Category Archives: kindness
So check it out-
I wrote a post on social media recently about folks who are so uber sensitive, that the minute they feel criticized- earned or not, they fall apart.
My little millennial friend, read that post, and immediately asked me to write a blog and go more in-depth.
So here goes- unless you are experiencing serious mental illness shrouded in severe anxiety, being criticized, should in no way, make you crumble to dust.
Aside from the impossibility that everyone will agree with you, criticism, can and should be beneficial to your growth in some small way. Not everyone is a “hater” and it behooves you to distinguish between lessons and hatefulness.
I swear this phenomenon of people crumbling, came from not being taught critical thinking skills and having every problem solved as a child.
What emerges, is an adult, who never wants to be disagreed with and also wants the discussion coached in flowers and honey.
Real world does NOT operate as such. If you are bringing all your thoughts, feelings and values, chances are high, (read yes) that the person/s you are speaking with does too.
Take some time to breathe, ask yourself questions such as, “why am l so offended?” Or “what am l to learn from this?”
Emotion has a valuable place in our lives but it should never be allowed to overrule our logic. That is a recipe for being overly sensitive and no growth takes place in that mushroom of tears and bellyaching.
Buckle up. Lift that chin. Feel the angst, work it through either alone, or with solid advice, and move on.
Because life, has zero issues with moving on without you.
Peace and mad love,
So my husband and I spent 10 blissful days in Hawaii over the holidays to not only rejuvenate our souls, but to shore up and reconnect as a couple, because our collective work schedules can be brutal.
We often would carve out Saturday mornings for our weekly catch-up, if I am not traveling and we work as one vibrational team, which means we pick up where the other isn’t able to in the moment. So imagine my shock when he sat me down after watching me frolick in warm waters at sunset in Honolulu … and what he said, made me take a pause for the cause.
He said his greatest WISH when we first got married, was to NOT move me into his current home because it needed all kinds of TLC (he ain’t NEVA lied) and he knew I had lived in this great place for over 25 years raising my own two children. Frankly, he said he was embarrassed and just wanted to do a quick sale, move on to a place of my choosing and start anew with another mortgage.
He was shocked he said, when I looked him dead in the eyes, told him it made NO sense to start another mortgage at our ages and while the house needed a ton of work, I was willing to put in the time, energy and money with him to get it done.
He said I shocked him FURTHER when he offered to at least upgrade my car and I cackled with a thanks and said I would much prefer to keep the one that is already paid in full.
I am silently listening to all of this with my heart full because I truly loved him enough to get in the trenches with him and didn’t realize he struggled with what I opted to do.
He then said that he had never seen that kind of unselfishness and that many other women would have taken him up on the offer to move pronto with their nostrils turned up. It was that unselfishness however, that solidified his love in a way that made him say if anyone dares to hurt me, he would take action in ways that would stun them because no way was he jeopardizing what we have built together.
Our home isn’t just beautiful to LOOK at now, it’s also filled with warmth and LOVE. These things are important. Flashy things bring temporary joy- it’s who we are at the core that matters.
When we say we care about someone, it should not come with a bunch of superficial conditions. Rather, we should work together as a team to reach where we desire to be together and if the core of our love depends on where we live, the square footage of our Homes and what we drive, it’s only a matter of time before the cracks begin to show.
If we want a full manifestation of goodness and light, we have to be it in all we say and do. If and when my husband and I decide to move from where we are currently, it will be a decision we make together and not for the benefit of anyone whims or fancy. Because at the end of the day? All we TRULY have to depend on? Is that core love we walked in the door with. We know enough to understand that life is cyclical and when hard times come, without the core in place, trouble is not far behind.
I love my nerd y’all. Believe that.
Dueces and mad love,
I can’t STAND shopping. I despise Shopping malls even more. Yes, I am indeed a girl, and yes, the statement above probably makes me an anomaly, but there it is.
So imagine how I broke out in hives at the mere THOUGHT of having to enter a mall recently and here is the culprit- my FIRST generation IPad that I was hoping to get “tuned” up because it was acting sluggish.
The poor Apple tech looked at me like I was crazy and informed me slowly and gently, that my machine was just OLD.
So old in fact, that it wasn’t compatible with the new micro processors they are currently using and all she could suggest was that I give the thing a proper burial or hold on to it for posterity sake.
As I looked on lovingly at my device and then at her young and chirpy face, I suddenly felt old too and wondered if as I aged, I would become disposable like so many of the elderly around us.
Here is the deal- we all eventually slow down and while our memory may not continue process at the speed of sound, there is a definite amount of wisdom that comes from living to a certain phase in life that many could tap into with loads of benefits. History and it’s contextual meaning serves a purpose that will help us to garner lessons and avoid certain pitfalls. That comes from the folks who lived long enough to recount what books and historians don’t always capture.
Not only that, we could practice patience and empathy and kindness when dealing with the seasoned members of our society because one day, should we be so lucky to live a life of length, we too will need it.
So as I snapped back to miss chirpy in the Apple Store describing the newest machine and the slice of my liver it would cost to upgrade, I chose to hold on to my ancient device until it decides it has had enough of me.
It’s the least I could do. Don’t judge me. Just smile and cluck at my sentimentality and wish me and my outdated machine well.
Dueces and mad love,
So I had to get an Uber for several Days in a row and I have come to the conclusion that many of those drivers listen to people confessing their souls while giving up a few confessions of their own
Chile listen… it ran from the ridiculous to the scary but this one dude made me gasp, smile and shake my head all at once..
When he got to my door and saw my infirmities, he hopped out his car, got my crutches and bags and was just wonderful in a way that told me he was special. His Hat was on backwards and when I got in his car, I noticed the back of his seat was almost reclined to a sleeping position.
He slid in and sat up with his seat just that way. I didn’t question because I have seen it way too much with young guys driving around in Philly.. they will keep chiropractors in business with that mess but I digress..
After asking if he could call me Miss Andrea and my answering in the affirmative, he proceeded to tell me that he was originally from Ohio but was transplanted to Reading at a young age and after feeling like he had too few opportunities, he moved here after meeting a young lady online and had been here in Philly now for a few months.
As he shared his life story, he said “you know, people judged and asked why I was making these moves and taking these risks and I told them I am the author of my book. I didn’t ask for editors and I am writing the story the way I see fit.” I damn near high fived the back of his head for those profound words of wisdom!
He went on to say, he was filled with nuggets but had a hard time taking his own advice.
Then it got real.
He said he would always choose women for their bodies and what was between their legs instead of what was between their ears and that he realized he was choosing Shallow intimacy over substance because he didn’t want to put in the work it required to have a good relationship.
He is so into this new woman who, from all accounts is so smart, he wonders Why she is with him, that he made a pact to NOT have intimacy with her for a year. He is coming to the end of that year and swears he loves and appreciates her all the more because they spent time learning about each other and doing things beyond the bedroom.
Well I’ll be.
His lesson and the way he chose to go about changing his habits, showed up this way and who am I to judge? He truly believes in the power of intention, following ones passion and hard work, after he met the owner of a Car dealership while being his waiter and the owner found him to be so personable, he offered to train and hire him to sell cars.
He went from making $7 an hour to 60k per year AND he Ubers on his days off! I love it!!
The tenacity of the human spirit is something else.
When we got to my destination, he took my stuff to the door of the building, shook my hands, thanked me for listening and odd he went.
I learned so much from him, not the least of which is to not stay stuck in your circumstances and to take bold leaps even if you can’t see where you will land.
We don’t get to judge people in their journey because it’s different from our own- our oath is simply that. Ours.
Dueces and mad love.
Early last week, seemingly out of the blue, I received a phone call from one of my mentors who said she felt the unction to pray for me so she stopped what she was doing and we prayed over the phone.
I couldn’t figure out what that was about because I was cool and life was good… and then, the very next day, running in my bare feet to answer the doorbell, I slammed my left foot into the base of my sofa.
And broke not one, but two toes.
I knew immediately at least one was broken because the searing light I saw as I went down on those fluffy cushions, was a vision of heaven and hell all at once.
But to know me fully is to know this- I’m super determined to do whatever I set out to and so I got up, and went about my business while limping. I was so bold, I walked in a fashion show two days ago, changed outfits 4 times and had 5 inches of heels on and didn’t miss a beat. No one would have guesssd I was in pain at all. See for your self..
And it went on for days. Six to be exact, where I went to work and attended events, before my husband forced me to go have my foot x-rayed because we Iced, elevated and taped those toes together to no avail.
So by the time I got the delightful news that I had done the obvious and they gave me crutches, the ugliest shoe known to mankind, my films and a referral to see a surgeon, it was slowly sinking in that I would have a new normal for the next few weeks.
This is where it got interesting- my phone began to ring and texts came in at all kinds of hours about what folks can do to run errands, take me to work etc and I was simply blown away. We live in a “I’m doing me and you better do you” society, and yet here I was, the grateful recipient of love in the midst of this change happening around me.
I’m freaking grateful. Believe that.
I also noticed something else too. And I will be back to address that at another time but this mentor had not a whole week ago, sat me down and said the season of change is upon me and the ones who don’t want that change to take place, will be the least kind or helpful and may even eliminate themselves by finding a reason to disagree about something to create issues.
The thing is this- I have been swirling with the winds of change for a while now and that meant stepping into spaces of discomfort and off ledges of comfort and complacency.
If we want to fully actualize our purpose here on earth, what other choices do we have? If you are the smartest person in your circle, you need to get over yourself and elevate with people who already are where you are trying to go so you can learn and grow.
I can see with these broken toes, the lessons in this new season has begun but the beautiful part is simply this- prayer works, the turmoil won’t last forever and the sun on the other side of it all, will be blinding in its splendor.
Never let the challenges deter you from you mission but also cocoon yourself with at least ONE person, that you can call and share with no matter the hour.
To my dogmatic mentor- you know who you are-thank you.
Dueces and mad love,
When my brain is full, I take comfort in finding the places that bring joy to my weary soul in an effort to rejuvenate myself.
Today that place was the Rangoon, which is still the only Burmese restaurant in Pennsylvania. Go figure. But the food? Made from scratch and is sinfully good.
So there I entered with my lunch companion, who roared when the owner chirped out my name in a warm welcome, said she missed seeing more of me and told me which friends of mine had been in recently!
It’s like that.
I told her I would be celebrating my birthday with her food in a few short weeks and no less than 10 of us would be there to liven up the place. She giggled and my friend and I settled down to eat.
Here is where it got interesting.
A brother came rushing through the doors, dropped his jacket at the table next to ours, ran over to the owner and began ordering food. He began with. “I will have 2 L9’s, a soup and two of the chicken and broccoli dish!”
It took me a minute to realize he was eating in because he seemed to be in such a rush and of course, I had to mess with him.
You had a doubt?
He shared he has been visiting the restaurant for almost 20 years to my 14, and it’s one of his favorite places to eat. He was so personable, we kept chatting until his woman walked through the door. We said hello to her and went back to our respective lunches until my dishes showed up and his woman got my attention and asked what was I eating.
I looked at him and said. “Wait a minute. YOU have been coming here for 20 years and haven’t tried any of the things in front of me? Dude, you killing me!”
He laughed and replied no, so I promptly scooped a little from each of my dishes she was curious about and put it on her plate to try and while telling him he didn’t deserve any for slacking like this!😂😂
Of course, she loved it and I admonished him to stretch himself beyond the one dish he had been eating for 20 years and actually ask for a menu and allow his lady to choose next time.
Can you imagine? All those delightful dishes and he stuck with one. For 2 decades. I ain’t never heard of such!
I ear hustled as I ate and learned she was frustrated with his flirting and crossing the line with some women they both knew and he became squirmy when the topic of his phone and texts came up.
Lord. A player from the Himalayas.
Limited in menu choices and thinking too, I guess. He so needed another brother or person to sit and discuss a few things with him about life and choices because we could tell he didn’t have the right tools to deal with what was in front of him and that sister looked like she was at the end of her rope.
I don’t know what happened after they left, but I learned a lesson about really meeting people where they are. It was enough for him yo have discovered this place that he never thought to go beyond what he was comfortable with. I believe after his encounter with us though, he may change his choices next time around.
My lunch partner and I looked at each other and cracked up because we could see our husbands at his age probably doing some of the same things..
Whew Chile.. every day is an opportunity grow and learn should we choose to expand our minds. The alternative isn’t always pretty.
Dueces and mad love,
My husband curled into my back recently as he awakened, and let out a long, deep sigh. I knew what was on his mind and gave him the space to talk while being careful to listen without judgment or forming an opinion.
It was helpful to him and he went to work in a much better place. As wonderful a person as he is, like everyone else, he sometimes questions decisions he made that he wishes he could do over, and watching his consciousness shift into realizing even the mistakes serve a purpose, has been immensely helpful to his own personal growth and well being.
I immediately began thinking of another person who reached out and contacted me a little over a year ago and was in such crisis, it physically hurt my heart to sit in her space and listen as she bravely bared her soul to an almost perfect stranger she knew very little about, but was led in her heart to contact me anyway knowing I could have said anything but yes to meeting with her.
Her bravery was just the spark I needed as I began to challenge the stories she told herself and asked her to create a vision board or statement of the things she loved and what was it that made her sparkle at the very thought of doing it.
I could see in her eyes that she wasn’t sure but at that juncture, what else did she have to lose? So she went about the business of putting one tiny step in front of the other even as the winds of life hurled her like a rag doll and “friends”felt like cold rain drops on her tattered soul.
She dug deeply and I encouraged her by supporting her dreams. She makes creative and excellent fare in a way that has my husband groaning for more which was great sign indeed!! So she made our meals as we needed them and we were never disappointed. She was definitely on to something! I seriously love her meals and everything is made with fresh herbs and spices to perfection.
Today I called her for advice on some rolls and the person who answered the phone was full of life and ideas and had big catering jobs in front of her to do!!
I am not even sure if she realizes that she chose to find the piece of her soul that would redeem and continue to validate her very existence on earth and that led to the place where she is currently.
We are NOT defined by our mistakes when we can see them as lessons that are shaping us to go on the next parts of our journey on earth. No one said our pots wouldn’t be shaken and stirred from time to time as there is no ying without a yang.
We must give ourselves permission to breathe beyond our mistakes and allow them to define our next moves.
Take the time this holiday season to give the gift of compassion. We could all use a little.
Dueces and mad love,
On the advice of my wayward friends, I decided to skip “adulting” today after what was a long and stressful week and not being able to detach myself from the bed no matter how hard I tried this morning.
That is a sign from my body that I am overdue. So I made a few calls, plotted out the adult feee day and off I went to run the first errand.
As I walked to the cash register to pay for my items, I noticed the cayutest wine rack on sale that I could use to store the bottles I have at home and got excited until I noticed the thing needed some assembly.
Sitting beside the boxes however was an already assembled one so I turned on my biggest smile, flipped around , set my sights on a sales associate, and sweetly beckoned her nigh my dwelling.
Me: morning lady. Do you think I could buy the already assembled rack pretty please? I don’t have time to assemble anything before the holidays and I need this badly.
Her: morning sis. Hold on and let me ask for you.
She ambles over to the boss, asked, he looked at me grinning with puppy eyes and said yes!! Praise Gawd!!
The lady came back and helped me put it in a cart and I couldn’t thank her enough!
Me: you rock! I so appreciate your helping me to get this!
Her: real talk lady? It was YOUR kindness that made me go the extra mile for you. We never give away our displays unless it’s the last one and so many customers have such entitlements when they ask for something, I shrug my shoulders and wish them good luck in getting it with their nasty attitudes.
And just like that, she affirmed the lesson my mother taught me as a child- kindness will open doors all the money in the world won’t with a nasty attitude.
I took my purchases and skipped out the door!!
Now, should I make my husband believe I worked hard and put it together or tell him the truth?😂😂😂
I may have to mull on that one.. ha!!
Dueces and mad love,