A week or so ago, I received an email from a Candy Coated Reality fan asking for my help. This was a first for me and I was incredibly honored that she asked for my advice, opinions, and guidance on how to be positive. Her trust in me certainly means so much!! Below is her original email:
I’m not sure if you remember me, I’m the girl who told you I wanted to be a journalist, but couldn’t get the grades so I started my blog. If you don’t remember that’s okay. You probably won’t even read this, or if you do you probably won’t reply I mean what would be the point, this is just one email… I bet you get them all the time.
I wanted to ask you something. How do you stay so positive? I try everyday to be positive. My friends call me a ‘bitch’ or depressing because I don’t walk around with a smile on my face all day, and if I did I probably be told I’m too happy. I guess what I mean to ask is how do you make people believe you don’t want to be like that anymore. I’ve been classed as the group bitch among my friends for the past 5 years and no matter what I do I somehow can’t change their minds. I even tell them I’m trying to change but they laugh in my face. The truth is I think I’m losing who I am, if I haven’t already.
I guess I just needed someone to know how I felt and you always seem so positive so I thought maybe you could point out a positive that I haven’t found yet.The reason the subject is Thank you is because I was going to stop writing my blog, but you inspired me not to, it’s the only thing I feel still has me in it. So thank you!
After composing my detailed list of ideas, I thought maybe I should share these tid bits with the rest of our Candy Coated Reality community, so here is part of my response (I trimmed it down for length and to use some content in other upcoming blogs):
As you can see here… I guess I have a lot of food for thought to share!! Thank you again for reaching out to me. Below is a long list of lessons I’ve acquired so far during my lifetime. It may sound preachy because it is simply a list, but please know preachy is not my intent. Generally, I try to write my blogs in a narrative, story-telling “this is how I did it” format, but for this response, please forgive my list.
Also, keep in mind I’m still learning… and I’m no pro… yet I’ve learned to share my experiences with others in order to solidify the lessons in my own life while providing myself a gentle reminder as well. The lessons have indeed helped me along my positive path.
Worth: You are worthy! Because you were born… you are WORTHY of happiness, joy, and all that your heart desires. Ever date someone who you would look back and consider a loser? Well, we accept the love we feel we deserve. Same goes for the rest of life. If we do not feel we are worthy, then life will send us subpar friends, experiences, jobs, and love. You, my friend, are worthy of friends who will not classify you into a category… let alone a “negative” category!!
Awareness: Awareness is the first step to any transformation. Take some time to think about what your friends say. Is there any ounce of truth to it at all? Sometimes we can’t see our ickiness either until a friend holds up a mirror. It happens to be our really good friends and family who love us enough to tell us the truth, who have the willingness to have the difficult conversations with us, and tell us the things we NEED to hear rather than the more popular… what we WANT to hear!! “The more we think we know, the harder it is for us to see any view but our own.” – Joyce Meyer
Friends: If you find after your soul searching that INDEED you’ve changed and your friends aren’t giving you the benefit of the doubt OR are stuck in past assumptions… Then… consider this: People are in our lives for a reason, season, or lifetime. If you find yourself surrounded by people who are disrespectful, call you names, are mean to you, or do not support you… then spend some time reflecting to determine if your friend(s) fall into the reason, season, or lifetime category. A few years back I had to cut all the toxic people out of my life. They were draining my energy.
Trimming these “friends” from my life was the best decision I ever made. And, when you release something or someone from your life, then you make room for new things or people to enter. Trust me, I’ve been blessed with truly great people once I had the courage to release people who were no longer contributing to my greater good. In the end, you cannot change a person’s existing opinion of you. It is what it is… and only that person can change his/her perceptions.
More details here: https://candycoatedreality.com/2013/02/02/friends-2/
Lessons: Our lessons keep repeating themselves until we get it! Have you ever heard, “First God whispers in our ear, then He taps us on the shoulder, and if we still do not listen then He knocks us over the head… or worse… until we pay attention!” Moral of the story? Pay attention. Take stock of your life and determine if you have lessons you’ve ignored. Do you always feel like you have “bad” luck in a particular topic or arena of your life?
Manifestation: If you’re miserable and focus on it then you manifest more misery. What you put out into the universe comes back to you. Please, I beg you, stop being so hard on yourself and negative about yourself. What you think, say, and feel goes out into the universe. You call it back to you. Kinda like Karma. I’m thankful my first article was published in “Law of Attraction” magazine because I whole-heartedly believe in the law of attraction. If you’re not familiar with it, then watch the documentary/movie “The Secret” – it is both fascinating and amazing.
Thoughts: Never finish a negative thought. Life is an echo. Each thought is a wave that reverberates out into the world. Thoughts become feelings, feelings become things. Life shapes us. Character defines us. Attitude makes or breaks us. The difference between a good day and a bad day is our attitude!! Our minds are so incredibly powerful. Our minds control our thoughts, actions, and emotions. We are as happy as we set out to be, right? Control your mind, control your life. Want to be happy? Control your mind. If you feel a negative emotion, then that emotion will be returned to you.
More details here: https://candycoatedreality.com/2011/11/27/recovery/
Forgiveness: We all make mistakes. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Write all your feelings in a letter and address it to yourself. If needed then write additional letters to whomever else you need to forgive. Pour your heart and soul into the letter(s). Leave nothing unsaid. Then burn the letter(s). This is a signal to the universe that you release all those negative emotions and you’re ready to start over.
It works; really, works!! Then truly forgive and let those feelings GO!! They do you no good. Ever feel like an anchor is pulling you down or holding you back? Those are all of your bad emotions. Your resentment is a noose around your neck growing tighter by the minute. Resentment, like stress, can kill a person slowly from the inside out. Please, please, please release it…all.
Gratitude: Live a life of gratitude; being thankful is a primary key to happiness. “Seeds of discouragement can’t take root in a grateful heart. Take time each day to be grateful.” – Joel Osteen. Write down what you’re thankful for in a journal or make a note in your smart phone, iPad, or laptop and save it. Then add to your list and refer back when necessary! “I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful for my improved health.”
I’m thankful for my… insert whatever you’re grateful for at the time… just start each phrase with I’m thankful for and write what is in your heart or on your mind that day. Doesn’t have to be a chore every day, but definitely make it a priority to be grateful for all that you have in your life!!! You are blessed, my friend. Honor and recognize those blessings.
Blessings: Lead with compassion rather than judgment in all of your relationships and interactions with others – including strangers and even enemies. Remember, what you send out into the universe comes back to you, so always be nice and kind… and those will be returned to you ten-fold. For example, if someone cuts you off while driving, then send him/her a blessing rather than getting angry, shouting curse words or other obscene gestures (not that you would… but you know what I mean… road rage is pretty common).
Anger is a judgment and eventually that judgment will be returned to you; not necessarily by that particular person or right away… but it WILL return to you. Sending out blessings is not always easy. Trust me. Often I get angry then stop and say a blessing – yes, in hopes it cancels one another out. Ha! Not sure if it does, but it is worth a try, huh?
Purpose: When it comes to your life’s purpose… live your life for YOU. Not for your mother. Not for your father. Not for your friends. Their expectations DO NOT MATTER. Sure, they may have your best interest at heart, but the only opinion that truly matters is your own. If they love you, unconditionally, then they will love you for YOU… no matter your choices in life… and not only love you for the image of you they’ve conjured up or expect.
Be who YOU want to be and do what makes YOU happy!!! This is your life… not theirs!!! And, we all evolve and change over time. What you find to be your life purpose today… may not be your passion tomorrow and that is okay. Actually, that is healthy growth!!
My friend sent me this life purpose calculator. I found it fascinating… it is based on your birthday: http://www.peacefulwarrior.com/life-purpose-calculator
Positivity: If you need more positivity and inspiration in your life, then make it a habit to read Candy Coated Reality. Shameless plug I know (ha!), but that is exactly why I created and devoted my life to Candy Coated Reality a few years back (for me and for others). Seek out positive people, places, and things. Read happy and uplifting quotes every day. Do the work. Make it happen.
Acceptance: No matter what happens in life… DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP OVER SILLY MISTAKES or BAD CHOICES. You must accept and love yourself. Good. Bad. And Ugly. You will not be happy if you do not love yourself. Try affirmations. Over time positive affirmations will seep into your psyche and you will BELIEVE them!! And, if you already love yourself… then, “GO YOU!!!” because it took me a while and many struggles with self love, self acceptance, self esteem, and self worth and I’m still a work in progress everyday!
Perfection: Do you strive to be perfect? If yes, then let go of the notion that you must be perfect. Where did that come from, anyway? We are all flawed. That is part of life; part of our learning process. Accept those flaws and move on… stop judging yourself, my dear. No one expects you to be perfect. If you keep striving for perfection you will be endlessly unhappy because perfection DOES NOT EXIST!! Aim for progress and you will land on excellence by default. We were created in God’s image… He has a plan for you… flaws and all. Okay? “You don’t have to be perfect for God to use you. Take the hand you’ve been dealt and make the most of it.” – Joel Osteen
It is all up to you… Give some of these ideas a shot. It may not all work for you or interest you for that matter. Change will not come overnight… but in time it will gradually. Gosh, you won’t even notice the change until much time has passed and you wonder when everything became so dramatically better.
Remember, life is a series of choices; therefore, life is what you make it!!! No matter what curveballs life throws at you, grow where you are planted. Okay, I know I sound like a fortune cookie, but it is true. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt. In the end, I write all of this because I want you to be happy; blissfully happy.
PS, Now go be happy, positive, and optimistic!! I know, in my heart, you’ve got this!!
And again, THANK YOU for reaching out!! Hope some of this helps!! xo
© Renae Rossman and Candy Coated Reality™
GREAT stuff Renae! And of course you’d be a great person to ask. 2 things I would chime in with…
– at first, work on it… Like a skill. A habit. Read something positive to start your day and at lunch to keep your mind poz. don’t expect it to happen overnight. Work at it for a month or 2… Eventually it will come nat
-Respond in conversations SLOWLY. My ( and probably other folks too) worst or negative statements unusually are reactionary, before I’ve had a chance to ‘think’. Even in a bad situation, positive words can be made.
Good luck to your struggling reader!
“Whether you think you can , or think you can’t, you are right.”. Henry Ford
John, THANK YOU!! I absolutely love your additional words of advice!! I know my reader will greatly appreciate these additional nuggets of wisdom!! You’re a treasured gem and I’m so thankful to call you my friend!! xoxo
I think no matter where you are in life it is so important to be reminded of all of these things! Thanks so much for being a positive outlet, I know you are making a difference in so many lives! 🙂
Oh, thank you so much for your kind words of support and encouragement… it means so much 😉 xo!!
Lots of good advice. These are exactly the things that I try to help people realize. It is hard to be positive in a negative world. However, if you do work at it daily, it will become second nature. If you want your life to be positive, you have to look at it from a positive perspective and be surrounded by positivity.
Thanks, Brenda!! Great advice!! Sending you love and light!!
Renae~~ You are such a Sage! And I know you have come to these thoughts as a matter of experience…that makes it all so much more important that you shared it with your reader. I am sure your List is going to help and inspire her. As I read your post I could only think of one thing, if I may: Focus on the “doing” not the “saying” of your positive shift. I have always witnessed that actions speak louder than words. To keep telling your friends that you are changing only gives them opportunities to chide you. Just keep your mouth closed, and work it out, lovingly ~~ not for their praise, but for your own self. There is a Spanish saying I learned in school, and if I remember it correctly it goes like this: “En bocas cerrados, no entran moscas.” (forgive me if my Spanish is rusty~~ but basically it says that if your mouth is closed, then flies (unkind friends) cannot enter! Blessings to All…M
Melissa, I’m so happy you read this and provided additonal words of wisdom too!! You’re BRILLIANT!!! I’m so thankful and blessed to have you in my corner, my dear friend!!! I do hope this post and all the additonal comments assist her too!!! Sending you love and light!! xo
Renae – One thought that came to my mind when you said to live your life for yourself and not what others want. To your reader – This is YOUR life and friends and family members often have their own ideas about what you need to do. People want what THEY want for you. This has been hard for me especially. I have family members that are MESSING up. I have tried and tried to help them, to no avail. This is because this is THEIR path. It doesn’t have to make sense to us. Same thing with you. People always think they know what you need, but this is usually because they would want it themselves. It works both ways. Be yourself and you shouldn’t have to change UNLESS YOU WANT TO. If you don’t want to be known as the bitch, then don’t. Just as Renae said though, if your friends are continually trying to put a negative label on you, you might need some new friends. I too have weeded out people in my life who are not in the same place as me. I love them and release them, hoping the best for them, only wanting them to come back in my life when it will be beneficial for me. But maybe the changing is you changing from what you molded yourself to be to this new positive person. I made this change a long time ago and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Thank you!! I simply LOVE your wisdom!! So spot on… You ROCK 😉 Sending you love & light!! xo
Waw, lovely. I also went through that process where I had a lot of soul-searching and friend clipping to do. I feel so free and there’s a strength alive in me that nothing at this point can disappoint me. I had to learn my self-worth, self-appreciation, self-everything! Lol. At one time I even believe I was a people-pleaser, now, no way, I’m not in the business of pleasing others, I’m honest where my honesty is appreciated and I accept things for what they are.
Great post – as usual!
Thanks, Melissa!! So delighted to hear the only person you’re working to please now is YOURSELF!! It is a tough lesson to learn… I had to learn it the hard way too!!! Great information for my reader… I know she will appreciate it! Thank you!! Love you, girlie 🙂 xo!!
Beautiful response Renae! You handled it with a gentle and guiding hand. I loved the quotes. As I was reading two scriptures came to mind, the first says, “Death and life are in the tongue.” and “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” We have great power in the words we speak, whether good or bad. Our mouth speaks what the mind thinks so the two go hand in hand. Wonderful post! I know it’ll be a blessing to many.
Oh, how I love those scriptures!! Thank you for sharing!! Many blessings to you and yours!!
I have a problem with being a people pleaser and I find it is hard to be nice to everyone and not be a people pleaser at the same time. I feel like a lapdog sometimes, but I think that it is me trying to make the environment comfortable for everyone, keep everyone in a good place. But it can be so hard and tiring to keep this up. I am now working on trying to do more spiritual and less physical/mental. And thank you Renae! You are awesome and I love reading your blog! Keep it up!
Yep, it is a tough road to be a people pleaser… can’t make everyone happy… spreads us too thin… and we end up exhausted and endlessly unhappy!!! It took me a while to shed my “people pleaser tendencies” from my being. In time, you will too!!! Let your spirit guide you and you cannot go wrong!! Thank you for reading and providing positive feedback!! You’re a gem!! Sending you love and light!! May God bless you and yours 😉 xo!!
Great concept..Definitely something in it.I think affirmations are very underrated..
Thank you so much!! Wishing you the very best!!
This is so beautiful! I nominated you for “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” http://yeararoundmylife.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/very-inspiring-blogger-award/ God Bless!
Thank you, Mary for this lovely blog award!! I’m humbled by your nomination!! May God bless you and yours!!!
I think the most powerful words in this post are “People are in our lives for a reason, season, or lifetime.” I too have had to realize which category people in my life fall into…and have eliminated the toxic ones that can bring us down and become toxic as well.