If in fact there is something to be gained from pain, then why is it so hard to face it and embrace it?
Emotional pain does not last forever if you are willing to release and let it go.
People of like mind can still be very different.
Do not live by comparisons. We are created as individuals being vastly diverse. There is no other one just like us, not even a twin.
Interacting with human beings is much like,
Walking by an apple tree and stopping to admire its fruit.
The mind begins to flood with anticipation,
Flipping through a menagerie of compartmentalized possibilities.
An apple is gently plucked from the tree.
Dust and debris of leaves and stem are discarded.
A bite is taken,
Only to reveal the apple is hollow.
Repost from my blog: Eating My Pain
Prayer is an intricate part of my healing journey. One of the many things I’ve prayed for is the ability to see myself through my own eyes…not the eyes of my parents.
It took some time before I realized that I did not know myself or see myself as I ought to. I only saw what my parents taught me to see. I saw a life not worth living beyond the service I provided. I put all others before myself, fulfilling their needs…my sole priority. I saw ability that would never be recognized and a thirst that would never be quenched. Deprivation was my reward and pain my only inheritance.
It’s also very difficult to see yourself when you are not allowed to make even the most simple decisions for yourself. Hair was one of those things that seemed to be more of an issue than need be.
I used to sit in front of my mirror every evening and cry. My hair was always the same. Two or three ponytails with huge ribbons or bows that matched my outfit. This is how I looked everyday. I hated it and I hated my mother for making me look like this.
When I closed my eyes I could see myself with very long hair, but the hair looked strange to me. It looked like braids but it wasn’t braided. I didn’t know what locks were and had no idea that was the hairstyle I envisioned. I would also see myself with huge hair, wild and curly…unruly. I loved seeing myself like that. Then I’d open my eyes again to see what was still my reality and I retreated further into myself.
One day, I asked my mom if I could wear my hair braided. Absolutely not, she said. I asked, why? Mom turned to me as if to give a life lesson. She said, wearing your hair natural will only make you look ignorant. You must straighten your hair so people will think of you as intelligent. My heart sank and so did my head as I slowly walked back to my room to sit in front of my mirror and cry. I’ve never forgotten her words.
It would not be until I was in my mid 30s that I would be able to stand up to my mother and tell her how I wanted to wear my hair. I guess you may be wondering why it took so long for me to do this. All I can say is if you have to ask then you don’t know what it is to have controlling parents. You can’t begin to fathom what it is to be under such tight control and scrutiny. Every independent decision outside of what my parents wanted was made with great trembling and sacrifice. My parents did not take disobedience kindly and any act of disobedience was met with intense cruelty and degradation…no matter my age.
Finally, I broke free from one of the chains that bound me. I cut off all the permed hair and I wore my hair braided for a few years. A week before my 40th birthday I felt a strong urge to begin twisting my hair. I always knew I was going to lock my hair one day, but wasn’t sure when. The day had come and I gave into the call. I wore my hair locked for 9 years. I loved my hair. The first time I looked in the mirror and saw my locks in their full light I knew I had finally seen the vision of myself that I saw so many years ago. For once, I stood in front of my mirror and smiled.
During the ninth year of my locks a terrible thing happened. My eczema took a turn for the worse spreading over most of my body including my scalp. Having no insurance at the time, I fought with all I had to remedy my skin, paying cash for doctor appointments to get prescriptions for topical ointments. I also used tea tree oil and soap (natural anti-fungal), a probiotic and diphenhydramine to help with itching. There was little I could do to save my hair. My skin is much better, but my hair was lost. Locks fell daily, one sometimes two at a time. There was nothing I could do to save them. Each fallen lock was mourned and put away.
It’s been about a year since loosing the first lock. I stood in front of my mirror looking at the few remaining locks and thought to myself…why are you hiding? I’ve spent the last year trying to hold on to something that cannot stay. All I could see was massive loss. My identity…my beauty…my independence…my strength and everything else my locks represented was gone. I’ve been stripped. There’s no where else to hide.
About a month ago I cut off my remaining locks and placed them in a bag where all fallen locks are kept. I stood there squeezing the bag close to my chest, making peace with my decision. It is time for me to face myself. This time in my most natural state. My prayers were being answered, though I had not realized it yet.
I Am As I Am
One more look in the mirror.
There I stand.
Hair shorter than ever.
I began to cry,
Only this time it wasn’t tears of sadness,
But tears of joy and relief.
I am free, I said.
No more hiding.
I no longer need my locks to be my identity.
Nor do I need my locks to be,
My strength, my beauty,
Or proclamation of indoctrination of my mind and spirit.
I am just as I am,
And ought to be.
For the first time I see me.
I am budding and soon will be in full bloom.
My inner light fills the room.
I lean forward taking a closer look.
I am just as I am,
As I ought to be.
And I’m loving everything I see.
For the first time,
With my own eyes,
I can see me.
Don’t thank me for encouraging you to do something that you have no intention of doing. Your words are a waste to all involved.
Try not to talk just for the sake of talking. Allow your words to have true meaning.
Do you think before you speak or do you speak rather than think?
Language was not invented to be misused, yet for some reason we find it acceptable to do so.
We have already lost our ability to feel each other on deeper levels. Now we are loosing our ability to speak to each other in truth. What are we going to lose next?
Before uttering another word…think about what it is you really want to say and say just that. Try diligently not to fill space and time with strings of empty meaningless words.
The substance that is YOU can only be conveyed by your language whether written, spoken or unspoken. Use your language wisely.
I’m standing on a ladder,
Looking out over the horizon.
You’re doubled over with laughter.
I wonder why…
I guess I’m just a joke to you.
Especially after you’ve taken a toke or two.
If I had spoken to you,
Would I be better?
Maybe then I would matter.
I find my way back to the ground.
Engulfed by the sound
Of your echoing laughter.
Am I just a clown to you,
Having no sound to you,
Except the pounding of my heart?
I wobble, sometimes stumble when I walk.
My equilibrium is slightly off.
Scarred smile and damaged skin,
A few scattered hairs just under my chin.
Not too tall and not too short,
But still not the sort who will ever win,
My clothes almost never fit right.
What a sight I must be.
But I’m still loveable… huggable…capable,
I am still me.
Why do I have to be like you want me to be?
A prettier, more slender,
Well put together version of me.
For now…that cannot be.
Why can’t you just love me for me?
Love who I am as well as all you see?
I guess you are content to laugh away.
As I walk away from you today.
No need to talk anymore.
For goodness sakes,
Pick yourself up off the floor.
Now I know why the clown is so sad.
Used to being ridiculed, set up, and ragged.
A clown knows just what it takes to make you smile.
A skip, a twirl, a wink, a nod.
All things squirrelly, messy and wild.
I am not a clown you see.
Please…please stop laughing at me.
I’m a person with feelings and presence of mind.
I’m intelligent, fun, a friend for all times.
I’m eccentric, eclectic, a lover of wine,
Good listener, good sista, good lover sometimes.
Clearly that is not enough for you.
You keep on laughing and gasping as you do.
Entertaining your whims, I no longer care.
Utter another word if you dare.
I managed to cut all ties to you.
And finally bid this fine adieu.
Never try to help the liar that claims they need your help. The truth always rises to smacks you when you do.
Trigger Warning: This is a dark poem expressing emotions linked to childhood abuse.
They Them Us Me is a dark poem that exposes unexplored emotions from my past. I wrote this poem about a year ago after recalling a few vivid childhood memories.
I am grateful for being able to express my emotions through audio creations. It has been extremely helpful for the healing process.
I created and recorded this poem. All of the voices are mine.
There are times when I feel strong.
There are times when failure is my only companion.
No matter what life throws my way I will continue to fight the good fight.
DON’T GIVE UP!