ShameFree

Blog Post

So, let me be honest.

Each blog post I have written so far has been fairly easy for me to write. The amount of transparency and vulnerability has been easy to swallow. But, today I want to write about something that is actually a challenge.

I have tried starting this post about 7 times and I keep having the faces of my sweet family roll through my mind. Isn’t it funny how it is easy to be transparent with strangers, but it is far more difficult to be vulnerable with those that matter? (I promise family, this story ends on a good note!)

I want to start off with a disclaimer: this is simply my expereince. In no way am I trying to push a belief system or be the moral police for any of you. Be the best version of you, whatever you think that that is. But I do feel led to share my story.

WELL, here goes…

About a week ago I was sitting in a room with a group of spiritual leaders that I trust. We were talking about sexuality (and all things related). A question got presented about pornography and it was referred to as a man issue. I was instantly irate. Because pornography does not just affect men and I think that needs to be talked about more.

It affects women. It affects people. It affects me.

I think I was about 11 or 12 when I began watching porn. I think it started from curiosity, turned into fascination, and remained an addiction. It was about 7 years before I got any freedom.

For me, watching pornography and masturbating was a terrible act that reiterated all the self-hatred that I had been cultivating inside me for most of my life (see my blog post all about my story to know more about that). It became a form of punishment and self-absue.

Now, this is where I remind you all of the disclaimer above…you can obviously make your own decisions about your own purity. But for me, watching pornography was horrible. I felt terrible after, I had to hide a major part of my life from the people that love me, and I felt violated seeing those images. The experience for me was one of shame.

Overtime I became numb. I struggled to make true, vulnerable friends. I put up a wall with my family. My identity became solidified that I am worthless and I deserve shame.

I was like two people: the good christian girl to the public eye and the shame-ridden worthless monster behind my bedroom door. I hated living like this, but it felt like exactly what I deserved. I tried so hard to “be a better person.” And nothing I would do made me quit (or like myself anymore).

Long story short, I applied to go to a christian ministry school and was asked to attend their discipleship school instead. When I got that news I was devastated. I told my parents and they did not understand why I didn’t get in. They attempted to learn more both about the discipleship school and the reasons behind why I didn’t get approved to go to the ministry school.

I was terrified that my parents would learn about my battle with pornography from someone else. I knew I had to admit to this problem. I sat my mom down and with big ol’ tears streaming down my face (just kidding. that sounds too put together…I was a blubbering mess) I told my mom my pains, shame, and problem with pornography. I asked her if she still loved me, to which she replied “Yes. Of course.”

Okay, I know this sounds absolutely insane…But I swear…after talking to my mom I was set free. The act of bringing something to the light, having accountability with someone close to me, and receiving love within the darkest parts of who I am…it changed everything.

This is really the heart of this post: get vulnerable and bring things into the light! Let trust worthy people see into you. Let them see the pretty parts and the yucky parts of you, your life, your thoughts. Regardless of what you have done, or what has been done to you, or who you think you are…YOU DESERVE LOVE. YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE. 

It will be terrifying. It will be difficult.

but it is worth it.

Regardless of what your thoughts are about pornography…take away this: all of you deserves to be seen by trustworthy people. Even the parts you think are too ugly.

Being vulnerable, having emotional intimacy, changes lives. Allow yourself to be seen, heard, and loved.

After about six months, or so, of freedom from watching pornography, I began to struggle again. I fought off and on for some time. Vulnerability isn’t the cure-all fix to any problem. I had to make powerful choices about what I wanted in my life and who I wanted to be. I began to see that I deserved a pure love and deserved authentic intimacy. I decided that watching porn and masturbating was no longer an option in my life.

Because of love and because of powerful choices, I have freedom.

 

I will end with this…

My view on pornography is not just based on my faith. It has a lot to do with the fruit that it caused in my life. Everything that came from both porn and masturbating was bad. It pushed me to keep secrets. It pushed me to cultivate shame. It kept me from relationships. It reiterated the lie that “I didn’t deserve love.” So, I would say that it is really important to look at the fruit happening in your life. Surround yourself with things that bring truly good fruit into your life.

Thank you for reading and letting me share. Feel free to send me any questions or comment below!

XO,

M

Black Panther (Guest Post: Ra Mcbride)

Blog Post

Can you believe that March is almost done?! 2018 is flying by. March has been such an interesting month. A big part of my job involved working for a school program. So, our graduation is quickly approaching and so things around work quite a bit busy. But, things are going well (but I am sure that a deeper update will be headed our way soon!)

Anyways, this week I have another special gift for my beloved readers! This week, I have a guest post for you by a powerful man. Have you ever met someone that was just made for the spotlight? Like, they were just created to be seen and actually have the capabilities to be seen by the world? That is this man.

Ra Mcbride.D985342F-3038-48B2-9E04-A7D9BA7B4E44

I had to narrow it down to describe Ra with one would it would be overcomer. He has fought to overcome the things that he has been faced with in life. One day, I will ask him to write a post about his story but today, I asked him to write a commentary on the newest movie Black Panther.

When I watched this movie I was amazed! I was absolutely shocked at the radical statements that this movie was making. Being a white woman in 2018, I felt like I only scratched the surface of understanding the severity of this movie. Ra and I both have seen this movie multiple times. I, have recognized this being one of those cultural momentous moments. While Ra, has recognized this being a moment of understanding and acceptance of his race, culture, and his future.

Let this post challenge you, regardless of your race. Fight to change your perspective. Fight to change societies perspective. Acceptance needs to happen to an even greater degree.

Thanks for checking out this blog post. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Ps: Have you seen Black Panther? Go see it.

XO

M

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Black Panther is a must see. It easily transcended being “a good black” movie, or “a good superhero” movie.

This film was a cultural statement.

I personally think some of the points hit were not even intentional. I think it was just art evolving into something more, the way good art tends to do.

See this movie. And if you’re black, really see this movie.Why it it a must see for BLACK people? All around, films that represent us well, are few. This movie has an all star, all black, leading cast and they did an amazing job. I feel they touch on the overall social issue of oppression of the black community, without making the movie a political statement itself.

To watch a film where the black nation was the royalty, creatives, innovators, strategists, and were credited as such, is something black people need to see.

To see these very dark skinned people that are beautiful and natural, without them having to change anything about themselves (like their hair, attire, or speech) in order to fit a culture dominated by a white perspective, was affirming and soooo empowering. They executed all this without demeaning anyone else’s culture. This movie has the capacity to push my people to have conversation (and execution) of greater self expectation, value, and unity with all people.

 

Now to be clear to my lovely white family,

Often when pro-black media/culture is released people tend to think it’s instantly AGAINST something else (namely, white media/culture). While, yes, sometimes that is the case, that cannot be a blanket expectation for black art. I personally think it stems from fear of either, “changing history” or “seeming racist” and that’s not the intention.

The celebration of one thing doesn’t have to mean the persecution of another.

We can ALL win.

The way to respond to celebration is celebration.

If you don’t understand, ask questions. In the words of T’Challa, “The wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers.” I feel like the Unity conversation is a WHOLE other topic, but if we can peacefully and loving dialogue, we can move forward together.

Wakanda Forever,

Ra