What If? (That’s What She Said- Power and Purpose)

What if for a moment we surrender everything we think we are
What if I am not a woman, black, American, short, voluptuous, poor
What if I evolve beyond all the things I claim to be
What would be left?
Who would I be?
What would I do?
What would I seeks?

I believe that in the mind of God, Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, Spirit, Universe
Whatever force you claim
Nowhere was smallness a part of the plan
You were not meant to be mindless
Were not made to be a slave to an environment that does not grow you

Open up and let the world love you

This is your birth right
And something in you knows this
But getting to it, is the sludge you must pass through to access everything that’s next

I used to allow the passive aggression of others to shame me into silence
Tried to resist internalizing it but subconsciously would wondered why I wasn’t good enough
I used to hide my art cuz I was ashamed of it
Too much truth in these stanzas
Not enough structure and sugar coating
Not enough whisper in my woman for the comfort of men
We are raised to stay in our place
To not shake things up

This is continually reinforced
But every person who has ever made a difference on this earth at some point
Spoke up
Put in work
Every one of them learned to get back up

I am reminded of the things I know in the strangest of places
Sky Zone is where I found my grace
Somewhere between bounce and land
Watched these tiny children run and fall and get back up
Watched grown men flip and fold
Watched my friend perfect a trick
My eyes swallowed them whole
My spirit craved the thing my body was most afraid of
The freedom in flight
I wanted to flip
To allow this neglected body to exist in free fall
But I was afraid of falling
Afraid I would look stupid
Afraid someone from across the way would notice the big of me trying something not meant for my size
I was paralyzed
Couldn’t allow myself to let go enough to fall head over heel
So I bounced
In a single square in a room full of trampolines
I stayed in my place
But there is no power in that
No beauty in the fear of feeling this body resist spirit

I am more than the limitations I’ve set for myself
More than what the world tells me I can be
I am not just this skin
Not just the things I do
I am the culmination of every thought in the most high
Which makes my existence holy
And what if I tried on worthy for size
I have wasted so many hours worried
Sick to my stomach about frivolous matters and avoided my truth
What if fear didn’t control me
What if I didn’t let my past define me
What then would fill the space of where my fears lived?

I think knowingness would fill the space
I know now that I was born to write
To express
To remind the timid to be brave
So I will not behave
Will not settle into the mundane standards society has set for me as a overweight black woman in America

I will love myself enough to chase these dreams
To jump for joy
To rise in love and fall right out of self hate
Because I was born
I was born to be great

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9 thoughts on “What If? (That’s What She Said- Power and Purpose)

  1. I love your poems! you are an inspiration to me! thank you for making my life more colourful with your words! and thank you for keeping me inspired and brave 🙂

  2. Thank you, I don’t know exactly what I’m thanking you for. I guess wilhe I was reading a sudden realization hit me. I’m letting my fears control my every move, I’m slowly letting my fears control my life. I’m letting my fears control my dreams. I let the fear of failing and hurting my self in the process of achieve my dreams and hopes, I let my fear control this. I don’t want that. Thank you for letting me realise what I’m doing to myself and the future me. Thank you for finding the words to describe something I didn’t even know that I felt.

    Kathy

  3. Natalie, this poem proved your statement: YOU ARE GREAT. And best of all, your words are spoken with so much courage, strength, and truth, that it helped me to believe the same of myself. Your words are magical. What a magnificent soul you have — thank you for sharing.

  4. I was going through the worst time in my life when i heard this the first time. i couldnt express any feelings, i was afraid of everything, i was stuck and moving no where… and i watched you read this and my insides broke. within 24 hours of hearing it i finally let down my walls, finally stopped lying to myself, finally got the strength to move forward, to make decisions, to realise i can make it out the other side of the disaster. that i dont have to wish to be certain things. that i can just be. i can find me and i can love me.
    thank you!

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