Sunday Message: Being Aware

One of the biggest things that we don’t always do is make ourselves aware of ourselves. This week I was super agitated. It wasn’t anything that anyone had done. I had to find a balance between the news and all of the events surrounding myself.  It was hard to balance. I found myself semi-triggered at times. Thinking to myself how hard it was to not be upset because whatever was going on around me was triggered.

I had to remove myself from conversations with certain people this week. I had to walk away and say I can’t do anymore than I am doing. As someone who is an ultimate care giver, I find myself in that mode all the time.  My kids can be at school all day and I am still over thinking about what has to be done as soon as I get home. It’s a part of my personality honestly to be on top of it all.  With wanting to stay up to date with current events especially with the elections around the corner, researching candidates so I can make an informed decision, self-care, eating right, working out, and training for this half marathon has been mentally draining. I swear my wrist got tired just typing all of that. Nonetheless taking a moment when I took a step back to see when I was breathing heavier trying to prevent myself from reacting, or watching my kids laugh instead of just walking around like a stress bomb made me take more account of myself.

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What do I need? It’s always okay to step out and grab what you need in the moments but we pretend that we have to have it altogether and we don’t. Being aware of my husband and the things he is processing is a learned skill. To know when he needs me to just let him talk so he can vent and I just listen has been a task this week.  It is hard because we all have stuff pulling on us.  Being aware when my kids just want more hugs instead of me so excited for their bedtime so I can decompress.  It was a challenge this week. It wasn’t this natural happy flow. I had to work at it. I had to step back and make myself be in the moments.

What are you needing to be aware?  What can being aware help you accomplish?  You will be surprised of the inspiration that comes from it. You will be more zen to handle your life instead of your life handling you. Take a moment and be in the moments of life. Don’t let time slip by and you don’t even know how you got there!

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Moments of Frustration Day

Today is Moments of Frustration Day. We all have gotten frustrated or upset over something. The key is to not allow this temporary moment allow you to make permanent decisions. This means in your frustration where you are more inclined to speak out of turn, practice the art of dealing with your issues before you spew things onto others. The fallout could be more than you wanted to take on.

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Let me give you an example, a husband and wife have situation where life throws a curveball.  They are upset and frustrated. Instead of being mad and finding a solution or taking a temporary step back, they say things to one another that damage each other. They do this so often that one or both may think it was no big deal. Little do they know that one of them has reached their breaking point. So now they aren’t interesting in reconciling as if nothing happened. They aren’t willing to move past the words this time and now their marriage is in a long-term mess. Our words have life and death attached to them.

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Moment of frustration can happen over anything. It doesn’t have to be a person. It could a circumstance as well. Do not allow yourself to take that leap into negativity where you find yourself unable to get out. I know life is hard. I have had too many times when things have happened where some of the issues were out of my control and some  were a direct correlation of what I had put out into the universe. End of day, how you respond to it matters. You can’t always make an excuse and hope for forgiveness when you speak out of context or out of character. You may not always get that back in return. You can attempt to take a mental time out. This may mean walking away and addressing something later on when you have had time to cool down. This is necessary at times. Remember when you were a kid for those who had time outs?  Those were times to teach you to cool off and think about the situation at hand. Adults need them too. You need to keep your cool and not do something that can cause mental, emotional, or physical harm to themselves or others around you. Think in the moments of frustration if you would be okay after you have calmed down with the outcome of your decision.  If no, then stop! Don’t keep talking. Don’t keep pushing. Don’t keep the same response that will dig you further and further into potential trouble.

If you find that in moments of frustration you have crossed the line, ask for forgiveness. Find ways to eliminate the crossing of the line to begin with. For instance if something is being said or done that is triggering me, I am more prone to ask for a few minutes. I am an arguer by nature. However some arguments and hitting below the belt I find is not worth the pain and the apologies later. So I work on what I need in those active moments.  I hope you can do the same.

 

The Worst Advice I Have Ever Received…

So I think bad advice is any advice that is strictly from another person that doesn’t take into account your life. There is not one word that fits everyone. We think that just because it seems like good advice that it will work out all the same. But that is not the case. Just like with life advice seems to be work out differently and varies from person to person.

So let’s get to it…..having children is so super natural that after you birth them you know exactly what to do. It is not as natural as everyone makes it out to be. At least not for me. I knew how to do the basics, but there are a lot of things that comes with having children that didn’t feel as authentic as the books and folks makes it sound. Let me squash all the folks that would love to try to “go up on Tuesday,” I love all 3 of my children. So let’s squash that now. It was never lack of love but lack of mothering skills that I thought I wouldn’t be enough for them.

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My pregnancy with each of my children were all different. Each pregnancy came with their own sets of issues. The bonding with each child also was different too. That is fine as I believe to this day that the difference with having 3 kids should always be taken into consideration with how they are raised. However when you add in the birthing experience and nursing, pumping or bottle feeding and all the things you must quickly learn, the natural instinct didn’t kick in like folks tried to sell me. Some folks said once the baby was out of your womb you would just feel like you had been having kids all your life. I have to STAWP you there, that didn’t happen. I felt like I was tired all of my life. I felt like I was overwhelmed all my life. I felt like I was not prepared all my life, but not one time did I feel like a champ of motherhood just from birthing my kids. I needed so much guidance. I got to shout out the mothers.  I don’t mean just women who have babies. I am talking about the old mothers that we lack today. It’s rare to find a mother of Zion like the old folks used to call them that would give you advice, had enough tenacity to listen, and be there for younger mothers. You see that, teach AND listen. It’s a lost art.

We love to tell folks that don’t have kids how great it will be. It is great if you are talking about the overall sense of accomplishment. We fail to tell folks the real of what to expect. Handing me my oldest child in the hospital came as a shock.  I didn’t get to connect with her right after birth due to her being premature and that made me feel like I had no clue who she was. I felt more connected to her in the womb than outside. Reality hit me like a ton on bricks. I knew how to feed her and told myself well the other things would come. It did but those first few months as she was sick, listening to everyone tell me what I was supposed to do didn’t feel as organic as everyone suggested.  I really wish I could go back and set a few folks straight about a few things. Having a baby is an outer body experience. There are more times that I felt like I didn’t know what to do or who I was becoming. That has nothing to do with the actual child but the preconception of what I believed as a mother in the early years. News flash, even after the 3rd child I still wondered if I having another one was a good idea. It was obviously, but that feeling of natural instinct is always shuttered by doubt and lack of information.

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I really hope that other mothers who I KNOW FOR A FACT have gone through this, would be honest. It’s not a lack of love for your child (ren) but its a lack of trusting in yourself or lack of information to the new expectations of motherhood. So let’s mark false to all mothers having this natural nurturing ways about them as soon as they birth. Overtime you get better. Over time you develop what your child needs. So although our womanly body is “made” to birth babies, the mind and the body and the emotions have to link together to make the whole experience better.  I applaud all women to understand that above thinking that it will all just come together like a jigsaw puzzle on its own.

Ask Toi…..Marriage and Divorce Edition?

So its been a minute since I have openly answered my Ask Toi segment although I have privately given the asking party their answers.  Keep in mind that if you want to Ask Toi; please send your email to toitimeblog@gmail.com

I will answer your question and keep you completely anonymous.  Feel free to ask any question that you may want. If it’s about me or if you’re asking something about me or my family I reserve all rights not to answer.

Ask Toi: my husband wants a divorce but I want to work it out, how can I proceed?

Well there is this old saying that it takes two to tango and that is true in a marriage. It takes two people who are willing to do the work to make a marriage work.  We keep believing that this lovey dovey feeling is all we need to live on to sustain a marriage. Real life hits in marriage because you have a mirror up to you being reflected from your partner. They know all of your dark secrets. They know who you are offline and online.  They know the little things about you that make you tick or make them tick too.  However what makes folks stay? Some say its the willingness and knowing that no one is perfect and that the flaws present isn’t enough to send them packing. If your husband wants a divorce has he given you a reason? If you say yes, than you know why he wants out and you know if its workable situation. You can ask him if he’s willing to go to a few counseling sessions prior to filling. Let me help you with some advice on counseling.

When you go if he’s willing to go, keep in mind that not only will this space give you answers its going to make you mad. You will hear all kinds of things being said. It may not stop the divorce. Let me repeat that, it may not stop your husband after counseling from filing for divorce.  Your objective is to listen and pour out. Sometimes it may give you closure.  Divorce is messy at times even when its amicable. Love hurts. However if you come to the conclusion that your husband is either unwilling to go to counseling, or once in counseling still wants a divorce, you can either fight him on it or give him what he wants. As a married woman this is a personal decision that my advice can’t give you. This is a battle within yourself and with him where you go from there. What I will say is there is life after divorce. I know that you can pull through it and gather yourself and make a great life for yourself with or without a husband. Don’t let this define you but know this is going to a bumpy ride. Also know some men or women say they want a divorce to inflict pain they aren’t willing to address with their partner. Please never use divorce as a way to punish but only use it if you are ready to go through it. Also be clear in who you let in during this time. Don’t speak on everything with everyone around you. They can’t push the decision one way or another. You do not need everyone in your ear influencing you. Be clear with your husband as much as you can. Start finding ways to practice some extra self-care. Regardless of how it goes, this is a hard hit to you and your emotions. I really hope things work out for you and his best interest.

Ask Toi: My Husband is different online than he is in real life? Its draining me and I don’t know what to do, how do I handle it? He is gone for days at a time and comes home with gifts….

Well just to let my readers know the wife stated that the husband appears to be super romantic online towards her but in real life he is the polar opposite.

Now that we got that little disclaimer out the way let’s proceed. We all want to put our best foot forward online. Online is a mix of real life with touches of filters. Some of those filters only filter pics and some of them distort who we really are. This is why it’s always to reverse the situation and show nice pics but be real so that your online and your offline can meet.  Your husband wanting the world to know that he loves you online but is distant in real life, can go days without speaking is an issue. I would suggest that you bring it to him. I would take him out where you can change the atmosphere. Tell him you are glad that he paints the relationship online as beautiful. Keep that in mind because your issues isn’t in what he puts online it’s what he does toward you offline.

Down right not talking for a week, or leaving the house for days as you suggested is disrespectful. No husband can just up and leave for days talking about he’s mad. His behavior is suggestive to say the least. I have a lot of married male friends and at no time has any of them rolled out for days at a time unless that wife and them were in a separated lifestyle. This leave and go where is my question? Cause if every time it gets hard, he runs is showing you he isn’t equipped to handle this and somebody got to be clear that they still want to be married. He is making himself appear that he’s doing more in the streets if nothing else leaving without being honest about his whereabouts. Nobody should have that type of relationship in a marriage. That is the type of thing, a boyfriend does not a husband.  He either wants his cake and eat it too or wants it to appear that way. I mean that is my being nice about it but in reality no man would think he could come home bearing gifts unless this has been how its been and you have accepted it. Just because you have before the only way to let him know that he can’t would be to show him better than you can tell him. I would talk to him about it and when he rolled out again I would have met with my attorney to draw up the paperwork for a legal separation. I would present it to him (ONLY IF I PLAN TO PULL THE TRIGGER). Please don’t this on a I hope that he won’t do it. Be prepared to file if you are serious. This whole thing of playing games has to stop with you. If you one of these women that like to bark with no bite, this plan isn’t for you. You can do the whole reason with him and plead with him until you are sick AND tired of this. Like my momma would tell me, you can be sick one day. Tired the next day, but when both sick and tired comes together for real, it evokes change in you.

How much are you worth?  If you are only worth some flowers and trinkets that’s what he is going to keep giving. If you are worth more than he can give by doing the right thing, than you do the right thing for you. It may mean that the loving husband online is going to have to be without you. Expect backlash. He has created an online persona of the supportive loving husband. Your peace is worth you leaving. There is not an ounce of you that should be more concerned over what folks outside of your marriage think while you take on the impact of his real life persona. You are stressed out, and in an unloving marriage. No woman is deserving of that treatment.  I pray you protection and love as you go through this. It’s time to get a plan and work that plan!

Less Than Perfect Day

We all fit this build. I know not one perfect person. I mean it I can’t tell you of a person real or imagined that is perfect. I know some who appear to be better than me, but none that is perfect. Why do we have all of this pressure to be perfect? We make all of these demands on others that we often don’t even put on ourselves.  Let me give an example, if you grew up where your parents dictated all of your goals in like education and you know how that felt, why do you then tell your kids they can’t be whatever it is that they want to be?  Perfection and waste of money just to find out they going to rebel and do their thing and may not want to be around you.  Stop this mess.

Since we are all less than perfect we have to got to stop this list that we keep of ways to attack others. Just because you don’t agree with someone else’s level of sin, you judge them, talk about them, tear them down but won’t scoop out that sin in your own life, we got to stop this.  We put sin or whatever you want to call it in categories. If you overeat and walking around with a thousand pounds you know you ain’t supposed to have but point out your fellow-man who lies, why its all wrong, right?. Yes lies are bad and neither one of them are okay.  Work on both issues not just the one you want to highlight.

Work on being balanced. Like for me I love the Lord but unlike some others who just seem to have peace and tranquility on their lives all the time, I throw hands. I will if pushed back, swing.  I love to argue and I love to fight.  Not that I am out here getting into beefs daily because that’s not the case, but if I was somewhere and wasn’t thinking of the goodness of the Lord I could throw hands before I talked you to death. I ain’t out here saving folks if provoked. I am the one for ducking and bobbing and swinging if I had to. I am going to let the spirit of deliverance into my life full-time but I am not there yet. I think what saves others is my kids. I have them with me ALL the time. Its rare I don’t have them. In order to be a good example I have had to walk away so they don’t see Trap momma come out but I am also of the tuck the children ministry and will go for blows if I had to. This is one of the non perfect examples that I am actively working on it.  I can admit that.

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Like for instance I am the cookie baking mom who loves to celebrate my kids, but I also have to pray my strength in the Lord once again on patience if I tell my kids a thousand and one times to do something so I don’t speak out of context. That is real. I can be around other moms and hear them with them flowery voices and be like, man that’s the Lord working and say welp I got some ways to go. I am not perfect but I am perfectly working through all things.  I welcome my flaws for one reason. I used to cry and get upset because I was a straight A student since 2nd grade, no lie, no cap. I was the one who appeared to be an angel but I was the one that if I messed up it was like a huge mistake more than an a small issue.  My other siblings were the opposite so they came off as more problematic at times, but I was the one to watch. So as I got older, I felt like everyone liked to get that magnify glass into my issues and it would get to me. But now, I am like I will tell it before you tell it. I will work it out.  There can’t be shame in non perfection when you own who you are. Also when you take them flaws and work on them and when you do the work to be better, no one can hold you.

If you feel under pressure by others, change the magnifying glass. People will ride you if you let them. Don’t put them off, throw them off of you and back them off of you by simply owning who you are while you work out what they see. Trust me if they had the light turn from you to them there are a few chapters they don’t want others to see too. They simply forget it. AND don’t think you have to remind them to change the light’s view either. You become the scapegoat to others trust me. So learn not to take it on the chin all the time. By the time a person, goes to work, take care of their kids if they have them, drink a gallon of water a day, clean, cook, and work out that alone will keep them occupied with getting their life.  When I do all of that and try to sneak in some husbae time and get my 7-8 hours of sleep I don’t have time to find out what someone else is doing. Apply that same word to your life. You don’t have time to bring out other folks imperfection trying to keep yourself polished and balanced.

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So celebrate that you are less perfect. Own it. Do the work to be balanced.  Balance is more important than perfection. Folks that work on perfection are often the ones who fail the most in the long run. I would rather you think I am failing in the forefront while I work on me in the background!

Wife Appreciation Day

It’s wife appreciation day! So shout out to all the wives!  If you are married and love being a wife today is your day.  Now before the husbands get up in arms, your day will come.  But today is about the wives!

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Don’t need a Special Day

If more people would be consistent in the love they gave each other than maybe that can be said.  If you are a husband and you are mad at days like today, ask yourself a few questions.  When was the last time you gave your wife flowers just because?  When was the last time you took her out?  Did you offer to cook a meal this week? How about rub her feet? Did you allow her some me time just to refuel?  If you haven’t done one of more of those things this week, Houston we have a problem.  Showering your loved one with attention when things are great is easy.  Showing love in the little things when an argument occurs, when the bills are stressing, when life throws a curb ball, isn’t as easy!  It takes looking at the friendship you and your wife made to push through.

Little Ways to Show Appreciation Today:

  • Look your wife in her eyes and tell her you love her
  • Give her a break today-no cooking, no cleaning
  • Give her a gift card to her favorite place
  • Flowers
  • Complete a few items on the honey do list
  • Run her a bath
  • Let her watch her favorite shows
  • Take her to get her favorite treat
  • Write her a hand written note
  • Hold her hand
  • Take her on a date
  • Offer a massage
  • Play your “song” and dance in the living room
  • Play a game
  • Mani/Pedi at the salon
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There are a million ways that you can show the number wife that you love the ways she has turned your house into a home, how she supports you when the chips are down, loves on your children, keeps herself cute, gives you time to be you, and supports your endeavors.  Matter of fact, don’t do one thing, do a few! Smile hard, and let the love and energy flow.  Like they say, “keep that same energy!”  Keep it from the time you stood and made vows.  The same energy you had when you honeymooned.  The same energy as she was sick and you prayed for God to spare her life.  The same energy as she supported you through hard times and showed how awesome of a friend and wife she was.  The same energy when she dressed nice for you.  Keep the same energy and let the love flow from one another.  Take this day to show that love and then use the same energy to show the same love daily.  Happy Wife Appreciation Day!

Recovery Day

Things have been going well. I am not complaining at all. But today, was a day! Usually I feel I am good at dealing but today tested that theory.  As much as I talk about the good days, I’ve also said that I would highlight the bad ones.

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It wasn’t one thing that made my day bad it was a combination.  Without getting too deep into it and boring you out of your mind, let me just say that I had to think quick on my feet on how to attack each issue and today was the day I allowed every negative thought, self-doubt, etc attack. Shout out on being able to call my husband on days like today where I felt I needed support.  I could have easily reached out to friends but I just didn’t have the energy to do so.  My husband was there to listen to each thing, and offer many suggestions that he knew I wouldn’t take initially.  You sir are the MVP.

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Walk it Out

I finally got some mental relief by taking a walk in the sun.  Something about being outside even for a few minutes that boosts the spirits.  I took a drink of water with me, made to apply some sunscreen and sat in the sun with my music on and looked around. I didn’t go on my social media to look at what others was doing, simply minded my own business and enjoyed a few minutes of sun and reflected on the pep talk my husband and I had.  Soon as I came back, things lined right back in place.  I realized that at this new job I have been running non stop for days and I haven’t had a break.  I will incorporate a break daily going forward.  This job is super demanding but I will do some work self-care to get me through.  I also noticed that break helped me work on my personal goals that I needed to attack and line up for the weekend.  Trying to manage time and get everything in with a full household full of folks that all have to be places is not always as easy I make it look and that’s with my husband’s hands on help.

So today, take a break! Simply get some air.  Clear your mind and do take a social media break even if it’s for a few moments. Do not let anything rob you of peace of mind and definitely don’t be the one who gets on your own last nerves.  You got this!