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 Lessons of 2022 Lesson #8: Fall Out of Love

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A letter to myself.

Dear Nicole,

Please hurry up and fall out of love with things and people that do not love you like you need to be loved. When I say things, I mean habits and ideas or ideals that no longer serve you. And especially, the ones that never served you in the first place. These things are holding up your progression. When I say people, I mean friendships and relationships. Fall out of love with the need to belong to a huge group of “girlfriends”. Please hurry up and fall out of love with that deep down inside longing to be accepted by your religious peers. It’s your need for acceptance stemming from childhood that keeps you bound. You oblige yourself to people that do not want you or really like you. AND you know it because you FEEL it.

It may be easier to say never fall in love with someone who doesn’t love you but, you may be the one that develops feelings first and the other person does a little later. But once you realize that the love is not there or doesn’t reciprocate in the manner designed for you, fall out of love with that person. Walk your feelings back. Pull back and pull off. As a friend once told you, “Put your heart in your pocket and not on your sleeve.” It is okay to and necessary for your growth and progression to fall out of love with things and people that do not love you. You can operate in a love for mankind for those people. A “Godly” love.

With Unconditional Love,

~Nicole

P.S. You cannot make deep connections where there are puddles in people. -Nicole Jackson

My Top Lessons of 2022 Lesson #7: Knowing is Half the Battle

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“All things are already in divine order.” – The Sacred Yes, Deborah L Johnson

As a child, I watched the cartoon G.I. Joe and at the end of the show he would always say, “Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.” There will be times when you are going through something extremely challenging and difficult. It can be dark. It can be so dark you can’t see your hand in front of you. It can be so dark; you can’t see or find your way out. It can seem like you are going to be stuck in this state forever.

G. I. Joe would review the episode, point out significant things, and tell you the lesson of the episode. This is how he poured knowledge into you so that you may have it in battle. You can have a one up, a two or three up, just by KNOWING some things and bringing those things into remembrance. In my religion, the Book of Isaiah 43:26a says, “Put Me in remembrance”. It has been suggested that when you can’t remind yourself of the truth, facts, affirmations, knowledge, you can ask the Holy Spirit to put you in remembrance of what is true or what you know. Basically, you ask for a reminder from a Higher Power.

I experienced more anxiety and more depression, with greater intensity this year than I can recall. In some of those times, I did not remember the truth about my situation or my feelings. I was overcome with those two things that the Spirit whispered, sleep. Sleep was my affirmation. It was my scripture. It was my escape. It was my knowledge.

However, for the times I was aware of the battle I was in, I sought the Lord. Some may think this is about Christianity and the Bible. You are partially correct. However, to seek what is Lord or who is Lord is to seek something or someone that can give you something to assist you in battle. No matter what your battle is. To seek the Lord is to seek answers. You want to get an understanding. You need some knowledge. You need some wisdom in battle. You need to remember so that you can know!

I sought through prayer. I sought by reading. I sought by searching affirmations and meditations for what I was going through. I searched Google and YouTube for CREDITABLE sources to find out more about fears and phobias, anxiety and depression. One very significant thing that has helped me this year when I question, “Why am I or must I go through or deal with this is something that came from the book, The Sacred Yes; “All things are already in divine order.” “When you exercise your faith, you UNDERSTAND and ACCEPT that all things are already in divine order.” What I am going through is in divine order helped me to HOLD ON because I KNOW if it’s in divine order it’s going to work out for my good. If it’s in divine order, I must learn from it. If it’s in divine order, I can’t control it but, I can control my response to it. KNOWING THIS WAS HALF THE BATTLE.

Choosing (making a decision) to have faith, to pray is a POWER MOVE that will produce POWERFUL results in your life. -Nicole Jackson

~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

Affirmations for Courage to Heal Trauma

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I am couragious

I call forth my strength

I am ready

I move forward in faith

I trust my Higher Power

I trust myself

I believe in my ability to heal

I make choices that represent my healing

I breathe

I speak positive things about myself to myself

I feed my mind healthy information

I cry when I feel the need to because crying helps me to release toxins in my body from negativity

Crying has nothing to with strength

I am okay

I take time to take care of myself during this process of healing

I seek professional help if necessary

I seek books that help my healing

I listen to those who can help my healing

I am patient with myself on this journey

I show compassion towards myself on this journey

I forgive myself

I am forgiven

I am deeply loved by the Creator

God cares about me and is here to help me heal

~Nikki

28 Days of The Self Love Project: Day 28 Knock, Knock Housekeeping!

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Protect your peace.

Erase (get rid of) toxicity.

Cleanse your space.

Cultivate love.

Protecting your peace helps to maintain self-love. You want to keep a peaceful environment as much as you can wherever you are. Yes, at home and at work. You want peaceful relationships as much as possible. Having peace in your life helps maintain self-love.

Get rid of anything and one that is toxic. I know the word is overused these days but, if it’s not good for you and to you, you don’t need it. This could be hoarding in your home. This could be a bad habit. This could the obvious, such as friendships and family-ships. Can you get rid of family? Probably not. But you can keep your distance and set those boundaries we talked about.

Cleanse your space. Clean up. Clean up your space at home and your office or desk space.

Cultivate love wherever you are. Cultivate a loving environment at home. Take love with you to work and to the grocery store. Be compassionate and kind to those you come into contact with. Be patient.

1 Corinthians 13:4–8a (ESV) Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

~Nikki

28 Days of The Self Love Project: Day 25 Save Yourself

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You need your own love to save your heart. -Rithvik Singh

You know that feeling you have when you are in love? That is the kind of love you need for yourself. That’s it. That’s the blog post.

~Nikki

28 Days of The Self Love Project: Day 24 Perfection is NOT The Goal

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You were born to be real, not to be perfect. -Unknown

The process of deepening the roots of self-love will not require you to be perfect. It will require you to be real. As the quote expresses, you were born to be real. Real means you are just as human as you are divine. In your human form you will always make mistakes. We have discussed forgiving yourself on this self-love journey. You’re going to need to do that often because there will be trial and error. Sometimes you will come out on top and sometimes you will not but, each time you will learn and grow. To learn and to grow is the VICTORY!

So, remember, you are real. Not perfect. No pressure.

~Nikki