Tag Archives: help

Lessons from Hiding Your Crazy

April 4, 2017

We’ve all been there. Crazy. Insane. Mental. Someone has hurt us and we want revenge. We want them to feel the pain, the heartache, the distress they caused us. But what happens if we act on our natural human response to get even? What comes of it? What benefits do we truly gain? Maybe an eye for an eye isn’t the solution. Maybe living out a Lifetime movie isn’t the answer. As Miranda Lambert’s song “Mama’s Broken Heart” says, “hide your crazy and start acting like a lady.”

Society is full of bad advice- really bad advice. As someone who has lived through utter destruction because of others’ actions, I can testify that taking the high road isn’t easy but so worth it. Being the bigger person can truly help heal and teach us things we never knew about ourselves; it can help save us from further damage.

1. You keep your integrity. When we stoop to the level of the one who betrayed us, we can often hurt ourselves. We can lose the respect of others, cause people to question our morals and dignity. When you choose to keep your mouth shut and your actions calm, you win. You don’t give that person the satisfaction of getting the best of you. You can keep your reputation; you can hold fast onto your personal integrity.

2.You gain peace. Anxiety can often ensue when we seek out to destroy others. Being wrapped up in anger and uncontrolled emotions, you will find that it can and will consume you. When you choose to let it go (forgive), there’s a peace that takes its place. Peace allows us to keep our sanity, our normalcy and our health.

3. You earn respect. People watch your actions whether you know it or not. People will watch how you handle things especially adversity. When I chose to take the high road, many people confronted me and told me how much respect they had for me because I was doing something most people wouldn’t or couldn’t. This made me feel good. It helped me rise above and motivated me to continuing to do the right thing. Respect is everything and by choosing to handle a disastrous situation with dignity, people will see it. People will be inspired.

4. You grow. I’ve never been more proud of myself-I learned that I had self-discipline like I never thought I had. I grew as a person learning to control my actions, learning the journey of forgiveness, and learning that I was a strong woman who deserved more. I was able to mentor others and through giving advice that counters society’s, I was able to help other women make better decisions-not for the person who hurt them, but for themselves.

5. You become worthy of grace. We all make mistakes. Heck, we may have hurt others and caused pain and when we came to the point where we needed mercy and grace, did we receive it as we had hoped for? Have you ever needed forgiveness so desperately in order to heal and move forward? Who are we to deny the same? When we extend forgiveness, we can then be worthy of receiving forgiveness for our transgressions. When we selflessly show grace, we then become worthy of being given grace. You reap what you sow.

Maybe if more people chose to not act on all thoughts, practice self-control and forgive, the world would be a more peaceful place. Maybe instead of seeking revenge and destruction, we seek to love beyond what is deserved. We choose to better ourselves and positively influence others. So, the next time your blood pressure is rising and your inner psycho starts acting a fool, stop, breathe and chill.

Act like a lady. Keep it together. Remember what your momma told ya. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it at all. And we all know momma knows best. Sweetheart, just hide your crazy.

Xoxo,

Brynlea Taylor

Brynlea lives in Texas and is a southern Bama girl at heart. At 32, she has had the opportunity to be blessed with two callings in her life transitioning from 8 years of teaching middle school and high school to a life in fashion and retail management. Brynlea believes that style is truly forever and can only be successful when personalized and true to who a woman is (or who she wants to be for
the day).  Class and modesty go a long way. Valuing family, faith, friends, fitness (and football), Brynlea sets out to sprinkle exclamations marks everywhere she goes!

Instagram: @stylishly_strong

Broken Not Destroyed: Exposed

November 10, 2014

chelsie

Pastor Robert’s message was really powerful that particular Sunday. He had been teaching on a series about The End: What comes next? Tough Man had made his prejudgements about Gateway Church long before this message, so I was already walking on egg shells in asking him to come with. You see we had already joined and left two churches in almost three years of marriage. We stayed until people started suspecting problems, and Tough Man found every reason not to return. The fact his mother was with us that morning, gave some bit of comfort, as she was never going to deny her youngest, but she was, thankfully, very protective and fond of me. She had heard much over the years, and helped pack my car many a nights that Tough Man made it clear to get the _____ out before he got home. His mood was seldom predictable, and as unhealthy as it was, I appreciated, more times than not, his mother being just across the parking lot. I often referred to her as Mams, and she was the one person that had seen the signs of what Christian girls don’t speak of. Honestly and tragically, she had become my best friend.

On the drive home, I was sandwiched between Tough Man and Mams in his black Dodge pickup truck. The stride in his step to the truck, locked jaw, and single hand grip on the steering wheel was full evidence he was heated. Mams and I knew that anything could set him off so we opted to remain awkwardly silent until the ticking in the air conditioner came. It wasn’t the type of tick that anyone would notice, but it was one I had become obsessively aware of, as it was the sound that would send Tough Man over the edge into a raging war. In an effort to drown out the tick, I resorted to the message from Pastor Robert. As much as I hate to admit this, I knew that Tough Man was already angered by Pastor Robert and his “mega church productions.” I knew that mentioning the service would take his anger off of those “responsible” for “allowing” the noise to continue and place it on someone that couldn’t presently be effected by his escalating rage. I knew wrong. As I mentioned previously, the mood was completely unpredictable. Just as I shared the confirmation the message brought to my salvation, my sunnies were knocked to the floorboard, and blood rushed to the surface of my left check to meet the heat of a fresh slap telling me, “Shut the ____ up!” Mams gasped in shock and began pleading for him to stop. He felt encouraged and affirmed in his adrenaline rush and began driving as if he were under the influence of a spirited bottle and tonic. He had lost complete control to the anger rush and nearly flipped the Dodge on the over pass bridge of 121 and Bedford Road. Tough Man pulled into the covered parking spot that belonged to our 800 sq. ft. apartment, shut the door calmly, and walked up the stairs as if nothing had happened. Mams stood there with me as gigantic tears burned my cheeks; my lips quivered; my body trembled; and I sobbed silently. I was embarrassed, ashamed, humiliated, and terrified all at the same time. I had learned to mask the physical abuse well, thanks to the training I gained from previous years of interview pageant prep and successful work as a makeup artist, whose job was to make others look and feel amazing. I understood “game on!”

What I had failed to prepare for was the abusers need to increase the adrenaline rush which often comes from “new” levels of abuse. He had done what I hadn’t prepared for- actually physically harmed me in front of another person, least of which I would ever have assumed to be his mother. I always felt like Tough Man was way too prideful to ever hit me in public, so I was ill prepared on how I would respond.

chelsie2

Mams stood there with tears in her own eyes, having no idea whether to stay or go. The ever lingering question posed to keep Tough Man contained so to speak. Regardless if the abused want to admit it or not, we fall prisoner to the daily cycle of whatever, whenever, why ever, and however. Anything not to be the target of harmful hands and hurtful words. I encouraged Mams to head on home. I had Tough Man and his cycles calculated near flawlessly. I assured her the fit of rage was over, and now for the enduring of hateful words or days of silence. I would know once I saw the way he was positioned on the couch, and if the TV was on or not. Although the less accepted by society, I would have rather taken another hit, than the acceptable form of emotional, metal, and silent abuse that often comes with being the Christian girl that deeply desires to refrain from carrying one more mark of failure or un acceptance. I hugged Mams, and we parted ways in tears. I walked up the stairs, striving with everything in me to contain myself, because we already established what unwanted noises produce. I walked in to Sunday pre game and Tough Man comfortably couched on the middle cushion of the sofa, nursing a Dr. Pepper. I was about to get it, and it was going to be long and painful. I was in for an unknown number of days, maybe weeks, of silence. The type of silence that never acknowledges your existence. The type of silence that refuses to see you or hear you. The type of silence lonelier than any place of alone. It was routine for me to respond in one of two ways depending on my ability to endure Tough Man’s conditional therapy. I would walk to the bedroom and sob myself to sleep on the bed, or I would very casually and calmly grab the keys, and say I’m going for a drive. Neither one ever broke the silent therapy. It was simply my way of giving him the whatever, however space to let the punishment therapy for whatever I did, run its course.

Still in a state of shock, I think, I walked straight to the closet, packed my leather, electric turquoise weekender, gifted to me by Trish McEvoy, and prepared to do my own attempt at the unthinkable. I set the bag out of view as I opened the door wide enough to leave for my “drive.” I was awkward, and the bag was obvious. He arranged his view, with puffed veins and clinched jaw, and we locked eyes.

To Be Continued…

I’m Chelsie Birks and this is My Glossy Life.

___________________________________________________________

We will be sharing with you Chelsie’s courageous story in several parts. Thank you, Cheslie for allowing us to help share your story.

The Slave Hunter

September 30, 2014

Aaron CohenAn unexpected phone call from Aaron Cohen, the author of Slave Hunter and human activist, turned into one of the most interesting conversations I have had to date. Within five minutes of emailing him for an interview, I was contacted immediately. His quick response is a direct reflection of his fervency to spread the word and get others involved.

Who is Aaron Cohen you may wonder? After hearing his story, you will not forget him. Just by browsing his Web site abolishslavery.org, you sense a passion that does not appear in most people. And when you speak with him, this passion is even more evident. But what is he passionate about? Aaron Cohen’s mission is to free those who have been held captive in the sex trade and other forms of bondage, such as in agricultural and industrial production and in domestic work.

Cohen’s mission didn’t always look like this. Once a drug addict himself and best friend and business partner with front-man of the rock group Jane’s Addiction, his life obviously didn’t reflect his present attitude of selflessness. When asked what began his transformation, he says it was due to his mother’s diagnosis with cancer and “her sincere last wishes for her life.”

For the past several years, Cohen has been known to many as a slave hunter. Going undercover, Cohen seeks out those who are victims of human trafficking in areas such as Cambodia, Latin America, Sudan, and Iraq. Cohen has played an integral role in freeing the lives of abused victims. Currently, he is promoting his book Slave Hunter. This book retells Cohen’s life-risking journey. When asked what memory resonates the most, he recalls a story about a young girl named Jonty whom he encountered while in Cambodia. He appeared in disguise at a brothel where he met her. She was too shy to sing karaoke by herself, so Cohen suggested she gather her friends to help her. These eleven girls, including Jonty, were victims of human trafficking, which included forced sexual acts. The next day, Cohen was able to free all eleven girls.

Aaron Cohen

Cohen speaks with a heartfelt sincerity as he recalls these bittersweet memories. This memory is bitter because Jonty died of liver failure due to the drug abuse she was forced to partake in while held captive. These memories are yet sweet because Jonty and her ten friends were free from a life that seemed inescapable and would have led to death if someone like Cohen had not rescued them. Eight of the eleven graduated from that life and two returned to drugs.

Even more so, the memories that Cohen carries are memories of hope yet urgency to continue his efforts in freeing these innocent children. Cohen says, “ I am one guy with many networks.” He further explains that he and others have come together to help alleviate this dangerously growing problem. You, too, can make a difference. But how?

Cohen offers ways in which you can get involved. The first step is prevention. This can be accomplished by creating an awareness campaign through various social networks such as Facebook. The next step is prosecution. If you know of someone who is a victim of human trafficking, then call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1.888.3737.888. The last step is protection. Protect those who have been victims or who are currently.

You may think that one person can’t make a difference; however, it is apparent that Aaron Cohen, the slave hunter, has made a difference in many rescued lives and so can you.

By Brittany Windle. To learn more about human trafficking, visit Abolishslavery.org.

Originally published on SouthernBeautyMagazine  and DIvineCaroline

Life with Intention

September 9, 2014

LifeWithIntentionOnline

Today, Jess Lively launches her online course Life with Intention. I’ve been anticipating its arrival for a couple of months now. I first came across Jess several years ago when introduced to her lovely, thriving jewelry business. Jess Lively is a woman that I admire for her entrepreneurial spirit, positive outlook and the desire to help others build a life of value based intentions.

“This six week course ditches traditional paths to “happiness” and “success” and rebuilds your approach to POSSESSIONS, PERSONAL HABITS, RELATIONSHIPS, and CAREER
from the ground up.”

From Jess herself:

“The truth is, I searched for this course my whole life.

I grew up as a kid who wanted to do it all, a college student who tried to do it all, and a 20-something who realized “doing it all” wasn’t actually that great.

Mostly, it left me feeling empty inside.

No matter how many things I accumulated, or goals I reached, I never had enough. I had to keep inventing new dreams, goals, and visions in order to get ‘there.’

Wherever ‘there’ is.

But the truth is, it didn’t work. I never got ‘there.’

With the same longing in my heart. The same feeling that I wasn’t enough. And the same desire to find a way out of the Rat Race I constantly fell back into.

One day, during a particularly difficult period of my life, I stumbled upon a quote about Michelangelo. People once asked him how he created the stunning statue of David with a single piece of stone.

Michelangelo replied that it was much simpler than they were making it out to be.

He simply saw the potential within the stone, and removed the layers that concealed the potential within.

In that instant, everything clicked for me.

All the guys I dated, candy bars I (binge) ate, and lipsticks I bought, were never going to reveal my full potential. They were merely adding to the stone instead of subtracting the excess.

I decided in that moment to find a way to live from Michelangelo’s perspective. I wanted to approach my life from a place of revealing my potential, instead of obscuring it.

I wanted to understand why the way I had been taught to ‘succeed’ in life led to so much heartache, struggle, dissatisfaction, and distraction from the present moment.

This class is the culmination of those eight years of study. It weaves together truths taught across several genres, including personal development, spirituality, Eastern/Western philosophy, psychology, and business (with a healthy dose of design, of course.”

Have you ever felt like you were in a rut- personally or professionally? This course seems to help you navigate through that. I’m excited to see what it’s about.

What do you think? Could you use something like this?

Brittany Windle

Broken Not Destroyed

July 31, 2014

Chelsie Birks is courageous. She is courageous because she is a survivor of domestic violence. She is courageous because she tells her story. Chelsie Birks Many have a preconceived idea of what a victim of domestic violence looks like. Unfortunately, most envision an impoverished home with the victim and abuser both addicts of some sort. However, one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. That means that it is probably effecting someone you know.

Why is it that we are not aware of this epidemic? Most are afraid to speak up. Some are so intrenched in the abusive relationship that they feel as if they are trapped. Many also believe that their marriage is more important than their own emotional, mental, and physical well being. An abusive relationship can happen to anyone, and it’s imperative that we are aware of those around us. Once we are educated on this topic, we can look for those who are possibly abused and notice the pattern of abusive behavior to protect ourselves.

The National Domestic Violence Coalition defines domestic violence:

“Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background.

Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime.”

There are signs to take notice when entering a dating relationship. Here are 10 early warning signs from the West Island Women’s Shelter (Click link for a detailed explanation of each:

1. He speak disrespectfully about his former partners
2. He is disrespectful towards you
3. He does favors that you don’t want or puts on such a show of generosity that it makes you uncomfortable
4. He is possessive and jealous
5. He is self-centered
6. Nothing is ever his fault
7. He gets too serious too quickly about the relationship
8. He abuses drugs or alcohol
9. He pressures you for sex
10. He intimidates you when he is angry

Becoming aware of important issues is empowering. Empower yourself by doing your own research, avoiding a potential abusive relationship and supporting someone who may be in need.

Chelsie is like you – full of passion, purpose and a woman of true substance. For years, her voice was silenced but now she is using her voice as a vessel of healing. Read her story here and follow along as she blogs about her experience.

If you are in abusive relationship, seek help. Contact The Domestic Violence Hotline.

Brittany Windle

Follow Brit on Twitter.

The Ugly Side of Insecurity

April 22, 2014

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I scanned her picture. Okay… It wasn’t just a scan. I examined it like an investigator picks a part a crime scene. Why did her big thighs and ankles make me feel better? If I could find a flaw, just one flaw, it would remedy my malady: insecurity.

Insecurity is like a festering sore. At times, I allow it to begin to heal. Then I pick at it again, opening the tender wound.

[Side note: I’m not insecure in every area of my life. And I’m not the stereotypical picture either: mousy, shy or quiet.]

Screen shot 2014-04-21 at 9.14.58 PMInsecurity has exposed a very ugly side in me: jealousy, anger, and competitiveness have all derived from this evil culprit. It had to have started long ago. It didn’t just magically appear in my 29 year old self. And honestly, I’m not sure if it matters when.

But it’s there, and I know I’m not the only female who experiences it. In fact, one of my best girl friends recently admitted to looking at all of her current boyfriend’s ex’s social media outlets. “At least, I don’t have bleach blonde hair and two kids,” she taunted.

We get vicious, and treat one another like wild animals in an untamed jungle. It’s like survival of the prettiest in our superficial, sickly minds. I wonder if Darwin would have agreed.

After a heartbreaking end to a relationship a couple of years ago, I dated this so called party guy. He claimed he had changed, and I did enjoy having something to do on my now cleared agenda. His clingy ex girlfriend found my cell number and anonymously texted me one day. She was sick with insecurity, and she was beautiful. Granted, her insecurity was fueled by a noncommittal guy who kept her at arm’s length.

I’ve been trying to understand this insecurity that lurks around and rears its ugly head at the most inopportune times. Why do I feel insecure at times, and at other times, I don’t? And it occurred to me that it is when I feel most threatened, when I fear danger or loss of security.

Beth Moore in her book entitled, So Long, Insecurity, confesses to having irrational thoughts and actions, which have been fueled by insecurity. She admits that she has feared that her husband might leave her for another woman. She also admits this is an irrational fear, probably stemming from a tumultuous upbringing. However, she poses a question to her readers: What if that one thing you fear actually comes true?

She plainly states something like this: You’d be hurt, cry a bit, maybe act out a lot, then move on. And it would be okay. You would be okay.

Most of the time we are fearing things that will never happen. We hold too tightly the one thing that gives us security: looks, intelligence, sense of humor, etc. When someone threatens this thing we most associate ourselves with, we fear. However, someone’s talent doesn’t void us of our own. We are no longer pretty because the girl next to us is pretty. I’ve wasted too much time worrying and fearing the what if’s.

I want that wound to heal. And I’ll tell myself: It will be okay. I will be okay.

Brittany Windle

Follow her on Twitter.

Balance & Self-Discipline

March 5, 2014

balanceart via

Intention-based rituals.

According to The Power of Full Engagement, up to 95% of our lives are based on habits.

95%! This is pretty crazy. Almost too high to believe. This means that most of our strengths and not-so-great aspects of our lives are likely rooted in habits that we have cultivated - consciously or not - throughout our lives.

The urge to eat the ice cream out of the carton when no one is looking and our ability to jump out of bed in the morning are both likely tied to habits we have crafted over time.

Knowing that habits have such a HUGE influence in our lives means that we can choose to shape positive rituals that reflect our deepest values and intentions for each area of our life.

Continue your reading here.

Midnight Dress Rehearsal

January 2, 2014

the coulisses

I heard some of the best advice given to me the other day: “Don’t let someone’s decisions change your character.” When I heard that one sentence I was shocked that someone would have such wisdom. You see, this past year, my parents after thirty years decided to separate and divorce.

If you have ever experienced parents divorcing, you know that there is a lot of pain, confusion, and heartache. I don’t think it matters your age; it always hurts. A picture perfect family that you envisioned will soon be two families (even when you always knew it wasn’t perfect). Fun-filled holidays won’t be the same, but rather a tug of war to go to not just one parent’s house but now two.

Eventually you learn (or I hear that you learn) to move on, heal, and do what’s best for you. During the healing process, I have become calloused but then vulnerable, sad and then sometimes furious. There is a roller coaster of emotions that encompasses a divided family. I have gotten mad at individuals and have stood firm and unwavering on my decision to never speak with them, but then realized that was not realistic and not a healthy way to live. Unforgiveness smothers your happiness and will deteriorate your joy.

It is a process. At times, I’m able to live without it crossing my mind. Then sometimes I’m hurt all over again and mad at certain individuals. I have spent countless nights lying in bed rehearsing a speech that I would love to give to those who have hurt me. The words are choice, the phrases are timely, and sharp as a two-edged sword.

Recently, I had decided that the speech would become a reality. I would march up to that person’s door, knock furiously, and invite myself in, completely unannounced, of course.

But I was stopped in my tracks when a mentor of mine said that one tiny but powerful sentence: “Don’t let someone’s decisions change your character.”  I realized that no matter the decisions of a person, I couldn’t let it alter who I was.  Even if someone has been unquestionably wrong, that person’s actions do not give me the right to do something that for 1. is out of character and 2. possibly damaging as well.

So I’ve decided to keep my character intact. No more “dress rehearsals” at midnight with me killing someone with my words. I won’t change on account of someone else’s decisions.

When will I heal completely? Who knows? But as I continue to forgive…sometimes daily, the pain is slowly melting away, and my joy is being revived.

Brittany Windle

Follow Britt on Twitter.