good talking to when he found out I was staring at the sun like an idiot.)

Eye Love the Sun

But I really do love watching the sunset (and looking just to the side of the sun for eye-safety purposes). Almost every evening when driving home from work, my eyes well up with emotion from the sunset. It makes me feel small and reverent. It makes me see God. And if I’ve had a barely tolerable day, it helps me overcome.

Recently, I was driving home and the sunset about knocked me out. The sky was almost entirely covered in clouds, but there were streams of red light shining through. The beams created a lava-red lining on the clouds. It looked like the inside of an inverted volcano with patches of hardened floating magma. I could almost see Gollum reaching his hand up trying to catch the ring of power.

I digress. The point is: Have you ever noticed that you have to be far off to see the sunset? The most beautiful part of the day happens after the day is over when we are far removed from the source.

And it got me thinking – that’s kinda how life is. Continue reading “Staring Directly at the Sun (and Other Obvious Ways to Find Contentment)”

January Reflection and Gratitude

Like I say on my Everyday Gratitude page, practicing gratitude eliminates our need to do hours of self-reflection or soul-searching. It allows us to easily look back on areas of growth in our life and discover what our themes of thankfulness are. It helps us set attainable goals and learn who we really are as a person. And it’s as simple as saying one thing you are thankful for each day.

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I got this idea from Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. In it, Ann endeavors upon writing down 1000 things she is thankful for, and she finds that it changes her entire life. After I read the book, I decided to do the same, and I’ve on and off kept up the practice. As of right now, I keep a pocket-sized gratitude journal, and I just whip it out anytime I am thankful for anything. Continue reading “January Reflection and Gratitude”

6 Ways to Remember You Are Enough | There are so many factors that go in our self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-image. But at the end of the day, it isn't how you look that defines you. It's what's on the inside that makes you beautiful. Click through to read six ways to be content with your self-image and love yourself. Plus, get my free you-are-enough printable! | self-care | self-love | love yourself |

6 Ways to Be Content with Your Self-Image and Love Yourself

We are hard on ourselves. An entire beauty industry profits off of our lack of self-confidence and self-esteem. The industry doesn’t want you to love yourself.
Who do you want to be? Well, you can be anyone. You want boobs like Scarlett Johansson? There’s a push-up bra for that. You want curves like Beyonce? There’s a bubble-butt work out for that.

Tanning beds, makeup, pimple creams, perms, butt pads… No amount of those things can make your pretty. They might make you feel pretty. They might get you noticed by employers, the opposite sex or construction workers (ha construction workers are now a different species altogether). But they don’t make you pretty.

They cover you up and hide you. They certainly can’t make you love yourself or, more importantly, be content with who you are. Continue reading “6 Ways to Be Content with Your Self-Image and Love Yourself”