Am I the only one that seems to have no words for the unrest happening in Ferguson? I’ve tried but the ugliness throws me back into the doorway, looking at what’s going on in my community and inside my home instead of being emotionally wrapped up with all that is going on in pandemic proportions elsewhere.
I’m not shutting my eyes to racism because I’ve experienced it more than I really care to think about. But what I do want to talk about is being vulnerable enough to let others into your life and those things that you are most passionate about. People hate what they don’t know or maybe want to know. People assume because assuming is easier than going up to another person and talking and REALLY finding out who you are standing beside, living next to or worshipping with.
We guard our hearts from evil but we also keep others from seeing deeper into who we are for fear that we won’t be accepted. Courage is letting go of the “what ifs” and opening our arms to “why nots”.
I’m terrible about hiding feelings, blemishes, truths, emotions. I grew up in a family where it was better to not “show your stuff”. Even now, Facebook and Twitter can be obtrusive to me. I have to force myself to stop watching and reading and instead, engage.
After I had the flat line/dying thing happen, I developed a new attitude. What I saw when I died was that I had shed my “shell” of who I was. It was like taking off footie pjs and letting them drop to the floor. When I came back, I decided that if that’s what death is like, letting go of what is on the outside and embracing eternity, I no longer want to hold back showing the “real” me. I’m not wanting to do a naked bike ride, I just want to stop hiding behind facades of what some people think I am or I’m not. I’m all for vulnerability – as painful and difficult as it may be.
I’ve decided to challenge myself as well as you, to go outside of what is normal. Instead, divulge, bear, seek and let go. I’m sharing my vulnerability with you. My challenge to you be courageous and share something, anything that will be a giant leap to you being vulnerable. Be yourself! Here’s my leap!
1) I have been battered and bruised by pastors and members of some churches. I was made to feel like the bad person. I felt as if I had no voice.
2) I hate, hate, hate when I am asked, “What are you?” I don’t mind when I’m asked, “What is your nationality?”
3) I have food allergies and the list of food that I am allergic to is growing daily. I’m in denial that I can’t have nuts.
4) I’m married to a wonderful man that is white. I dislike having to justify mostly to Black people, why I married outside of my race.
5) I have scars (keloids) on my face, chest and back and the doctors are baffled by them. I have to wear some shirts backwards to cover the largest ones up.
6) I don’t mind answering questions pertaining to my heritage and race but I don’t like having someone touch my hair out of curiosity. (Yes, this has happened more than once.)
7) When I was younger, I didn’t fit in with my Black peers because they often picked on me for talking and acting “white”. I also didn’t fit in with my White peers because most of them didn’t understand why I was different from them. It’s taken me years to finally find my “place” and embrace who I am, how I talk, look and believe. I’m a child of the King. That’s more than enough.
8) I have OCD tendencies from my first marriage and it’s very difficult to overlook things out of place or in a messy room. Even at work, I won’t leave for home until I’ve cleaned up my workspace.
9) I’m easily amused, curious, in awe of how things work. To this day, I regret not becoming a doctor.
10) I hate when someone tells me, “You can’t.”
Are you ready for the challenge? Showing your stuff may mean uncovering just a big toe – that’s a start! Go ahead and share your stuff.