Monday Motivation: Discovering Who You Really Are.

When I first started this blog I talked a lot about how from July 1, 2013 to my birthday July 10, 2014 I decided to go on a self discovery journey. I wanted the year to be dedicated to self-improvement and gaining self-awareness. Though I still have a whole lot to improve I learned even more about myself. I wish that I could say that the year was full of prayer and fasting that brought me to a space of peace and enlightenment but it wasn’t. I still prayed as I usually do but what I really changed was how I see myself. I wanted to learn why I believed in and did some of the things that I did so I could change my mindset about them. Now one important lesson I realized is that if you prayer God to reveal certain answers to your questions you must be prepared to receive them. So a lot of tears and a few melt downs later I began to meet myself for the first time in a long time. There were things about me that I had covered up and hidden from myself, things I have forgotten about me. See one thing this journey taught me was what other people were trying to tell me and that was to slow down. I been so busy for the last five years or so with work that I was beginning to lose track of what was important in my life ME. I got lost in the outside roles that I played, titles that I had never asked for. I even began to remove some of my crutches, things that I didn’t even realize that were crutches but I used to hide my insecurities, what I felt like were flaws. I began with my wigs and weaves, I realized that something was wrong because the idea of wearing my natural hair out almost gave me a panic attack. I was so used to wearing the wigs and weaves that I was actually afraid to show my natural hair to the public. Why? Because I so used to allowing other people to validate my beauty based on their approval or disapproval of my appearance thought compliments or comments. I know ask it again. Why? Because I had not took a long look in the and see myself the way God had created me and really appreciate love it. During the process I had to make sure that any changes for me had to my for me and not because it was a trend or because I wanted to be acknowledged for it but because it was something that I wanted to do.
As I began to grow more comfortable with who I was on the outside I also was able to feel better about myself on the inside. I then took other steps to slow down my life and think about what I really wanted, enjoyed, processed what dreams and desires I had given up on. I even decided to release my first book of poetry coming June, 2015. This book was created from me processing how I am with love and relationship. Writing it out allowed me to see the good and the bad in my past relationships differently. Resulting in me becoming more open to love and gaining a better understanding of how to love. I’m still trying to learn how to allow myself to be open and vulnerable in a relationship but of course I am still a work in progress.
I feel like just learning who I am as an individual and as a black woman in my 30’s opened up brand new vision of who I am. I have discovered skills and talents that I never thought I had. It has also opened the door for me to research old interests that I had abandoned for the sake of busyness. The tears and scary moment of this journey has been well worth it. The most important part I did it as a personal private adventure. No one knew about this journey until I started writing about it during the week before my birthday. I am not saying that anyone should do it the way that I did but it is so well worth it to develop your own self-awareness assessment. It will grow you in ways that you wouldn’t have thought of.
Lou Hargrove (Red Butterfly)

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Monday Motivation: Moment of Clarity!

Have you ever had that moment of clarity when you wake up and look in the mirror and realized that you have changed? Not bad change but you realize that you are not the same individual that you were a few months ago or even a few weeks. Your not even quite sure when the exact moment came and it may have happened over time. But to your surprise you actually like it. That feeling is amazing! Recently I have noticed this for myself.
Now for the last 15yrs I have been a huge weave queen and though I loved the convenience of it because of my hectic schedule I had gotten to the point where wasn’t comfortable with anyone seeing me differently. Then I realized I had started feeling the same way when it came to how I dressed and my nails (which I always kept very long and colorful). It had gotten to the point when people always expected me to look a certain way and looked forward to see what I was doing with myself. Now that don’t get me wrong it felt great. For a few years I loved it because I never expected to be that women who people loved my style. Then I got tired of the same ole thing I needed a change but I still kept my hair and nails a certain way and never dressed in sweats because I didn’t want to appear frumpy or appear to not be keeping myself up. But then it got hot outside this summer and all that extra hair was no longer working my me, so I decided to cut my hair and wear it natural. For a while it was one of the hardest things that I had ever done. In the beginning I was really self conscious and hated it but for some reason I couldn’t allow myself to to go back to my old habits. Once got comfortable with it I started receiving compliments all the time about my new hair cut. Though I noticed that I didn’t get approached as much by men as a natural girl I can definitely live with that. Because I am proud of myself for making that change. I am constantly looking in the mirror surprised at myself for no longer being worried about when other people thought I should look like and love what God gave me. I love my natural look and so does my wallet.
In the process I have realized I don’t owe anyone a particular look. I even took my nails off a few weeks ago and though I will probably put them back on I’m not in a rush I still like the way my hands look. In the past I have told people that my individual style is part of me being a artist and expressing my creativity, so not feeling like I am not expected to keep certain looks is such huge relief for me. Though now I realize that it wasn’t really others expectations of how I looked it was my own insecurities. It was me using my hair, nails, and clothes and crutches make make me feel better about myself. I realized that people will comment on what ever I do, some will like it and some will not, however I don’t owe anyone anything when it comes to how I look or express myself as a woman. In the end it all boils down to loving who I wake up and see in the mirror each day.

Where’s The Justice? Felony Charges Dropped Against Cop In 7-Year-Old Girl’s Death

HelloBeautiful

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A Detroit cop is facing reduced charges after fatally shooting 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones while searching a house.

As of Friday morning, Wayne County Circuit Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway dismissed the felony charges for involuntary manslaughter against officer JosephWeekley, the Detroit Free Press reports. Instead, he’s now up on misdemeanor charges of for carelessly firing his gun.

The charges stem from a May 2010 incident, where Aiyana was stuck by a bullet while Joseph was searching for a murder suspect.

Now that the case has been adjourned in the circuit court, an appellate court announced its plans to review the case. Joseph’s attorney, Steve Fisherman, pushed for the appellate court to uphold Cynthia’s decision, arguing, “The United States Supreme Court has clearly stated that the trial judge’s ruling cannot be appealed and that retrial on that count is prohibited by the Double Jeopardy clause of the United States…

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Oops! I Forgot to Introduce Myself and Red Butterfly Chronicles…

Recently I was looking over a few of my early blog posts and though I have given you some personal information about me I realized that I forgot to formally introduce myself. Well for starters my name is Lou Hargrove. I am single, no children, a poet, writer, blogger (redbuttaflydiva.com), founder/Chief Creative Officer of Red Butterfly Publishing, co-owner of Culture Collective, health and sex consultant, tax professional, lover of the arts, naturalista, and beauty and fashion enthusiast. OK I guess that should scratch the surface. And this is my second blog.
My original blog Red Buttafly Diva is currently under a major reconstruction and I’m really excited about the changes that are being made. I decided to start Red Butterfly Chronicles because I wanted a personal blog, I wanted a place that was not so organized that I was able to do random post and vent whenever I needed. Though I will be doing different types of posts here I just want to warn you that I will include some randomness. And since I am one of the people that need that extra push each week I really enjoy sharing my epiphanies in the Monday motivation posts and have moved them here also. I do welcome everyone that reads this blog and Red Buttafly Diva if you follow both. I can also be found on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr @redbuttaflydiva and my Facebook Like page is coming soon.

Lou Hargrove