emergingfree

Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “self discovery”

Great Leaders’ Eyes

People will cheer for you when you do what they want you to do, especially if what you are doing is trendy.  They have no loyalty to you, but to that thing they want.  Understand THAT.

Women Sitting Across From Each Other

Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name.  But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.  He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.  —John 2:23-25

Frog

Recently I had the blessing to be placed in a situation that confirmed my spiritual growth.  Progress makes me happy!  My change in perception provided me with spiritual protection.  I was able to see the attacks thrown at me fall by the wayside.  If I did not respect the opposition, I would have laughed.  I do respect the opposition, however, so I stood firm and discerned.  Are you at that place—the place where people can cheer or disrespect you and you receive it in the same way?  It would be nice to think that I am there consistently, but my truth is that I am not (there yet).  I do see much maturity though.  Life continues to present opportunities which enable me to measure my development.  Noting, these experiences are important.

Rest

A few days ago, I complimented a man’s temperament.  I have watched him over a course of time sit calmly when disrespected and when complimented.  I do not know what he is experiencing internally, but his outward disposition never seems to change.  He is smooth and I appreciate his example of leadership.  He exemplifies traits all great leaders have.  He understands the purpose and importance of his role.  He is clear concerning his assigned mission and committed to its completion.  In addition, he discerns the operation of people.  Sounds easy right?  Of course it does, but it requires a lot of discipline.

girl pouting

Smiling, I see progress…but I still have work to do.

All in!

Those Lyrics

I ended my relationship with him because his music of preference degraded, devalued, and denounced women.  How did we get to this place?  When did I become his enemy?  Surely, he did not think of me as a friend!

“Oh, the lyrics are not about you,” he would say.

Ughhhhhh, my frustration rose with every point he missed.  Of course the lyrics are not about me specifically, but its collective implication is placed squarely upon my shoulders.  The weight is heavy.  The conversation is lacking.  Maybe if I were not a professional woman, I would not notice?  Maybe if my life did not require me to be in situations where I am the only one, I would not be bothered?  How have we gravitated from R-E-S-P-E-C-T to O-P-P?  Perplexed and tired, I ended the relationship.

If you are wondering, yes we are still friends—the one, he says, “that got away “.  What an interesting choice of words when considering the bondage his ideology would have placed me under.  Walking away, I was left wondering if he would ever know A Woman’s Worth.  I can only hope so, but I still don’t know.

peace

Unless empathetic, people only seem to understand “a thing” if it has a direct impact on them.  Have we become so desensitized that we only have empathy when catastrophes occur?  Don’t we know that by the time we see the physical manifestations of inequity, inequalities have already run rampant?  Many seem to think that if they do not have a dog in the fight, then the fight is simply theater.  “Get over it”, they say.  “It’s not that serious”, they insist while attempting to bully via shame.  “You are too sensitive”, they sing.  Their perspective, however, does not change your reality nor how such attitudes affect your life.

“Oh, the lyrics are not about you” become about me when I show up to defend someone in court and have to check a dude who calls me honey.  They become about me when I am in a meeting and the males are addressed by their respective titles and I am by my first name only.  They become about me when the salary being offered to me is less or when I am overlooked for a promotion, not because of my work product, but because of this rule that a man—and many times a white male—is simply worth more.  How could he not be worth more, right?  People like to do business with people like them and most big business deals are done between men—white, wealthy men.  Now, you know like I do that most people are not white and wealthy and male.  Yet, the oppression amongst those of us who are not continues to pit ally against ally.

Women Sitting Across From Each Other

Although at times slow to make mainstream rotation, songs empowering women are being written and played.  Their vehicle is not limited to the radio, but more readily seen in life.  So, what songs do you turn up…or turn off?  Are the lyrics being sung about you?  The big picture, most miss.

Betrayal From A Known Place

Have you ever disowned someone you loved, someone only months before you would fight for?  I have.  I could write story after story about broken relationships—things you would relate to—but I will spare you those narratives.  There is another point-of interest that captures my attention, an area of prayer where I am growing.

Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”  Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.  The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter.  Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”  And he went outside and wept bitterly.  —Luke 22:60-62

At the end of every year I review my relationships, particularly those with people I consider friends.  Several years ago, I discovered that I had developed a particular pattern with a “person”.  Each year, this “person” would change, but every year I would meet someone during the same part of the year.  We would be close from the jump as if we had known each other before, but by the year’s end we would not speak.  Isn’t that strange?  How could you be so close and within twelve months be so far apart?

peace

Once I realized that this happened year-after-year, I began to spot this “person”.  This awareness helped me in that at the end of the year I would note the situation causing the breakdown, but because I knew it would happen I was prepared for its occurrence.  The emotional sting I felt in preceding years was no longer there.  I simply moved on, never considering that that person would care enough to mourn.  Now, I am reconsidering my stance.  (Pray for me.)

Rest

The reality of life is, no one is perfect.  People will make mistakes straining relationships with even their closest loved ones.  I have made mistakes.  You have made mistakes.  We all have made them.  This understanding, however, leads me to my point of reconsideration.  Jesus knew Peter would betray Him and therefore prayed for him.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.  And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” —Luke 22:31-32

Admittedly, there were many years when I identified this “person” and failed to pray over our relationships.  (Note, to pray for the “person” is different than praying over the “relationship”.  Both are necessary.)  This pains me really, but I thank God for growth.  I first had to learn to pay attention to divine relationships.  Then, I needed to understand how vital it is to constantly pray over them.  We have work to do!  In truth, nobody is happy about divine relationships being damaged but Satan.  Ah, but I have found the blessing in knowing betrayal from a known place so I will do better.  Will you?

Relationship Differences

Relationships, I never took them lightly;  Now, I am not sure if I can take them any more seriously.  Associations are the difference between life and death.  Who wants to LIVE?  I do!

Friends

Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.  Luke 22:3

As a child, it was vital that I believed that my friends cared about my life.  As far as I was concerned, family –well– I was stuck with those people, so even if they got shady we would still be connected but friends –well– I could drop them and keep moving.  There would always be new friends to meet, right?  There are always people looking to laugh and have fun.  There are always people looking to connect.  Friends are just a hello away… or so I thought.

Without knowing it, I developed a hard-line habit of emotionally and (sometimes) physically detaching at the first hint of me questioning a friendship’s reliability.  Rarely would my friends question my change in behavior.  This lack of concern confirmed within me my right behavior.  Life went on.  The cycle continued.

Thank God for growth and grace!  As I began to understand me more, I began to understand what kinds of people I wanted to grow with.  As such, the more I understood my spiritual gifts and talents, the more I began to understand what kinds of people I needed to grow with.  I began to understand the difference and importance in having divine relationships versus those which are also great but are in fact spiritually secular.  (Note, sharing the same faith is not the lone criteria.)  I needed to find peace and clarity with knowing that there are numerous personalities and people who I can have fun and laugh with, spend time and play with, work and relax with, but divine relationships are appointed to build God’s kingdom and advance His purpose.  I needed to commit to live my faith with the people God assigns to sharpen me and I them for His purpose, one greater than us.  The more I stand in agreement with this, the more I find myself consciously and continuously praying for clarity and protection regarding these sacred relationships, as well as over myself.  Why?  Simply put, I believe.

Listen, we pray over people we do not know.  We pray over things that are transient.  We pray over solutions to problems and for cures to diseases and over prayer lists and over our churches and over our church Family, yet how many of us pray over our divine relationships?  How many of us know the differences between divine relationships and secular ones?  Note, there are differences.

Satan will try to enter anybody and anything following the Lord, even one of Jesus’ Twelve.  Make no mistake about it.  He will try to enter me and he will try to enter you.  Spiritual warfare is real.  We must do better with our journeymates.  A temporary distraction can lead to irreversible repair.

My 2015: Professional Lessons

That time of year has come when I take some time to re-evaluate my year.  A year ago, I was determined to make some major changes and some major progress.  My spirit had reached the point where it was no longer interested in playing second fiddle to anyone or anything.  I knew that I was overdue in accepting God’s love and its manifestations in my life.  Sure, I had been saying for a number of years prior that I wanted all that God wanted to bless me with and I wanted to be a blessing to others.  The being a blessing to others part came easier for me.  Well, at least I was half way there right?

2014

Many, many, MANY years ago I got a very clear vision of me helping a large number of people.  What I saw was likened to actual footage of what this looks like.  Its memory serves as a constant reminder and motivation, but you can understand how at times it can be frustrating—can’t you?  Just think about it…there you are, sitting like a child at Christmas on Christmas Day looking at gifts with your name on them, but you can’t unwrap them (yet).  “What am I doing wrong,” I thought.  What must I change?

Around the middle part of 2014, I began to seriously consider relocating.  Some potential opportunities were presented to me, but my spirit was strongly against such change.  Trust and Believe! was my reoccurring message.  Oh, the struggle was real yet I challenged myself to remain still and to gather lessons of the season.  Being still forced me to be present.  Being present allowed me to become more conscious, more centered.

challenge be yourself

I made it a point to slow down.  Spending more time with my family replaced mandatory meetings.  Discovering new hobbies and returning to known ones creates for me environments which support my growth.  In doing so, I began to write again.  One of my 2015 goals was to complete my second novel for publicationDone!  What the mind can dream, one can achieve!  Now, I am looking for a particular literary agent.  I am looking for a literary agent who enjoys both topics of faith and that of gender.  (HELP ME by sharing this request/blog/post!  Someone may know someone or that someone may be you!  Email:  emergingfree@gmail.com  Now, THAT’S growth!)

In 2015, I grew professionally as well.  I finally understood the importance of surrounding myself with people who value my gifts and talents!  This was easier once I trusted God to provide for me professionally.  Being goal-oriented, it is easy to get so focused on reaching the goal that God is left out of your equation.  Once I surrendered to God being the equation, I confidently became uncompromising about my self-worth and the value of my gifts and talents.  He and He alone is my Source, my Provider, my Resource-Sender.  My ability to discern increased and this is vital for the sustainability of healthy working relationships!  Amazing and supportive environments are waiting for me and YOU to show up.  Show up!

As a result of my professional surrender to God, I realized I had a mental block that was thorn-ish.  (I think I just made that word up, but stay with me.)  Once I understood, however, the bigger purpose of what my professional pursuits serve, I was able to see its connection to the vision(Aha!)  Through my faith, I was able to find rest.  Do you think faith-based people generally identify their professional lives as being intertwined with their spiritual lives and divinely-inspired purposes?  Do you think they find rest in that?  For me, this revelation was MAJOR!  Don’t you just love it when you can see God’s work in your life?!  (I’m sure I will blog more about this later.)

i awake now

As I look back over the last twelve months, I can see progress and that fills me with excitement.  Thank You God for progress!  I have grown as a professional and I understand how such growth allows me to be a blessing within God’s Kingdom.  I am aware of the importance of setting boundaries and how such boundaries allow for life to be enjoyed.  If you are like me, there is a potential for us to become vulnerable spending time and energy doing good things because our flesh encouraged us.  Setting boundaries, however, keeps us focused on doing things directed by God because we understand our purpose.  I needed to apply this principle to my professional life.  I needed to merge my professional lessons with my God-inspired vision and grow.  Do you?

peace

 

My 2015: Back To Loving ME!

Here I am again reflecting on the year—smiling, fully conscious of the joy I have in my heart as memories flood my thoughts.  I entered the year with a list of goals AND A PLAN.  First, however, I knew I needed to commit to being whole.  I was finally tired of holding myself back.  I had reached the point within my self where I had intentionally settled on uncompromisingly growing into my best self.  To do this, I had to return to the basics.  In 2015 I returned to loving me and it feels oh so great!

2014

Have you ever been afraid to be great?  I have.  Thank God those days are over!  How can I say that I want all of the blessings God has for me and then await them with closed hands?  It seems silly now, but it took a while for me to see my self.  I wonder how many people are like how I was, wanting better but not wanting greatness.  (Is that you?)  How many people are denying their uniquely-made brilliance and settling for mediocre because that is now the accepted norm?  Guess what, we are not normal! We are supernormal!  We are exceptional!

As I go forth in claiming the promises God has given me, I do so in humility.  This is a good thing as I have discovered the difference between being humble and having low self-esteem.  Oh, how fine that line can be, especially in a world where lowering the esteem of another seems to be a sport.  (Why does “Hunger Games” come to mind?)  Loving your self, however, is the counter to the world’s punch.  Admittedly, I could not love myself without growing closer to God.  It is a continuous process.  How exciting!

About ten years ago or so, a woman told me that the Lord is going to do great things in my life but I would have to learn humility first.  I remember this like it was yesterday because her words confused me.  I thought, “Who is this lady?  She has me all wrong.  I am already humble.”  Although I was woolly, I knew she was prophesying to me.

Had I known then what the lesson plan looked like for me to learn “humility”, I probably would have said, “Never mind.”  I may not have cried out for God to bless my life in ways only He could.  I may have settled.  Sometimes, maybe more often than we care  to realize, the blessing is in not knowing.  His ways are not our ways.

Having gone through the coursework and passing the test, I have now invested in the blessings.  They are already a part of me.  They have always been.  I just needed to return to the basics to locate them.  I just needed to love me, my humble self.  The world offers many temptations to that which it defines as “success”.  Humility provides balance.  Yes, “balance”–something to remain upright and steady.  Won’t He do it!?!?

3.26.15 Instant hand on neck - Copy

 

How Do You Identify?

So, I needed to learn a painful lesson about a population within those professing Christianity.  I was naïve and unsuspecting, so the sting of the teaching provoked my soul to weep.  Dazed and confused, it took a committed period of time which I devoted to prayer, listened to my Father’s instruction, and surrendered to a building of thicker skin around a softer heart.  Have you ever been disappointed by the intentional acts of fellow Christians?  How did you react?  Have you healed?

Rest

“Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do?  I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’  “But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said.  ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’  So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him….  —Luke 20:13-15

I remember earlier this year, I attended a meeting.  I knew I could not stay for its entirety, but I wanted to obtain some information about the organization to determine if I would join or not.  I quietly sat in the back of the room as to not cause a distraction upon my exit.  The next day, I received a call from the organization’s President (whom I did not know prior).  In our conversation she said, very matter-of-factually, “No, you can’t slip in and out of places.  No matter how quiet you think you are, people know you and your presence means something.”  Really?

Although I have not joined that organization, the words of its President have stuck with me.  Truth is, even dim light shines.  One’s eye is naturally and supernaturally drawn to Light, no matter the intensity.  Light radiates without exception.  This, I needed to be one with.

If you are like me, you only want to be where God wants you.  Sometimes I am sent to comfortable surroundings; Other times the environments feel undeniably unpleasant.  As long as I believe I am where God wants me, however, I am assured.  In each of these environments, oftentimes I discover that I am not the only one with beliefs founded in Christ.  Interestingly, there was a time when I would make assumptions of kinship if I was aware that another Brother or Sister was present.  I have since learned that such expectations are not always mutual.

Frog

Jealousy is a powerful emotion, one consumed by some who profess Christianity.  I am not sure how often this is addressed, but a silence on the subject is devastating.  People will submit (at least in practice) to being under a Greater Authority.  They will agree that they and you are under the same Authority.  They will discern that you are working in accordance to that Authority.  Then, they will plot ways to put out your Light, i.e. to kill you (spiritually).  Their jealousy has been stirred.  You become their target, their threat because you have been sent and are working according to His will and way.  Yes, YOU!  Their Brother.  Their Sister.  Sadly, they do not  identify with you as Family.  A shared faith seems to mean nothing.  Agape love, what’s that?  Sheep or wolf?  Remember this, the enemy seeks to kill, steal, and destroy.  How do you identify?

Book Review: Intuition

About a week before Thanksgiving I got an intense urge to read three books.  I quickly decided on two of them.  The third, however, I only had an idea of the subject matter.  (That book, BTW, turned out to be the one by Shondra Rhimes.  See this post:  https://emergingfree.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/book-review-yes/)

Intuitive Self-Healing by Marie Manuchehri was the second book I decided to buy.  (See: http://www.amazon.com/Intuitive-Self-Healing-Achieve-Balance-Wellness/dp/1604076275 )  It, however, ended up being my third read.  Thanks to India Arie, I knew it included exercises.  I wanted to really take my time with it, so I saved it to read last.

Outside of knowing Manuchehri’s book would focus on intuition, I began it without any additional expectations—just with an openness to consider its presentation.  I found myself being introduced to chakras and how these  energy sources are connected to life’s manifestations.  The silliness I felt doing the first exercise quickly evaporated with the turn of each page.  In them, I found confirmation and clarity regarding things I already knew.  I also discovered things that had already resulted in lightness, smiles, and the embracement of both identifying and accepting love.

Aside from many of the exercises, there are two main things I will employ from this book.  The first is to be present!  I spend a lot of time problem-solving and using analytical skills because: of my profession, my spiritual gifts and talents, and my future hopes.  I have an active mind.  Yes, I think a lot.  People tell me this to which I always think, “Don’t you?  How can you not?”  I laugh now because those conversations normally stop with my questions.  I would walk away not understanding the point of the observation.  Can you relate to this?

Now, I know that it is necessary for me to be in the moment—to feel the clothes on my back, the emotions that I have, the socks on my feet, the water when I am washing dishes, etc..  It is easy to take these things for granted, especially if you are a person with a great ability to be empathetic.  I cannot afford to negate this part of my life anymore.  Can you?

Secondly, I must SPEAK self-love mantras to myself often and daily.  I would think these things, but what I have found is that I MUST SPEAK THEM!  There is a powerful energy in the SPOKEN WORD.  Try it!  Feel how your body reacts when you look yourself in the mirror and speak to you about you in a loving and caring way.  Go ahead.  No one is watching but you!

I really enjoyed this book.  It is a short, easy read.  The exercises were a great supplement.  Upon reflection, I am a better, stronger person with a greater awareness for living a joyful life.

3.26.15 Instant hand on neck - Copy

I’m glad I listened to the nudging to read three books.  God is amazing!  He gives me what I need when I need it.  He reassures me that He is with me.  He guides me along this journey.  I am truly thankful!

My 2015: Friendships

That time of year has come when I take some time to re-evaluate my year.  A year ago, I was determined to make some major changes and some major progress.  My spirit had reached the point where it was no longer interested in playing second fiddle to anyone or anything.  I knew that I was overdue in accepting God’s love and its manifestations in my life.  Sure, I had been saying for a number of years prior that I wanted all that God wanted to bless me with and I wanted to be a blessing to others.  The being a blessing to others part came easier for me.  Well, at least I was half way there right?

2014

My first test came early and it was in the area of people.  (How fitting!)  You see, I had walked away from one of my closest and dearest friends because of what turned out to be a misunderstanding.  (OK.  OK.  I was in the mindset of NO DRAMA FROM NOWHERE!  You can go!  You can go!  You can go too!)  My friend fought for our friendship though and in doing so I gained a greater awareness of the responsibility of friendship.

Friends

How many of your friends would truly fight to keep you in their lives because they see the mutual benefit?  (It is important that there is a mutual benefit.)  How many call you or send an email or text when they have not heard from you in a while?  How many do you treasure enough to make sure they are alright, that you pray for, that you walk close enough with to notice their absence and would put action behind your care to secure their presence?

Being attentive to my traveling buddies would be a continuous project in this new year (and beyond).  Having gained a deeper appreciation of friendship—of what it means to me—and an opportunity to exercise forgiveness, I have been able to both expand my networking circle and be clear about my friendships.  It has been interesting in that I have been able to accurately label my relationships with people and my purposes in those roles.  When you know that your purpose is to help others, this awareness is vital.  Being clear of my role and responsibilities has made me a better person.

BW.face

Later in the year I would see how this experience would make it possible for me to be the friend asking for forgiveness in another situation.  (The thought precedes the action.)  Nobody is perfect.  Even those who truly love you make mistakes.  In this world where acts of terror get front page coverage, take a moment to assess the relationships in your lives.  Time is precious.  Make sure to invest it in those you treasure.  It is funny how life prepares you.

peace

 

Book Review: YES!

Shonda Rhimes?  Private PracticeGrey’s AnatomyScandalHow To Get Away With Murder.  Yes, you know the one!  YES!  The one who has ABC‘s Thursday nights on lock!  YES!  THAT Shonda Rhimes.  No, I don’t watch them either.  Well…maybe Grey’s Anatomy…maybe.

WriterCreatorVisionaryShondaLand.  Shonda Rhimes?  Yes, you know the one!  College graduateMotherSingleDream CatcherHistory MakerYES!  The one who is not afraid to address “controversial” matters in honest, educational ways!  YES!  THAT Shonda Rhimes!  YES!  Sign me up!  I’m a supporter.

So, she wrote a book?  Really?  Shonda Rhimes?  Yes, you know the one.  It’s entitled, “Year of Yes”.  (See:  http://books.simonandschuster.com/Year-of-Yes/Shonda-Rhimes/9781476777092)  Interesting….

OK.  OK.  I LOVE THIS BOOK!  It is a great balance of honesty and humor.  I enjoyed how she intertwines her experiences, explicitly including reflective examples of race and gender.  (YES, this is her life.)  Rarely have I seen that done in such a matter-of-fact, I’m-simply-saying, the-world-through-my-eyes way.  Through the chuckles, you realize that she is growing and that you are too.  Shonda Rhimes?  Yes, you know the one.

I’m glad I made time (specifically three days) to read this book.  In its pages, I discovered glimpses of myself.  It helped that like her, I am a writer and can relate to the solitude of the craft.  Finding inspiration, it did not take long before I began to say, “YES”, to more invitations and to facing fears.  After all, have I loss pieces of myself in the safety and security of the “No”?  Maybe.

You know, I have a strong sense that a lot of amazing things are coming my way.  Life is what you make it.  I am saying, “Yes”, to new opportunities; to working to achieve greatness; to being happy, healthy, and whole; to being unapologetically abundantly blessed and great beyond measure.  I am saying, “Yes”, to living!  What about you?  Need some motivation?  Check out Shonda Rhimes’ book!  Yes, you know the one!

3.26.15 Instant hand on neck - Copy

Post Navigation