Ask For Help

In a session with one of my clients this week, I posed the question, “What made you finally ASK for help?”. She paused, smiled, dropped her head – attempting to somewhat dissengage, but I didn’t let her. She later shared that she was afraid of how she was feeling and that she was TIRED. I sighed, and smiled back saying nothing.

I recognize that for many, asking for help is seen as a moment of weakness but it’s actually the contrary. When you ASK for help, you’re actually tapping into your inner strength to take your life back! I want to encourage you today with this truth – ASKING FOR HELP is a key to EMPOWERMENT! Will you tap into your strength today and be Empowered?

Marriage Requires Forgiveness

As a Pre-Marital and Marriage Counselor, it’s been revealed that most challenges happen in marriage because the individuals came into the marriage broken, selfish and harboring unforgiveness from the past.

One of the greatest keys to Wholeness in marriage lies in our ability to understand forgiveness. We have high expectations of our Heavenly Father to forgive us through our life journey. We must place that same leverage on our ability to do the same for others. Being unable to forgive forces us to remain in a dimension of bondage.

Situations and events that we hold even in our subconscious mind can hinder our progress to a fruitful life. When we activate the “will of God” or his original intent for our lives, wholeness takes place. A lot of times we carry burdens that don’t even belong to us. When we look at mothers and fathers that go through a divorce and pass their unforgiving tendencies on to the children, until they forgive each other, the wholeness process will continue to attach to those relationships possibly for generations vicariously. Without fail, unforgiveness creates a troubled life. The cause of most negative behavior traits is related to the origin of a traumatic episode in our life.

          The lack of forgiveness forces us not to face our problems, and sometimes we suppress the situation or events and replacing it with sinful, dysfunctional, and destructive behaviors such as:

  • Drug addiction
  • Alcoholism
  • Compulsive Behaviors (Paraphilia / Pedophilia)
  • Sexual misconducts
  • Low Self-Esteem

Colossians 3:13 reads, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (NIV) Jesus set forth the model of forgiveness that each of us should follow. His ultimate sacrifice is an example as to how we should measure forgiveness in all situations, especially our marriages. (a segment from We Want to Be Whole by me, being released in 2020)

Counseling and People of Color

Life challenges are not color blind! Emotional, mental and spiritual problems hit everybody, but there is a definite stigma in our people of color from seeking help from counselors. Most share that the issus iis fear, pride, denial or finances, and each of those could certainly play a role but is there something deeper? To those of you who read this post, please share with me your opinion. Thanks in advance! #concernedcounselor

Don’t Be So Quick to Judge

It’s Just Valerie, on a writing day!

If you met me on the street looking like this, what would be your first thought? She’s crazy, she needs help? Something’s wrong? We generally come up with an opinion that’s negative when we engage with someone who “appears” differently, okay, maybe not you – but most do. As an African-American woman who is educated, skilled and powerful, I am also a woman that is misjudged, said to be overly aggressive because of my appearance, and to some even dumb. Where do these thoughts resonate from?

Often, our midjudgement of others speaks to an inferior situation from within. We desire to disqualify someone, making them feel as though they are less than because that’s how we are actually feeling about ourselves. Take a moment and ask yourself, “Why do I judge others so quickly”? Did a particular moment present itself, a moment when you discounted someone that could’ve held the key to your next assignment or success? Did you get an uneasy feeling from within, as you’re recognizing that there are a particular group of individuals that you misjudge, more than others?

Today, I want you to be aware. Aware of your reactions to those who look different, speak differntly, smell differently, even live differently and don’t be so quick to judge. As you are sizing them up, remember that you’re also revealing a truth about yourself. #judgenot #weallhavesomething #differencesarenotaissue #manageyourmindset

I Can Cope

What do you consider being the first step to coping? In my opinion, it’s mindfulness. Mindfulness is defined as, “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something; a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feeling, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” What I’ve experienced as an individual, counselor and coach is that you will never cope with that which you refuse to confront.

Today, I want you to self-reflect and be willing to confront any area in your life that you’ve been avoiding. Today, I want you to become the champion of your consciousness, and be fully aware thaat there may be areas in your life that require that you cope with them, instead of pushing them into the recesses of your mind. You have the power to do this, and I believe in you. Today, be EMPOWERED to make a difference and Cope. #ICanCope #Mindfulness #Empowerment #counseling #coaching #purpose

I’m Ready To Push

When was the last time you pushed yourself beyond your comfort zone? We do it physically some times, emotionally some times but spiritually, we seem to take it as it comes without exerting that extra push to excel.

Today, the Holy Spirit is saying PUSH into the next level of greatness that’s awaiting you.

I Talked Too Much

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man.” – Matthew 15:18 KJV

A tainted heart does a lot of damage! Do you ever give thought to what has been coming out of your mouth as a child of God or as a person, saved or unsaved? We say so many things and often without thought – emotional babble! That’s got to change. Do you realize that your words have power? Have you ever told your child, “I’m going to knock your head off” knowing that you don’t mean it, but how does that impact the child? What have you said to your spouse in a heated moment that was just plain WRONG and then turn around and say I love you! We’ve got to watch what we say.

The Word of God tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue in Proverbs 18:21, and we hold on to that scripture with ease. However, we are not checking our hearts before the words get to our tongue. Today, our focus is not on what we are saying to others, but what we are speaking concerning ourselves. Why are you talking yourself out of fulfilling God’s purpose? The answer, in a nutshell, is, I’ve got unresolved issues that I don’t want to address, it’s too painful.

This part of my journey brings with it a need for deliverance and healing. You think that because no one is listening to what you’re saying that it has no impact, but you’re wrong. My words were seeds, and I was watching those seeds manifest in ways that were not beneficial or healthy. My broken heart, my anger, my hurting were surfacing as detrimental seeds to everyone around me. I thought that isolation from the world would help, it didn’t – it only took me further into my darkness and fueled me with more bitterness.

Do not let your mouth cause you to sin, and do not tell the priest, “It was a mistake!” Why make God angry at you so that he would destroy the work of your hands?” – Ecclesiastes 5: 6 KJV

*From My Reality Revealed, A Journey of Empowerment by Valerie Burrell

Grief is more than about Death

My place of solace

Could I be grieveing and unaware? That’s a question I hear often as a counselor and my general response before a weighty conversation is generally, yes. For many years before becoming a counselor, I only associated grief with death, and am now so thankful to have learned that I was wrong. Grief can be experienced from the loss of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job, having to relocate, a medical diagnosis, and in this hour – from being isolated from those that you love and care for.

When people share that they have these symptoms: anger, anxiety, lonliness, panic, lack of energy, weight loss, denial, confusion, trouble concentrating, sleepless nights, and even appetite changes, what’s your first thought? You probably didn’t think of grief – first, but these are all normal symptoms of grief. I wanted to bring this to your attention with hopes that as a people, we become a bit more empathetic towards each other, not knowing what people are going through. Even if you’re experiencing some of these symptoms yourself, take time to come to terms with your emotions, your experience and your mindset. I want you healed. #griefismorethandeath #heal