Listen and Read along
Last Wednesday evening, naked and wrapped in my favorite cream colored comforter, I let out a wail so deep inside I didn’t even know it existed.
It was a cosmic and euphoric cry.
All the matter had combined and compounded into a nucleus that I could not ignore.
It started the day before from a voice note from my sister Derrika. She said, “You don’t know how much you model for people that the life they desire is possible. You don’t know the magnitude of how you inspire people to move out of fear.”
I spontaneously uttered an emotional cry, “Thank you. It is lonely”
So often, I feel alone.
Constantly, I feel alone as I make my way through this life creating images and visions of what I know my destiny and the destiny of the people that look to me for leadership will be.
In constant pursuit of progress in community work, in the lives of women, in career, in business, in relationship, in motherhood.
It is exhausting and lonely af. I had to admit that, as much as I provide safe space for others.
I too need safe space. Safe space that is outside of myself.
People and places I can be my full-self with shadows and pain. I didn’t realize over the last year how much I had been carrying and just overwhelmed, until my sister Kaneisha reminded me that Wednesday evening. And right there propped up, naked on my blue and white pillows that’s where the wailing began.
I had no idea how tough it would be to create the life I wanted to live. How much I would have to let go of. How much I would have to see. How much I would have to endure. How much I would have to protect others at the expense of my mf self.
And I’d do it all over again and again and again.
I’d do it again if that means helping someone else know that they are not alone and equipping them with the resources they need.
I ain’t nobody’s martyr. But, I’d put myself on the line again and again to do what’s right for people I am responsible for. I am passionate and purposeful. There is not a thing I do in this life without intention.
And yet as I am responsible for others, my first responsibility must also be to myself. This is a lesson I have learned repeatedly.
To be a leader and a visionary it will cost you something or everything.
If you ever get a chance, watch the film King in the Wilderness, it focuses on the last 18 months of Martin Luther King, Jr’s life. The man, the fear, the questions, the shadows, the loneliness and even the visible shakes. King as outlined in the documentary rightfully struggled with his mental health and capacity.
And in no way am I comparing myself to King, but I can understand an inkling to the weight of the long game of life. King died at 39. And yet I have every possible reason to believe if not murdered King would have inevitably died earlier from the stress and cancer of this life.
Of being Black, of being human, of being whole in a nation that does not love you back.
To be in isolation, alone and afraid will kill you.
To hear from God and to provide a framework for change requires purposeful separation. You can’t hang around folks like you used to. I wish someone would have told me that.
Being Black in any community is exhausting af.
Sometimes I get weary. But, I don’t quit.
I often get into these hard cycles of life where I overwork and over-perform, cause I don’t know how to do anything except excellence. And then I want to run away and be done.
What I have learned is to feel and communicate the pain. And show up with solutions to make a change.
I have days where that does not feel like enough.
Where I feel tired because this community Black and white and everything in between gives you their a— to kiss over and over again. Where there is divisiveness and complaining and no matter what you do it never feels like enough. No matter how many resources and tools you’ve given, folks don’t want change. But, I will myself differently, into thinking maybe, just maybe the whole is not the sum of its parts.
And more often than not I get sick to my stomach all over again from the spews of negativity, of malice and hate.
I get weary of the juxtaposition of being Black, of being woman, of being in the system to make a change and yet only seeing tiny particles of hope at reconstruction.
I have no doubt in my mind you’ve got to be in and a part of a system to dismantle it. You’ve got to play the short- and long- game. And yet I cannot play these cute lil respectable games. I cannot be a scapegoat. I cannot be a punching bag. I cannot be vindictive and viscous like I have seen others do. That is ego and that is self-serving. And I work entirely too hard in keeping mine in check on a daily basis.
All I want to know is how I can be a part of the solution to get it resolved.
I am tired.
My soul is tired, y’all.
I can’t take no more harm.
We can’t do any more harm.
We can’t take any more harm.
As I affirm for you, I also affirm for myself. Don’t compromise. Don’t compromise you.
Find people and places where you can let your guard down and fill you back up.
There are results in rest. There are radical thoughts and action, waiting for you in rest.
There is God in rest.
There is God in restoration.
Sometimes I get weary, but I will get there with you.