Dancing With Myself

Lately, as Stevie Wonder writes,

I’ve been staring in the mirror. . . very slowly picking me apart

Lately by Stevie Wonder

I Am A World Class Worrier

I am aware of my inclinations, and I can usually sit beside myself saying, “you know better, right? You know that’s ridiculous. . .”

Impressed? It’s taken me 50+ years to get here. I seldom experience the anxiety that used to send me running, from the grocery store, out of my office, clawing at my clothes, gasping for fresh air. Oh, you didn’t know that about me? Yeah, I’m that high functioning.

RESPECT. You Da MVP. Scratch That. You Are An Idiot.

Earlier this week at The Mudroom, I confessed my ongoing battles against harm perpetrated by the myth of the Strong Black Woman and the stigma my culture attaches to mental illness every day. Simultaneously. Thank God for broad shoulders.

Or At Least That’s What I Used To Think

Man, listen. I’ve thrown up my hands. I’m tappin’ out. I quit. Whoever expected me to continue that legacy bouta be hella disappointed.

I Ain’t Doing It.

In conversation with my mentor this morning, I noticed that I was dancing with myself again. I’ve been quietly worrying about things, taking up space better filled with prayers to God, who does immeasurably more than I do,


on the regular.

That notwithstanding, among my people, worrying is a team sport. So, when my mentor confessed to also succumbing to worry, I did what I do best. Tell other folks precisely what they need to hear to get through it. No, I never listen to my own advice. Fortunately, my smartass friends, occasionally still smarting from my last tongue-lashing, are more than happy to give it back to me.

I Asked My Mentor,

Each time I faced the scariest thing I never thought I’d survive and yet I did, my soul, quiet but insistent, ALWAYS said, “all shall be well.”

Fear, neuroses, and worry are loud as hell. I do not dismiss or diminish them; they have their place. The difference is that I’ve made peace with them. I appreciate their value.

That said, they are wrong, and consistently louder than our soul’s voices.

My advice to her?

…quiet yourself. Still your breath. What does your soul say? She speaks God to you. She is never wrong.

Then God showed up, right on time. My mentor went to her Bible, and it opened to Psalms 81.

Watch God shut it down.

I am the Lord your God.
    I brought you up out of Egypt.
    Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.

But my people wouldn’t listen to me.
    Israel wouldn’t obey me.
So I let them go their own stubborn way.
    I let them follow their own sinful plans.

I wish my people would listen to me!
    I wish Israel would live as I want them to live!
 Then I would quickly bring their enemies under control.
    I would use my power against their attackers.
 Those who hate me would bow down to me in fear.
    They would be punished forever.
 But you would be fed with the finest wheat.
  I would satisfy you with the sweetest honey.

Psalm 81:8-16 (NIV

I was primed for this lesson early, as I stumbled upon a confession I wrote, several years ago (I just refuse to learn anything the first time or the easy way. . .

Dear Lord,

when I prayed that prayer in absolute desperation, You showed up and showed out immediately.

Thank You for confirming that You hear.

I would love to remain in this state of praise and connection. . . it feels like HOME. (knowing full well I won’t)

Might it be that I don’t have to suffer so to understand that I don’t HAVE to suffer?

Your humble servant, in Jesus’ Name, ouch and Amen.

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