The source of personal power, located in the stomach area is the Solar Plexus. Yellow represents this chakra as it is associated with the Sun and Sun Goddess Sekhmet Ma’at. This is where we develop our self confidence and self worth. Like all chakras having an off balanced Solar Plexus can cause self loathing and low self esteem. Here is what an unhealthy and healthy solar plexus feels like
Located right below the navel is your Sacral Chakra. This is the place where we learn to honor others but, not before we honor ourselves. The Sacral also controls our sexual energy, how we relate to ourselves and others along with creativity. I call this the “pleasure” zone.
So, now that you know the signs of an unbalanced Root Chakra, I want to share with you signs of a balanced Root Chakra. I also got a few pointers on how to balance and maintain balance of your Root Chakra.
Of all things in a life, balance is of the upmost importance. Think of it like this, life is on one big balancing scale. Too much or too little of ANYTHING is going to tip the scale. ANYTHING. Tipping the scale in anyway starts to become a problem eventually for one side. For example, the body needs water but, even drinking too much at once can result in “dry drowning”. Too much air at once can suffocate you, etc. Well, your chakra system is the same way. It can be overactive or blocked, when this happens the chakra becomes unbalanced.
True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience”-Oprah Winfrey
I walked out of Spring’s home and never returned to live with her again. However, I did continue on having a relationship with her and Amber. I know, I know ya’ll, stop yelling why. Like I said in ‘’Humming Birds in Spring”, I had already carved out a place in my heart for Spring and Amber is still my sister. So, they were both present at my High School graduation, wedding and made hospital visits to see both of my children when they were born.
It wasn’t until shortly after the birth of my youngest child, that Spring and Amber cut off all communication with me, Margert and our Father. Basically, I loaned Amber money for college books and she agreed to pay me back when her grant money come in. Spring took Amber’s money when it came in and would not let her pay me back. At the time Christmas was near, I was in school full time and Mr. Ex was the only one working.
Of course ,I called Margert to literally cry to her about what happened. Margert called Spring to confront her about the situation and an argument broke out. Spring called me and told me she is never speaking to Margert again and she would pay me my money in payments. Needless to say, I never received one red cent and I never heard from Spring or Amber again.
Amber even went as far as to have her last name changed to Spring’s maiden name. Margert, our father and I have all tried to reach out to Amber and we all got either no response or nasty, rude and untrue assumptions about our lives. Although our Father has not physically talked to Amber, Spring still manages to contact him to pass along Amber’s nasty messages along with a request for money. Even our Eric (whom has only met Amber once in person when they were teens) tried to reach out to Amber but, Spring turned him down and wouldn’t even put Amber on the phone.
Now with all of that said, I sit before you here today and tell you that I have truly forgiven them both.
Forgiveness is most defiantly not an easy task especially when there us some form of abuse. Abuse at the hands of a parental figure at that. However, it is necessary for not only personal growth but, also for the people that are connected to that will receive the influence of your emotional state of mind.
Now no one has the magic formula to forgiveness. There is no universal step-by-step guide to pass along to you. However, there are 3 basic step I took to complete this journey.
Step 1: Find The Lesson
As being a new mother with very little guidance, I often reflected back on my time living in different homes. I had to look back for anything thing that proved to be helpful in parenting. When reflecting on my time living with Spring, I had to sift through a lot of hurt to pull out the good. However, when I did reach the good there were a lot of great things there.
The importance of education, diversity and respect were the obvious lessons. Some of the other lessons such as; disciple, were a little hard to see the forest for the trees with. I literally had to use reverse physiology on myself. When I did, I was able to learn that children remember the hurt and pain well into their adult years whether they admit it or not. I learned that words are as hurtful as physical pain. Most importantly, I learned the difference between abuse and discipline
A child’s mind is a field of soil waiting for the parents to plant the seeds of knowledge, guidance and love. Yeah, once I dug deep, I was able to find that lesson. I applied all of that to my parenting.
I actually took the time to listen to my children when they speak and consider their feelings. I allowed them to respectfully express themselves. I was always cautious of the seeds I planted in them and the seeds others attempted to plant. Always giving my children the raw truth as to weed out the negative limiting seeds and nurture the good and positive. Always expressing the importance of their relationship with each other.
Finding the lesson in the hurt and pain was the catalyst for my forgiveness. It softens my heart because in the end I was glad that I went through it so my children would not have to. My pain was my ultimate parenting lesson.
Step 2: Confront Your Past
What’s the point in confronting someone who you know will never acknowledge their wrong doing? Well, If acknowledgement was what I was looking for, then nothing. However, I wasn’t seeking acknowledgement or an apology. Actually, I wasn’t seeking anything from Spring when I confronted her with the past.
What I wanted was completely selfish. I wanted to confront my past to unload all the hurt that was following me. The best was for me to do that was to go right to the pain.
Once, I reached the point where I felt confidantent enough to confront Spring, I did so with Mr. Ex by myside for emotional support. My approach was to be as non-confrontational as possible. I started the conversation by casually reminiscing on the past which lead to the poem that she wrote for Margert and I. I simply asked her if she mean what she said in the poem. She answered, “Of course!”, like she was genuinely taken back by the question.
So, I asked “If you did then why did you beat me so bad all the time?”. I proceeded to go over some of my most memorable beatings and hurtful events. No lie, she had the most blank expression still to this day that I have ever seen. She insisted that not only did she never beat me, she never even spanked me.
After that, I was the one left giving the blank expression. All the while, Spring went into this whole spill about how she treated us like her own and gave us her all. She said we should be grateful that she ever agreed to take us in.
Nope, not this time. I started going over the many emotional events and beatings that she put me through. For a while everyone was talking, and nobody was listening but, then she suddenly stopped. I had the floor and she seemed to be actually listening. I said everything my heart had ever desired to say to her. That did include me saying thank you for all the great she did show me. Thank you for pushing me beyond the limits I had set for myself and the lessons it taught me.
After all was said and done, Spring looked me in my eyes and said “Manosha, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Nothing I did was to hurt you. I loved ya’ll”….
Step 3: Let Go and Let God
I never brought the subject up to Spring again but, we were able to continue on speaking to one another. I truly forgave her for all of the hurt from the past. Why? Because, as soon as she made her final statement to me on the subject, I knew something mentally was wrong with her. She still needed to forgive the hurt in her past.
See, during that confrontation, when Spring was rambling on about how good she was to us, she also talked about how she had worst whooping’s. She felt that what she did was nothing compared to what she got. Nobody was there to rescue her. She survived, and in her mind, she was a better person for it. She didn’t break the cycle, she repeated it. If she did apologize it wouldn’t have been worth anything because it wouldn’t be sincere.
I let go of my hurt and pain and left it there that day. I let go and prayed that God would give Spring and Amber what they needed to let go of their own hurt and pain. For God to allow them to be chain breakers as he has allowed me to be.
Shortly after, we all had the fall out that caused Spring and Amber to stop speaking to everyone on my father’s side. I do respect myself and worth so, I stopped reaching out but, remain open to future contact. I have not spoken to either one in 15 years. When the time is right, God will bring us back together. In the meantime, I can look forward and capture the beauty of life while walking along my journey. I can see the forest and the trees.
Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got-Robert Brault
I never understood the necessity to use the word “half” when describing my connection to my siblings. The fact that we have different mothers means what? That we have different DNA? No two people have the same DNA unless they are identical twins. Or is it the fact that we only have 1 parent in common? Even your own child doesn’t have 100% your DNA. When establishing paternity, the results never go higher than 99.9 % yet you never hear anyone saying this is my “half” child. You only need a drop of blood to make you related. Just one.
As long as I can remember, this has always been my view on so called “half” siblings. I have never referred to any of my siblings in this manner because I don’t have “half” siblings. I simply have sisters and a brother. With this long-standing belief, this journey of acceptance was not about accepting my brother. It was about accepting the difference of opinion regarding our parent’s dark past.
I can honestly say that I never blamed Eric for anything that had to do with my mother’s death. He never asked to be born or to be put in that situation. None of us did. No child should be punished for the sins of their parent. Accepting a sibling from a different parent into your life does not mean that you accept the actions of the adults. You are accepting a different part of you that you did not know before. Yes, a part of YOU. That same DNA flowing through your veins is the same DNA flowing through their veins. Now you can deny that all you want but, the truth is the truth, 1 drop.
Lies, cheating and suicide was the bases for my brother and my connection. I resented the fact that my Dad and Glenn were able to tell their version of the truth. What bothered me most is that I knew one day Glenn would tell her “truth” to my brother and he would believe her. Why not? She is his mother. The fact that he still had his mother to tell him her version of the events made me feel like he had an unfair advantage. I had to dig, investigate and connect the dots to get my mother’s side.
So, the day I decided to get to know my brother better was the day I decided that I would never listen to his mother’s version of the events. I also decided that If necessary, I would defend my mother against ANYBODY, even though at that time I was still mad at my mother. I was not sure how my brother felt or when that impending conversation would happen. In a sense I was ready for war if I had to be.
By God’s grace, I was given time. Time for us to get to know each other outside of our parent’s past. Time for the sibling bonds to strengthen. Time for both of us to grow and mature before we actually had the conversation. All of this is what helped me and my brother to be able to put that dark past aside and continue on with our relationship.
This was the first conversation but, it was not our last. As, we grew, matured and experienced more of life, the conversation got less intense and more open on both parts. He was always willing to listen to me express my mother’s side, but I believe with age and maturity, he was able to understand my pain. I finally listened to him tell me his mother’s story. While I do not believe everything she said, I can say that I do believe that she did not know that my Dad was married. According to my brother, she found out from one of my Dad’s sisters. I also believe that my Dad was wish-washy with both women and did not know what he truly wanted. Unfortunately, our mothers ended up paying the ultimate price for it.
I have fully accepted what happened and the role that all 3 played. I have seen Glenn in my adult life, and she has met my children. We are not “buddy, buddy” but, we are civil, respectful and able to exchange pleasantries without snide remarks. At this point in my life, I am open to having a frank woman to woman discussion with Glenn about what happened. This would not change anything but, there is nothing better hearing it firsthand. I do not believe we would ever be considered friends but, Glenn is not my enemy.
Your Turn to Reflect
Have you ever considered someone your enemy not because of what they did to you but, because of what they did to your loved one?
If so, how were you able to get past it (if you did) or What would you need to help you move past it.
Have you personally ever been considered the “enemy” or “bad guy”? If so, how did you deal with that?
There is power in understanding the journey of others to help create your own-unknownn
The journey of understanding can be a long intense journey. The main reason it is a lengthy journey is because of the lack of being able to relate to someone else’s situation. It’s hard to understand something that you are not standing in. For this reason, more often than not, you must have some level of empathy and sympathy to reach understanding.
Now, the old saying goes, walk a mile in my shoes. This is sympathy at its finest but, this is not an action that I would suggest. As life is all about balance, you need some level of empathy to go along with that sympathy. It’s one thing to experience something similar on your own journey but, purposefully putting yourself in someone’s situation is not always the answer. Putting on someone else’s shoes may be easy but, walking their journey can be dangerous especially if that journey leads to self-destructive behavior such as suicide. The act of suicide is very hard to understand but, with patience, understanding and/or empathy with sympathy, you can find understanding.
Lack of empathy and sympathy for my mother caused my journey to understanding to be one long journey. Initially, I was too young to have the mental capacity to evoke the necessary empathy to understand her mindset or the act of suicide. It wasn’t until I became an adult and heard her story, that I was able to feel some empathy for her. Then, I found myself staring down the same gloomy tunnel of heartbreak, disappointment, and despair. It was then that I was able to feel sympathy along with that empathy to gain my understanding.
With suicide, each person has different reasons for wanting to or going through with that act of suicide. According to Clinical Psychologist Edwin Sheridman (the leading authority on suicide), there are 10 basic reasons why someone may seek suicide:
Solution: answer to an insoluble or unbearable dilemma that they fear more than death
Cessation of consciousness: to end the conscious experience
Intolerable psychological pain: excruciating negative emotions that serve as a foundation for self-destructive behavior.
Frustrated psychological needs: attribute failure or disappointment to their own shortcomings
Feelings of hopelessness/helplessness: pessimistic expectations about the future
Ambivalence: sincere in their desire to die but, simultaneously wish they could find another way out.
The cognitive state is construction: tunnel vision unable or willing to engage in effective problem-solving behaviors
Escape: a definitive way to escape
Communication on intention: 80% who completed the act of suicide provide verbal or behavioral clues that clearly indicate their lethal intentions.
Life-long coping patterns: people who refuse to ask for help in the past are likely to increase their sense of isolation.
In reflecting on my mother’s journey, I definitely see Dr. Shredman’s described reasonings in my mother’s actions. I also saw some of them in myself. What made a difference and how I was able to overcome is being able to know her journey and how it left those around her feeling. Also, that fact that what she did had no real effect on the situation. My brother was still born, and My Dad, Glenn, and Jim continued to live their lives. As a matter of fact, they all went on to marry new partners and have more children. It is my understanding that helps me to know that what she did was not to affect their lives but, to stop the excruciating pain inside her life.
I have to be honest with you, although I now have the understanding I so desperately needed, this has and will be the hardest journey I will ever share with you. Understanding does not take away the hurt of loss nor does it mean you accept it. I cried all the way through this but, I feel that it is important for me to share because somewhere there is someone out there contemplating suicide. There is also someone out there trying to understand a loved one’s decision or situation. And then, there is someone out there trying to understand themselves.
-Unless you really understand others, you can hardly attain your own self-understanding-Miyamoto Musashi
Your Turn To Reflect
Have you ever experienced a difficult relationship due to a lack of understanding
Have you or someone you know ever contemplated suicide? If so, do you understand how you/they reached that point?
Have you ever had a hard time understanding your own decisions?
Source: Thomas F. Oltmanns, Robert E. Emery University Of Virginia, and Survivors Of Suicide
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear-C.S Lewis
Death and loss of a loved one is painful no doubt. The family and friends are left the difficult task of grieving the loss. Suicide is a death like no other and so is the grieving process. One often feels as though they are left standing in the shadow of their loved one’s actions. They have to fight against the emotional roller-coaster and socially driven stigmas that this shadow cast. Therefore, they are called survivors. This dark space brings about several feelings and emotions that can last for years or sometimes the bad feelings never fully resolves. For these survivors, the beginning of the healing process is to first acknowledge these feelings and the second is to accept that it is okay to have those feelings.
Confusion & Guilt
Confusion or guilt is usually one of the first feelings that are felt. Confusion was the first feeling that I felt about my mother’s death. I describe these feelings in Painful Truth. This feeling stayed with me for a very long time. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I started to gain some clarity. Others may experience confusion as they did not pick up on any signs of the impending suicide.
Trying to make sense of your loved one’s actions when you didn’t suspect that anything was amidst, can lead to a lot of unanswered questions. Memories of what seemed to be happy moments, now come into question. Questions with no answers often lead to misplaced responsibility, a.k.a guilt. The mind becomes filled with the would’ve, could’ve, should’ve. A flawed thought process that makes one feel as though their actions or lack thereof caused the suicide.
In the midst of the feelings of confusion and guilt lies anger. Anger with themselves or their loved one. Not everyone will feel angry but, some may experience this. Like many others, I felt anger towards my mother because of her actions. In Painful Truth, I talked about how I was angry because I could not understand how I was not important enough to stick around for. My anger was also combined with feelings of abandonment and rejection. Her actions made me feel unwanted and in return angry.
Shame & Embarrassment
I grew up in the 80-90’s era. During this time, there was a huge stigma surrounding suicide. Generally, anyone that committed suicide was considered crazy. In the black community, suicide was unheard of. I can’t count how many times I was told: “With all the things already killing the black community, no one would kill themselves”. In the church community, anyone that committed suicide was going straight to hell. So, it was always easier for me to just say she was murdered as this kept the dirty and shocked looks to a minimum.
I used to be so ashamed and embarrassed to admit that my mother killed herself. The stigmas of the world only pushed belief in the need to keep it as my “secret shame”. When I was in eighth grade, I attended Catholic school. Since my teacher was a nun, I thought it only appropriate to ask her if my mother was in hell. She told me no one knows what her final words were and if she asked for forgiveness before she died, then she went to heaven. I held on to that kind word for a long time. For some reason, it gave me peace. When I became an adult and was looking to get closer to God, the question popped into my mind again. This time, I asked someone who was helping to guide me along on my spiritual journey. They told me that no matter what she said she went to hell because the act alone was sinful. After that day, that person didn’t help guide me along anywhere, least of all on my spiritual journey.
Society has gotten better about attempting to understand suicide and its effect on the survivors. However, the stigma never fully went away. Judgment and flawed perceptions are still out there. As for me, I still hear whispers when I say how she died but, I feel no shame.
We can’t talk about the grieving of suicide survivors without talking about sadness. Sadness that goes so deep it can take you into the darkest pit of a well of emotions. Sadness so strong that it can leave you wishing for the fate of your loved one. It’s funny how the very thing that played a role in the loss of a loved one, can cause you to feel that same hurt and pain. When I could truly understand my mother’s death, it sent me into a depression. It was like I could feel her hurt and pain. As a wife, mother and woman, I could finally understand what she felt. I described her pain in He Said, She Said. I also felt this longing to be with her, to beg for her forgiveness for my shame and anger. For many, these feelings can last for a lifetime. It can even manifest in post-traumatic stress disorder. That is why it is important to express yourself and seek help during this grieving process when necessary. It is also important to know that it’s okay to feel this way.
Your Turn To Reflect
What are some stigmas you have heard in regards to suicide?
Are you a suicide survivor or know someone who is?
Source: Serani Psy. D, D.(2013, November 25). Understanding Survivors Of Suicide Loss. Retrieved from http://www.psychologtoday
The final steps of the g.l.o.w are the fun, grandeur moments. In these moments, everyone around you can see there is something quite different about you. Your aura gives off a beautiful enigma wrapped in a welcoming glow. This is usually the part when one makes a physical change to symbolize the shedding of the old them. So, go ahead and have some fun with it. Cut your hair, dye it, get a tattoo. Just don’t act too impulsively and do something you will regret.
O: Owning Who You Are
Self -confidence. This word embodies everything there is to own who you are. Removing all stigmas and expectations that others have for you. Going for yours without asking anyone’s permission or apologizing for who you are. Embrace the beautiful you that your journey has transformed you into. It’s time to shed your cyclist and spread your wings.
In Final Say, I had to put on my blinders and have tunnel vision to meet my goals. So many people had plans for my life. None of which adhered to the plans I had. None represented whom I had become. I had to embrace my new-found self-confidence and own who I was and am. When you don’t own who you are, you leave yourself open to others interpretation of who they see you as and how you should live your life. You are not your past or what others have called you to be. Shed your shell of a past and own who you are!
W: Willfully Moving Forward
To willfully move forward you must be deliberate in your actions. You have gained financial control, learned to strive, own who you are, so now it’s time to move forward. Your past is just that, the past. Now it’s time to make decisions and move like the new glowing you that you are. There is no time to act as you did in the past because you have grown beyond that.
In D-Day, I walked into court that day determined to finally end it. That is just what I did that day. I didn’t give Mr. Ex my energy, attention or emotions like I used to do in the past. After the hearing, I took a moment to have a final reflection on my past. There was so much hurt, pain and confusion that I allowed into my life. I made so many bad decisions I can’t even begin to count them. No regrets though, just growth.
The g.l.o.w works from the inside out. A pure transformation of your thought process and your views on life. In a sense, the fog over your heart and mind has lifted. You make room for the best form of love there is and that is self-love.
Your Turn To Reflect
Who are you as you subscribe to be?
What new discoveries have you learned about yourself?