Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Black is Beautiful-A Sister's Journey

Have you ever felt like you didn’t’ fit in because you were too dark or not light enough? When you grow up with siblings that don’t look like you and tease you because you’re darker or lighter than them, it does something to your self-esteem and your spirit. You find yourself with an identity crisis as a black woman.

Growing up, I had an aunt that did the brown paper bag test when you became of age to start dating. Now, this sounds cruel because what you are teaching your nieces and daughters is to not bring home a man any darker than the brown paper bag. You remember the brown paper bag, right? She was a stickler for making her point that if you dated someone darker than a brown paper bag, your babies would be ugly because he or she would be dark skinned.
Photo Credits: Black Beautiful Women Tumblr
 
I am a beautiful brown skinned woman that struggled as a pre-teen thru my young adult years with my skin color. Because some people in the family said I was not light enough. For years, I thought my complexion was ugly and that I had too many moles and freckles under my eyes. It affects your self-esteem and you find yourself putting a cap full of bleach in your bath water as a teen-ager trying to lighten your skin. It causes you to stereotype yourself when dating, sticking to the rule of he must be lighter than the brown paper bag to make light skinned babies. So, I never dated anyone darker than a brown paper bag from my teen years through my late 20’s going into my 30’s. That is when reality checked in, or in the famous words of Tyler Perry’s Medea, "The light bulb went off." 

It was when I became a mother of this beautiful little girl that I refused to teach or allow her to have a color complex within her own race. I didn’t’ want her to experience what I went through growing up as a black woman thinking she was too dark or not light enough. It was time for me to teach self-love and that being any shade of black is beautiful. So, I began to teach and let my daughter know she is a beautiful black girl who is perfect just the way God designed her to be. Black is beautiful in all shades. Whether you’re light skinned, Carmel, chocolate, brown skinned, or dark chocolate are the labels our family members give us. It’s time to eliminate the labels.

Tell your daughters that their skin color is beautiful at an early age and let them know they are uniquely designed and made in love thru God’s eyes. Let her know those freckles in her face are beauty marks from her rich heritage. Tell her the dimples she have showcase her intellectual smile. Let her know that the shape of her eyes marks the inner beauty from inside out and they are bridges to wisdom. Remind her that she has a unique DNA that makes a beautiful girl blossom into a beautiful black woman.

Teach your daughters that their skin is beautiful and flawless. There is no need to bleach your skin to live up to society or even ignorant family standards of what makes a black woman beautiful. It’s time to break the cycle of feeling too dark or not light enough. It’s time to teach our daughters, sisters, and friends that Black is Beautiful.

Black is beautiful in all shades, shapes, and sizes. We are all beautifully created in God’s eyes. We are wonderful masterpieces in a beautiful puzzle neatly designed and crafted by the most high.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Are you your sister's keeper?

Are you your sister's keeper? Have you ever felt like for every mistake your sister makes that you feel obligated to make it right? When she makes decisions that are not thought through clearly, like dropping out of school, poor dating choices, drinking habbits, or not living up to her full potential.   When she makes decisions that are dangerous to her well being emotionally and physically.  What do you do? 


You ask yourself, am I my sister's keeper? You grew up being the big sister taking the role of given sisterly advice and guidance especially when it came to dating, clothes, hair, and makeup. Then someday you would find yourself giving motherhood and career advice. Again, I ask you, are you your sister's keeper?  Somthing to think about  right?




How do you help your sister to open her eyes to trouble that don't mean her well? What about the bad choices that don't mean her any good emotionally or physically?  One has to step back and allow your sister to fall flat on her back.  If not, she will never grow up into a mature woman who can make good decisions and choices. Meanwhile, what do you do?   You can pray for her emotional, physical, and mental state of mind.   You can ask for guidance and wisdom for her so that she will began to seek and see the truth.  But you cannot make choices for her that will be better for you as she is the only one who can take control of her life.
 
Photo Credits: courtesy of Pinterest via #BlackLove


Eventually, she will have to get tired of getting tired. She will have to realized that the some choices that she makes is emotionally draining of her physically and mentally.  This is not healthy.  She will have to conclude that what she thinks is happiness is not happiness that God defined as happiness. She will also have to realized what she believes is love is not love.   A sister is not her sister's keeper, but she is a prayer warrior that keeps praying that her sister realizes that unconditional love is never meant to be toxic, hurtful, isolating, or controlling. 



Love is unified and blessed with a purpose driven partner that you are to be a light together. 

So the question remains, are you your sister's keeper?

 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Have you worked in a toxic work place?

Have you ever worked in an environment that was toxic to your health, your spirit, and your well being? How did you handle it? How did it affect your personal life and your work performance?

Photo credit: Pinterest via 500px.com 

There are many characteristics that can describe a toxic workplace or toxic environment. They range from over stressed, lack of communication between management, lack of communication between departments, lack of support from management that leads to depression, weight gain, and other health issues.   Feeling overwhelmed and not getting having the proper support system in place that makes an employee feel unappreciated and over worked.  The tears fall as you drive off from your driveway because your spirit cannot take another day of a toxic workplace. You always feel sad because you dread coming to work. You feel your energy being depleted as you get out of your vehicle in the parking lot.

Speaking from experience, a toxic work place depletes your energy, affects your health, is an emotional roller coaster, and causes an inability to focus.  The tension and stress that exists in an office of that nature is not healthy on so many levels.  It came a time when I began to hate my craft that I once loved. At first I thought it was the job that made me hate my craft, but I realized it was the work environment.  It was the first time in 15 years that I experience such low moral, a lack of support, and overly stressed co-workers including myself.  Spent many sleepless nights and even felt depressed as I felt trapped in a job that I no longer wanted and the market was not at its best due to the economic downfall. The one thing I had to remember was that you are in control.  Whether you believe that or not. 

You posse a power to choose what you tolerate and accept. You have the power to walk away.  You choose your happiness over misery. Think about it this way, a company can fire you for any reason on any given day.  So why not choose your happiness over working for a toxic environment? 

How do you handle working in a toxic workplace? You have to realize that your life and your well being has more value than any job will ever give you. Start by placing yourself first.  Put yourself, your goals, and your happiness first.  Basically, your best interest should always comes first.  Take charge of your life and take control of your position and your destiny.  Tell yourself you are in control. Know how powerful you are and that you are a valuable asset that can be appreciated somewhere else. You are your greatest asset.  

Orphan Said it best: 
Photo credits; via Pinterest 

Get your clarity back and focus on what is best for you. Do you work in a toxic workplace? What's the overall moral in the office?