SPOILER ALERT! If you watch “This Is Us” and you are not caught up on all episodes, STOP right here. There will definitely be a few revealing things referenced here. Let’s get into this. In the last few episodes before break we see Beth and Randall in their relationship, we get how they met, how life has been since they met and then up to this point with all the arguing they have been doing recently. This note right here is about our BFF Beth and how she has compromised her entire relationship with Randall and she is finally all out of compromise. In a heated argument she says they have been having the same argument their entire relationship and she chose to be the bigger person and cater to him. WOW, can you image always being the person to give in, to never really feel heard but to keep the peace you just go with the flow. I know too many women who feel this way. We tend to just want to make everything great for everyone else and we never consider how that will make us feel. Then one day like lava building in a volcano we explode and whoever is in the area of that flame better just watch out. How dare they not realize all the sacrifices we have made for them, canceled plans, missed out wine time, hair that looks crazy, but at least little Johnny had cupcakes for his class that he told me about at midnight. We can be real life super heroes sometimes. As I watch Beth have her moment I realize there is someone to blame and it’s not Randall or the kids, or all of the other people she put before herself, the only person to blame is Beth. So guess who I’m going to blame for your identity crisis???? You got it, YOU!
Don’t roll your eyes sista! Come on in the upper room, grab your tea cup and allow me to pour. Have you ever just looked at yourself in the mirror and described who you are? Not just the wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, co-worker, but who you really are. We get so caught up in the role we play in other people’s lives we tend to forget to show up in our own. We tell ourselves that someday we will but someday never manages to come and then like Beth one day we just cut loose like a tornado destroying whatever is in it’s path. We feel justified in letting loose because we held back so long, this moment was inevitable, right?! Wrong! We owe it to ourselves to be true to who we are, we owe it to ourselves to demand time for ourselves, we owe it to ourselves to heal, to laugh, to say no, and to just be. We forget that we have to show up for us! Instead of doing that we play roles in the lives of those around us and I’m sure sometimes it’s roles we are happy to play. When we overextend ourselves and we cater to others needs without thinking about how it will impact who we are, we lose ourselves. This right here is the greatest form of Identity Theft!
Guess what? You can reclaim who you are. You may have lost your way from you for a moment, but you have the road map back to who you were or who you want to become. It always amazes me that I can carry the tools to make Nanekia the best version of herself. It is my divine destiny to walk this life fulfilling my purpose and you are to do the same! We don’t have to keep playing roles we don’t want to play. We can rewrite the script and allow for us to lovingly, actively pursue our greatest purpose. Right now look in the mirror and say I’m coming for you, I’m claiming joy in your life, I love you! Now, I’ll be honest when you start to show up for you some people will get mad, they will not be use to this new found love you have for you, they won’t recognize you. That’s okay because you may not recognize you but you will learn and so will they.
How do we cope with identity theft? Well, just like the bank tells us, stop access to all of your funds, stop all the access to you. Do not give yourself so freely to others if you cannot afford too. If you cannot afford to put energy or effort into a situation then don’t. Now I can hear some mom or wife, “my family comes first”…I get that, but if you are not right with you how will you be of any service to them. Think about if you have ever flown what does the safety video tell you?! I’ll wait…SECURE YOURSELF FIRST! There is a reason for this, if you try to help someone else first and they don’t know how to help you, you risk losing consciousness and not being secured at all. If you take the time to secure you first you can help those around you and who knows the number of lives you might save. Secondly determine what you do and don’t like. Personally I’ve spent enough time doing things I did not enjoy for people all because I wanted to be considered loyal, a good person, worthy of them. Listen (read) carefully, you are worthy even if they never acknowledge your worthiness. You do not have to live a joyless life, in joyless moments. Be honest with your people, I don’t like baseball honey, I like spending time with you but I hate baseball, Johnny you should have told Mommy you needed cupcakes earlier, it’s midnight and the stores are closed, I would love to babysit for you, but this is my only day off and I need to be with me. You not only teach people how to treat you, but you teach yourself how to treat you. Know your worth and don’t be afraid to flex it!
Do you feel like you have lost yourself? Do you feel like life is overwhelming and you may never figure out who you are? My friend I bring you good news, you can begin right now with the decision you make for yourself today to reclaim who you are! You have the power to tell a different story where we see you happy and healthy loving you and those around you. Reclaiming your identity starts with you! How are you going to do it?
If you’d like to hear more on this topic tune in to the Just One Hot Mom Maternal Self-Care podcast, “Identity Thief” Episode 3. Don’t forget to Like, Share, & Subscribe!
In last week’s episode of Black-ish (Season 5, Episode 10) The Johnson family was faced with what many families of color are faced with, the topic of colorism. What is colorism you might asked, well it is defined as prejudice or discrimination against individuals with darker skin tone, typically among people of the same ethic or racial group (dictionary.com). Now you may wonder how can people of the same race be prejudice against each other, but trust it happens especially in African-American families where there can be a variety of shades, light, brown, honey, caramel, dark, black people come in all colors. While we are told to be proud of our brown skin we are the very same people who will tease, bully, harass each other about being too dark, too light. It’s a sad but true fact we can hate each other all because of the color of our skin, the thing that we fight against in so many other arenas we fight with each other with as well. Go on over to ABC.com and check out Black-ish which airs Tuesdays at 9pm, especially this most recent episode if you’d like to delve into the topic on colorism.
Recently in our home we had the topic of colorism come up, which makes the timing of this episode extra special. As with every night before bed I apply my facial cream to remove the residue of the day. As I was standing in the mirror Anissa asked if she could apply some. I explained to her that this was for mommy to remove her makeup and that her skin was gorgeous and she didn’t need the extra, I saw the disappointed look on her face and inquired as to why she looked sad. She explained to me that my cream was making my skin lighter and prettier and that her darker skin didn’t look like mine. GASP! Anissa is 6 years old and I never thought that one she didn’t think her skin was pretty (we always talk about how beautifully black girl magic she is) and I never thought that she thought I was trying to lighten my skin. Just to give you some background I am the lightest skinned member of the household, I just dyed my hair black and I get extremely pale in the winter, which attributes to my lighter tone. I get teased about this all the time, how can I go from tanned to light bright. It never really bothered me because I’m comfortable in my skin no matter what color it turns. But in this moment I felt uncomfortable, I would have given anything to have a tan and stand with Anissa in her honey glow. I explained to my sweet face girl that I was washing my face not getting lighter and that she was gorgeous that her tanned skin was something other people would pay for, then I showed her pictures of me in the summer (optimal tan) and then we looked at me in the mirror now. We both agree that I need a tan and then we pointed out the beautiful things we notice about each other.
In that moment I thought about other little girls and boys and the questions they might have about their skin color, about them being teased, and about them feeling uncomfortable in their own skin. How do we as a community address this issue? Why do we discriminate against each other? How can everyone begin to love the skin they’re in?
Well here are some tips (simple but it’s a start)
- As a family stop bullying, teasing, joking about skin tone. Although it may seem like it’s all fun and games we don’t know the real seed that’s being planted for someone to learn to not love themselves. As long as we allow this to go on we nurture the seed that allows some one to think one shade of skin is better than the other.
- When children have questions about skin tone and why they look different don’t brush it off, ADDRESS IT. We have got to start having conversations that teach our children to love themselves, this is a lesson that we should all want them to learn at home and not out in the world. If we start the conversations in our homes, then we at least give them the tools and preparation to handle these conversations out side of out homes.
- This is a big one for me so agree or disagree, but children should have toys in all shades, this more so falls in the category of baby dolls. Anissa has dolls of all shades and they are all beautiful to her. We as families have to set our own beauty standards and teach our children to do the same.
The tips I gave are something you can do right now to help your children learn to appreciate who they are. Whether you are black, white, yellow, brown, or purple, you are beautiful. Embrace that beauty, appreciate the beauty, then get to the business of letting the world see you walk in that beauty.
How will you handle the topic of colorism if it comes up in your home? Don’t wait start the conversation today.
To hear more about this topic tune into Episode 3 of The Parental Guidance Counselor Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe.