Lemonade.

About an hour or so ago, I was sitting in the middle of my bed seething. It infuriated me. Like, how could Facebook not let me have a personal page with the name B. Love? That’s my freaking name! Okay, so that’s not the name on my birth certificate, but I can’t tell you how long I’ve been known as B. Love. Even before I started using that as my pen name that was my name at jobs and at school.

So yea.

Having a total and complete stranger tell me that I can’t have B. Love as my name because that’s not a name that people call me on a daily basis even after I submitted mail and bank cards that said otherwise… ooh I was pissed.

An amazing thing happened, though.

See, I’ve been struggling with the idea of whether or not I wanted to separate my fiction and nonfiction work for 2018. The average person might say yes, but since my nonfiction books and classes were read and purchased by my fiction readers it really didn’t make sense a couple of months back to separate the two. Lately I’ve been having the desire to do more with my classes and nonfiction books. I’ve wanted something that I could do full-time when I didn’t want to write fiction novels.

Not saying I no longer want to write fiction novels, but like… a plan B or something I don’t know.

I might get tired of this in fifteen years and want to take a year off. Yea. Fifteen years from now. Anyway, so I was like… let me start this fresh page and create a platform strictly for my self-love and womanhood books and classes readers and friends. But Facebook was like, ‘Nah, bruh. You can’t eemm do that. Not unless you use your government.’ Let me stop playing, lol.

I was sooooo disappointed. Yes, I knew there was a ninety eight percent chance they wouldn’t let me do it, but that two percent chance that they would was strong!!! Obviously. *Insert side eye emoji*

Okay, so I’m sitting there in bed thinking of a master plan. Thinking of a way to buck the system. Thinking of a way to use B. Love without Facebook knowing. Then it hit me. Why do I have to use B. Love? Yes, that’s my nickname. Yes, that’s my pen name. Yes, everyone calls me B… B. Love if they’re feeling fancy. But why does my self-love persona have to have the same name? I mean… I’m still going to be talking about self-love and stuff in my fiction novels, so why not create a lane specifically for it?

Cool.

So what’s going to be your name?

There’s no way I was going to use my first name because I honestly just don’t like it for me right now. Every time I get on Facebook and see it I cringe, and when people call me it instead of B because that’s my name on Facebook… uh… it just rubs me all kinds of wrong. I ended up figuring out how to completely detach myself from my personal page and still work from my author page – B. Love. There was still just the matter of what name I was going to use for my self-love lane.

Out of what seemed like nowhere something inside of me said use one of your middle names. Use Constance.

Constance.

Constance Love.

Feeling led to look up my name for the first time in my life, I was totally and completely shocked at what Constance means.

Constance: Firm of purpose. Constancy, from the Latin Constantia. Firmness of purpose – the trait of being resolute. Constancy – the quality of being unchanging or unwavering, as in purpose, love, or loyalty; firmness of mind; faithfulness. Steadfast.

Upon further study and numerology I learned that people with this name have a deep inner desire to create and express themselves often in public speaking, writing or singing. They also yearn to have beauty around them in their home and work environment. They are orderly and detailed and are dedicated to building their lives on a solid foundation of order and service. They value truth, justice, discipline and may be quick tempered with those who do not. *I’m here for all this.*

To make a long story short, Constance fits me in a way that I never thought was possible. B. Love is perfect for me… but Constance is purpose for me. Finding out the meaning of my name further confirmed the path I’m walking down in life, and that would not have happened had Facebook not pissed me off.

The moral of this story? Make lemonade. I could’ve given up and went on with my life. I could’ve allowed that to piss me off for the rest of the day. I could’ve found a way to use B. Love or Author B. Love and not received the confirmation I needed to fulfill the purpose for my life. Instead, I made lemonade.

With a lot of things in life, this taught me that NO most times is a redirection. Rejection is redirection.

Rejection is redirection.. but you must pay attention.

Constance Love is about to travel down a lane of self-love and women’s empowerment that B. Love may not be fully able to because of the fiction stories she writes.

Update – I got it to let me use B. Love 🙂

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A new definition of love.

It is never a question of if God loves you. The only question is if you are open to receive his love. If you’ve removed the blocks that will keep His love from flowing rapidly through your heart like a steady, unending stream.

Hey, Beloved!

My bible reading led me to a new definition of love! Can you believe it? As much as I study love you’d think I would know all there is to know, but this just proves that you can NEVER learn everything about a particular subject.

So I read Romans 5:5, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read this verse, chapter and book.

A lot. A whole lot.

I’ve read it so much that I wasn’t even interested in looking up the definition of love, but something inside of me said… ‘Go ahead. Look it up.’

I did. Of course the first thing listed was agape. God’s unconditional love. Along with that it listed – affectionate regard. Goodwill. Benevolence.

Insert blank stare.

Bruh.

Dassit?

That’s all you’re going to use to describe love?

Really.

Nah.

I felt played!

I felt like… there had to be more to it than that!

So, I looked up each of those words… and that’s when my mind was blown!!

Affectionate (fondness, tenderness) regard – To consider or think of someone in a specified way. To pay attention to or show concern for someone. To care for someone. To offer best wishes to someone.

Goodwill – Friendly or helpful feelings or attitude. Kind.

Benevolence – The quality of being well meaning (having good intentions). Kindness. Compassion. Goodness.

So basically it was saying that God thinks of me. He pays attention to me and what’s going on in my life. He’s concerned for me, and he cares about me. He wants the best for me. He wants to help me and be my friend. Fill my heart with his kindness. He has the best intentions for me, and he will never withhold good from me. If he does, it’s because I’m simply not prepared to receive it yet, but when I am…

That verse was saying that all of that ^^^^^ all of God’s love for me has been poured into my heart by his Holy Spirit.

That verse left me with two promises – God’s Holy Spirit is within me, and he pours (flows rapidly in a steady stream) his love within my heart. The center of my being. The seat of my thoughts, feelings, desires and impulses.

People who love themselves have God at the center of everything they do.

How is this possible? They allow the love of God to flow rapidly within their hearts. If you’re like me, you may find yourself asking sometimes… does God really love me? Is he really here for me? Well, the most simple answer to this question is… yes.

He does. He is. It is never a question of if God loves you. The only question is if you are open to receive his love. If you’ve removed the barriers that will keep His love from flowing rapidly through your heart like a steady, unending stream.

The day I said no to my dream.

If you’ve followed my blog for the past… okay, I ALWAYS talk about what I THOUGHT my career as an Author would look like.

Unfamiliar?

It would go a little something like this, “When I was younger, I always saw myself writing under a traditional publishing house. Paperbacks. Book tours and signings. Blah blah blah.”

I have seen great success as a self-published Author. The bulk of my readers and income comes from eBooks. As amazing as that is, paperbacks still and always will hold a special place in my heart. I legit get elated when I make post office runs to ship paperbacks to my readers. The joy that I feel when I get a new box of paperbacks in… ah… it’s truly out of this world.

So earlier this year I randomly submitted to a traditional publishing house. It was one of the two I grew up reading. The one I went to the library faithfully for. Their authors always gave me the good stuff, and I supported them faithfully. When I made a mall run, the bookstore was one of my first stops. As soon as a new book came out I was on it.

To make a long story short, the publisher… the one I grew up reading… the one I saw myself writing for… the one that helped shape my mentality of what an ‘Author’ was… accepted my submission! Yo, they sent your girl an offer! *Insert scream here*

You know what, this deserves a real scream! Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh THEY SENT ME AN OFFER!!!!!!!! THEY SENT ME AN OFFER!!!!!! THE PUBLISHING COMPANY THAT I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO WRITE FOR SENT ME AN OFFER!!!!!!!!!!

Okay…

By the title of this blog I’m sure you’re like… but what happened? Well, writing for a traditional publishing company has ALWAYS been my dream. Always. Next month marks my two year mark as a fiction author, and although I went the nontraditional route, I honestly couldn’t be happier with my career and the platform I use.

That’s the point of this blog post.

The day I was presented with my dream, I realized just how much BETTER my reality is. As I looked over that offer and realized just how much freedom and control I would have to give up… that dream looked more like a nightmare. I’m so ashamed to say that, but it’s the truth.

What do you do when your reality is better than your dream? When you’ve spent over a decade waiting for something and when you finally get it, it’s less than what you thought it would be? I don’t know. I’m still figuring that out, lol. But what I can tell you is to be grateful for where you are and what you have. It’s okay to alter your goals and dreams. Just pursue them. And be happy. And at peace. And don’t feel forced to do something that sounds or appears better if it isn’t what truly sets your soul on fire.

Yea. Do what sets your soul on fire.

For now… being an indie author sets my soul on fire. It’s blazing, honey. The freedom that I have to be creative… the control I have over every aspect of my books and my career… NOTHING is worth giving that up. Period.

So that’s my story for the day. I said no to my dream… because I’ve realized… my reality is somuch better. Can you say the same? If not, what can you do to change that?

Passion and purpose.

Social media has been gnawing at my soul. Between the drama, violence, sex, misconceptions about self-worth and love and horrible advice being given in the form of memes… it’s just… too much these days.

Normally when I am unable to handle the craziness going on on Facebook I am able to seek relief on Instagram and Twitter. Not so this past week. Between seeing SO MANY people with huge followings telling people that they don’t have to forgive others to receive peace on top of this trend of competition between choosing this or that… this woman or that woman… this group or that group… this team or that team… this singer or that singer… this book or that book… GOD! I felt like my brain was about to explode! Not because it was a game that was annoying, but because the spirit of competition is running rampant in our race! It’s getting to the point where death and violence are the only things pulling us together these days. There’s so much this or that and separation going on. So much competing and trying to one up each other. So much of a choice instead of general acceptance. My soul was frustrated.

My soul was so frustrated I couldn’t even focus on my writing. I honestly didn’t think I would release a book for October because my spirit was so out of whack. I’m sure you’re like, ‘B, if you don’t like what you see on social media, don’t be on social media.’ I wish it was that easy. Trust me, if I didn’t have to use social media to interact with my readers every account I have would be deactivated!

So yesterday I was like, I’m just going to not drop any books in October and give myself a break from social media and the world. Just disconnect myself from everything and everyone and work on myself. Take the time to purge myself of all of the toxicity I see on a daily basis via social media.

I kid you not, my email started booming with orders that stemmed from my latest book and social media. I cannot keep my self-love journals stocked! Every time I order a new batch to cover the orders that have been placed and secure a few extras, I get in even more orders for the extras and then some!

Hold on.

This isn’t about me boasting about book sales.

This is about me learning another thing that people who love themselves do.

People who love themselves understand the difference between passion and purpose. They understand that their purpose isn’t even about them, but the people their purpose uses them to reach.

Do you know the difference between passion and purpose? I broke it down thoroughly in one of the books for my self-love class. They are available for purchase as a workbook and handbook on my self-love/womanhood course page. But here’s a brief breakdown –

Passion is self-centered. It’s your good thing. It revolves around you and your desire. Purpose is outer-centered. It’s the good thing you give to the world. It revolves around the need someone else has that you are able to fill. It’s where your identity comes from.

Now, some people have the ability to combine their passion and purpose, and that’s truly a blessing. I was able to do that. My passion is writing, and my purpose is to teach and heal through my writing. I’ve passed the point of writing being a gift. A hobby. A passion. Something that I can keep to myself. Something that I can choose not to do.

Nah, bruh. That’s no longer an option these days. There are way too many people counting on my purpose for me to deny them. And that’s the point of this blog.

When was the last time you woke up passionate about something? When was the last time you took note of your passion, purpose, goals, visions and dreams? Have you become a shell on autopilot that satisfies the needs of those around you, but neglect yourself? Have you become a shell on autopilot that satisfies only your desires and ignores the purpose inside of you that’s for everyone else? When was the last time you took inventory of your life and held yourself accountable for the good and the bad?

For me, it’s been a couple of months. And I can always tell when my spirit is getting low because my passion and purpose begins to suffer. You have to understand, beloved, that your passion is for you. It’s your escape. Your purpose is for the world. We can’t devote ourselves to one and ignore the other. We can’t ignore both. We can’t become so consumed with both that we miss out on taking the time to truly live and enjoy the moment.

It’s all about balance. Balance between purpose and passion. Work and play. Love of self and others. I’ve been off balance for a little while. I tried to get centered a few days ago by starting a new self-love journey via my journal but I got sidetracked. Not anymore. Tomorrow begins a new week and a new start for me. I’m going to take the time not only to pour myself and my purpose into the world, but also to make sure I’m pouring self-love, rest and care back into me.

My goal is to do a 31 day journaling journey. 31 days of self-love rituals, healthy eating, exercising and sleeping, finding the right balance between work and play and monitoring what I feed my eyes and mind via social media by limiting the days and time I spend on it.

Will you take this journey with me? I would love to have you 🙂 To get started, simply comment on this blog post and let me know you’re down! If you can’t start Monday that’s cool; let me know your start date so I can hold you accountable! If you want to use the same journal as me, head over to my self-love/womanhood course page and you can purchase it there. I would also recommend snagging the self-love workbook and handbook bundle. If you can’t, find a notebook and journal. Write. Purge your mind and soul. Journaling is a form of healing. Not only that, but words that we write and see stick to us greater than words we speak and let linger in the air. Invisible. You know what they say… out of sight out of mind. Write. See. Embed those words into your mind.

Until next time,

Love, B.

Do you understand how important this is?

Okay, let’s just get right down to it.

Do you understand how important it is to love yourself?

To care for yourself?

To show yourself compassion?

To strive to become the best and highest version of yourself?

Well… do you???

Hey, Beloved!

This year is FLYING by. Man, time is flying by. I’m so passionate about emptying myself before I die. Hopefully that’s like…. 70 years from now 🙂 … but I’m starting to put weight on things that I’ve overlooked in the past. Like those other areas of my purpose that I’ve been holding off on because I was like, that’s not a necessity right now. I’ll get to it later.

Nah. For what? Do it now.

You put something off for a day and it turns into six months. Six months turn into five years. And before you know it… you’ve walked off the path of your purpose. Why? Because you procrastinated. Procrastination is like… dangling a carrot in front of a horse. But instead of making a horse go where you want… procrastination leads you somewhere you don’t need to be! It’s the ULTIMATE yet most subtle form of distraction and defeat. <- Reread that last part.

So what does this have to do with self-love?

Self-Love is REQUIRED for ANYONE who CHOOSES to walk in their purpose.

When you lack self-love, you don’t just lack self-love.

First of all, what is the opposite of love? Hate. So if you don’t love yourself how exactly do you think you feel about yourself? Is hate too strong of a word for you? Would it make you feel better if I said you dislike or loathe certain things about yourself? Or if I said you were just… okay with yourself and life instead of being your number one fan? Or if I said you were more dissatisfied with yourself and your life instead of being proud? Are those easier to stomach? Truth of the matter is – if it isn’t love… it’s hate or indifference. If it’s hate negative thoughts and beliefs come along with it. And if it’s indifference you become stagnant with no desire to grow and become better. You don’t put forth the effort to uplift yourself. You wait for others to. And if they don’t… you remain in the same position you’re complaining about.

You also lack confidence in yourself. You won’t feel good about yourself. And if you don’t feel good about yourself, you won’t be passionate about your unique passions, talents and gifts that were deposited into you to share with the world. If you don’t feel good about yourself, it won’t matter how successful you are – you will never be able to recognize and appreciate it.

You also lack self-worth. If you don’t practice self-love, you will feel worthless. As if, in comparison to someone else, you are worth less. You will have a mentality of self-woe and pity. You won’t be able to accept compliments and love because you’ll have on blinders that make it difficult to see the good that others see in you.

You also lack a shell. I consider myself a turtle. Hard on the outside and soft on the inside. When you don’t love yourself, you are overly sensitive. You will take criticism far too personally. Not only will you take criticism too personally, but if someone else is having their own issues, demons or bad days… you will allow their problems to be a reflection of your self-worth. If they’re angry and in a bad mood you will feel responsible. You will consistently attract rejection, criticism and ill feelings because you’re taking everything personally. Your mind is LOOKING for things to confirm that lack of self-love within you.

You also lack the backbone needed to not be a people pleaser. If you don’t practice self-love you won’t think anything you say or do is good enough on its own merit, so you’ll spend a great deal of time trying to please others so THEY can love, respect and appreciate YOU.

Last but certainly not least, you also lack drive. Hustle. Ambition. If you lack self-love you let opportunities pass you by. If you lack self-confidence you will doubt yourself, your gifts, talents, callings and abilities. Because of this, when opportunities present themselves, you will turn them down out of fear of not being good enough.

Sheesh. This blog post is a lot longer than I thought it would be, lol. But we gon’ roll with it!

So, if you lack self-love you also…

You let opportunities pass you by.

You become overly sensitive.

You won’t feel as if you’re good enough.

You begin to hate yourself or feel indifferent towards yourself and your life.

You will feel worthless.

You will always try to please others.

How can you fulfill your purpose and do what you were created to do if you’re consistently turning down opportunities?

How can you become a titan at what you were called to do if you are so sensitive that you can’t take constructive criticism?

How can you dominate the lane that was specifically created for you and your purpose if you don’t feel as if you’re good enough to walk it?

How can you shine your light for others to see if you’re indifferent about the blown bulb that’s hovering over you? That’s keeping others from seeing your greatness?

How can you feed the lives of others when you don’t even value yourself enough to look in the mirror and say, “I’m worthy of love and respect,”?

How can you be satisfied with yourself when you consistently seek the approval of everyone else?

Self-Love isn’t just about you, boo. There’s a whole world… or maybe even just your family… that needs to be inspired by you. By your purpose. Loved by you. Lifted up by you. Influenced by you. I don’t care how small or how big… we ALL were created with a purpose. Whether your purpose revolves around you helping those in your home, your church, your community or around the world… PEOPLE ARE DEPENDING ON YOUR PURPOSE.

DO NOT allow a lack of self-love to keep you from your purpose. DO NOT allow that procrastination to keep you from your purpose. DO NOT. DO NOT. DO NOT.

We out here waiting for you.

Get it together, Beloved.

If you need help I am here for you. I am not the unparalleled self-love teacher for nothing. I have a few books and a class already on my site that can help you, and there will be more to come. If you haven’t already signed up to follow my blog do so. The first looks into my self-love and womanhood classes and books will ALWAYS be here.

People who love themselves don’t ignore the signs.

There are three callings that we all must answer and be prepared for – our purpose, our love and our eternity with God. IN THAT ORDER.

So… I will confess… I didn’t plan on doing a blog today. I was so busy trying to get my word count up for my next release that I was like, ‘I can’t do self-love Sunday. I can’t do Monday muse. I just can’t.’

My writing… it’s the only thing that I refuse to give up on in life. Like… straight up will not stop. There’s… I don’t have the ability to say, ‘I give up’ or ‘This book isn’t flowing right so let me stop.’

Nah, homie don’t play that.

I’ve been in places where I was 20k words in on a book, didn’t like it, started completely over, and had another 40k words done by release day. But to give up? To just stop? I don’t know how to do that.

Last night, I had an urge to record a three minute recording. I sat down and tried to create a video for it. An hour and a half later, I gave up. I shut my computer down and gave up. To my credit, when I got in bed, I put a request up on Fiverr for someone to create the video for me. (I’m quick to outsource anything that’s going to save me time  lol)

But when I woke up this morning, I was drawn back to that recording. To that video. Before I could even open the document that I’m supposed to be working on I was opening iMovie. Yet again. As I began to play around with the video again it started flowing. It started coming together beautifully. I was so freaking happy!!!

And then…

It happened.

That thing that’s been happening rather consistently lately.

I had an idea… for something that had absolutely nothing to do with a fiction book… and I wanted to dive into it far more than I wanted to work on my book. Wheeettttt? That…. no. Nothing has taken priority over my fiction books. The only thing that could ever take over was my priority. A shift in my priority. And that, beloved, is what this blog post is all about.

In the past I’ve prided myself on being in tune with my purpose. I knew that my gift was writing. My passion was teaching and counseling. My purpose was to combine the two – to use my writing to teach, inspire and help start the process of healing. For almost two years I’ve done so mostly through fictional romance novels.

Lately here, I’ve been feeling like it’s time to move to the next level of my purpose – nonfiction books, keynote speaking and REAL teaching. To be completely honest, I’ve been pushing it to the side. Staying in my comfort zone. Romance novels… they work. See, I’ve mastered them. I know what and how to write and how to get it into the hands it needs to be in. That’s my financial safe zone.

But all this other stuff??? Yea, I wanna do it, but… not full time. Not if it takes time away from my fiction.

This morning, I could no longer ignore the sign. The sign? Ideas upon ideas upon ideas. Knowledge flowing. Words seeping effortlessly. The drive… most definitely an invisible force… to do things that I wouldn’t choose to do on my own. Like spend two hours trying to create a video when I was supposed to be writing. Or wake up first thing in the morning to finish that video and start outlining and researching for a nonfiction book.

People who love themselves don’t ignore the signs. Why? Because people who love themselves understand that they will never be happier or more fulfilled than when they are walking in their purpose. Nothing can satisfy you the way answering your calling can. To be even more honest, the longer you push it off and try to fill that void with other things the more miserable you will be.

There are three callings that we all must answer and be prepared for – our purpose, our love and our eternity with God. IN THAT ORDER.

Are you ready to answer the call?

Until next time,

Love, B.

People who love themselves celebrate themselves.

But can you take the time to just… celebrate you?

Hardly ever do I hear a quote that follows me over the years. It’s even more of a rarity for that quote to come from someone that I don’t consider a mentor or loved one. And a comedian?? Oh no. Never thought that was possible.

But it was.

Aaallllllll the way back in 2008 I heard something that has resonated within me over the years. I will admit, I have just recently started putting this into play, but it’s been there for years.

Can you guess what it was? Don’t bother. You won’t be able to figure it out. It was Katt Williams talking about the need to be in tune with your star player. And who is your star player? YOU ARE, HONEY!

Now, with me being on my whole self-love journey over the past year or so I have seriously been putting my star player first. Staying in tune with my star player. Why? Because I understand that in order for me to pour into the lives of others I must first be full myself.

With me learning to love myself on a deeper level, I realized the need to celebrate myself more as well. Have you ever noticed when you give women a compliment most times they’re bashful and unwilling to take the compliment? Or if they do, they draw your attention to a flaw? Maybe it’s just me *shrugs* but I used to have a bad habit of accepting a compliment and pushing the attention away from myself, or drawing attention to a flaw. Why? It was hard for me to receive compliments from others because I wasn’t complimenting myself.

Two dangerous habits can form when we don’t celebrate ourselves – 1. We seek to have ourselves validated by others, or 2. We train our brains to filter out the good and only focus on the bad from ourselves and others.

Both of these are horrible because if you seek validation from others you give them the power to lift you up AND pull you down. AND if you focus too much on negativity and your brain starts to think that’s what’s most important to you that will be what it filters in consistently. You will create an extremely toxic habit of being able to only see the negative about yourself, and that will eventually lead to every other area of your life. And what type of life will that be?

With my last release, Just Say You Love Me, it came to my mind that I stopped celebrating myself and my accomplishments. I stopped taking the time to say, “Girl, you’re living your dreams. You just published an amazing novel. Celebrate yoself!” I stopped going to get manicures and pedicures and birthday cake pops on release days. I stopped making those my rest days, and immediately started working on the next project.

I stopped savoring the moment. Appreciating the gift that is within me. Celebrating my creativity. My black girl magic. The fact that gold seeps from the tips of my fingers and enriches every person that reads my masterpiece.

That’s right; I create masterpieces.

And for a second, I forgot that.

I got so caught up in the hustle and the process and the work that I failed to take a moment to appreciate the weight of me accomplishing such an amazing thing.

Do you celebrate yourself? Do you compliment yourself? Do you value the beauty and the beast within you?

Have you ever just taken a moment to stop and say, “Honey, you’re doing an amazing job,” to yourself and mean it???

I dare you to start taking one brief moment a day to celebrate you. It can be something as simple as praising yourself for not exploding into a fit of road rage, completing an important task on time or getting your kids ready to leave out in the morning. Whatever it is, no matter how big or small, celebrate your dopeness.