A Chorus of You Are Worthy

Yesterday found me climbing the stairs of the MSU Union with a heavy box and an umbrella. It was raining and I had about 5 minutes to get myself to the room filled with about 25 people who registered for my Militant Self-Care Workshop.

By the time I got there, I was sweaty and breathing heavy. Lord. I burst through the doors at the top of the stairs to see a crowd waiting for me.

“Be cool, FC.”

I was not cool. I was hot as hell. Heat rises and that 3rd floor stairwell was baking. I was on time. Thankfully because in a superior moment of unrealistic expectations, I told everyone else:

“Our time together is precious and irreplaceable. Be on time. You can’t make this up.”

Guys. I am ALWAYS struggling to be on time. What was I even thinking?

I set an intention and I met it but man, that was a serious gamble against my natural tardy inclinations.

Anyhow, I made it and set up with help from some angels. Lydia, Lysne and Miranda – to be exact. I was nervous and shaky. I’d never done this particular workshop before but when have I ever let that stop me? I asked Miranda to open the doors and start checking people in. Lunch was offered because “eating is good self-care.” and we were off.

First of all, let me tell you that my PowerPoint was top notch and hilarious. Check Yourself.

Not only did Ice Cube make an appearance but so did the Phoenix. If people weren’t sure when to laugh, I helped them because I cracked myself up. I am my own laugh track.

Once we got into a groove, we had a beautiful conversation. I could see wheels turning. I could hear in the voices the absolute need for the song I was singin’ and then it happened.

A hand was raised. Timidly. I nodded, smiling. I was ready. Give it to me. Then she hit me with the question.

“What if you are not in a place where you feel like you are worthy of love yet?

Instantly my eyes welled up with tears and my chest tightened up. I knew that question. I’ve asked it before. Haven’t you?

Tell me about it. Join the conversation here.

The answer she was looking for was not one I could give. You can say the words but you can’t make someone feel worthy. I took a deep breath and decided to try anyway.

“You are worthy of love.”

She shrugged and nodded that she knew. It was the kind of knowing that comes without believing. I struggled to find the words. I choked them out.

“I think you are worthy. I can’t make you hear that. I can’t make you believe that. I wish I could but I can’t. You are brave for asking that question. That makes me love you. I can also tell you that there’s a room full of people here that agree with me. You are worthy.”

Then it happened. The room erupted into a symphony of you are worthies. Different voices, different words all formed in a sort of chorus singing to a broken heart.

Darling, you are worthy.

It was one of those moments that breaks one piece of your heart off while stitching another piece together. My spirit just stopped and said, “Yes, girl. This is it.”

There have been a lot of kind things said about me in the past 24 hours but I think the best testimonial I could give you happened in that room. It happened in the symphony I was able to conduct. Can you hear it?

You are worthy.10996165_10153101408618588_3173392778831113365_n

Love and big fences,

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PS – Check out what other people are saying below OR search the hashtag #militantselfcare on Instagram and Twitter.  Get ready to have your heart warmed.

Believe me. I know.

Today I woke up to heartbreak.

Clear and strong, like a window cracked into giant glass slivers.

Another survivor, bearing the burden of proof.

A family chanting and then berating. Pushing for a more palatable story and when not rewarded with what they wanted, they turned to petty attacks and cutting words.

I won’t repeat them here. It’s not my story to tell.

I did have advice though.

Every time I tell my story, there are consequences for the people in my family.

I fear my mother will never release the guilt she feels about her inability to see what was hidden so expertly.

My brother mourned a father I only know in pieces and parts that don’t reconcile themselves to one another.

My father’s family experiences a range of emotions and reactions that I will never understand.

It is my story.

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It is my truth but sharing it hurts. It hurts others and sometimes – damn it – it hurts myself.

Even though I wish it didn’t any more.

However, I did not conjure up this pain. I did not bring this upon us all like some plague.

My father did this.

He made choices that turned his only daughter into his victim.

He ruined his own reputation and sullied his own good name.

I am only telling the truth.

It’s not an easy truth but my story belongs and I have rarely been made to feel otherwise.

Your story belongs too.

This morning, I recognized a truth being stifled. I saw a true story being shoved out into the open where it was insulted and scolded in an effort to change the truth.

It was heartbreaking.

And it will happen again. It’s probably happening right now in some corner of the world and just down the street.

I’d like to say I don’t understand why families of victims behave this way but I do.

Deeply, in my heart, I also wish that my father had lived up to his good reputation. I wish it were as simple as the wrong outfit, the wrong place, too many cocktails, flirty behavior or unclear boundaries.

If only.

I recognize, deep in my heart that when you see that no one is safe, you start to realize that it could happen to you and you panic.

Stop it.

Those excuses only take the focus off of the only person in the situation who deserves to be shamed, punished and seeking repentance – the perpetrator.

If someone has enough faith in you to share the burden of their most terrible story, please, please believe them. Please.

Give faith in return for faith.

If you fail a loved one in this manner, it will have dire, long-lasting and sometimes irrevocable consequences for you both.

Believe me. I know.wpid-img_20140502_073144.jpg

True story.

Love,

Tashmica

PS – I had to add this sassy picture to drive home the point. Ya dig?

No Fair: A Mother Allergic To Hugs?

This morning I awoke to the soft carpeted thuds of my seven-year old’s feet rounding the side of my bed.  He quickly scurried under the covers and his head popped up next to mine.

“Good morning, Momma.”

Isaac & Mommy

“Good morning, Little Fish.”

I smoothed back from his forehead dark hairs recently parted by a mischievous scissor incident last week.  He wrapped his arms around my waist and folded into my body.  I love that my children are still small enough to fit so close.  I can imagine I am still carrying them in my womb.  I miss that time of wonder and flesh rolling with their bodies shifting under my skin.

Within minutes, Levi came to us in a flying leap.  He kissed his daddy on the face about 13 times, rolled over, lifted his arm and said,

“Mom, smell my armpit.”

I don’t know why I get armpit and dad gets showered with kisses.  Levi made it up to me by rolling over again, announcing more than asking, “Dad, smell my breath.”, before breathing hot into Paul’s face before he could contest.

For a time, we are cuddled in a warm cocoon.  Limbs all tangled with covers as we put off heading into a day apart.

Suddenly, I realize that I cannot move my arm.  I realize that I cannot quite roll over because my legs are under the dog.  I find my body in a contorted position that I cannot change or control.

And just like that, the panic sets in.

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