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

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
.
.
.
#BlackWoman
#BlackWomanTherapist
#Thriver
#FreedSoul

Grace and Relationships

Photo taken: November 2020.
Live less out of habit and more out of intent.” ~Anonymous

I haven’t written about earthing my 50th birthday in August. I am not going to excuse myself by stating I am too busy. As I reflect, I have realized its all been rather intimate, personal and my experiences unearth my vulnerability and leaves my heart wide open. This shifting has been grand, wonderful, unexpected and at times the most painful.

Grand….I was able to treat myself to a mini getaway from home without travelling out of state due to CoVid. This beautiful Caribbean themed B&B, located here in Charlotte, NC: http://www.mselsies.com/ The owner was so welcoming, comforting and soulfully-bossy. Just the type of “love” I needed. I’ve never taken a getaway alone. I have always travelled as a couple and/or with my kids. All of this was new to me. I was nervously excited and my soul weary.

Wonderful.…I was nurtured, pampered, fed—my palate was amazed. I was the only guest during my stay. I was fussed over just enough yet left alone with as much space I required. My soul was cared for and some healing took place. My spiritual self required rest yet yearned for more of this. Not only was I fed well –the conversations, the prayers and wisdoms of Life were like Nature’s own medicine.

Unexpected…My core beliefs for my independence was shaken. This ability I have of taking care of myself, of knowing that I have to do this alone was a comfort for me. Although, I’ve always hoped for a love that is comparable to how I love, it did not seem to be in sight. I believe the glimpse of being loved scared me, of the the unexpected places where I sought solace, solitude and sacred rest my Michelle was uprooted.

“Michelle, you’re judgmental in your personal life and only in your personal life. You need to hear what you need to hear not what you to want to hear. Your independence has taught you to make it, to push through. You discern and that is a gift. You’ve forgotten how to be taken care of.” ~Cheryl Watkins, Ms. Elisie’s Granddaughter and Owner of the B&B. She told me this in our introduction. It hurt to hear. My initial plan for my mini-retreat was to reserve a upscale spa and my mind was changed to this intimate oasis. I don’t believe our meeting was happenstance.

I’ve been working this singleness and motherhood with grace while allowing Grace to lead me through graduate life and being a therapist. I haven’t dated in years; no one has approached me in a nurturing, chivalrous manner that would require me to date. During this time, a guy entered my life unannounced and with genuine effort. He paid for my second day at the B&B. He arranged a spa day after hearing of the difficult work day I experienced. He wanted to know if I ate, took my vitamins, was I smiling, was I protected. The more we talked and the grand gestures he carried out was healing old hard wounds. I don’t fall easily. I cannot afford it.

As I live and love within my 50th cycle love is frightening; we lose people either by choice, their actions or inactions, yet mostly consequences will pull us away from others. The extension of grace requires understanding, forgiveness for peace and growth. What I want isn’t always what it seems no matter how conscientious I am. I am learning to move forward with all that I am and that incudes: authenticity, truth, grace and love. I am doing well in my wait. I remind myself that my self-work gives tremendous value to my self-worth. #BeAWholeMovement #FreedSoul Singleness Relationships His plans

I encourage you to trust how you give, learn that rest is sacred and your ground is too. Stand your ground. #LoveGives #ShineAnyway

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

*Please note that since our meet she sends reminder texts: “How beez u?” She happies this heart of mine.

Embracing the Future

Throughout my social media outlets and the way I choose to live my life—I would be remiss to not acknowledge the difficulty of transitions.  I have encouraged and will continue to encourage the process of transitioning …at this moment I feel as if I am tirelessly transitioning and it seems in the most difficult yet aimless way. It hurts. It is lonely and it is tiring. I know that my emotions are temporary. I’ve’ been holding it together for so long and all alone that at this point in my life I feel as if throughout the years that all my working is culminating in me grasping at pieces.

Transitioning is a journey that is quite intrusive at times.  So many different phases to it yet it is purposely unequivocally predestined and purposed. Reflecting, I know that the choices we make ultimately are a reflective of  our wants, wishes, dreams and hopes. How those choices play out are God’s options and opportunities of freewill resulting in continuance and evolutionary progress. #selfacceptance

I do not speak much about being a single mother not from shame or out of the need of setting an example. I believe I do not because it is the biggest part of me and the status of motherhood is my most honorable to date. I attended my graduation a few weeks ago— sorry for the delay in posting. #transitions

 

 

I believe the photos speak volumes of the love of my family, what my tribe exhibits. Achieving my degrees while raising four of the greatest individuals is one of my greatest accomplishments. They are so proud of me and I am so mom-appreciative of them. The two oldest ones are becoming great men—other than my father—the greatest I’ll ever love. My daughter, my one and only is by far the gentlest and genius warrior of her generation. My youngest, my Brutus is all of them in one body.  Wow! I have a Masters in the professional field of my purpose. My mornings and days are different. I have been “working” for so long at times I am quite disturbed my all this time I have to be, to do, to grow, to bond and to love without deadlines…it is simply amazing. #Counseling #Therapy #mytribe

When it turns cold and rainy and your way is unseeable…learn to enjoy those moments your best possible way—it is your challenge to grow—in strength, in self-examination, in self-awareness. God brings us exactly what we need whether we realize it or not. Do not worry if what you see ahead does not quite add up. Go to your heart, act and react accordingly. Listen. Sometimes within there, in your heart place, sits a request for a deliberate inaction.

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:8-9

“Trust and act on the guidance you have now, and more will come.” Melody Beattie

 Intimately Worded,

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

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

Pause Mode: Cooking, Music, Saturday Reflections

“Keeping the devil down in the hole:”  https://youtu.be/9k9FMGp7oGU

I love creating in the kitchen. When life events become perplexing deciding what to prepare for breakfast, lunch, and or dinner based on what is available in the kitchen is a joy. #mindbliss

When it all gets complicated, keep it simple. Wait your turn it is all coming around, know that for every unanswered reason and all the unbelievable whys will make sense. Remain confident in where God has you. If He doesn’t have you where you are go and find Him.

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

See the pics of creations below:

Skillet Deliciousness
Heated Rosemary Garlic bread topped w/ fresh sauteed mushrooms, onions, jalapeno peppers topped w/cheese and fresh tomatoes. Yummy!

Skillet creations II
Eggs over easy, sauteed green peppers and onions. My new favorite. 

Happy July! Be grand in every endeavor you are lead to or have to take. It matters.

Creatively yours,

Michelle!

Flux to Crux…Part I

©©When it hurts to write (my number one love), when it hurts to counsel, when it hurts to breathe…within my crux. My well is dry. My give is limited. My encouraging spirit, well it is in wound. This is new. There have been times in the past I was unable to write. This is different; my life experiences are genuine, unique. I try my best to learn from them and move forward. I hold no ill will towards anyone.  This is more than hurt feelings, more than depression, more than overworked, more than transitional. All of me is in such a painful turmoil; my thoughts, my spirit, my body…yesterday I cleaned my face with fingernail polish remover. Smh/laugh, I did.  Yet, I know this is more than I need a vacation phase.

I am not sure what this is, what it means. I quit social media for a minute. I have been fasting since May. I have taken the necessary steps to welcome this transition and yet it seems I am still failing.

My flux—Monday through Wednesday schedule is when I give all of me to others. Monday: work, see clients, facilitate grief group. Tuesday: work, see clients, and attend class. Wednesday: work, see clients, facilitate divorce group. Thursday: work, work on proposals, homework, more counseling projects. Friday: looks like Thursday. Saturday & Sunday: self-care days…even with some sort of training—in ethics or sex trafficking and conducting prayer hotlines. I think my self-care is suffocating because I do not know where I am at, who I am becoming. In addition, how is it possible that there is more to life when it all hurts?

I am alone in my crux. I see, hear so much hurt. From planned suicide to displaced wives and children to grieving individuals. Their hurt pains me so much and I know to run, walk, talk, pray for them outside of my counseling sessions. I do not carry their weight although the heaviness is substantial. I could list all my credentials, my leadership roles, my accomplishments, my wants yet it still is what I did —not what I am doing. I have only the premise that I am in the middle of something huge and I cannot go backwards nor move forward in front of God. It all frightens me.

“There is nothing My Holiness cannot do.” ~Marianne Williamson

Fighting for joy…to keep it…to live with it and in it in spite of what I see, of what I hear and no matter the mistreatment keep fighting for joy. My purposes are my purposes…God-divine. When things come up hard, when reasoning makes no sense, when everything seems to fall short, when the fluxes of this life overwhelm we must remember all that God requires is never easy. Jesus, His son suffered more than anyone. He set the standard for being obedient to God’s will. He won. His victory is for us to win as well.

There will be times I cannot be all to everyone. There will be times my spirit of encouragement is nil. There will be times when how alone I am in this world flattens me. (When Daddy & Momma are gone, it is a whole other kind of growing up.)

I do not talk. I do not complain. I encourage. I smile. I cover up. While in this transition phase one person said to me: “There’s something behind that smile.”  I broke down. I cried. Not those hard cry just silent tears. There is my brokenness. There is the pain of being told my last seven years are a farce. That my struggle, my fight to be a counselor is of all things–unethical.

Normally, I have a few choice words for people who intentionally harm or disrespect me. I have my say. I am my best advocate. Yet, this time the weight of others, of it all, of this journey made me pause. I give. I give a lot. I give out. This time, for this moment I gave in. Whammy after whammy is depleting. The core of everything I am, everything I am becoming has to be fought for and I am tired.

“I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he[a] will answer my complaint.” Habakkuk 2:1 (NLT)

 There is peace in my wait. There is more of me in my wait. He is there for me in my wait. I awake smiling. I enter my space, my chosen time alone is outside where I can see, hear, smell, touch, breathe in His love. There is where I begin…within my crux. I am trusting God to do His possibles for me and for you.

His grace.

Intimately worded,

Michelle ©

Fyi: For those who do not know I am in the practicum/internship phase of achieving my master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. 

Beauty Selfie (2)
Beginning 2009 or 2010

 

Michelle_June 9 2017
In between June 2017.  (at my daughter’s graduation from Middle School.)

 

 

Pick your battles…Parenting Autumn

IMG_217943346666549    You have the ability to choose. I think often times we lose focus on the power of simplicity because if our lives are not forced focus, in crisis mode, hectic hellish or nonstop un-normal we fight to right our ways our way. Discern what matters God has placed within your life to deal with. Remember anything He gives us He also equips us. There are difficulties we must face, know that we do not face them alone. So often, we place burdens on ourselves that are His and we blame Him for the most. We carry that ice chip on our shoulders, in our words and we embed it in our hearts. God loves and He disciplines those He loves. He is not going to allow us to outdo Him. Honestly, there is no way we can.

My Autumn is 13 years old, an awesome daughter. She is my only daughter. #motherhood As her mother, I think I mess up a lot. I think I have to watch her more so because I fear for her. I think she could have had a mother that has more expertise in all things. I think she could have had a better mother—a mother who knows how to raise daughters. (I have three sons.) I do not allow her any social media time, her friends are few and she starts high school next year. Oh, and her figure, her shape is coming in already (just like mine at her age) and she is a beauty and so smart. Therefore, I am frightened in so many different areas of her life because I am her mother. Am I too stifling? Do I suffocate her? Am I making her feel she is loved and loving? How is her self-esteem? What are boys saying to her in that school? What are men saying to her? Then again, what are girls saying to her? Do we talk enough? Am I doing right by her? Has my singleness all these years braced her or harmed her for her future relationships? Big sigh.

When I get this way, which is not often but often enough. I immediately go into a tailspin of fear after hearing about the 12-year-old girl who committed suicide on FB. This cuts my heart up in so many ways. My soul is silenced when my friend tells me. My heart aches. She sends me the link of the little girls’ suicide. I refuse to open it up.

At times when I worry and Autumn is home, I run in her room and jump in her bed with her. I snuggle up with her while she reads her book. I make her take out her ear buds and we talk. Earlier this week, she complains but is laughing, “Momma, why?! It is hot. Stop.” She says. I smile and kiss her cheek and say, “Well, I’m not. My feet are cold. Warm me up” Her: “Your feet are always cold.” Me: “Let me search your phone to see what I can see. What’s your code?” She tells me and goes back to reading her book. While perusing through her phone, I find this text: Her and her friend are discussing their hair issues:

India (is a great friend to her and has long straight hair): “Use the ECO gel on your hair.” Autumn: “I did and my hair came out so short. I did not like it. My Mom used it and her hair looked great! But she used oil on hers and I did not. I am going to use oil and the ECO gel tonight.” My eyes water, I turn to her and smile, “You don’t ever tell me my hair looks great. You just say good or act like I am getting on your nerves. You love me!” Autumn, laughs so.

She has an awesome laugh too. Her natural hairstyle, her choice since she was 9 years old. Our hair textures are different but she has embraced her hair with such creativity and uniqueness it baffles me. Her self-strength is so powerful. What an amazing mirror I have. {An excerpt from one of my original poems: “I see Autumn leaves in the coldest of winter.”~M.} She is rooted well. I am so humbled by God’s love for me.

Therefore, I am going to push aside the “what if” and “if I just had” and also the “but God” and pick my battles, the winnable ones— the God has equipped me battles. I love being her mother more than the fear. Parenting costs so much yet the rewards are priceless and non-refundable. It is impossible to do everything right, I know that but the easiest part is when we do our best for them. We do not argue about social media. It is just an “is” in my home. We have discussed the possibility of Snap chat when she turns 14. So, I am on a journey to learn all I can about that before her next birthday in order to give the right answer to her, yes or no with an explanation of my choice.

I grieve for our children. I love our children; it truly takes a village. Suicide is preventable. Autumn and I discuss the neglected and abused children, teens, her peer group. I smile because her anger, her fight is just as strong as mine. Children, Adolescents have my heart they always will. We all are accountable to all we are connected. Please see the hope in that statement, there is no condemnation nor judgment. None, zilch. We must find ways that show our children they are loved without sacrificing our moral upbringing, without them suffering the residuals of this mean, mean world.

I think if we take a firm and mindful stance to focus on the winnable– our aspirations, hopes and dreams we have no recourse but to line up with what God has purposed for our lives. #TrustHim In all we do there has to be a peace that remains. I am learning this scripture holds so much direction and guiding, Philippians 4:6-8:”Do not be anxious about anything but in everything…”

Discern and pick your battles in every aspect of your life. God has planned for you to win the war. Growing up I did not like kids, did not want to be a mother. If I married, I wanted one child that was it. I remember telling my father I was never going to marry. He laughed along with giving awesome advice. (I will share that conversation later.)  God laughed too! I have four children, married once and divorced. I have been single longer than I was married. I am a grandmother! I am a child advocate, graduate student of Counseling and I teach Sunday School. Oh, God laughed big!! Remain focused on where He has you. Be God-confident!

My heart is all over the place… I hope this read makes sense. It all circles back.

My heart–Intimately worded,

A. Michelle!