Tuesday, September 30, 2008
What is it about these three giant words that terrifies folks? There seems to be a rule book...albeit a very misinforming and gripping rule book out there that sets the guidelines for our loveships. I have heard people say to me, I can't possibly tell him I love him, He will have the upper hand. Or I can't be first telling her that I love her. Or my personal favorite It's too soon. I need to wait. On first glance these seem reasonable. No one wants to be vulnerable. Maybe you are unsure as to how the other person feels or maybe you just met them a few months/days/years ago and time seems like a good measure for how things progress before you utter those life changing words. I advocate for choosing love over fear. If you feel love, know love and believe love, then say, act, do LOVE.
Love is the one thing EVERY ONE wants, but we are ALL cowards in our war on love. So we go about withholding our love...RATIONING LOVE because to give it away is too costly. Now I am not suggesting that we just throw love around casually or am I? I mean we share our bodies casually. We think nothing of engaging in illicit sexual acts with strangers...not friends mind you, who care about us. We happily lay down with folks who DO NOT LOVE US...but love the act of sex. We easily explain away the casualness of casual sex and we trip, fumble and fall in getting and keeping loveships. We convince ourselves that we are saving our love for that special someone. We don't hold our bodies in high regard as we do our hearts. We do not connect love and sex, we act like they are not connected. We can have one without the other. But why would you want to? I am asking myself this. This is not a judgement. I am working this out...connecting the dots in my own life because I am realizing, I am not a casual woman. I thought I could be. I tried to be. I am not. I am a woman made for love. Aren't we all people made for love? If not then we have lots of work to do!
If we disconnect ourselves from love so easily to share our bodies, then why can't we love folks before bodies even touch? I ask again, what is it about love and saying I love you that costs us so much that we are willing to deny ourselves and the world around us the very thing that brings peace, joy and happiness to our world?
I am giving up disconnecting love and sex. I am no longer interested in one without the other. So my celibacy continues. I am holding out for love. I am apologizing to myself for trying to compromise my heart and body.
I am done rationing LOVE.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Is anything really over? Yes. But some things remain. They remain because we have to grow better in our humanity, and we have to learn love. When one relationships is over and done it does not mean every relationship in your life ends. Nor does it mean you will never get another loveship. Now if you do not grow and look at your role in the demise of the relationship. Guess what? You will get the same relationship again until you learn the lesson. Sometimes you do things right and the lesson is saying you are doing things right with the wrong mate.
Life lessons are maps to move us forward. To get us to be in the moment. To enjoy the here and now. And to see who we fully are.
I hold no illusions about who I am. I maybe a queen, but I am no princess. I have weathered storms. I have loved. I have learned some lessons that got me right here right now. I am in love with the woman I am. I know the lessons in front of me are teaching me how to be more of myself in the grandest way.
Friday, September 26, 2008
My faith is a deep and abiding that carries me. Sustains me. Heals me. Nourishes me. When someone believes something different that I, I do not think or say they are wrong. I am actually interested in learning about why they believe what they believe. I am convinced that we are more connected through God. I love the study of the divine and I am still on the fence about applying to the Yale Divinity School. They have been gracious in accommodating my restless spirit.
I know what God has done in my life. I am a living breathing miracle. I have overcome much and I remain joyful and happy to greet the day. Thank you is the last words I say at night and the first thing I say in the morning.
I keep the faith. In the darkest hour. In the grandest celebrations. Even in my own ignorance. In my own shortcomings. In love. I keep the faith.
God IS. I Believe.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Have a little blog fun!
You Are 2: The Helper
You always put on a happy face and try to help those around you.
You're incredibly empathetic and care about everyone you know.
Able to see the good in others, you're thoughtful, warm, and sincere.
You connect with people who are charming and charismatic.
At Your Best: You are deeply giving, altruistic, and humble. You devote your life to others while caring for yourself too.
At Your Worst: You are manipulative and enjoy making other people guilty.
Your Fixation: Rejection
Your Primary Fear: Being unworthy of love
Your Primary Desire: To be loved unconditionally
Other Number 2's: Mother Teresa, John Travolta, Princess Diana, Dr. Phil, and Mr. Rogers.
I know that when I want to stay stuck, I wallow in the thing that is causing me grief. I go back to the perceived injustice and think it through over and over and over again. And if that wasn't enough I will talk it over with my "True Love" friends until I am sick of hearing my own voice. By this point the light bulb turns on and I realize that I can make a choice here. That I should just shut the fuck-up about the perceived injustice and keep it moving. Dwelling on the thing, event, person, situation, does not bring clarity. It only makes me STUCK. And when I am stuck there is no chance for other things, people, events, situations to move in or out of my life...DUH!
I am no martyr. I do not like suffering. But sometimes I get in my own way and I hang on to pain way too long. As if there is something noble about suffering. I prefer to be happy...even in the face of adversity. Even in the face of loss and grief and pain...I prefer to be happy. Happiness is not about time put in, or time spent. Happiness is about being. Being in this moment in way that allows you to see who you are right now. To accept and revere the blessings right now. There is no better time to be blessed, happy, joyful and in love than right now.
...LOVE waits on welcome, not on time....A Course in Miracles
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I have been an athlete my entire life...except for the last 12 years. The last 12 years I grew complacent. I settled into this weight like a bear settling in for winter hibernation. I got by on, well I wear clothes that flatter, or I am tall. Yes I am all those things and FAT.
So I am taking this on again. Not in a whining way, or a beat myself up sort of way. But in a gentle, focused and loving way. Yes I said I would not talk about weight ever again. But how can I not. There is a small voice in me that says...unhappiness. Carrying the weight is really carrying unhappiness.
So I am taking cues from my beautiful blog Sisters Go Bytch, Sharon and Flutter. No, I am not putting my self on Youtube like Sister Sharon, nor am I going to photograph my progress like Flutter. I will keep running posts as updates from now until my 46th birthday, May 2, 2009.
I am giving up beer and wine and tequila. Will have some for Thanksgiving and Christmas and Champagne for New Year's. I have started a Mindful Meditation class that meets every Friday from 9-11 am for the next 8 weeks. I am going to the gym every morning after I do my carpooling. I am putting myself at the top of my list. No one will suffer. Children will be taken care of as always and their needs will not be neglected. I must however make a commitment to myself.
I am my gift.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Saturday was my brother's wedding, but it was as much my coming out day as well. I looked amazing. I had a gorgeous purple and lavender silk dress that complimented my beautiful skin, I wore 4 inch stiletto sling-back shoes that made my legs look like Tina Turner's...yes those high heels were magical...and painful. I had great jewelry, my make-up was flawless, my smile was 1000 watts. I was runway FINE! I knew it and I felt it. My positive energy was such that I could feel people drawn into me. I could feel people wanting to be near me. I haven't felt that way in a long time. Saturday I truly felt like myself and everyone around me knew it. I was owning my sexy. I was owning my glam and I was owning my grown womaness.
It is nice for anyone to think you are beautiful, or lovely or nice or kind. I have to come to realize that it is my honest opinion of myself that raises myself esteem. I can be my own worst critic or my own biggest fan. It is a choice. I can get caught up in thinking I am not beautiful enough, or I can accept my beauty right now. It is a choice. I can get caught up in thinking if only I was thinner and put off doing things waiting for the weight to drop or I can live my best life right now. It is a choice.
Best line I heard from a guy at the reception " You have a smile that can change a man's life" Shoot! How can you not get high off that!
My brother Bob-O's wedding was FABULOUS! He looked beautiful, the bride was stunning, the day was lovely. I will post my photos later in the week.
Friday, September 12, 2008
I am hosting my favorite cousin Dennis and his beautiful wife and two beautiful daughters from Winston-Salem, NC.
I will be back after all the celebrations have ceased! Oh and I will have photos!
Oh, yes, I started my mindful meditation class today. Thanks Aunt Jackie for whispering to me...it has made a difference already.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I had the distinct pleasure as serving as Police Commissioner too. Being an advocate for the men and women who serve our police force was one that I am most proud of. Everyday these brave and courageous men and women put on that Blue uniform and go out to serve and protect. That is admirable.
My commitment to community has been a wide range of services From running a rape crisis hotline, to serving meals to the sick and shut-in with HIV/AIDS, to working with women and families who were safely tucked away because of domestic violence. I have served on various local and national Boards for organizations committed to children issues, family issues and community building issues.
I must say I am most proudest of my commitment to community, church and neighborhood. These are the pillars that sustain me and keep my spirit afloat.
Friday, I will finish posting some of my successes. My life is amazing...extraordinary. It is easy to lose sight of the things that are important as you get caught up in all the things you have done wrong in your life. Sometimes the price you pay is too high...or too too much. The gift is holding your head UP and being present in this moment. There are no do-overs! The past is behind you. We know this, and yet we dwell...get stuck on what was and then turn them into what ifs.
I am celebrating this life and owning my successes as I bear witness to the losses.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
When we thought I was pregnant and found out that I was not, we were profoundly sad. So sad that we began thinking that children might be in our future. I starting jumping through infertility hoops. I mean so much time had passed since the orginal prognosis of infertility. I was no longer a kid. Medical technology had come a long way. Maybe. I had two surgeries to try to repair the uterus. I had tumors removed. I did the shots. I did the turkey baster and the sperm. You name it we did it. At the same time my husband(soon-to-be EX) suggested we look at adoption. The minute he said it, it was like the universe just opened up. The One Church One Child program was looking to recruit African-American families to adopt African-American children. We completed the course and became certified parents. Within weeks we started looking at children. Our first daughter arrived when she just turned 3 years old, Briana Lorraine (Lorraine is my Sister's name). We lavished her with all our love for 2 years before Margeaux arrived. Before Margeaux arrived I went to see another infertility specialist, who gave me a 2% chance of getting pregnant. We tried it all again. Finally I said enough. I dropped the remaining infertility drugs off to my Doctor to donate. By the time I got home that afternoon, we got a call about a newborn....we named her Margeaux Helena, after my Mom and my mother-in-law.
Next came Khalil Ross...named after his Father...my ex--it is his Muslim name and his English middle name, then Gregory Lockhart...Lockhart is my brother's middle name--one that is traced back to the time of slavery through our father and grand-father and great-grandfather and so on. Each child has their own story of abuse and abandonment. Stories that no child should have to experience.
It has been a joy that cannot be put into words. It is love that I have longed to have. I have found myself in these 4 children. They have saved my life and given me purpose and a fearlessness that I did not have before. I wanted more children. But that dream is quickly fading. I could if I had the means, adopt a couple more children (smile). Every child ought to have a decent and loving home. Every child needs to be loved and protected and cared about. This is my greatest success...providing a safe, and happy environment where they are loved and cared for all the time.
Don't get me wrong everyday is not a picnic. I scream and yell and may say a bad word or two, but at the end of the day I am their mother and they are my children and nothing and no one will harm them while I have breathe in my body. I know when I climb those stairs at night and peek in on each one, tucking covers, picking teddy bears and dolls up, moving books out beds and kissing foreheads, I know that whatever I have done and will do in my life will pale in comparison to raising these 4 amazing children.
So tomorrow I will finish up talking about some of my successes in my life. The effects of doing this is beginning to get me to think differently about who I am. That is a very good thing.
Monday, September 8, 2008
When I wanted to be a reporter for a new Black newspaper here, I just showed up and asked if I could volunteer to help out, to learn. They said yes. Soon I was hired. I loved it. I went to the Democratic National Convention when it was in New York City as Press in 1992. Bill Clinton was the nominee. It would be several years later before I would meet Bill Clinton again. This time I met him in the Oval Office to receive an award.
I once heard a speaker at a NAACP event talking about HIV and AIDS. He asked what will you say when they ask what did you do to help in your lifetime? That question stayed with me for weeks. I went to our AIDS Project and volunteered to deliver meals to people who were sick and shut in. I loved it. I got so involved in coordinating the other drivers and volunteers that they offered me the job of coordinator of the meal delivery program, Caring Cuisine. I grew the volunteer base, got them into a new kitchen with upgrades and raised a little money to do more. They offered me the job of Director of Volunteer Services for the entire agency. I accepted. I created a safe way to intake volunteers. I set up a comprehensive volunteer training program. I got work-study students from Yale. I expanded areas in which folks could volunteer. I ran support groups. And helped raise money.
I was never looking for a job. I just wanted to help, or I wanted the experience. Often I just heard the call and I responded. God has always whispered in my ear. Sometimes I would listen and follow the directions. Sometimes I would not, and would turn away from God's plan.
Looking back at this big life and laying out what I think are my successes has been very illuminating. Thinking about things I haven't thought of in years and years. Remembering times and places and feelings.
There is more...lots more. LOL!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I ran and won Miss United Negro College Fund (UNCF) now this is second only to the Homecoming Queen and each club, sorority and fraternity had their own queens that made up the homecoming Queen's court. As a northern girl, I had no knowledge of all this pageantry until I got to college in the south. Man it was thrilling. Don't ask me how I got rooked into this hoopla. My sophomore year, my then boyfriend/fiancee suggested that I do it. My talent...I recited Nikki Giovanni's poem "Ego Tripping" It was wonderful. So much so our College President created a debate team and a oratory team. Anyway, my photo was in Ebony magazine, I went to NYC to tape the UNCF telethon. I hosted the telethon in my city on our local station and I shot a national psa for UNCF that ran all night long on the telethon.
I was nominated for President of the Student Government Association (SGA). I declined. I said I would run as vice president. My Soror stepped in and we ran together on one ticket. We won. we served 1 two year term. Under our term we had a jammin' homecoming. We booked the SOS Band. Ok keep in mind this is the early 1980's LOL! We hosted a large voter registration drive. We invited Reverend Jessie Jackson and Andrew Young. They came and supported our efforts. I went on a bus trip with Rev Jackson and Andrew Young throughout the south registering voters in rural sourthern states. It was an experience that changed my life and got me squarely on the road to public service.
While in College, I directed my first and only play. A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry. It was an amazing thing. We built a set---by real contractors, we auditioned students, we rehearsed and we opened to great success and press and we made money that of course went toward UNCF. I was asked to continue directing. I declined. I did it once I was happy and thrilled but I had had enough. It was a grueling schedule, lots of drama from the school administration and it took me away form other interests. Theatre is not my thing. Not as director, or actor. I do however love to go to the theatre and watch and enjoy.
I am 5"8' tall. In college I was a a perfect size 14. This made me attractive to department stores as a full size model. You get asked often enough you do it. So I started modeling here at home for Macy's, and local boutiques on school breaks. When I got back to school I would do it for Belk's and other boutiques. We had a modeling club and I got rooked into that. That got on my nerves...the modeling club. Because all the students involved were obnoxious and conceited and I certainly did not fit in there. But I did it as a favor to a friend and I had a crush on one of the guys. This Brother was fine as hell! But he was stupid as hell and I couldn't stand that. So we never got together. I must say modeling kept me in really nice clothes that I couldn't otherwise afford. That was my real motivation.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
So I am going to lay out a few of my successes. Things that I think are significant only to me. I have friends and family who will gently remind me of things they think I have forgotten or just refused to acknowledge..LOL!
When I was 7, 8, 9, 10 years old I was a city-wide chess champion. I still play chess today and have started to teach my children. I taught my brothers and sister to play and they are really good.I learned to play tennis when I was 12 years old. I was exceptionally good. By the time I got to High School, I was co-Captain of the Jr. Varsity Men's Tennis Team and Co-Captain of the Women's Varsity Tennis Team. Yes I had a lot of press about turning Pro. I have not played tennis in many many years. My daughter Briana started learning to play a couple of years back. However, basketball has become her passion.
I had my own business when I was 13 years old. A Babysitting and cleaning business; complete with business cards and flyer's. I would help women around the neighborhood with housework. I charged $5.00 a basket of laundry to iron. I would charge $20.00 to vacuum carpets, sweep floors and stairs, clean the kitchen and bathroom. I kept money in my pocket. I babysat after school. Weekends were the best!
In High School I transferred out of electronics into culinary arts. I won my first award my sophomore year at a nationally ranked Food exhibition....very similar to the Food Network cooking competitions. I won first place for a student. I made a Gallantine of Capon which is a forced meat dish (it took weeks to plan and execute). It was layed out beautifully on a gilded frame mirror the size of a small country. I also got honorable mention in sugar sculpture, working with marzipan and fondant. I have won all sorts of cooking awards all through out my High School career. I had dreams of becoming a chef on a cruise ship...LOL!
OK tomorrow more successes!
Friday, September 5, 2008
I have lived and am living a extraordinary life. I have had the privilege of doing a great many incredible things. I have overcome a great many challenges. I am a woman of accomplishment and substance. I am celebrating my successes today. I am looking back at my accomplishments. I don't do that enough I am told. I downplay them as if they are insignificant. They are not. I am proud of the work and the commitment to community.
Over the next few days I will look back as I move forward. Yesterday was a purging day. I released a great deal of anger. I am done with it. I am over it and I am letting go. Really letting go. I WILL not allow another person to devalue my person again. I will not allow it to happen. Love does not hurt. I am not accepting excuses for poor behaviour. I am no longer going to explain away abuse, poor treatment or disrespect. There is no one I will EVER love more than I love my own self. I will never play on a team that does not respect the team, does not know how to be on a team and is only about self.
This blog is my time capsule of my personal development in this time at this moment. I write for myself as I feel the need to do it. I am grateful for the folks that come and celebrate and share and bond with me as I take this journey. This not entertainment for me. It is a snapshot of my life. It ain't always pretty or happy, or lovely but it is as authentic as I can be. Some may not like my truths. Some may not see them as truths. It is hard to see things layed out in print. But as I said this is my domain. This is my comfort zone. I am sharing how I see the world and my place in it.
Today I am celebrating my successes. Tomorrow I will list them.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Get a life. Or act like you have a life and quit trying to tell me what to do. You don't even see your kids. You won't even call them. You love them...how do they know that? How do you know it. If your beef is with me...fine, what else can you do to me that you haven't done? What is left? But our children? You would desert them because you are small and petty. You did this with your first wife and daughter. You have done this with your Mother, Father, Sisters, Brothers and other friends, your Lodge. You leave people. I've seen you do it time and time again with friends and relatives. You got kicked out of the engineers program because of your uncontrollable anger. When you were fired, I stood right there with you. I didn't get upset I said come on home we will figure it all out.
Why didn't I file for divorce if I was so unhappy you ask? Because I loved you and I was willing to endure your petty shit for the sake of our family and the children we adopted. Because providing for them was and is more important than my own happiness. Because I thought I got what I deserved in you. I did not believe I could have more, or better. I settled. I tried to make the best of it. I was a FOOL! A FOOL DO YOU HEAR ME!
I did my time in federal prison camp. I protected your ass. I let you blackmail me while I was under investigation--you threatend to tell them that I alone embezzled funds when I threatened to go to the police when you chased me up the stairs calling yourself about to push me down them. I put the phone down as you called me bitch and liar and thief. I took it because I was afraid. I have always been afraid of you. But most importantly I was always afraid of me.
Yes, I should have filed for divorce the first year when you pulled a gun on me. When you shoved me so hard you busted my lip. I should have left you when you accused me of cheating on you. I should have left after you threw away 2 sets of wedding rings--that I bought. I should have left when you threw out a suit and pair of shoes you bought me for an interview--which I never got to wear because you got mad at me for something. I should have left you when you threw soda in my face while I was holding our baby because you didn't like a response I gave you. I should have left you on the 100th "bitch, fuck you" I should have left years and years and years ago. I own my part in my unhappiness. I own my part in being stupid. NEVER AGAIN!
Yes I am a liar and I was a thief but I was not born that way and it was not my crime to bear, but I did. You don't have the guts to own your shit. You want everyone to think I am shit. Perhaps folks may think that. As you said everyone knows who I am and what I am about. Well, I know who stands with me. I know who my "true love" friends are. I am not ashamed of my life, or my past, or of anything. I got more balls than you will ever have. You know nothing about loyalty, commitment, honor and kindness or family.
Now get on down the road and don't come back around here again.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
It is easy to harm, hurt or kill. But it is difficult to love freely and without abandon and fear. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, is guarded and careful and fearful and insecure. No one wants to reach out for another unless they are sure; they are absolutely sure of their feelings. They are absolutely sure that the one they believe they love will not hurt, harm or kill them. But we are never really sure are we. I think Love is about walking on faith. I extend my heart and hand to another. Is there an expectation that the other will do the same? That is the hope.
I am beginning to look at the love in my life right now. Who do I love really? And how do I know? and how do they know? Am I telling and showing all those that I love that I love them? That I love them. How do I know if I am loved? What tells me so? What is my measure? What is my standard?
I am going to explore this for a bit. Because you cannot seek Love if you have no knowledge of love. I want to clearly define what love is for me. For me, I want to define what love is. I don't want to guess or adopt flowery language. I want to define it from my gut and heart and mind and soul and body. I want to walk on faith. Be authentic in my loveships. And sing to the heavens my own love songs.
I know what it is like to be harmed, hurt and threatened to be killed. I know what it's like to harm, hurt and almost kill. I want to know what it is like to fully understand and accept what it means to be loved. Loved as I am in this body, in this mind, in this moment.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
A couple of weeks my Ex came over to pick the kids up for dinner. He noticed I had my invitation to my Brother's wedding. He inquired about his. I said he was not invited. Now meanwhile my Brother is here at my house...sitting on the couch. My Ex says to me "Well I am divorcing you not him" Hhhm I don't think so, you are divorcing my whole family. They are not comfortable with you being there. That's why I hate coming over here, you always want to attack me. Kids your mother will take you out to dinner, I am leaving. We take the argument outside, says I am never coming over here again, you can have sole custody.
My children witnessed this.
So this turned me upside down and inside out. What in God's name did I do to him to cause this kind of treatment. For the past couple of weeks I wore his fury like jewelry. I walked around as in a dream. I couldn't get a handle on anything. I was numb. So of course my first instinct was to retreat. I know how to retreat. I was prepared to drop everything, all my hopes, dreams and plans. I was leaving this blog and I was going to retreat. I started to believe that he was right that I couldn't do this. I couldn't raise these kids on my own, that I couldn't take care of this house. That I couldn't do anything. I believed him. For the last couple of weeks I believed him.
He has not been by to see the children. He has not called them. I have encouraged them to write to him and send him notes...now he lives across town. But I also don't want them begging anyone to love them. So I am releasing myself from the burden of trying to patch his relationship with his children. That is not my truth to bear. and quite frankly there is no convincing in love. If you say you love someone you act accordingly. There are no excuses.
Today I believe me. I believe I can and I will live the life of my dreams...with children in tow. It took a bit for me to work my way through this. It took me really digging deep and seeing him for what and who he is. Truth be told he was always that way. I just lived in a state of disbelief. I know what kind of wife I was. I was faithful and attentive and loving. I am all those things still.
This is what I know today:
NO ONE WILL EVER TELL ME WHO I AM AGAIN. MY OPINION OF MYSELF IS THE PREVAILING OPINION. I AM AN AMAZING WOMAN AND I DESERVE ALL THE LOVE I CAN GIVE MYSELF! NO ONE WILL EVER TREAT ME LESS THAN I TREAT MYSELF. NO ONE WILL EVER RAISE A HAND TO ME AGAIN IN INTIMIDATION AND FEAR.
This is a new day and I am ready for it. I am awake and alive and I am READY!