Freedom Friday, Liberating My Mind From Stigma

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man” (William Shakespeare).

Right now, it is 4:14 a.m. Today, kicks off a three day national holiday weekend. Depending upon who you ask, it is the holiday we Americans celebrate our Independence Day.

The keyword being “our”.

History provides a valid argument of why some feel excluded in celebrating a collective event. If we are real, initially, everyone could not celebrate Independence Day because they were not included to reap the benefits. It is like telling a child she is going to a birthday party and forcing her to remain isolated in a room adjacent to the party, looking through the glass door at all the other kids having a great time.

Who does that?

Not only can I relate to the historic controversy of Independence Day, but I have also felt the shame, ridicule and hurt of a child, adult and Christian ostracized for dealing with a mental illness.

Yes, a mental illness.

For the record, it is the opposite of having a healthy mind.

It is what ANY person can experience on ANY given day.

Why am I up at 4 o’clock in the morning instead of enjoying the fact I can sleep in late like most Americans right now? Obviously, something is on my mind. But I had to come to terms with an issue I was trying solve and that a friend was helping me deal with on yesterday…


Throughout the years, I have been known to some as an evangelist, a minister of the Gospel; a writer, of devotionals and prose; a counselor, biblical and crisis intervention; a mental health advocate, in remembrance of my brother lost to suicide; and recently a novelist.

So you can see why I was being coached by a friend on branding. And one reason why the topic of discussion was intensified , other than the obvious dilemma entrepreneurs have, I am preparing to do interviews this month to discuss my novel, Marriage Thorn. Now you are probably wondering what all this has to do with independence and liberation.

Just BARE with me….

…back to the issue of “Branding”. If you have ever managed a social media site for your own business or employer, then you know the logistics of making pages reflect your message and dealing with the hoopla of editing pages once you have built one audience and needing to reach a different audience. Then you have to update your websites that you certainly realize you have about three to four of them because…
• You have gifts
• You have causes you are passionate about
• You have experience and knowledge
• You have to make profits

So, in trying to accept the sound advice being given to me by my friend and other mentors: “Focus on one thing and build from there.” That makes sense, right? But it was a deep struggle for me that nearly had me in torment. I had to decide to take the advice I give others and “face my own fear”. Yes, I love to write. I have been doing it since I was in the fifth grade. My first dream was to write and publish a novel. It has happened. I should be so thrilled to focus on marketing and promoting it.

What is the problem?

T.D. Jakes summed it up in the title of his book, “Instinct”. My problem is that I have a gift and passion for writing, a calling to minister to the hurting and a cause that matters so deeply to me that affects so many lives. Good business coaching says go with what’s profitable and focus solely on that. My instincts won’t just allow me to benefit in an area and not talk about the elephant in the room that’s about to stampede on another victim.

The answer to the problem is always within us and is revealed by the Creator of us all.

In the words of another friend and colleague, “Freedom comes from honesty” (LKB).

YES, I am an author and writer. I am a Christian and a minister of the Gospel.
I am a biblical counselor and mental health advocate. I have struggled with being mentally ill; I have dealt with depression. I have lost a brother to suicide. I AM a Suicide SURVIVOR.

Today, I officially liberate myself from all those who intentionally ostracize and stigmatize those as myself that do believe in HOPE and a PROMISED FUTURE and daily work towards God’s PLAN for our lives.

To ALL dealing with or one day find yourself dealing with the greatest darkness you have every faced, let no one condemn or judge you for the sake of the faith. TO THY OWN SELF BE TRUE.

Have I figured out my social and media branding yet? Nope. But I invite you to continue this journey with me. I will continue to share it in my advocacy, ministry and writing. If you find yourself searching a good read this weekend, you are encouraged to read my novel, Marriage Thorn (print or ebook) that does deal with REAL every day issues.

May you enjoy this weekend of true Independence and Liberation!

Oh TO be FREE!!!

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