Living With Depression During the Pandemic

diverse group of people hugging
 
 
 

This pandemic has changed all of our lives as none of us could have ever imagined, even the elderly generation, has stated that they have never witnessed anything like this in their lifetimes.  Who would have thought that the entire world would have been shut down at one point?  The fact that we haven’t been able to see our loved ones, hug people, unable to visit our sick family and friends who are hospitalized, and our kids/grandkids not being able to socialize with their friends has been extremely difficult for most.

For those people who are already suffering with depression, the pandemic has made them sink further into that dark hole, particularly, if they live alone.  They have nothing but time on their hands other than to think, think, think.  They shut down and shut people out and the people, who have been locked out, have no idea as to why; therefore, they are left scratching their heads and wondering what they could have possibly done to offend them.  Those who are depressed may be ashamed to tell their friends and family members why they are so distant, but they shouldn’t be.  We all have our struggles.  At least in communicating that you need space, they will understand that it’s not them and, who knows, you might just find out they can be a great listener or pray along with you.  Depression is real in itself but coupled with this pandemic, it’s an absolute beast.  

I have been afforded the opportunity to spend time with a few folk, which includes my parents and I’m grateful for that.  While I miss being out and about as well as missing the human touch (hugging), I haven’t been depressed although I suffered with it and through it in the past.  Perhaps, it’s because my 5-year-old granddaughter lives with me and keeps me quite busy, which is a blessing in of itself.  I can say that I’ve appreciated the shut down because it has allowed me to slow down.  I didn’t realize just how busy I was until there was nothing that I could do.

Two kids hugging on a beach (Imago/Westend61)My granddaughter, on the other hand, misses her friends terribly and will say to me from time to time that I get to see my “friends” meaning my coworkers.  Even though she and I talk about the coronavirus and why I have to keep her safe, she doesn’t understand why her life has been turned upside down and disrupted the way it has been.  She is a social butterfly and enjoys playing with and talking to her friends.  I try and keep her busy by doing various activities with her and one of my best friends will come by sometimes to join us in our fun or we will visit them, which is something she always looks forward to.

 

Caring for a Parent From Far Away | KiplingerI haven’t hugged my parents in months and trust me I miss not being able to do so when I visit them occasionally.  I’m a very huggy, feely type person and I love giving and receiving hugs.  I have to admit this is the piece that is really difficult for me.

 

As we all try to adjust to this “new” norm, please don’t allow yourself to shut down mentally, physically or emotionally.  When you find yourself depressed, think of things that you can do to put your mind at ease, i.e., praying, taking a walk through your neighborhood, calling a friend, writing, exercising, reading, etc.  Talk to a trusted friend or family member about what you’re dealing with; it’s a tough load to carry singlehandedly.  I know about depression and it’s all consuming manner, as I lived that for many a years alone because I was too embarrassed to talk about it.  Just to think I would have taken my life had I not been afraid of what people would think of me.  During this pandemic, there have been those who have committed suicide because the pressure of being alone was just too great for them to bear.  Please don’t let this be you.  Depression is no joke!

Don’t be embarrassed

You’re not alone

 

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace ❤️

 

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Take a Leap of Grace.”  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to.😊

Quit Your Belly-Aching and Just Wear the “Dang” Mask…

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Honestly, I’m quite tired of poring article after article and watching video after video of people who are just so “inconsiderate” of others by being rebellious and downright defiant when it comes to wearing their mask.

Let’s face it, none of us enjoy wearing them.  They are hot as the dickens and, if you’re going through menopause like I am, they are even hotter.  There are days that I feel a little claustrophobic and find the need to get a little air.  However, I refuse to jeopardize myself and others by not wearing one.  Even my 5-year-old granddaughter understands the dangers of not wearing a mask.  It’s for safety reasons, for heavens sake!

There have been those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, even though they were asymptomatic at the time.  Just imagine how many people they could have potentially come in contact with and affected by their poor choice if they weren’t wearing “the mask.”

Let me ask you this, how would you like it if some “insensitive” person (and I’m being nice here) gave the virus to your loved one?  Let’s take it even a step further.  Suppose your loved one expired (passed away) because of the person’s rebellious nature and downright refusal to wear the mask.  To me, these people are being a rebel “WITHOUT” a cause.  You complain that you are exercising your “first amendment right”.  How about “potentially” causing harm to your fellow man?  Where does that fit into your thought process or do you possess an “I don’t care attitude”?

F4ECC4F2-B9FC-4F82-9B4E-20B977FA350CFor those of you who are fashionista’s, there are masks in all styles and colors.  However, if you prefer, there are the disposal ones as well.  No matter your taste, I implore you to wear one and stop fighting with people.  Stop going into the stores and behaving like “A Karen” as you argue with employees who are only there to perform their job as they attempt to keep everyone safe and protect them from you, “Karen”.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term (as I was until recently), here you go, lol:

What is “A Karen”:  The stereotypical name associated with rude, obnoxious and insufferable.

Karen’s take everything wrong and crank it up by several thousand percent. It has been said that they have a short temper, etc.  They make life a nightmare for retail workers by demanding to “speak to the manager”, threaten to sue someone for a minor misdemeanor they may or may not have committed and may or may not have even involved Karen at all.  There is so much more, but you get the picture.  If this is you, then you are “A Karen”.  Stop walking around feeling like you’re entitled and making people’s lives absolutely miserable.

As an aside, on June 12, 2020, there was a woman who pulled down her mask and maliciously coughed on a woman’s 1-year-old son (who was in his stroller), at least two or three times, because she felt the mother wasn’t practicing proper social distancing.  Afterwards, the mother of the baby said that he had a mild temperature and hoped it wouldn’t turn into anything further.  They found out who this “heartless” woman was and, according to CNN, she is no longer employed by the company that she worked for.  It was unclear if she was fired or quit.  In any event, her behavior wasn’t tolerated.  There should be a place for people like her.  As far as I know, the investigation is still ongoing.  What she did was not only low and cruel, but she intentionally endangered someone’s child; she totally crossed the line!  My feathers are really ruffled because supposed that had been one of my grandkids.  Hopefully, she has had time to cool down and think about the ramifications of her actions!

At the end of the day, by wearing your mask, you just might be saving your own life!

WEAR YOUR MASK!

As always, remember #GurlYouGotItGoinOn”

Love ya,

Grace ❤️

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Take a Leap of Grace.”  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to. 😊

Elder Abuse…

One of my best friends sent me two separate articles/videos about Elder abuse that absolutely broke my heart. These are our parents, our grandparents and, for some, great grandparents. Why does this go on? How can it happen time and time again? How can we prevent it?

The first article was about a 20-year-old who physically abused a 70-something year old in a nursing home where they were both residents. He absolutely beat the stuffings out of the elder gentleman, and was “bold” enough to record himself while doing so. Thank God he did or this could have gone on for a minute or, perhaps, he would have abused other patients at that facility. The other video was of a granddaughter who spanked her grandmother (with her pants pulled down) for falling asleep holding her baby. The person who was recording the beating, then went over and showed the grandmother how to bend over the chair so that she could be spanked, and it went on from there. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. I was so angry and so hurt. How could someone do such a horrible thing? At no point did their minds tell them this was wrong? After all, this was their family! Forgive me, but this really bothers me and I feel like these people should be thrown under the jail. I don’t care what these two people did, there was no reason for them to be treated the way they were!

Years ago, I read an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, I believe, about a staff member who had dyed the pubic hair of one of the residents at the nursing home where he was employed. I couldn’t begin to fathom how someone could be so monstrous as to do such a thing.  The poor woman was burned to the high heavens as a result.  That was the first time that I was made aware of Elder abuse.

Sometime later, I was told a story about someone who actually witnessed a staff member beating one of the patients while bathing them. She was afraid to say something for fear of retaliation against her friend, who was a resident, so she said nothing and just turned a blind eye.

I remember an incident when my grandfather was in an assisted living facility. He had to go to the restroom and asked one of the staff to assist him in getting there (he had a walker and wasn’t supposed to walk a distance unassisted). He was told “You have a diaper on, just go on yourself.” My grandfather wasn’t having it and said to her, “If you don’t take me to the bathroom, I’m going to pee on this floor,” and the thing was he absolutely meant it. Why encourage him to wet himself? Then, how long would he have had to sit in his wet, soggy diaper?  He had lost everything else in terms of being able to live alone. Why should he have been robbed of his dignity as well? I’m grateful that he spoke up for himself.

Also, our elderly are being raped in some facilities. Are you serious? Can you imagine the absolute fear and horror of these patients who are not “asking for it?”  I’m getting teary eyed just thinking about it.

Then, you have some families who take in their elderly family members just for the money but are neglecting them by not keeping them properly bathed, clothed or fed. They don’t communicate with them or take them out and about to get some much needed exercise.  These are people who have lived their lives, most probably taking care of people during their lifetimes, and now have to depend on those who don’t give two woodles of the dickens about them.  

There are families who put their loved ones in nursing homes, and never visit them. Some families feel their “elders” are a nuisance, so they just place them in a facility and go on with their lives never giving care or concern for them. They are just forgotten about. I remember once when I was in my late 20’s and one of my friends’ mother was placed. We were in the area where guests could visit and one of the patient’s was blind. She was asking us questions just to make conversation because she had no one to visit her. The staff member asked her why she was questioning us and then further asked, “Are you writing an article? Why do you need to know?” Well, that ticked me off because we didn’t mind talking to her. What was the harm? Shouldn’t she have been allowed the freedom to talk? I could see if we looked as though we were bothered, but we weren’t.

Now that we’re in a pandemic, people aren’t allowed to visit their loved ones who are in various facilities, and that has to be extremely difficult for them and their family member(s) because they can’t really check on them. They don’t know if they are being treated properly and that has to be worrisome. Honestly, I can’t imagine.

Let me say this, taking care of the elderly is not always an easy task, and it’s not for everyone. However, they don’t deserve to be mistreated. If it’s a family member and you find you can’t take care of them, please say so rather than abusing them. Perhaps, you work at a nursing home facility and are in over your head, please be honest enough with yourself to find a job that you’re more suited for. It could be you or one of your family members being abused.

Even though most families do their best to find great nursing homes for their loved ones, you never know what goes on when you’re not around. Please make yourselves visible. Show them that you didn’t just dump your family member off and ride off into the sunset, but that you do care about them.

My nearly five-year-old granddaughter asked me on yesterday, when we were walking, where was I going to live when I got “old”. I told her that I had no idea. She then asked, “In a hospital” (I’m guessing she was thinking about her great aunt when she asked that question). My response was, “I certainly hope not.” We will all reach that point in life should we live that long wherein that may be a possibility, particularly, if our health is such that our family members can no longer care for us. Honestly, it’s pretty scary when you think about it. 

When this pandemic is over, please, please, please go to the nursing homes and assisted living facilities to check on your loved ones to make sure they’re okay.  

#ThisIsReal

#ItsNotAFigmentofAnyonesImagination

#ShowThatYouCare

#DontAbandonYourFamily

#TheyNeedYou

#DontBeSilentAboutMistreatment

#SomeonesLifeMayDependOnYourVoice

#WeAreInThisTogether

 

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya, 

Grace ❤️

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or Chat with Grace.  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately.😊

 

When It’s Time to Close the Chapter…

Chapter closed. Learned a ton. Fake Christian. Selfish woman. I ...

How many times have we stayed in a friendship, relationship or job far too long?  It doesn’t matter if the situation is no longer ideal, it’s comfortable and it’s what we know and have become accustomed to, so we stay regardless of our inner thoughts screaming at us to get out — to leave.  We have “normalized” the relationship/friendship/place of employment in our minds because we are afraid of the unknown, which is perfectly normal.

There are times when we meet people and there is an immediate connection.  We expect to remain friends for life because things were going so well.  Then, one day, for whatever reason, the friendship slowly fades.  The communication slowly wanes.  Nothing out of the ordinary happened.  We didn’t have a disagreement.  We just outgrew the friendship or perhaps the relationship status changed because the person moved away.  People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime; I’m a firm believer of this as people have come into my life in all three of these phases.

Sadly, this also applies to family members.  There was a disagreement that put a rift in your relationship, and you were never able to get back on the same page.  Unfortunately, the kinship just couldn’t be mended.  One day things were going well, and the next it was like “poof, they disappeared without a trace”.  Maybe, you’ve tried to “fix” whatever became “broken”, but the other party or parties just prefer to leave it be.  This one really stings because no matter what, at the end of the day, you’re still family.

There were times that you knew you needed to move on from your place of employment, but you were comfortable.  You knew your job inside and out.  You were so good at it that you could perform it in your sleep.  You had developed great friendships with your coworkers, and was torn with the thought of leaving them.  However, things happened that put a fire underneath you because it was time for that chapter to end.

Maybe you were in a dead end relationship that you just couldn’t see your way out of.  You knew that it wasn’t healthy, but you stayed nonetheless — in fact, you overstayed.  You knew this person and even though they weren’t right for you, you felt it was better than starting over getting to know someone new or worse yet, being alone.  If you have kids, you might have convinced yourself that you stayed for them.  Conceivably, you may have even stayed for the finances because it’s easier to pay the bills when there are two incomes versus one.  However, if you were truly honest with yourself, you’d probably come up with the real reason you stayed – you were terrified to leave even though the relationship was sucking the life right out of you.  Bit by bit, you turned into someone that you didn’t even recognize as the stress brought out the worst in you.  Then, the day came when you finally had enough.  You wanted to get off the merry-go round or maybe you called it a rollercoaster ride.  No matter what you called it, you wanted it to stop and let you off.

Let me say this, don’t be so afraid to close the chapter that you stay stuck and end up being someplace or with someone that you shouldn’t be with because fear has you immobilized.  Make a plan, i.e., a list of things you need to do to close the chapter. Journal about how closing the chapter will impact your life in a positive way.  Talk to a trusted friend about what you’re thinking.  Pray about it.  Then, when, you’re able to mentally, physically, and emotionally close the chapter, don’t look back.  Because, in doing so, you’ll find yourself longing for what was and may find yourself going backwards.  Once you’re free stay free because you may never be able to summon up enough courage again.

“You have to accept that some chapters in our lives have to close without closure.  There’s no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what’s meant to stay broken.”  

Absolutely!  When I read that, it hit home because how many times do we attempt to get closure, and almost “force” people to give us a reason for walking out on us.  I have to admit the “not knowing” hurts like the dickens because we want an explanation and feel we deserve one, and maybe we do.  However, if we don’t get one, we have to close the chapter ourselves!  It’s not worth the stress of trying to figure out what could have gone wrong and/or blaming ourselves for their departure.  Let them go!

I remember when I closed a chapter of my life. Even though I knew it was the best thing for me to do, I have to admit that the unknown was downright scary.  I moved forward, however, and it was the best decision I ever made in my life.  Did I know what the next chapter was going to hold?  Nope, but I’m loving this new chapter, which has brought about a lot of personal happiness, peace of mind, and freedom.  Has it been easy?  Absolutely not!  However, I’m not looking back, but moving forward.  One journey ended, but the start of the new journey has been great, and for the first time in forever, I’m excited.  I can’t wait to see where this path takes me.

I think this pretty much speaks for itself.  Let go!  Wait!  You deserve the best!  No, it’s not easy!  Pray for strength!  Be patient — your time will come!  Don’t get off course by looking at what you see or don’t see on the horizon.

 

Don’t continue to allow fear to prevent you from shutting the door and closing the chapter…It’s time to move on!

Chapter Dissolution

Always remember that, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace ❤️

 

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Take a Leap of Grace.”  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to. 😊

What Are Your Kids Watching and Being Exposed To?

kids watch TV

Image result for kids watching tv

Are we tuned into what our kids/grandkids are watching or being exposed to regularly?  I would venture to assume that most of us are, but every now and again something “sneaks” in subtly that we don’t catch.

Sometime, probably early 2019, my granddaughter mentioned something to her mom about “boys peeing outside” (she was 3 at the time).  When my daughter asked me about it, I asked, “What are you talking about.”  As she lives with me, I knew she hadn’t been exposed to anyone who would do such a thing, so I was extremely perplexed as to where that came from.  My granddaughter insisted that no one said that to her.  About a week or so later, she was watching a segment of Play Doh on her iPad and low and behold, guess what I saw — a boy “urinating” behind the trashcan.  I was shocked, quite honestly. because kids are watching this stuff and for the most part, we as parents, guardians or caregivers are unaware.  Play Doh is supposed to be innocent, right?  Wrong.  It’s not.   I’ve seen some rather disgusting, inappropriate segments that are out there for kids to watch that left me with my mouth hanging wide open.  If we aren’t paying attention they are being exposed, at a young age, to things that we don’t want them to know about as yet.  I just had to shake my head.  Needless to say, my granddaughter rarely watches that now — actually, she rarely asks to watch it now as there are a lot of more “kid” friendly things for her to watch.

Now, let’s move on to dolls.  They are cute and fun to play with as the kids dress and undress them, mess up their hair, etc. all the while creating happiness for themselves.  My granddaughter wanted an LOL doll for Christmas, so her mom and aunt made sure she got her wish.  I didn’t know anything about them other than that’s what she kept talking about.  It’s called LOL Surprise, so you don’t know which doll you’re getting until you open it, hence it’s a surprise.  Well, right after Christmas people were talking about the boy dolls being, get this, “anatomically correct”.  What the what!!!!????  Can you imagine the horror when you see your child tear open the package and there is a…From what I’ve read, parents are divided on this subject matter.  Some think it’s okay, because boys are “different” from girls, while there are those of us who don’t want to have a conversations with our young kids about the differences as yet.  MGA Entertainment says that it’s a surprise and they stand by their product.  Per them, the packaging and website says that the boy dolls are anatomically correct.  Well, I’m sure most, if most people are like me, they don’t read the packaging or visit websites.  The kids ask for it, and they purchase it to make them happy; they want to see the smiles on their little faces.

I did some research, and this is what I found:  Isaac Larian, CEO and founder of MGA Entertainment, told The New York Post that, “all of our LOL Surprise boy dolls have been (and will continue to be) anatomically correct…. boys are anatomically correct.  After all, human beings are naturally and anatomically correct.”

Well, that’s a definite no for me!  My granddaughter will not have the boy dolls — end of discussion…

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Now, this is more of my speed…

In today’s time, I admonish you to be aware of what your kids are watching and listening to, and playing with for that matter.  What should be deemed as kid friendly and innocent just might have some inappropriate things thrown in ever so subtly.

No, we can’t shield our children from everything and there are those things that we shouldn’t keep them from because we don’t want them to go out into the world unawares; however, we need to monitor them to keep them safe from those who would seek to “open their eyes” too soon.

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace ❤️

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Leap of Grace.”  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately. 😊

Why Cheat?

getting cheated on quotes

Recently, I had to call the courier service that we use at my place of employment.  The delivery address is one that we don’t often use, so I was surprised when he came up with the correct information.  He then told me it was because he had “cheated,” and that my coworker had used the address when I worked out of our other site.  I told him it was okay to “cheat”.  Then, I thought about it said, “It’s okay to “cheat in this instance”.  He laughed because he knew exactly what I meant.

The reality is that people cheat — they cheat the system, they cheat their place of employment, they cheat on their spouses or significant others, etc.  What is it about us “mere humans” that drives us to cheat?  Honestly, I have no idea.  There’s a saying that goes like this, “Winners never cheat and cheaters never win”.  In my opinion, I think that about sums it up.  

CHEAT:  TO INFLUENCE OR LEAD BY DECEIT, TRICK OR ARTIFICE.  

woman in a relationship on tinderWhen you cheat, you have to lie to cover your tracks; therefore, lying and cheating go  hand in hand — hence, deceit.   Sometimes, people think they are getting away with their deception, so they continue down that path.  I remember when I was in my early 20’s, and I was listening to this radio broadcast show.  The topic was infidelity.  There was a man who “boldly” declared that he had been cheating on his wife for nineteen years, and actually “thought” she had no clue.  He was rather proud of it too.  I didn’t finish listening because I was so ticked off – #1 that he was cheating, and #2 that he was declaring it before the world as if it was some wonderful feat that he had accomplished.  I have no idea what the broadcasters response was, so I can’t state that here.  What he didn’t know is that his wife wasn’t blinded by his “slickness”, she just chose to ignore it and looked the other way for whatever her reasons were.  There is no way that he could have been that good or deceptive that that it rendered her obvious to his goings on.

Then, there is a group of  cheaters who claim their partners are cheating to deflect the dirt that they are doing off themselves.  Honestly, I had this happen to me in the past.  The person I was with said I had been cheating for years, and lied on me to anyone who would listen.  I couldn’t believe it and was angrier then a wet hornet when it first happened.  You see, this was a double slap in the face because not only were they hurting me by cheating, they also hurt me by lying on me.  How dare he do such a horrible thing?  I don’t know about you, but for me integrity means a lot and it’s something I work hard at.  I’m not perfect, but there are some things that I absolutely refuse to do.

We all know that, cheating has been going on since the beginning of time.  I think, at one point, the consensus was that only men cheated; however, that’s not true because women cheat as well.  In my mind, cheating just never made sense.  I didn’t want to have to sneak around and hide.  I didn’t want to have to try and remember what conversations I had with which person or accidentally call someone by an incorrect name.  If you have someone that you really care about why risk it all?  Why risk hurting them to the point that they’re left feeling absolutely devastated and worthless?  If you’re done with the relationship, just say so and move on.  Sure your partner will be hurt, but they will be hurt more in the long run by your philandering ways.

Illustration of woman running through a door at the end of man's long noseCheating breaks trust and sometimes it’s irreversible.  When you cheat on your partner, they are then on high alert and are constantly looking for something out of the ordinary.  They search everything and everywhere looking for evidence to prove that you are still lying to them.  When they call you on it, you still lie to their faces as your nose grows longer and longer.  I used to tell the person who cheated on me that there was no sense in lying because if I came to you with something believe that I could prove my case because I wasn’t the type to just pull a rabbit out of the hat.  Guess what?  They still lied 😔.

Before you cross the threshold of cheating and hurting everyone involved, talk to your partner about whatever issues you two may be experiencing.  If necessary, go to couples counseling.  If none of those things work and you two are unable to repair the relationship, then and only then should you even consider getting with someone else.

Ask yourself this question, “If my partner cheated on me, how would I feel?”  Just some food for thought…

Be Open

Be Honest

Always, Always Communicate –

(can’t stress this enough)

Love ya,

Grace ❤️

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Leap of Grace.” Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately. 😊

Learn to Love and Embrace the Skin You’re In…

I worked on this post for roughly two weeks because I had so much going on.  I almost gave up on this topic, but a conversation with someone and, unbeknownst to them at the time, it WAS CONFIRMED the topic that I was to write about — nothing like having confirmation.

Learn to love and embrace the skin you’re in.  I did and, certainly, you can too.  Regardless of whether you’re tall, short, thin, “pleasingly” plump, no matter your nationality, societal status, skin color, etc.  LOVE YOU AND EMBRACE, ALL OF YOU — after all, it’s the only you that you’ll ever have.  

Let’s face it, oftentimes, we, as women, don’t always feel like we measure up — we don’t feel pretty enough; we don’t feel thin enough or curvy enough; we don’t feel smart enough — the list could go on and on.  As a result of our of negative thoughts and feelings, we are suffer inside and wish we could be anyone except ourselves.  How do I know, you ask?  I used to be that woman.  I hated every single thing about myself from the crown of my head to the very tips of my toes, and no matter how I dressed up the outside, and “painted” on my happy face, deep down inside I was wallowing in self-pity and self-loathing.  Pretty sad, I know, but that was my “secret” reality for many, many years.  

You see, somewhere along the line I was told that I wasn’t good enough, that I’d never amount to anything and that I wasn’t attractive enough and, unfortunately, I believed it for most of my life.  Can you imagine someone saying these things to you and about you?  I was absolutely devastated, but I kept all of my hurt bottled up on the inside.  Because of this, I always compared myself to other women.  Everyday, I was completely and utterable miserable. I was envious of what I perceived those women to have because of what I “thought” I lacked.  Honestly, my self-esteem was so low that it couldn’t have gotten any lower.  What I didn’t realize at the time was there was nothing wrong with me.  Sure I had my issues, but who doesn’t?  I had allowed people’s negative views of me into my mind, and whatever they thought of me is who I became.

As a result of feeling lower than low, I made some very poor choices and was depressed for a good portion of my life.  However, no one knew how I felt except for God and me.  To the world, the outer person looked perfectly fine, but the inner girl was in constant turmoil as she dealt with all the hurt and pain that was imposed upon her as well as self-inflicted pain.  Someone probably looked at me and thought I  had it going on; however, they had no clue of my daily struggles.  That’s why it’s never, ever a good idea to want to be anyone except who you are — who you were destined to be.  I’m a prime example of just because a person appears to be okay doesn’t necessarily mean they are.

If you don’t love the skin you’re in, ask yourself why.  Was it a result of your upbringing?  Was it the result of a relationship gone bad?  Is it because you looked in the mirror and saw the flaws that make you unique, and wished you could erase them?  Let me say this, you are divinely created.  Mediate on that for a minute or two.

I’m so glad that I no longer travel that road of absolutely despising myself and feeling like I didn’t matter.  Over the years, I gradually began to realize who I was and what I was worth, and was able to put the pieces of the puzzle of my life together; however, not without many tears and much prayer.  The funny thing is that I can’t even tell you when it all changed.  It’s like one day, I woke up and all of those negative, derogatory feelings about myself disappeared.  The girl who didn’t know her self-worth and that had been tragically scarred by some of the people that she trusted to love and care for her was gone; she suddenly no longer existed.  No more did I have to masquerade around as though I was this secure woman because I actually become that woman.  I felt myself starting to stand up a little taller as my insecurities started to drop off one by one.  Every now and again, insecurities come a knocking for one reason or another; however, during those moments, I get to myself so that I can process what’s going on in my head.  Sometimes, I might talk to one or two of the people in my inner circle.  After that, I get up, dust myself off, pray, and say, “Girl, you got this,” and just like that, I feel so much better.  Gone are the days of wishing I were someone else.  Today, I can’t fathom being anyone else except me — no matter if she’s prettier, has a banging body, longer hair, flawless skin, abs for days or whatever — I LOVE ME and you can love yourself as well.  I’m not going to tell you that you’ll reach that point in your life over night because  you have to learn to shed those negative thoughts and feelings by replacing them with positive affirmation.

Today, if there is someone in your life who is making you feel down about yourself, extract them immediately!  They have no right to tear you down and, therefore, they don’t deserve to be a part of your life.  Who cares what they think anyway?  What I’m learning is that people who are insecure about who they are will belittle you in an attempt to feel better about themselves.  Don’t allow them to do that — take your power back!

You are somebody special no matter

what you’ve been told.  

Feel it.  

Walk in it.  

Believe it.

We are not FLAWLESS.  

We are not PERFECT.  

However, WE ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace ❤️

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and other platforms, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Leap of Grace.”  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately. 😊

Forgive…Yourself…It’s Way Past Time

Forgive Me, But Forgiveness Ain’t Easy

How many times have you been hurt by someone, and you were able to forgive them?  Sometimes, the friendship or relationship was able to weather the storm, and sometimes it wasn’t because the devastation of it was just too great.  Sadly, the relationship had come to an end.

There were also times wherein you hurt someone.  You sincerely apologized because you felt just awful.  You talked it out with the offending party, and they absolutely forgave you.  The thing is, you couldn’t forgive yourself, try as you might.  You constantly beat yourself up about it.  Every single time you see them, you can’t seem to relax because you thought that, perhaps, they were still thinking about it, even though they treated you normally and had actually gotten over it.  The unforgiveness that you had for yourself loomed over the relationship like a black cloud that seemed to follow you everywhere.  The fact of the matter is that, when we hurt someone, we should feel bad; however, we shouldn’t carry it around with us forever, particularly, if we’ve apologized.  The flip side of the coin is that sometimes people don’t forgive you because they just can’t find it in their hearts to do so, and we have to respect that.  You have apologized and there’s nothing more that you can do except allow them to have their space as they deal with the hurt; however, learn from what you’ve done to cause the pain.  There are times, we say things to people out of anger but, when we come to ourselves, we realize we’ve gone too far.  One of my favorite sayings is, “It’s not what you say but how you say it.”  One of the Elder’s at my church said last Sunday, “sometimes we need a little sweetness on our tongues when we talk to people.”  Boy, was she correct in saying that.

I can’t speak for you, but I can say that I’m toughest on the people that I love the most because I expect so much more out of them and, sometimes, I go too far.  Sometimes, we think we’re helping people and say things that we hope will trigger them to think about their negative behaviors only to discover later we cut them to shreds.  We don’t really mean any harm but we are hoping to give them a wake up call.

Perhaps, the person you hurt passed before you got a chance to tell them just how sorry you were or that you didn’t really mean it, and you’re torturing yourself every chance you get because you were never able to apologize.  Maybe, you gave your parents what we older folks call “a run for their money” in your youth, and feel it’s the cause of their health problems today.  Perhaps, you cheated on a spouse or boyfriend, which not only destroyed the trust, but your relationship as well.  Maybe you couldn’t get your life together enough to raise your child and he or she had to be taken away from you, and you’re left everyday wondering if they are being treated well.  There are so many other ways that we hurt people; however, I’ve only listed a few.  I could certainly fathom how one would feel just awful and absolutely refuse to forgive themselves.  The reality of it is, none of our hands are clean.  We’ve all hurt someone at some time or another.  However, it’s time to forgive ourselves.  Why continue to let the guilt of “yesterday” haunt us year after year?  Yes, we’ve hurt someone and, perhaps, pretty badly.  The remorse of the hurt we’ve caused can leave us with many sleepless nights, and have us  totally stressed out as we deal with it day in and day out.   The truth of the matter is that if I could go back and undo some of the things I’ve said or done, I would; unfortunately, that’s just not possible.

Wouldn’t you like to know for just once what it would feel like to be free — completely free?  Today, I want you to tell yourself, “I forgive you” and totally mean it.  Wrap your arms around yourself and have a good cry, if necessary.  Forgiving yourself is a process, so don’t expect it to happen overnight.  However, if you want deliverance, you have to find a way to get beyond your feelings of shame.

The sad truth is that we have all hurt people at some point in our lives (most of the time it’s unintentional); however…

The power of forgiveness can break the chains that are holding you captive.

  • You’re human.

  • You will make mistakes.

  • Today is the day to make peace with yourself.

  • It’s TIME TO LET IT GO!

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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P.S.:  I now have a podcast which is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts which you may find under Grace Deveraux or Chat With Grace.  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately.  

The Runaway Train…

Your mind — that is.

IMG_7909I can honestly admit that I have an extremely overactive mind and imagination and, there are days that my feelings and emotions WERE all over the place.  In speaking with other women, I realized that I wasn’t the only one who HAD this issue.  When my best friend shared this on Facebook, “Train your mind to be stronger than your feelings”, I knew I had to write about it.  The funny thing is before I could begin my blog, I saw it posted again by another one of my FaceBook friends.  Wow!  Talk about confirmation.

Let me start off by saying that it’s great to be in touch with our emotions and feelings but the truth of the matter is that we, as women, let our imaginations drive us straight down the steep hill without our seatbelts on to protect us; thereby, making a complete “train wreck”  as we are ejected from our seats.  When we are in such an emotional state, we can’t think clearly and often jump to conclusions because we haven’t thought it through — we haven’t processed it to see if it’s our own “wild” imagination or if there is, indeed, any is any validity to it at all.  I could write a book alone on how I have, in the past, allowed by emotions to govern my mind, but no more!

Why is it that some assume the worse in every situation?  Why can’t the situation be just what it is?  Why does more have to be read into it?  Those are questions to truly reflect upon.  Unfortunately, I can’t answer those questions for you.  However, I can give my thoughts on it:

  1. Distrust.
  2. Low self esteem.
  3. Insecurity.
  4. Uncertainty.

Perhaps, you can come up with your own views on the matter.  At the end of the day, this shouldn’t be how you want to live your life.  You have to find a way to turn that mechanism off because it is extremely unhealthy and can (and probably have) a lot of disruption in your daily life.

Train Your Mind

1.  Recognize you have a problem:

Can’t stop overthinking everything?  Recognizing you have a problem is the first step in solving a problem — acknowledge it.
Yep, I had to recognize I had a problem because I was driving myself absolutely insane.  I overthought so much stuff that it wasn’t even funny.  I couldn’t seem to relax my mind and once I thought something, it stuck.  The funny thing is I could come up with a million different scenarios for each situation I was faced with.  Boy, was that intense and mentally as well as physically exhausting!

2.  Don’t hate yourself for it:

The brain is actually hardwired to think out all the possible outcomes at any given moment, so overthinking is natural.
Overthinking is actually an understatement for my behaviors.  I was so bad that I’d even replay conversations that I had with people over again in my head.  I just couldn’t stop.

3.  Breathe deeply:

When you’re thinking a little too much, take some deep breaths and really break down what you’re thinking about.  Jotting down your thoughts in the form of a list might help you make better choices.
When I thought too much, my mind would begin racing at 100 miles a minute.  I couldn’t turn it off nor could I shut it down.  The only thing I could do was think nonstop about what I didn’t really want to think about.  I have found, though, that deep breaths do help me sometimes, but not always.  

4.  Talk less:

When we’re racked with too many thoughts, we tend to want to talk it out, which may not work out as well as you’d like.  According to research, talking about things you are overthinking releases cortisol, the stress hormone, that can actually get you more worked up.
Oh, my goodness.  This is the absolute truth!  There was a situation that I was dealing with and the more I talked about it, the more worked up I became.  I had heart palpitations and my armpits became so sweaty that I actually had to wipe them off.  Thank God for deodorant or, let’s just say, I would have been in big trouble that day.

5.  Practice meditation:

Meditation is often misunderstood as a strict practice of clearing your mind completely.  You can try it that way, but the best type of meditation for overthinking is meditation that allows your thoughts to roll pleasantly through your mind.
I don’t use meditation techniques but prayer instead, which eventually clears my mind, when I take a deep breath and “learn to relax.”  Deep breaths, deep breaths!

6.  Get outside:

Nothing makes you stop talking and clearing your thoughts like a hike or a bike ride or a fast paced walk.  Get out and get your heart pumping a little as you process your thoughts.  Again, don’t overthink by forcing yourself to think about everything at once.
Personally, walking helps me and the writer is correct because I can’t talk while I’m walking briskly as I immediately become short of breath.  However, I feel so much better after my walk and my mind is definitely a lot clearer.

This article entitled, “Train Your Mind” was taken from Higher Perspective website.

For those of us who are over thinkers, we’re not bad people but are just “wired” a little differently and have to find a way to turn off, shut down and unplug, which isn’t always easy for us.  We have to find a work around.  Sometimes, talking to a family member or friend can be a way to bring you out of that negative mindset.  They can “talk you down,” so to speak.  If you know someone who is struggling with “overthinking”, throw out the lifeline.  Whatever you do, please “don’t let them self-destruct.”

For those of you who may not be able to turn off this feature in your mind no matter what you’ve tried, perhaps, you might want to seek talk therapy.  I know some people are opposed to it because they don’t want to “let people into their business.  Trust me, I get it.  However, there are some very good therapists around.  If that still doesn’t help, maybe your doctor might prescribe medication for when you’re feeling extremely anxious.  Be completely honest with your doctor and don’t be ashamed.  The only way to get the proper help is by opening up about what you’re struggling with.  I understand that some are opposed to taking medication of any kind, so I will tread lightly here.  However, my stance is would you rather contend with “wild thoughts” every day of your life or would you like to have them managed, so that your mind can relax and stop the constant racing?

There were times when I would talk to my sister about some of my “far out thinking,” and she would almost scream at me “JUST STOP.”  There were times that one of may best friends would have to “talk me down as well.”  When you allow your mind to runaway with you, honestly, you can’t fully enjoy life because you’re always wondering what’s going to happen around the corner, and you think, think, think way too much!

Working through it all is definitely a process and it doesn’t happen overnight; however, as the old saying goes “practice makes perfect.”  It’s a struggle.  As my co-pastor said, in a conversation I had with him, “eventually, the light bulb will come on.”  Perhaps, it’s flickering right now, but it will “eventually turn on.”  Just hang in there.  You will have your “aha” moment, and then decide that you’re going to overcome your “mind racing behaviors.”

The last thing I want to leave you with is that overthinking can “hinder” friendships, relationships, and actually stunts your growth.  Learn to “LET IT GO!”

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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P.S.:  I now have a podcast which is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts which you may find under Grace Deveraux or Chat With Grace.  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately.

Moving Into “2020”

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Happy New Year!

 

Can you believe it’s already 2020?  Where did 2019 go, and why does it seem like it went by at the speed of lightening?  As I reflect on the past year, I’ve had some good moments, some not so good moments, and some downright bad moments — in other words, I experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I’ve had some chapters in my life closed, and some new chapters open.

People have said they couldn’t wait for 2019 to end and were eagerly anticipating 2020 because they felt it would be a much better year, certainly far better than the turbulence experienced in 2019.  I’ve seen numerous posts across the various platforms of social media wherein everyone was claiming 2020 to be “their year,” and “desperately” clinging onto every shred of hope they could muster up.  As I was leaving work the day before New Year’s Eve, one of the gentleman, who works in Environmental Services, said to me in response to me wishing him a Happy New Year, “I sure hope next year is better.”  I replied, “Me too.”  For some, 2019 was a really catastrophic year; therefore, they couldn’t wait to “slam the door shut” and run (not walk) into the New Year as they held on to some semblance of expectation that there would be a brighter tomorrow.

We all wish that the New Year will bring us nothing but pure happiness, delight, and joy, but let’s face it, it’s not always in the “cards.”  There are people whose lives have already been struck with tragedy, and I’m sure they are saying anything but Happy New Year.  In fact, they’re probably saying what’s so happy about it?  Trust me, I get it.

This will be the best year for some as everything they touch will seemingly turn into gold; they will be in the best of health, be financially stable, get that promotion, etc.  However, other’s will have the absolute worse, tempestuous year ever as they are shaken to their very core by situations that will knock the “wind out of their sail.”  The truth of the matter is that none of us knows what life has in store for us although we all pray for the best.

While most of the world celebrated seeing the beginning of a New Year, there are those who didn’t make it because they passed before the year ended.  I’ve never heard of so many deaths as I have in December 2019.  I received numerous texts and phone calls as well as read about people’s passing on social media.  Some deaths were a total shock while others were anticipated due to illness.

81245014_1279277358924820_2243859136414482432_n.jpgMy oldest paternal aunt died in December, a few days after celebrating her 88th birthday.  My 4-year-old granddaughter, who doesn’t really comprehend death and dying (nor do I expect her to),  said to me several days ago, “I’m mad and angry that Aunt Jeanette died.”  Those were her true feelings because the one thing she understood was that she would never see her great, great aunt again.  The reality of it is death is difficult for everyone, no matter the age, because we know it’s “final.”  Jordyn-Marie expressed her grief by saying that she was angry, but everyone handles grief differently, and no one can or should ever tell you how to grieve or how long the grieving process should take.  Some of you may have never had a chance to say goodbye because your loved one passed unexpectedly, and you are not only shocked but devastated as you face your days in total disbelief.  For those of you who had an argument for which you never made amends, stop beating yourself up about it and quit living on “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda Boulevard.  Give yourself a break; you’re human and make mistakes, as we all do.  Maybe you’re one of the people who think had you been there you could have stopped their death.  The reality of it is, no you couldn’t have.  Perhaps, you were the caretaker for your loved one and you had to make the decision to place them in a nursing home where they passed. You’re left with feeling guilty because you felt like you could have changed the outcome. You did what was needed for your loved one. As much as we don’t like to talk about death, sadly, we must all face it at one point or another.  Even if your loved one was expected to pass, it doesn’t make it any easier for you to process.  The passing of those we love is one of the most difficult things in life that we will ever have to endure. If you find that you’re having an extremely difficult time processing and coming to terms with your loss, you might consider grief counseling. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed should you need to seek this service; they are there for you and perhaps you may find it easier sharing your true feelings with a counselor as opposed to a family member or friend. Having said that, the counselors can’t make your pain go away but they can help you process and begin to heal.

As we go into 2020, let’s embrace our friends and family by loving on them because life really is short; we are only here for a mere moment.  Don’t wait until they’re gone to express your feelings; tell them while they can hear you, show them while they can appreciate it.  While you’re at it, don’t be afraid to use the words “I LOVE YOU” every now and again.

Yes, we’re all hoping and praying that 2020 will be a better year than the previous one, but in the event we are faced with some turbulence, let’s be sure to brace ourselves and hold on.  No matter what don’t let go.  As difficult as it may be, we will get through our storm(s).  I pray that you will be encouraged and strengthened in 2020.

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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I want to leave you with this — it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to feel as you work to process your pain…

While working on this post several days ago, I accidentally knocked my cup of coffee over and it fell into my laptop, which died.  Then, my desktop, keyboard, and mouse didn’t want to cooperate and couldn’t seem to get in sync with one another.  I’m glad I persevered and didn’t give up because, during the conversation that I had with my cousin today, it was confirmed this was the topic I was to write about.

 

P.S.:  I now have a podcast which is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts which you may find under Grace Deveraux or Chat With Grace.  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to lately.