Anyone who knows me knows one of my core beliefs: out of the crap that life throws at you, there is beauty and personal salvation. My life is a living testimony of  turning survival to salvation. Last week, I am certain, life tried to kill me–again. This time through a person I love…

I hate that the way God teaches, to our bones, is through experience. I wish there was a more gentle way to grow, but I have never grown without going through. Last week a person, let’s call her Rory, a beautiful young women full of passion and life got mad at me, turned me into the enemy and took herself out of the Street Smarts game. I felt like someone had kicked me in the gut. I called, text, emailed, wailed, and moaned. I called Nanna. And Nanna did what she always does: takes the other person’s side. I wanted to eat nails. “What do you meannnnnn, call her again!?! Why? So she can ignore me more!!!!” “No,” Nanna said in that calm, tolerant voice that only mothers can wield, “I’m just saying she is upset and you should do something about it.” End of story.

There are moments like this I feel like God is messing with me. How am I supposed to have someone feel better about stuff that I did NOT do when she won’t answer me? So I did what I do when I want to kill people: I prayed.

I talked to God and Phina about how unfair life is and how I always am the one who gets screwed. And God, being my beautiful black man with a bad attitude that I have created him to be (I do God my way, you do God your way; to each her own), and asked what is it you want me to learn from this and the answer was right there: Venus, forgive yourself.

I realized that I wasn’t upset with Rory leaving; I was upset because I loved her fully but I did not hear her cries.  I had to lean into the ugly of my upset to see that every time someone leaves it is because they are not heard–and I did not hear Rory. I have to practice  a willingness to be ok with that sometimes I will miss the mark, I will sin. But I am not my sins.

Once I surrendered to my lack I could feel my love for Rory and for me flowing back into my body. I further realized that it was ok for her to go–perhaps the biggest gift she received from me was the ability to speak up for herself. I was her first draft of personal empowerment.

This week, we are working on the fundamentals of Street Smarts, CANVAS 1: The 5 Pillars of Creation. Be gentle with you as you move through the spaces of the discernment tools. Don’t run away from you. Stop. Open your arms. Embrace. Embrace all that you think is ugly about you with no judgement. Tell your truth and set yourself free–within yourself. I promise you: ugly never felt so beautiful…

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