“Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you will have.”
One half of me wishes someone had said this to me when I was younger. The other half of me understands journeys and divine timing, so I learned it exactly when it was needed. I haven’t always had the best relationship with myself. I knew that self-esteem was a thing, but there is so much more to being one with yourself than loving what you look like. You have to love all of your layers. How do you do this after the world has beaten you into submission? It has said to you that you are not worthy or good enough. It has told you that you are not beautiful inside or outside. It has judged you and stomped on your character.
This is what I have for you. I’m about to tell you some real shit and some cliché shit. The real shit and step one is to stop giving a fuck. I’m serious. Turn the world off. Family, friends, and lovers. Turn them off! Their thoughts about you and their feelings stop mattering right now.
Now the cliché shit. Call out your flaws and the things you don’t like or love about yourself. Get comfortable with them. If they are physical, stare at them everyday until you can find what you love about them. I’ll tell you the physical things I hated about myself since I was a kid. I hated my nose, my teeth, my hair color, my short nail beds, and my toes. I actually could pick myself apart from head to toe and I measured my beauty by how many boys had a crush on me. Zero. Now, you can’t tell me I’m not the finest thing walking. You also can’t keep all the same people that passed me by-men and women--out of my inbox. I found beauty in myself by realizing that I was the reflection of the things my parents loved about one another. One day they will have to leave me and all I’ll have to do to see them again is look in a mirror. Lion King was on to something showing Simba as his dad through his reflection in the water. Both of my parents are beautiful and I have their features. I’ve watched men and women fall at the feet of my parents and they never changed a single thing about themselves. They fell into temptation a lot--story for another day--but never changed.
It also helps to know that you won’t be beautiful to everyone. I dated a boy in high school that thought Halle Berry was the ugliest woman he’d ever seen in his life. He had to be mentally ill or some shit. Either way, it proved my point.
Aside from that, the people who are meant to truly love you will do it from the inside. I mastered beauty on the outside. You could point out something I used to hate about myself and I will respond with “I know” or “Okay and?”
It’s my insides that were fucked up for the longest. It was my inside that needed to be triggered. I was selfish, mean, insensitive, judgmental, all the things. It’s the way I thought I needed to be after constant betrayal and disappointment. I’d become a sponge for negativity and toxicity. It was an if you can’t beat them, join them type of situation. I stayed on that side of ugly for so long that it became my norm. I hadn’t even realized that because I had these behaviors, I’d attract the worst of the worst types of people to me.
So how do you fix yourself on the inside?
CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR!
“Mastering Ego” is part of the divine lesson. Magic happens when we move from our true divine self and lay Ego aside. Ego can cause blockages and stunt growth. Ego is also the “living room” where all the traumas congregate and discuss how they will mask themselves in Ego when in fact it’s trauma that is showing up in the cracks of interactions. We should always reflect as to why Ego has a need to show up now. Why is my Ego being “protective or defensive”? What does that stem from and what is the root? When we move from a constant state of awareness, we then start unraveling unhealthy habits quicker and reprogramming healthier habits.”
Healing and forgiveness. Healing and forgiveness are such broad terms. We hear them often, but the how is often lost upon us. I’ve had family, friends, therapists, and lovers tell me that what I needed was to heal and to forgive. It would be the only way for me to be thrust forward in love and life. I’ve always been good at healing others and taking in their forgiveness if and when I was wrong. Now I’ve found the guide within myself to give forgiveness and heal my own wounds. I’m a woman that’s full of pride. A pride that can make me not speak to you for the rest of my life or yours. I may have pushed my pride aside in this life a time or two for people whose presence really affected me, but that has been my limit. I think, too, for me I didn’t know real loss until my Great Aunt died. So saying things to me like love people while their still here rolled from my back and shoulders. I’ve never allowed myself to get close to very many people. My lovers can tell you a lot about me, but I can promise you, only one ever really knew me. Pain and anger can keep you thriving and I’ve fed off of it for years. It was my energy source and motivation.
My pain has allowed me to play victim and blame everyone who hurt me, except myself. My anger kept a fortress around me, but it also made me detached and petty.
So again I say, step out of ego. This part is hard, but trust me, it’s not the hardest. If this was the only thing that I needed to do then I would have done it years ago.
The thing about me is, I knew what the blow-back would be. I knew that stepping out of ego would mean I’d open the floodgates to every single emotion I’ve tried not to feel for over a decade. You can run from a lot in your life, but you will never be able to outrun yourself. Trying to hide from yourself will be the reason you can’t make a decision or sleep well at night. Your stress and your struggle will haunt you, because you become a prisoner of your on thoughts and unresolved emotions.
A very deep and passionate relationship that I was in ended. I tried to treat it like I did all of the other ones. I moved on, I stuck to my life’s routine--going to work and the gym--I saw other people, even started to have feelings for them. But, I was still unsettled. I didn’t want her back, but at the same time something between us felt unresolved. Then I realized that I had finally hit a wall. This was the place where it was time to grow, to learn from my past mistakes. My relationship pattern has been to meet someone, date them, grow feelings, in comes the toxic shit, break up, and then meet someone new again to restart the cycle that I couldn't see. I was running instead of resolving. There are better ways to walks away from people and situations that no longer serve you.
I called my sister to tell her I wanted a new start. I seemed to always believe that change is the solution for every life problem. My sister said to me, “You can move, but Tiana no matter where you go, your problems are coming with you. So, you can either deal with your problems there are deal with them in the new place you chose. Either way, you will deal.”
I’m sure I called her a few names, because that’s just the way we talk to one another, but in the same breath, I told her she was right. I hated it. My sister is younger than me, but I swear she is some wise entity from some place in my past life and she is guiding me.
I got off the phone with her and sat in the middle of my bed just staring at the wall. What do I do? How do I deal? Where do I begin to deal?
You begin with honesty after checking your ego. Now you have to stand in front of the mirror and face the ugly truth that is you. Who are you? Truly? My ego problem made me a gift--I mean, I am--but the kind of gift that I presented myself as was not a good one. I wasn’t the gift of peace and grace. Why? Because I was not giving those things to myself. We’ll get into the deeper parts of it in a second, but first I want to tell you what needs to be healed and in what order.
If you’ve been keeping up with my Power of choice blog “series” then you’ll see a pattern and all of those blogs will make more sense. So first, the mind has to make a decision to heal. You can burn all the sage and carry all the crystals in the world, but if your mind isn’t right, none of it will matter. Healing the mind means filling it with positivity consistently.
“Stop speaking negatively about yourself or your life, even as a joke. Your spirit doesn’t know the difference.”
Be intentional about what you read, who you follow on social media, and who you engage in conversations with. My bookshelf has changed, the way I use social media has changed, and well, my circle has always been small and ever changing because I myself am an energy that moves. In real life, it’s just me. I call my Mom and sister when I’m in distress. I’m still working on being comfortable enough to express my deep cuts to a partner. Taurus's, like Scorpios can be secretive. A lot of people don’t know that.
I knew that my mind needed some reprogramming because I’m hard on myself. Sometimes I’m so hard that I forget how amazing I am. Other people shouldn’t always have to pull me from dark places. It was my routine. It was empty and somewhat void of positivity. Now I wake up in the morning and play a motivational speech. Three of my favorite people to listen to are Dr. Miles Monroe, Jim Rohn, and Les Brown. I do wonder why there aren’t more women that do motivational speeches or maybe I just haven’t sought them out. I’ll make that my next task. I do have some dope women that I listen to for a different type of inspiration. The three men that I named feed my spirit to keep me hungry in my career and creativity. They keep me hype about life. If you know anything about me then you know I need that.
After I listen to a motivational speech, I listen to Dr. Joy. She created the Therapy for Black Girls network. It’s the most amazing thing in the world for someone like me living in a city where my heart was broken, I have no family, and I have two people that I can tolerate. Dr. Joy’s podcast changes me each time I listen to it. She makes me be gentle with myself.
After I get my life with Dr. Joy, I move on to the HoodXHolistic podcast. Listening to Cort and Ash keep me gentle as a lover. They are so honest about their lives and their relationship. They keep me human and allow me to see others as human, which brings me to forgiveness.
I’m going to get back to healing because it’s a process, but lets touch on forgiveness and why some of us, I.E. me can’t or won’t seem to do it. I can honestly only speak for myself. I’ve self-proclaimed myself as unforgiving for years. And the sad thing about this is that I was proud of it. I was proud that my feelings and mind about a person could remain unchanged. How is this okay? It’s not, because this meant that people were not redeemable. This also meant that I carried a lot of hurt, bitterness, and anger with me that leaked over into every relationship that I had as I waited for people to do exactly as I predicted they would--disappoint me. I counted people out before they even got a chance to prove me right or wrong.
This is where that honestly came in hard for me, because in realizing this truth, I had to accept that I was that woman, making every new partner pay for the mistakes of whoever came before them. The worse the previous lover was, the harder I was on the new one. God help them.
Being unforgiving makes you hard on the inside. You think you are giving and receiving love properly, but all you’re really doing is transferring dysfunction and trauma. The most recent example I have is my ex-wife and the woman that came after her. My ex-wife would spew venom and say the most hurtful things to me. That was never my style of arguing, but I for damn sure adjusted. I carried this with me and my new girlfriend called me out on it. Her love language was Words of Affirmation so it would make sense why this would not fly in our relationship.
It sucks the way that our relationship ended, but it was necessary. Necessary because a pattern needed to be broken. I needed to end the tumultuous and addictive relationship that I had with toxicity. It was almost like I needed some level of abuse to feel loved. Pain was my love language. UNhealthy attachment was my love language. In knowing this about myself, I had to sit with the darker parts of me that was attracted to it because it was those parts that needed this dangerous nourishment.
“I found healing when I told ego to lower its voice and sit in the corner, while I asked my wounds important questions.”
Who are you? Ask yourself. Are you the envious or jealous lover or friend? Are you a liar? Are you manipulative? Are you sneaky and secretive? Are you controlling? Are you mentally, physically, or emotionally abusive? Are you constantly wearing a mask out in the world? Are you a people pleaser? Are you mean? Are you petty? Are you spiteful? Do you use silent treatment as control? Do you ghost people? Do you always have to be right?
I can list out a million questions that pull out the unhealthiest of things, but ummm, some of this work your going to have to do on your own. These were things that I had to ask myself to start identifying the holes inside of me that needed filling. My foundation was weak.
Unpack. Unpack. Unpack.
Once you identify those negative things about yourself start to learn how they can be changed. Here we are back to books, Podcast, and the company you keep. I started taking care of myself y’all. The mental makeover was real. I was meditating in the morning and even in my sleep with “I am” affirmations playing to my subconscious. A mental makeover is about finding balance and peace. It’s ending the war with yourself, giving yourself grace to exist even when you mess up. It’s owning your mistakes, but not harping on them. Learn and move on.
Forgive yourself because once you do, you can start to forgive others. You can see the fault and intentions of others and know who is worthy and who is not. I’ll be the first to admit that’s it’s scary as fuck, because you have to be the one thing none of us want to be---vulnerable.
This was the hardest part for me. I had to open myself in places that I never had before and I think for a week straight all I did was cry. No. I broke the fuck down. All my trauma came bubbling over and every part of me ached and cried. I felt paralyzed and some days I couldn’t go to work. Shoutout to sick time in the Matrix. I could feel the breakthrough in my bones. This is why people like to remind you that healing and self-care is not just bubble baths and spa days.
“Self-love is more than basking in your light. Self-love is identifying where you’re fucking up, being accountable for it and correcting it.”
I will say that I knew something inside of me was cracked after I left my marriage. I had no business trying to love anybody but myself, but that ego is a motherfucker. It will not let you tell it what it can or can’t do.
I also made the mistake of believing that healing meant I could be my old self before I was someone’s girlfriend or wife. No.
“Maybe you’re not healing because you’re trying to be who you were before the trauma. That person doesn’t exist anymore, because there’s a new you trying to be born. Breathe life into that person.
I’m in a new place in my life. A place that requires me to vibrate at a higher level. The old me did not vibrate this high. Granted there are parts of me that are still here, but that’s because they too, have evolved and kept up with my new emergence.
Being mentally strong has put in a position to grab the other parts of my stubborn bull by the horns. I’m healing and training my body. I’m healing and guiding my spirit. I’m choosing better people for my life and mission. I’m learning that yes, love is a risk worth taking and deserves my presence and healthy attachment at all times, not just when it convenient for me. I’m drawing lines and boundaries. I’m speaking louder and clearer. I’m handling my depression.
We can sit here all day, but the bottom line is that you have to give yourself grace. You have to be gentle with yourself.
Mind. Body. Spirit.
"A lot of people are terrified to heal. When your whole identity is based on fear and pain it can be terrifying to know who you are without it. Don't become so accustom to pain that you forget freedom from it is an option." -Soul Whispering Healer
Love and Light.
Let me first say that a lot of people that read this are going to dislike me. I’d like to follow that up with I don’t care. A part of my journey to self-awareness, freedom, and healing is being completely transparent with others and especially myself. And transparency sometimes means talking about the uncomfortable shit. Also, in this morning’s motivational message the words that resonated with me were, “You are only angered by things you don’t understand.” This blog is for me. Am I angry at this? Do I not understand?
This is a topic that fades in and out of my life as circumstances arise and today it stands front and center thanks to my now strange friendship with one of my non-black friends.
I’m a Southern is woman through-and-through. You hear the term Southern Woman and the pleasant assumptions you can make about me are that I’m friendly, I can probably throw down in a kitchen, dance, drink you under the table, and you can bring me home to Mama. Yes. Now what about those not-so-nice things that we know exist in Southern culture like colorism and racism. I carry those things as well.
Let me back up and tell you what triggered this conversation. I currently reside in Seattle, Washington. It’s a “progressive” place or in other words a puddle of All Lives Matter bullshit. Interracial relationships are normal and non-black people throw the word “nigga” around like a football. Four years here and I still can’t remove the cringe from my body. I’ve tried. I’ve sat with it and tried to understand the “culture” they’ve created in the Pacific Northwest, but it’s gross on so many levels that sometimes I can’t breathe. I have a non-black friend that I work with. We probably would have never been friends had she met the old me. Being here I’ve tried to remain open to people and experiences, but this friendship reminds me why I stay in my circle at times.
I was sitting at my desk listening to a Podcast (Therapy for Black Girls). She comes up to me and asks what I was doing and I tell her. She then looks confused and ask “Do black women need a specific type of therapy?”
I blankly stared at her. It was my why are we friends moment. In that small amount of time I had several thoughts. One, this is why I’ve only had black friends. Two, is this a serious question? Three, do I look like the type of person that will unpack this for her or anybody else? Four, this is why, no matter how trifling men and women can be, I only date black.
This same friend has another black friend, which I learned is married to a white man that supports Trump. Maybe she thought we were the same.
I will say that, typically, I’d go into a blind rage and get on my soapbox. Instead, I simply said, yes, we do need special therapy and I don’t feel like I should have to explain why when you literally only collect black women as friends. It’s been about a week since that happened and there has been no apology, which speaks volumes to me. Like most non-black people she’s standing in her privilege not to learn or care about something that doesn't directly affect the person that she is.
When I lived further south of Seattle in Puyallup, I had two non-black friends. One was white and the other was Asian. I can remember the white one saying to me that she hated her job and wanted to quit, but didn’t feel like she’d be hired. She told me that I could go anywhere because I was qualified and had the experience. I told her she could go anywhere as well because she had something that I didn’t: privilege. Instead of going red in the face, she looked me in my eyes and said,” Christiana, I am so sorry, because you are absolutely right.” This is why we’re still friends. I will deal with non-blacks that have done their homework on oppression.
Let’s go on this journey. Hold on tight. My father is a black man that has always cared about being the best provider that he could be. In the beginning he was that. He bought my Mom a nice house and put me in a “good” school, which in society means white school. There was me and one other black girl in my class. And the nerve of my black ass not to like the other black girl because she looked “dirty” aka she was darker than me with kinkier hair. My dad was okay with his decision in the environment he chose for us until I came home and told him I was dating a white boy named John. All hell broke loose. It was the beginning of his race rants and I was old enough to receive and be molded by it. It was the first difference I noticed my parents had. My Mom was a radical in her own right, but not to the extent of my dad.
He and my Mom had their own problems that eventually led to their separation and divorce. I would be snatched from that environment and placed in the opposite. Now I was in a school where one white kid existed and I was taunted for talking like “white people.” My first friend was a girl named Brittany who could damn near pass for white. I was trying to find what I had already gotten used to (whiteness), even after leaving that school my next three friends were a bi-racial girl named Melissa and two white girls named Lauren and Amy. We were all on the same volleyball team. Well, not Amy, she was more interested in older boys.
In that time I had no idea how problematic the term “pretty for a black girl” was in my life, but I certainly learned as I tried to keep up. My hair was permed and I accidentally turned it green trying to dye it blonde. I hated my big nose, and I started starving myself to stay thin. I even had hazel eye contacts at one point. I couldn’t see beauty in myself.
I got real black friends after that. Black-black. They were artists and ready for the revolution. They wore natural everything (no I’m not bashing people who choose change and enhancements, but choose it for the right reasons). These were the people that helped me to discover the radical and the artist in myself. The people that taught me my black ass still needed sun-screen. The people that made me toss out my mom’s Tresemme shampoo. The list goes on. The world looked different, because now, there I was awakened and accepted for myself.
And once you are awake, there is no going back.
Now here is the double edged sword that is my father and how he always straddled the fence. He would tell my siblings and I about interracial dating and how wrong it was because of the privileges we’d never have. In the same breath, he once told me and my sister about his ex-girlfriend Jessica who was a white woman that he was so in love with. He’d make the comment that my sister and I would have had fairer skin had Jessica been our mother. Because again light meant right. The only reason he didn’t marry the white woman was because he couldn’t bring her home. My grandparents were not with the shits.
So there it was out of the mouth of my own father. It was his own bitterness that triggered the issues that my sister and I would have for the rest of our lives. Don’t worry, I’ve already asked my sister’s permission to tell pieces of her story. You’ll see why it matters in a moment.
She and I literally split paths. She dated black men for a time (light skin only) while I always went as dark as I could go. If you looked purple or blue then you were perfect! Eventually, after several toxic ass relationships, my sister left black altogether. I didn’t understand, but I understood. To me, she simply traded one evil for another. Black men alienated my sister, treating her like some well-kept secret because she was a BBW. She was also a black girl into rock and punk culture, which made them see her as weird. White men loved her size and her interest, but her blackness? That was a no-go when it came to bringing her around friends and family. So which one do you accept? Well, the white boys weren’t cheating or body shaming, only festishizing, which is a lighter blow.
I found a way to be okay with my sister’s choices, because I genuinely cared about her happiness and I saw firsthand the trauma that came from her dating black men. That wasn’t my experience since I “fit” the mold of what most black men went for, but trust me I wasn’t safe being specialized and treated like an object. I eventually discovered my love for the other sex and well, women can be just as fucking bad with their internalized hatred for themselves and whatever toxic masculinity has been instilled in them.
For my first girlfriend, I was her first black girlfriend. For my second girlfriend, I was reminded often that she’d never dated anyone darker than a paper bag. It was almost like she wanted me to feel lucky I was the exception. She was one of those niggas that would use “pretty for a black girl” like a new trend. And my weak ass always sought her approval. Thank the universe for growth. After her, I vowed to never date another person that had any type of attraction to non-black women. I steered clear of those types, even dated a woman that was Dominican and black and loved blackness more than me, until about six years ago when I met the woman that I would foolishly marry. I thought I could handle it, but she made it clear every time that she cheated with a Hispanic woman that I was not what she wanted. She too, would remind me that I was “too black” and I don’t mean my complexion. To her, black women were too mouthy and strong.
Guess what? She was bullied for being brown by her own family and projected her bullshit onto me. I learned that too late. She’d already done the necessary damage to my self-esteem making me feel un-pretty, undesirable, and well, too black. She always wanted me to wear my hair straight. She even flat-ironed it herself once and told me she used to do it for her white ex-girlfriend. I still remember the tightness in my chest and lump in my through as she ran steam through my reddish-brown strands. She required my nails be done at all times and loved, LOVED calling me ghetto. You know that thing loud black girls with colored hair are called, but white women are seen as expressive. Nice.
Me? I sat with all my own criticisms. I was that teenage girl again trying to understand why I wasn’t enough.
Why’d she marry me? This blog is long enough so let’s just say it’s all psychological, because after beating my self-esteem into oblivion she won’t even look in the direction of a non-black woman. I had to make her love me. I unpacked her shit for her and still loved her, even though she fucking shattered the image I had of myself.
Until this day, all she wants is for me to come back.
And I still attract those types, but I can deal with a black person that understands they have this struggle and they are working on getting to the root of it, because there is always a root. White acceptance and validation has become a part of black culture.
What I won’t do again in this life is to marry someone with this issue, because of what it did to me the first time. And forever is a long time. I’m committing to someone obsessed with self and blackness and shit, obsessed with me, even on my worst days. I won’t sit in fear that my partner desires something else, especially now that I’ve had the experience of dealing with someone just as radical as me. It was magical and I can’t go back.
This battle of black and white has been since the beginning of time and it’s ugly. We can talk about it. That’s okay. Because we don’t bat an eyelash at an Asian and an Indian in a relationship although it’s interracial. Why? Because one didn’t own the ancestors of the other and delete their history. They didn’t kidnap and rape them then capitalize on their religion and culture. They haven't created a system that they benefit from while an entire race suffers begging for scraps and seats at tables that they built, but are never invited to. These things are still happening on 2019 and you're an idiot if you don't see it. How are families being separated? The prison system, bogus charges. Blacks are still being lynched. White women can still accuse black men of rape and get away with it if she cries hard enough on camera. Four black boys were just held at gunpoint by a white woman while they were fundraising. Fundraising. Minding their own damn business.
I don't have the luxury of living without outrage. I'm too woke.
Which leads me to the why of this blog.
I’m not angered by something I don’t understand. I just choose not to do shit the hard way in life. I’m cautious about non-black friends and relationships because I’m not unpacking anybody else’s shit. I’m no longer accepting insecurities that aren’t mine. I’m not bringing non-black people to black spaces. We already don’t have a place to call safe. When I’m stressed the fuck out from race-related shit that happened in public or work, I want to vent to my black friends and partner. I also don't want a partner that at any given moment could exercise their privilege on me.
If the world were a place where non-black people and me shared the exact same struggles and failures on the same scale, I’d feel different. Then I’d only judge your worthiness to be in my life by your zodiac sign. Unfortunately, that’s not where we are. Getting back to my sister, she has been with a white woman (figure that out amongst yourselves) for the past four years. It’s the healthiest relationship I’ve ever seen her in, but guess where the fall comes? Her now ex-partner has a racist family. She had to sit with the very real idea that they would have kids one day and her babies would be mistreated by a sister that decided during a game of charades to point at my sister when the word watermelon popped up. Her boyfriend justified the joke by saying had my sister pointed at them if pumpkin spice latte popped up, it wouldn’t be any different. That’s just one story.
There is also a racist cop brother that finds justice in taking black men down on the street. Dead, not alive. Yeah so…
I close this with the confession that I am not against interracial relationships or friendships, but choose unproblematic people. This means non-black people that see color, because not seeing color is not seeing you as who you are wholly. Non-black people that understand oppression on their own. Non-black people that understand appropriation. Non-black people that aren’t treating you like a fetish. Non-black people that know when they aren’t invited. Non-black people that realize their privilege. Be John Legend: a black man that married a non-black woman, because that’s who he fell in love with, not just because she wasn’t black. Granted, Chrissy is hella problematic, but that’s John’s problem. He still advocates for his sistas and I stan. He was the ONLY black, male celebrity willing to stand up for the young, black women in that R. Kelly documentary.
P.S. SOME PROBLEMATIC PEOPLE ARE REDEEMABLE. I'M PROBLEMATIC SOMETIMES, TOO.
I found myself in Roseberg, Oregon this weekend. Doesn’t exactly sound like a place to rave about, huh? This is why they say not to judge books by their covers. Only an hour away lies the hidden gem that they call Umpqua Hot Springs. Simply put, it’s nature’s natural hot tub.
Don’t we all sit on Facebook and Instagram scrolling our timelines with envy when influencers post pictures of exotic places? I’d just like to say that I for sure have a new found respect for them. I’ve lived in cars and planes this year and I have to say, I forgot that there is work that goes into those perfect shots. Of course, this blog is not about pictures. I honestly didn’t snap everything that I could, because I was too busy living in the moment and reveling in the beauty that was Earth.
Roseberg, Oregon is about a seven-and-a-half-hour drive from Seattle where I’m located (with traffic). Without traffic, it’s about five. Fuck you Tacoma and Portland. I would say fuck the GPS too, but it does come in clutch when it’s needed, even if it does tell you to take a bogus exit, only to send you right back to the direction you were going anyway.
I didn’t expect much from this little town. I can remember going to see Palouse falls in Eastern, Washington back in 2016. There were no gas stations, houses, phone service, nada, nothing. I figured this would be the same experience. Well, no, I take that back because the Redwood Forrest was, for sure , in the middle of nowhere, yet people thrived around it. Umpqua Hot Springs was a mixture of the two.
We stayed at the Comfort Inn just one hour out from the Springs. We spent the first night watching TV. Yall, I sat and I WATCHED TELEVISION. That, to me, is a successful vacation in itself. I’ve been consumed with writing and some other forms of art, so sitting and mindlessly watching television felt like a relaxation milestone.
Just this past month I became an Elite Yelper. I said I would and I did (Power of the Tongue). I’d barely written thirty reviews, but here I am, which brings me to manifestation. I set a lot of intentions this weekend. I did some magic and some manifesting and some seeds were planted. I won’t say much because not everyone is rooting for you and who knows who’s reading this blog. Your enemies pay more attention to you than your friends.
I will say that my old wedding dress is now in the ground. I left it and all my ill feelings about marriage with the Earth. I refuse to be bitter or ashamed anymore about something that led me to the best place of my life with some of the most amazing people. Whatever you got next universe, I’m ready!
Back to these Springs though. They don’t sit out in the open where you can just get to them. You have to hike, which I’ve fallen in love with since being in Washington. Now I go through withdrawals if I haven’t been out in nature in a while. The hike wasn’t long, but it was pretty steep. Once you get there though, man it’s worth it. I undressed (my bathing suit was beneath my clothes), I picked a Spring and eased in. I closed my eyes and sat with my own thoughts. Everything felt good and right. I’m getting my do-over in life. 33, my Jesus year: new career, new love (reignited), new adventures. I don’t have a complaint in the world right now, even with the problems that I do have. I’m learning to endure, to be patient, and to trust. I’m learning that I’m enough for everything that I desire and that desires me. And all this time all I had to do was accept what was different about myself. Going back to trust, the springs were not an easy find. The GPS failed us and the signs in the area were incorrect. Shoutout to whomever typed out the sign to let us and others know that the springs were not down whatever that road was. We went in blind, because the whole point of the trip was to see the springs. Along the way there were people that pointed us in the right direction. That is what trust does.
While sitting with nature and myself, the universe saw fit to send Emily. She came and she talked non-stop. She and her husband were newlyweds that took a 19-day trip across country for nature, food, and music. She snapped a few pics for my memories and shared more of her life. She had two dogs that were wanderers and her husband had his guitar. They were just two free spirits living and loving and it was beautiful. That’s all I want to do and be for the rest of this time until I’m taken and sent back again. Even after leaving she resurfaced in our path bring those barefoot free-spirit that she is.
I asked her if the way way she was going was the way out and she said yes. I said okay I’m following you. She laughed and said, “Don’t do that, no telling where I end up. It’s the beginning of all of my chapters.”
Me. Literally me.
Then we got Daniel. Loud and proud with his entrance and knowledge. He talked about not seeing the springs since he was little. His parents had taken him. His story made me realize I was breaking curses. My mother tried her best to give my sister and I unique experiences, but poverty stood in the way of the rest. I still applaud her. That woman never made over $12.00 an hour with two kids and we had most of what we needed. Her blog is coming.
We were surprised to learn that one of the springs that we chose to sit in (the hottest one), had just revealed itself when a tree fell over. It had been there for years. The spring was also good for healing the body. I took a nice dip and can I just say, I don’t have a single ache in my body. I can’t explain the level of relaxation that environment offered. I could do that once a week. We left when it got way too crowded, but were blessed with rain to wash away any residual bad energy we may have traveled with. There we stood with our joy and arms outstretched. We were grateful.
Me, I was super emotional. I’ve been on a rocky road for the last five years.
Today, I feel free.
The cherries, yes cherries with an “s” on top was the free breakfast at the hotel and all the yummy eats. Y’all know I LOVE food. My Earth, my Air, and my Fire had everything that could ask for and I am shook.
I seem to have completely disregarded Toketee Falls. Don't get it twisted, it was a "pretty" waterfall, absolutely amazing actually, but it wasn't the mission. It was more like an added bonus on a dope ass trip. It was a hike to get to that, too. We went, we saw. We conquered.
Power of Choice (LOVE)
Y’all knew this one was coming eventually. I know I’ve been away for a minute so I truly apologize to those that come here hitting refresh only to be disappointed that there is nothing new. July has been rough my loves. Rough. I’m powering through it though. Shoutout to that three hour workout last night.
How do we choose the person best for us? It’s said that love finds us and we won’t be able to help whom we fall in love with. I’m going to have to agree to disagree. The love we attract literally mirrors who we are and I can say this because I’ve dated enough people to analyze the exact moments these people came into my life and why. It takes willpower, but we can manage the connections we make, because not all of them are healthy. Truth be told, our strongest ties are usually toxic. Note: most people don’t even know that they are toxic. Relationships will continue to fail at an alarming rate. Take y’all asses to therapy.
Love should create a freedom not a prison. If you are going to choose to love someone on purpose ignoring that their role may be temporary in your life, at least choose someone who can evolve to love you better. Despite all the rules, opinions, memes, and whatever else (even me) tells you about love, you always have FREE WILL.
As a teenagaer, I attracted anybody that could give me attention. My daddy issues were deep and the void that needed to be filled was huge. I wasn’t taught to have standards having a mother that would date any man that would pay her bills. My view of love was date who gave you what you needed. At that point in my life, what I needed was attention and that’s what I got--good and bad.
In my twenties I attracted people that always needed me to take care of them financially and emotionally. I had bad boundaries and lots of trauma. They told me their sob stories and I opened my heart and my wallet, because in exchange I could cry on their shoulders about all that I’d been through.
Trauma Bond: A Trauma Bond is a bond that forms due to intense, emotional experiences, usually with a toxic person. Similar to Stockholm Syndrome. It holds us emotionally captive through physical or emotional abuse.
Nine years. For nine years I jumped from one toxic relationship to another until I myself became the toxic person. I’d picked up so many abusive patterns that I was drowning in darkness and fear and negativity. You'll have to wait for my healing and forgiveness blog to learn how I climbed and am still climbing out of that pit. Right now, I want to talk about knowing love and choosing it for yourself.
The focus on love in my life has always been in romantic relationships. It’s probably why I’ve crossed a friendship line with four people that have been closest to me thinking they had to be my partners in my life because they “got me” and “loved me” and I trusted them. I was wrong. Again, this comes from only having a one-dimensional view of love and bad boundaries, which I’m still learning to place. I miss each of them as FRIENDS.
Now in choosing love for myself I’m paying attention to all the types available to me. If you don’t know what they are, don’t worry I got you.
With that small explanation evaluate your connections. Decide what you choose to achieve, not only what you require, but what you can give. A lot of us sit with what we desire without ever thinking of the counter offer. This is how we meet perfect people and fail. I’m fully guilty of trying to love people when I didn’t love myself enough. I was pouring from an empty cup. Learn yourself and know your deal breakers.
For a long time I didn’t draw a line between myself and my lovers when it came to their insecurities and how that affected me. Them not loving themselves caused them to lie and cheat. I took this on as my own fault as if there was something that I I lacked. When in fact, the void was inside of them. One problem, one argument would lead them to someone else in some way. Not only does it reveal their insecurity, but also their maturity level. I had not been choosing women with high levels of emotional intelligence, which also spoke volumes about me. I had to ask myself why I was accepting this and why was it a pattern in every person that I’ve met? I had to understand my own worth and value. I should not want anyone that could easily seek out and share their time and attention with anyone else for quick validation when they knew it was me that they wanted to be with. This is not to say that I have not checked my own behavior, but even still I’ve learned not to match energy.
In a recent podcast with one of my favorite couples right now, they talk about matching energy and how it’s the worse thing you can do with anyone. Why? Because you lower your vibrations and you always want to vibrate high. I’ve been taking the high road with a lot of things and it has given me better results with people. We’ll talk about ego soon. Just know that nobody has more power over me than me. I want to deal with people that have that same type of control, platonic or romantic.
Romance again. I have a little note on my wall at home that says stay single until it feels like Alchemy. For me this means Eros + Ludus + Pragma + Philautia + Agape. All equally. I want to be loved for me on every level, not just the idea. I meet a lot of people who fantasize and I’ve dated a few only to be disappointed because they’ve already fallen for the fantasy they created instead of getting to know all of me: my fears, my flaws, my insecurities, my triggers, my traumas. I’m not a woman for small talk or egg shells or secrets or surfaces, but I also get why most people don’t like to dive deep. This, for me, weeds out the unworthy. I won’t sit here and lie and say that I’m 100% ready to commit to someone because I don’t think I am. My spirit will tell me when I’m dealing with someone that understands both my darkness and my light. What questions do you ask yourself when choosing a partner?
My questions--13 because it’s one of my numbers--and this is just a prerequisite (LOL):
She spilled all on me. SPILLED.
This obviously went over an hour. Some things my intuition always knew and it was conformation and others I had to brace myself because the impact could knock me from my seat. We sat and we talked about it until damn near three in the morning. Was I hurt? Yes. Was I upset? Absolutely. But I had to keep up my end of the bargain. I didn’t have a problem with it because I only wanted to be married once in life. I wanted to be the person that kept their word. I wanted to endure. I also appreciated the fact that she told me her truth and I was allowed to react. I’d never seen her that vulnerable or afraid. I knew that fear was due to me being able to go back on my promise to stay after the horrid things she’d confessed. This is going to sound ridiculous, but I respected her. We promised to be no less than 100% honest with each other after that.
Why are we not together?
Well, she continued to do fucked up things. There was no way for me to heal there, but I did come out of that knowing that I always wanted someone who could tell me their truth and not rob me of my choice to decide if I want to keep going. That is how I believed that some form of love was there for me, because the selfish thing to do would be to lie. She laid all her cards bare knowing the consequence and she let me choose. Staying after that was all on me. I had regrets. I don’t anymore. I learned. I thank her for a lot and it’s odd, but I now understand why diamonds are created from pressure. I also learned not to sit in discomfort with a person. I’m not afraid to argue. But I will say I probably should learn to ask questions, because I’m good at coming with the accusations without discussion. I know what I know and that’s it!
I want a fair lover and I want to be fair. Anything else is manipulation.
I’ll also tell you this. Meet truth with gentleness, because flipping out will only make a person fear being honest again. I’ve been sitting with my gentle spirit. She was hiding for such a long time because I’ve had to defend myself in love more often than not, but I want to enter love from the other side. If you chose love and to love, be in it, all the way. Don’t do grey areas and don’t quit when it gets boring or hard because it will.
“Neither of us knew how to love, and so, we went to war instead.”
Sit with that.
Patience. Loyalty. Consistency. Honesty. Trust. Unselfishness. Communication w/ comprehension. = Longevity and Love.
Let me know when y’all are ready to have the conversation about how love works when your poly. I got you.