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Number One Priority – Love Yourself

Written by:, LaLisa Morgan LCSW, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

I was invited by LaTanya DeFreitas to contribute to her volume two of the book, "Pierced into Purpose." As a standalone phrase, "Pierced into Purpose" can be interpreted in various ways depending on the context.

Girl in melancholy mood standing at the beach

Here are some possible interpretations that may provide additional context:

  • This phrase could refer to a pivotal moment in someone's life where they finally discovered their true purpose. The word "pierced" implies a sudden and intense realization, as if a veil has been lifted and they can finally see their path clearly.

  • Alternatively, the phrase could refer to the idea that in order to truly fulfill our purpose in life, we must go through some kind of struggle or hardship. The word "pierced" could represent the pain we experience as we work towards our goals, but ultimately it is what helps us grow and become stronger.

  • Another interpretation of "Pierced into Purpose" could be more metaphorical, suggesting that in order to achieve our goals, we must be willing to take risks and push through obstacles. The word "pierced" could represent the act of breaking through barriers to reach our destination.

Overall, "Pierced into Purpose" seems to be a powerful phrase that encapsulates the idea of finding one's true calling and working towards it with determination and resilience. As a Woman of God, this title reminds me of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross is a fundamental belief in Christianity. Jesus willingly sacrificed himself on the Cross to atone for the sins of humanity. This sacrifice is seen as an act of love and redemption, as it allows believers to be forgiven for their sins and reunited with God. To some people, the story of the Crucifixion is often depicted in art and literature, and it continues to be a powerful symbol of Christian faith and devotion. Some Christians also see the Cross as a reminder of the suffering that Jesus endured, and they may wear or display crosses as a way of expressing their faith. Overall, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross is a central part of Christian theology and a source of inspiration for millions of believers around the world.


As I think of myself as a human being, I do not think of my pain as an act of love. Pain is an unpleasant physical or emotional sensation caused by illness, injury, or psychological distress. It is the body's way of signaling that something is wrong and requires attention. The childhood and adult trauma I have endured, Trauma refers to a distressing or disturbing experience that can have long-lasting effects on a person's mental and emotional well-being. It can be caused by a single event, such as a natural disaster, or by ongoing experiences, such as abuse or neglect. Seeking support from a mental health professional can be helpful in managing the effects of trauma. As a person of color, trauma was never used in my community. People were shot, murdered, raped, molested, died by suicide, put out of their homes, deprived of food, racially discriminated against, and many forms of social injustice, but it was never called trauma. You were often told by your family to "get over it." Whatever the "it" was, it was usually some form of trauma. Trauma is not seen as an act of love, and most people cannot see how it relates to living a life of purpose.


What I have learned looking back, my pain was an act of love. An act of love to the people I serve as a licensed clinical social worker. My pain has allowed me to connect with every client that I have served. How can a therapist connect with anyone? My life has allowed me to be in touch with humanity through pain. My first memory of my childhood is linked to being molested as a child. When I inquired how old I was, my mother said the age of three. From the ages of three through twelve, I was exposed to inappropriate sexual boundaries. This time was followed by male peers sexually exploiting my pain to their benefit, including being coerced and forced into sexual intercourse. This further continued into unhealthy early adult relationships. I had challenges with work relationships, social relationships, with my children and largely with myself. I spent a few years wandering in pain until I had the courage to heal. Courage is the ability to face and overcome fear, danger, or difficulty with bravery and fortitude. It involves taking action despite the presence of adversity or risk.


Courage is a trait associated with heroic acts of bravery and in everyday situations where people face their fears and overcome difficult challenges. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to act in spite of it. It takes strength and determination to face our fears and push past them. Courage can manifest in different ways, whether it's standing up for oneself or others, taking a risk to pursue a goal, or facing a difficult situation with resilience. Having courage does not mean being fearless. It's natural to feel afraid or uncertain in the face of danger or adversity, but true courage means choosing to act despite those feelings. I had to have the courage to love myself. The ultimate act of love and sacrifice. Until you love yourself, you cannot truly love anyone else. What does loving yourself mean?


Loving yourself means accepting who you are, both your strengths and weaknesses, without judgment. It means taking care of yourself physically and emotionally, setting healthy boundaries, and prioritizing your well-being. It means being kind to yourself and practicing self-compassion. It means valuing your own opinions and beliefs. It means taking responsibility for your own happiness. Self-love means forgiving yourself for past mistakes and moving forward, and recognizing your worth and not settling for less than you deserve. The ultimate act of love and sacrifice means being true to yourself and living authentically. It is identifying and staying true to your core values, beliefs, and your spiritual truths. It means knowing and understanding the domains of wellness. When it comes to wellness, there are several different domains to consider. The eight domains of wellness are emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual.

  • Environmental Wellness: This refers to the state of our surroundings and how they affect our overall well-being. This includes not only the natural environment, but also the built environment in which we live and work. By taking care of our surroundings and making conscious choices to reduce our impact on the environment, we can improve our own health and the health of the planet.

  • Physical Wellness: This includes factors such as exercise, nutrition, sleep, and avoiding harmful habits like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption.

  • Emotional Wellness: This involves managing your emotions in a healthy way and finding ways to cope with stress and challenges. It may also include seeking support from others when needed.

  • Social Wellness: This involves building and maintaining positive relationships with others, as well as feeling a sense of belonging in your community.

  • Intellectual Wellness: This includes engaging in lifelong learning, pursuing intellectual challenges, and staying mentally stimulated.

  • Spiritual Wellness: This involves finding meaning, purpose in life, and may involve practicing a particular religion or engaging in spiritual practices such as meditation or yoga.

  • Occupational Wellness: It is an essential aspect of overall well-being. It refers to the satisfaction and fulfillment one experiences from their job or career.

  • Financial Wellness: As individuals, it's crucial to prioritize our financial wellness in order to achieve long-term stability and security.

By focusing on all aspects of wellness, I embraced healthy boundaries to guide me into a space to protect me first. When it comes to establishing healthy boundaries, there are a few things to keep in mind. There are several types of boundaries, including physical, emotional, mental, and social boundaries. Physical boundaries refer to personal space and physical touch. Emotional boundaries refer to protecting your emotions and not letting others manipulate or control them. Mental boundaries refer to protecting your thoughts and beliefs. Social boundaries refer to setting limits on social interactions and relationships.


Loving yourself involves a few key areas. First, know your limits. Take the time to reflect on what is important to you and what you are willing to tolerate. This will help you identify your limits and communicate them clearly to others. Next, be assertive. It's important to communicate your boundaries in a clear and assertive manner. This means saying "no" when you need to and standing up for yourself when your boundaries are being violated. Thirdly, Practice self-care by developing and adhering to a self-care intentional plan. Setting boundaries can be emotionally taxing, so it's important to take care of yourself.


Make sure to prioritize self-care activities like exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones. Finally, be consistent. Do you remember the disappointment you feel when other people lack follow-through? Once you've established your boundaries, it's important to be consistent in enforcing them for you!! This will help others understand that your boundaries are non-negotiable and will be taken seriously. Remember, setting healthy boundaries is an important part of maintaining your mental and emotional well-being. By communicating your needs clearly and enforcing your boundaries, you are setting yourself up for a happier, healthier life.


By keeping true to myself, I learned to achieve a more balanced and fulfilling life. This focus helped me love me and learn how to honor and appreciate me! Living a more balanced and fulfilling life is something that you should strive for the sake of being true to yourself. This includes but not limited to these tips:

  • Practice mindfulness and be present in the moment.

  • Set realistic goals and prioritize them.

  • Take care of your physical health by exercising regularly and eating healthy.

  • Make time for hobbies and activities that bring you joy.

  • Connect with loved ones and build strong relationships.

  • Practice gratitude and focus on the positive aspects of your life.

  • Take breaks and allow yourself to rest and recharge.

By implementing these practices into your daily routine, you can work towards living a more balanced and fulfilling life. Remember to be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress along the way. I learned to acknowledging and honoring my own needs and desires. It means cultivating a positive relationship with myself. I loved myself first, better than a close friend, or loved one. I learned to view myself like God saw me. I finally became whole and really loved myself unconditionally. I had the courage to now start my business and launch Generations 1865: Counseling, Consulting and Coaching, and write a few books to talk about how to "Survive the Chaos" and live a life that leaves a legacy. Courage is a lifelong process that requires practice and persistence. The more we face our fears and overcome challenges, the stronger our courage becomes. Yes, you were pierced. It hurt very badly and sometimes it was devastating. You may have been knocked down, but the truth is, just get up and keep fighting!


My therapy practice guides my client through the fundamentals of loving yourself, self-care, healing from past trauma, developing and strengthening boundaries, and embracing the life you were called to live. Talk Therapy is a tool to illuminate the path to healing, purpose, and destiny, while we find solutions for everyday real-life issues: Relationships. The relationship with self is the priority. Parenting, Social Relationships, Romantic Relationships, Work Relationships, Extended Family or Aging Parents and the Community. Depression, insomnia, anxiety, and other mental health symptoms are pointing to how you manage your emotions as you work through everyday challenges and find the solutions that bring balance to your life. If you would like to partner with me on your journey to healing, please go here and message me to start the journey


 

LaLisa Morgan, LCSW, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

LaLisa Morgan, LCSW, has over 29 years of professional experience as social worker, community activist, trainer, therapist, mentor, ally, and advocate. LaLisa Morgan supports her clients to be the best version of yourself, heal from trauma and life-limiting beliefs and deeply rooted family and social barriers, and develop authentic love of yourself while balancing and mastering your individuality. As a therapist, her mission is to illuminate the path to healing, purpose, and destiny.

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