The Cleaning Agents Truth and Honesty: Inner Work

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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.

~Nikki

Know the Signs: Inner Work

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At its core, inner work is the process of getting to know yourself. It’s a form of introspective self-care where you can help yourself let go of harmful attachments, habits, people, and thoughts. -brainmd.com

The most important relationship you can have is the one you have with yourself. It determines how you treat yourself, how you treat others, and how you allow others to treat you. I did some research and along with my personal experience, came up with some signs you may need to work on yourself. I’ll say after reading some of this I can tell you that WE ALL probably need to do some inner work.

Inner work can be scary and daunting because it requires you to take an honest look at yourself. When was the last time you were honest with yourself about yourself and NOT blamed others or came up with excuses for your behavior or thoughts? You can’t control others but you can learn to control your responses. And even after you become aware or honest, what do you do about it? Shrug your shoulders? Apologize over and over and secretly say to yourself, “Why do I keep doing that?” Maybe it’s not your behavior that’s an indication that you need help or to work on yourself. Maybe it’s your obsessive worrying that is anxiety. Maybe it’s your mood swings you can’t explain but expect everyone around you to just deal with it or get used to it.

  • You think negatively or have a negative view about yourself/other people, gender, cultures, etc
  • You suffer from anxiety and depression
  • You’ve had a traumatic change in your health
  • You’re going through or have been through a rough patch in your life
  • Your childhood was not the best and deep down you suspect it has impacted your thinking. other relationships and your behavior
  • You don’t treat yourself with respect and/or you don’t treat others with respect
  • You are in an unhealthy relationship
  • You allow people to take advantage of you
  • You have unreasonable expectations of yourself and others
  • You are unhappy with your life
  • You are a habitual giver and you give more than you can afford or have to give. This includes time.
  • There is a persistent feeling of emptiness, unfulfillment, or failure
  • You have anger issues

These are just a few examples. Have you ever read a book, talked to a spiritual leader, or therapist because you knew you needed to do some inner work? If you don’t mind sharing, what were some of your signs?

~Nikki

Unauthorized Sacrifice: Inner Work

*sadness*

I was going to post about something else but this has been on my mind as so many people struggle with sacrificing themselves for things or people they were never called to sacrifice for. They seem to be sacrificing their happiness, their joy, their lives, their freedom, and destiny for things that depreciate quickly and for people whom obviously do not deserve the sacrifices.

I see how this self-sacrifice is related to Inner Work. Some are making sacrifices and are YET unaware they are not getting anything or much in return. They have not discovered what the empty feeling on the inside means. They have not experienced frustration. Oh, but when they come into awareness of the unbalance, they will face a choice. A choice to stop it or to continue doing the same things hoping for different results.

Others self-sacrifice because it’s something they have done their entire lives. Putting other people’s wants and needs ahead of their own. It may have started in childhood by putting parents’ wants and desires ahead to please them. Yet, unhappy in the family business or as a doctor. Maybe it started when they became a parent and now it flows into the role of husband or wife. It flows into the job. Making sacrifices and even volunteering to stay over so much people expect it of you. “But you always stay over. You always change shifts with me.” The moment you can’t, it’s a problem and you’re being selfish. I know you may have heard that before. Things like, you’re a wife now or husband now and you must sacrifice your happiness, needs, wants, dreams, and desires. It’s the “godly” thing to do. The honorable thing. All the while you are miserable as hell. And Hell is pretty miserable.

Then there is the one that “saves the day”. You’ve been saving the day since you were young. Maybe you were the older sibling or the most dependable one. You drop what you are doing to “save the day”. You had something planned but dare not tell your mom or pops you will have to take them tomorrow if it’s not urgent. You must save the day. You’re the good one. Everyone wants to borrow money from you. You stay in relationships you know you should have been left but, you can’t let the other person down even if they are letting you down. You need to be the hero because you need validation that you are worthy of their love. You need to be needed even if it makes you sad.

Unauthorized sacrifices can wear you down, out, and take you out of this realm. It can have you living outwardly or secretly a life of misery. We do have to make some authorized sacrifices in life. Most sacrifices are not pleasant. However, I want you to think of this scripture from the Bible, “Obedience in greater than sacrifice.” If you obey, you don’t need to sacrifice. King Saul of Israel disobeyed God’s command. He thought that by altering God’s command, he somehow developed a better solution than what God had outlined. This is the context for the statement “obedience is better than sacrifice” spoken by the Prophet Samuel.

If you obey the soul, the Spirit, God, your spirit, your gut feeling then you would not have to make unauthorized sacrifices. I have sacrificed for people and they have been ungrateful and in return I would get angry. God never told me to do those things. I was conditioned to do those things trying to get something that was not there. Or trying to look like the best employee to receive the position or trying to “save the day” and make everyone happy at the expense of my own happiness. I don’t believe God has called us to this type of sacrificing. There is no way you can convince me that a loving God would call you to a life of unhappiness by the way of unauthorized and habitual self-sacrifice. Be obedient to the soft spoken, “Stop. Leave. Do not say yes. It’s okay to lose this friendship. It’s okay to back out of this relationship. You’ve sacrificed for your children. Now go and do you.” Be obedient to the “something” saying to you, “You need therapy. You need to listen to your quiet inner voice. You need to listen to how your body feels when you agree to these things. The anger. The sadness. The loneliness.” I mean if God didn’t join (or there is no divine connection) the relationship, marriage, friendship, or job then you don’t have to remain when it’s time to depart. Everything has a season, a reason, a lesson, and a lifetime. Locate yourself in these unauthorized sacrifices.

~Nikki

My Top 12 Lessons of 2022 Lesson 11: Some People Like You But, They Don’t Like You

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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

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: What’s The Rush?

As I was reflecting on this year and preparing for next year (writing dreams and goals), I started to feel like I needed to hurry up and get things written or done. The feeling of anxiety creeps in when I feel pressure sometimes. I don’t know why I felt like I needed to rush to get things done before the new year until I asked myself and answered myself. It’s the same energy in which people try to accomplish all of their New Year’s resolutions in the first three months of the year. Often, without a game plan and strategy. It’s the energy of “refresh” and change or the opportunity that excites us.

However, it was Spirit who said gently to me, “You don’t have to rush. It’s still winter in January, February, and March. Move with the seasons.” Ease into the New Year. You have time. Winter is still “still” and a time of recharging. We don’t have to hit the ground running January 1st. In fact, it’s best you don’t because you will burn out by Spring and Spring is where everything is coming to life. It takes energy to “come to life”. If you pace yourself, you’ll have energy. If you recharge by refreshing, taking your time, planning, doing a little here and there, you will conserve energy. When everyone else is no longer going to the gym, you’ll be hitting your stride. When everyone has given up on their long list, you’ll be marking things off and on to the next.

You don’t have to do it all. You don’t have to rush. Stay in the season.

~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: Losing My Religion

Losing My Religion is a song by this rock/alternative group, R.E.M and the title of this song is the best way to describe how I felt last Sunday. I was annoyed, irritated about the circumstances at my home church and it felt like a pile up of emotions crashing down and around me. I felt a sinking feeling. I felt literally nauseous in my spirit. Sickening. All of this gave me a panicking feeling as I headed home from service.

I had never felt this intensity of what I felt. I felt like giving up on God. (I know the super-saints or super religious could never relate). I felt like giving up on my religion. I searched for something that explained how I was feeling. It wasn’t until the next day, and I was still feeling unsettled, that I heard a message from one of my favorite pastors that somewhat made sense of what I was feeling. Somewhat.

It wouldn’t be until yesterday morning it came to me. “Let nothing separate you from the love of God.” Don’t let the actions, a person, a situation separate you from the love of God. Don’t get so caught up in things you can’t control, people you can’t control, you become so agitated, frustrated, and angry that you give up on God. This made me see that I had become so engrossed with the “wrongness”, with the grotesque situation, I was becoming ill. I was also losing site of WHO was in control of the situation and that person IS NOT ME. I cannot control people. However, I can let my voice be heard. And there will be a time for that.

You’ll be happy to know that I am okay now and I decided to “Keep My Religion” (HA! THE REMIX). It’s my choice. It’s my freedom. I respect others choices and freedoms because it’s only right to do so.

~Nikki

Mental Health: What Helps Me

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One of the major keys to dealing with anxiety and depression is to get ahold of it before it spirals out of control. But exactly how is that done? Also, having a plan for when it does spiral out of control is necessary to expedite your recovery to mental and emotional stability. Therapy, scriptures, and affirmations are three major tools that have helped me. Also, having someone you trust when you can’t talk to your therapist and having a SOURCE, which I call God/Creator/Divine/Source when you have no one to talk to is major. For me, Source is always available but, I know there are things I can do on my own to help myself. And this is encouraged by Source.

I think you should really get to know who you are and how things affect you. The only way to do that is to be totally honest with yourself. I am sensitive as I found most creative people are. It allows us to channel our emotions into what we are creating. I have a tendency to take things more personally, overthink, and overanalyze. I have learned how to back out of those things and become an observer for the most part. I also know that it takes me time to move past things. Over the years it has become easier to move past things. I think that comes with wisdom and not age.

Here are some of the things I do to help me to get ahold of anxiety and depression:

I acknowledge what I am feeling and then I ask myself why I am feeling it. What happened? Who said it? Consider the source from which it came from and are they credible? No one is more credible than God for me. If it’s coming from a person I don’t know, a person that is negative, a person that doesn’t like me, why would I feed into their opinion? Exactly. Unless, deep down inside I feel that way about myself and I am honest if I do! If they say, “You are ugly” and lately I have been ripping myself apart I’m going to feel bad. BUT YOU have the power to change what you feel by changing what you think and speak.

I use affirmations for anxiety and depression. If I feel afraid to sleep, I say to myself over and over, I am safe in my body. I am safe in my home.

I use scripture pertaining to whatever I am feeling or scriptures to contrary. If I feel weak, I say I am strong. If I feel afraid, I say God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and love.

I pray.

I say, “Oh. I am feeling some anxiety today. I can fold my clothes. I can do some work as I work through this. I can do some exercise.”

If I have persistent thoughts or episodes, I make an appointment with my therapist (currently searching for a new one).

I talk to a friend I trust.

I cry. Crying is a release.

I pamper myself. I take hot showers. I oil and lotion up. I give myself a pedi/mani or go get one. I soak in a lavender Epsom salt and pink Himalayan salt mix. I schedule a massage session.

I go to my bathroom and read my yearly marching orders or my affirmations to reset my brain.

Now, what about when anxiety is CODE RED or depression is CODE BLUE!

My plan is to shut things down for a day or two this can include social media and putting phone calls on hold.

I call my therapist.

I rely on all the things above.

I immerse myself in Netflix, a blanket, and the couch.

I allow myself to sleep.

I lose myself in a hobby.

BUT the maximum I give myself is TWO DAYS and then I MUST come out of it. Anything longer than that can set me up for darker and deeper holes that are difficult and require help to come out of. I come out of it by pushing, forcing, and dragging myself to get back to a routine. A little at a time. And during this time, I make sure personal hygiene stays on top. If you don’t wash your face, brush your teeth, change clothes, shower, YOU WILL FEEL EVEN MORE LIKE CRAP. People tend to let themselves go in bouts of anxiety and deep dark times of depression.

During this time, I stay hydrated. I do allow myself some treats but I also make sure I eat as healthily as possible. Too much sugar or salt will make you feel worse. I add one of those packs of Vitamin C to my water. I sit on the porch. I go for a walk. I do 10 minutes of yoga if I don’t feel like doing 30. I do tai chi because it is slow movement. I may just stretch every two hours.

I hope this helps someone. Recently in Memphis, this week, we went through so many tragedies many of us are feeling things we can’t explain and some of us know exactly what we are feeling.

~Nikki

The Heart Needs More Time

The heart needs time to heal. My heart needs more time. How can it heal when people that are close to you leave this earthly realm too close together? I got the news this morning that a very dear friend of mine had left this earthly realm. It had been several days of waiting.

I woke up at 5 am and I got up to start my day earlier than usual. I meditated. Then I started to work on a project and remembered I had not prayed. I started to pray around 5:45 maybe 6 something and I thought of my friend. I almost said, “Lord, let your will be done” but then I stopped at “Lord, let your…”. I couldn’t say it and I told God why. I told God that I was afraid to say it because God’s will may not be my will or her will. I told God that I don’t know what her will is. I don’t know if she is fighting to stay or fighting to leave. So, I just said to God, “Lord, you know.”

Later, at about 9:45 her cousin called to tell she had passed this morning. And all-day yesterday memories flooded my mind. It was a bit overwhelming. My day was saddened and bumpy. I laughed at many of the memories. Oh, the trouble and situations we got in!

I did work on some projects. I did exercise. I had leftovers, lemon pie, currently binge watching Chicago PD, surfing the web, and I will play a game on the computer later after I finish this post. I know I will need a sedative for the night. Then I thought about my brother that passed away. My god mother that passed away. Another classmate and husband of another dear friend passed away. I said aloud, “When does the heart have time to heal? When things like this are back-to-back and all of trouble in the world? My heart needs time to heal.”

~Nikki

I Was Going to…

Sculpture from Musee du Quai Branly Jacques Chirac in Paris, France. Photo by Nicole Jackson

I was going to write this whole blog post about gospel artist Kim Burrell, the Kim Burrells of the Church (The Mean Girls or the people allowed to do and say whatever and remain in power and position), and the spin off topics that were made. Questions such as should the church be held to a higher standard? And why can’t people with church hurt find another church and/or just get over it?

I am still going to write my opinions, my thoughts, and my observations. But I had to stop, breathe and make sure I wasn’t writing from a place of bitterness. I needed to condense my thoughts and not rant. I needed to organize my thoughts and make them cohesive.

You see, sometimes we fly off the handle. It’s pure emotion and our thoughts are all over the place. WE that are responsible with our words must be more responsible with our words. It wasn’t me that halted my hitting the publish button, it was God. It was Spirit saying, “Don’t do it. Don’t put that out there like that. Don’t do it. Hold off. Hold back. Don’t do it.” So, I trashed it until I could come up with a better way to express my thoughts clearly. That will be Sunday’s post.

I hope you enjoy your weekend. I have unplugged from some social media spaces for the weekend. WordPress is not one of them. I plan to reset and get ready for the rest of the things I am to do by the end of summer.

~Nikki