LIFE HAPPENS By Tresa Simmons
Life happens. These are the words that initially came to me while feeling bereft about a situation I went through recently that I could not control no matter how bad I wanted to. When I got honest, I was able to say life does happen, but this situation is a creation of my own making. I had to take responsibility and own that I brought suffering to my door. “How does this serve me? “ In other words, “what is the payoff for me finding myself in the same situation again?” “Why do I keep doing the same thing expecting different results?” My conditioned response led me to focus my attention on what happened and the details of the matter. Being willing to step aside and view the situation as if it was not happening to me allowed me to process the answer differently. “How does this serve me” became does the way that I think about this issue perpetuate more of the same? I knew I had to change my focus as I asked what am I thinking and believing about me.
As I talked to a dear friend about my assessment of the situation, we began to talk about another topic our history with money. I was able to admit that my teachings about money have been minimal particularly how to have a relationship with it. I discussed the informal training I received on what to say to the bill collectors when they called and by observing the adults around me not only in my home but through my friends’ parents as well. “Tell them no one is home if they come to the door,” or ring, ring, ring “hello you have the wrong number and or she/he is not home” when the adults were standing in my presence. Sometimes I saw the fear in their eyes or the sigh of relief. This blog is not about judging my parents or anyone else’s parents.
What I am clear about is I internalized as a child what I saw and experienced and carried those viewpoints into my adult hood creating unnecessary suffering that had nothing to do with life happening. There is a Bible verse that says a little leaven pervades the whole loaf (my interpretation). In other words, our character is our character in every area of our life, and it cannot be compartmentalized to certain areas. So I suggest sisters that we began to pay attention not just to the details of our situations because they may show up different but pay attention to the patterns in our life. In most cases, we all can begin to see invisible threads that are attached to a core belief. Avoiding the bill collectors taught me how to avoid anything that I do not want to deal with, and it left me feeling I could not be responsible for not only my money but for other areas as well. Watching the adults’ body language and words created for me unconsciously that life is about struggle rather than being graceful, particularly as it related to my money. For many years, I struggled with guilt as I began to prosper when others in my circle or family did not have. I eventually learned I was cursing my blessings.
As we look at our life, let’s become transparent and honest with ourselves. Let’s look at where we are and the feedback our life is giving to us. It will not lie. The feedback cannot lie. Eventually, I saw money was not my issue. This is a continuous learning process. When I find myself in an emotional or physical quagmire about my money, I am beginning to question my ideas, feelings, and emotions while I look at the situation (life’s feedback) because the feedback will let you know if you are regressing, standing still, or making progress. When we are children (immature on a topic), we see, speak, and think as women with limited skills; when we become adults, we exchange immaturity for maturity and wisdom in the way we see, speak, and think about our what we are going through. Asking myself questions about money elicited strong emotions from me; but as I eased my way with intention paying attention clarity came. With each lens becoming more focused, I began to feel like I was releasing a breath that I never knew I was holding. Sort of like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Money may not be an issue for you. It could be relationships, careers, etc.; If you keep finding yourself repeating the same or similar situation like a scene out of the movie Ground Hog’s Day, I would say it is time to take an inner journey of self-exploration rather than looking at the outside situation wandering and thinking ‘not again’ or ‘how did I get here again’. I have also learned not just any question will do. When the right questions are asked and answered in integrity, our failures become lessons and our lessons become well learned blessings as we pay attention to life’s feedback. This will require we get clear about what we know that we don’t know as evident through life’s feedback. We may have to utilize someone with more experience around our topic. Don’t beat yourself up. Awareness is the first step. Remember the journey is just as important as arriving at our destination, and the goal is to learn our lessons along the way so we can be mature enough to honor the gift when we arrive. Otherwise, we will sabotage or destroy the very thing we wanted.
This does not mean that we will not be challenged as we master our curriculum in life, but the reward is being able to have peace of mind and see ourselves being promoted to the next grade. I do not know about you, but there have been many years I had to repeat the same curriculum over and over in certain areas of my life. I did not die, although it felt like I was at times. Also know this does not mean we may not see an old habit or pattern show up again. From elementary to college, we learn math but a more advanced version of it. Life can be this way too. Celebrate yourselves each time you advance. We also may have to refer to a previous textbook, and so is life. Sometimes we may have to take time to review where we have come from and what we have learned to refresh our memory. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it is wisdom. One of my coaches would say “It is layers to this shit.” Indeed, it is.
Rhonda Hemphill / Primera Representative – http://www.primerica.com/rhemphill
DeAnn Jordan / @destiny_consulting_group on Instagram or http://www.myfes.net/djordan3
Rolanda Kennedy / The Kennedy Experience Consulting LLC Facebook Page or @thekennedyexperienceconsulting on Instagram
Operation Hope in Detroit: Level One Bank 440 Burroughs Street, Suite 522 Detroit, MI 48202 / 313-686-3113 ; Fifth Third Bank (Northwest Activity Center) 18100 Meyers Road Detroit, MI 48235 / 313-506-9192
Wayne Metro Community Action Agency (Financial Empowerment Center) http://www.waynemetro.org / 313-388-9799