Today I went to a funeral of a budding friendship. I say budding because it seems as if we were just getting started. A supporter in my novel adventures and an encourager. She gave the best hugs. She had a smile that lit up the room. As soon as I saw her or she walked into a room, I could be at ease knowing a friendly was among me.
I had yet to really cry until today. I got up, got ready, but all week I was thinking, “This is going to be hard. I will have to do a hard thing Saturday.” I really wanted to know “Why? But why?” were my first thoughts. Then I thought “This is so unfair.” This morning as I had my coffee, God spoke to me and I received confirmation at the funeral via the preacher. God said “Nicole, even if I were to explain it to you, you wouldn’t be able to receive it right now because you have deemed it unfair. Is there anything I could say to you that would make it fair? Of course not. And I understand that you feel it is unfair. It is okay to feel that way.” Now, let me pause, because the relationship I have with my God, may not be like yours. I always ask questions. I’ve been asking since I was a child. I am glad I have a Father that decided it was okay for us to “Come and reason together.” And sometimes that reasoning ends in a “You wouldn’t understand. Just trust me in this place that you are in.” And that place happen to be a place of feeling this death was unfair.I’ve had to trust God in a lot of places. Unfair, is not an unfamiliar place.
So, as God continued to speak, “Trust me in this feeling of “unfairness” and in time, we will talk about it. But, try to focus on how this can work for your good. Yes, how can this life that touched your life, work for your good. What purpose, does this death serve for your enlightenment.” I got dressed and I thought to myself, “I will try. I will try to focus.” After the funeral and confirmation that God was speaking to me, as I know he was, a few things happened when we were dismissed to proceed to the burial. I walked to the car in disbelief and then just like a lightbulb moment…”Life is too short for me to surround myself with people who don’t like me, love me, or care about me. It’s too short to subject my heart to negative vibes and energy. It’s too short to sacrifice my feelings just to see the few who are genuine. I will have to see them in different places and spaces where the love can flow without restriction. It is, what it is. What “it is” is freedom. What “it is” is peace. And that is what is “unfair”….to subject your heart to tainted environments. It’s no different than staying in a bad relationship. If folks don’t want you or like you, stay out of there face and space.”
And what I learned is that however unfair I feel about this death, I can see that this person was a light for me in rough territory. At that time, I sure did need all the light, all the smiling faces, all the conversation, all the good energy I could get just to “hang” for a while.
Grace has been described as kindness and favor. When you are going through tough times grace is one thing that helps you to get through it. Kindness shown to yourself in the form of patience in the times when you do get frustrated, angry, upset, or down is what you have to extend towards yourself. Instead of beating yourself up over how what is a normal feeling or reaction in tough times, extend yourself some grace. Rationalize that it’s normal to have these feelings and reactions at times. It is human and what matters is how you correct yourself , respond or forgive yourself!
Grace extended to us my our Creator is the push we need or the spark we need to keep on going in the midst of setbacks, trials, and tribulations. Grace from the Creator is sufficient in your times of trouble means it is enough to keep you going or balanced. Grace happens through the creator in those moments least expected. It’s like a gift given to you for no reason at all and come in any form.
Grace shown to you by others who can see you are having a tough time warms your heart and is fuel to your fire that may have waned or gone out.
Just remember, to extend some grace to others who are having a tough time. We all need some grace.
It’s not possible you would know everyone who walks along a crowded street or those standing with you at a concert.Crowd funding consists of strangers and a few people you know contributing to your cause or project. It’s not likely those people know you from the eyes of a good friend or the perspective of a wonderful family member. So, in this life why do we seem to crowd fund our self esteem? I know I am guilty of this from time to time but, oh I remember the days where I relied heavily on the opinions of others and even sought after validation. Thank God! Thank God because I did the hard work and made it through the mistakes to get to this point to talk to you, unashamed, about crowd funding your self esteem.
What people don’t understand about those who struggle with self esteem issues is it didn’t start yesterday. They also don’t understand the complex journey it takes to go back in your life and discover where the seeds were planted and the hard work it takes to cut the roots of low self esteem. Crowd funding your self esteem is when you rely on the contributions of others opinions to fund how you feel about yourself. You should cancel this fund raiser (thought) each time it pops in your mind. I could go through a bunch of steps on how to do this but there is this one saying that sums it up and you could tape it to your forehead or mirror. Which ever is more fashionable for you!
The quote is: Comparison is the thief of joy-Theodore Roosevelt
Why are you sad now? Why are you feeling defeated now? Why are you feeling bad about yourself now? You just compared your progress, success, where you are, to someone else’s progress, success, how farther they are in life than you are and now your joy has been stolen by comparison. Stop that. Learn to admire others and set your OWN goals. If June buys a million dollar home don’t try to buy a million dollar home simply to measure your success by June’s. Look at your bank account, do the math, and buy what you can afford. If Courtney just ran her first marathon and you just made it running a mile, how UNFAIR is that to compare yourself? Your diligence and her diligence is simply diligence. I tell you “a truth” as Jesus said in the Bible when he was about to introduce a new concept: If you learn to CELEBRATE YOUR VICTORIES AS WELL AS OTHERS you wouldn’t need to crowd fund your self esteem.
Don’t compare yourself with others. Instead, celebrate yourself and others.
There are times in life when we will face some really difficult situations which can cause us to “worry” or to become “concerned” about the outcome. Anxiety is a perpetual worry and concern. It can come like a flood seemingly out of nowhere or it can come immediately when something foreseen or not begins to manifest right before our eyes. And many times it may never manifest or at least not to the full degree we allow ourselves to imagine. It is when our active imagination takes us out in the deep where we lose sight of the shore of hope and faith. We are no longer anchored to the shore. We are floating out on a sea of shaky thoughts. We become “see” sick by the things we imagine will happen.
I ran across this quote and I had this thought: “Oh, it’s like Kanye-ing thoughts which create anxiety.” Imagine anxiety with a mic and you run up on stage and say “Look, I’m not going to give the mic back. However, I would like to thank the Creator for all that I have. I am grateful for life. I am thankful for the breath I breathe. I am thankful for the clothes and shoes I have. I am happy I can see, walk, talk and taste the food I have. I am so very grateful for the lessons I am learning….” You know blah blah blah good stuff until Anxiety walks off the stage and has a seat.
In many cases it’s rude to interrupt but, it’s perfectly fine to interrupt negative thoughts and “what ifs” that create and build up negative emotions that send you into anxiety rap battles also know as anxiety attacks. I remember reading a book by Inyanla Vanzant that stated “If you are going to play the “what if” game, play the other side.” In other words, what about “what if” it doesn’t happen? Instead, use your imagination to create solutions and calm. Also, if you play the what if game, then ask yourself what can I do if that does happen. I know it’s not easy. I know from experience. However, it’s worth cutting off negative thoughts or anxiety and filling your mind with gratitude instead.
Where there is smoke, there is fire.
Where there is fear, there is a lack of confidence. You’ve got the gift or gifts but, what’s holding you back? Is it the thought that you can’t do it? Maybe you sorta kinda feel that you can but, you just don’t know.
Confidence is more than saying I can do it. Confidence is a strong conviction that you CAN do it. It has to take ROOT in your core being. But how? For those of us that lack self confidence. I’m writing this via the spirit, on the fly, given to me as I type. So, here we go in no order or logic to my knowledge:
Some of us never had confidence so to speak (I believe you are born with it but, many times it needs to be nurtured as a child. Hence, confidence building. Then there are others that just have it). If you were a child brought up in an environment that tore your confidence down daily, you may not have been fortunate enough to have had the mental fortitude to survive that. On the other hand, some of you in that environment held on to that voice on the inside telling you “you can do it” but, you’re still lacking the confidence. Illnesses, accidents, tragedies, huge setbacks, have a way of merely destroying our confidence. If you allow it and let’s be honest, some of us have allowed it. No guilt.
Confidence comes from knowing that you’re already equip with some knowledge of how to manifest your gift and knowing that whatever you don’t know will come to you via research, another person that has already paved the way, or stumbling upon a method through trial and error. Call it divine intervention or instructions. “Something” told me to…I just so happen to be at…
Confidence is strengthened by trial and error. You gain the “how to” through the “don’t do.”-Nicole Jackson. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes are teachers. Thank the teacher. Accept the answer and move forward.
Confidence is planted by action. You’ve got confidence. You’ve been SAYING IT, THINKING IT but have you been DOING IT? IMAGINE a seed 🌱 in your hand. And you look at it and say “I can plant it. I will plant it. I am planting it.” You lay down and you “think about planting it. See yourself planting it” but you’re still holding the seed in your hand! When you ACTUALLY take ACTION is when the seed will get planted. The more you do your gift, the more confidence grows and deepens its ROOT in your soul. In your psyche. Doing your gift is the watering, sunlight, weeding.
You want your confidence to take root? Don’t mind the weather. Don’t mind the naysayers and the negative thoughts that come to you discourage you. If you do, you’ll be digging up the confidence seed. Bonus: Confidence also can be planted in any season.
This is all the Holy Spirit gave me and I have shared it with you!
Muhammad Ali was a champion in many ways but, what made him a champion in those ways was his ability to champion his thoughts.
As I reflect on my life I look at the ways I use self defeating thoughts verses champion thoughts. Many of us have been preprogrammed with thoughts or conditioned to think certain thoughts through experiences. Either good or negative, we think. If I’m to be honest, my thought process didn’t begin to change until I was 30 (however, I woke up so to speak at 26) and here we have it 11 years later, finally taking root and blooming.
Champion thoughts requires hard, grueling, relentless and challenging work. Long hours at the spiritual gym within and a spiritual diet fit for a champion. You can’t eat (listen to, digest) anything that’s put on your plate. You will suffer some defeats, barely make rounds, but you will begin to win more than you lose when you learn to never change your champion mentality. But, you need only to adjust your approach, strategy, study your opposition and hit the spiritual gym more. Reflect.
A champion doesn’t become a champion by building the body only. Many men have lost relying on brute force alone. Many have lost the fight in this life with brute force alone. Champion thoughts help you get through the toughest times in your life. I look at Muhammad Ali and even though his body was attacked by Parkinson’s and it silenced him physically, HE WAS STILL SEEN AS THE CHAMP. Champion thoughts have no need be verbalized all the time. Champion thoughts don’t care about your pain, wins, losses or draw. Champion have a need to be lived. May we live out our lives from here on out with champion thoughts. May we not see the world as we have in our twenties but, as the champions we are. Are you not still standing? Raise your arms up high, fist to the sky, Champion.