You need to learn how to be left. Left alone. Left behind. Think about this, how would you feel if you were forced to stay in a situation, with people, in a job, in a space you felt you didn’t want to be in for whatever reason? Oh! You’ve felt that feeling before, huh? You know that suffocating, funny, detached feeling that makes you feel stuck. You feel it your body and it weighs heavy on your mind. I have to tell you this, you’re not going to like it but, sometimes you are creating that for someone else. BREATHE. Sometimes they do not love you like you love them. BREATHE. Sometimes, they don’t like you for valid reasons or simply, they just don’t. BREATHE. Sometimes, they just don’t like your energy. BREATHE.
They have their reasons and it may hurt you. It may disappoint you. It may shock you. Especially, if you feel you haven’t done anything wrong or that bad. It may make you feel bad about yourself. And let me say this, if it does make you feel bad about yourself, then reflect, observe, and analyze. Because I would not have known the things I needed to correct or heal within me if someone had not left me or distanced themselves from me! “HARSH TRUTH will wash you clean. If you allow it.”-Nicole Jackson
People have a right to be free. Even if it’s to be free from you. I have learned to take it as it is. But the greatest thing I have learned is NOT to TAKE IT SO PERSONAL that I am angry, upset, mad or carry a grudge about it. How? I think to myself and put myself in their shoes. If I have a right to change my mind, fall out of like or love, remove myself from something or someone that is not a right fit for me, then SO DO THEY. Do I cry sometimes? Yes. Do I feel bad sometimes? Yes. Has my heart been broken at times? Yes. Have I been disappointed, shocked, bewildered? Absolutely. But when the emotions subside, I have to respect their decision. I don’t have to agree with it or like it. I want them to be free because if I need to leave, I want to be free to do so.
DON’T GO BACK TO WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN DELIVERED FROM
I had a discussion with a person I was involved with and there were a few “ah ha” moments that enlightened me on his behavior. Although, we are somewhat friends with boundaries (I should do a blog post titled Friends with Boundaries), we have had two huge discussions about our past unofficial relationship. It’s almost like a balloon being blown up slowly to its capacity and then you let it go and it flies around the room and lands “splat” on the floor. We exhale and it’s like, “Well, don’t know how we got started on that but, you enjoy the rest of your evening.” I think it’s unresolved issues that are aired out in these sessions.
The other day I asked him if he thinks about the conversations after they are over. He said yes. So, do I. It’s like pieces of a puzzle and some things make sense after the session and others are still a mystery. A mystery I have no desire to solve. I pondered the conversation and then I started getting messages from EVERYWHERE about “NOT GOING BACK” to situations or relationships that you have been delivered from. Message received.
DON’T GO FORWARD
I am reading a book titled, “Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents” and as I was reading the chapter that describes the characteristics of the parent, I realized not only do I pick relationships where the person is emotionally unavailable but, I also have picked some associations where this occurs. I also, have remained in some circles that I now realize embody the characteristics of the emotionally unavailable parent. When this was brought to my consciousness, I was dumbfounded. I am still shocked today. However, the thought is, “STOP. DON’T GO FORWARD.” Yet, I attempted one last time to connect and saw nothing except a sarcastic response. What am I afraid of I ask myself and do I really want to know the answer? Why am I still hanging around? The truth is I already know the answer and I need to accept the truth.
With these two things occurring in a week, I realize that just because you know the truth, make a declaration, things don’t always end immediately and things may end immediately and linger. A train doesn’t suddenly stop. Breaks are applied miles before its destination. Some relationships come to a halt months after they end. None of this makes me feel really good but, it does make me aware. I have hope that something much better is ahead.
What does it mean to be at home? Home is a place of refuge. It is a place of peace. It is a place where you are nurtured and sustained. It is a place to which you belong and have a right to be. In this place you are nourished and your needs are provided for. It is the place where you keep your intimate things. It is the place where you love and make love, the place where you play and grow and study. It is the place where you care and you serve. It is your base, so to speak, within the world. No matter what you do or where you go, you are always coming back to this base to become grounded in your humaneness again. Well, this is also what it means to have a spiritual home, except that a spiritual home cannot be contained within four walls. Your spiritual home is Wherever You Are. – The Sacred Yes, by Reverend Deborah L. Johnson
When it comes to your childhood, were you at home? When it comes to fitting into your family, environment or community are you at home? With those in your circle, are you at home? In your relationship, are you at home? When you’re at your job, does it feel at home? I know you would think that a job is not supposed to make you feel at home but a toxic work environment or being out of alignment with your purpose can make you ill. Are you home anywhere in your life?
When I am writing, I feel at home. When I am in my own home, my own sanctuary, because I am not married or in a relationship that is cankerous, I feel at home. Most of the time because I desire a good, healthy relationship, I sometimes long for home. However, I seem to always find my way back to my real home. It’s a home withing self. It is God. I fell at home when I am creating
A mix of emotions, behaviors, and beliefs associated with strong feelings of affection, protectiveness, warmth, and respect for another person.
Love can also be used to apply to non-human animals, to principles, and to religious beliefs. For example, a person might say he or she loves his or her dog, loves freedom, or loves God.
WHAT IS LOVE?
Love has been a favored topic of philosophers, poets, writers, and scientists for generations, and different people and groups have often fought about its definition.
While most people agree that love implies strong feelings of affection, there are many disagreements about its precise meaning, and one person’s “I love you” might mean something quite different than another’s.
Some possible definitions of love include:
A willingness to prioritize another’s well-being or happiness above your own.
Extreme feelings of attachment, affection, and need.
Dramatic, sudden feelings of attraction and respect.
A fleeting emotion of care, affection, and like.
A choice to commit to helping, respecting, and caring for another, such as in marriage or when having a child.
Some combination of the above emotions.
There has been much debate about whether love is a choice, is something that is permanent or fleeting, and whether the love between family members and spouses is biologically programmed or culturally indoctrinated. Love may vary from person to person and culture to culture. Each of the debates about love may be accurate at some time and someplace. For example, in some instances, love may be a choice while in others it may feel uncontrollable.
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.
There is this term floating around the internet in the circle of black women and black influencers. It’s the great debate and discussion of a term “soft life” dubbed by the Nigerian influencer community.
The term “soft life” originated in the Nigerian influencer community as slang for living a life of comfort and low stress. That is part of what makes soft life content so inspiring: the chance to imagine what life can feel like apart from the realities of Black women’s labor. – Channing Grove, Andscape.com Here is the link to explain it in detail https://andscape.com/features/the-softlife-isnt-as-easy-as-it-looks-online/
I’ve been thinking about this and listening to many black women discuss it. Some are for it, some are against it and then there are black women like me, that are in between. I can say I am much on par for what influencer and storyteller Tenicka Boyd says in the article in the link above. Here is an excerpt of my understanding of a soft life: “For many Black women it is a challenge to move past always being the responsible one, always sacrificing their enjoyment, always putting others over ourselves,” she said. “The soft life is quite literally a rejection of the hard life. Life of struggle and sacrifice.” I also agree with another influencer and business woman I follow, Montelle Bee, which she basically says, a soft life is not just about vacations and designer items. It’s not about working and spending all of your money on things and vacations to be broke by the next paycheck. I’d like to say, it’s not about pretending on social media and struggling behind the camera. And as she said, what is your definition of a soft life and how will you achieve that type of lifestyle? It has to be built. I agree wholeheartedly. IT HAS TO BE BUILT AND NOT JUST FROM THE OUTSIDE BUT, FROM THE INSIDE OUT.
Perhaps, as that is being built, what about soft areas in your life? What areas in your life do you no longer desire to struggle with or in? I thought about it and some areas in my life that I have softened are the areas of relationships and co-parenting. I no longer struggle with co-parenting and that happened years ago. I no longer remain in relationships that are emotionally and mentally abusive. Those were hard things that I have now softened by growing, transformation, evolving, and learning lessons. I continue to co-parent and to date but, I can say I know what exactly the type of relationship I desire and it’s not one of pure hell. I can say by accepting the fact that I am a mother and I am parent it what helped lesson the drama co-parenting can create. I still have to be a parent and mother no matter what the other parent does or does not do (and might I add he matured (so did I) and has been a great father), things got easier. Softer.
As a Black/African American in this country, all over the world, I do think we deserve the luxuries we have been denied or told we didn’t deserve. You know the looks you get or being told you can’t afford something as soon as you walk into the establishment or inquire about an item. “Oh honey, that’s not in your price range.” “Oh, that’s pricey.” You know, walking onto a lot and being shown the used cars they think you can “probably” afford based off your race or attire. Or as I once was told, “Oh, these apartments are xyz amount.” Although, the question asked was, “Are there any apartments available.” I don’t want to be the one on call every weekend or on holidays while the good ol’ girls network their way around these dates. Can these incidents happen to anyone? Absolutely. But it’s been proven they most likely happen more often to minorities.
But let’s not be fooled. Life for most of us, no matter the race or gender, living on this planet is not easy. It is hard. It is a challenge. We are met with physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial challenges no matter how much money you make or your status. But alleviating some of those areas of distress creates a “woosah”, an exhale, a soft area. When you master your finances, whoo! You can breathe in that area better. When you heal in certain areas. Exhale. You can breathe better.
Call it what you want. I call it making life easier where I can. I call it no longer tolerating toxic treatment from the church house to the white house to in my house. At 47, I don’t want to “go hard” 24/7. I want to work smarter and harder when it’s called for. I want a softer landing in my financial affairs. Therefore, I work to learn to manage and grow my finances so in the future, things won’t be so hard for me. That is my next “soft area”.
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
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
As a person with underlying conditions, sleep can be allusive. In addition to insomnia, there is pain-somnia (the inability to sleep well due to pain through the night) and then there is the thing I do from time to time. I am wired and cannot sleep until late into the night or early morning. This year I have ensured I go to bed on time for the most part. I have created a flexible routine.
Today there is a culture of “Grind until I die, Team No Sleep, or I’ll Sleep When I Die”. Sleep is seen as a sign of a lack of drive and weakness. Boy, if they only knew the power of sleep. I dream most of the time when I am sleeping. I get messages for myself mostly when I dream. If I don’t sleep. I don’t dream. I like to dream. Sleep gives your body time to repair cells and rejuvenate itself. We were designed to sleep. Sleep can help settle, declutter, and clear the mind. It can give you new and fresh ideas. It can give you strength and the power to keep going. You can run circles around people that intentionally do not rest. Some sleep but not many rest. Rest involves your whole being and not just your body. Keep this in mind when it comes to sleep. I added the parenthesis of mind and spirit on the list below.
Getting enough sleep has many benefits. It can help you:
Get sick less often
Stay at a healthy weight
Lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease
Reduce stress and improve your mood
Think more clearly and do better in school and at work (mind)
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,
P.S. You cannot make deep connections where there are puddles in people. -Nicole Jackson