Friends vs. Acquaintances

A bomb just went off and all the banks have been destroyed. Money is no longer an element in society. Anarchy is taking over. It is now, every man for himself. Homes are being broken into and innocent people are getting murdered. Supplies are limited. Who are the people in your “circle” that you would stand next to in that scenario? Who would have your back and share their supplies with you until your time ran out? Who would you want to spend the last week of your life with if you knew there was an impending air raid? Who are your “friends”? Who can you trust? Who do you invest your time in, and why?

There is a difference between friends and acquaintances ( people you have met along the way) people who invest in you and build you up as a person are friends. People who you say “hi” to at social functions and have as a Facebook friend don’t necessarily count. Who is investing in you as a person and your future. Who can you go to when your car breaks down at 3 am…who do you value as a person? Who will bail you out of jail when you get a DUI and wont tell anybody else about it and wont treat you differently? These are things I think about when I decide who I am going to put time and effort into.

We put so much time, emotion and emphasis on the relationships we have in life. That is good- community is key to survival. In life, one of the biggest hurts we face is the loss of a person close to us. We lose people daily in many ways. Some die and some move away whereas some are romantic relationships that ended and others are friendships that grew apart. Either way- it is a loss. It is important to validate that each loss causes pain. With every goodbye, you learn.

The key point is that each person you come across in life is for a purpose. Sometimes that purpose is to get us through a hard time in life when we didn’t think we had anybody. A person will come out of nowhere to be “your person” through that trial. In time, that person may fade out of your life yet sometimes they stay. Sometimes we enter into romantic relationships that don’t last. We have to go into relationships knowing that each relationship you enter into will either end in a breakup, or you will end up together. That is part of the process. Each person that you meet may not be the one you end up with- however, they were there for a purpose. Yet each breakup we face we are devastated- why?

When romantic relationships end, we tend to get lost in aloneness and lose self worth thinking that we will be single forever because we lost the one that we wanted to be with. If you ended the relationship then you made the right choice- it wouldn’t have been an option in your mind if it wasn’t the right decision. If that person left you it is important to remember that there is no use wasting your emotions on somebody that LEFT YOU. What you do with yourself and your future no longer includes them. It is hard to face that but it is true. You WILL miss them. That is also part of the process, but remember that you weren’t the one who gave up. When the relationship is right, that person wont just walk away. If it is TRUE LOVE then they will love you unconditionally and work through ANYTHING. When you experience a broken heart think of it as a blessing from God. It is your reminder that He saved you from the wrong one. You dodged a bullet, so to speak. Nonetheless, it will still be painful and it takes time to make peace with that.

When your friend circle dissipates and you start to feel alone, it is natural to feel lonely. Your best friends may enter relationships and start investing their time in a significant other rather than you. That is hard to accept and it is easy to resent their new love. However, if the roles were reversed you would do the same. It is a natural part of the process. Some of your friends may get married and start having kids. It is fun to see the baby here and there, but eventually you realize that you as a single person don’t fit in with the married people and their babies. You just don’t. Not yet. That is hard to accept as well. The key here is to accept that as normal. It’s the cycle of life. Singleness is NOT a bad thing. It is fun and exciting and it is typically only for a time period. Don’t waste that season of singleness in misery worried about who is the right one. If you don’t remove yourself from that previous scenario of your previous friend circle and create a new one then you will get depressed. We all do.

We have to realize that our community of friends is ever-changing. People will come and go from our lives at different points in time. We need to be open to making new friends and entering into new circles in order to avoid getting lost in aloneness. Holding on to the past of how things “used to be” is delusional thinking. Move forwards not backwards. Things will NEVER be the same…that doesn’t mean that is bad- It will just look different. People will be in your life for a specific reason….or they may just be there to help you through a season….and sometimes, JUST sometimes, people stay in your life until the end. Those people are rare and those relationships should be cherished. It is important to note that a relationship takes two people. That means each party needs to invest time and effort into it.

If you come to a point where you are investing a lot of effort into people and you are not getting the same return as you used to, that may be the point where you have to stop and realize it may be time to let go and move on. You only have two hands. Holding on to two hands that don’t want to hold yours back will take up your energy and your hands. Free yourself up for people who WANT to put the effort back into you. Stop crossing oceans for people who wont jump puddles for you. Life is short. Spend your time wisely with those who want to spend it with you. Don’t force relationships. You will be fine….just fine…..

Not All Wounds Are Visible

WHICH MISERY IS WORSE!? You tell me…..comments appreciated…

When you walk past a man in a wheelchair with a disability, the first emotion most have is sympathy. We want to help, we “feel sorry for them”.  We don’t know the story unless we stop and ask. Most times we would rather place money in the pot rather than stopping to ask their story; “Were you like this from birth, Was there an accident”? etc. 

When you walk past a child who is 9 years old acting out n public, the first thing you may think is, ” what is wrong with that child, no respect, somebody needs to put that kid in its place”.  What we don’t think of is that maybe that child is suffering just as much as the person with a disability in the wheelchair. You may have just walked past a child who has only one parent and that parent is never home. the child is left home with siblings and an uncle who repeatedly abuse, rape and torture her. She is starved, she is forced to do drugs, she is too young to understand the difference. She doesn’t have a voice to speak, and she doesn’t have a wheelchair to show her struggle.

When the man in the wheelchair grows older everybody will be there to offer assistance, there are government program to assist in everyday life and there are resources for him. BUT what about the girl who was tortured as a child? She is now grown up. She feels like she doesn’t fit into society. She has no friends, she hangs out in the wrong crowds just to get attention. She constantly blames herself for what she went through. she has no government assistance and no family support. She is ALONE. YET society looks down on her and offers her no help and looks at her as a bad example to the younger generation. The sad part is, in her brain, shnow has a mental disability she has been hurt her whole life and now is unable to trust others. She may never play sports, be active or get into a meaningful relationship not because she has a physical handicap that prevents her but because she has a mental one that does.

I have worked with special needs people and I have worked with PTSD and mental health patients. Each has a different story; One things is consistent= the struggles are different BUT the HURT is the same. the difference is the handicap such as no arms, no legs ; that is visible……the person with mental health issues from beating abused their whole life…those scars are hidden. I have talked to multiple people with physical disabilities; some had deformities from birth , some had an accident and are paralyzed, some were born without an extremity. Ont thing they all had in common when approached with this scenario was, they all agreed that they would trade an extra extremity and continue to live that way in order to save an innocent child from torture.  Nobody is better than another, nobody’s sufferings are more valid. We need to be aware that there is more to a person than the way they compose themselves. there is a story in each of us.

I portray this in my autobiography I recently published to help motivate people; Taking Back The Pen http://www.amazon.com/Taking-Back-The-Pen-Predestinated/dp/0615874436   In the book I use a PTSD war patient example. Two soldiers are blown up by the same bomb. One soldier loses a leg, the other loses half of his brain functioning. They each have a permanent disability and are unable to function. The soldier with the lost leg has an abundance of resources, the one with the brain injury is hidden and nobody sees his disability. THE STRUGGLES ARE DIFFERENT BUT THE HURT IS THE SAME. WE ALL HAVE A STORY!! 

Human Trafficking= Modern Day Slavery==PLEASE SHARE!!!!

traff2I want to shed some light on an issue that most are unaware of. In some cases we just don’t want to see it. Today over 27,000,000 women and children are being enslaved and sold on the black market for sex. This happens all over the world…including your backyard. it happens in the most obvious of places and the girls are taken from open locations such as malls and the sidewalks when they are walking alone.

Definition= Sex trafficking is the exploitation of a person for commercial sexual activity through force, fraud or coercion. Victims of sex trafficking are often forced to engage in prostitution, exotic dancing, or pornography. Children who are exploited for sex are also considered a trafficking victim, even if there is no evident force or coercion. They don’t know better and they are not given a choice.

~~~~~~There are a few different ways this begins. If you have ever noticed missing children ads…as sad as it may be, they may have been picked up and sold into slavery. The FBI and police forces are running undercover operations to try and recover these girls everyday. There are blatant ads on the internet ( the websites of which I will not list if you don’t already know about them). I want to make you aware of this occurrence because slavery used to be predominantly black people in the past and that was brought to light and fixed…..slavery was abolished in our nation 150 years ago but today THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE IN SLAVERY THAN ANY TIME IN OUR HISTORY!!!!!!!!  Today these are women, children, sometimes men and little boys as well as foreigners in many cases.  17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked each year. 40% of human trafficking cases involve children. 76% of interactions with these children begin on the internet. This is happening in broad daylight and people don’t know about it and they don’t know what to do if they find out.

Prostitution= Many people look at the women on the street and look down on them because they are selling their bodies for sex. Well let me tell you…I am based in Detroit and I have done a lot of street work personally and the statistics also show that these women are NOT there by choice. Hence, human trafficking. These women are sent out by their “daddys” or “pimps” and they are told to make between $200-$2000 per night and if they don’t then they will be severely beaten and in some cases killed. these women are brainwashed and fear for their lives. When they come to me on the forensics side of it they sometimes tell me that they are going back because they have no other choice and they cant live any other way. These are not normal scenarios. this is abuse and force. these women and children have been given no other choice and they do it to stay alive. in some cases they do it because their children are being threatened if they don’t make enough money by performing sexual acts. So next time you see prostitution; REMEMBER; this is NOT their choice to do so 90% of the time. I have seen an example of a case by choice–my own mother (I wrote about her in my earlier blogs- she chooses to sell her body for sex to get drugs. nobody forces her, but that is a rare case) Do you honestly think that teenage girls when deciding where to go to college wake up one morning and say “I want to be a prostitute and work the streets when I grow up” NO. These women need help!

PLEASE BE AWARE- If you pass by or see anything that may be suspicious for human trafficking here are some resources:

National human trafficking resource hotline  24hrs/day    1-888-373-7888

National Domestic Violence Hotline-   1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Sexual Abuse Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network      1-800-656- 4673

Suicidal Thoughts- National Suicide prevention Hotline     1-800-273- Talk (8255)

Dating Violence   – National Dating Abuse Helpline      1-866-331-9474

Please Help–HOPE and a FUTURE: PAY IT FORWARD

Please Help--HOPE and a FUTURE: PAY IT FORWARD

As many of you know I published my autobiography this past year. It is a raw, organic story that tells the ugly side of my past with the explanations of how I turned it into success. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, it is available to order online at http://www.amazon.com/Taking-Back-The-Pen-Predestinated/dp/0615874436
IF you have read it, I am asking that rather than letting the book sit on your shelf, please pass it along to somebody in your life you believe can benefit from reading it. I didn’t write it to sell a million copies or for the fame. My intentions in publishing it were to bring hope and change in peoples lives and to inspire those who struggle in life….which is ALL of us. I want to get my story out there so people are not afraid to open up and seek help when needed. everybody has a story! Please pass my story on and continue to love people and appreciate stories because we are all walking through life together.

If you have not ordered it yet, please order one and read it yourself and then pass it on to somebody in your life who you feel may benefit from it