Remove anything unlike you, not meant for me, veiled with ill-intent, overly self-serving, no longer serving a purpose, hindering your promises for me and others, draining my energy, sharing my gifts without an equitable exchange, stealing my joy and peace, and/or obstructing my vision holistically.
Friends become distant acquaintances. Disruptors become visible. The silence finds a voice. The unknown becomes known. The path becomes clearer.
This is not the end. This is not the beginning. This is a continuation.
I remember leading into June my comment in a local connect meeting, “June is going to be a jam packed month”, I was right. There has been so much happening this month between celebrating Pride, remembering, and honoring the journey of Juneteenth, including Our Conversation with the Grandmother of Juneteenth on June 14th, and the list grew.
As I continue synthesizing this month’s contents, I must pause. I wear many hats, as I write I write with my intersectionality personal hat. While I mentioned initiatives completed under my professional hat, the opinions and statements herein, are mine and mine alone.
I pause because, I had intended to write a different post, but circumstances compel me to write this one, for this moment. You see, I love to write. I find writing very therapeutic and revealing. Through writing, I often lift the veil on lingering thoughts I have pushed to the side for one reason or another. This brings me to one of those lingering thoughts.
As I began my ascension below The Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, my first of several stops on my scheduled excursion in New York City this past Friday, the news from SCOTUS broke. 196 steps to the top of the Pedestal my travel champion spoke somberly, “It’s Official. The Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade.” My heart sunk as a Native Texan, as an American, as a woman, and as a human who cares for others. Not because I support abortions. I don’t for many personal reasons, including my religious beliefs, but those are my reasons and mine alone. My beliefs should never usurp the beliefs of others on matters affecting their health and/or life. On Friday, June 24th SCOTUS knowingly did just that in more than a 3rd of the country due to the “trigger laws” in effect.
As I reached the marker for 67 steps to go, I lamented at the sheer irony of our current climate in America with shrinking liberties in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Standing beneath Lady Liberty, I was not surprised, but still, I felt just a little gutted. Lady Liberty was a gift and a promise. A promise codified in our Constitution at a time when my intersectionality would have deemed me “not a person” and “without rights”. A promise through our preparation to host Dr. Opal Lee was solidified by why Juneteenth is so important in the history of America. On a personal level, I had struggled with the holiday until Dr. Lee spoke on the effects the movement created for the enslaved people in Texas. A reminder of the past, but more importantly, a hope for the future and “a celebration of liberation with the freedom to live, to marry, to have and keep our children from being sold, to travel, and so much more”, Dr. Opal Lee. A promise Justice Thomas threatens with his concurring opinion. The match has been lit, it is my hope we the Republic put out the fire in November before we find The Handmaid’s Tale a reality. Because, “I have to tell you, NONE of us are FREE until all of us are FREE”, Dr. Opal Lee.
26 steps to the top, “I got this!”, I said to myself as I paused before making the final climb! With the spirit of my ancestors, I reached the top! I felt great for many reasons, but one of them was out of all the people visiting Lady Liberty we were the only two people in the stairwell, opting to bypass the elevator. Due to an illness, I could not have done this a year ago. Looking back, I am not sure I could have even made it to the elevator.
Many believe we cannot surmount the conflicting climate seeping into our global affairs.
I disagree. I am proof positive. That is a lie!
We have fought tyranny before and won! And so, I was this year old when I learned my company in the face of these restrictive measures over women’s health has expanded our health benefits to provide for travel expenses in states where a woman’s informed choice is no longer a woman’s choice. We’re not perfect, no company is, but we are striving to make life work better for people. Moves of this nature are one more step in the right direction! #InItTogether #BetterTogether
I posted recently to my Facebook Community page regarding forcing yourself to let go of the memories and situations still causing you pain long after the event has ended. Many people engaged with the post. Which brings me here.
The human condition is self-persevering. We are all flawed in one way or another. Some of us have done the work and know our greatest flaws. For us, we work to minimize the adverse impact of these human internal defects on others.
There are those of us oblivious to our character defects. We are the most dangerous because we inflict pain on others completely unaware of the negative impact we leave on their lives and our own lives further perpetuating the cycle of pain.
Then there are those within our population who know our impact but inflict pain regardless as a way to reclaim what they believe has been taken from them. These are our narcissistic sociopaths. Beware of them, the blame is almost always external.
However, regardless of the type of person we encounter, the path forward is the same. Cut the anchor cord. No one and I repeat, there is no one capable of hindering your purpose, your happiness, your joy, or your peace unless you allow it. Sometimes our brains attempt to make a connection to a new situation because it resembles a past experience. Listen to it and do not assume it’s about the past situation.
For some, I recognize when I speak or write it comes off as aloof. However, that’s because you’re looking at the cake and not the ingredients and prep time it took to make the cake.
Getting to a place where nothing phases you requires purposeful, dedicated, and long-suffering actions to reach the place I often write from. This is not an overnight enlightenment. You can’t put it in a microwave and expect all to be well in two minutes and fifteen seconds. You have to do the work. And, you have to be honest. I mean completely honest. Honest about your part. Honest about their part. Honest about your true feelings about it all. Then and only then can you start to remove the bricks from your heart, your mind, and your soul.
I pray for peace on the reader of this post. You are strong. You are powerful. You control your thoughts or your thoughts will control you.
How do you balance a public profile being a private person? I’m writing while I’m thinking, because the subject often comes up, especially, as a blog writer.
Often the stories, poems, and prose are not even about me. But sometimes they are. Other times they are about parts of me or the people I see if that makes sense. Whatever the true subject or objective, the words used to express or describe are indeed mine. So, however, I dress it up, essentially, they are subjectively about something connected to me.
On a personal note, I keep everything close to the vest. I rarely disclose personal details about my life, my friends, my plans, or my family (directly). I’ve been this way as long as I can remember. If I do, then that means you’ve earned a level of trust somewhere in my mind and heart. A level that says similar to how I treat those who share their lives with me, you’re not going to go and shout what I say from the mountaintop. I cherish these relationships because they are difficult to find and hard to keep.
I’d liked to say this originated when I first heard the story of Zachariah in Bible school pre-adolescent, and subconsciously, it may have. However, I’m not convinced that’s true.
I’ve watched people over the years and in watching them, I’ve learned a great deal about boundaries. Everyone’s boundaries are different and I like to keep mine like a fortress at times, if not all the time. The problem I learned about living in a fortress is when you need help, it’s hard for help to find a way in. So the almighty and I struck a balance. He places people in my life I know I can trust and confirms their placement by their actions. It has been working thus far.
I’m sure I’ve been burned in the past, but that’s not what this is about. I am also an artist as I previously wrote earlier in this written dialogue currently happening in my head. And the craft of an artist is extremely public and often very personal. Whether the craft envelopes the artist’s personal challenges, triumphs, or something in between the content is almost always raw.
Thus my actual personal life, I like to keep personal and private. Not necessary a secret, but definitely private.
I had an encounter today with a friend girl of mine who innocently indirectly shared a personal component of my life on a public platform. She was only providing encouragement. Encouragement, I greatly appreciated. However, upon having a quick conversation she quickly understood and respected my wishes that I’d rather not have certain components of my life publicly discussed or commented on overtly. I am grateful for that and for her because others might have misinterpreted my call for discretion. And, turned a molehill into a mountain.
Said interaction brought me back to this confession moment. I regularly share my thoughts, experiences, and beliefs on an array of subjects on my blog and on my community Facebook page. I do so willingly and without reservation. Mainly, in hopes, it liberates someone secretly struggling with similar issues. If my transparency can save a life, provide hope, or simply let someone in the universe know they are not alone, then it’s worth it!
We live in a society where fear, shame, emotional distress, and emotional pain are bottled up until they blow up. So I write to let others know, they are indeed not alone, and most of what we battle are temporary distractions. If my public artist heart can save one soul then the open declarations are worth it every time.
Having said that, I was raised in the church. More specifically, I was raised in a church where every Sunday before communion the Pastor would call all those who had “sinned” during the week up to confess their sins one-by-one into the microphone, publicly, in accordance with our church doctrine before the entire church body. Sometimes these lines were ten to fifteen people deep. And, even after confessing their “sins”, they would each have to stand before the church before he prayed for them out loud about their specific “sin” before they were allowed to be seated.
This practice struck me as odd and invasive. Yet, for 18 years I watched the same people, week after week form a line down the right aisle waiting to be redeemed before as a church body, we could take communion. The practice troubled me, but it was tradition and it was not until years later I would experience something different, so I watched in silence week after week, month after month, and year after year until I was 18th and no longer required to attend church. Did my need for personal privacy stem from this, who knows? But, I do know I had my own silent struggles, I never felt comfortable sharing because of this practice and they followed me into adulthood.
So there was always an invisible shield on my internal thoughts for most of my life. I’m not saying I was muted but definitely guarded. And as luck would have it, for good reasons at times. So it’s rare and special when I really can be truly open on a personal level. I’m not harboring dark secrets. I just enjoy the sanctity of my personal life remaining personal.
Still seeking the right balance between publicly transparent and privately personal.