Life has a funny way of making us grow in the midst of our discomfort. Despite the various ways in which I experienced this; 2020 has had a special way of confirming this. Granted, in spite of all the chaos, God has blessed me immensely. However, I can recognize the various, uncomfortable experiences that served to be learning opportunities that contributed to making me more resilient.
I know things have been significantly difficult this year. There is one obstacle after another & very little time to recover. But this year has taught me something significant about human-beings; we are survivors. We survive, keep surviving & then we thrive. We have a natural instinct to keep fighting even when the odds are against us.
Love, I may not know exactly what you are experiencing right now. But I do know that this message is for you. Sometimes we need things to occur by happenstance to motivate us to move forward. Understand that you reading this memoir today is not a coincidence. It was meant for you.
It is no surprise that things have been quite difficult lately. All the external factors, coupled with managing every facet of your life, is adding significant & unwanted stress to your already hectic life. Whatever the circumstance, you will get through this. Throughout your life you have overcome setbacks & loses; this is no different. You have lived & survived while managing the various roles & maintaining a life you have set out for yourself. In all the chaos, you have become multifaceted; a forced to be reckoned with. Take the time you need- reflect & readjust. Believe that what you want is yours. It is all apart of God’s divine plan. Trust the process. The journey will get you to where you are supposed to be. But I can assure you, a loss is not waiting for you at the finish line.
In life we will go through various circumstances that require deep reflection but provide the same epiphany. Despite the unfavorable situations I may have experienced, a person’s sentiments or motivations behind what they have done is none of my freakin’ business.
I had to force myself to understand that what a person does, how they choose to live their lives, or treat others has nothing to do with me but everything to do with them. Unfortunately, I just got caught in the crossfire of whatever turbulent &/or toxic life experience they subjected themselves to. Alas, many people only know how to communication with toxicity. But again, that is not my fault or the fault of anyone else but that person. My only job is to ensure that I do not give it forward but ensure that light is what people encounter when they have an encounter with me.
So today, I ask you to let the burden go. Stop wondering what if. Stop wondering what you could have done to make the situation better. Stop putting their BS on your plate to swallow. Trust me, they will have to deal with the consequences of their actions without you even having to interfere. God is not about to play about his so let him do what he promised he will do & work on healing.
Healing is yours. Do not give anyone the luxury of keeping that from you.
Here’s food for thought, everyone does not have the same intention, spirit or heart as you do. We see the signs, ignore them & attempt to provide justification to why our spirit (intuition) is in dismay. But the truth is, sometimes there does not need to be justification. Sometimes, people’s spirit simply does not align with ours & it is best to handle that person or situation accordingly.
Many of us assume that the people we interact with have the same heart as we do, that they mean well, & their intentions are pure. However, I am sure many of us can attest, after many heartbreaks & disappointments — that couldn’t be further than the truth. We have an innate instinct rooted in us to protect ourselves. We have been blessed with the ability to discern when something is not good for us. However, more often than not, we choose what we want to see over how someone or something is making us feel. That is when we fail ourselves & leave ourselves susceptible to mistreatment, disappointment, discouragement, distrust & emotional anguish.
I have become familiar with the practice of accepting what & how I feel without needing rationalization as to why I feel that way. Because of that, I am able to reflect & acknowledge that when I listened to that feeling, I was always better off. However, when I didn’t, there was hell to pay & the recovery was painful. Therefore, I encourage you today to avoid the unnecessary by listening & trusting your instinct. We were created to preserve ourselves & take heed to the people & things that may not have the intention we hope for.
If you feel uneasy, accept & acknowledge that. If that guy makes you anxious; take it serious. You are not anxious for no reason. If you have a hard time believing what is coming out of someone’s mouth (without proof) believe what you feel. If someone’s actions say one thing but you feel something else, take heed. The world is too short to ignore the signs. Your discomfort is the sign. If you cannot pinpoint the problem but you know there is one, that is sufficient justification. We spend so much time giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, that we do not give ourselves the same benefit. Don’t allow your mistrust in other people or things, keep you from trusting yourself. You are in this for your own self interest, your own preservation & your own deliverance. Regardless of what happens, all you have is you.
For the past few months, I have been extremely hard on myself trying to keep off the “quarantine-15” I gained a few months back. Though the progress is evident in the stats, the fact that I can’t “see” the results have caused me to lose patience & not appreciate what has been accomplished thus far. My inability to enjoy the process has caused me to be a little less than kind to myself. However, my perspective changed significantly, when I was hit with a stomach bug & had to marvel at the process my body takes to bounce back.
I actually found myself apologizing to my mind & body for not accepting what it does every day to keep me alive & in good health. I wake up every day with a sound mind, a joyful spirit & a body that pumps healthy blood through me every day. Although, it may take longer for me to physically get the results I want; underneath it all my body is working.
But the truth of the matter is- we are all guilty of this & we all owe ourselves an apology.
Too often we fail to love ourselves the way we need to. We are so much more forgiving to other people than we are to ourselves. We push ourselves to unreasonable limits under the context that we need to work harder. We maintain very abuse relationships with ourselves (physically, spiritually, mentally) & then we fix our mouths to call it “self-care”. We allow negative thoughts to invade our minds & then tell ourselves we are not doing enough. Our body tells us to rest & we still overbook ourselves & say that we are being a good friend, sister & lover. We are there for everyone but ourselves.
But what we need most, is to consistently be a good steward to ourselves. Self care does not only entail taking a bubble bath & drinking wine on a Sunday night. In fact it has everything to do with how we treat ourselves, how we talk to ourselves, how we set boundaries (even for ourselves), how we put time aside to rest & how we pay attention when any aspect of our body speaks to us.
Today’s memoir is a gentle reminder to be a good person. A genuinely good person that brings light to the lives of others. So many of us are not realistic about the kind of people we are & the type of people we associate with. Being a good person is more than doing nice things for people, it also stands on intent. Never forget that.
Twenty-Twenty has been a rough year with pandemics, civil rights movements, deaths & shenanigans associated with re-election. It is in these times that we have had to show people who was say we are & rise to the occassion. We do not have to get it right all the time but it is on us to try. How you make people feel & what you do to get ahead, matters! The intent behind it, matters. The consequences of what you do (good or bad) causes a ripple effect for the energy that is put out into the world.
Ensure that your energy is good.
Social media has cultivated a passive aggressive society that thrives off of competition, jealousy & negativity. Once we get caught up in that we begin losing any good qualities that make us uniquely, amazingly & beautifully us. Anything this earth has to offer should never jeopardize that. It should never cause us to sacrifice our inate instincts to be good. This life will pass on, however so, the impression you leave behind is the narrative of your life. You decide.
Today’s memoir is just a simple reminder to LOVE your people. We all in some way, shape or form fight our own silent battles. Sometimes, despite how much people try to understand; it’s hard to even scratch the surface. We all deal with our experiences differently & everyone may not always agree. However, our experiences are, just that, our experiences. How we deal with them (Good or Bad) we have to live with. But for certain, we remember the people who have & continue to be there.
So, just tread with a little care. Encourage, inspire & truly love into one another. All negative encounters are not toxic but we have created a new standard, that all unideal encounters, are. That’s false & no true way to cultivate relationships. People make mistakes & really just need a little love. If we can love people the way we would want to be loved; the reward is rich.
Love real. Love authentically & without conditions.
I have always said, that you have to teach people how to treat you. However, I often got remarks from people who look at this statement at the surface. They assume I am implying that one is to endure mistreatment for a certain period of time in the “teaching” process.
In fact, I mean the exact opposite.
So I will say it again. You MUST teach people how to treat you & you have to be consistent when you do so. This is equivalent to setting boundaries & it ensures self preservation. People will go as far as you allow them to. They will push limits & stretch boundaries as far as you can take it. Even without clear intention; it happens. People have to understand there are consequences to mistreatment & based on what that consequence is, people who care; will avoid it.
For instance, there is a difference between someone who has been cheated on once & a person who has been cheated on multiple times. The behavior after finding out sets a standard for what happens next. Although this is not full proof (a dog will be a dog- male or female), when a person feels the consequences of losing you they will think twice about doing it again; if given the opportunity. This holds true in all relationships whether romantic, friendly or professional- people learn & they are quick learners.
I see too many of us walking around NOT using this method & enduring treatment that could have been addressed, dealt with & eliminated long before. This is an imperative method to ensuring you take care of yourself & set the standard. Do not be scared of the consequences of this. It only goes up from here. Be bold, deliberate & consistent. Eventually, your reputation will proceed you & you will recognize when choices that are not available to others are available to you. Do not accept anything less than the type of treatmentyou would want for someone you love dearly & want the best for. Expect to be loved & treated at the same magnitude. Do not let people take YOU forgranted. Accept nothing less than royal treatment because that IS what you are- royalty.
Today is just a reminder to be a blessing while here on earth because you never know with who or where you have left an impact. If anyone is to remember you for anything, let it be because you made them feel good.
I was informed last Sunday that a lady from my church passed away. I will be honest enough to say I did not even know her name & I don’t think she knew mine; but I remember how our few encounters made me feel. She helped me reach a spiritual milestone that served to be difficult for over a year; but she stepped right in & helped me. Afterwards, she never forgot me. She will hug & greet me every time she saw me & ensured to encourage me to keep going. I can reflect now & say with certainty that she will never know the impact our encounters (especially that one in particular) had on me.
You see, every morning I wake up with the intention to make a positive impact on someone’s life. Impressions are lasting so it matters if they’re good or bad. When you are no longer here, we only ever have what memories you have left behind. Those memories matter. Leave behind something beautiful. You don’t have to be perfect but at the very least be a good person that helped, loved, cared & poured into people (strangers too). Let someone look at you & recognize the God in you. Represent him well. Show love. Be love & spread love.