Do What’s Best For You and Not What Society Thinks You Should Be Doing!

There are so many things that people think others should be doing. Society displays stereotypes that we start to believe even if the truth is right in front of us, even if what feels right is right in front of us, we allow society to overrule. People think that at a certain age, you should have your career and life mapped out and have settled down with a family, while others think because you are connected in any way, that they have influence over your actions, thoughts, and beliefs. This can be intentional or unintentional but is partially based on the fact that we do not all mature chronologically. For example, just because a man is 40, doesn’t mean he knows how to treat women or manage his finances. We forget about life experiences and traumas that have forced us into the state we are in! We forget that we didn’t have a blueprint to eradicate the things we endured in life.

Society doesn’t define who we are but we do! Our experiences and ideas are what make us unique and define our character. This shapes and molds us for the future we are destined to have.

Society has a hard time accepting people for who they are and what they bring to the table, no matter how big or small. Society places a lot of stress and pressure on people’s lives. Society can make you forget the simple things you enjoy doing or the simple life, you loved to live. It can also make you feel like you are making a bad decision because others don’t agree with what you’re doing or because they try to force their insecurities, bad experiences, and disbeliefs onto you, when the truth is, everything isn’t for everyone so we won’t all have the same experiences. Society will keep your expectations high and your morale low.

Society will let you downtime, after time, after time again, and have no remorse about your feelings! Society will paint a beautiful chocolate cake with more tiers than you can imagine but when you bite into that cake, it’s filled with mud, sand, and dirt. Society makes you believe that all women should wear a size 5 in pants, 7 in shoes, have long hair and be light complexion and society makes you believe that that image is the only thing worth looking at in this world, it brings your self-esteem down! Society also makes single parents feel like they will never find love and true happiness again.

You need to get back to the root of what makes you happy. Think about those things you enjoy doing and people who bring you joy and fulfillment.

Here are some tips to help avoid the pressures of what society places on people as opposed to what brings you happiness and satisfaction:

  1. Don’t share your plans with everyone because everyone may not be happy for you; know and trust your audience
  2. Understand that you will not please everyone, do what’s best for you
  3. It’s okay to let people leave your life or you leave theirs, remember some people are seasonal
  4. Surround yourself with people who encourage you and support you in all aspects; Don’t surround yourself with people who are eager to hold you to your past mistakes or condemn you
  5. Accept the things you can’t change and move on
  6. Don’t surround yourself with people who are eager to hold you to your past mistakes or condemn you
  7. Take fasting breaks from people, social media, and electronic devices when you need to reunite with who you are
  8. Break generational curses and make your own traditions
  9. Don’t let people tell you who you are, tell them who you are
  10. Don’t lose yourself in work or any relationship, always practice self-care
  11. Pray for your mental, emotional and spiritual well-being daily!

Katrina S. Williams

It’s Okay to Close the Door on Empty Rooms!

According to gas and electric companies, closing a door to an empty room in your house doesn’t mean that you will save energy or reduce your bill but when you close doors on any relationship that doesn’t support your mental and emotional well-being, you will save a lot and win BIG!!

I have always had a hard time saying NO. I became a people pleaser and if I see a situation or a person in need, I insert myself to help. I was never careful with this and now some people have taken advantage and feel as though they should get more and more of me without pouring anything into me. I have also had people in my life who felt that I shouldn’t help anyone else, just them. This is definitely why praying for discernment is necessary!! My grandmother always taught me to treat people how I wanted to be treated and I believed that people were raised to do the same until I ventured into the world. I understand now why she and my mother sheltered me but I wish they had let me experience more so I wouldn’t be trying to close doors now.

Sometimes we give people more chances in life than they probably deserve with us. I have learned that some people are truly just a season in your life. In order to have healthy successful relationships, you must be getting some sort of positive return on the investment you are putting in. Relationships are give, take, compromise, and sacrifice from all parties. A good friend or family member should care enough to see when you are low and need uplifting. That friend or family member should be able to provide some uplifting but pray for discernment to understand the difference between what they can’t provide and what they won’t provide.

A college friend and I became best pals, we shared an apartment and my first car. We had a blast together. They say when living with someone you learn all things about them and I agree! This friend invited people into my space, they used my things, ate my food, and even stayed in my room when I wasn’t there. In addition, those things caused a wedge in the friendship. After becoming adults, she would always have a need for me to do something, her hair, her child’s hair but I didn’t feel like it was benefiting me. In a different crowd of people, she was different with me, I felt a vibe so I cut off contact. I am sure I acted on emotions but when I reached out after 15 years of growth and maturity, I told her I couldn’t remember exactly what happened but I wanted her to know that I apologize for my role in the misunderstanding and disagreement. She replied, “I think it was something you posted on Facebook but I accept your apology and it was years ago, I can’t remember what happened yesterday, so I am sure not that long ago but I accept your apology.” Nothing followed, I said take care, and here’s my number if you ever wanted to reach out, God bless. I knew then that, this was not a friendship I needed because she did not acknowledge any wrongdoing on her part. It was okay to close that door!

I was planning a trip home for my mom’s birthday. My mom lives in a rural area and I’d be home for a few weeks, I wanted to save as much money as possible. I talked to a friend about my dilemma and she seemed in support of that idea. I booked my flight at the cheapest airport which was an hour and 45 mins away from where my friend lived. I followed up with a text asking, would you be able to pick me up from the airport? She said yeah sure. Then I said ok thanks, I will give you gas money and also purchase a hotel because my flight lands close to midnight. She replied you can stay at my house, no problem! I replied oh wait, I’m not flying into the airport in your city, it was way too expensive, I am flying to the other airport an hour and 45 mins away. She replied, I think there’s a shuttle that comes from that airport to my city and I laughed because as my friend for over 20 years, and during a global pandemic, you surely would know I wasn’t riding a public shuttle. She said well check and let me know, she was serious! I checked but my feelings were hurt so I didn’t follow back up with her. The shuttle wasn’t operating because of the pandemic. I booked another flight to get me as close to my mom’s as possible and then got a rental car. I spent way more than expected. Not to mention it was near the end of December when this trip would take place. Not fully understanding why she made that decision, I didn’t reach back out to her. The next time we spoke she text me a day before my flight asking me what did I decide to do? If you could have only seen the look on my face when I replied I purchased a flight and got a rental. She replies, ok because I don’t trust my car on the road….to make a long story short; I knew her situation but never heard about car issues and whenever she needed me, I was there in some shape, form, or fashion because that’s what friends are for. It’s okay to close that door because the value in the relationship wasn’t the same. At this point, there had been multiple occasions where it was one-sided so as my grandmother used to say, “Feed people with a long handle spoon”.

Being a single parent of 4 children and having served in the military, I have had the luxury of seeing a great deal of the world. When I travel home to Alabama, the military didn’t pay for those trips, I did! You learn how people value you in those situations because they either won’t visit or make time to see you while you’re home. Instead, they ask are you coming to Kansas, Georgia, Florida, or anywhere else to visit them, never considering that you have already traveled a great distance and more than half the way to where they can come to see you at least. Not only is it taxing on your physical well-being but financially as well because you don’t get any extra incentives because you want to visit family. For me, this is now an empty room because it seems to happen every time I go home. This tells me that some family members don’t value my kids and me enough to visit and the dynamics of the relationships aren’t benefiting me and at this point, it is better to love and pray for family from a distance! Not to hold a grudge or anything but just accept that your views on consideration and the importance of that connection aren’t weighed on the same scale. It’s okay to close that door!

Lastly, when you are in love….Eve said it best, Love is Blind! To follow up on Marvin Gaye’s Love and Happiness, something makes you do wrong, make you do right! I have had my share of encounters and mistakes! I can honestly say that I didn’t love myself enough to know what love was, what it was supposed to feel like or look like. I didn’t have that father figure to show me what a man’s love was or is. I was raised by my grandmother and mother. They taught me independence and survival. It was hard for me to close doors on bad relationships because I wanted to love, I wanted somebody so much and I wanted what I saw others getting. I thought something was wrong with me. I have had men that I loved the ground they walked on, beat me, mistreat me, use me, call me out my name, embarrass me, cheat on me, neglect me in all ways, disrespect me, and leave me feeling lower than low could ever be. I didn’t know my worth or love myself and I thought that I hated being alone. But most came from my bad decisions, my choices to not pray for what God’s plan for me looked like, I did my own thing!

Now I am tired of picking myself back up because God is going to allow me to go through these things over and over again until I change…

I changed the way I viewed things, I changed my woe is me, I changed my surroundings, I changed my coping methods, I changed my spirit, and changed my way of thinking and doing! I wanted a better me so I could attract better company! These changes did not happen overnight, I am still making some changes and setting boundaries but I do know that I will NEVER, EVER find myself in one-sided situations unless it’s for my KREW (Khloe, Kaden, Kasey, and Kaige), LOL!

Now reading this, you may be thinking that I am just saying closing doors to empty rooms mean eradicating yourself from people who don’t value you and you’re right, I am saying exactly that! I am also saying close the door on the negative parts of that relationship and replace it with something positive, something that will make you evolve and grow spiritually, mentally, and emotionally! It’s about finding peace and happiness in situations and setting boundaries that won’t cause any stress, depression, or anxiety. It’s about UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! It’s about getting to a point where we accept other people’s FREE WILL, the way God accepts ours, and being okay with that, still moving forward!! Love brings peace!! Be prepared to close those doors on emptiness because misery loves company!!
If you are not benefiting then it may be time to re-evaluate and determine if that relationship is worth salvaging. You know what you need, desire, and want in your relationships. Here are a few recommendations to help you decide if the relationship needs to have its door closed:

  1. If you are emotionally drained more than you are filled
  2. If it brings you anxiety, depression, and discomfort
  3. If you don’t feel supported, valued, and appreciated
  4. If the compromises and sacrifices are one-sided
  5. If you are the one constantly and consistently giving
  6. If you experience isolation and manipulation
  7. If you can’t share your success and feel celebrated
  8. If you are dismissed more than you are heard
  9. If they can only come to you when they need something
  10. If there is no mutual trust or love
  11. If you are abused mentally, physically, and emotionally
  12. Review the Serenity Prayer ( A helpful way to remember the principles of recovery)
  13. If they can’t be the same with you no matter the company you are in
  14. If their situations always are more important than your own

I truly hope that you have enjoyed this blog and I am beyond grateful that you took the time to read it!!

Katrina S. Williams

Put Your Spirit in Charge!

I recall about 7 years ago, I experienced hurt like I had never seen before. The only thing I could do was cry. I thought about getting revenge but that wouldn’t change the outcome or the pain I endured. I was deeply hurt and embarrassed. I needed to save myself and my soul. I was depressed, confused, and lost. One day something hit me, my spirit was extremely low! I had no joy, no desire to be around others, and no motivation whatsoever. I was pregnant with my fourth child and wasn’t married and the child’s father had run off with another woman and married her. Although she had him, she would not let me rest either, the situation and she tried to break anything I had left. This man and I had been together for three years but undenounced to me, he was deeply living a double life. In addition to that, I had left my job and had no home or income. The moment I decided to give it to God, I had no idea the journey that was ahead of me. God had to strip everything away from me to restore me, my spirit was in control!

I started feeding my spirit. I started praying and reading my Bible more. I prayed for others, especially the ones who had caused my heartache. I prayed to be different from those who do others wrong. I wanted to be the change and experience true self-fulfilling, spiritual healing for myself. I wanted to know how my mom and grandmother were not able to retaliate when people did them wrong or even get mad about it. I wondered how they could seem so nonchalant about other’s people’s actions. People will tell you that coming to God is easy but developing that relationship is not as easy.

As I started to learn about myself and pour more into my spirit, I learned forgiveness like I have never seen before. I found peace like no other. I would find myself in the middle of the night in my prayer closet or laying in my bed, talking to God and praying. Some nights I would wake up, just to read a scripture. I wanted to be led by God and I wanted to hear what he had to say to me. I wanted to be a faithful servant. I wanted the child growing inside of me to experience the greatest love that anyone could imagine and I also wanted to be a better parent for my children. I wanted my prayers to cover them wherever they went.

After finding myself in church, my heart filled with peace, God’s love, and my spirit just flowing like a feather in the wind, I was able to face things that only God knew I couldn’t have faced without his love and peace in my spirit! I had become graceful, grateful, and was able to speak into other people’s lives! I was happy with myself, I had a healthy baby and my family was growing and prospering. I was enjoying being a mom and a child of God. I relied solely on all his promises for everything. The more my spirit overflowed with his love and peace, the more blessings kept coming in. I had been looking for a job for two years and had gotten no callbacks. March 4, 2016, I got a call about a job that I had prayed for since I was pregnant but required us to move but I was okay with that. I was headed out of town to drop my kids off at my mom and grandmother’s for the weekend so I could attend the drill. About 15 minutes into the trip, I got another call that my grandmother was put into the hospital. She had been sick off and on and I figured if I prayed for her and with her then God will surely prevail.

When I arrived at the hospital, she was in ICU. I had never seen her in that state before. She was awake but not talking, just lying there. I prayed with her, wrote scriptures down, and left the paper in her hand, kissed her, and told her I’d see her when I returned on Sunday. She smiled and gave me a look like ok baby but not okay. My spirit would not allow me to feel anything different. As I drove away that evening for a 3-hour drive to drill, the sun was different, the vibe became different and something came over me. I had homework that was due by midnight so I checked into the hotel when I arrived, got food, and finished that up. Around 9 pm, I had not heard from anyone so I decided to try and call but didn’t get an answer. A few hours later, my uncle called, he was choked up and couldn’t speak. I knew then my grandmother had left me, I knew then that my spirit was protecting me. I knew then that my spirit wanted me to be gone from that hospital and hours away. The next day, a friend called who is a pastor and I told him I prayed with her and for her, and I believed she was going to be okay and here with me. He said that’s fine and great that you did but your will isn’t God’s will. He said to think about this, to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord. She’s home and there is no more worrying and suffering. I thank God for that perspective and I realized that had my spirit not been in control of me during all that time, I would not have known how to process, get through that time. God kept my spirit intact so that I would be able to receive what he was getting ready to do. I was truly saved in January 2015 and she departed in March 2016. He prepared my spirit for her transition.

Your spirit is who you are and it plays a very vital role in how we process, think, and react to all the curve balls life throws. Feed your spirit with good food! Place positive things in your spirit so when things happen you can deal with them in a healthy and positive way without harboring them to destroy your mental and emotional being later in life. Although I miss my grandmother dearly, I am very grateful that my spirit was in control!

Here are a few helpful tips to help put your spirit in control:

  1. Meditate, read positive words and pray
  2. Self-Care
  3. Daily Affirmations
  4. Do things that make you happy
  5. Do not place other people’s happiness above your own

These things take practice so practice with your spirit to get your spirit right and in control, there’s peace in doing so!!

Katrina S. Williams