Monday, July 31, 2017
For the past few weeks the desire to write and share is like sitting in a dentist's chair. I loath dentists. They are evil but necessary. Going to the dentist sends my anxiety into overdrive, and I have even broke out in tears in the middle of procedures. You see how difficult writing can be for me who struggles with clinical depressive and anxiety? Am I the only artist who gets an access denied reply when attempting to get in creative motion? Okay, it's just me. Am I the only one who struggles with depression and anxiety who has desires to do a million and one things, but push past the thinking gate? What we as artists face is not so much of a block, I prefer to call it a temporary moment of, access denied.
Our mental health is fashioned the same way. We want to do this or that, access denied. We need to clean and cook, access denied. We need to shower and spiff ourselves up, access denied. You see your children running a muck, access denied. Is that poor house plant in the corner on its last leaf? Access denied. Just getting out of bed is extreme, access denied with sirens and fireworks. If we get real, we all can relate and admit it, right? No matter how much desire you have, all of the red flags are popping up, ACCESS DENIED. So, you stay in your comfort zone behind closed doors. Even answering the phone is an act of congress. It's just me right?
What about having granted access to all that you need and desire? What does that look like for you? What about stepping out of your unfulfilling and imagined comfort zone by force? What about not cutting your arms or legs? What about not planning your suicide? What about not pulling your hair out by the roots or scratching until blood flows? Our emotional well being has many layers. The key is to allow the layers to be pulled back, to reveal the gift that's inside of you, to allow your gift to be revealed to all who desire to experience the access that you grant them to your authentic beauty.
My brothers and sisters, no matter what your gifts are, if you are not revealing them to the world, the world misses out on your authentic beauty. Be it writing, painting, dancing, or playing an instrument, all of these gifts and more are the catalyst to allowing others access to your greatness. These priceless gems of who you are is exactly what the world needs from you. Though we will experience rejection, we must reject the idea that we are not enough or needed. We must actively ignore the naysayers and embrace the one or two or even hundreds who say yes to us and embrace us unconditionally. You must say yes to yourself because you deserve it. If you are surrounded by rejection, remove yourself, UNAPOLOGETICALLY.
You deserve all that God has just for you. God's word tells us that, "no weapons formed against you will prosper." The weapons will come, but if you fight, you will eventually win. So, brush yourself off, turn off the distractions and make your move. No matter how small your move is, each step forward moves you further away from where you dont belong and moves you closer to where you are required to be. Take action and let action fuel you.
I made my move forward and you are reading it. Access was granted.
Saturday, July 1, 2017
After a few work days of buses not showing up for their scheduled stops, me getting home close to 2 hours later than normal, and no good sleep I'm reminded still, how good God is. Even the periodic snaps of depression and anxiety haven't caused me to forget how good God is. The key is encouraging myself because all storms pass.
It amazes me to see so many people unaware of the true effects of mental illness. They tell you, get over it. They are the ones who have no debilitating physical or educational knowledge of the struggles. They don't understand the fight everyday to remain in a visual normal state of mind with tending to the tasks requiring your presence. They can't understand why you cry for no apparent reason. Unaware that some wish to lay down at any given time to sleep hoping to never awake again. Unaware that at any moment a fuse can blow in ones mind and all hell can be unleashed. Unaware that they may see beauty or bronze, while a depressive is seeing and feeling disgust, frustration, anger, and many more emotions because of the many triggers. Unare that someone is plannimg to end their life while smiling. Unaware that a depressive just placed cuts on their body to distract them from the chatter in your head. Oh no, they have no idea the magnitude that mental illness has on a soul shouting under water, unheard. Unaware that there is no such thing as, getting over it.
Since my diagnosis in April 2016, I realize my limits and I don't apologize for them. I know when, what, and how when it comes to me and my journey. Noone can tell me how I should feel. The sad thing is, I often times feel ousted, abandoned and socially inadequate. Though I know who the few are that remain a constant in my life, I see the fear in ones eyes due to the stigma. I see the concern in their eyes when I talk about my journey. I also see the shock as they seem to not want to believe that I struggle. Because I smile, laugh, and encourage others. The thing is, I have struggled long before a clinical diagnosis. I've struggled since a very young age, I just didn't know what it was at the time, so I pushed, stuffed, ignored, and move on in life until, there was no more room and the wall showed up smack dab in my face, clinical depression and anxiety.
I won't complain because I have learned many valuable lessons, and of them remains at the forefront of my awareness, the God I serve is always present and because of Him alone, I rise up and show up with my best for each day. I no longer jump on band wagons and trends to remain relevant or in touch. I've limited my intake of other people's chatter especially when it has nothing to do with me and my journey, especially when I absolutely see gnats and no fruit in their lives. I'm like yeah, I hear you, but do you know what God says? Boom, I slammed the door of my conscious and not allow doubt, fear, or another's doubt and fear to throw me off course. Don't get me wrong, I hear the conversation I just just don't co-sign the conversation. I do get overly concerned and frustrated mainly because I'm a thinker. I think about thinking and then I think some more. Let me think about that. Giggles.
My brothers and sisters, there is no perfect and absolute way of walking out your journey. There is no feel better quick scheme to push you to the other side of the dark cloud, but there are action steps to take each day to ensure that you don't remain stuck under that dark cloud. You just have to be hungry for peace and balance. Shine your own sunshine. Music and taking a walk helps me. Keeping the negative and duldrum at bay is powerful when you are in tune with who you are is one of many keys to peace and balance. Knowledge of your journey is very important, educating yourself will give you the tools to fight. After a year, I have become much better at keeping myself in check, and not complaining is my super power on this journey. So get up and show up for yourself and watch God show out on your behalf because you are loved and needed. You matter.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
5 am. I was sleeping and the Holy Spirit ushered me awake and this is the blog post that results from that obedience. I don't feel much love. I love me, God loves me, and I know few who love me, but what I give in my understanding of love, my cup is half empty. I'm not sad about it rather, I'm elated that if I can't have authentic and genuine love, I don't want the worthless alternative. I'm not talking about man meets woman and they fall in love kind of love. Im talking about a genuine and true compassion, a fulfilling type love. I'm talking about the encouragement and motivation type love. I'm taking about like minds marching towards a purpose type love, together. Is that even possible without selfishness and conditions? I don't see it. I'm talking about true and authentic love. Oh, many claim and start, but they seldom finish only to change tracks in the middle of the journey.
As the years pass, I now see people for who they only have their capacity to be. I dont always speak on it, but because of the inate awareness, I can see the jagged edges early on because I too was once a severely jagged edge. Torn and tattered. I have learned that what love is to one is not necessarily the same love for another. I have learned that loyalty for many is only contingent on what they can siphon for themselves, draining the other emotionally and taking the other for granted. My early years took on an exhilarated jaunt around love not truly knowing what love was until I listened and studied not just The Holy Scriptures, but material related to the art of love. Knowledge is powerful when used.
1 Corinthians chapter 13 sheds the largest beckon of light on what love IS and what it is NOT. It is the foundation and precursor to the arrival of Jesus Christ and his message; Love your neighbors as you would love yourself found in Matthew chapter 22. Oh how broken hearted Jesus would be, angry as when he flipped the sellers tables in the synagogue square seeing the lack of love. Seeing the hatred, selfishness and greed that is the normal of today. Seeing the high mindedness of the nations. Seeing many claim to love God, but have no love for their fellow man or woman regardles of how they desire to live. Seeing brokenness, homelessness, hunger, abuse, abandonment without one thought. Quick to reject, but failing to provide. Jesus however in spirit sees it all from the right hand seat of The GREAT I AM who also sees and know this, just as the names can be added to the Book of life so they can also be removed, blotted out.
What I have painfully experienced is that a person can be rejected and ignored due to differences without getting clarity and without listening to understand instead of listening to respond. Family is like toilet water flushed down the drain of separations to unknown degrees. Parents not understanding and respecting their children. Children ignoring and disrespecting their parents. No values, boundaries or limits. No accountability or accepting responsibility. Sex is the motivator and destroyer for those unaware of their value. None of this is secret as Timothy so eloquently warned in 2 TImothy chapter 3. I thank my big sister Vernice for sharing this valuable scripture with me when I was around 17. I didn't know it then, but she laid the foundation for what became a powerful lens into human kind and the warning God provided so many centuries ago. It has come to pass.
My brothers and sisters, I don't know who these words are for, but I sense the urging to share that this selfish type of love and living must end and we must, one man and one woman at a time, get back to true love. Love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We must position ourselves for that which will last and not the earthly that will desintergrate and moths will eat, knowing that we take nothing with us with that last exhale. I encourage you to read Matthew chapter 20. Evaluate what should be important and take action immediately as we know tomorrow is not promised.
Know this, the blessings and curses of God are both sure.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
There are so many things to be grateful for. The skies in blues and sometimes grays, the oceans and it's unpredictable movement. The glistening of dew drops on green grass in the early mornings. The smile in a childs eyes unaware of life. Yes, gratefulness is all around us, if we look for it.
Colossians 2:7 - "Having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were inatructed, and overflowing with gratitude."
I couldnt let another day go by without saying "Thank You" to each of you who have taken the time to visit, read, share, and comment on The Unique View. This blog is therapy for me as I use it to one, share what God placed on my heart, to give a glimpse into my world as I experience and view it, and to encourage those who may feel alone , lost, and invisible, because I have felt that way too. Until one day, the light from the Lord poured down on me and exposed the gift of what you now have in the blessing to partake, The Unique View.
Each and everyone one of us has a gift, and to sit on and hide that gift is a disservice to the many souls who need to experience our gift, that glimmer of light. The soul is not awake until the gift that is in each of us is released to brighten a day, usher in a giggle, or to summon many tears. The soul is on pause until we realize and release that gift. Are you holding your gift? Set it free because it is not for you to keep.
My brothers and sisters, be humble and not proud or concetted. Do not brag or boast. Dont complain and grumble, but REJOICE. Since I have relocated to Miami, Florida, I am in full throttle mode. I've had some sputtering moments, but I'm excited to see all of the blessings that God has just for me, and to be able to use those gifts to not only encourage myself, but you too. I am learning a new way of freedom, and most importantly, I am renewing my mind to think a new thing and have new thoughts.
Get on up and go look in your mirror. Take a long deep look into your own eyes and say, I AM worthy, I AM loved, I CAN do all things through Christ which gives me strength.. Because you are and you CAN. Know this, trials will come. Storms will blow. You will feel like checking out and giving up on your gifts. Don't do it. God is right there with you and He is expecting you to show up so that He can show out. No matter what, show up.
Friday, May 12, 2017
It amazes me to listen to people talk about the negative more than the positive of life. I mean really, is their concept of life and living so clouded by adversity that they can not see anything positive? Has life for them been so dark that anything resembling light is foreign? The state of the people saddens me and it should sadden you too.
I find myself not wanting to talk nor listen. My spirit gets jaded when I hear so much talk about how this or that is wrong, how he or she did so and so. It's like there is nothing in the world, around the world to discuss other than addressing every negative aspect of living. Don't get me wrong, we should address them, but while doing so let's come up with solutions. Oh wait, that's work, hard work so no, solutions is not in their discussion.
Negative participation escalates depression and anxiety. Constantly focusing on, and addressing the negatives increases anger, heart break, and most of all anxiousness and feelings of suicide, cutting or other self harm, harm of others and so on. Allowing constant negative vibes to enter into our spirit serves no real purpose or solution. I understand for some, it is easy to see all these things, talk all these things, even participate in these negative activities. Everyday I tweek the negatives that show up in my thoughts, ideas, and conversation, this moves me closer to where I deserve to be. Peace. I try to catch myself when I start the negative rollercoaster. I slip up, but I check up. Choice. Self care. Self awareness.
I am a thinker, watcher, and processor of every thing I see and hear. I hear so much, at times I have to demand myself to shut up and not respond. Not that I don't have anything to say, but because I hear that small voice telling me, it's a waste of time and energy, and I have neither to waste. I have moments of anxiety that forces me to take flight, and for me that is going for a brisk and sweaty walk and a half run. I have moments when the dark cloud of depression seems to be persistent in it's attack on my psychi, but I'm aware of it and that opens the door of opportunity to either whine, complain, scream , cry, or attempt to destroy some breakable objects. I digress. I take charge because the God in me and His grace for me becomes more and more powerful the more I seek His face and eliminate the negatives and all that serves no purpose. I win because He won. Jesus won that victory on the cross. That's my POWER. That's my ROCK. Do you know Him? Start with the book of John, and get to know Him.
There comes a point where you must sit down and quiet your surroundings. Shut off the electronics and other distractions and go within yourself. Listen to your heart beat. Center yourself and make adjustments. Many will not allow for silence, watching nonsense on television, reading and scrolling social media, entertaining meaningless conversations. All of this and them some are counterproductive to peace of mind and spirit. Many will not research, study, and use the positive tools availabe to heal and grow. Ignorance really is not bliss. Time wasters. Energy zappers. No real purpose at all. In order to see anything change, it starts with one. You. Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Are you so out of touch with yourself that you have lied to yourself, and you believe your lie? You have it in you to rise above, one action step at a time with consistency and determination. You got it.
My brothers and sisters , there is work to do. You are needed up front and center. You have a story that's needed. You have gifts that's needed . Don't get stuck in the idea that it's all about you, that narcissist mentality. Noone owes you anything, but you do owe it to yourself to be the best that you can be without apology or approval. Take the class and do the work. Clean your house; your mental house, your emotional house, your financial house, one floor, one closet at a time. Renovate you. Implementation is key. As one of my Facebook Queens, Toy Parker says, ignight your life. You have it in you. I know I do.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Over a week ago, I was sitting in a waiting room waiting for my sister friend who had an appointment, I was going over in my mind how far I have come by the grace of a good God. Though I read several books at a time, one book has my full attention, The Motivation Manifesto by, Brendon Burchard and let me tell you, this book gripped my face with full palm at the first page and chapter. I feel free to move unencumbered. Free in mind, body, and spirit. Free inspite of Clinical Depression and Anxiety, inspite of Cervial Spinal Stynosis, inspite of Osteoporosis and Degenerative Disc Disease trapessing through my bones. Oh yes, I'm free because I choose to see God's healing instead of human despair. Change was the catalyst.
Making any change can be paralyzing to many, especially to those who struggle with Depression and Anxiety, fear, uncertainty, and laziness. Every step forward is coupled with numerous fears. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, abandonment, and fear of success. Fear for a depressive is no laughing matter, but for a great portion of the human race, it is also the catalyst for change. They are doing "it"afraid. They are doing "it" with transparency. They are not making excuses, but rather they are grabbing at solutions to be unencumbered. Is this You? Are you living the life Jesus Christ died for, for you? Abundance, fulfilled, loving, generous? Or are you allowing the enemy to do it's job; to kill, to steal, and destroy, YOU?
Since my move from Tacoma, Washington to Miami, Florida, I can't tell you that I have not struggled. I can't tell you that a depressive episode has not covered my head or creeped up from my toes and lodged in my throat. I also can't tell you that my struggle is over. What I can tell you is that due to my move, I'm lighter in spirit. I'm no longer in an environment that ushers in depression. Beings that Washington State is one of the state's with a high rate of suicide, I'm grateful that I'm still present, breathing, and moving forward. Moving forward. MOVING FORWARD. Im encouraged to know that I serve a MIGHTY, AWESOME, AND OUTSTANDING GOD, Who has a rule book of love, comfort, and strength that I can glean from and use in my walk on this dark earth with its dark people and circumstances.
Some of us need help in finding balance with depression and anxiety and many of us refuse to take action because it takes determination, it takes a process of elimination, tenacity, and drive. Many rather sucomb to the effects of mental illness, whine and cry, and seek attention with the pitty party and woe-is-me mantra. Now, I'm not saying that the effects of depression are not real, they are very real, and the severity is different for each man, woman, and child. What I will say is; we do not have to lay down in defeat. There are to many resources, to many people who want to help you get to your destination, and that is the destination of balance, peace, and authenticity. A better you. Do you want it? How bad do you want it?
Here is something from the pages of, The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Bruchard, "A small percentage of the public does not have the faculties of a healthy mind; clinical mood and mental disorders can prevent people from consciously directing their own thoughts and feelings on a consistent basis. Therapy and medication can help in such cases, and should be sought. We must not discount the challenges faced by those with real disorders and biological issues that prevent their progress in life."
My brothers and sisters, our stories and journies are not the same, each of us are individuals with individual scripts. The words we speak, the actions we take, the people we accociate with, the places we go all affect our healing. There is so much that we will need to remove ourselves from when it comes to our healing and balance. There is also more that we will need to add to our lives for our healing and balance. NegatIve or positive. The process will be painful yet joyous. My question to you is, what's more painful being in the dark pit of nothingness or living unencumbered, free, and alive? You are the only one who can make the decision.
I highly recommend that you get your copy of The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard at http://brendon.com under books.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
One year ago, today, is a day that I don’t want to forget. I will be forever reminded of just how fragile we are as human beings. Our minds and bodies were not meant to take on all that we often allow causing us to spiral out of control and unknowingly crash and burn. It’s when we feel the flames of life that we realize we are burning. The embers sizzle, crackle, and disintegrate into ashes of crushed emotions. Mental illness is the ember that burns for so many. I don’t want to forget because that is the day the Lord had my full attention. That is that day that I became new and full. That is the day I realized that the masking of pain shattered. For that day, I am grateful and humbled.
On April 6, 2016, I crashed and burned. The heat of life started at my feet and rose into the pit of my stomach dragging my mind down into the form of Clinical Depression and Anxiety. Throughout the following year, I took medication, attended counseling, and made drastic changes. I immersed myself into material to gain knowledge of what and how to walk in what many call the, new normal. What is normal about being emotionally devastated and mentally exhausted? In vain I searched for an outlet, a drastic change is what I desired. God had other plans. God in His infinite wisdom kept nudging me, prompting me, sending messages, until one day, I heard Him loud and clear, "be still and know that I am God." The Holy Spirit remained the “present help” at every turn I tried to make and every thought I tried to think warning me, that’s not it. I couldn’t catch any air, I couldn’t think, I didn’t want to speak. I smiled to hide the brokenness inside of me. I shut myself off from living as best as I could, still had to go to work and grocery shop. I didn’t want to leave my house or answer the phone. There were days a shower and toothbrush were the enemy. I couldn’t write let alone read. My bed was my closest friend.
Crashed and burned. I cried, I screamed, and I shouted. Then the process began, God’s process of peeling back the layers of what I held onto. He peeled and peeled. I cried and I shouted. After a few months of medication, counseling, and serious soul searching, I heard Him. I seeked Gods face in everything and God sought me in my dreams. In these dreams, I received the message of Jeremiah 29:11 that says, “For I know the plans I have for you, “says the Lord.” They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. I started moving furniture, cleaned out closets and drawers. I organized and planned and planned and organized. I prayed and prayed. After listening to Pastor John Gray and his sermon called, Dominion, something got into me, or should I say, Someone got into me. I listened to this 4 CD sermon so many times, back to back. I took notes and I read those notes every day.
What I gained from this journey is that I must surrender it ALL to Him or this life will take me out. I had to give ALL my cares to Him. I had conditioned my mind and heart to just deal with it and move on. I had conditioned myself to not feel the pain of loss, abandonment, anger, and the lack of trust. I trusted no one to stay, to be honest, to be authentic, or to care. I didn’t trust myself to trust. I stuffed every experience into a black hole and God used that black hole to show me that we are to trust Him and Him alone. With everything else it is a roll of dice and we must take that roll at face value. Everything has a cost attached to it. Our choices, cost. Our lack of attention, cost. Our words and our actions, cost. We bankrupt ourselves just by refusing to acknowledge and accept responsibility. We bankrupt ourselves by living outside of God’s means for our lives.
My brothers and sisters, today is April 6, 2017 and after all that I have fully experienced and learned in the past year, I have moved from Tacoma, Washington to Miami, Florida. I am listening to my Heavenly Father and trusting myself again. Though the storms in my life are not over, I am praising through them and living again in balance and total surrender. I am trusting God do just what He said He will do and I'm standing on Jeremiah 29:11. If you are reading this blog and you are struggling know this, all of us have a history and because of our history, we must stand firm and fight. We must not hide our scars and we surely cannot ignore the flaws. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to hide. For generations, we have been taught to “suck it up” well hear me, speak up for your healing. Speak out for yourself and those who have lost their voices. I know many who will not share their story out of fear, there is no fear in God. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not defective. You are not a mistake. You are however, a child of the Most-High God and you were created in His image for a purpose.
Take the steps to become healthy and whole. Let God peel those dark and musty layers off of you to reveal the beautiful and magnificent blessing that you are. If you don’t change something, nothing will change and it will be no one’s fault but yours. You hold the key and God has the power to do abundantly above all that you can ever imagine. So, with that, bounce back one step at a time towards who you were created to be. Authentically and outstandingly amazing.