Be the Change You Want to See

I know that it’s been crazy these last few months and with all of the most recent events that has revved up the black lives matter movement to being the most powerful it has ever been since it’s started, it doesn’t seem as if anything is going to level off anytime soon. That is perhaps the way that it should be. The movement will probably never really be over until the world, and the short sided people in it, changes their hearts. That being said I do think that I am a little disheartened to see people up and down my timeline about just discarding people who they deem unworthy of the chance to change. I have seen posts saying that as soon as they see someone say something they perceive as being racist they will cut them off. No questions asked. No apologies will do, just done.

Now I am not saying that anyone should ever tolerate racist behavior, not for any reason, and if someone is just inherently racists down to their core then I suppose there probably won’t be anything that can be said to change their way of thinking. However, there are some, whose ignorance to a certain topic such as race is something that was taught to them and does not define who they are in their soul. They just don’t know any better. That would be an opportunity to educate them or allow them to educate themselves and maybe learn a different way of thinking, thus giving them the chance to actually change.

I also have seen a lot of people posting about not believing a person’s apology when someone from the white community apologizes. When they maybe explain that perhaps they were a bit ignorant to certain facts and certain aspects of history and once they actually educated themselves it clarified some things to them and perhaps opened their eyes to the way they may have been treating their black associates and friends, often times without even being aware of it. Who am I to say someone’s apology isn’t sincere and genuine? Who is anyone really to assume that? Unless you know what’s in their heart, what God might have put in their hearts, then how can you possibly just make that assumption.

I’m not ready to write people off without at least giving them the chance to change. You can’t ask for a change in the way we are treated as a community and then not allow them the chance and the space to then make that change. Change doesn’t just happen overnight, certainly not when we are talking about someone changing the way they have viewed things for over half of their lifetime. Change also involves someone putting some action behind their attempt at being a better person. That doesn’t mean you have to give someone multiple chances to treat you like crap. You should, however, allow people the chance to actually do better once they know better. Until next time… #BeHopeful #BeForgiving #BetheChangeYouWantToSee  

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Don’t Stay Rooted In Your Brokenness

This past month or so the series at church has been about rebuilding yourself in order to begin moving forward. More specifically in the last two weeks it’s been tailored to the subject of healing the past hurts and repairing the broken places. Oddly enough it made me also think about a line I heard on a television show before where the one character was telling the other that it’s a choice to stay broken and that while you can’t change the things that have happened to you, you can choose to work past it and move forward.

When I began this spiritual journey that I’m on a few years ago as a way to work on myself and fixing the things that are broken in me I didn’t have a clue that there would be a specific message one day that would literally speak to that journey. Listening to the message the past two weeks it made me think about the fact that while I still have a lot about myself that I want to continue working on because I’m still not quite where I want or need to be yet, I have actually come a lot further than I had even realized.

There was a moment a few years ago where I would still talk about the trauma that my mother put me through in my childhood with anger and resentment still residing on the inside of me. Back then I hadn’t yet reached the point of true forgiveness because while the words that came out my mouth were that I forgave her, when I spoke about my childhood I could still feel the heat of the anger rising on the inside of me and tears would flow every time because I was still hurting and I had not healed from that. That is different now. I don’t completely explode in tears and I don’t feel the heat and anger rising when I think about it and I have truly forgiven her.

Until this message that I heard these past two Sunday’s I hadn’t realized that all of that time I was choosing to stay broken. I wasn’t doing it intentionally but subconsciously I lived in that hurt and I allowed myself to wallow in that hurt for so much longer than I should have and not forgiving my mother for all of those years wasn’t hurting her because she didn’t care, it was hurting me, repeatedly. The messages of the past two weeks also made me come to the realization that somewhere along the way, while working on my spiritual relationship with God and working on loving myself on a deeper level, I had actually began to heal. I just had to make the choice to get out of the broken place.

We tend to dwell on the things and people that hurt us far longer than we really need to. Now I’m not saying that the pain wasn’t real and that you shouldn’t allow yourself to feel it for a little while but you have to be able to move on from that place of hurt. There is a lesson to be learned through the pain and hurt but you may miss the lesson because you’re too focused on wallowing in it. My pastor said something else that was a powerful statement to me. He said there’s no use dwelling on what hurt you in the past because you can’t go back and change it and you can’t go into the future to make sure it doesn’t happen again, all you can do it live in the present and where you are right now. Just remember that by residing in that hurt from the past you are then making the choice to remain in that broken place and you can’t heal from what broke you while you’re still there. Until next time… #BeVulnerable #BeForgiving #BeinFaith

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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The Lesson I Learned From His Example

“There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

~Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

The world has lost a great and powerful influence and the example for how to live life free of anger, and bitterness, and the true meaning behind forgiveness.  Nelson Mandela was undoubtedly strong and brave and showed a great love for his country and a great passion for the rights of people in general.  However, even more remarkable than that was his ability to not only forgive but to let go.

A lot of us can forgive but the letting go, the casting it out of our mind part, is always a little harder of a task to achieve.  That is not to say that Nelson Mandela ever forgot being wrongfully imprisoned for 27 years of his life, but just that he didn’t let it dictate his actions once he was released.  He could have been angry, he could have been bitter and he could have been depressed because he had more than enough reason to be.  But that’s not how he carried himself.  He forgave the people who wronged him and he continued on fighting for the people in his country and the human rights of people in other countries as well.

It puts things in perspective when you look at the man that he was because in all of our lives, while our struggles are not to be minimized or to be treated as if they are not indeed a struggle, they are still nothing that we should let stunt our growth as human beings or our growth in fulfilling our purpose.  This man sat in a prison cell for 27 years of his life and is still leaving behind such a huge legacy.

If anything, it makes me feel a little obligated.  I feel obligated to live this life that we are given, for the undetermined time that we are given it, to the fullest and obligated not to waste the gifts that God has given me.  I feel obligated to not waste this opportunity to fulfill the purpose that I have here on this earth.

None of us knows what tomorrow holds and I am not saying that we should not think about the future that is in store but we still have to concentrate on moving today in order to get there.  I’m saying this as much to myself as I am to all of you out there.  Stop worrying about what you can’t get done today and start focusing on what you can get done.  Don’t waste this day on the negative thoughts running through your mind.  What you do TODAY counts!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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