Wednesday, October 17, 2210

My Intro

Most of you may know me but for those who don't, I am Latoya. I'm a 27 year old stay at home mom of a four year old and a two year old. Before this blog began, I had reoccurring conversations with friends and relatives about finding one's purpose in life. Most of them said their current position was a far cry from what they had planned and as more and more time passes they become more and more anxious about the future. With the 30s and 40s fast approaching, the window of opportunity to achieve those premeditated goals seem to be shrinking, and for some, has disappeared completely. About a year and a half ago, I had those same thoughts. Everything in my life had changed drastically. I didn't feel strong enough to accept that my plan may have to be altered or that it was possible that I had to scrap it and create a different one. I was lost and desperately trying to rediscover why I was here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Trust Issues

This entry has taken far too long to write. I honestly feel like its a slap in God's face that I've taken as long as I have. In my Intro, I said that I believed that God called me to do this and that still stands but what I've been trying to figure out is How do you uplift other's when you are so torn down? My life, over the last few months, has made a complete 180 degree turn in a totally different direction. It was like a massive earthquake and the aftershocks lasted for what seemed like an eternity. I decided, in the beginning, I wouldn't allow it to overtake me so I began to write at least one positive thing, each day, that would carry me to the next. That lasted a total of 8 consecutive days and looked something like this:

Day 1: Focus on the best things about each day. Even the worst days are filled with hidden blessings.

Day 2: Though I may be deeply wounded, I will never be broken.

Day 3: One day at a time, sweet Jesus, is all I'm asking of you. Lord, for my sake, teach me to take one day at a time. (For those of you that haven't figured out yet, this is a song, and not my own words. This particular day, the pain was so intense, all I could think of were hymns lol)

Day 4: Appreciate the people in your corner urging you to get up and keep fighting.

Day 5: Own your feelings but don't overindulge in them. If they mean good things, keep them; if not, pray that God separates you from your own heart/head and continue to follow him.

Day 6: Everything is working together for my good. This is my season to reap what I have sewn. (more lyrics lol)

Day 7: Be strong; stay focused

Day 8: Receive his mercy and allow yourself to be filled with his peace. Then he will answer.

I attempted a comeback of sorts on day 15:

Day 15: There will be moments when you feel the whole world is against you.

Day 16: Things do get better.

Then, nothing. Well that's not altogether true. In the weeks following, I wrote a few poems describing my ordeal and the feelings that came of it. They seemed kinda dark to those around me but to me they were just how I felt. The idea of sharing them came to mind but I didn't know how to in a way that would be encouraging, so I passed on that.

I began to go through the stages of grief but they came in not exact order; just randomly jumping around from one feeling to the next everyday. I knew my faith was being tested but I didn't know how to hold on to it. Many vices became so tempting and I fell into a few but the guilt and shame made the pleasures short lived. I had a strong desire to numb myself; to replace the pain with anything. Stronger than that desire was my desire to hold on to self. I knew that if I became more reckless, I would eventually lose myself completely. In spite of my confusion, I continued to pray but those prayers seemed to go unanswered. I felt as if God had given up on me and if I was honest with myself, I couldn't blame him. I was at the end of my own rope. Right on the border of living and just being. One day I was cleaning up and listening to worship music and I came across a song from The Fighting Temptations(oh the irony lol) soundtrack. The lyrics said "I ain't good enough but he still loves me." Tears began to fall down my face and began to give him thanks. My favorite scripture popped into my head:

James 1:2-4 (NIV)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

The entire time, I had been praying for the pain to stop and for an answer but God had already answered. This was a test of my faith, that must be taken, but i wasn't alone. He would guide me through; I only needed to trust him. In that moment, I released that pain and gave it all to him. I no longer wanted to hold on to self. I wanted to let go and allow him to take over completely; to become less, if not none, of who I was and allow him to mold me into someone new. I know this fight is not over but I refuse to waste time worrying about when it will end. I don't know what's coming around the corner, but with my God, I'm ready for anything!!! I pray that this blesses all who have or are going through their own personal struggles. Just trust him!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

"Getting Past What You'll Never Get Over"

A few weeks back something life altering happened to me. I was arguing with a loved one and they called me out on the fact that I don't always handle my emotions the best way. They said I tend to hide my true feelings and oftentimes replace them with anger. They demanded to know what was going on with me and finally I broke down. Everything I had been thinking and feeling all poured literally out of me in that moment. They explained how they couldn't understand my purpose for not sharing my internal struggles. No one understands was my exact response.
One of the hardest things I deal with is not being understood. It's so frustrating. Honestly I'm NOT a very open person but when I do let my guard down people aren't always receptive of my truth since often times, they just don't get it. In fairness to them, I sometimes process things in a zigzag type format (one minute I'm here then the next I'm there lol) but when you've done it for so long, its hard to come out of that.
After the fall out,I began to think about all the times and life I hid my true feelings; not only from others but also for myself. As the days went past I allowed myself to "feel what I feel" if that makes sense. It was far from easy. Releasing years and years of suppressed feelings is very exhausting, overwhelming, and also painful. Before now I wasn't concerned about these things since I always thought, with time, everyone eventually gets over the bad thats happen to them. As my life constantly changes, I've just simply focus on the most important issues at the time and all the others got stuck in a mental junk drawer. Over the years more and more unresolved problems got added to that drawer which in turn pushed all the others to the back. When we finally take the time to sort through the drawer we find things we forgot we even had and realize we don't know where to start. That's exactly where I was when I stumbled on John F. Westfall's "Getting Past What You'll Never Get Over". After reading only a couple of sample pages, all the things I had thought, said, and felt were right at my fingertips. I have been who I am for far too long. I always say that I'm a work in progress but I honestly haven't been making much progress. I can't focus on that lack of progress so I have to move forward and focus on who I want to be. I can no longer give the people I love the backlash of my pain. I've been using my past as a crutch and as an excuse and it has held me hostage for many years. I break those chains right now. I will continue to read this and apply this to my life, with high hopes and faith for my healing. In spite of any who may doubt me, I have to keep pushing and trust that even if I don't get everything I need from this book, it WILL be a gateway to even greater things for my life. It can sometimes hurt when people don't see your efforts. You feel like your actions are in vain and you want the hope you possess in yourself to trickle down to those closest to you. It doesn't always happen that way so I guess the best way for me to handle this is to take responsibility for the mistakes I've made, the trust I've broken, and all the times I've let the people I love down. It's not about proving people right or wrong but it IS about pleasing God. I have to do this by living life like God is my only critic.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Are You The "Down for You" Girl
Ride or die, down chick, wifey type: Just some of the words used to describe the type of loyal women some men are searching for and the woman most of us are aiming to assume the role of. What exact characteristics does a "down for you" girl possess?
For some men, they are simply searching for a woman who can be there when he has everything he desires but also stick around if that wealth diminishes or even disappears completely. They have goals in life and strive to accomplish them while maintaining the belief that, realistically, things don't always happen the way you planned. Success takes time and through life's great journey, some battles will be lost. They need a woman who will not only reap the benefits but also brings something to the table be it finances of her own, emotional and mental support, or making moves assisting in his progression to the next level in life. These men are often few and far between.
For the majority of men, it’s a woman who can put up with all his vices, whatever they might be, and continue to remain loyal to him within their exclusive or non-exclusive relationship. Some of these men expose these flaws candidly before anything serious occurs, giving women the option to back out if the situation deems unreasonable based on their own personal morals and values. Sadly, most women take on the challenge in hopes of becoming his one and only. Some of them will even settle for being his "main". Nevertheless, these women stumble both blindly and with deaf ears into these relationships with unreasonably high expectations. How will they save themselves the heartbreak that is a foregone conclusion?
What these women fail to realize is these men, though not bad people, are not the right fit for them if they are seeking a serious, long-lasting, successful relationship. Overwhelmed with the combined fear of missing out on a possible relationship and the fear of loneliness, they will bend over forward and backwards to not only please him but in addition prove their loyalty, even if it means sacrificing not only their own happiness, but also that of the ones closest to them. There is pain deeply rooted in his past that will prevent him from giving you all you need and deserve. You can't fix him, change him, or convince him to want healing from that pain. He has to want and seek it for himself. If you are constantly proving your loyalty to him, how can you ascertain if that loyalty is being reciprocated?
As unavoidable as heartbreak is, women can avoid a lot of wasted time just by thinking instead of feeling and simply setting some general standards and sticking to their guns. If you don't know what you want, you'll settle for whatever. Mapping out a clear list of what you want, what you expect, and what you refuse to tolerate in a relationship will help you weed through the unsuitable guys and pick ones more worthy of your time and attention. Some women find this difficult only when they have a man in mind prior to creating the list. They unconsciously focus their requirements around what they know the man is willing to give. Big mistake. You'll never be truly happy if you grin and bear it, compelled to overcompensate for what little he gives when you know whole-heartedly you deserve more. Even if he tells you he'll do better or give more, focus more on his actions and less on what he says. Any man worth having will focus on doing all he can for you and less on how much you are willing to do for him. Like said before, that man will have requirements of his own so you much meet him at whatever middle you all have established beforehand.

So think...what type of "down for you" girl do you want to be? The kind that sticks with her man no matter what he does or says because you know he'll change for you if you remain completely loyal? The kind that puts up with the worst parts of him in hopes of someday reaping your just rewards of the best he has to offer? Instead, be the one who takes control of your life and be the "down for you" girl YOU deserve. Look out for your own heart by using your head to create a blue-print for the type of guy who earns your love fairly and isn't given it by default.

The American Dream

What exactly is it? It began as a way to uplift people by giving them hope for the future. An add assurance that no matter who you were, what you looked like, where you were from, or how old you were, anything you want in life can be gained with hard work and dedication. It has since changed into The New American Dream focused on an obsession to obtain more specific things like money, notoriety, homes, and careers, all of which must be based on society's sentiments; the more, the better. Wealth has become the national measure of success. Some of us use this new-found outlook as a way to motivate ourselves. We set goals, make sacrifices, and strive relentlessly to grab hold of this irresistible reward. A portion reach what they've aimed for, while the rest spend their entire life trying.