Meeting The Shadow Self

While in contemplation, I asked to meet my shadow self. This is the side of oneself that has been repressed for buried down because it has been deemed “unacceptable” to the image that an individual tries to convey to society. I decided to take a moment to give this Shadow self space.

I am angry. I feel alot of anger and frustration towards my family for not being what I had hoped. For not giving me all that I needed to grow. They take advantage of my goodness and often look for ways to show me up. And I am angry at them. I am also angry at myself for allowing myself to do things I never should’ve done. I never should’ve gone back out with my ex. I know it was stupid of me but I did it anyways and tried to convince myself that things were good when it was not. I am angry because I often feel as though i am not where I should be in the physical as well as in the spiritual. I wish I had my own home and a career I genuinely liked. I wish I wasn’t in school anymore. I wish I was a more well-known and inspirational writer. I’m angry because in high school had a lot of “friends” I wish I had told off sooner and confronted. One of whom was blatantly disrespectful and honestly disgusting towards me. I wish I had held her feet to the fire when I confronted her about her behavior. I wish I had more confidence to stand in my own truth during that time. I get angry and jealous sometimes because I feel like my boyfriend prefers his sister or seeks her approval over mine. He did this thing the other day where her clothes were in the dryer for a week, so he took my clothes out of the basket it was in and dropped at the side of the bed and put her clothes in it. I was so angry and I wished he had been more considerate because he never would’ve done that if the roles were reversed. And I feel like acting petty sometimes. 

I’m scared all the time. I’m also really scared of being judged. I’m scared that others will see that I don’t really have that many close friends. I’m scared of being wrong. I’m scared that others will see that I really am, in many ways, incompetent. Sometimes words and statements and phrases go way over my head or make absolutely no sense to me. But I’m so afraid of being called incompetent or appearing ignorant that I say nothing or laugh it off. 

I feel like I’m chronically guilty. I feel things that I always reason I’m not suppose to feel. And I get angry at myself for that. I get angry and jealous when I see my mom taking it her family from the caribbean and treating me like I’m 2nd class as a result of it. I get angry because I realize that what is acceptable to them (having people move their stuff, living all under one roof, etc) isn’t acceptable to me. I feel guilty for being American or being called out for having “American” values because it always seemed like a bad thing. But then why are you working so hard to bring your family here? A better life also means acknowledging that some parts of this culture and its customs work without judging, belittling or putting that culture down, the same way I don’t think your customs and culture should be put down. I feel guilty and undeserving because often times I can’t stand my cousin who lives with me. I hate hearing about all her relationship foolishness or about her education and I really don’t want to drop her anywhere because I think she should know how to drive now and she’s just wasting my time. But then i feel guilty when something good happens to her because it feels like I’m wishing bad on her. I’m just so sick of her crap. 

I’m angry because I feel like my mom’s family pushed me out of the house I lived in for over a decade and my mom didn’t do shit about it. I’m angry because I feel like my mom chooses everyone else in her family over me, her only daughter. And I wish I could tell her to suck it to her face or ask her why she does this and get a genuine answer. But I won’t. I never will. I also feel chronically guilty because I really don’t want to spend much time with most of my family anymore. Whenever I go back to my mom’s house I realize how closed off and cut out from their lives I feel and I wish I had a home to go back to when I leave her place so I didn’t once again get the feeling that I just don’t belong. I’m always worried that I just don’t belong. That no one really, actually likes me, that I’m shitty at my job, that people think I’m weird or full of it, that they’re always looking to trip me up. I’m insecure. 

Sometimes I feel like I fake my sensitivities. This whole empath concept came to me when I first discovered this woman online who had this Chinese boyfriend. This was during the time I was conducting interviews trying to understand why so many black males did not like dark skin black women and often proclaimed they liked white and asian women more because of whatever reason they had. Of course the answer would always go back to “it’s just a preference” because how can anyone protest a person’s tastes, right? It was always ignorant bullshit to me but further affirmed the idea that i wasn’t good enough. Anyways, this woman and her husband, I just admired their relationship and the way she spoke. People seemed to love her and flock to her. She was so charismatic, enthusiastic and dynamic in her online communication on forums. She called herself an Empath and sensitive to energy. It was around the time that I realized I was an INFP which at the time made up only a small percentage of the population which made me feel lonely and special at the same time. The description didn’t fit me 100% because I wasn’t sappy. So I decided to try to fit the description of the INFP to a ‘T’ and researching and hearing about the Empath title, and wanting to be like this woman, made me decide to absorb those traits. Like I said, I really wanted to belong in my newly diverse environment where I felt completely out of place, disconnected from the Divine, and just all out depressed and not good enough. This woman’s portrayal of herself online became my Persona. It wasn’t actually real. But it did seem to work for a time. 

There’s a part of me that feels somewhat ashamed of myself because I wasn’t always honest, even with myself. I did so many things that I really did not need to do and I judged myself so harshly for not living up to others expectations. I wasn’t taking myself into account. I’ve had so many personal experiences that because they didn’t “fit” with the experiences of others I buried it under and sought validity for them from people who couldn’t understand because it wasn’t their experience. I judged it so much. As much as I judge myself. I just could not allow myself to feel wrong, angry, ashamed, scared, ignorant, different, unique, jealous, guilty, insecure, confused, vulnerable.

I’m working now to be whole, to come to terms with all of me and to give them spaces to exists.

 

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Free Write: A Version of My Younger Self

There’s so many things I wish I could’ve said to my younger self. There are other ways to get closure. Don’t get back with that guy, his insecurities will only serve to stress you out. The people you thought were your friends are actually not a real match for you. Don’t be afraid to end a relationship that’s toxic to you. Trust yourself implicitly. The list goes on. But I would never say it because I would cease to exist and I don’t lament my existence.

Perhaps the one thing I would tell my younger self is that sense of purpose she feels in her soul, cultivate it and don’t let anyone or anything detract her from nurturing that fire within. Cultivate your purpose. Figure out what it is you like to do and do it well. Do it to the best of your ability because how you do what you do, no one else can do. There is only one you.

If reincarnation is real, I’d like to come back with the sole purpose of focusing on writing and cultivating my spiritual gifts. Falling in love with the Divine creation in the mirror is a lifelong task that I am happily engaged in on a daily basis. True love. A transformative love. I would pass this information on to my younger self. I have asked myself, “how would I say it so that I can get my message across to her?” Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Creation of the Divine,

Know that you are worthy and loved. Know that you are a beautiful reflection of the Divine because He made you in His image. God loves You, for You. There is nothing you need to prove or do that could add or detract from His love. You are not required to act like anyone in order to experience His loving grace and mercy. You are not required to be with anyone in order to experience His love and support. You do not need anyone’s permission to live your best and greatest life. Forgiveness is an energy that liberates the perpetrator and the forgiver. Forgive others, forgive yourself. In your forgiveness, you are not required to take anyone back, keep them around, feign niceness, or try to make a relationship work that you know is broken. Open your heart to new possibilities. Trust yourself. Love yourself for God loves you. Allow yourself to explore and discover who you truly are without guilt or remorse. 

Sincerely,

Your older self

The Divine Is My Shepherd

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I know who I am when I am in silence. I love it. I love her. My essence is Divine. She is calm, peaceful, welcoming, loving, forgiving, accepting, and honest. She is divinity connected to Divinity.

In silence I feel God everywhere. I know God is everywhere. In every breath, in every thing. God is great. God is wonderful. I feel Him. But I do not understand Him and I am often reluctant to misrepresent Him. God needs no explanation. I feel Him and he is unconditional love.

I ask myself: Do you know who you are? Beautiful reflection of the Divine, do you know whose image you are made in? Why then do you care so much what others think of you? You are loved. God loves you. God wants the best for you. He wants good things for you. 

I know this to be true. I feel this in my soul to be true. When I hear this, I know that I belong, that my soul belongs, to tI know who I am when I am in silence. I love it. I love her. My essence is Divine. She is calm, peaceful, welcoming, loving, forgiving, accepting, and honest. She is divinity connected to Divinity.

In silence I feel God everywhere. I know God is everywhere. In every breath, in every thing. God is great. God is wonderful. I feel Him. But I do not understand Him and I am often reluctant to misrepresent Him. God needs no explanation. I feel Him and he is unconditional love.

I ask myself: Do you know who you are? Beautiful reflection of the Divine, do you know whose image you are made in? Why then do you care so much what others think of you? You are loved. God loves you. God wants the best for you. He wants good things for you.

I know this to be true. I feel this in my soul to be true. When I hear this, I know that I belong, that my soul belongs, to the one who created me in His divine image. To the Most High. 


I Want To Speak From The Heart

I figured out at a young age that I was different in some way. Maybe because I was dark-skinned, black, caribbean descent, connected to the Divine in some way. And I was vulnerable. And I wanted to be loved and to be seen as beautiful and valuable, in a way that no one around me was capable of making me feel at that time. I was alone. And in my vulnerability, I was taken advantage of. By many. And I think I learned to allow myself to be violated repeatedly by tensing up and whisking myself away when the violation happens. I’m not talking about sexual violation. That did happen. The violation I am talking about is mental and psychological. I feel like because of the events that transpired in my home life, I became a target for abuse on many levels.

Over the years, I learned to stop allowing my heart to speak freely and openly about how I feel and about various traumas. I learned that people don’t come to my aid when I need them to. This affects me on a creative level. Fear of speaking from my creative place makes it so that I stifle my writing and method of expression. But it needs to come out. It needs to be expressed in order for me to live in the fullness of my being.

I guess this is why I’m here. This is why I write the things I write on this page. This is where my heart writes its truth, unfiltered and uninhibited. It needs to happen.

 

I Am Right With Me

I could not accept my own goodness and this is why I suffered. I couldn’t say anything nice about myself without following up with, “I’m not perfect.” Why? Because somewhere along the way I picked up the idea that if it came easily, it wasn’t worth it. I was suppose to work hard for everything I earned and I was not suppose to validate and give credence to myself.

Back in 2014/2015, I was working in Texas under a particularly difficult travel nursing assignment. I picked up so many extra shifts and struggled to remain on day shift despite dreading it. I had convinced myself that it was necessary to do these things in order to demonstrate that I was not lazy. One day, after a particularly stressful shift, I came to the realization that struggle was not necessary for growth. And indeed it was not. The days and weeks and years that followed involved me learning to relinquish control of the notion that somehow I had to prove to the world and to myself that I somehow deserved all the good things I received in life.

A few weeks back, I was speaking to a spiritually gifted woman and I was telling her that one of the things I continued to ask myself and have asked myself for years is, “What’s wrong with me?” I’ve searched through every nook and cranny of my life and my own soul, overturning any perceived flaw and attempted to improve it, attempted to demonstrate to myself and others that I am “good”, “okay”, “lovable”, “acceptable” or whatever positive trait can be applied to a person. I wanted their respect, their attention, their time, their love and felt that somehow I was unworthy of it because I wasn’t this, that and the other. And if for a second a demonstrated any of those things and it was noticed, I’d have to diminish it so as to appear humble, another positive trait that I assumed did not exist in my “good trait bank”.

Fast forward to age 26 and I am focused on self-love. Self-love is, in many ways, the overarching lesson I had been trying to learn in so many ways throughout the years. The need for boundaries, self-respect, telling the truth to yourself and others, honoring your truth, trusting yourself, letting go and letting God, taking risks, all these fall under the theme of self-love. They are sub lessons and sub categories to propel you to experience the richness that is me.

I am right with me. Who I am, how I live, what I say, do, think, feel and how I act are in alignment. In my soul, I know, that at age 26, I am right with me. The validation I sought, I now give to myself. I give myself permission to live my best life because I matter. On all spheres. What I say, think, feel, do, matters. I understand now that instead of taking life’s messages as a sign that something’s wrong with me, maybe my feelings, thoughts, the sluggishness of and pains I felt in my body, the blockages and sense of drain I often felt in my previous lives were indications that I need to change something about the environment I am in or that maybe I need to change the way I approach a situation or maybe I just need to leave it! The body, the mind, the spirit, the heart, all of these things communicate on a regular basis and I had not been listening to the messages that were being put out. Paulo Coelho often said that we need to pay attention to signs. I wasn’t. Actually, I was trying to once again find external validation and messages that could or would serve as signs that I am on the right track. What I first needed to do was listen to myself. There was nothing intrinsically or even extrinsically wrong with me. But because I spent so much time trying to pick myself apart and make myself move despite the signals life, god, my body, my heart, my soul, my mind were sending me, I suffered. Now I know better. So I do better.

I am right with me.

 

 

 

A Victim No More

Dear Society,

What did I allow you to do to me?

I left as a baby but returned as a little child filled with hope and you raped me. You raped me of my voice, my style, my ability to rely on my own body’s messages, my intuitive ability and sense of wonder. I came willing to share my gifts, but you weren’t satisfied unless you were inside every vulnerable hole I had. I was naive and let you in. I thought you could help me, save me even, from what you implied was my wretched existence. My blackness, my caribbean roots, my connection to divinity, my natural beauty, gifts, and talents, were something to be ashamed of. It’s one thing to be black. It’s another thing to be black and in love with the reflection of the divine within you, when to the outside world you have nothing to be in love with. So you sought to break me. Your history of rejecting difference and preferring the illusion of normalcy and assimilation serving as your compass. You made me believe that what I knew was inaccurate, that my poise was a stuck up demeanor, that my ability to note self destruction and despair was me being boring. 

I was ridiculed for eating only when I was hungry. So I binged. I binged on your lies and your own misguidedness. Your illusion of power convincing me that it was the only way. You told me, often subtly, sometimes not, that who I am and what I am, was unnatural. 

You sought to change me while in the same breath offering me spiritually in a bottle, as if to say, “get to know yourself. love yourself. But only the parts that allow others to love and admire you. Still hide the ugly. Keep it to yourself.” 

I called myself weird because of you. I came up with a host of terms and wove together stories trying to piece together the why’s, when’s, and how’s of my weirdness. I beat myself up, pulled myself apart and, on several occasions, have broken down trying to figure out what it was that is/was so wrong with me. I asked hosts of people throughout the years for their approval, crumbling when I didnt get it. I attempted to look inward by looking outward for some indication of your approval of what I was becoming. Did I fit? Was I finally right with you? 

I was using your ruler to measure my worth. I was looking at myself through your twisted, distorted mirror, filled with bias, racism, discrimination, judgement, persecution, uncertainty and doubt, ridicule, friendship and belonging, team behavior, despair, and illusions. But no unconditional love. So many conditions were placed on my acceptability that I could never quite fit, this afro-caribbean descent girl with dual citizenship, who ate only when she was hungry, who was joyful because God put it in her to be so. Who danced in her own way, enjoyed her own company, was smart, observant, intuitive, and selective with the company she kept. She stood out simply for being. 

I ask myself now, after all is said and done, what’s right with me? And I like every answer that comes through. 

Birthday Reflection

For the days leading up to my birthday, I ugly cried. I didn’t do a planned reflection like I usually do for my impending birthday. As a result, emotion crept up on me and consumed me in a way it hasn’t in years. 

I ugly cried. Snot running from my nose, unable to be contained by sniffling and snorting, ugly cried. Falling to the floor in a pool of salted water, legs unable to keep me up ugly cried. Swollen, red puffy eyes, involuntary gasps for air ugly cried. 

 I missed my granny. She was my mom for what seemed like the first 7 years of my life. The only real constant figure I remember during that time and she died when I was 7. I use to call her mommy until my grandpa, her husband, put a stop to it. I ugly cried because I missed her. 

I ugly cried because I’m 26 and have been angry since I was 18 when I realized that most mainstream white and asian people didn’t care for me or about me. They certainly didn’t understand me. They didn’t care if I was a pillar of strength, beauty, sophistication, knowledge, love and care. They couldn’t see it. They didn’t care. They only cared about what you could do for them or how you would make them look. Image. That’s all it was about for many of them.

 I ugly cried from this place in me, that place that was angry due to disappointments that I hadn’t allowed myself to feel. It was anger and raw emotion that I wasn’t suppose to show because “the angry black woman” is a scary black woman. But I was angry and insecure white and asian people no longer got a say in how appropriate it was. Black people who wanted to define my blackness no longer got a say in how acceptable I am to it. 

I ugly cried because at 26, I had grown but still held on to great regret. Staying in DC so long, not doing something other than nursing, I wanted to explore other avenues if I could. I wanted to write, to get more creative with life. Do things that created value in my life and that didn’t suck the life out of me and wasnt meant to be long term. And I didn’t want to do anything for free. 

My grandma wanted me to be happy. My grandma wanted me to feel good about what I do and about who I am. She wanted my heart to be overflowing with joy and it has not been. I want it to be. I want to live. Truly love again and fall in love with who I am. And so I ugly cried. From the heart. I want to do 26 differently.