Posted in Thoughts on...Thursdays

Thoughts on…Thursday: Honest vs. Nice

“The truth hurts.”  “Tough love.”

These are phrases we hear often.  But does this always have to be the case?  Is there really a such thing as constructive criticism?

There was a picture with a quote I saw on Facebook that made me think about this:

You're Beautiful

To be fair, I’ll put this quote into context.  Country music star Miranda Lambert did an interview with Self magazine, which I believe is in the vein of health magazines.  She asked her husband, fellow country music star Blake Shelton, “Dude, why didn’t you tell me I got fat?”  The above quote isn’t the whole answer.  The full response was, “That would go over like a lead balloon”, then he followed up with the sentiment you see above.

Now, I don’t doubt in the least that Blake really thinks Miranda’s beautiful.  I mean, LOOK AT HER for goodness’ sake.  But there is a critical (albeit a heavily-influenced) side of me that says, “Okay, now you’re just saying that to prevent any trouble.  But do you really think she’s beautiful?!?”

Which brings me to this question:  when it comes to the health of someone you’re in a serious, long-term relationship with, is it better to be nice or honest?  Do honesty and kindness have to be mutually exclusive?

And this refers to both sides of looks-based health, whether you’re too skinny or too fat.  Obviously, there are those who are naturally thin or naturally heavier-set, but when you’ve been with a person for a certain period of time, you can tell when they are not living up to their full health potential.

This is such a fine, fragile line to walk, especially in a society that unfortunately tends to base your worth on how you look.  But it’s also a society that’s riddled with an obesity epidemic and a teenage population running rampant with eating disorders.

So what, really, is your duty as a partner?  Is it to be kind and to unconditionally think that your other half is beautiful?  Or is it to let them know when they’re being unhealthy?

My husband, bless his heart, has tried to do both, with horrible results.  Here are a few (paraphrased) gems from his arsenal:

“When you’re as skinny as those girls, THEN you can afford to eat a cheeseburger and fries.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t have another sausage.  You need to concentrate on losing weight.”
“Please…please come and work out with me?  You need it; you’ve been getting pudgy.”
(trying to be sweet)  “But I didn’t end up with a model-thin girl.  I got a double-XL!”
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but when you reach your ideal weight, your curves are going to be HOT!”

You can see why I tend to be dubious and find it really hard to accept the times when he tells me I’m beautiful, though he tells me often.

And I’ve called him on it.  I’ve said, “How can you call me beautiful yet tell me I need to lose weight?”  To which he says, “I just think you’d be prettier if you were healthier.”

I get that and I respect it.  But it’s so, so hard to look in the mirror sometimes and see myself as pretty when I’ve heard those previous comments.  It’s funny, too, because before those comments, I had no problems with how I looked.  I thought I was cute.  To be fair, though, I also didn’t exercise much back then, so my contentment could’ve been dangerous to my health.  On the flip side, I’ve told him again and again, in response to his pressing me to lose weight, “I think you’re handsome just the way you are.  I will never tell you otherwise or anything to doubt how handsome you are.  But I respect the fact that you want to be healthy and take care of yourself.”  (Full disclosure:  we could both stand to lose a few dozen pounds or so.)

Some would argue that it’s a doctor’s job to tell you whether or not you’re healthy, not your partner’s.  Your partner’s job is to support you no matter what.  But is it really fair when a partner sees you being unhealthy and doesn’t do anything about it?  I’m positive that if my husband ever took up smoking again, I would be in his face like you wouldn’t believe.  So why should the issue of weight be any different?


I realize this post is pretty disjointed and disorganized, but I just wanted to throw it out there.  What do you guys think about this whole thing?  Was Blake being sweet or dangerous with his statement?  Is it possible to be nice and honest at the same time when it comes to a partner’s weight?  Would you rather your partner be honest or nice when it comes to commenting on your looks?

To Being Healthy and Beautiful!

Posted in Spiritual Sundays

Spiritual Sunday: Music to Soothe an Aching Heart

If you haven’t read any of my Spiritual Sunday posts before now, please take the time to read this disclaimer.

I’ve been itching all day to write a Sunday post, mostly because I haven’t written anything since Tuesday and I’m trying to cut down on my slacking, but also a little because I felt like I needed something spiritual to help soothe my mind.  I know I must sound like a Grumpy Gus lately, what with me being busy with so many things, or in some cases, not busy, as evidenced by my unemployment.

Super-flattering picture, no?  😉

But–and here’s the full disclosure–there is more to the Grumpy Gus story than meets the eye.

(WARNING: Diary-like entry to come.  Skip if you wish.)

This new house that I speak of (and, for that matter, the apartment that I lived in before now) is in the same city that I spent the better part of my life growing up in.  So moving back here triggers a lot of childhood memories, for better or for worse.  And now I live literally a 5-minute drive from someone who used to be one of my best friends.  He and I have a lot of history.  Even after he moved thousands of miles away, we kept in touch.  That is, until we just grew apart and communication became absolutely nothing.

Actually, no.  Let me correct that.  It became worse than nothing.  It got to be a cycle of him showing up in said childhood town and not telling me, then me finding out about it via a random Facebook post or picture.  It really hurt to feel forgotten and purposely avoided.  After awhile, my heart had enough and I took the sign and, as another friend so eloquently has said, “let go in love”.  I wrote him a letter for my own peace of mind and some sort of closure, which was really important.  I had no hard feelings, wished him the best, and told him I would always be there for him should he never need me.  And I thought that was that.

Then a crazy year happened, when more classmates from my high school graduating class died than I care to think about.  It was a very trying, very emotional year for me.  And they were all tragically young; it’s not like I’m 100 years old and it was just about time.  No.  I graduated in the year 2000, guys.  Things like that aren’t supposed to happen at least until my 60-year high school reunion.  At LEAST.  Anyway, my resolve broke and I sent a text to said friend, only because I didn’t want either one of us to die without any other contact.  He called me back immediately and we caught up for a good two hours or so.  And he apologized for being so distant, and he swore up and down that he’d be better at keeping in contact with me.

And he was, for about three months.  Then nothing.  Again.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately, and how much I miss him.  My dear hubby knows how much this whole predicament has been hurting me, and he suggested possibly doing a symbolic ceremony of sorts.  Surely you’ve heard of them:  where you write things on paper and burn them in a bonfire, or tie them to a rock and let them sink in the ocean, or bury them on a hike somewhere.  But something inside of me finds this SO HARD to do.

So the last week or so I’ve been thinking about this ceremony, and how much it’ll hurt to be rid of this old friend.  I am so bad with change of any kind, and the letting go of friendships is the hardest kind of change for me.  Suffice it to say, then, that I’ve been in a funk.  We were supposed to put our Christmas decorations on Friday, but we were so preoccupied with hosting duties that it never happened.  That was fine, as the party we hosted was tons of fun.  Then Saturday rolled around and we worked on the French drain some more, and we were so tired that we put off decorating for another day.  Then today, and we put it off again because we’re still (yes, still) working on the French drain and are once again tired.  And sore.

When it came time for the hubby to go to bed (at 10pm because he has to rise at the ungodly hour of 6:30), I decided to lag behind and try to cheer myself up a bit.  I tuned into the Country Christmas channel on Pandora, which did wonders to help out my grumpy mood.  Then I decided to catch up on my mindless reality TV shows on Hulu, and I ran into something (two somethings, actually) that made me burst into some very healing tears:

The first was when I saw The Voice and heard Amanda Brown sing a song that I previously haven’t heard before.  The lyrics struck a chord in me, as good lyrics tend to do.  I looked them up and was instantly struck by how much it reminded me of a healing ceremony and of my friend, with whom one of our favorite pasttimes was looking at stars:

I lit a fire with the love you left behind,
And it burned wild and crept up the mountainside.
I followed your ashes into outer space
I can’t look out the window,
I can’t look at this place,

I can’t look at the stars,
They make me wonder where you are
Up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all,
I know you’ve gone too far
So I, I can’t look at the stars

All those times we looked up at the sky,
Looking out so far,
We felt like we could fly.
And now I’m all alone in the dark of night,
The moon is shining,
But I can’t see the light,
And I can’t look at the

They make me wonder where you are
Up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all,
I know you’ve gone too far
So I, I can’t look at the stars

They make me wonder where you are
Up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all,
I know you’ve gone too far
So I can’t look at the stars.


And since I’m a sucker for comparing things to the original, I found the original singer’s video (Grace Potter & the Nocturnals).

I love both, but I have to say I do love the original better.  It seems to fit the feeling of the lyrics better.

As a sidenote, the other thing that made me tear up was seeing Cassadee Pope’s performance of “Over You”–more specifically, seeing Blake Shelton’s tears well up.  Big, strong Blake Shelton getting emotional.  If that doesn’t make you shed a tear, then I’m sorry.  You have no heart.  😉

In my life, I’ve always felt a spiritual connection to music when I’m experiencing intense emotion of any kind:  sadness, happiness, excitement.  I feel like certain songs are introduced into my life at just the right time.

I haven’t yet done the healing/letting go ceremony, but I think I’m a little closer to coming around to it.  Until then, I’m using music to help me get through this rough patch.

To Finding Your Own Ways to Soothe Your Soul,