What is Beauty?

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As I stood in front of my TV screen last night, watching Lupita N’yongo deliver an emotional Oscar speech, I thought to myself, “Who makes the rules about beauty? Who gets to choose who is beautiful and how is one added to the top secret beauty list?”

I grew up in an area where most people believed that beauty involved being a certain shade (light skinned). I was lighter than many others around me, but I still did not feel beautiful. “Why?,” you ask. Well because another layer of the rules of beauty was having curves. You see I was stick thin. Rail thin. Like a tooth pick. I saw nothing wrong with my natural God given small stature, but apparently my society thought I needed more meat on my bones. You see a woman must be round like the number 8, not straight like a 1.

Next was hair texture. No one liked what they saw on my head. They thought my hair was not dark enough, too thick, too coarse or “too kinky.” I saw nothing wrong with my mane. In fact, I was proud of all the hairs that sprouted atop my head. I was happy that my hair stood tall and proud, but the people said, “It is not good enough.”

Then came adolescence and the acneic skin. I had acne on my forehead, cheeks, chin, and even on my back and arms. The people also poked fun at me. They said, “Why do you have so many pimples?” They even called me “Pimple paradise.” Now that one hurt. I would stare at my face for hours on end hoping that one day I would magically have skin smooth as rain. But that has eluded me to this day.

At some point I was deemed too tall and too flat chested. At another point it was announced that my butt was too big for my stick figure body. After having my first child, I was then too chesty and too big. Boy was it exhausting. But I choose this day not to let the critics, the commenters, the spectators and the jesters define who I am.

Yes, I still have acneic skin. Yes my legs are still considered “too small.” My mane is still wild and marches to the beat of its own drum, but no one else is me. No one else can waddle like me. No one else has my same shade of skin. No one else giggles on command like a 2 year old. No one’s features, when combined with my brilliance and creativity, will be parallel to me.

I let the people talk. I let them spectate. As they laugh at me and as they pinpoint whatever flaws they think they see in me, I am busy building a life of joy. I am rising to take my place. Let the people in your life talk. But NEVER let the people’s words define you. You should see beauty in yourself because you are unique and can never be replaced.

Live life. Look to no other to tell you who you should look like. You define who you are and what journey you choose to go on. Let spectators spectate, but keep charging on as they watch you reach your pinnacle.

Have a beautiful Monday boys and girls.

Inspired Thinking Momma

 

P.S: Smile when the spectators nit pick. It makes them mad.

What is Love?

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It is great that there is one day solely dedicated to the lovers out there, but it is important to keep love at the forefront of your mind as you engage in this battle called marriage. I say ‘battle’ because if you’ve been married long enough, you will know that there are wonderful ups and horrid downs on the train ride of love. Love is an action and not just a bubbly feeling in the pit of your tummy. Love is being kind to your husband even when you don’t feel like it.. Love entails staying up late to reconcile your differences even when it will be easier to just go to bed angry. Love is making sacrifices for one another, supporting each other’s farfetched dreams, being empathetic and protecting the other. Love will do crazy things like sneak around to create a romantic surprise or watch the dumbest show with your wife just because it makes her happy. Love is listening to the stories of your beloved, not because you find them interesting in the least, but because his eyes light up when he chronicles the details of his day.

Where do we get love from? What drives us to pursue this thing called love? What color is it? How can we make it grow? I don’t know the answers, but I do know that love pushes me to do better today than I did yesterday.

Happy Valentine’s Day boys and girls,

Swooning Thinking Momma

Maintaining your love connection with your spouse

Remember when you first met your spouse? For many people it was love at first sight. Remember going out on dates with him/her and feeling all sorts of funny butterflies in your stomach? In my case, we were inseperable. All I ever wanted to do was to hang out with my then boyfriend (who is now my husband). It was like I could think of no one else. Why is it that after so many years of marriage, tons of couples seem to lose that butterfly feeling? It is probably safe to say that many couples do not feel the flutter in their stomachs when they see their beloved walk through the door after a long day at work. How do you go back to that puppy love feeling? Now, I have to say because you feel butterflies in your stomach and you cannot stop thinking about someone, does not actually mean you love them. I believe there is a difference between being in lust, being in love, and loving someone.

Lust is self explanatory. It is a superficial craving for someone. Lust will wear off quickly once the other person’s appearance or simple circumstances change. Being in love often entails liking someone and having this overhwelming feeling (or butterfly effect) when you see or think about the person. People can fall out of love as fast as they can fall in love. I think it is simply a temporary feeling. But real love does surpass everything else. Love is the action. It is wanting to stand by a person’s side even though they irritate the freaking crap out of you. It is wanting to call off work to tend to your feverish partner. It is knowing all their dirty little secrets (and filthy filthy habits) but still being able to overlook them. It is wanting to grow old and grey with this flawed annoying human being. It is wanting to share your secrets, wanting to forgive that person when he/she wrongs you and wanting to make it right when you know you are at fault. That my friends, is my definition of love.

Now every marriage needs a healthy dose of lust, being in love and of loving. But how do we get back to the butterfly effect? I think it is staying open with one another, making sure each person is getting exactly what he or she needs from the relationship and trying to figure out why you fell in love all those years ago. If we can keep those magical moments in mind at all times and remember what used to make our tummies turn and tickle, then we are set.  The magic can stay lit if we can continue to excite the other spiritually, intellectually and otherwise. The magic will grow when we continue to remember how to talk to the other with respect, kindness and overlook insignificant foolishness. I like to say, “Treat your husband like he is a man you are trying to date and treat your wife like a hot girl you are still trying to get.” This wonderful cat and mouse game should never end. Know each other’s  buttons and stay away from them. Go on adventures together, solve arguments as fast as possible. Apologise even if it means biting your tongue off. Make him smile for no reason at all. Buy her gifts and do cute things just because.

The bottom line is this. Love is an action and true love is hard work. You must fight each day to maintain the love. Nurture it like a plant. If you water it, it will grow and become fruitful. Now go out there and make your connection a lasting one.

Any thoughts?

Loving Thinking Momma

Love is Enough

“Even when love isn’t enough…somehow it is.”

-Stephen King

Sorry for the late post, but I’ve been busier than a stray dog hunting down a meal. I’m a sucker for love and  my head is in the clouds. I’m a hopeless romantic who believes that everyone can find  the one that makes your heart skip a beat. We all know that food, clothing and shelter are the three basic essentials for life, but  I think love is the fourth. I believe as long as we have someone that loves us unconditionally, then we will be able to make it through trials. You can have all the money in the world, live in the biggest mansion, have access to imported, fine cuisine, but if you do not have at least one person to love you, you will be depressed. DEPRESSED!!!

If you have one person in your life to love you-whether it is your parent, brother, spouse, boyfriend or your random neighbor, do no waste that love. Treat the ones close to you like precious jewels because once you lose them, they are irreplaceable.

I hope that made sense as I am sooooo exhausted!!!

 

Thinking Momma