That Scarcity Mentality

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The belief that you have no other options can keep you clinging on well after it is clear that your are only grasping a mere shadow of hope that was cast from the past.

Fear that if you walk away that you will be left with nothing.

The idea that if you say no there will be nothing to say yes to.

The notion that if you let go you will never have anything to hold onto.

There is nothing like that good ole scarcity mentality to leave us as hopeless as a penny with a hole it.

I know that feeling all to well.

It’s the feeling that I have to put up with my circumstances because I’m convinced I have no other options.

When I operate in a scarcity mentality, I feel like I have to take whatever is put before me.

In my past this has led to me working a job that I hated because I was afraid that if I left I wouldn’t find another place of employment.

And it has led to me staying in a toxic relationship because I believed that no one else would love me.

Neither of which were true, but because I had a scarcity mentality I had a hard time convincing myself otherwise.

In the work situation I found myself physically ill at the mere idea of going to my place of employment.

I would pull up to the parking lot at work with a back full of stress knots because I had so much anxiety about working at a place that I knew I should no longer be at.

But I had bills to pay, I had children to care for, mouths to feed and so I would clock in and do my job with a stomach full of anxiety.

But one day I chose me and I quit the job.

That’s right you read that correctly.

With no other job in hand, I quit the job.

Two weeks later I found employment somewhere else.

Now am I saying that if a person quits a job without having another job that they will find employment in two weeks time?

No, absolutely not.

But what I am saying is that I felt like I didn’t have any other options and I stayed at a place of employment that didn’t sit well with me because I assumed that it was my only choice.

I left with no other visible options because I decided that working in a place that was jeopardizing my health wasn’t worth the money.

I had developed a scarcity mentality in terms of employment because I had previously struggled to find the job I was so unhappy with and I also had a business fail in my past.

So all I keep thinking was that if it took such a long time to find the job that stressed me out then I would never find anything else.

For three months I had been applying for other places of employment and no one was even calling me back for an interview.

I perceived all of that as further confirmation that if I left that I would never find anywhere else to work.

My scarcity mentality had me convinced that I had no other options for work in a poor job market, however when I chose me other options opened up.

Had I not let go of the unhealthy work environment I most likely would have never pursued other places of employment with the determination that I did.

Another example of where I had to overcome the scarcity mentality in my life is in the area of love.

Much to my chagrin I stayed in and clung to unhealthy relationships because I had convinced myself that the person I was with was my only option.

I felt like if they didn’t love me no one would.

I didn’t believe I had any other options.

I failed to see what I had to offer.

I thought that because the people I interacted with at that time couldn’t see me that no one would and that I had to take the scraps that they gave me.

I had a false perception of who I was.

Thankfully, I learned from blogger Natalie Lue over at baggagereclaim.com that you have to stop looking at the men in your life as if they are the last chance saloon and she was so right.

If the person you are with isn’t treating you right you have to stop believing they are your only option.

I say this because as embarrassing as it is to confess, there was a point in my past where I have begged someone to love me.

Thankfully, I have reached a place where I don’t do that any more.

I’m happy to say that people who aren’t attracted to me are no longer attractive to me.

Asking someone to like me, love me, care about me, visit with me, spend time with me isn’t something I’m into.

I recognize that by the very definition the person for me – will actually like me!

And so when I find myself in situations where I recognize that I clearly care more than the other person I remove my energy from that interaction and refocus it towards people who give me reciprocity.

The first example of me intentionally doing this was when I separated from my ex-husband.

After accepting that my marriage was over I felt so unloved.

I felt like no one in the world loved me.

At the thought of how unlovable I felt I would get so emotionally cold and alone that I would actually physically experience goosebumps.

So one day I pulled out a dry erase marker and on my bathroom mirror I wrote the names of everyone who I knew loved me.

The list included my mother, children, aunts and uncles, close coworkers, dear friends and several of my cousins.

By the time I finished my mirror was filled with scores of people who loved me.

Everyday when I woke up I would read off the names of all the people who loved me and some days additional people would come to my remembrance and I would add them.

And then each day I would make a conscious effort to contact as many of those people as I possibly could.

Sometimes I sent text messages, other times it was a phone call, or I would drop a card in the mail. I would have lunch with coworkers who had become friends and go over to spend time with close friends after work.

But most importantly during that time I also reconnected with myself.

I started exercising, I pampered myself at the salon, I bought new clothes, I ate better, I worked on my spiritual life and I loved on me.

Refocusing my attention from the one person who didn’t love me to those who did and onto myself wasn’t easy because I had created a habit of observing evidence of me not being lovable. However, with time I stopped focusing on the person who didn’t love me and I was giving my time and energy to the people who did.

Sometimes we think that we have to replace romantic love with romantic love.

But I was able to successfully replace unrequited romantic love with requited platonic and familial love.

My point is I had convinced myself that no one would ever love me because my ex-husband didn’t and with some work I retrained my thoughts to recognize that I was overlooking all the people who do love me and that there would be more to come.

I know for some the concern is the desire to replace romantic love with romantic love.

But as for me, once I accepted that there was a plethora of people in my life who adored me and started loving on myself it helped me to retrain my thinking that if my ex-husband didn’t love me that no one else would.

And in time I started to meet men who were attracted to me.

However, I truly believe that if I would have kept holding on to the scraps of a marriage that was most certainly over I probably would have never had the opportunity to spend time with men who genuinely enjoyed having me in their company.

I would have stayed with someone who ignored me and called me names instead of having soulful conversations with someone who enjoyed me and called me beautiful.

So when I catch myself thinking that I have no other options, I recall those two situations where I let go of the fear of having no other options if I were to leave a job that I felt physically ill going to and the time when I left a marriage that beat me down emotionally and came out better on the other side.

I can truly say my life is so much richer now because I chose me.

I left those situations without a new love in sight or without a job in hand because I let go of my fear and my scarcity mentality.

Love,
Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

See Me, Don’t See Me!

“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde 

I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot this week. It came to my remembrance while I was thinking about an interaction that I had with someone.

I was having a conversation with an individual who made it clear to me that they view me in a way that I perceive as negative.

When they expressed their opinion of me, I stood there going through my mental lexicon trying to determine what words I could say to redeem myself.

I wanted to explain to them that I wasn’t how they perceived me.

I wanted to show them they had made an error in their judgment.

But then I slowed my breath and became mindful of my thought process and I shifted my thoughts from wanting to defend myself, to doing some self-examination as to why I felt the need to do so.

For as Byron Katie says, “defense is the first act of war”.

I realized that the reason I wanted to defend myself was because I had placed value on what they thought of me.

And clearly that value I had assigned to them at the moment in time that they shared their dismay with me superseded my own value of myself.

I had made them the judge, jury and executioner of who I was and they had placed my head on the chopping block while I was getting ready to beg for mercy.

Once I realized that somewhere along the line I had placed them on a pedestal, I immediately began the process of mentally knocking them off.

They are free to think however they choose to think about me and I am free to know who I really am.

They don’t know my story, my thoughts, my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my goals, my heartbreak or my pain better than I do and yet there I was prepared to try to get them to see me for who I was.

And there lies another problem.

When people make poor judgment calls on you it shows that they don’t really see you.

And their assessment says more about who they are then who you are.

When people can’t see you it’s often because they are projecting their views, their past, their pain, their hurt onto you.

They can’t see you, they see themselves and their own inner turmoil.

And I have reached a point in my life where I choose not to surround myself with people who can’t see me.

It doesn’t feel good to me and I have decided to do what feels good.

I am at a place where I have enough healthy relationships with people who I don’t have to expend my energy on unhealthy ones.

It’s not my job to convince people of anything.

They can go about thinking whatever and however they choose and I’m still going to be me.

It took me a long time to get to where I am and while I have a pattern of choosing emotionally unhealthy people to interact with I have been working diligently to break that pattern.

I still have a long way to go but that doesn’t mean I have to go back to where I was.

I have decided that if someone judges my genuine heart-felt gestures as manipulative they are not my type of person. Perhaps they are guarded, perhaps they have been lied to a lot in the past… but guess what it’s not my problem. Furthermore, it is by no means an alarm that I need to prove that I am not manipulative.

It is projected that there are 7,530,103,737 people in the world today. I find it hard to believe that I can’t find someone who cannot see me for who I really am.

Especially when I have people in my life who currently see my authentic self.

And even if I didn’t have those people and every living soul saw me dimly, I see the light in me and my sight alone is enough.

So if I deal with someone who calls me a liar when I am speaking my truth, their claim has no bearing on me.

It probably just means they are used to being lied to.

Because only a person used to dealing with impostors would fail to be able to point out the real McCoy.

When you are familiar with authenticity you know it when you see it.

I’m not in the business of proving myself to people.

I have been there, done that and I refuse to wear the T-shirt!

My job is to remain true to who I really am.

If you have read my blog for any length of time you are all too familiar with the fact that I have previously fallen into the trap of trying to convince someone outside of myself of who I really am.

Sad to say I have tried on more than one occasion to prove to another human being who was just as flawed as myself that I was “good enough”.

Ummmmm how about no.

Never again!

See me, don’t see me, I’m still going to be me!

I have decided to give my time to people who can see me for who I am and who want to interact with me based on that perception.

Begging people to like me, love me, care about me and validate me is not, has not and never will be a healthy path.

I value my opinion enough not to need someone to give me a gold star and write good job on my work.

I don’t need anyone to co-sign or give me a good old stamp of approval.

Seeking external validation isn’t healthy and it makes you powerless.

I decided to let them go on living their life seeing me poorly, because at the end of the day I know who I am and I am pleased with me.

See me, don’t see me, I’m still going to be me no external validation needed!

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Renata Nicole

Love,

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Her Spark of Hope

img_2548He was to her fresh energy born from a place she knew not of, experienced in a way she had no understanding.

He made her feel a spark of hope where she had become hopeless and so she genuinely adored him for that.
It was hope that maybe she would find shelter in that of someone else. An extension of peace beyond herself.
She sighed at the thought that when she was weary she might be able to lean on someone outside of herself.
To be able to rest in the arms of someone else and not have to solely rely on oneself.
He felt to her as comfortable as a recliner after a hard days work. Overtime she allowed herself to ease into him and she would like to think that he eased into her.
He gave her hope.
Hope that masculine could provide for her feminine and that her feminine could nurture masculine.
She liked that hope.
No, he was not her shelter, he was the one to spark the hope of its existence and his purpose was as sweet as the scent of honeysuckle.
He bore her no ill will.
He simply was.
Him not being the one to stay didn’t make him wrong but it did make her strong.
Strong in the faith that she didn’t have to face this world by herself.
He made her laugh til her belly ached.
And when he held her she simply felt safe.
She remembered the time he clutched her extra tight. It was the moment of thinking he needed her comfort as much as she needed his and it felt right.
She took her time in getting to know him and wasn’t in a hurry to give him her heart.
She waited for him to endear himself to her, before she allowed her love for him to start.
In the time of getting to know him she learned to enjoy their time together for what it was.
She simply wanted to enjoy the interaction so she could see where it would go.
That’s when he decided it wouldn’t work out, she didn’t take it as a blow.
Recognizing it for what it was she was able to move forward from it.
She would miss him but she carried him in her memories and took forth the gift of hope that he gave her.
The day he came to tell her she was not his match, she had a bruised ego and tears streaming down her face. And yet her heart stayed intact.
Her ego took a bruising as she thought on all the things not right with her that made him make his decision.
She thought of all the others who she cared for where the interaction ended in division.
But she quickly realized this situation was different.
Because as she replayed their interaction wondering what she said or did to make him lose his attraction.
She soon surmised it didn’t matter, for in retracing her steps she realized the entire time with him, she was authentic.
She was free with him and she was genuine.
And that in and of itself was the difference.
It was the first relationship where she allowed herself to be truly comfortable in being herself.
And while on one end she felt pain in the thought that she was rejected for being who she was as well as fear that she was unlovable.
She decided to embrace the hope that she was simply redirected to the one who would love her for who she was and that the man who would intertwine with her heart was not intangible.
The relationship did not end in heartbreak.
He was kind enough to pause the episode before allowing her to continue forward and since only gave what she truly desired to give there was no harm felt from her.
She practiced balanced giving. She allowed him to take the lead so that she could follow. So when he ended the dance with her she took her bow with a new-found hope that she would find her true dance partner on the morrow..
It worked because he was honest in his intentions and his heart was true.
It didn’t work because his desire was for something she could not bring through.
It worked because she waited for him to prove himself before giving him her heart.
It didn’t work because they simply weren’t meant to be he was not the one to play the part.
He simply wanted to know her and that was the purpose of his pursuit.
He wanted to know if she was his match.
And once he knew her he realized his heart could not be attached.
Neither one of them were wrong.
It simply meant they tried.
With the realization that she wasn’t the one he informed her before she ever fell in love that she should refrain. He was completely honest about his interest and provided her no pain.
He did not bruise her ego, the way she chose to understand his words did. And once she licked her wounds she realized if she was not his then he could not possibly be hers.
Upon acceptance of his foresight she expressed gratitude that he could see clearly where she saw dimly.
She wasn’t who he was searching for and so he could not possibly be who she was in search of.
She was grateful for his 20/20 vision recognizing that had they continued to move forth it would have caused a great collision.
Her acceptance of his release of her was key.
It gave her the ability to see that had she tried to convince him otherwise he would have resented her for it.
And so she let him go.
But she held on to the hope.
As well as the memories of how he tickled her and how he played in her hair. As well as how he looked at her and how he showed her care.
She realized the relationship’s lack of continuance wasn’t a bearing on who she was.
Like him it simply was.
A good book doesn’t become bad simply because you reach the final page.
And like all good books their interaction ended. It was a part of her story that had to be accepted for her to move on to her next stage.
He sprung forth in her hope and she was thoroughly captivated by it.
For prior to him she had let that hope die in her youth and yet with wrinkles setting forth on her face through him it was reborn.
She was relinquishing her fear of letting herself love outside of herself and her strong held belief that vulnerability was a catalyst for pain.
She had been told it takes great strength to truly be herself.
And that she understood.
But she also had a deeper knowing that it takes greater strength to trust herself with someone else.
She understood that he was not her missed opportunity.
He was her ability, to hope for love.
She recognized the success of their interaction wasn’t in the amount of time he stayed but in the hope he gave as her ability to behave authentically.
It wasn’t hope in him, it was hope in love and she needed that.
She needed to believe in love outside of herself.
She needed to have comfort in the idea of loving someone else.
There was no requirement for him to stay for her to achieve this hope.
Simply the understanding that he like many before him were simply the one on the way to the one.
He looked at her and he was pleased with her for a while, until he wasn’t.
Initially she had thoughts that perhaps that meant she was insufficient.
And that the separation between where she was and the loved she craved was far too distant.
But those thoughts were drowned out by the knowing that life was sending signals that he simply wasn’t the one.
And yet it was safe to believe in the one’s existence.
She was herself and he rejected her and yet he somehow embedded the hope that if she stayed true to who she was she would be accepted.
She could hold on to the memories but she had to let go of him to find love authentically.
Love,

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

When You’re Just “Too Proficient”

I was working as a teacher’s assistant  when I first heard the comment.

“Renata, you’re just too proficient.”

I smiled when the lead teacher said it.

I was so proud that I was good at my job and was being acknowledged for my abilities.

While working as his assistant I had the uncanny ability to provide him with whatever he needed and have it in place before he even realized he needed it.

At the time I didn’t have an inkling that being too proficient would be my downfall.

I would hear “Renata, can you hand me the….”

And before he could finish the sentence whatever he was asking for was placed in his hand.

He would smile and say, “You’re just too proficient.”

It made me feel good knowing that I was able to make his job easier.

Fast forward to a few years later when my supervisor pulled me to the side and said, “You know what you do? – You intimidate people. You are simply too good at what you do and it intimidates people, so they don’t want to work with you. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it, just be aware that when you are too good at what you do it makes other people intimidated.”

I didn’t know at the time that those comments carried as much weight as they do until now.

This blog post is for all the people who are too proficient at their craft(s).

This is for the people who excel at what they do, but instead of being told congratulations they are told, sorry we don’t have a place for you.

I don’t know how many people can relate to this, but I am certain I am not the only one.

So I am going to continue to tap my keyboard until I have finished expressing my thoughts on this matter.

It has been two years since I came to the realization that my problem was in fact that I am too good for many of the things that I seek in life.

If that statement sounds arrogant then to you I say with the utmost respect – this blog post is not for you.

No, this blog post is for the people who know what it is to be one of the best, if not the best, only to have people tell you time after time that you that you are not what they are looking for.

Hearing those words can make you doubt your abilities but something inside of you keeps saying “I know I’m good at what I do”.

For almost a year I had been toying with the notion of diminishing myself so that other people would feel more comfortable around me and I would be viewed as less  intimidating.

I actually tried to “dumb myself down” the way that I had been advised to do.

-It didn’t work.

It didn’t work because I cannot pretend to be someone who I am not.

Interviewers saw through my facade and kindly rejected me.

– “You’re overqualified”.

That is what I was told.

I think I could have handled it better if I only heard it in my professional life.

But when I heard it in my romantic life it just compounded the problem.

– “You’re just too good for me.”

I wanted to believe that it was just their kind way of saying that I wasn’t the one, but no, I knew that it meant far more than that.

Yes, sometimes people lie and say that to protect your feelings when they aren’t interested in you, but I knew deep down in my core being that their words were true.

I was, “too good” for them in the same way I was “too proficient” for certain positions.

I have a tendency to settle for people, places, situations and things that I know I can do better than because I am afraid to try to go where my soul cries and says I belong. And yet, I wanted to be accepted by someone, somewhere.

I feared rejection from what I really wanted so I tried to fit in where I didn’t belong.

But life doesn’t work that way!

You have to get in where you fit in.

In attempting to escape rejection from where I felt drawn, I experienced rejection from where I settled.

When you don’t resonate with people, they will reject you.

It doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with you. But it does mean you are not the right fit.

Sure you can go about fitting square pegs into round holes, but it is far simplier to fit the round peg in the round hole and the square peg in the square hole.

And yet far too many of us get caught up wondering why are we round instead of square or not appreciating that we are square instead of round or God forbid feeling distraught that we are rectangular, triangular or oval!

We wonder why we aren’t something instead of embracing what we are and connecting to that which we are designed for.

Round pegs look around and all they claim to see is a world full of square holes.

Never mind the fact that it is uncomfortable trying to jam themselves into the lives of square holes – they just want to fit in no matter the magnitude of discomfort!

Sure the round pegs might see a couple of round holes here or there but from their point of view it seems like they are too far away and perhaps they wouldn’t even want to get know said round peg, so round pegs decide you know maybe good ole square hole will do.

After jamming their way in and filling totally uncomfortable eventually round hole looks over at the square peg or perhaps the square peg looks over at round hole and says “look this here isn’t working for me”.

And this leads to the painful process of the round peg being removed from the square hole where they both end up with scars.

We fail to recognize that if we are not the right fit for them then logically they are not the right fit for us.

When a round hole is rejected by a square peg, the round hole has a tendency to think there isn’t a place for them in this world.

For example in my case, I remember getting mad when I heard I deserved better because as I saw it better never came.

I was tired of waiting for better and I tried time and time again to settle.

But as I stated earlier what I settled for eventually rejected me.

I knew the entire time I deserved better than what didn’t fit me and that which did not fit knew it as well.

Thankfully, I have finally arrived at a place where I recognize that if someone doesn’t want my services because I am “too proficient” then I should go where my services are wanted, needed and desired.

I used to cry when I didn’t get a position I thought I wanted.

Now I thank God for redirecting me.

I have faith that the reason things didn’t work out the way I hoped is because there is something better coming.

I sincerely don’t get upset any more.

Those people know their work environment far better than I do. They know whether or not I am a good institutional fit.

Them telling me no isn’t a signal for me to give up and think that there is something wrong with me. No it is a signal to keep refining myself, honing my craft and becoming my best self.

I have spent far too much time out of my life trying to get people who don’t accept me, to accept me.

And so it goes with my dating life.

If someone doesn’t want to date me because they don’t think they have what it takes to make me happy, I will no longer try to convince them that they can.

Those people know themselves better than I do.

So I will take their word for it.

If they say I am too good, it’s because I am.

I will not wait for them to rise up to my standard because all it will do is bring me down to their low level.

No, I will seek people, places, situations and things of my caliber.

No more trying in vain to tone myself down so I can be accepted.

Like others who are deemed as “too proficient” I shine far too bright to sink into a crowd.

When you are too proficient there is just something about you that informs people of your greatness without you even uttering a word.

I used to think my shine was only valid if others gave it a nod or congratulated me on it.

No, I shine because I have no other choice but to shine.

I will be honest tonight I was thinking about billing myself as less than what I am because I was tired of being rejected.

I thought perhaps I will just try one more time to downplay myself so I can fit in somewhere.

I held that moment up until I watched Eleanor Powell dance.

Watching her dance made me realize I will not hide my light under a bushel in an attempt to make someone else accept me.

Nope, I’m going to live my life, like Eleanor Powell danced.

For those of you asking yourself who is Eleanor Powell, I am more than happy to introduce her story to you.

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Eleanor Powell has been credited as one of the best American dancers to ever grace the silver screen

She may not be a household name like that of Fred Astaire but it isn’t because she wasn’t as good as him.

Truth be told, the reason she isn’t as recognized as Fred Astaire is because she was “too proficient”.

You see Eleanor was dancing at a time when it was thought that the role of a woman dancing was to make her male partner look good.

Back then women weren’t supposed to dance as good a man, they were supposed to make the man’s performance shine.

But when it came to dancing, Eleanor Powell made herself shine, because she could dance equal to and better than a man.

When watching her dance with the great Fred Astaire many people couldn’t take their eyes off of her because her skill, grace and precision were so dynamic.

As you can view in the clip provided, she was able to dance as good as, if not better than the great Fred Astaire.

And that was the problem.

After working with her in Broadway Melody Fred Astaire decided to never work with her again.

His reasoning, he stated was that “Eleanor Powell, one of our greatest talents, is a bit too powerful for me,” he said. “I love Eleanor Powell, but she dances like a man. She’s a remarkable dancer, but she has a mannish style, and she’s a little big for me.”

Her great dancing ability made it hard for her to find work.

Because she was just “too proficient”.

But that didn’t stop her from dancing.

While she was only featured in 14 films there was no denying her ability.

In his autobiography Steps in Time, Astaire remarked, “She ‘put’ em down like a man’, no ricky-ticky-sissy stuff with Ellie. She really knocked out a tap dance in a class by herself.”

So after some reflection I have purposed to live my life like Eleanor danced.

No more “ricky-ticky-sissy” stuff even if it means I have to shine solo, I’m going to shine.

 

Thank you Eleanor!

Love,

 

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith, Renata Nicole and RenataNicole, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

No One Compares

One tree no better than the other, together they make one forest.

One tree no better than the other, together they make one forest. – Renata Nicole

I told my daughter it was okay and that I wouldn’t be upset.

She still refused to go.

I asked her why.

I said “mi hija (mi hija is how I affectionately refer to my daughters) why don’t you want to meet your father’s girlfriend?”

She shrugged her shoulders and slowly replied “I just don’t want to”.

This response came from a spirit who I carried in my womb while her body knitted for nine months; so without her ever saying a word I already knew…

I not only knew that her answer was only a symptom of the truth she was trying to conceal but as her mother I also knew the reason.

I looked at my daughter and I asked her a question that I had a knowing was her truth.

“Is the reason you don’t want to meet her because you are afraid it would upset me?”

A tear rolled down her tender cheek and she softly said “yes”.

I gently inquired, “are you afraid that you might actually like her?”

With her eyes never looking away from her feet she slowly nodded her head up and down.

I looked over at mi hija and I shared a truth with such a confidence that I surprised even myself.

Realize it is okay if you like someone other than me. It is okay because while someone else may do things better than me there are other things that I do better than them. They cannot steal my purpose in your life away from me. This is not a competition and above all else no one on the face of this earth can ever be me.  Never ever see another person as a threat to you, never allow yourself to perceive another person as your competition or a replacement for the person who you were created to be. No one can replace the you that you are. I am unique and the position that I am designed to hold no other person can take away from me. I am Renata and no one can ever do me. You may choose to like things about her that she does better than me, and that is okay. She might be able to clean better, cook better, be kinder or funnier than me, but no one will ever be me. The relationship that I have with you, no one can ever take away. So go and meet her and I pray you like her, because I know that you liking her does not stop me from being your mother.”

There are times when I reflect back on this conversation with mi hija.

The thing is when I was less secure about the woman that I am, I don’t think I could have uttered those words much less believed them.

But those words are my truth. And they go beyond my relationship with my daughter.

I have held relationships with people be they professional, casual, friendships, family or romantic and while the dynamics of the relationships are different my truth still stands.

Someone can like another human being better than me but that person cannot replace me.

I remind myself of this truth when I am passed over for professional positions that I would like to hold or when people choose to spend their time with others instead of me.

While others may do the things that I do and may even do some of those things better, none of them will ever be me.

I don’t say this with arrogance, but complete confidence.

No one can ever climb into the skin that I am in and be me.

A love interest deciding that he would rather be with another woman doesn’t mean that I am less than her. It means he chose something in her that he could not find in me. Thus, if he decides that I am not the one for him, that is a red flag that he is not the one for me.

When I apply for a job and I am told they have decided to go with another candidate, that doesn’t mean I am a worthless person. It means they chose a different person for the position and so if I am not the right one for that job then I am the right one for another job – my job.

When a family member or friend chooses to hang out with others instead of me, it doesn’t mean that I am not their family any more. It means that the people who they are hanging out with fulfill a need in them that they would like met. I cannot be mad because someone wants a need met that I cannot fill.

Here is the thing I have been passed over, left out, and flat out “left” multiple times!

Did it sting?

Absolutely!

But I quickly remembered what I told my daughter.

It isn’t a matter of being better than anyone else. It is a matter that I am growing to accept myself for the unique creature that I am quirks and all.

This leads me to something that I often tell others:

What we call and what feels like rejection is not really rejection. Realize that people are not rejecting you, they are releasing you. They are releasing you to fulfill the position that you are supposed to hold in life.

The reason why it hurts when we are released is because it bruises our ego.

Ego is what cries out to others “Pick me! Validate me! Love me! Better yet how about everyone just make this life all about me!

Starve your ego, lick your wounds and recognize that you were marvelously, wonderfully, beautifully and purposely made. Your life is no accident. And others releasing you serves your divine purpose.

Accept yourself and others will accept you. 

If you accept the person that you are when the time comes that you are released it won’t devastate you so much, because you will not desire and long to be anywhere that your talents are not appreciated.

It will hurt less because you will have a healthier perspective and so you won’t dwell on it for an excessively long or an unhealthy period of time.

And yes sometimes the truth is that the job wasn’t received because you were ill prepared for the interview, the love interest left because you were an emotional mess or the friends walked away because you weren’t being  a true friend back.

When that is our truth we should as always work to be better individuals. Sometimes we can reapply for the job once we have gained more skills, we can show the loss love that we now are emotionally healthy and we can make amends with our old friend.

And yet other times your paths may never cross again.

But when that happens take solace in knowing  the person who you are is perfect for the path you are designed to walk and you have to believe that not only is it a good path but it is your best path.

Love yourself enough to know that no one compares to you.

Renata Nicole

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