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This Clip About Finding Yourself Through Failure Is The Cure To Your Midweek Slump

Inspiration

Oprah was fired from her first job as a newscaster in Baltimore. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. In 1993, Beyoncé was a part of a group who competed on Star Search and lost. One thing all of these icons have in common is that they were able to see the beauty in failing forward.


Anybody who's ever had a vision or a dream knows that the struggle hits a little different when you're passionate. Getting out of bed some days is rough, and I've hit rock bottom more than a few times. After overcoming a prescription pill addiction in college and wasting years of my life in a fruitless, toxic relationship, sometimes I wonder if I failed one time too many; and then suddenly, almost like magic, I remember who I am and persist in my hustle.

Life after trauma often triggers a spiritual rebirth that can elevate you to your highest potential. You will never be who you were before you failed, and according to the latest episode of CLEO SPEAKS LIVE, that's a good thing, sis.

CLEO SPEAKS LIVE | Finding Yourself After Failure | “Trauma Will Wait For You…"www.youtube.com

On the show, Sway In The Morning host Tracy G. host, sat down with our CEO Necole Kane, as well as former ESSENCE Relationship Editor, Charreah K. Jackson, and The Grio Editor Natasha Alford to share how they found themselves after experiencing tremendous failure in their lives.

While Necole gave us insight how she bounced back times 10 after going through the most emotionally-devastating point in her career with the entire world watching, and award-winning journalist and Harvard graduate, Natasha Alford explained how it felt to be broke and diagnosed with lupus at age 30.

Check out the episode above to get the boss up boost you needed to remedy your midweek slump.

Featured image by YouTube/CLEO TV.

When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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