Show me your humanity

color skin

It’s raining today. I always marvel at the way the rain makes everything look. Things are brighter in color. I think of our own colors and how bright they get when we enhance with the flow of love. I am a mother. That seems to be my calling. I have 7 children and I often think this isn’t the end of that bunch. Each one is a different color. Each one is from a different ancestry tree. And each one is powerful in light and love. Under the rain water we probably look brighter and magnificent. I don’t recall observing it the many times we got caught in the rain together. Life happens and I can’t return to those moments I should have cherished when they were younger.

When someone mentions that I am a “really white Puerto Rican” I pause. What does that mean? When did we put colors on race to determine origin? I don’t understand the way folks look at Matt and me and then look at our little girl who is bi-racial and question the authenticity of parenthood. But something I have gathered in my many years on this planet is that society is bounded and restrained by fear of differences. If we don’t fit in a box we are scrutinized. We are getting better, I must say! We are evolving and challenging and questioning everything we have been told. Bravo! There is still a major shift to undergo. Some folks hide their fears behind religion. Others behind politics. And then there are those who have been fractured beyond love in childhood and truly take it out on others. I hate to say it and make excuses but they just don’t know better because they didn’t have better. That simple.

Today, in the rain or in the sunshine…notice your brightness, your uniqueness and love everything you see. Hold those who you fear in light. You might just learn true love and compassion by showing your kindness in moments that feel uncomfortable.

In closing, yesterday I had to run to Goodwill with another car load of house stuff. There was a man with a sign on the corner that read: “Had a heart attack. I need help. Please show me your humanity.” I was deeply moved. “Please show me your humanity.” I got off and hugged him. I got him something to eat. Then I heard the silence in the thank you, the touch, and the humanity in both of us. We shared something beyond words in a few minutes of connection. It happens just like that. I needed him yesterday. I was having a really, really, crappy day. The color of his skin, his origin, his labels didn’t mean a single thing. He was there, ironically helping me get over my own self-pity and crap. He didn’t care about my issues or who I was. He just needed one person to show him that he mattered. Let’s show others our humanity. Let’s do something that is completely out of character and feel good because we shine and brighten like the rain.

Love to all! Have a blessed day!!!!

Apology Epidemic

sorry

There are things we do that diminish our worth to others. One of them is the constant apologizing for what we like, who we are, and what we do. I lived a life apologizing for things that didn’t require an apology. We have personality traits and if you are constantly apologizing to your friends and family for your choices then it’s time to step back and start checking yourself.

I go to bed early. I don’t necessarily go to sleep but I like being in bed early with a book, unwinding, watching a movie or just chilling. For decades this was an issue of ridicule with others who do not go to bed early. However, I get up around 3 or 4 every morning. I could care less if anyone else does it. I don’t judge anyone else for sleeping in. I don’t care. I would spend my evenings giving excuses and apologizing for wanting to have my alone time. It took me years of stressing over it when folks were visiting me. As soon as I started to feel like it was “that time” comments were made and I would feel even worst. One day I realized that perhaps I needed to ask them if they wanted to join me for coffee in the early morning instead of apologizing for what I enjoyed doing every night. Guess what? No one wanted that morning early rise!

There is a horrible apology-epidemic, especially with women. We do so much and when we fall short of doing one thing we begin to apologize. Let’s be clear on something: if you hurt another, apologize. If you do something unintentionally and another has been affected, please apologize. But apologizing for the sake of making someone else feel better while you feel worse, not acceptable! Apologizing to end an argument when you are not in the wrong: no, way Jose! You are not helping that person take responsibility for their actions. You are enabling them and they get used to it.

You like your wine in the evening? Don’t apologize for this. You like to be alone in the mornings? Don’t give an excuse. Your children come first and you rather spend time with them than go to anyone’s house? Do not apologize for loving anyone. Whatever you don’t want to do is your life…don’t do it. “No, thank you!” is sufficient. You do not have to lament over what you don’t want to do. Guess what? You are going to hurt people. People will get butt-hurt over the silliest of things because they want to manipulate you into doing what they want you to do.  Guilt-trips are a cheap way of traveling…. Guess what else? If they love you, they will get over it.

I would say sorry for everything even when it wasn’t anything I did. It was sickening. I still have trouble with certain subjects. These days I will not apologize for the things I like. I will not apologize for who I am. I will not offend anyone with my truth of what I want to do. I’m not asking you to have a “suck-it-up-butter-cup” attitude. I want you to live authentically within your truth. We owe no one an excuse or an explanation for our likes and dislikes (once again, unless you are harming another and then “sorry” just doesn’t cut it).

Stop giving another value before yourself. The other day I called someone “sweetheart” in a middle of a conversation. The woman lost it with me. She put me in my place and I was taken aback. I noted that the term of endearment in the future was a no-no. I didn’t apologize. I call everyone honey, darling, sweetheart, sweetie, etc. I am not going to apologize for who I am. I just noted that it was not welcomed ever again so now I am careful not to ruffle her feathers. This is who she is. I get it. But, this is who I am and when a sweet word slips out I am not responsible for how she perceives it. I will never say anything to another to purposely hurt them. I am conscious of this. When another embarrasses me to make themselves feel better, hey that’s on them. Of course, I will send love to them but I will no longer participate in being their punching bag.

Part of a healthy spiritual life is being honest with those things that make you. You are responsible for you and you alone. It’s not selfish. It’s self care and self love. We love our spouses, our family, our children, our friends, and our pets. We will care for them and make sure they are all taken care of…but the first person you need to care for is yourself. Excessive apologizing doesn’t come across as sympathetic. It comes across as wounded. I know cause this was me for a million years. And, it’s still a work in progress. The more love I give myself, the less I have to apologize for the things I like…including having my alone time in the evening. There is freedom in letting things go without having to walk on eggshells around others. Love yourself with the utmost degree that you love another. Give that invaluable gift to YOU!