Loving My Personality

Dear Libra’s Balance Readers,

As I head into 2021, I want to use this blog, among other things, to serve as a personal growth space for me. I simply want to be able to look back and physically read about not only my challenges but also the work I’ve put in to move forward.

This means I will work to answer some basic questions about myself. If you feel so inclined, I invite you to do the same and you can feel free to comment below as well – if your kind – even if you disagree with something I’ve written.

What are some things you love about your personality?

I must admit, this prompt is a little difficult for me because I don’t like to talk about myself all that much. Since I’m working on improvement, I guess I need to answer, right?!

I’m able to look at different sides of an issue.

I believe that no one does something just to be doing it. There is an underlying reason, good or bad, that we do the things we do. I want to dig into those reasons with people to learn how to interact with them.

I love to laugh.

I’ve been told that I’ve got a boisterous giggle, (yeah, make those two words fit together), that makes other people feel good and want to join in the fun! Often in my pictures, the first things people comment on are my smile and the fact that I’m looking extremely happy. As a matter of fact, most people say something along the lines of, “Damn, what had you so happy,” or “Damn, happy much?”

I’m trustworthy.

When people come to me in confidence, I don’t go sharing it to the whole world. Even if I believe someone has wronged me, I don’t think the confidence they placed in me goes out the window.

I remember.

Okay, I don’t always remember birthdates and anniversaries and things like that. What I do learn about people is their essence – that inner-most part of them. The energy or spirit. I usually can connect with that part of a person and develop a spirit connection.

Hey, I guess there are some areas about myself that I’m profoundly grateful for! This was a great start to my day.

What are some things about your personality that you like? I would love to hear some good positive self-talk from you!

Love and Light!

Who Are You

Hey there Libras Balance Readers,

As I write this, I really hope you are enjoying the holiday season – in spite of everything that 2020 has thrown our way. I just finished reading a blog post that inspired me so I had to come here to put my stank on it and make it mine.

Who Am I?

Seems like a really straightforward question doesn’t it?

Not so. In this world we’ve been taught to answer this in a superficial way. We answer with what job we do; where we live; our hobbies and so forth. None of those answers gets to who we truly are.

Is it a wonder that in this reality that we have so much access to people and many of us feel lonelier than before we started using social media apps like Facebook, Twitter and others?

We began “typing in soundbites rather than talking to communicate our needs, wants and desires with one another.

Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, using these social media tools doesn’t allow us to share, in a meaningful way, how we’re doing. It does allow us to put on a front that helps us go further down the rabbit-hole of despair.

It stops today

I want to get to know you – the real you! I would like to invite you to join my new Facebook group where we will talk about intentional holistic wellness and really get down to the nitty gritty of answering this question, along with others, as we go into the new year with intention.

Do you have an affirmation that works for you? Have you read a book that inspired you to greatness? Has 2020 left you feeling down and you want to interact with affirming folks that want to build up and not tear down? Well, this may be the sacred space for you! Hope to see you on the inside…

Love and Light!

Warped Beginning‘s

I’ve been very intentional as it relates to my journey of healing over the past three years (as of the writing of this post. In my head, it sounds like a constant refrain. I’ve tried to be more open to a broader audience so I could stop living in the fear of not appearing to be the stereotypical view of silent strength that many men of color are taught to prescribe to and I want to let others know that keeping these things bottled up can only hurt us in the long run.

Check out the following short clip from The Fresh Prince and I’ll be sure to continue my thoughts beneath.

I just had to take a moment before finishing this post. It’s still a hard clip for me to look at.

I carried the character’s feelings – abandonment, not feeling as though I’m good enough, anger and a broken spirit – with me for years. To a certain extent, I still do.

When folks hear me talk about my journey of healing, this is where it all starts.

I was soon to be 11 years old when our family dynamics changed irreparably – our unit changed, never to be the same again. I internalized much of that. I won’t go into the gritty details in this post because this is about my journey and no one else’s.

I’m now 41 — between the start of what I view as the beginning of things through the time when I started walking my path, that’s nearly 30 years of my life. I just grew tired of being stuck in a rut; hitting the gas pedal and not being able to move forward. I was tired of relationships (whether romantic or on a friendship level) not being as open as they could be. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know that I was broken emotionally. I held a warped sense of who I was. I became an over-achiever – student government, preaching at a young age, not trying to not cause issues for my mom. I also grew to be distant because that was my way of numbing the pain I felt.

Did I understand what I was doing at the time? Absolutely not.

As the old saying goes, “If only I knew then what I know now…”

People are naturally drawn to me but I would hold relationships at a certain distance. I would build that wall so high, dig a mote around it, place alligators and sharks in the water, put up some barbed wire fencing, and on and on. Then I would stand a few football fields back and smile and wave and I thought I had it all under control.

I thought I was protecting myself. In the end, I wasn’t allowing any of the comfort, companionship, love and sense of belonging I was searching for to enter because I had set up so many booby traps — but I did have a fucking smile on my face – looking crazy as all get out.

A significant relationship ended for me about three years ago – partly due to my issues and in a big part because of the other person’s honesty and loyalty. For whatever reason, the lightbulb turned on and I thought I needed to make a change.

I started participating in counseling and began explaining to folks that my past actions touched what was wrong emotionally on my end. I didn’t always get the results that I wanted but everyone is on their own journey and I have no control over that.

BTW, that’s also an issue I’ve had – I wanted to fix everything for people.

My healing was put to the test recently as it relates to friendship and romantic partner. To make a long story short – I reached out to trusted people, shared my grief, approached counseling and was able to pull myself out from wanting to retreat behind the wall with the mote!

It may not sound like much but I’m so proud of this!! I’m practicing what I preach. Has it been perfect? Hell no! But it’s a hell of a lot better than what I used to do.

I will always look at the world through the eyes of Will Smith’s character above. The difference now is that I have gained tools to handle it in a better way and demand that I be treated in a better way.

Love and light!

A Selfish Journey

Selfish. Over the past two days, In various conversations, I’ve heard that word used as a negative.

Specifically, those conversations were dealing with people on their personal journeys of emotional, physical and/or spiritual healing. In just about every conversation, people have been told that they were selfish because they were making positive changes for themselves that people surrounding them didn’t like.

I believe that we, as humans, typically don’t like change. Many of us drive the same route to work, we get up at the same time, we cook the same meals. So when our friends and family see changes happening, even though they are positive, that scares them… At least in my view. That leads me to my conversation piece today:

What is your definition of selfish? Can a person that is making a positive change for their well-being be considered selfish? Why or why not?

Let’s have a discussion. Love and light! 😍

Imperfect Perfection

I’m riding, for the first time, from the WordPress app! 🥳

Why is this such a big, damn deal? My answer is simple. I’m tired of writing, re-writing and ultimately not making anything public because it’s not perfect. I simply want to give my authentic voice on things that matter to me… On things that I care about. all in All, I want to give you the real me!! Now, sometimes

I Will still write from the computer on more detailed topics but I think this is going to work for me.

I’ve been walking on my journey of healing in a very intentional way for the past three years. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and really settled in, it forced me, like so many others, to sit with myself with no distractions. At times, this became very uncomfortable for me — sitting and working through some of the trauma in life.

But I’m still fucking standing!!! 🤗

You’re going to learn a lot about me. Just typing that scares the shit out of me but it’s time that I’ve become a little bit more vulnerable to allow more people of goodwill in. I want to have real discussions, real debates, real conversations about a range of things — anxiety, confidence, feelings of worth, happiness, laughter, struggles, successes, The human existence. The only way that will happen, at least for me, is to open up.

I hope I can meet new people for friendship, chat buddies and who knows, maybe even that all elusive partner! 🥰

Here’s to the start of something wonderful!!

PS — If you wouldn’t mind, tell me a little bit about yourself in the comments below and if you already have some type of relationship with me, feel free to ask something you’ve been wanting to know about me. You could have the next idea for a blog post…

Love and Light! 😁

Signs That It’s Time to Let Go of a Relationship

fighting

 

No man (or woman) is an island, as the famous poem states. We all need other people in our lives, in various types of relationships. In fact, we are often defined by them in our families:

Mother
Daughter
Sister
Aunt
Wife

Or:

Father
Son
Brother
Uncle
Husband

 

Outside our family circle, we decide who people are to us, and who we are to others:

Friend
Best friend
Boy/girl friend
Lover
Domestic partner
Business partner
Colleague
Boss
Person who reports to us
Support staff in the office or building
Freelance worker

And so on.

 

We can’t choose our family, it is true, but nor should we punish ourselves trying to make a negative relationship work by constantly compromising who we are or what we believe in. We may not be able to let go of the relationship with a parent or sibling, for example, but we can let go of the idea of being obligated to please them – especially if they are a difficult type of person who is never pleased.

We can choose friends, lovers and spouses. However, that choice will often come into question when different things shake the foundation of the relationship, such as trust, and the assumption that the person cares for you and wants the best for you, and vice versa. If that is not the case, then you might find yourself thinking more and more about letting the relationship go.

Signs That It’s Time to Let Go

No one likes to waste time and effort, but it also does not make sense to hang on to things in our lives that drag us down and drain our energy. It’s also true that the more you hang on to baggage, the heavier it will become, and you won’t have your hands free to embrace other things. So here are a few signs it might be time to let go.

1. You constantly feel hurt or resentful

The person has done something so bad, it is almost impossible to get beyond it and try to forgive them.

2. You are the one doing all the heavy lifting

You are the one putting most of the energy into the relationship – calling, emailing, organizing get-togethers, and so on.

3. You are at different places in your life

The other person might be ready to settle down and have a family, for example, but your career is just taking off, or you want to travel the world and do other exciting things.

4. You can’t agree on the essentials in your lives

Marriage, children, where and how you want to live, are all big questions. Sometimes loving a person isn’t enough to get over the bumps in the road that become exposed when your two views of an ideal life don’t mesh with one another.

5. When you have to make too many sacrifices

Some people might make sacrifices in order to maintain the relationship, but end up disappointed and bitter. For example, they promised if you had children together, they would be there doing their fair share, but they are still spending long hours in the office while you’ve given up your career for a house full of dirty diapers. And of course it is much harder to let go of a relationship once you have had children, due to co-parenting.

6. The other person is not trustworthy

They may not lie outright, but they don’t turn up on time or follow through with their promises, or they deceive you in various ways. People are often evasive about money, or how they spend their free time. Don’t jump to conclusions, but do insist on honesty.

7. Dealing with the other person is draining

Surround yourself with positive people who uplift you. If you know any “energy vampires” who are constantly draining you and leaving you no time to for yourself and the things you really enjoy, it might be time to let go.

It’s never easy to let go of a relationship. But if you recognize one or more of these signs, it may be the best decision you can make in the long term.

Have you had to  let go of a relationship?  What were the signs for you?  Any words of advice?  Share your thoughts in the comments below…

You Got Too Much Stuff

Erykah Badu said it best,

 

Bag lady you gone hurt your back
Dragging all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
All you must hold onto, is you, is you, is you

One day all them bags gon’ get in your way
One day all them bags gon’ get in your way
I said one day all them bags gon’ get in your way
One day all them bags gon’ get in your way, so pack light,
Pack light, mm, pack light, pack light, oh ooh

Bag lady you gon’ miss your bus
You can’t hurry up, ’cause you got too much stuff
When they see you coming, niggas take off running
From you it’s true, oh yes they do

One day he gon’ say you crowding my space
One day he gon’ say you crowding my space
I said one day he gon’ say you crowding my space
One day he gon’ say you crowding my space so, pack light
Pack light

 

Do you have that one piece of old baggage or energy drain that you’ve been carrying around for what seems like forever?

 

It reminds me when I pack too heavily for a trip where I need to take a flight. I have all these suitcases and I forget that I need to get them in the airport.

 

I’ve got one bag over my shoulder…

 

One duffle is under my armpit…

 

I’m holding one in my hand…

 

…and I’m running late to get to the gate!! YIKES!!!!

 

There are a lot of us that are trying to carry our figurative bags all day, every day and we wonder why we’re not seeming to get anywhere as fast as we want.

 

I’m not immune to this myself. I have some emotional “stuff” that I think I’ve been holding on to for way too long … and my damn shoulders are hurting and slouched…

 

The good thing though is that we don’t have to keep dragging our bags! That’s great, right?

 

Most of us don’t want to carry all the “stuff” around with us but just like the luggage, after holding on to it for so long our hands and shoulders and back become cramped and strained … all because we wouldn’t let go! Guess what? That first instant where we decide to let go, it hurts like hell!! We’ve trained our extremities to become warped and uncomfortable and it takes time to get the blood flowing and for the tingling to stop.

 

Well, it’s the same concept with our emotional baggage… Because we’ve trained our minds to be uncomfortable, the first sign of relief is almost unbearable. We have to think past that initial struggle and think about that moment after, and the next moment, and the next moment and so on and understand that true relief is right around the corner!

 

The very first thing we have to do is decide, “Hey, I wanna put these damn bags down…” Then we take a deep breath and let go…Then we need to work the kinks from our emotional mindset – just as we do physically – with proper movement, training and simply learning to not do the things that got us to that feeling of discomfort.

 

Here are some things that I’ve done when letting go of baggage:

 

  • Take part in counseling or therapy
  • Listen to relaxing, meditative music
  • Stay a bit busier than normal so I won’t “fall into old patterns
  • Reach out to friends to catch up

 

We have the tools within us to begin the healing process for ourselves. If we can decide, “I want a change in my circumstance,” the following steps we need get a bit easier if we stick to our goal…whatever that may be.

 

What do you think? Do my thoughts make sense? What are some things you do to “release your bags?” I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below. Let’s chat!

 

Remember Who You Are

I recently watched Disney’s “The Lion King” live action remake and had a surprising reaction…

 

I actually felt good when the movie was done!

 

Don’t get me wrong, I had my issues with this version of the movie but there was one thing that really stood out to me – and that’s what I want to focus on with this post.

 

There was a line from the movie that I hadn’t remembered – “Remember who you are…”

 

This statement jumped out at me in such a huge way that I’m writing this post at 2:53 a.m.!!

 

Why so important?

 

I recently turned 40 years old and while I often take stock of where things are in my life (sometimes good and sometimes not so great) I had to stop the film from playing. When the original Lion King came out in 1994, I was a mere 13 year old!

 

While there are definitely things that I’ve learned in life as I’ve gotten older and wiser, I can say there are some things that I’ve forgotten that in hindsight that I shouldn’t have:

 

  • Walk with little to no fear
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Life is about looking forward

 

Having no fear

 

Whether this comes from being “young and dumb” or because as younger little humans we haven’t really experienced life to a great extent, (I’m not sure), I’ve realized that there is more fear as we strive into “middle age.” Is this because we have more to lose? Is it due to experience?

 

Sometimes I miss “stepping out on faith” as it were. That’s not to say I didn’t have any fear as a kid but when I look back, I think I viewed life differently than I do now. If I was afraid that something wouldn’t work out, “Oh well, there’s always tomorrow and another opportunity…”

 

Not sweating the little things

 

This is oh so hard for me today! Things stay with me much longer and I don’t bounce back emotionally as quickly as I did when I was a child.

 

Remember the book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” – Boy would I love to interview the author of that book! That’s another post for another day…

 

Eyes forward

 

I was in JROTC in high school and I recall standing at attention with my eyes forward. When you can only look ahead, you lose sight of what’s going on around you. You are focused – almost with blinders on – just like a racehorse.

 

As I’ve aged, I feel like my head is routinely scoping out things that are near me as well as far off.

 

“Will this knock me off balance?”

 

“Let me plan for this possible happening…”

 

Sometimes this way of thinking is discombobulating.

 

What the heck am I saying with this post?

 

All the rambling I just did above, this is my conclusion:

 

Remember who you are…

 

Fearless…

 

Excited…

 

Full of courage…

 

Marry that with who you are today:

 

Cautious…

 

Wiser…

 

Still full of courage…

 

When Simba, (Yes, we’re back to The Lion King, LOL), travelled back to his Pride, he was able to join his younger self with the “person” he had become. When he took that fear, excitement, wonder about life, understanding that people will deceive you and so much more… only then was he able to overcome himself to truly “come home…”