Breakdown to Breakthrough….

So many times we look the other way when we’re in pain or when the people we love are in pain. Like I said last week, we ask how they’re doing but it’s just habit. We aren’t really ready to hear the truth behind the answers. Our family members and friends are suffering everyday and we won’t come out of our selfishness to really see their hurt. But do you know what they are? What we are(because we’re hiding, embarrassed and hurt too), we are, DEAD PEOPLE WALKING!!

I’ve never really watched Ivlana Fix My Life, but for the past two weeks, I’ve been enthralled in these episodes featuring Shelby and Neffe. This episode was so powerful. They’re marriage is…WOW! It’s always good to see what really happens in someone’s life. Not just what they “post” themselves to be. (that’s another post for another day though).

Here we have Neffe, she was a young mother, a young wife, angry, hurt, trying to find herself. I mean, she’s struggling to be who she really desires to be. Per her husband, she runs him away. He told her what he thought of her but she said basically that she’s grown and she can do what she wants to do. Problem one. She feels that her voice needs to be heard. No matter how rough and angry she comes across.  How many of us women feel that we have to be hard?

Then we have Shelby. Oh, Shelby. Let me say this, we do not acknowledge the pain men have. We don’t take the time to allow them to voice their frustrations and tell us what they really go through. But Shelby is a man that has had a rough past. He accepts things and doesn’t challenge them just to keep peace. He had a heart attack and he said that when he looked into the mirror he didn’t see anything. He said that he felt invisible. This man would have rather died than survive the heart attack.  Do you know that 10% of black men are depressed?  That’s nearly two million men!!! Do you know that most of them are not being treated because of the stigma’s associated with this illness? Let that ponder. But he enabled a lot of unnecessary things in his life. Like most of us do. He’s a man that didn’t have an outlet. Let’s stop looking away and putting our pain onto to men. Mothers, ask yourselves what we are bringing into our sons. Don’t make them so strong that they’re weak. It’s going to make them repeat the cycle.

He avoided the baggage that he has brought into the marriage. Neffe avoided the baggage that she brought into their marriage. We bring in so much bs into relationships. We don’t take the time to really heal from the things that we’ve been through. From issues with our families. Being abandoned by a father. Being beaten down mentally by a mother. Our children’s fathers or mothers leaving you as a single parent. Insecurities about not being good enough for love. Being cheated on or physically abused. We’re brokenhearted and exhausted. At some point these things that we’ve been through will show. We’ve all been through something that we’ve experienced that have changed and shaped our lives and made us who we are.  However if you’re reading this, you can change things.

And because we haven’t healed properly, we tend to hurt the new people that come into our lives. They don’t deserve it. And ultimately, we cause them damage. We turn them into people that they shouldn’t be. We make them bitter. We cause them to change from the good man or woman they were into someone that will eventually break somebody else down. We are killing them. Because we’re hurting ourselves.

We have to heal from the pain. We can’t keep hurting ourselves and each other over and over and over again. The cycle has to be broken at some point.

When Chance left, I got in two relationships that I had no business in. The grief I was in caused me to try to feel the void of her leaving. I didn’t give myself time to properly grieve. So therefore, you know what I did, I caused myself more pain. But you know what else? That’s not all I’ve been through. I’ve never healed from any of it. Here I am five years later realizing that I was ALLOWING more pain in my life. Because I was running from what I was going through. I’m not running anymore though. Again, another blog for another time.

When you don’t heal from your hurt, THE PAST WILL CONTINUE TO BE YOUR PRESENT!! Again, THE PAST WILL BE YOUR PRESENT!! Take responsibility for the things you’ve allowed in your life. Heal from it and move forward. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. Overcome the fears. God cannot move when you’re covered in fear. Fear is not of GOD.

The depth of the sorrow in your heart will put your life in danger. Here are some things that I hope can help someone else:

  • Don’t let anybody diminish your feelings. If you’re hurt by something or someone, face it immediately.
  • Don’t allow what you don’t accept. Remember, what you allow is what will continue. ALWAYS. Don’t start a relationship accepting the things you don’t like.
  • Don’t be a voluntary victim.
  • Don’t make dysfunction okay.
  • Pain will not kill you so don’t avoid it. When you face it head on, you can heal from it.
  • Don’t allow someone to continuously hurt you. Nine times out of ten, if they do it once, they’ll do it again and again.
  • Learn how to live. Don’t just exist.
  • Remember that depression can kill you if it’s not treated properly. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to say that you need help. Don’t suffer in silence.
  • You can’t heal what you don’t speak. If you’re hurting and you’re not saying anything, you will always have that same problem. You have to let it go.
  • Get rid of baggage and stop having fantasy relationships. While you’re trying to portray this perfect relationship and life for people, they know what you don’t think they know. So stop pretending.
  • Don’t invite the drama into your home.
  • Exhaustion is not hopelessness. Ask for help.

At the end of the day, God is a restorer and He wants to heal you. He can heal you and all of the pain that you’re going through. Don’t let what you’ve been through cause you to turn your back on Him. When the storms of life rage and you think you have nowhere to run, remember to look towards the hill to where your help comes. No weapon, depression, hurt, anger, helplessness, loneliness, sickness, desperation formed against you shall prosper when you give it over to God. Remember that God loves you and I do too…

Be blessed.

Why you won’t see me judging anybody

On social media, you won’t see me posting about mass shootings. Mothers killing their children. Fathers killing their kids. People committing suicide. You know why? First of all, I don’t know what anybody’s mindset is. Second and lastly, I CANNOT JUDGE ANYBODY!!!! The bible says,

1 Peter 3: Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brother and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.”

Now, lets be clear, I do not condone any of it. It broke my heart when I HEARD(I did not watch. You have to be careful about the things you allow into your mind. That image will forever be there) about the video of the elderly man in Cleveland that was killed today. Like, always, I wondered what he was thinking when that situation was unfolding. I’m praying that his relationship with God is on point. But at this point, Heaven is so much better than this cruel world.

What I want to say is, MENTAL ILLNESS is real!!! And like I always say, you cannot see it from the outside. You know how I know? I battle with this daily. Severe depression. Post traumatic stress disorder. Anxiety. All triggered from things that I go through daily. ONE traumatic situation caused a series of mental illnesses. Again, I struggle daily! I’m just blessed with an awesome support system. My family and friends LISTEN to me when I’m having rough spells. They don’t understand but they don’t blow me off. All it takes is a few moments to listen to someone when they’re expressing themselves. Just listen.

Do you know how many people suffer in silence because of shame and embarrassment? Do you think it’s easy to admit to someone that you have a mental illness? Do you know the stigmas attached? Do you know that it’s by the grace of God that you’re not suffering? It’s free to be there for someone. But do you know that a few minutes of being there for a friend or family can save people a lot of heartache. It can deter some tragic situations. Example, what happened in Cleveland today. I didn’t watch the video of the man being killed. But I did watch the video of Stevie Steve talking to a friend and one thing that stood out to me was him saying, “I snapped. And when I try to talk to ya’ll, you blow me off like I’m just talking..” No one listened. Now, 14 people are dead. Likely 15 when the police catch him or if he commits suicide. No one took his pain seriously.

That’s just like when Shanynthia Gardner murdered her children last July. The first thing people did was condemn her to hell. They wanted her to be stabbed to death like her children were. They wanted her gone. But when I heard that story, my heart immediately asked questions. Why didn’t anyone see the signs? Why wasn’t she being treated for mental issues? Was she overwhelmed? Why did she snap? I didn’t judge her because I’m not God. I wish more people would look around at their friends, family and coworkers to see if they’re really ok.

And why is it so hard for people to understand that black people suffer from mental illnesses? Why are we exempt? When tragic situations like these happen, people automatically say, “black people don’t do that!”. Well, we snap like any other race. Why do you have to pretend that you’re ok? It’s ok to not be ok! We are killing ourselves mentally because we don’t want people to look at us funny. But guess what? When you snap, they’re going to talk about you anyway. So get the help you need.

My friends, when you ask someone how they’re doing, don’t accept the “I’m fines” or  the “everything is goods”. They’re not. Take five minutes out of your day and genuinely listen. Be sincerely concerned. Don’t run back and tell their business. That’s why people suffer in silence. We’re afraid that you’re going to tell everybody you know that I told you that I’m having problems. Don’t revel in someone’s misery. Don’t be giddy to spread a private conversation. Encourage the people that you love to seek the help they need. Prayer is great. God is a healer and He is faithful. However, I feel that he wants you to utilize the resources that are available.

I know people are going to rip me apart for this blog because I’m writing this from a different perspective. But at this point, I’m just writing what I feel led to share. I’m unashamed to say that I suffer. I won’t suffer in silence anymore.

You won’t see me judging anyone for their actions. I may not agree with them, but I won’t speak about what someone else is going through. We are all one situation from something tragic happening. I will attach some scriptures. I hope that people read and study these with open minds and hearts.

Romans 14:13 “So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall”

Luke 6: 27 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.

1 Timothy 5:24 “Remember the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later.

Love each other. Be compassionate towards each other. Pray for each other. Pray for peace of your mind daily!!!!

Keisha

Going up…

Brandon and I were driving home tonight and I had my music playing from my phone. Now, I have some of everything in my library from Evanescence to Beyonce to Tupac to John P Kee, lol. I love music and if I can get meaning out of it, even better. 

Well, it’s quite ironic that this song I grew up hearing came on. I haven’t heard it in a while but it’s so befitting right now. So many people are suffering from painful, life threatening, difficult illnesses. They want to get better and they try so hard to hold on. Or they are involved in freak accidents that leave them on ventilators and leaving family members with the heartbreaking tasks of removing them from life support. (My family and I have been there with Chance). A couple of months ago, I lost a relative to a motorcycle accident. He fought for a few days. Until he couldn’t anymore. (Another blog for another time)

Anyway, we want for them to make it out of these situations. For us. But they are going through so much. It’s almost unbearable for them. They hold on in pain and agony for us. Because they know how hard their leaving will be on us. They love us that much that they’ll go through the chemos, the therapy, the surgeries, etc just to be here for us. But they’d rather be free from the suffering. 

Back to our ride home. This song came on that most people in my age group( I know my brother Zrano knows it because our parents played it ALL the time) and older know. It’s called “Going up Yonder” by Walter Hawkins and the Love Center Choir. Now, when you’re a kid, you can’t really understand the meanings behind these songs. But when you get older and you experience some things, these words can speak to your heart like nothing else. The part in the song that completely broke me down tonight’s says, 

I can take the pain

The heartaches they bring

The comfort in knowing

I’ll soon be gone
As God gives me grace

I’ll run this race

Until I see my Savior

Face to face

So to me, what this says is, our loved ones can endure the pain of their illnesses. They will take on the hurt but they find comfort in knowing that once it’s over, they’ll be safe in the arms of Jesus. They know that God gives them the strength to gracefully enter His Kingdom. Once the temporary suffering is over, they’ll be face to face with Him. 

Let me tell you that Brandon had to ask me if I was ok because I cried like a baby. I told him I was great because as long as we have breath, we have another “chance” to get our lives together. 

So for those that are facing illness and possibly death. Those who have lost family members. Those who have family members that are in pain and facing some difficult situations, pray for peace for them while their transitioning. For those family members that have gone on, they’ve gone up yonder and we wouldn’t want them here in the state they were in. God has made them whole and new. They are soooooo happy. Be thankful for that. 

I’m going to leave the song here for those who’ve never heard it. I promise, it will bless you. 

K. Bowles