How Long Does Healing Take? Inner Work

There will be many things going on this year but, I believe people will begin to work on themselves whether it’s personal development or healing. It may be deepening or returning to their spiritual practice, buying self-help books or taking courses to help improve their life on many levels. Last year I discovered that I had more healing to do and I was ready to get on with it for good. I meant; I was ready to heal completely in this area. I do recall asking God how much more healing and letting go does one need to do?! How long will this take?!!! Ugh! I thought I was done. I’ve been talking about it and dealing with it for a very long time. Well, as I am reading a daily devotional (a book that is pretty deep spiritually so I take it chapter by chapter and sometimes, passage by passage), I think I might have gotten an answer to a question I asked in June 2022.

First, let me talk about the clue I received. Each year I am spiritually led to read certain books. Sometimes it happens all at once and sometimes it happens here and there. Well, I was watching a YouTube episode of Bishop Sarah Jakes Roberts and her mom have a casual conversation over the holidays. She mentioned the book in the video and discovered her mom had read the book also. When I heard the title, I knew I needed the book. This was my first clue that healing was about to take place.

This is what I read this morning:

“Healing is a process of restoration. It is the revealing of the underlying state of perfection and wholeness that always exists, despite injury or disturbance. Beyond all your hurts and pains, be they emotional, physical, or otherwise, is your innate spiritual pattern, which proclaims its independence and simply awaits opportunities to express itself to its fullest. Healing is a journey, not an event. Along the journey there is much to be discovered and discerned about yourself.”

“You ask, “How much healing is there to be done? How long will it take?” These are questions not for me to answer but for you to answer. How long do you want it to take? How much healing are you willing to do? How deep will you go? How much will you reveal? How often will you come to be in surrender? The answers to these questions depend on you. You are creating your own tests. You are creating your won obstacle courses. The mazes through which you wander, the hoops through which you jump, are all configurations of your own thinking. You too often misunderstand, and therefore underestimate the power of your creative abilities. You must become more consciously aware that you are simply manifesting anything and everything you think about, even subliminally.”

-The Sacred Yes by Rev. Deborah L. Johnson

~Nikki

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

Photo by Nikki’s Confetti Life 2022

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: “Okay. I’m Praying for You.”

When I was a young adult, in my 20’s, I am sure I thought I knew everything or at least enough to make my own decisions. My dad is not one to get in your business. He’s not one to insert himself into his children’s affairs often. But when he does, we listen. We may not follow the advice or heed the warnings because well, we were in our 20’s.

At times we would go back and forth about a thing and my dad would say, “Okay. I’m praying for you.” It took me until now, at age 47, to realize that at a certain point in conversation with a child that thinks they know what they are doing or refuses to heed your warning, you have said all you can say. There was never a shouting match with my dad. When he saw he wasn’t getting through or he had said all he needed to say, “Okay. I am praying for you” would end the conversation. After you’ve said all you can say, beaten a dead horse maybe, there is nothing else to say. All you can do is pray for the child.

I was having a conversation with my young adult and I felt like I was trying to drive in a point to no avail. I found myself repeating the same thing and getting frustrated. Then suddenly, I realized I had said enough and she wasn’t going to change her mind even if she was listening. I stopped and said, “Okay. I am praying for you.” At that moment I realized, I am now my dad and she is me.

~Nikki

Parenting with Anxiety and Depression

Let’s state the obvious: Parenting is difficult! Now let me state the other obvious: Parenting with anxiety and depression is an added challenge! It is difficult. When a parent has mental health challenges or a mental illness (these are two different things) it can create a stressful environment for the child. It can also lead to mental health issues for the child as they grow into adulthood. They can develop their own emotional and behavioral problems.

I have been well aware of my emotional issues and my mental health (anxiety and depression) before I had a proper diagnosis. I recall reading books and reading articles about childhood trauma and parents having mental illnesses before I became a parent. I recall movies with parents that were abusive or ill. Somehow, I say through God and some emotional intelligence, I knew that I had to separate my feelings from my words and actions. But, just like every parent, at times I failed. Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

Parenting through my depression when my daughter was younger was extremely challenging. She had to get to school no matter how I felt. She had to be bathed and dressed. I had to help with homework. I had to smile and be playful when I did not want to because of depression. I had to cook or I had to get up and go get something. Sometimes, we ate unhealthily a few days straight as a result because fast food was the solution and it was what was convenient near me. Overall, I cooked healthy meals (and I still do) so I don’t blame myself for the times my depression was so bad I made choices I wouldn’t normally make. For me, parenting through depression was more challenging during those elementary and middle school years. It got easier as she got older because I was able to explain to her what was going on with mommy. She was able to do much more for herself and for me. Yes. I needed help and I need help sometimes. However, this is not a responsibility I placed on my child. Moreso, mom needs help at times fixing meals or with the laundry or maybe she locks up the house at the end of the day instead of me. Perhaps, it was my turn to wash the dishes but, she gets them. I was careful not to “burden” my child. I also returned the favor in times when she too was going through things or playing sports and overloaded with homework. We were a team and when she is home from college, we are still a team.

I would say anxiety became a challenge with parenting when she reached an age, she could make her own choices that would have positive or negative consequences or impacts. The teenage years and now young adulthood. My anxiety has been through the roof at times with a side of depression here and there. It’s regular parenting concerns and woes with an exponent. The exponent could literally be from 2-20 depending on what is going on.

The team is changing again into this young adult game and I must say I am feeling all of the normal parenting stressors on top of my own mental health issues. As I continue to research and seek therapy, I know somehow, I will find my footing once again in this new phase of parenting. So far, the things I rely on are:

  1. Professional help such as therapy.
  2. I rely on my faith.
  3. I try to stay healthy in all areas of my life because this helps your mental and emotional “wits”. I mean if you are diabetic and your sugar level is too high or low it’s going to affect how you interact with anyone including your child.
  4. I research tips and read as much as I can about parenting at different phases.
  5. I ask for help and advice from proper (wise counsel, godly and spiritual source) people. I may ask my dad what does he thinks about the situation. I may seek out other people who have a parenting style like mine who’s gone through or going through the same phase. If you are going to do this, make sure you can trust the person.
  6. Vent. Journal it out. Woosah.
  7. Find joy in the little things and create more memorable moments with my child.
  8. Forgive myself over and over and make attempts to do better.

If you have mental health challenges or mental illnesses, it is important to understand how it affects parenting your children. It will help you to make the necessary changes and develop skills to get you through the already rough patches of parenting.

Rarely are their perfect parents. Most of our parents were not perfect and neither were/are we.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: 2022 and Relationships

2022 comes with UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and Repairing or Strengthening Relationships. Relationships of all kinds will play a vital role this year in your life. Pay attention to the lessons you learn. Some will shape you, push you forward, and change you for the better (no matter what it may seem like at the time). Just don’t let anything distract you from your dreams and goals this year. It may have been all about you the past few years but, this year it’s about you and others. Play well with others. Disconnect from some and love at a distance and “with the love of the Lord” with others.

Make people feel loved and appreciated. Encourage as many people as you can. Show up when you can. Make phone calls. Send a thank you text with some detail (Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to xyz). Let it be known that you value your employees, friends, family, coworkers, strangers. “I appreciate everything that you do for me. I am so glad to have you as my cousin.” Lend a hand and donate to charity. Cook a meal for someone. Send flowers or fresh fruit. (ACTION).

Oh…family dynamics. You must deal with it. Once and for all and get on with it. If they want to hold on to it let them. You let go and remember, love from a distance if need be. Move around it. On the flip, strengthen those family bonds that you do have. Quality time with loved ones and friends are in order.

You may think this one is a no brainer when it comes to your child or children but, put down the phone or tablet and LOOK at your children’s faces when they are talking to you and when you are talking to them. Maybe the pandemic has made being glued to screens worse. I don’t know but, I do know it is important to LOOK into the eyes of the ones you love, especially your children and give them your undivided attention. They need to be seen and heard. Especially, with the instability of navigating our world.

You will meet NEW PEOPLE IF you want to that can have an interest in what you are doing or that may have connections for you. This is why I say once again, pay attention to the people that cross your path. But also pay attention to the classes or opportunities that come your way this year. Maybe there is someone at that event or in that class you can make a meaningful connection with. Yes, these events can be online as well. God works in mysterious ZOOM ways, too. I’d highly recommend being INTENTIONAL about where you go and whom you spend your time with this year.

~Nikki

For the Love of Family

We don’t always get the relationships we wish we had with parents or siblings. If you can’t create those relationships due to issues that can’t be resolved, personalities, morality, mental and emotional issues/abuse you end up feeling like you’re missing a connection or deeper connection. You probably are. There are ways to make those connections with others or be that connection for someone else. Foster those connections between your children and with your children. And you can always be to yourself what you needed as a child. Nurture the child within.

~Nikki

Learning Your NEW Changing Role as Parents

“Don’t fix it. Fix it. Listen and don’t give advice. Give advice. Don’t tell me what to do. Wait, what should I do?” I am now the parent of a young adult in college. I thought I was doing well as I started the above when my teen was in the 10th grade but, apparently, I need to take a closer look at this very new, ever changing, college student. “You’re always giving advice and sometimes I just want you to listen. You’re always trying to fix it.” I was told.

And it’s true. My nature is to fix. I am the problem solver and the peacemaker. I am the bridge. I am the counselor. I am really good at just listening to others but, as a parent I listen with the intent to SOLVE and ADVISE and I now realize I need to listen with permission to advise or more importantly, ask if it’s not clear afterwards, “Are you just venting and need my listening ear?” And if so, I need to use words like, “I understand. Or wow, what do you think you should do? Or give it some time, you will figure it out.” One must refrain from their stories of what they did in those situations because you have been told, “they just want to vent or just need you to listen” and remember how you, too, need to just vent or just need a listening ear. You, too, don’t always want to hear someone’s story, need advice, or need it to be fixed. You just want to get it out of your head. TRUST your young adult to figure it out or come back to you for advice or, brace yourself, to find the solution from someone else.

Someone else? Yes. Now this is the time to talk to your young adult (or remind them) about making sure the resources they use are credible resources! This is for articles on google, influencers on YouTube need to be questioned and so does their sources, and to seek professional help (a teacher that teaches the subject or campus counselors). Perhaps, a pastor or even an older sibling or relative they trust. Yes. Your young adult may be able to talk to your brother or your sister about an issue and not you, the parent. My sister was my main source during my teen years and young adult years. She was much older than I was and had been through similar things in which my mom had not.

If you haven’t prepared yourself, you should prepare your mind to know that you will not always be the end all be all, the main source to your child. They grow up. In my belief system, they belong to the Creator ultimately and are not to be controlled but, are to be guided and eventually, left to sail their own ship. I don’t get to pick the ship, design the ship, and pick passengers or destination. I am just on call to assist and to check on. And you learn to enjoy that role. Keyword…learn.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Layers To Freedom

I’ve wrapped my head around the idea that I have more work to do on myself as far as releasing the painful past of childhood. What I did not know was that there were layers to freedom. I got this thought from my own spirit as I was in conversation, meditation, or prayer with God (whatever you choose to call it is fine with me). I was venting that I just want to be free to enjoy and live out my full potential from here on out. I vented “I thought I was free! Who knew that there were so many layers to freedom!!!” And it hit me, “layers to freedom.” Like and onion.

Onions are just fine sitting in the produce section piled up on top of each other. But once you get them home and peel back a layer, you open up the strong smell that creates watery eyes without your consent or control. And so it is, with opening up old wounds that have never healed. Layers and layers of years have gone by. Years and years of masking the uncomfortable that manifest in mood swings, meanness, sadness, arrogance, nonchalant-ness and irritability for no apparent reason. Layers of hurt, embarrassment, inadequate feelings, and shame concealed by one thin layer.

When you have experienced some sort of trauma or continued drama, the emancipation of your soul may take a very long time. I don’t know if it can be sped up. I think maybe it can and I am going to find out if that is true. All week long the spiritual things from my daily devotions to meditation and wisdom from spiritual leaders have centered around freedom. Coincidence? No. I am calling this freedom in and that is why it is showing up. Even in numbers.

Sandhguru said, “Freedom requires courage.” I listened to one of his talks this week. It does require courage and I have taken some courageous steps in peeling back the layers. But, this step, requires “a whole heap” (as my Granny would say) of courage. I feel like I have to muster it up. Get up the nerve. Face it. Deal with it. Defeat it. I feel as if this will be the last barrier to my own freedom. I am tired. I am weary. I am ready. So maybe the speeding up the process is to DEAL with it HEAD ON knowing it’s going to get messy, become tiring, and hurt. But…I need my freedom. I need to live my FULL, UNCHAINED LIFE. I am ready to peel back every layer, chop the onions up and use them to flavor my life. God is my help, my strength, my source, and I feel as if I have not only God, but angels, my angel, and my ancestors on my side. I need all the help I can get. I need all the love I can receive. I may need many shoulders to cry on. But victory…victory is mine.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Single Mom War Stories

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I can tell you first hand accounts of being young, with child, and single. I can tell you “war stories” from without and from within. It’s all in my book, Healing the Single Mother by Nicole Jackson. But, on this day, if you are a newly single mother of young children or teens, by way of divorce or NOT (I was not) I want you to know one day you will look back and realize, “This TOO HAS PASSED.”

All of your sleepless nights, tears (bottle up by the Creator), fears, mistakes, lessons, and heartaches/breaks, perhaps the lack of participation from the other parent, lack of respect from others, the statistics, will all pale in comparison to the child(ren) you are trying to raise into productive, respectful, law abiding, compassionate adults. One day, you will look at them in awe, in bewilderment, and wonder, “Who is this amazing person?”

If you are trying to instill morals and values into them be relentless at it. I hope you let them know it’s not okay to hate other people because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation or to mistreat people because of their occupation as the janitor or trash employee (which make a decent wage in some cities actually). Stress the importance of an education, higher learning, a trade, or being an entrepreneur. Talk to them about finances and good credit. Teach them how to learn from their mistakes and your mistakes. You know, you do make mistakes and it’s okay to let your children know that you are not perfect.

If you are doing something and it’s not working, it’s okay to try something different. What worked for us as children, or your parents, may not work for this generation. But what does work and will always work is spending quality time with your children without distractions. Game nights will always work. Listening to them, allowing them to express their feelings and thoughts always works. Discipline always works. Real life conversations will always work. Getting out in nature, the park, will always work. Loving them through the teenage years and hard knock lessons, will always work. Encouraging them, cheering them, correcting them, will always work. Saying no will always work even if they don’t like it or understand. Saying yes will always work. Being their perfectly, imperfect parent…will always work.

~Nikki

The Heart Epiphany Series: Part 1

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The Heart Epiphany by Nicole Jackson 

Love is in each one of us. You are love and you are loved by the Most High, the Creator, God, the Universe, angels, and ancestors. Yes. I said ancestors. You are a walking living breathing temple, sanctuary, goddess, and your heart is a sacred place. Of course, the temple needs maintenance. We should take care of ourselves. Spa days, manicures and pedicures, the beauty shop, deep tissue massages, and “me times” are wonderful. Traveling the globe, a girl’s night out, and going on shopping sprees are fun. We should be able to do these things without being attached to a mate or friend. This is self-care and self-care is a part of SELF LOVE. Self-care is more like the maintenance of the outward appearance. But SELF LOVE is the inward maintenance. Self-love is an inside job.  “Self-love is not simply a state of feeling good. It is a state of appreciation for oneself, that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.”-Psychology Today, Dr. Deborah Khoshaba.  And while self-care does make us feel good at the time that it is happening, SELF-LOVE can make us feel good about who we are as a person for a lifetime. “If self-care is a sparkler then self-love is an eternal flame.”-Nicole Jackson

~Nikki