Monthly Archives: September 2015

Setting Boundaries

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“Setting boundaries is a way of caring for myself.  It doesn’t make me mean, selfish or uncaring because I don’t do things your way. I care about me too.”

This journey of healing and preparing myself for my #FutureHusband has caused me to take a self-inventory of where I failed in my past relationships.  One of the biggest eye openers for me was acknowledging that it is not always the other person’s fault; a lot of times we play a major part in the demise of a relationship.

As I looked deep within I have realized that one thing I did not do was set boundaries.  Rather than addressing a behavior or behaviors that did not edify me, I chose to ignore them and allowed them to continue until eventually I was left feeling emotionally drained, resentful, hurt and angry.  By not addressing the behavior at the onset, I killed a very important piece of me….my voice.

As I continued my self-exploration I asked myself why I did not put boundaries in place. Why did I chose to ignore the behavior or behaviors and not address them; and what I concluded was it is my character to avoid conflict and somehow, in my thought process, I derived that addressing the issues would cause conflict and jeopardize the relationship. Admittedly, I also never learned how to have healthy boundaries.  Ultimately, I denied myself the right to speak my truth and to live as my authentic self.  Something, as I look back now, would be damaging to my emotional well being.

“If you wear a mask long enough you begin to forget who you are beneath it.” ~ Unknown

Boundaries are important.  Boundaries show that we care for ourselves.  Boundaries set a guard over our hearts. Boundaries say, “I will not tolerate certain behaviors because I know my worth.”As a single woman I am learning what my boundaries are and I am learning to put those boundaries in place without apology.  It is challenging at times because in some cases I want to give people the benefit of the doubt. But as the saying goes,

You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you enforce.” ~ Tony Gaskins

It took many years to grasp what Mr. Gaskins was saying.  In any relationship, people will do what you allow them to do. And it is completely up to you and me to set boundaries to protect ourselves.  And with social media and a slew of other tools that have changed the dating game, being clear about what we will allow is more important than ever.  So as I enter the dating arena I have determined a few ways that I need to set boundaries for myself.

  • First, I need to acknowledge my feelings.  My feelings matter. My feelings matter just as much as the other person’s feelings matter.  No longer will I become so involved with the other person’s stuff that I completely lose sight of what matters to me and what is hurting me.  I have to recognize my feelings and learn to differentiate between me and the other person.
  • Second, I need to recognize where I need to set boundaries.  Being clear of and enforcing behaviors I will not tolerate are paramount in being successful at setting healthy boundaries.  For example, I am clear on my decision to remain abstinent until marriage.  That boundary is in place and I must communicate that clearly.
  • Third, I must be secure in my decisions. I must be prepared for push back. But I must remain grounded in my decision and not allow myself to be moved; as this will only push me backwards.
  • Fourth, communicate, communicate, COMMUNICATE!!! When something bothers me, speak on it! When something doesn’t feel right, speak on it! When something needs to be addressed, speak on it! No longer can I overlook certain behaviors. I must communicate clearly what I expect and then stand my ground.
  • And finally, I must take care of myself.  If there is backlash step away and do something that brings me joy. I must remember backlash does not mean I need to compromise what I believe or how I feel.  Backlash means that we are two different people and that is ok.  And as a wise man once said, “Never waste your time trying to explain, to people committed to misunderstanding you.”

My journey has been nothing short of amazing.  I have come a long way and excited about where God is taking me.

boundaries

I AM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR

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Book Cover

I AM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!!!

I want to scream this from the highest mountaintop!

I AM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!!!

I never in a million years saw this achievement being part of my resume. But there it is in big bold letters. Over the years I have had many people tell me that I need to write a book because I enjoy writing and my life reads like a bestselling inspirational. I would, however, brush them off with a chuckle. But here I am, in the year 2015, proudly proclaiming that….

I AM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!!!!

Now, I must confess; I did not write an entire book on my own (although I now feel as though it is possible for me). No, the book is an anthology and I wrote a chapter…chapter 9 to be exact. But in the hands of hundreds of people (with that number increasing every day)….is the book that I helped write.

I dare not apologize for my excitement. This is a huge feat and an awesome accomplishment. But allow me to give you the story behind the creation of the book (from my perspective). Late last year I received a friend request from Teresa Holmes on Facebook. It is still unclear to me how we became friends. If memory serves me correctly we have a mutual friend but for the life of me I cannot remember who that person is. Teresa invited me to be part of her group, the Bounce Back DNA Movement (www.bouncebackdnamovement.com). Through this movement, the lives of women all over the world, young and old, is being changed as they share their stories of triumph and victory over circumstances that sought to destroy them. Through this movement, women draw strength from God and one another to overcome and become the amazing women that God created each of them to be. I have overcome a lot and always looking to share my story and encourage other women through my story, so I joined the group. I was then approached to do a blogging challenge. I have had an interest in blogging but never took the time to research it or just start doing it. I absolutely loved the challenge and have Ms. Holmes to thank for the creation of Pieces of Me. Shortly thereafter I was approached by Teresa about telling my story in a book project she was putting together. I really didn’t think too much of it; just another opportunity to tell everyone how good my God is. And thus, Wounds Healed, Scars Revealed was birthed.

When I received the book in the mail I ran home and tore the box open (literally) and just held it in my hand and stared at it. I was speechless. Then I found my way to chapter 9 and there in print was the title of my contribution and my name

“Forgiving In Order To Heal”

Shannon D. Robinson

The emotion I felt was indescribable. I held the book close to my heart and said, “thank you Jesus.” I think I even smelled it…don’t judge me! LOL! I wanted to tell everyone that

I AM A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!!!!

I wished I could tell my mommy. I wanted to pick up the phone and call her and share this amazing news with her. I know she would have screamed and been so happy for me; she was my biggest cheerleader! I imagined her calling all of her friends telling them how proud she was of me, as she did that often. Instead, I sat on my bed and cried because I could not share this moment with her. But I know that she was there in spirit. I know that she and my dad were dancing all over the streets of gold, beaming with pride at the news that their Chocolate-Chip is a published author. I am currently planning my book signing event and anticipating what God is going to do next in my life as a result of Wounds Healed, Scars Revealed being published.

If I could give one piece of advice to anyone that has been beaten up by life it would be, do not give up on God because he won’t give up on you. Life happens, but God is able. And I know if he did it for me, he will do it for you. Simply trust him and live in faith every day.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” ~ Genesis 50:20

The Treasure Chest Is Locked

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chestDuring the month of August an American comedy titled Born Again Virgin premiered on TV One. The show stars Danielle Nicolet, Eva Marcille, Tank, and Meagan Holder. It is about a 34 year old up and coming blogger who decides to become celibate when she finds her body count is starting to trump her age, using her blog as encouragement for her newly adapted sex diet and also as a sounding board for her girlfriends’ often amusing “sexcapades.”

When I saw the previews for Born Again Virgin I was a little skeptical. We (humans) have an uncanny knack for taking an otherwise positive idea and turning it into utter foolishness. But after watching a few episodes I have concluded that the show is rather funny and that I have a lot in common with Jenna, the main character. Like Jenna, I am a blogger. And like Jenna I have decided to become celibate (or abstinent depended upon if you believe they are one in the same or different). My reason however is different from Jenna’s. My “body count” is not even in the same area of my age…unlike Jenna. But rather my heart could no longer take the overall feeling of being used then tossed aside when no longer wanted. That may be a bit extreme but it is how it felt for me.

Ironically, the decision to practice celibacy was made two years into my last relationship fail. Is that a puzzled look on your face? Allow me to explain. You see, I was already tired of the BS that I had experienced in previous relationship fails and I was hoping beyond hope that the last one would be different. But even though I was hoping for a different outcome I had in my heart secretly sabotaged it when I professed, “If this does not progress to marriage I will not have sex again until marriage.” Side note…be mindful of what you speak in the atmosphere.

Well, as it turned out, the relationship ended and I made the declaration, THIS IS IT! The next man who was allowed into the cookie jar will be my husband. I wish I could tell you my decision was a spiritual one. I wish I could tell you that I come to myself and decided to follow scripture which promotes abstinence. But I can’t. My initial decision was purely based off the fact that I was fed up. Now, I can admit to you that after the relationship ended and I began to process the raw emotions that I was experiencing, I heard that Still Small Voice asks, “Are you ready to do it my way now?” And in a wounded little girl voice I replied, “Yes Father.” So here I am…waiting; really “waiting” this time. Determined to keep a lock on my treasure until the man God decides to give my heart to makes me his wife. This is not an easy journey. I pray daily (sometimes more) for God’s Strength and Grace to continue along this path. I pray daily for God to help me keep myself out of precarious situations that could result in my falling. And I pray every day that God will provide a way of escape if I’m tempted. This celibacy lifestyle is not easy. Sometimes it’s downright painful. I desire to be hugged and kissed and admired and touched, but I’m at a place in my life where my desire for those things can no longer be at the expense of my heart.

However, as painful as it can be it is an awesome journey. I have so much more peace. I am more focused. It allows me to really see a person and any red flags without the complications of sex. And I’m rediscovering me…spending energy that was otherwise spent on sex, on self-improvement outlets such as learning to blog, writing a chapter in a book, traveling, forming deeper friendships, etc. I am discovering the woman I have lost over the years in each relationship fail. I am cleaning my womb of the residue of those who did not truly love me and preparing it for my husband. I am restoring my emotional, spiritual and physical well being.

Unlike Jenna I will not be blogging about my girlfriends’ “sexcapades.” But I will continue to share my journey with hopes that maybe some other soul who is tired of the pain, hurt, disappointment and overall raw emotion felt after giving yourself to a man (or woman) only to have the relationship fail, will be inspired to want to begin their own journey of celibacy.  As for me, I’m going to continue on my discovery of the woman God created me to be. And continue the journey of preparation for my King.

Team Celibate