Forgive even when my intentions were pure?

When I was a young lad entering college I thought I knew everything.  I can say I was wrong about ALOT of things then.  But what I was mostly wrong about was how to be a person that people respected.  I can’t place my finger on the time or date, but somewhere along the line, I understood that treating people like shit would gain respect.  So I did a lot of it.  I am reminded of a time when I was serving on Student Council and a fellow council member stated we were friends.  I don’t know why it hit a cord with me but I imphatically denied our friendship.  We were friendly.  We enjoyed many great conversations, but because I had not taken the time to evaluate if I could trust him or not, I automatically assumed he was not worthy.  What a foolish thought.  That conversation haunts me today because I look around me and there are not many pure friends in my life.  I often think of how he didn’t know much about me, but still wanted to be called my friend.

So justification…I had a criteria for friends.  This stems back to when I was this guy looking for some friends I thought I had in high school only to be sorely mistaking.  I vowed no one would ever treat me that way again.  I felt I had to take control over people in my life because when I didn’t control it, I was crushed.  In short, my response to him that visibly pissed him off (and inside I felt his pain, because I knew it well), was inexcusable.  And my “Adult” quest to make people do right by me and respect me was moving in the wrong direction.  I thought I was doing the right thing.  And at the time, I gave no thought to how I made others feel, only to how I felt about things.

As I’m older now, I realize that people respect you because you do right by them, not because they fear you.  At the time I was a stupid bull headed kid and if I could talk to me from then, I would say, “This isn’t going to work.  And you care about people more than you are letting on”.  Let’s just say my career milestones and successes have come because people know that I come from a place of love and not malice.  It took a long time to turn that around.

So, on to this theme of forgiveness.  Do I have anything to forgive myself for?  Do I need to ask others to forgive me when I was a dumb kid trying to figure things out?  As mature as I let on, I was so far behind my college mates (friends) who knew at least how to be polite to people and take cues that maybe what they said to someone hurt them.  Should you ask for forgiveness or have anything to forgive yourself for when you thought you were justified in your actions?  ABSOLUTELY you do.  Life is about growing.  And that growth means that no matter if your intentions were pure and actions poor, you affected someone negatively.  Your growth says even if you meant it then, it wasn’t the right thing to do and you should attempt to make amends with those you hurt, and the number one person you hurt was YOURSELF.  By alienating people, I lost out on a lifetime of good memories, drinks, shoulders to cry on, and support that was lacking many times in my life.  I remember getting my own place and wanting to throw a housewarming, but couldn’t come up with a high enough number on a guest list to justify “throwing” something.  See what I value most now, and what I totally took for granted then, were the moments you share with people.  Those ties bind forever.  I’m all about that now, and am less worried about someone hurting me because even if they do, I’m strong enough to recover, unlike 20 years ago.  So forgiveness is necessary for YOURSELF.  Understand that in order to grow, you have to make amends; with others and yourself too!


Breaking Free: Recognizing Narcissistic Relationships and Reclaiming Your Power

Navigating relationships can be a complex journey, and unfortunately, some individuals find themselves entangled in toxic dynamics with narcissistic partners. A narcissistic relationship is characterized by manipulative behaviors, self-centeredness, and an imbalance of power. If you suspect you’re in such a relationship or want to learn how to avoid falling into one, this blog post will shed light on the red flags and offer valuable tips for breaking free and reclaiming your emotional well-being.

  1. Understanding Narcissistic Traits and Red Flags: Educate yourself about narcissistic personality disorder and the common traits associated with it. Recognize red flags such as excessive self-importance, lack of empathy, constant need for admiration, manipulation, and gaslighting. Awareness of these warning signs is crucial in identifying potential narcissistic partners early on.
  2. Trust Your Intuition: One of the most powerful tools you possess is your intuition. Pay attention to any feelings of discomfort, unease, or imbalance in the relationship. Trust your gut instincts and don’t dismiss your own feelings and concerns. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s essential to investigate further and seek support.
  3. Establish Boundaries: Narcissists often push boundaries and disrespect personal limits. Set clear and firm boundaries in your relationships. Communicate your needs, values, and expectations openly, and be prepared to enforce consequences when they are violated. Healthy boundaries protect your well-being and prevent the narcissist from exploiting your vulnerabilities.
  4. Seek Support from Trusted Individuals: Reach out to supportive friends, family members, or professionals who can provide objective insights and emotional support. Narcissistic relationships can be isolating, as the narcissist may try to isolate you from your support network. Surrounding yourself with people who genuinely care about your well-being is crucial for regaining your strength and confidence.
  5. Prioritize Self-Care and Self-Love: Narcissistic relationships can erode your self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Focus on self-care activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. Engage in activities that bring you joy, practice self-compassion, and engage in positive affirmations. Cultivating self-love and building your self-esteem will empower you to break free from the toxic cycle.
  6. Seek Professional Help: Consider seeking therapy or counseling to heal from the emotional wounds inflicted by the narcissistic relationship. A trained therapist can guide you through the recovery process, help you understand the dynamics at play, and provide strategies for rebuilding your life and forming healthier relationships in the future.
  7. Plan Your Exit Strategy: If you’re currently in a narcissistic relationship and considering leaving, develop a solid exit plan to ensure your safety and minimize potential backlash. This may involve seeking legal advice, securing your financial independence, and having a support network in place. Remember, leaving a narcissistic partner can be challenging, but your well-being and happiness are worth fighting for.

Escaping a narcissistic relationship is a courageous journey towards reclaiming your power and rebuilding your life. By recognizing the red flags, setting boundaries, seeking support, prioritizing self-care, and planning your exit strategy, you can break free from the toxic cycle and move toward healthier, more fulfilling relationships. Remember, you deserve love, respect, and happiness. Embrace your worth and embark on a path of healing and self-discovery.

Self Care

Embracing Your True Self: The Power of Self-Love

In a world that often emphasizes perfection and conformity, it’s easy to feel the pressure to fit into certain molds or meet unrealistic standards. However, true happiness and fulfillment can only be achieved when we learn to love and accept ourselves for who we truly are. Self-love is not just a fleeting feeling; it is a lifelong journey of embracing our strengths, acknowledging our flaws, and nurturing our authentic selves. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of loving who you are and provide actionable tips on cultivating self-love in your life.

  1. Embrace Your Uniqueness: Each of us is a unique individual, with a combination of qualities, experiences, and perspectives that make us who we are. Embrace your quirks, talents, and interests, and celebrate the things that set you apart from others. Remember, it is these distinct qualities that make you special and contribute to the richness of the world.
  2. Practice Self-Compassion: We all make mistakes and experience setbacks along the way. Instead of being overly critical of yourself, practice self-compassion. Treat yourself with the same kindness, understanding, and forgiveness you would extend to a dear friend. Embrace that you are a work in progress and that growth and self-improvement are continuous processes.
  3. Focus on Inner Beauty: While society often emphasizes external appearances, true beauty emanates from within. Cultivate qualities such as kindness, empathy, gratitude, and resilience. Nourish your mind, body, and soul through self-care practices that promote overall well-being. By nurturing your inner beauty, you will radiate confidence and attract positivity into your life.
  4. Set Healthy Boundaries: Loving yourself means honoring your own needs and setting healthy boundaries. Learn to say no when necessary, prioritize self-care, and surround yourself with people who uplift and support you. Setting boundaries will protect your emotional well-being and allow you to focus on what truly matters to you.
  5. Practice Self-Reflection: Take the time for self-reflection and introspection. Explore your values, passions, and goals. Understand what brings you joy and fulfillment, and align your actions with your authentic self. Regularly check in with yourself, assess your growth, and make adjustments as needed to stay true to who you are.
  6. Surround Yourself with Positivity: Choose to surround yourself with positive influences. Surrounding yourself with supportive and encouraging individuals who celebrate your uniqueness and encourage your personal growth will contribute to your overall self-love journey. Seek out inspirational books, podcasts, or online communities that promote self-love and personal development.

Loving who you are is not always easy, but it is one of the most empowering and rewarding journeys you can embark upon. Embrace your true self, practice self-compassion, and set healthy boundaries. Focus on nurturing your inner beauty, reflect on your values, and surround yourself with positivity. Remember, self-love is a lifelong commitment, and by embracing and accepting who you are, you pave the way for a more fulfilling and joyful life. Embrace your uniqueness, and let your light shine brightly for the world to see.


Autism Activist and ImpactU Today Contributor, Michelle Love, has passed away.

This hurts.

Please pray for the family and friends of Michelle Love.

She comes from a loving and close family. She has always been nice and hilarious at the right moment. One of the quotes I use often is “Don’t be deep, be real!” It came from her. I LOVE THAT QUOTE.

She was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and made at Tau Chapter (Wayne State University) in 1996.

Please pray that God’s healing strength is given during this time to her family (especially her daughter) and friends. Death is uncertain, but God IS! He never changes.

One thing we know for sure is she’s in Heaven….a place we hope to be when we leave this crazy place… to rest in His arms.

And that right there says a lot!

One thing folks didn’t know, she was a great writer. If you want to read some of her writing contributions to ImpactU Today, check it out here: .

Thank you in advance.


A Word About Grace

Here’s another good blog post!

Chaos & Naked Grace

So, I said in my first post I don’t like to talk about politics and religion and that I’d tell you why. So here we are talking about it.’s going to be a one and done as far as I’m concerned.

I looked at my first post and thought, man, that’s just too long. Keep it shorter Michelle. But seriously, I don’t think it’s possible. I’m already distracted by everything I want to cram in here. So I’ll start by saying I find politics boring. I know they’re important. To some people. Just not to me. It doesn’t mean I turn a blind eye to what is going on in the world or in my own country. It doesn’t mean I don’t care or I’m not concerned. But in general, politics put me to sleep and people arguing about them even more so. I’m blown away by people who…

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The Unexpected Beginning — Chaos & Naked Grace

So…here it is. My first official blog post. And it’s already nothing like what I thought it would be! I thought I would be explaining the title to you, telling you about me if you don’t already know me, finding some clever and quirky things to say to keep you interested…..but NO! I think one […]

via The Unexpected Beginning — Chaos & Naked Grace


Forgiving Yourself (Let it go)


Forgiving anyone is no small task, but it’s doable.  Forgiving yourself…now that can be tricky.  In order to forgive anyone, you have to acknowledge the hurt, pain, disappointment, and/or frustration.  You can’t keep walking around acting like it’s ok.  As parents we go into “it’s ok” mode quickly, it makes it easy to move to the next task.  If I sit and think about how hurt I am, then I’ll start crying and then I may want to talk and I just don’t have time for that right now so let’s just push these feelings over into a nice little corner and move on.  We’re good, right?  On the outside we all know how to make it look like we’re good but on the inside not so much.  Me being a mom (of a beautiful autistic young lady might I add), I can say that I can be extremely hard on myself as a parent.  You can try to encourage me all you want but all I hear is wah wah wah wah wah (Charlie Brown’s teacher’s voice).  I’ve had family and friends tell me: You’re doing a great job, You can’t do it all, It’s ok, You need to take a break, You’re too hard on yourself, I don’t know how you do it…..wah wah wah wah.  Because my self talk is the total opposite…I’m telling myself, You suck, You can be so stupid, You’re not a good mother, She deserves more…that’s my self talk…kind of horrible.  If I talked to anyone else like this, I’d need to ask for forgiveness because it’s not acceptable…I deserve that same courtesy.

Being an autistic mom (or mom of an autistic child), there has been and will always be times when I need to be the advocate.   There has been and will always be times when I see what she doesn’t and I need to be her voice.  Whether it be at school, at church, or just in the grocery store.  There are people that still don’t understand autism, they still stare at her (adults moreso than children), they still try to give me criticism dressed up as advice on basically what can be done to make them feel comfortable with my child being autistic & sharing space with them.  I have to forgive myself for all of the times that I was too afraid to…or felt that I didn’t know enough to…or was just too shocked at the time to stand up for my daughter and be her voice.  But I also have to make sure that the next time, I’m ready.

There’s so many more things that I need to forgive myself for, and until I started writing this post I never even thought about it.  At the end of the day (I hate that I typed that phrase) I want to be the best mother that I can be and be the mother that my daughter needs me to be.  And to do that I can’t be drained from the negative self talk and beating up myself for every decision.  In the words of the oh so wise Else from Frozen I have to (sing it with me) Let It Go & embrace what is, accepting the complement sand encouragement without saying “yeah but”.  Just let it go 🙂


Forgive Yourself

Forgive Yourself

As a wife and mother, you never realize how often you have to forgive yourself. For example, yesterday was the first day of school for our older three. Wait, let me rewind and set the stage.

(Que- Black Star Instrumental) Hello, I’m a 35yr old, Brown Skinned Lady, I’ve been married almost 11yrs (Oct. 2005) to my awesomely geeky husband. I have four beautiful, intelligent boys (12, 8, 5, 1). I’m born and raised in the 313.  If you would have asked my 17yr old self would I be married with four children by 35, I probably would have said, “yes” with some variations (music fade out).

I’m a career mom and an entrepreneur when I have time. Being me isn’t easy. Many people ask me “I don’t know how you do it”? My response, “the Holy Spirit,” like if I was to take an outer body experience and look at myself, I would probably want to commit myself. Like, literally in today’s society, it’s a lot to take on.

So back to my original story…. first day of school. I set my alarm the night before for 5:30am. My kids were all in bed. As I set my alarm, I thought to myself, I won’t be there for the first day of school. How does a mother not make it to the first day of school? I mean I’m, a working mother who had a pressing call at 8:30 a.m. The question would be, “couldn’t you have pushed your meeting back? The answer, No.  In all my 12yrs of parenting, I have NEVER missed a first day of school. However, that day had come.

When I think about it, I think of the words of one of my directors said during a meeting, “It’s not work, life, balance” it’s more like “work, life, compromise”. Well, today was a compromise. A compromise, which I also had to forgive myself after it’s all said and done.

I have to forgive myself for being a career mom. I have to forgive myself for actually liking my career and even the times it takes me out of town. I have to forgive myself, for not being there all the time and as attentive as I should. However, I can’t fully say I’m mad at myself though. I am living my best life right now. I’m living the life I’ve always wanted, a home in a historic Detroit neighborhood, working for one of the largest auto companies, I’m well educated and I have four brown boys that keep me alive. Most importantly, I’m married to my best friend and he supports me in everything I do. Can you say WINNING!?!?

Forgiving one’s self is cyclical. There will always be something the makes us think you’re not enough and you can always do more/better. The key to all of this is no matter what, this too shall pass. We have to forgive, dust your shoulders off**jay-z** and keep it moving. Because you know what? There is still so much life to live and as for me… I’m going to live my life to the fullest.

 Constance Thomas is married to Kristopher Thomas and they have four boys Khamani, Dylan, Chase and Levi. She currently works in Diversity Marketing for General Motors. You can follow her on Twitter: @Only1ConnieT