It’s My Fault

Last week I read the below Facebook post and experienced my own Aha moment! Not that there was a great idea associated with the author’s post that I didn’t know, but it was more that I was listening to my inner spirit. My conscience was reminding me that I’m going through a transformation period and like I said in an earlier post, God is telling me to harvest my field. Reading this post reminded me of one fundamental fact…It’s my fault.

It’s my fault if I allow people to disrespect me and the relationships we have. It’s my fault if I don’t acknowledge the brokenness and continue in a perpetual cycle of insanity. Then why can’t I be honest with myself? Why can’t I stop trying to find the good in people and understand that the only thing I can control is…me.

My girlfriend reminded me the other day about this. When we were talking and I was expressing my frustrations about things that were happening and she said it, “Sweetie, you can’t blame them. You need to blame yourself because you are allowing the disrespect, dysfunction or insanity to continue.” She reminded me what the late Dr. Maya Angelou said…

“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”

Yep, I was trying to fix and give people all kinds of chances because I knew I could see good in their character. It isn’t that they aren’t good people. They just aren’t good for me. So, when I read the Facebook post it was confirmation of what my inner spirit was saying. Stop trying to make a square peg fit in a round circle.

I’m my own worst enemy and over the years, I’ve had some amazing and some not so amazing people enter my life. The good ones give me advice that speaks to my spirit years later and reminds me when I’m at a crossroads that I need to evaluate and change things. For example, a young man that I met at my second job outside of college said to me

“Relationships are supposed to be symbiotic which means we both get something from them. If you are the only one giving and you’re not getting anything from it then it is parasitic and you must end it.”

I was 24 when he said this to me. So, how come almost 20 years later I’m just truly understanding the value in what he said? How many of us are staying in parasitic relationships because we believe that we can change the other person? How many of us feel depleted emotionally, spiritually, financially or physically because we can’t let go? Me.

I had arrived at my Aha moment and realized that it is my fault. If I am honest with myself from the start then I will see people for who they truly are the first time. I will embrace the truth – the first time.

Be blessed my loves!

Boy Painting On A Blank Canvas

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The Phenomenal Princess

My niece is one of the most beautiful and phenomenal young women I know.  I know I’m kind of biased, but let me tell you why I think she’s phenomenal.  Princess #1 (her nickname) is almost 16.  She’s smart, funny and talented.  It’s in her genes.


One of the things I love most about my princess is her beautiful chocolate skin color.  It’s the color of a molten lava cake.  Beautiful and dark.  She is my chocolate kiss.  As a woman I try to instill racial pride in my nieces and nephews.  Loving the skin you’re in.  You see it is hard out for our young black women and men.  Your color is the first thing people notice about you. It’s the thing that makes some folks cringe or cross the other side of the street when you walk by. Sometimes, it is the one thing that we try to change.  But, how can you change something so beautifully inherited by your parents?  

There are too many young women who are walking around with their self-esteem damaged. Many of those same women have felt the pressure to fit into society’s ideal of beauty.  To be a size two with a 42 inch waist.  However, is that really realistic?  Nope.  In an Instagram age where everyone is a model based off the number of followers and likes on their page or photos, it’s no wonder our young ladies feel the pressure to fit in.  But, at what cost are they trying to change who they are?

We need to teach our young ladies that they are perfect just the way they are.  I love the fact that New York City became the first  major city in the nation to tackle the issue of self-esteem in young girls.  They want young girls to see that their value comes from character not your appearance.  This is something that we’ve tried to do with Princess since she was a little girl. We wanted her to recognize that you are beautiful because you exist, but your character is what really determines your worth.  Character.  That is what I want her to have.  Good character. You’re already beautiful outside, why not work on the inside?

So, in light of one of my literary heroes (Maya Angelou) that passed away yesterday, I submit this poem to my niece and all the young women out there who may not know this… You are beautiful just the way you are.  You are phenomenal!

Phenomenal Woman

BY MAYA ANGELOU

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.


I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.


Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.




This is me and Princess #1 – I love me some her! Phenomenally!



The Defining Moment

Today I was saddened to hear the news of Maya Angelou’s untimely death.  She was an incredible poet, author and entertainer.  She was simply a strong woman.  A strong black woman. She helped me love and appreciate the curves in my hips when I read “Phenomenal Woman”. She helped me see that the pain that I held when I couldn’t forgive folks kept me caged like a bird and she taught me that the best revenge is simply to rise and be heard.  To stand up and show the world that they aren’t hurting me.  To move past the pain.

She told me in her poem that haters will hate, but still I rise.  She taught me to not let them see me being down trodden.  Rise.  She taught me that just because I’m a woman and poor doesn’t mean that I can’t reinvent myself.  She did and accomplished so many things in her life that it is a shame that some will never know how deep her footprints in the sand of life really are. Incredible. Talented.  Phenomenal. Strong.  Able.  Those are just some of the words that I would use to describe her.

The poem “Still I Rise” was the defining moment in my life that I truly learned to love and appreciate the blackness of my skin.  I learned to appreciate and love being a woman and I learned to move past the injustices that were done to me.  You see it wasn’t Amiri Baraka with his words of rage that had me raising my fist in solidarity of my people, but it was in the love of the words that spoke to someone who got up and got over the heartaches of this world. 

There are very few people that have influenced my life in such a profound way that I have not personally met.  Few people that have helped lay the foundation and appreciation for my racial pride.  She was one of the reasons that I became an English major.  Her writing inspired and awakened me in the rooms of my college dorm and in the classroom where I found my literary voice. A voice each day that I’m learning to use.  

So, for folks who don’t know this poem, “Still I Rise”, I’ve shared it below.

Still I Rise
by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my livin’ room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meetings of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise