Category

Self Reflection

Category

I gave up religion, and I have never been happier.

…but hear me out!

where have I been and what happened to me?

chileee…LIFE.

I mean but what else Sho?? Honestly, does LIFE really need much expansion?? lol. because let’s be honest, it’s a pretty loaded question and I don’t know how much time yall have to read, but I’m going to try and keep it brief.

God told me to slow down and get my ish together… my personal ishh together because honestly, it was getting out of hand. You see it wasn’t all bad, but I felt as though I was running fast as hell in standstill motion, and I promise yall I am not exaggerating. I was trying to navigate a brand new job (yes, your girl is still a corporate baddie, and I love it – but working in high-level finance can be hectic and the interview process trying to pivot can be extremely stressful), I was also trying to find a new place to live. (YALL! More on that later because GOD did his THANG on my new apartment now and I’m getting teary-eyed just typing this) and I was also navigating the biggest heartbreak I have ever experienced from someone I thought I was going to spend forever with. So when you ask me what happened, the only honest answer I can give as transparently as possible is LIFE happened.

But during this time away in trying to navigate this ghetto foolishness that was happening in my life- my relationship with God changed in ways I never imagined. He has truly come THROUGH for your girl. I mean lil ol ratchet ME. Likeeeee I’m living in so many answered prayers and honestly some prayers I forgot I even prayed. but that’s the beauty of all of this and our walk with God. When we sometimes forget, he never does. He always remembers, and I mean every single detail of our life is oh so important to us, and I have resonated on that alone these past couple of months.

Pretty and Prayed Up is seriously a life community of little ol me inspiring you all out there to live your relationship with God unapologetically. Because it looks so different to us individually. I want to remind you pretty girls that when adversity hits us and life be pissing us off (yall know I cuss by now, please don’t clutch your pearls) I want us to stand firm in being connected in the way that feels TRUE to US.

I am someone who when I am feeling extremely frustrated and feeling as though God did give ALL of the battles to me, so sometimes, I am angry at God! Sometimes in prayer time, a cuss word may fly out (not AT God) but sometimes those trials and heartaches can’t produce the “feel-good words” and God gets all of the bad words I’m only able to express at that time. God knows me inside and out, so talking to him in my purest ways about the disadvantages I may be experiencing is the only way I know how to strengthen and become more engaged with him and that may not look like how others may pray, hell even worship. Because when I listen to gospel, Ima says “ayeee” like I’m at brunch because God’s music to my ears makes me feel so dang ol good and I’m not ashamed to express my love for him in the way he knows I’m bodied by it.

This time away has allowed me to grow closer, become more vulnerable, and unapologetically in tune with God in the way he knows my heart to be, and it’s not the way “religion” has taught us, and for that, I am okay with it. Pretty and Prayed Up was created solely for the woman of faith who was ratchet but righteous, a praying warrior, but also a trap queen worshipper, for women who believe themselves to be set apart and simply trying to find their way walking with God. This community is for YOU.

You belong here.
Unapologetically, Transparently, but also Uncompromising in your underlying love for our God.

I pray that you feel oh so welcomed, and you stick around to see just how much this community needs you as well. I love you ladies in real life, and your support for Pretty and Prayed Up blesses me every time you tell me there is not another place like this for you. I’m so honored you feel welcomed.

xoxox
Sho

*don’t forget to shop our SUMMER COLLECTION apparel, lifestyle items, and books over at www.prettyandprayedup.com

My Cup Had A Hole In It…

It was leaking. I was leaking. I was trying to figure out why my cup couldn’t stay full, and why couldn’t I feel the way that I so used to make other feels. Had my gift not worked on myself? You see people were pouring into me, they were. Giving me droplets of what they had left, but for some reason what was being poured into could never make its way to the top for me to drink from it. I kept wondering why my spirit and my heart kept longing for a thirst that I thought I was quenching, but you see my cup had a hole in it. I was so busy pouring into others in overdrive, that I had actually become blind to the people that were standing around my cup. No one informed me that the same cup that I use to pour into others, should not be the cup that people were pouring into me. So on those days where I was pouring and pouring, and pouring, those desperately seeking to get what I was dispensing, I hadn’t even realized that they were doing anything necessary so they could to get what was in the cup. Pulling, Dropping, Tearing away at something so valuable that I was already trying to give them. I hadn’t even realized that I was encountering people who were slowly destroying the very gift that was already there.

But you see people, sometimes only want the prize inside the cracker jack box, not the popcorn itself. Leaving me with the scraps of the very cup that was supposed to have been mine in the first place. So when it came time for me to pour into myself with the cup that I thought others were pouring into me, I was still empty. You see because my cup had a hole in it.

We Regret To Inform You…

…in this dreadful world of social media, many people can be fooled into thinking that everyone is winning, It seems as though every time you look online, another one of your “friends (which is actually people that you honestly don’t even know) is posting another post receiving tons and tons of congratulations. Day by day, you see another “Just Engaged!”, or another “We Just SIGNED!” or a new small business posting a lucrative sales post. Day by day, you are just witnessing people in one of the happiest times of their lives. And trust me, trying to be happy for them, but sadly a part of you that is actually human can be exhausting when you are excitedly awaiting your big news. Anxiously awaiting when you will meet the person of your dreams, or the date where you can finally walk across the stage because all your friends have graduated, or even the breakthrough you awaiting because you have been working on your business idea for months now, and nothing is working. It can definitely be discouraging, to say the least, to stay positive and anxiously awaiting for the blessings and things that have your name on them, when you are constantly seeing people in their winning season. But what you fail to actually realize is that you are actually seeing the aftermath of their “We Regret To Inform You…” season.

You ever applied to a job that you know you were well qualified to get? You get a call for an interview. You KILL the interview, shoot you actually get a second interview. You are so confident about the new position, especially since you and the interviewer were conversing about how well you would fit in. You are already marking your calendar for your paycheck days, and then it happens. You receive the dreadful email that makes many of our stomach drops when it flashes across our screen. “We Regret to inform you…” And all you keep thinking is “How? I kilt it!” You see the “We Regret To Inform You” season is what many people go through before the Peak of their winning season. Those are the seasons (emails) that many don’t show, so it will appear as though they don’t have them. And it not that they hide them intentionally, but some of those seasons can be very painful, and truthfully hard to expose. The feelings and emotions that come alive of trying to manifest something that keeps not working in your favor, can be gut-wrenching. Just like the feeling of going for a great job, and not getting it. Remember? You see, it opens up a vulnerability that many people don’t like to display because it reveals a hardship that some are working diligently to overcome. It’s so important to remember that we have no idea what someone’s “We Regret to Inform You…” season looked like before the Congratulations! I think that one of our greatest blessings and triumphs come after we are able to celebrate others when they are experiencing their achievements. Are you observing others with an envy heart? Are you being a blessing or an attribute to others, even when they aren’t being one to you?

It’s important to understand that we have to be empathetic to realize that we don’t really know how many losses people may have taken, before the big win that we actually have the privilege to see. Everyone has “We Regret To Inform You…” seasons of transitions that will be filled with lost, trials, tribulations, and difficulties…however the beauty is that abundance, prosperity, and overflow will come soon after in the “We Are Excited To Have You!” season.

Sho*

She’s Right There…

when he thinks she isn’t there
She is
That voice you hear way back in the crowd
Way beyond the doubt, and confusion
Plays a sound of unfamiliarity
Her voice is a pure, sweet, and safe sound
He is anxiously awaiting for her to show up
Because clarity is what she brings
The doors are finally open, but the crowd rushes right past her
In front are obstacles that he can’t see she is facing
She’s trying to fight the crowd to get to the front
just for you
To display a picture that he couldn’t have drawn himself
Because it she was the missing piece to the canvas
She’s trying to get to the front
Just for you
Yelling, pleading, shamelessly feeling defeated
But because she displayed an art you hadn’t seen before
You couldn’t see her
And she was standing right behind you

But see
You were only taught to hear the loudest voice
And not the softest
So, her voice got casted out
By the past familiarity of him hearing what was always wrong
He couldn’t hear
That pure, sweet, but safe sound of calmness she brought
Diligently through all complications and roadblocks, she manages to push through
So ecstatic that she made it
Front and center
Just to see you
Support you in ways you have never known
Because nobody ever showed up
Just for you

But you see
she did show up
front and center

just for you

but its hard to spot out what you’ve never seen before

But now he is gone
He was saddened by the thought that no one showed up
Especially her
But he failed to see that she was right there
front and center
just for you
fighting trying to get to the front
while the whole crowd keeps pushing her to the back

 

 

-Sho*

A Letter To My Younger Self

…You were just a kid. You were not prepared to live a life that you had no prior experience. I would hope you have really understood that you were not to blame. Dysfunction was normal, so when peace came, you ran away. But you ran in the wrong direction, into the wrong hands. Not understanding that people knew your weakness. But see, you were just a kid. I really want you to understand that you were a kid. Innocence was stolen but never returned. I just really wished you didn’t slowly fade away. You lost yourself. You drifted away from where no one could find you. I wanted you to realize that you could not mask the pain of emptiness. It was there, right in front of you, and you failed to realize it. But you see that’s what happens when you lack guidance that you are supposed to get from adults. I wish you would have understood that you could not change your surroundings. You had no control over what was going around you because you were a kid Shaurice. A Child, who was incapable of taking care of herself…and you were not supposed to be equipped to know how.

 You were smart Shaurice, practically brilliant! You were beautiful, full of gifts and charisma gave to you from the Most Highest. You didn’t need him to tell you that. He knew you desired love, so he used it against you. But you see, you can’t express an emotion that wasn’t there. Don’t blame yourself for having to grow up so fast. You were just being prepared for a race, that unfortunately you still didn’t win…damn. I just wanted you to see the testimony in the trauma. But its kind of hard to see the sunshine while the clouds are following you. Stop apologizing for the immature mistakes that you weren’t taught were actual mistakes. Consider those test runs.  Allow your mind to understand that you didn’t miss out on a childhood, but you instead were on a journey that prepared you for an amazing adulthood. Release those hurts and pain because they will truly paralyze you when you get older. You used the only tool that molded you into the delicate queen you are now – even though that tool was Pain.

Forgive yourself.

Love Yourself.

Shaurice

At What Point Do You Take Responsibility…

We seem to be living in a world where childhood traumas, unfortunate circumstances, poverty, etc. are taking its tolls on so many of us and are affecting how we eventually grow up into adulthood. Many would think that people will use those challenges to make the best out of life and become a version of themselves that others will not recognize.  They will use those disadvantages that they faced in their childhood as motivation to excel because they want to see what can happen when you do not let obstacles from traumas hold you back from exceeding your purpose. The On the downside of that, you have those other people. The “Woe is me, woe is me” individuals. The people who will literally use those same stones that were stoned as a clutch for every single part of their life. Constantly blaming misfortunes due to past hurt and becoming offended when others around them won’t be in agreeance with them. You see, you control how you choose to heal every aspect including how long it takes you, and exactly the way in which you choose to heal.

…because I was that person continuously blaming all my failures and misfortunes in my traumatic childhood, and was doomed into believing that those years of suffering was the reason behind my future. I would then become so easily offended at individuals who didn’t come to my pity party because they didn’t “understand me” .I was believing the enemy lie that things are not manifesting in their life because of the circumstances and cards they were depth growing up. But an unpopular opinion is that, at some point in our lives, the pity party we throw ourselves must stop. You see, we do not have control over what happens to us; we cannot control the inevitable and hurtful situations that are ordained in our lives, some things are just going to happen. BUT, it is our, (yes re-read that) OUR responsibility to heal ourselves and separate from the agony of the pain inflicted on us. It is important to understand that no one will care about your healing but you, and it is your obligation to give yourself the peace that your spirit has spent years lacking.  

What we must learn to accept is that we will eventually have stop blaming our parents who were not there, the relationship that didn’t end well, the betrayal from a best friend, etc. etc., and learn to look at the lessons while being on that journey that those traumatic situations have taught us.  We all have choices, and you can either choose to sit in the agony of what you can not change or enjoy the journey of healing yourself to become a better version of yourself that you have never seen before….

SHO*

Stop Explaining Your Decisions

One of the most popular quotes that we tend to give when we don’t want to explain ourselves about a situation that obviously needs explaining is “what’s understood, doesn’t have to be explained.” Society has created the need to make you feel as though you must explain your decisions and choices that you make in life IF they tend to differ from the norm. Innocently, we often find ourselves explaining the very choices we made so that people can see “how it makes sense” but you see, who really CARES if it does not, especially if the choices you made does not affect anyone but YOU.

In an “unapologetic world,” we often find ourselves apologizing for having boundaries and or making choices that are not always popular. This may be because there is a desire deep down to appease individuals who believe that our own boundaries and life choices are wrong. But what are you explaining in the first place? Are you trying to explain why you think anyway?!- or are you trying to explain why others should do it another way? — (did you catch that?) It is important to understand that the best decision made is the decisions you made confidently having a made-up mind about it. Too many times we often shift or change our decisions because we have received poor and strong opinions from people who are closest to us. Now I am not saying that we should not care or consider what others who love us think however I AM SAYING just that. You see, we are the only ones responsible for our own life decisions and choices, not our parents, nor our children. The cards we may be dealt in an unjust life has nothing to do about making better decisions for our lives currently. So, when something is done against the grain, STOP EXPLAINING. period. There is no other way or form to speak it. We must learn and understand that when you are running your own race, the opinions of others do not matter. It is funny, because those same people you spend so much time trying to convince and get them to understand your boundaries, those exact people aren’t explaining their limitations or themselves to anyone…

It is important to understand that we must have confidence in our convictions in all that we do, and not apologize for our decisions. Apologizing for your own desires and the fulfillment that it brings is a disservice to SELF. It is important to understand that we are the ones who have to settle with our decisions in our life, so why do we consider so many other people’s opinions when it doesn’t affect them at all? It underlies a great feeling of acceptance, appreciation, and validation we crave from others that we think we need so bad…BUT WE DON’T!

-Sho

You Like Living In Chaos?

In a world where we are accustomed to living in unsettled situations that create chaos, it seems as though Peace is hard to come by. You find yourself running opposite of what peace is trying to offer because you have mastered the art of tackling destruction, even when you are the reason for the destruction that was created. You begin to think that chaos and confusion are normal, and you have no reservations about trying to find anything different. Because sometimes desiring something you never had is quite scary isn’t it?

We tend to find comfort in chaos because (let’s be transparent) “that’s all some people are used too and have accustomed too.” We have become so used to dysfunction, problematic avoidable situations, and then when “all hell breaks loose”, we are left wondering what went wrong? Majority of the chaos in our lives can be avoided, and even for the most part removed, IF IT DOESNT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH US! Yes, read that again! We, especially women have a such a terrible tendency to take on the burdens of others that we have consistently made other people problems our own! We tend to have a niche at fixing things that when we don’t have a project to work on, we have no clue what to do with our spare time. We then find that the chaos in our lives kept us busy, while inadvertently running from prospering seasons in our lives where peace would have been given.

I think it is important to understand that we are also are living in a culture where we are used to “something, (in regardless of how big or small) going wrong in our lives, that when something is going right – we aren’t able to accept it correctly. We have got to change our thinking that had led us to believe that chaos and havoc are comfortable – while peace and serenity are hard to come by.

-Sho

The Importance Of You

In a world where confidence and self-worth are embedded in our skulls from birth it, it seems the importance of self-care has been forgotten about. We as children grow up and watch our moms over exhaust herself providing for the family, always being there every beck and call, cooking, cleaning, etc.-  yet no understand that even she gets tired and her cup that she is always pouring from is actually empty. That is because we live in a society that displays a generational and cultural message that a good woman is a self-sacrificing woman.  Bullsh*t!

Somewhere along the lines of women becoming more in tune with who they were, and what they stood for, and simply taking care of themselves has been deemed selfish.  There’s a sense of scarcity; of having to choose between caring for yourself or others and we aren’t allowed to do both. It’s a double head sword which we lose if we care for ourselves because we end up feeling guilty, and we lose if we neglect self-care because we end up feeling resentful. When in the end, we actually hurt ourselves more, because we spent so much of our time caring for others when in reality we have to put ourselves FIRST. Think of it this way…How do you identify yourself first… a woman right? So we have to remember that even though other titles come (mother, wife, sister, daughter) you are a woman first and she needs to be taken care of!

Loving and taking care of ourselves is important and essential to how we develop our greatest potential. A woman who cares for herself is NOT selfish…She is powerful, and harder to control and manipulate. Don’t let society “norms” trick you in a world wind that will have you living a life of regret, resentment, and sorrow while the people who you have taken great care of our living a fulfilled life taking care of themselves.

-Sho

Is It A Healthy Or Harmful Friendship?

In a society of “No New Friends” makes me question everything I know about the importance of healthy relationships – how are we suppose to grow and connect with people of different diverse backgrounds, and cultures if we only maintain the friendships we’ve known since we were in middle school? What happens if that 10+ year friendship that has been filled with chaos, jealousy, and undeniable envy is still lingering on? Or what happens when as you continue to grow and elevate yourself for wanting things differently out of life, and those old friends don’t? Why are we so afraid to cutoff thee unhealthy friendships that we are fully aware of how toxic they’ve become? Friendships are so very important and essential and they have an everlasting effect on our lives in more ways than we realize.

I believe we have abused the word “Time” when we describe why we are still holding on to toxic friendships. I think we believe that longevity automatically means progression and it doesn’t.  You can meet someone last month and can feel like they a more genuine, trustworthy, and dependable friend then someone you’ve known for years. Now don’t get me wrong, healthy friendships are important because they give us vital life skills,  some friendships help you define your priorities, and grow as a person, be that shoulder to cry on during hard tough times, etc. etc.  BUT what happens when some friendships are consistent arguments that leave you all not talking for months, or blast each other secrets on social media, or even sometimes becoming physical with each other? Why do we hold on to those tumultuous draining friendships- but will turn our nose up and snicker at the new girl at work?

As we get older, and continue to prosper into our potential, it is important to understand the value in creating and maintaining healthy friendships. We have to be able to identify first what is a unhealthy friendship, or even sometimes who is actually making it unhealthy. We have to band together with friends who will push us to your potential, give us reality checks, and also be our voice of reasoning when the whole world is telling us to do otherwise.

-Sho