My whole day had been spent cleaning, I wanted nothing out of place. The house smelled of a faint flower and delicious food as guests walked inside. I love to entertain in my home. The entire house is prepared as if I am expecting a royal visit: the table set with eloquent dishes, silverware, and floral arrangement in the middle of the table. I hear what feels like every passing car as I anticipate the arrival of guests. With each doorbell ring, I quickly answer the door with anticipation. As they are welcomed into my home. The sound of Jill Scott melodies playing softly in the background. As more guests arrive the sound of laughter and idle talk becomes louder and the house feels full as everyone is waiting for the food to be finished.
During dinner the conversation continued with many stories and laughter. Suddenly there was a knock at the door, and everyone got quiet as they could see the surprise in my face. I excused myself from the table, as I approached the front door with anticipation. Who could it be? Thoughts quickly approach my mind where I begin to wonder if my guests were too loud and the neighbors had complained.
When I opened the door, I was shocked to find a gift hidden with a pile of dirt on top of it. I recognized this image and began to say, I did not invite you to this party. This guest is called Shame. Shame is the unkept hidden force. My thoughts have been racing overwhelming me with the thought that no one wants to hear what I have to say or offer.
Shame was reflecting to me images of the times where I was too embarrassed to admit that I was wrong, or when I refused to ask for help.The fear of judgment would perralize me. Shame stroked my ego by convincing me that I had the right to be ashamed. Especially when I did not know the answer. It kept telling me that others did not want to see me on the camera, that my skin was not flawless and is aging. I found myself allowing others to think for me. Before I could come out of the fog, I heard another loud knock.
Who else could be coming over, I opened the door to notice the image of Unbelief. I noticed unbelief was gentle with images of silent written thoughts lingering over my head.
These thoughts were demonstrated in the constant questioning of my decision making. Many times in my life I have stopped in my tracks and began not to care about anything or anybody including myself. Unbelief has caused me to pause, give up and stop working towards my goals. My head began buzzing as this was too much to take in; in one sitting. Saddened that these uninvited guests did not take a break while I had guests, I heard another loud knock at the door.
Curious to see who this guest was, I opened the door to see a bigger image. I was overwhelmed by the vile smell, Bullying has now joined the party.
Bullying was very forceful and the thoughts of belittling took over. I felt overlooked as others would not allow me to make a contribution. I began to feel panic, and thought of all the times I was ignored and told that I would never succeed or accomplish my goals. Bullying looked at my insecurity one by one. Bullying left me a threat, don’t mess with me because YOU will never win. In this moment of intimidation the words of my grandfather began to ring loud in my ears. “You can show him better than you can tell.” I am not going to allow myself to be bullied by my thoughts, it is time for me to show. Before I could make a move, there was another knock at the door.
This time when I opened the door I was met with Indifference. It was a perfectly wrapped box at first glance, but then when I tried to pick it up the entire thing fell apart. It was as if there was no attention or care paid in the packing of its presence.
Indifference, showed signs of someone that talks about accomplishment without taking any action. I realize I haven’t been taking action. Additional words also resonate with hearing conversations of not giving up, I can do this, all things are possible. Immediately, I felt as if I was an imposter. These words were followed quickly with defeat before I even started. I heard, I’m not good enough, no one wants to hear me. At this point, I was completely lost in my thoughts not even realizing that the party was still going on.
I heard a faint knock at the door. Much to my surprise, a little girl with curly hair and big eyes was standing there. She reminded me of Sadness and resembles what I looked like as a child. I found myself feeling weak in the knees. I wasn’t ready to become aware of where my pain was or where it started.
She walked in the room, and began showing me memories. These memories began after birth where my father abandoned me and never became a part of my life. As I reflect upon these memories I realize I became a performer for a large part of my life. Constantly having to sit still and not rattle the boat. I quickly learned to be silent because no one wanted to hear what I had to say. Watching the memories of maltreatment brought to light a realization of the walls that I had built up between me and the world. My childhood memories were fierce and began to chant, “you weren’t wanted, you are a mistake, you will never know your true identity.”
My head began to swirl and I felt blank, unable to recognize my feelings frozen in this moment. My memories exposed the act of being expected to remain silent and be submissive and just endure the abuse. This is the place where I began to be silent and hide my true identity. As I was lost in these memories, shame overwhelmed me with the feeling to keep hiding. In doing so, you never learned the true you or if you were able to share the true you with others.
Being silent is a form of accepting defeat. Staying silent is easier because you lose friends when you do speak up. Being silent allows you to never truly fall in love with anyone, not even yourself. The silence is the reason why you wished and desired to be accepted only to find that the motives of others are to harm you more. This is the place that kept you stuck in searching for a daddy’s true love. Childhood memories take credit for your hurts associated with the reason why you never learned to love, validate or care for yourself. I noticed that hearing these words caused me to feel the tears as they streamed down my face. I now realize that my search for true love was absent. There was now a frantic knock at the door. I was happy to get away from this memory so I raced to the door.
Only to find Fear staring me right in the face. It is the dinosaur of all the images, it’s stomp was powerful, destroying everything in its path. It forcefully pushed all of the previous images out of the way. I began to become afraid with the belief that fear was sent to my home to destroy me. Fear reminded me of the look my mother would give me when I did something that she did not approve of. I began thinking the thoughts of defeat where I might as well sit down and accept the defeat before I even start. I knew I was not going to escape this because I had not developed skills of truly believing in miracles and possibilities. Fear kept singing over and over, “you are nobody, you cannot do anything right, you are pitiful, you deserve every bad thing that has happened to you.” Fear also gave me an ultimatum: If you do not do what I say, you will be punished. Childhood memories interjected and stated remember the time when I showed you how I punish people that do not do as they are told.
My head felt as if it was in a daze, I didn’t even notice a knock but suddenly Anger entered the room. It was hard for me to see, but I could tell this was represented with all of the faces that have caused me the most pain. These people were responsible for doing things that transformed my heart. I built up walls for protection between me and them. I vowed to never trust them again. Anger began to ring my ears loudly critiquing everything. Anger caused the most damage. Anger said “get over yourself, you are not the victim here.” The entire room is spinning, memories flashing at me quickly.
Every time you cast doubt on your achievements, speak negatively about yourself, or entertain stagnant thoughts. You are giving life to these difficult emotions. When you make a decision to hold onto people that do not support your dreams, this becomes the invitation to invite negative emotions in.
I am tired of going lower than what I am worth. I have always vowed myself to be a person of integrity but watching these images showed me that being truthful begins with me stopping to settle so that others feel comfortable around me. I do not view the appearance of these images as a bad thing because I needed to understand my substandard actions and how others view them. So in other words, I had to accept that there was a part of me that stopped living.
The harsh reality suggested that these images projected internal self-reflections. I began to think about the scripture that alludes to cleaning your house only to find seven wicked spirits entering in and dwelling with you (Matthew 12:44-45). Although this may be my past, it does not mean that it has to be my present. I began to list my strengths with the awareness that I am projecting these strengths before myself and others daily.
Projecting strength manifests with an action. Each action you take must be intentional and ongoing. The neat thing about being a woman is knowing that we are phenomenal and designed to set the parameters of our own destiny. It is okay to develop a talent that becomes meaningful to ourselves. I invite each reader not to read this blog as a form of self-defeat but as a message of hope and knowing that we can take the courage to speak up for ourselves.
The way that I was able to get these images to leave me. I went to the door, opened it and said you are no longer invited in my home. I no longer need to hear or see what you have to offer me. I have decided to pursue my dreams, accept help from others, and know that I have the power to execute the best for me. And yes, I do know what the best for me is and that I will succeed. Now we know that life is not always that easy and that some emotions are deep and painful. But there has to become a time where we are no longer pretending to be someone that we are not. Check your heart where your emotions are hidden. Tell yourself that you are not defeated and that you do matter to yourself and others. It really is okay to find a new support system. Stop being afraid of being among those that may demonstrate the strengths that you are seeking. These people were brought into your life as an example and to teach you. They likely have become that strong by going through similar things you have gone through.
I invite you to reflect on your spiritual connection with God, and to realize that you need to put your faith first and accept the fact that you are a conqueror and that you will accomplish everything that you have set out to. The first step begins with dismissing the voices within your head. You need to declare that you are a change maker and that you will change the dialogue. You may also need to change your surroundings by letting go of toxic and negative people in your life. Letting go insites change to begin with developing a new attitude about your being. Repeat with me “I am Marvelous”.