Letters From a Woke Woman:
Tied up in “ships”
Being woke doesn’t just mean you’re woke to the suppressive atmosphere of racial oppression, it means your eyes—or rather soul, is opened. You now recognize everything. Things that eluded you before are laid bare.
With continual growth comes continual growing pains, and for me, seeing my familial, romantic and friendships with clear vision, has been the most heartbreaking.
When you become healthy, you see where you were vulnerable in the past. And when you see where you were vulnerable in the past, memories of said vulnerability flood your mind. It’s like viewing an old photograph of yourself, but one you never saw until now.
In the photograph you see how your weaknesses were exploited by those surrounding you. Some family, some friends, some mates, some strangers. It’s especially painful when you view yourself being manipulated by a family member or close friend, because you were unknowingly vulnerable to attack and they took advantage of the opportunity. They made the choice.
A choice to not lift you up.
Now, because we’re all human, therefore riddled with a fallible nature, mercy and grace should be dispensed when mentally flipping through old album photos.
We are all doing our best with where we’re at in life.
Being raped has given me the empathy I always desired. Now I have clarity to see just how human and broken each one of us it.
Wherever you’re at in life, you have the wisdom from what you’ve experienced thus far, and we will constantly run into people who are emotionally, spiritually, and physically, on different levels when it comes to growth.
Because of this, conflict is inevitable. If your family member or friend is broken and you are too, exploiting your vulnerability may not be intentional, simply an unfortunate manifestation of their brokenness.
The other side of the coin; for some people, there may be no interest in self-improving. However, because we aren’t God and can’t see their hearts, we can only decide to live our best lives, not worrying about whether or not someone else is improving themselves.
You see, I fell into the trap of staying in people’s lives throughout their growth spurts and dry spells. I endured it all like a champion outdoorswoman, battling out the capricious tides of turning weather throughout numerous seasons.
But guess what? I’m woke now. So although I can tolerate the rain, although I could buy an umbrella, stand by and wait it out—-I won’t.
Why should I spend my days suffering the pattering rain from another on their Soul Journey, when the sun is shining brightly for me?
Just because you’ve known them over a decade
Just because they’re family
Just because you’ve been dating some years
Just because your friend has always been that way
Just because someone is broken doesn’t mean they should be allowed to hurt and hinder your healing on your Soul Journey.
Everyone is broken—though no one is the same.
So now that I have “corrective lenses,” no matter what comes before the “ship,” if I notice a pattern of exploiting a weakness in my past while scanning mental photos, know that I see you.
I am now whole.
Boundaries keep me that way, and they will be put in place.
I may seem different to you, our relationship may have changed, and know—
It’s because I have changed.
I have changed for the better.
Remaining in my life means recognizing my new self and respecting the woman who stands before you now.
This will be our final act.
It took me some tears and talks with God to get here. But a year ago, when I decided to practice self-love, that meant opening myself up to let God into every part of me—to bring everything into the light.
Finding my way, sifting through, and examining the dusty past has been sad and beautiful at the same time.
It’s difficult to view a photograph in which you shared a smile with a person—whom in the next ten—you shared a frown. But if you want more smiles for yourself, it’s time to either replace the photo back into the album beneath the protective layer of plastic, or to let the photo disintegrate— as you journey forth into the sun without a backwards glance.
A Woke Woman