On Sunday’s my family and I try to make sure we jump start the beginning of the week with an high intensity workout. This particular morning my husband and I started early before our middle son joined us. Our middle son was late coming out and by the time he joined us we had already completed our first lap around the neighborhood. When we finished our laps we clapped it up and was about to head inside when my hubby said “no son you have one more lap to go” the look on my son’s face said it all. As he reluctantly began his truck around the neighborhood once more as his mother I felt compassion for him, I mean we were in the middle of the high noon sun in blazing hot Alabama… So as any compassionate mother would do I joined him in his last lap. Now we didn’t walk side by side he was further ahead of me but I walked behind him at a distance. As I watched him in front of me I began to think about how in life sometimes we can think we are at the end of a long hard journey only to discover there’s one more lap. Those surprisingly last laps come in all different forms, another final paper is due when you thought you were done with all the assignments in the class, another 5lbs needed to lose when you stepped onto the scale and you thought you had reached your goal weight, another bill payment, another lost loved one, another fight with your spouse, another lost job, another and another. Those last laps can either break us or mold us. I also thought about how we are not alone in those last laps, just as I walked behind my son for added support, we too have someone who walks with us, Our Creator, is always near. As my son and I made it to the top of the hill, which by the way is the hardest part of the lap, my husband was waiting there in the car so that our son could have his weekly driving lessons, which if you know anything about a teenager, is one of the most exciting things for them to do. When I saw my husband in the car waiting for him I began to smile. I thought to myself at the end of every hard journey there’s always a pleasant surprise that made it all worth while in the end. What’s at the end of your last lap? You can only find out if you take the journey….
Although I’m a vegan, I still love and eat soul food. Vegan soul food that is, there’s nothing better than a hearty plate of chicken fried tofu, vegan mac&cheese, collard greens, and vegan corn bread. It can be difficult at times and I find myself eating this comfort food more than I should. If I’m not intentional about monitoring what I’m eating and how much of it I’m eating my weight can slowly creep up on me.
It can be like that sometimes in life as well. We can get caught up in mindlessness living. Following our day to day daily routines of life which require minimal thinking. This type of living I call the “living dead spirit”. It’s a life I once lived and the only thing it brought me was a dissatisfied life with spurts here and there of temporary happiness.
This means everyday I wake I am focus on fulfilling my God given purpose and assignment. And encouraging and inspiring others to practice the same lifestyle. This way of living brings a joy and peace that this world can’t give or take away. When you become so driven and focus on living out the priceless value that’s placed on your life, what others say or do just doesn’t matter anymore. Your confidence rises because you know your purpose and main goal in life is on accomplishing that purposeful assignment.
When I speak of the word free I don’t mean in reference to free material things or free from work responsibilities. Although when those opportunities of free come along it can be great.
But today I’m talking about a different kind of free. The free that comes when you finally get to a place where the value and purpose of your life is no longer validated or defined by what others think or say. What do I mean by this? It means when you truly grasped your value and purpose you become unstoppable. Unstoppable and free to move forward with a confidence and boldness like never before. You become the best advocate for you, no longer allowing others to determine your course of life.
This type of free comes with a high price tag. It’s price was to high for any one on this earth to pay. But this rare kind of free has already been paid for by our Creator and is available to us if we so choose to grab hold of it. It’s an oxymoron but “to gain your life you must lose it first”. And this my friends is the stumbling block for most, and why the majority of us end up only experiencing fragments of free.
But I am here as a living testimony as one who has surrendered my life and given it back to the one who created it. I am an intelligent design and ONLY my Intelligent Designer knows the blueprints for my life. When I place my full trust in The One who created me I experience the phenomenon of rebirth. And it is at this place my friends that you are FREE. I encourage you over this weekend to spend some quiet reflective time contemplating if you also want to experience this amazing type of FREE.
We live in a time where everyone is seeking to “live out their truth”. I recall the movie, “A Few Good Men”, and the famous line by the actor Jack Nicholson, “You Can’t Handle the Truth”.
I must be honest and say I’ve been going back and forth on rather I should write a blog piece about this sensitive subject. It’s been seven months since I’ve taken the courage to come out of the F.O.G ( Fear, Obligation, & Guilt) and seek the help I needed to emotionally, mentally, and spiritually heal from my ordeal of emotional abuse from my mother. Although I’ve contemplated about sharing my journey of hope and healing I am convinced that I am not alone with what I experienced and by having the courage to speak the truth about my story may some how help other women through encouragement and empowerment and reminding that woman/or women they are not alone.
I have learned through my experience that the whole idealization of what a mother represents makes it extremely difficult for others to understand when you as the daughter makes the decision to place distance between the two of you. This decision erupts such strong emotions and opinions from others concerning your choice. It reminds me of what you experience when your pregnant it seems during those nine months of carrying the child people feel they can impart any and every piece of their mind concerning your pregnancy. But just like the example of the pregnancy, although their maybe commonalities, it’s still your unique journey. This same principle applies to mother and daughter relationships. Although it is hard to fathom this reality but the hard core truth is that not all mothers are capable to provide healthy love to their daughters.
Emotional abuse is so psychological it is hidden deep within the fabric of the mother and daughter dynamic that it’s usually invisible to the naked eye. Which makes another reason why when you as the daughter finally have the courage to take your stand most people can not understand your decision. Emotional abuse doesn’t show visible signs of harm. But the harm is done internally to your mind and spirit; Your sense of self-worth, identity, and self-esteem is so severely damage. These damages done internally externalize themselves in many different forms throughout the daughters life. I will speak candid about my journey and share that my damage externalize through choosing bad relationships, not having any sense of direction or identity in my life, depression and anxiety, having no value to myself so putting everyone else before my needs, anger, and poor lifestyle choices. From the outside looking in everything seems fine but on the inside you the daughter are slowly dying. I think the quote from one of my favorite movies, Beyond the Lights, says it best: “It’s like I’m suffocating in the middle of the street and no one can see me dying,”.
Through doing the hard work of seeking counseling, doing the homework, processing the feelings and emotions, forgiving my mother, forgiving myself, unpacking the many layers of baggage I was carrying and most importantly allowing Gods love to warm my inner spirit I began the healing process. At this point in my life I feel such a freedom I’ve never experienced before. My Creator has revealed during those hard difficult times of my life He was actually present gently wrapping me in His love. He has changed my story from shame and guilt to one of victory, transformation, liberation and unconditional love.
I will end this blog piece with saying it is my hopes by me sharing my story it may inspire, empower, and encourage any woman/women who may be experiencing the same journey that I’ve been through. If you don’t get anything else from this message please remember these last words: YOU ARE VALUE, YOUR VOICE MATTERS, YOU SERVE PURPOSE, YOU ARE LOVED!
Resources for Healing
We live in a noisy society. Everyday we are bombarded with noise. From social media to the television, radio
and people it came seem there is never a moment of stillness.
The common American greeting is “Hi, How are you doing”, but in actuality we are so busy being “noisy” we really truly don’t take the time to be still and listen and really hear “how are you doing”. I have found more meaning to life as I now practice the art of stillness and listening. I take the time to be fully present during a conversation with a friend so that when the question is asked, “how are you doing?”, I’m still and listening to really hear what’s going on in my friend’s life.
I take the time to be still with myself and listen to my inner spirit. I practice doing self checks to assess my wellness: mind, body and spirit. These things have become necessities for my wellbeing. It is essential for me to spend daily time with my Creator because I have learned I am not capable of properly and accurately assessing my mind & spirit without the guidance of the one who holds the blue print to this mind and spirit. During these still times of listening I learn, grow and become even truer to living an authentic life.
I encourage you today or sometime over this weekend to practice the art of stillness and listen to what your mind, body and spirit have to say to you.
So often, in many cultures and societies, who your parents are and what class you were born into are deemed very important. This is a tradition that seems to be found all through history and is deeply ingrained in many places, even today. This worldly idea is so contrary to everything the gospel stands for. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior we are adopted into a Royal family. We become sons and daughters of the Living King. Knowing this truth should impact the way we look at the whole idea that what class or social structure that we or others are born into matter. Because the truth is it doesn’t matter in the eyes of God. God designed EVERYONE with purpose & value. It doesn’t matter how messy your family background may be…YOU MATTER!!!!