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“Happy Valentine’s Day”

14 Feb

It is Valentine’s Day again and even though I once scoffed at the idea of another financially driven holiday that we have been brainwashed to believe we must partake in, the notion of such has grown on me. To have one day dedicated to love is smart. Especially since amidst the chaos, a lot of us forget how pivotal love is, why not set aside a day to encourage you to take time and remember?

I hope all of you have a Valentine’s Day filled with tons of love =) And here’s a little something to help with that!

Humanizing God

12 Feb

Many Christians discourage humanizing God because it can in some way diminish the supremacy of God as being omnipotent. I disagree with that. And matter of fact I believe that doing so can actually contribute to a clearer understanding of God and biblical principles. Plus if I am made in God’s image and I am in fact a human, there has to be some overlap there.

I’ve found that humanizing God has transformed the way I look at God. I used to be afraid of God, as this ominous figure with a bunch of no’s, cannots and don’ts, who just ruled over me frowning on all the wrong I was doing. I was often afraid of judgement and  started thinking I was being punished for the choices I made. Then I gave God some human character to gain a better understanding.

God loves me. So much so that he wants the best for me. The best. God knows me, even down to my inner-most thoughts. He knows that sometimes in my choices, I settle for less, that I am going to go right when I know that I should go left. But he still gives me free will. In my choices, I have repercussions (both positive and negative). That’s life right? But he does give me the tools to make the wisest, best decisions for me. Those which will further reinforce his love for me. Now sometimes I may make a poor decision and have to face the music. If I had taken heed to God’s guidance perhaps I wouldn’t have experienced the heartache, disappointment, frustration, and hurt. But in the midst of all that, God gives me comfort. Why would a God that love’s me, want me to experience anything but joy?

I am not a master decision maker, but I can say that I have a healthy view of the role of God in my life which has kept me from shying away from my faith when I made a wrong turn or poor choice. It may seem odd to some, but my spiritual relationship is probably one of the healthiest relationships that I have but that is because of my resolve to put human-ness to the God that I believe in.

Dirty Laundry: Good Hair

11 Feb

Good Hair?! My heart almost stopped when I heard a few of my family members use the term. Why? Adults can choose to believe whatever they want about themselves. They can build themselves up or foolishly put themselves down by superficial traits such as hair texture, but it is serious issue when we transfer our warped vision to children.

Aren’t children in and of themselves beautiful just because of their innocence and unadulterated will to be happy and joyous; untainted by life’s criticisms? You can’t tell me that the hair texture is a determining factor in that. And it shouldn’t be. There should be no separation and discrimination based on the tightness of curl in hair just like there shouldn’t be a differentiation based on skin color. In a world where people are fixated on labeling in order to categorize a person to then decide how to deal with them, we do not need to place additional labels on ourselves that create division.

Whether Afro Puffs, tendrils, braids, waves, silky, kinky, nappy,curly, or bone straight all hair has its good and bad days and in whatever state it chooses to take on or be put in, it is beautiful. In these modern times, we need to focus more energy on the things that truly matter and since we have yet to hear that someone’s graduation rate or college acceptance was based on their hair, we have more important aspects of our community that deserves our attention.

Confidence Saves

20 Jan
English: Algenist in Sephora window

Image via Wikipedia

It pays to have confidence. Or better yet, it saves!

As an avid patron of the beauty industry there are certain things I swear by when it comes to beauty products like Vaseline and Cocoa Butter Stick, but on one particular day I was paying a visit to Sephora in order to replace my a must have in my beauty arsenal. As usual the beauty consultant asked me if I was looking for anything specific or had any questions and I actually did. However it was more of a technical question about ingredients more than anything else. After about 30 minutes I left the store with a suggested regimen to address a ton of skin concerns that I didn’t even have upon entering the store. This list of suggested products was about double, if not triple the price of what I use now. I mean the woman even created issues that didn’t exist. I so badly wanted to ask her how old she thought I was only as a means to demonstrate that whatever I was using was apparently working because she like so many others, mistook me for younger than I actually am.

What I realized is that this industry is part of the machine that tells us we have an issue and must purchase something to fix it. Even if what we have, isn’t truly an issue (like my freckles!). What we need to do (especially as women) is be confident in our own machinery so that we don’t internalize problems that aren’t even there to begin with. We have enough to worry about and the necessity to exfoliate with papaya enzymes so that we defy age isn’t worth the worry and rarely, the price.

“Mirror Mirror”

7 Nov
Finger pointing

Image via Wikipedia

I have a hard time calling people on their crap. Partly because I question if that is truly my responsibility and I’d rather conserve my energy for something else with the better odds of return on my time investment. Now, this wouldn’t be so much of an issue if their baggage and missteps didn’t often become mine. The irony is however, that people do not exercise such caution with me.

I am no stranger to feedback. Thanks to those around me I now know that I am arrogant, stubborn, stuck-up, concise, stingy, too-quiet, conservative, at times loose-lipped, while disguised as the victim. After being on the receiving end of a verbal dumping I am often left to my devices as to how I am going to address all these observed flaws. And yes, these are my family and friends (Lord knows what my enemies would say).

But I often wonder, why people are so comfortable knocking you down, but don’t equally extend the effort to build you up. Or at least give you the blueprints to do so.

Here’s why: If people stay distracted, they can neglect their own issues long enough to forget them. They are no more a picture of human perfection than you are. They’re just hoping that while they are giving you your critic’s notes, that you will not notice. That’s not to say, that points of accountability from others are to be dismissed; I have learned a lot about myself, my intentions vs other’s perceptions of me as well as how pivotal it is to truly know myself, so that I can define myself and grow comfortable in defending that definition. I just also know, that I am not alone in this. So as opposed to beating myself up, I can take it all with a wink and a strut as I go to work!

“Who You Calling A B**CH?!”

28 Aug

I’m sorry, but maybe I am getting old! When did it become okay for women to use the word B**CH as a term of endearment. For so long it seems as if women were fighting against the title, now some of us claim it with pride?! I’ve heard ladies declare, “I’m a bad B**CH” on several occasions and every time it troubles me. For a few reasons. First, because I have a tremendous respect for words and the power they hold. Second because if you choose to refer to yourself as a B**CH, aren’t you granting permission to men to do it as well? How can you cop an attitude with a guy for calling you a B**CH if you pride yourself on being one? Doesn’t seem like you have much grounds for a fight there…
Not trying to knock anyone (just make you think), if you were in fact all that, wouldn’t you use a thesaurus and find an edifying word minus the negative connotation that builds your ego without sacrificing your self-esteem?

Generational Divide

26 Aug

I’m starting to accept that there will always be a divide between generations. For eons, the youth have been blamed for the separation due to our “colorful language” and taste in music and clothes (among other superficial details), but I beg to differ.
I find that in many cases, it is our elders that perpetuate the divide with their preconceived notions that they are hopelessly dedicated to, while convincing themselves that we are selfish, egotistical brats with no respect for the past or our predecessors. The main issue I see is that our elders are set on lumping us all into one “ungrateful” group despite our individual differences. Where we as the youth have been raised to shun and defy labels, they are determined and in some way dependent on those labels in order to grasp this generation of people that they do not understand. I had to accept this as evidence when my grandmother compared me to my older cousin who outside of us being related, shares very little in common with me.
In no way do I think the youth of today are asking our elders to embrace all that we are without understanding it, I certainly am not trying to force my beliefs and existence on my parents or those before them. I just want the respect in acknowledging the possibility. The possibility that in youth there is this natural resistance to the status quo and a longing for understanding and acceptance of our desire to be individuals. This does not however compromise all of our reasoning or intellect. 

Regardless how the music has changed, we are no different from previous generations in that we all march to the beat of our own drum and rarely feel like we have to explain our reason for doing so. Instead of being treated like social deviants, all we want is to be understood and the first step to that is accepting that despite our generational divide, we all want the same in the end because we are all people (despite age). Our methods of attaining such may differ, but the basic needs do not differ from those of our elders.

Stranger in a Family

22 Aug

It’s a shame to wake up and realize that you are in a family where very few actually “know” you. You know, the true you? Not just what they want to believe about you or who they want you to be. I’ve realized lately that a lot of us take for granted that we are in families with actual individuals, that even though you may share the same bloodline or genetic predisposition or last name that you in fact are unique personalities that if left up to chance, can be misunderstood.

I find myself here a lot lately and as much as I want to blame those in my family, I also have dropped the ball, assuming that they will share with me all that I need to know. The truth is they don’t. But neither do I. I am waiting for them to seek and find, afraid of doing the opposite and being labeled a spotlight hound. We all need to take a more active role in our families, me included; if I want to be loved and appreciated for who I truly am, that is…

Let Me Out

19 Aug

I may live in the suburbs, doesn’t mean I’m blind to the plight of others.

I’m a woman, doesn’t mean I blame my attitude on PMS.

I’m beautiful, but it doesn’t mean that I am shallow, and just because I straighten my hair doesn’t mean I’m not proud to be Black.

I’m intelligent, but that doesn’t mean that I think I know everything.

I’ve made poor choices, but that doesn’t mean I am lost.

I know which fork to use and when as well as where to place it when I am done, but that doesn’t make me bourgeois.

I speak my mind, doesn’t mean I’m not open to other perspectives.

I’m a romantic, but that doesn’t make me hopeless.

I’m a Christian, but not damning others to hell.

I love fashion, but not thriving off materialism.

I appreciate my body, doesn’t mean I’m obsessed with my image.

I’m liberated and liberal, but that doesn’t make me a freak.

I love hip hop and tattoos, but that doesn’t take away from my refinement nor make me rebellious.

I defy labels because they’re unnecessary in getting to the core of me. They won’t aid in the understanding of my behavior, my thoughts, or the woman I am. Labels limit me and I’m not one for impediments on my growth. I’m determined to prosper until my last breath and I’ll be damned if I let man put a finite cap on who I can become.

“The Blame Game”

15 Aug
Jungle Fever

Image via Wikipedia

“You Black women have issues. That’s why I’m gonna start dating women from another race!”

Sounds ridiculous, right? Well I’ve actually heard that on a few occasions and each time my response is laughter followed by a barrage of questions (due to my naturally inquisitive nature).

Don’t get me wrong, I can understand the frustration. Us women feel it too at times, but the threat of dating outside of your race as a solution to your “problem” just seems ludicrous to me. Well first, because if certain members of my family hadn’t made the choice to date/marry outside of their race, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be short some family members and some of my friends wouldn’t exist. So the statement alone doesn’t present a threat to me. It also doesn’t upset me that these men want to date interracially, I am more upset at their immaturity. Boys blame their issues on others, not men. So essentially these guys are throwing their toys down and stomping off because they cannot get their way.  Instead of looking at the specific situation and individuals involved, and taking accountability for the role they played in their sour circumstance, they would rather play the blame game.

THAT’S THE ISSUE!

Successful relationships are made up of two mature adults. You can date anyone from any race and at the end of the day you would run into the same issue because the problem doesn’t lie with the women, it lies within you and possibly your choices (because it is a possibility that the “women” you are choosing may be the problem). Work on that first, and you’d probably increase your success rate.