Life Lessons: Chapter 29

It gives me great pleasure to share with you my annual life lessons reflection piece. 
Chapter 28 was filled with amazing lessons, peaks and valleys. No matter what came my way I am so thankful God carried me through.

  • Listen with the intent to understand 
  • Nothing is handed to you
  • Being consistent speaks volumes 
  • You can not do & be everything for everybody 
  • Silence is golden 
  • You may not accomplish every goal you have set but keep trying 
  • Do not lower your standards for anybody 
  • Never give up 
  • It’s YOUR dream, it’s okay if others don’t see it the way you do
  • Chart your own course in life
  • People can change 
  • “When its meant to be it happens gracefully, there’s no force.” -Unknown
  • Never force someone to be something they are not
  • You will be let down by others
  • Forgiveness comes from within
  • Its okay to FEEL everything in the moment 
  • Your plan will not always work out & that’s ok 
  • You can start over
  • Guilt & shame has NO POWER over you 
  • Freedom feels good
  • Make an effort to do the work 
  • Healing starts within 
  • Laziness gets you nowhere 
  • In everything you do ensure you did your absolute best
  • Comfortability can stop you from progressing
  • God only made one YOU and no one else can bring what you bring to the table
  • When you show up ensure you walk with authority -James C. (dad)
  • Life is precious, enjoy every moment 
  • “It’s the small things” -Aunt Debbie 

    Emotional Dumping Ground

    I have always been that person, the one others call when there is a traumatic event or a major life transition. I take pride in knowing that others can confide in me and trust me enough to let me in during those dark moments in their lives. I value the friendships I have and take every opportunity I can to connect with each and every one of them regardless of my schedule. Why? Because that’s what friends do, that’s why I am their friend. It’s my job, I am fulfilled when I am supporting my friends.

    But what happens when you become an emotional dumping ground? A place where you listen, receive and try to help them process their grief or concerns without a place to dump it?

    When I look at friendships and the way many are built is that there is this unspoken understanding between the two people. It’s 50/50, we are in this together, we support, uplift and encourage each other. We weren’t designed to become a dumping ground for the emotional trauma and we are not designed to carry it.

    Photo Cred: Trice C.
    I have made this mistake so many times and to be completely honest I still struggle with it. Because I pride myself in being “their person” I oftentimes neglect my own emotions, feelings and traumatic moments because I have to be there for them. I have to focus on their issue and help them process it. There were many times that I would go to bed feeling drained, lost, helpless and upset with myself because here I was pouring out everything I had in me to be left feeling empty and disregarded. I have walked away from some pretty meaningful friendships because over time it was no longer 50/50, I wasn’t given a space to share my moments of happiness or regrets. I wasn’t allowed to have a “down moment or day” because somebody always needed something. In the end I began to resent the years that were spent cultivating the friendship and my inability to see that I was becoming a dumping ground.

    Over the summer I had the chance to do some inventory and I evaluated where I was in life and where I wanted to go. One thing that kept popping up was my need to grow and my desire to grow beyond certain situations. That meant that I would have to come face to face with the reality that I outgrew some relationships. All that time I spent frustrated with myself and angry with my predicament could’ve been turned into a positive moment of self-reflection and release. See it’s much deeper than carrying the weight of someone else’s pain it was the unwillingness to own my own pain and to deal with it alone. I learned very quickly that in life there are seasons and, in every season, there is a change and a need for growth, I don’t have a choice to skip or bypass the process. I have to GROW through it. I had to take the emotional garbage and release it and I mean I had to really let it go.

    I had to pray and I mean PRAY, for God to help me. Everything around me was so broken and fragile. I was no longer able to fully be present during the good times or the bad. I was becoming detached and unhinged. Resentful and ultimately a weapon of mass destruction to my future. I had stopped dreaming, I stopped hoping. During this moment God really began to minister to my heart and he reassured me that it was okay to let everything go and he understood that I would struggle but he knew I would try.

    I made up in my mind to make a conscious effort to grab my shovel and to start digging and dumping every piece of emotional garbage that was hindering me. I am learning to reprogram myself and to encourage the ones around me to not allow themselves to become an emotional dumping ground. I learned that everyone comes to the realization in their own time, I cannot force others to see their mess just like they couldn’t force me to see mines.  I have to walk this thing out with them and to allow them to clean it up for themselves.

    It’s not my responsibility to carry it and I deserved to be free and guess what? You deserve to be free as well, free from carrying the weight of someone else’s burden. Your road to freedom may look a little different than others but that doesn’t matter, just make sure you grab your freedom.

    My friends and family deserve a whole, healed and compassionate version of me and that’s my mission. Freedom is my goal and I am digging and fighting daily.

    Dancing With The Scars

    From the day I was born up until I was about 6 months old I was given every opportunity to fight for my life. (Special thanks to every NICU nurse & doctor!!) As a result of being born prematurely I have permanent IV scars all over my body. As I grew older I began to experience some internal scars from the people I was surrounded by. Instead of them pushing me towards greatness they began stripping me of everything they didn’t like. It was no longer a life saving mission but a dream killing, spiritually threatening event. 

     I have plenty of them and I am grateful for the ones that are visible to the naked eye, they are apart of my story it serves a purpose.  But what about the scars no one sees, the scars where the wound was so deep I can still feel the sting of the intial impact? The scars that don’t belong, the ones I never asked for? 

    We all have scars and whether or not we confronted the pain or swept it under the rug, we still remember. I struggle in silence with my scars and only the people who are really close to me know about my inner battle. I fight with the memories of rejection, loss, grief and unacceptance. 

    I remember growing up and begging God to never let my scars from when I was a baby fade away & now I’m begging God to help me FORGET the scars that others can’t see. 

    It’s the scars that people can’t see that scare me. It’s the memory of the impact, it’s the pain that creeps up to the surface on a random Tuesday morning, it’s the fight that it takes to rise above and to forgive CONSTANTLY. These scars are the ones that shape my outlook on humanity. 

    While I’m entitled to feel the pain of the intial wound it’s not my job to cover up the scar. I can’t bury the pain but I can ask God to reveal his purpose within it. I was designed to heal, recover, release & forgive. I can still dance with my scars, I can still live a full life with these internal markings and I can bodly declare Gods goodness in every wound I endured. 

    Every scar, every open incision & every infected piece of me that just can’t seem to get better or heal is subject to the powerful and miraculous name of Jesus! 

    I am beginning to see that every trail, defeat & sleepless night served a greater purpose. My scars are a reminder of an event in my life, it’s not my LIFE. The scars don’t own me, they cannot control me and they will no longer stop me! 

    My Prayer for You:
    I am praying for every person that is reading this. I am asking God to give you peace and strength to release anyone or anything that may have hurt you. May you walk in your freedom and may you smile freely.

    You will overcome!! Praise your way through it!

    See you on the dance floor!  

    Special thanks to Pastor Leroy H. for speaking such a life changing word into my life. This piece was inspired by him.