Featured

Taking a Chance

Staring out of the window at work I think to myself…

Do you really want to do this? Are you going to invite anyone who wants to read this into what may be one of the most personal journeys of your life? Will you be transparent enough for them? Will anyone read it? If they do read it will they care? If they care will they understand? What will you even write…

The longer I looked out the window the more I felt an urge to just close my computer and buy a journal. “I mean you love to write anyway so just write it out,” I thought to myself.  What’s the point in making your thoughts feelings and life available to the world? No one wants to read about your problems.

I mean these thoughts of mine are making a ton of sense! What will I gain from sharing snippets of my story?  A voice, a platform to help others, some sanity from all these thoughts roaming so freely? There are enough people ranting and raving about their problems on the internet, mine definitely don’t need to be there.

But who said anything about complaining? This isn’t a place to voice my problems! It’s a place to celebrate my wins! To openly express to everyone willing to read that I’m nowhere near perfect AND THAT’S OKAY. I will definitely struggle and have moments where I want to give up! The best part is you all have a front row seat to watching me push through!

I invite you to kick back with me weekly as I step out of my comfort zone into my discovery zone. Welcome to Beautiful Passionate Love (The Journey to Discovering Me).

See you soon!

(All new post will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

 

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Everyone Lies

~Hey BPL Family! I pray this week has been full of refreshing love and understanding! I’m excited to share this weeks topic with you so let’s dive right in! Indulge & Enjoy!!~

So lying is inevitable right? I mean we all do it, right? We tell our friends, we’ll call them in 10 mins and never call. We tell our bosses, we’ll pick up extra shifts and then call in when the time comes. We throw around the “L” word (love) in relationships that we don’t really care about. We tell ourselves that we’re going to wake up early to workout or do something else productive and then snooze our alarm 15 times. (Super Guilty!)

Our society breaks it down for us though. We’re conditioned to believe the things mentioned above are “little lies” and don’t matter as much as real lies. “It’s only a white lie, how much damage could it do?” What we never seem to remember is EVERYTHING we say and do impacts someone in some way. Our little white lies usually have a negative impact even if it isn’t immediate or as large as other lies.

One of my biggest mental struggles is paranoia. Relax, it’s not the level of paranoia where I think everyone is out to get me or that something tragic is bound to happen to me. My paranoia mainly focuses in on lies, meaning, regardless of the dynamics of a relationship, I expect to be lied to. It doesn’t have to be a love interest or even a direct friend of mine. I just always find myself inspecting conversations and reading between the lines to find any discrepancies.

Now, I know someone is reading this saying, “This doesn’t sound too bad,” or “I need to be more like you,” I have to caution that thought process. I’ve dismissed a multitude of amazing people from my life because I felt I was lied to. With my extreme fear of being lied to, once I detect what I conclude to be a lie, I begin cutting that person out of my life completely. Even if it’s just a “little white lie…”

Being as paranoid as I am isn’t leading to any of the proactive precautions some of you may have in mind. At this level, I’m not protecting my heart or making sure I don’t allow the wrong people in my life. What I am doing, however, is ruining potential relationships (on all levels), and not allowing myself to grow socially or emotionally. I shut people out for minuscule mistakes. For example, You tell me your favorite season is Spring, then talking to a group of friends I overhear you discussing how much you love Fall and that you think that’s your favorite season.

Most people wouldn’t register (or care) about the minor discrepancy. Me? Oh, I take it to a whole nother level. My paranoid self will have a whole attitude and bring it up to you when the time is right. On top of all that, I’ll say something along the lines of, “If you can lie about something as small as your favorite season, what else are you lying about?” Then, I’ll begin to think about every conversation we’ve had and question your sincerity and truthfulness.

Monday morning (1/7), I woke up in deep thought. My soul asked my heart, “Why do you allow us to be isolated?” I immediately felt myself become defensive. Yes, I was ready to defend myself (by any means necessary) against myself. (If no one else had my back, I sure did.) But, then my thought process switched as my mind asked my heart, “Why does my soul feel like this?” That’s when I realized, I was creating the damage and hurt I’ve been trying so hard to protect myself from.

By being so obsessed with the fear of being lied to, I have stunted my own growth. I have unintentionally created stagnation in my life. I’m pushing everyone away because of my interpretation of untruthfulness. I’ve realized this week that I don’t like large crowds because I can’t process and keep track of all of the conversations going on. As this realization emerged, my soul asked another intriguing question, “Why do we want to process and keep track of them?”

With me, once a conversation registers in my memory bank, there aren’t any clean slates. I literally remember specifics of conversations from decades ago just because “I detected a lie.” I store the conversations as “evidence” if needed in the future. (And I wonder why have headaches some days…) Suddenly, my heart sadly speaks to my mind, “I don’t want to live like this anymore.” My mind agreed and my soul rejoiced!

I spent the rest of the week working through how to perform a master reset on my memory. Then it occurred, first, its impossible to just wipe out specific parts of my memory (without tragedy or trauma). Second, I shouldn’t want to. It’s perfectly okay to remember an event or conversation. Frustration begins to creep in as I start to feel like this whole week has been a waste. I felt like running through the library of my mind knocking down every book and shelf insight! Then these words hit me:

“Moving forward I will NO LONGER walk through life expecting to be lied to…”

I’m so thankful you are embarking on this journey with me. Feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section. 

(All new post will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Closing a Year, Opening a Lifetime

~Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope this past holiday season has taught you something surprising about yourself. If it didn’t that’s okay, we have a whole NEW YEAR ahead of us! Before we get started, I urge you to shake off anything that’s blocking you from engaging these words… Need some help? 

Repeat after me (Confidently!!): 

I AM SOMEONE VALUABLE!

I AM BEAUTIFUL/HANDSOME!

I AM MORE THAN ENOUGH!

I AM NOT MY YESTERDAY!

Say it as many times as you need to. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…
It’s imperative you hear the truth in those words.  

Feeling better? Good! Let’s move on. Indulge and Enjoy!!~

First, let me start by saying I pray you had an amazing Christmas and a blessed start to this New Year! Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas? I know I did. This year was different though. Unlike previous years, I had no wants or desire for materialistic nonsense. I mean, I received some beautiful gifts and I am grateful, however, they were nowhere near the highlight of my holiday season.

This year, I made a nerve-racking decision to celebrate Christmas with family on my Dad’s side. Doesn’t sound like too big a deal right? Well, I’ve never met them before so, it was pretty huge for me. In my short 26 years, I can only remember spending an hour, back in April of 2015, with my Father prior to this Christmas. (Before you begin forming opinions and assuming, read the rest of the post.)

My father, my siblings and I got in contact approximately nine and a half years ago, when I reached out to one of my older brothers via Facebook. When I went searching that day, my intentions were to find my Father, however, I bumped into my brother first! So, I sent him a message telling him who I was and, he connected with our father to confirm.

Fast forwarding this story a little. We all have been communicating for years now, but I have only really met, spent legitimate time with, my brother I originally contacted. The rest of us kept in contact mainly through social media and sporadic conversations. One fact remained consistent, no matter who I spoke with was they all wanted to meet me and soon.

Around Christmas time (2017), while having I’m sure a random conversation with my Dad, he asked me to choose a holiday (Christmas, or Thanksgiving) to spend with them next year. Knowing my mom and brothers aren’t big on holidays, choosing one of the two wasn’t difficult. I mean, keeping it all the way real, a part of me wanted to pick both.

One thing, well person, forced me to really think about the decision I was making. My Mom. Now, when I say “forcing me,” I don’t want anyone thinking she told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t do so in this very moment. Truth? The last time my Dad was brought up, in conversation with my Mom, was when my Mom first found out I was in contact with my brother. To say she wasn’t happy was an understatement. She said quite a few things in the heat of that discussion and I didn’t know how serious she was.

My biggest fear is (and will always be) losing my Mom in the process of building with my Dad. Being that my Mom did the best she could to provide for me and my brothers, I don’t think she understands my desire to want a relationship with my Father. She feels like because she is the only parent I’ve known (or consciously remember) that I shouldn’t need my Dad but, the truth is I do.

So far throughout my life, my Mom has given me all the love she could, yet, I still managed to break emotionally and mentally. Let me be clear, in no way, shape, or form do I see my damage as her fault. I don’t ever want my Mom to feel like anyone can take her place in my life. I also don’t want her to feel that anyone can taint the love I have for her. I do see, however, now that I’m on this journey of building, I  have to do what is needed to become whole. For me, a part of that was meeting my Father.

Throughout 2018, I knew of my intentions to travel to Kentucky and spend it with my Dad’s side of the family. What I didn’t know, was how to tell my Mom without hurting her. So, once the ticket was purchased, I withheld specific information. I told my Mom I was going to Kentucky for my siblings only and negated any reference to my father. Now, this wasn’t the biggest lie in the world but, it was a lie none the less and I definitely felt bad. This trip just meant too much to me to turn down though.

Once I got there, after checking in with my Mom, I IMMEDIATELY began falling in love with everyone and everything around me. The first person I saw was my Father and I felt an elevated level of love. (I remembered writing a paper, titled “Loving a Man with no Face,” in college, and all the emotions the writing process brought me.) This was everything I’ve ever desired wrapped into one! While I’ve seen numerous pictures of my father, since contacting him, and of course I’ve had tons of phone conversations I still hadn’t really had much one on one interaction.

The week flew by! Gathering after gathering… Hug after hug… I met what felt like hundreds of people. The connections I already had with people I had never met in person before was unimaginable! From vibing out over drinks with my oldest brother and sister (you know I can’t hang right), to arcade games with a few of my other siblings, one thing was certain. EVERYONE WAS COMFORTABLE IN THEIR OWN SKIN!

Being around a bunch of new people for such a major holiday was a little rough in the beginning. At first, I didn’t want to make my own plate in front of a bunch of unfamiliar people and I definitely didn’t want to leave the sides of the few people I did know.

Even though my quiet and more reserved demeanor was very obvious, everyone welcomed me with open arms and included me in everything. They even got me to play multiple rounds of Uno and even arcade games, which is huge for me! The best part was they did it without making me feel forced out of my comfort zone.

2018 has been so eye-opening to who I am as a person and what I need to work on to be the best me I can be. To end the year meeting the other half of me has been so wonderfully amazing! To say this was the best Christmas ever would be a drastic understatement. I’ve always heard people say Christmas isn’t about gift giving or receiving but, I never understood it until now. I can’t wait to get together with my FAMILY again!

Remember there’s only one person on this earth in charge of your destiny and that’s YOU! Do not allow anyone or anything to stop your path to greatness this year.

Happy New Year!!

Feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section. 

(All new post will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Angel On Earth

~Hey Family! I pray blessings and love to you and your families this holiday season. This week is going to be very different. A close friend was killed this Tuesday and I will not be able to attend the funeral so this post is my goodbye to him. Relax and explore some very raw emotions with me. Indulge & Enjoy.~

I remember the first time I saw you playing, with my big brother Anthony, on the playground at Holy Family Elementary School. My first thought was  “He’s too old to be playing with my brother…”  I couldn’t understand how a third grader could have gray hair, probably because I was only a second grader. I soon found out you and my brother were the best of friends when you ended up walking home with us one day. From then on you became another brother…

You were always so nice to me. Even when my biological brothers were jerks. You would tell me, “That’s what brothers do,” and convince me I had no reason to be upset while still acknowledging my feelings. I remember being upset with you once because you laughed at one of their jokes about me. I’m sure I was being overly emotional but, as soon as you noticed you apologized and promised to never do it again… to my recollection, you didn’t. When my emotions got the best of me you always gave me the biggest hugs and told me not to cry. For some reason that was enough.

From failed relationships to me deciding to move to Georgia and, not knowing how to manage being so far from family, you were there. Oh wow, I just realized I never even said thank you. You caught so many of my tears. Even when we hadn’t seen each other in years.

You were entirely too perfect for this world. A man willing to give anything and everything to help the next person. I literally, have never heard you raise your voice in anger. I definitely remember how you filled the room with laughter and joy though.

It’s eating me up that you had to suffer. It’s pissing me off that I’m writing this post. I keep telling myself that God had to take you because you were too perfect to live among us selfish individuals.

I am so sorry that life happened and I couldn’t get out of my mess long enough to be the friend to you that you were to me. I’m sorry I missed your call on Thanksgiving and never made time to call you back. I’m sorry our hearts wasn’t as big as yours.

I don’t have to ask you to forgive me for being flawed, because I know you already have. The lessons and conversations you have taught me will remain in my heart forever. I promise to do my best at smiling as bright as you and spread as much joy and you did in your short 28 years of living.

It’s crazy how the world works. The kindest, most people seem to deal with the most pain. You literally are the most genuine person I’ve ever met. I’ll never forget all of the nights, I use to classify as annoying, watching you and the boys playing video games. Dragonball Z and wrestling were always the topics of discussion, while you drank like 4 glasses of Nesquik Chocolate Milk and tell corny stories, that seems way funnier now…

It’s so hard to believe your gone. Even harder to try to make sense out of a tragedy that will never make sense. I’m not ready to say goodbye, none of us are. I don’t want to end this post because it seems too soon. No, it is too soon…

I know your family misses you immensely. I promise to check in as often as they allow me to. I promise to help them continue to shine your bright light through this dimly lit world. You will always remain in our hearts.

Thank you for being the amazing angel you are.

In memory of

Joshua Santos

August 6, 1990 – December 18, 2018

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Sunshine Blogger Award!!!

Hey Lovely Family!! This week is completely different because I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Wondering what it is? Me too! So, to help us both out, I did some digging!

The Sunshine Blogger Award is basically the blogging community recognizing each other for the positivity and joy shown in their blog. I honestly didn’t feel my blog has been public long enough to be considered, however, I am so honored and humbled by the impact my words and experiences have made thus far. I look forward to sharing more with you all!
Indulge and Enjoy!!

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you & link their blog so everyone can visit.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees by commenting on their blog post.
  • List the rules and display the Award logo on your blog post.

Thank you to the BEAUTIFUL Asfa for the unexpected nomination! She’s such a talented blogger. Reading her writing always sparks some emotions… Definitely check her out at Asfa Aftab Writes (Click the name)!! 

Can you tell everyone what your blog is about and what to expect from your posts?

Beautiful. Passionate. Love. is literally my life. It’s the Journey to Discovering Me! I allow my readers up close and personal access to my life, the good the bad and the ugly. One of the tags I attach to each post is “working on me while sharing with you.” When I decided to make my blog public, my promise (to myself) was not only to be transparent and share my truth with anyone who wanted to read it but also, to learn who Alyshia-Mae is and share her with the world as well.

If you were to ever write an Autobiography, what would the title be and why?

My title would be A light that never Dims. Regardless of the trials I’ve endured I always felt a sense of peace in my soul! I knew, deep down the relationships, people and situations I was faced with would not define me. My anger wouldn’t be able to control me forever. My sadness would have to release its hold on me eventually. There was always a little light of hope, happiness and, a joy that wouldn’t allow me to give up… LOOK AT ME NOW!!

Who inspires you in life?

There isn’t one particular person that inspires me. My inspiration comes from the people who are in similar situations as me and don’t see a way out. The more I thrive and speak my truth, I want them to be able to speak theirs. It’s not easy to tell you all my flaws and mistakes, however, the more I share the more you all continue to read, comment and tell your friends. I know that my story is touching someone and giving them the courage to push through another week. That’s how I know I’m walking in my purpose.

If you had to disappear and start a whole new life, what would you want your new life to look like?

Hmmm… This one is tough. I would want to work for the FBI. Specifically, I would want to be on a task force that focused on rescuing children and, young adults that have been kidnaped and forced into the human sex trafficking industry. 

What are your best qualities, according to you?

My ability to see the good in every situation is definitely one of my best quality. I know how to assess situations and see both sides with an unbiased frame of mind. I’m also an amazing judge of character.

If magic was real, what spell would you learn first?

Because of my spiritual beliefs, I wouldn’t learn any spells.

What would the box with all your 2019 goals look like?

Another tough one! I would love to continue expanding my blog!!! I also would love to grow Beautiful. Passionate. Love. into a brand. Apparel is already in the works, however, Working with nonprofits to reach young men and women that just can’t seem to find their value, is the vision I have.

Do you think that Aliens exist?

Yes and No… I don’t believe there are green and grey, long-armed creatures roaming around in spaceships abducting humans. I do however believe there are other being somewhere out there.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

I would definitely volunteer more frequently!!! Even start my own nonprofit. I also would finish this book idea I started. Oh! Travel! I would definitely travel a lot more!

What is the first thing you notice about a person?

Body language for sure. Are they nervous? Overly excited? Eager? Can I approach them? I think I pay attention to body language because I love sparking conversation. I don’t like small talk though. So while I’m gathering body language vibes, I’m also registering if I can have an intellectual, in-depth, honest conversation with them.

What is your favorite season and why?  Summer and Autumn! I love Summer because where I live the people are just more joyful when the sun is brighter, being honest. While the grass is green and the flowered are colorful in the summer, Autumn is more my color scheme! I love the orange(ish) reds and the beige browns!

Thank you for reading my answers but now it’s time for my question and nominees!

Questions:

  1. What currently brings you the most joy in life?

  2. Do you do anything to create a specific atmosphere before writing? If so what are some of the things you do?

  3. Why did you start blogging?

  4. What’s one thing it the world (current or of the past) that you wish you could change?

  5. What was the last book you read? How was it?

  6. When you’re all alone with no interruptions what is your favorite time passing activity?

  7. Where do you see yourself within the next 2 years?

  8. How has writing (and or your blog) changed you?

  9. What’s your favorite genre of music?

  10. How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

  11. If you were nominated for a global award (aside from this one of course) what would it be?

Now my nominees! (Click their names to check them out)

Thelma

Accidental Blogger

Hetvidiaries

Junior Grim

Sweet& nice things

The Godly Chic Diaries

Bogdan (DM)

Sanna

Simple Ula

The A.D. Diary

Scott Kixmiller, LCSW, LCAS, CCS

This was fun! I pray each person reading this knows how thankful I am that you continue to read and support me on this journey! This post is a milestone for me! Again, thank you and see you soon! 

You know what to do from here! Feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

Beautiful Passionate Love

(All new post will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Mending the Past

~Hey Family! Notice anything different? This week has been a beautiful mess! While writing this post, I questioned how ready I was to share this stage of my journey. The final decision was to share because anyone embarking on this journey with me deserves transparency and truth. I honestly pray you CAN’T relate and learn from my mistakes. 

Before we dive in, I promised you all a therapy update! Even though there’s not much to share, I want to keep my promise. It was a really comforting first session. Definitely informative, we talked about a little of everything. I’m not going to say I left feeling awesome because I didn’t. When I left, I was in deep reflection of my past. I guess that’s where this blog stems from… Indulge and enjoy!~

The hardest part of this journey is admitting how much destruction I’ve caused people around me. I’m being forced to reflect on circumstances that I’ve become numb to. Acknowledging that I was a horrible friend. Take ownership of my actions and how it changed the position I held in their lives.  Allowing them to tell THEIR TRUTHS without taking offense. Asking for forgiveness with no expectation of receiving it. And, allowing them the time they need to reflect and decide they are willing to allow me access to their lives again. 

I’m being forced to humble myself and put my ego aside. I can’t approach the conversations in defense mode. I have to be silent and really hear how I hurt some of my closest friends, my best friends even. Realizing that even if they choose to forgive me, they may never allow me to be as close as I once was. 

Keeping it real, I was blessed with some amazing friends! Like my best female friend, I mean at this point she’s my sister, but she has been to hell and back with me. Granted throughout the time we’ve been in each other’s lives (10+ years) we’ve had some amazing times! We were each other’s support systems. Because of the points we were in our personal lives, we supported each other in different ways. I was her physical support (like helping with my niece), but she supported me emotionally. 

Emotional support sounds easy, right? WRONG! She had to deal with my raw emotion, which isn’t pretty at all, trust me. She was the call that was made 2 seconds after my heart was broken, or in the midst of making a dumb decision. My voice of reason. But, what happens when you’re too broken to accept words of wisdom. You run…

Her life became my personal revolving door, popping in and out when convenient. No matter how many times I disappeared she was always there with open arms to deal with my next crisis. Sometimes, I ran because I didn’t know how to sit and listen when she needed me, other times I ran because I knew she was telling me the right thing to do.

The last time I walked away was in early 2017. When I came back, late December 2017, I found out I have a nephew!  I was shocked, confused, heartbroken even. I couldn’t believe it had been that long, but I had missed 9+ months. She welcomed me back but it took us a long time to “get close” again. We had a lot of generic conversations in the beginning. And, I know she would deny it however, I believe my inconsistency is a part of the reason why I didn’t meet my nephew (in person) until just a few days ago.  I honestly can’t blame her though. 

Though I’m so thankful she accepted me back into her life, everyone isn’t that easy to forgive. If they do forgive, they aren’t that quick to move forward. I met my female best friend through her brother, my male best friend.  We connected my freshman year of high school. He knew everything there was to know about me. Literally the ONLY guy my mom would let me hang out with.

Our friendship took a lot of twist and turns, we always bounced back though. Well, when I move to Georgia, we’ll talk about this soon, I was so damaged that I allowed what I knew to be altered. Our entire friendship became blurry. I allowed my male best friend to be portrayed as my enemy.  Instead of standing firmly in the facts, I built up anger, hate, and rage for someone I once loved.  That caused me 4 years and counting of friendship with him. I finally reached out to him and we talked for about 2 hours.

The end result being he forgives me but doesn’t know if he wants me in his life. He’s unsure if mending the past is worth it at this point. For me, I understand why he’s so hesitant, I just want him to be able to enjoy my healthiness the way he had to deal with my pain. Did I tell him that? Of course, however, he is a strong-minded person and there is nothing I can say or do to sway his thoughts. I have accepted that there is nothing further I can do and, I can’t make the decision for him. I will respect whatever decision he chooses. 

To think about all the lives impacted by my insecurities is overwhelming at times. I wish I could sit down and genuinely apologize to each and every one of them. I understand and accept that I could only offer them who I was in that moment. It just saddens me to know that all I could offer was brokenness…

You know what to do from here! Feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

Beautiful Passionate Love

(All new post will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Hello Fear

~Hey Family! I pray you all had an amazingly blessed Thanksgiving! I must say I missed sharing with you all. Some updates about Beautiful. Passionate. Love. WE OWN OUR SITE!!! That’s right, now you can literally just type www.beautifulpassionatelove.com and start exploring! Also, I will be exploring and revamping the site so you will see some things changing… all for the better, I promise. Well, I guess we should jump right in… Indulge and enjoy. ~

As I shared 2 weeks ago, I’m starting therapy sessions. My first session will be wrapping up when this post comes out. So, I want to take this time to talk about how I feel about making this step…

If you read my last post your probably thinking, “You seemed confident so, what happen?” Well, when I wrote that post I didn’t even have my appointment scheduled yet! I was in the process of working with a Healthcare Advocate, a program my health insurance through my job offers, to see what therapists in my area were accepting new patients. So it was more a plan than an actuality. About 3 days after that post came out my Advocate called me back and shared a therapist would be calling me shortly. 

Long story short due to my work schedule and the holiday we couldn’t schedule our first session until December 1st. Why does this matter? Having a week and a half to think about the first session has created a level of anxiety that has me trying to convince myself I don’t need therapy at all… It’s funny how that happens. We know exactly what needs to be done to fulfill a part of our destiny but then fear pops up and just like that stagnation becomes okay. But why?

Why do we allow fear to keep us bound? Why does fear have the right to determine our future? Why is fear the only emotion we refuse to address? I mean we question happiness, we fight against anger, we push through sadness, even curve hunger, but when it comes to fear, we give it the keys to the car and let it drive. Then we scream “You don’t put fear in my heart…” (I know some of yall remember that phrase.) Truth moment? You fear yourself !  You won’t address your own fears, because you’re literally afraid of fear.

Now, you all should know at this point, I only speak from a place of experience so, please don’t feel attacked or judged. Relating to what I’m talking about doesn’t make you a bad person. If anything, it means you need to do some soul searching to begin locating the root cause of your fear. It’s up to you to decide if you are ready to address your true fears and walk in your true purpose. What we offer this world is difficult to grasp when fear is our ruler. 

For me, Beautiful. Passionate. Love. was fear’s eviction notice from my life. Therapy is the eviction process! But, what you may not know is sometimes evictions can take a really long time to complete. THEN, after the eviction is completed there’s the cleanup process. I say this to make it clear that there is work that has to be done. I know that therapy will have to be a consistent part of my journey for at least the next year, I have mentally made the commitment and I’m determined to see it through.

… 

 By now, I’m probably walking out of my first session. I could be extremely satisfied with my new therapist or, I may want to punch her in the face and never go back. I am giving myself permission to feel whatever emotions I feel, however, I do not have the right to abort this mission! Regardless of how I feel, I challenge myself to schedule a second session. I’ll let you know how it went next week, but for now, tell me is fear steering you?

Remember that everyone has a different growth schedule. I don’t grow at your pace and you don’t grow at mine. Also, the only person that can tell your story is you! 

You know what to do from here! Feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

Beautiful Passionate Love

(All new post will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

 

Big Girls Don’t Cry…

~Hello Beautiful People! I pray your week has been full of blessings and love. It’s that time again! Take a break and go on a journey with me. Indulge and enjoy!~ 

At a very young age, writing (especially poetry) became an outlet for me, I would never let people read my work though. My writing wasn’t a secret, the topics, however, were very up close and personal for me. I would write about the situations I was too afraid to tell my Mom,  the conversations that made me cry myself to sleep at night, the thoughts that constantly tormented my mind.

One day, someone told me “…don’t ever write something you aren’t ready for the world to see…” I don’t remember who I was talking to or the context of this conversation but, this one line has followed me my entire life. Along with not remembering the full conversation, also I don’t know what the individual was trying to tell me. My mind interpreted the statement to mean, “Once your thoughts are on paper you don’t have full control of them anymore…”  I do know, after this conversation my writing slowed down drastically. I no longer trusted the pen to accurately write my feelings or paper to keep my secrets. 

Not having a pen and paper as my confidant was rough. It’s like getting into a fight with your best friend, you want to call them but, are worried they are still upset. I would fight back in forth in my mind on writing down my thoughts but, I was too paranoid that somehow my secrets would get out. That’s when a friend introduced the idea of writing down thoughts and ripping them to pieces at the end. I tried it but, I felt and still feel by ripping the pages up when I’m done, I am discrediting and devaluing my own feelings and emotions. 

Now, I’m back to not writing at all. I felt my frustration level increasing every day I wasn’t writing but, what was I suppose to do? I couldn’t just sit down and talk about what was bothering me, people couldn’t be trusted. So, I decided to hold everything in. When someone asks how I was doing I would say fine, put on that fake smile we all have, and keep it moving. The more I did this, the more people saw me as “angry,” or having an “attitude.” 

   Side Note: The most frustrating feeling in the world is being asked why you’re angry when you’re not. Or to lose the attitude when you don’t have one. It makes you angry and creates the very attitude you’re trying to prove you don’t have.

But, all of the people asking me “Why do you always look so angry,” can’t be making it up, right? Why am I coming across so upset… am I actually upset? How can they see anger but they can’t sadness, pain, or even frustration? This week, I was looking for something in my email and came across a folder of poetry I wrote years ago. This particular poem proves while everyone saw anger and attitude, I actually felt fear and even abandonment. Take a look…

Big Girls Don’t Cry
I’m afraid to show you I cry,
I don’t want you to think I’m soft, 
I don’t want you to push me off,
That’s why I’m afraid to show you I cry…
I’m afraid to show you I cry
Because I’m strong,
I can take care of myself, 
I need no one’s help,
That’s why I’m afraid to show you I cry…
I’m afraid to show you I cry,
I don’t want to trust you
Because I know you’ll walk away,
I’ll show you my true feelings if you promise to stay…
That’s why I’m afraid to cry.
-03-09-09

Truth? I was… No, I AM, also angry. I’m angry because, with all the emotions I possess, all they see is anger. I’m angry because I’m holding years of hurt and pain. I’m angry because I feel my voice has been silenced the majority of my life. I’m angry because there’s a monsoon swirling around in my head that has nowhere to go. I’m angry because anger is the easiest to show, its the emotion I see the most.  

While blogging has been the most rewarding start to this journey, it is by far the only step needed. I have decided to take the next step…therapy. Yes, you read it correctly, therapy. Yes, I am well aware of the stigma surrounding therapy/counseling, especially in the black community and, no, I’m not crazy.  I have to unpack all these years of just letting life happen.  

What does that mean for Beautiful. Passionate. Love? More transparency! I will continue posting every Saturday, you’ll just get to see more of me. As I unpack in therapy, I’ll share it with you! This does mean you will feel more emotions in my writing. I will be discussing topics that I have never shared, with anyone, before. Some will be as hard for you to read as they are for me to write. What I will ask is that you all continue to respect my decision to be fully transparent in telling my truth. I am excited to voyage deeper into this journey.

With next week being Thanksgiving there will NOT  be a post next Saturday, November 24th. Remember to be thankful for whatever you’ve been blessed with and have a very Happy Thanksgiving! I love and appreciate you all.

As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

Beautiful Passionate Love

(All new post will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

What I See- Is Not Me

~Hey BPL Family! I pray this week has brought you beauty, passion, and love. Let’s jump right in! Indulge and enjoy!~

I need a favor, grab something you can see your reflection in. Got something? Good, now look into it.  What do you think about the person you see? How do you feel about the reflection staring back at you? Why do you associate those feelings/thoughts, good or bad, with yourself? Are they yours or have they been fed to you over the course of your life? Do you even know?

Okay, let me start by saying this post is going to take you being honest with yourself. I mean, it’s not like we’re sitting in a circle, in the middle of a room, staring into mirrors shouting what we hate about ourselves to the person across from us. So seriously, take a deep breath look at your reflection and record(write down) what comes to mind when you look at yourself.

Looking at my reflection, words such as broken, damaged and unworthy come to mind. Feelings like sadness, discouragement, hurt and anger fill my heart. But why… While in reflection, I think about the first time I felt diminished. A very unintentional event taking place all the way back in Kindergarten, where children’s only concerns should be making friends and snack time. I remember, literally like it was yesterday, being in recess with my best friend Tess, my cousin Jonathan, and his best friend Dallas.

We were having the time of our lives trying to evade nap time, riding those red tricycles, that were in every school back in the 90s.  We had a couple of lunch monitors on the playground with us while our teachers, I assume, were off having lunch of their own (or maybe naptime). One of the “lunch ladies”  wanted to know what we all want to be when we grow up, a 5 or 6-year-olds favorite question. Now, I don’t remember how Tess and Dallas answered this question but, I’m almost positive my cousin said he wanted to be a firefighter. No, he has not yet fulfilled his childhood dream, but there’s still time! (He probably doesn’t even remember it to be honest.) I waited for my turn to come along, as patiently as a 5-year-old could.

Back Story Break: I’ve been on the heavier side for as long as I can remember. Definitely since before I started school. I skipped pre-school, which is why I say I don’t know how to play well with others, and while my mom was at work she would have her Aunt watch my little brother and me. My cousins’ nickname for me was “Fat Mama Lu-Lu,” which I never understood because the nickname was 10x longer than my real name. I understood the reference though because it focused on my weight. Looking back at it, them being in their late teens and early 20s, I don’t think they intended to hurt my feelings but they did. Wow, this may actually be the starting cause to my low self-esteem.

Back on the playground, it’s my turn to share, “I want to be a Beautiful Ballerina,” I shout with excitement! The lunch lady looks at me. With no hesitation or thought, she responds “Well, you’re going to have to lose a lot of weight for that to happen.” I remember my heart dropping, of course at the time I had no idea it dropped, I just knew what she said wasn’t nice. I didn’t know how to respond. Johnathan, Tess, Dallas and I continued playing, I’m pretty sure they never thought about it again. I did though.

Now,  I’m not an expert on children nor are either one of my degrees in behavioral studies but, I believe, the most critical time of finding out who you are and what you like as an adolescent is from 4 to 8 years old. These are the years of discovery that will lay the foundation to who you will become. The question, “Do you like to color or solve puzzles?” Will one day become, “Are you more artistic or logical?” Children, at this age, should still be operating in the mindset of “Anything is possible,” to ensure they don’t set premature limitations on their future.

Before the age of 10, I was made aware of the “not being good enough” notion, and how it applied to my life. I was too big to be a beautiful ballerina. For me, “anything” was no longer possible, my naivety was stripped from me and I was jolted to reality. What can I be- became what can’t I be- and doubting my ability became normal to me.

Though I wasn’t directly told I couldn’t be a ballerina, the doubt had been planted. Even worse than doubt being planted, my appearance was criticized.  I became aware that you could be too big to do certain things. How does a 5-year-old process she can’t be whatever she wants because she’s too big? INTERNALLY.

Though my Mom is an AMAZING mother, she was always tough on me and didn’t like cry babies. I didn’t feel comfortable going to her with what the lunch lady said. I also never to her being called “Fat Mama Lu-Lu,” by my cousins, really hurt my feelings. What I did instead was “suck it up.” I’m sure most of you are familiar with the term “suck it up” but, if you look it up in the Urban Dictionary, one of the most common definitions is to endure a period of mental, physical, or emotional hardship with no complaining.

Sucking it up” was introduced at such an early age by this time in my life it was already second nature. What I never knew was, all the obstacles I was getting through by “sucking it up” I would have to be dealt with one day or they would only get worst.  Today, I am the result of the latter.

So, you know how I felt about the person looking back at me and you know some of why. What’s even more important to know is, those thoughts and feelings aren’t me! They aren’t even my own to think or feel. From the age of 5 until now, I’ve heard so many negative things about myself, I held on to all of them and, replayed them constantly. But, what happened to all the positive things I’ve heard throughout my life? I held on to them also, I just forgot to press play!

It’s time to press stop and delete on the negative and press play on the positive! As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

Beautiful Passionate Love

(All new post will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

The Strength of the Voiceless

~Hey Family! I pray this week has been absolutely amazing! I’ve been racking my brain all week as to what I wanted to share with you. Usually, it’s easy but, this week was a little tough. Anywho, this topic hit me and I think you’re going to love it! Indulge and Enjoy!~

For as long as I’ve been old enough to knowingly voice my opinion, I’ve never thought it held much weight. (I touched on it a little in Who Am I??) I question if people care about what I think and say. I also hold back my thoughts and opinions out of fear of being rejected. Well, this week and last week have taken my opinion of being voiceless to an extream. I mean, I LITERALLY HAD LITTLE TO NO VOICE!!!

Let’s start from the beginning. The Sunday before last, October 21st, was my first Sunday singing in front of my whole church. I was nervous as heck mainly because I don’t hear what everyone else hears when I open my mouth. I genuinely don’t feel that I can sing, though I love doing it. I wanted to join the praise and worship team the moment I  joined my church but, because of my fears and insecurities, I remained in the crowd. A member of the team asked me to come to a practice 3-4 months back and I’ve been committed ever since!

So, here I am, Sunday morning, I wake up and can barely talk. Still at home, I open my mouth to practice the songs we will be doing in service one last time, and NOTHING CAME OUT!!!  I was devastated! So, I reach out to my praise and worship teammates for any remedies they had to at least hold my voice until service was over. One of the leaders said, “Drink warm tea and a tablespoon of olive oil,” I didn’t think twice. I run to the kitchen, mix up this little concoction and start sipping away. I finish getting dressed and head to the car. No, I didn’t finish the tea. It went down the drain on my way out the door.

(Side note: The whole time I was trying to force this tea down, I’m wondering how people drink this grotesque mixture. At the same time, I was like, “Man this oil is doing something for my lips if nothing else!” Upstate, New York can be rough of the skin, so I wasn’t mad at that at all.)

I get to church we do our set and we were absolutely awesome! I struggled on several parts because I couldn’t hit my note but it didn’t seem to bother me, the congregation or the team. Once we were finished we congratulated each other and quickly chatted about how great the newbies were. I lowkey don’t like that term but, I am new to the team after all. We settle in for the rest of the service and it was great. I felt a shift in myself that day and, I’m still trying to figure out what exactly changed.

Throughout the week my voice gets worst and worst. At a practice, I asked my leader how he drinks the disgusting recipe he prescribed to me. He looked at me and said “Its just tea...”  Confusion began to flood my mind wondering “what happened to the olive oil?” Then it hit me… WATER AND OIL DONT MIX.

I know someone out there is wondering, “What’s the point?” By now, you should know there’s a method to my ramble. I mean we learn that water and oil don’t mix in like 5th-grade science class right? So why, at 26 years old, am I trying to mix them? And what does it have to do with not having my voice?  And what did this teach me? Well, here we go…

If you have a cup of water and pour oil into it what happens? The oil remains at the top of the water and you may even see some oil bubbles within the water but they definitely don’t mix. Don’t believe me? Google it! Or better yet do a quick science experiment when you’re done here. For me, this is the perfect depiction of my good and bad emotions. Water being the good, oil the bad.

The last couple of weeks have shown me that the volume of my voice doesn’t matter.  My first week of having no voice, I literally couldn’t do more than a whisper. In that week, I got more accomplished at my job than I had in a very long time. I went from hating the company I work for, on the verge of getting fired, to helping new members get started on the team and even worked on backlogs that needed to be completed.  My managers were thanking me for going above and beyond in a time that I could have been an even bigger burden.

(Side note: I wasn’t getting fired because I couldn’t do my job. It was the sad/angry coat of oil that was layered over my happiness. I was coming across as angry no matter what I said or did. I couldn’t see my wrongs so I blamed everyone around me, the customers, my managers, even my coworkers. At the end of the day, it was me.)

I realized it became more about the strength in my voice and the action behind it. My co-workers were listening to my whispers. My friends appeared to be gravitating to me, opposed to “not wanting to get sick.” Everyone was finally seeing me.  At a moment when it would have been so easy to fade into the background, even more, I was finally sanding out and in a good way.

Two weeks in, and my voice is almost back to “normal” and something in my heart is telling me, “You will never be voiceless again.” Now, this doesn’t mean I won’t ever feel like I can’t be heard. What has happened is now, I have a moment that I can reference when I do start to feel voiceless. If they can see and hear a woman who literally has no voice, then they can see and hear the woman with a voice. Remember, not only did they see and hear me but they cared about what I had to say.

So, back to the water and oil. No, they don’t mix, however, think about what happens when there an oil spill in a large body of water? THEY FILTER OUT THE OIL. That’s what I’m choosing to do with my life, filter out the bad and submerge myself in the good.

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, Thank You. Please know you’re voice has strength behind it and as long as you never lose your strength you will never be voiceless. As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

Beautiful Passionate Love

(All new post will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

The Master Plan

~Hey there!! I pray your week has been amazing thus far! Before we get started, I just want to take the time to remind you IT’S OKAY TO LAUGH! I laughed at myself constantly while writing this particular post. Looking at me today, you’d never know the mess of my yesterday. Enjoy!~

Ever since about the age of 16, I’ve had a master plan for my future family. I planned to be engaged by 21, married by 25 and pregnant by 26. I wanted a huge wedding where my Grandfather, who was also my Pastor, bound my husband and me together forever. We would have 3 children: first, our boy, then our girl, and the sex of the last child didn’t matter, we would love it just as much as the other two…

If your wondering who I planned all this with at the age of 16, the answer is… NO ONE!!!! I’m pretty sure was single at the time and if I wasn’t, it couldn’t have been anything serious because I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 18. (I know my mom was extream.) Now that doesn’t mean I didn’t date or experience heartbreak, that just means I had some serious “pholationships,” phone relationships,  oppose to up close and personal ones.  I never discussed marriage or being with them forever because I usually only saw them at school.

So, let me tell you how serious I was about this plan… Here I am fresh out of high school, going to MCC, a community college in my area, in my first official relationship. He was a pretty decent guy, a year older than me, in college and working. He didn’t have it all together, like me, but he was on track.  Literally, less than 6 months in I tell him about my master plan and he was like “Okay…”  Now for those of you that don’t know me, “Okay” means yes to me.  So in my head, I was 100% engaged!

Now, fast forward to the year and a half mark. things between said guys and I are going smooth. Lowkey, I have my entire wedding planned, just no ring.  Mind you I’m working at a jewelry store in the mall so all I do is look at rings! Pretty sure you’ll know what’s about to happen next. Yep, you guessed it… I start dropping hints. He would walk by my kiosk and I’d make sure to be standing at the ring section, or I’d be cleaning a ring that just happens to be my size and of course I’d have to try it on! I’m positive he noticed but he intentionally ignored me. I can be pretty annoying at times.

At our two year anniversary, I had just turned 21, I knew for a fact that he was giving me the ring of my dreams. I mean, I had already purchased it and  placed it on his side of the room with a note that read, “Pay me back after you propose.” (Please don’t sit here reading this and act like you’ve never done something absolutely insane!) We pull up to the restaurant of my choice, Chili’s, hold the judgment, we were still college kids and money was tight on both ends.

After hours of eating, laughing, and exchanging gifts, we paid and left the restaurant. HE NEVER EVEN MENTIONED THE RING OR THE NOTE. You know I had a WHOLE attitude right? Now we’re driving home and he’s trying to ignore my eye rolling and teeth sucking while singing Lotus Flower Balm by Wale. The song was big at the time but, my attitude was bigger!

We get home and are supposed to be watching a movie. I’m on Facebook writing subliminal messages about how all guys are the same (Blah Blah Blah)… you know how that goes. He finally gives in and asks me what wrong and I explode! I told him I would not spend another day with him without a ring. I know… childish but in my head, he had no choice but to give me my ring now… Absolutely wrong, he had other choices, I was just too stubborn to see them. I woke up the next morning and he had left me a note… “Return the ring and maybe we can talk…

I’m sure someone reading this is wonder what the point of this story is… There are tons but I’ll give you a couple. This generation (my generation) is so stuck on all things happening their way when they feel it should. That mindset is the very thing crippling us! Clearly, I don’t have it all together, I mean  I’M ON A JOURNEY TO DISCOVER WHO I AM. I say that to say this, I don’t know it all and will never claim to know it all. What I do know is some of the mistakes I’ve made and the obstacles those mistakes have caused me to go through could have been avoided.  Here are two things I’ve learned to stop doing…

  • STOP TRYING TO PLAN EVERY SECOND OF YOUR LIFE.

Take a second to realize how much life you’re missing out on by trying to plan everything. Until the age of 25 I found myself trying to get back on track with this master plan. I remember even thinking, “If I’m not married by 26 I’ll just have a baby so that I will at least fulfill one of the steps in my plan.” How crazy does that sound? I was okay with risking being a single mother as long as I stayed on schedule. I’m so thankful, I didn’t risk my children’s future for structure. An even more frightening fact is, about 4 years after he and I broke up, I did get engaged. In that engagement, I wasn’t happy to be starting my life with someone I loved, I was happy that I wasn’t too far off track. What type of marriage would that have been if we had gone through with it? (A short one…)

  • YOU CAN’T CHANGE THE MINDSET OF ANYONE BUT YOU.

I thought by giving him an ultimatum that would change the fact that he wasn’t ready to get married. All it did was change his decision to be with me… Now, I’m not at all saying he and I would be together to this day if I hadn’t done what I did, I don’t believe that to be true. I do, however, believe that we could have learned a lot more from each other about ourselves. I know I could have at least. The truth is, we remained friends for about 4 years after our breakup and it was one of the most genuine friendships I’ve ever experienced. I watched him grow into a completely different person than the one I originally met! He’s actually getting married on October 31st and I wish them nothing but love and prosperity!!

Now, at the age of 26, I look back and admit I was in NO WAY ready for marriage back then. I’m still not ready if I’m being totally honest. The thought of marriage is still so beautiful and precious to me and I know the me that I see today isn’t ready for that precious gift, AND THAT’S OKAY!!!! I use to say “I can’t wait to get married” now, I realize I am very excited about that time/journey in my life but, I can and will wait. I often reflect on the choice I made to embark on this journey– discovering me– and I wonder, “How was I going to marry someone when I have no idea who I am…

Thank you for spending some time with me today! As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

Beautiful Passionate Love

(All new post will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.