Authenticity Encircles Authenticity

As you become authentic, you will begin to see and be drawn to others who are authentic. As you begin to walk this road, you may also realize some people in your life seem to walk away or even fade away. Realize this for what it is, and embrace it; be okay with it.

Don’t judge them for not continuing in your journey. Don’t slander them for not being loyal and true. Don’t even worry about asking too many questions of why? Or why not?

Some weren’t meant to travel this same road with you. Some don’t wish for the changes you’ve chosen to indulge like a sweet dessert. Others just aren’t where you are and will never understand the transformation until they themselves come to that crossroad in their own lives…and that is okay!

Be you. Be authentic. Encircle others who are authentic. Let go of that and who you must.

Live! … And don’t just survive in living…

THRIVE in your authentic self!! 💕

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Give Yourself Permission: Authenticity

Too many of us grow up believing we must conform to society, or be molded after our family’s traditions, or conform to our friends’ desires, or even be completely yielded to our parents’ or spouses wishes. When we’ve been constantly conditioned to surrender and submit all willpower, all defiance, all choice to the determination of another, authenticity can escape us, and we might not even realize it.

It really takes hard work to be authentic, because not everyone is going to agree with you on everything. It takes a dogged mindset to remain real when the world around us is full of so much fake that is sold to the highest bidder. It even takes a mental stubbornness to remain grounded in your own beliefs, standards and choices for life, especially if you have someone close to you whom you seek to have their approval, affection or admiration.

The coveting of another’s love can wreak havoc on one’s conviction to be authentic. At times, it will even take some self-denial to preserve true genuineness of soul, because our natural tendency toward selfishness can, often, override authenticity to the point of creating a self-righteous, self-approved, self-promoted state of being, which is never truly authentic in the matters of the heart.

A true authentic being is one who knows herself, the good, the bad and the ugly, and is fully aware of what needs improvement, and is willing to make the, sometimes, hard adjustments to bring the kind of change that will not simply “turn over a new leaf,” but change that will also be magnetic to cause others to desire this same type of transformation to become authentic.

Authenticity comes with a price. Those willing to pay it will reap it’s amazing benefits. Those who refuse will grow stagnant in the mundane, duplicity and hypocrisy of life, until they eventual die a slow, cruel death of fake relationships, dual personalities and a foul, unreliable character.

So, it is up to you, and it up to me.

What will you choose?

I will strive to choose authenticity.

Be Brave. Be Authentic.

Authenticity takes courage and boldness to obtain. This is not because it’s hard to achieve, but rather, because it takes effort and a deliberate decision to be real, not only with others, but with ourselves. It also takes a true appreciation of ourselves, a sort of self-love.

I say, “sort of,” because I’d like to clarify this word I chose. The kind of “self love” I’m talking about isn’t this cultural self love where everyone has to agree with you, appreciate you and understand to for you to be able to “carry on” in your daily routines of living. That kind of attitude has been misrepresented as self love, when all that is is pure SELFISHNESS. No, true self love is when you can appreciate who you are AND who you are not. It is an understanding of your strengths AND your weakness and having the ability to love yourself through all of them. It is even the ability to be able to ask for help when needed, realizing that you’re not made perfect, and there are other people in this world who are better than you, more capable than you and even, sometimes, who aren’t even going to like you.

But you can be ok with that, because you’ve come to grips with who you are and who you are not. You love yourself for it; you’re wearily working on the improvements you need, and you’re okay with those who don’t like who you are, because you’re not living for them anyway! THAT’S authenticity, and that’s “the bravest and most adventurous way to live!”😉💗

Authenticity is Magnetic

Not to steal someone else’s quote, but to requote Daniellelaporte.com, “Authenticity IS magnetic! When you are your true self, people will be drawn to you. Uniqueness is intriguing. Genuiness is both compelling and appealing. Try it. You might just find you like it, and others do, too! 😉

*Note: if your “true self” is just simply a jerk, you may be a bit more repelling than compelling; so, please, do self evaluate. If you’re more of a total jerk than a friendly person, this might not work so well. You might actually have to “Fake it till ya make it, baby!” 😉😂

Authenticity is Attractive

Have you met someone who acted one way in front of a crowd and was totally different behind the scenes? I’ve heard and read this a lot about certain actors in Hollywood and various TV celebrities. They might be amazing actors on the screen, full of love, class and debonair, but get them out of the spotlights, and they are complete jerks!

It’s a lot like this iceberg above. It looks small, unimposing and practically a tiny island unto itself. Yet, the underside is dangerous, imposing and all together vicious to any ships that may sail within its grasp. There are plenty of stories to be found of heartbreak and tragedy when even the largest of vessels have encountered these mammoths of the frozen world.

When you are not authentic, you can leave a path of destruction and death behind. Authenticity can be quirky, against the mainstream or status quo, and definitely not trendy or cliquish. Yet, authenticity is the most attractive thing you can wear, because even if you are different, your honesty of self is refreshing and a thing to comfort to all who meet you.

Authenticity draws people to want more. Uniqueness causes people to take a second look. Genuineness pulls people close like the warmth of a fire.

Be your authentic self. Embrace your uniqueness. Be genuine. Don’t paint a mask for anyone, because when you do, one day, you’ll be caught in a thunderstorm, and everything you’ve painted will be washed away. Then, no one will even recognize you for the reality of who you’ve become.

17 Years … Have We Forgotten?

Written yesterday, on the 17th Anniversary of 9/11…

Consumed with memories today…

I will never forget the feelings as I sat on the bed in a hotel room in Cleveland, Tn, on this day 17 years ago. We were in town for a funeral, and I was holding JGrizz in my arms. He was only one month old. My mother knocked on my door to tell me what happened, and I didn’t believe her until I turned on the news. I sat in disbelief, shock, fear and grief as I watched all of the events play out. It felt like a nightmare, a terrible, never-ending bad dream.

How could this be happening in our nation, America, the home of the free and the brave? It was so overwhelming; it was almost hard to breathe. We went to The Blue Hole (a beautiful rock filled area on the Ocoee River) later that day just to try to collect our thoughts and the gravity of what this horror meant for our country.

Then, just days later, I watched with pride, honor and respect as men and women began pulling together as communities, people of all races, backgrounds and walks of life began looking past themselves to something bigger: the rebuilding, the protection, and the defense of a beautiful nation. Firefighters, police officers, welders, construction workers and so many others would come in droves from all over the country, on the backs of big rigs, stop at red lights in NY and be cheered on by the business men and women who were waiting to cross the streets to try to carry on a “new normal” workday. The builders rebuilt and mended the broken walls while the New Yorkers tried to make some semblance of understanding of their, now, broken city. Hope was slowly seeping into every crevice, chasing away the shadows, as love ones were pulled from the ruble, as small miracles were found along the way.

Everyone went the extra mile, wanting to leave no one behind. Everyone worked hand in hand, side by side, to restore the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness upon which this nation was founded. Bravery, chivalry and just sheer, raw, unapologetic guts and strength were applauded that day and each day thereafter.

It was a horrific tragedy, an unimaginable crisis that brought this nation together that year, because the pain, destruction and new purpose for healing was bigger than any trivial opinion, any mindless political jargon, and any petty argument brought about by boredom and self-exhalation. Let us NEVER FORGET what happened that day and the days, months, and years that followed. Let us never be so consumed with the frivolous manic speeches of today’s media and the inessential accusations and fallacies that it takes this kind of world shaking for God to once again get our attention as a nation.

Pray now, church.

Let us NEVER FORGET.

*I do my own not possess either of these pics. Found in a simple google search.*

Be Resilient Like a Chicken Nugget

Friends and I were laughing as one shared the hilarious story of “slinging food” at her children on a Wednesday night on the way to church, because as a school teacher, she leaves school at 4:45, goes down the road to pick up child #4 drives across town to pick up her other day three children and husband from home, drives through fast food to get everyone chicken nuggets and make it on time to Wednesday night church! 😂 We all laughed till our sides hurt as she shared all the “mom tactics” to having children clothed and in their right minds with a dinner in their tummies, and her own self in her right mind; so, they could behave and have fun while in the evening program. One of the statements she made was, “Let me tell you. Those chicken nuggets are resilient! They bounce off windows and don’t splatter. They are easy to handle for little fingers. You can get the 20 for $2.50 and have change to spare, too!”

It was such a comical moment, and, honestly, I’m not a great fan of chicken nuggets, but our kids loved them in their early years, and that simple statement made me start thinking…

Chicken Nuggets ARE resilient! We could learn a lot from that little nugget…

1. They are crunchy on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside. It’s ok to have a little tough skin to survive through life’s ups and downs, but be sure to stay soft on the inside. Keep your heart humble and your soul full of grace and love. Don’t be so tough on the outside that you harden all the way through. Nobody wants to encounter all that.

2. They don’t fall a part easily. In this day and age, we’ve got to have a little strength to who we are to survive. We can be, and need to be, cushy soft on the inside to bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, patient and with those other fruit of the Spirit. However, all the hyper-sensitive, can’t disagree with someone for fear of “hate speech” actually makes us a weak people and a crippling nation. Toughen up, people. Be resilient and live life full of strength and grace!

3. They come in large quantities for inexpensive prices. Be able to give the good parts of yourself away to lots of people and don’t be too demanding of what they give back. Now listen, I’m not giving you permission to be used and abused. If you tend to be a doormat, please understand, this point isn’t for you. What I’m talking about is giving your love in a hug, an encouraging word or time spent with a friend. I’m talking about sharing laughter, making a memory or spending time with those you love. Share these things in large quantities, and don’t be demanding of a condition to be met for you to share it. People need to know you care.

4. You can’t eat just one. Be the kind of person who is contagious, magnetic and engaging to those around you. Be the sort of friend others aspire to be. Be the type of leaders others seek after. Be the person of whom others just can’t get enough.

5. They are great in just about any sauce or condiment. Diversify your tastes, your likes and your knowledge. Extend your horizons. Learn something new. Try, taste, or even listen to something different than before. You never know, you might like it, and you may even find a new friend along the journey.

In An Instant

Too often, we take for granted what we have right before our eyes. We get into a routine, and we expect everyone who’s in our little orbit to always be there tomorrow. We expect to wake up in the morning, and everything be the same.

We have no guarantees.

All we know can be gone in one instant.

Car wrecks, terrorist attacks, earthquakes and floods happen in the blink of an eye. Breakups, broken promises, angry flare ups and heartaches may take days in the making but take only a moment to occur. Crushed dreams, destroyed relationships, words unspoken, volumes that can never be erased come in a split second.

We have no guarantees.

All we know can be gone in one instant.

Are you ready to say goodbye? Do you cherish the one you’re with? Will you make the moment last? Could you build the memories of a lifetime?

We have no guarantees.

All we know can be gone in one instant.

Don’t be one day too late…

Penned – MG – 7/2/18

The Sweet Perfume

Over the last month or so, I’ve been trying to get consistent with walking daily through my neighborhood. I’m not crazy consistent, but I’ve definitely done better than before I started. Ha!

Our neighborhood is beautiful, and it has plenty of curves and hills; so, I feel I’m getting quite the workout, and the whole thing, all cul-de-sacs (5) included, is just shy of 1.5 miles. So, I try to make 2 loops, which gives me right at 3 miles. Woohoo!

The weather was absolutely perfect today. The humidity was extremely low, and the temp was maybe in the high seventies by the time I stepped out my front door, right at sunset, to try and get in a full 2 loops of walking before it was too dark. I asked my youngest son to go with me; so, I wouldn’t be by myself, and he wouldn’t be left home alone. So, he rode his bike alongside, while I walked. Well, to be more accurate, he rode past me and waited at the top of the hill before crossing the main road while I tried to speed walk to catch up! Lol! 😂

We crossed the road and proceeded to the other side of the neighborhood and down the hill. The sun was shining; the birds were singing, and the breeze was blowing just a bit; so, it felt glorious as I tried my best to catch up to my son who had coasted and proceeded to fly, down the moderate incline to the next cul-de-sac.

As I reached the cul-de-sac, the most beautiful fragrance reached my nose, I closed my eyes, and it was as if I was transported right back to my 5th grade year and my 10 year old self. I was standing in my front yard taking in the beautiful fragrance of the giant magnolia tree standing 100 feet tall (or at least, that’s what my 10 year old, little girl mind believed). I remember standing beside that tree, climbing way up in it’s branches and, sometimes, just staring up at it for hours, believing I was just as big and strong as that lovely green giant.

When it bloomed, we would take down one bloom at a time, bring it in the house, set it in a small bowl of water, and place the bowl on the dining room table, letting the fragrance fill the house. We would repeat this everyday, as the former flower would begin to wither, until the tree had no more blooms to share. It was glorious.

As I made my loops through the neighborhood today, I would pause beside that big lush tree each time, savoring the wonderful aroma, while cherishing those sweet childhood memories, and then I’d continue on my way to finish the tiring, but rewarding, three miles before dark. I even had my son go by and savor the beauty, hoping he would make a little memory, too.

As I finished my walk, I was reminded, again, of the sweet perfume of the beautiful magnolia tree, and I thought of several sweet friends who are walking through a tough journey right now. Their journey is hard and painful, and it even seems to grow a little darker at the moment; yet, they hold on tight to their faith, and we all hold onto the Hope, believing a brighter day is just around the corner for them.

That Hope is sweet perfume in the midst of struggle. That faith is the sweet fragrance of the magnolia tree in the midst of the sweaty, tiresome walk they are walking at this very moment. And I know, as they hold onto their faith and that blessed Hope, one day soon, this journey is going to be but a memory, with those sweet fragrances of the magnolia tree, to remind them of His grace and love in the midst of their storm. 💗

Be encourage, sweet friends. Enjoy the fragrance of beauty along this most difficult journey, and know I am here praying for you, and believing for your brighter tomorrows!

Tuesday’s Treats #99

Underground Coffeehouse

Location: Greenville, SC

This is one of the coolest coffee shops I’ve been to in a long time. You walk down below the sidewalk; so, it’s appropriately named, “Underground.” They have a plethora of coffee and desserts from which to choose. We went two days in a row, and everything was delicious. I had a coconut mocha, recommended by the barista, because I was indecisive. Excellent choice. It was absolutely delicious. The first day, we had just had a dessert; so, I just enjoyed my mocha. The second day, I ordered the apple cider pie a la mode. Yum. Now, it was a little heavy on the cinnamon; so, beware, but it was still very tasty. Our sons had a chocolate chip cookie, which was a little crunchy but still tasty, a s’mores iced and a caramel iced coffee. All were yummy.

The atmosphere is casual and cozy. WiFi is available, and everything is nice and clean; even though, you bus your own table. (Sometimes, that can leave a place a little less clean than desired.) They even have two separate movie rooms that can be rented for group venues. Oh, from glancing at their website, they also serve breakfast and lunch. Check it out; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. 😉