Rebirth of Coretta

Six weeks ago, I would have cringed or scowled at some of the opportunities that are opening up on my behalf.

Six months ago, the side hustles and adventures I’ve undertaken would have warranted a side-eye.

A year ago, I would have vomited at the mention of settling or thoughts thereof.

Today, I stand realizing that God operates best in simplicity. Stripped down and core exposed.

I have seen God in less than a year, strip down my false sense of self and list of wanna be needs.

In return, He has surpassed all of my expectations by affording me opportunities to learn first hand about running a fashion empire from shipment, visual campaigns, marketing, price stability, the new era of service, and business assessment.

The Lord has also shown me how warehouses work and the true differences between consumers and producers.

Yet again, He is about to place me in an opportunity to see the inside/out of an organization that will add to the tool belt of resources that I strap on daily.

God is using all of these things and more to do what he has always done. Teach.

My dreams are vast and expand around the world. The level of business and mogul like ventures that I will strive will require me not to be a cave dweller, yet a jet setter.

My line of work will involve me having a thorough understand of all the cogs, nuts, and bolts of my operations so that I can employ, innovate, and create the greatest brands ever.

But, first comes training. Training comes with the humility to explore, roll up sleeves, and work.

The Break Up

Messages have a way of finding themselves to you even when you run or ignore them.

I glanced on a friend’s page (Stacey G.) and noticed the video below. I knew from the freeze frame that it was a good watch. Figured I would get around to watching. Of course, I became “busy” and allowed other distractions to take their course. Funny enough, one of my long time friends tagged me in the video (Chantal).

The video shows a poet pouring out truth in her vows to her “soon-to- be-husband”. What I love the most is the vulnerability that the two share in front of all to see. However, she stole my soul with the following line:

“Pain had been loyal for years.”

Yesssss!!! I am not celebrating. NO. Just recognizing and owning the impeding break up with pain that I have been transitioning through for the past 10 to 15 years of my life.

Sounds like a prison bid right? Well, it is.

Pain and fear will lock you down in maximum security where no visitor or light can reach you.

The walls of pain will drain the color out of your eyes and the life out of your very soul.

But, God being the loving creator he is tends to send his most dedicated servants not to save, but to love us. Yes, those servants do their due diligence to be the very thing we are running away from, Love.

For some of us, the wrong kind of love, be it family, career, lover, user, or pusher,  robbed us.

We don’t file police reports or take anyone to court. Nah. We just enable each situation that familiar to the previous episodes to stack on top of each other.

Grief loves to party with other grief right?

Before long, you are unfamiliar to self. You say things to hurt others. You hurt self and others to just know that ‘feeling’ is still a thing. Yet and still, those faithful servants that God sends see right through the translucent wall of excuses, stubbornness, isolation, or whatever label we choose to dress our pain in for the day.

However, the light of true, healthy, unselfish love is too strong for the tainted love that brought on the pain. In time, we begin to open ourselves to those of real love. We learn to cope better. We pray together. We learn together. Eventually, the light of possibility blots out the dark spots of uncertainty or inadequacy.

Yes, as this young lady experienced, we all are loveable and worthy of agape love.

I smile as I too am traveling a different road. After a long burdensome relationship with pain, I too am calling it quits. Returning to Georgia has allowed me to fall head over heels with living, thriving, and loving yet again. Pain still shows up at my door unannounced with flowers and candy coated hearts.

Sometimes I’m alert and vigilant not to answer or to at least call a sponsor.

Other times, I open the door, read the text, or entertain pain’s latest gossip just to remember why we broke up in the first place.

A Hum to go with that Pep

About three weeks ago, I found a song that resonated my current mind state.

The song is called “Live your life” and it is by an artist named Yuna.

Some days are harder than others to keep a pep in our step.

This song really helps me rediscover my priorities and perspective as soon as I hear it.

May it add a blessing to your day.

“Live if you really want to.”

first few lyrics…

Find your light
Don’t hide from what you are
And rise before you fall
And hope for something more
Live if you really want to
Live if you really want to
Live if you really want to

All my life I’ve been looking for something amazing
It’s almost like I’ve been stargazing
The sky is right above me

We were meant for something bigger than this
Don’t ever try to dismiss yourself cause you don’t have to

“The phone rang. It was my college rapist.”

corettk:

people keep giving your words life. you never know who you may save with your words.

Originally posted on Fusion:

As told to Jen Sorensen by Anonymous

In November 2014, not long after the Bill Cosby rape allegations blew up in the news, a friend of mine reached out to tell me her own story of sexual assault and asked if I would draw a comic about her experience.

The friend, whom I’ll call Alison, was assaulted after unknowingly ingesting some sort of tranquilizing agent during her senior year at college in the early 1970s; she was 21 years old. Alison says that her goal in telling her story is not to incriminate her assailant but to raise awareness about what she calls “an insidious problem of powerful men who think they can get away with abuse.” Although some details have been changed to protect identities, I have tried to tell Alison’s story in her own words as much as possible.—JS

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Jen Sorensen is the editor of Fusion’s Graphic Culture…

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Author of Confusion

Boy, Sunday was an interesting day.

Simply put, slowing down saved the day.

I caught myself running behind a little before service.

I wanted to explore a new place of worship and I took too much leisure time getting ready.

I begin leaving the house with just enough time when distraction #1 arose.

A neighbor’s dog (two doors down) began running towards me in attack mode.

Initially, panick arose but quickly turned to anger. Before I knew it, I cried out to the Lord for help (I had nothing on me to fight with) and I also took flight not away but toward’s the dog. Hey, it was what it was. Don’t back me into a corner. God came through and so did my survival skills. The dog kept barking ferociously (so he thought) but backed up as I lunged forward (running back into its yard).

Oh, I was heated. I rolled by, eyed the dog, snapped a picture for evidence. Had I not been committed to making it to service that dog would have been at the pound. I realized the distraction for what it was, made it to service right on time and feel connected to the new place of worship. hahaha-evil plot foiled.

Next, my Mom miscalculated her distance while in reverse and tapped the mailbox (cracking her tail light). Of course rain is in the forecast and now she must craft time to get this fixed.

Lastly, moods with those around me including myself were shifty.

By the time I made it to shop that day I realized prayer was overdue. I had been praying lightly, but clearly I needed to call on the Lord because the noise ie confusion was on 10.

I mention these small moments because it is easy to go about your day trying to shrugging off discord.  However, as you grow, learn to nip these distractions in the bud. Acknowledge what you know is transpiring and use your prayer to build a shield of peace.

Smile Bright

On Sunday, I visited a new place of worship in Columbus. I enjoyed the spirit and celebratory mood in the room. The pastor actually spoke from the book of Esther regarding the festival of Purim. The festival commemorates the Jewish people of Persia being able to overcome Haman’s plot to annihilate their race through an edict. The pastor spoke in-depth regarding the festival and the emphasis on remembering the lessons from Haman’s work and any monstrosity of that level and also the need to celebrate life.

It was funny when the pastor took the time to point out how we as Christians rather loathe and hang on to hurts versus having a celebratory countenance regarding the blessings in our lives.

I can truthfully say since Sunday there have been moments in my week that reminded me of the spirit of celebration. I had a friend sending a caring message and another lend a favor unsolicited today. Those small acts of love reminded me that all I really want to do right now is Smile. Yes, smile bright. So, long my heart has been heavy and committed to the lives of others. I’m walking away from co-dependency with a faster stride these days refusing to be caught like Lot’s wife. My quest these days is to live, celebrate, and love with an open heart.

That requires learning from the lessons presented instead of holding to a heart of resentment.

It also requires me to let me wounds heal (no peeling scabs) and my focus to hang over the good instead of defining myself by what I survived.

Smile bright.

Stay in YOUR Zone

“No place I’d rather be.” This is the repetitive refrain to Jess Glyne’s “Rather Be” (ie Coke’s best commercial feature song).  These days I’m discovering the power of being comfortable in my own zone. Most people refer to it as a lane but I’m using “zone” for emphasis. I’ve noticed that when I take my focus away from goals or values, then I become subject to the world of others.

Case and point, I was watching a popular prime time show where one of the auxiliary characters lashed out on a primary character after realizing her motives no longer mirrored her true self. I’ve been in this unfortunate tumble. I had someone tell me years ago that I was beginning to switch places by acting like they way they used to. It was actually true. Instead of being assertive or aware of subtle changes of my intentions, I begin throwing back callous behavior to give the person a dose of their medicine. Sad part, it worked. Sadder, is that I wasn’t even aware of the changes in my demeanor nor my mindset.

I learned from that moment and some more recent memories that I have to be in tune with my “star player” per Katt Williams. I’m a pretty reflective person, but I’m re-learning self-awareness and the work it takes to zero in on your emotions as they are passing through. I don’t want to be caught unaware by emotional triggers or even begin to take on the demeanor of not so good characteristics of others.

I already journal, but I’m going to start logging my awareness points throughout the course of the day. I want to take a deeper look at the moments when I begin shifting out of my own zone and cruising into the lane of others. As I continue my resolve to be a holistically healthy person, behaving out of character or being unaware of those zone shifts is something I cannot slide any further.