Posts tagged life
Forgiveness
Statue: Human Debt; Berlin

Statue: Human Debt; Berlin

One of the hardest lessons I've learned within the past two years deals with forgiveness.  Sometimes, family can hurt you worse than any enemy and the effects can tear you apart at the core. I will be the first to admit that, in the past, if you crossed me, regardless of if you are family or not, I would cut you off.  I'd treat you as if you no longer existed; no calls, no conversations, no visits, no speaking, no texts, no social media, no family events, nothing. It didn't matter to me that the Bible says in Matthew 6:14 says 'For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.'  My pain, hurt, and feeling of betrayal clouded my judgment and hardened my heart.     

It's how I coped. The way I dealt with pain. Rather than do or say something to hurt the other party the way they had hurt me or deal with the pain in a more sensible way,  I withdraw myself from them and the situation until I've allowed my wound to not heal, but form a hard and sticky crust.  What does allowing a sore to fester really do?  I continue to hurt, they continue to live life and absolutely nothing gets resolved. Thank God for forgiveness, grace and mercy, wisdom and understanding.  If not for fervent prayers, seeking God's face and asking for His guidance, I wouldn't be at the place that I am today.  

Forgiveness is not for the other person, it's for you.  You're the one holding all your feelings inside, bottled up, stewing and ready to boil over. Instead of facing it head on and allowing the other person to redeem themselves, you allow the wounds to fester and never heal.  Believe me, I've been cut to the core but eventually, I had to come to the realization that holding a grudge will not only continue to cause me pain but will send me straight to hell.  My soul's salvation is not worth holding something against someones so, why not forgive them and let it go.

Forgiving is cleansing. It cleans the soul and gives each person a refreshing start. It is an essential part of life. We have all done something to upset someone else, to hurt them, to cause them pain, or give them a reason to never look our way again and, if we're honest, it felt good when they accepted our apology and forgave.  Forgiveness is free.  It doesn't cost a penny and it can be the very thing needed to renew a relationship.  If there is one thing I've learned in my short 37 years, people will be people. You have to take them at face value. They will be who they will be. You just have to be cautious in your dealings and expect that, being the perfectly imperfect beings that we are, something is bound to go wrong, someone is bound to get their feelings hurt and mistakes are bound to be made.  No matter what, we have to be sure to learn the lesson we should take away from the situation. 

Forgive, let go and let God handle the rest. In order to grow, prosper and continue to elevate to the next level, we must forgive those who have done us wrong.  Grudges are the equivalent of baggage that will only weigh down your soul and prevent you from soaring high.  Release the baggage, stop holding the grudge, let the hurt and pain heal and watch some amazing things happen in your life.  In the words of Indira Gandhi, "Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave." It takes heart to forgive and start again. If you don't take anything away from this post, always remember this: I've wasted so much time in my life holding grudges and being mad at people, who probably had no idea why I was upset in the first place.  I've forgiven them and taken back the piece of my soul they've taken away. Forgiving people is not only good for you, it's essential to your survival. 

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How much did you pay for that?
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In our world today, we are more about appearances than actual happiness and security. In these times, we allow our outer appearance and what we see on the outside to form our opinion of others. I'm not saying that a person should look worn down or sloppy . . . not by any means, since I am someone who prides themselves on always looking my best when leaving home. What I'm not about is looking good at the detriment of my family, myself, or my finances. When I see someone or meet them . . . I do look at their outer appearance but I'm absolutely not sold on them until I am able to evaluate what's inside. When I see someone looking nice and fashionable, I think to myself, now how much did they really pay for that? What do I mean by that? I'm definitely not talking about money.  Keep reading and you'll find out.

There are those of us who are willing to accept almost anything for a few baubles and trinkets. Put up with a little abuse, neglect, and degradation in order pop tags on some Ralph Lauren and carry a Michael Kors bag. Are those outfits worth your pride and dignity or ability to hold your head up high? Are they worth the mistreatment, the lying and the cheating, your health or your life even (AIDS is real)? So you had the streets talking; Facebook and Instagram popping not caring that your kids are failing school, your house is filthy, your bills are way past due, and your daughter is turning into you.

Those of you who would rather look like money than actually have money area part of what is wrong with society. You get in line for the new Jordan's, slam down wads of cash for that bracelet and chain, and blind us with the diamonds in your watch and pinky ring. Is that bling worth the price you really paid? Worth all the sleepless nights on the corner, all the breaths you held when those flashing lights got behind you, and the lives your poison ruined or the years you spent caged? Not caring that any day may be your day when your kids will have to see you behind prison walls, your mama will be accepting collect calls, the warden says you have to work even though it's only 25 cents an hour and your son will grow to be like you since his daddy spent his life in jail too. Is it worth it?  The ability to stunt temporarily may be their only purpose for living because if you take away those shoes, that jewelry, that bag, and that car, what would they have left?

What's the lesson in all of this? Keeping up with the Jones' and trying to put on appearances will send you to the poor house quicker than you think.  Instead of putting your money towards something constructive like a computer so your child can do their homework, pay a tutor so they can stop failing their classes, or pay for yourself to take a course, you would rather spend it on material things.  The most valuable things like love, knowledge, and peace of mind are priceless and unable to be purchased no matter how many dollars you.

If you have to beg, borrow, steal, rob or kill to get the material things that you want, the first thing you should ask yourself, was it worth it? Was the true price you paid worth the enjoyment that you're getting from that item? If the answer is yes then by all means carry on, but if you're not willing to risk life, freedom, dignity or self-esteem then maybe you ought to reconsider and put it back on the rack. Spend wisely

Focus...
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Ecclesiastes 11:9 Walk in the ways of your heart, And in the sight of your eyes...

In my morning reflections and attempting to find a message for the upcoming year, I came up with a the saying above.  'Do what you love, focus.'  The new year is always a time of reflection, change, and goal setting for the year ahead. There's something about the new year that makes us want to start over and not repeat the same mistakes from prior year.  It's as if we have a fresh start on the life that we want to have, or a reason to believe that all of our hard work from the previous year will finally begin to pay off.  I'm no different.  Each year, I have goals for the year ahead written down, mapped out and placed on my vision board as a daily affirmation that those things will be achieved.

Deep inside of us, our soul is often a driving force in the things that we desire to change in our lives. There's this inner voice, this tugging, or this feeling that we can't explain, yet it is as real as ever.  Cheering us on and telling us to focus on what matters. It is in sync with our hearts willing us to continue on the path to our destiny.  With that being said, what's my advice to everyone who is trying to make changes and achieve their goals? Focus.  Don't become distracted with life's distractions. Keep choosing the right path and climbing the mountain—no matter how steep or how rocky the path—to your destiny.

We all know that life happens; accidents, hardships, unexpected expenses.  These things can all make it seem as if the plan that we have or the goals that we have set are not meant to be. Stumbling blocks will always be in the way, to distract you from your purpose and to get you off track, but you must continue to focus.  Keep your eyes on the prize.  Continue to travel the path that leads to your future. Even if it means leaving some things . . . and some people behind you. Focus, and do what you love. There is no greater feeling than accomplishing your goals and fulfilling the vision that God has given to you.

I wish you all success and prosperity on the new year, as well as the courage and focus to not be distracted by the world around you.  I pray that God can plug your ears from the haters and naysayers and give you tunnel vision to be obedient and allow Him to fulfill His promises.  Stay the course, and above all else, do what you love.

Where Have You Gone?

What do you do when the one from which you draw your strength suddenly becomes weak? How can you hold on when the person who always has your back seems broken beyond repair? I need G. I need him like to come back from the dark place that his mind has taken him and be the man he once was.  He's still in there...I can see him in the depths of his eyes.  I wish I could understand what he sees...hear what he hears...breathe what he breathes. I want to know what's going on inside his head. What has him so...lost? The tears flow like the mighty Mississippi. What snapped? What caused the damn to break? What drove him to the edge? What has him hiding in that place? How long will he be gone? I need him...like a plan needs the sun, like air and water. He's my nourishment. The center of the world. Keeping us grounded like gravity.

Where are you? Where have you gone? How thick is this forest that you're wandering through? Sometimes, there appears to be a clearing in the trees, giving you a moment of lucidity.  Are there birds that will sing to him? Their melody providing a soundtrack to lead him back to us.  Does he hum along? Can he hear my voice in their song? I see him there, so close, yet still beyond my reach.  My hand is outstretched to him. He retreats into the trees. He's pushed to the bring...teetering on the edge.

Whose plan was this? Why does my love have to suffer? He's magical...like a mythical phoenix. And like that bird, he will rise from these ashes victorious and renewed. Come back to me my love. Whenever you're ready, I'll be right here waiting. Come back...I need you.

Choices
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Choices. We all have to make them, and some may be tougher than others.  Many times, people fail to take responsibility for the choices that they have made in their lives, and choose to blame others (and God) for the turn their lives have taken. The blame will be tenfold if the consequences of those choices are steep. If you've ever been to church, or had an intimate conversation with your grandma, you've heart the saying, 'All things work according to the will of God.'   Many people use this quote as an excuse to wallow in the misery of the consequences of their choices.

Why am I so big on choices? Choices are all around us. Whether we choose between chocolate or vanilla ice cream, or quitting our job and becoming an entrepreneur, making choices is a constant part of our life.  The problem I have is, people fail to realize that, many times, the things we choose in our lives may not just affect us, but our spouse, our children, and all of our descendants.  Now, I'm not saying that there isn't a higher power watching over us.  I am most certainly a woman of faith and I know for sure that God does have a plan for each and every one of us, but as humans, we have free will and the ability to choose for ourselves.

Every choice we make has its own set of consequences, and since we are the one making the choice, we can't blame anyone else for what happens to us, when we consciously chose to do something.  Here's an example.  Think of God as a father (He is our heavenly Father) who takes out a college fund for his only daughter.  He's worked hard and saved with plans for this daughter to attend college and become a physician. Things appear to be going along fine until, ten days before graduation, his daughter comes home and tells him that she's fallen in love, and is foregoing college to get married instead. Of course, he is devastated. He warns her of all the things that could go wrong, but she gets married  anyway.  The marriage ends after a year and the daughter returns home. Her father never lost his plan for her future, her college fund is still there, and she's still able to enroll in school.  She's still able to accomplish her dream. She may have some baggage, but she's able to become a physician just like her father planned.

Take this example and apply it to your life. God does have a purpose for our lives...it will work according to His plan, but oftentimes, he has to work around our choices. He makes a detour in our road to destruction for us to accomplish what we need to accomplish.  If we're obedient and follow the plan that's been set for you, He will give you your hearts desire. His will shall be fulfilled.  One thing I have learned, God is faithful.  He will continue to protect us, continue to guide us, and will never leave our side.  Even with all of this, we still must realize that every choice comes at a price, You must decide if you are willing to pay it.

Choose wisely.