Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Moving Forward After Deciding Enough is Enough!!

Recently, the weather and the temperatures around the country have been very strange and erratic; so much so, that many of you have probably said, ‘enough is enough!’ However, because you can’t control the weather or the temperature, you have had to ride the waves and adjust your thermostat, adjust the way you dress, as well as adjust your attitude about what was taking place.

Unlike the weather or the temperature, there are many things in your life that you can control when you have had enough. It is always good to know that when you have done all that you can do, and you throw up both your hands, saying, ‘enough is enough,’ you have a choice in the matter. However, too often, many of you don’t recognize when enough is truly enough! You don’t recognize that the situation, the relationship, the habit, the behavior, the job, or other things in your life have gone on negatively for far too long.

Although you have not benefitted from the negative situations and the toxic relationships that you have engaged in, or the negative behaviors that you have been exhibiting, you keep putting up with the mess!  As a matter of fact, you will probably NEVER receive any benefits from the negativity that you have been involved in.

You have continuously put up with stuff that you knew was not good for you or in your best interest. You have suffered from low self-esteem, and you have placed others in front of you. This misplaced focus has too many times been at a cost to you, and too often served as a loss for you. You stepped out of your shoes, into the shoes of others, even when they did not fit!  You suffered through insurmountable odds, when you probably should have given up a long time ago.  You have stuffed your feelings and swallowed your words, just to have friends, family, relationships, positions, and other things that were detrimental to you. However, you have probably hung in there too long. But now, it is time for you to decide that ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH,’ and do something about it!

How do you know when ‘enough is enough?’ There are many signs that will help you to realize that you have gone the gamut, some things need to come to an end, change is needed, it’s time to walk away, and it’s time to close some doors.  There are many telltale signs.  As a matter of fact, you probably knew from the onset that you would do better by not entering into that situation or that relationship in the first place. You also knew that the negative habits, the unfulfilling job, and the insane and inappropriate behaviors that you put forth or put up with from yourself and others, were not healthy for you. However, you continue to hold out hope, believing that she or he will change.  PEOPLE DON’T CHANGE!! However, they can grow; but it is their choice. It is not up to you to assume the role of being their change agent!

Arriving at the point in your life when ‘enough is enough’ does not mean that you are quitting or giving up. It simply means that you have finally awakened from a place of denial or from the “Rip Van Winkle Syndrome.’ It also means that you are no longer playing the role of a fool; you will no longer drink from the bottle with the skull and crossbones; and you will no longer put up with the crap that you have been putting up with; or engage in the cesspool of mess that you have been swimming in1

No, arriving at a place of ‘enough is enough’ does not mean that you have given up or given out; it means that you are ready to start over with new perspectives, new visions, new strength, new goals, a new attitude, and clearer directions about life…your life! You are ready for a fresh new start. You have finally come to see that you clearly matter and your life matters. You have moved from living haphazardly in the shadows of others, to living intentionally and casting your own shadow!

My mother used to say, “enough is enough and too much is good for nothing.” If you are not clear as to whether or not you are at the point of ‘enough is enough’ in your life, here are a few of the situations that you probably are dealing with (or not dealing with), in which you should be at the point of saying, ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.’ It is time to hold yourself and others accountable!  It is time to take back your power and control!

1.     Being abused…physically, emotionally, verbally, psychologically, at home, at work, or in friendships-You were not created to be mistreated nor were you created to be maltreated!

2.     You are constantly being misused and controlled—God created you to be used positively and effectively, not misused. You were created with a purpose in mind; and being misused was not it! Take back your power!

3.     Being someone else’s doormat—You are meant to stand, not to be walked on.

4.     Being depressed most days of your life—You were created to seek the light, find the light, and to be the light...let your light shine!

5.     Feeling down and unworthy most days of your life--you must believe that you are worthy of everything great and good. God doesn’t make junk; you are somebody!

6.     Being a fool all the time (we all play the fool sometime)—You were created to be wise and smart. Wake up; get a grip; and see the reality of what is going on in your life! Your opinion is just as good as anyone else’s…and it does matter!

7.     Cursing and fussing all the time—Your vocabulary is greater than a book of expletives…use it!

8.     Holding onto the past and an unforgiving heart—You will never be able to live happily in your present and move successfully into your future, as long as you hold onto your past!  Your heart is too small to continue to hold old hurt, pain, and people. Oil and water don’t mix; pain and happiness don’t fit!  Let go and let God!  Enough is enough!

9.     Being behind the eight ball more than in front of it--You must believe that you can do better…see it, believe in it, and believe in yourself; reach for it, go for it and come from behind the eight ball!

10. Being a light switch for others—The measure of who you are should be based on your own yardstick and not the yardstick of others. You are the ultimate determiner of your position in life! You are there to be a light for others and not their switch to flick on and off whenever they desire to do so!

11. Being a drama queen/king…all the time—Yes, life is one big stage, but at some point, you must come to recognize that you are not being paid to act. Everyone knows that you exist…it’s time for you to recognize that you exist also! Love yourself, accept yourself; just be yourself!

12. Being broke and accepting it on a daily basis—Broke is a state of mind. Change your thoughts and mindset about your financial position in life and you will begin to change the contents of your pockets and your bank account. Envision your prosperity; behold your prosperity; speak your prosperity into existence!

13. Having affairs with married men/women—You want to be with someone romantically? Get your own man or woman and leave the married man/woman alone…he/she doesn’t belong to you!

14. Working at an unfulfilling job—Take stock of your life and begin to assess your skills and abilities. And f you don’t have any marketable skills, GET SOME!  Go back to school; it is NEVER too late. Stop making excuses and develop an action plan with a purpose in mind. And don’t forget to take action! Stop working to have a job and work to have a career!

15. Perpetrating a fraud—Be yourself! You don’t have to have the biggest most expensive house, the most expensive car, the most expensive purses, or the most expensive shoes or clothing, especially if you can’t afford them! Be thankful for who you are and for what you have! You were made to be unique and different; you don’t have to pretend to be someone you are not. Accept yourself, love yourself, and be yourself!

16. Being spiritually bankrupt—God created you as a living spirit…the very soul and essence of who you are. You are meant to be full of the power within your spirit, to reach into the depths of who you are, and to connect to the creator. Your spirit is your power, full and overflowing. Let your spirit shine!

Now that you know what the problem is, it’s time for you to fix it!  ‘Enough IS Enough!’ Get out your paper and pen; it’s time for you to develop your written plan of action, including goals and time lines for you to move beyond the negative stuff that you have endured for too long!  It’s time for you to live intentionally! Get up and do it!  YOU CAN DO IT! YES YOU CAN!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

When Love is All You Have...Here’s How to Hold On To It

February is often designated as ‘the month of love.’ And because Valentine’s Day is in February, it is many times considered the day for couples to express their love for, to, and with each other. However, because you are love and you are filled with love, love transcends intimacy.  The love you possess extends beyond the love with your significant other. As a matter of fact, it would be a shame if you were restricted to sharing or receiving love on one day, one month, or with one person in your life. You would become bankrupt at love.

The reality is, no matter what your love situation is on Valentine’s Day or any day of the year; and no matter whom you love or are in love with; love should never be a one-way experience.  Love can and should be a reciprocated process, which encompasses compromises, but also includes boundaries. Loving with boundaries will ensure that you and the love you share are appreciated and not taken for granted; that you are a priority and not a convenience for the one you love; and that you don’t have to forsake your values or yourself in order to have true love.

And now these three remain; faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love (I Corinthians 13:13). If God is love, you are love! The very essence of who you are, including your life and your being, is love. As long as you live, you have the capacity to not only exude love, but to become a beacon of and for love, recognizing that “Love is All You Have.  You might have riches in abundance, as well as material assets; however, until you have love, you have absolutely nothing!
No matter what transpires in your life; when all else fails, love transcends everything. Love will stand through adversities, tragedies, disappointments, and losses; it will stand the test of time. In the scheme of things, love is all you need! And if love is all you have and all you need, you most certainly have everything!! 

This love must be authentic; not just words being said for the sake of saying them, but with positive meaning and positive intentions. There has to be true meaning behind the words. When it comes to love, it’s a matter of ‘show and tell’; saying what you mean and meaning what you say. This love is genuine agape love, which is akin to a magnet; the more you share it and show it, the more you will attract even greater love…it grows.  Love should always be an asset and not a liability.

Love is the one thing that you and everyone else want, desire, and look for—unconditionally. Therefore, you can express love for, to, and with others, even if you are not a couple. Your expressions of love can be shown not only during the month of February or on Valentine’s Day, but three hundred and sixty-five days of the year! When it comes to love, the designation of one day, one month, or with one person (in a marriage or committed relationship, your love of intimacy should be with one person), just won’t work! Love is essential and it is universal! It is expressed on a continuum and not at a particular point in time!

Don’t get it twisted; you can still love your mate, your children, your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, and others; they will all be shown love in a different manner. However, no matter whom your relationship is with, the greatest and most powerful of what you will share with each of these people is love. And regardless of what happens with and to your relationships over time, ‘love is all you have, ’ and it is the basis of all you need!

Love does not mean saying you are sorry on a daily basis, in order for you to cover up the constant hurt and pain that you have caused other people close to you. Love doesn’t mean showing disrespect, hurling expletives, having affairs, being selfish, lacking compassion, taking and not giving, misusing instead od using, abusing in any manner; and love is not all about sex!  In reality, you have sex with anybody, but you make love with somebody—special!  As Maya Angelou once stated, “love liberates; it doesn’t bind.” Your love should be one of freedom and freeing, not one fraught with inhibitions and controls. True love allows you to release and let go. And if it is meant for you, it will return at the right and appointed time.

Love resides within you. When you recognize the love within, you can begin to share it outside of yourself and attract the love that you desire and deserve. Could it be that you have not found the love you desire and have been looking for, all because you don’t know how to use the love you have? If ‘love is all you have,’ it is imperative that you learn to use it and not lose it. Let go of your past, the hurt, and the pain. Let go of what did or didn’t happen for you or to you. Get rid of the mess and expect the best. Let go of the losses and prepare yourself for the gains, when you recognize that, “love is all you have.”

The keys to ensuring that you are able to hold on to the love you have are, deciding how you will accept the love that is within you; how you will utilize the love within you; and how you will share the power of your love with others. If you have love and are willing to share it unselfishly, the rest will come! Therefore, you must exhibit love in all and everything that you do; not just with your mate or in intimate relationships, but for and with people in general!

It is time for you to not only discover and understand the riches associated with possessing love, but for you to also secure additional tools to help you to gain and maintain the peace associated with having love on a daily basis. It is also time for you to learn to utilize the power of your love effortlessly and positively! Instead of talking about the love you have, it is time for you to show it…just do it!!

Therefore, you must exhibit love in all that you do; not just for your mate in intimate relationships, but for people in general; including with family and in other plutonic relationships. When you have been scorned, when your friends turn their backs on you, when the bottom seems to fall out of your life, when there seems to be no hope or direction, when life seems to keep dealing you a ‘bad hand,’ and when you don’t seem to see a light at the end of the tunnel, here is when you turn inward to the love that’s within you…remembering, if you have no one or nothing, you still have love. And as a result of having love, you have everything and everyone you need!  Look around you; you have a crowd!! You might have material riches in abundance, as well as physical assets; however, until you recognize the love within you, you have absolutely nothing!  Hold on to your love!!!