The Love Experience: The Characteristics of Love

Love is patient and kind;

Love does not envy or boast;

It is not arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on its own way;

It is not irritable or resentful;

It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

1 Corinthians 13:4–8a (ESV)

How do I know if he/she loves me? How do I know if I love myself? How do I know if I love others?

~Nikki

The Cleaning Agents Truth and Honesty: Inner Work

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I have a friend that deals with reality by not dealing with it. He likes to pretend that his world is perfect in public. He puts his parents and marriage on a pedestal to the world. He is in photos that would make you think all is well. Yet, in his private life there is a different story. He’s the type that makes idle threats about what he’s going to do and say but never acts on them. He’s the one that upholds the wrong doing of his father by being silent. He needs the acceptance of that parent. Plus, the public thinks his parents are amazing. Deep down inside, he’s drowning. The things he does, the moods he has, the thought patterns that keep him trapped, all connected to childhood, religion and young adulthood experiences. He internalizes all of his grief, sorrow, hurt, disappointments, and I worry about the toll it takes on him physically.

If you are ready to heal, grow, improve, stop a bad habit, if you have lost too much and too many people, then take a couple of deep, deep breaths and prepare to go inward. In fact, you may need an oxygen tank because it’s going to take many deep dives to get to the root of some things. Some people start in shallow waters and then make their way to the deep and some just jump in. It’s an unraveling. Some said it’s like peeling back and onion layer by layer. But for me, some of my baggage had more layers than an onion. And if you want to know how long it takes to be healed, check out my other blog post from last week https://nikkisconfettilife.com/2023/01/11/how-long-does-healing-take-inner-work/

You just may have to admit that you are not perfect. You are not always right and may be rarely right. You may have to tell yourself the truth about your household, your feelings about it. You may have to tell yourself the truth about how you grew up and that perhaps your parents were not so perfect, either. You may have to untangle the web of your actions and behaviors. This can be some work and this is why most people leave this earth bound instead of free. They remain the same, sad or angry, silent or pretending, trapped in denial, and steeped in open or hidden misery.

Truth and Honesty are like ammonia or some strong cleaning agent mixed with water. Mixed just right it can get the job done without damaging what it is cleaning. If you ever decide to HEAL or CHANGE you can’t do it without Truth and Honesty. Here is what I have learned about inner work, it’s rewarding. It’s freeing. The “work” can be tiring, dirty, exhausting, but when you are clean, when you come into the light of understanding why you do what you do, say the things you say, act a certain way it gives you knowledge. It gives you POWER to be your AUTHENTIC SELF and to walk in the fullness of your destiny. It gives you WHOLENESS like you have never known but before you may feel like you are being ripped apart. Fear not. It’s only so you can be put back together, with some new parts and reprogrammed. This is when people will say, “Hmm, you’re acting funny. You have changed. There is something different about you.” And it will be true. There is something different about you when you do the work of healing yourself.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: The Place of Uncertainty

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!

~Nikki

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.

My Top 12 Lessons of 2022 Lesson 12: My Spiritual Diet Is Important

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It’s not that I didn’t know this. It’s that I ignored this. I learned this year many people are at physical places of worship out of loyalty, tradition, and ritual. They are not getting much out of the leadership that is delivering the Word and they long to be somewhere else. They are trying to stick it out. They are confused about what to do. They know what to do but are afraid to do it. So here we sit. Here we struggle on Saturday or Sunday to get dressed. We drag ourselves to a building to hear a dry and stale message for us. It may be someone’s word but it is NOT our Word. We have to strain to get something each Sunday. We are shamefully glad when service is over.

What I eat spiritually four to five times a month matters greatly. Who I get it from matters greatly. If the Shephard that feeds you is not after God’s own heart but, a shepherd passed down or chosen by a board or worse, a shepherd that called him or herself, you won’t be fed knowledge and understanding. You will be fed something below your level of spiritual maturity. You may even be fed lukewarm food, baby food, or microwave food. You may be fed a sermon from another pastor wrote off the internet. You may be fed slop from a pastor that doesn’t study the Word. You may be fed by a leader that doesn’t walk the walk of the talk they preach on Sunday. Your flesh may be fed by slogans, catchy phrases, and slang that makes you shout but, doesn’t change your life or enlighten you. If there is no oil running from the head then there will be no oil on the people. You need oil. You need the anointing to reside in a holy place.

I found myself eating stale bread this year more often than I would have liked. It is not like fresh bread wasn’t available. I went because I was asked to do something or speak. I went out of obligation. I went because I know it looks bad for me to not be there. I went out of love and then was upset after the meal was served as if I didn’t know there would be mediocracy on the menu.

My spiritual diet is vital to my soul. It is vital to my life. If I didn’t tune into other spiritual leaders and guides, myself, I may have given up on God and I may even have given up on life. Thank goodness, and God, I had eaten enough in the past to pull from. Thank goodness, thank God, I had something to hold onto and that I do have a strong relationship with my Creator.

~Nikki

My Top 12 Lessons of 2022 Lesson 11: Some People Like You But, They Don’t Like You

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I asked my daughter, “Have you ever had someone like you but they don’t like you?” And before I could explain she exclaimed, “Oh my God! Yessss mama!”

I was shocked she understood and I continued to go in depth into the matter. “It’s like they would like you if you they didn’t have a reputation to uphold.” They would like you if they hadn’t been talking about you behind your back so badly or in the same room as they text their friends about you. There are moments when they let their guard down when others aren’t around but as soon as their clique appears or squad the part of them that would be in harmony with you disappears. Deep down inside they suspect you would be a good friend or an asset but their pride won’t let them connect with you. Instead, they find ways to drive more wedges between you and them. I mean after all; they would have to admit they are wrong about you and face the firing squad of their group. They remain two-faced. Two-faced people can never, ever be trusted. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8 You wouldn’t trust a two-legged chair.

It takes a courageous and mature person to say, “I was wrong about you.” I’ve had people say that to me and I have said it to others. It is usually after you get to know a person or see something in them that indicates you have misjudged or misunderstood them.

Lesson: With great deliberation and intention, make meaningful connections with people that want to do the same with you. Remove yourself from places and spaces you’re not welcomed.

“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” Matthew 10:14

~Nikki

My Top 12 Lessons of 2022 Lesson 10: You Can’t Escape the Season You Are In

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Life has ebb and flow, ups and downs. Life also has seasons. Someone had an amazing year. They were on top of the world. Someone had a good year with some hard moments or situations. Someone had a very rough year and had to search long and hard for silver linings. I was the latter.

I spent the first part of the year trying to resist the season I was in. I knew it would be a season or year of endings but, I didn’t think it would be as difficult and as challenging as it was. I kept in mind “With endings come new beginnings” and was expecting those new beginnings to show up right away. They did not and when they didn’t, I fought against it. I gave up several times but got back up after sleeping (resting see https://nikkisconfettilife.com/2022/12/22/my-top-lessons-of-2022-lesson-9-sleep-is-powerful/ ) and spiritual guidance.

It was the middle of the year when God spoke and told me I was going through an evolution. I would not be the same. It was then that I realized this was not the first time in my life I had gone through an evolution. In fact, I have and we have been going through periods of evolution in our lives since birth and awareness. And we will continue because life has seasons and/or cycles that repeat themselves. Once you recognize what is going on you can handle things better. You can cope with things better as you grow in grace and wisdom. I thought I wasn’t going to make it sometimes because life seemed so dark this year. But what I now understand is that birth can sometimes look like death because of the pain, suffering, and darkness surrounding the removal of old ways, patterns, things, and people.

In the Bible, when the man whose hand was withered was told by Jesus to “stretch forth his hand” I bet it felt like his entire arm was going to break and fall off. Imagine something being as tight, unused muscle, bone, and tissue being a particular way for years and years and it unfolding. I felt like I was being dashed against mountains. I felt like I was being abandoned. There was great confusion. There was despair and disdain. There was anger. God took it all. God can take whatever you throw because God understands you will be okay, better, afterwhile. God doesn’t take it personal. I was being UNFOLDED from the WOMB of old habits, attachments, patterns, people and things that no longer served by higher good. I was coming into a larger space like a baby folded up in a womb for 9 months being birth. The baby has no idea what is happening. The baby cries after birth and needs to do so to clear the airways in order to breathe. People will rejoice at the baby but, they don’t want to hear about your labor pain. I want you to know it’s a sacred time with you and the Creator. Most of the people interested in your labor pain are those that are in labor or have been in labor.

My limbs (my mind and heart in this case) needed to unfold into this new space, this new era of my life. Being born is a season you can’t control. It can only be accepted. Sometimes it will be during the process and sometimes it will be after the process spiritually speaking. You may not even fully accept it until much after or when you come into awareness that it was birthing season. A season of coming through a very long dark canal wondering if there is a light at the end. Sometimes fearing the light at the end. Sometimes not realizing that you are light in the tunnel coming into a new space. In life we must continue to EXPAND.

My mantra for next year (given to me in prayer and meditation) is to BE YOUR LIGHT AND SHINE UNAPOLOGICALLY. You read it correctly. Be your light. I am not to be a light or the light but to be my light. We all have a light within that shines. Your light within is not like my light. My light is not like yours. I don’t get to create your light and tell you how to shine. This light is created in you by a Higher Power. I could not escape the season I was in. It was happening whether I was aware of it or not. Now that I look back on some years in my life where “all hell was breaking loose” it is because it was. I was being born again.

“You are the world’s light—it is impossible to hide a town built on the top of a hill.” Matthew 5:14

Your light is needed in this world!

~Nikki

My Top Lessons of 2022 Lesson #8: Fall Out of Love

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A letter to myself.

Dear Nicole,

Please hurry up and fall out of love with things and people that do not love you like you need to be loved. When I say things, I mean habits and ideas or ideals that no longer serve you. And especially, the ones that never served you in the first place. These things are holding up your progression. When I say people, I mean friendships and relationships. Fall out of love with the need to belong to a huge group of “girlfriends”. Please hurry up and fall out of love with that deep down inside longing to be accepted by your religious peers. It’s your need for acceptance stemming from childhood that keeps you bound. You oblige yourself to people that do not want you or really like you. AND you know it because you FEEL it.

It may be easier to say never fall in love with someone who doesn’t love you but, you may be the one that develops feelings first and the other person does a little later. But once you realize that the love is not there or doesn’t reciprocate in the manner designed for you, fall out of love with that person. Walk your feelings back. Pull back and pull off. As a friend once told you, “Put your heart in your pocket and not on your sleeve.” It is okay to and necessary for your growth and progression to fall out of love with things and people that do not love you. You can operate in a love for mankind for those people. A “Godly” love.

With Unconditional Love,

~Nicole

P.S. You cannot make deep connections where there are puddles in people. -Nicole Jackson

My Top 12 Lessons of 2022 Lesson #4 “Parenting Ain’t Easy but, Somebody’s Gotta Do It”

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You’d be surprised how many parents are trying to parent a 12-year-old as if they were parenting a 3-year-old. It’s because we get stuck thinking in the traditional role of parenting. We parent as our parents parented without questioning what worked and what didn’t work. It’s because we get stuck in cultural parenting. We do not explore or welcome any new information. We also don’t listen to our intuition, spirit, or Holy Spirit. We don’t take sound advice. Most parents are just now realizing that no two or three children are the same and you have to parent them in different ways at different times. Yep. Parenting is hard.

I now have a young adult. This year I discovered I needed to step into my new role which comes with many hats. Those hats are Guide, Confidant, Spiritual Teacher, Supporter, Friend with Boundaries like Doctors with Borders 😀 and yet I am still MOM.

I also learned from my dad, “Okay. I am praying for you.” If you are a parent, check this one out https://nikkisconfettilife.com/2022/11/06/sunday-morning-coffee-musings-okay-im-praying-for-you/ It is wisdom you can take with you.

This leg of parenting was part of my evolution. It took some HUGE adjustments like letting go of control. Yes. We want to control our children out of fear and out of wanting the best for them. We want to protect them from everything. With all of the control in the world, our parents could not shield us from failure, mistakes, heartaches, and heartbreaks. They could not keep us from the ugliness of prejudice and racism. They could not keep us from finding out some things the hard way. It is scary. It is tough. It can be rough parenting and navigating the unknown. We still have the “unknown” in our own lives. The unknown of what the future holds. This is why we must stay in the NOW as parents as much as possible. We shape and mold in a different way at different stages of their lives and I am certain that after all of this “young adult stuff” is over with it will be up to her, God, and life to continue to shape and mold with me adding my two million (as oppose to two cents) of bought lessons and wisdoms.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: I Need Space

Nicole Jackson

It’s important to know when you need space and to take it. You need to know when you’ve reached your limits. You need to recognize when your cup is empty and you need a refill. And sometimes that refill is for you and only you.

I need space. I want to relinquish my roles, responsibilities, and titles. I don’t want to answer anyone about anything. “I don’t know and I don’t care.” I would love to say that. “Figure it out yourself or get someone else” sounds good, too. I’d like to tell the inconsiderate people to buzz off. Buzz is not the word I want to use. Yes. I need space.

I need space before I have a meltdown, a blow up. I need space before I have some sort of physical malfunction. I need space before I become totally depressed. I need space. I need space. I need space.

I need to be called, ma’am or Queen. I need to be told, “Our pleasure” and not by Chick-fil-A. I need room service. I need spa services. I “DARN” sure need to be chauffeured everywhere. I need a live band. I need turn down services. I need to be asked, “Is there anything else we can do for you?”. I need the arts. I need to be prayed over in an ancestorial spiritual kind of way. And when I return, I return with bolder boundaries, consequences, rules, and regulations about how NICOLE will be treated from here on out.

I need space and I am going to take it. I am going to take it in a grand way.

~Nikki

Checking Your Own Insecurities (Uppity)

“You think you’re better then everyone else!” They said.

“Why do you say that?” I replied.

“Because you just do!” They said.

“You’re still not telling me HOW I am better than you or WHY you think that?” I replied.

This particular person never gave me a clear answer. But, through revelation via Spirit, I figured it out. However there were some that gave me vague answers as this wasn’t the first time I had heard this. Vague answers like, “You’re too quiet. You don’t do anything “wrong”. You are not like us.” So, because I don’t talk loud or I am mostly quiet by nature, I think I am better than them. Because I don’t smoke cigarettes or weed, I think I am better than them. Because I was raised different, not better, just different, I think I am better than them. Because I enjoy the Bible, the Word of God, spirituality, always trying to do right or good, I think I am better than them. Because I mostly stayed out of trouble, I think I am better than them. Because I got good grades, got a little education, I think I am better than them. And the rediculous list continues.

I believe most people don’t think they are better than you and I do think there are some that do! However, you may want to check your REASONING and RATIONALE and RELATIONSHIP with that person to make sure it’s not YOUR OWN INSECURITIES SHOWING UP. You may be just ASSuming a person thinks they are better than you when in fact they are just DIFFERENT by personality or upbringing and life experiences. They may not enjoy being around drunkeness because they grew up in a home where being drunk brought out the worst in a parent. They don’t think they are better than you. They may not be into drugs because of their religion or they hate smoke because it bothers their allergies or they can’t tolerate the smell. Doesn’t mean they think they are better than you. Perhaps you two took different career paths, they needed a degree or certification to be a nurse or teacher. Doesn’t mean they think they are better than you because you drive a truck and enjoy it.

Question your thoughts. Questions your feelings. In families, you have parents telling children that other relatives think “they are better than us because they have a big house and nice car.” Those children grow up thinking those relatives really think they are better than them and it’s really based on their parents’ insecurities and envy. Yes, you may just be jealous. Some children grow up mad at their cousins or half siblings because they had a better living situation or material things than they did. Imagine, you are an adult and still upset that your half brother grew up in a nice home with two parents when that half brother did’t have anything to do ( I want to say sh– t to do with) with what your parents or their parents did with their lives, careers, and incomes.

I grew up in a neighborhood with blue collar workers and white collar workers. I grew up in a neighborhood where two block away there was low income family homes. When we were children I recognized early on that some people had really nice homes that were bigger and better than mine. I also recognized that some of my friends and family were barely getting by. In some homes, no matter the size, there was love and in some no matter the size, type of car, there were some bad situations. I don’t ever remeber being mistreated by friends that had more and those that had less. We just wanted to play. Spending the night was different at everyone’s house. Sometimes breakfast was made by the parent in the house and other times, my friends or cousins would cook breakfast for us. I just wanted to eat and didn’t care if it was served on fine china or chinette paper plates!

I’m done with explaining to people who are bent on misunderstanding me. I am DIFFERENT. They can deal with it because I already have. I already have accepted the fact that I am not like others. We all are unique and that needs to be recognized and appreciated. I never was really loud or wild but, that doesn’t make me think I am better than anyone. I grew up in a two parent home but, I don’t think I am better than others that didn’t have both parents at home. You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors of the houses you drive by. I am a single parent. Proudly and unaplogetically. So, with that being said, those of us that are different from you, with different experiences, different educational levels, etc. for the most part aren’t walking around with our noses in the air. Get to know someone and appreciate the differences and embrace the commonalities. And question your own thoughts and feelings.

~Nikki