Are You Watering Your Past or Your Future?

I saw a post on social media that posed this very question and it made me really think and start to mentally check off some boxes in my head. I spent a good portion of the beginning of my adult years (really into my early thirties) regretting things I didn’t get right as I grew into my adulthood. There were so many things that I would’ve gone back and changed and done again if only I could have. At the time I didn’t see anything wrong with playing the “what if” game, but now I think I was really doing myself a disservice.

Now I can see, that while I will admit that I have made some mistakes and some moves in my life that took me off track a lot and some decisions that changed the entire trajectory of my journey, they have also made me who I am today. I’m not perfect but I think that I’m a pretty good person who has done some good things with my life and those things from my past helped me get here. Now I have a lot more good things I would like to do in this world for lots of people as I’m sure we all do which is precisely why we can’t keep reaching back in our past for the things we didn’t get right. Our past is the history that made us but definitely not where we should live in.

We have to remain focused on the here and now so that we can steadily move forward towards the future we are making for ourselves. I know that it’s easier said than done to not live in regret and constantly wonder but to do so would be watering the seeds of the past and not the seeds of the future that we are journeying towards. Yesterday has already happened so today and the future, are really all that we have.

As we are going forward on our own paths to the purpose that we are striving to fulfill we have to be careful that we don’t start to nurture resentment for things that have already taken place. It’s true that those are the things that shaped us into the versions of ourselves that we are now. However watering the seeds of the future is going to shape and mold us into the versions of ourselves that we have yet to become, most likely the best versions of ourselves. In a garden it would be meaningless to continue watering dead plants, dead things don’t grow. We water the seeds that have yet to sprout because that is where new life breathes. Don’t keep watering the dead things in your life when there are new seeds just waiting for you to tend to them so that they can grow.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BePresent #BeFocused

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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It’s the Steps We Never Take That Hold Us Back

The only difference between where you are and where you want to be is the steps that you haven’t taken yet.”

~Rigel J. Dawson

There are a lot of things that I’ve dreamed about doing in my life. Some things I have done, some things I probably will never get to do, and some I’ve barely touched the surface of but have somehow convinced myself it was out of reach. It’s that last thing that keeps me up late at night (okay I’m just a night owl that gets nagging ideas late at night lol) wondering what it is I could have done differently to achieve those things that I still have it in my heart to do but seem so unattainable. Some of the things are career related and have to do with areas of the industry I have wanted to write in since I was a child and at some point just got knocked off the trajectory of that course. Some of them are things that I always said “if I ever become rich and famous I would do this, that, and the other with my money to help other people”. Both of those areas are something I am wondering constantly is it too late to still do those things.

Now if I’m being honest with myself (truly honest) being a traveling media journalist is probably something that I have passed the point of being able to get into because, well I’m not young and adventurous anymore and journalism is typically for the young and daring when you’re just starting. Only if you’ve already been in journalism for a while can you still be past a certain age and doing it. However, writing for television (soap operas in particular) has always been something that I have wanted to try and am thinking that perhaps it is not too late. Now I’m just wondering what steps I could be taking, what more could I be doing, to get someone to open the door when I knock on it. Unfortunately that answer would be not enough. Largely in part because I had just convinced myself that my time had passed in that area too.

The other things, the one’s more on the charitable side, the things I’ve always said if I had the money I would do, now that is a bit trickier. I have charities that I want to donate to that I’m sure wouldn’t care how big or small the size of the donation is. Then I have organizations and charities that I would like to start to help other people that I just don’t have the money to start yet. Those are the things that I’m really struggling and working to achieve success for because if I can become successful, and yes wealthy, then I can do some good for other people. Then I can really get to the heart of where all of this purpose in me is headed. I want to make a difference in this world, and not just with my words, not just with me motivating and inspiring others, but with the ability to actually be able to help others.

I wonder sometimes if we’re just so convinced of something not working that we just talk ourselves right out of trying. Do we cut ourselves off at the knees with telling ourselves what we can’t do, what we will never be able to do, instead of just actively going for what it is we want anyway. I mean we could fail and fall flat on our faces. But we could also succeed beyond our wildest expectations. Isn’t taking those steps towards where we are trying to get to worth the risk? If we don’t just go for it and take those steps, then won’t we fail anyway? How much do we derail our own journey by refusing to take a step forward and instead remaining still? It’s the steps that we don’t take that I feel we will regret the most because even if those steps don’t get us to our goal, they still move us forward.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeCourageous #BeDetermined

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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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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It’s Not in How You Failed, It’s in the Way You Keep Trying

“My greatest concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

~Abraham Lincoln

Feeling like a failure is inevitable. At some stage in your life, depending on how ambitious your goals truly are, you will repeatedly try new things and while some of them will work out brilliantly, some of them won’t. Trial and error is a very normal part of life but sometimes those errors just seem like they keep coming, one after another, after another. To put it plain and simple, failure can be, at times, relentless and exhausting. Last week I felt like I was failing at life in general but specifically in the area of my writing business.

However, I was reminded last night when I was watching the History Channel’s Documentary on Abraham Lincoln just how much failure is ultimately a part of eventual success. After all, Abraham Lincoln had a lot of losses and he suffered from severe depression after a lot of those losses. But what he never did was give up. He never gave in to those losses and he kept trying.  In the end he still won the ultimate goal he was going after, being the office of the Presidency.

I suppose I keep thinking about failure in the wrong manner. I tend to think of failure as this immovable boulder that just abruptly landed right on my path to my goals and me not being strong enough to lift it out of my way or to even work around it.  Therefore, it leaves me stuck right where I am, most likely feeling weak and incapable. Of course, that’s not the way that failure should be looked at.

What failure really amounts to are mistakes that can and should be used as lessons to navigate us through the rest of the journey forward so that we, provided we actually learn from those particular failures, can avoid making the same mistakes again. Failures allow us to know what we are doing wrong so that we can course correct and get things right. I know I’ve written this before and perhaps I repeat it because I need to keep reminding myself as well (because on the really hard days I tend to forget) but if you are failing it generally means that you at the very least, tried to do something in the first place and as long as you are trying you are not failing.

It’s all about mindset and the ability we have to change ours. Instead of seeing the obstacle on the road, we need to see the multiple paths that lead us around that obstacle. They are detours from what you originally had planned but they are alternate paths that still can lead you to where you want to go with knowledge you didn’t have before. You will still have that lesson that you learned to carry with you into the next stage of the journey and with each mistake you may make, you will pick up even more knowledge. The key is seeing the mini failures along the way as opportunities and not necessarily as obstacles that need to be dodged. Just remember, when you are feeling like everything is going wrong and you aren’t getting anywhere, that you are not alone and that trying is what matters most.

Until next time… #BePersistent #BeResilient #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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Pride Can Derail the Journey

“He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but He who does not ask remains a fool forever”

~Chinese Proverb

I was having a conversation last week with a friend of mine in which I opened up about some personal issues I’m having and their first question to me was why haven’t I asked for help? The only response I had (which admittedly is not a very good one) was that I am too embarrassed to ask for the help that I know I need. They returned with the question of what I could possibly have to be embarrassed about and I took a moment because I knew what I was going to say sounded silly. My answer: That I’m not exactly where I should be in life at my age, and I shouldn’t have to need any help at all.

You know what’s telling. When you can hear the answer, you’re about to give someone and in your head, it made sense but logically when the words actually leave your mouth you realize it makes absolutely no sense. Now I’m not going to get into what my situation is in this post, except to say that it does boil down to financial setbacks, but I am a person who hates having to ask for help. I am typically the one who likes to figure out ways that I can help other people so to turn that around and have to admit needing the help myself is a bit touchy for me.

Nevertheless, my friend was absolutely correct in saying that having a setback of any kind in life is not and should not be embarrassing. Life comes with all kinds of roadblocks and things that just knock the wind out of you, both physically and emotionally. It shouldn’t be something that we are afraid to talk about or seek help about. Pride is not a bad thing when you’re talking about having pride in your job or career path, or something your child or family member does. However, pride that just keeps you stuck in a bad position, or even worse, makes your bad situation that much worse, is not something to cling to.

If you are having a hard time and going through a setback, you are not alone. If you need help to get through your setback then please don’t be afraid to ask for it. Don’t be so strong and proud that you end up putting yourself in an even worse position. There is nothing wrong with experiencing setbacks in life. In actuality, setbacks can very often become the set up and the building blocks for the next level that you are on your way to. Don’t let your pride be the hill that your dreams die on.

Until next time… #BeCourageous #BePatient #BeResilient

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine

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When Life Hands You Obstacles…

It’s always the moments when you think you’ve got a handle on everything and that you are just getting back on track when those curveballs get thrown at you. Sometimes it seems as if life can throw so many obstacles at you that it leaves your head spinning. By now you would think that I would be used to knowing that when things are going well the other shoe is probably about to drop.

I’m more geared to being optimistic these last several years and trying to find the positive in everything. I’ll be honest and say that it is a lot easier said than done at times to be positive when things feel so negative, but I always try to remember that it could always be worse (for so many others it is worse) and that it will get better as long as I don’t dwell in the messy, hurdles and keep moving forward.

The thing is that if you aren’t being hit with obstacles, odds are that you might be in that overly comfortable place where you will be content with what you weren’t able to get done. The thing about that place is that you won’t really be growing in your purpose and your gift. That’s the place that you don’t really want to be because the magic can never truly happen if you aren’t growing.

Growth is messy. Growth is uncomfortable. Growth is hard and grueling. When you’re in that growth period, I mean really in it, it doesn’t feel rewarding, it just feels challenging. Growth can be a constant test to see if you’re really ready to fulfill your dreams and your purpose. The question is are you going to remain in a place of simply being content or are you going to push yourself to grow further than even you thought was possible?

Until next time… #BeBold #BeFearless #BeUncomfortable

Jimmetta Carpenter

CEO/Writer/Editor

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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 

Writer/Editor 

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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 

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

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Take the Limits Off Your Dreams

“Don’t base your hopes on your perceived limitations” ~ Steve Harvey

I’ve been thinking a lot about the opportunities that we pass up on in life, for one reason or another. I don’t know whether it’s a lack of belief in our own abilities, or because you start to believe the doubts others have of your abilities, or just out of the sheer fear of failing out loud. I think that we tend to short change ourselves when we talk ourselves out of opportunities because of our own limits.   

I have a lot of ambition and a lot of things that I want to do with my writing and my brand. I also have a lot of things that I wished I would have went for and just didn’t, not for lack of hope, but because of my own limitations. I have an idea of things that I can do or can’t do and sometimes I don’t give myself enough credit.

I have certain writing positions that I have seen that I want to submit for but I haven’t because I simply am anxious about whether my writing would be good enough, because of my perceived limitations in my abilities. I at one point wanted to try my hand at acting but I could not get past my own hang-ups and my own doubts in what I would or wouldn’t be able to do. I’ve wanted to reach out to try to interview authors and entrepreneurs but because I feel that doubt creeping in I haven’t. I’ve seemingly convinced myself that there’s no way that they would do an interview for my magazine because they are who they are, without even attempting to get the interview.

I am fully aware that I place limitations on myself mainly out fear and self doubt which is a difficult beast to tame. Sometimes, even when you think that you’ve moved past the fear and then it just hits you out of nowhere. Limitations are fine for many things, one being when you are setting boundaries in terms of the people you allow in your life. The point when limitations become damaging is when you allow them to hold you back from everything that you are capable of achieving.

What is it that you are telling yourself that you won’t accomplish? What have you convinced yourself that you’re not good enough at so you shouldn’t even give it a shot? What dreams have you short changed yourself from because you allowed yourself to think that they are too unattainable? It’s not too late to change that way of thinking around and to take the limits off of yourself. Start today! Go out for that one goal that you thought you couldn’t reach. I assure you that you will get closer to that goal if you don’t limit yourself. Let’s work on that together!

Until next time… #BeAmbitious #BeBold #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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

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What You Tell Yourself You Will Believe

It sounds so cliché to tell people to look on the bright side of things when things aren’t going the way that they expected them to go. I used to be one of those people who, a long time ago, would grimace at someone telling me to think of all of the good things I have to look forward to. I would look at them with the thought in my mind of ‘do you not see my world crumbling around me right now’ and just wave off their words, completely dismissing the positive vibes they were trying to send my way. I didn’t want positive vibes I wanted an answer as to why everything was crap. This was around the time when I was almost homeless, my best friend and I had had a falling out and I felt like I had no one who understood my pain.

But then I started working on some inner healing that was so long overdo. I started working on my spiritual journey and got back into going to church. I got back into not just saying that I believe God would never give me more than I can handle, but actually knowing down in my soul that those words were true. I started really listening to the things that God was telling me, the direction he wants me to go in, and I started really trusting that regardless of whatever happens, good or bad, God has got me and He will never leave me. I started learning how to love and trust myself and my own instincts (which were really whispers from God of what I already knew I should be doing and just didn’t trust it enough) again.

Then I became one of those people that I once used to grimace at. I started being able to find the positive aspects of everything. Even the most horrible things that happened I would strive to find the one positive aspect in it. There really is power in positive thinking. What’s even more amazing is that there is peace in thinking positive as well. Now I just feel so much peace inside and it doesn’t mean that everything is going well, it just means that I trust that it will all work out somehow in the way that it’s supposed to. I’m not saying I don’t still have some days where that depression starts to try and sneak in and rest within my spirit but I think I do a far better job now of keeping it at bay.  

I saw a woman on the news this morning that was talking about the aftermath of Hurricane Ida and talking about how she has pretty much lost everything. The roof in her family’s home had holes in three places, there was mold now in her home so she had no choice but to throw everything that had been soaked through out, and they still have no power so no AC in a hundred plus degree heat. And she was smiling. She said that what she was concerned about now was feeding the neighbors around her. She said she may not be able to provide anyone with heat but she can make sure that they are fed. What a remarkable outlook on such a tragic situation. Her thing was, at least she was still here and she had to look at the positive things because what other choice was there.

Could we dwell on everything that goes wrong and focus on all of the bad crap that happens to us or others around us? Sure we could. But does that actually help change any of those things? Does it make you feel any better? So why not choose the positive things that are still present around you to focus on? Even if you can only find one positive thing in that crappy moment that you are in, rather than zero in on what is wrong, chose that one good thing instead.  I promise you that you will feel better if you just keep your mind leaning towards the positive. As long as you are still here, things can always turn around.

Until next time… #BePositive #BeMindful #BeBlessed

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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