So Worth Loving

Does Hookup Culture Hurt Women?

We found this article a few days ago and thought that we should share this with you guys. Do casual hook-ups with “no strings attached” essentially hurt women? 

Let’s Shine

Whispers when I walk by. Snappy comments, disguised as compliments or jokes. Talking behind my back when they don’t think I can hear or it won’t get back to me.

You don’t think I notice? The stares, the obnoxious smiles.

After being on this earth for 30 years…it’s getting old.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’

Actually, who are you not to be?

― Marianne Williamson

 

It’s not just people talking about me. I had once had a girl say she didn’t like me because I smiled too much. I have had people sit me down and tell me that I am “too much”. And then there’s the people who want to be around you until they feel like you’re taking too much of the attention from them.

I have grown up surrounded by love. I have been told since I was old enough to understand, that my life has worth, that I can be anything I want and that I am loved. Blessed am I, to live a life where I have understood my worth (most of the time) and been able to flourish. For this, I am grateful. It’s because of this, that I joined SWL. I wanted to spread the message…not to combat my own insecurities, but to help the vicious cycle of insecurity and unworthiness that causes so much tension and strife in our world.

Apparently though, this makes me a target. Being confident, knowing my value, having dreams, ideas and talents.

Crazy eh?  I’m sure there are many of us out there who have had moments where we can’t seem to understand the reaction we’re getting from someone…

It’s almost like they’re saying “let’s go after the one with the confidence. Let’s go after the girl or boy who is actually smiling”.

Recently I had someone in my life decide that what was going on in my love life or, actually what they construed to be what was going on, was their business.

I had to ask myself, when did we get to a point where we feel that we can comment on others lives? Sadly, we live in a culture of voyeurism, self-righteousness and judgment.

Admittedly, my first reaction wasn’t the most pleasant or what I could say I was proud of; it caused me to be enraged (thankfully privately), but it also made me realize something about myself that really needs changing…and I bet that it’s true for a few more people than me…

The truth is, that the people who are teasing, envious, jealous. Those people who feel the need to judge others, those who believe that they are better…

They’re insecure and they need to realize that they are worthy of love and have value.

We each have one life to live and a responsibility to do the best with that life. Love yourself, love others.

Why do we care about the opinions, thoughts and criticisms of those who have no vested interest in our lives? Those who do not care about us? Those who do not love us?

Why do we weigh the opinions and thoughts of those who are insecure, jealous, envious and sometimes just plain mean?

For the same reason people are mean, jealous and insecure. I believe it’s a desire to be wanted, to be accepted, to be loved…it’s inherent in each of us.

Here’s your challenge. My challenge for 2014.

Let’s SHINE.

Let’s not allow others opinions of us hurt us or affect what we feel about ourselves. Let us shine and unlock that within others.

Surround yourself with people who lift you up, push you forward and challenge you to be the best. Be that person in someone else’s life…watch your tongue before you gossip; catch yourself before you discuss someone else’s life.

 

Let’s stop being curious about that which isn’t our business. Let’s remember that life isn’t a pie…it’s a river…there’s plenty of blessings, talent and opportunity for us all.  

Just because you are given an opportunity or a blessing, it does not mean that I won’t.

Let’s spread the love.

 Written and loved on by Michelle Plett

Books and Mountains

I’ve never really understood people who run long distances. I get the health aspect of it. I can understand the sense of accomplishment. But it all seems a bit monotonous. After all, in a marathon, after a while, isn’t it just the same thing? Mountain climbing, though, is something I get. Not in a way that I would probably ever attempt it, but I think I understand the desire. You climb a mountain to reach the top, to see the view, to stand where only a few others may have stood. But there’s a letdown inherent in the accomplishment.

This November I participated in NaNoWriMo. For those of you who may not know and wonder what that weird anagram means, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every November a group of people, united by social media and the web, try to write a novel in 30 days, pushing themselves to reach the goal of 50,000 words.

NaNoWriMo is an interesting challenge; to the community it’s talked about like a competition, with a prize to win. But the only reward for finishing is a novel, and the only thing you’re really competing against is yourself. Nevertheless, it is a challenge.

It’s a lot like climbing a mountain. You get to the end, see how far you’ve come, but then there’s something else that always seems to accompany the sense of achievement.

Because finishing a novel, as much as an accomplishment as it is, is not quite as much an accomplishment as you might hope. The whole point of the month is to write 50,000 words, and at the end of the month what you have is 50,000 words. No agents or publishers contact you. No book deals magically show up on your doorstep. And more importantly, you might not find yourself suddenly brimming with the confidence to go get those things. Because what you have is 50,000 words. And you know it wasn’t anything miraculous that put them there; it was just you. And you know you, and you are nothing to write home about.

As great a thing it is to do, to know that I did it, I feel as if I want there to be more.

But a novel won’t make you feel good about yourself. Those who are writers know, it might just do the exact opposite. And that’s true, I would imagine, for most of life’s accomplishments. As good as they are, there’s no guarantee they will suddenly fill us with confidence and worth. They may be great and good things: love, health, relationships, things worth pursuing, but none of them will make us whole. We push and strive, but we might just find ourselves the same when we get there.

Of course, those things often provide the impetus to improvement. We might work to better ourselves because of them. But they are not the things that will give us value; at best they just show us that we have it. But if we don’t know that we have it already, no badge, no medal, no accomplishment will ever make us feel like we do. Because, in the end, we’re never really through. Writing, like mountain climbing, often brings one to a point where you can exclaim “I’m done!” and simultaneously lament, “I’m nowhere near finished.” Because once you’ve reached the peak, you realize you have to climb back down. And once you finish the first draft you realize that there’s this thing called editing. You’ve only just started.

  • But look how far you’ve come.

I wrote 50,000 words. A month ago, they didn’t exist. I made that. We’re in the season of retrospect, of looking back and asking ourselves what we did with last year. And when you look you may not see anything worth noting. You may feel like you are exactly where you were this time a year ago. But you’re not. I promise. You’ve done something. You’ve lived, you’ve breathed. You did a lap around the sun. But, however small it may seem, something is here that wasn’t here a year ago, a month ago, a day ago, and it’s because of you.

If you want to do more, do more. If you want to be more, be more. But none of us are nothing. We all make our mark on the world. All that’s left is for us to decide what kind of mark. Maybe you accomplished something great, maybe you met someone, started a company, moved someplace new. Maybe there’s something worth really celebrating. Celebrate it.

And then keep going. Because we’re always moving, writing, loving, breathing. Because we’re all works in progress.

 Written and loved on by Douglas Humphries

When The Dress Doesn’t Fit

It’s perfect. It is PERFECT. Just have to find my size…

I am bursting with excitement and grinning from ear to ear as I sift through the rack of dresses, searching for my size. I am always searching for my size, the right size. YES! I hold the dress up and look at the tag. I tried this exact same dress on two months ago and it’s finally on sale. It fit beautifully, hugging all the right places and graciously flowing over the wrong ones.With the black high heeled pumps and that silver necklace…I am mentally styling a dress I haven’t even purchased yet. I need to see it on again, just to know if I need to buy new shoes also.

I get pleased looks from sales people as I make my way to the fitting rooms in the back of the store. By the time I get there I can barely contain myself. It takes almost no time for me to strip out of my winter layers and step into the gorgeous dress hanging on the wall in front of me. I feel its silky texture, and run my fingers over the beaded embellishment near the sweetheart neckline.

I’m smiling and looking into the mirror, trying to zip up the dress, when suddenly….it just stops. The zipper stops. It must be stuck. I wiggle it, move it around, and finally turn to look at it in the floor length mirror. It’s not a piece of thread stuck in the zipper that’s stopping it from going up, it’s my sides.

My love handles.

The fabric around my hips is pulled tight to the point of tearing. My ample curves leave absolutely nothing to the imagination. My bust is spilling over and stretching the seams of the pretty top. The dress doesn’t fit.

I quickly undo the little zipping I had managed and look at the tag. I was this size two months ago. I’ve gained more weight? I think, as I look at myself with fresh eyes. I’m staring at the five feet, two inch tall body of a college senior who has succumbed to many late night, junk food-filled study sessions. It is as if I am seeing my scantily clad body for the first time. My dimpled thighs and full hips, my round tummy and stretch marked waist. Every imperfection is magnified in my tear filled eyes. My head begins to pound and my heart begins to race. I drop the too small dress to the floor and stare at my body with complete disgust. The tears are falling hot and heavy now, pulsing down my humiliated face in waves of defeat and anguish.

“Do you need help zipping up?” the sales lady asks from behind the closed door. “Um…no thank you! It didn’t look right…” I stutter as I reluctantly pull on my gigantic jeans and wipe away the tears from my heated cheeks.

I emerge from the dressing room and hastily hang the stupid dress on the rack. I shuffle out of the store just quick enough to avoid the nice sales assistant, and pull my hood up just in time to hide the fresh tears that are spilling down my face. I am devastated.

We’ve all had these moments, times when our bodies seem like the enemy. Times when all we want to do is crawl under a blanket and forget we even tried the dress on in the first place. Maybe it was your jeans from last summer that won’t button, or that one shirt you absolutely LOVE that’s squeezing your arms a little too much.

We’ve all felt the disappointment and the shame, the self-loathing and pain that comes with momentarily hating your body. It’s in those moments we wish we were someone else, someone with more self-control and better genes. Someone who ran instead of ate ice cream, and chose a banana over a brownie.

  • It’s in those moments that we forget how beautiful we are, and how precious, how loved and cherished our souls and bodies are. It’s in these moments that we forget we were created perfectly, intentionally, with purpose and passion, and that no amount of weight gained will ever change that.

It’s in those moments that we have to take a good, long, hard look inside ourselves and remember that we all have flaws. We are all imperfectly perfect, trying to make the very best of what we’ve been given, and learning to love the parts of us we’d rather hide.

It’s in those moments that you must remember that within you is a seed of greatness that needs to be watered and carefully cared for.

It needs you to whisper sweet words of encouragement and sincerity, and water it with love and kindness when society is polluting your soil with lies and judgment. That seed needs positivity, your positivity, to beat down on the earth above like sunlight, and draw its soft core out into the open. Your inner light that shines will help that seed to grow into something rare, something beautiful and pure that only exists inside of you. You will begin to bloom and produce fruit of love that will draw others to you, and bare leaves that blow those sweet words of life toward the seeds buried deep within the pain of self-hatred in others. Your roots will sink deep into your soul, and become the truth that holds you firm when storms of self-consciousness beat at your back and attempt to overturn you.

So in those moments - when the dress doesn’t fit, when he doesn’t love you back, when you get an F on that test, when you don’t know which way is up, when you cannot remember what makes you unique, and special, and beautiful- remember that you are loved.

You are loved unconditionally, incessantly and perfectly.

And remember that you are beautiful, even if the dress doesn’t show it. 

Written and loved on by Daniah Miller

If you are going through that dark period, go to your family and closest friends. Don’t put yourself in danger. It’s very crucial that you get your feelings out — but don’t ever inflict harm on your own body because your body is so sacred. I wish I could tell every young girl with an eating disorder, or who has harmed herself in any way, that she’s worthy of life and that her life has meaning. You can overcome and get through anything.

Demi Lovato