Stand in Your Truth
Last year I stood up to speak in front of an audience of approximately a couple hundred people attending a spiritual conference in New York, led by The Daily Love’s Mastin Kipp (www.thedalilylove.com). I stood because a young African American girl shared her feelings of shame at being considered Black. You see she was a biracial child, the product of a white mother and Black father. However, because of her brown skin and hair texture, people identified her as Black—a label she did not want and felt in many predominantly White environments, that she was automatically labeled as lazy and stupid.
Mastin asked if other Blacks felt like that judgment in a room of white people. Yes. I explained to the girl and to the audience, that I have been blessed enough to reach heights in my career that are not afforded to all. At the time I held an admiral position at a college and I often sat at the table of advisers to the president. The people I sat amongst were all white and at least a decade older than myself. That was not the first time I have been in the position and, if I live long enough, not the last.
Could I feel judgments about me as I sat at the president’s table? Of course. But I carry with me a foundational belief that I deserve to be there and that the group is better off with me among them. First, I sit at tables such as these because my ancestors could not. And, as an African American I feel the obligation to repay, with dignity, the opportunities that their blood, sweat and tears availed me. Secondly, I always know that in time they will see how powerful I am and the value that I bring. It is not something that I go out of my way to prove but rather I let my work, the way I carry myself, and my interactions, become the proof. In those moments, I take a deep breath and I know who I am. I do not let others beliefs about me define me.
Even more, I know that there is a point in all human interactions where people lessen their judgments about you and allow the spirit of who you are and who they are connect and transcend any manmade, stereotypical foolishness to which we fall victim.
As I stood in front of The Daily Love’s audience that day, people were moved to tears and they hugged me and kissed me in the hallway afterwards. I was surprised. Perhaps they were moved so deeply because it was a spiritual conference and they were already emotional? Or, perhaps, they recognized a fellow spirit, God’s child, with boundless capabilities standing in her truth and sharing her testimony from that vantage point.
Do you carry your truth, the truth about who you are into all of your life experiences? Please comment below and tell me all about it.