A TOAST TO THE PAIN THAT MADE US POWERFUL

BY DAVE BRIDGEFORTH

Let me tell you of what it means to be Loud. For one is only Loud out of necessity. One may need to be Loud because ones volume does not suffice. One also may need to be Loud to battle suppression from another.  Therefore one becomes Loud. 

In a world where we are oppressed because of the melanin-colored brush strokes layered on the canvas of our skin or the lack of respect for our sexual or gender expressions or diversities; we are only Loud out of courage for life has humbled most of us. 

I must be honest with you, this path is lonely and uncomfortable.....More times than not, it is painful. This path that most avoid taking is expensive; taxing ones essence at every turn; all with the requirement that all bets are paid in full and up front.

I am affirming what it many times is to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans gender or queer and of color. It is a journey of the brave...not for the faint of heart. I have learned that they will say they love you, whoever they are to you, and they will end up hurting you in perhaps the worse of ways. You will learn that the feelings of hurt come synonymous with the feelings of love, and you will learn to say thank you for both.

You will find on this path that everyone who follows you isn’t for you. Many just want to know the brand of tea you're sipping, what moves your making, how you moan when you make love, and how green and long your dollars are. This life most likely will cause most of us to bleed a little; as our wounds leave a trail of how they got away with it when we were wronged, violated, or mistreated. Some of us having to keep caged in desperation the quiet agony within us, roaring through white smiles and tears that well up like floodwaters in our eyes. I’ve come to know that to be Loud is the struggle of defending your humanity in this experience; navigating through the darkest of valleys as you learn to be your own rod and staff, steadying yourself. 

Shoutout to the pain that stirred a presence within us. A standing ovation for all the hell we thought would burn us alive as we fought through it only to come out on the other side different. A few teaspoons of sugar for the bitter wounds, we've been salty long enough as we press through the travesties of what it takes to be or to live or love and to evolve upward in this world.

Please understand, from your presence, all your success will flow. It is the cumulative energy that is developed as you lean into goodness in spite of adversity. Your presence is so magnificent and magnetic that it brings to the forefront that which serves your greatest purpose. It cultivates the opportunities that live inside the realm of your belief and propels them to you. Presence goes before you to make your case for you.  It sets the mood and makes every unspoken intention clear. Presence makes room for you amongst greatness, for it is what positions you for power.  That is why there is no shortcut to the evolution of your soul. You can not cheat your way to presence.  You have it or you don’t. 

Thanksgiving for the presence within that moved us into positions of power, for our souls have been longing to manifest the divinity inside the glory of all that we really are.                

Let me tell you about power since there are a group of us who want it for ourselves or over others, but don’t understand how it’s created or where it comes from. We survived, whatever it was, and the way in which we digested the hurt gave us our volume. The audacity to hold our heads with dignity as we made it over a vicissitude of inconveniences. We fight for others as we turn the other cheek in our lives for we many times must stand taller than we are to show the bend of justice. 

Is it possible that right now is a gift? That hidden in the experience of our temporary struggles lie the position for power. Could our many wounds be where the light seeps into our lives? The grand gesture of our lives should be to step into the world as consistently Loud and colorful and courageous as we know to be; to lend our energies, stories, and our intentions to the greater good of all.

We must be responsible for the energy of that which we choose to be in the world for it chases us like the sun engulfing shadows at the break of day. Who we choose to be, the attitude in which we mediate our conduct, words and deeds are the blessings or curses reaching for the helm of our garments.

We must be consistent in offering our best selves to the world as we create art from the struggles we live through. We must tell our stories and promote each others experiences until these black and brown tones in our skin and the expression in our step is no longer a death sentence in the streets of America. We must showcase our gifts, talents and abilities until equality bends our way. For it is only in the knowingness of how great and divine we really are that we get to live in the experience of those possibilities.