Motivational Monday Moment – 12/5/16

Today is the first Monday in the last month of the year. Today’s Motivational Monday Moment is about realizing your dreams. Saturday was an amazing day for me. It was the day that I was inducted into one of the Divine 9 black sorority organizations. It was a lifelong dream for me to be a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. One of those precious dreams that I never really shared because I didn’t want someone to step on it.

So I held that dream close. I didn’t let many people know. It didn’t happen in college because the sorority didn’t have a line when I was ready to go through the membership process. It hurt. Disappointed wasn’t even the word that could describe that pain. However, they were wonderful and invited me to join the graduate chapter that they were linked too. I didn’t.

Life got in the way. Grad school, a second job, dating, moving, marriage, career moves and then a baby. But, my dream was still there. Silently. In my heart. Hoping that one day if God saw fit it would work in my favor. I never gave up on my dream. I just pushed it to the back of my heart and mind.

I prayed and let life happen. I moved forward in determination knowing that it was only a dream deferred, but that one day it would be realized. That dream slowly began to manifest into reality when I reached out to my girlfriend who is the cousin of my best friend. She is a Zeta. I wanted to know was there an interest meeting.

There was an interest meeting. That Sunday in fact. Two days from our conversation. She invited me to attend. I was ecstatic. I said “Okay, God let’s do this.” So, began my journey. From interest to interviewee to aspirant to soror. It was a journey in which I didn’t think I could complete. I was a working mother and the nights were long and I couldn’t take off work. I just started my job in June.

I told you the issues with Munch’s school right? So, I’m emailing the teachers, principals and administrators, going to conferences and managing a team of four people. Burning the candle at both ends would have been an understatement. But, when you are determined, you push forward despite the adversity and the naysayers trying to steal your joy.

Many days I felt like I was failing Munch. He would literally not see me most of the time. I was at meetings while my mother picked him up from school, fed him, helped him with homework, bathed and put him to bed. Munch would wake up in the middle of the night and climb into bed with me. I would snuggle close to get the body warmth of the little boy I birthed. Feeling at peace.

He asked one day “Mommy, what are all these meetings you are going too?” I just smiled and said, “Mommy has dreams Munch. I can’t share it yet, but one day I will and I promise you that you will know that my time away from you was not in vain.” I would kiss his forehead and hug him close and pack my bags and materials for the day’s meeting.

But, things were happening in spite of feeling like I was neglecting my son and being a failure in the best role I’ve ever had. God was giving me signs that this is the path that I’m supposed to be on. He was confirming to me that my dream that I had deferred would be realized. I would get nervous. I would get anxious. I would think the impossible because what I wanted more than anything seemed unattainable. But, I prayed.

I met the most wonderful five women that I could ever have the pleasure of knowing to go through this process with me. We studied. We learned. We laughed. We recited. We leaned. We consoled. They were the best part of the journey. They understood and supported each other that I knew that one day, we would become sorors.

And we did. On Saturday. It was a total surprise and a weight lifted off our shoulders. We had all made it! Together. We understood the importance and value in sisterhood. We all cried.

So, my Monday Motivational Moment is this…you are never too old to realize your dreams. They may be deferred. Misplaced or forgotten, but search deep within your souls and bring them forth in your mind, spirit and heart. Nothing can be accomplished if you don’t believe in your dreams first.

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My Commencement to My 18 Year Old Self

It’s funny that at this time right now when people are graduating that I should be re-evaluating or evaluating my life as well. You know, wishing I had known things that I know now. Thankful for the things that I didn’t know then that probably would have scared the heck out of me. So, it got me to thinking about what I would say to myself at 18 at my high school commencement.

Why? Because no one remembers the speech the valedictorian gave. High school (much like college) was filled with papers, my senior thesis, community activism and parties and I really can’t remember what was commenced. But, if I could for just one moment go back and give my younger self a message it would be this…

  • You are bigger than your problem. Sometimes things will happen to you that you are unprepared for. Mountains will seem unmovable and your problems will seem insurmountable, but you should not distress love. You will be okay. Your student loans will be more than your paycheck and you can’t figure out why your boss is a raging lunatic and you want to walk out the door, but don’t fret love. You will get through this.

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  • Love will hurt. You won’t end up with your childhood love, but that is a fairy tale. Life is different. You will fall in love, get married, live in NYC, have a baby, separate and divorce and you won’t even begin to scratch the surface on the issues you both had. Drink lots of wine and understand that this pathetic period of self-pity can only last for two weeks. You have bills to pay, a job to get to and a child to raise. He needs you. Yes, you will lose some friends, some respect for some people and money because everyone knows that divorce is costly, but you will get through it. Love hurts. You will need to remember what your mom said, “Ain’t no shame in starting over.” You can start over. You will start over. You will know your worth.

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  • You will become a mom. I know it is hard to believe that you will become a mother, but it is true. You will be 32 when you feel your beautiful son kick for the first time. He will be born the April after you turn 33. I know you never wanted children, but I promise you that he is awesome. He will bring more smiles than tears and more hugs than heartache. He is perfect. Perfect for you. He will restore your faith in men and you will have the opportunity to raise a beautiful man to become a wonderful husband to a woman someday. But, be careful sis. The war on our black boys takes center stage as your son is growing. He will be feared. He will be hated. He will be despised. He will be labeled. You have to stand up for him. You have to fight for him with all your might because you are the rib of man. You have to teach him how to love in spite of society’s attitudes. He will love you just for you being you.

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  • Forgiveness is free. You spend so much time carrying grudges and being mad at those that hurt you that it is literally like putting a band-aid on a wound that needs stitches. Look, you don’t have to ever forget those that hurt you. In fact, I encourage you not to. But, what you need to do is forgive yourself. Forgive yourself of the guilt that you carry because you hate what people have done to you. When you forgive those that have wronged you and when you forgive yourself of the guilt you carry you will realize that your burden seems lighter. You will know the true meaning of “thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” You will be comforted because of your faith and the Comforter hears your cries. He hasn’t forsaken you.

  • Take your time. There is no rush to decide what you want to be when you grow up. Allow yourself the opportunity to discover what makes you happy. Whether it is in law or human resources. You deserve to take your time trying to figure out what you want to do. I mean who really knows what they want to do at 18? You should try different things and just go with what you can make a living at. Remember like mom always says, “You have to be able to support yourself”. Trust me — you will.

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  • You are beautiful. You spend so much time hiding your true you that it is at the end of your marriage that you will truly shed your layers and become comfortable in your skin. This is a good thing. You are beautiful. Intimately created by the man up stairs and you know what? You should rock that short shift dress and show off those honey colored thighs. Your momma gave them to you. Don’t hide behind baggy jeans and big shirts. Love that awkward shaped nose and big arms. Your curves are gorgeous. They tell your story and yes you have a butt that others will try to emulate by taking injections. Keep your head up and rock the skinny jeans sis! You are beautiful.

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All in all, just remember where your help comes from. Don’t allow your pride to stop you from asking for help. Allow others to get close to you. Enjoy the ride baby girl because it will be bumpy!

Identifying Broken

Truth is everybody is going to hurt you: you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for. – Bob Marley

In this period of self-evaluation, I’ve come to the realization that the world is full of broken people. It’s not just me. Everyone seems to be broken. But, before I could analyze or accept someone else’s brokenness I decided that I had to determine my type of brokenness and deal with any unresolved issues. Not necessarily for my potential mate, but for myself. Everyone knows baggage destroys when it’s sitting in your closet leaking toxic chemicals. LOL!

Seriously though I love the fact that I’ve been evaluating myself and determining what makes me happy. This self-evaluation has benefited me in dating because it has allowed me to be more judicious in how I spend my time with potential suitors. How? Because I know what my issues are (broken parts of me) and I know what I will and will not accept in a relationship (their broken parts).

Let me give you some examples:

  • A man who is abusive whether physically or verbally is “Broken Abuser”
  • A man who has an inability to commit to women is “Broken Non-Committal”
  • A man who has trust issues with women is “Broken Non-Trusting”
  • A man who has no financial means to support himself is “Broke Broken”

You get the gist right? By categorizing the broken parts of men it allows me to know exactly what I want and don’t want. Now, before you start thinking that I’m trying to build a perfect mate or not acknowledge my issue, that’s not true. Here are my broken names:

  • Broken Neurotic – I worry all the time even though I know that faith and fear can’t co-exist in the same place. I worry about being able to send my son to college, provide financially for my son, expose my son to different concepts and cultures or die before he is an adult.
  • Broken Controlling – Growing up I’ve been through hell and back. Not just financially, but emotionally and physically. Those things that happened in my past were beyond my control. Therefore, I am a control freak when it comes to my life. I like to control as much as possible and allow room for God to shake it up because I know that the best way to see God laugh is to show him your plans. So, in my mind I have to establish control so that I can prevent the unthinkable from happening again. I don’t try to control anyone else’s life, just my own. This controlled demeanor confuses people whereby they tend to make judgments on me as a person because I’m so calmed and dead face about things.
  • Broken Vulnerable – I tend to take a long time trusting people to even be vulnerable with them. It stems from my past relationships with men. If men don’t display a willingness to be open and transparent with me then I’m very guarded in my dealings with them.

See, I don’t think I’m perfect. However, what I’ve been able to do is to identify my issues and look at the men I meet with a different lens. Trying to identify their brokenness and see if it is something I can handle or not. If I can’t no worries, I will move on. If it is something that I can handle, then they are moved to the possibilities category.

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Motivational Monday Moment: Psalm 23

One of my favorite passages in the bible is Psalm 23. It is one of the first passages that I memorized as a child and even as an adult it provides so much comfort when I’m going through something. Which lately seems to be often. I want to share a motivational moment with you by sharing this Psalm.

I had a horrible Monday last week. I was stressed on the way to work. Bad weekend and communication led to me being disheartened and annoyed when I woke up. I put on my brave face and went into the office and realized that it was going to be one of those days. You know the ones that suck really bad because everyone woke up on the wrong side of the bed?

Yep, I was in a never-ending nightmare of foolishness. I was hot. On the way to work a friend was ministering to me and he said “You have an anointing on your life and I don’t know why you won’t acknowledge and accept that. You know that every trial and test is meant to strengthen you. You know the word. Read Psalm 23 and pray.” I mumbled, “Thank you and got off the phone.” Not realizing that my day would only get worse.

But, let me tell you how good God is. I forgot that I had to lead the Christian Education church call last Monday night until it popped on my calendar. I was freaking out. I called my mom. I said, can you please help me? Can you be on the call, do the opening or closing prayer? Something? She said, “I can’t baby. I have a meeting at church at the same time.” I sighed.

She sent me a suggested bible verse and I have to tell you that it was God’s divine intervention. The call was wonderful and praise filled. I was disappointed at the turnout but I understood because there were a number of things going on at the church and I was happy with the few that did join. I did the opening prayer and gave the bible verse discussion which was John 16:17-20 and John 16:23-28.  It was awesome.

I gave testimony to how this season really reminds me of the true sacrifice of God and how my son is really getting excited about Easter. Not the candy or the Easter baskets but the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Wow! I was praying and praising about the goodness of God and you know what? He did it! I felt better. I ended the call and went to dinner with my girlfriend in a wonderful spirit. I knew I needed to get right. So, you know what?

I don’t want you to have a horrible Monday. I want you to learn from my testimony and know that this too shall pass. This situation may be bad, but know that it is temporary. You were meant to be victorious.

I hope and pray that your Monday is absolutely positive and you know that you were divinely made and perfectly created by God. I want you to know that God is always with you and you have nothing to fear. He is your comforter and your protector.

Psalm 23

The Divine Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
    he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long.

 

Be blessed loves!

Why I Won’t Love You

I won’t love you because your definition of love is vastly different from mine.

You see love as control and order. Everything must be in perfect alignment. No coloring outside of the lines.

You see love as a game where you chase, I submit and I live as you wish striving to make you happy.

You see love as a dance where you always lead and I have to follow whether or not I want to go.

You see love as an opportunity to brag and boast about the goodness of me without having to do anything.

You see love as something that you are required to have and not something you desire.

 

I see love as a smorgasbord of opportunities to improve the life of you.

I see love as my chance to color the rainbow on your heart just like a three year old. Why? Because sometimes love is messy.

I see love where you will chase, I will submit and WE will live each day trying to make each other happy.

I see love as a dance between two people wanting to put their best foot forward. Although I’m awkward in my love dance, I want someone who will create a new move with me.

I see love as a chance to wake up each day thanking God for you. Just you.

I see love as an opportunity to improve both of our lives by loving you without limits.

 

Do you see now why I won’t love you?

Our definitions of love differ.

You think of you and I think of US.

It’s My Fault

Last week I read the below Facebook post and experienced my own Aha moment! Not that there was a great idea associated with the author’s post that I didn’t know, but it was more that I was listening to my inner spirit. My conscience was reminding me that I’m going through a transformation period and like I said in an earlier post, God is telling me to harvest my field. Reading this post reminded me of one fundamental fact…It’s my fault.

It’s my fault if I allow people to disrespect me and the relationships we have. It’s my fault if I don’t acknowledge the brokenness and continue in a perpetual cycle of insanity. Then why can’t I be honest with myself? Why can’t I stop trying to find the good in people and understand that the only thing I can control is…me.

My girlfriend reminded me the other day about this. When we were talking and I was expressing my frustrations about things that were happening and she said it, “Sweetie, you can’t blame them. You need to blame yourself because you are allowing the disrespect, dysfunction or insanity to continue.” She reminded me what the late Dr. Maya Angelou said…

“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”

Yep, I was trying to fix and give people all kinds of chances because I knew I could see good in their character. It isn’t that they aren’t good people. They just aren’t good for me. So, when I read the Facebook post it was confirmation of what my inner spirit was saying. Stop trying to make a square peg fit in a round circle.

I’m my own worst enemy and over the years, I’ve had some amazing and some not so amazing people enter my life. The good ones give me advice that speaks to my spirit years later and reminds me when I’m at a crossroads that I need to evaluate and change things. For example, a young man that I met at my second job outside of college said to me

“Relationships are supposed to be symbiotic which means we both get something from them. If you are the only one giving and you’re not getting anything from it then it is parasitic and you must end it.”

I was 24 when he said this to me. So, how come almost 20 years later I’m just truly understanding the value in what he said? How many of us are staying in parasitic relationships because we believe that we can change the other person? How many of us feel depleted emotionally, spiritually, financially or physically because we can’t let go? Me.

I had arrived at my Aha moment and realized that it is my fault. If I am honest with myself from the start then I will see people for who they truly are the first time. I will embrace the truth – the first time.

Be blessed my loves!

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A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 3 (NRSV)

Everything Has Its Time

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

I’ve been going through a rough patch over the last few days. It started before my birthday last week and continued through yesterday. My issue is simply not wanting to do what I know I should do. See I know Ecclesiastes 3. I have been taught this for many years. Understanding that there is a time for everything.

But, what if we don’t want to do what we know we should do when that time comes? Are we angering God? Are we being disobedient? Over the last few months I’ve been applying, speaking and meditating on the fact that God brings people into your life for a reason, season or lifetime. What happens when that reason or season is up? How do we deal with it?

I have a confession…I’m not good at letting go of the things and people I love the most. It’s hard for me. I want to hold on and try to repair things to the point that I’m probably doing more harm than good. I guess another way to look at it is what if God is telling me it is time to let go. Why can’t I do it?

A few years ago, I attended one of Tyler Perry’s stage plays and it was good. If you’ve ever seen Tyler Perry live you will know that he tends to go off script a lot. But, it’s a good thing. Because I believe that God is using him to send a message to someone in need. On this particular night sitting in my floor seats at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, Tyler went off script. He said something that has stuck with me until this day…

Sometimes the very things that ya’ll are trying to keep together, God himself is trying to tear apart. – Tyler Perry

Wow! Deep huh? I thought so too. But, I guess it makes sense when you think about Ecclesiastes. There is a time for everything. Shoot, even Chris Brown sang about it, “There is never a right time to say good-bye.” So, why with all these people telling us that there is a time and more importantly the Bible telling us that there is a time for everything, why do I struggle with letting go?

I think it is quite simply that I don’t want relationships to end. If I let you into my circle I never want that bond to end. You are my friend forever. I am fiercely loyal to you.  I will be forever bonded to you and always be there. I will treat you like I want to be treated. With love and respect. I will always have your back.

Until I can’t anymore. Until it gets so painful that I can’t function. Until God reminds me through his Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS) approach that there is a time for everything and I must trust Him when he tells me it is time. It’s harvest time and I must harvest the field of my life.

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