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Can you handle your truth?

You’ve been telling yourself lies.

Yes, it is true that we are not limitless, but limits are flexible and expandable and you are able to move through them at record speed.

Of course, we will all face challenges, but the fact that you can handle anything that comes your way means that you could and should be taking far more risks to gain the rewards you think about when the lights go out and you lay there in a silent room.

That love you feel in your heart, the one that inspires the thoughts, poetry and prayers? Those words have a right to be spoken and do not lose meaning even if they never listen.

The people who annoy you, who push you, who make you feel the aggravation? They are there before you to learn something from you and to repay you lesson for lesson.

This life that you fear will never blossom into the one you ache to be living is in fact that life in its infancy.  It is up to you to raise it to your own standards, to nurture it and love it, to guide it and hold it accountable.

You are the person you want to be.

You are walking in your destiny as we speak.

You are a precious part of this world and it’s time you accept what everyone around you knows is real.

Can you handle your truth?

 

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Karmic Reality

You can’t make them understand.

You cannot convince them to feel remorse.

You cannot make them listen,

Or hear you,

If they do.

There is no way to undo a hurtful deed,

Or take back a vicious word.

There is no secret to breaking the silence.

We are often told that good people do bad things,

But we forget that bad people do good things, too.

The answer to “what is good and bad” lies in what is consistent,

And what is done when nothing can be gained.

In the beginning,

It’s always a joy.

In the end,

We must all live with the consequences of our actions,

And our many actions make up our respective legacies.

One cries now,

Another cries,

Or cries out,

Later.

Wherever you are in the world,

The law of universal justice will find you and enforce it.

Karma does not miss a beat.

So, stop trying to understand the inexplicable.

Stop trying to explain why you are hurt.

Stop trying to convince them to care about the pain they have caused.

In doing do, you will stop causing (yourself) more pain.

Walk on,

Walk tall,

Walk forward.

Perhaps their karma is a life without all of the beautiful things you could have brought to it.

That’s no small price to pay.

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Stop Everything and Live Your Truth.

I have been on a bit of a personal journey as of late. With the help of some wonderful friends and an incredible mentor, I have began to find my voice, and in doing do, the moments I have silenced and been silenced are becoming emboldened on my life’s timeline.

Many times, as a way to avoid feeling regret for not making a move fast enough or at all, we console  ourselves by saying that everything happens for a reason. I believe it does, but perhaps it would not have happened the way it did or so often had we recognized the reason earlier. Looking back, we most always realize that we could have had we stayed close to home and paid attention to ourselves and how we were feeling and reacting to the situation at hand. Like so many, I have been guilty of not speaking up and shutting (myself) up many times in my life. I have shushed my internal voice so that I could hear those around me better. I can tell you firsthand, it is no way to live.

We are living in this world for such a short period of time, and it is my belief that, if there truly is a hell, it begins with our carrying the heavy weight of unspoken words and missed opportunities through the door from this world to the next.

Many of us believe in time and love immortal. We feel that we have the luxury of not being authentic today because tomorrow will bring about a more comfortable opportunity to take the leap and plunge into the life we ache to be living. We all know that tomorrow never comes. The wall becomes thicker. That love remains unknown. That rift is never mended. That chance is never taken which is why that destiny is never experienced.

If there is a job you have not applied for, a love you haven’t shared, a city you have not seen, an “I miss you” you haven’t sent, you are, in fact running out of time. It’s not negative to say that every moment we wait is a moment lost. It’s just realistic.

This clarity comes when we lose someone or something we love, but often it fades into the background and the sounds of our souls greatest desires are muffled by the noise made by the mind. We fear rejection, attempt to ration(alize) our emotion, deny our greatest desires.  In essence, we suffocate the most authentic part of ourselves until there is no voice, only silence.

That question that never leaves the mind, the face that never leaves the heart, the city that always brings about yearning…these are your truths.

Tell your truth.

Live your truth.

Love your truth.

In doing so, you will begin to love yourself, and when you love yourself, the world loves you back.

MM

Go On, Admit It

You thought those tears that fell down her cheeks would drown out any chances of future happiness.

You thought the pieces of the heart you broke would cut out any chances of her loving again.

You were sure she’d never look at another,

That she would stare,

In your direction,

At her phone,

At her inbox,

Forever.

Or at least until you decided to come back around.

You thought you could speak to her any way you wanted to,

Call only when you felt like it,

And she’d never say a word,

because you had stolen her voice.

But while you were playing,

Making her play the the waiting game,

A joyful knock found its way to her window.

And at once, she escaped your memory,

leaving that door locked behind her.

For good, indeed.

Looks like we all get just what we deserve after all.

Brenda Della Casa, BDC Life In Style

Time To Say Goodbye

To all of those…

Who have lied behind my back and to my face,

Who have brought chaos instead of comfort,

Who have questioned my value as a human being,

Who have relished in my stumbles and sadness,

Who show me disrespect,

Who have played on my vulnerabilities to get what they wanted,

Who have manipulated my tender heart,

Who have met my pleas with silence,

Who have continuously crossed my boundaries,

Who have left me in my time of need,

Who have allowed envy to come in-between us,

Who do not push me to be my best…

You are dismissed.

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Seductive Delights: Figs

“No greater thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.”  Epictetus

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Figs 4

Figs 2

Recipes:  Figs with Prosciutto Roasted Figs with Honey and Gorgonzola,   Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza and Turkish Yogurt Cake With Figs

Want More? Follow My Seductive Delights Board on Pinterest.

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Pick Of The Day: Living Fearlessly

 

 

“Oh, when she’s angry, she is keen and shrewd! She was a vixen when she went to school. And though she be but little, she is fierce.” Shakespeare

(Photo Courtesy of Pinterest)

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Witness To A Liars Demise

It’s a pitiful thing,

To see a liar spin their web.

In effort to console and comfort themselves,

They squirm, They squeal,

They cling to their own delusion.

It’s a sad state,

They are in.

Licking the wounds left by Karma’s lashing.

To watch them bleed,

Venom seeps onto the floor.

dripping into the hell they have created.

On their knees,

They beg for attention,

Jumping chaotically from insult,

To misbelief,

and finally,

to a pathetic plea.

What is reality to a sick mind?

What is truth to a pathological liar?

What is conscience to an unconscious person?

What is fairness to a cheat?

To argue facts is unnecessary.

To do so with one who won’t concede when wrong is to suffocate energy.

To defend an undeniable  innocence in a sphere governed by universal law is a waste of time.

To jump into a pool of chaos would be to drown a triumphant moment.

Moments you have fought for.

Moments you deserve,

Because,

they are ones you have earned.

This is not the past.

Time has passed.

Time is precious.

Time is in constant motion.

But it does not move back.

It’s time to let go.

It’s time to draw a deep line in the sand.

Walk over it, unapologetically,

and move forward.

They can reach as far as they want to.

They can stretch the truth,

but once you release your need to counter,

confidently standing on cemented, solid ground,

The truth will rush back and snap a reality right into their faces.

Both of them.

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Things I Know To Be True

Two who love one another create heaven on earth. One who loves alone lives in a kind of personal hell.

All that is real rises to the surface. There is no lie strong enough to anchor the truth.

The strength we have inside of us is challenged by the moments in which we are faced with triggers from our past. The key is not to kneel and worry, but to rely on our years of training, our wisdom, our strength of character and mind and to slay the dragon once again.

Most people do not try and bring you harm, but some do. It is important not to mistake one for the other.

Only a fool mistakes kindness for meekness.

They may live there, but you don’t have to.

There are times when epic love stories are simply fables written over a few pages in a long book of life.

Every time you take time to educate yourself, you give yourself a new opportunity.

Motion-Creates-Motion. But if you are going in the wrong direction, you’re

What is truly beautiful? Authenticity.

The universe has a very clever way of balancing things out. Karma is not a mystical idea, it is cause-and-effect. Those who live a life full of deception and discord will live in chaos wherever they go.

Your reputation is built upon the foundation of your character. When that character is strong, it is the Colosseum. It is the Great wall. Do not allow a weak man with an agenda and a chisel to bring you anxiety, or any concern at all.

There is a thick glass between denial and truth. One cannot touch, negate, erase or even communicate with the other.  What has happened has happened and cannot be undone.

You will be with you for the rest of your life. Above all, take good care of and protect yourself.

Sharon Tate, Brenda DellaCasa, Makeup Look

Sharon Tate Inspired Makeup

 

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With the warm weather finally giving us a little time here in the EnWhySee, I could not help but to unleash my (very) few remaining California vibes by way of a Sharon Tate-Inspired makeup session.

Sharon

Those who know me know that I have always had a mad girl crush on the exquisitely beautiful actress, and while I am nowhere near as gifted genetically, I did my best to channel her this am while little Tony barked at me impatiently (causing more than one line smudge).  Now, I am no makeup diva, but I have learned a few things from one. Sharon’s look was all about heavily made up eyes (what gorgeous eyes she had) and a fresh face and soft lip to balance (unlike MM who popped on her eyes, lips and cheeks).

 

Products Used:

Dior Airflash in 300.

Stila Illuminating Foundation in 50.

Stila Illuminating Powder in 30.

Victoria’s Secret shadow (browns) .

Three different Mascaras, all from Loreal.

Wish Lipstick from Victoria’s Secret (also used as a cream blush on cheeks).

Nars Bronzer in Laguna.

Bye Bye Undereye Concealor.

 

Note: LDiva has agreed to work her magic for a Tate-Inspired photo-session with the talented Peter Joe DiPilato later this summer! they’ll both do a much better job, to be sure! I’ll post her tips and photos when that happens!

Love poker

The Gambler

How lucky you were to get into and out of the game,

To cash in your winnings,

And cut your losses…

What we we were,

What we were to become,

Me.

So quickly.

How fortunate you are,

That you were able to move onto your next hand,

Into your future,

While I remained counting your old cards,

Dealing with the hand I had been dealt,

In the room where I risked everything to bet on you.

How confused I was by your poker face.

I mistook your look as a shield for pain,

for  fear,

for  control,

and really, all it was

Was that you didn’t care.

What a realization.

What a gamble.

What a lucky fellow you are to not even know what you have lost.

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Pop Culture: Seven Things Happening Right Now

Brave Miss World

I stumbled on this film by accident after clicking on a profile in Vanity Fair solely based on my being a fan of Filmmaker, Cecilia Peck’s father, Gregory.  Imagine my surprise when this powerful trailer moved from beauty pageant profile to tackling one of the toughest and most relevant topics in the world today: Rape. This is definitely a moving movie worth showing, sharing and discussing.

 

Marilyn Honored

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This year, amfAR announced that the famous Cannes fundraiser will be paying tribute to Marilyn.  In honor of this announcement, Harpers Baazar has put together a lovely slideshow showcasing the many sides of Monroe. Being the fan(atic) I am, I obviously had to share.

 

Your Life Is Now (Watch This Reminder, Please)

Extract the message and send it along.

 

 

 

Playboy’s First Edition Re-Release

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As part of the Magazine’s 60th Anniversary celebration, Mr. Hefner decided to re-release the very first issue which features my beloved icon on the cover. This is no small opportunity for someone who adores both the Magazine and Monroe–as was displayed by the squeal I let out when I grabbed the last one off of the shelf at  tho bodega on 57th and Lexington (close to where the famous Seven Year Itch scene was filmed, no less).

 

Sharon Tate Recollection

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When I was 12-years-old, a very irresponsible adult handed me a copy of Helter Skelter.  It was the most horrid and fascinating book I had ever come across and I ached to put it down, but could not.  As a result, I learned more and more about Sharon and fell in love with her gorgeous face and free, beautiful spirit. For years, I devoured any and all information I could about her, doing my best to avoid anything having to do with Manson and his disgusting clan.

Like so many of us, I hurt when I think of how she passed, but I have also felt uneasy about the fact that this lovely, gentle woman seemed to be forever tied with the evil that found her and her loved ones on that terrible night.  A young girl learning how to put myself together, I found myself looking up to her as a woman and wanted to emulate her makeup and hair, but always worried trying to copy her eyeliner would be frivolous and disrespectful. Then, one day, I thought to myself, “actually, that’s the best way to show her respect. Honor her for the things she was in life, instead of defining her by her pointless, tragic death.”  Imagine my glee when I found out her sister, Debra Tate, shared the same sentiments and put together a book, Sharon Tate Recollection, which honors her talented, beautiful, vivacious sibling.

Grace Of Monaco

See a few stills of Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly in the highly-anticipated film in Vogue Italia. Can. Not. Wait.

Culture Chanel

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Missed The Culture Chanel event at The Guangzhou Opera House in China last year? No problem! Go back in time and browse the exhibition online!

 

 What current event are you obsessed with currently?

 

 

 

 

 

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Growing Up Without A Mother: Five Women Share Their Story

The closet was small, but my fathers obsessive-compulsive disorder meant that it was meticulously laid out. His ever-present rage meant that one lost hair or inch of movement meant that I would have hell to pay as a repercussion. Still, the reward–her image, her face, her drawings of mountains with birds– was too satisfying.

They said she was my mother, and the baby book that sat perfectly-placed on the shelf fourth from the floor held the only information I could obtain about her that was not laced with voracious editorializing or possibility of a beating for being disloyal should I dare to ask about her or shed a tear on her behalf.

Though I had heard stories about her wild ways and felt the sharp pain of her absence every silent birthday (and morning, noon and night in-between them), the truth is that, as horrible as they made her out to be, I longed for her. I would wait for my father to leave for the bar, watch his car drive out of the parking lot and then grab a paper towel. I would cover my small fingers with it and switch the light on, something I had learned to do the hard way.  I would slowly remove the book and open it to the third page where her image lived.  I would then study it with the curiosity and emotional distance one has when looking at a painting in a museum. Finally, I would force myself to turn the page. Was that her leg? Did she take the photo of me with cake all over my face. Was that my cake? When did she leave me? Was it six months or a year?  Then, back to her image for a final study before running into the bathroom where I would stand in front of the mirror and move my head just so in a somewhat successful attempt to look like the woman I had deified; the myth of a mother I had created in my young and confused mind.  A woman I later learned never existed.

I would later meet the woman who gave birth to me, but never my mother. Her reasons for leaving my father were based on his brutality. Her reasons for leaving her baby with the bathwater, and then the pre-teen (and eventually woman) who needed her, were valid only to her. There was an unsuccessful attempt at reconciliation later in life that led to a second abandonment and solidified a motherless adulthood, but this piece is not about that or her. It’s about growing up without a mother and what it feels like to live with the hole that only someone who has experienced it can feel.

It has often been reported that more telephone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. But what if there’s no one to call? The beloved holiday can serve as a painful reminder of the ultimate void for those who have loved and lost or were never loved at all. It’s clearly a topic that’s close to my heart, and I know I am not alone. Here are four other women who have shared their stories for the many who can relate and are looking for a little comfort.

Becca P

How old were you when your mother passed/left? I was eight when my mother died of cancer.

Can you briefly share the circumstances surrounding your situation? My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 30. She died at age 31.

Did her leaving/passing have an immediate impact? Absolutely. My father really fell apart. He didn’t function well. My grandparents could only help so much and eventually had to return to their jobs and lives. Once the help went away, our house fell to disarray. Dinners were pretty simple. Laundry was not done often. Lunches were made by myself. There were no more handmade Halloween costumes or help with homework. My father was overwhelmed with his responsibilities, he was only 32. He suddenly had to raise two young girls on his own.

Who raised you? My father raised my sister and myself. We spent most summers traveling between grandparent’s, cousin’s and aunt and uncle’s homes.

How was her absence handled in your household? My mother died in 1979. It wasn’t discussed much. There were no child therapy sessions to deal with it. Since my father took her death so hard, most of the family seemed to focus on him. My sister and I were the afterthought. My grandmother got rid of most of my mother’s possessions only days after the funeral. She did not want us to be around reminders of the woman who was no longer there. That was very painful for me. I felt like my mom was ripped out from under me twice in one week.

How did this impact you? I was in a tough spot. My sister was only five and needed support. My dad went into what I now know is a depression. I had to take on a lot more responsibility than any third grader should. My father worked. He supported us. But I had to take on a lot of the household tasks. I also remember having to think of Christmas presents for our extended family. Christmas sort of stressed me out because of the added responsibilities. I also knew my dad would forget to shop for my sister and I until Christmas Eve.

 What did growing up without a mother feel like as a child/teen? As a child, I hated standing out. Everyone in our suburb knew my mother died of cancer at a young age. Every time we walked into a grocery store, I could see the faces of pity when they looked at my dad, sister and me. I hated standing out. I just wanted to be like everyone else. The special treatment bothered me most as a child. As a teen, I really struggled internally. When my grandmother told me that my mother died, I didn’t cry. I didn’t end up crying about her death until the summer I got my period. I knew what a period was, but I had a hard time talking to my dad about it. It was so stressful. I hated asking him for feminine hygiene products as much as he hated buying them. One night I had a break down that I didn’t have a mom to help me through dealing with my first few cycles. I sobbed for most of the evening by myself. I am sure at that point, it was five bottled up years of grief that spilled out that night.

How do you feel her absence has influenced you as an adult? I never know if I am doing female things correctly. Did I arrange the flowers from the vase correctly? Does this sauce need more salt? Did I fold the sheets correctly? Am I meeting the emotional needs of my family? Is this shade of lipstick work with this blouse? Did I wrap that present correctly? I also have this notion that when I meet people for the first time that they can tell right away that I grew up without a mom. As if there is a neon sign over me that says, “motherless daughter/feral child.” But I also think having to rely on myself at such a young age forced me to develop survival and coping skills, which has helped me deal with my son’s autism. I also think her death put into perspective which things in life are a big deal and which aren’t.

In what ways has her absence influenced your ideas about motherhood? It made me want to have my own family so I could make things right. She was an amazing mother and I couldn’t wait to be just like her. Unfortunately, I am not the seamstress and crafter that she was. I didn’t inherit that gene from her. In other respects, I think we are probably similar; light- hearted, funny, and warm.

What do you feel is misunderstood about motherless children? As I said before, I hated the special treatment and attention I received after her death. I just wanted to go play handball without being whispered about. I wanted a return to normalcy as quickly as possible.

How do you feel about your mother today? My heart breaks for my mother. She must have been so scared to find a lump in her breast when she had a preschooler and a second grader. It must have been awful to be going through chemo while we were trick-or-treating. I can’t imagine how it felt to go from one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen to a skinny bald woman in a matter of months. I feel love for her. I sometimes think I would give all the money I have just to hear her voice one more time. My father is still very angry at her for dying. This makes me incredibly sad.

How do you handle Mothers Day? Mother’s Day doesn’t bother me. I had four grandmothers growing up so I always associated Mother’s Day with them. However, my mother died on Valentine’s Day. I am scarred for life when it comes to that day. While everyone is celebrating their amazing romantic love, all I can think about is dropping all my Valentine’s cards when I rounded the corner and saw all the cars in front of my house. I knew my mom died by all of the cars on the street. My husband knows not to celebrate Valentine’s Day with me. We skip that day.

How have you healed? I hope I have healed but as you can see from answers, there are deep wounds left. My mother was so loving and amazing that I just think of her fondly. She never ever let me down. I think about how she was so much better than any other mother I ever met that eight years with her was most likely the same as eighteen with other mothers.

Any additional thoughts? Her funeral haunts me to this day. Some people just fell apart at the graveside service. I can still hear their wails. The adults were falling apart in front of my eyes and it impacted me deep inside.

Kate L.

How old were you when your mother passed/left? I was ten.

Can you briefly share the circumstances surrounding your situation? She was 30 and overwhelmed by three kids and suffered from some psychological issues.I think it was manic depression but I am not sure as it never formally diagnosed.

Did her leaving/passing have an immediate impact? Yes, it was horrible. She took my brother (6) and left me and my sister (2) with our stepfather who then molested me later that week.

Who raised you? My stepfather, my neighbors down the street, and eventually my dad when I was a teenager. I left home when I was 17 and never really looked back.

How was her absence handled in your household? She was vilified and everyone spoke poorly about her. She made herself an easy target for blame.

How did this impact you? Everything suffered. my confidence, self-esteem, friendships, grades…all of it.

What did growing up without a mother feel like as a child/teen? It was the ultimate feeling of abandonment. I was rudderless.

How do you feel her absence has influenced you as an adult? It has made me a strong person. It takes a lot to get me down.I have been diagnosed with PTSD (due to cancer, helicopter crash, sexual abuse, 9/11 etc.) I take medication and it has helped me to become a high-functioning adult.

In what ways has her absence influenced your ideas about motherhood? I think it has made me very sensitive to being physically present for my daughter. That said, she has it so much better than I did so i find myself avoiding the common wringing of hands that so many of my mom friends do. I know what a true crisis is and not having organic sunscreen to slather on your kid, is not a problem. I am very liberal about certain things but am a stickler for manners and respect towards adults. My daughter would say I am the strictest, but also the goofiest of her four parents.

What do you feel is misunderstood about motherless children?  The assumption that we know the things that mother’s are supposed to teach us and norms and values and etiquette and how to use a feminine product–things like this were gaping holes in my understanding of how I was supposed to handle things.

How do you feel about your mother today? Now that I am older i understand why she cracked.She was sexually abused by her brother growing up and had no support around it. A mistake I made for many years was assuming that we were very similar. and although i have her hands and her sense of humor, she is much more shy, insecure, and meek than I am. seeing this allowed me to have compassion and understanding for her choices.

How do you handle Mothers Day? I go to mexico where mother’s day falls on my birthday, may 10th, every year.

How have you healed? Therapy, making mistakes, and more therapy. I worked to build my self-efficacy by starting my own business Eight and a half years ago. Forgiving my mom helped me let go.That was the best gift that I could give my daughter: the ability to tell her own story and to have her not inherit this legacy of pain. So far, so good.

Haley L.

How old were you when your mother passed/left? My mother was an alcoholic, she never passed away or left me but being that she was never sober and sent me to live with my grandparents one of those two things might as well have happened. I was 5 years old when she sent me to live with my grandparents due to her drug and alcohol abuse.

Did her leaving/passing have an immediate impact? Not having a sober mother definitely impacted me and my life. When I was 13 years old she sat me down and explained to me that I was an adult and that she was going to live the rest of her life for her. I had to grow up and go through things at a very young age.

Who raised you? My amazing grandparents

How was her absence handled in your household? We didn’t speak about it

How did this impact you? It made me feel good, not to have to think about her every day. It was nice forgetting that I had a mother that would rather drink than be with me.

What did growing up without a mother feel like as a child/teen? The hardest thing was to see the relationship my friends had/have with their mothers. Too see how they spent time shopping and cooking together. Even though I had a grandma who did all of those things with, it still was never the same. I craved a relationship like my friends had with their moms, yet any time I was around my mother there was a lot of anger and that relationship just couldn’t be.

How do you feel her absence has influenced you as an adult? I learned to not trust people or their “word”. I grew up knowing what abandonment/rejection by choice felt like. I guess the biggest way it has influenced me is that I don’t have a lot of faith in people.

In what ways has her absence influenced your ideas about motherhood? It worries me, a lot. I don’t ever want to be a screw up and ruin a child’s life.

What do you feel is misunderstood about motherless children? No answer.

How do you feel about your mother today? Indifferent

How do you handle Mothers Day? I dismiss it

How have you healed? By letting go of hope.

Christina A.

How old were you when your mother passed/left? I was 13

Can you briefly share the circumstances surrounding your situation? My mother had ulcers and was addicted to painkillers and because she was afraid of the doctors she never went to them. I remember the night before she died she was very weak but still took my younger brother and I for ice cream. That morning we woke up and my dad had called the ambulance and I had no idea what was happening until I saw the paramedics take my mom on the stretcher . We followed the ambulance in our car and got to the hospital. We found out that she had a bleeding ulcer and she was in a coma, but she didn’t make it.

Did her leaving/passing have an immediate impact? I don’t think it sunk it right away. I just felt like I was in a bad dream waiting to wake up. I went through a depression in high school and suffered with anxiety and panic attacks.

Who raised you? My Father

How was her absence handled in your household? My father did the best he could. He was the breadwinner in our family and my mom was the stay at home mother. I remember we did suffer with money and were very close to selling our house and keeping food on our table.

How did this impact you? I think that this made me a stronger women.

What did growing up without a mother feel like as a child/teen? Very lonely, I only had my dad and 3 brothers. No women influences.

How do you feel her absence has influenced you as an adult? It has made me believe in God more and made me more spiritual. I believe she is always with me and that I have an angel watching over me.

In what ways has her absence influenced your ideas about motherhood? I think it was the hardest time when I was pregnant with my daughter and even after I had her. I wanted her more than ever to help me and be there for me emotionally and mentally.

What do you feel is misunderstood about motherless children? I don’t really know, I never thought about that.

How do you feel about your mother today? I love her so much and she made me the women I am today. She gave me so much love during the short time that she was here and I will always cherish that!

How do you handle Mothers Day? By crying. Aside from that, I am a mother and my daughter makes it special for me that day.

How have you healed? By the grace of God, Time really does heal all, and definitely having family and friends that support you.

BDC

How old were you when your mother passed/left? I was told six months by some and a year by others.

Can you briefly share the circumstances surrounding your situation? My father was  a mess. A bipolar alcoholic ex- convict prone to violence and she was a 19-year-old with a number of issues, some documented, some not. From what I have been told, she married him after running away.  I don’t know much about either of them, but I do know that both had problems and personalities I cannot understand or relate to. When she  left him to move on with her life, she left me with him. At 11, she found me and the courts gave her temporary custody because I had welts all over my body. A month later, she abandoned me again, this time with a story about me so vulgar and vile it’s not worth repeating. I’d rather have been left where my hair was pulled and my fingers bitten, to be honest.

Did her leaving/passing have an immediate impact? I grew up in a volatile and chaotic environment that was about survival. My first memory is of screaming and running through a dark neighborhood on a rainy night, banging on neighbors doors because I was scared and didn’t know where to go. I never knew what it was like to have a mother’s love so this was a pain that simmered and seemed to grow saltier as time passed. I felt lonely and unworthy and like garbage that could be left behind, to put it bluntly. There’s a very specific pain that comes with being rejected by the person (or in my case, the people) who created you. I took my sense of worthlessness out on myself for a long time. I was never smart enough, successful enough, pretty enough. I accepted terrible behavior from people just to have someone. It took a lot of work to accept that my being abandoned didn’t mean I was not worth keeping, and it really was their loss. I say that not in a nasty way. It really was. I would have been a great daughter.

Who raised you? My amazing grandfather, and my great aunts, Sybil and Vyvian, in the ways they could when he passed. Other than that, I have been blessed with incredible, smart, wise, loving and supportive friends and mentors who have helped me to learn to navigate better while showing me a love and support that has transformed my life.

How was her absence handled in your household? My father always had different wives and women around, but I was mostly treated as though I was in the way. There was one woman who I felt that motherly love from, Karen, but my father beat her so bad one night that she snuck away and I never saw her again. My father, never mentioned  my biological mother  than to tell me what a bad person she was and to remind me that she had left me so I could be placed for adoption at any time. He would tell me that he was not my father or that I should have been a boy which would let me know he didn’t care about me, either. My grandpa and aunts simply told me that I was better off. That said, I ached for her growing up.  I would sneak into my father’s closet to look at my baby book which had her photo.  I would run to the mirror and try and pose like her to look like her. When he would beat me and tell me he would send me to her, I would say “no, no” but run in my room and pray she would come and get me.

What did growing up without a mother feel like as a child/teen? Not having parents was hard, and losing my grandfather was the greatest pain of my life, but I literally begged God to know what it felt like to have a mother’s love. That longing was sharp and ever-present.

How do you feel her absence has influenced you as an adult? I have a drive and ambition to prove that I belong on this earth, too, and work very hard to make my mark in a healthy way and leave a legacy of love. That said, I have fears and insecurities that perhaps only those who have experienced can understand (hence, my decision to post this in the hopes it might help someone feel less isolated).

In what ways has her absence influenced your ideas about motherhood? I cannot wait to be a mother to give my child all of the love I have to give and the childhood I never had. I know I will be a loving, kind, fair, active mother to my child, biological or adopted, and I will love them with every ounce of my being. I simply cannot wait to have a family of my own.

What do you feel is misunderstood about motherless children? That the same rules apply emotionally. They don’t.

How do you feel about your mother today? Apathy most of the time. Rage, on occasion, when I think of certain things that were said and done to me. But I only knew her briefly in my life, so in reality, my “feelings” are about an idea and my reality as compared to it.

How do you handle Mothers Day? I used to sob and mope, but that was before acceptance. Now, I honor the amazing women I have in my life who are mothers, the amazing women who have shown me love, and I remind those with mothers to cherish them.

How have you healed? I don’t know that I have healed, I think I have just accepted that this is how it will be and chosen to live my life to the best of my ability.  I have an incredible, loving, supportive and wonderful family of friends who have definitely helped me grow. I also have photos of my Grandmother (who died when I was 10 months old) and my grandfather everywhere to remind me that “mother” “father” and “parent” are titles that are earned, not given.

 

I think Madonna does a fine job of summing up how many of us feel  in this video (2 minute mark).

 

 

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What If There Is No Such Thing As A “Passionate Love”?

There are those who are kind as payment.

Those who are kind under duress brought on by fear.

Then, there are those few from which kindness flows directly from character.

The first group common, the second in a prison, and the third, a treasured bunch.

Often spoken about with an elusive air, the latter often pay quite a price for the priceless gift they bestow so naturally.

Sadly, the world is full of those who hurt and hustle or have been hurt and hustled. We often question the very actions we lay in bed praying to experience. We pour so much salt on the promise of something that it disinigrates before it can grow into anything substantial and then we use it as proof that what we hope for, what many of us feel we deserve, doesn’t exist at all.

Why is it that we agree to once again trust the untrustworthy but continuously hound the honorable? We chase the cruel and run away from the considerate? We underline a rageful love instead of highlighting the peaceful prose?

Why do we say one is “too nice” for us? Do we realize that, in our very statement, we are suggesting that someone is not “mean enough” for us to love them?

Ah, but we want passion. 

Or do we?

To ask the universe for this is a dangerous request for the word itself stems from the Latin verb patī  which means “to suffer”.  When we say we want a “passionate” love, are we aware that we are requesting pain?

Think about it: If the definition of love is “a deep feeling of intense affection,” does a “passionate love” even exist? Pain and affection oppose one another. So is the need to feel we can’t have someone fully in order to feel anything at all really about “love”? Is the feeling we “cannot live without them” simply just co-dependency? Is the powerful aphrodisiac of rejection really just an intense fear of abandonment spun out-of-control? If we are chasing someone who has walked away from all that we have to offer, is that really a “love” worth fighting for or simply our flailing ego asking for an invisible hand to save it from drowning?

So, the question is: Do you want pain or affection in your life?

Do you want Passion or Love?

 

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The Gifts Of Love

It’s the peace that lives in the morning rays coming in through your window.

It’s the silent “I still care” that is said in a squeeze.

It’s the soup when you’re feeling sick.

It’s the letter you are afraid to send.

It’s doing the right thing even when they’ve done you wrong.

It’s the relief that is given by way of a smile on a familiar face after a long flight.

It’s the efforts born out of hope.

It’s holding out an arm for someone holding on.

It’s letting go and letting someone let go.

It’s the forgiveness of “over it”  that leads to a better overall.

It’s wanting the best for them regardless of whether you still want them (or they still want you).

It’s a phone call because text is not enough.

It’s the understanding that replaces judgement.

It’s the song that plays repeatedly in your heart.

It’s the concern that replaces anger.

It’s the care that cleans up the chaos.

It’s love.

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10 Things I Know To Be True

Change does not come by way of a magical passageway between what was and might have been and what is and might be. It is a manifestation of deliberate, often difficult, steps in a new direction.

There are beautiful moments that aborted at the hands of a memory of something that we only wish existed.

From the outside, it all looks so different.

Entrances are usually full of fanfare, but the real story unfolds when you watch the way someone makes an exit.

Clinging may bring someone temporarily closer, but they’ll get the hell out of there as soon as they can loosen your grip.

If someone were to offer us a home that has not been built, we would be skeptical, and rightfully so. So, why is when someone offers us a “relationship” under the same circumstances, so many of us sign the dotted line?

It’s a hard thing to love hard every day, most especially when they don’t love you at all.

Independence and self-sufficiency make for some serious confidence boosting.

When negativity leaves the area, no one misses it.

Tears may contain fiction, but silence is a fact.

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Letting It Breathe

Looking back,

There  were some who initially made her heart beat faster.

But was that love or anxiety?

She wasn’t so sure anymore.

There were some who had promised her the sun, moon and stars,

But as romantic as that seemed,

Those gifts lacked consistency.

There were some who had listened to her,

but only for clues.

There were some she had smiled at,

but rarely laughed with.

Then him.

Less like an explosion and more like a vibration,

she couldn’t explain the growing intoxication,

It seemed to slowly sneak up on her.

Just like his gaze.

Just like the wine.

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Confession

I pointed to a coward and called him a champion.

I claimed eyes were windows into a soul that never really existed.

I extended credit to a man who left me in the depths of despair.

I willingly divorced my instincts and ran with lies that were handed to me without remorse.

I turned a blind eye to slashes caused by the razor sharp tongue that was hidden behind the lips that once touched my own.

I uttered my darkest secrets into a microphone.

I sold it all:

my soul,

my pride,

my dignity

all to invest in the oceanfront property and snake oil that was offered by a traveling salesman.

I screamed a violent “no” into the face of a sobbing truth.

I turned my cheek and asked for another slap in the face.

I saw the attack coming,

and stood by in silence,

as I watched my heart bleed,

I  did nothing to stop it.

I allowed him  to injure my confidence

while I suffocated beautiful moments,

and murdered  hundreds of days that will never see light again.

I ran,

In circles,

Towards nothing,

and away from Justice.

I am guilty.

But I will do no more time.

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New Study Finds That Both Men and Women Like Looking At Breasts

This is about as shocking as a sunny day in SoCal, but a new study titled, “My Eyes Are Up Here” has confirmed that men like looking at breasts.

I know, I know, but there’s a little more to it.

Led by social psychologist, Sara Gervais of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the study outfitted 29 men and 36 men with a high-tech eye-tracking system that measured how long their gaze lingered on specific areas of a body.  The participants were shown photographs of 10 women who had each been photoshopped to showcase three different body shapes: Less curvaceous, hourglass and more curvaceous. Both men and women spent more time looking at the the breasts, waists and hips of these women than they did their faces. No big shock there, curves are beautiful.

What’s surprising is that both deemed women with hourglass figures as having better personalities than those who did not. Perhaps it’s because this body type’s hip-to-waist ratio is closest to that considered the most fertile and we subconsciously associate that with “nurturing” instincts? I’d love to know more about their thoughts on why this might be and see them do the same study with images of men.

While I am not a fan of someone staring at my body outside of the confines in which I have explicitly invited that kind of attention, I do think it is natural to look around and see who is sharing your space, regardless of gender. I think there is a difference between a glance and objectification and I seriously doubt that anyone’s biology makes them “stare” so don’t be printing this out and handing it over as an excuse ;)

What do you think about the study? Are you surprised the findings were the same in both sexes?

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Color Theory: 10 Facts About The Color Blue

Want to slim down? Try eating off of a blue plate. The color is said to lessen appetites making the act of eating “unappealing.”

Looking to land an interview? Wear blue. The color is associated with dependability, loyalty (true blue) and commitment (hence, the use of “something blue” in wedding ceremonies).

A beautiful result of a genetic mutation, only 8 percent of the world’s population has blue eyes.

In China, the color was often associated with pain but in the United States, children are most comfortable with caretakers wearing blue.

Painting an office or room blue is said to increase the productivity of those working in the environment. This also works at the gym as lifters tend to lift heavier weights when surrounded by the color.

Woman in Blue Bikini on Beach with Cocktail,  Brenda Della Casam Color Theory: 10 Facts About The Color Blue, Brenda Della Casa, BDC Life In Style,

Owls are the only birds who can see the color blue.

Avoid blue in the summer unless you have “bug off” on. Mosquitos are twice as attracted to the color than any other.

Each year Blue Ribbons are tied to trees and posts to increase the awareness of Child Abuse.

Like the color blue? You’re not alone. In fact, 40% of the world’s population polled claim the color as their favorite.

Often misreported as violet, screen legend, Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes were actually a deep blue.

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The Truth. Revealed.

Mad Men Quote on Brenda Della Casa's Blog BDC Life In Style.

Sophia

Best Life Breakdown

It’s about fresh starts and second chances.

It’s not about changing a life, but tweaking it.

It’s about the courage to do what is best for you even in the face of criticism and heartache.

It’s about balancing hope with reality and reality with hope.

It’s about choosing where to focus your energy*.

It’s about the decision to protect your peace of mind at all costs.

It’s accepting you’re better than perfect, your flaws make you perfectly you.

It’s about kindness and grace while drawing clear boundaries.

It’s about refusing to fight losing battles.

It’s about time: how you spend it, cherish it, and waste it.

It’s about using the right words when speaking to others, yourself, and the universe.

It’s about showing respect.

It’s about a strong moral fiber.

It’s about integrity and honor.

It’s about taking care of yourself on all levels and working to understanding all of your layers.

It’s about appreciation and gratitude for those around you, what you have, what you had, and life itself.

It’s about knowing when to circle back and when to let go and move on.

It’s about accepting people for who they are and not who you thought they were or  hope they will become.

It’s about making what you desire enough of a priority to sacrifice and work for it.

It’s about your best life.

Smile

*Borrowed.

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Ready. Set. Fly.

Is the path you are on leading you into a better direction?

Where will you go from here?

Is the person you ache to see beside you pulling you forward, down or back?

Are they worth the wait?

Are the goals you are setting worthy of your efforts?

What will they help you achieve long term?

Is the love you feel in your heart properly communicated to those around you?

A love left unspoken is a bud that never blooms.

If not a journey,

If not an opportunity,

If not an ever-present second chance…

Then what is life?

What you make of it, they say.

Take a look at your ingredients.

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Get Gorgeous: Three Naturally Beautiful Remedies I Love

Beautiful, Dirty, Rich(ly Effective)

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Leave it to LC to make getting dirty look glamorous.  Check out her Frank discussion on the topic on Divalicious.

You Put The Lime In The Coconut (Oil)

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I picked up a jar of this inexpensive oil at Trader Joe’s thinking it might be a good hot oil treatment. (I thought right!)

Little did I know it would also serve as a brilliant shaving cream and a wonderfully hydrating moisturizer!

I actually mix my own coffee grounds with it and use it as an exfoliant. Alas, I but don’t look as good doing it as my dear friend up top does. Sigh.

Epsom Salt and Olive Oil Baths

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Whether you’re looking to relax tired muscles, add a little magnesium into your diet (many of us are deficient)  or needing to lose water weight by tomorrow, Epsom Salt is an inexpensive, effective and totally luxurious way to get things done (glamorously).  I like to light candles, turn on the Gladiator Pandora station (don’t judge) and mix my salts with a half cup of olive oil and bubbles.  Glass of wine optional.

What are some of your favorite natural treatments?

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Color Theory: 10 Facts About The Color Red

Researchers at Arizona State University discovered the ability to see red is located in the X chromosome. Since men only have one and women have two, women are able to see  various shades of the color (such as crimson and maroon) whereas most men are only able to see bright fire-engine red.

The color is said to have the strongest impact on our emotions, making the heart beat faster and intensifying breathing patterns.

It’s a common misconception that red makes bulls angry. The animals are, in fact, color blind.

Studies have shown that sports teams wearing red have an advantage over teams wearing other colors and are more likely to win the game and for good reason; the color is universally associated with male dominance and testosterone among all primates.

Brenda Della Casa, Red Typewriter, 10 Facts About The Color Red

Less than 2 percent of Americans have naturally red hair.

In Russia, red is associated with beauty whereas in South Africa, it is the color used in mourning. Chinese brides wear the shade on their wedding day to bring them luck.

In Greece, easter eggs are colored red for good luck.

Ruby is derived from the latin word, “rubens” which means red.

The color is associated with power but can turn off potential employers.

A study by British researchers found that men are more likely to form a relationship with a woman who wears red on their first date. Interestingly, the color makes the wearer look heavier…what does that say, ladies?

What’s your favorite color?

Brigitte Bardot

Leaving Him With Nothing

She missed him.

In a way that was ferocious, overwhelming, obsessive and slightly insane. There was not a single reason and a million to love him and certainly no reason to mourn his absence, and yet she was acutely aware of the silence as the sun rose and set four times in a day.

He was a culmination of everything she loved, hated, wanted and wanted to avoid. He was a no one who became someone who became everyone and everything–the life and the death in her days–an ever-present dull ache that no drug, drink or prayer could diminish.

The hurt he caused her ignited outbursts of texts and tears that left her soaked with exhaustion.

And so, in part to spite him, she became fiercely independent, storming through one experience to the next. She succeeded in everything except letting him go and now she  was determined to beat her heart until (all of) it stopped. She took her place in line behind the prayers and finally had her moment. In a calculated move, she bartered with the universe, offering up her heart and hope as a sacrifice in exchange for the world at large.

She could not have him, but when she was done living her life, he would be all he had left.

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Lovely Lana Del Rey

I am one of the millions who have fallen madly in love with Lana, and thanks to a very generous bestie who surprised me with tickets, I am flying out to San Fran to see one of my favorite performers/writers (with one of my favorite people) this weekend!

That’s worthy of a playlist post, no?

A few of my favorites.  I swear this woman found some of my old diaries…not sure if that is a good or bad thing ;)

 

Summertime Sadness (Love this Remix So Much) #SuddenlyLastSummer

 

Dark Paradise #LovingYouForeverCantBeWrong

 

God’s and Monsters #NoOnesGonnaTakeMySoulAway

 

Young & Beautiful #WillYouStillLoveMe

 

National Anthem

 

Summer Wine

 

West Coast

 

 

Happy

Being Her Best Self

She is interested and interesting,

Kind and polite,

Educated and easygoing,

and formulates opinions without confusing them with facts.

She can hold her own while holding his hand,

and does her best never to mistake stubbornness for strength.

She follows her heart,

uses her head,

 Loves sincerely,

and is left unscathed if that love is unrequited.

She lives to laugh,

To make others smile,

And bats  her triple-coated lashes like she’s fanning a flame.

She’ll make wishes into the wind,

Faces at a child,

And love only to the man who makes her feel loved.

She can balance her checkbook,

Work and play,

and all of the responsibilities that come with living a full life.

She loves to dance.

To hope.

To discover.

To see a soul come to the surface.

She sips mojito’s al fresco,

Collects stamps in customs,

Tosses compliments at strangers,

And says prayers in private.

With a heart wide open.

and a sparkle in her eyes,

She sees seeing the world as an adventure,

and life itself her blessing.

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Cheers To You: Upgrade Your Warm Weather Cocktails

I don’t know about you but warmer weather always means longer days and yummy cocktails and convo’s with my nearest and dearest. If you’re looking to give your standard poison a sophisticated twist, here are three concoctions that will do the trick.  Toast happily & Drink responsibly! Cheers!

 

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Cranberry Mojitos

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Limoncello and Prosecco (Or Champagne)

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Gin, Basil, Cucumber & Lime.

Gwen Stefani 4 AM

Twas Many Things, But Not Love

It’s a funny thing,
When you think of who you loved,
and why.

Rose colored memories of romance offer a lovely view,
But hindsight is 20/20 when you look at how they treated you,

While on your knees.
In your time of need.
When you could no longer provide them with the satiation they desired.

Love is abundant when only a word,
But when action is required,
A third of the world goes hungry.

Health and sickness find us all,
Where is the call when the latter calls?

I love you.

Easy for one to say,
Hard for the other to feel,

When there was so much passion then,
And no compassion now.

Was there ever a link beyond two bodies in need,
Or just a need that linked bodies?

One will never know.

 

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The Black and White Of It

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“How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.”

Anais Nin

 

 

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The Great Escape

What does one do…

When the cold becomes too much to bear?

When the silence begins to deafen the screams of hope?

When the walls become so thick that all light is blocked?

How does one chip through the ice and touch the heart that hides inside of it?

How does one do penance in peace when they don’t know if they are in purgatory or hell?

The opposite of love,

Is apathy.

If it were hate,

There would be hope.

Nothingness kills a spirit,

and leaves us with a choice:

We die a little more every day for (a) love,

or fight like hell to live without it.

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What Definition Defines You

Cruelty: Callous indifference to or pleasure in causing pain and suffering.

Kindness: The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Love: An intense feeling of deep affection.

Hate: An intense or passionate dislike for something or someone.

Liar: A person who tells lies.

Trustworthy: Able to be relied on as honest or truthful.

Naive: Showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment of a person or action.

Hope: A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen; a feeling of trust.

Mentor: An experienced and trusted adviser.

Manipulative: Characterized by unscrupulous control of a situation or person or a desire for it.

Selfish: Lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure (of a person, action, or motive).

Thoughtful: Absorbed in or involving thought.

Thoughtless:  Not showing consideration for the needs of other people (of a person or their behavior).

Reliable: Consistently good in quality or performance; able to be trusted.

Supportive: Providing encouragement or emotional help.

Selfless: Concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish.

Victim: A person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.

Nice: Pleasant; agreeable; satisfactory.

Vindictive: Having or showing a strong or unreasoning desire for revenge.

Abuse: The misuse of someone or something. To treat (a person or an animal) with cruelty or violence, esp. regularly or repeatedly. To use (something) to bad effect or for a bad purpose; misuse.

Friend: A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

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Loving Out Loud

“It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.” Coco Chanel

 

 

 

Karen Alexander in Issey Miyake by Herb Ritts, 1989

bow

Down

I have fallen.

I have been brought to my knees once again.

And so I shall do what I am supposed to do,

Something I have never done.

Something that will change everything.

I  shall not

Cry

Out

“Why?”

I will instead bow to the lessons of my life,

and give thanks while I am down here.

A wounded soldier,

Yet

 Undefeated.

                                                                                                                         (Photo: Out There” Carmen Kass by John Akehurst for Allure December 1998).
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The Beauty In The Broken

You sit alone with your bleeding heart,

In the silence of your screams,

Wondering how you will ever be whole again.

So caught up in the parts, you forget the sum, You don’t realize…

Those times your heart has been broken,

Those  moments you have had your mind blown,

Those beautiful dreams that reality has shattered,

Those cutting words dispensed chaotically by razor sharp tongues,

These pieces (of you) will all add up to a beautifully designed life.

 

(Photo Zuhair Murad)