5 Ways to Deal with Grief

The entire world was rattled, with the breaking news of the passing of Kobe Bryant, and eight other individuals on a helicopter ride. It is in these moments we are reminded that life is precious and to enjoy the moments that you have with one another. I pray for all of the families affected by this tragedy.

Losing a person you love and care about is extremely difficult. Although, grief is a part of life, there is nothing that anyone can do to stop the hurting you feel. Yet, there are steps one can take to aid in the healing process. Below you will find steps to help deal with your broken heart.

  1. Talk to someone- Talking to your loved ones can aid in the healing process. Yet, I also recommend that you to speak with a therapist and/or join support groups. Similar to you going to the doctor when you have a physical ailment, you can speak with a therapist for your emotional health.
  2. Grieve- Deal with the grief. There are seven stages of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance. The length of time spent at each stage varies from person which is okay. Everyone processes events on their own time. Go through the emotions at your pace.
  3. Pray- The bible says that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 NIV. Vent to God about your issues he will give you comfort that you are needing during this difficult time.
  4. Be patient with yourself- You may not be over this in a month or year. Be patient with yourself, this may take some time.
  5. Acceptance- Once you’ve gone through the first six stages of grief mentioned above (#2), you will reach acceptance. Acceptance is when you have come to the conclusion that the situation occurred and now you are willing to create necessary adjustments and embrace the change. Your life may look different than you have planned but it can still be a joyful and good life!

Reminders for yourself during this difficult season:

-You can heal!

-You can live a good life despite the change!

-Take it one day at a time!

-You will be happy again!

-You will overcome!

Remember, we are in this journey together!

Love,

10 Tips on Self-Care

Taking care of ourselves is one important value to help us function more efficiently. Between working 40hrs a week (or more), kids, cooking, cleaning, running errands, social events etc. life can get overwhelming. So it is important to take time out for yourself to relax and reset. Below you’ll find 10 quick tips on self-care.

1. Hobby- Take a designated time out of your day to focus on an activity that you love. The time may vary depending on your schedule (10min., 30min., 1hr.) and enjoy your favorite hobby.

2. Bath- Before bed take a nice warm bath with soft music in the background to relax from your stressful day. Ease your mind and body from all tension to reset.

3. Sleep- Sleep is vital for the body. When you do not get enough sleep it can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. Try your best to get the rest you need daily.

4. Girl time- Enjoy a ladies day/night out. Go to the spa, get mani/pedis, brunch, or dinner. Have fun!

5. Prayer/ Quiet time- When we pray we are reminded that we can cast our cares on Christ because he cares for us (1Peter 5:7) We do not have to carry the burdens of the world on our shoulders. God knew that it would be too much for us to bear. That is why he wants us to give all of our problems to him. He will give you the peace, comfort, and remind you that he has everything in control.

6. Take a walk outside- Changing the scenery and getting out to get fresh air can help you refocus. Stepping away from your daily duties for a few minutes has positive effects.

7. Listen to music- Put on your favorite hits and jam away. Music is proven to boost your mood.

8. Journal- Start a gratitude journal or creative writing journal.

9. Read- Read your favorite book instead of scrolling through social media’s world. We may not realize it but a huge part of our day is spent looking at a phone or computer. Plus staring at our devices all day can cause negative effects on eyesight. Try reading a book to help you de-stress.

10. Take a break- Some times we just literally need a break from the daily hustle. I am an advocate for taking off of work, for a mental health day. Use that time as you wish. Most importantly utilize it for relaxation.

I hope you enjoyed these quick tips on self-care. Remember we are in this journey together!

Love,

The Single Woman's Anthem

To the single woman, 

This is a message of encouragement to remind you of your worth. You deserve the same love and energy that you give. Although, people are raised differently and have varying perspective, that does not justify their inability to reciprocate the love you give. If a person cannot adhere to the requirements of your morals and values, then you do not have to settle for some half love.

You did not spend all of the days, months, or years, as a single woman, just to get into a relationship and feel single or like you are alone. We’ve all heard this before but relationships are a partnership similar to a friendships. Will there be times that you feel lonely or alone? Yes, because a human is not made to fill all of your voids. Happiness is an inside job. However, there has to be the same level of commitment when you are in a relationship. So the red flags that you see in men are necessary because it helps you to not settle into something that you would be miserable in, later. 

See, you yearn for adventure, love that is never ended, a family. You want weekly date nights, vacations and to try out that new restaurant that just opened. You want to go to that exhibit, even if it is out of state. You desire that life because you live it currently. You are full of life, a ray of sunshine. Yet, coupled with the wrong person, that shimmer will not be as bright. 

While you’re single, I encourage you to not sit around waiting on a man to wife you up. Find you a group a friends, live life, and chase after your purpose. GO! Go on that journey to finding the squad that brightens the light that you already shine. Do not dim your rays because it makes someone feel uncomfortable. That would be a disservice to you. If you have to be single for the rest of your life, so be it! Find contentment in that knowing it is better to be single and full of life, than, married and feeling like you are missing out on living life. 

So let this be the single woman’s anthem on not settling, keeping your standards set, and remembering, WHO YOU ARE! You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)  and a child of a king.

Remember we are in the journey together,

Tips to Reduce Stress

Life can bring about some difficult times that cause unwanted stress. Your enjoyable day can be flipped upside down in seconds. I am literally writing this post as I sit in the dealership getting my car fixed. I was supposed to be having a pool day with close friends but that changed quickly! Fun day quickly turned to business in a matter of seconds. Although, frustrated, I had to find a way to relieve the stress and relax.

Plans can switch unexpectedly, but the way we handle the circumstance, can determine our stress levels. I am sure we all want to keep our mental state, balanced as possible. So I have compiled a quick list of ways to reduce stress.

Tips:

1. Change your perspective

Instead of focusing on the difficult moment, change your perspective, and look at the bright side. Okay you have car trouble, at least you have a car. You have your life, health, strength and means to get it fixed. Whatever your situation is, it could always be worse.

2. Breath

Just pause for a moment and take three deep breathsIncreased heart rate, incline in blood pressureand fast breathing all occur when you are stressed. Breathing exercises help to reduce tension.

3. Acceptance

Accept the situation that happened. There is nothing you can do to change. If you continue to rehash the event in your mind you will continue to have high stress levels. So accept the event and think of ways that can help you cope or solve the issue.

What are some ways you relieve your stress?

We are all in this journey together,

Side Effects

Remember when you were child and were carefree? You enjoyed playing with dolls/toy trucks, riding your bike, skating in the street, and had to be in before a certain time lol. You had joyful attitude and were friendly to many. How you looked to an outsider was not important and you stayed in your own little world.

Then puberty hit and that is when views of the world typically start impacting your personal outlook and character. You gain concern about the clothes you wear, hairstyle, body shape etc. and suddenly the judgement from individuals, distort your self image. Your personality shaped to being nice in hopes to gain many friends or mean because of the hate and slander. Throughout middle and high school, you care about having the designer brands, body imperfections, character traits for popularity purposes.

College age through twenties, the years of “finding yourself” arise, and realize that you are trying to, undo the negative thought patterns that you gained. (If you are younger I challenge you to reject the judgement now) Have you ever thought about the reason behind your alleged flaws? Who planted in your spirit that you were too skinny or curvy? Who said you were overly dramatic? Who pointed out that very part on your body or character trait, that you now dislike?

This is what I call the, “Side Effects of Judgment”. Gaining weight because people think you’re too skinny or losing weight due to people feeling like you are too fat (unless doctor recommended) Plastic surgery because others feel your butt, boobs, nose are too small. Calming your personality down because people think you are too goofy/nice. Being mean and having a cold heart towards people because others hurt you. The list can go on but my question to you is, who were you before judgement and experiences of life, came upon you?

Life can change you, however, we have to recognize the cause of the change and understand that some alterations are not good for us. Many adjustments we make or the way we act towards people are caused by the trauma we have received from others. So I challenge everyone to analyze your life and heal. Try to understand the, WHY, in what you do. Are you changing this facet of your life based on the, side effects of judgement?

How to heal and recognize the, WHY:

  1. Get a journal.
  2. Write down what you dislike about yourself.
  3. Recall the earliest memory of someone pointing out that flaw/being rude. Write it down
  4. Write down how it made you feel and why
  5. Now you recognize the, WHY, it is time to undo the thought pattern
  6. Write down affirmations on how you are beautiful/handsome, the way you were made. Repeat this every time that negative thought comes into your mind, and until you truly believe it!
  7. Remember, the world does not define you and we were all made in our own uniqueness. One of a kind! “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” -Psalm 139:13-14

We are in this journey together,

News

Hey everyone!

It has been while since I posted a blog! Life has been busy but I will try to do better with posting consistently. Most importantly my site has a new name! Formally, Sit by the Sea, has changed to, Conversations by the C. Yes, I am super excited about the change, but do not fret, the purpose of my blog remains the same. The mission is to bring inspiration, motivation, and encouragement into your soul. You can read more about the name change here.

If you have not already done so, subscribe to the blog so you can be notified when a new gem (post) drops on the site. Also, feel free to check out my past posts for some INSPO, MOTO, and ENCO ( inspiration, motivation, and encouragement ). Remember, we are all in this journey together.

Love,

Faith

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). When you extend your faith you are believing that certain events will transpire, despite, what you see. For example, job promotion, healing, or new car etc. At times, faith, begins to subside during the, “between stage”. The between stage, is when you are waiting to get from point A to B. You want that job promotion and you killed the interview, but, the company decided to go with someone else. Therefore, you remain at point A and discouragement sets in because you know it is time for you to move to higher levels. During this middle phase, is when your faith gets truly tested but do not lose hope!

Lets look at biblical stories where faith is tested:

-Sarah could not bear children, but was told that she would conceive a child, during old age. It took faith to believe that she would have a baby in her nineties. (Genesis)

Abraham- He had to offer up his son, as a sacrifice, as a test of his faith. (Genesis)

Noah- The world had become so evil so the Lord told Noah to build an Ark with two of every animal and only his wife, sons, and daughter in laws, would be saved. Noah had faith and did everything that the Lord commanded. (Genesis)

Joseph and Mary- Mary a virgin, pregnant with child. The lord told Joseph that Mary bore Christ and gave instructions on what to do after Jesus was born. Joseph and Mary followed what the Lord said. (Mathew)

Moses- He delivered thousands from Egypt and traveled to the promise land. Moses took heed to the steps that the Lord spoke. (Exodus)

Woman with the issue of blood- She had been bleeding for 12 years but her faith made her whole, by touching the hem of Jesus’s garment. (Mathew)

Job- The Lord allowed Satan, access to Job. Job lost everything but he still had reverence and served God.

Regardless of the time frame or emotional turbulence that possibly ensued, the word of the Lord came to fruition. I am sure there was doubt that arose, during the waiting period. Yet, If HE said it, it will come to pass!

You may be in a season where your faith is being tested. You are waiting for that promise to come, but you are getting tired. I just want to encourage and remind you that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forevermore-Hebrew 13:8. Just like the promises manifested in the stories above, YOURS, is on the way.

I challenge you to read Hebrews 11 and analyze, how faith, orchestrated the lives of many.

Apply the verses from the bible over your life:

-By faith I can trust God

-By faith I understand that the world was framed by God

-By faith I can be confident with gods promises despite circumstances or consequences

-By faith I will run with endurance the race that is set before me by looking unto Jesus

-By faith I am healed

If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there and it will move”- Mathew 17:20

We walk by faith and not by sight.- 2 Corinthian 5:7

Remember, we are in this journey together.

Love,

C. Allen

Dating, Intuition, Standards

Intuition

Social media wasn’t prevalent back in the day as it is now. Women would literally analyze subtle cues when it came to dating. Ex: a slight change in his text message lingo or he called a little later than normal. Those signs would be a direct indication that he was talking to someone else or his interest in you, was declining. Nowadays, people need feelings outwardly written or go to the relationship coaches to tell you, “How to Know When a Man Wants You.”

Now, it is not wrong to get guidance or a second opinion while you’re on the dating scene. However, you do not NEED a person to tell you certain information that is evident. Ladies it is simple! God gave us innate capabilities or intuition, to be able to decider if a male is interested in you.

For starters, look at his actions. Secondly, listen to what he is verbalizing. Men will tell you if he want you to be his girl or “I’m just chillin”. Lastly, if his actions and words do not match, clearly he is confused and you need to guard your heart. The fact that you have to question, “Is he interested in me as much as I like him”, reveals that y’all are possibly not on the same page.

Standards

Who watches Love and Hip Hop, Basketball Wives, Realhousewives?

Reality TV is a hit in this present day. I caught a clip of Love and HH last year (I don’t know if it’s old or not because it was the first time I watched) and this male was in a love triangle with two women. Both women knew about each another, yet, continued to mess around with the man. On top of all that, the women literally hated each other. Whattt??? When did it become okay be an option in a mans life? This is a situation, like many others, where women endure mistreatment, in hopes of being the “chosen one”. One should not be okay with being an alternative or welcoming less than the best. Ladies, we have to remember our worth and value is not tied to any man.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made-Psalm 139:14. You were designed to be the ONLY wife to ONE man. No matter how much society normalizes it, you do not have accept: misconduct, low quality characteristics, or wait until a man matures to be treated correctly.

Ladies, we complain about the few options of good men, but many of us play the game with them. Instead of holding firm to our standards, we tolerate behaviors that should not be welcomed. Women literally have the power to change this dating scene. If we collectively stopped settling for less, then men would have to raise the bar. Now, of course that is not an excuse to why men behave as they do and there are various correlations. However, I can speak from a viewpoint from a woman since I am one. I am trying to help my sisters see their value and part we play in this society, where there is a high volume of singleness and desperation to be married. We set the limits but until our standards increase, the dating cycle won’t change.

What’s next?

You have to be okay with being alone and maybe that is the fear of most. Yes, you may desire marriage but not at the expense of your sanity. You are someone’s one and only and deserve to be treated with the love, respect and honor that was intended by Christ. If your desire for marriage is stronger than your longing for Christ, then sis you have made marriage an idol. The good thing is God is forgiving and we can change our ways. We should yearn for Christ more than anything in the world. He is the one that can fill our voids of loneliness, pain, rejection, sadness and the list goes on. Below you will find scriptures that discuss focusing on Christ. As well as, scriptures that explains how love and kindness are put into action.

Verses:

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.- Colossians 3:2

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you-Mathew 6:33

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.-Isaiah 26:3

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.-Galatians 5:22-23

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not prou. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. -Ephesians 5:22-28 (you may not be a wife yet but these are qualities you and he should have prior. Not what is being normalized in the world today.)

Remember we are in this journey together!

C. Allen

Dos and Don’ts After a Breakup

Many of us have been in a relationship, which did not turn out as expected. You fantasized that your partner is “The ONE”, and you both will build a life together. Then one day, that dream comes crashing down and a break-up occurs. Both parties endure agony, however, the dumpee tends to feel more anguish. With most break-ups comes the sorrow and grief of letting go of that special person. Some of the greatest lessons I learned, happened during the grieving process of a past relationship. Below, I list FOUR top pointers you should not do after a breakup.

1. Keep your heart open to Christ

  • As the dumpee, whew I sure made the mistake of turning my back away from God! I was super upset that God allowed this to happen. I felt like he did not have my back but had my now ex’s side. Especially since the ex quickly moved on, into a new relationship, which seemed to be going great (yes I am guilty for social media stalking lol…you’ve done it before too). It wasn’t until I saw this quote on social media,  “Do not hold God responsible for what a person does to you.” Wow that spoke deeply to my soul during my heartache. I realized that my anger towards God actually kept me bound to the pain because it pushed me further away from Christ. Once I noticed my ill feelings towards Christ, I had to vent it to him. I simply prayed “God I am upset with you, I feel like you do not have my back” I went on and expressed all of the emotions on my heart. Afterwards, I felt a little lighter but I definitely was not healed. This was the first step to my heart being restored. 
  • “God is near the to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit”- Psalm 34:18
  • “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”- Psalm 147:3
  • He will not leave you nor forsake you”- Hebrew 13:5

2. Protect yourself from the deception.

  • After the breakup, many questions resonated within my mind. What is wrong with me? Was I not pretty enough? Was she more saved than I? Maybe I was too much, too demanding, not caring enough, too caring, immature, if God cared he would not allow me to be heartbroken, how is God supposedly protecting me etc.. So many questions and statements circulated on a continual basis that, at times, I could not even process my thoughts. That mental battlefield sent me to a place of feeling inadequate. The rejection made me feel inferior and lowered my self esteem. Little did I know, I began to morph myself into a different woman because I thought if I dressed like her, changed my personality, I could be a good fit for him. I was right where the enemy wanted me to be, tangled in his cobweb of lies. During moments of vulnerability, that is when the enemy is most at lurk. You have to be on guard at all times protecting yourself from the deception and untruth. You have to fight back and cast down the negative thoughts.
  • “The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy”-John 10:10. 
  • “You are fearfully and wonderfully made”- Psalm 139:14
  • “Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”- 1 Peter 5:8
  • “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”  -2 Corinthians 10:4-5

3. Focus on Yourself

  • I wasted numerous days, even months trying to determine the cause of the breakup or trying to figure out how to get that ex back. What a waste of time!  I became aware that I needed to shift gears and put that attention on myself.  When I did that, God began revealing places in my heart that needed to be fixed.  The focus went from him to me. I stopped caring about his life and more about mine. I wanted to progress and transform into the woman that God had created me to be. God opened my eyes regarding other areas like my career, purpose, friendships and more. When I stopped aiming my attention on my pain, I was able to heal and see the plans God had for me.
  • For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”- Jeremiah 29:11
  • The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”-Psalm 9:9
  • Set your mind on things above, not earthly things.” Colossians 3:2

4. Use Time Wisely

  • This point correlates with step three. During the moments of concentrating on the reasons “WHY”, I wasted so much time, that I will never get back. I truly, regretted all the valuable time I gave up, as I was grieving the heartbreak. Now don’t get me wrong, grief is natural, but mine was extended to the point it was, unhealthy. Those moments I spent sulking in pity could have been a time of true healing, which I delayed. I have forgiven myself for spending so many days engulfed in sadness. Experience is one of the best teachers and I am now grateful for this struggle. There is a blessing in every lesson. I learned to not wallow in the situation, if it does not turn out the way you intended.  The heartbreak happened, it hurts, but open your heart to healing immediately.
  • “Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”- Mathew 6:27
  • Making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”- Ephesians 5:16-17 
  • Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”-James 4:7

Now, this is not a recipe that will immediately eliminate all pain. Everyone experiences healing at different stages and it depends on the individual.  I hope that you can take away a pointer or two from my past mistakes. One thing I know for sure is if God can heal me, he can do the same for you!

PS: What are some pointers you would give someone, post break up? Leave your advice in the comments below

Remember, we are in this journey together!

Love,

C. Allen

Your Life is Amazing

In life we have “high moments”, such as; graduations, engagements, baby announcements, job promotions etc. It is in that brief time period, of attaining that accomplishment, where you feel life is moving forward. That joy feels amazing and tends to last until you get comfortable in the new season.

When the joy fades. When the dust settles

Once that “high” settles, you begin a regular routine within that new journey. It’s in this stage, where one can feel that their life is stagnant. Then the search begins for a new opportunity to gratify the feelings of complacency. What many of us don’t realize, is that we are engaging in a never-ending cycle. Once we obtain that next goal, get settled in it, the discontentment will arise again, then on to a new goal.

Creating a new mission is not a negative factor. It is actually great to formulate and execute new ideas. However, identifying that you’re on a constant search for fulfillment is vital. Without realizing, we start to dismiss our own achievements and slowly forget how productive we have been. We become so focused on the future that we lose sight of the former.

Today, I encourage you to put the phone down and do a highlight reel over your life. Look over the past year, 3, 5, or 10 years and analyze the greatness within the past. Each one of us has brought so much meaning to our own life and the lives of others. We are on a journey trying to become the best versions of ourselves, impact the next generation, and leave a legacy behind.

When you find yourself on the search for the next “happy moment” in life, PAUSE. Reminisce on the accomplishments you have made so far and allow yourself to marinate in those memories. That next attainment will come but be content in the present. You are right where you’re supposed to be!

Remember we are in this journey together.

Love,

C. Allen