Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Love...Real Love

Hey everyone, I know it's been awhile, but I haven't felt really inspired to write until this very moment. And let me tell you, it's sure to be a long one. So, brace yourselves, and keep in mind that today I will be writing about something that I am intensely passionate about.

I am struggling to find a way to jump into this post, but I guess the only way is to just start. Ladies, you deserve to be treated with respect, with love, with a princess. It doesn't matter how old you are, where you came doesn't matter what you have done in your past or how many bad relationships you have had. You deserve to be treated right. And please, please don't ever settle for less. 

I don't know what has happened in our culture these days. I see women, of all ages, being treated like dirt and it infuriates me. I see men walking all over these women and using them for their own pleasure and happiness, completely disregarding common decency and respect. 
I do want to throw in a small disclaimer, I know that women can be abusive and treat men poorly, I am not denying that or putting all the blame on the guys here. But I am pointing out what is more common in the world around me, and that is women who have come to believe that they don't deserve to be treated with respect.

So, let me talk to the men here for a second. And this is for any guy who reads this blog, whether you are in a relationship or not. Stop. Take a second to look at how you treat the women in your life, romantic relationship or otherwise. Do you treat her like an object, like a tool to be used to make you happy? Do you expect her to fulfill your every want and need? How do you talk to her in public? How about in private? Are you encouraging or do you tear her down in order to make yourself feel better? Do you support her dreams and goals or do you expect her to give up on those things to be with you? Do you love her? Think about this one carefully. 

Do you love her? I am not talking about infatuation. I am not talking about physical desire or pleasure. I am talking about the kind, patient, humble, gentle, forgiving, self sacrificing love that every person on this earth deserves to have. I grew up being taught that it doesn't matter what you have done, it doesn't matter how rough your past is, you still deserve to be loved. 

Alright, now I want to talk to the ladies. Don't think that you are exempt. You need to be treating the men in your life with respect, honor, and love. There is no excuse for you either. Keep that in mind. But right now, I want to ask you...are you in a relationship that you know something isn't right? Do you feel deep down in your heart that something is wrong? Do you feel respected? Do you feel like you can be yourself and be accepted by this guy? Is he kind, patient, gentle, forgiving, and self sacrificing? How does he treat you in front of his friends? Do you feel like he is proud and humbled to be with you? Is he kind to you in private, when no one is around? Take a look at your relationship and really be honest with yourself about what is going on. 

I don't want anyone to think that I am biased against men right now. I know that there are plenty of women who have treated their man poorly, I have seen it and watched it rip relationships apart. But in the world around me, there are a lot of young people in relationships. And let's be honest, many teenage or college age guys these days have not been taught how to treat a lady (I am not giving them an excuse). I see so many of these young women I know in relationships that are full of emotional or verbal abuse and they are treated like an object to be used at someone else's convenience. 

To me, the worst part about all of this is that most of these women don't even know that they deserve better. They honestly believe in their hearts that they don't deserve to be treated well. It breaks my heart. 

Ladies, if you hear one thing in this moment, I want it to be this. You are worth it. You are worth being treated like a princess. You deserve a man who will pursue you and be respectful. You deserve a man who will love you for all your beautiful characteristics, and embrace all your faults, because he knows that they make you who you are. You deserve a man that will help you become a better person, through love and guidance. You are worth it. 

Let me say it one more time.
You are worth it. 

To close this post, I just want to offer to any ladies who are feeling discouraged, or are in a bad relationship, or just need someone to talk to...please email me. I am more than happy to talk with you and be whatever support I can be.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Be You-nique

As many of you who read my blog know, there are a lot of people getting engaged and married right now. We have all been to several weddings this summer and are already gearing up for all the weddings next summer.
It is a little different for me this year though, considering that one of the weddings I am going to next year is my brother's and one of them is my own wedding. It kind of puts it all in a new perspective. But I will say a few things about all these weddings going on. 

First, I have learned to appreciate how different every couple is. When you go to a wedding, you really get a glimpse of who the bride and groom are. You will see their family traditions, and usually their religious beliefs will come through along with that. Then there is the interesting aspect of the bride and groom's individual tastes somehow combining into one. Many will assume that everything down to the color of ribbon on the flowers was the bride's decision, but I am here to tell you that I have met plenty of grooms who had strong opinions on simple things like ribbons (my own fiance being one of them). 

Generally these days, you also get to see what kind of environment the couple is truly themselves in. I think it is normal for a couple to plan their wedding so that they are comfortable and able to truly be themselves. For instance, some couples get married in a church. For some, that is because of their beliefs. For others, it may be simply that they feel more comfortable in a place they grew up in or are familiar with. And then you have couples who get married in the woods, or by a lake. Maybe they are more comfortable outside, enjoying the beautiful surroundings that they have known their whole lives. And then there are people like me...

I want to get married outside for pretty much one, well maybe two reasons. Reason number one, I am a photographer. Indoor lighting is not my favorite, and nature makes for more beautiful photos if you ask me. Reason number two, I feel more free and comfortable being outside. I want to feel the sun on my back and a gentle breeze while I am standing with my husband-to-be, waiting to say "I do".

Another thing I have learned this summer is that I want my wedding to be unique. I want it to really reflect who I am, who Alex is, and who we are together. I want to express all the little quirks about our personalities and demonstrate just how much we really love and care for each other. More than anything, I want to have a day where we get to celebrate our relationship with all of our friends and family, all the people who have been a part of our relationship since before it even began.

That being said, brace yourselves. This wedding might be unlike any you have been to. Yes, we will have a pretty traditional ceremony. But after that, who knows what will happen? 

At this point I can confidently say that I am ecstatic to plan our wedding. And more than that, I am thrilled to be starting this chapter of my life with the most amazing man. A man that I am amazed saw fit to choose me and ask me to spend the rest of my life with him.