Contributed by: Mia Whigham
The 2020 Rollercoaster
2020 has been a hell of a year and we are only halfway through it. A lot of us have been in quarantine for the past 3 or 4 months, taking on work from home responsibilities, trying to stay sane, safe, and somewhat sober, snatched, and honestly just trying to figure out what the hell is really going on.
If it’s not the inundated messages on the pandemic and the unprecedented times, it is the constant and painful images of black men and women being murdered at the hands of those who took an oath to protect us.
Making It Through Quarantine
One way that I have been able to maximize on this quarantine is through reading. Nothing excites me more than getting cozy in my favorite chair or on the beach and diving into a good book. It’s healing, it’s therapeutic and it’s necessary for me. I am happy to get to share some of the books that have truly helped me in learning and loving myself, growing my bank account, improving my relationships, and addressing my trauma.
An area I feel that most of us struggle with is in the context of relationships. Over the past few months, I’ve seen IG polls on relationship questions, male and female beliefs, preferences, ideas, traditions, memes on what a woman or man should or should not do, etc.
You can almost always guarantee at any function or (Zoom call) if the relationship topic is brought up, you will get some interesting dialogue between the opposite sex. As human beings, we need relationships, in all their various forms: familial, work-related, romantic, or friendship. The type of relationships we have, as well as how we navigate those different relationship dynamics impacts our quality of life.
Therefore, it is only right that my first book recommendation is “In the Meantime”, by the queen beloved herself, Sister Iyanla Vanzant.
This book has served as a real reality check for my role in the type of relationships I have chosen to participate in.
Run That Back Again
I scooped this book up a few years ago on a Goodwill run after a very overdue breakup and it has been a blessing ever since. Through 2 relationships and a few situationships, this book has served as a real reality check for my role in the type of relationships I have chosen to participate in. It has served as a gut check on my boundaries or lack thereof, codependency traits, my voluntary ignorance of red flags being waived so blatant in my face that Stevie Wonder would recognize it, and just my overall idea of what love should be.
Quite honestly, reading this book at 30 compared to when I read it at 25, I feel like a totally different woman. This book challenges you, not to make everything about what someone else did or did not do to or for you, but to sit in your shit and address your mess. Inspect what you expect. Address what you accept. All of that and then some. Each chapter takes you through “loves house” where on each floor you get to take a look around and peel back some layers. Spoiler alert….sometimes it is you.
When I started reading this book, I was kicking it in the basement level and I was a hot mess. The relationship that I was participating in reflected that. Iyanla’s words on “basement behavior” exposed some of the not so lovely truths about how I was participating in my own chaos. Quite honestly, creating it as well. When I tell yall sis came for me and drug me all around loves house starting in the basement, the foundation. This book started my healing and I am better for it.
Awareness Allows You to Make Choices.
You cannot heal an area that you aren’t aware of that needs help. So often I see us (it’s me…I am “us”) place our value on how someone else handles us. We feel amazing when the other person loves us, but what happens when they dip? Are you not still valuable? Are you not still the fine, funny, and wonderful adjectives your partner professed you were at the beginning? Their vision may be distorted and honestly in some cases rightfully so, but what is your foundation built on? It’s normal to grow, get lost, get distracted, but awareness allows you the grace to address your mess.
Look at it like this, our time on earth is temporary. We get to experience people and things in love’s house. We have to be reminded the people and things in our houses are not possessions. Sometimes those items we fill our homes with, no longer serve a purpose. We have to know when it is time to move on or realize we have outgrown the space. And guess what, we part ways with them and bring in things that fit us and reflect who we are. The same goes for people. It is nothing personal, it is life.
So when you are trying to change, start with self and then God, universe, higher being (whatever resonates with your spirit) will draw those people and things to you that your soul needs.
But first, you have to do the work. This book is a catalyst for those wanting to do the work.
Grab this book, a highlighter, a pen and a notebook, some wine (tea works too) because you will be put divine schooling. Enjoy and cheers to building a solid love house☺
Love and Life;