Irony Deficient: Part 4

Whether looking for opportunity or looking to escape oppression, immigrants have believed in the idea of America even as America becomes less welcoming. But it is not the opening of America that will deplete us. It is the isolating, the narrowing, the closing of America and the building of walls to keep those we fear out…that’s what will drain us.

The irony is those who would make America great want to shut and bolt the door.

Inhale Openness, Exhale Persecution…
Inhale Opportunity, Exhale Oppression…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Irony Deficient: Part 2

The enslaved in colonial America did not miss the irony of their oppressors’ protests against oppression by the British…all while keeping them in bondage.

“Until we are all free, we are none of us free.” ~ Emma Lazarus

Inhale Freedom, Exhale Oppression…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Bondage…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Slavery…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Irony Deficient: Part 1

It is endlessly ironic to me that the descendants of those who often escaped religious persecution in their countries of origin are so intolerant of other religions in this country.

“So when a nation of immigrants starts putting up travel bans, you have officially lost the plot [of the Bible].” ~ Rob Bell

Inhale Freedom, Exhale Persecution…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Intolerance…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Hypocrisy…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Real Freedom

The time to be patient … the time to linger … the time to focus fully on life’s divine flow … that is real freedom.

“Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.” ~ Steven Wright

Inhale Patience, Exhale Chaos…
Inhale Lingering, Exhale Rushing…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Constriction…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Distracted

While people are using social media to protest Dove’s awkward attempt at “representing women of color thoughtfully” (their words), #45’s FBI has apparently launched COINTELPRO 2.0 to target and discredit what they’ve labeled “black identity extremists.”

The FBI has a history of targeting activists fighting for equality and social justice; in this latest move, the Bureau has “conjured’ extremists from peaceful protestors, who they say pose a growing threat to law enforcement.

And while it may not have been intentional, the Dove ad is just a distraction.

“All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’ If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.” ~ Martin Luther King, I’ve Been To The Mountain Top, April 3, 1968

Inhale Focus, Exhale Distractions…
Inhale Protest, Exhale Discredited…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Denial…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Unforgiven

A story about Hazel Bryan and Elizabeth Eckford popped up on my timeline last week. It was an older article, written in 2011, about the unlikely friendship of Eckford, one of the Nine who tried to integrate Little Rock Central High School in 1957, and Bryan, immortalized in all her racist rage, trying to prevent that from happening.

Their friendship blossomed after Bryan apologized, grew into a partnership over their shared experience, and then shriveled under the weight of suspicion from their communities and each other. Bryan’s conversion to and activities as an activist were not enough to gain forgiveness and acceptance among those she had hurt.

And I wondered…are we ever permitted to transition from the mistakes we’ve made…transform in the eyes of those who judge us harshly? Are there some grievances too egregious to be forgiven?

“Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.” Colossians 3:13, MSG

Inhale Friendship, Exhale Unforgiveness…
Inhale Forgiveness, Exhale Unforgiveness…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Unforgiveness…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Everyday Superwoman

I often say women would rather be called the B-word than selfish. But the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves to meet the sometimes imagined expectations of our various roles sometimes becomes too heavy a burden.

Yet we keep shouldering on until our bodies are broken, our spirits shattered and we’re left disconnected from the very people for whom we sacrifice so much.

What if there was another way?

When we accept others’ freedom, we don’t get angry, feel guilty, or withdraw our love when they set boundaries with us. When we accept others’ freedom, we feel better about our own.” ~ Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend, Boundaries

Inhale Simplicity, Exhale Burdens…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Burdens…
Inhale Boundaries, Exhale Burdens…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Free Your Dream

You wouldn’t have the dream you’re dreaming if you weren’t supposed to or weren’t able to live it. Isn’t that freeing? Doesn’t that relieve some of the pressure? Doesn’t that take away the fear?

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20, The Message

Inhale Dreaming, Exhale Repressing…
Inhale Relaxing, Exhale Stressing…
Inhale Living, Exhale Oppressing…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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American Nightmare

This week, while some Americans were celebrating the American Experiment, the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were marking the 1-year anniversary of their state-sanctioned deaths.

While many Americans over indulged, over 2 million Americans, almost 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population, provided almost free labor to corporations focused on profits.

Many American’s seem to accept these realities as indictments against other Americans. They cannot see their connection to or comprehend their complicity in the systemic and relentless racism that is the reality for many in this country.

No one is free until we are all free.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Inhale Freedom, Exhale Apathy…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Disconnection…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Ignorance…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
#MyAmerica
#AreWeFreeYet?
Reflections With Renita

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My America

It is endlessly fascinating to me that the descendants of those who would have destroyed the United States, are often the ones most eager to claim patriotism…to the exclusion of others.

Mainstream patriotism holds notions of equality, colorblindness, and meritocracy that are at odds with the lives of black Americans.” ~ Dr. Micah Johnson

Inhale Equality, Exhale Exclusion…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Oppression…
Inhale Unity, Exhale Destruction…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
#MyAmerica
Reflections With Renita

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