When I hear negative stereotypes about black people it causes a rise within me. As a black woman myself, how could it not? The thing about my reaction or the rise it causes within me happens to be different than the rise it causes in majority of black people. When I was immature my reaction was different, less filtered and more emotionally driven. Now, I use those negative stereotypes to push me forward, to make me rise above. I use them as motivation to achieve, to show the opposite of that negative stereotype. I refuse to prove it correct and I wish everyone did this. What a world we would have if every negative stereotype was proven wrong!
I once heard "If you don't want a black person to know something, put it in a book." This is clearly stating that black people are either ignorant or do not read. Initially after finding out about this stereotype, without thinking I got a bit upset. Until I realized, you know what, I hadn't read a book in years. So you know what I did? I began reading books! Lots of educational and self-help books. Entrepreneurial books and my favorite metaphysics book, the best book ever, The Urantia Book (over 2,000 pages). So, what I do is I work on proving the stereotype wrong above all else. I don't buy into a negative stereotype, I refuse to.
I got a free library card a few years ago and this month (Black History Month) I picked up 'The Souls of Black Folks' by W.E.B. Dubois. I am excited for my latest read! Currently I'm still working on the 75,000 word audio book I am recording but as soon as it's delivered I will be educating myself on double consciousness. See life isn't as hard as some people make it out to be. Yes black people are stereotyped, so what! What matters is your reaction to it. Will you allow it to control you or will you turn it into motivation for yourself? There's always a choice involved. Also be real and ask yourself if the stereotype defines you or not. If it does, then you shouldn't get upset about it at all, just change your behavior. There's absolutely no point in getting mad at a stereotype when you play or buy in to the stereotype. I do feel more black people should educate themselves by reading more books. Malcolm X received his education in a correctional facility, he availed himself of the free education he had access to while locked up. Yeah read up on some history.
Unfortunately, every day young and old black people, who aren't imprisoned, ignore picking up a free library card and getting a free education. When watching the film 'Red Tails' about the first all black aerial unit during World War II, at the beginning of the film there states 'Blacks are mentally inferior, by nature subservient, and cowards in the face of danger.' This came from a US Army war college study in 1925. Those black airmen at Tuskegee certainly proved quite the opposite and then some. That is what we are meant to do, rise above and excel. Nowadays, it seems we don't even work towards reaching the mark. How about just trying? Stop limiting yourself and become better.
In our world we are separated by barriers, boundaries or shall I say titles that keep us at a distance. They stop us from achieving the goal of seeing everyone as a brother and sister. They stop us from being judged by the content of our character instead of the color of our skin. While I am the title of African-American woman, I now face the harsh truth of another title 'transient.' By this I mean have I come and gone in and out of people's lives without putting down roots or establishing a real connection. Have I come to the realization that I have played into this "title giving" role so deeply that it has destroyed my connections with others?
From a very young age, I in many ways lived with my mom and my Aunt Claudine. Being the youngest of 5, I barely communicated much with my 3 older brothers (my oldest brother being 11 years older than me) and my relationship with my sister was bad to say the least. Also the feeling of abandonment from a "dad" (whom I call sperm donor) I met once in my entire life made things even worse. I honestly would have preferred to not meet him that one day.
My escape from my feelings and the wrath of my sister was to run to my Aunt's home whenever possible. This escape resulted in the disconnect of communication with my mother, missed opportunity of connecting with my brothers, and all around misunderstandings with my sister. A total lack of communication ruined the makeup of my immediate family.
My Aunt 'Dean, as we called her, and my cousin Keisha were my shelter from the many storms I went through growing up. When my Aunt passed away of breast cancer I was a teen, so self-absorbed with my own pain that I didn't say goodbye. I couldn't even push my self-absorption aside to be able to comfort my cousin during her grief. Two major things that haunted me for so long until 3 days ago, almost 16 years later.
From there I would go from Aunt to Aunt, from cousin to cousin searching for a deep connection of communication I missed out on in my immediate family. Only to not be able to find it in my intermediate family either. I did however find much hurt and pain from the past being held on to by many of them. So much so that it destroyed many of their relationships as adults as well. I found brokenness in far too many areas of my entire family. So much damage cannot be undone unfortunately.
For me, I was more searching for the title of mother and sister to be filled, to have a sort of do over. I even carried this on into my adult life searching for protectors, for people to fill those positions, only to be greatly disappointed. It was more that I couldn't let go of my feeling of dissatisfaction or disconnect from those titles to be able to gain a deep connection with anyone. Even those with the title of best friend, as grand as it is, couldn't stop me from my transitory nature and from being distant.
I chose to walk through life a loner, just as I had been when I was younger. Never feeling like I truly belonged anywhere, not being able to tell anyone my hurt and pain, believing I could not trust anyone. I've even cut people out of my life, some I regret, while others were a necessity.
I'd conditioned myself to be distant, to not confide in anyone. In my early 20s, when I worked at a job for 5.5 years, I became close friends with many of my associates, but I always kept them at a distance. At 25, when living in a hostel for 3 months in California, I didn't fully connect with those who I became friends with and by then I'd become a passive-aggressive handful. Then came my life in Las Vegas, a city known for its transient people. I decided to make it my home, I mean I wasn't getting close to anyone so why not? After 3 years here and much growing up, I came to the conclusion that I must put down roots in Vegas. I no longer wish to live as a transient person. This is where I belong.
Even after visiting my hometown in IL I recognized that I can never have or get the relationship I wanted with my relative family. The family I must focus on is here with the love of my life and the city I live in, with those so called transient people. I must stop walking through life disconnected from everyone. If I hadn't met my fiance I'm sure I would still be living transiently.
What sparked this entire realization was a visit from my Aunt Claudine in my dream 3 nights ago. She was my way of letting go of the past, of realizing that while I have given apologies and forgiven others for their past transgressions, I must also forgive myself. I believe she wants me to move forward because she has forgiven me. I must stop being so closed off and start connecting with other people. Life is too short for me to be carrying this baggage that holds me back. This dream was much needed and I know it was sent from my Father.
The trip to IL to help my loved ones change their lives for the better by improving their health and happiness didn't work out as well as I thought. I thought because they are my relative family I could pursued them to change certain bad habits, just as I'd done for myself. Over 50% of African American women are obese and my family is no exception. I wanted them to live long healthy, happy lives. I understand now that often times people become so conditioned in their emotions whether it be anger, disappointment, fear, stubbornness, sadness, victim, etc; or in other words "set in their ways" that they cannot be moved. For an outside person to bring up such things only sparks a defensive response. It is up to the individual to realize such things then take action to change it. There's another baggage burden removed from my shoulders, I cannot feel responsible for anyone, but myself.
While I could not help my family and friends from my hometown, I will continue to work on helping those whose time it is to receive my help. I have to let go of the past, that time has come and gone. I cannot continue to live with my heart in two places, I no longer live there and although they are my family by relation, everyone is my family. Since I cannot drop the title of family I will expand on it, broaden its definition.
The things I missed out on from my childhood cannot be replaced, I can however make even better memories to make up for the ones I wanted. While I also ask others to look beyond all the titles that keep us separated I must take my own advice. No matter what the race, religion, sexuality, etc of a person is; whether black, white, yellow, red, gay, straight, bisexual, trans-gendered, American, European, African, Asian, Hispanic; everyone is my mother, brother, and sister. I must begin my own path of redefining what those titles mean, I must let go of what I once defined them as (only relatives). By opening up my heart to every and all, I am embracing my Father's love even more just as he wants. This is what we all should do. WE ARE ALL FAMILY.
Let me start by first saying I completely overreacted about the Fiverr incident with the stolen money. I say this now because if I had quit Fiverr (as at the time I seriously thought of doing so), I would not have acquired this book deal or in other words this wonderful opportunity. Yes, this book deal came from a buyer on Fiverr! Last night, a buyer contacted me about recording the audio for her 75,000+ word book, after negotiating a price I sealed the deal. I received half of the payment this morning and the rest I will receive after I have completed the book, which will be in a little over 2 weeks (March 6th). I am very excited as this is the first full book deal I will have under my belt, I've done a few short stories and a book of poems but nothing beyond about 7,000 words for one project. This is the big one I've been wanting!
This book deal and the incident with Fiverr and the hacked account goes to show how anger clouds one's judgment. I was so upset that my account was hacked, I was willing to cut all ties with the company that initially got me started with voice over work. Now, about a week later, I have my first book deal on that same site. I'm glad my fiance talked me out of deleting my account and continuing to work with them. The $78 loss seems so small and ridiculous now because I allowed that to bother me so much. I am still a work in progress when it comes to emotional control, but I can certainly say that I am far better than most, which I am proud of myself for regardless. I've come a long way from who I used to be, I was quite young minded and immature. Unfortunately, a lot of people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and even 60s are still very immature. I'll be 30 years old this year, I refuse to be the same person in my 30s that I was in my 20s. I want to keep improving and learning so I can grow and mature, a person must never stop learning and growing. I thought last year was a wonderful blessing, but I can already see how much greater this year will be as I continue to improve myself. Life only gets better as each year comes. Time will always pass, what matters most is the progress you've made. What do you have to show for all your hard work? Make your life work count for something, what will your legacy be?
"Anger is a material manifestation which represents in a general way, the measure of the failure of the spiritual nature to gain control of the combined intellectual and physical natures. Anger indicates your lack of tolerant brotherly love plus your lack of self-respect and self-control. Anger depletes the health, debases the mind, and handicaps the spirit teacher of man's soul." -JESUS
This is the program Edward and I took the trip to IL/MO to try to get people I know and love involved in. I have been a participant in the pilot program through which I have greatly improved myself in the areas of mind, body, and spirit. Body: I lost 25 pounds which I have kept off even though 90% of diets fail with the person gaining the weight back (think Oprah). I go to the gym 2-3x a week, my heart rate has gone down from 88 bpm to 64 bpm. My running mile time has gone down from over 10 mins to 6 min 58 sec. This is the best shape I've ever been in, in my entire life! Mind: I have gained better emotional control, I am no longer controlled by anger or negative feelings which more people need to learn how to do. I have learned new skills such as working from home as a voice over actress, I am now a weight loss management coach, and I read far more educational books now than ever before. Spirit: I meditate to get in touch with God or my higher nature to keep my lower nature (human nature/animalistic tendencies) from taking over. Some say it's "the devil" when things go wrong or when they are mad or angry, I say it's just human nature, we have to train our minds to work for us. In comes this new program created specifically to improve the world. YOU ARE THE PROJECT is a revolutionary self-improvement program that leaves people with no excuses for why they are not accomplishing their goals or improving themselves. It is meant to make people less lazy, angry, stagnant, and more active, logical, happy, and improving themselves. There is a "no excuses" allowed rule in this program. Even better is that you get paid to improve yourself, who wouldn't want to have a job where they get paid to improve themselves? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? www.youaretheproject.com