When I uploaded my first post on WordPress three years ago today, I had no idea what I was getting into…

I’m certainly grateful for what blogging has taught me and (now) excited (again) about the potential it holds but “for real for real“? I’m still winging it.

See….Authenticitee Speaks has morphed into a public record of my journal, a clear declaration of my allegiance to Jesus who I believe is the Christ, a platform to interview and showcase those who inspire me, words of encouragement and some serious, sho nuff grown folks love poetry. Oh and one mo’ thang Honty – everyone is welcome!! What the what?! What do you do with that kinda gumbo?

Actually – I’m not quite sure. I mean do I have to do something about that? Isn’t that what makes my authenticity speak? Just being me? Heck. Until my friend Quiana Scott; entrepreneur and former blogger of FEMpowered Persepective schooled me, I didn’t even know what a blog was 3 years ago. I even remember my fellow Gates Of Influence powerhouse classmate Latarsha Lytle asking a myriad of questions about “marketing plans for my target audience”. Huh?! Um. The hurting Ma’am. I have a burden for the hurting. That could be anyone! How do you target THAT?

The incessant fixation with stats and likes began to vehemently swirl around my pen but I refused to let it pressure me. I still refuse to let it sway me; whether I’m posting here or on my beloved Instagram page. I just write from my heart and trust that whoever needs to see it, will see it when they need it the most.

Yes; 3 years later I realize I have just as many things to unlearn as I do to learn! But as long as I’m at peace with a piece before sharing it with the masses, while exercising my oft used right to delete or archive it later; I am remaining true to myself. And that is what matters most to me. I’ve wrestled long enough with my range of writing by finishing the sentences of naysayers in my head! I’ve finally accepted that some will only see me as a preacher and others, only as the bass player’s wife. Then there are those who only know me as an Instagram poet or radio host. As a writer, I only have control over what people see, not how they perceive what they see. That revelation is LIBERATION personified!

But the truth is before I was a preacher, a wife, mom and somewhat of a public persona (lest I flatter myself), I was just ‘e‘. I’m most comfortable without the titles. I’m just ‘e’. And as I learn how to walk worthy of my calling, in spite of every embarrassing mistake and poor choice made…

No matter the format, on my word: I’m gonna spend the rest of my life making other people feel less broken. Period. No matter the setting, venue, method, expression or platform – that is the calling on my life. Here’s to hindsight, God breathed insight, being kind to myself and future happenings!

If you have any questions/comments, feel free to share below! Take a moment to introduce yourself! Special shout out to my Mom who reads every word and listens to every radio broadcast I’m on! Thank you Mommy! I love you to life!!

In honor of my 3rd Blogaversary – I’m sharing a quick list of a few of my favorites bloggers! Show them some love & tell ’em I sent ‘cha! Leave your blog link below as well!

https://kittomalley.com/

https://robertmgoldstein.com/

https://forfriendswithoutborders.com/

https://musingsofafrequentflyingscientist.com/

https://seanmungin.com/

https://theginnydiaries.com/

https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/

https://marquessamatthews.com/

https://www.nadinetomlinson.com/

https://kwoted.wordpress.com/

https://marylandpoetblog.wordpress.com/author/marylandpoetblog/

https://black-burgundy.com/

https://10000hoursleft.wordpress.com/

https://shadebutnoshade.wordpress.com/

https://abeautywithbrainsblog.wordpress.com/

https://thejladoctrine.wordpress.com/

https://russelljfellows.com/

http://www.mommasview.com/

https://rebirthoflisa.wordpress.com/

Thank you for being here!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

Host of the Inspiration With E Radio Show

IG | FB @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @EAInspiration

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 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: Melanin and Mental Health’s Instagram page; Pinterest – no copyright infringement intended.

INTRODUCTIONS

I was watching Ray earlier today. If you’ve never seen it before *spoiler alert* up ahead mate!

I didn’t see Jamie Foxx once in this movie. That’s how much he embodied Ray Charles in this film. It had been so long since I’d seen it, that many parts felt very new to me.

One scene that got my wheels a spinnin’ and really disturbed jarred my pen was the scene where Ray is going through heroin withdrawal.

As I saw him writhing around scratching in sheer agony, it was then that I thought about the power of introductions. See, the scene where he was introduced (or reintroduced some would say) to heroin plays out a little differently than one might imagine. Well that’s because…it was his idea.

*Trigger Warning Below

Ray walks in on heroin being used and his fellow band member David “Fathead” Newman (Bokeem Woodbine) tries to talk him out of it; forewarning him that it wasn’t marijuana, but to no avail.

Several sources report that Ray was eager to try drugs because he thought it helped musicians be more creative. Hence the jarring of my pen…

Introductions.

Having never tried drugs before; I can’t relate to being introduced to drugs nor deliberately choosing/positioning myself to be introduced to drugs. I can however definitely relate to the cause and effect of self inflicted poor decisions as a result of introductions that were my idea. We’ve all been there! The moments in our lives where we positioned ourselves in places that we thought would be advantageous to our agenda. That fine man or woman we had to meet. That (in our mind) influential person that was the missing piece to our vision’s puzzle.

I can distinctly remember every “who” who introduced me to every “who” and/or “what” that gravely impacted infected my life. Some introductions turned out for my good while others to my detriment. The times I knew as I was shaking their hands, that they would result in my demise. And then there were earth angels divinely sent to awaken every dormant gift and heal every seeping wound.

Ray Charles’ self imposed introduction after being warned, resulted in a 16 year heroin addiction. A successful stint in rehab coupled with his late mother’s voice of inspiration resounding in his spirit, drove him to get and stay clean.

There are many who will always remind you of your past. Some because your choice of introductions destroyed their lives and others because they don’t feel you deserve recovery after destroying your own. Some introductions are/were beyond our control. We were violated. Someone failed to protect us. We never asked for it nor initiated it. We are now angry, toxic, weakened and bitter because of whomever introduced us to the drug that was forced to become our choice. Addicted; we had no say in the matter.

I challenge you to find yourself in this piece until you find your peace. Reread it as many times as you must. And then forgive yourself. Release yourself from the bondage of yesteryear’s introductions and position yourself for the better ones that lie ahead.

Thank you for being here!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

Host of the Inspiration With E Radio Show

IG | FB @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @EAInspiration

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 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: Fotr.com, Wikipedia, Ray (2004 Film) Taylor Hackford – Producer – No copyright infringement intended.