Tag Archives: community

No Coincidences in Life 🌴

They say that people come in and out of your life for a reason/purpose. Sometimes we know the purpose immediately, other times we don’t. And sometimes we don’t realize the purpose until they have left. Some stay in your life forever and others for seconds, perhaps minutes. 

I remember listening to an audio book years ago called “The 5 people you meet in Heaven”. I picked up the book after hearing Hoda Kotb, an NBC Journalist speak about the impact the book had on her and how it helped her get through some really tough times. I too took to the book thinking who will be the 5 people I meet in Heaven and why? 

In the book, the author speaks about Eddie, an older man who met his untimely death while trying to save a little girl and now he’s going through the five stages of Heaven, meeting a person in each of the stages. 

Each person means something and there was a lesson to be learned at each stage. I remember one of the lessons he learned was that there are no random events in life and all individuals and experiences are connected in some way.  Simply put, there are no coincidences.


As I lay here, writing and thinking – today (Monday, June 19th), marks the 1-week anniversary of a man I never knew, I never spoke to him, I never heard his voice, I never once saw him in the street, yet I was chosen by some divine force to witness his untimely death; to kneel beside his helpless and injured body. I just stood there, asking him for his wife’s phone number so I can call her – but no response (yet I wonder if he heard me). He was slowly drifting away. I can feel it, I knew it – I knew he was on his way to Heaven. Felt it coming when the bus I was on was traveling behind him, then next to him and then he was gone…. it was at that point that I felt this connection. I was immediately heart broken for this man and his family. I didn’t know why! I’ve played the scene over and over in my head – thanking God for sparing me the picture of seeing his body being run over by the 3,000 pound bus I was on. But it didn’t matter that I didn’t see the actual impact, I knew it was going to happen the minute we came to close and the bus driver decided to pass him. He was to my right – I can see him and then I couldn’t ~ 

I later learned he died and it felt like I lost a friend! I went home that evening and cried and cried – all night! Woke up hurt, confused and angry. I had to stay home. I began to think that there was something I needed to do besides tell the truth to the media who had the story wrong. So I reached out to the bus company to give my statement, but no call back – no call back till this day.

I spoke to my mom minutes after and it was at that moment that I realized I needed to connect with his family, at least to hear their voice, see a picture, to tell them that he did nothing wrong – he was an innocent cyclist riding to work that morning. It brought me some peace when his wife immediately responded to me and later his two friends. I spoke to one of them several times since the accident but I know they need to heal – so I give them space. 

I suppose I’ve done my part in telling the truth, in giving peace to his family… but still, this man weighs heavy in my thoughts and I ask myself why? 

It’s taken me a week to start writing, to process, to reflect – I know I have to begin to heal and move away from this but I’m just not sure how and if that’s even possible. My bus mates ask how I’m doing and I am grateful. Some ask “what happened?” and it conjures up ill feelings but I know they mean well. My friends and family have been supportive and I’m blessed. Some don’t ask because they know it’s hard.

My anxiety goes through the roof the moment I take my seat on that bus, the moment he/she presses on the break, the moment I see us come close to a bike – I close my eyes! It’s wicked I tell you but I fight through it, every morning and evening since the accident.  

But I ask myself as I lay in my bed – “why me?” 

Why me? As the book stated – there are no random incidents. Something I’ve often stated in my writings “everything happens for a reason”….

But still, why me? Like I haven’t already lost people who have meant the world to me either through death or separation. Like I haven’t gone through enough shit in my 44 years of life! Like I haven’t cried and hurt enough! Why the fuck me and why now? 

Why do I have to lay here and cry – why? (I have no idea why the eye doctor said I have dry eyes – I swear they have no problems producing tears!! Lol – now stop crying – I want you to read past this…we got this far and because truth be told, it’s also hard for me to write if I’m balling.. this is going to stop now!) I think…maybe not! 


(Con’d… 6/20) 

So back to why? I initially thought (and still believe) that I was meant to be on that bus to be his eyes and ears! To speak out the truth to all who got the story wrong. To be able to tell his wife that her husband was the victim of a bad accident and that there was nothing he could do to avoid it (he didn’t see it coming). But there’s more to the why, there has to be. 

I now realize that the why also means that I needed a reality check! That I needed to open up my eyes and see this beautiful world we live in and that no matter the bad apples who come into your life to deplete your energy, there are so many beautiful apples (seeds) to be planted, groomed, to be picked, savored and enjoyed. 

That no matter how bad things may feel or get, that your perception of those times are flawed by the circumstance and doesn’t means it’s forever!

That life is filled with so many beautiful things, people and opportunities, and that WE MUST make time for those we love, WE MUST make time to take care of ourselves first and others, that WE MUST appreciate the good, the bad and the ugly because it teaches us so many lessons, that WE MUST live each day as if it was our last because we NEVER know when it’ll be our last and lastly, WE MUST always do right by our neighbor! It doesn’t matter what, why or how; when someone needs you or when you are called to the aid of someone by some divine calling – you just go! 

So that’s my WHY! 

Rest in eternal peace the friend I never knew – you join the many amazing men I know in Heaven 🌴 

#DanHanegby #06122017 – Thank you for opening my eyes once again! ❤️🙏🏽

  

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Don’t apologize for it! 

This is deep…. 
As much as I preach to “own your truth”, to “live outside your comfort zone” and to “love yourself first”, it’s easy to allow outside noise influence what goes on in your brain and the choices you ultimately make! 

This note reminds us that what we know that the truth and knowledge we store in our minds, what we feel to be true in our souls and hearts – that is NOT and should NOT be dismissed! 

You are/we are who we are: smart, beautiful, wise and loving (and so much more) and it’s so important that we never dumb ourselves down for anyone; that we not loose who we are and what we are meant to be, that we not be intimidated by the weakness of others and lastly, that we not forget that a mind is a beautiful thing to waste simply because those in our circle may be too weak to accept and appreciate it! Ladies, work on that circle you keep because not everyone is meant to be in it and/or stay there! 

As our wonderful First Lady Michelle Obama said “don’t apologize for it”! Be true to you and always #ownyourtruth because as I’ve said before, the world will adjust! Sometimes I even need to be reminded and there ain’t nothing wrong with that! Now let’s be #AMAZING #MUJERES #LADIES 

Follow my blog at http://www.lovingmefirstblog.wordpress.com ❤️🎤

Good Bye 2015! Hello 2016!

Out with the old, in with the new! At least that’s how the saying goes. 
As we welcome 2016 in a couple of hours, this is the perfect time to reflect on a year that brought smiles, laughter, new friends, new experiences and yes…the dreadful experiences that we much rather have done without! But like the other saying goes – “everything happens for a reason!”

While I did not have any “defined” goals if you will, I did make a promise to myself that I would continue to grow, to be better than I was yesterday; to learn to listen, to be a better communicator, to acquire skills and tools to better aid me in my journey and in learning on how to deal with things that don’t always align with my path. I took on to on-line mind games, listening to motivational speakers and theorist, learned to meditate, learned to breathe with a purpose, and read and wrote a lot. 

There were a lot of happy times for me this past year, but truth be told – I encountered a lot of tough moments & losses – growing pains is how I describe those moments; learning to appreciate life is how I described the losses! Some I felt on the surface, others ran soul deep – but with each moment of pain came a moment of growth & understanding. What I eventually realized is that every time something tough came around, I knew how to handle. Each moment needed a different tactic. 

There was less internal pain, less anxiety, less stress…. less mind consuming thoughts and irrational emotions … The answers were always within, the skills and tools I learned helped me to cope! To be rational, to be empathetic, to process – allowing me to come up with answers and ideas and results driven by rationalism & thoughtful thought rather than answers inspired by anger, hurt, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from having perfected these skills, but I am better. 

Change happens from within. It’s a conscious choice. We do it for ourselves so that we can be happy; our internal happiness allows us to be happy for and with others. Like that other saying goes “you can’t make others happy if you’re not happy with self.” So true in every which way. Anything other than this leads to stress, resentment, uncontrollable thoughts, false hope, poor choices – at the end of the day, you’re setting yourself up for failure. 

I recently read a quote that read “let us not hope for more chance to change our story; let us summon the courage to change it ourselves! 

This quote resonated so deeply! Often we give chance after chance, allow situations to arise without any real resolution – often saying give it time, or I’ll deal with it some other time, or trying to justify it for reasons that truly don’t exist… It’s really because we are refusing to change – to live outside that comfort zone. 

Change is inevitable – but resistance to change is what keeps you in the back seat! We are the drivers on our journey, we are responsible for the choices and the actions we take and the consequences that arise – we are in control of our thoughts, our choices, decisions, emotions, lifestyle, stress, happiness… our smiles… our souls! 

This year I learned that I’m far from perfect, but I’m a pretty amazing woman – able to endure all, a woman of resiliency, triumph, a women who is able to forgive, accept, a woman willing to learn from her mistakes and imperfections. A woman open to growth: internal and external change. A woman willing to listen, capable of love & understanding – a woman with an entrepreneurial spirit – willing to go above and beyond for the people and causes she cares about & believes in. 

I learned that love is not unconditional but it comes pretty close to it! I learned that my heart is bigger than most, that my spirit is truly unbreakable and my soul, well my soul is flexible… 🌴 

As I prepare to welcome 2016, I will make a list of things I’d like to see happen… I will evaluate this list often. This list will allow me to stay focused, to continue to evolve, to explore, to live & to learn!  

A year of pure transformation is how I describe 2015! 

As I welcome 2016, I will view life with a different lens – seeing it clearer than I ever saw it before.  

Because I learned that life is truly bigger than us. That life will test every value, will pull every single hair on your body, challenge your limits, expand your brain, and widen your thoughts & perception. Life as I once knew it no longer exist and yet, I’m not scared! Excited if you will of all that awaits me in 2016 and years to come! 

An eternal optimist is how I describe me – seeing the bright lights at the end of the road!  

Humbled for the experiences, excited about the new and re-established friendships and forgiving of the friendships that no longer are! 

Blessed for all that is life: the good, the bad and the indifferent, for it really defines who we are! 

I’ve already decided that 2016 will be my year (as was every other year before). I will travel, love even harder, test the limits, live outside of my comfort zone and live freely and in the process I will dance and breathe…. 

Wishing you all continued growth, love, laughter, music, health and prosperity! 

   
  
    
 

One month today…

One month ago today I embarked on the biggest journey of my life – I walked away from a 25 year marriage and moved into my very first apartment! It was indeed the hardest, thought-out, soul-searching, painful, heart-wrenching and yet, most liberating decision I have ever made!

While I had been contemplating my decision for years & had been separated for months; running every possible scenario, emotion, feeling and thought in my mind – I tell you that nothing, and I mean nothing, quite prepares you for the moment when you walk away from a home you called home for 25 years, and into your new home, your new home as a single woman, a woman alone, and there is no one there but you, your soul, your spirit, your mind – you can hear your heart beat, and there’s no one there to tell you to quiet the sound down! Your knees feel like they are going to buckle but you have this inner strength that keeps you standing tall. You feel like you are going to burst, you feel like yelling “why” but instead you tell yourself “you got this”!

You realize in that moment that there is no turning back, that your life has just begun and that there is no room right now to cry, to hurt, to regret, to think too much about life (other than your own); that living in the moment must be first!

It is at that moment that you realize that life goes on, that there is in fact a tomorrow & a world of endless opportunities. That you can in fact endure anything that comes your way regardless of what your mind & others tell you!

It is at that moment that your life flashes through your eyes. It is then and through the next couple of weeks, that you realize who matters & what matters in your life – who is & was your friend, who is your acquaintance or someone you once knew; who was there for you – even if for a moment, and who continues to be there for you in your new journey ~

A month later as I sit laying on my couch talking into Siri because I’m too lazy to type the words that are coming out of my mouth, I realize how strong I am, how resilient I am, how blessed I am, and how loved I am by those that really matter! Those that took & continue to take the time despite their own personal opinions and feelings, to check in on me, to tell me that they were or are thinking about me, to send me positive vibes, and to send me strength and love because deep down inside they know that it is what I would need to get by. To send me notes of encouragement, or notes of gratitude because I displayed strength for many women who don’t have it!

Some days are easy and great, other days are mediocre but I get by, other days are amazing because I get to spend them with people who have added amazing energy to my soul & my life; other days are emotionally & mentally difficult and perhaps there’s that moment or need and/or urgency to cry – but yet no tears come – it is at that moment that I realize that I have cried & shed all the tears I can possibly shed; that my soul and heart are not as broken as I thought and was told they would be; that I am not lost or confused or regretful; that I now have an ex who has been civil & respectful of the process & my decision; that I have a couple of amazing friends left who always find the time to check in on a girl despite the strength I display to the world because deep down inside they get it; that I have an incredible community of support; that I am truly blessed to have my children; that I am incredibly lucky & blessed beyond words to have been allowed by the universe to explore a burst of energy that has been tolerant, patient, understanding, loving, giving and supportive of me.

I now know that I have had more good days than bad, and I owe it all to God, to the universe, to my amazing friends and support, to my children who love their mom no matter what, to me for loving me first.

I can write on and on and on, but I will end this post by saying that life does go on regardless of what you’ve been through, what you think you cannot endure, and that as women, we have this incredible strength that lies deep within our soul, and if you can reach for it – it will never let you down!

Peace, love & soul!
Lanette

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To Love All

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I’ve realized that some people do and say things just to be accepted.

They need to tell the world that they are okay, that they love life, that they love you, that they love community, that they love it all – love is the answer!!

For some, this is actually true – kudos to you! These are the people whose actions speak louder than words!

But for many others, however, they are not okay with “self/love”, and this is the scary part because the only disservice they are doing, is a disservice to “self”. Saying and acting otherwise, really fools no one but yourself.

In fact, it can be perceived by others as fake, untruth, not genuine, not a real friend – a story teller.

It’s totally okay to say that you’re not good, you’re not feeling well, and while you want the best for others (love all), that perhaps you’re not in the right place.

This is not about telling the world that life is not perfect, that perhaps there are some things in your life that are not working the way you want them to be, or that perhaps your heart and your life isn’t as fulfilled as you let the world know it to be, but rather being true to you.

Like I’ve stated in other posts, other writings, and in conversations that I have had with some; before we can preach love, act love, live love, we need to “self” love!

I created this blog for many reasons, those reasons are in my bio – those reasons are explicitly stated in the dozen or so writings I’ve shared. But as life continues, and lessons are learned, I continue to grow and experience some real hard lessons – life.

I don’t mask with “love all” but rather challenge you, empower you, challenge the mind with thought, remind you all to be strong, to fight those inner thoughts that can often cloud your judgement, and finally, to love yourself first!

Don’t confuse the word “love” with “self-infatuation”! But more “love” in lenses of reflection, actions, behavior, problem solving…

#lovingmefirst

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A little bit of me

Yesterday I posted my 42nd blog post in just 6 months! I shared articles & posts that have moved me; I have shared a part of me – an intimate look into my life, personal thoughts, my trials & tribulations – not because I want to be a top notch blogger and want hundreds of followers, but because I know that there are so many who can relate in more ways than none!

I share because we (women) don’t often seek help or advice when things get tough – why?

Because we got it under control! Because we justify all that is going wrong!
Because we look for the good in all that is wrong!
Because we are groomed to be grateful for what “we” have cuz the grass isn’t always greener on the other side!
Because we are suppose to be strong and put together when we are at our lowest and broken!

I received emails & texts from both women & men who have either been inspired, who had an “aha” moment or simply to say thank you for sharing and making them laugh!

Truth be told that while there is comfort & eternal gratitude for the acknowledgments – I write because it provides “me” with an outlet (a safe haven if you will) when I feel all the above.

No shame in my hustle, my ups & downs, my emotions, my posts about me – this is me and because I Love “me” first, I no longer need approval to write and share what I feel!!

Ladies & gentlemen – it’s so important to seek help when needed, to talk about the tough times, to share both your struggles & accomplishments – just share!!

I take great comfort in knowing that because someone read my posts, they took a stand in their relationship; spoke to a loved one about their feelings or are seeking to rebuild & redefine themselves, or laughed a little and/or cried a little with me.

We need to live and share in community (but hands off my hubby – he is mine…lol)…

But seriously – my good friend & confidant/therapist told me to share – it can be the best form of medicine…..he was so freaking right!!

Whether or not I’ve had the chance to meet you, speak with you or know you – just know that I am thankful for your existence! You are beautiful and so worthy!

Love you first my friend!!

I was a cute little girl in my welitas house! A sloppy eater but cute! 🙂

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