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Monthly Newsletter Archive

December 2011 - Merry Christmas
October 2011 - Swift Transitions
July 2011 - Settle in to Summer
April 2011 - Let's Spring Forward
February 2011 - 2011 is Off to a Great Start!
January 2011 - Happy New Year from Wendy Gladney

December 2010 - Season's Greetings
November 2010 - Daylight Savings Time
September 2010 - Celebrating Life & Another Year
August 2010 - Over The Summer

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What Are You Anticipating For This Advent Season?

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 12/15/14

I recently was talking to a very dear sister friend and we were discussing all of the things going on in our lives. We talked about how the world is full of chaos with lots of pain and tragedy.    We also talked about the disappointments, deaths and discomforts we both shared in common.  It seems like the older we get the more of these situations we encounter.  My grandmother used to say, there is nothing new under the sun. She would go on to say, if life lasts and death passes we have another chance to make things a little better. 


For those of us who are of the Christian faith we are currently in the Advent Season.  The word Advent means coming or arrival.  It also represents the anticipation of the return of Christ the King. The season includes themes around accountability, faithfulness and hope.  There is also a spirit of expectation and anticipation in the air.  As I read background about this time of year, history expressed those that have experienced injustice and still hold onto hope are lights in this dark world.  We have examples such as the trials of Job in the bible, African Americans whose ancestors overcame slavery, Jews that survived the Holocaust, or even mothers who chose love over hate when their children were murdered. 


Tis the season to be jolly and happy, but how do innocent victims find this type of joy?  How do they get past the desire to seek vengeance towards those that have caused them the sorrow and pain they live with every day?  We must hold people accountable for their actions, but vengeance is mine says the Lord.  In T.D. Jakes book, Let It Go:  Forgive So You can Be Forgiven, he talks about how we have to learn to move beyond our history into the larger terrain of our destiny.  Forgiveness is a very important ingredient in this process.  Forgiveness does not mean forgetting nor letting those who have done wrong off scot- free, but justice must be sought in the right manner.


As we move through this Advent Season preparing for Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa, depending on what your faith or spiritual preference, let us not forget that some of the most precious gifts come in small packages and are delivered by those that we may think of as the least of these.  The anticipation for a better world starts with us.  While holding others accountable, we ourselves must also be accountable for our actions, while being faithful to what we know and hold as true.  The best gifts such as love, peace and forgiveness are free, but that does not mean that a price was not paid. 


What are you anticipating right now? Do you have any unresolved problems or relationships that need reconciliation?  Are you doing everything within your power to make any wrongs right?  Don’t give up hope.  Take this time of year to make things right where you can.  When all else fails, as Pastor E.V. Hill used to say, If you can don’t lie, if you can’t don’t try.  Whatever is not in your capability or power to fix, leave the rest to God.  Where we leave off is where He begins.                


Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!


Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

"What's Done in the Dark Will Come to Light!"

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 12/08/14

I come from the generation that watched Dr. Cliff Huxtable, aka William Bill Henry Cosby, on television and thought he was the perfect father and family man.  The problem is that was just an image.  The real person, Bill Cosby, has been exposed in the news by nineteen women who have accused him of sexually assaulting them. Not only did he sexually abuse them, but confessions revealed he often drugged or got them drunk first.   The man that played a cop, a doctor, and the ultimate adult in Jello commercials, is now looked at as a rapist among other things.


I have been an advocate for many years helping women go from victim to victorious around the subject of sexual abuse.  As a child I experienced this type of abuse from my father and I understand the damage it can have when it comes to self-esteem and confidence.  Some victims even experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and it can take a lifetime to recover.  Although the crimes that Mr. Cosby is being accused of have past the Statute of Limitations, if he is truly guilty his victims still must live with the shame and pain of the past.  For most of them the only hope they have is to learn how to forgive and heal so they can truly move on with their lives.


Although Mr. Cosby has not come out and claimed complete innocence, a former Cosby Show employee Frank Scotti, said he was in charge of delivering payoffs to eight different women.  He claimed it was a cover up. Scotti also claims that he stood guard outside his dressing room while he conducted interviews with young models, all supplied by an agency he had an arrangement with.  Although I was not there, my experience is if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck.  What is interesting about using this scenario, ducks often look smooth on top while they are moving around like crazy underneath.  They are smooth at covering up what is really going on.   My grandmother always said, what is done in the dark will come to light.   


It is true that the allegations made against Mr. Cosby from the various women have reached the Statute of Limitations, however, a woman name Judy Huth, has now come forward accusing Mr. Cosby of sexual assault when she was a minor. This changes the game.  Although she cannot charge him with criminal charges, she is now suing Cosby for damages based on the psychological damage and mental anguish she says she received.


Unless we were in the room when all of these accusations were made, none of us were eye witnesses.   The lawyer representing Bill Cosby is condemning the media-driven feeding frenzy and calls the latest round of allegations utter nonsense. Cosby also thanked Whoopi Goldberg and Jill Scott for standing by him. The question is when and how will we really get to the bottom of all this and if he is innocent, why has he not spoken up for himself and why were payoffs even necessary.


Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!


Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

What Color is Love?

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 12/01/14

The holidays are a time when our hearts are supposed to be filled with joy and glee.  However, it is also a time when many are feeling heavy hearted, sad and alone.  As a mother of two young black men and a grandmother of four young black grandsons, my heart aches whenever I hear about another young black boy who has been killed.  But to be honest my heart aches whenever I hear about any child that has been killed or hurt.  The outcome of the Michael Brown case is still fresh for all of us and my heart goes out to his family and all the families that have experienced pain, sorrow and death. 


When a situation such as Ferguson happens, it causes the community to become outraged and angered.  I understand these emotions, but we also need to have discussions around real solutions that do not include looting, burning and destroying businesses and properties.  Years ago I heard the phrase, life is 20 percent what happens to you and 80 percent how you handle it.  In life we cannot always control the things that happen, but we can control what we think, say and do about them.  Civil disobedience with a purpose and a plan can bring anyone or anything down to their knees. Football player Benjamin Watson released a statement on social media that caught my attention.  He shared about his anger, frustration, fears, embarrassment, confusion, and how he felt hopeless, yet hopeful and encouraged behind what was happening as part of the aftermath of the Michael Brown trial. He shared how it was not a skin problem, but yet a sin problem. 


I totally understand Mr. Watson’s expressions.  I too feel some of the very same emotions.  On Thanksgiving Day several of my family members were at my home and around the dinner table we had an open conversation about what is happening regarding the killings of young black men.  I come from a multi-cultural background, my father is African American, my mother is Caucasian, my cousin is Latino, and my sons are African American.  As we sat and discussed our feelings about what is happening, we agreed that boys and men of color, including Latino, seem to be at a more disadvantage than their Caucasian counterparts. How do we help protect them?  How do we make sure this does not keep happening?  What role do we play as a family and as a community?


As we demand equal treatment by those in authority, especially police officers, we must also teach our children how to protect themselves.  They too must be responsible for the choices and actions they make.  Fear plays a role in part of the problem.  White police often pass judgment when they see young men of color, and oftentimes boys and men of color feel like a target.  Systems must be put in place to change that perception and reality. The question is how can we promote forgiveness, love and healing?  


When my children were young I taught them that right is right if no one is doing it and wrong is wrong even if everyone was doing it.  Dr. King also once said, Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.  Are we willing to be that light and show love?


Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!


Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 

Are You Thankful & What Are You Giving?

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 11/24/14

The holiday season has begun.  Social and community events are in full swing.  Shopping and eating seems to be on the minds of many, but there are still those that feel left behind.  As we go through this time of year we must also remember to grow through it by helping others.  It does not take a lot to brighten the day of someone else.  You would be surprised how just sacrificing one outfit, one pair of shoes, or one hour in your day, could turn the life of someone else around.   When you do not know where to start, just be their sweetness in their bitterness and their light in their darkness. 


It can be easy for us to get caught up in the negative that goes on around us every day.  We do not have to look very far to see the child whose stomach hurts because she is hungry, or the woman that was beat by someone she loves and thought she could trust, or how war continues to torment the land.  Over the past year we have experienced so many negative things that could cause us to want to give up or feel depressed. The Nigerian school girls that were abducted in the middle of the night are still out there somewhere feeling alone and abandoned. As of the writing of this article the Michael Brown case in Ferguson has not yet reached a verdict, and now in the news there are the sexual accusations against Bill Cosby stretching back over 30 years ago.  It never stops.  Life is filled with swift transitions many that are beyond our control or comprehension.  


In the midst of all the negativity and pain we tend to overlook the positive things that are going on around the world.  We minimize the person right next to us who remembered us in the smallest of ways. We overlook and fail to donate to organizations that raise money to help others.  Sometimes we even take for granted our health, family, friends, finances, and even life.  However, it is never too late to flip the script, turn over a new leaf and begin to make a difference.  Whenever I talk to people about philanthropy, I always remind them it is not the amount you give, it is the fact that you give and give consistently based on your ability.


Now is the time to stop, reflect and embrace an attitude of gratitude.  Make a list of all the things in your life you are thankful for.  When we focus on gratitude it also helps ward off depression and loneliness.  We also realize we are not in this world alone.  None of us are an island and all of us are products of a combination of the choices we have made, the cards we are dealt, and the role of others.     


I want to challenge everyone, if you are already a giver, and if you already support and share with others, keep it up, but maybe it’s time to stretch a little and do a little more. For those where this will be the first time or it has been a while, pick a charity, a family or an individual that you know would be blessed by your donation or help.  Just like drops of water over time, every little bit can make a dent.  Remember, forgiveness can also be part of what you give to someone.  I continue to be thankful for the grace and forgiveness others extend to me.


Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!


Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am. 


Put Excuses Behind You!

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 11/18/14

This past week Forgiving For Living unveiled our new Ambassador Handbook to our girls at Jordan Downs and the Center for Learning and Unlimited Educational Success, Inc. (CLUES).  It always brings me joy when we are able to share information that causes a light bulb to go on for our girls and they get excited about learning.  This past week one of our girls shared a quote that made me pause and think. It says, If it is important to you, you will find a way.  If not, you will find an excuse.  The truth has never been so clear.


I have been in a reflective state for quite some time.  As I continue to chart the course for the various projects and endeavors that interest me, I am constantly tweaking what is really important and weeding out what is just surface.  As I work through this process I think about another saying that encourages us to not major in the minors.  If we are honest many of us focus on things that either do not matter or are areas of least resistance.   We do not press ourselves to be our best and to reach our highest potential.  Are we afraid of hard work?  Are we afraid of success? Marianne Williamson said it best and Nelson Mandela reminded us when he said, Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  Some of us may actually be afraid that if we stop making excuses and do what we know is best we would actually achieve a level of success that exceeds our highest expectation. 


My personal opinion to why we struggle is because we have not identified what is important or what we really want in life.   In order to know what is important we have to go back to what are our core values and beliefs.  We also need to be clear on what are our gifts and our purpose in life.  Once we have identified these things, the rest will fall into place.  We have to stop making excuses for why we do not do what we know needs to be done.  When in doubt always go back to the basics. 


I have decided to stop talking about something until I am ready to do something about it.  Saying that you are going do something or that something is important to you and then doing nothing about it minimizes your word and undermines your dependability.  I want my word to always mean something.  If I say something is important to me, I want the people in my life to understand and value my choices, but it must start with me and the actions I take. The bible tells us that a double minded woman is unstable in all her ways. 


As we approach this holiday season, let us take time to reflect on the things that really matter.  Let us stop making excuses on why we have not done the things we know are important and let us make a commitment to do the things that will make a difference.  We do not have to wait until the new year to make positive choices and get on the right path. 


Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!


Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com. Wendy is featured on Radio Free 102.3 KJLH on Front Page with Dominique DiPrima Thursday Mornings @ 5:00am.