5 Things You NEED to STOP Saying to Empower Yourself, Mama!

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Yo I’m Emily, I’m 30, and I’m going through some roughhhh times.  I’m fighting a lot of nasty head noise these days, but I’m doing my best to empower myself and come out of my situation stronger than ever.  I’m doing everything I can to show up, be present, and spread positivity to myself and those around me (especially to the awesome mamas out there that are working hard and holding it down!).  I’ve found that there are some ideas that have been floating around in my head for awhile that are not healthy and are actually holding me back as a woman.  I’ve made the decision to consciously remove them from my brain. Here are five things we need to give up in our vocabulary, ladies.

I just need ________________ and then I’ll be happy.  I need to lose weight, I need to be better about getting to the gym, I need more friends, I need to make more money, I need my skin to clear up, I need this man to make me feel special, I need to have this many likes on social media… The list could go on and ON.  No. NOOOOO.  You don’t need ANY of that shit to be happy.  Lemme say that again for the people in the back: YOU DO NOT NEED EXTRINSIC THINGS IN ORDER TO BE HAPPY.  Okay, I’m going to say something truly cliche and you may wanna punch me… You guys, happiness comes from inside your own brain.  Truly.  I read this AMAZING AF article that was originally published by The Cut that centered on an extremely popular course at Yale.  The class is alllll about how to be happy.  Seriously.  A course designated to help people legitimately learn what happiness is and effective strategies for how to obtain happiness.  I read this article like, every week to remind myself of its merits!!  I’m not kidding.

So the whole premise of the article is that we believe that when we get X, Y, or Z that’s the thing that is going to make us happier.  But that isn’t so.  The class uses data from research conducted by Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside.  Through her research Lyubomirsky discovered that, “…roughly 50 percent of happiness is determined by genes (i.e., totally out of your control), roughly 10 percent is determined by circumstance (i.e., somewhat out of your control), and the final 40 percent is determined by your thoughts, actions, and attitudes (i.e., entirely within your control).”  So often people fail to realize the power of their own mindset.  According to this research FORTY percent of your happiness comes from YOU.  How you respond to a situation, how you think about things, and what you do.  I’ve learned that you simply cannot control what happens to you.  What you CAN control is how you respond to things.  That’s where your power lies, that’s where you will find your happiness.  It’s not going to be in that dude that is or isn’t texting you back, it isn’t going to be when finally lose those pesky five pounds, or when you start making more money.  We have ONE LIFE, mamas.  We deserve to be happy NOW.

Guys like it when _______________.  Um, can I be vain for a second?  I’m gorgeous, I’m intelligent, I’m eloquent and articulate, I’m a good mom, I have a hell of a work ethic, and I am loyal.  But guess what?  My man STILL went sniffing else where!  Does it hurt like hell?  YES.  GOD yes.  But then I have to remember, that what he is doing has NOTHING to do with me.  I could make each meal from scratch, I could sing his praises, I could make hundreds of thousands of dollars, but guess what?  It still wouldn’t be enough.  So I’ve recognized you gotta do YOU.  I’ve been taking a hardddd look out at the world mamas.  You know what I see?  I see women out there with cellulite and roots for days and extra weight around their middles.  I hear women with the most annoying laughs, I see women wearing fugly clothing.  But you know what else I see?  I see these women with their men firmly planted next to them.  I see these men look at these women like they are the only ones in the room.  Their men love them all the same.  Their men know that at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much you weigh or if you are keeping up with the latest styles.  Ladies, there are men out there that will love every damn flaw and imperfection that you have.  There are men out there that will cherish you and protect you and honor you.  It has nothing to do with your weight, what you shave, how you dress, the house you keep, or you food you do or not make.  ALLLL of that is superficial.  All you need to worry about is taking the best care of yourself that you can, and love will follow.  (And was that a speech I just made to myself?  Yes, yes it was.)

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My boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/partner handles that.  Uh, I lived here for a LONG time.  I stuck my head in the sand about a lotttt of things in my marriage because it was just easier, there was less fighting, and less worrying if I just let my husband handle certain things.  But you know what?  I truly gave away my power by doing this.  We did not function as a team.  I turned my head away from finances, I let him choose where we would stay on trips, if something was up with the cable/dishwasher/anything, he was the one making the phone calls.  I didn’t show up.  Emily didn’t show up.  She let someone else do it for her.  That ain’t cool and it shouldn’t be that way.  I have so much to say!  You have so much to say and to offer!  Take the time to go over your finances together, make a phone call to the plumber even if you have no clue wtf you’re talking about, or try mowing the damn grass.  YOU can handle it mama.  You have NO clue how strong you are until you flex.  Flexxx sister.

Sorry.  OBVIOUSLY there will be times in your life when true apologies need to be made.  Can we please save our ‘sorries’ for those moments?  Sorry for being in your way, sorry for stating my opinion, sorry, but could I get a refill?, sorry this email is so long, sorry for crying, sorry for being a human being and taking up space in this world.  Ughhh.  NOOO MORE.  WHY do we do this ladies!??  Check out this opinion piece from The New York Times  by Sloane Crosley.  She makes the claim that as women, we apologize so frequently because, “being perceived as rude is so abhorrent to women that we need to make ourselves less obtrusive before we speak up.”  Keep track of your sorries.  Seriously.  You may say the word far more often than you actually recognize.  You don’t have to apologize for taking up space, sister.  You are worthy.  Sorry, I’m not sorry.  (I had to.)

She makes the claim that as women we apologize so frequently because, “being perceived as rude is so abhorrent to women that we need to make ourselves less obtrusive before we speak up.”

I don’t have time for _____________.  No, actually you do have time.  Here’s a little secret you may or may not know: If you want it mama, you’ll make the time.  But here’s another secret I’m gonna let you in on: You just have to recognize that you are worth taking the damn time.  My kids are my life.  Right?  Like, every other person reading this will say the same thing.  But you know what?  My kids are just fine.  They are thriving, they are intelligent, they are loving human beings.  What they need is a healthy mom.  So it is my responsibility as an empowered human being to take the time for myself- to see my friends, to go to the gym, to write this damn blog!  I deserve it!  YOU deserve it!  If you never make the time for yourself, you’ll burn out.  You can’t keep saying, it will happen later, or I’ll take time for myself after _________.  Make the time NOW, sister.  And I’m gonna just say it… we all have the same amount of time in the day as the Queen Bey.  We owe it to Bey to take the time for ourselves!!!

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So can we stop saying this nasty things to ourselves and to others?  Can we empower ourselves to try new things, give ourselves grace and permission to live our best lives?  Please let me know what you think of this latest post!  Share if you think someone else would benefit from this message.  Empower yourself, empower others, and spread that shit around like it’s confetti, mama.  Thanks for reading.

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