Do Better

71-2Good Afternoon everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. I really didn’t do much besides watch tv and surf the internet and lurked a bit on social media. In fact, a Facebook conversation I had with my ex inspired me to write this post. It wasn’t drama filled really but I had an epiphany moment that I wanted to share with you all in hopes that you can gain just as much insight as I did.

Here is a bit of our back story before I get into last night’s Facebook conversation: My ex who shall remain nameless was my first everything: first love, first person I was intimate with and the first person who broke me down before he broke my heart. I was 19 when we met and was an insecure college student with no direction or purpose. I was living in Atlanta with my then friend from college and I wanted something new and exciting to happen to me like I saw on tv and in the movies. As I was leaving Wal-Mart on Labor Day in 2005, I saw this guy who was just too cute for words. He had the trendy attire on for that time (oversized white tee and baggy shorts), strategically placed tats on his arms and a fitted that completed the look. This insanely cute guy was right there in the middle of Wal-Mart’s parking lot and he was giving me the same lustful look that I was giving him. “How could this be?” I’m thinking to myself. I’m still skinny with braces and although I ditched the glasses for contacts by this time, I am still just as awkward as I was in high school so he couldn’t be remotely interested in me but indeed he was. We exchanged numbers and that was the beginning of a very stressful, emotionally volatile relationship. He knew about my insecurities because I was open and honest about my past and how I felt about myself. He used my weaknesses to manipulate me and would threaten to break up with me over petty things that he didn’t like. This happened for about 9 months and then when tragedy struck in my life right before my 20th birthday, he was cold and distant and it was then that I knew that I couldn’t be with him anymore. I had already had a lot of drama in my life from having to move 3 times to being low on funds in a place where I had almost no family and the one person I depended on, the one person who meant so much to me was emotionally (and physically) MIA. That’s when I knew that this wasn’t the man I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with. As much as I loved him, I had to love myself more.

Surprisingly, we kept in touch over the years. I would see him from time to time when I would go back to Atlanta and he visited me a few times up in Jersey but I never let myself get emotionally attached like I had previously. He apologized for the way he treated me when we were together but his actions and attitude hadn’t changed. My biggest fear was getting sucked back in to the drama and messiness that existed 10 years ago so I attempted to have boundaries in place so I wouldn’t make the same mistakes. I still wanted to stay cool with him (big mistake) so I’d entertain conversations but last night’s conversation was the nail in the coffin that really cemented the ending of any relationship that ever existed between us.

For the past year, I have been adamant about not settling for any type of non-committed relationship. In other words, I am not trying to have a friend with benefits, f*ck buddy, or be involved in a “situationship”. The next relationship I will enter will be a monogamous and committed one and we will both be on the same page as it relates to what we want from each other. Until that happens, I’ve vowed to be celibate. When I tried to explain this to my ex, he accused me of being “stuck up” and acting like I was better than him. In the past, I was guilty of fooling around with him when I wasn’t involved with anyone but once I told him that this was no longer an option, he became irate. The angry and manipulative person that I was used to seeing showed up once again and instead of continuing to explain myself to someone who never added anything positive to my life, I decided to end the conversation and wished him well. I’ve realized that to be a better person, you have to do better for yourself. Engaging in a war of words with him was not only pointless but brought me down to his level. Actions speak louder than words so instead of talking about what I want and what I will and will not tolerate, I will let my actions speak for themselves. I have nothing to prove to him or anyone else so my goal is to no longer invest time or energy into people or things that won’t benefit me physically, mentally or spiritually in the long run. Even though things between my ex and I didn’t work out, he taught me a lot about myself and helped me to see that a shared past and mutual attraction are not enough to build and sustain a meaningful and beneficial relationship. Every lesson is a blessing and I’ve learned a lot from my ex and now know that I need to let the past stay in the past.

Have you ever been in a similar situation with an ex? How did you handle it? Let me know in the comments section below! Also, be sure to like and share this post if you enjoyed reading! Check back on Wednesday for my next post 🙂

 

Until then, always remember to love and live luxuriously!

 

 

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Motivation Monday: Setbacks to Comebacks

tumblr_mle4lt1siv1qm99efo1_500Happy Monday! I was thinking about my life and how things aren’t the way I thought they would be. By 30, I figured that I would be a successful love and relationship blogger/vlogger with thousands of views. I just knew that I would be in a committed relationship on the road to marriage and that for the first time in a long time, everything would start to make sense.  Instead, I’m rebuilding my website that focuses on confidence related issues and trying to entice readers and viewers with content that will entertain and inspire. As far as my love life is concerned, I just ended a 4 year situationship and vowed to stay celibate until I find a man who wants the same things I want out of a relationship. Needless to say, I’m still single! I can’t act like I am not partly at fault for the way things are but I wondered why everyone else seemed to be ahead of me in life. I know things could be much worse and I am grateful for what I have but why couldn’t things be better? Why when it feels like I am getting to where I need to be, life throws another curveball. Why am I not attracting the right kind of people into my space instead of the commitment phobic men that keep creeping up? It took me awhile to understand but I think that all the challenges are preparing me for something bigger, something greater than I could ever imagine.

I have to go through trials and tribulations to find the light at the end of the tunnel. I had to see what I didn’t want from a man and out of a relationship to appreciate the qualities that I should be looking for in a partner. I have to know what it feels like to fail to truly appreciate the feeling of success. The struggle is my motivation because I know that I don’t want to stay in the place I am in so I have to push past all the obstacles that are in my way to get to where I need to be. Setbacks lead to comebacks as long as you keep moving forward. It is easier said than done but I know that I am destined for greatness so while the past is a great teacher that will help me in my future, I can’t let it define me. One day at a time:)

I will be live on Facebook on Wednesday night at 8pm EST. The topic is “Eliminating Limitations” and I have lots to say so make sure you tune in! Check back here for my next post on Wednesday as well.

 

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

Falling In Love With Myself

fallinginlovewithmeeditGood Morning everyone! Over the weekend, I was reflecting on my life in the (almost) 29 years I have been on this earth and how every decision has brought me to this epiphany I’ve had over the last couple of days. Even though the bad times and situations have felt like stumbling blocks, they have taught me a lot about myself and life. I thought about the person I was 10 years ago and how much I have changed and because of those changes, I view life and the people who enter it differently. I have grown a lot since I entered my first relationship 10 years ago when I was 19 and very naive when it came to love and the opposite sex. I thought that if you did everything to please your partner and showed that you were a loyal and trustworthy person, he/she would be the same way and  love would “conquer all” as the saying goes.  After dealing with emotional abuse as well as infidelity, I realized that even though being faithful and genuine wasn’t enough to save that relationship or any relationship since, love can conquer all but this only counts when the person I am in love with is myself.

For so long, I put others’ opinions and feelings before my own and would live in fear that I wouldn’t be pretty/thick/experienced/sexy enough for someone’s love and affection. I would always be the timid geeky little girl that I was growing up that was seen as smart but not confident enough to get out of her own way and try new things. I was so worried about impressing others and becoming this new and improved version of myself that I didn’t realize that I had to stop falling in love with other people and exaggerated expectations and start falling in love with myself for anything in my life to change and go in a positive direction.

Falling in love with myself isn’t an easy task. I knew that the first step required me to be brutally honest with myself. I have to work on fixing the internal mess that is going on versus trying to fix the external trying to please others. A person that truly loves themselves doesn’t settle for less than they deserve. When you love yourself, along with that love comes self-respect and when it comes to all of your relationships, you realize that anyone you are involved is a reflection of the type of person you are and the decisions you have made. I realize that after my first failed relationship, a string of other failures followed because I settled for living in undefined gray areas instead of being specific and clear about what I wanted out of the relationship from the beginning. Even though I knew that the men I was dealing with weren’t ready to commit, I settled hoping that things would change (specifically me trying to change them) instead of seeing things as they were instead of what I wanted them to be. Maya Angelou once said “When someone shows you who they are, believe them” but instead, I chose to live in an ongoing state of denial because I was afraid of being alone. This denial not only hindered me from being in a productive, balanced relationship but it also hindered me from truly loving the person that I had to face the person in the reflection staring back at me.

I am at a point now where I am not actively looking for someone to be with. I know that what is meant to be will be and if “Mr. Right for me” happens to come along, I will embrace it but my priority is to start giving “Angela Cherai” the time and attention she deserves. I say the Serenity Prayer daily asking God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference and in doing so, I have found clarity that has opened my eyes to a world of possibilities that I didn’t know were there. One of my goals is to be a living example of someone who can inspire others to want the best for themselves. I know now that a person can’t find happiness, success and positive self-worth in other people or things. He/she has to find these attributes from within and loving yourself is the foundation that everything positive is built upon. It isn’t an overnight process but everyday I am a step closer to where I need to be and my goal is for the person reading this to be where you need to be as well:)

The 1st anniversary for “Amore Luxe” is approaching (as well as my 29th birthday) so stay tuned for the month-long celebration and all the “confidence talks” to go along with it!

And as always, remember to love and live luxuriously!

Less Than Perfect

Pretty, pretty please don’t you ever, ever feel
Like you’re less than less than perfect
Pretty, pretty please if you ever, ever feel
Like you’re nothing, you are perfect to me

Pink-Less Than Perfect

Good Afternoon! I announced the launch of the “Confidence Campaign 2015” yesterday and I am so excited! There are so many issues I want to talk and have open discussions about. Confidence has an effect on every aspect of life and although we are always told that it is what’s on the inside that counts which is absolutely true but so many of us care about our appearance. We focus on what others think of us especially w hen it comes to the opposite sex and do things to appeal to them. Some may think that these thoughts start at adolescence because of peer pressure but I have seen for myself that it starts at an early age.

I am a tutor at an afterschool program and I work with kids ages 5-11 and there is this one girl who was one of the inspirations for this post. She is a cute, thin brown-skinned girl who runs  her mouth at all the wrong times and is constantly in trouble because of it. Her mother came in to the daycare one day visibly upset because her daughter got in trouble at school earlier  in the day Even though her talkative nature was worrisome, what bothered me even more was that her mom said she hardly eats anything when she’s at school or home. My mother is a Certified Teacher in Health Education and between the conversations we’ve had and the countless movies I’ve watched throughout my childhood and young adult life, I started to become worried that this little girl was showing signs of Anorexia. I pulled her aside and had a conversation with her and asked her why she didn’t want to eat and she told me that she didn’t want to get fat. I couldn’t understand why this little girl who takes ballet and has not an ounce of fat on her was so worried about being fat. It broke my heart and made me realize that working on having good self-esteem at a young age.

Children are very influenced by what they see and hear and absorb everything so we have to make sure that we put positive self-image messages out there to counteract the millions of negative messages that the media releases daily. Instead of showing size 2 models in all the advertisements let’s have size 14 models which reflects the size of the average woman in the United States. Instead of focusing so much on fad diets to lose weight quickly let’s focus on eating healthy and incorporating exercise into our daily lives to be better people, not to appease the world but for our own mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

I hope that this “Confidence Campaign’ is a gateway into further conversations about changing the way we view each other and ourselves. Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter. Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtag #confidencecampaign. This is definitely the beginning of something big! Much love to you all:)

 

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!