Community: We Must Do Better

June 28, 2018


Today I'm talking about something that has been sitting heavily on my heart for the past few weeks. This is not a topic that I usually discuss here on my blog, but I can't ignore the dying innocent lives and short lived dreams. No matter your economic or racial background, I'm sure you would agree that violence, especially among youth, is intolerable.

Why is criminal activity higher in impoverished neighborhoods? Why have we as a society grown cold to being our neighbors' keeper? Why do you think we as a society can watch people on social media get murdered and not feel any emotions? What is happening to us?

On June 20th, 2018, Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz, a 15-year old, was stabbed multiple times in a community where he was raised (so many people knew him), yet no one did anything to help him. Before the attack he sought coverage by running into his familiar neighborhood grocery store and the manager, along with the employees, not only forced him out but allowed gang members to come into the store and drag him out by his hoodie. After the attack he went back into the same corner store, asked for help while he bled from his neck, and they refused to do anything. Even with multiple stab wounds Lesandro was courageous. He mustered up the strength to run a few blocks to a nearby hospital. He made it right up to the entrance, collapsed and died shortly after.

You might be wondering: "Why was he attacked like this? What did he do? Did he deserve this?" But my question for you is, does anyone deserve this? I'll let you think about that.

Lesandro Guzman-Feliz was innocent.

He. Did. Nothing.

He looked like another young boy they were targeting. They were mistaken and later found out they had attacked the wrong kid.

Smh (shake my head), isn't that CRAZY!? I know I'm not the only one that finds this story disgusting. I'm sure his jog to the hospital must have felt like the longest run of his life. Can you imagine how he felt or what he was thinking about before, during, and after the attack?

Let me ask you something, what would you have done if you were there? Let's say you were walking home one night and you saw someone, regardless of their age and race, getting attacked by a gang of people. Would you open your mouth and say something? Jump in to try and rescue the person? Or would you just walk by and pretend like you're deaf and blind?

What about if you saw him tired and desperately running to the hospital for help? Would you give him a ride? If you don't drive, would you run ahead to get help? Would you call anyone to help him? Or again would you pretend to be deaf and blind?

Sure enough, most people would feel frightened in a situation like this, but emotions should never determine our decisions. I know for a fact that if you found yourself on the other side of this equation and you were the one being attacked or in desperate need of help for any reason you would not only want others to get involved but you would EXPECT IT.

Treat others the way YOU want to be treated 

This is so simple but for many reasons we neglect practicing this. Did you notice that I said WE? This post is for me as much as it is for you. Truth be told, I don't know what I would've done had I seen that situation play out in front of me. I would've been thinking and feeling some of the same things you are thinking right now. I would've had some of the exact same questions that you have. So, I'm not saying that I'm any different than you, but I am saying that we need to challenge ourselves and change how we think about people. If you were being attacked whether you were the intended target or not you would want someone to be selfless and considerate enough to help you. Why do we struggle with doing this for others? Comment below and let me hear your thoughts.

In our world, innocent people are not immune to violence. Being a "good person" is not a shield of protection. Violent attacks are common and we see or hear about them more often now in the mainstream news, social media and entertainment. However, an increase in our exposure to violence should not desensitize us. The result of violence is and will always be pain and suffering. Nobody wins when violence joins the game.

The offender and defendant are both victims

Instead of pitying one over the other, value both lives. Pray for both families. Help both individuals. We have to learn how to see through people's behavior and connect with their heart. No one is born with the desire to commit murder. No one is innately evil or cold hearted. Value and respect all life because everyone has value.

Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz represents the many youth that die while we watch in silence. His death could have been prevented if people, his community, average Joe's like you and I, had chosen selflessness over fear. If we all band together and consider our neighbors as valuable as we consider ourselves our communities would feel more like home. I hope you hear my heart behind this. Until next time,

Xoxo,

Theresa Forever

Get Real With Yourself - A Conversation About Self-Deception

June 16, 2018



“Self-evaluation is good, 
but it always comes with changes.”
- Unknown


Today I’m going to talk about something that is close to my heart. I try to maintain integrity in this area as much as I can because it is literally the “fountain of life”. I know that if I begin to wander from this principle I could easily deceive myself and derail my own success. So, I try to be open and honest especially when it comes to this. I’m talking about self-evaluation.


I can tell you from experience that it’s EASY to ignore feedback that doesn’t align with how you see yourself. It’s easy to excuse your bad behavior or dismiss your constant shortcomings. Why? Because we judge ourselves based on our intentions not our actions. It’s a form of self-protection. This can be good if we are real with ourselves and acknowledge the good and bad of what we do and who we are. However, if we choose to only acknowledge the good things we do and our good intentions rejecting the other side of us that isn't always "good" we run the risk of deceiving ourselves.


I want to challenge you to invest in yourself by first, being honest in your self-examination. I know that you value integrity, but do you practice it? I know that you appreciate quality work and a hard work ethic, but do you work hard, or are you constantly checking your social media accounts to ensure that you’re in the loop? Are you challenging yourself to go the extra mile, or do you only expect people to go the extra mile for you? I don’t want you to tell me the answer to these questions; I’m simply asking to help you find a starting place for your sober self-evaluation. No human can give you a test to determine whether you’re being honest with yourself or not. Only you can dig deep enough to figure that out.


“Are you becoming the person you want to be
or do you just talk about it?”
- Tee Forever

You see, the truth is that talking will never replace doing. In order to see results you have to start working. It is a principle in life! Tell me, how do trees come into fruition? Someone has to put in work. Someone has to till the soil, plant a seed for the specific type of tree they want to grow, and then care for it. They need to nourish it with water and sunlight, things which are conducive to producing the results they want. Well, WE are the same way! If you want to build an empire or develop yourself, you have to identify exactly what it is that you want to develop within yourself and then start working towards it, not merely talk about it.


Honesty with yourself is the foundation of personal development. You are capable of accomplishing ANYTHING you dream about, you just have to be ready to back it up consistent action and integrity. Until next time,


Xoxo,

Theresa Forever

Think Less Of Yourself - Choose Humility

June 9, 2018


Welcome back!

"True humility is not thinking less of yourself. 
It's thinking of yourself less."

- C.S Lewis

You guys KNOW that I will never talk about anything that I haven't practiced or experienced. With every lesson that I learn (or am currently learning) I let you in on the scoop! So, today is no different.

Since we started the self-awareness challenge this month I've been tested SEVERAL times. It's crazy! I notice an area of weakness that's hindering my growth and I commit to working on it and it's like the next day I'm being tested in the EXACT area I committed to working on! Has anyone else been experiencing this?! Comment below and let me know!

So, although I value humility and I dream about being one of the most humble people on earth (lol jokes! but I really do value it) I HAVE PRIDE ISSUES!! Let me pause right here. Lol, I know that for some of you this isn't a big deal but guys


PRIDE 

IS 

UGLY! 

It's so destructive. It'll kill your potential before you even realize that it's happening. So, what I'm doing to prevent it from consuming my life is that I've set up some serious guards and "heart protectors." (As you read on you'll understand what I mean by heart protectors).

"Humility is not denying your strengths, 
humility is about being honest about your weaknesses."
- Rick Warren

Heart protector # 1: 

I choose to mentally put others above myself. This simply means that in all of my relationships I choose to view every conversation and situation from the other person's perspective. I intentionally walk in their shoes and I actually try to be more understanding. 

This is not me thinking less of myself because I think highly of others. No. Everyone has value. Acknowledging another person's value will never diminish mine. In the same way, acknowledging another woman's beauty won't take away from mine. Does that make sense?

This has not only changed me as a person and enhanced my character, but it's also resulted in 100% LESS ARGUMENTS, faster resolutions, and less time being stressed, angry, or unhappy. Every time that I feel myself  drifting back to auto-pilot and being self-centered in my approach, I think about the deep loneliness I felt prior to making the change and how much satisfaction and wholeness I feel now after doing this for a little while.

Heart protector #2:

Give without demanding a return. This is still a challenge for me sometimes because as humans, we have a natural inclination to protect ourselves and do what's best for us. However, when I look at situations from the other person's perspective (heart protector # 1), I'm able to show compassion, understanding, and humility without expecting the same favor.

Woooooou! Isn't that AMAZING! Can you imagine that?

I'm not being held captive to a secret expectation that I have for others to love me the way that I love them or give me gifts worth the same value that I give them. No. I freely give love, compassion, mercy, and understanding to others simply because I WANT TO.

This is true personal freedom!

I know this post probably isn't as long as some of my other posts, but this is power-packed with some deep truths that can really change your life. So, I'm going to let you guys consider everything that I've talked about and figure out how to implement this in your life in your own way.

As always, I love connecting with you! Thanks for sharing, commenting, and subscribing! You're the best and I'm happy I get to be a part of your journey! Until next time,

 Xoxo!

Theresa Forever


Related Post:
NEW BLOGS Weekly:
Thursday at 11am (EST)
Saturday At 11am (EST)