Black History Month

Valentine’s Day still dominates our workplace and schools as the February holiday.

The reality is…

Your corporate job is more likely to throw a party for Valentine’s Day than acknowledge the magnitude of what Black History’s entire Month actually represents.

The truth is…

Black History Month deserves more than trivia to commemorate the suffering and sheer will power of the millions of African American people who historically heavily influenced, and arguably continue to dominate their influence on American life and culture.

Here is the story we are told…

Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States.

January 1, 1863 is supposed to be an emancipation date we celebrate in America as it marks the official freedom of all the slaves.

Here is what actually happened…

There was nothing tangible to celebrate for the men and women who went from being property to then being free on January 1st, 160 years ago. They were all in grave danger and if you are a descendant of one of these former slaves you come from strong and resilient people.

That is a Black History fact.

But let’s ask some questions and take a closer look…

Who was actively trying to pay the freed slaves on January 2, 1863? Their former owners?

Who would love the formerly enslaved people and treat them with dignity and respect in the South and in 1863?

Who tended to helping to heal their souls after years of cruelty in 1863?

Did freedom mean safety or employment following the emancipation?


That is a Black History fact.

We overlook the devastating facts when we talk about Black History Month amongst our friends and colleagues and we should not.

Black inventors and pioneers should be celebrated, not just for their inventions via games of trivia, but for the roots of the entrepreneurial spirit that was born out of necessity and out of oppression.

But what about the people who didn’t invent anything but are the only reason that my current friends could be born years later.

What about my friend’s great great grandmother who didn’t invent anything but went through literal hell for her great great granddaughter to be born 100+ years later and be successful and independent.

She matters. My friends great great grandmother matters, and she, and all of these warriors deserve remembrance and acknowledgement for enduring how it really was in America for a very long time.

That is Black History.

What do we think happened to the freed slaves in this Country when the federal government told a bunch of racist white people they couldn’t own other people?

What really happened?

What happened is hundreds of thousands of freed slaves died from starvation and murder and no one was held accountable.

That is what happened after we “freed” the people that were enslaved.

That is Black history.

Free did not mean equal and free often meant starve to death and die with no justice because though you may be free you had no rights.

No one White was accountable for hurting anyone Black for 100+ years in America.

That is Black history.

Yet in still, what we teach in schools is mostly trivia and we celebrate the emancipation.

A quarter of the four million freed slaves either died, were murdered, or suffered from illness between 1862 and 1870.

That was after the emancipation.

One million+ people died after they were “freed”.

This is a genocide that occurred on American soil imposed by white American’s.

That is a Black history fact.

The survival. The treatment. The endurance of the hearts of the African Americans who survived to bring about future generations surly do not deserve to take a back seat to Valentine’s Day.

⁃ Dedicated with love to Mrs. Gertrude Williams whom I never had the personal pleasure to meet as she passed when my grandmother was young, but shaped so much of my character through her influence.

The Kryptonite Illusion

Healing and growth come from acknowledgement and acceptance.

It does not come from neglecting, compartmentalizing, abandoning, or avoiding the parts of yourself that you do not like to experience.

Your feelings are there to alert you of what is going on with you, the objective is to acknowledge them as true and also, as passing things that are not permanent states of being.

Growth is less about cultivating self-confidence than it is about enacting self-compassion.

Acknowledging emotional pain, and then letting go of the shame, blame, and guilt involved.

You are not perfect and are not designed to be and you never will be. There is no arrival at “perfect” because there is no such thing.

If you allow yourself some grace, the pressure lifts enough for your self-esteem to resurface right alongside feelings of hope.

But when you stifle the painful parts of the journey, and don’t come to terms with it, process it, and deal with it, confidence will never come.

Have you danced with the pain in your past?

What about any current pain?

Have you embraced it’s significance?

Have you given your pain any credit for your resilience?

So many of us avoid pain and discomfort out of an instinctual fear.

The problem is, your pain, your past, and your story can never become a superpower if you continue to consider it kryptonite-something you avoid at all costs.

There is power in pain. pain is not there to restrict, it is there to inform. Once informed, you get to decide how you use it.

You cannot control the pain that will come in life always, but you always can control what you do with it after you experience it.

Most notably, contained within the sentiments of pain are the building blocks of eminence strength.

At the root of your pain is also your freedom but you have to be strong enough to be vulnerable and dance with it.

#stikeamatch #ownit


The world is not going to be kind and patient with us.

We have to provide those things to ourselves.

We have to create relationships with people who make us feel safe.

We have to set boundaries with people who don’t make us feel safe.

Boundaries that set the expectation that either people will meet you where your standards of self are, or they are not a part of your space and energy.

Not out of vitriol and not with violence, but from a place of love, boundaries go up out of your love for yourself and quality of life.

Not everything is black and white, but boundaries are. When you know better about what you deserve, knowing better eventually influences you to leave some things and people alone.

Because when you continue self-sabotaging after discovering you know better, it will begin to make you emotionally and physically uncomfortable and even sick, until you rise up and shift your behavior to match your new core beliefs about yourself and life.

You start to itch for your surroundings to evolve.

Many of us are learning how to be secure people in adulthood which means that for the first time, we are figuring out what it looks like to have a stable and balanced relationship with ourselves and others without repeating old narratives that haven’t served us.

Many of us have spent time focusing on staying safe rather than being authentic to who we are and you may find it to be a panicked feeling.

Something has to give when something needs to change.

Everything around us naturally changes and we somehow are disillusioned enough by fear to think that we can somehow find a permanent state of contentment, but that’s not life.

As you experience and learn and suffer, you change. You are a living, learning creation that can adapt and make decisions that keep you in a space of love, light, and growth.

It is fear that keeps us resisting what is in our nature because feeling safe is more important than taking care of true self sometimes.

It’s not enough is the problem.

Fear will never be enough to get you to the finish line you seek. Fear doesn’t allow for enough movement to get you anywhere really.

Love is a choice and it requires you to be authentic, resilient, and brave.


Intimacy and vulnerability

How many conversations are there in your life, that never happened, because you or someone else was not willing or able to be vulnerable?

How many loves and experiences have been lost out of that very same fear?

How many situations have your senses informed you were opportunities that your trauma shut down for you with the speed of Bruce Lee’s reflex’s?

How much of that fear, that fear of being vulnerable, has anything positive to offer you?

When someone wants to work on vulnerability with me, what follows in this post is my approach, advice and heartfelt deep hope:

Vulnerability (intimacy) is something that lives in the emotional spectrum between love and fear.

So I am asking you now, as if you were in front of me:

How has fear impacted your life? Do you have regrets? What are you doing about it?


How can your past regrets inform you about how you will need to respond differently when the opportunity comes up again, because it will come up again.

What can you learn to do now so that when you have an opportunity to act on something, you finally do it with the intent to move through the discomfort?

These are all questions I ask patients in therapy when they tell me they want to be happy and connect with someone authentically.

When we talk about how vulnerability is either possible for people or it isn’t (currently), it seems to work in a cycle.

We disclose only things to those we trust and since we do not trust many people including our own judgment, we remain silent and vulnerability starts to feel increasingly more dangerous as we build the negative fantasy around what it means for us to be vulnerable.

This is a problem though isn’t it? Something is missing when being vulnerable is missing.

Something deeply fulfilling is missing.

Because if you never let yourself be vulnerable then you will never connect at the deepest levels to your experience here and you can feel that loss without ever having had the feeling of having it somehow.

So what can you do?

The simple but difficult answer is, you re-process WHY you are afraid in the first place, which you will find has shaped your current behavior with connection a long time ago. The good new is you can change your feelings on intimacy but/and you must be willing to revisit the wound that exists currently because there-within is the fix to the problem.

The process is literally: Feel, deal, and heal the wounds that dictate your current process for love.

Love and the first feelings of the absence of love (pain) are recorded in our memories as children and revisiting pain and having closure with it all happening to us before it was in our control is the only way you can free yourself up to truly love without a full metal jacket protecting your heart at all “costs”.


Costs always come up in therapy as defense mechanisms (functional excuses) for not engaging in intimacy because the trauma from the past takes over. It sounds like “I know it would be great BUT…” whatever the “but” is, consider that the “cost”.

Real costs are different than “costs”.

The only Real costs are the experiences we pay for and haven’t learned anything from in order to do better for ourselves. Anything else is always an investment waiting on you to cash in.

If you are like me you have enough lessons that have shown you that you can go through things and it not break you.

Why don’t you break? Resilience.

Resilience is the perfect support system for maintaining.

Resilience can also be used with becoming vulnerable because it shows up for you when you need positive reinforcement for the act of being vulnerable.

Vulnerability is a strength because it shows both yourself and others that you can handle any outcome because authenticity is non-negotiable for secure people, making resilience a quality all vulnerable people have.

The secret is, only the secure people in this world are vulnerable and they are not vulnerable because they are secure, they got to a space of security BECAUSE they were willing to be vulnerable.

At some point you decide you are resilient enough to be vulnerable and survive any outcome that results because it’s the only way to act authentically and experience intimacy.

How to start on this journey:

#1. Get your mind right. Literally

You have to say to yourself in the mirror out loud:

“You are a product of your past, you are not defined by it, you have learned and suffered and survived. The love I should have and deserve to have, was not always shown to me as a child or as a young adult in the way I needed it. Despite that, I can depend on me and I can depend on others. I can see others as reasons AND not blame them. Being fearless with love will be my reality because I am worthy of being loved for my authentic self.”

You say this out loud because you need to hear it. You need to say it. You need to see yourself say it. You need to listen to it and embrace it.


You GO.

Go try the things that you were to scared to try while you were so worried about rejection. You have resilience to endure the outcome.


Say the things that make your heart beat go crazy because think about what is happening by keeping that energy trapped inside you out of fear. You have the resilience to endure the outcome.


Open yourself up to being ok no matter what happens because you are an evolved version of you who can handle having to adjust. Resilience, remember?

You let INTIMACY happen

(instead of stopping it with your anger/staged fights/traumatic pre-programmed responses)

Intimacy is something that requires your vulnerability and the reward is the freedom to be exactly who you are because that is how you will feel when you connect with people who are also willing to be their most vulnerable selves.

The path is known. We actually know as humans how to fix our pre-programming and heal ourselves. The question is, are you willing. Are you willing to do what needs to be done to see, feel and experience the other side?

The Fearfully Avoidant Attachment Style

There are many of us that display repeatable patterns in our life.

If you are someone who has not figured out your programing that developed in childhood, you may be questioning why interactions with people who try to love you, always ends poorly.

Insecure attachment to other people is one of your big clues that you have some unpacking to do within your core beliefs and investigate your core wounds.

This comes up a lot for people with a fearful avoidant attachment style.

The basic programing of a fearfully avoidant person is that intimacy is scary because physical and emotional security were not given to you by the parent you needed it from the most in childhood.

Typically, the most severe cases of fearful avoidant people end up that way in the scenario where a male child has a mother he couldn’t depend on and in contrast, women have the more severe cases of this attachment style when their father was avoidant, unreliable, or simply not even present.

The core wounding that occurs is that the child grows into adulthood believing that the only one who could heal them and show them how to love is the parent who cannot give them the love they needed as a child, making them unlikely to be able to give you love in adulthood unless the parent works on their own attachment insecurities. You see the cycle.

What will happen is anytime anyone gets close to a person who has a fearful attachment style is that they will get pushed away because true intimacy and true love are not safe feelings for the fearful avoidant because they live in a subconscious fear that everyone will leave them anyway so why rush the heartbreak?

The answer to this imbalanced desire for closeness yet fear of closeness of course is to heal the fearful avoidant, which will come directly from the fearful avoidant slowly learning patience with their fear and deciding not to run but to let someone else sooth them. This healing can only happen with the presence of the persistent unconditional love someone else genuinely has available to them.

Once the fearful avoidant can understand that someone else has the capacity to show them true “no strings attached love”, they can begin to heal the wounds they obtained from their parent.

This is the process of learning about what true love is. It will feel new and scary and different rather than wonderful, and exciting to the fearful avoidant but it will likely also feel like something they want.

It is a common myth that fearfully avoidant people cannot heal while in a relationship. They can. The trick is in them not running away from their own emotions in the process.

If you are someone who cares for a fearful avoidant it can be hard to handle being pushed away in the relationship (friendship or partnership) will end because the fearful avoidant is notorious for emotionally hurting the people that really do care about them by pushing them away and leaving them feeling unwanted.

This is sad all around because as we all know finding people who are willing to suffer by your side as you truly heal, is rare. Even more sad is the fact that the fearful avoidant may push someone away that at their core, they want and need.

Often the fearful avoidant will panic when they start to feel deeper feelings than they typically like to entertain. This should be expected and not taken personally, but it is usually painful on the receiving end either way.

Once the panic at the feeling of closeness happens, the fearful avoidant will come up with excuses why they don’t need a partner or they do not like to have a lot of friends. This is a defense mechanism to simply end their current uncomfortable feelings of getting too close to another person because the risk of abandonment is always alive in the subconscious.

People with these attachment styles do not get a lot of empathy, partly because it feels uncomfortable for them to receive, but more so because they can come off as arrogant and unfeeling.

Trust me when I say that is not the case at all.

These are people who were fundamentally let down by someone they needed and deserved to have protect them, and it shattered the idea that there can ever be safety in relationships with other people.

And so… until the fearfully attached person does core inner child work they will continue to attract superficial scenarios that are ego drive rather than fulfilling the core need of having supportive people they allow to love them.

The good news is that fearfully attached people can become more secure by letting people help them self-sooth and refrain from their impulse to shut down. It will take time. It will take patience… but the right people will have all of that for you.


The Truth About Healing

You are not going to go from having serious mental health challenges for years, learn some new ways of thinking for a few days, and then all of a sudden wake up in a healthy happy sustainable place.

We have to get real with each other about what the actual process of growth feels like and looks like

Healing and growth looks like only thinking about getting 1% in control of your ability to think from a different perspective each day.

A tiny change.

A small challenge to your regularly scheduled worrying, substituted with something to keep you present.

It is you working on having one thought that you are able to catch in the moment as harmful, stop it by catching it, and choosing another more re-affirming one.

If even one internal moment of your day is something you were able to change to shift your mindset to something different, then you have done all you need to be doing inside yourself.

Healing is this over and over and over.

Healing is this inner work supported by a support system of people who care for you and attending therapy.

One moment at a time, shifting your thinking, awareness, and skills slowly like this in such a way that you do not put too much pressure on yourself.

Nature moves at less than 1% a day in its growth so why wouldn’t we?

Does a new tree triple in height in 5 days? No.

Nothing in nature moves as fast as we want our own personal growth to go.

It is our expectations of getting happier and healthier that are crippling us from healing our programming that has hindered us.

This process is not one day at a time, it is in one moment in time where you are able to do something different.



Until you live like this and growth becomes your nature.

Not fear.

The Programing of Attachment, Intimacy, and Control

When you are constantly seeking external validation, it’s a side effect of the thought process to scan the environment for contextual cues for what might be impacting you.

Always looking outside of yourself for the source of the problem.

This is is also a side effect of having an external locus of control which means you believe the things in the outside world control your inside world.

The problem with this thinking is it is prone to take the control over your life, out of your hands.

There are things in this world we can not control so why would we let those factors dictate the way we feel about ourselves and the actions we take?

Taking accountability and looking at life as a series of choices that you can control is what builds self esteem and personal growth.

You may not be able to control all events, but how you react is all up to you.

It sounds like: I put ownership over my life because I always have a choice in how I react to situations

It also sounds like: I take accountability for every reaction I have to anything beyond my control and that is what gives me control over uncontrollable situations.

Here is the secret and the challenge of taking your control back:

1. You have look at everything external as something designed to grow you, not something out of your control. Every time something doesn’t go as planned, you stop, and you figure out why and what about your programming contributed to your feelings about the situation as well as the outcome.

2. You have to get really comfortable with being uncomfortable because that is what growth is. That is the challenge. The ego death of you having to be willing to go back to childhood and identify the areas you needed something different, and address it in adulthood. It’s not easy and It is worth it.

3. You will notice lots of dual truths in taking ownership over your happiness.

Control has a lot to do with attachment and the lack or abundance of attention and emotional regulation we received from our parents.

If you are someone who struggles with control and struggle with the balance of interacting with the world and protecting yourself, it’s good to know why you attach to the world around you the way that you do.

What is your Attachment Style?

Most of us have one. The reason for this is we no longer get raised in the hunter gatherer settings that civilizations began in.

We no longer have tribes of 50-100 adults showing a child the full spectrum of healthy community and familial attachment and the healthy way to attach to other people.

In America we live separate from each other in our small family units with overworked and overstressed adults raising children because that in our American culture.

Attachment styles are something we get to know about ourselves as adults in our culture, through the intimate relationships we have through our lives.

Our attachment to our partners and friends indicate how a person received love, attention, and emotional regulation lessons from their parents or primary caregiver.

When one or many of our emotional and physical needs were not met adequately for what we required as children, we learn to consider love to be the equivalent of the lack of attention our parent gave us. (This is just one example)

What this means is we will seek out to get the kind of attention or love that the parent we needed it from most, did not give to us.

Here is a full example: If you were a female who had a father who was not around you as a child to show you attention and how to handle your emotions, as an adult you may crave male attention for validity and to feel lovable and cling to the exact kind of men who will leave you or not be around like your father wasn’t- repeating the cycle of abandonment feelings that you now equate to love.

It can also mean that when you are shown true unconditional love, it is so foreign to you, that you avoid the person out of the ultimate fear that eventually they will take this love, that you rarely feel, away.

In this same example you can become an adult who anxiously attaches herself to a man needing constant reassurance from him. Or you may display an avoidant attachment style which is one who draws them near, only to eventually push away, hide, or run, citing their flaws, putting the ending of in the situation on them rather than acknowledging you are picking the wrong kind of man based on unacknowledged childhood attachment issues.

In this example the female needs to heal from her fathers lack of attention and learn for the first time, at whatever age she is, what healthy attachment looks like by communicating through her trauma with herself first and understand she is equating love with the lack of love she got from her father and that also she has value insecurities from his actions.

It takes work to have a secure attachment style in our adult relationships if we didn’t have the experiences to develop one through childhood.

Your parents are human and also products of their upbringing and decisions so they are likely passing on all they know.

Some of our parents did the best they could to perceive and meet our needs and some of our parents didn’t. Blaming them will not help you heal near as much as accepting that they are human.

It is on you as an adult to take control of your life and adult relationships.

If you are finding yourself in adult relationships that do not last, you must look at the part you are playing, accept responsibility in a radical way, and start learning why you are reacting to the intimacy of closeness the way that you are.

You are not attracting bad partners, you do not have bad friends, you have the exact kind of people in your life that your current emotional intelligence awareness level allows in.

If they are superficial, it’s likely because going below the surface makes you uncomfortable.

If you over depend on people it means there is something in you that thinks you can’t handle your life.

We all have these idiosyncrasies that we have culminated as we have gone through life and they either support our growth or they don’t.

The relationships we all want cannot happen until we process all of our programming up and through this current point in life.

It’s a radical and sometimes painful thing to take total responsibility for your future choices in how you express and accept love.

It’s also the way to high self esteem and having other people focused on growth around who can provide true love and acceptance in your life, for the rest of your life.


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