Life

Lesson Learned

Quote by Tony Gaskins, 2019

Found this quote in today’s Facebook memories from 2019. In the memory, I had written a long caption about how I had been reading journal entries from the 90s and discovered I hadn’t changed much. I noted that I had grown spiritually and professionally, and was also making better decisions. However, my personality, heart, and spirit hadn’t really changed. I questioned why I had not grown stronger in those areas, meaning, why hadn’t I changed? You see, those were the areas that made me feel inadequate around others. That made me feel vulnerable in certain situations. That made me love harder than I should have. You would think 30 years would’ve made a difference, but it hadn’t.

That was two years ago. Here I am today, same personality, heart, and spirit. At first I asked myself why these characteristics hadn’t changed. You see, over the years I have tried to change them. Tried not to be so sentimental or emotional. Tried not to wear my heart on my sleeve. Tried to fit in by being less silly and more poised. Yeah.. I tried to be everything I wasn’t, everything I’m not. Then it hit me, those aren’t weaknesses. Those are my strengths. They don’t need to be changed. They need to be embraced. The only reason I continue to feel vulnerable while embracing them is because I’m trying to get others to embrace them as well. I guess you can say I’m having an “AHA” moment. Maybe that’s the lesson Tony Gaskins was referring to. I will never be able to move to the next level as long as continue to remain in the presence of those who do not fully accept Shaun. Umm… I believe it’s time to re-evaluate my circle. What’s that old saying– “If it don’t fit, don’t force it.” I will no longer try to force myself to fit where I’m not embraced. Period!

Thanks for reading!

Shaun

Life

2020 – What A Year!

Yes… What a year! Listen, I have to confess, I had the idea of reblogging last year’s end of the year blog and adding an overcomer’s intro– “This is where I was but God brought me out!” Sorry to disappoint or save you– it’s not going to happen. This time last year, I was really down and depressed. Had good reasons to be, but WOW! I had no idea I was that far gone. With that said, I will acknowledge that was where I was; however, I am so grateful I am no longer there. This year I am going to end things on a high note, you know, just in case I decide to reblog it next year. Gotta be intentional. Lol! Here we go:

First, and utmost importantly, I would like to thank God for all of His wonderful blessings. I cannot lie, He has been so good to me! Instead of giving a detailed review about everything He’s done, I will only highlight some of the key moments-

March 2020 – Purchased my home.
May 2020 – Decided to make my blogs public.
June 2020 – Turned 47 and decided to be my true, authentic self.
August 2020 – Invited to be a contributing author in a book anthology.
September 2020 – Became the Principal Investigator on one of my research projects.
October 2020 – Did my first live interview promoting myself. It was for the book, but it was all about me.
November 2020 – Did another presentation for the same company that left me feeling inadequate for two years. (That was major! Had to face that bull head on.)
December 2020 – Decided to live my life to its fullest! No regret!!

Needless to say, I don’t know what 2021 holds. None of us do. However, I will say I’m entering 2021 with open arms, an open mind, and an open heart, expecting to receive more blessings than hurts. Yeah, I’m entering 2021 knowing that whatever comes and whatever goes, God’s got me. That he will NEVER leave me.

Before I end, I wanted to share this with you. It’s a little off topic, but, for me, it is so timely. Wanted to write it here in case I don’t get around to adding it to A Research Diva’s Journey. Again, being intentional. So, I’m reading this book about the United Nations, “The Case for Humanity: An Extraordinary Session” by Yasmine Sherif. It’s about the underlying founding principles of the United Nations – vision, hope, peace, love, and humanity – everything I’m passionate about. Y’all, it is so important that we do not allow negativity to obscure our vision for the future. Listen, no matter how dismal things may appear, please embrace the positive and hold on to hope. In the words of the great Reverend Jesse Jackson, “Keep hope alive!”

That’s all I have for you today. Going to end with a quote from the book.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done. There is no passion found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela

My word for 2021 is “Live!” Can’t you hear Tim McGraw singing, “Live like you were dying.” I can.

Happy New Year’s Eve!!

Be blessed!

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday

Final Sunday of 2020

Well y’all, we have finally made it to the final Sunday in 2020. Woohoo!! I’m not going to lie, it is a little bittersweet. Seems like I was just getting used to so many unexpectedly, weird things happening– good and bad. Now we are moving on.

So we say we are ready for 2021, but are we? Just to be sure we are somewhat prepared, I am going to end this Hello Sunday with a prayer for 2021:

Lord, please prepare us for whatever lies ahead– good or bad. Open our hearts and minds so that we are receptive of every blessing you have in store for us; and give us the strength to reject any- and everything that might cause us harm. Lord, shower us with your unconditional love, mercy and grace. Drench us with so much love and peace that we forget about the pains and heartaches of 2020. Lord, please give us the boldness to embrace our worth and walk in our purpose. Let others experience your love through us. Last, but not least, please heal our nation. We need You. Amen

I love y’all! Looking forward to celebrating a prosperous 2021 together.

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday

I love how I set out to write one thing and moments into writing I decide to change directions. Whatever I was going to write can be written another time. It’s not like it was something spectacular. Lol!

Yesterday I reposted a Facebook memory from 2018. It read-

Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the same exact place next year as you are today.

Yeah, failure isn’t that scary. Failure means at least I tried. However, being stagnant.. not moving forward.. not taking chances.. means waking up 20 years from now realizing I allowed opportunities to pass by because I was too afraid to try. Now that’s scary!

Just know, this time next year I will not be in this same exact place. I will be somewhere different. Not sure where– not even concerned about where– but I know it won’t be here. I have work to do. Goals to achieve. Moving forward is not an option, it’s necessary.

Evolving.

Shaun

Life

Enjoying the Ride

Since I’m awake I might as well write. December 2020 is finally here. Y’all, we made to the end of the year!

A year ago I shared the attached quote on Facebook. The last sentence says, “And even if you lose, you just can’t lose.” Hmm…

Yesterday I was in a mood. A friend and I were texting about how we remember things versus how they actually happened. I told her that my journal entries always set me straight. I recall things one way, then go back and read journal entries from that period. Almost half of the time my recollections are not quite the way I remembered. Sometimes I was hurt far worse than I remembered, or loved much harder than I remembered. After texting her a few examples of what I thought happened versus what really happened, she said, “Don’t you wish you could go back with the knowledge you have now.” Well, that one statement put me in a mood. For hours all I could think about was why didn’t I do this or that. Why did things not happen for me? Y’all, I wasted hours thinking about things that happened over the last 20+ years. Talk about crazy! Unfortunately, I fell asleep feeling a little down. However, I woke up to several encouraging messages to include this memory.

Even though I looked back and thought about how I could have done things differently, it wasn’t meant to be. What was meant to be, is. I wanted more. My vision was higher and still is. I refused to settle. So yes, I suffered heartbreaks and what seemed like failures, but my story is not over. I only have one life and I refuse to settle for less than God’s absolute best. So am I losing? Nah.. I’m winning!

God is good. Enjoying the ride!

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (KJV)

We have exactly five Sundays, and almost six weeks, left in 2021. As I mentioned in my last blog, I cannot take old baggage into 2021. This includes old habits and thoughts.

At the end of last year, many of us claimed we were ready for 2020, the year of 20/20 Vision. However, most of us were not prepared for what we asked. I mean, were you prepared for this kind of clarity? I know I wasn’t. I believe this pandemic has been an eye opener for most of us. It has brought out the best in some people and the worst in others. It has revealed which relationships were worth saving and which ones to let go. For many of us, 2020 shifted our focus from the things we thought we were lacking, to our abundance of blessings. It also exposed our strengths and weaknesses, in which many of us have taken advantage of working on. Y’all, 20/20 Vision is what we asked for and God delivered.

As I said, I will not take old baggage into 2021. Which means I need to start working on eliminating them now. Here is my plan:

  • Make every moment count. I plan to be more intentional about how I spend my time.
  • Stop wasting time entertaining negative vibes. I will make a conscious effort to turn negative situations into positive ones.
  • Purposefully speak life into myself as well as others.
  • Say “Yes” to opportunities I want to do and “No” to the ones I don’t. Here’s the catch, saying “no” cannot be attached to fear. In those situations I will say “Yes!” I must do it afraid.
  • Lastly, however most importantly, allow God to lead and give Him complete control. I’m not going to lie, just saying “give Him complete control” is a little scary. Like, what does that mean and what will He do? Well, I just have to trust Him. He has never let me down nor left me, so why does this seem like the hardest to do?

I believe my plan is doable. Seriously, I have no desire continuously repeating the same things from years past. 2020 brought clarity. 2021 will bring prosperity. Speaking it. Claiming it.

How do you plan to bring in 2021? Will you leave old baggage behind? Will you start prepping today or will you wait until New Year’s Eve? Remember, you only have six weeks.

Stay safe and be blessed!

Shaun