The Beauty That Is Luke Cage

Not long ago, I shared a Keke Napep (Rickshaw/ Tuk Tuk, my main source of transportation and inspiration) with two of the most unpleasant human beings I have ever encountered.

I was on my way to a wedding on the outskirts of town. Baffling as it was, it didn’t occur to these two people that since the area is remote, we just may be going to the same venue; which we were. And so they went on with one demeaning word after another about the couple, whose wedding they travelled from another State to attend, and for whom they  bought a humongous gift. I was shocked and thought I had heard the worst till the guy said:

“And after acting all polished and classy in school, see the kind of extremely black man she is marrying.” 

At that point my jaw dropped and my head pivoted of its own accord to have a proper look at the guy. My intent was obviously clear to him because the next thing he said was:

“I know I am dark skinned but I am not that black.”

#Speechless but not really.

Many times, I have said and proven that the most disparaging remarks about dark skinned men with characteristic African features, have come from dark skinned men with characteristic African features.

Every time I stumble on conversations where black men are being mocked for the darkness of their skin, their “wide” nose and “full lips”, it is usually done by the darkest skinned man in the room. This is the same guy that you would find posting a picture of a very dark skinned guy on Facebook marrying a white woman or lighter skinned girl with the caption, “HOW???” or something worse that strips all the layers of humanity off the skin of the man in the picture. Don’t believe me, take your own survey and listen to the data speak.

Do I blame dark skinned men that do this? Do we even want to retrace the origins back to slavery when darker skinned men were assumed to be the strongest and then chained to ships to be slowly dehumanised based on the quality of skin that got them selected in the first place? Do we even want to go the way of the visuals that focused more on making black men more disgusting and comical to look at and infusing that into the collective conciousness of the whole world? Or even worst, the visual representation that made dark skinned African men irrelevant and obscure characters in stories so they were therefore forgettable?

Do I blame them? No, because even in my own life, I have been accused of dating only light skinned guys. Meanwhile the truth is I have also dated really dark skinned guys and those coincidentally have been my longest relationships. Let that sink in for a minute… Remember what I said about dark skinned men and the word forgettable… Yeah…

These accusations have been from close relatives; and it is done in a way that I am forced to defend myself by mentioning the names of the dark skinned Ex’s. And then I get:

“Oh I forgot you dated him, and you were so happy then fa!”

But do I blame them???

Yes, because I believe as human beings we are meant to think hard, challenge ideas and status quos. We are also not meant to forget the golden rule, ‘do unto others what you want to be done to you’. 

It seems in this reaction by black people against black people, we forget it is a continued perpetuation of crimes against ourselves and a constant alienation of people that look just like us.
However, hope has arrived in the package of a delirious gorgeous dark black skinned super hero; Marvel’s Luke Cage. 

How do I  know that this new development will change anything? Because I know how much I was affected by the possibility of being a beautiful princess from watching Pocahontas as opposed to watching Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty.

In Pocahontas, I saw myself: a thinking intellectual princess questioning what was assumed to be the natural course of her life, questioning John Smith and the outsiders right to take her land and regard her as a savage just because she does not look like them. It had its hiccups as a story but it was like freshwater to my young drying soul.

So this is me being confident that the more dark skinned men see themselves in this super hero roles especially like Luke Cage who does not have a sordid past or even seeing more varied representations like I believe will happen with The Black Panther movie; the more they would be okay with their existence in this world. Not because they are perfect human beings but it certainly won’t be because of the shade of their skin.

Images via Flickr, Netflix and Disney


Embracing The Dark: On Loving My Skin.

Poetry is not my strongest suit. But, like most things that pique my interest, I gave it at least one or two attempts, just to know I can. However, not all things get that one attempt no matter how much I am burning with curiosity.

Sometimes what ends up happening is a dance around the interest. This is like when we were kids and played ‘Ring a Ring o’ Roses’; we went round and round then crumpled down to the ground.So in that same way, one of the things I danced around but never did, was bleach my skin. And we will get to that before this post is over.

Let’s  start from the end of the discovery and it begins with an attempt at poetry. I wrote a poem to capture my moment of clarity titled ‘Embracing The Dark’. And it goes like this…

Heart racing, Palpitations
Twitching eyes,  Shaky hands
Ah! A new day has begun
Morning has come…

 

Yesterday, I was reminded once again
That progress moves faster in the light
I mean for the light
Or is it to the light

 

I always get confuse
And I try to rationalize
This is what leads me to my pathos
This is what leads me to my pawn broker
And our constant trade in unused jars
Of lightening cream

 

Throwing out and then replacing
And throwing out some more
And then replacing… some more

 

I stare at the jar on the table
and it snares back at me
beckoning, gleaming with a vague promise
I still do not understand
And another new day I resist the urge
Today will not find me slipping
Today will not find me dipping

 

Now I am good, I am dressed
I am ready to go
Opportunities abound, my goals are clear
Reality slaps me once more not to forget
Not to forget my mantra
It makes me believe in myself
For my children
And their children’s children
That is what this is really about

 

My mind clears it throat
let’s begin it says

 

Black is beautiful, I must not despair
Black is beautiful, Love without unnecessary compromise will find me
Black is beautiful, Black is my identity….

Let’s go…

 

Please don’t judge the quality of the poem, it was written six years ago and I probably broke a hundred rules of poetry. But hey…  I have learnt when inspiration strikes, you must run with it or lose it forever; so I took the chance.

 

But now we must go back to the beginning, where it all started.

In childhood being the darkest of my sisters. my mum decided to honor this fact by constantly referring to me as “the black one”. This wasn’t a problem while growing within the confines of my house, drenched in so much love that my ‘title’ was a special bond between me and my mum. But once I started school, black came with the understanding that it meant ugly and sometimes unwanted, outcast, unsuitable and a plethora of other things that really does not necessitate journeying to my Primary and Secondary school memories.

Thankfully, I’ve realize that there is a  confusingly merciless and unthinking part of our culture that gives people a pass to say whatever comes to their head; without fully weighing the consequences. One part of our culture I can’t stand.

Anway, what changed or helped?

Well…

First of all, growing up, my head was always in the clouds dreaming up all kinds of wonderful alternate realities. This means most things registered but didn’t stay with me. And at the end of every school year, I noticed all shades, complexion wise in the top and bottom according to our exam result. Immediately dark meaning dumb (a word we use here to mean unintelligent) lost all truth plus it helped that I got a lot of double promotions and recommendations to skip grades.This gave all the evidence that I wasn’t even near dumb or unintelligent. So… victory number 1.

When the boys started coming by, they were in all shades. From really light skinned to deep dark skinned. I always joke that it seems like I had dated the United Nations, not in the number of people but in the variety. But In all honesty, two things really changed my view of relationships as it pertains to skin color.

The first is, whether white, black or mixed, it really didn’t take long for me to ‘forget’ what they looked like. Somehow, skin color and complexion gets pushed back into my sub-concious mind and the individuals character and personality comes to the fore front. It is really hard for me to explain this but when I realised that, I chose to believe it was the same for them as for me.

The second thing and person, whom I have to give a lot of thanks to is Halle Berry.

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And it was the moment in her life that she was treated so badly by a man. I was extremely unhappy about it because like most people I felt and still feel she is a beautiful person. But her moment came with clarity for me; and if this can be done to Halle Berry a world(media) proclamed standard of beauty, then if the guarantee for happiness in a relationship is solely based on looks, no one will be spared from bad times.

I have reached my destination of total acceptance of my skin complexion. But I would be lying if I say there aren’t days I do not wish for a lighter shade. This has to do with my hair texture which some people naturally associate with being mixed race. I really could do without a day of inquistion. You can read all about it Here to understand what I mean.

However if the many Ethnicity tags, Mixed girl tags and the numerous ‘Where am I from?’ tags floating in cyberspace are any indication; it is safe to assume that if you do not totally fit a stereotype, people are going to have questions and opinons. Just the way of the world.

Bottom line, I have learnt through actively seeking to love all I have been given that, having the most widely accepted or favored skin tone comes with ZERO guarantee for a happy, fullfiled and purposeful life.

If you are unhappy and miserable about your life then no matter the ‘passes’ the world gives you, you will remain unhappy and miserable about your life.

And the world’s standards do not have to be yours. End of story.

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Silly poetry sometimes carries a ton of meaning.

 

So do you feel having your type of skin tone has helped or encumbered the quality of your life? I would really love to have as many perspectives on this as I can, if you would please indulge me. Much thanks in advance

 

 

Images via Flickr

Who Is A Hater?

If you are of Nigerian descent and believe you have haters, you are not paranoid just reflecting your true feelings about other peoples success… yeah I said it.

STOP! Don’t close this post because you are already pissed at the first paragraph; it is not your fault, you are after all a product of our environment. There is a really good and unavoidable reason for how you are feeling and don’t worry, you are in the majority.

A post explaining why, precedes this and you can pause on this one, read it Here and then come back.

If you have read the preceding post, come on in, today is the day of liberation. Freedom from the shackles of envy is yours for the taking.

Do haters exist? Well… why not, I have lived with and met some people that have given me the heebie Jeebies ( an idiom I have been dying to use it). People that could not even pretend to be happy at my success. You can just imagine how truly unhappy they must have been not to pull of pretense; we after all have made a culture of  pretending.

However, my thing is an individual is innocent until proven guilty. And if someone doesn’t walk up to you, use their words and express their hate, then you cannot assume they are a hater. If their silent actions make you really uncomfortable then my friend, you run and you run fast far away from them.

Fortunately, not unlike being envious, believing you have haters who are sitting in their dark cupboards staring at your Facebook updates and trying to light those ‘God bless me plenty’ photos on fire with the green light of envy blazing from their pupils, also has its importance in the scheme of things.

These are:

a) To help distract you from that true sense of failure you would otherwise be feeling: Common, admit it, when you were a child did you dream about a Hyundai whatsits-name or did you dream of being an astronaut? But since that dream hasn’t come true on account of all the challenges thrown your way that you haven’t been able to overcome; a banker is what you settled for. Now you need to show the world some kind of success and silence that inner voice still trying to speak  on behalf of your hopes and dreams.

Denial that crafty snake, sliders by and whispers in your ears, assuring you that you have achieved… something. And this is evident by those imaginary Hyundai-less people squeezing their face at your acquisition while silently weeping over their lack.

The Bad News: Unfortunately, Bonnie Ware an Australian Nurse who spent several years in Palliative care looking after patients in the last twelve weeks of their life says, the top expressed regret is, ” I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” This means in the end, no true comfort will be received from ‘stuff’ unless they were gotten while living out your dreams.

The Good News! Now you know. What are you going to do about it?

b) To feed the darkness in you: There is no human incapable of great evil. The most notorious recorded criminals in history are all human beings. This basically means we all have tendencies. And the reason some of us don’t succumb, I personally feel is not out of fear of jail or death; it is just that we just haven’t allowed the desire to consume us beyond reason.

As a Christian, I lean on the grace of God and walk solely in the light of Christ. And this light fills me with love. Love is a powerful tool, don’t believe me, ask the little guy below.

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Seriously the trap is, the moment you start thinking of your haters, you need to create reasons for their alleged hatred. And since they haven’t verbally given you one, guess where you begin to search? In the inner recess of your own evil tendencies; by creating reasons and scenarios why their hate must have been triggered. And this is a never ending well.

The Bad News: When digging a well, previously buried sands and other things will be brought up to the surface; and you will never know what will be uncovered.

The Good News! Buried sand and other things remain buried when not dug up. If restlessness and itchy fingers are your worry and you need to dig something, dig into your capacity for love and expand that hole, it is the better alternative.

c) It indicates you are totally sold to the societal machine, conditioning and whatever expectations are put on individuals in that decade (it keeps changing and that alone should tell us something) :

Personally, and my friends know this, I do not have a dream car or plan on personally owning one. I do know the ease and comfort having one brings. And whenever it is raining and I get to borrow my Mom’s car, it is with deep gratitude that she owns one. And in the event I end up having a car, it will definitely not be for daily use.

As a writer, I have gotten tons of my material from the goldmine of public transportation. This is one mine I will not readily relinquish. Whatever society’s expectation is for someone my age, unless ‘they’ will become Scheherazade, visit me daily and tell great tales I could never come up with no matter my effort, there is zero interest in me to please that expectation.

You may hate driving or feel inadequate to be someone’s life partner; but you do it either way because it is expected. And this hater accusations just perpetuates the circle of misery as you are inadvertently reinforcing the so called standard.

The Bad News: Our culture is one of relentless probing. People that can barely spell your name will look you in the eye and list all the wrong things in your life; and this is not to mention the liberties taken by family members. Its tough out on these streets.

The Somewhat Good News! Valid rebellion is your only course of action. It eventually earns you respect and reluctant support. It is doubly tough to make your rebellion work but the victory is delicious.

I will stop for now.

You can argue for the validity of the existence of haters but I support my stand; they only exist because of us. There is a potential hater in everyone except when we always choose to respond in love and kindness; not easy but doable.

So choose love always.

I love you with the love of the Lord; my own human love is work in constant progress.

 

Featured Image Via Flick (Pink Marina)

The Rewards of Rejection.

Rejection is a phenomena ( I use the plural form because of its multiple and continuous occurring nature) that happens to everyone as long as life runs through you. Funny enough, it is also one of the most rejected, pun intended, things in the world. And we all react in different ways, the range is from…permit me to describe it conversationally.

Visceral self to Rejected self: “How dare this rejection thing happen to me, I am the most undeserving of it. Everyone knows my kind must never be rejected. I mean what exactly do I lack not to  qualify ”

To:

In- Denial self to Rejected self: “I don’t think this has really happened. Probably just a bad dream that I would wake up from sometime never; either ways, this thing must remain in the dream or subconscious realm, never to be dealt with”.

The first extreme in my opinion is a crowded group mostly filled with men who got rejected after confidently walking up to a woman they felt would be easy to get. While the second group is cramped with women dilly dallying in a relationship that they were aware ended a long time ago because they were no longer wanted. These are women that hang on tight and refuse to give in to the demise of a relationship.

There are other people facing different kinds of rejection in both groups which are not relationship based but like I said, in my opinion, these are the people that I believe populate both extremes.

The middle ground, Acceptance, is the most beautiful spot to be in any case of rejection.

Accepting self says to Rejected self: “We have been rejected, let’s acknowledge that. This hurts to the high heavens because it was not the expected outcome but we’ll take a minute or two to let this pain rightfully pass before examining this thing that has happened.”

And it is at this point, after the pain has passed and associated emotions have subsided to reasonable proportions; then and only then can a person begin to reap the rewards from the rejection.

The main reward of rejection is actually opportunity. But with opportunity comes a myriad of associated rewards.

So therefore, rejection leads to:

  1. An opportunity for examination: Unless you are the kind of person adverse to thinking, one of the first things that should happen to you after being rejected is to examine the situation. In the zone of acceptance, when starting this process, you automatically get an open invitation to be strictly honest with yourself. Take that invitation; it is best thing you can do on this journey. Honesty helps to be rational and immediately kicks out the victim mentality which loves to creep up in these kind of moments, mainly to stop or stall progress.

The main thing however, is to keep it simple by examining one thing and one thing only; the feedback. Did you get any, or was it just an invisible cold steel door slammed in your face. If it was the latter, take a moment to acknowledge that all shut doors are not meant for you at that time. But, open yourself to the possibility of those type of doors might open at a different time; and then move on.

If you got feedback about the rejection and you do not quite agree with it, then move on to the next step.

2. An opportunity to explore: Make a list of the reasons you do not agree with the feedback and then find ways to explore if you might be right. For example, if it is a rejection for a story that didn’t make the cut in a competition, but you think it is an amazing story, send it to other qualified people and see what the response will be.

After you do this, it is either going to be evident the story is great or you find great tips and ways to make it better. One way or another, it is a win for you.

Exploring your feedback means you do not stew in it and go crazy imagining things that were or weren’t said and what those things might or might not mean. To explore your feedback is a constructive way to move forward and make new discoveries along the way that will be very helpful.

3. An opportunity to change and improve: This is also linked to receiving feedback but does not necessarily depend on it. Rejection can help you change and improve your way of doing things because it did not yield expected results.

There is not much to say about this except quote Einstein, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

And I will just add that there are people that have lost their minds due to continuous rejection. Do not be one of them, be willing to change and improve.

This is probably the most important opportunity in my opinion.

4. The opportunity of building an incredible support system: In the zone of acceptance, there is no shame but a beautiful vulnerability which makes you open to sharing the experience of rejection. And if you have already accepted honesty’s invitation; what you end up doing when sharing is encouraging others to be open about their own experiences. Suddenly you are gaining new perspectives, followed by support and encouragement because remember there are no victims in the zone of acceptance.

So let us try this…

What reward(s) have you reaped from rejection? Let’s know so we can learn and be encouraged.

 

 

How To Look Better: The Expansion Theory.

The New Year has rolled in, diets, exercises and cleanses are underway. Even though for some of us, these measure are done in thought but not quite in deed. What can I say, sometimes these resolutions are made at low moments, when the spirit seems willing. But come the morning, when light and tranquility flood in, we decide we actually want to love ourselves rather than meet society’s set definition of beauty. So we eat the remnants of our cakes, brownies and chin-chin because life is too short, God is too good and we are already way too blessed to be stressed and … well the left overs taste better anyway.

You know by we, I mean I right? Okay, let’s continue.

So, I asked myself this question, “How can you look better in a way that is truly satisfying to you and no one else?”

And it wasn’t really hard to find the answer because I already know the things I place value on. Some of which are: knowledge, intelligence, character-defining experiences and authentic friendships. And I know in the new year I want more of these things. I want to add to the ones I already have and grow bigger and better. So to expand on what I already have, seems to me the answer to how to look better in 2016.

The twist to my answer however, which was painful to admit, was that I had stopped looking good to myself because I had lessened or altogether stopped doing things that felt very natural to me. Growing up, had made me adjust in a way that does not feel right. But its a new year and so we will renew ourselves. Once again by we, I mean I.

These are the ways I plan to add and expand myself more beautifully and be blindingly gorgeous before the year is over. I plan to:

  1. Be eager for new things and then be open minded, just like a child: but the great part is as a grown up, I now have filters and a mind of my own.
  2. Be attentive and present; it will enhance strong self disciple in this distracting world of ours. And increase my chances of getting a satisfying reward in whatever I do.
  3. Be studious, no more cursory glances but in depth study of the things that grab my attention and excite me. I believe this is how innovations happen, among other things.
  4. Believe in myself and what ever contributions I have to make to this world.

The last one is the hardest to do, because we mostly feel the need for others to validate us. And I will be bold to say, by practicing the first three things, I believe it will be easier to do the fourth.

This is because there would be such an expansion within yourself, that you might just be bursting at the seams, eager to share, create or just do something worthwhile.

There are seven billion people in the world and you are but one dot in a sea of people. People by some degree are different from one another. And dot that you are, I believe the world needs your special contribution in it.

Its true the world will not crumble without you but it will definitely be missing a piece that is yours to give.

Plan to be big enough, expand yourself and be visible. Most importantly believe you are too important to be left out of making a mark in the world.

And lastly, once again by you, I mean me.

How do you plan on looking better this year?

You all look alike!

I once had a Chris Tucker moment, like the one he had in Rush Hour 2 and it wasn’t in the least bit funny.

Okay, wait, let me remind you of the Rush Hour scene. Remember when Chris tucker (Detective Carter) and Jackie Chan (Inspector Lee) were suddenly surrounded by Chinese gang members in the massage parlor and had to fight their way out and C.Tucker mistakenly punched J.Chan? Well, instead of an apology all he did was helplessly say, “all y’all look alike!”. I cracked up uncontrollably at that scene and still makes me laugh to this day; it was hilarious.

Not unlike those two, I found myself in a situation I was struggling to fight my way out of, but… arrrggghhh let me just tell you what happened.

Years ago while working on my writing in Lagos, one of my other job descriptions was that of a personal assistant. The writing brought in sporadic pay while the personal assistant job brought it a steady monthly pay. It was as a result of that, I found myself one hot Lagos afternoon on my way to pick up a house help.

The location for the pickup was a very posh restaurant on Awolowo road in Ikoyi and I didn’t like going there. This is because most of those kinds of establishments in Lagos have the rudest doormen and snootiest servers. And if you do not arrive in an expensive Jeep; well that’s when your misery begins. I always arrive either on an Okada (public motorcycle) or the lowest form of arrival, after a long sweaty trek from the bus stop.

As I approached the door that day, wiping the sweat off my brow, I hoped the owner would be somewhere around. He was a really nice Lebanese man who looked for every opportunity to practice his English. And when he stops by your table, to his employees it seems like you have been touched by the gods; hence undeserving of their bad manners.

He wasn’t around but sitting in a lone corner was a slim and slight lady, the only female in the whole area and I made a dash for her table.
Me: Sorry, excuse me, are you the person looking for a job?

She looks up, I register disbelief in her face, the silence was stretched, I was trying to be patient and then she gives me this very unnerving look.

While I am recovering and wondering, ‘what the…?’
She (blandly): I like your hare.

Well I thought she said ‘hare’ at the time, I was still adjusting to the phony Lagos accents and the excess use of r’s. So I asked, very confused at this point, “My hare?”.

Then she points to my head. ‘Oh my hair’, we’ve talked about this on this blog before. Anyway, I say my automated thanks and slow as I can be, I stupidly repeat my previous question about the job. This time she ignores me. I stare at her and suddenly she begins to look familiar.

Me: aren’t you xxxxxxxxxxxx?
She answers with a ‘finally you recognize me’ look and instantly becomes friendly. She was a popular musician whom I had seen a couple of times on the news. She asks me to sit, which I do. Then I lie about loving her music while silently praying she doesn’t ask for my favorite song. I didn’t know any of her songs.

The horror began when my boss called to tell me the girl I was expecting, would not be showing up. This was after a nice chat with the musician. So feeling quite free, I started telling my boss how I mistakenly thought Miss xxxxxxxx was the house help.

She: You thought I was a house help?
And she was saying it right at the time my boss was saying into my ear, “I hope you are not still sitting next to her”.

Naturally, this brought on the full range of my grievous mistake and the look on the musician’s face confirmed it. I quickly ended the call with my boss and started searching the problem solving archive of my brain on what to do next;I came up empty. However, I proceeded to say the most stupid thing (in hindsight) I could have said to someone like her.

Me (speaking at the speed of light): I am so sorry, I am from Jos, It is a lot easier to differentiate house helps over there. Everybody dresses so well here, I can’t tell the difference, everybody looks alike, there is no difference.

She looked like she had been slapped, then looked at what she was wearing and so did I, for the first time. In hindsight again, it must have looked like I was confirming whatever she was thinking.

The next thing that happened was almost magical for the lack of a better word. The musician basically curled up into herself, like in defeat or for protection. I started to seriously rack my brain on how to make the situation better; again nothing came to me. And so we sat in silence; she lost in her thoughts, me thinking of an exit strategy.

Then my boss calls again and says I should wait for something else. I was stuck but had an idea to turn to the occasional saving grace; any conversation about music. I asked about her genre of music and she relaxed a little bit. I was relieved. The mutual love for music will heal the day.

What happened instead was, she used every music show to state her worth; her financial worth. The musician told me how much Glo paid for this and MTN for that. The time she sang in America for this amount and in the U.K for that amount. I truly pitied her but was relieved when my message came. And before I left, I did one more thing, stupid or not, I just went for it. I apologized once more for my mistake and let it be known, it only happened because she was the only female in the area not because of anything else. She gave me a tight smile, reached into her bag and handed her business card. Whatever that meant, on my part, I had washed my hands off anything my mistake brought up for her.

My Mom was a house help when she was young and worked to put herself through school. I am extremely proud of my mother and every single day I wish I am as hardworking as she still is; you can call her superwoman. This is why I couldn’t find comfort to give the musician because I have never seen anything wrong with being a house help. It is a job like any other; for most people it is a spring board to make their dreams come true and most importantly it is a way to survive.

What I learn’t that day is, you can never out run your demons. True freedom is in facing them. When you do, you will find they are ghostly things bent on depriving you of a full life. And if you think being successful at what you love and what you are good at (I researched her when I got home. She is exceptionally talented, no joke) will save you and help bury your issues… well good luck then.

This is what I am doing, handing all my issues to God because when the son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I found this truth in the bible that brought understanding to the fruitlessness of escapism.
Isaiah 30:15-16, ‘The sovereign LORD, the holy God of Israel, says to the people, “Come back and quietly trust in me. Then you will be strong and secure.” But you refuse to do it! Instead you plan to escape from your enemies by riding on fast horses. And you are right — escape is what you will have to do! You think your horses are fast enough, but those who pursue you will be faster!

I choose to quietly trust God with all that plagues me. I’ve told him how I truly feel about every aspect of my life that weighs me down. And he brings healing through his word and through the occasional soul searing process of encouraging me to be vulnerable with trustworthy people in my life. I tell you help is flooding in.

Escape is not a long term option because all it takes is a little rattle and you’re instantly faced with your demons. And next to change, the other things constant in this life are the rattles.