Where does your loyalty lay?

I’ve been thinking a lot about loyalty since the end of my marriage. I realized that I am loyal to a fault and I know I’m not the only one. Some of the reasons we’re loyal is because change can be scary or we don’t think we can do better.

Growing up I remember hearing how being loyal is a good thing. Be loyal to your friends and they will treat you right. Be loyal to your spouse and your marriage will last. Be loyal to the company you work for and they will take care of you and you’ll prosper.

Well that’s a load of shit. I say that because I have been loyal to “friends” who have treated me horrible. I was loyal to my husband who was abusive. I’ve been loyal to companies I’ve worked for with no reward. This falsity keeps people in relationships and jobs that are unhealthy and sometimes dangerous.

Changing my character is not going to happen. I’m a loyal person and loyalty is a good quality to have but I’ve learned that my loyalty has been misplaced. So I’ve had to adjust where my loyalty lays.

Now I am loyal to myself first. Meaning I am loyal to my values, my ethics, my self worth, my mental health, my physical health, and my overall wellness. That does not mean that I won’t be loyal to others. It mean that I use my loyalty to me as a guideline to decide who gets my loyalty.

I choose who I’m loyal to by seeing if it aligns with my own loyalty. If being loyal to someone else causes me to not be loyal to me, then they do not deserve my loyalty. My loyalty and your loyalty is a precious gift that should be earned and not given willynilly. Treasure this gift you have to give. Keep it safe until the right person/job comes along.

Since this is a gift that you can give, you can also take it away. If a person’s actions continually cause you to choose being loyal to them or yourself, you must chose your own loyalty. Set your boundaries and walk away if they don’t respect it. You’re worthy and deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.

Setting Boundaries and Saying Goodbye

I have not always been good at setting boundaries. For a people pleaser it can be very hard to put your needs ahead of others but it must be done. I’ve come to learn that no one has your best interest in mind more than you. Not that everyone is deceitful but they’re human. This does not mean also that you have to be completely selfish. I love to give and I give when it is right with my soul. Now, let’s get back on track.

Recently I’ve had to say goodbye to a man I love. A man who has treated me better than any man ever has. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make. I posted a lot about grateful I was for him and it all was true. The love was real. The friendship was there. Never did I feel judged only loved. That being said, when one person is continually working to grow and evolve but the other person is not…

Without getting into his personal business, I knew I had to say goodbye or we would end up hating each other. After being in a toxic marriage, I saw the signs coming. There is only so much compassion and support that can be given before it turns to codependency. At some point people have to help themselves. Change can only occur when THEY decide to make the change. If they’re not going to do their part, no one else can help them, no matter how much you love them.

Part of me was hoping that breaking it off would kick him into gear to get his life together. I still had hope that we could end up together so I tried to be a friend. But boundaries were being crossed and we fought more in a week in a half than we did the year and half we were together. Soon I had to cut him off completely.

Last week I was so down and not with it. I was lagging at work and not focussed. I was also trying so hard to find a house to buy so I could just make a huge change. A big change will fix everything, right?! When I get that house I’ll put my focus on that, right?! Well, things will not fix us or make us truly happy. It wasn’t until I called a friend and admitted that I was angry did everything within me start to align again. I had the first full night sleep where I woke up feeling refreshed. Friday was the first day all week I felt truly productive. And this weekend I have been able to comfort and joy.

If someone is not respecting your boundaries, they are not respecting you. A person who complete respects you will recognize your boundaries and never ask you to adjust them to fit their needs. So set those boundaries and the more you set them and KEEP them, the easier it is to keep setting them. Now, you may have people walk out of your life but soon, you will have amazing people walk into your life.

Love yourself first. Because when you can do that, you can love others in a way that uplifts you both.

A Joyful Grateful Heart

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Photo of Aunt Denise taken by Uncle Jack

It’s taken me awhile to write this. I’ve started multiple times but have since deleted each one. We’ll see if this too will be deleted but if you’re reading it then I have finally put into words what is in my heart. Losing a loved one is hard. I knew she was sick, but it wasn’t obvious and she didn’t make a bid deal about it. She even drove me back to our cabins after my cousin’s wedding in September.

What a woman Aunt Denise was. I have always wondered how she did everything she did. It was quite amazing how she worked full time, made quilts, sewed us dresses when we were little, gardened, and cooked pasta and bread from scratch. It wasn’t until her funeral that it hit me.

Aunt Denise did everything with a joyful, grateful heart. She embraced life and lived it to its fullest. I didn’t see her a lot because she lived states away, but I swear she was rarely angry. Or if she was, it was never with rage.

When I got home from her funeral and was moving blankets off of my girls’ bed to wash the sheets, I came across the quilts that she made for my girls. I see those quilts differently now. Or more so, I feel different when I hold them. I feel her joy as she cut each piece and sewed them together to create something that is now loved by my daughters. I feel her years of practice, years of just doing it and slowly getting better. These quilts are perfection, a perfection built through a journey of mistakes and not quitting.

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My two girls with their quilts made by Aunt Denise

How often do we see a finished product and just say, “I can’t do that”? Or try something once and it doesn’t match the photo so we give up? How often have I done that? Too many times to count. But I look at these quilts now and I don’t just see the finished product anymore. I see the journey it took for my aunt to produce this amazing piece.

I’ve had a perfectionist attitude and if it couldn’t be perfect “then why bother”. It has kept me from doing the things I love. Kept me from being the person I know deep down I can be. It has kept me from enjoying life.

Aunt Denise did not make quilts to make something perfect. She made quilts because it brought her joy to make them and then give them as gifts. I saw the joy on my mom’s face when she received one. I felt joy when I received each of my girls’ quilts. When Izzy’s started to come apart, she told me they were made to be used.

Each person in our life, whether the experience had been positive or negative, has taught us something. Aunt Denise has taught me to do everything with a joyful grateful heart. Rest in peace knowing you have brought so much joy to the people around you.

Returning to Writing

2018 was another challenging year. There was a lot of good and a lot that was har. A couple months after I started this blog I ended up getting sick. I had no idea what was going on. I’m a young healthy woman and all of a sudden I was exhausted constantly. So bad that at times it was hard keeping my eyes open at work. Thank God for Kevin because he would feed me and my kids when I’d come home from work.
Not only was I exhausted, I was in a lot of pain. My skin became very sensitive, my muscles were cramping especially in my hips and down my legs, and my whole body would ache. It started out slow but by August it got to a point where it was every day.
Then there was vertigo. Some days I would get dizzy spells throughout the day. Feeling motion sickness all day sucks. Getting up from a chair, turning my head, any kind of movement would bring on a way of yuck.
Between exhaustion and pain I had a hard time getting through the day let alone finding time to write. I had no idea what was going on with me. I was scared.
How was I supposed to be mom? How was I supposed to continue working? What the hell was I supposed to do?
I’d like to say that essential oils saved my life but I can’t. They did help me through this hard time that’s for sure. Certain oils helped with my exhaustion and muscle/nerve support. What ended up helping me was food.
I realized this when certain foods would cause my stomach to cramp. By bed time I’d be bent over when standing and almost went to the ER a couple times. That’s when the research started. My doctor was offering some ideas and even recommended that I see a Rheumatologist but I couldn’t get an appointment until October. I called them in July!
I came across the Medical Medium and it has turned my life around. What I loved was that all of his recommendations were eating specific fruits and vegetables. Guess what?! It worked!
I started to listen to my body, let it tell me what it needed and what was hurting it. The first time I listened I was craving avocados… badly. I was on a weekend getaway with my parents for Liesl’s 7th birthday and I was starving but I every time I ate, I’d end up feeling sick for hours. I was in the middle of reading the Medical Medium book but had yet to change my diet. I was taking it in.
I returned home on Sunday to three avocados from Kevin. Seriously love when you mention your craving something you come home to it. (Anytime I don’t have to run into the grocery store because Kevin went for me, my hearts swells. Yep, that simple!) For the first time in two weeks, I ate something without feeling sick afterwards. Monday I continued to eat avocados with some other fruits and veggies. By Tuesday, I ate my first full meal in weeks!
Yeah! Everything was great after that… NOPE
I’ve since been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and changing to a vegan diet is not easy. I still struggle. It’s been a wild journey. More to come because I have learned a lot and I know I am not alone. And, even if I am, I’m ok with that. This is my journey and I’m still learning to be me.
I will end by saying, it feels good to be feeling almost fully healthy and it definitely feels to start writing again.

From Loss To Peace

She was talking about losing her children. Two of the three held in her arms but all three buried before they reached their first birthday. The tightness in my chest increased. I tried to hold the tears back but a few slipped away here and there. By the time I got home, I couldn’t listen to the podcast episode anymore. All I could see was the child I didn’t get the chance to hold. The child I wanted so badly but left way too soon. I will never truly know but to me that was my little boy.

The last week I’d been feeling off and this did me in. I got home, made sure Izzy was ok and then cried. I cried and cried and cried and until all of the negative energy that I had been working through for weeks was gone. I felt renewed and rejuvenated.

The loss of an unborn child is so hard and never truly leaves you. Most days I can think about it with a slight sadness but nothing more. Some days, it hits me like a ton of bricks and I mourn all over again. A piece of me is gone and will always be gone so this is who I am now. That time in my life was so hard but it also showed me how strong I truly am.

See, I had gotten off of medication to get pregnant. My Dr wasn’t sure that was the best thing but I wanted another child. I was able to process the loss of my child, mourn and know that the time would come when I would try again. Is was during this mourning process that my Dr told me that I didn’t need to see her anymore but her door was always open. That day I knew I was strong and would continue on a journey of self discovery and strength.

Since then I have gone through other hard things but because I now know that I will come out stronger. I am more than a survivor, I will thrive. Though tough days will come and I may sob until there are no tears to be shed, I know joy is right around the corner.

A few months later I found out I was pregnant again and my little crazy-pants Liesl was born. She tests every patients I have but looks at me with such love. I will always wonder what my little guy would have been like but living in the “what if’s” keeps us from living in the now. When the past creeps in and sorrow comes, I sit with those feelings and cry them out one tear at a time so I can focus on today and the joy it can bring.

I did end up listening to the rest of the episode. If you’d like to hear her story check out The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey episode #189.

What are your excuses?

What are your excuses for not doing the things you really want to do? Time, money… As I heard Rachel Hollis say, “I call BS.” (She’s awesome by the way. Look her up and check out her book Girl Wash Your Face.)

I for one do not want to live in a world with “I can’t” leading the way. What type of life would that be? Wait, I know because I lived it for years but NOT ANYMORE! When you remove “I can’t” from your vocabulary and insert “I will find a way”, you start to live in a world of endless possibilities!

Here’s the truth, if you say you can’t do something, guess what… YOU CAN’T. It becomes your truth. But the opposite is also true, if you say you can do something and truly believe you can… YOU CAN. I’m sick of letting the “I can’t’s” dictate my world.

One of my many amazing cousins is getting married in Alabama in September. I want to go but my initial thought was “I can’t afford it.” I’m sick and tired of saying those effing words!!! I’m sick of letting what I think I can’t do keep me from doing the things I really want to do.

I’m working a side business that has an unlimited earning potential. UNLIMITED!!! I just have to KATN it (Kick Ass and Take Names). It is all up to me if I will have the money to go by September. And you know what, I will have the money to go. I’m going to make it happen and better yet I will be helping other families get about the wellness line. So come September, I’ll be posting a photo of me on a farm in Alabama at their wedding. I’m excited!

So what excuses are you making? What is the excuse and how are you going to change your thoughts? The first step is just that, recognize the limitations you’re putting on yourself and then work to reprogram your subconscious. Every time the limitations creep into your thoughts, gently push them away and speak truth. Write those truths on a piece of paper and tape it somewhere you will see regularly to remind yourself what you are capable of. Because, as I’ve said before, you are capable of so many amazing wonderful things. #nikkynicolemebeingme

If you’re curious on how you can help others become healthier and have unlimited earning potential, contact me. I want to help you make your dreams come true! Since I talked about income, I have to share the income disclosure from Young Living.

Respect

Respect. We all want it. How do we get it?

We can’t force it. Forcing anything upon other people pushes them away. No one wants to be MADE to do anything. Makes me think of raising my children. When I try to force my kids to do things, they push back. Especially my strong willed Liesl. She will fight me tooth and nail. Don’t get me wrong, there are times I will throw her over my shoulder. I mean what would my boss say if I told him “I was late today because Liesl said she was sick, but she really wasn’t sick, and I was trying to convince her she had to go to school.” The steel business must still keep running.

So it goes without saying, when I force my kids to do something it usually is met with a push back. However, if I discuss it with them, tell them the rewards and consequences, I’m sometimes met will a more willing child.

So you can’t force someone to respect you. When powerful people demand respect, they may be treated with respect on a superficial level but not with true respect.

How to get respect? One, know that not everyone will give you respect. That’s a fact of life and some people are rude and mean. But it all starts with you. How do you see yourself?

Joyce Meyer in her book Beauty for Ashes says it perfectly. “After saying, ‘You shall love the Lord your God,’ Jesus added, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.’ (Mark 12:30-31). If you cannot get along with or love yourself, you will find it too difficult to get along with or love anyone else.”

So, love yourself, respect yourself, and learn to truly believe in who you are. Then if someone doesn’t show you respect, guess what???

YOU WON’T CARE!

I know, it’s easier said then done but it can be done. With time and hard work, you too will realize your worth and find true happiness.