Current Events, Faith, Life Coach, Uncategorized

Sistah Take A Seat: Limonade

What Haitian girl doesn’t like her self some “l’eau sucre” with lemons to make it tart? I love limonade/lemonade. That Simply Lemonade/Limeade is everything to my tastebuds. There is something about that sweet/bitter flavor that keeps me coming for seconds. Then in comes Beyoncé serving up her own Pitcher of Lemonade for millions to sip from. 

Disclaimer#1: I only watched it once. 

Disclaimer #2: I half watched it while typing up a report and still mulling over that last scene on Game of Thrones season six episode one. You just had to be there. 

Disclaimer #3: I watched it with a husband who kept asking me to decipher the double meanings for every, single scene. 

Disclaimer #4: I wore my psychotherapist lenses and kept my feelings out of the equation (yeah right). Bey was a client and I was the therapist/pastor wife/big sister who had no idea this was going on in her baby sister life. 

There was some seriously heavy stuff goings on in that video. Swinging bats a la Waiting to Exhale. Happily smashing out windows and riding on monster trucks crashing all them dope cars. Wow. In your face messaging.  My personal favorites: Two-timing daddy/husband. Like a magician. Living two separate lives. Malcolm X “Black women in America.” Most disrespected. Most maligned. Most all the bad stuff you can think of. Ashes to ashes. Dust to side chicks. Mezami! Call Becky with the good hair. Oh! #HandsOnMouth #HeadCockedToDaSide #Whoosh

Anger. Sitting in the very fire that threatens to consume your soul. You must go through the fire, the pain to see your way through. That’s what anger does to you. It eats, gnaws, erodes. Leaves wormholes where your heart should have been. 

Apathy. It’s the worst place to be. Middle fingers in the air. Peace signs with the hand twist. What woman hasn’t been in that mind space where a cold heart begs to be thawed but boo thang done did it again and there’s not a dog house big enough or a couch long enough to put him in. Reminds me of me and my squad during those college years. He dumped you? Well forget him! Let’s ride out and sing these sorry sad songs. R Kelly knew full well when he said when a woman’s fed up, there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. 

So many emotions. Given names. Given their equal share of air time.  Heart racing. Heart resting. Heart racing again. Heart standing still.  

How our first love, our daddies, can break our hearts like no other. How that bleeds into our relationships with other men. The first disappointment that prepares us for all future disappointments. When daddy hurts mommy, he also hurts baby girl.  

Intimate glimpses of her past and her present. Confirmation that yes, she was actually pregnant. Unless you believe in body doubles that is. Conspiracy theorists still at it. #SideEye 
Colors of gray. Black. Red. Yellow. Pasty white. Vintage beige. Off white. Ecru. Beautiful women. Who look like me. Who look like my friends. I see my nieces in there. My late mother. My grandmother’s wrinkles make an impromptu appearance too. My girlfriend’s locs. Cocoa. Caramel. Charcoal. Onyx. Colorism be damned. Hair issues be damned. 

You having issues with your man? You talk to your college roomies. Your daddy abused your momma and now she wants a divorce? You call up your ace. Momma bears her soul to you in a mother daughter talk. You take that to your grave. 

Mrs. Carter goes through similar issues, she gets to sing everything from country to rock to gospel, with a feast for the eyes imagery. But we all ain’t able. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have half the antebellum wardrobe  in my closet to process my personal angst. There is no huge monster truck parked in the yard to crush my personal demons. 
My prayer is that women of color begin and/or continue to acknowledge the pain that life has dealt us. That beyond the slayed hair, fleeked brows, and served face, there is a wounded woman buried deep; whose hurts demand attention, demand consoling, demand restitution. And when we come face to face with that bare face, no lipstick wearing, half browed self, we now elect to take the first steps towards personal healing. 

I walked into a marriage holding on to “daddy’s girl hurts.” I thought my husband should cure them. I thought he would repeat them. Then God reminded me–wait one minute. That’s My job. Not some mere mortal’s. 
This a reminder of the important role that human suffering and hurt plays in our lives and what should happen when our cup becomes too full. I can get real “preachy” right about now and remind folks about Jesus paying the ultimate price for those very same hurts. Or how He is near to the broken hearted. But I won’t. Yet I will say. He. Is. Enough. 

Grandma did it best. She took all those lemons thrown at her and made one helluva good pitcher of lemonade. 

Life Coach

Sistah Take A Seat: She’s Not A Friend

I’m ever amazed at the power of the female friendship. From sandbox days, college, motherhood, life as working professionals and everything else in between, the evolution of relationships among women is the stuff that dissertations and reality tv shows are made of. In good times and in trying times, our friendships serve as reminders of why we connected with certain women and why we choose to keep them close. Yet for many, the idea of meaningful friendships with other women seems as elusive as winning the lottery.  Some take so much for granted in not honoring their roles as friends to their friends. 

She’s not a friend if she hasn’t come through for you when you needed her the most. When my mom died, I had one friend who came to clean my parents’ home. Another who helped me edit the obituary. Another who helped me choose (and eventually buy) my mother’s dress. Another who reminded me that no self-respecting daughter of a Haitian woman should come dressed looking pitiful to her mother’s homegoing service. She bought my dress too. If you live long enough, you will find friendships will have plenty of opportunities to be tested. If your friend continually fails the “hold me down” exam, she may need to take remedial courses while you move on to the next friendship level. 

She’s not a friend if she doesn’t prevent or mitigate your public embarrassment. It’s now gone from food in your teeth to ignant social media posts. Public humiliation has become an art form, yet friendships should be about preserving one’s self-respect and reputation. We can’t be friends if your foolery runs the risk of both of us losing our livelihood and our personal testimony to boot. Ratchet and uncouth behavior gets you a good laugh with your squad. But it doesn’t get you a reference letter or a good word when you most need it. Ask your ratchet/wretched friend to write you that letter. Let’s see how far she gets with that.  It has got to stop. It’s. Not. Cute. 
She’s not a friend if she lets you go out dressed in clothes that’s bad for your body. I’m good for the dressing room photos. Although I prefer to shop alone, I know my girlfriends are just a snap shot away from a second opinion.  I’m not talking about sans makeup and messy ponytail days. I’m talking about clothes that just don’t look right for your body type. My size 6 waist is in hot competition with my mama-blessed hips. So I’m mindful of that when I dress and my friends tend to look out for me too. Bey told you to get in “formation” so here you go running out and buying everything she wore at the Super Bowl.  Bey is tall. Bey got legs. Bey has stylists. You are 5’3″, with sticks for legs and double D breast. “Gurl, that’s cute! You slay!”  Sucks teeth. Lies they tell. Friends don’t let friends go out looking any kinda way.

She’s not a friend if she met you in the same space and hasn’t pushed, prayed, or fussed (cussed) you into your next level. One thing I’ve enjoyed about my girlfriends is the fact we are not Siamese Twins in how we live out our lives. No two are alike. God has preordained our journeys to intersect but the paths we have taken has been solely our own. That being said, friends should always serve as sounding boards for our dreams and goals. If it’s all her and no time to focus in on you-we have a problem. As level headed as I would like to think I am, I’m not above checking in with my friends for their weigh in. They’ve always been my biggest cheerleaders. If you were at point A when you met your friends and the dial hasn’t moved one bit, you need to first check yourself and second check your friends. If they aren’t the voice of reason, support, encouragement, and straight up in yo face “what are you doing with your life?” type of friends, then you need to be concerned. You will blink and they’ve moved on. Here you are still wishing and hoping. Girl bye. 

She’s not a friend if you’re not a better person for knowing her. Friendships are like the ocean waves, with constant ebbs and flows.  The starting place isn’t necessarily the ending. There are lifelong friendships. There are friendships for a season. There are friendships that come when needed and leave when not. There are those delightful, totally from left field type of friendships. Those are my personal fave. 

Whatever phase your friendships are in, take stock of their value and be sure they are doing what’s good and what’s right for you. 

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10