you're a racist

I had to say this to someone I love just the other day.  

We'll call this someone "Taylor" (that's a great unisex name, right?) 

Well, Taylor was going on and on about this particular race of people... how Taylor doesn't like this race of people, can't trust this race of people, doesn't understand/feel comfortable around this race of people and so on and so forth.  Taylor has felt this way for years.  Taylor verbalizes these thoughts and feelings to family and friends who say nothing to change or challenge Taylor's ignorant way of thinking.  (Man, I'm already tired of saying Taylor over and over... anonymity is something else...)  

Anyway, Taylor rails on and on with this racist foolywank diatribe that is appalling to me.  While I do have issues in my life to confront and work through (ie. extreme independence, fear, trust issues and so on...), I just don't see people in terms of race.  For me, people generally fall into two categories.  There are awesome people and there are jackasses.  People are free to wander from one category to the other at any time.  Awesome people come in all sizes, shapes and colors.  So do jackasses.  My goal is to live in the awesome category, but there are times (no lie) that (somehow) I am rolling with the jackasses.  I am always initially surprised about my entrance into jackass territory; however, once I realize I'm in the wrong category, I high tail it out of there, do my best to figure out where I took a wrong turn and attempt to avoid that particular exit in the future.  So glad that we can wander from one category to the other...

Back to Taylor's racist foolywank diatribe.  T's words were being spoken softly... and kindly even... Never before did I think the words racist and kind could mix in one sentence, but apparently they do sentences and in real life all the time.  So when Taylor paused and looked at me leaning slightly forward as if waiting for a response, I paused and looked deep into Taylor's heart/eyes.  As kindly, lovingly and sincerely as possible, I said, "That's because you're a racist."  Taylor's eyes winced at the words a little bit; however, we both knew that the words spoken were true.  Without an exchange of words, we both acknowledged the truth as it reverberated throughout the room.  Then I saw Taylor's eyes change from openness to acceptance then resolve.  A pattern that I know all to well.  Openness (if only for a moment) to truth.  Acceptance, inner validation or re-commitment to my stance or position.  Resolve to stay there.  This path is always a detriment to self when change needs to take place.  Always.  Detrimental.  Sometimes.  Deadly.  Literally and/or figuratively.  I know this path and I purpose to avoid it at all costs because it's a bum deal.  A total dead end.  

My heart went out to Taylor as the truth resounded in echoes of silence.  Taylor learned these racist ideas and behaviors from a parent.  Sadly, this stance has become an invisible bonding point between them.  Taylor and said parent are both educated people who work everyday and contribute to their community in valuable and meaningful ways.  In the midst of the silence, I realized that I had to let go of my own stereotypes about expressions of racism.  I tend to think about sheets, burning crosses, backwoods/small towns and people who are ignorant and uneducated with a few rotten teeth.  Note to self: stop using stereotypes.

At this point in the conversation, it felt like there were one thousand invisible elephants in the room with dozens more appearing each second.  I didn't know what else to say besides "I love you, T."  So I did and then I left.  All the while wondering why I get the mean anointing...  why it's so tough to learn from each other, accept truth and make changes.  Taylor is racist.  I am not.  T could learn from me.  I am extremely independent.  Taylor is extremely dependent.  I could learn from T.  I don't have a witty ending for this one, folks.  Just a dream that someday we will learn from each other and help each other evolve.  Let it begin with me.   


pieces of me

This is my Grandaddy.  My Mom's Dad.  A picture (that I snagged from My Granny's album) taken in October 1966.  I remember him tilling the ground, planting seeds, watering and harvesting crops.  I remember corn stalks that seemed bent on kissing the sky.  I remember shucking corn.  All those doggone fine hairs!  I remember playing in the yard which seemed to go on and on forever and ever.  The joy of playing with my child in this same yard... of watching my child play with his cousins (just like I did once upon a time) in this same yard... The joy is inexplicable.  Same girl.  Same yard.  Different perspective.  
Today would have been his 81st birthday.  He's been in Heaven for 9 years now.  He was a preacher and hardworking father of nine (yeah, you read that right!) who taught me about God, the bible and hard work.  He taught me about avoiding foolywank, standing firm in my beliefs and telling the truth (first) to myself and others.  He taught me by example.  Grandaddy wasn't so much about talk as he was action.  Although this picture was taken many years ago, this is the way I remember him today.  Wearing his denim "overhauls" while tending to the garden after a long day at work.  When he took sick, I had been gone away from home for several years doing the college-working-married thing.  After a series of unsuccessful (botched) surgeries, he became weak and frail when he was supposed to be healing and recovering.  My family who took care of him during this time witnessed his decline firsthand.  I still have mixed feelings about living so far away during that time.  Not guilt but a deep and tender space for those who gave so much.  Gosh, I love my family.  We are not perfect, that's for sure, but we love each other unconditionally and as I grow older, I realize unconditional love is a gift that is rare, precious and full of immeasurable value.  

Happy Birthday, Grandaddy!  Say hello to Josh for me!  Thank you for pouring yourself into me.  Your influence in my life is still present every day.  Every single day.  From my faith and convictions to character and family values, your life is so much a part of mine.  I even find myself yawning in the same loud and obnoxious way that you did and after I'm done yawning, I always laugh and then smile.  

lyrics and laundry

So I'm still rocking my sackcloth and ashes, but mostly for dramatic effect.  A girl can only thrash and wail so much and then it's like... Wait, is that a scratch on my arm?  Is that my stomach growling?  Lemme go get some Neosporin and a snack...

I found some cute shoes that work with the sackcloth, rinsed the ashes out of my hair and put on some chapstick because my lips were oh so dry.  I drank a big ol' mason jar of water too.  Turns out ashes are really drying to the skin and all.  I think I need to find a more moisturizing manner of mourning, especially during the winter.  If winter is still what this time of year is called anymore...  I don't know about your neck of the woods, but around here we've had weather ranging from 70-30 degrees... sunshine and shorts weather one day then a light dusting of snow the next.  Chile*, creation is groaning... makes me wonder if Mother Nature is rocking sackcloth too?  Girl, you can borrow my shoes anytime!!!

sassy sackcloth shoes

So, before I took my grief to the curb, I was jamming to the most amazing "January theme song"...  Wait, you have theme songs aka a soundtrack for life, too, right?  Since I hear and see life (mostly) in giggles and music, there is a theme song (or a laugh) for everything including the hard times.  Wailing on the curb, I heard the melancholy yet magnificent singing of Adele. Though I find her lyrics to be a tidge too depressing for everyday life, I heard her lovely voice singing "Rolling in the Deep" as the backdrop of my bereavement.  

Can't you just see me thrashing in sync with the drum beat and tearing at my sackcloth as she singing out the word "alllllllllllllllllllllll"?  ...Until I got hungry, of course.  

Well today I have on my sassy sackcloth shoes (click the link above if you want a pair!) and my January theme song is back on rotation and blasting loudly.  Have you ever heard "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars?  Check it out below... I lurve it!  The melody, the lyrics... swoon-tastical.  Seriously, the words to this song speak to me on a deep, spiritual level.  Listen and lemme know what you think.  I'm jamming over here in my sassy shoes and sackcloth, but it's starting to get itchy, so I'd better go do some laundry.  Loveu!


* this is not the country in South America, but a southern pronunciation of the word child, which is used most often in conversation with a good friend. If what one is saying happens to be real good or extra-extra juicy, the word chile  is often preceded by the word honey.  

sackcloth and ashes

At the start of each year, I usually get a word or phrase that becomes my theme or mantra for the entire year.  Also, at the beginning of each year, I am unusually quiet and reflective about the direction of my life, goals, dreams and commitments.  I already told yall in my last post about my over-scheduling problem.  It's still large and in charge, which is a major sad face, so today is the day I begin trimming the excess off the calendar.  The dramatic part of me is in full mourning over this.  Full mourning.  So much so that I have taken it back to the old school:  I am preparing to dress in sackcloth and dump ashes upon my head as soon as I'm finished with this post.  If you know where I live, do a driveby... I will be near the curb thrashing wildly and lamenting loudly... at least until my husband gets home... because he will make me come inside.  

click here to purchase sackcloth

Why is it so tough for me to accept the fact that I cannot do it all?  That sometimes what is good will become a thief of what's best if I'm not careful.  That I am in a season of life that is demanding in more ways than I even know how to express.  But I think every season of life tends to feel like that which brings me back to the fact that I can't do it all.  Sigh... dumps ashes on head... I keep telling myself that these schedule changes are for my own good and the good of those who are near and dear.  When I look at my commitments and goals for the year, I know that in order to embrace new things, I have to let go of others... puts on sackcloth... I will do what's right for me.  I will.  Even though there will be a mixture of joy (for new things) and some mourning (for the loss of former things)... Therefore I will weep by the curb (until my husband gets home).  

Why in the world am I so dramatic, you ask?  I think it has something to do with being a HSP.  It has been a lifelong trait, just ask my mother.  I'm really looking forward to God explaining that to me one day.  

So back to that reflection and direction for the year... The word (well, one of them) that has been stirring in my heart and soul for year is give.  

Give your self fully to the things that are most important right now.  
Give up some things so that you can fully focus your time, resources and energy. 

Give ... right now I am pondering this word and its definition.  
As I feel led, I am acting with conviction.  

*takes phone call*

I just gave up my first thing and it feels sad, liberating, frustrating, right, wrong and weird all at the same time.  It isn't fun, yet I know within my soul that it is the right decision for this season of life...dumps another bucket of ashes on head.  

Sometimes life is such a mixture of contrasting emotions.  I keep reminding myself that without change there'd be no butterflies...

To know when and where to give myself fully.  
To know when and where to give up fully too.  

This is my journey for 2012...
Do you have a theme word or phrase for the year?  

XOXO Sharita

p.s.  Honk if you pass by while I'm wailing curbside... 

new years rulin's

Have you made any New Year's Resolutions?  If so, are ya keepin em?  I came across Woody Guthrie's "new year's rulin's" from 1943.  Click here to check 'em out.  His list makes me swoon over living a simple life.  Speaking of which, it is the end of the first week of the new year, and as I look at our family calendar, almost every night of the week is filled.  That ain't good so... something's gotta give!  This over-scheduling trend seems to happen to me at the start of every year.  Lots of good opportunities, connections, events and activities... all really good things in and of themselves, btdub, but a girl (or guy!) can't do it all, ya know. (note to self)...

So in the midst of revisiting commitments and obligations,  pondering and working towards goals for the year, getting used to the new normal that is life without Josh, getting back on a normal/post-holiday routine and letting go of the old and embracing the new, I am savoring the sweetness of everyday life.  Practicing intention and awareness.  Daily.  Not always getting it right, but continually learning as I go along and refusing to call it quits.  Being grateful everyday. Reminding myself that it is worth it and then choosing to walk in that reality.  I have been challenged and inspired by this quote:

"...give thanks for the life you already have, to find the life you've always wanted."                                                                                                                                               
                                                               -Ann Voskamp

A friend shared Ann Voskamp with me via Facebook and I am so glad she did!   Click here to visit Ann V's website. Each time I visit her site, I am challenged, uplifted and inspired.  I hope you find inspiration too.  FYI if the music on the website drives you nuts, you can turn it off just below the menu tabs near the  top of the page.  I enjoy the music for about 15 seconds and then I have to turn it off to concentrate on what I'm reading... but maybe it's just me.  I downloaded her app called "1000 Gifts" ... it is a really neat way to capture, chronicle and express gratitude for those special moments that pop into each day.  



XOXO Sharita
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