It's funny how many of us do not know quite how to answer that question. Most of us give a short version of the answer. For many, this can feel like a loaded question. Sometimes the response requires a bit more self-reflection than one would like to admit. Truth is the majority of us do not like self-evaluation, especially in response to another individual. But what if this particular question was self-imposed? When was the last time you did an identity check? There is nothing wrong with a routine identity check-in.
During this life, we change and change often. I am not the same woman I was five years ago. Nor am I the same as I was two years ago. Each year we all continue to change and grow a little more from the year before. It is completely natural. Monitoring these changes become part of our self-care routine; it opens us up to positive and negative changes that we have made over time.
Recently I was getting off of work and that I was thinking about what was the next direction that I wanted to take my career and my business over the next year. As I was walking out of the building, I realized how much I had changed over the last nine years. There were changes I love and some of the changes I don't like at all. I realized that during the process of building my business that there were parts of me that I began to neglect. Truth is I knew that I was neglecting little things in my life that I love but thought it was all about the sacrifice of becoming a business owner. Over that last few years, I noticed that a writer/creative/entrepreneur had become who I became. Oh, and single I can't leave out that part. So out of all of those little whimsical details that make me who I am. I had reduced myself to a creative/writer/entrepreneur without a man. I'd allowed all of my little joys and passions to fall by the wayside. I needed that checkup to force me to into realizing I need to make some self-care changes.
One of the best ways that I have been able to continue routine self-checks is journaling. Daily journaling in the morning allows me to be honest with myself at the very beginning of my day. Honestly, some mornings journaling is better than others. Journaling has also given me a way to become more accountable for my actions and emotions about myself, my life, and how I describe me. Whenever we allow ourselves to be open and honest, there may be some emotions that we may need to concentrate on healing. However, I am healing is a very strong self-descriptive.
Lou W. Hargrove
Welcome to the relaunch of Red Butterfly Chronicles. If you were an original reader of this blog and have moved over with me thank you and welcome back. If you are new here I want to say thank you for stopping by and give you a little insight on why I'm here and somethings you can look expect to see. Firstly, I would like to introduce myself, I am Lou Hargrove and I am the originator of Red Butterfly Chronicles Blog and owner of Red Butterfly Publishing. I am an Atlantic City, NJ native. I have a background in social work, couples and family therapy, health education, and taxes. I am also a poet, writer, blogger (of course), and creative. I have two collections of poetry Passion & Turmoil (2015) and Red Book Chronicles (2018) both published under Red Butterfly Publishing.
The reason behind this blog is because I wanted to create a comfortable place for women to be themselves discover and share our truths while becoming the best lovers we can be to ourselves and others. Studying and working with couples gave me a lot of insight on how relationships work, but talking to other women gave me even more insights on how we work, love, grow and feel about not only men but also ourselves and each other.
One of my biggest Aha moments one day was while talking with a group of other women during a play rehearsal. It was the first time I participated in the stage version of For Colored Girls, and as a bonding exercise, we were to just hang out and talk while our director was gone. Of course one of the main topics that came up in discussion was relationships. We all sat and discussed some of our horror stories that we'd encountered in bad relationships and some of the saving graces that lead us out of those bad relationships. However, the most disturbing part of that conversation was when all of us had a story about how we were either made to feel worse by some of our closest girlfriends or how we just learned not to talk about a lot of what was going on in the good or bad relationships because we didn't want any of our friends to make us feel stupid about how current emotional state. This conversation pulled us into a deeper conversation about the reactions of some women to the feelings and issues of other women. As women, most of us has encounter that one woman that has encouraged us to be single or make us feel week when we start to feel butterflies for the guy we just met and then have to listen to them talk about their relationship or find out later while they are constantly ridiculing your wants of a relationship is hiding a relationship of their own. And though I was already in the process of writing Passion & Turmoil, this conversation definitely made me kick it up a notch to tell that story so that women that read it could feel better knowing that their emotions were natural and they did not need to feel ashamed of them. Our feelings are never anything to be ashamed of but more of a foundation to grow and learn from.
Here is a place that I will not only discuss topics on self-love, self-awareness, healthy relationships, boundaries, and intimacy but also share and discuss my journey on discovering and how I continue to grow and learn to live in my own truth.
Lou W. Hargrove
One of the things that I have realized in life is the older we get the less we like change. However, change is unavoidable. No matter what we try to do to avoid it and no matter how scary it gets, change is inevitable. Change is ongoing, it has to take place in order for us to grow. Yes we all like it when we are comfortable, but we cannot sit there. No one is able to extend to the highest version of themselves without consistent change. There has been multiple times on my journey as a business owner where I have changed my mind often as I learned new things and had different ideas that I have been afraid of making a decision on because I didn't want to appear as undecisive as a business owner so I would put things of hold until I figured things out completely. I was afraid of people not taking my brand seriously. But truth is I will never figure out everything completely and that's part of the beauty of life and the beauty of having a creative business. One day I realized that life was too short to try hold on to things for the perfect moment or the perfect opportunity because it may never come. I had to change willing to change things when I saw fit not when I felt as though others would be more comfortable about what I did to change my business and how I had to do what was authentic to me.
So if you have be have been afraid to change something you are doing because you are afraid of how you will be viewed. Take a brief moment to look in the mirror to see how would you feel about yourself if you don't do it. How we look at ourselves is far more important than how anyone else views you. Be kind to yourself as change as often as necessary...
I'm Lou W. Hargrove, I'm a writer and a creative business owner. I love to help women revive their confidence and love for themselves. I have also studied and worked with couples in a therapeutic setting. This is a place I would love to share what I've learned along with my own private thoughts and experience about love, self-love and being a Women of Color in the midst of it all. Thank you for stopping by!