Guest Blogger Tanaisha-Trusting God’s Process Through It All

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Hello all,

I am Tanaisha Coleman, a student affairs educator working at the University of Vermont. I aspire to be a multicultural affairs educator and diversity, inclusion, and equity consultant. Other aspirations entail being a teacher of social justice or business equity courses, motivational speaker, diversity and inclusion innovator, and world traveler. My life motto is turning my dreams into reality. If you are inspired by my guest blog post and want to chat, please contact me.

Social Media Handles:

Facebook: Tanaisha Coleman

Instagram: @Tanaisha

Trusting God’s Process Through It All

Are you waiting for God to reveal His purpose for your life or for your situation to change? If so, I am here to encourage you to stay strong, patient, and faithful. Faith requires us to be brave and trust the process. I have no problem being brave since I have moved to three different non-diverse states as a young Black woman with no friends and family in the last three years. However, when it comes to trusting the process worry and self-doubt causes me to stumble. Why? One, I am a planner, so not knowing is frightening for me. Two, I am a thinker, and a purpose-driven person, so I like everything I do to relate to my goals with a clear understanding of how the big picture is forming.

I can fight against self-doubt and worry by utilizing a combination of methods to settle nerves and revive my faith in God’s process. First and foremost, I engage in constant fellowship and prayer with Christ since He will guide me through no matter the trial or waiting period. Even though my situation might not change both provide a sense of peace from laying it all on the table. Another method is embracing the notion that me knowing everything should not determine my trust in God. If I am halfway invested in God having control over my life than I cannot expect Him to answer my questions. Thus, I establish a firm trust in God’s process by recalling the times He had provided a way when the situation seemed impossible. Additionally, I accept that what is for me will be despite the steps I need to take. Meaning time and other factors don’t equate what will be since God orchestrates my blessings. This requires me to communicate with God and seek counsel about what I need to experience for goals to be effectively accomplished.

We were not created to handle everything by ourselves. Thus, I cultivate a spiritual support system, a selection of friends and family, to help me remember why the wait is worth it, brainstorm ways to seek God’s counsel and provide authentic faith-based encouragement. When identifying these people, you should ask God to show you who is worthy to be in the sacred circle since everyone’s intentions and soul-tie might not blend well for what you need.

My career goal to be a multicultural affairs educator and diversity, inclusion, and equity consult has been a journey for me to be brave and trust God’s process. When I graduated college in 2016, I questioned God about my destiny. It took four months of soul searching and countless conversations with Christ and others to realize the answer. I graduated with a double major degree in Journalism and Communications, I loved storytelling but knew being a reporter or public relations specialist was not my calling. God revealed this by not opening any doors in either field despite my experience of writing for the newspaper for three years or an internship managing social media accounts. I felt like my degree was useless and my career goals needed to be restructured. So, I asked God how could I utilize my degree with a different career plan and what will that career be? It was month one my answer was silence.

Month two, I started journaling to God about my passions. The theme of my passions all related to advocating for minorities and helping myself and others develop cultural competence. I also had a conversation with a member of my spiritual support system about how I desired to turn my passion into a career. The person suggested that I pray to God for guidance to uncover if it was meant for my passion to be my career.

Month three, I reflected how my interests could be a career in multicultural affairs to assist college students with their identity development and cultivate the skillset to understand diverse people and situations. I also concluded I wanted to do diversity consulting with institutions and businesses to help companies and people process conversing about identities, understanding diversity and inclusion, and creating strategies to build and maintain equitable resources. I wrote out how the career goals utilized my degree with needing to actively listen, write clearly, process complex stories, explain multi-facet concepts, and more. Lastly, I said to God if these career paths were meant for me, He needed to provide the necessary resources for it to happen.

Month four, I applied for an AmeriCorps position serving at Cornell College in Iowa as the Civic Engagement Center Program Coordinator. Within two weeks, I went through the interview process, and I was selected for the position. At Cornell College, I also joined the institutional Diversity Committee and facilitated a small discussion group on all facets of identity. This was my answer that God intended me to pursue the goals.

Since then, my accomplishments towards the goals include co-advising a social justice service-learning trip, supervising a Social Justice Learning Community, attending a diversity and inclusion facilitator workshop, and participating in a class on starting a small business. None of this would be possible without God; He has paved the way for me to turn my passion into a career. It’s a work in process, and each year I am closer to turning the goals into reality. Your blessings will come when God deems everything is ready. We must do our part during the wait.

Physical and Psychological Effects of Narcissistic Abuse – Guest Blogger Candace Belin

By Candace Belin

I have experienced narcissistic abuse and never knew I would face a traumatic experience so daunting. I created this post to share the phenomenon that I experienced once I found out what I was going through (narcissistic abuse) and after finding out about this form of emotional abuse, my anxiety kicked into the highest degree. Every time that I processed the thought of a corrupted individual causing mental confusion, one to lose themselves, memory impairment (due to the abuser’s gaslighting) and general destruction to another human being period… all because the abuser wanted to mask their shattered ego!!! I became so furious at how someone can be so heartless, immature and selfish. With this phenomenon, I had constant re-played images of me dancing with the devil… (thinking about this, as a matter of fact, puts a slight increase in my heart rate) you get my point hopefully. The scary thought of how a demonic soul came so close to me cringed me down to the core. By the time you realize what situation that you have gotten yourself into, the damage has already begun.

I want to share with you that emotional abuse/trauma doesn’t only reside in the victim’s head… The Narc attempts to convince their victim that they are crazy (“it’s all in your head”) when they speak out about the mistreatment that they have received from them. While it is true that some of the damage that an emotional abuser has inflicted on their victims are inside their head, that is not the only spot in the victim’s body that is reacting from the narc’s attempt in convincing them that they are crazy.

Naturally the neurotransmitters from our brains fire signals of commands in physiological ways to different parts of our bodies to protect us from threats of danger and from unwanted experiences. When steady threats alert us from our limbic system (which is part of the Central Nervous System that regulates our emotions and instincts), it puts a tremendous amount of stress on our bodies physically and psychologically while also depleting neurotransmitters or causing dysfunction in our brains. For example, physically it causes pain in many areas of our bodies without any traces of how the pain occurred. In addition, psychologically we may experience social anxiety, chronic anxiety, and confusion which can be caused by depression etc. I believe the most traumatizing experience of narcissistic abuse is losing yourself and not being in touch with reality. I believe you really become a stranger to yourself and will trust your abuser over your own life as they manipulate you for their own twisted rewards. The problem isn’t really the victim, it’s the manipulation of the false self of a narcissist causing mental confusion to them which results in physical and psychological damage.

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Email:cbelin@mypsychological-emotionaltraumajourney.com

Website:mypsychological-emotionaltraumajourney.com

Candace Belin

My Psychological & Emotional Trauma Journey 

“Take Back Your Heart”

First-Hand Experience With Mental Illness: An Interview – Guest Blogger Jessica

About “Just Call Me Jess”

Have you ever wondered where to begin in order to achieve your personal goals? Look no further! By accessing your own knowledge and experience I will guide you to achieving your highest dreams. Just Call Me Jess and consider me your personal guide on your journey.

About “Jess”

I am a licensed social worker working in an adult community mental health center in the South. I also work with individuals with addictions. Previously I have work with a team in work rehabilitation for adults with serious mental illnesses. I have also worked with children and families, pairing them with community resources and decreasing their risk of separation. Some things I discuss are due to the nature of my work and my education but I do not break confidentiality or share clients stories; I spread awareness.

Check out more on my blog!

Blog: https://callherjess.wordpress.com/

I have been interested in gaining first hand what it is like to have a mental illness. How does it impact their life socially, career-wise or in relationships? I was fortunate to be able to find someone comfortable with sharing their story with the world. The individual wishes to remain anonymous which I will respect.

  1. Tell me about yourself? I am a 71-year-old woman and I have two children. I have been in the Upstate area for a while but I was raised in Florida. I was abused as a child and was the primary caregiver for my immediate family. I was first diagnosed when I was 45 years old, which was when I went and sought help. I was diagnosed with Depression and Disassociative Identity Disorder. I have been in recovery for a few decades and worked with the homeless population as a case manager and have come out of retirement to serve the community yet again.
  2. What do you feel closely resembles your life? I have different references for each part of my life like, “Just remember it is darkest before the dawn” which may be from a television show or the like. I think the one I value the most is “to thine own self be true”. There is a quote from the Bible that says that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made. It was like I was Pinocchio and turned into a real person”.
  3. How do you think your mental health impacted your past? What you grow up with is your normal, so it took me a while to realize how sick I was. I think the struggle I have had in the past has developed my strength. It increased my understanding and empathy about people who think something is wrong with them….it certainly increases the compassion.”
  4. Describe your experiences with therapy? “It was a way for me to begin to understand how the puzzle pieces of my life fit together. To realize what had been lost but I can also learn the skills I should have before the traumatic experiences took place. Therapy gave me back my autonomy.”
  5. What advice do you have for others who are about to begin therapy? I would want them to know what broke them in the first place will not be as hard to face going through therapy. Honor the process because they are more qualified and capable to handle it now. Going back through it will not break them it will help them look back and learn how to live with those injuries and turn the skills into an asset, not a liability. I am not saying it is easy, but it is not as bad as you think it may be. Just stick with it.”
  6. What we some of your coping skills? To relax when stressed I use cleaning or mowing grass, working in the yard.
  7. How did your family react to your diagnoses? Most of my family did not believe me. One sister said the therapist put the idea in my head.
  8. Did you have any negative experiences when seeking mental health treatment? I was told needing therapy was a lack of faith on my part. I was told using the mental health system was as bad as witchcraft. There is still stigma today regarding mental health but it was worse back in the day.
  9. What do you attribute to your recovery? God used therapy to increase my faith in HIM. God put the pieces of my life together so I could learn what I needed to learn and learn how to live not just survive.
  10. Why become a Peer Support Specialist? A peer support specialist is an individual who has a mental illness and is actively in recovery. This individual can relate to their peers and help them develop the skills needed to manage their illness. Those of us fortunate enough to receive healing and regain the ability to live, not just survive, can share how to keep going. We prove the effort is worth it. We can prove that even horrible things cannot stop us from being all we were meant to be. Peer support is a way to let people know there are hope, joy and a zest for living in spite of the past or maybe in part because of our past.

Have you had any experiences with mental health or with a family member with mental illness? How has it impacted your life?

Creating My Own Space

I was just like you, waiting to be accepted and invited to have a seat at the table. If I didn’t decide to create my own space, I’d probably still be standing and waiting around for folks. I had heard over time that a lot of things that you want to do, you may have to create on your own. Of course, I didn’t want to hear that! I wanted to just be a part of something that was already put together. After hearing it enough that it got uber annoying, I started to do just that, create my own space.

close up of hand over white background

Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

What that looks like now? I started blogging, began to develop a blueprint for my online business, applied to be a representative for BGSW (I got it too!), and now I want to create Facebook groups for interests that I have; you know, to connect with people just like me. It’s hard when you are different and set apart – basically being a leader is a lonely journey. It all makes sense why I was never supposed to fill the spaces others created because it wasn’t the space that was meant for me. Now don’t get me wrong, I am apart of some spaces that others created, but what I am saying is I had to step out and go after those spaces that I desired deeply on the inside.

We long for things in life and we tend to always look outward to get them. I don’t know why we are so accustomed to that, but what I do know is that is the first step of neglecting ourselves. We don’t spend time looking inward enough. When I began to do that, a rush of ideas, dreams, love, and support came from that place. Seeking the insides of ourselves is important and I am glad that I did so. I am no longer waiting for others to create spaces or invite me into theirs. I’m making it myself with the intention to support others like me in doing the same.

Will you create your own space?

As always,

Leave Inspired.

Transitioned Into Purpose

I just want to start off and say that being an adult is hard! I don’t know what part of childhood made me want to rush this moment, but it’s definitely not what it seems. In October, I had to make a decision that was one of the hardest I’ve faced in a while. I gave up pretty much my privacy and job to transition into purpose. What I was doing for a living didn’t bring me joy and it wasn’t what I wanted to do in the long run. I’ve been trying to leave for like a year but just didn’t find the right fit.

I’m gonna be honest, money got real tight. I had to make a decision on if the $30 left over from my check was gonna go to food or gas in my tank. With struggling so much to remain living on my own, working full-time and attending grad school, I decided to move back home. Y’all it was so hard, but I couldn’t suffer anymore. I was literally crying before work every day because I didn’t want to be there. I got tired of not being able to do much because my bills were more than what I was bringing home. I had to make a sacrifice to transition into my purpose.

What that looks like now? Well, I found a job that is geared towards what I am studying in school, I have more money now to invest in the online store that I am building, I can finally SAVE money, and I don’t have much stress.  I don’t want to make it seem like it was that easy to get rid of my apartment, full-time job, and move back to a bedroom. I broked down a lot because I wanted to be sure that I was making the right decision. I felt low in value because I went from holding down everything on my own to being back at square one. My ego was a bit bruised because I needed help.

Now that I am three months into this adjustment in my life, I start to see more benefits. I have the opportunity to start over in a sense. Meaning, once I’m done school I can decide to purchase a home or move to a new city. Working part-time, I can focus more on school, internship, and building my brand. I have more time and a flexible schedule to birth out parts of my purpose. It’s all working out for me and I couldn’t’ be gladder that I took a risk.

What I learned was that we don’t take care of ourselves like we should. I was letting my mental health suffer by staying at a place where I wasn’t happy because I was afraid to reach for something better. I continued to suffer just to say that I have my own spot but was truly broke every two weeks. I was holding up my purpose for materialistic things. Once I realized that how I felt getting out of bed every morning was more important to me than a job, apartment, car, or money – it gave me the push I needed to propel into purpose.

What will your push be to transition you into purpose? Let me know in the comments.

As always,

Leave Inspired.