You need to learn how to be left. Left alone. Left behind. Think about this, how would you feel if you were forced to stay in a situation, with people, in a job, in a space you felt you didn’t want to be in for whatever reason? Oh! You’ve felt that feeling before, huh? You know that suffocating, funny, detached feeling that makes you feel stuck. You feel it your body and it weighs heavy on your mind. I have to tell you this, you’re not going to like it but, sometimes you are creating that for someone else. BREATHE. Sometimes they do not love you like you love them. BREATHE. Sometimes, they don’t like you for valid reasons or simply, they just don’t. BREATHE. Sometimes, they just don’t like your energy. BREATHE.
They have their reasons and it may hurt you. It may disappoint you. It may shock you. Especially, if you feel you haven’t done anything wrong or that bad. It may make you feel bad about yourself. And let me say this, if it does make you feel bad about yourself, then reflect, observe, and analyze. Because I would not have known the things I needed to correct or heal within me if someone had not left me or distanced themselves from me! “HARSH TRUTH will wash you clean. If you allow it.”-Nicole Jackson
People have a right to be free. Even if it’s to be free from you. I have learned to take it as it is. But the greatest thing I have learned is NOT to TAKE IT SO PERSONAL that I am angry, upset, mad or carry a grudge about it. How? I think to myself and put myself in their shoes. If I have a right to change my mind, fall out of like or love, remove myself from something or someone that is not a right fit for me, then SO DO THEY. Do I cry sometimes? Yes. Do I feel bad sometimes? Yes. Has my heart been broken at times? Yes. Have I been disappointed, shocked, bewildered? Absolutely. But when the emotions subside, I have to respect their decision. I don’t have to agree with it or like it. I want them to be free because if I need to leave, I want to be free to do so.
“Thoughts that are out of alignment with your spiritual truth are toxic”- The Sacred Yes
Spring is the NEW YEAR.
You may now FEEL like doing those things you set out to do on the Gregorian calendar in December/January. You might feel more energetic, optimistic, refreshed. It took me a while to start moving along with nature and God.
I’m still learning to be attentive of the seasons and the timing of them. And leaves, flowers, vegetation, don’t just happen overnight in spring. There’s a process underneath and within. And even that process is affected by its region, environment, and weather.
Purge your space, circle, mind, body, and spirit.
Get your fresh nourishment. Get your fresh information. You’ve written the vision and now your steps are being ordered. Introduce some movement, action to the vision, dreams, goals.
Today I commented on a post that “As a Christian, I like learning things about the culture and traditions of the diverse people in this world” and two “Christians” took that as I agreed with the tradition and culture the author of the post was sharing. I responded back by saying quite a bit and one thing in particular was that “Reading is fundamental and so is reading comprehension.”
When I think about the first Christian’s response, I think about how slave masters and this country currently love to strip away African Americans’ (or anyone else’s for that matter) of culture, traditions, and history. I do understand why some Black/African Americans have a turned away or will not accept Christianity at all. The second Christian was her back up. Not realizing she was AMEN-ing a westernized and colonizing perspective of what it means to be Christian. God bless both of their hearts. I wonder have they ever thought about all of the Jewish and Hebrew traditions and culture in the Bible? I wonder if they think about all of the Pagen symbology and holidays made to be “safe” for Christians to observe yet, never observing all of the Holy Days? What about the traditions, patriarchy, and culture of their ancestors they hold so dearly? Probably not if they couldn’t comprehend my comment.
As I began to become really irritated by these Christians, I was reminded that my salvation does not depend on Christians, denominations or opinions.
Early this morning my tummy was aching. I have had issues with it since January 2023 and mentioned it to the gastroenterologist who I saw this week. I was there for an unrelated issue. I will have a colonoscopy as well as an endoscopy next month. Sounds like joy, right? Well, as I got up this morning and began my day, I didn’t feel well emotionally either. I was a bit conflicted about what I wanted to do and also there were other things weighing on my mind. I wanted to go out to dinner because my aunt wanted to take me out for my upcoming birthday but, I was not in the mood to sit through a lackluster sermon. I opted to listen to a livestream sermon and I found myself feeling disconnected and distracted. I was being triggered by one thing and distracted by several and this was creating disconnect. I wanted to escape somewhere and I also wanted to not hear anything. I wanted silence but, I felt there was something in this sermon for me.
There were two things, “Glory has triggers, too” and “There are times you will have to go back to what you left and there are times you will have to leave a place for whatever reason”. I understood the latter to be a reminder of seasons. There is a season for everything. Also, there are some places in life you never go back to and some people as well.
While I recognized my trigger this morning, the sermon opened up my eyes to the fact that not all triggers are bad. Some you have to face in order to release the power it has over you. And some triggers remind you of good places, good times, and good feelings. Some triggers remind you of who you are or how you overcame something similar. It gives you the power or strength to do it again or to move on.
This morning I decided to make a choice to silence the trigger. I feel good about the choice I made. Today, I want the simplicity of life. I want the CHILL of the day. I want quiet vibes. I want to sit at the park or by the water and feel the breeze. I don’t want to talk about anything stressful and I don’t want anyone that is stressful to call me. Radio silence. So, as I run one errand today, I will probably go to one of my favorite parks and relax. I will take my planner, notebook, and earphones. I think I need this as I prepare for my birthday and receive my “marching orders” for the year.
There is this term floating around the internet in the circle of black women and black influencers. It’s the great debate and discussion of a term “soft life” dubbed by the Nigerian influencer community.
The term “soft life” originated in the Nigerian influencer community as slang for living a life of comfort and low stress. That is part of what makes soft life content so inspiring: the chance to imagine what life can feel like apart from the realities of Black women’s labor. – Channing Grove, Andscape.com Here is the link to explain it in detail https://andscape.com/features/the-softlife-isnt-as-easy-as-it-looks-online/
I’ve been thinking about this and listening to many black women discuss it. Some are for it, some are against it and then there are black women like me, that are in between. I can say I am much on par for what influencer and storyteller Tenicka Boyd says in the article in the link above. Here is an excerpt of my understanding of a soft life: “For many Black women it is a challenge to move past always being the responsible one, always sacrificing their enjoyment, always putting others over ourselves,” she said. “The soft life is quite literally a rejection of the hard life. Life of struggle and sacrifice.” I also agree with another influencer and business woman I follow, Montelle Bee, which she basically says, a soft life is not just about vacations and designer items. It’s not about working and spending all of your money on things and vacations to be broke by the next paycheck. I’d like to say, it’s not about pretending on social media and struggling behind the camera. And as she said, what is your definition of a soft life and how will you achieve that type of lifestyle? It has to be built. I agree wholeheartedly. IT HAS TO BE BUILT AND NOT JUST FROM THE OUTSIDE BUT, FROM THE INSIDE OUT.
Perhaps, as that is being built, what about soft areas in your life? What areas in your life do you no longer desire to struggle with or in? I thought about it and some areas in my life that I have softened are the areas of relationships and co-parenting. I no longer struggle with co-parenting and that happened years ago. I no longer remain in relationships that are emotionally and mentally abusive. Those were hard things that I have now softened by growing, transformation, evolving, and learning lessons. I continue to co-parent and to date but, I can say I know what exactly the type of relationship I desire and it’s not one of pure hell. I can say by accepting the fact that I am a mother and I am parent it what helped lesson the drama co-parenting can create. I still have to be a parent and mother no matter what the other parent does or does not do (and might I add he matured (so did I) and has been a great father), things got easier. Softer.
As a Black/African American in this country, all over the world, I do think we deserve the luxuries we have been denied or told we didn’t deserve. You know the looks you get or being told you can’t afford something as soon as you walk into the establishment or inquire about an item. “Oh honey, that’s not in your price range.” “Oh, that’s pricey.” You know, walking onto a lot and being shown the used cars they think you can “probably” afford based off your race or attire. Or as I once was told, “Oh, these apartments are xyz amount.” Although, the question asked was, “Are there any apartments available.” I don’t want to be the one on call every weekend or on holidays while the good ol’ girls network their way around these dates. Can these incidents happen to anyone? Absolutely. But it’s been proven they most likely happen more often to minorities.
But let’s not be fooled. Life for most of us, no matter the race or gender, living on this planet is not easy. It is hard. It is a challenge. We are met with physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial challenges no matter how much money you make or your status. But alleviating some of those areas of distress creates a “woosah”, an exhale, a soft area. When you master your finances, whoo! You can breathe in that area better. When you heal in certain areas. Exhale. You can breathe better.
Call it what you want. I call it making life easier where I can. I call it no longer tolerating toxic treatment from the church house to the white house to in my house. At 47, I don’t want to “go hard” 24/7. I want to work smarter and harder when it’s called for. I want a softer landing in my financial affairs. Therefore, I work to learn to manage and grow my finances so in the future, things won’t be so hard for me. That is my next “soft area”.
As I was reflecting on this year and preparing for next year (writing dreams and goals), I started to feel like I needed to hurry up and get things written or done. The feeling of anxiety creeps in when I feel pressure sometimes. I don’t know why I felt like I needed to rush to get things done before the new year until I asked myself and answered myself. It’s the same energy in which people try to accomplish all of their New Year’s resolutions in the first three months of the year. Often, without a game plan and strategy. It’s the energy of “refresh” and change or the opportunity that excites us.
However, it was Spirit who said gently to me, “You don’t have to rush. It’s still winter in January, February, and March. Move with the seasons.” Ease into the New Year. You have time. Winter is still “still” and a time of recharging. We don’t have to hit the ground running January 1st. In fact, it’s best you don’t because you will burn out by Spring and Spring is where everything is coming to life. It takes energy to “come to life”. If you pace yourself, you’ll have energy. If you recharge by refreshing, taking your time, planning, doing a little here and there, you will conserve energy. When everyone else is no longer going to the gym, you’ll be hitting your stride. When everyone has given up on their long list, you’ll be marking things off and on to the next.
You don’t have to do it all. You don’t have to rush. Stay in the season.
I don’t know about you but, there’s this energy of tidying up, tying up loose ends, and wrapping up things spanning across many areas of my life. So many endings and an end of an Era so to speak. Good byes to outgrown and outdated traditions in my life. I’m fulfilling my obligations this month because I said I would. I like to try to keep my word. It’s a farewell to people and things I’m “known” for. I feel good about it. It’s been a heaven of rides with some hell-ish detours, yet necessary I suppose. You know, for my growth. Fertilizer doesn’t smell like roses but they do help them to grow.
It seems like I have finally adjusted to a less than busy schedule. I am becoming acclimated to this slow and steady pace of December. I spoke and set intentions to have an “easy and enjoyable” transition of holidays from the week of Thanksgiving to the first full week of January 2023. I am determined to involve myself in things that are easy and enjoyable more than things that are unnecessarily chaotic and difficult. So far, so good.
I have been taking more naps. I have been watching Christmas movies. I am reflecting and planning. I do need to move my body more. I have done chores in chunks and balanced them out with rest. I have said no to most things that add unnecessary stress. Reminding others that their lack of planning is not my emergency, with a mixture of gentleness and firmness, has freed me of most guilt. Andy Bounds – Bad planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
I am consciously choosing events and whom to socialize with. You do not have to attend everything you are invited to. The mood is smooth, light and airy, boring to some. It’s exactly what I need after the things I’ve gone through and GROWN through. I feel like I need to be infused with hope and joy. I feel as if I need to smile more and laugh more. The last week in December I think I will do a social media detox as well as a physical detox. I hope your December is one of peace and love and heavy on self-love and self-care. While you are giving, don’t forget to give those two things to yourself!
I don’t know about you but, it’s been a “doozie” of a year for me. I titled this A December to Remember because it’s a time, a month we should use to reflect on the year and to prepare for next year. You can’t get ready for next year, next year. Well, you can. No pressure. But I suggest taking a week or two to look at your goals and see where you stand. It doesn’t matter what you didn’t do because it can be tabled, removed, or moved to next year. It can be revised and revamped.
Celebrate what you accomplished. Show gratitude.
However, take a bird’s eye view of your life. Where are you? Where do you want to go? Are you on track or off track? How will you get there? You must write the vision and make things plain.
Also, don’t forget your spiritual journey. It’s of utmost importance. How did that go this year? What did you learn? Did you grow?
This month I will probably be blogging more than usual as I share my top 12 lessons and a combination of observations of my year. It certainly was my year of endings as I knew that in the beginning of the year but, I was quite sure how that would unfold. Let alone, how to prepare for it.
How do you feel about your year? Was it what you expected?
Respect your body when it’s asking for a break. Respect your mind when it’s seeking rest. Honor yourself when you need a moment for yourself. -unknown
GM! The morning after a day of bone crushing pain can be odd. Thanks to prayer and prednisone you physically feel better but, mentally and emotionally, you’re not quite together. I feel deep compassion and empathy for those that suffer from chronic pain or chronic illnesses. Sometimes all I can do is wonder why it must be this way. I enjoyed those years I was in remission from rheumatoid arthritis disease and the days I’d never heard of fibromyalgia. On the bright side for me, at least it wasn’t ill when my daughter was an infant. Also, if I would have known the future, I would have followed ALL of my dreams full speed ahead.
But we don’t have the luxury of knowing the future and I am sure that would not always be a good thing. We’d live in fear and sorrow or dread. With that being said, it’s like how depression and anxiety works. I get so tired of hurting it makes me depressed about the future at times. I get so worried about how the future will turn out at times; I get anxious about it. When the pain is severe as it was yesterday, the only thing I yearn for is to just have a normal life. I know what normal was like before Rheumatoid Disease and Fibromyalgia. I could be tired without pain.