We must grow up in our thinking and reasoning. All through the Bible, God is constantly talking about our thoughts and our minds. Why? Because our thoughts determine our moods, our actions, and the words that come out of our mouth. Our thoughts determine how we deal with each other. In Philippians 2: 1-8, Paul says let this mind be in you. What mind is he talking about? The mind of CHRIST. He says to ALLOW this mind to be in you. Once again, we are faced with a choice. It’s our choice to change, it’s our choice to grow up in mentally and spiritually. It is our choice to allow the mind of Christ to be in us and to work through us. Purging out all of the negative thoughts. Purging out all of the pain we have been through so that we can become Better Women, instead of Bitter Women, and essentially becoming BETTER CHRISTIAN women.
If we are going to do anything in the body of Christ, if we are going to serve, if we are going to serve our purpose in life, if we are going to go to work and tell folks we are a Christian, we must actually do the work to become CHRIST LIKE. If you are determined not going to work in the body of Christ, not to participate in anything, then you especially, need the mind of Christ because Christ was all about doing the father’s business. In case you missed the memo, none of us are exempt from our Christian duties and responsibilities. There is plenty of work for you to do! The harvest is plenty, but the laborers are sleep in the bed and the pews. As women, saved women, sisters in Christ, it is high noon and high time we wake up and get to work!
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
Self-love is reflecting on your behavior and modifying it. This means you must think about why you did what you did, said what you said, and allow what you allow. You might have to get some help from a therapist to help you to help yourself. Yep. Self-love is hard work.
Self-love is loving the imperfect you. Believe it or not, you’re not perfect. You don’t and you won’t always get it right. It’s not always easy to forgive yourself. It’s not always easy to love yourself when you are not your best self. And it’s not so much that some of us want to be perfect, we just want to get it right. Don’t forget we are human, too. Give yourself unconditional love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Give it to others. Self-love is loving the imperfect you, while you are striving to be the best you.
“My errors give birth to my knowledge.” -Steps to Knowledge, Marshall Vian Summers
The other morning I was talking to a brother (friend of mine). He called to express his thoughts, feelings, and concern about the societal sickness of America and the World. In the conversation, he said something to me that was enlightening at the time and would become something I was suppose to add to my knowledge “kit”. He said, “You cannot have a conversation with emotions, but you can have a conversation with intellect.”
Three times between Thursday and Saturday, I tried to have a conversation with people that were emotional. As I am typing this, Spirit also made me aware that three times, I backed off and came to the recognition that I was dealing with an emotional person. Three times I became AWARE. Two times I had that hesitation to NOT respond just because I was invited via post or what I saw! I was getting ready to type that I failed, but no. THREE times I became aware and I learned. Practice makes mature. Practice makes growth. Whatever that person was feeling would dominate the conversation. It would be skewed to support their emotion. Backing off is seen as a weakness by the carnal, the fleshy, the ego, and a child like mentality. But knowing when to back off is WISDOM. It’s knowledge. It’s smart. It can save your life, energy, and time. And those are three things you can’t get back (You can get more of them, but that’s another blog).
Cost effective conversations is something I came up with after this happened to help me again Saturday. I need to ask myself is this conversation cost effective? Is it productive as it relates to my time, my energy, and my life? If they have their minds made up, why are we talking? If they are biased about the subject, have some ill will towards a group, why are we talking? If they are telling you from the jump, I am being petty, why engage? They are saying to you, “I am emotional and I am not willing to have a conversation based on intellect. I can’t even harness my emotions to have a conversation balanced with intellect.” This is a waste of my time, my life, my energy. I do not need to engage and if I can recognize this before I even get into a conversation, the better! If not, I at least need to be able to make a U-Turn before I get to far down the road.
What’s down that road? Frustration. Anger. Arguments over nothing that has to do with the main topic. You’ll never be heard or understood with a person that are in their feelings and out of their mind (lol! That was a good one!). You’ll never be heard or understood with a person who has already made up their mind and is not open to listening or understanding. This is where I call Shift into Reverse. Cars have a reverse for a reason and so do conversations. There is no weakness in backing off or up when you realize the road you are on is named Petty or Ignorance is Bliss. Sometimes you may notice a sign that says, Children at Play. Get out of there quickly!!!!
The knowledge that I present to you today has been brought to by my errors on this week. Wisdom will let you know, hence it was that hesitation for me, if there is an opportunity to talk, grow, learn or if you are headed nowhere fast.
And Note: You also can’t have a real productive conversation with someone that lacks the knowledge on a matter. Sometimes people don’t have the education or wisdom to have a conversation about certain things. I mean, I can’t talk to you about calculus or get to deep into a subject on global warming. I know I am limited in those areas. This is where you may hear me say or type: “Hmm. Tell me more.”
Self-love requires the excavation of your authentic self. Who were you before the pain? Before the heartbreak? Before the trauma and drama? Who were you before you were told what to do, what to think, what to be? What really makes you happy and brings you joy? Who were you before the events of life and your environment shaped you? Did you know you could shape and handcraft your own life? You are not bound by bad experiences. Ask the potter to shape you into the best you, the real you, the authentic you. Ask the “Universe” to reveal to you who you were. It may be painful sometimes remembering how happy, joyful, trusting, carefree, full of hope and dreams you use to be as a child or young adult but, it’s who you were before negative impacts. It’s hard coming back to life. You know why? The you, you think you are must die first. Self-love requires you to dig deep, knee deep, get dirty, and to excavate your authentic self. It’s messy. It’s hard work.
Note: When I read the book, Excavating Your Authentic Self, it was sad thinking about how I use to be as a child. I thought about playing outside on sunny days, laying in the backyard, coloring and painting, ice cream trips on Sunday evenings, and not knowing what was to come once I started school or once I realized the differences made between me and siblings, before I experienced being made fun of at school, etc. It was sad and it was scary to fast forward through some of the things that shaped me not for the good. But you do it to reveal to you who you truly are and how to bring that person back to this life equipped with experiences and wisdom.
Self-love is about being HONEST with yourself about yourself, and about others. You may have to admit that you are selfish, petty to the 10th power, maybe you do let people walk all over you, maybe you do think you are better than others, maybe you are lonely, maybe you do have insecurities. MAYBE they don’t love you or respect you. Maybe it is just about sex. Maybe you never wanted to be a physical therapist, nurse, warehouse worker and you really wanted to open a bakery. You may have to admit that you were wrong and that you hurt someone. The truth will set you free but only if you tell the truth to yourself and others. It is hard work.
~Nikki, from the Heart Epiphany Lecture March 2020