the Super Sistah Blog

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Basket Full of Trouble August 25, 2010

Filed under: Spiritual/Religion — thesupersistah @ 10:42 pm
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Some people walk around with not just baggage but a suitcase filled with trouble, trauma, bitterness and regret. There are so filled with woe and worry that Erykah Badu’s song Bag Lady is on repeat blasting away in the CD player of their minds.  They can’t walk straight, their perpetually bent at the waist and don’t know how to walk with their heads held high. They’re letting the weight of their troubles hold them down.  For the Hang’em Low and Hang’me High sistahs on the verge of a high building leap, I have some advice for you. It’s Biblical so go ahead and get out your tambourine and be prepared to bang it and shout Amen when the message reaches you.  Wait for it. Wait for it.…Okay here we go. 

Like the old children’s educational program Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, the message of the day is this: Put it in the Basket. In church a pastor said that what people do about their problems is that they pray about it and ask God deliver them but then spend years trying to deliver themselves.  He said if we want release, redemption and peace then we have to surrender all our burdens and troubles to God completely.  To illustrate his point he told the story of Jochebed and her son Moses.  When the new mother heard that the Egyptians were coming to kill all the first-born sons of all the households, she prayed for deliverance and an answer.  What her prayers revealed was that the only solution she had was to put her newborn son Moses in a fragile wicker basket and float him down the Nile unprotected.  Confronted with a crisis and the emotional trauma associated with her decision she put her troubles in God’s hands and trusted that he would see her through and provide a way out.  She put her baby—her troubles — in the basket and let go.  Like our Biblical sister we have to approach the past the same way.  We have to confess our pain to the almighty, pray for deliverance, forgive ourselves for whatever we have been beating ourselves up about and then Put it in the Basket.  Let the regrets float away from you with the knowledge that all will be well. Let it go.  Release it to the current, the breeze and the almighty and never think of it again. It’s dead. Killed, assassinated or drowned. You must kill the problem or confront it.  If like most women you’re having man trouble, for example a cheating spouse, then the same rule applies. You have two choices only.  You either confront your husband with the information with knowledge that the relationship may come to an end or you release it by forgiving him.  In doing this you’re letting all the mistakes he made with his infidelities go.  If you choose this option you can’t dwell, you can’t pine or have regrets. The affair is done and you’re done thinking about it.  Choose. This applies to ever situation that has had a negative impact on how you live your life.  Choosing to confront your problems is an act of bravery and boldness that not everyone may be ready for.   If you choose to release the hurt and leave it in God’s hands then you must remember to put it in the basket. Let go. Forgive and forget and walk straight with your head facing in only one direction. Forward. Hold your head high and the next time a problem comes up that you can’t solve, pray and while you’re waiting for an answer, stay permanently away from high buildings with open windows. 

Put your troubles in the basket


The Baddest Bitch August 19, 2010

Filed under: Beauty/Health,Personal Improvement — thesupersistah @ 9:57 pm
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There were times in my life, many times actually, when I didn’t feel beautiful.  There were times when I compared myself to other women and found myself lacking.  Usually these instances occurred when a boyfriend said or did something that made me question my attractiveness and my sense of worth.  My reasoning was that the other girl must have something that I didn’t have or my man wouldn’t have strayed.  Yeah, I was a knucklehead, I know.  When you’re having these types of insecurities and developing these types of complexes there are usually not a lot of people you can admit your doubts to.  Who wants to appear that vulnerable, that weak or that foolish when we have worked so hard to make our public personas bulletproof?  If we do find the courage, we usually seek someone we trust who won’t laugh in our face.  In my case that person was mom.  

When I told my mother my ex had a new girlfriend that I suspected might be prettier than me, Mom didn’t soothe me by laying my head against her breast and humming a gospel song in a high, soothing falsetto.  She didn’t swoop me up and rock me in her arms like a five-year old child and croon Sam Cooke’s, Change Gonna Come in a soft lullaby. She didn’t reassure me that I had other fine qualities and that looks weren’t everything—advice straight from Good Parenting 101.  Instead, because she’s my mother and therefore inherently a bad ass, her immediate response to my complaint was, “yeah she might be pretty but her puss probably stinks.  She probably needs a bottle of Lysol to keep that coochie clean.”   

I was shocked, stunned—rendered speechless. Whereas I’d responded with doubt, hurt and insecurity to the competition, Mom’s reaction— immediate and flat-out rejection.   I couldn’t believe those words had come out dear old mom’s mouth.  They were so crass, so cruel, so…..comforting.  I stared at her in wonder, my eyes roaming over her face to see if she was serious.  She didn’t even blink.  Fascinating.   

In that moment I learned that there were a lot of things I inherited from my mother.  Her take no prisoner self-confidence didn’t make it.  Wish it had.  No matter what the world might say about mom, no one can dent her self- esteem.  Regardless of what the looking-glass might reveal to her, bump the rapper Trina, mom is by far the Baddest Bitch.  I decided in that moment that if I inherited nothing else, I wanted her to bequeath her confidence to me.  Since it wasn’t naturally in my DNA I bowed at the altar of her wisdom and begged her to teach me.   

Supposedly the secret to resisting comparison and insecurity is this: no matter what the other girl looks like she can’t compare.   No matter what traits she possess that you envy, she still can’t match up.  According to mom every pretty girl has a problem, insecurity and a flaw.  Our job is not to discover them but to blindly reject any notion that the next woman is even remotely in our league.  The lesson wasn’t easy to take in.  It seemed so simple that it was almost baffling.  “Let me get this straight, mom. The trick is blind belief in myself to the exclusion of all else? That’s it? Where’s the map to the secret temple? Where’s the elixir I drink that makes me irresistible? Where’s the fairy godmother with beauty secrets and wishes?” It seemed there was no magic.  All I needed was a belief in myself and apparently a bit of a potty mouth.   

Mom is nearing retirement age; I wonder if it took her all her years to develop her unshakeable self-concept?  If it did, I better get started.  It’s going to take me at least twice that long to believe in myself that completely.     

Besides mom, are you the Baddest Bitch?  

The Fairest and the Baddest of them all


Hot Pepper Hope August 15, 2010

Filed under: Personal Improvement — thesupersistah @ 4:21 pm
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Hope is like hot pepper sauce, a little goes a long way.  It flavors all your meals with a little kick.  It changes the texture and taste of everything and transforms it into something new.  An abundance of the sauce is like an explosion in your mouth that makes your eyes water, makes you take a dash for the nearest faucet and makes you dance around on one foot waiting for the sensation of heat to subside.  If hope is a seasoning then that’s what it would taste like.  Spicy.   When it comes to experiencing life—some like it hot!  I know because for some nothing is too flammable for their palate.  The moment the heat dies down their off again to grab the next piece of rib, chicken wing or lamb chop.  They keep coming back for more because the flavor reminds them that their alive.  It’s better to feel something, even explosive emotion, than to feel nothing at all.  Living life without hope is like cooking and eating the same meal everyday without the benefit of even the barest hint of flavor.  Repetitive meals of this type make a person lose their appetite; they get skinny and wane and the act of consuming food becomes a laborious chore.  People who live life without hope get anemic. Apathetic. Despondent. They lose the ability to taste and enjoy life. So for those on a vegan-life diet, choose to apply the hot pepper sauce to your life with a heavy hand.  Spice up everything you do with dashes of happiness, pinches of gladness, sprinkles of cheer and great big splashes of love and excitement.  Don’t be afraid that the fire will get too hot and burn out of control.  Hope is an ingredient that has no emotional threshold.  So for those of you who have forgotten to cook and live life with zest.  Don’t be afraid of the fire.  Burn baby, burn.   

Some Like it Hot!


I AM. Who are you? August 10, 2010

Filed under: Spiritual/Religion,Success — thesupersistah @ 9:57 pm
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Don’t quote me, but when Jesus was asked to identify himself, he didn’t list his occupation: teacher or Rabbi.  He didn’t distinguish himself by naming his parents: Mary and Joseph and son of the most high G.O.D.  Holla. He didn’t drop the name of any illustrious and famous friends: brethren of John the Baptist.  Instead, he answered the question about his identity with just two words. I AM.  A world of meaning is wrapped up in those tiny words and says so much about the speaker.  It says that he’s confident, that he’s in touch with his inner truth and that no one needs to tell him who he is because he knows already. Our name is our identity—our essence. It says who we are and declares our purpose. It lifts us out of obscurity and individualizes us. What’s in a name?  Everything! The holy one had it right.  I’m digging his swagger. I want his confidence. You should want it too.  It shouldn’t be too hard. After all doesn’t God live in everybody?

The toughest advice anyone ever gave me was to be myself.  It shouldn’t have been difficult, right? I liked myself. I felt good about myself. I admired the woman I’d become. So why was I struggling with my self-identity? The problem was that I liked myself more than everyone else did. People called that cocky. I felt confident in my abilities.  People called that conceited. I felt that I was destined to be someone and  no one could dissuade me. They called that delusional.  The doubts and the negativity started to get to me so I collapsed in on myself and let the outside world have its way. It was easier.  To be the true and authentic version of myself that meant I had to stop seeking acceptance. I had to live without the admiration and support I thought I needed.  It meant that I had to settle into the idea that no matter what I did and how much I twisted myself into a knot of likeability, some people would always think I was female Kayne—but without the record deal and the rhymes. I had to give up the idea of being everything to everyone and submit to being the raw, unvarnished version of myself and give that to people to swallow straight no chaser.  I would have to offer no apologies, no excuses and just be. The thought was terrifying.

But what I know now is that it’s better to be who you’re intended to be. It’s against nature to conform, give in and give up any piece of yourself to fit into anyone else’s idea of perfection.  Abandoning your true self for the sake of conformity will wear away your shine, strip you of your magic and rob you of your joy.  What may seem easy at first becomes the most time-consuming and labor intensive endeavor of your life. Instead I say, let go and let God. Be yourself. When someone stops you on the street and asks you for your name, respond with a straight face: I AM.

Anyone who gives this a try, promise me you’ll come back and tell me if any lightning strikes.


Friends in Wolves Clothing August 6, 2010

Filed under: Love-Relationships — thesupersistah @ 12:47 am
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Super Sistah dreamt of wolves last night.  Big, red-eyed and vicious wolves the size of men. These were the rip your throat out kind not at all similar to the good crime-fighting wolves from the movie Twilight.  As I emerged from sleep I wondered what this dream meant.  After some introspection, a brief consultation with my psychic friend and a quick visit to the fake gypsy fortune tellers canvassing my neighborhood, it came to me.  It was a quasi-premonition.  Stop! I know what you’re thinking, oh Lord, she’s gone all mystic on us.  She’s half a second away from breaking out the tambourine and the weed-laced incense.  I’m not.  I swear!  Just stay with me for a moment.  

A lot of good things have been happening to Super Sistah lately. I’m on the verge, dangling on the edge of precipice of good fortune and bliss.  My ship is about to sail and I’m living in expectation of something big and wonderful.  I notice that it’s just at these times in our lives when our confidence is returning, when we have pulled ourselves out of a rut and we’ve recovered just enough to see the hill excluded from the valleys, is when the automatic joy killers converge. Their plan and purpose in life is to kill our dreams.  Don’t let them. It’s at the exact moment when we are closest to our breakthrough that the wolves start circling. Watch out! 

There are people in our lives, sometimes friends, that don’t always want us to succeed. They don’t want us to find happiness; they don’t want us to reach heights that others find impossible to reach.  We cannot always identify these people and mark a red X on their forehead for danger. We don’t always see the killjoy’s coming.  Because the haters are anonymous we must be leery and guard our ambitions like secrets that we bury in the backyard guarded by the family Doberman pinscher.  It isn’t always in your best interest to broadcast every success, every positive step taken or every milestone reached.  As the freemasons have discovered, secrecy isn’t always a bad thing.  Sometimes we must confound those that wish us ill by not giving them a road map and directions to our vulnerabilities. Keep some things to yourself and guard your weak spots from wolf attack.  As a consolation for this added need for vigilance, let me assure you that as far as reaching your goals go, we’re almost there, we’re just steps away and our prize is in sight.  How do I know?  If it wasn’t true why would the wolves be howling?

Is it me or just when things start to go well that’s when the frenemies smell blood?


Dead but Still Breathing August 2, 2010

Filed under: Spiritual/Religion — thesupersistah @ 9:22 pm
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Super Sistah went to church on Sunday, I won’t tell you whether my butt was physically parked in the pew or if it was parked in front of the T.V.  Either way after a couple of Amen’s, I left church early.  Yes, I know, I’m a heathen. Or am I really? Only the angels guarding the entry to heaven in those cute little white diaper shorts on judgment day will know for sure. What I do know is that before I dashed off to do some critical, life affirming errands (shop at Target), and right before the choir hit its first scratchy notes lead by a member clearly not Whitney, the sermon given by the preacher actually touched me. It spoke to me.  It moved me.  Yeah, Super Sistah had a spiritual moment.  The topic on first Sunday—for the non-religious, the most spiritual Sunday of them all—was the theme: Your Life is on Loan

What did the pastor mean?  For the piously challenged I will share how he broke it down to the congregation.  

Some people live like they will live forever.  Some people live like tomorrow is guaranteed.  Some people are kind to others but are mean and miserly to themselves.  Some people take small bites out of life and eat God’s abundance with measured, stingy chews.  Some people work to pay bills, pay the car note and pay the mortgage and never laugh, enjoy life or see the world in all its glory.  There are people with thousands in the bank but can’t remember the last time they were happy. Like the 1995 movie with Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon, they’re Dead Man Walking.  Unfortunately for these folks they’re not Hollywood actors and not vampires with diamond skin and good hair.  Instead they’re flesh and blood human beings, who through deprivation and an unholy commitment to self-sacrifice have stopped breathing.  The X already marks their plot site, the tombstone has already been chosen and the coffin is a custom fit.  They’re dead already.  They just don’t realize.  They’re the living embodiments of the flick the Sixth Sense.  I watch a lot of movies so what! The point that I want to make is that when I die, I will die because death is inevitable; I want to say that I have seen, done and experienced all the love and laughter that my heart and hands can hold.  I want to be the greedy guest at thanksgiving and gorge myself on all that life has to offer.  I rather die now then be perpetually afraid, always color within the lines and wait for a tomorrow that I may never see.  To all of you who have forgotten to breathe.  Exhale.  Your Life is on Loan 

Is your life an exercise in being joyous? Tell me, are you living life like it’s a gift? 

Dead but Still Breathing