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

Like SNM on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/shamenomore001

Follow SNM on Twitter @shamenomore001

Like SNM on Instagram @shamenomore001

Support ShameNoMore’s first book The Thorns Within…by L.E. Brown on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.

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

Follow me on Twitter @ShameNoMore001.

Like me on Facebook facebook.com/shamenomore001.

P.S.  If you’re seeking practical personal or professional leadership skills that will change your life, click here and sign-up for my FREE weekly newsletter.

Or, click here to checkout my company’s leadership Web site.

Lastly if you’d like to join my professional leadership blog that’s new, click here.

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

Sip, Reflect, Let’s Talk: Principle # 1 Know What Happiness Is

(Google Image)

A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance (Proverbs 15:13 AMP)

What is happiness truly?  I’ve pondered this question as I have recently read an article in Essence entitled “10 Keys to Happiness” in the May 2012 issue by Nicole Saunders.  It was a great piece, which caused me to ponder am I really happy as a Sister Healing Against Mental Emotions™ (S.H.A.M.E.).  I personally believe that it’s empowering and important to find happiness in life when seeking spiritual wholeness as a woman after God’s own heart.  However, as a young Christian woman who has been hurt numerous times by friends, love ones, etc., I have secretly asked myself for years can happiness be difficult to fulfill when seeking physical, spiritual, and personal wellness.  Therefore, I’ve decided to challenge myself and challenge you as we Sip, Reflect, & Let’s Talk™ over the next ten weeks about each principle and how we view happiness in our own personal and professional lives.

Principle #1: Know What Happiness Is.  Really?  I’m currently in my thirties, and I have found it difficult in the past to secure true happiness.  I could deem myself successful in terms of owning a home, car, and obtaining various degrees throughout life.  However, do these tangible items truly bring me inner happiness?  I’ve said to myself, if I’m really going to tackle these principles weekly, then I must be completely honest with myself and my readers.  Many of my personal friends know that I’m divorced, I’m a single mom, I’m raising three kids (one of them my brother because my mom is disabled) and I’m always working (sometimes 40+ hours weekly) leaving no personal time for myself.  Educationally, I do understand the word happiness and its definition.  I’ve rationalized it; I’ve owned it; I’ve interpreted it, but at times, I honestly find it difficult to grab hold to it and implement it when I’ve suddenly become overwhelmed with life myself.  So, as I’ve embarked upon this journey of truly soul searching in terms of finding personal happiness, I’ve started here with these words according to Psalm 144:15 “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord” (NRSV).

Sometimes I think to myself that there is always an issue that attempts to steal my thunder just when I think that I’ve truly found personal happiness.  As a Sister Healing Against Mental Emotions™ (S.H.A.M.E.) I’ve attempted to strengthen my prayer life tremendously over the years.  I’ve surrounded myself with praying, positive women.   I’ve learned to take  ten or more minutes every morning before I start my day just to mediate and pull myself together before I start to juggle mommy and work.  And finally, I’ve learned how to say “NO” without feeling guilty.  In working to find my personal happiness, I’ve started to understand that I can’t worry about what other people think about me.  I’ve learned that in order for me to live an abundant life, I must have purpose in everything that I do as a woman after God’s own heart. 

Additionally, I’ve learned that I tend to grow weary when I’m not creative or at my best.  If I’m not stimulated with conversations, if I’m not growing [physically, mentally, or emotionally] with certain friendships, if my job doesn’t present frequent challenges, if my home environment exhibits disarray, or if my church home is not feeding me spiritually then maybe it’s time for an internal and external change… and that’s okay.  As a woman of God in search of my own happiness, I’ve learned daily that the only way that I can become the best me is by learning to accept who God has designed me to be even when others don’t agree with me.  My happiness and my freedom is everything…in terms of me developing holistically. 

My Sisters Healing Against Mental Emotions™ (S.H.A.M.E.), I want to challenge you to think about the last time you’ve lived life truly happy and with purpose.  Author Nicole Saunders (2012) states, “…you’re more likely to sabotage your own happiness simply by having unrealistic expectations of what it should look and feel like” (p. 133).  Wow!  These are truly powerful words to ponder this week.  If it’s not too much to ask, I would like all of us to journal about each principle in hopes of finding inner peace.  When embarking upon this journey to find happiness, ask yourself, what do you intend to change in your life to ensure that you find happiness? What do you intend to add to your life in hopes of finding happiness? Remember, in order to be truly happy, we must first find happiness within ourselves by finding inner peace by seeking God’s words, aligning these words within our daily lives, and we must start to implement His words according to His purpose for our lives. 

Find your happiness today,

~Shamenomore