Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dig A Little Deeper!

"Get up from the floor! Get up off that floor! You stay-- you die!!! YOU STAY YOU DIE!!! Move, MOVE, MOOOVE!!"

I could hear my instructor yelling in my head in his husky, drill sergeant voice as I struggled to buck one of my Krav brothers off a full mount. The task seemed daunting. My hands were pinned overhead and glued to the floor; he was freakishly strong, bigger, heavier, and I couldn't stinkin' BUCK him off. Then he made it worse. He changed and used one hand to pin both my hands together as he simulated slaps to my face in a classic Three Stooges style with his other hand, and yelling, "FIGHT! Do something DAMMIT! Comon' MOOOVE! Buck me off!"

Exhaustion set in. Feeling winded, with not a single bit of strength in me left, I wanted to give up. He kept yelling, "FIGHT-- DON'T QUIT on me now, dig a little deeper and KEEP-GOING!!!

In Krav Maga, bucking is an explosive movement done by
exploding the hips in an upward and forward motion to throw
your attacker off a full mount as demonstrated here by Instructor
Bridget de la Rosa and Roger Lopez.
See blog on Rape Defenses by Pete Hardy.
I felt something from the pit of my stomach begin to churn. Anger rose to the surface; I suppose in a way it tapped into something deeper, similar to struggles in my current or past life that seemed to immobilize me. I thought about how those struggles tried to break me physically, psychologically, emotionally, or financially, and it flooded me with an emotion that helped me dig a little deeper and I managed to buck him off. I didn't always succeed on the first try, there were times that I was thrown around like a rag doll, pinned against a chain-linked fence, swept off the floor, choked, and at one point I couldn't even breathe from his full weight on my chest, but I wanted to keep going, keep moving, keep trying, evaluate what I was doing wrong, and get it right. Of course, I was badly bruised the following day.  This guy was big, probably could've broken me in half if he wanted, but I NEEDED to do this. I suppose this is the point in Krav Maga that they call pushing beyond exhaustion during a stressful situation, and if you manage to get past that point, it means survival on the other side.

I've written about the importance of getting up when you're down. It translated to both a literal and figurative sense. Any martial arts or self defense practitioner knows that getting up from the floor is essential for survival in a life and death situation. If you stay down there, you're stuck and you're dead meat. But getting up is not enough, you have to move and keep going. And since I draw my inspiration from Krav Maga, of course I'm going to philosophize ( that a word?) in a metaphorical sense, about how this self defense system translates well to how we handle the nasty stuff that life throws our way; and in mine, trust me when I say that I've had my share.

But as Bruce Lee once said, "Things live by moving and gain strength as they go.” I've had to do alot of digging, externally and internally, assessing and evaluating the things I needed to do to grow as a person to survive. I've had to eliminate things and habits that no longer worked in my life and learn new ways that did (see an Empowering System that Transforms Lives), and most importantly, I've had to keep moving forward. The journey is not always easy, but as Lao Tzu once said, "A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step." Today is the blocks with which we build (Longfellow) and the best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time, so there's no better time to start doing so than today (Lincoln).

If you're facing challenges in your life, dig a little deeper, don't fall back on old habits that are keeping you from improving and growing as a person to overcome them. GET UP off the floor, and keep moving forward, not backwards. The great thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving (Holmes). Don't allow fear of failure or rejection to keep you from being the person that God intended for you to be. Eleanor Roosevelt once said that the future belonged to those who believed in the beauty of their dreams and to quote from another one of my favorite inspiring ladies, Helen Keller believed that one could never consent to creep when they had a tendency to soar. So if you have it in you to do just that, SOAR, do the thing you fear the most, and then the death of fear is certain (Emerson). Sorry if I'm on quote overkill, but these are my favorite quotes that have inspired me through some challenging times and just HAD to share them.

Not too long ago I saw the movie Soul Surfer. It was based on a true story about a young girl who lost her arm to a shark bite when she was surfing. She rose above the odds and became a surfing champion. There was one thing that she said that really stuck to me:

"When you come back from a loss... when you beat the odds and never say never... you find a champion"~ Soul Surfer

Have you experienced loss? How did you handle that? I don't always succeed with everything I set out to do, in fact, one of my failures was that I didn't make the second cut for the self defense instructor program, but I'm not quitting. I'm doing another tortuous tryout very soon. At 40, I've come to understand that failure is a learning experience and success is a process, but of one thing that I am 100 percent certain is that I have to get up, dig a little deeper, and keep moving forward by overcoming whatever challenges come my way.

What obstacles are you facing today? Are you stuck on old habits that are not working, or are you willing to fight to dig a little deeper, eliminate those habits and keep moving forward?

(Special thanks to my Krav brothers Charles and Henry for pushing me beyond exhaustion and forcing me to dig a little deeper)

*Ralph Waldo Emerson
*Oliver Wendell Holmes
*Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
*Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Creating awareness regarding domestic abuse is something that is very dear and near to my heart. In honor of Domestic Abuse Awareness month, I wanted to include a piece I did at a reading for a community outreach venue recently.

It is dedicated to women who are in abusive relationships. We often find ourselves asking the question, "In spite of all the psychological and physical violence, why do they go back and choose to stay?" Regardless of the answer I think the real question should be, "How did they find the strength and the courage to leave?"

I wrote this piece in hopes of giving them that courage. My mother survived abusive relationships and having been the oldest in the family I witnessed some of the things she experienced. As a child, I remember feeling so helpless, because there was nothing I could do about her situation. In a way, when I write, I feel like I'm doing for others, what I was not able to do for her, and that brings me some sort of comfort and healing, which is one of the reasons I wrote Heart of the Jaguar (Kindle version here). Not only did I do it to create awareness about how cultural, religious and societal attitudes contribute to the abuse and mistreatment of women, but to empower them and make them aware that they can and must leave a situation that places them in harm's way. Enjoy!

Whenever he tells you you’re worthless,
Don’t claim it.

Whenever he tells you you’re too scared to make it on your own,
Deny it.

If he says you can’t live without him,
Catch your breath... check your pulse…

If he leaves you penniless,
Go to school, get a job.

You CAN live without him,
You WILL live without him,
You MUST live without him.

You’re a survivor,
not a victim...
You’re a survivor,
not a victim...
I said... you’re a SURVIVOR,

Stop waiting for Prince Charming to come along and rescue you.
Prince charming is the one who got you there in the first place.
You’re on your own.

So wipe your tears,
Lift your head up,
Square your shoulders,
And get up off that floor.
Get up...
I said GET up.
Get up DAMMIT!
Get up, GET up, GET UP!!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Get Up, GEt Up, GET UP!!!

I’m working on a drill going as hard as I can against four assailants, winded, tired and ready to give up, when I trip over my own feet and I land hard on my own keister.

Somehow, I've twisted my ankle with the fall and can't seem to get up. The instructor

makes a beeline towards me and I’m relieved to have someone assist me to my feet. He

hovers over me and in the loudest voice he can muster he yells at me and says,

            “Get Up, GEt Up, GET UP!!!”

 Aside from the point that I don’t particularly like getting yelled at,“I’m

SHOCKED!” and then I’m thinking to myself, “HOW—RUDE! How DARE he not help a lady in need.”

This was my mindset before I discovered that he really was helping me, I just didn’t know it at the time. Again, I was new to Krav Maga, and I didn’t understand the concept of, first, all the yelling, and second of all, the importance of getting right back on your feet after you’ve fallen hard on the floor. I’m not applying this merely to fighting when practicing drills, although that’s always a good idea; rather, his words have deeper meaning for me now than ever before.

So much has happened in the last six years of my life that I’m now finding myself at a crossroads. For reasons I cannot disclose, I’m going through a major change in my life. The journey is not without its difficulties, there has been a lot of pain that has come with it, and nothing brings more anxiety than venturing into the unknown. Trust me when I say that that has been my biggest challenge when I’m so use to setting goals and knowing clearly how I’m going to accomplish them. This obstacle has detoured me from writing and practicing Krav Maga as much as I'm accustomed to, but it hasn’t stopped me. I simply have to make it a bigger point to find time for it when I can, adapt to the changes and keep going. 

There was a time when I was in the midst of this crisis when I was at my lowest, literally down on the floor, feeling isolated and completely helpless, but then something magical happened. I heard the yelling,

“Get... Up... GEt Up... GET UP!!!”

I understood it all. It made sense. I got up. I did what I needed to do to survive what was I going through and kept moving forward. If you are finding yourself in that position right now, no matter what, Get Up, GEt Up, GET UP!!! Give yourself a good hard kick in the rear and do something about your situation. Don’t stay there in the pit of despair. It’s painful, I know. Give yourself time to process the pain, learn from your mistakes, make amends for them if you are able to, and if not, use it as a life lesson, but Get Up, GEt Up, GET UP!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

When You're Craving Fast Food Biscuits

Since I need to drop about another 20-30 lbs. I've been watching my calories closely. Occasionally, I get terrible cravings for rich carbs in the morning, and it's easy for me to make a quick dash to the nearest fast food place and grab a biscuit. Today was one of those days. I was craaving the whole enchilada: biscuits and eggs. I don't want to get into the protein vs. carb battle, but I will contend that unrefined, whole grain carbs are much healthier than refined ones, so I experimented on my clan with homemade, partial whole wheat biscuits today.

I say partial, because I've tried total whole wheat and I usually get a thumbs down and a whole host of complaints that run somewhere along the lines of not liking the taste of buttered cardboard, I think I lost a tooth biting into a boulder, blah...blah...blah... and since I am a praise hog, I had to get a little creative with unrefined white flour.

If you're wondering if my clan was happy, I would have to say that I SCORED with a lower calorie and lower fat biscuit. Granted, it doesn't melt in your mouth and the texture is a little grittier, but it's still tasty, nonetheless, and I didn't feel guilty about indulging in a biscuit for the day. Add a no nitrate ham (Hormel is the brand I get) with egg beaters, and that satisfies my fast food craving as well.

I've added the recipe below if you'd like to give it a try, and let me know what your thoughts are. Here's the recipe:

1. 1 cup unbleached whole wheat flour
2. 1 cup unbleached white flour
3. 1 tbsp of sugar (substitute with agave nectar if you want to make it diabetic friendly) [Update! A reader commented that agave nectar can actually cause a spike in insulin, so if you are diabetic, it's best to go with the sugar replacement your doctor recommends]
4. 3 tsp of baking powder
5. 3/4 tsp kosher salt or 1tsp of regular salt or sea salt
6. 1/2 vegetable shortening
7. 3/4 almond milk

Stir ingredients 1-5 until well blended
Blend vegetable shortening into your mix with a fork until all lumps are gone
Add almond milk and knead your mix. Roll out with a rolling pin about 1.5 inches thick and cut with biscuits cutters or shape small lumps with your hand.
Bake for 20-30 minutes at 450 degree oven.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What is Mental Toughness?

I heard this expression thrown around at the Krav center all the time, but it was never really defined for me in concrete form until I decided to try out for Krav Instructor about two Saturdays ago.

If you want the short and skinny version of this blog, I made the cut, so now you can wish me a big slap in the back and go about your merry day. If you're still here, and thanks for sticking around by the way, I'll start by saying that there's no way I'm going to sit here and write that it was an easy, piece of cake, walk in the park type of test, at least not for me. In fact, there were times when I felt like I had just given birth to a baby and was being asked to do it again. There were moments when I thought I had died and was placed in the fiery pits of hell, forced to endure the torture that kept coming in droves and wouldn't stop. Okay, you get the picture. It was tough. But before I continue rambling, I want to start by saying that I couldn't have done it without the support of my little clan showing up to wish me well and the coaching of some of my instructors. They were a Godsend as I could vaguely hear them shouting things like, "loosen your wrists on the ropes, don't give up, hang in there, you're doing great and keep it up!"

But in spite of all the encouragement, even they knew that passing this type of trial depended mostly on intrinsic motivation rather than the external one. It was one where I found myself fighting my own demons, those that haunted my internal voice, telling me to give it all up.

I'll start with giving a small synopsis of what this test was all about. It was 3-4 straight hours of intense cardio work. Every instructor there takes his or her turn running you through a series of workouts, non-stop! A little disclaimer here... I try really really hard not to curse. I have to be in a very stressful situation before I start mouthing off. Let's just say that within the first 20 minutes, I was already signaling one of my instructors that he was number one as he watched me pushing through some crunches. Once I hit the rings, doing push-ups by running my ankles through them, a whole host of obscentities ran through my mind. *BLUSH* What?! My carpal tunnel flared up, what can I say? I pulled through and just when I thought the worst was over, they took us outside the building. We were asked to sprint up to a dumpster three times and jog right back. "Let it be the first dumpster! Let it be the first dumpster!" I kept chanting, trying to throw my instructor telepathic thoughts, giving her the radar beam eye to see if I could suck her into my vortex and cast her under my spell. Nope! That didn't work. Of course, it was the third and furthest one, silly, why would anyone make this any easier? I knew I was done for. Now, during this time of year, I’ll start by saying that I get the worst types of allergies, like -EVER! Sucking in all that dust and air, breathing in all that stuff outside closed up one of my lungs and I started to wheeze. Did I bring my inhaler? Now why would I make this any easier on myself?! Pfft!

So here I am, sucking in whatever bit of fresh air I can muster, one lung closed, having a wheeze fest, and feeling like I am going- to- DIE!!! One of my krav brothers started pushing me, yelling at me, "there's no way you're going to quit now!" Thank God he did, because I was able to muster a little bit of energy. Once we rounded to the back of the building HE started to stop, and I FREAKED! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! You're my focal point. You-can't-stop-now! I yelled in my little mousy wheezy voice, and I ended up pushing him for a small part of the run. As I neared the opposite end of the building, I could feel my feet heavy like lead.

By this time, all my hearing on the right side of my ear was gone, and I could vaguely hear an instructor who was running alongside me chanting, "This isn't real. Keep going. It's all in your mind. This isn't real."

"WHAT the $*@# do mean this isn't real?!" I thought to myself. "This is extremely painful. I can feel every aching of my joints as they are pounding on the hot, 100 degree asphalt ground. I can't breathe, and my mouth feels like I shoved a load of sand right down my throat. Of course this is real!" And then I saw the finish line, well the door leading into the Krav center anyway, and I knew that I couldn't quit then. I asked him if this was the last run. "Yes!" he answered. "Are you sure?" I asked as if begging for a tiny shred of truth and reassurance. "Yes!" he responded again. Then I floored it. I told my mind to relax. Pushed back the pain and slowed my breathing. I could feel my feet accelerating as I began to sprint towards the door. I visualized the reward: sweet mother of all air-conditioners awaited me at the end. I would be able to breathe again, and it would soon be over, so I sped up some more. Hands ready to high-five me greeted my enthusiasm towards the end, and I finished the race. My race. The one I was fighting against myself.

Another instructor was gracious enough to get me an inhaler and I could breathe again. I was able to get my second wind, and finished the technical part of the tryouts, aching, but in tact. A week later, I was told I made the cut, which is only the beginning, because it's my understanding that getting certified is much more difficult than the 3 hour tryout. So my job isn't finished. I learned that I have alot more cardio to do if I'm going to endure it.

Anything I do in Krav Maga, I find relevance to how it fits in to my daily life, and this trial was a perfect example of the types of trials we have to endure in the real world. Sometimes, those tests are so painful, we think we don't have the will to endure it. It seems like an eternity before we see a shred of light at the end of the tunnel. We want to give in, want to be rescued, or even crawl ourselves into a little fetal position, stick our thumbs in our mouth and give up. Whatever process we may undergo to get to the finish line (for everyone has their own unique way of handling tough situations in life) the end result should always be to work towards a state of mental toughness, that mindset that says, I will not give in to those self-defeating thoughts, and I can get myself out of this and survive it. You may not believe in a higher power, and I hope I don't come across as preachy here, but I firmly believe that God gave us an incredible ability to endure more than what we think we can. I do have to admit, that I didn't do this completely alone. I have him to thank for pulling me through it every time I thought I couldn't (Philippians 4:13).

Should mental toughness make us impervious to pain? I sure hope not. This is not what I'm referring to. Blocking pain has its place in certain contexts. Blocking pain in every aspect of our lives has its consequences. In fact, there have been studies of people whose nerve endings kept them from feeling pain and it resulted in their own self-destruction. We're not machines. Some of us may be built like some, but we are still human, nonetheless, granted with the gift of feelings (yes, guys, you have them too) and emotions for a very good reason. Blocking pain all the time can harden us to other people's emotional needs, making us emotionally unavailable and unsafe to others. After all, I want to establish and maintain healthy relationships, and ensure that others feel emotionally safe around me. Instead, I want to allow myself to feel the pain, recognize that I have vulnerabilities, but also push through in spite of it when the need calls for it, so I can overcome whatever obstacles come my way. So have I achieved complete mental toughness? Myeh! I passed one test. The real test is yet to come. I'll let you know then. ;)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

What Would You Attempt If You Knew You Couldn't Fail?

It's been awhile since I last blogged, but today I felt compelled to write something down. I have to admit, as I’m sure most parents feel this way, that caring for a family sometimes takes precedence over doing the things we really want to do, and this is why I make a conscious effort to push myself to find time to balance it with outlets that are also part of my passion any opportunity I get. There were moments when I'd get frustrated, feeling like time was not my own, but seeing my kid grow so fast over the last six years made me realize that that time is precious, and I have to enjoy those special moments of togetherness while she still wants me around, since I know there will come the dreaded day when that little one will want nothing to do with me. Furthermore, just like there is a time and a season for everything, I'm hopeful that my moment as a break-through author will come, so I am in no hurry. I've learned to take things in stride, enjoy those little tender blessings, and everything else will fall into place.
So does this mean that I shouldn’t have goals? Of course not, I do have small immediate and attainable ones, and one of them is to get certified as a Krav Maga level 1 instructor. After all, I need to use whatever strength and energy I have left, since I'm sure that stamina will begin to wane in another 20 yrs. I think by then I'll probably have to change my blog name to Krav Maga Grandma. Ha!
Which brings me to what I want to write about. Today, I read a question posted on my Facebook feed. The question was, "What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?" That was a very good question, which prompted me to answer that I attempt the things I want to accomplish in spite of knowing that I might fail.
That hasn’t always been the case, as evidenced by the fact that I took a long time to build up the courage to get something published, but Krav Maga has solidified that philosophy for me not to give up (go to this link at my writing blog if you would like to read more as to what changed that). There were times that I was scared out of my pants, running scenarios with men twice my size or doing things I didn’t think I could do, like throwing myself into a forward roll while running—yeah, that was graceful—or practicing how to fall on my back. There were moments when I asked myself, “Where are your scruples, and what are you thinking doing this at 40 when you can barely move your arms the next day?”  But I pushed myself to hold my thoughts captive, get rid of the self-defeating thoughts that told me I couldn't do this. Sure, sometimes I was  pummeled like a flat pancake, but I lived. This gave me a great sense of accomplishment. I think the main reason that motivated me to keep going, and I'm going to be truly honest here, was overcoming my fear over an incident that happened to me twenty-three yrs. ago. I survived an attack when someone placed me in a choke. The experience was terrifying to say the least, and reliving that event at the Krav center when I had to run certain simulated scenarios, always sent me into a state of panic. One of my instructors told me that the only way I was going to lessen the anxiety of that experience was to continue working on similar situations until the fear went away. It wasn't easy; there were times when I felt I was going to freeze or forget what I needed to do, but I kept going back to it, learning to react faster, trying not to forget what I needed to do and pushing myself to conquer that feeling of powerlessness. When I failed, I would reflect on where I went wrong and try again the next time around.
Aside from the Lord who gives me the strength to do this, Krav Maga saved me. It has taught me to be almost fearless when it comes doing what I set out to do. Sometimes, we don't attempt to try the things we want because we are afraid to fail, but it's those very failures that we can use to learn from to help us attain our goals. It’s okay to make mistakes. It's okay for people to point out our flaws to help us pick up the pieces, so we can fill in the gaps where we need improvement to help us grow. Every mistake is a life lesson, makes us wiser, clearer, stronger. The key here is to reflect on where it is we need to improve and grow from it.
With that said, I'm now seven days away from trying out for Level 1, Krav Instructor. I have a heart for helping battered women, so that's why I want to do this. I’ve worked hard at preparing for the try-outs, and all I can do is my best, learn from whatever mistakes I may make and think that the worst that could happen, aside from the beating I'm going to get, is that they will say no. That word is not foreign to me. Agents, editors, and publishers tell me no all the time. In fact, I think I've gotten about a hundred no's, but throughout those responses, I have also gotten a few yesses, and those are the moments I live for. So I have to try, learn from it and even though I don't intend to, if I fail at my tryout, I'll try again, until I succeed.
So back to the question I saw on my FB post. What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail? I wouldn't do anything differently. I’d still attempt at doing the things I’d love to do. Failure builds perseverance, character, discernment, growth, wisdom. I will continue to do the things I want to accomplish in spite of knowing that I may fail by learning from my mistakes, adjust to the changes I need to make and make those improvements.  I fight for the things I value, even if failure is imminent. I couldn't live life with the regret of never having tried.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Can You Identify a Safe Person from an Unsafe One?

Last week I volunteered for another women’s self-defense seminar at the Worldwide Krav Maga center. This is the third one I participate in, and however menial my tasks may be when I am there—for I’m not even close to being an instructor—I always leave with the feeling of having accomplished some sort of purpose in life. Perhaps it’s the reassurance that in some small way I feel like I am able to do something for these women what I was not able to do for the special women in my life who were hurt by unsafe relationships.  I see some of these ladies coming in with their heads bowed low and watch them leave with their heads held high, because they now have tools they can use to prevent a possible attack.

As I was driving home from the seminar, I reflected on all of the things I have learned with Krav Maga in the past two years regarding situational awareness, combatives, and defenses. In addition to these components I remembered something Pete Hardy, owner of the center and 2nd degree black belt in Krav Maga, said to his students about self defense: “The best defense is to never place yourself in a position where you are going to be at risk of danger.”

How does this apply to relationships? I wondered. After all, there are countless of women who come here who were married to abusers tell me that they never had a single clue that this person was unsafe; which prompted me to write about this very issue for this month’s blog post in remembrance of V-Day (Violence against women). First of all, let me start by saying that I am in no way considered an authority by any means, and I am merely sharing some of the things I have read about choosing safe relationships. Character discernment doesn’t always come easy for any of us. We are told when we are children to play nice, forgive and get along, but we are oftentimes not given the skills to determine if the people in our lives are safe for us, especially if we come from dysfunctional home environments where we learn to normalize certain unsafe behaviors. There are, however, some early signs and red flags that come up at the beginning of a relationship to find out if this person is safe or not.

According to the book, Safe People, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, here are top ten personal traits of unsafe people.  These traits can apply to both men and women:

1. Unsafe people think they have it all together instead of admitting their weaknesses. While it is perfectly normal to have a certain shred of confidence, these people never have any needs and have a tendency to show contempt for those who do.

2. Unsafe people are religious instead of spiritual. They base their relationship by a set of legalistic rules one must follow as opposed to focusing on building and strengthening relationships. For most women, the demand to submit under his authority is often used as a weapon and excuse to meet his needs first. 

3. Unsafe people are defensive instead of open to feedback. Safe people own where they are wrong and are responsive to change. The opposite occurs with the unsafe one.

4. Unsafe people are self-righteous instead of humble. They have difficulty identifying with others as fellow strugglers and look down upon those who do. This blocks intimacy and sets up the relationship for “comparison, competitive strivings, defensiveness and alienation.”

5. Unsafe people only apologize instead of changing behavior. These people oftentimes expect forgiveness without self-examining the addictive patterns that keep driving them to apologize because they never change the behaviors.

6. Unsafe people avoid working on their problems instead of dealing with them.  “Because they are shut off from awareness of their own problems, they resist any form of character growth or maturation.”

7. Unsafe people demand trust instead of earning it. They get defensive or angry if someone questions their actions without ever proving themselves trustworthy.

8. Unsafe people believe they are perfect instead of admitting their faults. Projecting an image of perfectionism is what drives this person.

9. Unsafe people blame others instead of taking responsibility. Denial is the active process that this person uses to avoid responsibility.

10. Unsafe people lie instead of telling the truth. “Honesty is the bedrock foundation of a safe relationship. If there is deception in the relationship, there is danger.”

Furthermore, Cloud and Townsend label these people into three categories:

Abandoners- They “prefer shallow acquaintances over true closeness” and start a relationship but can’t finish it.

Critics- They are judgmental, speak the truth without love, and have no room for grace or forgiveness.

Irresponsibles- These people don’t take care of themselves or others. “If you’re drawn to irresponsible people, you may be doing the following: pick up after them, apologize to others for them, make excuses for them, give them chance after chance after chance, pay for their sins and forgetfulness, you nag them, you resent them.”

Perhaps we've been involved with or even raised with unsafe people. We might even see ourselves in some of these traits, after all, we are all imperfect and we all pick things up from life experiences that may have made us that way. But the danger lies when there is an unwillingness to change, grow and strive to be a better person. These headstrong behaviors will continue to hurt the people we love when this happens.

This book is an excellent read. Another great resource is, "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft. These two books are both great resources for creating awareness about unhealthy relationships, and it gives insight about the red flags that may sprout at the onset of a relationship to help keep you safe, both physically and emotionally. If you know of other resources regarding this topic, please feel free to comment below. Till next time. Stay Safe!

*If you enjoyed reading this, feel free to subscribe to this blog.