The Black Girl’s Guide to Healing Emotional Wounds- the first book in the series. Breaking Generational Patterns Recently, I was preparing  dinner when my eight-year-old daughter said, “mom, you love my brother
more than you love me.” I was preoccupied with dinner, so I responded with, “you know I love you both the same,” and moved on.  A few days later, my daughter said again, “I think you have a favorite child and
it’s my brother.” Those words stopped me dead in my tracks and at that moment, I knew I could not allow her to continue to feel this way. I stopped what I was doing and asked her two questions:  –

What do I do to cause you to feel that I love your brother more than I love you?
What can I do to make you feel loved and valued?

You see, as a child, there were many days that I didn’t feel loved and valued by mom, but I
didn’t have the language to express it in such a way that she would take my feelings seriously. So, I internalized it and it impacted me for years to come. What is also ironic is that my mother and grandmother had a very toxic relationship and my mother didn’t feel loved by my grandmother. Moreover, my grandmother didn’t feel that she was loved by her mother. So I knew we had a family pattern. Who knows how far back it goes, but what science has proven is that we carry the pains and emotional sufferings of our families, if left unhealed. In
the book, “It didn’t start with you; How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle”, Mark Wolynn states, “The way we give and receive love from others is linked to our ability to
receive our mother’s love.” Also, I firmly believe that mommy issues, in particular, make it difficult for us to be vulnerable. The gift that we give the ones we love is vulnerability.  It’s my goal to break the cycle and I began that by forgiving my mother and developing a healthy relationship with my daughter. My daughter and I have our own conversations in which I spend most of my time listening and aiming to understand her feelings. I’m using all of the love languages to express my love to her. We break the cycles when we empathize with our children. We break the cycles when we take the time to listen to them with the goal of understanding. We break the cycle when we are humble enough to own our mistakes and apologize. More importantly, we break the cycles when we make peace with our past hurts.

Numbers 14:18 The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.


Author, Emotional Wellness Coach, and the CEO of The Emotional Wellness Initiative, 
Nijiama Smalls supports the healing of women of color through all life stages. 
Additionally, she is the wife of Pastor Shamon Smalls and a mother of two. A current 
resident of Northern Virginia, she has spent many years working in various leadership 
roles in Corporate America as well as career counseling for Washington, DC residents. In
 addition, she has served as an adjunct faculty member at two local post-secondary 
educational institutions where she taught professional development and business-related 
courses. Mrs. Smalls has earned a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Winthrop University
 and a M.S. She also holds certifications in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma 
Informed Care and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). She is also a certified Life Coach. 

Serving the community is also an important factor and she has taken great pride in being 
a part of several local initiatives. Mrs. Smalls is the President and Founder of the 
Prince William County Chapter of Mocha Moms Inc. There she is able to empower women of 
color to be the best moms they can be while encouraging them to maintain a balance within
their lives. She also serves as the leader of the Family Life Ministry at Zion Church 
Woodridge where she counsels families in crisis.
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