MLK on a Sacred Saturday

We were all different shades, shapes and sizes, yet we were the same in love, acceptance, and support.

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Over the past few weeks, you all have been able to view some of my inner most thoughts; and even learn some of the not so pleasant things about me as well (see Airing Out the Laundry). However, there are still some things that y’all don’t know about your girl. One of which is that I am a self-proclaimed extreme introvert. And I’m sure you’ve all seen my kind before. Perhaps by observing that very quiet co-worker who never goes to office parties, or even that family member, Little Johnny, who spends all day in his room, and must literally be bribed to show his face when guest come over? Yes, both would describe me perfectly. I like to be alone. Settled in my own space, far away from meddling people. Not that I don’t like people. The thought of hanging out with tons of friends and crowds of happy stranglers is exciting…yet, utterly terrifying at the same time. I often persist in an internal battle: aspiring to be a socialite princess, while simultaneously indulging my groundhog tendencies of stowing away, in my own little dwellings, resisting all communication with other life forms. But, to sustain somewhat of a productive life style, I accept that I must be around people, at least on most days.

pexels-photo-24105And so, I reserve my seclusion time for the weekends. In this sacred time, when I’m not working and Terrance is away (visiting with his beloved cousins), I retreat.  I bury myself in my room with a heavy blanket and a ton of books: happily drifting off into a world where I am the only one there. I look forward to Saturdays like this. So, naturally, when someone invites me to go out somewhere, I secretly interpret it as a direct threat against my happy time. Nine times out of ten, I say “no” or find clever methods to cowardly weasel my way out of going. The other ten percent of the time I force myself to just go– mainly out of guilt, but also to avoid being labeled as anti-social. Surprisingly, I often really do enjoy it when I go out on weekends. Time after time, I am reminded that communing with others is not so bad. The hard part is persuading myself to go in the first place. One of my many new year’s resolutions included making a real effort to get out more, and rid myself of my introverted ways. This is the reason I decided to go to an MLK event; which just so happened to have occurred on one of my sacred seclusion Saturdays.

I got a text from a friend Friday morning, inviting me to this event. I opened the message, and shortly afterwards began to take slow labored breathes, feeling signs of an acute panic attack coming on. “Hey Cheryl, I wanted to be sure you saw the MLK event…It would be great to see you”. No. No. No! I thought: going through my normal –or not so normal—routine of mental anguish. I can’t go… I want to go… I should go, but I want to stay home… I haven’t gone out in a while, oh my god, but why this weekend… I am not going! … And before I could change my mind again, I grab my phone and message back, “see you tomorrow.” So it was settled, I was going.

fb_img_1484421955707The Historic Roosevelt Center in Elkhart, Indiana, is an awesome pillar of the community. And Saturday, its facilities was used to house The Peoples History of Elkhart’s event: Reviving Dr. King’s Call for a Poor People’s Campaign. I must admit that, though I was interested in the topic, I wasn’t stoked about being in a crowd of people. I was a tad anxious up until I got inside of the auditorium. Then my entire mood changed. The experience brought me alive and I left feeling the way that I often do: wondering why I don’t get out more often in the first place. There was singing, there were awards and speeches, and most important, there was discussion about Martin Luther King, his legacy and how his life’s mission of gaining equality, peace and justice for all still stands today. I enjoyed the presentations, the conversations, and the comradery amongst the attendees: who all shared a common goal– to learn, understand and apply the knowledge gained from one another. We were all different shades, shapes and sizes, yet we were the same in love, acceptance, and support.

There, I was in my element. That extroverted socialite that I often dream about came out and took over. I talked, I laughed, and I met some amazing new people. I also in the process rekindled a need and desire to involve myself in more civic activism.

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Saturday, was a great day for me. So, from here forth, whenever I’m invited out to do something besides just lay in bed, I’ll think back on this lovely occasion, and then quickly reply, “yes, I would love to go!”

The purpose of this blog is to come from a place of love, strength, discovery and vulnerability. Please join me as I share my journey.

 

 

Can This Wounded Bird Still Fly?

My intentions for this blog were to go in a completely different direction, but a wise woman once told me, “write from the heart, and convey your thoughts with authenticity.” (Thanks Betsy!) And so, I’ve decided that… I’m putting my heart into this.

” There lies a sacred place inside of us reserved for the people we love. And when that love is lost, we are wounded like a bird with a broken wing– emptiness is felt” 

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The loss of loved ones through death, the loss of friendships through mutual—and sometimes not so mutual—partings, and even the result of broken family ties will inevitably take a toll on even the strongest of persons. Often, when feeling the pain of losing someone you thought—for sure— you needed to go on in life, you feel wounded like a bird with a broken wing. How do you function? When all the memories, thoughts, and feelings of someone you loved are ripped from their neatly placed positions in your heart and tumbled into a mental and emotional storm at the forefront of your mind, you can’t help but have side effects. 

 dadHow is this relevant to me? Because this bird’s wing is broken. Over the last few years I’ve experienced my own personal loses… and they hurt. Five years ago, my brother whom I adore and admire dearly had a heart attack and died suddenly. And in July, of last year (2016), I lost my father the same way. Even still, as of now the most pain I feel comes from cutting ties with a close family member. The difference is this person is still alive and we… just don’t talk anymore. Our relationship was insufferably toxic, yet the bond is still incredibly missed. Examples like these have left parts of me empty–wounded in a sense. And for me the side effects are feelings of despair, emptiness, —pain.

So, the question of the hour is can this wounded bird still fly? The simple answer is yes. But it’ll take some nurturing. It’ll take a surplus of blessed love that can flood into the heart and fill those empty spaces. The rejuvenating power of love, goes above and beyond all other forms of therapy, but the acceptance of that love must be deliberate. I naturally have a hard time accepting that I am loved. However, this is slowly changing because I know deep down that to fully heal I must embrace love. Bask in it. Immerse myself in it. This I’ll do this year, from here on out, by remaining positive and understanding that nothing else can matter until I matter first. And this is the prerequisite for a marvelous flight—a strong, vibrate heart scattered in scares, yet restored by love.

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The purpose of this blog is to come from a place of love, strength, discovery and vulnerability. Please join me as I share my journey.