Imposter Syndrome

I live with this crushing weight many call “Imposter Syndrome,” which is basically the insecurity that no matter how successful I am, I’ll always be afraid it’s a mistake. That I’m just not good enough for this success. Or, according to Wikipedia (stellar reference right there) it is “the psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments or talents and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.”

In short, it’s the fear that I’ll never be good enough and soon, everyone else will see it too.

The painful silver lining to this predicament is that I’m not alone. Most people will have this fear, insecurity, or syndrome at least once in their life. Maybe you, random stranger hopefully reading this, are feeling that now. Or have in the past. Well, you’re not alone.

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Affirmations

Do you feel heavy? Or, rather, does the world feel heavy to you right now? I know, for me, there are a dozen intense topics, emotions, events, problems, and pains floating around in my mind 24/7. I seem to be feeling everything more than I ever have in the past. The pain of my friends. The pain of the world. The problems and injustices and grief.

And I feel less than enough.

Somehow, things are becoming personal that should never have been personal. And it’s messing with my own identity and self worth.

I don’t know if you can relate with me, or if what I’m saying even makes sense. But I DO know that everyone needs a bit of affirmation sometimes. Everyone has hard days and days of low self-esteem. For those days, this particular blog post is for you.

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Practicing Self-Care

IMG_1627I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care recently. Mostly because I’ve had to for work, therapy, and because a friend of mine coaches it. But, as usual, these thoughts have bled their way into every little aspect of my life. It’s a tape in a constant loop in the back of my head, whether I hear it or not, I know it’s there.

On a global level, self-care is extremely prevalent right now. Which makes sense when we’re locked up in our houses with mostly ourselves. We’re FORCED to care for ourselves. Continue reading

Learning to Forgive

26592BB3-4C0A-4EB7-80D8-B72EF8A80E5D.JPGI’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately. Trying to fit it into a specific, narrowed-in situation and stepping back to see it from the view of the universe.

What does it really look like to forgive?

If you’d asked me a year ago, I probably would have given you a bible-belt answer polished with feigned humility. Something along the lines of, “Forgiveness means wishing the best for someone who has hurt you, whether or not they’ve apologized. And it means forgiving yourself.” Then I definitely would have added a, “but I don’t really know and sometimes wonder if I even know how to forgive.” You know what I’m talking about. The perfect response with a convenient self-deprecating addition that actually makes you look better?

Now, though, I just can’t give an answer. Continue reading

Divided Down the Middle

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sky, cloud, tree, outdoor and natureI’m as guilty of it as anyone. Maybe even more so. (Definitely more so)

Acquainting Christianity with political parties. Picking apart the beliefs of leftists and rightists and trying to compare them with the gospel. Actually, the other way around. Politics, which is quickly dividing our nation, has become the heart of beliefs and religion is forced into the stances of those parties. Too often, religion is seen through the lens of politics.

We need to remember that everything, politics included, should always be seen through the lens of our faith. Continue reading

TALITHA CUMI

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetFROM MY NEW BOOK, TALITHA CUMI:

“In the ESV version of the Gospel according to Mark, there are only three things Jesus says in a different language (Aramaic) that Mark (or Peter) then translates for the reader. These are Talitha Cumi, Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani, and Ephphatha. I’m going to consider all of these, but to begin, I want to focus on the first one.

I still think I have more to tap into when it comes to the Aramaic words Talitha Cumi and Eloi, Eloi. But the other day during my prayer time, the Lord kept saying to me Talitha Cumi, which could have been because I’d just read that chapter and thought I may want to observe it, but for a moment there, I couldn’t think of or write anything other than Talitha Cumi and Eloi, Eloi over and over. “Little Girl” or “Little Lamb, I say to you, arise.” These words are in a very important context. They are most likely meant to show the contrast between the bleeding woman and Jairus’s daughter, that God was showing he heals all, that he loves all, no matter if they are a ruler of a synagogue, an unclean woman, or a small child. That he calls them “daughter” and speaks to them in their native, household language. Continue reading

Your Identity and Your Place

art

ArtbyMonday

During this historical and monumental time, it can be easy to get lost in the news, social media, and your own mind and heart. It’s hard to find the correct voices to listen to in a sea of opinions, pain, and information. The world feels like a stormy maze where around every corner is another piece of advice or something to grieve over.

But perhaps the most difficult thing to do is figure what your place will be in history.

My desire is that everyone finds justice, peace, and hope this year. As an Enneagram type eight, I tend to stand radically and forcibly on the side of justice. I advocate for speaking out. My instinct is to listen to Alexander Hamilton and make Lin Manuel Miranda proud.

If you stand for nothing, what’ll you fall for?  Continue reading

Black Bloggers to Follow

Screen Shot 2020-06-07 at 7.45.57 PMHey all! In the spirit of #BlackLivesMatter, I just wanted to share some awesome blogs to follow, all with incredible Black authors!

Oneika is a travel blogger and you’ll love seeing what she shares! Media personality, journalist, and keynote speaker Oneika Raymond is the host of Travel Channel’s One Bag and You’re Out and Big City, Little Budget. She’s also an on-air travel and lifestyle correspondent for NBC New York and CTV Canada. A bona fide travel junkie, her adventures have taken her to over 115 countries on 6 continents.

Don’t forget to check out Mattie James, faith and lifestyle blogger! “Creating this site has been years in the making. After style blogging for 7 years, I decided it was time for a change. While blogging about my daily outfits was fun, quite a bit changed over the years. I became a mom, started blogging full time, and grew in my faith. Hence why it was time to graduate to MattieJames.com.”

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This is STILL happening.

IMG_3459Please, I can’t breathe. 

Those words fill my eyes with hot, burning, shameful tears. I’m not an emotional person but George Floyd’s story, and all the stories that are so maddeningly similar, make my head pound with grief and anger and shame.

Passivity here is not an option. Turning your head away so you don’t see knees on necks, guns in faces, blind racism, is the same as allowing it to happen and being on the side of this happening.

It’s time we KNOW their names. George Floyd, Michael Brown, Sean Reed, Steven Demarco Taylor, Ariane McCree, Terrance Franklin, Miles Hall, Yassin Mohamed, Finan H. Berhe, Trayvon Martin, and more. Unfortunately, you can find dozens of examples and names in many places, including here.

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Beauty in Books

book“I forgot how much I love this world man. I feel like I didn’t appreciate this book well enough the first time and now it’s just crushing my heart with hope and joy”

“Isn’t that the beauty of books though? Just rams your soul with hope and emotions that you (I) usually run from”

That’s a conversation that is fairly normal among me and my reader friends. We live in a whirlpool of books, throwing our favorites at each other to eventually create a petri dish of the same universes, characters, relationships, and words. We crave a new world, new pain, new hope, new love. Hunger for masterfully woven words fills our bones. It’s an unquenchable thirst that will occasionally feel satisfied. A best friend will throw me a story that ripped them apart and I’ll devour it until I’m stuffed and hungover from the intoxicating tale. Continue reading