Monday Motivation Moment: Why We Must Keep Going, No Matter What 

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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I woke up Saturday and Sunday morning greeting bleak skies and a thin blanket of ice delicately masking trees and grass. It’s the kind of weather which drives me to retreat under covers (as long as our daughter Nai will let me) and grab hold of leggings and boots.

And, well, friends, these last few years have remained full of challenges and disappointments. I sometimes struggle with gnawing depression and doubt, yet each time these feelings threaten to obscure my vision, God sends a word either through a song, conversation, preached word or a physical sign (mine is deer) I pray to see daily.

Wisdom from an Email 

Yesterday, I heard this message loudly after clicking on a link from an email sent by Jonathan Morrow, renowned blogger and social media strategist: “keep going, pushing, no matter what…”

The longer I ingested his words about following your dreams relentlessly and shutting out negativity, the more determined I became to start blogging again. Yes, school took up lots of time this past month, but let me stand in some truth with y’all. I hit a creative slump.

I could post on Instagram for the blog, but somehow I couldn’t push myself to write here. Frankly, I spread myself thin, and all I craved was sleep or escape in those rare spare moments.

But if this is what I love doing (and I do), being present, communicating and interacting with you all in this space has to become a priority, too.  Writing, for me, is a lifeline. And when I am shut off from it, part of me begins to wither.

Circumstances Do Not Define Us 

Jon has a neuromuscular disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which makes his body weak; he cannot move from the neck down, and yet, he founded a successful blog (On Moneymaking), sold it for five figures and is an Associate Editor of Problogger, one of the most popular blogs in the world.

Consider this… He speaks his thoughts into a machine because he cannot type them out. This didn’t deter him from excelling in blogging, social media strategy and developing courses to help his fellow writers. And oh how these words resonate deeply:

Because listen … I know it’s horribly cliché, but if I can quit my job, risk the government carting me off to a nursing home because I can’t afford my own healthcare, convince my poor mother to abandon her career and drive my crippled butt 3,000 miles to a foreign country, and then make enough money to support myself, my mother, my father, and an entire nursing staff using nothing but my voice, then what can you accomplish if you really set your mind to it?

My guess: pretty much anything.

No, it won’t be easy. At some point, I guarantee you’ll want to quit. I guarantee people will treat you like you’re insane. I guarantee you’ll cry yourself to sleep, wondering if you made a horrible mistake.

But never stop believing in yourself. The world is full of naysayers, all of them eager to shout you down at the slightest indication you might transcend mediocrity, but the greatest sin you can commit is to yourself become one of them. Our job isn’t to join that group, but to silence it, to accomplish things so great and unimaginable that its members are too awed to speak.

After I reached the end of his article, I thought, what the heck is stopping me? Me. I am! Maybe you are, too? Far too many of us allow fear of failure and suffocating feelings of inadequacy to stifle our dreams.

The good news?

You and I can get out of our own way.

When the negative thoughts and words come (as they will), counter each one with affirmations, begin to speak the language of possibility, call those things not as though they were (Romans 4:17).

Keep pushing. Keep going.

Victory is already yours.

To the Mom Hurting Now -It’s OK to Cry

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo via website Unsplash

 

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we are all in this together.” – Brene Brown

In this era of social media and photo editing, everyone’s life looks perfect, at least on the surface. We edit what the world sees. No one likes to admit when it’s all crumbling or there is struggle – kids behaving badly, spouses plucking our nerves, the fear which lives alongside regret.

Besides, some of us hop on Facebook and Instagram to forget or reinvent ourselves. The reality we construct online is more palatable than facing who we are, minus the filter.

Several years ago I spoke with a close friend who admitted to wrestling with postpartum depression. She didn’t want anyone to think less of her so she suffered alone. How many of us, I wonder, mask our sadness? Wouldn’t it be powerful if we allowed our pain to serve as a place of connection, not isolation?

As a child, I rarely saw my own mother cry. She appeared to me as a paragon of strength, always holding everything together. Only later, as I grew older, and our relationship matured, did her vulnerability emerge. Our deeper connection, particularly now that I am a Mom, has given me the courage to cry.

It is OK to cry. I remind myself of this often, particularly on those challenging days when I am swimming in anxiety, despair, or frustration.  It is OK to sit within these emotions, ingesting their weight, without wallowing in them or succumbing to self pity.

As Moms – especially  for African-American women – we are taught to embrace a certain toughness. Feminity remains inextricably linked to whiteness. Vulnerability feels like a luxury we cannot afford, but clinging to this “super woman mythology” deeply wounds us, burying our voices.

Years ago the poet Audre Lorde said: “Women of Color in America have grown up within a symphony of anger, at being silenced, at being unchosen, at knowing that when we survive it is in spite of a world that takes for granted our lack of humanness, and which hates our very existence outside its service. And I say symphony rather than cacophony , because we have had to learn to orchestrate those furies so they do not tear us apart.”

And, indeed, so many of us do, suffocated by long-exalted stereotypes and misperceptions.
But Mamas, as you read these words, hold fast to this truth: tears do not weaken us, they liberate us. We release what we can no longer carry. Releasing is an essential part of humanity; we cannot move into new seasons and places of development without it.

Today,  tomorrow, or the next day, if you feel the urge, go ahead and cry. It’s OK. I understand. Not one of us can navigate this parenthood path completely alone.

If we walk together, our sorrows, frustrations, and those moments of joy become the building blocks for a community of Mamas determined to embrace truth and love, not merely for themselves but generations to come.

🔽
Do you cry, or hold back your tears?  

How about sharing your frustrations or fears with other Moms? Does it help when you do?