Processing Emotions

~Hey Family!! How did this week treat you? I pray it brought you plenty of peace and progress. How did you show your appreciation to your significant other on Valentines Day? Single? Me too! How did you show yourself appreciation? Don’t ever miss a moment to show YOU how loved and valuable YOU are to YOURSELF. Ready to embark on this weeks journey? Let’s dive right in. Indulge & Enjoy!~

When it comes to expressing myself, I’m not always able to find the right words. If I’m really frustrated, it’s as if I’ve hit an emotional roadblock, stopping my mouth from saying what my mind has detected within my heart. The words will be at the tip of my tongue, yet, I can’t form them. Yes, I’m a little stubborn, however, the real truth is, sometimes I’m just afraid…

Afraid to open up and tell the other party how I really feel. Fearful, if I share my true feelings, said party may think I’m attacking them. Sometimes, I’m so frustrated, because I know we’ve had this conversation before, that I just shut down. The worst, but most common, is when I assume the other party should “just know” how to fix my issue.

Can you relate? Not ready to admit it? That’s fine, however, let’s still address it. For starters, this is NOT a “feminine characteristic,” nor does it make you weak. Both men and women have moments where expressing their feelings are more difficult than others. Also, it’s not always bad to reserve your feelings. Depending on the time and place it may even be best.

Where over sharing emotions becomes an issue, is when relationships are affected drastically. We all fight with our friends and argue with our significant others, however, at the end of the dispute, we have to be able to answer and ask specific questions to establish a resolution. What do those questions sound like? Well, here are my main four…

-What am I really upset about?

A lot of times, especially in romantic relationships, it’s easier to fight over the little things, rather than finding the root cause of your frustration. To be honest, magnifying the little things could cause more damage to the relationship/friendship. I can assure you, socks on the floor, or dishes in the sink, especially, the cap off the toothpaste, is definitely not the real issue. So, instead of exploding over the little things, stop and ask yourself, “Why am I really mad?

-Is this a “me” issue, a “them” issue or a “us” issue?

Now, this question right here requires full transparency with yourself. Once you’ve found the root cause of your frustration, you now have to find out who exactly is responsible for fixing it… It is absolutely, 1,000 percent, not fair for you to make your issue the responsibility of the other party to fix. Also, you can’t heal the emotional wounds of others. Just as it isn’t their responsibility to fix you it’s also not your responsibility to fix them. No, you also can’t help them work on it. If you didn’t help cause the brokenness then you won’t be the solution in fixing it.

-Have I asked them what they need from me?

This moment of a conversation is very helpful when sincere. This question, all by itself, can break the tension while resolving issues between friends or your significant other. It shifts blame and, provided a balanced atmosphere for the other party. This is when you give your undivided attention to the other party, in order for them to share what you can do to make the relationship better. Once this question is answered, you should be given the opportunity to…Well, just read the next section.

-Have I told them what I need from them?

Alright, we’ve found out the real reason we’re upset/frustrated. We’ve determined who’s responsibility it is to fix it. We’ve asked the parties involved “what they need from us” to rectify this disagreement. So, the final, very important conversation we have to be open to is, telling the “offender” what we need from them to work on the issue. Before you start pointing fingers again, remember the offender can and maybe you! If it is you, it’s imperative you ask yourself this question. Yes, you need to sit down and have a conversation with yourself (out loud or written) and, sincerely tell YOU  what you need from YOU.

Over the years, I’ve learned not to speak from emotions. In most cases, when a person speaks from emotion, they aren’t heard. For me, these questions help to keep my mind focused on the real issues and not the emotions surrounding it. This doesn’t mean I don’t share how I feel, I’m just learning to share my feelings with words instead of reactions. These questions work in all relationship types, romantic or not. Oh, you don’t believe me? You must be new to the family because the BPL Family knows, on this journey, we only talk about what we’ve lived through.

We’re all bound to have a disagreement, of some sort this week, whether it be with your significant other, parents, siblings, or friends. Approach the disagreement differently this time and try incorporating these questions. Let me know how they change the dynamics of the disagreement. If you have a process you use, similar or not, please share! I’d love to try your way of processing emotions…

As always, 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.

Big Sis, Little Sis

~Welcome back, Everyone! What did this beautiful week bring you? I pray nothing but blessings and peace! For me, this week has been crazy busy. I’ve been trying to find a way to balance my work and personal life. I’ll keep you all posted on that…Today, we’re going to switch it up a little! Let’s talk about little sisters. Are you ready to journey together? Let’s dive in. Indulge & Enjoy!~

I’ll be the first to admit I, still to this day, struggle with ‘Little Sister Syndrome’. You’ve never heard of it? Well, please, allow me to explain… Have you ever interacted with a woman, no matter the age, who is playful, witty and definitely a little too demanding but, all in a way that doesn’t 100% push you away?

She always has an answer, no matter the question, and you better believe that the answer she gives will definitely be served with two sides of attitude. You can ask her to hand something to you and, she’ll do it, but she’s going to inform you of how easy it would have been for you to get it yourself.

When it comes to trouble, she drags you to it as you plead with her to leave you out of it. She creates drama in both of your lives, then she works her magic to clean it up, afterward expecting a thank you. And, God forbid someone brings drama to you, she’s right there, front and center, ready to defend you at any cost.

She doesn’t have to be younger than you. There are just qualities about her that make her the little sister. Got it? Great! Now that we’re done with the formalities, allow me to re-introduce myself…

HI! I’m Alyshia-Mae, and I’m the best little sister you’ll love to hate!

Now, another awesome quality us little sisters possess is; annoyance. We know the exact button to push at any given time to drive someone crazy. I hate to admit this, however, we find this extremely humorous. (I annoyed my oldest brother on my Mom’s side so bad, when we were younger, he LITERALLY pushed me off the front porch! I’m alive so feel free to laugh.)

Think about a Sour Patch Kids commercial, or click here to watch one, that’s us! We’re sour until we know you’re about to explode, then we do everything possible to calm you down and brighten your day…

Now some of you are very unappreciative of our many capabilities and harp on us being sour. You always forget about those times you come to us in tears and, walk away from us full of joy and laughter. You all don’t remember us putting our lives on pause to make sure you were at your best. *insert dramatic eye-roll*

To be clear, being an actual little sister is not the same as having Little Sister Syndrome. It is, however, the training ground. If you ask me, I’ve always been the best little sister in the world! The way I remember my childhood, I reserved the majority of my annoying powers. I didn’t yell my brothers name a billion times, him begging me to stop until he became so frustrated he pushed me off the porch… Oh wait, that’s exactly what happened…

So, as you all should know by now, the week of Christmas(2018) I went to Kentucky and met my Dad and most of my family for the first time. I had an amazing time, didn’t want to leave to be honest. While I was there, I met 5 of my wonderfully beautiful siblings, however, there was one that was just too busy to meet up the entire week. Get this, SHE’S THE YOUNGEST OF US ALL!

I never had a little sister growing up (I do have a little brother)and, I always thought it would be fun to have someone just like me to play with… That was until my 12-year-old little sister introduced herself to me January 8th, 2019. “Hey sis…. Ik I’ve never met you before…. but hey,” was the message I received with an upside down smiley face. Man, oh man, I never knew how hard having a little sister would be.

I mean, she’s sassy and spicy, just like me. She demands attention, just like me. She’s outspoken and charming, JUST LIKE ME. She’s a little boy crazy, just like I was at that age. She’s also super goofy. Now that I think about it, maybe I wasn’t the best little sister, maybe I was the best at being a little sister. It’s been so fun getting to know her lately. For the first couple of weeks, we talked basically all day with the exception of her being in school and her 9pm phone curfew. (I had the same curfew with the house phone growing up.)

Unfortunately, my free time doesn’t match her’s with all of my adulting and what not. I mean, both work and working out alone have me exhausted Monday through Friday. We haven’t been able to talk the way she wants us to the last week or so. Yes, I have been crazy busy and work has gotten more challenging, I also think there’s fear there as well. I’m afraid of how similar she is to me at that age. I feel responsible for making sure she doesn’t make the mistakes I’ve made.

See, she doesn’t have Little Sister Syndrome she is a little sister. She’s MY little sister, and that surpassed Little Sister Syndrome. She makes me want to set aside all of my flaws to make sure she becomes better than me. Now, I’m definitely not saying I’m cured of Little Sister Syndrome (impossible, I’m a little sister myself). I am saying, however, I have to find a happy medium. My desire is to build a level of comfort that allows her to come to me with all things, good, bad and, ugly.

For me, being a little sister will always conflict with me having Little Sister Syndrome and there is nothing wrong with that. I just have to find ways to balance my overprotective Big Sister qualities as well. I actually have two little sisters, the other is 18. I want the same things for both of them… happiness, success, love and, countless blessings. If there was one thing I’d want them both to always remember…

I love you UNCONDITIONALLY, from Big Sis to Little Sis…

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.

I’ve Got Us From Here

~Hey Beautiful People! It’s been a crazy week but we’ve made it! I’m sure something about this week wasn’t perfect but, it’s over and, we can’t change it now so, why are you still worrying? Take a deep breath and get ready to embark on this journey! Indulge & Enjoy!~

Dear Beautiful Little Girl,

Knowing you, you’re probably locked in your room reading a book or journaling a plan for the future. I’m sorry to interrupt your flow, however, can I have just five minutes of your time? I’ve been trying to find the best way to articulate how I feel to you and, it finally hit me, you find power in words.

My soul has been begging me to reach out to you, I couldn’t figure out why so, I refused. (Yes, I’m still stubborn.) This week, however, I’ve been emotionally cornered and I knew the only way out was to write to you. So, here I am. I guess the very first thing I want to say to you is, YOUR BEAUTY IS RADIANT.

Sweet baby, the next time you look in the mirror I want you to count every freckle on your face, love them all because there’s more to come. Look at your lips, the natural lip liner that traces them, and know they are perfect. Touch the noes that your friends call a bell pepper and you refer to as Squidward, now, embrace how your nostrils flare when you’re angry. Caress your stomach as your eyes focus in, turn to the side, I need you to see the beauty in your shape. Whenever you look in the mirror I want you to know, the features you deem flaws, are actually what make you flawless.

Your name is your identity, chosen specifically for you! It’s just as unique as your blossoming personality. Yes, I know it’s long and spelling it takes forever but, I need you to promise me you will wear your name proudly. Nicknames are fun from the right people (friends and family) but, stop allowing people to shorten your name, justifying it by saying “it’s too long.” Stop allowing them to shame you into changing the very characteristics that make you unique.

I need to tell you I LOVE YOU! Right now you feel you don’t deserve to be loved. If we’re being honest, most times you’d rather not be loved because you’ve been conditioned to view love negatively. Love is not a curse word. Sweetheart, the sooner you accept that you are loveable, the sooner we can both enjoy being loved. This will be difficult because you have to shift your way of thinking. Love has nothing to do with sexual contact, that’s actually lust. You and I both know why you see love the way you do, however, I give you permission to press reset and learn what real love is.

Your yesterday will define you for as long as you allow it to. So, today I beg you to let it all go. You hide behind books because you feel your damage is visible to the world, it isn’t. You hang your head low because you feel the people around you are blaming you, they aren’t. Stop blaming yourself for the unfortunate events that continuously try to steal your joy. Hold your head high and, take back your childhood! Go to the park, play tag with the neighborhood kids. (Yes, I know, the boy in the light green house has a crush on you… it’s okay… I promise he won’t hurt you.)

I want to THANK YOU, for never leaving me. Baby girl (I know how much you hate to be called that… remember, we’re moving on), you have been here with me through everything and I am so appreciative, however, its time for you to retire. You’ve done everything you can to keep us safe. You grew up way to fast, sacrificing your childhood to protect us. Aren’t you tired? You stay up all night and worry. You’re alert all day, still worrying. It’s finally you’re time to rest. I want to give you your childhood. I want you to stop worrying. I need you to step down.

I’ve got us from here little one. I can picture the emotion on your face. You’re hurt, you feel like I’m pushing you away, I’m not. I am, however, asking you to be the child you never got to be emotionally and mentally. I need you to know it’s for our own good. Now you can enjoy our adolescent years. Get out of the house, play, color, go on an adventure, make memories to last forever. I’m not afraid anymore, I can guard us now. I’m not asking you to go away, I’m just asking you to switch places with me. Let me drive while you ride shotgun. I PROMISE we’re going to be just fine…

Relax angel and trust me the way I’ve trusted you all these years.

I LOVE YOU FOREVER.

Thank you, as always, for embarking on this amazingly rewarding 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.

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.

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.