Recently someone posted a YouTube clip on my Facebook page. It was of me singing in a musical program at my school. The first thing I noticed was how young and small I was. I wanted to laugh, but viewing it brought back so many memories and unfortunately, not a lot of good ones. Every bone in my body tensed up as I watched that clip. I deleted it from my page and my next impulse was to have the video removed from YouTube. I was angry that my painful memories were out in the open for the world to see. I gave it more thought and decided to allow myself to delve into those feelings and deal with them once and for all. As much as I wanted to run away and erase those memories and the pain they caused, I decided in that moment it was time to confront this sad incident from my past.

I remember being teased about what I wore for the concert. It was my mother’s red satin shirt that she graciously let me borrow. We couldn’t afford to buy anything new, so she gave me the prettiest thing she owned. I remember being so happy and proud as I ironed it. I went to school and as soon as I got there, the kids began to tease me unmercifully about the small rips in the shirt as well as about the shoes I was wearing. I didn’t want them to see me cry, so I found a corner to hide in and tried desperately to compose myself before it was time to sing. As if that wasn’t enough, I was still processing my anger from two nights before when my stepfather got drunk and tortured my mother mentally and physically. As I stood in that corner drying my tears, I convinced myself that my mother would probably be too tired to come to the program.

All of those memories came back as I watched that six-minute clip. But then, I also remembered my dear sweet friend who found me and gave me a hug. She told me to ignore the other students and just sing. I watched the clip again and I smiled as I thought about that hug and looking out into the audience and seeing my mother. I remember the big smile on her face as I sang. Despite all the bad things that happened, I sang my heart out that night. I cried, I smiled and I realized that I didn’t allow those painful events to stop me from getting to where I am today.

Ledisi Lesson – Don’t let the negative events that happen in your past affect the rest of your journey through life. Deal with those feelings and move on.

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