If you're anything like us, every single day of 2016 - though thrilling - has felt like an intense exercise in keeping together what some ill aggregation of nonsense is steadily aiming to pull apart.
My prediction is that the rest of 2016 is going to be: hard, exciting, frightening, beautiful, treacherous, and splendid, to summarize. It's also going to require black minds and bodies to shore up in ways I'm not entirely sure we prepared for.
But we can get there. I brought emotional support in the form of @fatbellybella.
It's easy to run down some of Erykah Badu's most insightful hits - "Tyrone," "Apple Tree," "In Love with You," "Cleva," "Out My Mind, Just In Time;" the weight of the last 2 weeks feels like reason enough to revisit a moment 16 years ago, when Badu's "Bag Lady" effortlessly blew up our whole spot.
No. Lo Down Loretta Brown was not discussing the latest Louis Vuitton. She was illuminating the unfortunate fact that too many of us have never been taught the art of letting go.
When our fave analog girl in a digital world says, “all you must hold onto is you,” what you should hear is:
Anyone or anything that does not want you is not for you. No matter how badly you think you desire it.
In fact, you should also hear:
Holding on to anyone or anything that does not want you, that is not for you, is actually just you standing in the way you and of your life's necessary trajectory.
You won't let you be great. You won't let you be free.
And you've got to get so free that your past no longer haunts you.
If you're still holding on to something or someone or some feeling that held you back in 2015, do yourself a favor, in this moment, stop.
Just let it go.
In addition to letting go, you've got to believe that much more is available to you - no matter how hard/exciting/frightening/beautiful/treacherous/splendid it might seem.
One of the most poignant lessons comes in "Bag Lady's" parting language: "BET YOU LOVE CAN MAKE IT BETTER"
Erykah Badu gets it: If you do it right, and enough, love can make it better.
Love yourself enough to know exactly what no longer serves you.
No matter what you want, all you need is the most gangster combination of self love and reflection you can muster.
That will bring healing; that will bring change; that will bring a clear vision of what you desire the next time you offer up the rare gift that is your self.
Until next time ...