• love thyself •

 

“You’re so thin! Oh, my gosh. If I could look like you…”

“No, I’m not! Look at you! You’re gorgeous! I’d switch bodies with you in a heartbeat!”

• love thyself • || • The Gingerling •

It’s not right. It’s destructive to, not only ourselves, but also to the people around us. We teach ourselves and others that we must always consider another’s beauty to be the absence of our own. We teach each other that, to make someone else feel better about themselves, we must point out our own flaws.

That’s not true.

And it’s not helpful.

In loving yourself, you help others love themselves.

I realized this when I was speaking with a darling friend of mine. I had mentioned that I didn’t like my lips because my lower lip stuck out farther than my upper one. She told me her lips were the same, but she loved hers. And then it dawned upon me that… it’s okay to like the way you look. It’s not narcissistic. It’s not selfish. It’s self-love.

It’s okay to love something unique about yourself. It’s okay to love the way you look even if (especially if) you don’t look like everyone else.

In my friend loving herself – loving the things about her that I am insecure about in myself – I was able to love myself. I am able to love myself. To love the way I look.

• I love my lips. I love how full they are. I love the color.

• I love my hands and feet. My fingers are short, but they serve their purpose. My toes are sausage-like, but they do their thing well. I love my hands and feet because they are just so dang pretty!

• I love my eyes. I love the dual tone. The mutation. I love that my right eye has a brown spot in the blue. I love the asymmetrical beauty.

• I love my legs. There’s not much of them as I stand at 5′-nothing. But they’re supportive (I like puns and I suspect everyone does but for whatever reason, we have to pretend like we hate them…?).

• I love my body shape. It’s difficult to work with sometimes (you know those things everyone wears and it looks great, but you try it on and how did I end up looking like I just crawled out of the sewer system? I promise I’m human.), but I love it. I love that I have some meat on me.

• I love my hair. I love that the bottom half decided to turn blond for whatever reason (probably to give me a reason for the less-than-stellar remarks that slip out of my mouth). I love that I’m a ginger. I hope that I never go all blond or brown because I just can’t see myself as anything but a redhead.

• I love my eyebrows. They’re on-point frequently + always without makeup.

I don’t love myself all the time. That’s not to be expected. I don’t think anyone loves themselves all the time. That’s a part of being human. We’re not perfect. And we shouldn’t expect ourselves to be.

I think we confuse being cocky with being confident.

Don’t be cocky. Don’t overestimate yourself. Don’t walk around thinking you’re the best.

Be confident. Trust in the risks you’re taking. Know that you can always learn something and be better than who you were yesterday.

Love yourself genuinely because, in loving who you are and what you look like, you can help others to love themselves.

Peace out.

Rana || xoxo

 

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Contradictions

Hello, love!

You know when you say something and someone says, “Hey! Me too!”? And you either get…

a. …really happy because you’ve found something in common with someone you feel is worth trying to make friends with.

b. …really aggravated because you thought you were special.

c. …super annoyed because you want nothing in common with the person you’re speaking with.

Well, I wonder if any of you feel the same way as I do. Hopefully, it’s a mutual a. option if you think, “Hey! Me too!” 😉

So do you ever feel…

  • like dreaming big dreams and not caring what happens while simultaneously feeling like it’s not worth it to pursue a thing?
  • that couples are the cutest and most revolting pairs of anything in the world?
  • like taking an incredible amount of risks to see how far you can get while also wanting to stick to the safe options?
  • like making friends with people while not wanting to put forth the effort to maintain that relationship?
  • like saying exactly what’s on your mind while not daring to because you’d get punched in the face and grounded for life?
  • like telling someone what’s on your mind but also not wanting to say a word about yourself?
  • like being that sweet person everyone wants their children to be like but no one actually really likes while also Caution: Contradictory human ahead.wanting to be that bad girl everyone loves?
  • like going to another country and living like the poor while also never wanting to leave the comfort of your own house?
  • like being the one everyone looks up to while also wanting to be the quiet kid in the back?
  • like saying something really smart while kind of going, “nah. No one wants to hear from me.”?
  • like you’re the lowest of the low while also feeling like you’re better than everyone else?
  • like listening to stupid pop songs while also wanting to listen to deep lyrics from a hard rock band?
  • like giving advice to someone while also feeling kind of awkward and in no position worthy enough to do so?
  • like being that encouraging person while also feeling fake when you do say something nice?
  • like judging and hating everyone but feeling guilty for doing so?
  • like wearing all black or more dresses but not wanting to scare everyone or break out of your norm, so you just wear the usual t-shirt and jeans?
  • like being cute and cuddly while also wanting to metaphorically be a leather jacket with spikes?
  • like wearing classy makeup while also wanting to go goth or something?
  • like falling in love with someone or hating the guts out of the human race?
  • like quitting school while simultaneously not wanting to give up?
  • like not caring what grades you get, but also knowing you’d feel like a failure if you didn’t get straight A’s?
  • like being immature and selfish while wanting to be seen as mature and selfless?
  • like eating all healthy food but all junk food at the same time?
  • like emailing and loving the crap out of someone while also feeling like you’re wasting their time?
  • like you’re the most important person ever but also feeling like you’re worth less than dog poop?
  • like you want to sleep all day but can’t because you have too much to do?

The list goes on. You too? Or am I just an awkward potato?

God bless!
Rana

Merry Christmas Message

Hello, darling and Merry Christmas!

I just want to say thank you. You are truly amazing and a wonderful gift to me. I have not much to give in return except my thoughts (for now). Thank you for listening. Thank you for encouraging me, loving me, supporting me.

I realize that this is not the most interesting blog to follow as I cannot respond to most comments; therefore, it’s not as interactive as the plethora of other blogs out there. But those of you who “like” and “follow” mean so much more. Your gift of time, I realize, is not merely a “you’re a friend, so I have to read what you write” sort of thing. The fact that you freely and willingly take the time to read what I have to say and then decide that it’s worthy of waiting to see what else I come up with means the world.

So, thank you, love. Thank you and Merry Christmas.

Bilbo

EPSON MFP image

kaleidoscope

Thrandykins

Can you tell I made it to The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies? 😉 If you haven’t, I highly recommend it!

 

God bless!

Rana

P.S.

Writers, stay tuned! I have a late Christmas gift for you coming (hopefully) early next year.

End of the World

Good afternoon, darling!

I want to share with you something that had severe negative emotional effects and mild physical ones on yours truly. It’s going to make me a bit vulnerable, but the raw and painful experiences are the ones that we connect with or so I hear.

Without going into too much detail…

  • I made some decisions against my better judgement.
  • I lost a lot of friends (not through anything that was really my fault).
  • I heard something at a youth conference (of all places) that disturbed me for a long time.

All this combined led to a crazy amount of negative impacts which I think I won’t go into at this time.

But one of the things that stuck with me and is something that I’m still trying to shake is this fear that the world is going to end. If I look at it from a big picture perspective, it’s not so bad, right? It’s not that everything will be destroyed, but that everything will be made beautiful and perfect and glorious. But it also means that crap happens first. Things have to get really bad before they get really good.

And I would lie awake at night, wondering when it would happen, what would happen. But you know what? I have little to no reason to believe that this is going to happen any time soon. What have we got going? Wars, murder, the beheading of innocents, children getting shot in their schools, parents murdering their children, children murdering their parents.

This has all happened before. It’s nothing new.

History repeats itself. Where once children – babies – were burned alive to appease the pagan gods, we now murder them before they’re born and turn a blind eye.* Wars have been raging for forever. Murder: Cain and Able.

I have no valid reason to believe that the world is ending. 

Do you?

The thing is, even if it were, what’s the point in worrying about it?  We can’t change it. We can’t stop it. All we can do is make the world around us a good place to live. That’s what I kept trying to tell myself a year or two ago, but I couldn’t quite believe it for a long time. So if you’re there, it gets better. I promise. Just hold on.

Do you ever flip to a random passage in the Bible? I did the other night and stumbled upon this. It comforted me a lot and my prayer is that it helps you too.

Thessalonians 2:2-3

Anyway, this is something I felt I should write about. Maybe it will speak to you, maybe not. I hope this finds its way to whoever needs it. ❤

Love,

Rana

*Note: I do not judge those who have had an abortion. I love them and my heart goes out them. I realize that I cannot agree with their decision, but that does not mean I have to hate them. ❤ If you have had one and are hurting, seek counselling, love. ❤ You can get better.

P.S.

This Christmas season, we’ll see a lot of Salvation Army red buckets and hear them jingling bells. The SA has admitted to believing that it’s fine to have an abortion under certain circumstances on its website. If you believe abortion is wrong under //all// circumstances, you might want to find some other organization to contribute to. (And there has never been an instance where an unborn baby needed to die to save the mother. Sometimes, the mother needs surgery and the baby dies in the process, but these two situations are completely different. One has the intent to kill, the other has the intent to save.) #tangentover

High Fructose Fantasies

Hello, my darling!

I apologize for the irregular posts. I really should get myself on a schedule, but, ah, that would require effort and planning ahead – two things I’m not particularly fond of. So we’ll just stick with this spontaneous thing I’ve got going on.

Today, I just want to kind of throw some thoughts out there. It might be a bit scattered, so hold on tight. 😉

When we were young, we thought we’d be the popular kids with everything figured out. Don’t pretend like you never had those fantasies. We all High Fructose Fantasiesdid.

And now what are we?

What happened to the kids who weren’t afraid to love, to try things, to make mistakes? What happened to the kids who thought they were going to change the world?

I guess they grew up.

I used to day dream all the time. I used to think about my future.

Now, not so much. It’s getting better, but I used to dread thinking about the next day because it was so overwhelming. It still is if I think too hard or far. It just seems like once you hit high school, things go by so fast.

You’re expected to do, like,

  • 529,720,762,759 hours of community service
  • 5,000 hours of internship
  • decide what college to attend
  • what you want to do with the rest of your life
  • make friends
  • keep friends
  • lose friends
  • love
  • hate
  • get broken
  • pick yourself back up
  • have fun because childhood is the best time of your life but why aren’t you acting like an adult
  • cry but not too much because people will ask what’s wrong and they have their own problems – bigger problems so yours mean nothing
  • laugh
  • dream big
  • no, not that big you idiot because only special people can do that (basically, you’re obviously not special)
  • be yourself
  • no, not like that
  • do your homework
  • stop talking so much, no one cares
  • why are you so quiet, I want to hear what you have to say
  • get involved in extra curricular activities
  • but maybe you should drop them because you obviously need an A+ in all of your classes and you seem stressed out
  • and don’t forget to shower and sleep somewhere in between.

Why don’t we dream big anymore? Because there are only 24 hours in a day  and it’s spent doing s o  m u c h  n o t h i n g.

Why do we really need A’s? I work way too hard for a letter. After that, what? I go to a nice college so I can hopefully get a job in the field I studied for. So much of what I do rests on hope that’s not even my own. Is that okay? Is this really how I want to live my life? I just don’t understand why that’s the only option. *shakes head*

(This is not to say that I’m advocating for rebellion against parents/guardians when they tell you to work hard and get good grades. I only mean that you should think for yourself. Respect authority, kids.)

Back to the point: we don’t dream anymore. Our hopes been sucked dry by an uncreative society’s chaotic and bland version of reality. And we so readily conform to it. Our new dreams are no longer that of a hopeful child with starry eyes looking to a bright future. The only dreams we now dare to hope come true must be possible and probable. Anything else will get you hurt.

Our new dreams, though, terrify us into paralysis. We’re afraid to dream too big. We’re afraid we can’t achieve the success they have. We’re afraid. So afraid.

Why don’t we dream big anymore? Because there are only 24 hours in a day and-

Guys, there are only 24 hours in a day.

Don’t waste that precious time being afraid. If you’re afraid to wear that leather jacket because you’re afraid to break out of the t-shirt and jeans standard you’ve created for yourself, have courage. Do it. Go for it. What’s the worst that could happen? Flushed cheeks and maybe a comment on how wonderful you look?

Small changes add up. Make them.

They don’t have to be life changes. Maybe just a little one. Live on the edge. Chop your hair off, wear striped pants, smile at a stranger.

Summary: society’s version of dreaming is going to keep your from making a move. So screw society and do your own thing. Dream. Hope. Love.

[/thus end Rana’s random thoughts]

Much love from a kid who’s just as confused (if not more so) as you.

Rana

{Have you ever felt?}

Hello, you!

Have you ever endured a pain so consuming that your skin seems to shrink and crawl over bone and muscle? Your heart sort of morphs into a little monster trying to tear its way out of your chest and, in that intense moment, you’re not thankful that your ribs hold it back. You wish your fingernails were claws instead so you could tear yourself open and apart. Maybe then the pain would ebb and a comfortable numbness would replace it, right?

Have you ever waited until the lights were out before you’d allow your mind to run through all the thoughts you forced to the back of your mind throughout the day because maybe a memory might trickle down your cheek and you know others see tears as an invitation into your struggles even though they have no right to even ask to be let in?

Have you ever felt that people asked what was wrong, and listened to only half of what you said so they could take that less than half of a truth and use it as a conversation starter with someone else?

Have you ever felt there could be no reason good enough to justify the pain you’re barely making it through now?

Have you ever felt…?

It’s been something I’ve thought about for a while. I believe there’s a reason behind everything. But until recently, if someone asked me why, I wouldn’t have had an answer and that bothered me. Now, I do and I thought I’d share it.

{Does pain have meaning?}

Yes.

{Why?}

I have a few answers to this question.

>>>>>>> Because I’m only human and this world is crap. If I didn’t believe that pain had a meaning, I’d have no hope. This planet is full of suffering, bloodshed, hate, anger… If there is no meaning to pain, and life is full of pain, then, to me, life would have no meaning.

>>>>>>> Because I have faith that this suffering can be used to help someone else whether by helping me relate to their situation in the future or…

>>>>>>> Ever heard a Catholic say, “Offer it up?” Hold up, non-Catholics! This applies to you too (if you’re Christian). It has a Biblical basis. In Colossians 1:24, Saint Paul says, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church…” 

(Quick note: Christ’s suffering lacked nothing. What this verse means, then, is that we should unite our sufferings with that of Jesus’ on the Cross. We can gather this from Romans 8:17 which can be found below.)

Jesus told us to rejoice in our suffering in Matthew 5:11-12: “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Now, where does the term “offer it up” come from? Well, we see it in Romans 8:17: “and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him”

When Jesus said, ““And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” in Luke 9:23, He was telling us that we would suffer. But for a greater glory. His glory and also (take a look back up at Colossians 1:24) for the sake of the Church.

So suffering isn’t worthless then. And that’s the biggest thing for me. If it means nothing, then a lot of our lives have been wasted. But, if it has a purpose, and we act upon it, then I think it’s justified. Now, if we complain a ton while we’re suffering, are we really acting as Christ would and uniting our pain with His? I think not.

For a more comprehensive article on the Biblical basis of why we suffer, I strongly urge you to click here.

I hope this helps you, lovely. ❤ I hope you can see the beauty in your pain and I wish you the best.

So what are your thoughts? Is there a reason behind your motive to push through pain? Anything that helps you deal with it? I’d love to hear it!

God bless!

Rana

P.S.

This song is just wonderful. Don’t be afraid to get hurt. Don’t be afraid of pain, darling.

Stop Saying “That’s Just The Way I Am”

Hello, darling!

I’ve heard this so much lately, “That’s just the way I am.” And people pass it off as an excuse to be a jerk. I don’t think that’s acceptable. We choose what we become and to believe that we are not in control of that is utterly false. The reason we do it, though, is because it’s easier to think “we can’t change” as opposed to “we should change.” We like to think it’s not our fault.

You are in control of your thoughts. You are in control of what you do. We hold murderers accountable for what they do. They can’t use the excuse, “I just like to kill people and that’s who I am” as justification for their actions. In the same sense, it’s not a justifiable excuse for our actions either.

So let’s go through a quick list of things we think we are because change requires effort, but actually aren’t.

You’re not a jerk. You just choose to be a jerk because maybe you feel better when you tick everyone off with your opinions (I know I do).

You’re not a rebel. You just choose not to listen to authority because maybe that makes you feel more autonomous or something. Dude, everyone thinks they’re a rebel when they scoop the spinach off their plate when their parents aren’t looking. Not many people rebel against the right things.

rebel

You’re not an idiot. Sometimes, you’re goofy. Sometimes, you have a blonde moment. It makes you human which is another thing entirely. Unless you don’t study and slack off. Then you’re just lazy and that’s your decision.

You don’t have trouble keeping friends. You just choose to jump at the slightest thing and push people away because you’ve been hurt before. Accept that people aren’t perfect and be more forgiving.

You’re not a horrible person. You’ve just tricked yourself into thinking you are because of what other people have done or said to you or by dwelling on your mistakes. You’re not perfect. It’s okay. No one likes perfection so don’t beat yourself up because you aren’t.

The list goes on.

Essentially, none of us are allowed to use, “that’s just the way I am” as an excuse to be a jerk. The way you act is the way you choose to act whether it’s conscious or not.

Let’s choose to believe the best about ourselves and others and stop labeling people. They’re people, not containers. Let’s be decent folks in a world sorely lacking in that department, huh?

Love you and God bless!

Rana

You Are the One

Hello. My name is Rana. It’s pronounced ‘Reh-nah’ but people have called me “Rayna,” “Reena,” “Ronna,” “Rosa,” “Renee,” and basically anything else that starts with an “R” and is about two syllables long. But you can call me anything you want as long as it’s nice. I’ll still respond. I’ve kind of up given up on embarrassing people so they can say my name correctly.

What’s in a title anyway?

Depending on the meaning, I may not even want to live up to it.

In Spanish, it means “frog.” And I hate frogs.

But in Arabic, it means “queenly.” I think.

We’ll just go with the latter, okay?

Anyway.

I’m here to tell you something.

You are flipping wonderful.

Seriously. And, keep in mind, that the “world” can be defined as just one person’s outlook on life. Give them something to hold on to and hope for.

You could be the person someone falls in love with on the bus. You could be the one who smiles at someone who needed it. You could be the one.

You could be the one, baby.

You are the one.

I am the one.

LET’S BE AWESOME, OKAY?

God bless, lovely!

Rana

Day #1

Well, it was the first day back to school for me.

I can’t say I’m very happy.

While I do school at home, I’m still required to stay on pace and get as much work done as a normal student. The only difference is that I do it at home and have to be self-disciplined. But most of my courses this semester are with the local college since I dual enroll. We’ll see how well I handle this.

I work very well under short periods of pressure. Unfortunately, school is not short periods of pressure. It’s more like-

Okay, metaphor/analogy time, folks.

You remember the story of the Princess and the Pea?

Well, we’ll say that each mattress is a level of pressure. I am the pea.

Story time is over.

Essentially, that’s every kid’s life for four years. And I’m sure it’s not much easier in college. Well, assuming that you’re actually studying and being responsible…

I actually think I wanted to post something encouraging though.

So, let me direct you to three informational videos that might help you. I really like Ariel from Icon for Hire although I can’t listen to all of their songs based on the topics. She’s very encouraging, very honest, and down to earth.

One of the things that hit me hardest was a certain point she made: Hating the school does not equal rebelling against the system. I think it was Mark Twain who once said that hating someone is like taking poison and expecting the other person to get hurt. Something along those lines. Simply making it your role in life to hate school is not going to change anything. I need to remember that. And I need to get over myself.

Anyway, here you are. 🙂 (I kind of want to share all of her videos but, I’ll exercise self-control. 😛 )

Friend Finding 101

What I Wish I’d Known In Highschool

Who Are You Trying to Impress?

God bless!

Rana