Relationships Will Not Make You Happier

Relationships Won't Make You Happier 1

Time and time again, I see folks posting on social media about how they are so sad because they are single. Time and time again, I want to smack them upside the head. I don’t know how many times people need to hear it, but you shouldn’t base your whole of happiness around having a partner. This is not the end game goal here. The end game goal is to be the best you possible with the best life possible. You’d be surprised just how many of the things you think will help you achieve that goal actually do not!

A study done by Lucas et al. 2003 showed a stunning fact – marriage does not increase happiness long term. Compared to happiness levels pre-marriage and after, happiness levels only increased for 1-2 years, and then dropped back down to where they were before marriage. This tells us a lot.

First – It is vital that we ensure we have a good happiness baseline before a relationship or marriage. We want to go into it as happy as possible so that way our relationship is more enjoyable and more healthy. This is also very valuable because if the relationship ends, we still walk away with a good baseline of happiness in life. We all know that relationships often aren’t forever. If you are happy person before your relationship, you will be a happy person if it ends. If you are an unhappy person who ties their happiness onto their relationship, the blow will be much harder if it ends.

Second – We really, REALLY need to stop expecting a relationship to “fix” us or magically make our lives amazing. A relationship should be viewed as icing on the cake. Your life should already be an delicious cake before you get into a relationship. It should be something you enjoy for the most part and have a lot of happiness with as it is. That way, when you meet someone special, it’s just an added bonus! You already have a life that you are happy in, now you get to add some extra goodness on top.

A relationship will not fix your issues. If you are depressed and miserable before it, you will take that into your relationship. You bring your issues into a relationship, the relationship does not magically make them all go away. This means you really need to take care of your issues before getting involved with someone. Otherwise you will be sorely disappointed when your relationship doesn’t fix everything, and you will also hurt your partner as well. That is very unfair of you to do. Fix yourself up before getting involved with another person. While none of us are perfect, we most certainly can work to be our best before getting involved with another human being.

And to really hit that message home – people are really turned off by those who don’t have their lives together, people who are an emotional mess, people who are extremely unhealthy. It’s not an attractive quality for someone who is working to improve themselves and their lives daily, and who strives to live a happy life. If you want a healthy partner, be a healthy person.

Third – Stop dumping all the responsibility for your happiness onto someone else. There is one person in particular that comes to mind because she is ALWAYS posting things on social media about her man. Things that put a ton of pressure on him, things that come off a jealous and petty, things that are very demanding. It is not you partner’s job to make you happy, nor is it the job of anyone else you know. It is YOUR job. Yes, that sucks and it’s really hard to do sometimes. There are days I want someone to swoop in and fix all my problems. Guess what? They aren’t going to! That’s my job to do.

A partner should ADD to your happiness, not be expected to provide all of it. You need to find ways to create happiness in your life. It is not up to anyone else but you to make you happy. You will end up with a very miserable partner if you continue to dump all the responsibility for your happiness on them, and more than likely they will leave you. A relationship is a partnership where two decently healthy people decide to make something of life together. They commit to being the best they can and making life the best they can. It’s a team – it’s not a dictatorship. Sorry, but you’ll have to dump the throne and the palm leaves!

So, how can you find more happiness? Here are some ways!

  • Start a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, write down a few things you are grateful for out of the day. If you have a hard time finding something, start off with writing one thing down each day. The more you do this, the more you will change your mind to pick up on the positive of situations instead of the negative. This is changing your perspective on situations and your outlook on life.
  • Write thank you notes. This seems silly in our day and age but it makes a big difference in your attitude! You can write physical thank you notes, send emails, or shoot someone a message on social media. What you are wanting to accomplish is setting your mind to pick up on the good in the people around you. When someone gives you a ride when your car broke down. When you were sick and a friend brings you soup. When someone gives you a special gift. Send them a little note to tell them that you appreciate what they did for you. Not only will it increase your happiness, but it will make the other person feel good as well! We live in a world where people aren’t appreciative as much so it will stand out to those who show you kindness.
  • Find something good in your hard situations. This is another difficult one especially if you are struggling right now. Life changes constantly and we experience many different seasons, some of which are harder than others. The goal is to find the positive in even the bleakest situations. Not only does it help you have a more positive outlook, but it also gives you more strength to keep going during tough times. When you find something positive in a situation, not all hope is lost because you were able to find good in it. This empowers you to keep moving forward.
  • Take time for you. We fill life with things that take up our time and energy, and we often forget about our own emotional needs. Set aside time for yourself daily or weekly so that you can take a little breather and recharge. Do something just for you that will relax you and help you drop off some of the stress you carry. Don’t feel guilty about telling people you aren’t available during this time! You cannot be there for others every single second, and you’re of no use to others if you are worn out and burnt out. You are important so take care of yourself!
  • Exercise. I am sure many of you are groaning while reading this. Exercise, really? Yes really! It releases endorphins which in turn increase your happiness. Even if you just go take a short walk, do SOMETHING physical. Get up and get moving daily. Not only will it make you happier, but it improves your physical health. Being healthy improves your life all around.
  • Dive into hobbies and interests that you enjoy. Do you like painting? Take a group painting class or just practice your skills at home. Do you love comics? Meet up with a group of comic fans or just spend some time browsing a comic book shop. You can find ways to enjoy these activities around others or by yourself, you just have to get creative. Having things you deeply enjoy doing will increase your happiness and it helps you create a life you enjoy living. We are wanting to have happy lives as much as possible. This is a good way to create that in your world!

What are some of the things you do to give your life more happiness?  ❤️

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Celebrate In The Joy Of Others

 

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I shared a brief version of this post on my personal Facebook page today because I repeatedly see folks complaining that others are sharing their joyful news on social media. To be very frank – this makes them look like bitter, miserable people. Who wants to be around someone like that? I sure don’t! It immediately turns me off when I see something like that. It makes me feel like those folks are not ones you could ever be happy around because they would crap all over it.

The reality is that there will be many, many times when the people around us are doing better than we are. We talk a lot about divorce and breakups here, so it is especially true for those of us who’ve recently experienced those. When you’ve just lost a relationship or marriage that you thought would be long term, it is extremely hard to see others celebrating their love and happiness. The same goes for those without jobs seeing friends talk about a promotion. Or friends who don’t have a family seeing pictures from others big family events.

But you still need to celebrate with them.

Why? For one, it is a show of love and support to the people in your life. They deserve happiness just as much as you do. When we care about someone, we want the best for them in life. If they find it, we need to be happy for them and share in their joy! This is a person that you care deeply for. They mean something to you. So you need to stop thinking about only yourself and focus on their joy. That is true friendship. Even when you are struggling, if you are willing to share in the joyful moments of those around you, that shows the amount that you care.

I make it a point to leave comments and send messages celebrating my friend’s happy moments! Is it always easy for me? NO! There are times when I physically have to swallow down my emotions of bitterness and jealousy. I do it anyway because I am determined to not let my feelings take away from their joy. And a funny thing happens when I do this….

I start to feel happier when I focus on their happiness!

Here’s what we forget – giving back is the number one way to increase happiness in your OWN life. Isn’t that crazy? You’d think that doing things for yourself would be the answer, but that actually will make you more unhappy! Putting your focus on others increases your happiness and it deepens your bond with them. It helps remind you that you are not the center of the world and that others around you deserve to be happy even if you aren’t right now. Sharing in their joy, celebrating with them, hearing them talk about it, that all increases your happiness.

I actively focus on how much I love the people in my life. So when they announce a new relationship and I’m still healing from my last one that ended badly, I am ecstatic for them! I look at what they have proudly and channel my thoughts to focus on how much they deserve it. I also think, “I’m so excited that one day I will find my own version of that happiness!” This keeps me from envying what they have because what they have is different than what is right for me. It reminds me that I may never have the happy ending that they do, but I can find my own version of that happiness that fits my life.

It is hard to have joy for others when you are going through a difficult time. But don’t become the person no one can talk to when they’re happy because you bring them down for it. Don’t be the person who rains on everyone’s parade and who only gripes about how they don’t have that. You will alienate yourself from those around you and it will only hurt you in the end.

This is a very small step you can make to impact your life, and the lives of those you care about, in a positive way. As you begin to do it regularly, it becomes habit. Those pangs will still arise sometimes. There are moments I struggle to swallow because it hurts. But they pass quickly and I’m able to focus on the joy my friends are experiencing. I am so used to being excited for my friends that it has now become second nature for me. And it can be for you as well!

Start today. Find a friend who’s sharing good news. Congratulate them and take some time to think about how great of a person they are and how happy you are for them. Think about all the ways this will benefit their life. Be excited for them! Then make it a daily practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. ❤️

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Stop Letting Love Blind You

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For some reason, love often blinds us. We can be the most intelligent, careful, cautious people, but when love comes around it is like we lose it all. Love has a way of making you think and feel and do things you shouldn’t. What’s even more interesting is the fact that what we feel often isn’t even love. It’s infatuation, attachment, lust. It looks like love and feels like love, but it isn’t. Either way, they all screw with our heads and our hearts. They impact our ability to use reason and make sound decisions. Our emotions are all over the place and extremely intensified. I feel that love, and all those things we mistake for love, make us go a bit mad.

Think of our dear friend the Mad Hatter. This is a person who is a bit bonkers but not totally insane. Love usually makes us a bit bonkers as well. Sometimes love takes us to the extreme and we absolutely lose our minds, but we hope to retain a bit of sanity through it though. In reality, we don’t want to lose ourselves and our minds in it. This takes work. It takes work and a commitment to keep your focus through the highs and lows of the love emotions. It takes time to build up an ability to use reason while your world is spun upside down.

Trust me, it is worth doing the work for.

As someone who has been in toxic relationships, I wish that I had paid better attention to what was going on instead of getting caught up in the rush of the relationship. I missed clear and brightly blinking signs early on. I glossed over red flags thinking they were no big deal, and that I could change them. I lost myself completely in the emotions and in the moment. And I didn’t just do it once either. I’ve done it time and time again. And Every. Single. Time. I have regretted it immensely.

My last serious relationship was a whirlwind. It was as though I was caught up in a tornado of emotions, attachment, red flags, and life changes. I was high on the good times and high on the fights. We had an ugly argument only two weeks into our relationship. This was a clear sign of an issue and I ignored it. I had such passion with this person, that I fought to make it work. After that, we had terrible fights time and time again. Yet I continued to ignore them all. I was letting my emotions lead me and it only led to disaster in the end. Only after it ended did I see it for what it was, and that was because I finally chose to open my eyes.

With any life experience, I focus on learning the lessons from it and I actively work to make better choices in the future. I also retain gratitude for the good that came out of the experience.

But that doesn’t mean I keep on rose colored glasses to see it as something it wasn’t. 

My relationship with him was toxic and unhealthy, period. He brought out the worst in me and I gave up almost all of who I was as a person. I was miserable and had completely lost myself. My life lost all meaning. I had only my child and the moments I had away from him to keep me going and give me something to look forward to. He sucked almost all of the joy out of my life. I was a prisoner in a hell controlled by him. What was left of me was a shell that he had created.

I fully believed that real love meant you stick it out no matter how bad things got. I was sure he was my true love, and I was determined never to quit loving him. He needed my love because no one else loved him. I was going to show him that someone loved him no matter what he did.

That is literally the stupidest thing I could have done.

Yes, I am calling my decision stupid because that is what it was. Notice that I am not calling myself stupid because that is unhealthy and untrue. Who you are is not what’s in question, your decision is. Do not attack yourself for decisions you make. You are not a bad person for making a poor decision. You are a good person who made a poor choice. And trust me, it happens to the best of us!

Let’s talk about how we can avoid getting so wrapped up in the “love” feelings that we make poor decisions.

Step #1 – You have to see things as they are. This is VERY hard to do in the midst of all those feelings, but it is a must! Do a reality check for yourself weekly. Take a look at your relationship from the perspective of an outsider or a friend. Even better, look at it from the perspective of a harsh critic. If you find yourself unable to look at it without bias, ask a close friend or two to tell you what they think. You have to find a way to see red flags when they come up and not stay in a toxic relationship because you refuse to see the facts for what they are.

Step #2 – Stop making excuses. If your partner berates you like trash whenever you upset them, this is not a healthy person or a healthy relationship. If they belittle your feelings or put you down for showing any emotions, this is not a healthy person or a healthy relationship. If they are emotionally or physically abusive to you, this is not a healthy person or relationship. If they try to manipulate you, use you, or con you in any way, this is not a healthy person or relationship. There are NO excuses for this kind of behavior. Stop making them! Stop allowing this person to hurt you and mistreat you. By making excuses for their behavior, you are showing them that it is okay to treat you like that. You deserve better treatment from a partner so show that by putting your foot down when they start to treat you badly! If there is a pattern of negative behavior, you have to take notice of it. It is HIGHLY unlikely this behavior will change. Time and love and attention will not change it. Nothing will. You need to accept this.

Step #3 – True love does not mean submitting yourself to horrible treatment. That is not true love at all. You should never have to martyr yourself for the sake of a partner. You should never force yourself to stay with someone who is toxic. It is not healthy for you and it is not healthy for your children. Claiming you are “staying for the kids” is a flat out lie. The kids need a healthy home environment and you staying is not providing them one. They need to see an example of a parent respecting themselves enough to walk away from a bad person who is hurting them. Don’t use your kids or your “love” as an excuse. You know you need to leave.

Step #4 – Let go of the attitude that it’s harder to leave than it is to stay. We all get contented in our relationships. Even if it’s a miserable one, we stay in it because it’s what we’ve known for so long and the unknown is scary. Plus ending things involves a whole lot of work and we don’t want to deal with that. But is your well-being and peace of mind really worth settling for the hell you’re in? Are you willing to give up the unknown, which could actually bring you many positive things and much happiness, all because staying where you are is easier? That’s a pretty lousy reason! Yes it will be hard at first, but then it will be freeing and wonderful! You will find happiness and yourself again. You’ll get to change your world if you just take the steps to do so.

Step #4 – This is the most important step and it is probably the hardest to do – WALK AWAY. There were many times that I knew I should walk away, if not RUN away, from that man. I chose to ignore those moments and that was a huge mistake. I subjected myself to years of pain and hardship because of that. When you have recognized there are red flags, when you’ve stopped making excuses for their behavior, when you know that it’s a toxic relationship, you need to leave. No, it is not always an easy process. If you live together, that means splitting property and one of you moving. If you are engaged, that means canceling the wedding. If you are married, that means divorce. If you have kids, that means custody battles and joint custody, and it means dealing with new partners and step-parents.

But in the long run, you will be happier without this person in your day to day life. 

You will hate your life day to day, month to month, year to year, as your life goes on if you let this person stay in your world. You will grow more and more unhappy, bitter, miserable, sad, angry, and depressed.

It will only get worse, it never gets better.

I will not lie to you and tell you that my life is perfect now. I am still struggling to find my bearings and get things on a new track. I’ve had ups and downs, highs and lows. But I can tell you with all honestly that I am happier now, even on my hardest days, than I was with him. I dreaded my future with him.  I imagined that I would make it until my kiddo had graduated, and then most likely divorce him. Only a few years in and I was already planning my divorce down the road! This is not a good sign.

Please, use these steps to really evaluate the reality of your relationship. If you are in a toxic relationship, start taking the steps to leave. Create a new life and a new happiness for yourself free of that person. It is so worth it!

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Father’s Day For Single Mothers

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There are going to be a lot of days you dread in your new single life. The first of everything since the breakup is the very hardest. First birthdays, first holidays, first big events. I will not lie to you and tell you it will be easy. Even when you get out of an awful relationship, you will still notice the giant difference when those moments come around. Last year you were a family, this year you are a single parent.

Today is a very hard day for many single mothers, but it cuts deeply if your breakup is still fresh. This is my first Father’s Day since my breakup and I woke up in tears. I know with all my heart that he was not a good man and our relationship was not healthy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel sadness from time to time. And that doesn’t mean I don’t hurt on the holidays and special occasions. Last year I was a wife on Father’s Day and we were a family. My kiddo had someone to celebrate this day for. We did all the traditional things with gifts, cards and a lot of love given. This year, we don’t have anyone to celebrate it for.

This year it’s just a painful reminder of what was.

Remember why your relationship ended. It may not have been your choice, but if it didn’t work out – there was a reason! You have to trust that and know that it was not meant to be. It’s also important for you to know that you are strong enough to get through this. It may not feel like it right now but you will survive today and you will survive the next painful moment. You are much tougher than you think you are.

Do what you need to do today to get through it. I took some time to myself this morning to get my tears out. Then I spent the day with my precious child playing our favorite video games. Do not let the pain ruin the day or steal your joy. You have to find a way to create new, happy memories on these days. Take time if you need to but proactively make the day as positive as possible. Find ways to laugh and have fun.

If you share custody of your children, make sure you are as polite to your ex as possible if you have to see him. Remember – your kids are paying attention. Be the parent who sets the best example. Don’t be the angry, bitter mom who makes the day harder for them. You ARE the bigger person because you are putting your children and their well-being first. Get the through any pick-ups and drop-offs with your ex as quickly and as politely as possible. It’s okay to be angry with him and still encourage your children to show him love.

If their father is out of the picture, let them talk about what they are feeling if they bring it up. I chose not to call attention to what today was, but would openly discuss it if my kiddo brought it up. We spent the day creating a lot of fun memories together doing something we both enjoy. That helped take a lot of the pain out of the day. I took a few moments here and there for myself because I carry a heavier burden. We often expect kids to hurt worse but they are very resilient. In my case, my daughter has always had me to depend on and that has never wavered. So her losing him wasn’t as earth shattering as I expected because she has me, her rock, and she has an incredibly happy life. Kids forget things and move past things very quickly as well. For me, the pain still cuts deeply because I vividly remember all of it.

Once the kids are asleep, it is okay if you binge eat on chocolate and chug wine. Cry your eyes out on the couch. Take a hot bath and sulk. Again, you need to take care of you and a big part of that is dealing with your feelings. I never advocate for bottling your feelings up. If it’s not a good moment to process them, you simply put them away till later that evening. But they need to get dealt with and you need to let them out. It is okay to feel whatever you are feeling right now. Process it, understand where it is coming from, get it out, and then let it go.

I want you to know that you are an amazing person and you are strong enough to get through this. Today is hard, but tomorrow will be easier. Hang in there.

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Dealing With Emotional Manipulation

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If feels like lately I’ve had to deal with a plethora of emotionally manipulative men. And to be quite honest, I’m fed up with it! Emotional manipulation is when someone tries to use your emotions, beliefs, past, memories, etc. against you. I will list a variety of examples below so you can get a good idea of the kind of folks you need to watch out for. Just yesterday I had an experience with an acquaintance trying to emotionally manipulate me and I shut that crap down.

It takes time and paying close attention to be able to pick up on it quickly. I used to tolerate a lot of mistreatment because I didn’t know what it was or why it was wrong. I knew it made me feel like garbage but I didn’t know why. I kept giving chances to people who didn’t deserve them because I didn’t understand that they were in a pattern of poor behavior that they had no interest in breaking. Even now I sometimes miss an instance of it, and only after time has passed do I realize what it was.

I am VERY proud of myself for catching yesterday’s manipulation right off the bat! I’ve had iffy vibes about this person for a while now. You HAVE TO pay attention to those feelings! If someone is giving you a bad vibe, it’s often for a very good reason. Trust yourself. Because of those vibes, I had distanced myself from this person. They were over friendly, talked to me way too much about their personal life in ways that made me feel uncomfortable, and lashed out on people on social media which I am avoiding like the plague. This person gave me an invitation, one I had repeatedly turned down previously due to those vibes, and yet again I said no. They had also included my child in the invitation and I said I didn’t want my kiddo around the folks in the local group that we’re a part of due to all the drama going on with them.

So let’s be clear – even if I had no bad vibes about this person, I have EVERY right to say no to anything I want. That’s 100% my choice. Now an emotionally healthy person would have understood and been fine with it. This person chose to emotionally manipulate me instead. They told me that I should not “isolate myself” and that it was not “healthy for me or my daughter.” Those of you who have been around emotional manipulation just had your red flags go flying up!  I knew immediately that these actions were wrong and I was not going to let it slide. I told the person they have no right to tell me what to do or not to do, and that they have no say in what’s good for me or my child. I also told them to never speak about my child again. I ignored the messages that came in from them after that as I am not interested in continuing to speak to them..

I find emotional manipulation to be disgusting in general, but I find it extra sickening when you try to drag a child into it as a tool for your manipulation. Saying no to someone doesn’t mean you are isolating yourself. It means you don’t want to be around them! I spend my time with those who benefit my life. I stay away from those who don’t, it’s that simple. And as for my daughter, I’m keeping her away from the majority of these folks because I don’t want my child around their drama or immaturity. As a parent, it’s your job to protect your children. I know that the majority of the community is very toxic and full of drama right now. These are not healthy influences for myself or my child. I have every right to not want to put my child or myself in those situations.

Let’s face it, we will run into folks like this more often than we realize! A lot of them don’t realize what they are doing because their negative behavior has become so ingrained in their daily life that they don’t realize how unhealthy it is. Some of them are fully aware of the poor behavior and just don’t give a hoot! Either way, you can either bring the behavior to their attention if you feel they are receptive to working on it, or you can cut ties with them and walk away. It’s up to you, and you’ll have to use your judgement on a per situation basis. If you do decide to hang in there to see if someone will change, set a time limit. This limits the poor treatment you will be exposed to because you will cut ties after say 3 months of no change, for example. The time limit is up to you to set, but keep your well-being in mind, and don’t expose yourself to it long term. Folks who want to change will put in the work to do so and will openly show that they want to improve. Others will lie to you and say they want to change, but that’s just to keep you around so they can continue to manipulate you. Their colors will show pretty quickly.

Now we will cover some types of emotional manipulators so you can get an idea of what to look out for. Like the person who doesn’t like it when you tell them no, so they try to guilt you for it. Make no mistake – you have EVERY right to tell someone no. If they don’t like it, tough. They have NO right to try and guilt you for doing what you feel is best for you. If they try to manipulate you for saying no, that is just a clear sign they are not a healthy person and you were right to say no! If they try to guilt you or tell you what you are doing is wrong just because you didn’t want to do what they wanted, walk away.

Or the person who always has to one up you. I deal with these people in messages on Facebook a lot. They are the folks who message me asking how I am and then immediately proceed to tell me all about how they are going through the same thing or something worse. They were never truly interested in finding out what’s going on with me, they only wanted someone to talk to about themselves. I feel like a mirror for them to look at while they talk about themselves. They will always have something better than you going on when your life is good, and something worse than you going on when you are going through struggles. This is poor communication and you will never get back anything you put in. It will always be about them and their lives.

Another type of emotional manipulator is the one who changes the events of something happening. I’ve had folks SWEAR I am remembering an event inaccurately even though I know I’m not. They are trying to change history by convincing you that you are wrong, even though they are flat out lying. Don’t fall for it! What you know happened is the true facts. They want to distort your memories and your reality to avoid responsibility and try to make you the bad guy. If someone lies and tries to change the story when you know it’s false, walk away from them.

There are also those who refuse to accept any responsibility for doing something wrong. These are the folks who say something hateful or do something hurtful, but refuse to admit they screwed up. This is a sign of emotional immaturity. And when they go out of their way to “punish” you with more mistreatment or the silent treatment, this is emotional manipulation. Being an adult means you need to take responsibility for your actions both good and bad. If you mess up, apologize and do the work to fix it. If this happens over and over, you might want to rethink your involvement with them. It is not fair or healthy for you to always have to be the bigger person, the one always forgiving and forgetting, the one always smoothing things over. It’s time for the other person to grow up and start owning up to their own behavior.

And to expand on that, a person giving the silent treatment is emotional manipulation. It is a way for a person to try and hurt you because they feel you wronged them or because you didn’t do what they wanted. It’s incredibly unhealthy and hurtful to those it’s being done to. Emotional manipulators want control and power, so silence is used a tool to gain that. Again, they are trying to “punish” you for what they feel you did, or because they made a mistake and refuse to own up to it. If a person cannot communicate with you openly after they’ve made a mistake, you will never be able to build any sort of friendship with them long term. Communication is a sign of healthy emotional well-being, the silent treatment is a sign of emotional manipulation.

Some emotional manipulators volunteer to help you out and then play the martyr. Woe is them! They give up so much, do so much, help so much. They have no problem constantly reminding you of that one time they did something for you and throwing it in your face. Or they hold it over you to guilt you into doing things for them. These people have no honest intentions. They aren’t helping others out of kindness. Don’t take help from these kind of folks unless you want to deal with the lifetime of it being thrown back in your face and used against you.

Did you know there are emotional manipulators who try to lord the facts, statistics and information they know over you in order to exert their power and sway you to their side? Yup, this is also referred to as intellectual bullying! A reasonable person doesn’t need to smother you with all their knowledge to force you to believe as they do. They present their side of things, listen to your side, and let you make your own decision. These know-it-all type folks want to convince you that they do in fact know it all! And they will convince you by force. They will argue with you at length to make to believe the way they do. There is no way to reason with them. In their mind they are right and you are wrong.

Another example is the person who is always the victim. They are never in the wrong for anything, nothing is ever their fault, life hates them, people are mean to them, blah blah blah. The huge list of people who they won’t speak to anymore? That’s all those people’s fault. They are the bad ones who did the bad things. The reason they lost their job? It’s all the boss and co-workers fault. They use their “victim” status to try and gain sympathy and use that to get things from people. They also use it as a way to avoid taking any responsibility for anything in life. These folks are unlikely to change. Keep your distance and do not engage with them.

As I’ve said, it’ takes time to pick up on the many many types of emotional manipulation but often you’ll just feel something is “off” when someone does it to you. Pay attention to that feeling! It’s your mind telling you that what the other person is doing is WRONG. Stand up for yourself and cut that nonsense off! It is better to walk away from those people than it is to be stuck with them adding toxicity to your life day in and day out. Your mental well-being is worth more than that! It is much better to have a smaller group of friends than it is to have a bunch of friends who mistreat you regularly. Being around toxic people will literally suck the life out of you. Walk away.

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You Cannot Build A Positive Life Filled With Negative People

Negative People Positive Life Quote

Let’s get real – I am not perfect! I struggle with a lot of the same things you do  Today, for example, I was dealing with some melancholy and sadness for a bit. No idea why I felt either because it was a really fruitful day for me! Yet the emotions came up, so I decided to acknowledge them, and then move forward when I felt ready. I often struggle with regret and wondering if I could have done something better. I deal with sadness over situations where the other person really could have done better and been better. There are a lot of hiccups I face of a monthly, weekly, and sometimes daily basis!

One such issue that has come up often for me is allowing negative people into my life and not giving them the boot when I realize how bad for my world they are. Part of the reason for this is because I’m what’s commonly termed an “empath,” which simply means I feel things very deeply and connect to people deeply. I also have a strong desire to help others and better the world. That has often put me in a boat of getting used and taken advantage of.  I give people the benefit of the doubt and I believe they want to be the best them possible. This is sometimes not the case.

The sad truth is that a lot of people don’t want to improve themselves. They don’t want to be the best version of them possible. They don’t want to work on their flaws or make improvements. These are the folks you have to watch out for. These are the ones who will only add negativity to your life. The drama starters. The immature. The can’t keep a job folks. The leeches. The victims of the world. The users. The liars. The gossipers. The angry at everything folks. And the list goes on.

Basically anyone who is adding negativity to your life on a regular basis – THEY NEED TO GO.

“But they are my friend/co-worker/cousin etc!” It doesn’t matter. You cannot create a positive life with negative people in it. There are many negative folks that you will have to deal with in one form or another throughout life. You may have a boss who is angry 24/7. Your mother may be a constant victim of everything in the world happening to her. You do have choices in those situations. You can distance yourself from toxic family members. Yes it can be difficult, but how much will your life benefit having that black cloud of yuck gone?? Same with your job. It may be very difficult to find a new one, but how much does your happiness and well-being really mean to you??

The one thing I can count on is that every time a negative person enters my world, it suddenly gets a lot less enjoyable. These folks may not mean to, but they suck the life out of you and dampen your joy. This is not only unhealthy for you, but it’s also unfair! Why are you continuing to subject yourself to that? YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE NEGATIVE PEOPLE IN YOUR WORLD!

You are reading this for a reason. You want a happy life. You want to enjoy your daily living. You want to be around people with the same ideas and positive outlook. So stop allowing people into your world who only bring negativity! I understand that a lot of times we hope we can be a good influence and lift them up into a better way of living. Rarely have I seen that happen. In fact, I can count the times I’ve seen that in all my years on one hand. 95% of the time they will drag you down while you try to lift them up. They have to decide to better themselves when they are willing to do it.

That old cheesy quote – “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” – is 100% spot on! You cannot help people who want to help themselves. And most of the toxic folks you meet will not want to help themselves. They want to vent to you, use you, take things out on you, and suck the joy from your life. Don’t allow them!

You are building an AMAZING life for yourself. You are working hard to improve your world and bring good into it. Think of it as a sand castle built on the beach. You can spend hours working hard, adding in the incredible detail, and making it something that takes your breath away. But one bucket of water can destroy it all. Even if it damages just a part of your castle, you still have to do more work to repair it. Think of those folks as buckets of water that pour out water on your castle every week. As soon as you get your castle looking spectacular, they dump on it and create a mess. Once again, you fix it up and here they come to ruin it again.

How important to you is your castle?
How important is you mental health and well-being?
How important is your sanity and your peace of mind?
How important is your happiness and your joy?
How important to you is your life?

These are the questions you have to ask yourself when it comes to deciding who stays and who goes from your life. What is all that worth to you? Are you really willing to give that up for a person who does nothing but harms your world and brings problems to it?

You will face this situation many times in your life. Keep yourself focused on your goals and you will be able to remove those people because you know that’s what is best for you. Work on picking up the signs of a person like that earlier on so you can avoid some of the stress and heartache. Remind yourself that you ARE strong enough to walk away, no matter how close you have become. If you keep working on those things, it will begin to get easier for you to handle when it comes up. You won’t hesitate as much about cutting ties with someone you see is a toxic influence. You’ll feel proud of yourself for recognizing it for what it is, and you should be! Bettering yourself and your life is ALWAYS something to be proud of.

You have to put your well-being first. You are important and you deserve a healthy life!

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Stop Looking For Angels Where Only Monsters Exist

Monsters Quote

I cannot state over and over again how factual this quote is. I was checking my phone this morning as I always do in the morning to update social media accounts and reply to any necessary things. A dear friend sent me this quote and I completely stopped what I was doing. It is so spot on it is almost creepy.

This was my life for 3 years. I basically lived in a world with a monster filled with darkness, all the while trying to put goodness into him and help him be better. It is not romantic like some fairytales paint in their stories – it’s horrible and traumatizing. Society romanticizes way too much garbage and tells us, “it’s love.” IT IS NOT. It is abuse and it is unhealthy. It’s WRONG. I subjected myself to years of mistreatment and emotional abuse all because I was sad that no one loved him and I wanted to bring good into his life. How idiotic is that?!

Yes, there is good I got out of that relationship that I am thankful for. That’s a position I’ve chosen for my life because I want to find the positive in that experience and learn from the rest. But let’s face it, at least a good 80% of it was a nightmare. I was subjected to emotional, and sometimes physical, abuse from a man who claimed to love me. This is NEVER okay! It doesn’t matter if he pays the bills, it doesn’t matter if he takes you out to dinner, it doesn’t matter if he buys you flowers, it doesn’t matter if he’s sweet sometimes. Mistreating another human being regularly out of spite and cruelty is wrong. No niceties can make up for that.

A lot of people do try to bring up the good a person does. My ex’s friends did that, even siding with him over the lies he told trying to make me the awful person. They try to use it as a way to make the other person look better but you cannot sugar coat shit. A toxic person is a toxic person, no matter what “good” they do occasionally. Write that down on a sticky note and put it somewhere you will see it. I don’t want you to forget that. No matter what good your partner does from time to time, it does not erase all of the bad they have inflicted. Someone who regularly hurts you out of malice with no intention to change is a toxic human being and they are dangerous. Even if they don’t physically abuse you, emotional abuse is JUST as bad and JUST as detrimental.

Stop trying to look for good in a monster. There isn’t any.

A monster will not change. We have all heard the apologies and promises to do better. They are lies. Monsters are monsters for a reason. These are sick people who don’t really want help. If they did, they would have put themselves in counseling when the first signs popped up. THEY DO NOT WANT HELP – THEY WANT VICTIMS. This is something that is so hard to get our heads around but completely true. Rarely do people like this change. And if they do, it’s because they went and put themselves in counseling on their own and did the work to be a better person. THOSE ARE THE EXCEPTION NOT THE RULE. The majority of these people will NEVER change.

Stop thinking you can change or fix them. You cannot. Stop subjecting yourself to misery and mistreatment because of a martyr complex. That is a waste of your time and your life. Stop trying to lift them up. They will ALWAYS drag you down.

Don’t just walk away, RUN AWAY as fast as you can!

It is hard to leave. I know this all to well. Time and time again I wanted to leave so badly! But financially I didn’t think I’d be able to do it and I wasn’t sure how I could move all my stuff out without him being there. He had cut me off from almost all of my friends and was not okay with me making new ones, especially using social media. I was scared, miserable, and trapped. When he left I was terrified of being on my own. He screwed us over financially and even said he expected us to get evicted in two months…. But he did me the biggest favor in the world by leaving – he gave me an out! I finally was free!

I have friends who have recently had to go through this process of ending things with a toxic spouse. IT WILL NOT BE EASY BUT IT WILL BE WORTH IT. These women now have the freedom to live their lives on their own terms and feel safe again. I would rather you pack up your self and your kids if you have any, and go live in a domestic violence shelter than to stay where you are. Trust me, you will be better off!

In my next post, I will share tips on leaving a toxic/abusive relationship. My suggestion will always be to leave. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a job. It doesn’t matter if you have kids. Leaving is ALWAYS going to be best for you in the long run. I’ll talk about ways to plan to leave as safely as you can because abusers can get worse if they find out you are planning to leave.

As a reminder, you are loved and you deserve to be treated well! Don’t let ANYONE tell you otherwise! ❤️

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Reasons I Enjoy Being Single

Reasons I Enjoy Being Single 1

Let’s face it, break ups are ugly and miserable. One of the best things you can do when faced with a break up is to focus on the good coming out of it. I know that may be extremely hard to do at times, but it will be helpful to you in the long run. Even if it’s a teeny tiny good thing, focus on it and celebrate it! There are plenty of times I reminisce over the things I miss in my last relationship. There was a lot of good that I got out of it as well as a lot of bad. I try to see both sides for what they are and accept them. Most importantly, I try to learn from them.

To recover and adjust to your new life, you have to focus on the good in the life you are living NOW – not focusing the life you were living BEFORE. You aren’t in that life anymore whether you like it or not. Dwelling on the past and what was won’t get you anywhere. You have to focus on the present and on rebuilding your new life. It’s 100% YOUR life to build now! Yes, that can be utterly terrifying and difficult, but it can also be immensely exciting!

Let’s talk about some of the legitimate and hilarious reasons I love being single! Hopefully it will encourage you and maybe even make you laugh a little. 😉

I love that any mess that gets made now is mine or my kiddo’s. That means if she made it, I can tell her to clean it up with minimal attitude about it. If it’s my mess, I deal with it when I want to. No man griping at me over doing something simple I ask him to do or acting like I asked him to give birth to a unicorn…..

On the topic of cleaning, I love that I don’t get complaints about my cleaning EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I clean when I am physically able to and have the time. If my house looks like crap, oh well! I don’t get guilt trips for not cleaning after a super hectic day where I have barely been home. And I LOVE that I don’t get crap for resting! My ex would nag me every time he came home and I was sitting down. It didn’t matter if I had spent the entire day busting my butt and that was the first moment I had to rest. Noooooo, he would complain every single time no matter what! He called me “lazy” for resting. Can you believe that?! Self-care IS NOT lazy. Over-doing yourself is not healthy for you at all.

I love that there is no man hair all over my bathroom. No shaving hair, no trimmed nose or eyebrow hair, no pubes. Yes, there is long girl hair all over the place in this house. But it’s a lot easier to clean up than tiny man facial and body hair clippings! Plus, I just don’t want to clean man hair up. And now I don’t have to!

My ex had massive stomach issues, which meant he was stinking up the house weekly, sometimes even nightly. I no longer have to deal with that! It’s so wonderful not to be gagging because the house smells like dead, rotten, sewage yet again. (Seriously dude, go see a doctor.)

I am thrilled that my time is now MINE to spend as I please! I don’t have to explain where I go, feel guilty for going anywhere without my child because he always thought I’d cheat, and I can use my time as I want. No one makes me feel bad for not wanting to play video games every single night for hours on end. No one makes me feel bad for enjoying a nice evening reading a book or watching a show. It’s my down time to spend as I please, and now I get to do that without any guilt trips! I can go out with friends, go see a movie, go window shop at a store, go to a club, and the list goes on! All without anyone making me feel bad for what I do.

I get to sleep on my own schedule. I don’t have to be up at 6:30 am every morning because that’s when the man gets up. And I definitely don’t have to be up to make a lunch for him each day. I also get to stay up as late as I want, nap when I want, or go to bed early when I want. All without anyone complaining and trying to make me feel bad. I can stay up till 2 am and sleep in till 10 am if I want to!

I get to decorate how I want to! No more dark, ugly colors. My home is now full of light, soft colors. Colors that are inviting and not colors that scare off even demons…. No ugly bed patterns to match a room too. I get to decorate each room MY way and change it whenever I want to!

I don’t have to make dinner by 5 pm every single weeknight! Shoot, half the time I don’t make dinner at all anymore! No family meals anyway. I make things my kiddo likes and put them in the fridge. She helps herself when she’s hungry or makes something that she’s able to make. I eat when I am hungry and I make food that just I’ll eat because my kiddo and I have different tastes. No more family meals that everyone has to eat if they like it or not. No more having to sit at the table for meals. My ex was such a pain about that! My kiddo and I never ate at the table much before. We ate in the living room, hanging out and relaxing, enjoying our time together. No more of him griping at my kiddo for her table manners or chewing too loudly. He was so persnickety and short tempered! But no more of that!

I now decide when I have sex. Isn’t that lovely? I don’t have to put out because she’s super randy for a week or a month. I also don’t have to deal with him refusing to have sex because he’s lazy or too busy playing video games or punishing me for whatever wrong he feels I did this time. Seriously, the guy used sex and so many other things as a way to punish me regularly! Now I decide to have sex when I want to. If I don’t want to, I tell the person no. And that’s that!

I get to dress however I want now and take whatever kind of pictures I want! I am a cosplayer as well which means I dress as a variety of characters and share those pictures online. I no longer have to deal with any guilt about how I dress, how much makeup I’m wearing, or what kind of pictures I share online. I get the freedom to be ME in the way that I feel is best for ME! Cosplay has been incredibly freeing for me and has given me a passion in life again after he left. I’m truly thankful for it! If you’re interested in following my cosplay/art/gaming work, feel free to follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter! ❤️

I get to make my own choices now. What a lot of the things I’ve listed have in common is that I make my own decisions now and the decisions for the house. It has been a huge challenge to adjust to that, especially with how my ex left us completely financially screwed over when he walked out. That man owes us a huge debt for that, and for all the other hell he caused my child and I. But it has been really nice getting to make decisions for myself, my child, and my home all on my own. I get to be the fun, happy, outgoing, creative, relaxed person that I was before I got involved with him. I get to make my own choices without anyone making me feel bad for them. I get to raise my child how I feel is best.

My ex was a black hole of misery, hatred, bitterness, anger, and darkness. I have always been a person full of light and goodness. Over the years he sucked almost all of the good out of me. Make no mistake – YOU CAN NEVER LIFT SOMEONE UP, THEY WILL ALWAYS DRAG YOU DOWN. It was very quickly after he was gone that I felt the shift change in our home. It was like a huge cloud of heavy darkness had been lifted. Our home is now a stress free, happy, enjoyable place to be! No more misery. No more unhappiness. No more un-needed stress. No more hate. No more anger. No more negativity. No one sucking the life out of everything good anymore.

I could go on and on for a while but I’ll stop here. I hope you see how to find good in your newly single life. All of this does not change the hardship you face now one bit. What it does do is give you hope and something positive to focus on. It helps you find joy and excitement again. It gives you a chance to restore peace back to your life. Use this post as an encouragement. If you are having a really rough day, come back and read it again. Laugh at my silliness and start thinking of the things that you are thankful for about your new single life!

As always, if you need a friendly ear or some encouragement, send me a message. And trust that you will make it through this process. I won’t lie to you and tell you it will be easy. What I will tell you is that you will make it through one way or another. And there is good to be found no matter how bleak the circumstances are right now. ❤️

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Know When To Fold Em

A lot has changed in the last month. My ex left a month ago. So much has gone on since then, most of it good. I’ve learned A LOT and I am thankful for each lesson. I feel like I can speak from such a different place now at a month than I could at a week.

First off – I am GLAD that it is over. As more time has passed, I’ve realized just how horrible of a human I was with. I cannot believe I stayed as long as I did. I think that people who are more empathetic and those who want to help others can often fall prey to people like that. You want to help them, love them, and take care of them – like puppy you rescue from the pound. The problem is that these are people who are content to be broken and damaged. THEY DO NOT WANT TO CHANGE. These are people who would rather suck the life, joy and love out of everyone around then rather than get help to be a better person. That’s a pretty disturbing realization!

Some people cannot be helped or saved. Some people are just never going to be kind or caring or loving. Please do not waste any of your time and energy on them. I know that sounds very harsh, but in reality most of them will be a waste to put anything into. You might get lucky and make it work for a bit, or you might get lucky and find 1 out of the 100 that you can actually help. The chances aren’t high. You will lose a lot of yourself in the process as well.

I lost most of myself in my past relationship. I had the life sucked out of me. My joy and happiness were stolen. I was absolutely miserable. I stayed because I took my commitment seriously and I wanted to give our little family a fair chance. While I am thankful for the bits of good that we gained from it, I honestly feel I never should have stayed… I saw red flags from week one. Yet I stayed. I was determined to be the one who loved and stuck with this extremely damaged man.

And I suffered the consequences for my choice.

Thankfully, he left. I really lucked out! Now I am FREE. I get to rebuild my life on MY terms. What happens in my world is up to ME. Everything is a choice and I get to be the one making them. For the first time in years, I am truly happy again! I have gone through the grieving process because it’s normal to grieve something you’ve lost even if it was very unhealthy. I started counseling to ensure I never end up with someone like him again. I started reading articles online about making wise choices with relationships, as well as ones that give you a list of red flags to look out for.

I’ve started socializing again and that has had a HUGE impact on my life! I’ve now gone to two comicon events locally in just the span of a month! And I loved it!! (^.^) I always wanted to go but I was with someone who made excuses all the time. Now there is nothing keeping me from doing something I love! I’ve won prizes for my cosplays at both events, and the last one I even won first place!! How incredible is that?! None of that would have ever happened if he hadn’t left. I would have missed out on so much life!

I’ve made almost 50 friends in the last month as well. Cosplayers, mutual friends of friends, old friends, photographers, geeks, ladies from the 310 Community. I’ve gotten to meet so many new and amazing people, and reconnect with people I knew before! I’m building new relationships and bonds with HEALTHY people who respect me, appreciate me, and treat me kindly. It’s a little bit of shell shock after spending years with someone the opposite of that! But it’s a great kind of shell shock. (^.^) I’m now experiencing life as it’s meant to be. Life SHOULD be fun and exciting and filled with great people and a lot of joy!

I’ve got exciting plans for my future and I look forward to each day now. I’m taking new opportunities and chances, and I’m only gaining positive things from doing so! I got to make my dream come true of hand making a super detailed and accurate cosplay for a character I love! I’m also starring in a friend’s short film, and it’s a horror flick slasher style which is so fun! What a neat thing to be able to cross off my bucket list!

I am sharing all of this for a reason – I want the same for YOU. I want to be able to use what I went through to help you make better choices for yourself. You deserve to be happy and surrounded by healthy people just as much as I do! I know you can do it for yourself because I did it. No, it is not easy to change your whole world. But the rewards from doing so are endless! Most importantly, you will have true joy in your life and you need that. Life is not about suffering or being a martyr. It’s about taking care of you and those you care about in a healthy way.

A toxic person is not worth being a martyr for!

In the end, we only have so many years alive. Don’t waste yours on people who are negative life sucking monsters. Don’t give them any of you. If you already have one in your life, take some time and really think about if it’s a healthy person for you to be involved with. Make sure you aren’t sacrificing 100% of yourself for this person. You should never have to give up all of who you are for someone else.

You are strong enough to walk away from toxic people. I know you are amazing and I know you can do it. Build the life you’ve always wanted. Build a life of happiness, peace, joy, laughter, and amazing memories! You have every right to have a life like that! You can make your world whatever you want it to be. Every choice is up to you.

If you need someone to talk to, feel free to message or email me. I am happy to encourage you on your journey to better things! Sometimes we just need someone else to remind us how amazing and strong we really are. And you my friend, are both! <3

Don’t forget to check out my Esty Shoppe featuring unique and one of a kind items! Dragon Fire Rose

My Etsy Shoppe Can Now Ship Internationally!

I’m ecstatic right now! I found a way to make international shipping for my small jewelry business a reality and without extreme extra costs!

I had been keeping my sales to the United States only, but I recently sold a Southwestern style set to a gentleman who’s wife works in London. He said that they adore her Southwester jewelry where she works and ask to buy it off of her! He suggested I find a way to ship my pieces internationally because he felt it would open up the market more for me.

A little about this business – I have been running Dragon Fire Rose since 2013. We’ve done everything from selling Lego figures to selling kids gift sets to selling jewelry. I have the creative bug in my soul and I just *LOVE* coming up with new ideas of fun things to sell!

I started making very simple fashion earrings. Nothing fancy, just cute little charms on silver plated hooks. I sell them super cheap because I understand now everyone has a huge budget for accessories. Some of us scrimp and save just to supply our family’s basic needs. I get that 100%!

I kept going to the jewelry supply shops and would just have my breath taken away by the amazing pieces I saw there. I wanted to turn them into something so badly! I eventually took the plunge and followed my heart. In winter 2016 I began hand making jewelry sets. Again, I kept budget in mind and used a mix of plated pieces to keep prices for customers low. I understand that finances come first! I include a fee pair of my fashion earrings with each set. I believe that giving a little extra blesses someone and sends good karma forward!

I’ve been working on my designs and ways to keep prices low. I also take a few sets and make them higher end for the folks looking to spend more. I have a GORGEOUS amethyst set waiting to be made! I am planning to use sterling silver on the set and I found a lovely Italian purse in a silver shade that I want to pair with it for the ultimate set!

A little about me – I worked full time as a nanny until last September. I had a nasty fall in the end of summer last year that was “supposed” to heal within a couple of months. It hasn’t…. I deal with daily pain and so far I have no answers as to why. I’ve been seeing a specialist, a hand surgeon, who still can’t find the cause. So I live with pain every single day. I go to bed with pain and I wake up with pain. I don’t have full use of my right hand anymore. It’s just a part of my life now.

My jewelry business has been a way for me to try and find another way to provide an income for my family. Now I can only nanny part time. I currently work maybe once a week as I try to find more families in my town who need just once or twice a week care. I make jewelry and I paint because I truly love doing it and creating beauty fulfills me. It brings me joy to take a mix of pieces and turn them into a beautiful thing!

Now you can see why I am so excited that I can ship internationally! It means opening a wider door for my business. I plan to expand my art work this coming week with pages of old books with a print of some sort on the front. There is beauty to be found everywhere – you just have to find the person who sees the beauty in it!

If you love jewelry or artwork, if you know anyone who does, please share the link to my Etsy Shoppe. I know A LOT of people ask that kind of thing. I shared a little of my story to hopefully explain why it would mean the world to me!

I am not one to look upon this experience as a time to quit and live in misery. I look at this experience as a way to grow and expand myself. Living day to day with pain is not fun. It is not something I wish anyone to experience. Yet I STILL work hard to be productive and help my family! I refuse to quit, I refuse to give up. I will keep working however I can, and I will find my success!

Limitations hit you in life when you least expect the. I had no idea a simple fall would cause me daily pain that has lasted almost a year already. I had no idea it would change my life. Limitations will strike you at the most inopportune moments. They will hit you hard and they will hurt. They will bring you to your knees and make you question everything.

But remember – YOU HAVE TO GET BACK UP. Don’t lay down, don’t quit, don’t stop. GET BACK UP. You can fight. You can push forward.  You can find balance again. It hurts and it’s hard. It takes more work than words can express. But you have to get back up. You are stronger than you know. You can find your way again. Hang onto that hope even in the darkest hours. You are so amazing and I am so proud of you even when you fall back down again!

I want you all to know I appreciate each one of you, though I’ve never met you in person. And I want you to know you are loved and you are amazing! Thank you for being apart of this blog and thank you to those who choose to share my Etsy Shoppe info!

Remember, you can survive all that life throws at you. You are stronger than you ever imagined.

Dragon Fire Rose Creations – A place where beauty and art live!