Tag Archives: Realness

How Can I Love Myself Past All of My Fat Rolls?

Hello JoyDiva

   I am currently in a relationship and have been for 15 months. He has been away but soon he will be coming home and we will finally be able to become intimate with one another. I really cant wait until this happens but at the same time I am nervous because I am a bigger girl and the biggest girl he has ever been with and not only that but I have a problem with my bladder that causes it to leak. Maybe from my three children that I have but I have consulted a doctor and we are currently working on something for this but in the meantime I dont want him to come home and go down on me and just when I thought that I had freshened up really good he may still smell urine on me and say something. He does know about this problem but Im just not sure how to handle this. How can I love myself past all my fat rolls? Please help me.

Need Confidence

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Dear, Need Confidence,

Hi, Sweetheart. It takes tremendous courage to open yourself to love, to let yourself be seen…both on the inside and the outside. Being willing to put yourself and your heart all the way out their is a wonderful, beautiful thing. I want to honor you for your willingness to be vulnerable, even though your mind is terrified of the risk involved in sharing yourself so fully with another. As scary as it feels, sharing yourself so authentically is the path to true connection and intimacy.

Take a few deep breaths, right now, Love, and pull out a piece of paper or a journal, if you have one. I want you to read over what you wrote me and then I invite you to answer this question: What would a person who loves herself do? Really listen for the answer—imagine another woman who loves herself so utterly and has the same fat rolls and bladder leaks. What would she communicate to her partner? What would she say to herself? How would she operate in the bedroom? How would she operate in her everyday life? How would she operate in her relationship? How would she respond if her partner mentioned that she smelled like urine or that she was too fat to be sexy? Explore all of these questions fully. Write down your responses.

The only way to become someone who loves herself is to take the actions of someone who loves herself. This means facing some big fears head on. A big one here is that you are afraid of losing your boyfriend’s love and approval. Your ego has you convinced that you need it in order to be worth something, which is why you’re so focused on how to “handle” this situation, trying to be perfect and “get it right” to get the love. And deep down, if you listen to your soul’s wisdom, you’ll recognize that line of thinking is bullshit. As scary as it is to face, you do not need anyone’s love and approval. Your fear that he will reject you somehow is only a mirror for you to see how you are already rejecting yourself. You cannot control whether or not your boyfriend embraces you for all that you are. You CAN practice, bit by bit, embracing yourself for all that you are.

So, imagine your worst fear comes true: Your boyfriend rejects you. Now, again, answer this question: What would a person who loves herself do? How would you respond if you KNEW that you did not need his love and approval?

I get that your body isn’t functioning in all of the ways that you would like it to, AND I want to stress that there is nothing wrong with you, Beloved. Imagine speaking to yourself as someone who is deeply and unconditionally in love with you—what is it that you most need to hear, right now? Write it down. Speak it to yourself.

With every moment that you ask the question, “What would a person who loves herself do?” and listen and ACT on what you discover…you become a person who loves herself. This will not happen over night, and I promise, with actively committing to asking and acting on this question, choice by choice, it will happen.

Thank you for honoring me with your story. Notice how even now as you read this and  accept my invitations to look deeper, you are becoming a person who loves herself.

Always in your corner,

:)Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

P.S. If you would like some additional support in taking a look, getting underneath, and transforming those painful thoughts and gaining clarity and freedom on your path, I would be honored to hold-up a loving mirror so that you can experience yourself in all of your magnificence and step into your power. Visit my website to schedule a free connection call so that we can explore what that could look like.

©2015 Melissa Simonson

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My Husband Left and I’m Devastated…What Do I Do Now?

Dear JoyDiva,

I’m in a relationship for 13 years. My common law husband migrated to Canada and though he is far, our communication is constant. We have a daughter and allowance and support was never a problem. And we agreed that after he saves up enough money, he’ll come home and marry me so that we’ll be together as family in Canada. For no reason at all, last December 2012, supposed to be our 13th anniversary, he suddenly stopped replying to my calls and texts. Then, two weeks after, I saw a picture in his Skype account with another woman. And my world crashed. I have no idea what happened. I never saw it coming. There’s no indication that he already had found someone new. Now, I’m so depressed and down. I don’t know what to do. He was my world and my future. I love him more than myself up to now. What should I do? How long do you think can I move on? What’s the best thing to do for me to move on cause I’m really having a hard time to let go? I still don’t want to burn my bridges with him and his family. Should I still hope that there’s still hope for us even just for our daughter cause I really want her to have a complete family? Please help me. Thanks.

Rose

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Dearest Rose,

Hi, Sweetheart. I’m sending love to your tender heart, right now. I’m so sorry that you are in so much pain as you try to make sense of this confusing situation and scramble to pick up the pieces of your shattered dreams. I know this pain very, very well, and there is no other pain like it. Let’s take some deep breaths together, right now. Take a nice deep breath in, and let it out. Though it may seem simple, remembering to pause and take deep breaths is going to be an important part of moving through this transformational journey.

I can’t speak of him or your relationship, what he is or isn’t doing because there are too many gaps in information for me—I hope that if it hasn’t happened yet, that you are able to address what you saw and receive an honest answer from him. Whether he has or has not been in communication with you at this point in time, what I can speak of is how you can nurture your relationship with yourself, and support you in picking up the pieces. What I’m going to say is not going to take away the pain—grief is a fire that has to burn a new path through your life right now, and there will be days that seem unbearable, and then, day by day, as you take gentle care of yourself, the pain will start to diminish, and freedom will be born in its place.

I want you to know that you are loved by every process unfolding in your life. Even this time that has you raw and on your knees is being offered up as an opportunity for you to discover what it means to really love yourself and pursue a life that fills you up and makes you come alive. Your statement that you “loved him more than [yourself] up to now” is telling me that you have not been pursuing yourself and your own life with the passion you deserve. Sweet Rose, despite the false messages we ladies receive through the years, it is not noble or even healthy to love another more than ourselves, to be so consumed in our loving that we neglect ourselves and our own unique expression in the world. Know that your loving is a tremendous and beautiful gift to the world that has not been in vain. It’s just time to focus that tremendous loving on yourself and your daughter now.

There is no magic formula to make your grief go away, and there is no set amount of time for the process, either. Ways to nurture yourself right now:

1) There are 5 stages of loss that are a natural part of your journey right now: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. You will find yourself swinging among these with each day that passes. Allow yourself to feel it all—journal, cry it out, purge, write down everything that you feel you have lost and are losing—revisit this process as often as you need to and make good friends with those intense feelings, as hard as that may be. I’d encourage you to be aware that you may want to lash out on the days that the anger phase comes up and you may also be incredibly angry at yourself, at times. These are days when it’s important that you write, and do not send letters to your former partner because, as you wisely mentioned, burning bridges may not be what you want in the long term. That doesn’t mean that there may not be a moment of clarity when you need to speak your mind with him—by all means, you have a right to be pissed off and hurting! It just means that those intensely emotional days are going to be days when you want something from him that he may not be able to give.  Be aware that the bargaining phase is often one of the most difficult—this is the phase that I call “I’ll send you my left arm if you just take me back” phase. In your devastation and the deep sense of rejection that you feel it can be so easy to be willing to sacrifice all to make the pain go away. Those are the days when you need to keep yourself busy—take good care of your body, as hard as it is–pursue things that you normally enjoy, pour your heart into being present for your daughter, and my next point:

2) Surround yourself with friends and loved ones as much as possible, right now. Reach out—go out to lunch/dinner or have them over. Make sure that you don’t have too many days to get trapped in your head and that you get out into the world. Allow yourself to receive support as much as possible, to feel uplifted and surrounded in love. This means being honest with yourself and your loved ones about what you are feeling and experiencing day-to-day and having support systems to uplift you with words, time, deeds when you cannot do it yourself. One of the greatest gifts of grief is its ability to bring us close to the people who truly matter in our lives. There is so much magic there—allow yourself to rest within that as much as possible.

3) I don’t know how old that your daughter is, but it’s going to be really important that you are also being real with her about your tender heart on a level that she can understand, right now. This does not mean bad-mouthing her father or making her responsible for your happiness—you can share your feelings without making him wrong or making her feel like she needs to make it better. This means showing her the strength that lies in vulnerability by sharing your feelings and communicating with her the ways that you are taking care of yourself, right now. This means letting her know why you might be cranky or sad or needing some alone time. No matter how old or young she is, this is a wonderful opportunity for her to learn about how to cope with life’s inevitable loss and what it looks like for a woman to love herself. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if it weren’t for my mother sharing her growth journey with me and being so real with her feelings and what she needed following my parents divorce when I was 7 years old. I remember thinking that she was so beautiful and strong when she let herself cry, and it was a great gift to me as she shared her learning.

4) When you have a reprieve from the bring-you-to-your-knees level of pain, when you’ve really purged and come face to face with the weight of what you’ve lost, I want you to start thinking about what you want your life to look like (beyond your partner). What are some things that you couldn’t do before that you now have the opportunity to do? If you could craft any life for yourself from this point forward what would you like it to look like? Do not rush yourself to this point before you are ready—it’s important that you be with the experience of loss as it arises. With that said, many people spend so much time looking at the closed door that they intensify their suffering and ignore the abundance of opportunities that lie before them. When you start to feel ready, I want you to start exploring what kinds of seeds you want to plant in your new garden. This chance to build a whole new beautiful life will ultimately be the extraordinary gift of this great loss.

As far as whether or not you should hope for the relationship: Now is a time to focus on you and your daughter and not on your relationship with him. I would absolutely hope that he will continue to be a father to his daughter, but that does not mean that you should or need to be in relationship with him in order for him to be in her life.  Also, as I mentioned above, you now have the opportunity to show her a strong woman who loves herself and a NEW kind of completeness. I understand that you want her to grow up with her parents being together, and that may not be possible or a healthy choice for any of you in the long run. It is not healthy for her to witness her mother pursuing a man who is not acting in integrity. You, my dear, deserve a man who will cherish you for all that you are, and abandoning yourself and chasing after a man who is not cherishing you is not teaching your daughter how to be the strong woman that you want her to be someday. Now is the time to start pursuing yourself, your own dreams, your own beauty with the passion that you were pursuing your relationship with him. Cherish yourself in all of the ways that he could not, and you will feel loved in a way that you may have never before.

You deserve to have  and to give yourself everything that you’ve ever wanted in life—I know that you thought he would be part of that picture, but there is a much better life awaiting you on the other side of this grief. One foot in front of the other, right now, and know that you are so very loved every step of the way.

All my love,

Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2013 Melissa Simonson

I’m Afraid to Show My Boyfriend I Love Him…Can You Help?

Hello JoyDiva,

Let me tell you how thankful I am for finding you, even though I don’t know you :’) My question is, well is more my issue, is that you see I do not know how to love my boyfriend, I feel like if I show him how much in love I am for him he’s gonna get tired of me 😦 Please help me!

StarstruckbyWatermelons

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Dear StarstruckbyWatermelons, (You could make a hit record with a name like that! ;))

Without knowing a lot of back story (i.e. how long you’ve been with your boyfriend, your relationship history, what it means for you to “show” your love, etc.), I’m not going to focus on any of those sorts of specifics here.

What I can say is this: There is nothing that you have to do or be other than exactly who you are to be worthy of a deeply nourishing and unconditionally loving relationship. Your fears of rejection are completely normal, and it’s 100% OK for you to take baby steps when it comes to revealing your vulnerability in your relationship—there is no need to put all of your emotions on the table at once if that is something you are not ready for. Building a foundation for a lasting relationship happens step by step—it takes time to build intimacy, to reveal piece by piece if your relationship has what it takes to flourish and endure, and taking things slowly is a most excellent way to ensure that you’ve got yourself a good one. If he’s the right guy for you, then he’s gonna relish in taking his sweet time and in building something true and lasting with you, too.

I hear that you really like this guy and are afraid to make a wrong move. As really, super-duper, incredibly scary and vulnerable that it may feel, the thing is that when you choose to express your truth—whether that means that you gush all over him with love or express your need to take your sweet time in sharing your love for him or simply just let him know that you’re kind of freaking out—you always win, he wins and the relationship wins, too. Here’s the deal: you actually don’t need your boyfriend’s love or approval—as scary as it seems in your mind to experience him disapproving of you and/or walking away, you have everything that you need within you to pick up your life and create insane amounts of joy. By choosing to express yourself honestly, you are not only loving him, you are creating the opportunity for you to be TRULY loved for completely who you are. If he isn’t ok with how you share your love, then let him go, darlin’; because that means that you aren’t a right fit for one another, and there is another man out there who is gonna be THRILLED to receive love just the way you know how to give it. Hiding yourself so that you can keep a relationship that may or may not be right? Well, that is selling you, your boyfriend and your relationship way, way short of all of the goodness that could exist in your lives. When you speak your truth, everyone wins—you and your boyfriend both get to see if your relationship has what it takes to serve you both to the fullest and then choose accordingly for your lives. It may sound cliche, but the truth really does set us free—free to be who we really are, have what we really want and deserve, and it opens us to all of the joy that can come with that freedom.

So, I want to ask you: What is it that you really want in a relationship? What does your dream partnership look like? What do you need in order to feel cherished in your relationships? Your homeplay: Go ahead and make a really long, juicy list in answering these questions—really go all out with this one. I have a strong feeling that a core piece of your dream relationship includes you getting to be COMPLETELY yourself and being loved for it. (At least I hope so!) Some other things that you might want to include are: “I can express myself fully and it only makes him love me more.” “I can take my precious time, and my partner will not only understand, but respect and cherish the choices that I need to make for myself.” Have fun with this—it’s so important that you get really clear on what you want to be experiencing so that you can build a relationship from that awareness. The world needs you to be fully YOU, and any relationship that doesn’t support you in your “you-ness” isn’t doing any of us justice.

So, make your list, and then I want you to explore some of the ways that you can ensure that you have all of those pieces that you want. One clear way right off the bat is in choosing to share all of yourself—your boyfriend may or may not choose you in the end, but by choosing to share your truth, you are being your best partner, you are choosing yourself. There is a deep and lasting joy that can be discovered when you realize that you will always have your own back.

I want to close with sharing a video of me performing my upcoming single, “I’m Free”–it’s all about the joy and freedom that we discover when we choose ourselves. May this song serve as a loving reminder of your inherent worth and power.

Much love to you and your boyfriend, Dear One.

🙂 Melissa, A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2012 Melissa Simonson

Why Is It So Hard for Me to Walk Away from My Marriage?

Hi Melissa,

I am in the midst of a life transition. My husband and I are on a path to divorce. Our life paths have been veering in different directions for a long time. My husband has not worked in 4 years and any savings or retirement we had is long gone as I have struggled to keep our family above water. Unfortunately I am losing that battle too.

That is just a little background…. I have been offered a place to live for the price of maintaining the property and paying utilities. The home was in very poor shape so I have been working on painting and repairs for several months.

My question is, why is it that I can’t seem to make the actual move into the other home and begin actual divorce proceedings? I seem to be stuck in this role of continued support for my ‘husband’ whom I haven’t had an actual relationship with in years.

The worst part of this is I know so much about the laws of attraction, yet seem unable to maintain prosperous thoughts during this time.

Thank you in advance for your reply. It has been a long time since you counseled me and I know your reply will help guide me as it has in the past.

Much love to you!

From the land of Oz

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Hi Sweetheart,

First of all, let’s take a moment to be really, really gentle with you right now. Darlin’, I don’t know who would be able to think prosperous thoughts while going through all of this necessary but painful life gunk. How about we take “Having prosperous thoughts” off of your to-do plate because my guess is every time you think that you “should” be more positive, you feel more intensely in the opposite direction. There is a reason for that—because having prosperous thoughts is not in alignment with what you are feeling right now. What’s true right now is that there is a lot of scary business unfolding in your life and you feel shitty, and scared with occasional tiny glimpses of excitement for what can be thrown in there…but my guess is that you are mostly feeling pretty shitty, right now. (It’s my blog, I can swear if I want to. :)) The law of attraction is not about thoughts—it is about the feelings that our thoughts create. Right now, having a really good cry, getting angry, allowing yourself to face all of the fears that this time is conjuring up is going to FEEL a whole lot better than forcing yourself to have prosperous thoughts. Buddhist non-attachment teaches us that we have to fully feel all of our feelings and allow them to pass through us—we neither avoid them nor cling to them. You’ve been so focused on trying not to feel your challenging feelings that they are chasing you around with a vengeance. Just let it out, Sister—now is the time to grieve, to release. Only when you are good and ready (that could be months from now) can you truly start taking stock of what you’ve gained in this painful time and explore what you want to grow in your newly tilled soil. (I’m surrounding you with love right now. You are completely safe in this space.) You will find that once you face all of these painful feelings, that the path forward will come with great clarity and ease.

I want you to take some time and really look at your fear—there is a lot of it here, and it is trying to love you. Part of the grieving process means allowing yourself to look at and really feel the loss. I want you to write down everything that is terrifying and painful about this time—all of the scary knowns and unknowns. What are all of the things that your mind believes you are losing?—sometimes that loss can be simply in the form of ideas that we have (the idea of the perfect marriage, the idea that marriage is supposed to be forever, the idea that our partner needs us & vice versa).

You have come to identify for so long as the caretaker, the one who holds it all together, that it can be terrifying to let that go. I’m hearing a great sense of responsibility for your husband’s well-being in your actions. I see that some of your fear lies in what will happen to him if you leave—I hear guilt in there over wanting to pursue your own happiness as well. I also hear that you’ve come to identify much of your self-worth with this care-taking role. Your mind is saying, “Who the heck are you if you’re not caring for this man?!” I invite you to answer that question, My Dear. Who are you longing to be outside of this relationship? Who is the you that you are READY to fall madly in love with? What qualities within you are just dying to come out and breathe without all of this responsibility around your neck? Your worth is not measured by your ability to sacrifice yourself. What beautiful opportunities are you creating for you AND your husband by choosing to walk away?

It takes a long time to build a marriage and a long time to take it apart. It’s ok to take your time in growing your new self-care legs. You are infinitely supported in this process, Dear Heart. So, is your husband. There is no wrong step—tune into your heart for guidance, face those fears with compassion, and you will get to where you want to go in the perfect, right timing.

I want to leave you with my song “Be Here Now”—I wrote it at a time of great strife for both me and my mama. Let the words be healing for you today.

The Lyrics:

My bills are late. I’m underpaid.
I’m on my way to work again,
And I can’t seem to find my way out of this.
My thoughts are tired. My body aches.
I’m climbin’ up without a break.
And I can’t seem to find my way out of this,
But somehow I’ve gotta get out of this.

Chorus:
So I’m gonna be here now.
Yeah, I’m gonna be here now.
All I need is here right now.
So I’m gonna be here now.

I gave my heart and watched it break.
There’s not much more that I can take.
And I can’t seem to find my way out of this.
I’ve tried to sleep. I’m still awake.
I’m plagued with thoughts of yesterday.
And I can’t seem to find my way out of this,
But somehow I know I’ll get out of this.

Chorus

The moment before me is all that I need
The fear and the sadness, my guide
The more that I open to all that I see
The more I see it all dissolve into love
Love. Love. Love. Love.
Love. Love. Love.

Chorus

©Melissa Simonson. All rights reserved.

I send you much love.

:)Melissa A.K.A. The JoyDiva

©2012 Melissa Simonson

Who Am I and What Are Some Tools & Resources to Help Me on My Path of Discovery?

Dear JoyDiva,

I often find myself slightly uncomfortable when people ask me, “so, who are you?” or “what is it that drives you?”. I struggle to answer such questions, particularly when put on the spot. I can think of traits that describe me and what I value, and come up with things I enjoy doing, yet I haven’t learned how to answer the question of “who am I?”. First of all, what exactly does that even mean? How deep do I have to dig to discover who I really am and is that the same thing as my true self? Second, I am aware that we all change and grow during the span of our lives. When we grow and change, does that also change who we are or does it only alter the surface of our identity, such as how we view ourselves, others, and the world we occupy? Perhaps neither.

I am on a journey of finding out who I really am. I’ve felt stuck in that process for a long time and am looking for tools, input, guidance, etc. on how to find what I am seeking. I have a strong feeling that the answers are already inside of me, and that I just need help finding them.

Seeking self-discovery

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Dear Seeking self-discovery,

There is a lot of juicy stuff in what you are saying! First of all–YES! The answers are most certainly already inside of you, and you are far from alone in needing help to unveil them. There are a lot of us who go about our lives struggling to find who we are, and all we need is to ask someone to help us by holding up the mirror, so to speak. Our own minds can get us quite muddled, and sometimes we need the support of someone objective and intuitive to help us see what is true for us.

Without getting too salesy on you, :), everything you are sharing here leads me to believe that you are in a beautiful place to receive some coaching–we coaches are trained to ask you powerful questions to help you tap into your own truth, guide you on your path of self-discovery, and help you “un-stick” yourself while lovingly holding you accountable. I personally take that a step further in my work by looking at your birth chart, which is a unique “fingerprint” telling me about your hidden strengths, ways that you can get yourself stuck and the unique gifts that you are here to share with the world. I partner that with a powerful visualization/discovery process that gets us in touch with your essence–and what you need in order to feel fully alive and fulfilled. Feel free to email me or respond to this post for more info–I’d be happy to schedule a phone consult to explore that with you in more detail. You can also view the astrology coaching page and watch a short video on my website to learn more.

Some of your questions really require an actual dialogue between us because the answers are going to be quite personal for you. One thing that I can say clearly here is that the moment you were born, you started living out your purpose in this world–there is nothing that you need to do or be in order to live out that purpose other than who you already are, right now. Is there an aspect of us that endures no matter what is occurring in our lives and the world around us? I believe that there is–call it our consciousness, soul, spirit, source, essence. It is the part of us that knows what is true in each moment.

When it comes to fully knowing yourself and experiencing the joy that comes from tapping into your unique essence, one great place to start is to tune into your inner, “yes’s” and “no’s.” What is it that makes your heart sing? Makes you feel free and excited? Grateful to be alive? Conversely, what is it that makes you feel stuck, limited, and drained? The more that you feed those “yes’s,” those life-affirming experiences, you will find that you are living a fully expressed, and authentic life. “Who you are” is not a logical awareness, it is a matter of tuning into your feelings, your heart and that which makes you come alive.

Another way to tap into your essence is through meditation–this could be a stillness practice, walks in nature, dancing, singing, yoga–anything that quiets your mind and drops you into your body and sense of beingness. It is in the spaces between doing, when we create time to observe life and ourselves that we discover our connection to all that is and that which always endures. Creating a regular journaling practice is also a wonderful way to slow down and tune into your “truths” and discover all kinds of yummy things about yourself. (Daily journaling has been HUGELY supportive, enlightening and transformative for me on my path, and regularly helps me clarify the “yes” choices that I can make for myself along the way.)

When it comes to having the “right” answer for people when they ask who you are or what drives you–what is your heart telling you in those moments? It’s fully ok to be on a path of discovery and to not fully know those answers, and it’s fully ok to express that. The REAL you lives where your honesty lives. The more honest that you are about your thoughts and feelings, even your uncertainties, the more YOU you will feel, and the more love you will feel for yourself and be able to receive from others. Just remember that you are truly magnificent, whether you are fully feeling that at the moment or not. We all are.

Here are some books and teachers that I’ve enjoyed on my own path of self-discovery:

The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark, By Sera Beak

Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck

Prosperity Pie by SARK

Loving What is by Byron Katie

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The teachings of Adyashanti

I wish you much love and many blessings on your journey! Feel free to use my contact form above to schedule a free consult or ask any more questions.

:)Melissa A.K.A The JoyDiva

©2012 Melissa Simonson