How To Find The Good In Goodbye
Have you ever been in the car and started singing so loud that you forgot other people could see you and possibly even hear you?
I remember when I first heard Beyoncé's “Best Thing I Never Had." When I reached the part where she says, “Thank God I found the good in goodbye," you would've thought I wrote the song the way I belted it out. I can remember a time when I thought I couldn't live without a certain someone, or when I doubted another door would open after another door had closed.
I'll never forget when I was in college and I went through a terrible break-up. I found out my ex had been cheating on me. I was so hurt and distraught that I actually called my mom crying and sobbing and told her, “I'm sorry for not always listening and for not always taking your advice." I couldn't stop crying and I was so depressed that one day I literally quit my job, drove home to my mom's house and stayed there for about a week.
There was another time a few short years ago when I was dealing with a difficult situation as it relates to my career. My work environment was toxic and I found myself dealing with extreme anxiety, and I even experienced a panic attack. Funny thing is, they offered me a promotion with a significant pay increase and I turned it down. I basically told them, “Bye, Felicia" and accepted a new position with a different company and made a lateral move instead. Some people thought I was crazy for turning it down but for me at that time, peace of mind was more important than the number of zeroes on my check.
What's interesting now, however, is when I look back at those dark times in my life I realize what I once thought I wanted was exactly what I didn't need. There's a liberating feeling knowing that what you once thought was the best thing in your life became the best thing when it was actually removed from your life.Even though we may experience bad situations, we can still find the good in goodbye.
Some of us struggle with moving forward because all we can see is what we left behind versus what lies ahead. We're focused on what we lost instead of what we look to gain, but sometimes the very thing we are holding onto is the very thing that is holding us back. I've definitely learned how to find the good in goodbye and I want to encourage someone to start the process to help keep you moving forward.
Keep in mind, when I refer to the term "goodbye," I'm not necessarily referring to us saying farewell to our loved ones when they pass away even though we still have to find a way to keep living when those situations arise. Instead, I'm referring to the relationships, jobs, careers or even dreams that have ended or appear as if they're headed nowhere. Whatever it is you're struggling to cope with or move forward from, here's how I find the GOOD in Goodbye:
G – Get out of the way and let God do his thing.
How many times have we tried to do things our own way, ignored God's plans or got mad at God because things didn't go as planned? It's okay to make plans for our lives because like they say, “If you don't plan, you plan to fail," but the conflict arises when we try to play God and orchestrate things without consulting Him or even after talking with Him. I don't know how many times I've prayed for God to send me a sign and remove certain people, places or things from my life that would hinder my growth. Then, as soon as it happened I would make excuses or I would avoid the signs because deep down inside that's not what I wanted. It's like when we get advice from our friends - sometimes we're open to receiving and sometimes we're not because we'd rather ignore the truth.
Now, I know it's not just about what we want but what we need. Just like from my story earlier, I wanted so bad to be with a certain someone despite how they were treating me and even though it was clear that they didn't want to be with me. At the end of the day, God knows just what we need when we need it. There's a good quote that says “Be god or let God." In other words, I've learned to get out of the way and stop trying to force things to happen. We can repeatedly and hopelessly try and create the life we want by manufacturing defected relationships or situations that will eventually be recalled; or, we can hand over control to God and let him guide and lead us so that He can make room for what we really need.
O – Open your heart and mind to something greater.
Just because something ended doesn't mean we won't have the chance to experience something greater. Every now and then, certain things have to end in order for something bigger and better to begin. Yes, it's hard when things go awry or relationships end and we have to take a moment to deal with the pain and release a good cry, but we can't stay there forever. We have to pick ourselves up and keep moving.
Had I stayed crying and complaining over my past break-ups and situations, I never would have been open and available to receive the love from my husband. Had I not said goodbye to them I wouldn't have been able to say hello to him – my husband. Had I settled for convenience, chaos and toxic environments, I never would've stepped out on faith and fought for something better.
Just because you haven't met “Mr. Right" doesn't mean it will never happen. Just because you hear 10 “No's" doesn't mean you'll never hear a “Yes." I'll never forget when my husband was laid off during our first year of marriage. Even though it was a tough time, he NEVER gave up. He always believed there was something greater coming not only for him but for us as a family, and everything he believed would happen for us has come to fruition. When things don't necessarily go as planned, we have to trust that God is still at work and can bless us with something greater. We have to put our hope in Him, not man.
O - Observe the greater purpose and focus on what's important.
I truly believe we all have a purpose, and at times, the culmination of one thing can lead to the birth of so many more things not only in our lives, but in the lives of others as well. What's more encouraging than being able to help or encourage someone who is going through something you've already overcome? There's an encouraging verse in Genesis 50:20 that says, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…"
That's why I do what I do. That's why I write what I write. I understand now more than ever that all of the so-called break-ups, disappointments and failures I experienced in the past actually prepared me for this moment – to help someone else who may be going through similar situations. Our tests form our testimonies. I have to ask myself sometimes, "What is my attitude in adversity" because I realize others may be watching and my actions and reactions can influence how they will deal with life's interruptions. So, when things get difficult and when I get discouraged and can't see clearly the good in goodbye at the moment, above all I have to remember my purpose so I can keep going.
D – Declare the victory!
It's funny when we experience break-ups, heartache, or we hear the words “goodbye" or “no" we immediately find ourselves crying and focused more on what could've been instead of what could be. As human beings, it's totally natural, of course, to feel defeated and disappointed. We live, we love, we laugh and unfortunately we hurt.
But how often do we take the time to rejoice about the potential catastrophes we avoided like: constant and unnecessary drama, abuse, pain, lies, cheating and so much more? It only takes me a second to think about where I could've been had I done X, Y or Z; had I taken that position or had I stayed with "Tom," "Joe," or "Keith." Think about how much you could be going through right now had you stayed a little longer or had they not walked away? Think about the job or position you were overlooked for and the long hours you would've spent away from your friends and loved ones had you accepted it.
Like I said earlier, there is a liberating feeling knowing what you used to desperately desire ended up being something you could actually live without. Everything runs its course. If certain things and situations had not ended when they did, they could have very well prevented us from living life to our full potential. That's the victory! I'm thankful to God for each and every blessing – the ones I prayed for and even the ones I didn't know I needed; the open doors and even the ones He closed.
Are you finding the GOOD in GOODbye? We want to hear your story below.
Featured image by Getty Images
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Shonda Brown White is a bestselling author, blogger, life coach, and brand strategist. When she's not jumping out of a plane or zip lining, she's living the married life with her husband in Atlanta, GA. Connect with her on social @ShondaBWhite and her empowering real talk on her blog.
Three Influencers Show Off Their 2022 Holiday Hair Looks Using Their SheaMoisture Faves
This post is in partnership with SheaMoisture.
For Black women, there’s one compliment that will boost our confidence like none other: “Come through hair!” You know the vibe! Walking into a room with folks acknowledging that your hair is laid for the gawds, and the effort that it took to get it there, is a top five feeling. And with the holiday season just weeks away, you’ll be hearing that quite often. Between Thanksgiving gatherings with the family, Friendsgiving, company parties, and Christmas get-togethers, the opportunities to let your hair show up and show out aren’t too far away.
Apart from the holiday stuntin’, the end-of-year slow down is also the perfect opportunity to reevaluate the year your hair has had. Whether you kept it cute with protective braids, went big with blowouts, or let loose with textured twist-outs, this is the perfect time to give your hair the gift of TLC - tender lovin’ curls. Like the weather, our hair goes through seasons and has different needs depending on what we’ve put it through. Perhaps the transition into fall/winter has left your curls a bit parched and in need of some serious hydration. Or maybe your strands could use some restorative conditioning after taking it down from a convenient protective style. No matter what category you fall into, SheaMoisture has hundreds of ways that you can clean, treat and refresh your hair for a healthy shine that will bring you into the new year right. Bring your curls back to life with the nourishing and fragrant Coconut & Hibiscus line. Boosted with natural ingredients such as coconut oil, neem oil, carrot oil, and shea butter, this line is the antidote to reviving thirsty, dehydrated hair. Even better - with SheaMoisture’s custom quiz, you can get a hair analysis that will lead you to the right products for your hair needs. Say hello to sleek edges, and moisturized, stronger strands.
In need of a little hair-spiration? We got you covered! xoNecole and SheaMoisture have teamed up with three natural hair influencers to debut their holiday hair looks. Meet Ambrosia Malbrough, Jasmin Moses, and Daye Covington - beauty bawses who’ve created some incredible holiday looks that are stylish and easy to achieve. They also gave us the scoop on the SheaMoisture products they’re loving right now, as well as their 2023 hair goals.
Read on for more:
Daye Covington Kicks Her Twist Out Up A Notch With A Voluminous Updo
“I wanted to create a style that was super cute but also easy to pull together, so I went with a puff and tendril combo! It's a style that can be done on freshly washed curls or one that can be done on old hair. [It’s perfect for] when we're short for time but want to add a little razzle-dazzle to our hair before a special occasion. It's very versatile!”
“My favorite Shea Moisture product hand's down is the Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie! That is definitely a #TeamNaturalHair staple. Coconut is one of the ingredients that my hair favors. I also find that medium/light creams absorb best in my hair, so it's no surprise that I get amazing definition and moisture when I use the Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I love it for twist-outs, braid-outs, and rod set styles. Any product that can give me versatility when it comes to styling plus added moisture, that's what a staple is for me!”
“I would love to dye my hair back to blue! It was my favorite hair color, but unfortunately, my 9-5 now prohibits unnatural hair colors. I'm pushing it with this dark plum color, but I look forward to the day where I can transition into a new stage of life and go back to blue. In the meantime, I'm focusing on length retention. I've been doing well for 2022 and have had no major cuts so I'm hoping to stay consistent with my routine in 2023.”
Follow Daye on Instagram @dayelasoul
Ambrosia Malbrough Made Magic With Poppin’ And Defined Finger Coils
“[Finger coils] is a style that I don’t do often, it takes much more time than my usual wash and go. But that extra time put in makes it extra special and so worth it. The results are beautiful. It’s a style that offers many days of wear, too!”
“[Earlier this year] I did my 4th big chop. This time around hit different as a mom of two. I don’t always have the extra time on my hands to put into my hair, so the short ‘do has been convenient. I’ve realized that not all wash days are created equal even if I use the same products. However, my 4c coils are loving the products I'm using now”
“Since I’ve been having my hair dyed, I’m looking forward to trying Shea Moisture’s new Mongongo and Jojoba Oils High Porosity Moisture Replenish Hair Masque. I am currently growing my hair out and plan on having fun with more highlights and a new shape - possibly a shag cut in 2023!”
Follow Ambrosia on Instagram at @brosiaaa
Jasmin Moses Shows The Secrets To Her Jaw-Dropping Curly Ponytail
“I love doing a sleek ponytail with my baby hairs laid to a T! It helps so my hair isn't in the way when I am cooking and running errands, but it's still snatched to provoke anyone in the room to stop me to say 'girllll your hair is laid!'. I like to add a little razzle dazzle by adding my cute, naturally curly ponytail extensions. It elevates the look perfectly for the holidays.”
“It took me from my freshman year of college to now, almost seven whole years, to know what works for my hair. I love protective styles like wigs and braids because my hair thrives when I don't mess with it. When I leave my hair alone, it grows the best, so I love taking off my wig when I get home, oiling my scalp and putting my bonnet on for bed! When I do wear my natural hair out, what helps me maintain the health of my hair is to get in a rhythm with my hair. [I do] my wash days on Sunday, wear it in a wash n’ go all week, and repeat the next Sunday.”
“My 2023 hair goal is to get back to my 2021 hair length! Recently, a hairstyle damaged my hair causing me to lose 4 inches in length, which was not fun. So I’m working on getting [my hair] back to its original health and keep growing from there! I am also looking forward to trying the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie as a one-product wash n’ go! I hear such great things about it and I think it will give me hold while also keeping my hair lightweight and voluminous. I’m also excited about the Coconut & Hibiscus Defining Styling Gel and Edge Gel.”
Follow Jasmin on Instagram @slimreshae
Signs You Might Be A Little Bi-Curious & What To Do About It
I like big butts, and I can not lie! When Sir Mix-A lot made that song, he made it just for me. As a self-identifying heterosexual woman over the years, I have often wondered if my love for phat asses was normal. Maybe my infatuation with phat asses stems from the fact that I was not blessed to be able to become a card-carrying member of the big-ass brigade. My ass is flat. It doesn’t jiggle or bounce. It’s just there. So because of my lack thereof, I've learned to appreciate others. It’s something about the way a phat ass moves in a dress or how the cheeks dance around in a circle when twerking that makes me want to caress it. I often joke with my friends that I turn “gay” every time a phat ass walks past.
Surely I am not the only person who has wondered whether they were no longer "straight" because of their attraction to someone of the same gender. Sexuality is not black-and-white. It’s very fluid. While some of us are lucky enough to have it all figured out. Most of us, however, have had questions and had to do some introspection to understand romantic and sexual feelings towards more than one sex. Does my love for big juicy booties make me bi-curious, or am I just appreciative of the Lord’s work? To answer this question, we first need to understand what bi-curiosity is.
An individual who is bi-curious is someone who is curious about different genders but does not categorize themselves as bisexual. You may find this if you've only known you were sexually attracted to one gender in the past. You may then discover that your sexual orientation is questioned when you find yourself sexually attracted to someone of the same gender. People are highly complex creatures, which is why it’s not uncommon for people to have moments of doubt about their sexuality.
So is being bi-curious and bisexual one and the same? No. Being bi-curious has nothing to do with sexual or gender identity. It’s defined more as a period of exploring – a sort of experimental stage, if you will, whereas bisexual people are those who no longer doubt their attraction to more than one gender.
If you’re wondering if you’re bi-curious, there are several signs to look out for that could indicate this is the case. Here are some clues on if your attraction to that person means you are really bi-curious!
You kissed someone of the same gender and liked it.
In the words of the singer, Katy Perry, “I kissed a girl, and I liked it!” Kissing someone of the same gender and enjoying it could be a sign that you are bi-curious, especially if you didn’t want the kiss to stop and the kiss kinda turned you on.
You wonder what sex would be like with someone of the same gender.
People are often curious about various types of sexual activities, including sex with people of the same gender. But if you find yourself fantasizing or even watching porn that features same-gendered sex acts or same-sex relationships, you might be a little bi-curious.
You like seeing the same gender naked.
Appreciating the beauty of a naked body is one thing, but if you find your eyes lingering at body parts with thoughts of performing a sexual act or two, then that could be a telltale sign you might be bi-curious.
You’re physically attracted to the same gender.
Are you drawn to people of the same gender? Are you wanting to be around them all the time? Do you find yourself getting butterflies around them? Do you daydream about them? These can also be signs of attraction and could mean you are bi-curious.
Now that we’ve discussed some potential signs of bi-curiosity, let’s talk about what steps can be taken once those feelings have been acknowledged and explored further. First off, it’s important to remember that whatever path feels right for you is the right one—so don’t feel pressured into any particular decision or lifestyle just because it seems like the “right thing to do.”
That being said, there are still plenty of resources available online (and offline) for those looking to explore their sexuality further—including support groups specifically designed for LGBTQ+ individuals looking for guidance and advice from others who understand their situation firsthand.
Additionally, many cities offer bisexual meetups where people can connect in person—which can be invaluable when navigating any changes in sexual orientation or identity. Finally, talking about these issues with trusted friends or family members can also help provide needed perspective and clarity—and make sure there is someone who has your back through any changes that come up along the way.
Exploring one's sexuality is an incredibly personal journey—but it doesn't have to be done alone! If you think that you might be bi-curious or bisexual, take some time to reflect on your feelings and consider reaching out for additional support from friends or other resources like support groups or meetups in order to gain more insight into what path makes sense for your particular situation.
Remember, no matter what decisions you make regarding your sexuality moving forward, know that it's okay—you're allowed to explore without judgment or pressure.
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Feature image by Shapecharge/ Getty Images