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My Life, Our Therapy

Update 3/27/2020: Same me but wiser. I’ve spent some time since starting this blog figuring out what direction I want to see my life go in. That includes the direction of this blog. It will still serve the same purpose but with better direction. I’ve lacked consistency in the past and so finding some positives in the world’s current pandemic, COVID19, I decided to do a writing challenge. The purpose of it is to keep me consistent and to further develop my writing skills while keeping in mind the original purpose of my blog. Thank you so much for tuning in!!! Continued Blessings to us all!!!

Original post:

I can’t believe I’m finally doing this! Honestly I don’t know where to start so if you decide to stay tuned in, please bear with me as I find my way while sharing my personal beliefs and the experiences that helped shape them. If I had to place a purpose for this blog, it could be summed up in one word, help. Help for me because it will allow me to vent, my form of therapy. And help for whomever decides to read because I know there is someone who can relate and may simply need to know they aren’t alone in their thoughts, feelings and experiences.

I thank you for supporting an aspiring writer by liking, sharing and providing feedback for my blog Many Moods Ago! ❤

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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LGBTolerance

2020 has been a mofo so far. From Kobe to Covid. There have been a lot of newsworthy stories. I’m not going to lie, I get most of my news from social media. Sometimes I’ll click on an article and read it, most times I don’t. Especially when it comes to entertainment news. Don’t get me wrong, I like entertainment just as much as the next person, I just don’t get too caught up in drama. I have enough of my own. There was one story in particular that caught my attention. Likely because I could relate. That story was the one of Dwayne Wade’s child Zaya.

Like most other news stories, I didn’t read much about it but I knew the gist of the story. She’s not the first child to make this declaration. She just happens to be in the spotlight because of her dad’s celebrity. So no, that wasn’t what I paid attention to. What I really paid attention to was people’s reactions. It was interesting to see how people felt about a child’s declaration of identity but even more so their reaction to a parent supporting their child.

The reactions: “She may change her mind one day.” True. But how many  of us have changed our minds about something. How many of us are living with decisions that if we haven’t made peace with them, we regret? “But that’s a child.” Yes. She is. However, if you’re like me, think of where you might be had someone encouraged your choices instead of telling you their perceived limits. “There’s an agenda against black men and masculinity.” I don’t doubt it. But can we unite one one issue before we continue to attack from within? And really, when it’s all said and done, why does what someone else does in their household matter? (I know, they’re in the spotlight. Right). But I digress.

I’m a parent. A mom of 5 to be exact (4 by birth and an honorary addition). To be even more specific, I have 4 sons and a daughter. Beautiful black children. They’re smart, well rounded and talented in their own ways. They’re all teenagers and young adults now. I haven’t had one come to me and tell me they’re gay, bi, transgender or any of those things. However, if they did, like the Wade’s, I’d support them. Perhaps I’m bias. Here’s my story:

I had a boyfriend in kindergarten. A little chocolate cutie who obviously thought I was a chocolate cutie too. I had a boyfriend in the third grade too. By sixth grade the kids I’d known for years at that point all started to mature in their looks,myself included. I filled out pretty nice I suppose. I definitely got attention from my male peers. High school came and not only peers, but older males took notice. I took it all in stride.

I was shy. Especially in social settings outside of my comfort zone so I didn’t get to know a lot of new people outside of school. At least not the traditional way. As I got older and technology advanced, other ways of meeting people became available to me. Namely phone and online chat. In Chicago we had what we called “the Party line”. You call a number and you’re able to chat live or leave messages with people around the city. That became my go to method for meeting people.

Her name was Jay. Jay was what is known in the LGBTQRSTUV community as a stud. Somewhere along the way I found myself browsing for girls on the party line. That’s how I met her. I’d been attracted to and curious about women for some time and found the courage to talk to them. I was 17 at the time. Her and I would talk daily when we weren’t at school. Feelings became involved and we were saying those three words. I still hadn’t met her in person (catfishing was easy back in my day) but I wanted to. I knew I would want her around. And I didn’t think anything was wrong with it. So I decided to tell my mom.

I remember Jay telling me not to. She didn’t think my mom would approve and didn’t want me to be in any trouble. I remember both thinking to myself and telling Jay something like “I love you. I shouldn’t have to hide that”. I honestly didn’t know how my mom would react. Of course I was hoping for the best. My mom’s response, “you’re not my daughter anymore”. I’m sure she said some more stuff, but that’s what stuck out. It pierced my heart.

Now that story is mild compared to the stories some of my friend’s have told me about their coming out. I’ve heard of actual physical violence taking place. I can’t imagine. But I do believe rejection hurts all the same. More specifically rejection from those you feel are closest to you. Fuck it, I’m gonna say it: PARENTS ARE SUPPOSED TO SUPPORT THEIR CHILDREN!

Now I’m not saying there shouldn’t be boundaries. Of course you want to guide your children to make the best decisions for their life. It is my belief that children have to go their own way and find their own purpose without bearing the weight of their parents childhood residue or adult fears.

One thing I feel we can all agree on is that life is tough. There are times where it feels overwhelming. We all want to be loved. We just have to decide what our love looks like. That should be the easiest thing but when you live in a world where you’re expected to be both a carbon copy and individual, it’s hard to assert yourself and live life on your terms. So for those of us who have the courage to do so, kudos!

Kudos to the Wades and every other person who have had the courage to be themselves and support others in being themselves. As a parent I can’t imagine being to my children what the world will be all on it’s own, ugly. Again there should be boundaries. I know that I won’t always agree with everything they do. They’ve definitely tried my patience a time or hundreds but I allow them space to find their way. I celebrate their triumphs. I correct their missteps. I guide them, but I don’t control them. I pray for them. I pray over them.

It took my mother years to acknowledge my sexuality. That’s because it took me years to own it. It was met with a lot of opposition. I’ll share that story one day. Love gave me courage. With courage came acknowledgment. I had to acknowledge that my life was my own if I made it so. That meant I had to stop living it for others. My only concern was for my children but after talking to them, I realized again that the only person stopping me from living my life by my own terms was me.

Speaking of children, back to Zara and children like her. Or the children who endure hardships of some form at home, they shouldn’t have to endure bullying from their peers for things they feel are out of their control. Children commit suicide too you know. They have thoughts and feelings. They don’t just all of a sudden form when the child becomes an adult. And so we should be to them the adults we needed when we were younger. I speak for myself when I say I could have used adults that made me feel safe, loved, understood, and validated. I wish someone had took the time to understand me but I’m thankful I’m now taking time to understand myself.

We don’t have to love everything but we are called to love everybody. Love is tolerance among other things. There will be things we don’t like or agree with. There will be things we don’t understand. To that I say we either learn to like or agree with it, learn to understand it, or stay away from it. Whatever “it” is. Perhaps that’s the simplest way to define tolerance.

Live and let live.

Love and let love.

Thanks for reading!

Peace and Blessings

 

 

 

 

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Black Beaches

*this is the 3rd installment of my writing challenge. If you’d like to follow read the articles in the following order: 1. Self Lovin’ Beaches 2. Self-Love in Beaches

 

I’d like to start by saying Nia Long is still a baddie. I’ve been a fan of hers a long time so I had to check her out in the remake of the movie Beaches. Plus, to be honest, it was nice to see someone of color play a leading role. Look how far we’ve come (sarcasm).

If you haven’t seen it, the cast of the original movie, with the exception of a few of Cici’s employees, were non-black. No biggie. But to see a Black woman in a movie portraying a character who came from “good stock” is always a good thing right? Hell yeah it is.  Nia Long portrays Cici’s best friend Hillary in the remake. As a Black woman, I have to say representation matters. I immediately bonded with my sista from another mistuh. To me she was goals.

Hillary’s dad is a single dad. There’s no struggle for him to provide, he’s a lawyer. Hillary has a nanny that cares for her when he’s busy. She gets to travel with him at times. She goes to the best schools. She ends up graduating from Harvard. She becomes a lawyer like her dad. She gets married. I’m proud honey. Hillary  is living the dream right?

Then Hillary became a single mom.

My admiration became “aw hell nall”.

I’m like Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model “we were all rooting for you”.

So I found myself a little annoyed with whoever wrote this script. Like how dare you make another Black woman a single mom in a movie? Representation matters right? You couldn’t tell me whoever wrote this didn’t have some sort of vendetta against Black women hence my title Black Beaches. Honey I was about to go off when I initially saw the movie and came up with the ideas for my blog titles. And don’t get me wrong, I can pick the movie apart and look at it from that perspective but I’d rather share how I saw myself in the Black woman portrayed in the 2017 version of the movie Beaches.

(Sidenote: I only kept the title because I committed to it on IG)

I spent majority of the movie loving me some Hillary like “yessssss girl! Do yo shit sis!” And as soon as she became a single mom I got defensive. Why? Because I saw myself in her but unlike her, my pregnancy wasn’t celebrated by a supportive friend. And so began my look within.

Like Hillary, both myself and my family, namely my mom, had high hopes for me. I was a smart kid. I remember being a part of a program in grade school called McPrep. It was funded by McDonalds. Every summer myself and a few of my peers from school would go to DePaul University in Chicago to take enrichment classes while in the program. There were other “gifted” students from all over the city in attendance as well. Eighth grade found me as salutatorian of my graduating class. I tested high on standardized tests all throughout school. High school found me at one of the best Magnet schools in the city, Whitney Young (made infamous by my Forever First Lady Michelle Obama). Set for success right?

I became a single mom of four by the time I was 22.

Damn.

I must have daddy issues right? I have my ideas about that. On one hand I can’t miss what I never had. However, I had father figures so who’s to say. I’ll unpack that some other time. All I know is I was raised more often than not by the women in my life.

I don’t know what my grandmother’s level of education was. I do know my mother never finished high school. However, that only made her more adamant that her children be educated. I’ll be forever grateful to her for that among other things. She was always active in her children’s education through her volunteer work at our school. This went on throughout all of my grade school years and the first year or so of my high school years. I think after that my mom became frustrated not necessarily with me but with life overall.

When I became pregnant with my firstborn I was happy. Unlike Hillary my pregnancy wasn’t celebrated. I was 17 and pregnant. I didn’t have a husband, an income, my own place, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t shunned either. At least I don’t remember anyone expressing disdain or disappointment with the exception of my grandmother on one occasion (I’ll get to that shortly). My mother did what was familiar to her, she provided material support. My baby had everything he needed when he was born thanks to her.

I didn’t expect a celebration. Yes I was happy about my pregnancy but I also felt shame. I was behind in school with nothing to offer my baby. Talk about being discouraged. But then I met a real life Hillary. She came in the form of my cousin’s now wife, then girlfriend Ava. First of all Ava was gorgeous. But more than that she was smart. Even better than that, she had a baby before college. Finally, someone I could relate to. Sure I had other women around me on a daily who had been teen parents as well but none of them went to college. Yes, I was behind in school but I still wanted to go to college. I remember seeing Howard University advertised somewhere and all that Black excellence spoke to a sister. However, I couldn’t go to college with a baby. Or so I thought.

Ava told me she had a Masters. She took her baby to classes with her sometimes. She didn’t give up. That gave me so much hope. I started to believe I could do it. Then I talked to my grandma. One day she asked me what I was planning to do now that I’d become pregnant. I remember feeling so proud as I said “I’m still going to college”. My chest was all puffed out. I probably resembled Day Day off Friday on my “Top Flight” security act. I was ready to get it!

I’ll never forget my grandmother’s response of “you ain’t gone do shit.”

Talk about killing a dream. I’m sure part of me died that day. I damn sure didn’t go to Howard. Now I could say that had my family been more encouraging maybe I would have become more like Hillary and Ava even with a baby on my hip. Maybe I wouldn’t have ended up pregnant at all. However, I can’t dwell on that. I can only move forward. I didn’t have a picture perfect existence. I wasn’t set up for success. Or so I thought.

Who decides what “picture perfect” is? What does it mean to be successful?

I’ve learned both are subjective.

Hillary went to Harvard. And became a lawyer. And got married. And she still became a single parent. She had a dad, no mom.

I became a single parent, got married, graduated college in my 30s and then became a single parent again. I had a mom, no dad.

And so the admiration that became “aw hell nall” became understanding.

In the movie, Hillary did what was expected of her. She was groomed to be a lawyer. More specifically a corporate lawyer like her dad. She didn’t like it. And so she decided to go her own way and became a pro-bono lawyer. She moved in with Cici and seemed happier. Then her dad got sick and on his deathbed asked her to come back to work for him and she agreed though she obviously didn’t want to. She married a man who reminded her of her father. Needless to say, her inner child suffered but she chose what she’d been taught was right over what felt right. She wanted kids, her husband didn’t. He cheated. They split. Hillary dies years later leaving her daughter with Cici.

I share a similar story. Unlike Hillary though, my rebellion (that’s what it was referred to in my household) came earlier in life hence the teen pregnancy. But instead of college being the next step, according to my grandmother, marriage was. And so I married my now ex husband. Great guy overall. He was very supportive. I was able to start and complete a degree while we were married. But what I didn’t feel able to do was be me. Or so I thought. And so I rebelled and my marriage ended as a result of it. My grandmother would definitely have a field day with that if she were here. God forbid I have 4 kids and no soulmate (her words).

I had to learn that being a single parent was never the end of the world for me just like my being divorced isn’t. My not defining what success looked like for me all those years was my end. Me counting others blessings instead of my own was my end. More than that, my not seeing my blessings a blessings was my end. I’m learning my life is only mine when I’m living it for God’s purpose which not surprisingly makes me extremely happy.

So no I didn’t do things in some sort of “divine” order, and I wasn’t “set up for success” by someone’s standards but I have to say that I wouldn’t change anything. I set my own standards. I define what my success looks like.

Thank you for reading!!!

 

 

 

 

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Self Love in Beaches

In keeping with the theme of my writing challenge, I’ll reference the movie Beaches but only briefly. I had an epiphany prior to writing this that directed this particular post. Hopefully you’ve taken time to read the first article and seen one, if not both, versions of the movie. (Not required for the challenge, but recommended)

In the first article I broke down the selfishness I saw in the main character Cici’s relationships. Especially her relationship with her mom. At first I viewed her selfishness in a negative manner, but when I began to see myself in her, my ego took a backseat to understanding and thus began a breakdown of my own trauma with my own mama.

I remember looking for love as early as 14. Though I wasn’t sexually active, I started to pay more attention to the opposite sex. Cute boys became cuter, taller, funnier, smarter; (immaturely) mature in my eyes. If I had to guess, I’d say by nature and nurture. Nature because well, it’s natural. Nurture, because my environment shifted. At 14 I was leaving my grade school, Spencer, on the west side of Chicago to go to Whitney Young (made infamous by my forever First Lady Michelle Obama). My brother was headed to prison at the age of 16. Due to circumstances my mom, sister, and I were living with my grandmother (my mom’s mother). No father in the picture.

My grandmother named me Falon. I didn’t like that name as a kid. I didn’t like the woman who gave it to me either at times. More specifically, I didn’t like how she treated my mom. The older I got, the more obvious my grandmother’s disdain became. And my mom took it. Sometimes disrespectfully (raised voices and mean words) but mostly with reverence because of who she was. It was definitely a love/dislike relationship. They only seemed to get along when my mom gave my grandmother money. I say this because I witnessed occasions where my grandmother’s face transformed from a frown to a smile when my mom would flash and pass her cash (I couldn’t resist the rhyme).

So imagine the tension living under the same roof. It’s one thing to live at home as an adult by choice. Maybe you want to save money or finish school before taking another step into adulthood. It’s a different feeling when it’s due to poor choices. It feels that much worse when you have  to live with a parent who resents you due to their own unhealed trauma. Needless to say, there was drama. Lots of it. That unhealed trauma was passed down from my grandmother to my mother to me.

And so began my chase for love. Little did I know that chase would take me further from love before bringing me closer to it. Better yet, before realizing it was with me the whole time.

I developed early. By the time I was thirteen I was probably a C cup and older men swore I looked older because of it. I resented the attention. Then 14 came and went. My home life suffered. School suffered. Whitney Young eventually told me I couldn’t come back. My sister and I had to move to Wisconsin with my aunt without my mom for a few months at the end of my sophomore year. I started my sophomore year of high school back in Chicago but this time at Manley.  By this time my mom was back in her own place. By then, damage had been done and so began another shift.

My mother was never my best friend. I remember being around 12 years old when I told my mom I didn’t feel like I could talk to her. I don’t remember what she said verbatim, just that I didn’t try to talk to her after that. And then 14 happened and after witnessing some of the things I did, I start looking for love at the infamous “all the wrong places” club. My mom didn’t seem to love me or care. No one really understood me. I know I damn sure didn’t understand me or the things I’d experienced up until that point. All I knew was I wanted to feel loved and so the same attention I resented from men, is the attention I begin to seek.

Sweet sixteen came and went. I can’t tell you what I did for my birthday but I can tell you that a week later on Christmas Eve I gave a gift I’d never see again, my virginity. About a month before my 18th birthday I gave birth to my firstborn. A son. Perhaps earlier you noticed I said I completed my sophomore year in Wisconsin and began my sophomore year in Chicago at Manley. Well that sophomore year at Manley was supposed to be my junior year. Somewhere along the way I completely gave up on school. After I had my son I decided to drop out of high school altogether. Honestly, by then I was ashamed of where I was in life. I would go into detail as to why but I’ll save that for my book.

February of 2002 I was a high school drop out. By the end of that year I was a GED recipient. My son’s dad was present. We didn’t end up together but he was always present for his son. June of 2003 found me with another baby boy but no dad. By then I was moving into my own apartment in Elgin, IL. It was subsidized but I didn’t care. I was 19 years old and on my own. I thought I got away from what I considered my problems, they followed me. My solution? I kept looking for love.

That next attempt at obtaining love left me with two more children; a baby girl in 2004 and another baby boy in 2005. I was engaged to their father at one point. When the relationship ended, so did his responsibility to our children.

After that relationship ended, I went back home to my mom. Another round of trauma ensued.

As my children grew, so did I. I wanted for them what I believe all parents want for their children, the best. I didn’t know how to be that, I just knew how NOT to be. And so I did what I considered my best. I moved away from Chicago to Bloomington, IL. Some things happened while back with my mom that I wanted to move away from. I wanted better for my babies. All the while continuing to shake my ass at Club All the Wrong Places.

Prior to leaving Chicago, my last effort at obtaining love left me heartbroken and so I went to Bloomington feeling loveless. Initially I lived with my aunt and her family. Eventually my grandmother moved to Bloomington from Chicago and my children and I moved in with her. By this time her health was failing and so my aunt and I stepped up to help her. What began as duty for me, became a lesson in love. I didn’t see it that way at the time. Remember, I didn’t like her. I did revere her. I do believe I loved her as caring for her was a lesson in love in the sense that it humbled me.

My grandmother birthed five children. My mother was her punching bag. I was my mothers. While living with my grandmother, she wasn’t as harsh with me as she was with her daughters but I wasn’t completely exempt from her wrath. She said things to me over the years that broke my spirit. Even handicap and literally on her last leg, my grandmother would say some hurtful things. I internalized most of it and acted out whatever I held on to.

I remember my grandmother asking me how I ended up with four kids and no soulmate. Mind you my children weren’t neglected. They simply didn’t have present dads with the exception of my firstborn. And so I had to shake my ass a little harder at Club All the Wrong Places. That ass shaking manifested itself into a marriage I had no peace going into, fought for throughout, and fought to get back over time after one last failed attempt with the woman I left my now ex husband for.

That last failed attempt at love led me to its origin, me. The God in me. God.

Yep, all that time I spent thinking love was in someone else and I had it with me all along. God even showed out and gave me more of it in the form of my children.

The epiphany I mentioned at the beginning of this article came after my own mom went to the hospital the day I wrote this article. Present day she’s wheelchair bound. My sister and I have been caring for her. She’s my grandmother all over again. She says some of the most hurtful things. Even has the audacity to be unapologetic most times and manipulative at others. Like my grandmother, I don’t like my mom at times but I love and revere her all the time. It took some time to get to this point but I’m thankful for the growth. Not only does the love and respect I have for my mother provide me content for my blog, but it has helped me break generational curses and become a better woman in spite of my past pain and current discomfort.

If you love yourself, you love others. If you hate yourself, you hate others. In relationships with others, it is only you, mirrored. -Osho

 

Seeing myself in the character Cici encouraged my epiphany. I’ve mirrored the parts of my mom (and others) that I don’t like. My being able to relate to a fictional character in a movie helped me to realize it’s important to see myself in everyone and to pay special attention to the parts that cause a rise in my spirit (intuition). Don’t get me wrong, prior to seeing the movie I had already learned to navigate my relationship with my mom. It helped and still helps a lot to not take things personal when she’s lashing out.  To heal those parts I’m learning to (intentionally, consistently, persistently) embrace the parts of myself and people that I love.

At one point I’m sure I’ve carried hate in my heart for the people in my life who have hurt me. That hurt became healing when I realized the hate I had for them was actually hate for myself and the person I became. The person who allowed the hurt to happen. Learning to truly love myself has been redeeming. Seeing myself in others has been redeeming. Love has been redeeming. God is love. God is redemption.

 

Thank you for reading!!!

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Peace and Blessings

 

 

 

 

 

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Self Lovin’ Beaches

Thank you so much for visiting my page! If you’re reading this, it’s likely because you’ve decided to follow my self imposed challenge to practice disciplined, intentional writing. Again, thank you! I do hope you enjoy the first post of my writing challenge!  To streamline my thoughts, this particular post will focus on Cici in the 1988 version of the movie Beaches. I will be sure to point out any references to the 2017 version. 

 

May I present:

 

Self Lovin’ Beaches

 

It had to be late 80s, early 90s the first time I saw the movie Beaches. I remember being in tears by the time it ended. That’s how much it moved lil ole me.

 

If you aren’t familiar with the movie, here’s a quick summary of it:

 

Beaches tells the story of childhood friends Cici and Hillary. Hillary, who “comes from money”  meets Cici, a child performer, while lost on a beach. The two spend the day together and become fast friends. Because they live in two different states, they keep in touch by writing over the years. They go through the ups and sometimes downs of life together as comrades.  And then apart at odds. But when times get hard, the women gravitate back toward one another and remain friends til the end. Husbands came and went for both women, Hillary had a baby. Both women had successful careers and lives as a whole depending on one’s perspective. Hillary as an attorney and Cici as a singer/actress. Both women seem to make peace with their pasts. The movie ends with Hilary dying due to a disease that required a donor she didn’t receive in time. (You can check out the plot at ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaches_(film) or watch the movie on Amazon Prime or any platform it’s available).

 

Seems like a nice movie right? At least it seemed that way to me. Who doesn’t want a best friend? And if you’re blessed to experience love and then it’s lost, who doesn’t mourn it? And so this movie evoked some emotion from me all those years ago. Fast forward to 2020 and here I am with some extra time on my hands due to social distancing as a result of Coronavirus…

 

(And don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I did that when I didn’t have a virus to blame productivity or even the lack thereof on, so at some point, a sista gotta be grateful)

 

…so I decided to watch movies during my downtimes’ downtime. While scrolling through my options, I see actress Nia Long’s beautiful smile with the title Beaches and nostalgia catches me. I just gotta see how they remade what I consider a classic or if nothing else, an ode’ to my inner child right?  By the way, my inner child and I have been spending a lot of time together both by choice and force. But I digress.

Anyway,

The updated version was good. It debuted in 2017. Some changes were made. The most obvious one is that they included a woman of color, Nia Long, as one of the main characters (the main characters in the original weren’t). That aside, the movie stayed mostly true to the original plot with minor tweaks to the story line. However, this time, I didn’t cry at the end, I cried at the beginning of the movie but I won’t get into why right now. I will say that watching the 2017 version of Beaches prompted a second look at the 1988 version and this time, there were no tears or feelings of nostalgia. Instead I was agitated after realizing that both versions of the movie attacked different groups of people in subtle manners. At least subtle to a child. I’ll touch on that in a future post.

 

This particular post is meant to focus specifically on selfishness and  how it relates to self love. Even more important to me, how I was able to apply it on my journey of self love.

 

My initial reaction after seeing the movie again after so many years was “poor Hillary” . Cici almost immediately rubbed me the wrong way. Even as a child she was definitely the more outspoken one and seemed like an opportunist, manipulative even, so I believe it was easier to see her as a villain.  But my issue with that assessment is that it’s in reference to Cici even as a child. And so I had to ask myself why I could feel that way about a child. Children are innocent right?

 

And so began an opportunity for further healing for my own inner child.

 

The same traits that I initially saw as villainous in Cici as a child, my own (inner) child began to see as bravado. Cici, though a child, had to have seen some things, that were discouraging to her spirit and so she adapted. I noticed that she cursed and smoked cigarettes. She called her mom by her first name. She seems to dominate in familiar surroundings and cower in foreign ones. As a CHILD!  I’m sure I’m not the only person who can relate to some if not all of these things as an ADULT. And so Cici likely learned to cope in ways she saw the adults around her cope. And like the adults in her life who didn’t know or care how their actions, or lack thereof, affected Cici, she grew not to care. That lack of care became selfishness.

 

Selfish

 

adjective

 

  • (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

 

 

The word selfish as defined above could leave one believing that being selfish is a bad thing. It’s not. As my elders would say, “it’s not what you do, but how you do it”. What that means to me is I’m free to be me but to be mindful to do so in consideration of others. It’s easier said than done at times. Consistent mindfulness has been key. I’ve learned anything in excess is poison. And so to counteract an excess of selfishness, life has taught me to practice selflessness.

 

Because Cici didn’t have this sort of awareness on a consistent basis, she struggled to find the balance between selfishness and selflessness. And so her relationships suffered in some form throughout the movie.

 

Her relationship with her mom suffered….

As a child, being selfish worked in Cici’s relationship with her mom. Though she  grew up in a two parent home, it is obvious the father wasn’t as present as Cici would like and her mom attempted to make up for his absence by giving Cici freedoms she wasn’t mature enough to handle. When Cici became an adult and her father passed, her mom announced she was moving away. Her mom later revealed the reason she moved away was because Cici required too much attention and it “wore people out”. It’s obvious Cici is offended and so she missed an opportunity to balance the scale of selfishness and selflessness. Her mom revealed this after asking Cici why she and her husband were divorcing and Cici basically stated he hadn’t been paying her much attention. Her mom’s response was “I wouldn’t leave anybody for not paying attention to me. Because sooner or later you’re gonna have to leave everybody” . This is what gets Cici’s attention and so the scale continues to lean more toward the selfish side as she tries to salvage her marriage to her husband John.

 

Her relationship with John suffered…

It’s worth mentioning that John was initially interested in Hillary. They were even intimate at one point. They met through Cici when John approached her about a job opportunity. Mistaking that opportunity as interest, Cici calls “dibs” on John in spite of his obvious interest in Hillary. The marriage, in Cici’s opinion, ends because John doesn’t like success. That is true in the sense he didn’t feel the need for the same things as her. However, I think his main issue was feeling like an accessory as opposed to a partner. Another missed opportunity.

 

Her relationship with Hillary suffered…

If  John didn’t add fuel to the fire, the absenteeism exhibited by Cici during Hillary’s major milestones should have been enough to end the friendship. Cici wasn’t there when Hillary’s dad was sick or when he died. What she didn’t miss though, was an opportunity to lash out at Hillary when things weren’t going her way or if Hillary wasn’t being agreeable. If you ask me, she really only kept Hillary around because she fed her ego. Harsh? Maybe but I have my reasoning (stay tuned).

 

The only thing Cici thrived in was her career. And even that was a struggle due to her overall attitude. I could go on and on about Cici, but this isn’t about her. Remember this post was meant to focus specifically on selfishness, how it relates to self love, and how I will apply it to my life.

So when do I believe it’s ok to be selfish?


When protecting your inner child.

Remember: “it’s not what you do, but how you do it”. What that means to me is I’m free to be me but to be mindful to do so in consideration of others. It’s easier said than done at times. Consistent mindfulness has been key. I’ve learned anything in excess is poison. And so to counteract an excess of selfishness, life has taught me to practice selflessness.

 

Thank you for reading!!!