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mama don't care

I watched Oprah's interview with Dr. Maya Angelou on Super Soul Sunday the past couple of weeks and loved every single moment of it. I have always loved Maya Angelou. The pearls of wisdom she shares, coated in that rich, creamy voice of hers; I can't help but feel uplifted and I'd even say nourished after hearing her speak, fed by what her experience has taught her. I'm always left with the sense I've been in the presence of a soul who's known struggle - but not only someone who's struggled, but one who clearly embodies the clarity, strength and grace that comes along with the overcoming of it.

After being raped as a child by her mother's boyfriend, Maya told her brother what had happened. A few days later, after just a day and night in jail, the rapist was found dead, apparently kicked to death. To her child's mind, it was Maya's own voice that had killed him. And so, for the next six years, she didn't speak a word to anyone other than her brother with whom she was incredibly close, relying on a tablet to write down whatever communications were necessary.

She retreated in to a world of books and poetry and despite her remaining mute for all those years, her grandmother would speak to her these words:

Now sister, mama don't care what these people say about you must be a moron and you must be an idiot because you can't talk. Sister, mama don't care. Mama know when you and the good Lord get ready, sister, you're gonna be a teacher. You're gonna teach all over this world.
I find both the words and love behind them incredibly touching right about now. You see, I'm smack dab in the middle of doing that thing I said I wouldn't do again...again. I've crept back in to my solitude and honestly have no idea when or if I'll re-emerge.

So as not to worry them, I let my friends know I'd be incommunicado for a spell, promising both Emily and Emre I'd touch base every now and then. In my email, I told everyone that it was a good thing, that it was a time for reconnecting and getting myself right. I joked that I wouldn't disappear for eight years again like I did all that time ago. However, as always seems to be the case, the force of my mental patterns is asserting itself and my original good intentions have seemed to fall by the wayside.

I really started feeling out of control this week when I finally decided to drop the May-mester class I'd enrolled in...along with the diet I'd started...along with my meager strides at quitting smoking...along with the dating websites...along with the notion I have any hope of having a productive, healthy, fulfilling life.

It's the lack of willpower that gets me down. The lack of dedication. The lack of passionate certitude that I'm on the right track towards doing something productive and special in the world. There's some chronic laziness about me, some disinterest in the ways of my peers that has always eaten at me. Where did it come from? What the hell do I do about it? I looked at my laptop every day and could not for the life of me log on and focus on my school work. It was like a magnetic repulsion, truly. How am I supposed to be a counselor, or anything, for that matter, if I can't even begin one of these short mini-mester courses? How am I supposed to live a long, vital life if I can't put these Marlboro Lights down for more than a couple of days at a time? How am I supposed to connect with, and love, my brothers and sisters and be a blessing to the world, plagued with such profound fear and self-hatred? Why the hell can't I transcend this already? Why the hell can't I just pick myself up by my bootstraps and do what needs to be done? It brings me great shame, not having these answers. And that shame is what causes these periods of reclusion. I look at my friends, these dear souls I admire, and see the vast difference in our lives and it physically hurts that I do not - and apparently, cannot - measure up. I am inferior in every imaginable way, the mind would have me believe. I can't stand to be around these people that I adore and that hurts so, so much. I'm embarrassed admitting any of this. I feel like I have no value whatsoever and shutting my door on the world is the easiest of my pitiful options.

This is just a glimpse at what's been going on inside me lately, in my supposed time of quiet.

For days I was sad and furious in this mental shitstorm and then I heard Maya's interview, and the things she said - or perhaps the way she said them - had a gradual effect on me. Some days later, I can't remember now where I was or what I was doing, but all of a sudden, Calmness came. She took her arms around me, encouraged me to breathe. Of course, it was God - sounding suspiciously like Maya as she voiced her grandmother's melodious love and southern accent.

The Divine Mother, as she held me in Her arms, spoke these words:
Now brother, mama don't care what you say about you a loser, you a nobody because you've kept inside yourself so long. Brother, mama don't care. Mama know when you and I get ready, when I've shown you what you need to see and you've felt what you needed to, wild horses won't keep you from where you're goin'. Yes, brother. Mama know you gonna love unafraid. You're gonna love and bless folks all over your world.
I saw then that like it or not, in this moment, I am where I am and I feel what I feel. I felt relief after Calm's visitation. I really felt it was okay for me to be a mess if a mess is what I am. I really felt that it was okay to be timid and closed off if timid and closed off is what I am. And for now, apparently, it is.

But relieved as I may feel, I wonder...if my friends love me, if my family loves me, if the Divine Itself loves me as much as I believe they all do, then why, in Mama's name, can't I?

This post first appeared on A Blog Of Joy & (dis)quiet, please read the originial post: here

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mama don't care


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