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Don’t ignore the signs, don’t be ashamed April 17, 2014

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Stephanie My heart aches hearing the news of a vibrant young woman who committed suicide last week. Karyn Washington was just 22 and hosted a popular website called, “For Brown Girls” FBG and Dark Skin, Red Lip project. She was an active advocate for brown girls of all shades to feel beautiful about themselves and to embrace who they are. Yet she was unable to encourage and get help herself. What a beautiful young life, gone. How many of you know someone who took their life and wished they had said something, saw the signs, anything!

I didn’t know Ms Washington, but I do know about the hurt and self loathing a little brown girl age 9 felt as she was called “darky”. Looking in the mirror and wishing I was light skinned. I felt not as pretty as the others because I was considered dark. Its an open wound that has been with Black people since slavery in this country, and as I recently discovered in a heart wrenching speech by Oscar Winner, Lupita Nyong’o in Africa as well. I am saddened that this nonsense is still going on today. Its 2014! Its so stupid, nappy hair verses straight hair, wide noses versus narrow, big butt verses flat. What really gets me is how some from other cultures appreciate our features more that we do. How often do you see other cultures trying to imitate the “black” look. Plumped up lips, butt implants and tanning salons. I saw a Japanese girl online this week, that looked like she stepped off the streets of Philly, braids, bamboo earnings and all.

I don’t know if we will ever get over ourselves and start to Love how fearfully and wonderfully made we are. God, the ultimate creator fashioned each one of us to be beautiful. To accept anything else is believing a lie from the pit of hell. I see this as a spiritual issue manifesting itself in the physical and emotional, mental health space. A cry for help that is going unanswered, diagnosed and untreated. Black people have historically not sought mental health counseling and Black people in the Church are even less likely to seek help. For some, there is a stigma that somehow if you seek mental health counseling that you don’t trust God, or they don’t feel safe sharing for fear of ridicule, shame or gossip. Some believe that religious people don’t need counseling, just call on Jesus. If that’s true then none of us should go see a medical doctor about our aching back or an eye doctor for glasses. Isn’t our mental health just as important? I believe that just like doctors of medicine, God can use a mental health professional.

I admit, I took a position and felt that mental health counseling was quackery and all the Psychologists were trying to do was probe into my business while emptying my pockets with endless counselling sessions that go nowhere. It wasn’t until I found Colorado Christian Fellowship (CCFyourhome.org) a church that teaches healing and deliverance ministry based on the Word of God that was able to get counselling and tap into some deep seeded hurt and unresolved pain. Through Theophostic Prayer Counselling that I was able to face my issues and get healing. I’m still a work in progress. God can heal a broken heart if you let Him.

My point is that we are all broken and hurting, no matter where you were raised, color, race or social standing. If you feel sadness and hurt you cant seem to get over, if you isolate yourself from others, lost interest in things you once loved to do, seek help. This is a heart issue in need of healing. Don’t suffer in silence, suicide is a final action with no take back. Call a trusted friend, your Pastor, get good foundational counseling from a trained, Godly counselor. If you are a friend and you see the signs in someone you love, take a step, take a stand, say something. Even if it means the person may be mad at you for a minute. If they get help its all worth it. Its better than regret.
If you see it, don’t ignore the signs, if you feel it, don’t be ashamed, get healing, get whole, get help.

Until next time,
Blessings and Peace