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It’s never too late to Love Yourself. 

Have you ever met someone who is beautiful both inside and out? There’s a light shining out of their proverbial backside and yet they’re the only ones completely unaware of its existence. A  fine line, it seems, between humility and low self esteem. 

A lot of people I’ve met in my travels have this ‘Achilles heel’, sometimes buried deep under layers of affected confidence. Convinced they’re unattractive, lack humour, skill or are just generally unworthy.

The more I learn, the more I feel like our psychological make up is not unlike onion skin. Layer upon layer upon layer with each being so closely connected that using the wrong stimulus, you will cut through to the core with an ease that can be paralysing. A dangerous thing indeed to be without protection at all! 

When a sense of self worth is crushed in childhood, it can send ripples of repercussion far into your future, invading relationships and interactions with others like a cancer. It isn’t restricted to these formative years; the wrong teachers, managers, partners and sometimes our own internal dialogue can be a diabolical nemesis that you don’t have to go too far to encounter but can never seem to escape. 

Self esteem and self worth go hand in hand and I find that it’s something that can definitely be increased – or built on – with A.       either the right environments (people?) or pressures. To be or not to be..

On this basis do we pick friends or partners for ourselves. People that compliment our attributes or are able to add something that we ourselves lack. The ying to the yang. 

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The Good Parent. 

Plenty of us are parents. 
Married parents, single parents, divorced parents, young parents, late in life parents, widowed parents, accidental parents, blended family parents with stepchildren, step-parents, step cats and step dogs.

In my book, there are only good parents and there are bad ones. 
It’s just that black and white. 

Good parents are not those who go through parenthood without error. Far from it. They make mistakes. Many mistakes. Honest mistakes, common mistakes, sometimes earth shattering ones.  
But they learn from them. 
They don’t have to be with anyone to be good parents. 
Some single parents are vastly superior in terms of versatility, time management and problem solving then those who have significant others to rely on. 

But they all start off in the same melting pot. Partial versions of their own parents. 

Because – just as in infancy – we learn from our environment and those closest to us. We don’t know anything else.

As adults facing parenthood though, this period of growth and uncertainty is accelerated because we already have ideas. And will have made certain conclusions or put plans in motion before our little twinkles have graced us with their presence. 

I’m a parent of four myself. I often open my mouth and I am surprised when out comes my mother. I’ve even stopped myself in mid-sentence. We’ve all heard the cliches about ‘turning into ones parents’. My mother was by no means a bad mother; she’s been my inspiration and a tower of strength & knowledge for as long as I can remember. But the evolution of parenting means that you spend your own parenthood sifting through how you were parented (brought up), how others around you were brought up and your longings (sometimes unfulfilled) as a child and you try to make changes for the better for your own.

Bad parenting, on the other hand, isn’t restricted to abuse (physical or psychological). 
It is those parents who coddle their children to the extent that they are incapable of standing on their own two feet and seek relationships where their partner assumes the caring role of parent and looks after them. 

It is the parents who force their children to look after them, instead of the other way around and so produce adults who seek to care for without regard to their own deserved happiness and wellbeing.  

It is those who are disillusioned with their lot in life and are not happy with the individuals they have become, but instead want to live their own dreams vicariously through that child, thus forcing the child to ignore its own passions in order to receive their parents love. 

It is the parents who confuse bribery for love. Or tough discipline at all times for love. 

It is the parents who have lost touch with their inner child. 
We are all born with the propensity to give love and receive love.
Love is blind. It does not see colour, race, class, religion, political affiliation, age or any of the bullshit we come up with to excuse away other humans. 

Love is being human. 

Love sees likeness in the strangest situations. It isn’t always right but it is true. 

And just like a flower needs light, water, food and shelter to flourish – so do children. They need structure, routine, guidelines and love. And that seed you’ve been blessed with can transform into something you could never imagine. 
But choke it and plant it next to weeds, put it in a dark place and withhold water and it soon becomes this twisted, strangled excuse from which nothing good can spring forth. 

Good parents are careful. They know that they reap what they sow.

Chantal ✗

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Writers Block

So, it’s kind of in the title.
I have always loved to write. Fiction, non-fiction, songs and poems. I was one of those girls who kept a diary.

Then I turned into an adult.

Now writing is something I have to consciously make time for. And the fact of the matter is, I don’t do it nearly as often as I should.
But now I have an odd problem: wanting to write and ..

.. Yeah.

Writers block !

They say the way to push through is to just keep on writing.

I think my problem is knowing what I want to write about and not knowing how to write about it in a way that keeps emotion in check. Because, let’s face it, it is easy to get carried away on the river of sentimentality or sometimes, something darker ..

I want you – as the reader – to be pushed in a certain direction, whilst still having room for imagination to do its thing.
Unbidden. Untethered. Untamed.
Giving you the raw material and watching you build something (even I) could never have envisioned. Yeah.

Maybe tomorrow.

Chantal ✗

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A life without pain

Awwhhhhiiiieeee ! It’s times like these when I say a silent prayer of thanks for the NHS (>_<)

PS. England sucks
PPS. Hurting teeth sucks harder

Cristian Mihai

The last two weeks have been terrible. My right ear began to hurt. Then the right side of my jaw. And painkillers wouldn’t do much good. I struggled. Pain followed me everywhere, prevented me from sleeping, prevented me from properly hearing my own thoughts.

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Know Yourself

It’s so easy to get lost in other people.

Relationships, be they platonic or that other thing, can completely swamp your personality.
We are all taught that we will need to bend a little, compromise and accept the other person for who they were when we met them and who they become when they’re with us.

But where do we draw the line? Are the unspoken roles we assume at the onset, written in stone? Are some people just incompatible or do we, as a society, lack the patience to work at things and see them through to a natural conclusion?

Any relationship should surely enrich both parties. Give and take. Yin and yang. Balance. Each bringing something to the table that enables emotional stability and equilibrium. Peace and love, dude.

Yet we can gravitate to what we think we want without realising what we need. A past relationship will colour how we move forward. We seem incapable of unlearning bad habits, leaning heavily on, ‘take me as I am’ without thinking, ‘am I as good as I can be?’

Some partnerships appear literally doomed. (Star-crossed?)
Fuelled by love, lust or common ground – sadly, sometimes, children – until that one day you wake, as if from a funny dream, feeling nothing, asserting your right to happiness and chalking it down to experience as you pack your bags…

So let’s start with love. The hardest thing to tell someone genuinely, but once you’ve broken the ice, it becomes the easiest thing to say. Usually as a way of proving that we didn’t mean whatever faux pas we’re discovered to have made.
… And sometimes, because we are just so grateful to have certain people in our lives.
Love is a great motivator.
My personal feeling on love is that it’s a fluffy, beautiful, aimless emotion that has no place in a relationship unless it comes hand in hand with honesty and respect and positivity.

Love, on it’s own, is rarely enough. And is hardly unconditional, much as we might like to think it is.
(I might make an exception for the love a parent feels for its child…)

Lust? Chemical attraction, physical attraction? Wanes slightly when you realise that s/he can’t respect the toilet seat rule or habitually washes the dishes badly.
Does it decline exponentially over time? Must we jump through amazing hoops and perform great juggling acts to keep the fire burning? Can it be relegated to one person, when found in tandem with love? Shouldn’t it be effortless anyway, within reason?

And so we struggle against that most cruel mistress – time – fighting micro battles, declaring unspoken winners, assuming roles that become set in stone; the ugly side of our nature exposed in situations less and less controlled until we are raw nerves, naked and staring at ourselves in a mirror, blaming another for a monster that we do not recognise.

Know yourself.

Chantal ✗

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Hidden Rainbows

Evokes such a lovely sentiment – made me smile.

wordsoflincoln steele

word rainbow

Hidden Rainbows

Sweet prose
hidden inside
her pretty frame

the words
in her heart
a flowing spring

could form
a mist
of pretty rainbows

too shy
is she
her words to speak

so inside,
them,
she continues to keep

whispers
that could
fragment light
into wonderful colors
and arcs of delight

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(Unnamed 3) (May 2008)

Tiptoeing on shadows, am I
Fleeting contact that flees from the light
Yet its born of the light
And a child of the night
Beast of both, burden I loathe

Soldiering on feelings, am I
Unbidden gems that rely on sight
Yet they don’t use my sight
Can’t be suppressed by might
Child of rage, my minds a cage

Chantal ✗