Beautifully Broken-Being Molded & Shaped Part II

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair…” 2 Corinthians 4:8

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In my last blog, Beautifully Broken-Being the Clay Part I, I left off with my teenage years. After the abortion, I turned to Jesus.  It seemed like the natural thing to do.  Deep down inside, I knew it was the Spirit of God that led me to the church that morning before school.  I remember that day as if it were yesterday.   On my way to school, there was church along the way.  There was an urging to go in.  I went in, knelt down and simply said: “Jesus please for forgive me for giving you back a life.  I was not my fault, I had to listen to my mother.  Please forgive her, she doesn’t know what she did.  I promise you, Jesus, that if you ever give me the chance to carry life again, except for being raped, I never give it back.”  And I kept my covenant agreement, and so did God.  After the father of my aborted child was murdered, I was lost once again.  Who would love me the way he did?   I also found out that I was the envy of many of the girls in my high school because apparently, they all wanted to date him and they made no qualms about questioning his choice in me.  Another crack in the pot.  I looked at myself again and felt unworthy of a love that would never be.  Crack!!

About a year a later, I met the one who I thought was my second chance at love.  He was smart, nice, and he noticed me.  He told me I had beautiful brown skin, to which I responded: “I am dark-skinned!” He looked at me and said: “No, you are brown skinned.” It was the very first time that someone had to acknowledge me as “brown” and not “black”.  It was another immature love affair.  He did what most teenage boys do, allow their friends to influence them, and we broke up after a year.  I later found out that he was cheating on me with my friend and fellow cheerleader. Crack!

Young Adult Years

After graduating High School, I had a summer job at the airport as a security guard.  I was on the rebound, devastated by the break-up of the person I thought was my 2d chance at love.  There, I met my oldest child’s father.  A handsome guy; looked like a famous R&B Artist of the decade.  Everyone wanted him, and he wanted me.  Boost to the ego! Right?? Wrong.  Problem #1, he had a girlfriend. No problem, it was cute while it lasted.  But apparently, he liked me more and so he broke up with her to be with me.  Problem #2, his mother is half white and had color issues…Not this again… Crack!!!

Now I am fighting someone’s mother for a chance at love.  I have come to learn that rebound love is very dangerous and damaging.  I found myself pregnant again, but this time, no backsies.  This child was my proof that God forgives and He honors His covenant agreements (learned that later on in life).  I was fighting for my life and that of my child.  My mother was embarrassed by my pregnancy, she treated me with disgust; she even tried pushing me down the stairs.  I had to fight my child’s soon to be grandmother, who was disgusted because her son chose a “darkie”.  My saving grace was my grandmother.  She loved me and protected me and accepted my pregnancy.  The only thing she wanted me to do is to finish college.  And I did.  Pregnant and all.

Sometimes in life, we go through circumstances that seem unbearable.  But God, (don’t you love that line?) wants you to be encouraged, He said in this world we would have trials and tribulations, but be of good cheer; Jesus overcame the world.  While going through trials and tribulations we must recognize that the darkest attacks from the enemy will come just before our breakthrough from the Lord.  And it’s during those dark times that the enemy will come to try you, taunt you, and cause you to doubt if the Lord will ever deliver you.

The Pot has cracks, but not yet broken.

Left alone, but never forgotten
Misunderstood, but my future is just starting
God is molding me and making me
He’s building me and shaping me
A Queen is being formed right in front of your eyes
So don’t count me out

So don’t count me out
When you don’t see what He sees
You can’t tell, but his glory is resting on me
I’m his choice
I’m after his heart
The unveiling is starting now
So don’t count me out.

There’s a queen in me
Goliaths to defeat
Visions to decree
It’s my destiny–Marvin Sapp

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Stay Tuned for Part III Beautifully Broken-Cracked But Not Yet Broken.

Beautifully Broken,

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From Wilderness to Promise

“The minute I get out of my own way, I will see the road ahead.” -Dominique McCullough.

I have been on this journey since 2015.  Maybe longer and I just was unaware.  My journey started out of pain, hurt and disappointment in myself mainly.  Conscious and unconscious actions and decisions led me down a path of self-destruction.  I had convinced myself that I was destined for a life of struggle.  I would get what I wanted, but it would come harder than everyone else.  As a result, I built this wall to keep hurt and pain away. If anyone tried to enter, I fought like hell.

Yes, I have been on this journey in search of my purpose, my reason for being.  My Destiny…“In the Messiah, He chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in His presence”Ephesians 1:4 Complete Jewish Bible.  However, what I see is a broken little girl, who grew up to be a broken woman, in search of healing…

I have heard the voice of the prophets, I have heard the small still voice of the Holy Spirit.  I also heard the voice of Fear, and Doubt; Procrastination and Distraction.  Sets of “twins” whose job is to convince me that all God has said about me in Ephesians 1 is not true.  But I have pushed through it, fighting for what God has for me.  Not always leaning on Him, often times leaning on my own understanding.  But God keeps me, covers me, because “In all His wisdom and insight, He has made known His secret plan, which by His own will He designed beforehand in connection with the Messiah and will put into effect when the time is ripe-His plan to place everything in heaven and on Earth under the Messiah’s Headship.” Ephesians 1:8-10 Complete Jewish Bible.  Therefore His plan must come to fruition.  His purpose for me.

tumblr_ogylphrK4S1ut1kpfo1_1280When the launch of Tear The Veil, Inc. did not happen.  I was disappointed and embarrassed. I was faced with yet another hurdle, and although I really tried to tell myself, that this is all in God’s Plan, my mind, was working overtime to show me my failure.  One morning I woke up and found this in my inbox: You have endured everything from inconvenience to hardship with every circumstance leading to the understanding of life, people and yourself.  The lessons learned have been invaluable and ultimately have had the potential of making you stronger than you have ever been as you trust Me in all things.  You are truly being transformed into My image, says the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18 So all of us, with faces unveiled, see as in a mirror the glory of the Lord; and we are being changed into His image, from one degree of glory to the next, by Adonai the Spirit. That confirmed it all for me. Tear The Veil Inc., is going to launch as one of the most phenomenal women’s empowerment organizations in this nation…In His timing.

There is a purpose in the wilderness, my wilderness.  In 2015, I traveled to Bali and climbed to the top of the Batur Volcano Mountain.  It took two and half hours. I now understand Deuteronomy 8:2. God speaks to us in the wilderness.  God also humbles and proves us in the wilderness.  The wilderness period can last days, or years, depending on how quickly we learn its lessons.

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In the meantime, I am changing and building a new circle of women, leaving some folks behind, stepping out on faith, doing it Afraid and Alone. WALKING INTO MY DESTINY!!!!

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“Love Yourself” Susan L. Taylor

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I began my subscription to Essence Magazine whenI was 15.  This was at a time when there was no real way of checking if you were old enough to take on that responsibility.  I so looked forward to receiving my monthly copy, just so I can read what the Editor in Chief had to say.  I remember looking at her photo and seeing a Black Goddess.  Her long cornrows, going straight down her back.  The “Essence” of Black Beauty.  Susan L. Taylor, a journalism beast! Susan L. Taylor (born January 23, 1946) is an American editor, writer, and journalist. She served as editor-in-chief of Essence from 1981 through 2000. In 1994, American Libraries referred to Taylor as “the most influential black woman in journalism today”.

Susan Leaves Essence Magazine

“I will be leaving Essence to do what at this juncture in my life has become a larger work for me—building the National Cares Mentoring Movement, which I founded as Essence Cares and today is my deepest passion.”
–Susan L. Taylor, December 28, 2007)

When Ms. Taylor left Essence Magazine, I was devastated.  I sat in disbelief as I read her letter.  Who was going to be my source of inspiration?  see Susan had become my “Judy Blume” at a time when I was not only coming into my womanhood but also my awareness of who I was becoming as a Black Woman.  I grew up in the era of “Black Power” as a child of the ’70’s.  The images of “Black Is Beautiful” was overshadowed by my generation’s need to be all that we can be as an African-American Community, breaking free (or so we thought) from segregation and enjoying the freedoms established by the Civil rights Movement.  Susan, in my eyes, represented the images of the ’70’s, the breaking of barriers, my mirror.   The magazine was never the same.  I let my subscription lapse.  In New York Times article, dated December 28, 2007, it lists all of her accomplishments, especially the reason why she left the magazine- to pursue her desire and passion for helping disadvantaged children.  She is an avid supporter of a host of organizations dedicated to moving the Black community forward. Her passion and focus are on creating equity in education and turning around the nation’s failing schools, which, she says are “the pipeline to prison.” Susan founded the CARES Mentoring Organization to address these issues, that plagues the Black Community.

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So this Women’s Month and International Women’s Day I celebrate Susan L. Taylor! #BeBoldForChange

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Dropped it in 2016

I knew that God wanted to do something new in my life and heal the wounds of my past.  I was so sure, that when the theme came to my spirit, I was confident that I was hearing the voice of God.  “From Girlhood to Womanhood…A Journey- Healing the Invisible Wounds.”  A voice within that needed to be heard, because I was all too familiar with the “invisible wounds”.  The date was set. November 11, 2016.  I was excited, determined, but also without direction and guidance from the One who called me… Adonai, El-Shaddai, My Lord, My Father.  I trusted people to help me carry this vision.  I was promised a venue.  I had speakers lined up. I had sponsors.  The harder I worked, the harder it got.  I was looking for support from friends and family, but when that did not seem to happen, I allowed disappointment, self-doubt, and failure to consume me. I was talking a good game of faith but didn’t have any.  I found myself alone, hurt and disappointed…Right, where God wanted me.

Yes, God did want to do something new in my life and heal the wounds of my past.  Yes, I know that part of my destiny is to help other women.  He was bringing back to my remembrance the Prophetic Word over my life concerning this, and in my mind, what better time to go forth than when I myself am going through…We can all heal together, right?

We often times like to assign blame to the enemy what it is God saying “No, not yet.”  I was convinced that the enemy was trying to silence me. Keep me from my Purpose and Destiny by throwing distractions my way.  The harder I fought, the weaker I got.  I am not a quitter so I held on until I had no choice but to “let go”.  To drop it, and admit defeat and failure.  Leaving me feeling embarrassed.

Willing to “Let Go” of the Old.

“Letting go” seemed to be a common theme for me toward the end of 2016.  I have been searching for the door to freedom.  Looking back at my blog posts here on  Unveiled By Dominique, I saw the detailing of my different journeys but like the Israelites searching for the Promise Land, going around in a circle.  I started on a 40 Day Journey and only got up to Day 15.  I didn’t know what I was holding on to.  I mean, I did…Something in my childhood.  A familiar feeling, a spirit that plagued me all of my life.  I just could not identify it.   There seemed to be an unwillingness to face my own demons and heal.  Holding on to the pain because it justified my current situation.  When that “demon” is all you know, “letting go” is not easy.

All Things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

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The Unveiling Begins- Beautiful Black Butterflyz™

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In September, I wrote a blog about the Genesis of the “Veil” behind which we, as women of color hide behind, to mask the realities of our lives that have plagued us, going as far back as childhood.

On January 17, 2016, Beautiful Black Butterflyz™, an organization established to inspire African American Girls and young women to live in and love the beauty of their natural skin, will launch its empowerment movement is Queens NY.  As the founder of Kiss Me Nature and Unveiled By Dominique, I will partner with Beautiful Black Butterflyz™ to help spread this empowerment movement of promoting love for the skin we are in, and healing of the deep wounds in our community for women of color both young and wise.

The Founders of Beautiful Black Butterflyz™, Traci Spencer and Aisha Harris understood the need of teaching our young girls of color about loving the skin they are in.  Their slogan, “Every SHADE has a Story…I Love the Beautiful that I am!” is the force behind the mission to build self esteem and encourage positive self images by creating a foundation that fosters healthy inter/intra-personal relationships. They believe that it will lead to productive and fulfilling lives.  The young girls and young ladies of Beautiful Black Butterflyz™ will be encouraged to explore their feelings and understand and develop their inner beauty.

Unveiled by Dominique: Removing the Veil…Revealing the Beauty   is on track with this movement.  I believe that this will be the foundation of the whole woman these girls are destined to be.  We are a race of people of the African Diaspora, divided by “whose pain is greater”, yet facing the same feelings of non-acceptance in our own culture. On the one hand, its the “Dark-Skinned Girls” saying “I don’t want to be called Black” and on the other “Light-Skinned Girls” feeling “not Black enough”.

I am all to familiar with this “Dark Girl Syndrome”.  The liberating moment for me came when Mr. Barack Obama became the First African American President of the United States of America.  But for me, it so much more that him being president, it was his wife, the First Lady of the United States of America. She is a beautiful Woman of Color and dare I say “Dark Skinned.”  When it was announced that President Obama won the election in 2008, the first thing I said was “SHE LOOKS LIKE ME!!!!!!!!!!” “SHE LOOKS LIKE ME!!!!!!!”  I was yelling all through out the house.  Though I didn’t express it, subconsciously, First Lady Michelle Obama dispelled every wrong thing that society saw in “my skin”.  She was not the “accepted” color to fit the ideology of Black acceptance in the United States.  In her, I saw me.

So the real question bears answering: is America that damaged by the devastation of slavery that even centuries after its abolition, we are still not able to see ourselves as beautiful beings?

In response to this, Beautiful Black Butterflyz™ has positioned itself to meet the challenges and recognizes that the empowerment of women does not start at womanhood, but in childhood.  Kiss Me Nature and Unveiled by Dominique, joins them to empower and instill in our little girls the beauty they possess.

Will you join us as we celebrate these girls and young women?

Subscribe now!

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A Look Back…The Genesis of the Veil

On June 23, 2013, Oprah did a PHENOMENAL job at uncovering the “Untold Story” of Colorism in America . The documentary Dark Girls is a fascinating and controversial film that goes underneath the surface to explore the prejudices that dark-skinned women face throughout the world. It explores the roots of classicism, racism and the lack of self-esteem within a segment of cultures that span from America to the most remote corners of the globe. Women share their personal stories, touching on deeply ingrained beliefs and attitudes of society, while allowing generations to heal as they learn to love themselves for who they are.

But she didn’t stop there.  In Bill Duke’s Light Girls, real women share their emotional testimonials of what it’s like to be told you’re not a “real black person.”

So here we are, a race of people of the African Diaspora, divided by “whose pain is greater”, yet facing the same feelings of nonacceptance by their own people. On the one hand, its the “Dark Girls” saying “I don’t want to be called Black” and on the other “Light Girls” feeling “not Black enough”.

Dark Girls: A World Television Premiere Event – First Look (Click to view), for me cracked opened the “Pandora’s Box” of the suffering I endured growing up the only “Dark Skinned” on my maternal side of the family.  I remember my Grand-Mother, whom I loved dearly, and still do (she passed in 2002) telling me that I was “stupid” for taking after my father.  She made me purse my lips, in an effort to conceal my full lips, and pinch my nose to “re-shape” them to that of European features.  She even told me once, that if someone at school called me “Black” I was to respond “well, you are white like snow.”   Even at 6 years old, and in the first grade, I could rationalize how that was a bad thing.  Here is the caveat: my best friend in the first grade was an Italian girl, with blond hair and blue eyes. We were thick as thieves. We both had staring roles in all of the school plays, we ate together at lunch; we even shared lunch…So I waited for her to call me “Black”. She never did.  We were friends up until High School, when the reality of racism in America split us apart.  We were on the bus, going to school together, as we always did. As we sat next to each other talking and giggling, a group of African American girls said “of course it would be the blackest of us to hang out with white girls” Wait what?!? That statement stuck with me the entire day.  It was then that I looked at the the students in my new school and saw the segregation of race and culture.  I stopped being her friend, because I was in search of this new “BLACK” identity.

See I grew up on the heels of “Black Power” in America. The Afro-puffs tied neatly and tight with “bo-bo’s”. “Black is Beautiful” was in everyone’s home.  “The Blacker the Berry, the Sweeter the Juice” was our theme song. I left the US and resided in the French West Indian island of Martinique.  I don’t remember being judged by the color of my skin. Everyone loved my chocolate smooth skin, unblemished and even.  That’s what they would say. Yes, as an adult looking back at it now, there was colorism.  The people on the Island were defined as follows: “Negresse”, “Couli” and “Mulatte”, in plain English: “Negro”, “Indian” and “Mulatto”.  Still, to be a “Negresse” was the face of Madinina.

The liberating moment for me as an adult came when Mr. Barack Obama became the First African American President of the United States of America.  But for me, it so much more that him being president, it was his wife, the First Lady of the United States of America! She is a beautiful Woman of Color and dare I say “Dark Skinned”  When it was announced that President Obama won the election, the first thing I said was “SHE LOOKS LIKE ME!!!!!!!!!!” “SHE LOOKS LIKE ME!!!!!!!”  I was yelling all through out the house.  Though I didn’t express it, subconsciously, First Lady Michelle Obama dispelled every wrong thing that society saw in “my skin”.

So the real question bears answering: is America that damaged by the devastation of slavery that even centuries after its abolition, we are still not able to see ourselves as beautiful beings?

In response to this, there is a new organization on the rise, that is ready to attack this issue head on, starting with our little girls.  Beautiful Black Butterflyz™ recognizes the the need to empower women does not start at womanhood, but in childhood.  We must begin to empower and instill in our little girls the beauty they possess. Traci Spencer and Aisha Harris are the Founders of Beautiful Black Butterflyz™, an organization that promotes self-love, self-acceptance, self-worth and beauty to our young girls of color.

As Beautiful Black Butterflyz™ prepares for its official launch in January 2016, Unveiled By Dominique will partner with Beautiful Black Butterflyz™ to help spread this initiative of promoting love for our skin, and healing the deep wounds in our community for women both young and wise.

Let the “Unveiling” begin.

The Empowerment Movement…Women Empowering Each Other- Part One

“Whenever you get a room full of black women, you automatically fuel discussions on the issues that affect us most. Social media is like that room.  We’ve truly gotten the opportunity to hear each other, speak to each other, and work toward solving our issues,” says writer and film maker, Arielle Loren.

In an article from Madame Noire, it states that:.. While black women have always “held up the torch” for the black community in both activism, religiosity and day-to-day familial support, thousands of women are getting tired.  “There may be a sense of fatigue, I think that comes from that sense of support and uplift not being reciprocated,” says professor B. Afeni McNeely Cobham, Ph.D.,  a visiting assistant professor in the department of African and African-American Studies, Metropolitan State College.  Dr. Cobham also points to the pervasiveness of pop culture and how the notion of interracial dating and mating is becoming a viable option reflected in show’s like “What Chilli Wants.”

Women have always been on the front lines of empowerment.  However, not always empowering each other, but the men we stood behind and the children we raised.  We have always been and always will be the care takers, the nurturers, the help-meet.  But who takes care of us?  Who do we lean on when we are sick and tired?  When we are overwhelmed? When we have relationship issues?  Who is listening to us?

While I don’t want to make this blog race specific, I want to talk about the plight of women of color, not just the continental African diaspora or the African- American diaspora, but also the Islamic Women, who are rising up to establish their identity as women.

However, in this blog, I want to  talk about the forward process of the the women of the African-American Diaspora.  While some men are attempting to completely take our feminine power away from us in many insidious ways by blaming us for the rise in single motherhood, for the breakdown in the family unit, the young women are giving themselves up to have a boyfriend who is totally unworthy of them and allow them to cheapen and lessen their impact on the world,  there are some men who recognize the power of the woman-Black Woman- and understand that our power, if used correctly, will do what is it intended to do- to uplift man- without  sacrificing his masculinity, but recognizing its added benefits.

Still, only women understand women.  It does not matter how many books written by male authors that are out there that attempt to tell us who we are, we are the ones who understand the challenges we face in our gender and our race.

There are Women Empowerment Movement groups and organizations popping up everywhere.  Not anything new, if you look at the history of sororities, the women suffrage and other “feminist” organizations of the past, many that are still existing today.

Yet as society evolves, and things change, things still remain the same.  Women have now added on the “career” aspect on top of motherhood, wife, caretaker, nurturer, supporter, and the plethora of nouns that we are to everyone but ourselves.   This balancing act that we have to do, to be the “Complete Woman” takes its toll…So what do we do?

In August of 2015, I decided that that was the month that was going to be a new beginning, as defined in the biblical definition of the number 8.  I attended this meet & greet affair, with women I had met via periscope, something I would never do- and formed a bond with two other women that led to the creation of Ladies That Brunch-An Empowerment Movement. The purpose of the brunch is to  foster a global women empowerment movement for current and aspiring entrepreneurial women to connect, gather and share knowledge  over a brunch in a metropolitan city. Based in New York City, NY Ladies That Brunch: NYC purposes to provide an outlet where women can empower each other and establish relationships (and friendships) that can carry on throughout their entrepreneurial endeavor.  Interestingly enough,  I came across an organization that share the EXACT same purpose, based out in Atlanta, GA.  The name of the organization is Ladies Who Brunch:Atlanta. Our stories are the same.

I have the pleasure of knowing a phenomenal woman by the name of Tywanda Blocker, who is also one of the pastors at my local church.  Understanding the need we have as Black women, the need to connect to each other on a level that we can understand and of course, in response to the cry of women looking to unveil the beauty within, she formed and organization called  “I AM Beautiful Woman” which helps promote wholeness, beauty, self-love, self confidence and completion.

The need to empower women does no start at womanhood, but in childhood, as we begin to empower and instill in our little girls the beauty they possess. Traci Spencer is the Founder of “Little Brown Girls”, an organization that promotes self-love, self-acceptance, self-worth and beauty to young girls.

On October 24, 2015 “I AM BEAUTIFUL” will be hosting an event called “Ladies in Pink & White.  There will be food, fun, fellowship and LIVE entertainment. It is located in Queens, NY.

On October 25, 2015 Ladies That Brunch: NYC will be hosting its first Brunch in Harlem, NY.  For more information, email us at ladiesthatbrunchnyc2015@gmail.com for more information.

Be Empowered as you Unveil the Beauty Within

 

D.M