You Are Worth It!


So many times others may make us feel that we are not worthy of their love. That we have only conditional approval with them. That we have to jump through hoops and leap tall buildings to even begin to measure up to their requirements. Well, if no one has told you lately, I want to let you know that you are valuable!

You have so much to offer, and it is time to tap into yourself and determine your worth. People will treat us how we allow them to treat us. We have to expect to be treated like a rare diamond because we are a rare diamond.

We have so much untapped potential. Imagine our value, if we only knew our worth. How much are you worth? What do you bring to the table? Shouldn’t a potential mate bring at least the same thing to the table as you bring to the table? Why do we think it is okay to accept crumbs, when we can have the entire meal?

When you recognize your worth, you won’t allow others to abuse your kindness. When you recognize your worth, you won’t do things that lessen your worth. You will not degrade yourself so the other person can feel valued. When you recognize your worth, others will recognize your worth too. Some people won’t even approach you because they will recognize that they have to approach you correctly, or not at all. 

So, I ask you again – what is you worth? Isn’t it time you find out?

There’s Always A Lesson 

As 2016 comes to an end, I reflect on the lessons I’ve learned about myself and others. These lessons have been eye openers. Each lesson has caused me to grow, made me stronger and continued to shape me into the woman I am right now.
I realize that even though these lessons hurt I am not mad at anyone. It is what it is. I sleep well at night because I treat people the way I want to be treated. As difficult as it has been, I have remained consistent in how I treat others.

The lessons I’ve learned are in no particular order of importance. However, each lesson has defined me and played a significant role in my most recent development.

When I need encouraging, I have to encourage myself. As much as I have encouraged others, I didn’t receive that in return. I had some valley experiences that I had to encourage myself because that same gift I have to recognize when others need encouragement wasn’t operating in the lives of those that I encountered on a daily basis. Encouraging myself caused me to rely more on God than people.

It doesn’t matter how nice I am to others, there will always be someone that doesn’t like me. I used to care. I used to wonder why doesn’t this person like me, what could I do to make him or her like me or what did I do to cause him or her not to like me? This past year I’m over caring about how others feel about me. I can’t be responsible for someone else’s feelings. I’m going to be me.

People that I considered my friends did not feel the same way about me. This lesson was a shock to my system, and begin to cause me to build a familiar wall of protection around myself. This wall would lead to me separating myself from others.

As I was taking a shower one morning, God reminded me that He made me different from others. That difference is what allows me to be so transparent and open to others. This realization destroyed the wall, and replaced it with a greeter assurance of who I am.

This year has included some ups and downs, but I won’t complain. I’m still here. I lived, I learned and I grew. I’m looking forward to 2017 with great expectation!

That’s My Name!

I can relate to this article. My name is Annjanette. I have had people mispronounce my name and call me every other name that begins with an A, but Annjanette.

The older I have become, the more adamant I am about pronouncing and spelling my name correctly. When I entered college, instructors and classmates would ask, “What else are you called?” I would say, “Annjanette.”

When I entered Corporate America, I was asked the same question with a twist, “What’s your nickname?” I would respond, “I don’t use my nickname in the workplace. I use Annjanette.”

I’ve had managers pronounce and spell my name wrong. I insisted on my name being pronounced and spelled correctly. When my name is placed in an Outlook email, the spell check used to change it to Andante. I don’t know if it still does. There were real people who would send me an email that began – “Hello, Andante.”

I would be so tempted to reply and spell their name wrong, but I didn’t. My email would start with a greeting and then my first sentence would be, “My name is Annjanette.” Of course I would receive apologies, but I admit that those people loss work professional points with me. Not taking the time to spell my name correctly shows a lack of concern and the person doesn’t value me.

One of the latest incidents that’s still fresh in my mind happened about two years ago. I had an interim supervisor, and we had team huddles at the beginning of our shift every day. Every day this dude mispronounced my name, and every day I corrected him! Finally, I had enough! He had mispronounced my name for the last time!

I stopped the huddle and said, “Listen, you have mispronounced my name for the last time! I have corrected you every day, and I realize that pronouncing my name correctly is not important to you. Since you can’t pronounce my name correctly, call me Mrs. Halton!” From that day forward I didn’t call him by his name. If I needed his assistance and he was assisting someone else, I would say tell dude to come over here when he’s finished helping you.

Put some respect on my name!

46 Life Lessons I’ve Learned…


Today is my birthday and I was reflecting on the life lessons I’ve learned over the past 46 years. All of these lessons have truly molded and shaped me into the woman I am today.

These life lessons are not listed in order of importance, and there’s a story behind each lesson.

1. I have to love myself.

2. I’m my own Stan (fan)!

3. Sometimes I have to encourage myself.

4. God has to be a priority in my life.

5. Family is important.

6. Treat others the way I want to be treated.

7. Forgiveness frees me.

8. I can do bad by myself.

9. I know my worth.

10. Common sense will get you further than book sense.

11. Don’t lie.

12. Integrity is important.

13. Word is bond.

14. Be careful of the company you keep.

15. Be a good friend.

16. It’s not always about me.

17. Karma is real.

18. My husband is my best friend.

19. Happiness is a choice.

20. My life has purpose.

21. Hell is real.

22. Be authentic.

23. Live a life without regrets.

24. Stress kills.

25. Be informed 

26. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

27. Read on a regular basis.

28. Be open to constructive criticism.

29. Travel as often as I can.

30. Invest in myself.

31. Enjoy life to the fullest.

32. Pray.

33. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

34. Cultivate friendships 

35. Don’t let anyone misuse me.

36. Be honest.

37. Laugh often

38. Have a sense of humor.

39. Don’t be judgmental.

40. It okay to say I’m sorry.

41. Everybody will not like me.

42. Sex is good.

43. Be a good parent.

44. Be trustworthy.

45. Don’t go to bed angry.

46. Eat something you’ve never eaten before.

Cheers to these life lessons, and I can’t wait for the next 46 more! Happy Birthday to me!

Fathers – A Lasting Impression 

  
I was getting ready for work this morning and I began to think about my dad. As my birthday is fastly approaching, I wondered what would my dad think of me. I wondered would he like the person I have become, and would he be pleased with my morals and values.  

Then, I thought of one of my most vivid memories of my dad. I had to be four or five years old. I was living in Henry Horner projects – 1847 W Lake St, Apt. 806. I still remember. It was in the winter time and I was standing in front of my school. My mom had bundled me up and no one else was standing in front of the school. I realize now she must have dropped me off early to make it to work.

 
This man pulled up in a car and called my name. I went to the car and he said, “do you remember me?” I nodded my head and said, “Yes, you’re my daddy.” He had me get in the car to stay warm and he talked to me until it was time to go into the school. He told me he hadn’t seen me in a while, but that was going to change. I later found out I wasn’t seeing my dad because of my evil stepfather, but that’s another story.

Father’s make a permanent impression on their children. The time you spend holding your children when their babies, allowing them to sleep on your chest, feeding, bathing and all the other quality time you spend with them makes a difference. Even though time had passed, I knew “that man” was my daddy.

After my dad passed, I got a tattoo over my heart that says “Daddy’s Lil Girl.”  My dad always called me “daddy’s lil girl.” I was in my twenties and my dad was still calling me his “lil girl.” The special bond I had with my father has kept me grounded. When I feel like fighting as my mom would do, the peacemaking spirit I received from my dad prevails. My dad was the first man that loved me unconditionally. He showed me what unconditional love from a man looks and feels like.  

This is a call to action for father’s everywhere. I pray it’s not too late for you to make memories with your children that will help you leave a good permanent impression on your children. What do you want your children to say about you? Do you want them to remember you with good feelings, or do you want them to learn the hard way that you failed as a father. I plead with you to make a renewed commitment to your children and be the great father your children need you to be in their lives. 

I Choose!

 

I love this song!  This song speaks volume about the opportunity we have been given to choose.  A price tag cannot be placed on the value of our power to choose.  It is awesome to know that who our parents are, what town/city we come from, or even how much money our parents had doesn’t determine our power to choose.

We have the power to choose our destiny!

So many suffer from the “blame syndrome.”  They never take responsibility for their actions.  They would rather say it’s someone else’s fault.  Well, I am writing to let it be told that, if we are not where we want to be in life, it’s our fault!  The days of living in the past and saying shoulda, coulda, woulda are over!  It’s time to carpe diem – seize the day!  Choose right now to set your life on a course of greatness.  When you epitaph is given what will be said about you?  The life you choose to live will dictate your legacy.

It’s time to choose!  Choose as India.Arie says in the song to be the best that you can be.  I CHOOSE!

Invest In Yourself

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We spend so much time focusing on others that we forget about ourselves.  We forget about our dreams, visions and passions.  We place ourselves on the bottom of the priority list hoping that one day we will be able to pursue our dreams, visions and passions.  It is important that we begin to invest in ourselves.

Investing in us means making ourselves a priority.  No longer will we place ourselves low on the priority list.

If we don’t think what we want to accomplish is a high priority, no one else will think our dreams, visions and passions are a high priority.

It’s time to assess our current situation and determine it’s time to pursue our dreams, visions and passions.

It is time for self-reflection.  What are we allowing to hinder us from pursuing our dreams, visions and passions?  When are we going to take the first step and make ourselves a priority?  What are we waiting on?  I was watching a video yesterday and the speaker said the graveyard is full of unfulfilled dreams, visions and inventions.  We don’t want to live this earth without being able to say we did everything we wanted to do, and we diligently pursued our dreams, visions and passions.

Let’s make a new pledge to ourselves that we will no longer place ourselves at the bottom of our priority list.  We will invest in ourselves!  We will dust the cobwebs off of our dreams, visions and passions and immediately begin developing our success plan.

Silence Breaker

 

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Studies completed by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, show that:

  • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
  • Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
  • During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.

According to a 2003 National Institute of Justice report, 3 out of 4 adolescents who have been sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well (page 5).

Alarming statistics for an act that is silenced over and over again by the victim themselves, family, friends, churches and even authorities figures.  I wonder will we ever have a time when children can feel safe, and not be in danger of being sexually molested.  It is true that  most of us that have been sexually molested were victimized by someone we knew.  For years I didn’t count myself among those that were molested because I was not penetrated by my perpetrator.  However, I always recognized what he did was wrong, and carried emotional scars that negatively impacted by body image for a long time.

Molest means to touch someone sexually when it is not wanted.  I was a teenager in the stages of puberty.  My breasts seemed to have grown overnight, and they were not the normal size you would expect from someone my age.  I was thirteen years old that summer.  I was uncomfortable with the changes in my body, and this incident made me feel even more uncomfortable.  My breasts were grabbed and held by someone I trusted.  Someone who knew better and should have been ashamed of themselves.  I was very shocked, but didn’t know what to do other than call my dad and say come get me.  My dad knew me well and he kept asking me was everything okay.  I kept lying and saying yes, everything is fine.  Just please come get me.  My dad came and I never told him what happened.  My dad went to his grave not knowing what happened that summer.

Fast forward to 1999, when my dad passed and I told my mom and my step-mother what happened that summer.  They both were shocked!  My mom said why didn’t you tell me.  Why didn’t you tell your dad?  I told her I knew it would destroy family relationships, and I felt like what happened wasn’t that bad.  I mean I wasn’t penetrated.  Isn’t it crazy how victims rationalize what happened?

I realize what happened to me defined me for more years than I care to remember.  I didn’t like my breasts.  I hid them as much as possible.  If I didn’t have these breasts, this wouldn’t have happened to me.  Hindsight allows me to recognize that I did nothing wrong, and the perpetrator was a sick individual.  I was well into my thirties before I became comfortable with the blessing God gave me:  big, beautiful breasts!  Finally, I became comfortable in my own skin.

These posts may cause questions from my family, but I don’t care!  I am a silence breaker!  Audre Lorde summed up silence the best for situations such as this: “Your silence will not protect you.”

Be a silence breaker!  Be inspired to break the silence from here.

Image by bryanbope on Flickr

For My Daughter…

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I was thinking about a letter I wrote to my daughter in 2007, before she went to college.  I asked her for this letter, and then remembered I kept a copy of my flash drive.  This letter continues to be timely, and maybe it will inspire you to have a much needed conversation with your children, or maybe you need some inspiration.  There are some grammar errors in this letter, but I decided to not change anything about the letter.

August 13, 2007

9:28PM

Kendra,

Where do I begin?  It seems like yesterday you were biting people at church (lol)!  The years have gone by so fast.  Who would have thought we would be at this time so quickly in your life??  I am so happy and excited for you!  This is a major milestone in your life.  Off to college.

I am typing this letter to you because I want you to keep it and reflect on it those times when you may seem to forget what you focus is for going to college.  When temptation is presented and you don’t know if you can resist the temptation.  Grab this letter and read it quickly!  There are so many things I want to tell you.  Some last minute “nuggets” to help you along the way.  Well, here goes:

IF YOU DON’T REMEMBER ANYTHING I HAVE TAUGHT YOU, REMEMBER THESE TOP 10 THINGS:

10.  Be true to yourself – Don’t let anyone stop you from being who you are.  Don’t wear mask or be phony – be Kendra.

9.  Have fun – you will have to have a balance between fun and school.  Too much fun will be reflected in your grades. Too little fun and you will not be a happy person.  You have to figure out that balance for yourself.

8.  Boyfriends – I know you feel you are in love.  Well, remember that you have to put love in perspective.  Anyone who wants to be with you will understand the need for you to get off the phone, the computer, whatever means you all communicate.  That person will be happy for you and be content in the fact that when it’s all said and done you are still with them.  Any boy that doesn’t have your best interest at heart is not worth your time.  Any boy who has no goals or aspirations to achieve success is not worth your time.  You need someone who shares the same goals, aspirations and dreams that you have for life.

7.  Sex – We have talked about this subject.  For the record I will state my stance – no sex until you are married.  If you decide to have sex, I pray you weigh out the consequences and see if that moment is worth your future.  That’s all it takes is one mistake and your entire future can be altered.  You say you want to be a doctor.  Well, you have to live your life like you want to be a doctor.  There will be plenty of time to have sex when you get married.  There’s nothing like being able to have as much sex as you want and not have to be concerned about the risk of pregnancy, disease or death.  It’s never to late to decide to abstain.  Anytime you want to you can decide that you are going to wait until you are married to have sex.

6. Friends – everyone is not your friend or will want to be your friend.  People will dislike you because you are beautiful and smart.  Recognize when people are trying to use you.  Get to know people before you share your private information.  Don’t let people in your room until you feel you can trust them.  I say meet them in the lounge.  Some people will want to come into your room just to see what you have.

5.  Alcohol – Don’t ever leave a drink sitting and come back and drink it. I don’t care who is sitting there.  When I say drink I mean any type of drink.  Never drive after drinking.  Don’t ride with anyone who has had a drink. Don’t trust your life to anyone who has had any alcohol.  I don’t care how “okay” they may seem.  Don’t take a chance.

4.  Seat belt – WEAR IT!

3.  Intuition – If you feel something isn’t right, even if you don’t understand it; follow your intuition.  If you feel like you shouldn’t go a certain way, don’t.  If you feel like you shouldn’t do something, don’t.  Follow your intuition.

2.  Classes – If you don’t understand something – ask!  This is money we are spending to get a good education!  Make that teacher earn every dime.  Don’t wait until test time to say you don’t understand.  Get the help you need ASAP.  Get to know people.  If you need a study group, take the initiative and form one; because if you need help there is probably someone else who needs help too.

1.  God – You’re going to need Him!  Pray as much as possible.  Let Him lead and guide you.  He won’t lead you wrong.  God is the key to you being successful.  He said “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” Take your Bible with you.  Read it!  Go to church as much as you can.  Church is where you will gain the strength you need to make it.  You need to give God 10% of your time, just like you give him 10% of your money.  You owe Him that!

I am here for you. You can tell me anything.  Don’t ever forget that!  I love you and I am going to miss you.  I’m sad but I’m happy for this next phase of your life.  So many people are in your corner and cheering you on.  I’m sure you can tell from all the gifts and money you received.  People are praying for you to be successful.  I don’t want you to get sidetracked.  Stay focused.  I don’t want you to have to come home because you made a bad decision that alters your future.  Every decision you make now affects your very future.  Please remember that.  Before you do anything, think about the positive and negative consequences.  If it’s too many negatives, it’s not worth it!

You are beautiful, gifted, talented and intelligent!  You are going to be successful!

I will be praying continuously for you!

Much love,

Your Mom.

What do you wish your parents had told you before you left home?

“Image courtesy of mrpuen / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Flaws & All

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Body Image Statistics

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

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The above video shows the power of Photoshop, and how it is used to completely change the look of a person in a magazine. Then, the body image statistics provides the realities of body image. Where you surprised? We see the magazine images presented to us every day and subconsciously believe that the images presented to us is our reality. As we mature, or discover that these images are unrealistic and do not represent real body images, we begin to feel more secure in the skin we are in: Flaws & All… The challenge is to help young women feel secure in the skin their in sooner rather than later. What can we do to affirm appreciating our Flaws & All?

1. We have to teach young people to appreciate their unique look. Appreciating their unique look allows young people to have high self esteem.

2. We have to teach young people that their character is more important than how they look. Having a good character makes the inside beautiful, which radiates on the outside.

3. We have to teach young people to value diversity. If we all looked alike, this world would be boring. Valuing differences helps us appreciate each other more.

I challenge you to appreciate yourself – Flaws & All! Then, teach our children the same. What are you currently doing to affirm a positive body image in yourself and others?