For the next twelve days I will be sharing SOME of my many lessons and reflections from 2021. Without further delay, let’s jump right into it.
I don’t why I had to go through the agony and the turmoil to become a homeowner but, I did go through it. It was hell. I would have appreciated it even if was easy to get because of the things I went through in some of the rentals. Nevertheless, I am now a homeowner. I really had to dig deep into faith and it wasn’t an unfamiliar process because I’ve had to dig deep into my faith and stand firm in it many times. Here I sit victoriously typing this in my own home.
It’s important to have a strong mind. Some naturally have it and the rest of develop it through life’s experience. However, it happens, you really need a strong mind in this life.
It’s okay to take a day and feel whatever you are feeling to try to get through it. Understand it.
Some conversations and relationships must die. How long, how many years are you going to talk about it or deal with the person? Life is too long for rehashing the past at every holiday dinner, every time you see the person, or when you are in a bad mood because of a bad day. Or just because you THINK of it. And life is too long to drag a person through your whole life that obviously shouldn’t be in your life.
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.
It’s not so funny how you think that what you and another person have is solid but, it turns out to be quite fragile. What’s really going on here I asked myself (and God) until I received an answer. Make it make sense. The simple answer is you may have been way more invested in it, the friendship, relationship, partnership than they were. It may have been layered with somewhat equal exchanges but the EMOTIONAL investment for you was much greater. Therefore, you feel a bigger let down and may have difficulty “wrapping your head around” their ability to move on as if it was nothing. I’m not saying they didn’t care. I am saying it was just not as much as you did. The bond was only on your end and your “deep” connection was more than likely a one way thing.
Voluntary Transparency: This morning I had to deal with some FALSE GUILT. I didn’t know it was false guilt at first, I was just feeling really bad about it. But I thank God for the tools in my toolbox. Some put there before birth. Some put there by life experiences. Some put there by spirituality and religion. Some put there by education. Some put there by a therapist. Why do I feel so bad about this? It must be wrong because I feel so bad about it. Why do I feel so bad about it? Man, I don’t feel like doing this. I have to make myself do this. No, no, I am not. I cannot. Ugg. Just do it anyway. Why do I feel so guilty for not wanting to do this??? This is so negative. “It’s bad Nicole. You are not a good Christian if you keep doing this. People can’t believe you have a problem doing “that”! Shame on you!” This is the dialogue I have with myself. Take the clothes out. Put the clothes up. Take the clothes out, look at the clock, put the clothes back.
Why do I feel so guilty? Wait. WHY DO I? WHERE IS THIS COMING FROM? This morning I received a text to come to church to so that I could help. I ignored it because I did not want to tell the person I did not want to come. I really wanted to tell them to stop asking me because it is not a pleasurable experience for me when it comes to a certain part of the service. I literally must prepare myself to go mentally, and I often lament over it the night before and the hours before. Pushing and dragging myself. Sitting through that segment of service is torture for me so why did I feel so guilty this morning for not responding and not going?
I listened to a TedTalk about authenticity. That helped a little bit. Then I turned to affirming myself: “I am not going to HELL for not attending church. It is okay not to support something or someone that I don’t believe is right. I can still love them but, not support them in wrongdoing. It does not mean that I do not believe in God. It means I have a strong dislike and distaste for falsehood and fakeness. It is a part of me no matter what or who perpetuates hypocrisy. I don’t expect perfection, I do expect truthfulness, honesty, and one that is truly trying to live the life they portray.”
I was trying to resist the guilt. The bad feeling. Until I remembered to listen to it. To explore it. To sit with it. To really think about why I was feeling it. I needed the source or sources. Guilt is a negative emotion or sad emotion. I came across this video that really confirmed what I was trying to do.
Why do I feel so guilty? I feel guilting because people say you should support your love one NO MATTER WHAT. EVEN if they are WRONG.
Where is this guilt coming from? We are taught not to tell people that we love they are wrong. We give them a pass because of their roles in our lives and we suffer under their continuation of wrongdoing. Yet, as Christians, we have scripture and an obligation to tell the ones we love when they are wrong regardless of their roles in our lives. We the freedom to not support something that we don’t like or believe in.
Should I feel guilty? Did I do something wrong? I should not feel guilty for something I have not done, or for someone or something I cannot control. I am not responsible for the actions of others. This is FALSE GUILT. I have not done anything wrong by not supporting this person in that area of their lives as it will compromise staying true to who I am and my beliefs.
What is it that I really feel bad about? I feel bad that they don’t love themselves enough to be okay with who they really are. I feel sad that they don’t know who they are, and they have to put on this cloak of falsehood. I feel embarrassed that they do not know that people are talking about them and that people can see straight through them. I feel bad that they have some people fooled. It is okay to feel sorry for that person, feel bad for them, but to also go on with my day, life, mission, and journey. Their life is not my life and it is between them and the Creator.
It is one thing to feel bad or sorry about a situation or a person but, it is another thing to carry false guilt! It’s an unnecessary weight we place on ourselves. It is a spirit that comes to us because we’ve been told how to feel about certain situations and things. We’ve been taught not to be loyal to the world and others that don’t look or think or feel or serve the same God we serve but, we have been taught to close our eyes to leaders that are not true, to parents that are doing wrong, to older siblings and family members even when what they say and do harm us and others.
It is okay to draw a line and to stand by it. It is okay if you stand alone. We can still meet at the dinner table. We can still spend time together. We can still live, laugh, and be merry but when it comes to that line it is one, I cannot cross. I cannot compromise my authenticity, my moral compass, to support something or someone I believe is wrong.
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.
A few weeks ago I posted in a rheumatoid arthritis support group a tip on relaxation. One of the tips involved soaking in a tub to help relieve tension. And that is where the drama from the trauma began.
I define it as trauma because you must be experiencing some type of trauma that pushes you to release drama on unsuspecting strangers. Sadly, people that deal with you on a regular basis know you are about dramatization. They know that when they see you, you bring the drama. You see, in the comment section there were responses to my post like: I CANT SOAK IN THE TUB! HOW IS THAT RELAXING? I CAN GET IN BUT I CAN’T GET OUT. HUMPH, THAT IS SURE TO CREATE TENSION AND NOT RELAXATION. I AM TOO LARGE FOR A TUB. I HAVEN’T SAT IN A TUB FOR YEARS. NO WAY THIS CAN WORK. One lady even said to me I should have modified the post. I wanted to say, “Ma’am, I didn’t write the article. DUH. And you should have modified your thinking.” BUT…I respect my elders most of the time (because I don’t believe it’s okay to be 80 and say whatever you want to people). Also, the Spirit told me to be quiet. She’s traumatized by Rheumatoid and many other issues. This is her sadness, pain, hurt, gushing and lashing out.
Pause. When you see a post of something that you don’t like such as one that reads: “I love strawberries.” Do you hop on and respond: STRAWBERRIES ARE DISGUSTING. I HATE THEM. THEY ARE THE WORST FRUIT ON THE PLANET. CAN’T SEE HOW YOU EAT THOSE. Has it ever occurred to you, that post was not for you? I see people raving about things that are not for me. Unless I see a “what do you think?” I don’t bother UNLESS they are family or close friends. Many times, I don’t bother then. It’s one thing to say you don’t like berries or I am allergic but I wish I could eat them. It’s whole other thing to BASH and INSULT and have a total meltdown over nothing. A simple positive post or someone’s opinion over if they like pumpkin spice lattes (ugh).
Press play. I wonder did those people stop and think, I can do ALL of those other things except soak in the tub. Great article. No. They saw the ONE thing they couldn’t do and “went to town” about it. They didn’t think: “Gosh, I can follow all of these tips in the shower, in my shower chair, or however it is I get clean.” Nope. They honed in on what they could not do. The trauma of what I cannot do. The trauma of WHAT I USE TO be able to do.
This trauma is VERY real. I know about it. I live it and if you keep on living, as the elders say, you will know it, too, in some shape, form, or fashion. Sometimes, I think about my life B.R. (Before Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease) and B.F. (Before Fibromyalgia) and MY GOD! I miss ALL of the things I could do. Even the simplest things. Sometimes I stay in those memories a little too long and I become sadden, blue, depressed, compressed…oppressed. And then I have to free myself from those thoughts with therapy, journaling, talking to a friend, or…THINKING ABOUT ALL OF THE THINGS I CAN STILL DO and even if I have to modify them or have help they still can be done! “Glory to God!” in somebody’s southern church goer voice (:-D). You can heal yourself, or get some help, from the trauma of what has happened to you, whatever it is. The trauma produces the drama and quite frankly, people get tired of it. We know you are hurt but, there is a more EXCELLENT way to deal with it and release it. It’s called prayer, meditation, yoga, sound baths, therapy, Yeshua, Yaweh, spirituality, your choice of religion, forgiveness, etc. It’s called reading a books about it. Going to your temple, church, mosque, and REALLY walking in your religion. Developing a relationship with your Creator. SOMETHING! Something other than bringing the drama, spreading the hate and hurt. Lashing out has cause your relationships to be severed or strained.
What can you do? Huh? THINK ON THOSE THINGS. Think on the things you can do! Those things are TRUE, too. Those things are lovely. Those things “are” admirable. Those things “are” excellent and praiseworthy. Think about such things!
It’s hard work, but you know what? It’s the best, most rewarding, hard work you could ever do for yourself. It builds this amazing confidence and resilience. It builds this relationship with yourself that is not built on lies. It makes you better for those YOU love, those that love you and those who are yet to love you. It makes you choose peace over pain. It teaches you to be less judgmental and more mind your own business. It strengthens the law of attraction. It sets you up to receive the greater goodness of life. It teaches you to let others be as free as YOU want to be. It’s a dangerous thing to be religious without self-love. It’s a dangerous thing to be spiritual without self-love. You know why? It creates a self-righteous stench. Self-love can illuminate your path. It can make your journey so much clearer. It can make your purpose so much clearer. Self-love is dynamic; it grows through actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept our weaknesses and own our strengths. We have less of a need to explain away our shortcomings. We have more compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning. Self-love helps us to create a more centered life. But you must do the work that brings a gratification like no other.
Thank you for reading and following The Heart Epiphany Blog Post Series! This was my lecture at the first conference/gathering I hosted in March.
Self-love is setting boundaries and enforcing them. SETTING AND ENFORCING boundaries is hard work. Especially, when you love that person. Especially, when people don’t understand your journey or your vision. And let me just say this, they don’t have to, and you need to learn to be okay with that. Self-love and setting boundaries is hard work. You have to stand your spiritual ground.
Think about it for a minute. You define yourself as spiritual (insert your faith or belief or non-belief) but, deep down inside, you don’t like (or take issue with) certain groups of people. You don’t really like certain races. You may not HATE them or maybe secretly you do, once you clock out of your role as yogi, preacher, teacher, yoga instructor, therapist, reiki practitioner, massage therapists, etc. you are not doing your work with the right heart or mind. In the religious sector, YOU HAVE AN UNCLEAN HEART, THE WRONG SPIRIT (MIND, INTENTIONS) and the SPIRITUAL REALM, YOUR CHAKRAS ARE OUT OF ALIGNMENT, CLOUDY (HEART AND MIND/CROWN, THIRD EYE). So there is no way you are PRACTICING, SERVING, at your highest, purest, level.
Sit with that. Let that marinate. After you say, no not me. Think about it. Think about how you interact with other people that are different than you. Think about the things you say when a murder flashes across the evening news and it’s a different race than yours. What do you think and say out loud in your home when the people you dispense your gift to are not around. What about the conversations you have with your friends about other races? Even the small dismissive, subservient energy you give to servers at the Chinese restaurant or the Vietnamese workers at the nail shop. What about the eye rolls you give when Mexican children are being children in Target and acting out? What about the when you see a Black mom with 4 children at a store do you automatically assume she is single and the children have different fathers? Does that thought cross your mind ever when it’s a White woman at the grocery store with 4 kids? Surely, she must have a husband with a good job and she’s a stay at home mom. Kudos to her.
Even as a minority that practices some religion or spiritual gift. How do you feel, what do you say, how do you act towards those that white? When a cop takes off his or her uniform off and is ready for deep tissue massage what subtle energy is flowing through you? What run in, mistreatment, discrimination, wrong doing that you see, felt, have experienced first hand, are you projecting onto those standing in Mountain Pose as you look over your class, checking their form? When the white woman tries to interact with you after class, do you smile and give her the script, and say “I’ll let you know when we get together after class again”, but you say to yourself, “Nah. I know how “they” are.” As a minority speaking to a congregation, do impart only negative energy about a group of people? What stereotype do you speak to the people?
In short, we need to deal with these spots, wrinkles, blotches, remnants of dark energies, mountains size ignorance, present in our everyday walks of life and interaction with other people. I mean if you want to get CLEAR in your practice. If you want to reach a higher level of pure love and light. As my community says, “You need to check yourself.” You need to think about what you are thinking about when see or interact with other races. What did your parents, friends tell you that you assume to be true about ALL races? What type of thoughts (energies) rise up in you upon dealing with another race? Is it we know better than them? Poor African American or Asian? Is it automatically, “She is white. She thinks she knows my craft better than I do” when she gives you a tip or correction. These things ARE ENERGY that penetrate or float around your aura or being.
When you think it, ask yourself: WHY DID I THINK THAT? Correct yourself. Forgive yourself. Heal yourself.
When you feel it, ask yourself: WHY DO I FEEL THAT WAY ABOUT THIS PERSON IN FRONT OF ME? What interaction with someone else am I basing this on? Go within. Is it what you see on the news? Is it what you have experienced through out life? Forgive that person or at least recognize you haven’t that interaction with this person in front of you.
When you take an action towards another race based on the fact that they are not your race, ask yourself: Was that right to give them my money as if I didn’t want to touch their skin? Was it right for me to assume the Asian in my class understood better than the Mexican in my class? Why did I ask the White nurse after the Indian nurse told me my results? Why do I think this way? Why did I act this way? Correct your thinking. Correct your behavior. Forgive yourself. Heal Yourself.
Basically, get to the root of what you do, say, and think!
Whew. It’s work. You are spiritual. You are use to it.
“Create in me a clean heart, Oh Creator, and renew in me the right spirit.”-(Psalms 51:10a)
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the river of life” (Proverbs 4:23)
“The heart is the place where we live our passions. It is frail and easily broken, but wonderfully resilient. There is no point in trying to deceive the heart. It depends upon our honesty for its survival.” – Leo Buscaglia
“It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.” – Dalai Lama
“Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“In our deepest moments of struggle, frustration, fear, and confusion, we are being called upon to reach in and touch our hearts. Then, we will know what to do, what to say, how to be. What is right is always in our deepest heart of hearts. It is from the deepest part of our hearts that we are capable of reaching out and touching another human being. It is, after all, one heart touching another heart.” – Roberta Sage Hamilton
I want to talk to you about the DIRTY, GRITTY, PUT ON YOUR STEEL TOE BOOTS SIDE OF SELF LOVE. SURPRISE! SELF LOVE IS HARD WORK AND HEART WORK. It’s a mind heart body soul spirit connection.
Are you sure you want to REALLY, REALLY love yourself because if you do, you are going to have to REALLY, REALLY WORK.
Self-love requires CHANGE and CHANGE is HARD WORK. It’s easier to stay the same and say “What? This is just the way I am.” If the way you are is not a reflection of love or self-love is it really the way you are or just the way you have grown accustom to being and responding?… You might have to change circles. You may lose a few friends. And though you are loyal, it means nothing if you are loyal to people who don’t respect or value you or use you. If they are using your mind, they are using you. If they are using your heart and emotions, they are using you. If they are using your body, they are using you. Change is hard work. Self-love requires change.
“You’re not stuck. You’re just committed to certain patterns of behavior because they helped you in the past. Now those patterns have become more harmful than helpful. The reason why you can’t move forward is because you keep applying an old formula to a new level in your life. Change the formula to get a new result.” – Emily Maroutian