Falling, Loss & Love

It started snowing here last night. Snow falling is beautiful. I awake feeling healthy, well-rested. I love the light of the sun and snow. I smile; reflecting on my tasks for the day. I answer a few texts  and roll back over to snuggle, rest. I am learning to curb self-doubt, therefore, I am going for more writing opportunities. I have a writing project to edit and review. I need to blog and post/ podcast. Later it is Family time, celebrating Darius’ birthday.

I read the news of Regina King’s son and my heartbreaks. Now, I’m just kind of stuck as a mother, as a woman…my soul is wounded for her, for our children, for humanity. We have our heroes and often we believe them to be untouchable, not perfect…different, untarnished by Life’s woes.

Death is hitting everywhere it seems and often close to home. A friend lost his nephew last week. He told me, “I can’t stop crying.” My patients suffer with the loss of loved ones. Weekly, daily, I hear of death and I’m never comfortable with the trauma of it—be the loss kin or unknown. Grief, significant loss can plummet us and keep us stuck in so many emotional and mental ways. Learn to mourn, to grieve your way. No one gets to time stamp your grief—there’s no right way to do this. We love deep and different. The impact of our love ones hits different. Grief is complex and it will become different. Cry as much as you want or need too. Know that tears are a release, not a weakness, not of failure.

Remember them well. Love does not cease…it carries, moves, heals us toward the unseen and unknown. Keep your Light. You’re not wrong in your love. Continue to love softly. We are all trying to figure this all out. May your days include you caring for your soul. I’m going to bake blueberry muffins, prepare some soup and love on the ones who love me. Time is short; love well.

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

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

​Take Your Moments

Happy Merry Tuesday! This is not a Christmas Post.

I’m trying to do my best in re-entering my blogging world. Life is throwing us about swiftly and profoundly in so many different ways. I continue to pull my hopeful heart together with slippery fingers. Working from home is a good thing; truly a heart’s desire. I’ve always wanted to be home with my kids. This CoVid Year allowed for that. At the end of October, I transitioned from two year employment to a new corporation. I experienced and continue to experience therapy-patient separation; a month in and there is less guilt and more certainty of my choices. You haven’t seen less of me due to life, there’s less writing when my heart overflows. Truthfully, it is a bit of fragility and intimacy— 2020 has been more than enough and then some.

I am a professional working entrepreneur. I smile as I write this, not putting myself in a box. I think as we visualize we’re more apt to find our way. I love how this new corporation gives a weekly analysis of my work habits. The analysis generates a live video and statistics of where my time is effective, productive and self-care could use more input. I love that I don’t have to have a meeting to be told to pull back. I’ve always wanted a career role or life status as to where I can be home with my children. I have that now, I’m settling within my transitions. I’m entering the kitchen more. Cooking has always been a comfort for me…it grounds me in so many different ways. Most days, I prepare lunch during my lunch hours. I love pulling vegetables out, chopping and sautéing. I love spices. Lately, I’m craving cilantro. I’m unsure of why. I think for how green it is, it’s difference among the herb family. I’ve always moved away from it until now. This link gives great insight as to why cilantro has my palette’s interest: https://tastybite.com/2016/04/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-cilantro/

When I cook, I normally cook with the home quiet. I like the chopping and the sizzling that happens. Most recently, I’m listening to music…good music, soulful music…it gives breath and breadth for me make room for thoughts o goodness and grace. Jon McReynolds has become a great favorite of my #PlayList. This song, “God is Good”—- the lyrics grab me up each time: “May your struggles keep you near the cross. And may your troubles show that you need God. And may your battles end the way they should. And may your bad days prove that God is good. And may your whole life prove that God is good.” When you make time, take a listen.

I encourage you to take your moments and to stay present within your moments. Work through what is working you. We’re graced for more. Life’s a lot more different than this new normal. Go further in love. You deserve every good thing. #BeAWholeMovement

Intimately Worded, 

Michelle 

Healing: Necessary Work

I know I haven’t blogged in awhile. As this world continues to be lopsided, broken and undergoing intense psychological warfare on Humanity; I find myself consistently in a weird wounded type of movement. Open, learning, yearning yet not passive nor suppressed….Defiantly Intimate.

The Process of Unlearning

Since last post, I completed my required 3000 hours under my deadline goal of two years—I completed them in 18 months. I have submitted my application for approval for full licensure. I have improved my selfcare with purchasing fresh flowers for my home, just because I like the idea of them. Even with this quarantine, I remain available for my children, my grandchild and my patients. I’ve tried to date….men are exhausting. That’s a whole other ordeal. #MyLife

Living Black does not leave me disconnected from any of the News, the headlines, the atrocities. Racism, the hate isn’t new. The resurgence of the Black Movement is painful, magnetic, intense and divinely necessary. This is more than a moment. Do your work, you matter. #SystemicAwareness

I want to write about the process in healing. When healing, you’re not moving pass it. You’re moving through it. Healing requires acknowledgment before insight and foresight are gifted. How are we to reconcile when the hurt is not recognized? This is where its not about “how you made me feel” takes root but rather having the capacity to self-advocate with, “You hurt me.”

I understand that we do not like conflict. Yet, it is divinely irresponsible to limit the pathways toward your healing. This is where you begin your work. We tend to rationalize reaching down or reaching backward for the very same systems, person or people that broke us.

Be willing to overturn and unlearn systems that benefit from the crushing of Humanity: WE are a powerful people. Good wins; it should. Allow people to leave when emotional maturity is lacking, when spiritual identity becomes foggy, distant, unreciprocated. Give space —huge amounts of space to those who are incapable of making room for you. Move differently. You are worthy of healing.

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Writer’s Favorite Work: Lion’s Den and the vulnerability of Belief is one of my greatest written work to date. Take a read or re-read.

Facing Our Monsters

January has been the most difficult concerning my therapeutic life. It was a rough month. This hurt; this stuff hurts. Its not all due to the therapeutic experiences alone yet hearing certain isolated stories of pain caused me to look at some pockets of pain in my life. We are not just facing traumas…to work in a mental health profession, with #mental illness is upsetting, its great, its wonderful, its inspiring, motivating, its painful.

Its painful to see the things we have to see; its hurtful, soul wrenching and heartbreaking to hear the horrific things people go through and the things they want to do…its haunting. What I have learned this year, what I am learning this year: its not that I need to do more or that I need to be more intentional: I need someone.

I’ve set my life up to the point of wanting someone but never will I need someone…that I will ever need someone and that is hard for me to come to terms with. Those are the monsters I’m talking about. The emotional, self- protective modes we come up with because everything becomes very hard, very difficult to deal with. We imagine that no one could possibly understand our journey. So when the monsters show up we don’t know what to do. We stop learning how to let those things go. We don’t know how to process those things. We forget how to not be afraid.

Yet, it amazes me how the Universe flows towards us and never against us. Its great to have someone to ask about your day. Of course, I do not share particular travesties with those that call and check on me…there’s a responsibility in what we leave with people, what we hand over to them. My children surrounded me during this past week. My eldest popped in for a weekend visit, my granddaughter wanted to spend the weekend and she loves her Umi. My heart healed with having all my children under one roof. Monday I sent them a group text:

“Being a therapist has been icky these last few weeks. I don’t tell y’all all of it because it’s ugly very ugly at times. This weekend was what I needed and by far one of the greatest moments of being your mother. I’m so proud of each of you. Being with you does my soul & heart well. You are what I need…always what I wanted and you’re always loved. Your Mom. ” They are what I need.

“Spiritual progress is like detoxification.”

We have to face the monsters. The monsters show up whether we want them to or not; whether we’re ready or not. We have a base, we have home plate—a foundation. It’s not for you to just be okay, it’s for you to be better. Trust your growth process. Understand the experiences for what they are, understand your humanity, understand your heart for whenever the monsters show up its not as scary. For they come, they show their ugliest. Life is difficult…yet we are given the strength to face the monsters. Learn to be gentler with yourself. Love is reciprocal…allow the greater to #evolve.

I’m learning to process so that I can progress and man does that hurt. It becomes easier to trust the Darkness when that’s all we see and hear. Our monsters become bigger when we operate from places of patterns—comfortable patterns that we’ve band aided. There’s Light wherever we are even when we have become the glimpse, a fraction, the source of the Light.

Psalm18:28-29: “You , O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into Light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.”

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Christmas Ornaments: Nostalgia and All the Feels

#AfterChristmas: This picture of my favorite Christmas ornaments contains over 25 years of awesome memories. Each one was either created by my children, gifted to me or purchased for my children to have.

The monogram balls are for my Autumn, now 16 and for my Bru, now 13. The handmade gingerbread man created by my Darius at age 5…he is now 27 years old. The gingerbread has been broken and glued so many times. I love it the most because of its durability to withstand moves from home to home, sticky and clumsy baby fingers, its ability to hold so much with so little. The clear ball w/ the angel in the center also has been repaired and glued so many different times; its creator is my oldest, Damien, now 30 years old. The Christmas Tree painting was completed by my daughter at 11 years old. She doesn’t like it, stating its so elementary. I absolutely love it.  She has grown into a phenomenal artist. You have to check out her 2008 Snowman. You see her picture?! She was 5 years old. The heart shaped cream-colored ornament was gifted to me by my deceased Mother-in-Law. She wasn’t always the greatest to me yet each Christmas I share w/ her grandchildren her unique style for different things.

Life has this way of not going or coming together as we planned. Each year with hanging the ornaments and decorating our home for the Holidays, I remember. I believe that 20 years of memories, of babies becoming adults, of our children adulting while we’re doing our best to adult as well brings transformation, details a life of grace. As we transition, transform, develop, build and grow…we learn how to be the repairer after we break…we learn to represent the greatest traits after brokenness. Continue to heal, continue to live so that love remains. Life has a way of undoing what we hold sacred. I’ll keep our Christmas up after the New Year comes in, its so much more than tradition. Honor what makes you You.

This year, my #struggle deepened, and my purpose got greater. I continue to wish you love and peace. If you are a giver, make room to receive. It comes back to you, always. I pray that all your experiences this year have led you to a closer relationship with Our Creator. My hope is that you know without any shadow of doubt that you are loved and with His love you can conquer and soar…He equips is to do great things. December 31 symbolizes more of our wants…not the ending. Grow, heal, love, #forgive, plan, accomplish. Do your work. Do what is required of you. Believe in better. Happy New Year! Continued blessings and miracles to you and yours. #MakeRoom #GraceForMore

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

Attention: What Sustains?

I am currently on vacation. I purposely took a week off from work and planned a 5 day stay at the Beach. My two teens are with me and as teenish as they are, I am often left alone. The Ocean wore them out and I find myself drawn to check my phone and emails—wanting someone to want me, need me. I have never had a problem being alone. I prefer it…I prefer quiet. My levels of growth and healed segments of my life are increased and reveled in when I am alone. Yet, last night as all was quiet except the therapeutic roaring of the ocean, I was unable to write, unable to read. I surmised that it has only been 24 hours in which the phone did not have my attention. In all honesty, I worked yesterday, remotely. So, in not writing, nor reading I am focusing on the best way to help all patients… I am strategically casing while on vacation. Seriously.

        An Undeniable Bond
#myBrutus and #PrincessMonster
An Undeniable Bond
#myTeens

Okay, let’s talk: Attention, what does it mean to you and why has it become a phenome to accept deeper connections through social media and not human contact? We text more than we call. We scroll more than we touch. We deviate more than we plan and grow. I sit here and I people watch…rarely does anyone make direct eye contact. One female is walking for exercise while on her phone. A model is having her pics taken by a photographer…I digress. My plan for vacationing was to write, to read and to relax. I was only able to do that for a full 24 hours before my attention was diverted to everything but my personal goals.

I think with each phase of life our desire for attention levels out and begins differently. I ask not to be self-critical nor to minimize the affect how Life and why God has impacted my journey just so. I analyze, I overthink, I reflect…I ponder, as I become this great individual that I’ve pursued for the longest time.

  • What type of attention are you seeking?
  • What parts of you need that type of validation and why?
  • Why aren’t you able to write, Writer?
  • What are those fears that keep you searching?

I think my own diversion to attention seeking is due to my having to work all the time for any and everything I’ve wanted. I’ve been placed in Life-Roles when I had no clue, no voice in how things should be, yet I continue to do right by those that are in my life. I know that the way my life is set up I am required to go, do and be. Rarely, am I given the opportunity to focus on myself…to breathe –to understand where I am. At times, restoration is scary, fearful and quite intimidating. I love how my phase is unfolding as I am writing this…. God does exactly what He wants for His love is greater for us than any plans we’ve wished and prayed for. He never stops listening. Cosmically, this is the calmest the Ocean has been since we arrived.

“Taking time to do nothing often brings everything into perspective.” ~Doe Zantamata

Therapeutic Reflections
#NoObstacles

I encourage you to re-evaluate your actions and analyze your why…soon the reveal or revelation you seek will hit you in the most deserving way possible…your needs not theirs. Keep with what sustains you…even if it seems to have blurred. I am a therapist’s therapist and an awesome mother. I believe the remainder will fall into place; its impossible to thrive in lack.

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

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