'Empire' Star Grace Gealey on Being Her Sister's Keeper

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"We are so busy assuming that everyone doesn't mean the best for us that we are automatically on the offensive," writes the "Empire" star in her ESSENCE.com blog.

A recent episode of Empire broke.my.heart. From the family banding together to keep Empire intact to the Lyon brothers in the elevator scene singing 'Lean On Me', the theme was evident: putting differences aside and letting love guide you through. Taking care of each other. Looking out for each other. Being 'more than a conqueror' through these difficult moments in life. It was empowering, uplifting and inspiring. Took my breath away.  

And then I got mad. Really mad.

Why aren't we doing this more in life? And I'm not just talking about being there for those who have been there for you for the last 15 years of your life. That's easy. That's expected. I'm talking about something more; something deeper. We all know this already but we live in a dog eat dog world. And it pisses me the heck off. It's gotten to the point where now, on a daily basis, we are living in so much fear that we automatically judge and assume that those around us are out to get us. I get it ALL the time being a light-skinned woman. The assumptions are unbelievable. The truth is, we all have been subjected to this. We are so busy assuming that everyone doesn't mean the best for us that we are automatically on the offensive. We think of, take care of, protect, stand up for and support no one but ourselves (or those who have 'proved' themselves to us). How is that even remotely spiritually rewarding?  

Now, I'm not talking about going out in the world and being taken advantage of. No. You have to keep your space sacred. Clearly. 

What I'm talking about is, upon meeting people, we rarely show love first; instead we show fear. I'm talking about those who have done no harm but we're so saturated in our assumptions, it's easier to stay basking in them than it is to get over ourselves and show grace. I'm talking about going out of our way to bully and tear people down. And I'm talking....especially to the women on this one.  Ladies, why are we so at odds with each other?  There was a time when we stuck by each other's sides and supported each other in true sisterhood fashion. Now it's "Light-Skinned vs. Dark-Skinned and My Man or Your Man? and My Body vs. Your Body and Hello Nurse! And Bye Felicia!" Seriously.

When I look around at this world, we women need each other so badly, it breaks my heart. Sisterhood is dissipating and we aren't doing nearly enough to salvage it.  Eliminate the crazies in your life, yes. But also look again at those around you. Are we truly being our sisters' keepers? Initially that dog-eat-dog mentality within us may bark and say that we aren't responsible for other people, but if that was truly the case, then why are we even here? We have so much to offer and give to this world. Are we honestly utilizing our platforms, influences, words, actions and hearts to uplift, promote, guide and pour life into other people? Other fellow women? 

Disrespect is tired.
Shade is old.
Sipping 'tea' isn't cute.
But loving, supporting, giving, being grateful and perpetuating light, is.

So let's be real cute right-quick and find somebody to uplift, love, encourage and give warmth to. Because life is too short, we all matter too much and I seriously don't have time to be 'tired' and 'old'.

Perching on the cutest branch with you,


Tune-in every Wednesday to catch Grace on EMPIRE!

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