Finding You

Recently, I was invited as a guest speaker on the 365 GirlWorld Radio podcast for their “Inspiration Tuesday” segment, and there I discussed Finding You.  After the discussion, I decided to go further into the topic of Finding You because, honestly, this is exactly where I am in my life right now.

As I stated in the show, my posts are about experiences that I have gone through or am currently going through, so this post is definitely no exception.  However, I am so excited to share my experience with Finding Me, mainly because it is an ongoing process that I am currently in Right Now!  I mentioned in the podcast that here on my blog, I am able to be real and transparent and share things about myself, that I am comfortable with sharing of course, in hopes that I offer some support or perhaps guidance to someone else who may feel alone or lost in their current situation.  All I can say is…you are not alone!

Finding Me was something that I realized I needed to do.  It went beyond my choice in career and the kind of man I wanted to share my life with.  It was more so about the inner me.  Trust me, when your inner you is imbalanced things on the outside will begin to be imbalanced as well, almost to the point where you are unable to control what happens to you and once that happens, it seems as if you are thrown into a pit.  At least, that is how I felt.  So what did I decide to do?  It was no way on earth I could have climbed out of the dark and endless pit by myself.  I was not strong enough mentally, spiritually, or physically.  In the midst of being sad and having my view diminished by my tears, I remembered I always had help to get out of any situation.  I desperately asked for direction…really I begged for direction.  I no longer wanted to be where I was and the person I was due to my environment because I knew that was not me.  I think we all know we have the ability to be greater than what we display, but due to comfort we stay the same.  However, I was told recently, that your comfort can also be your danger and that was exactly the situation for me.

Begging for direction was not a one time deal.  I consistently asked for direction and I wanted to desperately be revealed who I was supposed to be…my purpose.  The more I inquired and prayed, things started to happen.  Good and bad things, but it all shaped me into this woman who is currently typing this post.  I began my journey.  A journey that started off extremely rocky.  It was as if I was on a dark path with no shoes, tripping over those rocks that I recognized from the boulder I destroyed (Chipping Away Your Boulder).  Nevertheless, I kept walking with tears in my eyes, but slowly wiping them away from because I wanted to see.  I needed to see where I was headed.  Some of us always have to know what is going to happen because it is a matter of us controlling our environment.  Well, on this journey to Finding You, you will not be able control many things, except your choice.  Your choice to pursue the journey or to give up because it seems too dark ahead and you have no idea what lies ahead.

I would ask that you trust the journey of Finding You.  Stay in prayer and in touch with yourself and most importantly, find support.  Not just your friends that you go out with on the weekends or have mimosas with on a Sunday afternoon.  I mean the type of support that is willing to allow you to cry and express yourself in a judgment free zone and still find you to be beautiful because they realize what is happening to you.  Either because they have begun their personal journey or they are interested in doing the same.  Trust me, you will need the support and do not be afraid to be vulnerable.  It is something about being vulnerable that frightens me though and makes me feel weak.  However, I noticed that in my journey to Finding Me, there will be moments where I am uncomfortable because think about it, the truth is uncomfortable and scary.  When you are on your journey to Finding You, your past may come up or there may be reminders of who you used to be, where you used to go, and what you used to do, but it is okay.  Do not dwell in your past (Releasing the Past) and trust the process to Finding You.  Remember, there is The One in front of you guiding you so just know, He has you.

Hey guys!  Here is the link for the podcast.  Please listen and I hope you enjoy!!!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/365girlworld/2015/03/25/inspiration-tuesday-finding-you

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Happiness vs. Joy by Coach Yolanda Gray

Here is just a little something extra l read that resonated with me. Happiness vs. Joy. Do you know the difference and are you living in a state of Joy? Read and find out! Enjoy!

thirtydaysofjoy

True joy is not a by-product of getting what we want; if you

aren’t happy now, getting that person, place or thing may

bring happy, but it won’t last. I always thought if only I

could….have this, that whatever (or whoever), then, and only

then would I really be happy.

But no, it either turned out to be a disaster or left me wanting

for more or different.

It was only by the long, difficult process of allowing God to

transform my thinking and become clear about my core

values—my true self– did I begin to experience fulfillment

and joy.

The key to freedom and joyous living is finding out those

values that are most important to you and living by them.

When your life matches your core values, you are living

authentically, no matter what is happening externally.

It isn’t easy, but that need to be real is always…

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Radio Podcast Debut!!

I am super excited to be a guest on 365 GirlWorld Radio’s Inspiration Tuesday this Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 9pm live.  I cannot wait to chat it up with The Heiress and the ladies about “Finding You”.  Please tune in my clicking the direct link below.  I hope it will be a big inspiration to you!!

Image for Podcast

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/365girlworld/2015/03/25/inspiration-tuesday-finding-you

Releasing the Past

“Never look back” or “Live with no regrets”  are mottos that many people often go by and to be honest, I could never understand people who lived my those mottos.  I often looked back at my past and I have lived with more than a few regrets.  However, after beginning my journey to discover my purpose, I became aware that I had to let go of my past.

Releasing my past was not a simple task and I am not quite living by the motto, “Live with no regrets”, however, I have learned that I should not look back.  Before you continue to read, please visit my previous posts, Chipping Away Your Boulder, Daddy Issues, and Fear as these could be a few topics that could be holding you back from releasing your past because they certainly were for me.  Looking back served little purpose for me, especially when I obsessed over the mistakes and unfortunate situations that I, regrettably, were apart of.

When I looked back at my past, I ended up dwelling there and bringing my past to my present.  That is one huge mistake I believe that people often do.  I know I have done it with friendships, romantic relationships, work, and even judging my own character.  Eventually, I ended up being my worst critic.  Can you relate to that?  Being your worst critic goes along with having a negative mind.  Everything I thought of, I related to something negative that I have done in my past or believed that I could not do.  I basically talked myself out of trying new things or setting new goals because I focused more on my past experiences and I never embraced the chances I had to start over in the present.

At this point, I had my past held by its’ throat, never wanting to let it go because that was a place  where I felt comfortable.  It seems crazy, I’m sure.  How can I feel comfortable in a past that has caused be so much anger, confusion, doubt, and fear?  I continued to constantly focus on all of those emotions that it became how I unconsciously felt presently, even when I did not move forward with taking chances or experiencing something new.  So there I was…stagnant.  Standing in my own past that I somehow could not release.  Unfortunately, I stood there for a very long time, trying to make decisions based on my past, but still remained motionless.  I thought using my past experiences would help me make better choices in my present life and for my future, which is true, to an extent.  However, I was using my past experiences to hurt me, not help me.

So that was when I decided to let it all go, right?  Wrong!  I had to realize what I was doing.  Fortunately for me, I had someone to share my thoughts with, which I highly recommend, and they helped me come to the conclusion that I was standing and sinking in all of the “mess” from my past, but I had a choice.  Of course, I chose to let my past go and I had to do the work of chipping away my boulder, which took a few years (my stuff ran a little deep lol).  After doing my work, I still had another decision…hold on to the terrible things as keepsakes, so I would not forget what not to do.  No!  As I mentioned in Chipping Away Your Boulder, “I could not act as if they did not exist because I would be denying what I went through as my life’s experience”.  However, I have been able to move forward without the constant reminder because I no longer dwell in my past.  So I say to you, release your past and make new discoveries…and yes it is okay to take a glance at your past, but please, never dwell there.

The Negative Mind

Negative thinking is subtle and deceptive.  It wears many faces and hides behind the masks of many excuses.  It is important to strip away the mask and discover the real, root emotion. ~Robert H. Schuller

This past weekend made me, unexpectedly, reflect on the few changes that has happened in my life.  I have just begun incorporating the phrase, “I am a positive thinker” in my daily life, even when I know it is very difficult for me to be optimistic, but after being held accountable a few weeks ago, by someone who I believe was sent to literally walk right into my life during the worst time, I am slowly beginning to take the phrase more seriously.  Being in a constant battle with your thoughts can be toxic to your mind, body, and spirit, but you hardly notice what the negative thoughts are doing to you physically and mentally because you, unknowingly, make excuses for your negative mind.

For example, I always had negative conceptions about my looks, my ability to do new things, and if I was ever good enough.  School, family, relationships, friendships, or just about anything you can think of, I had doubts about being successful.  Overall, I rarely noticed all of the positive attributes about myself because my negative thinking had me wearing “the masks of many excuses” such as, “That person does not like me”, “I cannot wear that outfit because I’m too small”, “I am not smart enough”, “I am not pretty enough to be with him or “thick enough”…hey I’m a slim chick!  Or, “I do not do enough for my family to show that I love and care about them”…you see what I mean, my list of excuses could probably cover an entire page, front and back.  Now, while I kept replaying these negative thoughts in my head, along with a few more, I forgot to congratulate myself when I was accepted into a prestigious greek letter organization, graduated from college, began working as an educator, or continued my education and being two months away from graduating with a Masters in Teaching Special Education, while dealing with random trips to the emergency room and a few procedures.  One of which I have coming up this week!

I realized it was time for me to take off my masks and when I had the courage to do so, I began seeing myself for the first time and I know that may seem a little weird to say.  Yes, I have mirrors in my place, so I see myself everyday, but I SAW MYSELF.  The real beautiful me with no make-up, gorgeous smile, and a mane that is only fit for a queen.  Suddenly, I saw the insecurities creep back into my mind, but I had to make a choice.  To continue to hide behind that masks and look at the many excuses I made up for myself or marvel at the intelligent beauty that was looking back at me saying, “I was here all along, so what took you so long?”

Since making that decision, things have not been the same, but they have not been easier either.  The negative mind is a strong, tough, and powerful being that takes a lot to get over, at least for men and maybe I will never be completely over my negative mind.  However, on the days I feel discouraged and I want to give up, I tell myself, I am a positive thinker and I think about the many things that I accomplished in the midst of my many storms and I also think about the good things that are to come.  Have you been hiding behind your masks of many excuses because you continuously think negative about your life or yourself?  When you are ready, and you will know when you are ready, take off all of the masks and discover the real you and be ready to face the root.

Chipping Away Your Boulder

I’m sure you are familiar with the phrase, “a chip on your shoulder”.  You are usually upset at something or someone or you may feel down about yourself.  Only sometimes, this so called chip grows and grows until it feels more like an immovable boulder.  You can probably relate this to having baggage, but considering I am more of a visual person, I viewed it as a boulder.  So what do you do?  Continue to carry this chip, also known as your boulder, around as if it is apart of you, while struggling to manage the weight?  Just imagine having something that is immovable by man because the weight is so massive on your back.  That is exactly how I felt with all of the issues that I was forced to begin to face two years ago.

Facing this huge obstacle was something that I did not choose to do, it was more so forced upon because of what I was dealing with at the time during my life.  It is funny how life will position you in a way where you will have to face your fears, past, guilt, shame, loneliness, secrets, and your insecurities all at once.  So there they were…all of my issues that I could possibly think of, fused into this hard and heavy boulder that I was tired of caring around.  All I could think of at that moment was, now what?

I couldn’t suppress it at all.  Instead, I had to accept everything that was weighing me down for years and I had to determine what I was going to do with it.  I could not move it, make it disappear, or act as if it did not exist.  I tried that for years and if anything, more junk just accumulated. So, I decided to chip away at the boulder.  First, I had to get my protective gear and my tools that I would need in order to work on dismantling my boulder.  My protective gear was prayer, meditation, and listening to myself about my feelings.  My tools for breaking down the gigantic monstrous boulder were honestly, my anger, frustration, and tears.  I was done with holding on to everything and once I was able to admit that and talk about everything I used to feel uncomfortable about or disliked about myself, I slowly started to feel lighter.  Now, this was a process and was not an overnight fix, but once it was done, I noticed something.  I successfully chipped away the boulder, but instead of carrying all my issues, I was surrounded by them.  Visually, they became rocks scattered about me.  Now What??

My next plan was to decide if I was going to discard all of those issues and begin a new life, worry about ALL of my issues and allow them to take control of me all over again, or be happy that I was looking down at my issues versus carrying them in such a way that consumed my life.  It took me awhile to realize that looking down at my issues was a beautiful thing.  I thought about the phrase, “kick rocks”.  Yes!  I could actually maneuver those rocks that once laid over me as a boulder.  That felt amazing.  However, how can I say that?  Before me, laid the very issues I cried over and felt shameful about.  They were still there, but this was the turning point for me.

At that moment, I acknowledged that all of those issues, the not so bad to the most ugliest issues, were experiences that made me who I am today.  So, I could not get rid of them because that would be like getting rid of parts of myself.  I could not act as if they did not exist because I would be denying what I went through as my life’s experiences.  Instead, I continued to go on my journey in life accepting my issues as experiences and every now and again, I see them on my life’s path, but it is okay because I know I do not have time to stop, examine, and pick up that issue because I know that there are new experiences lying ahead of me.  Waiting just for me.  I am sure that all of my future experiences will not be good ones, but the best part about it is I have freed myself of my past issues to fully deal with my future experiences…good or bad.  In all, if you have had enough of struggling with carrying your boulder, just ask yourself, is it time for you to get your protective gear and tools and chip away your boulder?

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Daddy Issues

I am beginning to notice that the phrase “daddy issues” is often seen as a negative and makes a woman seem less attractive, weak, or crazy.  Well I can honestly say, I am neither one of those and having daddy issues is not the reason why a woman appears less attractive, weak, or crazy…well maybe that is not the only reason.

Over the weekend, I went to a program where a group of panelists, three men and three women, had an open discussion about relationships, love, and marriage.  Some were married, single, and parents.  As I was enjoying the dialogue that began to spark amongst the audience and the panelists, one woman stated on the panel, “never be with a woman who has daddy issues”.  What?  I immediately became offended as well as the woman who sat beside me during the program.  At least I knew I was not the only one!  I asked myself, how could that woman say that when she admitted to having daddy issues herself and was happily married?  What was she trying to do to us single women who did not have our fathers in our lives or a barely there relationship with them?

A few days before I was startled by that comment, I had a male friend respond to my previous post, “Daddy’s Girl”.  He said he was fearful that if I wrote about having daddy issues that I would be seen as weak and would be easy to take advantage of my men.  Again…what?  After these two comments, it has been on my mind to discuss daddy issues.  Now, I am aware that I will only be able to touch the surface on this grande dilemma by discussing my experiences, but I hope to spark a conversation or at least have you begin thinking about any issues you may have with your father.

First of all, do not be ashamed that you have issues with your father.  Accept that you have these issues and decide on how you want to deal with them.  Now, accepting these issues were extremely hard for me to do because I was angry and unhappy.  I blamed my mother, secretly, for choosing him to be with intimately and I blamed my father, not so secretly, for being the man that he was.  The two things I had absolutely no control over.  However, I did have control over my anger and unhappiness and I had to accept why I had those emotions.  Next, I had to figure out what I was going to do about the strained relationship I had with my father.  Complain to everyone around me?  Continue to point fingers and be angry or try to find men I could use to fill the emptiness I felt inside?  Are you currently doing these very same things?  If so, stop!  It is not going to help the situation.  Instead, I thought about doing something else.  I journaled, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and talked to someone I could trust about my feelings and thoughts.  In the midst of doing both of those, I reached a moment of clarity.  I realized my father did not know how I felt about us and it was time that I informed him.

I was asked exactly how I was going to discuss years and years of anger, abandonment, and sadness with the man I accused of putting me through all of the above.  I knew I could not talk to him because I have tried before.  Trust me, it was not my first time attempting to address my issues.  After phone conversations, brief temper flare-ups, and even my mother talking to him, I decided to write a letter…a four page letter…on legal size paper.  In that letter, I discussed everything that was on my heart and I even had the courage to give it to him in person.  It is funny, but you will find courage in doing something you were often afraid to do before, but when you have had enough, you are comfortable with doing whatever it takes and I had reached that point of no return.  Even if you are unable to give your father a letter or give him a call, writing down your true feelings will be a step toward freeing yourself of your issues.

I wish I could continue to write that the relationship with my father has blossomed into something I always dreamed of since giving him the letter, but I cannot.  However, I can finally say that I am satisfied with the actions I took to free myself of my daddy issues, which brings me to my next step.  Find peace within yourself.  I may not have peace with my father and all of the issues may not be resolved, but that is ok because I know I did all that I could possibly do.  I have too much to live for and when I think of not having my father play an active role in my life, I simply look above, smile, and say thank you.