Updated: May 16, 2021
Dear Africana Woman,
Tweety Bird how have you been? Tell me everything. Your week. Your triumphs. Your Lows. The Funny. The Ratchet. Tell it all Sis. How are you? You know I live in Zambia and our living conditions have not been as dramatically affected as other countries, as with many African countries. This week it hit me, how easy it is to forget and even worse not understand that some countries have been in a lockdown for months, maybe even a year. My heart especially goes out to teachers and school staff. Do you know that some schools have not been able to close for a holiday / a break, because their students were safer staying on campus than travelling back to their homes? It’s also hard enough to keep a class engaged in person, so to have to do it with enthusiasm online every single day and not go insane is a lot to ask. Plus some are teaching your kids online and teaching their own kids at the same time. Listen if you have a friend like me, who lives in a technically ‘open’ country and we seem to be insensitive, please forgive us. It is really not maliciously intended. Seriously, I think you have been through it. You have kept it together. You have earned the right to your self care regime no matter what it may look like, you deserve it. One more thing, it’s not teacher’s day or anything, but I would love it if you could reach out to your children’s teachers and give them an encouraging word, send them a little gift if you can, say the words out loud ‘Thank you’. That could be all someone needs to not give up and crumble. Thank you Darling. I know, I am totally biased towards teachers as my mother was a teacher.
Well this week was totally a week of rest. I had a tough couple weeks before that and my body literally could not keep up. I had to intentionally give myself permission to sleep longer, skip an exercise or three, eat to live and dig deeper spiritually. By the way guys, I would hate to mislead you, I do not go physically to a church. I am not ready for all that. So some may read me talking about spirituality and because we have been trained to be religious, may equate that to devout physical appearances in a building. Quite contraire. What it looks like for me is being still. Whether his voice is a whisper that I have to lean in attentively, or as loud as a trumpet, the point is my stillness is required. I also recognise that He is everywhere at all times. So when I am really going through it, I throw my hands up and just give the situation to Him. You know last week an Africana Woman sent me her thoughts about the challenge #choosetochallenge. She wrote to me, “Am I a prayer warrior or a worrier”. I would like to add to that line of thought a definition of worry that I also recently came across. It goes “To worry is to pray for things that you do not want” Gurl, could it be that we are all prayer warriors, it’s just that some are praying for victory and others are praying for defeat? Which one are you?
To worry is to pray for things that you do not want
Why do we fixate on the things that we cannot control? Why do we worry? I had a Dean in college, Dean Tracee Reiser, who asked me, “Is it in your power to change the outcome of what you are worried about?” I was in her office, just a hot mess. Crying my eyes out because as the over achiever that I was I had over loaded my schedule (this is not a new thing) and I felt overwhelmed by all my responsibilities and whether I would be able to meet everyone’s expectations. Actually now that I think about it I went there to step down from the position of Diversity Representative for my house. 15 years ago she told me to focus on the things I could control. This still stands true today. She said to me, “When you worry does it make the situation better?” NO. So what is the point of putting so much energy on worry? Now this is me telling you. Worry, and the other emotions connected to it, seep into your physical body if you do not keep it in check. You know that. The insomnia, the high blood pressure, the hormonal imbalance etc It is natures way of getting your attention. Deal with the root of the problem. Remember the only person whose actions you can really control is yourself. So do what is in your power to do. Stop Worrying. Stop praying for the things that your do not want.
I want to leave you with this last saying that I also heard this week. People want to see change, but often don’t want to change. Mic drop. I found this so profound. By the way, a lot of what I write is also teaching me, the writer. To all my fellow single sisters, who are wanting a change in relationship status and yet are not willing to change certain things about yourself. Like the spirit of singleness has set up roots in you that are a little too deep. So you do not want to stop being Ms. Independent, your default thoughts or actions are self centred or selfish, you want to go and do whatever you want whenever you want and you do not want to change to make time and space for a significant other in your life.
People want to see change, but often don't want to change
My working women who hate their jobs. You complain about how your boss and co-workers behave or mistreat you. You want to change your job or level of responsibility. Yet instead of actually doing something about it, it’s easier to moan. You could be changing your level of knowledge by going back to school or even self taught classes via the university of YouTube. You could change your job by actually applying to other companies. You could change the atmosphere in your office by choosing to have a positive attitude that infects your team mates.
Then my mummies who go sit in the bathroom for 30 minutes because you are hiding from your kids. The house looks like a zoo, the kids act like they are in a zoo. You cannot help thinking, ‘Why can’t they just behave?’ Honey, what are you doing to contribute to the situation? Maybe change their diet from fizzy drinks, sweet/fatty foods to natural & seasonal foods. Maybe change the way you react to certain situations. That is if you are prone to shouting, as I was, instead don’t parent in the moment of crisis. Come back to it when you have calmed down. And even when you sit down to talk about it with your kid(s) you may want to change your tone. We say things like I wish my kids could know about God. Or I wish my kids could know about our culture and learn the language. Well maybe you should change what you do with your kids. Talk to them about your faith. Teach them. Listen Sunday school just won’t cut it. Talk to them in your mother tongue, find videos, find books about your culture. Change the excuse that you have made in your head, that it is too difficult. It’s not difficult, it is just not important enough to you. And if that is the case, own your decision.
These are just a few examples. I could go on and on about how you have to change; not bae, not your kids, not your boss, not your co workers, not your family. You have to change to see the change. Change your words, Change your behaviour. Change your response. Change your environment (don’t you love this one. It goes with the saying you are not a tree, get up and move). Change your focus. Change your life.
Well we have come to the end of your love letter. Do let me know if you have ever been in this situation of wanting to see change yet not wanting to change. Maybe I am alone in this WhatsApp group. I almost feel like when you read these love letters, I would love for you to immediately write down whatever comes to your mind in your journal or your diary. Just get the thoughts out and down on paper. Because when we read things, it triggers so much for us but we can forget it if we don’t document it. So get in the habit of spilling your thoughts on paper as you read these letters. Okay. Queen if you are new here, Welcome Beautiful. So good to meet you. Do subscribe, that lets me know you are part of the tribe. To my Live Hard readers, I love you so much. Thank you for coming back week after week. OHHHHH!!! Guess what? Good Morning Beautiful is back. I KNOW!!! Okay It has changed a little. So here is the deal. Instead of receiving a message every day, you will receive it on Sunday Morning. And let me tell you this week’s message was absolute fire. The messages are 5-6 minutes of reflection and encouragement. It is housed in a WhatsApp group. It is actually a very quiet group because only the administrator can post. Y’all know I cannot do noise. I mean have you ever woken up to some groups with 1000 messages and you are like how am I supposed to catch up to that! So this is a calm group that delivers a beautiful message to put some pep in your step on Sunday morning and give you a great start to your week. But in addition to that, I had some feedback that people wanted an easier way to keep track of all things Africana Woman. Because you know we have the blog, the podcast, the events, the community. So in the group I