Brisket? Barbecue? Butterflies?

Talk about an  inspiration, No Need 4 Appraisal’s next “already worthy” of this Blog Spirational. I believe you already know him, Sean McGlothin; my Texas Best Friend.  You’ve read about him and our deepest conversations in earlier blog posts. He’s my brisket smoking, “because my grandfathers were the best at it”  and the only man in Texas that “literally” gives me butterflies. The more time I’ve spent with him, the more layers to him are being revealed. While eating his brisket and sharing conversations, I’ve witnessed how much of a hard worker he truly is, and why he takes pride in all that he does. Sean is a single father and an absolutely amazing son. His mother Renee, a former nurse is currently journeying through Dementia. He prides himself also, on protecting her while he works. And when I tell you he has every gadget in the world to protect her; he has every gadget in the world to protect her. Renee is less likely to wander off, cook a full fledge meal or even smoke a brisket when she gets hungry. Yes, I said smoke a brisket. In my most recent visit, and what inspired this Blog Spirational, was when Sean showed her a picture of her grandmother, she didn’t hesitate expressing who she was. I am so grateful to be able to see, one journeying through Dementia, their capabilities to express moments or precious people lodged in the spirit of their mind. It should remind us to love and embrace each happy moment, in the moment. Renee’s great great-grandfather is Roger Hughes Sr. He was very well known for his barbecue and hot links that he and his family served at the 1100 block of Bryan St.; known as Hughes Barbecue. Her father Roger Hughes Jr., who passed away in 2005, kept that tradition and secret recipe of barbecue and hot links alive. During my visit that day, Sean pulls out these black owned newspapers (butterflies again) La Vida News and Fort Worth Mind from January 1975. Of course, his great great great grandfather born in 1890 is on the front cover titling him “The Barbecue and Hot Links King”. The publications were celebrating his life and legacy after his passing. Roger Hughes Sr. was quoted as saying in The Fort Worth Mind’s issue from 1975, “pride can make you rich or pride can make you poor”. Mr. Hughes clarified his statement by saying “one’s pride sometimes stop him from doing a thing because he thinks he is too good to do this or that, when if that person continue, he would succeed, or it might give him the vision to do something else that he is called to do by the Almighty God”. A word of wisdom coming from one of Fort Worth’s first black millionaires, a gentleman helping blacks to become homeowners while satisfying their cravings for good barbecue and don’t forget “hot links”. Okay, gives me butterflies one more time. Why? Because these are examples of whispers from the spirit of our black heritage. Sean more often than not, smokes his own brisket and treats me to indulge occasionally. Thanks Sean! I am even more honored to have the inside story of why his brisket taste so good, it possesses some Roger Hughes DNA in it. A marinate of the Faith in the Almighty God, pride, courage and the tenacity to defy the system of racism. Obviously it made no difference to him. Black History, Black Heritage leads me to believe, especially when we are supportive of one another, that nothing shall be impossible. And Sean is very supportive of his culture, and I’m glad to be one of those he supports. He has inspired me to keep writing and to never stop creating.


Love Always, Carla Mashell Dulaney

You Can Listen ❤️

A Whisper From the Creek

I went to visit my dear friend Jean to celebrate her on her birthday.  It also happened to be the the one year anniversary of Mr. Clarke’s passing after his battle with Dementia.  I wasn’t sure if I was suppose to ask, but I wanted to see how she was doing emotionally.  So I asked how she was feeling after just one year of being without her husband.  She and I had previously discussed my desire to do what I am now calling a “Blog-Spirationals” so I was led to take this opportunity, not only to celebrate with her but to also celebrate her on how she has inspired my life.  Jean turned 77 years old on January 12 and Mr Clark passed away the day after.  My first question for Jean was how life felt to be without Mr Clarke this year, holding back a little she said “I miss him.”  However she also expresses her gratitude “I’m so grateful to still be here and living a vibrant and healthy life”.  At that moment very confidently and with strong conviction she said she feels 54.  What a position to take, as I think back on it.  A moment of truth after the long, and interesting  journey with Dementia she shared with her husband Jim Clarke.  I met Jim and Jean when I was working for Silverado Memory Care, he was one of the first people I became attached to when I started volunteering.  He was one of the two individuals that reeled me in with a “Winnie the Pooh” voice.  Winnie the Pooh is one of my favorite animated beings. Mr. Clark was sweet, yet quite outspoken and he loved his wife Jean.  Everyday, every 15 to 20 minutes he would ask if Jean had called to say what time she was coming to visit him.  And the response was always the same from our team “yes, she just called a minute ago and said she is on her way” that was us stepping right into Mr. Clark’s reality.  If ever he became agitated, all we had to do was remind him of his Air Force days and his love of aircraft, that opened the portal for him to teach us all he knew on the subject, he loved to teach.  Oftentimes we would shift back to Jean, the love of his life and he expressed how he desired to get away with her on “Hilltop”.  I asked Jean what that meant and she clarified it was the guest house at his son James’ house in New York on a “hilltop”. Awwwwww, such a romantic.  Jim was worth getting to know and since he was so interesting, I thought his wife either had to be equally as interesting; if not more.

Moving to Texas was a major move for me personally; it was my intent to explore “me” and meet new people and discover new things.  Working in both Memory Care and Dialysis, put me in the path of those young and old suffering or coping with an illness the best they knew how.  So when Jean says she is grateful to be living a healthy and vibrant life, it is truly something to be grateful for.

I later found out that both Jean and Jim were not just interesting, but are experts in recognizing beautiful and creative things.  Jim and Jean were great supporters of the Navajo arts.  Jean invited me to work on a project with her and amidst our project, I discovered an even greater love of art, Folk Art.  After seeing all that she and Jim collected from so many parts of the world and the uniqueness of it, I’ve been inspired to take my gifts of creating to another level, or should I say just be confident in my creativity.  Folk Art is defined as being done by a person without formal training.  But the greatest component of Folk Art to me is confidence in what you see to create.  A lot of Jim and Jean’s collections are from the Native American and Navajo Cultures, which really grasped my attention because my great grandmother was Creek Indian.  Many things began to unfold at that moment and I realized why I was so close to my great grandmother Maggie Hildreth Wilkerson. It has also explained why I’m able to connect with the spirit through nature.  Native American Art speaks, tell stories and capture one’s emotion.  From the pottery, to the rugs, to the Kachina Dolls through to the story tellers— what a compelling collection I thought — absolutely compelling.  Jean was not only a lover of the things she collected but her ability to articulate her knowledge was fascinating.  She had me amazed, I’m more than positive that the spirit of the Creek Indian was bearing witness to what I was being taught.  What I learned is that the Navajo and other Native American Cultures, had to use what they had in terms of i.e., supplies, paints and natural resources to create. My theory, is that this is what keeps the spirit of such culture alive and it connects us with nature. Again, philosophically and theoretically; this is  why I believe it was providential for me to come to Texas.   I’ve met and had some of the most interesting conversations with absolute fascinating Seniors.  I am so grateful to have connected with those that have passed on, because those conversations were impactful.

Photo by John Webb on Pexels.com
Window Rock, AZ The Capitol of The Navajo Nation

We never know when we’ll have to tap into the spirit of who we are in order to keep us going.  Oftentimes, we get weary as a result of illnesses that come with the physical breakdowns of our minds and bodies or the circumstances in life that may seem unfair.  Mine and Jean’s project opened my eyes to who I am at my core and it definitely took my focus away from what I thought was an unfair circumstance at the time.  Jean and Jim in two different ways taught me to listen from within.  Jim’s Dementia was exacerbated by a tick-borne disease, which to me and I’m sure sometimes to him seemed so unfair.  But Jim’s love for aircraft and Jean Walbridge kept his spirit alive and would soothe his soul.  Jean, it seemed to me, gave me back what I was giving to Mr. Clark and others at Silverado; a unique kind of hope. Jean was an instrument to remind me to tap into who I am at my core and to make new possibilities happen. But as a Dementia Care Specialist (A Silverado Culture) I am able to remind one with Dementia of who they were, in order to enjoy for the moment. I am grateful to have crossed paths with families of the Silverado Culture because they taught me a great deal about who I am, and even now things continue to unfold. And I absolutely love being the best version of myself. Thank you Jim and Jean, for your support of the Native American Arts; because of you, I could hear the whisper from the Creek.

Jim and Jean’s inspiration motivated me to explore all areas of my creativity, because of them I’ve written my first Novella. In order that I may pay it forward and inspire others, your support would be greatly appreciated.

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The Wedding Before The Wedding By Carla Dulaney

The 3 Part Series of an Assistant Principal and her devoted sisterhood and their adventures of relationship fears. How do they reach peace within themselves? Follow this series to find out.

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Naked Nation….12 Days Pass

This beautiful Japanese Maple Tree resides at The First United Methodist Church in Downtown Fort Worth, an absolute beautiful district. I love working in this area. On December 9, I was amazed and drawn to take a picture of its beauty. The sun’s rays magnified her beauty even the more. I was so full of the peace I couldn’t understand, my energy was super high and I was glad to be among the living. But, the Lord wanted me to see something, and exactly 12 days later He focused my attention back to this tree in its naked form.

I could not believe how something that beautiful could be gone in 12 days; I mean a drastic change. From full of beauty and life to absolute nakedness! I remember just how I felt the day I noticed no more leaves, I was a bit disappointed, because I wanted them to stay. That beauty didn’t last long enough for me to enjoy. However, the number 12, I’ve often heard from other ministers and of course google; symbolizes the perfect government of God. There were 12 disciples, twelve tribes of Israel, and Revelation 22;2 says there was a tree bearing twelve manner of fruits for the healing of a nation. Now that really stirred me up. A tree/we as a people/a nation have to go through a pruning in order to bear more fruit. That’s according to the teachings of Jesus in John 15. There has to be a loss in order for there to be a gain. How would you have known there was a “bird house” there if the leaves hadn’t gone, lol! But truthfully, there is a revelation to all that is happening presently in our world, God is revealing and uncovering so much. And it is FOR OUR GOOD! I’m too excited.

We are in a season, the season that was predestined for change. And if this season is threatened, there would be no way for new establishment or a groundbreaking to come. If we didn’t suffer change, there would be no transformation or a place for new life to set in. I’m reminded at how the disciples wanted to hold on to Jesus, but He said, if I don’t go, the comforter can’t come. The comforter which is Holy Spirit is fruit for our awakened spirit. And there is fruit/nourishment that is in the form of change, a change that is divinely set in place. to bring healing to our nation. I’m ready for Jesus, He is coming back. Be encouraged and stay ready so you don’t have to get ready, per Cedrick the Entertainer.

Love Always,

Carla Mashell Dulaney

Parched, Thirsty &; Tortured

So I heard and I read that the enemy, which are our thoughts, our past, our stronghold comes to steal, kill and destroy; but Jesus said I AM COME that you may have life and life more abundantly. So presently the enemy, your thoughts, your past, your strongholds come to steal your joy and your peace and torment you. But! The Spirit of the Lord is equally and even the more present in our situations and in our assignments. However, He does depart when the purpose has been served.

I have had the greatest struggle this week with what feels like rejection. I’m sure it’s because I desire for God to be pleased with me, but He also made me aware that I still seek to please man. He quickly reminded me; “I Am already pleased with you my Queen, you are my FINISHED work, it’s your sisters and brothers that you believe you have to bend over backwards to keep happy”. I was so moved in my spirit when I heard it; but why is it that I still desire to hear it from human beings? Why is it that I can’t just be satisfied or should I say content with God’s word? So I asked Him. He said “because you are a human, still alive, feel disappointment and you thirst”. I am that Samaritan Woman, once forsaken by religion and people. Never, ever being able to do anything right; I was told. And the cycle seems to just continue; but what I discovered………I am holding my own self hostage to people therefore I am parched. The people and jobs that I’ve been assigned to, start out being an assignment. I go above and beyond what they require and ultimately what God is requiring of me. Why? Because I long for connection, I long for the saying “a job well done”. The Samaritan Woman kept going to a well out of religion that had already ran dry. She asked Jesus, “aren’t you greater than our father Jacob”? His response “whosoever drinks of this water, thirst again”. The Samaritan Woman kept reconnecting with men because it was all she knew. When you were once forsaken, it’s a cycle that seems to never end. But the answer lies in knowing when to jump off, when your time is up; when the purpose has been served. Jesus showed up just in time for HER. The greatest sign for me in hindsight and even presently being reminded—when the thing begins to overly concern me and I am completely burdened down; it is time to go. I’ve become parched, because God’s grace has departed from the people, the place or the thing. It becomes difficult to tap into the well springing up in “you” because you are too busy trying to gain nourishment from the people or the job; therefore left parched. Manna was only given for a season to the children of Israel; but God sent manna for the purpose of increasing their faith. Jesus (the bread of life) didn’t stay long, when He served the disciples notice; they thought it was crazy talk. But if He didn’t go, the comforter; the lasting faith would not have been able to come. There is a greater purpose that is ahead of you and you need the nourishment for the journey.

Turn the faucet on in yourself! What you need is in you! Don’t lose sight of the purpose, because when you do; you lose sight of you.

Love Always,

Carla Mashell Dulaney

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Iris, Dahlia, Rose, Lily and Jade A Bouquet of Life

Thank you to everyone that has been a support of my first novella The Wedding Before The Wedding. I was inspired to write this story from a place of creativity but to also include the real life challenges of being women and balancing life as Believers. Some women deal with the challenge of committing to themselves first (more than others) while other women continue to hurt and are not sure how to heal through it. Regardless to our race, spirituality, religion or economic status, we experience hurt the same. We gain strength from one another to press through when we are connected without reservation. How do we balance it all? How do we remind each other that we are still worthy through the process? I believe this story reveals that answer; the answer of true “sisterhood”.

I am super excited about the 2nd Series; the creativity is springing up from the deepest part of the well in me. Please help me to continue the mission of promoting Authentic Sisterhood and bridging the gap between judging one another in our hurt and feeling free to share without reservation.

1st of the 6 Book Series of The Wedding Before The Wedding

This story is unique and multiculturally fun. Enjoy the journeys of a diverse sisterhood and how Iris and her crew get’s each other through. It’s beautiful, it’s fun and it makes for a good SELF LOVE STORY.

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The Spirit Of……

The spirit of hate will not win against the spirit of love; it may appear to be winning according to the media. The spirit of envy will not win against the spirit peace; it may appear to be as we compare ourselves by what we scrolling through the timelines. The spirit of doubt will not win against the spirit of faith; it may appear to be because of the picture that is painted by it’s political artists. I am writing from a place of compassion for every person in this world right now. With everything that we see and hear from the news and water cooler discussions overheard, we can’t help but be affected or just plain bothered. And the human part of us undoubtedly is restless, but the spirit of us knew that life on this earth would be this way. There is nothing new under the sun and the spirit of goodness WILL always win. God will always win no matter what it looks like. The spirit of who we are “SPIRITUALLY” cannot be shaken; the spirit of who we are is moved to pray, love and give. The “spirit” of us is always in faith. The “spirit” of us will disperses peace within us no matter how much confusion is being stirred around. The “spirit” of us is awakened to give to the poor and needy in spirit. Why? Because we can do all things through Christ which strengthens. If He says to do it; best believe you can even when you don’t feel capable.

I had a discussion with Sean the other night about the Bible and religion. He is so inquisitive. He believes that there is so much information missing, leaving it contradicting itself. He showed me pictures and art that reflected people of color actually being Jacob and Joseph. I agreed with him about the discoveries to a certain extent. Some don’t believe in the Bible for that very purpose; but what that said to me was that the Bible must be real if there is missing information. However the “spirit” of who I am now reads from a spirit of faith. I can attest to my bible reading being a religion at a point in my walk, because I thought that I had to read it in order to be accepted into the Kingdom of God. That was my ignorance and only reading from a natural state of mind at the time, because Jesus spoke up against religion. The very words in red I read during that time, I was actually judging the religious leaders. But it wasn’t until now that I am able to see from my spiritual eyes; I was no better than them. We don’t realize that when we are devoted to something that has been taught to us or enforced upon us; it is in fact religion. If and when you limit yourself to “what you know only” it becomes a god; it IS a religion. We have to push pass knowledge and be open to the “spirit” of who we are. Live by the spirit of who we are. The breath of LIFE was breathed into the nostrils of man according to Genesis 1 and that breath is “spirit”. We all possess it, we just have to be awakened to it.

I encourage you today, don’t stop here at fear from the media; push pass and be moved by the spirit of faith to believe that evil will not win. And at that point, from an individual perspective, we are ushered into becoming a corporate nation of “spirit” led people. We move out of compassion for those that are hurting. We move out of a spirit of faith to encourage others that are affected by this “stuff”. What I know about Jesus moves me; but what I have experienced “Spiritually” with Jesus moves me even the more. What I know about Sean and his intellect moves me because we have deep conversations. But what I have experienced with Sean moves me differently. He is gifted with a special love for those that are treated unfairly and unjustly and yep, that love is a spiritual love.

Love Always,

Carla Mashell Dulaney

You Are Full of It

I can’t stress it enough to myself and many that I witness to, we are enough and we measure up! My youngest son and I have deep conversations about his break up from his first love (a girl of course). He comes to me, very transparent about the issues in his mind he battles with about their break up. This is where I too am able to be transparent and do my testifying of the truth. I educate him on the fact that in this life we have things we are delivered from and things that we yet have to battle. One in particular, the insecurities of being accepted. This is a generational battle. It’s one I do not believe we will totally be rid of; Paul calls it the thorn in our flesh. The thorn that will keep us humbled and dependent upon the strength and grace of God. However, with God we will always get the victory. Battles have to be fought; and will continue to have to be. Battles are a part of our life’s order, kingdom order, world order and military order. We won’t totally be done fighting battles until we expire. So you might as well STAND knowing that you will ultimately get the victory; whether it be today, tomorrow or next year. Insecurity, Joshua and Carla will not just die. The spirit of anything, sister or brother, lingers and takes up occupancy in our minds and all around us. In our minds, because we were fashioned in it when we were born, raised, taught, influenced by or if we at some point in our life chose “it”. But the GREAT NEWS is, God knows it and He also is a part of it. I say that because, the devil, the spirit of evil wouldn’t have power, if God had not given it a choice to be evil. Everything that God chose, has a purpose and it serves its purpose. Evil has one, whether we believe it or not; and guess what? Evil is in us. But hold on, before you get offended; God who IS Good all the time and all the time He IS good is also in you. And He is also a part of the choice that He obliged to every human being. Every day, week, month or year we have to battle with our ”it-sue” (issue) we are given the choice at that moment to win or not.

There are “it-sues” that we have truly been delivered from and those are the things we are not forced, any longer, to make a choice about. I was a marijuana smoker in my past and even in the last couple of years I revisited it, but it is something that I can say I have been delivered from. Why? Because I don’t like its affect on me. But at some point in my life, I thought I had to have it. NOT today, therefore I can declare that I have been delivered. But this darn fight with “am I enough“, and the assumptions I make of what others think of me; continues to be a fight that I choose to win by standing and declaring that I AM ENOUGH with God!

This blog is basically to enlighten and encourage you. Now, just because you gave your life to Christ, does not mean you are done fighting. It just means you no longer have to fight this battle alone. He IS in you and IS a very present help in your time of trouble/choosing. STAND believing that you are full of God’s grace, goodness and love and you my friend do not have to be perfect to walk in that truth. Your cup runneth over Psalms 23 says; so believe it, give power to that truth!

Love You Always,

Carla Mashell Dulaney

The Four Colored Girls in Harmony

I walked into City View Florist on Saturday, super excited about the arrangement that I created and ordered. This arrangement represents each character in my upcoming novel, “The Wedding Before the Wedding”. When I walked, in my face was already lit up and so was my heart. When Carly brought out the arrangement, I immediately felt my heart drop and it was evident that I was not pleased. But Carly was not going to let me leave without fixing it, absolute GREAT customer service. I already knew we couldn’t add the Iris, because the Texas heat would have devoured the delicate flower. My creation was missing something else; I just wasn’t sure what it was. Carly says, “follow me to the fridge and we can figure it out”. We head back to the fridge but it still takes me a minute, because I wasn’t exactly sure about what was missing. Then I spotted the lilies. It is the flower that represents love in this arrangement as well as the blissfully married character in the novel. If we don’t have Lily, we don’t have the example of a “standing no matter what” kind of love in the midst of all her single friends. Mukiako Wright, who is pictured in the featured photo is not only the face of Lily, but she is a true example of “love in marriage”. She and her husband have been colorfully and harmoniously married for 23 years.

After the florals were revamped perfectly in their vase, I was on to the next mission. The mission of meeting and learning more about the faces that will represent this beautiful bouquet. The bouquet that epitomize passion, strength, courage, love and wisdom. Capricia Bell-Foggle who is 2nd left, is the face of Jade and the true life best friend of Mukiako (Lily). Jade is the succulent, the greenery that balances the novel’s friendship with a delicate strength. Capricia’s beauty, personality and genuine spirit speaks exactly that. She has been given the role of GodMama in Mukiako’s children’s lives; and GodMamas always have an amazing strength. I’m too excited! Tameka Bolton is the face of our dear and wise friend Rose. Tameka took her role very seriously, she wore a red dress with roses on it to our dinner meeting. Absolutely appreciate her for that. Tameka has personally shown me support and love since I’ve met her. She invited me into her life as a sister. Tameka is a phenomenal nurse, (not just saying that) I’ve seen the evidence of how much she genuinely loves her patients and her work. She is the perfect example for the role of Rose. I am so grateful for the connections I’ve made with these ladies. Dahlia is our next character and she is quite intriguing, but that role has not been filled yet. Dahlia is our flower of passion; she loves her monetary status and she is not ashamed to tell the world how she makes her coins; so stay tuned.

Mukiako and Capricia did not show up for our dinner empty handed either. The cup and butterfly ring were such beautiful and heartwarming gestures. I wasn’t expecting it at all, but I am thankful for the evident support. My dreams start here! I have butterflies just thinking about it.

I hope this mini synopsis gets you excited about Assistant Principal Iris Jeanine Loda’s and her devoted friends’ journies of excitement, disappointments, marriages and main journey of back to self commitments. Stay tuned October 1st is the expected arrival!

Love You Always,

Carla Mashell Dulaney

Float Like a Butterfly…Float Like a Butterfly

Everyone who knows me, knows that I love butterflies. I love their grace and I love their delicate yet bold being. I never really embraced my boldness because I was too afraid to be. Others would see the delicate part and of course; I would allow them to take advantage of that. I just didn’t know I could be both; but I Am.

I was born first, so that makes me the eldest; right? Being born first, most people would assume, you take on responsibility with ease and great confidence. So, why in the world has it taken me so darn long to embrace that? I remember one day my “little sister“ making a comment to me that just passionately angered me. It angered me to the point that it made me rise up and take back my authority that was given to me before the foundation of this world. My son made a statement that she and I had the same car and we were living in the same apartment complex at the time. So my little big sister’s response to that was “and all she did was be born first”. I absolutely started to examine myself, my decisions and my life at that point; and I refuse to “Just Be Born First”. I was that “big little sister” that she stood up for against everybody and anybody. When something was unfair to me, I didn’t have enough courage to rise up and speak up for myself.

Since making this drastic decision to move from my homeland of Alabama, get a divorce and reclaim my identity; the challenges of keeping the momentum going are still challenges. I can attest to some of those fights with my past fears of standing up for myself, I‘ve been able to step into the ring and finish with a knockout. Yep, leaving my past fears out for the count. Not to say that all of them have been victories, but in some instances, fear was able to stack up enough points leaving me to stumble out of the ring with a black eye and a bruised jaw. Yep, my Cut Man being God, my Trainer and Assistant Trainer being God; but in some of those fights I was not listening. I would get back into the fight and get smacked around some more.

God has always had a plan for His first born, and I intend to live it out! From now until the day I take my last breath, Carla Dulaney will fight to win and no longer fight to prove anything.

Fighting to win includes confidence and giving more power to who you are and who you were born to be. Muhammad Ali said it best, “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was”. Confidence, is an acknowledgement that gives power to what may not be evident at the time. I don’t believe Muhammad tried to prove anything, he just was. Fighting to prove always takes a lot out of you; it takes more energy to prove others wrong than just being. Being is a posture, it is a position that one takes, it is an absolute stance! You are, so therefore BE!

Love You Always,

Carla Mashell Dulaney

A Camoed Kinda Love

Perfect Love cast out FEAR! A relaxed love. A love without fear and worry. A love that REST on “all things will work for my good”. A patient love. A perfected love knows that it will work out alright. I can just melt and shout all over myself because as a woman whose only experience with love was always based in fear. Fear of what man could do to me, so I was whatever he wanted me to be. Fear of what people would say about me, so I would have been whatever I needed to be to please them. But what I awakened to today is that, I am such a lover of people that I often would love them so much that I would rush in to save them; while never being designated as a saviour. If a person comes into my life (whether I felt it was divine or not) I would take on the responsibility of trying to protect them; so I thought. And when things appeared to be in disarray or they came to me in tears; I wanted to control the outcome of that person’s life. Ooooooo Buddy, I called myself serving someone else’s circumstance notices “I am Carla and I have super powers”. “Girl please, girl bye and bye Felicia” are the notices I serve myself today to remind me that I am not strong enough to live my life and somebody else’s. I came out alright (figuring it all out with the Lord) and they will too.

Revelation came to me today as I was standing at the phone booth to go in and throw on my super cape. CONTROL CAN CAMOUFLAGE ITSELF AS LOVE! According to Wikipedia, there are many reasons a chameleon camouflages itself but more commonly, to regulate their temperatures and for social signaling. It’s like love is the chameleon and fear is the mechanism within us that triggers the desire to control. And really what happens is, it gets out of control. Picture a chameleon overwhelmed with fear, oh my! Think about how many times it will camouflage itself and eventually adapt to fearful conditions but IN FEAR. Fear and survival became a lifestyle for me; I’d become accustomed to fear and worry. Jumping to save a situation because I thought I possessed control. Convincing myself overtime, it was because I was loving others like God says to love them. Love them “assssssssssssssssssssssss” you love yourself.

It is rather disturbing to sit back and watch your loved one go through and all you can do is try to rush in to save them. But I am reminded of God’s love for us; perfect love casts out fear according to John, who was one of the closest to Jesus. So he knew first hand the burden of watching someone he loved suffer so much injustice. Loving someone truly is stepping back and evaluating your OWN perceptions and fears about their suffering. What looks like pain to you may be the very thing that they have chosen to accept and grow through. And yeah, there are those who whine to you about their trial and even try and make you feel guilty for not rushing in. But again, evaluate yourself and if we want it; we’ll develop the boldness to say no.

As mothers, as fathers, as friends, as spouses, as daughters and sons we fear what happens to those we love. But the key word is fear, life is full of the things that grow and develop us. It just is! My babies are adults now and it’s still a challenge accepting what they must develop and grow through. I have to stay upstairs or on my roof to ensure sometimes that I don’t stand at the phone booth and come out caped up or should I say “camouflaged in control“ up! They are going to be alright! Sister those you love so much are going to be alright; KNOW THAT! Brother, I know how much you want to protect them but they will be just fine; KNOW THAT!

We are all infused with love. We were born in it, with it and it flows automatically from us. However, it can be overshadowed by worry and fear and we’ll start to operate from that place; yielding no fruit, only weariness and stress. But love, I’ve found just flows genuinely and smoothly like a river; no force at all. Love bears fruit, fruit of joy and absolute peace.

Living Simply, Without Force & Loving You Always

Carla Mashell Dulaney

Photo by Carla Dulaney @Trinity River Trails