You’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/dark-skinned

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Growing up my beauty and skin complexion was heavily celebrated, especially by my Dad. As far back as I can remember, he was the first person who ever told me that I and my Dark skin was beautiful. On a regular basis, he would proudly proclaim in his raspy Jamaican accent yuh Black and pretty just like yuh Mumma’ or my personal favourite, Mi likkle Black Beauty’.

Whenever he would shower me with praises about my skin, you would always catch me with a face full of smiles. My mum too and as I grew in age, I became heavily accustomed to both their praises. After a while, I started mimicking my parents by showing love and appreciation to my skin all by myself. I guess you could say that their mission to teach me how to love my dark skin was accomplished. My confidence and self-esteem were built off the back of this and at four years old, I became comfortable in the skin that I was in.

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Inevitably, I soon came to learn that although my skin complexion was celebrated at home, it was not desirable by some on the outside. Racism is just one horrific example of this and sadly in 2018, darker skin being seen as ugly or less attractive is still a thing. My parents did not sugar coat anything for me though. I was bluntly told to expect this and possibly discrimination because of my dark skin complexion.

As harsh as this was my parents had every right to prepare me for what I might be faced with out there in the world. But I was reminded that no matter what people thought about my dark skin or said, I still had to love myself. Looking back now, I find it very heartbreaking that my parents even had to sit me down to tell me something like that. Sadly, even with the prior warning, this was something that I certainly was not ready for. So it was not surprising that I found myself swimming in a pool of confusion at 13 years old when I got my first ever real taste of colourism.

Colourism is where an individual is discriminated against or treated differently based on their skin colour. Those who take part in colourism usually value lighter skinned people more than those with darker skin.

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No matter how many times I heard my parents share their own experiences of colourism nothing really could compare to my own. The incident occurred right after I moved to from Brixton to Streatham. Two boys from my new area did not waste time in letting it be known to everyone exactly what they thought of me.  “She is pretty for a dark-skinned ting but dark-skinned tings are just not our thing”. EXCUSE ME? First of all, I did not know that I had even auditioned to be somebody’s dark-skinned ting.

So the unnecessary feedback truly caught me by surprise. It was very cheeky. I did not take it as a compliment and I certainly never took it to heart. But I was slightly embarrassed only because I felt like I had been singled out because of my darker skin. Now they may have said that I was pretty but that was beside the point, I felt very insulted. One of my younger neighbours clearly must have read the embarrassment on my face, because he turned to me and said, “Jenna, they don’t know what they are talking about”. I will never ever forget that because he was right, those boys simply did not have a clue.

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My little neighbour knew better and so did I. There was no way I going to let these boys and their words hurt me because their views meant absolutely nothing. I had to decide at that moment and every moment after that, that I was not going to let any negative thing said about my dark skin ever affect me. I may have been only 13 but the words of my parents and my beliefs were so deeply rooted inside of me. It was simply impossible to convince me to accept or believe in the idea that dark skin was ugly.

I managed to brush it off because even back then I knew that beauty had nothing to do with complexion. I was so sure of that and I was not going to let these two boys blindsight me with their foolery. Unfortunately, this was not the last time I was to be told that I was pretty for a dark skin girl but my stance always remained the same.

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I quickly came to discover that the notion of darker skin being associated with unattractiveness is actually still very common. A recent 2018 study by Jean Jaures looked into the impact of face skin tone on perceived facial attractiveness, results found that overall participants preferred light-skinned faces over dark-skinned ones. Again, this is not shocking because these type of findings have been relatively consistent for decades.

I know some people do not care too much for research or statistics but it would be ludacris to just dismiss such findings. It clearly tells us something and that is Colourism is alive and well and in 2018 and too me that is very concerning. I can only imagine what type of impact colourism could have on young impressionable people, both the victims and perpetrators.

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Another thing that I find very irresponsible is when people try to pass colourism off as personal preference, as opposed to what it really is, colourism. I totally understand that everyone is entitled to like what they like. But for someone to think that darker skin is ugly, for me that goes beyond just preference or what someone prefers. I love dark-skinned men, but that does not mean that I think Lighter-skinned men are less unattractive or ugly.

My Husband could be light-skinned for all I know, but I am yet to meet my husband, so I really do not know what he will look like lol. In my opinion, it is very possible to have a preference that is not built on the poison that is Colourism. Sadly you would think something like colourism should not exist. When in fact if you were to take a closer look you will see that it can be found almost everywhere. The media, the entertainment industry, institutions, the workplace and sadly the list goes on.

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One thing that you should know though is that colourism happens between racial communities and sadly within them. On Black Twitter where some use the hashtags #teamdarkskin and #teamlightskin as a sign of unity within their own group, there are others who abuse this and use it as a way to keep division amongst the two alive.

Sadly the issues between both groups were well established before the birth of Black Twitter. Issues stem from as far back as the days of slavery. Where dark skin slaves were kept out working in the fields and lighter skinned slaves were kept in the house. Lighter skinned slaves were treated fairly better than darker skinned slaves. Reportedly this is just one of many factors that contributed to feelings of superiority amongst those of a  lighter skin tone. The big issue for me is that both groups were slaves and personally I find nothing positive in that, but each to their own.

Some may argue that this superiority is still around today and it continues to feed colourism within the black community. It is very important to know that colourism is not a one-way street though, it affects both dark-skinned women and men. Even those of a  lighter skin tone can fall victims to colourism too. In this day and age, you would think we would be so further away from this.6a87683bb26df9d7e939f9a07eff4653--black-models-black-art.jpg

I feel very blessed that I was able to fall in love with my dark skin from a very young age. By the time I was fully exposed to some of the negative perceptions out there in the world of darker skin, I was unshakeable. I have my parents to thank for that because things could have been very different for me.

There are many dark skin women out there who maybe did not have someone to teach or show them how to love their dark skin. So it is not surprising when faced with negativity about their dark skin, they end up internalising it and it then manifested in other ways. Colourism can be very toxic and damaging to its victims as it can impact everything from self-esteem to mental health.

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Famous actresses such as Gabriella Union and Lupita Nyong’o have openly discussed how they both battled with self-esteem issues because of their complexion. Both extremely beautiful women, who believed that their dark skin was ugly because of the constant negativity they were led to believe. Sadly, there are thousands of other dark-skinned girls and women who have been led to believe the same.

One of the most damaging things has occurred as a result of this is skin bleaching. I think for me this is probably the worse one of them all. It has now become a worldwide pandemic that has many physical side effects as well as psychological. People are going to extreme lengths to change the appearance of their skin, despite knowing the dangers.

Bleaching products are so easily accessible all over the world. I could go online or walk into any black hair shop owned in London and start my bleaching skin journey. I seem to believe if people were openly selling crack cocaine in these local hair shops, the UK government would go to extreme lengths to shut that down. I just do not believe enough is being down to crack down on this. If bleaching skin products are getting through the cracks of the system, then someone is not doing their job properly.

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Things do not stay the same forever and nowadays thing appears to be heading in a positive new direction. Especially within the entertainment and beauty industry concerning dark skinned women. More and more dark-skinned women can be found on covers of international magazine covers like Vogue. Dark skinned women are now leading major beauty campaigns and landing themselves in lead roles in tv shows and films.

Opportunities like this for dark-skinned women were literally non-existent many years ago. Supermodels like Naomi Campbell have paved the way for models like Leomi Anderson to be to able to do what they do. Representation matters and by young dark skinned girls seeing women who look like them in the media,  it is possible that this could have a positive impact on their self-esteem leading to a better self-image.

Dark skin women are now taking centre stage and creating their own narratives instead of being phased by the plague of colourism. It still exists, but more and more dark-skinned women are determined to embrace all of their dark skin chocolate goodness regardless. There is now a strong sense of self-love and pride that oozes from dark-skinned women especially on social media platforms. Everyone appears to be loving their dark skin and they are being unapologetic about it. Again this is amazing stuff as it only helps to uplift those within the dark-skinned community.

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Sadly on these same platforms, there are trolls who work just as hard to keep colourism alive with the constant bullshit they put in tweets and memes. I pray that those who use these platforms positively will develop a zero tolerance for colourism and anything that is associated with it. In today’s society, colourism should have no seat at anyone’s table.

It helps no one and this idea that dark skin is ugly or less attractive needs to come to a swift end. It is complete and utter nonsense and this is me being polite. Dark skin like any other skin tone is beautiful. I can only hope that those who think the opposite comes to know the truth.

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To you, my reader whatever complexion you are, I urge you to be proud and love the skin that you are in. Try your hardest not to be impacted by the mean or hurtful things that people say. Especially on social media if someone talks craps, educate or block them, do whatever is easier for you. We are all equal in Gods image, no one is superior to anybody despite what people may think or promote.

I do hope that this post was insightful to you in some way. I know that is a little different from my usual context but this baby blogger is out there spreading her wings.

If you have had any experiences of colourism or if you want to let me know your views on this post, let’s chat in the comments or you can hit me up on Instagram or Twitter @Jennasworldview.

PS: I have a special skincare post out on Monday 17th September 2018 and I can’t wait for you to read it. Make sure you are signed up to my email updates. All images above were found on good ole google.

Stay blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

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Slaying in all my dark skin goodness in Barcelona – August 2018.

The Aftermath…

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I am a 90s baby, so I grew up on Toni Braxton, Monica and of course my Aunty Mary J Blige. I was singing about heartbreak and infidelity before I knew what it meant to really go through it. I could recite lyrics and belch every high note with raw emotion as if the heartbreak was my own. In my mind I was no stranger to it, I had read countless books about cheating couples (shout out to Brenda Hampton & Omar Tyree). I watched Tv shows and films over the years. I even knew all the words of the iconic heartbreak film Waiting to Exhale. It was all fun and games when it was make-belief but nothing could prepare me for the pain I felt when heartbreak became my reality.

Now I know that I dropped a bomb on you in my last blog post Intuition: A blessing in disguise. I was really touched by your response and I now feel braver than ever telling my story. Before I crack open my post break up travel series I need to take you a bit further behind the scenes. From the break up until my trip to Berlin, a lot had taken place in my life. I turned 25. I developed an elaborate and impulsive spending habit and I experienced everything from hair loss to depression. Dealing with a break up on top of trying to navigate my way through life was crippling and I couldn’t manage it. The break up was the straw that broke the Camels back and sadly for me it knocked me right off my feet. There was so much to process. My family were in my ears, my friends were in my ears. Everyone including me was trying to make sense of the madness.

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I was embarrassed, ashamed and I felt dirty. To make matters even worse, the word had started to spread and the people were talking. An old acquaintance of mine was so desperate for an exclusive, she texted my phone with fake concern in hopes to catch the tea. But this wasn’t tea or breaking news via the #shaderoom this was my real life. All eyes were now on me. Every move that I made was being scrutinised, so I wasn’t going to give the spectators, my ex or cousinbae the satisfaction of seeing me crumble. Even though I was half dead behind the scenes, lol. The show had to go on, so I kept up the appearances and made sure my Instagram uploads stayed popping.

The more I acted as though life was grand like a thousand pounds to the outside world, things were taking a turn for the worse. It got so bad that my mum sat me down and gave me some home truths. Mummy was blunt and told me that I am not the first girl in the world to get cheated on and I won’t be the last. I need to walk with my head held high. One day it will all make sense why I had to go through this. I can’t stop or give up, I just have to keep going. My mum tried the nice approach at first but in true Aunty Lorna form, she likes to leave an impact with her words. Mum made sure to remind me that I came from a long line of strong Black Women, who have been through ‘this’ before, so I have to pick myself up. Mum then went on to say and I quote “if you feel like you are going to mash up yourself over this Jancro boy & his dutty family, you have another thing coming”. In translation, this was a warning to get my shit together.

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You see, I heard what my mum said, but her words were not hitting home. Nothing anyone was saying to me at the time was. I felt like a victim and found comfort revelling in the pain of the breakup. I truly lost my strength and was I embarrassed to tell my mum that I was struggling to push through. My confidence was bruised. Ever since I was a child, It has been drilled into me that I have to grow up to be a strong Black woman. Life was going to throw some horrible things my way and no matter what happens, I have to keep it moving. Even if it hurts. Even if it’s painful. Even if I don’t understand it. I was raised and trained to be resilient. If I fall, I must get up and if I cry it shouldn’t be for too long, but I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t look or feel like the strong Black woman my mum raised me to be and this had a major impact on my confidence. I was unable to demonstrate all that my mum had taught me because I was crumbling.

Over the years I have been able to live up to this reputation as a ‘strong  Black woman’. I  have served as the friend, who many have called on. At one point in time, I even held a PHD in solving man problems for my girls, lol. Sadly, the tables had turned and the strong Jenna that everybody once knew, was now unrecognisable. The stress completely took over, I started isolating myself from others, my hair started to fall out and I wasn’t able to sleep at night. I remember feeling like someone cast an evil spell on me because everything that was happening to me just seemed unreal. I was declining, but I couldn’t do anything about it. The break up was an eye-opener and it made me realise that my ex-wasn’t who he portrayed himself to be. I thought that I knew him, but I didn’t. It made me feel as though everything that we had shared together was a lie. This was the worse part for me because, in my heart, I truly felt like we had shared something real.

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My ex- was the first guy I ever exchanged I love you with. The first guy who knew all of my hopes and dreams. From the age of 17, he watched me blossom into the early stages of womanhood. How could I just forget him? How was I supposed to erase the last 7 years of my life? I felt like I didn’t have anything to show for the relationship. I wasted my years and my time being his lover and the damn secretary too. I couldnt bear the thought of letting go of the relationship and to make matters worse, I was still attached to him(please don’t cuss me). It was so overwhelming for me to the point where I couldn’t even think straight. There was too much noise going in my head and I just needed to tune everything out. The break up was already taking its toll on my mental health and I knew it. As a first-class psychology graduate, who at that time wanted to get into Clinical Psychology Doctoral training. I knew the signs and tried my best to disguise it from my family and friends.

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It wasn’t only until an incident took place at work, that would soon reveal the true impact of the break-up. I collapsed at work and was unresponsive on my office floor for 5 minutes. As I regained consciousness, I noticed my wig was halfway across the office floor. My colleagues were standing around in complete and utter shock. When I realised my wig was gone, I just screamed out in embarrassment, lol.  I know they probably thought I was having a panic attack but unfortunately it was the shame of my wig abandoning my head at such a crucial time. Everyone believed I had suffered a silent heart attack until the tests came back normal. My iron levels were fine and no I didn’t have a stroke. Numerous tests were carried out on me but nothing could explain why I collapsed. The only thing the doctors could conclude was that stress had a major part to play. I spent two nights in the hospital and was advised to take it easy because next time I might not be so lucky.

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It was obvious from that incident I needed to get a grip on things but I just didn’t have the strength to get myself together. So I did what I do best and blocked out the problems by slipping away into isolation. I didn’t want to hear what my family or friends had to say anymore. I didn’t want to think about my ex anymore. I just wanted to soothe my wounds. I needed to make myself feel better and I was desperate to fill the pain with something other than the voices of my family and friends. So I kept spending money and boy did it feel good.

My aim was to get away from London and even further away from everyone’s voices. I was so desperate for a change of scenery. So when my girl Lola hit me up about Drakes Boy meets world tour in Berlin, I was all over it. Something about this concert just made sense to me. If you read JWV’s Top 10 things to do in Miami, you would know that we missed out on seeing him the previous year. I strongly sensed this was a rare moment of fate presenting itself and I needed to pay close attention. Without any additional thought, I booked those Drake tickets and Lola & I made plans to set off to Berlin. Little did I know, that this trip was going to be the starting point for my restoration & healing.

Click here for part 1 of my #PostBreakUp Travel series

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

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Intuition; A blessing in disguise!

If you follow me on the socials, you should have noticed that I have started promoting my #PostBreakUp travel series. 2017 was a great year of travel for me, who knew that heartbreak could take me so far, lol. It didn’t feel right for me to take you through my trips to Berlin, Santorini & Costa Rica, without giving you some insight into how I ended up there in the first place. I have to take you back a bit, so grab some snacks and get comfy.

Being the only girl child at home, I spent a lot of time around my mum (Hey Aunty Lorna). I don’t think it was intentional, but that’s just how it was. I was like her handbag, wherever she was, you would always find me close by. With that being said, I saw a lot and I heard much more.

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Instead of watching cartoons, I would be in the company of my Mother and other knowledgeable women. I spent countless hours sitting on their laps, hanging on to their every word as they exchanged life stories.  Some of the things that my Mother & these women experienced within their romantic relationships should be shared via book deals and movies. Every one of their scars came with a different story and I learned something new, each time I listened. It was through those same conversations, where I first heard about something called ‘Intuition’.

Intuition : The ability to know something without analytic reasoning based soley on a gut feeling.

 Each woman who shared their story talked about ‘intuition’ with the utmost respect. It led some to the front doors of their husband’s mistress. Whilst others uncovered children from outside the relationship. Apparently, intuition had the ability to keep them up late at night, eating away at their conscious until they responded to the call. Many described intuition as a gut feeling, that pushed them to do some crazy things without telling them why.  No two stories that I ever heard about intuition were ever the same. Whether these women responded to their intuition or not, there was always a consequence to whichever path they decided to take.

A majority of the things that I heard my mum and her girlfriends discuss didn’t make much sense to me when I was younger. I just enjoyed being amongst the women and listening, because it filled the void of not having that much girly company around.  Although those conversations didn’t make much sense to me at the time. It would soon prove to be of great value once I blossomed and came into my own.  I didn’t realise just how much I absorbed just from listening to big women have real, raw, and honest conversations about the power of their intuition until it was time for mine to be put to the test.

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A year before my seven-year relationship came to an end, I randomly came across the girl my ex-cheated on me with via Facebook. I can remember the day so clearly because I was just browsing and there she was. It was so random but when I look back now, I can tell you that was supposed to happen. Up until that point, I didn’t even know that she existed but after scrolling through her Facebook pictures I made the connections and that was that, or so I thought.

This same individuals file came across my desk again, but this time around I was to give her my full attention. Up until this day, I find it difficult to describe the way my spirit was so suddenly drawn to her. I believe it was more spiritual than anything because this girl was a stranger but the sight of her made my spirit unsettled. Whenever I looked at her pictures my gut feelings were always trying to communicate something to me, but sadly I couldn’t interpret what I was being told. So as a result, I suffered.

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I heard my mum say once that if you ignore your intuition ‘it ah go mad yuh’( basically send you crazy) and she didn’t lie. I wasn’t even in sync with my intuition like that, so how was I supposed to understand what was being told? How was I suppose to crack those secret codes? I was so scared about what I might find out on the other side, to the point where I tried to bury it in the back of my mind. The more I tried to ignore those signals from my intuition, the louder they got. I couldn’t put them on mute even if I tried.

I know you are probably thinking, why didn’t I just confront my ex and ask him once and for all. I did eventually but even that wasn’t easy.  I was a professional at ignoring negatives feelings that I found difficult to communicate. I mastered those skills during my childhood and sadly it trailed right into my adult life. As silly as this sounds, I didn’t know how to scream if something was wrong. Even within that relationship, I suppressed a lot so when it all came crashing down I am not surprised that I went down with it.

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I went to four people before I approached my ex about him cheating on me. My little brother was the first and my mum was the last. I wrestled with this from February and it was now half way through May. I know you are probably cursing me out right now, but there were so many other factors that played a part in me not speaking up earlier. The person he cheated on me with was a family member, so it’s not like I could be out in the streets throwing around those type of sleazy accusations.

What was I going to do?, invite him over for dinner and say ‘hey babe my intuition told me you were cheating on me with your cousin, can you just clear that up real quick?’ Do you know how crazy I would have looked if that turned out to be untrue? This was why I was so conflicted. This was why I wouldn’t risk taking my intuition seriously. My intuition was trying to lead me down some sick twisted roads and I’m not really good with directions.

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I eventually asked him about her and it is so funny because when I look back now it was obvious my intuition had been leading me to the truth all along. As I type this, I can still see the expression that he had on his face at that moment. As a woman, you want assurance from your man that everything is safe and secure. I wanted him to shut down my doubts and he did, then he flipped the script on me and made me feel guilty for questioning our unit. It was the first time in my life when the opposite sex made me feel small.

I felt very dumb. Especially when he went on to ask me if I was insecure and did I really trust him? It didn’t stop there, he started reminding me of how strong our foundation “was” as a couple. My ex-started preaching. Talking about how we had been through too much together and we have come from so far, for him to ever disrespect me in such a way. I can’t lie, he put forward a good case and it was exactly what I wanted to hear. It was what any woman would have wanted to hear. We hugged each other in silence for about 15minutes after and that was that, or so I thought.

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Steve Jobs said it best, that our intuition is more powerful than our intellect, and I have no grounds to disagree. Even when I didn’t know, even when I didn’t understand things my intuition did. I never took the time to get to know my intuition prior to this experience. Its a bit like buying a top gadget, but you don’t use it for long enough to uncover all of its features. I didn’t know myself as well as I thought I did. I didn’t know how to tap into my intuition and I was far from knowledgeable on how to cultivate a connection. I never really listened to the sound of my inner thoughts properly. I never really took care of myself, because I was always dismissing my feelings.  I was very confused and I couldn’t trust my own intuition because I didn’t really know what my intuition was all about. I missed the signs on numerous occasions and I dismissed the signals because the truth was I wasn’t really listening. I would soon come to regret this when the truth finally came to light.

You see when it all came crashing down and the truth was finally revealed months down the line that my intuition was right all along, it broke me in an instance. All the dots were finally connected. I remember sitting in the car with him and  I couldn’t stop screaming, it’s like my inner voice was finally free. Everything just started to make sense now. I wasn’t going crazy. My intuition wasn’t leading me astray or trying to ruin my relationship or my life. My intuition tried for so long to open me up the truth, its a shame I didn’t realise it sooner.  My intuition was actually a blessing in disguise. Nearly two years on and I finally see it now.

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I have shared this with you before but mum has always told me that you have to burn to learn and she ain’t never lied. I stood by helplessly as my ex- torched me and the total existence of our relationship to the ground. 7 years up in flames, with no bridges to cross back over. As much as I burned, I learned some valuables life lessons during the fire. There’s nothing like real life experience and although it was bittersweet, my break up established the connection between me and my intuition. Reading about it in a book, wouldn’t have got the job done, it was ordained for me to experience it in real time.

I made a vow to myself on the day I found out about the cheating, that I would never ever dismiss my intuition ever again. When it speaks to me now, I listen. When it sends me a signal, I don’t ignore it. When my intuition communicates to me about things and individuals, I don’t second guess it. I move when my intuition tells me to move. What has since occurred in my life post break up is an example of my intuition and me being as one. The moves that I make, the people that I connect to and the travelling that I do, is a result of me simply listening to my intuition.

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Never in a million years did I think that something like that would have happened to me, but it did and I survived to tell the tale. One thing I know for sure now is that Intuition is a life skill that is required for survival. I encourage you to take the time out and let your intuition guide you. Listen closely. Pay attention to the signs and work on establishing that connection. Don’t ignore it and don’t ever dismiss yourself.  If something or someone feels wrong and you can’t put your finger on it, chances are it probably is.

With that being said, I look forward to taking you through my Post break up Travel series. To read what happened next, click here and once you have digested that, the first stop will be in Berlin.

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You really don’t want to miss this one. To stay in the loop with all my new blog posts, you can subscribe by following me on WordPress. If you are on the socials platforms you can find me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @JennasWorldView.

Stay Blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

Can you Slay and Love the Lord?

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I have been blogging for just over 3months now and I believe that with each blog post, you have been able to get to know me a little better. I love that and now I have decided to dive in a little deeper and open up another layer of my life to you. I kindly ask that you don’t judge me. Whatever your thoughts are about religion, hold fire and read this blog post with an open mind.

Now, this may come as a shock to some of you, but I am a water baptised, born-again Christian. I still try to “pops flavour and drips sauce” but this is a challenge in itself because I am often torn between the expected social norms of Christianity and the battle of being a 26 year old female living in 2018. Now if you read 26 & never been on a Bae-cation, you would know that from a young age I planned out my whole life. I can definitely tell you now that being born again in my 20s was never a part of my plan, but God was clearly waiting on me at the door.

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For a very long time, I put off the idea of getting right with the Lord. I used to think that my life would be over if I finally decided to chase after God. No more slay, no more enjoyment, life as I knew it would completely stop. Vybz Kartel would have to be traded in for Kirk Franklin and I would now spend the rest of days in Bible study. I just couldn’t bring myself to do this “God-thing properly”. I enjoyed our part-time relationship because it was convenient for me and it worked around my shenanigans, lol. Not to mention, I had become so accustomed to living by my own rules and I wasn’t really interested in giving that up.

I used to think why should I switch things up now? The Lord and I had a good thing going. As far back as I could remember, I would tell God what I wanted and he ALWAYS delivered. Whether that be my job at the bank, my first class degree in Psychology, financial blessings or any other opportunities. I did what I wanted with my life and then TOLD God he needs to co-sign my madness. As crazy as this sounds, this is exactly how I was living. So why in the world, would I give all of that up whilst living in a society where everyone does as they please?

As of February 2018, in Great Britain alone only 50.7% of the population identify as Christians and the percentage of those who actually practise the religion is much lower than that. It is safe to say that for some people Christianity/ religion isn’t seen as a driving force in their lives nowadays. So I knew that taking such a big step in my 20s was going to come at a cost. Choosing to love the Lord on a full-time basis, was going to require some real-life transformations from the inside out.

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I probably came up with a 100 reasons why I shouldn’t get baptised. Fear made me panic and I was making up all kinds of things in my head. What type of clothes could I wear, what kind of places would I be able to go to, do I have to change my friendship circle, will I have to marry a Pastors son? I seemed to believe that if I took such a huge step my life would somehow be restricted. My social life, image, purity,  purpose, relationships, career, my desires, my needs and my future was going to be impacted by choosing to be a born-again Christian. I knew it was going to be life-changing, but I felt the fear and did it anyway and I am so glad I did.

trust.jpgLife on the other side of being born again has been challenging. Learning how to live in the world but not be of it has truly stretched me beyond measure. The struggle to find the right balance between living my life and honouring my relationship with God is REAL. There have been days where I have thrown in the towel, called it a day on this Christianity thing and temporarily tapped out. Obviously, none of that has ever lasted because I always seem to find my way back to God one way or another.

I mess up from time to time, make mistakes, I say and do things that aren’t necessarily a great representation of my religion. It is not an easy road. The tug of war between the old me Vs the new me is very intense. The Old Jenna wants to wear, do and say whatever she wants, whilst the new Jenna has to try and keep with up the values of being a Christian in a modern world. Sex before marriage, modesty on social media, drinking alcohol, listening to secular music……its A LOT to juggle, but it can be done.

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So to answer the blog title is YES. It is 100% possible to love God with all your heart, be strong in your faith and serve your best slay. Personally, the only way I have been able to do this is by having BALANCE. Balance is key! Balance is everything! When I found Christ, I was yielded to come as I am. God isn’t interested in how well I can scream hallelujah, wear the longest skirts to church or put on a good Christian performance. To me, God really doesn’t care about any of that, he is more interested in living in my heart, the renewing of my mind & for me to experience the love he has for me. I could be wrong, but this is just the way I see things.

All that other extra stuff, God is not interested in. I still go out, I still get dressed up, I still have fun. Me having a relationship with God hasn’t stopped me from doing anything. I am now more mindful of how I display the values of my faith through my words and actions. As well the type of things that I feed to my soul. I know some Christians that don’t listen to secular music or eat shrimps and if that works for them, that’s great. It just won’t work for me. Being a Christian It is not an easy road to walk, sometimes I want to choke people out, get angry and talk all kinds of wreck lol. I still have my moments, I am not perfect by any means. I mess up and I probably will mess up again in the future, but this doesn’t stop me from loving God or him loving me.

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Although my appetite for certain things has changed, I haven’t stopped squeezing the juice out of life. I am more fierce than ever and I am confident in my sauce alongside all the other things that I bring to the table. Being born again hasn’t resulted in me being chained to the foot of my bed mesmerising holy scriptures. No no no, I have truly come into my own, running after everything God says that I can have. Meeting new people, having new experiences, coming out of my shell and sharing my gifts and talents with the world.

Yes, I have had to make some significant changes to my mindset and lifestyle, but these changes have been for the better. My life is actually more vibrant than it has ever been. Being born again has opened new doors for me and I truly feel like my life is soaring and it is not going to stop. How silly of me to think that stepping deeper into my faith would have hindered me from living an abundant life. This is why you should never let your fears lead you. I feel far from restricted or tied down because of my relationship with God. I  am now more confident than ever to go out into the world and do what I was created to do.

Personally for me, if I didn’t have my relationship with God, my slay would be non-existent and that’s a fact. My identity, my abilities, my confidence, who I am and who I will become is deeply rooted in my relationship with God. This is the secret formula behind my slay and without God, I would be dust. If I never had a relationship with God, #JennasWorldview wouldn’t even exist. My blog posts are heavily inspired by my faith and my life experiences. I strongly believe that God has blessed with this platform so that I can share my story and connect with people just like you. My relationship with God is my foundation and being born again has a really helped encourage me to live a full life.

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As I said it is possible to Slay and Love the Lord, but that doesn’t eliminate you from being scrutinised for doing both. It actually comes with the territory. I got a message from a lady on Instagram saying how could I be a Christian and have pictures up of myself on the beach? lol. Wooo Chile! I wanted to tell her about her mother in 12 different languages, but that was not in line with my good Christian values. So I had to handle that one with grace instead. Its safe to say she will think twice before she jumps in anyone else’s DMs. Now if I wasn’t secure in who I am something like that probably could have destroyed me or made me reluctant to grow in my faith.

I don’t mean to play devil’s advocate here but the people who display these facades of being oh so holy Christians are usually the ones that God can not recognise. The Bible teaches us about people who scream the Lord names in public but they are not for him. I am not about putting on a show by trying to act like a good Christian. I could pray for hours and speak in holy tongues until I am blue in the face, but if my heart isn’t right, God won’t be listening. What is in my heart and the strength of my relationship with God is the most important thing above everything.

I will be honest and say that I was fearful about how people were going to act towards me. To the point where I wanted to keep being born again on a low. I thought that people were going to ridicule me in judgement. So when cousin accidentally uploaded my baptism on snapchat, I had instant heart failure. Big up to the 12 people who saw me get baptised, I love you all lol. I deleted those snaps because I wasn’t ready to share that with everyone at the time. I felt like people were going to question the authenticity of my faith if they knew I was a born-again Christian. I actually believed that people would be scrolling through my social media looking at my pictures and saying I am a disgrace to Christianity lol. It is no secret that when religion is mentioned it has the power to change the atmosphere in a room.

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I have heard a few ‘wow you don’t look a Christain, or ‘I wouldn’t think that you would be a Christian’ before. I always hit those people with the same question ‘what exactly does a Christian look like’ no one has ever been able to answer. I guess it is subjective rather than objective right?. Once upon a time, I was caught up on how people would perceive me but I have managed to push past it and focus more on pleasing God rather than feeding peoples perception of me. Since I started taking this approach my walk with God has become 10x better. The journey has been filled with many highs and lows, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

To conclude, life after being born again does not suddenly turn into a snooze fest, Issa lie boo. Don’t ever get it twisted, if anyone tells you that you cant be a Christian and live a full life is a liar with tax. You can Slay & Love God just as much. Being a Christian requires transformation from the inside out, but that doesn’t stop you from living life abundantly. People are going to talk and judge you regardless because that is the way the world works. Do not let that stop your slay or hinder you from loving the Lord.

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I hope this blog post has been insightful to you in some way, shape or form. I was hesitant to open up about my faith, as I had reservations about how it would be received. I no longer feel this way as I believe this blog post will resonate with the right people.

I would love to hear from you about your thoughts on this piece, hit me up in the comments below or find me on  Twitter, Facebook & Instagram @JennasWorldView.

P.S. If you enjoy any of my blog posts, please share them via your social media. My aim is to connect with as many people as possible.

Ohhh yeah: Those amazing quotes pictures that you saw throughout this post, I found them on Google, they don’t belong to me boo.

Thank you so much for taking the time out to read this blog post, I look forward to sharing more with you soon.

Stay blessed

Lots of love

Jenna

xoxo

Are you living or simply existing?

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Firstly, I am going to ask you a personal question that I don’t need the answer to because it’s for you and only you. So here goes, if you were to suddenly pass away tomorrow, could you honestly say that you are happy with the life that you have lived?

Some of you might say yes and that’s good, but I feel like a great deal of you would say no. So this brings me right back to the blog title are you living or simply existing?

Living: means to live with purpose, enjoy life & savour every moment

Existing: to survive or remain alive with no real purpose, aim or direction in life

Which category would you say that you fall under? Take your time to have a real think about that and remember to be honest with yourself.

For me living is about doing things you are truly passionate about, taking risks, being happy, experiencing peace, giving love, receiving love and enjoying every present moment of life. Discovering your purpose and living it out to the best of your ability every single day. Taking life as it comes and definitely not worrying about tomorrow.

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Existing is like you falling into a dark hole that you simply can’t find your way out of, no matter how hard you try. I found myself in this very dark hole after my break up and boy it truly wasn’t a nice place to be in. I was alive, but I wasn’t living and it was a horrible cycle that went on for a short while, but of course, it felt like forever. It wasn’t until I reached to the middle of 2017, just before my trip to #Santorini when I realised that Life was happening to me and not through me. I felt like I wasting away over this failed relationship and it was so exhausting.

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There I was 25 and half just existing. You see, facing your truth takes a lot of strength and courage. It can also be a painful thing to live through, so most people would rather avoid that and carry on living their life as they have always known it. It was a hard pill to swallow, I let my break up consume me to the point where I was just existing and not living my life.

I woke up stressed, had a nonchalant attitude throughout the day, with no energy or motivation. I was living like I was one washed up actor who couldn’t find their next gig lol. Everything that I was required to do felt like a chore. The worse part was acknowledging that I wasn’t in a good place. It was my lightbulb moment that pushed me to start to change things around.

I now finally understand that to live doesn’t mean you’re alive, it takes much more than that. You have to wake up every day with purpose, be intentional about living and always have faith in the good. Take the time out to discover those things that truly make you happy or set your soul on fire and just go after them with everything that is in you. Do whatever it takes to chase those things that you want and never give up on them.

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Shifting from existing to living is a liberating process but it takes a lot of effort, courage and responsibility. You have to be so intentional about it that you make it your priority to fight for your happiness and freedom. Stop letting life happen to you, stop being a victim, stop settling, stop making excuses. Be fearless, discover your purpose, chase happiness and start living. The living is defined by what lights your heart up. It has nothing to do with society or what other people think. What you define as living might not resonate with the next person. So never get too caught up with what people think, because that might leave you hurt, distracted or disheartened.

Every day you should wake up and be excited about life. The fact that you woke up is enough reason to celebrate and rejoice. I know that sometimes life can feel like a mundane routine, but that’s only if you let it feel like that. In my opinion, existing instead of living is like living a slow death, there is no passion, joy or happiness to be found in such a place. So I encourage you to take hold of your life and really live it like you have never done before. No one knows when it will be their last hour here on this earth, so you MUST make the most of it. Don’t just read this blog and be inspired for a few hours, even if you don’t take everything that I have said on board, then just take this,  whatever life throws at you Please don’t forget to live.

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Here are a few things that you could do that will help you with the shift from existing to truly living life.

  1. Be Reflective: Dip deeper into your soul and question yourself to examine exactly where you are.
  2. Stop Running: If you read my About Me page you would know that I used travelling as a way to escape the problems I was experiencing in my life. I ended up on a wild journey of self-discovery that has helped me grow and evolve. So I urge you to be honest with yourself and do what you need to do to start truly living your life.
  3. Gratitude: You have so much to be grateful for. After my break up, I complained so much, when I look back now even I can admit that I was so annoying. I still had life, all my senses were intact, I had food to eat and a place to sleep. Yet all I kept worrying about was some guy who has cheated on me. LOL, you can see where my priorities were. Find the joy in the little things and keep smiling.
  4. Discover your purpose: I believe that you can’t really live a full life until you discover what your purpose is. Our purpose is like that missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle that makes our entire life make sense once you connect all the pieces together. Never forget that to know your purpose is to live.
  5. Keep it moving: Whatever life throws your ways use it as a mode of transport to get you to your next destination. To live an abundant life you have to make sure you keep moving forward.a48b8c0089bab80d0e72464771572367--inspirational-family-quotes-inspiring-quotes.jpg

Dear God, Thank you for the beautiful Life of each and every reader. I pray that they feel led to examine the current state of their lives to discover whether they have been living or existing. Wherever they are Lord, I pray that they find the courage to make those necessary changes. It is your desire that each and every one of your creations live life abundantly. Any obstacles or challenges that have shown up in their lives which have prevented them from living an enriched life now be destroyed. Help them to live with confidence and boldness to be able to go after the things that they were created to do. Amen xx

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I hope you enjoyed and I look forward to sharing more with you soon.

Don’t forget to connect me on all the socials @JennasWorldView

Lots of love

Jenna

xoxo

Whatever happens, make sure you look after yourself!

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If you are reading this today, we have now come to the end of Mental Health Awareness week in the UK (14th – 20th May 2018). The focus of this years campaign is centred around Stress. According to research, two-thirds of us experience a mental health problem during the course of our lives and stress has a major part to play.

Secretly that doesn’t even surprise me because anyone can experience a mental health problem and anything can trigger off stress. Financial issues, breakups, family problems, and the list goes on, there is no straightforward formula to how this thing actually works. What I do what to highlight within this blog post is that #MentalHealthAwarness goes beyond just one week within the year. 7 days of out 365 isn’t that much, so we have to be intentional about it. It must be an ongoing thing, something that we strategically sow into our lives on a daily basis.

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Life is a rollercoaster with many ups and downs. Things happen to us. Things happen through us and most of the time, we just get on with it. Most of us never get a chance to recover or recoup, because boom before you know it, something else occurs. Some of us face battles every day and we never really get a chance to heal because life is moving so fast and we have to keep it moving. Let’s be honest, no one wants to be left behind, so we keep running the race wounded, hoping to finish in first place.

I wish life was fair but sadly it is not. In the midst of all the things we face, we have to look after ourselves mentally. No matter what happens we have to keep our minds strong. This week alone, I have seen so many posts on social media saying ‘check on your friends’, yeah that is great but what about you? What about your mental health and what you are going through? What about how you are feeling or how well you are coping with things?

It is lovely to be there for others, but don’t ever forget to be there for yourself. Don’t ever neglect your thoughts or feelings, ever. I believe in giving to others from our overflow, so we are not out here in these streets running on empty.  I will always stand by this, because if you don’t look after yourself, who else will?

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The scariest thing is, many people are not really taught how to look after themselves mentally. Some mirror what they see at home, they either follow or rebel. I don’t know what category you may fall under or if those categories even apply to you.

I guess what I am trying to emphasise is that YOUR mental health is your OWN priority. We can’t rely on others, we have to take hold of it and protect it by any means necessary. When we are stressed or depressed we are unable to function and this stops us from living our best lives. Trust me, I know because I have been depressed and I have been stressed.

So, I decided to put together 10 self-care tips that you can try to incorporate into your daily life to help you manage stress or stressful situations.

 

SELF-CARE – SUNDAY SESSIONS

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  1. Take a moment to sit in silence and breathe. Before you react to any stressor, take a few moments to compose yourself, you won’t regret it.
  2. Turn off all social media
  3. Write a list of positive affirmations, you can create this yourself or you can find some amazing ones online.
  4. Stop Over-thinking and replaying dead situations in your head
  5. Allow yourself to feel without judgement
  6. Whatever you cant change, let it go
  7. Create Joyful morning and evening routines
  8. Forgive yourself & forgive others
  9. Don’t EVER compare who you are or where you are in life with other people, save yourself the hassle
  10. Most importantly, Love yourself and protect your peace by any means necessary.

 

Remember: Life will throw all kinds of obstacles your way, but you have to understand that whatever you go through is temporary and you are only just passing through. Our mental health is just as important as our bills being paid. We must protect it and stay on top of it no matter what. ANYTHING that tries to threaten or interrupt our mental health, we have to SHUT IT DOWN or LET IT GO.

Stay Blessed guys

Continue reading, liking and sharing my posts, I really appreciate it.

Don’t forget you can catch me on all the socials @JennasWorldView

 

Lots of love

Jenna

xoxo

 

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The cost of living a lie. . .

 

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Living a lie: To live in a way that is dishonest because you are pretending to be something that you are not, to yourself or to other people

Everyone at some point in their life has lived a lie or is currently living one right now.

There.

I Said it.

Sometimes it is not intentional. It can happen so easily that you didn’t even realise you were doing it. Days, months and years can rapidly go by whilst those lies have embedded themselves so perfectly into your life. You have become so accustomed to it, that you can no longer differentiate the real from the fake. After spending a significant amount of time deceiving others, you have become so unrecognizable even to yourself.

When I thought about it deeply, most of us were encouraged to engage in pretend play as children. It was where some of us mastered the ‘Art of pretending’. Putting on a different face and persona depending on who or what we wanted to be. I couldn’t help but wonder if our natural ability to pretend and fake it as children has secretly crept into our adulthood? Is this the reason why some people are out here on social media lying hard through them filters to maintain a false image of who they really are? If it’s not this, could our families or upbringing be to blame?

In some households, children were taught from an early age not to discuss their family business. Forced to cover things up and keep family secrets to ensure a clean image of the family was maintained. Even if things were going wrong. Could this be the missing link or am I reaching? Lol. I may not be clear on what causes people to pretend and live a lie. I just know that the consequences of doing so will cause more harm than good.

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To be honest, it actually baffles me that people can go online and create a magnified persona and lifestyle that is so far away from who they really are. I know this is something that has been happening for years but it has now reached new heights within today’s society. Celebrities, reality TV personas and social Influencers have done changed the game. It is so easy to deceive and be deceived. In the world of social media, lace frontal’s serve scalp realness, flat tummy tea and waist trainers can give you a flat stomach without a proper diet and those are just some of the most bait common examples.

Look what happened to #VisaBae last week, she was out here doing luxury life on the gram. Yet she was facing deportation, having to desperately beg her followers to finance her visa. Who am I to say #IssaScam? It is not my story to tell, but what I will say is #VisaBae is a prime example of the people who portray to live a luxury lifestyle online that does not reflect their actual reality. The funny thing is, #VisaBae is no different to the millions of people across the world who lie about their lives, she just exposed herself.

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Fake is the new normal and its here to stay

These days everyone is striving to look like they have become while missing out on the process of becoming? Hiding behind filtered pictures, accompanied by powerful captions that are so far away from their truth. Many people scream ‘its just social media’ don’t take it seriously when in fact it is a big deal. Social media has shaped the way we view ourselves and others, whether we like it or not. It is so easy to get “lost in the sauce”. Seeing other people travel, start a business, embark on new ventures, get married or start a family can have a person feeling as if their life is not flourishing.

Sadly, today’s culture is very much driven by what can be seen. So there is no surprise why many individuals feel as if they need to appear as though every area of their life is intact. People are out here flexing. Doing shows. Losing their dignity and damaging their peace of mind just to portray themselves as something they are not. The pressure is real out here in these streets and so is the self-scrutiny. Many individuals start to feel like they not good enough or that their lives lack something because they are not doing gymnastics to pose in a pair of red bottoms on the gram.

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As a newbie blogger, I had to check out the blogging community to see what was out there. There are many bloggers who are doing some amazing things that I am not doing and that is ok. My time will come. Instead of being jealous of what I saw others doing online, I was inspired more than ever to get started. Social media is so powerful it can make people jealous, bitter and envious of what other people have or appear to have. It is shameful, but its happening. Aunty Lorna (my mum) has always told me that I must never ever envy other people. Especially for material things, as I do not know what they had to go through to get them. I will always live by this gem and you should too.

As you read this, just know there are major personalities in the media, who appear to be bold, confident and have it all. Behind the scenes, they are lonely, sad, depressed, addicted, or on the brink of suicide. Yet just by what they post, there are people out there who would trade places with them in a heartbeat. People crave for things they have no real idea about and it needs to stop.

The girl who posts three times a day about her “fantastic relationship”, shows off all her luxury gifts from her man is actually in debt. Baby girl is robbing one credit card to pay the other, all because she is maintaining the man. The poor thing pays for everything behind the scenes yet you can’t stand her because it looks like she “has it all”. Other girls are out here getting pissed on by a rich dude for a handbag & flight to the Maldives just to flash about on the socials. Believe it or not, guys are out here doing just as much crazy things as women to maintain a false image. Certain dudes are out engaging in so much illegal activity just to sport designer clothes. All while they sleep on the cold floor of their mum’s council property that is drowning in rent arrears.

MAD

MAD

MAD

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Most people shy away from their truth by using things like drugs, relationships, raving, alcohol etc as a disguise for their problems or pain. When my 7-year relationship ended in 2016. I was hurt and I had every right to be. To deal with the aftermath of my break up I spent money. Not no eeeeediat, I spent lots of money, I booked holidays, concerts, festivals, I purchased things impulsively as a way to pacify my pain and hide how I was truly feeling.

I did some crazy things LOL but I don’t actually regret them. I am happy that it was money that I used as an outlet to soothe my heartbreak. It was a beautiful nightmare that allowed me to learn a great deal about myself, even though the process was bludclart painful. By lying to myself about how I was feeling and living only delayed my healing and new blessings. I did overtime trying to convince MYSELF that I was all good. When I finally gave in, I went down a bitter-sweet road of self-discovery. I had no choice but to turn my pain into power and it has opened more doors for me than living in that lie ever did.

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One thing life has taught me so far is that you can lie to other people, but you cant lie to yourself or the creator. No matter how hard you try, your demons will catch up to you. So it’s better, to be honest, and true to yourself. You may feel like you are so far gone into the lies that you are unable to get out of it. Issa lie boo. I have said this before and I will say it again unless you are dead in the grave, there is still time for a change, real change. It is ok. You can stop pretending. Take those necessary steps because living a lie on social media is one thing, but living a lie in real life is another.

The cost of living in a lie will ultimately destroy you. It’s no secret that other people will get hurt in the process but the real damage is the harm that YOU inflict on yourself. Pretending to be ok when you are not ok is not ok. Saving face to maintain a false image of yourself and your lifestyle is not ok. Spending money you don’t have to keep up with the Jones will only lead you to financial problems. Doing things to please other people when you know deep down it’s not right with your soul is not ok. So I write this piece to challenge you to Breathe and Live in your authentic truth.

Everyone was created with God-given purpose and it is our duty in this life to discover what that is and use it for the greater good. When you live in a lie you only rob yourself of the life, opportunities and relationships that were ordained for you. In my last post ‘Issa New Month: APRIL’ I spoke about the importance of reflection and how we must practise it to evaluate our thoughts, actions and behaviours. Do yourself a favour and be honest with where you are. If you know that deep down you are not living truthfully, its time to remove the mask.

Don’t be afraid. There is no need for you to pretend to be anything other than what you were created to be. Living a lie will only take you further than you ever intended to go and who knows where you could end up. Embrace who you are and where you are at in your life, because you only get one. Jcole was right when he said: “no such thing as a life that’s better than yours. This is why you must Love Yours AND LIVE IN YOUR TRUTH.

 

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2018 for me is the year for real life change, growth, transformation and positive scandals. It is not limited to just me though, you can get in on some of this good stuff too, but you have to be intentional about what you want out of life. Think about it, but not for too long. Whoa, this was a heavy post so I HAVE to end it with a prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for the individual reading this, I pray that you will stirrup in them the urge to throw off their mask and step into their beautiful God-given truth. May they find the courage to be who you created and called them to be. Let every situation that causes them to hurt, lie, cheat, steal and deceive may it be uprooted and destroyed. In order to make room for new things to be planted in their life that will lead them further into their destiny.

Amen.

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Stay blessed peeps

Twitter, Instagram & Facebook @JennasWorldView

 

Lots Of Love

Jenna

xoxo

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