Lessons in Waiting

I have not written in almost a year. Until this point, I could not tell you why I have waited so long to write. I could tell you I write an exhaustive amount of reports for my job weekly, and it zaps my enthusiasm for personal writings. I could also tell you the distraction of center stage romantic relationships that should have been intermissions tempered my writing. I could also tell you I wasn’t inspired enough to write, however inspiration is always present; sometimes we simply have our eyes closed.

I have carried a lot of judgment against myself for productivity not operating in my life at its fullest. I am coming to know that sometimes the only variable that causes pause in our lives is that of divine timing. Divine timing means that the universe is already ordered to perfect synchronicity in such a way, that your path is crafted to experience all that is good without you having to do a thing. Now, it is true that faith without works is dead, and it is also true that some things are only attained through waiting. Waiting in and of itself is a very active stance.

Waiting at times makes me want to throw myself down to the ground like a two-year-old and begin stomping my feet and jumping up and down. Truth be told, I don’t like waiting. I am growing to understand sometimes the Divine shows up as the waiting and in the waiting.

It has been a journey to come to understand that waiting is not God’s attempt to be shady, however a loving respite that causes us to exercise more trust and faith to usher us into our next level of living. When what you’re waiting on finally comes into fruition, it requires you to operate at a different frequency. Waiting is preparation to accommodate the promise. When we see waiting as friend and not foe, we understand that in every millisecond of waiting Spirit is orchestrating the harmonious coalescing of all things necessary for you to come into your promise, your desire, that thing you’ve been longing for.

The anxiety and angst of waiting is derived from how we choose to spend our time waiting, particularly when we spend it thinking about what we don’t have in the moment, which isn’t a reflection of what is yet to come. I can’t speak for you, but thinking about what I don’t have makes me sad and unhappy, and I refuse to keep attracting that experience. Attempting to force something on our own, because divine timing isn’t moving quickly enough for us also contributes to sadness and unhappiness. It’s kind of arrogant. Doing it on our own is like putting a cap on the Universe’s love for us and saying, “I got this, I’m good on how you want to love on me through the waiting.” When I do attempt to manipulate divine timing it brings more discomfort than desired to the experience of waiting. I believe joy can be experienced in the waiting based on how you choose to wait.

Affirmation: Today, I choose to wait with steadfastness on the promise. I choose to accept the current conditions and co-exist with them in ways that epitomize self-love.

How are you choosing to wait?

Until Next Time…..Be KYND and wait.

Rev. Kyndra Frazier, M. Div, MSW

 

Grieving In Community

Heartache tends to be more prevalent this time of year. The holiday season bombards us with no consideration of the memories it arouses of loved ones loss. It doesn’t take into account how the winter can incline us more toward a depressive state, causing increased isolation. Despite the holiday decorations, caroling, and even the religious aspect of holiday remembrance there are some who dread, and may be even abhor this season.

I am remembering Thanksgiving day, only a couple of weeks ago. My sister, cousin, and I were together at my parents’ home thinking about how it would be the first Thanksgiving that wasn’t held at my deceased grandparent’s house, now known affectionately as “the family house.” We were all inspired to take a trip to the family house, the second home of all our childhoods. When we entered the quiet hit us loudly, and the hospitable energy of our grandparent’s seemed to float in the air.

We sat in the dining room and decided to share our best and worst memories in the home. We received an opportunity to learn more about each other, and joy seemed to make more room for itself in the midst of our sadness. This sacred time of remembrance evolved into sharing what our grandparents meant to us.

As a therapist, I work with many families who have experienced the trauma of death. Grief always comes at inopportune moments and we are never prepared. My families often have difficulty speaking of death’s presence in their lives. Many of them feel things will fall further apart if they begin to emote with one another. Some don’t realize hiding from those feelings in isolation from others allows the grief to fester longer, overshadowing the life of the deceased.

 This holiday season I encourage all of those who have loss loved ones to find at least one family member (biological or chosen family) to confide in. Even if being support for one another means saying, “I’m having a hard time” and simply being present with each other. Lift up the names of those that have transitioned from this life, tell someone how beautifully they showed up in your life. Find a way to memorialize their living. You don’t have to traverse this season alone.

Until Next Time…. #BeKYND and #GrieveInCommunity

Rev. Kyndra D. Frazier, M.Div, MSW

 

 

 

Take the Next Step

Running, jumping, stutter-stepping, waiting, observing, and laughing are some of the adjectives to describe the scene I witnessed, as youth took advantage of Atlanta’s Fountain of Rings in Centennial Olympic Park. It is an interactive fountain where water sporadically comes from various water holes in the formation of the Olympic Ring symbol. Of course, the vigilance of parents was heightened and some screamed at their kids “don’t get wet!” Although it was inevitable they would.

I most enjoyed watching a little girl who appeared to be about six years old. She observed for a long time, and took delight in the participation of other children. She also sought to identify the pattern of the water, in an effort to not to get wet I suppose. The engagement of this young girl with the fountain made me contemplative about life. Her engagement was on the periphery of safety (which isn’t really safe because life still happens), as opposed to the wonderment of inter-acting with the fountain (life).

Consider the moments in your life where you’ve been the little girl, so watchful and cautious you failed to engage life. I don’t know if the little girl ingested the sound of peril in the voices of other parents who cautioned their children not to get wet. I don’t even know if the far distance her parents sat watching factored into her lack of engagement.

When was the last time you made a decision based on other people’s voices or the illusion that you needed others to get started on manifesting your vision? Trust yourself. You already have what you need.

 Some of us have been feasting on the cautionary words of others far too long: “you remember what happened to such and such”, “well, how are you going to live”, “what about _______”, “are you sure _______”, “you know you can’t ___________ without _________”, “what if ___________.” We have seen ourselves as playing it safe, when really the safety of our vision lies in taking the risk, not in getting it right. The comfort of safety eclipses progression.

I am grateful for the gift of the little girl. I happened to watch her on my 34th birthday, November 28th. I recognize my own evolution as I join in with the other kids who dare to risk in an effort to create the life they desire now, and not later. Why put off tomorrow, what you can do today? Take your next step.

Until Next Time…Be K.Y.N.D and #TakeYourNextStep

Intimacy without Touch

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My recent life occurrences have brought the glaring awareness that I don’t have many heterosexual men in my life. I have come to be more present with the fact that my world is extremely woman-centered. Of course, being the healer and thinker I am, I had to ponder why. I am clear I am called to pastor, and I want to make sure I can be fully present with everyone regardless of gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, etc. I have become acquainted with the reasoning that my emotional baggage with my father, and him not being emotionally available in my adolescent years has led me not to trust that heterosexual men can hold space for me. My father and I continue to grow in love and understanding and the beauty of our connection continues to be revealed. I knew more heterosexual men would begin coming into my life when my relational dynamic with my father began to enter into more healing.

An additional part of my reasoning leads me to believe that my history of sexual violation by men has led me to raise protective walls so I can feel safe and secure in my daily living. However, ultimately I believe it is because I am a lesbian woman.

Generally, women are socialized to be caregivers and nurturers, and to place others needs before their own. Generally, women are also socialized to suppress sexual desires, wait until marriage, and groomed to be a wife. Generally, men are socialized to lead with their anatomy first, and not to build healthy communicative relationships where intimacy is not based on physical or sexual touch.

My sexual orientation as a lesbian means that I am oriented to women. Naturally, when it comes to attraction women are my go to. I want to experience a level of intimacy, nurturing, and caregiving I feel that only another woman can offer. I have found that most of my minimal sexual encounters with men have only been because I wanted an emotional connection that wasn’t solidified in my youth, and I fell into the trap that having sexual intercourse or being physically intimate with a man was the way to get there. Needless to say, this is not so.

Also, there is typically a visceral reaction that many lesbians experience from heterosexual men when we vocalize a non-interest in their interest in us. It is my experience and the experience of so many of my lesbian friends that heterosexual men take our rejection personally when we say no to their desires to engage with us physically/sexually. I know this happens to heterosexual women as well (this makes for another type of writing). I have had men call me a “Bitch”, express rivers of “Fuck Yous”, and turn down having a friendship because their genitals aren’t needed in our relational dynamic or a necessity in the sexual encounter between my female partner and I. I’ve heard from heterosexual men that I am not being flexible enough or I’m too strict. Huh? I have found that many heterosexual men carry an expectation to have access to female bodies, and when their expectation is not met I have witnessed many throw tantrums. Making my no to them, about them and not me. Isn’t it my body after all? Can’t we have the sweetness of intimacy without being physical or sexual? Yes.

Consequently, men’s socialization around their anatomies and no visible models in the world for how to sustain intimate relationships where physical and sexual touch is not involved, leads to many heterosexual men feeling they are not necessary or are inadequate when their genitals aren’t being used or when their masculinities are not needed in ways they are accustom to performing it, particularly when it comes to their encounters with lesbian women. Heterosexual men, you are necessary and are needed when your anatomy isn’t being used and your masculinity is not the center.

In thinking about intimacy with no physical or sexual touch I began to reflect on my platonic relationships with my lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, queer, and transgender friends as well as with my heterosexual female friends. I have also been in reflection on my familial relationships. Most of these relationships are extremely intimate and do not involve physical touch. I am grateful for the plethora of examples in my life that have taught me how to be intimate without being sexual or physical.

Until Next Time…Be K.Y.N.D and remember #IntimacyCanExistAndBeSweetWithoutTouch

Rev. Kyndra D. Frazier, M.Div, MSW

 

How Many of Us Have Them?

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Our insecurities punk the shit out of many of us. Some hold their insecurities in the shadows of their sub conscience. Some enter into verbal sparring, and their perceived inadequacies become lashings on the emotional bodies of others. There are still some who allow their insecurities to obstruct the development of beautiful friendships. To live this human experience is to not conflate insecurity and deficiency. Our insecurities simply mean there is more self-work that needs to be done, and more healing and wholeness we need to engage.

Living in this capitalistic society we are socialized to be in competition with one another, whether professionally, academically, or physically. When we have not navigated to the positions we believe “we need” to occupy or the appearances of our living seem not to maintain our competitive edge, our insecurities have the capacity to flare up and spread like wildfire. The person now on fire by the projection of our actions or words has to be healthy enough to recognize that the fire is not theirs to hold, and to (hopefully as lovingly as possible) place it back into our capable hands. It is through this willingness to own our insecurities and the courage to ask them to grows us in ways that are beyond our understanding, we enter into self-actualization.

Never ask me if I won, always ask me did I grow. Ultimately it’s not about winning or losing, it is about evolution. Those of us audacious enough to grow and stretch will always be victorious. It is often our fears that inhibit us from grappling with our insecurities in ways that are life-giving for ourselves and others. Our fears often lie in the mystery of a not yet, dressed up in narratives that are ill-quipped to clothe the beauty contained therein. Our capitulating to what is not yet, as oppose to living in what is, is counter-productive to our growth.

Let us all move through our daily living in ways that allow us to see the beauty in the awareness of our insecurities, and the intentional work we engage in to find the root. The root of the insecurity is where the intention of healing must be placed.

Until Next Time…Be K.Y.N.D and remember #YourInsecurityIsNotADeficiency

Rev. Kyndra D. Frazier, M.Div, MSW

A Place of Agitation

According to technical blogger John Fuchs, there are four critical components to ultrasonic cleaning. These components are time, temperature, chemistry, and agitation. In this scenario agitation posits itself as a portion of the process that aids in cleansing and renewal. In life, agitation is a necessity, although it absolutely does not feel good.

Death, car trouble, financial instability, weight gain, the behavioral issues of a child, academic difficulty, job insecurity, and a host of life’s other undesirables are agitators. Agitation can be so overwhelming at times that we feel the cards are stacked against us and life is being unkind. Perhaps, the greater awareness is that Source (God) may be inviting us to step into the next level of our greatness. Could it be possible that the agitations of our lives are initiatory experiences, calling us back to ourselves, stripping away veils of limitations, and pushing us more and more into our higher selves?

Initiation is a rite of passage designed to mark entry or acceptance into a group or society. In many of my experiences of being initiated into various organizations it has been a time of jubilation. In some processes of initiation we have to dig through the weeds to get to the flowers, this is agitation.

Beloved, I know when agitation rears its head it is human to lament in whatever way you are moved to (i.e. wail, cry, scream, etc). Do that. Our lamenting is also a part of the process of life’s cleansing and renewal, and should be used as a tool and not as a place of residence. There is no gauge on how long we are to lament, however lament does run its course and can transition into self-deprecating crisis. Our agitation coupled with lament should bring the irritants to the surface and extricate the things that do not belong. This is how we get to the jubilation of our initiatory agitating experience.

The next time agitation comes your way, know that your time for cleansing and renewal has come. You are being set up…for greatness.

Until Next Time…Be KYND and #AcceptYourInitiationIntoGreatness&GreaterAwareness

Rev. Kyndra D. Frazier, M.Div, MSW

Holding Onto The Beauty

Our decisions are often based on our experiential living. Our choices are based on the good, bad, and ugly we encounter on our journeys. However, at some point in time we have all held on too long, and may have even been fixated on the unpleasantness of an occurrence, of an event.

This is like being in a relationship for 2, 10, or 20 years and you each come to terms with the fact the relationship is no longer viable. Upon exiting we may leave with all the things that went wrong, as opposed to the beauty of all the things that went right.

Our neglect to hold the beauty in balance with the unpleasantries of life can keep us bitter, scorned, and have us accustomed to playing the role of victim. When we hold onto the ugly of our lives this is what we nurture and what we attract, it has the potentiality to repel the beauty that life has to offer.

When we make provisions for the ugly in our lives to comfortably take residence in our hearts and minds, we dry up our internal reservoirs of hope, peace, joy, love, and any other agent that seeks to sustain our ability to thrive.

If you find you are not holding onto the beauty in your life enough, today, write down all the beautiful moments in your living that have become overshadowed by the ugly in your life. This is one way we can speak life, healing, and wholeness to ourselves.

Until Next Time…Be KYND and #HoldOntoTheBeauty

Rev. Kyndra D. Frazier, M.Div, MSW