A girl becomes a woman when she understands enough, experiences enough, and has seen enough. I guess all my life, I was privy to things sooner than any young girl should ever be, and thus becoming a woman became something that naturally occurred oh so quickly… or so I believed. I thought becoming a woman meant being able to go through the worst of the worst, and still stand strong. I thought that becoming a woman meant blocking out the pain and striving towards the “better things in life.” What I ended up learning was the very things that I thought were making me a woman, were ,merely reflections of the wounded child that never got healing.
By 23, I birthed a beautiful baby boy, was a year away from graduating with my bachelors, and standing directly in the middle of an identity crisis, spiritually and emotionally. Yet and still I experienced the most pure form of unconditional love a girl had ever felt. I began to see that “religion,” had been telling me all wrong, all along. The rules and stipulation that man put on me and in the church was not at all how God looked, thought , and felt about me. He literally wanted me to be happy and be loved in its purest of forms. You see it didn’t matter if I cursed, fornicated, or wore jeans on a Sunday to God and it didn’t matter if I did any of those things to my son. The desire for me to be happy burned so deep from God to me, that he wanted me to do away with toxic traits, people, and behaviors—thus showing me that it was totally ok to be flawed, but not to define myself as such. Ezra… my help, showed me everyday that it is absolutely feasible to love without merit or reason; just pure unadulterated trust. It finally made sense. Everything I had done thus far in life, every decision I made, every good or bad intention I developed came from either a deprivation or satisfied feeling of LOVE.
By 24, I shed in every way possible (tears, weight, layers of insecurities, abandonment, and self-doubt).
By 25, I stepped outside of myself and made one of the biggest decisions of my life that I absolutely was not ready for,
By 26, I fell in love with a new seed that never got a chance to sprout, and experienced a pain that still hits with the most powerful impact at times.
By 27, I finally decided to wholeheartedly dedicate myself to the calling God placed on my life, even if it meant leaving those behind whom I thought were coming along all the way.
& now here I am. 28, and God has removed what I thought was a support system, and sent me support SISTERS grounded in positivity, empowerment, nurturing qualities, vulnerability, constant growth, and creative expression. I’ve dug deep and uncovered the deep wounds I’ve buried for so long, and began my healing process. I have gained an understanding of what it means to give and receive real love, and I have accepted the platform to share my knowledge to all of you. I’ve literally watched my thoughts develop into a tangible reality and it is nothing short of breathtaking.
It is my prayer that you do not have to experience the extent of heart break, abuse, trauma, learning and unlearning, and rebuilding that I endured. It is my hope that every post, every video, every caption that scrolls across your screen, impacts you in a way that urges you to move, to make that left turn instead of right, to vigorously stride into the directions of you dreams, and to learn the true meaning of love and experience it in its purest and truest form.
Shawana only knew how to give her version of love. She never knew how to receive it or embody her soul. But Love… Love saw the importance of reciprocity, the necessity of self-love, and the fulfillment of pouring it into others. So when you see me out motivational speaking, momming, entreprenueing, and a friend, always remember that even the darkest of scenes shed light on purpose, passion, and possibilities. I’ve understood love; I have accepted love, I have become Love.
ADJ the art of becoming everything healed, everything compassionate, everything unconditional.
ORIGIN Oct 23rd 2012.
Sentara Norfolk General.