You Are Not Your Past

Leslie's Updated Photo

You are not your past.  This is your season to live and not hide behind your salty tears.  So often in life, you may hide behind hurt words or shameful acts that hinder your growth or spiritual walk.  In this season,  I believe that God’s calling you to operate on a higher level.  He’s calling me and you to live beyond hurt words, empty promises, or illusions that are holding me and you hostage as I’ve spoken about in my YouTube video below.

I vividly remember the first day I found out I was becoming a mom for the first time at sixteen.  My tears consumed me like raging water that broke free from a vulnerable dam.   My heart ached.  My throat became so enlarged as if I had swallowed an entire apple.  I felt numbed.  I couldn’t move.  I was young.  I was ashamed.

For the longest time, people talked about me.  My classmates, community members, and church members spoke negatively about my condition as if I was the first person ever to have a baby out of wedlock. Through all the negative talk, I distinctively recalled wanting to hear positive words of encouragement, but instead, I was left feeling ostracized.

As I continuously grow in my Christian walk today,  I often think of that difficult time in my life.  I think about the power of words…my words…my actions.  I  contemplate how those very words tarnished my heart, broke bonds and stripped me bare without ever touching me.

Daily, I think about the number of people that suffer from SHAME because they secretively live in the past.  Today, I understand the power of setting myself free. It’s refreshing not living the lies of others.  I won’t lie.  Freedom comes at a price, and sometimes that price is walking away from negative people who attempt to hold you “emotionally hostage” concerning your past.

Therefore, as you read these words, understand that God loves you so much because He is not a ‘respector of persons’. He validates His love to you daily.  He wants you to live a liberating life where you are no longer ashamed of who you are.  I did it and so can you.  How did I do it?  I started by implementing the following proactive strategies:

1.) I was honest with myself.

2.) I forgave myself.

3.) I learned how to love myself.

4.) I set healthy boundaries.

5.) I forgave those who hurt me.

6.) I live my truth.

7.) I pray daily.

8.) I laugh a lot.

9.) I meditate.

10.) I befriend positive people.

I hope these words minister to your heart.  Please share and comment. I always look forward to reading your replies. Or, if you like, drop me a personal message at shamenomore001@gmail.com.

You are not your past,

Leslie a/k/a ShameNoMore

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Release, Relief, or Relive

God has a super master plan for your life.  Don’t remain stuck in a rut because you’re weighed down with guilt or shame.  Instead, find the power to RELEASE those negative emotions.   The struggle for inner-peace is an ongoing battle, which causes significant stress.   This negative emotion can often make you feel reclusive, agitated or aloof.

But as you prepare for the next four days to welcome the month of February, think positively.   Take a moment and reflect.  Ponder how you can invite healing and restoration into your life by releasing pent up issues from your past.  The suppressing of pent up frustration, from past issues, can hinder the positive progression in your life.  Remember, God wants you to live an active life where you’re happy daily—not fighting depression, low self-esteem, guilt or shame.

Step #1: Learn ‘how-to’ positively release your ‘pent up’ issues.  You must RELEASE your GUILT or SHAME.  Let it go.  Cast your worries unto the Lord.  For Philippians 4:13 (KJV) reminds us “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”  Christ will give you the power to overcome every affliction or battle that’s hindering the progression of positive growth in your life.  For example, you can implement the following strategies weekly: pray, meditate, or journal.   Just these three simple strategies alone can evoke peace and balance in your life.  Remember, you are a child of God.  God doesn’t want to see you struggle.  Don’t allow GUILT or SHAME to hinder the blessings that God destined for you in 2015.

Step #2: Find relief in this season.  The longer you carry those feelings of guilt or shame around, the longer you’ll battle with those ‘pent up feelings’.  Do yourself a favor.  Find some RELIEF.   As a Christian, your peace is everything.  When you’re seeking deliverance and “RELIEF” in your life, start with some simple steps:

  • accept the “problem” at face value
  • receive your part in the “problem”
  • forgive completely
  • forgive yourself wholeheartedly
  • bury the issue

In life, finding RELIEF is an active strategy that will help you unwind in a healthy manner.   I’ve listed several strategies above, but the primary strategy is keeping calm and accepting the “problem” at face value.  For some people, it’s difficult to accept the truth because the truth hurts.  If you’re feeling pain, then it means that something is wrong.  Accept your part in the problem, find a solution to alleviate your pain…like forgiving the person(s) entirely, and then forgive yourself wholly, and bury the issue for good.   Listen; don’t relieve the pain temporarily but permanently.

Step #3: Release the issue, find relief, or relive the test.  When you’re suffering intensely with guilt or shame, oppressive battles within your mind can consume you.  Don’t keep reliving a life of GUILT or SHAME.  It steals your peace.   That’s why it’s time to let go and let God heal all the broken pieces in this season.  Let me suggest two simple strategies.

Strategy #1:

Write a letter.  Address it… (Dear Hurt, Dear Pain, Dear Guilt, etc.).   You get the picture.  List every issue, hurt, guilt, shame, etc., which has stolen your joy and peace.   Write down how and why it’s kept you captive for years.  Now, tell the “issue” or “problem” why it will NO longer keep you hostage.   Seal the letter.  Then, locate a ‘safe’ place and burn it.

As your letter burns, walk away slowly without looking back…all the while repeating, “I AM NOT MY PAST.  I WILL NO LONGER ALLOW THIS GUILT, HURT, or SHAME to consume me or steal my peace.”  Do not look back, or you’ll risk the burden of reconnecting with your problem.  Your life is much too valuable for that.

Strategy #2:

Listen to my awesome FREE audio download titled: Release, Relief, or Relive.   Share it, and I hope this audio minister to your heart.

Please freely “SHARE” this word.  Remember, Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast they burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”  You got this…

Praying for you always, XOXO

Leslie E. Brown/ShameNoMore™

Transformation Discovery Coach

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Your Miracle Is Right Around the Corner

Around the corner

When I woke up this morning, I started to meditate.  I heard the small voice of God speaking. It’s amazing how God’s presence can change our perspective and change our entire day.  Not to get too personal, but as I was preparing breakfast this morning, I felt the visitation of God.  It was very strong.

First, God wants us to “COMMAND” our mornings. Take time to pray, meditate, exercise, journal, or self-reflect.  These strategies can help “set” the temperament for our entire day.  Daily, it’s imperative that we honor God by carving out time to converse with Him. When we fail to command our mornings by honoring God, distractions from the enemy can seep into our spirit causing physical and spiritual disruptions.  When we pray, we’re equipping ourselves to withstand the blows of the enemy.  Get rooted in the word when driving to work, while drinking coffee, or while sitting in bed aimlessly.  Every moment that we invite God in, we willfully build a spiritual bridge that allows us to tap into God’s purpose for our lives.  His word daily is food to our souls and nourishment for our bodies.

Next, God doesn’t want us to compromise.  We must stand strong, and we cannot compromise our well-being in this season.  Stay focus; stay mentally healthy; stress-free, and guilt-free. I must be honest; I use to compromise myself for the sake of fitting in with others.  But as I continually grow in Christ, God reminds me to stand on His word as a guide for my life as noted in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) where it is written that God has a plan for our lives.  It’s not to harm us, but these plans are to prosper us so that we’ll have hope as He guides and directs us into our future.  Therefore, we must stop compromising our peace.  Remember, God doesn’t function in dysfunction.  He’s a man of order. That’s why it’s important that we build a relationship with God and that we converse with Him daily as we “Command Our Mornings.”

Then, God wants us to trust HIM!!!  I believe that God’s building our FAITH in this season.  He’s building our faith with various test and trials.  Through these various test and trails, God is causing us to exercise our faith and depend totally on him.  For it is written in Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV), “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” 

Finally, God’s working a miracle in our lives.  Let’s stay strong and not sway from God when situations start to look weary.  Remember, God is watching during the test; he’s just quiet as He conducts an evaluation of our hearts and reactions to see if we’re walking by “faith” or walking by “sight”.

Sincerely,

~ShameNoMore

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Thank You Lord for a Fresh Wind

Fresh Wind

Dear Hurt,

I’ve known you for quite some time.  At one point, I even tried to befriend you.  What’s crazy— is that I’ve felt how you’ve invaded my space.  I’ve seen how you’ve hurt people close to me, and I’ve even inhaled the remnants of your scent that you’ve left lingering behind on numerous occasions.  I’ve tried countless times to evict you, but oddly enough, you’ve crept through the smallest cracks buried deeply within the crevices of my bleeding heart.

I fondly remember the first time you cut me deeply. I was young, barely in my teens when you showed up making promises of befriending me…protecting me…and soothing me as a teen mom.  For years, I’ve tried to escape the poisonous venom that your bite marks left behind, but just like a snake, you slithered your way back into my life with no regard for good will.

But then again, I thank God for a fresh wind, another chance to stand— a renewal of energy to fight and not suffer in silence or shame.  No longer will the numbness, lustful sensation, or the overwhelming fear to doubt God’s purpose for my life abort my will to reposition myself firmly or reap the benefits that He’s spoken over my life.  I know that God  has destined greatness for my life.  And as a worshiper, I must only believe.

I hope you can forgive me, but the time has come where I will no longer live in SHAME because of you.   When I look in the mirror, all I see are the secret lies you’ve told me that you’ve whispered faintly in my ear.   I’ve deleted those files titled “Lies”, and I’ve pressed the button that reads ‘Empty Recycle Bin’ too just in case I have the urge to retrieve you.

Goodbye and Good Riddance,

A Second Wind…ShameNoMore

My Testimony: SHAME NO MORE

Good Morning Ladies,

I am thankful today that “ONE” year ago God allowed me to march across a stage after a six year fight to obtain my doctoral degree.  It was a fight ladies.  Many times I wanted to give up, But God…  He’s a way maker, a soother, a peacemaker, and a healer.

At one moment in time, I literally thought that I was having a stroke because of too much stress.  I was flat on my back at the hospital…But God.  So, I MUST give him the praise because being a single mom, a divorcee, a woman who had a child at 16yrs old…many thought I wouldn’t make it.  They had written me off for life.  Therefore, don’t judge me if you don’t know my [whole story or the real story].  I’ve learned in life that many people think you have it made when you’ve arrived by society’s standards…(SMH).  Like my grandma would say, “Chile live a little longer.”

Therefore, live ladies.  Write that book like me.  Complete your dreams; you can do it.  Fight to the end; it’s possible.   Even when people talk about you, belittle you, don’t promote you, attempt to hinder your growth, lie on you, or walk away from you…it’s for a purpose and for your good.   That’s why I started my group SHAME NO MORE because I’m truly overcoming all the SHAME [obstacles] that was attempting to hold me back in life [big or little]…and I truly want the same for you.  ~Give Him the Praise & Let’s Start a New Chapter

Sip, Reflect, & Let’s Talk: IMPACT Tuesday

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” (RSV)

Image

Hello Ladies:

Get ready to have an IMPACT Tuesday!  Today you’re going to start off with a big IMPACT by clearing out the clutter and Redefining the key points that defines your life.  As you start your day, think about the key aspects that God has placed upon your heart in this season.  As a Sister Healing Against Mental Emotions™ (S.H.A.M.E.), how do you plan to IMPACT your day?

First, God wants you to make an IMPACT on your life.  How can you do this?  You can start by making a list of pros/cons that’s holding you back.  Next, you can start to rank this list from most important to least important.  If it’s not important, then maybe you’ll need to shift your priorities so your IMPACT can create a healthier you.  Then, you can create a list and assign realistic dates of completion so you can PUSH forward. According to Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.” (NIV)

Second, God wants you to make an IMPACT in another person’s life.  How can you do this?  As for me, I like to allow God’s spirit to move me.  Therefore, pray, seek wisdom and allow him to direct your heart.  Finally, when the spirit says MOVE, MOVE!

Third, God wants you to REDEFINE your boundaries.  Therefore, check the boundaries in which you’ve set in your personal and professional life.  Are these healthy boundaries?  If not, then it’s time for you to set BOUNDARIES that addresses the issues that are causing you to lose sight of your goals.  It’s important that we as sisters live healthy lives; therefore, if you allow yourself to establish boundaries that define positivity, then you’re more likely to create a more peaceful environment for you to hear and interact with God.  Remember, Proverbs 3:6 states, “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” (TLB)

Sisterly Love,

~Shamenomore

Sip, Reflect & Let’s Talk~Principle #2: Accentuate The Positive

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. (Hebrews 10:22, NIV)

Hello Ladies,

Today is a great day, and I’m excited to share Principle #2: Accentuate The Positives from Nicole Saunders “10 Keys To Happiness” article that’s written inside Essences May 2012 issue.  I’ve found this principle to be noteworthy as I mediate and reflect deeply in finding and embracing my own happiness over the next ten weeks.  As I sit on my front porch, I’m thinking about two things: First, how do I fully accentuate my positives in terms of defining my truth as a woman? Second, how do I stop telling my “story” in the words of Iyanla Vanzant and begin to tell my real story.   Saunders (2012) states in Principle #2: Accentuate The Positives:

“People who focus on good past experiences and reinterpret negative ones in a more pleasant light tend to be happier.  “Counting blessings doesn’t mean you have to be naïve,” says Chris Peterson, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan.  The world can be cruel and you shouldn’t deny the terrible things that may have happened, but the world can also be wondrous.  It’s up to you to decide on which truth to dwell.” (p. 133)

Pretty much, Iyana supports a belief like Saunders in her own words as I watched Oprah’s Life Class: the Tour Iyanla Vanzant on Stopping Pain yesterday.  It was a great piece, which allowed me to rethink Principle #2: Accentuate The Positives in terms of what Nicole Saunders was declaring. Iyanla states that you have to stop telling your “own” story and embrace the “truth” in terms of your pain in order to fully heal while finding your happy place. 

At sixteen I became pregnant [that’s my truth].  Yes, I embodied this stigma and understood these words immensely before these words became a hit show Sixteen and Pregnant. I often wondered how a smart girl like me found herself at such a disadvantage so young.  By the grace of God, I was still able to complete my studies by sixteen; I continued to make good grades; I participated in sports, I graduated early from high school, and I even entered college early. I was determined to make it out of that rural area and show myself and the world that that poor decision one fall night would not determine my fate in life.

Over the past couple of years, people have always asked me, how did it feel being a single mom at such an early age?  I have thought about this question often, and I believed to this day that that very unconscionable choice has helped shape who I am today.  After reading and digesting Principle #2 and pondering the words of Iyanla, I said to myself that in order to accentuate the positives, I must first “stop telling my story” and tell my real story.   In hopes of helping my Sisters Healing Against Mental Emotions™ (S.H.A.M.E.) accentuate their positives and tell their truth, I’ve posted the clip below from Oprah’s Life Class: the Tour Iyanla Vanzant on Stopping Pain.

http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/Full-Episode-Oprahs-Lifeclass-the-Tour-with-Iyanla-Vanzant

For some reason, a lot of people think that you set out to be a teen mom.  However,  that mistake for me was about me filling a void deep within looking for love in all the wrong places as a teenager whose father died in a horrible car accident at the hands of a drunk driver.  As a young Christian woman after God’s own heart, my light bulb went off at that very moment and I couldn’t believe how often times we “tell” our story [the way we see it] but we never tell the truth in terms of the root causes that encompass our “true” pain.  So, as I continue to ponder Principle #2: Accentuate The Positives, I will continue to work on “telling” my true story in order to receive full healing in terms of accentuating my positives and living a happy life.

Accentuate your positives and let’s start talking,

~Shamenomore