Goodbye, 2020…Please be Gentle, 2021!

For those who celebrate Christmas, I hope you found a creative and safe way to celebrate the holiday with your loved ones! Although this year required some strategy, we have amazing ways of figuring out how to make celebrations happen no matter the circumstances. Yes, we can make the miraculous happen when we set our minds to it.

Revisiting Miracles

Speaking of “the miraculous,” there are times I am led to write about issues and ideas that may not immediately resonate with me. Last week’s post was one of those times. Writing about Miracles during a dual pandemic and when my daughter is 3,000 miles away on holiday with her father, doth not make for a miraculous morn. Quite frankly, my mood and what I was inspired to write last week were at odds. However what I learned in real time is that when it comes to our spiritual responsibilities, our feelings have little bearing on what already exists (regardless of whether we can see it with our physical eyes or not). Shortly after I finished writing last week’s post, I received two testimonies of actual miracles in the lives of people I know. One was a friend whose entire family came down with COVID, with her husband battling for his life due to underlying health conditions.

Her story of being told that her husband “had a 50% chance of surviving” then being informed that she should do her best to take care of him at home due to the volume of patients at the hospital, was unbearable. However, she did it and not only fought for his life with some cultural remedies from her family, she fought with all of the love she had in her. You see, both their wedding anniversary and his birthday were quickly approaching and even though her feelings questioned whether he would see either of those significant dates, her spirit focused beyond the virus. With oxygen levels once down in the low 50’s, he now has oxygen levels in the low to mid 90’s (out of 100). This is not a story to shame any person or family that lost their loved one(s) by saying all they needed to do in order to save them from this horrible virus was to get their “Care Bear Stare” on. Not hardly. I am sharing this story as a reminder that even in the face of oppressive circumstances, miracles still happen and that love and miracles go hand-in-hand.

The other story came from a friend who unexpectedly dropped by to leave Christmas gifts for me and my daughter. She came by only moments after I finished ugly crying with my friend who told me about her husband’s health. I apologized for looking like a boiling hot mess and shared with her how my pity party was interrupted by a love story. She told me she completely understood and went on to share with me about how her elderly father, who had been on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, finally had the life-saving surgery. She spoke about the impact the wait and the uncertainty had on their family’s wellbeing and how she is thankful that his body is accepting the new organ with no complications.

So instead of a toast, we cried to that.

Kecia, these stories are moving AND at the same time are kind of depressing. We know folks have had a helluva year. Sis, 2020 has royally sucked! BTW, I still can’t stand you for that post from earlier this year talking about 2020 “is an amazing year” and it is here to teach us and bring out the best in us! GTFOHWTS! You better have something good on the inspiration tip to make up for it…you know the whole peace, love, Soul Train vibe!

Redefine. Reclaim. Resist. 

What I am talking about is, yes, we need to dismantle oppression. Period (or “Periodt” depending on your spelling/pronunciation preference). If we take a critical eye to the stories I shared, we can have a whole discussion focused on oppression’s ugly hold given the disproportionate impact coronavirus is having in the Black, Brown and Indigenous communities, disparate care based on race and socioeconomic status, our overworked essential workers, the superwoman complex that calls for Women of Color to take care of sick loved ones as they are attempting to navigate their own wellness and wellbeing (oft times neglecting themselves in the process), etc. Oh yes, we can problematize everything I shared here today. We can also examine and learn from the good. Let me take that back…not just examine it, relish in it, just for a moment. 

No matter what hell was unleashed or elucidated in our lives this year (some of us were navigating some hefty life lessons prior to 2020), we can still reclaim what is innately ours…our humanity through love.

As we prepare/brace ourselves for 2021, I encourage you to explore reclamation resistance. I borrow this way of being from my Black and Indigenous family. Reclamation resistance is a way to regain ‘“psychic equilibrium’ created by invisibility and misrepresentation,” as academician A. Rafik Mohamed states in his book Black Men on the Blacktop: Basketball & the Politics of Race. Oppression and chaos diminishes us. However, what happens when we reclaim our full personhood through love? Personally, I have been engaging in my own reclamation by way of my 3-years (and counting) celibacy journey.

Sis, T.M.I.! T. M.I.! Your readers don’t need to know your business like that!!! Oh Lord! Thank God your mother doesn’t have internet access!

Look, I am an almost 50-years old divorcee, who had a child some 10 years ago…and it was NOT the Immaculate Conception. My ex-husband was not named Joseph and the closest I get to “Mary” is my mother’s middle name “Marie.” Plus, I am a poet and a die-hard Prince fan. Uh duh.

In a time when young Women of Color are asserting and fully embracing their sexuality (W.A.P. anyone?), I honor myself by also reclaiming my being through love. Loving ourselves, seeing ourselves, defining ourselves, and relishing in the power of our own being (and ownership of our “Yeses’ and “No’s”) are forms of resistance, freedom, and self-love that we can declare in a world that is actively trying to silence and erase us.

If you haven’t caught on yet, there will ALWAYS be a Black woman in the center of my posts.

Since this will be my last post for a few weeks, I want to leave you with 7 questions as you consider the possibilities to come in 2021:

  1. Whose definition of me do I hold as true and why?
  2. What ways of being have I adopted in order to make others feel comfortable and why?
  3. How, or in what ways have I used silence to dishonor myself or those I love, if at all?
  4. Outside of society’s definition of who they think I am, who am I, really?
  5. What do I love about myself? Like, really, REALLY love?
  6. Which parts of myself/my humanity do I need to reclaim?
  7. Given everything I have witnessed in 2020, how will I re-member (put together again) and recommit to loving myself, loved ones, and communities I hold dear?

Thank you all for being a part of my learning experience this past year! Please feel free to email me or visit my blog and post your comments. In addition, feel free to forward this post to anyone who may find it useful.

Peace, Love and Liberation!

Speak Your Peace

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