Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Hope for Tomorrow

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Today I had to speak at church. Some would call it preaching, but I call it teaching. I talked about Hope for Tomorrow. Romans 12:12, Romans 8:24-25. What is hope? Hope is a joyful or confident expectation for the future or the promises of God, or both however you chose to look at it or need it. Hope is a joyful or confident expectation for the unknown and the unseen. Who hopes for what he or she can see? We hope for what we cannot see and we wait for it patiently. In other words, you don’t hope for what you already have or what is already worked out. You hope for that which you do not have yet to manifest or be worked out.

Hope is a virtue, a good quality for the Christian life experience and in my own opinion, hope is a virtue we all should obtain. Hope makes waiting or walking in faith easier. When you have hope, you have joy or you have confidence that things are working out for your good. You don’t know how, you can’t see how, but you have this expectation that it will.

Without hope, we become bitter, sad, depressed, anxious, fretful, and perhaps angry. Without hope, you become desperate and take desperate actions. Many times these actions lead to making things worse than what they were. Without hope, a joyful expectation or confidence in the future or promises of God, people contemplate suicide or commit it. Without hope that you’ll be okay if the person leaves you, you do foolish things to get them to stay or even worse.

We need hope. Hope helps us to hold on while we patiently wait for the outcome. Hope, a joyful expectation, puts a pep in our step as we walk out our faith. Hope, a confident expectation in the promises of God to you, helps you to hold on until you see the life you desire to live unfold. Yes, we need hope for tomorrow. We need hope, for tomorrow in this world. The audacity, or the boldness of hope. Hope gives us boldness in the times of trouble. The nerve, the boldness to believe in our darkest hours that light will surely shine again happens when we turn on our hope. In the world we live in, particularly and personally me for, in the these troubling political times, I have HOPE that things will make a complete 180 and put us back on track to be greater human beings which will make a greater America and a greater world to live in for all people.

~Nikki

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The Danger With Pretending Everything Is Okay

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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.

~Nikki

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: It’s Not Personal?

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Before I saw this quote the other day, I received a phone call from someone and they were telling me about something very important they misplaced. This person misplaces numerous things on a regular basis. As I began to try to have a conversation about them needing to slow down, pay attention, which is something even strangers have said to them, they did what they usually do to me and a few others they don’t “seem” to value much, they got offensive.

I continued to make my case in a non-threatening, caring way and I got off the phone. I almost became irritated. I almost took it personal, but I remembered what I have been drilling in my head for the past year, “It’ not me, it’s them.” “They have the problem. I can honestly say I didn’t do anything wrong. I am going to continue with my pleasant morning.” Sometimes it is personal. Sometimes it’s not. You just have to know when and decide what your response will be. I read this quote over and over until something else stood out, “compulsion to react.” I’ve been compulsively reacting to this person’s madness, with madness, ever since I realized I was old enough to do so. I reacted with madness and anger because that is all I knew. It is what I was taught to do by this person. (I didn’t even know that until therapy). You hurt me with words, I hurt you with words. Especially, since no one can stop me or I can’t be punished for talking back. In that moment when the person became defensive, I could have became offensive, but I didn’t. I didn’t compulsively react. THIS IS SOMETHING I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO PRACTICE and it was effective that day for me. In other attempts, this person would get more and more belligerent and obnoxious. And I would explode!

As I navigate this complex family dynamic, with more knowledge and practice, I hope to gain for myself the peace I have so rightly deserve from childhood until the present moment. I hope to be able to not compulsively respond, not take it all personal, to rightly respond, to insist on my boundaries, to protect my peace, and to not beat myself if I don’t “always” get it right (another burden placed on me by the same authoritative figure).

~Nikki

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Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: A Forced Smile

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Yesterday I enjoyed a beautiful wedding ceremony of my nephew and his girlfriend officiated by his father (my brother). Everything was simply was beautiful. I love short and sweet ceremonies and that is exactly what it was. However, as my heart was happy to be there, something occurred the 15-20 minute ride that changed my mood completely. Even though I fought to keep my mood high all the way to the bitter end, the bitter person won that round. I had to sit in the car to get myself together and force a smile.

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I looked at the selfie I took and thought about a forced smile. There I am decked in costume jewelry, fabulous sparkly heels, and a fur trimmed wrapped and reeling with anger at the person sitting a few seats down that acts as if they have done nothing wrong. As the ceremony proceeded I was happy to see my nephews come down the aisle and to see many of my family members I don’t get to see often. For those few moments of socializing, my mood and heart was lifted. But then it was time to get back in the car with the person and their behavior persisted. When they said they wanted to go out for dinner, my heart sank. I would have to spend more time with craziness. I sat there the whole time trying to remain silent or indulge in small talk with others at the table. I tried to laugh with others.

When I finally did drop off the person, I thought I may find some peace. But no, another person in the car continued the criticism and we had words. For the first time since a time I can’t even remember, I had to go for a ride in my car alone. This for me means I reached my limit in composure and before I do or say anything I regret, I need distance. I need to get in my car and say everything that I REALLY wish I could say, but if I did it would DAMAGE the person in such a way it may not be reparable. In my car ride, I can say what I truly want to say and say what I truly want to do. In the car ride, there is no judgement. There are no interruptions or no one telling me what “Thus said the Lord” except the Lord and the Lord (God, The Creator, The Divine ) is just there being a sounding board. Allowing me to “get it all out, let it all out” profanity included. There is no ZEN, no YOGA, no MEDITATION, no 10 deep breaths needed. There is the beating of the steering wheel, the tossing of a sweater, the throwing of a purse (in which I will have to pick up the contents later). Yes, the DO GOODER, the GOODY TWO SHOES. the PREACHER’S DAUGHTER (titles in which people assign to you with obligations, morals, and rules they make up basically assigning you to perfection) is a real human being just like you. Yes, she has anger issues that she has mastered on many levels but also reaches a boiling point. She also believe that anger should be acknowledge and all that comes with it. It should be understood as perfectly normal and not to be stuffed down into the fibers of your being.

I don’t like it when I have to force a smile. I don’t always like it when I have to restrain myself. But in the course of the night, in my bed, searching that app for a meditation or talk that would help me to settle down, I discovered a talk that should be a TEDTALK about anger. It blew my mind! And I have decided to do a series of blogs on it. Can’t wait to share.

~Nikki

A Season of “At Ease”

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Leviticus 25:4 “But in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.”

Is it just time to be “at ease” about it all? Is it time to rest from your life’s work? Is it time to go a few weekends without movement, toiling, schedules, a to do list? I see many of us worrying about the same thing over and over. The same situations, the same people, when will we ever let them go? They are already gone from our grasp, but still are taking up residence in out heads and hearts. We have to be doing something or we are being lazy is how many of us were raised, what we were told, or what we saw. Change is inevitable and all things must come to an end we quote, but yet we prolong by holding on.

There’s a transition of the seasons. Just because it’s an official date for summer doesn’t mean summer comes on that day. However, summer doesn’t transition all of fall either. Are the leaves turning or have they turned in your life? Have the leaves fallen from the tree and are you still trying to get as much shade as you would from spring’s tree? Is it time to be “at ease” ? Straight backs and a stiff upper lip, chin up, tummy in, forward march or sit down? The parade is over. The war is over. The season is over. Take some time off or take off and never look back. At ease.

 

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Getting to Faith by Hearing

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Our ears take in so much information from the outside world including the people we associate with. What about our internal dialogue that waters and feeds not only what we receive from the outside and how we interpret those things and the things that happen (or are happening) to us? At some point in life we began to filter out these things and if you are taking on a deeper dive into discovering, nurturing, growing the real you, you are pulling up the weeds of those things you find that stunt your growth. You are trying to use some of those things as fertilizers and others to strengthen and beautify your garden.

Now, you may have heard of the scripture that says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. You may have heard it interpreted many ways and you are about to “read” it interpreted in another way. This is the scripture that came to mind for me as I listened to Dr. Wayne Dyer this week via YouTube. A word, a message, at the right time in your life can build your faith, increase your strength, give you the extra life in your life to go on. To do. To be. It wasn’t a traditional message from a religious leader and I have no problem with that because one, my father is my religious leader, and two, where would I be without all of the religious leaders that have helped me to grow and heal? Some may even consider me a religious leader. I don’t know who, but I don’t see myself as a religious anything. This WORD from whom I call God, comes via many avenues for me. Choosing the right things to hear from Dr. Wayne Dyer or choosing the right things to read from my Bible or my bookshelf is pertinent to my personal growth. As well as choosing if what I hear makes it to my heart or gets recycled back into the atmosphere as useable energy (I will tell you how I am learning to do that later).

If you are feeling weak in your faith, uncertain in your destiny, I suggest you secure and strengthen your faith by choosing to hear the right things, say the right things to your self, and read the right things. Maybe, even do the right things. Tune out, discard, anything that is in contrary to what you KNOW doesn’t confirm or inform that light on the inside of you.

~Nikki

Fix it Jesus. No, You Fix It.

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There are just somethings in this life you have to take by the horns and fix it yourself. I waited until the last minute to resolve an issue. I sought wise counsel and I got great, but mixed advice. I thought I saw the right thing to do or was it that I saw what I wanted to see? I thought I felt the right thing to do, but it was too hard to do. I was vexed in my spirit for two weeks! I knew all along what had to be done. I only wish I would have done it sooner.

The lessons and reminders for me are:

  • Leadership requires making hard decisions sometimes
  • This wasn’t a Fix it Jesus moment. This was a moment of growth in my journey. It was very uncomfortable. I had to work through that emotionally and I am still working through that.
  • Vibes and energy are important. If you don’t feel it or them, if they do not feel you, just don’t mix it with business or pleasure. People are responsible for the energy they bring to you and you are responsible for yours. You can put out good energy and they can still bring their weird or bad vibes. What are you going to do?
  • If you are in business, you should bring good energy and vibes. You are providing a service, but people are paying you for it. Why would you bring bad juju? 😀
  • You are not asking for a favor, you are acquiring a service. (wise counsel)
  • Keep it short, don’t go into detail if you feel they won’t be receptive anyway, and keep it professional. (wise counsel)
  • They told you how they felt about you through actions and attitude. It’s okay to do what you need to do. (God, Holy Spirit)
  • This helped to decipher if I were being sensitive or if this was my GUT speaking. Hence, feeling vexed versus hurt feelings. My gut was practically screaming!
  • You know what energy you want to bring to an event. You know your audience. Trust yourself to cut what doesn’t flow.

 

~Nikki

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