Missing Wheels, Broken Heels, and the Future

You can’t get to a better present or a new future without acknowledging the past, and you can’t apologize your way out of bad behavior without reform.

Acknowledge
Action
Commitment
Integrity

Relationships, reparations, business, neighbors… all of it is really about relationships, is it not?

Most of us say we want a better or brighter future, but fail to do anything different. We sit here and wait on someone else to change it so we can step into it and say, “Look at me in this new thing!” Then we pat ourselves on the back and wonder why we get stuck again.

We hurt each other, and sometimes we take a corrective course, but fail at acknowledging what happened. Can you imagine bringing your car home from the shop with only three wheels? The shop fixed everything else, but the front passenger tire was removed because it was flat. Well, you don’t have the flat tire anymore, right? Have you ever had your shoes polished? They look so great afterwards – all clean and shiny. But what if you got them back with a heel missing? Yes, it’s like that when you forget the acknowledgement. Your shoes look great, but the function is just off, and no one notices how shiny they are, just that your heel is missing and you’re walking weird. Then to add to the ridiculousness of it all, you’re trying your darnedest to ignore what’s wrong with the shoes and keep talking about how clean and shiny they are.

Relationships are like that. Corrective action doesn’t mean a whole lot without conversation about the problem and a meaningful apology, and especially if it has been an ongoing issue. The other person likely sees what you’ve corrected, but is now standing by for you to resume your previous behaviors. Why? Because there was no conversation or apology, and the recipient/s of your bad behavior are likely operating in protective mode. That is the foundation, the frame, that you created by skipping over key steps and actions. You’re just driving around with your person or people, bumping along without that tire and wondering why the ride is so rough. Your passenger/s know… but you’re still pretending you’re in a new vehicle.

Our country, our government, our systems have this same issue. We have whole systems put into place that were born out of racism, classism, sexism, etc. The sentiments of our time may not be the same as they were then (we say), but the systems are still in place bringing with them into our present and our future the spirit, the energy, and the isms that put them there in the first place. That’s us gimping along in our polished shoes with the heel missing. We keep saying we’re fixing things, making them better, but we’re failing to recognize or acknowledge what got us here in the first place. We can keep shining those shoes, but until we go back and look at what’s missing, acknowledge that it’s broken, we are not going to fix it. Fixing it doesn’t mean that everyone gets to have shoes with broken heels, or cars with only three tires so that no one notices what’s wrong.

I think this is why we don’t like to discuss reparations for Black folks. This means we have to take accountability for the brokenness that we caused. This means we have to acknowledge that everything isn’t fair and equal now just because we marched and made new laws. This would mean we would have to acknowledge that we have a whole group of people that are severely affected still because 1. the life we forced them into was an unspeakable horror to begin with; 2. we are pretending that we made it right with laws; 3. we refuse to look at the space we created and the foundation we keep polishing (original systems); 4. we think we apologized long ago; 5. we think they should be happy with shiny broken shoes.

You can always make a difference, but pretending and turning away will keep you stuck. If you’re stuck, you’re likely holding other people down with you or trying to keep them there with you. Don’t turn over a new leaf, plant a whole new garden.

  • Acknowledge what went wrong.
  • Take corrective action.
  • Make a commitment to do better or cease the hurtful behavior.
  • Stay in integrity; keep your word because you are a keeper of your word.

Cobwebs, Dirty Floors, and Love

If you’re going to tell me that I need to learn to love myself (or ourselves, in a group setting) in order to love you with the love and respect you deserve, I can’t hear you if you aren’t loving me. I can’t hear you if you are coming from grudge (or anger, yelling, vitriol) vs. love.

It’s tricky, isn’t it? What I hear you saying may very well be the truth, or may certainly have some true parts. But it’s like giving advice to someone else on how to keep their house clean while you have cobwebs all over yours. Your cobwebs don’t actually make any of the truth less true. However, they make you less believable about what you know and want, so you are now suspect for motives, suspect as to what will be returned for changed behavior. Your intention isn’t coming from the same energy that you wish to receive.

Now, you will get a few on board who will hear you and see the truth in spite of your own cobwebs and adjust accordingly; and you will have some form of agreement from the few self-loathing as well. But you will not ultimately get the return you were going for, which is a transformed group.

What a conundrum. Sometimes we really need to be heard, or sometimes we really need to hear. How difficult it can be to express hurt, fear, or anger and be heard fully without losing humanity towards the other person our group!

Love is some tricky shit when you think you can out-maneuver it.

Healing Starts

I was a hot-head in my younger days – kid, teen, young adult… And I mean HOT! Someone asked me one time a while back how I began my journey of transforming my anger and reactions. At the time he asked, I just didn’t know; I only knew that I had to do something. He asked me how I did it. I really didn’t know the answer to that either.

That journey began 25 years ago on my 30th birthday when I knew something had to change, and just today – this day – I realize what it was that put me into action. It was realizing who I was hurting (part of that being myself). I made those people more important than anything else. I just simply made my well-being and theirs bigger than the anger. That’s really all it was, and every time I felt angry, I put them back in their rightful, bigger places.

I didn’t quit <period>.

Love,
Debora

P.S. I have never perfected this. I still have to do this. I will ALWAYS have to do this – FOREVER. Who I was will always be a part of who I am. It’s important to know this and leave it right there as a reminder.

💜I can take part in your healing (even without you knowing), but I cannot heal you. The choice to heal is 100% yours.


💜Step 1: Self is the place to start.


💜Starting may feel like daunting, rugged,
mountainous terrain with no clear path.


💜Step 2: Start where you are hurting others.

#healing #responsibility #selfcare #help #assistance #spirit #hurt #self #start #path #belong #belonging #BuildBridgeBelong

Racial Healing in America Conference – 2020

Women For Equality presents its
Third Annual Racial Healing in America Conference
February 29, 2020
9:00AM to 6:00PM
9249 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95826

This one-day conference is in response to the heightened awareness in our nation of the need for racial healing. The prevalence of hate crimes, social injustices and racial divides have been brought to the surface to demonstrate the need for us to come together.

Participants will:
• Experience unprecedented bonding
• Understand the importance of racial healing
• Explore their own biases
• Experience what it is like as a marginalized person in this country
• Co-create a community-based plan of action

Click here for tickets

Click here for Facebook Event Page

Tickets will also be sold at the door as space allows.

Flyer

It’s okay to be still.

It’s okay to be still.
It’s okay to sit in the silence even in the presence of another.
Don’t believe for a second that nothing is happening if you aren’t in constant motion.
You are but a tiny speck in the whole of it, and it doesn’t all stop because you do.
It’s okay to wait because you do not know what to do next — or even if you do.

There is power in the stillness and the silence.
Don’t be afraid of it. The truth is there.
Healing resides there.
There are answers there. There is peace there.
There is growth there.

There is so much living in the stillness and silence.
There is so much to hear.
There is so much to see.
Don’t miss it.

It's okay to be still.

Can You Believe How Much I Know?

Or: Why My 50’s Are So Smart

Or: Now that I Know So Much I Know How Much I Don’t Know

Or: I’m Highly Qualified to Know this Stuff; I’m Over 50!

Now that I am past the halfway point of my fifties (LORDY!), I feel mature enough and qualified enough to speak on these things. Here is what makes our fifties so interesting to me and other stuff I’ve figured out:

  1. Feeling instantaneously compelled to take layers of clothing off due to a sudden rise in internal body temperature.
  2. Feeling instantaneously compelled to put layers of clothing back on due to a sudden return of normal internal body temperature.
  3. Feeling homicidal about anyone who thinks they are going to change the thermostat.
  4. Feeling justified about feeling homicidal towards the thermostat hijacker.
  5. When I say that I don’t care what people think, I mean it literally, not like when I said it when I was in my thirties as a spite.
  6. Watching the evolutionary process of being an older parent with adult children as if I am some kind of an outsider to it.
  7. Realizing on so many occasions that my children are just plain smarter than me, and possibly than I ever was at their ages.
  8. Having friends that I have known for half a century or more.
  9. No longer feeling guilt or compelled to hold on to family members that are chaotic, unkind, and disruptive just because they are family, and having the certainty that it is the healthy thing to do.
  10. Not being sure how to do something, then figuring it out, then forgetting how I did it for the next time, and just not caring that I forgot and I now have to ask one of the kids and we’re going to laugh about it – even though it’s likely they’re laughing at me.
  11. Yeah, I know some of these are run-on and incomplete sentences. And guess what… I don’t care about that either!
  12. The thought I had when my grandkids were born that I should have just skipped the kids and gone to the fun part of being a grandparent, except now I know that I wouldn’t be the kind of Gram I am without raising those fabulous parents first.
  13. The realization that if someone doesn’t value me, then they either aren’t paying attention or they are missing something in themselves.
  14. Though my fifty-something body may not be in the strong shape my twenty-something body was, my mind and heart are stronger than ever in my resolve to be a co-creator of a world that works for everyone.
  15. Wasting time looks different to different people.
  16. Slow the f#€k down.
  17. You have to look at the stars, and the sunrises, and the sunsets whenever possible. You may not get another one.
  18. Barefoot is good — unless you are going to put them on the dashboard or window of the car. That’s just gross. Walking barefoot on the Earth is grounding. Besides being gross, the other one will get your knees shoved through your face if you get into an accident.
  19. Take care of your feet. Wash them, for God’s sake. Don’t let your nails get gross and your feet get crusty. It’s not just gross, it’s unhealthy.
  20. Don’t be the reason the person you live with feels lonely.
  21. It’s easy to take the people that care about us and/or we care about for granted, but it’s not okay.
  22. Be fearless. Say yes to things that scare you or have you stopped.
  23. Get tattoos if you like them, no matter what your dad might say.
  24. It really doesn’t matter if someone’s pants sag. What matters is when you think you are better because yours don’t.
  25. If you can look the other way when someone is cheating or being deceitful, you are an accomplice.
  26. Don’t let past regrets stop you. You have them because you are supposed to do better next time. That is the lesson from regrets.
  27. I don’t for a second believe that everything happens for a reason.
  28. I do 100% believe that there is a lesson to be found in everything.
  29. When someone is talking to you, acknowledge them, and act like what they are saying is of the utmost importance. They are giving themselves to you.
  30. As a parent, tell your kids when you could have done better with them, even if it is decades later.
  31. I think most often most people do the very best they can. But don’t let that be an excuse to keep a terrible person around or excuse their poor behavior and choices. Sometimes someone’s very best may still not be a good fit for you.
  32. Don’t think for one minute that you always know more than your children. At any age, child or grown, we should be learning from them.
  33. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to keep them around. It can; but it’s possible it can also mean “thank you for showing me who you are and where you belong.”
  34. It is the job of our youth to challenge our ideals. Each generation co-creates the world for the next generation. We fall short only because we don’t realize in the moment that it is all going to change, and that is the way of things. If you are ridiculing their ideas, that says a whole lot about you and nothing about them. Remember, we raised them and we brought them up in a world whose systems were created before us and also by us. And what did we do?
  35. We do see the color of people’s skin. Color blindness is only a real thing when you’re talking about the genetic disorders. Claiming color blindness when talking about another person is not actually honoring the person of color as you might think. It is actually dismissing a part of them that is worthy of being seen. It is dismissive and indicates you are not willing to dive past the surface to be not only inclusive of our differences, but it assumes that assimilation is key to equality. It is not. What you are actually blind to is your own privilege that you walk around in without seeing that either. You may think that by ignoring the color of another’s skin that you are making a dent in racism. You are doing the exact opposite.
  36. People of color are not here to do all the educating for you on inclusion and what it’s like to be a person of color.  
  37. When someone tells you their experience and it’s different from yours, they are still right.
  38. Teach your kids to read books, not screens.
  39. I am never bored. EVER.
  40. When someone mistreats you; that is who they are. There’s no reason under the sun to let them continue.
  41. When someone tells you something about yourself that’s hard to hear, HEAR it, and move forward accordingly.
  42. Don’t let someone talk you out of your dreams or convince you that you’re not worthy of them — big or small.
  43. It’s okay to be mad. In fact, sometimes we should be mad.
  44. It’s not okay to hurt someone because you’re mad.
  45. Therapy. Do it.
  46. You don’t have to do things like your parents. 
  47. Do NOT live vicariously through your children. You will be in their way.
  48. Children are not tiny adults, and you are a parent first and always; then sometimes you can be their friend, too. When they are grown then you can be friends, and before you know it they will slowly take over, and they may need to.  It’s that middle part that’s the sweet stuff, and if you cultivate it, they won’t mind having to take over at some point, and you will trust them to.
  49. Don’t let anyone interfere between you and your children. That should remain an indivisible bond.
  50. We all need quiet time.
  51. Your kids do NOT need to be busy all the time.
  52. Alone is not lonely.
  53. Suspicion breeds suspicion.
  54. Trust. Don’t screw it up. 
  55. Cuss if you want to. 
  56. Go out of your way to get to know people that don’t look like you or sound like you. You’ll NEVER be sorry.
  57. Embrace the frizz.
  58. Tinkerbell is real.
All in

Standing in Gratitude

As an introvert, putting myself on any display that isn’t as simple as my written words is a huge
S-T-R-E-T-C-H. I periodically recognize when I’m stunted (or stuck), and purposely and purposefully stick my toes (and sometimes neck) in situations or around people that are at first naturally uncomfortable for me. I know if I don’t that I won’t grow, expand, and learn new ways and conversations without doing so. It’s sort of like my interpersonal travel itinerary!

I’ve been going through and growing through some things lately, and I’ve been fortunate enough (and I’d like to think “smart enough”) to have some people around me that have heard me, love me, and are willing to have me do more than just read the “dance steps” — they are inviting me to dance and learn at the same time.

Self-Question and Answer

Q1: How do you know when it’s time to start stretching yourself — to start doing the new things you think about doing and pushing the boundaries of what you think you’re ready to do?
A1: When you crave to do more and you feel restricted in your own skin and your steps feel small.

Q2: How do you know when your change of mind (or self-talk) is working?
A2: When it starts showing up on the outside of you by way of people giving you cause, opportunity, and the space to show up as the new thinking.

Q3: What do you do when you’re scared to pieces of it all?
A3: Say, “Yes!” Do it anyway, repeat, and celebrate.

Q4: How do you get there?
A4: Tell the people that can hear your words and love you enough to drag you to the life-stretching class.

Q5: What if you do the thing (“thang”) and you don’t feel like it was your best?
A5: Refer back to A3.

Q6: What if I’m just so nervous about it all and I feel like I can’t follow through?
A6: Put your feet on the ground and stand in gratitude for the opportunity, the people, and circumstances that got you here.

You can always get a tattoo placed where you can always see it to remind you of who you say you are! Buuut… that’s not a one-size-fits-all solution! 😉

There’s nothing better than to be seen and heard.
I AM GRATEFUL.

👉 Me, Myself, and I 👈

Good, bad, or indifferent, I’m the common denominator in every event and circumstance in my life. If I get to take credit for the celebration and praise-worthy instances, I must also take responsibility and credit for the lackluster and substandard occasions as well.

The way in was me, and so it is for the way out. If I want more, then I stay the course. If I want change, like everything else, that movement begins with me as well.

Simply because I’m human and share the planet, life sends me surprises. I may not be responsible for that, but I am still at the center of the space created from my own response.

Charitable Birthday Fundraiser

I’m celebrating double 5’s this year! Spiritually speaking, this is quite an opportunity! Number 5 symbolizes God’s goodness, grace, and kindness, and I’ve got double, so I’m anticipating great things! I’m fortunate to not be in need for much these days, especially tangibles, but I remember well what it’s like to be in need and the constant worry. And as the saying goes, “There but for the grace of God go I.” So in gratitude and from my heart, I try to give to our underserved and homeless communities when I can, and however I am moved to. This year I am moved to increase Unity of Sacramento’s ability to provide through their Winter Sanctuary. I hope you will help me give them a little bump ahead of the doors opening. Believe me when I tell you that every little bit counts. Thank you in advance for anything that you can donate, and I would love it if you would also share this. 🥳 🙌🏻 ✌🏻 ❤

Campaign Text

For my birthday this year, I’m asking for donations to Unity of Sacramento’s Winter Sanctuary. If you’ve known me for a while, you know that each year I do some sort of charitable drive for our homeless population. I’ve chosen this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me, they do a FABULOUS job and huge effort, and I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me. Every little bit will help me reach my goal.

Each winter, Unity of Sacramento opens its doors for our homeless outreach campaign. We provide a hot meal, a safe place to sleep, and a breakfast-to-go in the morning. Prayer support is always available. Our congregation has been so generous in helping with donations of not only money, but necessities such as toiletries, socks, mittens, clothing, and many other gifts of love. And just like anything else, the more donations we receive, the more assistance we are able to pour out and into our homeless brothers and sisters.

Please help me reach my goal or even surpass it this year! Not only is it tax deductible, but it is a bonus for your spirit! PLUS… it makes me SUPER happy! 🙂

Learn more about Unity of Sacramento