Today - I just want to encourage you by letting you know that it is NOT EVER TOO LATE to follow your dreams to create your reality.
We can’t keep putting off until later because time waits for no one and later will be here before you know it.
We have to release the fear of rejection and the guilt of failure. Start to see “no” as another opportunity. Begin to re-frame our thinking to know that a failed attempt is a lesson in learning what works and what doesn’t.
Being able to understand and know our strengths and weaknesses and being focused enough to make them work for us in all that we do is a learned gift!
Now, I know you are saying "how can you learn a gift?" Well, the same way that people learn to dance ballet or learn to play the piano or learn to sing. It begins with a desire from within that is inspired to movement.
When we begin learning who we are, we allow ourselves to accept who we can become. Take all that you have come to know of yourself - and BELIEVE IN THAT PERSON! You are worth it!
"I thought I was helping. Keeping quiet. Not exposing the truth."
"I don't want to deal with the gossip and rumors so I avoid the conversation."
"I thought I did a good job at covering it all up. No one sees."
Does either of these thoughts sound familiar to you? How do you feel repeating them out loud knowing the situation you are in?
What if I told you that these are the thoughts of an Enabler - Would you become offended? or would you bow your head in acknowledgement?
Can we talk?
The medical world describes an enabler as someone (normally a non-addict) that removes the consequences of another's (the addict’s) behavior and in most case it is a women that will more than likely become the enabler in an unstable/unbalanced relationship.
So, how is an unstable/unbalanced relationship defined?
the relationship can be ANY type of relationship - parent/child, sibling/sibling, husband/wife, friend/friend, etc.
and what exactly is the addiction?
the addiction can be varied and/or multiple - alcohol, drugs, abuse, gambling, sexual, and so on
and what should you know?
the consequences are of enabling real
Regardless of who the enabler is - the PROBLEM lies solely with the ADDICT and no matter how much COVERING UP is done - EVERYONE involved is hurting and exposed!
But you should also know that there is a way to stop the pain.
When we see that the person we are trying to help is morally, ethically, physically and mentally wrong, then we recognize the role that they play in the situation. Yes, we tell ourselves that we are "protecting", but really we are hiding. Hiding from the shame, embarrassment, and guilt of an action or actions from a person that was not our responsibility to bare from the beginning.
Once we begin to remove ourselves from the situation and view it for what it really is, we begin to see that the only way to overcome is to be accountable and if that means learning to let the other experience the consequences of their own actions – so be it.
So how do we separate ourselves from the situation that we feel so bound to defend? We STOP!
Stop ignoring the behavior
Stop avoiding the conversation
Stop explaining the action
Stop feeding the addiction
Stop shouldering the blame
Enabling is sometimes a slippery slope and in a helping situation, the line can be fine and easily crossed. But the key thing to remember is that help brings about an acknowledgement that results in a change and they have to be willing to change
Understanding that the hardest part of the process, after recognition, is the reprogramming of your own patterns of response, being able to adjust your mindset and your actions takes time.
You will also need to understand that this is THAT point where YOUR VOICE MATTERS most. This is THAT moment of starting to let go. And you will have to know within yourself that you will be OK with the outcome. This is THE point where you STOP and START again!
Start addressing the behavior
Start having the difficult conversation
Start exposing the action
Start starving the addiction
Start releasing blame
Call it tough love, let them say you are hardcore. Just because they said it doesn’t make it true. The only truth is that someone you love needs help, you tried to help and that help did more harm than good. It doesn’t make you a bad person, but the person you are has got to realize that you limits.
Not unlike so many before me and those who will come after, I thought that I had seemingly lost my ability to bring forth life. And then I realized that I had lost no such thing.
What I am learning is that I now have so many more birthing options! I can speak life! I can offer life! I can nurture life! I can foster life! I can be life!
Sometimes we can become so caught up in the ways of society that we miss out on the divine. Why must we believe that the only way to give birth is by force? When are we going to accept that emergence and creation are born within each of us and that our birthing process is individualized based on what of ourselves we choose to release.
Our every thought, our every word, our very being. We teach, we inspire, we encourage, we support, we birth. It is such a beautiful thing to have yourself surround new life and to have that life born into being. And please know that be it physical manifestation or spiritual revelation, you as the cradle of life have the divine blessing of helping each one of them to breath! and you always will.
Hurt, pain, disappointment, regret - all very valid reasons for running to hide, but how long can you, how happy will you, how satisfied are you to exist in a place of limited joy? Yes, your joy is limited.
You wear these feelings like a cloak of comfort and think within yourself that they are a badge to honor your perseverance through and above them all. But are you being honest with yourself or have you grown so complacent that life without them has left you numb?
I can speak to this because I used to be this - this less than happy, limited, person. I used to exist in a place where rocking the boat was not an option and speaking from my heart would get me slapped. It was not a pretty place. No matter how I dressed it up with wide-toothed smiles and boisterous laughter beneath the mask, just like me, they existed.
So how did I remove the mask of hurt, pain, disappointment and regret? I found my way to LIVE! and you can too!
Find your way to where you no longer just merely exist. Find your way to where you no longer swallow yourself whole with guilt. Find your way to where you no longer remain in the shadows of your feelings.
This re-branding of yourself, this emergence of who you are, this rebirth of who you were meant to be is - will be - a testament of the strength the hurt tried to beat out of you, the will that pain tried to tame in you, the truth that disappointment tried to destroy in you, the life that regret tried to consume in you.
The past is now a lesson that you will learn to grow from. The past is a place you will no longer exist. The past is what once was and not a reflection of what will be. Move away from it and embrace the freshness that is you. Allow your soul the freedom that healing can give. Give yourself permission to live! You are worth it! You deserve it! You don't need anyone's permission to do it!
We're waiting to see you Bloom!!!
It wasn't easy but I knew that in order to help somebody, in order to help the masses. I had to be unapologetic in telling a truth!
Depression is a very real symptom of Lupus but I was depressed WWWWAAAYYY before I got my diagnosis!
My family life was in pure chaos and I had mentally checked out on trying to deal with the emotion stress of trying to "fix it". I was a complete mess but I was a FUNCTIONING MESS!
When I began writing Learning to Live Healthy - A Lupus Survivor's Story I got the chance to really look back in hindsight at the type of life I was living and the added pressure I was applying to my OWN SELF!
I had unresolved issues and then the diagnosis came and I just literally gave up! But then one day - Life gave me a reason to SMILE! and I have been doing just that ever since!
In life, we all go through some things and in life, we all learn from those things. How we apply that learning is completely up to us. We are the definers of our destiny and the defenders of our purpose. How we choose to overcome adversity is just that - OUR CHOICE!
I chose to tell my story of how I overcame depression and denial, anger and frustration and began to embrace the goodness of life and accept my place in it and LIVE!
This is the primary message I want to send to the masses and I am requesting your help to do it.
My book - Learning to Live Healthy A Lupus Survivor's Story is nominated with the Author Academy Awards for BEST HEALTH BOOK and I couldn't be more proud!
When It comes to telling our stories, understanding our reason and intent are key! We limit ourselves by saying "I can help just one person.....". We have to STOP THINKING SMALL! Our thought should be "As I speak my story to reach the masses..."
Are you ready to be unapologetically REAL?
How many times have you looked back and said "Only if I................................." you finish the sentence. Only if I WHAT?
What if (pun intended) I told you that "only if I" is called HINDSIGHT?
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hindsight as - recognition of the realities, possibilities, or requirements of a situation, event, decision etc., after its occurrence.
That's what "Only if" is - hindsight! If you could go back and change a situation, event, decision or circumstance would it make the result that much more better? Or is there a possibility that the change would alter the result and shift the outcome?
Stop living on "only and what if".
We can't undo what has been done and as much as what has been done may hurt, we have one of two options - stay in pain or move forward in healing.
Learning to Focus Forward was a challenge for me and I want to share my learning experience with you. Why? Because I know what it feels like learning to forgive yourself. I know what it takes to practice saying NO. I know how freeing it is when you put yourself first.
During the challenge you are well - going to be CHALLENGED! The goal is to move forward in the way we interpret, process and respond to information and situations to ensure a positive outcome and/or result.
Research in positive psychology has shown that our thought processes can be retrained to redirect our Flight or Fight reflexes from a subconscious self preservation way of thinking to a more conscious self aware way of response.
In short the challenge is to help you think before you act (or speak) and that takes practice.
Make sure that you are ON OUR MAILING LIST so that you will be able to participate. The benefits are tailor made just for you!
Stay tuned for more Challenge details!
Join the mailing list at www.sistaskeeper.com and there's something FREE for you!
How many times have you gone and done it when you know you didn't want to?
How many times have you done it when you knew you couldn't afford it?
How many times have you been called selfish, inconsiderate or mean when you chose not to?
Well guess what? You should have followed you gut! You should have kept your hard earned time and money in your pockets! And you sure as hell should tell the naysayers THANK YOU!
When you being to put a personal value on YOUR TIME and begin to become more conscious of how you spend it (time) and YOUR MONEY, those who have benefited from your kindness will come at you with everything they have! Not because you are any of those things that they call you to be (selfish, uncaring, inconsiderate, mean, etc). No. What they are doing is preparing their defenses for what they know is coming - YOUR EVOLUTION!
Because you are now placing a value on everything that is you, now that you are placing your wants, desires and needs at the forefront of your thinking, now that you are taking a good look at you, saying "NO" to the wants, likes and motives of others is getting to be that much more easier for you to do.
and if anyone can't accept and respect your NO without apology or explanation, well baby "I'm not sorry".
Time out for allowing folk to continue to use you because they "know you will". Time out for sacrificing your hopes and dreams to ensure that others come true. Time out for not putting you 1st!
Know this as life experience, a happier you makes for a healthier you and that makes for a kinder you! And while learning to say "NO" will not only be a change for them, it will also be a liberation for you!
So while the selfish, inconsiderate and uncaring will take offense at the very thought that you could even possibly think to tell them NO, the conscious, caring and supportive will applaud your good works, respect you the more and marvel at this new assertiveness that is you.
Surround yourself with people who willing want to take nothing from you.
As survivors, be it with/from Lupus, Fibromyalgia, (any type of ) cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol, or whatever other diagnosis you may have that affects your style of life, we should KNOW OUR BODIES! and that includes the amount of pressure and stress that we put on them mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
No one knows the daily pain that you suffer through on a REGULAR basis therefore, they will not understand your "NO" (which by the way is a complete sentence) when you say that you are unable to do something that THEY want!
Now, if you choose to forge ahead and push beyond your limits, then let it be a conscious choice on your part. I've done it time and time again but, this time is the last time for a good time because I have to first and foremost take care of ME!
The consequences of me running races and driving endless hours up and down the highway, mowing the lawn and just plain staying physically active has resulted in a condition know as Osteitis Pubis. Now, rest assured that this condition will NOT stop me from doing ANY of the aforementioned activities but what it will do (has done, is doing) is teach me that I have one more thing to factor into my NO response. Hey, that's why learning is an on-going process right?!
Learning to function on a level of as close to normal as possible takes strength and a measure of determination that allows you to overcome and persevere through the hardest of times and the most difficult of situations. That learning also entails understanding your thinking, your body and your spirit. You are ALWAYS your first line of preventative in any given circumstance and your body is not going to lie to you. Let it tell you how it feels and act accordingly.
Scientifically, mythologically, or just naturally, women love emotionally and because of this we tend to hold onto the simplest of reminders of a love so true, a hurt so deep or a feeling so strong. Can’t explain it but, the very smell of his cologne, the sound of his voice or the coldness of the empty space in the bed that once offered warmth, seems to send our minds into a tailspin, if only for a memorable moment.
So, when I heard the song “Hoodie” and got hooked on the melody and started vibing to the rhythm, I read the lyrics. HA!
You'd probably think I was psychotic (if you knew)
What I still got in my closet (sad but true)
Slip it on over my shoulders
Something I'll never get over
It makes me feel a little bit closer to you
I can't keep your love
I can't keep your kiss
Gave you everything and all I got was this
I'm still rocking your hoodie
Amazing right! Even when we are hurt – we love! Even when we are disappointed – we love! Even when we know the negative outcome – we love!
But, never let the fact that WE LOVE! stop you from making a conscious decision that places your safety and self-respect above all else! Learning to love without fear is the greatest lesson that you can give to yourself. Love should never have you scared and confused, alone and abused, insecure or at risk.
Reminisce, revel in the moment and keep it moving! Hold on to the good memories and how love is supposed to be. But do not, under any circumstances go back to where your life is in jeopardy!
There is a good and valid reason that all you have left are your memories and a hoodie. Never forget what that reason is but, also don’t let that reason be the excuse you use to forget what love is!
Riding down the highway embarking on a 5 ½ hours long ride with my granddaughters and while I normally ride in silence, this time I let them pilot the music.
WELL! Suffice it to say that my analytical grandma’s always wanting to protect mines brain kicks in and my eyes get ta rollin’. How in the world did we get to the place where it is OK for our children to even know what being seen naked and wild thoughts are? When did it become OK for – the RADIO – to teach our children about healthy living and lifestyles, especially when the lyrics are talking about all your friends being dead and being pushed to the ledge?
EERRRTTT! Um, why are you‘ll listening to this crap?! Their response “Nannie, the dance is cute and the beat is nice”. UM but do you hear what they are saying? “Nannie we don’t listen to that”. OOH to hell you don’t! It’s all subliminal! So to appease me, they changed the station. AH perfect! Angie Stone followed by Joss Stone and I would’ve been happy with Sly or a Rolling Stone. Then the station faded out! Gosh darn it! Now it’s back to the new “rap game”. OK, breathe.
The first couple of songs, I bit my tongue. “In New York, I Milly Rock….”. Who in the devil (and that’s exactly what they are – The Devil) are Playboi Carti, Yung Uzi and Cardi B talking too? Why do my granddaughters, or any young girl for that matter, need to hear about you coming down from dancing on a pole to making boss moves with a mouth that spits out garbage? I need a break! But, before I can get my thoughts right to start this self-worth, self-love, self-respect conversation that I am about to have with them, Big Sean comes on. UGH! Right after this song, radio off and lessons on!
But, this song is a little different and they are actually singing the words. I was a little thrown off by the first line about jumping out the window, but by the time it got to the hook, I understood what he was saying – PERFECT! Now we are going to have this influential conversation. I go right in before the song even ends and ask them “do you girls know what he’s talking about?” and of course they said they didn’t. So now I get to do a lyrical breakdown of the song. I went straight for –
Know ya momma didn’t raise you to take no disrespect, yeah
(I feel) I feel like real queens know how to keep the game in check, yeah
The question isn't, "Do he love ya?"
The question is, "Do ya love yourself?"
We, as a community, talk a lot of crap about "these fast tailed girls" but guess what we aren't teaching them the importance of "taking it slow"! My goodness what happened to our daddy's taking us out on our 1st date and showing us what RESPECT LOOKS LIKE? What happened to our mothers (or grandmothers) sitting us down and having "the talk" with us and telling us how imperative it is for us to cherish and love ourselves, mind-body-and soul? What happened to passing notes that said "check YES or NO if you like me"? and you 1st real kiss was a peak on the cheek?
Have we come so far away from a time of self-worth, self-love and self-respect that we allow strangers who sing of quick fame, fast living, and speeding lifestyles to dictate how our daughters, granddaughters, sisters, nieces and cousins should move through life? Not I says the blind!
I see a brighter more respectful future (and present) for mine. What are you seeing for yours?
Sista's Blog Keeper
Not here to counsel you, not claiming to know all the answers, not trying to change your mind, not trying to direct your path. Here to listen, here to share, here to let you know that a Sista cares.