#lessonslearned The Self Abuse Stops Here

Hey kids and welcome to the New Year!!!! We are fabulously floating into the 2nd month of the year and everything is just amazing. Let me tell you between getting married (yea I OFFICIALLY have a husband…tuh ), seeing the love from all of our family and and launching a podcast things seems to be looking up. But honestly because of my personality and thought process I’m waiting for a the sky to fall or something horrible to happen. Why because god forbid that HE, meaning God, loves me that much to just be freaking happy. But I have to remind myself that God really does love me THAT much and I really do deserve to be happy.

That leads to today’s topic…..Self abuse: beating yourself down because you failed or didn’t meet a goal or you just don’t think you deserve to be as happy as you are at the moment. As you can see I am guilty of this. Why….I don’t actually know. But here are ways I combat it…..
1. I forgive myself- doesn’t even matter if I did someone wrong or if I missed a deadline. I forgive myself and move on to the next task.
2. I improve self talk- no need to call myself a failure and stay in a place of self imposed shame. Nope I think about things I did correct in the situation and focus on that. Instead talking down on myself I tell myself “Hey ot may have not turned out the way you wanted it to but guess what you handled this, this and this a lot better than what you would have in the past”. See make the switch from negative to positive.
3. I implement positive rewards for positive behaviors but I don’t punish myself for mistakes. Yep I give myself a pat on the back for the positives. That goes along with #2.
4. I make myself move forward whether things go right or wrong. No need to wallow in the past, whether it happened 5 years ago or 5 minutes, I have to keep progressing.
I found that stopping self abuse helped me understand that everyone isn’t perfect, I gained a lot of patience and it helped me to find the good in others. Treat yourself better, the world is already hard enough. Why make it harder by abusing yourself?

Check out the Confessions From A Red Couch podcast bimonthly on every major listening platform.

Confessions from a Former Control Freak

Hey kids!!! I’m back from one of the greatest experiences in my life. I married my bestfriend and gained even more amazing family. Goodness the amount of love I felt on that day was just indescribable. It’s funny that it was only about 3 years ago when I thought I could never feel or would never allow myself to feel the love that I feel every single day now. It took some time, work, and prayer to get me to where I am today. Please believe I am so happy I’m here.

Okay, for all this “growth” let’s talk about where I came from. Not because I want to dwell in the past but I want to remember where I never want to go back to.

My life as a control freak or the politically correct term “type A personality” was absolutely full of umm stress and anxiety. It was utterly exhausting trying to control every single thing around me. At times I knew I looked like a crazy woman. Always trying to control my family to do what I wanted. Always wanting my students and athletes to be the best EVEN if it meant not giving an inch to let them actually have fun (well not my athletes…I made sure they had a good time 🤷🏾‍♀️ call me biased).

I knew changes had to be made and fast. Things were so bad that I couldn’t control my emotions. I could never have the appropriate emotional response to situations. I would laugh when I should have been sad. Instead of expressing my anxiety I would become enraged or just flat out break down. It was so bad I couldn’t even celebrate joyous occasions, always thinking the worst would happen instead of just enjoying the moment.

So here are ways that I began to deal with all of this:

1. I stopped thinking I knew how others would react. The dumbest thing in the world is trying to predict others reactions. You are not them (I had to scream this to myself in the mirror). Everyone is not you and you are not them. How you react to a situation is not the same way someone else will. Stop thinking you can control people’s reactions.

2. Stop making up situations in your head. It’s not reality its your own imagination. If you have a negative way of thinking then chances are EVERY situation you come up with is going to end horribly. For me this is so I wouldn’t get my hopes too high if things didn’t go my way which is utterly ridiculous because nothing has really been a life ending experience. Might not have felt good going through some things but I’m still here.

3. You can’t control people’s feelings about you. I have written a post about not being everybody’s cup of tea and there’s nothing you can do about it. And guess what most times you can’t change it, but it has nothing to do with you. You have to be able to keep on living regardless of the thoughts others have about you.

4. You can only control what you have direct influence over. Your thoughts, your actions, your emotions and your response. That’s it!! You can’t control anything else but this. So why not make sure all of these are filled with positivity, genuineness, truth and love. That’s all you can control.

Once I began living a this truth my life started changing for the better. Do I still have to remind myself of these things….umm yeah. It’s easy to fall back into the same pit falls but I don’t stay in them. I keep moving forward one day at a time.

We did it lol ❤

#lessonslearned: The Great Beginning

Hey kids!!! I kinda of jumped in this series #lessonslearned without really giving a background of why I even started this blog in the first place. So let’s go back down memory lane *cues Back down Memory Lane by Minnie Riperton* (Awwww yeah)

Confessions From A Red Couch was born out of frustration. I was frustrated with life. My job sucked, my relationship was dying, my mental health sucked and it was affecting my physical health. I was having frequent debilitating panic attacks and migraine headaches. I had lost some of my pillars of strength in life. I had just been diagnosed with a blood clot that appeared out of thin air. My hope was gone. My faith was gone. I couldn’t pray….matter of fact I didn’t even know what to pray. I was mad at everyone including God and felt there was no where to turn (depressing right).

So one Saturday night when I was confined to my house (Dr ordered time at home) I figured I would change my surroundings in the house. So I went to my library/front room (I call it the creamsicle room) and sat on my red couch and started writing EVERYTHING I was feeling that would have led me to commit suicide in that room. Every hurt, every pain, every frustration, EVERYTHING. I would cry, write and sleep (this was the cycle for 2 days) and when I finished I finally prayed. I finally opened my mouth and talked to God. I finally let God heal my heart and dry my tears. I finally let go and at the moment of release God presented me with the name “Confessions From the Red Couch”.

Now it still wasn’t easy. I always thought who in the world could want to read my ramblings. Who would actually read this foolishness? No one will be able to relate to me and my own personal pity party. Everytime I would write an entry someone would inbox me saying how my transparency helped them. Someone would always send an email about how they don’t feel alone in their situation.

I never expected this blog to really be anything, just a place to rant, but it helped save my life. God allowed me an outlet for not only me but for others. Am I rich from blogging? Nope. Do I do this for monetary gain? I want to some day, but for now I’m writing for the simple fact that I owe it to God to share my experiences with others. Are things better now than when I first started blogging? Yep, but it’s not perfect, and I’m okay with that. I’ve learned so much about myself and how to maneuver through life a little bit better.

Well….that’s all folks lol I really appreciate those who have stuck with me as a have traversed this thing called life for the past 4 years. Yall have stuck with me through a lot and for that I am thankful. Since the holiday season is upon us I’m only going to post once in November and December. I really need to spend time with my family and loved ones without any distractions. 2019 be ready for a totally revamped blog, a new podcast and some good old “merch” (aka merchandise). I love you guys be safe and keep being amazing ❤

I said yes to my dress all while being bossy lol
My blessings right here…..my hearts ❤
Me and my love…..✊🏾 Forever

#lessonslearned Dump that toxic baggage

Let’s talk about what afflects us all…..baggage. Some baggage we can chalk up to lessons learned and some of it is just garbage we need to burn in a trash heap. As much as we’d like to say that “Oh girl I’m good, just happy to be out of it” or “You know I’m just happy I can move forward to better” we still have to deal with the issues that we carry from the toxic dump nuclear waste of a situationship.

1. Take responsibility for your actions and responses only. If you did all you knew how to please the other person then that’s all that matters. You can only be responsible for the things that you can do physically and emotionally. In relationships whether friend, family, or significant other we tend to judge the success based on the response of others to our actions. You can not, I repeat, YOU CANNOT control someone else’s response to your best intentions.

2. Each situation is not like your last. Take each new relationship as a new beginning. They are not like the last person so quit treating and making them seem like they are. You have every right to wish the best in every new situation until you have a reason not to. But do not hold others responsib\nle for your hurt feelings.

3. Let go of the guilt. Things don’t work out for a reason. As humans we crave the constant praise and accolades for how well we are doing. That’s not life and most times you get it wrong. That’s okay!! If this relationship went horrible quick, whether it was your fault or the other parties fault, get up, forgive yourself and move forward. Holding on to the guilt from your past mistakes can keep from moving forward, in life and relationships.

I know it may seem like things won’t get better but I promise they will. I’m trying to make you understand that you have control of being a victim or a victor. Focus on the positives and moving forward. Life and relationships aren’t always about the good times, more so can you be a survivor and flourish through what life brings you. You learn from every interaction in your life. Please don’t let one or two keep you from living your best life ❤

You know just looking cute for my fiance and what not

#lessonslearned Planning a Wedding Is Not My Jam

Here we are on the cusp of October and I’m tired of trying to plan a wedding. I’m not this girl. I’m not even mentally prepared for this whole ordeal. There’s so many other things I can think of to do with this wedding budget. There are other things I can do with this time!! There are other things I can do besides figure out which flowers I’m going to carry down the aisle(which I’m not carrying btw brooch bouquet). I really don’t care honestly. All of this stress for 30 min….I’d rather plan for the rest of eternity that we are going to spend together. So this post is just a rant about the things I’d rather do besides this….

1. I’d rather elope!! Yep I said it. I rather throw on a dope dress and him look dapper in a suit and it’s just us and a few family members who will stand with us.

2. I don’t have anyone who REALLY knows me to bounce ideas around with. I’m busy, their busy, life is busy. I feel like I’m alone in a sea of tasks and I can’t communicate what I want or how I feel. People forget that I haven’t dreamed about this stuff. None of my vision boards, vision statements or anything ever had wedding plans on it. I just never thought this would happen.

3. Why all the hooplah for 30 min? Like for what, I don’t get it.

4. I see why people go to the courthouse and get it out the way.

5. I want to put the money we are saving for this small wedding

into something else; eliminating debt, down payment on a bigger house, a dream trip. You know something for us.

6. I’m tired of trying to drop weight for this day. I just want to be fluffy and fabulous. I’m 36 and this weight seems to want to stay with me so I think I’m just going to let it stay.

7. I’m tired of thinking about tshirts, charms, matching outfits etc for my nonbridesmaids and non participants of the wedding. Like I already didn’t want a wedding party but I feel bad about not getting things for my nonbridesmaids.

8. I honestly don’t want to try on another wedding dress. I hate them!

9. I should be enjoying this process with the women of my family but they have other things to do and I guess since I’m not making it important they aren’t either. Energy matches energy.

10. I honestly just want to lay in my bed huddled under the covers. My anxiety is at an all time high about this whole thing. I thought I was supposed to be happy doing all this right? But I feel like now I’m doing it more to impress other people who aren’t contributing financially to this whole stupid endeavor.

11. Okay last one….I really can’t involve everyone because everybody likes to interject their vision of their wedding into your’s and I don’t want it.

Maybe I’m just emotional because my uterus is trying to escape my body as I type. Or maybe I’m just done. And even with writing this I still think we should elope. I’m over this process. But whatever I guess whatever will happen is going to happen 🤷🏾‍♀️

Here are some pictures from my horrible experience at a chain bridal store. I hated every minute of it. The dresses I liked didn’t come in my size and the dresses in my size aged me almost 10 years. I go to a smaller bridal boutique next weekend that caters to curvy girls. I’m hoping the experience is better.

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Everyone doesn’t love like you….#lessonslearned

Sooooo….. hey kids. I’ve been laboring with writing this past month because I’m trying to be more consistent and make sure I’m offering content that is engaging. In truth, I’m tired lol. Teaching at a new school, starting a really big project at my church, planning a wedding (please tell my girls to stop trying to form a nonexistent wedding party lol) and everything else life has to offer has been exhausting. Adulting is fun and sucks all at the same time lol But anyway…. I digress.

This lesson was extremely hard for me to learn through life, and I’m still learning it. I could never understand the concept of mutual love because I’ve always felt that if I show you how I love you should be able to mirror it. But how many of us have felt this way? I mean it’s really not that hard right….. WRONG. Everyone is different, everyone comes from different backgrounds, and EVERYONE has learned how to love differently.

When I was younger I ALWAYS had issue with relationships with other people: family, loved ones, friends, significant others, because I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t love just like me. I mean by gift and profession I am a teacher, I make it simple: I do, we do, you do. I’ll even draw a diagram, sing a song, build a model, whatever they needed to learn how I love. But this NEVER worked, not even with my family. Why, because while I was trying to teach them how to love me I wasn’t paying attention to how THEY wanted to be loved. So busy screaming and throwing tantrums while yelling “LOVE ME LOVE ME”, that I wasn’t listening to their silent pleas of “but this is how I want you to love me”.

It wasn’t until I was about 29-30 (goodness that seems so long ago….I feel decrepit) when I discovered that everyone had a different way of loving or even showing love. How? Because I hurt some people who really loved me but I was too selfish to accept the way they loved. Like I’ve always said, I AM NOT PERFECT! Nor do I ever pretend to be, but I caused some really bad blood because I was too immature to see that they were doing the absolute best that they could. So after apologizing and accepting myself for the jerk that I could be I started a journey of loving, listening, and observing. Yep…. you have to actually be active in this thing called love.

I needed a change and so I went on a lovely journey. I learned to listen and pay attention to others. I read books on types and ways to love. I stopped forcing people to love me in a way I saw fit and started understanding how and why people loved they way that they loved. It was a hard journey. I had to develope boundaries but it’s been great. My advice to you is to listen and observe. Don’t be selfish and self centered. The world does not revolve around you and neither does the sun rise and set on your behind. Love is a give and take. Just make sure you’re giving and taking is equal. Don’t get out of balance and end up empty. Keep loving, living and listening ❤

Hey 36 ❤

Remix!!!!!

Hey kids!!! After a month hiatus and regrouping I am back!!! Child I have been strategizing and in the kitchen wrist twisting like a stir fry. I have decided to take this thing to a different level because well it’s time to step out on faith and stop being scary (because faith without works makes you frustrated and stressed out). So please know there will be adjustments, hiccups and mess ups but I need you to pray my strength that I keep moving forward ❤

With that being said I’m going to start #lessonslearned. I just think it’s necessary to share the things I and many others have learned in life. Lessons are important to share because sometimes you just need to know that you aren’t alone or you just need guidance. I’m not saying that I’m super amazing at this thing called life but maybe you can learn some things from the many times I’ve bumped my head or just hit it out of the park (which feels like it has been few and far in between).

I’m super excited to be taking this journey and taking this blog more seriously than in the past. I love your comments and I’m totally open to CONSTRUCTIVE feedback. With that being said, I’m going to say this as nice as I possibly can: I’M STILL PETTY DO NOT COME FOR ME.

Live and love your life ❤ New posts coming soon: Everyone Doesn’t Love like You Do

Braiding chair confessions

This has been the first time I’ve had time to sit and type since the beginning of the year. I had a whole plan to do a re-launch of my blog and book this year and then guess what happened…..LIFE! Life hit me like a ton of bricks at the beginning of this year and I’m so glad that today is a new day. Thank goodness I can start over and return to the plan at hand but until then let’s talk about some things.

Okay in this season I’m learning how to forgive and be forgiven. I’m too old to hold grudges or even think about holding one. I’m at a point where instead cutting everyone off, I need to understand everyone’s actions aren’t done to spite me. I’m realizing that everyone makes mistakes and the mistakes that aren’t detrimental to my health or well being can be forgiven and moved past. I don’t want to be that woman that can’t have healthy relationships with people. I don’t want to be that mean spiteful lady that no one wants to get close to. I just want to love and be loved, without judgement or alterior motives.

I will never be perfect. I’ve tried it and it gets me in more trouble than just being myself. I’m learning how to be more truthful about my faults. I procrastinate, I hate it when things aren’t done my way, I know I’m supposed to see things as black and white but I can’t. Because of all these things I do things that everyone can’t understand. But I do know I’m loyal and I will put everyone else’s needs above mine. It’s who I am. I choose to accept my faults and others. If I know I’m not perfect I can’t expect anyone else to meet some ridiculous standard I have set.

I’m learning to listen to people to hear them and not just to give a response. I want to hear what people are saying now instead of just defending my point. We are so caught up with trying to make sure we say what we need to say that we can’t HEAR what people are trying to communicate. Just a bunch of noise…..that’s all I hear is noise when people talk. I’m tired of noise.

All this to say 35 is forcing me to grow up. I don’t want to participate in childish games anymore. It’s tiring and making me look old and put on stress weight. I just want to live and let live. Love without parameters and enjoy those who want to be enjoyed.

I didn’t want to be her again….

Hey guys….. I’ve been MIA and I apologize. I wanted to write something else but this wouldn’t leave me alone so……

I don’t want to be that girl anymore. Yeah she might be skinnier, a little more attractive, a little easier but nah I don’t want to be her. See back then she used to sweat the small stuff. She used to allow what others thought and said about her drive her crazy. So she tried to fit a mold. A mold that she wasn’t ever meant to fit. A mold that no one can ever fit.

That girl was full of anxiety and unsure about her future. She believed many lies that were told to her and that she told herself. She believed that she was unlovable. Something proven to her by people who she thought cared about her. They would provide lip service but could never back it up with action.

So instead of living she just existed. There was no drive, there was no purpose, she was just there. Until one day something inside of her screamed to be released. Someone who she had lost so long ago. She decided to let her free. Free to be whoever she wanted to be. That’s when I found me. I was finally comfortable in my own skin being who I was supposed to be. No more pretending, just living the life I really wanted to live.

Now I understand those experiences have shaped and molded me. I may not be perfect but I can tell you I’m definitely content and happy (and maybe just a little exhausted).

*I ain’t het no more!!!*

How are you taking care of YOU??

Before we get started let’s talk a little bit about dating….well not talk, I’m going to give dating tips based on my mistakes in the past. So here goes:

Dating Tip #1: Do not assume you are a couple without discussing with the other party. Make sure you talk about this with the person you are dating. A lot of times we start doing “couple things” when the other person is still on “single things”. Be a grown up and talk about your relationship goals in the beginning so both parties know what they are getting into and you won’t end up in a “situationship”.

Okay okay,with that being said can you believe we are already in the 3rd month of the year, 1/4th of the way through 2016? How has your year been? Me personally, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve gotten angry and I released a lot. I think what I’m trying to tell you is I have been living life in 2016. Getting rid of old baggage (hopefully not replacing it with new), holding on to things that are dear, and experiencing new and old feelings. I am accepting the things that feel right to me and rejecting the things that I know are not good for me. I am totally embracing the thought of self-care.

Okay What is this self-care?

I am making sure that I take care of myself mind, body and soul. Self care for me is taking myself into consideration before I make any decisions. It means being what’s called “selfish” and thinking about how an outcome will affect me as well as all parties involved. It has helped me say “no” more than I say yes. Self-care is me taking into consideration Janae.

How did this come about?

Well I guess we can say it started after my blood clot (yea I know old story….scary but old). It made me realize that the only person that is responsible for looking out for my health and well-being is myself….NO ONE ELSE. No one owes me anything in this world not even my family (even though I swear they love me more than I love myself some time lol). I have to make sure that Janae is stable every day, hour, minute, and second of my life. To ask someone to take responsibility for this is placing your life and future in someone else’s hands, even though you have no clue of their true intentions for your life (doesn’t sound all that appealing to an ex-control freak).

What are my ways to achieve self-care?

  1. I take time to clear my mind and focus. I know the new term is “being mindful” (yep my therapist taught me this…..say what you want but don’t judge) but I call it being true to my moment. I take time to sit and reflect. I may reflect on the day, a particular moment of the day, or just what is happening at that exact moment. This helps me to figure out what’s happening in my life and what I can control and what I can not. It helps me put all things into perspective. It helps me to calm my mind and get to a state of calmness. Like I said I’m an ex-control freak, so everything in life seemed as though it was urgent….but most of these things I had not control over. Do you know how crazy it is to try to control person (parents I know how you feel lol)?
  2. I totally watch what I put into and what I do to my body. Oh goodness before June 2015 I did not care what I did to my body as long as it made me feel good (no not drugs come on now man….). Alcohol (oh I still partake within reason), cigars (yes I used to partake), nasty greasy processed foods, omg and anything that was sweet and chocolate covered (Lil Debbie don’t owe me nothing) I was getting it in. Then I had looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize the women I knew 2 years before that. Sure I maintained a look of beauty (Lots of make up and eyeliner) but inside I was not okay. My blood pressure was high, stress levels were off the chart and I could not sleep worth a damn. I was poisoning myself slowly in the name of self care….I mean self pleasure…..or maybe just a way to numb the feeling of being totally out of control. So I bought a fit bit, I get my rest and I make sure I eat great natural unprocessed food. Sounds simple and guess what….it is!! I just committed to a different life style and surrounded myself with people who want the same. So now when I get the urge to indulge I think about the way it will make me feel past the moment it has touched my tongue.
  3. I was able to rid myself of toxic relationships (whether they left me or I left them). I never like ending relationships until I feel like they are detrimental to my health and even then I will hold on as long as I can. I lost two relationships last year and didn’t realize how good I was without them. Lol my blood pressure is down, stress level is normal, and I don’t have to worry about deciphering lies and half-truths anymore or playing detective to find out the real truth.

So ladies and gentlemen to sum this up I am taking care of myself. I’m listening to my body and making sure Janae is okay. Remember there is only one you in this world and its your job to make sure all of your needs are being met no one else’s. Nobody owes you anything in this world and they dang sure don’t have the responsibility of taking care of you. Have a beautiful March and we shall talk again soon!! Love yourself 🙂

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March has been no make up month…..just another way to love the natural me 🙂