Nobody talks about how laborious faith is. How mentally challenging it is to wait for something that feels like it’s never going to come, and yet believe that it is still yours. To see without seeing. Seeing beyond sight. No one talks about the exhaustion that sometimes comes with seeing beauty where there is none. To begin again and not feel silly for surrendering to strength. To keep falling, and getting up again. Each time, being strong but feeling weak. Each time knowing that what is easy is not worth it and what is hard is worth everything. No one talks about what it’s like to hold onto hope, even as it’s slipping through your fingers. To faith-walk the staircase with no idea what’s at the top. To believe that you can see, even when you can’t. To believe you are not standing alone, even when you are. To foresight your way to the next step. To be future and present at the same time. To act according to what’s coming, and not just what is here. No one talks about the mental fortitude it takes to be patient and still and to see nothing and everything at the same time.
Good poetry is bravery in ink.
the audacity to exist without permission.
Without hesitation (like bullets in the backs of black men)
The exposed spirit
the sirens of the soul.
Good poetry is naked
the inward man undisguised
the words do not ask you to clap
does not seek for a sign
and only rhymes if it’s meant to
good poetry does not seek to impress you
its only goal is to speak the truth.
Do not add cream
do not add sugar
do not water down what is written with fancy words.
Take off your clothes (symbolically)
let the goosebumps tap dance on your skin
let the cool air move through your toes
comb your hands through your hair and laugh.
praise dance your metaphors.
Write without chains
(there are no slaves here)
transcribe your soul to the page.
Let it bleed
let it proclaim
let it sing
then you shall know what a good poem is.
is bravery in ink.
I have slacked on uploading poems to YouTube but I’m back on it. Listen to new uploads “Addict,” and “She is,” and be sure to subscribe for notification of more poems. (Courage and On the Self-Care Movement have also been added.)
How dramatic the transformation is when I turn lioness
how dangerous courage is
how beautiful too
how tingly the feeling when you throw caution to the wind
when an introvert speaks
you know that little mustard seed’s got a fire
how revolutionary to be humble in spirit,
but courageous in character.
The weight of this bravery
both heavy and powerful
how sensitive and warrior I am at the same time.
How powerful strength is
when you don’t know that it is there.
One of the most distracting things about being an entrepreneur is wanting to do right so badly that you fear doing anything at all, especially if everyone is pulling you in a lot of different directions or telling you why you shouldn’t do this and that. But as I said on one of the podcast episodes, I often do what I am afraid to do, so much so that people don’t think I am shy. Even my own blood sister said I was outspoken. This had me thinking. ‘Surely, my sister would know me enough to know.’ And sometimes you do need someone outside of yourself to reveal the truth of who you are, a truth maybe even you couldn’t see. The truth is that I am a very private person but no one ever changed the world sitting at home in the dark. So, though afraid, I step out to try things that disturb the fear in me. Things that make me go, “I don’t know”, are the things I strive to do. That’s courage. Not the absence of fear but the presence of it while you act on whatever it is that’s making you afraid. Being afraid, but doing it anyway.
I was so nervous at my last signing and I wanted to use being late as an excuse to leave. In fact, I was going to walk in and reschedule. That was my intent. I had literally made up my mind that I would just do the evening signing but guess what? Most people came to the morning signing, the one I was too afraid to do. The one outside of my comfort zone. Had I just did the evening signing, I would not have sold many books. The people just did not show up in the numbers I’d anticipated.
So what am I saying? What is all this about? It is about leaping.
Do what you are afraid to do. Jump. Take risks. Don’t wait until you got it together to put yourself out there. Remember, faith is the expectation of what you can’t see because if you can see it, then what is there to expect? So go. Take the first step even though you can’t see the whole staircase. Publish that book even though you don’t know if people will like it. Start that blog even though you don’t know what to write about. Record that first podcast or YouTube video even though you don’t think you will get much support. Start that business even though you don’t know how successful it will be. The joy is in the not knowing! If you know you’re going to win then your dreams are too small. Why would I race a 4-year-old? I know that I am going to win. There’s no challenge. So leap. In the words of Lisa Nichols, ‘leap afraid and then gather your courage on the way down.’
The trial is the mask triumph wears until we are ready to receive what has always been ours. We live in a world where faith has lost its meaning, its vigor, its gloss. Woe to those who walk the Earth when faith has lost its shine. Who are we when faith has lost its power? Dare us to believe that something we cannot see is still ours. I dare you to believe that what you cannot see is still yours. What you cannot taste is still flavor. What you cannot hear is still music. We are far too busy chasing opportunities that aren’t ours to chase, forcing connections and misunderstanding the link between pain and growth. So we miscarry our blessings because of the labor pains. Too caught up in disappointment and heartache to endure the struggle long enough to find the strength. Too physical to see the spiritual. Too impatient to wait for what has not yet come. Too anxious to see that everything we are trying to be we already are and that everything we need, is already ours.