Rich and Wealthy Now

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My heart is just filled with gratefulness and love this morning. Like up to the top. I even feel a little misty eyed. Thinking about how rich and wealthy we already are if we would take the time to stop and smell the roses. Totally immerse ourselves in the moment of a conversation with a friend without looking at our phones or immerse ourselves totally in the pleasure of a cup of tea or glass of wine. If we would look into the eyes of our family when we see them and hug them each time with all of our might. If we would reminisce about the fun times of childhood we would laugh and feel good about all of those good memories…rich irreplaceable moments with friends and cousins. Wealthy in our small homes and apartments surrounded by objects we adore and that are priceless and meaningful to us even if we got them from a dollar store or if it were passed down to us or given to us by a friend. Wealthy in the events of accomplishments big and small, public and private. Wealthy in nature. Yes, money cometh. Yes, wealth and riches is in your house. But just know, we are rich and wealthy in the now. -Nicole Jackson

Adults Who’ve Survived the Critic Parent

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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.

~Nikki

 

 

RA Blog: All Eyes on Me (Thee)

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It seems as if everyone else is whizzing right past you as you “mosey” along or perhaps you are not moving at all. Maybe, you are stuck. Well, I have goals because I set goals. I have dreams and new dreams, new visions, things I want to see happen in the face of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and all of that other noise that seems to slow me down and sometimes get the best of me.

In the effort to lose weight, to achieve my other goals as well, it seems as if the well abled bodied people are just flying right past me. Soaring to their goals, and I, I am left behind in their dust. Me? I’m struggling to stay motivated. I can’t walk that fast, like I use to. I can’t use my hands very well today, I can’t stand as long as I use to, the fatigue…it’s what some call excuses, but it’s a reality for many of us. We are not who we use to be and oh if we would have known this was coming, we may have did the 5K or went back to school sooner.

Q: Dear God, Universe, Creator, Self, Spirit, how do I deal with all the feels of being left behind?

A: Take your eyes off others and put your eyes on me. Keep your eyes on “your” prize. Stop the comparison. It’s unfair and foolish to compare yourself with well abled bodied people and it’s unfair to compare yourself to the old self. You can’t be in the past and present at the same time. This is why you are not progressing as fast or at all.

So, with that revelation, I invite you to meditation and prayer. Center yourself during the times when you are “feeling” so much despair and disappointment. If I keep watching others I will fall. If I keep comparing myself to others, I will fail. If I keep living in the past, I can’t work in the present to prepare for my future. All eyes on the Creator. All eyes on the scriptures, affirmations, practices, that center your heart and mind.

~Nikki

Pretty Little Daggers

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I’ve seen the power of a pretty face and body work magic on men. I’ve been skipped over, looked over, pushed out of the way to get to the prettier girl. I’ve been not spoken to standing next to the prettier friend. I’ve been in mid sentence and a man sees a hotter option, a bigger butt (in my community), a smaller waist, longer or straighter hair, and rushed to end our good convo to get to what his eyes are attracted to. I’ve had men get my number and constantly ask me about my friend. Let me be real and raw, weak and emotional in the eyes of others and un-christian like for many…but that shit used to hurt and every now and then those pretty little daggers grazes my self esteem. Either being out right told you’re not cute, you’re cute, you’re “alright”, if only you had a bigger ass, did it’s wear and tear on how I viewed myself and how I allowed the misuse of my heart, body and emotions. Side Note: If you have this super self esteem and can’t relate then this article is not for you and you’re “I never felt that way” is not welcomed here.

Well, Nikki, what did you do? It’s a long story, but basically after a series of bad relationships, mistreatment, emotional and mental abuse, via the Holy Spirit and God, books, positive women, self will, I slowly built my self esteem. Last year, I excavated my authentic self and boy did that take my self confidence to another level. Look, I just stopped by to tell you that you really do have other things to do than to be weighed down by if you are pretty enough or pretty at all. Like, who gives a damn. Are you dressing your best, are you doing the best you can with your hair (permed, weaved, or natural), are you a good woman, are you a positive being, are you going after your dreams, visions, goals? Are you building others up, clapping for their success? Are you not letting a man mistreat you and take you “down through there” (southern for drag you down a very bad road filled with heartbreaks aches and turmoil)? Are you choosing life over death? Are you a great mom, friend, sister, auntie, co worker, etc? You got “stuff” to do.

God made me perfect. God made me beautiful in every way. God made me beautiful inspite of.  God also made me strong. God also gave me an assignment. I had a friend who was extremely beautiful. She said to me one day when I asked her why did you sit by me in class? She said “Why not?” This was college. I replied, “I thought maybe you would want to huddle up with the prettier girls.” She laughed. “I thought you were smart and I am smart so I wanted to be around the smarter girl. The one that was asking questions and writing down notes because that is what I do. Pretty girls that are stuck on their beauty can be ruthless. It’s not all that it’s cracked up to be being amazingly beautiful.” Later I learned about her being in a relationship with this guy. She talked about how bad he treated her. She said, it doesn’t matter how fine I am, men still cheat. When you are in that group of fine girls who only care about looks, it’s all about competition. Then you have to deal with women thinking you want their man. I’m only in my 20’s and I am just like every real woman. I want to be seen for my heart, my mind, and not my body. You’re prettier than any of those women in that group in class. I saw how they flocked to me and I was like…nah…I’m just gonna come to school and go home.”

When a man is looking at my boobs and not at my face, I understand. When he talks about my body parts more than he talks about my brain, my geniusness, my dreams and goals, the current state of America, or about getting out and enjoying life, etc…it’s an automatic turn off for me. So, as the pretty little daggers sometimes hit, mostly miss these days…I am reminded…I’ve got so much more to do than to be weighed down by pretty or beautiful. My heart is fiery. My brain is wicked.

~Nikki

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Patience

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Patience, beloved. Every piece of the puzzle will be put into its place. This is the message that came to me as I dreamed about 1000 and 3000 piece puzzles I saw laying on the table. Before this, I’d visited with our second family in Iowa. We went there to pick up my nephew from college. In the home was a big puzzle laying on a table. I sat down and tried to match pieces and quickly was reminded how tedious this could be.

Well, all week long I’d been anxious, irritable, not feeling my best, and just ready for things to smooth out in my life. It was a Thursday night and I dreamed about puzzles on a table. I heard a voice in the dream saying, “Patience, patience.” As I saw a second puzzles in progress, the words were repeated again. This was a simple message. I want to rush a particular process I am going through. I am ready for it to be over so I can move on with my life. I am ready for it to be over so I can build and have more independence. This part of my life is the biggest stressor!

So, there it was. God, the Divine, sending out a message to my psyche. “Patience, beloved. Every piece of the puzzle will be put in its place.”

~Nikki