December is just another Month on the Calendar

Sometime Back I slipped a little ditty into a Facebook status where I said I need to call a spade a spade and I really just become vegetarian for a month.

I had read an article on one of my favorite women’s sites xojane titled “Why I Celebrate Ramadan” and it was an ah-hah moment of sorts because I had to admit that the first half of the article was a lot like me but the bottom half..was…not.

As I was riding in the car, I just calmly turned to RG and said “I believe I won’t be participating in Ramadan this year.”

Ramadan (for the followers of the Nation of Islam) is from December 1-31st.  The reasoning is that this was a good time for us to fast, pray, repent and do all the first work because it was the Christmas season and since Jesus wasn’t born that day and most Black Folks went IN on all kinds of excess and consuming huge amounts of wine and swine, this was the perfect time for us to abstain and stay on the right path.

It was all cool and dandy, but in recent years, I had begun to not ‘feel’ the spirit behind it.  I clung to December as some sort of patron saint for my religion of origin adn for immense fear of rejection.(well that happened anyway, lol so now what?)  In even later years, I could not deny the fact that I didn’t feel right pulling this out year after year when the other 11 months there was basically NOTHING in my day to day life that pointed out to anyone that I was of that faith. It was not so easy to get rid of the feeling that I was being hypocritical to who I was by ‘pretending’ to participate in something that was not fulfilling me spiritually because I had lost my spiritual connection for the most part to the religion that it belonged to.

At some other point, I spoke about my realization (because it’s the way I come to actuality on most things) that spirituality for me is like a rock climbing wall.  As I attempt to ascend to some sort of favor with God, whatever hand/foot hold presents itself in that climb works for me.  I hold on to several of the principals of my religion of origin, but I am comforted and brought to spiritual understanding by much more.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the why’s etc. because part of the process is that I don’t owe anyone at this stage in my life explanations as to why I do anything that I do, but because I write and maintain this blog, I like to expound on the purpose of a lot of my thought process.

I will just say that I am not into the business of organized religion, I have found it disappointing, it has not worked for me, I will say that as I stand around a room with almost two dozen folks in one family vibing, eating, drinking and being – that has NOTHING to do with Organized Religion and EVERYTHING to do with FAMILY and thus I can admit that I’m real bitter about that and I have distaste in my mouth because I wish it were less of that and more family in my upbringing and so I don’t do organized religion.

Therefore, beginning this year I won’t be doing Ramadan.  If it doesn’t come about and be authentic (yes I’ve been using that word a lot) and embrace the feeling and spiritual release then I feel like I’m abusing the holiness of it and thus blocking my blessings by being a fake.

I know what it looks like because I have a young adult in my home who is spiritually sound and quite at peace with her religious choices.  She’s pure in her methods of becoming close with God and if I can achieve any of that, then half the battle is won.

I told my daughter first and it brings tears to my eyes how we could sit down at this point in our relationship and just have a conversation based on respect and each other’s personal choice of truth and it not affect or defect our relationship.

I told my husband and he is proud of me for finally speaking my truth which is a huge sign of courage.

I told my best friend and she just said “I’m proud of you”

And now I’m telling the rest of ya’ll, lol lol

 

And Now A Word From……….RG

(Sometimes RG likes to drop a few lines in my blogsphere and to celebrate my birthday – he wanted to guest blog this fine Monday – enjoy)

This weekend was time well spent with my wife and her friends celebrating their birthdays.  Never have I been in a relationship where the waters are choppy and stormy sometimes, but we always remain cool. I look forward to our future together.  It takes time to develop a love like the one we have.  It can’t be duplicated over night.  I wish I could clone what we have and pass it on to other people.  We thoroughly enjoy each others company no matter the situation.  It’s been rare for me to find that.  I always saw myself as the matriarch in a relationship.  I would think it’s a good one and wind up looking like ‘Captain Save ‘Em’ from their problems or self-esteem by putting myself aside.  It’s also fun to see the camaraderie that surrounds her.  She has a great support group of girlfriends.  What’s even better is that our antics are a blessing to others.  I haven’t felt this free to express my creativity with any woman in my life and that includes my mother.  I truly am in love with and love this woman.  I don’t have to tell her everyday because she knows it through my actions, but I do anyway.  Looking forward to the future with her, but I won’t rush it. I’m enjoying the now.

 

 

 

Again, Happy Birthday Baby!

 

 

Forget Ground Zero – there’s a Mosque in my back bedroom!

This conversation is about to be real on like level 100.  I’m sure some folks are gonna develop feelings, some folks may shiver with the anticipation of a run and tell dat moment and some folks may get offended by my candor according to me.  What I hope is that someone can take something away from this. 

Never before had my heart beat so fast.  I didn’t know what to expect and for some reason, I kept getting these ‘it’s associated to sex’ feeling and I wasn’t sure I was ready for that.

Then the power point started and I have to say the next thing on my mind was that it was a damn good presentation. The technical part, she was better than me, lol  It took me through a life of feelings, emotions, drama and confusion and ended up with an announcement, the beginning of a journey and the start of change.

My child had announced that she was changing her religion or more accurately she was adopting one.

Religion has, since I became an adult, a space and place that I have had trouble figuring out for myself.  In running and shunning pomp and circumstance – I ran from the entire thing.  I haven’t been able to get back on top of some form of ‘organized religion’ and thus I have not been able to effectively give my daughter any kind of tangible foundation.  Add the fact that I haven’t seen how it has separated or made me or my family any different from all the people it was suppose to and in a lot of instances we act and behave individually and collectively worse than a lot of folks I know  – I just kinda decided that I had to leave ritual alone.  Surprisingly just yesterday a friend of mine posted on Facebook something that summed it up for me and it came right on time.

Religion is obedience without relationship. Don’t get caught up in empty rituals, rules and repititions. Get a relationship with God and your lifestyle will line up. – friend on FB 

I wanted to have a relationship with God, not be able to recite or march or other things that showed religion but not…faith.  I sought out peace of mind and it came in a couple of forms including my birth religion, a song or two or some words of wisdom.  It did and does offer me a lot of peace, BUT some people need routine, need a stronger anchor.  I believe everyone has a Michael Jackson in their family (the sensitive one) and thus I believe some people need more than others. 

I had this rush of emotions as my child, the only one I have – spilled out with animation her pain and frustration with probably the only main failure I’ve had with being a parent.  We (her step father and I) listened intently and only had one hiccup in the road, which revolved around a notion instilled by others that I would somehow renounce, shun and put her out and people going behind my back to facilitate her journey instead of encouraging her to approach her parents.  One day I will address that, as soon as I get pass it beginning with fuck you – so it might be awhile.  Ok, back to the subject. …

My child has decided to follow Sunni Islam.  (like Christians – there are different sects of the religion).  As a matter of fact she had been following it for about 88 days when she finally discovered that her parents are there for a reason and she needed to release – I’m glad she went with her heart.  I’m glad and proud she, with a lot of fear of the unknown, came to us.  I and (we) have done something right. 

Something clicked to.  All summer I had been complimenting her on this level of peace she’s exhibited all summer.  Her world was turned a bit on it’s side with additions of folks and responsibility and she took it all in stride, her spirit was so beautiful – I knew innately there was something going on and now I knew what it was….FAITH and BELIEF.

So she came with print outs and literature and even an article about a woman who’s child chose the religion and how it impacted her.  She’s her mothers child, lol lol

We all hugged, I outlined for her the fact that as her Mother, part of that job description was to ‘take the bullet’ on her behalf, so I had signed up for that when I announced I was pregnant and would continue that as long as it was not destructive.  I spoke about respect and I spoke about courage, belief and faith and we all had a much needed group hug and went about our merry way.  Well after she told us she was about to go on Ramadan.  She printed out the calendar and put it on the fridge for our benefit and THEN we went about our merry way…….

However, it hasn’t been so merry for me.  A flood of emotions, doubt, and fear has surfaced and this has been an interesting ride.  Part 2 of this will let you in on it all.  PLEASE TUNE IN TOMMORROW.

Rose Colored Glasses

I know how it came to be.  Part of the process of knowing and more importantly understanding who you are is acknowledging things about yourself.  I know why people really like me and I know why people might really not like me. The point is to remain true to yourself and be a student in your class of  life.

What did I learn last night?  That just as I ‘hold’ on to an outdated image of people in certain situations, others do as well.  What looks like something that should be obvious, seems to continue to be ignored in lieu of the way people WANT to feel about the situation.  Probably because that feeling allows room for them to feel more on point.

I had an outburst last evening because I was hot that people spoke to my child assigning an outcome to a situation that turned out to be TOTALLY negative which in turn caused my child to not open up to me. That’s dangerous territory because if my child has an issue she needs to come to me!!  She also needs to be directed to me!!  It is definitely breaking some unwritten rules that a person would assist a child to keep secrets from their parents.  NOT COOL!!  I’m glad that she pushed through and came anyway and it went totally not as expected.  Seeing as I don’t even have or have any interest in having dealings – I can look at it and actually see inside it and move on.

Do I cut folks in and out of my life?  YEP, is it because I’m under some kinda ‘spell’?  NOPE – It comes right down to, the feeling I get, the vibe I get and the stress level it presents is not that which I feel like dealing with.  When it comes my way or it comes to close – I put up the force field and keep it stepping.  If that person doesn’t understand why I’m not impressed – then that’s natural because I don’t understand why my fabulousness doesn’t appeal to everyone either, lol lol

As usual these chapters always belong to The Big Book of Family.  I truly believe there is a wall of glass running right down the hallway of this families going ons. On one side is the matrix where everyone (including myself) is assuming they are living and then there’s the reality on the other side.  It’s amazing we are not just ramming into walls all the Rose Colored Glasses We Wear.

You KNow Why I…….

You know why I love God? Because He’s followed me my entire life with the most softest, plump mattress for me to land on. I thank Thee.

You know why I love me? Because I am still in touch with the sixteen year old inside. That which makes life exciting and grand is not lost on me. Fantasy & Wonder still lives with me.

You know why I love my Momma? Because she’s had her heart broken more times than necessary but she KNOWS GOD, She’s never faltered from that. Not only does He hold her but she holds him – that’s powerful.

You know why I love my husband? Because he comes back and gets me. He’s not a ME person – he’s an US person & when I falter or become scared – He comes for me.

You know why I love my daughter? Because babies and small children love her. Her spirit and her heart are magical to them as it is to me.

You know why I love AM and TL? Because their wiring is like mine. We get the same sparkle in our eyes about the same stuff. Each screw that is loose in me – is loose in them and the foundation of our relationship is peace, happiness and joy & it’s ALWAYS that way when we are together.

You know why I love Sister Jewell? Because her lap is never to small, her time is never too short, her patience is never too shot and her love is never too small.

 

I’m the mother of a 16 year old…..

Baby Sakinah AWow on that!  I am really feeling emotional (not to tears but you know) about my baby turning 16. It’s always been this ‘space’ really far off but now it’s here. All those things that I said would happen at 16 are here NOW!  She my only baby and in a few years I have to let her go off in the world to see can she make it on her own.  Yea that’s a trip.  I keep thinking one day she gonna fall in love, she gonna come to me and say she wanna get married – wow.  One day she gonna call me from overseas to tell me what she’s doing (cause I see travel).  One day I’mm run across a picture of her having a drink.

I was just sitting here thinking for 13 of her 16 years it was she and I and no opportunity at all for father involvement cause he was dead.  I remember sitting and strategizing about the type of life I wanted and how to make that happen for her.  Getting on welfare so that along with the insurance I was able to stay home till she went to PreK.  Moving us down here.  Being blessed to have the particular type of skill that I could work regular work hours monday-friday – that was huge, I see so many moms having to work the night shift etc. etc.  I was home with her every night.  Building an entire world online so that I could stay close to the Brothers and what not and keep the babysitting cost to a minimum.  We took trips, she did all the classes I wanted her to do, I worked extra hard to keep the family in her life etc. etc.

 
It has been an interesting ride. Some things she’s taken to seriously and I really need her to lightened up, lol  but overall she’s actually listened and seen by my example how to be.  She’s getting her life skills while remaining spoiled as hell.  I see some areas where I failed (like Religion) but others where I succeeded.  I am glad I stuck to the whole right of passage stuff because now she sees how she feels with the new things that have opened up to her like this morning she pounced out with her little eye make up on etc.  Alot of stuff we learned together – like you and DeAsia. 
 
You know it’s funny but I take time to focus on how I’ve raised myself during this time period.  I’m in a somewhat good space, you know I gotta work on that passion and aspiration and drive thing but otherwise – I’m maneuvering through my family pretty good, my relationship with my mom is great and for real after so many years, Dating finally turned into a successful marriage – it’s all good – it’s all good. 
 
The only thing that keeps me sane is that she is gonna get on my nerves and snap me back to reality, lol
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY BABY!