RA Blog: All Eyes on Me (Thee)

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It seems as if everyone else is whizzing right past you as you “mosey” along or perhaps you are not moving at all. Maybe, you are stuck. Well, I have goals because I set goals. I have dreams and new dreams, new visions, things I want to see happen in the face of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and all of that other noise that seems to slow me down and sometimes get the best of me.

In the effort to lose weight, to achieve my other goals as well, it seems as if the well abled bodied people are just flying right past me. Soaring to their goals, and I, I am left behind in their dust. Me? I’m struggling to stay motivated. I can’t walk that fast, like I use to. I can’t use my hands very well today, I can’t stand as long as I use to, the fatigue…it’s what some call excuses, but it’s a reality for many of us. We are not who we use to be and oh if we would have known this was coming, we may have did the 5K or went back to school sooner.

Q: Dear God, Universe, Creator, Self, Spirit, how do I deal with all the feels of being left behind?

A: Take your eyes off others and put your eyes on me. Keep your eyes on “your” prize. Stop the comparison. It’s unfair and foolish to compare yourself with well abled bodied people and it’s unfair to compare yourself to the old self. You can’t be in the past and present at the same time. This is why you are not progressing as fast or at all.

So, with that revelation, I invite you to meditation and prayer. Center yourself during the times when you are “feeling” so much despair and disappointment. If I keep watching others I will fall. If I keep comparing myself to others, I will fail. If I keep living in the past, I can’t work in the present to prepare for my future. All eyes on the Creator. All eyes on the scriptures, affirmations, practices, that center your heart and mind.

~Nikki

RA BLOG: Limiting Pity Parties

Pity has a pit that is hard to get out of once you fall into it. If you’re going to dance around it, do so from a distance and make it less than often.-Nicole Jackson

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I can tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself, never feel sorry for yourself, or that it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself. Either you do or you don’t or you use to. Perhaps you have a different personality and you never felt sorry for yourself. If this is you, then I might suggest you have some compassion, some empathy, or try to understand those that do.

Feeling sorry for yourself can lead you into a pit. There is a difference when it comes to having a pity party…parties must come to an end and the sooner the pity party ends the better. You see, if a person falls into a pit of pity then that is a very dark place. Some never make it out and it turns into a debilitating way of living and approaching life. It’s all about what you use to could do and all about what you can’t do now. It focuses on what RA or an illness or disease has taken away from you and not what you still have left. Or what you can obtain now! It’s all about your problems, never about solutions. It’s about “I can’t before you try” or a “I tried once and I’ll never try again.”

I’ll be honest with you. I’ve had some pity parties way before Rheumatoid Arthritis exploded into my bones. I am sure it was the talking of wise people, encouraging people, that said a combination of “You’ve got to get over this, get over it, feel what you feel, don’t feel, etc.”that lead me to a method that has lessened my pity parties and the time spent in them. The method for me is, depending on what has happened and the depth of it, is: PUT A TIME LIMIT ON IT and start shutting the party down. I can’t tell you not to throw one in the first place, I don’t control how you feel no more than you can control how I feel. But, if you are going to go there, know that you can’t stay at this party too long and no one else wants to stay too long either!  Your party can turn into a PIT! I limit myself to 5 minutes to a few days and then I have to, I must start working my way out, regardless of how I feel. REGARDLESS OF HOW I FEEL.

You work your way out by moving, physically. You work your way out with prayer. You work your way out with telling yourself the TRUTH about yourself (who God says you are) and not who others say you are. You build yourself up and instead of tearing yourself down. This is how you get out of the pit or shut the pit party down. You see a therapist, you see a pastor, you use the skills, you get a self help book, or you surround yourself with a support group. Whatever you have to do, you do it!  (But, it’s hard Nikki…well, don’t let that stop you)

~Nikki

 

 

 

Expanding Your Perception of Acceptable Beauty

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If beauty is only what you see in the mirror, what media has shoved in front of you, or worse, what your race has taught you, then perhaps you need to challenge all of the above. Yes, it would be absolutely a show of your proclaimed intelligence to question why you think the way you do about beauty. And if you really want to show off your degrees or intellect, you would dare to understand what the standard for beauty has done in terms of damage to cultures and throughout the generations of others.

Just because a person does not look like you does not make you more beautiful. Just because you have more or less of this and that does not make your more beautiful. Just because their hair is different doesn’t make yours appropriate and theirs “need something done to it.” What we have here is more than a set of opinions. What we have here is a mindset that needs to be destroyed. They tell me beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if the mind of the beholder is warped…if it’s laced with prejudices…if it’s narrow…then perhaps that beholder is blind.

~Nikki

 

Discoveries from “My Authentic Self” Journey 2016 (2)

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I LIKE BEGINNING AND ENDING MY DAY WITH A LIKE SOUL. I LIKE SPENDING MY PRECIOUS TIME WITH LIKE SOULS.

“Time is money. It is your currency on this earth. Where you spend it, how you spend it, and who you spend it with is your choice and consequence. There are no refunds.”  -Nicole Jackson

 

You don’t realize how precious your time is until you are in the presence of others that are nothing like you. You do, however,  recognize how miserable you are. True, you may not can always control the times you are around or encounter those people, but oh what joy for the times you can!  There is nothing like being comfortable at a party, at a dinner, at a get together. I don’t like a lot of bickering and arguing. I had enough of that growing up. I don’t want to spend my time defending myself, explaining myself or being ignored. I like friendly people. I like kind people. I like joyful people. I like helpful people. I like honest people. I like funny people. I don’t want to sit around and talk about other people. Or whispering about another “friend or associate” in a room. I don’t really want to talk about someone who thinks we are all associates, family, or friends. I don’t care about their hair, makeup or attire.

When I was a child, I spent time with friends. When I was a teenager, I spent time with friends. When I was a young adult, I spent time with friends. The people I hung around were not mean or low down. They were not backstabbers, liars, or cheaters. They were not mean girls or rude. We could hash out any differences and move on. I don’t know what happened to those days or those kind of people, but I do know they are still alive and well. We told each other when we were wrong and we would help mend each other. Those are my kind of relationships.

When it comes to spending my life with someone, I prefer someone with a like soul. Someone similar in core beliefs and someone who can allow me the freedom to be myself. I don’t want to wake up miserable and come home to miserable. I will not and I do not believe God would set me up in that environment. God knows my creativity, my heart, my soul could not thrive in that type of environment. I am a delicate soul, yes. I am also strong, but my dynamics are complex for many.

~Nikki

 

Anxiety: Getting to Happy, Thanks, and Giving

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Wednesday I was certain I wasn’t going to Thanksgiving Dinner. I just did not want to be bothered with all of the noise and hoopla. I’d experienced a really bad night of anxiety and insomnia Tuesday night. Worst in a long time, maybe of all times. Later on Wednesday evening I began to feel better, but not enough to change my mind.

When I woke up Thursday, I felt okay. I forced myself to have breakfast with a friend. I got dressed and made it to my family’s house with a plan in mind. If it gets to be too much, I can escape to my parents room or I can leave. To my surprise, my mother was much calmer than usual. She usually is high strung. I was grateful because I don’t operate well in panic and hype mode. I gave by putting ice in the cups, rolls in the oven, arranging the food. It was hectic getting food in a small space with almost 20 plus people. So, I went outside and sat until the line died down. Cool fall air and peace. I was happy as my nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, eyes lit up when they saw me and they ran to give me hugs. I was happy to see my latest 6 month old great nephew for the first time.

I gave thanks for good food as I escaped to my parents room to eat in peace as I watched HGTV and Unsung. Only to be interrupted by by wobbly walking one year old great nephew as he looked in on me and came to my plate for anything I would give. He’s not hard to please and out the door he went.

I made it. I made it back to my house with my sanity in tack and a to go box for breakfast this morning. I am thankful I did not experience the agitation of anxiety.

~Nikki

Anxiety. I Don’t Understand It Yet.

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I can’t tell the difference from my own ways of overanalyzing and anxiety. I start to wonder if they are connected. I am pretty sure they are. Last night was a hell of a night of overthinking, worry, concern, and you name it. The worst I have had in a long time. I still do not understand anxiety as it is new to me this year. It may sound crazy, but it frustrates me all the more that I don’t understand. I don’t like it. And if I dare to think about it, I have probably had it longer. I can identify the on start, and I have caught it and followed the plan to calm it down. But those times where it spirals out of control…like last night…is the worst. I could not stop it. I fell asleep off and on and each time I woke up it was back again.

About a month ago, a strange thing happened. I was suppose to go out on a date and the guy took forever to call. I was getting dressed and the next thing you know I started to feel anxious. I started to think about all the other times guys have let me down where we were suppose to do something and didn’t. I started to think about all of the times things didn’t work out and then I started to cry. I was shocked! What the hell was I crying about? I did not understand this at all. I felt, abandoned. And when I thought that, I thought about a very very bad relationship where this guy was always leaving me high and dry. And the many other times this has happened in relationships. And there…there was the trigger. But then came the shame. “I am Nicole. I am strong. I don’t care about these things. Right? I have been through so much and well, look at how tough I am. No one needs to know about this. Get yourself together. You can’t take that to therapy.” And I didn’t. But, I will have to this time.

I am fatigued. I am still fighting those thoughts this morning. I do not like myself right now. I wonder if I will ever be okay. If I will ever be understood. If I will ever be loveable. I don’t want to be bothered. I think what I want is to be understood about all of the things rattling around my head.

I am trying my damndest to be gentle with myself as I go through this, but it is very hard.

~Nikki