who do you think you are?

A few months ago I set some personal goals and decided that singing at open mic’s was going to be something I wanted to do regularly. I googled ‘local open mic’ and found one that was up the street from my apartment every Monday. Monday approached and I decided to check it out first before singing. Upon my arrival I noticed that the coffee shop was occupied by mostly hipsters: women with bald heads, men with long beards, man buns, both genders typing at an actual type writer and or typing at a laptop adorned with stickers protesting all-things-mainstream. I walked down stairs to a dimly lit cave-like open-mic venue and it was packed. The stages back drop was very artsy and the nights performers together were very eclectic. Noticeably, before almost every performer spoke-or even during their poetry reading,-each proclaimed in one way or another that they were “anti-religion” and simultaneously drenched in emotional dysfunction. “I’m not a Christian even though thats what my parents wanted me to be” one performer resentfully shared.

After hearing theses sentiments consistently throughout the night my initial thoughts were about how evangelical Christianity has made many of us feel that we aren’t good enough to be loved by God; If you are a Gay, have had premarital sex, drink and don’t go to church every Sunday, date someone who is not spiritual like you—you are not good enough for God’s love. If you’ve lied, been manipulative or are a jealous person, you are not good enough for the love of God.

But as time has passed I’ve realized that self-acceptance is what we are really searching for.

So many times we project onto others that which we cannot do for ourselves. We get mad at our grandmother for not believing in our dreams and then demonize her and give her a one-dimensional identity of ‘bitch’. I mean, no human is any one thing. Our humanity is so vast. Additionally, if we believed in our own beauty and in our own ability, the opinions of others wouldn’t matter. If we believed that we were adequate and valuable, the ending of a relationship would not have the capacity to be because you lack of value and are inadequate.

We can really live in a personalized hell if we choose to. If for the duration of our lives we refuse to come to terms with who we are that’s exactly what this life will be; hell on earth. So many of us live in a constant state of anxiety, fear, depression, self-hatred, suicidal thinking, panic attacks or secretly struggle with addiction. We tourture ourselves with outlandish fears and negative thinking. Many of these habits and states are on behalf of the false beliefs we have about ourselves, false beliefs we have about others, or false beliefs we have about what others think of us (which is what you think of yourself). We are so afraid of love and peace and are addicted to pain and self-sabotage.

The Fall season is here and many of us humans fall into a depression around this time of year. Why? because of what we think of others, because of what we think of ourselves, because its fucking cold. Theres an alternative to living this way. But it takes mental reprogramming and in my experience constant self-care practice and self-love rituals. I’ll share more about how i’ve developed a healthier sense of self with my next installation. Part II if you will.

 

-amber . breezy!

incommon

chasing you meant
running away from myself
wanting you meant
avoiding myself
and my own happiness
but at that time
facing myself was
too scary
too too scary
my wounds were too heavy
they would have killed me at that time
loss of blood
So I chased you
and then I caught you
it was kind of surprising.
and then you fell in love with me
and we would miscommunicate
and you would run away from conflict
and i’d over react
and i’d forgive
and i’d forgive
and i’d forgive
and i’d forgive
and i’d make you feel insecure
and you were in love with me
Deep
and I was in love with you
and then one day
i didn’t know anymore
all i knew was you
and you were all i knew
because back then I HAD to have you
had to
had to
i was weak
i wasnt strong enough to face myself
my wounds were too deep
they would have killed me at the time
loss of blood
but now
i don’t know how to be alone
all i know is you
but now
i don’t know who i am
or what my truth is
or what I want out of life
but now
I don’t know anymore

This is common
i’ve heard this story many different times
from many different humans
maybe its not because the relationship wasn’t meant to be
maybe its because we don’t spend enough time with ourselves
maybe its because we aren’t satisfied
with anything
I won’t let myself believe that
it is a good thing to allow our dissatisfaction
to lead us to achievement and accolades
we were meant to be true
we were meant to be real
we were meant to be satisfied

Some thoughts this Thursday.

-Amber B

why is woman?

Lately more than ever, I’ve become less prone to identify with socially constructed identities such as gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age. To be more specific, I’ve become less inclined to identify with all of the assumptions, requirements and limitations that are associated with these identities. We’re all human and we’re all on the same journey. Our differences aren’t different. But, with that in mind, still, my Black-American history, background of Faith and Female Heterosexuality all have such a direct influence on my life’s course; from the way I greet my co-workers, to my personal aspirations, to the music I listen to and the company I keep, the way I react to current events..

In this day and age, many people are choosing their racial and sexual identities. For me, being a heterosexual Black-American Woman of Faith is not someone I choose to be, it is not someone I even try to be, it’s not something I opt into with rituals and reminders. It is who I am. It is something that naturally flows out of my heart and into my life, not matter my environment. With faith it is the same; my soul instinctively longs for something bigger than itself, for the infinite, for the intangibles that are love, peace and joy. There’s no forced effort involved.

The identity that I relate to most intimately is my racial identity: Black-American. I could talk to you all day long about my Black American history and what being Black-American means to me. My female identity, on the other hand, I relate to in a much different way.

Being a woman, to me, means having a vagina and boobs. It means I get to have a sexuality that is so playful and fun and personal, yet enjoyed by so many. It manifests in my clothing style that is androgynous and feminine, in my compassionate and empathetic nature. It means I get to be the inspiration behind so many love songs and laughable gestures at getting my attention. It manifests in my ability to become pregnant and physically nurture and sustain new and vulnerable life. And..

that is where my femininity ends.

That is where my femininity stops differentiating me from men.

Many men, some I’ve met some I have not, are equally, some more, sensitive than I. Brought to tears more quickly than I. Are over-thinkers, just like me. They want to feel wanted, secure, pursued, led, loved. With this in mind, why are we treated so much differently than one another?

Why were us women—after protesting and rioting—granted the right to vote, only 96 years ago? Why—in 2016—aren’t men and women in the same field of work, with same job title, same amount of years on the job and same educational attainment, automatically paid the same salary?

Why is it socially unacceptable for men to emotionally unravel, to fall apart? Every once in a while. Why is the conservation of a man’s ego so reliant on feeling as if he is better than a woman? More financially successful, intelligent “emotionally stable”. So much so, that it creates a sense of entitlement in men, that feels emotionally abusive to relationally accommodate.

Why are humans so insistent on having someone to feel better than? What is this equality that we speak of? Equality, that our egos could not possibly, truly, desire. I understand. I too, have an ego. This manifestation in particular though, equal pay, finances, effects the course of our lives: the experiences we get to have, our right to self-determination and the pursuit of happiness. Money rules everything, and if men have an unfair accessibility to it that is based on their gender alone..the implications are disgusting.

This March, women’s history month has inspired me to reflect on my identity as a woman, the role that it plays in my day to day life, and in society at large. Upon reflecting, I feel a deep appreciation and esteem for the very specific nuances that are solely characteristic of women. Accompanying this appreciation is a deep sense of humility for how much more I have in common with all persons, and the security that this truth alone, provides.

 

An essay,

 

Amber B

 

 

 

i am what i am

london 086ascend with amber

The the theme of this month is:
unconditional love and acceptance, of self.
Achieving this is of course a life long journey, so while on that journey, lets make the month of March one that catapults us even closer to, or maybe even all that way to, unconditional acceptance and love, of ourselves. Self-acceptance and love, are so critically important, because our whole lives are a mirror of the relationship we have with ourselves. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, where I post all of my poems, you’ve probably read the poem You that sheds light on these sentiments:
2

 

Can you even see me? Our ability to love others, and treat them well, is a direct reflection of our ability to love ourselves and treat our selves well (or not). It’s kind of eerie how were wired that way. Pretty dope. Cool.

As I shared with you in my last ascend with Amber monthly letter, I am big on questioning things. So maybe, like me, you wondered for a moment, ‘why is it important to unconditionally love and accept ourselves?’ Because, when humans are uncomfortably good to one another, it is an overwhelmingly powerful force, the only force that can bring true peace; to ourselves, and to our world. The only way to be uncomfortably good to others, is to figure out how to be uncomfortably good, to yourself. Why is that? Refer to the mirror analogy and poem above. When we are unconditionally loved and accepted, we don’t need to rely on people or circumstances to be good to us, in order to be good to others. The circumstances of our lives won’t determine our outlook on life, and we will need very little to feel satisfied. unconditional love and acceptance, is freedom.

So then I ask, how? how do I unconditionally love and accept, myself? The answer to that question is different for everyone. For myself, the first step that comes to my mind in figuring out what unconditional love looks like, is: How do I unconditionally love others?

    • I assure them
    • I forgive them
    • I’m patient with them
    • I give them my time and attention
    • I learn about who they are and what they like
    • I validate them
    • I correct them
    • I apologize when I’m wrong
    • I try to be my best for them
    • I give them the benefit of the doubt

And the list goes on..

So then, in order to work at unconditionally loving and accepting myself, I’ve got to do some portion of the above, for myself. This month, I’m committing to:
assuring myself and forgiving myself.

We can disappoint ourselves so much in life, everyday. This isn’t because we are truly falling short, this is because of where we’ve set our expectations of ourselves. But falling short is not worth having no peace. In the grand scheme of things, no situation is worth having no peace. For me, assurance and forgiveness means that I continue to do my best, but to forgive myself when I fall short and remind myself that God is in control and that as long as I have my life and my health, I can have joy and peace.

Naming my months, means that I will focus in on assuring and forgiving myself, everyday, as an act of self-love and acceptance, for the entire month of March.

How will you implement unconditional love and acceptance of self into your life this month? What will you focus your energies on? I’m curious…

 

With Love and Light,

 

Amber Bernadette

 

oh p.s, if you’d like to check out more of my poems, you can follow me on Instagram at Instagram/wordtothewise__ or facebook.com/wordtothewiseblog