The Unfortunate Habit of getting Burned

When you are little your parents, if they are the nurturing and loving sort, try to warn you from all the ills in life that will bring you pain. They tell you, “No, sweetie don’t touch that hot pot you’ll get burned.” “Don’t climb so high you’ll fall down.” And sometimes you listen and stayed safe and sometimes curiosity killed the cat or at least curiosity burned your hand, as you learned the hard way that it hurts to touch a hot stove.

People that give and give of themselves, never setting boundaries with others that gladly take from them, are like that small child, that heard the warning yet still took the chance of being burned.

Sure, everyone knows that you can’t pour from an empty cup. But no one explains how to break the cycle of feeling as if we have to please people in order to feel love. Or how gratifying it can be to give to yourself what you so freely give to others.

From the time we are young, we see examples of our mothers giving of themselves to take care of the children, the home and their mate/husband. We see single moms that make things happen when there is seemingly no way they should. We see adults tired, working day in and day out so their families can survive. So, we absorb that mentality that you give to those you care about even if they never have anything to give you, you just keep giving. Even to the point of defeat and exhaustion. Working and giving of themselves sometimes straight into early graves.

It’s a seriously flawed concept. One that often leads to couples staying together to raise children only to divorce later once the kids are “old enough,” often feeling they lived a life unfulfilled. And single moms feeling as if they wasted all their good years on their grown, ungrateful kids. While sometimes that is the case, oftentimes these feelings are a result of extreme burn out. Of having your soul depleted to the point you have nothing to give, not a thought, worry or care, not even for yourself.

We have to change the mindset that is is better to give than to receive. Let’s say, it’s better to give just as much as you get, even if those things you get are a result of your own doing. We have to learn to refill our cups. We are solely responsible for maintaining our inner peace and happiness. Can other people lend to those feelings? Absolutely! But they are not the driving force behind those feelings. That is an inside job.

People will tell you “No” is a complete sentence. Yet, you will still worry your nerves over saying it, feeling as if you need to expound on the reason. You do not have to feel guilty for using your excess on yourself. Whether that excess is time, money or energy. You are not obligated to give so much of yourself to anyone that it leaves you with nothing left for you.

You have to learn to schedule and set aside time for yourself. Give yourself gifts, write yourself notes affirming how amazing you are. Buy yourself those flowers, or that pretty dress. Dress up just because you like the way it makes you feel. When you start treating yourself right and ensuring your cup stays full. People will reap the benefit of your overflow. You’ll be so full, you can’t help but to give that overflow to others and it won’t even be as noticeable.

Stop allowing yourself to be burned by the expectations of others. Stop equating your acts of service as fair exchange for love, affection and appreciation. Those things should be given freely and not contingent on what someone can get from or out of you.

You are too amazing to keep allowing your soul to be exhausted. Guard yourself and set those boundaries. People that truly love you will never want to see you get burned.

~Micaiah

Capturing the moments

When we are kids, we can’t wait to be adults. We think adulthood is some
magical, mythical world where many joys and freedoms reside. Our immature minds cannot comprehend the responsibility being an adult brings. We are far too self-centered at the time and rightly so, to think past our own wants and
needs. We think 30 is ancient and 50 is prehistoric until time seems to speed by,
and, in a blink of an eye, we find ourselves in our parents’ shoes.

Seemingly shocked and unaware of how time morphed from then till now, so
quickly. How did we go from milk and cookies and afternoon naps on cots with friends to paying bills and stressing over adult decisions? Just yesterday, we were picking the highest number to keep from being “IT” all while scoping
out the nearest hiding spots, not too close to home base to be deemed a
cheater.

We did not cherish the sanctity of ignorance and the bliss of childhood
naivete and innocence. Milk and cookies have been exchanged for wine and
charcuterie boards. We did not understand back then when elders would say,
‘getting older was both a blessing and a curse’ as they mourned the loss of
friends, mates, and lovers.

Yet, as we mature and find ourselves in those proverbial shoes of our
parents, we are forced to see things in a brand-new light. As we deal with the
caring of elderly, frail parents or mourn the loss of them. As we navigate
memories of simpler times while hugging friends/family that we failed to keep
in touch with as we pay respect to others lost. Being an adult with all its
perks and freedoms was a heavy place to be.

We use the examples provided by those that went before us. Finding ourselves
repeating phrases to our children that were once said to us as we rolled our
eyes in arrogant youthfulness. We have tidbits of wisdom and have become the
praying warriors our parents and grandparents were. Dealing with our own
children, we see firsthand why some of our parents talked to God so much.

Time passes quickly, whether or not you want it to. And once time has passed,
you can’t get those moments back. That’s why it’s imperative to capture the
memories. So, take time to create a life and not just create a career. Make
real and lasting connections with those you love and care for. A picture does
not have to be aesthetically perfect, for it to be a perfect picture. It’s the
memories and feelings the picture evokes that make it perfect.

In our society, so much time is invested in preparing our children to be
little adults, instead of pushing them to enjoy their childhood, the innocence
and joy of it. Let them laugh, encourage them to play. Let them explore and
teach them to enjoy every minute, creating special memories from everyday
moments.

Take the time to make the time to connect with friends and family and not
just in line giving respects at a funeral. There aren’t many things guaranteed
in life, but death is one thing we all will one day experience, so make those
moments between the dashes count. Live life and capture every memory.

~Micaiah

In the Spirit of Maturity

In 2022 and beyond, what we’re not going to do is waste time explaining the things that should be apparent. Like being mature after a certain age, treating people how you want to be treated and common courtesy even in the midst of differing opinions.

If you are grown, let’s spend more time acting grown, than we do announcing it. Let’s perfect the art of minding our own business versus mindless gossip. I don’t know about the next person, but between tending to my child, work and elderly loved ones I could care less what the next person is doing. And since I waited so late in life to have a child, forget keeping up with the Jones’s I need to keep up with her. Let’s just say, that’s no small feat with these bad knees, lol.

Why can’t we, as grown adults, find real joy in the happiness and victories of others versus feeling jealous and insecure in our own short comings. People need to understand that timing is everything and what looks like an easy win, may have come on the tail end of hardship, sacrifice and struggles. And that just because someone else’s success manifested itself first, doesn’t mean yours isn’t still coming. Don’t block your blessings harboring negative feelings.

Being grown isn’t just an age range it’s a state of mind and being. It should be a time full of introspection and peace. Time to realize or finalize plans and dreams. We should be well beyond petty disagreements and the inability to communicate respectfully. We should be well versed in agreeing to disagree without falling out and playing the victim.

I refuse to waste time and energy on people that refuse to act their age. I’m not explaining things to people that are far beyond the age and have the mental capacity to understand. I will not carry the burden of other people’s immaturity and selfishness. If they love drama and chaos leave them in a cage or on the stage, because life is short and grown ups have better things to do with their time and energy, or at least they should.

I also fully understand that some people often grow old, but never grow up, but they need to take that Peter Pan mentality and stay far away from those of us that have relinquished our lives as caterpillars and are flying on the wings of our lives as butterflies. If you can’t fly with us, do us the favor and move out our way.

Let’s spend our time investing in ourselves and in those that invest in you. Live your best life and encourage those around you to do the same. Lifting up others is a sure fire way to elevate yourself. You won’t have to announce you’re grown if your actions speak for you. So, protect your peace, sage your life of negativity and float into your best years.

~Micaiah

My wish for 2022

I didn’t make any resolutions per say, I’d label them more goals, manifestations or key words.

I’m working towards being a better me daily.

My keywords are: completion, abundance, dedication and renew.

I fervently hope 2022 brings fresh energy with it and good health. This pandemic has been rough to live through, but we take the bitter with the sweet and keep it pushing.

I hope people give themselves the grace they extend to others this year.

I hope people learn to love themselves in such a way that it lends itself to treating others better as well.

Even if the world is unkind, I plan to practice more mindfulness and being grateful.

I plan to love myself so well, others smile when they see my happy glow.

Big changes can occur by first taking small steps.

Sometimes we overwhelm ourselves by planning too big.

We need to take small bite sized portions of those big plans to make them more manageable.

Also, having more small steps can give you a greater sense of accomplishment when you are able to scratch them off as completed. Let 2022 be about celebrating the small wins too.

We may not have arrived at our desired destination, but if we give ourselves credit we’ve done far more than we often realize.

So, 2022 is about self-love, self-care, space from people, things and energy that no longer serve you and grace.

I pray you find peace and joy in the simple things and that you understand sometimes you are more rich than your back account would imply.

No matter what your dreams, goals, resolutions or aspirations look like, I am claiming they all come true! Let’s go have an awesome year, no matter what comes our way!

~Micaiah

A Shortage of Sheep

It seems there must be a shortage on sheep, because I can’t find a single one to count myself to sleep.

It seems the older I become the more insomnia becomes my best friend.

The life and mind of a procrastinating creative, ha. I lie in bed thinking of all the things I could be doing, writing or creating, while at the same time doing nothing at all.

It’s the hamster wheel of thoughts that play in a loop that makes sleep seemingly impossible; yet you don’t want to rev up your engines too much because it’s counterproductive to becoming sleepy.

Are you just as frustrated reading this as I am feeling it?

Good, at least I’m not alone.

Melatonin only seems to work, when it’s time to wake up, then my body wants to relax and drift off into slumber. And yes, I’m aware that using electronics or blue light counteracts the Melatonin kicking in your natural circadian rhythm.

However, there’s only so much laying in the dark thinking about sleep I can do before my mind requires more.
It’s great when ideas come during the cloak of night, except when your alarm is set for 6 in the morning. Yet more often than not, my ideas strike at the most inopportune time. Instead of zzz’s, I have glowing embers from my thoughts and ideas.

Oh, how I envy my sister and daughter, who think the word sleep and then fall into blissful slumber as soon as their head hits the pillow. What type of sleep sorcery do they possess? I have yet to ascertain their magic formula. Nor is the sandman a friend of mine. The sandman tends to avoid me worse than a friend that owes you money they never plan to pay back.

Meditation works while I’m in the midst of it and then when the metaphorical tone sounds, denoting the end of the meditation, it never fails that my relaxed state ebbs away and I’m left to my thoughts, dreams and aspirations.

Reading doesn‘t work either, because I love to read and often have to force myself to put a book down and go to bed.

I guess I truly shouldn’t complain because being awake tonight did allow me to write this post, so maybe I should be thankful that just like Little Bo Peep, I’ve lost my sheep and don’t know where to find them. But I’m going to try real hard to wrangle up a few and catch a few zzz’s.

~Micaiah

Always Under Construction

Lately, my life has been looking like a lane on I-75/I-71 going through Cincinnati, constantly under construction. I am constantly trying to get things in “order” so that I can be my “best” self. And I have come to realize just like the never ending construction that I bemoan on the highways that pass through my city, the construction in my life is also never ending and that’s okay.

My life my never be ideal or perfect, but just like we navigate through and around orange barrels, detours and redirects; we must do the same in our lives. Because whether it’s a street map or life map, if you keep driving/pushing eventually you will make it to your final destination.

That journey may not look like anyone else’s and while it’s frustrating to witness others arrive before you, it can also be inspirational and motivational. Perspective is the ability to change your outlook by changing your attitude or view of the situation. Sometimes life defers our moments so that we can better appreciate them when they occur. Trust that delayed is truly not denied.

While navigating my own detours and redirects, I have come to the realization that if you do not work daily to motivate yourself, you won’t be motivated. Motivation takes daily work, time and commitment. It also takes the gumption to stop putting off hard tasks, whether those tasks be physiological or psychological in nature; you have to show up and do the work.

My biggest weakness or flaw that I am constantly working on is procrastination. I allow myself to become comfortable with the excuses that I have told myself are acceptable so as to assuage the guilt of my complacency. Yeah, we feed ourselves excuses instead of feeding ourselves motivation sometimes. Starve your distractions and feed your focus is a mindset I have yet to master, but I’m under construction right? While it’s true I may be a constant work in progress, I still need to see some small steps towards progress; which means committing myself to work on the things that keep me from progressing i.e. my procrastination.

Procrastination is a low key arrogance issue, because it tends to create a false sense of being guaranteed the time of tomorrow. We all know tomorrow isn’t promised, yet we will allow ourselves the comfort of complacency by stating we will do “it” tomorrow, whatever “it” is. We need to take the leap and do it today.

Do “it” scared, unprepared, under stress, with less than optimal finances. Just do it! We can’t be worried about the messiness of our construction in our lives. It may not be pretty, but if that mess leads to your ultimate progress than it’s more than worth it.

I have determined not to give up or give in. I can’t be the next New York Times Best Selling Author if I’m not writing. I can’t be my best self if I’m not working and taking those small steps towards progress. So, I’ll be content with the orange barrels and detours in and around my life and remind myself that as long as I stay moving, eventually I’ll get to where I want to go and you will too.

~micaiah

Your best life starts today!

Today, I want to impress upon you the importance of seizing the moment, stop waiting and make changes daily as you see the need for them. Time waits for no one and 2020 took many people with it whom died, what I feel was way too soon, some in the very beginning or prime of their lives. So be the change you want to see in your life.

Stop waiting to live your best life. Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today. Release your fears and tap into your inner courage. Stop being complacent with convenience and mediocrity in your personal and professional life.

Surround yourself with friends and people that challenge you, to be a better you. Friends should be as iron that sharpens iron and act as mirrors to show us our real and true selves. Because the only way to effectively change yourself for the better is to take an honest inventory of yourself and your characteristics and act accordingly.

Realize and accept, that not everyone will be able to make the journey towards self-improvement with you, nor or they meant to. There is a time and purpose for everything and person under the sun, acknowledge when something or someone has outstayed their purpose in your life, release them/it and move on towards vaster and brighter horizons.

Understand that change may not be comfortable, but beautiful things are often birthed through adversity and pain.

Understand that there are dream makers and dream and idea takers, know your circle and know that some moves are not to be broadcast, but are best made in silence, allowing your work or action to speak for itself.

Most of all, forgive yourself of your short comings, what’s done is done and is now in the past. You can’t change the past so resolve to make better, more logically sound choices from this point on. The shame is not in the falling down; it’s being comfortable in staying down.

Tomorrow is never promised so make the most of your Today!

~Micaiah

Racial disparities in medicine

I just saw a post where condolences were given for a young, African American, female 2nd year med student that lost her life due to complications from pre-eclampsia.

While I don’t know all the details leading up to her death, I do know people of color especially African American females die at disproportionately higher rates than their white counter parts. African Americans as a whole do not receive the same care in most, if not all, aspects of medical care.

You must advocate for your health and your life. Do not allow anyone to tell you it’s nothing when your gut and body is telling you there is.

When I delivered my daughter and was discharged home I developed severe swelling and shortness of breath. I went back to the doctors and they assured me the swelling was normal and was just from the fluids I was given during my cesarean section. They pushed me to go home. I pushed back and told them this was beyond that and I wanted them to evaluate further. They did and I was diagnosed with pneumonia and almost to the point of congestive heart failure.

Luckily, I pushed back and I trusted myself more than I trusted that clinician, but how many people trust the people that are supposed to be the expert in their fields. Doctors are human and can make mistakes, that’s why you have to advocate for yourselves and for your family members. Your life just may depend on it.

~micaiah

#endracialdisparitiesinmedicine

#advocate

My own truth

Walking, no, more like stumbling through life
Vision blurred by all that’s occurred

Not staying on course has my dreams deferred
Allowed myself to lose focus
Due to foolishness and hocus pocus

Let comparison rob me of objectivity
had me forgetting about the blessings just for me

Doubt had me believing delayed had turned into denied
Had me trusting in worry and anxieties lies

Had to get regrounded and regroup
Had to familiarize myself again with my own truth

Had to remind myself of whose child I was
And that my gifts are truly a blessing from above

There is no timeframe or race
Just continue on and keep the pace

With renewed faith, my vision cleared
And once again I’m ready to tackle all I once feared.

~micaiah

Fighting to Matter

To be black and live in America is to live through trauma.

Black lives do not matter. Animals and walls get more respect and consideration than black people do.

People are murdered in their homes and yet they are made to be villains.
Even in their deaths the world tries hard to turn the tables so even sympathy is not given.

Oppression makes a wise man mad. And continually perpetuating trauma makes a person numb.

But
life goes on and we keep pushing because our souls weren’t created to quit.

Some of us march, some pray, others protests, rebel and raise holy hell and no one can say any of them are wrong.

Because collectively we are grieving and enraged all at the same time; we have lost so many and each death effected us, even if only subconsciously.

Every death by the hands of the police has you questioning your safety during what should be a routine traffic stop.

Have you reconsidering mentioning the police as someone a child can turn to and be safe with in times of trouble.

Parents have had to change the narrative of their coming of age stories especially with their black male children to include how to live through an interaction with the police.

It’s crazy to have to explain that typically black people are seen as guilty until proven innocent and even then they are sometimes still punished.

Society might have removed the chains, but they’ve held fast to the cruelties and tenets of slavery.

Yet somehow we still make strides and make moves because our souls weren’t created to quit.

With tear stained faces and red rimmed eyes we still stand tall with our fists held high.

Burdened by the struggle to be recognized as human, worthy of life, deserving of justice.
Fighting to matter.
~micaiah

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