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

Keeper of My Soul

Photo of a nearby trail I frequent.

#Friendships: I am so grateful that Fall Season is approaching. I love Nature; I move forward within my peace when I am in nature. I grew up with my family and my first cousins being my best friends. Later, my intimate relationships would be the focal part of bonding and establishing friendships. During and after my divorce my circle became even smaller. Reflecting back, I was dropped out of friendships due to my singleness. Funny, that’s when you need the most support from friends and family. 

Divorce is not only devastatingly personal, it will hit children, family members and truly affects your financial status and inner circle. I focused on my children, went to grad school, changed careers, tried to build and be in serious relationships…I’ve never truly dated. I do not know how. What I know: life may get complicated and heavy yet having true friends that encourage and support you is needed. 

My friends’ differences are great and they love me in their way; oftentimes their way of love benefits me. Friendships should. Lately, I’m struggling with the singleness, the generational changes I see, the lack of community and unhealthy connections. I find it paniful the loss of humanness, of being kind, the old love that touched communities, that reached further than what was in front of you.

I work a lot—it has kept me out of trouble and out of the way of those that are troubled. I love what I do for a living. I had to sacrifice and grow a great deal—my independence shows. I think people who have a peek into my life would think it is all I do, work. I have purposed my life with my children…I did and do what I have to do for them and for myself. Recently, I was asked what I do for fun after catching this person up with the latest transitions of my life. The question hit me wrong. I’m telling her details about my work life because she asked. Fun? Am I unfun? #LongBlink #DeepBreath

Another friend, as we were discussing relationships and I was told what I’m looking for (healthy relationships) doesn’t exist. Well, I stopped arguing with others many moons ago. I don’t think friends truly understand the impact of their words and what potential damage those words could carry. That question and statement came from friends, colleagues. I find myself searching my past, my pain, those wounds, that is tedious and undoing. With ever growing resolve, I believe God has been better than good and has done better than He promised with my life. #Freewill is not about compromise. I’m learning it is about showing up even when we’re unsure how. It is hard, healing work.

What I was revealing to her —was the fun parts for me. I love my grand girl’s visits. She’s so funny and quite loving at 6. I support my teens, we have a great time together when they are not closed up in their rooms. I love writing and reading. I love a good movie. I love home. I love solitude. I love mommy-ing my two older adult sons. I enjoy how the tables are turning and they “watch over me” now—making sure I’m okay. My Mater and my Bear. I love continuous education on the impact of trauma. I am learning to love my work-outs…I’m happy. I’m productive not just busy. I truly laugh more than I cry. 

Are there times I feel invisible, alone? Do I want to be in loving relationship with a good man? Yes, but I know enough to not monkeypox my way through anything that affects my being, my wellness negatively. I know this life journey better than most because it is mine. I know that grace leads and follows me in every millisecond of my days. I’m better. I’m whole and I’m healing. I’ve gotten this far because of love and how I love. I’m reminding myself, “I’m not perfect. I haven’t done everything that right right nor am I without mistakes yet I’m faithful.”  I’m faithfully trusting if I take one step God will take a thousand. I’m not walled up and nor was the last love of my life the last love of my life.  

What I know: Love is recovering. Love is healing. Love is change. Love transitions. Love is honoring your journey. Love is sacred. Keep going for what grabs you when you’re good and doing good. Trust your soul for the future. Keep healing. I support you. I see you. I love you.

Psalm 121: “…..the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

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?

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.

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

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

The In-between

#MustHaveJoy

*This a repost from my IG page. Weekly, over several years I encourage by posting SaturdayLove reflections. It gives me opportunity to share my thoughts and my heart.

#SaturdayLove: What a week! A huge amount of different emotions: the trial, the verdict, our response and we still live with everything that continues to happen.

We’re giving on empty. We’re loving on experience, traumatic experiences. We’re running on fumes. We’re hoping…Faith-ing our way through. Our in between is frayed. #Breathe

I turned more into my Family, my dreams and my work this week. I began to measure my milestones, taking mental inventory of what I want and who I am; reflecting on how this world affects me. My weariness, my faith and my hope are intertwined. I smiled. I can’t ignore the World. I’m not built that way. My heart is this ever-evolving rhythmic thing. Our humanity is in questioned and I am aware that it always had been and will continue to be. I still remember when my parents were the #CareGivers and I was safe. No worries.

This world continues to get bigger in so many different ways. #CollectiveDisturbance
My faith will too. There’s so much more we are required to give. Refuse to give/live on empty. Find and heal in those spaces that trigger you, bully you. •SelfCare. •SelfLove. •Recovery •Rest
Know that it isn’t selfish; it is necessary. We’ve got so much more work to do. Pace yourself. Listen with love. #SelfHealing

I pray peace in your struggles as well as peace in prosperity. Continue to find your way. Know what works for your healing…what and who supports you in being loved and loving.

Intimately Worded,

Michelle💞

#BeAWholeMovement #GetBackOnYourGangsta #YouAreSoDope #DoYourWork #Queens #SelfDefeatism #Struggles #SpiritualWork #Heavy #TraumaResponse #Women #Family #Parenting #BlackParents #Mothers #Friends #BlackWomen #Love #Therapy #Racism #Love
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#BlackWoman
#BlackWomanTherapist
#Thriver
#FreedSoul

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

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