The Thing About Fairness and Enduring

The Thing About Fairness and Enduring

“If you expect the world to be fair with you because you are fair, you’re fooling yourself. That’s like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat him.” – Paulo Coelho

I’ve been thinking about this quote for a while now. So many conversations are leading me to discussions about what we endure or are choosing to no longer endure.

I wrote that quote out during one particular discussion regarding the reasons why women stick things out. This is an overarching topic and I’m not just speaking about relationships.

Read More

Un-Stitching: Growing and Healing

Un-Stitching: Growing and Healing

I'm 3 months into my year. From the outside looking in, not much has changed. But on the inside, there is an almost daily shift that happens.

This has felt like sacred time. For introspection, for earnings, for truly becoming aligned with the highest and best version of myself. Sounds frou frou, right? I still cuss so, there's that.

I've been most thankful for the times I'm going about my business and a certain thought strikes me that leads me to a whole revelation about a person or situation that I hadn't previously thought of. 

Read More

How To Get Organized During the Holidays

How To Get Organized During the Holidays

So, I just sat there nodding my head and smiling til I felt like a crazy person because Rachel was speaking to my soul.

I stalk follow her on Instagram and have yet to find something that doesn't speak to my organizing heart.

During our #TalkEarly Summit last year, Rachel talked about how our lives aren't curated. As influencers especially, we feel the need to keep the clutter out of our images and only show you the perfection that surrounds us. Want to see what currently surrounds me?

Read More

Working Through the Emotions of Losing And Learning

Working Through the Emotions of Losing And Learning

The day after election day. I was up past 3 a.m. I left the safety of my war room after midnight for the reality of exit polls and concession speeches. I've been seeing a lot of discussions about percentages of people voting. About who voted how. Breakdowns regarding race and gender sliced and diced to serve up with a large side of anger and hurt.

Throughout the next days, weeks and months, I think we have to take a hard look within our own communities to acknowledge some facts, dig into the figures and get a game plan together for this future that we so desperately need.

Read More

Single Parenting With a Chronic Illness

Butterflies-In-Hands.jpg

(this is part of the Soulful Sunday series)

This past week I've had a few aha moments. As I woke up on a Saturday, I had to do some extra running around in order to make things work, and I started writing this list in my head.

Of course, as the day went on and my endo belly made its appearance, the list grew.

I have been told I am not a single mother because baby girl's dad is in her life. I've been told that I am better off than most people because my brother lives with me. I've been told a lot of things by a lot of people that fail to understand and honor my reality.

And, while I still don't think it's everyone's business to know the intricacies of relationships, juggling, compromises and let downs, I think I owe other single moms (and especially single moms with chronic illness) this little list.

And let me say that the list isn't mutually exclusive. I know mamis that don't have chronic illnesses that deal with some of this. But, because I am a single mami and I do live with a chronic illness, there are days of strong intersections between the two. Sometimes, out of necessity, one informs the other.

What it means to be a single mami with a chronic illness:

  1. It means you spend a lot of time at home. More than you'd like and you battle the guilt of your child being indoors more often than the general recommended times.
  2. It's staying up into the wee hours, doing laundry and packing a bag full of clothes for a trip she will not take while also packing yourself up after dropping her off at school in the morning for a trip you must go on.
  3. It's finding out that all the plans for that trip suddenly changed with one forgotten calendar item discovered while you're in the air.
  4. It means missing meetings that you'd like to attend because you don't have your mom (or any other family member) by your side to perform the essential "watching" required for a slice of carefree parenting when you have things to do or things you like to do come up.
  5. It's never having a choice about holding it down but people acting like you do.
  6. Chronic illness means finding and making up new games to keep your child laughing and happy when your pain level is at a steady 7-8.
  7. It means having people look at you, your smiling face, your happy child, and proclaiming that all must be right with your world as you struggle with the reality that a second child is further away than a first child ever was.
  8. It's people telling you that you are lucky because "at least you have her." As if the prayers of gratitude don't play in your head for the better part of each day.
  9. It's people thinking that because the dad is involved, your day-to-day life is easier but having no clue about what the fuck your day looks like.
  10. It's your child learning to make her own breakfast when you have a 2-week bout with pain and no one you can turn over to in bed to ask if they can take care of it.
  11. Single parenting means smiling when people stop and tell you about the beautiful co-parenting relationship you have simply because they read Facebook posts and don't have access to your text messages.
  12. It means always fielding questions from your child that you cannot answer while promising her that you'll always tell her the truth.
  13. Chronic illness means backing out of commitments because you did too much the day before even though you push yourself for one good hour or two in order to still bring some normalcy and fun to your child's life.
  14. It's means people with skin in the game saying they are there to help but still showing how their values system contradicts their words. Over and over again.

There are many more. And let me say that one does not discount the other and as a whole, none take away from the life full of gratitude that I live and the blessings that abound.

I'm so mindful of my blessings. I not only try my best to talk about those blessings but, to do right by them. To make sure that I am putting my money where my words are, where my intent is, where my actions live.

I have good days and bad, like everyone else. And I am grateful for them all.

Good day, friends.

How to Process Boundaries, Toxicity and Actions For a Better Life

jacky-watt-781657-unsplash.jpg

I've recently headed back to therapy. Processing being disconnected from my father and the continual pushback experienced from family members that don't really have my best interest at heart but rather, they're own need to justify the trauma they experienced. Among other things.

Over the last few years, I've continually shed fucks in a manner not dissimilar from a long haired cat shedding hair, consistently and without a care in the world.

This has led to a deeper understanding of boundaries. How they are NOT a negative (this is what narcissists that want to continue leeching all that you contain within your spirit will tell you) and how they have to be continually reinforced.

One of the simplest things my therapist says to me while I'm working out the shenanigans in my life is "that's not their values system" as a starting point of discussion when faced with something someone else is doing. It is amazing how much that phrase puts into perspective. And how much it takes off of me. Guilt, hurt, anger, questions.

[Tweet "I have learned that there's more than measuring someone by just their actions."]

People sit on a different wavelength than you. Even when they tell you they're right beside you. That wavelength is informed by the way their own stories have been woven together as they made their way through life and whatever generational trauma was handed down along with the hair color gene.

I have learned that there's more than measuring someone by just their actions. We say that a lot: actions speak louder than words.

But here's the kicker: they don't. A great deal of times, those words are also reinforcing the action. But you have to look and really hear what someone says. At face value it might mean one thing but, once you analyze the pattern of words and actions and how they affect your life, you will see exactly what they mean.

Sometimes, that package adds up to:

  • I want you to do the work.
  • My time is more important.
  • I won't change my priorities even though they don't align with what I say I'm doing/want in my life.
  • I'm not interested in what you have going on so long as I get what I need.

Those sound a bit harsh, right? They never sound like that, I promise. It might look something like, though:

  • Your friend constantly calling and only talking about her problems and when it's your turn to vent, telling you that she has to go or reminding you of how much worse her life us.
  • A loved one telling you about all the issues they have going on, you helping them with all that emotional labor only to find, weeks later, that the person has taken zero action and is back to complaining and telling the world they don't know what to do because sympathy feels better than facing our demons.
  • Your spouse waiting on you to get back from a business trip to go grocery shopping because he didn't think the kids wanted to go (like you ever have this choice).
  • You having to have your space and time invaded on a Wednesday night because your partner was handed last minute tickets that he just "couldn't pass up" on the day that you'd agreed would be your mental health day.

As women, we are raised with the idea that we have autonomy and choice but rarely, especially as mothers, do we actually feel like we have those things. They are not given to us but we must take them.

It's generational, it's cultural. But whatever it is, it needs to stop. Because it is also toxic and harmful.

I fucking refuse to hand this down to my child!

It has taken me the better part of 40 years to get to a space where I am not afraid that what I say will lead to harm. That my actions won't lead to pain. And let me say that I rarely, if ever, felt like the harm would be physical. I'm talking about the psychological and emotional harm that so many of us wear like second skins without really grasping they are there.

[Tweet "I refuse to let a different value system diminish my own."]

I refuse to let a different value system diminish my own. I refuse to take down my boundaries out of fear of repercussion or emotional abuse, I absolutely refuse to let anyone else step into my space and prioritize themselves over anything that is meaningful and purposeful to me.

And in those refusals, I have found peace. I have found renewed and ever growing faith. I have found air for my lungs and light for my eyes.

Go into your week being clear about your values system and understanding that a difference in others means you have to operate from a different standpoint, not compromise your beliefs system or your situational comfort.

I'm wishing you light for this week, my loves.