Monday, April 30, 2012

REACTION - Oprah's Master Class: Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem is one of the leaders that emerged in the feminist movement in the 1960's. I love the way we, as women, have evolved thanks to Ms. Steinem's important work.

This episode of Oprah's Master Class is different from the Morgan Freeman one I blogged about it, where the "teacher (feature person)" appears in a studio with a blank canvas backdrop, speaking openly about their life.

In recent years I have become very wary of people who proclaim an absolute. Perhaps it is the academic path I have chosen (philosophy) that places me in a vantage point that forces me to process observed human behavior outside of the "isms" of planet Earth. Having an average knowledge of the more popular "isms" associated with America and Europe, I have concluded that I am quite jaded in terms of the labels that have been placed upon me through culture and religion. I am not defined by the isms placed upon me by virtue of birth. The thought that I have to be something or someone that is not authentically me stifles my spirit and prevents me from being truly free. This Master Class is a reminder that I need not be what others tell me I should be. I love that about Oprah and Gloria -- the encouragement to live an authentic life is always so inspiring.

In the segment where Oprah and Gloria appear at Barnard Collge, Oprah casually speaks of being molested and raped. What is beautiful about her casualness is that she follows-up by professing that she has done the work to heal herself. As a result, there is no shame in talking about it and no need to treat what happened with a victim's attitude. Having been a victim of rape, I speak very frankly and openly about what I endured. I echo Oprah's sentiments by saying that I can be so open about it because I have fully reconciled my experience.

 Oprah asserts, "Knowing who you are is the most valuable asset you will ever have." I love this. I used to write on my blackplanet page that no matter how hard a banana tried to be an apple, it could never happen. What is the lesson? The lesson is that we should be who we authentically are because that is all we can be.

In one of the "webisodes" exclusively on the OWN website, Oprah shares an important message about service. She asks that we shift whatever it is we think we are here to do and approach it in a manner that makes you or I be of service to the world. Doing this will make our lives more fulfilling. This is the purpose of our lives; to share our energy with the people we come in contact with.

This Master Class was different but still very wonderful. Surely we must be who we are destined to be. Who am I outside of what I have? Who am I? Who are you? I pray that we both find our life's purpose soon!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ordinary, He and Me

Something's going on.

Something inside my mind.

There seems to be an explosion in my mind...
A craving for music like how it was when I was a teenager.
It's like I have a song in my gut that wants to be sung.

It's like I have so much pent-up emotions inside me the way it was when I cried to silly love songs as a teenager or longed for romance when I heard Tony Terry's, "With You".

The divorce from my ex in 2003 contributed to me being so cold.
Retreating into my cave
And now...
Now I feel like I'm getting back to me; to taking care of my heart by opening it.

Funny how things work out. Husband and I will celebrate 9 years this year. 9 whole years of marriage. That boggles my mind. I've been with my husband longer than I was with my ex and yet I feel like I've been so cut off from my emotions. I have been wanting to open my heart again and I think I am finally moving into that phase where everything looks just a little bit brighter; where Luther's "Here and Now" has new meaning.

I'm crawling from beneath the rubble of what WAS and I've finally caught up to the me and he of today. **sigh** I'm sad that maybe I wasted a lot of time NOT FEELING or just feeling the bad stuff. But I'm ready now. My heart is healed. I'm ready to remember what "Tender Love" feels like; what it feels like to give it and not just go through the motions.

I feel like I haven't given my husband every inch of my heart. There's space I've left reserved just in case he ended up hurting me. It's like I've been afraid to experience love again, to give away my heart with wild abandon. And. I'm not sure it's even about not getting hurt now. I know I'll be okay because I am fully capable of doing hard things. I'm just ready to give my ENTIRE heart to him, for the benefit of my heart; so that I can feel the feel-good endorphins!

I'm ready now.

And the thing is. He probably doesn't even know that I haven't given him the whole of my heart because what I have given him has been good just not EVERYTHING.

My heart is wide open to my love. His love. Our love. We met face-to-face 8 years 362 days ago. And everyday, it gets better. We go through the fights and arguments and in the end we battle only to remind ourselves how much we love each other. In the end, we're just ordinary people.