You need to learn how to be left. Left alone. Left behind. Think about this, how would you feel if you were forced to stay in a situation, with people, in a job, in a space you felt you didn’t want to be in for whatever reason? Oh! You’ve felt that feeling before, huh? You know that suffocating, funny, detached feeling that makes you feel stuck. You feel it your body and it weighs heavy on your mind. I have to tell you this, you’re not going to like it but, sometimes you are creating that for someone else. BREATHE. Sometimes they do not love you like you love them. BREATHE. Sometimes, they don’t like you for valid reasons or simply, they just don’t. BREATHE. Sometimes, they just don’t like your energy. BREATHE.
They have their reasons and it may hurt you. It may disappoint you. It may shock you. Especially, if you feel you haven’t done anything wrong or that bad. It may make you feel bad about yourself. And let me say this, if it does make you feel bad about yourself, then reflect, observe, and analyze. Because I would not have known the things I needed to correct or heal within me if someone had not left me or distanced themselves from me! “HARSH TRUTH will wash you clean. If you allow it.”-Nicole Jackson
People have a right to be free. Even if it’s to be free from you. I have learned to take it as it is. But the greatest thing I have learned is NOT to TAKE IT SO PERSONAL that I am angry, upset, mad or carry a grudge about it. How? I think to myself and put myself in their shoes. If I have a right to change my mind, fall out of like or love, remove myself from something or someone that is not a right fit for me, then SO DO THEY. Do I cry sometimes? Yes. Do I feel bad sometimes? Yes. Has my heart been broken at times? Yes. Have I been disappointed, shocked, bewildered? Absolutely. But when the emotions subside, I have to respect their decision. I don’t have to agree with it or like it. I want them to be free because if I need to leave, I want to be free to do so.
“Thoughts that are out of alignment with your spiritual truth are toxic”- The Sacred Yes
Spring is the NEW YEAR.
You may now FEEL like doing those things you set out to do on the Gregorian calendar in December/January. You might feel more energetic, optimistic, refreshed. It took me a while to start moving along with nature and God.
I’m still learning to be attentive of the seasons and the timing of them. And leaves, flowers, vegetation, don’t just happen overnight in spring. There’s a process underneath and within. And even that process is affected by its region, environment, and weather.
Purge your space, circle, mind, body, and spirit.
Get your fresh nourishment. Get your fresh information. You’ve written the vision and now your steps are being ordered. Introduce some movement, action to the vision, dreams, goals.
On my way home from dropping my daughter off at campus Sunday, I felt my mood change. It was like that light switch. I am now familiar with it and I knew what was happening. Familiar, yes. Understand it? Not quite. I am always so frustrated when depression hits “out of the blue” or I can’t figure out what triggered it. If I know what the trigger was then I can better address it. But when I do not know, I get upset. I get angry because I don’t want to feel the way I am feeling and it takes some time for me to know if this is light depression? Moderate? Are we headed towards severe? I get anxious. I get…frustrated.
I just didn’t have the energy to figure it out Sunday evening because I was tired from the ride. I was able to make dinner and to just do the best I could to take care of myself. I showered. I did my nightly routine. I decided to just tune everything out and watch TV. I made myself comfy on the couch and called my parents and texted my daughter early to say my goodnights, etc. I thought maybe if I can just sleep when it’s time for me to go to bed, I will be okay Monday. I did not eat healthily that evening. I snacked quite a bit. Note: On my way home, I tried listening to positive things like a sermon and things that interested me on YouTube. I didn’t want to sink too low, too fast.
I woke up Monday and I was still depressed. I said to myself, “Well, this must be moderate depression. I feel like I can fix me something to eat. I don’t want to be bothered. I can still do a few things on my list that are easy for me. I don’t want to go anywhere. I don’t want to talk.” If this was severe, I would not want to do anything. This includes fixing food. Getting out of bed. I wouldn’t want to hear any noise. Go anywhere. Do anything.
It feels like strings of cans tied to my ankles and making noise every time I move. Weird. I know. The noise is the sharp criticizing negative inner dialogue that takes place during these episodes. If I drop something. “Clumsy.” If I can’t remember something, “Stupid”. Or just crazy thoughts from current, the past, “Look at you. Can’t even get dressed. No man wants to be around you if you ever get one. He can’t take this. Hell, people can’t take it.” “What the hell is wrong with you? Why was I born with these issues?” “What is wrong with my brain?” “Can’t live out your dreams like this.”
I FIRED BACK. LIES. GO TO HELL. IF HE CAN’T DEAL WITH IT, HE’S NOT THE ONE. PEOPLE ARE STUPID. I CAN NAME FRIENDS THAT UNDERSTAND. THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT DO GET IT. THOSE THAT DON’T, DON’T MATTER. I CAN ACCOMPLISH MY DREAMS AND REACH MY DESTINTY. SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE THESE ISSUES AND ARE SUCCESSFUL.
When it’s severe, it feels like a mountain on my back or like I am carrying around twice my weight. I imagine. So, instead of fighting it, I followed my normal morning routine. Well, sort of. Pray. Instead of coffee I wanted something cold. Read. Meditation. Post. I prayed some more. I called my parents so that I could see how they were doing and to let them know what was going on. I didn’t feel like being bothered unless it was urgent. I do this for two reasons: If you don’t tell the people you talk to daily, they will think something is wrong and worry if you don’t answer. Second, if I do answer and I have this mood they will take it personal because…they don’t know what is wrong.
Eat Well. I ate well for breakfast and lunch. I snacked well, too. I made myself do yoga for depression. It was restorative yoga where the poses were held longer and were to target specific areas of the body. I almost said forget it. But I stayed with the practice. I gave into it. I opened up my notebook of affirmations and I read some and then I wrote some that came to me during this depressing episode.
Even in my depression, I am loved. I deserve love. I am love.
I am worthy of love. I am still valuable. I still deserve to be happy.
Even under this dark cloud, I deserve the sunshine.
This too will pass. It’s just a moment. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning and morning can come at any time.
I will wait for morning. I don’t have to wait perfectly. But I know morning is coming. Always.
I don’t have to understand it. I don’t have to explain it. I just have to know I will be okay. God is with me. God is with me. God is with me.
Later Monday evening, I begin to feel lighter. Yes. It was lifting. I felt like talking to a friend that called earlier. I felt like going for a walk and I did.
I know you are probably thinking you haven’t made history as a woman but, oh yes you have! You are making history in your own life that will become HER-STORY. You don’t have to be famous or to break a glass ceiling. You just have to look back over your life and see all that you have overcame. You just have to look forward and think about what’s next and plan it out. We all have a story to tell and stories that are forming as long as we are living. Why do you think the elders in our lives have so much to talk to us about? How do you think they gained so much wisdom? Our mothers, sisters, aunties, cousins, coworkers have HER-STORIES.
Tell me something you have overcome! Or share something you have done or do in your community!
Today I commented on a post that “As a Christian, I like learning things about the culture and traditions of the diverse people in this world” and two “Christians” took that as I agreed with the tradition and culture the author of the post was sharing. I responded back by saying quite a bit and one thing in particular was that “Reading is fundamental and so is reading comprehension.”
When I think about the first Christian’s response, I think about how slave masters and this country currently love to strip away African Americans’ (or anyone else’s for that matter) of culture, traditions, and history. I do understand why some Black/African Americans have a turned away or will not accept Christianity at all. The second Christian was her back up. Not realizing she was AMEN-ing a westernized and colonizing perspective of what it means to be Christian. God bless both of their hearts. I wonder have they ever thought about all of the Jewish and Hebrew traditions and culture in the Bible? I wonder if they think about all of the Pagen symbology and holidays made to be “safe” for Christians to observe yet, never observing all of the Holy Days? What about the traditions, patriarchy, and culture of their ancestors they hold so dearly? Probably not if they couldn’t comprehend my comment.
As I began to become really irritated by these Christians, I was reminded that my salvation does not depend on Christians, denominations or opinions.
DON’T GO BACK TO WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN DELIVERED FROM
I had a discussion with a person I was involved with and there were a few “ah ha” moments that enlightened me on his behavior. Although, we are somewhat friends with boundaries (I should do a blog post titled Friends with Boundaries), we have had two huge discussions about our past unofficial relationship. It’s almost like a balloon being blown up slowly to its capacity and then you let it go and it flies around the room and lands “splat” on the floor. We exhale and it’s like, “Well, don’t know how we got started on that but, you enjoy the rest of your evening.” I think it’s unresolved issues that are aired out in these sessions.
The other day I asked him if he thinks about the conversations after they are over. He said yes. So, do I. It’s like pieces of a puzzle and some things make sense after the session and others are still a mystery. A mystery I have no desire to solve. I pondered the conversation and then I started getting messages from EVERYWHERE about “NOT GOING BACK” to situations or relationships that you have been delivered from. Message received.
DON’T GO FORWARD
I am reading a book titled, “Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents” and as I was reading the chapter that describes the characteristics of the parent, I realized not only do I pick relationships where the person is emotionally unavailable but, I also have picked some associations where this occurs. I also, have remained in some circles that I now realize embody the characteristics of the emotionally unavailable parent. When this was brought to my consciousness, I was dumbfounded. I am still shocked today. However, the thought is, “STOP. DON’T GO FORWARD.” Yet, I attempted one last time to connect and saw nothing except a sarcastic response. What am I afraid of I ask myself and do I really want to know the answer? Why am I still hanging around? The truth is I already know the answer and I need to accept the truth.
With these two things occurring in a week, I realize that just because you know the truth, make a declaration, things don’t always end immediately and things may end immediately and linger. A train doesn’t suddenly stop. Breaks are applied miles before its destination. Some relationships come to a halt months after they end. None of this makes me feel really good but, it does make me aware. I have hope that something much better is ahead.
What does it mean to be at home? Home is a place of refuge. It is a place of peace. It is a place where you are nurtured and sustained. It is a place to which you belong and have a right to be. In this place you are nourished and your needs are provided for. It is the place where you keep your intimate things. It is the place where you love and make love, the place where you play and grow and study. It is the place where you care and you serve. It is your base, so to speak, within the world. No matter what you do or where you go, you are always coming back to this base to become grounded in your humaneness again. Well, this is also what it means to have a spiritual home, except that a spiritual home cannot be contained within four walls. Your spiritual home is Wherever You Are. – The Sacred Yes, by Reverend Deborah L. Johnson
When it comes to your childhood, were you at home? When it comes to fitting into your family, environment or community are you at home? With those in your circle, are you at home? In your relationship, are you at home? When you’re at your job, does it feel at home? I know you would think that a job is not supposed to make you feel at home but a toxic work environment or being out of alignment with your purpose can make you ill. Are you home anywhere in your life?
When I am writing, I feel at home. When I am in my own home, my own sanctuary, because I am not married or in a relationship that is cankerous, I feel at home. Most of the time because I desire a good, healthy relationship, I sometimes long for home. However, I seem to always find my way back to my real home. It’s a home withing self. It is God. I fell at home when I am creating
Continuing the article written by Koritha Mitchell, I suggest you read yesterday’s article as well. You know sometimes it’s good to just read and understand instead of telling an entire culture/people/race what to think, how to feel, and what they should do. I think this type of approach comes from a feeling of authority and slave master mentality. The invalidation of our thoughts, religion, feelings, emotions, experiences, perspectives and knowledge is alive and well today. I do think at times it’s subconsciously done. Yet, still problematic. Instead, I think some should learn to simply listen, assist and work with other cultures, races, and communities. “Seek ye first to understand and then to be understood”- Steven Covey. Clearly, there is not enough seeking of understanding, let alone any seeking of truth.
Article beings here:
Those who care about Black families and communities sometimes hesitate to celebrate Black marriage. Praising traditional marriage can contribute to the overall devaluation of queer intimacies. It can also align with the routine vilification of all households that do not fit the heteronormative nuclear family mold, with its male breadwinner and financially dependent wife and children. As important, highlighting Black marriage can easily feel like another attack on single Black women in a society with self-help franchises and religious cultures based on scolding Black women for not properly preparing themselves to be “blessed” with a mate.
And yet, the hesitation to celebrate traditional Black marriage, of which there has never been a shortage, also amounts to erasing the degree to which African Americans do, in fact, choose each other.
Ever notice how examples that contradict dominant assumptions fail to gain traction? Many understood that it mattered for Barack Obama’s credibility among African Americans that Michelle Obama was brown-skinned, but the couple’s prominence has done little to change the impression that Black people rarely choose each other. American culture is built on presumptions of Black pathology even though, as Coates puts it, such characterizations should ring false “in a country whose existence was predicated on the torture of Black fathers, on the rape of Black mothers, on the sale of Black children.”
It is no accident that Americans of every background struggle to recognize how thoroughly the Obamas represent, in Coates’s words, “Black people’s everyday, extraordinary Americanness.” That is, African Americans often embody exactly what the nation says it respects. Their doing so is common, but it is also exceptional because they must reach every goal while the nation robs them of every public resource, including safety. Against the odds, African Americans create and nurture life-affirming and community-sustaining bonds of affection—bonds that are distorted, diminished, or ignored.
Keeping African Americans in their “proper” place also involves excluding traditional Black households from the nation’s family portrait. The quintessential American family is always assumed to be white and middle class, no matter how often white people prove to be less than committed to that model. And this is the case even as the United States provides white people with resources like safety—not having to fear that police officers or civilians will kill their loved ones without consequence.
Marriage relies on and bolsters economic standing, and the United States has always deprived African Americans of the financial resources to support their unions. Despite these formidable obstacles, marriage has not been rare among Black people, but it has been ignored. As Hunter shows, in the early 1900s, African American sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois and other elites insisted that traditional home life would dramatically improve Black people’s social, political, and economic prospects, but “somehow they missed the fact that most Black families conformed to the very behaviors they wanted to indoctrinate,” given that “by 1900, marriage was nearly universal for adult African Americans still living in a mostly agricultural society.”
Then and now, American culture ensures that few would ever suspect Black people’s consistent, stable history with marriage.
In this context, it is worth noticing that representations of Black family life have not changed with Michelle Obama’s prominence as not only a mother but also the wife of an affectionate husband. Indeed, her success in these roles has been simultaneously ignored and attacked. Attacks came in the form of asserting that she hurt the feminist movement by calling herself “Mom-in-Chief.” Meanwhile, her becoming first lady—woman of the nation’s house—was ignored in that it did not inspire popular culture representations of African American stay-at-home moms. Instead, The Help became a runaway hit, suggesting that Americans did not want to be reminded that Black women are homemakers, but they would relish seeing Black women pretending to be 1960s maids in 2009 (when the book was published) and in 2011 (when the movie was released).
That was not enough, though. In 2016, 63 million Americans voted to move the United States “From Mom-in-Chief to Predator-in-Chief.” The message was clear: African American marriages and traditional families may exist, but they will be excluded from the nation’s portrait of itself. Black women are acceptable as house slaves and housekeepers, but not as homemakers. That has always been the American way. Meanwhile, and nonetheless, Black people keep loving each other.
Koritha Mitchell is author of the award-winning book Living with Lynching and the new book From Slave Cabins to the White House: Homemade Citizenship in African American Culture. She is also an associate professor of English at Ohio State University and a Society of Senior Ford Fellows (SSFF) board member. Follow her on Twitter @ProfKori.
A mix of emotions, behaviors, and beliefs associated with strong feelings of affection, protectiveness, warmth, and respect for another person.
Love can also be used to apply to non-human animals, to principles, and to religious beliefs. For example, a person might say he or she loves his or her dog, loves freedom, or loves God.
WHAT IS LOVE?
Love has been a favored topic of philosophers, poets, writers, and scientists for generations, and different people and groups have often fought about its definition.
While most people agree that love implies strong feelings of affection, there are many disagreements about its precise meaning, and one person’s “I love you” might mean something quite different than another’s.
Some possible definitions of love include:
A willingness to prioritize another’s well-being or happiness above your own.
Extreme feelings of attachment, affection, and need.
Dramatic, sudden feelings of attraction and respect.
A fleeting emotion of care, affection, and like.
A choice to commit to helping, respecting, and caring for another, such as in marriage or when having a child.
Some combination of the above emotions.
There has been much debate about whether love is a choice, is something that is permanent or fleeting, and whether the love between family members and spouses is biologically programmed or culturally indoctrinated. Love may vary from person to person and culture to culture. Each of the debates about love may be accurate at some time and someplace. For example, in some instances, love may be a choice while in others it may feel uncontrollable.