Saturday, June 5, 2021

Forgiveness: Finding Inner Peace


 Forgiveness: Finding Inner Peace and Healing

The topic of forgiveness is among some of the most debated topics on how to respond to the feeling of being wronged. 

To forgive means to pardon the source that has committed an act against you and do so without resentment. However, for forgiveness to be complete, you must not only pardon the act but forget it and treat it as if it never happened. 

If you have ever been hurt- to the point of being emotionally distraught- you might say forgiveness, then, is easier said than done. Especially if it requires a level of forgetfulness, you might even say it is impossible. 

How can your mind forget the pain? The crippling hollowness? The haunting memories? The helplessness? 

When the trauma rips away a part of who you are, dooming you to agony and despair, forgiving could become most challenging. 

It is, however, the only way to find inner peace and healing.

Unforgiveness burdens many people with shame and entrenched resentment, which can contribute to social, emotional, and spiritual demise. If you feel you have been wronged, the journey to inner peace and healing comes through forgiveness of yourself and those who offended you.

 

The Spiritual Path of Forgiveness






Forgiveness is a process that can ease you out of pain and anger. 

As you take on the spiritual journey of forgiveness, you will experience your divine nature awakening, and emerging inside of you. Your spiritual essence will manifest, and your heart will love, more closely, to God’s love. 

A heart that yearns to love like God loves, will be open to connect to the channel that creates and transmits knowledge, light, and comfort from the realms of the spirit. Through this connection, you can activate spiritual growth and transformation, and break down inner blockages, such as pain, resentment, anger, and blame that often delay the process of forgiveness. 

Forgiveness is a process that emerges from love. It cannot be forced and should not be cloaked in meaningless and insincere apologies. 

It requires deep introspection. 

Forgiveness is most authentic when you acknowledge the emotions that are triggered from the circumstances needing forgiving and permit yourself to connect with them. 

Acknowledging the emotions is not permission to dwell in them. It is readily allowing them to emerge and valuing the feelings that arise with them. Depending on your level of internal self-awareness, and the depth of those feelings, this stage could last a while. 

As with other phases of spiritual transformation, you may experience a feeling of emptiness, as the “once-held” emotions, begin to drain from inside you.   

When this phase passes, you will feel anew. Unburdened. relieved. You will find your spirit elevated to a level of consciousness that allows you to reassess the past through broader lens. You may get a deeper understanding of the situation. One that may even extend beyond you, and the emotions you embodied. 

You will feel your heart lightened in the process, as it experiences the transformation. 

The opening for forgiveness will become clear, unforced, and revealed in the likeness of God’s divine love.


Friday, May 7, 2021

Celebrating Mother's Day

 





Mother’s Day is approaching. It is a day to honor and express gratitude to mothers for all they sacrifice for their children. Their education, hobbies, interests, and professions are just some of the things mothers will delay or give up to raise their children. 

By nature, a mother is like that. 

A mother works round the clock. She cares for her children at every moment. She awakes to care for them at the break of dawn and is keenly aware of every sound they make in the midnight hours. 

She will protect her children against all dangers and give them all the comfort she can. She says nothing about a paycheck because she delights in the smiles, happiness, and safety of her children. 

Those things are rewarding enough. 

To a mother, her children are dearest to her, regardless of their age or stage in life. They are an extension of who she is, near or far. 

She knows one day, the nest will become empty of her children, as they begin moving out to have a life of their own- leaving empty rooms and memories. 

However, she does not complain. She only wants the best for them- wherever their journey takes them. 

Then a time comes when she, too, must move on- leaving empty hearts and memories. 

If that time has come for you, celebrate her still, this Mother’s Day. 

Because, for her, every day was Children's Day.


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Reclaiming Your Time



A few years ago, I found myself struggling with finding time to work on some important personal goals I had set. Between the responsibilities that came with starting a new career, building a new business, and getting acclimated into a new environment, meeting professional expectations meant putting those personal goals on the backburner. During that time, I never “clocked out.” 

It wasn’t until, while having my regular check-up, my doctor asked, “Are you okay?” and my unsuspecting response, “Yes. Why?” that I found out my blood pressure was elevated. It was time for me to hit “pause” on the way I was going about life and recreate a new way of existing that prioritize my health. 

A critical factor for me to do so, successfully, was managing my time. My dilemma, however, was I had so little of it. 

Most of us have too much to do and not enough time to do it. With the pandemic adding more distractions into the mix, it is easy to overlook the little things that really matter. Things like resting, exercising, connecting socially with people, volunteering, and working on hobbies make a difference in the way we feel about ourselves. Creating time in our daily schedule to do them should be a priority. 

For busy professionals, this can seem easier said than done. But it does not have to be. Mapping out the activities that we pack into a normal day and assessing them is a good start. This gives us a visual of when we are productive and when we are losing time. In reclaiming the lost time, we can bring a healthy balance to our lives.

In mapping out my activities, I saw most of my time was lost early in the day. During that time, I spent more time completing the same tasks that I was able to zip through, easily, in the afternoons. I checked my emails throughout the day and responded immediately to every notification that required my response. I didn’t take breaks. And every day, except on Sundays, I worked until midnight. 

To build my ideal 24-hour day, with a priority on my health, I had to take inventory of myself. Why was I more productive later in the day than in the mornings? The rationale that I’m not a morning person was not enough. A deeper self-assessment brought me new insights. 

  1. I was more creative in the mornings and more intellectual later in the day. 
  2. I carried guilt while working on my professional responsibilities, which required my intellect, instead of pursuing my personal goals, too, which required my creativity. 
  3. The battle between the two, in the mornings, left me unfocused and that slowed me. 

The unattained personal goals, hanging in the back of my mind for years, also had an effect. With negative self-talk, I reminded myself of them constantly. Even though I was meeting the expectations in my professional life, in pushing aside my creative thoughts instead of exploring them, I felt unfulfilled and unaccomplished. Needless to say, living with this conflict within me, unchecked, year after year, impacted my health and my feelings about myself. 

In reclaiming my mornings, I built a 24-hour day that included waking up earlier to focus on me. Incidentally, the creative thoughts I often wake up with, and now embrace instead of push aside, produced the jolt of energy I needed to get out of bed. I suddenly found time to have a healthy breakfast, exercise, and prep a healthy lunch before sitting down to explore my creative ideas- developing plots, characters, and outlining manuscripts- or working on my business; whichever I scheduled. 

By midday, I usually feel accomplished. I take breaks to have lunch and rest before I start the second half of my day, with activities that require my intellect. To restructure that part of my day, I assigned each task a beginning and end time, and scheduled manageable tasks that I can complete way before midnight.

While adherence to the schedule requires self-discipline, mapping out my activities and assessing them was a good start to finding and reclaiming the valuable time I needed to complete the little things that work to improve my health and bring balance to my life.


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Monday, June 8, 2020

Healing A Father-Daughter Relationship


Breaking Down the Fatherhood Theme in the Book, 

Everything She Needs



One of the major themes in this book is a daughter’s need for her father.

That need is the most obvious reason, Victoria Davenport, the protagonist in the story, left her affluent lifestyle for the small town of Beautiful, in search of her father. 

The prologue takes you back to the heartbreaking experience Victoria’s mother, Alana, had in a forbidden relationship and offers insight into how the bitterness of it framed the decisions Alana made from then on in her life. 

In the story, you see the decision to keep Victoria away from her father left a void.

As the story unfolds, you experience the agonizing battle Victoria fought, within herself, to accept that having a mother is enough but desperately desiring, too, to know her father, defied her mother's wishes. 

Her journey to Beautiful to find him, unmasked a painful history of a family dealing with the actions of the father that tore the family apart.

In this emotional subplot, two mothers, each at different stages in life and with different sets of circumstances, sacrificed to keep the father in their daughters’ lives.

It exposed the blind love daughters sometimes develop for their fathers, and the impact of a father’s rejection, whether real or perceived, on the decisions daughters often make in adulthood.   

While the daughter-father dynamic is a central theme in the book, an intentional focus on fathers, overall, is clear, also, through the experiences of other characters, both male and female.

For example:

  • The book begins with a glorified presence of Victoria’s grandfather and maintains the essence of his presence, throughout the book, as a legacy.
  • It introduces Pastor Myles Avery, the deuteragonist in the story, whose father trained him to lead a church and the community.
  • You are privy to Myles’ thoughts as he stepped into the role of fatherhood for his late brother’s daughter and took on the responsibility of helping to raise her.
  • Slone, Victoria's love interest, shed insight into his reasons to not become a father while he was unprepared for the role.
  • The story draws attention to another character, Nena, whose father raised her after her mother died in childbirth.

Everything She Needs examined the critical role of fatherhood from fresh angles, as it brought healing to a broken family.  

Everything She Needs is available online at your favorite store.



Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Not Easily Broken

I saw an article of a young girl, only in elementary school, who committed suicide because of school bullying. It brought an experience back to mind, and it left me grateful for the day my mother prepared me, psychologically, for the world.

Her intent, I imagine, was to prepare me for first grade. She took my hand and pointed to my very strange and very visible birthmark on my right arm. She told me because of it, children will taunt me and make fun of it.  She told me to not let them know if it gets to me because they will only continue if they see they can bother me with it.

I was six years old then, and I learned to make my birthmark my pride and joy. I wore it openly and proudly well into my adult life, until medical experts forced me into surgery to have it removed for health reasons.

The birthmark is gone, but the lesson my mother taught me is still with me. I don’t succumb to the attempts of others to destroy me. I have enough scars and enough victories as proof that I’m not easily broken.

I understand that every situation is different. However, I do hope and sincerely pray that we do not undermine the job of preparing our future generation to deal with adversities or brush aside the signs of the mental impact on those who are not able to cope effectively.




Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Valuing Friendship

Exhausted from the activities of a three day business meeting out of town, I was met with traffic jam and bad weather on the way home. Torrential rain fell from dark ominous clouds looming above, slowing the long lines of vehicles ahead of me to a snail’s speed on the stretch of highway.

Nearing home, the loud prolonged eerie beep from the emergency system periodically blast, across the airwaves, warning of tornadic activity in the city where I live.

The announcer warned, “Take cover”.

The ordeal could not have been more untimely. I was to attend a friend’s birthday party that evening and had been looking forward to it.

The invitation came from the host, who planned it. Her voice was warm when she extended the invitation over the phone. She paused between words, searching for the best ones, and choosing those words carefully to explain her reason for wanting to host it.

In the end, she strung together a series of words that went something like this: She does things for others with no expectation of anything in return.

Cliché?

Still, something about the way she said it made it original- new- authentic. In life, few things are this way.

We engage in the same activities that are, for the most part, routine. We drive to work, turning from street to street, almost automatically. We interact with people we’re familiar with, and watch the same television channels for entertainment or news.

In the process, we easily overlook or take for granted the little familiar things that work together to enrich our lives. Often, it is only in their absence, we realize their value.

The host had taken notice of those little familiar things about the friend and recognized the value. She wanted to celebrate it- celebrate her.

I saw the host through new eyes, and I wanted to value her. Despite feeling exhausted, facing terrible weather, and the emergency warning, I went to the party. Others had made the decision, too, as I saw when I arrived.