I’m having a difficult time with an issue that turns up “almost” weekly. It’s been like this for about three years. When this issue arises it causes me frustration, anxiety, and guilt. I am weary of it. The question arises, “why?” Why can’t I make a decision and be done with it? Why do I vacillate between yes and no, the pros and cons? Why am I torturing myself? What is the realization, the root cause of this and how do I deal with it?
I believe, after some contemplation, the root cause is GUILT. I feel GUILTY for doing what I believe is best for me in this situation. But why and what is guilt? How do I know if that is what I am feeling? Should I be feeling remorse? Sigh. Let’s get the facts for me here. What resonated with me in this case from my research is, “Remorse comes from your heart, while guilt comes from your ego mind.” This guilt that I am feeling is definitely coming from my ego mind. It has been drilled into me that I should feel guilty if I don’t support certain people whether they are right or wrong, whether I want to/feel like it or not (because what you want and how you feel don’t matter is the message being sent) because they are family. It doesn’t matter if it makes me happy. It doesn’t matter if it makes me uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter if it drains my joy. It doesn’t matter if I am stoic in presence. It just matters that I do what family or a good Christian is supposed to do by the standards of family, religion, society, or culture. That is what matters. WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE ON THE OUTSIDE AND TO THE EYES OF OTHER PEOPLE. It’s about the “look” of perfection. It is the disguise of “we’re all alright” and “everything is okay.”
Many have suffered holding secrets and atrocities taking them to the grave while once walking dead inside amongst the alive to uphold the family name, traditions, save face with their religion and position. What an unfair burden to place on the shoulders of children or people. What would it look like if you left the church? What would it look like if you left the family business? What would that do to us if you said something about what happened to you? It would expose us. It would make people think poorly of us. Just heal privately and when you are finished, never speak of it again. Or just stay because we need you and want you to and we don’t really care if this is not your path. We don’t care about your happiness. We care about what we look like, what we want, and what we need.
I believe today I have chosen the process of breaking free of that unwarranted guilt. I guess this is part of my 2023 spiritual journey. Oh well, here we go!
Psalm 42:7 Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me. Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.
There will be many things going on this year but, I believe people will begin to work on themselves whether it’s personal development or healing. It may be deepening or returning to their spiritual practice, buying self-help books or taking courses to help improve their life on many levels. Last year I discovered that I had more healing to do and I was ready to get on with it for good. I meant; I was ready to heal completely in this area. I do recall asking God how much more healing and letting go does one need to do?! How long will this take?!!! Ugh! I thought I was done. I’ve been talking about it and dealing with it for a very long time. Well, as I am reading a daily devotional (a book that is pretty deep spiritually so I take it chapter by chapter and sometimes, passage by passage), I think I might have gotten an answer to a question I asked in June 2022.
First, let me talk about the clue I received. Each year I am spiritually led to read certain books. Sometimes it happens all at once and sometimes it happens here and there. Well, I was watching a YouTube episode of Bishop Sarah Jakes Roberts and her mom have a casual conversation over the holidays. She mentioned the book in the video and discovered her mom had read the book also. When I heard the title, I knew I needed the book. This was my first clue that healing was about to take place.
This is what I read this morning:
“Healing is a process of restoration. It is the revealing of the underlying state of perfection and wholeness that always exists, despite injury or disturbance. Beyond all your hurts and pains, be they emotional, physical, or otherwise, is your innate spiritual pattern, which proclaims its independence and simply awaits opportunities to express itself to its fullest. Healing is a journey, not an event. Along the journey there is much to be discovered and discerned about yourself.”
“You ask, “How much healing is there to be done? How long will it take?” These are questions not for me to answer but for you to answer. How long do you want it to take? How much healing are you willing to do? How deep will you go? How much will you reveal? How often will you come to be in surrender? The answers to these questions depend on you. You are creating your own tests. You are creating your won obstacle courses. The mazes through which you wander, the hoops through which you jump, are all configurations of your own thinking. You too often misunderstand, and therefore underestimate the power of your creative abilities. You must become more consciously aware that you are simply manifesting anything and everything you think about, even subliminally.”
I thought I was over it and I thought I was healed. Nope. This year I learned the Creator is meticulous. I learned that CLEANLINESS is GODLINESS. I learned the only remnants that need to remain are ones that strengthen you and not ones that hinder you. A tiny pebble in your shoe will certainly bother you. You can walk around all day with it and be annoyed and irritated or you can sit down, untie your shoe, and shake it out.
How many times must one be washed to remove the dirt of our past? I guess it depends on the depth of the pain or shame. God goes to the innermost parts to clean you and it’s dark in there. You can’t see the dirt so God reveals the dirt through your actions, reactions, and hurt. It’s like something happens, it triggers your past, and boom! You’re angry. You’re sad. You’re going off! You’re shrinking into isolation. Yep. You “may” need to heal some more. That thing may need to be washed again to get the stains out. It may need to be washed again because there is this tiny speck that is hindering you.
The other side of this lesson is there are some things that happened to us or we did we may have to contend with for the rest of our lives when thought about, reminded of, or triggered within. People will keep bringing it up. People will unknowingly trigger you. You could go years and be triggered by a thought or memory. God will help you SORT it all. God will WASH you again with comfort, wisdom, guidance, books, therapy, etc. God will hang you out to DRY so you can return to a new state of being. Refreshed and smelling like Clean Linen or some scented GAIN 😀 And if you need it again…God will once again help you SORT, WASH, and DRY.
What you tell yourself or when you don’t filter the thoughts that enter your mind like, “EAT ALL OF THE POTATO CHIPS NIKKI”, the body will do. Explore your emotional eating habits because that is the root of your problem lately. Not discipline. Not because you like food. Why wouldn’t you like food? A tree has many roots. One root may be sugar and salt addictions or insufficiency. One root may be a craving for a nutrient or vitamin that causes you to pick chocolate or ice chips. Remember that time you could not stop eating ice and your iron was extremely low? The nurse called and wondered how you were still standing! It could also be genetic make-up but, right now it’s emotional for you. Explore those things and self-discipline becomes easier.
I was looking forward to New Year’s Eve for several reasons but, the main reason was I finally, wouldn’t be spending it alone. After a pretty good day that joyous mood would be crushed by him. Some sort of mix up, misunderstanding, miscommunication. WHATEVER. I tried to smooth things over for him so that he wouldn’t feel bad by saying it was okay and offering a solution. The problem with that is Ioncw again put my feelings to the side. Did anyone care that I was I feeling bad? Did I care?
I did not want to be disappointed and I tried to work with it and I tried to work against it. But the TRUTH continued to be magnified with signs such as no communication during a pivotal time frame, an ignored text and phone call, and the polite, “Happy New Year” text he sent. That’s it. That is the gist of it. The TRUTH amplified in the form of anxiety and I was unable to rest even with medication.
This was NOT how I wanted to spend New Year’s Eve. This was NOT how I wanted to wake up on New Year’s Day with lingering sadness and an uneasiness in my spirit. I did not want to spend the day trying to be alright. I did not want to spend the day trying to unravel and get to the core of things so I could be alright. I knew exactly what was happening. I know this is my personal year of 9 and the ending of a 9-year cycle. This is more about endings than it is about beginnings. However, the beginnings, though few, are monarch.
This year is centered around the heart. Before you can connect to the heart, you need a heart cleansing. If not, the connection will not be clean. It will be shoddy. It will be static. It will be on and off. There I was Saturday trying to connect to heart meditation without a cleansing. “Create in me a clean heart and renew in me a right spirit” is a scripture from the Bible. This is similar to a heart chakra cleanse. Growing up Christian this scripture usually was used when sin was talked about or an evil spirit. I can’t help but to think how that only scratches the surface.
The heart can be filled with sadness, anger, disappointment, anxiety, worry, depression, confusion and the remnants of these things or debris of the past. The wrong spirit could be any of those things. It is not necessarily that of evil or sin. So, as the heart is “CLEANsed” the renewing of the spirit takes place. The alignment of spirit takes place. I also believe you have to participate in your healing. There is work involved.
What did I have to do to get to an understanding and to align my spirit? I certainly couldn’t rush the process. I wanted to feel better. QUICKLY. SO, I wanted to skip the heart cleanse and just connect to heart happy. No. 1 hour and 11 minutes into a heart chakra cleanse and typing this I “felt” some clearing. My heart space felt a little lighter. I felt some strength and some HELP coming on. Cleansing the heart can be praying, listening to the RIGHT kind of music, binaural beats, journaling, therapy, chatting with a friend, crying, laughing, etc. This is the creating of a clean heart and the refreshing of spirit. The uplifting or alignment of spirit. The conjunction “AND” means they work together.
Above is one of the frequencies of music I play low in the background as I go about my morning or day. Sometimes I lay down and listen for 20 minutes. I also pray for help and this is the guidance “I” was given. In the words of Mary, the mother of Jesus, “Do what he tells YOU to do.” Your activity may look different from mine and that is okay.
Some of us grew up in loving and caring environments and some of us did not. Some of us grew up in loving and caring environments that were flawed on some level. Sometimes deeply flawed or sometimes tumultuous depending on the problems the parent or parents had. It could have been an ill parent, an unfaithful parent, it could have been arguing all the time, or the parent could be one that came and went. Today I want to speak to those that grew up with the Critic Parent. The one that ALWAYS had something negative to say or critiqued everything you did or every choice you made.
I grew up with one. Every choice you made, there was a better one. When you did your chores, there was always something you could have did better or forgot. When you did things to try to impress that parent, they were not all that impressed. Each time you did your hair or got dressed, they would frown up at your attire or choice and I am not talking about the typical parent-child disagreement about clothes and hair. This is beyond that. This is a tear down of the child. A ripping of their power to make choices and to feel good about their choices and themselves. All of this is about that and the child needing to be supported, guided, and free to be an individual. I felt singled out from all of my siblings. The boys in the family didn’t have this problem, but the only sister I had said she would experience it from time to time, but as soon as she was able to she left the house.
The constant stares, criticism, correction, and questioning of everything I did, said, or chose literally destroyed my self esteem. I was already an outsider with my red hair as an African American child, my brainy self, my extreme shyness, and artys personality. I wasn’t accepted in many circles and to be home and not accepted was traumatic to my sensitive soul. Did you know, that those who are artists and creative types have a spectrum on the emotional scale as more sensitive than normal and that can swing to more depressed than normal? I had no idea until I started seeing a psychologist. My mother always said “If you just look at me, I would start crying.” I wonder if she created that insecurity within me or fostered it. I don’t know.
I second guess everything I did, said, and every choice I made as a young adult. It caused me to be paralyzed with fear. I had no confidence. If this is normal mines was twice as bad. Even after choices were made I worried that I was wrong, I didn’t know what I was doing, there you go again…not getting it right. I was surprised when things worked out. An even then, I was not sure that things would be okay.
Many things contributed to my bouts of depression and need to want to escape this world by suicide. I know this was one of them. I equated a wrong choice in anything I did as a reflection of how I could never and would never get it right. Even the simplest things. I was beyond self conscious and not just in the way I look, but in the work I did. Even now I have to say “Hey, it’s good enough. You did your best.” I also had to learn to not do what was did to me to others and when I had my daughter, I vowed to not utilize that aspect of my parent. I did take all of the good from that parent, which was a lot, and use it.
I believe there are many reasons a parent does this. I think we expect parents to be perfect or to know better, but the truth is they are not perfect and they do not know “how to” always do better. Hurting people hurt other people. When we are children we don’t know or think about the fact our parents have lived some type of life before us and has experienced some type of childhood…both of these things either good, bad, or traumatic. These things have an effect on the parent as a child, as an adult, and as your parent. Many hurt parents have know idea of the psychological effects of their behavior on their children and we grow up to think many of the things we experienced were normal and acceptable until we meet other children and other adults. If you can’t recognize the signs of your behavior as detrimental to the shaping of the child, then you as the parent continue to do what you do. The generation before me were not privy to psychology or child psychology. They were too busy trying to make a living. The way they dealt with things were to not talk about them. But, guess what? Buried feelings and events of our lives are still alive if they are not dead. However, we as the children who grew up in some sort of tainted or warped environment, now have the privilege of that knowledge that we may be better parents and better human beings. We also have the work of healing ourselves from these scars.
I am now realizing that I survived by learning through trial and error, my commitment to not repeat those mistakes by taking different actions, some education about parenting, my relationship with God, the wisdom of the Spirit, other wise souls, and yes, therapy. I survived by accepting the relationship I have with that parent, sometimes calling them on their behavior and holding them accountable, and other times letting it go. I survived by releasing my anger and hurt. I survived with knowledge of the effects of trauma on people who never admit or talk about what’s really going on, but instead choose to respond with some outward action or to remain silent and bottled up.
However, for this leg of my journey at 42, I am here to be liberated this year and to be legendary in my doings. I need to THRIVE and not just survive. I thrive by forgiving and by forgiving I am free (liberated). I thrive by realizing that parent may never seek counseling, deliverance, or healing, but my choice to not feed into it or to have some compassion for the hurt child inside that parent, is liberating my emotions to choose happiness even if they are miserable. And all of that is a legendary step for my soul’s journey.
Mood: Nam myoho renge kyo: To connect to the Universe, to bring empowerment. Yesterday the universe orchestrated my vibrations and brought forth a very negative situation. I am glad that it happened so that I can learn a very prominent lesson for this year as it is my goal, my soul’s goal to be liberated and I guess that means liberated from everything that holds me back, from everything that causes me not to be in alignment with my destiny and from everything that hinders me and my soul’s evolution. This is my year of liberation and a year of legendary moves and growth. So many lessons from yesterday for this journey. Sometimes peeling back that final layer hurts, but helps us to leap into another level.
Pity has a pit that is hard to get out of once you fall into it. If you’re going to dance around it, do so from a distance and make it less than often.-Nicole Jackson
I can tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself, never feel sorry for yourself, or that it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself. Either you do or you don’t or you use to. Perhaps you have a different personality and you never felt sorry for yourself. If this is you, then I might suggest you have some compassion, some empathy, or try to understand those that do.
Feeling sorry for yourself can lead you into a pit. There is a difference when it comes to having a pity party…parties must come to an end and the sooner the pity party ends the better. You see, if a person falls into a pit of pity then that is a very dark place. Some never make it out and it turns into a debilitating way of living and approaching life. It’s all about what you use to could do and all about what you can’t do now. It focuses on what RA or an illness or disease has taken away from you and not what you still have left. Or what you can obtain now! It’s all about your problems, never about solutions. It’s about “I can’t before you try” or a “I tried once and I’ll never try again.”
I’ll be honest with you. I’ve had some pity parties way before Rheumatoid Arthritis exploded into my bones. I am sure it was the talking of wise people, encouraging people, that said a combination of “You’ve got to get over this, get over it, feel what you feel, don’t feel, etc.”that lead me to a method that has lessened my pity parties and the time spent in them. The method for me is, depending on what has happened and the depth of it, is: PUT A TIME LIMIT ON IT and start shutting the party down. I can’t tell you not to throw one in the first place, I don’t control how you feel no more than you can control how I feel. But, if you are going to go there, know that you can’t stay at this party too long and no one else wants to stay too long either! Your party can turn into a PIT! I limit myself to 5 minutes to a few days and then I have to, I must start working my way out, regardless of how I feel. REGARDLESS OF HOW I FEEL.
You work your way out by moving, physically. You work your way out with prayer. You work your way out with telling yourself the TRUTH about yourself (who God says you are) and not who others say you are. You build yourself up and instead of tearing yourself down. This is how you get out of the pit or shut the pit party down. You see a therapist, you see a pastor, you use the skills, you get a self help book, or you surround yourself with a support group. Whatever you have to do, you do it! (But, it’s hard Nikki…well, don’t let that stop you)
What is it that is broken in your life? I have heard that when you are at the end of your rope you should tie a knot and keep hanging on. But don’t your arms (strength) weaken? Does not your hands (heart) have blisters? I’ve asked God what if I let go? And God responded that he (she) would catch me. Yet, God has informed me this is not the time to let go. No, not in this situation. So, how do I reach beyond what is broken?
Imagine that you drop a very fragile dish right before you. Did you curse? (lol) Did you get angry? Are you irritated and agitated? You felt something. When something breaks in our lives, we feel something. The first thing you do is STEP OVER the broken porcelain or glass. And guess what? That’s it! Mind you, we are only talking about how to reach beyond what is broken. As long as you are standing there in the midst of brokenness you can’t begin the clean up. And let’s say that sometimes what is broken is so bad, the Creator has to reach over your brokenness to get you the other side of safety. You know, like what may have been done by a parent to you as a child. “DON’T MOVE!” they say. Then they reach over the broken glass to get you away from the danger of sharp edges. Because that is what a caring parent does. They realize you can’t get yourself out without the risk of being hurt even more. And then they clean up.
You see, sometimes you will be the one that has to step over what is broken so that it can be fixed or left behind. And sometimes, God will reach in and carry you over the brokenness. Either way you move beyond what’s broken and only then can you determine what is next.