Today I passed a street I regularly traveled going to rehab to see my husband, Scott. A feeling of emptiness and pain welled up inside and I wanted to cry but no tears came, only drops. It has been almost 6 months since he passed. On some days it feels like yesterday yet other days it feels like an eternity. Honestly, most days I am ok– Enjoying life, helping people, praying and seeking a closer spiritual walk. Other times I ponder why, despite the fact that everyone has grief or has gone through grief, yet we walk around each other as if the pain is completely gone all the time. I do realize we must move on with life without our loved one, but can we sometimes be honest when someone asks how things are. Why can’t we say, Well I been thinking about him all week”. Or I had a hard time going to sleep because he was not in bed with me”. I do understand why we say we are fine because we need to go on and don’t want to bring others down emotionally. We all need those special people we can share with when everything seems to fall apart, when you really are having a tough time as well as when things are good. For I find that both conditions are temporary and we eventually get passed pain then experience joy –then a bit of pain– then joy and the cycle continues.

I find that as I continue to move through this season of life, things are ever changing. The landmarks that Scott and I shared have changed. The layout of one of our favorite stores has changed, the cost of gas has changed from when he use to fill up to go to work, the fabric of the world is changing with people being about to carry guns openly despite the fact that all types of violent crimes are on the rise.

Change, itself, is never permanent, that is why we call it change. The key to change is riding the wave through it not fighting a storm in it. Let your change be like a wave that you totally surrender to as God guides you to your predetermined destiny!

Keep Showing Up

This morning as I was struggling through my grief, I reflected on one of my students and I learned a deep lesson. – Just keep showing up!! This student has a tougher time with concepts but she always shows up to deal with them without complaint.  Many times when I see her in the hallway, I will give her a math problem and she will think about it and give me an answer. She will not run away or avoid me, she meets me head on and is ready because she knows I am going to ask her something and she is not really sure if she is able to answer. Many times when I am challenged with my grief or other life problems, I may tend to want to avoid it or choose not to deal with it. Sometimes I feel so weak and frustrated I refuse to put forth my best effort. Despite the struggles in my life, I must commit to show up with a positive attitude and ready to tackle challenges regardless of how difficult they may be. Even in sadness, I need to show up and deal with this difficulty. Life is never easy, but we all must continue to fight despite our struggles knowing that as we fight, we will achieve strength  and we must never compare ourselves to others that appear to have it easy.

Another quality I noticed in this student is that she stays in a positive frame of mind sharing things with me (without even knowing) that really make my day. Friday, I had an incident that was very stressful for me and it concerned my teaching or management of students. In our conversation, she made a comment that my class went by much faster than her other classes. This comment really made my day because perception is everything. When you have the perception that things are good, they are good. When you experience life in the moment enjoying each moment, life is good. Reflect on how many times you may have made a positive comment to someone and it has lifted them beyond measure. We may never know how our words can affect another person so we must maintain positives remarks that will uplift and not tear down.

That is how God works. He uses simple things to bring clarity to the complex. When I feel burdened with my heavy load that may be difficult for me—I will not look at others and see how they may not seem to struggle as I do, but I will keep my head up and press on in a positive frame of mind and do as Ymani– keep showing up!

Joyful New Year!

As I reflect on the phrase “happy new year”, I understand that for some of us this is a virtual impossible experience. For according to an article in Psychology Today, happiness is external and is based on situations, events, people, places and things. Because of our unique situations, many times happiness eludes us; however, joy can embrace us. Joy is a spiritual quality that is internal. Joy is a feeling that despite your struggles you can still feel at peace; In spite of your pain you can still Bring light and encouragement to others. For me, the joy of the Lord is MY strength! For in a true relationship with God, regardless of what you’re going through, this New Year can be a joyous one!!

My wish and prayer for each of you is for you to have a Joyous 2016 and always look up to the source of that joy!