When Gratitude and Somberness Are Forced To Collide

I started the week on the blog sharing The Last Week of November. That post was my ode to be positive, give love where it is needed and to be grateful in every aspect of my life. I wanted to share my list of 5 things that I was grateful for and go about my way. I had no idea that I would wake up on today still with a heavy heart and feelings of somberness. The Grand Jury’s decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown has me dumbfounded. Monday night, I held my phone in my hand reading tweets and commentary as tears fell from my eyes and my heart sank. The protesting on television reminded me of situations I watched as little girl. Situations that I thought I’d be free of in my adult hood. The reality is history has become repetitive. More and more black males are dealing with the same ongoing issues and paying for them, their consequences being the loss of their lives. Our brothers, fathers, sons, cousins, are all at risk. We live in fear of what may be or what may come to be and in this day and age that is a sad reality.

I am not one to condemn my people for the choices and mistakes that we’ve made over the years, I’d rather smile at the idea that we’re all growing a voice and standing up for what we know is right. The one thing on this earth that is constant is change. It is never too late for change. I pretty much keep my opinions to myself on anything going on in the news simply because everyone’s opinions are so different. I feel as though those of us who are outraged and genuinely heartbroken for lives taken senselessly are made to feel our worry and care is invalid. The fact of the matter is its a GREAT thing that we all feel some sort of way about the events that have occurred. I don’t like to be told I shouldn’t say this or feel this way so I keep my opinions tucked away while crying hysterically in the privacy of my own home. Like the rest of the world, I counted the days that Mike’s family went without answers. I kept up with all of what was going on in Ferguson not because it was the newest hottest thing to do, but it did and still very much scared me. For the first time in my life I was scared for 1,000’s of people I have never met. I was genuinely afraid for their fate in the place that they called home in Missouri. Military Troops and The National Guard patrolling your streets with trigger happy cops, tell me that’s not terrifying. Every time a head line crossed my news feed or a tweet reminded me, 25 days, 52 days, 100 days and still no answer, I silently prayed that despite the outcome there would be a ray of hope. I prayed that they’d be protected from the people who were called to protect and serve them.

I am deeply emotional and I have a deep care in my heart for all people of all walks of life. But, my people… I stand for my people. I stand for and love every brown boy and man. So when situations like this arise I feel as if it’s my obligation to have a sense of urgency or to care and bring awareness to what is going on in the world around us that we all, I included tend to neglect at times. I felt a bit conflicted telling everyone to look to God and pray Monday night, but I had no idea in those moments what else there was for me to say or do. I had never felt so heartbroken and hopeless. I feel like every other year I become more and more hopeless and unaware of how to take a stand during times like this. I am an advocate for peace, I am an advocate for love and showing it and expressing it, but it breaks my heart that I have no idea what the hell I can do to fix this. At this point I have no sense of direction of where to turn or what more there is to say or do. I empathize with the families who will live without their children during this Holiday season. A time in our lives where we are meant to rejoice about being able to spend time with our loved ones, the families of young black men all over the country are FORCED to live with knowing that their Thanksgiving’s and Christmas’s will never be the same.

My hope is that we center our hearts and our lives on the issues that occur in our communities that continue to hit us where it hurts most. I didn’t know where to begin, I still feel helpless, but I just asked God to use me. I asked God to be not only a shield and protector in my life, but to use me. I pray that he uses me to be a ray of hope and a source of change. I pray I continue to grow in his likeness and be molded in a way that models positivity and light. I may feel helpless at the very moment, I may feel melancholic, but despite feeling the extreme aches of heart-break I can still be of service to God. I can still offer my prayers, send my condolences and do whatever it is that I need to do to be a part of the change that this world so desperately needs. So if I am grateful for anything this week as the holiday approaches, I am grateful for the urgency in my voice. I am grateful for the concern in my tears and the desire in my heart to help the best way that I know how. I am one of extreme compassion, I feel terrible and almost selfish that I can be grateful to hug my brother on Thanksgiving and so many can’t. I ask you all to dig deep within and find your compassion. Find something in this world besides things that are replaceable to be grateful for. I pray that we all find peace in our hearts and positive ways to channel our hurt and frustrations. Let’s build and protect and not ruin what little we have left. My heart is with every family who has lost a son, a father, brother, or cousin senselessly and has gone without justice. I want you to know that there are plenty of us who love you like you’re our own family and we are committed to change just as much as you are. So here’s to the feeling of concern, compassion, and hurt. This is all that I have Gratitude for this year. And, while it may seem a little weird that these are the things I am grateful for, I know that my emotions are a direct reflection of millions. I do not regret how I feel and I am extremely grateful for how I feel because I know that it is God’s way of drawing US together during this Holiday season and every day moving forward. Happy Thanksgiving to you all, from my family to yours, may God continue to bless us all! 

Be Inspired. Be Encouraged. Be Blessed.


4 thoughts on “When Gratitude and Somberness Are Forced To Collide

    1. Nai, you have no idea how much I needed your comment this morning. Thank you so much. You yourself have just as much of an amazing spirit. I am blessed that we connected (even if its only via internet) Stay gorgeous and keep inspiring. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family xoxo

      1. You’re welcome love and thank you 🙂 . I can’t even begin to put into words how upset I was yesterday. From the injustice to people lashing out at each other and saying hateful things, I was distraught. This post really helped put things into perspective and reminded me that there are those who continue to look at the bigger picture by not taking their eyes off of God throughout all of this.

        I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving too! We have to stay in touch!

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