You'll never be too cool to be kind. That'll never go out of style.  Is it always the easiest thing to do? No. Especially if you’re in situations or dealing with people that make it harder for you to feel the need to “show the love” so-to-speak. I’ve definitely been there one too many times. I didn’t always pass this test either if I can be honest. Way back in the day, I’d say around 06’ when I was a self-proclaimed trapper (don’t ask any questions) my personality was not the best. I wasn’t a bad person, I was very sensitive inside and very receptive to others’ feelings, I just didn’t feel the need to put up with other people or their attitudes. If you really thought you got the last word you had a rude awakening (thank God for growth). I’d talk first, then ask questions later and even when I said hurtful things, I felt horrible about it but I didn’t like to apologize. Me, apologizing was like literally pulling strands of my hair out my head. I was very prideful, because to me an apology was letting down my G-side (remember, self proclaimed trappin…since 06’).

Now, I love my dad and he will most likely be reading this, but I picked up on some of my habits from him. The way I’d hear him occasionally talk and act is something I realized I started to do. My mom would call it “Just being a Coakley.” He was a little hot head, and I was too. It wasn’t until I started to get older; going through college, learning who I was, and spending more time with God I was able to recognize how my attitude had become. My close friends definitely helped me get better and break down that super high-wall I had built up. I felt like if I didn’t let anyone in you couldn’t love on me, disappoint me, get to know me, or better yet try to play me for lack of better words. Thank God I still have those same friends today and they’ve been a huge testament to my changed personality! Like, HUGE!

As I started to experience life going through my early to mid 20’s, I went through my first hard breakup, and shortly after moved to a new city.  From Saginaw to Detroit it wasn’t until those seasons I learned who I had been and who I wanted to become. Life’s situations truly teach us so much about ourselves its hard to ignore that. I’d spent a lot of time pointing the finger at other people, not realizing it really needed to be pointed at me.  My mom would get on me about speaking faster than I was listening, and to have a softer approach because I was rough around the edges. When I finally allowed myself to be still, I was in this very quiet place where I was able to truly work on myself, my attitude, and realize the type of woman I wanted to become.

Deep down inside, I’m such a lover. I’m sensitive in the sense of loving very hard. I cherish people, friendships, interactions, and connections. I’m a protecter, and I like to nurture people. I will take on your problems as if they are mine, or I try to figure out how “we” can get through this. I’m this way with my family, friends, and in relationships. I do things out of love but I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve if that makes sense? I guess that’s what I consider the balance of life for me. 

I learned how to love others without expecting anything in return. I learned how to forgive and realize that we are human. Mistakes happen, situations happen, and there is always tomorrow. It's not an easy thing to do, and I'm still learning how to be this way. But I’ve opened up to people, became transparent, and I’m my authentic self. I’ve had my feelings hurt, been lied to, and disappointed numerous times. I worked through that healing process by showing love and not letting that alter who I have the desire to be. At the same time, I still protect my peace, guard my heart, and I choose not to be naive. 

Remember, this is easier said then done, and this has been many times of practicing because it doesn’t just happen over night at all. I could have became bitter, violent, or one of those “I hate men they aren’t…..anything” type of people. That’s not who I am, and I have to remind myself to still show love in the midst of any and all situations because God rewards that. The things you do, do it unto God. I’m only human, but I practice daily walking in love and light, acting on the things the bible has taught me, and showing other’s what it’s like to have a reflection of God’s love.  Now, that may not fully reflect in ALL the areas of my life lol, but love and kindness is one of them.

Being humble will never go out of style. Even if I’m in a room full of people that may not like me, whatever the worst case scenario is I will always be me.  I’m rooted and grounded in the foundation that makes up who I am and who’s I am. I will still go above and beyond for those I love, to be of help to those people, and most importantly pray for those people. I can love you from afar, pray from you from afar, and still be at peace knowing exactly who Renee’ Ashley is because I am not the girl, self-proclaimed trappin since 06’ anymore.

Proverbs 3:3 Never let loyalty and kindness get away from you! Wear them like a necklace; write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will gain a good reputation.