What Would Daddy Think? #67

If you have paid any attention to many of the words that I’ve shared on my blog, then you know that thoughts and memories of my daddy are always on my mind. As a teenage girl I never thought that at the age I am now I would be living without my daddy and even after twenty years it’s still extremely difficult for me to wrap my mind around the fact that he’s just gone from my life until I hopefully see him in another world.

Father’s Day was four days ago and I’ve probably said it before but since daddy’s death it’s always a day filled with mixed emotions for me, it’s like on Father’s Day either I’m fine and it’s just a normal day or I’m filled with a deep sadness that I can’t seem to suppress, no matter how hard I try. This year on Father’s Day I thought to myself “I’ll write about my feelings” but I set down to write and I just could not get my thoughts straight so I decided to try again another day.

Today when I set down in my quiet place where I go to collect my thoughts and write I tried to come up with so many other topics to write about besides my daddy, because I never set out for my blog to be “the grieving daughter blog” but it seems that I can’t help myself when it comes to writing about my daddy I cannot control my pen, it feels like my thoughts are writing themselves. I feel like if I can help just one person who reads my words about my daddy or any other topic then my writing and my living is not in vain.

A few days ago on Father’s Day, I began to wonder “what would Daddy think?” What would Daddy think about that condition this country is in? What would Daddy think about the fact that Donald Trump is the president. I’m sure Daddy would have something funny but thought provoking to say about President Trump. I look at my awesome nephew and I think “what would Daddy think about having a grandson that’s like him in so many ways?” One question that came to mind that’s more important to me than the others is “what would Daddy think of me? Would he be proud of the person I am? It’s actually something that I think of quite often and maybe I’m crazy but, even though my daddy is no longer living physically he will always live in my heart so I still worry about making him proud. I want him to look upon me from Heaven with pride in his eyes. Is it crazy that I want my deceased father to be proud of me?

I often wonder if Daddy would be upset with me, because according to societal standards I haven’t made much of myself in the twenty years since his death. I wonder if Daddy would be proud of me because like both my parents I have a good heart (too good at times) and I try to always treat people with kindness. I wonder what Daddy would think about the man and father that brother is growing into each day? Does Daddy feel like his children who suffered the loss of his presence in their lives so suddenly and were forced to grow up/mature without him are good people? Is he proud of the relationship we have with our awesome mother who he loved wholeheartedly? Are we in some way(s) a disappointment to Daddy?

These questions and so many more about how my daddy would feel about certain things if he were still alive are always running through my mind and it’s still so very difficult to fully accept that there’s no way for all my questions to be answered, because Daddy is gone.

That’s just my perspective!💜

95 Years Of My Family’s Crossing Guard #61

If you’ve read anything that I have written in the last four years since I started this blog then you know that I absolutely adore my family. I always feel extremely blessed to have been born into such an awesome group of people.

Today is the 95th birthday of the woman who I call the chief of our tribe, the captain of our ship, and the ruler over all in my family, my grandma. The bible tells us that our days may come to seventy years or eighty, if our strength endures. (Psalms 90:10). Today God has allowed my grandma’s strength to endure living in this world for 25 years beyond the 70 years that the bible speaks of. I don’t know about anyone else but I am overjoyed by that fact.

Let me tell you a little bit about just who my Grandma Freda is. For 29 years of her life her occupation was a school crossing guard, but she was a crossing guard long before she started that job. My Grandma Freda has been life’s crossing guard for her five children, five grandchildren, nieces & nephews and countless others. Til this day she is still serving as life’s crossing guard for her four great grandsons. Grandma Freda has been the one to see us all safely from one phase of life to the next. From infants to children, from adolescence to adulthood, Grandma Freda has been there every step of the way, making sure we got safely through each phase. Even if we happen to step into harm’s way she is right there to pick us up and point us back in the right direction all the while very sternly telling us where we went wrong. Grandma Freda is an important part of the lives of everyone that’s born into my family.

I’m not sure I know anyone else quite like Grandma Freda, she’s awfully headstrong, as a matter of fact she’s probably where the rest of us got that trait from. You might not think so when you first meet Grandma Freda but deep underneath her very hard shell lives a kindhearted woman. If she has even just an ounce of love for you you’ll know it, but don’t look for hugs, kisses or much in the way of affection from Grandma Freda because that’s just not who she is. If she doesn’t like you trust me you’ll feel her sting. Grandma Freda does not sugarcoat anything at all for any reason. If it’s on her mind you better believe it’s going to come out of her mouth and you just might get your feelings hurt, especially if you’re sensitive like me.

I think that the spiritual/religious side of me has always been nurtured by all of my life’s crossing guards, but I have so many memories of Grandma Freda sitting me down as a young girl and teaching me “church songs” and scriptures. I admire her faith and her trust in God. Her church members know something is wrong if she’s not at Beulah Land on Sunday morning. She’s the oldest member of the church and they all know not to talk back when she says something. She’s always taught me “just trust in God.” Grandma Freda is the reason that Proverbs & Psalms are my favorite books to read in the bible, because whenever life throws an obstacle in my path that I just can’t seem to jump over easily Grandma Freda tells me to read Proverbs & Psalms and of course I do as she tells me.

Grandma Freda will teach you a multitude of life lessons in one conversation with her. You really have no choice but to be still, sit, listen and learn, because it doesn’t matter what else is on your schedule when Grandma Freda is talking. Grandma Freda has always been a my way or no way type of grandmother but a lot of times in my life I have found that she’s not going to steer me wrong and her way is at times the best way. I just wanted to tell you all about the woman I’m celebrating today, my family’s life crossing guard. A woman I’m grateful beyond words to have in my life, my Grandma Freda.

It’s my prayer that God continues to bless her with good health and many more years to celebrate her life.

That’s just my perspective!💜

Empathy In A Mean World #59

“In my view, the best of humanity is in our exercise of empathy and compassion. It’s when we challenge ourselves to walk in the shoes of someone whose pain or plight might seem so different than yours that it’s almost incomprehensible.” Sarah McBride

True empathy requires that you step outside your own emotions to view things entirely from the perspective of the other person.” Anonymous

In Heartbreaking Moment Perspective #33 I wrote about how the sight of homelessness affects me. A few days ago I had another experience with the sight of homelessness. One of my Facebook friends shared a small portion of a video documentary about Skid Row in Los Angeles, California, watching that video broke my heart. This video literally brought tears to my eyes and it made me realize how much empathy I have for all people, especially those who are less fortunate than I am. I have seen dozens of documentaries on Skid Row, but this one really made me emotional for several days after watching it. Just as I did after seeing the homeless man that I wrote about in perspective #33 I began to question why is it that I am blessed with a nice home, and a comfortable bed to rest my head on at night, but there are so many others who aren’t blessed in the same way. I wonder if I am too empathetic.

I look at the sight of homelessness and I wish that there was something I could do to provide all people with a decent roof over their heads so that there wouldn’t be a need for people to be living in tent cities or simply laying on the street. I realize that some of the people who are living homeless are living that way because of choices they’ve made that ultimately changed their way of life, but even in those cases it still bothers me deeply to see anyone who is living on the street and doesn’t even have a clean bathroom to use. At the time that this video documentary was made there were over 2,000 people living on Skid Row with only a small number of portable toilets that the city government had placed in various areas for all of those people to use. That’s unbelievable to me, I really can not even imagine what it’s like living like that. As the young woman was walking down the street there were people shouting angrily at her and her camera person and I honestly didn’t really understand that. I thought maybe its embarrassment of how they are living, but I’m not sure. After posting perspective #33 I had a conversation with my mother about the many reasons why some homeless people make the choice to live on the street like mentally illness or worrying about being taken advantage of while in shelters or other facilities and I thought what an extremely difficult life it must be. Is it selfish of me to have empathy for homeless people and others who are less fortunate than me, but at the same time be grateful and thankful that hasn’t been God’s plan for my life thus far?

In this world we live in unfortunately there is a down side to having empathy for people who are less fortunate than yourself. I recently saw a news story about a couple who were driving in their city and stopped to help a couple who appeared to be in need, well that wasn’t the case, those people who appeared to be in need of some kindness had malicious intentions and ended up killing a pastor’s wife who empathized with them and only wanted to share some genuine compassion and kindness. That was a heartbreaking story to see as well. It made me think of myself, because I am that person who is quick to empathize with someone who appears to be less fortunate than I am. I probably get that from my mother because she is the same way. Whenever I see someone who appears to not have had a bath or shower in several days and is carrying what seems to be all their worldly possessions I quickly feel sorrowful. We all pass by those people who are carrying handmade signs that say “will work for food” or something similar. The empathizer in me is always quick to have sympathy for those people and want to do something for them, give money, food, anything to make their lives better or take their troubles away for a moment. Sadly we are living in times where my second thought to myself is always, “I wonder if they are legitimately in need?” It’s awfully disheartening realizing that this world has become a place where it’s necessary to second guess having empathy for someone, because being a kind, compassionate, loving empathizer can get you killed.

Who ever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. Proverbs 21:13ESV

That’s just my perspective!💜

Another Journey Around The Sun #58

I can’t believe it is the last day of 2018. I’m sure it sounds crazy, but to me it seems like this year went by much faster than usual, although I know that it was 365 days just as all years are.(except for leap years of course) This year has definitely been a year that will remain unforgettable because so much has happened in the world around me near and far. I have been thinking a lot about myself and my place in this world. I feel like I am 36 years old and I have yet to figure out where I really fit in this world and what my purpose is in this life, but I know that God has a specific purpose for my life. I think writing this blog and sharing my thoughts and feelings about various things has helped me to learn a lot about who I am and who I wish I could grow to be. For a long time I felt like God didn’t give me a talent or at least he didn’t make me talented in a variety of areas like most of my family members, but writing this blog has helped me to realize that expressing myself in writing is something that I’m pretty good at and maybe that’s my talent.

Each time I post something here on Perspective By Zena T. I hope that it is something that in some significant way helps the lives of those reading my words, because I want my life to help others. Looking back on my blog posts throughout 2018 I realize that I have written a lot about how the negative things going on in this world affect me and my thoughts. I hope that in the new year God will inspire me to write about much more positive subjects. I always try to be someone who attempts to spread love, kindness, and compassion to others and I don’t think there was very much of those things being spread around the world throughout the 365 days of this year and I just couldn’t deal with all the hatred that was being spread around so I needed to write about it just to purge it from my mind. I have tried my best to be 100% honest about my thoughts and feelings about whatever it is that I am writing about. At times throughout this year I have felt like maybe I write about grieving my father a bit too but I have decided that it is impossible for me to write about my daddy too much. His death had a tremendous effect on my life and I write about him because it’s cathartic for me and I hope to help other people who are grieving their fathers or other loved ones.

One of my favorite quotes is by Nelson Mandela, it says “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” My constant prayer is that God will use my life to put some good into the world. I want to provide some positive light in the lives of others. Through my writing this year I have actually taught myself a valuable lesson and that is to try to stop being so critical of myself. I feel like God is constantly working on me and molding me into who he wants me to be. I hope that those of you who have chosen to read my words throughout this year have learned a little bit about who I am and I hope that something you have read has brightened your perspective. Thank you for all of your kind and thought provoking comments on my posts. In 2019, I hope to make my blog better by writing more often and continuing to share my honest thoughts on everything under the sun. I hope that you all will continue to take a moment to look at life from my perspective.

That’s just my perspective!💜

I hope that the 365 days of 2019 bring you and your loved ones all the love, joy, happiness & prosperity your hearts and hands can hold.💜

No Christmas Spirit But Grateful #57

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It’s Christmas Eve and I’m feeling a lot of emotions, but festive and the so called Christmas spirit just isn’t on the list. This morning when I got up I just wanted to close my eyes again, get back under the cover and sleep the day away. I just wasn’t feeling right. I thought maybe it’s because today is Monday. I set on the bed and said to myself “ok Zena, you’ve got to snap out of whatever this is, you have lived to nearly the end of another year and that’s something to be upbeat and grateful about.” The self pep talk didn’t help because I was still feeling like Scrooge in a grumpy mood, even after an unsolicited hug from my nephew. I realized that no matter how hard I try to not allow myself to get in this bad mood, it happens every year since my daddy died. Holidays just aren’t the same for me anymore. I don’t know about anyone else in my family, but I always feel my daddy and my granddaddy’s absence even though they’ve both been deceased for twenty years. Holiday family dinners haven’t even been the same for me since their deaths, because at some point during my time with my family I always began to feel their absence. I always try to hide it, because I am not sure how anyone else feels therefore I don’t want to ruin any of our precious moments together because I can’t seem to step out of the pit of grieving.

Today I decided to try my best to just snap out of the Scrooge mood, but boy oh boy is that extremely difficult to do. I know that I will always miss my loved ones whose earthly journeys have ended, but I am still here which according to my beliefs means that God still has tasks for me to complete here on Earth. I have several loved ones still here with me and I am going to enjoy the precious time that I am allowed by God to spend with them. I promised myself that this year during the holidays I am going to enjoy spending time with the people that I love the most in the world and I trust that it’s a reciprocal love. I am going to enjoy watching my mother get her Christmas and birthday gifts all on the same day, although her birthday is two days after Christmas. I am going to enjoy my awesome godfather using his incredible sense of humor to constantly keep our time together filled with laughter, although the other half of his comedy show is missing (my daddy). I am going to enjoy receiving my two dollar bill and bottle of Welch’s grape juice from one of my favorite people, my Aunt Zel. I am going to enjoy watching my 94 year old grandmother just enjoying all of her offspring and being ruler over us all. I am going to enjoy every dish that the taste bud magician (my Aunt Sonja) prepares for dinner. I am going to enjoy just listening to whatever intellectual conversation my Aunt Diane brings to the table. Most of all during the holidays I am going to enjoy spending time with my five year old nephew, I know watching him open his Christmas gifts will put a smile on my face and some much needed joy in my heart.

I vow to myself to try not to dwell on how much I wish my deceased loved ones were still here to enjoy Christmas dinner with us or how much I miss having the light that my daddy and my granddaddy provided in my life. I am going to try to focus on the tremendous love that I have in my life because of my family and friends. Sometimes I feel like I am being ungrateful because I can’t seem to stop focusing on how I wish my deceased loved ones were still alive, especially my daddy because I feel like I need him so much, but I am as grateful as one can be for my life and for all of the amazing people in my life who represent so much of what’s good in this world to me. I just feel like the holidays and many other aspects of my life would be so different if death had not visited my family twenty years ago.

On Christmas Day I think if I find myself slipping into that sadness which causes the grumpy Scrooge in me to emerge I’ll find a quiet place to be alone, just me and my thoughts. Maybe someone out there in the world reading my thoughts here on my blog can help me fix myself. How do you get pass the changes that the death of loved ones brings to your life? It’s been twenty years and I have yet to figure it out.

That’s just my perspective!💜

From me & my family to you and yours I hope that you have a very very Merry Christmas. 🎄

Thoughts & Prayers #55

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth Psalms 145:18ESV

It’s been another one of those weeks when it seems like every time the phone rang it was with news of the death of someone who has been a part of my journey throughout this life. It’s always interesting to me that death makes me think more in depth about life. I’ve been thinking about how whenever something tragic happens in a person’s life the people around them will say that they’re in their thoughts and prayers. I often wonder if the sentence “you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers” is something that has become commonplace to say, because we don’t know exactly what to say when tragedy arises in the lives of those around us. I question if people really pray for me when they’ve said those words to me.

“You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers” was a statement that I heard a lot when my daddy died, even then I remember thinking to myself “yeah right you’re just saying that, you’re not really going to pray for me.” I only have a handful of people in my life who I truly feel keep me in their thoughts and prayers no matter what. I am honestly guilty of saying those words to people because I just didn’t know what else to say and I honestly planned on saying a word of prayer for them but simply forgot. It was never because I didn’t mean it or because I didn’t care about what was going on in the life of the person that I said it to, it was simply because I forgot to place them in my prayers. That probably seems awful of me, but I’m human and I forget things sometimes.

These days I’ve gotten in the practice of whispering a word or two of prayer as soon as I tell someone that they will be in my thoughts and prayers, because the older I get, the more I believe in and understand the importance of prayer. I feel like it’s a statement that shouldn’t be thrown around as often as it is simply because you don’t know what’s best to say in certain situations. I guess maybe I am just not one hundred percent trusting of people to do what they say they are going to do, but I would prefer that people not tell me what they think I need to hear in the moment if they aren’t truly going to keep me in their thoughts and pray for me. I hope that I am wrong the next time someone tells me I’ll be in their thoughts and prayers and I think to myself sarcastically “yeah sure you will” because it’s a blessing to have people think enough of you to say a pray for you.

That’s just my perspective!💜

Disheartened, Frustrated & Angry #54

img_0685Lately I’ve really been struggling with what to share with you all. I think in the last week, almost two I’ve been subconsciously distracting myself to refrain from sharing anything on my blog, because I just haven’t had anything uplifting, enlightening or inspiring to share. As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy so I’ve decided that as usual I’ll just be honest with my blog family, hoping that someone will understand my feelings. Some of you may even be feeling the same way.

I have spent the last few months wishing that God had made me a little different. I wish that God had not made me a person who is so deeply affected by everything that is going on in the world around me. I really don’t want to keep writing about all the extreme negativity going on in the world, specifically in the United States, but unfortunately right now that’s what is constantly on my mind. Several of you in my blog family know me personally and know that I am not a hate filled person. I am a quiet person who tries to live life getting along with all others even if I disagree with something you’ve done or said I try to avoid conflict with others. I feel like most of the time I am pretty easy to get along with. I wish it was that simple for everyone.

Last Saturday I laid in bed once again watching news coverage of yet another mass shooting, I’m sure many of you were watching. Since I am being honest I have to admit that I laid in bed crying because I’m so tired of living in a world where people use guns to murder other human beings simply because they believe in something different or because they are of another race. A week earlier there was the man who decided to make and send bombs to politicians through the mail, thank God that situation wasn’t as horrific as it could have been. Oh let’s not forget the two people who were killed in Kentucky simply because they were two African Americans at the grocery store. Yes, that’s the world we are living in, all of that happened within what, a week.

I just do not understand how someone can be so filled with hate that they want to kill others simply because they are different in some way. I wish that I understood what’s going on in not only the United States, but all over the world, the hatred that exist is appalling to me. Why is it that we don’t take the time to understand each other? We are all so vastly different and in 2018 nearing 2019 there are still people in this country and in this world who can’t seem to understand or maybe just refuse to accept it. Apparently that’s the way that God wanted things to be, God made us all in his image (read Genesis 1:27) obviously God didn’t mean for us all to be exactly the same.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Let no man pull you low enough to hate.” I don’t want to live my life hating anyone for any reason and as naïve as it may seem I wish I could cure all the hate that has existed in this world for far too many generations. We live in a time where you aren’t completely safe anywhere, not your house of worship or your own home. It makes me angry and sad all at once. Something is wrong in this world and we have got to fix it. The hate and division has got to come to an end.

I really don’t have the vocabulary or full capacity to tell you all just how massively frustrated I am with the state of this country and the world around me. I want my five year old nephew to be growing up in a better world. I know that right now he doesn’t even understand any thing other than the life of a happy kindergartener, he’s not yet focused on what’s happening in the world around him, but by the time that he is I want this country and this world to be so much better. In ten years when my nephew is a teenager I don’t want him to be living in a world where young African American males are being killed by the police or where young people who have been bullied choose to go into their schools and murder their teachers and classmates. I don’t want my nephew living in a world where Jewish people are afraid to go and worship at their synagogue or where African American people go to Wednesday night bible study and can’t be Christ-like choosing to invite in a stranger because that stranger just might be a young man who has been taught to hate and has malicious intentions. I want my nephew and all the children in this country and throughout the world to have better leaders who actually genuinely care about the welfare of others. I am angry and frustrated because the world has been in this state for far too long and it doesn’t seem to be any change near, it seems each day its only getting worse. Change has to come soon, its imperative.

That’s just my perspective!💜

Rainy Day Rollercoaster Ride #50

img_0576I’ve made a list of a variety of topics that I might want to write about for my 50th blog post, but none of those things are on my mind today. On this rainy Wednesday, what’s on my mind and in my heart is the subject that you all know is never far from my mind and always in my heart, my daddy. You all probably get tired of reading about him, but I never get tired of writing about him.

I can’t remember the name of the blog, but earlier this week I read another blogger’s story about the death of her best friend and how she was feeling about it. I left a comment telling her that I hope that writing is therapeutic for her, because grief is a never ending process that can take your life on a scary rollercoaster ride of emotions all in one day.

I feel like it has been nearly twenty years since that Wednesday evening that my daddy left this life and I should be over it, but my mind seems to be stuck in time. I’ve tried as best I can to shake it but I just can’t get that day out of my mind, I can even remember things that I did at school that day well before the hour of daddy’s death.

Today as I began to prepare to write my blog post, I thought to myself, “I wonder if my daddy would be proud of me and my blogging journey, I wonder if he would be proud that I finally found something that I am passionate about and I wonder if Daddy would be proud of the person that I’ve become since his death.” That thought brought along a myriad of emotions for the rest of the day.

I will never forget how happy my daddy was that day, he had been so sick the previous week and my momma had to take him to the emergency room exactly a week before, so it was really great to see Daddy back to his normal self, joking about everything. There was no way to tell that it would be the last day of his earthly life. No son or daughter should have to go through what my brother and I went through that evening, I don’t understand why that was God’s plan for us at 11 and 16 years old. Why did we have to bare seeing our daddy laying over the steering wheel completely lifeless after having a massive heart attack in the car that we rode all over town with him in. I apologize if that’s too graphic for you, but it’s our reality. Can you all imagine how I felt walking out of my high school to witness that, the feeling hasn’t gone away. He was feeling so good that day, why is he gone now? I asked that question for a long time afterwards.

Nearly 20 years later I realize that Daddy died at the moment, second, minute, and hour that God had already chosen for him but that realization really doesn’t make me feel any better. I miss him and I feel like the deep pain in my heart isn’t ever going away, it hurts so bad and I just want it to go away so I can feel better. I probably shouldn’t be sharing all of this on the internet, but I figure maybe someone who is stuck on the rollercoaster ride called grief like I am may need to know that someone else understands. There may be another daughter out there whose father has left this life and she is hurting because regardless of age daughters need their fathers just as sons do, well maybe that daughter needs to know that her struggle is understood.

My daddy was such an awesome person and a great daddy who loved wholeheartedly, I feel like a part of me left this life along with him. I think I may have written about it before, but my daddy’s death has made me love, value and worry about my mother more than I did twenty years ago. I’ve become very protective of her, at times probably a bit overly protective. One of my daily prayers is that God gives my mother longevity in this life. I ask that of God a few times a day, although I know death is inevitable thinking about having to experience her death only adds to the soul deep pain that I already feel. I want to get off of this rollercoaster ride called grief and never have to get back on it.

That’s just my perspective!💜

Finding Moments Of Contentment #49

On my message of encouragement that I have started trying to post weekly on my social media accounts that I created to accompany this blog, I wrote about the ways that I try to encourage myself when I have allowed life to make me feel overwhelmed and frustrated. I believe that it is so important to develop ways to encourage yourself when all of the trials we encounter in this life overwhelm and frustrate you. In this life, we are all going through something and sometimes its necessary to encourage yourself because you can’t depend on anyone else to do it for you.

6550C2A4-D01B-4C68-979B-EEB474497C3BIt was last weekend when I realized that I can find contentment in overwhelming times. Lately I have been feeling like I’ve been running on empty. I have been dealing with some health problems and just feel very discouraged and overwhelmed with a million of life’s issues on my mind. I had a moment of contentment last weekend. It was a bright and sunny, beautiful weekend. The fact that I got a chance to spend some much needed bonding time with my nephew Tristan, made the beautiful weekend even better. He arrived Friday evening, cranky after a long day of being a Kindergartner so he didn’t want to have much interaction with me and I was not offended.

Saturday morning I woke up with Tristan asleep next to me, I couldn’t move even if I wanted to because he was literally almost under me. I am sure if you have a little person around his age (5) in your life then you know just the position I was in. I think little children turn into gold medal winning Olympic gymnasts while they are asleep. I laid there a little uncomfortable yet feeling a sense of contentment, because laying directly next to me was this incredible little boy who in just five years has brought an infinite amount of joy into my life. I couldn’t move, all I could do was smile.

180717_120050_27Once Tristan woke up we spent the next few hours of Saturday morning watching Bubble Guppies together, neither of us had a care in the world. It is amazing how a child can bring so much joy into your life and remind you of what’s really important in life. During my nephew’s visit I didn’t think about all the issues that I had been overwhelmed by, all that mattered was spending time with the best nephew in the world, that was contentment for me.

That’s just my perspective!💜

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An Abyss Of Negativity #47

juan-davila-221687-unsplashWhen I go into my quiet space to sit down and concentrate on writing, the first thing I do is pray that God will give me the words that he wants me to share with others. I also pray that the words I share will somehow have a positive effect on those who choose to read them. I also hope to not repeat myself too often, but I guess if God places a certain topic on my mind more than once it needs to be repeated.

For the last two days, I’ve been having a really difficult time coming up with a positive subject to write about, because honestly what consumes my mind these days isn’t very positive. I’m not sure that today’s perspective will have a positive impact on anyone. Everyday when I open my eyes from a night’s sleep I say a silent prayer thanking God for giving me another day of life and I attempt to start the day with a grateful heart, because I believe that God allowing me to wake up to see the light of another day on this planet means that I haven’t fulfilled his purpose for my life yet. I don’t know about you but I feel like that’s something to be extremely grateful for.

I try to live my life being someone who gives love, kindness, and compassion and treats everyone as I would like to be treated. It seems like I am living in a world where not everyone tries to be kind. I feel like I’m trying to be a positive minded person while almost suffocating in an abyss of negativity. When I look at the world outside of my family and my comfort zone there seems to be more negativity than there is positivity. It’s like I said in perspective #24, we’re living in a world that is unnecessarily divided and it doesn’t make any sense to me.

It seems to me that everything that makes us who we are, is also the things that divide us and I don’t understand that. Our race divides us. Our socioeconomic status divides us. Our educational backgrounds divide us. Our career choices divide us. Our sexual orientation divides us. Our faith/religious beliefs and political views divide us. Sometimes I feel like the only thing that makes us similar is that we’re all human beings who can’t seem to accept one another and live together in peace. I am guilty of having judged other people for some of those things that I said divides us, but as I grow and mature personally I am trying to be someone who only sees another human being when I meet someone, I pray that God shapes me into someone who doesn’t make immediate judgments of anyone. I’ll admit God is still working on that part of me.

mike-wilson-21985-unsplashWe’re living in a world where so many terrible things that just should not exist or happen have become commonplace, for instance just this morning there was yet another mass shootings, this time in Ohio where three people were killed by one gunman, someone who probably should not have been allowed to purchase any kind of weapon. The national news channel that I was watching broke away from discussing the myriad of issues happening in the world of politics for only a few minutes so that an anchor could give a few details of the shooting. It’s just my opinion, but I think any time there is a loss of lives that’s a news story that deserves more than a few minutes of airtime. It’s like we’ve become immune to horrific things like shootings taking place every day, things that should be tremendously vexing have become normal occurrences that we think nothing of or that only gain our attention for a little while. I don’t ever want anyone who reads my blog to think that I am being judgmental that is never my intention. I just write about the world as I see it and right now the condition of the world, especially the United States, really bothers me, it actually makes me angry when I think about it.

I have heard a lot of people blame the current occupant of the oval office for people being so divided in America, while I am not and never will be a fan of his, I don’t think one hundred percent of the blame should be placed on him. I do however, think that he and several of the people working alongside him have rubbed a ton of salt in a wound that it seems is never going to heal, by exhibiting such contentious behavior, but we were already a country divided when he gained his title.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”I think I’ve said it many times throughout this blog and will probably say it again many times but, I very often wish that I could be the change that I’d like to see in this world. I have come to the conclusion that if we don’t all work together to make change happen then things will always remain the same or get worse.

Here I go questioning God again, but I always wonder why God allows all the horrible things that are occurring in the world to happen every day. As always I wonder if there is a lesson in it all. Is God trying to tell us something and we’re misunderstanding it. What do you think?

That’s just my perspective!💜

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It’s Really Not About Me #44

While scrolling through social media today I came across a quote that said “God can use our simple words in profound ways.” I’m not sure who the author of the quote is, but if I did know I would send that person a thank you note, because those words made me think about the many reasons that I love expressing myself through writing so much.

I recently had a conversation with my mother about why I continue to share my thoughts, feelings and life from my perspective, if you know me then you know that my mother is my sounding board, my listening ear, my advice giver, let’s just say that my mother serves a tremendous amount of roles in my life. I know that she will always be one thousand percent truthful with me even if she has to risk hurting my feelings. Ultimately I always appreciate her brutal honesty. During our conversation, I was explaining to Momma that my reason for continuing the blog has become something that even I don’t fully understand sometimes. I feel very deeply, strongly compelled to share my thoughts and feelings. My mother is the one human being who I seek validation from, her opinion on any and every thing I do means more to me than that of any other person. I said to her “Momma, does it sound crazy that I feel that sharing my perspective on life is what God wants me to do and is leading me to do?” Momma’s answer was short, she very matter-of-factly said “No, it doesn’t sound crazy.” After blogging sporadically for nearly three years and always being very apprehensive about posting very personal feelings to share with anyone in the world who chooses to read what I post, it was my mother’s validation that I needed to feel comfortable with just letting go and letting God use me for his will. I think that writing for this blog has allowed me to go through a lot of personal growth but I realize that is not the only reason that God has led me to do this.

Since I’ve been sharing my perspective on this blog I am always amazed first of all when people tell me they read it regularly and second when someone tells me that something I said within one of my posts helped them in a positive way. I know many of you amongst my loyal audience are people who have known me since I came from my mother’s womb, you all know that I am a very introverted, quiet, borderline shy young woman. I have trouble with accepting compliments, because I feel like I’m just being Zena and it’s not necessary to compliment me for that. Now, that doesn’t mean that I want you all to stop complimenting me, it just means that I don’t always know how to reply to your compliments, because honestly they sort of make me uncomfortable and make my heart happy all at the same time, I’m sure that sounds weird. I consider myself the far opposite of an attention seeker, but when someone tells me that something I have shared has made an impact on them and the way they think about life and/or the things happening around the world, well, I just don’t have the words in my vocabulary that can truly express exactly how hearing that or reading comments that express that makes me feel, it really means so much to me. I believe that making a positive impact on others is why God has led me to share my perspective and testimony about the things that I am going through or have gone through and gotten to the other side of.

This has become one of those posts that I think I will start calling my testimonial perspective posts, because it has really made me think a lot about life while writing it. It’s one of those posts that I am a little apprehensive about sharing online but I’ll share anyway. For many of my adult years so far, l have spent a lot of time thinking about and questioning my purpose and my place in this world, you all know, you read it, I am always writing about finding purpose and walking in purpose. As the tears roll while I am writing these words I realize that maybe part of God’s purpose for my life is to help others who are going through life’s trials, to look at the brighter side of things. I know from my own personal experiences that when you’re going through something difficult it can be extremely hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I’ve learned that if you just keep on walking there are always brighter days ahead. I realize that there are so many people in this world who have been through so much more than I have and are going through so much more than I do on a daily basis, but I know that God has led me to share my life in words because just one of his children needs the words that he has given me to express to the world.

That’s just my perspective!💜

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The Road To Loving Me #42

matteo-paganelli-157464-unsplashI always have a really hard time when God lays something very personal on my heart to share with my Perspective By Zena T. readers and this has been one of the most difficult perspectives for me to put into words thus far. As always I pray that God has given me the words that he wants me to share with others, even if I don’t fully understand why he fills my mind and heart with certain words to share.

A couple days ago I saw a snippet of an interview that the entertainer Bobby Brown did recently, the interviewer asked him the question “what’s one lesson that you’ve learned that has aided in you being able to move on from all the bad times in your life?” Bobby Brown’s reply to this question was “learning to love myself.” I thought that was a very profound statement. Hearing those four words made me think about how the journey towards completely loving one’s self is not always an easy journey and I started to reflect upon how I feel about myself. I am at a place in life where I am able to admit that learning to love myself completely has been a gradual, endless process that at times goes at snail’s pace with many setbacks. Honestly right now at thirty-six years old I think I am just beginning to accept myself yet I am still trying to figure out who I am. I’m not even sure that makes any sense. There are many things that I love about the person that I am but after reflecting upon it I am just not sure I honestly love myself as wholeheartedly as one should.

nick-fewings-532590-unsplashPlease don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all saying that I don’t love myself, let me repeat that, I am not at all saying that I don’t love myself, I just feel like there are parts of me that are easier for me to accept and love than other parts are. I think I’m a great girl who has a good heart with a big capacity for love, caring, kindness, compassion and many other good characteristics. The reason that I say I’m not sure if I love myself as wholeheartedly as one should is because I always find myself asking God “why” in regards to who I am and my life. Why can’t I do this or that? Why can’t I be like this person or that person? Why did I have to be born with Spina Bifida? Why do I have to have so many health trials? Why am I such a deeply sensitive person? Why am I antisocial? Why can’t I be a better daughter, sister and friend? I’m not downing myself and I don’t want anyone to think that, I’m just telling you what God has placed on my heart and being truthful with myself and anyone reading this.

I have come to realize that there are parts of myself that I’ve always had a great deal of difficulty accepting therefore I am not able to thoroughly love all parts of me. I always feel like although there are things I don’t like and/or love about me and my life I am grateful for my life, but I wonder if having problems with parts of me ultimately makes me an ungrateful person, which isn’t who I want to be. I am beginning to recognize the fact that I dwell too much on my imperfections and not enough on the good parts of who I am. I admire confident people who seem to be in a place where they have learned to wholeheartedly love themselves, imperfections & all and are completely comfortable walking through life in the skin that God placed them in. I pray that God continues to work with me on my journey toward completely loving myself and allows me to some day look in the mirror and wholeheartedly love the person looking back at me and who he made me to be.

That’s just my perspective!💜