I have thoroughly enjoyed Marie’s daily Love Letter Challenge. Though it ended March 30th, I intentionally saved the final writing prompt for my birthday weekend. Knowing I would be in a reflective space tonight influenced my decision to wait to write this piece. Although my birthday was yesterday and this weekend was awesome; this intentional quiet time is a beautiful moment.

Welcome to the final day of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on Days 1-29 here!

To Yourself, A Constant Reminder

e,

I’m really so very proud of you.

I, more than anyone else – know what you’ve been through. I know what you’ve suffered, lost and survived. I also know what you’ve given away and what you’ve forfeited. Many would have stayed down when knocked down – but not you. You continued to press on and even protected others at the expense of everything that made you…you.

But going forward…never, ever again.

Never and I mean never forget who you are and Whose you are.

You are worthy and deserving of every blessing your Creator has for you.

You are worthy of the range of love you give.

You are worthy of the height, weight and depth of life you so selflessly give to others.

You are worthy of healing.

You are worthy of receiving.

You are worthy of success.

You are worthy of respect.

You are worthy of self care.

You are worthy of self love.

I love you and I love the you…

You are now

And are becoming.

Never lose you…looking to and for another.

Happy Birthday e! And remember…

If they don’t think you’re deserving…

They don’t deserve you.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Welcome to Day 29 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 29

To The One Thinking Of Killing Herself

The background photos I chose during this writing challenge have been just as important to me as the content presented. For this prompt, I selected a photo that captured a range of emotions one may exhibit behind a smile. We often interact with hurting, hopeless and suicidal people more than we realize. Some are incredibly anxious and overwhelmed by life but find themselves stifled by the stigma of crying out for help; so they don’t. Instead…they smile.

Keeping up appearances.

Prior to being trained as a volunteer suicide crisis counselor, I served as a volunteer rape counselor for a short while. I remember the training sessions as empowering but extremely intense at times. Sitting in a classroom full of women unveiled common misogynistic prejudices against victim survivors because of their appearance. This was long before the momentum of Tarana Burke’s #MeToo movement erupted and common assumptions about attire being a contributing factor to sexual assault were prevalent.

Assumptions.

Assuming that a suicidal person has to “look” suicidal happens all the time. This is why it’s not uncommon for grieving loved ones to be in shock. “Them? But there were no signs. They were so happy. I thought things were looking up for them!”; when in essence the sudden happy go lucky calmness is a result of their being at piece with the decision to end their life.

But what does a suicidal person look like? We all know what it’s like to hide our true feelings at one time or another. But most suicidal people learn how to hide how they feel because they don’t want to be a burden or think they’ll be misunderstood. Yes. Those are a set of assumptions from the other side – but what if someone is willing to help or can relate?

To the girl who is thinking about killing herself or anyone else reading this – please don’t. I’m not talking to your smile, facade or mask. I’m talking to the part of you that still looks for a reason to smile. I’m talking to the part of you that wants to live. You are not alone. As a matter of fact I encourage you to visit Live Through This‘ website. You may very well find your story in the eyes of real life suicide attempt survivors who now courageously share their stories.

No assumptions or judgments here. You and your story…matter.

If you or a loved one are suicidal, is in crisis or having a hard time coping at this very moment; PLEASE know that you matter and are not alone! If you need someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to reach out to the resources below!

The National Suicide Hotline

800-273-TALK (Veterans Press 1)

TEEN SUICIDE CRISIS HOTLINE- 800-852-8336 (Trained Teen Counselors)

The Trevor Project (LGBT Community) 866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline (Transgendered Community) 877-565-8860

Crisis Text: Text HOTLINE to 741741 ***If outside the U.S visit http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

In my thoughts….💫e

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits: Pixabay. Live Through This. No copyright infringement intended.

HAPPY RESURRECTION SUNDAY!!

I absolutely cannot believe it’s April 1, 2018 already! But I am totally committed to seeing the March 2018 Writing Challenge through to completion! It has been fun, insightful and incredibly challenging to write AND post everyday. I am always writing but there are times where either my schedule prevents my ability to upload the post or what I’m writing that day doesn’t coincide with the theme.

Either way I’m so glad you’re here!! When I checked my stats, which I rarely do anymore; I saw that readers from ALL over the world still visit my site!!! It reminded me of the international blog party I threw a couple of years ago! Thank you for being here!!

Well, I’m going to share this writing prompt piece before I head out to church. Much love and prayerfully I can post at least one more tonight. Though I will finish the challenge, I do not want it to leak too much more into April. Let’s go!

Welcome to Day 28 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 28

To Yourself When You Can’t Get Out Of Bed

I think it’s so ironic that due to my delay in posting the theme pertaining to getting up when you don’t want to; falls on Easter Sunday. Though I have many readers and supporters who are non believers, I genuinely appreciate them honoring the Authenticitee Speaks Non Judgement Zone here (and it’s mutual). But as a Christian, Jesus Christ “getting up” is literally the crux of my faith.

But there are days when God uses other things to inspire me to “get up”.

Purpose is imperative! For some it’s the pitter patter of little feet depending on them; be it toddlers or fur babies. For some it’s to pay mortgage or save for college or an upcoming vacation. I’m personally inspired and motivated by remembering those who want to get up and can’t. Be it due to health issues or mobility limitations: the ability to get up is a gift. A gift to oneself and a gift to others.

Jesus Christ’s “getting up” was fueled by LOVE. Find what you love and getting up won’t be so difficult.

Enjoy your day! Let me hear your voice💫e

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

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Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits Pixabay, Google images. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 27 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 27

To Someone Who Has Lost Faith In Love

Losing something gives the connotation that we once had it. Be it our house keys or one’s proverbial mojo: losing something that we’ve come to cherish and/or depend on can be life altering.

Losing faith in love is usually a result of betrayal or expecting more than someone is really able to deliver. The most encouraging advice I can give is to be honest with yourself first.

Do you still want love? Do you want to be loved? I find so many issues stem from childhood rejection and perverted perception. Love is not abusive or manipulative. Perhaps it’s the agony of waiting. Wondering if it will ever be your turn.

More than receiving, love is what we are willing to give. Selfishness stifles. Has it ever dawned on you that another may be hurting too? Someone just may need the faith you lost in order for them to find faith in love again. Releasing ourselves from the weight of our loss makes room to simultaneously give and receive the healing power of love.

Who has need of what you’ve lost?…💫e

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

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Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits Pixabay, Google images. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 26 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 26

To The One Who Gives You Hope

You know what’s interesting is I felt compelled to look up the definition of hope for today’s writing prompt.

Sounds a lot like faith to me soooo what am I overthinking…now?

As volunteer suicide crisis counselor our training teaches us to assess a person’s feelings of hopelessness:

Anytime one loses hope they run the risk of becoming very withdrawn and depressed, if they stay in that space. Sure we all have our bad days but we must be honest about the cause and effect.

As a person who loves to give hope to others, I know what’s it like to be superwoman to several. I know what it’s like to run on fumes. I also know what it’s like to learn the hard way, that pouring from an empty cup is a lack of wisdom! Compassion Fatigue is nothing to play with. One of the most liberating moments of my journey is when God reminded me that everyone is not assigned to my caseload!

So if you’re a person that’s been struggling, feeling hopeless and helpless; I really encourage you to talk to your doctor or trained volunteer about your feelings. Your feelings are valid. Your grief is real. It’s ok to not be ok – but don’t stay there. Reach out because you are deserving of care.

To those like myself who give others hope, thank you for all that you do. Please take care of yourself!!! And finally remember the most important things to do in between breaths is to breathe💫e

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Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

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LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE

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Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits Pixabay. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 25 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 25

To The Person One Who Has My Heart

Dear Jesus,

I joyfully remember the day I gave you my heart and sadly the day I took it back; or so I thought.

I let so many things come between us. Tired of being passionately on fire for you while being called a fanatic by some family and a couple of friends made me choose them over you. I eventually became embarrassed about my insatiable hunger for you after Tondelayo died. Always being teased about my faith and lonely when my best friends didn’t want to go to Christian events was a bit much for someone in their late teens. Friends were either God fearing but non religious, non believers who greatly respected my faith but not interested or believers who didn’t want to cultivate a relationship with you beyond Sunday morning service, Saturday Sabbath or Midweek Mass. It was lonely at times and though you said you’d never leave me nor forsake me; I could only see them…and I never saw you.

I remember the night a few years later that I was trying to go to a Sunday night concert at the late Rev. Timothy Wright’s Church that my friend now Minister, Tyrone Pittman told me about. Tyrone had begun making cassette tapes for me and I learned about a lot of gospel artists through him. From the Rickey Grundy Chorale to countless others, he kept me in the loop. Well, unfortunately Tyrone couldn’t go that night and I couldn’t find ANYONE to go to the concert. I was so frustrated that night rushing out the house only to be thwarted by my well meaning, powerful woman of God grandmother: Grandma Dora. She kept trying to help while fussing with my hair and clothes. I would move one way and she’d try to adjust a strand of hair out of place in other direction. I’d speed walk to the left and she would yank my slip to the right. She loved you Lord and I loved her but she was not my age, you know what I mean?

And that’s when I heard you say, “I’ll go with you“. And I sighed heavily and angrily blurted out, “I DON’T WANT YOU TO GO!!” A gasp of air shook my lungs. I immediately regretted my words but weariness and young adult pride tied my tongue as I flew drove through the streets of Brooklyn. I was in a hurry to get to your house God; all while ignoring you.

Fast forward to the many giving and taking of my heart pivotal moments in my life. To the many sins and transgressions I sometimes intentionally did because of a false sense of entitlement. Sinning like it was my turn, you know? Like, how come they can do it and I can’t.

Lord Jesus, I’m so glad you’re not like me. I’m so glad you went to the concert with me anyway that night. I’m so glad you were already there when I got there. I’m so glad you were and still are patient with me. I’m so glad for your mercy and your grace. I’m eternally grateful that you know all about me and still want me.

And just in case someone else comes across this letter, I’m so glad…you knew that they would.

Love,

Ericka

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Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits Google Images – the late Lester Kern. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 24 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 24

To Someone Who Wants To Heal

How bad do you want it, right? I mean certainly that would be the only thing hindering healing, right?

It dawned on me that pages of old record Jesus asking the same question: “Jesus saw him lying there, and he knew that the man had been sick for such a long time; so he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” John 5:6 GNT

You see me sick, struggling and bound – why wouldn’t I want to be healed?

Comfort vs. Our Comfort Zones

But wait there’s nothing comfortable about discomfort, or is there? And I don’t deem the poser of the question insensitive or naïve but rather as one viewing the proximity of healing (emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, financially) a lot closer than the infirmed envisions.

Faith vs. Denial

Glass half empty, half full or broken. Only you can decide. No blame gaming here or blame shifting here. No matter the cause, precipitating event or trigger, life has a way of leveling the playing field. As a result; love, compassion and humility are the best way to approach those who may be so weary and in so much pain – they no longer want to be healed. They no longer want the marriage to be restored. They no longer want the house on the hill. They no longer want to be healed – because too much time has passed.

No matter the space you’re in…be encouraged. This a no judgment zone. And be prayerfully open. Don’t let bitterness, disdain and cynicism harden you. Remember healing…well it comes in many forms.

Let me hear your voice🙏🏽e

***************************************

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LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE

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Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits Pixabay, Google images. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 23 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 23

To Your Friends

Seasons. If I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s that seasons apply to connections as well. I’ve always been very anal and guarded about who I trust. From trying to protect my heart and mind contractually in platonic and familial relationships (true story) to doing everything I can to make sure no one feels left out on my watch.

Friendship. There are tiers and levels to this thing. And you know it’s funny because just a few days ago I gave a “just because” shoutout on my personal Facebook page; thanking my support network:

What’s funny is I deactivated my original Facebook account for 8 years; only to return almost a year ago at the request/major nudging of two organizations I’m affiliated with, one being GRINDHARDRADIO. It definitely came in handy because of the August 2017 launch of my Inspiration With E Radio Show and it’s also enhanced my accessibility to certain movements that inspire me. But I’m not in love with Facebook as it’s become a place I periodically blurt out random thoughts, link my writing and post occasional immediate family pics. Out of all of my followers I can literally count on one hand the number of people I’m referring to when I say “friends”.

I know a lot of people. And my acquaintance and extended family lists are ever growing, but I don’t throw the term “friend” around lightly at all. I don’t believe in luck but my mommy always said, if you have just one real friend, consider yourself lucky. She was right.

If I’ve learned nothing else:

Friendship is a major investment that requires time, transparency and thoughtfulness. I expect and want ALL of my relationships to THRIVE. This means I must take responsibility for the health, tone and tenor of every relationship and assume nothing. More than anything, I want to be an even better friend to the amazing sisters and brothers God has supernaturally imparted into my life. I love them deeply.

I can see the faces of those who have walked through some of my darkest moments and saddest of days with me; especially in the last few years. A few names I can’t even call publicly but I thank God for them every day. They loved me UNCONDITIONALLY and challenged me. They were honest with me and protected me. They spoke life over me and deemed me worthy. Reminded me who I was and Whose I was. They came through for me and came to know me very well. They deserve the world and though they care about me – just as I am, I look forward to improving, growing, maturing in my love and even blessing them (and their pockets) one day soon.

Thank you so much. Words cannot describe my appreciation. Love you to life. Thank you forever strong.💫e

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Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

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Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits Pixabay, Pinterest and Ericka Arthur for Authenticitee Speaks . No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 22 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 22

To Someone You No Longer Talk To

They say we are better off letting

Sleeping dogs lie

But being lied to by a dog

Pretending to sleep

Felt like a nightmare

But I love to dream and I believed

Your lulla-lies would make

them come true

So I let my guard down to rest

Rested my eyes long enough

To trust

Trusting you to navigate

Our self inflicted course

Palms gripped

Teeth clenched

Drive on driver

Drive on

Drive me mad with desire

Intrinsic race

Hurry the pace

Creative is our space

W a i t!

Wake me

For the dream has gone cold

Awaken nightmare’s song

Of

you

letting

us

go….

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Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

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Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits Pixabay. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 21 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 21

To The One Who Inspired Me To Write

Dear S t r e n g t h

Do you remember?

The day you called me a writer?

I was apologizing for cramming so many words

Into the tightest and warmest of spaces

Shrouded in smoldering soaked brevity

You taught me it was ok to learn again

I had never heard my name until

With your beckoning

And without my permission

All of me responded to you.

“It’s ok…you’re a writer”

S l o w e r

Say it again

I too; am still smiling

The way you kissed my mind…

You’re forever my

P e n moving

S o u l stirring

E y e locking

H i p rocking

L i p soaking

P r o m i s e mouthing

Cause and effect

Remedy and reason

Symptom and sealant

B a r r i e r breaking

M o m e n t mounting

Come h i t h e r kinda King

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

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Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits: Pixabay. No copyright infringement intended.