How are you feeling about the approaching holiday season? As we near the end of 2022, our first “Post Pandemic” year, we know that re-entry into society has taken on different forms for different people. For some, it has presented a real challenge.
As we prepare for upcoming holidays, Tysons Interfaith is pleased to offer a series of blog posts authored by members of our faith communities that highlight reflections on self, our place in the world, and suggestions for re-entering society and promoting comity among family and friends.
So, I’m invisible? Black women more often go unnoticed, according to this article.
As an Ethiopian-American woman, I devised defense mechanisms to avoid discrimination. I ignore the color of people’s skin. I choose to see the world through people’s eyes, instead of waxing philosophical about the color of people’s eyes. My perspective is shaped by people’s words and their actions, not their silhouette. You can have extra curves and I won’t dwell on it.
How we perceive the physical world directly affects our spirit. I spend one minute focused on my perceived invisibility and I’m down in the dumps. But, no, my heart will go on. Did I not cry as I watched the Titanic sink? Do I not write poetry about world hunger? As Sade put it in the “King of Sorrow,” “I’m crying everyone’s tears.”
If you are reading this, it means you trust me with your heart and soul. We read to experience the heights and depths of emotion and intellect. You have probably heard my laugh. It’s a loud, contagious cackle. I smile all the time. I get depressed. At times, I feel invincible and sometimes I can’t sleep, because there’s a world in need of repair (tikkun olam). I’m restless, but I enjoy sitting for hours drinking tea and eating lamb kabobs, hummus, falafels and baba ghanoush with my friends. It takes little to make me happy. Happiness is a heartbeat away! Are you breathing? Say, “Amen!”
And that’s all I have to say, “So be it!” If you want to change the world, appreciate the people around you. Love yourself. Seek opportunities to cherish diversity. The world is not so black and white. Those are two extremes. We meet somewhere in-between. Choose to see the best in people and give credit where credit is due. Remember everyone makes an important contribution. Defy stereotypes. Life is too short to hide behind descriptions that distance us from each other. We are meant to know one another (Qur’an 49:13). We are designed to love and be loved. If you go unnoticed, your soul is still of infinite worth and you are beautiful as you are.
Remember what Hagar said, “You are the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13). If you’re hurt or if you suffer, trust that God is near. He has a purpose for your pain. Intimacy with God is to be treasured. He is closer than your jugular vein. Also, surround yourself by people who care about you and be uplifted. Don’t worry about what the polls say. You are precious. Tear down any barrier within yourself that is an obstacle to giving and receiving love (Rumi). Love is sometimes hidden, but you don’t have to hide anymore. Let your light shine, even if that light is blinding. So what, if no one notices? Be. Sometimes that’s all God commands and miracles happen.
This blog post is the expressed opinion of its writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Tysons Interfaith or its members.