“That’s Your Growth”

So, it’s been far too long since the last time I had courage to put finger to keyboard. And sooooo much has changed. And yet, still, so much is indefinitely the same. My perspective of the world has gone on a trip from the far side back right. I have found myself in the depths of hell, searching for my salvation back to God’s safety net. I have found myself lost in the wilderness of the devil’s playground, praying for focus to get grounded back into God’s loving nest. I have fought from the bottomless pit of self-pity, regret and sorrow to find my way back to the freedom of SELF. 

And to be honest, I’m still not there. I’m on my way though. In any regard, I missed my EverythingShaquana family. Over the past five years, whenever I’ve faced adversity, I’ve found that I could turn to my blogging community for support, understanding and unfiltered Love. And yet, when wickedness consumes my life, I run from my writing community instead of running toward you all.

I guess it’s because I’m writing on such a large platform, and unlike many of my followers, I’m not incognito. So, people from my personal life can read what I write, as well. And since I refuse to write with a filter on my words, thoughts or phrases, I get all self-conscious. What if they start judging me? What if they talk about me behind my back? What if they take my secrets and feelings and attempt to use them against me? 

What I’ve learned since not writing for almost a year now, is that worrying about such trite things doesn’t solve any obscurity. People will point, judge and talk regardless. If I don’t give them something, they’ll look for something. That’s life. But writing IS my freedom. Taking such a powerful tool away from self, to attempt to satisfy the selfish groans of the ever selfish world does nothing but rob my soul of its flight to Heaven. Because that’s how I feel every time I write. I feel a little bit closer to Heaven. 

I say all that to say, I gotta get back on the saddle. Even if it pains me to do so. I think I’m going to be a bit more reserved with what I choose to share about my personal life, as I’m more aware of how what I do (writing included) affects the people around me. I’ve grown a lot in the last 18 months, and I’m a reveling gem of growth now. I speak less, listen more. I move lighter, stand still longer. I look less for things outside of myself and seek within more. I am finally able to see that the things I write on this blog here, can be for me too.

As crazy as it may sound, I thought for the entirety of this blog’s existence, that I was meant to write for other people to take in my messages. That I, myself, was not entitled to reaping the benefits of the wisdom God had bestowed upon me. Now I’m a bit more daring, in that I dare to believe that these words I write here are meant more for me, than anyone else. That I have to practice what I preach. So, when I say things like “be the change you seek,” I have to LIVE that! It’s obviously easier said than done. But it’s possible. And that’s the point of change I choose to start from. What’s possible. What capable. What is. Not what could be, should be, or would be. 

God says, “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” And in practicing my speech, I have to submit to His will. I have to make peace with how He has directed my steps, and see for myself, how God sees me. I didn’t realize how much anxiety I had until I stopped smoking herb, to be honest. But now that I realize how much anxiety I have wrapped into my little heart, I have courage to face where that anxiety comes from. 

I realize that I don’t trust God as much as I thought I did. I realize that I don’t hone His wisdom bearing tools of Love, like His word and His honorable promises, as much as I feel I should. So, I have much work to do, to get closer to His beacon of Light. So that, should any day of darkness beseech me ever again, I shall be prepared to fight the dark with the Light instilled inside of me, as opposed to falling victim to the Dark. In all, I can say that the only tool I currently have that keeps me closer to my goals and tightly in tune with what God sees for me and my future, is writing. So, I must write! I must!

On Christmas, my cousin said something to me about my recent journey. As I talked about the darkness that overtook me and the lost passage I followed aimlessly, she said to me, “that’s your growth.” She went on to tell me I went through something but the growth is found in the fact that I came back from it. Although, I’m far from ready to talk about what I went through (or put other people through) in the past 18 months, or even the troubles I currently face right now, I am ready to talk. And that’s a far cry from where I was just last week. I’m ready to speak my heart’s desires into fruition until I see the Light fall upon my shoulders as it once did before. 

For now though, I’ll just leave this where it is. Today was a lazy Sunday, that I had nothing to do, and decided, screw it Shaquana, go write. I had no intention of talking about as much as I did. Nor did I think I’d have the courage to speak my truest thoughts. But I did. So, I’ll quietly pat myself on my the back. Lol. 

I have so much to catch you all up on regarding my domain. And God willing, should time permit, I’ll even be able to start putting out weekly content again. Get my viewership back to where it used to be. I have much to do with this blog, but I need time. Which for right now, I have a little bit of. So I’ll use it as I can. 

Thank you to every fan that has prayed for me, sent me well wishes (albeit quietly or out loud), and just kept me in thought. It was felt and greatly needed! I pray that I can find the courage to make the shifts in my life necessary, to repay you all with some good ol’ EverythingShaquana truth! I know y’all missed it as much as it has missed you! 

Well, until next time, stay bold, beautiful and brilliant. Especially for me, as I’m still hiding behind a glass shell. Much Love, life and longevity to you all!

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Deconstructing the Gender Binary & Identity Complex

For this week’s edition of #TellItTuesday, where we’re discussing all and any thing about the topic of gender, I am take a stab at beginning the process of deconstructing gender binary. I’ll start with a story.

As I’ve discussed before, I often find myself havingconversations that often turn into debates about the element of dignity and respect that is owed to people identifying as Trans, in the way we articulate our thoughts and actions. In this example, my brother and I were discussing a particular person, to which I made a comment about that person’s appearance and upkeep.

My brother followed up my comment by saying, “honestly, no offense, but she looks like a man.” I sat there about 30 seconds, deeply contemplating how to address the too many things wrong with what he had just said.

Keep in mind, his consideration of the all too often used, “no offense” preclude to his statement was in regard to our many previous discussions concerning the problem with saying things just like what he just said. So, as I sat there contemplating, I struggled with summoning a reply that could help him get it.

The key is figuring out how to be an educator, with boundaries for maintaining respect, without building walls of judgement and defensiveness. So here it goes. Here’s my attempt at defining where we start in our attempt to understand the key to moving forward in the human rights issue of recognition and respect of Trans people.

It starts with breaking down, or deconstructing, the mentality of our social structure. In fact, it’s been considered and discussed a time or two before, relative to similar human rights campaigns for race, ethnic, economic, gender and other social justice campaigns. I’ve done much of the conceptual work, in my piece “Things We Rarely Correlate To Male Privilege #2: Cat Calling/ Street Harassment”, where I discuss the connection between the power of male privilege and thepervasiveness of sexual assault, violence against women, the dehumanization of womenandheteronormative oppressions.

In such, I only need people to truly consider how one can unlearn something. If all of your life, your family, community and/ or community taught or pressured you to believe and internalize negative and hateful thoughts against a group of people, how might one outgrow that taught hate and inherent, disrespect. For starters, a person must seek to understand. A person must consider, believe or even comprehend that there is something more or better to be discovered about what one already knows.

Life, in some form or fashion, is telling you to reconsider the way you’re looking at people, places or things and you’re ready to listen. A person must be ready to acknowledge that all people are people, and thus desire within, to understand how to honor, respect and represent the love of all people. This must start with love. If you can start with loving people, and thus honor the desire to display and fortify that love, the next parts will be comprehensible and pretty much easy. it’s important to begin where the hate and teaching began.

Okay, so you love all people and want to know how to show that. Trans people are people. Starting by seeing anyone who identifies as Trans, as a person first and foremost, is the beginning. In deconstructing the gender binary, we must decide to see people as people first, and everything else as subsequent to their humanness.

The key to deconstructing the gender binary and the complex of identity, the struggle with perceptual ized self identity in this society, is to honor and respect one another as individual spirits. We as a people, are not to be consigned to the doom of representing all who share the same shoe size, hometown or last name as us. In such, we cannot be consigned to representing the whole of those who share the same gender identity, sexual orientation, racial, social and/ or economic class as us.

 

Beginners Definition of Identity

  • Identity Gender Identity
    • Cultural Identity
    • Biological Familial Identity
    • Experiential Familial Identity
  • Self Esteem
    • Love (Inward Bound Reflecting Outward)
    • Confidence
    • Emotional Maturity

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