Adventure awaits

Talking to the air
Unloading all the thoughts, fears, and ideas
Not awaiting a response
Freeing up the mind in the safest way
The trust has been lost in the world
Following the signs the wind provides
Disregarding the fears of others
Doing what scares you the most is sometimes the best solution to the next right adventure

Feathers surround me

It hurts so much that I don’t know who you are

Forced to love you in prayer and from afar

Hearing your voice everywhere I go

It pains me that I knew you would never show

Still wishing for mistletoe, a kiss, and the hug that erases any pain

The holidays are gone once again, and I’m left with distain

Broken and crying I will give myself today

Tomorrow God will make a new way

The road is calling and the songs I will sing

A change in scenery is what the new day will bring

When God’s promises come into fruition, I do not know

I will use this time wisely and continue to grow

Someday soon my true love and I will be together

For it was proven by the sight of a feather

God does not lie but shows me signs

Ones that only can be done by the divine

So, I continue to wait and see

What God has in store just for me

Let’s talk about the financial divide in our society for a moment

Why is it that I can work in the beauty industry part time at a salary that is equivalent to a full-time position of someone who works in the mental health field? One is declaring an expectation of how society should look playing on the materialism that we all fall into, and the other is forced to help those who are overwhelmed by societies’ outlook and is just trying to fit in, as best they can, with some sort of implied disadvantage.

In this last year I have learned that there is no right answer to the problem that our society continues to keep itself in when it comes to financial “status”. People have decisions to make based on their circumstances and the ones that they chose and/or chose to change.

I came to this realization because I suffer from depression and chose to stay off medication. This gives me a lot of insight to the mental health field from several perspectives (because I have also navigated the system as a parent prior to my diagnosis). * It is because of this that I cherish the people I have worked with throughout the mental health community. I know it is their heart for people (and usually love for God or some form of belief) that sustains them…. because it is not the paycheck. This heart/love makes the mental health field is a very tight knit community.

I work part time in the beauty industry. Not only is it part of my selfcare to put myself together and show up somewhere that requires me to “look good” ….it actually helps me “feel” good because I feel like I look good (somedays more than others). There are people within this industry that are not there for the same reasons I am, they live their lives materialistically and are very surface-based individuals…. but don’t be fooled and judge too quickly…. not all of them are! Many of the girls I have encountered are young, just learning about life, and where and how they want to be in it. I encourage them to enjoy looking pretty and feeling good about themselves while they do it, why not? I have also met some amazing women who have gone through incredible journeys to overcome hardships and landed on their feet because they embraced taking on their own careers in the beauty industry. It is a tight community as well…. but beware, it can also be very competitive. Money and numbers are usually the (not so camouflaged) driving force behind this industry.

This is where the two communities collide. When looking to better your future and taking on a new career tear you up, you need the support from the opposite side to help you push through (this can be said for any industry you attempt to dive into). Does that mean you can trust everyone in the mental health community and not the beauty industry? No! Choosing your team of mental health professionals is extremely important and that is another blog to come.

My point in breaking this down is this: We all have a part to play in life, and sometimes it changes, and sometimes the players change. The key is to respect yourself, and others as you (and they) navigate through where you are, who you are, and who you choose to be. We are all necessary to keep pushing forward.

I hope that something I have learned will help someone else be a little less critical/judgmental today as we start our new year with the attempt to be a little less divided.

For additional information about how to get services for your mental health please go to Nami.org or google: mental health help near me for a list of local providers available to you.

* Let me first say that my choice is not right for everyone, and sometimes not right for me. I get lost and sad sometimes and it is the worst kind of warfare to get out of when it remains in your mind. So please make sure that you do not think you are some sort of God and manage your medication without the help (or at least advice) from a trained professional

What happens when she dies

What happens when she dies
When the warrior inside her surrenders
What happens when she puts down her sword
She lets her walls crash around her
The world will see her vulnerable and stripped of everything
Would anyone think twice or notice
Will she become an easy target
Or will she be embraced by something she never experienced
Will a power greater than her take away the pain and suffering
Never will she know until she waves the white flag

Love even those who do not love

There will be people in your life that accept you in a room they feel confident in
There will be people who acknowledge your presence in a public environment
These can be the same people that do not accept you as their equal in all rooms (whether you deserve the mutual respect or not).
Knowing who you are and who God created you to be will always be more important than how someone else sees you
He can see through walls that we cannot

The Holidays and Mental Health

Thanksgiving is historically known and intended for a time of gratitude.* For many, finding something to be grateful for is easier said than done. People suffering from mental illness struggle from one minute to the next trying to find even the smallest of happiness. Caregivers of those with struggles also find their own battle to continue holding sincere smiles

If you know someone has struggles (mental health disorders or others), loss of loved ones (hard to deal with during the holidays for many), trouble finding joy (pessimistic)…. don’t just “consider” reaching out, if you care to see how they are, be like Nike and just do it. It could end up meaning so much more to them than you realize. If it’s not a blessing in their eyes, then consider what was lost by doing a good thing for a short moment of your time? I am certain you will find it was still worth it.

For those who need mental health outreach please consider texting: 741741 or calling: NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE 1-800-273-8255 (please note that this is not solely for suicide prevention and can assist with any urgent emotional needs)

*This is from a US culture perspective and not an assumption that everyone believes in celebrating this holiday in the same way

The Same Apartment, Very Different Lives

Our lives looked very different from so many points of view and yet we were in the same place. She grew up with strong parents. They had good paying jobs and took care of their family, were respected in the community, and taught their daughters ethics, morals, and values. Mine struggled to keep jobs, had drugs/alcohol problems, inappropriate sexual parties, and violence surrounded our family on a regular basis. She had two beautiful babies out of wedlock and struggled, despite her family upbringing. I watched the girls for her while I attended college and tried to get out of our neighborhood. We both heard the same stories about the people we knew being shot on the corner of our street, wounded and bleeding, never to be reported on by the news/media. We saw the girls we went to school with turn into prostitutes, thinking they were doing what was necessary to survive financially, losing all their innocence, desensitizing themselves, and all sense of who they truly are as a human. She would complain about those girls, and how much money they were making, while she struggled to pay the bills with her legit job. It didn’t seem fair to anyone. I continued going to school and got jobs that paid higher salary, I can only imagine how much she resented me as I left the area and lost contact with her. We lived in the same town, the same apartment, and walked out the same door every day to face the world. The difference for each of us was black and white. Can you guess who was who?

Striving to Thrive, Her Story of Trauma

She told me that she understood everything happens for a reason, and that what happened to her was somehow meant to be.

She shared her experience of abuse that started in childhood and how it was suppressed throughout adolescence and young adulthood. The realization she now contains of relationships that were ruined, the psychological damage that was done, and the emptiness that was caused by one person to so many. It pained me to hear how she still had healing to do because of it all.

I saw two major things in her story:

1) This woman is striving to find something good, out of something awful that happened to her (she continues to carry so much courage)
2) This woman is in so much pain from something that she did NOT deserve to go through that she struggles to see who she is now (she is weighed down in mental fog to think she “earned” something bad to come into her life)

Here’s what can be learned from this one story…terrible things happen. Sometimes, terrible things happen to good people and it crushes their spirit.
Digging deep inside is sometimes the only way to thrive (not just strive) passed the evil that weighs us down. If our spirit was a candle….someone who wants you to be in the dark with them will blow it out. That does not mean you need to stay in the dark! Find a match and light that baby back up!

My hope for anyone, who has been weighed down in depression by trauma, is that you see your true beauty inside and accept that we may never know a logical reason to every bad thing that happens, and it does not need to stop you from being your amazing, beautiful self! So don’t let the trauma win, shine bright again.

Hurt People Hurt People

This saying has been going around in so many circles that it makes my head spin. Whether the rich want to be richer by way of manipulating people’s emotions, or the empathic want to spread love to those who need love to gain more empathy themselves, one thing is made certain, God takes note of the heart, not man. It is not our place; however, it is important to recognize that he does not want us to be treated as doormats, so he gave us discernment. How strong is your discernment in this area of life? Let us look at a couple examples and see. In the case of a missing parent the term may suggest that the parent in question is a hurt individual and therefore inflicting their hurt onto those they are not around by being absent. Discernment would then teach us that it is more probable that having the parent around could cause more harm than good and allowing the parent to be “missing” would be in the best interest of the child (still loving and praying from afar while possessing healthy boundaries). On the flip side, if someone has the direct intention (whatever their motive) to come into someone’s life simply to inflict hurt and/or pain then they are not only perpetuating more hurt and unnecessary psychological damage but breaking down someone’s faith and love they already maintain. Side note: Many may argue that someone who has faith would not be shaken from it. It does not matter how strong you feel your faith is, Jesus warned us that we will ALL fall short. No one is indestructible and to think otherwise is very dangerous. He himself threw tables in upset over how people were behaving (if you do not know where that is then I urge you to read your bible), would we not get to that point as well? Are you a better human than Jesus? I certainly am not. Back to the example: It is cruel to believe that you should put yourself in a situation that God has shown not healthy for you, and those that attempt to come around with continued UNHEALED hurt are essentially mocking God (not just you). How do we know if they are unhealed or not? Time and discernment. There are gangs of people out there using this well-known phrase to their advantage (again, for whatever their motive) and making a living wage on it while also betting on the idea that kindhearted people will support them. Guess what, they are right because kindhearted people do support each other, and God-fearing ones know how to discern (by his confirmation) who those people are and/or when to get closer to them. Can God’s people be misled? Of course, and God will walk them through that fire and out to the other side, but why go through something that he did not intend on having you learn from in the first place? Maybe you already learned that lesson? I may be wrong (because I am an imperfect human) however I believe that it is VERY important to have a healthy sense of ego. This is not to say be egotistical, and this is not to say to be devoid of ego all together. I came to this conclusion because of the problem I see in our culture right now. It is that people feel the need to be on one side or the other. Why? We all must live here RIGHT NOW. That is not being on the fence with faith in God, that is having the faith that God will handle it better than my skewed knowledge of it. So, it would make more sense to take notice of both sides and allow things to play out in the way that God oversees. Do you believe you ARE God, or simply have God within you? Do you feel hurt people deserve to be loved even while dealing with their hurt? What about continuing to hurt to the point of spreading their hurt to you and/or others? Do you feel your faith is strong enough to handle what God put in front of you? Have you discerned that what is in front of you is for you, or is that your will? Do hurt people hurt other people? Sometimes. Can and should you love those that hurt? Always. Do you need to accept someone into your life that is hurting? If you choose to. Do you need to accept someone inflicting hurt into your life? The answer to that should be taken to God.