On 39 years of life (a birthday reflection)

I am learning to embrace my emotions. It is a hard thing to do, being a black woman. We are indoctrinated in some insidious ways, early, to eat our sorrows then cling to the anger assigned to us with the sole purpose of declawing our righteous indignation. Everywhere we turn, we are told and shown how little our feelings and tears matter. That what matters is what everybody else feels, and how we’d do well to remember it.

But how we feel–how I feel does matter.

It matters that I am exhausted because my body is breaking down from moving too many boxes and dragging too many bags.

It matters that I am drained from giving every ounce of who I am to the cavalier pursuits of those around me and that without appreciation.

It matters that I am lonely and drifting after years of sacrificing my own life as tribute so that someone else could take their time and figure it out.

It matters that I am no longer the light and happy person I used to be because I have carried weight and miseries that weren’t even mine to bear.

Who I am matters. How I feel matters, because:

  • When I don’t acknowledge my truth, it festers into disease.
  • When I don’t acknowledge my pain, I am unable to touch the souls of others.
  • When I hide behind anger and attitude, I an never healed.

I want shalom healing. Nothing missing or broken. Everything as it should be.

I promised to dedicate myself to God this year. All I asked for was my life back. All I want is my life back. No balloons. No presents. No public declarations of love that never see the secrets of my heart. No pretend celebration because I asked for it. All I want is my life back. Where I am happy, healthy. Whole. Where my heart is not broken. Where I am not disused. Where I can walk in joy and light. Where I am free.

Where who I am and how I feel matters again…to me.


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