Chapter 40: Gratitude Changes Everything (Still Standing)

Can I be honest with you? Do I have your permission to be vulnerable and transparent? Is it OK if I share something with you?

adult, blur, businesswoman

A few short weeks ago I came across a post on Facebook that one of my acquaintances posted which solicited participation from his followers and friends. The post asked that you post your age as the Chapter of your Life, (EX: 40) followed by the title of your chapter, (EX: Over the Hill). I thought to myself wow, this is going to be fun. However, after I typed in the number 40 and attempted to add a title- nothing came to mind. A deer in a headlight moment. Then a few single-word statements came to mind. None of which could be appropriated to my chapter 40, as it pertained to what I wanted it to say.

design, desk, display

I was finding it difficult to do something that I thought should be so easy for me since I have all this “self-awareness” about myself. The fact that I could not come up with a title as fast as I thought I should was nerve-racking grounds for a more solemn discussion to take precedent over the fun, Facebook activity before I could proceed. Now, I could have been over-thinking this moment and maybe I was, but it made me earnestly ponder the question of why I at a loss for words? I thought I had already reached the point of Self-Actualization, so what was the problem? Wasn’t this just an exercise that simply called for a reflection of the following questions: Where are you? Or, where are you going? And, where do you want to go? How will you resume and finish this story? I mean, seriously, this is how you write any book, right? Talk about a humbling moment!

Person Wearing Gray Long-sleeved Mini Dress in Front of Green Leaf Plant

I toggled a few more titles but still, none worthy enough to adequately described or depict what my title should be in CHAPTER 40 of my life.

I couldn’t summarize it in a Chapter title, so I bargained for answers with this approach: Niedria, do you even know where you are and what you want? What do you intend on doing at this point in life? That would be your chapter title.

I had to break it down: I began to focus in on the perfect title that would describe where I am as it related to where I have been and then consider what I want and where I want to go. (Side note: Sometimes we are so caught up in where we are trying to go and what we want, that we forget that we must acknowledge where we are first because that’s our starting point or our point of continuation) So having a complete, sound, embracive and merciful understanding of where I was, was important. Being transparent, forgiving and truthful with ourselves will open the avenue for this understanding to flow.

There’s nothing wrong with knowing where you want to go or what you want, but you must know where you are first.

I arrived at a title by telling myself to instead, first come up with a title that would speak to where I am at this moment which would address the question. In doing that, I would clarify some things for myself first. And so, I decided to use a statement to describe what I have learned, which I believe is helping me to live my best life in this present moment at 40, which provided dual-purpose in moving forward: Chapter 40: Gratitude Changes Everything (Still Standing) From where I am, all I can say is that I am grateful that I am still standing.

Woman in Blue Jeans Standing on Clear Glass

I came up with the title only because I considered where I was at 20, at 25, at 30 and at 35. (Being through a lot, but having done a lot of things) Just like any book, you want the next chapter to be an extension of the last chapter, expounding more on the story. So, you must know where you are in your book. I had to scan back over my life so that I would know for myself where I was. I am still standing. That’s where I am.

Since we are in a current and constant state of living, we know that life is an “on-GROW-ing” thing until we make our final departure. All we can do to make it better, is to make sure that we are “living” out our best life. Chapter 40 is not about one thing. It’s a culmination of things that I have learned and how I am applying gratitude, to make it my best life today in order to have fulfillment in the rest of my life.

With consideration given to where I am going, what I want and what I intend on doing; I must apply gratitude. What I have learned about gratitude and how it has and is changing things is that when we recognize the lessons and value the experiences we’ve had and are able to see the good in it all and be grateful that we were chosen for those assignments which made us stronger, better and wiser-it manipulates life by altering our mindset. This new set of lenses changes our lives as we are then able to elevate to a higher state of conscious awareness, acquiring the ability to then utilize everything we have learned and apply it to the next steps of life.

My life went from “You don’t know My Story” to “Let me tell you my story” to “This is my Story” to “I didn’t choose this story; this story chose me.” It’s only fair now that I’ve told my story, that you know that I am grateful for my story. That’s precisely what it is all about. So, I am grateful for the lessons, experiences, journeys, friends, family –and most of all, the good and bad of it all. I am grateful for those who told me no and those who said I couldn’t. I am grateful for those who supported me and were equally happy to see me prevail. That gratefulness and gratitude for those things is what enables me to eradicate mendacities spoken about me. That gratitude is what authorizes me to write the next chapter.

Woman Drinking Water Beside Mountain

Switching Gears: With that, this is what I think living your best life is: It is knowing where you stand today. Deciding where you want to go from here and what it will take. Deciding what you want, no matter if it is to live more of a healthy lifestyle, pursue a more lucrative career, go back to a more simpler life, embark on a new journey or pursuit and all around doing what makes you happy despite what anyone else thinks of it. It is taking your given set of circumstance and making the absolute best of it as you continue in life and expound into new territories IE: New Chapters. You must make sure it’s the best that you can do though. Have you done the best you can with what you are working with?

On a much broader note: Living your best life works best when you concern yourself with yourself. Be selfless when it comes to helping others but selfish when it comes to taking care of yourself. Focus on what you want, stay in your lane and take care of your business. You may not be exactly where you know and feel that you need and want to be. It doesn’t mean that you’ve done something wrong. You don’t have to settle in who you are today, but you can accept who you are now and still be determined to have more in your life and live more abundantly.

Sometimes we get tossed around in the wreckage of life (divorce, break-ups, lay-offs, illness etc.) where we get lost or set back. Other times, we get caught up in the wonders of the world while living the fab life (leisurely travel, marriage, children, promotions, new homes, business ventures etc.) Whatever life we were living, it’s quite possible to forget where we are at times. The need for awareness that life is still happening when those joys or heartbreaks become things of the past is a reality that we face one day when we are trying to determine where to next. To avoid feelings of displacement, a Full assessment and inventory of our life is required. If you remember that life is on-GROW-ing, you can make changes along the way that will be conducive to the lifestyle that you want.

Everything you have done and have been through (good and bad) in your life has prepared you for this moment.

Yesterday is a chapter of the past but even if it is still a part of your story, you can turn the page into something new and improved because now it’s time for the story to go on. What would be your title?

Article originally posted on SheSavvy.com and was recently selected First Place for the “Best Life” writing contest.

Advertisements

The Who What When Where and Why that you may want to concern yourself with

Woman Wearing Grey Jumpsuit Standing Beside Brown Metal Gate

When, Where & What:

In the spirit of being our own constant reminder that we are valuable, purposeful and destined for greatness, we must have what I refer to as a safe space. A safe place can be of physical form (a park, a body of water, your closet, a hobby) or mental form (meditation through yoga or being still) and it is a place that you retire to in any moment where you feel torn apart, broken, stagnant, confused, hurt, defeated, berated and belittled in your life. It’s a place where you go to find peace, relax, relate and release through talking out loud, thinking things through, practicing breathing techniques, being alone to recharge or rejuvenate, calm down and re-center yourself to emerge like the phoenix.

Woman Wearing Gray Short-sleeved Shirt at Daytime

Why:

The reason we must cultivate an atmosphere in our lives for such a space/place to exist is because if we rely on someone to do this for us, they may not be available for us one day. Not because they don’t want to be, but perhaps because they can’t be for one reason or another. (They are sick themselves, going through and processing their own set of issues, on a trip, extended vacation, at work, not able to talk, in their own safe place where they cannot invite the troubled of the world in while they are taking time to themselves. etc.)

While you are there, you must keep in mind the importance of your health and well-being, being the single most important thing for your survival.

Photo of Woman Holding Her Lips While Sitting

Also keep in mind that this place does not replace the need to talk to another individual who may be able to aid and offer guidance to us through our troubles, along with perspectives, advice and wisdom. It’s merely a place that we can rely on, in the absence of that individual that will sustain us. In my Christian Faith, they will say… it’s where you “have a little talk with Jesus.” This conversation transpires internally. Reach deeply within, where that seed of faith is and nourish it. This is where your confidence, safety and security rest. Bring it back to the forefront in this time and trust yourself with your life. Knowing that you can and will overcome these thoughts and situations which have tried to steal your joy and seal your fate.

Shifting Gears completely on the WHO:

Who:

We cannot allow the people who are around us to constantly tear us down, beat up down, bring us down, push us down and keep us down. Sometimes we must rise above, by cutting those people off who are wired with “fuggery” (in my Redd Foxx voice) as they have no good intentions. This is all stuff that we know but just need to speak it, hear it or be reminded of it from time to time.

You are headed in a direction where those people cannot go, so again I say THEY WILL NOT UNDERSTSAND AND YOU HAVE TO STOP EXPLAINING IT OR TRYING TO PROVE YOURSELF.

Woman Wearing Orange Pullover Hoodie Sitting on Chair's Arm

Sometimes growth is forced upon you and it requires you to move out of a place where people are keeping you down. They are not in your shoes. No one is saying that you are to walk around with delusions of grandeur, but it is ok to feel that you are moving in a direction that someone else is not equipped to go, based on the things they are doing to you. It’s ok to say that you are better than your circumstance. It is ok to say that you are not about a life where you constantly seek approval through proving yourself to the people around who don’t believe you anyway. And it’s perfectly ok to know that you are better than people who constantly live in a state of jealousy, envy, spite and malice. You are not that person and you don’t understand them just as they don’t understand you. This is what makes you “different” perhaps if not better. Its ok to have the revelation that for what you are trying to do and where you are headed does not allow for people like that.

Woman With Black-and-white Sweater With Pants Sitting on Black Leather Sofa Beside Red Painted Wall

Stop looking back:

Sometimes people reach out just to be nosey. And because we have this natural desire to stay connected or to remain “loyal” to our roots, (old friends) we reach back with a response. However, their intention is just to make sure you are not doing better than them. It’s to get an “update” on your life so that they will have something to talk about. It’s not a sincere concern to see how good you are doing and it’s not to motivate, encourage or to inspire. Toxic people reach out when they know you are doing better but they want to say something to you that will have you doubting yourself. It has nothing to do with you. They are dealing with where they are in life and because they are not happy about that, they want to bring you down. And sometimes their contacting you, is to give you an update on themselves because they need to feel sufficient. Again, nothing to do with you. It’s their insecurities.

It happens. It happened to me recently. Someone asked me a personal question. I answered it – even after answering, they took that opportune time to slide in an unsolicited assumption on what they thought the truth was and completely ignored the answer I gave because they were determined to take that jab. This tells me that they have been sitting around worrying about what I am doing and had already come to their own conclusion which was more satisfying to their state of misery. When they heard a truth different from what they presumed, because they are conditioned the way they are which is anchored in an ugly spirit; they insisted on with their assumption. This was something that they just had to get out, in order to feel better about themselves.

People will question what you do because it seems so impossible for them or it’s not possible for them from where they are standing.  This is a sign that you are entertaining the wrong group of people and when you are doing that, you cannot be living your best life.

Woman Wearing Black Sleeveless Top With Green Hardtail Bicycle at the Back

Sometimes people force on you the feeling that you should show and prove something to them and that shouldn’t be your burden. It’s not your lot in life to make miserable people happy. If someone asks you something and your answer is yes, but they say no it’s not … just say OK. If they say you are anything other than what you know you are, just say ok, walk away and cut them off. They have shown you who they are, and it is now your responsibility to take charge of what you allow and accept in your life. If they say anything at all that speaks against who you are- you absolutely must know that this is the point where you cross the bridge without them.

Why even entertain this kind of mind trash OR this trash can individual? Wish them well and keep it moving. Be selfish in your right to move through life without carrying with you those people who do not mean well.

Generally speaking, “People will second guess the truth and wouldn’t think twice about a lie” so you can not stop to address every, single thing that a person has said, heard or thought about you. Leave it alone.

Temporary Orders, Long Term effects

….When everything you said, has come to pass. My mentor led me to make this discovery. This is the last of 3 articles I will share this evening that I came upon which I had written a while back, as it related to what was transpiring in my life. As much as you try to run from your story sometimes you are led back to it for the sake of leading someone else out.  I just hope the microphone is on now!
Temporary orders, long term effects

October 31, 2013
Raise your hand if you are fed up with going back and forth to court to handle minuscule issues that any competent adult should be able to handle. Keep your hand up if you feel that you should be able to make decisions about the well-being of your child. Put your hand down if you would like the courts to continue to dictate when you can or cannot see your child. By the hands that are still raised, I can safely say that we have all grown tired of having a middle man between us and the children we gave birth to.

Though we have modern science, technology and research; no one other than a mother can explain what she goes through during the pregnancy process to the birthing process and how it may change her chemical balance. She is naturally attached to something that was once inside of her body as an egg. Her body grew to accommodate the growth of a fetus as it turned into a newborn baby. If you are like me, you breastfed, which created even more of an attachment or bond because you know that baby relied on you for food and nourishment. The bond that you were building was a bond that your child was creating as well. You became known as mommy. To your infant/toddler, you were the one who rubbed his head, feet and legs, held his hand, kissed his cheek and showed affection. You are the one who rubs his tummy when he has gas and gives him his warm baths. You place him on your chest and rub his back as he fell asleep in your arms. You are the reason he doesn’t have to worry about anything. You are his protector and you wouldn’t let anything happen to him. You held his hands as he began to walk and dusted him off each time he fell. You encouraged him to get up and try it again. You rewarded him with a kiss.

How does it feel to be a puppet of the court and have someone who knows nothing about you, your upbringing, house whole values and moral system; order you on how to parent? How do you feel about having someone who could care less about your child, tell you when you are to spend time and how much time you can spend when your child lives in the same city? What if I told you that the same judicial system that is potentially screwing up your child’s life right now, will be the same judicial system that throws him in jail one day and wonder where the parents went wrong? I am going to reach here and say that no one would be ok with this except the deadbeat parent. That is the parent who does not think about the temporary orders that may have a long term effect.

Constantly changing your child’s environment and toggling between household do not give your child a sense of belonging. And so, at an early age; he develops anti-social behavior, he withdraws, does not know how to fit in or feels like he doesn’t fit in. He is not able to find a place of security and stability. He is caught between bickering parents whether it’s one sided or two sided and it’s unhealthy. He’s confused, does not understand, and he’s not able to call any place home, or even get comfortable enough to just be at peace. The seed of not belonging grows inside of him and you get a child who tends to act out. You can’t even discipline this behavior because it truly comes from a genuine place of confusion. The deadbeat parent does not consider this. They do not realize the damage that they are doing to their children.

My child was recently taken from my home for absolutely no reason other than his deadbeat father wanted to settle a score of not paying child support. With the Hook Line and Sinker approach, he was able to convince just enough people that my child should be with him. Keep in mind, he wanted me to abort my child, didn’t show up for the first 8 months of his life and wasn’t much of a father when he finally did show up. Because he is not able to see past child support, he cannot think about the long term effects that he is causing by removing my child from the only home he has ever known.

For instance, when my child left he was potty trained. He’s been on sole care of his father for 3 months and in that amount of time his father has managed to UN do everything I have done in the name of my child. I received a message a few days ago that my child has a diaper rash. I am wondering, how in the hell does a child 2 months short of three years old have a diaper rash. Simple: He still wearing diapers or pull-ups. Not only that but he’s obviously wetting himself and not being changed. How can he not understand what is happening. Why is my child wearing pull-ups? Why is he not going to the potty? And most importantly, why in Jesus name is someone neglecting to change him regularly if they are going to have him in pull-ups. Why would his father leave him in the care of such a negligent daycare (children’s lighthouse, Copperfield) my child has completely reversed in progress. His behavior pattern has also been affected, his sleep time his schedule has totally been altered. I’ve video-taped my child at daycare as well as spoke to the teacher about his progress. In a recorded conversation she expresses concern as well as explains how he acts out to the point that she has to keep him separated from other children. Among other things, this, something his father would totally deny. Denying is not helping our child. I have the recording. Again, a temporary order that may cause long term effects. Lying about your child’s progress just to cover up the facts about how he’s really adjusting does not help your children.

Any mother or father who interferes with custody for no reason, is a deadbeat. The only exception to this is of it is completely unhealthy for the child and it is proven not just said. I hate bitter parents. Those are usually the ones who become deadbeats. They are not satisfied with the way a relationship ended so they take it out on the child.

My child’s father has abruptly interrupted the bond that my child had with me as well as his life. This change came drastic to my child and was literally overnight. I cannot understand how he does not notice or even care that it is happening. I continue to pray for my child and that he is able to deal with this change, but I know this time is extremely hard for him. I absolutely hate to know my child is going through this. 

Karma Awaits The Boomerang

Below, another reflection from the past. Something that was written in 2011…. clearly another trying time from which I have found growth through a testimony. Sometimes it is necessary to revisit the past…. With that, I share:

Karma awaits the Boomerang   Actions

August 19, 2011

Karma, in lay is the belief that all of your actions will have equal repercussions, affecting you. The basic theory is that the universe runs according to certain laws, all described by one word ‘Dharma’ (Sanskrit) or ‘Dhamma’ (Pali). The basic theory is: ’cause and affect’. The laws (Dharma) decide what affect is beget from a given cause. Karma is the ’cause’ part of this theory. In other words, your actions – mental, vocal and physical are your Karma (plural).

In practice, day to day, I try to abide by the Golden Rule; do unto others as you will have them do unto you.  The practice and perfecting of this rule is challenged everyday on multiple levels. At work, your co-worker sabotages you. At play, your friends double cross you. In life, people use and abuse you. Just remember, How they treat you is their Karma, how you treat them, is yours.

I’m being challenged personally in my life with how I will react to things that are going on. People who were once close to me and called me family are now playing the enemy to me. What was once togetherness and closeness is now divided by twisted tall tales. In the mist of it all, I still stand with the truth in my right hand and my child in the other. A perfect balance.

……..As much as I tried to process the remarks that came from my ex mother in law, “The lord gives and he will take away”; I was not able to put into content what she could have possibly meant by that with regards to my child. Her other comment, asking why I decided to have my child still has me baffled coming from a mother, a woman and an alleged Christian. Why wouldn’t I have had him is what I really wish I would have asked her. I was struck by those words and left dumbfounded that a woman with two children of her own would ask that question. Speechless, to say the least, there was nothing else to say to her at that point. I have no choice but to insist that these are the cornerstone ideas which has lead my child’s father in his very own destructive way.  If your very own mother, whom you love dearly, is your biggest fan and a cheerleader for ignorance and foolishness, you will continue to be truculent. Now the Christian in me says, love everyone. The fight in me says this is not right. When the two merge, I fall somewhere in between on what to do—-but anyone will agree this is a three way toxic relationship. A haphazard triangle on the path of havoc.

So what do I do?

That’s the question I am still asking myself. I have in the past found ways to arrive at forgiving, overlooking, ignoring, letting it go, responding negatively, entertaining it until I was satisfied. In this instance I’m still arriving. I know enough about Karma to know that what goes around will surely come back around. I have to wait. I can’t react in the way that I may want to. People always ask me what I will do about all that is going on, all that has been said to me and the vile way my ex acts toward me, all the charges and accusations he makes to me about my character, all the offensive remarks he makes to get under my skin and get control of my mind. —and to their surprise, I say, I will wait. He will wake up and have a revelation at some point and realize all that is going on. Sometimes it takes a train wreck, but it will be revealed.

My mother in law also accused me of talking about their family. Her reliable source she mentioned were, QUOTE: “people in the streets”. All I can say to that is —wait. Karma has no end. It strikes all involved. As much as it hurts to wait and as much as you may anxiously wait —you have to wait. Not in a sense that you are hoping or wishing and waiting on evil to strike the person who has wronged you. It’s not that at all and you should pay close attention not to confuse the two. It’s the knowing that the truth is the only thing that in indestructible. All the time people spend spreading and entertaining rumors to get a good fight out of people involved will be in vain. If you search for the truth, you can find it. It may be beat up, bruised, dirty, and hung out to dry, but it is what it is and it will still be the truth. Know that whatever people do to you-whatever they say about you in negative manner only deserves a silent response. I learned a long time ago that if you do not entertain lies they will go away eventually. However, if you do choose to respond, do it with dignity. If the truth is your story, tell as many as you would like.

I RECENTLY EMBARKED ON MY VERY OWN Karma Challenge to improve my energy source within and to practice positive response. This challenge was 90 days and included a 40 day fast, a 7- day soul tie breaking and a rebuilding of your favorite 5, which are the closest people to you from whom most of your energy comes from. Within the challenge, there were direction given on what to do to create a positive force-field.

Someone asked me what you do when you try and try to be positive and people around you are so negative and has a response for every positive comment you make. I told her that the initial response to positivity will be a negative response. You have to continue to be that positive force hoping to change the surrounding. Soon they will catch on and want some of what you got —or they will go away. Recently in my bout dealing with these sick people, I try to take their negative comment and turn it into a positive one.

In application:  I was excited about having such a beautiful, healthy baby and was carrying on with my life. When my ex saw this he knew could not break or control me with all the ugliness in the world  he was throwing at me, and so he tried telling me I was nothing before I had my child; and that my child made me. Well, the only thing that I wasn’t before my child– was a phenomenal mother. So, I guess he’s right!!! I told him, my child did make me. He made me a great mother. I got beauty for ashes.  Isaiah 61:3

…………….For now, I remain the X, constant, the unchanging variable; leaving vindication in the hands of the universe.

Dear Honey Bunches of Oats

…….. The following was written in October of 2013. It was a pretty trying time for me. It was an open letter to my son pinned on my blog at the time and shared on Shutterfly. As I found it today and reflected upon the words that were written, I could not help but to think about what is unfolding in his life today. It makes me happy that I jotted it down at that time way back in 2013 when it was fresh and sincere. Resonates so much today, seeing how he is going through some of the things he is going through. I pasted it below without edits because it was written exactly how I would want it read to this day.

…..Is something so massive you can’t get it out of your head, though you bury it or make repeat efforts; by which only cause you to suffer in silence if suppressed. I choose mental health instead, and wish so many others would. Truth is the only anecdote. The truth for me was giving birth to you- a beautiful gift from GOD and beauty for ashes! The only way I can be here for you, is to be here for me. I have to be well in order for you to be well. I know that hiding the truth will not keep you protected- it would only materialize later in forms of confusion and conflict. I would never be the conductor of that train wreck! This is why I fight for you!

The truth is what you can’t get over, under or around. It’s what GOD is and since you were made in his image and likeness – you are the truth. You are what cannot not be hidden. You represent facts that are not acknowledged, often ignored and for some… Who want to pretend your existence is based on anything else, you are still here.

Let’s start with your name. Deon ‘ Cornelius’ Kenny. It was the name given to you at birth, and is on your original birth certificate. Your first name is my middle name, but spelled more masculine. Mine is Dionne. Your middle name came from a man. That man is your grandfather. It is his middle name as well. It is the bridge between your mother and her father by which your existence of a real man came through to sustain your last name, as Kenny. He was the ONLY male figure you knew about while I was carrying you. He is my dad and your grandfather. When you were born, he held you as you were his because you are his blood line. He stepped in to make sure you had a positive role male model, and an example of a man and a father as well as to nurture you as a boy.

You were born into a fight and unfortunately you have been used as collateral by a court empowered by your biological father. The things he told me during the time of your conception were quite different from what he was telling everyone around him, leaving them all surprised when I announced I was pregnant. As a result, lies compounded into a volcano. That volcano is erupting and evil is the lava. I refuse to allow you to be burned! I will extinguish it through prayer and the truth.

Your conception was not by two unwilling parties who knew nothing about what was going on. Instead, it was two very well, highly educated, adults and professionals who equally played a part in your conception. Your father, being in healthcare knows how babies are made. There were no secrets nor hidden agendas nor force that brought you here by me. Your father and I knew the possibility of you coming to exist when we took part in our estranged encounter. He was very aware and informed of the consequence that may prevail.

While this is truth, he expected me to terminate the pregnancy as if an abortion was birth control. With his trail if deception creeping upon his life that would expose truth, he panicked. His mother, your grandmother later asked why is it that I decided to have you. The insinuation that I had any other choice after you were already a fetus, uttered evil. Those words still sting. They linger like untreated cancer. They could have been fatal. However, because I was strong and supported by my mom, dad and sisters as well as close friends; you never had to feel that sting. I have protected you from day one and always will. However, I will not hide the truth from you.

Many things have taken place since your birth that would kill the average person. However, I’m not average and so I still exist. I exist to continue to give you the best of me and praise GOD for your existence. God sees, hears and knows all even that which is not said. Even with the possibility of two potentially different perceptions or perspectives, the truth is what it is and two people for certain know exactly what that is! Something about the truth is, people like to bury it. But you can’t when it’s alive. You can’t act like it didn’t happen, by covering it up with deceptive lies about how it happened. All I hope to instill upon you, son, is the truth about why things are happening the way they are.

If you do not see me, it is not because I don’t want to see you. When you can’t wake up to my kisses, read a book with me, watch your favorite program, eat rice, play in the park and ride your blue bike; it’s not because I don’t want you to. When I can’t tuck you in and sing “Yes, Jesus loves you”, or teach you how to write your name and count to one hundred, it’s not because I don’t want to. When I can’t bathe you, dress you, comb your hair, and love on you like I always have, it is not because I don’t want to. If I can’t take you to the Circus, Lego festival, kids museum, children’s expo, or play in the water, go swimming and to the library, and expose your senses to all the fun and educational thing life has to offer; it’s not because I wanted to stop. Don’t let anyone tell you that ever AGAIN. If I can’t teach you where all the continents are on your favorite globe, take you to the wonders of the world and play Elmo hands, or sing the wheels on the bus, and read to you your children’s bible, It’s certainly not because I requested not to. If I can’t play your favorite DVD while riding in the car, dance with you to your favorite tune with the Disney car boom box, or play the guitar and keyboard, or show you the functions of your leap frog and other V-Tech stations; I did not ask to stop. If we can’t sit at your table in your room and have circle time learning colors, shapes and sounds like we’ve always done, know that I miss it too. If we can’t play hiding seek, peek- a-boo, Simon says and abracadabra; I am imaging the times that we did. If you cannot ride your fleet of cars down the street while laughing at me chase you to turn the wheel, walk to the mailbox, prank call nana and papa Kenny, and wear your rain boots while the sun is shining; I won’t do it without you. While we can’t sit in the closet and practice tornado drills and watch the homedics machine project images of fish creatures in the dark, or jump upstairs while you are on my back; we will soon!

If I can’t continue to provide you with the stable, loving and nurturing environment, that I always have while you have been sick or well—know that I had NO part in that change. Your home will always be right here on Story Book Trail. The rest, I know you will figure out. You were conceived on March 17th 2010 and I haven’t forgotten one detail since then. Should you ever have questions, I will only give you the truth.

Fair Lady

“Fair Lady”

“We met at the centermost of a metaphor. Right at the end of his dictum…face to face. …You have lovely pearls, he said. I could look into them all night- could I interest you in allowing me to extol your winsomeness?

You had me at my eyes, I said…walking anent my personal space, propitiously invading my comfort zone, carrying on with your encomium. I am obliged. Hello, I said.

..equidistant dialect ..Eyes lite, body twitch, direction propulsive, slow pace. colloquy ensued before our faces crossed, sketched a portrait of a poem. Energized at finger tips, aromas from a fleet of words- undressed. Vigilant to the wind but atmosphere already filled-the breeze strong armed, too late. The connection was made. Bodies attempted to pass-hands got caught on the hooks of his rhyme. Snatched back to sync.

– downloaded and uploaded, hard drive driving, centrally processing, heartbeat colliding, instincts thriving… install complete- wrote me right off my feet, spoke me right back to my seat- who needs faded pictures or a broken glass? What makes you nervous my dame, He asked.

Seduced my hands with his face. Tasted my flesh a my waist- took us both to space- placed my legs on the base… Of his shoulders…all things before were erased- forgotten, misplaced or displaced… Index finger on card catalog, turning pages from books on bookcase- found my story we raced through chapter by chapter, the before and after- wrist vertically communicating with elbows, follow me to the back of my head, they said…. Neck bone in hand sending ….signals to knees, too weak- back collapsed- and radiated through feet. Electrifying… Sparks after spark, transitions in and out of discussions, Segway’s through subjects without touching

And so he’s typing on the small my back, shift buttons shift gears- I think he likes it like that. I’m listening, keep talking, I hear what you saying I’m anticipating and waiting- why are you playing…

Tongue crawling in my breastplate, Strength tilts my head- not fighting to escape- body calling, armor falling…..guards down… Look what you found~ the heart of A lady..”

A passage from my book Compilation of Contemplation copyright published 2015.

Niedria Kenny, Author

AKA

~FreelySpeaking

🌹💋 Find it on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Niedria-Kenny/e/B00JION5EC

The Dying Art Of Courting And What you Think It Cost

bench-couple-love-people

A male friend reached out to me recently and asked for suggestions on what to do with his new- found girlfriend. He shared that they met while attending a food summit somewhere up in the Wine Country a few weeks ago. Geez, now why didn’t anyone tell me about all that fun going on? Anyhow, I knew right away that food and wine would be a part of what I’d suggest, because I already had insight on what she enjoyed. However, beyond the obvious I wanted to share with him other suggestions which wouldn’t cost a fortune, as he’d expressed that he was interested in this young lady and that he wanted to make an impression, but one that he could hold to as time rolled on.

As he raved on about this young lady, he asked how to show her that he was interested in her. Well, aside from simply telling her, I suggested he make it known of course first, just by reiterating it. Guys sometime get discouraged in doing this one very important thing because they don’t want to seem like the weakest link. They don’t want to chase, as they have sincerely confused this term with its ugly fraternal twin know as, “running after.” (Let that sit) What they forget is the dying art of courting. And to pursue, is to chase.

When you are interested in falling and having them fall with you so that you can rise together, you just tell her that you are interested. When she reciprocates in letting you know that she is interested as well, by accepting your advances for a 2nd and 3rd date…. There’s nothing wrong with looking deeply into her eyes and telling her that she has an amazing smile and that you truly do enjoy getting to know and knowing her. It doesn’t cost you anything to do this.

Man and Woman Sitting on Bench

Showing your interest in someone does not take fine dining, exotic trips and wild adventures from week to week. Not at first anyway, and it’s not a habit you want to form when you can’t finance it. Those are luxuries that some can afford from week to week, when they have the time and finances. However, you can show your interest in other ways while at the same time, determining if this is a relationship that you can handle and want to continue to pursue.

Communication: In courting a woman, you are courting her mind as well. I would tell my friend just like I would tell any man who asks, once you’ve established between the two of you that you want to be in a relationship, beyond that it’s building. You are constantly building and hopefully toward a common goal…and depending on what that is, you establish boundaries. IE: Is this an exclusive relationship? What are your intentions? Where would you like this relationship to go? Otherwise, I think it’s counterproductive to say that you want to be in a relationship where you are building together- if you don’t want a future together. So, the objective in the relationship during the building process should be to get to know one another on a level which would help you understand one another better and determine if the goal you started with, can be fulfilled in staying together.

You could compare this to an employer/employee relationship where benefits are equal upon entering an agreement for employment. Probationary period is followed by a commitment to hire. Once employer demonstrated loyalty to their employee and vice versa, the relationship grows into the next level. Pretty soon, your entry level title turns into tenure. You are making an investment in each other, providing benefits, perks and incentive.

How does this translate in dating? When you invest in a woman with conversation, understanding, commitment and loyalty, in exclusively dating her, she will make you a great return on that investment.

What You do to get her: Yes, what you do to get her you will have to do to keep her is a very valid statement. As this pertains to material things, I mentioned that it is not wise to start something you cannot keep up with. (A drastic change in financial status is the exception) And a woman whom you have made the above investments in will understand. In Application: You want to be careful while you’re trying to impress/make an impression, not to make the wrong impression by doing something you can’t do, if your intent is to pursue something long-term. (Another exception here are those once and twice in a lifetime type ventures… yes, you can knock off extravagant bucket list items together and have an understanding that this is not something you will be doing often) But most importantly, if you attract her by opening doors for her-you need to keep this up.

adventure, Black Woman, boy

While you are getting to know her, you are paying attention to the things she talks about… if you are listening, you will hear her tell you everything. When you show up with a white Carnation over a red rose, she knows that you heard her when in regular conversation she expressed that she’s the type of girl who prefers carnations over roses. That’s impressive – because she now knows that you have a vested interest in learning about her.

Those luxurious trips etc. will come over time… in building. There’s no need to take someone on a $10k vacation when you know it will take your life savings and could be over when you return, because while on the trip with someone you just met 2 months ago, you realized yawl were worlds apart on what you want in life.

Get an understanding of all these things beforehand. That’s what dating, and courting is. It’s doing the things that you will be consistently doing. Its’ showing someone what they are signing up for. Now if you can afford the $10k vacays week to week and keep that up if the relationship transpired beyond the next 6 months then more power to ya. Don’t try to compete with the next man. If someone else can do for her something that you can’t, and it’s something that she requires, and she tends to lean toward, you need to be paying attention. It doesn’t make her a bad person, it just means that she’s not right for you or may not be right for you right now.

Adore her

Hold hands/ Forehead kiss/stare in eyes not face/write her letters

Show her respect/be respectful in private and public places

Be playful with her/ Laugh, joke & match humor

Walk close together/Go out together/ Take her to the Park/ Take her to the Lake

Play ANY sport together

Go to the Gym together

Open EVERY door EVERYTIME

Protect her/ give her your jacket when she’s cold/ keep her safe/ comfort her

Attend the Family get together and outing, together

Have Cookouts at your home together/ cook for her

All, are Things that won’t cost a fortune to maintain in the dating/courting process

The girl who appreciates these things is the type of girl who treasures the connection, the bonding, the quality time, the love and the chemistry more than being able to take your credit card and go to the mall. She would rather you be there with her to relish in the excitement together. Sure, she likes wonderful things and won’t turn down a gift, but she would choose to have you with her if it boiled down to having to choose one over the other.

She wants your love, not your money. She wants your time, not your gifts. She wants your presence not your presents. She wants your company not your absence. She doesn’t need you to validate her, she needs you to validate the relationship – She wants you to initiate and show her that you know how to lead…she wants your commitment.