Tag Archives: Identity

Giving from a deficient place.

I’m reading a devotional , and in the devotional it speaks about giving from a deficient place. And I that deficient place, it says more shall be provided than you’ll know. Interesting that ‘lack’ can have an almost amazing fulfillment.

It makes me think about how my esteem used to be really low. But then, I’d go to school with my mom who was a teacher.

And I was famous for a day.🌺

It’s So odd how true truth rests in how we perceive and how we are received. Receiving unexpectedly, like being in the right place at the right time, makes you feel valued. As a spiritual principle, being valued can exceed your imagination .

It gives you strength, affirmation , acceptance, worth. Wholeness …smiles, warmth.

And most of all, LOVE.🌺

When I was younger, my moms would take me places . She’d give me all these new experiences . I’d go to the beach, I’d travel to the library, I’d take days off to go on fields trips with her school, and her school children. She was not just my own Teacher. She was THEIR teacher . And some of the kids would just STARE at me. Like wishing they could go home with her too.’ Like … ‘what made HER so special that she hung out with my teacher?’

I learned from my Momma the power of making people feel special. It made you famous . Well.. sorta. Lots of people like you when you make them feel worthwhile. And make them smile.

Not that life is all about that, but… YOU feel good too when you make them smile inside . For this reason, I thought I wanted to be a teacher, too.

Then I changed my mind once I was in a room with a bunch of kids. Couldn’t handle it.

Decided I’d spend maybe a few hours with them, yet still be their teacher . How could i do that?

Oh! ( Be a school social worker!)

And that was my longest job.

I learned so much about kids and how to water them and make them grow. I learned a lot about myself, too. And what I needed to grow.

Value yourself , today🌺.

You deserve it.

And don’t settle for anything less.

Quite longingly… they would look…as if I were special. So i began to believe I was. 🌺 And they’d desire to play with me and be my friend, and sit right next to me. They knew I wasn’t a student in their class. And they knew I was a pretty special girl, if I’d come to their class, and belonged to Mrs Cox.

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I always wondered why it felt so special to be there .To experience the class as an outsider. As I think about that special feeling; I now know what they saw. Value.💜

Read more about Value, here on my podcast, ShineBaby Shine!🌺

For me to see from a deficient space.

To see opposite of what everyone else saw. To see from a deficient space, and give from that special place.

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.

Changed My Name, Change My Life…

I recently heard someone mention how names are so important. They said something like this: ‘Names introduce a certain ‘honor’ into your life when you inform people how to honor your name.’

So this blog piece is about naming and changing – and how changing my name to “Make Me Happy” when I went to South Africa, changed my life.

In May of 2003, I searched out my own happiness, and began a new personal journey. I don’t believe I shared much about my full transformation. Interestingly enough,…I found it in Kuma, South Africa.

I found myself having a greater purpose in another country. Teaching and ministering to kids and adults and helping them thrive despite being in poverty situations and helping those who suffered life challenges and found themselves having little hope. To be honest, my own hope was at its lowest. I was trying to decide if I should continue with my first marriage. This journey would be telling.

My “BOUNDARIES of Blessing”, began here, in South Africa. It was a journey that redeemed my worth and my significance. I found I actually existed for a greater cause and purpose. And when living in my purpose, I FELT SO WORTHY. Maybe it was the Resolve I felt. And that, resolve could change a Nation. If I had the team of women around me like I had in South Africa, with me in the U.S.A., I would have more than enough support.

My name change in South Africa – or the African name given to me – was “Nthabiseng “. Nthabiseng means : “Make Me Happy”, and this name became a personal mandate of my own, or a personal mission – and I began the journey for myself first, and then for others. I realized walking in Purpose, in my own Happiness, and in my own purpose and living for myself, my youth was renewed. I felt alive again! Almost as if I’d been resurrected.

Well first of all… my first lesson learned – I had to acquiesce, to get there. (I yielded without protest.) I am learning most blessings come via surrender. I noticed once I stopped trying to make life be something it really was not… neither had the potential to be; and stopped sacrificing my peace for others who didn’t value it as highly as I did – my life became better. I learned so much when I discovered this. I had finally began to live for myself.

I wish I had learned this lesson earlier in life. I would often contemplate and hesitate in my life and ponder were things worth it or was “I worth it” Sure, I was worth it! Should I move on with my life – or keep trying to love where love was not returned? I finally came to the decision love can’t be embraced with someone it was never taught and cherished , with humility. And that life is too short. You have to keep living. Because you can stop living for yourself to the point you are almost dying. And then, what good is that? For your dreams die with you.

 

Secondly, I began to appreciate and be grateful for new experiences learned and used them as stepping stones to get me to higher places. For instance I began to challenge myself and ask myself : “Why  work in Syracuse just because I lived there?” I then found myself searching for jobs I liked outside my ‘four walls’ and found a good one in a small town in N.Y. working with adolescent boys in foster care and this began a new trajectory for me in terms of my work. I realized that loving and nurturing boys who had never been truly nurtured before was definitely a passion of mine, and fulfilling work. That they needed this love; for them to be full grown men. Perhaps innately and most unconsciously if I loved them this way – as a social worker who worked with boys; perhaps then, I would not help some women then- not waste time loving them, as broken men.

I believe I also learned what it meant to be Free. To live and have fun for the very first time in my life. I learned I could enjoy company and make good decisions and make friends miles away in another culture and country and it felt good to not need permission to do that.

These were new beginnings for me. I learned I could live and survive on my own. Eight months later I was moving to a place I loved: Washington, D.C. It completely changed my LIFE.

 Then, I decided to look inside. I went a little deeper; & began to self- evaluate.

I believe in the power of naming. Naming can change perspective and change life commitment. In my book, Red Sea Situations, I speak to powerful names of God and how altars – like the places I’ve been to – these representations of love and struggle in life are not always negative places – but places that ushers God’s true presence in your life, so you can change your life and perspective.

Get a revelation on how changing your life, your purpose, and your direction can change your life. It may also change YOU.

To dream a bit brighter, be a little lighter and smile a little happier.

Selah.

Developing An Identity is Like Making HUGE Spiderwebs.

Spiderwebs
A Brighter Light. by JennRene Owens

Sometimes finding our selves is like making a spider web. It’s intricate, detailed, contemplative and sometimes involves a lot of work.

I think I began this journey quite honestly, at a young age. Maybe even before age eleven. Eleven was when my life changed. My Dad decided to live differently. To become a man and dare to love and trust his family. I became an aunt, (of two) in 1978, that summer I turned eleven. It’s the year o began being an example for the next generation. And at eleven my father came home a new man. He stopped drinking. And I stopped crying myself to bed every night living in fear of what might happen.
Eleven is the number of inheritance.
Ironic? (Nah.)

We have hallmarks of our identity: the first time as a young lady you get your period; the first time your graduate; the first time you get a real boyfriend; the first time you get your own apartment; or marry someone , or have a baby and become a parent…
But what about when you first “do the work?”( What work? – yet they say actions speak louder than words, right?)

Doing the work looks like becoming emotionally , mentally, and physically responsible. Sometimes it means creating emotional safety, in order that you cultivate safe relationships, with the people surrounding you, as well.
What does that look like? Developing trusting relationships, being forgiving and having forgiving friendships; and tolerating and loving on folk we don’t even like. It involves being spiritually mature about things, because it is  the right thing to do. Choosing to being honest in accepting  others and being open enough to hear the truth about ourselves and tell others the truth, choosing to speak the truth, in love. I used to have the hardest time dealing with conflict. Then I took a few courses and learned about the skills I needed and began to practice them. To my surprise, they worked!☺️

And the journey to my road of personal growth and development began. I must admit, it’s taken years to pull the layers off. Yet my age has helped me develop into someone “ I “ can trust. And if I can trust me, and my actions, that’s true empowerment. But I will l never let anyone treat this soul negatively again. Stomp all over this mind, this will and emotions til they die again. No, not I.

This woman arose again.

She figured out when she left this country, touched the hearts of youth and  led   them to dream again, she had purpose.

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She found out when she traveled over 8,115 miles to chase her dream and GOT THERE, she was on to something. That life and purpose was worth pursuing and she through these actions could BECOME ALIVE.

And help others to keep living too.

When she looked in the eyes of those young people, heard their pain and hurt, and complete desperation, see he youth follow her around as she was hope; when saw them living without parents and brothers lost in other countries saying:”I’ll come back for you”– trying to make a living to help them survive- but never return… these 13 & 18 year-old youth – thriving in their communities, despite the threat of their peers committing suicide daily; and seeing THIS woman come from another land and tell the miracle of her journey, and how God really DOES fulfill our dreams… and believe her….

It was time to LIVE.

And build that “web”. That meaningful large, connection that harnesses hope, no matter how far you are apart in the world, and speak the same language that helps people believe, past themselves. Webs that carry weight, identity, purpose and ingenuity, strength and capacity. Webs that offer hope, healing and love.

This trip to Africa changed my life , and purposed me further into my destiny and my identity. I went home and began establishing my business. It had gone international, and I was beginning to share that I had spent time with youth and encouraged and mentored them through my business: OtherSide Enterprises, LLC. ( See Africa video here.)

And so Identity wins. It speaks loudly, and saves lives, it rids desperation and offers us hope, it fuels our purpose and “makes our name great.”

( Genesis 12:2 )

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.”