Masks & Monsters

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

It’s Halloween aka costume day!  As a believer, I do not celebrate Halloween.  However, my timeline is full of cute pictures of little munchkins in costume.  As I was sitting in meditation, I started thinking about the concepts of masks and monsters.  Halloween is all about dressing up, eating candy and all things spooky.  This causes children to dress up as monsters, zombies and to cover their beautiful faces with masks as they play pretend.  However, what if we were pretending every day besides today?

Think about it. When was the last time you felt the freedom to be who you really are?  I mean the “real” you.  I think that we wear masks all the time.  When someone asks us how we are, we lie and say we are good.  When we ask someone how they are, we hope they will lie because we don’t have the time or capacity to handle their truth.  We are a society that encourages pretend.  Heck, we have a whole holiday dedicated to this very concept.  Being oneself is less favorable, but becoming like the ones we admire is encouraged.  Everyone wants to be the next influencer.  Everyone wants to have the most traffic on IG.  Everyone wants to appear to be living their best life.  These ideals create monsters, emotionally unstable members of society that cannot communicate truthfully what they desire.  It’s hard, to tell the truth when you’ve committed to your fantasy.  It’s easier to ignore red flags when you’re dedicated to the lie.  Our love for masks has created monsters.

“Well Simone, that’s a little harsh.” Yes, it is.  Just because something is harsh does not make it less true. The more I live, the more I see the epidemic of inauthenticity.  It is a disease to hide oneself to please those who did not create you. Dishonesty is like cancer, it destroys originality.  We were created in the image of God, each beautiful and unique.  We were given “difference” as a superpower, a weapon against a world system built on conformity.  Why are we conditioning ourselves to forfeit our superpower?  Our weapon? To pretend to be something we were never designed to be.  For the longest, I believed the lie that being myself was not enough, but the more I step into who I am the freer I become. Authenticity and radical honesty bring a level of freedom that’s dangerous to our world. So, loves you must stay dangerous!

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/5a21b49a8a02c7d83e094cad/1515100682136-0ZMS54TUCGQW6JLO6FHQ/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kEQ7bTnq4YamhxaihQ2NKUQUqs/venetian-mask-ball-image-with-no-text.jpg

Soaked with Mercy.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers- 

Happy Tuesday!  What started as a bleak and rainy day turned into a beautiful one filled with sunshine.  Man, God is so good.  It’s the little things that make us reflect on the goodness of the Father.  I’ve been in this beautiful posture of prayer and presence.  My soul is soaking up all of this goodness because one day my schedule won’t allow for all this time.  I’m learning day by day to enjoy the season that I’m in.  Clearly, God desires that I enter into a place of rest because all of my attempts of striving and working have come to nothing.   So, here I am sitting in my sacred place, ready to share with each of you.

As I was prepping for my teen bible study class tonight, I read a familiar passage in a different translation.  Y’all, the Passion Translation gives me so much life!!! I was reading 1 Peter 2:9-10 when a particular line caught my eye.  Verse ten reads,  “For at one time you knew nothing of God’s mercy, because you hadn’t received it yet, but now you are drenched with it.”  I’m a big word person, so I like to read with dictionaries and thesauruses nearby.  I’m this way with any piece of text:  sacred, fiction, non-fiction, etc.  There is something about reading a passage of text with a definition in mind.  It changes the context of comprehension and adds depth to the reading experience.  Anyways, as my inner nerd was having a ball, I decided to look up the word drenched.  Simple word right?  Yes and no.  We all know that to be drenched is to be completely soaked or wet but what does it mean to be completely soaked or wet in mercy?  Better yet, what is mercy?

Mercy is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. Mercy is extended when we do not give others what they deserve when we have the power to do so.  For example, a judge not giving a deserved sentence; or better yet a parent not reprimanding a child after they have done wrong.  We are all in need of a little mercy!  According to the verse, at one time we had no knowledge of the compassion or forgiveness of God because we did not receive either compassion or forgiveness.  This tells me that we cannot fully know something that we haven’t embraced.  For example, how can you know (fully know) your friend or loved one if you haven’t fully embraced that person (strengths, weaknesses and other idiosyncrasies)?  We do not know what we do not embrace.  So, if we do not embrace people, places, or circumstances- we have no full knowledge of those things.  This is why it’s so important to be friends with people who embrace you fully because that’s the only way they will know you fully and can love you rightly.  We cannot love well what we do not know.  Alright…moving on.  The passage continues with “but now you are drenched with it.”  So what we didn’t know about before, we are now soaked within it. We are now soaked in mercy!

Earlier today, I had to make an errand which led me to the DMV.  I don’t know about other people but I absolutely hate the DMV.  Like absolutely hate it!  Anyways, the clouds were dark and it was raining a little bit but it wasn’t storming.  As I was leaving the DMV, the bottom fell out from the heavens and buckets of water descended on the earth.  Well, your girl didn’t have an umbrella and my afro already had its daily dose of water and olive oil.  As I ran to the car, I was soaked- wet from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet.  There was no mistaking that I was in the pouring rain.  Isn’t that the beauty of God?  To take what we were not privy to and to soak us in compassion and forgiveness.  So much so, that we walk around as evidence of what we received.   Friends, we are soaked in mercy!  May this encourage you that our God is not angry with us, neither is he ashamed of us but he is proud to call us his own.  He is full of compassion and forgiveness for us and he loves us dearly!

May you never become dry! 

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/a6/df/8a/a6df8adc5f8f7df585160f4ae19c5366.jpg

In Love With The Idea.

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers

I hope you all are having a great evening!  It’s been a great day for me and I am super pumped about sharing my thoughts with you.  Those who know me, know that I love films.  I love all films but I have a special place in my heart for black cinema, especially films that celebrate black love.  I’m the girl that has seen Brown Sugar way too many times.  I’m the girl that understands Darius’ pain in Love Jones; that wanted to fight for my man like Monica in Love & Basketball; and who knows how secrets can potentially kill friendships like in The Best Man.  Movies such as Just Wright taught me how looking for my preference can get me in so much trouble and Beyond the Lights encouraged me to believe that my person would indeed “see me.”  Unfortunately, life is not like the movies and sometimes there is no happy ending.  Sometimes we find true love and then sometimes we find ourselves in love with the idea of love.

I love love.  Yep, I love all things that pertain to love.  I love connection, friendships, familial and romantic relationships.  I love the way love makes us feel and how brave we are when we’re loved well.  I love hearing how people connected and about the exact moment, they knew their soul found its home in each other.  I love love.  Yet, it is this rose-colored ideal that caused me to confuse infatuation with love.  I would confuse my butterflies in the relationship to equate to falling in love when we all know that is not the case.  Love is more than desire, it’s more than that “can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars” type of stuff.  Love is sacrifice and commitment; it’s hella messy and full of risk.  Love is safety and vulnerability; the ability to just be with your partner.  That my dear is love.

Once upon a time, I was in love or so I thought.  I loved this young man and even considered marrying him.  I thought about taking his last name, and I thought about him being the father of my children.  In my heart, I convinced myself that I loved him.  And I did, in part. I loved the idea of him.  I loved the idea of him being my forever partner, the idea that I would no longer wake up alone.  I loved the idea that we would conquer the world together, that I would finally have a teammate.  The idea of loving him was so wonderful that I convinced myself that I loved him.  Since I was committed to my love of this idea when he lied or cheated- I forgave and took him back because I loved him.  He didn’t love me well, but I “loved”  him.  I remember realizing this as I prepped for a wedding and then I knew:  “homegirl, loving an idea will never make you love him fully.”   You can love an idea for eternity but that does not mean that this idea is great for you or your future.  Life is nothing like the movies, we cannot manipulate our situations to give us this picturesque ending.  Sometimes, things don’t work; sometimes, things do. You can’t force the fit, either it works or it doesn’t.

So I have a couple of questions for you:  Do you love them?  Or, do you love the idea of them? If you truly love someone, you will love them for who they are and not for who you would like for them to be.  Love says I’m down for the ride regardless of your brokenness, issues, strengths, and weaknesses.  Love says the real you is accepted with me.  Love says truth is more important than comfort.  Love protects, never gives up, and covers a multitude of faults.  Love is more than a feeling, it’s a choice.  A free-will choice.

So, do you love them or are you in love with the idea of who they should be?

Xoxo,

Simone 

FIC: https://cdn.fstoppers.com/styles/full/s3/comment/2014/12/03/14457559557_1f3cd6643e_o_1.jpg?itok=cK8gQjUl