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Enduring Hope

Psy has Gangam style, rabbits have carrots, T-Chainz has gold, but what do you have when you don’t know what to do?

I’d hope you’d choose HOPE. Hope is your connector in facing what you see in the physical versus what you know to be true. Keep your dream alive and keep moving forward!

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The Front Porch: The Waiting Room by Danita Ogandaga

Front porches are so quaint and serve as a beautiful introduction to a home. I like to think of front porches as a waiting room of sort. Some overflowing with rocking chairs and plants and some bear with a single chair. I am sure that many people have had an awesome experience in life while sitting on the porch. For those friends of mine that may be from various sections of the world, the porch is defined as a structure attached to the exterior of a building often forming a covered entrance. The definition is solid but does no justice for the cultural symbolism that a porch holds for the American and their front porch. The porch fosters an amazing connection between nature and land, safety and security, the level of control one has between the world and the domain of his or her home.

Formation of Community- Growing up on Desmond Street in Kinston, North Carolina was an amazing experience. To the left of my street would be the Koonce, Dillahunt, and Platt families and to the right of me would be the Rhem, King, and Smith families. Whether the weather was cold or hot, you could be sure that at some point of the day, you would have a member of those family members sitting on that porch. Before I could even walk, my mother and my father would always encourage me to greet my neighbors when coming out of the house and getting into the car. The idea of offering a greeting was a sign of respect and reverence for the neighbors who assisted in creating community on my street.

Porches have been creating venues for socialization for many years which has lead to the formation of community. I remember the farmers coming into town stopping on my street and watching my mom go to the porch to purchase her vegetables and fruits. There were times when my father would give the payment for our life insurance policy to the agent….on the porch. We would venture off of our porch and walk to the porch of our new neighbors who moved into the community. The porch was the holding space that fostered much opportunity to building lasting friendships; building familiarity beyond the sidewalk and not yet achieving the intimacy of entering the house. It was overall, a healthy balance of a new beginning.

Nurturing the Psychiatric Core- My parents were ministers, so I was a PK (Preacher’s Kid) two times over. Still, I witnessed several occasions where my parents would counsel married couples, engaged couples, and family issues on the porch. The furniture on the porch got a lot of wear and tear from our family as we would use the porch as a common ground to air the issues were facing as a family in addition to celebrating the positive moments like birthdays, holidays, and other events.

Families use the porch as a common ground to resolve issues about which kid knocked the hose over and how it would be resolved. The porch was a civil arena where people could come with no reservations to establish a non-threatening environment for creative resolutions to making everything better. Bringing the neighborhood and the community together and provoking opportunities to invoke awareness and prompt care, the porches of the world, whether public or private, are a waiting room for change.

This weekend, my family and I were engaged in our weekend activities which included the following, to name a few:

Visiting family members for Tally to play with her cousins
Taking a trip to our International Farmer’s Market
Business meetings with clients
Courting at our local cafe
Walking a trail at our local park
Checking out or returning books at our local library

In the midst of doing all of this traveling and back and forth, while out visiting our Aunt and Uncle in the northern part of Georgia, we realized that while attempting to get to their home early, we were locked out and did not want to wait in the car. So instead of complaining, we just took the time to take the funny pictures, get in sneezing matches due to the pollen affects, sing our favorite songs, and just look into each other’s eyes and just be……one, with each other. It was such an awesome experience to be able to take the time to star gaze into each other’s eyes…..that was until we realized that the door was open and our Aunt and Uncle had entered the house from the rear and had been waiting for us to come in for about twenty minutes! It was hilarious, but the time we spent on that pollen- filled porch was priceless!

Enjoy your family; enjoy your porch!

My 2012 Twitter Book: 101 Ways to Happy: Expressive Therapy Come True

Get Grateful, Not Green!

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The term “green with envy” has been a well known phrase on the market for years. A search back to the origin proved to originate back in biblical times when Cain killed his brother Abel over their birthright which created the first murder in the history of the Earth house.

When we deal with situations in life where we believe that someone should not have what we want. For those of you who have had a strong desire to have something, there often was nothing that we would not do in order to obtain that thing. Sure, we may not have thought about the extremes of murder and bodily harm; but the issues of motive, consequences, and confrontation all come into play because the end result is having that “thing” in your possession even if it means leaving the possession of someone else.

Let’s look at a practical definition of jealousy: The fears and anxieties a person hoards due to the attention being given to or by someone special to them or the possessions a person has which create threats to self-esteem and resentment.

Motive plays a major part in creating an obstacle to being grateful for what we have and not resorting to the intense feelings of jealousy which cause us to covet another’s possessions. When you were growing up, do you remember being deprived of many things that it created an enormous feeling of anger and the desire to want to accumulate whatever you could. Do you remember having the mindset that by any means necessary you would obtain what you wanted? It could be attention, clothing, praise, information, or whatever the sort. Motives are the drivers to why we do the things that we do…..in essence, the human behavior that we exhibit on a regular basis which are comprised of our thoughts, actions, and habits.

Once you walk out the gestures of ungratefulness and head to jealously and being envious, consequences will follow. Just as the wages of drinking too much alcohol lead to a massive hangover, the result of being envious create a hostile never ending environment with tension within yourself. A daily assessment of self will prove to never be enough to make the bar of approval simply because there is an irresistible resentment and lingering lack of self-esteem to grab your net and fish for the purpose, passion, or things that create a sense of inner peace. Envy turns your motivated grateful eyes to green!

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Selah…….take a coffee or a tea and marinate on this topic because it’s sometimes subtle and if not dealt with can create some immense gravity issues that manipulate your equilibrium.

Having taken the time to evaluate yourself–maybe you find yourself in a fragile state and are ready to confront your truth that you are not as strong as you think and despite your efforts, you still have hang-ups that you were not chosen to be Charlie’s girl or Becky did not ask you out coffee. Perhaps you realize that our front is up and you are on to yourself recognizing that you have gotten surfed up into the tides of envy and jealousy and want to come back to your senses of gratefulness, that space where you are so in tune with your storehouse of blessings from God himself and the perpetual thought track that a continual supply will always flow for you.

Let’s conquer, or at least begin to conquer the envy through confrontation with the following reflections:

  1. Go to the ROOT- Are you aware of what emotions and thoughts that you go through when that feeling? Do you find yourself being overdosed with constant episodes of the Kafashians or the Reeking Housewives of Refuse? Is a picture being painted before you where you are inundated with what you believe is an unattainable lifestyle causing you to consistently believe that you have absolutely nothing going for yourself? Well, simply get up out of your seat and turn the TV. Turn it off! The Jones’s have been replaced on the Plasma and the new kids on the block have hefty sponsors who ensure that followers crave for the vision they are telling on the tel-e-vision. 
  2. Call it out– NO, I am not saying have “laying on the hands experience” necessarily, but locate yourself. Truth in the inward parts is so essential for obtaining your healing so start with truth. If you must journal it, scream it, speak it, or whatever, get it out and do not allow these harmful emotions to rot your spirit, soul, and mind. Tell it all to God because he knows anyway. Once your establish and commit to truth, the process for healing has begun and you open yourself up to be ready to take the necessary steps to healing from this vile emotion.
  3. Build a Fortress of Security- Create the time to do things that affirm your identity in being the most authentic you that you can be. Building your worth and setting personal goals ensure your focus on a more positive direction than consistently reminding you of what you do not have. Reminding yourself that you are unique and loved by God makes all of the difference. In addition, filling yourself up with scriptures which complement what God says about you can assist you on those days that you wish to compare yourself to others and desire to walk in their shoes. A couple of my favorite scrips are 1 Corinthians 3:3, Psalm 73:3, and Galatians 5:25-26

Getting free takes one step at a time. God is your source of strength and He will assist you in seeking truth. Being grateful is such an awesome experience because you always create a window of opportunities that can be available to you. God can work with that, so get grateful, not green!

This article is copyrighted by DanitaOgandaga.com.

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