What Is Life?

How is life meant to be lived? Are you meant to be better, look better, attain more than everyone else? Is life about being richer than everyone else? Are you meant to have a better job, more stuff, better stuff than your neighbour? Is life just one big competition where we all race to achieve the biggest prize?

I say no. Life is a journey not a competition. Everyone’s journey should look different, unique to each individual’s talents, desires, dreams and goals. What you want your life to be and how you go about getting it should not be about beating other people down, but taking them along with you so you can help each other live your best lives. Life is about seeing other people be happy and successful, helping each other to get to that place. Encourage people, cheer them on, congratulate them and celebrate them. If we can recognize and draw out each person’s strengths, than we too can succeed. We can Be Pretty, Plus and Proud because we have helped our fellow human beings and in doing so, have helped ourselves be better people as well.

No Explanation Required

You were not born to spend your life explaining yourself. You don’t owe anyone reasons or justifications for how you choose to live your life. You do not need to defend who you are. Your size, shape, colour, gender, sexuality or religion do not need to be discussed and are no one’s business but your own.

If you want to spend a day watching Netflix, you don’t have to explain to anyone the reason why you want to do this activity. If you want to eat an ice cream cone, that’s entirely your choice. If you feel like you need to change who you identify as, then that is your right to do so. If you attend a regular church service, no one has the right to prevent you from doing so.

As long as you aren’t harming anyone or breaking the law, then you are free to make your own decisions about your body and the life you live. Be Pretty, Plus and Proud and don’t worry about what the world thinks of you. As long as you love you, that’s all that matters. No other explanations are required to anyone who has the audacity to ask.

You Are Not the Same As Everyone Else

…and that’s ok!

I woke up this morning thinking of all I got accomplished yesterday and how good it felt at the end of the day to look around at a clean house and no laundry to do or put away, Today will not be the same as yesterday. Today I am tired and my MS is causing me to feel lethargic and fatigued. I know I probably over did it yesterday as that’s what I tend to do when I feel good. So today is a take it easy kind of day. I showered, ate a good breakfast, am writing my blog, will empty and reload the dishwasher and read a new book. This will be a good day in a different kind of way. Maybe it won’t be quite as productive but self-care is a different way of being productive. I need to refuel so I can enjoy a busy day another time soon.

I like to watch cleaning videos on YouTube. I know, strange, lol! When I watch them I get inspired to get off the couch and do some of my own cleaning chores. Recently though, I found myself feeling deflated because I couldn’t keep up with these women I was watching. What’s my mistake here? I was comparing myself to these “wonder women”. I was forgetting that I am not the same as them. First of all, most of them are a decade or more younger than me so they have the energy of youth on their side. Second, I have a chronic illness that prevents me from going at 100% all day long like they seem to do. Thirdly, I forgot that YouTube is not real life. These women most likely have days when they feel less than their best and their house doesn’t always get cleaned and look like it does in their videos.

I am not the same as everyone else and neither are you and that’s ok. I’ll do my life my way. You do you, your way and let’s not rob ourselves of joy because we are comparing ourselves to others and finding that we fall short. I am Pretty, Plus and Proud and different and good enough and so are you!

Be Kind

fullsizeoutput_e72

Image courtesy of @hey.its.terri on Instagram

I know I’ve preached about this before but I think it’s important enough to repeat:

“ALWAYS BE KIND.”

Why is this so hard for some people to do? I really don’t understand. If you’ve ever had the unpleasant experience of dealing with a bully, you know firsthand the power of what it is to be unkind. Bullies are so bent on destroying the lives of their victims just to make themselves feel more important, that they don’t see the harm their action causes themselves. When you choose to be unkind, you are choosing a life of isolation and loneliness because eventually your actions will cause people to separate themselves from you.

Unfortunately, bullies come in all shapes and sizes. You can find bullies among the young and the old. Sadly bullies can be the people you thought you could trust, friends or family. Bullies can be found in the workplace, on the street and in your own home. I am dealing with my own bully right now, someone who I love dearly but who refuses to see that what they are doing and saying is extremely hurtful and may destroy our relationship permanently. My bully is seeing life through her eyes only. She is seeing what she thinks I didn’t do instead of seeing and remembering what I did do. She is trying to elevate herself higher by knocking me down. No matter what I say or do, it is never enough and I don’t think it ever will be. Must be nice to be so perfect that you think you are immune from making mistakes, that everything you do is worthy of constant praise and reward. While her actions are disappointing, I can’t continue to just turn the other cheek and constantly have it slapped. I have decided I must stand up for myself and trust my feelings that I did all that I could. I did my best and if my bully refuses to see that, then it is her problem only. It is no longer mine. If this means severing our relationship than that is what must happen, though I sincerely wish it didn’t have to come to that.

If you are dealing with your own bully, you must learn to defend yourself. Avoid them if possible. Tell people. The more people who know, the less isolated you will feel and the more support you will have to help hold you up against the bully’s attack.

Be Pretty, Plus and Proud. Stay strong and always be kind. You never know what another person is going through and your kindness may be just the thing they need to get through the day. Don’t let unkind people bring you down. Imagine how sad their life must be that they have the need to spread their misery. Thank your blessings that your life isn’t like theirs.

Have a blessed week filled with kind people and positive experiences. 

Take Care

fullsizeoutput_e71

Image courtesy of and posted by “Depression and Mental Health Awareness” on Facebook.

Your body is made up of many parts:

  • the systems that function to keep you breathing, digesting, eliminating. fighting illness, pumping blood and so much more.
  • your brain that keeps you moving, thinking, feeling, seeing, doing, tasting
  • the bones that protect the organs that keep you alive

Along with these physical parts of your body, there are mental and emotional parts that make you human. You are able to be happy, sad, angry, sympathetic, loving, kind, empathetic. You can think for yourself, make choices and decisions.

We go to doctors when the physical parts of our body don’t feel well or aren’t functioning as they should. We take medicines, go through surgeries and rehabilitation until we feel better, until our physical being works more like it’s meant to.

Should seeing a therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist or counsellor not be as normal as seeing a medical doctor? Isn’t our thoughts, feelings, mental and emotional health as important as our physical health? To function as a productive and happy being, all parts of ourselves need to be working at their best. We need to be feeling good from the top to the bottom, from the inside to the outside.

So the next time you have the flu go to your doctor. The next time you feel depressed, anxious, uncontrollably angry or confused go see a therapist. If you need to take an antibiotic to get over an infection, take it as prescribed. if you need to take medication to feel less anxious or more happy, then take it as prescribed. It shouldn’t be any more complicated than that.

Be Pretty, Plus and Proud and take care of all the parts of your body when something isn’t feeling right whether it’s a physical pain or an emotional one. There’s no shame in seeking any kind of medical help when you need it.

Before You Speak…

fullsizeoutput_e70.jpeg

Image courtesy of http://www.KathrynLang.com shared on Instagram by @thelmajohnson361 The error in spelling above is not my own. 

All too often people speak before thinking. Sometimes this happens because their temper gets in the way and they react before the other person’s words have time to sink in and be contemplated. I, myself, am guilty of this as I tend to sometimes react before I think.

On occasion people simply repeat what they have heard before trying to form their own original opinion on the subject. This is often the case with young people repeating what they have heard at home from parents or caregivers. That is one reason we must be especially vigilant about what comes out of our mouths around little ears.

Sometimes people are influenced by the doctrine of their religion and blindly follow whatever the church leaders preach. While I am a woman of faith and do belong to an organized religion, I don’t agree with all of my religion’s viewpoints. I think for myself.

Then there are the people, who perhaps through unfortunate life circumstances, are just mean, spiteful and negative. These are the people who feel that spreading their unkind words will somehow make themselves look or feel better about themselves. Sadly, they don’t know that nothing could be further from the truth.

It is only in speaking kindly to people that we can also improve our own character and path in life.

So before you speak think carefully about these questions:

  • Is what you are about to say truthful? Lies about other people are cruel and can ruin a person’s reputation for no reason other than your unkind and untruthful words.
  • Is what you are about to say helpful? If not, keep your opinions to yourself.
  • Are your words inspiring or will they break someone down?
  • Is what you have to say necessary? If not, then again, keep it to yourself.
  • Finally, will your words be kind? If all you have to say is negative, hurtful and unkind, perhaps you need to examine why you would feel the need to say anything at all.

Be Pretty, Plus and Proud in all you do, think and especially in how you speak. What you say can either make or break someone’s entire day. Think first!

Stay True To You

fullsizeoutput_e6e

Image courtesy of @beautifullymysterious on Instagram

Society has an issue with anyone who appears different than the “normal”.  Anyone who looks different, thinks different, acts different, speaks different or comes from someplace different is automatically treated different. People have been conditioned to believe that “normal” is the best and acceptable way to be, to live. So unless you are smart, slim, blond, have blue eyes, speak with a pleasant and easy to understand dialect, you are not okay. If you are not all these things, than you need to change. You need to lose weight, dye your hair, wear contact lenses and take speech therapy.

There was a time when homosexuals were given electric shock therapy to change who they were! Thank goodness that’s no longer allowed but still many of us look at same-sex couples as being evil or sick. I ask, who would choose that lifestyle unless that was the way they were born to be, the way God made them? They are not a mistake that needs to be fixed.

Babies who are born with conditions like Down syndrome, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis and a multitude of other issues, are they problems that need fixing or should we help them live their best lives simply as they are?

Whoever you are, you shouldn’t have to change to make others feel more comfortable. Stay true to you and surround yourself with people who are willing to grow, to learn, to accept, to embrace and to love you just as you are. Change is only necessary if you want it. Be Pretty, Plus and Proud and if that makes people uncomfortable, than that’s their problem, not yours!