When you look up the phrase hopeless romantic… I bet you find my picture! I am one of those naive for love types! I love happy endings, believe in “magic”, and I’m always rooting for love. So you can imagine why being without my soulmate, for years, has been wreaking havoc on my psyche!

However, I recently had a moment of clarity that led to me making a decision that was sort of a jolt to my system:

I am going to remain single for 2017

Never in my wildest imagination would I have thought this would be the route for me, yet here I am.

This thought process was probably brewing for some time, but I believe my recent 42nd birthday was the proverbial icing on the cake. I am 42 and have never ever been single for an entire year.

Since I began dating at the age of 16, I have never truly been single… 26 years of spending time with numerous iterations of “mr wrong” has taken it’s toll! So I’ve decided to step back, be a bit selfish, and take this time to just spend it on… ME!

Now don’t get me wrong, I still know that one day I shall marry again. And I also know that our relationship shall be amazing (how do I know, well because I’m preparing for him – but that’s a different blog post, for another day).

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A preview of my preparation for my future marriage… here are 2 books that I’m currently reading.

 

But for right now, in this brief snapshot of time, I am going to take a little time to focus on Donna…

Feels good to love myself!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

 

 

 

What God Sees for 2016! Happy New Year!

It was 4:48am in the morning and for reasons unbeknownst, I was WIDE – awake. No longer tired, so I just laid there. I then had the urge to hear the contemporary gospel song ‘It’s Not Over’ and then right after that I listened to the hit ‘It’s a New Season’. Both offer great reminders as we straddle the old year of 2015 and look towards the new year of 2016.

There were so many positive things that happened during 2015, but I must admit that there were moments of doubt. Moments where I questioned:

Can I really do that?

Will I reach the goal?

You see – I had made declarations over my life… Signs that would indicate to me, LIFE was once again flowing from within and all around me. I will be a bestselling author. I will be married (this time for the right reasons) and have biological children. I will take my dancing to the next level. I will have financial health. I will be a sought after motivational speaker. I will further sculpt and tone my body. My natural hair will grow back thicker and healthier.

Well, the jury is still out… I am still in the process of manifesting a few BIG dreams. But one thing I know FOR SURE, it definitely won’t happen if I don’t try. So 2016 is the year of BIG EFFORT! Trusting that all things are not only possible, but they are also new, in God!

God sees my future as limitless, and I’m finally starting to believe, Him! I wish that same vision for YOU!

May you start to believe, Just as God believes.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

 

P.S.

If you missed my December 31st 2014 and January 1st 2015 posts, here they are:

https://donnadoctora.com/2014/12/30/forecast-for-2015-slow-steady-wins-the-race/

https://donnadoctora.com/2015/01/01/do-persist-in-2015/

“Persist with a heart full of gratefulness for what you’ve overcome (the past) and what you have yet to accomplish (your future)!” From Dr. Donna 

Single Woman Chronicles

The Earnest Prayers of A Single Woman…

It was New Year’s Eve morning and I began the morning with a BANG! Not the type of explosion associated with fireworks and festivities. Instead I found myself on my knees in prayer. I began the eve, the dawn of a new year – a new season – on my knees. That alone causes me pause, yet even more draw dropping was the message within my plea to God. I was crying. One of those hushed weeping, body slightly trembling, tears falling, kind of cries. There I was crying and I said:

God please let my husband know I Am Praying For Him… God please SEND MY HUSBAND!

As I said those words, the stream of liquid coming out of my eyes, intensified. It felt as if every pore and every cell of my body – desired that request. I was finally ready to meet my life partner. I was finally ready to enter into a marriage covenant with God and that man; the one I was designed to help.

Now I should pause this story to share that the craziest part of this whole entire experience was that, in that particular moment I was single. I was praying for a man who didn’t even exist – and yet I could feel him, AS IF he already did!

You may now be curious… what is the impetus to all of this?

I met a man. Those four words are not that amazing but, and this is a monumental BUT, this man came at a time when I was starting to falter in my hope about my future. I didn’t know if anything would materialize with This man, for I had met many men during this journey called dating. However, this man’s presence reminded me of three things:

  • God’s peace endures – These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33 KJV)
  • God is a GOD of HOPE so don’t give up (ever) – My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him (Psalm 62:5 KJV)
  • God will fulfill every single promise he’s made over your LIFE – The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NIV)

May this eve of a New Year find you in hopeful anticipation of all that shall be in 2016!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

 

P.S. If you missed my December 31st 2014 and January 1st 2015 posts, here they are:

https://donnadoctora.com/2014/12/30/forecast-for-2015-slow-steady-wins-the-race/

https://donnadoctora.com/2015/01/01/do-persist-in-2015/

“Persist with a heart full of gratefulness for what you’ve overcome (the past) and what you have yet to accomplish (your future)!” From Dr. Donna 

 

Leaping Faith… A New Journey Begins.

Have you ever found yourself in a place wondering: “what am I doing here?”

Well, that was me, this past week… I was going through a mini existential crisis, wondering why certain desired things had not yet entered my life. It took everything in me just to be able to go to and from work. I was out of energy, as a car whose fuel tank was on empty. It wasn’t that anything new had occurred; yet somehow the dark cloud of depression had found a way to blot out my sunshine. I guess I was experiencing scripture firsthand because Proverbs 13:12 says that a deferred dream will make one sick… and sick I was feeling indeed.

From this place of feeling like an emotional train wreck, I showed up to volunteer for the Catalyst Conference. For those of you not familiar with the Catalyst Conference, it is a national conference intended to provide education, resources, and tools to leaders who love the Church. From this place of emotional brokenness I had to dig from within to keep a smile on my face as I greeted the arriving guests.

After the second day, all of that smiling on the outside (but not the inside) depleted me. When my duties were done, I fled the conference to sequester myself in my bedroom. But something miraculous happened on the third day of the conference. My duties were done strangely early that morning and I was free to sit in on the conference activities. As I sat there in an arena filled with 8,000+ Christians, I initially watched but then joined in as we sang about the awesome power of God to free us from past hurts, from disappointments, from broken hearts. I realized that I had found the answer to my initial question of “what I was doing there”. It struck me that I was in the right place, at the right time. And it felt good, awesome in fact!

So much so that I see it as a pivotal point in my faith walk with God because two days after the conference ended I decided to give my body back to God. I am now choosing to abstain from sex until marriage. Go figure, me? Seems ludicrous yet as I was reminded, during the conference, we serve a God of the IMPOSSIBLE… not the difficult… the Impossible!

And it is in that God I place my faith, all of my future hopes and dreams.

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I am in a new season and it is one that is hope filled. May my story of courage and bravery, in the face of doubt, fear, and tears give you the strength to take your own leap of faith!

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Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

4th of JULY reflections – More than hamburgers, hotdogs, & fireworks!

It’s another 4th of July…

As I reflect on this day known for barbecues, time with the family, and being poolside, my mind wanders. Independence – freedom – the pursuit of happiness. It’s quite ironic that a few days ago I was reflecting on the season of life that I am in. It is a period where I am finally and truly open to change, growth, and releasing the past! So this year is a bit special. July 4th will not only be a time for remembering the freedoms fought for and that we’re still striving for, but it will also signify a turning point my life.

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Moving on to the new can be a very daunting and overwhelming task! Most may opt to remain with the familiar. However happiness, true happiness can only be obtained when we are free – when we allow ourselves the chance to seek the things that encourage our inner passions, creativity, and spirit.

This Independence Day I am channeling the sage wisdom and bravery of my ancestors to walk courageously into happiness!

So what is the first step on the path to happiness?

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It is letting go of the past hurts, pains, and even regrets… this first step is often the HARDEST but it is necessary!

I give myself permission to be happy

I give myself permission to be free

I give myself permission to be whole

I forgive those who have hurt me and …

I liberate myself from feeling any further self-blame that I allowed them to hurt me

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I am eager to see the amazing new things that will walk into my life because I am a new me. Marriage, babies, publishing books, and amassing wealth… an exciting time is on the horizon, indeed!

Well that’s my Independence story, what’s yours? What are you focused on this Fourth of July? Will you take a moment to reflect on what new pursuits will add flavor to your own life?

I hope you do!

“One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Amen”

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

Do Superheroes exist? Modern day powers: Intuition and Faith

Is seeing really believing? Or is our vision the last sense to know?

I pondered these questions after reading an article about 11 creatures that possess a SIXTH SENSE. Sea turtles measure the Earth’s magnetic field in order to locate their home, Bats use ultrasound to “view” their surroundings, and Salmon use their sense of smell to identify their stream of water. It would seem that if these creatures have superhero like powers, shouldn’t WE?

Some scientists argue that we DO have a sixth sense, often referred to as our instinct or intuition (http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Scientific-Facts-About-Intuition-Developing-Intuition). I’ve always wondered about intuition. Seems like a valid concept, as there has been moments I “felt” an occurrence before it even happened. However, one recent afternoon in particular is most memorable.

A popular blogger that I follow posted an announcement about a friend’s upcoming free webinar. I decided to participate in the talk, which was focused on fertility and conception. The information shared was interesting and it was quite relaxing to join in on the five-minute group meditation time. Although I am not a stranger to the practice of meditation, this session was strikingly different!

To begin – the webinar facilitator mentioned that while meditating “you may see a symbol. Just notice it, and then continue to focus on your breathing.” When prompted, I closed my eyes, relaxed my muscles, and focused on my breathing.

Breathe in – Breathe out

Breathe in – Breathe out

A few minutes passed and then I saw 3 symbols: a cross, an ankh, and a heart. Seeing the cross made sense because my faith is an important aspect of ME. Even the heart made sense because it represents love. But the ankh… why did I see an ankh?

After the session was complete, I decided to Google the mysterious symbol. And guess what I discovered? The ankh is an Egyptian symbol often seen in the hands of a God or Goddess and believed to represent life, conception, and immortality.

Reading the definition of the ankh blew me AWAY! There I was meditating during a conception webinar, I see a symbol that I had no prior understanding of its meaning, and I later discover that the symbol represents the very topic I was listening to!

Call it a strange coincidence or a random occurrence. But I see it as divine prophecy of the day in the future when I shall conceive a child. How can I believe this? Well, because I have faith in “things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

I’m a GROWN woman…

What is a woman?

I’ve been on quite the journey, as I grew from a young girl to the woman I am today. There were many changes as I shifted from my beginnings (as a Tomboy), into my young lady stages of being a “handful” (think of the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderful), and finally into the more balanced and centered woman I am today. I have evolved, akin to the process that a caterpillar embarks on to become a butterfly.

As I reflect on my evolution into womanhood, I can’t help but think about my distorted views of what it meant ‘to be a woman’.

Psychologist Sigmund Freud has been quoted as stating: “Where such men love they have no desire and where they desire they cannot love”. This statement alludes to an invisible division – women are either loved (the Madonna) or lusted (the Whore).

For years I struggled to answer the question: do I want to be loved by a man or desired by him? I wasn’t sure, so I opted to create my own answer. I wanted to be feared, because then I would be viewed as powerful and in control. My chosen path of control and domination seemed to be the best option because loving hurts and control doesn’t, or so I mistakenly thought. I would soon discover, the hard way, that my controlling thoughts, reactions, and mannerisms were not only blocking me from loving a man, they were blocking me from loving myself!

So I went on a quest to find a new definition, my definition for womanhood. And, in time, I reached a place of understanding and acceptance. Soft does not mean weak! A woman, a real woman – can balance strength and calm, initiative and grace, and achievement and nurturance.

I could no longer relate to the disconnection or disharmony Freud referred to. I now know that I can be sexy and I can be lovable – all at the same time! A man can love a woman that he desires, when that woman first loves and desires herself. And when she comes to understand that this entire journey is what we choose to make it – we just have to decide to start making that choice consciously.

I love being a woman! It’s awesome. We are the makers and givers of life.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

P.S. Stay tuned because in my upcoming memoir entitled Shedding Perfection: A Psychologist’s Journey to Self-Healing, I will share my journey with you.

And, if you want to see visual images of my evolution, you can see pictures here: https://donnadoctora.com/the-evolution-of-me/

Love means Accepting HELP…

Would I accept help?

I was down to my last dollar and running low on gas. I shared my plight with him, not because I wanted sympathy and/or assistance, but only to explain why I needed to bail on our plans due to monetary reasons. His reply – “will you allow me to help? Will you receive it?” I found his question somewhat baffling. I had never voiced that I was opposed to help, but I guess by not requesting support I inadvertently communicated that I didn’t want it.

This disconnect was somewhat perplexing to me… he wanted me to ask for help.

Why would I ask for help? It was so confusing and somewhat in opposition to my independent and go-getter personality. I rationalized that my struggles were my responsibility to handle. However, he clearly saw it differently. He believed that he was somehow responsible for my welfare.

I continued to mull over this situation, until I ran over this quote about love:

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.

That quote reminded me that we are each here to look out for one another, that we are each responsible for one another, and that when we love – love won’t allow us to turn a blind eye to someone in need.

But I continued to ponder my discomfort with asking for help. And I finally realized that my resistance to asking for support was based on my unwillingness to be vulnerable. You see if I always did things for myself, then I wouldn’t have to depend on anyone else. However, when I reflected further I realized that to refuse the hand of another was to keep myself separate and to make a decision based upon pride. If I were honest with myself, both are limited ways to live one’s existence.

So I decided to push myself to do something different. The art of growth – is allowing change and doing something new. In the end I allowed him to provide me gas money. He felt good that he could assist, and I felt better that I was continuing to be brave enough to be a new me.

“Generosity is giving more than you can…pride is taking less than you need” – Poet Kahlil Gibran

“It’s only in our minds that we are separate from the rest of the world” – Psychologist Gay Luce

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

Do you truly believe in yourself?

Someone new came into my life. I am the ultimate optimist. However, after years of dating, somewhere along the way I have adopted a more cautious approach to men. I tend to be somewhat hesitant to place all my proverbial eggs into one basket. Call me a little “gun shy”, but I tend to approach love from a more thoughtful perspective. So in comes this new guy and for some odd reason it mattered to me what he thought of my writing. I decided to share a piece of my work and with bated breath I waited for his response. He uttered the words: “Donna you have a way with words that draws people in”.

…. Crickets….

I was speechless and somewhat moved by his comment. I’m not sure what I was expecting to hear, but for some reason I was stirred by his reaction. I scanned my mind trying to make sense of what I was feeling, only to be further confused when tears started to fall.

Why was I shedding tears? It befuddled me. Until I was able to take a step back and realize that I was still waiting for validation from others.

No matter the accomplishments, vast successes, or varied achievements – I still had a desire to be told that I am okay. And to hear this new man share something I have heard others state about my writing, was a reminder of what God’s been trying to tell me – I am special, I am wonderful, and I am destined for a great purpose. You see, because God has already accepted me. But I guess I have continued to be more critical, than God. Part of my struggle is due to wondering how could one think highly of them self when they are quite aware of the areas where they fall short?

I guess the most succinct answer would be to practice the art of self-acceptance. To be able to look yourself in the mirror and feel good about all of you, not just when you’re your best self – but even in your moments of anger, frustration, or jealousy. The acceptance of self seems to be the way to feel good about the ‘you’ that you are!

This little refresher lesson that I was receiving on self-acceptance reminded me of two quotes on this topic:

  • “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with your self” – Mark Twain
  • “Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her” – Lao Tzu

So I shall continue to strive for absolute self-acceptance, while still acknowledging that we’re all just a work in progress.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

Have I met the One?

I met someone and he has captured my attention. However, the cynical side within queried: “how do you know he’s truly worthy of a second glance?” I wasn’t sure how to answer my probing mind. I then wondered how does anyone know when he or she has met the one?

The one… isn’t that what women and men alike, are seeking during the journey to find love? Isn’t that why we subject ourselves to the craziness of dating, because we hope in the possibility of meeting that individual we have been seeking?

I tossed these thoughts around in my mind for sometime, never really finding a true answer. The lack of resolution was starting to get to me, and from that frustrated place I replayed some of my former breakups and wondered do I even want to be in love. Doesn’t love hurt? What would be so different about love this go-round? But then it hit me, even with no answer to all of my musings, I realized there is one thing I am quite certain of now. I am in love with a God who never fails, and that love is guaranteed!

And as if to confirm that my thinking was on the right track, later that day I went to church and heard the choir sing: “my hands are lifted up, my heart is ready to receive a blessing from you”.

An open heart… an open heart… everything around me was the resonating with the importance of having a heart that is receptive, unlocked, and willing to be vulnerable.

Tears of amazement streamed down my face as I realized and accepted that I was finally in a life space where I am ready to love. The past heartbreaks and disappointments would no longer cloud my horizon because the light of God was now resting with me. I had received and accepted the love of God, which now made me accessible to welcoming a loving relationship.

The verdict is still out about the new guy. Time shall reveal his merit, and his ultimate purpose in my life. However, in the meantime I find comfort in knowing that it is God that I put my trust in, God who reveals all things, and God who will answer the prayers of those that believe, persevere, and praise him.

Will you find the courage to let go of past hurts?

Will you open your heart to love?

For it is only with an open heart that you can walk into all of the remarkable blessings waiting just for YOU.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna