It’s the Way You Live, Not the Way you Talk.

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Recently at work, we had this exercise called cross training, where our team members stepped into each other’s role to truly appreciate what the other accomplishes on a daily bases.

During a visit at my location, one of my coworkers and I happened to start talking about life, the future, and where we wanted to be within the next few years.  The next morning when she came into the office she proclaimed “I told my husband about this beautiful Christian young lady that works with me, I told him all about you”

Naturally I was a little taken back. Not once within our conversation about life or the future did I mention my religious beliefs. I never mentioned faith within my goals or the reason for my goals.  I told her I was not upset with her comment but simply wondered why she assumed my faith.

She simply stated. “well am I wrong? You will learn in this life time, it is not the way you say but the way you live your life”.

She made perfect sense. There is a striking difference between people who always talk about God and his word and people who carry his word through their actions and live a life that is centered around performing good works with humility that comes from wisdom.  Occasionally when I come across people who preach God’s word within every aspect of life, I feel that I do not always properly represent my faith in God.

Within my life, I have moved a way from established religion because I stumbled across so many people who would preach one message but actions did not align to the word they  taught to the masses. As a teenager this was the first independent thought that really started to separate me from my parents and family. It was the first decision I made as a young adult. To align my actions when possible to my faith and beliefs. Not just live the truth on Sundays and to formulate my own beliefs and not take everything at face value.

As I grew older and slightly wiser, most of my actions and who I am are directly tied to my faith.  As pointed out within the book of James in chapter three, your actions should match your word. If you are wise and understand your faith than do not prove it through your words and praising God in front of others, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. If deep down there is a selfish ambition within your hurt, your actions will directly reflect this even when you tell others about the word or your faith.

Some people have told me that by not speaking on my faith, I am essentially hiding my beliefs. By leaving God out of my blog, I am not truly living up to my true purpose outlined by God.

To this I would like to combat that words and speaking God’s name is only half the battle. You can announce to the world your love for God and the good works you perform on his behalf, you can hide behind a religious mask and cast judgement based on your definition of the word of God, but I have also learned that teachers of the gospel are held to a higher standard. Your actions must always match your words. To me personally it means more that my actions are able to communicate all the words that I do not necessarily speak.  It means more to me that I perform what is true in my heart, that I do not speak ill of others, that I perform works that align with my beliefs and not to fit in with the crowd or my peers.

Preaching God’s word can be powerful but living a life and performing God’s will and purpose is even more powerful and affects a larger demographic. Not everyone is willing to hear the word of God but can connect with someone performing the work of God more easily.

My take away from this conversation with my coworker My actions and constant state of changing my environment and self is a direct reflection of my beliefs without me once uttering the name of my lord and savior.

So my challenge to each and every person is to live a life that aligns with your own purpose and goals.  Allow your actions to speak louder than the words you will ever speak.

Perform good deeds without recognition. Do not point out all the good or bad you do. Remain silent. What you do is important, in most cases more important than what you say. You cannot preach one thing in public and think your private whispers will never surface.

Until next time!

-Bella

 

 

What Are We?

The infamous DTR, is the conversation most men and some women avoid with a ten foot pool. Within our current society this conversation is unavoidable due to the current state of dating.

I never really sat and thought about this question until it was mentioned within a conversation with who I will refer to as “the blue eyed boy”.  Mr. Blue eyes simply stated that after a while he was about  to approach the question “what were we doing?”(If you do not know the outcome of this please read “Bad at Love” posted previously its alluded to in the second story). I stumbled on a generic answer that it was naturally progressing in its own direction, and I sounded like a true tool at the moment and also after  when reflecting on my answer.

To be honest, I did not know the answer to the question. We were sorta friends but were we aiming towards more? All of our conversations were mostly platonic enough with an edge of flirtation. Well to be fair a little more than an edge of flirtation.

I openly flirted and did have genuine interest but all we had was two hangouts and constant messages. Does that define a relationship label?

When you look at what dating has become within the modern society for millennials, you start to understand why the question arises so often, and how someone could easily ask the question what are we were after a few hangouts and constant communication.

Dating is a shit show. Before when analyzing dating methods in the past we went from courtships and young marriages, to less formal settings where one dated and married their high school sweetheart or typically their first love. Through a few more decades and so many other steps we some how get to our modern mess of dating without clear definition if you are just “hanging out” or are you something more. Leading to the infamous DTR conversation.

Today’s dating arena contains the following  (but not limited to) relations : Netflix and chill style dating, Christian courtships, friends with benefits, sex without the friendship, poly amorous relationships, open relationships, strictly only friends, hanging out, and the classic relationship.

To put it lightly dating is confusing. You never really know where you stand and there is the constant question that plagues us naturally:  Do they want more out of this?

Although I gave the worst douche bag answer to the “blue eyed boy” (which some day I will apologize for),  he still made me realize how unclear it could be.

With traditional dating out the window within our society, it is time for those who want something real to stop waiting to ask the question “what are we?” and to start controlling the situation from the start. We need to start dating intentionally.

Dating intentionally is a well known concept within the Christian community. That is dating someone where both of your intentions are marriage or long term commitment.

At some point although I highly agree with dating intentionally and dating someone with similar intentions, lets take this concept a step further.

It is time to start building friendships intentionally. With intentional dating someone there is already an established label, and there is already the stigma that the two of you are in fact together in some form of a relationship.

So what is building friendships intentionally?

One thing I rarely do is label every person as my friend. I have a plethora of coworkers, acquaintances, and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ but very few friends within my inner circle. Personally, friendship is an extension of my family. Many of my friends become intertwined with my life that they become an essential part of my family. There is a study that shows that people that you keep within your inner circle develop who you are and shapes key parts of your personality. My goal within my inner circle is to constantly keep people around that not only are genuinely amazing individuals,  but people that I would love to emulate in some form or a key quality they possess that I lack. Every person within my inner circle contains many characteristics that I wish to possess or help me grow and achieve goals.

Intentional friendships is not limited to people who are just potential romantic partners. The reality is you should be intentional with every friendship that you manifest and contribute to.  You should intentionally build friendships in hopes that one of the friendships could manifest into something more romantic and into intentional dating.

Building an intentional friendship is truly getting to know another person past social communication. There are four types of communication Social (superficial-weather conversation, mental (ideas and non-controversial beliefs), emotional (fears and tear jerkers, hopes, and more controversial beliefs), and spiritual.  Intentional friendship building gives you two months to really start to learn about the person. In reality it typically takes a life time to truly know another person, but taking two months without being overly romantic or any  physical touch or completely alone time is key. You really start to see if you would be friends with this person let alone date them. It allows for the infatuation period to be less about getting to know the person and more about a connection the moves past superficial communication. You move past the first stage of communication to the next and start to build the trust of the other person. At the end of two months the two of you can decide if you want to DTR, date intentionally, or just be friends. Within this stage no one gets deeply attached on an emotional level and it helps to really understand compatibility. You either find someone that you want to date or you find another friend along the way.

Which leads into dating intentionally. Dating intentionally has two aspects. The first aspect is knowing self which I discussed in my post “When to settle down” in depth, but it simplifies to knowing your own self worth, what you deserve, and not settling for anything less. Along with knowing oneself you must truly be ready to enter the third stage of communication which is emotional communication. You must be able to break down your walls and let someone else into your life.  The chasm between the first two levels of communication and the third is rather wide because the third level is the level of trust, intimacy, vulnerability, and transparency. Most of us are afraid to be wrong and absolutely terrified to be rejected and communicating at the emotional level opens us up to be rejected, hurt, and scarred.  Most of us yearn for this emotional connection and communication with people, but for individuals, like myself, we constantly push against it settling for mundane conversations about abstract ideas and superficial topics. Truly dating with intention means communicating about our fears, dreams, faith, motivation, wants, needs, and joys.

Naturally all of this leads into the last type of communication, spiritual communication,  and hopefully a relationship that withstands time.

Building friendships and dating intentionally avoids the awkward stages and conversations that we all dread. It also leads to less confusion on wants and needs as well as hurting another person or feeling hurt yourself.

This is easier said than done. I preach intentionally dating to teens until I am blue in the face but application is not always as easy.

You must truly be ready to settle down and make your intentions clear. When you are not clear about wanting to build a friendship and staying the course of intentional dating, infatuation can easily take over and true intentions get lost in translation. When you cannot adequately express yourself and your intentions, it is easy to never truly enter an intentional friendship or begin to intentionally date.

Lesson well learned from Mr. Blue Eyes , who once gave me uncontrollable butterflies. Acknowledge the need to build an intentional friendship with someone before diving into intentional (or just regular) dating. When you do not slow down and build the solid friendship, infatuation can easily fade leaving two people who truly do not know one another. If you are similar to myself be open about your walls that are hard to overcome and remember building a stable foundation is key to constructing any structure that is worth while.  Move to emotional communication and past that with someone only when you are truly ready but be open about not feeling ready. Stop trying to impress and express. Express your true self and open up to all the possibilities.

 

 

 

Being Human Part 2: Faith

At the start of the year, I promised that I would write once a week….

That was two months ago. In the mean time, I failed to update my blog and this series fell by the way side. I am infamous for starting long haul projects and pausing for another project and somehow forgetting that another project meant so much.

As I struggle to find my place and continue on a million and two other projects, I needed to stop and come back to the project that constantly plagues me. What it is like being human?

As I am continuing within my career and constantly am surrounded by a multitude of life stories from the people I work with, the people I work for, and the people that I am in charge of helping, I cannot help but constantly come back to this project.

As I started the series I wanted to explore different facets of human nature and norms in society that in fact become the large picture of ‘being human’.  One of the largest factors that both fascinates me and is also a subject that is near and dear to my heart is faith.

As humans within the world we all face different paths, decisions, hardships, upbringings, internal struggles, and the list is endless. Although we are all drastically different there is a constant theme that filters through society and that is Faith.

Eighty-four percent of the world population has a faith in some sort of religion.  That equates to over 8 out of 10 people having some sort of belief system defined by a specific religious affiliation.  In reality the eighty-four percent refers to people who identify as having a belief in a religion and does not account for the amount of influence that their religion has upon their life and values but it still gives an idea of Faith and the idea of faith within the world.

A part of being human and the way we live our lives is contingent upon a number of factors but regardless faith is a large factor for the majority of the world.

Faith can be defined in a multitude of ways but one that I personally would like to draw from, not only for this post but one that I utilize anytime I speak of faith is the following:

Faith- strong or unshakable belief in something, esp without proof.

As I explore the people around me, I tend to also explore the aspects of faith in individuals.  I tend to come across two main groups of individuals, people who are deep and steadfast in their religion and people who think religion is the most ludicrous idea. One thing struck me, they all have a faith. Both have this Faith that things in this world have a natural order and that life has it’s own wait of turning things around.

It is a funny thing, Humans are built on this little feeling of Faith and what is yet to come. Regardless if it is a new day or new beginning. Faith is the corner stone of us Humans in one way or another.

Faith in the future. Faith in a new day. Faith in a divine being. Faith in heaven and hell. Faith in a place better than where you are at. Faith in tomorrow. Faith in who you are. Faith in your religion. Faith in your convictions. Faith in the good in the world. Faith in karma. Faith in what is to come. Faith in others. Faith in the unknown. Faith in science. Faith in technology. Faith in finding a cure. Faith in oneself.

Faith is constantly around us, and we each carry a little bit with us each day.

Faith is a subject that not only makes us human but divides us. It is the catalyst that perpetuate wars. A large subject constantly used as a way to separate each of us from one another instead of realizing it is a common ground for all of us.

What is being Human?

Being Human is having Faith. Having a strong and unshakeable belief is something.

But that ‘something’ is often times what separates us.

Please comment and share you thoughts below, I would love to know your opinions. Also there are a ton more subjects a head on being human, if you want to talk or discuss something specifically feel free to email, DM on Instagram, or leave a comment. I will be sure to answer or address it within a post.  Also to get an understanding of the series please see Being Human: Introduction.

Until next time.

-Bella

 

 

 

Chasing Butterflies 2.0

Within the past year, I have adopted and coined the phrase ““Chase the butterflies, because that is when you feel truly alive”.   Anyone who actively follows my writing has read multiple pieces about chasing the feeling regardless if it comes to love, changes in life, or something as mundane as sharing your soul through your work.  This has been a constant motto when I decide to actively pursue a new adventure in life.

Every human naturally has the instincts to alert them of danger and unknown territory.  We are naturally programmed to distance ourselves from things that are not natural to our-self. When things are not familiar we begin to feel afraid, our hearts starts to race, we become nervous, we avoid the unfamiliar, and ultimately we stay within our comfort zone.  We are simply creatures of habit.  Our brain is also programmed to tell us “you cannot get this done”, “this is crazy”, and any other phrase that stops us from pursuing something head on.

Due to my natural inclination to remain within comfort, I have made it my personal goal to chase the butterflies, to push past all my fears.  To become truly alive.  Fear is such a huge limitation even when we do not even recognize fear. Personally my anxiety and the expectations that I see within society limits the things that I pursue.  The truth is I limit myself in so many ways in life, as do so many other individuals.  We constantly tell ourselves that we are not good enough or allow society to tell us what is acceptable and what is not.  Chasing the butterflies has become a constant reminder that at the point when the fear of the unknown comes within my life that  I will constantly pursue that unknown.  That moment when you fear jumping the most is when you need to take the leap because growth is not developed within comfort zones.

As I coined “chasing the butterflies”, I have never stopped to think of the symbolism and importance of butterflies within the world view.  Butterflies have a vast amount of meanings depending on the person and the culture.  Within the christian religion butterflies signify resurrection, other people around the world see it as symbols representing endurance, change, hope, and life. There are so many heartfelt stories and meaning to each person that you come across.

Today as I hastily began to get ready for my last Sunday within my current position, I look up on my mirror and see a green butterfly. My first thought was that I was going to remind my niece to stop placing stickers on things throughout my house, and something told me to blow on the sticker, as i began to blow the wings of the butterfly fluttered and than moved to another position.  This was in fact a butterfly in my bathroom at 7 am in the morning was pretty peculiar and it was my favorite color.

I am not a person that believes in coincidence or mistakes.  That butterfly was my symbol.   It was a symbol for my life and the current life circumstances that I am at right now.  I am making a huge career move, and I have been questioning if my abilities will be suited well with the new responsibility. I have been struggling with my confidence to drive steadily into the future without looking back.  I have had butterflies and have felt the fear lingering within the dark corners of my being. Not only with my career but also within many aspects of my personal life.  The color green is a symbol of growth, ambition, harmony, renewal, and energy.  It is time for my new path. I am going to chase my green butterfly and start to feel more alive than ever before.

You will always catch me chasing the butterflies.

 

A Trait better than the Rest

There is a character trait that is overlooked but is the key to success. So often people before hiring an individual, dating someone new, or trying to feel someone out for the first time look at so many traits that are important but lack a growth aspect.  Most people look for skills or traits of kindness, intercommunication skills, sociability, and team work ethic. All of these skills are beyond important but there is one that is often overlooked and more valuable than any other skill.

This is being open minded.  Being open minded is the difference between someone who can get anything done, and someone that is willing to get everything done considering every factor.

A broad definition of open mindedness is receptiveness to new ideas. Openmindedness relates to the way in which people approach the views and knowledge of others, and “incorporate the beliefs that others should be free to express their views and that the value of others’ knowledge should be recognized.”

This is not saying that they do not hold their own opinions and have strong opinions on a subject. It means that they can function within a team with people who may not hold the same beliefs. That they are willing to hear a topic.  That although they may never change their mind on a topic, they will at least hear out someone’s opinion to gain new knowledge or appreciation of a new perspective.

People who are open minded are naturally more empathetic, knowledgeable, and well rounded than people who have a fixed belief while disregarding any other belief system.  Personally having an open mind always leads to bigger and better places.  It shows that you are flexible and can tolerate circumstances that may be out of line with what you know.  It makes you a life long student willing to share with others their knowledge and beliefs on a topic.

It is never too late to take off the rose colored lenses and see life through others shades of lenses.  You might just like what is out there.

What Are You?

This poem/ open word piece is dedicated to anyone who has been wrongfully identified as a different race or ethnicity. It is also a testament of how I feel when people judge or make an assumption based on my physical features.

Your almond shaped eyes are so deer like, Are you middle eastern.

Your skin has a golden brown hue, Are you Puerto-rican.

You eye brows are dark, thick, and well defined, are you Italian.

You are hips are larger in proportion to your tiny waste, Are you African American?

Your nose is round and lacks a defined ridge, Are you Mexican?

Your hair creates the most perfect spiral curl, Are you Dominican?

Your lips are so full, are you Latin?

You speak Spanish, You must be a Latina.

You speak English with a lack of ethnic accent, you enunciate your words, you know the difference between to, too, and two. What are you?

I speak multiple languages, fluent in two and can understand four because I have a desire to communicate to every person that crosses my path. I do not expect everyone to know English. I speak Spanish because I yearn to travel the world.

My full lips allow me to speak up when everyone falls silent. It helps me to spread a positive message to the world, and call people to action. My lips are full of action.

My curls decide to twist, wrap, and take a different course everyday. Just like life my curls take their own direction. Sometimes I see them as a mess where others see their beauty. My curls are there to show a perfect representation of my life. Its crazy and a mess but outsiders only see the beauty of it.

My round nose that lacks definition. It does it’s job. It smells the small things like flowers budding, chicken frying, and my dirty dishes. It may not have a defined look, but its purpose is to allow me to appreciate the little things and warn me against hazard.

My large hips protects me when I fall. They allow me to bounce back. The also bare all the negative comments about women and how their bodies should look. They hold me upright when I should be falling apart.

My eyebrows are dark, thick, and well defined. They protect my eyes from dirt and anything that should not be within my precious eyes. They are well defined like my perception on things that do not belong in my life. They are thick because they had to shield my eyes from the world.

My golden hue skin. This was created from love. Two people who did not see color but love. I golden hue is unique like no other because it is never the same hue. It changes with time. The more light in my life the darker I become. The more I see darkness the lighter my skin becomes It reflects my life and mental health. It is an indicator of where I have been through.

Lastly my eyes. The beautiful almond shapes sees the world as it truly is. It sees that brown people are not viewed the same as the white man. My eyes see that the color of my skin is a predetermination of guilt. It sees that when I speak Spanish because of a language barrier others look at me like I do not belong. I see the the media wants to cast people of middle eastern decent as terrorists. I see that not all men are treated equal even if we are created equal. I see the injustice. I see the pain that is caused by injustice. Most importantly I see you judging me for who you think I may be from only my physical features.

What am I?

I am human like you.

Podcasting Dreams

Day in and day out as humans we have limitations. Things that stop us from reaching our full potential.  We struggle to comprehend why we never hit our full potential.  Personally I used to fall victim to the idea and notions that there were forces that limit my goals and ambition.  This is why I am starting a new journey that will explore the questions and concerns that all of us naturally hide within, and never freely discuss. Within the next few months I will be adding a new form of discussion added onto my blog and media sites. I will begin to explore pod-casting with a co-host to create an open discussion on the topic covering what stops us? What limitations are placed on us? The society we live in. The culture that we create and end up falling victim to. Its time for us to wake up and truly start to understand the world around us, and the limitations that may not even exist. Join the discussion. Shall we say all the things people fear to face?