Tag Archives: women

Respecting Your Mamas Wisdom About Relationships


womencircle

I know, it’s hard to believe that our mamas actually had a bit of wisdom to pass along to us. It seems that once we reached those teen years suddenly we knew more than she did. Or so we believed.

But if you take time to really examine that perception you know without a shadow of doubt that we were full of ourselves and discrediting the wisdom that resided in the woman who birthed us.

So lt me as a couple of questions and I hope you’ll take time to really think about your answer before you respond. After all the person it benefits the most is….YOU.

First, are you finding yourself repeating a familiar yet uncomfortable cycle in your relationships?
Secondly, when it’s just you and your heart is broken again, do you quietly say to yourself…”Mama Said”?

Remember you must be honest. Besides I will if you will. Over the years as I’ve gone through relationships my Mama’s words have come back to haunt me. Had I taken her nuggets of wisdom to heart I know I could have avoided a lot of disappointment and would not have had to deal with:

Low Self-Worth

  • Low-Self-Esteem
  • Physical and Emotional Abuse
  • Embarrassment
  • Frustration

I can readily admit that when I reached my teen years I suddenly woke up one morning and decided my Mama didn’t know what she was talking about. Besides it had been a long time since she was a teenager. Mama’s advice for avoiding unhealthy relationships was old-fashioned I thought. The rules she lived by didn’t apply to me. How wrong was I!

Mama’s advice for avoiding unhealthy relationships was given because she wanted me to not experience some of the things she had. She wanted me to learn from her…

 Now that I’m a mother and a grandmother, I find myself in her same position. I’m sure my children and grandchildren have those moments when they think to themselves, ‘Mama Said’ or ‘Grandma Said’.

Yes, it’s true that we all have to live our own lives, however, if we take the time to really listen to what our Mamas tried to teach us about avoiding unhealthy relationships we could have avoided so much pain.

Sometimes it seems like we’ve learned from the “school of hard knocks”!

The five nuggets of wisdom that my Mama tried to share and I was too stubborn to hear:

Nugget #1 – Know You Better than Others Do and Know Your Worth

Nugget #2 – Carry Yourself with Dignity & Respect

Nugget #3 – Education is Important for Success

Nugget #4 – You Can’t Change another Human Being

Nugget # 5 – “No” is Not a Bad Word

The interesting thing is that we don’t have to always learn things the hard way. I’m grateful that before my Mama passed she knew I’d learned the above lessons. I hope you’ll acknowledge the wisdom of the Mamas and Mothers in your life. It’s never too late to put it into practice. So go ahead give her a hug and a kiss and say thank you Mama. Hopefully, one day if you’re blessed to have a daughter of your own you too can pass on your nuggets of wisdom.

Pain – What Does it Mean?


I recently had a visit to the dentist. It all started because I had a scheduled cleaning and during the cleaning mentioned I’d had some sensitivity to hot or cold  and it was beginning to give me a nagging bit of pain. Now I must admit visits to the dentist have always terrified me since the day a dentist decided to cram as much work as possible in a short amount of time. This decision resulted in excruciating pain that sent me to the emergency room to get some relief! As a result of that incident I now wear a partial because I simply refused to visit a dentist again for the longest time. I do regret that but the idea of having someone in my mouth would cause me to hyperventilate in anticipation of pain.

Now years later and after finally finding a place to relax (a little) when this pain nudged me I made an appointment. Suffice it to say I went in expecting to have one tooth extracted and ended up with two and one of those happen to have two nerves. Now I won’t get too graphic but it took SEVERAL shots to dull me where I didn’t feel pain. During the process I think I was gripping the arms of the chair while tears were running down my face. My heart was pounding so loudly in my ears it felt like a set of drums! But I survived! Two days later I’m almost back to normal.

Pain is your body’s way of telling you when something is wrong. of course there are various types of pain. Tooth, head, arm etc. but what about your heart? Not the kind that could signal a heart attack or stroke but the kind that signals to your emotions that you are going through a different type of crisis. This type can cause you to question who you are, whether you made bad choices and decisions or whether you put too much trust in another human being.

This type of pain can be devastating but if you take the time to step back you’ll be grateful for this temporary pain. Why? Once the rawness of the pain has diminished the lesson or scars can help you in future relationships. You’ll learn to listen to that inner voice that warns you something isn’t quite right. It’ll help you to make wiser choices and decisions going forward. But only if you listened and learned from the first pain.

So if you think about it pain can be your friend. And like a true friend it will tell you the unvarnished truth. The memory of the pain may fade but in the back of your mind you’ll remember what it felt like and will do all you can to avoid that type of pain again.

Yes, pain is my friend but it’s a friend I don’t need to visit often. How about you?

Share Your Story


Share your story and help someone else. All of us have a story to tell and those stories can actually help someone else. Have you overcome an illness, tragedy, near death experience, loss of a job or any number of other adversities? Then share your story. Tell it as only you can. It could save a life or give someone hope who’s been feeling hopeless.

This past Saturday September 25th I had the opportunity to share my story along with 5 other beautiful ladies at the Don’t Just Survive T. H. R. I. V. E. Women’s Conference in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This event the brainchild of Ms. Darlene Sheardon of NURevelations LLC truly touched the hearts of those in attendance.

From comments I heard afterwards I believe there are some that will not look at domestic violence, abuse or sexual assault the same way. For me I was humbled in the presence of some really awesome woman who with God’s Grace are able to bare open parts of themselves others may seek to hide.  Our common bond makes us sisters and we love and care for each other.

Our stories of not just surviving but thriving can only help others who may feel they are all alone with no where to turn. I believe we have dispelled that myth and put those in need on a path to healing and thriving.

If you’re reading this today and need to get to safety for yourself and/or your children be certain to have a plan. For help on developing that plan a great resource can be found at  Transforming Junk Into Jewels .  There you can get your free copy of Exit Action Plan: 10 Steps for Leaving an Abusive Relationship. In it you’ll find helpful tools and tips for you to follow. And once you’ve made that transition please seek help. There are groups and individual counseling available to help you move forward and leave the baggage of the past behind. Then share your story so that another can find the courage and be inspired to move from darkness to light.

 

Stop Looking Through Rose-Colored Glasses


That is such an old saying but it still rings true today. Too often we have a tendency to do just that look at things through rose-colored glasses. Sure it’s pretty pleasing to the eye and any flaws or imperfections don’t look so bad. The problem however is when we wear these tinted glasses and it prevents us from seeing things as they truly are. Things that were we to acknowledge could lead us to a new understanding of our circumstances. This is especially true when dealing with relationships.

Relationships are difficult already so compounding the issue by wearing those rose-tinted glasses can be harmful to you emotionally, spiritually and physically. Why? Think about it you’re trying to get to know a new person and that takes time. Too often women especially invest too soon emotionally before they’ve had the opportunity to form opinions based on all the information.

The first time you’re called by something other than the name your parents gave you and you let it slide you’re setting the stage for other things to occur. It’s a simple thing so you decide it’s not a big deal. But what happens when the next time it’s a very derogatory word?  Will you have the courage to address the issue? Why worry then address it in the very beginning. You set the stage on how you’re treated. If you give the signal disrespect is accepted because you GOT to have this person in your life then you’re selling yourself a bill of goods that stink! I have the privilege of riding public transportation to work everyday and when I see the disrespect our young ladies allow it breaks my heart.  How would you like to be addressed as, “chicken head”, “hoe”, “b….”, c..t” or worse? Do these words instill respect, trust,  devotion, caring or love? I think not. They are looking through rose-colored glasses and letting things slide that can only lead to nowhere good.

Your spirit is more than just talking about faith, it’s a part of who you are, your essence your life force. A broken spirit is a very sad one indeed. How do you live a life worth living if your spirit is broken? A broken spirit is void of hope. It is dejected, rejected and isolated. It is molded by the whims of others so much so that the voice of the owner is lost. It has been covered with so much junk that the brilliance that once resided within is dull. But guess what! It’s dull not totally put out therefore hope remains. There’s a spark of life there and all it needs is tending from the right source. So what makes up the right source? You have to start with YOU. You have to love yourself unconditionally flaws and all. Read Justin Albert’s  Self-Esteem and Self-Love.  If you have a teen daughter and you know she has allowed the opinions of others to infiltrate her self-esteem give her The Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens. You’ll be glad you did. But the greatest example for your daughter is you. So what must you do?

Start by letting her see you in action. Let the man come to the door to pick you  up for a date. Let her see him open the door for you, let her see you smile in appreciation and hear the words please and thank-you in your conversations. Let her see and hear you answer to the name your parents gave you. Let her see and hear you praise her for doing well in school and making wise choices. After all you’re her number one example. Let her see you with a man who wears his pants the way they should be worn, not hanging to his knees but clean, smelling good and about a future not a quick way to make a buck. Let her see you put emphasis on the character of the man. She’ll follow your example. Let her know that you’re looking at life clearly and not through rose-colored glasses.

Instill those positive attributes in yourself and cultivate them in your daughter. I know there are many fathers out there being the head of the household, let your actions, thoughts and deeds be an example to your daughters and your sons. Each will pattern after what they see and hear. Don’t allow the outside world to have more influence than you. You’re the head, act like it! Show them you have your priorities in order. An important factor is your faith and belief in something greater than yourself. it guides your every decision, your actions and responses to the trials you face. Show them you face them with courage bending but never breaking. Fathers, dad you are powerful, you have a lot to give don’t be absent for you are more than a paycheck and mothers let respect fall from you so that your daughters and sons will know what it means to have someone who has their back and loves them unconditionally. Even in those instances when your relationship with the father has failed don’t let the relationship between father and child fail. You owe them that. It’s not about you it’s about them. This brings me to another subject if a man you’re considering to allow into your life mistreats your child SHOW HIM THE DOOR!!!!! Enough said.

if you fail to do so and continue to look through those rose-colored glasses the possibility of physical harm becomes a greater possibility.  In more than 15 years the statistics have not changed much.

  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
  • Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
    • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
      • Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
        • Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
          • Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
            • Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.
              • Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.

These are just a few things to keep in mind. All the more reason that it’s imperative that we all take an active part in not looking at life through rose-colored glasses. The alternative can be devastating. Prevention is key especially for our teen girls it’s one of the reason’s that Fresh Start for Women developed the “You Are a Precious Jewel” program for teen girls 13 – 17.  Our goal is to instill in them the desire to  become great students, daughters and leaders of tomorrow.

This life we live was never meant to be easy if it were we’d never be able to appreciate those precious moments were it not for the trials and tests we endure. So live life, live it fully but please STOP LOOKING THROUGH ROSE-COLORED GLASSES.

 

 

 

 

 

What is Your Divine Destiny and Joy


After much prayer and sounding off to friends, family and women in general I have finally embarked on a new venture. It is simply a continuation of what I’m passionate about but on a more personal and intimate level. On October 15th I will launch a new online course:  From Adversity to Passion: A Journey to Your Divine Destiny and Joy. You’ll learn more in the next few weeks but I thought I’d give you a small introduction.  Women who sign up for the course will have to answer some hard hitting questions. They include:

What are you hoping to achieve by completing this course (your goals)?

After completing this course what top 3 things do you want to put on your Loving Me Now and Beyond list?

This course will require a lot of writing and revisiting some unpleasant situations, however the end result, a life free from the past is worth be uncomfortable for a while After all true transformation can be painful.

  • Before the transformation can begin you have to be honest with yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’ve lied to others in the past and now believe the lie yourself, it’s time to be really truly free from your painful past. Honesty is paramount so let’s answer three questions regarding those things from the past.
  1. When you travel through your memories of the past do you feel as if you’re right there in the moment?
  2. Does your heart race and you have the feeling you’re about to hyperventilate?
  3. Are you unable to have a conversation about the past without emotional tidal waves hitting you full force?
  4. If you’ve answered yes to two or more then you’re the perfect candidate to receive the gift of release from God. So, here are the next three questions:
  1. Do you want release?

2. Are you ready for release?

3. Are you willing to do the work?

This course is by no means an easy course; so to assist you in the process I have some questions you’ll need to answer in order to determine whether you’ve reached where you need to be in order to take full advantage of this course. (questions are part of the Overview)

This is going to sting a bit as you travel down an old path. Keep in mind however that the destination is much more important than this journey you’re about to travel. Why? It’s because the journey is what has led you here. So be appreciative of the journey, scars and all. However, look with anticipation for the destination. It will bring you to a place you only dreamed of; and it will lay the ground work for something worth more than money, rubies or gold. So hang in there.

The first thing I want to be clear about, this is not an opportunity for man bashing, blaming or self-doubt. It is first and foremost a real opportunity to look the past head-on and then glean from it the lessons to be learned and release the rest. To help facilitate this is the reason for the questionnaires you have been asked to complete. Don’t worry the questions are for you. There’s no grade involved but you must be as honest as you possibly can.

Have I piqued your interest? Want to learn more. Visit www.transformingjunkintojewels.com and register so you’ll be in the loop and just to thank you for registering you’ll receive my free E-book – Exit Action Plan: 10 Steps for Leaving an Abusive Relationship.

 

Who Are You?


On this Fresh Start Monday, I have just this one question…Who Are You? Now before you begin to answer this question let me tell you that you’ve just entered a room full of very interesting people. Everyone is smiling, laughing and talking animatedly about a variety of subjects. As you stand there observing you’re trying to decide which group you’d like to join. Of course there are butterflies in your stomach and you’re fighting the urge to run and take flight in the opposite direction.

You tell yourself, “I can do this, I can make conversation with anyone.” But, right before you take that next step you spot the way to the ladies’ room and quickly make your way there. Once inside you stare at the person looking back at you. You think back over the last 20 – 30 years of your life and wonder where did all the time go? In your mind’s eye you see your children from the moment they were placed in your arms until the day you saw them off to college, the military or just across town to their place. Fleetingly you think about the son or daughter you witness get married and begin a whole new life with another person. On that day you were willed with joy and dread.

Joy, because you’re so happy to see your child all grown up and beginning his/her own family. Dread because now you wonder, “what shall I do with all this time I now have on my hands”? If you’re blessed to still have someone to share your life with you still have that same question, “What are we going to do, now that the house is empty except for us”?

Does this scene sound familiar to anyone? I’m sure it does, I know long before that time arrived I made a decision that has served me well. I decided that though I had a responsibility to my children and of course to my husband. I also knew I had a responsibility to myself as well. This meant I couldn’t totally wrap myself in the lives of my children or spouse for when the day came and they weren’t around what oh what would I do with myself.

Finding interests or hobbies outside of your immediate family takes work and it’s a process of trial and error. You don’t know what truly fuels your imagination or fill you with wonder and amazement until you try it. So you have to have an adventurous spirit. For me I discovered that I love to read, I like running, I love puzzles and I like acting. Not a whole lot but enough that I tried out and participated in a few plays in the drama ministry at my church.

But in the back of my mind I also knew that that wasn’t enough. I needed just a bit more. It was then that I looked outside of myself and found my greatest fulfillment! Helping others gives me the greatest joy and when people ask who am I, I can readily answer in any number of ways depending on the circumstances.

The point I’m making on this Fresh Start Monday is that each of us should know who we are. Not who others think we are, or base our answer on what we think we should be but exactly who we are. The best way to answer that is to ensure you don’t become stale and bored with yourself. If you’re bored with yourself, I promise others will be as well.

For me being a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, sister-n-law, aunt and friend are just a small part of what makes me who I am. I’m a complex individual with likes and dislikes as anyone else may have. But I’m unique to me. I can be happy with just my own company or I can be relaxed and comfortable in a room full of diverse people. I have opinions about the world around me and I have causes that are dear to me.  I’m a writer, published author, speaker, workshop/seminar facilitator, evangelist and life coach. Together it all makes a whole me.

So again I ask, who are you? if you have to think too long then it’s time to do some work. Start discovering what makes you tick. See what interests are dear to you so that you too can walk into a crowded room and know without a shadow of doubt exactly who you are!

Happy Fresh Start Monday everyone!

 

Knocked Down!….Get Back Up!


As with anything there will be times when life will throw you a curve ball. If you don’t think that’s fair then as I’ve often said, what planet are you on? This whole thing called life is a journey with its peaks and valleys, highs and lows, tears of joy and tears of sadness. There will be times of great reward and sometimes it will seem as disappointment has taken charge; but as long as your limbs are working and you still have the breathe of life flowing through your body you can do something to negate the disappointments.

If you have yet to experience the low parts, keep living, they will come. But, guess what? You’re in the driver’s seat. You can determine how much these events derail your plans by how you respond. I have yet to see anyone truly succeed by staying down when knocked down. Instead I see them re-evaluate their circumstances and then make adjustments. This is something we all should become pros at. Why? Because all those twists and turns add spice to our lives. I’ve heard of people when asked what do they want to do in life and without giving the question the serious thought it deserves they quickly respond “NOTHING”. Just as an exercise I tried imagining myself doing nothing. Guess what I discovered? The only time I could imagine doing nothing the one thing I saw was a casket! That image quickly eliminated any thought on my part of doing nothing!

I know that life is hard and for many it’s harder than most but you can still get back up when knocked down and fight for the life you want. I think back to May 2009 I’d been laid off from a job I’d been on for 16 years. Of course panic is the first thing I experienced but I also quickly realized that panic does not pay the bills. Sure I was fortunate enough to have a small severance to hold things together for a while during my search for a new job. Except instead of the curve ball lasting a few weeks it turned into 2-1/2 years.  And though the severance was long gone, unemployment depleted and nearly losing my home (twice), I refused to stay knocked down. During this time there were 4 things that sustained me and kept me from losing my sanity.

1. My Husband – Oscar was , is and always will be my rock. His support and encouragement kept me grounded. Plus just his example of his everyday life. You see my husband is in constant pain due to injuries while serving our country during the Vietnam conflict. But watching him as he continues his ministry of helping others I could only admire his determination to not allow pain to stop him from living. He was and still is today a very active man giving of himself so that others don’t suffer any longer than they should. He is always equipped with wise counsel and I am proud to be his wife.

2. Faith – my faith grew to a new level during this time. This too I can attribute to the support I received from my husband. As a minister’s wife you’d think well that should be a given. Who told you that? I’m a flesh and blood being with feelings and emotions but thanks to his teachings most of which were simply exhibited by his everyday actions I made it through that 2-1/2 years and came out stronger!

3. Family/Friends – there were a few friends and family that kept me grounded as well. They were my support system when I needed just a little bit extra. I think fondly of my sisters Sharon and Betty. Okay neither are blood sisters, Sharon and I just adopted each other and Betty (rest her soul) was married to my brother. But they each were lifelines to me and for me. Sharon helped me to publish my book as an audio book, I recorded it on my laptop, Sharon made the copies, I designed the cover and low and behold, “Journey to a Fresh Start, Releasing the Junk…Revealing the Jewels” was born. It’s now available on Amazon as an e-book or in print. But the point is I may never have done it had it not been for that time I was without a job. Now Betty, she’s my heart and I’ve never been as close to anyone as I was with her. And when a few months after losing my job Betty learned her cancer was back I was there to take her to doctors and help with the kids. Although this time the disease won I was in a position to be there for my brother so that he could continue to work and support his family. I realized then that had I been working I could not have been there.

4. Purpose  – my purpose was born 10 years ago when with the support of my husband Fresh Start for Women was birthed to empower and renew the lives of women affected by domestic violence, abuse and sexual assault. Conducting numerous workshops, seminars and retreats during that 2-1/2 years gave me something to look forward to leaving little time to feel sorry for myself and have a pity party. I still had a life and I was determined to it well. So though I was knocked down I didn’t stay down. I stayed busy concentrating on helping others and finally one day I ran across  a name in my phone, Ginger Hicks, I heard this small whisper say “call her”. Well I didn’t have a phone number but I did have an email so I sent her one.  That was in August 2011 and I’ve been working with her ever since.

This is my story of being knocked down and getting back up? What’s yours? We all have them and by sharing we can encourage others who may be going through. This journey has given me a recipe for surviving those curve balls life will throw your way. Hopefully it can help you. It is now summertime and although we must still do all the things we must in order to survive and take care of our families. There are times that the heat of the day drains you and you need replenishing. It is at those times nothing beats a cool glass of ice water to quench your thirst. It is in that vain I call this recipe, ” Living Water  on Ice”.

1. Look at Your Circle – make sure the people in it will be there during the long haul. If not start improving that circle now before it’s needed. Be sure to mix it up, variety adds spice and gives you choices depending on the need at hand.

2. Do Something – you can’t lie in bed, sit in front of the idiot box or eat your way through it. Do something, even if it’s helping someone else. You just might be helping yourself as well.

3. Renew Your Faith – even when current circumstances and evidence says you’re floundering and losing ground that’s when you need to grab hold of Faith and don’t let go.

4. Mix it all together, shake vigorously, pour over ice and drink slowly. Savoring the coolness as it quenches your thirst, cools your belly, calms the nerves, and put a smile on your face. And just to make it even better, why not stock up now. Then when life knocks you down and you know it will you’ll already have your recipe right at hand.