Friday, October 6

The Ending of a Thing

You learn a lot in endings, especially the end of friendships and relationships. I can admit that I have not acted with grace when things have ended in the past. But I can also admit that others have not either. Neither one of those things hurt me any less than the other. To know that someone you care about could cause you so much pain is just as jarring as causing pain to someone else.

But what people say in those moments of hurt and how they act thereafter speaks volumes. I can think of a time when I was literally crying on the floor begging someone not to go and they coolly walked away. I can also think of a time when I calmly stated my piece and the person chose the nuclear option. Sometimes a sincere and detailed apology can go a long way. Other times a cleansing conversation once you cool off helps put both people at ease. Then there are those times when the earth should definitely be scorched, the bridge burned, the door welded shut! Knowing when to employ those options is a true sign of emotional maturity.

There was an IG meme that I wanted to use here that said something like you learn a lot about a person by the way things end, or something of that nature. I cannot find it though. But I have found this to be true in how many things have ended friendships, relationships, partnerships, etc. When people are honest with themselves and each other, the ending of a thing can be so peaceful. But when one or both people are being dishonest... WHEW! That's when things get ill. Things occur like transferral of energy which is probably one of the most hurtful things you can do to someone (outside of physical harm) and it usually only makes the transferer feel better temporarily.

Hurt people hurt people. We've all been hurt, but hurting others won't help you heal. Healing is internal and it starts with truth. At the end of a thing, are you being true to and with yourself or are you solely seeking to harm someone else? I am all about being honest with self, first. My mother raised me to think what I could have done differently when conflict arises and that is how I approach most anything including endings. I try to do some serious soul-searching and set my boundaries beforehand. I don't always get it exactly right, but I try to do what's best. I am not always successful and it doesn't always go well, but I can sincerely say that the ending of a thing is me trying my best...

I though that last statement was going to be the last statement, but I sought out a Word & came upon this. take from it what you will. Ecclesiastes 7:8-9 says:
8 the end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. 9 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.  

Note: Excuse me if this seems disjointed but I am currently going through the process myself, but I hoped that by sharing this now, I could help others who I know are doing the same.


BE GOOD TO ONE ANOTHER, Y'ALL!

Tuesday, October 3

Breaking Before You're Broken

This place is overwhelming! By this place I mean the whole of everything, every place you live, work, drive by on the way to the grocery store, see on the news, hear about in other conversations. OVERWHELMING! 

What day do you do NOTHING? Do you have to plan it? I work 6 days a week. It used to be 7 until I made a conscious decision to take my Sundays back. I do NO work on Sundays. I don't think about work on Sundays, I don't run errands for work on Sundays. I go to church and I chills... but that's not enough. I am currently counting down the days before I hop a plane and get away from everyone and everything. 

I booked this trip on a whim a month ago not knowing that I would really REALLY neeeeeed it. Now, here I am moments from screaming at the top of my lungs and tearing at my hair and I'm ret to go!(ok, I'm not finna mess up all this wondrous natural hair I've been growing but I have definitely activated my 3 Seconds of Rage and screamed a lil bit)

Anyways, are you feeling at wit's end? Are you at the end of your rope and you really want to use those last few inches to strangle somebody? Go somewhere! Get out of your own head and your own home. When I was in school, I would take a daycation. I'd book a hotel at least 30 minutes away and ask for early check in and late check out... While I was there I would do what I WANTED. Sometimes that was nothing, sometimes that was designing something, writing out a plan, learning a new skill. But I would absolutely not think about responsibilities. 

I've been writing a lot about taking care of self because they drilled self-care into our heads in grad school. I realized I have not been doing a great job at it due to other obligations. Things will slowly break you down, if you let them. But you have got to be in tune enough to know when that time is coming. I thought about driving off TWICE last week and heading to the water, but I remembered I had a vacation coming! This was followed by a strange feeling,  it was the feeling of wanting to punch EVERYTHING in the face... my work computer, every piece of clothing in my closet, strangers in the grocery store, the ragweed in the air.... EVERYTHING!  So, I took the day off yesterday.... a pre-vacay of sorts.


So before you kick a koala or punt a puppy. GO SOMEWHERE! No excuses... drop the kids off, have a talk with your S.O. about the need for some ME time.... and take a day... for the betterment of yourself and society.



Monday, September 25

Reclaiming Your Power

Let me start by saying, I am talking to me and  you.... Consider this a collective pep talk.

Who are you? What defines you? What do you live for and what can you do without? Think about the things to which we give power in our lives: careers, relationships (familial, platonic and intimate), hobbies, volunteer work, frats and sororities. You may even want to make a list.

The things we put our thoughts, time and energy into are the things to which we give our power. 

Now, think about how much brain and soul space those things inhabit. What's on your mind when you wake up? What do you think about in those quiet moments? 

Next, consider how you feel when you think about those things. Which things bring you joy, peace, happiness, satisfaction? Which things lead  you to feel worry, stress, depression, unfulfillment?

Finally, truly think about what is worth fixing, mending, or doing better and what is better left alone. 

Does that change how you previously defined yourself? 

We oftentimes find ourselves stressing over things we cannot control and thereby giving those uncontrollable things our power and in turn allowing those things to control us and sometimes break us all of the way down. The simple things are not always easy and the easy things are not always simple. Simply letting go of the self-definitions that are causing us internal strife is hard work! But it's work that we must do in order to relieve those things of their power. It's much easier to not do the work required, but that often ends up unnecessarily complicating our lives at some point. 

If you were honest with yourself while reading this, you've got some reframing to do. Let's mend these broken places. We are allowing things to define us that are drawing negativity and we are much too fly for that! It's going to take some time, but even a small step is progress! 2 Timothy 1:7 says: For the spirit God has given us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

SO, GO TAKE YOUR POWER BACK!

pic from: https://lisagawlas.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/the-ego-the-master-of-matter/

Monday, September 18

Stop, Take a Step Back....

Who do you see?

This title and first line are from a popular DC go-go song. But it's also part of my most recent self-care activities. I've been stepping back from everything that has been causing me strain. Relationships, activities, groups of people, and even foods. (that's the one that's made me sad... judge yourself!)

I have been taking subtle and not-so-subtle steps back from things over the past few weeks. I realized part of feeling disconnected from some things was my brain telling me to actually disconnect from them. I found that I had been putting way too much energy into things that turned out to be counterproductive. I am no stranger to hard work, but when it's draining you and not doing you much good it's gotta go. I participate in things because they uplift my mind, body, spirit or soul. In essence, they make me feel good. No one wants to continue to do something that makes them feel bad. No one wants to put effort into something that leaves them questioning why they even tried. No one wants to continue to shine a turd, put lipstick on a pig or some other cliche that basically means you're wasting your time.

My time is far too precious to waste it doing things that have yielded less and less over time or other things that have yet to make any progress at all. This is especially true when your time and attention would be much more successful elsewhere.

Taking a step back is not the same as quitting, but sometimes you have to give things a rest. Some things you put down to pick up at a later date. Some things you truly do leave on the shelf. Some things you step back from in hopes that someone else steps forward. Some things you shift lower on the priority list so that the little bit of joy left in them is not forever lost.

Take a look at your life. From what do you need to take a step back? What things are you putting more effort into than others? How is that working for you? Where can you make a shift in priorities? Why have you not yet done so? Who do you see?
from: https://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/stop-take-a-step-back-look-what-s-really-important-focus-on-that/

Friday, September 8

Keep Going! You're Doing Great!

I feel better. I saw my therapist, I talked to my people, I got my fresh air, I prayed to my God, I did my work... for me!

I kept going. I slowed down. But I kept going. I sought help. But I kept going. I set my intention. And I kept going.

I had to take time to check in with myself and be honest about what I needed. I needed to let something go, y'all! I was dragging it around in my heart and my body was telling me to release it. I was so afraid of how it would feel to let it go, but I realized holding on to it was not doing me any good.

I had to remind myself: You've survived everything thus far. Heartbreak, heartache, failure, faltering, surgery, death, grad school, crappy bosses, infidelity, insecurity, rumors and rejection. And look at you! Still glowing up & showing up! But in order to get to the other side of it, I had to go through it. It was hard, it hurt, I cried, I stalled, I scraped by but I  kept going!

We can't always let other people tell us what we need to do for ourselves. People who had no idea what I do regularly or what I was doing currently were telling me what I needed to do. That's not how SELF-care works. SELF-care is about you being aware and honest with yourself. Do you need to take a nap? Do you need to tell someone no? Do you need to unload some things? Do you need to pick some other things up? Sometimes you need to make a list and check it THREE times.

I made my mental list and at the top of it was see your therapist. After that, it all fell into place. That session had me in tears and disbelief, but it was what I needed.

Keep Going! You're doing great!
But also, get you a therapist!

Friday, September 1

Disconnected


There is so much going on internally and externally and so much I want to do. I've disconnected. It's not like a robot unplugged from its power source. I am more like a computer disconnected from the network. I do everything I am supposed to do and I do it well!! But, lately I haven't fully BEEN there. My mama called me today and asked if I was ok. And I said yeah. But I'm not.

I don't know how to explain it though. I have reached out to a handful of people. But, had I not... I am wondering who other than my mom even sensed there was anything going on with me. I hadn't put a name to this feeling until this morning. And now that I have... ain't nothing changed. I still feel like I need a break from you & you & you & you & me. 
El silencio es el templo donde el sabio medita...: Solo hay dos cosas que podemos perder: el tiempo y la vida la segunda es inevitable la primera imperdonable.......

How do you unplug from the network and still move forward, you ask? Much like Sway,
I ain't got the answers. This isn't depression. This isn't anxiety. Those 2 things require connection to something. I am plugged in & powered on but personally I'm just here. It's like Comcast internet during a bad storm. There are moments of connection, but they are spotty. Now I have to call customer service to find out if they can reboot my modem or if I have to wait until they restore service in a few days.

OH WAIT! As I was typing this I was looking for answers & I think I found it...
Mercury has been in retrograde for 3 weeks.... ugh! We'll revisit this next week, I guess.








Monday, August 28

Black Unicorn Tears



I feel like all my posts should come with a trigger warning.... so:
This post contains references to interpartner violence and statutory rape.

Last week I learned that strong, black girls AND women can't be victims. This person even told me that they viewed me as a strong girl in HS. It was at that point I revealed to them that as a "strong girl" I was assaulted by a boy within the walls of that very same HS. Because i believed int he myth of the "strong girl" I did not press charges even though I absolutely should have. Instead, I blamed myself. This boy was my boyfriend. I was in the 10th grade and he was an upperclassmen. I was not prepared to go farther than kissing but I am a naturally flirty and affectionate person. This caused issues for him. One day, in the front lobby of the school he pinned me to the ground and began screaming at me. My memory of the situation is foggy, but I recall him saying that he didn't understand me and he didn't know what I wanted. An administrator pulled him off me but I don't think anything else happened after that. I avoided him at all costs thereafter and I don't recall if he ever apologized. But I remember that I felt that I was to blame. 

I was barely 15 and I was already blaming myself for another person's inability to control themselves. This person was 18 and I, still a minor, blamed myself. I had almost completely forgotten about it (or buried it DEEEEP DOWN inside) until years later when someone was "playing" with me and pinned me down. It all came to the surface and I had to let them know why I reacted the way I did (because I went beserk). 

But I told that convoluted tale to say this. Mental strength does not make you any less of a victim. We put this false definition of strength on people which forces them to never feel as if they can be vulnerable or weak or HUMAN. I jokingly refer to myself as a Black Unicorn because I apparently am a rare breed of woman with no children, no ex-husbands, and no effs to give who spreads glitter and rainbows and sunshine and apple sauce! But in reality, I am a female human who makes mistakes, gets hurt, doubts her greatness and cries regularly. 



Last week there was a conversation about the young lady who is now speaking out about her relationship with R. Kelly. Within that conversation someone stated that the young girl was equally to blame. The person went on to talk about how "fast" young girls are and also how 16 and 18 were not that different. Think about that. If a 16 year old girl is the same as an 18 year old as far as making adult decisions, then where does "childhood" begin and end for young, Black girls? Even when presented with the data that 60% of Black women are sexually abused by the age of 18, this person insisted that this young girl was at fault and not a victim at all but a girl who knew what she liked earlier than others. This person totally missed the point that someone who likely abused her had introduced her to "what she likes". I am getting worked up all over again so let me wrap this up.

We cannot expect our Black girls to be strong and leave them unprotected from adult men who prey upon them and groom them. Young girls have to be taught to make ADULT decisions at 15 and 16 years old because boys are not being taught to treat them better and men are refusing to let them be children. #NotAllMen