The Separation of Self, Church, and Relationships

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I don’t know what I would I do if I were  married to a person that was not motivated or disciplined enough to achieve their dreams and goals. What if you wanted a better life and they were okay with just getting by? I would be so miserable in either situation. I have known marriages to break up over one not wanting to advance, while the other one did and I have seen another break up because one was content just getting by. I’ve seen hardworking men and lazy women, hardworking women and lazy men. I’ve also seen Churches command people to say in these marriages and I’ve seen people encourage others to stay in misery. I mean yes, try, try as many times as you can, get counseling, etc. but at what point do you walk away? I guess only YOU can be brave enough to make that decision and that is the way it should be. You should be able to make it without judgement and without guilt. You should have the support of friends, family, and your God. After all, God is like a Father and I wouldn’t think any loving, caring, father would want you to be miserable in any relationship. And just remember, back then and even now in some countries, women had no say in who they would marry. I don’t think that was of God either! I think it was more cultural than anything.

Well, what about those of us that are dating, in a relationship, living with a significant other? If you see they are not motivated or disciplined enough to pursue their dreams and goals how does that make you feel? Are you slowing down to be their 24/7 cheerleader? Are you doing things for them they could do for themselves? Filling out applications and calling to see if someone is hiring? Googling and researching how to start a repair shop? These are things they can DO FOR THEMSELVES. We can get so involved in helping others we neglect our own dreams, goals, and visions.

Listen, I am about to say something to those of you that are NOT  married. You need to continue to go after your dreams with all of your might and heart while you are not married. Especially, if you have a partner that seems to be lethargic. I mean if your fire doesn’t light their fire, if your encouragement is not enough, if your support and help is not enough, it never will be. I’d rather see manifestation before I say I do, than to see it after and the person lives off of my success. I don’t think there is enough love in the world for me to marry someone that wants to struggle, makes crazy decisions about finances, or that is unstable in employment. I guess in the past, I may have been so blind and so in love, I would have. BUT now that I am more mature and have a better understand of myself, I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. If it’s a strain NOW it will be a BURDEN later. The same stands for me spiritually. If I am in a spiritual place they are not in, if our souls are not aligned, I must say good-bye. I don’t have the time for them to play catch up at my age (44). I mean to be 3 miles behind is different than being 30 miles behind. Our ideals, hearts, minds, souls, have to line up somewhat, close I would think. Not perfectly, but certainly not miles and miles and ideals apart which leads to and unequally yoked environment. Personalities and temperaments matter! Comprehension levels and upbringing matters. Maturity levels matter! No relationship or marriage is easy or perfect and I get that. But, should I be sad, mad, 5 days out of 7? Should we be pretending to be okay at church, in front of friends,  and on social media?

I don’t know what the other person is going to do if they are not trying to build a stable life, live out there dreams, or grow. I just know that I have chosen to go forth, full steam ahead, making stops and slowing down to help those that are trying to help themselves as far as dreams and goals are concerned. I don’t want to be bound by Church to stay and I don’t want to be bound by a relationship. I have a right to peace and happiness. Contrary to popular belief, God does care about my peace of mind, my happiness, and what I am called to do. I don’t know if I will ever marry, I hope so. I want to. But, I would have to be 100% certain. In the meantime, I will continue to wait on Divine Intervention. 🙂

~Nikki

 

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Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: A Castle of Peace

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It’s been my ritual to get up in the mornings before everyone (my daughter or when we are on vacation, friends and family) and to have my time to myself. I enjoy quiet mornings or time to myself when I may do what I am doing now. Blogging and watching CBS Sunday Morning before I go to church.

My mind is on a home of peace. I am quiet by nature. Although, I can get loud and talkative. I like having a good time and I understand that we all have ideas about a good time. I also know myself. I can be easily annoyed and I don’t really like loud noise. I understand as a parent and an aunt, children are loud. There is not question about that. However, even children should learn to tone it down and realize how their noise interferes with others’ peace or ability to hear, sleep, study, exist (lol), etc.

When dating or living with your mate (yeah I said that and yes I am Christian and what others do is really not my business), you want to be sure  you can tolerate your mate’s annoyances. You need to know if you can deal with their personality, their quirks and their habits. Do you know why? Because these you are the things that disturb your peace and cause you to be annoyed.

We often take annoyances lightly as if they can’t affect the relationship. But, it is the little foxes that spoil the vine. These little things often come up in conversation and arguments. A messy mate, a mate that doesn’t help with household chores, a mate that is loud and obnoxious at the wrong time, a mate that only thinks about herself, a mate that nit picks and on and on. Some of these things are not small things like are you and your mate on the same level spiritually? What about drama? What about a mate that is childish? After you take off the rose colored glasses, what do you really see?

We don’t hear much these days the saying “A man’s home is his castle.” There are women with castles, estates, mansions, homes, condos, and town homes and apartments. You don’t rule alone if you have a mate or children. I am use to a house of peace. I have lived with and raised a daughter. Do conform to a house of noise? What if it’s not in my nature? What if I am noise sensitive? I am. I also suffer with anxiety and depression. I think this has impact on things as well. Your mental state is affected by a lack of peace in your life, home, job, relationships, which all of these things make up life! My mate learns to pipe down and I learn to tolerate a reasonable amount of noise or we can’t coexist. And if we can’t coexist, we can’t be together. There would be conflict daily. Sometimes it’s a reality that needs to be faced, but some people hold on because they are afraid to be by themselves. I use to be like that. However, these days I like a castle with peace and occasional parties and noise is okay with me.

~Nikki

 

Weekend Confetti: Leftover Paris

All photos are the property of Nikki’s Confetti Life and Nicole Jackson. They may not be shared, reproduced, copied, saved or altered without permission or written consent.

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From Paris, With Love

~Nikki

 

 

Relationship Confetti: And Now We’ve Got Bad Blood…

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I know it’s Friday and I am suppose to be TGIF and believe me I am! Let me get this in before I enjoy the rest of my weekend. Let me be honest. I made a mistake. I jumped the gun. I thought I had something perfect for me, BUT I WAS WRONG! And by perfect I mean mature. I have done the work on myself and continue to work on myself to be the best woman I can be on all fronts. Granted, I am not batting a thousand, but I am damn sure am not batting 200. It’s hard working tearing down strongholds, tapping into your authentic self, coming into realizations about yourself and others, and taking actions to CHANGE. When you find yourself in a relationship that pulls you back into old ways and old habits it’s time to let it go.

Some people are not going to change anytime soon and you have to ask yourself if you have the time wait for them to change. You also have to consider these aren’t small changes, but major changes. Also, what’s your age. I am 44! They could change in a year if they do the hard work or it can take 10 years! The risk is you don’t know and if they aren’t improving now…well. Not only is this about change, this is about maturity levels when it comes to disagreements, money matters, and time management. If we both like being late for work, like wasting money, like wasting food, and don’t care about our health or our spirituality, then WONDERFUL! But if one us cares about all of those things with great passion and the other don’t, then those opposites attract DEMONS and a hellish environment.

And now we have bad blood. Do you know how to get rid of bad blood? You have a blood transfusion. You transfer this bad energy out of your space and bring in positive energy.

I have said this time and time before, I will choose peace of mind over everything.

~NIKKI

 

 

Put the Hook Down, Breathe and Stop.

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1. I miss the freshman that’s away at college
2. I want to go somewhere beautiful
3. It’s a challenge for strong single women. We can’t settle for less than we give or give ourselves
4. Knock and the door shall be opened Seek and you will find (I’M READY)
5. I’d like to wake up to inboxes or emails about my book being published from a legitimate publishing company. I just need that one pearl. That one opportunity.
6. I feel like I’m about to be pushed and that means I need to be prepared. But for what?
7. Should I post my legs if I’m saved and in ministry? The saints will deem it inappropriate. I think I’ll post it.

My thoughts from yesterday as I forced myself to take a break from crocheting. I am getting ready for a few vending spots. Also, I battled anxiety yesterday and I had to take 5 deep yoga breaths, put the hook down, and relax.  I was thinking about all of the things I needed to make. Would I make them on time? Would I sell anything or enough? I needed to clean up. I need to pick up my meds. I need to exercise. ETC ETC and more and more. I was becoming overwhelmed. I reminded myself “I can’t do it all in one day. I am doing the very best I can. It is enough.” (No matter what others think)

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Time Well Spent

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My mom is the primary caregiver for my father. He has Parkinson’s Disease which is a result of being in contact with Agent Orange when he was in Vietnam. He also has other illnesses and diseases that have developed after Parkinson’s. Imagine you retire and you develop a disease that DRASTICALLY changes your outward appearance and your mental and emotional well being.

My dad has always been this strong guy with muscles. I remember him lifting weights and hanging from his biceps. I remember the big round weights that go on the weight bench. I remember the children in the neighborhood racing against him and they would lose. So, if it’s hard for me to see all of that, his mobility, his muscles, his strength disappear, it must be incredibly hard for him to deal with. He’s stubborn, but I think by now he realizes he needs help or assistance. Yet, he fights to keep most of his independence because he doesn’t like anyone doing anything for them. Especially, if they make it known they really mind doing it for him or that it’s a problem. I get that and the stubbornness from him. My dad has always had a sharp mind. He still has it. He is like a walking history buff and Bible. He is still pastoring and this is his last year as his health has really declined. Last week when he was in the hospital for rehab, we talked about poetry and just when I thought I knew it all about poetry he throws out poets I never heard of. He recites some lines. This is my dad.

This week my mom was out of town on church business and I was “hired” to take care of my dad. Even though my mom is the primary caregiver, all six of us children are there to do our jobs. We all chip in. Some more than others because some work full time and others have illnesses of their own (like me). We seem to take on our roles and fill in when needed of roles of the others. It just worked out that way. I took care of Dad this week and I got to see him in a different way. I got to see the struggles in a different way. I heard the yelling as he napped. It was something about war. I got to see the depression that he sometimes denies. I got to experience the moodiness and irritability that we rarely see. But, I also got to see the determination to wash his own clothes, put his dishes away, wash up, and put his clothes without my assistance a few days. I saw the sweat pouring down his face and the tiredness that followed those simple tasks.

My favorite part of the experience was getting him out of the house to sit on the porch as he likes to do and we listened to a famous sermon on YouTube by Reverend C.L. Franklin (Aretha Franklin’s father). He was unsure he could get out of the house or go anywhere with his new fancy walker (which he calls the Cadillac). I had to encourage him and he made it to the barber shop with his new walker.

Even though it was really hard work taking care of him all week from 7 am to 7 pm it was time well spent. The pain and exhaustion that I felt daily, the pain meds I had to take, the willing myself to get up, the swelling and the joint inflammation, the mental battle,  reminded me of why I had such a hard time working my last full time job.  By the time you recover, it’s time to work again and creates an endless cycle that worsens your health. However, all that I experience this week was worth the quality time spent with my dad. Care giving is a job. It’s a job for the one doing it all the time and the ones who do their parts regularly and the ones that have to fit it in. However, it’s rewarding knowing that you helping someone you love and it has it’s moments that will someday become memories.

~Nikki

Disabled. Doesn’t Work. Still One Phenomenal Woman.

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She said, “You chose a person that is disabled and doesn’t work over me.” As if being disabled and UNABLE to work made me the lesser choice. It didn’t help that he didn’t come to my defense with tenacity, anger, and “pissoffity” (extreme pissed off-ness). But you know what did help? Knowing who I am regardless of my disabilities and the inability to work.

“Life ain’t been no crystal stair”  is something Langston Hughes mother would say to him. I truly understand this poem at the age of 44. I look back over my life and it’s been filled with tacks, splinters, torn up boards, and no carpet. I’ve been reaching landins’, turning corners, and going in places where there is no light. In other words it’s been filled with one challenge after another, heartaches and heartbreaks. It’s been one bad break after the other. It’s been filled with PAIN and TEARS. I’ve been sad and lonely. I have been alone in a room full of people and lonely in a relationship. I’ve had bad things happen to me, #metoo and saw a dream die after a hysterectomy. I’ve been made a fool of and made horrible mistakes. I am sure anxiety and depression was here before I had a diagnoses and to mention some childhood drama and trauma. Teased, talked about, and bruised. Diagnosed at 8 with JRA and it made it’s return in 2010 as Rheumatoid Disease and brought Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and unexplained shortness of breath. Nope. Life ain’t been no crystal stair. And nope, that ain’t all folks.

However, I have raised a beautiful, bright, and intelligent daughter that is now in college. I have written three books. I returned to painting abstract art as a “black woman” and that may seem strange to some of the people in my circle. I have learned how to crochet. I have accepted my role as a spiritual teacher. I have found my authentic self. I keep rising from the ashes. Sometimes I am still standing and sometimes I get the wind knocked out of me, but I am still alive. I still believe in true, real, authentic love even if I never get to have it on this earth because I believe I have had it in another lifetime. I have learn to live fearless even when I am feeling fearful. I have went without so that my daughter could have. I love to give to other people. I love to fight for the underdog. I have traveled with friends and family and there are sunrises and sunsets engraved in my mind forever. It doesn’t really matter what someone says, even if it hurts. Even if it rubs salt in the wounds of dealing with being a different woman than what I use to be. I still know who made me. I still know I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am not less. I am MORE. In fact I am a better woman because of all that I have survived and I look forward to spending the rest of my life thriving (with or without a man but hopefully with the one that matches my level of love and maturity).

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

~Maya Angelou

~Nikki