January Gems💜🦋

Identity & Worth . It’s a subject my sisters are discussing at Mentor My Sister. My platform online, that strives for authentic women and authentic connection.

Identity-what gives me identity

What I spend time with – tends to give me identity . We can desire material wealth, cars, … to be in relationship with people and we can make idols out of all of them.
I have value in relationships, so I will share what comes up for me as I make mention of my value of several relationships I have, currently. Mainly they’ve been friends family and my spouse; but also mentorship .

My Family has given me identity. Now that i live closer to them, I have more opportunity to be influenced by them. You see, whether I cherish them or not. It’s up to me to decide if I’ll carry out a legacy of good or evil.I always say, if there’s good, make it better . And if it’s not good, make it exceptional.

My Spouse is one who influences my identity . How we make decisions together, dream together… LIVE together makes a difference and influences my identity .l and my children’s identity as well.

Friendships influence my identity . Whether I choose mentors, leaders, friends who live models lives or just have the challenge of daily survival, I can learn from them. I make space for mentors and people to influence me. I need leaders to pour into my life, so I find out where they are, and I serve, or join them in their discussions, or create them.

Mentorship . Being mentored and mentoring others has brought great value in my life . I really enjoy having conversations about life with other leaders, friends and women who desire authentic relationships.

Here are a few mentors in my life

Here are three places I’ve learned from other in my life :

1. Trees .

I was in South Africa in May, of 2003 and i was teaching in a classroom about dreams. A teenager said to me: /“We Are All Like Trees.” I resounded after that encounter , because I realized I’ve always loved trees. The strength , growth and resiliency tees represent inspire me. I have never seen trees the same , since.

2. My African Heritage Family.

I found identity in my African Heritage family. There’s a woman I know named Joyce Shabazz. She created a forum of people and a platform about people regaining their culture and heritage and finding value in what they see and experience, again.

I attended for five, maybe six years a platform that help me transcend racism, my thoughts about my identities as wife, female, being oppressed, internalized oppression, my inadequacies about being African American, and I re-claimed myself.

The process and journey has been amazing. I’ve gained new international friends and I’ve learned new experiences I’ve gleaned and kept treasures forever sealed in my heart. I’ve come up a lot, and now I mentor others on perspective.

3. My Worth

Where have I found worth and value?

What foundations have I established my worthiness upon?

For years I pondered this. Growing up in an alcoholic family, My vision of myself and who I was was altered. It wasn’t my truth. It was an attempt to destroy my truth . I once was a girl of low self – esteem, insecurity and felt very inadequate . However I no longer espouse those characteristics .

And today, I have evolved. I was determined to change the depiction of what my worth and value set as a template from birth to 20 years of age. Once I gained a determination of the will and had mentors in me that saw in me the greater good, and encouraged it- I realized I could truly be my best self. I reached for opportunities to be better: attended a historically black college , Howard University, experiences ethnicity in a new way, was determined to learn about my heritage, visited South Africa, ignored and distances myself from hate, and envy and people who represented this at all costs… and read books galore on the subject of identity , esteem and intrinsic value. And maybe my trips back and forth down the road to African Heritage, or a constant re-evaluation of my life purpose ; or maybe my trip to Africa all influenced me in major ways.

Or maybe it was the fact I didn’t allow Opportunity to pass me by.

Perhaps I reached for it with eager anticipation, and it became my friend. My mentor . My tutor.

Yes, Opportunity became my Teacher.

Indwelling.

Indwelling.

Is there such a word? I was reading today in the Word how being in fellowship with friends and others and also God-we learn how to be built up, and grow. We make more room for growth by allowing for friendships; and sometimes those friendships have a God-nature, if you will that comforts.

That’s cool. It makes sense. I really didn’t have a desire for friendships much when I was younger. Like in my twenties. I pretty much isolated myself and spent time with my first husband a lot. Well… not really. After we became kind of estranged in our marriage, I spent a lot of time alone, actually. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I bonded with two girlfriends who were friends by nature of my struggle – we all had similar concerns, and bonded.

They were raising children and I kind of admired their children and how they mothered and loved their children as my own, so I became family, with them and helped them. It was nice, since I didn’t have children of my own, and I was considering that. That never really happened, having the children (for me), but I learned so much about mothering from them. So much about nurturing. And I learned about life with them, as we “did life together.” As we would fellowship together – we spent quite a bit of time together talking about life, cooking, playing, talking about God together, and eating together. Yes fellowshipping …was what I did with them. I was very interactive with the children – and watched them grow. This was over a period of eight to ten years or so.

Indwelling.

I never thought much until now, about how I grew because of them. My sisters… the depth of their character and their faith and friendship. Their capacity, and mine. How we held each other up in good faith and with prayer. There were times when I wasn’t sure I could go on and they would have this soothing, mothering nature that just knew I needed them and would comfort well. Their company and friendship, and their love. Possibly very conscious to them… that God was helping us and bonding us- yet I was just trying to survive.

I never thought about how God used them. To provide an indwelling. (A motivating force for me.)

So yes, there is such a word. I looked it up. Indwelling means: ‘to provide a motivating or guiding force ‘- “to possess (a person), as a moral principle …or as a motivating force.” That’s pretty deep. That an indwelling can work for us positively, or even negatively, depending upon whom we spend time with, and how often and how we allow them to influence us .

Yes… indwelling.

Indwelling forces. They are almost mysterious in several ways. I mean who thinks about them when they are happening?

Motivating us past circumstance, past situation, rising above shame and hurt; yet prevailing.

Who really tends to notice ‘how the bonding happens…’, when we are bonding, right?

I didn’t. Perhaps this is how and when I learned to receive from others. In the midst of my struggle. When I didn’t understand what life was offering me, and I didn’t want what it set before me.

Perhaps in God’s awesome Grace I received friends and was taught invaluable life lessons. Perhaps. Via friendships I survived. I yielded. I acquiesced.( I yielded without protesting.) Hmm…

Okay. So thank God for friendships then, and friendships now – and what I now offer – was not fully aware I was being then, even. By nature of how my relationships have formed today, thank you God, for allowing me to mentor and nurture women today,

I am indwelling.

Providing and being a motivating force and a guiding force for women, looking back and noticing what I need, what they need- and noticing what helped me to survive.

Yes. An indwelling.

Selah.

Question: Where does your indwelling come from?

Do you nurture & cultivate -it or ignore it?

Are aware even as to whether it exists?