Operate from Value

There is a place called Value that resembles you having your peace and leaving another with their peace at the end of an argument. Operating from Value also occurs when you are in another’s company and you notice an enhanced emotion or wellbeing versus an observation of melancholy or sadness from your engagement – where the former, is adding value to the outcome. I had a conversation with my teen this morning that left me teary-eyed not because it was a sad conversation, but more so a dialog that had me hoping she’d share the same with her offspring one day.

House boat near in NOC: Nantahala Outdoor Center. 9/20/2020

Always operate from a place of Value” when you have relationships with people, I explained. Her eyes hinted at a further explanation and I began to share the following with her. Any time you are with someone, e.g. friend, relative, significant other, aunt, parent or in a professional setting, you want to aim at leaving the table having had a positive impact on the person’s life where the next encounter brings not only joy but spiritual uplifting and emotional wellbeing for both parties, particularly the other party. Before she could ask what I meant, I elaborated using myself as an example.

At 49-years old in October, I am welcoming situations that add value to either my presence, life, emotional state, holistic wellbeing and time because anything or anyone that goes against this desire or request is negating from my self-healing, growth and presence. Too often we see couples break up to later learn they are now at each other’s throat because of a promise made that now, suddenly, cannot be trusted from the other’s mouth who they previously loved. Crazy? No, accurate. What about a situation that invites a misunderstanding and now both parties involved are leaving the table with inconceivable stress that didn’t exist before?

Both aforementioned vignettes are discounts to one’s health; thus, taking away from what could have been avoided to begin with. Adding Value simply means enhancing one’s present situation, e.g. offering a smile to brighten up their day; validating their point of view or emotion or even something as simple as trusting their truth because from this delivers an exchange of harmony, peace, respect and dignity. Conversely, when we don’t bring Value with us, we do just the opposite: we deposit reservations, invite stress, create strife and may leave emotional scars that are all sometimes challenging to correct yet are unavoidable.

How do we add Value? Arriving at the answer is simple, yet not simply stated because one may say ‘treat the person the way you want to be treat,’ which begs a question? Is the person doing the treatment treating her/himself the way s/he ‘knows’ is the best treatment for themselves?! Therefore, adding Value requires you to assess and evaluate your purpose by looking from the outside in and arriving at your answer when you know that your objective should be to leave the person in a better state of mind or in a better emotional space.

So, if you find this a challenging task – don’t, just envision how you could benefit if you were the recipient! Promise yourself to add Value and if you are incapable of doing so, don’t negate. Don’t take away! Aim to always ADD!

– Blossom

Remain conscious of your BUT

I vividly recall my session. It was day 3 after I found my new counselor. The person I had looked for when I began calling a list of individual & family therapists who would meet my standards was exciting, overwhelming, scary, promising, yet fearful.

Fear_Male
Photo by mwangi gatheca on Unsplash

She knew I’d be a handful when I initially called her, outlining exactly what I needed for my emotional-mental therapy! “Are you African American; are you older than 50 and are you credentialed in family therapy?” were the questions asked of her. “Yes, I am, but why?” I continued to explain that my personal issues directly stem from systemic patterns in the black community that negatively impacts relationships I have with loved ones, inadvertently affecting friendships.

I had reached a point of lethargy! The intersection of what to do + where to go was too confusing for me to navigate. After all these years I had finally run out of tools and resources on this solo ride to self-healing. A plateau. I needed professional, clinical intervention but not at the hands of a novice.

Mental Health Therapy
Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

She needed to know the depth of my hurt and wounds without being coached. I had to have someone who could not only relate, but look me eye-to-eye and break through my guarded heart and passive-agressive assertions to see my bullshit. This professional had to also be a ‘she’ because I know that effective empathy + combined wit + careful delivery would give me a safe space to talk. This was vitally important because I am particularly known to shut off emotions and recoil when I feel attacked – a place where only my dad understands.

“At the time, it seemed clear to me that any between-sex differences in thinking abilities were due to socialization practices, artifacts and mistakes in the research, and bias and prejudice. … After reviewing a pile of journal articles that stood several feet high and numerous books and book chapters that dwarfed the stack of journal articles … I changed my mind.”   Diane Halpern, PhD

Dr. King is and has been my safe haven. Her teachings, techniques, discernment, communication style, presence, aura, spirit, strategies, methodology and various specialities have traveled a 35+ year journey from the academia, turned clinical sector with awe-inspiring accolades. When she told me that I needed to hear the BUT behind every explanation I knew there was an incredible breakthrough on my end. Not only did I hear her explain the importance of why, I also understand how effective communication is discounted when we are unable to remove our BUT from conversations!

Think outside box
Photo by Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash

About a month ago Dr. King said to me, and I paraphrase: “Felita, listening to the BUT when a person is explaining themselves will allow you to visualize, listen, have access to, witness and perceive their mindset about a subject issue, which will give you both an opportunity to clear up and potentially resolve any misunderstandings you would never know otherwise.”  This was the best advice I had received in a while, as it reminds me of instruction I received years ago about my writing, which is ‘the best way to notice your errors in writing is to read your sentences backwards because the pace is slower in the backwards direction.’

Today, removing the BUT allows me to sit in the present; to hear and stand witness to a person’s heart amidst their explanation of what they believe they’ve heard about our conversation that may be confusing to them. I remember removing my teenager’s rights to use her bathroom until she was tidy enough to maintain her own, and while she began to explain her point of view – I interrupted her at “BUT, mommy” — I later learned that she needed to know more about the why. We concluded that our definitions of tidy differed, and my inferences were confusing instead of helpful.

Thank you Dr. King for inspiring and teaching me to become a better me! The words that follow ‘BUT’ will be heard before I speak further; I will also commit with a thoughtful mindset. I promise to remain conscious of my ‘BUT’ so that others may also heal because words unheard are feelings unexplained. The takeaway – communication should be fluid, unambiguous, simple, sincere, gentle, kind and delivered with empathy. I get it — we all fall short, however, speaking in our present state will allow us to exercise care and attention for a created platform that is safe for all to share a seat at the table.

 

 

 

 

Calculated Silence

It was the 89th day of 2020 and two sent texts: SC & GA.

My heart was racing to receive a response: a call or even a text reply. But nothing! I sat on the edge of my seat all day long. Hoping. Yearning. Wishing. Praying.

Not even an acknowledgement! Did he know? Did he remember? For goodness sake – it was his birthday! 67. But nothing!

The pedestal once given to her has lost all value. This is the “Final Straw…”

Ahem – practicing the epitome of Parental Alienation. Her voice was so loud amidst the silence, but it wasn’t until midnight that we realized the intentional communication.

chair scenery summer abandon
Photo by Zino Bang on Pexels.com

Never Claim a Cardiac Arrest in place of a Heart Attack

So often we treat the experiences of our severed relationships like a ‘cardiac arrest’ when the result is a heart attack – neither of which we want. Remember your heart hasn’t stopped (cardiac arrest)! It is the attack on your emotions that need acute care and proper healing.

No Cardiac Arrest Here!We must take time to make time like we can take time to treat, both of which may require a paradigm shift in our inner circles. And although this self-investment may appear too daunting of a task, the days that turn into weeks and months forward will have you wishing you did the inner work beforehand. Now some may say the fault belongs to someone else because of child-rearing circumstances or mental health reasons, which may weigh heavily on the side of accuracy. However, in the HERE and NOW of where we are today, the onus and accountability rest with us and our capability to acknowledge, seek, ask and submit for improvement.

Besides, your relationship with self is where the focus should shift because “If you are holding anyone else accountable for your happiness you’re wasting your time,” quotes Oprah Winfrey.  –What I know For Sure

I digress with this: We must sow a personal seed for inner growth.

Three Little Black Girls

I wish to friend, understand and play with the little girls who came before me. I want to know what they dreamed of when they didn’t have to concern themselves with anything except to play, laugh and love without expectations and instructions. What were the secrets in their hearts? Were they happy or unhappy, and how so? Did each of these little girls have someone who often hugged them, reassuring that ‘All would be okay?’ Did they feel beautiful or empty inside? Did they feel alone or cold, particularly in the company of others? Were they permitted to speak without being accused of ‘talking back,’ or were they told to ‘hush’ because they did not have the permission to voice their emotions?

cropped-torrie_ocean3.jpgThe aforesaid questions are sketched in my heart and although my maternal grandmother’s story remains untold, the remaining two girls, i.e. me and my mommy still have a chance to accept each other just where we are in life – fully flawed – and to possibly understand the heart of both girls whose first-male love (their fathers) were distant. Mom, the youngest of three, was brought up as a lone-spoiled child who was parented by a mother that regularly overcompensated because working full-time came first. Hence, mom gained materially but lacked proper nurturing such as the time when adamantly told to never return home with kids in tow with no husband but never explained what, how and why that was important.

Grant it, the desire of most parents is for their offspring to marry before having kids, however, the communication of these critical messages is more effective with explanations instead of demands so to teach healthy discussions instead of negative reactions. Just imagine how the curious mind of a teenager processes what not to do instead of what because of feared energy. We’ve all been there when asked not to do this or that but still questioning why not. If parents could only be mindful about how “the hurried pace of today’s society can be an obstacle to effective discipline” we’d invite more personalized ways of parenting for the betterment of child development for our family.

Now think of questions that are never asked of a daughter, or a child, to their mother because fright exist. When this happens the learn to understand or the ask to become empowered is suppressed unless there is an invite to share personal thoughts in a safe place. Hence, our homes must be that safe-haven, the place where intimate thoughts can be exchanged in a healthy way that promotes awareness, careful deliverance, love and affection  so that conversations with our kids aren’t viewed as directives but rather advice about how to handle certain situations.

Parenting from a place of fear delivers fear. Loving from a place of hurt delivers hurt. And communicating from a place of anger results in one’s inability to handle discourse in a positive way because rarely does anything happen from a place of hurt or harm, unless there is healing. Explained a different way means if a hurt person wants to truly bless another without constraint s/he will give, but with reservation because subconsciously and hesitantly, their instincts about what negatively affected them has a more lasting impact than any positive incident.

Parenting from Distance_HotSpringsLake

Need more convincing? Take a moment to think about a personal situation that impacted you so greatly that you now flinch at the sight of either seeing, smelling or talking about it. It could be anything from witnessing a robbery gone bad or the attack on the World Trade Center. Okay, now think about the person you were before these events occurred! My point exactly. Unquestionably, your disposition before these events are altered by the negative-emotional load you now carry today. Hence, the robbery, albeit, or the 911 attack is forever sketched as a recall about how to prevent or react should anything similarly revisit.

Lone_BlackGirl_LayingonMelon.jpgHence, there is a lesson to be learned about styles of parenting. Parents will either take on the same patterns of how we were parented, or we will unlearn to relearn other techniques for a different outcome. Nonetheless, my mission is to better know the little girl given to me before she was labeled mom so that shared fears of the little girl who lives in me sees her as a friend who desires to be understood, loved and embraced as the imperfect person who did the best she could to parent with the deposits of maternal love passed forward, despite its monetary value.

Black Women Need Their Mothers More Than Realized!  – Sunshine

No Favorite Person, Just Selected Conversations

A life of age-appropriate events ended way too early for me. When I parent my daughter, while reflecting on my own life, I realize the things once shared with me when I was her age are way too mature for her to process in her tween years. But then I realize questions she asks are warranted to validate certain behaviors about why me and her grandmother aren’t as close as she and I. It’s one of the hardest things I do as a parent, aside from explaining what good can become of severed affairs like the one between me and her father.

Glamour_MommyButterfly

If, in my younger years, I had a glimpse of how my future looked without an involved father I would have made a conscious effort to communicate my misgivings to mom about their divorce in hopes of some change. I further wish the time I spent keeping silent and finding support elsewhere was instead spent with my dad, sharing my most fearful thoughts about when I grew too close to men without suitable preparation. I regularly tell my tween that students learn from teachers they connect with. The same is also true about customers who buy from salespeople they like.

Likewise, you wouldn’t talk negative about your work to your boss and risk being fired, but rather speak with your close friend who can help you manage your emotions on the job. Hence, children and adults aren’t any different! My most intimate thoughts, as a child and now as an adult, are shared with people I trust[ed] with my emotions. I’d like to think I am not alone in this belief. Yet there are potential disturbances when you are closer to one parent than the other, particularly when your parents have moved on with their separate lives.

I’ve heard and am witness to the pathological cycle you can become a part of if old baggage isn’t handled in a timely manner. I am further convinced there is delicate balance I must keep between both parents, limiting my conversations with each about what the other one is doing. This is currently being practiced between me and my father but the to-do list is partly unaddressed with mother who is beginning to understand. So, what does this reveal, if anything? I don’t pretend to know, but I suspect the answers are more than surface deep. Breakups are handled differently between men and women, chiefly if there is no closure after a breakup.

An article I read the other day asserts that sex is 90% emotional and 10% physical for women. If accurate, this finding tells us two main things about females, i.e. we feel mostly everything, and we are overly troubled and mainly unhappy if we cannot fully express our senses with transparency to our mate. Therefore, if an emotional seed is interrupted and complete closure is never received, we can grow uneasy, overwhelmed and inundated about how to handle our anxieties, which could thereby lead to frustration or resentment, at worst.

Intimacy

I know this mindset all too well because when my emotions were mishandled at a young age I later grew guarded and defensive towards males. Consequently, my inability to cope with hardships led to many years of angst and regrets that continues to affect me and my loved ones today. It’s called “Sharing My Personal Scar!” I regularly reference “Sharing My Personal Scar” because the voice to the story saved me from self-hate, self-infliction, self-judgment and psychological warfare. Moreover, the negative energy and shame I once harbored are no longer because I realize my teen mind was manipulated by careless-adult men with a single agenda. However, going forward I am willing to love, give love and receive it when the occasion is mutual.

Now entering this ‘single-woman journey,’ I give more credence to whom I share my heart and mind. Questions like ‘has he earned an opportunity of total trust; does he understand the importance of contingencies; is his patience short-lived and the list continues?’ are important so that I may forecast my emotional investment. So in the context of No Favorite Person, Just Selected Conversations – the heart must feel safe for love to be expressed, exchanged and reciprocated. Otherwise the union or setting will resemble an exchange of thoughts for personal gain with an abrupt outcome.

Cold conversations

 

 

 

 

Hire ‘You’ as the Project.

We undervalue our worth as women! Why? It’s not because we don’t know our worth, which may be partly true, but it is largely attributed to the lack of knowledge we have about why men do what they do when they do it and how often. Worded another way, women are strategically sought after for our complementary traits, aside from any other quality. What does this mean and how does this look?

For men, our physique is a plus and our conversations are a bonus but neither carries more earnest than the power a man feels when he is with a confident women because exuded strength will transfer strength; hence, a man will not gravitate to a woman that he cannot draw power from. Conversely, a man who is unsure of himself will disclose his shortcomings through his sole actions, which usually occurs – depending on the severity of his wounds – during the friendship and this takes form in overzealous conducts, such as excessive calls (day in day out, all the time), inappropriate rants or worse, an advancement to becoming his lifelong partner minus the serious discussion about personal collaboration. Likewise, a man who yearns confidence will also gravitate to women who possess this belief.

Consequently, this seek to find pursuit is admirable when (and only when) there is reciprocity about forward steps of mutual encouragement because anything aside from interdependence could swiftly result in a flat-lined relationship before opportunities to learn about each other are exercised. Thus, a discussion about how to amiably sever ties should be incorporated because when the strength of a partner is challenged, there are one or two outcomes: one will revert to preservation for future self-care, thereby withdraw from mutual engagement or each will succumb to self-blame and depart the relationship scarred about the experience.

Be Optimistic

On July 25, 2019 I chose the former and reading an article today, titled “How to Recover From a Breakup the Healthy Way,” will further aid me on self care because the content is relevant to who I am and why I do what I do when I do it that I had to write about my takeaway. The author was not only intimate about her own experience, but I began to distinctly see the pathology in my personal life that has hindered my personal growth and thus fueled my stagnation as a person. Thus, my inabilities to overcome obstacles because of my own unawareness of inner-strength has always been challenged until now.

Therefore, I want to encourage each woman to reach within and nurture your inner-being because you owe it to yourself. I further challenge you to welcome silence in your everyday practice because a crowded, cluttered, chaotic environment can never fully thrive unless there is a gap between planning and action. And lastly, ask the question: Why is he so overzealous and aggressive in pursuing me? Is there a lack thereof on his part because and remember, there is rarely any added work to be done with completed projects.

Hence, I urge you to Hire ‘You’ as the Project. Dare to become whole again. Define your strength and take charge by reclaiming self.