In my book, Become Your Own Bliss, I reach back into my formative years to share the roots of my personality with my readers. Much of what I practiced in writing that book was literally the revisiting of painful experiences, then exploiting them in hopes of uplifting my readers. It wasn’t easy but it was so worth it, and I was terrified in the process. On the days I questioned my efforts, I referred to a sentiment my late maternal grandmother, to whom BYOB was dedicated, lovingly imprinted into my impressionable, young head.
“Be kind, be good, and be brave,” she told me.
Be brave. Two tiny and insignificant words when they are alone, but together, they changed my world. I made a few decisions recently that were difficult and painful, but in the name of courage and moving forward, they were necessary. The photograph is of my beloved grandmother, holding me as an infant. I have been alive longer than the time we spent on this earth together, but I feel her still.
I know that she grew up in a generation when women were silenced and not seen. She wanted to become a journalist but women weren’t allowed to utilize the written word and their voices in her time. I believe I inherited her desire and drive to move the world forward with words and thoughts. I often refer to my Mama’s instructions. I remember her as loving and kind. She gave the best hugs and in her own way, she was fierce, even in her practice of religion. Her quality of kindness hasn’t touched my life since I lost her.
She is the reason I have to fight through the noise to move forward. The noise in societal pressure, the noise in my head, the noise that can get in the way. I do my work for her, and for those who aren’t able to.
Anyone who is lost in the process is released with love.