Are We the Mistakes We Make?


Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you.”

~Matthew 7: 1-3

I swore I was not going to write about this issue and yet here I am getting ready to do just that. We all know (unless you are living under a rock) about the slap heard around the world that happened at the Oscars roughly two weeks ago. Well, I’m not going to say that I believe that Will Smith was right for responding to a tasteless and crass joke about his wife’s medical condition in the manner in which he did, or even that Jada Pinkett-Smith needed to be protected in that way. What I will say is that if you read Will Smith’s book or know anything about his childhood then you can understand why HE felt that he needed to be protective in that way.

Violence is never the answer, and he could have, and should have, handled it differently. However, I will not sit here in judgment of this man who has had a 30 plus year career without nary a blemish and who has been beyond an extraordinary example to all who are watching, over the one time he dared to show that he is in fact a human being and that he does make mistakes just like the rest of us mere mortals. He made a mistake. He is aware of that mistake, and he has since apologized multiple times for said mistake. There is no time machine, and he can’t go back and erase the mistake he made so what more is it that people want him to do?

We cannot keep throwing people away because they display that they are human beings. We get so caught up in the idea of perfection and in us admiring people who have maybe reached the level in their lives that we are seeking to get to that we tend to put them on this unrealistic pedestal. We hold them up as a model (which is fine until you take it too far) of the dreams and levels of success that we strive for and then we act shocked when they make a mistake. It’s almost as if we somehow forgot that just because they are a celebrity or someone in a position much higher than us that they are also human beings just like the rest of us.

I don’t know anyone who has not made a mistake and honestly far worse mistakes than Will Smith made that night. I don’t think that any of us are in a position to judge another man (or woman) by their worst mistakes because Lord help us if we are judged by ours. We don’t (or we shouldn’t) just toss someone aside simply because they disappointed us. We should instead show that person some humility, show that person some grace, show that person some forgiveness and do for them what we want other people to do for us when we mess up. I mean even Jesus got angry and flipped over a few tables (Matthew 21: 12-13) and if Jesus can be imperfect than who are any of us to expect perfection from any ordinary or even extraordinary human being. Be careful who you are tossing aside and make sure that you can measure up to the judgment that you are casting onto them.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeHumble #BeGracious

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Give Up What is Weighing You Down

It is not easy being a creative entrepreneur. Yes, I know being an entrepreneur period is hard work but when you are a creative individual you are not only expelling all of your emotional and mental energy into what you are passionate about. You are also having to tap into a business mindset that, if you’re anything like me, just isn’t something that is second nature to you. I think for creative individuals what stands in our way more than anything is our own self-doubt and lack of confidence in our ability to conquer the things that don’t come natural for us (like business know how and anything related to math in general lol). We get so hung up on what we think we can’t do that we lose sight and focus of what we can do.

So much of what holds us back from living up to our full potential can typically be relegated to an extension of one thing, fear. Whether it’s a fear of failure, a fear of success, a fear of change, fears of financial ambiguity, fears of disappointing either the people in our lives or ourselves, or just a fear of what is unknown. We come up on these boulders (obstacles) sitting there in the road, standing in the way of us getting to our destination. It seems immovable at first because we’re just seeing this obstacle that is taking up the entire space of the road and that instant feeling of defeat sets in. We spend so much time focusing on the boulder (obstacle) itself that we don’t even realize that if we just give it everything we have inside of us to move it, if we just physically push it off to the side of the road, then we can continue on the journey to reaching our goal.

Fear is that boulder in the space of our minds. It can take up so much space in our head, forcing us to lose focus on whatever particular thing we are fearful of in that moment. It can overwhelm us so much that we don’t even realize that if we just tackle that fear head on, just give it everything we have and push past it, then we can move that fear aside (at least for that moment anyway) and continue pushing through to accomplish our dreams. 

Fear is a heavy burden to carry. It weighs on us like that immovable boulder. It starts to seep into our everyday lives until we are afraid to do just about anything that will move us forward. Fear likes it when we are comfortable because when we get comfortable then we never truly grow and we stay stuck right where the fear wants us to stay. Still. So if we want to succeed at all of those dreams we’re so passionate about,  then we have to give up all of those fears that keep us weighed down and tethered to that box we get so comfortable staying in. In order to fly, to really soar beyond our wildest dreams and imaginations, we have to be willing to let go of all of that dead weight.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeCourageous #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Give Yourself Some Grace

The mind is a funny thing. Sometimes you can find yourself slip back into old habits and old ways of thinking without even realizing it. I try to maintain optimistic because my spirituality has been a way for me to be assured that everything is going to work out the way that it is supposed to in the end. However, lately I have heard myself sink back into my old ways of thinking and have found myself saying things like ‘I know that the other shoe is going to drop soon’, or ‘when it rains, it pours, or just yesterday I said ‘the Universe is working against me’.

Now instinctively I know and believe deep in my heart that God is going to make sure that I’m okay, even if things don’t go as I planned them to, or even remotely the way that I want them to. But my old anxiety and self doubt creep in and I realize I still have some work to do to get rid of that self-sabotaging nature. Without realizing it, I have been, once again, giving power to fear and doubt about what I am capable of achieving.

I think that it gets lost on some, those who don’t struggle with mental health issues or constant anxiety and overwhelming and crippling fear, just how hard it can be to stay in a positive mindset. I constantly get from people how positive I am and I don’t mind that at all but make no mistake, it is work to try and keep a positive frame of mind. Some days are astronomically harder than others and the good days can start to feel like they don’t happen often enough.

I’m writing this post today because I want people to give themselves grace, as I am trying to give myself some. Grace when you’re not feeling at your best. Grace to make the mistakes you need to make so that you can do it better the next time. Give yourselves grace to let yourself cry when you feel like it. Allow yourself some grace to just be honest when you’re not doing okay to be able to say so without any feelings of guilt. Give yourself grace to, on those days when things are just too overwhelming, simply do nothing but be.

Until next time… #BePatient #BeCourageous #BeKindToYourself

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Whatever Will Be Will Be

I am an extremely anxious person. I worry about the little things about as much as I worry about the big things. Even when there is nothing to worry about, I still worry that I should be worrying. It’s something I’m working on and believe it or not I have actually gotten better about it over the years, and I have my spiritual growth journey that I’ve been on these last several years to credit for that. As anxious as I can sometimes still get, I do now understand and enjoy the peace that I feel when I just accept things as they are and don’t stress over everything that a situation is not.

At some point we have to accept things, not just as they are, but also as they come. Life is hard and if it were easy would it really be worth living. I think that it’s ingrained in us from when we are young to always be worried about something. If you think about it, unless you have been fortunate enough to have lived the ultimate privileged life where everything is just made easy for you, then you have seen your parents struggle and worry about nearly everything. Your parents more than likely saw their parents do the same. It is instilled in us that somehow if you’re not worried about it then you must not be concerned with whether things will work out okay or not. 

We have to train ourselves to not over think every single little thing because it’s not something that we inherently do. We are not accustomed to just letting things be whatever they are and trusting that however they work out is the way that it is intended. I mean sure if you grew up in church then yes you have that faith but you still worried. You’re human and you don’t have a crystal ball and clearly, you’re not God, so you still worried. However, when we let our worries consume us to the point where we make ourselves sick (which I used to do) that is not a habit that we should maintain.

We have to learn, even in slight worry (emphasis on slight), to let our Faith comfort us and provide us with the knowledge that things will be okay, in whatever way they turn out. What is meant to happen is going to happen, with or without our worry, so why waste the energy and time that we put into worrying when we could be using that time and energy to buckle down and push through those rough times and move toward the goal. We may not get to the goal line on a straight road. There may be curves and detours, and even some U-turns along the journey, but ultimately you will get there. There’s a saying that says it will all be okay in the end and that if it is not okay then it is not the end.

Until next time… #BePatient #BeFearless #BeinFaith

Jimmetta Carpenter

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A Reminder of the Dream, In Case You Forgot

Today we remember the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had all of those years ago when he gave that I Have a Dream speech. While I don’t normally repost old blog posts, I couldn’t get past the fact that what I wrote last year to commemorate this day STILL applies, even more so, today. I want to leave you with those same words today and remind you that we are not finished yet, not until we can see his vision for the dream that he had all the way through. We cannot give up on a fight in which he literally gave his life for. I hope that something in this post inspires you today to keep striving towards the goal of making his dream of a better and more equal America come true.

Is There Still Hope for The Dream?

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say today but I knew that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was going to be the subject of this post. So, I went to pull up the full “I have a Dream” speech on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs) because it’s been a long time since I’ve heard the speech in its entirety. As I sat there listening, it was mind blowing just how relevant and powerful his words still are to this very day.

Now I don’t know if that is telling to the staying power of his words or to the sadness that they still ring true. In essence, we may have come far but within these last few years we seemed to have taken several steps backwards.  I guess you would have to listen for yourself to determine which one it is for you. For me it’s a bit of both. Yes of course those words he spoke that day still matter, even more so now, because before the last four years we were starting to see some of those dreams manifested and brought to fruition. Or were we?

We thought that we had started to see some change with President Obama because he was someone who truly took those words of Dr. King’s to heart and he embodied them and strived, with much opposition, to make those dreams a reality. We thought we had come farther, but within the last four years we have seen certain strides that were taken being walked back immensely. It makes you wonder, had we really even made any change? Was it all surface accomplishments but underneath, the roots, were still very present and had not yet been weeded out enough to allow sustainable growth?

That day on August 28th of 1963, Dr. King said that America needed to pull itself out of the quicksand of racial injustice in where people of color lived on an island of poverty amongst a vast ocean of material prosperity. He points out that America had not kept its promise to us and that it was in for a rude awakening if it expected things to go back to business as usual.  I think that he would be disheartened to see all of his words continually quoted by people who clearly have no deep understanding of what they actually mean because if they did then they would see that we only seek “the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

I think if he were still alive that he would find himself having to repeat those same words he spoke to those gathered around the Lincoln Memorial that day. I think he would feel obligated to remind the entitled groups of people who think the rules don’t apply to them that equality is not wrong, it is not unreasonable, and it is not unattainable.

I think he would also turn to those who have grown weary and tired, and yes complacent amongst those who would like to revert back to a time that our ancestors struggled so hard to lead us out of and tell them to keep moving forward. I think he would tell them that we cannot be satisfied with the status quo, and we most certainly cannot leave this country in the fragmented state that we find ourselves in today. I think that he would remind people who are angry because we’re still explaining that we just want equality that they have to continue to strive for freedom but not by “drinking from a cup of bitterness and hatred”.

The song that plays at the very beginning of the recording of his speech is “We Shall Overcome” and as I listened to the words in that song, and replayed the words of his speech, I have to say that even in the current state of this country, I still have hope that we will be okay. I still think that Dr. King’s Dream is going to come true, someday, but we can’t give up, and we have to keep moving forward, until we are all Free At Last. 

Until next time… #BeFearless #BeBrave #BeRelentless

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Plans Change and We Must Adapt

 

Okay so I had every intention of starting the year off strong last week. That was the plan anyway. However, that is not how things went. I think that it is becoming a tradition with me that the year starts off with nothing but good intentions but almost always the slowest ever start. I was not feeling well last week at all. It was a really bad pain week (I have chronic pain- some days are good and some, not so good) and I had a cold that I thought (in a panic) could have possibly been COVID for a few days (thankfully it wasn’t) so the combination of being sick with a cold and in a lot of pain made for a disaster of a start to the New Year.

Nevertheless, I still managed to complete a few of my scheduled tasks last week and am trying not to kick myself too much for the things that I didn’t get accomplished. There’s nothing more that makes me feel inadequate then when I plan things to go a certain way and they don’t even come close. Logically I know that almost nothing ever goes according to the way we plan them but with so many things that are out of our control, our plans are essentially one of the few things that we can actually feel like we have some sense of control over.

I think a part of what makes it so hard to learn from lessons of our past is the fact that we keep repeating the same mistakes and the same misguided ways of thinking. We instinctively know the things that we shouldn’t do and that the plans that we make for ourselves could fall by the wayside at any moment because, well God’s plans and our plans might not line up with one another, and yet we continue to plan and to make the same misguided mistakes anyway.

I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing, mind you.  After all, we do need a plan for things (even in the Bible God had his chosen few make plans). We just have to make sure that we are not so dead set on OUR plan that we somehow miss the instructions that God gives us a long the way for how HE wants us to change the plan.

There are going to be curves in the road and almost certainly some sharp turns that come out of the blue and we have to be ready, and we have to be prepared to make the right decision on the which direction to go. And since we can’t always count on there being a U-turn in the road for us to course correct, the best way is to take things a little slower and a little steadier so that we don’t miss those curves and those sharp turns. Don’t be so upset at your plan not coming to fruition that you miss the joy of knowing that God’s plan is still working.

Until next time…#BeVigilant #BePatient #BeinFaith

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Your Attitude is Everything

I’ve been in a bit of a funk since last week. I realized that I am nearing the stage of burn out and that I will most likely be taking a break from this blog and my YouTube channel in the month of December. I do have prerecorded videos that will be posted throughout December on YouTube channel so I will still technically be a presence over there. This will likely be my last blog post for this year (unless I get a great spark of inspiration for something to tell you lol) because I need to refill the creative well. It is important, as a creative, to not let yourself burn out entirely before realizing that you need to take a step back.

But my moment that I was having last week was also about something else. I was feeling like all of my efforts that I put into my writing career were pointless. I felt like all of the efforts were not bearing any fruit, or not enough fruit anyway if we’re talking in terms of finances. Even up until this morning I was just feeling so down about things. Then I was listening to something where the person being interviewed said that your attitude affects how you see things. It’s not like I didn’t already know this. I just needed a bit of a reminder and that reminder came right on time this morning.

I know that whatever happens, good or bad, I am blessed just to be given another chance each day God wakes me up in the morning. It is not over until it is REALLY over, meaning when there is no breathe left in my body. So just because I am not seeing things going in the direction I want them to go in right now doesn’t mean that it’s going to stay that way. But things surely can’t change course if I were to just have an attitude of giving up.

We accomplish nothing when we throw in the towel and give away. The only thing that would ensure is that all of the progress that we have made up to that point would truly be wasted and bear no fruit at all. It gets hard sometimes when you dream big but if it were easy then it would be a vision given to everyone and not just you. Our dreams and our visions are worth fighting to make them happen, no matter what it takes.

So keep that attitude of determination and drive. Hold on to that as you push through the dark moments where that little voice in your head is telling you that it’s pointless. Your attitude will be what carries you through and you will get there. Just don’t quit!

Until next time… #BeAmbitious #BeBold #BeGrateful

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Is Fear Something We Ever Get Over Or Just Something We Learn To Manage?

There are a lot of things that I most likely could have accomplished by now if it weren’t for the fear that rises up whenever I am getting ready to take that metaphorical leap of faith. Sometimes I manage to nudge myself off of that ledge and just go for it anyway. More often than those times where I take the risk, are the ones in which I am frozen, paralyzed with fear. I wish there was a way to explain the anxiety I feel any time I try to go after something that I’ve been dreaming of. Or the anxiety I feel when I actually go for it.                                                          

Logically, I know that the best chance I have at succeeding in achieving my dreams is to actually go after them. But crippling fear is not logical. There are opportunities that I have had, that I have turned down, because I was just too afraid to deal with the anxiety I would experience had I taken those opportunities. I will say with absolute certainty that I have had many moments where I have tried things and stepped out on faith and have failed but those aren’t the moments that I regret the most. I regret the moments that I just didn’t step out there and try period.

Last year I was supposed to have a Year of Yes after reading Shonda Rhimes book of that same title in which she detailed how much her life turned around an d changed for the better just by saying yes. She promised herself that she would say yes to absolutely everything for an entire year. Some things she ended up wishing she hadn’t but for the most part she was forever changed for the better just by saying YES. I wanted to be that person. That did not happen. It also didn’t happen the year after that. I had modified the statement and said that I was just going to say yes more, which I did but I think that defeated the purpose behind the whole premise. I will admit I have gotten a lot better at ignoring my fear in the last few years with doing things I am terrified of but I also know I need to do better.

I haven’t gotten rid of my fear. I’m not really sure that I ever will. There was a time when I thought that I could. Now I just try the best I can to manage that fear. To not let it keep me from everything I desire to do. We all have things that make us take a beat before doing them. We have those moments where we wonder, are we doing the right thing, is this really going to work. We question whether or not we should really be going after the dream that everyone else thinks is ridiculous. We wonder if the fear is really just that gut instinct telling us that we shouldn’t do something, or us talking ourselves out of what we know we need to do. I guess fear can be tricky that way.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeCouragous #BeMotivated

 Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Sometimes The Battles We Survive Are Lessons For Others

I was listening to a motivational message yesterday that said that sometimes the things that we go through in life is not to somehow punish us but rather so that we can be a lesson for someone else later on. God uses the battles that we fight through as a tool to expose our strengths. He uses our difficulties and defeats more than he uses our successes. I often wonder how God is using the struggles that I’ve been through because sometimes it’s hard to see how any of my experiences can be of any help to someone else.

However, if we really think about it, when we listen to the stories of successful people and jot down all of the lessons that we got from their journey, we are in fact learning from their defeats. I mean no one succeeds at anything the first time out the gate. Those people who we admire and are motivated by most likely failed far more times than they will ever actually admit. Their struggles and overall experiences are what we are learning from.

I grew up in a primarily fatherless, abusive household, physically, emotionally, and mentally abusive. Affection was not something that was normal, and the words ‘I love you’ were rarely said and being bullied on top of abused by your own mother is a special level of abuse that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. As a teenager, after trying to commit suicide with pills multiple times, at 16 I finally ran away to live with a complete and total stranger because I knew if I didn’t that one day I would most certainly succeed in one of those suicide attempts.

In recent years I have become very hyperaware of the fact that I survived a lot of what I’ve gone through for a significant reason and that is to help get others through some of those same struggles, and even some of those same failures. I find myself telling my daughter now about lessons I learned through doing things the wrong way so that she hopefully will not repeat those mistakes. And yes, I know that is what we as parents are supposed to be doing but that reality is lost on some parents these days.               

I say all of this to say that I know that I can somehow help someone else who may possibly be being abused at home, or being bullied relentlessly, or someone who just feels that they shouldn’t be here on this earth anymore. I have come across young teenagers who have been struggling with the types of things that I already lived through and who were feeling helpless and as if they had no purpose and I’d like to think that something I said to them helped them get through at least that one moment (at least that’s what they told me later) and I don’t know if I would have been able to be of any comfort to them had I not already gone through those same types of feelings and experiences.

Sometimes we feel that life is unfair and that things happen to us just out of the blue and for no actual good reason. I know that feeling. I used to wonder what I could have possibly done wrong to have such crappy things happen to me. But I get it now. I get that we have to take those crappy experiences and turn them around to be of good use to someone else. 

We can’t change the experiences we’ve already had (unless you know of a time machine lol) but we can make sure that we allow them to serve a greater purpose.  Don’t try to hide your struggles and defeats. The battles you have faced are for someone else’s benefit. Use those experiences to make sure someone else comes through on the other side of their struggles.  You may have the answers that someone else is looking for.

Until next time… #BeEncouraged #BePurposeful #BeofService  

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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Side note:  I have a new Author Newsletter that I would love it if you signed up for http://www.tinyletter.com/Author_JCCarpenter

Another Side Note: If any of you would like to buy me a coffee and donate to my creative endeavors then please feel free to https://ko-fi.com/authorjccarpenter

You Have to Protect Your Space

I am extremely careful about who I let into my space these days. I have gone from being a person with a wide circle of friends and associates to a person who just has a few select friends that I interact with, and they are people who understand that my space is precious to me and that the energy in my space can’t be negative. But then there are family members that can’t exactly be ignored or discarded because, well, they’re family.

It’s not easy to ignore negative criticism or when people talk down to you about your dreams or the things that you are working towards. It’s particularly hard when it comes from unexpected places like your family. This past weekend a family member made sure that they sent me a text message first thing in the morning to convey how sad they were that it didn’t seem like people were buying my book and that it didn’t look like I was getting any support from even my fellow authors on my Ko-fi page. They proceeded to tell me ways that I could bring more attention to my book and my site in general.

Mind you this person is not experienced in marketing (for the record nether am I), they have no idea what I have sold or haven’t sold book wise, and this person also refused to promote my book at all in the lead up to its release. Now I am okay with their lack of support even though they are family and to be fair they have contributed to my Ko-fi page (which is how they know I’m not getting enough support—at least in their eyes) but that doesn’t give them the right to try to poison my day. This person is the kind of person that somehow sees negative comments and unsolicited negative advice as them being helpful. They see negativity as a tool to toughen someone up and light the proverbial fire under them.

Now I have come a long way in learning how to ignore the negative self-talk that I have in my own mind and to put a positive spin on nearly everything because honestly it doesn’t help me to see the negative points about what I’m working towards. I know that there are some people that it works for but I am not one of those people. As a person who has suffered with many bouts of deep depression and still struggles not to let myself get to that place again, I don’t need someone pointing out every negative thing they can think of. Trust me, I have probably already said it to myself anyway.

Now this person also clearly has not researched the statistical data behind the fact the most authors do not sell a ton of books with their first book, maybe not even their second or third (hell Dan Brown said no one even paid attention to him until his fourth book) and I knew that going in and have had that fact in my mind. I don’t write or publish books to try and get rich (not that I would mind it lol). I write and publish because I love it, always have since I was ten years old (really six) and because I have things to say that I feel are important enough that someone else might actually want to read it and might even get something out of it.

This family member seems to always, when I’m at my most peaceful state, want to drop their words of negativity in my lap and just thinks I’m supposed to thank them for it. They don’t respect my space and they don’t seem to understand or care that the negative comments are not just hurtful and destructive, but they’re just unnecessary. I’m not going to deny that I got in my feelings about this message that morning for about an hour or two but then I let it go. I proceeded to ignore any further messages and didn’t respond to the one’s that were sent and I went back to protecting my space.  

We all have different ideas of what our happy place is. That place of peace where even if the world starts to crumble (or feels like it anyway) you still are armed with the knowledge and self-assurance that everything will be okay. It’s that space where I know that God would never give me more than I can handle and if I’m not strong enough he will be there to provide me with the strength that I need. We have to protect our spaces and keep those who wish to destroy it out, and not to be mean or nasty, but to keep ourselves sane and okay.  I hope that you are protecting your space and I wish you well in doing so.

Until next time… #BeProtective #BeMindful #BeMotivated

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

https://write-2-be.com/

http://write2bemagazine.com/

https://www.amazon.com/author/jccarpenter

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

https://www.facebook.com/Write2BeMagazine

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJCCarpenter

https://www.write2bematters.com

https://twitter.com/jcladyluv 

https://twitter.com/write2bemag 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPU35EkFSbuxgekCp4LfI5g

Side note:  I have a new Author Newsletter that I would love it if you signed up for http://www.tinyletter.com/Author_JCCarpenter

Another Side Note: If any of you would like to buy me a coffee and donate to my creative endeavors then please feel free to https://ko-fi.com/authorjccarpenter