Yes, it’s been a long time. Over a year, in fact. My heart hurts that I’ve been away from the site, and you, for so long, but God was doing a mighty work in me that necessitated solitude, quiet, and supreme privacy. My prayer and hope is that you’ll understand and rejoin me on this journey.
In short, C.A.T. sisters, I’ve been healing. Healing emotional wounds. Healing my broken heart. Healing my soul and my spirit. All with God’s help and guidance, of course. And in that (“this”, really, ‘cause it’s ongoing) time of healing, I was led to make a LOT of changes.
The cushy job I held for close to four years in southern California was eliminated. I placed my beloved belongings in storage, shipped my car across the country, and relocated to Washington, D.C., the Mecca. I wanted to be close to my sisters – to black people – where I could spread the message of black self-love, self-esteem, and encourage black women both young and old to be their best selves, for themselves. I set off with a dream and a desire – a purpose. Then things hit the fan.
Instead of the mountaintop, I fell into a valley. Work did not appear as easily as I’d hoped. Former friends and associates from my beloved alma mater, Howard University, were not able to rally around me for emotional support as I’d hoped. My money ran low and my confidence went with it. The peppy, confident Conscious, self-Actualized, Trustworthy (C.A.T.) sister who began this blog in 2012 all but disappeared, drowning in self-loathing, fear, and self-pity. I was lost.
But, I cried internally, I’m supposed to be THAT girl! The woman who’s always on top; the one who always has it together! The one who speaks to hundreds of black girls and women weekly through this blog and our Facebook community, encouraging them to have hope…to live out loud…to be fierce, confident, beautiful (inside and out) and WORTHY! Where did she go? Was it all a lie? Was it a manifestation of false ego?!
Self doubt cloaked every action and every thought. And it was then that I cried out to God, “Father, save me!” Over an amazingly short period of time, God spoke to my heart and my soul and let me know the following: “Yes, things are hard right now. But you are still chosen. You are my child. Your purpose is unfolding. Trust me!”, and finally “You are worthy!”
I realized that the work of this site was not over, but just beginning! The fire that I was being walked through was to purify my heart, my soul, my thoughts, and my entire being to deepen my reach and my message. It was revealed to me that, while I put on a good front, I harbored a deep sense of low-self worth and shame originating from childhood abuse and emotional neglect. I was gorgeous on the outside, but in immense pain on the inside; hiding to all how I *really* felt about myself.
My cries for emotional help and healing continued, and as they say, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” After a series of synchronistic circumstances, I landed on a new reality show on OWN (Oprah’s Network) with self-help guru Iyanla Vanzant. Amazingly enough, I’d moved from Los Angeles, the entertainment hub, to end up on a television show being filmed in Washington, D.C., mere blocks from my temporary residence! I’d been a fan of Iyanla’s since the early 2000s when she appeared on the women’s daytime reality show “Starting Over”, and always desired to meet her. I was also a major fan of her books, such as “Faith in the Valley” from my senior year at Howard in the late ‘90s. To meet and speak with her would be a dream come true! I *knew* she would have a healing word for me, and that her tough love was exactly what I needed to hear to end decades of hidden low self-worth.
We met on a lovely Sunday afternoon this past January, and I was poised to ask the question I’d always wanted to ask; the one I needed help with the most. With a bold heart, I shared with Iyanla that I suffered from a childhood of invalidation – of not feeling good enough and made to feel ‘lesser than’ – and on top of that, I had a birthmark on the entire right side of my body which, for countless years, caused me to feel poorly about myself. I wanted to know how I could rise above this internal pain and “feel good about myself and the skin I’m in.”
And sisters, let me tell you, her response was not what I expected. She looked me dead in my eyes and shared with me that I had CHOSEN to feel unworthy.
But, I thought to myself, I’ve been abused! I’ve been compared to others my whole life by my primary caregivers, and always feel short of approval! My skin is mottled and ‘different’, I’m ‘flawed’ and not as beautiful as other women, and have been made painfully aware of this my whole life! Surely that meant something. Surely this is why I feel the way I do about myself, and someone should take the blame, pay for my pain, and fix it!! Arrggghhh!!!
But, no. The answer was simple. Feeling worthy, and deciding NOT to feel worthy, was my choice. One that I make every day, and in every moment. The power was entirely mine.
I was a little hurt by her blunt delivery, but at the same time I was intrigued. Encouraged. EMPOWERED, even! My life and the way I live it, as a fully functioning adult, is MY choice!! Awesome! Let’s make some new choices! Lol!
So here I am. Better, wiser, and growing more every day. And just like I shared my story on national television – that despite my outward appearance, which some may find appealing, I don’t always feel worthy – I wanted to…NEEDED to…return to this blog and continue my work of sharing with you all. My sisters in spirit.
I realized that I’d judged myself too harshly while writing this blog. Surely a self empowerment writer should always feel empowered! She should *always* feel worthy and great about herself. But what I’ve learned through my journey through the fire, which still continues as I type (I’m still not completely settled in my new D.C. home, but know that God is able and on the move) is that I don’t have to be perfect to share my story and encourage others. I, and we, don’t have to be flawless to be beautiful. I, and we, don’t have to wait for others to love and affirm us before we feel loved – we can love and affirm ourselves!! I am perfectly imperfect, and my message is both important and valid.
Sisters, my life has changed. Iyanla is not a saint – she only served as a mouthpiece of God in that moment – but the message I received and the work God is continuing to do inside of me and in my life is astounding. I’m grateful to him for creating the opportunity to receive the message of true self-empowerment, and for being able to share it with you all, my sisters, today.
The purpose of this blog will continue, and I’d like for you to join me on my journey of healing my *own* broken heart and empowering myself! Sisters, I am you and you are me, and when one of us is healed, we are all healed. I know my story is shared by so many of you: a little black girl who felt unloved at times. Who felt invisible and misunderstood. Whose gifts were overlooked. Who dealt with an emotionally unavailable father and suffered through countless unhealthy romantic relationships as a result, looking for love in all the wrong places. Who struggles with body image issues, and with feeling like she’s not ‘enough.’ And who, in spite of it all, deeply knows that she is a loved child of God with a message and a ministry, and who is making the CHOICE in each moment to heal, empower herself, and to live the best life God has for her.
I *know* you’ll see yourself in me, and that you too will find healing.
Our kittens need it. We need it. Black America needs it.
So with that, I bid you a brief farewell. While I’m still finding my way toward a new physical home, I will post twice a week to keep you all abreast of my journey and the growth and insight God places on my heart and in my spirit. I have SO much to share, and can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
Please share this post with other sisters who need to hear this word and need encouragement. And be sure to “Like” our page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/positivepropaganda. We’re back, we’re authentic, we’re lovingly vulnerable, and we’re in full effect. :-)
Thank you so much for being my sisters, and for your support.
Until next time,