Character Impact (Article Blog)

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Our actions will always speak louder than our words. Even when people aren’t listening to us they are always watching, looking to see what we are doing. We have no idea how much of an influence we may have over a person’s life whether they know us or not and whether our influence be good or bad.  Our actions have a tremendous impact on people. Actions can hurt or heal, bless a person or break a person. Too often people spend more time perfecting their personality and their speech without actually doing the things they speak about. People would rather see a sermon than to hear one any day. The way we “consistently” behave is from the core of who we are and from our moral fabric and what we believe.  Our character is why we do something and our personality is how we do it.

Our actions should be in line with our character and what we believe.  What we believe is how we should behave. When our personality overrides our character, we may do good things for others but that doesn’t make us a good person.  Our personality behavior is motive driven and may be perceived as traits of having good character. Our personality can be wrapped up in charisma, fun, charm and positive energy in a way that appeals to be favorable in the moment.  But when we are led by character, we will do what we believe in our heart at all times and in all situations. You may be able to trick some people some of the time with personality, but they are watching.

A person that is of good moral character will “consistently” act out of integrity, consideration, honor and respect for self and others.  Sometimes we make mistakes, poor decisions and we behave badly, but the core of who we are will dictate the delivery of our intentions.  Sometimes a person’s behavior is not meant for harm or ill will. If the behavior was not intended, was misunderstood, or may have caused pain or hurt to someone, a person of good character will attempt to make it right by taking corrective action.

An apology is not action. If you sincerely care about the person and did not mean to hurt them your apology should be followed up with action and changed behavior. Ask this question, “What can I do to fix this or how can I make this right?” And then be willing to do what is asked of you.  Sometimes our actions can cause very unfavorable reactions and this is by no means the result or the desired outcome we want to be left with in our situations and interactions with the people we care about and love.

If you have a character flaw of selfishly or carelessly behaving and acting without consideration of the impact your actions may have on someone else’s life, emotions or well-being, this could be very dangerous territory. Not every person you come across is mentally or emotionally stable and equipped to handle such encounters. Not one person is exempt from having gone through loss, heartache and heartbreak but some of us do not have a strong enough will to recover from one more let down from damaging behaviors and choices that can detrimentally affect our life… You without being consciously aware could be the straw that breaks the Camel’s back for that person. Your actions may lead them into a harmful or unhealthy action. Emotional pain has a long term effect on the human psyche and is harder and takes longer to recover from than physical pain.

The consequences of our choices are greater than our desires when we behave selfishly. When we do not take into consideration how our behavior can impact a person, especially those that we are close to, love or  have  entrusted into our world, this can have an adverse effect to our well-being. Our behaviors can potentially trigger someone into a depression, physical illness, heart attack, stroke or worst case scenario; can trigger them to want to take their own life and perhaps yours. God forbid, but if our choices and behaviors do not cost us our life that doesn’t mean it won’t cost us. That of course is if we have a heart and a conscious and actually care how our actions affect others. Karma and consequences will have their day; they do not hand out IOU’s or passes. And we all will have to face the consequences of our choices and actions.

Choosing to be selfish, careless and deceptive with our free will by exploiting other’s emotions is like poisoning the soil of the earth in which we also have to eat from, live on and exist in. Every time we knowingly and intentionally hurt others we are hurting ourselves. When we act out of good moral character, we make a conscious effort, decision and choice to do the right thing and treat others the way we would want to be treated.  Ask yourself, “Who am I?” and “What do I stand for when no one is around or watching?” “Who am I without my material possessions, talents, abilities, personality and perhaps my desirable physical attributes?” “What are my core beliefs about mankind, what are my standards and values?” “How is my character?”

If God took away everything you have and everything that you are able to do what kind of person would you be? That is what will define you. Character is what will be the determining factor for who stays loyal to you if life presents you with illness, tragedy, hardship or loss.  By the way, “their character,” not yours… If you are selfish, careless and a person that have very little regard, respect or consideration for how you treat others, it will be by God’s mercy and grace that the people that love you are able to forgive you and be “who they are” and be there for you in your most vulnerable and humbling time of need. When you don’t have good character to stand on when you are down, you will inevitably lose your people too. Don’t break a bird’s wings and then expect him to be able to fly…

Many of us are not grounded in our self-awareness and internal spirit and through our flesh we are not selfless to be able to love unconditionally. Our flesh is weak and will fall to ego, selfish desires and temptation most of the time if we act on our own free will.  When our character is flawed, most people can only love us or will be around us for what we can give them or do for them for their personal gain. When we have good character, people love us and want to be around us for who we are, for how we treat them and for how we make them feel.

If you don’t have and are not working towards having a good character no matter what show you put on for the outside world, you will eternally endure hardship, long suffering and pain in your life.  Be careful not to allow what you have in the physical realm of life, material possessions, talents, attributes, gifts, skills and personality to overshadow who you are on the inside (your character).  The most important thing for you to master is your character because at the end of the day, everything you have and everything you can do can be taken from you in a blink of an eye. Your character will be your true legacy, your character will be what you’re remembered for when you’re long gone.

Having good character is one of my highest values. Each day I strive to live a life that reflects that I’m a woman with virtues that promote integrity, good behavior and loyalty.   It is important to me to be mindful of how I treat others and how I show up in the world. Because I care about others, I also care about how people receive and perceive me and I have no desire to ever willfully hurt or deceive others by my choices and actions.  I am responsible for my behavior and I know how important it is to be a walking example and not a talking one.

I have been blessed to hear about how much my life has motivated, influenced, inspired and encouraged others just by the way I conduct myself and live.  This is why I choose to cultivate my character. I am here to serve God and to serve others with my gifts and talents and I strive to be better, do better and love better.

I have made mistakes, bad choices and decisions that didn’t turn out best for my life and heart’s desire, choices that have left me broken. I am a healing work in progress and I know that everything I have gone through has purpose. I am thankful and grateful for my experiences, heartbreaks and the painful chapters of my life as they have made me stronger and wiser and have provided me with valuable lessons and the opportunity to grow and to do better next time.  The work of self should never come to an end and like change is constant, nothing is meant to last forever and we were not born to stay the same.  If ever we are done changing, learning or growing we are done!

And remember, somebody is always watching…

When Hurt People Hurt People they are Still in Need of Love

Just look beyond his smile and look deep into his eyes, if you look closely, you will see it’s just his protective disguise… he wears his pain so well hidden, on his handsome well groomed face but his hurt runs deep, excruciatingly deep occupying his entire internal space…just look, look into his eyes and look beyond his smile, you will see the pain he’s been secretly suffering and he’s been hurting for quite a while. Slow down and pay attention and just look in silence and listen, his eyes will tell you all about his pain something he tries to avoid and not mention. And when you ask him if he’s ok, know that he’s not ok…he says he’s fine just to keep you away from seeing his vulnerability today. He is crying out for help and is just hoping that you can see, that he wants to trust the one that looks into his eyes and see his inner plea. He tries to stay strong on the outside because that is what a man is “supposed” to be, so he gives you what is expected and that is all you’re able to see… he’s dying on the inside drowning in a sea, a sea of wounds and hurt, desperately gasping for air, not sure if he wants to continue to breath. His life is on life support from living a falsehood of happy perception but that smile on his face if you pay close attention is in need of love, acceptance and protection. In need of affection, in need of understanding and in need of resurrection. His silence is his protection it’s not him being arrogant, anti-social or shy, his silence is his protective shield that keeps his eyes from crying. He wants to cry so desperately oh how he needs to cry… he avoids meeting you eye to eye so automatically you think that he’s fixing up a lie, because his pain he can’t continue to hide if you look deep into his eyes… The eyes are the mirror to the soul if you look closely maybe you will see, just maybe it’s your reflection that you will see,  your own pain in him and your need to look deep into his eyes not realizing that it’s to set your own pain free…

“He’s Just a Complacent, Misunderstood A$$hole!”

By looking at the cover photo of this article, I would guess that it is very typical for most men to go for lady type “A” for the pizzazz, curves and sex appeal, but there are those that prefer type “B” conservative brilliance, intriguing appeal and modest attractiveness. And then you have the egotistical guy that believes he should have both. 

We all fall into being one or the other but not both and sometimes our personalities can be both or in between the two depending on the situation. We are never the two together at any given time but we are definitely more of one over the other. You can’t be both modest and boastful together.

If there are two ways of spreading light, one way is to be the candle and the other is to be the mirror that reflects the candle. It’s only by interpretation and preference then that separate the two, but both in their own way and style, are giving off light the same. This is a great analogy for understanding the difference between preference and knowing if someone is just an asshole or if they are simply being misunderstood.

Type A and Type B personalities.

Type A personalities are the candles, they are the ones that are full of energy, charisma, zeal and at the forefront. Type B personalities on the other hand put out every bit as much light; they just are the ones that are most misunderstood and don’t get as much recognition for it.  And be careful because as the saying goes, “Everything that glitters isn’t Gold!” Sometimes Type As appear to be more appealing than they really are.

Type Bs don’t have all of the jazzy sparkle and sizzle that attract everyone’s attention. Since Type Bs aren’t as in your face about their contributions, they have a tendency to get mislabeled as lazy, aloof or indifferent. That bias can create a great breakdown in interpreting type B’s intent and cause a breakdown in communication leading to misunderstandings. Type A personalities usually will have a false interpretation of type B’s intent because the two personality types view the world through a different lens and navigate the world by a different compass, but both will usually want and mean the same thing and end up at the same destination, it’s just a different path that they chose to get there.

It’s as if Type As believe that Type Bs lack the distinguishing characteristics that drive them to be successful. Type Bs, however, know that this couldn’t be further from the truth. The very traits that people assume are the products of laziness or indifference are distinct personality characteristics that help Type Bs to achieve and prosper.

Unlike Type As, Type Bs don’t feel like they have to be in the spotlight or in the forefront which mean they are OK with recognizing and admitting their weaknesses. This acknowledgment equips them to work on those weaknesses to become a better person. Contrary to how you perceive Type Bs, they are easier to get along with as they tend to be patient and supportive rather than pushy and quick to place blame or judgments on others.

Type Bs don’t jump to conclusions. Since they’re not in a constant rush, they take the time to analyze all the facts instead of hurrying their analysis just to reach a decision. Type Bs also won’t keep beating a dead horse. Whereas Type As can become obsessed with making their chosen strategy work, Type Bs easily switch gears when it becomes obvious something isn’t working.

In a nutshell, Type B personalities deserve a lot more credit than they get. They are not heartless, cold and lazy, they are just laid back. They are more introverted, modest and observant.

Just because their goals aren’t pulsating like strobe lights on their foreheads doesn’t mean they don’t have any. They move in silence, they don’t advertise their every move and accomplishments. They like to handle most things privately. Type Bs have goals, and do care about them just as much as Type As care about theirs. But Bs see achieving those goals as a journey, not a sprint. Bs may stop and smell the proverbial roses along the way, and still stay focused on where they are going and what they need to do to get there.

If you are a Type A personality, be careful not to count Type Bs out. Type Bs want to succeed at a high level as much as Type As do however, they’d rather enjoy the journey and not wait until they reach the destination to be happy, feel achievement or to feel successful.

Bs are awed by A’s drive and by A’s breathtaking pace. They recognize the rewards that come As way, and are very impressed. But Bs are wise enough to know that they are not wired that way. They’d be miserable, and so would everyone around them if they had to do things the way As carry on. So, Bs are content hanging out in the slow lane and will see you at the finish line. They’ll be the ones who are smiling calmly, rather than gasping for breath.

 

Listen to Hear & Understand, Not to Respond

 Why we listen

  • We listen to obtain information.
  • We listen to understand.
  • We listen for enjoyment.
  • We listen to learn, (by paying attention).
  • Give the speaker your undivided attention, and acknowledge the message. Recognize that non-verbal communication also “speaks” loudly.

How we listen

  • Look at the speaker directly.
  • Put aside distracting thoughts.
  • Don’t mentally prepare a rebuttal!
  • Avoid being distracted by environmental factors; TV, Cell Phone etc.
  • “Listen” to the speaker’s body language.

What to do with the information we hear:

Provide Feedback

Our personal filters, assumptions, judgments, and beliefs can distort what we hear. As a listener, your role is to understand what is being said. This may require you to reflect what is being said and ask questions.

Reflect what has been said by paraphrasing. “What I’m hearing is,” and “Sounds like you are saying,” are great ways to reflect back.

  • Ask questions to clarify certain points. “What do you mean when you say.” “Is this what you mean?”
  • Summarize the speaker’s comments periodically. Interrupting is a waste of time. It frustrates the speaker and limits full understanding of the message.

Defer Judgment

  • Allow the speaker to finish each point before asking questions.
  • Don’t interrupt with counter arguments. Active listening is a model for respect and understanding. You are gaining information and perspective. You add nothing by attacking the speaker or otherwise putting him or her down.

Respond Appropriately

  • Be candid, open, and honest in your response.
  • Assert your opinions respectfully.
  • Treat the other person in a way that you think he or she would want to be treated.

Key Points

  • It takes a lot of concentration and determination to be an active listener. Old habits are hard to break, and if your listening habits are as bad as many people’s are, then there’s a lot of habit-breaking to do!
  • Be deliberate with your listening and remind yourself frequently that your goal is to truly hear what the other person is saying. Set aside all other thoughts and behaviors and concentrate on the message. Ask questions, reflect, and paraphrase to ensure you understand the message. If you don’t, then you’ll find that what someone says to you and what you hear can be amazingly different!

 

“The One”

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How do you know when a situation, a relationship, a long-term commitment or even a purchase is right for you?

When  making a major and perhaps life changing decision in our lives, it comes with a great amount of emotions filled with fear, anxiety, hesitation and  uncertainty unless we know without a doubt that what we are about to do is for us and feels right, and we know that this is “The One”

No major decision comes without the wonder of “am I doing the right thing?” or “should I go forward with this?” But when the situation is right, it will fall into place naturally without much thought or effort because you and your choice are aligned.  When you find yourself in a situation or relationship that seems forced, problematic, hard, draining, exhausting, overwhelming etc. this is not the meaning of “relationships/opportunities are hard and takes a lot of work” that you should be feeling and experiencing. Relationships/Opportunities that share your same vision, values and joys are not hard and draining although yes work is required, but it’s important to know the difference.

Fear is what tempts us to settle and make something work that was never meant to be. A friend of mine recently mentioned to me in a conversation that the “S” word is just as strong as the “L” word.  They were talking about “Settling” and “Love.” When you love someone, you do whatever it takes to hang in there and make it work, but you are likely to do the same thing when you settle…When we settle, we will do whatever it takes to “force” it to work because we chose this thing and now we want to know that we didn’t make a mistake so we want it to work for our “ego’s sake or for our circumstances sake even if the pieces to the puzzle doesn’t fit.

You’ll always regret making a permanent decision out of something that was meant to be temporary.  So if you’re contemplating a commitment to someone or something that’s long-term, you’ve got to dig deep and be brutally honest with yourself. Making decisions from a place of  authenticity and love and not from a place of desperation or fear will always point you in the right direction.

Here are (5) sure signs that can help you determine if the opportunity in front of you is or is definitely NOT “The One.”

1.  You feel like you have to change who you are to make it work.

 When something or someone is meant for you, you can be yourself.  You will feel inspired to be the best version of yourself, and who you are at your core will be an asset, not a liability. If you’re trying to like things you don’t like, or feel like your behavior or personality is constantly being criticized, this is not “The One.”

2.  You find yourself trying to convince the other person of your worth.

 When it’s the right situation, the other person will always see the value of what you bring to the table. In fact, they may be excited about elements of you that even you take for granted. You’ll feel appreciated and valued.  If you have to beg for appreciation, their time, acknowledgement or have to convince someone of your worth, they are NOT “The One”

3.  In the depths of your soul, you know you are settling.

 If fear has you making excuses for why this situation could work even though it does not line up with your heart’s vision, your beliefs, values and standards, it’s   NOT “The One.”  Be honest with yourself, why are you settling? Is it because your expectations really are unrealistic or not authentic? Or is it because you’re afraid that you can’t have what you really want?

There’s no getting around it. When your values aren’t aligned, there’s bound to be conflict – unresolvable conflict.  Simply put, “values” are the things you think really matter in life. What you value is what you put first. Your values guide your decisions, how you treat people, and the vision that you have for what you want your life to look like. If you don’t share similar values, eventually you will have to compromise too much of yourself to make it work in the long term.

4.  If another opportunity came along, you’d take it.

When you find “The One,” you’re not holding out and hoping for something better. What you have brings such contentment that your entire focus is on savoring and making the most of the opportunity right in front of you. If that’s not how you feel,   this is NOT “The One.”  “The One” is what you are willing to accept as is. You will not try to fix it, change it or plan for some potential to eventually be reached.

5.  You are not at peace about it.

 Fear is normal and there will always be some level of healthy fear especially if you really know it’s  “The One” and you do not want to fail or mess the opportunity up. But do you feel at peace about moving forward in spite of your fear because you truly want this?  Or are you going through with it with the hope that it will grow into something better? If you’re not at peace, it’s either not right or not the right time. It is very hard and lonely to have to wait, have the faith, courage and strength to believe that the “perfect” love or opportunity will make its way to you, because there is no such thing as perfect. You have to be at peace with whatever decision or person you choose for what it is and for whom they are at the moment, right now because you know that it feels right and aligns with who you are. If not, it is NOT or they are NOT “The One.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Woman’s Worth

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I can’t possibly fathom how any man can take for granted a woman’s worth other than the man that is misogynistically subdued by perhaps such a thing as his ego. He’s the one that will easily suggest that a woman without her man is nothing, but oh how he got it all wrong, because it really is “a woman without her, man is nothing…”

She’s sacrificial & selfless putting everyone else’s needs before her own, she will often sacrifice her dreams to create & maintain a happy home. She puts off a career & many opportunities to support & take care of her family & will take care of everyone & everything else that she deems necessary & priority.

She wears multiple hats, she’s every woman, being a “Super Woman” literally, often standing in great strength & uncertainty as she often faces gender adversity. With grace, resilience, virtue & tenacity, she is like magic, she has this courageous ability.

To be a mother, wife, friend, sister, counselor, soldier, coach, mentor… she will work a job and run a home,  cooking, cleaning, raising children, and volunteering, it is often her that’s doing the most healing, motivating, elevating & cheering.

These are just the basic domestic contributions of her valuable & generous time, and then there are those women that will do all of this, & still manage to stay fit & fine.

Her vanity is work! The waxing, shaving, plucking, tucking & pulling, skin care regimens, lotions, potions, perfumes, manicures, pedicures, hair, makeup, fitness, diet, wardrobe and heels… she has to switch up and try to maintain sex appeal, corporate appeal, mother appeal, sister appeal.

Men… All the effort and work that a woman will go through, she doesn’t do it for other women or just for herself, when a woman does all of this, it’s mainly for you, that she carries this torch & look of great wealth.

A woman is willing to give up everything she is & knows, to support her man & build a family. When she marries, she gives up her name for his, she leaves her own & builds a home & life with him.

She bares children for him, sometimes enduring an excruciating and grueling labor, yet will navigate all so effortlessly through the physical, hormonal, & emotional changes her body goes through,  and then she gives her children his name too…

Women have paved the way & have made a way out of no way for many, and  we continue to carry this cross, we are supreme; Earth Queens, we are worth everything, beyond magnificent & will forever reign as Boss!

A Woman that is…I’m not talking about acknowledgement for being just a female or a girl. But a Woman?! Love her, honor her, respect her because after all she was created for you, to help you, she may be Mother Earth to you, but she is here to increase you & to magnify your world.