On the day I was born.

Dear God,

As I finished reading Doreen Virtue’s book, Assertiveness for Earth Angels, I found myself thinking back to the day I was born. It was, as you know, not an easy time for my birth mother or me as we both almost died in childbirth. For the longest time I blamed myself at some level for the challenges she went through. At the same time, I missed the experience of feeling welcomed into the world and spent a good bit of time in my life feeling as if I just was not good enough. It was as if I blamed myself for not being Jewish enough for my birth mother and her family to keep me, not being black enough for my birth family and his father to take me. Then when I was finally adopted, I battled to feel Jacobson enough next to my brothers who were biologically my parent’s children. I remember my brother once telling me I was not a real Jacobson. I have had to work at releasing those feelings and realize that the near death experience I had as an infant was a central and key part of my life and of who I am today.

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When I was a child

Recently someone shared a picture with me on Facebook which said “Remember when we were young and we couldn’t wait to grow up, so we could do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted? How’s that working out for ya?” I could remember those times. However, what I really remember when I was a child I wanted to be something I was not. I wanted to be darker skinned then I am, so I would take show polish and polish myself brown and then my mother would scrub it off of me. I wanted hair that was always curly, not just sometimes curly. My hair changes texture on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.
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Week 8, Day 5 – Simplicity

The short story I wanted to reflect on was already quite short, but spoke to my spirit this afternoon. It is called Stay in the Desert. The story goes like this, “Why do you live in the desert?” “Because I can’t be what I want to be. When I begin to be myself, people treat me with a reverence that’s false. When I am true to my faith, then they begin to doubt. They all believe they are holier than I, but they pretend they are sinners, afraid to insult my solitude. They try all the time to show that they consider me a saint, and in this way they become emissaries of the devil, tempting me with Pride.” “Your problem isn’t trying to be who you are, but accepting others the way they are. And acting in this way, it’s better to stay in the desert,” said the gentleman, walking off.
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Week 7, Day 4 – The Body

I am not sure that my wife would want me to be different sexually. I do think, however, that she wishes that my body was healthier then it has been for the last several years. I had problems with my knees when we first me and had trouble doing stairs, however, with additional injuries to my back and knees, doing stairs are now not possible and the last time I attempted to come down a single stair I could have easily fallen, and in fact almost did, even though I was using my walker. I think that is frustrating for both of us. People often say well I just have one-step or three steps, but for me that might as well be a mountain and sometimes it is so frustrating because I feel as if people do not understand. Could I go up and down the steps without falling, I have been advised otherwise. It is hard when people tell me I won’t let you fall, I promise. It is not that I do not trust them, I do. I honestly do not think they would wish for me to fall, but I also know that no one can prevent me from falling.
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Week 4, Day 3 – Releasing Overwhelm

The minute I saw this picture, I found myself at peace. I have always felt drawn to pictures of mothers and children. It is not so much that it reminds me of anything in my own life, at least not that I can remember. Maybe that is it. Maybe it is that it reminds me of what I have read about my foster parents and how they used to play with me. It reminds me of being connected to something bigger then me. It reminds me of my relationship with the creator. We are connected. I am part of something bigger then myself, and in some respects, I have my own unique identity, but there is something that connects us. I have never known my birth or foster parents, but there is a connection between us that nothing can separate.
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Week 3, Day 5 – Accepting and Reaching for Support

I guess there are all kinds of ways of dialoguing with people. for me, one way is through poetry. I have so many memories of times when I have felt supported and of times when I have supported others. The first person that came to my mind was Mikey. I have no idea where you are right now, but I have never forgotten you. It was 1970 something and my high school sweetheart gave me this ring as an expression of her love and commitment to me. She tragically died in 1975, at the age of 19. More than a decade later, I had very few things in my life that reminded me of our relationship, but I had this ring. It wasn’t anything fancy. It was this cheap little ring with an open heart, but I wore it all the time. That was until this one particular day in 1980 something. I can’t remember the exact year or dates, but what I do remember is this young five-year-old boy. His name was Mikey. What I remember about Mikey was his first day at the summer day camp. It was his first time to be separated from his mom. He was terrified and scared and nothing seemed to keep him from crying
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Week 2, Day 4 – Differences Between Us

Lol – ok, so this is why my BFF and I are BFF’s – actually she is more of my sister and spiritual partner then anything else. I still remember the day, and if she reads this she will know this is about us, but I remember the day we were sitting on this bench in the halls of the seminary and she told me I got on her nerves. Nine years later, I still get on her nerves, but in a good way. And the truth is sometimes she still gets on mine, but in a good wayJ. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. What got on her nerves -- hmm, let’s see it was part my being a feminist, my talking about women’s studies, my being out about being a lesbian and my being out about being biracial. Did I always have to be so out there and open about everything? Yeah, girl, yet here we are nine years later and who would have ever thought we would be as tight as we are today. We are so freakin different. Yet at the same time, we are so alike.
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Week 2, Day 3 – Ourselves As We Are

I have to say I have been struggling with this word acceptance. I think in part it is because it brings me back to a time in my life when in the midst of trying to be of service, I found myself also being hurt. More honestly, allowing others to hurt me. it brought me back to a time when I allowed others to hurt me and continue to hurt me until I was able to see that I was the one who was allowing them to hurt me and found the power to leave. It brings me back to this place of feeling like a round peg in a square hole. It reminds me of all the times people told me I was too much of something or not enough of something. It reminds me that God does not say as I have accepted you, accept one another, but as I have loved you love one another. It makes me feel as if there is something I need to accept. And yet at the same time there are things I need to accept in my life. no, it is more then accepting. It is knowing.
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Week 2, Day 2 – Anger

so I went to bed last night thinking about anger, knowing that this was the word for today – the emotion for today – the flavor of the day – my friends would and have told me that I do not do anger well. there are so many times that I have felt like I have exploded and yelled at someone and then when I go to apologize for how I voiced my anger, they look at me like what are you talking about? When did you yell at us? Really – did you think you were angry. I guess it is how I voice my anger that has made all the difference. But the thing about anger that frustrates me is that at times, not so much anymore, but there are times I feel like I should apologize for getting angry and that makes me angry.
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Week 2, Day 1 – Loss

Ok, so do you really want to know what I am really thinking at this very moment? I do not want to go here today. I have three days to read and grade 21 papers and the last thing I want to do is climb into the well of loss, even though I know there is a ladder that I can climb back up and out of. Yet, I know that I cannot stop the journey I started just because it is not convenient timing for me. I love myself too much, to stop now. Loss is one of those emotions that I have had to learn to live with most of my life.
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