Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I spoke to an "old friend" today. I put old friend in quotations because his actions demonstrated that I could no longer consider him a friend. He manipulated me in a particular situation and my younger, trusting self, did not see it while it was happening. The situation that he involved me in brought stress and mental distress into my life. In addition, it sapped me of all of my savings. The range of feelings that I've felt from that time to today has varied. There have been times where I feel angry, times where I feel extremely hurt, mad, and depressed. He knows how I feel and he has apologized countless times. Today, there was a shift for me. After speaking to him, I prayed and I ask God for a more compassionate heart. I also ask for continued strength to keep living life as I should. This person said that every time that something bad happens to him, he always wonders if it was because of what he did to me. Every time!  I don't want to be associated with what anyone believes to be negative karma. We all make mistakes. I know I have. Sometimes, we hurt people - albeit intentionally or unintentionally, but we have to recognize that we cannot change the past. We can, however, shape meaning out of our experiences and evolve into better human beings. Today, I ask God for a compassionate and forgiving heart. I've often heard that forgiving frees you, not the other person. Today, I choose freedom. I'm free and I've forgiven! I cannot forget because there was a sad wisdom that was obtained as a result of that experience. I, will, however discern what invitations to help are invitations for me to accept. Not all are. Today not only do I forgive but I pray that if I've hurt anyone unintentionally, they will forgive me.

Stay blessed and free yourself!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Give credit where it is due

At times, I think it's natural for one to reflect on the past. My issue of late is not to mentally stay there. The present needs to be relished and seized and the future should be embraced. I catch myself at times wondering the "what ifs", the "could haves", the "if I only saw"....but that is not healthy. In fact, I am robbing myself of peace and credit. When one reflects on their past, whether its mistakes or setbacks, I think it's important to realize that if a similar situation presented itself in the present day, it would be handled differently. It isn't fair to look at our younger selves with the same lens or expectations that we would hold our present day self to. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone has been with "a mistake" (smile) but the fact of the matter is that we cannot change the past. We have control over the future, however. I am confident and proud to state that I am not the person I was at the age of 28, 25, etc. That's life. As we age, one would hope, we would become wiser and smarter. Today, I pat myself on the back. I can't control the past, I can't control other people. I can control me, my thoughts, and my reactions. Today, I choose to be happy and to be forward-thinking.
.............................................................................No Looking Back!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Compassion goes a long way

As I've mentioned previously, I was in a relationship that ended badly. I was left emotionally scarred, mentally scarred, and all of the furniture, whether it belonged to my ex or not, was taken. At the time, I allowed him to take whatever he wanted because I just wanted him out of my every day space. It's funny that you don't realize the importance of peace and how much it means until you mature. You just cannot put a price on peace. I therefore lived without furniture for close to two years, with the exception of my bedroom, which is furnished. Initially, it didn't bother me because I had peace, safety, and comfort of going to a home where there wouldn't be any conflict or contention.

After a while, however, my feelings started to change. I started to feel a certain way because I didn't feel right having anyone over; or if someone wanted to meet at my house to "catch up", I knew there wasn't really anywhere to do so.

My boyfriend, from the time that I met him, has never had a problem with the state of my house. He was aware of what I've been through, what I was going through, and he looked beyond that. We would often have little picnics in my living room and enjoy each other's company without any material items. After a while, not having any furniture really didn't affect me. I knew it was temporary and that troubles certainly don’t last always.

Well, three weeks ago, my beau, “S.A.” said that he wanted us to paint the living room. I primed and he did all of the painting while I was working my second job. (Sorry, he doesn’t have a twin!) There were a couple of setbacks (time constraints, unforeseen meetings, getting paint on the ceiling, etc.) but he continued with his vision, one that I wasn’t fully privy to. This past Friday, guess who walks into a beautifully furnished home? Moi? I know that may not mean a lot to many but it meant the world to me. It meant the absolute world to me. Not because of the furniture, but the time and care that someone took to make my life brighter, the time and care that someone took to illustrate that my needs matter, that I matter.

I walked into a furnished living room – sculptures, candles, and, all. To see a space that has been bare (T.V./cable only) for so long, now full with furniture (in the living room), all arranged perfectly,……..I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude and joy.

On Sunday, interestingly enough, the Pastor talked about one of my favorite scriptures on love (1 Corinthians….and I just thought about everything that scripture states and I couldn’t help but think about the man sitting next to me (S.A.) who possesses all of these qualities. He focused on Love is Kind in this sermon and talked a lot about compassion. He said compassion comes with a cost. People can have 3 reactions when they see someone “in a ditch”. They can either be removed (too focused on their own problems), moved (feel sorry for the person but don’t do anything but say, wow…that’s unfortunate), or moved to action ..to be compassionate and do something for that person who is actually “in a ditch”. Compassion costs, he said, but it costs more not to be compassionate. Compassion may cost you some time, some money, etc. but not being compassionate costs more. He said the smallest thing, you could do for someone can make them want to hang in there longer (some people are ready to give up, give in, commit suicide, on the brink of depression, etc.), encourage them that things will get better, help to heal the emotionally and psychologically wounded,etc.….

Tears came to my face because I know that it cost S.A. a lot (paint, movers, tools, etc. but it meant more to him for me to have comfort than the cost.) The Pastor said most of us know the cost of everything but the value of nothing. I just wanted to cry. He talked about the man that was robbed and beaten and left in a ditch in the bible. The Priest saw him , looked and kept walking by…..the Levite saw him, looked, and walked by. The Samaritan is the one that stopped. He put wine (as an antiseptic on his wounds) and oil on his wounds to heal him and gave an innkeeper 2 days wages for the man's stay…I just thought about how many times, people walked by my ditch………….but sitting next to me, someone didn’t pass me by. I just cried.

I cried because that act of kindness actually gave me the encouragement to move forward in spite of other setbacks. It also gave me comfort that everything will be okay. I am also inspired to move forward with certain changes that aren’t going to be easy but I know everything is okay. Every time I walk in to my house, a sense of love, hope, joy overcomes me. I am assured that everything will be okay.

Today, I challenge you to meet someone at their place in need. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture but I assure you that you can do the smallest thing that will mean so much to someone. Please don’t walk by the person in their ditch. Someone stopped for me and I beseech you to stop for someone else.


Monday, June 6, 2011

My struggle............

So, I have to be honest with you. For the past couple of months, I've seen a change in myself. It's a change that I don't quite like. For some reason, I've become extremely sensitive. At times, that can mean being easily offended and/or quick to anger even if I don't exhibit it in my actions. There have been times when someone says something or does something that I take to heart and interpret it the wrong way. I have to ask myself what is going on? I know it's a result of the culmination of negative events in the past that have caused me to always be "on guard", "on the defense", on the lookout for possible abuse, manipulation, condescending/judgmental conversations, etc. I know I don’t want to be this way. I also know it is counter-productive and counter-intuitive. Before I take things too seriously, I want to really examine the root of my feelings and the intent of the person. I came across a quote today that spoke volumes in my ears, “We tend to judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions. So we condemn others and excuse ourselves.” (A. R. Bernard) Isn't that powerful???????? I know I don’t excuse my behavior (I tend to be harder on myself) but I need to let things go. I want to be the best person that I can be and I want to set a better example to all around me. Lord, come into my heart. Help me to treat others as I would want to be treated, cherish the ones that celebrate me, pray for the ones who have hurt me, and continue to live life as it ought to be lived. I can conquer this!!!!!

What is your struggle? I will pray for you as well!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Let your smile change the world!

In life, it is inevitable that we will face trials and tribulations. There will be times where you feel as if you are going to lose your mind, you may feel as if things won’t change, you may even be at your wit’s end. Don’t allow your circumstances to change you, the person you are, the person you were destined to be, as you go through these trials. I came across a quote today that said "Let your smile change the world, but don't let the world change your smile." As difficult as life can sometimes be, there are so many things to celebrate. When we focus on what isn’t going right, we lose sight of all that is going right. We have our ups and downs but truthfully, there is more good in our life than bad. As Oprah once said, “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” We all have suffered a loss, pain, betrayal, overwhelming suffering, etc. It’s easy to walk around with all this baggage but baggage weighs you down.

Today, as I try to lighten my load, I encourage you to do the same. I want to be that same wonderful person I was when I was “younger”, not hardened by life, not living life on the defense. I have a lot to be thankful for and I pray that you know you do, too.

Let your smile change the world!