Friday, March 25, 2011

Lessons From Miss Celie's Blues

Sista, you've been on my mind...Oh sista...we're two of a kind...So sister, I'm keeping my eyes on you.
It's hard to watch our sistergirls struggle.  All of us have a friend or two that really struggle with life and living.  They are beautiful, loving, amazing women.  They have done things that may leave us in awe of their capacity to love, to endure, to overcome.  They have been our heros, expanding the way we think, the way we live, and the way we love.  They have stood up for themselves on the job in ways we only dream of.  Go out on the town with them and they are the ones that ain't taking no sh!t.  They will defend you, you, and your mamma too.  They can run a household like a Fortune 500 company.  Hell, they run a Fortune500 company.   Not only do they bring home the bacon, they slaughter the pig, smoke and cure the meat, bring it home to cook it and serve it with water that they have turned into wine.  However, when it comes to love and relationships, they lose it.  They become something else.  This Dragon Goddess turns into a damsel in distress tying herself to the railroad leaving everyone with a case of shock and awe.  Now, our eyes are on her because we are worried and the person who usually saves the day needs to be saved.
I bet you think I don't know nothing...but singing the blues...Oh sister, have I got news for you...I'm something.  I hope you think that your something too.
She was the one that we looked at and said, "If our friends reflect who I am or who I have the capacity to be...then I am amazing."  Now, this woman, that we have great admiration for, looks at us and our life and our relationship in awe.  She say's that we are lucky that we found a good man where there are none.  She says, "Well, you always have it together." Completely, forgetting the days that she was the one to pick us up.  She raves about our cooking when it was her that gave us the recipe for that cake.  Now, she's calling us to bake it.  We are tempted out an APB for our real sister because CLEARLY this one has been invaded by some alien from the planet of DAMsella.  We ask her about it and she just brushes it off, "you don't get it.  Things are always perfect for you."  Really?
And this is where the story can turn.  Suddenly, she is avoiding us.  Now, she can't come out, she's tired, she's sick.  Now, your relationship is upside down.  She's mean, or forgetful.  She excludes us because we don't get she says.  We all are not on the same page any more.  And we are TICKED OFF.  She can't break up with us!  She needs to break up with that fool we say.  We tell her that she deserves better.  We bombard her with  any relationship tool that we can get our hand on.  She has to get it together because if she is lost what does that say about us?  It says the same thing.  "If our friends reflect who we are and who we have the capacity to be...then sometimes I fall apart as well.  Sometimes I forget who I am and my power, too."
Oh, scuffling, I've been up that lonesome road and I've seen a lot of suns going down.
Before we throw this relationship in the wind and our hands in the air, let's pause.  Let's go back.  We've been down.  We've had a moment or two in which we did not feel the best about ourselves.  We've settled for less when we deserved more.  In those times in spaces, we may have done some things to others and ourselves that we are not so proud of now.  The only thing that got us through were the people in our lives who loved us anyway.

Maybe it wasn't a person, it may have been an animal, a dog or cat that still was excited when you walked through the door.  Maybe it was food.  No matter how "bad" you were, it was still good.  Maybe it was sex-for a few hours...or minutes...we could run away to version of bliss.  We still may be overcoming a habit developed when we didn't feel good about ourselves.  Many of us have looked for love and care in all the wrong places.  However, most of us have had a healthy dose of being loved through our pain.  Usually, it came from family.  Our sisters, brothers, our mothers, our fathers, our cousins, our nieces and nephews that loved us anyway.  If we were lucky, it was a friend who would look at you and love you even when you were acting ugly.  But it was love that gave us the power to say, "hold up!  Wait a minute!"  I deserve better.  This is not going to work.  Somebody loves me and I'm OK if you don't. 
Oh, but trust me, no low life's gonna run me around.  So let me tell you something sista...remember your name...
It is our job, to help her remember.  It is our job to love her ugly and all.  It our job to love her so she is reminded that not only does she deserve better, she has better.  It our job to love her in a way that does not allow her to forget what love is.  It is our turn to nurture, to be ready to help clean up the mess, to run the bath, to cook the food, to listen with love.  It is our turn to be firm and say, "Let's not talk about that anymore if it's not going to change.  Let's share something else."  We may have to say, "I don't agree but,  I am here for you."  We may have to say, "I know it's frustrating to be going down this road again.  I have been here with you.  You have been here with me and we will come back until we get the lesson."  We may have to cover our eyes when she doesn't get it again.  We have to remember the times that we didn't get it and we kept falling until we learned how to truly stand. It was love that made us sturdy.  This is our time to love.
No twister's gonna steal your stuff away.  My sista, we sure ain't got whole lot of time...
Love with conviction and without judgment.  Soon, the turning point comes and she remembers, like we remembered, that usually we gave our power away.  It was not always...STOLEN.  Now there is power in that!  Once she remembers that she also can remember that she can give her power and she can take it back.  Remember that moment when we realized...THIS IS MY POWER.  Then, remember that next level when  we realized that our HIGHER POWER was our supplier of power and our access to that power is immediate and endless.  Now, we are out of this world and we are free.  That turning point can come for her.  Don't you want to be there to celebrate with her?!  Don't miss out on the party because the planning isn't fun.
Being beside a friend, that you have walked with through the storm, when they have overcome adversity is the most beautifully humbling experience ever.  Remember how amazing you felt when somebody walked you through the storm.  Remember the gratitude?  It is cause for celebration when we or the people we love are triumphant.  It is the ebb and flow of life.  It a reminder of why we do what we do when we do it.  It is testimony that we don't have to be 360 degrees of amazing all the time.  However, we can be a vehicle of Divine love and that is amazing. Now, go and scratch that out of somebody's head.
So shake your shimmy, sister...Cuz honey, this Shug is feeling fine..

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