I Welcome Advice from People without Kids!

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I had a kid later in life, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t around kids. I have nieces and nephews, god kids, and tons of little cousins. There’s literally a kid born in our family every couple of months. For some reason, even when I’m out in public, kids seem to be drawn to me and tell me just about everything. One thing I learned, being surrounded by kids, is if they trust you, they will open up to you. They will tell you about their fears, dreams, and bodily functions. Most of the time, all they want is someone to listen, give them some time, and pay just a little attention to them.

I am an observer by nature. I’m that person who sits back and watches what’s not being said. I watch for clues or gestures. When someone is talking to me, I listen to what they are not saying. I listen to their body language. This has helped me be a great aunt, cousin, and godmother. My young family members felt comfortable coming to me, even though I had no kids of my own. They said I made them feel safe and not judged. That meant so much to me. Even their parents would come to me with concerns about their kids. Not because I was this wonderful parent, but because I was a great listener and observer. I was the person who see the things they didn’t see. I was the person with whom their kids shared their thoughts and they respected me for it. And, I was a kid, so I was a kid of understand how kids think.

As a parent, I don’t know everything about my child, and I never will. I will never say what my child will or won’t do, when they are not with me, because I know kids act differently when they are not with their parents. I know my child will not tell me everything and I will never completely know what is going on with them. This is why I welcome advice from non-parents who spend time with my kids. People who observe things I may miss, because I spend so much time with them, I may overlook small things.  Those small things, may turn out to be big things. I welcome the advice because they may say something that will help me be a better parent. Maybe they have some insight as to why my child may be acting or feeling a certain way. Maybe they struggled with the same thing as a child and have guidance that could help make my life easier.

It takes a village to raise a child and in that village there are childless people. Being childless does not make your opinion invalid. Being childless does not mean you can’t identify problems or issues that arise in children or families. Most childless people I know have parented a child in some way. I will never mark someone’s opinion as invalid because they have not had kids. With any information I am given, I take what I need and leave the rest. As a parent, it is my responsibility to do what is best for my child, and sometimes what is best is to listen to someone who may not be a parent.

 

 

 

 

Healing the Village and Community

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Our village is hurting. It’s crying out for help. We are experiencing grief, depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. This leads to isolation and lack of communication. The village used to be a place where people could come to get information, education, rights of passages, and love. Now, it offers no words of encouragement, wisdom, or support.

There was a time when we all came together to do what is best for the community, for its people. To help look after each other, to feed the hungry, and support the dreams of the youth. There was a time when kids could approach the elders and get words of wisdom, but now they offer words of dread. There was a time when the hungry could go to corner store or the neighborhood grandmother and be offered food and comforting words, now he is turned away with words filled with hurt and hate. We used to look out for each other, now we turn a blind eye to the destruction of the community. We stopped communicating and now we’re deaf to the screams for help.

For so long, we’ve convinced ourselves we’re immune to the diseases and illnesses of the outside world. We’ve falsely believed depression, anxiety, and mental illness didn’t live in our homes. People laughed at the child, who showed signs of mental illness, for acting a little different. Instead of offering help, we offered ridicule. We protected the uncle, who molested the family members- telling everyone he was just being friendly. We allowed him, and others like him, to shatter the innocence and joy of youth. Instead of giving them justice, we gave them indifference. Instead of giving the one with big dreams the tools and wisdom to reach those dreams, we gave him negativity and doubt while laughing at his aspirations.

We are failing our community because we are scared to admit we need help and to get help. We’re afraid to communicate for fear of judgement and ridicule. The world we live in shames us for admitting we need help, have struggles, and for being less than perfect. We’ve built a mirage that life is always about being bigger, better, faster, flashier, more, more, more… We’ve no longer appreciate the little things in life, the small comforts, and gestures of love and hope.

The village has tried, for so long, to hide its hurt and pain behind this illusion and now it’s rearing its ugly head with a vengeance. The village is no longer able to care for and love the youth, because we don’t know how to care for and love ourselves. Love, wisdom, fun, and fellowship are no longer valued in the community. The sad part is, we know help is there, we’re just scared to seek it. How can we heal if we can’t admit we need help? How can give the youth hope for the future, when we can’t admit and get help for the hopelessness of the present? In order to heal, the village must admit it is sick. In order to heal, we must raise our voices and ask for help. Until we are able to do this, we will continue to suffer in silence.

Reclaim Your Voice

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It’s great to have friends, mentors, and people you can depend on.  It’s good to have someone to talk to, bounce ideas back and forth, or just converse with from time to time. That is the beauty of have wonderful people in your life.

One of the draw backs is you may start to lose your voice.  You start taking their advice so much that you no longer trust your instincts – your inner voice.  You start to repeat the things they say, act the same as them, and, in some cases, start to look like them. All of your ideas are what others told you they should be, and you no longer question what they say.  Even when having conversations with others, outside your circle, you find yourself repeating their ideas instead of your own.

It’s time to reclaim your voice.  Time to trust your intuition and ideas.  Time to be you.  This may take distancing yourself from these people, retreating into your safe place, and taking a deep look at what or who you have become and who you want to be.  Yes, I know it’s hard. I have been there before and it’s easy to let someone else make decisions for your life instead of voicing your opinion and following your instincts. But, it is so much more freeing and exciting to follow your inner voice and make your own decisions. It feels wonderful to know that you can make the right choices or wrong choice and still be you.  You don’t have to be a clone of your friends and mentors. Everything you need is inside you and once your realize it a whole new world awaits you. Own your life, own your decisions, and reclaim your voice.

Follow the Leader

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Stop it!  Stop letting others lead you to a place where you don’t want to be.  Whether it is a lover, family, friend, or boss.   Stop letting people make decisions for your life.  If you don’t want to do something, DON’T DO IT.  If you would rather spend the weekend at home, in your pajamas, eating tacos in bed, instead of going out with friends or family, DO IT.   If you want to simply work 9-5 and not strive to be a manager, then DO IT.

You are the only person who knows your needs, heart, and goals.  You are the only person who has to answer for the choices you make in your life.  You are the person who has to live with your decisions.  Stop playing follow the leader and become the leader.  Take control of your life.

 

Image follow_the_leader_by_meroe1313

Late Night Thoughts…

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Why are people so quick to define others by their imperfections, addictions, or flaws?  Are people less worthy because they are not perfect?  Is someone less of a person because they don’t excel in all areas of life?

A person can be a great teacher, musician, writer, or friend and still have internal battles to fight. You could have known this person all of your life and never known the struggles he faced, every day. This person could have helped you when no one else would but never once had the courage to ask for help herself.  As long as they never revealed their struggles, they were considered great, worthy, or a hero.

The thing with some people,  it’s easier to help others than to help themselves.   It’s easier to help others face their fears than to fight the monster under their own bed. Sometimes, being there for someone else is what keeping them from breaking.

People spend way too much time focusing on what is wrong instead of celebrating the good.  Having an addiction, imperfection, or flaw does not make anyone any less of a person.  It doesn’t make them less real. It does not negate all the good they have done.   They are still worthy of friendship, love, and life.  And to someone who needs it, they are still a hero.

 

The Hard Truth

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I would rather hear the hard truth than a soft lie….

Sometimes we are so focused on sparing people’s feelings that we tell them things to make them feel better instead of telling them what they need to hear.  We make think we are sparing them unnecessary pain or we’re being a “good” friend. We may even remind ourselves of the old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say nothing at all.”  So instead of saying what needs to be said, we sugar coat the truth with a sprinkle of white lie.

STOP IT!  The truth does not always come wrapped in a bow or a pretty package. It doesn’t have to be delivered with a smile and or even said in a sweet voice. Sometimes it just needs to said straight with no chaser.  Yes, sometimes it’s not going to be nice.

If a friend asks for the truth be a real friend and tell them. Yes, they may cry or get mad. They may not be ready to receive it at the moment in that particular package.  They may even stop talking to you. The most important thing is to be honest.

The person may not want to hear what you have to say but they may need to hear it.  The hard truth is always better than a soft lie.

The Comforter

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Can I fall asleep in your arms tonight

Can I cuddle up next to you

Inhale the scent of you

As I shiver from your intimate touch

While you run you fingers down my spine

Gently caressing my behind

As you lips so lightly brush against mine

And sparks a fire that increases my desire

Can I melt into your strong ebony arms

As the heat from your body keeps me warm

I want to feel the rhythm of your love

Beat against me like a bantu drum

While our thighs intertwine in a sensual dance

The weight of your body crushing mine

I hold onto you like a lifeline

The sounds of our moans fill the air like a sweet love song

Drawing us deeper into a spiritual trance

Taking us to another place

That transcends time and space

As we explore this fantasy ride

The pressure building up inside

And as the heavens and starts explode

And we slowly descend back to earth safe in bed

Against your chest I lay my head

Then when I finally look into your eyes

And see the love inside

I just have one question to ask..

Can I fall asleep in your arms tonight?