EXCERPT FOR THE BOOK
PLEASE FORGIVE ME BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE:
I LOVE YOU AND I NEED YOU IN MY LIFE
What Is Love:
Chapter 13:1-8a,11 and 13
New International Version
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails… When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me... And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Preface: The Cheryle T. Ricks’ Story Part Three
LIFE! As I mentioned in my first two books, Sister Circle: The Power Of Sisterhood – A Guide To Becoming The Woman God Designed You To Be and Rest In God: How To Keep Living When Life Gets Hard, we can live through the most difficult things and find a way to keep living and enjoying our lives, only to find that the people in our lives have not gotten through any of the things we have overcome. I have the best children, grandchildren, and siblings a person can ask for! They are unique and special in their own way. Each of them add something wonderful to my life, but they don’t know it.
My children went through everything I survived: domestic violence abuse, a mental health breakdown, lack of self-esteem, foreclosure of my home, breast cancer, skin cancer, being sued by a debt collector, and bankruptcy. However, they have not healed from any of the pain that I have caused them. I was trying to get on the other side of everything that I was going through by letting God help me live an amazing life, in spite of having a mental health diagnosis.
You see, I was diagnosis with bipolar disorder in 1989, but I have not had a mental health episode or been in a mental health hospital in over twenty-eight years. I am currently the president, founder, and CEO of The Women Empowerment Circle, LLC. I am also a motivational speaker, a poet, an evangelist, and the author of two life-changing books. Prior to starting my first business in 2013, I worked as a paralegal for the state of Maryland for just under twelve years. To prepare for my career as a paralegal, I interned with the Juvenile Justice Department, the Public Defender’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office-Domestic Violence Unit, and the Legal Division of Department of Social Services for Baltimore City. I have completed mediation, domestic violence, and HIV/AIDS trainings.
In 2001, I earned my Associate of Arts Degree as a Legal Assistant from Baltimore City Community College. On December 17, 2004, I went to settlement to buy my first home. In 2009, I brought my first car and I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Morgan State University.
As you can see, my relationship with God has allowed me to live a wonderful life in spite of everything I have been through. I have achieved a lot, but I have lost much more. You see, my children are still feeling the loss of their mother when I left them with their father for two years when they were little children. I am so proud of my children for raising their children and making a good life for themselves and their families, in spite of not having me in their lives or their children’s lives.
I thought overcoming the challenges I faced and making something out of my life was enough to give my children. However, at times, I thought it would have been easier for my children to forgive me if I were a drug addict or stayed mentally ill. That way, I would have had a good reason for not giving them what they need from me.
My children have been very supportive to me in so many ways over the years, in spite of the pain they have in their hearts. I never allowed myself to see that their pain was caused by my inability to help them work through not having the mother they so desperately needed. It is so painful to have the world embrace me and my children reject me! For years, I have been feeling the same pain that my children have been feeling. However, I didn’t realize it until now. My children and I have been going through life trying to make do without the three things we need from each other: acceptance, forgiveness, and unconditional love!
As of the writing of this book, my children and I have been on individual journeys to deal with the issues and pain that we’ve experienced in our lives and in our relationships with each other. Because of this, my children and I have been able to express our feelings to each other and continue the long needed conversation about how they were affected when I left them with their father for two years. God helped us to discover our true selves and process those things that have hindered us from moving towards our hopes and dreams and the beautiful relationships we desire with one another.
The love my children and I have for each other is now freely flowing because we were able to forgive each other and not blame one another for the decisions we made in our lives that brought so much pain and suffering.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, my four children and I were able to come together as a family and enjoy one another for who we are today. Everyone was relating to each other as the new people we are now and not the people we used to be! We had an amazing time during a family gathering. No one took a cigarette break nor did anyone drink a beer. Our relationships with each other are growing so beautifully and we are enjoying every moment. Since that first gathering, we have had a couple more outings and many more conversations that have allowed us to truly enjoy our relationships with each other. The book you are holding is designed to help you and the people you love to finally heal and forgive each other so your love can flow again.
It is not just my family, but people everywhere are hurting! I have been traveling and meeting people for many years, and the one thing I have continued to see is families and friends who have ended their relationships with someone they loved and cared very deeply for. I also saw the pain they were experiencing because they no longer had that relationship. That pain is crippling their lives and hindering them from having healthy relationships with the new people in their lives; I know because I experienced the same thing in my own life. Today, I have decided not to live one more day without the people I love and the people who love me, because I was not able to acknowledge their pain and the pain I caused them. I had to discover the pain I was feeling so I could see the pain in the people I loved. Hurt people really do hurt other people.
Life is too short to live without love! When love stops flowing, bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness come into our lives, bringing pain and heartache that interferes with the blessed lives God intended for all of us to live. The pain of missing the people we love outweighs the pain that makes us stop loving them. There is nothing like having someone you care about suddenly die without any warning and you never took the time to forgive him or her, or ask for the person’s forgiveness, or just tell the person how much you love and appreciate him or her. Have you ever had a friend or family member stop speaking to you for some reason? Have you ever needed or wanted something from someone, and the person did not give it to you; and you spent the rest of your life reliving that moment you experienced that unmet need or pain? I am writing this book to help my family and your family heal the relationships with each other by sharing our pain, our misunderstandings, and our needs, so we can mend our hearts and fill the void that is missing in our lives.