Guess What I Did?

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I got my hair cut. Gone. Chopped. It was the first week in January and it was a decision made over years. I like it and that’s what matters the most! I have to care for it and no one else. My hair wasn’t damaged, but I felt like I needed to start fresh. It was a burden trying to do my hair with Rheumatoid Arthritis and not having the funds to go to a salon regularly. So doing it myself was a task that many natural hair girls understand and it was a task on top of a task with my hands, arms, wrists, and fingers.

I am learning to maintain this style. It’s easier to wash and detangle. I still have to twist it, but it’s not too bad. I guess because the hair is shorter! People are so opinionated about what we do to our hair. I could never understand why so much fuss about my hair or our hair. How superficial we can be! How obnoxious and even discriminatory we can be as human beings. Over…hair! I often find people think you should fit into their culture or subscribe to their definition of beauty. It’s very closed minded to think your culture should set the standard for all of humanity and it’s beauty. It took me some time to love my hair. My natural hair growing out of my head. You know, like your natural hair growing out of your head. It’s mines. God gave it to me. It’s up to me what I do with it and not you.

~Nikki

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A Season of “At Ease”

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Leviticus 25:4 “But in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.”

Is it just time to be “at ease” about it all? Is it time to rest from your life’s work? Is it time to go a few weekends without movement, toiling, schedules, a to do list? I see many of us worrying about the same thing over and over. The same situations, the same people, when will we ever let them go? They are already gone from our grasp, but still are taking up residence in out heads and hearts. We have to be doing something or we are being lazy is how many of us were raised, what we were told, or what we saw. Change is inevitable and all things must come to an end we quote, but yet we prolong by holding on.

There’s a transition of the seasons. Just because it’s an official date for summer doesn’t mean summer comes on that day. However, summer doesn’t transition all of fall either. Are the leaves turning or have they turned in your life? Have the leaves fallen from the tree and are you still trying to get as much shade as you would from spring’s tree? Is it time to be “at ease” ? Straight backs and a stiff upper lip, chin up, tummy in, forward march or sit down? The parade is over. The war is over. The season is over. Take some time off or take off and never look back. At ease.

 

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Someone to Take Care of Me

 

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I am tired. I am worn. I am wounded and run ragged. It turns out that I am human. I know it. Does everyone else know it? It doesn’t seem like they notice I am burned out. Is it not obvious from the flame coming out of my ears? What about the way my body moves in the early mornings and late nights? Can they tell? Do they care?

It has been a very long two weeks. I’ve had very good days, but more bad days and a few very bad days. Yesterday evening was a very bad day. I have not had much time to myself and I am not sure that is what I need. Anxiety seems to pile up and heap on top of me at moments of financial decisions and the future of my well being and as my daughter’s graduation from high school slowly approaches. I worry about my mother who has obvious issues to me, but none to my siblings. I get angry about my father’s Parkinson’s Disease. I cannot sleep and when I do it’s not as restful so I take a sleep aide and I sleep too long (even with it spit four ways). I have not heard back from my therapist as I have missed an appointment. I call, I leave a message, and silence. I have been journaling nothing but frustrations.

Yesterday evening after an outing with my mother who is very high strung and nervous like, after taking my daughter to and from ACT prep, taking her to and picking her up from a birthday party, I was in very bad shape. I called my mother and told her I would not be at church tomorrow. I do not want to go anywhere, do anything. I am tired of everything. I told my daughter she could get the dishes. Fix her own breakfast in the morning, fix lunch and dinner for us. Also, said I wish I had someone to take care of me. What about me? Yes, unselfishly, what about me? Oh, the Lord will take care of you. I know that. Do you know that I am not talking about that? I would like to be taken care of and not because I having a melt down, but because we all want to be taken care of in times of trouble by another human being instead of always being that human being who does the “fixing” and taking care of.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Walking the Line Between Religion and Freedom

 

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I don’t own the rights to this photo but I wish I owned the rights to this guy in it.

 

Last night I went out with a friend to see Australia’s Thunder from Down Under. And this made me think, I am just kidding, I wasn’t thinking about much of anything at the show except how good looking those men were and how much fun I was having. I screamed the entire evening. Conversation and laughter, food and the flirts from the opposite sex, none of my same race, but thankfully of the human race (same race lol ) was quite refreshing. A bit bewildered as I was definitely rocking my natural zig zaggy coiled red hair. Not society’s definition of good hair or beautiful hair. I decided to post some photos and my whereabouts. Anyone who truly knows me, which are few, know I like to take walks on what I call the wild side. My wild side is pretty tame compared to most I suppose. I have no need to compare though others do. Shrugs.

So, I know that social media is a rumor mill, gossip train, for the small minded and the super religious. In my world, you don’t get to do too many things and still be called a Christian by Christians or by non-Christians. I find that amusing. I know there is a definition and in keeping with a Christ like spirit but, do we blot out and mute our own spirit until we are martyred? Solemn? Sad? Unhappy? Blank slate? Dull? Robots? Mindless Sheep? Then why give so many diverse personalities, life journeys, backgrounds…woosah.  I am 43. I have taken a few intentional journeys since turning 40. And the more I clear my own path I have no need to be called anything by anyone. I have no worries if I will be able to speak at a church, in a church, do work in a church, etc. and etc. The burden of “Oh, if you do that, you may mess up someone else’s walk or you could lead someone else down the wrong path” has been given a TRUE revelation to my eyes.

Hey, I like rules in relations to right and wrong. Do no harm. I don’t think all rules should bend to fit one person’s religion but, society as a whole.  I don’t like being confined. I don’t like being bound. I don’t like others defining me. I like to tell you who I am and what I am about. I think God knows me better than anyone and reveals myself to me throughout life. I am right on the edge of being completely free. I wasn’t happy at the larger nondenominational church I was at but, I was being fed good spiritual food for my soul at that time. I was called back into a time warp the last year to help my home church and I am there now. I am there to assist, plant seeds, serve in and the community, to grow more in patience, grace, and mercy and to eventually leave the church but, never to leave God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. It’s the only way I’ll be able to live a life of freedom without religious chains. I prefer worship in spirit and in truth.

~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: Single or Miserably Involved?

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The obvious choice is to be single but, if we are to be honest with ourselves we often prolong the inevitable way past a relationship’s expiration date or we delay ending dating/involvement with a person when alarming signs are glaringly red. Why? Is it fear? Is it that some of us are just as miserable alone with ourselves as we are in a relationship (whatever kind of situation-ship you have)? Is it that we are afraid to speak up or afraid to hurt/disappoint the other person? Ourselves? As in, we thought we had it right this time or we could handle it this time? I think all of those are reasons why and I am certain there are many more.

As you may or may not know, I like being as honest as possible about these things because I believe the only way to heal and connect to others is to be honest, not perfect. I was miserable alone at some point in my life as much as I was miserable in relationships because I had NOT understood what it was truly like to love myself and to know myself. I can tell you another time (or just read some of my blogs) about those journeys to get there. However, I have reached a point where being single is not misery but, it does have lonely times. And yet, I stutter, pause, waiver, my anxiety increases, on just when and where to say, “Hey, this is not working for me.” After thoroughly ruling out bull “stuff” reasons I finally arrived at the root of why I lose my nerve and voice with ending this potential fiasco: I don’t want to be the WEAK ONE and I don’t want to be WRONG.

It has nothing to do with being single but, everything to do with admitting to myself and Spirit all along that I was wrong…AGAIN. I KNEW I should have steered clear. And to the other person that seems to be handling our involvement so well, I don’t want to end such a seemingly good thing as being the weak one that couldn’t handle her “feelings.” This is when I realize I have more work to do. What’s wrong with having feelings? NOTHING. However, given the friends and associates I have had in my circle they have made me feel, along with past relationships that having feelings or not being able to handle MISTREATMENT or EMOTIONS was a WEAK thing. Yes, society, relationships, religion and friendships have done a number on us all. Including you. We associate how much you can take of mistreatment with how much you love a person and how STRONG you are. LIES. And I think from the abuser of emotions they tend to think “She or he must really love me because I am doing all of this stuff and they are still there! I guess someday I will stop to show them just how much I love them, too.” Twisted thinking.

So, as I put my BIG GIRL PANTIES on and say, “Hey, I think we should just be cool. This is not working for me” and watch him sail on to the next “all willy nilly” and carefree, I will also be carefree and “all willy nilly” in my emotions again. It’s better than being ignored, dealing with inconsistency, and immaturity in this case.

~Nikki

 

 

 

 

Five Things About 42 Before 43

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  1. It was legendary because I stretched out my faith, moved beyond my fears, and took leaps
  2. Some wounds by those closest to you can change the dynamics of the relationship forever even after you have forgiven them
  3. Not my circus. Not my monkey. Liberation.
  4. I don’t need anyone to sign off on my relationship with God. No one gets to decide if I am a REAL CHRISTIAN. Liberation
  5. I don’t need to be believed or understood. I don’t need to explain. I am who I am. I be who I be. Liberation.

~Nikki

My 42 Journey was about Liberation and Legendary Actions