I apologize now if anything is ever redundant. Just go with it.
I’ve been reckless a time or two about a thing or two. But I gotta say the biggest thing I was reckless with was my life.
How you ask? Unprotected sex with a virtual stranger whose last name I don’t even remember.
If you’ve read any of my blogs this week that may be puzzling. Shoot. It’s my life and it puzzles me.
I was raised in one of the strictest Christian denominations there is. But I embraced it. I vowed to never have sex until marriage. I remember sitting at a table and being told to never say never. Again, just like Peter (who I think I’m most like in the Bible now that I think about it), I confirmed that wouldn’t be me.
I guess it’s something that I lasted longer than many of my peers. But it makes it more insane and foolish.
I’m of decent intelligence. I had sex ed. I saw the news.
When you don’t love yourself, are caught up in what the world around you has, and want what the world deems as important, you’ll do silly stuff.
I managed for a time not to give away the only thing that I had kept for myself. Cuz I gave everything else one could give to be loved and accepted-money, time, love, my identity, my beliefs, etc.
But one day I wasn’t strong enough. And like the serpent beguiled Eve, this slick talking dude was given my most prized possession and whispered words I needed to hear. But they didn’t matter in that moment. I regretted it immediately.
But that’s the funny thing about things we find wrong. I enjoyed it. I mean it is in part for human pleasure. But I didn’t want to keep doing wrong.
Yet I did. And never asked about or sought protection. I took pregnancy tests and kept going. I was even chased through a neighborhood by some chick and waited on his call one night. 🤦🏾
Eventually I went to a particular church service-I hadn’t stopped going. He actually flaked on me. The message hit me like a ton of bricks. I told him we were done with it.
I, of course, attempted to go back on that decision. For some reason he wouldn’t let me. I choose to believe it was the grace of God.
No surprise that our relationship was over not too long after that. It would be years before I got the courage to be tested. Mercifully, I have no diseases.
And to me, despite about 6 months of crazy, I’ve got a little over a decade of celibacy under my belt.
Honestly, I haven’t struggled too much cuz I’ve focused on trying to love me. I haven’t put myself in too many places or positions to have an issue. And when the desire to be loved externally, or an infatuation, has popped up I worked on leaving it alone.
I have no deep or good way to end this. Well maybe. You are the only you you’ve got. And you’ve only got one life to live. Love you. Cherish you. Heal you. Respect you. Demand the best for you. You’ll be better for it in the end. Don’t be reckless.✌🏾
That is a powerful couple of words. Sometimes it’s so hard to just “do you.” We are conditioned to cater to and pander to others. It’s part of our human nature. We seek approval and validation outside of ourselves in others. It is natural to desire praise and recognition for what it is that we do.
It is also dangerous to depend on others to create how we see ourselves. By giving people permission, the keys, to dictate our worth and our value we become prisoners to their fickle, human minds. By giving others the keys we unintentionally allow them the authority over all of who we are.
By allowing others and the world to tell us how great or horrible we are, we get on a wheel, a merry-go-round, a seemingly unending cycle. Once we allow another or a thing to control us, once we seek permission from others to be who and what we are, they/it will never be satisfied. They will always want more. One day we will look up and be shattered remnants of the person we once were.
By being unwilling to “do you” when no one looks or applauds we are holding captive the passion and what we were created to do. As individuals, we should seek to be free. Free to follow our hearts. Free to follow our passions. Free to fulfill what we were created to do. Free to be happy. Free to have joy.
Society places an emphasis on external measures of success and beauty. Society says we have to look a certain way, act a certain way, wear certain things, own certain things, talk a certain way or we just aren’t good enough.
I submit that we are all good enough. We are all beautiful enough. We are all talented enough. We just have to own our own keys. We have to be willing to “do you” no matter what.
I don’t men be rude, ruthless, mean, cutthroat, or disrespectful. While we “do you” it is imperative that we value us enough to value others. Poor behavior is often indicative of poor self-worth. If we can’t treat others well while we “do you” we cannot “do you” well. We may lie to ourselves and justify our behavior.
But there is a conscious effort we make when we “do you” and being ourselves that, when done with the purest of motives, will not allow us to “do you” at the expense of others. Sure, people appear to be successful who have done it at the expense of others. But those people often live with regrets and that success comes at a price they may be unwilling to pay if they had it to do over.
So today, I challenge us to “do you.” Even if nobody notices. Even if nobody ever recognizes it. The self-satisfaction in being true to our authentic selves will far outweigh anything any other person could ever give us. People’s accolades are temporary. The internal power, strength, and love that we receive from our decision to “do you” far outweighs anything any other person can give.
“Do you” boo!
I was wearing blue sapphires and diamonds one day. Those are precious stones. Proverbs 31 talks about a woman whose price is far above precious stones.
There are people who think a woman should buy her own things. Then when she’s ready for a man she can say what she is capable of doing for herself and he should be able to do the same and/or better.
In part, that’s why I bought mine. I also wanted some nice stuff. The thing is I have come to discover is that if I want something and I can get it for myself I shoule. You should only demand of others what you are willing to give.
Now I get that because of my future job and my dreams and goals my earning potential may be exponentially higher than a man’s. I’m not really talking about stuff or the cost of the stuff. I mean you have to be willing to treat yourself well, take care of yourself, love yourself, value yourself, be kind to yourself.
If you are broken you will either attract broken people or people who prey on broken people. And if you aren’t strong enough or careful enough you will allow others to change you. I’ve been guilty of all 3. It’s easy when you just want peace. It’s easy to repeat past behavior.
And then one day you will look up and not recognize yourself. You’ll look up and not like what you see. It’s true that sometimes you go through the same thing and learn different things. But it is also it is imperative that one guards their heart. That’s the essence of you.
Sometimes you can forget how important you are. Sometimes you forget how valuable and precious you are. I saw a fb post that basically said when you realize how much you are worth you will stop giving people a discount. It’s difficult to change for fickle people. Once you start giving pieces of you away, people will take pieces until you are left empty and broken with much of nothing.
And the road back to you or to a better you is hard and painful. I’ve looked around and assessed my situation. I’m chucking the deuces. If people aren’t adding value, no matter who they are, I don’t really need them around. I don’t need people questioning my decisions. I don’t need people criticizing me. I don’t need people who will make me question or doubt my decisions. I don’t need people who I will have to stop and explain the minute details of everything.
That is too difficult, painful, time consuming and stressful. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I choose me. I choose to live this precious life of mine.
I knew I left something out of Throwaway. In Sadness I talked about my tattoo. Well, my first one. Well technically my second two.
Karlissa, I’m told, means endeared and consecrated to God. According to google endeared means cause to be loved or liked. I always do as much as I can to be pleasant and liked, even loved. For years I struggled with feeling loved and liked. Completely contrary to what my name means. I guess I needed to love myself, like myself. I needed to trust God’s love for me. And forget about all the others who don’t like me or love me.
Dictionary.com defines consecrate as: to make or declare sacred; set apart or dedicate to the service of a deity. I, Karlissa, consecrated. Not only to a deity but specifically to God. Life itself could have, and has at times, caused me to pull away from the very thing my name states I am set apart or dedicated to: God. I am so grateful that I didn’t let the behavior of “Christians” and the “church” to define who God is to me. I am so grateful that despite everything that made me temporarily, and potentially, lose my mind and life, that I still believe, love, trust, and have a relationship with God.
Ann, according to babynames.com, means gracious and merciful. Google’s gracious: courteous, kind, and pleasant. I usually have that on lock. Lol. I try. But people make it hard sometimes! I was dealt grace a time or two so I try to dish it out-even when it’s hard and I don’t want to.
Lastly, according to google merciful means showing or exercising mercy. Wikipedia, I know I know, says mercy refers to benevolence, forgiveness and kindness in a variety of ethical, religious, social and legal contexts. I think I’ve been merciful. I know God has been merciful. It’s haaaaaaaaaaaard to be merciful. But I choose to walk in mercy, again, even when I don’t want to.
I went through this vocabulary lesson for a reason. There is a lot in a name. Life has a way of attacking the core, the essence of who you are. Life came and could have caused me to become the opposite of the identity I was given at birth, at times at the hands of the ones used to choose the identity. But it didn’t work. I am Karlissa Ann. I am uniquely me. And God loves imperfect me perfectly. Until I draw my last breath I will forever try to be Karlissa Ann. Oh. And create a new house via the meaning of what this X on my wrist stands for…
I felt unloved. My mother compared me to a father she seemed to hate. She went around telling half truths, exaggerations. She threatened to put me out. She called and told my father and grandfather on me. She told on me in person. She talked to me however she wanted. She never listened. She let my sister talk to me any kind of way. My dad remarried. Because if the craziness post and prior marriage, and because he may be a little too saved, he put his wife and her kids and grandkids before me. Though my dad and step mother begged me, for a while I refused to move home and live with them. Well one day I decided to change some things, give away some things. I told my dad and stepmother what would probably happen. My dad told me to call the cops.
I wrote my mom a letter, telling the truth. It pissed her off. Not to mention me giving away my personal property. I refused to go take it back. At 22 years old my mother slapped me. And she slapped me hard enough to leave an impression long enough for me to call the cops, get a picture taken, talk to the cops, drive thirty minutes, text her for I don’t know how long. Maybe it wasn’t on there that long. The details are hazy. She put me out. Then she let me come back.
I went and talked to the first lady of the church I was attending. I almost lost my mind that night. I had been desperately trying to cultivate a better relationship with Christ, yet all hell broke loose. The first lady and the mother of the church told me the devil was attacking me. They wouldn’t let me speak. They sent me home to my mother. After years of being sent home, nobody helping me, nobody confronting her, the next day I had had enough. I quit my job. Packed my car and left. I went searching for a friend I let my mother talk me into throwing away.
I got lost on my journey. I changed my number. I told my dad and stepmother I was coming. I asked her not to give away my number. But she did. My mom tried to get me to go back. When the manipulation didn’t work she tried passive aggressiveness. I only lasted two months at my dad’s. My stepmother was a trip. She put me out. When my dad found out he asked her if she got the key. He didn’t come talk to me. He didn’t listen when I tried to tell him how she treated me, how she behaved. They wouldn’t let me drive one of their cars so I had to walk. Even though they claimed they would help me. And once I moved to my grandmother’s he came in twice. Never asked about me or came to my room. I will say my stepmother apologized. My dad hasn’t. I don’t think my mom has either.
Number 3 was there for me. Pushing and supporting me. But when I tried to return the favor that didn’t go over so well. I struggled to maintain friendships with those my age and younger once I moved. I was loopy and trying to sort through the turmoil and crazy that was my life. I said one thing but wanted another. The whole destruction of three relationships occurred not too long after this.
Number 1 was struggling. Another not so great friend was refusing to be there for him because he couldn’t forgive get over what Number 1 had done, and Number 1 had no idea. Number 1 ended up in crisis and the friend refused to help. I was incredulous. I had decided to start throwing away some things myself. I ended the friendship.
I could no longer be surrounded by people who didn’t want to me. I was no longer to beg, buy, borrow, or steal friends. If I wasn’t good enough for you to pick up the phone and call or respond then deuces. I could no longer surround myself with “Christians” who know nothing about the message of Christ. Or should I say who knew about it but weren’t trying to accept and display it. Again, I’m not perfect. But I try to forgive. That’s why I can talk to my family, though they almost destroyed me, and constantly threw away the pieces I gave them. I was already lonely surrounded by people. Why not celebrate, and embrace me? Why not actively decide to have peace?
So here I am today. Everything isn’t perfect. But I’ve tried to perfect accepting things. I don’t need people. I am fortunate with the few I have that accept me as I am and love me for who I am. I don’t think I accomplished all I set out to do in this blog as I attempt to wrap it up. Maybe I’ll do some ISSUES or WORTH blogs. I dunno. But as the Donald Lawrence and Company song “Happy Being Me” says:
“So happy being me, I’m regretting nothing
To busy living life giving love… freely
I’m so happy being me” http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/donaldlawrence/happybeingme.html