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 

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

“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

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.

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

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

©

Graced For More

Committing to writing has always been an adventurous discipline for me. Forgive me for not posting as quickly as my experiences occur. I am ever so grateful for the way Life is treating me and faithfully attuned to how God stands in the gaps of my unknowing.

August, my birthday month has been revolutionary! My 49th year began with decisions, doubts and quiet fear. Those things I kept to myself, internalizing the eternal. My last post I detailed my journey in participating in #31DaysOfPrayer; which generated a great deal of evolving. The Spiritual growth process is unusual and unique, rather intimate. My spiritual life has been enlightening, very different than assumed. We’re all given foundations, taught standards and one or several events will set us on a meta trajectory with our own beliefs changing and/or becoming more.

I gifted myself a spa treatment. I’ve never had one before and expected service like that of a standard massage treatment. My time there was/is unequivocally a required life-essential. The care I received increased my strength in becoming better in my love of self—acknowledging the existence of how I’ve allowed abuse, sadness and humanness cause a permanence of take-aways.

The outside doesn’t appear as much to look at yet the facility is tranquil once you enter. How do you treat yourself? Is the first question prompted within the waiting area. I was greeted with warmth, kindness and served Watermelon Basil Water. #fancy I chose the Summer Scrub Treatment followed by a facial treatment. Yes, I still have acne!! Which blows my mind for I never had acne issues as a teen or during pregnancy.

I’m directed to this beautiful room where water is running slowly in a copper tin tub. The room is soft, full of earthy colors: browns, creamy white and greenery. I’ve yet to relax. There’s a great deal of anxiety even with expecting this type of care.

The process was gentle. The care exceptional. I’ve never been cared for in such a manner. #Sisters, we serve everyone. We are nurturers. It’s what we do, how we are. As I explained to my eldest: “My first 7 years I cannot remember but no one has ever washed me. Ever. I’ve taken care of others, washed and massaged them. No one has ever cared for me in such a way. It solidified that I want to be wealthy with life. I want to be able to do those type things for myself.”

Him: “It must be hard for you. To know that you were never loved in that manner. I mean I can’t remember but I know that I was cared for in that way because you tell me. Grandma told me. I know I was loved, am loved. But to know that you were not. Man, Momma. You should be able to do that at least 2x a year.”


My attendant requested permission to wash my stomach…4 babies, 6 surgeries, numerous stretch marks, c-sect scar, weight gain…I cried, silently. Every negative thing, thought, image was lifted away from me. How shameful I’ve treated myself. It’s all connected—our mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health. Soul-neglecting has to be our greatest betrayal of self. How unknowingly cruel we are, can be.

As I returned back into my work week, I experienced some soreness, tenderness when I moved. Not painful but just enough to remember the experience as it transpired. We’re not here to just touch others’ lives, to serve others. Be mindful of how you’re representing your soul. We’re not created to take in everything and hold on to it. How are you treating yourself?

Don’t confuse self-care with maintenance, those things we do to maintain a “finished” look. I am uncomfortable yet grounded…forging and purged…leveling up. I’m unsettled in settling. That makes my soul smile. {Ecclesiastes 3}

#BeAWholeMovement

“Trust me when I say, You’re capable of anything imaginable.” ~Anonymous

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

#31DaysOfPrayer ♥️

Continue reading “#31DaysOfPrayer ♥️”

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.

Promises, Hope and my Heart

Counselors picI accepted a job offer last week! I have yet to share it with the world. I have been trying for consistent employment in counseling for the last two years. I am excited and I feel extremely blessed. This morning as I was looking at the beautiful autumn leaves I realized that I am manifesting, yet afraid of His promises of hope.

The dream opportunity to work as counselor—to be in this role before graduation, waiting on licensure scores—terrifies me. Manifestation: an event, action, or object that clearly shows or embodies something, especially a theory or an abstract idea. I am walking in what God has placed in my heart, a work that He knew of before my acceptance, a purpose He gifted me without giving details of how to achieve.

I tell you, do not push away from the painful things, the disappointments. Remember, that God is within those things, those interruptions as well, right there with you. This Counselor’s path has been not easy —very difficult. Becoming a counselor is not a stagnant career choice. You will grow whether you want to or not. Your heart will change, stop, beat, ache, break, melt, heal and then do it all over again. Your friendships, the ones you cherish will hurt. Oftentimes your alone time will be your healing time. This is an unquit for me.

This is my unequivocal purpose that is coming true! Although the promises of Hope move me in unfamiliar territory, I am in a territory of harvesting—working within my spiritual divine role. The moments that do not hurt: receiving authentic affirmations from a 15 year old recovering within her eating disorder: “I am beautiful. I am so beautiful! I am disappointed that I treated myself this mean.”

I received a beautiful hand-created scarf (pictured above) —this client did not use a knitting nor crochet needle. She used her fingers! She saw my joy and I put it on immediately, and said, “I will rock this!” She responds so unsure: “Ms. Michelle I can make you another, a better one.”  Me: “I don’t want you to. This is perfect!”

I have learned to love the unexpected hugs! (In the beginning, this was a problem for me.)  They are the greatest especially when I know my clients battle with touch, intimacy and trust. With all that comes with gaining a trauma victim’s trust it has been my intimacy with God that carries me through each session. At times, the science and the spiritual do not mesh and then there are times you cannot have one without the other. There are different paths that lead to healing. I marvel at these concepts and therapeutic techniques. I love Counseling! I do.

My life has by far been a complete God-experience; He has kept me when I did not recognize how He keeps. I could not have identified my professional identity without my spiritual journey. My first day begins after Thanksgiving.

Remain grateful, hopeful and I beg you to, choose the larger life.

“The beginning is most important part of the work.” –Plato

Intimately worded,

Michelle

{Song of Solomon 8:5}