In The Rising Podcast

Episode 86: [Interview] Reverand Aleechea Pitts Trauma, Forgiveness and the Grace of God

July 27, 2021 Bettina M. Brown
In The Rising Podcast
Episode 86: [Interview] Reverand Aleechea Pitts Trauma, Forgiveness and the Grace of God
Show Notes Transcript

Where is God?

This is part of the discussion Reverend Pitts one evening.   She described her experience with trauma growing up, and how her relationship with God led her to forgiveness and peace.

But, she is not a passive woman, she absolutely describes her feelings, experiences and observations with kindness and frankness.

"Will you be made whole?"

This is a decision, and she goes into detail on how every decision is important. I absolutely enjoyed our time together, and you will also!


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Speaker 1:

[inaudible]

Speaker 2:

In the rising podcast. My name is Bettina and I am so excited to have you here today. I love to talk about living a life that's really in alignment with our hopes or dreams and our purpose so that we are inspirational and inspiring to those around us. And basically walking away from that shame blame game that really does absolutely nothing, probably worse than nothing. It is negative. It pulls us in the wrong direction for our life. I'd like to start off my sessions by saying that I am not a licensed counselors , psychiatrist, psychologist, but I am a healthcare professional and a certified life coach who just really loves to figure out what makes us tick. And with, with that idea, I have had really just the pleasure of interviewing Reverend Alicia Pitts , who is a phenomenal woman with regards to what she's doing now, how she is using her authority and her belief in God to live in her purpose right now and transform the lives of many people in the lives of women, especially those who've had trauma throughout their childhood. And she goes into a little bit more detail in the story, and I am so excited to have you listen to our interview today. So , um, well welcome Alicia pits to , to , uh , in the rising podcast. Welcome to my show today.

Speaker 3:

Thank you. Thank you for having me. Well, I'm

Speaker 2:

Really excited , um, that I have a Reverend on my show. You're the first one here. And you know, also not only Reverend, but also a female Reverend, you know? Yes. And I did do some of my own research into your books that you were on a roll publishing and , uh , you know, you shared some of your story and , and to me, you said you, that survivor is an understatement. You said I'm living a life with clarity, truth, courage, and resilience. And I stopped at that word resilience because that means to be elastic, to return, to shape after an insult. So tell me a little bit, like what events happen in your life to allow you to be so elastic?

Speaker 3:

Well , um , experienced a lot of childhood trauma , uh, being molested at the ages of seven, 11 and 14 , um, being held by gunpoint by one of my molesters at the age of 14 , um, experiencing rejection as a young child. And I knew my family loved me, but I was always during that time of my life, looking for the outside acceptance. And so , um, you know, going through those things after awhile , you have to have some type of elasticity, right. Um, it's kind of like that adage bend, but don't break, you know, and it is because of my spirituality and my walk with the Lord , um, that I'm so resilient, you know? And I , I always like to put this disclaimer out there that I haven't dotted every, I and crossed every T but one thing's for certain two things are for sure what I came to myself, always pursued God, always , uh, went back to him.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Um , and I just finished interviewing , um, someone who had a lot of trauma, a lot of trauma in life. And actually my last two guests really went back to God. You know? So I'm a , I'm a life coach. I'm actually a Christian life coach. It's my, it's my view. It is. Um , I'm always upfront with people with that. I understand it's not for everyone, but especially when you're going through trauma, after trauma and drama after drama, sometimes the question can be how, how is it that looking to something bigger than you is helpful? How , how would you answer that?

Speaker 3:

No one can take your experience away from you. Yeah . You know, we , we have Pete , we have the atheist, right. That says there is no God. And I remember looking at God's not dead. And the boy popped the question to the professor. Like, if you don't believe in God, why are you mad at him ? How are you going to believe in it ? How are you going to be mad at something that you don't believe in? And , um, so no one can take that experience away from you. I know that know that God is real. I encountered him at a very young age. Uh , my mother will tell you I was a different type of child. Like I remember singing songs unto God until I fell asleep. When I was around like 14 years old, wanting to be in church and would cry if I couldn't go to church. Um, it was just something that he put in in me and not realizing when I was trying to fit in and trying to be accepted by people that he had set me apart for such a time as this. And it's ironic that even when I was in grade school, they were calling me pastor pits then. And so here it is,

Speaker 2:

You know, that was a foreshadowing for what was to come right now as a pastor, you, you have this walk with God, you move forward and you're resilient. But how, when you talk about rejection, when people have bad things happen to them, sometimes they do feel that God is rejecting them. They're walking closer and he's turning around. How, how do you speak to that?

Speaker 3:

I think with, with, with that sometimes the way we feel or think about things are not necessarily the truth. God is always there. Many times we separate ourselves from him. Like you said, dealing with tragedy. Sometimes we blame God for different things that have happened to us. You know, here's, here's it in that cliche again, why do bad things happen to good people? And God has nothing to do with that. As human beings, we can be in eight innately evil. If we don't have Christ in our life, right? The description says that the heart is desperately working , who can know it. And so if we don't have a God in our lives, it ain't no telling what we can , what we will and what we will not do. And so , uh, God didn't do those things to you. It was people, people , um, and who knows they could have been abused when they were younger, right? Hurt people, hurt people. And so we, God has nothing to do with that. It was those people that did that to you. So God is always there. And so all we have to do is just like me and you are conversing right now. We can have that same conversation and always tell people, you know , uh, pray a prayer, praise and worship is a great stress reliever, right? When you go before God, you don't have to worry about judgment. Um, I remember I was going through something and I was like, God, it seems like they don't understand. And he spoke to me just as clear as day . And he said, they're not supposed to know that I understand you. Right. There's just some things people are just not going to understand unless they have been through some type of a similar situation.

Speaker 2:

Yeah . And , and speaking to that, you know, the more people I talk to, the more I realize some of our childhood is it's almost like you deserve a gold medal to get through your childhood for, for a lot of us, because it is , um , so brutal. We talk about our inner child. When we go to therapy, we often talk about our childhood. Um, what do you feel could be, you know, that you're , you've gone through the events that you've gone through. You are now our Reverend your T your print, your you're praising his name, you're moving forward. And also talking to people who you may or may not know are doing, or going through the same thing you're going through now, how do you feel that those experiences shape , how you're able to speak from a human standpoint,

Speaker 3:

That I'm able to relate? And many times that's what people are looking for. They're looking for someone that they can relate to , um, talking to God is good, but then also God made us social beings, right? So every now and again, I got to lay my eyes on somebody to be able to, to be, to share my heart with , with, with an individual. And , um, we, we just, you know, we have to look within ourselves and I know it's hard. And I always tell people this , like, you know, we are stuck with the way we feel. And so that's why we, that's why we have to make choices and decisions intentionally, because your feelings can lead you down a road that you, that you don't want to go. Right. And here it is, again, your feelings are not always necessarily the truth, you know, especially when you experienced childhood trauma and stuff as a child, some of the things that have happened to you, your mind can't even wrap around what has really happened to you until you get older. Right. I didn't really start hashing out my demons and stuff until like I was in my mid twenties. I'm 47 now, you know? And so, you know, all of those, all of those different variables. And so it has to come to a point like Jesus told the man at the pool, will you be made whole, because some of us, we stay stuck and we'll , we'll continue to keep pointing the finger at people saying, well, this is, this is why I am the way that I am. And , and , and, and really all of it is, is it is an excuse because now once you become of age, once you know, better now, how your life is going is based on decisions and choices that you've made. And you can't keep using a bad parent and , and all these different things as an escape goat as to why you can't function, you know? And , and so you have to be able to, to be able to do that work, want to do the work. Cause this is what I teach because I counsel people and I say , look, don't come to me. If you're not ready to do the work, because I don't want you wasting my time and don't waste yours either, because I can advise you all day long, but it's up to you to , and this is what a lot of times what happens, people are going to, whoever will listen, but then there's no application. There's no application in . And honestly, some don't want to be held because they liked the attention. It gives them an excuse to , uh , have an excuse, to act the way they act, you know, but when you really want to be free of something, just like we do whatever we want to do. When we get ready to do it, we will do that work to bring about wholeness, even myself, even. Um , most recently I , um , was talking to a psychotherapist and God has a funny way with me. Um, I didn't get the counseling that I needed when I was a child. And so now , um, I'm well past wrong , and God says, I'm gonna allow you to have this. Um, and when I was talking to the therapist, it was funny because she said , um, she said, you've done an excellent job, you know, through your relationship with God of coming to a place of healing. And so one day we were talking and she said, who's the therapist mirror you, you know, but I think it was just something God said, look, I know , uh, you know, you should have had this when you were younger and now I'm giving you that opportunity to do that. And , um, it's okay. Cause , um, sometimes especially in the black church, you know, people want to prayer and all that stuff is good, but then God gives these therapists and different ones. He gives them the gift to help you. Right. So you can get to some of the root of the problem. I remember telling some of my members and I said, look, go, go lay up on somebody's somebody's couch, you know, so you can get to the root of it. And some people got offended, you know, but if you really want to be hold you , you have to use the resources and the tools that's available available to you. Like if I see something on fire and I have access to water, why not put the fire out? You know? And so , um, and , and a lot of times, you know, it's, it's the most simplest things that we miss that are actually very necessary. Yes.

Speaker 2:

Yes. And I , I really, I, when I heard that message from you, you said that there has to be action. And in a conversation with someone, we talked about hope, but this person described hope as not just some fufu thing. Um, it is action. It is forward momentum, but in that action, it is not always pretty. And, you know, we love to be with God when he says, you know, feels good, feels good, but there's also confrontation sometimes of your own situation. And when you're, you know, you said you didn't have access to a lot of counseling when you were younger, but when you were telling the events of your story, I noticed you were telling it like a story. And I read this from , um, it's called the body, keeps the score. I forget , it's the doctor folk . And he talks about the body. You know, you stay in that, you feel it as though it's happening right now. And you know, when you have healed, when you can tell it like a story, like, like it has a beginning, a middle and end, instead of like, you're right back into it, where your heart's going, if you didn't have access to counseling. Well , a lot of people think of what did, what did you have access to? Or was it really just your relationship with God?

Speaker 3:

Honestly, it was really my relationship with the Lord. Um , because you're , you're talking about seven 11 and 14 , um , dealing with, with , uh , suicide ideation and all these things. And just like you just said, I teach that like, if you can't tell your story without being emotional , um, then there's healing that still needs to take place. You know? And honestly , um, I've written five books that I have wrote two books. And then in the span of 20 years, I didn't write anything. And then the next book that I wrote, which was in 2018, was dealing with forgiveness. It was dealing with forgiveness and how I even wrote that book. It came out of a conversation and the chancellor, I was a adjunct professor of a leadership Institute. And she said, you always talking about forgiveness. Why not write about it? You know? And so for the first time, far as publicly, really going into depth of sharing my story. And , um, it was , it was so liberating, but at the same time, it was like, my mom was like, okay. So when did you know, she had all of these questions? Because she was like, okay, I didn't know this, you know, but it was a liberating thing because as I always say, who better to tell your story than you, you know, who better to tell your story than you. And , um, again, I know it sounds , uh , religious, but I promise you it was all, it was all God , it was the Lord, the Lord that, that did it. But again, I had to acknowledge, I had a problem, right. I had the knowledge that I had a problem. And then I had to do that in a work eat . The self care is the best care, right? Self-care is the best care. And so, like I was telling you when I was in my mid twenties and , uh , you know, battling, being, dealing with self-acceptance those self-esteem . And I, I basically just came to a resolve with myself and I said, you know what, Alicia, you know , you, ain't no bad person. And so, you know, whoever going to come in your life, they either going to love you for you. And if they don't, then they can keep on moving. You know? And I held on that was a piece that I had to do. I had to make that resolve within my, within myself and a lot of, a lot of people, you know, and this is why I say , uh , the decisions you make in life . It can be life changing. And some of us, we, we are stuck in the mode of regret and all these different things because of decisions that , that we've made and what happens is , um , and, and then the other part of forgiveness is self-forgiveness . So now we may have done some idiotic things and maybe someone was not willing to give us forgiveness, which now has us in that mode of condemnation has us in that mode of guilt and all these different, you know, and all these different things. So now what we have to do is we have to be mindful of what we're doing, because we were asking God, well, God forgive me. You know, and God, and I'm saying this facetiously, but God, sometimes he's like, I don't even know what you're talking about. I , I cast , I , I done forgot about it, you know, and , but we're stuck with the memory of it . And so that's why we had to be mindful of what we're doing, because we're going to be stuck with the memory of what we have done. And a lot of times that plays a part in our self-esteem the self-esteem is, this is how you feel about yourself, right? And only, only, you know, who you really are, you know? Cause we , matter of fact, I just preached that , um , a women's conference and the theme was take off the mask. It's time to reveal the real you and everybody at some point in time has had a mask on, you know, you know, you wasn't feeling it, but you put on that smiley face, oh, I'm blessed and highly favored of the Lord, you know, whatever, you know, and really down on the inside you was hurting and you was not able to express what you really needed to express to, to, to relieve you of that , that pain.

Speaker 2:

Right. Right. And you, you made some really great points in there. I was taking my little notes here. Cause you talked about self care is really the best care, but I know as a woman , um, you know, S and then there's that verse, you know, love others the way you love yourself, that whole thing. Sometimes not sometimes. Often I see it. I am , uh , I would, I'd probably be the president of that club where self care was the last thing I did. Can you share a little bit, what you view on what self-care is, is it just the bathtub and the candles are what that really is and , and why it's important.

Speaker 3:

Um, it's not just about the, the , the, the, the candles and different things of that nature. Um, mental, emotional, socially, all those things. Um , you , you have to come to a place of wholeness . This is how I always like to say many times we try to be heroes to other people when we ourselves need to be saved . Right. Um, and I have to go scripture where Jesus told Peter, he said, when that are worded, go strengthen your brothers. See , I can't strengthen you until I get my self straight. There's no, I'm not. If someone's drowning out there in Atlantic ocean, I know I can't swim that good. So I'm not even going, you know, I'm not even going to put myself out there. Matter of fact, thank you. Holy spirit, dry riding on the plane, right there . They say, put your mask on first, you know, and then you'll be able to assist someone else. God forbid this plane go down and you get , somebody needs some oxygen, but you need to get the oxygen mask on you first. Then , then you'll be able to help somebody else to , to put them to put that mask, that oxygen mask on. So it's again. Um, and then I think too sometimes , um , that is a form of pride, and I know I was guilty of it . You know, we want to help everybody, you know , um, you know, and the truth of the matter is you're not going to be able to help everybody. And , and here it is, again, we neglect ourselves trying to help someone else. I've been their lights off, my lights would've been on. If I wouldn't have helped somebody else, you know, you know, so we, we , we have to use wisdom and , and I believe , um , inbounds , you know, too much of anything and good for you there , there has to be some type of balance. And , um, I said all the time, you know, God blessed us with some extra money and we out splurging or whatever, have you, and then later on down the road, now your car needed to be fixed. Well, he said, if we acknowledge him in everything that we do, the promises, he will direct our paths . Cause God knows, look, do I really need them? Pair of shoes? You know, this simple, it seems small. But sometimes as the scripture says, it's the little foxes that spoil the vine . It's dumb little things that we fail to do will get us in trouble in the end.

Speaker 2:

And that, with those little things, when you said, you know, you have to acknowledge the decisions that are life changing, little decisions can make life-changing cause little to little to little starts to add up, right? It's um , it all comes together and those decisions are so important and decisions, like you said, this word intentional, that we're kind of, you know, there's a difference between existing and living. And when you're talking to someone, you're having conversations with them, how do you express to them how they can use the Lord or just in , so to go from that just existence to actual living.

Speaker 3:

Well, part of that is walking out your God fulfilled purpose. Um, I've said it, and I've said it like a broken record. Even now, there are many people who are Christians that are unhappy. And the reason why they're unhappy because they're not fulfilling their purpose. They're not walking out that plan. And that, that, that call of God. And I always say this , you know, every good idea is not a God idea. We have a plan and God has a plan now who better, who better to follow when he knows the beginning, the beginning from the end, but somewhere in our , for night mind, we want to help God out. And we, we got a better way, like, like , um, like with the situation with Sarah and Abraham, right? Oh, you know, Abraham comes sleep with Hagar. God didn't need , he didn't need no help. And here it is, she created her own problem. And, you know, look, this woman and this child got the God , the girl, they got to get out of here, you know, but this was something that she created instead of wait , you know , just waiting on God. And so , um, you know, w with that being said, you, you want fulfillment, you want enjoyment, you're going to have to find out what are you here for? Right . Why was you born? You know, and a lot of it starts with your talents and the gifts that you have. What is it that you love to do? You know, and a lot of times, even in my own situation, when I did help someone else out, when I was going through, it took, it took me from getting that me focusing on attention about me going through, helping , encouraging someone else and God in turn , send someone to encourage me. So it wasn't like it was all about me and me being selfish. Right. Um, and a lot of times we, we, we, we worry about what we don't have. How about us focused on what we do have and work with what we do have little becomes much when God is in it. And always say it like this, when we do what we can, God will do what we can do.

Speaker 2:

I like how you put that, that, you know, being in that purpose and focusing on what we have, because, you know, I'm , I'm all about it too. Like what don't I have, I didn't get my backyard patio done. I didn't finish this yet. I look, and , and, you know, we have what, 60, 80,000 thoughts a day. And I was reading some research that 60 to 75% of those are negative, just like out the box. So that's where that intention.