I Don’t Want To Be A Cool Girl

Photo by: Levi Guzman @levisule

So I came across Tove Lo’s new song “Cool Girl” last night and I’m obsessed with it. But the music video and struck me like a dagger through the heart.
(Here’s the link to watch the video if you want to know what I’m talking about before you keep reading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsFneCExrCQ )

So if you watch the video without reading into it very much, it just looks like a horny girl touching herself on top of a car…and then on top of a coffin… and then with a group of dancers.

The music video might be about that.. but to me, it meant something much different.

The imagery & the lyrics at the beginning of the song triggered a lot of things for me. And then after seeing her on top of the coffin I was done. My heart was torn.

“Imma Imma
Imma cool girl
Ice cold
I roll
my eyes at you boy.
No, let’s not put a label on it.
Let’s keep it fun
We don’t put a label on it
so we can run free
I wanna be free like you.”

I was immediately transported back to my first years of college. After the rape. After losing everything that I was and any feelings of self-worth. Before I met God.

I remembered drowning myself in alcohol and making out with any boy I could get my hands on, and then feeling that horrible empty pit of shame in my stomach and heart the next morning. I was hungry to be loved. So hungry. So empty. So dead inside.

I remembered telling myself I was exercising my own “freedom of choice” to give myself permission to manipulate others. I thought that getting what I wanted meant I was a stronger woman.
In reality, the more I used people, the more I hated myself, and the more dependent I became on physical touch or the attention of men to feel valued…or feel anything at all.
I remembered feeling “cool” because I was getting so much attention, even though I knew it was only to satisfy my emptiness.

The image of her on top of the coffin reminded me of how I felt like I was two different people; the ‘Cool Girl’ came out to parties to satisfy her emptiness while the genuine, kind, loved and respected girl – the real girl – died a little bit more by each bad choice the cool girl made.

It’s self-destructive behavior and I know for a fact that I’m not the only one who has done it.

There’s a part in the video where Tove Lo says “Pain and pleasure go hand in hand. Pain is really just a path to more pleasure.”

She’s right.

But what she doesn’t say is that pleasure is not the same as happiness. or joy. or love. The book I’m reading this month called the Power of Now, talks about pleasure.

“Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.” 
– Eckhart Tolle

Pleasure is fleeting, lustful, and a temporary fix. Pleasure sucks you deeper into a cycle that is hard to break. Believe me, I know how hard it is to break.

“The buddha says that pain or suffering arises through desire or craving and that to be free of pain we need to cut the bonds of desire.” – Eckhart Tolle

Just be.
Be okay with you. Who you are – who you really are and what you’re true form is… not who you think you are because of the mistakes you’ve made.
You are not your mistakes.

This for anyone who feels like they need to try hard to be ‘cool’ or to be ‘liked’. For anyone who has ever felt the same way I did, and still do at times. For anyone who is afraid of losing their illusion of “freedom” or doesn’t know how to love and be loved.

I’ve been there. It’s a dark, scary and lonely feeling place.

But you’re not alone. The fact that you may struggle with these things makes you human and being human is beautiful. You CAN be full again and feel again and be you again.
It might be a long and hard battle, but it’s worth it because YOU are worth it. It comes little by little, day by day, choice by choice. When you decide to say ‘yes, I’m worth more than this, I can be better than this, I will love myself more than this.’ Your life changes. And if you can’t decide that for yourself – if you don’t think you’re worth to well too bad. I think you are.

 It’s a daily struggle, and sometimes it feels like you’re going backwards, but you can do it. Only you can do it for you. I did it. I mean I still fight every day, but because I fight every day, I am so much stronger, and now I don’t struggle the same ways.
I’m becoming more confident and secure in myself. I actually like who I am now.

To start I had to forgive myself for the pain I inflicted on myself and others during this time period, which was something very hard for me to let go of. But then you can tackle each small destructive habit, one at a time and replace them with healing things. Instead of going out one night, invite some good people to hang out. Surround yourself with love. fluffy things. pretty colors. I don’t know.

Being cold after something bad happens is a coping method. You do it initially to protect yourself. But if you let it take you over, it’s more harmful than helpful.
Your heart is so beautiful the way it was made to be – the way it was made to love and be loved by others. Protect it of course, but don’t let it grow cold.

Being a “Cool Girl” just isn’t worth it.

3 Words That Will Ruin Your Life

I’m doing this new thing with my vocabulary.
I’m cutting words out.

So far I have three:

  • Can’t
  • Should
  • Shouldn’t

It all started at my job. I am a dance coach at a studio that doubles as a cheer gym. Anytime one of our athletes says that they “can’t” do something, we make every single person on the floor do 10 push-ups.
Because saying you “can’t” is setting yourself up for failure before you even try.
It’s really amazing how far a little bit of positivity can take you.

Eventually I added “should” and “shouldn’t” when I realized how pervasive their concepts were in advertisement.

I have a whole elaborate theory about human nature and marketing but in a nut shell, many advertisements are only successful because they make their interpolated audience feel like they are lacking and that the product that is being sold with fulfill them.
So wrong.

Not all advertisements use the words should and shouldn’t, but the concept is there. 

In day to day life, I noticed myself thinking that I “should be” a better dancer – which left me feeling hopeless because I was simultaneously tell myself that I wasn’t good enough. That I just missed the mark.
And telling myself that I “Shouldn’t be so lazy” didn’t help me find a solution. It left me dwelling in the negative.

If you are looking to make an improvement or break a bad habit – stop looking down and beating yourself up. Look up, brainstorm, talk to people and think of ways to actually make a change. Don’t hate on yourself for being human. 

Cutting these words out of my vocabulary actually made me think about my situation more deeply. Making a conscious effort to re-phrase sentences or ideas I had actually made me a little bit more positive in a very realistic and motivating way.

In the end, it came down to acceptance. There is so much freedom in acceptance.
There is so much peace in being okay with being just the way you are.
You are enough – always have been, always will be.
Don’t let these words tell you otherwise.
The challenge is in the journey to finding it for yourself. Kind of like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.” ― Heath L. Buckmaster

The Devils Hands

Photo by: Brian
IG: @lastis1st

The colors inside your being
are curious to know
how the evil found you
when the only thing you’ll ever need
is so close –  but you turned away
In His eyes you are holy,
but in the devils hands you choose to stay
An empty feeling in your chest
legs that want to run 
but need more rest
a relentless darkness stirring inside
temptation comes out to play.
in His eyes you are holy, 
but in the devils hands you choose to stay
You feel strings tied around 
your limbs – watch
yourself move unwillingly…
when its wrong you let it be.
In His eyes you will always be His,
but in the devils hands 
you will now live.

This is the unfinished story of a christian overcome by temptation. It is unfinished because I know this story will end in grace. I know – because this story is my story and I have already been redeemed. I just need to accept the love that has been poured on me from the beginning.

We are imperfect beings, and as imperfect beings we fall short sometimes.
Make a bad decision
Make a mistake.

And that’s hard to do sometimes but you are worthy and you are loved. Your past does not define you.