The key to loving the unlovable is being able to acknowledge, process, and let go of all of the reasons why YOU find them unlovable to begin with. Take all the anger, frustration, and fear and turn it into an energy of introspection, reflection, inspiration, submission, and finally, unconditional love. And, believe me, it is a process.
- Introspection-First, I had to forgive myself. I have a really bad habit of beating myself up when I feel any kind of “negative” emotion. I lament, feel guilty, talk badly about myself to myself. This is not productive and it does not help to resolve the issue. I’ve learned that whatever emotion I am experiencing at the time is my opportunity to learn something about myself. What does the emotion say about what I THINK about myself and the situation? Negative emotions typically arise from fear of some kind. Therefore, I had to ask myself a series of questions. What am I afraid of? What do I believe about myself? Do I think I’m beautiful? Does skin color matter to me? Do I believe what these people think of my skin color is true? I had to get real clear about my own beliefs. And then forgive myself for what I found. Growing up in an area where you are a minority, you adopt certain perceptions about yourself existing in the world around you and I realized in that moment that the very thing I thought I was running away from…I had, in fact, internalized and reflected back to the world. I was afraid that I wasn’t enough and that’s what I projected. My student served as my wake-up call to finally let go of that fear, heal the wound once and for all, and move on. So I had to forgive myself for ever feeling that I wasn’t enough because I damn sure know differently.
- Reflection -I had to forgive him and all of them. That’s right. Ignorance is born out of fear. How on Earth can I be mad at someone for their choice not to see the beauty in all of God’s creations? I’m not mad. I think it’s unfortunate when we choose to exclude people from our lives, our experiences, and our evolution based on things they absolutely have no control over. Skin color, gender, disabilities, sexual orientation, etc. they all fall into this category. There is so much beauty to experience and see in this magnificent life. And when I choose to harbor resentment, frustration and anger, it affects how I experience this life as well. So I had to forgive him and all those who dislike or exclude me based on my skin color. I am more than my skin. So much more. And in order for me to show this I have to forgive, unconditionally.
- Inspiration- Prayer and meditation. I turned to God. I asked God to change my heart and my perspective in helping me to deal with this recurring issue. Because I finally understood that until I made peace with this issue, it was going to continue to show up in my life. That’s how life works. Until we grow from an experience, move beyond it, and/or get the lesson, we will continue to have that very experience over and over again. It was time for me to pull out the heavy artillery. It was finally time for me to get divine help. Also, I realized as I prayed that I needed to change my prayer. While I needed to pray for my student, I also needed to pray for myself. I had to ask God to help me change the way I responded to racist views and people. I asked him to guide me in how I view people of my own race who have issues with my skin color. I asked him to help me to emit love to all people, in all ways, at all times. You see I was the one with the problem. Not these other people. I was the one being affected by the way I chose to see things. Therefore, I needed to pray and listen. So I prayed, fasted, and meditated for 24 hours. And then I gave it to God.
- Submission -Be like Nike and “Just Do It”. I woke up the next day, in love with every person who ever decided I wasn’t enough, including myself. I wasn’t faking it, pretending, laying it on extra thick just for show. No, none of that was taking place. I woke up feeling utterly in love with all of them. I even had to check in with myself a couple of times to make sure there weren’t some lingering feelings of resentment or apprehension. And, there truly wasn’t. I was in a state of bliss and I simply chose to project that to the world. I am love. I am God’s child. That is who I am. Other people’s assignment of what they think of me is now THEIR problem. All I choose to see and be is love.
- Unconditional Love -“When you see things differently, things look different[ly].” (Dr. Dyer) My perspective is different this morning. I am well aware that there are still racists, that some black men will still choose to ignore me, and that some people will not consider me beautiful. But I am not one of them. I forgive them. I love them. My student came into the class the next day and said that he did his research and he was ready to discuss his views. I told him that I didn’t think we should discuss it and that it was probably best if we moved on. I then told him that I couldn’t allow anyone to tell me the reasons why I’m not beautiful. So we moved on. However, after about twenty minutes into instruction, I noticed that his demeanor changed. He had come into the classroom in a very good mood and excited to share, but now he was shut down and looked…depressed. So I asked him, “What’s wrong?” Of course, he said, “Nothing.” I responded by saying that I knew better. I pointed out his changed mood and he finally said, “Ms. Roberson, I came in today ready to tell you that I was wrong, but you shut me down. I didn’t know what I was talking about yesterday. I’m really sorry and I was completely wrong.” Wow…. When you change the way you look at things, things BECOME better. Talk about a lesson within a lesson. People should not be written off. Everyone deserves the opportunity to demonstrate their evolution and growth. Let them. That student had the opportunity to change his perspective and he wanted to share that with me. I wanted to hug him. To tell him, that this change is just the beginning if he allows it to be. I wanted to tell him congratulations. He’s now opened himself up to experiencing so much more greatness in this wonderful life as a result of this profound change. He has changed the lens through which he views the world- for the better. And that deserves to be celebrated. He deserved a standing ovation. But I couldn’t do or say any of that so I just thanked him and apologized for “shutting [him] down.” However, on the inside I was doing somersaults.
I’m so very grateful for this experience. I’m grateful for the opportunity to step into a new perspective and onto a new road on life’s amazing journey. I believe that which we choose to focus on will persist in our lives. I’m no longer going to focus on other people’s ideas or unrealistic model of beauty. I am sincerely grateful for this creamy, chocolate brown skin I was born into. It and I are beautiful because I said so. I’m so looking forward to the wonderful and exciting adventures I will encounter with these fresh, love-filled eyes. Lots of love and Smooches!