God teach me the humility to know that in your hands I heal, without you I wound. Make me an instrument of healing. – Dr. Afshine Ash Emrani
authenticitee was launched with the hurting in mind. It was important to me that anyone who stopped by experienced a non judgment zone and were acknowledged. Recognized. Those who needed encouragement and were tired of traditional expressions. I was advised early on to evaluate who my target audience was and consider marketing strategies. Though I understand the importance of that facet of making one’s blog stand out, I was more concerned about making each reader feel as though they stood out when visiting my blog.
What I didn’t realize when I began blogging, was that I had unknowingly joined a self existing, thriving community. I just thought I was going to write what I want, send an eblast to my family and friends, hoping they’d tell their friends. I soon found myself surrounded by beautiful, creative, genuine people who had their own reasons for starting a blog. I greatly appreciate, recognize, respect and enjoy the varied styles of writing hailing from nations all over the world. Love that last part. Diversity. I mention this aspect because I left social media 5 years ago with a very bad taste in my mouth and returned only last year. I had no clue that community would be a part of my blogging experience, but as a self-described “extrovert with very strong introvert tendencies”, I’ve embraced it with open arms!
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and out of my heart, much of what it’s survived freely flows here at authenticitee. As a married woman of faith, I’ve written honestly about everything from love, lust, temptation to heartbreak. Those are very real issues that everyone can relate to on one level or another. I hear quite a bit as a volunteer on a Suicide Crisis Hotline about love gone terribly wrong. That’s why I write candidly about love (among other things) here at authenticitee.
Now for the record, I understand that my writing edgy love poems at times don’t quite fit the description of standard suicide prevention techniques. I do know there is something to be said about transparency which allows life to level the playing field. I didn’t expect for so many posts/poems about love to pour from my pen either, but it was very important for me to own it in order to remain authentic. Being honest about my struggles, what hurt(s) me and what has enticed me in the natural realm would be a mute point if I weren’t as transparent about the incomparable love of God that sustains me. Being authentic and keeping it tasteful and 100 is non negotiable in this space! Isolation is an age old trick that makes others feel like their the only one struggling! You are not the only one who has experienced temptation, rejection, insecurity, weakness, failed relationships or despair. You’re not alone. Be clear…I am a lot of things, but better than you is not one of them.
Unlike some of my fellow volunteers, I don’t have a personal experience with suicide. Though I’ve had incredibly difficult days on this journey called life, I’ve never been suicidal nor have I lost a close loved one to suicide. Yes, I have close friends and acquaintances who have, but that’s not my personal story.
I must be honest and tell you that my burden for suicide prevention is so passionately heartfelt because it’s a God given mandate that I reluctantly submitted to years ago. I’m a songwriter and the Lord told me to write a song called Ye Shall Live but I disobeyed Him. I remember resisting writing the song for over a year but eventually sat still long enough for God to give me the words, music and melody. I didn’t tell anyone about the song for 6 years. I just kept it neatly tucked away because I had experienced rejection and ridicule as a songwriter. I was always singing and known wherever I went for my voice but I kept the songwriting part of me to myself as a result of my being injured in that area. I hate what rejection does to people. It paralyzes eagles in flight who dare to be redefined in mid air. So that’s why I never shared the song,
A then acquaintance and now friend of mine named Nick Reynolds contacted me out the clear blue. He said that during prayer, God told him that I was a songwriter and that I had written a song that I had not yet shared. Well you know I knew exactly what song he was referring to….
Here is a video of Nick and his group singing the Gospel song that I wrote called Ye Shall Live. Though my pulse is racing at this very moment as I introduce you to this part of me, I must…because it’s NOT about me. Maybe just maybe the lyrics and the melody will speak life to someone today. That someone might be you.
You matter. You are always welcome here. Just as you are. Validated. Recognized and important to me. We’ve all been there. Love hurts but it also heals. Praying that you feel loved today. Loved just for you who are and just where you are!
Oh and by the way, I told you I was a volunteer, not to get pats on the back or high-fives. It is a disclaimer because we unfortunately live in a sue happy, blame shifting society. I am not clinically trained nor am I a licensed professional. I’m just an ordinary person who really cares!
So if you need someone to talk to, I have a few suggestions below:
National Suicide Hotline (US)
Click here for International Suicide Hotline Numbers
Crisis Text Line (US) If you don’t feel like talking and rather text someone: Text “START” to 741-741
Live Through This Inspiring stories of actual Suicide Attempt Survivors
The Trevor Project -For Gay & questioning youth
Hold On (Where I got the wristbands I’m wearing in the photo)
You’re in my thoughts and prayers. Be blessed beyond measure and strengthened for the journey!
Proud of you,
© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015
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