As I think back on my life and look with hindsight, I see clearly when there were some major moments that God was showing me that I needed to grow.
I was in an abusive marriage, raising kids that were not even my stepchildren, (I had my ex-husband's nephew, and his daughter's older sister from their mother), in addition to my husband's 3 girls.
At 22 years old, I was raising six kids, four of school age, and two under five. At the time, I was knee deep in dancing, my husband was knee deep in 'extra curricular' activities while I was at work, and I was the only one holding down our 8 person household.
A typical day started at 6:30 am. I got up and made sure breakfast was made. Got the kids dressed and fed and off to school. The babies woke up afterwards and they got their breakfast etc. If there was laundry or cleaning that needed to be done, I did that during the school hours. Around three in the afternoon, they were back from school, and it was time to help with homework.
Around 5pm dinner would be cooking and by 6:30 I was on my way to the strip club. I worked until 2am, didn't get home until 3am or 3:30am only to find my husband at home partying with his broke friends spending my money that I left home which I was trying to save. I was back up at 6:30am to do it again.
Here is the moment that saved my life and my kids. One night I had a VIVID dream. I went to bed. I was 22. I woke up and I was 30! Same bed, same house, same man, same life, and it SCARED THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS OUT OF ME! That day I really woke up and I planned my escape. It took me 45 days to make enough money to leave without alarming him of my planned secret escape. He was extremely crazy, and was already afraid I would leave him.
One time he jumped on the car when I was backing out of the driveway, and since I didn't stop, he punched the windshield, and smashed it so bad I couldn't see out of it. It could have scared my face! Witnessing my life through that dream if I stayed with him was a living nightmare, and the push I needed from God to realize my true destiny. I had all these kids, they had no one besides me, and it was so hard to make that decision on my own.
But I had to choose ME! I had no idea of what else was out there for me, but I was rushing to it because I knew what I was doing was NOT the life God intended for me. Leaving my husband was the beginning of me being set free. I am so grateful that God showed me something that would make me move. Everything works together for the greater good. I am who I am. I own what I've been through and I love me.
No matter where you find yourself today or where you've been. All things work for the good. Don't look for the world to give you love when all the love you'll ever need is right inside of you.
It takes a lot of uumph to be a black woman! I just think about everything I experience, my fellow sisters experiences, and the common thread linking it all is that unspoken uumph! That #BlackGirlMagic.
Why are Black Women so magical? I know God made it that way for sure, but what are some of the ingredients that create the unique masterpiece called the black woman? I know what I'm made of, and it is myriad of ingredients;
I've been raped, married to a drug addict, physically abused, shot, used, stolen from, lied on, lied to, disrespected, cheated on, and left for dead.
Still. IM A QUEEN. UNAPOLOGETIC
I had the nerve leave California and go to the NAVY to be someone. I had no idea where that would lead but I was ready! I had the nerve to dance naked in front of men so I could provide for my family after getting out of the NAVY, and after seeing my husband, my marriage, and my life for what it really was.
No worries. I'm STILL blessed.
With no rope in sight or any examples, I STILL created the life I wanted.
Black women possess a "This ain't what you want" type of fearlessness. In that fearlessness, others can take refuge and feel secure. (Like our children). Not only do they feel secure, but they learn it themselves and become a beacon in the family. It is a God given strength, knowing God himself is the only thing to fear.
My mother had a reputation for not playing the RADIO when it came to her children. The school, even grown neighborhood men would think twice about messing with Denise's children. That clearly was passed down by nature and nurture because even after facing death I still have no fear.
Every black woman's heart's desire is to love and be loved equally. She wants to be a wife, mother, friend, and community member. She longs to be part of a healthy ecosystem. Her actions are governed by these underlying tones to her character making her so graceful and beautiful. Love is life, and having to be resilient, confident, determined, and fearless just to get to hearts desires is pretty magical.
The combination of the ingredients, the severity of the circumstances, the DNA passed down, and the mighty smile of God created
Education comes in so many forms besides school. In fact, there is a huge difference between education and knowledge. Dropping out of college was the first semester of my hands on "School of Life University" education. I began to see how the world truly worked and it was a sink or swim kind of situation. Survival of the fittest would come in mind remembering what I learned of Charles Darwin and the Galapagos Islands. My biology teacher was an Indian lady who was so passionate about science it rubbed off on me a bit. It stuck with me. It was the basis for my knowledge and understanding of quantum physics and metaphysics.
My mom had a friend that I really looked up to. She was the regional manager of Macy's, and had it going on to me. As a child, there weren't many role models or "boss chicks" to model behind, but she was one of them. She always had her hair done, she was married to a African American history buff so their house was pro black and seemed powerful with the artifacts and statues they had.
Right when I got old enough and was on my own, I started hearing rumors about her on drugs.
I didn't want to believe it and it made me upset because my image of her was shattering. Sure enough, she was doing drugs. And not only doing drugs, but fell all the way off and was doing unspeakable things. That taught me to never be like her.
Never be someone that little girls look up to and then fall off after kids are grown! No way!!
I still have an anger toward her for letting me down. I never ever want any young girl who looks up to me to feel the way I do about me as I do about her.
I was a dancer. A stripper for money. I interacted with thousands of people. I learned something from all of them. They were investment brokers, insurance agents, soldiers, athletes, celebrities, terrorist, drug dealers, single mothers, daughters, wives, prostitutes, drug addicts.
My interaction was intimate enough to learn what it took to be each one of them. What factors created these circumstances and people. Each and everyone of them taught me something extremely valuable, and I know they've all learned something from me as well.
I've used and continue to use and grow my knowledge of interaction with individuals in my real estate business, when I speak to audiences, raise my children, helping others, and plan my future.
That's how the universe is set up. It is a constant learning ground, a school for the soul. If you are in someone's presence for a few seconds and make eye contact, there is an opportunity for a teaching moment.
If you're alive, you're armed with a wealth of knowledge that can work for your benefit. Experience and observations of others experiences help shape our thoughts and ultimately our actions and governs our behavior.