I love seeing so many women run for office this year. I know a lot of it is in response to the regression of our politics to a time of second-class citizenship for women and terrorism toward people of color.
I believe the ability to make that sacrifice is the result of willingness by men and women, husbands and wives to seek out roles that conform to their individual and collective needs versus along strict “shoulds” and “should nots” according to gender.
And isn’t the freedom to choose who you are and how you authentically navigate your world, the only freedom worth having?
Inhale Want to, Exhale Should… Inhale Authenticity, Exhale Gender Roles… Inhale Momentum, Exhale Regression… Just Breathe
Charley Bordelon West, middle child of the fictional Bordelon family from Oprah’s OWN “Queen Sugar” is a black woman we don’t get to see often on TV. Stunning, smart and strategic, she is usually the smartest person in whatever room she occupies.
This season has been all about the cracks in the façade of control she presents to the world. Yet during a curated discussion of the show with other women, Charley’s revelation of just a sliver of vulnerability…the escape of a tightly held tear down her face…elicited derision and suspicion.
It was a familiar reaction and reminded me that we often don’t even permit ourselves or each other the dimensions and layers of a richly imagined character…
“We’ve been raised in a culture that denies us the value of experiencing our sadness. I believe our tears are a sign of release…a natural part of our emotional cleansing system and they promote our ability to heal.” ~ Julia A. Boyd, Girlfriend to Girlfriend
When you’re constantly making excuses for your boo’s behavior … fighting to stay in the relationship … giving your significant other multiple chances to act right, maybe you should consider he/she just might be all wrong…for you.
“If you can love the wrong person that much, imagine how much you can love the right one.” ~Anonymous
I have a tendency to see the good in people and I’m somewhat surprised when people behave in ways that are contrary to my experience of them. I’ve learned that often, bad behavior is in response to fear… something we believe about ourselves, or something we believe we can’t have or something we have but don’t want.
What we believe about who we are at our core will eventually surface.
“Most bad behavior is about that person’s core fears about themselves; it is rarely about you.” ~ Kimberly Giles
I’ve noticed that when I am being myself, fully and completely (which means I’m probably laughing), that I attract those who can recognize and appreciate the authentic me. So when I’m attracting inauthenticity or experiences I don’t want, I have to ask myself…”Who am I being?”
“The life you live is a reflection of what’s going on inside of you.” Oprah Winfrey
I didn’t really become an Oprah Winfrey fan until I retired and started working from home. At the time, I was surprised at how spiritual she was because I recalled people questioning her beliefs, her faith, her Christianity.
Since she launched her OWN network, I have come to realize the questioning was and is because her worship looks different, because she honors others’ beliefs … because she lives authentically and offers space and grace for others to do the same.
“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” ~ John 4: 23-24, MSG
A week before I was scheduled to conduct a day of workshops for multiple leadership teams at a government agency, I was asked if I was going to laugh. The question might as well have been, “Are you going to breathe while you facilitate the workshops?”
I laugh loudly, uniquely and, as I age, with increasing frequency. But in this instance, my laugh, a reflection of my positivity, one of my strengths, was perceived as a weakness.
Trying not to laugh made for one of the longest, most exhausting, miserable experiences of my life. So I decided that in the future, I would only work with those whose values I share, one of which is, there will be laughter!
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” ~ Victor Borge