Throughout your life FEAR will always find a way to make a guest appearance. FEAR will never show up without a story…a story from your past that replays in your present and future mind that has convinced you that you will not succeed if you tried again or even tried at all. The details in the story are so believable and difficult to imagine past the pain. You have carried that pain because you have convinced yourself that you can’t do it. But I’m here to report to you that as I continue to work on every area of my life that is still dealing with FEAR, there is one area of my life that I conquered FEAR after several years of replaying the story….
I call this blog “Fear 2.0”
I was in middle school at a pool party and while standing at the edge of the pool one of the boys at the party was playing around with some of the people there and as he was running around, he came by me and with both hands, pushed me from behind into the 8 feet part of the pool. All I can remember is me fighting the water terrified because I could not swim. While in the water bobbing up and down, I managed to fight my way to the side of the pool and I pulled myself up as much as I could then I felt the help of 2 adults. In my mind I was drowning but I don’t know if that was known at the time until I was able to catch my breath and then I said to the 2 adults that helped me that I was drowning in the pool and I then pointed to the boy who threw me in. I asked to be picked up early from the party due to being embarrassed and humiliated and the little boy got in trouble. This is the incident that birthed the FEAR of swimming.
Fast-forward to 2005: I am now a young adult in my 20’s and I took a trip to Hawaii for my birthday with a girlfriend. I told her I could not swim but I would try snorkeling since you didn’t have to go out into the deep parts of the water. My thought was I could just stick my face in the water with my facemask and head out maybe 2 or 3 hundred yards from the shoreline. It was an epic fail. The girlfriend that was with me didn’t know how to speak to my fear and help me develop the confidence and knowledge I needed in order to snorkel. It doesn’t make her a bad person at all but it was a reminder to me that conquering fear not only is an inside job but it also includes having the right people in your life who can speak directly to that fear.
Fast-forward to 2014: I reached a point of no return with fear and finally got up the nerve to tell a friend that I needed to learn how to swim so one Saturday in the summer time we went to an indoor pool at a recreation center and he spoke to my fear. He convinced me to put my trust in him and not fear by stating his credentials and experience. The longer he talked and showed me in the water that I was in good hands, the more trust I developed in him. After a few hours of applying the technique that he taught me, he slowly let my hand go but stayed in arms reach as I successfully, for the first time, swam a lap across the 8 foot depth of water to the opposite end of the pool. I kept swimming until fear was completely eliminated from my mind.
Fast Forward to 2019 – January 7th – 11th I took a vacation with a girlfriend to St. Lucia and at the time did not know she was not only an amazing swimmer but her favorite thing to do on vacation was to snorkel.
Even though I was now confident in my swimming ability, I still had a fear about snorkeling that never left me from that Epic Fail in Hawaii that still played in my mind. I told her my fear with snorkeling and she convinced me to put my trust in her and not fear by stating her credentials and experience. The longer she talked and showed me in the water that I was in good hands, the more trust I developed in her
She never stops talking to me in the process, which gave fear no opportunity to replay my mental story
Slowly but surely I’m snorkeling…the epic fail from 2005 convinced me that the rambling of the sound of water which reminded me of the fight I had in the pool as a young girl in middle school robbed me of a beautiful experience. Now as an adult I am blown away at the quietness of the water and the visible beauty of the fish and the coral of the ocean. I jumped out of the water and said out loud in amazement how quiet it is underwater and how proud I am that I can enjoy this experience without fear. This snorkeling experience allowed me to see some beautiful sergeant major fish as my girlfriend threw bread at me so that she could snap the perfect picture.
While conquering one fear, another fear made an encore appearance but in a different form. You see, fear is very sneaky and will show up when you least expect it. What I learned about the difference between Fear and Truth is that fear is False Evidence Appearing Real and believing Truth in a matter means conformity to fact or reality. In both situations the 2 individuals that were with me when fear tried to replay the story of failure in my mind, they both presented credentials and evidence in order for me to conquer fear. That’s the power of TRUTH. It will always have real evidence to confirm it’s validity but Fear will make false claims that will always look and feel like its real.
It’s not necessary to always have someone there in order to conquer fear because you have the power to change that fear in you on your own but in my case, God positioned the right people around me who helped me to develop the confidence and skills in order to combat fear. Question? If you took inventory of the people around you do they have the ability to help you fight fear? As you continue to live, you will begin to understand the importance of connections and attachments. While connections will feed you (ex: enhance your well being), attachments will drain you (ex: take more than it gives and rarely if ever reciprocate what’s being given). Fear has to be conquered from the inside out so monitor the voices in you and around you.
Xoxo Charlene Evans
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Personal | Profession | Passion
~ It’s Personal
I have been in love only 2 times in my life. Once while in college and the second time in my mid 30’s. The second time around was the closes that I had ever been to walking the aisle but what sticks out more to me was the “labor of love” that I poured into trying to understand myself and the man that I felt was my forever. During the hardest times of accepting what I knew to be true from the beginning, I learned the most!
The Pain Of My Fallacy:
- ……removed the need to ‘gamble’ with my expectation vs. his reality
- ……corrected a perception that I had about the term ‘potential’ mate. When I looked at the word and thought about what potential is, I discovered that I always focused more on what potential could become verses the fact that ‘potential’ is a energy about a person that is stored or dormant and it shows the capacity of something that is to become or develop into something in the future…if it has not moved out of its current state, what you see, is what it is. Nothing more…nothing less.
- ……taught me that you can’t revise God’s plan for your life. His timing, His strategy and purpose for divine connections with people cannot be forced or created by you. When we spend more time trying to make something work out of His will, because He is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), we are forfeiting our trust in the plan and purpose our creator has ordained for our lives before the foundations of the earth.
~ My Profession
If I could draw a chart to illustrate my career over a 16 year period it would look something like this::
Blue Block = the first 5 years of working
Green Block = working 6 to 10 years
Orange Block = working 11 to 15 years
Red Block = working 15 to 20 years
I bet some of you are wondering why are the blocks going down verses going up?
Glad you asked!!!
This graph has been illustrated to friends when I discuss my current state of working…how I feel like my climb up into my profession has ‘felt’ like it has been a steady ‘decline’. The progression of knowledge that I have obtained was not being illustrated in the “natural sense” and it gave me a feeling of confusion, frustration and resentment…..until I begin to look at it differently and allow God to ‘show’ me what was happening in the spirit realm so that I can trust Him while I walk out two very contradicting realities…
The Pain Of My Fallacy:
- …..deepened my dependency on my faith in GOD. If I know Him as a God who makes no mistakes, then WHY am I questioning this ‘season’ of my life? He has allowed this to happen because what He is teaching me is equipping me for the multiple ways He will be using me.
- …..matured me. Responsibility is your ‘ability to RESPOND’ and my response to this painful time had to change. It does not take away from the fact that pain will cause you to respond at times in a negative way but do you go back to correct it? Do you think before you speak? I have to give credit where credit is due…my response changed due to practicing the power of the PAUSE. My mentor and good friend Dr. Katrina Spigner not only discussed this action but she practices it in her own life. I have observed her over the years PAUSING before she responds and the result in seeing it changed my life forever. Initiating this small but powerful change has literally been my saving grace!
- …..revealed that what is happening IN me is building endurance in order to carry the multiple assignments for my life. It feels like I am going through boot camp and in order to physically get through this obstacle course, I must build up my spiritual muscle in areas of my life that need to grow. Building these areas will create the perseverance needed in order to complete this course. The building of my: Character, Focus, Integrity and Love has allowed me to trust the greater plan for my life…and that trajectory is going UP…Faith must be your guide, not your eyes…
~ I live for my Passion
Loving words…and formulating them to telling a story, poetically, is my Passion!!!
When I think back, the inception of this love was circa 1995 while performing in my High School Pageant. This extended into my college years, which lived only in a notebook until I released it publicly at an open mic in Orangeburg, SC right before graduation in 2001. That night I shared prayers on paper that kept me through some of the most challenging years of my life—college. I experience great pain and life altering events that have shaped me forever. This passion is my LIFE, literally. My spirit connects to everyday life through words…I see and hear poetry in everything unintentionally and naturally. I credit this ability to my creator, my friend and the love of my life, Jesus the Christ. I have witnessed through the words that He construct into poetry ministering into the lives of people in ways I could never predict. This gift does come without a ‘cost’ or ‘price’ to pay. But when you are called, you understand that pain associated to your God-given Gift is one of the greatest teachers…
The Reality Of My Pain:
- …..as a writer, pain will either PUSH you or PARALYZE you. I have experienced both but it’s not something I consider to be a bad thing. Sure, at times you need to produce but can’t seem to hear God through the pain, but His timing is impeccable and His word never returns to you void. If He has given you the gift, He will not be mocked but will deliver when its time. For us, it’s not convenient. For Him, it’s divine.
- …..as a writer, God will use pain to correct. Something that hurts could be signifying that something is not aligned. That alignment could be a result of disobedience. This could merit a THOUSAND examples but I trust God enough to know that when YOU read it, He will direct you to what is mis-aligned that is causing you pain and the inability to produce.
- …..as a writer, most people would agree that poets seem to talk about painful situations A LOT! From open-mics to slams to showcases, you seem to get more of a connection with audiences when you discuss pain. I disagree. While it may initially influence a response, I think its what comes out of pain that is key. Pain a lot of times is the byproduct to a blessing and if you listen long enough to a poem that starts a poem discussing pain, most of the time, the poet will not leave it there but illustrate the root or result of that pain that led to something greater…something better….something more profound.
At times, these 3 could feel disconnected due to the pain of the shift that’s taking place. But I’m here to encourage you, don’t disrupt the work of God due to your personal discomfort. Growth will stretch you because preparation is vital for the next phase of your life. Look at your Personal, Profession and Passion and allow GOD to do the necessary changes. I pray as you read only a summary level snippet of how I allowed God to move in these areas, it will inspire you to let Him move on your behalf.
xoxo Chiccy Baritone
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A scripture I hold very close to my heart is Proverbs 18:21 and it says,”The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.”(NIV)….
So in other words, your life takes on the shape of what is spoken! Yes, being negative attracts negativity just as being positive attracts positivity. What will the fruit of your lips taste like? LIFE….or DEATH?
Years ago, I wrote this poem called,”Lips-based off of Proverbs 18:21″ which is on my poetry CD,”Wildflower Vol.1. Check out a snippet of the poem here and option to purchase! http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/chiccybaritone —shameless plug::Ha! The message in the poem is simply this…be careful what you SPEAK! If you feel like you live a defeated life and ‘everything bad always happens to me’ then check your conversation…Do you complain all the time? Have something negative to say all the time? Never look at a situation in a positive manner? Predict every outcome to be bad? Speak discouragement over every situation that is challenging? (….this list of negativity can go on and on, but I think you get the point) then your words and thoughts will begin to shape your life!
Going into 2016 and what this year will LOOK like for you will depend on what your ‘release’ out of your mouth. Your life will begin to take shape based on what you speak. So make a conscious decision to watch the words you speak…the conversations that you have…and believe by FAITH, that everything will work out! God said it would and I believe it! “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I have enjoyed sharing my top 5 nuggets of 2015 with you. I pray these Blogs have been a blessing to you! Happy NEW YEAR!!!!!!!
2016..today is page 1 of 365
Happy New Year Nugget Blog#5 (last blog for the New Year series)
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“When The Roots Are Deep There Is No Reason To Fear The Wind”
I love this African Proverb. Well, this is one of many that I love. I wanted to talk about the meaning as it relates to something I learned about myself through the challenges of 2015. The moral values taught to me by my parents, the wise counsel from friends, family and mentors, and my spiritual relationship with Jesus all contributed to the depth and strength of my roots!
So what does this African Proverb mean? It can be a reference to how a firm grounding results in a natural resistance to shifting circumstances.
For example, if applied to private economy, it might mean that a solid savings account and a steady job mean that you don’t have to fear unforeseen expenses. Metaphorically, the wind cannot knock you over, because you’ve set deep roots that hold you in place. In relationships with people, you may be tested through disagreements or arguments that provoke you to respond in a way that is unethical. You resist the temptation because your desire and beliefs in not projecting an action that is not ‘like’ you are spiritually deep rooted! You have learned things to do so that you don’t respond! —like remain quiet, walk away, etc…(Help me Lord….I’m still working on this but I do not respond nearly as much as I use to!…Okay….just had to testify real quick! I don’t want to give the impression that I have mastered this!)
But a few scriptures that correspond to the point of this proverb that I love are:
Psalm 1:3 “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”
Jeremiah 17:8 “They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Wow….did you catch that in the scriptures? Both made mention of a key point…that nothing stops the TREE from bearing FRUIT!!! Despite the change in conditions (heat, drought, etc.) it is PLANTED or ROOTED! WHEW!!!!!
My Prayer: God, please plant and root me in your WORD! No matter what storm comes and no matter how strong the winds are, I shall not be MOVED! I thank you God for endurance, steadfastness, forgiveness, humility, peace and LOVE. For Love covers ALL! As I approach this new year of 2016, help me to grow deep roots in the characteristics of you!
In Jesus Name I pray…AMEN!
Happy New Year Nugget Blog#3
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Your counteraction can sometimes speak louder than an action…..
A counteraction can be defined as: An act of retaliation; a counterattack; any action in opposition to a previous action. (according to yourdictionary.com)
Where am I going with this? Your actions and someone else’s counteraction can both be wrong but the approach of a counteraction leaves the lasting impression. When you make a decision to respond in any situation, there are consequences to consider that may never be okay with an apology.
So, after seeing social media EXPLODE over the incident that happened at my alma mater, Spring Valley High School in Columbia, SC, through a viral cell phone video where a cop approached a student to leave the class that ended up in a violent counteraction to her action, I had to speak up…but as I get older, I’m learning the importance and the power of the ‘pause.’ President Barack Obama does it in his speeches…and whether it’s just his style naturally or if it was taught, it still allows a person to think about their response before they make it. This skill is quickly becoming a habit for me in my personal and professional life and has saved me from what I call a huge ‘clean up’ job! (aka apologizing from something I said off the fly)
But let’s keep it all the way live….I was LIVID when I saw the video. I played it over and over again then I stopped. I had to let my anger channel through my mind because I am very honest with myself and my emotions. This hurt…then it stung…as I watched the response of the students via video which seemed motionless as this officer flipped this girls desk then dragged her across the floor. You could feel the tension of utter shock as if it was something being played out in a movie and not in an actual classroom….a place where students should be learning and not concern about being mishandled by authority.
Now let me PAUSE….because I dated a teacher and I know that one of the most important attributes of teaching is classroom management. You see, you can be the best teacher ever but if you can’t manage your classroom, it will disrupt the flow of learning and for some teachers, that’s a hard balance which can ultimately be the demise of a teacher’s career. As a matter of fact I met an “Engineer turned Teacher” who ended her 2 years of teaching for that very reason…she could not manage her classroom and found it very difficult to teach beyond her love for teaching itself.
As I watched this story unfold in 4 days there was a lot of information that didn’t condone the action of the student but it made you broaden your perspective a little. Our young people are dealing with some serious issues of life and although it doesn’t justify them not listening to authority, it does raise the question of where was the authority in this young girl’s life? When parents neglect to teach their children respect at home or if no example of authority is being exercised in front of a child, it leaves the responsibility up to every other form of authority outside of the home to ‘teach’ that child and most of the time, a stranger is not going to give that child the ‘benefit of the doubt.’
She was broken…
So when she violated school rules and was asked multiple times to leave the classroom to the point to where a resource officer had to be called to escort her out, as a person in authority, you have to ask yourself, how should I counteract to this action?
He has issues…
And they stem from something bigger than a disrespectful child at the time who would not respond to his actions to remove her out of the class. The excessive force used was by no means necessary and was beyond his professional training as an officer, so what made him go so far?
I don’t know…and the fact of the matter is we all don’t know but he does…
His counteraction now outweighs the action of this student and has resulted in him being fired and possibly facing charges of assault.
So while the story is FAR from being over, my concern at this time is focused on one thing right now..
That young girl….
And while we don’t know all of ‘her story’, we know someone like her…shoot, let’s be honest, someone reading this right now may share a childhood that was similar..being raised by someone other than your mother, but your mother is alive and made a decision not to raise you. How did the your mother’s decision, regardless of the reason, influence you as a child AND as a woman?
I feel like we need to REACH a little further than the internet….I can hear the silent cry out loud for attention with nowhere to talk about their pain. Our young ladies….feeling the pressure to be all and do all and we are hurting…pain neglected is pain that will revisit…and never go away until we open our mouths and our hearts to let healing in….
I’m typing and I’m thinking…”Charlene…what more can you do?” and that voice inside says,”So much more….much more.” So I’m about to rally some of my poetic sister’s together and we will use our gifts to bring awareness and a face to other women and young girls. Each one…teach one…
xoxo Chiccy Baritone
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So I went to my very FIRST Rodeo on Saturday, May 16, 2015 in Columbia, SC…and if you have never been to Columbia, SC, its not a HUGE city but big enough to not be called a “town”…LOL…
Anyway, my honey and I brought tickets early not really paying a whole lot of attention as to where the seats were but they turned out to be very GOOD seats! We were like 5 rows from the arena where all the cowboys and cowgirls will be performing on their horses. I felt like I could walk 5 steps from where I was sitting and physically reach my hand out and touch anyone or anything inside the arena…I think you get the point, right?? GOOD SEATS! *smile*
The co-host for the rodeo was christian comedian Akintunde, who I truly admire and love. He is one of my homies being that we both are from the Columbia, SC area. He did a great job co-hosting and I really enjoyed the comedic touch that he added to the evening. I didn’t know that Akintunde saw me but during the show he took some time to point out ‘celebrities’ in the audience and the first person that he pointed out was Jamal Bates who is well known as a radio personality for WFMV Gospel Station 95.3FM…then he points me out saying,”Poet Chiccy Baritone is here” along with some other things that I could not hear because I was SHOCK that he would acknowledge me. As shocked as I was, I still stood up and waved to a crowd of what looked like about 3 or 4,000 people! What I observed as I stood up AND as I sat down was that the reaction of the crowd was a polite clap but no indication that the crowd really knew who I was as an Artist….
Now…for those who REALLY know me, know that I have a divine “gift” from God to be able to find the ‘humor’ in all situations, and for me, that was kinda ‘funny’ that the people heard Akintunde give this POET some props but still was like,”WHO IS SHE?” [insert multiple laughs here]
Let me share with you my God to honest truth of what happened to me in that moment because that was not about me feeling like or being a wanna be ‘celebrity’ but it was more humbling than that to ME. For you to believe what I’m about to say, you would need to know my heart and the relationship that I have with Jesus…I had a God encounter that hit me HARD! It was a private moment made public because I know God loves me and I know He is mindful of me. You see, in that moment for me “God Called Me Out” and said,”Charlene, I want the world to know just how much I LOVE You and to serve as a reminder to you just how special you are to me. I interrupted a few moments in time just for YOU.”
WOW…God…I know that but REALLY? In front of ALL these PEOPLE? and my spirit said…”Yes…”
You see…for ME…my claim to fame is where GOD desires for me to be…and if that does not include a National or International platform then I won’t feel like I did not fulfill my purpose! Now, have I performed nationally and internationally? Yes, I have…but am I a ‘household’ name? not hardly…but what you need to ask me is am I fulfilled in my purpose with what God has done in my life where I currently am (meaning my demographic location and also in my spiritual life): Absolutely!
I can remember waaaay back to the first time I actually ministered a poem that I memorized and how wonderful I felt knowing that I did what God had unction in my spirit to do. My desire has always been that I will never let the applause of the claps or the sound of snaps affect how and WHY I do what I do when it comes to poetry! That I give it the way that God has given it to me–GOING HARD at the mic with all heart and soul whether its 2 people, 200 people, 2000 people or more in the room because as far as I’m concern, I’m performing to my King Jesus and anyone else in the room are my special guests:-).
So to my independent and inspiring artist I have one question to ask: What motivates you to share your gift? For the claps of the crowd? For the praise of people or to receive some kind of recognition? and the next question would be, if the claps were not up to your liking and you never receive an award for what you do or no one comes up to you to pat you on your back and tell you how great you were, would you continue?
Here is something to revert back to. I believe that if God called you out, whether publicly or privately and placed a desire in your heart, He has already equipped you with everything you need to grow and nurture that ‘gift’. Once you understand that the “gift” is for giving and not receiving, those spiritual encounters, like the one I had at the rodeo, will keep you ‘driven’ by your purpose and not how popular you can get.
As I have matured in my Faith and God, I trust what He is doing in the process of me “becoming.” I’m living life on PURPOSE.
Romans 12:3New International Version (NIV)
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
xoxo Chiccy Baritone
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ONE of a kind
By Charlene Evans
Many have heard of the 4 different types of love based on the ancient Greek language and some have not. Well, If you have not, allow me to introduce you to the four kinds of love and a brief description (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love)
- Agápe means “love” (unconditional love) in modern day Greek, such as in the term s’agapo, which means “I love you”. In Ancient Greek, it often refers to a general affection or deeper sense of “true love” rather than the attraction suggested by “eros“. Agape is used in the biblical passage known as the “love chapter”, 1 Corinthians 13, and is described there and throughout the New Testament as sacrificial love. Agape was appropriated by Christians for use to express the unconditional love of God. Before agape love there was no other word to express such great love.
- Éros is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “intimate love;” however, eros does not have to be sexual in nature. Eros can be interpreted as a love for someone whom you love more than the philia, love of friendship. It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage.
- Philia means friendship or affectionate love in modern Greek. In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.
- Storge means “affection” in ancient and modern Greek. It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family. It is also known to express mere acceptance or putting up with situations, as in “loving” the tyrant.
We all, after reading the four types, can probably more than likely fit people in our lives in one of the categories or multiple. But the one category that I would like to focus on is Agape. In my opinion, it’s listed first because it is supreme! It requires you to look beyond the conditions that are hindering you to give love in the manner where it has no boundaries. I have heard pastor’s preach about Agape love and reference this type of love that Jesus has for all of us but practicing this type of love is not impossible but challenging. Disappointments and offenses, unmet expectations and betrayal are only a few of the types of conditions that can cause you to fall out of love with someone. But what about the command that Jesus has placed on us,
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34) It doesn’t get any simpler than that, huh? I didn’t think so, but what I thought about is if we love HIM (Jesus) and He is asking us to do something, no matter how hard it may be, shouldn’t we just do it? Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
So, what God commands is not a debate but a requirement and when the love of the father is spiritually in us, we will do it because we LOVE Him. There is none like HIM on the earth…never have and never will be. And if we never had “Agape” love mirrored in front of us in our childhood or never taught what it meant to love anyone on that level, I have good news! You have an example in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He Loves US so much that he died for our sins and HIS desire is that no man should perish but have everlasting life! So, if we represent Jesus Christ and our God is LOVE (1John 4:8) we will strive to love like HIM and represent exactly what we are as an example of the love HE has shown…. “One of a KIND”.
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