Stop Enabling!

Our Heavenly Father in all his wisdom, will allow us to experience the result of our choices. If we pay attention, consequences will instruct us.

That said, stop paying for other people’s habits, bills and self-defeating way of living; allow them to deal with the outcome of their choices. Some individuals need the lessons of life as an opportunity for growth and change.

There’s no sense in everybody suffering the negative domino effect due to people who aren’t ready. It is disheartening for those that are doing the right thing to experience the financial, emotional, and mental strain of trying to stay above water; only to end up stuck in “the poverty pit” with those who are not going about life correctly. That is not the will of “the Father” for His children. Jesus came that we might have life and that more abundantly (John 10:10).

If “you” take care of your responsibilities, pay your bills, make sober choices, and so on; you deserve to experience peace, a “sense of accomplishment” as well as “the blessed life” worry-free.

“Break the Cycle”

Again, why should everyone be stuck in “the poverty pit?”

Stop enabling, live “your” life, enjoy the freedom of “your” decisions as you continue to move forward. We are not intended to live other people’s lives for them, they need to walk it out for themselves. That’s love, to allow them to do so. The opposite holds true when we attempt to rescue people, we play a part in stunting their growth and crippling them. Moreover, we hurt ourselves. See how that works?

God loves us and even He will allow some situations to unfold and run their course; why can’t we? God’s love does what’s best for our “well-being” and our “greater good.” Therefore, why can’t we follow His pattern? Aren’t those of us who are God’s dear children supposed to imitate Him (Ephesians 5:1) anyway?

Keep in mind we’re not doing them a favor, in the long run we’re doing them a disservice.

“Know the difference”

There is a difference in working together as a unit, having the same mind-set as everybody contributes; compared to one link in the chain having a different mindset. There’s a difference in banding together so everybody prospers vs enabling by paying for someone else’s habits, lifestyle or decisions. If we pay attention, consequences will instruct us.

Now whether you are the enabler; or that person who continues to engage in self-defeating behavior, there is hope and help for both. The Lord is always available to give us the power and wisdom to change direction. Philippians 2:13 reads; “For it is God that works in us both to will and do of His good pleasure.” Whatever the change needed, He can bring it about for the asking and willingness to do something different. Too, His strength is made perfect in our weakness. In other words, Jesus’ power increases for us and in us where we’re weak or fall short.

Either way, the choice is always ours.

Remember, even our Heavenly Father in all his wisdom will allow us to choose, He will attempt to direct us, yet He won’t force or stop us. In so doing, it’s His way to allow for growth and change.

Wisdom begets wisdom!

Until next time God bless you,

Sister Bea

Destiny

Sow a thought, reap a behavior

Sow a behavior, reap a habit

Sow a habit, reap your character

Sow your character, reap your destiny

Tribute to Magnolia S. Tolbert

Many years ago my late sister sent me this short yet powerful statement you read above. For many of us life comes down to the fact that our destiny starts in thought, followed by deed. (Now this is not referring to those who are born in situations or geographical locations that may breed oppression and powerlessness that is out of their control. This statement is referring to those of us who have been granted power, the ability to choose and change the direction of our lives if we decide to do so). Decisions throughout the day are always leading us on a path. In so doing, we can choose life or death, so to speak; freedom or bondage; peace or confusion; contentment or anguish, and the list goes on. The course of our day is predicated on single decisions made for the moment. In turn, a momentary choice can extend from a day, to weeks, to months and sometimes years.

Is the outcome the end we want? Will our today shape our tomorrow the way we envision our best life to be, or no? These are questions to ask ourselves when presented with options based on a moment in time; which can influence the rest of our life. You see, while moments are (mynute) minute, they expand beyond what see or experience in the present.

That said, let’s reel this in backward beginning with destiny. How do you see yourself in the future? What does your day hold; what are you doing, working, going to school; how do you dress; are you walking, driving, cycling; do you own a home, rent; what does your life look like; how do you envision your life to be? What choices can be made in the present to develop the character you see in the future? Will an adjustment in any of the above cultivate the character you visualized? Truth be told, most people must act upon something in their life to get what they picture to materialize. This calls for a change of habits.

Habits make it happen

What behavior(s) do we repeat that has formed a habit that either help or hinder us in reaching our goal? Think about it. When it comes to some habits, an exchange must take place. Behavior(s) we need to change in order to reach our destiny are as basic as stopping one action and starting another. Developing a habit can be as simple as changing the places we go, alter activities we do, or change our circle of people; begin to socialize with those that affirm our identity vs detract from it, and so on. A straightforward example is to stop procrastinating and start doing what has been put off. Whichever the choice consistency is the key; small movements can make a big difference, one action at a time.

Just do it

Know this, sometime we need to practice a behavior for the mindest to catch up and take hold. At times this can “feel” uncomfortable, like a piece of clothing that does not quite fit yet, until one grows into it. The key word here is “practice” the formation of a habit until the mind hooks up with it. Allow me to share a snippet from a Psychology paper I wrote titled “Attitudes and Behavior:”

“Behavior can also influence an individual’s viewpoint rather than one’s stance dictating performance. An example of how “acting” impacts a persons nature is a Residential Treatment facility for Women (which I am not at liberty to identify). It is an inpatient facility that treats and houses recovering addicts, alcoholics, bulimic, and anorexic clients. These clients’ are accustomed to basically every waking moments being focused on how to obtain drugs/alcohol; or binging and purging as they calculate their next opportunity of how to carry it out discreetly. In addition, most of these residents are apathetic with the exception of energy spent to reach their goal; which is use drugs, alcohol, binge and purge. During their stay, women of all ethnic groups, ages and backgrounds engage in a plan tailored to address specific issues along with program (house) rules everyone must follow. With the implementation of daily living skills, chores such as cleaning, cooking, meal planning and no television before 6pm; a strict meeting regimen (attending at least three AA, CA, NA or OA meetings a week) along with in-house groups; and job search or the pursuit of education. These are normal day to day activities that the majority of responsible adults engage in; but with addiction or whatever disease plagues them, they either got lost along the way or have never been exposed to a healthy lifestyle to begin with. It is the beginning of normalizing their life. The biggest challenge is their head is not yet involved in the process; clients enter treatment in denial, angry, fearful, and unaware of where to start to promote change. The program is designed to challenge self-defeating behaviors which in turn lead to a conversion of rationale. The women of this residential treatment facility experience a change in disposition through behavior modification; compliance came first, then over time a transformation in the psyche takes place.” This facility is recognized for a 90% success rate.

I confirm the power of behaviors influence on thinking, because I was one of those women. My life was radically for changed for the better; I’ve never been the same.

So what’s on your mind?

Foremost, there is our thinking. What are we thinking? Ever REALLY pay attention to your thoughts? OR are our thoughts mechanical, mindless, without scrutiny? When we make choices, are we cognizant of the effect, assess the outcome, or do we just DO? Ponder that.

It is imperative that we “STOP AND THINK” about where we want to go. The primary element to change is decisions. What, in the present can we decide upon that will redirect the course of our lives for the positive? What can bring stability to the day? While some options may be difficult, foreign or scary because of unfamiliarity; a sound choice can be made. If necessary, our social circle may need adjustment in order to move forward. I, for one understand what it is to face uncertainty. Let me present another personal note that I use to this day when change is needed. Some 30 years ago it was brought to my attention that “if I do what I always did, I’ll get what I always got.” That statement not only stuck with me, the thought alone of my circumstances becoming perpetual scared me. I also heard we are presented with two options when choosing; the fear of change or the fear of remaining the same. Moreover, pain of remaining the same can prompt a response. Also, brokenness is a catalyst to search something different. Therefore, it requires a shift in reasoning. Unfortunately, some may operate from a restricted thought pattern founded on rearing, or poor past decisions. Which brings me to the next point. “Practice paying attention” to thoughts and there origin. That said, does our mind link us to our future or bind us to the past? Wherefore, it is crucial to contemplate the way we think; it can either propel us forward or encumber us in place.

In short, we did not awake to the place that we are, decisions got us there, one at a time. Thus, decisions will bring us out, one at a time. Too, be aware that paving one’s destination is not a one-time event, it’s a process; yet consistency is the key. And please, please be realistic with yourself. Again, the course of our day is predicated on single decisions made for the moment. In turn, our momentary choice can extend from a day, to weeks, to months and sometimes years. Finally, the substitute of one behavior for another can shift the momentum of one’s life, oftentimes in the opposite direction. Always keep in mind, what you decide today fosters your tomorrow, it is your destiny.

Remember…

Sow a thought, reap a behavior

Sow a behavior, reap a habit

Sow a habit, reap your character

Sow your character, reap your destiny

Beatrice Tate Jackson

Acceptance

Oftentimes when we reject others, it can be indicative of us not liking something about ourselves; aspects of our own character we find hard to accept. It becomes evident when in the presence of someone we either clash with, or just don’t like. Why? The very thing that bothers us about a person is often the same flaw within our own character. It can be challenging when we come in contact with an individual that mirrors our fears, hurt, insecurities, parts of ourselves that are not yet developed; the places in us that need of liberation, healing and growth. It can be especially frustrating if we are not equipped to address the discomfort; or if we cannot put our finger on the underlying reason for this inner conflict that ignites when around certain people. Their very presence tends to reflect powerlessness over what we have not yet mastered.

I’m reminded of a time when another female and I had to share the same space for a few months. Both of us were at pivotal points in our life; lost pieces of our identity through circumstances; made a mess of our lives; and were starting over to restructure our lives in a healthy way. Without words, automatically she silently confronted places within me that were weak, immature, broken, bound, hurt and afraid; she was me and I was her. To look at one another presented a reflection of our brokeness during that time in our lives. Encounters with each other sent cues that called for change. So what are some solutions when confronted with our mirror?

For starters, honest intropspection, get to the point where we are able to recognize similiarities we share; and admit these are shortcomings we either don’t like within us; need to improve or may be struggling to achieve freedom, power, awareness and/or growth. That said, rather than lash out, silently sulk in feelings of frustration, anger, resentments or dislike for that soul; we can start by learning to love and accept ourselves for who and where we are in our journey, it begins with us. This isn’t always easy, so we may need our Higher Power or someone objective to get involved, give ear to us and offer sound feedback. After all, if we could’ve changed whatever it is, we would’ve changed it. Another hopeful approach is practice empathy; how would we desire to be treated when we come across that individual? Extending empathy involves a decision; which is growth in itself. It is one way of actually learning to love and accept oneself when you extend love toward a person that’s hard to accept; it creates a reciprocal effect. Again, they are a reflection of you; it is like healing you. Moreover, we can ask God to heal, empower, and grow us up in that part of our being right where we are. Keep in mind this is not an event, it’s a process.

Keep it up and the next time we interact with that “special” someone, we may find ourselves accepting that person; OR we discover we have grown beyond our hang ups to the point we can genuinely help that individual along the path of growth and change. How ironic. This is just one form of love and acceptance as we love and accept others.

Author,

Beatrice Tate Jackson

Just What I Needed

When one is SINCERELY ready for change, God has a way of putting what’s needed in our path. There have been countless times I made the decision to either change something about myself or an area of my life, and He made it happen. I love it, because during those times, I’d have no idea where to look, who to talk to, nor what questions to ask. Not long after something is at my disposal; a video with someone who I never heard of pops up with the exact subject my soul longs for; with content that not only speaks to who I am, it confirms where I’m going. That’s just one example.

There many instances over the years, but I just want to share a couple. As I’m driving along in the car, I tune into the radio at the exact time to hear what I need; a reminder, information or instruction on the next step to take in my process. I remember when taking the bus, while waiting at the stop strangers would strike up a conversation that I needed to give ear to; dialogue pivotal for change; and just enough to move forward a few more steps.

Another example I’ll never forget happened over 25 years ago. I read the daily devotion for June 21st (so I thought). It was so on target for me; it spoke to the fears as well as the pain in my life at that moment. This was so good I wanted to share it with a friend in a similar situation. When I turned to the page to show her, I couldn’t find it. In my confusion and frustration, my eyes happened to fall on April 21st; I kid you not. I thought I read the devotion for June when in actuality it was the one for April. The thought for June was unrelated to anything I was going through. Though it was the wrong date, April’s reading put me on track when I was at a loss; offered awareness and insight. That was so GOD! Awesome! Truth is, He states in His word that He will give us the help we need.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8, New King James Version).

Now some people may think nothing of these examples of how God is right there, waiting in the wings for us to invite Him on stage, but this is no small thing. Let me ask, have you ever needed direction / instruction and it never comes? Have you turn to this individual or the next, yet nobody understands what you’re looking for? In our desperation what may “seem” insignificant becomes BIG.

This began to teach me something about God; that if change is sought, God will not only enable us, He will orchestrate it in a way that’s understood for where we are at that point in life. I’ve found that He loves being involved in every aspect of our lives. And yes, we need to do our part too, which is be willing and honest with Him. Part of that willingness is put into practice as we learn to ask for His view regarding our circumstances. It’s a learning process, especially since we’ve been in charge for so long. And for some of us, look where it got us. That said, His word tells us:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV).

Now this is not saying we’re dumb, nor be ignorant; folks reading this can think for themselves. What it is saying is we come to places in life where we need assistance, we don’t know everything; BUT God does. After all, if we knew what to do, why didn’t we do it? Father also knows that for some individuals, trusting someone aside from themselves is an issue. Well, that’s why it says with all your heart. Meaning, trust God as much as you can and tell Him about the part of your heart that can’t. Talk to Him, tell Him the reasons you can’t. He knows anyway, all He wants is a Fatherly relationship. I know when I’d read Proverbs 3:5-6, I thought I had to have total and complete faith or trust in Him before He would move on my behalf. It sent me into a tizzy and I felt defeated before I even started, because I couldn’t live up to the scripture at that time. I came to understand better what He meant, not what I thought, or even heard. Do our best, talk to Him along the way and He will increase our trust little by little. We, as well as other people are much harder on ourselves than God. Remember, He knows how to meet us where we’re at based on our understanding.

Again, God will give us just what we need in times of sincere change. He knows how to go about it, He’s the Master Weaver. All He wants is a sincere desire, an open mind and ready heart, He will do the rest.

Beatrice Tate Jackson

Humility

 

Some may view humility as a weakness, it is anything but. It takes more strength to render oneself humble in the face of what’s at hand.
It takes strength to remain humble in situations rather than trying to save face and impress onlookers, or those within earshot of what takes place in the natural.
It takes strength to not only know who YOU are but WHO’s you are as things unravel to the natural eye and ear; all while our human emotions may be coming unglued inwardly.

It takes strength to focus on the big picture, the Unseen, eternity, vs a moment in time.
It takes strength to remain poised AND KNOW that which may feel hurtful, embarrassing, or APPEARS to be weak is working something bigger, far more greater on the inside; vs a moment in time as upheaval occurs outside as well as inside of us (II Corinthians 4:17-18, paraphrased).

     It takes strength to pay attention to Who speaks to us on the inside as the voice or actions of others outside of us compete to dictate our behavior.
It takes strength to remain under the hand of God (I Peter 5:6, portion of) through obedience when you KNOW you’re above and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13, paraphrased).

     It takes strength to back off when you KNOW you could push forward, just anyway, AND WIN, but you don’t.
It takes strength to KNOW you don’t have to prove a point when there’s a point to be made.

 

     In closing, humility is knowing who you are as well as Who’s you are.
Therefore, it can enable us to live from the inside out rather than the outside In; having a resolve to not allow people and circumstances to alter ones identity.

Humility also thinks from an eternal perspective, views the big picture as a whole and does not allow an increment of time to frame ones destiny. That said, humility peers through a spiritual lens vs the natural eye.
Lastly, humility is encouraged by the future while existing in the present, planted on hope as well as faith.
Yes, humility is anything but weakness.
Humility is not only strength, it’s power.
Inward power! Real power!

Author,

Beatrice Tate Jackson