Glass in the Foot: It’s OK to Limp Away

I was in a bad headspace. I was questioning my value, capability, and relevance in general. In that moment of self doubt, I got a much needed God wink. My alma mater asked me to speak to a group of students around the topic ‘A Seat at the Table: The Evolution of Black Women in Leadership’. That was the emotional and intellectual boost I needed to fortify the next step in my increasingly complex journey.

Being a stern believer in not looking how I’m feeling, I showered, and proceeded to turn my swag on. When suddenly, my swag session was painfully ended by “Glass in the Foot.” On the other side of the shower door, were small shards of broken glass. One of these glass shards sought residence in my foot. Albeit a perfect metaphor for my life at the time, this was an unexpected damper in unlocking my speaker swag. Hurriedly, I performed amateur glass removal surgery. Unfortunately, I only play a surgeon on TV. With each pained step I took, it was apparent I still had Glass in the Foot.

Over the course of two weeks, the glass lodged deeper in my foot – I’ll publish my self care blog soon enough, now isn’t the time for questions as to why it took two weeks to see a doctor. This two week time period gave me the opportunity to reflect more deeply on all of the Glass in the Foot moments I’d experienced throughout my life. Humor me in sharing my reflections:

The person who came before me didn’t clean up their mess, and I stepped in it.

  • All of us at some point are willfully ignorant to the areas of our lives that are a complete mess. Perhaps we’ve not healed from trauma, have been in a toxic relationship, or have neglected our mental health. If we don’t work to heal, and get the necessary help and support needed to be healthy; someone will step in that mess, and get hurt. 
  • A lack of attentiveness to our mess, causes Glass in the Foot moments.

Caretaking looks different to everyone. It’s important to clearly define how you desire to be loved and cared for.

  • My love languages are “quality time,” and “acts of service.” These are the ways in which I feel loved and cared for, these are also the ways I express love and care. There are people and elements in our lives who create space, and are fluent in our love language. There are also people and elements that are incapable or unwilling to create the space we need to feel loved and cared for. 
  • Glass in the Foot moments are catalyzed by the elements in our lives that are out of alignment with how we need to be loved and cared for.

You deserve to be cared for in a resonant way. It’s OK to limp away.

  • I define “Glass in the Foot” as: an element that takes up space in your life that doesn’t possess the capability of cleaning up, repairing, or restoring what it’s broken, resulting in injury.
  • Honoring your individual power to walk away from situations that cause pain is OK. Honoring the recognition that not everyone is capable of giving love and care in the way you need to receive it is OK.
  • It’s OK to limp away.

Each of us has been the cause of a Glass in the Foot moment. We don’t intend to hurt one another, but often we lack intentionality in our care-taking. We default to what’s easiest, most familiar, fastest, painless, and convenient for us. Humans were placed on the planet to audaciously love and care for one another. Remember, if you break a glass, clean up your mess; so no one else steps in it and gets hurt. 

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