Soul Sisters

A person with whom you have an immediate connection the moment you meet –a connection so strong that you are drawn to them in a way you have never experienced before.

As this connection develops over time, you experience a love so deep, strong and complex, that you begin to doubt that you have ever truly loved anyone prior.

Your soulmate understands and connects with you in every way and on every level, which brings a sense of peace, calmness and happiness when you are around them. And when you are not around them, you are all that much more aware of the harshness of life, and how bonding with another person in this way is the most significant and satisfying thing you will experience in your lifetime.

You are also all that much aware of the beauty in life, because you have been given a great gift and will always be thankful…

Defining soulmate by Elliek at Urban Dictionary.

I have a group of women in my life who I refer to as my soul sisters. These are women who are intelligent, articulate, vivacious and passionate about their life and their work.

We are a motley crew; a diverse grouping of women divinely connected for such a time of this. I’ve met each of them at different stages in my life and I’ve come to realize that God has gifted me with their love and their friendship. I would not be the woman I am today without each of them.

We are the women who love reality t.v., view Sex and the City as the ultimate guide to life and love, refuse to be told what we can and can’t do, want to love and be loved deeply and passionately, struggle with our confidence, fight mental illness – depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder – you name it, we have it.

We believe in a God that is bigger and wider and more gracious than anything we can imagine.

We are the women who people call bitchy and arrogant. We’ve been told that we intimidate folks

We are the women who cry our eyes out. Who want to be loved deeply and passionately. Who are die hard romantics even as we refuse to be submissive and settle for that which we know is not real and true and life-altering.

We are the women who call each other crying when someone sees something in us that we can’t fathom. We don’t see the greatness that lies within and need each other to affirm its very presence.

We are the ones who have been violated, whose innocence was disrupted either by rape, molestation, incest and abuse. The ones who have valiantly fought to stitch together pieces of our broken selves and claim the beauty that God intended us to be.

These women are my soulmates.

It’s not a sexual connection but it is a passionate one. I love men – physically, sexually, emotionally and mentally. But these women fill spaces and places in my heart that no man can… It’s a spiritual connection, one that only God could have designed.

Our scars, our struggles, our fears and our triumphs make us who we are — Soul Sisters.

Soul sisters unite

Speak truth. Speak love. Speak compassion. Speak Life.

Soul sister unite

I love you all,

Me

Advertisements

After He Leaves

After he leaves I feel like a part of me is missing. How is it that this man has the ability to make me feel like I am on top of the world and simultaneously make me feel like it’s never enough? I don’t get tired of him. I love listening to him. I love sharing space with him. Truth be told, it’s not even anything he’s doing per say… it’s just how he is. When he’s with me I feel like I’m not alone…

I’ve come a long way. When I was younger, so much of what I thought about myself was wrapped in others’ opinions of me, particularly men. Now I am pretty confident about who I am and what I can do sans their opinions… yet, his smile, his eyes, his touch, make me want more.

More of what? I am coming to terms with being single. It’s not all bad. Quite frankly, because of the type of woman I am, I enjoy the freedom that comes with singledom. What I miss more than anything is knowing that there is someone who has my back. I miss knowing that on those days when the loneliness is too much to bear, there is someone committed to walk the road with me. He makes me long for that connection, for a partnership that is characterized by trust, compassion, honesty, laughter and the pursuit of excellence. And let’s not forget about the passion… I think what’s hardest about this is that I can picture our life together. I can see us supporting one another and loving one another. We are just enough alike and just enough different to be a pretty powerful team. And I think that’s what I long for most of all, to be a part of a team.

So much of my life is lived solo. I know it’s because of what God has called me to. I am someone that will live a public life and that mean there are many places and spaces that I must travel alone. I think I am coming to terms with that but I do long to be in relationship. And he makes me want it all the more.

I keep reminding myself that for everything there is a season. This is my season to develop professionally, to hone my skills, to travel and to nurture friendships. It’s also a time to grow in love and knowledge of myself, which I haven’t spent a lot of time doing. Knowing all of this doesn’t make me feel better but it does keep things in perspective. The sadness that I encounter will not overtake me. The love that I desire will come to pass. And when it does, I’ll be ready.

For Everything There is a Season…

Today is Mother’s Day in the United States. It is a day that we celebrate our mothers. I have expanded my definition of mother to not just include my biological mother but also include the women in my life who “mother me” – those who provide guidance, encouragement, love, discipline, conviction and never-ending support. For me, these mothers are women of faith who care for themselves and their families. I am so grateful for each and every one of them.

Mother’s Day also brings out some darker emotions in me. I am a 31 soon-to-be- 32 year old divorcee who has yet to conceive a child. The assumption by most people is that I will have children at some point. I’ve always struggled with this because I am terrified of physically carrying a child and thoughts of what might happen to my fragile mental state paralyze me. I know now that I am at high risk for postpartum depression and other mental health issues because of my history. Pregnancy and the subsequent birth of a child will exacerbate these issues. However, there is something that happens this day each year, something that I’m quite ashamed to admit. I get a twinge of longing for the role and title of mother and feel like I’m not woman enough because I haven’t born a child. Then I feel guilty for focusing on myself on a day when so many others focus on the amazing women in their lives. And the cycle continues…So, I decided to write about my feelings today.

I had a glimpse of what it might be like to be a mother when I was married. My ex-husband has an amazing son from his first marriage and I was privileged to get to know this amazing child from the time he was three until he was ten. While he lived with his mother on a daily basis, he spent his summers and holidays with my ex-husband and I. During these times I fully embraced the mothering role and was amazed at how naturally certain things came to me. I began to care for and love this boy like he was my own. It was quite surprising to me and I lament that this relationship has been severed. I’ll probably write more on that later…

I’ve always struggled with what it means to be a woman. Is it defined by my gender? Is it defined by my participation in heteronormative relationships? Is it defined by certain characteristics? Is it defined by my role as wife? Is it defined by my role as mother? Is it defined by my desire to want to be a mother, wife or any other role that is lifted up as ideal?

Today at Shekinah Chapel, I heard a message that felt like it was meant just for me on this day. The preacher was a woman who preached on Proverbs 31. I must confess that this is one of my least favorite texts in scripture because of how it’s lifted up as how woman should be. I have always felt like if I’m not the Proverbs 31 woman, I am not woman at all. As the preacher began her message, I told myself to sit still and listen. And I am so glad I did.

The preacher talked about the text and connected it to the hats that we as women are expected to wear. She even used imagery at one point and placed six or seven different hats on her head. It was a powerful illustration because it showed how it’s not only impossible to wear more than one hat at a time but that it also looks just plain ludicrous. I appreciated this sermon on so many levels and my spirit resonated with the struggle that so many women face – to try and be all things to all people at all times and still maintain a certain attitude and character, which is often how Proverbs 31 is lifted up in communities of faith. Towards the end of the sermon, the preacher quoted Ecclesiastes 3 (see below) – For everything there is a season…

Before I knew it, tears started to fall. Even as I write this post, the tears well up in my eyes. But they are cleansing tears not tears of sorrow. I realized in the preached moment today that I am living in a certain season of life, one that has not called me to be a mother or a wife. I feel like I have always fought this reality and made apologies for why I was not living into these roles. Today, I felt like I had permission to shed any and every expectation of me that was not God given. God has blessed me in many ways and I know that I am walking in a season where I am called to be an advocate, a friend, a mentor, an aunt, a leader and a visionary. I am not called to be a mother or a wife right now. And for the first time, I truly believe that it’s ok…

For everything there is a season…

For those who have lost mothers…

For those who have had terrible relationships with their mothers…

For those who long to be a mother and their body’s won’t let them conceive…

For those who have suffered one or many miscarriages…

For those who feel like a failure because they have not become a mother…

For those who will never be mothers and don’t want to be…

For all women who struggle to define themselves against the ongoing tide of societal, cultural, familial expectation…

I pray. You are not alone.

Love,

Me

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

seasonsOfLifea time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time…

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-11

Dance Lessons Part 1…

I love to dance. There’s something that happens when I hear music that causes a soul-stirring reaction.

I love movement. I love the expression of emotions through movement. I love how beats and rhythms and lyrics come to life in a physical form that is dance.

I am not a gifted dancer. I define gifts as those things that are like breathing, those things that you don’t even have to think about that just flow from you. Dance was not something that came naturally to me. Anyone who knows me from childhood knows that I wasn’t the most coordinated person. Truth be told, I was quite awkward. I discovered dance through my experience as a cheerleader in middle school and high school. I switched over to just dance when I got to college. Dance saved me from myself. When I was a junior in college and in the midst of my second major depressive episode, dance was the only thing that kept me from killing myself.

I am a passionate dancer. Passions are those things that can be cultivated. I see as many dance companies perform as money and time allow. I secretly want to be a member of a Salsa dance troupe and envision the costumes, music and pure joy that would follow. As I’ve gotten older and my passion for dance has been realized, I seek out classes and troupes and studios that would allow me to hone my skills. I’ve taken ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop, Latin and pole classes. Yes, pole classes. (For more about my experience with pole dancing, click here. It was seriously the most liberating experience of my life!) I have stretched and strengthened muscles I didn’t know I had. I’ve gone from being a terribly awkward girl who was not comfortable in her own skin to a woman who fully embraces her body and sees it as a gift from God. Dance has connected me to my soul and to the Divine.

Dance continues to be one of the best forms of therapy that I experience. I recently moved and while things have largely gone well, I have had some rough times during this transition. Once I found a therapist, I realized that I needed to find a dance class. I signed up for Salsa lessons and am ecstatic that it works with my schedule.  There is clearly a link between exercise and dealing with depression and every time I attend a dance class I am reminded of it’s importance. However, the what I’m learning goes beyond the physical. I am gaining life lessons from this passion of mine and am so grateful.

What things/hobbies/activities serve as therapy for you and teach you life lessons?

Stay tuned…

Love,

Me