“I matter…”

I just needed to cry. My heart was hurting so I needed to stop everything and just let myself be. I couldn’t pinpoint or articulate the source of my pain, I just knew I needed a release. So that’s what I did today. I went in the bathroom (my sanctuary), curled up in the corner on the floor, wrapped my arms around myself and just cried. I held myself with comfort to let me know it was okay to cry and release. The temptation surfaced to hurry the process along so I could get back to what I was doing; but I realized that nothing was more important than caring for myself in that moment. As I cried, I whispered to myself, “It’s okay. I love you. Just let it out. You’re safe with me.” I created a safe space for myself to just be. I was practicing self-love.

Before today I would have ignored my feelings, tried to resolve what I felt by doing things, or distracted myself with reading social media posts. Today I chose to show myself that I mattered and was worth stopping everything for. I feel lighter, relieved, and at peace. I plan to offer more moments like this to myself.

So why is this important? Jesus said in Mark 12:31 that the second greatest commandment is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Well I’ll admit that I need more practice in loving myself. Not out of conceit, idolizing, or vain glory but simply cherishing the treasure God created me as. The more I love on me, the more I increase my capacity to receive and give love to others. By treating myself like I matter, I’m setting the standard for how I want to be treated so that anything less will not be tolerated or accepted. Self-love is a beautiful thing. 

How are you practicing self-love?

~Shavon Carter, the YOU Relationship Coach

If you need support to help you practice self-love, let’s chat. Email me today at scarter@walkinginwholenessllc.com to schedule your free one-hour coaching session and start your beautiful journey. It’s time to experience the love you’ve been searching for. 

By Any Means Necessary?

Normally I don’t write about celebrities and their breakups, but the news surrounding the Keshia Knight Pulliam (aka Rudy from the Cosby Show) and Ed Hartwell divorce resonates with me. I don’t know either of them personally, but I was concerned when she broke up with Big Tigger last year and announced after only a few months later that she was getting married to Ed. My initial thought was, “I wonder if she’s moving fast to fulfill the strong desire to marry and have children?” Her actions seemed all too familiar, not because of something I read about, but because that’s exactly what I did. Let me explain…

Sometime around 2007 I remember having a prayer meeting with my close friends and during that meeting I felt I heard God say that I would be married in 2009. We always got prophetic messages during these prayer sessions, so I believed what I heard was from God. At that time I was in a relationship with a guy I had been with for three years, so I figured in two more years we would definitely be ready for marriage. Well, when 2009 came and our relationship wasn’t progressing as I expected, I began to get frustrated. I realized that I was forcing something that wasn’t meant to be so in September of 2009, I decided to end the relationship. I was still holding on to the prophecy and had just let go of my only prospect, so subconsciously I went into panic mode. Who was the man I was going to marry before 2009 was over? The only person that came to mind was a guy I had been long distance friends with for over 10 years. He had expressed interest at one point but at the time I wasn’t interested. However, since I was desperate to find a suitor, I shifted my focus to him. In the same week that I broke up with the guy I had been with for 5 years, I reached out to my long distant friend.

After I initiated conversation, we started to talk more frequently. He was attentive and spoke the words I wanted to hear so my feelings for him grew quickly. Between September and October I paid for a plane ticket to FL to visit him and paid for his flight to come to DC and visit me. During that one visit I took him around to meet my friends and the married couples I respected to get their approval. Everyone seemed to like him, so I believed that everything was lining up the way God planned. Since we had gotten serious, I planned to spend Christmas and New Years with him and had already purchased my plane ticket. At some point during the discussion I asked him what he thought about us getting married while I was there visiting. He was on board with it so I moved forward with planning the details. I found rings for both of us and purchased them. I reasoned that it didn’t matter who bought the ring since our incomes would soon be combined. I didn’t want a wedding, so we planned a small ceremony that his godmother would officiate. I did research and figured out how we could get our marriage license in time for the ceremony and found an online pre-marital course for us to take for preparation. Excited about what I believed God was doing, I told my friends and family the “great news.” They questioned if I was moving too fast, but I reassured them that I had received several confirmations that I was moving according to God’s plan, so they trusted me and backed off. When the Christmas holiday came, I flew down to FL bought a cute, inexpensive dress to wear for the ceremony and bought him a nice suit.

On the day of the ceremony, a few of my friends and family members came to help me get dressed while he got dressed at a friend’s house. I felt no sparks, no butterflies, or nervousness. It felt like I was going through with a business deal, which is not how I imagined things would be. Nevertheless, we met at the church and went through with a private ceremony on December 31, 2009. We were married in time for the prophecy to be fulfilled. The next day I rented a truck, packed all his things from his apartment, and we drove back to DC from FL. All that time I professed that God was ordering my steps, not realizing that I had controlled the whole thing and created the vision I wanted.

Right after we got married my next goal was to try to have a baby. He wasn’t in agreement with that idea, but that didn’t stop me from trying. I was determined to make that happen too, but we never conceived. Since our marriage wasn’t built on a solid foundation, things started to go downhill after the first year. By year three, he decided to call it quits and move back to FL. It was then that I had to deal with the reality of what I had done. I was left with no husband and no baby…just a shattered fantasy. So that’s why Keshia’s story resonates with me so deeply. I was once her.

So how do you prevent a woman like me and Keshia from going down that destructive path? It can be challenging because she may be determined and focused on getting what she desires, by any means necessary.  However, you can still try the following:

  1. Pray for her – never underestimate the power of prayer
  2. Share your honest concerns about the path she’s traveling – even if she gets mad, be prepared to share the truth anyway
  3. Challenge her decisions – even if she says it’s God, ask questions about her decision making process and point out when it seems like the decisions are based more on emotions than logic
  4. Encourage her to seek counseling before making a major decision
  5. If none of the above strategies work, simply let her make her own decision and love her through the outcome

If you’re reading this and will admit that you’re the woman that’s been trying to make things happen by any means necessary, I encourage you to reconsider. Think about the consequences of taking matters into your own hands. I know you’re thinking that your situation is different and what happened to me and Keshia won’t happen to you…but think again. What’s stopping you from being in the same boat as Keshia and I? Be honest with yourself and explore your motives. Facing the truth is uncomfortable and painful but well worth it when you consider the destruction of moving forward with your plans. So which path will you choose?

~Shavon Carter, the “You” Relationship Coach

Let me partner with you so you don’t have to make this decision alone. I would love to schedule a free coaching session with you to begin a beautiful journey together. Contact me today at scarter@walkinginwholenessllc.com and let’s get started!