Knowing we deserve to feel Respected

respect-means
When we feel we are not being treated exactly the way we should be one of the first places we go is to blame ourselves. Why do we do this? Why is it our fault that someone else isn’t giving us what we deserve? That is the key word: deserve. A lot of the time we don’t even know what we deserve let alone think that we deserve to be respected. It is an enormous issue to be so wrapped up and focused on someone else’s behaviors, actions and reactions that we forget to worry about our own. Correction: it is not that we are really forgetting to think about ourselves, rather, we actively choose to ignore and avoid our own problems because it is much more difficult to look in the mirror and see a person whom we do not completely love. We cannot and will never be able to change another person’s behaviors, views or beliefs. Therefore, it is important to remember that trying to do so will only end in severe frustration. Instead, take a minute to really examine yourself and see your own soul through crystal clear lenses. Sometimes we focus on others to avoid what negative aspects we may be recognizing in them that we know we posses. After all, most of the time we date or connect most with others who reflect our own beliefs about ourselves whether good or bad. In this case, we need to be very cautious about getting too comfortable with this and go outside of our comfort zone to really know and establish our rigid boundaries. When we get used to being treated a certain way, we find comfort in it, which can be very dangerous if it is treatment that further reinforces a negative self-image. Why do we even allow ourselves to feel comfortable and familiarize ourselves with the unwanted feeling. The feeling that we are bothering someone else and being a burden on their happiness. Why do we see and struggle so much with our own characteristics being what others love and cherish? When we can’t look at ourselves and accept what we see we cannot feel fully happy or accepted by others. Before anyone can respect you, you need to respect yourself. Once you do that, it will be impossible for anyone around you to show you disrespect because in the end, you know you best. You also will then love you best. When you can be your own best friend and truly love who you know and believe you are, you will then resonate and attract positive and beautiful energy all around you.

 

 

 

 

The Universe Works in Mysterious Ways…

current-of-infinite-energy-300x300Just when we think we have it all figured out something comes in the way of our happiness making us feel there is something wrong. Call it a gut feeling, an instinct, a vibe, but at the end of the day our souls have a way of telling us deep down where there are green or red lights signaling whether or not we shall proceed. We can easily glance into our past mistakes and knowingly move forward with the thought to not repeat them while having full awareness. However, even with that awareness, we cannot change because we need to take action. When you think you may have found a great thing, and it may actually be great, buried underneath we find some issues. Way deep below the surface we find some of the exact same issues we were faced with in our past mistakes. We may have decided we were going to learn our lesson, but when that lesson comes back, a signal goes on in our heads telling us we have not yet fully achieved that lesson- because it comes back until we do. This time, the lesson came back in disguise. The lesson was there, but it was much lighter and less severe than the others. We know now, we are getting closer to the goal of learning this hard lesson that we keep being faced with. The universe has strange ways of throwing us these lessons whether we are ready, want it, or expect it. This time, we still have the power to change our patterns and not repeat the past mistakes. Even though, this time, the mistake is very diluted, it is still important we recognize what is in front of us. The opportunity we have to grow and evolve this time even further is astounding. When we know we can grow from this it is the most powerfully emotional feeling. This time we will walk away, this time we will walk where we can put our shoulders back and know we showed ourselves respect. The universe sends us lessons and messages and it is up to us what we do with them. Just remember, if your lesson comes back, it is up to you how you choose to handle it. If you handle it the same way, you still haven’t fully changed your pattern. Especially know that if it comes back and you notice it isn’t as hard as last time, you are getting somewhere. You can see the light and it is shining. It always will shine and you have the power to keep it shining even brighter.

 

 

 

 

Letting Go

Sometimes there comes a moment where we need to decide instantly to do what we have been fearing to do. It can seem that what we want most is the one thing we may do that can turn our whole life perspective around. If your powerful gut is leading you toward making a decision it is probably happening for a reason. There are certain opportunities placed into our paths for a specific purpose. It can be confusing since we must overcome several obstacles keeping us from our goal sometimes only allowing us to see the negative aspects of things. However, that is going to end because after that bad is going to be the opportunity that was destined to be set aside for you. The only way to move forward with growth is to let go of the one thing that is holding you back. In order to stop continuing certain cycles we must make changes within ourselves, behaviors and beliefs. If we don’t stop to acknowledge the growth in ourselves we may become oblivious to the fact that certain relationships or opportunities we took or held onto are in our way. We must let go, let go of what we are holding so tightly onto. After all, symbolically, we are tightly grasping what we are afraid we may not find again, but open doors and new things can only occur when there is room for them. Letting go is a very important step toward success. We must let go of what we think we cannot have anymore if it is causing negative energy all around us.

Growing from Mistakes and the Unknown Road Post-Graduation

 

unknown roadWhen we make mistakes we need to get right back up because those mistakes are hidden gems. It is in those mistakes we find out who we are and in that process of fixing those wrongdoings we learn the most. As we pick ourselves back up, we are still looking backward, and cannot fully look ahead, which is the tricky part. The future is and always will be unknown, but that is also the beauty in each and everyday. Each day brings that opportunity to change even the smallest things about our lives or ourselves. Constant change is the magic that binds us all together in the end. As we keep evolving we not only grow stronger internally, but our souls begin to see in a much sharper light. This awareness in changing behavior may bring about a new chapter, whether it is what we desire or not, we know life will continue to unravel and in that awareness we can move forward as altered souls.

Sometimes in life we have these blank slate moments where it almost seems things are coming together. Weirdly enough, things we build up in our heads to be a huge deal may end up not affecting us in the negative ways we imagined. Then why, may we even scold ourselves from the start? Why can’t we just dive in to do the things we feel we really want? Why are we taking so many steps back in life to evaluate situations? It is important to be rational, but at the same time we need to go for the things that we want. If we never try we will never know.

This follows upon graduation occurring at an all at once moment. Just like that, we will have graduated from the place we have called home for the past four years. To say we are scared is an understatement, but why ARE we scared? What is it that we are really afraid of? Although there are several downfalls we may face, didn’t all of those exist throughout college too? Didn’t anything we have ever been fearful of take place at one point during our lives? The idea of needing to have a plan is not always the solution. After all, life is not going to remain the same everyday. The future is unknown so we must choose to live one day at a time. That is very difficult, but in doing so, we give ourselves the chance to figure out what journeys we wish to take. As we venture out in finding our passions and fighting to follow our dreams, let us remember, there is nothing to fear but the fact that we choose to fear. Let this be a way for us to confidently explore the real world that we live in. It is important we challenge ourselves to do the things we thought we couldn’t. Aim high because you never know if you would not have gotten the chance to do so. Work hard, connect with those around you, and love strong. If you find love don’t be afraid to connect with someone who may help support and guide you through your passions. We are starting a new chapter in our lives and we can choose to live it without fear and with someone special by our side. Be open to new change and allow yourself to adjust in positive ways. Love yourself!

Discrepancies within the Hook Up Culture on College Campuses

For my most recent Sociology class on Gender identities, interactions and relationships, I was required to read the article, “Hooking up on College Campuses,” by: Paula England, Emily Fitzgibbons, and Alison C.K. Forgarty. These three students studying at Stanford University conducted a study through qualitative interviews asking students questions about their behaviors and attitudes about today’s hook up culture. This study includes the colleges of University of Arizona, Indiana University, University of California at Santa Barbara, Stanford University and University of New York at Stony Brook.

Background:

Throughout the years, sexual activity between genders has undergone a revolution where levels of equality have somewhat shifted. As more women attend college and move into male-based professions, there are different behaviors and expectations among them as they are choosing to delay marriage.  Men, on the other hand, are engaging in casual relationships with women excluding commitment, and sometimes even monogamy.

There were four main topics this research study touched on:

Gender within hookups, the sexual double standard, the exclusive relationship, and the casual partner.

Quote from article: Page 4

 Gendered Initiation

“In the ‘old days,’ men asked women on dates and initiated most sexual behavior. One might have thought that the gender revolution would de-gender scripts of initiation on dates or in sexual behavior. But this transformation hasn’t happened; initiation is nowhere near equal.”

Today, men are still initiating contact more than the women they are pursuing, whether casually or exclusively. Generally, while women do have the choice to make these first moves, they still expect men to take initiatives and typically look down on them when they don’t. This further shows how even in a generation today where men and women’s sexual behaviors are converging, there are still traditional values that we struggle to let go of. This may be a sign that traditional dating and love still exists and is being hidden underneath the idea of women submitting to casual standards.

Sexual Double Standard

“in focus groups, students said that men would sometimes decide that a woman was relationship material because she wouldn’t hook up with them the first time they were together”

“This presents women who want relationships with a real dilemma: the main path into relationships today is through hook ups, but through hooking up they also risk men’s thinking they aren’t relationship material.”

When is the right time for a woman to hook up with a man? It is unfair to impose this standard because there then is no way for women to successfully have a dating partner. No matter what way a woman chooses to go she is viewed in a certain way, which puts her at a disadvantage when going after what she wants. This is also demonstrated by the example of the stereotype that makes it acceptable and appropriate for men to engage in risqué sexual behavior but not for a woman. There is never a time when a double standard is acceptable. Many men, on college campuses, treat their “hook-up partner” as if they are merely a body to enjoy during their own convenience. Many men have the mentality of “to have your cake and eat it too,” while attempting to get with other women and simultaneously becoming possessive and jealous when their partner does the same thing. This is a sexual double standard that is held a lot in casual relationships in college. This typically occurs when men wish to hold power over their partner. Unfortunately where there is power there cannot be closeness, and when one struggles to control the other the two lose that intimacy that made them interested in one another in the first place. Today’s college men and women must choose between having an intimate partner where there is mutual respect or to refrain from having one at all.

Exclusive relationship

“Thus, at least in the cases where a relationship ensued, it was typically not the woman initiating the talk. Of course, this is not inconsistent with the possibility that women initiate more talks overall, but get shut down by men who don’t want relationships.”

Women tend to feel anxious to bring up a DTR (define the relationship) conversation and are often willing to risk losing the intimacy in exchange for a possibly respectful, monogamous relationship. Men, on the other hand, tend to not directly bring up this talk, which perpetuates the stereotype of women being more expressive with their emotions. Women are more expressive and should be encouraged to use it to their advantage. If women express to their partner exactly what they need and desire they will be strong and demanding boosting their self-respect along with their partner respecting them more in return.

“Friends with Benefits” or “Steady Hook-up Partner”

“If the higher rates of orgasm in a relationship come mainly from communication and ‘practice’ with this particular partner, then we might expect this advantage to be present in ‘friends with benefits’ or regular hook up’ situations as well, even where there is not a professed romantic relationship.”

The intensity of orgasm more often than not comes from the security of a healthy and loving monogamous relationship. Today, men and women may choose casual encounters to satisfy their sexual needs, but some research has found that the more consistent, emotionally close and secure a couple is, the more intense an orgasm may be. This is especially true for women, who unfortunately report having fewer orgasms than men. This further proves that while a casual partner may be satisfying for a moment, it severely lacks the substance and fulfillment of both physical and emotional pleasure that comes from a real relationship.

Have opinions about this topic? You may review the article and share and post your thoughts below.

England, Paula. Emily Fitzgibbons Shafer and Alison C. K. Fogarty. 2007. “Hooking Up and Forming Romantic Relationships on Today’s College Campuses.” Pp. 531-47 in The Gendered Society Reader, edited by Michael S. Kimmel. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Playing the Game

Synopsis: “The Carrie Diaries” is a new series that airs on the CW. It is considered to be a pre-quel to “Sex and the City.” This show takes place in 1984 when Carrie was just an innocent sixteen-year-old girl struggling to overcome her mother’s recent death. She goes back and forth from an internship in New York City to her home in suburban Connecticut striving to find out who she is and her purpose in life.

This conversation scene between Carrie and her friend Maggie immediately got my attention:

Maggie: “Yes Walt and I are back together and you know why, because I’m gone. That’s the only way to make a guy interested is to make yourself unavailable. That’s what you should do with Sebastian.”

Carrie: “But I don’t want to play games with Sebastian.”

Maggie: “Then I hope you’re willing to lose.”

ImageWhat are these games we play? Is this what the strategy toward attraction and gaining attention has come down to? Sometimes it is important to distance yourself from a situation you find drawing you in. Mostly, this may act as a protection seal on your vulnerability. On the other hand, this distance may create a boundary- a type of block keeping you from what your goal may really be. Carrie, unsure if believing her friend was the right thing to do, hesitated in playing this game. Is this really the right or effective way to get the guy’s attention of whom she wanted to be with? There may be a time for this “game” and a time where it all needs to end. In the beginning this “chase” may seem to be the way to capture and manifest this new spark, but later on you must drop these games in order to feel and gain security. Honesty is a big part of a successful relationship and if games are involved it may lead to certain drawbacks in communication. As humans, we behave and react the best when we know we are being given a reward after a struggle. When we are faced with something we know we can’t have, shouldn’t have or struggled to obtain we find the end prize that much more appealing. This social psychological approach has been examined through studies on positive reinforcement and other theories in sociology concerning the pursuit of rewards. This may deem to be true, but to what extent do we engage in this game until we actually reach the level of satisfaction we desire? The problem may arise, however, when both parties are attempting this game simultaneously. If a girl distances herself to come off as a higher commodity, and the boy is doing the exact same thing, this approach may serve just the opposite purpose. Therefore, the expression, “two can play at this game,” does not seem to fit in this situation. While playing this game of unavailability may work temporarily, eventually it is crucial to express true feelings for another and aim for honesty. In the end, if we actually want a relationship to work, we need to have trust in another person. More importantly, we need to remember to trust ourselves first. It can be scary to trust ourselves living in a world where each day may bring a scary unknown event to life, but if we do not take that risk we will never know what could have been. In order to achieve true happiness we must be ready to take that chance on ourselves. After all, being able to love, trust, and really know yourself takes priority over a relationship for two.