I Meant to Write…

I meant to write.

I give you my word that I did.

As a matter of fact I sat with my fingers tapping away at the keyboard saying what it was that I had to say, at least until I didn’t feel like tapping any more.

As I put my thoughts into words on multiple occasions during the long gap of time since my last post I didn’t finish a single blog as I was no where close to hitting publish.

Surely I had some level of growth since my last post that I could share with public.

I figure the most I could have done was finally make additions to the different unfinished sections of my website

But I didn’t feel like sharing my vulnerabilities. I didn’t feel like sharing any tips or qualified to assist.

Which may seem odd since my blog has been based upon me writing about my self love journey even as I go through the hard times of my life.

And yet when one of the hardest tragedies I had ever faced came I really wanted to wait until I was much stronger to expose my thoughts to the world.

But apparently I’ve mustered up some level of strength to share, because here I am tap, tap, tapping away.

Well what was the thing that caused me not to feel like writing.

Was it a break up?

No.

Did I get laid off again?

No.

Am I ill?

No.

So what caused me not to want to share any more?

Well….. this summer following a tragic accident my father transitioned from this world into the next.

There will be no more phone calls with his voice on the other end, no more seeing him drive his car up the road or him dropping money on the ground pretending it magically appeared and telling me that it must be for me to have.

Now there are glimpses of him in my dreams, memories of him I hold dearly and stories that I will retell.

After his transition I put things that belonged to him in each room of my home to include the closets.

I carry him with me always.

For a while I wore his old army dog tags under my shirt, just to feel close.

And yet as much as I miss him it isn’t something I like to share.

I like to pretend that I understand that while he is no longer here in physical form that he is always with me and that I’m at peace with that.

When my dad died, I felt like there was no time to cry.

What I mean by that is that after losing my dad I finally learned that when you are an adult and lose someone that close to you in relation you really aren’t afforded a proper chance to grieve.

In my case there were police reports, paperwork from the coroner, visits to the funeral home and the notary, helping to clean out my father’s home, calls to work about missing days, contacting the insurance company, picking out the urn, traveling across different state lines and so much more that had to be done.

Thankfully, other relatives stepped up and did the lions share of things so that I could sit back as the baby girl of the family and simply miss my daddy.

At my dad’s funeral I stood there and spoke without shedding a tear.

I thanked the guest for coming.

I did a really good job of pretending to be strong.

When my family sat there crying I told everyone to stay encouraged.

But boy did it hurt.

The first man I ever loved left this earth in a tragic way and I had to deal with that lost love.

Losing my dad broke my heart like no one else ever did.

And yet the heartbreak was different.

Because unlike unrequited love I lost someone who loved me dearly.

Every time my heart ached I would think of how much my father loved me and like a warm wave washing over my heartache it would ease my pain.

My father’s love for me healed my broken heart.

And ironically my father’s tragic death also helped to give me new life.

You see, after my dad died I was getting ready to lay on my couch and feel sorry for myself.

I figured no one would blame me.

My dad just died in a tragic accident and if anyone deserved to feel sorry for themselves it was me.

So I wrapped myself in my blanket and right when I was getting ready to collapse my body on the couch cushions I remembered how much my father worried about my well being.

I remember how my dad wanted me to be okay.

And I knew that it would grieve my father if he knew that his death caused me to enter into a deep depression.

And so in that moment I chose not to be depressed.

I chose to not dwell in the grieving process.

I love him and I miss him but I will honor him by not burying myself in pain.

Does it hurt?

Sure it does.

But with his strength running through my veins the pain does subside.

I am my father’s daughter and my father wants me to be okay.

July 29, 2018

Today I decided to step into the shoes of the first man I ever loved. They are too big for me to fill, too big for anyone to fill. I can put them on and walk in his energy and for a precious moment in time he is one with me. As I sit here in my father’s shoes my favorite memory of him cradles me, it comforts me, it gives me the rested assurance that he is more than a memory and there is no need for grief… And so I sit here in the present reliving the past where my father and I pulled the tabs on our cans making the crisp, clear, distinct sound of a soda being opened and I would sit there a daddy’s baby exhilarated as we satisfied our thirst with Pepsi. We let the ice cold drink splash the back of our throats and cool our tongues in a way that only a taste born in the Carolina’s can do and then I would look at him and he would look at me and in sync we would open our mouths wide and say “ahhhhh”. No, the shoes will not be filled, but I can pop open a Pepsi and say “ahhhhh” and somewhere in a not too distant dimension he says “ahhhhh” right back.

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Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

That Scarcity Mentality

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The belief that you have no other options can keep you clinging on well after it is clear that your are only grasping a mere shadow of hope that was cast from the past.

Fear that if you walk away that you will be left with nothing.

The idea that if you say no there will be nothing to say yes to.

The notion that if you let go you will never have anything to hold onto.

There is nothing like that good ole scarcity mentality to leave us as hopeless as a penny with a hole it.

I know that feeling all to well.

It’s the feeling that I have to put up with my circumstances because I’m convinced I have no other options.

When I operate in a scarcity mentality, I feel like I have to take whatever is put before me.

In my past this has led to me working a job that I hated because I was afraid that if I left I wouldn’t find another place of employment.

And it has led to me staying in a toxic relationship because I believed that no one else would love me.

Neither of which were true, but because I had a scarcity mentality I had a hard time convincing myself otherwise.

In the work situation I found myself physically ill at the mere idea of going to my place of employment.

I would pull up to the parking lot at work with a back full of stress knots because I had so much anxiety about working at a place that I knew I should no longer be at.

But I had bills to pay, I had children to care for, mouths to feed and so I would clock in and do my job with a stomach full of anxiety.

But one day I chose me and I quit the job.

That’s right you read that correctly.

With no other job in hand, I quit the job.

Two weeks later I found employment somewhere else.

Now am I saying that if a person quits a job without having another job that they will find employment in two weeks time?

No, absolutely not.

But what I am saying is that I felt like I didn’t have any other options and I stayed at a place of employment that didn’t sit well with me because I assumed that it was my only choice.

I left with no other visible options because I decided that working in a place that was jeopardizing my health wasn’t worth the money.

I had developed a scarcity mentality in terms of employment because I had previously struggled to find the job I was so unhappy with and I also had a business fail in my past.

So all I keep thinking was that if it took such a long time to find the job that stressed me out then I would never find anything else.

For three months I had been applying for other places of employment and no one was even calling me back for an interview.

I perceived all of that as further confirmation that if I left that I would never find anywhere else to work.

My scarcity mentality had me convinced that I had no other options for work in a poor job market, however when I chose me other options opened up.

Had I not let go of the unhealthy work environment I most likely would have never pursued other places of employment with the determination that I did.

Another example of where I had to overcome the scarcity mentality in my life is in the area of love.

Much to my chagrin I stayed in and clung to unhealthy relationships because I had convinced myself that the person I was with was my only option.

I felt like if they didn’t love me no one would.

I didn’t believe I had any other options.

I failed to see what I had to offer.

I thought that because the people I interacted with at that time couldn’t see me that no one would and that I had to take the scraps that they gave me.

I had a false perception of who I was.

Thankfully, I learned from blogger Natalie Lue over at baggagereclaim.com that you have to stop looking at the men in your life as if they are the last chance saloon and she was so right.

If the person you are with isn’t treating you right you have to stop believing they are your only option.

I say this because as embarrassing as it is to confess, there was a point in my past where I have begged someone to love me.

Thankfully, I have reached a place where I don’t do that any more.

I’m happy to say that people who aren’t attracted to me are no longer attractive to me.

Asking someone to like me, love me, care about me, visit with me, spend time with me isn’t something I’m into.

I recognize that by the very definition the person for me – will actually like me!

And so when I find myself in situations where I recognize that I clearly care more than the other person I remove my energy from that interaction and refocus it towards people who give me reciprocity.

The first example of me intentionally doing this was when I separated from my ex-husband.

After accepting that my marriage was over I felt so unloved.

I felt like no one in the world loved me.

At the thought of how unlovable I felt I would get so emotionally cold and alone that I would actually physically experience goosebumps.

So one day I pulled out a dry erase marker and on my bathroom mirror I wrote the names of everyone who I knew loved me.

The list included my mother, children, aunts and uncles, close coworkers, dear friends and several of my cousins.

By the time I finished my mirror was filled with scores of people who loved me.

Everyday when I woke up I would read off the names of all the people who loved me and some days additional people would come to my remembrance and I would add them.

And then each day I would make a conscious effort to contact as many of those people as I possibly could.

Sometimes I sent text messages, other times it was a phone call, or I would drop a card in the mail. I would have lunch with coworkers who had become friends and go over to spend time with close friends after work.

But most importantly during that time I also reconnected with myself.

I started exercising, I pampered myself at the salon, I bought new clothes, I ate better, I worked on my spiritual life and I loved on me.

Refocusing my attention from the one person who didn’t love me to those who did and onto myself wasn’t easy because I had created a habit of observing evidence of me not being lovable. However, with time I stopped focusing on the person who didn’t love me and I was giving my time and energy to the people who did.

Sometimes we think that we have to replace romantic love with romantic love.

But I was able to successfully replace unrequited romantic love with requited platonic and familial love.

My point is I had convinced myself that no one would ever love me because my ex-husband didn’t and with some work I retrained my thoughts to recognize that I was overlooking all the people who do love me and that there would be more to come.

I know for some the concern is the desire to replace romantic love with romantic love.

But as for me, once I accepted that there was a plethora of people in my life who adored me and started loving on myself it helped me to retrain my thinking that if my ex-husband didn’t love me that no one else would.

And in time I started to meet men who were attracted to me.

However, I truly believe that if I would have kept holding on to the scraps of a marriage that was most certainly over I probably would have never had the opportunity to spend time with men who genuinely enjoyed having me in their company.

I would have stayed with someone who ignored me and called me names instead of having soulful conversations with someone who enjoyed me and called me beautiful.

So when I catch myself thinking that I have no other options, I recall those two situations where I let go of the fear of having no other options if I were to leave a job that I felt physically ill going to and the time when I left a marriage that beat me down emotionally and came out better on the other side.

I can truly say my life is so much richer now because I chose me.

I left those situations without a new love in sight or without a job in hand because I let go of my fear and my scarcity mentality.

Love,
Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Discomfort vs Pain

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For a couple of months now I have been complacent and complaining about issues in my life that were bothering me without taking any action in order to make a change.

Day after day I would pick up the phone and talk to my loved ones complaining about my dissatisfaction with a variety of areas of my life.

And to take it further I found myself becoming physically ill from the environment I was allowing myself to maintain.

I was growing comfortably uncomfortable and settling for things that didn’t make my soul happy. But I thought maybe I just needed to push through. I mean we all face new things that we are not comfortable with. That doesn’t mean we should give up.

Or does it?

I tried not to complain about what I was experiencing because as the saying goes we need to have an attitude of gratitude.

And yet despite my attempt to suppress my dissatisfaction there I was sharing my negativity with others.

For “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”.

Sadly, I was complacent simply whining to others about my dissatisfaction and watching my energy levels decrease because I was no longer working to fulfill my life purpose.

I have the same 24 hour day as everyone else but for about 2 months now I was consciously choosing not to maximize it.

There I was knowing what I needed to do, but settling for whatever the day brought me.

I mean what happened to me having a plan?

I have made it no secret that I have to actively work not to allow my  eating addiction to shorten my life span.  And yet, I found myself making one poor dietary choice after another.

Also, I have not hidden from anyone that my journey to loving me has had setbacks. However, I figure that is expected to happen because I’m human. But just because setbacks are something that occurs doesn’t mean I should not try to get back on track!

Thankfully, I woke up on Friday and realized that the way I was living wasn’t putting me first.

I was so busy putting the lives of others above my own, out of my own volition and coming up feeling empty.

Why?

Perhaps because it served as a distraction from me putting in the work that would be necessary to get to where I want to go in this life.

And why would I do that?

Because bettering myself is hard work, so convincing myself that being a martyr made me a good person and also served to help me to distract myself from my purpose and fall into my pattern of finding myself in a codependent relationship.

I know that blogging brings me pleasure and yet it’s been months since I have. All because I was choosing to occupy my time trying to make others happy and neglecting myself.

Furthermore, I went from exercising 5 days a week to not exercising at all.

The result – I fell sick twice in less than a month to include a visit to the emergency room (no worries I am okay), I hurt the feelings of a person I love by ending a codependent relationship, I lost focus and ultimately I stop choosing me.

So what’s a girl looking to live life to the fullest to do?

-Get back on track.

I have often wrestled in my mind whether to push through the pain of life and believe for better or to see it as a signal that what we are enduring isn’t for us.

I have come to the conclusion that many of us are unnecessarily accepting devastating pain as normal. Which results in us settling for less than what life has for us.

I arrived at this by coming into remembrance of something I heard over a decade ago. At the time I was listening to physical trainer Jeanette Jenkins speak about pain experienced during physical exercise. She explained that while exercising may bring discomfort, it shouldn’t cause excruciating pain. 

And yet in a period of months my life had gone from being uncomfortable to being painful.

I was so stressed it hurt to turn my neck and yet I continued to ignore my body’s warning signal that the life I was living wasn’t for me.

I decided it was time to accept the pain for the warning signal it was and to start making changes.

And so I started taking steps to maximize those 24 hours I had been wasting away.

This included making better eating choices, exercising, taking my vitamins, being honest with myself that I was being codependent and in turn hurting both myself and the person I was enabling. And as evidenced by this blog entry I started back writing and taking other steps to fulfill my life purpose.

Allowing myself to be engulfed in someone else’s problem in an attempt not to take responsibility for my own isn’t something that is new to me.

I explained in a previous blog that I have used my relationships with other people to distract me from working on me.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with healthy relationships but for some reason when I don’t want to do the work of improving myself I will subconsciously find someone and try to fix their life while neglecting my own.

It never works but it’s a familiar practice.

When I opened my eyes to the fact that I was trying to save someone when I have full awareness that we can only save ourselves, I knew I had to be honest with myself and except that I was going in the wrong direction.

I don’t believe that we are called to forsake our purpose and live in discontent by enabling others.

I also don’t believe we are supposed to settle for a life that doesn’t make us feel fulfilled.

Many of us get up and go to work at a job we don’t enjoy and never question why week after week, month after month and year after year we speed so many hours doing something that doesn’t make us truly happy.

We stay in relationships that we know aren’t helping because we fear being alone otherwise.

We neglect ourselves physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally and just wait for the sun to go down and come back up again the next day.

And we forsake our childhood hobbies and our deepest dreams and go into doldrums and say, “that’s just the way life is”.

I have decided not to do that and to stop calling pain normal.

I can’t save anyone else, but I can save myself and I hope that you will choose to save yourself.

Love,

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

All Too Familiar No

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Photo Courtesy of: Jamie Kathleen Haughaboo

There is something about being told no that can leave us feeling depleted.

When you have what you consider to be a bright idea and present it to someone only for then to inform you that they don’t think your idea is any good, it has the potential to stop many of us dead in our tracks.

Especially if we view the person as an authority on the subject matter.

There no can cause us to think that we don’t have what it takes to stand toe to toe with others or to be seated at the table with those who are at the place where we are so eagerly would like to pull up a chair.

But then we hear stories of people who were told no several times and then they finally hear that one yes that affirmed them.

There are always rumors of people who go from the bottom to the top, but those people are far and few between.

Nevertheless, those people give us hope.

But as I think of those people, I also think how can I be certain that I have what it takes to make it to the top?

I mean for all the people I hear of who made it, I know hundreds more who didn’t.

So am I one of the few people who will make it or am I one of the hundreds of people who will give up.

The truth is I don’t know. But I am going to die trying to achieve better.

I have to.

I owe it to myself to keep trying.

Because giving up on my dreams simply doesn’t work for me.

If I die a dreamer, I die a dreamer.

For, I would rather die a dreamer than die hopeless.

I arrived at this conclusion after literally being rejected over a thousand times in one year in an attempt to achieve one of my dreams.

So the way I see it is that when it comes to being told no, I am a master. For surely, I myself have become all too familiar with hearing the word no.

It was about four years ago when I realized that when it comes to my life that I have to stop settling.

I didn’t know how to stop but I knew I had to stop.

I didn’t know that decision would lead me on a path to hearing no repeatedly.

I am not confident that had I known from the beginning how hard this road would have been that I would have journeyed it.

It seems as if my whole life fell apart after deciding that I had to love myself enough to no longer settle.

But as they say, sometimes when it seems things are falling apart they are really coming together.

For example, it was at the height of me hearing the word no that I began this blog.

Who would have thought hearing the word no an overwhelming number of times would have propelled me to begin a journey of finally realizing that I have to love myself?

To that I say thank God for no.

I give thanks to the word no despite the fact that there was a point when its utterance caused me to jettison myself down to rock bottom.

I felt like life was never going to get any better.

No, I take that back. I knew that life would get better, but I didn’t want to go through the process of waiting for it to get better.

I am all for the mountain top experiences but I didn’t feel like enduring the pain that it would take for me to finally reach the pinnacle.

I was like those people who try to lose 50 pounds in a month. I didn’t want to eat right and work out and lose the weight in a year or two… No I wanted success right now!

I was also making the mistake of thinking that no meant never.

There I was sulking, feeling pitiful for myself and telling my sob story to anyone who would listen to it.

I became someone I didn’t know and didn’t want to know.

I think in many ways I lost my mind.

I am glad I lost whatever it was, because I am now clearer than I have ever been in my entire life.

I can now clearly see that all that rejection was not a judgment on who I am as a person, but at the time old me couldn’t recognize that.

Old me failed to see that no one in this world can define me, but me.

I was in such a poor mental state that I thought that if I went out on a date and it wasn’t a match that it meant that I wasn’t good enough.

I failed to see the obvious – it simply meant that it wasn’t a match.

My self-esteem was in such a bad place that I didn’t know that I was supposed to be trying to see if the person was compatible with me, not if I was good enough for him.

If I went on a job interview and was declined an offer I thought it meant I wasn’t good enough for the position.

I didn’t know it meant that there was a position that was out there that would allow me to better utilize my education, skills and experience in a way that would allow me to excel and grow in a positive environment.

When people betrayed me and hurt me I thought that said something about me, I didn’t know it was a reflection of who they were.

I was unaware of the fact that I am in transition and while in transition I am simply learning who I am and who I am not. I am learning what I want and what I don’t want.

Now is not the time to give up, now is the time to push forward.

I have learned that the reason I am being told no isn’t because I am not good enough, I am being told no because I am in the preparation period of receiving what is best for me.

Hearing yes prematurely would ultimately cause me more harm than good.

I see that now. However, there was a time when hearing the word no made me feel like something was inherently wrong with me and that I would never get things right.

I thought my life was some sort of cosmic joke.

I had to get a grip on myself.

The pity party had to end.

Thankfully, I was surrounded by friends and family who were there for me and who helped me to make my way through my darkest hours.

I wish this was a blog about how I have reached my mountain top.

But the truth is that I haven’t even reached flat land.

I still am in the valley lows.

But the thing is that I am no longer in the doldrums.

I think there is a time and a place for everything and that our experiences are necessary for our ultimate expansion.

So while I don’t regret my time being stagnant, I must tell you that I celebrate the moment that something inside of me clicked and I decided to let each no empower me to keep looking.

The reason that I was in the doldrums was because I allowed myself to become paralyzed with fear.

I was in such a bad place that I let the idea of hearing no keep me from even trying.

I would sit there on my couch in fear of everything.

But some how I got off of that dat burn couch!

Now a closed-door has become a signal that I am being pointed in the right direction.

I know it seems cliché but I truly had to become thankful for closed doors.

I had to work to overcome my fear of having a door closed in my face.

There are times when I think ‘what will people think of me’.

But I have come to a place where I realize that people are going to think what they want to think and for the most part people are far too self-absorbed to give much thought about what is happening in my life.

So if I fall in front of the world and the world laughs at me, I know I will have fallen trying to climb the highest mountain and I find comfort in that.

I have yet to even come close to reaching the top of my mountain, but I won’t stop climbing.

My door hasn’t opened but I have had windows open left and right.

I know what it is to be scared.

But I have learned to make it moment by moment.

I know what it is to not know how I am going to make it or how I will have my needs met and yet those same situations caused me to learn not to live in fear because I have not lived a day with my needs unmet.

There are times when I have been afraid to have hope, because having hope always puts me at risk of being let down.

No one wants to experience the pain of disappointment.

But who was I kidding, I was already disappointed.

I had nothing to lose so I may as well have hope.

The way I see it is that if I die without fulfilling my dreams and I never see anything that I want materialize how is that much different from being negative and still not seeing it manifest?

I would rather try and fail than not try and always wonder.

Like I said I wish this was a success story blog, but I surmise that some how in many ways it is.

It is my story of how I decided that I can hear no until my dying die, but I am not going to allow that word to measure my worth.

People can continue to reject me and it’s okay because I accept me.

I accept me flaws and all.

I will continue working to improve myself.

Not because I am not good enough, but because as long as I have breath in my body I plan to continue to cultivate myself into something better than I was before.

Ultimately I am the greatest benefactor of my growth process.

So, people can continue to tell me no and that I am too much of this and not enough of that.

And I will still be here, still standing, still breathing and still mountain climbing.

If I die never having reached the top I am okay with that.

What I am not okay with is me dying without trying.

This isn’t a platitude without any substance for I can truly say that I am thankful for all the times I heard no.

It was in hearing no that I was saved from being in toxic relationships with people who did not mean me well.

It was in hearing no that I was rejected for employment positions that I thought I wanted but through redirection I was placed in the presence of amazing people who I don’t think I would have met otherwise.

I can genuinely say that those encounters were well worth the no, for the value of those encounters is priceless.

If I told you that hearing no that much was easy I would be a liar.

My truth is that I spent a lot of time on my couch as I became familiar with no.

I would think this is too hard. Nothing is working, I can’t get any traction.

I felt like a hamster on a wheel. I was doing a whole lot of moving but I wasn’t going anywhere.

I was upset because I made the mistake of thinking that those no’s meant I would never hear yes.

Also, I wanted someone to come and save me.

Ironically, I think what was most bewildering to me were the people who would come into my life and offer to help me without me asking for any assistance only for them to disappear from my life.

I would sit there confused wondering what was the point of them interrupting me just to leave?

I felt like God was mocking me.

I thought to myself, ‘I was doing just fine at making it the best I could only to have someone dangle hope in front of me for the sole purpose of snatching it away’.

But I have learned God was not mocking me.

Those people let me know that there was no one coming to save me, if I was going to make it, I was going to have to make it.

I recall at one point being so disillusioned I actually got upset at the idea that once I finally do make it that people would come into my life and want to be apart of it.

I thought ‘if you don’t want to be here when I am struggling then when I make it no new people better not show up!’.

I was mad at people who I don’t even know and who aren’t even apart of my story because they weren’t there for me when I felt like they should be. – Yep I was crazy.

And I was mad at people for not being who I wanted them to be for me.

There they were, being who they were and I was mad that they weren’t who they weren’t.

Quite frankly, I was just mad.

Thankfully, I came to my senses.

I am now at a place where I hold no ill will towards the people who promised to help but didn’t. Because truth be told they offered me a much-needed glimmer of hope.

I smile at the thought of the people who will come when I reach my mountain top because I now realize they couldn’t possibly be here for me now, because they are busy mountain climbing there own mountain.

And I forgive the people who couldn’t be who I wanted them to, because the truth is it was never their job to be anything more than who they are. I accept them for who they are and I thank them for being authentic.

I also am thankful for those people who are here with me right now while I am in my valley cheering me on.

But oddly enough I am especially thankful for the hope danglers. This is because when I reflect back it felt good having hope. They helped me to see that being hopeful made me happier than being negative, so why should I let hope go just because they walked away from the table?

This quest of mine is between me and the divine alone.

The reason that I haven’t heard yes isn’t because I am not good enough.

I haven’t heard yes because the time has not yet come.

I am not prepared for yes.

If yes came before I was ready then my dreams would surely crumble before me.

So what do I do in the meantime? – I enjoy the meantime.

Yep that’s right I enjoy the struggle.

I embrace the lessons, I learn through the tears and I trust the process.

I don’t like grief, heartache and depression, because they are painful.

But I learn far more through the hard times than I do during the good times.

Does it hurt me when my hopes are dashed? – Not like it used to.

Because now I realize that it is simply redirection and not rejection.

But you want to know what hurts more than having hopes dashed? – Being hopeless.

Truly, all these closed doors are simply helping to direct me to an understanding of what I do want and what I don’t want.

Hearing no, doesn’t mean you give up on your dream.

Hearing no, gives you redirection on how to achieve your dream.

When things fell apart for me I thought I knew what I wanted.

Now I realize that if I received what I thought I had wanted I would never have uncovered the beauty of who I am and begun to unearth my true potential.

Thank God for no. Because it was all those times I heard no that has helped me as I journey on my way up.

So don’t be afraid of no.

Love,

 

Renata Nicole

Renata Pittman Smith, Renata Nicole and RenataNicole 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Nicole with appropriate specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Going Through The Pain

 

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Photo Courtesy of Lorena Gonzalez

Two days ago I woke up with an excruciating pain over my left shoulder blade. I immediately took two Tylenol and while it did nothing to help, I managed to soldier through the day. The next day I woke up and the pain was still there only this time it came packing a bigger punch.

Like the day before the Tylenol wasn’t doing anything to numb the pain.

I decided to apply some lavender essential oils and to try some homeopathic techniques and yet I still felt no relief.

Seeing no results I reached for the Aspercreme.

And it too failed to soothe my pain.

It was so bad I couldn’t move my left arm more than a few inches without experiencing tremendous pain.

Thankfully I remembered I had some prescription pain patches and I applied them and was able to numb some of the pain.

As I was sitting there in pain I remembered some advice I received from a doctor a few years ago when I had stress knots which were causing me trouble whenever I tried to turn my neck in the direction of the pain.

The advice I received was that as much as it hurt I needed to turn towards the pain. My doctor informed me that as long as I avoided working through the pain the muscle would only get stiffer which would result in the pain becoming worse.

I took his advice and worked through the pain.

And like I did then for the past few days I have been working through some excruciating pain.

Even though it is very painful little by little I am able to move my arm further than I did the time before and it hurts less each time.

Today I woke up and the pain is still present, however I can extend my arm far more than I could yesterday.

So what is the point of me telling you about my shoulder pain?

The point is that just like physical pain you have to work your way through your emotional pain.

I have read countless articles explaining that when you have an emotional pain that it is unwise to try to numb it through unhealthy methods such as alcohol or to try to avoid it by completely distracting yourself for long lengths of time because in the end the pain will just come back with a stronger bite.

While I do practice trying not to think about things that are bothering me and alternatively thinking about positive things I also take the time out to examine my thoughts.

It is a fine balancing act.

Much like I tried to numb my physical pain I think that is okay to seek relief from emotional pain using positive methods.

However, at some point we do need to deal with it.

I call it a balancing act because we cannot completely avoid it and yet we can’t spend the entire day focusing on it.

Lately, in addition to my physical pain, I have been dealing with quite a bit of emotional pain.

I am grieving and so I have had the opportunity to ride on a roller coaster of emotions. I don’t like not feeling at peace but I respect the process.

Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross postulated a series of emotions experienced by survivors of a loved ones death.

Further researchers have found that these emotions are also experienced by people who go through the end of a relationship, loss of health, loss of a job, loss of financial stability, miscarriage, death of a pet, loss of a dream, loss of safety, or even the selling of ones home can cause a person to experience the stages of grief.

In the pass two years I have experienced about four of those things.

And so I have become all to familiar with the stages of grief which are as follows

Denial

Anger

Bargaining

Depression

Acceptance.

I learned years ago that just because you move through the stages it doesn’t mean that you won’t circle around to a previous one and additionally they don’t necessarily happen in the order I listed above.

My latest and greatest grief trigger was the end of a relationship.

For me once I got past the initial shock (denial) I immediately slipped into anger. I moved on to bargaining then right back into anger. I considered denial then back into anger I went.

I toggled between anger and depression for quite some time.

Anger at what happened but mostly anger at myself.

I had to forgive myself.

As I have written before like most people I am my own biggest critic.

I am extremely hard on myself and often forget that I can only know what I currently know.

I forgave the other person and had yet to forgive myself.

I failed to give myself credit for the fact that I am working diligently to break bad habits and to strive towards greatness.

I will be honest I like most people don’t like dealing with pain.

And if I must endure it, I want to know how long is it going to last and when can I expect to be done with it.

Thankfully I recognized that the fact that I had gotten over similar pain before meant I could do it again.

Nevertheless, even though I don’t like it, I decided like my physical pain I had to go through it by facing it.

I wasn’t ignoring it.

I wasn’t numbing it, no I was dealing with it.

I sat there in shock and disbelief.

I yelled and screamed.

I spoke about it and cried about it.

I got depressed and cried some more.

I dealt with and am dealing with it.

Because I want to work my way through it.

When I went through my divorce a grief counselor gave me this advice that mirrored what my physician said. She said, “You have to go through the pain, not around it”.

I don’t advise anyone to dwell on their pain but I do advise you to take the time out to analyze it.

One of the ways I work through my grief process was doing the work that is made available from Byron Katie’s website.

Doing the exercise suggested by Byron Katie caused me to analyze the negative thoughts that were running through my mind and to let them go.

I have shed a lot of tears as I moved through my stages of grief but tears can be so healing.

I think sometimes we are afraid to cry because we think that if we start crying the tears will never stop flowing.

But I can assure you that they most certainly will run dry.

Like I said previously, dealing with pain is a balancing act.

For me I try to limit how much I talk about it because I recognize that after a certain point I am no longer having a healthy conversation about my pain but rather obsessing over it.

I journal about it in ink.

Why in ink?

Because then I can’t erase how I truly feel.

Sometimes we like to censor what we write. When I write in ink I am less compelled to hold back.

I read self help books and find assistance from others who have been through what I am going through as inspiration that this too shall pass.

I take the time out to numb the pain in healthy ways such as listening to classical music, taking relaxing baths, using essential oils, pampering myself, reading good books, meditating, praying, exercising, watching comedies, spending time with loved ones, cultivating healthy relationships, helping others and learning new things.

But like I said I also deal with the pain.

I am in a far healthier place today then I was before and it is because I decided to work through it.

I will not be a victim of my pain.

I forgive myself for the mistakes I have made and decided to accept myself completely.

I learned a lot and I have grown a lot and for that I am thankful.

That pain helped me to become a better person.

As much as I wanted to avoid it, now that it is here I am going to go through it and come out better on the other side.

I refuse to let anything I experience to make me bitter.

I once watched a video by Chazz Ellis where he talks about not letting your ex steal the best of you.

I think that is true not just in romantic relationships but with anything that we have lost in our past.

Don’t give the best of you to your last situation and nothing to future ones.

Learn the lesson from the last interaction or situation so the next time you can be a better version of yourself.

The lesson isn’t to never love again, never try your best again, never be nice again, never work hard again.

For me my lesson was:

Have boundaries and higher standards, trust my gut, believe I deserve the best, don’t be afraid to walk away from a relationship that doesn’t serve me out of fear that better will never come, see myself as valuable and associate with those who see me as such.

I know it seems odd but I am thankful for the person who taught me this lesson. As painful as the lesson was I learned life lessons that I am sure have catapulted me into becoming a better version of myself.

This doesn’t mean that I allow this person back into my life, but it does mean that I finally understand two qoutes in a way that I never did before.

The first is by Mark Twain –

“Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

The second is by Mary Oliver

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand this too, was a gift.”

I forgive the person who gave me a box full of darkness because I see the beauty in the pain.

I invite anyone who is going through grief to find a healthy avenue to work through the pain. Just remember you can’t go around it, you have to go through it. If you need professional help please take the steps to get it. And as cliché as it sounds please know this too shall pass.

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith, Renata Nicole and RenataNicole, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

I’ve Gotta Plan

imageFour days ago I accepted my truth that I have been wasting time.

Getting out of the bed to face the day was an ongoing battle.

If I had nothing planned to do for the day I could easily lay in the bed for a good 10 to 14 hours. Not necessarily sleeping but definitely not working to achieve anything purposeful.

I am not sure if it was simply laziness, depression or a combination thereof, but I can tell you that the fire in me was most certainly out.

I mean I went to work, spoke with friends and did things with my kids but the sense of purpose was gone.

I was waiting on a break.

To be honest I was cynical about a break coming.

I talk and write about a break coming but somewhere in myself I wasn’t believing it.

Truthfully, when someone would tell me they thought things would get better for me – I cringed.

I would cringe because it seemed like every time I had an inkling of hope it would get dashed.

So for the most part I had given up hope.

Career and relationship expert Mel Robbins explains that the major reason that we don’t get what we want is because we have accepted where we are.

I can not speak for anyone else but I know that for me I had given up and started to go beyond being content with the scraps that I was receiving to actually being complacent.

Sadly, just getting by and having just enough was being accepted by me as normal.

To make matters worse I married that complacency with self-doubt and blamed God for my results.

As I have written before I have a bad habit of believing for other people but when it comes to believing for myself there is a disconnect.

But don’t fret I am working on it.

Thankfully, I have been blessed that my entire life I have been surrounded by positive teachers. Life has found a way of sending some of the best motivational teachers and speakers into my life.

For example, I went to school with Les Brown’s nephews. So at the age of 14 I had the opportunity to listen to him speak for free because he had come to speak at his nephew’s graduation who happened to be graduating the same year as my sister.

At the time I didn’t know who he was, but he impressed upon me that I could achieve greatness.

This is just one example of how I cut my teeth and was nursed on some of the most positive teachings out there, without even consciously trying.

But despite all of the teachings flowing through my mind, there I was laying in bed feeling broke, busted and disgusted and I realized that I was literally wasting my life.

I had allowed myself to believe that the reason that things were not working out the way I wanted was because God didn’t want them to.

I figured I tried and door after door had closed upon me.

I tried doing right and treating people right and I still had received what felt very wrong.

My line of thinking was I tried, so clearly the failure wasn’t on my part.

I was lying to myself.

God, the universe, life wasn’t failing me.

I was failing me.

I was sitting there waiting for life to happen to me.

I had forgotten the words of Henley that “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”.

And I had forgotten that “I have dominion on this earth”.

I had effectively given my power away and was laying in bed waiting to die.

When the phone rang or the email came and it didn’t carry the break through that I was looking for I thought to myself that God didn’t want me to have it.

Never mind the fact that I am not trying my best.

Never mind the fact that I am allowing fear to paralyze me.

Never mind the fact that I am sitting there in a bed of pity.

Joyce Meyer says “you can be pitiful or you can be powerful but you can’t be both”.

Joyce Meyer is right.

Sure I have had setbacks, hang up, bang ups, let downs and break downs.

But who hasn’t.

I have had people betray me deeply, I have lost loved ones to death in tragic ways, I have experienced a major health crisis and financial ruin and am still going, this is proof to me that I am made out of the stuff of champions.

So what was a champion doing laying in the bed waiting on life to happen to her?

I was waiting on life to pick me up.

I was playing the role of victim instead of a victor.

In my past doing a good job, treating people right and doing what I thought was right got me very far.

And so of course I thought that the same things that had brought me blessings would work again.

My line of reasoning was quite simple – I am a good person, so good things are supposed to happen to me.

But I have reached a new level.

While I do receive miraculous blessings which I am confident are stemmed from the goodness that I have I sown; I have also accepted that for me to get to where I am going it is going to require me to put in the work.

Because like my children – my dreams, my purpose, my destiny aren’t going to come easy. No they are going to be brought forth through labor pains.

Here I am spiritually pregnant and dreading labor.

I have to do the work to break her forth, because if I don’t nourish this dream inside of me I will miscarry.

Life isn’t going to hand me anything without me doing the work to get it.

For I know too much to continue to be treated with kid gloves.

Life has knocked me down and I waited for someone to pick me up.

I gave half-hearted attempts.

And when I couldn’t stand to my feet I blamed it on God’s timing.

Don’t get me wrong I do believe that for everything there is a season, but I can assure you that I have not given this thing called life my all.

I have been wasting time.

I was literally laying there as time continued to move.

That’s when I decided it was time I go back to basics because clearly what I was doing wasn’t working.

I started back listening to motivational teachings the way I used to in my past and while listening to motivational videos I ran into a theme.

Every teacher I would listen to would continually echo the same thing.

They all reminded me that I was wasting time.

24 hours – 1440 minutes – 86,400 seconds. That is how much time we all are given each day.

I believe time is relative. When I enjoy what I am doing, it speeds by and if I don’t, it drags by.

For the most part I had been living my life on cruise control. I let things happen to me and I sat idly by. I decided that it was time that I discipline myself when it comes to my time and how I am going to spend it. Every second – of every minute – of every hour – of every day counts. And I am going to count on myself to make sure that my life happens for me rather than to me.

I just figured it was about that time!

I am pretty familiar with the whole concept of having goals. When I was a teenager my uncle drilled into my head the importance of having goals and plans for my life.

But something was missing.

I had a goal but no real plan.

Thankfully, while I was laying in bed waiting for life to happen to me I was also reading a copy of Napoleon’s Hill’s Think and Grow Rich that a friend had sent to me.

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Napoleon Hill is big on writing out a plan.

This echoed teachings that I had learned from Earl Nightingale to dedicate a period of each day writing down ideas. His thought is that if you write down your ideas that eventually your mind will become conditioned to become an idea making machine. He explains it doesn’t matter if most of the ideas are bad it is about becoming an idea maker.

And when you think about it as Napole0n Hill says, “one sound idea is all that one needs to achieve success”.

So I proceeded to devise a way to achieve my goal, for the Bible says “to write the vision down and make it plain.”.

It was as if everything came together and I knew what I had to do.

The funny thing about planning on what I am going to do is that I don’t have much time to think about my bad habits.

When I execute my plan to exercise, there is no time to eat the bag of chips.

When I read positive literature as planned, there is no time to think about negative experiences from my past.

When I plan on how I am going to achieve my goals there is no time to lay in the bed thinking about how my life is a mess.

And I think it was the combination of the motivational videos, the feeling of something has got to change, feeling accountable to those around me and reading Napoleon Hill’s book among other experiences that lead me to become a daily planner.

I know for people who plan their day regularly this doesn’t seem like much but for me it was monumental.

I was a go with the flow kind of girl.

Sure, I planned things out in my career life but not for my personal life.

I was disciplined at work but lackadaisical when it came to myself.

And I was going to have to start caring more about myself.

I had things that I need to get done but for the most part I hadn’t really planned the execution.

So earlier this week I pulled out a planner that my daughter bought me last year that unfortunately I had never used. I immediately realized it was a monthly and weekly planner which is okay for jotting down things to do.

But my laziness was going to require a daily planner.

I had gone so far into the doldrums that it took quite a bit for me to muster up the willpower to spend a few moments of my day doing the simple task of planning the next day.

It was a sad place to be but it was where I was.

On the top of my list was planning my spiritual time.

For me that consisted of 30 minutes listening to motivational teachings, 30 minutes reading something positive and 20 minutes meditating.

I chipped out how much time I will spend sleeping, working, relaxing, socializing, driving, grooming myself, cleaning and cooking.

For some this may seem excessive.

But the excessive amount of sleep that was taking place in my household by me was getting me nowhere.

I mean sure I had some excuses – I am a single mom, I have chronic pain and I am a bit depressed.

But I decided forget the excuses!

There is no way in the world I came to this earth to lay in a bed and watch life go by and only engage here and there.

I had laid there in that bed long enough.

It hasn’t been long since I made the change but that one change of planning out my day did something inside of me that makes me proud to be me.

It caused me to live on purpose.

I have a list of things to do.

And I hate leaving anything undone when I have agreed to do it (even if I am the one doing the asking) because its my goal to “let my yes mean yes and my no mean no”.

Sure no one else sees the list, but I do and my conscience won’t let me consciously let myself down.

So I got a plan that I have got to plan.

Love yourself enough to know that if there is anything you want in this world you are going to have to work for it and believe it is yours for the taking. If you don’t know what your dream is think back to your childhood and remember what you wanted to be before people told you that you couldn’t or that you had to be something else and start there.  Write your dream down and start making a plan on how you are going to get there. Everyday work with definite purpose that you will achieve it. And know that ironically while you have a plan that life doesn’t go as planned. That is why I took my dream, vision, goal and plan and handed it over to God. I do my part and rest in the faith that the Father will do His.

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith, Renata Nicole and RenataNicole, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original con

That Dog on Hole!!!!

Photo Courtesy of: Crystal Thomas Ashford

Photo Courtesy of: Crystal Thomas Ashford

I felt nothing but anxiety running through my body.

I was under stress and had tension knots so bad that it hurt to turn my neck.

I was carrying around so much stress that my entire back from the nape of my neck all the way down to the base of my spine had an intense burning sensation.

I couldn’t think straight, I didn’t eat right, I wasn’t taking care of household duties or finances, I wasn’t spending time with my kids like I used to and all I wanted to do was sleep.

But how could I sleep when my mind was running a mile a minute processing one negative thought after another?

I had convinced myself that I had tried everything but that nothing was working.

And so since I had tried everything only to experience what I deemed to be failure it followed that the dog on hole I had found myself in clearly wasn’t my fault.

I mean surely it must have been God’s will for me to be experiencing set back after set back.

For most certainly isn’t God ultimately in control. I have read the Book of Job and I am pretty sure that author made it crystal clear that God is in control.

I was certain that the reason that things were not going as planned was simply because the God of the Universe had a different plan, a plan that included me not getting what I wanted.

For surely the fact that my life was in shambles couldn’t have possibly been my will for my life.

Oh but that line of thinking is the lazy man’s way out.

Here is the thing I am not one to try to lay claim that I have a precise understanding of the role of God in the lives of man.

For even I know that Erykah Badu was most certainly correct when she sang the line “the man that knows something knows that he knows nothing at all”.

I am aware that there are a variety of views on the role of God in the lives of man.

And while there are a plethora of views on God I will name a few of the camps that I believe many people fall in.

Some people believe there is no God

Some people believe that there is a God but He is not concerned with our daily affairs.

Others believe there is a God, we are connected to God and He has given us full dominion and that we are the sole creators of our experience.

There is the camp of people who believe that God is in control of everything.

(Some people don’t use the term God, they say Source, Universe, Creator, may even refer to God as She or use a large variety of other terms).

Then there is the camp I reside in.

I was raised in a Christian household and attended worship with a variety of denominations within the Christian faith, so my school of thought is based on the paradoxical premise that God gives man free will but that man’s will cannot override God’s will.

I explain my belief system to give a better understanding of how I believe I erroneously arrived at my claim that God simply wanted me to suffer.

You see, I was using my belief that nothing can override the will of God to convince myself that if I was suffering in my life it was because God wanted me to suffer.

In essence I had convinced myself the entire universe was conspiring against me.

Now, I am not the Creator so I don’t have all the answers, but I have come to the conclusion that my idea that God wanted or needed me to suffer was not true.

Does God allow suffering? – Yes

Can God use what man deems to be bad and bring goodness forth from it? -Yes

But in my particular situation was it God’s fault that I was struggling or was there something else going on?

I argue that in my situation there was most definitely something else going on.

The truth is I hadn’t really tried everything and I most certainly had not exhausted all efforts.

Yes, I had tried harder than I had ever tried before, but I had not tried my hardest.

And to be honest I didn’t want to apply myself more than what I was doing. Simply because that meant more work.

You see, I was afraid of failing and I was being lazy. I wanted things to simply fall in my lap. I wanted it to be easy.

Sure, I would say to others that I had exhausted all avenues but deep down I knew I hadn’t.

For had I done everything I could to succeed, I am most certain I would have succeeded.

You see, there were times that I didn’t ask specific people for help because I was afraid of what they would think of me.

And there are the times that I thought this is too hard so let me go  pull the covers over my head and try to sleep my problems away (this time was far more frequent then I care to confess).

But my all time best excuse was when I decided that God simply didn’t want me to have my dreams fulfilled.

That was my scapegoat. I was failing because God wanted me to fail.

I was lying to myself.

Blaming God, or even society for my lack of success was far easier than owning up to the fact that I was responsible for my lack of success.

My point is not to argue God’s role in the life of man, I believe that is for each man to decide for himself.

My point is that I realized that in my particular situation I wanted the easy way out and I was mad because this time what I wanted wasn’t going to be easy. Life was harder for me than it had been in the past and I didn’t want to apply myself. I wanted to be lazy and have success fall into my lap. I was so used to blessings coming to me easily that when the time came for me to put on my big girl panties and really try at making life happen for me I gave up. I would cry when things didn’t work out and then I would gather enough strength to halfheartedly try again because I didn’t like hearing the word ‘no’ so much.

I would whine to my family and friends ad nauseam about my problems saying that it would get better in God’s timing.

Yeah, see that argument would be great if God hadn’t already given me the tools I need to make things better for myself.

I wanted someone to walk up to me and just hand better to me.

My old way of doing things wasn’t working.

It wasn’t working because I needed to do something new.  I needed to face my fear of failure and try harder. I needed to stop being afraid of being told no. I needed to fully apply myself. I needed to take responsibility for that dog on hole I alone had dug myself in and use the strength God had given me to dig myself out.

If I truly believed that God gives us free will and that God was good then it was high time I started asserting my will and stop blaming life, other individuals and God for where I was at.

I was the one who made poor choices.

I alone was the one who had fallen into complacency.

You see there is a reason why there are few at the top.

Getting to the top takes effort, and initiative and most people give up when things get hard.

For me to achieve my goals in life I was going to have to stop waiting on someone to come and save me from my problems and realize that I was already provided with every ample tool to save myself.

I am abundantly blessed and for me to sit there with my arms folded and my bottom lipped poked out was ungrateful.

I would find myself crying wondering why God wasn’t helping me because I failed to realize that God was the one who was keeping me from falling deeper in the hole I was so dead set upon digging.

For someone who was so quick to say that the reason I was experiencing what I deemed to be failure was due to God not wanting to see my dreams fulfilled, it is mighty peculiar how all my needs were met and that I was able to find blessing after blessing throughout each day.

Mighty odd how I asserted that God didn’t want me to have what I wanted yet I was so blessed that daily strangers who didn’t know me would kindly offer me assistance.

Many people say that at their lowest point everyone leaves and there I was at my lowest point and yet the list of people who came to assist me in some shape or form was amazingly lengthy.

So if it wasn’t God who was causing me to suffer then who was it?

I was tempted to blame the way our society is set up.

Okay lets just be honest I did do that….

But I knew better.

I was responsible for my life.

I dug the hole.

It wasn’t the town I was born in, it wasn’t my family members, the color of my skin, those people who don’t care for me, the fact I was a woman in a “man’s world”, the city I had relocated to, my marital status, the number of children I have or the fact that I attended public school.

Nope it was good ole Renata being too lazy and too afraid to try harder than I had been doing.

Could others assist me? Sure, I believe that we can and should assist one another.

But I was going to have to do the work. Because ultimately I am responsible for my life.

Therefore, I was going to have to organize my life.

My health was failing so I was going to have to eat better and exercise more.

I was depressed and wasn’t spending the amount of time I wanted to with my kids.

So I was going to have to make the time.

I was depressed and I didn’t feel like cleaning up.

I was going to have to get up off that couch and clean up.

My finances were in a wreck.

I was going to have to create multiple streams of income.

Sometimes we don’t get what we want. And maybe it is indeed because it is God’s will for us not to have it at that time or that God knows that what we want simply isn’t what is best for us. But I subscribe to the belief that God gives us our dreams.

And if God is the dream giver then wouldn’t it be God’s good pleasure for us to achieve it? And lets just say we die trying to achieve our ultimate dream with it going unfulfilled wouldn’t the God who gave us that dream bless us along the way as we try our best to achieve that dream?

Now I don’t know your belief of God, but I don’t even think that for the sake of this argument it even matters.

If you want something you have to dig deep and do the work it takes to get it.

Nothing worth having is going to come easy.

While living in Alaska I learned first hand that when a car gets stuck in snow it doesn’t do any good to just try to push down as hard as you can on the accelerator.

This means I wasn’t going to get unstuck by just throwing everything at the wall and seeing what would stick.

Because what you need to get a car unstuck from snow or mud is traction. And I can promise you spinning your wheels as fast as you can is no way to get it.

Nope you need to accelerate slowly.

So that meant I was going to have to make forward movements but think about them and make a concerted effort to slowly make the changes so that they would be beneficial in my process of moving forward.

I keep a plastic shovel in my car because I know that if the car gets stuck it helps immensely to try to dig some of the snow out of the way if at all possible and create a new path.

Thus, to get out of that dog on hole I was going to have to use the tools of knowledge that God had given me to remove the negative thoughts and ideas from my mind and replace them with positive ones.

Another step to getting out of snow is that if you have it available you need to place something under the leading edge of the wheel so the tires can grip on the item allowing you to slowly drive the car out of the snow. For this reason people use an old coat, car mat or blanket to try to gain traction or they put down sand or even better kitty litter.

Like the aforementioned examples I was going to have to apply something to the leading edge of my guidance system. The thing that I decided to rely on to increase my traction was faith. Because walking on fear, doubt, stress, worry and anxiety had failed me.

I decided to love myself enough to stop blaming everyone else for why I was stuck. I loved myself enough not to beat myself up for the hole I had dug myself in. I loved myself enough to stop lying to myself and saying that my fate in life was to suffer when deep down I knew otherwise, but most of all I loved myself enough to decide to do what was right and to get the heck up out of that dog on hole!

My suggestion is that if you find yourself in a hole (and if you live long enough you most certainly will) once you have tired yourself from spinning your wheels and have had enough of blaming everyone else and getting mad at yourself for where you are at, love yourself enough to be determined to keep doing the right thing until you gain traction and get up from out of that dog on hole!

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman, Renata Nicole and RenataNicole, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.