The Danger With Pretending Everything Is Okay

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The problem with pretending everything is okay when it’s “not” okay is you begin to accept behavior that is not okay. Once you begin to accept behavior that is not okay, you begin to NORMALIZE this bad behavior and mistreatment. You know what is worse? Anything that points to you having to confront or deal with REALITY sends you into retreat or lies to protect that which you don’t want to disturb. You make excuses. You don’t want to deal with the elephant that once was simply in the room, but is now on top of your head or chest. You are cracking up on the inside. You are miserable as hell. You will have a nervous breakdown, a heart attack,  before you deal with the elephants. Yes. With an “s” because an elephant not dealt with becomes a heard.

~Nikki

 

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

Prepared To Be Myself

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Prepared to be myself and only myself. I have done the ground work in the previous years and now I am building upwards. Who I thought I was, I was not ( I discovered this when I turned 26 and had my daughter. But, that was all I did. A shocking truth, but it would take another 10  plus years to ACT upon that revelation). And that is the case for most of us living in this world. We really believe we are who we are. But, I am here to tell you unless you have taken a real journey within yourself you may be surprised to find out you are not who you think you are. You’re more than likely a product of what you have been taught and what life has shaped you to be. I am not saying all of that is bad, but I am not saying all of it is good either. How about it can be neither bad or good? It just “is”. You can take the journey by force or by choice. And even by force you still have a choice not to examine yourself and the situation. There is much more to you than you know. Much more authentic power. Much more than a body. Much more than a religion or not.

Question your actions, examine your choices in life, and ask what was my part in this situation? If you did that and answered yourself honestly, you may not like who you are  or you may discover something wonderful. It takes work to discover who you really are and for me it took Divine guidance from the one I call God or Creator. I am talking about REAL HARD WORK. UGLY, DIRTY WORK. GROUND BREAKING AND HEART BREAKING WORK. BEAUTIFUL and AWE INSPIRING WORK. HEALING AND REVEALING, REFLECTIVE WORK. STILL WORKING. It takes faith, courage, and strength. It’s why some don’t like me and why others don’t know what to think about me. HA! Prepared to be called not a real Christian by my peers and prepared to be welcomed into a circle by those who “get me.” Michelle Obama said in her book, Becoming, “You have to learn to live with the doubters. The great ones always do.”  (Something like that).

But let’s talk about this pretense. The ability to walk into a room without pretense means you are not pretending to me something or someone you are not. You are the same in the room as you were in your car, on the job, at home. You are not trying to impress anyone by being something or someone that you are not. The best impressions are made by being yourself. If not, you will have to be that other person each time you are around that group and it is exhausting. I’ll never forget the day in recent years I thought I knew someone and was developing a good friendship with them and was shocked to see another side of them once we were in close quarters with another group. I expected the bitchy behavior from the others, but not that one. I was more disappointed and honestly hurt. I got over it. If I don’t know who you are, I just don’t deal with you because I don’t have time to figure it out. So, be who you really are. If you are not a “mean girl” don’t become one in front of other women who are. If you are not a gossiper, then don’t become one in front of others. If you are any of those things, seek help soon. (hahaha).

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From the movie “Analyze That” 

I am prepared. Even with fear, anxiety, or what ever emotion moves through me, I am prepared to be me. Unapologetically, nice. Kind. Emotional. Sensitive. Chill. Weird. Artsy. Nerdy. Sexy. Spiritual. Open. Closed. Reserved. Wild. Quiet. And more. Dispensing those sides of me however and whenever I feel comfortable or necessary. I think that harmony with one’s own spirit is a merger that is sometimes out of focus. I hope to become completely in harmony with my spirit. I use to think that meant being a certain way all the time. It doesn’t. It fluctuates sometimes as you learn and are presented with situations to grow. And that, too, is okay. You can always come back to the core of who you REALLY are. You can always refocus or re-center and ground yourself.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: “IT”

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I had every intention of going to church this morning. Sunday School included. But, it’s not happening. I am not afraid to say I think it’s mental, emotional, and physical fatigue. Waking up to hip pain didn’t help but really it wasn’t a factor. I think it’s depression, I think it’s the blues, I think it’s boredom. I think it’s been a long time coming because I have seen it before. The snowball of EVERYTHING and here is the strange thing, I still feel the Christmas spirit in the midst. It just so happens that the past few months have caught up with me…I think. I guess. One day isn’t going to fix it. And the truth be told, for the first time ever, unrelated to being single during this time, I can’t wait until the holidays are over. There. I said it. But…I don’t even know if it’s holiday related or if the holidays have exasperated it. This “it.”

I know I am not the only one. Many get like this. It’s just too much of everything and it could be seasonal or it could be totally unrelated. So, what will I do today to get through it. I think I shouldn’t try so hard, push so hard to get through it. I think I should just ease through it. I am getting that this is not the time to barrel through. I feel in my own spirit that this is a delicate time. It’s going to require some honesty about some monumental things in my life that people may not be able to handle, but I can’t die spiritually to make others happy.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: A Forced Smile

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Unicorns & Coffee 11/18/2018

Yesterday I enjoyed a beautiful wedding ceremony of my nephew and his girlfriend officiated by his father (my brother). Everything was simply was beautiful. I love short and sweet ceremonies and that is exactly what it was. However, as my heart was happy to be there, something occurred the 15-20 minute ride that changed my mood completely. Even though I fought to keep my mood high all the way to the bitter end, the bitter person won that round. I had to sit in the car to get myself together and force a smile.

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I looked at the selfie I took and thought about a forced smile. There I am decked in costume jewelry, fabulous sparkly heels, and a fur trimmed wrapped and reeling with anger at the person sitting a few seats down that acts as if they have done nothing wrong. As the ceremony proceeded I was happy to see my nephews come down the aisle and to see many of my family members I don’t get to see often. For those few moments of socializing, my mood and heart was lifted. But then it was time to get back in the car with the person and their behavior persisted. When they said they wanted to go out for dinner, my heart sank. I would have to spend more time with craziness. I sat there the whole time trying to remain silent or indulge in small talk with others at the table. I tried to laugh with others.

When I finally did drop off the person, I thought I may find some peace. But no, another person in the car continued the criticism and we had words. For the first time since a time I can’t even remember, I had to go for a ride in my car alone. This for me means I reached my limit in composure and before I do or say anything I regret, I need distance. I need to get in my car and say everything that I REALLY wish I could say, but if I did it would DAMAGE the person in such a way it may not be reparable. In my car ride, I can say what I truly want to say and say what I truly want to do. In the car ride, there is no judgement. There are no interruptions or no one telling me what “Thus said the Lord” except the Lord and the Lord (God, The Creator, The Divine ) is just there being a sounding board. Allowing me to “get it all out, let it all out” profanity included. There is no ZEN, no YOGA, no MEDITATION, no 10 deep breaths needed. There is the beating of the steering wheel, the tossing of a sweater, the throwing of a purse (in which I will have to pick up the contents later). Yes, the DO GOODER, the GOODY TWO SHOES. the PREACHER’S DAUGHTER (titles in which people assign to you with obligations, morals, and rules they make up basically assigning you to perfection) is a real human being just like you. Yes, she has anger issues that she has mastered on many levels but also reaches a boiling point. She also believe that anger should be acknowledge and all that comes with it. It should be understood as perfectly normal and not to be stuffed down into the fibers of your being.

I don’t like it when I have to force a smile. I don’t always like it when I have to restrain myself. But in the course of the night, in my bed, searching that app for a meditation or talk that would help me to settle down, I discovered a talk that should be a TEDTALK about anger. It blew my mind! And I have decided to do a series of blogs on it. Can’t wait to share.

~Nikki

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: I Rise with Power

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I am grateful for another morning. I rise with power (after coffee lol but really I rise with power before coffee). Power to do right. Power to love right. Power to get wealth. Power to be my authentic self in a world that wants me to “do me” but not unless I do me like them? Power to be soft and bold. Good Morning. Don’t know where all of that came from but I flowed with it.

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Flawed Diamonds Do Shine

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My Coffee Mug, Crochet Hook, Yarn

Flawed Diamonds Do Shine by Nicole Jackson 7/27/18

Flawed diamonds are very common A perfect diamond is rare

These situations, tribulations, burdens, pressures of life are things WE ALL SHARE

For who can travel this life unscathed?

A girl is born, but a woman is often made

They say what doesn’t kill you makes stronger, but there are times I feel as though I am being buried alive!

Abba! Abba! Father! I have cried. Under these circumstances how do you expect me to thrive?

It’s dark in here!

And the Master Jeweler replies: “Yes, it is my dear.”

And it’s hot! I can’t breathe! And I am falling apart again!

And the Master Jeweler replies:

High temperatures and pressures you may crack, but you will not break, I need the light to get in.

Trust me, the Master Jeweler. I am expertly skilled in my trade. I formed you. Designed you. Carefully, with great detail, you are wonderfully made.

I cut, repair, adjust, and inspect. I heal, I cover, I lovingly correct.

I have prepared this season. I have set forth this time.

A diamond is a diamond and flawed diamonds do shine!

~Nikki

My poem may be shared, but not copied, printed, or altered without my permission. Thanks.

 

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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