Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Lynnette // Soulful Beauty of the Week


"I wish that we could instill the beauty of strong character. Teach our sons to be amazed by a little girl’s honesty. Point out a woman’s thoughtfulness and hard work and make that the epitome of womanliness. It should not have anything to do with hair length, waist to hip ratio or how seriously you are rocking that skirt and heels. Every time I see a party flyer or a music video I cringe inwardly at the hyper-sexualization of women. We are so often diminished down to what we could possibly offer in a bedroom. We are more than cushion and orifice."
| Lynnette



*Describe your a-ha moment.
The first “a-ha moment” that comes to mind, happened after a relationship ended in my early twenties. He was perfect; handsome, focused, family orientated, everyone loved him, and he wanted me. Our families and community thought we belonged together. In an effort to hold on to him, I tried to be everything I thought he wanted. I never pushed back if I disagreed. I rarely voiced an opinion that did not sound like one of his. It became difficult to recognize myself. I began to resent him. He was controlling and a bit shallow, but he was young too.

I began compiling an invisible list of every single thing he did or did not do that I did not like. We broke up when the list became overwhelmingly large. He was surprised. I painted him as a villain for a long time after that. The “a-ha” came when I realized the relationship could have never worked because I had never shown up. I did not believe a man would be able to love the real me so I created a different person to stand in place of myself.

*What’s your best piece of woman-to-woman advice?
My best advice to a woman would be: Hold on to your girlfriends! I have always been a “woman’s woman”. I am feminine. I am polite. I am kind and forgiving. I am attractive in an obvious but non-threatening kind of way. I am a poet and I write and speak about things that allow me to be vulnerable and open. It makes me relatable. I have always been able to draw women closer to me. I’m a chick magnet!

I have been very blessed and fortunate to maintain strong, long-lasting, healthy relationships with women. I would be a useless pile of estrogen without my girls. They keep me sane. They tell me the truth. They know all about me and love me anyway. I have let some people down and I have been let down but it does not make me feel like women cannot be trusted. Get you a good girlfriend. I always look at women sideways who say they do not get along well with other women. It usually means they do not know how to be a friend. It takes work. But it’s worth it.


*What has been your favorite mistake?
My favorite mistake was dating my son’s father. Out of respect for my son I have been protective of this truth. There has never been a doubt in my mind that my precious, big-headed, loud-mouthed, super smart, always watching, menace of a man child is supposed to be here. He is wanted and always has been. He is hilarious and curious and destructive and amazing. He is not quite two years old and he is destined for greatness. His father was fun and easy to be around and generous and persistent and not as available as he initially presented himself to be. I continued to see him using reasoning that could barely be supported with good sense. 

His father has not been a part of our lives since I told him I was pregnant. I thought that type of thing only happened on Maury Povich. It has been a humbling experience. I am not better than anyone. But I work really hard to be a person that will make my son proud. And I never speak ill of his father or encourage others to do it in my son’s presence. I truly believe this is an example of God taking your mess and turning it into something beautiful. God is so gracious. I am a much more understanding person these days. We all fall short of God’s glory.

*So far, what has been the most challenging aspect of being a woman?
One of the biggest challenges of being a woman is having my value, my self-worth being measured by my physical appearance. We, as a society, are much more forgiving of, or impressed by women who look a certain way. Our looks, no matter how well we care for our skin and our bodies, are the one thing that will change. It makes women fearful of aging and trying desperately, and futilely to hold on to dissipating youth. 

I wish that we could instill the beauty of strong character. Teach our sons to be amazed by a little girl’s honesty. Point out a woman’s thoughtfulness and hard work and make that the epitome of womanliness. It should not have anything to do with hair length, waist to hip ratio or how seriously you are rocking that skirt and heels. Every time I see a party flyer or a music video I cringe inwardly at the hyper-sexualization of women. We are so often diminished down to what we could possibly offer in a bedroom. We are more than cushion and orifice.


*What do you not want us to know?
I do not want you to know that I am the Master Procrastinator. Everything I complete is just in the nick of time! I cannot stand this about myself. I am pressure-prompted. It has to hurt a little for me to get it done. It is a daily struggle and it leads to such unnecessary anxiety.

*When do you feel most creative? What inspires you?
I am most creative in the wee hours of the night. Those quiet moments when I am supposed to be sleeping is where all the good poetry lives. I can write my ass off at three in the a.m. I am inspired by life. Things that happen around me and to me are awesome kindling for art.

*What does it mean to you to be a soulful beauty?
A soulful beauty sounds like a person whose light shines so astonishingly bright, the best parts of her, the parts you cannot see by just looking at her, are recognizable to anyone in her presence. A soulful beauty is true to God and to herself. She is making contributions to the world that will exist long after her time here is done. It is a real good compliment.

*What is your favorite quote, scripture or affirmation?
Trust in the Lord with your whole heart and lean not on your on understanding. Acknowledge Him in everything and He will direct your path. Trust God. 


Name:  Lynnette Johnson
Age: 37  
Twitter:  @knottypoet

12 comments:

  1. Wow, I can definitely identify with certain parts of your aha moment. Funny how I never thought that I would get over that ... but you do. You keep on living. We are so resilient. Great read!

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    1. We are so resilient Ashley! Thank you for the feedback. Those Aha moments just keep on showing up.

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  2. "I wish that we could instill the beauty of strong character. Teach our sons to be amazed by a little girl’s honesty. Point out a woman’s thoughtfulness and hard work and make that the epitome of womanliness. It should not have anything to do with hair length, waist to hip ratio or how seriously you are rocking that skirt and heels." ---This says it all. IT is something that I want teach my son about and instill in my daughter.

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  3. I appreciate how open and honest you are. Let's teach our sons those things and make sure the men we surround them with also appreciate those things too.

    You write beautifully.

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    1. Thank you Mel. We are going to raise these boys right. There will be a thorough vetting process for all role models.

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  4. dang this is some good writing! from a brilliant woman.

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  5. The questions Miss GG asks were so thought provoking! I love the space you have over here. Thank you for featuring me.

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  6. She has a way with words. I love her for her rawness, her favorite mistake must have been difficult to reveal but she did it and with such vulnerability. I also love love loved her answer to the most challenging aspect of being a woman. That entire second paragraph? Yes!

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  7. I love what you said about the most challenging aspect of being a woman. Actually, I liked it all. Thank you for sharing!

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  8. This is such an filling read. It's very touching to see how we're all able to take the things that could be trials and tribulations, and turn them into something beautiful.
    Those aha moments are what make us wake up from snoozing in life.

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