The Overcomer’s Hall of Fame Presents: Broderick McBride

I am about the liberation of myself and others from self-imposed prisons.
Broderick McBride

Broderick L. McBride is a thought leader and master communicator. He fully embraces the notion that mental health and spiritually go hand in hand; an idea that is deeply engrafted in his teaching and counseling style.  Quickly rising as an influential voice in various sectors and communities, McBride travels locally and nationally as a lecturer, public theologian, and mission-based activist.

Merging his faith praxis and interest for social justice, he has become well known for his meaningful contributions to conversations that aid in the reforming of cultures. His academic repertoire includes a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the prestigious Morehouse College and a Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University.img_0939

The Osceola, Arkansas native currently works as the Executive Director of Pastoral Care and Counseling Services at All Nations Worship Assembly – Atlanta. He is slated to release a variety of tools and publications centered on his most notable lectures and research. 

Okay, that’s the smart biography. Let me tell you about Broderick McBride. He’s loving, kind, and by far my favorite nephew! Now don’t tell my other nephews I said that, but he is. He’s honest and full of wisdom and integrity.

Broderick is a worldwide preacher, Pastor, and intercessor. All I’m saying is, a sixty-second conversation will fix your life! Iyanla who? If I were a person who believed in reincarnation, I would say that in his former life, Broderick was on the playground with Jesus. Better yet, he may have been one of the disciples…the militant one. Too much? Oh well.

As I spoke to McBride, I saw a mental picture of Mickey Goldmill, Rocky’s trainer. You know who he is right? Good. This is the person of Broderick McBride. He’s strong and wise enough to lead, while at the same time being bold and confident enough to get behind someone and cheer them forward. He’s a trainer both spiritually and naturally. He won’t quit, and he won’t allow you to quit. He encourages us to fight. He encourages us to hope and to believe God for the better. He encourages us to be better.

I have to admit, I am a bit biased about this one. He has definitely played the role of a trainer in my life during my struggles with anxiety, depression, and cutting. But I digress, this ain’t about me. Broderick has been one of the people who have literally and figuratively snatched me back to saneness. 

Let’s get to the interview.

img_0932Me: Tell me about Broderick.

Broderick: I am resilient, self-aware, and an empath, which means I am emotionally aware of others. Being empathic actually helps with my career and calling.

I am a militant and rebel. I am about the liberation of myself and others from self-imposed prisons. I am militant about my own transformation.

I understand that who Broderick is today will be a totally different Broderick for the better this time next month, next year and so on. I say that because I understand I don’t know everything and as the world continues to turn, not only will I mature in age, I will mature in preference, desires, and what I need. 

I believe that what I need now, as a thirty-one-year-old will be completely obsolete when I’m thirty-three. And will change as I grow older. Yes, I am committed to my own personal growth and change.  It’s painful as hell sometimes. Life has taught me that pain is worth it. (Yes, you may quote me.)

Me: What does being an overcomer mean to you, and what have you overcome?

Broderick: An overcomer is someone who has endured; they have established a level gain or accomplishment. To prevail against direct opposition. Direct opposition against their destiny, against who they are internally; direct opposition against their own personal growth and healing. 

An overcomer is one who has championed the cause against adversity.

img_0931It doesn’t mean that you won’t have bumps and bruises. It means that you push through the pain. You push through the strength of the opposition and you push even when telling yourself stop, it’s not worth it. And say, “no, this is what I want. This is the end goal.”

An overcomer one who is tenacious and has the audacity to say, “I am not giving up until I get what I want.” “I am not giving up what has been promised over my life.” 

I’ve overcome many things. Some to which I’m not aware of. I have overcome death, survivor’s remorse suicidal thoughts. I have overcome, and am overcoming low self-esteem and low self-value and view. 

I am aware this goes against me being a militant and my fight for freedom from self-imposed prisons but it’s true. There are moments I live in a dichotomy within myself. As much as I fight for my liberation and receiving the liberation that has been given to me by the spirit of Christ, there are still areas within me that are still committed, to an extent, to stay bound. (Wait, because sometimes being bound can feel safe compared to the alternative. Crazy, right?) I have to consistently come back to the mirror, have an interview with me, and remind myself that I will not stay in this space. There’s too much at stake. 

img_0933When I say I’ve overcome death, I mean I’ve always had to fight. From birth up to now. Had my mom knew she was pregnant, there’s a possibility I could have been aborted because she didn’t want another child. When she finally found out she was pregnant with me, she was too far along to do anything about it. They wouldn’t accept her for an abortion. She was pregnant and still having a cycle. In this, I know God kept me covered in the womb.

As a newborn, I had to have major surgery to which they told my mom there was a slim chance of my survival. I went from surgery as an infant, to being abused by a family friend before I became a toddler. An act that ultimately led to the death of my brother, leaving me to be raised as an only child. I wrestled with, “God, why did you take my brother and not me?”

Survivor’s remorse also from coming out of the delta in Arkansas where the average family lives below the poverty line, and move to Atlanta with nothing to my name. All I had was my faith. Not the faith of my parents, my faith. I knew there was something in this city I wanted. It’s something I’m called to and I’m pursuing it by any means necessary. 

Sticking my feet down in the ground and not letting up even in the way that I pray. Many admire what I do in intercession. They say, “Mac, you pray so hard. You’re six-foot, but whenever you engage in intercession it’s as if you’re nine feet tall or invincible.” 

The way I approach intercession is the way I approach anything I desire in life. No doesn’t stop me; it can be overturned. In my history with God, what I’ve seen God do with me, in me, and for me, gives me the energy to still stand in the midst of adversity and refuse to accept anything that doesn’t represent God’s truth for me.

I body slam adversity. I mean, I put it in a full nelson until it surrenders to me. 

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Having never met Broderick, this baby decided she could not rest until he was holding her. Such a precious moment.

Me: That tenacity and resilience, is it something that’s grown over time or something you had to work at?

Broderick: Fight is embedded in my DNA. I come from a family of fighters. My dad is a fighter, fighter naturally. And as far as know, he’s never lost a battle, praise God. My mom is a fighter as well, but she is a fighter with her words and actions. When I look at the history of my family, my ancestors were fighters. 

I come from entrepreneurs. My great grandfather, an entrepreneur, was one of the first black men in the state of Arkansas to owned a T Model Ford truck when they were first invented. He was a blacksmith.

To be a black man in the rural south with your own business, in lieu of Klan territory was something powerful. This same grandfather killed a klansman with his bare hands because he refused to pay him.

When I look at my history, fighting is in my blood. It’s all I know to do. Over time, however, I had to learn what to fight for. Just because you are a fighter doesn’t mean you are a healthy fighter. You can be a toxic fighter, like a man beating up on women or fighting to keep people oppressed – that’s not me, fam. Not at all. 

I have a strong heart for the underdog on any level. I hate to see people misused, abused and bullied. I hate to see that. My parents had to “straighten me up” as a kid, in order to redirect it. If they had not, the fighter in me would have become very destructive. Had my mom not introduced me to Christ at an early age, the fighter in me would have been a destroyer. 

It’s interesting that when hell realizes it can’t destroy you personally, it will attempt to use what’s in you to destroy you. It will attempt to gain access to what’s in you to cause you to self-destruct or self-implode and utterly destroy yourself. (Read that again. Selah.)

img_0941
Broderick & Sharde having fun. They are co-hosts of the famous podcast, The Let Outt.

My mom saw the fighter in me at a very early age and redirected it. I was introduced to Christ, the power of community, and being surrounded by my elders shifted the fighter in me to where I wasn’t as physical per se, but I would fight with my words. I’ll fight you by my actions, I’ll fight you behind the scenes, especially if it’s something worth fighting for. 

Me: There’s an ongoing discussion about introverts vs extroverts. How do you manage introversion as a Pastor? How do you manage self-care knowing that you are called to people, but you need time to recuperate and refresh?

Broderick: I’m going to tell you a story, and I hope the story explains how I do it.  (Hold on children, this is about to get good.)

So, in the Bible, there was a brother who was paralyzed. I believe the text says he was paralyzed from birth. He has four friends who hear about Jesus in this small village. The scripture says, the Spirit of the Lord was present to heal. I had never read that in any text whenever Jesus worked miracles (Luke 5:17). For this particular miracle, the scripture points out “the spirit of the Lord was there to heal.”

Jesus was inside of this house teaching and it was impossible for them to get their friend inside to Jesus. They take it upon themselves to climb on top of the edifice and they tear the roof off. They lower their friend down in front of Jesus and Jesus heals their friend because of their faith

What blesses me the most about this story. (Wait! There’s more?! Ssshhh, pay attention! Okay.) The text doesn’t imply they had any tools. It doesn’t imply they had a ladder it doesn’t imply they had rope it doesn’t even imply they had architectural skills on how to detach a roof and ensure the building doesn’t collapse or fall in on the people. What it does imply is they had enough faith to inconvenience themselves in order to get their friend to Jesus. 

In my role, I am committed to inconveniencing myself to get the people to Jesus. So what I am an introvert?

So what I am an introvert? (Wait, what? 😯) I know that my smile can be the instrument that leads someone to Jesus. I know that my hug can be the instrument that leads someone to Jesus. I know that me stepping outside of my comfort zone of being quiet and being able to walk up to a person and spark a conversation can be the instrument that leads someone to Jesus.

img_0930
Show ’em how it’s done, neph!

I’ve pushed myself in whatever environment I’m in because along with me having a heart for the underdog, I know what it feels like to be overlooked and mismanaged in the presence of other people. I never want it to be said that I mismanaged or devalued another human. Whenever I am in the presence of another person, I don’t care who they are, I want them to feel as if we are family, that we have known each other for a long time. I want them to feel that their differences don’t matter that I see them as human, worthy of respect. That’s it.

However, when you show me something different? Well… that’s another talk show. That’s when the introverted side of me kicks in, but I am always willing to inconvenience myself for somebody to know Jesus.

The way I manage the introverted side of me is by committing a lot of time to silence. I almost live in silence. If you were to come to my home, I don’t have a television on. I may be on my phone but I don’t watch tv. I read physical books. I have a kindle, but I don’t use it. (OMG!) Its something about picking up a book off the shelf and flipping through its pages, touching its pages, writing in the margins. (Has he been here before? My word!) 

If I had a choice between music and TV, I pick music. It’s how I re-up myself. I drive in silence. I aggressively protect my off days. I will usually stay in, and it feels good to sit in silence and not do anything. Sometimes people misinterpret my silence as being standoffish or stuck up, but I’ve resolved that the way people interpret my silence is a personal problem that has nothing to do with me. That’s a battle they have to fight, not me. It took some time for me to come to that resolve. It took me about twenty-five of my thirty-one years of life to resolve that I don’t have to explain my silence. My silence is mine. This is a piece of my soul that I choose to be selfish with and I have the righteous choice to be selfish with that part of me because my silence is how I commune with the divine. It’s how I replenish the water to me. I take the responsibility of being revealed by other people off of them. 

Me: Should we be expecting a book from you soon?

Broderick: I am committed to getting something out soon. (Keep your eyes and ears open, fam. Really)

Broderick is also the co-host of the popular podcast, The Let Outt, which has recently finished its second season. Run over to Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts to check out this show. It’s hilarious, serious, and educational along with a dose of “get your life together, fam.” They have hot topics, a segment called mirror, mirror,  unpopular opinion, and tips for being a better intercessor. You can thank me later.

You may find Broderick:

Website: www.broderickmcbride.com
Fb: Broderick McBride
IG: broderick.mcbride 

 

Overcomer’s Hall of Fame: Happy Thanksgiving 2019!

088a6e99-a83c-42b9-9955-fe315a41b5c9You know me, Nicole Sharon. My friend Margo asked me who was going to interview me for The Overcomer’s Hall of Fame. It would be weird to interview myself so I’ll answer the questions.

The Overcomer’s Hall of Fame is an idea that I’ve been pondering in my mind for a few years. I was reading Hebrews 11, which is known as the Hall of Faith and I wondered, “What if I did this in a modern way?” In October 2019, during a time when I felt my faith level diving especially low, I decided to jump out “in faith” and invite some people on this journey.

I have more “Hall of Famers” coming soon. Stay tuned.

On Being an Overcomer:

5daafda6-8fc8-44f9-9824-818a40970ed7I look at everything in the face that tried to kill me and laugh – including the girl in the mirror. It’s not my first response, but it’s my final response. I made it through! Depression. Anxiety. Self-injury. Suicide. Ha!

Oh, I cried. A lot. I felt shame. I felt condemned. I felt angry. I felt defeated. Once I got through feeling all that, I recognized God’s strength is available to me. I realized I don’t have to lean on my strength at all. I also realized He puts community around me who really love me. It’s been hard for me to fully receive it, but I’m learning.

What have I overcome?

wordswag_1541009195712I’ve been writing this blog since April 2018, and I want to tell you something. This overcoming is one day at a time. Sometimes one hour, one minute, one second…

There’s always something. There’s always an irrational thought to destroy. There’s always a hurdle to, well, overcome. There’s always me. As long as there’s a me, there will be something I need to overcome.

I’m saying this because many times we attribute our issues to external circumstances when I’d venture to say about 97.5% of the problem is ourselves.

Not one person has the ability to stop my greatness but me.

Isn’t that life? Ups and downs? If you’ve ever been to the hospital or seen someone’s heart being monitored on the machine, the up and down marks represent life.

At the bottom of it all, I’ve learned that overcoming is giving myself the same grace I extend to others – forgiving me. That means giving myself permission to heal – no matter what the process looks like. Some days painful, frustrating, or sad. Some days are joyful and calm. Understanding the process. Knowing it’s okay.IMG_20180728_110329_435

I thought I knew how to receive love. This year has taught me to allow people in past the surface level. I didn’t realize how much I’ve learned to hide and isolate. I am learning, really learning, the value of community. Allowing myself to be loved, confronted, encouraged, and prayed for. I found myself asking why? Why are they being so kind to me? Why do they care?

I forgot my own advice: God will not put you on this earth and not give anyone the heart to love you. Somebody on this earth loves you. It’s up to you to allow them.

Overcoming is the process. Healthy decisions. Failures. Wins. Good days. Bad days. Learning from failures. Learning to love who I am. It’s all overcoming.

The suffix “ing” means action or process.
It looks like this:
I overcame.
I am overcoming.
I will overcome.

My Affirmation:

A fall doesn’t equate to failure. It also doesn’t mean I have to start over.

Having said that, my affirmation is that my journey is mine. I am learning to forgive myself quickly and continue my journey. This season is not a life sentence, it’s a part of my journey.

My journey is important. I am learning patience with myself in the journey.

I am learning that I am not a bother to others. I am learning that community is still important. I am learning it’s okay to fall sometimes as long as I resolve to continue on my journey. It’s like running into a McDonald’s in every city on a road trip. It doesn’t mean I went backward; I just ran into the same issue.

This year, I expected to have a great year with no setbacks. I found myself in a very low space and, for the first time in a long time, I considered the alternative. However, God is kind. He reminded me that I have a reason to live and this season will pass.img_0165

Every time I go through this, I learn something different about myself. I also learn more about the grace of God. He’s so longsuffering. I also learn something about the people He places in my life. I can’t imagine what they feel, and I am slowly learning to trust that I am loved and I am worth the investment of their time and prayers.

A bump in the road doesn’t mean stop, it just means slow down. Think, regroup, pray. But you may still proceed.

About 2019:

In 2019, I completed two manuscripts, Texts from an Angel and a devotional, A 7-Day Journey for the Overcomer.

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I took my first professional photo shoot in about thirty years.

I’ve officially launched a business! Business license and everything! Nicole Sharon, LLC: I am a professional writing coach. I offer these services: proofreading, transcription, and administrative support.

Where to find me?

My links are on this site. Feel free to follow.

On IG and Twitter:
@thenicolesharon
Facebook:
The Life of an Overcomer (blog page)
Nicole Sharon, LLC (business page)
Nicole Sharon (personal page)

Here’s a clip from the movie “War Room.” It sums up my year:

This is a tough time of the year for many. I understand. I can’t wait for January. You don’t have to lean on your own strength or try to fight on your own. God is here to help you. Allow your friends to be your strength. My Pastor said to me: “You have family. You no longer have to fight on your own. When you don’t have the strength, allow them to fight for you.”

I’m telling you the same thing. You are loved. You are worth the investment. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but you are. Feel free to reach out to me. Let me know how you’re doing. Have a great holiday season!

The Overcomer’s Hall of Fame: Tenishia B. Lester

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Ms. Tenishia Lester!

img_0746Tenishia B. Lester is a Certified Destiny Life Coach/Mentor for individuals who need assistance in finding their purpose in life. Her goal is to become licensed in Marriage and Family Counseling. She is a retired United States Postal Worker, where she served for twenty-three years. She was born and raised in New Jersey but currently resides in Georgia. Tenishia is her mother’s only child and the oldest of her father’s children. She is the proud mother of one son (another preceded her in death) and a grandson.

I felt a connection with Tenishia because our stories are similar. Speaking with Tenishia was a breath of fresh air. Starting off a little shaky which lasted four seconds, Tenishia took a deep breath and dived in like a champion!

Let’s get into the conversation:

Me: Tell me about Tenishia.

Tenishia: I don’t like being lied to or underestimated. I have a big heart. I will give to others, sometimes to my detriment without thinking of the consequences up front. I will help anyone. I’ve always been an introvert, but I’m learning to come out of my shell which began to happen when I joined a tribe at my church. (shout out to ANWA-ATL!)

I am good at leadership. I am trustworthy, compassionate, diligent and detail-oriented. I am serious, but I am also silly. I am tenacious!

img_0749Me: When you hear overcomer, what does that mean to you?

Tenishia: Survivor. No matter what I’ve gone through, I am not what happened to me. No longer seeing my history as shameful, but the ability to see purpose to help someone else. I see strength. Overcoming, for me, means purpose.

Me: Tell me about something you’ve overcome.

Tenishia: Unforgiveness and fear. Although I still have moments of fear, I am not as fearful as I used to be.

Me: How did you work through unforgiveness?

Tenishia: I had to understand that forgiveness is not for the person who committed the acts towards me. I thought it mean you gave them permission to do something else. I would forgive to a degree, but not forget. And that is not what the bible says. I also had to realize that holding on to grudges, and unforgiveness was doing more damage to me than any of the acts they committed against me.

There’s a local ministry in Atlanta that offers courses img_0751focused on healing. Going to these classes gave me a deeper understanding of forgiveness and a deeper understanding of my hurt. Along with that, I learned compassion and to extend the grace I’ve received – the same grace God gives me when I do something wrong.

I also wrote letters to the people I had offense with. I made phone calls, had the hard discussions, offered forgiveness and repented for my part in the situation. This is important, because we mostly remember what was done to us, not taking responsibility for our role in the situation whether great or small.

Me: I can see how walking through this process destroyed a level of fear.

Tenishia: Yes, fear and anxiety rise up because you’re apologizing for something you may or may not have done. I had to apologize or offer forgiveness even when it’s not reciprocated. You’re facing an apology you may never get. You’re calling to say, “I’m sorry for the role I played in this situation.” The chances of the other person apologizing is a 50/50. So, you have to go in not expecting to get an apology and be okay with it.

However, it’s a bonus when you get it!

Me: You recently release a book. Tell me about it.img_0747

Tenishia: My book is called Arrested Development: A Journey to Purpose and Identity. It chronicles my life of having been abused. How I discovered my purpose and identity through the abuse and as God sees me, not as I identified myself.

For anyone who reads this book I want them to know:

  • Just because things happen to you, it doesn’t define your identity.
  • It is possible to go through such egregious things hurts, pains, abuses, and still come out on the upside, knowing who you are or finding who you are. Your identity can be solidified in Christ and you can operate from a healthy place versus a broken place, which is what many of us do for the majority of our lives.

I want to be to others what I didn’t have. I wish when I was growing up there was something like this I could have picked up and referenced. Something that would have let me know it was possible to come out healthier on the other side.

This time next year I see myself coaching, flourishing, more speaking engagements, more products, more healing – as I help others, I receive a deeper level of healing.

img_0752I am a Certified Life Coach & Mentor and speaker. I specialize in walking with those who have endured childhood trauma realize that what happened to them does not define them; Nor does it have to continue to prevent them from moving forward boldly in life. I am the Author of Arrested Development: A Journey to Purpose and Identity. Beyond the Book Media Author of the Year.

Tenishia is launching a Mentoring Program soon.
For more information, you may find Tenishia on:
FB: @Tenishiablesterceo
IG: @tenishiablesterceo
Website: http://www.tenishiablester.com

The Overcomer’s Hall of Fame: K’la Fleming

Greeting Overcomers!

I am embarking on a new project called The Overcomer’s Hall of Fame. The purpose is to highlight people who are pursuing their purpose in the face of tragedy, trauma, and the obstacles that come with life.

Meet K’la Fleming, the Author. K’la recently released her first book titled, WOW: Woman of Worth.

I had an awesome time speaking with K’la. Here is the highlight of our conversation:

Nicole: Tell me about yourself?

K’la: I took a step of faith and moved to Atlanta two years ago from Norfolk, VA. I didn’t initially want to move here but I had a dream that let me know moving was in my best interest. Although it has been a journey, I have embraced my new life as well as experienced tremendous growth. These past few years has taken me on a path to self-acceptance.

I light up a room with my loud personality. I am loving and I love people. I am also spontaneous.

Nicole: What does being an overcomer mean to you?

K’la: In the face of obstacles, it’s the ability to step over, go around or use them as a stepping stone. Keeping the boxing gloves on and polished. Being equipped with the armor of God. Letting go of something that would hinder your progress.

Nicole: The boxing glove is a great analogy for an overcomer. What have you overcome?

K’la: Saying yes to everything, being a people pleaser, low self-esteem and fear. Feeling uncomfortable because I was often accused for being extra. Not knowing at the time people will accuse you of being extra when they’re not comfortable with themselves.

Nicole: How did you overcome these obstacles?

K’la: I had to learn to stop dumbing myself down.

When I’m in a room with other creatives, I have to resist the notion to hide and decide to speak up. I realize I have something of value to add.

I had fear of moving here because I didn’t want to lose friends, having to navigate what’s next and tackling a big city.

Also, my safe space is my room. Learning to have the same confidence in a public setting that I have at home. Being able to notice things I love to do and display confidence without minimizing herself.

When I feel like shrinking back, I remind myself what God says about me by listening to recordings or reading something I’ve written. I choose to face and embrace those feelings and push past it anyway.

I remind myself to embrace who I am. I embrace my laugh which is unique and contagious. I celebrate my personality because it is big. People connect to me because my personality and laugh is contagious. It’s scary at times, but being confident that it’s how it’s supposed to be.

I have to get over assumptions, what I’d think people think about me. As a result of my assuming, I would shut down or remove myself from situations in order to avoid uncomfortable interactions that may happen.

Nicole: Tell me about WOW? What is the message you want your readers to know?

K’la: WOW is inspired by a conversation I had with a friend in April 2018. After the conversation, I began writing from the words that were coming in my head.

The purpose of WOW is to highlight God as father. It’s about transformation from a woman of insecurity to a woman of worth. In my mind I saw a vision of God as father and Him being available and letting me know I am worthy of His time and everything he has to give.

You may find K’la at:

IG: _worthsaving_

FB: K’La Marie and @WondrouslyWorthy

WOW: Woman of Worth can be found at:

From your head to your heart

I’m thinking about what I know versus what I “know.” It’s said there is only eighteen inches between my head and my heart. Eighteen inches? That’s less than two feet! This is baffling to me.

db487841-3ce0-4a3b-81a8-67f12e2856bc-3909-00000384239f5c10-1This is how this looks to me: Knowledge in my head refers to things I’ve learned. I read it, I took a class, I heard about it. Maybe its information I have committed to memory. I may not have personal proof, but I believe what I’ve been told. However, when I receive new information, the information I have is challenged causing me to be unsure of what I knew before.

Knowledge in my heart is information I know based on evidence or rather history. For example, you can’t make me believe that my red shoes aren’t going to be comfortable. Every time I wear them, they are comfortable. I can take long walks without my feet hurting. Or, you would have a hard time convincing me that “Ann” is an evil woman. It would easier to believe that maybe Ann had a bad day or possibly an evil twin. I’ve known Ann for thirty years and she’s honest, sincere, kind, patient and loyal. Based on my history with Ann, I know it would take an extreme circumstance to rile her up.

This leads me to my case.

I know I’m great – in my head.

I know I’m smart – in my head.

I know I’m capable of reaching my goals – in my head.

I know I can succeed in business – in my head.

I know what the Bible says about me. I am God’s treasure. I am beloved. I know these things – in my head.

7697b5e3-83d3-43df-947d-b8073518431c-3909-00000384d3582293Then why don’t I live like I know? Why don’t I hold my head up like I know? Why is fear, self-sabotage, and retreat my default response? Time after time, I have this conversation with myself. I have this conversation with others. I journal about it. I write a goal list. I tell myself I can do it. I’m ready to go. Until it’s time to actually go or what we say now: level up.

Also, why do I have more confidence in Ann than I have in myself? Wasn’t I smart to pick a friend like her? Doesn’t that show good judgement on my part? Why can’t I give myself credit for my accomplishments?

Now, it’s a week later, and I haven’t started on the goal I set and I am fussing at myself. The self-condemnation and verbal abuse. The problem with this conversation is it’s counterproductive. Berating myself doesn’t motivate me to do anything different. Even when my peers encourage me, I can’t receive it because the negative things I say to myself is speaking louder in my head than the encouragement and vote of confidence they are offering.

You may say: Wait! Aren’t you the same girl who tells us about declarations and affirmations? Doesn’t that make you a hypocrite?

Well, yeah. Yes, it does make me a hypocrite. I’m a hypocrite in process of change. I recently learned my declarations must be statements that I believe. If it’s something I want to believe then I should repeat it as such. So, I will admit, this revelation has changed the way I do declarations. For example, instead of making the declaration “I am confident.” The new declaration or affirmation is, “I am learning to have confidence in myself. I am learning to acquire wisdom from my losses. I am also learning to celebrate my wins.”

The latter statement is different because it makes me personally responsible for steps to build my confidence level.

As I implement this new knowledge, my goal is to be more consistent in what I know I’m supposed to do; things I enjoy doing.

There’s much unrest this time of the year. Lots of conversation and bemoaning regarding what has or has not been accomplished for the calendar year. For me, it produces anxiety because, without a solid plan, the “discussion” is counterproductive. And didn’t we moan about this last year? Cycles…

So, I take time out to evaluate. And I deal with the why. Why didn’t I do what I set out to do? What about my thinking and sabotaged me into not pursuing my dreams?

What’s the point, you say? I’m reminding us that any successes we have achieved in life means we have the tools to be successful again. If we had the tools to win before, we can win again. Let that sink into your heart. Let’s learn to cheer for ourselves with the same energy we cheer for others.

I have a 7-Day Journey available on this page. Just click the link and download. Please follow and share. Let me know what you think. I think I’ll go back and read it again.

My Gift to You

img_0243Hello Overcomer!

Whew! What a week, huh? Yeah, I hear you.

Well, as promised, I have a free gift for you. It’s A 7-Day Journey for the Overcomer. Go ahead and download it!

While you’re here, sign up for my blog. If you are new to this site, WELCOME! Look around and let’s get acquainted!  Feel free to share with your friends as well.

Go ahead and click the link above and enjoy!

Cycles

I’ve been on a consistent roller-coaster for years. Maybe I should call it a merry-go-round. I’ve not been able to fully embrace healing and freedom because of one thing. Cycles.

Here’s how it looks. I work my plan and I get settled, becoming comfortable. I’m doing great.Six months. One year. Maybe even two years. No anxiety or panic attacks. No cutting. No extended periods of depression anger or picking at my skin. Until…

The problem with until is I don’t realize I’m tumbling slowly down a steep hill until someone says something or I find myself frantically searching for something to cut with. After much frustration, I am forced to reflect over the previous weeks, recognizing the cycle I easily fell into. Isolation, silence, anger, feelings of inadequacy. It looks different, same cycle. Anger because I “should” have recognized what was happening.img_0237

How do I fully embrace healing and progress knowing there might – no, will be another bad day. Another bad week and possibly another bad month. For me, it is disheartening to know that another season will come around. But don’t we all have struggles? Don’t we all have things that we deal with? Of course. 

In DBT (Dialectical behavioral therapy), there’s a practice called radical acceptance. Radical acceptance says, “I accept things I have no power to change.” For me, it means while I prepare for better things, will not stress over where they are now. I am giving myself permission to grow. It’s my response to knowing that depression and anxiety are diagnosis just like high blood pressure or arthritis.32db9a89-6f0f-49ea-b640-cbbd19186185-27583-00001bcc12b45615

What’s the difference this time?

Grace. I’m learning to extend grace to me. What does that look like? Not being ashamed or condemned for how I am feeling. Owning my feelings and working through them. Accountability by letting my community know where I am. Accepting the help I need. Recognizing the progress I’ve made. Reviewing my plan of action and making necessary adjustments.

Grace. Taking a time out when I need it while being intentional not to isolate. I’m still learning not to respond to these seasons with anger and frustration.

Cycles. Unhealthy cycles are made to be broken. I refuse to be stuck in a cycle. Another way to extend grace to myself and break this cycle is by being aware. I must explore what is happening internally, deal with my triggers and learn a different response. Learning my triggers and how to work through my feelings takes the potency out of the trigger.

a9b8ab20-9664-4fa8-b37a-e48a9b90d1c9-27583-00001bcc4a5c4e7dUnderstanding your triggers is like having an emergency fund. A financial emergency doesn’t have the same stress attached to it when you already have the money set aside for the “emergency.” This is the same with triggers. When you understand them, you are already prepared to deal with them when they happen.

My therapist says the healing process is like an onion. There are layers, which means I must give myself grace as I dealt with each one. 

 

Declarations:

  • I am not stuck in a cycle
  • I am an overcomer
  • I accept me for who I am
  • I am valuable
  • I am learning to process my emotions in a healthy way
  • I am learning my triggers – I have power over them
  • God has equipped me with the strength and ability to handle my emotions
  • I take ownership and responsibility for my healing

Here is a portion of the lyrics from the song that helps me:

“This will end like I want it to, I win
The enemy will have to lose again
See, I’m a different fighter now
And I have God to thank
‘Cause His joy is my strength
See the devil will learn it’s a mistake
When I am sure
That I’m not going in cycles
I’m not going in cycles
I’m gonna break these cycles
I’m not going in cycles”

Time Out

This weekend I did something out of the ordinary. I took a time out. In efforts to protect my peace and make sure I am keeping my cup full, I decided to spend the day at a monastery. The Monastery of the Holy Spirit, is located in Conyers, GA with beautiful trees and landscaping. I was drawn to it for one thing – silence. I needed it. I didn’t have a plan for the day. I took three journals along with an open heart. img_0119-1

My first stop was the sanctuary. The architecture was simple and beautiful. Going on a Sunday was not a good idea since the visitor center, museum, shop and garden were closed to the public. On the other hand, it was an excellent idea few people were there. After walking around for a while, I found a “nook” in a corner, in the shade which had the perfect breeze. I unpacked my journals and sat. I breathed in the silence and waited. I waited to cool off first, then I waited to, once again, still my mind.

Wait! Let me backup to the sanctuary. I wasn’t seated five minutes before my eyes started this random leaking thing. I felt peaceful. I knelt on the floor. I felt like I was where I needed to be in the moment to get direction and clarity. I’ll be honest. I have a great deal of things I want to accomplish in life; many people I want to help – but I want it to manifest NOW. I have many questions and prayers prayed. I was restless for answers. img_0134

The theme of the day quickly came as I sat in the sanctuary:

“Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.” James 1:3-4

I had to submit to that. I had to realize that in order to get where I’m going, the process is unavoidable. I’ve said many times, the lesson is in the journey. I have to heed my own advice. 

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God has equipped me with great strength. There are battle scars, but I am still standing in the strength of God.

This, my dear friends, is the life of an overcomer. We learn our lessons. We give ourselves space and grace to grow. We practice self-care. We reflect and make adjustments. Don’t trust your feelings or your thoughts. You may not “feel” like an overcomer. You may even have the evidence to back up that feeling. Truth remains – You. Are. An. Overcomer.

We work our process. We may kick, scream or cry, but we work, we wait, we grow. 

The process may be slow. It seems like we are waiting an extreme amount of time, but the lessons are worth it. The journey will be worth it.

Think about how many years it takes a tree to grow to maturity. You and me? We’ll get there.

 

What’s In Your Cup?

I’ve been reflecting about cups. Psalms 23 speaks of our cup running over. I gained a new perspective regarding this scripture when I heard someone say, “what’s in the cup is for you; the overflow is for others.” Or you may have heard the proverb, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”

I believe this is what happens in our lives. We are givers. We feel bad when we can’t give. We place expectations on ourselves which leave us void of physical and emotional energy. The premise of the cup is this: you can only give what you have in supply. If you give it all away, what do you have left?

When you’re on a plane ready for take-off, the flight attendant gives you the “safety speech. This is what the attendant says: “In the case you need a mask, put yours on first then help your neighbor.”

What’s in your cup?a55dbf15-e539-4814-bb1f-fcdb631e8641-11758-00000cc346d035cd

You need peace? Joy? Hope? Endurance? Love? Faith? I submit to you that it will be easier to give these things to others when your cup is filled with them. The scriptures say, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Do you see the prerequisite here? You pour from your personal reservoir. I’m going to tell you this: It is your job to make sure your cup is full. 

Yes, I said it. It is your job to make sure your cup is full. I don’t want you to hear me say you should do it by yourself or you can’t give. No, the point is to take care of you with the same fervor you use to take care of other. Use every available, viable resource to keep your cup full. For example, my cup is filled by going to the park talking to the ducks (weird right?). I also enjoy reading, listening to music, talking to a friend and writing. The best thing for me is silence. I sit with a journal, or not, and enjoy stillness. How refreshing!

What can you do to keep your cup full? I want to challenge you to do those things. You can also call this a self-care routine. I promise, everyone and everything will be fine without you for the time you need to regroup and recharge. Have a family? A demanding job? Steal ten minutes here and there. When it comes to your job? If you get sick or hurt yourself and must be off, they will figure it out.

I enjoy encouraging people. When I say enjoy, I mean I become totally giddy when I have an empowering thought and I share it with others. Every week I send out thirty or more texts. Sometimes, they are saying, “Hey! I pray you’re having a grand week. I love you!” The texts are often accompanied by an emoji. When I couldn’t get a positive thought to come to mind, I knew my cup was running low. It’s my job to get my cup full and overflowing again. I have a remedy for that, this weekend, I am going out to a beautiful place, sit by some water, in silence, and reflect.

How do you know your cup is running low? I’m glad you asked! For me it’s agitation, frustration, withdrawing. This week, the weight of suicide prevention month, along with 911 knocked me off balance. I was scrolling Instagram, and found out a pastor had committed suicide. Though I get emotional like the normal person, I couldn’t shake the heaviness. The emotional pain I felt was almost too much. At first, I got angry because I was being so emotional. After a few moments, I realized I had every right to be emotional and sad! There are people dying from suicide. Many people died on 911.

Giving myself permission to mourn is a form of self-care. Stuffing our feelings and pretending we’re okay when we are not is counterproductive.

Please be kind to yourself.
Take care of your cup.
Keep it full.
Allow it to overflow.
When you feel your supply running low, take the necessary time to refuel.

Blessings!