Sex & Human Trafficking: Global Issue

Every two minutes women and children are being sexually exploited, abused and used as a means for making a profit.

It’s time that we decide to face this issue because it’s a huge injustice that needs our attention. We need to protect the lives of our children and stand up to speak for those who do not have a voice. It’s time to stand up for those women and children that are forced to remain quiet and imprisoned.

It’s time to support movements such as @stoppingtrafficfilm

Here in Miami at Sunset Place AMC there is a film premiering on Friday September 29, 2017 that educates on the ins and outs of human trafficking.

Watch trailer now! Stopping Traffic: The Film

The numbers are extremely high, and with such high numbers it can be hard to believe that we can influence change, BUT change can take place if we can choose to change the way we think. We need to make a decision to look within ourselves and accept our flaws. People want to help abolish sex and human trafficking, but they do not want to stop watching porn or supporting the sex industry via attending strip clubs etc. There is a demand in this industry and this demand is what needs to be eradicated.

Sex trafficking is about control. Men and women traffickers want to control others. Traffickers are also controlled and driven by disturbing desires. Whether Some are influenced by their love of money or their need to possess control over another human being it isn’t right.

There is nothing attractive or desirable about exploiting women and children. The type of people who do this are mentally ill and lack empathy for humanity.

There is nothing sexy nor sensual about children. Children are beautiful human beings who deserve to live out their childhoods exploring, playing, discovering life and the world around them. They should not have to live lives suppressing their emotions, battling the pain that comes with being abused, nor should they face an internal war with their identity. Children should not be put in a position of living in survival mode. This matter needs our attention.

Are you ready to be part of the solution or will you just sit back and watch as this issue spirals out of control and reaches those closest to you? You could be the next victim, the teenagers around us can be the next victims, anyone can be next? Are you ready to help with this issue?

If you live in Miami come out and support the fight against human trafficking by watching the film Stopping Traffic: The Film

Lets get educated and educate others on this global issue!

Thank you for reading and God bless you!

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Shame on you

In the past, I have tried to use my anger to instill fear in my son to make him obey me. I confess that I have also used shaming as a tactic to manipulate and control my son’s behavior. I have done this not consciously, but unconsciously because it’s the parenting style that I have witnessed throughout my life. Yes, I’m guilty, and I do accept that using anger and shame as discipline drivers are not positive, nor do they communicate love.

I want to share this with you because as I live out this whole parenting journey, I find that the more I work on myself and my flaws, the more effective I become as a parent.

Manipulation:

When I have felt the need to manipulate my son to behave the way I want him to behave, I have noticed that my own desire to manipulate does not come from a healthy place.

When we feel the need to manipulate our children, we may lean on forceful ways to have them comply and many times that includes resorting to harsh corporal punishment.

We manipulate because a situation may feel our of control and our natural reaction will be to fight our way back up to holding on to the reigns. Not only is this dangerous, but it’s a sign of fear. Our own fear can take us to pull out the “shame on you card,” and the “anger tactic.”

Our job is not to control our children. They are not robots.

Our anger gets in the way of empathizing with our children because for some parents being empathetic will require to become vulnerable. Parents with anger issues, or undetected anger issues, have a hard time allowing themselves to become vulnerable because to be vulnerable is to enter one’s own feelings.

To have self-control over one’s emotions is true courage.

When we instill fear in our children to get them to respond to what we are commanding them to do, we are acting from an unhealthy place. Rather then letting anger lead our words and actions, we should discipline from a place of self-control.

When I was a little girl, I remember that I did something that wasn’t pleasing to my dad. It was so petty that I don’t even remember what I did wrong, BUT what I do remember was his reaction. He whipped me with a belt and left a mark on the side of my left thigh. After he hit me I remember going to a corner of the room and crawling into a ball. I cried. I felt alone and I felt so much hate towards him. I remember going to school the next day and talking about how much I hated my dad. I resented him for it and till this day I still remember how he made me feel.

We should NEVER force a child to behave a certain way. Instead, we should always kindly correct the behavior, and not the child.

Forceful discipline = power struggle & resentment

Children who feel attacked go into defense mode (this is how any human being responds to an attack, it’s normal) <<<<<<<<<<<<< Why can’t people understand this! It’s upsetting.

Shame:

Shame is a very powerful emotion.

There are many ways that parents have made us feel ashamed and often times this shame brews deep, self-conscious emotions in our hearts.

When we tell a child that they should be ashamed of themselves we are communicating to them that there is something wrong with them.

When we use shaming as a way to make children refrain from a certain behavior, what we’re really doing is humiliating them. To humiliate and shame a child is to be emotionally abusive.

To humiliate a child is to insert a chip in their mind that tells them they aren’t good enough. Once installed, this information has a long-term impact into adulthood.

Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, especially children. Children are the most vulnerable and should be protected, loved and supported especially throughout their growth process.

Let’s be conscious and be intentional about the things that we say and do.

It’s time for a shift in parenting. It’s time to discipline with empathy, compassion and respect. Above all, with tons of love.

Love always wins.

Thank you for reading! Many blessings.

How to Overcome Childhood Pains

Everything begins in our childhood.

As a child my norm was seeing adults get drunk, have house parties, people physically fight, physical abuse, verbal abuse and endured sexual abuse.

All of this chaos intertwined instilled many insecurities, self-doubt, self-consciousness, trust issues, an insatiable need for love and attention, and the need for comfort.

If you experienced a troubled childhood, I want to tell you that healing is possible.

Face your past. Face your sadness. Face your trauma. Face your struggles. Face your yourself. If your children have witnessed violent behavior or have experienced abuse, it’s time to talk about it and not sweep the problem under a rug.

Find help and talk about your feelings. Do not keep your thoughts buried deep inside you.

Talk about what you went through because once you bring it to the light it can no longer haunt you as it did before.

Pray and ask God to heal all your wounds.

Declare healing upon your mind, body, soul and spirit.

Speak life onto your present. Declare good things for yourself in Jesus name.

Transformation is inevitable when you seek for God’s divine healing.

Be transformed. Be healed.

-Maritza M.

Parenting… Why it’s important.

The way you are raised determines who you become. Parenting has a major influence in your character. Our parents’ actions teach us how to deal with situations. Their actions teach us about integrity, about love, on how to speak to others, and how to respond to obstacles, etc.

TO ME parenting is leaves a deep mark in our hearts and soul. Parenting can either lead is to become needy people and lead us to becoming adults that dangerously crave love among other things. Parenting when done well can help children become independent and confident as adults.

Parenting can either propel people to become the best version of themselves or can produce broken adults whom are seeking to constantly recover from their insecurities instilled in childhood.

When I was a child my father never paid attention to me unless he was drunk. My mother did spend time with me, however, most of the time she was preoccupied with house chores that I felt ignored. Therefore, I lacked attention and my need for love from my father grew into a huge whole in my heart. This whole became unbearable and when my teenage years came around I thought that a boyfriend or boyfriends could fill that whole, but I was wrong because IT WAS NEVER ENOUGH. My love tank was always running on empty because I realized that I was giving away more love than what I was receiving. That’s when I turned to drugs and self-medicated.

Back in 2013, when my son was born, I decided to do my research on parenting.

I found that the first thing that I had to do to raise a healthy child and honorable man, the first thing that I had to do was work on myself.

I had to face my wast once again and find out which insecurities were instilled in me by my parents and how to stray away from committing the same mistakes.

Today I look at my parents with eyes of love and mercy because they did not know any better. They did what they could with what they were taught. I also have forgiven the man who abused me because that also instilled in me another load of insecurities, and for the glory of God I have overcome many and continue to overcome others daily.

Keep becoming a better version of yourself, for you and to give your children the opportunity to live a childhood that’s an upgraded version of the one that you lived.

The time is NOW, 2017!

-M

Instagram: @ivmana

Addictions

What’s funny about addictions is that you do not view them as addictions. In fact, we believe they are just habits or something harmless that we do to relax and or simply because it’s enjoyable.

However, addictions can be extremely harmful and can begin from drinking a few martinis every weekend, to smoking cigarettes on occasion, trying weed for the first time, to having sexual relations with multiple partner, to watching pornography once or twice, among many other things.

My go to comfort was drinking because I enjoyed dwelling in the sensation of carelessness and freedom. So much that it consumed my more than my weekends leading me to consume drugs because the alcohol just wasn’t enough.

I had this immense emptiness that I did not want to recognize. I chose not to recognize the void that I had in my heart. I did not want to admit that I wanted wholeheartedly to be loved. I wanted wholeheartedly to be admired and to feel a sense of belonging.

I fed my emotional hunger with substances and pointless relationships that led nowhere. The truth is that I did not know how to satiate this never ending thirst for more and for a true love.

What I failed to realize is that this thirst was born in childhood.

As a child I yearned to feel loved by my father yet he did not recognize my needs.

This yearning lingered as a grew and never left me. The yearning into emptiness that needed to be filled.

Many people live their lives with this great void that they’re not even aware of which leads them to seek for many avenues pursuing to fill that whole deep in their soul.

This is Part 2 of my story.

Clouded by thoughts of Doubt

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Every day is the same battle for me. Doubt clouds my thoughts. I have doubts of all types and it’s as if DOUBT has taken on human form and is someone that I seem to be trying to fight off every day. I’m a stay at home mom to a 2 year old boy and the two roles of being a wife and a mom keep me plenty busy. In addition to that I also attending school online which can be time consuming and keep me busy as well.

But then there are those moments that I find myself thinking about how my life has turned out. These moments consume me and for some reason they always happen when I’m driving and when I take my son to the park. At times I feel that as a stay at home mom I’m investing time in the most important job in the world which is being a mother to a boy whom will later be an active member of society, but other times I feel so unproductive all because I don’t work outside my home at an actual job. I question my purpose in life, I compare my successes to others, and I feel like mine don’t amount to much because my job as a stay at home mom does not produce an actual income.

All of these encounters with Doubt leave me exhausted and unhappy, leading me to question my abilities and talents. I question whether or not what I have to say matters. I love writing and speaking to others about Jesus, His love and what God has done in my life. Deep inside I know that my purpose is linked to speaking to the youth & young adults about God, but I experience too many moments where I doubt this purpose. I doubt whether God uses me when I speak, I doubt God’s purpose for my career. Mostly, I feel a burning desire to be that successful business woman that I always see hidden within me, but the doubt seems to always win over the thoughts of faith and belief.

I feel like I’m torn in half between faith and self-doubt.

To be continued….

I pray, but God doesn’t respond…

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I have moments of frustration. Moments when I pray and worship and although I feel at peace I’m left hoping to finally receive the answer I’m looking for or atleast a sign. This hope turns into impatience and frustration as I face the same issues day after day, week after week and still I see no change or miracle to my circumstances. God revealed something powerful to me this week. He showed me how he is always in control and always present although it might not seem like it and its because he allows us to go through moments of silence that he is trying to show us the side of him that is not only the provider of changes & miracles, but rather a father that comforts us and gives us peace through any storm or dry period in our walk with him. I’ve decided to sit back and although I feel pain I will dwell in his presence by seeking for him through prayer and worship.