Sunday Message: A Different Light

Good Sunday morning to you all. I hope one you had or are having a great weekend and two you are finding ways to renew. One of the things we are talking about today is the phrase “I see them in a different light.” This is to suggest that whomever you were or are dealing with has changed and is no longer the way you remember them. It’s almost like the person has done a “switch.”

I would suggest that some people could possibly switch or that maybe you were unwilling to change the focus of your lens. You may not have been willing to see the special person in your life in a certain way and therefor excused their behavior. I have had this happened too many times to count. You simply don’t even consider the opinions of others and will only see them how you like them. So regardless of their negative qualities you simply bypass them and continue until…… they bite you, hurt you, show “their true colors,” etc.

Their true colors were on display the entire time your willingness to be blind is what handicapped you. If you have someone tell you about how a person is, take what they say into consideration of the potential of the person. This means be aware they may behave this way but do not simply say they aren’t capable. Doing this allows you to be honest about the person you are dealing with and make the decision to remain in their life. This also makes for when the “switch” happens for you to take the responsibility of not playing victim. You saw the negative potential and you still entreated or trusted them. Trust can be broken. It hurts. It’s devastating depending on the level of relationship, but sometimes we play victims to things we were willful participants and we need to be honest with at least ourselves.

The same light that drew you to a person was there to shine the light on them as a whole. You chose not to see all of their sides. You connected to the parts that benefited you. That is the honest assessment. So now that you have been bitten by their full personality you must make the decision to withdraw or continue. Do not let the ones who stand by saying I told you so push you and don’t let your pride of not wanting them to be right make you continue either. I’ve been wrong about friends. I’ve been guilty of continuing relationships with people I knew wasn’t right. These are choices. Honestly the longer you stay the worse the bite will be. True colors are always present you just have to take the sunglasses of selection off. The more you blind yourself into acceptance the worst the hurt will be.

Now the flip is you can just be friends or relationship with bad folks and you see them clearly and you just going to ride it out. This too is a choice. I am finding too if you make this choice and then person doesn’t belong in your life, events will continue to happen that will push your hand. You can’t improve yourself and not take accountable the circle you keep. Either you and your circle are going no where or one or more in that circle is in constant inner turmoil until they weed out the negativity. It’s like fighting yourself to be with a person or group of people and it WILL bother you until you do yourself a personal justice and end things.

You can let nature take its toll. Nature will always give you a way out. You can naturally end a relationship. You no longer like the same things so when the opportunity comes simply decline the invitation. The more declines let’s the person know you’re not feeling them. Also conversations will began to lack. One of the things that irk me but have been a blessing is “k.” You are in a relationship with someone and all they give is a k or one word answers and you’re trying to talk via text or even regular conversation is my ultimate pet peeve. There’s blessing in it. The more irritated I get by it the more I just communicate less. How can you be a friend and you’re excitedly attempting to talk to a person who is dry? That is a turn off and eventually I just share less. Nature will take its course!

So if you’re in constant inner struggle over a person who’s true sides have been showing you lack luster relationship or they have been “switching” take the time to be honest with yourself about what part you have played and how long you have allowed this to continue? Don’t stay just to prove someone else wrong. Don’t stay just because starting over would be an issue. Let nature take its course. Also you may have to end it too. You may have to do what you should have done week, months or years ago and that’s walk away!! It’s no longer serving you! You deserve to be in relationship with like minded folks. People who when you speak to them make you feel inspired. When you are around make you happy about life even when life is not only giving you lemons but feels like it’s giving you spoiled lemons.

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Securing the Bag, Secure it All!

Ladies are securing bags everyday. The term securing the bag is in the context of getting your money or closing deals. I battle back and forth on using the term in the everyday life of just working since in my mind everyone is supposed to work, but again it’s my own personal thought. While your securing your bag be sure to secure your own emotions and definitely your body.  How many women worrying about securing the man, the job, the car, the section 8 payments sorry I had to go there because there are many who think that is life.  Ladies, being healthy, working out, eating right, drinking water, talking right to your kids, traveling, etc is a full-time job.  All of the things that we do to be secure in life comes at price points. What’s more pricey than you body and sexual health?  How many times does a woman have to lay down with a man thinking he is the bag.  He is not if you had a doubt.  He is not. What you secure on your own by hard work is but don’t in heat and not remember that.  Sex is great but its better in the right way.

Nothing in, Nothing Out

So back in the day the old mothers would tell you to save yourself for marriage. They meant it! Not the new way of saving yourself where you do everything but sex! If you don’t have nothing going in, won’t nothing come out. That’s a given. Now that goes for traditional virgins and born again virgins. If this non sex life is your life be sure that’s a decision you want. Don’t do it cause you are afraid of what someone will think. You’re the only one that has to combat them urges when they come. You can say what you will but you alone are in charge of that. Don’t let peer pressure to give it up or hold it move you one or the other. Sexual health is a personal decision-more on that later!

If you aren’t of that mindset then you better play by the rules of the land where you secure some birth control. The pull out method is one of the weakest methods. So don’t be found out here with a new boo telling you that it will work. Don’t even let the old boo tell you that mess either. It don’t work like you think. Many a baby has been made from that weak move.

We decided…

It’s so nice to have a partner that will agree or support your decisions. Please understand as a woman who you and you alone will have that child. All the support in the world hasn’t stopped women from having to take care of babies alone. Every woman didn’t lay down with a jerk or at least what they thought was one in the beginning. Some of these men have been Prince Charming!  Some have been husbands who have decided for whatever their reasons are, they don’t want to be apart anymore.  You the woman have to decide that if you aren’t ready to be a single mom at any given point in life, do not at that point or continue to have babies with any man.  Be careful.  This is a lifetime commitment that society has allowed men to be able to walk away from.  Note to my men this isn’t to bash you but to bring awareness.  This is the conversation that regardless of status you should be having.  Married women aren’t exempt.  My mom told me the realist message after I got engaged.  Marriage isn’t the end all be all.  You could be single at any moment.  The life you have built, can change and you better be sure that you are able and ready to take on that life by yourself should something change.

So yes go in with the we with the mindset of an I at any time am willing to bring this life on and take on all it takes on.  If you can’t say that with the partner you are with, then that’s your number one issue and your second issue is that if you say this will work, I can do this than be sure your anchor holds or you have the ability to mindset to push past any hindrances that may come.  Yes we know women are strong they can take it but the number one thing divorced women or women who partners have walked off or may have passed away say is that they never thought about this moment.  Life is beautiful but keep those moments in the back of your mind. Secure your future.  One more note, do NOT let a boyfriend or a fiance push you into any decision. This means no tubes tied, no having babies if that is not something YOU can live with.  Listen husbands don’t get a full pass. I know of many husbands who force their wives to continue in childbirth and at the end of the day those same men weren’t supportive after the baby is born.  It’s cute to have a baby with your husband until you’re in the house bare feet and pregnant with no job security, going through depression and can’t get that same husband to change one diaper.  Count up the cost.  Your mental piece is worth it.  Not to mention the physical needs…  The one thing I didn’t do was secure my own sexual health with my own husband. Gasp.  I alone should have taken my birth control, gotten my tubes tied before I did because that’s what I wanted to do and should have done.

Image result for securing the bag

Don’t look for the tea.  I am good.  There’s no of my goodness what if her kids read this and think they didn’t want them.  STAWP!!!!!!! That is nowhere near the case.  However as much as I loved my boyfriend who turned my fiance who turned my husband,  it wasn’t his decision to make on the continuance of childbirth.  When my second child came it was what it was.  I was in-between decisions and careless on making a decision for birth control when my 3rd came.  She wasn’t a mistake at ALL.  None of my kids were regardless of how much the church folks was whispering.  NONE of my kids were a mistake but I failed myself in how I secured my sexual health.  I love the family that my husband and I have built. I wouldn’t change it but I can help other women be wise. That’s about real as it can get. It is what it is.  Thankful to my husband who he was the one who made me see it that way.  Yes he had his part we both get that but if we can get the younger generation to see the big picture from this, then it was all worth it.  Secure your sexual health married, divorced, seeking, not in the sex game, don’t know where things stand, whomever you may be secure everything not just the bag.

 

Crazy Mondays: Keep Going

I started this morning in prayer. I try my best to make this a daily occurrence. So I’m up early and only snoozed once! I’m like yes day let’s start this! Then…….

I had to catch myself before I began to be upset. Did my makeup and I was looking like Casper’s cousin. I had to start all over again. Ran around getting stuff done, guess what? Still missed my first train! Then I’m getting my thoughts together and realized my wallet is on the couch. Ouch! I’m like let me refocus. I woke and prepared so much the night before! I did all that to prevent this mess and things was still going left. Welp!

As soon as I stepped back I remembered I have at least an Id on me in case of emergency, you good! I have an all day meeting that I helped plan which includes food and coffee! I had at least grabbed my dry cleaning! And although I missed my first train, my boss text he was running late and I still would be an hour early for the meeting so rest, relax, declare a good day, turn your music up and put your lipstick on and handle it!

Push forward! Make the best out of bad starts! Reset!

Sunday Message: Share and Open Yourself

So good Sunday evening. As I blog this my whole house is quiet and napping and that calls for a great glass of wine. But before I do that I had to share a little something with you. I love being apart of groups whether online or offline that are about something. With being in groups they add a sense of belonging. One of the things that happens is you share information and experience.

We all have something that another person needs. Whether you speak it, write it or share it, people are most likely going through what you have been through or will go through. Yes you can keep a few things for yourself. However consider speaking up about a few things that you have conquered. So many people are hungry, angry, or need support and just want to know they they aren’t alone.

You have a voice. Use it! Please stop thinking that you will have people all up in your business. And even if you did, let’s keep this real it ain’t nothing somebody ain’t been through. So many folks are so protective of their “stuff” and don’t realize how much healing and accountability can come out of sharing. I spoke to 5 women today who went through postpartum and all of them had the same theme, they didn’t know anyone had been through it. Some of them their own family members shrugged them all. They were not alone.

What about the things you are going through? Do you think that you’re the only one going through pain? Nope. You’re not! You’re only alone because you hold onto it and think that holding it will help you. Often times you just suffer in silence. That’s really the concept of any group you are in. It should be a place of support and love. Within that should be healing.

I encourage you to not hold your testimonies in your heart all the time. There are some folks that can benefit from you speaking your truth. Now that sounds like a win, right?! Indeed but there’s always a but…

Use discernment! Sometimes sharing with a few folks always comes with a backlash. When I started blogging I got the “what makes you an authority?” “You ain’t no wonder!” “You share/talk too much!” ” You got so much to say but you really need to….” The ones who said those things were not my intended audiences. It wasn’t for them. Remember I only post I don’t harass for support so… my thought is then and now, do not log on to read! It’s not shade it’s true!

I only share my life. I don’t have time to share from a 3rd party perspective. When I talk about failure it’s because I’ve had more moments of it than most and….. it’s helped others to be authentic. When I talk about giving up it’s because I’ve tried to do it and grace walked me back to success. When I talk about marriages being on edge it’s because my own has been dipped by foolishness and we are still liking one another. Sharing always comes with a little backlash but when someone sends me a response to one of my answers to their Ask Toi and says you listened when no one else did, I count that as worth it. When I look back at my own blogs and say thank you Lord for grace, that’s worth it.

I know that when I don’t have folks that will listen without judgement something will come up that speaks to me. It’s been a video, a song, a blog something positive that speaks to that negative battle I could be in and I’m super grateful that someone wasn’t ashamed to speak up! Speak to those around you. Know the audience to whom you are speaking to. When the ones around you give you issues, hear what you can use and then note the folks and learn to adjust your audience from them to where you need to be. Don’t get discouraged in what you have been through. We all can draw from one another. We all can help one another heal if we aren’t afraid to speak it!

The Importance of Preserving Yourself; Burnout Edition

Call it self-care or the ability to not lose your mind in this crazy and sometimes evil world! The way things are setting up you better figure out how to be your own best friend, confidant, and master cheerleader.

Trust me the opposite of mastering the above skill sets will have you drained. You will have given to everyone and everything and never really reach your own personal plateau. Life will be so mundane. You will look around and ask yourself why?! This my friend is called burn out. Burnout is failure. Burnout is devastating. It doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around but it’s a temporary “L.” You will feel it! It’s hard not to if you have allowed yourself to get to the point of a burnout! The range of emotions that are felt at that moment of burn out can go from sorrow to anger and even a combination of a gambit of stuff in between. What’s the solution?

Acceptance

This is the stage where you realize the snapping out, the anger, the moodiness is for a reason. Usually you would have to be willing to even entertain that maybe deep down maybe everyone ain’t telling the same lie. You have given a reason to everything that points away from you but then you realize maybe what people are saying is true. Maybe I am hard to deal with! Maybe I am being a nag! Maybe just maybe I should look into me and work my life so maybe instead of living a life of calamity I may be able to muster up a better situation.

Make a Plan

You have accepted that you have a little work to do now you need a plan to help you overcome. This means that you will need to be clear in what you need to be successful and turn around this burn out. Often times it may mean unplugging from social media. You could be spinning out of control due to you comparing yourself and your life to others. Also often times especially family who you know their lives off-line and knowing they don’t match their online persona actually can tail spin you. The frustration alone can make you burn out.

Another plan is to take a break. Did you know even the most on point person needs a break. Oh I know you can’t afford it. Money or the lack thereof is the number one reason to not plan a vacation. I know for a fact that if you sat down with your money and looked at your spending by writing things down you can find some areas to cut. If you’re going to be broke at least be broke saving money for a purpose. Also you can plan an amazing staycation. There are ways to be creative and get a break, take a nap, and refuel. I love a good to do list. However with learning balance I’ve learned is that you don’t have to solve all of problems in a day. Start your list but don’t be overcome by one. You will see the light if you keep pushing! However push and take a breather too!

Whatever you decide to do. Take a break and make a plan! People are over worked and underpaid fulfilling the desires and needs of those around them all while operating from an empty bank and I don’t just mean money. One of the things that my new boss has stressed is the importance of balance. He makes sure his team understands that. There is no need to make a sick day, just take day and refuel. This means that he supports self-care for his team and he believes it’s the one way to increase productivity. It’s true!! Apply the same principles to your life. Sometimes the dishes can wait. You can tell a family member no. You can pickup things and leave things too!

Good Reports: My Hysterectomy Update

So I’ve blogged about having a full hysterectomy last year. Although it might be quite private for some, this was one of the best things that happened to me. It helped me to push my life in the right direction.

I’ve been super honest about the journey. I’ve talked about how I started to attempt to lose weight and then hit a wall. I found that I was getting a lot of the areas of my health in line and then bam I was sick, having horrible headaches, and my cycle was so off it made no sense.

After losing so much blood and my blood being so low and at the point of having a second dose of iron infusions, I decided to have a complete work up. I went to two specialists who worked together and came up with the plan and because of them and always God my life has improved tremendously. My hematologist walked me to my OBGYN specialist in person and we all sat down together and came up with a plan. They were hands on and made sure I didn’t feel stuck.

Yesterday I went to the doctors and was told that everything looked great. I had lost the weight and more, my body had healed, and that I was the model patient. I also had a note from the nurses who said I was a joy and made them laugh even though I was in so much pain. To be honest that had to be more pain medication induced than anything. I also was told that I would still need to come back to have my exam done but that I didn’t need to send off anything to a lab since go figure there is no uterus. Such a great turn from last year when I was at my wit’s end, sleeping all the time, etc.

Sleep Patterns

So let me tell you real of what I had to get used to while I healed. There are a lot of women who have had and will have a hysterectomy for various reasons. I personally had already had my tubes tied before the surgery and yet I felt a weird sense of lost after the surgery. I had various dreams of babies quite often and if you add that my body’s clock was off, the insomnia took over the first few weeks. I was sleeping like a baby. No not let men do (some) when a new baby comes home, the kind where day is night and night is day type of sleep. I didn’t regulate my sleep pattern until well over 2 months and I had been back to work by then. It may have been well into 3 months after the surgery.

Sex

Please like I’ve said if you’re coming to read this part to hear about my bedroom secrets let me stop you now! Sex does change after surgery. Some women experience dryness that makes sex super painful. Some have no drive. A lot of that depends on the healing process. Let me also note if your doctor hasn’t cleared you don’t try it. That means do NOT have any form of sex or place anything in your vaginal area. If you do you will regret it. Get a new hobby as you heal. Make your partner wait a minute too. It’s either that or find yourself back in the hospital or injured! It ain’t worth it! Sex was the last thing on my mind during healing. I was trying to master things like getting in and out of bed, going to the bathroom, and pain management! I had zero issues waiting. However my paranoia did creep in once I was cleared. I did have to find a good rhythm and relax. I was scared that there would be a lot of pain. My husband and I waited 1-2 more weeks after I was cleared.

Hair Growth/Hair Falling Out

My hair didn’t fall out. That is a blessing. I honestly thought it would since I had braids AND when I was postpartum with my kids my hair was falling out in clumps. I figured hey this surgery is sending me into menopause surely my hair is going to hit the floor! It did not!! However I found hair in other unwanted areas. It has leveled out and I personally think it had a lot to do with me being on hormone replacement therapy patches for a while. I got off of that soon after the hair discovery subsided and also it caused me to have heart palpitations. I thought there’s no way I’m going to look like a Chia Pet and feel like I’m having a heart attack too!

Weight Gain

After I had lost quite a bit of weight before the surgery I was paranoid that I would look pregnant as I recovered. I had a plan! I ate what I wanted for the first few weeks and by few I really mean 2! Uber Eats got all my money after my husband went back to work. Standing to prep food or cook was team too much! However I could use my strength to track those deliveries answer make my way to the door. After that food fun was over I stuck to the portion size and types of food for the remainder of the time since working out was out of the question.

Do I still get hot flashes? Yes. I think they honestly started back up in the last month. I had several months where it didn’t happen at all. I do think with the start of the new job and adjusting is contributing to the increase of the flashes. I am confident I will level out soon!

Overall I would do it again. I had 3 c-section with my 3 kids and I felt like I was prepared for the surgery and knew what to expect. Thankfully due to a little prep I had everything ready after I came home too. Shout out to Dr. M for all that he has done. I’m glad of the support of my family and friends during the journey. Now I’m just glad to be able to live a true healthy life! I’m glad that unlike many women who find themselves having to have a hysterectomy that I have my 3 kids. Not every women will experience childbirth and I’m grateful. Again I encourage all to be on top of their health. If something isn’t right or doesn’t feel right then speak up. I don’t even want to think would could have been had I not put myself first!

Monday Inspiration: The Protection of No

Happy Monday to you.  Today I want to talk about the pain that comes along with NO.  Like children when we hear no we may experience a plethora of feelings.  From being disappointed, to hurt, to anger.  What you wanted and where you are in that journey makes your NO levels different.

If you were in what you thought was a loving relationship and you felt the next step was marriage only to find out that the person you held so dear to you is a fake, that NO that he failed you and the pain of starting all over again can be devastating. What about the pain in the NO when you are job searching?  Job searching is a numbers game at times.  You may hear several NOs in your lifetime where that is concerned.  Trust me.  When I got laid off of my job in 2010 right after having my premature daughter I was devastated.  I was thinking what in the world am I going to do?  I moved to Philadelphia and found out I was pregnant again.  Out of my element and new to a city I decided to take some time off and do the stay at home mom thing.  It was harder than I anticipated.  The time I decided to go back to work, I heard so many NOs my heart actually hurt.  I felt like I would be at home forever.  No after NO after NO began to chip at my spirit.  I am human I thought I have a college degree and experience why is this happening.  But it did.

During those difficult times of hearing NO and the mix emotions I felt, I got stronger.  I felt like I was taken a thousand steps back but I got stronger. I got a job and then began to progress to where I am now but the story wasn’t an easy one.  I have had moments where I second guessed myself. I cried.  I cursed from being so angry. I was miserable. I had to get it together.  So if you woke up and all you can do is hold onto the pain of NO, I get that.  Hear me clearly, when you let it go and walk with the sting of the pain and move forward you may not get that YES the same day, but you will if you don’t quit. At the very moment of quitting you will get a YES.  Put the work in.  Take moments along the journey of NO to renew your mind.  You may have to do this daily.  Whatever it takes, don’t faint and don’t quit.  There is protection in NO.  NO means something else is out there for you.  No means that the journey you paved for yourself wasn’t the journey YOU needed to be your best self.  Shocking how we think we know everything we need until life throws something our way to prove that we don’t.  Strive for excellence.  You can walk through the pain without the pain knocking your will to live out of you.  The protection is making sure you don’t walk further in pain.  There are people in places God never intended because instead of listening to the NO and letting it protect them, they let their personal desires walk them willingly into some mess and now they are miserable.  They shouldn’t be in that place and they know it.  Sometimes that stubborn will have you walking in circles.  When things don’t work out there is a reason.  If you are running late to a place, there is reason.  It’s protection.  Yes its frustrating but you don’t know what you are about to walk in.  Trust the process.  Have faith and walk in the sting of the pain don’t let the pain of NO overtake you.