You know, there are times in your life when you stop fighting.
the pushes and the shoves from people on the outside don't bother you as much as they used to
the arguments over whats yours, whats mine become less and less
and you can stand in a crowded room and hear snippets of what you used to be in other peoples conversations.
I am so there in my life right now
recently i had the opportunity to let my heart speak....
i have to admit it wasn't planned
it wasn't thought out
i didn't have this whole big speech prepared...just in case
but it was one of the most overwhelming experiences i've ever had in my life. i can honestly say i don't believe i've ever had that feeling before; not with my first love, not with either of my husbands, not with the realization of my childhood pains, not even with the death of my mother or the birth of my children have i ever been so completely saturated with the feeling to exhale and say thank you, i'm grateful for everything you've done for me.
as i stood there grasping for words that never formed, i was so utterly and completely overjoyed that i could barely speak. all i could do was put my head down on this shoulder that has comforted me, that has loved me unconditionally, that had known every single thing about me....and cry.
i will be the first to tell you, most of the mistakes, battles, twists and turns in my life have come at my own hands.
whatever i did and whomever i was in my past experiences i created
maybe not consciously and most certainly not from malice but most definitely from ignorance, self loathing and doubt
as i stood there sobbing uncontrollably, i could see my life in stages as they passed through my mind and i connected with the sorrow of having been so completely broken that the only thing i knew for sure was that it had to get better, there had to be something, anything better than this.
it was the running thread in the back of my mind that made me hang on for dear life and keep walking forward
as i stood there i heard them say "she was so depressed that..."
i didn't need to hear more, the gesture of their hand flip from up to down said it all
i had been there
so lost in my own pain, anger, misery,and self that i could have easily ended my life just to make it bearable
it wasn't one thing;
not simply the death of my mother, not simply realizing my marriage was a sham, not simply being wrong about the choices i made, not simply being stuck in a fire/rat trap amongst people i wouldn't let in my front door let alone pass thru my life daily. it wasn't just being abused mentally or physically from a young age...it was all of it gathered together wrapped in a neat ball.
i'd pushed it to the back of my mind and played with with it only when it suited me....
only when it served my purpose
it was all the mixed signals i'd learned growing up, it was all the empty promises and moments i'd blocked out.
it was every single good feeling that never lasted, every idea i never acted on, every plan i let fail because i didn't think i was good enough
it was me not being who and what i was born to be, settling for whatever definition i saw in front of me, stuffing my realness down my throat with cookies and turkey hoagies and overfilled plates of food, men who didn't know me let alone love me, opening my legs so i could feel good for a minute, closing my mouth so i wouldn't get in trouble, stealing so i could be something i wasn't, lying so i could be anything other than what i was.
i was crying because when it came down to losing my mind, my soul and my life, i woke up and swam to the surface kicking harder and screaming louder and more violently than i had ever before.
i prayed constantly for faith
if there was ever a marathon prayer contest i'd have won hands down
i prayed 23 and half hours out of 24
with my head held down on my desk, i prayed to lift it up
if i was waiting for the train, i prayed to just make me move
i prayed to make me smile
i prayed to make me heal
i prayed to make me whole
i prayed to make me see how blessed i was
i prayed morning, noon and night
i didn't pray for things...
i prayed for me
i didn't want anything material
i wanted me
i wanted me to live
i found that strength real strength wasn't so hard to come by
if i just meditated a little
when i felt the outside world closing in
i shut down all systems and i went inside and meditated
i began to see things fall away from my life and be replaced with new things.
i'd had a reading that told me i needed to move from the fire/rat trap i was overpaying for. my first thought was "well how in the hell am i supposed to do that....i ain't got a dime to my name".
and i wasn't even going to talk about my credit....can you have a negative number credit line
because if you can i had it.
i went home with no idea of how that was going to happen, all i knew was i had to get out
i remember the thought coming to me to say the 34th psalm.
i'd learned to listen, so i read it, put it in my wallet along with my other prayers and didn't ask questions.
two months later i'd moved into a house
it wasn't the grand palace but it wasn't where i'd come from
i'd made small changes to my life, i didn't let people over my threshold unless i wanted them there and they respected me and who i was.
my husband came to "visit" but before i let him inside "my" home, we had a long conversation that ended with "and this is what i want from you"
i purged my life of all things that hurt it, thought about hurting it, wasn't good for me, didn't fit in with where i wanted to go or who i wanted to be in my life.
i cleansed my world of what i couldn't and wouldn't allow to hinder who i was becoming
i didn't see the negative so much anymore, i know i wore on peoples nerves being so damn "happy" and "blessed" all the time but i needed to hear me say those things
it wasn't for them....it was for me
so that i could lift my spirits and see what i was doing.
i remember walking over to this person with no real intent other than a heart felt thank you and in an instant i was sobbing my words, letting everything fall from my lips and not caring if i sounded like an idiot or not because i truly was that grateful and that happy
i had my life back
with all its imperfections, tedious irritations, small accomplishments
i'd lived through a period in my life where i'd been stripped completely naked in front of friends and family who looked at me and shook their heads because all my demons and warts were exposed and i couldn't pick them up and run out to hide them.
not only had they seen me
but i had seen me....for the first time
i became acquainted with the image i was walking around with
and she wasn't pretty
i was embarrassed and i was ashamed and i was scared and i was hurt and i didn't know what to do and i felt alone but most of all i was thoroughly confused.
i was a good person
i just had some issues
i didn't rob people
i didn't intentionally hurt anyone
i did what i thought was the responsible things in life
i might have told a little white lie
held back information
but hell everybody does that
it was no big deal
i was a strong, independent woman working on me
i was fine.....move along...nothing to see over here
except i wasn't
its always the little tiny cracks that make the dam burst, the big cracks are just the results
i'd fixed the big cracks, the bursting water was held back
yeah, that's what i said too
anytime you're going for a cleaning, just remember the surface dirt is just that.... the surface
if you want to really clean....its time to break out the scrub brush, the steel wool and the sand paper
that's where the truth lies and where most of us stop
because we're good with the surface dirt
Oh yeah, we look brand new
all clean and shiny
ready to be put on display so we can show everybody how much we've changed and how good it feels to be....
"clean and sober"
but in reality we ain't even got our nails dirty yet
if you want real change in your life
you better sit down, strap in and hold on tight to whatever god name you're worshiping or thought process you cling to
cause its about to get seriously scary
and very real
you have to "undo" you
see in the previous cleanings...i fixed my hair, cleaned my skin, put on new clothes, polished myself on the outside and said "ok, I'm good now"
and i was...really...
i just wasn't finished yet
there were still pimples beneath my skin, patches of my mental make up that i hadn't or wouldn't look at.
we don't know how badly damaged we are unless somebody rips our clothes off after the fire
that's when you see what you're made of
and who you're hiding
and that's where the real change is going to take place
inside the sores and the mental image of yourself that's distorted and played with to make you feel good.
i believe everyone does their best to make a child healthy, wise and strong, but we all carry baggage that we deposit on to our children.
i've done it
i am no different from my mother and she no different from hers
but at some point what we learn has to be unlearned and that is the problem
habits are hard to break, simply because we're accustomed to them. they shelter us because we feel comfortable and apart of something bigger than ourselves.
its just what we do
but some habits don't fit in with who we're trying to be or what we're trying or forced to become.
so we have to either learn new habits or refine the ones we already have so that who it is we're becoming can fully emerge.
i told myself on many an occasion "oh, its just a bill collector" or "its just that thing or that thought, it doesn't mean anything"
but it did mean something
it meant that the image or person i was putting in front of the world wasn't real
she didn't exist...not completely
its a hologram...a digital make-up of what i wanted to be but hadn't become just yet
so i monitored my words.... everything that came out of my mouth, i dissected. if it didn't feel good in my stomach, i didn't say, think it or do it.
i said a prayer before i opened my mouth "god let me say your will, not my own, let me not be selfish, prideful, hurtful or insecure in my intentions amen"
i had to unlearn who i was
that was no small feat and i still work at it daily, sometimes my intentions get the best of me and i have to retract but i'm learning...hell we're always works in progress.
i can be a bitch
i can be selfish
i can be arrogant
i can be brutal
i can be serene
i can be beautiful
i can be loving
i can be joyful
i can be all these things and still be the amazing woman i've come to love and cherish
you don't have to be anything other than your true self...embracing all the many parts of you and making them positive and whole.
believe me when my godmother first said that to me i looked at her like she had three heads and was a complete fool but i get it now...it took me some time but i get it.......now.
that 's who i'd become
that's why as i stood there i could breakdown so totally
i had become the woman inside i always wanted to be and i was so connected to that energy, with the realization, that it overpowered that poise and that outward appearance and let me shine through.
i was ready now
and the only one who hadn't fully realized it until that very moment....
i'm not finished yet but i'm damn good right now.....
through the fire
to the limit
to the wall....
i'd gladly risk it all
through the fire
through whatever come what may
all the chance to be with you
i'll take it all the way
right down to the wire
even through the fire.
Causes Monique Annan Supports
The Leeway Foundation