Some guidelines...

I asked the great Susan L Taylor how she was able to take the pain and make it so positive... at what point was she able to make that transition? She began to speak, and after several minutes of exchanges, she suggested I start a women's group, a blog, a forum, something where we could talk. Where we as women could come and safely discuss the things in life that have damaged us. Not in the spirit of bitching and complaining, but in an effort to heal and grow beyond what we've experienced.

So ladies, I welcome you to Healed Doesn't Mean It Don't Hurt. Where I claim to have no quick fixes, and will admit there are many days when I'm anything but positive, but where we can work this out together. See, I believe that there's a place where POSITIVITY and REALITY can meet... where we can acknowledge and address the issues in a progressive manner... and where that honesty brings to us healing that frees us from our previous chains of bondage, but also admits the hurt is still something we deal with.

Hopefully, I'm making sense and you all can feel me on this.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

When is it okay?

I find myself wondering... when is it okay?  

When is it okay to be real. To tell the truth.  To just state the facts as they exist, as they happened, and without apologies or sugar-coating.  What's the right time for that?
And when you make that choice, to simply let it all out, put everything on display, does your choice to do so automatically put you in the category of causing harm or being malicious or hurtful?  Since when is honesty equivalent to vengeance? A mere tactic used for getting back at those you feel have wronged you... really? 

I wonder when we as people will grow past the stigmas of our ancestors.  God bless our grandmothers and their desire to hold the family together, but I believe that a part of that glue that has kept the walls from falling down around us, has also kept us stuck in an era of transgressions and mistakes that keep repeating themselves.  After all, how do you expect to break the cycle if no one is aware that it ever happened to start with?

I find that this occurs heavily in the African American communities, although it is not exclusive to us.  We feel this need to not "air our dirty laundry" not understanding that dirty laundry, when kept hidden in the dark, musty closets of our hearts, only further mildews, rots, and deteriorates until eventually, the smell seeps from under the doors,through the cracks in our walls and into the "clean rooms" in our lives.  It effects our relationships with our children, our loved ones, and even with ourselves.  So, why not air it out?  Why not let the winds of truth and breezes of long awaited understanding begin to blow away the stench of what some might call "family business" or "private affairs"? 

Is it because we're ashamed that it's happened to start with? A little embarrassed that it has taken place at all and we wish for no one else to witness our mistakes?   Do we fear what they will think of us?  While I can understand this thought, I have to say that we need to understand that we all make them and most of us have made and are making the same ones we would judge others for.  

When will we get to the place of understanding that although we've made bad choices, our bad choices DO NOT make us???

Let me repeat that... a bad choice does not make us who we are.  Because each day we are blessed with a new slate and the opportunity to learn from it and choose more wisely this time.  Having said that, it is the continual act of making the same bad choice that determines who you are.  Every child, at some point in their adolescent lives, has taken something that didn't belong to them, but that one bad choice did not make them a career criminal, right?  

And in my humble, count for nothing opinion, there is no shame in a bad choice... when you've taken the steps to learn from it.  How else are we supposed to grow?

I don't ever want my girls to repeat my years of low self-esteem and settling for men who didn't appreciate or value me.  So, I have to share with them what not believing in yourself will do to you.  What kind of choices it can cause you to make... and then I have to instill in them how amazing they are.  That's my job.  If by exposing my vulnerabilities and the things I've said or done that not only am I not proud of, but wish could simply be erased from the history books, if in this act, I somehow prevent my child or someone else's child from enduring my same pain, then so be it.  

Doesn't that act of selflessness make up for the bad choice?
Doesn't my willingness to put myself on display in the hopes of bettering the generations to come count for something?

Now, am I saying that everyone has to be as open and sharing with any and everyone as I am?  No.  Absolutely not.  Because I understand everyone has to deal with things in their own way.

But what I am saying is that my choice to do so... your family member or your friend's choice to do so doesn't make them uncaring or even unforgiving.  It could simply mean that they have accepted what has happened and found a way to be grateful, not for it's existence, but for surviving it and the ability to now use it for good.

So, with this in mind, I have to ask just one more time... when is it okay?