On this journey called life we are sailing many different SHIPS…
A SELFship is the most important SHIP you will ever have; it is the relationship with yourself. You have to learn yourself and understand what makes you tick… what makes you… well… you. It is very important to get to know yourself first, this is where you get to know and fall in love with the person you are. You have to learn what makes you happy and do those things daily. I absolutely love Instagram, like it’s the Holy Grail of social media to me and so when I get home from work I get in lost in the Shaderoom’s post (hahaha). I also love to decorate and create new spaces in my home. You also have to learn the toxic behaviors and thoughts that you display and tell yourself daily and correct them. A few years ago, I honestly hit bottom in my toxic behaviors and thoughts, like honestly, I had beaten myself down so much until I had, had enough of my own abuse and I started counseling. YAASSSSS FOR COUNSELORS, THEY ARE THE REAL MVPS! Counseling helped me to face my demons head on. Before you can build a SHIP with anyone else you have to make sure that you are completely ok with YOU. The SHIP with yourself must be strong and pure… with no holes for water (insecurities, depression, and anxiety) to seep in. I encourage you to take lots of time… as much as you need… to learn yourself, develop a positive relationship with yourself, and love yourself. Once you truly love yourself anyone who you invite on to your SHIP will love you the same way because they will know that you will not take anything less than.
FAMILY… the ones we love the most and the ones that can hurt us the worst. Family is a very important part of our becoming. Why? Because family gives us a chance to see traits that we want to cultivate and grow and also traits that we want to break off of our lives. They help us find our course in life. In my family education was and still is A HUGE THING. All of my mom’s children are college educated with advanced degrees. Family encourages but are brutally honest with you. My eldest niece always says that she is happy she knows my honesty is coming from a loving place or else her self-esteem would be shot. Your identity is shaped by your family. Someone is always telling me that I have some traits like my siblings or my parents and I love that because they all possess traits that I want to cultivate. But then there are those traits that we would rather do without…. toxic family traits. Traits that are some form of abuse or consistent negativity can cause water to seep into your ship and cause it to sink or at best cause you to get off course. Oprah said once that some of her family members were blocked from her life because they brought so much negativity. Some learned that if they wanted to be a part of her life they had to change their thinking… some did and some didn’t and the ones that didn’t, she wished them well however, they are still blocked. IT IS OK TO BLOCK NEGATIVE FAMILY MEMBERS!!! (READ IT AGAIN) That in itself is a gift to you. Love those family members dearly, pray for them, but BLOCK THEM FROM YOUR LIFE until they understand that negativity is not allowed on your ships’ course. All in all, our family, the good and difficult family members, prepares us for our life’s long journeys.
Friends encourage each other, minister to each other, and SHOW UP FOR EACH OTHER! Friends are a gift from God. I have five QUALITY friends, three I have had since grade school, one I met my first year of college, and one I gained as an adult. No matter which way my ship goes they are always right there helping me steer. For the most part your friends are an indirect reflection of some characteristics or traits that you possess… which simply means we attract people we see ourselves in. When you look at your friends you should get inspired to do more and be better. The late Nipsey Hussle stated “If you look at the people in your circle and don’t get inspired, you don’t have a circle, you have a cage.” Spending time with your friends and showing up for them is extremely important. I know that sometimes showing up may be difficult due to parenting, working, being a wife or a husband, a community leader, etc., but you still have to make time to SHOW UP and BE PRESENT for your friends; a friendship is give and take, 50/50. Friends are supposed to support you at ALL TIMES… telling you when you are wrong but having your back no matter what. AND DATE YOUR FRIENDS!!!! It is important to catch up with your friends as often as you can. I hold a great deal of my hurt in because I don’t want my friends to take on my baggage. So, they know going out to eat and just talking or riding around looking at beautiful houses is so freeing for me, and they don’t mind doing that with me. I, in return, text them often and call them regularly to check on them, telling them that I love them every chance I get. I go to class on Thursdays and on my way I stop by one of my friend’s job for a small chat; its small but it means the world to her. It’s the small things that add up to big things in all FRIENDships. It is ok to invite more people on your FRIENDSHIP ship and it is also ok to ask people to leave off of your FRIENDSHIP ship. Why? Because it is your SHIP and you have the right to be as comfortable as you would like on your own SHIP.
Well honestly this ship has been off course ALL OF MY LIFE. I haven’t had much success out of any of my relationships other than the birth of my son. I have never had a healthy relationship. I am not good at “relationshiping” due to some past scars and demons (thank God for Counselors and Grace) . Through counseling and consistent growth, I am learning my faults that occurred in past relationships that contributed to their demise. Hear me… I know it is not my fault alone that relationships ended but I will never pretend to be innocent either. I hate when WOMEN say “Girl it’s not your fault, he did that because he wanted to do that.” Yes, his actions are his own fault, but what behaviors did you display to push him to do whatever he did. Now I know some folks, men and women, will mistreat you no matter what but in order for growth to occur one has to become accountable for his/her actions and parts in situations (that’s what I am learning to do). So, in this process of me learning how to get my RELATIONship SHIP on the right course my goal is to gain a tremendous amount of understanding and wisdom. I will keep you updated on my progress…. TO BE CONTINUED…
(Speaking as an educator) Co-workers eventually become family. These are the people that you spend most of your time with Monday- Friday and it is very important to develop a WORK/ PROFESSIONALship with them. However, what I have learned after being in this field for 8 years is that on this SHIP everything and everyone must stay on the TOP DECK ( you know the top deck is where all of the fancy things happen on the ship); not mixing professional and personal. Yeah, it is hard because as I stated you are with them Monday- Friday for 9 to 10 months out of the year, so yes sometimes it will get hard not to mix personal and professional but you have to keep them as separate as possible. NOW we all have our groups that we develop friendships with (it’s just going to happen… we are human) but you still have to be very cautious with that. I have one co-worker who is extremely fun to be around and she is so loving but she is extremely private. I watch how she keeps all conversation, as it pertains to her personal life, on the TOP DECK. THAT’S A TRAIT THAT I AM TRYING TO ADOPT. My first couple of years working as an educator I became too comfortable with my coworkers thinking that they were my friends. I was working as an instructional assistant and let’s just say some of those women’s underhanded behaviors taught me to document everything because people will throw you under the bus. Keeping co-workers on the TOP DECK of your WORK/ PROFESSIONALship will help to reduce stress in the work place.
SPIRITUALship… the SHIP most folks sail in the dark BECAUSE CHURCH FOLKS LIKE TO DRILL HOLES IN THIS SHIP WITH THEIR JUDGEMENTS. Over the past couple of years, I have been really looking into spirituality and religion and I have come to the conclusion that I do not believe in religion. I believe that religion is an indirect control tactic that people use to get you to behave in a particular manner. (I will go into to further details in a future blog) Listen to me, I understand what momma and grandma taught you as a child about spirituality and religion but you have to get to know God and spirituality for yourself. The relationship that you build spiritually is YOUR RELATIONSHIP, NOT theirs. You have to study and gain knowledge for yourself. I am still growing spiritually and I am gaining understanding of God’s purpose in my life and the purpose he has placed down on the inside of me. Yes, I still seek wise counsel through questioning and studying but I do not allow their “self-views” to infringe on my spiritual development. It is ok to throw old spiritual and religious ways overboard and even crew members (i.e. finding a new church home or changing your spiritual practices) and take on new practices and new crew members. I started attending a church a few years ago that was different from my family’s church. I wanted to change my membership when I first started but I didn’t want to disappoint my grandmother (who has been dead for 15 years btw). I felt like I would be leaving her in some way. December 30, 2018 on my way to church I told God if he wanted me to join the church to please guide me and that is what he did. When my pastor started extending an invitation to join the church I was at the front before he could finish. Now let me say this, I do NOT agree with all practices at my church, however, my church members make me feel at home… I don’t feel judged about my past or ashamed to discuss my past. Your SPIRITUALship is yours, enjoy the cruise because it is going to be a very interesting and eye-opening journey.
These are all YOUR SHIPS… you have control, to some degree, as to which course your ships will travel. Sometimes your ships may change courses and that is ok because that in itself is a learning opportunity. Enjoy the voyages, take pictures for memories, remain teachable, and enjoy the view.
The Chic Educator