Can We Be Friends If You Can’t Understand Rheumatoid Disease is a DIS-EASE?

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When Rheumatoid Arthritis was in remission, yes, it is a disease that can go into remission, I was living it up! Going going gone! A whirlwind of endless fun and good times. My energy was unbelievable. People would say “You are always on the go” or “You walk by so fast it’s like a blur!” Working 10 hour days 5 days a week and then getting all the overtime I wanted. At one job, working 12 hour days and filling in days and nights. It was nothing. I would rest later. I was a mom that was full of energy and I thank God I had that time when my daughter was very small and RA didn’t come until here tween years. Yet, I often feel guilty that we aren’t out and about as much as I would like and often I get tired or hurt before a day of fun is over.

I’m okay with who I am and how I have to operate to preserve my body and my peace of mind. I have found that others, strangers, friends and family are not. I have pretty much embraced that RA has returned and it brought along some of it’s friends; fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and diabetes to ensure my demise. Epic fail indeed! I am still alive, well, and kicking. Albeit, in a different and new way that I am getting use to.

If I go home because I can’t go hard is that a strike against me? Am I the party pooper? If I need a break, a nap, or choose to chill when we are on vacation, am I boring? How so? What you eat doesn’t make me poop! So what I do shouldn’t make you constipated. What people like me want is your understanding, not your criticism. We don’t really want your sympathy, but your empathy and really I don’t need that. I prefer you to understand and keep the party going without me. True, I am the life of the party (haaaaaaa!!!!!) when I am in party and wilding out mode but, in reality the party goes on. So you don’t have to talk about us behind our backs and you can keep the rolling of the eyes, too. If you can’t adapt to the new me and yet I am the one carrying the load and I have adjusted my new crown, then I don’t think we can be friends.

Do what I do. Enjoy those moments when I am riding high. Cutting up and laughing. Enjoy those times that I can pull an all niter, when I am on the floor dancing (something I love to do) and I am hosting a party on my feet making sure you enjoy your night. Note, I will have to pay dearly for the physical things I do later and for how long and how bad is anyone’s guess. It’s a sacrifice willingly made. Google Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease, Fibromyalgia, etc.  to understand what your friend or person you love is going through and HOW it IMPACTS their life. Heck, (really wanted to say hell), talk to them and LISTEN. It impacts everyone differently.

In all your gathering of information, cures, judgments, undocumented medical advice and unsolicited advice, get an understanding by caring enough to understand the needs of a person you call a friend or family member. Know that I am always grateful and appreciative of natural remedies, exercises to help me, or even friends that call to tell me about a medication. I know that they are thinking about me.

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~Nikki

 

Single Life Confetti: Loving Yourself Beyond Treating Yourself

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She said “I do love myself. I get my hair done, I get my nails done, I take myself out to nice places, you know, I treat myself.” Yet, she continues in a job she hates, she moves from man to man, she allows the mistreatment of her heart, mind, and body. She is unfulfilled spiritually and goes through the motions as a single parent. Question: Has it ever occurred to you that loving yourself goes DEEPER than an hour long mani and pedi? Beyond expensive purses and exotic trips?

Those things are surface and fine. However, I urge you to search for a deeper love of self that involves self worth, self esteem building and fulfilling your destiny. I urge to a deeper connection to being in the present moment with your child/children if you are single parent. I urge you to a commitment to living in the now. Seek healing from the past wounds. Discover what is you want, need and desires in a relationship and don’t accept anything less that God given. Define what a healthy relationship to you. What are your values and your morals and grow your roots in them. Take care of your body via exercise and healthier choices. Invest in quality time with the religion you have chosen. TREAT YOURSELF to a JOYFUL, expanding life and not fleeting happiness or relationships (friendships or “workships”) that are everything you DON’T desire.

~Nikki

 

 

 

Discoveries From “My Authentic Self” Journey 2016

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I HAVE FOUND THE POWER BEHIND MY VOICE AGAIN.

I’d lost the power behind my voice. I would say something and when someone would challenge what I said, I would try to explain. If someone would insult my intelligence I would just ignore it. When in reality I wanted to assert myself or opinion. They made me feel as if my thoughts, my opinions, my feelings were wrong and theirs were right. They were not trying to get an UNDERSTANDING of Nicole, they were trying to get a session to berate me. They were trying to have a debate about what I THOUGHT, I FELT, OR I BELIEVE.  Some wanted to tell me what I should feel and think when I had already told them what I thought and felt. They wanted to argue for the sake of arguing and not seek to understand. Many times, they wanted me to THINK as they THINK. Feel what they feel.

Let me tell you about Nicole. I don’t care what you think. I don’t care what you feel about politics, the Bible, gay people, cakes, pies, sports, natural hair, permed hair, tutus, etc. I don’t care enough to argue with you about it, to try and change you, to insult you. I have an understanding that you and I are two different people. We all are individuals with similarities and differences based on how we were raised, religions, race, experiences, and environments. I seek to understand your view and perspective. I don’t seek to destroy your theory, crush your heart, and tear your views a part. I get no joy or satisfaction out of being right or making you look stupid. I don’t feel empowered when I use a plethora of verbal assaults and curse words. I don’t seek to demean you, I seek to learn more about you.

The POWER in my voice to say “Look, if you want to discuss why I think the way I think, feel the way I feel, view the way I view, believe what I believe that is what we can do. If you are trying to understand me, that is awesome. I don’t need you to change me. I don’t mind being enlightened and even that is a choice of consciousness and you cannot beat it into me by belittling my religion/ideas/beliefs. You cannot change my preferences by calling me dumb or saying that’s stupid or calling me out of my name.”

The POWER TO BE QUIET is an option. The ability to discern when a person wants to argue and not discuss is sharpened. If I discover, “Oh, this is an argument to show me how stupid that sounds or how I should think like them or how I don’t make sense because they can’t comprehend it…” to say “Hey, let’s talk about something else because I am not going to change my thoughts or feelings” is POWER behind your voice. I don’t have to explain a damn thing about me. I don’t even want you to explain a damn thing about you that I don’t “get.” I’m not here to “get” everything about everybody or you. I am here to understand and when I don’t that is okay. When I don’t agree, that is okay. When I ask, trust me it will be to better understand you as a person and not to change your mind. It will be to exchange views and not to exchange profanity, put downs, rolled eyes, insults, conversion, etc.

~Nikki

 

Keep It Real

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Keep it real! Real Strong! Real Kind! Real Humble ! Real Proud! Real Loving! Real Compassionate! Real Understanding! Real Poilite!

~Nikki

Truthful Tuesdays

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Whatever you do, let love be your motivation. In a situation like this, where people have made you want to “get back at them” or retaliate, CHOOSE to move away with love and SHOW YOURSELF how much you LOVE yourself by doing what you came here to do or by letting them go. You don’t have to show anyone anything except yourself. You don’t have to show the Creator what the Creator already knows you can do. Don’t let humiliation be your fire extinguisher. Let love and strength be your fire.

~Nikki

Talk to me. Not at me. Race Relate.

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I met a lady of a different race and she says to me I have a headband like the one you have on. I love it but it just slides right off. I say when I straighten my hair, it does the same thing. She says to me in a shocking tone “Why would you ever want to straighten your hair? I wish I had hair like African Americans. I would never straighten my hair. I’d do all of that creative stuff you do like twist it, braid it, dread it…all of that!” I laughed and many times I have wished I had hair like yours until I learned to love the hair that grows out of my head. “Absolutely,” she says “There is nothing wrong with your hair. People should just get over it already.” 
Then we started to talk about life and come to find out she always wanted to be a fashion designer too and to be an actress. We talked about how we were discouraged from seeking out those dreams. I encouraged her to try acting and learn to sew. She encouraged me to to do the same and to keep writing and stop being afraid to submit the manuscript. We even talked about loving Memphis and we both said the only thing missing is the beach! We talked about how we have this underground but emerging arts scene. I told her there are auditions all the time in Memphis and gave her the Facebook site for one. You see, God causes the strangest things to happen in the strangest places. She says “We have much in common.” I said “Yes.” 
This reminds of how just last week I sat on a beach in Alabama and instantly bonded with three white women who were sitting next to me. We laughed so much until we were gasping for breath and could hardly get words out. We shared things, bits and pieces of our lives and we could all relate as human beings and women.
These things give me hope as it related to race relations. If we can just forget about what we see and TALK we would find out just how much we are a like and dispel the lies we have been fed by our parents, leaders, media and few bad experiences.
~Nikki

Shared Journeys: Panama

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Do you remember that time WE…and this is what makes shared journeys a lifetime memory. You never forget WHO you were with and what you did. You never forget the adventures you shared that you shared with others and the adventures you all keep a secret!!!

My first time getting my passport stamped with friends was when we traveled to the country Panama. It was exciting. The resort was amazing sitting on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Waking up to catch photos of magnificent sunrises, spending the nightfall on the patio listening to jazz as the moon played the waves like an instrument, then falling asleep to the soothing sounds of the oceans after dancing the night away.

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Our shared journey was made easy because the itinerary was created where everyone had an input as to what they wanted to do and we were all open to try or we had the option to sit it out and enjoy the resort activities. Even in the shared journey you had time alone. There was no pressure. I got up early to take photos and so did one of my friends, then I would go back to my suite and get ready to share a cup of coffee with my suite mate. And then the day would unfold.

 

Cruising the Panama Canal in a motor  boat made by the man steering it! Feeding monkeys on Monkey Island on the Panama Canal and learning things about the Canal you are not taught in school. Educational. I love to learn.

 

Meeting locals who live on an island in the Canal. These two girls were adorable. They travel to the main land by boat to go to the school.

Walking the streets with friends where guards are not allowed to smile on duty. Learning the history, culture, and the architecture is something we did together. Oh and trying Geisha Coffee for the first time. P.S. I love history.

Winding our way to the harbor and the fish market. Eating ceviche for the first time! A beer tasting was certainly in order.

Rooftop relaxations and libations. Toasting to the good life and Panama nights!

Shared journeys are a blessing.

~Nikki