I AM NO DIFFERENT FROM YOU-BROKENESS TO WHOLENESS

gwens_before_and_after-266967

Good morning everyone,
I started Relationships Start With You because I wanted to reach out to women who were broken and in despair. I was once that same woman. It breaks my heart when I see my sister despondent, not knowing which way to turn or what to do. So, I became transparent about my own personal demons and insecurites to let women know you can make it. No matter what stage/age you are in life there is always hope. I take my business seriously; my page is not a place to see how many fans I can get but to reach out to my sister in need. If I can help one woman then my work is not in vain. I know what it feels like and I am no different from you. I’ve dealt with infidelity, physical and verbal abuse and it made me feel that life was not worth living. My first step towards healing was making the decision to get out of my depression, receive the help I needed, leave my toxic relationship and start anew. It did not bother me anymore what people said or thought about me; my number one concern was my sanity and the example I was setting in front of my children. I wanted to live and be happy. As a result, I graduated from college in 1995 and 1998, set free in 2004, married my soulmate in 2009 and lost 61 lbs. in 2011!

You are not alone!

From the heart,
Gwendolyn

They Are Not Worth Your Time and Energy-Forgive!

The greatest gift you can give yourself is forgiveness. It is freeing and you can live your life in peace and not have bitterness, anger and hatred in your soul. Forgive someone today; do it for yourself!!! Forgiving others

P.S. Forgiveness does not let them off the hook; it frees you from thinking about them! Now, move on with your life!

www.facebook.com/RelationshipsStartWithYou. Join me!

When You Feel… by Gwendolyn Owens

Set aside the pains of the past, enjoy the ble...

Set aside the pains of the past, enjoy the blessings of the present, and look forward to the promises of the future. (Photo credit: deeplifequotes)

When You Feel…

When you feel like giving up-press forward

When you feel alone-look to the people who love and support you

When you feel discouraged-remember those words that uplift you

When you need strength-remember how far you’ve come

When you need anything-CALL ON GOD!

Blessings and be encouraged,

gto-RSWY

Women and Relationships Days 10-11 Happiness

Are you really happy with yourself? Is your happiness based on your economic status, material wealth, level of income or someone else i.e. partner? According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of happiness (happy) is enjoying or characterized by well-being and contentment; having or marked by an atmosphere of good fellowship and expressing, reflecting, or suggestive of happiness. For some women, we have been conditioned to be dependent on others for our happiness.I chose to be happy

RATIONALE: Happiness is making choices or decisions that can increase your joy. It comes from within. You make the decision to be happy no matter what circumstances you are facing. In other words, even in a storm there is always a silver lining. Happiness is knowing that the situation is temporary and there is a valuable lesson that will improve the quality of your existence.

TESTIMONY: I remember in my 30’s and early 40’s , I based my happiness on the way others treated me and/or if I had someone in my life, I depended on them to make me feel happy, whole and complete. But, when the relationships ended, I would become depressed because I felt there was something wrong with me so I was not worthy of being happy.I was always afraid to be alone. I would watch couples holding hands at the mall or watch them have an intimate moment at a restaurant and wish it were me. I found it hard to be happy for someone else because I was so miserable.

Then, one day I made the decision to stop placing my happiness in someone else’s care. I was miserable and entangled with fear of men leaving me and they always did. I had to learn to love and value myself. It was a process. So, I unearthed those skeletons, looked at each situation for what it really was and I started enjoying being alone and not feeling lonely. I asked God to teach me to appreciate my life and to stop being a victim of my circumstances. I began reading self-help books; one of my favorite reads was Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers. I also went to counseling. The greatest lesson I learned about being happy was if I radiated the love of God, it was reciprocated from my family, friends, and colleagues. I spoke love and acceptance over my life. I volunteered at the nursing home, took interest in the elderly at my home church and I did not have time to think about “poor little Gwen.” Someone else needed my love and I was able to give it without reservation.

MANTRA: Do something different; try new things. Enjoy taking yourself out to eat or to the movies. Get involved with an organization or women’s group. The best medicine for learning to be happy is volunteering and seeing that your situation is really not that bad. Take a walk, pray, get enough sleep, love on yourself, have a sense of accomplishment, reconnect with your friends, get a massage and most of all choose to love yourself unconditionally.

Today, I choose to be happy. My happiness is not based on someone else but____________. I will open my heart to others who are in need. I will forgive______ so that my spirit is free to receive love.

 

Women and Relationships Days 8-9 Female Friendships

black white friendshipEssence Magazine, February 2012 issue,had an article called The Relationship Rules. Guest bloggers reviewed the “playbook on dating, sex and when to tell a little white lie.” One of the rules that I found fascinating was “if he’s dated your friend, he’s off limits.”

The guest bloggers’ general consciences was if you have officially ended the relationship, then the guy is free game just as long as you discuss it with your friend. I really pondered over the notion and was surprised at the responses. If you have been sexually involved with your ex, why would it be okay for your friend to date him? Intimate details have been shared among  friends and it would appear to be an awkward situation. I just can’t go along with the ideology because my friendship could possibly be strained even though I have been given the “go ahead” to start dating the “old flame.”

RATIONALE-Where is the logic in this? I’ve heard the rationale that there is a shortage of men. Dating my friend’s ex is too close to home. I value my female friends and I would be so uncomfortable; it’s almost taboo. You have entrusted your friend with personal information and you use it against her to win him over. That is classless. There are enough men in the world that you don’t have to target your friend’s ex.

The number one reason NOT to date your friend’s former partner is because it will eventually break up the friendship and in the process you have lost a trusted friend. How would you feel if the situation was reversed and someone you used to love got involved with your close friend? You have just broken rule # 1: I can’t date him because she dated him. Secondly, none of your friends would want to be around you out of fear that you are checking out their boyfriend. Thirdly, don’t assume that you understand the intimate complexities of their relationship and why they broke up. Women share some things about their beau NOT everything . Lastly, what goes around comes around.

MANTRA: Dating a friend’s ex is never a good idea. Don’t you think for one minute that your friend giving you her blessing doesn’t mind, because she does. It is much better to find someone new than to risk a special friendship/bond over a relationship that may not last.  Curiosity killed the cat and your friendship’s nine lives will come to an end!!!

Remember: true friendships are priceless.

I am guilty of dating my best friend’s ex-boyfriend; however, I realize it was wrong on so many levels because__________________________. I know someone who dated a friend’s boyfriend and the repercussions were_____________________.

Women and Relationships Day 1: Pledge

I-am-my-own-womanToday, January 1, 2013, I begin my journey of self-discovery with renewed passion and commitment.I am open to bettering myself and my situation by being realistic about who I am and come to terms with the past so that I can be free of anything or anyone that is holding me back. I will view my mistakes as stepping stones to greatness. My purpose is to grow, prosper, be healthy (mind, body and soul) and walk in my destiny. I am no longer afraid to let go of the past. I will start anew by forgiving myself and others, taking my life back and looking forward to creating a new me! Today, I pledge to remove the outward appearance that I maintain to conceal a less pleasant reality, tear down the walls of pain, hurt and disappointment and learn to love and appreciate the woman that God created me to be.

Tomorrow, we will discuss Wellness-Taking Better Care of Yourself.

RSWY

Renewed Faith Through God’s Healing Power

Why do we worry?  We worry because we don’t believe in a power that is greater than us. God orchestrates everything. It is not based on how many degrees you have or  if you are poor or wealthy. There is one God. We depend on jobs and people to make us feel important. God does not not deal with your status; he deals with your mind, body and soul.

We trust Him when it is convenient. When things are going well, we forget about the One who has blessed us. Yet, when things in our live’s fall apart ,then and only then do we cry out to God.

Last year,I learned a very valuable lesson about trusting God. Two weeks prior to my hospitalization, I had sinus surgery; my sinuses were impacted so bad, that the MRI showed evidence of fluid in the sinuses and thickened mucous membrane. On January 14, 2011, I was taken by ambulance and rushed to Dekalb Medical Hospital because I was too weak to make it to the prestigious Emory University Hospital.  All I remember about that cold snowy night was telling my husband that I felt funny and I used my nebulizer twice. He called 911. The paramedics placed me on the stretcher, placed the oxygen mask  over my face, wheeled me to the ambulance and placed me inside. I kept taking the mask off ;afterwards, everything was a total blank.

I arrived at the hospital. The doctors realized I was hallucinating because of low oxygen levels. In addition, I had a partially collapsed lung and pneumonia in the other one. I was panicking and screaming because they asked me if I had ever been intubated.  Well, according to the doctors, nurses and my husband, I was hysterical and I told them to “get away from me and I will not be intubated again.” I was not conscious of my erratic behavior. Later, the doctors told my husband that I was very ill and I would not remember the incident. I was in ICU for nine days and a regular room for three days.

The respiratory therapist put me in a medically induced coma for five days so my body would heal . My husband stood vigil; they had to make him go home and get some rest. He was concerned that if  I woke up no one would be there. They had to reiterate that the coma was controlled by them and he would be notified. Finally, I was taken out of the medically induced coma but I was still intubated. Confusion set in; I realized I was in the hospital but I didn’t know why so I started crying.

My sister, Tammy flew from Dallas, Texas to Atlanta, Georgia to check on me . My husband, Vargus did not know if I would live or die but he prayed and read the bible to me. Then, I heard my sister’s voice, turned my head and tried to sit up. They had me restrained because I was pulling the tube. Then, I tried to speak and instead I gagged. I was terrified because I was trying to figure out why she was in Atlanta and why I was in the hospital. I started kicking my legs and of course the monitors went crazy: my blood pressure rose, my heart was racing and I was confused. I lost five days of my life.

No one wanted to tell me what happened; they felt I would not handle the severity of my condition well. My sister begged the nurse to take one of the restraints off and promised that she would not allow me to touch the tubes. Tammy and Vargus told me to calm down and that I was okay. How was I okay when I’m hooked to a respirator, intubated and weak? I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. Later that day, the nurse told me very little about my diagnosis and prognosis; however,  it was enough to keep me calm. One of the nurses, Helen sang daily to me “Nobody Greater” by Vashawn Mitchell and I began to believe that He’s  the greatest.

On day seven (Friday), they tried to remove the tube but it was stuck in my throat. Finally on Sunday morning, the respiratory therapist came in, cut the switch off, released the tube and it came out. I was excited but it was difficult for me to speak so I had to write everything.

Then, I remember when my sister and I were growing up we learned the alphabet in sign language. So , I communicated in braille with my sister because; no one else knew it. I kept signing “I love you” and she interpreted to my husband. I felt so much love from my husband and sister . Of course, my children came after I was released out of the hospital. I did not want them to see me. I’d lost 29 lbs. in 12 days and I looked like hell. Nevertheless, they gave me the courage to live because I was emotionally unstable. It was so traumatic!

I had a long road to recovery; I could not walk because my lower extremities were weak and I had difficulty speaking.  My mother-in-law and husband took care of me. From February to April, my physical therapist Crystal and R.N. Rhoshima helped me with the healing process and I am indebted to them for their love and care. I went back to the hospital  this year to personally thank everyone who took care and prayed for me. I cried tears of joy and I prayed for the individual who was in the same room in ICU.

A friend of ours said,” I was so worried about you being at DeKalb Medical.” My response to her was God does not limit himself to certain hospitals; he also visits DeKalb Medical plus my life was saved and I have no complaints.  My situation was not a disaster; I experienced God’s healing power.

As a result, I lost 61 lbs. God healed my body and I am no longer a diabetic, have hypertension and after 14.5 years of steroid dependence for asthma, I am free. It took those series of events to genuinely trust God will all my heart and might. He allowed me to live and He made me whole.

Today, I don’t worry because I know for myself that God takes care of His own.

Believe.

Blessings,

RSWY