The Separation of Self, Church, and Relationships

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I don’t know what I would I do if I were  married to a person that was not motivated or disciplined enough to achieve their dreams and goals. What if you wanted a better life and they were okay with just getting by? I would be so miserable in either situation. I have known marriages to break up over one not wanting to advance, while the other one did and I have seen another break up because one was content just getting by. I’ve seen hardworking men and lazy women, hardworking women and lazy men. I’ve also seen Churches command people to say in these marriages and I’ve seen people encourage others to stay in misery. I mean yes, try, try as many times as you can, get counseling, etc. but at what point do you walk away? I guess only YOU can be brave enough to make that decision and that is the way it should be. You should be able to make it without judgement and without guilt. You should have the support of friends, family, and your God. After all, God is like a Father and I wouldn’t think any loving, caring, father would want you to be miserable in any relationship. And just remember, back then and even now in some countries, women had no say in who they would marry. I don’t think that was of God either! I think it was more cultural than anything.

Well, what about those of us that are dating, in a relationship, living with a significant other? If you see they are not motivated or disciplined enough to pursue their dreams and goals how does that make you feel? Are you slowing down to be their 24/7 cheerleader? Are you doing things for them they could do for themselves? Filling out applications and calling to see if someone is hiring? Googling and researching how to start a repair shop? These are things they can DO FOR THEMSELVES. We can get so involved in helping others we neglect our own dreams, goals, and visions.

Listen, I am about to say something to those of you that are NOT  married. You need to continue to go after your dreams with all of your might and heart while you are not married. Especially, if you have a partner that seems to be lethargic. I mean if your fire doesn’t light their fire, if your encouragement is not enough, if your support and help is not enough, it never will be. I’d rather see manifestation before I say I do, than to see it after and the person lives off of my success. I don’t think there is enough love in the world for me to marry someone that wants to struggle, makes crazy decisions about finances, or that is unstable in employment. I guess in the past, I may have been so blind and so in love, I would have. BUT now that I am more mature and have a better understand of myself, I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. If it’s a strain NOW it will be a BURDEN later. The same stands for me spiritually. If I am in a spiritual place they are not in, if our souls are not aligned, I must say good-bye. I don’t have the time for them to play catch up at my age (44). I mean to be 3 miles behind is different than being 30 miles behind. Our ideals, hearts, minds, souls, have to line up somewhat, close I would think. Not perfectly, but certainly not miles and miles and ideals apart which leads to and unequally yoked environment. Personalities and temperaments matter! Comprehension levels and upbringing matters. Maturity levels matter! No relationship or marriage is easy or perfect and I get that. But, should I be sad, mad, 5 days out of 7? Should we be pretending to be okay at church, in front of friends,  and on social media?

I don’t know what the other person is going to do if they are not trying to build a stable life, live out there dreams, or grow. I just know that I have chosen to go forth, full steam ahead, making stops and slowing down to help those that are trying to help themselves as far as dreams and goals are concerned. I don’t want to be bound by Church to stay and I don’t want to be bound by a relationship. I have a right to peace and happiness. Contrary to popular belief, God does care about my peace of mind, my happiness, and what I am called to do. I don’t know if I will ever marry, I hope so. I want to. But, I would have to be 100% certain. In the meantime, I will continue to wait on Divine Intervention. 🙂

~Nikki

 

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Disabled. Doesn’t Work. Still One Phenomenal Woman.

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She said, “You chose a person that is disabled and doesn’t work over me.” As if being disabled and UNABLE to work made me the lesser choice. It didn’t help that he didn’t come to my defense with tenacity, anger, and “pissoffity” (extreme pissed off-ness). But you know what did help? Knowing who I am regardless of my disabilities and the inability to work.

“Life ain’t been no crystal stair”  is something Langston Hughes mother would say to him. I truly understand this poem at the age of 44. I look back over my life and it’s been filled with tacks, splinters, torn up boards, and no carpet. I’ve been reaching landins’, turning corners, and going in places where there is no light. In other words it’s been filled with one challenge after another, heartaches and heartbreaks. It’s been one bad break after the other. It’s been filled with PAIN and TEARS. I’ve been sad and lonely. I have been alone in a room full of people and lonely in a relationship. I’ve had bad things happen to me, #metoo and saw a dream die after a hysterectomy. I’ve been made a fool of and made horrible mistakes. I am sure anxiety and depression was here before I had a diagnoses and to mention some childhood drama and trauma. Teased, talked about, and bruised. Diagnosed at 8 with JRA and it made it’s return in 2010 as Rheumatoid Disease and brought Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and unexplained shortness of breath. Nope. Life ain’t been no crystal stair. And nope, that ain’t all folks.

However, I have raised a beautiful, bright, and intelligent daughter that is now in college. I have written three books. I returned to painting abstract art as a “black woman” and that may seem strange to some of the people in my circle. I have learned how to crochet. I have accepted my role as a spiritual teacher. I have found my authentic self. I keep rising from the ashes. Sometimes I am still standing and sometimes I get the wind knocked out of me, but I am still alive. I still believe in true, real, authentic love even if I never get to have it on this earth because I believe I have had it in another lifetime. I have learn to live fearless even when I am feeling fearful. I have went without so that my daughter could have. I love to give to other people. I love to fight for the underdog. I have traveled with friends and family and there are sunrises and sunsets engraved in my mind forever. It doesn’t really matter what someone says, even if it hurts. Even if it rubs salt in the wounds of dealing with being a different woman than what I use to be. I still know who made me. I still know I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am not less. I am MORE. In fact I am a better woman because of all that I have survived and I look forward to spending the rest of my life thriving (with or without a man but hopefully with the one that matches my level of love and maturity).

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

~Maya Angelou

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Life Doesn’t Get Any Easier????

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There are a couple of quotes that state something like, “Life doesn’t get any easier, you just get stronger or Life doesn’t get any easier, you just get better at handling the things you go through.” I would read these quotes and literally roll my eyes. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the part that says “Life doesn’t get any easier” because I want life to get easier. Don’t we all? Raise your hand if you want life to get harder and remain difficult. I thought so. Can we just get strong enough and learn enough and life gets better? Oh, wait, there is a thought. Life gets easier because we get stronger and we learn to handle the things we go through with accrued wisdom. -Nicole Jackson Yes, quote me on that.

You see, I am at this ebb and flow period of my life. This, nothing is happening, something is happening, but very slowly and we are going from 0 to 100 the next day or moment. I don’t like this phase of things. I imagine this is what being sea sick is like or motion sickness. I just want to get to my destination and BE STILL and ENJOY. I don’t want to ride the ups and downs of these sometimes humongous waves. Heck, I can’t surf or swim! Topsy turvy much? Yes. Much. This type of phase doesn’t work well with my anxiety and depression. What is a girl to do?

A girl is to hold on. For dear life. To her Creator’s unchanging hand. A girl is to cry, get upset, be happy, meditate, have a margarita or go to bed. However, a girl deals with this phase of life is how a girl deals…without judgement from others or herself.

Life gets easier because we get stronger and we learn to handle the things we go through with accrued wisdom. -Nicole Jackson

Mother’s Day: Fish & Bones

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There is this saying: You have to learn to eat the fish and spit out the bones. It’s a secret to some and obvious to my bloggers, that my relationship with my mother can be described as turbulent. I am not ashamed of this. Many mother and daughter relationships are at it’s best, “complicated” and I speak on behalf of some of those women. Here is the post I posted on Mother’s Day about my mom and photos from my day as a mother.

My mom and I are like oil and water sometimes. Some say it’s because we are alike and some say it’s because we are different. At the end of the day we love each other. I get my strong value for family from my mom. I get my strong work ethic from my mom. I get my cooking skills, my creativity, my fashion sense & need to have a lovely home from my mom. The idea of the finer things in life yet making the most of your lot in life. I am a giver and will try to help everybody and will feed everybody. I get that from My mom. My mom has her own big personality and it gives us many laughs. My mom is the best because she’s going to put family first and she’s going to protect it. She’s going to come through and this is why we come through for her. I love it when I make her laugh and she says “Nicole, You’re so crazy.” That’s us. That’s family. That’s love.

 

Introspective. Empowerment, My Personal Journey

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in·tro·spec·tion
[ˌintrəˈspekSH(ə)n]

NOUN
the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes.

Observing what I am THINKING behind what I am saying and doing, checking my OWN EMOTIONS behind what I am saying and doing is forces me to examine myself. LEARNING to this BEFORE I say and do is the POWER in the EMPOWERING myself! In order to do this you must be honest with yourself about what you are really thinking and feeling. Before you “lose it” at the person behind the counter for getting your order wrong, what are you REALLY thinking and feeling before you arrived at the place? On the job? Home? Is it s right thought? Is it a right action? Are you mad about what happened on the job? Are you stressed about bills? Are you unhappy in your relationship? And you go out into the world already “feeling and thinking” about something. So, when your child gets in the car and forgets to tell you they have practice you “lose it.”

We are often good at reading others, but can we read ourselves. Checks and balances with yourself through introspective empowers you to be a better person. For me, it works for me because I can locate my mental state and emotions and MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION about what I am really feeling. Therefore, I can handle the wrong order at the counter better. I can avoid having to apologize to coworkers, a child, or a mate about your outburst or sudden mood change. I  have the power to address the real issues on my job instead of taking it out on other people that have not a clue about my money problems. I learn my triggers. I also have the power to address my mental and emotional state to solve the real problems. I place my energy where it needs to go and not on the nearest person or distraction.

~Nikki

A to Z: Free Yourself. Empowerment, My Personal Journey

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Free yourself by being yourself. Who cares if they like your hair, like your style, like your decision to start a business, change careers, etc.? You shouldn’t care! Who are these people that like to hold us captive in their will for out lives? Well, whomever they are, they are not the boss of your life. So what if that color doesn’t look good on you to them…you like it, you buy it, you wear it.

Oh, and don’t forget to let others be themselves without your approval.

~Nikki

A to Z Challenge: Authenticity: Empowerment, My Personal Journey

The authentic self is the soul made visible. -Sarah Ban Breathnach

AUTHENTICITY. I took a journey to excavate my authentic self and it turned out to be the most POWERFUL tool in empowering myself. Who am I before religion, before all of the trauma and drama, before I was shaped and molded into the woman I had become to know, loathe, and then love? I had learned to love myself as I was, which was powerful, but when I remembered, dug deeper into who I was before all of this, before I admitted how I TRULY FELT ABOUT EVERYTHING I WAS TAUGHT in home, in school, in life, in church…that real honesty that can make you feel guilty because you know, they say it’s wrong…or it’s not lady like or it’s not part of our culture or God is going to strike you down. God’s going to write it down and he is reading your thoughts and recording them. Whew, child! I had to now accept my TRUE SOUL and love her all the more. I had to do away with some of my outdated thinking and programmed thinking. I had to move beyond the Black/African American-AMERICAN culture. I had to remember the free little girl in her free moments laying in the backyard looking towards the sky. The little girl sitting on the step of the front porch daydreaming. The little girl before being horrifically teased about being black with naturally red hair. Before prejudice and racism. Before, abuse and before the beat down of self esteem and the rip off of a budding fashion designer. I am more than a preacher’s daughter. I am more than a Christian, if I am that in fact. (Still discovering).

My authentic self is like this megaphone echoing throughout the universe. “Here I am! Here is the real me! Love it, like it, leave it, NAMASTE.” If you are mean, miserable, biased, rude, insensitive, lying to yourself about what you really think and feel, carrying the torch for known evil, etc.. I highly recommend EXCAVATING YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF. If you hate anyone in this world, if you love division, if you can’t see people for people, then you’re probably not as REAL as you claim to be. If you are about ZEN life, Yoga/Yogi, spirituality, but when a person of color walks in you ignore them and their knowledge or experience you probably need some excavating. But I must warn you that becoming your authentic self can be daunting and painful work. It may cause you to lose friends and family and to leave you lonely at times. It may make you feel funny and it may make others living a carbon copy life question your sanity. With that being said, GO FOR IT.

~Nikki