I’m TRANS… formed!

Let them be confused about who you are now! (Divine Misunderstanding)

– DR. courtney m. bradley

When you look at the transgender community, you’ll see a people who are fully persuaded about their lifestyle. They are passionate about transformation and “becoming”. Similar to Michelle Obamas book, there’s a whole process to endure as you evolve into what is new and who you were intended to be.

It’s high time that the body of Christ adapts that mentality as well be tenacious about our walk. So what if people are stuck on who you used to be? Let them be confused about who you are now. Be bold about your stance and choice in Christ. Endure the process, go to great lengths and be excited about your original self being introduced to you. Be transformed unapologetically!

Support Me

God has made everyone unique, a wonderful dynamic of diversity. However, we often forget that concept. Our perspectives are often selfish, limited, biased, partial, cloudy, culturally based, or just shaped by the norms of our environments.

 Many have lost valuable relationships based on our lack of understanding. We forget that premise is correct, we are all different. We all vary in definitions and have peculiar perspectives, life encounters, influences, and environments. What’s common to you may be foreign to another. We tend to go to what and who feels familiar, a form of social subconscious bias. We tend to cling to people with whom we find the most commonalities. We naturally and sometimes intentionally avoid and reject all that is different from us that we may have challenges accepting. Sometimes the person or perspective challenges us. We don’t grow or expand our horizons sticking to what we know but rather live a life boxed in.

Even within our own circles, we have boxed-in mentalities that comes with a series of expectations. It’s not that others let us down; they were being themselves, but what let us down was our own expectations. We have monologues with ourselves (lacking communication) and say, “we’re close you “should know this and that”. This is why communication is essential to any form of interaction. Not everyone shows visible expressions of how they feel, not everyone is verbally expressive, and not everyone is emotionally intelligent. We must speak with each other.

The most common topic on people’s minds, posts, statuses, and conversations is … ME. I know Beyonce sang “Me, myself and I… that’s all I got in the end, that’s what I found out”. Most likely a narrative of hurt from a former lover. We often take hurt and pretend to be better when everything we’re portraying is really screaming the opposite. We don’t realize that we are a self-centered generation. We can’t recognize another’s pain and that fact has contributed to the rising number of suicide cases. The surviving is left to answer

  1. What signs did I miss?
  2. Where was I?
  3. Did I do enough?
  4. Could this have been prevented? And the rabbit hole of inquiries continues on…

We are often stuck in our own world. We may have a few people inside our bubble but yet still have ridiculous standards. One I would like to address in particular is the issue of the lack of support. We all have said it at some time in our lives. “We don’t feel supported” or “I support everyone but when it’s my turn, where is everyone?”. It’s good to be self-aware and know what your needs are as long as we’re not consumed by them. By all means, know thyself. Be familiar with your own love languages as part of your hierarchy of needs (Maslow) is demanding support, encouragement, or validation. However, I have a question?… Since you are requesting to be supported, in which way did you leave the door open or grant someone access to show up? Also, did you know that nobody has to support you? It’s not a criterion for life, it’s not a prerequisite for loyalty, and here is why.

As I stated previously, we are all different and our perspectives vary. Whether it’s what you’ve taught or your own concepts about life, we don’t all see the same. Can you wear other prescription glasses? Of course not, so we would have less of an emotional battle, and decreased frustration when we learn to accept that support means different things for different people. Just because you are close to someone doesn’t mean they will automatically pick up certain facts and preferences. Some things are obvious like a parent attending their child’s recital. There should be no question of “showing up” there. However, If you have an endeavor, achieve a goal, or reach a milestone, how people respond to you will vary. You will have to accept that fact and truly be okay with it.

In business, they tell you not to see your immediate circle as your clients and they are correct. Many close to the sun are blinded and they can’t quite see you and all your majesty. They will most likely not appreciate you until it becomes “dark” and they realized you brought sunshine to their lives. A realization only reality can bring.

You cannot force or manipulate people to support you. Support will be disingenuous and might be full of responses (verbal and non-verbal) that you may not like. Oftentimes, support will come from surprising sources.

There are many pros and cons to support. If you get it, appreciate it but if you don’t just know that it doesn’t take anything away from you. You are still amazing; most gems are often hidden and need to be found by someone who is searching for value or is professionally trained to recognize it.

Here are some disadvantages of a poor support system

  1. Prone to depression
  2. Vulnerable to suicide
  3. Questioning your worth
  4. Insecurities
  5. Feelings of loneliness
  6. Lack of security
  7. Increases Anxiety
  8. Confirms self-defense mechanisms
  9. A need to be strong all the time
  10. Adaptation to handling things on your own, later unwilling to accept help
  11. Resentment
  12. Cynicism

On the other hand, here is how support can be beneficial

  1. Boosts confidence
  2. More likely to thrive and accomplish goals
  3. Gain an extra push
  4. Boosts mood
  5. Serves as a community
  6. Provides a sense of belonging
  7. Increases strength
  8. Overall health and well-being
  9. Ability to speak up about issues and concerns

In today’s climate, there are a lot of regrets and destroyed relationships due to a lack of communication. Let’s remember that support looks different for eveyrone and is defined by unique perception.

Let’s us practice exercising genuine concern empathy and tapping into our emotional intelligence. Before a demise, the signs are all there. People just don’t commit suicide because they are sad. Sometimes they are just fed up with the world and how we treat them. Life in itself can beat upon someone but support and authentic connections can make a difference. Let’s throw kindness around like confetti and be the difference that makes someone’s world different!

Dear Leader Part 1

Dear Leaders,

Mom often used this old adage… “Encouragement sweetens labor”. My Pastor says, “Lovers are not like workers, they don’t burn out!”. With that being said, it is always wise to uplift your team. It will increase morale, and confidence in their roles as well as enhance productivity.

This is not flattery or vain words to boost an ego. Sincere recognition of one’s potential and acknowledgment of one’s efforts will go a long way. Real leaders recognize future leaders and do their best to develop and guide them. When someone is in an environment that is encouraging, their potential is being watered. The grounds of their abilities are limitless. They begin to perceive the vision and mission in new ways. They love what they do and enjoy being a part of the team.

These motivated individuals are most likely to go above and beyond what’s required and often take initiative. Oftentimes, people who feel overlooked and have no sense of belonging quit, fall back, experience a decline in work ethic, have poor attitudes and the list continues. They are not bad people; every plant needs water to survive. Leadership is responsible to create, maintain and enhance the work environment. It needs to be one that is conducive to growth, and overall health with a goal to yield maximum and desired results.

Under Attack: Believer’s Warfare

My Mom warmed me about the days ahead. She advised me to know the word of God before I had to. She meant that the word would be removed or challenged. One day, I will have to defend it, it would be in my best interest to become one with it. I can say almost twenty years later, I can see everything she said manifest before me. The next attack will be on the church not necessarily via bombs and other forms of mass destruction.

Right now, the biggest allegiance and influence is the LGBTQIA+ Community. I have nothing against people’s personal and intimate choices. However, I know for sure that anything opposing that population is a direct threat to freedom, equality, human rights, nature and considered a form of bias or judgement. The body of Christ has been taking a stand and they will not compromise their values or conform. It is their right to be firm in their core values and Biblical principles.

It’s not about choosing a side but taking a stand. Everyone has the right to stand up for what they believe in, but the church is frowned upon when they do. Churches who don’t confirm to new ideologies and systems will be diametrically opposed. Thier views will be targeted and not tolerated. We are living in a society that encourages open minded behavior and that’s fine. We should all be open to everyone without discrimination. However, the glossaries of what discrimination is has transformed. Today, its blend in or stand out. The ones who fail to embrace the viewpoint of world will soon be ostracized.

There is no way that church, and state will ever see eye to eye. Politics often interferes will basic activities and community involvement creating red tape and gray areas for concession. Someone ends up compromising and when that occurs, there are repercussions. The Believers perspective does not align with the world because we are not of this world and will not conform. We are called to love without any form of nepotism or preference doesn’t say that our speech has to be symmetrical.

Before you get upset, uptight, enraged or irate. Please know that is not an attack on anyone. The point is that one group takes up precedence in this world and if we (the church) fail to embrace or accept certain lifestyles, there will be hell to pay. Yes, there are gay churches and ministry leaders everywhere and everyone has their unique voice. However, the concern is on reverse the discrimination. If a group disagrees, now they are failing to be inclusive and fail to embody Jesus’ love. That is not a mature response but a form of bullying. If everyone in a group decides to go to dinner and one person orders a burger while everyone else has chosen a healthier option, it’s not right for them to gang up on that person. That individual has their right, their choice because it’s their body. If were saying that everyone has the right to choose, then the church has a right to disagree. No debate has ever existed with both teams being “pro” everything. In life, everyone will not be on the same side. We don’t have to agree on everything however, respect should always be present.

Right now, there has been a sudden increase of Ministry leadership in the news. Many images and videos have gone viral. None of the content is inspiring or positive. Just vocal fools and fallen soldiers who made mistakes. What the world does not understand is that Christianity is a vast umbrella. It’s easy to claim and stand under whether its core values are upheld or taken seriously or not. Many use the label or identify as Christian who do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Since Christianity is widely accepted and do not have specific identifiers it’s easy to claim. Other religious groups wear certain attire, colors or garments that are significant to their culture. Christianity is Kingdom, a culture of acceptance of everyone. So, you’ll see various races, socio-economic backgrounds, status and even attire. We are very much inclusive and not exclusive to a certain race, culture or any other label. When one opens their mouth or lives a certain lifestyle, that’s how we are identified. Unfortunately, we had some horrible brand ambassadors who failed at their one job. Some of the leaders we see, may not have been called by God but took it upon themselves to lead, affecting and infecting lives. Others are just people who “fell from grace”. They made mistakes. I thought it was human to error but when you’re a Christian nobody leaves room for your humanity and the possibility that were fallible beings.

The crazy thing about it is, when one falls from grace, it mars and can disfigure the image of everyone else associated. The world has an image of perfection of the church. If we really knew Christ or His word, we would know that He perfects us daily, not asks us to be perfect; there is a difference. He comes to enhance our lives so areas of trauma, weakness or delay he makes better it’s a form of perfection. There is an unrealistic expectancy of the life we live.

Christians are to be world leaders and real-life superheroes. Expressing Gods love, light, mankind a difference, expressing benevolence and taking a stand, when necessary, not to be punks. To spread the gospel and live Christ -centered focused on the essence of Christian living. There are many authentic Christians but the few who have distorted our image, degraded leadership and, desecrated the name of God are the stories and people who are the main focus. We have forgotten the whole and put a small group under a microscope and magnified it for the world to see.

However, there is coming a time when the real Believers will be needed and whose authenticity will be contagious. There is coming a time when the church will take back its rightful place and be the pillars that the community and society at large will respect. Things are being shaken back into place and sorted and sifted. There is coming a time when we will have to make a decision about who we serve so we can no longer confuse those observing and studying our lives. The distinction will be made. In the meantime, I ENCOURAGE all believers to endure during their assignments, stay grounded in God’s word and know who you are. Remember you are an heir to the throne of Heaven. You’re a child of God whom he loves and has a plan in the midst of evil plots. You are critical to the preservation of this planet and that will never change. Keep being the light, keep spreading the gospel, keep being love. Authenticity is that flashlight in the midst of a storm, the belly of a cave or in the darkest hour.

Hero Complexities

Two sides to a Superhero complex. The one who desires to save the world and the one who needs saving.

One who needs to be saved is typically eager to cling to anyone for their moment of crisis or uncertainty. They need a moment to feel safe, seen, and protected. Oftentimes you will notice that this person has endured some type of loss, trauma, rejection, betrayal, or a wild combination of it all. They have had a hard life full of unfortunate circumstances, conditions, and unkind people.

 This person is vulnerable, sometimes gullible, and would do anything just to say that they have someone on their side. This is not a bad trait. Wanted to be accepted, covered and heard by someone is an innate human response. We are all born with the innate desire to connect, feel accepted, appreciated, and have a sense of belonging. However, on the flip side of things it’s not their fault but somehow seem to keep attracting the worse kind of people. When people recognize your desperation to belong, they would take advantage.

Many who never had a solid level of security or love early on in life tend to fall in various categories:

  • Prey- easy to manipulate, abuse and control.
  • Stoic – a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining; tolerant
  • Emotional – Ran and controlled by feelings as opposed to facts.
  • Anxious – anxiety is their GPS
  • Balanced – accepted their life events but use them as a tool to propel them forward. The highest level of relational intelligence is exhibited here.

The distressed may encounter an amazing individual(s) but the people they attract don’t realize that there is a magnetic pull. This relationship oftentimes exposes a deeper issue. It’s an attraction to people who need help because you either feel you need to save the world or can relate and operate under sympathy.

Many don’t often recognize that there is an underlying issue. There is a reason why there is a magnetic pull towards each other. The people they attract are not always bad. Sometimes they are good people. Oftentimes, it’s someone with an agenda, other times Good Samaritans who just want to make a difference and lastly the group who has been on the other side of things and want to ensure that someone is guided to a better lifestyle.

The need to be lead, covered and seen will make you vulnerable to certain things or have you acting outside your character in fear of losing that individual. It’s dangerous posture where new behaviors and traits arise. You may find yourself trying to emulate that person, protect your new Savior by any means necessary. You become their cheerleader thinking you’re on their team. Slowly becoming obsessed and see no one else during the attachment phase. Manipulation becomes easy here as you become a pawn in their game movement.

Then there are those who feel the need to save the world, protect, and coddle or enable. Having a big heart is one thing but there are also limits and boundaries not to cross.  People with the “S” on their chest tend to be strong individuals who feel a sense of obligation to lead, protect, instruct, intervene, and sometimes meddle instead of mitigating. 

Everyone is not your assignment. Its imperative with a person of the helping nature to access before proceeding. Similar to CPR protocol, it advised to check if this will be detrimental to you. Not every interaction is mutually beneficial so proceed with caution. Its important to access what your limitations are, what you are willing to do and how far you are willing to put yourself out there? Ask yourself a few questions about your motive and purpose for involvement make informed decisions moving forward. Don’t sacrifice yourself or put yourself in harms way. Be mindful that everyone does not need saving and may abuse your benevolence and kind heart.

Both parties are faced with complexities. In all things, access your part and the purpose of involvement. Am I vulnerable? A good question for both sides to ask themselves and what’s my motive. There is nothing wrong with needing a little assistance or being a good person willing to assist but it can be disastrous when not done with discernment, wisdom, and insight.

The Power of Exchange

When people think of exchange, they immediately think of it in its common context. A swapping or trading of one item for another typically something material. 

We also think of shopping, and how if something does not work; we return an item by giving back the original purchase (with a receipt of course) to replace it with something new. Overall, it is the act of giving and receiving.

What we least consider are treasures and gems. These are not physical gems but have great value. Wisdom, knowledge, sound advice, laughter, peace, prayer, and encouragement. We need to surround ourselves with people who understand the “pour”. Pouring into each other. This ensures that no one goes empty. If we are constantly inspiring and speaking life into each other, no one will be dry, vacant, deserted, abandoned, or even feel worthless.

Every time we come together it’s an exchange. Every conversation is an exchange. You give of your time, energy, and vice versa. Everyone leaves with something whether positive or negative. Things will not always be perfect but it’s imperative to know that your circle has substance. A circle of close ones who believe in the principle of honor. When things get challenging or tumultuous in your relationship; it can stand because it was founded on solid principles with a common perspective. 

Old folks used to say “show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are!” That adage is full of facts. If frequent association and affiliation gradually lead to assimilation, then it is safe to say that your “crew”, family, friends, associates are important. People do not have power over you. You make your own decisions; however, influence is quite powerful. Ask yourself, the people I frequently communicate and interact with…what exactly are we doing for each other? Are these relationships exchanging wealth, empowerment, and strength? How is this relationship mutually beneficial?

I am not discouraging you from mentoring. Some people are in our lives just to receive from us. I am not encouraging you to remove people from your life but to consider each relationship. To be aware of what is being exchanged. You should still love and respect people but also know when what is hurting you is also too close. I am encouraging you not to exchange your homeostasis of peace and other valuables for any relationship, it is not worth it. Get a grip on who is in your life and why. Remember, not every relationship will be an equal exchange, we are here to help others. Let’s just be wise and recognize when your

  1. pouring into a vessel full of holes
  2. pouring but never then left empty
  3. Pouring without reciprocation
  4. Pouring and being poured back into

It is time to take a deep dive into our interpersonal life and see how it affects us daily. Your mental health, business, success and so much more are dependent on it.

Effective Leadership Pt.3

Insecurities & Leadership

We previously spoke about effective leadership and management styles. We have also discussed in depth the do’s and don’ts to leadership. Be sure to check those out.

My question to you today is… Are your emotions killing you professionally?  Too often, leadership is burning out and it’s their own hands. It’s when perspectives and level of self-importance are no longer tools but weapons.   

Whether a leader has a poor self-esteem or an exaggerated one, it affects everyone that they encounter and lead. Insecurities and egos are especially loud. Some leaders are too hung up and getting praises or playing on the emotions of others for empathy. They fail to delegate and run a one-man circus. They tend to take on more than they can handle. If things go wrong, they are quick to blame others or claim that their lack of assistance or the competence of the team is low. When success comes their way, the claim to have gotten to the result on their own. They are eager to receive accolades and high fives for their dedication and hard work. It’s a monster that is never satisfied despite the numerous awards and public recognition. This encourages staff not to work as hard or feel disregarded.

Insecure leadership is especially dangerous because these are the individuals who would put team members against each other. They often vie to create teams centered around on their relationships with others. They prefer to utilize those individuals who fail to correct their wrong or share the same morals and values. Insecure leaders often feel threatened by others and will create drama around others who do not agree with them. They manipulate, seek to control, rule by their opinions and emotions. They often compete with others to fill a void within and will do anything to manipulate, control and defame others.

It is paramount to heal and deal with personal matters. Emotional leadership is often people who set themselves on fire and then watch their team members encounter smoke inhalation. They end up being the cause and cure. The need for external validation will cause harm. We love to say that our professional and personal are separate but that’s not entirely true. The smoke of your personal will seep through barriers and small holes to attack the “lungs” of the innocent.

Insecure leadership will break up teams, visions, missions, organizations, loyalty and drive. And insecure Leader is one who manipulates, seeks control and rule by their emotions instead I’m using wisdom. Wisdom says train, organize, delegate and flow. 

Poor leadership personalities miss out in the joys and benefits of being able to impact, inspire and improve others. A confident and healthy leader will

  1. Teach & Mentor.
  2. Instruct
  3. Organize
  4. Have loyal team members.
  5. Brainstorm
  6. Empower & Impact.
  7. Have a shared vision.
  8.  Delegate
  9. Experience less stress.
  10. Express professional transparency

These leaders are more productive because they have time to focus on what’s important. They can take a stance in their role, make executive decisions and tend to be more focused. They are concerned about the overall well-being of those they are responsible for and their professional obligations. I admonish you, if your personal is starting to interfere with your professional, seek help NOW. If you are unsure, seek the feedback from trusted members who are not afraid to be open and honest with you. Don’t be ashamed to attend therapy or professional help. A better you means a better leader and only then, you can take the globe on by storm.

Meddle, Mitigate and Mediate

Meddle, Mitigate and Mediate … What’s the Difference?

What a mouthful! These three actions are all unique in their own way. What makes the lines blurred are variated perspectives. All three can be misinterpreted due to motive and the nature of relationships.Some argue that they are all the same but there are thin lines between them all. Thanks to Google, we can dive right in with the definitions.

Meddle –to interest oneself in what is not one’s concern, interfere without right

Mitigate – to make less severe, serious, or painful

Mediate – intervene between people in a dispute in order to bring about an agreement or reconciliation.

One is proactive and the other two are reactive. Have you guessed which ones belong in which category? Being proactive is the ability to have sight. To foresee a situation getting out of hand and desiring to do something about it before it manifests. Proactive people mitigate. They are strategic people who have a certain finesse. This person has foresight, is very observant and exercises logic.

People who are reactive are often meddlers and people who aim to assist after a situation has already taken place which is to mediate the problem. These individuals are often emotional creatures who respond with what they feel is right whether the approach, timing and words are appropriate. They love hard and show their support by jumping in the middle with ones well being in mind.

Parents, significant others, close friends or peers often tend to jump ahead of reason and aim to defend. During a heated war, argument or intense situation, our emotions, feelings and even ego all rise like a volcano or some of us are a calm as lake. Regardless of your stance its about your response. The first things to consider is the nature of the situation. Do I take a side or a stand? Its imperative to take a moment to consider your values and proceed with caution. One would have to exercise much wisdom and have some ability to resolve conflict with ease.  

With taking a stand for what is right, it might put you in a diametrically opposed view from that one that you care for. Its imperative that we express care for others by being truthful and letting your moral compass take over. At this point, when a situation has already occurred it is best to figure out how to intervene and reconcile the issue. Consider if this is something you should be concerned with regardless of relation to the opposers, consider how your actions would trigger reactions and responses. Consider if your interference or will intensify the issue or bring some light and reason. If you can’t alleviate the situation and you don’t have influence over each side, then I would advise you to seek additional help. Professional help (in some cases) and to remain from getting in between. Sometimes environment has everything to do with the way in which you choose to intervene. Know your place, know the rules and/or procedures and  act accordingly,

Let’s recap. Ask yourself, which of the three postures do I embody? Is this setting professional or casual? Am I being proactive or reactive? Will me getting involved alleviate the situation in any way or cause a greater complication? Do I have some level of authority? Will getting involved put me in danger? Do I have something of great value to impart or do I just love the sound of my own voice? Am I bringing about change or do I just like being involved? What is my relationship to those involved and will my response destroy or affirm it?

There are so many things to consider before you decide to get invovled. Whether your the Good Samaritan, Superhero , friend or just a concerned bystander. Get to know the fine lines between each posture and abide by what you believe to be the right thing.

Confusion and Relationships

Let’s start by defining confusion. Some call it drama, issues, problems created by a misinterpretation of information or lack thereof. Google provided this lovely rendition that states that is the lack of understanding. Its synonyms include unclear, uncertainty, unsure, bewilderment and perplexity.

We all heard it before. Communication is the answer to a crazy situation or confusion. Communication creates an avenue for clarity and enlightenment. One must be brave and mature enough to approach a situation seeking understanding. Many often just wish to get their point across without applying effective listening. Worst yet, others fill voids with assumptions.

Perspective is everything. Our perspectives are often shaped by our psychological and environmental conditioning. We are either coming to conclusions in our own minds or our experiences has shaped the way we define or interpret situations. The way you see things also complicates and magnifies a situation.

We must come to terms with a crossroad in every relationship. Do I wish to stay or to go? Whether or not someone means the world to you or not. Avoidance of a person or situation isn’t helping. Anyone you know ever saw things clearly by shutting their eyes? One must desire to handle things with civil or gracious manner. Regardless of what took place. I get it, respect is often earned and not just given but maturity says that some things are better off if you become the bigger person. The person of reason even if it means catching a bullet amid a heated war. When situations happen and you appear at that crossroads, you should know where you stand. Regardless of where you are in a relationship it should be our desire to gain clarity. Expressing how you feel respectfully is not a sin nor a broken law. The immature and insincere create assumptions or aim to control a narrative without facts. Too many times, we witness beautiful relationships become brief encounters all because no one was willing to seek out clarity. That moment of transparency to get things into perspective.

If someone means anything to you, it should never get out of hand. Communication should be constant and honest. Some level of integrity needs to be present to maintain any relationship whether its work related, a significant other, family member or a friend. Nothing you treasure should be dragged in muddy waters. A simple conversation is like a clean shower and a spa. There is a sense of relief and freedom that comes along with communication. Caring is sharing thoughts expressed with a measure of couth. If you care, you would never leave someone bewildered about a situation or unclear about where they stand with you. Communication says I am upset yet I am willing to speak. Effective communication is needed always. Look at Businesses or teams in general. How can people execute or accomplish anything without being united in clear vision? Whether your frustrated or betrayed, we all deserve a chance to speak our minds even if it’s to say goodbye. Question is, which lens are you seeing the situation through? Confusion is like an unwanted bookmark in a story that you have yet to finish. Clarity would remove all the questions and provide the right answers if we are willing to receive it.