This has been an interesting school year. In my last post I was entering the last year of my Master’s program and beginning practicum/internship. I had no idea what was in store for me. Great things. Great people. Granted, there were a few hiccups along the way due to differences in communication, but when looking at the “big picture” I can truly say I had a successful year overall. My purpose was to help others and that’s what I did. I spent the last year working with a university program for students on academic probation and with the university’s counseling center. It was a little stressful and time-consuming at times [the admin part], but most of the time it was fun, interesting, uplifting, eye-opening, and INSPIRING!
I worked with students ranging from freshmen to 2nd-year seniors of all ages, races, majors, socio-economic statuses, etc. They were all different, but they all had one thing in common: In their own little way, they inspired me. You see, I was there to help them. Life had thrown them a curve ball and they were picking themselves up and dusting off while I was there to help them find their way to first base. In the process [on the way to first base], many of them shared the details of their struggle [the curve ball] and I was inspired by their strength and their determination. Now, if you were to ask them about this strength and determination that I speak of some would probably deny its existence. But, I saw what many of them were unable to see – what many others don’t take the time to see. I saw them from the inside out – and I was truly inspired.
Today, I just want to say Thank You – not only to my students, but also to the students around the world that they represent. So…
It’s been a long time coming. For the last two years, I’ve been inhaling and inhaling – the disappointment, the hurt, the pain, the negative urges… Oh, the things I wanted to say and the things I wanted to do – but never acted on – well, except for those few times I allowed myself to stoop. Those were the times I exhaled a little. But those exhales weren’t filled with relief; they were filled with the hurt, pain, and anger that I wanted to release. And yet, I still found myself hurting. And so goes my journey to truly exhale…
I was hurting on the inside from something that was done to me. Initially, I responded in a positive way, but somewhere along the [communication] lines things got negative. “What about my hurt and my pain,” I thought. “What about the things that were said and done to me”? “Did anyone think about my feelings”? “Did anyone care”? I believe that actions speak louder than words. First, the actions were foul – and now, so were the words. So, I retaliated [verbally].
“If You Really Knew Me” is a TV show about breaking down barriers between students in high schools. It inspired me to write this post. What if we, as young men and young women, start working together to break down the barriers between us?! What if we start being the change that we want to see in generations to come?!
Looking at a situation from different perspectives and considering another person’s feelings is not always easy – especially when our own feelings are involved. However, after going through my own experiences and starting my journey as a budding counselor, I know that it IS possible! I’m aware that some people will be with me on this, and some people won’t. That’s Okay! My purpose in writing this is to give you something to think about. And I’m doing it in my own special way, so… Enjoy!
*Try to personalize this. Read it from your perspective, and then read it from another person’s perspective (maybe someone who has caused you pain OR who you’ve caused pain). It may not have the same effect on everyone, but hopefully it’ll get you to thinking…
If You Really Knew Me!
We are all different
And yet we’re still the same
We have feelings
And we feel pain
As I sit here and write this, I am watching the Tyra Show and today’s topic is “Bleaching for Beauty”. She’s talking to six Black women who bleach their skin because they are a darker complexion/dark skin and wish to be a lighter complexion/light skin. They feel “ugly” and inferior because of the color of their skin.
Beauty and what it means to be beautiful has been an ongoing issue with people in general, but more specifically with women – from young girls, to teens, to young and older women. Well, for some women in the Black community this issue runs deep – skin deep. To them, beauty is defined by the complexion of their skin. And according to the women on Tyra’s show and many other women in our community, Black is most beautiful when it is a lighter complexion, complimented by a “good” grade of long hair and a set of light-colored eyes.
Sometimes, saying Goodbye is the best thing to do.
Last week I reached a milestone. And I must say, I’m very proud of myself. When I think about where I was this time last year; I am proud, and I am thankful for how far I have come.
I have been tested in many ways. My faith has been tested. My strength has been tested. My patience has been tested. My character has been tested. My ability to Love, Forgive, Let Go, and find Peace has been tested. I – have truly been tested.
What if you were created to change somebody’s life?
We go through each day on this journey called Life; eating, sleeping, working, playing, shopping, going to church, attending events, etc. – just living, laughing, and loving. And in pretty much everything that we do, we encounter and interact with different kinds of people: good/bad, rich/poor, healthy/sick, employed/unemployed, smart/not so smart, informed/ignorant, sane/mentally unstable, happy/sad and all of those in between [you get the picture]. Do you ever stop to think how your actions (what you say and do) may affect any of those people – positively and/or negatively? And how this, in turn, may change their life – positively and/or negatively?
I do, and I guess that’s what led me to write this post. Now, I admit that I am not perfect (and I acknowledge my imperfections). I too was taught to “treat others how you want to be treated” and have failed to do so at times – more so in my younger days (although I’m just 25 years young). I have hurt others – close to me and not so close to me. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to implement that advice in my journey of life… and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not always easy!