musings of a lover… of … yes… that, too…

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I want to be who my reputation says I am

I have come to this morning praying and meditating and resolved to live into this day by being impeccable with my words, not taking it (any “it”) personally, not making assumptions, and doing my best, whatever that is today. I awakened aware of my own sins, foibles, frailties, and faults. I am not despondent, only resolved to be the woman I dream about and the one my bio and reputation says I am, that is, to live with integrity. Love is my calling card. I want that love will infuse me this day from inside out and that I will wear right action and behavior, love’s most glorious garments. I lean into this life, praying with my feet and my actions. God help me, is my earnest prayer. The human project continues.

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Making Decisions

Making a decision to write something. Anything. Today.

Done.

Miss Carla’s Blues (NO, DEPRESSION!)

It’s the “happiest time” of the year, right? For people who suffer from clinical depression and/or Seasonal Affective Disorder Syndrome, it may be the most debilitating time of the year. I never know how to talk about all the challenges I face and depression is one of those things. As a Christian and a minister, I really get tired of the way people talk about depression as if it is a “lack of faith,” as in “snap out of it; if you REALLY believed in God you wouldn’t get in this place.” Or variations on those themes. But my friend, Carla Jones, figured out how to write about it and it in exquisite. I’m including the link here, because she deserves to be read on her own site., For Colored Girls.

Here are some nuggets:

“Beloved, it makes me angry when people think that being suicidal can be remedied by talking to ‘everyone’ or ‘someone.’ If the listeners were actually available to HEAR us when we’re talking about what’s going on and what is leading us to consider suicide in the first place, then perhaps that suggestion might work. It is utterly offensive to me that people think that simply finding ‘someone’ to talk to will solve the problem.”

“The darkness surrounding suicidal thoughts is thick, consuming, frightening and overbearing and most ‘friends’ can’t handle going there with you for fear that it might leak off of us and consume them too.”

“We don’t want to talk to you people! Do you know why? Because you treat us like we are children with a scraped knee instead of like the triage cases we are at that point. Hello! I don’t have a scraped knee. I have a severed limb! And bless your hearts, you try your uninformed best with your ‘get over it’ or ‘cheer up’ (and my personal favorite – ‘I was depressed last week too’ – No, YOU had a bad day! I have an illness!! But we can’t say those things because they’re considered inappropriate) and after hearing that repeatedly (from loved ones who are closest to us or who claim to know us best) we simply decide to stop talking to people who say stupid shit (excuse me, I mean well-meaning but useless words). Do you seriously think we haven’t tried talking to people?”

“Those who have never been there think we are selfish. You’ve got to have a sense of self to be selfish.”

“I survived because I was forced to get medical attention because this thing was bigger than ‘talk’ and I was out of words anyway. I survived because I had people holding me accountable for taking the prescribed medication until such time that I did not have to use it anymore.”

“It sounds harsh but it’s like when Malcolm X told the white girl there was nothing she could do for the movement. It’s bigger than your well meaning heart’s desire to “help”. Helping is usually more work than people imagine when they “sign up” for the committee. Life saving is long hard work and you have to be built for it. It ain’t for everyone. And believe it or not, we won’t hold it against you if you can’t sign up for the tour of duty.”

YEAH…. it’s THAT informative, brutally honest, profoundly painful, and raw. You should go over to her site and READ the WHOLE THING: For Colored Girls. Thank you again, Carla. And for everyone who knows this pain, I am praying with and for you. I hope you survive the blight.

Nick Peterson’s Call to Black Christians

I don’t have anything profound to say about African Americans who are deciding not to vote because “in the end Jesus is King.” But my friend Nick Peterson does. So I share it here.

Dear Black Christian Friends,

Please understand that your political indifference has come at a great price. I know you do not care who really wins the election because “Jesus is still King.” But please, bear with me one moment as we take a trip down memory lane.

Somewhere around 1623, the first group of enslaved Africans set foot on North American soil. When they arrived here as property, Jesus was still King. By the 18th century hundreds of trips had been made carrying the precious cargo. An untold number, during the Middle Passage, lost their lives at sea, yet Jesus was still King. In the late 18th century, the US constitution determined that Africans were only 3/5th’s human. Meanwhile, Jesus was still King. In the 19th century, slavery was abolished, nonetheless legalized racial discrimination flourished. While Jesus was still King, black bodies hung from trees, for after-church entertainment. Come the 20th century, thousands face violence and terrorism as they fight for civil rights, some lose their lives, other’s live with the wounds and scars of the struggle, lest we forget, Jesus was still King.

For the many thousands of Africans who came to believe in Jesus in the hell of their American experience, their hope was for salvation, freedom, redemption, and deliverance, believing that they were sojourners here yet longing for the will of God to be on earth as it was in heaven. For some, their understanding of Jesus as King did not resign them to passive indifference or political apathy, in fact it beckoned them to enter the fray of the political discourse and raise the conscience of the blind majority. Instead, they opted for the prophet voice called our society to its higher self. So for you to choose out of thoughtful political engagement, because Jesus is still King, causes me to question what Jesus you are talking about? Surely you aren’t talking about Soujourner Truth’s Jesus, or Martin’s Jesus, or Mary McCloud Bethune’s Jesus, or Harriet’s Jesus. BECAUSE JESUS IS STILL KING, I will speak out against injustice and will continue to raise prophetic voice in the tradition of my ancestors. In the words of James Weldon Johnson:

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears
thou who has brought us thus far on the way
thou who has by thy might led us into the light
keep us forever on the path we pray
lest our feet stray from the places oh god where we met thee
lest our heart drunk with the wine of the world we forget thee
shadowed beneath thy hand
may we forever stand
true to our God, true to our native land.

BECAUSE, Jesus is still King, I can and will stand true to my God and our native land.