Featuring Glenda-Ray Riviere
Be-Loved I AM, Be-Loved YOU Are, Be-Loved WE Are.
As a young child, I experienced being neither seen nor heard. I remember hiding behind the curtain, wondering what might happen if I dared to express my feelings, thoughts, or emotions freely. Silence found me instead. But all of these unexpressed emotions and feelings had to go somewhere, and somewhere turned out to be the bathtub.
I was a young adult who was beginning to identify who I was or was not in this world. While sitting in the tub washing my locks, something appeared out of nowhere in my hand. Could this be? Was that dark clump my hair?
More appeared. No! This was not happening. It must be a nightmare! When I stepped out of the tub with my hand full of dark masses of hair, I looked into the mirror and saw someone different. My eyebrows should have been un-plucked and full—and now they were gone! Thin lines appeared above the eyes that looked back at me.
Painfully fast, painfully slow, all of my hair fell out.
Yes, all fell out from within, including all those unexpressed thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Who was I now? Who would ever want me? My dear mother offered to help by suggesting I use makeup to draw on a face.
Oh, how she tried, in her matter-of-factness, to lighten things up— or was it to darken them? My loving sister with her warm, gentle hand brought me to a salon to be fitted with a scratchy wig to cover up my head, so I could be seen in public. Her heart so desired to make things better. I tried to smile and pretend all was fine, again.
This was the hiding or pushing away of words I longed to scream. Was it me, or my world? “Yes! Make the world stop!” I cried out to my mother of birth. “Stay home with me. No more work. No more school.”
“Oh, my,” Mother replied while making her bed. “Vanity is a funny thing, isn’t it, dear?”
Time passed while I pretended to cope.
Why couldn’t everything just STOP? The following years saw me just going through the motions. One day, I found myself in the hospital, barely able to breathe; full-blown pneumonia was ravaging my lungs, leaving me with only 20 percent capacity to breathe the breath of life.
The doctor said, in a matter-of-fact way, “We will do the best we can.” My parents stood at the foot of the bed, glancing at their watches, worried about their parking meter running out of time.
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Editor’s Note: This excerpt is from just one of many Sacred Stories of our time. Powerful voices from around the globe that speak to our shared human experience. May they inspire you and give you great hope. Order your personal copy of CHAOS TO CLARITY: SACRED STORIES OF TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE today and discover hope for the future and a blueprint for your life ⤵︎