on deception…

12 Jan

(there may be a stigma attached to suicide, but there are some everyday sleepwalkers among us who take ourselves out of the game everyday.  we become our own enemies.  we use our weaknesses to explain unattained goals.  or the impossibility of perfection to justify mediocrity.  we never let go of mistakes.  we stop trying, and give up prematurely.  i see this as a different sort of death…  have you checked out?)

this is “for colored girls who have considered suicide…” and everyone else, too.

Deception convinces us that we’re alone. It teaches us that mental illnesses and diseases are shameful realities that should be held in secret. Deception bullies you into believing that you deserve being hurt, or abused, or talked about. It seduces you into settling, and accepting that your life is as good as you can have it, even though you want more. It is never forgiving yourself. Or any of them. Deception reminds you everyday that you’re not worth it. And it accepts death and failure while your heart is still beating, and your dreams are still alive.

Deception is dangerous, because it is convincing. It uses your vocabulary, plays into your fears. It remembers your past and knows each of your weaknesses – this is how it holds your life hostage. And it is far easier to believe Deception than it is to re-imagine possibilities. It is easier to believe Deception than it is to face the challenge of resisting it – a risk you fear might prove Deception was right all along. But that is cowardice, another deception. And while cowards may survive, they never truly live. In order to free yourself from your deception, you must constantly reaffirm your aspirations and commitments. You must live according to the reach of your desire, and not according to the limits inscribed by your fears. You have to be deliberate, refuse that deception and tell yourself instead of death, “I want to live.”

(artwork by frank morrison)

title from ntozake shange’s choreopoem, “for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf”…it is a must-read.

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2 Responses to “on deception…”

  1. vintage__t January 12, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    there is so much to say about this (from a personal perspective)…for now, i will share an anecdote told by Sonia Sanchez last nite…

    A 17 yr-old girl stood up after Ms. Sanchez gave a speech at her high school, posing this question:

    “How did you survive Harlem, cuz I live in Brooklyn and i wanna know how to survive it?!” After momentarily being choked up as she relived the encounter, Ms. Sanchez spoke about the apparent “contract with death” too many young people have. She stressed…called us to task…to offer young people a “contract with life” by engaging them (with love) whenever possible.

    We are conduits of love who need to reach out to one another sometimes so that we all get that boost that helps us all “to be deliberate,” to “refuse that deception and tell yourself instead of death, ‘I want to live,'”

    I thank you for this post, It is a means of being that conduit…

  2. patrice berry January 13, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    a contract with life. i really appreciate how she put that.

    “we are conduits of love who need to reach out to one another sometimes so that we all get that boost…”

    i am in complete agreement. life was never meant to be crossed alone. healthy, safe relationships and communities are necessary sometimes. i’ve always believed we need each other more than we think…

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