Category Archives: Mental health

Friend, Foe or Frenemy…

My millennial struck again.

She called filled with concern, that she was growing apart from a friend who she had previously shared common interests and time with, and wanted to know what to do.

She had to ask… so here goes!

Friendships can be full of exhilaration and life! You spend hours on the phone talking about all kinds of things, you see eye to eye about mutual interests and concerns, and you pledge to have each others backs, no matter what. Weeks turns to months which turns to years, and it seems this will be someone who will be around for a lifetime. And it may very well be.

But what if it isn’t? The reality is this- MOST friendships do not last forever because interests shift, growth happens and your friend or you, aren’t always able to adapt or grow at the same pace which creates a chasm of discomfort no matter how hard we try to do otherwise.

When our mommas said that we are blessed to have one, maybe Two good friends, she was not lying. Rare is the person, that can withstand the ebb and flow of life with you into a ripe old age.

The added pressure of knowing what your purpose is and going full steam ahead while your friend is content to float along the river of life, makes for an interesting conversation down the road too.

So here are my two cents worth of advice-

  1. Stay honest first with yourself and then with your friend. When you feel distance happening, have the conversation, not from a place of accusations or guilt. It will be uncomfortable but it must happen.
  2. Don’t fester and make assumptions with forced small talk. A true friend will not want to anchor you with a rope of guilt so they can feel better about sitting sedentary while you have goals.
  3. Cry. Sometimes when the separation comes, it fills you with hurt and a sense of loss. Let the tears flow and keep walking in love.
  4. It could get ugly, because some folks do not know how to use their adult words to express that they are hurt and will instead lash out to make a clean break. That is messy in a way, neither party may soon recover from so see #1 again.
  5. Know that your journey in life will not always have someone by your side and be okay with that too. The wilderness walk is effective in allowing us to become more in touch with ourselves without the well intentioned distractions of opinions.
  6. What you put into the world, will come back to you, so as you grow and change, others will be sent along the path, to meet you where you are in that period
  7. Our job is to never carry the burdens of others who refuse to carry their own. We must rid ourselves of the notion that it is okay to push, pull and tug in an effort to not “leave” folks behind. They have feet. They can either walk with you or stand back.

I hope this helps because Lord knows, it is a journey we must all take, one way or another. How you both handle it, determines if have a friend, foe or frenemy.

Walk in the light-

Deuces and mad love,

Diva

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SPEAK UP MUCH?

I have a mentee that will periodically text me about a subject matter she wants to see addressed and the second I saw her note this morning, I knew I would be right here writing about it..

Buckle up and hold on..

In recent weeks, I found myself traveling and commiserating with folks from around the country and in usual form, I am open, kind and share my thoughts as needed. Well the one evening, we had to all get in formal wear  for an event and the minute I strolled through the door, my friend saw one of the attendees throwing all kinds of “shade”  my way by rolling her eyes and whispering something to the person next to her.  I didn’t see her because I have learned how to block that kind of negativity from my line of vision.

I knew what her issue was  though.

Name Every -ism women face, and she had me pegged for it. My boldness and bravery made her feel inadequate and she then tried to transfer that feeling to ripping me to shreds with condescension. She didn’t realize that though. She thought she was within her rights to be jusgemental.

How do I know this? It is what I am told by women all the time who often try to coach it around offering “advice.” 
Aside from this being a total waste of energy and space, it is counterproductive to fall in line with them so they can feel better about themselves.

My response? Maybe if we were not so conditioned as women to “know our places,” not be “overly confident” for fear of being seen as bragging, or being labeled as “bitchy” when we dare to speak up for ourselves, we would see the benefits in speaking up and out.

As a direct result, women often lose sleep about demanding a position they are clearly over qualified for,suffer heartburn at the thought of requesting compensation that befits their value, minimizing the ones who step out on the ledge in an effort to find financial freedom and seeking to destroy the few who dare to do what they won’t.

I can’t even begin to discuss how it messes with personal relationships across the board. We hold on and fester about things we can and should discuss, until it becomes toxic and explodes the wrong way from us.

What do you have to lose but your sanity in trying to fit in to what society deems we should or shouldn’t be? Here are a few things that worked for me in removing the “do as I told ” models from my head-

  1. Speak your truth kindly but firmly and do not waver with eye contact. Prep yourself with calming deep breaths.
  2. Trust yourself. No one will trust you more than you. Your gut instincts are there for a reason.
  3. Be okay with not having a ton of fearless people with you as this is often a singular journey of faith.
  4. Celebrate the wins and extract the lessons from the losses.
  5. Keep the naysayers out of your ears. Lord knows they will try too. People who worry about all that could go wrong, never see what could indeed go right.
  6. Find mentors who have already walked the path you are on and heed the advice that feels right to you.
  7. Authenticity is worth more than silver and gold. You may not be appreciated on the moment, but you will be respected long term.
  8. Know when to step up and pull back. Everything doesn’t always have to be a battle.
  9. Collaboration works wonders. No one is an island. Learn to be okay with saying “I was wrong.” Pride goeth before….

All of that and a few more will give you the freedoms and joy to simply BE..
Dueces and mad love.

DivA

Shaken and stirred, but not destroyed…

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,

DivA

When emotional growth creeps up and grabs you by the throat.

Something happened that left me looking sideways and I was completely annoyed.

I stewed on it overnight and gave myself every rational angle on why I was justified in being annoyed.

I awakened with a funky attitude just waiting for the wrong thing to be said by the wrong person.

I got in my car and began thinking that maybe this person should feel a dose of their own medicine so they could see what I felt and then I stopped short mid thought and began questioning where my own motives were coming from and was it worth the angst and who would it serve long term for the short time feeling of teaching a lesson. I began dissecting what this person fully meant to my life and that we all make mistakes and in the grand scheme of things, this wasn’t that big of a deal.

Wait- what?  Did I JUST behave maturely? Was I choosing to use emotional intelligence in a way that would bring solutions instead of an argument because my language mattered? 

Yes indeed.

And my soul thanked me for recognizing the shift for the first time solidly even as I spend my life always seeking to be a part of the solution and not the problem.

I gave myself a mental pat on the back and resolved to be a part of making things smooth again. And I did. And it worked out beautifully.

Our emotional growth is dictated by these shifts in our psyche from time to time. We choose our joys and sorrows through our patterns of behavior and staying steeped in what was always comfortable of us to do, means we never move beyond that comfort zone of mediocrity.

always challenge yourselves to do and be better.

Dueces and mad love,

DivA.

When your “petty” messes with growth and your coins..

 After witnessing something a few weeks ago, I am writing about self confessed petty people and where the thin line exists between funny and ” something ain’t QUITE right with you.”

So my friend Mister Mann Frisby comes to mind. Dude has a Phd in All things petty. He could and probably does make a decent living, throwing all kinds of shade and no one is off limits when he revs up the petty engines.

I simply refuse to be caught eating or drinking when I read his posts because I have had to clean up too many spills from guffawing at his foolishness. If you don’t know him personally, one would think dude was nuts. Wait. He IS nuts!! Chile you must trust me on this.

What is stark about Mister though?

 When you meet him, you see he is a kindhearted  and thoughtful cat, whose aura reeks off the chain love and light. I don’t even know if he realizes that. Not one of us are perfect folks but at his core, he wants what is best for those around him. As a result, no matter what he is promoting, I’m open to supporting his crazy behind and I often do.
Now.
There is another person that many of you love and revere for a similar brand  of pettiness and said person has had us all rolling with tears streaming down our faces, as we read their hilarious take on life in general. 

I was stunned when I finally had a chance to meet this personality and their  aura blew me back at the way they dealt with the public who will either continue to support or start to pull back because the petty on paper, is superimposed in real life and you realize standing in front of you,  is a human being who truly isn’t a nice person. They say the eyes are the windows to our soul and this Chile got some unresolved issues bubbling there.

When our livelihood depends on the very folks we are purportedly entertaining, it behooves us to do our own spiritual work to wellness or we will become a toxic dumping ground to anyone in our presence. Which then leads to disappointment and failures because no one will pay you money over and again to be emotionally wrung or abused. That ain’t funny. No matter what spin you put on it.

But hey- you don’t have to take my word for it. Do you. Experience is STILL the best teacher  around.
Dueces and mad love 

Diva 

Featured image is from the pettymuseum.org

The Five Second Rule…

Mister and I share and banter with each other like no other as evidenced below. I posted this conversation  on my facebook page last year…..

So I’m fussing at hubby about making up the bed if he leaves the house after me and was winding up to give my reasons why when he walked over and lifted both my arms..

Me: what are you doing?
Him: looking for the “return” sticker. I know you have one some where. I signed a money back guarantee for you.
😳😳😳😳😳
The look on my face made him drop my arms and laugh so hard, I cracked up too despite myself…😂😂😂😂

It ain’t THAT easy to return me buddy…

Every single day, we go back and forth and howl with laughter because we so appreciate the genuineness we share with each other.

We also have this steadfast rule that we chat on Saturday mornings before the world is awake and get caught up on our week. His days are 16 hours long and one would be hard pressed to catch me this side of the continent as I travel around for work.

Stay with me because this is good.

After reading an article this morning, I turned to him and asked if he believes men should be the one to approach women and not the other way around. He paused and replied “we should never paint a broad brush over anyone or anything. It’s nice for us men to go seeking what we desire but it is equally nice to be desired ourselves. I think it’s okay for a woman to show interest if she has it.”

“That is interesting and I am so glad I asked you. So what makes it difficult for men when the like a woman?” I asked.

“When they are deliberately coy and play hard to get to the point where we turn the corner and get someone else. It should not feel that difficult.” 

He shifted and looked at me and began to remind me how we met. He remembered key things like what I was wearing, what I said to the audience in the room but he was more struck by my authenticity and kindness to the people around me and wanted to know me better.

We cackled and howled to the blue corn moon when he said for a whole week in 2015 he simply did not like me for purging the house and throwing away everything.

We got to reminiscing when he shared about the one week we didn’t speak very early on in our relationship because we were upset with each other and he said it felt like the longest week of his life. He knew without a doubt then, he was going to figure out how to get me to marry him. I confessed I missed him horribly too.

He shared he cried for almost an hour on our wedding night because he was so filled with gratitude to finally have a wife who he could share everything with and would love him no matter what. He said he prayed hard for this to happen but when it did, he couldn’t fully express his happiness and it came out in tears.

We spoke about these misnomers floating around that people follow instead of their own soul which is why unhappiness abounds.

He took my hand and said  “do you know why we have not once had a full blown argument about anything? I believe in the 5 second rule. If we take time to process things and not allow our emotions to spew negativity, anything is workable. I love you enough to never scream at you and I am certainly not going to lob obscenities your way. Not only would you not hear the message that would be lost in the screaming, It’s disrespectful to you and us as a couple. You are everything to me even when I drive you nuts.”

Lord Jesus. Did I say I love him?  If  more couples would talk things through, we could all deal with the crap life throws our way. My husband and I have had our fair share but he always reminds me that at the end of the day, we are it and he will die protecting what he prayed so hard for.

Now.

When you are able to feel a love like this, what does one do but return it?

I can’t ever tell anyone who they should choose but what I can say is this- see beneath the outer package and look at the heart and soul. Too many well dressed, well packaged empty souls are walking among us that can do untold damage if we aren’t careful.
Dueces and mad love 

Diva

Trick or treat?

I often wonder if we fully grasp what it means to have a long term relationship with anyone. It could be romantic, business  or platonic in nature but they all require work in order to sustain them fully.

I look around me and see these relationships fall apart for many reasons but it all came back to not maintaining the health and viability of your partner.

Someone asked me a question last week that led to my  wanting to delve into the romantic aspect of relationships here.

When we first meet and begin the process of getting to know a person, we should check the temperature of those feelings regularly by asking ourselves things like 

What are my motives?  

-Do I truly like this person or is it something to do that deflects/detracts from loneliness?

– What shared values do we have beyond the initial attraction?

-Will we openly communicate in ways that works through any issues that will arise?

– Am I in this relationship to rebound from a failed one?

You get the gist right? 

The way we enter a relationship, sets the tone for how it flows and it still requires work and checking in with each other regularly because life will get in the way.

Unhappiness breeds all kinds of malcontent when not addressed in a timely fashion.  When we add marriage to the mix, that flame goes way up because you are now dealing with blended families and lord knows, everyone has an opinion whether you asked for it or not. 

Leave and cleave is not a cute catch phrase. It really means something. If you gotta run back to momma every time you have a question, how do you develop relationship with your spouse?

If you allow your children to dictate your lives through whatever means they choose to employ, that will cause a serious rift.

If you gush about another person without fully acknowledging and routinely appreciating the one that lives with you, it’s cause for a situation.

Do not invite the opinion of others into the seriousness that is your life. Learn about your mate enough to know when to draw the line and pull back with compromise and love.

We say that we know  relationships won’t be a bed of roses but the first time we get pricked with the thorn of life and see blood, we run for cover  and end what could be a long term partnership 

The flip side of that is hanging around and grasping at someone who consistently shows you with their actions you are not valued.

A relationship that begins on shady ground will feel like a trick from hell. One that is nurtured becomes a treat that keeps on giving. You decide through your choices.

Know thyself. Love thyself.

Dueces and mad love,

Diva 

The eggs dropped by the birds nest for a little love 

A few days ago, my eldest child flew home to visit albeit briefly, so we could see each other before he went off to handle his real purpose for being here- his fraternity and the brothers he formed a deep bond with. I was with him for less than 12 hours but we squeezed priceless moments within and my soul and heart were full when he left.

I wrote about this son a while back in a post where he had an encounter with a police officer https://lawfultrainer.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/innocence-of-a-child-forever-gone/

Even as we worked diligently to be certain he was okay and told him to keep achieving, he continues to defy and exceed any expectations anyone could have of him.

Quite simply, he’s determined to succeed and writes 5 and 10 year plans to keep his purpose in the forefront always. So earlier this year, 2 weeks before his 24th birthday, he had already graduated from college, works for a Great company that values and relocated him to another state and after just 11 months of living in said state, he closed on his very 1st home.

As remarkable as that was, he also bought that home with no financial help from his father and I. In fact, he insisted it was something he wanted to see if he could do and he did. We couldn’t believe how disciplined he was to save by not buying a new car when he graduated from college even as his peers were stunting with new rides all around him. He paid his bills on time and kept his credit score in a place many adults do not have and he stunned the banks when they saw he really saved and had a stable job at his age. Once he bought that home though, I flew in and helped him to furnish and buy appliances. He smiled and said I was “such a mommy” as if that was an insult!!😂😂😂

He is now 24 and as I listened to him discuss what his next set of plans entailed, I teared up remembering all he had gone through to get to this point and that his adversities only made him grow to the place where he is an incredible advocate of his rights and can see things from a point of view most miss.

He is a really quiet and profound cat that I am so proud to call SON. I caught a brief glimpse of his need for parent love when he walked up to hug me and just laid his head on my chest for a good two minutes. It was cathartic and healing to us both.

He credits his tenacity to having parents who aren’t afraid to work hard and achieve-he astutely learned certain traits we carry that he found to be beneficial in business and life and built upon that. I have no doubt we haven’t fully begun to see what he will accomplish. and while the house was filled with both my children and all their friends, when the nest emptied and those birds flew back to where they came from, they all left a piece of their love joy and peace with me..

Parents- raising children is the most challenging thing we will do and it never ends. We want to protect our children from danger and harm while we coach them on being able to thrive in environments away from us. If we could, we would shield them and keep their innocence firmly intact but life doesn’t work that way. 

On this day, I pray you have the courage and strength to do what you know is right for your children and to seek advice when needed.

Those babies we carried and nurtured will one day become adults. How they get there depends upon you in those early years of learning and growth.

Dueces and mad love,

Diva 

when the oldest comes home for a visit

The Hot chocolate Trollop that took my man

I have been married for a little over a year now and in that time,My husband and I have been purging our living space which was his home for over twenty years before I got there.

I wasn’t fond of the space as it was but since we didn’t live together for the entire five years  we dated, I gave no energy to it beyond trying to help him organize it during his annual holiday party.

So when we jumped the broom and we  decided I would move in with him, I had no choice but to begin looking closely at my new home and I literally sat on the front steps and cried not knowing where to begin.

But to know my level of tenacity, is the recognize that once my tears dried, I rolled up my mental and physical sleeves and got to work.

The house was gutted and the main rooms painted with vibrant colors. Some appliances were replaced, the outside had a new driveway and the entire front facade redone along with planting a new garden. The basement was gutted and redone, plumbing and electric updated. And so it went. The house had taken a huge turn for the better and I was happier.

So when I said to my husband 7 days ago that it was time to replace one chair in our living room, he didn’t argue and said go ahead.

Well I began doing research and found what I was looking for except I didn’t just buy one chair. I found the perfect sofa and then went about seeking a love seat that would be just right for him. I found it too. Dark chocolate and soft as butter.

They were delivered 24 hours ago and when my husband got home, he was slack jawed with shock and when he sat in his new chair, the look on his face was worth the surprise.😄

So when I texted him today in response to his query on how I was doing, it took him a while to respond and this is what I got from him “Doing well. I’m sorry to tell you that I have a new love in my life. 

She’s long and smooth, with a nice chocolate body. I took Advil and fell asleep on that love seat, and I didn’t wake up until 11:45.”

😂😂😂😂😂

I have been replaced by a chocolate chair!! He can keep her since I will know just where to find him on any given day.

My consideration of his wants has left him super happy which makes me super happy..

And that my dears, is how we compromise to a better place.. wonder what I’m Going to do next… you just have to wait and see..

Dueces and mad love,

DivA

Delayed is not denied….

When I think of how much my life has changed in the last 20 years, I can safely say I’m beginning to grasp the concept that delayed doesn’t mean denied and if we trust the process we are in, we will see it was all for our good long term.
That job you thought you had to keep because it pays your bills but you got laid off and was surprised to see it was designed to happen just that way because you wouldn’t have otherwise stepped out on faith and become even more successful?
Delayed is not denied
That man you just KNEW God sent for you and you scratched and clawed to keep him even as his actions said otherwise. It finally ends and you mourn him thinking there isn’t another soul worth having only to meet someone who made this Other person seem like a joke?
Delayed is not denied
Those days when you could barely scrape the rent money together, you had no car to drive and small children to take care of in the middle of an awful Divorce only to look up years later and life is good?
Delayed is not denied.

In order to turn the corner from life’s tragedies, you must first be willing to do your own work to healing and that may mean forgiving the people who hurt you, learn from the mistakes, choose wisely, be open to taking risks and have faith.
The alternative is staying mired in the hurt and disappointments only to look up and realize your delay did indeed become your denial because in the end you can’t change anyone but you and nothing grows in a stagnant state.

Ya dig?

Dueces and mad love,

Diva