Last Saturday, I had a rare unexpected day off. I used that opportunity to watch the March for Our Lives event. I sat proud of the way the youth stood up for what they believed in and demanded action! There are times when I am asked why do I spend time working with youth, and last Saturday was proof of why.
As I sit here writing this, I am preparing to leave for another Jamaica Mission Trip to work with youth there for another year, my heart is warmed by what I witnessed. In my youth there were people who poured into me and contributed to who I am today. I feel that it is important to give back to youth and help them develop into productive citizens. You never know how a simple encounter will impact a youth.
There are many programs out there you can become a part of. Big Brothers Big Sisters and Girls Empowered Mentally for Success are two programs that I am part of that strive to help you. I am a mentor in one program and on the board for the other. Even if you cannot give time, you can invest in programs in other ways.
I challenge every person that reads this to find someone to invest in our youth. There will come a day when they will be in charge of making decisions and policy changes. This can only happen through education and sharing.
Wow, just realized that I have not written anything since March of last year! The second part of last year I was focused on training for a half marathon and accomplishing goals that I had set for myself, that blogging fell to the side. But that is alright because I am back and ready to educate and advocate!
I usually start the first blog of the year talking about my goals for the year, but this year I want to do start off differently. There are so many issues in the news today that I could speak on, but I honestly do not know where to begin. So I am going to start this year off writing about preparing for another year serving the youth of Jamaica on a mission trip.
Today the team met to start preparation for the trip. I am excited about another year meeting new youth and having the opportunity to let God use me in whatever way He sees fit. I have been participating in this trip since my Junior year of undergrad (I refuse to count the years! LOL). We have an amazing team that is forming and we are looking for other people to go, assist financially, or pray. If you are interested in helping in any way, please let me know.
Until next week I leave you with this quote from my Passion Planner: “WHETHER YOU THINK YOU CAN, OR YOU THINK YOU CAN’T-YOU’RE RIGHT. HENRY FORD”
I am apart of a powerful women’s entrepreneurial group where we read a book and have a discussion about the impact the book had us. Our first book is Iyanla Vanzant’s Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What Your’re Going Through. This book is an autobiography where Iyanla explores her past trauma and the generational pathology of her family. One of the questions posed by one of the group members was “which adult from Iyanla’s childhood we thought was in the best position to protect her and make everything alright.” My response to the question was “The adults in her life were not in a position to make everything right as they had never dealt with their issues and trauma. I run across so many families who want us (therapists) to “fix” children when the real issue is the parents. And when I say the real issue is the parents, I mean they have never dealt with their issues and that effects the way in which they parent continuing the passing down of generational issues.” Her response to me was “I see! Wow. Heal the parents which would enable them to support the healing of the child.” I thought, “Exactly! Somebody gets it!”
The first step to caregivers helping their children through issues that require therapy is to first deal with their own issues. One of the statements I make to the parents of the children I treat is “In order for me to help your child, you have to be a part of the treatment. That means there may be times when you have to meet with me alone where we may have to address things from your past that are impacting your relationship with your child. I cannot help your child without also helping you.” Many caregivers do not realize how their past issues have seeped into their current relationships and coping. Ignorance is not bliss! Ignoring what has occurred in your past is the breeding ground for pathology.
Caregivers for the benefit of the children you are raising, please face the issues from your past. Therapy is not for “crazy people” as it has been stigmatized in the past. Therapy is for everyone who is willing to face their past and want to change.
Close up on a man and a woman holding hands at a wooden table
This past week has been interesting to say the least. Emotions continue to be high as one president exits and another one enters. I found myself having to unfriend someone I have known since I was an undergraduate in college because of the personal attacks he made against others whom I am friends with during a conversation on Facebook. Here is the status that I posted after I unfriended him: “Please understand that I post about things that I care about and are my views. I love to spark debate as long as it is done properly. That is the point of some of my posts. I will not tolerate disrespect. Personal attacks is not the way to change someone’s view on an issue. Don’t quote the Bible if you don’t live by it. You will be blocked!” I am an advocate for having conversations about difficult subjects with people of different view points. That is how change happens whether it is someone adjusting to my view, or me to theirs. But we as a society have to learn how to have conversations without resorting to personal attacks.
I have also been dealing with an issue with a family where the teenager has dug her heels in and is refusing to see reason because she does not want to be seen as weak in the eyes of her peers even though her safety is in jeopardy. Today it hit me that what we have witnessed over the past couple of days is a great testimony. There was an expectation that the inauguration attendance would be record breaking, but instead people showed their voice by not showing up. Now I know there is discrepancy about how many people were there, but pictures truly are worth a thousand words. The very next day women across the United States gathered and marched for women rights. So many so they have not been able to collect the numbers yet. The statement of silence the day before and peaceful protest the next day spoke volumes! And how fitting that this all occurred the week we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday!
Our challenge today is teaching youth that they can show more strength by using wisdom to deal with conflict. Many of the past conflicts I have dealt with have been shut down and resolved using silence, peaceful protest, kindness, love, and a smile. So I challenge us all to use wisdom in how we approach things and find a different way of responding to those who have views that are in conflict with out own.
So it has been a long time since I have blogged. Things have been crazy since the last time I wrote. Let’s see I was in a car accident while training for a half marathon. Then I got a promotion at work that turned into full time way earlier than expected. So I would say the last part of 2016 was a time of transition for me. But now we are in 2017 and I am at a place in my life where I have to learn to not just focus on just seeing clients and making it through the day, but I have to learn to maintain all aspects of my personal life at the same time. Which includes being more consistent with blogging. So here goes!
My first blog of 2017 is about what I am already learning for 2017 and not about my goals for 2017. My word for this year is “Completion.” God gave me this word because there are several things that I have allowed to be carried over into 2017 that should have stayed in 2016. For reasons of fear, procrastination, and just being busy I allowed these things to enter into a new year which is unacceptable. I can continue to make excuses or I can do something about it. I am choosing to correct my mistakes. Also, there are new opportunities that I will encounter in 2017 that must be completed in 2017. As I refuse to continue to make the same mistakes.
This year I am not going to publicly reveal my goals list, but as I go throughout the year I will share different things that are on my list and my personal journey to completing them. I will still be an advocate about issues that are important to me. And share the life lessons that I learn along the way. I look forward to the journey of 2017 and my continued growth. I hope each of you join me on this journey of completion!
So I realized this week I have not posted since June. The reason, because I have been in transition. In June I started a new job while continuing to handle two cases at my old job. Not only did I switch jobs, but I have switched settings. I am moving from working with juveniles in the residential setting to working outpatient conducting therapy in homes with all ages and diagnoses. In my planning of this, I expected it to take two weeks, four tops. After all I have worked outpatient before and I have worked in homes before. Boy was I wrong! I am still in the process of transitioning and adapting all areas of my life to my new job and setting.
When I was in my doctoral program, one of my professors had us read The Way of Transition by William Bridges. There was a quote from that book that I have carried with me; “Transition…is the process of letting go of the way things used to be and then taking hold of the way they subsequently become.” Some where over the last two and a half months I forgot about this quote.
This week I almost had a melt down. Yes even psychologists have melt downs. I did not get my notes and a report in on time and I was beating myself up. I have spent the last three weeks trying to rebalance life where work is not taking over everything. And what happens, something with work falls. Then I went to a great luncheon on Tuesday with a group of women who are in various transitions of their own. One of those ladies reminded me that transition takes time and can’t be rushed. And today, I remembered Mr. Bridges quote and found another one that has brought me peace:
While I have made it through the change, I am still in transition.
This week has taught me that I have to completely let go of the way things were in order to grab hold of the way they will be. There are certain things that are stable, but most things have to be let go. So tonight I toast and embrace the transition that I am in. I look forward to what is to come. And I choose to rest in the midst of uncertainty letting my faith be my strength. Oh, and I will allow myself to have a learning curve.