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. I feel at home when I am creating things like crocheted items or painting. 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 within self. It is God.
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.
The way things unfolded in Memphis over the last week in a half, I knew it was going to be devastating. I refused to watch the video but, I do know the details. As one of numerous clergy for MPD we were asked to be in prayer for the city. The media swarmed the city and most politicians did what they did best; they stirred the pot. I know the media thought Memphis was going to put on a show and I am thankful for the most part they didn’t get the riots they wanted. Of course, we have fools. What city doesn’t?
Some people have their opinions about the Chief of Police but, I think you can say that she handled things orderly, by the book, and swiftly. She did better than other cities have done that have dragged their feet when dealing with officers. Crossing her T’s and Dotting her I’s. I think those that criticize just want something to criticize and when I can’t tell you how to do your job, the policies, the procedures, and don’t know your job description it’s pretty hard for me to tell you what you should be doing.
I think, what an evil thing to do to another human being. I think what monsters. I think it is heartbreaking for Tyre’s family and friends, the community. It’s heartbreaking for anyone that has a soul. I think what heartbreak, shame, for the family of those officers, paramedics, and others involved. I wonder if those officers had children? Wives? What if they had friends and family that thought, “I can’t believe what is happening!” What a sickening and sinking feeling. Family and friends can shock the hell out of you and let you down.
I read that Tyre had a passion for photography and particular landscape photography and I thought, “Oh! Another creative soul.” It was said he loved sunsets. Well, beloved soul, I too love sunsets. In some memorials they list the time of birth as “sunrise” and time of death as “sunset”. I absolutely hate his time of death was a nightmare. Torture. I thought of this, he is now with the Creator of sunrises and sunsets and I know the sunsets on that side are nothing like we’ve seen on this earth. Rest in Heaven, In Peace, In Love and In the arms of the one what “foreknew you and fashioned you in your mother’s womb.” Sunrise-Earth. Sunset-Eternity.
I have a habit of procrastinating when it comes to making my dreams and goals come true. Last year I did really, really good and stayed on task. I was laser focused. I was not easily distracted or deterred by the work of it. It paid off. and I like that feeling. I seem to be able to execute projects or things for others to the “T” and even plan out things for vacations. I can organize and execute. However, when it comes to my dreams and goals I seem to procrastinate. Let me tell you how therapy helped me.
Therapy helped me to see that I was afraid of success. It helped me to understand that the very goals I want to achieve are in the category of the very things I was told as a child would not make me money. Instead, I was instructed to take a safe, secure route. Now that I have the opportunity to be creative, I hesitate. I procrastinate. One book that is on my list is titled, Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Changing or getting rid of habits that keep you from reaching your goals or improving yourself is inner work. It is literally brain and mind work that extends outward in the form of actions. I have not struggled with procrastination but, I have also struggled lately more than ever with the awful habit of mindless snacking. I could literally eat the apple in the photo and turn around and eat the donut, too! I know it’s connected to something emotional but, I have yet to figure it out. Anyways, I believe that you don’t have to always or only seek professional help to help yourself. I think books are an amazing way to do inner work and to grow!
Definitely check out the link from Psychology Today about habit formation. It was very interesting! And helpful!
Have you ever read a book, other than a religious book, that helped you?
Self-compassion or compassion for yourself is an elixir to your spirit, soul, and psyche when you make a mistake or fail. Instead of judging yourself harshly, instead of being overtly self-critical, you show yourself some grace and mercy. As long as you are living you will make mistakes and you will fail (failures are just lessons and arrows pointing you in a different direction).
In my teen age years and up until about my late 30’s I was really hard on myself when I made mistakes. If I dropped something or spilled something, I would say harshly, “You’re so stupid. You can’t do or get anything right.” When I started working on the job and I was corrected for making a mistake, I took it personally. Especially, if it was delivered to me harshly. This was a constant thing with me even after a very good coworker explained to me the difference between criticism and correction. It did help but the feeling of inadequacy was still there. I was in therapy and the subject came up. Much of our negative self-talk comes from our home environment, relationships with others and our personal experiences.
If you’re being told something negative each time you mess up or if you are being harshly criticized over and over, you make a connection that you are inadequate. You may think something is wrong with you. Now imagine if you accept that and from there on out when you make a mistake you start to beat yourself up without anyone’s help. Your parents’ voice, your teacher’s voice, your boss’s voice, your partner’s voice becomes your voice. It becomes part of your inner dialogue.
But once I began to correct myself with something as simple as spilling coffee, “You’re not stupid. It’s okay to spill something. As long as you are living you will spill something. Everyone does. It’s okay.” I felt better about myself. I must have inherently known to NOT say things to my daughter like, “You’re stupid or dumb” when she made mistakes or harshly criticize her for making mistakes. Even when I was upset at what she did, I knew better than to ingrain those words into her psyche. I would say, “It’s okay to lose a board game. It’s okay we can clean it up. Next time, ask for help. It’s okay if you didn’t score a100 but you scored a 98 (She went through a period of crying at school when she didn’t make a 100!)” It’s strange how I never made the connection to do that for myself until later on in life. Well, arriving is better than never arriving at all. I still correct myself to this very day when I make mistakes!
When you make a mistake, the worst thing you can do is criticize yourself. It is self-compassion that gives us the POWER to face our mistakes and to come out on top! PRACTICE SELF COMPASSION AND IMPROVE. RISE ABOVE IT. CORRECT OR RE-ADJUST. TAKE A BREAK AND COME BACK TO IT. SELF COMPASSION! And if you really want to elevate your being and brighten your inner light, have some compassion instead of criticism for others when they genuinely make a mistake.