September; traditionally speaking

In my therapeutic profession, this weekend and new week is an emotional one: Saturday, September 10: World Suicide Preventation Day. Sunday, September 11: Remembrance of 9/11. In my personal life, Monday, September 12: My eldest son’s birthday. This week the local market has #sunflowers for $5.00.

I’ve learned my hometown has grown a field of sunflowers that one can visit. Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers. I continue to seek the simplicities of life and I yearn more for my soul than yesterday.

I am reflective this heavy weekend and how inclusive of celebrating life I try to be. I’m learning that my self-care consists of familiarity, many must-haves and structure. I like it that way. Of course, there is spontatneity which often brings in great joy. It is Sunday morning and I’ve washed my face, brushed my teeth…made up my bed, put on my fuzzy socks and I’m mentally planning my day. I checked my emails and the thought hits me….”I’m always working and my work includes caring for others.”

My work emails include questions on individual trauma recovery or taking another educational course on trauma. I read, respond if it is a quick answer. I pause and tell myself, prayer time, coffee, outside before it gets hot, do some stretches and yoga. Write and post your blog. I am proud of myself that this is my third Sunday in row, blogging. I smile. I beleive often we’re equipped within to reframe the heaviness, move it around a bit. I tend to think we’re here for reasons bigger than we think, without being aggrogant yet genuine, authentic. I know we’re to love and be loving. I also know we’re to be here for one another in whatever capacity that benefits us—that is not selfish. #BoomerangEffect

So, I’ll purchase $5.00 sunflowers for my home. Later this week, I’ll anonmously deliver some to a person I know is struggling with how LIfe is coming at them. I’ll continue to be there for my Tribe. I’ll show up time and time again for this woman who’s hair is turning more white than grey yet she still seems to smile back at me in the mirror…somehow different yet the same. #Making Room

“We must go down to the very foundations of life. For any merely superficial odering of life that leaves its deepest needs unsatisfied is as ineffectual as if no attempt at order had ever been made…”

~I Ching/ “The Well” (circa 2500 BC)

Love yourself just a wee bit more this new season. #Autumn #Change

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Freeing…a healing journey

Pain has purpose, I hear that a great deal. I believe the statement to be true. Pain has purpose and I’m learning to heal with it: the pain and the purpose of the pain. I’m learning that quietness and confidence leads toward greater strength. I’m following grace and no longer leading grace. It has been another Earth Year, another birthday. I smile. I reflect. I pray. I breathe deeply and I praise God for all of intricate, unearthing, undoing and unlearning of 52 years. I am honoring my journey more.

I scheduled a few days off to celebrate my birthday; however none of the week slowed down, my stillness was high jacked and I found it difficult to sit, to deep breathe. I believe we often take for granted the days we’re given and the time we are to spend with one another.

Our souls will get weary, our physical gets tired and the mental fatigue with personal and professional life is challenging. I do not often want to go, go, go. I’m learning to not grow bitter in my living. I’m learning to release those and their actions when being helpful, productive turns towards hostility.

What I know: I have become very protective of my time. I have learned to value it more. I long for moments of solitude, of quietness. I do not feel like I need to be seen for you to “see” me. #Epiphany

I’m unlearning that my softer isn’t weakness and I’m loving this part of my growing 50s. I’m doing things different and hopefully, better. #Smile I will celebrate this birthday without a flood of anxiety and busyness. I’ve scheduled me an integrative Thai Massage and I’ll spend a day with a friend lunching and antiquing in a small town…next month. I encourage you to trust the bigger of these days, the good things of this life. Love yourSelf better and those good humans you want/and or have will always find you.

I pray that you see your miracles, live your answered prayers and love your healing path. Knowing that we want to heal and need to heal does not protect us from doing the work. Healing is hard, life grows difficult in most parts of our journey; trust where you are. I beg you not to start over just begin where you are, begin again in those moments. I love you. I see you. ~Michelle

“When the time is right, I, The Lord, will make it happen.” Isaiah 60:22.

Reader Takeaway: Pay attention to how people pull at you and what they pull from you. What parts of you are you giving away? How much does that particular giving wounds your soul?

Wading Through It All

My thoughts before and after….my intimate prayers are layered: “I ask for complete healing. I pray for a good report of the mass being benign. I ask, that You, Father, Creator, to be with me in whatever I may experience and or hear Thursday.” My tears have been unstoppable on most nights upto Thursday morning, 12/23. Thursday morning, my sister picks me up and we head to my appointment. She is told she cannot wait with me in the waiting room due to the new variant. She returns to the car. I check-in and go to the furthest corner of the waiting room and I begin to cry. Well, there is just too much time between waiting and seeing the doctor so all these thoughts occur. I worry on how to do this. I worry that my prognosis is going to be the worst. I worry that I’m too young for any of this…but that’s not a new worry. I feel as if all of my life I’ve been too young for all that has happened in my lifetime. I laugh-cry reminding myself none of these thoughts sound like your prayers. I pull myself together just as my name is called.

My nurse gives instructions to change and states she will be waiting by my door. I change. I cry some more. I exit the room and she’s waiting. Nurse: “Are you ready?” I respond, “No.” She patiently waits until I am. She smiles. We proceed. She goes over all the medical jargon, expectations and how to take care of myself after. I lay on the table, staring at the ceiling as she begins to locate the mass. Nurse: “I can’t find it. I’ve moved all the way to 12:00+.” (I pray some more, believing God has heard me, answered my prayer.) She’s trying for about 5 more minutes and she finds it. The mass moved from its initial location at 2:00-3:00+ (3 weeks ago) to 1:00+. I’m unsure what this means but I think it is a good thing the difficulty she has locating it. (They determined the location of growth/mass by clockwise direction beginning at the center of the areola.)

Dr. comes in and states: “Your mass is in your areola. The fact that it is moving means that there is fluid inside and that usually means benign. That is not definitive you will have to wait for confirmed testing.” He begins to explain the procedure, the sounds I will hear…..he is kind, his voice comforting. I turn my head, close my eyes and practice my deep breathing as they numb the area. I think they can hear me and it bothers me that I think I am a hindrance. I grow quieter. I stay focused on my breathing and not the pain in my areola; my thoughts: it’s not in the deep parts of my breast. I’m still lost; running back and forth from faith to fear, from fear to faith. “Red Rover, Red Rover send Michelle right over.” Once all was over, I honestly can say I felt better after the procedure than I did going in. My results come Tuesday, over the phone not in person. (Coronavirus Measures 101) Deep sigh again.

Biopsy Christmas. Grief. Loss. Another isolating round of this new variant-Pandemic-ish living. We’re not blindly going into this new year yet we’re exhausted. I pray that we will faithfully say goodbye to the fear with renewed perspectives of ourselves, of our humanity. Yes, 2022 is coming in heavier than 2021. I believe prayers, the fact that we have to be inclusive, insightful of all that is happening around us, those things occurring far away from us and within us is quite a spiritual undertaking; it is becoming traumatic, at times depressive. We turn more towards self-defeat and question our whys, neglecting our purpose. We’re not wrong. We are weary. Our souls ache, we are wounded souls.

I hope that you find yourSelf wading through when you’re not able to stand, lean, pray nor comprehend. Our answered prayers do not always reflect what we ask yet they seem to always be what God knows is for our best, at times our betterment and more often than not what we have the capacity to receive. Trust this timing of your life….ask for what you need…love even the more. We’re not lost. We’re finding our way.

Faith read: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 NKJV

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Spiritual/Self-Independence: Unlearning

Bone Deep: Self-Acceptance

In my thoughts…I think this health struggle has thrown me back into the mentality of struggling, of always having to fight. I’m forgetting a lot of my structural things: forgetting to wear my mask consistently and wondering why everyone is staring at me; driving anxiously—having to concentrate on where I am going, budgeting/being really frugal because I’m frightened of not knowing yet anticipating the good of things. I hope that makes sense. I’m exhausted after errands, after a full day of work…when those things were easy for me. Socially, I’m inept, depleted.

I had gotten into the self-care thought pattern of going to the gym; looked forward to it. Thursday was a true struggle. I went yet I did not see the point in going in that moment. I’m losing weight…my favorite pajama pants fell of me while I was walking. I worried first, then laughed I still haven’t thrown them away. They are laying across my bed. I remain, faithfully in #transition.

No, I don’t have physical symptoms. There is no lump; only the knowledge that there is something there. My struggle is not only mental—the spiritual aspect of it has me reverting to, “Why now?” I stopped asking, “why me” as a teen. As I mature spiritually, I believe God’s love for His son personifies His love for us; He endured so much more.

I trust God’s divine timing —He is at His best…even when I think He’s got me in the valley of things. I’m rereading past writings with wonder and questions that turn me towards my relationship with Him. I do not feel distant. I feel a little lost with the how; the what else and currently the resigned acceptance; okay.

I wrote the paragraph below, April 29, 2019 5:42 am:

“Do not out-position God thinking you can not do better….that your right now is greater than His way, than this path you’re currently on. Review where you initially felt an offset, an unsettling. God didn’t stop there; why have you? Our insecurities can show up in so many different ways. Trust where you are; embrace the position, the possibilities. His grace leads to so much more. Believe Better. His love is greater.”

I do find joy in reflecting on my past writings, it gives way to self-wonderment and the depths of growth. I’m looking more within, giving pause. I hold space for Sundays, for my spiritual self and for my writing soul. What keeps you holding space, grounded in your peace?

Isaiah 43:2: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned; the flames will not consume you.”

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

“There is something there…”

Vulnerability: November 2021

Prelude: I am flowing not forcing. I reflect, smile and I asked God for more writing days.

My days, my months, this year has been divine, purposed, productive, exhausting and loving days of hallelujahs. I am living to “do no harm” to anyone and thriving in my authenticity to be my truly different unique self.

I purchased a gym membership and I show up 2x a week at 5:00 am. I am loving it and finally seeing results after 2 months. I’m closer to entrepreneurship: professional headshots, website. My Tribe is flourishing. As an employee: I’m excelling, scheduled months out and there are bonuses that I forgot about. I witness the healing that will benefit individuals as well as generations and I am in awe of God’s purpose in my life.

Friday, day after Thanksgiving, I show up for my second imaging mammogram. I’m nervously strong, I think. Of course I’m completely turned around due to nerves. I’m in the Breast Cancer Center not Imaging. Mentally cuss the lady that left a voicemail without an address. Now I think I’ve completed a faux pau of predicting my future. Nice lady gave me directions to the Imaging Center.. I walk, yes walk, to the other building. My day off…no coffee, full of lostness and anxiety. #Michelle #DeepSigh #EarlyMornings

Second imaging is the worst. Painfully so.

Her: “Breathe. Stop breathing. Move to the left. Face me. Breathe. Stop breathing. Look forward. Look out the window.” Pain. Pain. I gasp.

Me: “Is it suppose to hurt like this?

Her: “Breathe. Stop breathing.”

My thoughts: “What have I done? Why am I here?”

She sits me in a quiet area. She comes back.

Her: “Your left breast is clear. We need to do an ultrasound on the right.” I’m still confused. Really confused but I say okay. She does the ultrasound. I realize she taking the longest time. Her: “I’ll go get the doctor.” I stop breathing. He comes in, black framed glasses and white coat. He’s real. He starts examining, searching. I don’t think I’m breathing. There’s nothing in my head. No sound. No words. He speaks: “There’s something there.”

I disassociate. I hear him. My tears fall silently as I listen. My voice whispers, “What now Jesus?”
She places back in the room. I cry. I cry for awhile. She places me in another room. I do not breathe as we discuss procedures. Her: “Do you have insurance?” My thoughts: ”What if I did not? What happens if you do not have insurance? Does it just remain there? Growing?”

I’ve never had the greatest relationship with my breast. I was a 36C at 16 and my mother was a Southern Baptist Mom to her heart; everything was covered. My breasts drew attention: Middle school boys, older men…they eventually became strangers to me. The alienation continued through childbirth and breastfeeding. I did the self-exams, my annuals they were always healthy, heavy, covered (no pretty lace bras for me) …yet they defined my femininity. They are purposeful, necessary, required. They are mine.

I ask for your healing prayers as I go in for a biopsy 12/23. Currently, I’m crying a lot. Thinking a lot. Putting their future ( my Tribe) in perspective. Trying to think…unsure of how to process any and all of this. My Tribe knows. The youngest walks away as I am telling my older two sons. I question him later. He responds: “I heard December 23rd. You’re not dying from cancer. That’s it. We’re not losing you to breast cancer.”

My sleepless nights….strange. I feel strange. Unfamiliar. I wake up crying throughout the night. I now sleep with a security blanket…I wake up holding it. I’m 51. I feel doubtful. Hopeful. Worried. My breasts —alienated. The right one seems more dominant….it never has been…they are disproportionately different in size yet it feels the heaviest. I’m scared. Prayerful.

Life has taught me and taught me well. I stopped believing in my fairytales a long time ago, without bitterness. Nowadays, I see how God places me in the center of my unbeliefs and strengthens me to wait and see, to heal. I am trusting Him for that yet wondering what if it is too big of an ask. Healing?

A few months ago, I silently asked for more writing days, for more “Me” days, for the ability to take more moments to do other things I love: soft launch of private practice, creating a woman’s support group, certification as a group psychotherapist, seemingly my goals, my wants are coming to fruition….all of this I am working on. Trusting Him for those things.; the tangibles. What I know, He answers our prayers His way.

Intimately worded,

Michelle

Persistent: December 2021

#Mammograms #Breasts #MyBreasts #BlackWomenHealth #Mass #Growth #Treatment #Biopsy #Healing #BlackWomen #Therapy #SpiritualHealth