Visualizing my 2021

Today is January 21st, 2021, and I have been blessed unlike a lot of people in 2020. In 2019, I was offered the job of my dreams, which helped me meet and helped different types of people,, got my own place in, and later got a new car (one I always wanted) in 2020. I never quarantine in 2020, but 2019 to 2020 thought me how to love myself, and helped me figure out what I really wanted out of life. So I’ve decided to continue down that path and keep putting myself first by continuing to fulfill my God-given purpose under this sun. So the idea of creating a vision’s board and visualize me through 2021, by first reflecting on the pass, which made me more determined. I’ve had a couple of romantic relationships and noticed these men were actually trying to hold me back, but for a second there I wanted to blame myself for letting them in, then I remembered, there’s a lesson. In the past, the devil knows that I’ll stress, want to fix everything, and blame myself, so he tried to take me down that path again, but it didn’t work. For 2021, I visualize my future self to be the best God-fearing woman, self-care by working out more, eat well, grow my hair back, continue loving and giving, continue to read and write, listen, continue counseling, listen to my intuitions more, continue to have faith, do something every so often out of my comfort zone, get more sleep and above all, have fun. I have acknowledged that no one is perfect; so I won’t wait for perfect either. I want to share my story more with other women, the abuse at the hands of my ex, how family neglected me at the mostvulnerable time in my life, because I know there’s another like me who’s ashamed or blame herself.

I’ve Got This

2020 has been a wonderful year for me; I found the job of my dreams back in November 2019, got my own place, and was learning to do “ME”. But life changes can leave you reeling and feeling unsure of what to do next, especially as a good person.  Sometimes I want to hurt the people that hurt me so they experience what I feel. Coping with everything, especially divorce has been difficult, but I had to let go of my control and let God take control.  It’s still not always easy to figure out what my next step should be, but again I trust God’s process. I’m going to talk about some of the things I had to do to move forward, number 1, acknowledge my emotions. While I had no idea what that was, because I’ve never had anyone to talk to about my real feelings and how it affected my everyday life, it was hard to face. 2, Modify my thinking. That was my biggest and most difficult issue, because I would reply the story of how I got here in my head over and over to the point I felt so sorry for myself and it took me into a deep depression I’ve never experience, or could control. 3, Practice acceptance. This seemed impossible for me because the people I had to except were family, and every time I thought about what they did and how I needed to accept them, it hurt worse.  4, Prioritize self-care, another thing I just did not know how to do because my ex-husband was my life, and what I didn’t realize was, despite my hardships, much of life needed to go on.  And finally, getting therapy. This was never mentioned in my family, so talking to friends was embarrassing, but in a nonjudgmental environment, it has been a blessing. When I look back at relationships, things how people treated me, I was mad and didn’t want anyone to convince me to forgive, so I didn’t get therapy for months. But when I did, it helped me explore my mind and my situations in ways that encourages growth. Therapy also helped me realized my purpose for helping others was a good way of healing.  2021, here I come, buckle up buttercup because I’m gonna give you a run for your money.

Picture from Home Cavaa print

Every time I sing

Today is Tuesday December 15, 2020 and I have been thinking about my cousin and play dad two wonderful men that got me into singing outside my hospital room and realizing one of my best passions. I was 9 years old when I joined the choir, I only sang because I had nothing else to do. I was a sickly child who spent most of my time in the bed listening to music and singing until my nana suggested joining the choir. My first singing group was because of my play dad. He encouraged and put together a youth singing group and I enjoyed. So I thought why not sing, it will take away some of my pain. In 1999 I lost my play dad and didn’t have the chance to see him. During the war, my cousin a music genius took to my voice and decided to train me and put me in every singing group he had something to do with. I sounded good but I was very shy to the point I would shake the entire time I sing. That made him more interested in helping, so he guided and, encouraged me. I was so scared that I would be far from the microphone when I sing. He made me confident about my talent and told me I sound very good and that God gave me the voice to use it. He would take gigs at every church and take me to sing with him, and little by little I was able to overcome the fear and sing by myself. When I came to the states, in the process of getting on my feet my favorite cousin got sick and died, I never got the chance to speak to him or help him. But for the past few years as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been thinking about him, especially every time I sing. He played a pivotal role in molding my voice, my confidence and knowledge in music and how it played a hug role in my life, then and now. My sister sent me a song by Stephen Manders called Heaven, when I heard that song, I thought about him. I imagined how he would teach that song, how he would make me listen and feel it and more importantly how I would sing it. Besides my nana these two were only ones that believed in me. Pastor David Garmonyou, and Charles Dahn, I will never forget you as long as I’m alive, and can listen to or sing a song. Rest in peace until we meet again on that great getting up morning.

Look no further

Matthew 11:2, Now when John the Baptist, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” In a world filled with uncertainty, doubt is a constant way of life especially when you’re getting hit so many times, it becomes a stumbling block to your faith. The devil uses people that are close to you, the ones you trust to hurt you over and over that, your faith wavers. You see doubt do not discriminate, as long as you open the doors, it will gladly walk in, unpack and set up shop. I was that individual, the devil played me so well, I let doubt in and it got comfortable and ran my life. I worried, I stressed and wanted to control every aspect of my life, because I didn’t look any further than my troubles. But today with prayer, I am a different person. God has blessed me, He saw my needs a look beyond all my faults, forgive me and gave me His calm spirit. I had to think, is happiness a choice or not? As Aristotle said, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim of human existence.” But for many who fake it, don’t know God is the center of any and every happiness. When I surrender is ALL, realizing that I was actually performing my duties, my purpose I started to become happy again. I am enjoying the change, I don’t worry, always wondering if and when, because God is my peace of mind. What Is Happiness, Anyway? It’s when you put God at the center of your life. Letting go fully trusting in His will, and sometimes it’s difficult because it makes no sense. A sustainable sense of spiritual contentment that arises from deep within, because God should be at the center of your everything. And what I’ve realized that many people don’t, is that happiness is the result of many decisions made (whether consciously or unconsciously). Some lead to mistakes that made me cry for days, one even lasted 10 years, but it’s the lesson learned, and the surrendering to God that helped me healed and fixed myself, got ride of the doubt and let Baba be the captain of my ship.

@Jbw_art picture

Who am I

When people used to ask me this question, who are you, I sorely based my identity on other people’s (especially family) opinion about me. Am I what I do for a living, my purpose, my passions, dreams and aspirations, who is Meme the Barbie? It’s a simple but difficult question, which surprisingly forces one to ask yourself, especially if you really don’t know yourself like I did a few years ago. Therapy opened my eyes to a lot of things, including this question, because I never really knew myself. I also found out that it’s very easy going through life never consciously answering this question because, to me, I always thought knew “ME”, but I didn’t. So the first answer I will gave anyone, because these things well revolve around this question is work, children, hobbies and accomplishments. Yes a lot of those things can be a part of what we do, but it’s not only who we are.

I was married for 10 years and lost every bit of myself, including dreams and aspirations. I’ve learned that what others think of me, and what I have are all naturally good, but making them my identity kept me from finding lasting peace, because I compared myself to others. Therapy taught me the biggest reason it was so hard for me to be happy was that I tried to be who my family wanted me to be, I want Ed to please them but it was killing me. Most people strive to be more, better, and different than their peers, for me, I strived to make sure family was happy with everything especially my career choices and didn’t even realize it. For that reason, I use my time and energy on proving I maintain a broken marriage, be a nurse and a respectful person. But no matter how much I tried to do all that and achieve a little of what I wanted, it wasn’t good enough. But through prayers, I’m reminded that Jesus was never good enough no matter how He tried, but He refused to find his identity through people’s eyes. Today my answer to this question is the reverse, Whose am I? I am God’s beloved, in fact, the most accurate way to think of ourselves is that we exist as a broad set of potentialities, rather than as a narrow set of traits. So besides the obvious, memories, experience, feelings, thoughts, relationships, and values I am God’s own child, and knowing that makes everything I have ever wanted from this life easy to make a reality, and that’s who I am.

Finding my moment

 

It’s time to stop and enjoy my achievements, but how do I do that, I asked myself. Today’s world can sometimes be a little bleak, because everyday everything you do is judged by everyone, just by looking from the outside. So you try to do and be what everyone wants you to be. I went back to school, made good grades, serve my church and community, I’m respectful, kind and a great example to my children, but that was not enough because everyone thinks its not, all because they don’t really know you. What a wonderful life I’ve had, but I only wish I’d realized it sooner. School was always easy, I had great friends and God always brought people my way, but my family and culture kept me from seeing it all. I was stuck pleasing others, and did not see all I had done in my life. To get a startup off the ground, and have any success, however little, is one hell of an achievement. All the sleepless nights studying, refining, laying the foundations without a job in my field, and working at the fast food restaurant to make ends meet while holding everything down and keeping it together, and having to put all of what I had done in a drawer, hurt. I didn’t know how to celebrate all God had done for me. I was so worried about everyone’s (especially family) opinion; I forgot to celebrate me, the hard work, my blood, tears and sweat. I didn’t go to my college graduation because my oldest son and I graduated the same year, and I was afraid people would look at me as a bad mother if I celebrated knowing he just finished high school. Today I see things differently because of therapy, and reading books about self-love. Today I ask myself what did I enjoy the most about my journey? What were my strengths, and obstacles, and what do I feel confident about? God has been so good to me; He has been my every way through all of this. I always believe the prayer of my grandmother has kept me going, because I had more dark days than I can count.  It really boils down to this, what is the point in achieving anything, if you don’t take some personal satisfaction from it?  I celebrate now by exposing myself to opportunities, surround myself with good people, become a more confident person and the biggest, stop comparing myself to others.

What I would tell my younger self

Next March I would have live more than 40 years on planet earth.  It’s something about turning 40, that at this age, it’s inevitable that you reflect more deeply about what’s left of your life. In my case I’ve been let down so many times, that my faith and trust in God was limited, (without knowing), I wanted to do everything on my own, but now, I’m ready to make changes. God and I have been on a long journey together with many twists and turns, but I believe I am at a good place to look back and reflect. Reflecting on the past is good as long as you don’t dwell on the negatives, and for me I needed that to be able to move on, because I was holding on to people that added no growth to my life.  In the mist of my journey, I was sick, hurt, tired and ready for this journey to end, because it all felt like torture. But now, I am enjoying the journey more than ever, because where I am, I understand and know myself better, which renewed my faith. Today what would I tell my younger self? Although I must say, my answer would have been different and selfish 5 years ago.

So now I would tell my younger self, to take the Bible text, I will never leave you nor forsake you seriously, because it is truth. It’s good that God don’t let us know what our struggles are before we go through them, because just the thought will make us gave up. I would tell my younger self, it’s hard to speak up, but get the courage, because when you do, it’s empowering, people are amazed with your story and it is important. Accept yourself as God made you, never, ever, ever compare yourself to people around you, especially family. For me I did that, so most of my 20s I thought that my experiences singled me out as being abnormal. Looking back helps you reassess what you liked and disliked about your experiences, and help you come up with ways to improve them. Your hard work in school will be worth it.  You are not the only person in the world who feels this way, whatever “this way” is that you’re feeling. The church is made of different types of people; don’t let some of them make church bad for you. And lastly, stop watching so much TV, read. Remember one very important thing, everything happens for a reason, regret nothing, but find the lesson to help you grow.  Its amazing to watch God answer my prayer list, one item at a time and it gives me chills.

Carpe Diem

For as long as I’ve known myself, I have never live my life to its full potential, because without @intoxicatedinspirationally knowing I lacked so many things. Have you ever met someone who had so much potential but wasted it? That was me, smart, beautiful but didn’t know it because no human being had ever said those words to me since my grandmother died. I did not have any self-confidence, zero and got discouraged easily because there was no one to push me. I didn’t know how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable,and it made me more selfconscious. My self-confidence was so low I didn’t even knowr item how to except a compliment, about anything that concerned me. And looking back now, because of it, I never set specific measurable goals to work at and cross of my list to better myself, especially getting pregnant at a young age and being told I brought shame to my family. So I spent the time to reach my goals trying to fix ‘’that shame’’ by doing what they thought was best for me. I grew up in a straight Christiany family that was very militant., and asking too many questions, or talking back, was not an option, do as I say and that’s it, or find your own place. So maybe if I just do it their way it will all go away, I’ll fit in again and everything will be back to how it used to be, but were they though? No, Things had always been that way, I just always saw the good. So after my divorce, and the search for a second tattoo, I came across the phrase Carpe Diem, powerful two words that hit and woke me because; this was at the core of me finding myself. A Latin aphorism coined by the Roman poet Horace, meaning ‘seize or pluck the day’. I have never seized a hour, much less a whole day, or to know what that really means or feels like, because my moments were always done with concern for the future, how will my family view this decision. I had chills, I was in tears, and it had been at least 15 years since I really enjoyed myself on purpose. I see everyone around me doing things they love and I wondered how, what’s their secret? Even as I write this, I am in tears just thinking about all I’ve endured to please others and let go of me. Up until 2 years ago, I used to think I wasted my life, not today because I know I’ve touched someone somewhere. At this moment, I see it as gathering the flowers that God has allowed me to plant, I am plucking and placing them in the rooms of my life, bighting up every space.

 

PRIDE

Pride – a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements. Nothing’s wrong with being proud as long as it doesn’t get to ones head. Pride is a poison because it’s the basis for disrespecting others and for creating suffering in our lives, especially excessive pride; it can be y huh an exaggerated appreciation of oneself by devaluating others. Proverbs 11:2 – When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. The saying do unto others as you would have them do unto you, goes far beyond simply being kind to people, or going out of your way to be available or helpful to those in need. Treating people with respect is a key component, everywhere. But in my experience it has occurred to me that respect might mean different things to different people, and isn’t a simple concept as I thought. For woke people this is driven by self-worth, but is it? Some of this can be from ourt childhood, or life experiences that we try to composite for. Pride is often considered a negative force in human existence, opposite of humility. Our pride makes us care about how others see us. When we avoid signs of disrespect, such as constantly interrupting, or belittling them, speaking in a condescending matter, and facial gestures such as grimaces or sneers, we show respect. At work I have experienced the following form and I am of disrespect, bullying, harassment, and backstabbing, although these behaviors suggest more is going on than “mere” disrespect, I ignored them and carry on. All of this sond my co-workers have a lot in common; they are so proud it’s smothering even them. I’m sorry is one of the first things we learn to say as children, yet some adults refuse to apologize even when they’re clearly in the wrong. We can be prideful without even knowing, so my goal is to let my readers know the pride that describes a feeling of happiness that comes from achieving therything we do is for God’s will.

 

The Core of Self-Improvement

Per Google, Self-improvement is the improvement of one’s knowledge, status, or character by one’s own efforts. It’s the quest to make us better in any and every facet of life. I needed to build myself back up to where I was in my late teens and early 20s, but how do I go about doing such a hard tasks, (so I thought at the time) when I had so much hurt and pain, was the million dollar question. I had lost my touch, everything I loved to do I had put aside and was living my ex’s life, while waiting for someone’s kind words, a phone call for the validity or accuracy of how I lived my life. But of course I didn’t know that at the time, until therapy, and after the entire trauma I had experienced. I had to identify my blind spots, which at the time I had no idea what they were. Blind spots are things about ourselves that we can’t see, but that are weaknesses or need improvement. I didn’t know that my thoughts were key influences or “blind spots’, for how I was felling and existing. Like the way I felt so sorry for myself all the time and thought other could see it and they would view me differently also. Butonce I recognize the power of my mind, I was able to redirect my energy and slowly started to rebuild what I had torn down with my negative thoughts, and started to get back to things that interest me. Now, I believe that God placedusall here to live fully, to expand and grow, and that thought energize me to my very core to keep working hard, and not giving up. Because worrying about what everyone, (especially my family) thinks about my every move is their issue. So to get back to myself I started avoiding negativity, setting boundaries, reading and writing, challenging myself, knowing it’s ok to fail as long as I get back up, and lastly the one I’ve struggled with all my life, excepting people for who they are, especially family. So I decided to spend time with people that were always around and who inspire me. My self improvement is as big as the cartoon”s hair.