It’s How You See Yourself

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“Your job is to see people as they really are, and to do this, you have to know who you are in the most compassionate possible sense. Then you can recognize others.” -Anne Lamott

Do you understand? Read it twice. Love every inch of yourself. Embrace every good part and every bad part about you — do it without making up excuses. Be humble. Be gentle. And then it will all begin to make sense. 

XOXO, Bailey Mikell

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For Men Who’ve Never Held Your Feet

Every 6 months or so I go through the large wooden Olive and Cocoa box where I keep the little things that bring me joy. Birthday cards & “wish you were here’s“, gut-wrenchingly beautiful articles, old photos, worn ticket stubs, and quotes. With time these things begin to look scattered and lost — my pile of messy love. A tiny piece of my heart is in that box. And tonight was the night that I went through it, reflected, and organized the little notes and trinkets.

As I was doing this I found a quote folded up that I printed off at work. I did so because at the time there was a man in my life that treated me like a kitchen dish towel. It felt as though he had found me nicely folded, dunked me in hot dirty water, used me to clean the corners of his dusty and tattered heart, and then rung me out before he threw me aside to dry. Needless to say, there was some healing to do.

I’ve always loved the way words can handle my emotions that I often don’t know what to do with. This quote is long, but it is such a nice reminder of how far I have come. How much my heart has grown and how much strength I have found since this time of my life. It’s an incredible feeling to know that I’ve made the decision to never allow anyone to make me feel that small again.

So as I sit here on the floor of my cozy little apartment I am crossing my fingers. Hoping that at least one person can relate to this and then think “Wow, I am so much stronger now.” Anyway… I hope you enjoy it.

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“How far have you walked for men who’ve never held your feet in their laps?
How often have you bartered with bone, only to sell yourself short?
Why do you find the unavailable so alluring?
Where did it begin? What went wrong? And who made you feel so worthless?
If they wanted you, wouldn’t they have chosen you?
All this time, you were begging for love silently, thinking they couldn’t hear you, but they smelt it on you, you must have known that they could taste the desperate on your skin?
And what about the others that would do anything for you, why did you make them love you until you could not stand it?
How are you both of these women, both flighty and needful?
Where did you learn this, to want what does not want you?
Where did you learn this, to leave those that want to stay?” 
― Warsan Shire

Secret Looks

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“If you can’t laugh together in bed, the chances are you are incompatible, anyway. I’d rather hear a girl laugh well than try to turn me on with long, silent, soulful, secret looks. If you can laugh with a woman, everything else falls into place.” -Richard Burton

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Changing My Armor

I learn new things about myself everyday but there is one thing I have always known for sure: I love to love. And there was a point in my life where I was convinced my journey was focused around just that. Audrey Hepburn put it perfectly, “I was born with an enormous need for affection and a terrible need to give it.

I found myself devoting my energy to the unconditional love that existed within. To the passion that forms a fist in your heart that you just can’t shake. To the moments that took my breath away and the can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t think kind of love that I believed so deeply in.

And to my surprise it lasted — but that chapter was short and filled with many aches, pains and superficial expectations. I quickly realized that love is not a fairytale and it is not always ideal. Yup, girlfriend grew up. Timing can be wrong, people run off, and love fades out as quickly as it comes in. And after a year or so I decided that I was okay with that. I felt at peace with the fact that some good things end so that beautiful things can begin, that heartbreak is inevitable and life must go on. And so I did, which was the best, and only, decision I had.

There is a quote that I read years ago that really resonates with me lately that I’d like to share with you.

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” -Kurt Vonnegut

It brings up the question that I have asked myself each night before I close my eyes for the last 3 months: At what point did I choose to wake up and dress myself in an invisible armor simply to protect myself from wars that had not even begun?

A close friend and I sat down last week and he told me that if I need to work on one thing it is this: not going into a conversation or situation with a “loaded gun”. As a single independent woman I feel as though that is my new-found gut instinct. I feel defensive when it isn’t necessary. My nerves turn into sharp thorns that make me appear to be hard to approach. But the truth is that I feel fear. I fear the pain that I once felt because I chose to love. Because I chose to let myself be vulnerable, open, and willing to fall without anyone guaranteeing to be there.

But when did I lose my desire to “kill em’ with kindness” rather than with hateful words? To be silly and sweet, to gain trust by my actions, and to bond over a basic respect and understanding of one another.

I believe the woman/man who loves with no limit is the one who is lovable. The first to grab the others hand is the one that feels the spark many of us seek. And so that is what I would like to work on. I want to regain my tenderness, open up to the unknown, and be willing to take the jump into the divine. Because there is nothing more powerful than giving a love that you once questioned, a kiss that was once so sweet, and the trust that was often withheld.

Here’s to a new kind of love and a change in armor.

xoxo, Bailey Mikell

How to be a better (happier and healthier) human being

“Never touch anything with half of your heart. Be present, endlessly loving and compassionate towards others. Confront any challenging situation first with a deep breath. Wander. Remember that your own happiness and comfort comes above all things. Before reacting—understand. Eat breakfast every morning. Find the faces in the flowers. Remember what is important to you. Treat your body kindly. Be honest. Get to know yourself. Take things at your own pace. Don’t feel embarrassed to feel, laugh, cry, sing or love. Remember that what’s right for someone else may not be what is right for you (and that’s okay). Never be ashamed or afraid to ask for help. Do what you love. Remember that you always have a choice. Find joy in what life really is—living.”

Learning to be at peace with this beautiful and messy world is the first step. Inhale pink, exhale grey and smile… You’re incredible.  XOXO

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Happily Ever After

This is one of the best things I’ve seen in a while. Being independent is a beautiful thing because you can “do you”, love others, and kick ass at the same time. I have spent too much time & energy taking care of everyone but myself for the last little while and it stops today. With that said, you can make your own damn sandwich… I’ve got adventures to go on.

Sleepy Head + a Clear Mind

I love, love, love Dalai Lama. He is the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet & a truly incredible man whose wisdom has guided me back to the right track many times in my life. This whole back & forth situation is really taking a toll on my emotional well-being, so I’m trying to fill myself up with his beautiful lessons. I went to bed at 10:30 last night, but somehow I’m still tired & suffering from sudden short-term memory loss. Think of a cranky 3-year-old in an already-sassy 20 something’s body. Not cool, yo. Not cool at all..

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You know, this little quote is about all I need right now. Oh, that’s a lie. I could really go for a fried PB&J (nom, nom, nom) All my sleepy headed-ness & ready-to-be-clear-mind, Bee

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For more of Dalai Lama’s teachings go to his official site by clicking here