The Next Lesson

I think it’s easier to forgive others than it is to forgive yourself. At least I know this is true for me. I am so hard on myself that when I do or say something I think isn’t the best representative of my true self; it is virtually impossible for me to let go and forgive me. I set the bar so high for myself that when I miss it, it’s hard to bounce back because I beat up myself for missing the mark. Why is that?

Forgiveness lesson from flowers

Forgiveness lesson from flowers (Photo credit: juliejordanscott)

Control~I am control freak. Since I am in control of and responsible for my choices and because I am not the type of person to play the victim, when I make what I think is a bad decision; I consider it solely my fault, even if others are involved in the situation. I will forgive them and make provisions for them I don’t allow myself to have. So how do I forgive myself, given I know God will forgive me if I ask?

I don’t know, but I do know that I want to know. How do you forgive yourself? What does that process look like for you?

 

Forgiveness of self: the next lesson for me to learn.

thenextlesson

 

 

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Past-Forward

FOR YOU LOVE PEACE .......... MAMITA SUFFER PA...

FOR YOU LOVE PEACE ………. MAMITA SUFFER PAIN SKY ANGEL REMEMBER FOREVER REST …….. (Photo credit: LUZ-2011)

One of the worst feelings in the world is when you are confronted with someone from your past and through the conversation, it becomes obvious this person still sees you as the old you. Further, it’s painful to be engaged in an experience with someone you care about, only to see they are stuck in the past and haven’t grown much over the years. I am the type of person who values self-reflection and growth and I want that for every person, as it’s life’s greatest gift to be able to see your authentic self, confront that person, work on your flaws, and grow into the next best version of you. It’s liberating, exhilarating, and the ultimate orgasm is the ability to look back and see from how far you’ve come.

It hurts my heart to be in the presence of someone who doesn’t know how awesome they are because they are stifled by the pains of their past. Pain that prohibits them from a clear vision of reality. Pain that has fermented and grown into anger that causes them to lash out against anyone who challenges their warped sense of truth. Anger that separates what is from what could be…

 

 

Dear past:

Although dissolution is heart-breaking, the new and improved me can’t be a part of your life right now because we are unequally yoked. This inequality will cause me to revert back to unhealthy behaviors and I refuse to move backwards because I know I deserve better, as I want nothing but the best for me. I am no better than you, we are just merely in different places right now. Maybe we will meet again in the future, maybe not. I am not who you think I am and I am saddened you can’t see that I’ve grown. Nevertheless, I wish you the best, but I am moving forward and I pray with every fiber of my being that you are able to do the same.

With love.

pastforward

 

Reflections of Honor

Lately I have been reflecting, looking at from where I’ve come, where I am now, and where I want to be in the future. Not surprisingly, I recently celebrated another birthday, an opportune time for reflection, but this year was a little bit different because a short time before my birthday I received some disturbing news. This news should not have been disturbing, as it’s something I suspected, but because I allowed myself to deflect from the situation, I consequently never dealt with the issues head on.

So like I normally do, I searched myself first to discover why this information upset me and I admitted to myself that I was upset because the other parties in this situation did not handle it the way I would have. Sounds selfish, however the way I would have handled it (and had been handling it until confronted) was in a way that honored each person involved, meaning I didn’t make any disparaging remarks and whenever someone attempted to make a negative remark, I would rephrase it and make the circumstances appear more positive than they were. This is typically how I deal. Very rarely do I play the role of victim in an attempt to make others look bad. I also see the glass as half full and if I am involved in something that includes people I care about, even when they have done something wrong; I do my best to put a positive spin because I know that everything is cyclical and if I was ever confronted with a similar situation or by one of the parties; I don’t want them to have the ability to say I was involved in feeding any negativity about them.

 

I feel like I’m rambling and I hope this make sense.

 

The bottom line is that when relationships go south and dissipate and it involves people I truly care about, even if we parted ways on a bad note; I refuse to say anything negative or entertain any negative comments made about these people, especially if they are not around to defend themselves or give their points of view. To me, that honors the time we were on good terms with one another. Handling situations as such feeds the integrity of the good times that were had. It also leaves the door open to reconnect and repair should paths cross again, given the cyclical nature of life.

 

So it hurt me when I found out that not only were negative remarks about me entertained by those I once held a close relationship with, but the remarks given were not even true. Lord knows I have not always handled situations the best or responded in a way that honored the relationship, so for me to grow to this point is a gigantic step forward in my becoming a better version of Shanika. However, my opinion of these people was so high that it threw me for a loop that they would outright lie on me. Sounds naive, I know.

 

Fast forward several days and I am blessed to see another birthday, which resulted in an outpouring of love. Through several birthday messages I received, I was able to see how far I have come and I was able to again reflect on what it means to be a friend and I became even more thankful for my relationships that have stood the test of time, distance, and disagreements. These relationships were able to withstand because we never hit below the belt, even during the worst arguments~arguments that often led to lapses in time when we would communicate with one another. Thankfully we were able to see that any hurtful remarks made or actions taken were a reflection of what the offender was going through or where he/she was at that point in their journey. It was never about the person/people that received the lashing. No one is perfect, however I am eternally grateful for those people who have always accepted me for me, forgiven me for my infractions, and valued our relationship enough not to allow it to be destroyed by negativity, lies and/or rumors.

 

In moving forward, I hope to continue to get better with how I treat those I call friend. I pray for forgiveness from and healing for anyone I’ve hurt. And I pray for continued growth of the relationships I have with friends who have proven to be true. I am definitely honored to have you as such.

 

God bless.

 

How Do I Know If You’re A True Friend?


There are probably a number of answers to this question, but in my opinion, the bottom line is one has to truly love and accept who they are, flaws and all, before they are able to be a true friend. You can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself. And you can’t seek in a friend something that is not in you.

Whether we are speaking of romantic relationships and platonic friendships the same is always true. (DISCLAIMER: I use the term relationship as it relates to the relational interactions between people.) You can’t find someone else to complete what is lacking in you. That’s how we end up in dysfunctional, unfulfilling relationships which eventually lead to discord and bitterness.
You have to link yourself to persons who have the same beliefs as you. Similar foundational beliefs systems, when nurtured, can lead to long term satisfying relationships. Nevertheless, we are able to relate to persons whose belief systems differ as long as all parties are content in who they are and what they believe and are respectful of the fact that you believe something different.

This is where the term associate comes into play. An associate is instrumental in your development of self because you can understand and learn about yourself within their context, elevating you to a different level. With an associate, something will always be missing from the relationship, because they are usually only in our lives for a season, to teach us something. And they may come in and out of your life at very random moments in time.
Whether “true” is the word I would use to define who or how I am with the people in my life is tricky. I am what I want to receive from them. If I am going through a rough patch, I may not be the best friend in the world; however the love and appreciation I have for them is unwavering. Rough patches are tough, but real friends are able to bounce back from them. If you are finding yourself having the same disagreements with the same people over and over again, then it is time to evaluate their purpose in your life. Sometimes, because of similar interests (among other reasons), we hang on to people who were only meant to be in our lives for a season.
Do you want to know how you know I am your true friend? Because I will be willing to walk out of your life if I believed that would mean a lifetime of happiness for you. Friendship is not selfish.

That’s my definition of friendship:  tell me yours…

 

Another blogger in the universe!

Why did I create this blog?

There are probably as many answers to that question as hours in the day, however the most simple is because I love writing. Expressing myself through words has proven to be very therapeutic for me, as I am often unable to accurately express myself verbally. I could blame my short attention span for my lack of verbal prowess (and some may even debate the aforementioned as a fact given my witty personality ;~), but the most honest answer is I simply have more thoughts floating through my mind than I have opportunities to express them in my day-to-day interactions.

I am also embarking on what I am certain will be the biggest accomplishment of my life in becoming a mother for the first time this July. That in and of itself renders the need to have an outlet, an avenue through which I can be Shanika, without labels or titles…..the ability to continue to be me and not lose sight of why I was chosen to fulfill this most important ministry of motherhood in the first place.

Finally, LOVE having debates! I love exchanging ideas and various points of view on different subject matter. My goal is not to change minds or to force another to believe as I do, but to take the opportunity to see something through another’s eyes. It is through these eye-altering experiences that we are able to solidify beliefs while honoring another’s right to believe differently. That being said; one never knows what she or he can learn or become enlightened on until they meet a differing opinion. As such, I welcome all comments and look forward to hearing your voice!

So yes, another blogger has entered the universe, because……..I CAN :~)! I hope you enjoy your time here, but most importantly I hope you follow and become an active participant of my blog (click the link at the top of the screen) and tell your friends to do the same! Many thanks!

Sincerely,

Shanika