Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: I Rise with Power

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I am grateful for another morning. I rise with power (after coffee lol but really I rise with power before coffee). Power to do right. Power to love right. Power to get wealth. Power to be my authentic self in a world that wants me to “do me” but not unless I do me like them? Power to be soft and bold. Good Morning. Don’t know where all of that came from but I flowed with it.

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God Doesn’t Love You Any Less

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My father is a Pastor and we have different perspectives and beliefs about God. Ever since I was a child, I have always had questions, saw things different than my religion. No, it was not a demon lol or spirit of rebellion (or at least not on that level). My father didn’t do anything wrong. He laid the foundation. Do you think my father loves me any less? No. Do you think my father didn’t take care of me, provide, give me more than I asked for? No. Did he not discipline me or give me fatherly advice? Did he ban me from his home and heart? No. I can’t speak for you, but the God I have a relationship with doesn’t love me any less, bless me any less, offer me any less, just because I don’t see things the way others see things. This I am certain of.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Suicide, Self Love, Love for Others and The Creator’s Love

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With two people I admire in the world, Kate Spade for her vibrant fashion and Anthony Bourdain for his honesty, adventurous spirit, and good looks, gone through the chosen vehicle of suicide, I had to speak up and out just a little bit louder.

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say and what I wanted to share. Let me start by saying from experience, depression is hard to live with. From experience, anxiety is hard to live with. From hands on experience with mentally challenged adults, bipolar disorder is very hard to live with. I feel as though people who “just don’t understand” it, don’t want to understand it. They don’t want to take the time to understand it because Google is right at their fingertips for everything else they don’t understand. If they can read, comprehend, then they can understand depression and anxiety. There are different types of depression and anxiety.

I’ve attempted suicide at least three times in my life and I use to think about it all of the time. Society didn’t make it better. Being African American made it worse. Anxiety and Depression is “crazy talk” in my community. We are slowly coming around to understanding that many of us, many African Americans, many people in our family, past and present, lived with untreated depression and anxiety. All because of the stigma that African Americans are strong and we don’t get depressed or have these mental issues that White people have. This is the dialogue I was fed for years. I think to myself, “Right, because slavery alone couldn’t have carried any long term, generational, mental and emotional consequences. And not to add just being a part of the human race alone and living life…nah, we couldn’t possibly show any signs of mental and behavioral disfunction. We made it through slavery, civil rights fights and Jim Crow laws, of course none of that affected any of us. And if we can make it through that how could we have depression and anxiety. Right?” Wrong.

There is so much I could I delve into but, the main things I want to convey is how I stay anchored to this Earth living with depression and anxiety. I went from not knowing I had it, to denying that I had it, to acknowledging I had it but, dealing with it on my own for years to finding a good psychologist that helped me understand depression and anxiety. In the midst of all that I took a journey of self love. A true and growing, deep, deep dive into self love coupled by actions that proved I loved myself that moved beyond manicures, pedicures, and shopping. It involves making choices that reflect my love of self and always remembering that “Self love is self preservation.” Self preservation also involves preserving my peace of mind and body.

Somewhere in this journey I began to understand and to feel God’s love for me. Oh I song it as a child, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” But, could I feel it? I couldn’t. I couldn’t understand it either. How could God possibly love me and allow all of these bad things to happen to me? It was not until I began to understand love from a Higher Power is different from this earthly love. It wasn’t until I began to make sense out what it is to have life and what is life. I am talking about what makes sense to me and not what others have fed me. I gathered my own information about life from a spiritual perspective and learning hard lessons from my own poor choices and just life experiences. It wasn’t until I started looking for my purpose. It wasn’t until I realized that my perception of life and it’s meaning was personal and universal. It wasn’t until I realized my idea of life will change and broaden. It wasn’t until I had a solid perception of death. It wasn’t until I understood that in order to feel God’s love I had to have a personal and deep relationship with God and that my relationship with God wouldn’t look like the church or others told me it would or should look like. God, the Creator, the Universe, loves me and that love is greater than the love I have for myself and the love that others have or do not have for me. Other’s not having love for me, falling out of love with me, does not give me a right to take my life. My precious life. Nothing, no pain, no tragedy, none of these illusions that make me think I can’t handle it, gives me a right to take my life. Not anymore. I didn’t say I don’t think about it, I said it does not give me a right. I choose life.

But it gives me understanding, why others do.  It gives me compassion for their souls. And I do not see them as weak. I see them as strong, fighting all of this time. I see them as not understanding things as I do or as others do. They are not me. I am not them. We do not, did not, will not, have the same experiences and carry them in the same way. We have other factors that weigh in. It is not my call. It is not my trial to judge. And I don’t do sending people to hell well either for suicide.

All of the love, all of the sadness, all of the inspiration from these two souls, that touched people from all over the world, they couldn’t see it or feel it. They couldn’t see it or feel it from their own friends, associates, and family. I couldn’t either. So, I understand what it’s like to be blind to all that is around you, to walk empty and to smile, to go through life like a robot. I understand how pain and not knowing how to deal with it, manage it, thinking irrationally, can send you to the edge over and over and over. So many things factor in. Too many unseen and unspoken for me to judge.

I anchor myself with love for myself (which includes therapy!), love for others, and love from God. I unhook that anchor sometimes…I get out there in the deep, but love…one or all of these loves bring me back in.

~Nikki

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Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: The Auntie Mom

I was an Auntie before I was a Mom. I remember when my first nephew (that was younger than me was born) like it was yesterday. My dad was cutting the yard and we got the phone call that it was a boy and his name was Jeremiah. It was a sunny day in June with clear skies and I remember the grass being so green. My Dad started to sing “Jeremiah was a bullfrog and he was a friend of mine.” He meddled my nephew with that through childhood and even now! My second nephew I had the pleasure of giving him his middle name and he was my first job at 8 weeks old. He later gave his younger daughter the same middle name! I was a babysitter. Those two gave me a run for my money! And there were more nieces and nephews to come.

I am writing this piece for my friend Jackie and Alicia whom are Aunts, and all of the women who want to have a family someday and to the ones that may not be able to. You are a mother by heart. You are a mother because you nurture someone somewhere. You may even be a mother figure to a friend, a sibling, to a class, the motherly one on the job, a doggie mom. You care. You will jump in and fill that roll as an Auntie Mom. I tell my niece Brea I am your Auntie Mom. She’s the fireball of the bunch and I keep close reigns on her because I love her. I was once known as the General and Sargent but, I have been promoted to Lieutenant by my nephew Brandon. I am the Aunt that will play football, dolls, fix you a good meal and bake cookies but, I also believe in discipline.

All of my nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews are my children. I wanted more children but, I am unable to have any more because I had to have a hysterectomy. That was tough and sad. But nothing beats hearing, “Auntie! Auntie Nikki! Ti-Ti!” and getting those hugs. It’s the same feeling as “Mommy!” and receiving love in the hugs. It’s the same pressure to watch what I say and do and how I live my life. I still have to impart instruction, wisdom, and love.

~Nikki aka Auntie Mom

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing:Unnecessary Guilt

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Let me dive into a personal truth about myself. For years I use to struggle on the inside with feeling guilty about speaking out when someone has wronged me or has disrespected me. I was a sensitive child and I am PROUDLY a moderately sensitive adult. Being sensitive to the feelings of others and issues makes me the compassionate woman I am.

However, from time to time when I KNOW I am right about standing up and speaking up for myself, or letting a person know how far they can go or where to get off (lol), I still struggle with a tinge of guilt when CLEARLY I am in the right. I don’t allow people to hurt my feelings without them knowing how I feel about it or if they have disrespected me I tell them. How else when they know? Grow?

If you struggle with the guilt of hurting others feelings or with expressing yourself, then it stems from somewhere. Sensitive to others or you’ve had your voice dismissed in the past when you were unable to feel OKAY about BEING RIGHT. I think mines came from my childhood. In various ways, I was shut down negatively when I was right because well, I was a child. And authority ruled. It was the law of the land. Also, in a more positive way, my siblings and I were very respectful of each other and rarely argued or fought once we grew up. We all have had to apologize to each other as adults but, rarely. Yes, we taught to apologize when we were children as well. We were taught that way. However, parents rarely admit or apologize for being wrong. Thankfully, my parents grew spiritually and as we got older they have apologized for doing things the way they were did or things from the present.

I just want to say, stand in your truth. Stand in your right. Stand and have a voice. Help people to grow and to know where the line is on how you will treated and respected. Even it hurts them, they will grow and know. No guilt for speaking the truth and your feelings.

~Nikki

Baileys Original Irish Cream is in my Folgers. ❤

Something About Boaz

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It’s a good thing Boaz didn’t look at how much money Ruth could bring to the table. When he saw her getting the scraps and found out her story, instead of judging her, he saw that what she could bring to the table was priceless. Loyalty exceeding death, beyond bloodlines, doing what she had to do, commitment and the ability to love and labor for those she loved. He would have missed out. #SomeThingAboutBoaz

Rich and Wealthy Now

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My heart is just filled with gratefulness and love this morning. Like up to the top. I even feel a little misty eyed. Thinking about how rich and wealthy we already are if we would take the time to stop and smell the roses. Totally immerse ourselves in the moment of a conversation with a friend without looking at our phones or immerse ourselves totally in the pleasure of a cup of tea or glass of wine. If we would look into the eyes of our family when we see them and hug them each time with all of our might. If we would reminisce about the fun times of childhood we would laugh and feel good about all of those good memories…rich irreplaceable moments with friends and cousins. Wealthy in our small homes and apartments surrounded by objects we adore and that are priceless and meaningful to us even if we got them from a dollar store or if it were passed down to us or given to us by a friend. Wealthy in the events of accomplishments big and small, public and private. Wealthy in nature. Yes, money cometh. Yes, wealth and riches is in your house. But just know, we are rich and wealthy in the now. -Nicole Jackson