While I write this very post, I am sitting at my desk crying. For the last two days I didn’t want to do a thing. My life doesn’t allow me to take a time out, and mommy is not allowed an emotional break. I took a day off from work yesterday because again my energy has been drained. People have no idea what situations I have been required to face. People see changes within me but it’s not just personal growth, I have been fighting spiritual warfare as well. This post and my book will go over the heads of many, because we live in a surface society. My life and growth goes beyond the physical experience. I have been doing so much research and have been fighting between good and negative energy. Ten years ago, I married a man from a different culture. A Haitian man. Our cultural differences and genetic makeups set our relationship on rocky foundation from the beginning. The language and culture excited me, and opened my internal interest in the world around us. As time progressed I became aware of the effects of his upbringing and beliefs. I have said this in previous post, that as adults we are responsible for teaching ourselves how to reverse the wrong things we are taught. Although people may love us, the things they may have taught us may affect our very being. I thought that I could save him from the darkness. The grief and generational curse that runs through his blood. I fell in love with the innocent little boy within him. The boy who was not loved but physically hurt, the boy who was not feed. My internal light was dimmed by his darkness. My life with him was not normal, and me choosing to love him brought darkness to my life as well. When we first met, he told me he was Catholic. Most Haitians consider themselves Catholic. However, voodoo is still being practiced within their culture. The flag they wave is symbolic to the practice and it is tattooed on his chest. The very ones that said they loved him taught him to dabble and make deals with the devil. Deals in which has affected his life and our life as a family. His blood runs through my son’s veins. Now that I am aware, it is my job to save him. His life is so dysfunctional but has become normal to him. The last few months, I have been brought to war with his demons. My sleep has been interrupted, and women I don’t even know wish me dead. He was not living right, but I tried to show him otherwise. He became accustomed to the dark. The women he attracted practiced possessive bindings. Other women supported his life, the ones that benefited. Me on the other hand , I held him accountable. I wanted better for him. Better meant or required discipline and going against all he was taught. He made it clear to me today that he is too far gone. Energy is real both good and evil. There is another level of life outside of the one we live. The last two days I was sinking into the darkness, the dark that I once lived in. My life was at peace because I did the work. The negativity I had encountered was not my own. I was being spiritually attacked, pained for someone else karma, an innocent bystander. Now that I am aware or spiritually woke, I will continue to protect myself and my son. Creating life is beyond the physical, and genetics. There is a history behind every individual, a story that will be written in your child’s cards. Another word press blogger wrote about “Emotional Endurance” and Loving the unlovable. God has shown me my strength is beyond the normal humans level of understanding. I was called to not just save lives but souls. So many may ask why help this man. I married this man and vowed to be there through sickness and health. His spirit affects our child. I sacrificed the last ten years of my life trying to save his soul to the point that I almost drowned in his darkness. Today I chose me.
I will be the first to admit, I think there is a purpose behind me still being single. For one, my expectations differ as I have aged. While we are constantly told to trust the process, many forget to pay close attention to the lessons within the process. I have learned that as time passes, every person you meet, and circumstance you encounter are pieces to your life’s puzzle. Right this very moment, I have something that needs to be completed. I have something that I am required to do prior to being committed. When in a relationship, I make myself second priority. It’s not that I won’t accomplish things, it just takes a bit longer. I have accomplished so much within the last year than I have in my long-term relationship. Being a people pleaser doesn’t help either. In October I will be going on three years without a lack of partnership. The years have gone by so fast, but I have learned so much a long the way. I wish I lived a normal life, but I guess I asked for this. My life has become one that is not just about abundance but of spiritual meaning and understanding. Most people don’t even understand the world we live in. Everyday I am given 24 hours to do something productive, something purpose driven. The first thing we say when we go through a break up, is the amount of time we wasted. How we could have done this, or could have done that. In relationships we should not fear becoming or growing into our fullest potential. If you are in a relationship where you feel like you have to limit your growth, that is not a healthy relationship. They are not watering you. A spouse should be supportive of any growth. Many times as women we are taught not to be an overachiever or to not focus on our individual goals. This is so wrong. Any growth within a partnership benefits both individuals. A real man will not feel insecure about you crushing your goals. Instead, he will walk beside you proud while aspiring to do the same. We all see the videos of women talking about their “glow up” after a break up. Skin is clear, back hitting the gym, and energy and love frequency is on 100. That is all good, but if she is not aware, she will fall right back into the cycle. Falling in love, getting comfortable, lack of self-care, break up, and glow up all over again. For me, I am trying something different. I am aware of my lack of productivity, and make sure that I will not repeat this cycle. Pay attention to you behaviors and always remember never allow another person to dim your light. Shine girl Shine!
I have been playing safe when it came to my blogging and introducing readers to my writing and book in progress. Until I stripped myself of my ego and became vulnerable, will I truly allow others to see my passion and purpose. As a writer it gives you the opportunity to speak freely. It provides you with a platform to touch others. Today, I have decided to share intimately the person behind London’s Prints. I have realized that not many people still read with all of the social media and visual art we have freely at hand. The stories I have shared within my blog only allows people create their own images within their mind. They create the characters (people whom they envisioned) or they visualize themselves in similar circumstances. I decided to put visuals of the event that has drastically changed my life. The person that I shared my body space with that did not make it outside of me. The stories that I share are my truth. They are chapters within my life journey that have shaped me into the woman I am today.
Thanksgiving 2010 was the last day that I saw my Grandmother. She was going back and forth to the hospital for pneumonia, but this stay was different. She was diagnosed with Lung Cancer and landed a lengthy stay in the hospital. Two weeks had passed before I made it my priority to go and visit. I spent most of my Thanksgivings as a young girl in her home. Things changed when we encountered death of my grandfather, aunt and uncle. Something about my grandmother died with them. I felt guilt going to her empty-handed, but hoped she was still happy about the fuchsia roses I bought her the last time. She bragged to all the nurses and doctors about how beautiful they were. It meant a lot to me because she loved flowers. I would do anything to put a smile on her face after being faced with death. When the doctors told her the diagnoses, I was there. She denied and cursed the doctors for even telling her something like that. She didn’t understand Cancer, but her nicotine dependency throughout her life seemed to finally cause her body lethal damage. One in which she could not erase. In her mind the doctors weren’t telling the truth, that was her story and she was sticking to it.
Thanksgiving day, I did not cook the Okra. That’s all she wanted from me, nothing more nothing less. She loved my cooking and knew I could cook it, but Lard was never used in my kitchen. She told me how she wanted it but my schedule didn’t permit me to even eat during this time. While I went to visit my grandmother, I was also visiting county jail, and working two jobs to maintain my household and a jail cell. I had lost about thirty pounds from working 24hrs straight some days, so my grandmother immediately took notice. “Girl you starting to look like that girl off the Jenny Craig commercial!” I could do nothing but laugh and reply “Jennifer Hudson”. That day was different when I went to see her. She was at peace. Peace with the hospital food, peace that I came empty-handed, and peace with her illness. My grandmother gave the hospital workers hell most of the time, but thanksgiving day 2010, she was giving God thanks for her life. The visit was quiet she told me about who came to see her, “Where is that boyfriend of yours?” she asked. I had lied to her every visit by telling her he was at work. I was embarrassed and was not ready to hear what she had to say. When I decided to leave, I gave her a kiss on the cheek. That was the first time in twenty something years of my life was I able to be affectionate with this woman. With that kiss, she said nothing. She did not reject it, or tell me to get out of here with that mess. She accepted my kiss at peace. I left. Later that evening my grandmother went into cardiac arrest.
Thanksgiving day 2011 my water broke.
Exactly a year later my son was born stillborn. I was asked by the doctors, if I wanted to see and hold him. Everything about that day was not normal. I did not know what to feel. I wanted to protect my sons father, because he was weak. His weakness had a lot to do with his guilt for the way he treated me during my pregnancy. I was giving birth and planning for death at the same time. I was afraid of what my child was going to look like because there was no amniotic fluid. I had to give birth to my son via vaginal with no natural fluids. My son had fought for days, here it was a week since thanksgiving. No one was able to realize that something was wrong. I trusted the doctors over myself, and I knew my body. The doctors gave me morphine and an epidural to numb my experience. My body swelled from the fluids. The amount of tears shed in that room, that day, could have replenished the womb that once carried my son. Fear does not live here anymore. I have endure pain and have seen things no one should ever be exposed to. All I am left with, is his footprints. With that my job is to share my story and to support other women who have endured such tragedy. There is life after loss.
P.S. I apologize for the graphic image however this is my truth. London Kyrie Exantus 12/5/2011
Staring at the ceiling in my closet with the water stain, I immediately became frustrated. Just a couple of days ago, that wasn’t there. The only issue is I can’t call the Landlord because I am responsible for this shit. I actually bought this home. Then I thought back to the frustration of the home buying process, and my excitement of being a homeowner. I was one of the few in my family to own their own home. Where was that excitement when I looked at the stain, it had diminished. Buying the home was just the beginning, and I made a commitment to uphold my responsibilities that came along with being a home owner. Yeah you desire that car, body, children, and relationship/marriage but are you committed to the responsibilities that come along with it. The tangible aspect of achieving it and the emotional high that comes with obtaining that goal is momentarily. There is work that is required to be done to maintain the very things we desire, if we want them to last. That leak in my ceiling is a representation of my current foundation. A newly built home that represents my spiritual and emotional change. However the leak and where it is coming from defines some minor issues I am still seeking to overcome/heal from. A leak that is affecting me and unaware of where it comes from. I dare not envy others for their situation or their circumstances. I don’t know what it took for them to get there. Like my water stained ceiling, I am beautifully flawed. A work in progress. So once the excitement of the new job, big payout, or honeymoon phase light dims. Remember what you asked for comes with a price. A price that requires work to maintain, and responsibility. Be careful what you wish for…it is only easy in the beginning.
As TLC would sing or “Girl” by destiny’s child, women it is important to have friends. Not just women but men as well, what would life be like without these encounters. I was told as a child by my mother that she would be my only best friend. I can understand why she felt that way because of her negative experiences with friends of the same-sex. Well she was partially correct, she is still and will forever be my best friend. Even though sometimes we don’t get along. I now understand that all relationships may not last, but they are experiences we are to cherish. We don’t realize it but the people you call friends are what you have attracted whether good or bad. However, it is important to feed these relationships as your friends are those that make this ride of life more enjoyable (Especially positive ones). Some people consciously or unconsciously neglect their friendships when they become involved with a new love interest. I was guilty of this, and figured I would write about it as I see many women falling victim. We as women, when we fall in love, begin to focus solely on the relationship. We think the more attention we give him, the more he is supposed to love us right? Wrong! I know from personal experience that I would constantly change plans for the one I was in a relationship with intimately. Forgetting and neglecting my relationships with family and friends. There is a saying that women go into relationship hoping to change a man, while men go into relationship hoping the woman doesn’t change. I know in my head, I genuinely believed the more time I spent with a loved one, the more invested and loved they would feel. This is wrong. It is all about quality as opposed to quantity. The relationship you are in is because the man fell in love with you for who you are. Who you are consists of your daily activities, goals, spontaneity, and lust for life. A lot of women, including myself, have given up those things and relationships solely to invest in their intimate relationship. Men love hard working women that are confident in who they are. You don’t have to spend time out every weekend but once a month to get some you time with the ladies. I also learned that you can have your spouse as a best friend, but have your own lives. Men are very black and white so some conversations should be left for your bestie or a girls evening out. Not every woman in your life needs to be categorized as your girlfriend either. A true girlfriend holds you accountable and calls you on your bull. She is there to wipe your tears but not there to tell you she told you so. I have had many friends come and go over the years, not all were there to support me on my journey. They loved me at my worse and celebrated me at my best. These are the women that you don’t forget, even when you’re in a relationship. I recently spoke about this with a friend, how we are taught that getting the man is the end goal. Getting the man is the beginning but who you were before him and goals you had prior to him should remain. Don’t ever allow a man to stunt your growth both personally and professionally. If he has a problem with the women you hang out with it may be more about him, not them. They may be able to spot something your “love blinded” ass can’t see. Not everyone is your friend, but true friends are hard to come by. I keep my circle very small, but make time for those that mean a lot to me, busy or not. It’s almost August and fall is getting close. Cuffing season will been quickly approaching. My best advice to you is to fall in love, but don’t forget about you or your friends. Love you first (God), and all else will follow. Don’t forget about your friends.
Help! My brain is screaming Yes, but my body fights the words that try to come out of my mouth. I don’t know what has occurred in my life that I refuse HELP! My mother tells me it is the pride in me, but asking for help never seems to be the option. I am sure, I’m not the only one. I will be the first to volunteer if someone else needs it, but when offered, I immediately shut it down. It could be just the little things that may make life a bit easier. Like someone offering to take out the trash or even assist with the groceries. Yes, I am the one that will have ten bags in hand, determined to make it a one time trip from my car back to the house. I’m even offered help even when it comes to work duties. I may have a lot currently on my plate, but refuse to receive assistance in completing the task. Is it really just to say that I did it all by myself. Yeah, doing things all by yourself is cool and all, but can be hell. I stretch myself thin everyday trying to be superwoman. Its true that you can’t give everything 100%, but I damn sure attempt to. Only to end up disappointed. Why am I so quick to give, yet deny myself of any assistance from another. My girlfriend pointed out to me the very fact that unconsciously, I may believe that I am unworthy. I deserve to give but don’t know how to receive. I am working on it. I now urge myself to allow others to do for me, as I have done so throughout the years. I am sure I have missed out on the many opportunities to receive what I put out. I will not deny myself the very thing I deserve. I don’t need to prove to anyone my strength, and ability to get shit done. I will now kick my feet up and enjoy the benefits of someone willing to lend a helping hand. No longer will my pride answer for me. I still wont wait for others to get things done, but when offered I will take the help! Maybe some of these bumps along my journey will be a little bit smoother. #acceptthehelp #independentwomendeserveit #youdontalwayshavetodoitalone
In the celebration of the new release of the film “Girls Trip”, I found it important to touch on an issue that affects women of color. In the African-American community, we struggle when it comes to being united in circumstances such as building. Today, as opposed to when I was growing up, the love for melanin and embracing our uniqueness has truly blossomed. I sometimes wish I grew up in this era (so I would have never been fooled by the just for me commercial). We have come a long way in the community and promoting self-love, but our relationships amongst each other still are in need of improvement. In my personal experiences and still until this day, black women and I repeat not all, disconnect through a competitive mindset. This weekend I linked up with a friend I went to high school with. I haven’t seen her in years but opened my home to her as she was attending an event here in Philly. Years have gone by, and we both have two different backgrounds, and upbringing but realized the importance of sisterhood and the lack of it within our own people. I mean while Mona-Scott Young is making millions on the negative views of Black women (we all don’t act like that), socially we have a huge disconnect amongst our culture. Don’t get me wrong, I watch ratchet tv from time to time, but for weak-minded individuals, they can easily be influenced. I have a group of girlfriends, all women of color, and professionals with different upbringing and views on life. Even though we all are extremely busy, we take the time to get together and empower each other in some type of way. Many black women are single raising children alone, and no girlfriends to talk to or receive support. We, the new generation need to acknowledge that this is an issue, and begin to change this competitive mindset. We were taught that good black men are scarce, that we have to work harder to obtain certain positions, and being independent is the way to be. Don’t get me wrong, independence is important, but not to the point where you are turning down help when needed. I say this because I am so guilty of this very thing. It is great that you got your own, however when it comes to success, there will be people along the way that will contribute to supporting your goals. Good black men are not scarce, so there is no need to try to take someone elses man( although I don’t believe in the whole ownership in relationships). This is one of the major reasons black men engage in the foolery they do, because there is women out there willing to try and compete. When you learn something or obtain knowledge and resources, help to educate others. You teaching others what you learned doesn’t take from you. You become resourceful. It is our job as beings to endure trials and share our stories of resilence and tools we have utilized along the way. Instead of calling each other “bitches” and being judgemental, take the time out to have a positive conversation. Then you will realize that many of us share the same story. We are denying ourselves of relationships and building within our communities because of this competitive mindset. There is enough abundance for us all! Next time you see a black woman, whether she is looking down or is rocking a new hairstyle that complements her stop, and say hello!Smile and acknowledge her presence and make it aware that we are not in competition. Give her a smile a non-verbal way to let her know that I am not your enemy. #buildingsisterhood
I grew up listening to my mother sing Anita Baker throughout our home. I’m sure she isn’t aware of this, but my father and I agreed her voice was like an angel. I’m not exactly sure if this is the title of the song but I can hear on repeat “I apologize” (in my Anita Baker voice). Over the years my mother and I have had some rough patches, and a lot of misunderstandings. I was angry with her, for doing the best she knew how when it came to raising me. I am older now and have a child of my own, and better understand how hard it is to love someone when you don’t feel loved. I have seen generations of women in my family look for love while raising their children alone. Trying to find Mr. Right while playing the role of Mom and Dad. I am now aware that she did only what she knew how. I no longer wish things could have been different because she helped to mold me into the woman I am today. Today, I got a taste of pain that I subjected my mother to as a teen and young adult. My son was angry with me over me denying him something he really wanted. He proceeded to tell me that when he becomes an adult he is not going to talk to me or visit me. To hear that come from my four-year old son was a punch in the stomach. I mean how could he say something like that to me when I sacrificed so much for him. I give this child everything and will go to the moon and back for him. I was hurt. Hurt that at that moment in his anger, He forgot or lacked appreciation for me as his mother. In that moment at four, he wanted to bring me pain. He was aware of how that would hurt me, and used it for me to acknowledge that I denied him of what he wanted. In that moment I got a taste of what I did to my mother for years. I felt selfish and ashamed at the taste of hurt I caused over the years. In that moment, I realized that I lost valuable time. So mom “I apologize” (in my Anita Baker voice), and vow to work through the frustration and pain. You sacrificed your life to give me life, everything after that was just extra.
Negativity needs to be fed for it to flourish. It is an energy, and when ignored it can become powerless and cease to exist. Look at the negative behavior in the perspective of a child having a temper tantrum. The child is acting out using negative behavior for attention. If you react, you are feeding the behavior and the child will continue. Like the saying not every action deserves a reaction, be mindful of the energy you put towards it. It takes discipline and will power to ignore negativity, but it is possible. I have encountered many situations especially this year dealing with such circumstances. The best thing to do is throw them off of their own agenda. When you are aware of the fact someone is doing something with ill intent. In a kind way, you can throw them off guard by letting them know that your aware and it doesn’t bother you. The moment you show a sign of anger, you have lost. We all are responsible for our reaction and feelings. Yeah it may bother you that someone feels that way about you, but is that your issue? The answer is no! You grasp control of negativity when you remain positive. You don’t have to own someone else’s feelings or problems. Small minded individuals will view you not responding as a weakness. When they see you still smiling or being kind even after their failure to hurt you, this will make them reevaluate their approach with you. Sorry kid but throwing a tantrum won’t work for me. #killthemwithkindness
My grandmother would say this exact statement in her permanent Camden, Alabama accent. She left at a pretty young age but that country girl accent stuck with her throughout her life in New England. Everybody thought she was nuts, but in reality that woman made a lot of sense. At an early age, we are taught not to touch things that are hot. Especially not to play with fire. It appears that there are people out there that have yet to have learned their lesson. I understand that sometimes we are tempted to see what can occur. We have a choice as humans, and every choice we make results in consequences whether positive or negative. Over the last year I have seen negative karma unfold right before my eyes. The colorful flames of the fire when it changes can be beautiful to watch. When controlled and still It can provide comfort and warmth. That same source of energy can provide pain, and destroy everything around it within a split second. I have a very calm demeanor with an extensive level of patience. One thing that will drive my fire to be uncontrollable, is when my family is affected. So just in case your mother never taught you, let my grandmothers message be a lesson to you. I will sit back and watch, cause what God has in store for you is greater than anything I would have the potential to do. #yougonnalearntoday