Tag: Self

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

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

 

 

 

 

Cuts and Bruises (Covert Injury)

Written as a Facebook Note, June 6, 2013.

I heard her once say that she could not afford to leave because it felt so right. And then I begged the question “What is so right” about a situation already gone wrong? She explained ..

I have a place to stay. I don’t want for anything. I receive personal appeasements on a regular. Our arguments are few and far between. He treats me great at times, although I am one of many others. We’ve dated for quite a while, so starting over may be difficult. I am completely in love, and he knows this.”

Image result for tolerance of disrespect

My response: “My friend, you have a lot going on. Although I am not one to give advice, I will say that we all have a threshold of tolerance. And until you meet that intuitive feeling that tells you ‘You cannot continue on the path of self-unworthiness, poor-self esteem, and self-blame,’ you will continue to get what you have always received (and rightly so) – nothing.”

 

Oh. How I wonder.

Written as a Facebook Note, March 8, 2012.

Each time I see her, the picture is the same.

I am told all the time to look in a different direction, but nothing changes.

Sometimes I see grey, black, brown, and clear, but never anything worth staring at.

cropped-upclose_sisterlocs.jpgOccasionally the surface is rocky, leveled, paved, and sometimes shallow.

The echo in my head keeps telling me that the glass will always be half empty.

However, I remember what my mother tells me repeatedly – your posture tells the story.

Yet, each time I change my posture, I revert back to my ole ways.

I begin to reflect on how time is clicking away, and I cannot seem to reflect on what I just accomplished.

My lack of concentration is due to overwhelming distractions and the hastily interference that is abrupt.

Anything to steer my focus away from what I could have accomplished some time ago.

But something keeps bringing me back to full circle.

Uh oh, I hear the echo in my head again.

But it is not until I trip that I begin to realize that things are clearer if I ONLY hold my head up.

Signed – the Inner Self,

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