So many changes happening around me and also going on within me. The two worlds tend to conflict.
My whole life I’ve felt these forces blocking me from expressing mySELF, the truest version of me. She is the one unaffected by toxic socialization. She is the one always asking to be shown.
Some may call these forces racism, sexism, patriarchy, classism or the devil. It could be your bosses, your exes or your vices.
Those who believe in manifestation say I should move through life as if they don’t exist. They say if I focus on these negatives they will only return over and over. But I want to fight them all. I can try to ignore, but I can’t help but acknowledge how they have hindered me.
How do I make things better for those coming up after me if I don’t do the work that stops these forces? My success alone cannot be a satisfactory gift. Numbing myself would not be human. I can run but things that aren’t dealt with tend to haunt me later.
Lately, I’ve been spending more time acquiring knowledge of those smarter than me and praying for more wisdom. But even knowledge-seeking can be overwhelming at times.
Running and working out, sipping ginger tea, writing, praying, reading, creating things, examining beautiful design and architecture, helping young people realize the power they have, traveling new places, good eats, laughing with family and friends, music, all put me in a meditative state.
They allow healing and rediscovery of SELF. And I’m trying to make more time for that.
I can’t be anything to others around me if I am empty and filled only on fast food that can’t stick to my ribs like porridge can, as my grandmother would say.
Fast food like mass media enhances our fears of lack. They say you need this, that and the third to be full. You need this and that to be loved. You need this and that to be accepted. There is always something more to get. They say it’s cool to be fake. It’s cool to be disrespectful. It’s cool to be oppressive towards people who are marginalized, i.e. people of color, women, LGBT people, poor people, disabled people, etc. And most times you’re aren’t even aware of it because it’s built into our education system, religions and laws.
So finding that coveted balance is really hard. The balance of living freely and being able to sort the necessary from the unnecessary. The struggle is very real. And self-care is not an easy thing to understand, especially as a Black woman because we’ve always had to uplift everyone around us and when we want to celebrate our magic, there are always people that seem to have a problem with it.
We often wait until we hit rock bottom to begin that process of SELF-preservation.
My mommy always told me to save for a rainy day. But as I get older I realize the saying doesn’t only apply to money. It’s also more wise to store up in faith in God, store up in hope and most importantly store up in love.
This is my SELF-ish calling.