Tuesday, October 18, 2016

JESSICA HAMPTON #Sayhername


Jessica Hampton Mother - Daughter - WOMAN 
She was on the Red Line train in the middle of the day this past June.  25 year old young woman Jessica Hampton, whom I read was working incredibly hard to get her life together.  She was learning to love herself again. She stopped drinking and was probably thinking of what her next steps to living her best life with & for her daughter who she has left behind...a six year old daughter. Jessica Hampton was loved by many.  She was on her way somewhere and she shook her head no to him and he stabbed her multiple times.  No one stepped in to help her.  People screamed and ran in the opposite direction.  People videotaped her death and took in her demise through a lens and did not step in to stop it.

Like many women, she found herself with a man whose intentions for her ended up being violence at all costs.  This individual has gone to jail for this crime against a woman who simply said no to him and yes to herself.  Jessica's daughter is now a secondary survivor of violence because she could have easily been part of this tragedy.  We could have been reading and watching her demise on youtube, but thank God that was not the case.  I pray she never witnessed her mother and/or any other woman experience physical violence. I pray that she never will have to see it, but I think that is a very big prayer.  I pray that she never will have to personally experience violence.  I pray that her experience with violence ends with her mother.

Violence against women is becoming so normalized...violence against women of color is already a "normal" daily occurrence.  With the help of media and the history of violence against women of color in America, a black woman can sit on a train in the middle of the day and repeatedly get stabbed without one finger being lifted to assist her because it is normal...her pleas for help fell on deaf ears.  She died because it was normal to see the destruction of her body.  She deserved to be heard.  Black women's lives matter!

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Minimizing and ultimately ending violence against women and girls.  There are many organizations around the country whose mission is just this.  One organization, based in Chicago is called A Long Walk Home.  http://www.alongwalkhome.org/
They will be one of the groups organizing a Freedom From Violence March this Thursday honoring Jessica Hampton's life.


#sayhername #blacklivesmatter #blackwomenslivesmatter
REST IN PEACE


Monday, October 10, 2016

#FreeBresha..But Can Her Mom Get Free Too

I woke up this morning with Bresha Meadows on my heart.  I was wondering what she was going through right now.  What it took for her to be pushed to her breaking point.  At the tender age of 14, she gathered everything inside of her to pick up her father's gun...the same tool her father handily used to terrorize Bresha, her sisters and her mother, and shoot her father.  Her 14 years of unrest, trauma and horrific home-life gave her all that she needed to stop the destruction the man she was supposed to look to for love and protection caused. She loved, served and protected her family in their time of need...So the question so many are asking, where was her mother?  Why couldn't she be the one to stop the violence?  Why couldn't she remove her family from the hell that her husband cause?  I know I initially asked these questions.  I wondered why, as a mother, she could allow ANYONE to hurt her children.  As I cried over her daughter's plight, my questioning Brandi's absence during this time had me wondering how much she must be questioning herself.  How much guilt she must be feeling during this time as her daughter is locked up and on suicide watch.

Brandi spent 22 years of her life be broken down.  Her last moment with her husband was him asleep on the couch and her on the floor next to him.  He owned her life and her daughter was the only one that was able to set her free.  22 years, she tried to fight and was broken.   In those 22 years she had three babies...all girls.  Not much is said about the youngest girls, but Bresha is a vibrant young lady with a vision for life.  A great student and friend...All this to say, mom was seemingly doing her best to give her daughters some hope.  Mom seemingly was trying to show up at least for her girls in the world outside.  She just struggled desperately to show up for them at home...where it was truly dangerous.

My heart goes out to this family...Yes, my heart is heaviest for Bresha, but I am definitely weighted down with the guilt and anguish this mother is feeling.  The reality is, she has to find her strength and her footing and build herself back up.  She needs to see her worth again as a woman, as a mother as a being so that she can fully and properly support her daughter(s).  She needs to create a safe place for her daughter to come home to.  What does her support system look like?  I pray there is a psychiatrist, teacher, preacher, sister, friend and family around that can support Brandi is rebuilding herself.  I pray for her strength that she realizes that she has it.  I pray that Brandi stops being a victim and finds a way to be her own hero.  Right now, Bresha is wanting out of this life because home is no longer home anymore.  Brandi needs to create that space for her. I pray that Brandi embraces the ultimate gift/sacrifice her daughter made for her and her family and releases herself from her proverbial prison so that in turn Bresha could find her way home to freedom.

Free Bresha...But Brandi, free yourself first so you be strong enough to help your babies act of heroism not be in vain.

For more about the story, here is a link to one of many articles written.
http://jezebel.com/15-year-old-bresha-meadows-faces-a-life-sentence-for-al-1787575676
https://campaigns.organizefor.org/petitions/free-bresha-meadows

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Mirror Mirror

Here I am stumbling through the process of learning to love myself…
Yup, I’m challenged, but pushing forward because I can’t look back, I don’t want to look back.  This my friends, is so important.  This is my chance to finally get through the fear and bust through the ribbon at the finish line, only to train for yet another journey.  It ain’t over till it’s over!  Loosing my mother has taken away a part of me that was unconditional love for me.  The day she passed, that void of feeling loved purely and unconditionally without question of worthiness felt so vast and empty.  Nothing could fill it up.  I've hated how awful and lonely that has been/had been making me feel.  So I've decided to do something about it.  I decided to find a way to fill that empty space with self love.  Face to void and fill it!

So let me tell you about my last couple of days of loving myself.  I started out my Sunday morning spending time with my snooze button.  My tired body was in a tumultuous battle with my hungry spirit and sadly, the body won.   Yes, that disappointment that just laid itself on my heart and stayed present with me even after a very long and thorough shower.  As I applied lotion to myself and put on my intimates; I stopped and stared into that space between void and feelings convincing myself not to step deep into the void but embrace my feelings, my pain, my joy, my pride, my sense of accomplishment, my feelings...I thought back to the day before when I promised to love myself blindly, unconditionally and without self Judgment.  I sat in judgement of myself and found myself entrenched in the void.  

I told myself that I was ok, but without skipping a beat, the  “you’ve messed up again - It’s not in you -you aren’t worthy  -"so typical of you" recording started playing in my head.  I listened to this mantra and allowed it to disrupt the flow of good energy I was feeling from my five minutes of prayer and meditation from the day before. 
But the interesting thing this time is the self depricating self talk pissed me off enough for me to want to face myself.  I reluctantly approached my mirror.  I fought myself extremely hard to catch my own gaze.  I discovered many new lines on my face, counted fading freckles and experimented with new hairstyle options all to avoid my own gaze.  Why was it so damn hard?  Why was this such a challenge to face me?  It was a strategically placed freckle in the corner of my left eye that forced my eyes to catch themselves in the mirror...my own big brown anxious, yet disarming eyes.  Now that I had my own attention, what would I finally tell myself?  What would I finally embrace?  I guess simply that I was going to be just fine.  Maybe even stare long enough to admire how much I loved how deep and penetrating my eyes were.  Even to have the courage to look into my own eyes and say I…L..LO..I….I LOVE YOU!  It totally felt silly for not having done that sooner, but I promised no judgment. 

Monday morning, I started with the same tumultuous battle of tired body and hungry spirit, but this time spirit was a bit stronger and triumphed.  I woke up with no judgment, just resolve. Pray – Mediate – Exercise – Love yourself and Repeat... pushing toward the next phase of this journey.  The deeper, more realized part of my journey.

Tuesday will be another new day and on this new day, I will look in the mirror again and remind myself of my journey thus far, say something kind to myself and keep it moving...forward.

I love me...even in those moments when the words are merely words...I will continue you to say it until the words are the truth in that moment.

Mirror Mirror On The Wall Who is The Most Present One Of All...me


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