10 Reasons You Shouldn't Celebrate Valentines Day

10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Celebrate Valentine’s Day

My views on Valentine’s Day and romance are very unusual according to some of my friends. However, one universal fact for anyone who is currently in a relationship… Valentine’s Day (the commercialized version of it anyway) should be celebrated every day, not just February 14th. However, for the sake of entertainment and pure culture tradition, let’s all get hype and excited because it’s the season to do so.

Nevertheless, I firmly believe that with the romance bug in the air and everyone desperately seeking to get shot in the butt by cupid, there should be some healthy truth being pointed out. Not the kind of truth that haunts your mind like knowing that the majority of the people you know will all be having sexual relations at the exact same time on February 14th. I’m talking about the reasons why some of you shouldn’t celebrate this holiday. I’m so serious. Whether you are making yourself look crazy, you’re hating on others, or you are just not a good person, I’m listing the top 10 reasons why you should have a seat on V-day, probably permanently.

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Gaptoothdiva writes about the selfless movement of #deedaday

Join the #DeedADay Movement to Bring Joy to Yourself & Others.

It’s important to me to do some good in this world. I know what it feels like to have nothing and to have no one to turn to, when I needed help. If you’ve ever been in that situation, you’ll understand the kind of pain that you experience when you’re in need. After everything that I’ve went through in my life, I feel that in what I call my “borrowed time”, I would like to spend it doing more good for others and being there for anyone who needs it. Isn’t that why we go so hard every day, to be able to provide for ourselves and others? Well thankfully I discovered a cool and interesting way to give back daily and to remind myself that every little small selfless act is enough to change the world.

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Interview with Author and Empowerment Speaker Aynoit Ashur about surviving domestic violence

Interview with Empowerment Speaker Aynoit Ashur on Surviving Domestic Violence and Unhealthy Relationships [LISTEN]

I always want to encourage people, especially those that have suffered abuse and unhealthy relationships in the past. I figured who better to give them advice and to tell their story than Aynoit Ashur is an empowerment speaker. She is someone who now uses her experiences to inspire and educate those needing support transitioning from abusive relationships to a lifestyle full of self-love.

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The Secret to Saying NO to Freeloaders & People Who Are Always Look For a Hookup

The Secret to Saying NO to Freeloaders & People Who Always Look For a Hookup

I don’t care if you run a business, work a 9 to 5, lead a family, or a little bit of everything, there will always be someone that will ask you to hook them up with something free or do them a favor. Having a giving spirit is a blessing, but when the wrong people take wind of that generous side of you, it can also be a burden sometimes. Of course you want to see people smile, you want people to love you, and you want everyone that comes within 2 feet of your presence and aura to be happy with loving and nice things to say about you. However, at what cost? Being a giving person is awesome but if the price you pay is a hefty sum of your sanity and self-respect, it’s time to reevaluate your giving strategy.

Examples of the Types of People I’m referring to…

  • Someone who is always asking for money or for you to pay for things that they want.
  • People who ask for free merchandise out of your store or business with no intention of paying for it.
  • Someone who keeps asking for your clothing, shoes, electronics or devices, or to borrow your car.
  • People who enlist you for projects that they’re doing without discussing compensation
  • Someone who wants to barter items and favors that you don’t want
  • Individuals who use their relation to you/the amount of years you’ve known them as an excuse for why you should do something for them.
  • Anyone who gets mad because you said “no” or “I’ll think about it”

Consider why you can’t say no or why the way you say no isn’t translating for those that need to hear it. For me, my issue was confrontation and my unfiltered way of speaking. Often I think back on the days when I didn’t care how people felt about my words or actions and how often I would find myself in verbal (and sometimes physical) confrontations. I don’t want to be that person again, nor do I want to push myself into that mood of being defensive or aggressive. I also had an issue of not biting my tongue. I grew up in an environment where you had to have tough skin. Family and friends would say some very straight forward and harsh things, that may or may not be true, and you would just have to suck it up. So when I speak, I find myself thinking about the person who’ll receive my unfiltered words and how I could very well hurt them. Despite being stretched to my capacity or overwhelmed beyond belief when someone asked something of me, I was always ready and willing to make them happy or to see them smile.

All that “Yes” can lead to some negative responses down the road. Not only will you start to feel animosity for going above and beyond your comfort and energy level, but you’ll also start to think perhaps maybe you’re being taken advantage of. How many times have you replayed the conversation in your head or tallied all the favors and deals you handed out to a certain individual until it made you steaming mad? How often do you roll your eyes, suck your teeth, or cursed a tight lip verbal lashing under your breath because you were frustrated by how often you were being pulled into doing something for someone that you honestly couldn’t or didn’t want to do? I used to find myself fuming about the situation, knowing the whole time it was my fault for failing to say I wouldn’t or couldn’t approve the request.

The secret to saying “No!” to the things you don’t want to do is knowing first of all that regardless of how this person reacts, I’m still blessed. Don’t be afraid to lose friends, family, or opportunities because you chose to say “no”. Know that you are still a good person no matter what. Often you’ll find someone try to take you on an unsolicited guilt trip, but whatever…. You don’t have to do anything unless you want to.

I’m all about communication these days, so don’t shy away from saying what you need to say. I used to look back and come up with ways to say no, after the fact, but at the time I was too afraid it would hurt someone’s feelings. Nowadays, I realize that my sanity and well-being are equally, if not more important than all the favors I could do for everyone. If I can’t take care of myself, I won’t be around healthy enough to do anything for anyone.

Best Ways I’ve Learned to Say “No!”

  • I’m sorry I don’t have time in my schedule for XYZ, however I know someone that may be able to help you with that…
  • I appreciate the fact that you like XYZ, many of my customers love it as well. However, since it’s only $XXX I’m sure you can understand that you’re getting it at a deal.
  • I value my business/time & I would love to help you. What’s your budget for XYZ, so that I can if we have anything that will specifically fit your needs?
  • I understand times are hard, however I do request XYZ for XYZ…
  • Unfortunately, I don’t have time/the budget/the energy for XYZ, however I can suggest ….
  • I appreciate you considering me/asking me, however….

The truth is, we’ve all been soft at a time or another. It’s great to give and be the one to make people happy. However, if you find yourself feeling as if you’re being taken advantage of or you’re overwhelmed with responsibilities, it’s time to shut the favor freight down. There isn’t anything wrong with taking steps to ensure you don’t grow bitter, mean, or angry. Saying “no” and being a little more objective about what you do and for whom the favor is for is extremely healthy for your mind, body, and soul. Come home from that guilt trip already, and realize that the people who can’t handle your assertive decline to help them, probably didn’t care about you in the first place. If you start to see people fall off your contacts list of friends and family, that is just the universe’s way of making room for greater people and things. No need to do or be something that you don’t agree with to keep someone around who only comes to you for something. Stand up for yourself! Say “No!”

This is something I had to teach myself (over and over again). I appreciate being in a position to help people. I love the smile on someone’s face when I can do something positive for them. Nevertheless, with all that love and appreciation, I don’t like feeling obligated. Obligation gives me gas. I’m serious, it’s uncomfortable. I should want to give, help, donate, volunteer, etc. When I feel like a relationship, friendship, or business opportunity will be at jeopardy if I refuse or postpone, I’m not feeling it. There have been times where I hated myself for pushing myself to do things I didn’t want to do because I didn’t want to upset someone else. Don’t be that person. I gave up on trying to impress people a while ago, and nowadays I don’t tolerate just anything. So if saying “no” makes anyone uncomfortable, I bid thee farewell. I’m only doing what I want to do…. With no obligation, no favors, or hookups… unless I want to.

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What or Who Do You Have a Problem Saying No To?

Interview with Wykinnya Whitehurst 'Things Collected Along The Way' - Surviving Abuse & Self Hate

Interview with Wykinnya Whitehurst ‘Things Collected Along The Way’ – Surviving Abuse & Self Hate [LISTEN]

No matter how alone you feel, you are not alone. There are so many people out there who are or have struggled with some of the same issues you have. I had the pleasure of speaking with local author Wykinnya Whitehurst, of “Things Collected along the Way” a book she wrote where she gives impactful advice on how to survive abuse and self-esteem issues.

Wykinnya knew pain. She describes pain as as being “small and unworthy” and she didn’t want anyone else to feel the same way that she felt growing up. She has suffered as early as 6 years old and gives all credit to God, who she recognizes pulled her through.

“Even though I didn’t love myself, I knew God loved me. I knew my life was worth more”

“I never had faith, it was through my trials that I got my faith. That’s how I overcame and how I made it”

LISTEN to our full interview below:

“At age 11 I felt God arms wrap around me…”

Wykinnya first attempted suicide at age 9 years old. She says that she asked herself why she was here and alive. She didn’t understand why God would put her on earth to be mistreated. She felt that she had no reason to be here. She admits to not caring for herself. She states that she didn’t feel the love that a child needed to thrive, she didn’t feel properly cared for or appreciated. She was looking for her mother’s love, but only discovered a huge void on her life.

“I expected my mother to love and protect me. My expectation of what a mother is supposed to be, was not what I got.”

“I didn’t realize until her death, that she [my mother] only loved me the way she knew how. Despite that not being enough for me.”

She admitted to her family at 14 years old, that she wanted to die. She looked for a sense of concern and a reaction from her mother. When Wykinnya didn’t get that from her mother she felt despair.

The turning point for Wykinnya, about four years ago, was when she started to accept herself and developed a strong desire to connect with others who struggled with the same issues.

“Just because I’m going through something right now alone, doesn’t mean someone else isn’t going through it as well”

Wykinnya states that her book is something anyone can read. She said that once she connected with God, she realized that her life was not hers. Through growing up and doing what she calls soul searching, she had to learn to love herself.

“If you are feeling alone or lonely, God loves us all. No matter what it looks like, have faith. Only if you want it. You have to really want it, but you’ll get what you put out. The results are still the same.”

Wykinnya wants everyone to read her book, and allow her quotes to resonate with you no matter where you are in your life.

Purchase Things Collected Along the Way at http://www.Dreamoutloudd.com or Amazon.com