I accept the challenge to grow in this life. That being said it’s not always easy or simple. Apparently, it’s difficult letting God work out the LOGISTICS because I “secretly” am afraid that it won’t work out to my vision and what I hold deep in my heart. There…I said it. And I LOVE BEING HONEST WITH YOU ABOUT LIFE, THE JOURNEY, THE PROCESS. I have to share my struggles to encourage you, shed light, to free myself, and to…GROW and to help us. So this secret fear is rooted in FEAR itself and the lack of TRUST. FEAR of abandonment. Fear of making the wrong choice again. Trust God? Ok. Trust myself concerning this particular situation…uh given my track record, not so much. I’M GOING TO WORK THAT OUT TODAY. THAT’S A DEEPER WAY OF WORKING OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION (FREEDOM).
Affirmations to get me through the day (from my friend Alicia):
I’ve been reading this book, The Sacred Yes, and it’s one of those books you have to read a little at a time because it’s so mind rearranging, you must sit with it. In the book it talked about moving from the DESIRES of your HEART to INTENTIONS. This in it self is powerful because while desires give you visions to hold onto, the also can keep you wanting, longing, and yearning. When you move into intent, a determination to do your part to assist in the manifestation of your desire, or when you move to an attitude of “No matter what it looks like, no matter what is going on, it is going to happen.” then you began to generate energy on another level. Intent is action and attitude.
It took me a moment to grasp the concept of intentions in the area of love and relationships. I’m still tweaking it. But, that is not my biggest challenge. In the book, it says we get boggled down in the “how and when” of things. We even try to tell God, the Creator, the Universe how to do things and when to do it. I found myself guilty of this and surprising guilty of this when it comes to love and relationships. God is the one that handles the logistics of our desires and intentions. The logistics is the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, facilities, or supplies. You can also say it’s the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many things WE DON’T CONTROL.
Shouldn’t we be relieved to know that? I was. I also found myself wrestling with changing my ways of trying to control the logistics. I also found it difficult to change my attitude from “I see this and look at that! Oh no, it’s not going to happen. I must be wasting my time. No way after that situation am I in the right place or getting what I desire.” It’s been a challenge to stand in the face of something that looks nothing like progress or promise and say, “It doesn’t matter what it looks like, it will happen. It is happening.” I don’t know where the line of wisdom is at times but, I do know how to ask for wisdom. I have to check to see if it’s my intuition, Holy Spirit, or fear telling me what to do. How do I check? I become still. I pray. I meditate. I mess up. I learn. I ask for signs and directions. I look for signs, too. I also try not to read too much into things and just remind myself God is handling the logistics, I need only do what I am led to do and what I need to do. I don’t have to orchestrate anything. Whew, what a relief.
Voluntary Transparency: This morning I had to deal with some FALSE GUILT. I didn’t know it was false guilt at first, I was just feeling really bad about it. But I thank God for the tools in my toolbox. Some put there before birth. Some put there by life experiences. Some put there by spirituality and religion. Some put there by education. Some put there by a therapist. Why do I feel so bad about this? It must be wrong because I feel so bad about it. Why do I feel so bad about it? Man, I don’t feel like doing this. I have to make myself do this. No, no, I am not. I cannot. Ugg. Just do it anyway. Why do I feel so guilty for not wanting to do this??? This is so negative. “It’s bad Nicole. You are not a good Christian if you keep doing this. People can’t believe you have a problem doing “that”! Shame on you!” This is the dialogue I have with myself. Take the clothes out. Put the clothes up. Take the clothes out, look at the clock, put the clothes back.
Why do I feel so guilty? Wait. WHY DO I? WHERE IS THIS COMING FROM? This morning I received a text to come to church to so that I could help. I ignored it because I did not want to tell the person I did not want to come. I really wanted to tell them to stop asking me because it is not a pleasurable experience for me when it comes to a certain part of the service. I literally must prepare myself to go mentally, and I often lament over it the night before and the hours before. Pushing and dragging myself. Sitting through that segment of service is torture for me so why did I feel so guilty this morning for not responding and not going?
I listened to a TedTalk about authenticity. That helped a little bit. Then I turned to affirming myself: “I am not going to HELL for not attending church. It is okay not to support something or someone that I don’t believe is right. I can still love them but, not support them in wrongdoing. It does not mean that I do not believe in God. It means I have a strong dislike and distaste for falsehood and fakeness. It is a part of me no matter what or who perpetuates hypocrisy. I don’t expect perfection, I do expect truthfulness, honesty, and one that is truly trying to live the life they portray.”
I was trying to resist the guilt. The bad feeling. Until I remembered to listen to it. To explore it. To sit with it. To really think about why I was feeling it. I needed the source or sources. Guilt is a negative emotion or sad emotion. I came across this video that really confirmed what I was trying to do.
Why do I feel so guilty? I feel guilting because people say you should support your love one NO MATTER WHAT. EVEN if they are WRONG.
Where is this guilt coming from? We are taught not to tell people that we love they are wrong. We give them a pass because of their roles in our lives and we suffer under their continuation of wrongdoing. Yet, as Christians, we have scripture and an obligation to tell the ones we love when they are wrong regardless of their roles in our lives. We the freedom to not support something that we don’t like or believe in.
Should I feel guilty? Did I do something wrong? I should not feel guilty for something I have not done, or for someone or something I cannot control. I am not responsible for the actions of others. This is FALSE GUILT. I have not done anything wrong by not supporting this person in that area of their lives as it will compromise staying true to who I am and my beliefs.
What is it that I really feel bad about? I feel bad that they don’t love themselves enough to be okay with who they really are. I feel sad that they don’t know who they are, and they have to put on this cloak of falsehood. I feel embarrassed that they do not know that people are talking about them and that people can see straight through them. I feel bad that they have some people fooled. It is okay to feel sorry for that person, feel bad for them, but to also go on with my day, life, mission, and journey. Their life is not my life and it is between them and the Creator.
It is one thing to feel bad or sorry about a situation or a person but, it is another thing to carry false guilt! It’s an unnecessary weight we place on ourselves. It is a spirit that comes to us because we’ve been told how to feel about certain situations and things. We’ve been taught not to be loyal to the world and others that don’t look or think or feel or serve the same God we serve but, we have been taught to close our eyes to leaders that are not true, to parents that are doing wrong, to older siblings and family members even when what they say and do harm us and others.
It is okay to draw a line and to stand by it. It is okay if you stand alone. We can still meet at the dinner table. We can still spend time together. We can still live, laugh, and be merry but when it comes to that line it is one, I cannot cross. I cannot compromise my authenticity, my moral compass, to support something or someone I believe is wrong.
Last Sunday, I received a frantic phone call from my dad that my brother, Toney, was not breathing. I live next door to my parents where my brother was being cared for due to the aftermath of COVID on his body. I jumped out of bed and I opened the door I was greeted by police cars and emergency services. When I got into the house, it was chaos and the shrill of my mother’s voice. She had lost it and was inconsolable. Another one of my brothers was there on the scene. The paramedics worked on him, transported him to the hospital, but I knew he was already gone.
He is the oldest of six children. He is the funniest, also. Yesterday, we had his funeral and it was a beautiful Home Going Celebration of his life. He, along with my next to the oldest brother weren’t always the men they became. In their youth, they were wild and out of control. They game my mom and dad plenty of woes. But, eventually, years later, they both came to Christ and changed their lives. They both became the best versions of themselves and spent their lives making it up to all by being the best sons, brothers, relatives and parents they could be,
My oldest brother lit up any room he walked into. He always had jokes. He gave everyone a nickname. He would say things at the most inappropriate time and that is what would make it so funny. Even when he wasn’t the best version of himself, in the earlier years, he still was a devoted brother that would protect his siblings and care for us. My favorite memory is walking about 3 miles home from school in the rain, a cold day, or a snowy day with my youngest brother and when would get to the driveway, Toney would come out and greet us saying, “Come on in this house and get you something to eat,” He would have made soup, chili, grilled cheese or something he called “goulash”. We were always happy to see him on those days.
This Sunday morning is calm and beautiful. Last Sunday was chaotic, sad, yet it felt so good outside. I sat out and had coffee. He loved coffee, too. In fact, I gave him my old coffee maker that is at his home now. He passed away in the midst of having his second cup. Even in his sickness, he joked and laughed on his good days. On his bad days, he still managed to smile or to say something silly. He would apologize to the parents the next day if his behavior was not the best the day before.
Covid really did a number on him and exasperated his many underlying conditions. He was managing those conditions before Covid as he was a busy body. He could not be still. He was always doing something. Including being my yard man and maintenance man. I expected that to continue as I moved into my new home. He even said so himself. He use to do contract and construction work. He was a Veteran.
I haven’t really been able to grieve. Even after yesterday, it still just seems so unreal. I have never lost a sibling. I don’t know how to feel about it. Hurt. At peace that he is at peace. I understand death to be the doorway to the spiritual realm and I don’t believe he is LOST or DEAD or NO MORE. I just believe he exist in a different form and that yes, the body is dead. I can communicate with him like I communicate with Spirit. I can recall the many ways he brought us joy and laughter. The way he showed his love and his overprotectiveness. He was supportive. He showed up to church and showed up when you needed help at your home. I choose to cherish the joy and to feel what needs to be felt as I grapple with this huge change in my life.
I admit I have had my 2020 bashing fits. Who hasn’t? And in the last post I was inspired to talk about what one has birthed in 2020 to focus on and not so much as what one has buried. Challenging I am sure.
In this post I want to highlight my growth and share my favorite moments of 2020. I choose to remember the life and light of two dear people lives that have transformed from their physical bodies to their spiritual bodies. They changed clothes in a sense from the seen to the unseen. One is engraved in my memory as a childhood brother and the first best friend of my brother. The other is engraved in my mind as the one my brother trusted and bonded with as second best friend, a brother, in the beginning of his law enforcement career. A soul that was his ace and knowing my brother had a good friend he could trust and count on made me happy. I remember life, love, and brotherhood.
I grew spiritually. Every morning for about 40 weeks of this year my daughter and I have had breakfast each morning listening to Iyanla Vanzant’s Viral Messages Live on YouTube or Facebook Live. It blessed, uprooted, confirmed, and expanded my soul. I am forever changed into more of who I truly am on this spiritual journey. It also deepened the bond between mother and daughter as we shared breakfast, thoughts, and notes. I watched my daughter have her AH HA moments. I also took a leap of faith and had my first one day conference for women. It took courage because i deviated from the tradition of Christianity, Church, and Denomination and went with the flow in which I was created to go. It was so freeing and terrifying at the same time!
I am growing as a parent. My parenting style is changing and evolving. It has been a challenge and a rocky journey. I often have to deal with my own insecurities that produce anxiety and depression. I battle fiercely to not only keep my head above water but, to be on the boat and navigating the ship (my mind).
I grew as a micro business owner. I attempted to take free online classes. Due to my illness, I now have difficulty learning. What I did retain by writing down, I used when I created a website and marketed my business. I hope to have more funding to promote it and to expand it. I hope to make it a LLC. I took a risk with a virtual vending opportunity. I learned that I do better vending in person but, I did gain some exposure. I also broke slightly over even. I am grateful for that.
I grew mentally (matured) in my way of thinking and dealing with losses or disconnections. Four times this year I thought I had a suitable mate. However, each one disconnected for various reasons and the last one is the one that really got to me. I see it as the Universe, God, telling me that this was NOT the year to make those kinds of connections. It was not the time. The greatest lesson from the last one was to learn to let love go for a greater love. Let what is leaving, leave. Let what has been planted grow and manifest.
I grew healthier by learning how to control by diabetes better. After taking a 3 day diabetes class it changed my entire perspective on managing it. I learned that I can eat just about anything but, it all comes down to carbs and portion control. My A1C went from 13. 8? to 6.2. I still have work to do. However, it was a victory to me!
I sure hope our ride for 2021 is an actual ride versus the train wreck this one has been. However, it has brought to us the BIGGEST lessons and HOPE the majority of us SEE them. I hope we EMBRACE the lessons and APPLY them to our lives from here on out.
Now is the time to empty yourself of all of the negative energy, trauma, and drama. Why? Because Winter really is coming. The Winter Solstice, or the First Day of Winter is December 21. In order for us to have winter, the Earth and the Sun must shift and we should follow suit. These are the signs in the sky the Bible and other books speak about. Often times in Christianity we ignore these things although, the Bible speaks of and suggests we pay attention and seek the deeper things of God.
It will be a time, on that day, we will experience the longest period of darkness and the shortest period of light. Now is the time to understand and to sit with your own darkness. None of us are all light. We have parts of us that need work, that we hide from others (or think we do) and ways that manifest itself in public. I’m talking about our ugly and our weaknesses. These things are like our shadows that follow us around even in the light and seem to disappear into the dark. They disappear as we ignore them or we push them down into the subconscious. We pretend we don’t see them or it’s not there or make excuses.
It is time to sit with your darkness because when the light comes, the season changes, and it will be time to move forward WITHOUT all of the baggage from the dark. It will be time to do a new thing and to have a CLEAN SLATE all the way around, in every area. So what good will it do for you if you drag your baggage of darkness with you onto a clean slate? It will do you NO GOOD! It’s time to do some shadow work.
The ENERGY if winter is about going within. Are you ready to go within and to do the work? Are you ready to face your darkness, understand it, so that you can walk in the fullness and greatness of who you are? Understand your sadness, anger, meanness, uncomfortable feelings about yourself and others. Face the residual emotions of the divorce, failed relationships. Explore your connection between your behaviors, reactions, in connection with your childhood. Go within. Don’t worry about what THEY are doing or what THEY did. This is your path through darkness into the light that awaits us. Call it enlightenment or a spiritual awakening but, neither one can happen with darkness. Welcome the dark (the unknown, the knowing it’s not right, the negative feelings, emotions, and behaviors. The ignorance (not knowing). Bring it on fear! Get ready to work! It’s the way to light.
I’ll share with you one of my shadows I want to address. It is the one that gravitates towards the emotionally unavailable (sometimes emotionally unstable) relationships. I have been shrinking this shadow for years. But now I want to get rid of it for good! It’s not as dominant as it use to be. It use to hold on to the pain and suffering those relationships offered. It mimicked the pain in suffering of childhood. While I now seem to be able to avoid and detect these traits, I am still appalled at the fact that I still attract these people. So the work is what is it in me that is leftover. What are residual thoughts and emotions I need to address and heal?
SO there. I let you in on one of my shadows. It took courage. It took vulnerability. You can’t have success without either one.
Imagine cruising and all the lights are green. Your hair, if you have any, blowing in the wind. It’s a sunny and mild type of day. And then, all of sudden, out of the blue you are blindsided. Your car is slammed and spinning out of control with you in it. It stops and you are in complete shock and disoriented.
I got my heart broke last week and this is exactly how I felt and I am still feeling it. I haven’t been hurt like that in so long I didn’t know what hit me. I have to pause writing this because the break is deep and it hurts like hell. I know that in time I will heal. I mean, I have been here before. However, it’s unpleasant this healing process. I have grown in so many ways because instead of it having me down for weeks or days, I have learned to press and push through. Even if I have to cry while doing it. Crying is cleansing and if the hurt is deep it has to be cleansed in this manner to wash away the pain.
I get up. I work. i create. I parent. I inspire. I keep it real. I keep it honest. I reveal what I want to the masses and the rest stays between me and my Creator.
I’ve also grown in this way: I know who I am. I know my character, values, morals, so much so that I WILL NOT spend too much time, IF any at all trying to prove a thought or judgement wrong about me or trying to dispel a falsehood. This is GROWTH for me. I won’t even do this with the people I love. I’ve got friends, family, and even exes that will vouch for me but, if a person has made up their ragged mind, it’s nothing I (you) can do about it. Except, move on. See link below…
Me: Wow, God. There are mountains behind the mountains and in front of the mountains. I couldn’t see that on the first day even when there weren’t as many clouds.
God: And you can see even more mountains when it’s a clear and sunny day.
Me: They are beautiful. Majestic.
God: Yes. Your life is.
Me: You’re trying to show me and tell me something.
God within: Right & Write. Mountains Behind Mountains. What’s Your Range of Mountains? Mountains made beautiful. Mountains reflect the “Sun” and the “Son”. What you’ve been through. What you’ve learned. They are your pain and sorrow but ALSO your victory and your hopes for tomorrow. Some lower. Some higher. Some wider. Some smooth. Some rockier than others. I’ll hide your other mountains to get you to focus on a particular mountain. I’ll lift clouds a little to remind you that you can persevere. I’ll let you see the mountains on a wet and cold day to remind you that if it weren’t for the mountains, you’d be much colder. I know just how much to reveal. I’ll show you on a bright, clear sky day, all that you’ve made it through thus far in this life time and make those mountains reflect your greatness. Your strength. Your power. Your glory. Your dignity. Your reign. Your divinity. Your dominion. How you rose up from beneath the foundation through turmoil and stood mightily. Over and over and over, again and again.
In my country, it’s election month. But in actuality it’s been election year 24 hours and 7 days a week. I wish there were no political ads or news on Saturdays and Sundays on any outlet. This is the fourth very important presidential election I have lived through along with a pandemic. There have been times I have “hated it here” and by here I don’t mean the country. I mean the “atmosphere” of hatred. The stench of lies and putrefied pride of many. I have been stumped at the ignorance and outright stupidity of people that otherwise, have an education and the ability to research, not google truth.
However, it needed to happen. All of it. It’s not a game of mercy. It’s a reaping of seeds sown. It’s a GREAT FALL that has come after the PRIDE. I wonder if we will be getting up from the hog pin or nope…just getting started rolling around in the mud. And even if we do get up, slowly, surely, the survey of the damage done…unfathomable. Progress takes a long time but, destruction takes seconds, minutes, days, a bill here, a policy here, or an appointment there. In the Bible, they wanted a king and God gave them Saul. They cried. No. It wasn’t tears of joy.
During this HADES of election month, because it will not be determined the next day, I have decided to take refuge in the God I serve and solitude in the things and people I love. I will preserve my mental health and my emotional well-being. I will utilize every tool from therapy and therapy itself. There will be prayer and meditation and yoga. Fire round me. Glory in the midst. There will peace in this house.
What’s calling me isn’t church pews this morning or a Sunday morning “preach at” or struggle sermon. What is calling me is meditation, coffee, nature, the beach, fresh strawberries, and some way to express my thoughts and emotions. A good soul message is calling me. One that I can resonate with. Some yoga is calling me to the mat. Water is calling me.
The heart is yearning for a twin flame and soul mate wrapped into one but, spirit is saying patience. And by patience it could be days, months, and more years. Exactly how to be at peace with that is a challenge. You have to move forward with dreams and goals and life moves forward with or without you. This is fairly easy for some and not so easy for us lovers and romantics but, it is what it is. The heart is calling and the spirit is waiting.
Goals and dreams are calling to be written and carried out. The next step is blinking like a cursor on a blank page. It feels like a demand. The hows and whys for a person like me with anxiety and depression floating around make it very challenging to get it done or to do it in spite of feelings. I have to work around or press on and believe me that is tiring. I wish I had some help other than Spirit. I mean I wish I had support in the form of a mate. I am just doing what I do when I say that. I am sharing the private thoughts of some of us single people. Please, don’t try to correct us or redirect us. Not today. It’s our honesty that needs to be expressed and examined by us.
I don’t know where I am going today but, I do know where I am not going and what I am not doing. I do have to do a better job at communicating this to others who are making demands on a life and time that do not belong to them.