Inspirational Quick Speak is a blog that focuses on staying positive, motivated and trying to always see the better half in all situations. Most people only see things in black and white, but I love to waddle through the grey. Yes, it does exist! We experience so much in our lifetime, and even more with the youth of today. Young people who have experienced foster care no longer have to feel like no one understands what it’s like. I do. I’ve seen, I’ve heard, it’s happened to me too. This blog is for me to reach the other youth who are like me, and I like them. We’re in this together! With great trials, there will be tribulations, but staying positive and motivated pushed me to do better and to be better because I already knew what the statistics would label me, so I decided to label myself first!
“Hustle Until You No Longer Need to Introduce Yourself.”
"Don’t Stop Until You’re Proud.” --Motivation App
“I Want Peace in Knowing That It Wasn’t for Lack of Hustling That I Missed A Target for My Dream. I Want to Know That the One Thing in My Control Was Under Control.” -- Jon Acuff
Motivation isn’t true motivation unless it comes directly from yourself, within. Just as they say you can’t lose your Joy because it wasn’t something that could be given or taken away, like happiness, your motivating factor is already there within. You and I just have an issue with doubting ourselves. Why is it that we can take that same doubt that keeps us down and out and flip it as a “pusher” to do better just because it was SOMEONE else who doubted us.
It should never take for someone to down talk you for you to believe in yourself. I look at myself and I weigh my accomplishments based off two things. One, if I believed in myself and wanted to do that “thing” or two, if I only did it because I was told that I couldn’t. I won't lie, some of them were based off my own fears of succeeding that when I communicated them to someone else and when they didn’t believe in me, I suddenly believed more in my own success.
I don’t understand why, but for some reason we have an issue with doubting our capabilities. There are no limits to accomplishing whatever it is that you desire. They never thought a physically disabled person could play basketball; well they have their own league. They never thought that women could have supreme positions in the Justice System, but just this year, 12 Black Women all ran to be Justices in Texas. They never thought that Foster Youth could do or be productive in their lives; WELL WE ARE!
There are no boundaries out there to stop us. I never said they’d make it easier or be fair about it, but there will never be something that keeps you away from reaching your own goals besides that person breathing air into their lungs reading this post. It may seem too far out of reach, if so, just stretch your arms and reach further.
You’re hanging on a ledge and the only thing between you and death is this part of the ledge that is within arm's length to pull you up and over. There’s no one around to help you either. You’ve stretched and stretched those arms until they ached. Finally, with no more courage left in you, you presumed, with the last bit of strength you can muster up and reach onto that other landing and safe you are once again. Against all odds that you felt or calculated while dangling. You trusted in yourself and never doubted your strength. Was it because it was life or death, maybe? I want to believe it was because you stopped having a pity party and fought for your life.
One thing you forgot to consider was how determined you were to not to let go of the other hand holding on. You didn’t know you possessed so much strength. Look at your goals as obstacles that are achievable to pass over if you are determined enough.
“I Want Peace in Knowing That It Wasn’t for Lack of Hustling That I Missed A Target for My Dream. I Want to Know That the One Thing in My Control Was Under Control.” -- Jon Acuff
“If you can’t change the circumstances, change your attitude. Funny thing is, when you do, you’ll find that the circumstances often change.”
Joe Rogan said, “The time you spend hating on someone robs you of your own time. You are literally hating on yourself and you don’t even realize it.”
“Each of us creates his or her own life largely by our attitude,” said by Earl Nightingale
I know we all get tired of being told to fix our attitudes. I didn’t understand the true meaning behind that phrase until now. I’ve told you before, that these blogs aren’t just to help you or for you, they are for myself as well. I’m learning as I read each quote and as I type the words, it’s manifesting into my spirit. Much like when your teacher or professor may say, “you will retain the information better through writing what you heard.”
Time and time again, we waste our time and energy in areas and places that don’t benefit us. Stop consciously draining yourself. You don’t realize that throughout the day you encounter so many different energies. Maybe you said hello to a passerby, and they ignored you, so in following, you don’t speak to the person waving and hinting a shy smile, in the end, trading off that negativity.
Stop picking up and carrying away all of everyone else’s baggage. You have enough of your own to deal with. Having a good day shouldn’t be a rarity, nor should you feel like you must fight for it. It is simply put like this; Mind Your Own. So what if you said “Hi” to someone who clearly doesn’t remember their manners, so shrug off that disrespect or whatever you’d like to label it. Why? Because it didn’t hurt you, kill you, nor stop you in your tracks. Accept it but don’t hold onto it. Toss that negativity mojo back into the trash from which it came. You have a day to conquer!
You’ve had enough people holding you back and you’ve had enough down time/ pity time keeping you from your destined truth. It’s time to reclaim your time back; your happiness back; your resilience. Stop looking at your failures as failures. Stop looking at negatives as if that’s all they’ll ever be. One thing for certain; let go of expecting people to be a certain way just because you are. Stop wanting to be understood and instead love who you are. We all have issues. Whatever one you decide to use; one of us can and will relate in one or many other ways. No matter how much progress you’ve made, we all snap back sometimes. Don’t worry. Growth is a journey that you have to be willing to walk along.
When will we get tired of selling our own selves short? What happens in the moment doesn’t have to last in that moment. We have control over our words and choices. We never lost control, even when we feel like we’ve lost it all. There is always another move you could still make. It might not be to your liking, but it’ll be a better choice than the one you've made or are currently making.
“Don’t ask God to guide your steps when you’re not willing to move your feet. You have to take the steps necessary to get your blessings. At some point, God’s word has to go from being highlighted in your Bible to being written on your heart. Months from now you’ll be in a completely different space. Keep praying, reading His word and working on yourself. Blessings are coming. When you get what you want, that’s God’s direction. When you don’t get what you want, that’s God’s protection. A partner who leads you to God and not to sin is always worth the wait. Be patient! The person you’ve been praying for is going to come!” --- SPRINKLE OF JESUS App
I’m ready to have peace in my life. I am too old now to hold myself back. My very good friend Malik asked, “What are three things that you value?”, to that question, he got a mixture of responses. Many people said, “Peace, Love, Loyalty, Honesty, Family, Money, God, Time, Food, School, Power, and Respect.” It’s funny how we all value the same things in a way. Most of these things lead or feed into the next. What we don’t understand is that what is supposed to happen always will happen. You know how much you may try and fight for something, for instance, a job opportunity or maybe even a relationship. You have a lot if wasted energy here trying to force it to go the way you want, not realizing that the reason it probably isn’t working is because it simply wasn’t meant for you.
At times, I find it difficult to talk to God. Not so much as talking to him, but my issue is in hearing Him. I can be stubborn at times and in doing so, I miss out of things. Could have been trying to prevent me from wasting my time or telling me to invest my time in one area versus another. I may want to lean in one direction, putting all my eggs here and not knowing that by the time I was ready to stand and carry my basket full away, that the handles would break, and I’d lose everything. The sign that I possibly had been missing was that when I placed them in, one would roll out. “How is this so?”, I’d ask. To my surprise, the reply I’d get was that maybe I didn’t stack them neatly enough. So, I’d take my time again and invest it into this basket.
This time I will be sure to be more careful and slower. Now that I have all my eggs neat and, in a row, take to take off again. Or so I thought. To my dismay again, the basket would break. Now after trying and failing many more times. I do something I hadn’t thought of all along. Let me think outside of myself and see another possible route out. This could be the advice/mentorship of someone else that you don’t want to listen to for whatever reason. Let’s just see what would happen if I gave their idea a try. Shockingly, or not so, depending on your willingness to accept help, this new plan works.
Everything isn’t meant to go just the way we would like. Sometimes there’s a lesson to be learned or what was once accepted is now outdated or He sees no longer fit for you and your growing situation. Allow yourself multiple escape routes. Allow yourself another way of thinking, accepting a new way of life. Stop skipping, jumping, hopping, twirling around your blessings. Just because it’s new and unheard of doesn’t mean it wasn’t meant for you. You never know, they could be holding that very breakthrough you've been working so hard for, searching so long for, yearning deeply to see.
What you’ve been asking for, has always been there. Wipe off that fog on your glasses, smear the steam off that mirror, dust off those bootstraps and pant legs, put back on that brave face and conquer as you were destined to. Live purposefully, give abundantly, love unconditionally, hug joyfully, and celebrate gratefully.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -- Michael Jordan
Wow. Mouth wide open. I know! You’d never think that the greatest basketball player, arguably, failed! Reality check; we all fall short sometimes. We are not perfect supreme beings. I don’t know why people associate success never with losing. Putting out a false ideology that there are people out there that are just doing it all, by any means and doing it right the first time. THIS IS COMPLETELY FALSE. Not saying it’s not possible to succeed at first bat, but I am however saying that it will always take work. Hard work. What’s easy to you might be nothing short of a steep incline on a rocky unsafe mountain top to someone else.
What I am really saying is that we must stop living our lives based on timelines set by others. We must stop looking at ourselves and judging our successes and failures on those of the next because no two journeys are alike. No two motivators are alike. No two minds are alike. We are unique from one person to the next. Twins are no exception. We are our own people and wonder why trying to duplicate the exact sameness of someone else is so hard to do.
I know how it feels to work so hard to accomplish something to only fall short. It’s happened to me oh so many times. It sometimes feels like I am living a life of failure. As I was writing, a quote came through on my phone. It reads......
“Do not plant your dreams in the field of indecision, where nothing ever grows but the weeds of ‘what if’”.
I refuse to stop working. I refuse to quit. So, what if this route didn’t work, I’ll take another. I’ve promised myself that I’LL NEVER quit on myself again. I’ll never beat myself up for something that’s normal for someone trying something they’ve never done before. Something else I’m learning that is also hard to accept is that it is okay to ask for help and nothing comes from nothing. Make these moves happen or shut up and sit down full of defeat. Not an option I say, well then, I guess there’s work to be done.
LET’S GET IT.
Change. I get so tired of change. But at the same time, I find myself yearning for it. I’m okay with a rude, disrespectful loudmouth that has finally decided to change and tone it down some and treat others with the respect they expect to receive. I’m not okay with living somewhere for a substantial amount of time just to have to move and change addresses. Which now means that everything that I have ever signed up for, I must now, change as well.
I hate when friends change too. We call it switching up now, but I want to dive a little into that. Have you ever been cool with someone for many years or just a short time period, but you guys were close? I have, with plenty of people. Unfortunately, to my disbelief, friendships end on their own timing. That timing though, sometimes isn't chosen directly by either of us. We do outgrow people just like things.
I know it hurts and you find yourself questioning your moves over time, but in the end, most times, you had nothing to do with the way those people are “acting”. I say acting because that’s exactly what I see it as. They pretend to be there, and maybe at one point, they were there. But nowhere to be found when you really needed them, now.
There’s always a way to look at things. In a negative way/ negative perspective/ pessimistic attitude or in a positive way/ positive perspective/ optimistic attitude. If you’re anything like me, you’re a glass half empty kind of person. That’s no way to continue to live life, I’ve learned. Changing my perspective on things helped me see that although I EMOTIONALLY feel like it’s a bad thing or they're a bad person or that it’s something I did......I really didn’t FEEL anything. I didn’t care. I was self-consciously and emotionally holding on to something that been died and was trying to free itself of me. I just wasn’t ready.
I was being selfish. Selfish with myself and my energy and my peace. We must learn to be more selfless with ourselves. Caring for ourselves must come first. Let those who want to leave out of your life, do so. Holding on will prolong the pain and a friendship/relationship that could have potentially ended a different way. What’s true of love is true of anything. “If it was meant to be, it will come back.” I (you) come first. Always. Without you, you cannot help or do anything to or for anyone else. You cannot satisfy someone’s thirst from a cup that is empty so how could you expect the same from someone who’s energy is low?
“Someone that holds you accountable loves you more than someone that watches you settle for mediocracy. Remember who makes you be better. You have a limited amount of time in this world. Don’t spend it being a watered-down version of yourself just so people can like you. Be firm with your choices. Don’t go back to habits and situations that weren’t helping you evolve. Be consistent with your change now.” -- Sprinkle of Jesus
Ownership refers to the ultimate and exclusive rights and control over property that have been conferred by a lawful claim or title, according to my google search. Exclusive rights and control. Take a second and think about that and what those words mean. We all crave some type of control or power over or for something. No matter how big or small the thing may be, we lose a part of ourselves when we can’t or don’t deserve a say so. There’s one place and being that you will always have complete ultimate and exclusive rights to only one owner. Its sole proprietor, and that’s you, yourself.
Being confident in who you are is the most control you can have. The moment you allow other judgements, or their beliefs carry over onto you and enter your thoughts, you're no longer in control. You have just invited in someone else's dreams, aspirations, demons and insecurities into your mind and now thinking you're less than or must compete. YOU DO NOT! I know it’s hard to believe or want to accept, but honestly, we’re all in the same position together. We weren't created to be just like the next person. Even with twins, they're different! We’re all equally made. What I don’t have, someone else may, but I too may have what they don’t. So, does that make them any less or better than me? NO. We’re one in the same.
Surround yourself with others that see the beauty in everything and I'm not saying that flaws don’t exist, but those that focus on the flaws will never see the sunshine because they're too busy watching the clouds. With this though, there will be people that are there trying to help us. I, like some of you have a hard time listening to criticism because it's sometimes hard to decipher whether its constructive or meant to be destructive. But here’s how you know the difference. It won't be with or from someone who just says they love you; it’ll be from someone you know loves you. You can feel it without questioning their motives.
The moral is, just be who you were meant to be. It won’t be hard. It'll come with ease because it’s natural. It’s time to start living for you. Time to start owning up to our mistakes and stop running from them. Those aren't going to break you, those lessons are meant to make you. Make you stronger. Build you thicker and more tough to withstand the next downfall. Those battels are what shaped us through our lessons, through the newly made experiences. You can either choose to take from them and learn or choose to take them as defeats. At the end of the day it’s up to you. You are always the main one in control over what happens or doesn't happen next. Change only comes from action. Verbs not nouns.
Be about it. Own it.,
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”” They told me I couldn’t. That’s why I did it.”” Every day you wake up, you have one job; to be better than yesterday.”
Yesterday is the past, today is the present, and tomorrow is the future. Each day we ever only experience once. You’ll never get this day back again, so why waste it? Stop spending time fighting and arguing and holding grudges, making yourself mad over something that’s petty. Yes, petty. If it doesn’t outweigh safety or a life, then it’s a petty vengeance that you're carrying. Was it worth it? Did you feel better about yourself afterwards? If you hesitated or the answer is no, change. It’s never that deep to waste your joy or happiness in a day on one incident and that’s it.
It’s the same when someone doesn’t have faith in you to do whatever it is that you set your mind to. You use that as motivation to push forward, right? Why can’t you just use that same logic when it comes to negative doings and sayings. For example:
PERSON: “What do you have on? You look atrocious”
ME: “Why thank you for noticing my outfit. I know it’s quite different or what you’re not used to but that was the point. I don’t want to be like the majority. I was aiming to stand out”
PERSON: “You can’t do that; you aren’t smart or strong enough. Haha.”
ME: “Watch and see. *I Conquered*”
It’s so easy to take what is said and internalize it but using it as a motivating force is unpredictable and unmatched because it’s a power unlike no other to be able to manifest negativity into positivity. Really, it’s just about having another outlook or possible perspectives. You can do al and anything that you want to do. It’ll just either come easy or you’ll have to work very hard to reach that accomplishment. But hey, at least you did it!
The way we perceive ourselves is most times well below par of what we truly are. Stop minimizing your success what you have done, the next person probably couldn’t even get that opportunity. Take it and use it to the best of its valued ability. You are bigger and better than you may think. You get do overs daily, use them wisely. Can’t keep doing the same things expecting a different result.
“Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. People can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.”
You are the only person in your way. Someone once told me: evaluate me now, but come back and see my growth. Listening to the negativity will only provoke your subconscious to think that you aren’t valuable enough and to help lead you away from what you were determined to do. Listening to the negativity and flipping it to aim towards what is positive and acknowledging it can be better. Taking ownership. We all know that the brain is very intelligent, but why do we treat it so wrongly. Stop underestimating the one thing that is keeping this humanly world running. With a flip of a switch, this can be a coocoo nest or a world full of entrepreneurs and owners and motivating mentors. We need to start remembering that we are the main character of our lives. Everything we experience, take in, give; it’s because it’s your choice. You are not a side character/ backseat rider, said best by my good friend Natalie.
Much like hers, I heard this quote, “Don’t draw your sword to kill a fly.” What I took away from it was, basically another quote you’ve heard before,” Pick and choose which battles are worth fighting.” The first quote hit me harder because it forced me to analyze my actions to understand what that quote was really trying to say. My conclusion after a short time of thought was that I too often chose to fight when nothing was needed to be done; I had just elevated the situation for my own personal gain and sometimes it backfired on me.
How many times did you hear or say yourself, how difficult it is to explain what is going on inside your head when you don’t even understand it yourself? That’s the problem. We need to unplug our heads and stop thinking so much and so deep and so hard on the little things and always seem to whip past the things that deserved some strategic planning instead. Some of us are just too afraid to step up our lives, our visions. Don’t stop and succumb to your fear and doubt. “Fear doesn’t prevent death. It prevents life.” Most of the pain you’re dealing with are just thoughts. Ever consider that?
I’ll end with a quote from Ghandi, “Never reply when you’re angry. Never make a promise when you are happy. Never make a decision when you are sad.”
The craziest thig that I’ve ever heard, is that we should be more like squirrels. Lynn Stergar, an entrepreneur, said because of their ability to live life and always to the fullest with all types of motivation and sacrifice. Squirrels are purposeful animals. They literally use the world to their advantage. They will find any means to satisfy their needs. Meaning in the same breath, they are goal orientated. Busy go-getters and in business for themselves while still helping others.
Anthony Robbins said, “No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you are still ahead of everyone who isn’t trying. “We don’t need to be smarter or more creative than our competition, only more focused. Focus is powerful because not everyone possesses that. We allow too many outside forces in to deter us from our goals. Plenty of successful people have lived up to the hype for many years, but it was not always that way.
For instance, Einstein was expelled from school and didn’t speak until around his 5th birthday and therefore was labeled “mentally slow”. The most intelligent man, slow? I think not. The franchisee of KFC, David Sanders’ recipe was rejected over 1,000 times by many restaurants. Now look at the many restaurants on street corners. Macy’s is and has always been a booming business. Prior to Macy’s though, Rowland Hussey had 7 straight businesses fail.
You get in life what you create, and you create what you expect. If you don’t want something, you simply just don’t have to go out there and get it, but the things you do, you must work for. Even that that comes “easy”, it still won't be easy to maintain. You shouldn’t want something handed to you anyway because it hasn’t been perfected. What was said “good” for someone else should never be good enough for you. If something is good enough, it can be better. What makes it better is the twist of life that YOU throw on it.
You were created to do great things. There will always be obstacles in this life and many times you will have to start over, but at least you started. Be more like the squirrels running free with dreams and working aimlessly dodging anything keeping them from their goal. They too never forget to have fun. Running a life of straight business will run you early straight to your grave.
Be patient, work hard, have fun.
Did you know that couples that cuddle can become addicted to one another and even go through withdrawal when they’re apart; as a result of oxytocin. In both males and females, oxytocin is released, but in different ways such as, “social bonding, sexual reproduction, childbirth, and the period after childbirth.” In the same likeness, we must learn the difference between connections and attachments. One gives you power and the other sucks the life out of you. Pain changes you and a wo/man become a reflection of how you treat h/er and remember that no matter how good a man or woman you are, you’ll never be good enough for someone who isn’t ready.
We neglect each other too much. Men should never be afraid to express themselves or feel appreciated, just as the woman. We both have a ton on our minds living in this society. We both are experiencing the same hardships and put that energy on each other as if the world didn’t drown us already. A friend of mine, said, not targeted at just one group but for all, but most importantly for our culture. He said, “Black Men! It’s okay to seek counseling. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to be different. It’s not okay to redistribute pain. It’s not okay to pass down trauma as culture. It’s not okay to mislead those around you." Those words are so beautiful because they came from another man encouraging men.
Often, we all feel alone. That is so far from the case! Look at how many people are in the world, BILLIONS! How many are wealthy versus those that are white collar versus blue collar versus middle class versus poverty stricken. We all experience the same things in life and in our relationships. Just at different frequencies. We must stop putting ourselves against each other instead of the us against the problem. Nothing is that big if the love is that deep to break that bond and trust between two loved ones.
There are so many different quotes and sayings that follow the theme for this blog and I feel that it is appropriate to share them so that we can think on them and implement them the moment they cross through your eyes to your brain and lastly your conscious and subconscious minds so that some of these relationships will finally end or gain the strength they’ve been fighting so hard to keep the love together. Check yourself. Sometimes you’re the toxic person; mean and negative. Sometimes the problem IS you. That doesn't make you less worthy. Keep growing and checking yourself first. Everyone wants something real with someone real until they meet someone who has real standards challenges them to be consistent, considerate, and real committed.
« Stop getting excited over the bare minimum.
« Know the difference between those who stay to feed the soil and those who only come to grab the fruit.
« Value anyone who supports you with nothing to gain.
« Someone can love you desperately with their feelings and still not know how to love you correctly with their actions.
« Don’t let bad memories from someone old stop you from making good memories with someone new.
“Oh it chases me down, fights till I’m found, leaves the 99. I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still you give yourself away. Oh, the overwhelming, never ending reckless love of God.“ – Reckless Love of God by Native Kingdom
Those words resonate so deep within my soul. I feel a sense of comfort and peace when I sing unto His name. I feel free and like a weight has lifted off my shoulders. You don’t have to be religious or spiritual to know you felt as if things shouldn’t be where they are, based off the decisions you may or may have not made. Time and time again, we tell ourselves what we should’ve, could've, would’ve done in a situation instead of doing it then in the moment. We do this in all areas of our lives and it always makes me think, “Why didn’t I just go with my first mind to begin with?” Why is it that we think that we aren’t allowed to make mistakes and fall short sometimes? Don’t we know that through failures is how we learn and progress?
These are legit questions that we must ask ourselves. Who said we were or had to be perfect? Where is this set “positioning” coming from? I dislike how we allow evaluations of ourselves from those who are either in the same area we are or no better, sometimes even worse off. You cannot tell me what I need to do if you aren’t where I am or want to be. We give too much power and control to those who have no control over us, our lives, or our decisions.
Have you ever felt like there was no wrong you could do, and you’d still be seen as a perfect little angel? This may be true for young ones or maybe even yourself when you were a child. One thing for certain, I know that in the eyes of God Almighty, you will never fall short. You could never do too much wrong to where He wouldn’t love you or cease to cover you. The love of God is truly never-ending, and it indeed is reckless. Reckless because he loves us even when we sin or use his name in vain. We’ve done so much wrong that we can’t even look ourselves in the mirror from shame and guilt.
I know I don’t deserve unforgiving love in my past because I was a selfish woman. I was selfish with my time and my love, unlike God. I was judgmental of the person and not solely of the sin as if I was perfect myself, unlike God. We need to learn how to be more SELFLESS. Thinking and doing for others before one's self. Can you just imagine how much more peaceful things would be if we thought of the next person before ourselves? I read on the back of someone’s shirt one day that read, “Are you ok? I’m calling 911. Let me help. Is there anyone I can call? I’m calling for help. I don’t like what you just said. Am I the only one who is uncomfortable with that? That’s illegal- you could get into serious trouble. Is everything ok over here? Can we walk you home? I’m saying something because I care about you. That’s not funny. Bystander intervention starts with you.”
All of these statements and questions are things that cross our minds daily, but why do we choose to ignore them? I know when I see something in public that I disagree with personally, often, I will interject. I do so because my intervention may have been the last chance for someone. I know that we don’t want to be perceived as nosy, but one of those cases, may have been the difference between life and death. Literally, I saved a life but not allowing them to say.
They were fine. I push and prod because I know what it feels like to want to scream but there’s no sound coming out. I know what despair and depression looks like and I can identify with them on that level alone. Anything helps because the little extra step you took, no one else bothered to. What separates you from the masses are the choices you decide to make and even worse, the ones you do not. Just like God, I try to have a reckless heart and a love for all people greater than myself. I want to be more like him. Loving, Forgiving, Truthful, Honoring, and Selfless.
“You may think you’ve got a long way to go, but sometimes you need to look back at how far you’ve already come. Before you give up, think of the reason you held on for so long.”
It is normal to feel like you haven't accomplished anything when you’re short of a goal but fell only so short. All the timeless efforts and countless hours you dedicated to these things feels wasted. Look at what you've gained or learned along the way. Those steps you’ve taken to reach your goal are just as important in the process as succeeding. Your goal was to reach the second floor, but you can’t do that until you climb the stairs or ride that elevator up.
The in-between is the most important part. You can’t say the alphabet is A-Z because our English alphabet requires more letters in between to be understood. Could you imagine only using one letter? Could you imagine having a computer but no motherboard?, A candle with no wick? A relationship with no boundaries? If you said no or laughed at either one of these scenarios, you can now understand that the entire process is relevant. Things are meant to work or they're not, but we should always have ways to show that we were present in that time and learned something. You gain from any and every interaction that you’ve ever had. You may have realized that a runaway dog really is just trying to find its way home or mind its own business but stares at you as you come by unexpected. This is so for you and the dog. Both want to go along with their day, but both are startled and wondering what the next actions are. Maybe even a job that you hate working at because you do so much that goes unnoticed, but this job is the connection you need to a person or maybe even a lifestyle. But how far are you willing to go? How long are you willing to fight?
If I gave up after falling short so many times, I wouldn’t even be a part of The New Foster Care Ambassador team because I would've died in 2012. If I had given up, my brother wouldn’t be alive. If I had given up, I wouldn’t have a relationship whatever it is, with my abusers. If I had given up, I wouldn’t be fighting the university to allow me to continue my education without being eligible for most foster scholarships. I pick myself each time and either start over and try again or I find a new avenue to that same goal because I am determined to finish to succeed. And I put in a ton of work to get to where I am today, and nothing can stop me or get in my way unless physically disenabling me.
I want to begin with a few words that I’ve kept close to me over the years that have helped me gain confidence in who I am and a reminder that I am not my past, I’ve just been on a magical journey.
“You may mess up, but you’re not a mess up. You may make a mistake, but you are not a mistake. You may screw up, but you are not a screw up. You may fail, but you are not a failure. You are not your downfalls.”
“When a child is punished for their honesty, they begin to lie.”
“Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it”
These three quotes were repeats in my mind because it made me really think hard over my life. It never occurred to me that this wasn’t who I was going to be, but just a phase that I was in as a kid. Whenever I messed up, my family would be like, “That’s all you know how to do, if you just listened to me, you would've completed whatever or it might've been easier.”
What they didn’t understand was that I was comprehending it at the capacity I could. I didn’t think like them or learn like them. I know it takes more detail for me to understand how to do something, not just a rough draft or a quick speak. Detail was required and I’d be damned if I asked questions after just being told what to do, so I was left to only fail or fall short which inevitably was still failing. I would think that I was too dumb to get it or that I’d forever be what they saw in me. Nothing. At least that’s how I perceived it to be from the words they spewed or actions they took.
I hated telling the truth because I’d be a liar or nosy or not in a child’s place. What place was there for me while being abused? I felt like I had nowhere to turn because my family's principles were instilled in me and I thought that was how every adult responded. I was right, partly. What I didn’t understand though, was that they aren’t all the same. Later, I was told that it was okay for me to mess up if I learned from my mistakes. It’s okay to be frightened but always tell the truth no matter the consequences because only the truth will set you free and a man of honesty has character.
To this day I stick to that because even as a child, I made mistakes, but I am no longer a baby because I learned from them. I know how to walk, how to talk, how to run, how to hold a bottle/ cup the correct way, how to express myself when needed and as I got older, I knew how to love properly because I watched someone else’s mistakes and chose to learn from them instead of making the same.
“Someone somewhere is still discussing the old you because they don’t have access to the new you.”
“You are confined only by walls you build yourself.”
Time after time again, we are told what we can and cannot do, as well as, what we are and are not capable of doing. You are fully capable of doing anything that you want in life. What determines your talent or passion, is how much work you put into it. I grew up in a family that weren’t necessarily negative people and telling me what I was capable of; however, they did expect me to do what was normal to them. What made sense.
If you’re anything like me, I cannot stand other people determining my fate or my strengths and weaknesses before I’ve even had the chance to. We live in the free world: America, yet, we’re always being confined. Confined by our thoughts and some actions. From the time we were an infant, for our safety of course; “Don’t do that, it’ll hurt you. Don’t touch that, you’re too little, etc.” At some stages in our lives that may be very valid, but you never got the chance to try.
It amazes me to see little kids riding mountain bikes when I always felt it was difficult to ride if I couldn’t tuch the ground, but I was confining myself though fear. Fear only exists where faith is absent. It amazes me to see youth excelling and being promoted grades well before their time, but that’s because the education system confines us. I don’t think there should be a limit on what you can learn. We all learn differently, understand and process things at different rates than the next person.
If we speak negative things into our minds, to others and in the universe, that’s what we’re going to do/be. You’ve been raised up on the inclination that you aren’t good enough or smart enough and because of many reasons, you believed them. You have control over your thoughts and what you decide to define you. You are who and what you want to be. No, I’m not saying it will or won’t be easy to get to where you want to go, I’m saying that it’ll just take work. It’ll take work to change your thought processes, but at least along the way, you can say you’ve grown even slightly because you believe in yourself and you’re tired of being confined by someone else’s walls. “You might be the only one left who believes in you...but that’s all you need.”
“The devil may be whispering in your ear, “You are not strong enough to withstand this storm.” Go on and whisper back, “I AM THE STORM!”
-- Sprinkle of Jesus App
In this life, there will be many things that will test us. Our love, our willpower, our knowledge, our weaknesses and our strengths. We must keep that perseverance and resiliency within us just as powerful as it was the day, we made up our minds that we weren’t going to let anything determine our might but ourselves. It is okay to stumble and it okay to trip and fall, but in the end, we must push to get back up. I dislike when I hear someone say that tears are a sign of weakness. That is not true! Tears are a sign that you are ALIVE! We all have gone through things, no matter how big or small. Just as water in a cup that is filled to its brim, it must overflow. We like to think of ourselves as dams in analogy; we put up barriers to direct or to keep our emotions so that we can’t “feel them” or put them aside to deal with them another time, but truth is, that we ignore them for far too long. Dams too when under too much pressure can break as well. As I said before, it is okay to feel. It is not okay to pretend that you don’t feel anything because no matter how much you try to ignore it; it comes out in other forms. You may feel sick, physically weak, or you may lash out at others and tell people, “That’s just the way that I am” No that is not true. You are stressed and you are hurting, and you are choosing to let that emotion control you instead of you controlling it.
We are not super humans, although we have supernatural powers, through GOD. You can do all things, if you try. Giving in and giving up are too different things, but they both keep you from reaching your highest potential. Giving in is succumbing to your wounds, your trials, and the nay-sayers, knowing that you have some fight left in you, but you feel like you can't push on any longer. But you can, you must dig deeper. Giving up is when you are mentally weak. You’ve tried your best, but sometimes your best isn’t what you think is your best. It’s what you decided to give at that moment and once you finished you realized you could've given more, but unfortunately, it’s now too late...until next time. But because you failed, now you’ve given up; on yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, all the self-talks and motivational speakers won't help because you don’t have that fight in your light on the inside lit strong anymore. Your deepest compassion for winning for success is within you and only you. The only thing an outsider can do is help you ignite that flame that you already have possession of.
The storm that you are within is only as big as you make it to be. You have the power to push through and to win. Whatever success looks like for you, reach out and carve it into stone because whatever is written in stone cannot be erased. You are made in the imagine of the most perfect most high and you can do all things through him, but most importantly, through YOURSELF!
Keep fighting the good fight,
“I used to think that communication was key until I realized comprehension is. You can communicate all you want to someone but if they don’t understand you, it won’t reach them the way you needed it to”
“Learn the difference between connection and attachment. One gives you power and the other sucks the life out of you”
“May you attract someone who speaks your language, so you don’t have to spend a lifetime translating your soul.”
Time and time again, we get trapped. Trapped feeling like because we invested time and energy and love into someone that it is too much to let go and move on. Why is that? Why do we feel like we have to put up with someone who’s love doesn’t match ours? Whose gestures are up to par of what we have or will do. We don’t keep the clothing that we grow out of just because we loved them so much. It’s wasted space, time to rid it. We don’t keep the spoiled food in our homes, even though it was SO GOOD! We trash it because now what was good isn't good anymore, it has turned toxic. Those friendships we thought would never break or lose its value, sad to say and hurts to let go, but we did it and we are doing just fine. I'm not saying it's going to be easy our you won't miss them; I am saying that we have to learn to leave people where they are. You cannot force someone to see your value or your potential and it is not our jobs to drag them with us on our journeys. We shouldn’t even want people in our lives that think that there’s no need or room for growth in their lives. Those are the type of people that will ultimately drag you down and keep you from prospering. How many times do you think it's been enough before you cut yourself loose of that dead body weight? How much more time do you want to lose of your life trying to please someone who is unpleasable? When are you going to put yourself first and do what you need to do to keep your happiness?
We have “types” or “standards” and think oh that person isn't what I want, or you’re not interested before even giving them a chance. Sometimes the person that you need is right before you or shows up unexpectedly right when you need them. Look at the people you surround yourself around now. Do they know the real you, the you with the deepest darkest secrets and a heart full of love but a barrier around it to protect it, the you portray to others so that no one will want to get close enough to know how you really feel? Aren’t you tired of hiding behind yourself? Tired of explaining who you are to people who just don’t get it? You have to listen now. Those red flags you constantly see and say well maybe it is me or maybe they’ll come around. You shouldn’t have to wait for someone to come around to understand you. Upon hearing your story, that should be it. You do not have to convince someone to love you or to hear you out. One time is more than enough. Know your self-worth, your value. You are worth diamonds and gold. You are worth real genuine love that you know is real without a doubt. You are worth a life of love, joy, happiness, security and family. You are worth everything this world has to offer. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Your type needs to be altered for the life you desire. Give people a chance to show you who they are. Outer appearances and financial freedom only go so far. Real love is personality deep and something that cannot be taken away. When it’s true, you won’t have to question, you’ll know.
I am starting off a little different than usual on this one because I saw some quotes that really touched me, and I believe that they carry more weight than what I may write.
“Each good morning, we are born again, what we do today is what matters most.”
Generally, people love to live in the past and dwell on what they could’ve, should’ve and would’ve done. But that time has long come and gone so why focus on something that you can no longer get back? Then folks want to focus on building their future, which I do not discount. However, people focus on planning their future that they forget that are only capable of living in the present. So, they lose focus on the now and let too many things slip through the cracks to where they want to be in the future seems too far now out of grasp.
“When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sandpaper. They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished and they end up useless.”
I know you have heard the phrase “Hurt people, hurt people” This is so true. If you know something isn’t true and it’s coming out as hurtful and bitter and you know the root of it isn’t corrective criticism, but from a place of negativity; shut it down or shut it out. When people are going through things, they don’t realize that that spirit they are carrying are manifesting in their heart and their thoughts and then transcribe into their words. Words seriously hurt more than the physical pain. Wounds can heal, but what you say and how you make someone feel, can be everlasting. Rise above it and watch you soar.
“You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.”- Arthur Ashe
Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone. Expansion doesn’t happen if you think that where you are is good. If it’s not somewhere where you can truly say I am happy, and this is it; Get up and get searching for your inner strength to push on. You cannot compare yourself to anyone else because you're not them and they’re not you. Neither one of you have been in each's other shoes. It is not always greener on the other side; Its greener where you water it.
“In order to have great happiness you have to have great pain and unhappiness—otherwise how would you know when you’re unhappy.”- Leslie Caron
Always on your side,
“The hardest part about chasing your dream is trying to understand if God is giving you signs to stop or if he’s testing your faith to keep going.”
”God never gives you a dream that matches your budget. He’s not checking your bank account; he’s checking your faith.”
“You get in life what you create...you create what you expect.”
”It takes a very strong individual to sit with themselves, calm their storms, and heal all of their issues without trying to bring someone else into that chaos. Your journey into self-love is just that—and you are doing it.”
If you are not where you want to be, why do you keep choosing to stay where you are? If you know there is a future waiting for you, why do you choose to stay trapped in the past? What will it take to jar you out of the security of where you are to pursue what can be obtained only in an uncertain future? More often than not, the journey to where God wants to take us requires that we travel further than we ever expected. The unfortunate reality is that many of us would choose our comfort rather than our destiny.
When you feel like stopping, think about what is was that got you started because all progress comes from stepping away from your comfort zone. Hiding and sheltering your capabilities isn’t going to bring you any closer to your goals. Don’t set goals, set missions. You’re on a mission to change your life drastically. The journey will be tough for some, but that’s what makes it fun. In the process you become stronger and realize your strong suits. You must fall in love with the process of becoming the very best version of yourself. Stop caring about what people have to say to you. Let them talk because they’re haters and see that you are improving yourself and leaving them in the pits where they are choosing to say. Continue to be a leader and then soon they will follow. A follower isn’t not always a follower, but a leader leads forever. Their words cannot stop what is already destined for you.
Give yourself permission to change as much as you need to in order to become who you really are,
July 10, 2019
“Sometimes you have to make decisions that will hurt your heart but heal your soul. You can’t make someone be ready for what you’re ready for and you’re also not obligated to wait for them to make up their mind.”
In life, we always want to have control. Control over our lives, our families, our friends, our jobs, over everything. Truth is the only things that we can truly control are ourselves. We often think that suggestions/advice are great tools at changing others, but if they do not want it for themselves, it just simply will not work. The only person that will be frustrated is you, not the other way around because first to change, you must want it.
For instance, with someone wanting to lose/gain weight, they can buy a gym membership and even hire a personal trainer. Unless they have set it in their minds that, they truly want to change, not all the motivation in the world from second and third parties still would be enough motivation. It is the person that endures the grind, the sweat, and the tears. The person will see the results and notice the differences.
In life, we must make decisions that best benefit ourselves. We often think and care too much about how our habits and thoughts and commitments and how they would affect those around us, and this is something you must acknowledge in some cases but in personal development, it is only you that matters. We can take on so many different types of energies from so many different types of personalities that we get confused on what is our own and then self-doubt sets in.
You know how in primary school, we’re told to be kind and gentle to others; why hasn't anyone reminded us that that goes for ourselves until we’ve reached our breaking point and essentially have to start over from breakdowns or self-hurt. I am tired of waiting to fix things AFTER they have gone wrong. I want to prevent sorrow from even happening. We need to stop being so selfless and start being selfish with ourselves to protect our hearts and our minds.
We have to stop trying to hold someone’s hands and stop trying to drag them with their feet firmly planted and set in their ways. People that think that they are perfect and do not need to change are exactly the people we have to selfishly leave behind. They do not want better and if not for themselves, how can they want it for you.
I know you don’t want to leave anyone behind because you can see their “potential”’ however, that is not enough. They too must see it. Here is an analogy; Imagine riding in a boat, perhaps a kayak going down river, and the current is smooth and you can easily maneuver. The opposite of this, relating to trying to force change on someone is equivalent to riding upstream against the current and making it utterly impossible to get there. The tiredness and muscle aches and drained energy is subsequently you trying to help someone see what you see. It does nothing to them but it is physically affecting you. Why do we allow that?
This is also true for life changes that you want to make. I believe in bringing them up to people, but I do not believe in internalizing what critics have to say. Most times, you may run an idea by someone and before you have a chance to finish your thought, they immediately shut it down. At that point, I know that they are only looking at it from one perspective. That it is not possible. Now to whom is not it not possible for? In this life, there really are not any limits, just the point of how hard you are willing to work for what it is that you want. I also believe in taking advice from those who have or are in the position that you are in. That is like giving therapeutic suggestions from someone who does not believe in therapy or minimalizes mental health. Why would you go to them, let alone listen to them?
The moral of this blog is to help you understand that sometimes although scary, we must tread alone. If we want success, whatever you define success to be, sometimes it is just destined for you to experience and that the time wasn’t right for anyone else and they couldn’t see it yet because it was YOUR time to shine. Your time to grow. Your time to change. Your time to experience what life has to bring and then you never know, you may be the person needed to lead that example for others to follow. As much as I want other people to take advantage of the opportunities I have, it just does not work that way. It seemly seems like it fell into my lap..really it did not. It was the way I aligned my life for it to come to me. My daily choices and habits led me in that direction and true someone could have been watching my progress, but overall, it began and ended with me. The journey was mine to capture and for them to watch as I soared. Again, “Sometimes you have to make decisions that will hurt your heart but heal your soul. You can’t make someone be ready for what you’re ready for and you’re also not obligated to wait for them to make up their mind.”
Right now, I am hurting about the relationships I have lost and wish that I could have back, but the thing I must remind myself, is that things happen the way they do for a reason and that must have been for just a season. I made up my mind that I am no longer to fight something that takes all parties to be willing to put back together. I cannot take on a whole load on my own that requires multiple entities to help. I am not the only one in need of change, heck all of us should be changing habits daily. We all have something we need to work on but because I can't force it on someone else. I have chosen to begin and end with myself. It doesn’t leave a good taste in my mouth, my heart feels empty, but I know my soul will prosper because I won't be internally hurting much longer. With time, wounds heal.
From someone who understands,
June 10, 2019
“What is a teacher? I'll tell you: it isn't someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.”
― Paulo Coelho
On June 6 and 7, I had the privilege of going up North to Traverse City for the FSM Higher Education Consortium Retreat with The New Foster Care, Fostering Success Michigan, Wayne State CHAMPS, Western Michigan Sieta Scholars Program, Wayne County Community College SMART Program, U of M Ann Arbor Blavin Scholars, U of M Flint Mpowering My Success, Eastern Michigan MAGIC, Grand Valley Fostering Laker Success, Northwestern Michigan University YourNMC, Washtenaw Community College County REACH, St. Clair Shores Community College, Ferris State Ferris Youth Initiative, and Michigan State FAME programs. Each and every one of these colleges and their affiliated programs all came together to work for you. The “YOU” I am describing is that inner youth inside that knows that there is more to what life has to offer than what it has presented to us. I was honestly expecting to see “higher-ups” and people who were just doing their job sitting around at this meeting. What I did however see, was a room filled with people who genuinely cared for the foster youth of Michigan. The one thing each of these colleges had in common: The greater good of our futures through demonstrating leadership, teamwork, life-skills building and most importantly, mentorship.
In many areas of trauma, whether in care or in “invisible care”, people who have experienced similar trauma as a foster alum but without being in care of the state, the one thing across the board that all of us experienced, is disengagement. Disengagement is defined as being emotionally detached from someone or something; to detach, separate, free, undo, leave or quit. During the retreat, we did a little poll to see why it was that we thought students were likely to become disengaged with peers, authority and from assistance such as from these programs. What we came up with, was a long list of many applicable reasons that child, not just a foster child, would find to be away from what it is that makes us uncomfortable. To name a few: overwhelmed/busy, exposure gaps financially and academically, total independence thinking, fear of judgment and a lack of rapport with anyone else.
Some of us have had to raise siblings and other family as our own, so we feel that we know it all and opt out of a mentor because “I’ve seen and done it all”. Wrong. You’ve just experienced and have knowledge in that one area, there are plenty others. We may have grown up to fast and started early in areas it took our peers years later to catch up, but we did all of this throug
Fostering Success Michigan is a program of The New Foster Care that aims to increase access and success in higher education and post-college careers for youth with experience in foster care. Learn how you can contribute to building a holistic network that insulates (i.e., strengthens protective factors and reduces risks) the education to career "pipeline."Make a Donation