Happy Birthday Dr. King

Today, January 15th, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have been 90 years old. He was a pioneer in the civil rights movement, a Nobel peace prize recipient, a husband, a father, orator and a Baptist preacher. In the U.S. we recognize his birthday with a federal holiday the third Monday in January. So, on January 21st we will observe his birthday with a day off.

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I always do a service project on MLK holiday. I will be working with some of my sorority sisters to volunteer at We Feed Our People. Munch would be there to help me, but he will be with some of my fraternity brothers and his friends attending a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This museum is currently closed due to the federal government shutdown, but we’re told that it will be open for them. Munch is super excited to attend and having some of his friends with him will be icing on the cake.

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However, Munch and I will be volunteering this Saturday for MLK day with Mothers of Black Boys United at A Wider Circle. They are a non-profit that helps people in poverty by providing basic need items to individuals and families transitioning out of homelessness, fleeing domestic violence, or otherwise living without the essentials for life. I’m super excited about this opportunity because I love to serve and I’m getting Munch in the habit as well.

So we are serving in honor of a man that gave his life to serve others.

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The Truth Hurts

Last week when I was driving Munch to school he and I were talking and suddenly I lost my train of thought. Munch being his ever observant self noticed that I cut the conversation short. He asked me what I was trying to say. I said “I can’t remember Munch.” I said “Mommy’s getting older and sometimes when I’m doing more than one thing I can lose my train of thought.” He said “You’re not old Mommy.” I laughed and said “Yes, son, I am. I’m 44 and as hard as I try, I will forget things.” He was upset and said “No, Mommy you’re not old. Nanna is old (my mother). Mamma Lennie (my grandmother) is old.” I couldn’t stop laughing. I said “Munch, my mom and grandma are not that old.” He said “Yes, they are. Look, I’m not trying to be funny but sometimes the truth hurts and the truth is that they are old but you are not old.”

I couldn’t stop laughing. He’s 10 and he’s talking about sometimes the truth hurt. But, I thought about the truth in what he said and you know what? He was right. Sometimes the truth hurts. We spend so much of our lives trying to get the right words to say the right things to people thinking of how we don’t want to hurt people’s feelings – and the truth gets lost in trying to frame it right. But, isn’t it true that no matter what you try to do in life, the truth will sometimes hurt?

It’s not intentional. It just does. Think about the time when someone was truthful to you about something. Was it your outfit, appearance, body of work, etc? Did it hurt? Maybe. However, if you value honesty, you got over it. You thanked God for another day. You moved on.

When you try to pretty up the facts the truth can get lost in translation. I think that’s why I’ve always been a straight shooter. I stand on truth.  I want Munch to stand on truth. To be kind but to be honest. Your word matters.

So, 2019 has me examining the truth in everything and everyone. My son gets his directness from me. It’s not something that I want to change in him. I just pray that as he grows he continues to deliver the truth in everything he says. That he stands on his words and that they are truthful.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.

Being Alone, Being Lonely & Being by Yourself

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Being alone, being lonely, and being by yourself all sound similar. However, the the three are very different like the words, there, their, and they’re. In regards to relationships, the feeling we can get from being alone, and being lonely, can be counterproductive, and feed on us like a leech. Being by yourself is more of a necessary action one takes to recalibrate, reconstitute, and reinvent.

Being Alone

When we feel alone, this means we are without, lacking something, or someone we perceive we need.  Devoid of the presence of another human that we feel close to—we feel abandoned, or unattended. Under those circumstances, we can succumb to feelings of desperation, depression or suicide.  At the very least, this can lead to terrible decision making.

Being alone doesn’t always mean we’re physically without a companion. It can also mean we’re currently in a relationship with someone who is emotionally, and mentally absent. They leave behind a desolate, desert-like feeling in their wake.

There are even times when we have a person(s) that cares, and supports us. However, the feelings of being alone are far deeper than they are able to comprehend. In these cases, a more experienced person may by needed.

Renown neuroscientist John Cacioppo, defines loneliness as:

“perceived social isolation, or the discrepancy between what we want from your social relationships and your perception of those relationships.”

When we feel alone, the best course of action, is find a space where we are constructively supported by individuals who have our best interests at heart. Notably, people who care about our well-being.

 

Being Lonely

The word Lonely is defined as:

affected-with, characterized-by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome. Destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, support, etc.

Being lonely can be very dangerous when it goes unchecked. It feels like there’s no one around you. Even when you’re in a crowd of people, you feel like the only one in the room. You can have supportive family, and friends, and still feel like nothing matters.

John Cacioppo, a researcher in the field of loneliness, points out:

loneliness is on the rise — from 11 percent to 20 percent in the 1970s and 1980s to 40 percent to 45 percent in 2010.

Basically, loneliness sucks!

I’ve personally jumped into the deep abyss of borderline depression. It was all a result of feeling lonely. The journey back to the top where I could breathe again, was exhausting to say the least.  If you do not have a solid plan to get yourself out of this dark place, it can lead to other issues… psychological, emotional, and physical.

Feelings of loneliness, can also lead to allowing unsavory individuals with bad intentions, and ulterior motives into our lives. As a result, bad decision-making become second nature.

Positive Reinforcement

When we’re lonely, our judgement has collapsed, like a punctured lung in need of inflation. Consequently, the overwhelming amount of negative thoughts can consume us. This is when positive reinforcement comes into the picture. We must force ourselves to remember:

  • This is a moment in life, not the end of your life. You can get through it.
  • We all feel alone at different stages during our life. We are not weird because we feel this way.
  • Embrace the time to yourself. In a world filled with tasks, kids, work, errands, groups, and social media, it’s rare to have time for you.

Psychology Today writer Robert L. Leahy Ph.D says:

Rather than thinking that you need to rely on others for love, acceptance, and compassion, you might direct these thoughts and feelings toward yourself. This can include acts of loving kindness toward yourself such as making yourself a healthful treat or buying yourself a simple gift; directing loving thoughts toward yourself by giving yourself support for being who you are and by being your own best friend.

 

Being By Yourself

Here’s where choice comes in.

Being by yourself means you have decided to go on your own for this round. I’m a firm believer that everyone should take this step. Especially after a relationship. Taking time to reflect on past decisions. Even using the opportunity to grow ourselves mentally, emotionally, and physically. These are all byproducts of taking the time out, to be by yourself.

Time with yourself is priceless. You can think through previous actions without distractions. I’m not saying people are distractions (OK, yes I am) but you get my point.

At one point in my life, I had to break off a relationship because I couldn’t focus while she was around. I wanted to evolve, and become better, but I needed some time away from her to do so. While she didn’t necessarily understand my strategy here, I knew I needed that time to myself, in order to heal my mind, spirit, and heart. In addition, I needed to grow myself to a new level. For this reason, I was able to ascend into the man I am today.

This is why taking time-out to be by yourself is priceless. It is also why it is vastly different than being alone, and being lonely.

Next time someone asks you, “don’t you hate being alone?” You respond to them by saying…

No, I like being by myself

44 Promises

Today is my birthday. My 44th in fact. I’ve lived 44 years on this Earth and I’m thankful for each and every year. I wanted to share with you the 44 promises that I’ve made with myself over the years.

  1. To accept responsibility for my actions
  2. To live life to the fullest
  3. To forgive myself
  4. To forgive others
  5. To live by truth
  6. To invest in myself
  7. To spend time with friends
  8. To spend time with family
  9. To take vacations and/or trips
  10. To make more memories
  11. To trust in myself
  12. To love completely
  13. To speak in the positive
  14. To affirm myself
  15. To exercise
  16. To meditate
  17. To pray
  18. To dance
  19. To laugh often
  20. To do what I want
  21. To make time for things that matter
  22. To not allow negative space to consume me
  23. To trust that God sees me
  24. To believe that even when it seems darkest that God’s got it
  25. To see people for who they really are
  26. To make new friends
  27. To get a hobby
  28. To do what I love
  29. To change my mind if I want to
  30. To be the best mom ever
  31. To be present in the moment
  32. To say no if I feel like it
  33. To not commit myself to everything
  34. To take time out for me when I feel like it
  35. To listen to my body
  36. To feed my soul
  37. To read more
  38. To ask for help
  39. To accept help
  40. To compliment others often
  41. To let people know when I’m displeased
  42. To let people in and not be so guarded
  43. To try new things
  44. To be a better person each and every day.

That’s it. I really didn’t start promising things to myself until I hit 40. At that point I realized that I needed to invest in me first. To make sure that I’m feeding my soul with good people, good moments and good energy.

I have nothing planned this evening as I have Munch and he has tutoring. He wanted to take me out to dinner tonight but I told him we can go on Saturday. He doesn’t have money so in essence I’m taking him out for my birthday. But, it is a mommy/son date night and I’m thankful for each and every one of the memories we make.

It’s 2019 loves and I want to thank you for following me and being on this journey with me. One more year done and I’m praying that it is better than the last. There is value in choosing you first. Be blessed loves!

 

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.

Happy New Year! It’s 2019

Happy New Year!

It’s another year and another opportunity for progress. That’s all we can hope for. We are not looking for perfection. Just get in the race and improve your score. Trust me it helps. I’m learning to not focus on the overwhelming tasks but to take things bit by bit. It will get done.

One of my goals for 2019 is to make more memories. I’m going to be 44 in two days and there are so many things that I want to experience. I want to fall in love again and I want to go on vacation this year with Munch. I need to get to planning.

I have some goals that I’m trying to get to but I’ll share more about them later. I just want to say to each and every one of you…May your dreams be brighter, your soul lighter and your heart heavier with the love you feel for others this year. I love you all.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.

Courtship vs. Dating: The Breakdown

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I believe that we have confused courtship with dating…

Dating is what most people in the American culture do. Courtship is what most people in the American culture aspire to do, but conform to dating because either they don’t know how to court, they realize dating is easier, or they have been socialized and conditioned to find their mate one way, not the other.

Please stop using the word, “courtship” when you are actually speaking about dating.

What is Courtship?

Courtship is a mutual partnership, a journey together with the intended purpose of marriage (from the beginning). Courtship is intentional and purposeful.

Courtship is focus on marriage (or lifelong companionship). This happens from the door, not months down the road.

Men get antsy when the “M” word is mentioned. Why? A man that is intentional with a woman won’t get nervous at the sound of the word, “marriage.” In courtship, marriage is discussed, early and often. You don’t waste time playing around, having casual sex, and doing extraordinary things for a person who you don’t see in your future.

Finally, courtship is a linear process. It’s doesn’t have various different versions that are left up to perception, translation or recreation. It’s very strategic.

An example would look something like this:

Step 1: Get to know the person on a personal and spiritual level consistently. Talk about expectations, family, friends, finances, goals, and past experiences. Always have fun. Laugh, joke, and enjoy each other.. enjoy the process.
Step 2: Stay out of romantic situations
Step 3: State your intentions with each other
Step 4: Always pour into each other
Step 5: Stay out of romantic situations
Step 6: Make it official
Step 7: If you want to begin romance and intimacy, here is where I’d start
Step 8: Involve trusted family (or friends) in the process to get to know each other
Step 9: Involve your religious leader if you have one
Step 10: (Men) when you are ready, propose! Take her off the market
Step 11: Seek marriage counseling
Step 12: Make it official under God

What about Dating?

Dating has no real purpose.

You almost immediately jump into romantic situations (dinner dates)… and develop romantic feelings for each other. Real hardcore conversations are rare, and intimate encounters are abundant. As a result, the infatuation is allowed to creep in, while the intentional aspect (courting) is pushed to the side.

Ever date for months only to find out you really don’t know the person? This happens often. Then we wake up one day, in a bad relationship, or with a person who deceived us because we didn’t, properly court the situation or the person.

Most people date. [you disagree?] OK, how many people have you dated in your lifetime knowing you wouldn’t marry them? You knew this, but you still spent time with them, had sex with them, etc.

That is why dating has such a high failure rate.

Dating looks something like this:

Step 1: Meet the person (on or offline)
Step 2: Get to know a few things about them, and then jump into romantic situations based on lust and infatuation
Step 3: Feelings are involved but you barely know the person
Step 4: You’ve probably had sex by now, or at least kissed (opening up the door for more)
Step 5: You really have no idea where this is going
Step 6: You still don’t know a lot about the person you’re having sex with
Step 7: Feelings of fun and sexual pleasure override logic, and you forget you had a goal in mind (marriage)
Step 8: You finally ask “what am I to you?” Or, “How do you feel about marriage?” He responds with a blank stare or curious look
Step 9: You overlook step 8, and continue dating even though you both don’t see the other as marriage material or a long term GF/BF.
Step 10: It finally dissolves because it was never meant to be in the first place
Step 11: But you could have figured that out a lot sooner, had you courted

Or something like that…

A few things I know about Courtship and what it’s really about:

1. Mental

Unfortunately, our sex saturated culture encourages people to lust over the person they are pursuing. We need to intentionally get to know them. How do they see life? What makes them tick? How does their mind work? How will they handle themselves in adverse situations?

2. Spiritual

Unfortunately, many people compromise this principle because they are unable to find enough Christian (or whatever you practice) singles to date. However, we’ll never experience the same level of connection with an non-believer as we would a spiritual follower because they don’t share our values, beliefs, and/or worldview.

They are on a different level than we are.

3. Physical

Sex is promoted as casual and meaningless everywhere we look in our society. Consequently, most people in the dating scene expect to have sex within the first few dates. Also, when sex is acceptable, many men use women merely for physical gratification, leaving both partners feeling empty and unsatisfied. Therefore, we must develop a “flow sex” policy with the special someone we are courting. We should commit to spending time (primarily) with them in public to avoid sexual temptation — and to keep our relationship moving in the right direction.

Once you’ve truly established what you have, if you want to have sex, that’s your choice.

4. Emotional

Unfortunately, many people in the dating scene today withhold their emotions for a variety of reasons. Some don’t want to be hurt again because of previous negative experiences. Others don’t want to feel tied down so they keep their emotions surface-level. Still others avoid feeling anything substantial because they are only concerned about personal gain and physical pleasure. These approaches all hinder true intimacy. Instead, if the connection feels safe and warranted, we must allow ourselves to develop authentic feelings to cultivate god-honoring relationships.

Finally…

This is why the intentions of both parties needs to be apparent from the beginning. If you want to date… understand that there are consequences to that process.. emotional, mental, physical and spiritual consequences as we all know. A true courtship has NOTHING to do with a man [simply] pleasing, pursuing or showing a woman all his cards… But it has everything to do with both parties pursuing each other on equal playing fields, with equal investment, and equal risk.

Stop with the posts and comments about what men aren’t doing. Stop with the posts and comments about what women need to do. Gain understanding in what YOU need to do to reach the intended goal.

If you’d like to hear my podcast on this topic click here and follow me for season 2 in January of 2019.

Merry Christmas

I’m wishing each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas from my house to yours. I thank you for being a part of this journey with me and I pray that you will still find my words beneficial in the new year. Enjoy this day with your family and friends knowing that Jesus is the reason for the season.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.

Motivational Monday Moment – 12.10.18

I’m back with the Motivational Monday Moment. For my new readers, this is where I try to encourage you to keep pushing on despite your circumstances. Trust me – I’ve fallen victim to my own circumstances and have wallowed in the hells of despair only to be reminded that trouble don’t last always and that this right now is temporary.

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This last month has been hell. Chaos all around me that put me in a negative mind space. I was literally grasping at straws to keep from cursing and losing my dang mind. I was angry and although I had every right to be I was letting the chaos of the situation alter my core. I was keeping that anger inside and was ready to kick some butt.

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Until the 1st of December.

I had a session with my therapist who had been out of town for the last month and she centered my soul. She said to me that I need to ask God to give me peace in the situation. She reminded me that the Bible says…

Philippians 4:7 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

She told me that God would give me peace but I needed to pray for myself. I needed to pray to God to give me peace. Wow! She was right. I was praying for everyone around me but not for me. I needed to pray for myself. And in her office that day she prayed over me and my spirit and God gave me peace. It was as though he had been waiting for me to come to him on behalf of myself.

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I surrendered my all and got peace in my spirit. This peace is helping me in the chaos of my life to stand and just let God be God. I can’t stop the chaos, but I can surrender to be peaceful. God is in control of it all.

That is my wish for you today. That you surrender to the peace and know that this season is only temporary. That the chaos will come but if you ask God for peace, I promise you that He will give it to you. What will you ask Him for today?

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.

Each Day

It gets easier to not see you

To not think of you

To wish away the smell of you

To not want to taste the sweetness of your lips

To not cry when I look at old photos of you

 

Each day it gets easier

To not want the love back

To escape the memories made

To not hold on to a love that has slipped away

 

Each day it gets easier

To remember that it is better to have almost tasted forever

than never have gotten close

 

Each day

Each day I sigh

Just one more day

One more hour

One more minute

and I will

be free

 

-Tikeetha Thomas ©

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.

 

Just Stand

Hello Loves! Long time with no hear or read. I’ve missed all of you and I can’t thank you enough for your checking in on me during my long hiatus away from this blog. So many things have happened to me and I’ll be sharing more about it in the coming weeks. It was crazy how many people found me on FaceBook or even reached out on Instagram and Twitter with concern. You just don’t know how wonderful you made me feel.

Nothing is wrong, I’m just juggling my hectic life and preparing for court next week. We’ll talk more about that later. But, what has been going on with me? So much has happened these last four months.  I had a woman on my staff pass away in September. She was an amazing woman who was a great staff member with an eagle eye for detail. I thanked God every day that I had inherited someone so detail oriented and knowledgeable with systems.

With her being gone, my team and I entered our busy season and tried to deal with the loss and get things done. I am happy to say that we did. My team is great and I’m thankful for all of them. Even when I’m not there they still get the job done.

Munch entered fifth grade this year. It is an adjustment because he now has 3 main teachers. His homeroom teacher teaches science to all 5th graders and social studies and health to Munch’s class. He has a math teacher that teaches math to all the 5th graders and a French teacher for oral and written communication and French reading. He’s struggling in math and French and I’ve put him in private tutoring. So, we are at the center 4 nights a week to make sure that he’s staying on level.  Do you know how hard that is?

French is crazy because the words that he is supposed to know at 10 have grown. Not just in French but in English. Many nights are spent going to dictionary.com to look up the word’s meaning and explaining it in English and then researching it in French. We’re trying to use it in a sentence to further his understanding and I feel so unprepared. Let’s just say that French this year has been hard work. However, with all that I’m proud that Munch is putting forth his best effort and I’m proud to report that he has earned a 3.4 for his 1st quarter. These teachers are so patient with me because I’m emailing every two weeks with questions, comments or concerns.

With so many things happening I still found time to grant write for the school’s PTA and just enjoy life. I’m still single which is crazy because I haven’t gone on one date since Mr. C and I broke up. I’m just not emotionally ready. Not that I’m still trying to get back with him it’s just that I have a lot going on and I’m not mentally ready to let another man in my space right now. It could be the cold weather too. LOL. I have no idea. But, I’ll be back on the dating scene in 2019.

I’m active in my sorority and just enjoying this thing called life. Christmas is in 20 days and I’m done shopping. Can you believe it? Munch still believes in Santa and I’m happy the magic continues one more year. I’ve reconnected with old friends and created new friends who have encouraged my soul beyond regard. My FaceBook friends and I actually met this summer. We had a ball.

Finally, I need to stand still. I’m learning to be more thoughtful and just stand in the midst of chaos and allow God to give me peace when all hell is breaking loose around me. 2018 has been one for the books, but I’m reflecting on how I’m approaching my 44th year next month and there are still so many things to do and so many things to say. I’m praying that the words will flow freely and I can let you into this brain that won’t shut off some nights. Bear with me.

How have you been old friend?

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.