Hidden Under the Makeup and the Mask

Inner wholeness, we seek it, we look in other places for it, and we often attempt to camouflaged it with an array of a color pallets. In our society we wear highlighters, refiners and colorizers along with concealers to give our outward appearance a foundation of inclusion. In this image boosting effort we make ourselves up to create beauty outside to be accepted by those we don’t know. Meanwhile in this selfie, public life post, waist trimmers, booty lifters, and botox era, we have become blinded to our natural beauty.

We have allowed our self reflection to be  flawed as we try to compare ourselves to images seen in magazines or in the media, which we know has been photo chopped to perfection, that no one can compare.  What has become of our society? What has happened where our images are determined through the lens of other people to the point that we are willing to die for acceptance ?

According to Forbes the cosmetic industry is a $445 billion (sales) industry.  This represents a lot of visits to MAC counters, Sephora,  NARS, or Urban Decay (Just to name a few).  Now don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good, or smell good, but at what cost?  Especially if we are concealing the hurt, the abuse, the addiction or personal scars that we dont want to be exposed in public – we all have seen them, dealt with them or been them.

But ladies, we arent exclusive in this,  men wear their own make up as well by assessing their worth by what they earn, what they drive, and how they compare to the next man.  I mean let’s be real, everyone wears make up or a mask.  And to keep it all in perspective a mask is defined as a covering for all or part of the face that protects, hides, or decorates the person. While cosmetics (make up) such as lipstick or powder applied to the face, used to enhance or alter the appearance.  Commonality- Both block the natural characteristics and are temporary. Both can be removed.

There’s no way to know what type of encounters we will have with people. Once you meet a person, it’s always a moment where you step back and size them up, right. Come on ladies, you know we can read another lady quick, in one glance we have checked out her shoes, purse, outfit and her kitchen (you know, the nape of the neck) to see if she gets your  internal approval or show that green eye envy. And fellas, you can be more discreet,  as most sizing up is done when that primal question is asked that goes like this, “Where do you work or what kind of car do you drive?

Really…..you don’t say,  we have become  analyst. Analyzing value by what is seen on the outside, by what one drives, or by where they live.  Jilted by materialism and coefficients of socio-economic statuses.  And though I like to think not, it’s not deniable given the constant increase of public or social media bullying.

Let’s get back to the days of acceptance and learn to live by the truth, that we were all created in the image of God and that He has never made a mistake. Accept the skin you are in, accept that the real you is best received when a person sees all your scars; your life through all seasons and still can say, I love you. JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.

 

 

 

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Surreal

I can’t believe it, it’s like a dream. The mere fact that you are here is unbelievable to me. I use to think that I would never see you.  That our paths would never cross and now you’re here. I don’t know what to say.

How’s life? What brings you to Destiny? How long are you staying? Really, daily.  To think that I traveled all these years to finally come face to face with you. What ? You say you never left. I thought you moved from Forgotten years ago. Oh no, what?  I can’t believe it, say that again. So you have been here all along, waiting for me to see you. Amazing. This is so surreal. I am grateful that we have met now let’s walk into the sunset.

 

Uniquely Designed

Distancing ourselves from transparency is a protective barrier that serves to protect us from hurt, disappointment or shame. Everyone does it to avoid vulnerability afterall trust and honesty are practically non existent. If we stood before the mirror of our soul we could say that no one knows the real you.  Our mask are worn for every performance we make. Always ready to sell that image that others will accept. Whereby our past, the true testament of what makes us who we are, is not shared.

Yet each life represents a unique story, one not duplicated, cloned or dualized. Each moment, every step worked with intricate details that cannot be performed by anyone but you, no replicas.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).

There may be similar stories shared with others but no two stories are alike. You are one of a kind, you are special, you are created as a one of a kind masterpiece that cannot be duplicated. You are It. Wow, you are the original patented design from God. Now walk in that boldly declaring your place. You are not what the enemy will whisper in your ear (defeated, no hope, destitute).  You are more than the sum of every negative encounter (we all have those).

These encounters are billows in our life,  to keep us in remeberance of God’s faithfulness, to serve as the stones in our lives, a memorial to His name, Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our provider.

We have these stones that show the walk we have experienced. Mine go back to my childhood where, even now,  I see God had a plan.  For every encounter, every situation He was there.  I thank God for my parents who showed love, agape love.  They were sacrificial,  constant and unconditional. Their lives were dedicated, through every trial. It was the real love that doesn’t exist today. I mean when the fires came in the form of infidelity,  addictions, financial struggles,  even imprisonment  they stuck it out, unlike the love we see today that comes with a list of  conditions one must meet for love to stay activated. Imagine that. Oh, I love you IF, or as long as you do (fill in the do), I am here. Looking for perfect from imperfect people. That’s why marriages struggle to see longevity.  But my parents showed me to have bulldog faith, a tenaciousness to hold on no matter what comes. To believe when everything around you says not to. As a result I have been able to see this in my life as an adult. Never quit, face your lions and don’t retreat.

My transparency I give today is yes it hurts, yes it gets hard, yes you fall down, but get back up, get back in line. Live life fully, love without walls, give with your heart, serve with your alabaster box and believe that Only You are designed to bring to past what God has for your life. For You are Uniquely Designed.

The Game of Life

Games people play are generally for entertainment and social engagement. There are rules to all games and these games generally require two or more people. The end objective is for a winner to emerge. But in the game of life we are in the game all by ourselves. Yes, there’s a support network, but we must determine how to play our position.

There are rules for us to live by or play by and the choices that we make (daily) strategically place us in position to win or lose.  Biblically the choices and rules to live by are clear, whether we look in Exodus 20: 1-17 at the 10 commandments, or in Deuteronomy 28 for the  blessings or the curses. The rulebook in either verse has been provided.  We all must be accountable to and for our choices, or how we play the game, of life.

Unfortunately, unlike board games that can be paused, put on hold, borrowed or put away until tomorrow, life does not stop moving (no borrowed time here) until the heart ceases to beat.  Everyday we must hold accountability on how we live our dash. Every day we must determine our next move. From the time we arise, until it’s time to rest at night there are opportunities before us; opportunities that will elevate us or bring us down, but how is that defined?  Really, it is easy when you’re consciously aware of the power you hold to determine your life. What are you speaking, cultivating everyday, life or death? What do your words impart in your life or towards others ?

Words are like fire and water, both are necessary, but have different purposes or functions when released. No, this isn’t an astrological question. I am not seeking to know your zodiac sign. What I am seeking is your knowledge to the power you possess with words. Let’s say you’re at work and a high leveled meeting just took place;  a group of your peers gather to vent over their opinions of certain people who were in that meeting, what is your contribution to the discussion? Do you buy into the murmur by adding fire to keep the murmur flamed, or do you say I have work to finish, I will catch up later; using water diffusing the situation.

Most of us carry fire and we are ingrained to that moreso than water because of our own dissatisfaction with situations. Or because society has told us that we must speak our minds. This can be very dangerous. We keep situations aflame when we murmur. Because in our mouth we have power to  place water (diffuse) on any situation, to be peacemakers, eliminating malice, grief and strife making the next move victorious.

Let’s take the story of Job: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold (Job 23:10). This is one of the great test recorded in the old testament. I mean he lost everything, livelihood, flocks, herds, and all his children and then, his friends who were suppose to have his back began to plant seeds of grief and malice at his faith; even his wife spoke against his faith , as he was a devout man of God. They wanted him to curse God and die. But his next move brought forth restoration to his life. His next move made him greater. That’s not saying he wasn’t afflicted by the fire he was amidst, but his moves, while in the fire, allowed him to not be burned (Isaiah 42:2).

Know that we serve a God who promises us that when we pass through the waters, He will be with us; and when we pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over us. When we walk through the fire, we will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze. With this make your moves in this real game of life with confidence knowing that God is with you. 

Slogan Life Repost

Have you ever known  a person who tries to delay life as if the remote control was in their hands?  Using life as if they determine time, space and every breath. Making no importance of the moment, present, past or thinking of the future.  Life is made up of their opinion, their predisposition to persons, places and things that generally comes through media.  Our society has cultivated the mindset of people to live life in sloganville. You know them , have it your way; just do it;  expecting every thing to Snap! Crackle! Pop! meanwhile they forget, when you care enough to send the very best, life can be finger, licken, good.

We try harder to live life without feeling, no empathy or sympathy. Just going through the motions, then we wonder why those good old days were more alive and vibrant. For me that would be the 60’s through the early 90′. But I will say, those times were better because family mattered. Because respect mattered, especially with the  elders. The village was alert , willing and active.

And while many talk about how much better it was, do something to make today better. Bring back the moral compass. Instead of becoming a part of the “just wanna do me,” microwave society start to live outside of self, put away the remote control on life and keep legacy in mind as each generation plans for the next, by choice or default, it will happen. Then turn from slogan life towards the real meaning of life because in the end, We answer to a Higher Authority.

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Drop the Bucket List

Good day to all. It’s Friday morning and I woke up thinking about living life now. This post will be a little different as I am writing it in the present. The present of now. As I wonder why we live life outside of the present ? We think of yesterday ( when it’s gone, done, over) and plan for tomorrow, which is wise, but we don’t hold it in our hands. It’s not promised. Then we create the popular of the Bucket List. Oh, I get it. This list is one created that comprises all the things we want to do before we leave this earthly body. But my question (deep in thought) is do we know that date or the hour ?  Because we don’t, why not do it in the presence of Now ? Yes, I know a lot goes into planning major journeys. I get that. What I am simply pushing for is for everyone to stop delaying, procrastinating or saying tomorrow I will. Just Do It now.

Create the life you want today. Get starting doing what your heart desires now. Live the Bucket List today. Everyday we should live our lives as if there is no tomorrow. Everyday should be filled with the vibrancy of love, appreciation and zealousness of the moment because we are not promised tomorrow.

Take today, do something you want to do. Do that walk by the beach, go to that fancy restaurant you heard of last year. Go sit in the movies, alone, with your popcorn and enjoy that love story. Start that novel,  go buy that special gift or have a me day, today.   Go and find what brings fulfillment to your life (within reason, this is intended for the pure at heart, whole in their thinking). Take that specialty class now, go back to school, cooking, dancing, knitting, whatever. Do it now.

Far to often we live in regret. Regreting what we did not do. While the day is yet present, why not remove regret and do it today.  You will improve the joy of living and find that everyday is an opportunity to be better. Drop the Bucket List. Learn to Live a regret free life because you deserve it, today.

Whose Will

In life we travel many roads. Just as the points of the compass leads us North, South, East, and West so does our existence. We are set to travel various paths, but are they chosen by us or predetermined by God? Are we given the right to chose? I mean we all are guilty of what I will call the ” I isms of life,” where we say I want to, I will, or I am going to, right. Yet the Word says, in Proverbs 16:9 that we plan our course, but the Lord established our steps. Umm, choice based on our plan. Yet, end result are the steps taken, determined by God. Makes me wonder where do our choices end and His steps lead? Interestingly enough is that we all can speak of a plan, that later ended up changing (not by choice), right?

I am sure you dont even have to think that far back to see, whether you believe it or not, that the steps being ordered were better than the choice you would have made. Like that one time when you were mad because you were running late. Anything and everything that could happen did. You misplaced your keys, could find the kids matching shoes or nature took course and you were confined to the comforts of the bathroom toilet. Shake My Head. But nevertheless you were detained, delayed, distracted by the offsets of life. But later as you leave home you see police cars headed to or on the road, where 20 minutes, earlier you would have been. Then later as you reflect on the day, you begin to give thanks for God’s interventions. I don’t know about you, but I have come to thank God for the delays of life. His will for His children serves to protect, provide and keep us safe.

Does this mean that we just sit thinking well I can be late, then intertwine that to His steps, no. Accountability is necessary in all our affairs. It’s the unplanned that I speak of. Whether we travel North, South, East or West know that every encounter isn’t with a stranger and that everything we do is purposeful. Afterall, He said He will bless the works of your hands, the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us– yes, establish the work of our hands (Psalms 90:17).

We are to be active, to live life to the maximum level in wisdom and understanding. To trust in the Lord with all our hearts, lean not unto our own understanding. In all our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

If you like this blog, I want to hear from you! Please leave a comment at the bottom of this page and sign up on the Home Page to receive all of my posts directly to your email.  Thank you

A Mellow Melody

Serenity surrounds the sweetness of a sound. Superfluous, like raging waters as you relax listening to a mellow melody.  Flowing like jazz it creates a peace often untouched and out of reach.

A mellow melody can be felt, embraced or created in the mind of the beholder. It can be generated from positive thoughts and from a memory of a song, a moment or a flavor of something you ate or smelled. Mine is all of the above. But it’s also the thought of my canine niece and nephew who my sister affectionately calls Mellow (male), Melody (female).

But in life it takes on a whole other form, people write about mellow melody, like Charlie Rich from 1975 or to a more recent, more familiar Kirk Franklin who wrote about “Melodies from Heaven;” rain down on me, rain down on me. Or maybe thinking of mellow jazz music by Fourplay, Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, oh I could go on forever here as I love jazz. And it would not feel without mentioning my favorite Najee. Oh, and Maysa. It’s something in the music that when we listen to it, it gives a mellow melody to whatever is happening in our lives.

As people, we are also known to become more mellow as we mature.  When something becomes mellow, it gets softer or more relaxed. I recall my parents saying that “you mellow with age”  and while I didn’t quite get it when i was younger, it simply meant that my  aggressive behavior that I showed as a child would take s back seat with widsom; that my smart mouth (more so my sister,  you know it’s true Sissy) would be tamed to perfection of knowing when not to say all you think;  and that impatience would simmer to a understanding that it’s never just about YOU. I am there, LOL. If my parents were still present in this earth I would let them know, humbly, that they were so RIGHT.

Truthfully we all have or let me rephrase that and say should have (those over 40 especially) come to a place of living a mellow melody where drama is untolerated, and intolerable. Where the presence of peace is all we desire. To live transparently because we have matured to walk boldly in truth and in knowing who we are via life’s experiences.

We embrace life knowing that life evolves and so should we becoming the mellow melody we create. Seek your place of peace so that the melody of life can mellow within your heart.

Throughout the Day

Running , running; always going to get, gotta find, looking for a peace of mind. How may I help you, what do you need, can somebody, somewhere, help me please. Hi , How Are you,? fine they say, but maybe if we stopped they really might say.

Good morning, good night, made it through another day, how about you? Hello, I am good, nothing much to say, another dollar another day things didn’t go my way.

Let me tell you about this, or it maybe about that, at any rate, its just chit chat. Oh my goodness, really you don’t say. How about him or her they say. Hey let me hit you back, I might just say. Maybe tomorrow or another day. Come on over, or I may stop through there, but wait as tomorrow is now yesterday.

Gotta keep running, can not stop today. Do I wanna hang, come go you say. Wait, let me see, my calendar is full, How about next week, that might just work for me. Oh okay, I check next week, but then next week is next month you see.

Just a running time got past me. Now I can’t stop so suddenly. Then when it seemed like there was nothing left I pulled that dusty book of the shelf. As I opened it, I began to see that life was forever passing me. Time was here, but now it’s gone and all I ended up with was my song,  wait let me see, I will hit you back, maybe next week but now they are gone.

Take time, when there’s no time, because next time is not promised.  Love today like love was lost, find it in the present at all cost. Keep your word as it may be the last they ever heard.

Communication Codes

There’s a language only understood by the family. A stranger or outside cannot interpret the communication because of the code. Researchers have studied to understand the number of languages and it varies between 5,000 and 7,000, all contingent on dialects.

Our English  language is heard across the globe as a common communication form. When heard it can be translated, reinterpreted, and if communication can’t be heard or seen, it can be transferred to sign language or Braille. Whatever the method the receiver has to be able to transpose each syllable to grasp a full understanding.

This isn’t just for humans, but also in the animal kingdom, for example let’s consider the woodpecker. Despite the volume of noise his beak generates and the annoyance of it, the woodpecker (not known as a vocal bird, and he certainly doesn’t sing like the parakeet) is making a sound to express a need. He uses his pecking to communicate with other birds;  to attract a mate, to warn off predators and rivals and as a way to mark his turf.  Sounds like a dog, right, marking his territory.  Imagine that.  For the woodpecker this particular type of pecking is known as “drumming,” and woodpeckers often seek out hard surfaces like wood to ensure the sound is loud and able to be transmitted long range. They want to be heard. 

Another form of communication is the Morse code which transmits almost the same, with clicking (a series of one-off tones or lights) to make a sound, which is only understood by a skilled listener who interprets the code. I associate each of these communication forms to that of  the Holy Spirit whose language in other utterances or tongues is only interpreted in the spiritual realm.  This transmission is understood by God only to protect the believer, send out a battle cry, to communicate in  heaven, what is needed here on earth. As believers we never have to wonder if our communication is being heard, as God hears our hearts and we have a language that carries to Him, and Him alone to meet our needs (1st Corinthians 14:22 – Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe). 

Do you believe ?