This is my theme for the month. October is National Domestic Violence Prevention/Awareness month. For years this month has always been special to me. Not only have I experienced domestic violence – twice – but I’ve been a witness to it far too many times. Domestic violence goes beyond physical abuse. There are varying types: emotional, financial, sexual, mental, religious…the list goes on and on. There are women – and men, believe it or not – who are stuck in relationships today thinking they’re not being abused because their not-so-significant other hasn’t laid a hand on them. That’s the biggest stigma when it comes to domestic violence – that it’s only physical. It’s not! Any form of abuse that’s hurtful, belittling, and limits your quality of life can be considered abuse. There is no love is pain.
This is such a broad statement to make, but it’s true. As a society, we have been “conditioned” to believe that more is better. We want more money, more fame, more clients, more options, more opportunities, more cake…(okay, that last one is just me!). My point is we spend every waking hour of every day satisfying our gluttonous desires to get more. We do this with aggression. We do this with fervor. We do this as a means to an end. “When I get more X, then I can Y!” Our intentions are good, but our perceptions are piss poor wrong.
More does not equal better!
Better equals better!
Let me break this down for you. I want to use a practical example; let’s go with friendships. I don’t know why we all desire to be Facebook celebrities, but “likes” don’t equate fame. Yet we do everything in our power to gain those likes…and those friends…and those comments…and those shares. All for the sake of numbers. Now, unless you can transform these numbers into something useful they don’t mean much outside of this social media platform. These “friends” that you’ve accumulated over the past few weeks, months, or years – do you know three things about them that CAN’T be found on their profile? Have you ever met them in person? Do you know their middle name (like, the government name…not the OhSoSweetandSassy listen on their profile)?
Chances are, unless you know them personally, the answer is no. So why do we put so much emphasis on having the most number of friends online? Why is it a badge of honor when we’ve maxed out our two thousand friends and have to create a “fan page?!” Sure, you have all of these people linked to you, but how are they benefiting you? How are you benefiting them? Are you really that concerned about their overall well-being, or are you concerned about the overall number of friends that you’ve accumulated? What’s going to happen when shit gets real and life happens? How many of these people are doing to do more than just post, “Praying for you!” under your status?
Think about it for a moment. What’s more important – knowing you have true friends that have your best interest at heart, or knowing you have a high number of individuals on your profile page? In the thick of it, which one really matters?
This concept can be applied to so many other areas of your life as well. Just because you have the MOST of something doesn’t mean you have the BEST of something. More isn’t always better…neither is bigger always better. Sometimes, the less you have the better off you are in the long run.
It’s time to take inventory over your life. Where are you weighing heavily because you have too much of something? How can you scale back so you can really reap the benefits? Let me know in the comments below. If you need assistance with assessing your quality versus quantity let’s chat! Email me at email@example.com for a complimentary 30-minute call.
No one likes death. Even though it’s simply a transference of the Spirit from one realm to another, that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. What’s even worse than death is an unexpected death. The removal of someone from your life in, what has been called, “an untimely manner.” This type of death leaves you asking a million questions, the main one being, “Why?”
Here’s the thing though. Death isn’t always the absence of life in the body. Sometimes, it can be the absence of life in other areas as well. Last year was full of unexpected deaths for me, but I’m not talking about the death of a loved one (although that, too, struck a strong chord with me). I’m referring to the death of relationships: three to be exact. And every single one was unexpected in it’s timing, process, and outcome.
Who were these relationship deaths? *breaths* The death of the man I was in love with. The death of my marriage (no, it wasn’t the same person…soon you’ll understand). Finally – and probably the most painful – the death of my best friend. All of these relationships ended within months of each other. It felt like I was spiraling out of control. Hindsight can be 20/20 at times. Right now, this is as clearly as I can see – we’ll call it 15/20 – because I’m not done grieving yet.
So how did I deal with these deaths?! Well, at the time I was all over the place – or so I thought. Today, I realized I had been going through the grieving stage – and didn’t even know it. There are five main stages of grief (along with sub-stages) that I went thought…and none of them were fun.
Denial: Nah, this wasn’t really happening. I wasn’t being choked in my own bedroom by my ex-husband in front of my son. He was just stressed. I wasn’t still in love with a man that said he loved me, but wasn’t ready to commit. I broke that feeling years ago. Our bond was 20 years solid…she didn’t just abandon me like that. It was the wedding and school stress that caused her disappearance. I made an excuse for every single demised relationship. I blamed it on schedules, mind games, mercury retrograde…you name it, I faulted it. I faulted everything except the parties involved. I mean, things happen and soon we’d get it together…right? Wrong! That man I was so madly in love with…can’t even return an email. The ex-husband who wanted to “work it out?” I guess he decided I’d be better off dead. And my best friend of 20 years? Well, I guess that’s not long enough for loyalty.
ANGER: Oh, I was mad! BIG MAD!!! How could I commit so much of myself for so long only to reap nothing in return? How was I so stupid to believe that my marriage was real, or that “he” was the one, or that the way I treated and supported her would be returned when the shoe was on the other foot? How could they all abandon me like that, leaving me in a dust pile of nothingness, covered in scars, blood, and tears – and not even say they were sorry? And how could I let them? Where was my self-respect? How did I not see this coming? Why were they placed on pedestals while I was merely an option in a cabinet? He told me he wasn’t ready. Why did I fall in love with him anyway? He told me he was from the streets. What made me think he would be a good husband? I was always – ALWAYS – there for her. Where in the hell was she when I needed her?
Depression: If I wasn’t so against medication I’d probably be on every psych pill known to man. This shit hurt, I mean HURT! This wasn’t a one night stand, or a 6 month boy toy, or a casual chick I’d hang out with if I was super bored. This guy was the epitome of everything I wanted in a man. This man was the one I committed myself to in front of a judge AND God…after driving NINE HOURS to get to him! This was a 20 year friendship filled with kids, birthday parties, clubbing nights, hospital visits, and family connections. These weren’t just everyday people. These were individuals that had my heart…my SOUL! Casual acquaintances be damned…these three meant EVERYTHING to me and left me feeling like I meant NOTHING to them! No amount of cake, music, or clinical therapy in the world could take the pain I was feeling – and am still feeling – away.
Bargaining: Talk about making deals with – nope…I’m not going to say it. But I will say this is my current stage…yet within the last few days it’s flipped. At first, I was thinking of reaching out to these people – well, everyone except my ex-husband. He can go f**k himself! But I wanted to reach out to the man I loved and see if maybe, just maybe, we could be friends. I mean, sure he may still not be ready, but we can be friends…right? I was thinking about reaching out to my ex-best friend. Maybe it really was the stress of school and the wedding. Maybe she didn’t know what to say or how to say it. Maybe she tried – she really tried – but she just couldn’t come out and say what she really wanted to say. I battled with my mind and my ego back and forth on this for weeks. The holidays – ugh – they were the worst! It just wasn’t the same.
And then it hit me…the bargaining isn’t about getting back with them; it’s about getting back on track.
That’s where I am right now. I’m no longer trying to find ways or excuses to rekindle dead relationships. I’m no longer beating myself up for trusting individuals. I’m no longer playing “victim” nor “survivor.” I’m simply trying to find a way to move on in life without them. I’m finding ways to heal from the hurt. I’m finding a purpose for the pain. I’m making a deal with myself to be a better version of myself.
What’s after this? The final stage: Acceptance.
No, I’m not completely there yet, and that’s okay. These stages bleed into one another. So I guess you can say I’m at a healthy 4.7; still bargaining, but I have pretty much accepted the fact that I may never see nor hear from these individuals again. It used to hurt, but I’ve been though that. I was mad about it, but I’ve been though that. I was sad about it, but I’ve been though that. Now it’s time to get real about it. Their season is over in my life. My season is over in their life. No one is any more right or wrong than anyone else. Who knows, they may feel a certain type of way about me. If that’s the case, and on the rare chance they’re actually reading this, I apologize. Nothing was intentional; it was simply the actions of a broken person, not an evil spirit. I’ve learned and grown from it and I pray that you have, too.
The reason why I’m sharing this with you is two-fold. First, I need an outlet. Since I have no BFF anymore – outside of my Misfits – there’s no one I trust enough to vent to that could handle it. It’s part of my bargaining stage: to face what was, what is, and what is soon to be. I’m okay with that. The second reason is because as a coach this is what I help other women overcome. I didn’t have anyone to hold my hand through my stages. I want to be that hand for the next person…as a support system…without judgment or belittlement. I’m not a therapist, nor do I want to be. All they do is ask a bunch of repetitive questions based on the past. No real, current healing can begin that way. (Not knocking therapists…but from experience it just didn’t work from me).
Grieving can cause road blocks that prevent you from living, laughing, and Loving again. It’s imperative to get back to life after death. You may not know how…but I do, and I’m here to help you. What are you grieving in your life? How are you handling it? What stage are you in? (If you say none it’s denial! LOL! I KID!) No matter what life used to knock you down, no matter what relationship, opportunity, or career path has died, you can recover and you can move on.
Leave your story below. Inspire someone else. Need more help, guidance, or clarity? Contact me at www.isyspublications.com/contact.
It’s time to get back to YOU again!
When I tell you that last week was a test of skill, will, and chill…I mean every word of it. Last Monday was the night of the Super Moon. Everyone – that I know, at least – was either ecstatic about its presence or hiding under their covers waiting for it to pass. I happen to be part of the crowd that anticipated such a spectacular event.
It was big!
It was beautiful!
It was the beginning of the unveiling of a lot – A LOT – of truths!
What do I mean by that? For me – and I can only speak for me – the Super Moon was my beacon and the light that it shined on a lot of things, and people, was not pleasant. I was forced to see situations for what they were, not what I wanted them to be. I was forced to see people for who they were, not who I wanted them to be. Even more importantly, it forced me to see myself for WHO I am…and that, my dear Rockstarrs, was my Super Moon Wake-Up Call!
I won’t get into the things nor people, because they’re irrelevant to my point. What I want to talk about is YOU – and I’ll use ME as a reference. You see, we all have a divine design for our life. We all need, want, and desire better – but we’ve been sold so many dreams and very few, if any, have come to fruition. We feel like we’re running in circles and getting nowhere. Yet it doesn’t have to turn out that way.
That’s what the Super Moon did for me last week. It forced me to see the error of my own ways and how I, and I alone, am the blockage to my blessings. Case in point: I’m in the midst of a 90 Day Non-Negotiable Mirror Challenge. The premise of this challenge is to have mirror time with myself (yes, as in talking to myself in the mirror) every single day…NO EXCUSES!!! Now the way I set this up is to do it 30 minutes before it’s time for me to get ready for work.
Well, this week wasn’t so favorable for me. While I always had my mirror time, it was either cut short (because I started late) or done later in the morning (in my car). I kept disciplining myself during my mirror time when I should have been honoring and celebrating myself. After all, that’s the entire point of the exercise. Long story short, what I realized was that I was harping over not getting up on time (I never have been an early morning person – ever!) instead of focusing on the most important part of the exercise which was focusing on the GOOD in me.
I’ve received this same lesson in other areas of my life as well. My focus this week has been on all the wrong things. The same can be said in regards to achieving goals. When you keep focusing on the roadblocks instead of the accomplishments you will feel stuck, or – even worse – like you’re going backward instead of forward. In my case, I was forced to see that my disciplining and scolding of self was being counterproductive to what I wanted to achieve. Once I got this message, I pumped the breaks and approached things differently.
Sometimes, we need to stop and access if what we see as a mountain is really just a holograph of our imagination. In my case, it most certainly was an illusion; one that I’m glad was revealed to me and one that quickly dissipated. This week, I anticipate the progression of various goals that I plan to achieve before the end of the year thanks to the Super Moon Revelation. What you focus on truly does expand. I was focused on the wrong thing. Now it’s my chance to make it right.
It’s never too late to shift your focus and you don’t need a Super Moon to do it. Simply take a few moments, take inventory of your life, your goals, and your progress, keep what’s working, ditch what isn’t, and move forward.
Quite frankly, I’m glad the Super Moon is over (some of the stuff that I experienced…yo!), but I can honestly say that I’m equally glad I was able to experience it. Now it’s time to apply my new level of knowledge to my life. I’m certain the results will be nothing short of amazing!
How was your Super Moon experience? Feel free to share below!
We’ve all heard the saying Misery loves company. Yet, sometimes Misery doesn’t even want her own damn company. It’s no secret that no one wants to be around a Debbie Downer or a Negative Neil (women aren’t the only ones that bring the drama). Yet, very few – and I do mean VERY FEW – people acknowledge the fact that a) sometimes they ARE the negative friend, and b) sometimes, try as they might, it’s just not their choice.
Over the past few months – hell, damn near a year – I was that negative, toxic friend. It was me that had all the drama including, but not limited to: car chases, police reports, hospital visits, Hot Sauce in my bag (true Bey fans will get that one!), Children’s Services…I mean, you name it I went through it. And I felt bad – really bad – about even opening up to people about it. Not because I was ashamed or embarrassed, but because I didn’t WANT to be…you know…THAT friend. Thank God, after every storm comes a rainbow. Here – color coordinated because I’m artistic like that; chakra based because I’m Spiritual like that – is what my rainbow taught be about being the toxic friend.
Indigo: Here sets the foundation of all rainbows. Indigo represents all things visual and spiritual. Let me tell you all that during my TFT (hereinafter known as toxic friend time) I was anything BUT visual and spiritual. I didn’t care anything about positivity, higher vibrations, peace, serenity…none of that. I just wanted the person that caused my storm to feel it as much pain as me. And it’s not that I didn’t WANT any of the aforementioned feelings; I felt like couldn’t get them. That hurt me, and we all know hurt people…hurt people.
Lesson learned: Drama kills your Spirit. Protect your peace.
Blue: My favorite color! So many moods and meanings. Yet in this case I’m using it to reference clarity and communication – or lack thereof. No matter how hard I tried to explain things to people (which they should have seen as a sign of desperation because, normally, I don’t explain shit) no one was understanding what I was going through, how I was going through it, nor why I was going through it. Hell, even I didn’t understand and I was one of the main players. My words became so misconstrued that I really started to believe people felt like I WANTED to be in my predicament; as if I created the scenarios to play out like it did. Honey, listen…if I want drama I’ll create a story – NOT live it outright, okay!?
Lesson learned: Sometimes, silence really is golden.
Green: The color of life, nature, empathy, and peace. None of those things resonated with me during my TFT. My life felt like an endless battle. Everything – and everyone – around me seemed to be dying. There was no empathy because no one was going through anything even remotely near what I was going through (nor would I wish that on anyone). Peace…what was that?! My outlook was so bleak that it was difficult – and at times downright impossible – to find anything to look forward to enjoying.
Lesson learned: Create inner peace in the midst of chaos.
Yellow: The two biggest indicators here for me are personal power and self-worth. Both, in my case, were missing in action. I felt so powerless and helpless during my TFT and had no outer validation that, all along, the power was within me to stop the insanity and turn it around. I’ve never really had a big bank of self-worth and this situation totally TANKED what took me YEARS to build. Nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, was bright during this time in my life.
Lesson learned: Personal power overcomes all obstacles.
Orange: Cheerfulness, happiness, love, joy – all elements that were missing from my life…especially the last one. Even when I faked like everything was fine, it wasn’t a challenge to see that I was lying – something that I loathe doing. I’m not even sure why I did it. Most of the time no one cared, and the ones that did soon stopped when I thought things were taking a turn for the better – which was really just a set up for a turn for the worst. I wanted to reach out to my friends (because truth be told I’m not that close with my family – no beef, just not that close), but they were either too busy with their own lives or too tired of hearing about mine. So I stopped reaching out and just wallowed in my own misery; slowly watching it kill my soul while praying it didn’t succeed.
Lesson learned: Personal happiness is a personal responsibility.
Red: The other end of the foundation. Where the Indigo roots you to the heavens, red roots you to the Earth. It keeps you grounded and fuels your inner passion, drive, and excitement for life. During my TFT, all red did was fuel my inner passion for vengeance. Which is funny, because it wasn’t until I detached from all of these negative outlooks that Karma stepped in and started doing her damn job (where in the f*ck was she at months ago?!). Red is often a misunderstood color because it represents anger which can bring out the worst in people. Here’s the thing though. Red ignites your inner PASSION! So if it’s positive then it brings out the best in you. If not, then it brings out the worst in you. I think out of all the color representations this one was the worst for me because it brought out two sides of me that I disliked: the angry, vengeful side and the weak, vulnerable side. One caused me to lose everything. The other almost caused me to lose my life. Neither were desirable outcomes. Neither were non-toxic.
Lesson learned: No matter what, stay grounded and humble.
I said all of this to bring you to this point. Your TFT moment – or, in some cases, the TFT moment of someone close to you – isn’t always as cut-and-dry as they just like drama. If you are the toxic friend, know that you are not alone and this, too, shall pass. While you’re in the storm, as hard as it may be, keep your eyes open. Watch your surroundings closely. Things are going to change so rapidly and erratically that you may miss an important lesson – or three. Take note of who’s willing to stay, who’s waxing and waning, and who’s walking away.
If you have a friend that’s going though TFT (they’re not really toxic, they’re just going through something – stop being an ass!) understand that your friend is human and right now, more than ever, they need you to have their back like the title “friend” indicates you do. Maybe they’re trapped in a dramatic situation. Maybe they’ve made attempts to avoid or seize the drama, but it didn’t work out in their favor. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not even their f*cking drama to begin with! Whatever the case, while you don’t have to take on their drama nor participate directly in their TFT, you can be a sounding board and provide a listening ear and/or word of encouragement while still protecting your own energy.
As for me, I just thank God my TFT is over! And why is it over? Because I said it was over. Once I got in a space where I literally had no one and it was just me, I had to find a solution or die trying. And then I almost died…no, literally, he tried to kill me…and it was fly or fall. The TFT ended with me. It also ends with YOU! When you are done with the negativity, the drama, the backstabbing, the lies, the fabrication of stories…when you’re really done, whether you have an army of supporters behind you or it’s just you and your Higher Power, you can – and will – end the toxic cycle for good!
I’d like to personally say thank you to everyone that stood by my side. Thank you to those that left and came back. Thank you to those that left and stayed gone. Your response to my TFT is appreciated because it showed me who was who, what was what, and gave me the inner strength – one that I always knew existed – to end a vicious cycle for good.
A former toxic friend