Self-love is setting boundaries and enforcing them. SETTING AND ENFORCING boundaries is hard work. Especially, when you love that person. Especially, when people don’t understand your journey or your vision. And let me just say this, they don’t have to, and you need to learn to be okay with that. Self-love and setting boundaries is hard work. You have to stand your spiritual ground.
Self-love is about being HONEST with yourself about yourself, and about others. You may have to admit that you are selfish, petty to the 10th power, maybe you do let people walk all over you, maybe you do think you are better than others, maybe you are lonely, maybe you do have insecurities. MAYBE they don’t love you or respect you. Maybe it is just about sex. Maybe you never wanted to be a physical therapist, nurse, warehouse worker and you really wanted to open a bakery. You may have to admit that you were wrong and that you hurt someone. The truth will set you free but only if you tell the truth to yourself and others. It is hard work.
~Nikki, from the Heart Epiphany Lecture March 2020
There are many definitions of self-love and many philosophies. But today I want you think of it as this: SELF LOVE IS SELF PRESERVATION. SELF LOVE IS SELF PRESERVATION. SELF LOVE IS SELF PRESERVATION.
Self-preservation is the act of protecting, looking after, and caring for your being.
You cannot shop away sadness. You cannot massage away a bitterness. You cannot eat away dysfunction. You cannot MAC make up away the tears. Baby, you have got to do your work.
Self-love is not measured by how many pair of shoes or purses you have, but how much respect you have for your heart, sou,l body, and spirit. I urge you to put some respect on your mind, heart, body, and soul. Self-love is reflected by what and who you allow in your life. Self-love shows up in how you treat other people.
A few weekends ago, I did something I’ve always wanted to do. I held my first public gathering for women. A seminar? Luncheon? Empowerment? Yes, all of that, BUT so much more. My goal was for it to be non-religious, more spiritual and diverse experience. What I mean by that is you’re free to be yourself, say what you REALLY say to your girlfriends when the cameras are off and Sunday is over. The speakers were allowed to TRULY be themselves. The women were free to come as Buddhists, Christians, nonbelievers, etc. It was all inclusive.
It was impressed upon me by Spirit to have the purpose to be something of an “epiphany” of the HEART, MIND, SOUL, BODY, & SPIRIT. Each speaker addressed that area with complete honesty and authenticity. One spoke on SEX and HIV. Safe sex and the high rate of HIV we have in the city of Memphis. This was the Body Epiphany.
Next was the Soul Epiphany. This speaker spoke on the “SOUL of a WOMAN” and the Power that is embodied in that soul. It is the fuel of life! The power of the soul of the woman changes the atmosphere it is in and out changes lives.
The Heart Epiphany was about self love and the hard work it takes to TRULY love yourself. It’s important to know the difference between self care and self love. You can go to a spa for a week and come home to the same chaotic relationships, family-ships, and friendships.
The Spirit Epiphany…wow! Merging the traditional religion of Christianity with WHO you really are and WHAT you really believe is something that takes courage and authenticity. And this speaker has them both. She gave us a glimpse into her journey.
What can you do without your mind? The Mind Epiphany was about the importance of mental health, well being, redefining the narrative, and what to do if you discover…YOU ARE THE PROBLEM?
ALSO on deck was a very important agency in my city, Memphis, known as THE CORNER. Free testing for STDS and HIV, information, and the help for anyone who finds themselves in this situation. This organization is vital in our community and one of their representatives, Queen was a jewel of knowledge!
Queen on her knowledge of facts on facts! Stats on stats!
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to step out into my own. I may not have gotten the chance to do everything I wanted to do for my birthday month, but I got to do the most important thing and this was it!!!
The vendors were spectacular! I’m sure they made their vendor fees back and enjoyed the event. I can’t wait to improve this for next year. Let’s GROW!
This year I got played. Fooled. Bamboozled. Played. As smart as I am, as careful as I am, it happened. I think the worse thing you can do when it comes to matters of the heart is lie to a person. But let’s face it, it happens to the best of us. I sit back and I reflect on how things unfolded. I looked at my role: Trying to give chances where I should have CUT ALL TIES. Ignoring my own intuition, gut, Holy Spirit. But, to my credit, I took my Loss, turned it into a Lesson by finally CUTTING ALL TIES and bounced back. After all, you haven’t learned anything if you remain in a situation with all of the evidence and facts. I’d question YOU (and what it is in you that makes you think you deserve that type of treatment) at that point and not the behavior of the perpetrator.
So, I was thinking about the thought “Nicole, you got played” and how attached to that statement, true or false, are feelings of shame, stupidity, and inadequacies. The WHY ME and WHOA IS ME sagas. After all, I was familiar with those thoughts and feelings. It’s a stagnant lake of negativity that has a stench of reality and self pity. Just when I was about to dive in, Spirit kicked in. “No. They played themselves.” Oh? How so?
Think about it. What did I lose? Several months out of my life. Wasted time. Yes, that’s pretty bad in my mind because I cannot STAND to have my time wasted. Why did I try, why did I hope, why did I believe? I did it because I believed in love. I took a chance and a gamble and I lost time in the form of months. What’s my karma for that? Nothing bad or negative. I sowed hope, love, faith, trust, forgiveness and while I didn’t reap it in that relationship, surely I can reap it in another or blessings. (I mean that is a blessing to get the love you give).
How did they play themselves? What did they lose? They lost the opportunity to love, to trust, to build, to grow, to be blessed. Hell, they lost me. They lost a gem. But, I was never theirs and they were never mine. They can miss what they could have had, but I can’t miss what I never had. It wasn’t real anyway. What’s the karma for playing with a person’s heart? I can’t answer that specifically because that’s none of my business. That’s between them, God, and the Universe.
So, my loves, you haven’t been played, so to speak. The other party has played themselves. You’ve got a whole lot of goodness coming your way. Believe it.
Discernment is the ability to judge a situation well or to judge a situation well for the obtaining of spiritual knowledge or guidance.
I had to make some changes that would affect my ability to pay my bills. I mean it would make paying them more of a challenge. The weeks before the day of the change there were quite a few distractions that made me want to change my mind. And on the day of change, there was a REALLY BIG DISTRACTION.
I felt many things like anxiety, confusion, and jealousy. I second guessed myself a few times. I second guess my “hearing” God (What you may call, self, the Universe, Creator, Divine, etc.). However, I came to recognize this as a test of my faith in myself and of faith in the God I serve. YOU MUST THINK and OBSERVE what is going on when you make decisions to change. Why does negativity seem to surround a change that is good for you? Why does fear arise? Doubt? Where is this coming from? You must not only ask the questions, you must answer the questions HONESTLY. And if you pray and meditate, you must do that, too! You need clarity.
In my religion it says God is not the author of confusion. For me, the confusion was coming from within and without.
Also, God spoke to my spirit, however you want to explain that, “I would never use negativity to keep you in a situation that is not good for you. I would have been sending obvious signs of positive change and improvement.”
I know God to be my provider and protector. There is scripture in my religion that says; “Put your trust in God, not man.” In other words, trust God that cannot fail because sometimes, many times, people and jobs will fail us. We will fail ourselves at times. No matter what is happening, God will provide, protect, and preserve. This is what calms my fear. THINK: There is not only scripture that shows God’s provision, but I have so many examples and proof in my own life of God’s provision, preservation, and protection. Also, of God’s increase and blessings. THINK. REFLECT.
Each time I prayed, something negative would happen as a sign of why I had to make the BIG change. I was restless. I was without peace.
What about OBEDIENCE? I had to obey what I heard and what I felt. You know what you hear and what you feel. You know that “something”, that gut feeling or wherever your intuition hits you. You must obey it because if you don’t there are consequences and if you do obey it, there are rewards. Those rewards can be blessings, a peace of mind, a promotion, etc.
Prayer and meditation, talking with Godly counsel, and even you-tubing some of my favorite spiritual leaders and teachers is what helped me stay clear. And trust me, I am not just a Christian that listens to preachers only. I seek wisdom. Wisdom doesn’t have a religion.
I am here this morning. I slept good. I am taking it day my day. The energy in my home is peaceful. A person may be responsible for the energy they bring in your space, but you are responsible for letting the energy remain.
I had the displeasure of meeting a person last night and the hostility in the air was so foul we chose to leave rather than to stay and be TOLERATED. I was glad the choice was made because you could choke off the energy in the air. I am really proud of myself and how I am handling the aftermath of the situation. I was prepared because I realize the opposition I am facing being the NEW as the OLD fades to black. I realize it’s a ride to paradise, but not without turbulence! So, had some helluva turbulence last night. Still headed towards my destination.
One thing I have learned in life is to go where you are CELEBRATED and not where you are tolerated. The quote by Maya Angelou above also popped into my mind. It’s funny when you are experiencing a quote, wisdom, or the truth in real time. I won’t forget how I was made to feel. REJECTED. It’s not the first time and even though it’s a negative feeling I also know that I am ACCEPTED by so many others. Why let the negative ride? I won’t. I came home, poured my water, hugged my friend, and lit the Gardenia scented candle that reminds of my “Big Mama” and my childhood. It reminds me that I am well loved, I am beloved, I am accepted by those that matter.
I had researched enough. I had practiced enough. I had thought about it long enough. I had stood on the sidelines watching and observing others. It was time to JUMP. TRY MY HAND AT IT. LEARN AND LIVE THROUGH THE PROCESS. RIDE THE WAVES. It was writing a book. It was putting it out there. It was learning to crochet, selling it, and doing festivals. It was working on a mini-series. It was taking sewing lessons. It was creating abstract art and putting it out there for the world to see.
JUMP. It’s scary. It’s nerve wracking. It’s exhilarating. It’s freeing. It’s fun. It’s faith building for sure!
All of us have changed physically as we are all aging. Some of us however, have changed physically and it’s not because of aging, but because of some situation, circumstance, accident, incident, illness, or disease. These are the UNEXPECTED changes that affects us physically and mentally. We all seem to have the initial shock of it all, but not many of us embrace it with the same attitudes. Some of us unwillingly accept it in our own time and in our own way. And still, some will never accept it and wither down into a path of despair. If you see them, try to encourage them along the way.
Who’s going to want me after they find out, or see, this or that? It’s a valid question. We live in a judgmental, stereotypical beauty, pretend perfect world. We ourselves have been judgmental perhaps. It’s a terrifying question even if you are married. Will they still want you and how will this change the marriage? Not all remain. Even friends dwindle and relationships fade. Insecurities rise and self esteem tumbles. Imagine not having much of that to begin with and we are looking at developing or increasing anxieties and depression.
Here is the question I ask you, “Do you accept you as you are now?” Maybe you are at the EMPHATICALLY yes stage and maybe you are a definite NO, or somewhere in between. If it’s no or in between then begin the work, yes work of ACCEPTING you as you are. The slow EMBRACE of change, and the ever changing you. Even with my unexpected changes in life, guess what? There will be more. There will be the regular changes of aging and sometimes that happens during the acceptance of the unexpected. A doozey, I know! But acceptance of yourself increases your confidence and helps you brave the fear of the unknown and face the reality. You may not be accepted by someone because of an illness or what you look like now. It may be “too much” for them. Or, you just may be accepted by those that understand and those that can see you for who you truly are or have become.
My journey of acceptance of who I am now was overwhelming. Much like others. However, I am here to tell you that my feet are on solid ground most days. And on the days they are not, I get back up.
The problem with pretending everything is okay when it’s “not” okay is you begin to accept behavior that is not okay. Once you begin to accept behavior that is not okay, you begin to NORMALIZE this bad behavior and mistreatment. You know what is worse? Anything that points to you having to confront or deal with REALITY sends you into retreat or lies to protect that which you don’t want to disturb. You make excuses. You don’t want to deal with the elephant that once was simply in the room, but is now on top of your head or chest. You are cracking up on the inside. You are miserable as hell. You will have a nervous breakdown, a heart attack, before you deal with the elephants. Yes. With an “s” because an elephant not dealt with becomes a heard.