I assist others in meeting their challenges and creating solutions. Down-to-earth solutions, no complicated agenda. Working to transform your life into one of freedom. Freedom to come alive and live in the moment. Positive thoughts create positive actions.
Ms. Lasley holds a BS in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Louisville. She has four coaching certifications from the Professional Woman Network. Her expertise includes Life Coach, Women's Empowerment, Wellness & Women, and Youth Services certificates. Before the pandemic, she taught an Abuse Recovery Program. She is an author and online writer.
VALORIE HOWIE LASLEY doesn’t have reviews yet.
Click the button below to leave the first one!
It’s very challenging to achieve balance in life. Some believe a balanced life is impossible if you’re committed to succeeding at the highest level. Maybe that’s true, but most people don’t need to become a billionaire or a movie star to consider themselves successful.
Success and balanced life can coexist. However, you can’t afford to waste any of your time.
A life that’s out of balance includes some degree of suffering:
- Financially. You can spend too much money when your life is out of whack. If you’re working hard daily, it’s common to think that you deserve to enjoy your life, so you whip out your wallet. Unfortunately, it’s easy to outspend your income. The pleasure you get from spending money also doesn’t last for long.
● On the other end of the spectrum, your income is likely lower than it could be if you're not paying enough attention to work.
● Putting too much or little attention on work can have negative financial implications.
Health. If your life is out of balance, you’re likely to exercise too little, eat poorly, and suffer from excessive amounts of stress. You can also have insomnia, and your health is one of the first things to go downhill when your life is out of balance.
Your relationship with your friends and family can suffer. One of the other casualties of an out-of-balance lifestyle is your relationship with others. Your connections, including your spouse, partner, children, friends, or other family members, can suffer.
● Consider the consequences of damaging your relationship with your spouse and children. Are the other things you’re spending time on worth it?
You don’t have time for the things you enjoy. Do you love to watch football? Go out with the ladies for dinner on Thursdays? Whittle totem poles in the garage? An out-of-balance life lacks the necessary time to enjoy hobbies and other activities.
Your mood suffers. Are you cranky, intolerant, angry, or feeling hopeless? Your life might be out of balance. People with an out-of-balance life often resent the time people and unrelated activities require.
● It’s not easy to feel good when your life is out of whack. A consistent bad mood is a terrible burden for you and everyone around you, and everyone suffers when a family member is miserable.
- You lose the ability to focus. A lack of sleep, a horrible diet, no exercise, and no social life can tear down your ability to focus your attention productively. You can't stay on task as your mind and body wear down.
● You’re also spending too much brain power focused on other things. If you’re eating dinner with your family but are lost in your thoughts, you’re not focusing on sharing a meal with your family.
- You either won’t take or can’t enjoy a vacation. If you can’t, or won’t, make time for a break, your life is out of balance. This can be a great test to determine if your life is under control. Do you think your life is unbalanced? Plan a vacation and see what happens!
Is your life out of balance? What changes can you make to bring it back into balance? Maintaining balance in your life can be a real challenge, but the consequences of failing to be balanced can be severe.
Remember how important your health, relationships, and happiness are to you. Where would you be without them?
Act today to bring your life back into balance! You’ll be so glad you did!
There is a term in psychology called "cognitive distortion." This is when your mind convinces you that something is true when it isn't. I call that the mind’s battlefield, and it can be a dangerous place to be.These thoughts are inaccurate and reinforce negative thinking. This is a problem because there is a direct link between what we think and how we feel.
If your thoughts are generally negative, your mind has become infested with untruths.
This means — you may be dooming yourself, and your relationship before it even has a chance to grow.
Of course, we all have an internal dialogue and sometimes misread our partner, which can set the tone of conflict in your relationship. I will address ten things that can have a negative impact on your relationship.
Assuming the worst.
Your partner may not do things like you, but that does not mean your partner is wrong or misguided. Assuming something will go wrong will help the wrong be manifested in your relationship. Love will not grow in an antagonistic relationship, but resentment will.
Make your partner responsible for your feelings.
We all know how to soothe the savage beast in us if we want to. It is nice if your partner does something to comfort you; it is not your partner’s responsibility to do this. Do what works for you. That might be a bubble bath, keeping a journal, or listening to certain music, to name a few.
Do not make a mountain out of a molehill.
Just because the compliment was not what you expected does not mean anyone has slighted you. A compliment is a compliment, and whether it is excellent vs. good should be fine. Interpreting someone’s tone of voice or writing can be a mistake, and assigning meaning to what someone says is always a mistake. Again, we cannot read minds.
The truth is that no one is better than the next, and the same rules apply to us all. Just because you may have a more demanding job than your partner does not mean you have no responsibility for housework or parenting. For instance, if your partner does not work outside the home does not mean you can come home and make a mess and leave it for your partner to deal with.
Expect life to be "fair" according to your playbook.
This is a fairytale, and nothing is consistently fair in a relationship. My pet peeve is parents who think caring for their child is babysitting. For example, "I watched our child all day on Saturday; now you can watch our child all day on Sunday." This will eventually cause resentment.
Thinking your opinion is the law.
Everyone’s needs are different. If you fail to have an open mind about your partner’s issues, you are saying those needs do not matter to you. For example, ignoring your partner's emotional needs or complaining that they are too needy is unacceptable.
Having overly high, unrealistic expectations.
Do not expect your partner to read your mind. And do not set unrealistic expectations. No one is 100% 24 hours a day, and perfection is unrealistic.
Labeling at first sight.
You may not like your partner’s friends when you meet them, but labeling them at first sight, is not suitable for your relationship. If you do not like or approve of your partner’s friend, you can expect your partner to become both defensive and resentful.
Take responsibility for your actions.
Stop blaming your partner for everything that goes wrong or is not up to your expectation. Accept responsibility for your actions and decisions.
Refusing to enjoy the journey.
There is nothing wrong with having fun with your partner, which is essential to a growing relationship. A relationship void of joy and laughter can become a dying relationship.
We have all made some of these mistakes, and it is okay. But now that you know better, you can do better.
Now go out there and do it.
Photo by Susan Wilkinson on Unsplash
Families with violence in the home almost always have long-term secrets. When I was growing up, the motto was, ‘whatever happens in this house stays in this house.’ Any violence in the family was considered a secret or family business.
When a person decides to leave such a situation, their leaving could likely cost them their lives. It is a brave decision and one not made lightly.
An intimate partner in one year kills approximately 4400 women. Of that number, 50%-75% are killed by an intimate partner at the point of separation from the abuser. There is increased danger at this point. (Cynthia Hill, director of HBO’s Private Violence documentary).That means that the victim must be cautious and secretive.
The Safety Plan (The Domestic Violence Survival Workbook)
It is a safety plan that will keep you safe. There is no room for mistakes.
The plan will cover several components. First, there are specific numbers you need to memorize or keep close to you.
1. Police 911
2. Your local Domestic Violence Office 24-hour crisis line is 844–237–2331
3. Domestic Violence Hotline 800–799–7233
4. At least two close friends who know your situation.
5. At least three relatives who know your situation and have transportation.
Memorized numbers leave nothing for the abuser to find. These numbers will be necessary for your safety.
Neighbors and Friends
All of the people listed above are part of your support group. It is difficult to leave, and leaving without support may be impossible.
Try to cultivate a friendship with a close neighbor or friend. Share with them what you are going through and ask for their support. If they live nearby, it is a good chance they will call the police should they hear a disturbance. Have the neighbor and a close friend exchange numbers for added support.
What would you do if your abuser caught you and you were trying to escape? It would be best if you thought this through.
If possible, secure possession of a weapon to protect yourself. Have a place to go to where you will be safe. Know how you will get there. Support from family and friends is crucial at this point.
Important Items to Take
Everything on this list may not apply to you. I know it probably sounds crazy to put your children on the list. But you want to make sure your children are safe during the move. And they take priority.
Medical records, Birth Certificates
Items for children
Social Security Cards
If you have children, decide where they will be during the move. Being alone during the move is safer and better.
Emergency Protection Order (EPO)
I would recommend getting an EPO on the abuser. An EPO is only a piece of paper and cannot save lives, but being clever might. Carry your EPO at all times.
The best way to leave is by planning your move just as you would if you were in a normal situation. I did not indicate that anything was wrong.
I determined where my children and I would move to. It was my 5th time leaving, and it usually takes several times of going before the victim leaves for good.
I was fortunate enough to have a good job. I made a two-week plan of escape.
I went to the local police department and obtained an EPO on my abuser.
First, I found a 2-bedroom apartment close to a school for my children. It was on a bus line, so I could get back and forth to work.
I was upfront with the landlord about my situation. She became another support source for me, allowing me to make payments for the deposit.
The landlord gave me an apartment that she could see from her office. She wrote down a description of his van and license plate number.
I felt peaceful and strengthened because I believed God was with me. Some negative people kept telling me he would kill me if I tried to leave.
But my reply was, “death would be a welcome change.” I was no longer afraid to die and believed in my heart that God was with me.
At home, I began gathering things I needed to take and hid them in the linen closet. My husband never looked in there for anything.
I had a relationship with a moving company because of my job, and I secured their services.
The night before the move, I performed my best, and it was better than being raped. And yes, a husband can rape his wife.
The morning of the move, I told my sons that I would pick them up from school a little early, and I still needed to tell them about the move.
When the movers arrived, I told them they had 30 minutes. I did not want to be there if my husband came home on his break. I had two co-workers with me who supported me.
I only took the children’s beds, my dining room set, and all our clothes. The move was completed, and we were pulling out of the driveway. The headache I had for two weeks was gone. October 16, 1990, was one of the best days of my life.
I picked my children up from school. We got in the car, and I told them we would live in a new place. But their father would not be coming with us. They were excited to see their new home.I searched their faces. They told me it was okay if he did not come with us because he was too mean.
He did not take me leaving well. That was what I expected. I took a leave of absence from work and took the children out of school for a few days, a I didn’t want to deal with him coming to my job.
The last time I left before the final move, I spent six months in a women’s and children’s center. He could not come and get me as he had before, and my time there gave me the courage to move away for good finally.
But I found that leaving is not the end, it is the beginning. And some things last forever.