Personal Blog


Updated: Apr 17, 2020

I grew up in a religious home, where Sunday service and saying one's prayers before going to bed was a must. One of my earliest and fondest memories was the Saturday ritual of cleaning ornaments at my great-aunt's house. There were representations of God and Christian sayings all over the living room, the dining room, the bathroom, and hung above every doorway. Oddly enough, none were in the bedrooms; however, these same ornaments were to used as launching missiles to abate an argument.

But I digress

Of the many religious plaques that hung on the wall, one was a poem written in calligraphy. You should know it... let’s read it aloud:

As I grew older, I learned the name of the poem. It is called The Serenity Prayer. Yet, it's only been within the past two years that I began to comprehend the wisdom of the prayer. You may wonder why it took me so long?

Allow me to explain:

If you are anything like me, CONTROL is my first name. Call it an Alpha or Type A personality, chump it up to astrology, whatever you like. I am at my happiest when things go my way (cue Frank Sinatra, "I did it my way"). I had a hard time accepting the things I could not change, nor the wisdom to know the difference. I somehow felt responsible for other people's "bad" decisions. I honestly believed that "I" could have done something to help them make a better decision.

Then, one day, I had an "aha" moment when a life coach told me that everyone has "free will." He said, "It is their decision to make; it is now your decision to react to it." And there lies the meat of the matter: The "wisdom to know the difference" on things we cannot change.

The truth is, people are not robots, and you are probably thinking, duh, I know that, but do you... really? Because if we did, it would save us a lot of heartache. Understanding that everyone has the power of choice is the most freeing thing ever. Knowing that being a positive role model in someone's life, sacrificing yourself to help them, does not mean they will receive or reciprocate.

So, here are some actions you can employ that have helped me along the way:

1)Take inventory of the people who make frequent emotional withdrawals from you. A key sign that this is happening is that you usually feel "drained" after interacting with them.

2) Put barriers or boundaries in place for those people who make constant withdrawals to your serenity, such as limiting frequent engagement, redirecting negative conversations, and temporarily blocking phone calls. In short, restrict or remove those who disturb your peace of mind.

3) Have a heart-to-heart discussion with the "withdrawers." If they care about you, they will listen and make a change. If not, let go of any guilt or false sense of obligation, and… RUN!

4) Lastly, speak positive affirmations to yourself. For instance, say out loud:

“I am Enough."

“I embrace love, peace, and happiness."

“I am beautiful [or handsome]."

My best lesson learned? In the end, accept the things you cannot change, i.e., other people. Love, Forgive... and Move on.

How have you been able to release the need to be responsible for others and control outcomes? Let me know in the comments below and happy living!

Edited by DhBonner

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Updated: Apr 17, 2020

Recently, I was talking to one of my besties, and she was complaining about the actions of someone she knows. During the conversation, I mentioned that everyone has “a thang." This response puzzled her, and she retorted, "What that got to do with anything?”

I explained that everyone has a behavior or trait that irks the hell out of someone, and then I gently pointed out some of her annoying habits. NO ONE is exempt from having a “thang." After we both laughed, I began to consider this blog topic...That Thang

Now, the Urban Dictionary has a fitting description for the word "thang":

“Slang word for thing. Also used to replace the proper word for any object.” It is usually used in place of those things as a means to be discrete about.”

Are you in denial about your “thang”? Denial will cause us to mask or hide stuff we don’t want to confront. Typically, people who consume themselves with other peoples' business have the most skeletons in the closet. It's like a coping mechanism to not to confront their own crap!

Then, some put their "thang" on a scale. Those in this category often say, well, my “thang” is not that bad. I "ain’t no murderer or thief." True, but using this excuse will not remove the negative impact it has on your life.

On the other hand, some of us recognize our stuff, yet give up on changing or improving it. People who handle their “thang” this way will usually say, "that's just the way I am." Now, do not get me wrong; I am in no way encouraging you to change for people because that is a sure recipe for disaster. Never be a people pleaser; however, if your “thang” brings harm to you or others – and “thangs” are usually harmful – consider changing or adjusting it.

The real question is, how are we to address our individual "thangs"? .Be honest (I suggest that you stand in front of a mirror) and ask yourself these vital questions:

- Does my “thang” stifle my personal growth?

- Does my “thang” cause me physical, emotional, or financial pain to me or those around me?

- Does my “thang” runs in my family history?

My personal “thang” is procrastination. This often leads me to feel a sense of guilt because I am not accomplishing my goals – a prime example was when I was writing this blog (LOL). Mind you, I was supposed to have completed it two weeks ago, but I wasted my time on social media or other frivolous activities.

So, here are some helpful tips I have used to control my “thang”:

1) Write stuff down. Get a journal or use your smartphone to set reminders

2) Buy a whiteboard and list five main action items to complete for the week

3) Remove distractions, such as the phone or television, or that friend who always calls you to gossip

4) Get an accountability partner

5) Celebrate small achievements

Remember this:

“You shouldn't be upset if you find out that you're bad at

something—you should be happy that you found out, because knowing that and dealing with it will improve your chances of getting what you want.”

― Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work

So, what am I getting at? Whatever your “thang” is, acknowledge it, confront it, decide to take the necessary steps to change it, and then – most importantly – CONQUER IT!

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section and I hope that you’ll use these tips as support for igniting change in your life.

Edited by DHBonner

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