This phrase tickles me. I’ve heard it so many times. Some people really meant it while others did not. I guess they liked how it sounded but obviously did not mean it. That phrase, “I’m an open book,” is one that people should really be careful with. Even if you say this to someone who is close to you. If you have trust issues with anyone (I mean ANYONE), I recommend not saying you’re an open book.
I’ll be the first to admit, I am not an open book. With my husband, I’m about 95% open book. I’ve striving to get to 100% because that other 5% has more to do with personal development. Anyway, I’m not sure what his percentage is but I’m sure it’s not 100% either. I don’t purposely hide information from my husband. In fact, I’ll tell him more about my personal issues than he’ll tell me about his. Guys don’t talk much until they’re ready – and that’s cool. I will text my husband a TMI message at any point of the day but hey, that’s me! LOL! But outside of an intimate relationship, I’m not an open book. I have various entry ways that I filter people through. If you think of a house – not everyone can come into my yard. And even once you’re allowed in my yard, you may not be allowed to come through the front door. Even if you come through the front door, you may not be allowed to come upstairs. I think you get picture. That’s who I am, and I’ll admit at first I thought something was wrong with me for being that way. But there’s not. The truth is, I’ll meet you in the yard, at the door, or wherever. And I have no problem telling you’re only allowed to be in a certain area of my life. It doesn’t mean I don’t consider you a friend. It also doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I may not trust you, but I’ll love you no matter what.
I believe being an open book to everyone requires being vulnerable all the time. I personally don’t have the energy or interest being vulnerable all the time. I’m an introvert and I like my moments of being in my ‘space’ by myself. I’m not depressed or lonely. I just like my personal space. Even when we tell our spouse that we are an open book to them, it requires being vulnerable way more than we realize. We can’t question our spouse when they start to ‘read’ those pages or try to tear out the page and say, ‘not that one’. Then you’re not an open book. I remember during our courtship, I wrote a small book for my now husband. It was about me. It talked about my childhood, past mistakes and everything that led me up to meeting him. Not sure if he if still got it or if he read all of it. LOL! But the reason I did that was to signify the open book concept. I’ve never done that for anybody else in my life. Also, I wanted him to know that I was willing to love him unconditionally.
I believe the main idea of being an ‘open book’ is to love unconditionally. I mean, some of us have a tough time being an open book to ourselves. We don’t even want to deal with our own crazy stuff most of the time. We can get on our own nerves. LOL! But seriously, I know that finding that unconditional love is difficult. Some men don’t believe their wives loves them unconditionally; and vice versa. Some best friends don’t love unconditionally. I love my best friend unconditionally. I love my husband unconditionally. I’m learning daily how to love everyone unconditionally. Why? Because it’s hard enough in this world. (I bet most of you all thought I was going say because God is love --- Ha! --- just kidding) Honestly, I have found it takes more energy to be judgmental, to backbite, to gossip, to envy, and all that immature stuff than it does to just love. Maybe I’m getting lazier as I get older, I don’t know. But I still believe what the whole Bible says about life and that includes loving unconditionally. We have issues and I need all my energy to overcome my own issues versus wasting my energy on immature habits. So, if you really desire to be an open book, consider seeking after those individuals who will love you unconditionally versus saying you want to be an open book.
I'd like to know how you all feel about the phrase of "I'm an open book". Maybe what people really mean to say is, "what you see is what you get." Leave your comments below! :-)
Many people may know (or may not know) I have a lot food allergies. I discovered these in November 2016. Since around August of 2016, I had stopped eating bread and fast-foods. It's been a heck of a journey but it's been worth it! I explain it more in my video blog so check it out!
Now, holidays are still a challenge for me! I must try to discover how to enjoy food without causing issues for me. And one of my many talents is baking -- and sugar causes issues for me along with dairy and gluten. So, I strive to look for ways that won't cause me to have to add sugar because I recognize that sugar is EVERYWHERE! LOL! So, when I have to time to make dessert, I strive to go after simple, easy, and not a lot of ingredients. This one is of the first simple desserts I've tried since my food allergy discovery. I have bought desserts and all that. Some were a huge fail and others were satisfactory. I was inspired by a similar recipe where you make your own whipped cream and all that. But like I said, I just wanted to go for something very simple! In fact, I used an 8x8 glass dish versus the longer one used in the similar recipe. But I believe prep and timing are exactly the same (if not a little less). I am no 'cook' -- so here's the details of what I used:
I already know! What I am about to explain goes against every marketing and/or business plan template out there. However, I just need to be honest because this is how I discovered another level of freedom.
Any fellow entrepreneur who has had the pleasure of sitting down and writing out some type of business and/or marketing plan has heard the process of reviewing other competitors. Basically, to review similar companies or organization in order to see what you can glean from their current situation. To see what they are doing that will help you identify what is going to help you stand out from them.
Can I be honest? This can be intimidating for a new business owner. Someone who has a passion and dream to start their own business. To help people solve their problems and overcome obstacles. They compare themselves to businesses that have been in existence for 5, 10, or 15 years. They’re succeeding and it’s hard to imagine exactly what they went through in order to understand how they achieved success.
Now, for most people, they know success doesn’t happen overnight. They recognize the need to work hard, make the right investments, take risks, etc. However, even the most passionate entrepreneur can get overwhelmed because not only is there this cloud of comparison and analysis but there’s also this cloud of competing with these established businesses.
We live in a society that is influenced by what others say. We depend on the reviews from others in order to trust a product and/or service. It’s basically like depending on people’s approval. And believe me, I too have been influenced by reviews in order to make my final decision on purchasing a specific product and/or service. Depending on their approval. HOWEVER, I have also made a lot of decisions without the influence, or approval, of what others have said. The reason is because I trusted what God said!
I have discovered that when I pray for guidance and God leads me to discover the solution, it’s normally not based on a ton of reviews from other people. I believe this is because God is testing if I trust His guidance and approval. He has never stirred me wrong. I will admit I haven’t always passed the test but these last few months, I now understand the lessons I was supposed to learn from those tests I didn’t pass.
Another lesson I learned is to not compare and/or compete with other established businesses. Why? Because I am who I am. God did not make another Latonia Marie Stovall Price with the exact same DNA. If I help someone solve their problem, it’s going to be a unique experience because I am who I am. Sure, the process may be similar and/or familiar, e.g. setting goals, self-reflection exercises, the inspirational scriptures to meditate on, etc. But it will be coming from a different spirit – a different vessel – a different anointing – a different set of moral values and integrity – and more. I can’t be like no other life coach, speaker, author, etc.
Why waste my time comparing and/or competing when there are still millions and millions of people who are seeking the type of help I offer? All God is asking me or requiring me to do is show up! When Jesus Christ gave the commission to go out into all the world to preach the gospel, he basically was telling them ‘show up’. It didn’t matter how many would be saved that first trip, second trip…10,000th trip! All that mattered was that they went and God would handle the rest. That’s why Jesus said that if he be lifted up, he’ll draw all men unto him. (John 12:32) Our purpose is to allow people to see God’s glory via our unique abilities (and not a masked or faux form of perfection).
We just have to continue to ‘show up’ by lifting up the one who makes it possible for us to do what we do. I couldn’t possess the spiritual gifts that I possess without God! I couldn’t have wrote the books I have written without God’s help! I couldn’t have helped the people that I’ve helped thus far without God’s guidance and favor! I don’t need to compare, compete, or anything in order to lift up God and His amazing power. All I have to do is just continue to ‘show up’ and ensure that people understand it’s not about me but it’s about God. I’m only another, unique vessel fulfilling His purpose. I’ve erased the comparison and/or competition section from my business and/or marketing plan because I’m trusting God’s glory will do what it does best: Draw them in!
In the last few weeks, I have been doing a lot (and I do mean A LOT) of self-reflection. I don’t believe I’ve done this much self-reflection before in my entire life. I’ve been having to do it for class and honestly, I’m so glad that I’m experiencing this level of self-reflection. I’ve understood the need for examining self but like most people, we go just so far where we stay comfortable. We don’t like doing self-reflection to the point of being uncomfortable. However, I’m learning that’s what we need and we need to do it more than what we realize.
One lesson that came to the surface was about judgement. We know the Bible talks a lot about judgement. From God’s own divine position to our earthly position. There are degrees of judgement that are lawful and respected. In fact, if we didn’t have those forms of judgement, we would be living in a world of uncontrolled chaos (much worse than the chaos we have). However, it’s easy to fall into a state of making judgements about ourselves and others that are negative because it’s so natural to judge.
The negative judgement comes in when the motives aren’t positive. Also, when the ideal standard is not realistic. We’ll judge someone based on outward appearances versus getting to know them personally. We’ll make judgements when we feel our idea of perfection or righteousness isn’t being achieved by others. Unfortunately, we live in a society that has set a lot of man-made standards on appearance and more. The influence behind some of these man-made standards are not Godly or Christ-like. We’ll even end up negatively judging others because they didn’t do or follow what we thought was the right thing to do. Sure, God wants us to offer wise counsel to each other but just because they don’t follow what we said doesn’t give the right for them to be negatively judged. If anything, pray for that individual that God reaffirms and directs them according to what is right for their life!
In these past few weeks, I had to recognize there were negative influences (or demonic strongholds) that causes me to feel inadequate. I struggled with low self-esteem for years. I had to realize that at a very young age, I was influenced by the wrong standards. What I thought would help improve my self-esteem were only temporary. I had to dig deep and find the roots of why I had (and sometimes still do have moments) low self-esteem. I was different and still am. I will never meet man-made standards and the only standards I now want to meet is God’s. I had to learn to love my uniqueness. I had to learn to love and not judge others who were judging me. As much as we all have to learn to love self, we must also learn to love others. I can’t judge others who judge me. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Honestly, I’m having to practice this spiritual discipline of judgement every day. Towards myself and others. I’m broken but I’m whole because of God’s glory! Because of His grace! Because of His mercy! Because Jesus Christ, my Savior, redeems me!
Just like God’s done all of this for me, He’s done the same for everybody else. Nobody is perfect and we all need God’s grace and mercy. It’s time to stop the negative judgements and start living in true freedom of God’s truth!
As a Christian wife, author, and evangelist, I want to love and help others to enjoy life! I offer tips, empowerment, and more on my blog! Be sure to follow me on FB & Twitter to stay up-to-date!
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