Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for The Heart Of A Woman: Reclaim, Release and Renew by Shaneka L. McClarity, presented by Pump Up Your Book! Please leave a comment or question for Ms. McClarity to let her know you stopped by. You can check out the rest of the stops on the tour here. My review will post later this week.
Guest Post by Shaneka L. McClarity
Book excerpt: You are priceless. Once you respect yourself and start believing how beautiful and special you are karma will honor you. You are a queen and a queen knows her self-worth. She is regal, not conceited. She commands respect but she does not have an entitlement spirit. A queen is loyal, but not naively submissive. She is independent but not co-dependent. A queen honors her emotional boundaries from faith and not fear. She invests in her emotional stock market on a daily basis and she understands the power of her position.
I believe one of two things will happen when women are in the same room. A woman will either be inspired or intimidated. This paradox represents the complexity and truth of a woman’s self-esteem. Women are guilty of the comparison trap that leads them down a road of insecurity and worthlessness. Likewise, there is a seed of strength and empowerment that lies at the core of a woman’s heart that requires nurturing from birth.
When a woman is affirmed, appreciated, valued, loved, honored and respected she will exude self-love. But what should a woman do if she doesn’t feel honored or confident? Imagine, if you will, the heart of a woman with a beautiful crown on top. The crown represents royalty, sacredness, love, acceptance and power. It represents awoman’s worthiness.
Believe in the power of your worth. Believe in the power of deserving the best; nothing less. Any time you settle, compromise to please others or submit to emotional sacrifices you remove the crown from your heart. The key to self-esteem is honor. Honor yourself. Honor your flaws, challenges, strengths, fears and dreams. Let it inspire you to evolve and transform into a renewed being rather than hide in your shadow.
What is your heart worth? What value do you place on your love, passion and self? These are the questions to help you place and keep the crown on your heart. It’s priceless, remember? This process is the greatest gift that you can give to yourself. It is the gift of self-love. You are the Queen of Hearts. Walk in that declaration and feel the freedom.
Title: The Heart of a Woman: Reclaim, Release and Renew
Author: Shaneka L. McClarity
Publisher: Shaneka L. McClarity
Author: Shaneka L. McClarity
Publisher: Shaneka L. McClarity
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About the book:
Are you a single woman who is tired of the roller coaster ride of relationship problems? This book captures the essence of a woman's heart after a painful break-up. Readers are led on a journey from pain to purpose; no more dating drama and no more emotional sacrifices.
Author Shaneka L. McClarty is a licensed therapist and a relationship expert. She provides insightful steps to help women unpack their emotional baggage, reclaim the strength that's needed to walk away and re-position their hearts for authentic love with a real man. Get ready to open up your heart to reclaim your power, release the pain and renew your mind to get the man that you want.
Whenever you fall in love, you surrender a part of yourself to what feels good to you. There is nothing wrong with the process of falling in love because love is a beautiful thing. When a woman surrenders her heart, she is basically saying, “I like you and I trust you.” She is also saying, “I want more of this good feeling.” What changes all of this and what breaks a woman’s heart? A lot of things; but the major indicators are lies, infidelity, and abuse. Shockingly, a woman may add more pain to her heart break by holding on to the relationship because she does not want to let go of how good the “falling in love” part felt to her.
Interestingly, I have learned that God will use your pain for a purpose. You may not understand it right now and it may not feel like there is a greater purpose in it, but there is. In my private practice I am most passionate about building hope in people. I would not say that I am a relationship builder because I do not have the power to build your relationship; only you have the power to do that. I, on the other hand, have the power to teach, guide and support you. Nevertheless, I enjoy building people up by letting them know how important they are and how special their lives are. I am a hope-builder. When you have hope you believe and you fight. When you have hope you thrive and you succeed. With hope there is faith.
Eight years ago, I met a young lady who was deeply hurt. She carried around a lot of wounds from a four-year relationship. The goal was to help her to grasp that even though she was hurt; she was not broken and even if she felt broken; she was not shattered. Each time I sat with her for a counseling session, it was like sitting in a dark hole. The energy was so dreary, hopeless, defeated and heavy whereby I felt emotionally drained at times. Can you imagine how this young woman felt everyday of her life?
Whenever you search for something in a relationship to meet an unmet need in your heart you are ultimately searching for trouble. Can a man really make you feel valued when you do not value yourself? Can he make you feel secure when you feel insecure? Does he have the power to change your self-esteem and make you love yourself? To some extent women have used having a man as a safety blanket. A man can make you feel good about yourself, but not completely. The power to do any of this lies within you and you can do it. There is hope because the light is not at the end of the tunnel; the light is within you. It may be a small glimmer of light, but at least it is there. Even if, within your heart, you feel there is darkness and pain know that the possibility of hope and light is still there because the only power darkness has is to conceal. Consequently, a symbolic heart surgery is not about concealing or covering up your pain. Instead, it is about exposing your pain, staring it dead in the eyes, accepting the lesson it has for you, and releasing it. So where does a woman with a broken heart go from here?
One of my favorite soul-searching questions I like to ask in counseling sessions is, "Who are you?" Sometimes people tell me they do not know. Other times my clients will give me a list of positive adjectives to describe their appearance or accomplishments. Then I encourage them to share with me the person that no one sees; the person they do not reveal to others. Silence lingers in the room for a moment as the client thinks about the statement and they either provide an answer that is derived from fear or truth. I understand it is very difficult for most people to be vulnerable and transparent with someone, especially if there is a fear of being judged, hurt or rejected. Personal growth comes from a level of vulnerability within our ability to surrender that guides us to become better human beings. Whenever your mind and heart connects, the process of spiritual awakening begins which leads to a wonderful life of happiness and freedom. To get started on this journey to freedom and happiness within your heart, you must prepare yourself for heart surgery.
Before a heart surgery, the doctor presents a list of things for the patient to do or not do. Normally, the patient is not to eat or drink 24 hours before the surgery, they are instructed to get a good night's rest, arrive to the hospital a few hours before the procedure to complete registration paperwork and provide information about their medical history and medications. After the surgery is complete, the doctor informs the patient of the post-surgery rules for recovery.
In this book, a heart attack symbolically represents the painful experiences you have endured in relationships such as lies, infidelity, betrayal, manipulation, abuse and rejection. When you make the choice to position your heart for healing, you are making a decision to symbolically undergo open heart surgery. In other words, you will undergo multiple CAT scans, MRIs and X-rays of your heart to examine the core issues of unresolved pain. You will identify the blocked arteries as a result of your power and energy being taken from you, irregular heartbeats that were caused by multiple lies and disappointments, as well as heart attacks that were brought on by torn relationships. There is only one pre-surgical procedure required before we begin. You will need to prepare for heart surgery by making a choice. You or him? It is impossible for you to heal while holding on to an unhealthy relationship because it is bad for your heart.
Heart attacks normally occur in unhealthy relationships. A healthy relationship requires both parties to be selfless. In an unhealthy relationship there is selfishness which means the needs of one or both parties will not be met. Think about your past unsuccessful relationships. What selfish acts do you recall taking part in? What selfish acts did you witness in your partner? Your lists are very important, in that it will become a self-inventory of correction for you as well as an assessment of red flags to be aware of in future relationships. Women in unhealthy relationships make their decisions out of fear. There is fear of being rejected, fear of letting him go and he becomes a “good man” for the next woman or fear of being alone.
The sacrifice that a woman makes to remain in a relationship where she does not feel valued, loved and respected is a fearful act which depletes her self-worth. This continued act of selfless sacrifice, on your part, can be taken for granted over time and you may be perceived as weak or naïve. At some point you will start to lose yourself and you will not want to honor the man or the relationship if you are not honored. Putting a man first while sacrificing your needs, happiness and desires only decreases your power. Be aware that moving forward, I will challenge you to make several important decisions and whenever you make a decision you have two choices- Fear or Faith. I am encouraging you to make a choice right now. Who will you passionately love, respect and honor- You or him?
Choosing to put yourself first is not a selfish act because authentic love comes from your ability to love yourself. If you are in an unhealthy relationship right now, you can choose to continue doing what you are doing or choose to do something different. Once you make the decision to choose yourself it becomes an act of empowerment. It is a decision you make out of faith and not fear. At that moment, your decision can be interpreted as a declaration to healing.
Who are you at the core of your heart? How much of yourself have you given away? How many men, women, family or friends have hurt you? How long will you hide behind your shadow with fear of loving and trusting again? Sometimes the pain hurts so bad you feel like you want to die, but fortunately, dying is not an option because your life is priceless. Just make your decision right now about what you will do with your pain. Will you choose yourself or the person who hurt you?
After you make the choice to choose yourself, then you must complete a checklist of symptoms or "heart defects." Experiences in life, good or bad, changes who you are. It is impossible not to be affected or influenced by your experiences. If someone poured kind words into you and affirmed you, it affected your life for the better. On the other hand, if someone ridiculed you or was unsupportive of you, then it surely affected you as well. During this process, the focus is not on the men who hurt you; the focus is on you. This is where you begin to examine your root issues. I will use the tree analogy to explain how we will examine your root issues. Look at yourself symbolically as a tree. What you choose to show people are the branches and leaves of the tree which may be how fashionable and beautiful you are, intelligent, dedicated or funny. In comparison, the roots of the tree is what people cannot see. You know the roots are there but its hidden deep beneath the earth's soil similar to how you may be hiding or camouflaging your heart defects. Search within your heart and be honest with yourself about who you are, how you present yourself in a relationship, and who you have become.
About the Author
Shaneka McClarty is a southern girl with a love for all things sweet; she enjoys sweet treats, sweet talks and sweet people. She is a licensed therapist with a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University (Atlanta, GA) and a Bachelor’s Degree from Stillman College (Tuscaloosa, AL). Shaneka has been practicing for over ten years focusing on relationships, particularly women’s issues and couples. Her company, Therapy Girl LLC, is set up to provide counseling services, consulting, workshops, and motivational speaking. Shaneka hosts a weekly internet-based radio show, Open Up with Therapy Girl, on Blog Talk Radio each Sunday @ 2:00 p.m. EST. In addition, she is a published author of the book, The Heart of a Woman: Reclaim, Release and Renew.
Shaneka is a hope-builder helping people move from fear to faith. She speaks frequently to women’s groups, conferences, and non-profit organizations. She resides in Atlanta with her husband, Leonardo, and their three beautiful princesses.
You can visit Shaneka’s website at www.therapygirl.net.
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