I recently started a Podcast called, LOL: LIVING OUT LOUD, that you can listen to here on this blog or on Apple, I-tunes, Google, Spotify, and a few more. Any who…LoL. I generally attached a journal question for my listeners to each episode. On Episode #6, I share Michelle Obama’s Note-to-Self, which she shared on Gayle King’s news show on CBS. The idea was not new to me, as I have facilitated the same question with my Sistah’s Circle Group, but I believe that the question is useful and can even be cathartic. Below, I am sharing my Note-to-Self. I hope this inspires you to write your own. If you are feeling brave and like living out loud, please contact me and share your letter on my podcast.
Hello Rena, I never thought I would like that nickname so much but in the absence of our mother who gave it to us, I love it and you will too one day. I am writing this to you about no particular event or even subject, Baby Girl. I would not know where to focus my energy since I have so much to say to you!
Rena, there will be good days and many many many bad days. I am sure you believe you have already experienced some of those bad ones. You have. I need to tell you something. Come close, closer, closer…nothing will be wasted. Not one thing Rena. You have been taught and you have heard, that strength is not represented in your tears, your fears, or even an outward expression of your pain. Lies Girl, that is a lie that I am still trying to work out. Strength is not the ability to hide your pain, fear, or disappointment but rather it is finding the the guts to seek help, cry out, and move forward, even if you do it crawling.
Rena, you could you can save yourself a lot of heartache by listening to your Elders, they mean you no harm, and they have lived long enough, to see when you are heading for trouble. Listen Girl, you do not know enough not to value the advice given to you. But you will learn and like I said earlier, nothing will be wasted.
There are some tapes that you will put on repeat and play them over and over again in your mind. They are not true, They are Lies!!!!!!!! Even the ones who have come from people who claimed to love you. Broken people will seek to hurt you sometimes. I wish that I would have recognized that sooner for you. I am sorry that I allowed those harsh words and mean spirited action from others to penetrate your Soul, hinder your growth, shape your world, and take pieces away that you would have to fight to repair and replace. I am sorry that I allowed hands to be put on you…that abuse will be with you for to longtime. I know how to speak to that now! I apologize for taking so long to walk away. I have no accuse for the harm I caused you. There are many reasons and you will become aware of them as you grow and become more in tuned with who you are.
While I am writing this to you, I want you to know that YOU ARE ENOUGH! You are beautiful small, medium, or large. You are beautiful with short hair, long hair, locs, or a tinny tiny little fro. You are just the right melanin infused real kinda chocolate brown. You are capable! Do not let the racist folk you will work for convince you other wise nor the two men you decide to marry he seem hell bent to break you over their brokenness, tell you different. Do not let other folks lies define you or make you think you should have known better when your husband hides from you his true self. How many women really are aware that the man they choose to marry the second time around really wants to be a woman. Cut yourself some slack and remember, nothing will be wasted! Nothing!
You are going to go through some tough SHIT! You will feel abandoned because your were! You will feel angry. Feel it. Process it. Heal and that will be a process. You will have to forgive many times. That is also a process Rena, and don’t you let any ill-informed people preach to you from the ignorant theology of “Get Over It.”
Your faith in God, the one you decided to walk with when you were a little girl…It is going to save your LIFE! Remember that text you like, Romans 8:28, you do not fully understand it yet but it is true,”… And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” EVERYTHING. ALL THE THINGS. God is going to use it all baby girl, all of it.
The Domestic Violence, The infertility, the miscarriages, the disappointments, the loss after loss, the fact that you have been married twice and not loved once, the education, the victories, the talent, the skills, your passion, your boldness, your kind heart, your lack of self-worth and the belief that you are not quite enough, which I still struggle with…All of it! One day it will become your ministry. Your Call. You will preach from it. You will use it along with your academic scholarship to interpret the text so it will indeed be Good News. All of it will become your secret weapon. Survive it! Allow it to fuel you. Take time to go through it and heal daily from it. Walk with God, not it some mystically philosophical way but for Real. You will not become without knowing that God got you. What that really means to you will become tangible as we become.
Hold on, Rena no matter what. Girl, your 55 year old self is still learning and becoming. I love you for enduring with smiles and laughter and charm. I love you for taking the brunt of our making. I love you for your compassion for others even when you felt depleted. I love you Rena for moving forward to help me become me. I will not let you down. I will not give up on us because our latter will be greater.
Until we meet again young woman. I will continue to nurture you and help you heal. I will be a witness to us in totem, that ALL THINGS ARE WORKING FOR OUR GOOD.
Your are Magic