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When are you gonna realize, YOU are Enough?


When will you stop trying to fit into everyone else’s mold?


When will you get past that "stinkin' thinkin" and move on?


Yes, we are revisiting this issue again. People are hurting.


You're not the only one. Sad to say, it took me a long time to grasp that concept.


I'm a plus size-thick chick, with a little sass, a sense of humor, a likeable smile (I think so anyway), and a love for Spiritual things – Always trying to see the glass half-full, and giving free hugs as needed!


If I really like you, it turns into a “Bear Hug!


My younger self never would have admitted that. It took rejection(s), disappointments, tears, encouragement, tough-love, and finally, self-love to realize I AM Enough!


It’s a new dawn. It’s a new life for me. And I’m feeling GOOD! ~ Nina Simone (Oh Yeah, I get it now!)


RECENTLY, the North Carolina State University community grieved the loss of two students within a twenty-four-hour period. One article said, There were no red flags.


Sadly, most of the time, there never are. It pains me that so many of our young ones are falling prey to stress, pressure, broken homes, or feelings of worthlessness - mostly, that they are not ENOUGH.


Suicide prevention month should be every day, every hour, every minute. If we can go back to the days when we remembered when we checked on our neighbor. Let them know, “I’m here if you need anything, even if it’s to sit and listen”- It might not change the world, but it would certainly make a difference.


I wish I could hold their hand and give them a hug. Then I’d tell them, “I’m here. . . I believe in you. . . It’s okay, we’ll walk this walk and get through this challenge together.


My Story


I STUMBLED upon an article the other day on the heels of the NC State incident mentioned above. I found a quote (really, a few of them) by Norbert Juma, in his article Quotes With Life Lessons to Help You Move On.


“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” – Robert Frost


Talk about nostalgia!


I remember my teen years. During this one particular time, I was going through a rough patch, as most teens struggling with self-esteem issues do. I barely made it over the “this world would be better off without me” hump. Wrestling with what seemed like at the time, the weight of the world, trauma, my ex-boyfriend leaving me, school, etc., I poured my heart out to a dear friend.


Looking deep into the eyes of this beloved friend, I expected sympathy, maybe pat on the back or an embrace with a soft whisper in my ear, “Don’t worry, it’ll be okay…” - I was desperate for Anything.


What I got was a dose of reality. He said, “Life goes on!” To make matters worse, my cherished friend proceeded to sing a song about it and whistling the tune, “Life goes on and so do we…” – The theme song from the 80s sit-com Too Close For Comfort.


Talk about heart breaking pain. Can you say gut punch, crushed, or disappointed? He didn’t get it.


No, I didn’t get it!


During the early 80s, my generation - GenX or Latch Key kids as we were called, were taught to have tough skin. The Baby Boomers who raised us, thought we needed that to survive (they were right). Plus, we watched their actions and survival tactics and copied them.


It was this “tough skin” that helped me gulp down my pride and accept that comment as it truthfully was. LIFE DOES GO ON.


What my cherished friend didn’t realize is that those words, although they cut me to my core, my determination not to cry, yell out or scream, gave me some sort of super power, perhaps a renewed strength. It wasn’t just those words alone. It was sitting with those thoughts, self-examination, and prayer.


What made others Teflon strong? Where were those strong heroes who never allowed anything to bother them? Where can I get some of that? Who were some of the strongest people in my life that I could draw strength from without telling them what was REALLY going on with me?


[SIDE-BAR: Those without hope today shouldn’t have to go that far to find help and a source of strength. WE need to be standing right there beside or in front of them, cheering them on with encouragement, Don’t give up! Don’t get me wrong. We are not here to do the work for them, but can't we be a guide, a helper in the dark, a trusted friend who will tell them the truth ('you are ENOUGH and you do have a lot to live for), and cheerleader! I can be that. So can you!]

THE OAK TREE –

My grandmother and others ‘affectionately’ coined her the Old Oak Tree.


She was that strong person I watched growing up. I didn’t know how powerful an impact that oak tree would have on me, even to this day.


Napoleon Hill shared, “the oak tree is one of the strongest trees of the forest.” Oak tree roots are known for their highly adaptable and deep systems, which can extend up to three times the size of the tree's canopy. Understanding the oak tree root system is essential for keeping them healthy and protecting property. Strength and stability.


“The strongest oak tree of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It's the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.” ~ Wikipedia.org


JBKind Doors - article mentioned a few facts and characteristics about the Oak tree: like – its lifespan, the ability to thrive, finding itself in the production of wine stoppers (new fact for me), the most durable for furniture, and adding a special aroma to wine, whisky, and brandy barrels giving them unique flavor, colour, and taste (another new fact). He highlights how Oak is officially one of the strongest woods in the world –


Talk about a powerful statement.


Here in the Carolinas, where Grandma was born and raised, Pro Garden Tips mentioned, ". . . the beautiful oak tree can be found in many of its counties. . . They are majestic-looking and create quite an impression." Just like my Grandmother. In fact, at her funeral, her pastor shared that he had visited her prior to her passing to share encouragement and build her up. Ironically, he was the one spiritually encouraged and built up. It was stunning to him.


When he shared that, I smiled. It wasn’t stunning to me. That’s who she was to her core. Essential. Strength. Protecting Property. Her spiritually strong will, endurance, and determination was rooted - grounded if you will (in her faith). Just like that Oak tree!


It was that strength, rooted in my DNA that I drew from to help me get through that tough time back then. It is that strength, along with prayer, that I continue to draw from, along with common sense, the ability to read others (thanks Dad) and discern thier needs, strong will, and determination that helps me to help others, and live to make it another day!


Arbor Culture’s - Eric H. Hoyer, a certified arborist & forester, called them “trees of the South . . . Besides their longevity, live oaks are desirable because of their resistance to decay. . . Live oak wood is very strong and hurricane-resistant.


Whatever life's STORM people are weathering, we need to get rooted, branch out, and help our neighbor, just lie we did back in the day.

Will you be that Oak tree to help these young tender branches or others who seem to have lost their way get rooted? Will you prop or support them?


All it takes is a little watering, listening, kindness, and caring. If you feel the urge to say, “I love you” do it. But don’t just tell them. Show them. Teach them how to be rooted.


Take my hand and be rooted...

According to a study from the University of Michigan, reading life lesson quotes promoting gratitude can lead to a greater appreciation for life and an overall increase in well-being.


They suggest you start each day with a quote that reminds you to be grateful and appreciate the small things in life.


Here are a few I’d like to SHARE. . .


“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”– Lyndon B. Johnson


“Why let go of yesterday? Because yesterday has already let go of you.” – Steve Maraboli


“‎Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning… Anyone can start over and make a new ending.” ― Chico Xavier


“Letting go does not mean you stop caring. It means you stop trying to force others to.”– Mandy Hale


“You only struggle because you’re ready to grow but aren’t willing to let go.” – Drew Gerald


“Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on.” – Les Brown


“You only struggle because you’re ready to grow but aren’t willing to let go.” – Drew Gerald


“Be yourself — everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde


“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” ― Maya Angelou


“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” – John C. Maxwell


“Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” ― Steve Maraboli


“My greatest life lessons have not come from any achievements I have attained but rather from the failures, heartaches, and setbacks that I have experienced.” – Dr. Marshall Hennington


“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”– Alexander Graham Bell

(THIS is Ringing loud and clear – No pun intended. 😊)


“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King Jr. (Still a personal favorite – one of faith)


“My greatest life lesson has been that life can change in a second. This is why it’s important to always live your best possible life and to do what you can for others.” — Niki Taylor


“Your fear is 100% dependent on you for its survival.”― Steve Maraboli


“As life’s lessons are learned, spiritual truth emerges.” ― Eric Alsterberg


“Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr

 

My dear friend mentioned above who shared, life goes on, is one of the smartest people I know and I still admire and deeply respect him to this day. His honesty helped me to learn a lot about myself and how I can help others.


What about you? What was a pivotal moment or turning point for you? Why not help others learn from your story.


“You can count on me, like 1, 2, 3, I’ll be there.” ~ Bruno Mars. I'll be there too!


~ Love,

Ms. Zipporah












The Brown Eyes of Avon ~ coming the summer of 2023



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