Your turn. Art & Beauty of Vulnerability

If you have not heard of Dr. Brené Brown, let this be a formal introduction to her work.

This article is about how our ‘messy flesh’ is worthy of embracing. If you have followed my previous posts, there is one specifically that hits a home run with vulnerability where I aired all of my personal laundry for public consumption, realizing that how I may be viewed and perceived by others could completely change the way you see me today thereby altering the relationships I have with each person who perceives me as having it altogether. Writing that single post was my complete moment of vulnerability because after its release I felt free of bondage and that dark cloud of 30 years was lifted.

As I wrote about that painstaking article, titled Sharing my Personal Scar, God held my hand through every keystroke, wiped my tears through each memory, whispered in my ear that all would be okay and shook me back to reality, assuring me that He forgives me regardless. I had to write about my younger years to release myself from the hurt and pain that I held for way too long – so long that I was threatened by a few who would go public about my intimate experience. Hence, I was fearful not so much that the story would be narrated by another, but more so because I knew of its accuracy of events and the emotions were mine to release – no one else’s.

Image result for act of vulnerability, brene brownSo back to Dr. Brené Brown, who is a scholar, researcher, author, public speaker and eloquent researcher of story-telling, among many titles – the core of her principles are hinted at letting go of what may hold us back so that we can ultimately be loved and accepted for who we really are and can be, beyond our masked self. So what does that mean? Let me put this in context. In my younger years I so wanted to be accepted by others that I would go along to get along because I feared that I would lose friends if I didn’t conform. Candidly, complying to fit in was not the issue at all nor did anyone demand as such; yet, in hindsight, I was reserved to reveal my true self: flawed, oddly different, insecure, immature, inexperienced and the list continues that hanging with friends who were anything but would exclude me from the crowd.

Conversely, it’s been nearly 11 months now since I published that article and today I couldn’t be happier in my skin because all of my skeletons are out in the open for anyone to see. My message? If I, who was undeserving of forgiveness (i.e. a thought I convinced myself of for many years), yet asked God and finally forgave myself and was thus forgiven – Why not you? Why are you incapable of not only forgiving yourself, but the flaws of others?

Do you really know what being vulnerable requires? Do you believe you can feel liberated from the flawed self that no one else knows about, aside from you – if you only, if you really understood and trust that it is your ability to profess your mistakes, admit your transgressions and realize your misgivings, then (and only then) you have fully exercised the art of vulnerability! Make the commitment today and don’t be reluctant to seek assistance along the way. I sought professional counsel and still ask for guidance from those who believe in me, despite. So it is now your turn.

I am forgiven because of HIM, My God!

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It is His Grace. Be Present, Always!

Often God sees in us things and persons we don’t see in ourselves.

Flow Like a RiverI am sure you also know how HIS grace spares us from risky behaviors and grave decisions. Hence, it is HE who understands our thoughts, decisions and actions beforehand. Further, it is HE who also knows that what we want for ourselves may not be what he ultimately wants for us. I was explaining this message to a friend the other day who is adamant about decluttering her life, insomuch that things once appreciated and loved about her career and life have caused a spill-over detriment, thereby affecting her ability to become her whole self.

There is a belief that changing jobs or finding another employer may be the solution when, the real issue is with self and how and when we allow outside influences to interrupt our positive thoughts. Albeit there is so much control an employee has when working among and alongside others who are also struggling with similar concerns, however, I know and believe that God speaks to us individually. Therefore, in order to precisely hear and receive God’s message, we must be fully aware of our faults with the willingness to be changed.

I’ll use myself as an example. I am a four-year old Atlanta GA transplant who moved here in hopes of creating a new-blended family of my own. Intuitively my former partner and I both knew our relationship was tumultuous, yet our hearts spoke to the mind, changing all logical reasoning about why we couldn’t begin anew in a different location. Our haste to defy and refute the blessings God had for us, which was separate from one another, ultimately resulted in a rift that grew irreparable. Why and how so, I recently asked? We both disobeyed God’s instructions for our lives, i.e. living as married at a time when learning about each other from afar may have brought us closer together.

Hence, what I didn’t know then I wish I knew today, yet God ushered me forward with my desires to become the wife (metaphorically speaking) of our home without the honor. Hence, I wore my responsibilities, as did he, without God’s blessings upon our blended lives and today is actually where HE ultimately wanted us to be, separately living our lives on amiable terms. Conversely, today I am more in tune with the hows and whys of my emotions and I continue to seek counsel to better understand me and my needs because I still desire to become a great-committed friend to a future spouse.

So to my friend! Remain put in your current position. Take moments to reflect upon why God has you where you are today. Pray always and speak positive thoughts that will help dispel ambiguity and rid convoluted feelings that could ultimately consume you. Make conscience efforts to spend quality time with HIM, our Father. Exercise the art of patience and let your feelings flow like a river that streams in different directions without interruption so your foresight is clear and the path HE has for you may be received. Be Present Always!

 

Money does not buy happiness (or does it)

Written as a Facebook Note, June 21, 2012.

Does the adage ‘money does not buy happiness’ sound familiar?  Well, depending on who you ask the answer to this question could be yes or no.  Whatever the reason, money does create happiness that can be found in quality of living when you begin to look at different scenarios.

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Does your health insurance allow or limit you to see certain doctors?  Do you have the flexibility to take time off from work without fear of losing your paycheck?  Are you concerned with how you will pay your rent if your employer begins to lay off personnel?  What will happen if you, the breadwinner, becomes sick; who will pay the rent or car payments?  

Do you ‘pay’ yourself first before you pay your bills?  You may not understand the preceding question, yet it could be the difference between the rich and the poor.  Many years ago I remember being told to set money aside for hard times and to make sure 3 months of  monthly rent is saved up for a rainy day.  Today I wonder how many are told the same thing (rhetorical).  So if you believe ‘money does not buy happiness,’ think again because having money could be the difference between stress and peace of mind. 

Tip: people with money and wealth usually don’t talk about it; they volunteer, donate anonymously, travel, employ others, explore places and events, invest, are inquisitive about others, and the list continues.