Hearing God—-Through Panic

Hard week with work and with Life. I had to make some hard decisions, not difficult just hard. There is always something. Something to do; some place to be; somewhere we’re required to go. Oftentimes, our to do’s are monotonous, familiar—then they become something bigger, different, something new. #Challenges. As I reflect, I’m asking myself did I pause enough to hear from God? Follow my intuition? Did I rush to solve due to my soul’s discomfort?

I have a lot on me as a single parent. I believe we all have struggles; I’m my human me with struggles. Financial hardship—any episode of lack or substantial amount throws me a huge crippling gut punch. I do not like it; I know this so I prepare; save and prepare. I am learning different aspects of my fears, concerns and love.

I love structure. I love familiarity. I love better, I feel better when knowing the how and when of things exactly. I prefer being able to “see.” I know I am at a different stage of my life. Lately, growth seems like soul stretches and the pain burrows deeper than the latest experience. I know blessings. I know God for what He is in my life. I know the good, the bad and the ugly. Yet, none of it feels like it is happening the way I want or pray for—His will, grace and freewill just shows up for my better and intentional. I’m learning to take deep breaths better. I’m learning this heaviness is not mine alone.

I know beauty as well. I know how the rhythms of life come together to heal us in those secret places. I know there is no emotional depth in which God cannot reach me, teach me. He loves me, my perfectly imperfect self. I believe Love works differently for each of us…allow it to work for you even in ways that seem foreign, real different and not necessarily the path you’ve envisioned. I’m learning not to suffer, unnecessarily. There’s no way for me to out love or out-know what is before me or what is manifesting its way towards me. I know my panic to be just as real as my faith. I’m willing to unlearn the old, the familiar. I’m no longer comfortable with avoidance. I have the capacity to study myself with love and gentleness.

I pray your new week gives way to clarity of your next steps. I pray the pain that keeps you stumbling is removed. I pray you give healing the options your soul deserves. I see you. I love you!

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

#MichelleMoments: Where are you in your faith? Are you doing well in practicing your faith, exercising the strength of your faith walk. I like to think I am practicing my faith with love. I was taught the stronger one’s faith the better we become in creating an intimate relationship with our Creator. Some of the answers we seek do not come easy, yet they come. Trust your pathway; it is personal.

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

This Doesn’t Feel New: Anxiety

Sundays are my favorite, always has been my favorite day of the week. Last week, I awoke with #panic. I experienced a panic attack at 4:09 a.m. I haven’t had a panic attack in over 15 years. I am the best at coping, at righting my wrongs and at times the desire to perfect my surroundings will get the best of me. I have a lot going on; I believe we all do.

It is now March and this Year doesn’t feel so refreshing to me. It’s as if I’m starting over to start over. I’m beginning to get stuck in the hard parts. What is #new isn’t stagnant, its moving and it is not overwhelming. Everything is weird, good weird. I’m internally grateful. It all seems rather uncertain, better and yet undefinable. Four years ago, I was working towards my licensing and no panic attacks doing every thing “right” to make sure I achieved my goals. Perfectionism isn’t the goal yet our thoughts will force those habits to occur. Then again nor were we living in a Pandemic nor was I a working therapist. Anxiety hits us so differently and unexpectedly. I can tell you I’m thrown off of the balance I believed I had achieved. I feel guilty that I experienced a panic attack.

I’ve come a long way. I know I have. My bond with my #Sister-friendships have deepened even though there has been significant heartbreak for us all. Panic attacks are happening to the greatest of us…it is weird when we’re the strength of our families. My love shows more when I am unable to therapy those I love. (Your therapist friend cannot be your therapist.) I love in so many other ways and I’m proud of my Sister-Queens for understanding that, for being there for me in ways they may not fully comprehend.

I remain extremely busy yet I love seeing the breakthroughs. One patient, older, has scheduled a face to face session in office for next month. They live several hours away. Patient: “I just want to see you. I’m getting out more this year. Imma fix myself up and make a trip of it. This Zoom ain’t it for everything. Can I see you in office?”

I love and require the guidance I receive from those I am connected to, my Spiritual Advisor. Her: “Send me your spiritual goals. I want to pray for those same things you want.” My heart smiles. #Heartwork So I’m not so far off course yet this panic attack has me reflecting on where I am, mentally. My heart is healing, my intentions are pure, my soul is unlearning what I theorize as the Black Woman Syndrome. I surely do miss my mother.

Continue to take your moments; stop seizing the day when your Well is leaking. I take my moments when my teen daughter asks for her pictures when she was 6 years old for a school project. I take my moments when my son drops off my granddaughter so he can shoot ball and our habits become a group text about how and who is the meanest. Koda, Sir Pup continues to argue with his big self. Brutus’ voice is deeper, he’s taller and is frustrated because I purchased Cheerwine instead of 7UP.

Our struggles do not have to become so weighted that we lose the truth of who we are. Trust your give, continue to do your work. Be gentle with your soul again. Trust your Self, even through this and each time your soul is stretched. God doesn’t pile up the heaviness…we neglect to release those things to Him. Be mindful of your words. How are you treating You? #SoulImage

Intimately Worded,

~Michelle

July: Healing Humanity

Our 2020 has gut punched seemingly on a weekly basis. I’m proud of how we’ve endured and persevered. WordPress sent me a congratulatory notification two days ago stating that I have been blogging for 5 years now. Wow! I am appreciative for the courage to share my thoughts in such a creative process. Thank you to all who like, follow, share and comment. I value each of you.

This year has had me in such a weird place that writing seems foreign to me. I haven’t been neglectful in writing—there just doesn’t seem to be an easy flow of writing to where readers will be empathetic to comprehend my soul pieces. I hope that makes sense. The political disconnect (truthfully it has always been there), CoVid19 continues, Systemic Racism (woundedly, it remains), Police Murders of Black Lives (#GeorgeFloyd) was not the first and the revolutionary resurgence of Black Movement. #BlackLivesMatter

#Spiritual Wellness…I made major moves this week. I’m doing a lot more focusing on the things I want and requesting those things that I require. I expected some push back on this one request and I didn’t receive it. In a talk w/ a colleague, “Michelle I’m not sure why you expected push back. You are the most sought out therapist here. Look at your location. Every location I visit you’re the only therapist that remains booked. Yeah. No, you’re not going to get any push back.” 

I looked at her strangely. I didn’t get the big head. I became even more humbled. There are times I have no clue where I am in all this. Oftentimes, I miss me. This week was a Monday’s Monday–every day of the week: I listened to a patient apologize yet defend their idea of “All Lives Matter while Black Lives do not matter.” (Actual words: “Black Lives do not matter.”) The more they talked to their Black Female Therapist, the more racist they sounded. I wrote three individuals out of work—mental health has become an issue for the majority; I was threatened “jokingly” while in session and I reported my first case of child abuse to DSS.

 This ‘work” just doesn’t leave me yet it doesn’t become a part of me either. It all causes me to pause and reflect. I move into gratefulness. I think who I am and how I am leads me toward the moments of difficulty, gives me strength and causes me to recognize where my strength comes from. I think if  I had the ability to shake it or become numb I wouldn’t be who I am as a therapist. I believe serving as a therapist has to be one of the most difficult things I had to do…and become. We’re always becoming, evolving; trying to be better than yesterday. This role as therapist is difficult while being purposefully rewarding; so many pieces of me are required. 

In my personal reflection, I notice how we neglect ourselves to make ourselves available for other people. One previous Saturday, I woke up unsure if I was getting sick or if I was just worn out–mentally and physically. I was more apt to believe in the first option, that I was getting sick. In wearing these masks my face has begun to breakout, coupled w/ stress I think it’s natural to assume illness. I needed to rest and reset. I’m going to find my space in this. I’m committed to finding my space in this. I continue to make room everyday as well as set new boundaries. I am selfish with my peace.

I pray that in our moments —those moments that we find difficult to get up that we move towards our wholeness. As we continue to be whole there is no stopping point of movement, of increase. We gain ground. Continue to gain ground. In your grounding: you may have to Reground, Reframe, Reset, Process, Breathe…Love Anyway. 

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Post Thanksgiving: Gratefulness

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving. They were huge for me; I have a huge family and love was indicated, felt whether it was what you needed or not. I laugh now, isolation was never an issue. I have 3 brothers and 3 sisters. I am a middle child. Our parents are now deceased and as the years go by their physical presence …the want to hear and be with them on this day in particular intensifies. Life has a way of giving us what we need the most and lovingly reminds us why we were in need of that something or someone.

The days after #Thanksgiving, I believe should be of recovery time; moments of healing. I pray your time after is that of gratefulness, without guilt. I pray that the tinge of loneliness, if any encourages you to create a new tradition or make that call to a friend. Do not dismiss the power of extending grace. #MoveForward

http://borninprovidence.com Please check out her “Friends-Giving” post. Working w/E on our Self-Care Strategies for the Holidays was and continues to be an exemplary example of two therapists’ heart. What I learned while working with her— listening to her is that she is an unproblematic enthusiasts and a genius in her field. She loves what she does and oh what a giving heart. Here are a few personal takeaways from our Zoom collaboration:

  • Life is better shared, yet when we’re not open to sharing its more than okay to self-advocate what you need with grace.
  • Intimacy is to be treasured not out of self-created responsibilities. We don’t have to feel less than to not be a part of something that’s become so difficult.
  • When the opportunity arises Choose Yourself More. Trust when the need for implementing healthy boundaries is necessary. Learn and continue to learn what that looks like for you. Consistency is often underrated.

As December storms itself into our lives, I am certain there will be more storms that will impede on my pathway of gratefulness. E and I will have another Holiday Zoom Live December 21. We will discuss wellness for those facing Transitions. Please reach out to either one of us if you have a topic of transition or change you would like us to touch on. We enjoy you!

What I am sure of…grief gets complex and there are different aspects to every transition. I think that gratitude is a state of mind, a divine guide towards our more. I am grateful, knowing that when I accept my blessings and when I am receptive of grace has brought me exactly where I am—at peace. You’re not wrong when you choose yourself with grace.

“Most decisions don’t require extensive research…It takes a considerable amount of self-awareness and self-control to resist the temptation.” ~Gretchen Rubin

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

siSTARS on Motherhood

A new platform! I am so excited about this collaboration. I wanted my intro to this Trio– I am a part of to be grander and greater. Yet, I cannot think of gifting you our #Us in such a phenomenol way. Take time to watch the video….we are authentic and so raw in our love. Totally unbiased. I think it is a very powerful introduction to my SiStars and a great way to reflect and be encouraged this Mother’s Day weekend. Also follow Doc @kwoted.wordpress.com and Lady G @seekthebestblog.com.

Give Me Strength to See

“A mind that is stretched by new experience will never go back to its old dimensions.”–Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

I am aware that my blog life has been a “You betta do it” and “I will” task listed for the last 6 months. The last half of 2018 exploded in gratuitous blessings. My eldest son married in September, I became fully employed as a licensed therapist in September as well. Transitions are phenomenal, overwhelming and hard work.

Acculturation is difficult—in spite of degrees, education, life experiences and anticipation. I want to tell you that it has been without difficulty. I would love to tell that serving each population has its rewards. In addition, I would like to say that therapy and being a #therapist give way to a functionality of balance. I would love to tell you that working within my purpose my calling, my gift is not painful. What I feel that I need to tell you, what I am required to address is that I hurt …am hurting; that oftentimes I lose my way …that most times I am unable to see the good and that at times I am unable to see the good in the fight.

Although, therapy is Life—my heart. There are most times I knowingly need to be pulled away from it. How ever my heart may break especially when “The System” wins and even with the knowledge of how it works, I will allow it all to eat at me. I ask God to give me strength to see, to comprehend, to think differently, and to continue to affect change, to impact to empower all the while healing and progressing in the field of therapy. I am currently watching a marathon of #LivingSingle. The episode filmed in 1996 –when Khadijah’s (Queen Latifah) character starts to feel a great deal of pressure and her mother tells her to seek therapy. Treating Black Women as a Black Therapist is not easy. Honestly, we are the most difficult population to reach, help, teach, and to carry an expectation that I am being a good therapist or merely a buffer —a sounding board for their pain creates an unyielding wound inside me.

I believe teaching people a different way to think, a different way to be that leads them away from toxic beliefs, toxic patterns and toxic behaviors is soul consuming. What I am learning: I still have to prioritize the middle, rationalize the murky parts and learn how to evacuate the Me-isms and keep an open heart. It is all difficult. God give me the strength to see…when its dark and when its uncertain and when its all not within my balance. Our current experiences are not where we finish. Keep the resolve. Keep the love in mind.

Yet the sweet moments come…sweet moments come that are unobtrusive, that are delicate; that coincide with God’s, “This is why.”  When sweet moments come, I advise you to breathe and breathe some more. At times, it is not about continuing the work yet more about “seeing” the work. Do your work.

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Being Michelle

Fractured, yet Healing

Intimately Wrded_picDecember 31…the last date of every year. I believe it to be more. It has become the date in which we tend to count our blessings, regret our mistakes, total up the losses. A date in which we ruminate over in regret…decide to regret or make executed decisions to do better while hoping for a grander life than previous. #2017

What if December 31, symbolizes other than “more”? What if December 31 meant to pause, that we actually live within the momentary time of gratitude. No adjustments, no planning, no goal setting.

My December 31: I am fractured, yet healing. From here, I will continue to grow in my healing. I will continue to let God have His will, His way regardless of how I feel, how dramatic I may get. Regardless of my hurt, my guilt, my disappointments. I will let Him win this for me…this life, these expectations.

What if? I know that God’s love for us is bigger than we realize. What if, I just take this date, this last day of the year to let Him love me with His thoughts, His plans for me…for they are never to harm me.

This thought process has not been easy to achieve. My hurts this year have been gargantuan and not because I am wrong or off path but because He has more in store. Tonight, I will see my life from His perspective—fractured, yet healing. #perfectlyimperfect

Vulnerability is not an easy path. At times, the vulnerability is to get you where He wants you to be…His best work is when we are open, wounded while processing. I have learned that there are connections I cannot be without; spiritual connections do not break. {bfk}

I have learned that God’s opportunities look very different from ours. I am learning that getting closer to God does not necessarily mean that I know Him in the depth and realms He knows me. It will hurt, remaining on your path. Yet, you must remain however fractured your soul is. We are forever healing, forever growing in Life processes.

December 31, you are on the right track. Trust me. #Trust Him Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. May this New Year bring you face to face with God’s purposed plans for your life. I wish you prosperity, grand fortune in love, happiness and peace. #continuedblessings

Intimately wrded,

Michelle

When it all hurts…

img_20140911_034409-2

#SaturdayReveal…yesterday I allowed the whole world to rest in my heart, all of it at once in one frail moment. That’s painful. And it was okay although I felt vulnerable, weak and so disappointed in self. (I was leaving my second job and en route to my intern site.) I am learning that the part of me that I keep hidden from the world is what this world needs the most. It’s also the part of me I neglect the most.

Everyone is seeking approval in different forms, in ways from you that you are not aware of. At times what they seek from you is their hope of the love you will have for them. They want you to okay them in their stuff…I’ve never been able to do that. I can’t right your wrong. I can’t make you feel good about what will eventually break you. People chip at your greatest gift in an attempt to make it theirs. As I am blubbering to my friend and apologizing for taking up his time (there is no way I am coherent) he reminds me of my Selfcare, he reminds me of my good and he reminds me that I have been pushing so hard for the last 10 years and all of it alone. One thing he didn’t say was to quit. I encourage you to keep going. I remind you that your Selfcare is paramount. I tell you that I know God is in control and that none of this stuff goes unnoticed. {Greater is He that is in me.} I also know that there are more of the good people in your corner than you have the audacity to believe. The Ones who believe in you…you keep going for them. Continue to do your best work while carrying out your Selfcare. At times your Selfcare has to adjust with your growth and your purpose.

2 Corinthians 4: 7-10: “7 Our bodies are made of clay, yet we have the treasure of the Good News in them. This shows that the superior power of this treasure belongs to God and doesn’t come from us. In every way we’re troubled, but we aren’t crushed by our troubles. We’re frustrated, but we don’t give up. We’re persecuted, but we’re not abandoned. We’re captured, but we’re not killed. 10 We always carry around the death of Jesus in our bodies so that the life of Jesus is also shown in our bodies.” and  2 Corinthians 4: 16-18: 16 That is why we are not discouraged. Though outwardly we are wearing out, inwardly we are renewed day by day. 17 Our suffering is light and temporary and is producing for us an eternal glory that is greater than anything we can imagine. 18 We don’t look for things that can be seen but for things that can’t be seen. Things that can be seen are only temporary. But things that can’t be seen last forever.”

I’m not quite sure if I am  thriving in this new environment. What I am realizing is that vulnerability is one of the greatest stretches of trust one has to survive in.

Intimately Wrded,

Michelle

No Failure in Faith

October

Autumn Falls

Walkways are filled with leaves of colors

Change is touchable, All-seeing

There will be many curves and turns in our lives but there is no failure in our faith walk. I reflect on the thoughts, dreams, and goals I tell God about and only God. Those dreams that break and only God and I know that they break. Albeit, the dreams that did not meet my request. I am not in a spiritual hold up and not doubting God in what He does. Yet, He is the only companion that knows my heart and when my heart shatters, and hope falls apart; He is still the only one who knows of those particular heartbreaks…that is where I am. In this place of trusting Him anyway…no matter what the difficulty is and in spite of the pain. The path of in-between.

What I know we cannot run in the dark. We cannot love on empty. We cannot trust without promise. We cannot engage in love when we have no understanding of the problem. God’s timing, His perspective is so much grander than ours is. His concepts are for a greater purpose and most times, we have to wait. Most of our waiting is a work on self. God grows us into what He requires of us. At times, the thing we are working diligently on is His opportunity for us to see Him. Trusting Him is without default.

Do not engage with people who pull you further away from God, further away from what you believe in and the God you trust in. Do not engage with those people. Be an example more so than wanting to prove who you are. Resist the fight to prove when God is leading. #spiritualtransitions We know we are where we are because of Him, because of His love for us. Let Him do the rest—fight those battles of unprofessionalism, judgments, ill will towards us. #levelup

Welcome October, each day with expectancy—trusting Him anyway. Be perfectly imperfect, trusting God through the kinks, knockdowns, upsets, the falls and the breaks. Those moments matter the most. Let us continue to build from there—shining and being a light for others…setting faith standards.  {Hebrews 11}

Intimately worded,

Michelle