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For me it was a red dress. That’s what his wife was wearing the night of the big argument. I was living in California and staying with the Director’s family while I worked on his indie film. That was the night he decided to kick me out for no reason. I was thousands of miles away from family and friends and had no place to go. I was also told that I would be flying back to the East Coast the next morning and good luck finding a way getting to the airport.

Instant trauma. It was horrible. I was sent back to the East Coast broken and very damaged. I didn’t realize I was dealing with the aftermath of trauma until seeing a red dress on TV soon thereafter caused me to break down in tears, made me afraid and feel anxious. I remember my mother, grandmother, brother, and then boyfriend now husband just loving on me; very carefully. Handling me with kid gloves. I returned to them very differently than how I left. There was no official diagnoses, I was never seen by any professional so I didn’t have a label for what I was experiencing. I just knew I had been severely injured and there was no physical evidence of it.

Eventually, I would say a few weeks later, I began to not be bothered by red dresses or casual California references at all. The events instead had just left a very bad taste in my mouth and the feisty, vibrant Ericka had resurfaced. Imagine my surprise when I was contacted three months later and offered an opportunity to return to California by the same Director that put me on the streets that winter night. I graciously declined. It wasn’t until several years later that I learned he was schizophrenic.

Knowing what our triggers are empower us and if we are proactive, it can even render them powerless. Since then I have survived many other traumatic experiences and the unexpected triggers that followed suit. I’ve noticed that over time a number of them have decreased, however others are just too prominent to ignore.

I’m excited about being aware of them because it helps in dealing with it. I have an incredible support network. That coupled with writing, music, comedies and lots of communication etc. works for me. You have to find what works for you. It may be professional therapy, taking up a new hobby, traveling, exercise…or Netflix and a whole lot of Chillin’.

Whatever it takes, pay attention to YOU, yourself, your body, your mind, how you feel about and around certain people; and in certain places. Begin to pay attention to scents and sounds. Whatever it takes to take care of you and be the best version of you needs to be your focus. Period.

We’ll talk soon. Proud of you. Remember to seek professional help if needed, reach out to crisis hotlines, go for a walk, and/or talk to a loved one. But no matter what remember you are never alone, you matter and are NEEDED!

Peace,

e

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits Pinterest. – No copyright infringement intended.

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Excited. Excited! Excited I am!! It’s sort of like bringing the new beau home to meet the family! On the first Wednesday of January 2017, I will launch a new series called: #WRITERCRUSHWEDNESDAY! It will exclusively feature Instagram poets and writers whose work has caught my eye. Some are new writers who have had little to no exposure outside of Instagram while others are more established and even self published authors!

As most of you know the bulk of my poetry has appeared on Instagram in the last year and I have developed a great appreciation for the talent there. I can’t wait for you to meet a few of my new fellow artists!

Spoiler Alert: They have already begun sharing their bios with me and I’ve been incredibly inspired by the various life journeys that fuel their creativity!

Be sure to subscribe below and stay tuned! So glad you’re here! If you’re new, I want to hear from you and if we’ve not spoken in some time please say hello!

Enjoy your holiday season and if this time of year or even the winter months in general are challenging, be sure to reach out to loved ones or crisis hotlines for support as needed.

Talk to you soon!

e

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com
IG | @authenticiteespeaks
Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

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Nope. Can’t say that I remember. I couldn’t tell you where any of my stickers from previous elections were hiding (if kept); nor have I ever been inclined to take a picture of one. Nonetheless this keepsake is from the recent United States 2016 presidential election. What I do remember is the first election where I was finally old enough to vote! It resulted in the first (and last to date) African-American mayor of New York City, David Dinkins, being elected. I have changed so much since that day; but one thing that has remained the same is my unwavering decision to vote – no matter what.

I don’t talk politics. Well usually. I have participated in every election since that first privilege to do so. I remember being excited about having a choice to sound my voice. Kudos to my mother, a young working widow, raising two children in the heart of Brooklyn, New York. One of the strongest women I know, she incessantly stressed the importance of learning how to drive and being registered to vote. So thanks to Mommy; voting (and being a “lead foot” New York driver) is not an option, no matter what.

Things here in the United States have been extremely tense and violent while blatant racism is at an all time high. It’s a hostile climate that we often talk to our children about; especially as people of color now living in the southern region. As a family of faith, there was a time my husband and I would alternate leading family morning devotionals with the children before they left for school. Now morning prayer has replaced the lengthy diatribe that would often cause us to lose track of time because the conversations were so rich and quite frankly: we like each other.

Fast forward to the current state of our nation and its undeniable affect on religious believers both publicly and privately. These times are pulling on every spiritual deposit that has ever been made into my life as well as in the lives of those in my household. Yet Sundays are still described as one of the most segregated days of the week. It is rare for congregations to be diverse, multi-cultural, and multi-ethnic. Most schools and places of worship tend to reflect one ethnic group, simply based on the demographics of the neighborhood. However the Body of Christ, looks completely different than the local church. There are several who are either not aware of the difference between the local church and the Body of Christ or they have turned a deaf ear and blind eye to what Heaven will look like. 

POST ELECTION PRAISE: This Is Not A Dress Rehearsal

I know that there are many heated debates and discussions about the issues at hand. I also know that at the end of the day God is love but we are not seeing very much of that in this hour. One of the beautiful things about love with pure motives is it’s healing properties. The idea of those with polarizing views being able to have civil, vital dialogue without vicious, hateful racist venom being spewed may seem out of reach to many but not to God…no matter what.

The sad reality is there are many who don’t know how to “do church” outside of the four walls of the church therefore reinforcing great division amongst believers about many matters, including this most recent election. Being kind and respectful to one another in one’s place of worship, on one’s preferred day of worship; does not necessarily translate to extending love to those who may look and think differently. But it should…no matter what.

Where the world may have once looked to the church, both local and universal, for answers; it smirks at its smug toxicity with great disdain. There are also several people who have been greatly damaged, offended or violated by religious entities and so religion and spirituality in and of itself is already a major turn off. It is important for those of us who still believe to remember that this is not a dress rehearsal! From the haughty demeanor of those who are in church 24 hours a day/7 days a week to the embittered hearts of those who are “C.M.E.” attendees (Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter). From those who attend services out of obligation, though the flame has long diminished; to those on fire for God, abstaining from formal gatherings in traditional settings. This is it. This is real life. The real deal. This is not your cute children’s church play, cloistered bake sales, jazz vesper or annual holiday bazaar. We are daily interacting with and walking by people, who are in real pain. Those who are depressed, scared, suicidal and angry. Dousing the inferno of the prevailing ugliness of racism with racism and religious segregation, as one who claims God as the source of their love, is not love.

I believe very strongly that change must come; and as a lover of diversity and the beautiful mosaic of cultures in God’s creation, I’m sickened by the climate we are raising our children in. It is extremely reminiscent of too many of history’s atrocities to name; that ancestors have fought to eradicate. I know the last days are upon us, there is no doubt in my mind but until our last breaths are drawn, believers must deal with the darkness in their own hearts before ever being fully entrusted with the sacred salve so desperately needed to heal the hearts of others.

Post election praise must first start at home before its oil can soothe the wounds of the walking wounded. This is not a dress rehearsal. It’s an invitation to the real world and to life unscripted. You were built for such a time as this and are needed because its happening nowno matter what.

 

 

Because of Him,

e

 

Follow me on Twitter @authenticitee and on Instagram for love poetry @authenticiteespeaks

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content
Photo Credits Ericka Arthur for authenticitee speaks

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I remember the first time
You broke my heart
And I travailed
Living a pain aloud
I’d not felt before.
I didn’t realize I
Had fallen so deeply.
Attempting to still
Thrive in quicksand
I was unaware Music’s
Most dissonant dark chords
Could feel that way.
It was then that
I learned Love could
Appear full of life
And somehow be it’s
Most twisted song.

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credits Flickr via Pinterest. No copyright infringement intended.

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My heart is full and my mind is all over the place. It is racing a million miles a minute, but in a good way. I don’t feel worried, I feel needed. As though there are millions I’ve yet to meet who need what God has deposited inside of me at the disapproval of those who once knew me.

What’s that you ask? No. Not really sure what that means. I do know that I’ve spent almost two years publishing my journal on social media. Numbers increasing by the thousands on Instagram in the last 6 months while interaction with my core followers on my blog diminishing as a result.

My grammar and punctuation is still as suspect as I forewarned readers it would be in my initial post and consistency has been cloaked in obligatory life responsibilities.

I am different. My life is different. My household is different. My calling has not changed but it’s pretty obvious that my audience has. How God has enlarged my territory while I’ve finally fully embraced being an awkward, at times talkative, quirky introvert/borderline recluse is beyond me.

I’m finished chasing the familiar. Familiar faces. Familiar feelings. Familiar spaces. Not really sure what that means for me as a writer…with an audience. I just know I’m ready for the new thing.

Whatever that may be…as wonderfully scary as that may be.

Thanks to WordPress providing incredible statistics I know you’re out there. This website is visited by all walks of life representing several countries spanning the globe. For those that are still here…and still reading my work though you may not comment, I am deeply humbled and honored by your presence and support. It is CROWDED here on WordPress and the fact that something about http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com has caught your eye is mind blowing! God bless you and thank you for taking this journey with me.

That’s all for now. I once knew New and very much looking forward to rediscovering New once again.

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com
IG | @authenticiteespeaks
Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credit Pinterest – Emerald753. No copyright infringement intended.