Good Afternoon y’all, it’s Tuesday, we’ll Taco Tuesday in my world, but how are y’all doing on this beautiful day. You should be blessed because again you rose this morning and that’s a blessing for real. No matter what you have been through or what you gone go through this week. Trust the process.
I know some of us like the end result more than we like the process, but the process makes you who you are. It shows what you are capable of producing, it shows your strength and your ability to produce greatness amid challenges. Trust the process, even when you can’t immediately see the beauty of the finished product. Don’t give up and don’t give in, it gets greater later.
I’ve experienced moments where shit was looking kinda ugly, but I kept going through the process because no matter what I go through, I can’t give up. I was weary of the journey, but so happy to reach the destination because then, I knew I made it through and I accomplished that goal, I received that degree, I published that book and I started that business. I achieved that level of happiness and peace that I strived to achieve because I trusted the process even when shit didn’t look clear to me.
So, when you get weary on your journey, remember where you are tryna go and that you will eventually get there, you just gotta keep going and trust the process!
When you’re driven by fear, let ya faith take the wheel and you will get far even if you find yourself lost along your journey. It happens, just don’t get out of the car, keep riding till you make it to where you are tryna to go in life. Detours and roadblocks will try to deter you from making it to the other side of the road, but there’s always another path you can take to get there.
There were so many times, I’ve been on my journey to finding my purpose and found myself feeling lost and unsure of what path to take, but when I let go of fear and let faith step in, I kept on going. And guess what? I eventually made it and it felt damn good knowing that I didn’t let little challenges or obstacles stop me because I knew I had somewhere to be and if I needed my designated driver(my faith)to get me there, I moved on out the way and let faith do its thang. Don’t give up on your journey, even when you’re filled with uncertainty on how to get to where you are going, let your faith take the wheel and just get there!
How is it that you can believe in someone else’s greatness, yet you don’t even know them from a can a paint? Out here rooting louder for them than you do yourself.
Is it that you don’t know yourself well enough to know that you are great? Or is that you don’t have enough faith in your ability to produce greatness because you fail a few times along the way?
I mean, did you fall that hard, that you got amnesia or something because what you’ve been through and overcame, you should know you great even when the world doesn’t know. You better show up and show out even when you are filled with fear and doubt. Because again you are great!
After losing my job of 3 yrs, being on unemployment for a year, losing my unemployment benefits and a car, and on top of that not having any income for 4 months, I found myself going through an emotional breakdown. I was worried about how I was going to pay my bills, how I was going to pay my rent, and everything in between. And In good ol’ human fashion, I couldn’t seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel because I was constantly focused on the challenges that seemed to come from every angle.
Life is nothing more than a lesson.
Study the challenges of your life and find the answers to overcoming those challenges. Take the knowledge you’ve acquired through past life experiences and the knowledge you have gotten from the word and use it to get through difficult tests of life.
Life is nothing more than a never-ending lesson that you are supposed to learn and grow from to excel to the next level. So it shouldn’t be a surprise when we are presented with tests of life because that’s a part of the course. I truly believe You only fail when you lose hope in your ability to get through and you give up.
Now, will it be easy, no and will some tests be harder than others to get through, yes, but give your all and do your best. And never give up, take what you have learned and apply it to each lesson you encounter because you have a skill that will help you along your journey.
You have what it takes, you just gotta use IT and IT is the resiliency that lies within you. It wouldn’t be a life lesson if you didn’t learn from it, and you didn’t gain something out of it. Whether you want to believe it or not, you get something valuable out of your struggles. And that’s the skills to go through something and make it out. Now let’s face our tests of life like we have been studying all night for Ms. Washington’s algebra test in the morning.
Question: Do you look at your struggles as valuable experiences.
I’ll never forget the conversation I had with one of my older cousins where I referenced that I felt alone and her response was, “ you ain’t alone, you just ain’t got nothing to do”. Now, this response may have gone over my head in that moment or anyone else’s head who may have been expecting her to say something different. I know it may have gone over my head because she referred to my loneliness as a result of me not having something to do rather than not having someone around.
Even if that wasn’t the response I wanted to hear, it was the response I needed to hear and that is why, out of everything she may have said to me on that phone call, this statement seemed to stick with me the most, especially in those moments where I felt myself feeling “lonely”. It’s like every time I felt myself going into “lonely” mode, this statement would suddenly pop in my head and I would realize that I needed to find something to do and quick. I mean quick like when your mother told you to go find you something to do before you get hurt and you got out of her way as fast as possible quick.
Being able to reflect on this statement, made me realize that my feelings of loneliness didn’t stem from not having someone in my presence because I could be in a room filled with people and still feel this sense of loneliness. I could even be laying next to my significant other and still feel lonely as hell. It’s because my loneliness stemmed from a lack of fulfillment and not living in my purpose. Simply put, I was not doing what it is I should be doing to fulfill that sense of loneliness, and the conversation I had with my cousin helped me put this in perspective. Therefore, I’m sharing this story with you to help shed light on those feelings of loneliness you may be experiencing at this moment.
I encourage you to find your peace, your joy, and your fulfillment to eliminate those feelings of loneliness and the best way to do that is by finding you something to do and quick. Also, realize that sometimes solitude and being alone is necessary to focus on what it is you need to be doing for yourself, and loneliness isn’t cured by having someone around. You can have company and still feel misery, but be alone and have immeasurable peace. So take the time to reflect on what you need to move along your journey peacefully and purposefully.
How do you not live a bitter life when you have experienced your own share of loss and hurt?
Last weekend, I attended the home-going service of a very special woman to me, Valerie who touched the hearts of every person she had ever met because of her beautiful spirit. You wouldn’t know from the way she carried herself that she too experienced her share of loss, hurt, and pain at an early age. However, after reading her obituary, I learned that she too lost her parents at a very early age, just like I did, but the way she lived her life, you wouldn’t know that was her story.
She lost her mom immediately after she was born and as a result, she ended up having to live with other family members, just like I did, but again, the way she lived her life, you wouldn’t know the negative effects she may have experienced from losing both parents because of how positive, encouraging and hopeful she was. I rarely saw her get mad, she was always so mild-mannered and filled with joy even though she grew up in this world without the two most important people in her life too. This never seemed to interfere with her ability to connect with people and build meaningful relationships. Even though she didn’t get the chance to develop an attachment and bond with her parents during her infant and childhood years, it didn’t appear that she had an issue with building healthy and long-lasting relationships, as I did. Usually, they say that children who fail to develop a bond with their parents or caregivers end up having issues with connecting with others and developing healthy relationships.
As I continued to read her story, reflect on the person she was and how everybody who knew her, knew she lit up a room with her radiant spirit. I asked myself, how did she not appear to live a bitter life? Although, I didn’t know what other challenges she may have faced along her life journey. Nor did I know what living without her parents meant to her. I knew for me, losing my parents affected me in more ways than one and it kinda made me develop a bitter spirit at times because there was this void in my life that I couldn’t seem to shake. I asked myself again, how did this woman not live a bitter life? How was it that, I never picked up on a sense of resentment or pity in her demeanor even though she never got to experience what it’s like to be with her parents?
Seeing the way she lived her life and the way she made others feel and the way others felt about her, inspired me to want to live life like her, bitter-free, loved, and loving to myself and others. To be honest, I felt like losing my parents and experiencing a multitude of hurt and pain along the way, caused me to fail to love myself and others properly. However, that didn’t seem to be the case for Ms. Valerie and it was evident by the way she treated others with love, kindness and care.
Although she was truly a southern belle at heart due to her upbringings in the South, she was just so graceful and hospitable to others and again, I just wanted to know how did she not develop a bitter spirit? Because the bitterness that I developed from losing my parents at an early age hindered me from connecting with others and truly being the joyful and calm person I wanted to be and know I was destined to be. That is why I was dying to know how Valerie didn’t let the traumatic experience of losing her parents diminish her and keep her from still being a loving person? I wanted to know because I needed to know what I needed to do to stop living a life of bitterness, so that at the age of 53, I wouldn’t still have a bitter heart that I’d leave this earth with due to the hurt and pain I’d experienced and never healed from at an early age.
So how does one not live a bitter life after experiencing pain and loss? I say choose to live a life like my good friend Valerie, carefree, bitter free with the ability to love and be loved even when you have experienced, loss, hurt, and pain.
What does depression look like on black women and girls? Hmmm....interesting question, seeing that a lot of us seem to battle with depression on a daily, yet don’t even know that we are because those feelings of sadness, unworthiness, and hopelessness have somehow become a part of who we are and how we feel to the point we start believing that we are deserving of those feelings.
Oh and let’s not forget how easily those feelings get overlooked and swept under the rug by the very women, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers around us who have once struggled with these feelings, yet had those same feelings dismissed the very moment they were told this certain phrase, “Oh you will be fine, stop that crying girl, you gotta put ya big girl panties on and be strong”.
Taking those very words and using them to dress up all the hurt, pain, and feelings they’ve been forced to hide and disguise on the outside. All the while, they are hurting inside and there’s this deep, dark space within them that feels like a void that no matter what they do or who they do, it never seems to fill that void. Well, I know too well about that empty, deep, and dark space that we try to disguise and dress up to keep from looking a certain way to the world because I’ve been known to get up and throw on my best “I’m Fine Attire”.
Every day, I get my melanated self out of bed, even though I don’t want to, and I put on my bestest; I know that’s not a word, but I put on my finest “I’m Fine Attire” that only us “strong black women and girls” know how to rock so well and I face those daily challenges awaiting my arrival. Just like countless other black women I know who get up every day and fight through the hurt, the mistreatment, the pain, the challenges, and the abuse that evoke feelings of hopelessness, I show no trace of what I have been through because I learned to put on my finest, “I’m Fine Attire” and struggle with faith and grace.
Now, what does depression look like in Black Women/girls, you ask? Well, I’d say it seems to disguise itself in such a way it’s often misunderstood, overlooked, thrown under the rug, and misinterpreted as anger when it’s deeper than meets the eye. Yes, It’s deeper than meets the eye that is why it is often overlooked because she is supposed to be nothing short of slayed and snatched in her best” I’m Fine Attire”.
And honey, Fashionova ain’t got nothing on this fit here because this fit right here is priceless, it can’t be duped and not everyone can make it look as good as my Strong Black Women do because it’s not for everybody. You want to know why? Because not every woman can say she was forced to watch her husband be snatched away from their family, told to keep it together, and left to fend for themselves and their family, yet still able to remain graceful and strong in the face of fear.
Not every woman can say she was raped and degraded because of the color of her skin, the features of her face, and the curves in her body with no regard to the effects this abuse has on generations before and after her.
So what does depression look like in black girls/Women?
It looks like a young woman forced to figure it out on her own as she is faced with raising her child(ren) on her own because the man she chose to put her trust in, left her to fend for not only herself but her child as well.
You still want to know what depression in Black Women and girls looks like? It looks like the young girl who was told all her life how ugly she was because of the darkness of her skin, the kinkiness of her hair, and the uniqueness of her features, which sets her apart from those who are considered the standard of beauty.
Oh, are you still confused as to what depression looks like in black women and girls?
Well, it looks like the young lady who is searching to be loved, so she gives her all to any and everything just to receive nothing in return but heartache and pain, which now affects how she interacts with the world. If you are still unsure about what depression looks like in black girls and women, it looks like the young lady who is afraid to be her self, so she acts out of character because she fears being judged and misunderstood by those who fail to understand her.
Now for everybody who still doesn’t know what depression looks like in black women and girls, it looks like the young lady who has been constantly told to “get over it, you will get through this” when deep down inside she is feeling like giving up, but she knows she can’t because she gotta remain tough.
The truth is black women and girls you will make it through and it won’t be easy, you are going to cry, you are going to get angry and you might even want to move some furniture. You might even lose yourself in the process, but you will get through it, even though you might have to put on your best “I’m Fine Attire” sometimes.
Know this, it is okay if you don’t always want to dress up those feelings you are feeling because the healing starts when you realize that you won’t always have it together.
When do you put on your best, I’m Fine Attire?
With everything you do in life it should be done with purpose in mind. You should never just be out here doing anything with no reason or desired outcome in mind.
Unfortunately, there are so many people out here just existing in pain and not living in purpose. Don’t let that be you. Think about one thing you can do today that could get you closer to living in your purpose and do it. Good Day Good People!
Today’s topic is one of those topics birthed through a sudden thought that ran through my head and then immediately into my phone. I was hesitant to speak on this topic due to how controversial the discussion could be, but as a writer, speaker, and business person, I know controversy comes with the game. I just gotta be prepared and mindful of my reactions.
With that being said, I want to talk about learned behaviors turned into generational cycles and curses. More specifically, as it relates to the dynamics of black women and their relationship experiences and how it differs from white women’s.
Growing up, I can’t lie; I never saw what a real relationship looked like, my grandmother wasn't married to my grandfather, my mom wasn't married to my dad, and my aunt never seemed to be in a genuine relationship, more like a partnership/business. These were the first three women I had to look up to and learn from, so don’t fault me.
Let me stop playing, these are some strong women tho, but like most of the women around me they weren't married and if they did get married, they were in very dysfunctional relationships, even if it appeared normal to them.
So again, I never really seen what a loving, committed, happy and cohesive union looked like because my grandmother treated my grandad pretty bad and made it clear he was nothing more than the father of her child, which she barely respected him as that.
Now my aunt, I never saw her disrespect a man or vice versa; however, I never saw her show love, compassion, or care in any of her relationships.
Then I grew up not really knowing how to be in a relationship, yet yearning to be in one that wasn’t so full of dysfunction, but filled with love like the ones in the movies. Then I started dating, and it suddenly felt like I’d never be able to experience such love because it seemed unreal, unobtainable, and definitely not meant for me to experience, especially being a black woman.
Just talking about this makes me think about all the many other black women who have grown up subconsciously adopting learned behaviors and attitudes they’ve watched the women around them display because what they’ve observed appeared to be normal.
Like that young girl who has witnessed her mother scream on countless occasions, “ni**as ain't shit, yet turns around and let an ain't shit ni**a lay up on her with no job, no respect or care for her. I mean, how conflicting is that for a child who is soaking up everything and learning as she goes?
Very because those same young girls, if they haven’t learned the proper way to love and be loved, end up going down the same path as they step into womanhood.
Now, I know white people have their set of relationship issues as well, and white women are susceptible to the same experiences and not all black women are doomed in the relationship area. However, statistics show that black women have the lowest marriage rate, and that has to account for something. Plus damn near every black women I know struggle in the relationship department.
From the time little Sarah starts walking, her mother speaks a good husband into little Sarah’s future, saying, ”One day you are going to be the most beautiful bride to an awesome husband.”
Not to mention, little Sarah also grew up in a two-parent home, and any drama between her parents was out of sight and out of mind, so yea, her idea of a relationship may be based off of a little CAP. They still modeled what a husband and wife dynamic should look like, and she is good to go.
Now my good sister, little Tisha on the other hand, grew up watching her mother scream,” Ni**as ain't shit, and you” ll never find a good man out here, they all dogs” as she struggles with sustaining a committed and stable relationship.
I believe the differences can be attributed to cultural differences, learned behaviors and a few other things outside of our control, like the effects of slavery on the black family.
However, we wonder why so many black
women develop these self-destructive behaviors and distorted thoughts, it’s because it’s learned behavior that they’ve subconsciously perceived to be normal. How can she believe that she’ll one day find a respectable, loving man who will make her his wife if that’s not the narrative she knows. Or If she’s been taught that she”ll never get a good man.
With positive influences and the determination to break the cycle, her point of view and her mentality can change. She can learn how to love the most important person that she should have learned how to love first and that’s self.
How were relationships modeled in your family dynamic? Did you have healthy relationships modeled growing up? When do you feel like you learned what healthy relationships looked like? If you haven’t, I want to know your thoughts about healthy relationships as well.
Verlisa is a writer who has a passion for encouraging others through her story.
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