Black and White Photo Challenge Day 1

I would like to thank the lovely Shreya Jindal for nominating me for this wonderful black and white photo challenge. I’ve been wanting to publish content everyday, so maybe this will give me the courage to do so.

Rules are:

  • Seven days
  • Seven black and white photos of your life
  • No people
  • No explanation
  • Challenge someone new each day.

I challenge Ana with Timeless Classics blog

Setting Goals

goals

Good day fellow bloggers!

Today, we are going to switch it up a bit. A few months ago, I was duped into spending $15 of our hard earned money on a program that stated it would help me set goals for a business that I am trying to start. After I generously paid, I received an email of questions that I feel wasn’t worth $15; no explanation, just questions. So, I want to share them with you for free.

I’ve changed the outline and wording of the original questions so they can’t sue me. 🙂

Setting Goals

Setting clear goals is an important part of the success of your business. The next set of questions should help you get really clear on the goals that you want to set. Set aside an hour of your time to truly immerse yourself in the task for maximum results.

Current Analysis

  1. Where is my business right now?
  2. What is my current income?
  3. What am I good at?
  4. What can I do better?
  5. Are there any additional skills that I may need to help my business work more efficiently?
  6. What additional resources, such as, courses, books, coaching, videos or audios, could help further my business agenda?
  7. Is there anything I cannot do?
  8. What do I need to gain more skills?
  9. What will all of this cost?

Future Planning

  1. What would you like for your income to be in 3 months? 12 months? 3 years?
  2. What would you like to spend the extra income on?
  3. How would your extra income make you feel?
  4. What would the extra income do for you and your family?
  5. How will you be able to increase your income?
    1. Sell more?
    2. New products?
    3. New services?

Personal and Family Goals

  1. Do you have balance in your life right now?
  2. Do you spend enough time with your family?
  3. Do you spend enough time with yourself?
  4. Are you able to set aside 15 minutes to yourself?
  5. What do you do to recharge yourself?

Summary

  1. What is your number one?
    1. Personal Goals
    2. Business Goals
  2. Take time to break down Personal Goals/Business Goals into 10 smaller steps
  3. How would achieving your goals make you feel?
  4. Sit for 5 minutes and visualize your emotions. Try to really feel how amazing it would feel to achieve all of your goals.

Thank you guys for reading my post today. Like I said, it is a bit different from my usual subjects, but I wanted to share with you what I have come across and learned. I have realized that you can use this list of questions for any goal you want to accomplish, not just starting a business.

I would like each and every one of you to have a great day! May God bless you in every way.

“There are times I am happy. There are times I am sad. But I always try to separate emotion from the need to reach for something stronger, deeper. And then no matter the emotion, I can reach for a stability that helps me accomplish what is the goal.” -Troy Polamalu

 

Blogger Recognition Award

I have been nominated for “Blogger Recognition” award by:

Thank you, both for nominating me for such a wonderful award. Thank you for reading my words and my thoughts. Most importantly, thank you for supporting my blog. It is people like the both of you that I encounter who continues to give me encouragement and strength during this time in my life. Friends, please check out their wonderful blogs by clicking the links above.

The rules of Blogger Recognition Award are:

1.Post the rules.

2.Use the Blogger Recognition Award badge on your page.

3.Tell us why you blog.

4.Give us two tips for new bloggers.

5.Nominate at least 4 new bloggers for this award and notify each of them of the nomination.

Why do I blog?

I blog for a few reasons:

  1. I love to write
  2. I want to share my trials and tribulations in hopes that someone in the WordPress can relate. I want to share my experiences so those who are struggling know that they are not alone.
  3. It helps lower my depression and anxiety symptoms
  4. It helps me feel productive on days that I am unable to do much of anything else.

Tips for new bloggers:

  1. Set realistic goals
  2. Do not compare yourself to other bloggers. Your journey is unique. You have your own path to follow.
  3. Be consistent

My nominations for the blogger recognition awards are:

ALL 231 of my followers. Every blog that I have come across are run by some pretty awesome people. I would like to nominate all of you guys. By the way, thank you to everyone who is following me. I really appreciate your support and inspirational messages and comments.

Thank you again to those who were kind enough to nominate me. There aren’t enough words in the English dictionary to describe my love and gratitude. Let’s all continue to support each other’s ventures, goals, and aspirations.

“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone.” -Reba McEntire

Mystery Blogger Award

Thank you to my dear friends, Ana at Timeless Classic Blog and Roy Shoumodip for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award. You already know how I feel about you guys! You are the sugar in my coffee, the ray in my sunshine, and the delicious cream filling in my twinkie. You both are awesome sauce on the most delicious burger ever created. Shout out to my soul sister and my Indian brother from another mother. Please click the links above to check out their blog content. I promise you will not be disappointed.

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“The Mystery Blogger Award is for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.”

Created by Okoto Enigma:

https://www.okotoenigmasblog.com/

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Nomination Rules:

– Put the award logo/image on your blog.

– List the rules.

– Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

– Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.

– Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

– Nominate 10 – 20 people.

– Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

– Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).

– Share a link to your best post(s).

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3 Things About Myself

  1. I have over 17 tattoos (approximately over 12 hours worth of art)
  2. My spirit animal is an Elephant
  3. I have roughly 23 brothers and sisters; 10 on my moms side and 13-14 on my dads side. (The Temptations specifically wrote “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” for my dad)

*****

Questions my nominator had for me:

Five Questions from Timeless Classics – Poetry by Ana Daksina – WordPress.com:

  1. What movie do you especially love, and why?Nightmare Before Christmas because it is a classic love story. The only romance movie that I will watch to be honest. LOL
  2. What is your favorite recreational activity? Yoga
  3. How do you feel about UFO’s? I feel like they do exist. I do not think that we are the only intelligent beings in the universe and NASA just pretty much confirmed it. So, I guess we’ll see if we’re about to go through “Independence Day: Trump Era”.
  4. Got a favorite quote or two you’d like to share? “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually fear that you will make one.” -Elbert Hubbard. This quote speaks volumes to me because, for a very long time, I was so afraid of making mistakes and failing. Until I realized through this quote that, being afraid of failing would be my biggest failure in itself. I realized I cannot allow fear to control my life.
  5. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? What is the what to the what of a who?? Ana, you’re wrong for this one. I can barely remember how many pints are in a gallon. LOL 🙂 This is how I know you’re my soul sister. Hahahaha!

Five Questions from The Floating Thoughts by ROY – thoughts of yours … – WordPress.com

  1. How do you choose a topic of your writings? I meditate on which topics I should write about. I have tons of ideas written down on sticky notes around my house, in all of my notebooks, and even in my phone. Since I only post on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, I spend the other days of the week meditating on which topics to choose. I usually get a strong feeling when I know which topic will be posted.
  2. Which is your favorite song that helps you to write? I love to listen to Chillstep mixes on YouTube. Songs with words distract me, so listening to instrumentals increases my concentration, creating the perfect environment.
  3. If given an option how will you live your life again until the age you are now? I don’t know if I would. Honestly, I know everything that I have faced in life is apart of a meaningful plan. I believe my life has gone exactly as it’s supposed to. All of my struggles will pay off someday and when that day comes, I know that it will all be worth it. Every tear, every moment of despair, will not have gone unnoticed.
  4. Write a letter in one sentence to the most crucial person in your life. (The person can be either who brought something good in your life or who left you broken) Husband, you are the light to every corner of darkness in my life. I love you beyond all of the stars and planets in the universe. You are truly my soulmate and I couldn’t think of anyone else to spend this life with. Thank you for loving me and taking care of me. Thank you for marrying me. Thank you for getting up at 2am for an emergency pancake run when I was having extreme cravings. I love you Superman big!
  5. What makes you happy? Pop lock and dropping. Hahaha. I’m being silly, but that does make me happy. That and the tootsie roll.

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Here are those NEW NOMINEES!

All of my followers! There are so many of you guys and I love you all. Please take this opportunity to use this platform to meet other bloggers like us. You will find support beyond belief. I was skeptical at first, but I’ve met so many wonderful people from all over the world. 

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If you decide to participate, here are my questions to you?

  1. Winter or Summer?
  2. Do you have a bucket list? If so, what is number 5?
  3. Do you think women should be obligated to shave their legs and underarms?
  4. What is your favorite Michael Jackson song?
  5. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

I hope all of you decide to participate. Although you don’t receive an actual metal statue made from gold, you’ll receive so much love and support from other bloggers. The support on this platform has been overwhelming. I wish the best for each and every person reading this right now. May God prosper your lives and answer every spoken and unspoken prayer.

Awesome Blogger Award

Hey Friends!

I am so overwhelmed by the love that I have been receiving since starting my blog. It seems that I am accomplishing my goals by inspiring other people who may be facing difficult times in their life. One lesson that I have learned during this process is that humanity is still thriving with compassion and love. I was beginning to give up hope, but I have met so many loving, supportive people who continue to encourage me to keep writing, especially on days that I do not feel well.

Roy Shoumodip has nominated me for the Awesome Blogger Award. Roy, you are so awesome and sweet. You are one of many that have inspired me to write material worthy of your reading time. Your love runs deep for humanity and I’m so proud of you and your blog. Thank you so much for your support and acknowledgment. It is this blogging community that continues to motivate me so I can continue to do what I know I was called to do.

So, I’m going to get on with the questions since I know that is your favorite part, Roy. 🙂

  1. What is the latest book you’re reading and are you enjoying it?

I am currently reading Goodbye Lupus by Brooke Goldner. It was suggested to me by Amy with Screaming Into My Pillow Blog. This was a wonderful suggestion because it is giving me wonderful ideas on how to manage my Lupus symptoms with diet and exercise.

  1. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Other?

I prefer Instagram because out of all (3) social media outlets, Instagram is less depressing. I follow a lot of inspirational pages so I am not meet with the cruel comments from trolls and people who just want to watch the world burn.

  1. What is your favorite word and why?

Frivolous because this is the only word that perfectly describes my way of life. LOL

  1. Dogs or Cats?

I prefer dogs, which is a surprise if you would have known me 15 years ago. I grew up in very poor neighborhoods where dogs were bred to fight. I’ve had quite a few run-ins with vicious dogs which turned into unreasonable fear. When I was 15 years old, but aunt and uncle owned an American bulldog mix. She was huge. I remember being so afraid. One day, my uncle told me that if I wanted to continue visiting him, I would have to get used to their dog. She was apart of the family after all. Slowly, but surely, I began to love her. She was such an amazing dog. Since then, I have educated myself on different breeds of dogs, aggressive and non-aggressive. Over time, I developed a true love for these animals.

  1. Is there any song that holds any special meaning to you?

Mariah Carey-You Will Always Be My Baby. I’m not sure why this song makes me so emotional every time I hear it. I think I have a buried memory attached to this song and I am unable to remember it. When I hear it, I am met with an overwhelming feeling of love and anxiety at the same time. Weird, huh?

  1. What do you feel strongly about?

I feel strongly about the salvation that God has for our people. I want people to realize that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light. I believe that if we demonstrated God’s love towards each other, humanity would be in a place of peace and harmony. I also feel strongly about medicinal marijuana being available for ALL who are struggling with mental and physical ailments. I feel marijuana treatment and therapy is better than opioids, which is plaguing our society and killing our youth.

  1. If you could grant one person in your life one wish, what would it be?

I would wish that my husband and children never experience pain. That they would be greeted with love and understanding from our cruel world.

  1. What is your favorite film?

I have so many favorite films, but if I had to pick one, then I will choose Nightmare Before Christmas. This film reminds me of the innocence that I lost so long ago.

  1. What is your favorite book?

My favorite is the Bible. Even if I weren’t a Christian, it is by far, the most interesting book ever written.

  1. Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?

No, I did not. I did not want to put that kind of pressure on myself. I want to become better this year, of course, but I vowed to take one day at a time. I feel resolutions are meant to make you feel bad about the accomplishments you didn’t achieve, instead of celebrating the accomplishments you did achieve.

Thank you again, Roy, for the wonderful nomination. I am supposed to nominate other bloggers but everyone is so wonderful. So, I nominate all of my followers and anyone else who is reading this. Continue to blog your heart out, friends! Never give up. Stay Blessed

“Follow your passion. Stay true to yourself. Never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path. By all means, you should follow that.” -Ellen Degeneres

She Must Be Crazy

I was seventeen years old when I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Depression. My doctor at the time prescribed Lexapro 20mg to get me started. We were supposed to discuss additional treatment during my next visit, but I never went back. I simply ignored my diagnosis. The first thought I had was, “I’m not crazy!” That was fifteen years ago. I was in denial because back then. I didn’t know what I know now, which is that mental illness is like any other illness. The longer it goes untreated, the sicker one becomes. It was hard hearing those words, “you have a mental illness.” Honestly, fifteen years after my diagnosis, it is still difficult for me to wrap my head around it.

After I was diagnosed, I did not tell anyone. I think some of my family members knew “something” was wrong, but they couldn’t put their finger on it. My mom would always say, “she must be crazy?” Referring to me of course. I didn’t want anyone to know at first because I didn’t believe it myself, but shortly after my first suicide attempt, I was forced to see the reality of my illness and sought help. Even then, I kept it a secret. This time, it was because I was ashamed and embarrassed. I felt like everyone would judge me and condemn me. I was more afraid of being judged then the illness itself. I distanced myself from my family and friends so I wouldn’t have to explain my odd behavior or my mood swings. I soon became a master manipulator and liar.

In 2014, shortly after my youngest son was born, I could no longer hide my illness from my family. It was becoming a burden I could longer bare by myself. It began to seep its way in every relationship I had in my life, including my children. I had to ask for help. At the time, my manic episodes were lasting for months and my family definitely noticed that something was wrong.

Luckily, my sister, mom, and brother were very supportive. They tried to understand my illness without judgment, only love, and support. This is where I learned that mental illness not only affects the host but the family members as well. I could see that my sister was struggling with my diagnosis, but she never allowed her ignorance of the disease to get in the way of our relationship. In a weird way, I think it brought us closer together.

My brother later told me that he suspected that I was struggling with a mental illness, but wasn’t sure how to approach me. I can understand why he felt resislent. Mental illness is a sore subject for a lot of people, especially in the black community. If you have a mental illness, you are treated like a leper. I can’t help but wonder if my life would have been different if I had shared my diagnosis sooner or if my brother had spoken to me about the symptoms that I was displaying.

Are you unsure if your loved one has a mental illness? Well, these are signs to look out for:

Appoaching your loved one about them possibly having a mental illness is hard. They may become defensive and angry. They may feel like you are calling them “crazy”. It can get ugly. There are a few things that you would need to understand before you proceed. Below are things to keep in mind when you decide to have that conversation.

  • Their journey of acceptance is their responsibility alone. You cannot force them to accept it. You cannot force them to agree with you. The only action you can take is planting the seed. Present your concern and allow them to disguist and accept. The journey to acceptance is a long one, so please be patient with them.
  • Be prepared. It’s going to take multiple conversations and attempts
  • When having a discussion, listen with a open heart without judgment.
  • Offer information only when they are willing to accept it
  • Set boundaries for your own well-beingKnow your limitations. This process is difficult for everyone involved. If you are unable to fully invest yourself, it is ok to walk away for a moment
    • Seek help, advice, and/or counseling.
    • Seek resources for families dealing with mental illness
  • Recognize that you are responsible for their happiness and health.
  • Ask them to “humor you” and go see a physician togetherWhile getting a wellness check up performed, you can also ask for the physician to do a mental evaluation as well.
    • You can tell them that the evaluation is to prove you wrong.
  • Do not trick them or lie to them. This will cause broken trust, thus making it even more difficult to convince your loved one of seeking help.
  • Voice your concern with compassion
  • Build trust and understanding
  • Your loved may continue to get angry when you make suggestions. The best action to take is to not get angry back. You want to try to stay calm so you can show them that you understand and want to help.
  • Listen to their concerns without judgement

The stigmas of mental illness can make it extremely difficult for one to accept their struggle, but you can help them through the process. I hope whoever is in your life that is struggling with a mental illness is able to get the help that they need and deserve. I pray for them that they have the courage to face what is ahead and know that they are NOT their mental illness.

“Don’t be ashamed of your story. It will inspire others.” -Unknown

When It Rains, It Pours

The past few days have been really difficult for me. Lupus is a cruel mystery. My days have been filled with doctors appointments and uncertainties. It’s discomforting to hear your health care provider say, “With Lupus, it can be anything.”

I’ve been experiencing severe chest pains. Coming from a healthcare background, I know that chest pain is something that you cannot dismiss. I called my Rheumatologist (Lupus doctor) about my symptoms. I waited one whole day to hear her nurse tell me that I need to go the emergency room. I’ve called this lady before about other symptoms and her answer is always, “go the emergency room.” I hate the emergency room. They charge you an arm and a leg to give me a prescription for Prednisone (which my rheumatologist could have done) and send me back home. The E.R. has been my home away from home for the past year and a half. So, I skipped the emergency room and went straight to my local urgent care. I figured they could do the same tests for a lower cost and less invasive procedures. I was quickly met with disappointment when they told me that my EKG is abnormal and that I need to do to the emergency room, anyway. I head to the emergency room only to be greeted by 40 people who are currently dealing with the flu epidemic and was told that my wait would be three hours or longer since there were only two doctors on staff. And that’s not even the tip of the iceberg.

Lupus is a cruel mystery because there is something wrong, but no one can tell me what it is. I continue to give away our hard earned funds to big pharma, hospitals, and private doctors offices without a guarantee that the medication would even help with my symptoms. Daily symptoms include:

  • Memory Loss/Confusion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Numbness is fingers and toes. They also turn white
  • Fatigue and unexplained fevers
  • Unexplained rashes
  • Unexplained hair loss (which isn’t that bad since I can convince my husband to buy me stylish bonnets and wigs)
  • Nausea/vomiting, unexplained abdominal pain
  • Hours of phone conversations with doctors and hospitals that eventually lead to questions and concerns being unanswered
  • Extreme muscle/joint pain and inflammation
  • Depression (but I kind of had this before my Lupus diagnosis, so I can blame Lupus? I will anyway)
  • Unexplained weight loss (I weighed 185 pounds in October 2016. Now I am currently 104 pounds)
  • NO eating chocolate (this is the cake topper, here)

My days and nights have been filled with thousands of tears streaming from my eyes. Worry has been plaguing me every minute of every day. What is wrong? How can we fix this? How can I become healthy again?

There are so many blogs, Instagram pages, and ads all telling me how to live a healthier life. The only thing that all of these resources have in common is their solutions cost money. If you ask my wallet, “what is money?”, it’ll ask you back, “what is money?” True story.

I thought about starting a GoFundMe page to help pay for medical expenses, but the thought of asking for money from strangers is uncomfortable for me. I feel like everyone is working hard for their money. Who am I to ask for it? Even if it is for a good cause. I want to believe that God will provide for me and my needs. I’m just so frustrated, sad, and angry. Frustrated because I’m dealing with an illness that healthcare professionals have no idea what it is. Sad because I feel like I’m letting down my family. Angry because I just want answers. I want to be better. I want to become the person that I was meant to be.

If you are a prayer warrior, please pray for me. Pray that God reveals his plans for me. Pray that I will be released from the prison of chronic illness and mental hell.

I came across this scripture that helped the tears stop flowing for a moment. That short time was a blessing because I don’t want to cry anymore. It gives me great comfort to know that my Lord is willing to take my burdens. I know I just have to be patient.

“Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30

Liebster Award Questions

Good day all!

About a week ago, three wonderful blogs nominated me for the 2017 Liebster Award. Please check them out when you get a chance. You won’t be disappointed.

  1. Faith Nyawira
  2. Shoumodip
  3. *Not Easily Broken*

It is my understanding that the contest is over, but I still want to show my appreciation for you guys thinking of me. I want to express my sincerest thanks for reading my thoughts and for being extremely supportive. Thank you so so much!

Now on to the questions:

13256779_1724953167761100_121963883_n*Not Easily Broken* Questions

  1. What is the propose of your blog? Selfishly, the purpose of my blog is to express my feelings. At first, I started it as a platform to sell soy wax candles that I make by hand. Then, it turned in to me expressing my struggles and discomfort. Now, I feel like the purpose of my blog is provide unprofessional therapy to millions of people who share the same struggles as myself. I want my struggle to have a purpose.
  2. How in touch are you with your surroundings? I am very in touch with my surroundings. Five years ago, I served in the US Army. You have no other choice than to learn how to be aware of your surroundings.
  3. What state you reside in?Good ole’ Misery (Missouri)
  4. What is your favorite season?Fall. The colors of leaves as they change is the beautiful example of how awesome our world is. It’s not too cold or too warm. The weather is always perfect. Plus, I was born during the fall.
  5. What movie is your all time favorite? Nightmare Before Christmas. I feel like it was one of the directors, Tim Burton, best projects, besides Batman. It’s a movie about daring to be different. It is the first movie I ever saw that inspired me to think outside of the box. Plus, the love story between Jack and Sally is epic. She knew he was headed for destruction, but she didn’t abandon him. She supported him, helped him, saved him, and in the end, she was his soulmate. A true love story.
  6. Which color is your favorite? Blue
  7. How often do you read books?On average 1 book a month
  8. Do you have children?Yes, 3! I was told when I was a teenager that I wouldn’t be able to have children. Now, 13 years later, I have 3 little people calling me mommy. Who would have thought?
  9. Are you left-handed or right-handed?Right!
  10. What are your life goals?There are so many, but to sum them all up, I would say that I want to help people. I want to help as many people as I possibly can before I leave this earth.

6wqvyeiShoumodip Questions

  1. What is writing to you? (Explain the value of writing in your life) Writing to me is like a cool breeze on a hot day, a baby’s laugh when you tickle their feet, the first time you ever saw most of the stars in the sky, and the first time you’ve made love, all wrapped into a tight bundle. Writing is the air I breathe and the flower pebbles that I touch. Writing is life.
  2. What one change you would like to bring about in this world if you have been given the power to do so? Free and legal marijuana for everybody. I would be like Oprah at the hospital, “You get a baggie, You get a baggie, Everybody gets a baggie!”
  3. Who is your favorite superhero and mention the qualities that you admire in that superhero character?Batman. As a great friend put it, he is a superhero without superhuman powers. Batman’s mission in life is to save people. Batman taught me lessons that my father should have.
  4. Have you crossed through the valleys of failures? If so then give a brief account of the experience and the learnings from it?I have crossed through the valley of many failures, but I would rather not explain what they were. I’m sure those demons will come up by themselves eventually and that is when I will blog about it.How would you help someone who falls prey to emotional outburst and feels like a failure tooneself?I would definitely tell them to talk to someone. Find a resource that you are able to express your feelings, openly and freely in a safe environment. There is no shame in seeking professional help as well. We all need an outlet.
  5. What genre of book you prefer to read? Name one of your favorites and explain why it is? My favorite genre of book is fantasy/sci-fi and crime. I am such a visual person and it’s easier for those kinds of books to keep my attention. One of my favorite is a book called Shattered Promises. The storyline was interesting. I love the dynamic of the book and what the author was saying through the characters.
  6. Name one of your hobbies that you have been passionate about (apart from writing) and why? I love to draw. It is a passion that I neglected. I realized that it is something I need to do versus an activity I choose to do.
  7. What makes you happy?Having a family. I never thought I would have wonderful kids and a wonderful husband. For so many years, I was convinced that I was unlovable, but then I was proven wrong. My family makes me happy beyond anything this world has to offer.How do you rate yourself in the emotional meter of 1 – 10?Narrate a story that gives a picture of how emotional you are. Ha! I rate myself at a 10. I’m so emotional. There are too many instances to type.
  8. What is the most favorite topic on which you can write blogs any day? Name the favorite blog post of yours.Honestly, I don’t blog about what I love to blog about. Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging about motivational and inspirational experiences, but I am more than that. I don’t want to say what I love to blog about. Maybe one day I’ll have the courage to share it with you.

screen-1Faith Nyawira Questions

1.Whats your favorite Book? The Bible. Even if I weren’t Christian, I would still love it. So many stories, twist, and turns. In my opinion, it is entertaining, inspirational, scary, dramatic, romantic, all wrapped into one book.

2.If you could change one thing in the world, what could it be?The availability of medicinal marijuana. It should be available to everyone for free. Then again, we’re paying for water, so….

3.Reading or Watching?I would have to say watching. I’m such a visual person.4.What is your favorite place in the world? In the arms of my husband. 

5.What is your philosophy in life? “YOU GOT THIS!”

6.Whats your definition of love? Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails. -1 Corinthians 13:4-8

7.Whats your hobby?I love to draw and write poetry.

8.What is your dream?I want to start a successful business that would feed my future generations to come.

9.Where do you see yourself in 5 years?I honestly don’t know.

10.Which country would you love to visit the most?Cape Verde. My husband is from there and from what I see on google, it looks like a place I would hang my hat for a while.

Again, thank you all so much. God Bless.

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. —Vince Lombardi

Blogging With Depression

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Since I could remember, writing has always been a liberating experience for me. It has gotten me away from the harsh realities of my current situation. Growing up wasn’t easy, but I see now that those experiences are guiding me to where I am supposed to be and who I am supposed to be. Without the joys of writing, I wouldn’t have made it out alive. As a small child without a voice, I was able to use my ability to transform characters into letters, letters into words, words into feelings, to give me the chance to dance, sing, and dream.

Depression has the ability to take away what you love the most. Its desire to feed on your negative energy is insatiable. I will admit for a long time, I allowed depression to convince me that writing was something I wasn’t good at and that it wasn’t a goal that I should pursue. So, I stopped. I would wake up every day feeling like I was missing a part of me. After a while, I stopped noticing.

Eventually, I couldn’t deny my love for writing anymore. That’s why, when I was at my lowest and weakest, I started to blog. It has been a long process. Back then, I was posting maybe once a week. Sometimes, a few weeks would go by before I posted again. Most instances, it would take me up to three days to write out one post, but I chose to push forward and continue to write. Now, I am able to share with you guys three times a week, consistently. Truthfully, I’m really proud of myself. I set goals and I’m meeting them. You guys have been really supportive and wonderful. I’ve met beautiful souls on here and I look forward to meeting many more.

So I want to share with you tips on how to get through blogging while living with depression:

  1. Set small goals: Set goals that won’t make you feel overwhelmed if you don’t accomplish them. Set realistic goals that are attainable. Once you are consistent with those goals, then add another one.
  2. Slowly increase your goals: Add one goal at a time. For me, I wanted things to get better right away, but I had to be patient. I would feel so overwhelmed and stressed. We have to build ourselves up to it. Small steps always lead to bigger steps.
  3. If you feel overwhelmed, take a step back: It’s ok to take a step back. It doesn’t mean you are giving up, it just means you need a break.
  4. Don’t beat yourself up: If you don’t meet a goal, don’t beat yourself up. If you don’t get any comments or likes, don’t beat yourself up. Blogging is a form of expression. I noticed, most bloggers are blogging more so for themselves than their readers. I am. Here we can have a voice. Whether one person reads it or one hundred, you’re voice will forever ring throughout the universe.
  5. Do not compare yourself to other bloggers: This will stress you out. Seriously, depression will convince you that other people are better than you, but it’s not true. Everyone has their own journey that they are on. You are on yours. I truly believe that everyone serves a purpose. There is so much information and diversity at our fingertips. I feel like I am supposed to blog about my life. Others may feel they are called to blog about recipes or traveling. So, you should blog about whatever is in your heart and let the universe take care of the rest.
  6. Know your limits and your triggers: *Deep sigh* This one is a stuff one for me. I recently came across a blog post that basically said that women who dress provocatively are asking to be raped. This was a instant trigger for me as a strongly disagree with this statement. As a woman, I felt it was my responsibility to disagree with him, in a respectful manner of course and then I unfollowed him. Its kind of funny because he later asked me and another fellow blogger to unfollow him because she agreed with my comment. Anyway, because his blog was a trigger for me, so I chose to unfollow. He has a great blog and I wish him the best.
  7. Write from your heart: I like to say, “write down whatever is on your mental.” Meaning, blog about whatever you are thinking about. If you can’t think of anything, blog about how you feel, what you read that day, what you watched online, the strange neighbor, just write! It’ll kick depression slowly down the drain each time you express yourself. It’ll help defeat the darkness and deception.

It can be difficult but remember it’s not impossible. Each step we take is a step worth celebrating.

Remember, you are loved. You are beautiful. You are wonderfully made.

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” ~John Wooden

 

What?? I Was Nominated Again!

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I would like to take some time to thank Faith Nyawira and Shoumodip for nominating me for the Liebster Award.  You both are amazing writers and I feel truly honored to be recognized by you all. Please visit their blog by clicking the links. You won’t be disappointed. There was someone else and I am so sorry that I am unable to find the notification that I received when you nominated me. To whomever that is, I am deeply sorry, but I would like to include you in this thank you as well.

When I first started this blog, I was in a really a dark place. I would force myself to write because I knew it was an outlet for me to express my symptoms of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and Lupus.

I did not expect to be greeted by so many people who understand how I am feeling and what I am going through. On top of that, wonderful people such as Faith, Shoumodip, Dee Kay, and “unknown person” thought it was a good idea to recognize me for my writing.

There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to verbally express how grateful am I for my WordPress family. I’ll admit, it was scary sharing so much of my life. People can be cruel, especially online. But I haven’t received any hate or dismay. Everyone that has commented has been so sweet and encouraging.

I am unable to respond to your questions right now, but I promise I will get to them. Thank you again for your nominations. Thank you for reading. Thank you for loving my thoughts. Each and every one of you truly inspire me everytime I open my WordPress App and see your wonderful avatars. 🙂

Love you all very much. Have a wonderful day and God bless you all!

Please Forgive Me

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Forgiving those that have hurt you can be difficult, but asking for forgiveness from someone that you have hurt can be even more challenging. Growing up in a large family, we didn’t apologize to each other that much. We were taught, unconsciously, that if you have wronged someone, you would go a short amount of time without talking to that person and then out of the blue, pick up the relationship where it left off. For instance, I would hear my mom and my aunt get into big fights over the phone. They would go a short amount of time without speaking, but when they eventually did, it was as if the argument never occurred. They would continue life as normal until the next disagreement. This eventually lead to a lot of resentment within our family.

If we got into a fight with someone we couldn’t avoid, like one of our siblings, we would carry on with life like nothing happened. We never apologized, nor spoke about what made us angry. If we tried, most of the time that person would become angry and defensive. Personally, this caused me to close up completely and not share my feelings with anyone, friends or family members. It wasn’t until later in life, after a few failed friendships and intimate relationships, I learned what it means to truly apologize to someone and mean it.

Some people like to think that simply saying I’m sorry is good enough, but sometimes it is not. Sometimes, the pain is so deep and so hurtful that simply saying “I’m sorry” will not fix the damage that has been done. I would like to share with you lessons that I have learned along that way. Please feel free to comment on ways that you have learned to ask for forgiveness. Let’s get to it.

Rules to Asking for Forgiveness

 

Be Patient

When you apologize, do not expect that person to forgive you right away. It may take time for them to move on from whatever you did to hurt them. They may forgive you right away or decide to never forgive you. It’s their choice to decide how they would like to move forward. Everyone heals in their own time. You rushing them to forgive you will only make things worse.

Respect how they feel

You may not like it, but you have to respect it. If you did something hurtful and you don’t understand why they are hurt, try to have a calm conversation with that person. Try to see it from their perspective. If you are still unable to understand why they are upset, respect their feelings. Do not put them down or call them stupid. Everyone is entitled to their feelings.

Explain what you did WITHOUT excuses

This may be hard for a lot of us. When we apologize, we tend to say, “I’m sorry, but…”. When someone is hurting, the last thing they want to hear is excuses. Hearing the reason why you hurt them doesn’t really matter. We are all tempted to justify our wrongdoings, but if you apologize without excuses, that person would be more willing to forgive you. They would feel like you are taking responsibility for your actions, thus learning your lesson.

Acceptance

Accepting the consequences of your actions is hard because, in our fast-paced society, we have been programmed to want results right away; drive-thrus, text message delivery notification, internet access, etc. Plus, not that many people like to admit when they are wrong. I used to have a huge problem with it. Sorry, I digress. We are so used to having instant results, but forgiveness doesn’t work that way. If a person doesn’t forgive you right away, accept it. Move forward. If the relationship can be salvaged, try to save it with love and compassion. If it cannot, move on. Accept that what you’ve done cannot be forgiven at the moment. Do not force them. Do not try to guilt them. All that will do is push them away further.

Throw Away Expectations

Do not go into an apology expecting anything. The person that you are apologizing to may not react the way you want or they may react the total opposite. If even they have wronged you as well, do not expect an apology. Expectations will only cause more problems and possibly another incident. If you are apologizing from the heart, then it shouldn’t matter how they react. Expect little, but hope for the best.

Show that you have changed

Everyone loves to see progress. Don’t apologize for something just to go back and do it again. If you’ve hurt someone, apologize, and then hurt them again, you would be a liar. You would lose their trust. Trust is complicated because it can take seconds to lose and years to gain back. Show that person that you really are sorry by not doing whatever it is you did to hurt them in the first place.

Remember, you are not a bad person

I always say, there are two types of people; good people who do bad things and bad people who do bad things. The majority of people who make mistakes are good people who just simply made a mistake. Don’t beat yourself up because you are only human. If you hurt someone, know that you are not a bad person. You a person who just made a mistake. If the person doesn’t forgive you, that does not measure your value as a person. It just simply means that they are so hurt at the moment, they are unable to see the bigger picture.

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Forgiving and asking for forgiveness is draining for both people, but very necessary. Forgiveness has known to lower blood pressure, lower stress hormones, and strengthen the immune system. I believe that forgiveness is vital is to leading a happy, healthy life, but it is a choice. Forgiveness is a privilege, not a right. You are more likely to be forgiven if you’ve likable and understanding afterward.

Remember, you are loved. You are wonderful. You are beautifully made. I hope your day is as beautiful as you are. Stay blessed.

 

Never forget the nine most important words of any family: I love you. You are beautiful. Please forgive me. -H. Jackson Brown, Jr., Author

12 Bad Habits Not To Take With You Into 2018

Tree For All Seasons 2007 John Newcomb (b.20th C./American) Acrylic on canvas

As the time is winding down, we begin to reflect on this past year. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the sad. Tragedies, such as domestic terrorism, devasting natural disasters, and modern-day slavery has turned our world upside down. The great news is, in less than 24 hours, we’ll have the chance to start a new year with new hopes and dreams. It may be difficult at first since but change never happens overnight. Change will be something that we would have to work at everyday that we are blessed to wake up.

Below is a list of bad habits that you may have developed during this trying year that you may want to keep in 2017 and not carry with you into the new year.

  1. tumblr_llpiownyoe1qznniio1_250Taking things personally: You must know that not everything is about you. For instance, if someone is having a bad day and they become irritated with you, most likely, their attitude has nothing to do with you. We all go through things and process them differently. It may be a little upsetting, but now is the time for understanding each other more. Learn to just let it go.
  2. poster-die-vergangenheit-festhalten-1374533Holding on to the past: Personally, this is easier said than done. The best way to begin moving on from your past is to forgive the person or situation that is holding you back. Whoever wronged you, forgive them. You’re not forgiving them for their sake, but for your sake. When you forgive, you find peace. That person no longer has a hold on you or your thoughts.
  3. 18Spending most of your free time on Facebook: Facebook is a great social media outlet for people to connect all over the world. Unfortunately, Facebook has a way of making one feel spiritually and emotionally drained. Between online trolls (people who purposely make accounts to be mean and hateful) and “the world is ending” status updates, it’s easy to get caught up in the drama. You see so many posts on destruction and chaos all over the world and the human psyche wasn’t meant to be exposed to so much trauma at once. Personally, I no longer have a facebook account for this very reason. I was checking it constantly. When I would finally log off for the day, I would feel angry, anxious, nervous, worried, everything but entertained. I had to let it go. I haven’t checked Facebook in four months and I feel a difference. I believe it has honestly helped with my depression.
  4. stress3Over-stressing: Stress serves zero purposes to your life. Stressing is a complete waste of time. I used to think stress was apart of life, but it doesn’t have to be. What has helped with lowering my stress is believing that all of my problems are in the hands of God. Troubles will arise in my life, but I know that I have help. I know that when those bad things do happen, I will have the strength and integrity to get through them. When you believe in the power of a Higher Power, one’s life struggles becomes easier to deal with.
  5. sleepprimary_0Sleeping in late: Have you heard that expression “the early bird gets the worm”? Apart of being happy is being productive and keeping yourself busy. If you sleep most of the day away, you are giving yourself less time to be productive. Use that time to complete a task that is on your to-do or use that time to meditate. 
  6. Fueling drama: When you allow yourself to instigate drama, you are starting 61d4bfaab2ae94724ba3ddf7ffb273dfan endless cycle of negative energy. This negative energy will stay with you. Next thing you know, you’ll find yourself involved drama that has nothing to do with you. This will then turn you into a toxic person; someone who cannot live without drama. 
  7. healthy-dietHaving a poor diet: You are what you eat. Oh, how I miss the juicy taste of a beef burger or the incredible flavor of triple chocolate fudge cake covering my tastebuds. Over the past year, I’ve had to make major changes to my diet. My kids say I eat like our pet Guinea pig since my diet mostly consists of fruits and vegetables. Eating healthy promotes good physical and mental health. Take time out to learn about ways to improve your diet. You may not have to eat like a Guinea pig, but replacing fries with carrots would be in your best interest.
  8. f8c05617bba402dfddb8a3471cb39897Complaining all of the time: Do you know that your words have power. When I was younger, I remember my mom always saying that you can speak things into existence. I’ve found out the hard way that this is one hundred percent true. If you complain all of the time, then you are creating a mindset that will always see the bad in any situation your life. When you complain, you are reiterating to your brain that what you are saying is true. Instead of complaining about your situation, try finding what you can be grateful for. For instance, if you lost your car, you can say that at least your helping save the ozone layer until you are able to get another one. That may sound a little corny, but once you begin to train your thoughts to see the good, it’ll eventually become as easy as breathing.
  9. DruckOverthinking: Overthinking leads to negative thoughts. Negative thoughts can lead to stress. Stress can lead to severe depression and anxiety. I remember being so mad at my husband over a misunderstanding. I allowed my thoughts to overshadow the possibility that it was a misunderstanding. By the time he would ask me, whats wrong, I had already made up in mind everything that he had done before he was able to explain himself. This leads to a lot of confusion and dysfunction. Don’t allow yourself to overthink a situation. If you find yourself overthinking, replace it with reading a book or meditation. You can call a friend to get advice or simply let it go until it presents itself again.
  10. 11Gossiping: Simply, mind your business. Spreading gossip about someone is one of the worst things you can do. Everyone has problems. Everyone has stuff going on. How would you feel if you found out someone was spreading gossip about you? Oh, they have? Well, don’t stoop to their level. When someone gossips, they are telling more about themselves than they are the other person. It says they do not respect the privacy of others and what they may be going through. We should all pray for each and be supportive towards one another during our hard times. Life would be so much easier.
  11. great-live-in-the-moment-quotes-64-on-beautiful-quotes-with-live-in-the-moment-quotesNot living in the moment: Every day is a gift. It’s like one of my favorite quotes says “The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present” by Alice Morse Earle. If you are struggling with depression or any kind of illness, the 24 hours in your day may seem very long and dark. Even if you have to live hour to hour, minute to minute, appreciate each breath that you take. You are here for a reason. You woke up this morning for a reason. You may not know that reason yet, but have confidence that one day it will be revealed, but you must push forward. Everything counts, no matter how big or small.
  12. hug4Trying to please others: If you think that you can please everyone, you are mistaken. Humanity is not perfect. It is physically impossible to make everyone happy while trying to be happy yourself. Live your best life the best way you know how. If there is someone in your life that is displeased with your decisions, simply remind them that you are living for you and if you are unhappy then no one around you will be happy. Living your best life is the only way.

I would like to wish each and every one of you the best success is 2018. You are wonderful. You are loved. You are beautifully made. Have a very Happy New Year from my family to yours.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” -Neil Gaiman

 

5 Pros to Hair Loss

91809d4bac33b427373e720b8b1ffcea-treatment-for-thinning-hair-hair-loss-treatment.jpgSince my battle with Lupus began, one of the symptoms that I have been experiencing is  “unexplained hair loss”, according to my rheumatologist. I’ve shaved my head completely bald twice in 12 months because my hair follicles just weren’t holding onto my scalp any longer.

This was something that I was extremely ashamed and embarrassed about. I began to feel like my husband wasn’t going to be attracted to me anymore, but that wasn’t the case. He has been so supportive by reassuring me every day that he would never find me unattractive.

My hair has since grown back but has recently begun falling out again. I’ve begun researching natural remedies to stimulate hair growth and I’m quickly finding out how tedious this process is becoming. There are so many products, it’s hard to know which ones would really work, but I’m on a mission so I can’t give up. While I’m figuring all of that out, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t allow my mind to slip back into a dark place filled with self-pity and turmoil. I decided to think about how losing your hair can be awesome.

5 Pros to Hair Loss

  1. I use less shampoo and conditioner. I love that I use less shampoo and conditioner because my family won’t go through it so quickly. It saves money and time spent in the store. I’m all for saving both.
  2. Shaving your head bald actually feels awesome. I loved it when the cool breeze would kiss the top of my head and the deep scalp massages my husband gave. It was so relaxing. It helped calm me during severe anxiety attacks.
  3. Now, I have a legitimate reason to buy wigs and not feel guilty about it. Before when I had healthy hair, the idea of buying a wig was frivolous. I would always think of what else I could have bought with the money, but I was also envious of women who were brave enough to wear stylish wigs without worrying about the judgment of others. Now I feel like I’m going bald and I want to look cute, so I need a wig.
  4. Wigs are awesome. They even have stylish wigs for men AND you can’t even tell it’s a wig! I mean, men have been wearing wigs for centuries, but modern day wigs can blend into your scalp. It’s a perfect illusion. You can get short, long, straight, curly, updo, down-do, course, thin, thick….it’s endless.
  5. I know that I am more than my hair. I am more than my skin color. I am more than society’s projection of perfection. I am loved. I am wonderful. I am beautifully made. Hair or No Hair. I am Ashley.

If you’re experiencing hair loss or any physical issues, YOU ARE STILL BEAUTIFUL. The world’s perception of you is not God’s perception of you. He thinks you’re wonderful. You were made in His image and He makes NO mistakes.

“Beauty is when you can appreciate yourself. When you love yourself, that’s when you’re most beautiful.” -Zoe Kravitz

Who’s Ashley?

smiley-face-question-mark_556117Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve read a lot of post about personal growth. I mean, it’s the end of the year, so I’m sure it is only appropriate for people to share how awesome this past year has been for them. I was trying to think of what I could write for a “2017 End of the Year Wrap-Up” blog, but honestly, I’m having a hard time coming up with a post. It’s not that I do not have anything great to say about this past year. It’s probably because it would force me to think about situations that I would prefer to not think about right now. My emotional and spiritual healing just isn’t in the place that I can share the ups and downs of 2017 and not cry uncontrollably while logging off. It feels a little pathetic admitting that, but it is what it is.

So, instead of letting you guys know about how my year has been (since I kind of do that on every blog post), I would like to share with top secret information about yours truly, only told to a selected few. Let’s go!

5 Not-So-Known-Facts About Me (Ashley)

I am an extremely private person

drkwgThis may sound crazy because I have shared so many intimate details of my life for you guys to read. Honestly, every time I’ve posted a story about what I’ve been through, I’ve gotten extremely anxious and fearful. Then, I think about how many people are going through the same circumstances. For such a long time, I felt alone. I thought that I was the only one going through a hard time; the black sheep. This past year, I’ve quickly learned that I’m not alone and the number of people going through turmoil is astronomical. The fear of judgment and anxiety is not as strong as my desire to help broken people, like me. So, I choose to push forward. Luckily, you guys have been awesome and supportive.

I Iove playing tricks on my husband and kids

pointinglaughingemojiI don’t play mean tricks, just “payback” tricks. For example, I love LifeSavers mints. Not just any mint, specifically, Wint-O-Green flavored. Shamefully, this addiction has caused a couple of cavities. Anyway, I love putting the mint wrappers in my husbands’ clothes and shoes. So later, when he puts on his favorite sweatpants, all he’ll hear is the soft crumble of the wrapper. And there are so many of them. I’ll put at least ten mint wrappers in his pockets. It’s awesome! He’s always so annoyed by it. Afterwards, you’ll find me snickering in the corner like, “Oh yeah, that’s what you get for not putting away the dishes, hahahaha” *evil scientist chuckle*.

I love all things Sci-Fi and Fantasy Entertainment

batman-312342_960_720I love reading comic books, sci-fi/fantasy novels, and watching DC and Marvel movies. Actually, my favorite superhero is Batman. I know, I know, it sounds cliche, but there is something about having a dark past and being able to turn heartache into saving the world, so appealing. If you are a Batman fan, you know that he loves his city unconditionally; good, bad, poor, rich, he saved everyone…without killing them! He feels all life is precious, no matter who you are or what you’ve done. I guess Batman was similar to a father figure since my own dad was absent. Batman was a huge part of my childhood. Like J. Cole said in his song No Role Modelz

First things first rest in peace Uncle Phil/For real, you the only father that I ever knew/I get my b***h pregnant I’ma be a better you

In this verse, he is referring to Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, who was a great father figure for a lot of fatherless, black children in our community. For me, it was Batman.

I love learning about History

4294118869_b34713c1a1_bThe majority of television shows I watch are about history; Vikings, The Tudors, Game of Thrones, Shaka Zulu, just to name a few. I love watching documentaries and reading about history. Anyone’s history. I love learning about other cultures by being aware of their past. When I was younger, I was very judgmental of cultures I didn’t understand. Now, I’ve controlled my judgment by learning about why people or cultures are the way that they are. It helps me “look through the eye of the beholder”. Well, not exactly, but it is a close as I’m going to get right now since traveling around the world has been put on hold. 🙂

I’m secretly a conspiracy theorist

cartoon-coloring-page-line-art-of-a-paranoid-guy-peeking-through-blinds-by-toonaday-505.jpgThink about it, if God can change my life…if He can create trillions of stars, hundreds of planets, walking-talking organisms such as humans, then why couldn’t he create extraterrestrial beings? Or Big-Foot? Or government conspiracy? I’m just saying, I think there is information that only the universe knows. As much as we (humans) like to think that we are the most advanced, superior beings ever created, in my opinion, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Again, this is just my opinion.

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn a little about me. Thank you to all of my followers, old and new. Each like and each follow inspires me to write reading material worthy of your time.

Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

How Fear Became My Guide

10 Steps for Overcoming the Fear of Making a Change

Fear can be scary. The uncertainty, the regret, the guilt…all of which can be partnered with fear. Those feelings are heavy or overbearing. They can make you feel numb and overwhelmed at the same time. This is probably why people give into the fear because it can be too much to bear. Have ever wanted to do something, but then thought, “No I can’t.”, “What will people think?”, “What if I fail?”

I’m here to tell you that fear can be your best friend. Sounds crazy, right? It’s not. Fear can be your guide to greatness.

Today was my husband’s Christmas party at his school. A few weeks ago, he told me that I should try to sell my awesome 100% all natural soy wax candles. At first, I agreed, until last night. Fear was hitting me hard. I began coming up with excuses as to why I shouldn’t take my candles to his party. I thought to myself that no one was going to be interested in buying my candles. I became so afraid that I almost had a panic attack. My thoughts were becoming louder than the truth.

That’s when it hit me. If I’m having this much fear from an idea that could improve my life and my family’s lives, then maybe this is something that I SHOULD be accomplishing. I mean, the worst thing that could happen is no one would purchase any of my candles and that is ok! I know my candles are awesome and honestly, they provide therapy when I’m making them. I love the smell of the soy wax melting into its silky substance and how the essential oils swirl in the wax before settling. So I made myself get up. It resulted in 4 glorious, relaxing hours making soy wax candles; prepping them to look awesome and appealing. Making sure that each scent was strong, yet soothing. Each candle that I crafted slowly took away my fear and replaced it with pride.

So, this morning we headed off to his party. I was cute (really cute *snaps*) but sweaty from my nerves being on ten. I was so nervous. At first, the other party-goers weren’t showing interest, but then my wonderful husband asked, “Hey, does anyone want to buy a candle?”

I sold out immediately. I repeat…I SOLD OUT! It was amazing. I look back and wonder, what was I so afraid of? If I would have listened to fear, I still would have been wondering how to pay my car insurance bill. Now, I have the money that we need.

I didn’t listen to fear, but I allowed it to guide me. Whatever it is that you want to do…Whatever it is that will make you dance naked on the rooftop if you accomplished it…DO NOT listen to fear, but use it as a guide to do better and become better.

Sometimes, God wants us to feel fear and sadness. He wants us to use fear, sadness, disappointment, and every other negative feeling, to become stronger than you thought you could be. Allow your negative feelings to turn into positive actions.

You are awesome. You are loved. You are wonderfully made.

“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” -2 Corinthians 7:10