Don’t ever give up!

I just read a story on MSNBC about a mother who shot and killed her two teenage kids, because she said they were talking back and she’d become fed up. My heart hurts for her and her family, and I had to write about it. See, this wife and mother didn’t just snap (like in the tv show of the same name), she had a major psychological relapse that caused her to do what many of us would say to be the impossible. She took the lives of her own children. This story is so sad and disturbing, and if you watch Nancy Grace, it is one of many recurring stories happening all over the nation. Parents killing kids, kids killing parents and the oh so common, yet still sad, kids killing kids. What has this world come to? Are we in the last days?

Now before you get all nervous and think this post is about the last days, it isn’t. But for all my “Believer”friends, fam and even those I don’t personally know, I will have a post on that soon to come. Many people have thoughts about doing something out of character, whether it be wanting to get revenge on someone, or wanting them to get what we think they deserve, etc… We are human, so those thoughts are common, not right, but common. However, there is something inside of us that can and will bring us back. I wouldn’t necessarily say back to reality, but rather, back to our God granted senses. When we step outside of that thinking, we open ourselves up to be used by the enemy. That outside thinking is why we unfortunately have to continue to watch, hear and read about stories of people just snapping and doing the unthinkable. I refuse to believe that this mother woke up and decided to kill her kids, but that frustration, helplessness and even depression pushed her to ignore that voice of reasoning and hope. Instead of turning to her Faith, she must’ve closed her eyes and allowed the darkness to takeover.  She gave up and thought this was the easiest way to get through what she was going through. Again, I don’t assume to have all the answers as to why this tragic event occurred, but the God in me says it only can be the enemy, and since it is written that he comes to kill, steal and destroy, I believe that he used this woman to do just that.  The old saying goes,” it’s so easy to do the wrong thing, yet so hard to do the right thing .” I don’t know about y’all but easy is boring. It’s as played out as an 8-track.  Nothing in life that is meaningful was ever easily attained. Anybody who says I’ve had it easy, or things just come to me easily, is in denial of the privilege that God has granted them. If He has given it to you, He expects that you work hard to keep it and give Him the praise every step of the way; or get ready to eventually lose it.

The World as we know it, has taken prayer out of the schools, which in turn leads to prayer being extracted from the homes and sometimes even the churches. Somewhere, someone needs you to pray for them. No matter whether you know them or their situation. Somebody has lost Hope, given up on Faith and is not thinking in their God granted senses.  There could even be signs that those we know are showing, but sometimes we don’t take the time to check up on them. Even if they’re miles and miles away, a quick phone call or text just to say you are thinking about them and praying for them is something. I do admit that there are times when I have neglected checking on my family or catching up with an old friend. I’ll say, maybe next week, but often times next week turns into months or even years. I vow to not let those I love and care about fall out of my radar ever again. (So if you haven’t heard from me in a while, please receive this msg…”I love you and am praying for your strength in the Lord”). We must pray for the state of the World as we know it. There is chaos, destruction and despair all around us. We must not give up, we must believe that God is Still in control!! Pray without ceasing!

This post was inspired by this story:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41327238/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/from/toolbar

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It Ain’t over till its over

I love the Rocky movies, and not just because Sylvester Stallone’s chiseled body nor the way he would call out, “Adrian,” but because Rocky never gave up. No matter how bleak the outcome looked, or how people told him it was over, he would continue to go in that ring. Each time, he’d get messed up pretty bad, but he wouldn’t give up. He also had to deal with the numerous people who would tell him that the odds were stacked against him. He never bought into their opinions, and by the end of the movie…Rocky won! Rocky believed in the philosophy of, ‘It ain’t over till it’s over.’ He let his own belief in himself and in those around him, drive him to a successful conclusion. He surrounded himself with people like Mickey, who stood by him and taught him everything about mastering the art of boxing. Apollo who challenged him to push himself to be the best (they know they were wrong for killing Apollo off in Rocky 4). Or Paulie, his best friend, who always kept it real with him, and never left his side, even when he deserved it. And I definitely can’t forget his muse, love of his life, Adrian. She kept Rocky from being too hardened, she brought out the softer, more human side of him.
Now I know this is just a movie, and real life isn’t always about the number of hits you can take. Have you ever felt like just giving up? No matter what you try to do, everything seems to go wrong. It’s like every time you try to clear out the pile of issues, you continue to get bombarded with more. You feel as if it’d be better for you to just say forget it. Well in times like these, you must think like Rocky and know that, “It Ain’t over till It’s over.” You can get through any situation if you are determined enough to endure until the end. For example, I had a rough start to 2010, from dealing with a layoff and trying to decide if it was time to change careers. There were times when I was frustrated, depressed and doubting my own self. Yet, I knew that I didn’t work hard throughout my life to just throw in the towel now. God would never bring me this far to leave me. In turn, I am grateful to be able to say that 2010 ended so much better than it started.
How you determine what is worth the fight or the effort for is up to you. However, you have to remember that some things end because they’re supposed to. There is nothing that you’re responsible for, but how you move on from that situation (that’s another post for another time). Once you decide it’s worth the fight, that’s when it’s time to come up with a game plan or strategy that you intend on putting to use. Not just a bunch of words that are meant to morph into verbs that fly off and take action, but just wind up being words left in the distance to find their way to someone who’ll actually use them correctly. When you set that plan into motion, it’s like a light is shining down on you and showing you the way.
As I stated earlier, Rocky surrounded himself with people who believed in him and kept pushing him to be better. Making sure you have th right people beside you is very important. These people aren’t just your cheerleaders, they’re your inspiration. Feeling their presence, keeps you and motivates you to know your abilities were just stifled and the time is now for you to pick yourself back up. Don’t forget to do for them what they’ve done for you. Be that inspiration for somebody else as well.
Live your life like it’s Golden! It ain’t over till it’s over, so trust in God and keep pushing. You will find your way sooner than you think you will.

Let it Go

When I was younger, my brother and I used to fight like cats and dogs.  It was worse than a WWE championship match; mostly because the fighting was real.  He would say the meanest things to me, and I, not being outdone, said some of the ugliest things to him.  Statements like, “I hate you.”  “You make me sick.”  “I hope you get hit by the #4 bus on your way to school.”  Okay, maybe that was a little much, but as immature kids, we didn’t know any better.  The good news is that despite all the bad experiences as children, my brother and I are the best of friends now.  We refused to hold on to the past and not be able to move on to rebuild our bond. 

How many times have you wanted to let go of bad experiences or situations?  Whether it be from your present or your past, or whether you were the cause of that experience or situation, it seems to have some type of hold over you that won’t let go.  It’s like you were watching a bad movie and as much as you wanted to turn the channel, you just couldn’t because you’d gotten so far into the movie that you just had to see the ending.  When the movie ends and just as you suspected, it sucked, you then sit there pondering why you didn’t just turn the channel in the first place.   I know that analogy is kind of simplifying some of the bigger more serious things in our lives, however, we are all guilty at one time or another of dragging out a situation.  The more energy we put into dwelling on it, the more we allow it to take up space in our lives.  It happened not to torture us for the rest of our lives, but to teach us a lesson that will hopefully make our lives better.  If you need closure in a situation, I say get it, because once you’ve gotten that closure, you can let it go and end that chapter. 

Okay, okay, so it’s much easier said than done.  What in life isn’t?  Letting go takes Will power, prayer, supportive friends and fam, more prayer, and a plan for what you will do next once you let it go.  See, this plan is your written vision of how you are committed to truly moving forward and letting it go.  This vision should not include any mention or inclination of thought surrounding the situation or experience that you have worked so hard to get over.   The vision should be positive, yet realistic.  For example, meeting the man/woman of your dreams while stuck in traffic on the Kennedy, is highly unlikely (although stranger things have happened).  Also, you need to give yourself a timeline for implementing your vision.  Letting go can’t and won’t happen overnight, but it shouldn’t linger on for years and years.  You deserve the best, no matter what you’ve done in your past or even what you did five minutes ago.  Know your worth and let go of everything that keeps you imprisoned by depression, unhappiness, vengeance,anger and regret. 

I accept that life is too short to give away the best part of me to negative situations and people who don’t have my best interest at heart.  I am still learning to detect who those people are, but even if I find out when it’s too late, I will not hold on to it anymore.  And if that person is me, I rebuke myself!  I will let it go!  It holds no place in the life that I want and am committed to building for myself.  It will not block my Blessings anymore.  I will not allow it to lay in the depths of my mind, only to hear it resonate at the first sign of trouble.   I pray the same for you.

Chances Are….

One of my favorite artists, El DeBarge has returned to the music scene, and his first release was a song called, “Second Chance.” In the song he talks about how he knows he’s done a lot of wrong, but he’s asking for another chance to make it right. I love this song so much because the lyrics are so profound and healing. It’s the type of song that can be turned into a spiritual hymn. Recently, all across the news we’ve been hearing about a homeless man named, Ted Williams, who has been dubbed the man with the golden voice. He has been given another chance to right his wrongs. In Hollyweird, Lindsay Lohan was released from rehab, and given another chance to turn her life around. There are so many people like ourselves as well as those in the spotlight who continue to need more chances/opportunities to turn their lives around. I’m not judging anyone because I am far, far from perfect, and have requested my share of chances as well. All of this made me ponder, “How many chances do we need to be given before we make the right choice?”

There are so many chances/opportunities right in front of our faces.  Those chances/opportunities that you have, are not final, unless you continue to be unappreciative of them. See, where you are right now is possibly where you’re supposed to be until you Will yourself into that next chance. Sometimes we allow ourselves to continue to remain in what I like to call, ‘a state of complaint.’ It’s when no matter if they woke up this morning, have a job to go to, their car started, these people will find anything to bring themselves down. They could find a dollar on the street, but still be mad because it wasn’t twenty dollars. Or be so mad about past relationships that they sabotage any positive relationship in the present. What many fail to realize is that not everyone has those same opportunities/chances, and they wish they could be in your shoes. We have the chance to live happily, knowing that those desires of our heart will be met according to God’s Will for our lives. We have the chance to understand that life lessons are just that, and by the Grace of God we have the chance to start anew. Leaving those choices that we’ve made behind us and saying, “Lord, thank you for another chance.” 

Chances are, when we take the time to stop and look around us, we ‘ll realize that we are so Blessed. And if you aren’t where you’d hope to be, chances are, that you have lost your Faith in the fact that you can and will be given another chance to rise above your current situation. It’s time to make a move and not just find another way to complain yourself back into that rut. Put your Trust in God and open yourself up for the opportunities that await you once you refuse to let them pass you by anymore. Whether you get a second, third, fourth or more chances, don’t take them for granted. These are Blessings that are given, yet can also be taken away.

Read the Fine Print- Follow Your Intuition

I was just watching a commercial for Lunesta…okay well actually it was at 2a.m, because I myself often suffer from insomnia. So of course, seeing this commercial kind of gave me hope that maybe one day, I could be on my way to some better sleep. It is doctor recommended and can only be prescribed so that was a good sign. There’s a 7-day challenge that states if you take it for seven days and it doesn’t work, you can get your money back. Another good sign, in my opinion. Lastly, it said don’t eat a big meal before taking the medicine; so basically this medicine can do the trick without you having the itis. All sounded good to me. So my idea was to definitely call my doctor and see about getting some Lunesta asap. But before I could relax, relate and think about getting some relief…here came the side effects, and believe me, they are too long to list. The worst one was the swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, hands, feet, ankles or lower legs. I almost fell out. Forget sleep, I’ll be on my death-bed!

So of course reading the fine print on food, medicine, a contract, etc.. is very important, and hopefully we’re all doing it. Or good luck with those side effects. Seriously though, there are times when we don’t have that fine print right in front of us, but we have something even better, our intuition. The Webster definition of intuition is quick and ready insight; immediate apprehension or cognition. Everyone has that little voice in their head (some have more than one, but we won’t discuss them right now), that tells you if something just doesn’t feel right. Many people attribute it to common sense, I just say, thank you Lord, I’m listening. However, how many times have you decided to skip what that voice is saying because it’s just too good to pass up? Why do we always tend to want what most times is too good to be true? In the majority of the situations, it all ends in disappointment, sometimes embarrassment and often times anger…oh yeah, and a few times people’s windows get busted out (and no I never did this, but I admit I witnessed it in college…a real mess..smh). When we don’t take the time to get to know people, whether it be in business relationships, friendships or as potential partners, we are at risk of believing the facade that comes with that initial screening. You know, meeting that representative…the person who impresses you, makes you a believer, even woos you. Only time will reveal the actual person behind the “rep” mask, and then, here comes the trouble.

Now the funny thing is that even though that person is doing a good job, there are still those red flags or signs that are there to alert us to be careful or ‘run for the hills.’ That intuition is still trying to get us to listen, but some of us have just hit the ignore button and decided to keep on going. The satisfaction that we get for that period of time, almost seems worth it. However, we all know whether we’ve experienced a bad business decision, have gone through the breakdown of a friendship or have had our hearts broken, the pain just isn’t worth it. How many times have you wished you would’ve just walked away when you first felt that something was wrong? Well before some of you start the pity party, because this post just caused you to think about him/her…put the drink down and take a deep breath…there is happiness at the end of our self-induced set back. It’s called forgiveness.

In order to get past your lack of examining the fine print or following your intuition/your first mind, you have to forgive yourself. We are human and we all make mistakes…several times in our lives. You could even make the same mistake again if you don’t listen. Just know that there is a lesson to be learned and it’s not that you’re good at making mistakes, it’s that your intuition is your guide, your little Angel there to steer you clear of those things and people who don’t have your best interest at heart. So trust that Angel and remember to beware of the side effects when you don’t listen.

I’ve only just begun….

Have you ever felt like the better half of yourself is out there doing everything you want to do? Like seriously, you can’t be the one putting things off and living your life without true fulfillment. This has to be an imposter. I know my analogy may sound a little far fetched, but it’s true for me. I feel like I just can’t be living to work and not living to follow my dreams. How have I let time continue to pass me by? Don’t get me wrong, I have achieved a lot in my lifetime and I am so thankful to God for Blessing me throughout this journey. My journey has been filled with overcoming trials and tribulations and being able to hold my head up high just to spite the naysayers. It has some great stories about lessons learned in life and love(maybe we’ll talk about it later, maybe not 🙂 But this chapter is all about living out my dreams. No matter the outcome, no matter how long it takes, I will finish that book, record an album or get a songwriting deal, get my MBA or JD and continue to inspire others through this blog. Maybe, in the next chapter, I’ll fit a husband and a family in there somewhere…but right now, it’s all about me!
In my career, I work with people who have been putting their goals/dreams off for years and years. The one constant in what they say is that they regret not doing it when they had the opportunity. Although they are happy that they’ve finally made the decision to complete their goals (some are still professional procrastinators), it’s never the same as doing it when you want to vs. doing it because you have to. There’s no better feeling than being able to say that you’ve accomplished that goal, and no matter how long it takes, the satisfaction is in the completion. I feel like one of those people today, because I’m making a decision to start and I won’t give up until all that I’ve wanted, dreamed of, prayed for is accomplished.
I remember my grandma used to always tell me, “Ladybug, you only have one life to live, so make sure to do just that.” I wish she were still here so I can tell her, “I am grandma…now, I really am!”