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.

War Within my Mind…

~ Before we get started I have to announce our FACEBOOK PAGE!  Make sure to like Beautiful Passionate Love for updates on the fun to come! ~

Have you ever been in a room full of people and felt that no-one could see you? Like everyone in the room is the best of friends and then there’s just you?  They look in your direction, you respond with a gentle smile or a soft “hello,” but they continue on with their conversations as if you weren’t there. Did they see straight through you? Should you be offended? Who do they think they are?  Thoughts start to bombard your mind as you find yourself in a corner sulking while still trying to maintain your composure.

Almost numb to your surroundings, tears start to weld up in your eyes as you wish, even pray, for just one person to approach you and simply say “Hi.” While you wait, people walk by you full of joy and laughter. “CAN YOU SEE ME,” a voice cries out in your head yearning to be heard but, no one looks your way. A piercing “NO,” echoes in your mind, halting any sense of hope you’ve been holding on to. “Why would they be able to see you,” the voice continues, “You don’t belong here…”

Maybe I’m the only person who has these experienced. (I doubt it though.) Mind wars happen more often than we think or even want to know. Often times, we disregard situations that don’t seem right for a plethora of reasons. Maybe we don’t want to appear nosey.  Sometimes, we’re too busy with our own problems to check in and see if we can assist someone else. Or, the worst of them all, we don’t know enough about them so we just assume “that just who they are.” I can honestly admit I’ve NEVER done any of these!!! Okay, okay I’m actually guilty of all three.

It’s unfortunate to say but, we can become so self-absorbed that we never stop to wonder what’s really going on with the people around us. Our world so transactional that we expect responses to be generic. A “Hey, how have you been,” is expected to be met with a “Good, how about you?”  But what if I’m not good? What if I feel like I’m going crazy inside?  Most people fighting an internal fight, try their best to “keep it together,” for appearance sake, and sometimes we’re really good at it too, other times, it shows in everything we do.

Personally, I always felt as though I had no choice, so I would sit in my messy emotions and allow them to continue to pull me down. I didn’t know how to fight my thoughts. Lately, I’ve been noticing, dealing with them head-on has an immense amount of reward in return (Beautiful. Passionate. Love. being the biggest one yet), but you have to be ready to grow. I was ready!

I didn’t learn to fight back by myself though, I wasn’t strong enough– I tried for 25 years. I hate asking for help PLUS the people around me weren’t conducive to the change I desperately wanted, so once again I felt stuck!  It is very important to have a community that is willing to push you forward and keep you focused.  By no mistake at all, I was invited to a Church.  Months later they became my community.  They have been such a huge part of my growth and a large reason why I started this journey.

Once I had a WHOLE community backing me, I started seeing/feeling a difference.  When I first started going, members, who knew nothing about me, would display “random acts of kindness” to pull me out of my mind. Things as small as suggesting I move up a seat, stopping me just to give me a hug as I’m walking out. One lady even pulled me aside and bluntly(yet so lovingly) told me “We can see you.” (At the time I had never shared with anyone how invisible I felt, not even a journal.)

I still struggle with the war within my mind often but, I PUSH THROUGH! My most recent battle was Saturday (October 13), and it literally tried to take over this whole week. At practice, I felt this heavy cloak of invisibility on top of me, which left me yet again asking, “Can they see me?”  I even felt like I wasn’t good enough to be on the Praise and Worship team.  But then one of my team members approached me and pulled me away from the group.  Once we were alone all she said was, “I just want to check on you.” Those are the little gestures that mean the world to someone at war with their mind.

CHALLENGE TIME– Follow the one applicable to at the time of reading (feel free to do both).

Whichever challenge you accept, make sure you are SINCERE! You never know, you may make a new friend!!

  •  GROUP SETTING— Look around you, regardless of if it’s a group of friends or strangers, there may be someone in this group who is literally at war with their mind. Struggling to feel content with what life has blown their way. I challenge you to observe their actions (or lack thereof) and make a difference in their life. It can be as small as a smile the next time they look in your direction, asking them how their doing, compliment them, anything to show them that you see them.

 

  • ALONE— Now, reading this alone does not give you a pass! Think about a person that you see and often looks sad or uncomfortable. Are they alone most times? When they are included in conversations, are their contributions brief and simple? They could be at war with their mind. So, I challenge you to make a difference also! The next time you see them, make a small gesture. Smile, give them a compliment, ask them how their day is going. Show them that they are valued and aren’t invisible.

 

Please, let me know if you accepted the challenge and how it went for you. Do you feel you’ve made a difference? Have you made a new friend?

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.

Who am I??

About a year ago, or even 3 months ago if you asked me “Who are you?” I would have CONFIDENTLY spit out a brief blurb that probably sounds very similar to my Myspace profile’s “about me” section…

“My name is Alyshia-Mae, I’m 26, birthday is May 27th. Single no children. I have 3 brothers on my Mom’s side and 7 siblings on my Dad’s(have yet to meet 6 of them), Favorite color is blue, I have an Associates and Bachelors  Degree, VERY Independent and SECURE in who I am…”

That is usually more than enough to progress the conversation to the next level. Take a wild guess at what that is… Exactly! “What do you like to do?” I’ve always hated this question because I never really knew how to answer it. My hands would start sweating while my mind ran a 50 miles a minute trying to connect the dots. I imagine my mind working very similar to the Spongebob Squarepants episode when “they” (the little people in his head) throughout his name, take a look.  (Click hyperlink–ITS OKAY TO LAUGH)

After my brain stops throbbing, from agonizing amounts of confusion, I usually come up with several activities I know I’m half decent at and string them together, “Well, I like to sing, write poetry, read, go on trips, and take long walks through the park.” Sounds good even slightly romantic right!?

WRONG!!! All the while I’m explaining what I “enjoy doing,” the truth is I haven’t done most of those things in YEARS. When I really sit down and think about it, I have no idea what I enjoy. See, I’ve always been the type of person to go with the flow, for the most part. I mean, growing up the only girl of four, my ideas were a definite no go! By about six, my mom gave up on asking what I wanted to do because she became tired of the boys teasing me about being too “girly,” whatever that means.

What my Mom, brothers and even myself couldn’t see is that every time my thoughts and opinions were skipped over, internally they registered as not good enough. Since they weren’t good enough, I started keeping them to myself.  Naturally, as I mature and became older I continued “going with the flow.”

Yeah, you’re right! I hear exactly what you’re saying, “There’s nothing wrong with going with the flow.” I agree with you, AS LONG AS THAT FLOW IS YOUR OWN FLOW. With me, I never created my own flow. I did what everyone around me wanted to do. Even with my friends, whom I love dearly, I rarely give my opinion on what we should do or where we should go, out of fear that someone will override my idea.

No, my friend’s aren’t jerks,  in all honesty, they’re finding out how I feel at the same time you are. When they ask what I want to do or where I want to eat and I always reply, ” You know how indecisive I am… How about you pick,” and even if I don’t want to do what they choose, I do it.

So, a week ago I woke up and deep in my soul, there was a question burning to be answered… WHO AM I? My initial response was “too old to be being asked this question,” but then I really thought about it.  In high school, I remember writing a poem, for a creative writing class, “I am the sorrow, the sadness, the darkness, the pain that cannot be replaced…” (I know, I know, I’ve always been deep.) The title of that poem is “I AM,” so that has to be who I am, right? I mean I did write it.

But, I smile way too much that bound by as much sorrow, sadness, darkness, and pain the poem describes. So, who am I? Hmmm, honestly I still can’t quite put my finger on it. What I can share are some of the small revelations I’ve had thus far!

  1. I am a writer! (Hence this blog)
  2. I sing Soprano! (Yes, I’m on the praise and worship team)
  3. My favorite color is ORANGE! (Thought it was blue for 26 years and 4 months)

Thank you, for taking a minute to relax and embark this journey with me! See you next Saturday!

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

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

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.