Sunday Blog Postings will resume on Sunday, July 24th!!
Why? Why? Why? Why do we not speak to each other? How can I walk by you, my sister, a mirror reflection of me/myself, and not speak? How can I walk by me/myself? How can I neglect me/myself? How can I not nourish, encourage, praise, celebrate, empower, educate, and enlighten me/myself? How can I do this to me/myself? How can I on this island of desolation, objectification, classism, racism, sexism, and elitism not reach out to me/myself as a reminder that I am not alone? How can I do this–and not only once, but repeatedly? How can I size me/myself up by my complexion, my hair, my clothes, my handbag, my car, my smile, my man, my accessories, or whatever outward things I observe? How can I do this? How can I do this and at no point have a conversation with me/myself to see and to learn the depths of who I am? How can I not do that? What is the point? How does it benefit me/myself? How does it propel, motivate, encourage, inspire me/myself to do more, to be more, to keep pressing on to more if I do not talk to me/myself? How can I exist with only a monologue? I need dialogue. I need human touch. I need affirmation. I need it to know that I am not crazy, to know that I am not in this fight alone. I need it to know that I can overcome, that I can do, that I will do, and that I can achieve. I need me/myself!
–A letter to my sister/me
What is going on in the world today that we cannot take the time to speak to people? More specifically, what is going on with the majority of black women that when we see each other, we mutually do not speak to each other, but rather have a stare down episode? I am not talking about speaking to each other to forge a friendship, to network, to create a community, to exchange ideas, to talk about the weather, to talk about politics, to talk about health, but simply to speak. Why in the two minutes or twenty seconds of passing another fellow black woman on the street, in the grocery store, in the gym, in the beauty salon, or in the mall, do we avert our eyes, or turn our noses up in the air, or turn our heads away, or conveniently dawdle with our cell phone? How and why do we do that? What does it mean? Why do we think that it is okay? How in the world can it be healthy to see a fellow black sister, a mirror, and not speak to her and to not acknowledge who she is, if but for a brief moment? If but for a brief moment, our greeting can be an encouragement or even an escape from the nuisances and hardships of everyday life.
What is going on? What is going on that I cannot or will not speak to her? What is going on that she cannot or will not speak to me? Why have we been taught or conditioned to not acknowledge each other? Why have we been taught not to see each other? Why? Who does it hurt essentially? It hurts you! It hurts me! It hurts us. It hurts. Yes! It is okay to acknowledge hurt and pain. It does not take away from our strength, fortitude, perseverance, and tenacity as black women. Acknowledging something means we have identified that thing, and because we have then we can do something about it! When are we going to stop hurting ourselves?
By nature, women are nurturers. We carry life. Because we have been equipped to carry life, we need to yield it, speak it, and embody it! This madness has got to stop. When did this rift come in? Why are we feeding this rift that has caused and perpetuates a great divide? We need to bridge the gap. Bridge? Forget bridge. We are not on a separate island in bondage and categorized by our gender and race. We are in this together. We simply need to walk over the man-made, woman perpetuated, bridge– the one built to keep us apart–and join hands and, thus, forces to rectify, to fix, to address the brokenness in our lives, in our communities. We need to share our experiences and insights as modes of encouragement. We cannot do this alone.
Are we really allowing negative remnants of slavery to keep us mentally bound? Why not glean from the togetherness and unity that carried us from Africa, during slavery, and into the Civil Rights Movement and use what we glean to solidify our bonds? Why allow the rights we now enjoy separate us even further? We are “free,” but we should not let that freedom draw an even deeper wedge between us. We lose the essence of our ancestors and ourselves when we allow and do this. This rift is driving a further wedge in the human relationships that we were created to have and it pushes us deeper into ourselves, essentially killing our spiritual, emotional, and mental beings. Okay, we acknowledge the fact that as young girls, with an exception of those who played team sports and a few others, many of us were innately taught to be competitive and it could very well be this conditioning that informs our current decisions and interactions, but once we identify the source of an issue or the various sources and acknowledge the results of it, then we can intelligently or should I say sisterly move forward.
Women are made to have healthy and balanced relationships. My disposition should not be a reason for you to see me as competition and vice versa. I am a woman. You are a woman. We both are women, who have unique and sometimes connected purposes aligned with the greater good of society and the sooner we realize this the better off all of us will be individually and collectively. We are buying into the smokescreen of seeing each other as competition, as threats and how incredibly sad is that? While we are busy giving each other the eye, our communities are falling apart, our Senate seats are being filled, our positions on boards sit empty, our presence in executive sects is absent, our representation in meaningful aspects of life is void all because we are being distracted, because we are not forging healthy relationships, because we are buying into what the media says we need, because of who the media says we are. The because list can go on and on, but it is not even worth delving into because they are all excuses—excuses that create and sustain the barriers keeping us from moving forward and together, as sisters.
You ask me why? Why can I not speak to you? Why can I not say hello to you? I cannot because I do not love, accept, cherish and value me/myself/you. Seeing an image/reflection of me/myself/you magnifies the pain and lack of acceptance I feel within for whatever reason. Maybe because I have bought into the hype that in spite of my blackness I am better than the average or typical black woman because of what I look like, where I live, where I was educated. Maybe because in my twenty second assessment of me/myself/you, I have imposed my tainted angle of vision that has told me/myself/you what beauty is, what intelligence looks like, and what success is. But wait you are asking me/myself/yourself these questions, like I actually owe me/myself/you a response.
Who are you to me? And why should I speak to you? I am standing on my own two feet and encounter the same obstacles you do so what difference does it make if I speak or not? So what you are a black woman like me? I do not know me/myself/you. How can you begin to form in your mind that you know me?
–A letter to my sister answering why I cannot/do not speak to her
Denying or not acknowledging the presence of a person or a thing does not deny its existence nonetheless.
You are me. I am you. We are each other.
That's my twenty-nine cents. Blessings!
Let love abound within and without. Let peace abound within and without. Let contentment abound within and without. Let hope abound within and without. Let trust abound within and without. Let faith abound within and without. Let joy abound within and without.
I will post daily!!
(I've been keeping up with this since June 3rd. It dawned on me that I needed to share with you amazing, wonderfully awesome people!!)
06.03.11- At thirty, you do not feel bad or like it's rude to politely excuse someone from your life without his/her permission.
06.04.11- At thirty, you realize that YOU are YOU and HE loves YOU just the way you are. --Those things I don't like about myself I pray and ask Himto take those traits and use them positively.
06.05.11 -- At thirty, you've learned the value of a dollar and how to make it work for you realizing that sowing into God's kingdom is the best insurance!
06.06.11--At thirty, you can look back at your twenties and say: Thank you for teaching me who I am, thank you for putting up with my indecisiveness, my desire to be a people-pleaser, my apprehensiveness about accidentally stepping on people's toes...
06.07.11--At thirty, you've learned that peace of mind regardless of hardship is the end all be all contentment in Him.
06.08.11--At thirty, you stop making and accepting excuses.
06.09.11-- At thirty, you realize that you aren't perfect and realize that you shouldn't be and having that expectation or allowing someone to impose that expectation on you is beyond ridiculous. And, you don't expect others to be perfect, either!
06.10.11-- At thirty, you've identified your strengths and your weaknesses and you allow both of them to shape you into a better person.
06.11.11--At thirty, you've realized that saying "no" is not a four-lettered word.
06.12.11--At thirty, you realize that balance is key.
06.13.11--At thirty, you listen for what is not said.
06.14.11--At thirty, you don't necessarily look at life through rose colored glasses, but you don't cast hope away either. You understand that reality is present, but you don't allow reality to cause your faith to wane.
06.15.11--At thirty, you understand what it means to love and accept yourself and others--flaws and all! Flaws keep it interesting!
06.16.11--At thirty, embracing one's natural beauty is so completely empowering!!
06.17.11- At thirty, you value your time and understand the difference between spending it and investing it.
06.18.11- At thirty, you can wade through and identify foolishness and see what's really being said or not said.
06.19.11--At thirty, you value the sound opinion of those who care about you without feeling like they're trying to "check" you.
06.20.11--At thirty, you really consider your health and work to maintain or improve it, especially when considering having a family one day.
06.21.11--At thirty, while considering your health, however, you're still not afraid to treat yourself to good food.
06.22.11--At thirty, you learn to sift through mass amounts of information using your discernment to make the best decision for yourself!
06.23.11--At thirty, you know the difference between being selfish and self-preservation.
06.24.11--At thirty, you've pegged your sense of style and no matter what end of the spectrum it's on, you rock it with confidence and pizzazz.
06.25.11--At thirty, you appreciate the simple things.
06.26.11--At thirty, you cut the deadweight and feel good about it!
06.27.11--At thirty, you love unapologetically.
06.28.11--At thirty, you give in love and it feels good!!
06.29.11--At thirty, you don't apologize for being who and what you are.
06.30.11--At thirty, you've learned to mentally process things before you digest them.
07.01.11--At thirty, life really is what you make it and you make it good!
07.02.11--At thirty, you know that you are rockin' awesome, but not the end all be all of the universe. ;)
07.03.11--At thirty, YOU ROCK!! LIKE ALWAYS!
Today is Juneteenth. What is the Juneteenth Celebration about?
According to Dr. Charles Taylor: "Juneteenth or June 19, 1865, is considered the date when the last slaves in America were freed. Although the rumors of freedom were widespread prior to this, actual emancipation did not come until General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas and issued General Order No. 3, on June 19, almost two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation."
Juneteenth highlights and celebrates African Americans/blacks being "freed" in the United States of America. Not to take away from this great occasion or to minimize the fact that I am grateful to be physically "free" according the U.S. government/ U.S. Constitution/Bill of Rights, but I am even more grateful to be free spiritually and mentally! Freedom in one's spirit and mind is such a beautifully divine gift! It is our spirit and mind that motivates and impels us to move forward. Those two components propel us physically to be about purpose/ to unapologetically act on the passion of life that encourages us to fulfill our dreams and goals.
Many of us are physically free, but we are spiritually and mentally bound, which essentially means we are physically bound because we allow our unhealthy spirits (lack of nourishing) and toxic thoughts to keep us stagnant. Many of us are reservoirs that hold in jealously, ill feelings, unkindness, low self-esteem, etc. and because we hold all of that in we cannot receive love, kindness, words of affirmation, and peace etc. We are like standing water that yields mosquitoes and other pests, rather than rivers that allow the current of our Creator-life- to flow through and in us--washing away the unhealthy things and providing us with nourishment and deposits that yield--LIFE.
Let us be rivers that flow freely to our main source-God--like Nile and the Mississippi Rivers. He has enough love, peace, kindness, longsuffering, assurance, and favor to go around for all of the rivers connected to Him. Consider the Nile River and the Mississippi River. Think about the number of rivers that flow from them and as a result of the connection to the main source, think about the other areas the rivers permeate/touch. Think about the number of areas that experience the same nourishment. Isn't it phenomenal? Connection that keeps on giving, yielding, producing, growing, and providing.
Be free and uninhibited in the amazing canvas of Life. Be free!
(Songs that inspire me and came to my thoughts when writing this: "We Speak to Nations" by Lakewood Choir and "Give Me" by Kirk Franklin. Movie(s) that inspire me and came to my thoughts when writing this: "Braveheart" by Mel Gibson.)
That’s my twenty-nine cents. Blessings.
I just finished a book about living a single life and being happy, content, and joyful in spite of occasional bouts of and with sadness, emptiness, and loneliness, which essentially are all distractions that keep anyone, not just singles, from seeing the beauty of life and from remembering that no matter what our state we are extensions of His love and channels of Him.
Thinking about present-day society, one would think that single is a four-lettered word and marriage is the end-all-be-all really when we are all aligned with God’s purpose. There is no difference in Him because whatever season we are in in life, it is for a reason and for His glory.
Honestly, our mainstream society catalyzes our need for more or for what we do not have. But the way to counter that is to believe the opposite. Believe the opposite of what pop culture says is acceptable or the ‘the thing to do’ because nine times out of ten the opposite of the action/decision is better for us anyway—at least when it comes to having peace of mind, having our emotions intact, and having/maintaining health bodies. Believe the opposite and know that we all have different journeys.
You know, I can honestly say that I have wrestled with being single some days. Partly because my peers are married--this is weird because I have never been one to conform or adopt something because it seems like everyone is doing it. Maybe it is a sign of maturing and desiring one of the things that He placed within me-- and partly because it is expected of me: ‘Okay Jasmin, you have your education, now what about a husband and children?’
Spiritually, I pray for God’s will, but I have honestly allowed myself to be distracted by external factors that God is the least bit phased by. He is not moved by our circumstance. He is moved by our faith and knowing that we completely entrust our very lives including each and every aspect of it to His ever stable arms and loving care. He is moved by our faith because it shows Him that regardless of the questions from people, the statistics, the seemingly “right one” or “ones” we trust Him immeasurably. I mean is not that the least we can do with the infinite, omniscient God?
Trust, period. Believe, period. Know that He knows your amazing end and it is good, period. Trust it without question. Believe it without question. Know it without question.
Why not? His track record is impeccable.
Trust. Trustworthy. Truth. Trueness. Trusting is the present progressive form of the word trust and in that state is signifies a consistent action, not something that ceases, something that is constant. When we trust our loved ones, our trust is not like a jacket that we take off and put on, but it's something that cloaks/covers the relationship. Our relationships covered in trust lead, inspire, and provoke us to be true/truthful in our relationships. We cheat ourselves and our loved ones when those two characteristics do not provide the framework for a healthy relationship, whether it's with our parents, siblings, friends, or significant others.
In a world riddled with deceptiveness and the bombardment of the lie that everything that glitters is gold, truth is not celebrated as it should be. But if we think about it, anything that is decorated/hyped up/ amped up in our society lures us in and leaves us empty. Those things don't provide us with the framework of trust and truthfulness and anything that doesn't should indicate to us that we need not entertain it, engage it, or allow it into our space.
We deserve to be true to ourselves/our principles. We deserve to have truthful and trustworthy relationships. We deserve to engage in, entertain, and allow things based on truth and trustworthiness in our lives. We have to know that we are worthy of something before it becomes a part of who we are and before we expect it from the people and things in our lives. Truth is and should be the standard for living--the unadulerated truth. It's sad that we live in a day and age where we have to put adjectives in front of nouns to highlight authenticity. Why can't truth just be that TRUTH instead of the unadulterated truth? Why can't love just be LOVE instead of unconditional love? Why can't a wo/man just be a WO/MAN instead of a real wo/man? The need for qualifiers would not be necessary if people would just be TRUE!
That’s my twenty-nine cents. Blessings.
Gratefulness vs. selfishness/entitlement
Service vs. being served
Fellowship vs. exclusivity
Lending a helping hand vs. turning a deaf ear
Patience vs. Impatience/Anxiety
Love vs. hate
Diversity vs. starkness
Plurality vs. singularity
Within vs. without
That’s my twenty-nine cents. Blessings.
05.23.11 Bright objects hypnotize the mind
Everyday stereotypes cloud our minds and keep us from knowing and learning
Everyday images bombard my mind
Everyday I’m immersed in the knowledge of what is around me
Everyday I encounter newness
Everyday in my mind I have an ongoing conversation with Him
This ongoing conversation is what keeps me sane
Keeps me grounded, at peace, in life, in purpose, in love
Bright objects captivate my mind because they lead me to Him
Bright objects encompass my mind and keep me grounded
That’s my twenty-nine cents. Blessings.
It doesn’t work. It’s not cool. It’s such a cop-out….living in the gray! It’s uneventful. It’s stressful. It’s draining. Commit to your convictions. Commit to your goals. Commit to your dreams. Live for you and according to your values. Walk knowing that you are amazing and have something special to offer the world! Being focused on what one needs to do doesn't mean that he or she is rude, inconsiderate, acting "funny," or being a snob. Can it just be that s/he is focused and because of that fact s/he doesn't notice the petty or take time to feed into it because doing so means giving energy to a person/event that doesn't produce/yield positive fruit? I mean really. We need to understand that the world offers so many distractions. It's hard enough to focus without working to "assure" the people who are more than likely not doing anything (by their own choice) that we aren't disregarding them. And you know, I think that wishy washy people are in fact not only self-centered, but they are also not willing to step up in order to step out because doing so means that they have to leave their comfort zones behind.....Leaving comfort zones behind, having growing pains, learning from one's mistakes/decisions/opportunities are completely rewarding for the person and the people the person reaches. Wade through the madness the world offers and find peace! Find the place that transforms you from being double-minded. Life is too short!
That’s my twenty-nine cents. Blessings.
Ever evolving and growing!