“Somebody Almost Walked Off With All of My Stuff,” is an heart-wrenching poem recited by the incomparable Loretta Devine for the Tyler Perry film adaptation of the book “For Color Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange. In the film titled “For Color Girls” Devine pours her heart and soul into the monologue, which describes the destructive plot of a woman who has had her love, youth, trust, and ultimately sense-of-self stolen by a man. In one line Devine recites, “What can anyone do with something with no value, on an open market?” depicting her character’s feelings of emptiness and worthlessness from the ordeal of having her “gems” apparently taken without consent.
While emotionally invested in each line of the poem, my mind could not help but to simultaneously ponder on the many other thieves of life. In essence, being in a relationship with the wrong person is not the only path towards losing yourself. One can lose themselves in a one-sided friendship, overly demanding job, or a dedicated hobby that has over the years become less engaging and more of a chore on the “to do list”. This tragic occurrence of self-loss is not just reserved for the plot-line of a fictitious character; it represents an epidemic that many woman and man experience at least once in their lifetime, as a byproduct of maturing and learning to set boundaries for oneself and others. Prevention of this experience is in direct connection with level of self-worth. It is such a valuable gift to have a high sense of self worth because without it many situations can transpire, such as: a) someone else can/WILL define it for you (which can have a very negative consequence in the hands of the wrong person), or b) you can get lost in translation among the many other faces and personalities who have already mastered this journey. While they are getting ahead you can be left behind sorting through the scraps of their emotional hand-me-downs.
So ladies (and men), it is time to GET IT TOGETHER! As Loretta Devine triumphantly states toward the conclusion of her monologue, “This is mine, Juanita’s OWN thangs, now give me my stuff!You can’t have me unless I give myself away.” The decision is ultimately ours in the end. Who we choose to love, work for, befriend, or even make the space and time for in our lives. If you are unhappy, fix it. If you want to do something, do it. If you want to travel, get on your laptop click into expedia and book your flight! The time to start acquiring or reclaiming your self-worth is now. The time to learn how to set boundaries is now. The time to STOP taking what others give you, and to start commanding what you know you deserve is…..NOW! In the last line, Devine humorously engages her audience after the reclaiming of herself by stating, “Did you know somebody almost got away with me, ME, in a plastic bag under his arm?” Do not let this ending line be the conclusion to YOUR story, take back what rightfully belongs to you and make it ten times better than what it was before. Operate in your high level of confidence, self-worth, and authenticity and don’t think twice before you take the world by storm.
© A. Nicholson, 2013-2013. All Rights Reserved.