Monday, November 25, 2013

How to Raise Your Self Esteem - Stand Your Ground




It's a constant battle to maintain feeling good about "you." However, feeling good about yourself is a "powerful weapon" in the battle against someone else not thinking positive about "you" and putting "you" down with words? 
When an opponent is constantly "belittling or criticizing" your character, it can impact your psyche. You begin to question yourself and ask "is that me." You hear it repeatedly and before long you might start to believe it.
I term it -- psychic warfare -- resulting from the constant battle fought against the opponent's words used to attack the psyche.
The mind can be vulnerable to criticism. If you look in the mirror and perceive yourself as ugly, most likely, you will believe the mirror image. When someone is constantly throwing degrading words at you, it has the same effect as the mirror image. Why, because you believed it.
We care "how" others view us. When others think well of us we tend to feel good about ourselves based on how "they" feel about us. On the contrary-- their not thinking positive about us has the opposite effect.

So how do you maintain positive self esteem amid the opposition?

First
Know yourself. It helps for "you" to know who you are; not to allow people to define you, but to define yourself.
It's important to stand your ground of "knowing who you are." Being able to define yourself is "powerful ammunition" that can be used to battle the opposition.

For example: If someone constantly tells you that you're stupid and you know you're not, convey "your knowingness" to the person: " that's your thought of me, however that's not how I view myself and I won't accept your degrading comments as being who I am; I won't allow your words to bring "me" down to the level that you're attempting to bring me."

Second
Don't "own" other people's thoughts about you; claim your own. Of course if you own someone else's view of you, (if you are lazy) and you "want" to change it, then work on changing it; not because you feel forced, but because you feel a personal need to change it.
It's not an easy battle to always lift "you" up against degradation by others; in fact, it can be difficult-- especially when you're being bombarded constantly with disparaging words, and if the battle consists of several opponents throwing darts at your psyche; it can become overwhelming.
The thing is-- we don't have control over other people's perceptions and mean spiritedness; people act and react for various reasons. Words can be directed toward us out of anger, dislike, jealousy, envy, or a person's personal issues. "Owning" who you are against those reasons is your best defense.

Third
Believing-- Don't believe the hype. If you believe what people say about you, it indicates that you "don't know who you are." Or as stated, what people are saying might be true, it might -- be you; people tend to call things as they are. So if the hype is true, you might want to change the truth.
Your "self esteem" belongs to you, and yes other peoples words can brush up against it, but the brush only has control over your "self esteem" if you allow it to have control. Don't "believe" the hype about you-- if it's not your hype-- stand your ground.

Written by Betty Alark
Author of photo: George hodan

The Purpose of Dating - Dating Provides Building Blocks




Dating is a time to put emotions and feelings on hold until you can evaluate your date. It's important to get a good feel for a person and to be in their company long enough to determine the worth of their character, and that takes time. When dating it's important to use self-control and not let your emotions overrule your thinking or fog your focus. An intelligent evaluation of a person's character can't be determined if your emotions are clouding your judgment.
Dating can be deemed as a fun time to be social and to do social things like parties, fairs, going out to a restaurant, maybe even playing some fun table games; that way, you get to see one another in different settings, which provides for an opportunity to see different sides of one another's personality. Being able to witness one another in different settings is a key factor in getting to know someone; until you actually get to see a person's various sides, you really don't know them at all.
If you give yourself time to get to know one another you might come to realize things like: you make one another laugh; that the person you're keeping company with is objective, non- judgmental and easy to talk to. Could be that you have similar things in common like liking the same moves, books, foods, art and the like. These are all things that you find out in the course of dating over a period of time. They are potential building blocks for friendship and possibly a relationship.
That's the purpose of dating; to find out if the potential building blocks for friendship and an eventual relationship exist. If you find out -- during the process of dating that the building blocks don't exist, the person can still be an aquaintance, however, not someone you want to build a serious relationship with that could ultimately lead to marriage.

Written by Betty Alark 
Photo by: Maliz Ong

Missing You






I miss you!
The inner me yearns for you.
You've made your mark on my heart. 

I place value on the things we do when we are together;
when we share one another's creativity and uniqueness.

I find myself reminiscing on your character and qualities.
There's no match for the intimate bond that I feel when I'm with you.

I miss you and I don't desire to be without you;
you're a novel personality that's come my way.

Every day with you is like an adventure;
always something new to discover!

My waiting anticipates your return to me, my love!
I know my waiting won't be in vain.

Hasten your return my love,
make this yearning void.

I impatiently wait for that knock on the door or for the phone to ring;
to have you back once more!

I miss you, my love!
Know that I am waiting!


Written by Betty Alark
 Photo by: Peter Griffin

Love is Something You Do Not Something You Feel





Everybody has their own opinion about what love is. I'd like to share my conception of love with you. Probably not unlike yourself, I used to think that love was a feeling. No one could have convinced me that what I felt for my boyfriend wasn't love. But after I heard the statement: "Love is something you do not something you feel." It caused me to wonder.
I first heard the term: "Love is something you do not something you feel" when I got married. I'd never heard that saying before so when my husband brought it to my attention, I had to take a minute and think about it. Just thinking about it wasn't enough to convince me of the probability of the statement being true. I had no point of reference to confirm its truth, since I'd never had an experience in a relationship that revealed anything different other than what I felt for the person.
Feelings and emotions are extremely strong and it is difficult to distinguish them from love. There's a very thin line between love, feelings and emotions.
For example, let's say you're in a relationship and you develop feelings for the person. You're affected emotionally by the person's various idiosyncrasies; like the person's mannerisms, appearance, the person's actions, etc. You're attracted to the person emotionally causing a feeling of attachment; if you include physical intimacy then feelings, emotions and attachment go even deeper.
I'm sure you're aware of what I'm saying. People think they're in love simply based on the points that I've stated. The person doesn't have to have done anything special for you for you to feel the way that you're feeling; it's just that you're emotionally caught up in what "you're" feeling and you call it love.
The emotions that you're caught up in aren't outside of you; they're simply your inner emotions. It doesn't mean that the person you're feeling those emotions for mutually feels the same. The emotions "feel" good so they get equated as love.
So I ask you: Is it logical to assume that what you're feeling is love simply because "your" attraction was catered to and you were pleased physically?
When I met my husband, I was attracted to him. I was drawn to his eyes; but, what really attracted me to him was what I saw when I looked into his eyes. I saw beyond the physical.
When we got married, I didn't have emotionally strong feelings for him, however I cared a lot about him. After we married, my husband was an excellent provider. I never wanted for anything materially or financially; even though I worked and could provide for myself.
I came to appreciate him to the utmost not because he could provide in the manner that he did but because he gave from his heart. Whenever there was a need he met it; I never had to say a word. In addition, he pleased me intimately; the attraction was there, the feelings and emotions were there.
So based on the examples I've given, I came to the conclusion that attraction, being attached to someone emotionally, sexually and mentally are like the icing on a cake; however, they aren't the cake. The cake for me is what the person does from their heart. I say that because, the icing (feelings, attraction, attachment) can be taken away at some point but what's done from the heart (the cake) remains; even if the relationship doesn't last, the thing that stays with you is what the person did for you and to me that's what love is.




Written by Betty Alark
Photo by Basdorf 

The Good Things You Do Override Your Faults



We have our ups and downs,
not always seeing eye to eye.
Often disagreeing
both vying for our own individual opinion.

It is at those times that our emotions,
our ego can come into play
and we find ourselves feeling sorry for
the things we have said to one another.

We temporarily distance ourselves
to reflect on our wounds;
after reflecting upon the moment,
the thing that overshadows my emotions and ego
is all the good things that you have done for me.

I see your heart,
your heart overshadows
any complaint that I might have
regarding your imperfections and mine.

However, the complaint remains;
it still needs to be addressed.
We still need to come together,
not keeping the complaint at bay.

In order to move forward
in this relationship,
we need to address the complaint;
so that it doesn't continue to haunt us.

Let's not let our differences lead us astray;
we can come together and hear
the complaint that needs to be said.

I'm big enough to forgive
the temporary wounding of my egomy hope is, that you are too.

Our unity means more to me,
than any harsh words could possibly say.
Our commitment and devotion to one another,
our love for one another,
is what I hope will triumph over the disarray.

So here is my complaint,
please don't think less of me
for expressing the things that affect me.
Please take it into consideration
and try to make the necessary change.

Keep in mind that your heart to me,
overshadows the complaint that I express.
Any changes will just make our relationship stronger,
and old habits will be laid to rest.

Your heart overshadows
any complaints that I have about you.
When it is my turn to hear your complaints,
I will remember the very things
that I've asked of you.

Keeping in mind the greater things,
that compliment me and you.

Written by Betty Alark
Photo by: Yana Ray

How to Have Unity in Relationships - Working Things Out



We have our moments,
but we've always worked things out

A big part of having unity in relationships,
Is being able to relate and communicate with one another effectively

Yes, we have our moments that momentarily distance us,
but after we get a handle on our emotions, assess the situation and
evaluate what we need to do next, eventually we come back together,
talk and work things out.

There's no hurdle that's come our way that we haven't conquered,
no obstacle that our love hasn't defeated.

So, let's not allow this mole hill to turn into a mountain,
our love is stronger than that.

We can still work things out, right?
Let's talk!


Written by Betty Alark
Photo by Aubrey Kirkham

How to Fix Your Relationship


Sometimes relationships work
often they don't.
The reasons are complex.

Relationships require constant work;
the work is a constant effort to keep
the connection a positive one.
We all have our ups and downs.
If that were not the case
what would we work towards?

The effort to keep relationships
constantly moving in a positive direction
can become a battle of wear and tear.
A loose thread in a relationship
can cause frustration and disappointment,
leaving a couple faced with a problem,
calling for resolution.

Feelings are strong emotions that
keep us attached to one another.
It's not always easy to remedy
what we feel when our ego has been
bruised by the one we love.

At the moment of feeling bruised emotions,
choice comes into play --
am I going to hang in there and work
this out or do I walk away.
In the moment of choice,
we come face to face with self.
Like a reflection in a mirror
we glimpse who self is being.

If we are looking at self and
not the other person, we
reflect on our own actions.

Think about it for a moment.
Isn't it true that when you have an argument
or a disagreement and you temporarily
distance yourself to reflect on the situation,
that you're left with "yourself"
to ponder the details?

Within those moments of pondering,
don't you see yourself?
Aren't you evaluating
how you might have acted or reacted
to cause the thread to loosen?

When I look at myself in a relationship
what that reveals to me
is that I'm constantly learning and growing.
Life is teaching me what it wants me to learn
in order for me to become a more knowledgeable, wiser person.

It's only when I don't see myself
due to denial, pride, selfishness or naivety
that the thread in the relationship continues to become unravelled
because I'm not growing;
I'm not becoming more responsible and accountable.
Ultimately, the relationship is severed
due to a lack of not seeing "me."

That's not to say that the relationship is being severed
solely on me not seeing myself,
my significant other might not
be willing to look at self.

The fact remains,
no matter what the reasons might be,
if you're observing yourself in the relationship,
your reflection will bring you face to face with the inner you
and cause you to grow beyond whatever the reason might be.

The same stands true for relationships that work.
No matter what the reasons are,
you were constantly looking at "self" along the way
or it wouldn't have worked.

Each person in the relationship
needs to come face to face with self
in order to make things better.
Then, perhaps they can come back,
together!

Written by Betty Alark

How to Strategically Gain a Partner in Life






Gaining a partner in life requires strategic planning; a plan that incorporates: evaluating, creative strategic thinking, and innovative -- out of the box approaches. After creating a plan -- advance forward; put your plan into action!

Carrying out the plan
Commence by evaluating and documenting the reasons "why" you need a partner. For example: companionship, security, compatibility, etc. Knowing the "whys" is important. Otherwise-- your choices will be random.
After evaluating the "whys" move on to phase two -- the "what's." Take time to evaluate "what" you're seeking in a partner; specific qualities, etc. A creative format to undergo the evaluation process might be to write the "what's" in a resume format; as if you're seeking to hire someone for the position. For example:
,
Seeking someone that is
  •  financially established
  •  someone that accepts me for who I am,
  •  a good listener/understanding/compassionate
  •  a provider
  •  someone that can stimulate and challenge my mind
  •  a person that likes to have fun
  •  romantic

After determining the "why's and the "what's" you're ready to progress to phase three.

Putting your plan into action
Phase three entails choosing the appropriate environment and the process of "interrogation and elimination." Interrogation and elimination equals-- time well spent; which produces, positive gains.

The Environment
Seek out environments where you anticipate the type of person you're hoping to meet is most likely to hang out. After meeting likely candidates, conduct the interrogation process in a relaxed manner, feel free to let your hair down and be comfortable, but maintain an air of composure and stay mission minded.

Interrogation
Your list of "why's and what's" has prepared you for the interrogation process. Conduct the interrogation process in a down- to- earth yet, professional manner, as if screening to hire someone that's qualified for the position.
As the two of you are indulging in conversation, you start posing your questions. Find innovative, creative ways to find out what you need to know. Ten questions down the list; you know whether the potential candidate meets your qualifications or not; if not, you enjoyed the company and had a nice evening out. You don't want to continue spending "time" with someone that you realize (based on your interrogation) isn't going to meet your qualifications. You're on a mission; on to the next candidate!

Process of elimination
Process of elimination cuts through the chase; each person you interrogate might like your appearance and conversation, but you already have the information you need, so why hire someone that has hopes, has a nice appearance and conversation, yet doesn't stand up to your resume of qualifications?
Stay mission minded! Be strategic, creative and innovative. Don't settle for less.

Written by Betty Alark

Need to Find Direction in Your Life? Something to Consider



Existing in the world without a sense of direction and purpose is analogous to being lost at sea without a compass; similar to being lost in a forest going around in circles and ending up where you initially started. Eventually, you feel abandoned, bewildered and apathetic, thinking you are never going to find your way.

Wondering through life having no sense of direction can lead to feelings of depression and hopelessness, causing you to feel like you are going down a road without a destination. Even when you arrive at a fork in the road, the choice will be random, since you are oblivious as to where you are headed. You take the fork on the left only to realize that the random path that you chose added nothing to the lack of direction formerly held. Your life seems to be a continuum of forks in the road, but you keep randomly choosing in hopes of receiving a glimpse, or a sign providing some direction.

Finding direction and purpose in a world that offers everything contrary to the nature of who you know yourself to be inwardly, can be challenging. It becomes an even greater challenge when you struggle to find an arena that acts as a stage where the inner you can thrive. The reality of such a dilemma is acceptance; accepting a temporary arena until your personal direction and purpose in life is found.

When a constant state of feeling lost is your life, the sadness beckons query. You ask yourself:
What is the purpose in being here?
What is it all for?
Why it is that life holds no purpose for me?

Whether you realize it or not, the questions you ask yourself are thought provoking questions. The key is to let the questions trigger thought from within, rather than projecting outward, in anger at the world.
Find a quiet setting and reflect on the questions. Allow the questions to trigger an inner response and jump start answers for you.
Think about: 
What it is that you don't like about the world.
What it is about the world that goes contrary to whom you know yourself to be "inwardly" and how you would like to affect the world in a positive manner.

Let your life reflect the change you desire to see. Let the change reflect your voice, actions and reactions; soon, the world will be the stage where you bear witness to you performing you. It will no longer matter what fork in the road you take or what arena you step into, since you will be taking yourself--your convictions/ consciousness, perceptions, and your heart, with you; they become your direction.

The more you live your convictions without deviation, the more direction and purpose you find in living. Direction is living who you are at the very core of your being; direction isn't external.

Life has meaning when your convictions come alive; when you're not following the status quo, and all your actions and reactions are in accordance with the unique being that you were born to be!
So, be still. Position yourself in a relaxed environment and ponder those questions.
Who am I? Why am I here? What purpose does this world hold for me?

Think about the hindrances that prevent you from finding your way. What it is that you don't concur with regarding the world and how you would prefer to bring about positive change.
You've been endowed with gifts and talents. Create your arena by being who you know your inner self to be. Go within and connect with your being!

Written by Betty Alark
Author of photo: Geralt

Monday, August 26, 2013

What to Do when Your Heart Keeps Getting Crushed




They're all kinds of forces working through people; forces of greed, envy, jealousy, and just mean spiritedness. They've all come toward me in one mask or another. 

Masqueraders wear all kinds of mask to cover up their true colors. Initially -- they present themselves as beautiful angels, someone sweet, good, funny -- it's called: "let me get to know you first persona." Then, shortly after the "get to know you first, "persona phase" -- you find yourself asking, " who is this person I've revealed myself to?" 

When you have a "good heart" and you keep being deceived by people wearing mask, it can have a devastating effect. You might begin to think: " Why me? Why do I keep getting taken for the fool when all I do is try to treat people right?" "The more kindness I give, the more people take advantage of me."

Your mind wonders in confusion with thoughts like: I'm just who I am; so -- what do I do? Are there any "good" people in the world or is this just the way the world is? I don't know, but it leaves me depressed and wondering if anyone will ever come my way that doesn't play me for a fool. What's wrong with me? Do I need to change? Am I blind? Am I an idiot? I mean, what's going on? 

Life can be a trip. The question is: are you going to trip with the rest of the world or maintain being who you are? 

Are you going to change? In other words -- become what everyone else "does" to you; play the get-over games, the con-games, just to get what you want from others? Which means -- you too would find your, "getting to know you first, persona mask", before revealing your true colors. 

It takes a strong person not to succumb to sinking below a "good" heart" -- to sell their soul, so to speak; but, it can be accomplished. Sometimes it might call for walking alone or having only one friend, but ultimately, it's worth it; because, when you join in the con- games of life, you lose yourself. 

So, yes, it can be overwhelming not to know what to do when people wearing mask keep showing up at the door of your heart because it shines so brightly and they want to put your light out at any cost; but, there are ways to defend your heart against the hidden agendas of masqueraded personas. 

For instance:
  • Don't reveal yourself before you know a person's true colors. If you wait long enough you will see signs of who someone really is.
  • Do research on different personality types so that you can identify the red flags
  • Know yourself versus who the other person is - dose their value system and convictions match yours?
  • Don't ignore the red flags as a result of emotional attachment



End result

Educate yourself . You don't need to change you -- you just need to be able to discern "what type of Character is masquerading behind the mask.


Read my book: What Type of Character Are You Hanging Out With?
By Betty Alark

You can find it on Xlibris.com
and Amazon.com



Written by Betty Alark

Author of picture - Violetta

How to Mutually Work Out Problems in a Relationship




When we have a problem,
Let's work it out-- mutually

I have worth and value,
and so do you. 

That is why we need to mutually,
consider one another in the decision making process. 

Our relationship isn't a power game;
you trying to dominate me, or me dominating you;
you trying to win over me, or me winning over you. 

When you ask me, or I ask you,
"What do you think?"
Or, "how do you think we should go about resolving the problem?"
It states that we both have something of value to offer;
that we recognize and acknowledge one anothers value.


It allows us to mutually participate, and contribute, in the decision making process.
Not me doing it my way or you doing it your way, but mutually.

And after we analyze the problem, and draw our conclusions,
We will do what is in the best interest of us both.
Or, what we agree is the best way to solve the problem. 

That's called working together mutually, in order for the relationship work.


** Above all and first and foremost pray together! Pray individually and ask the Creator to order your steps to guide and direct you!!


Written by Betty Alark

Picture by Petr Kratochvil


How to Deal with Change



Change is a constant reality. You might say -- it's inevitable.
After living in a comfort zone for a period of time -- for instance: a job, position, house, relationships, and  then something happens to  thrust  you out of your comfort zone, it can affect you emotionally and create stress in your life. How we deal with change can make all the difference.


Ways to deal with change

Having a positive attitude is "priceless" when confronted with change. How we perceive change is a key factor in moving forward -- or not. 

Thinking positive about change, enables -- moving forward; thinking the worst -- delays moving forward, and generates depressing emotions. It's natural to feel some emotional discomfort when change occurs; however, not allowing those feelings to have control over moving forward is what matters. 

While transitioning through change, do positive things to keep your spirit uplifted. Stay active by jogging -- being out in nature. Talk about your situation with friends and family; other people can sometimes offer solutions or a different perspective. 

Use self help strategies. I know from experience that it makes life better when I tell myself that things will get better and I work towards what I have faith in. Prayer of course -- is my number one self-help strategy. 

At some point, after change occurs, we do need to get up and do the things that are needed to take us in a new direction. Doing so requires "drive"; something that will drown out the voice of defeat. 

Drive supports -- "motivation"; having something to look forward to; a vision of what you'd like to move forward -- into. 

The next step is to "plan" in accordance with your vision, and maintain that positive attitude of: I'm not going to give up; I'm going to move forward; things will get better, and do all that you can do to make it happen. Doing so will constantly fuel your motivation! 


You can do it!! Don't let change defeat you.



*** Above all go within and stay in prayer! Asking the Creator for direction, and to order your steps. That should always come first!!,




Written by Betty Alark

Author of picture -Geralt

How Well Do You Know Yourself?



How Well Do You Know Yourself?

When it comes to finding direction in life it stands to reason that "knowing yourself" is a key factor in determining direction.

If you don't have a map that provides you with details and direction on how to find your way, intuition and random guessing supports your choices and decisions. Bottom line-- having a guide that directs you is more effective; especially when the guide -- comes directly from within.

So, let's say you want to map out a map that will enable you to "know yourself" better -- provide you with direction for your life.

What are some of the things you might need to accomplish creating the map?

Well-- you need specific tools such as:
Being able to:
  •  think
  •  question
  •  visualize
  •  imagine
  •  seeking
  •  reason
  •  evaluate
  •  go within
  •  reflect

All of the aforementioned skills will enable you with the ability to self-assess and develop yourself-- free of cost.

Next step:
Get a journal or a writting pad and write down your plan of action; then, start asking yourself insightful questions?

What are some of the questions you might ask yourself?
  • Who am I?
  • What are my strengths and abilities?
  • What are my likes and dislikes?
  • What are my weaknesses?
  • What makes me happy?
  • Who do I want to be?
  • What am I good at doing?
  • What environments do I funtion best in?

Asking yourself questions assesses who you are and provides you with a visual of "you." Once you can physically see the nature of "who you are" on paper, it provides you with a better understanding of yourself, and acts as a guide for further direction.
As you start to bear witness to "who you are" then, you can determine-- ok, what arena or medium can I create for myself or what profession can I apply myself within that is indicative of who I know myself to be?
What arena would enable me to contribute my greatness, skills, talents and abilities, and simultaneously make a difference in the lives of others?
Once you have a visual of "knowing yourself", how you would like to apply yourself, and in what arena you would like to flourish in, then you're ready for your plan of action!
Create your action plan
So, you now have a better sense of knowing yourself -- "who you are", and where you would like to apply yourself. Determine "what" you want/need to do and "where" you need to go in order to accomplish your plan of action. Then, do it! Carry it out.


***Remember to pray for direction as you go within!


Written by Betty Alark

Self Portrait by  Tom Genovese