My journey to finding me

PhotoGrid_1447622817988_resizedI’ve always heard that when a woman is going through something bad in her life she will take it out on her hair. Most times it starts with something drastic such as a big chop. This shows the emotional turmoil that is occurring in their life.

Now I know this doesn’t speak for all women but this is my story…

I have had short hair for quite a few years and loved it. However, over a year a go I was seriously drifting downward emotionally. My uncle Ron (who was like my father) passed away from cancer. My 3 sons were each enduring some sort of life change and their issues weighed heavy on me and became my issues.  It was all too much for me to handle and I started falling into depression.

I have been getting my hair relaxed for as long as I could remember. But in September, 2014 I stopped. I felt as though I could no longer see myself in the mirror. The person I was in the mirror was someone I no longer recognized. Who was she and why had she became a stranger after all these years?

I convinced myself I just needed a change. I told my beautician I wanted to go natural. I bought all the natural hair care products. I bought all the headbands I could get from every Walmart and I was on my way to this great discovery.  I followed the hair blogs and thought this is great, this is my focus now. I received so much support from those around me. How great this would be for me and my hair.

On the plus, I loved my hair chemical free. It felt healthy and was really red. However, after months and months and a dresser topped with hair care products, I still wasn’t better. My insides were still all torn apart and I still didn’t know the person I saw in the mirror. Why couldn’t I embrace this new change?

After months of prayer God opened doors for my sons and even for me. I rejoiced and thanked God for them. Then I thought NOW I will be better. Now all is right with the world. But for some reason I still didn’t know that woman I would see as I brushed my teeth in the morning. I was still broken. Life had beat me down, not just for so many years, but over this journey, no amount of products and headbands could dig me out.

When I had relaxed hair I compared myself to those beautiful women with perfect hair. When I had natural hair I did the exact same thing. Why can’t I be beautiful? I know it would solve all my problems. I know it would make me whole.

It has taken me a long time but I had to recognize that my issues, my depression had nothing to do with my hair. I absolutely applaud those who have such confidence in who they are and what they are doing in this world. Natural, relaxed and everything in between. But I also speak to those who are still struggling as I was and some days still are.

I share this with you because I believe I’m not alone. Here’s what I learned…Work on you. Not the outside you, not the hair on your head or what you see in the mirror. But work on the real you. What I’m learning is to keep my heart open and my mind clear and focused on what’s important to me and those around me. I need to speak life into myself. I need to know I’m beautiful inside and out. Period.

Life can be hard and difficult and stressful and baffling. But it’s also beautiful and wonderful and breathtaking and mind-blowing. Accept all of it, but most importantly accept your role in it. I have a bit more pep in my step. I even have a bit more confidence and I’m loving it.

God has a plan so don’t let a reflection take you off your path or prevent you from bringing your A game. God has ordered your steps. Keep your eyes on him and nothing will stand in your way. You’re blessed!

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

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Pray and Speak Up!

cries,emotions,facial tissues,females,grief,grieving,people,persons,sadness,tears,tissue boxes,tissues,womenThere were prominent deaths that occured this week. In particular, Michael Brown and Robin Williams. Michael Brown was an 18 year old boy who was gunned down by a police officer in Missouri and Robin Williams was an awesome actor and comedic genius who suffered from depression and killed himself.

I’ve seen some who were upset or bothered by the memorials to Robin Williams. But we know that Michael and Robin were both loved by those who knew them. Both were human beings who had an affect on their family, friends, and all those who loved them. 

When I look at both of these deaths, I didn’t see one above the other. What I saw was an outcry to our nation. Out of these two deaths I see issues that speak volumes to what is occuring in our society today.

One is a lack of value placed on the lives of our young black men by some police officers. I say “some” because we know that this is not a practice by all police officers. I read that 1 black man is killed every 28 hours by a police officer or vigilante. Our young black men are being gunned down in the street without thought of human life.

The other issue speaks to depression and mental illness. I know some, and have myself dealt with depression and the thoughts of no longer being here. Depression affects 1 in 10 americans and over 80% of them have symptoms of clinical depression but are not receiving any treatment.

Both of these issues are subjects that need to be addressed and shouted from the rooftop. They should be protested and rallied around because both cause death and tragedy in the lives of those who are left behind. I raised 3 sons and I always taught them to respect the police no matter what because I know there are some who would look at my sons and only see skin color. My only goal was that they would come home to me and make it to see another day.

These issues take lives and cause heartbreak. Pray and speak up for the world. Pray and speak up for those in Missouri and other states these heinous acts are occuring. Pray and speak up for those who are hurting and depressed. Pray for the good and upstanding police officers and others who are out there doing the right thing. Pray for those who perpetrate violence on innocent people.

It’s up to us to be a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves. Yes we are our brothers keeper.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

References:

http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/statistics-infographic 

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/1-black-man-killed-every-28-hours-police-or-vigilantes-america-perpetually-war-its

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

Like us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/NoMoreBandages

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Trust Yourself

Trust is an absolute necessity when it comes to relationships. That applies to personal, business, etc.

But how much do you trust yourself?

Do your best to trust yourself in these areas of your life.

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NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

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Give Them Their Flowers

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Yesterday my family and friends were blessed to throw a surprise party for my grandmother’s 90th birthday.
It was an awesome celebration that I will never forget and I know she won’t either.

At one point we went around the room saying how her life touched us in some special way.

I noticed something so profound with that one act; she was there to hear it. If you could have seen the smile on her face as people spoke TO her (and not about her).

Unfortunately, most wait until their loved one has passed on before they decide to share how much they meant to them. Today we were able to tell her, in person, what she means (present tense) to us and not what she meant (past tense) to us.

When you are surrounded by people who mean so much to you, take today to show them. Give them the opportunity to hear those heartfelt words now instead of waiting until it’s too late.

Treasure those angels that God has placed in your life. They are there for a reason and it’s up to you to let them know just how much they mean to you.

 Give them their flowers now while they’re still able to smell them.

 

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

Like us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/NoMoreBandages

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God is Good!

 

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To is about encouraging those who may be going through.

My God is an awesome God. 

God can do anything but fail. Whatever you stand in need of today, God is greater than any problem, situation or hardship. It doesn’t matter what you are struggling with or going through, God can and will meet your need.

Go before God and ask what you will because he is a healer and deliverer.

Rejoice today knowing there is nothing too hard for God.

 

NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

Like us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/NoMoreBandages

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Thankful for the Doubts

Have you ever stopped and thanked those who talked about you or did their best to discourage you?

Sounds like a crazy notion I know, but I’m stronger today because of the negativity. If they said I couldn’t do it, it was up to me to prove them wrong. I’m stronger because I’m more determined than ever to rise above the doubts and discouragement of others.

Don’t despise them or their words. Instead, today, take a moment to thank those who attempted to speak death over your life. They accomplished God’s plan to refine you and make you stronger. spw

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NMB! is built with tears, pain, loss, bruises and frustration but stands firm on the promises and foundation of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit us at http://www.nomorebandages.com

Like us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/NoMoreBandages

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Love Shouldn’t Hurt

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On Monday I have the privilege of bringing No More Bandages! classes to CHOICES Eliminating Domestic Violence Shelter.

Although I did not utilize their services, the interaction I’ve had with them in these last few months have been eye opening.

I want to focus on these women. Their strength is amazing even if they don’t quite see it yet. They are much stronger than we give them credit.

Of course I could easily spout out statistics such as:

  • Every 15 second seconds a woman is beaten by her husband or boyfriend.
  • Between 25-45% of all battered women are abused during pregnancy
  • Only 25% of women assaulted by their partners escape after the first assault.
  • Between 2.1 and 8 million women are abused by their partners annually.  

 But let’s look at it from the woman’s point of view.

 Why do women stay? Here are a few:

  •  Fear – the most common and understandable reason to stay
  • Hope – hope that the abuser will change
  • Responsibility – society places responsibility of marriage and family on the woman and she may feel responsible for the failure of the relationship.
  • Economics – Don’t have the financial means to care for themselves.

And even if these women are able to get out of these relationships it is said that the next two years of their lives are the most dangerous. Some men would rather kill their wives then allow them to leave.

Domestic violence is not love, its control.

If you are in a violent situation, decide to take the first step to talk to someone. Decide to call CHOICES just to talk.

If you know someone, love them, encourage them, and give them the resources they need. Above all, remind them over and over again that it’s not their fault.  

You can’t force anyone but you can help and be there. It’s not easy but you will be glad you did.

CHOICES -24 Hour Crisis & Information Hotline. (614) 224-HOME [4663]

Below is a song I love and it speaks to me every time I watch the video. We have to find encouragement from wherever we can. I pray it encourages you also. At some point we all have to find our “strength in the struggle.”

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