Posts tagged life lessons
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

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.

Doing it My Way

I've had the last few days to just relax, not think about work and troll the internet since a virus had me bed bound. The more I scrolled, the more I saw a trend...women, climbing the ladder, reaching the top, and proclaiming their prosperity. On one hand, I think it's an amazing thing; women making a name for themselves and carving out a world where they are equally successful as their male counterparts.  But, on the other hand, it kind of makes me sad.  Why? When I think back on my childhood memories of my mom, the one thing that stands out the most was that she was always working. Basketball games, track meets, awards ceremonies, plays, church events...she was always working. I never had the pleasure of having my own mother cheer me on, and on senior night, one of my aunts would fill in.

It's kind of like being successful in career and business has been added to the list of pressure already applied to the requirements of today's women. Be pretty, be smart, be sexy, have your own, be famous, be a mogul, etc., etc. It's as if being a mother and a wife have disappeared.  Like catering to your husband and family are no longer a part of a woman's vocabulary.  I know, the feminists will probably attack me, but I just want to be great to the people who matter to me most.  I just want to do things in the order that God intended. Not that working and having a career is wrong, it's just the fact that I know that, in all of this, the children suffer. (Let's face it, in this day and age, it takes two income to raise children half-way decent) I was there too; continuing to educate myself, standing on the rungs of the corporate ladder, and striving to make a name for myself in the field, but I am grateful that God has caused me to have a change of heart.  When I actually sit down and evaluate everything, my degrees, my position, a title, or the initials behind my name don't mean a thing if I'm not using them to please God.  In reality, my heart's desire is to be the best child of God, wife, mother, and sister I can be, and none of that requires me to have a PhD, make six-figures, or have thousands of followers.  I'm trying to get there...slowly but surely. If being on top is what you desire, by all means, get your money, as for me, I'm okay staying in my own lane and being my own competition.