How are you coping?

My mind is racing. I can’t stop reading updates on Italy and Iran.

My heart is racing. I never knew my heart extended this far—to places and people I have yet to meet or visit.

I hate having to go to work every single day, and I’m scared.

But, do you know what I needed outside of the news, the rising death tolls, the social media updates, and the Rona jokes? I needed to be asked how I was coping because I realized I wasn’t.

So, I’m stopping. I’m crying out my frustration, and in fifteen minutes when I’m done, I’m gonna dance and sing and do yoga. Because, despite everything, I am still here. Right now, that is all I can do. I can be here.

I extend this same grace to you: How are you coping, my beloved?

Lessons from Love

I’ve been seeing someone I’m quite fond of. He’s a big car guy. Loves all things four wheels from NASCAR to go-karting. Meanwhile, I only care that my car is functional and gets me from Point A to Point B. A few days ago, he came over to clean my windshield. I was beyond annoyed. My windshield wasn’t overtly dirty, only a little smudgy. I didn’t understand how or why my smudgy Kia was driving him crazy. My objections to his request were:

“I can see just fine out of it.”

“It’s not even dirty.”

“I’ve been driving this way for a long time.”

Regardless of my annoyance, he cleaned it anyway. On my way to work the following day, I fell in love with the crisp outlines of my scenic drive.

For some time, I’ve been taking Lexapro. I need Jesus, but I also need Lexapro. Those two can and do exist together. This past month I experienced myself without any medication.  Before ever taking medication, I could describe myself as being held underwater. Unable to see clearly or breathe smoothly. However, none of that is bothersome, because I’ve been like that for so long that I didn’t know I was being held under. Everything I saw, I believed to be true, not recognizing its distorting characteristics. Missing that aspect of a balanced being–breathing fresh air and seeing clearly–brings a whole new level of awareness that is torturous. I was fully aware that I was being held underwater. I was aware of object distortion, yet still completely unable to combat what I saw and felt. That was my hell–being without control and being aware of it.

However, my lovely boyfriend offered me clarity on the tiniest of scales. He offered something that I believed I didn’t need because my car (and me) had been this way for a long time. How many times had I previously gotten angry with someone or a situation because it brought me clarity I didn’t think I needed? How long was functional beating out safety? In my moments of being held under water, my boyfriend was the breath of fresh air I needed. He reminded me that I was still underwater, and I still needed help. And those two things were okay.

Isn’t that what love does? Love lets us know that we’re not seeing through clear eyes. Love removes the scales and lets us move confidently forward. With great persistence and without hesitation, love kindly corrects.

Life ain’t always pancakes and syrup. Sometimes it’s crying on your drive to work, yelling obscenities in your car, or crying at Inside Out. During those atrociously torturous moments that seem to drag on forever, I hope you remember you’re holy then too. In all your anger, frustration, and sadness, you are still holy and good.

Today I hope…

…for continued goodness. It was only going to be goodness but continued is necessary. I hope for ruptures of laughter that cannot be continue, relationships to grow an ounce more, and the hope that I will still be part of this cosmic dance that exists beyond and within what looks like chaos. I hope for complexity and nuanced decisions. Mostly, I hope for bravery to be honest, to be loving, to be extraordinary. I hope whatever spark is produced today adds to tomorrow, where eventually, a fire will show. I hope for everlasting goodness.

What do you do, even when you do not feel like it?

Breathe. Sometimes I get terribly overwhelmed by the offset intricacies of life that I hold my breath. I hold and ruminate and create infinite passageways down roads I will never see. I journey through fears that are only real to me. But, when I find myself being consumed by unforgiving, never-ending darkness, I remind myself that although I can’t see the Light, it is there. So I breathe anyway as an act of defiance against all my anxieties. I breathe.

Typewriter Confessions: Claim Yourself

Begin again. This time with feeling.

I let everything and everyone into my backyard. They brought with them chainsaws, sledgehammers, and their opinions. I thought if I was able to please everyone, that surely something great would happen. It didn’t. I pleased no one. No one won. Although no human being won the title to my life as The Ultimate Influence, I still greatly feel as if some unknown entity succeeded in throwing me off balance. I tried–because of my childhood to be–excuses are everywhere. I have a choice here. Become the woman with a pen or chase the woman I thought I should be.

I love God. Before I knew God, I loved her. It was when I began to know God through other people and institutions that I thought my knowing wasn’t enough. My knowing has carried me here. Here is a place that is uncertain yet good. Uncertainty at this point gives birth to exploration. I’m trying on pieces of myself in hopes that something sticks. However, I know explorations to true self-hood are always divine journeys. Always. Rarely do these journeys make sense or are clear, but they are divine and sacred nonetheless.

Where am I going now that so many things are done? Unfortunately, nowhere. Right now, I am cleaning up all the brush and debris, removing clumps of my hacked up trees, and chasing away any stragglers. Someday, there will be room for flowers, but you can’t put flowers in rotten soil. They won’t flourish, and them, like you, will question why you wanted to grow anything in the first place.

So, what does this mean for Elohim&Esh? It means that I include everything that is currently in my soil, in an effort to purify my life, my spirit, and my relationships.

In an effort to be transparent, here’s five things about me:

  1. My name is Aisha. I believe in embodiment, especially when it comes to names. I am life. My name means beautiful. I believe that too.
  2. I believe that life is a cosmic dance. It will never make sense because we, as humans, don’t get the privilege of knowing every little detail of each others lives.
  3. I am a womanist, with no retractions to the original four part definition written by Alice Walker.
  4. I hate going to church, but I love taking communion.
  5. About a year ago I asked God to make me a tree. Since then, trees have become vastly more intricate. I don’t know how yet, but I definitely do find myself becoming more tree-like: Resilient.