Domestic Violence awareness month is a time to recognized how problematic abuse is in our society. As domestic violence awareness month comes to an end, we should be enraged daily because this behavior is not going away. Three women are murdered each day due to domestic violence. While it is not gender driven, women are 85% more likely to be victims and 15% of men are victims in the U.S. We feel better if we hide it because there is nothing more shameful than being a wife beater, an abuser or having people ask you, “why did you stay, if it was so bad?” Domestic violence is not a singular incident, it’s a hideous behavior problem deeply rooted in our culture. Violence may grant temporary control, but it ultimately ruins people, families and society. Physical abuse, verbally abuse and everything in between. What happens in our house, stays in our house. Not any more! That’s the good news.
There have been many stories, reports and biopics about domestic violence. The one that sticks with me is the LifeTime Biopic, Surviving Compton, which, highlights R&B Singer and Ruthless Records recording artist, Michel’le Toussaint. The story is about her relationship with Dr. Dre and Suge Knight and how she survived abuse while making her mark as a promising recording star back in the early 1990’s. Her voice was credited for establishing Ruthless Records with a mainstream sound. My first reaction after watching the movie, was shock and gut wrenching intensity. What I saw was abuse on steroids. I will not give a blow by blow analysis, but will comment on a few things. Michel’le’s story evoked a disturbing reality. There was no adult responsibility or direction provided while young people during the 1990’s L.A. NWA environment made decisions about their day-to-day life, but there was structure and guidance with the making of the music and promotion of the new hip hop sound that emerged from this era. So, it was okay to live with a young man at the age of sixteen or have 5 baby momma’s at the age of 18 and fight with no purpose while living with no solid principles as long as you didn’t miss rehearsals or studio time.
The second comment I’d like to share is that the storm inside of us encouraged abused. Men will be men; if he beats you, just try to fix it and do so quickly. These were the comments Michel’le Toussaint heard from the ELDERS while growing up. When I was a teenager I remember my mom and aunt talking about how my aunt ended up in the hospital due to her boyfriends hands in unwanted places. I too, ended up experiencing an abusive relationship. The good news is that I removed myself from that situation and I have had conversations with my daughter about how under any circumstances, abuse is unacceptable! The big elephant in the room is this; Abused people and people who abuse deal with confusion. We must intervene by reporting abuse, being direct in our opinions against abuse and telling our story. God has blessed Michel’le, Dr. Dre and Suge Knight. All are alive and have an opportunity to help others see the repercussions and dysfunction domestic violence causes. Pay attention!!! No matter how difficult it is to raise your head up, you must do so and you must move forward. Click here.
Dear Younger Self, Just because you’re not where you want to be doesn’t mean that you can’t get there. Learn to maneuver around your obstacles . . . With Love, K. L. ❤ Photo c…
Source: A Note To My Younger Self: Obstacles
“I’m the first person to see him and when I saw him, I thought it was a dummy gun, but then I saw the bullet clip in his hand and the bullets were shining,” the pastor told CNN.
What’s love got to do with it? Self love is the ability to love selflessly. Love the good and bad parts of our God given DNA. It also means loving others the way we would want to be loved. Not sexually or emotionally, but wholeheartedly. Sacrificial love is not based on a feeling, but a determined act of the will, a joyful resolve to put the welfare of others above our own. But this type of love does not come naturally to humans. No one can make us feel happy about ourselves. We have to create the space to do this on our own. The one thing that is clear is based on many recent incidents happening around the Country, is that Agape Love is absent. Do we even know what it means and how to change our mindset so that it’s in the forefront of everything we do?
I struggled in my mind because I was always concerned about what other people thought of me. Was I feminine enough, did I look attractive, was my nose too big, was I tall enough, etc… I experienced feeling ashamed of the agenda God gave me and tried to re-create my own agenda. I also had what I called an explosive reactive attitude. If you messed with me, I’ll get you back! That didn’t work! I have consistently worked on these issues over the years. Confusion persisted! It wasn’t until I took the time to understand Agape Love did I settle down. Of course I dealt with hard core lessons learned and embrassing situations that led me to change. I continue to work on accepting me and life as it comes. Love is more powerful than hate. Making a difference in spite of tragedy takes a strong mindset. It also requires Agape Love.
“It will make you mad, and then you will sing with us…” Living In The Black, the stage play
The stage is a powerful platform. It is the untold truth! A place where live music and real interactions tell a story and create surprise, laughter, sadness, suspense and triumph! It’s so emotional because you will feel the actors pain and rejoice when they triumph. The book, Living In The Black is about the silence of domestic violence. This is a topic no one wants to talk about at the kitchen table. What inspired me to write Living In The Black is the fact that I was a victim and now a survivor, but was embrassed to admit it. As I watched my daughter grow up, I knew I had to be honest. Not admitting it or brushing it under the rug meant acceptance. I didn’t want to create confusion and allow my daughter to think that it was okay. So, my writing experience with Living In The Black was explosive!! Thank you Seraph Books and Alyssa Curry!!! Local actors and muscians will bring the book, Living In The Black to “life” on May 9th at 7pm at the Henderson Fine Arts Center in Henderson, KY. Playwright Stanley Jackson of SJM Productions takes sections of my story and re-creates scenes on stage. He says this play is more dramatic than some of his other stage plays, but that you will go through every emotion! You will think, cry and laugh. Then you will get mad, and sing with us! Can you imagine this on stage? Well, Playwright Stanley Jackson has the magic touch and will allow you to experience his artistry and ministry on May 9 at the Henderson Fine Arts Center!!! Click on this article from the Courier Press to get details!! If you want to read the Book, you can get it here!!!
Our children are very receptive and deserve much better behavior from us.
The Greatest Love Of All: God made you just the way you are! It’s important to understand who you are before expecting everyone else to. A big mistake we make is focusing on what other people think before knowing our own strengths and values. Bosses who never respond positively to anything unless a task is done perfectly, need to be taught how to manage others. Boys who grow up with the preception that being tough is a defining factor, often never feel comfortable in their own skin because this teaches them to be disconnected. Girls who recongize and resist controlling behaviors remove constraints in their life. This is a great start. Other peoples perceptions of you have no value, but what you think about yourself is priceless. You will do things to hurt yourself because you think it will make you feel better. It probally does, temporarily. Looking in the mirror is the best therapy because what you see is what you should love. Embracing the beauty within and in front of you as well as taking time to appreciate what you have to offer is often times underestimated. There is a plethora of data that indicates that if we treat ourselves with the same kindness as we do with others, we would live happier and healthier lives. No amount of feel good substances will change what is in the mirror. If you don’t like what you see, you have the power to change it, no mattter what. The greatest love of all is the love you have for yourself. When you appreciate self love, you won’t to attempt to change anyone because your newfound spirit will invite others to share that glow. Abuse me, lose me.
Click here for signs
History is a potent recollection of our past. It built the backbone of what being an American is all about. Some of our past is painful while many parts are joyous to remember and reflect upon. Time has a way of healing and repairing the fabric of our most tragic events. Time also gives us an opportunity to engage in generational traditions or make changes in an effort to celebrate events we are proud of. We have learned valuable lessons and worked to improve and elevate our state of being because of history. It is recorded in classical novels, written abstracts, movies and other forms of media. There is one part of our history that is disturbing. The many decades when human beings were treated like chattel. Laws supporting human beings of ethnic descent as an equal to cattle or furniture ended 148 years ago. In the aftermath of the Civil War and it’s post war consequences, Civil liberties and rights have embraced our Country and the belief that all men should be respected and given a chance to succeed. In 2014 the fight for civil liberties and human rights is still very evident. I am surprised. We continue to read about young men being shot down in the streets while the shooters go free under our legal system as well as lynchings because of dating out of ones race. We also read about the overt disrespect of man and woman in their own household. Have we not not forgotten that everyone has the right to be respected and to feel safe and protected? Our leaders are responsible for making this a reality. This is why we vote! A leader must work to have extraordinary compassion for those he or she are responsible for because when turmoil is at it’s peak, everyone looks at the leaders, those who are suppose to set the example and sacrifice (at times), their own personal gain to ensure that others are developed and off to a positive path. Click here to learn about your human rights.
Don’t fight it. When you have been stripped down and feel like the world is crashing directly toward you, this is when you must not forget to prioritize your prayers. The choices we make put us in our predicaments, thus a strip down may be required to redirect us. The power of prayer is more profound than you think. Prayer is free and the conversation you have is guaranteed to be heard and listened to. I probably say the most unorthodox words when I pray, but I always have something to say. I stopped caring about the words and focus on my connection with Him. Here is a key point…pray with faith. That means don’t expect anything in the moment, but pray as if it has already been made evident. If you are a Leader, I think your guidance should come from prayer first and everything else, second. We are all leading in some form or fashion. Others will follow if you have wisdom.
“Without a focal point to guide you, you can easily lose your way. That’s why it is so important to stay in communication with Me, living in thankful awareness of My Presence”. ~Sarah Young. Matthew 6:33; John 8:29; Colossians 3:23-24