I'm not a fan of Essence magazine. In fact, I hate it.
Hate is a strong word. I don't like to use it & discourage my kids from ever saying it. But hate pretty much sums up how I feel about the magazine. It tries so hard to cover everything from mortages & Mugabe to mammograms & Mac cosmetics. I get irritated every time I flip through it. Be serious & substantive or be fluff & gossip. But please don't be try to be both at the same time! It's bipolar.
That being said, you can imagine my surprise when the Aug 09 issue of my least favorite women's magazine leapt into my shopping cart @ Target yesterday. Idris Elba is on the cover - that alone was worth the cover price - but the reason I forked over my money was the article "Black Women Behaving Badly".
It was a carefully-worded piece on a subject that has a lot of sistas fired up: Why Black women hate on each other. It said the main reasons sistas hate are: low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance & lack of self-love. Just imagine how different things could be if sistas began to think more positive & acted less demeaning toward others.
Oh. Is that all? abracadabra, alakazam, hateful thoughts - be gone!
I'm disappointed the writer didn't go into how much work it takes to reprogram your demeaning thought patterns. (in fairness, I'm sure space constraints forced editors to remove chunks of good stuff). If you're contaminated by decades of negative thought habits & you weren't naturally upbeat to begin with, the transformation from hate to healed would be like an Extreme Brain Makeover.
Thinking loving thoughts isn't a "hat" you just put on. It could take years to figure out why you think like you do. And then to make yourself stop? There's a reason people stay in therapy for years.
Thinking different literally rewires your brain - you're telling it to stop using the pathway it has always used & take a route it doesn't know, doesn't trust & never heard of.
Me to Brain: Connect the dots the way you always have, just don't take Cynic Parkway anymore. Take Goody-Goody-Gumdrop Lane instead.
Brain to Me: The quickest, shortest route is Cynic Parkway.
Me to Brain: I know but you have to take Goody-Goody-Gumdrop Lane from now on.
Brain to Me: That doesn't make sense. I can get everywhere I need to go on Cynic Parkway. Goody-Goody-Gumdrop Lane isn't even a route in my GPS.
Me to Brain: We're not taking Cynic Parkway ever again no matter how quick & convenient it is.
Brain to Brain (under her breath): I'm going the way I know - I just won't tell her. She won't know the difference.
It took years, but I finally rewired my own inclination towards negativity. I'm a liar if I say I did it on my own. The part of my brain that was addicted to negativity shut down one night (not unlike E. Tolle's account). Then God (love, light, peace, gratitude, awe, hope, beauty) poured in.
So what does it make me when I say I hate that the article I read in a magazine I hate didn't go far enough to cover the hard work it takes to heal from your hate.
"Hello. My name is J and I'm a hater..."