24 December 2015


wikimedia commons
Mankind has a control problem. Man wants to be in control all of the time. Although man once controlled it all, we fell. We only had one rule to obey but we didn't, and though we maintain dominion it's not quite the same.

Now here we stand confusing said dominion with domination, influence with manipulation, and conversion with control. In our quest for control we are even foolish enough to attempt to control God. We put Him in a pretty box with a bow and serve Him up with an understanding called religion.

For 400 years from Malachi until John the Baptist religion continued to perform and increase in form and feature instead of wisdom and stature. The Spirit was not attending as He had previously yet business continued as usual. Religion.

How many suffered at the hands of the religious leaders? How many could not reach mythical plateaus of perfection attempting to not only follow Levitical Law but the additional laws of Judaism? All packaged with a bow called Yahew, yet He Himself was not wrapped within?

And then, in due time, a Son came. He was the greatest King, yet He had humble beginnings. His legitimacy questioned from birth. His mission difficult, yet fulfilled masterfully. His followers selected, taught, loved, empowered, and finally after He had perfectly prepared them, sent. The prophecies were fulfilled, the message was simple. Yet man still has his need to control.

And so along the way the love and grace, mercy and kindness of God were cast aside for an angrier, more selective version. This distorted view of a dictatorial ruler who longs to destroy became the narrative to control the population. Religion was used as a tool to cause pain, to start wars, to impose great economic inequality, and sadly to oppress the very people that were meant to be set free.

This desire to control others has led to some of the greatest atrocities of history. And yet somehow, there were always those who knew He was more. They chose to believe and lived in such a way that the Light lived through them. They were willing to give up their desire for control and were instead controlled by the greatest Love ever known.

Today we still desire control. But what will our response be? Will we continue to use religion as a tool to manipulate and dominate or will we finally come home to compassion, empathy, and love? Will we go beyond in our thinking about Who our God really is and what His character is filled with?

Will we continue to make excuses for our god of Religion, or will we exercise the faith it takes to walk in love as our true God has called us?

Will we repent for the years of oppression and dissension caused in "the name of Jesus" or will we continue to look away turning a blind eye to the pain? Are we brave enough to reconcile so that a new outpouring of grace can be revived? After all we keep praying for revival, but keep living as though our pride's survival is of utmost importance.

Are we willing to relinquish control and finally obey? Who knows, maybe that's the recipe for us to all participate in the greatest love story ever told.

30 October 2015


Broken Heart Grunge
Nicolas Raymond on Flickr

I'm never ready for it. EVER.

If I could turn my heart off I would. If I could find a way to not connect with and engage with others I would do it. In a heartbeat.

Because all I've ever found is one heartache after another.

I love too damn hard.

I connect to others entirely too quickly.

I don't want to anymore.

Not ever again.

But I always do.

It's me. My fatal flaw is that I always care.

No, I didn't lose a lover. 

I'm so single, other single people measure their time as singles in Aisha units.

I just dared to believe I had a friend who believed. 

But apparently I failed that friend because it's over, called to a decisive end.

And I can't even ask why. 

I defend the best way I know how to minimize hurt. If that was insufficient, I'm sorry.

I like to fix things.

I love to love.

I don't like to break people.

But I apparently did.

And now, once again, I'm heartbroken too.

21 October 2015

Found on Facebook: Church Hurt

Can I be honest and tell you I don't like this? 

I'm probably putting too much thought into it, but I've seen what "Church Hurt" does to people. This includes those who have a strong foundation in God, those who seek Him desperately, and look only to serve Him.

We are responsible for how we treat others. The Bible tells us that leaders will be judged with greater weight because of their position of authority. Leaders are called, much like husbands, to love as Christ loved the church. Sacrificially. In return, those who are following leaders as the leaders follow Christ are to submit to their authority, in a healthy way, and pray for them.

That makes sense. If someone is carrying a heavier weight, we lift them with our assistance, in this case our prayers and encouragement. Also, biblical.
However, this statement here seems to blame the victim. Don't get me wrong, I've seen it where someone is truly bewitched by the charismatic charm of some dynamic leader. But many more times I've seen those with genuine hearts, harmed by the attitudes of sensationalist Christian leaders.

There has to be accountability on all fronts. We live transparent lives of integrity loving and helping one another. Yes even with sin. Even when things are difficult. Yes even in disagreement, we bear with one another in love, we carry each other's burdens, and correct one another without condemnation. Yes, there are times for rebuke but even that is done from love, with forgiveness.

We do have to watch out for bitterness, but how about we each take care to not cause another to sin. Issues happen, we're human. But we love and we work through because He first loved us. 

Again, maybe I'm putting too much though into but I like the simplicity of, "Let us love one another."

10 August 2015


Facebook: Charles Singleton
Death is given out like candy
Here's some for you and some for you
Don't resist or you'll get some too
It's a crazy game
The system's on the hunt
Never touched drugs
We'll Photoshop in a blunt
You're no angel
You're some kind of freak
You have unseen powers
Is what some think
Bow before these commands
Meet unreasonable demands
Don't show grief
We'll make you look like a thief
While the system takes more life
And reinforces lack of worth
Yeah we'll protect your birth
But then there's a dearth
Of help along the way
We've trapped you here
We want you to fear
Don't question the system
Don't rebel
Or else
I feared for my life
Is the story I'll tell
You're nothing
You're no one
It's your own fault you lack

Welcome to the world of how it feels to be black.

06 August 2015

Me, a writer? Really?

I ask myself this question too often. I've never written a traditional story, I don't write a certain number of words a day. Commas are my sworn, mortal enemy, I love run-on sentences, and there are other rules of grammar that I'm afraid I break, regularly.

Even in my professional business, I remix many of the same words and phrases because I am beholden to the structure of SEO. And my ability to research is, at times, crippled by my ability to get distracted while following a trail right down the rabbit hole.

So I wonder, am I truly an artist, a creative who has that almost-magical ability to transport people into a calm and comforting, or disorienting and adventurous world of words of my own making?

Today, I spent an hour or so writing down words from the thesaurus so each would readily pop into my mind. I don't like breaking writing rhythm to look up a similar word, and I've found when I write it down it helps me to remember.

Which then meant, of course, I spent time reading the dictionary to make sure I was using the words properly. Oh and to find new ones, which led me back to the thesaurus. It's a bit of a cyclical pattern.

Oh, and did I mention I'm working on a plan to launch an official website for my business, the Write Solution? I've been strategizing with my mentors about blog topics to get started. And there's that uncanny curiosity of mine that keeps my public relations-bent mind going back to journalism. I often wonder if this or that is being worked into a story. But I digress.

So in answer to my own question:

Who, other than a writer, does that? 

In the matter of whether or not I am a writer, I believe these events, and many other print-related infractions, make me guilty as charged. I guess I'll go ahead and serve this life sentence with joy.

23 June 2015


You want to hush my zeal.
You laugh at my #Activism.
You tell me it isn't real.

You say “Martin wouldn't do that.”
But you forget you killed him too.
I ask you to have empathy.
Something you refuse to do.

And if I say I love my blackness.
You tell me to take it back.
“Because that love excludes all others.”
Another lie you use to attack.

You tell me it's no big deal.
You say that we’re no angels.
To invalidate how we feel.

You say that we are violent.
But lynching was up to you.
You’ll say that I’m the racist.
My life proves that isn’t true.

You’ll lie about our fathers.
Then ignore statistical facts.
You spread your hatred, calling it news.
And try to tell me how to be black.

You want me to make you comfortable.
Or to look a certain way.
I’m still looking for some empathy.
But it didn’t come today.

You tell me my fate is sealed.
Because I’m tinted with melanin.
You think I’m OK to kill.

I’ve sat for years in silence.
And taken my requests to God.
He never told me to ignore violence.
It’s time for Justice to do her job.

There is much work to be done.
And you can come and lend a hand.
You can ask many questions.
But stop making silly demands.

If I want to cry, I’m going to.
And if I feel a protest is right.
That is where you will find me.
Until others have seen the light.

Go ahead and listen to the lies.
Under the wings of those who yell.
Who tell you that we’re looting.
Who tell you that we’ll fail.

But in hundreds of years of oppression.
You have never truly won.
So tell me again how this is senseless.
I refuse to be numb.

It’s time for our nation to heal.
Your discomfort will not stop me.
My voice you’ll never steal.

If my sound annoys you.
Then go ahead and mute.
But many other freedom fighters.
Will follow our noble pursuit.

We are no longer quiet.
We have more stories to tell.
You will hear us in solidarity.
Listen for our quiet yell.

-©Aisha Nichole Willis 2015-

05 March 2015

mentors and inadvertent lessons

Two days ago a mentor suggested I share some of my thoughts about current events and issues via this blog. I replied that I didn't think it was a good idea. She pointed to my passion about certain situations as proof that I had something to say. As I thought about it later, my own hesitation gave me pause.

Why was I so tentative? What was I afraid of?

Acceptance is something I long for; it's a topic I've written about a number of times. I keep to myself with certain things because of that. I'm also a reconciler, I want to find common ground to bring opposing sides together. Somewhere in my mind, and in fear, I let all of this become confused. The idea that I cannot share what I think or feel because it may destroy what I'm working toward.

But it won't. It can't.

And until someone is willing to talk about issues openly with a heart for reconciliation, change will always be a far-off, distant goal. That said, I'm going to do this. I'm going to be me, not someone's hoped-for representation of who I should be, just me. Which means I finally had to accept that someone's discomfort with my views isn't my problem. I make it a point to accept people as they are, even when we disagree. If I'm in relationship with someone, all I ask is reciprocity. If not, at least I tried.

So to the mentor who nearly got fired for missing mentor time (jk) and for willingly throwing me to the controversy hounds, you're reinstated. Thank you for challenging me to grow, even when you don't know you're doing it.

03 February 2015

The Breaking and Making of a Writer: a Scene From the Life of Aisha Willis

It was the feeling of heaviness in the limbs after treading water for an extended period of time. The cloying weight of water and betrayal by the body as the head slips beneath the surface. The burning of the lungs as they ache for air.

That is how in over her head she felt. Recently over promoted due to a supervisor’s departure, she was doing her best in an impossible situation.

Solace was found in her childhood hobby, writing. The night of Tuesday, April 10, 2012 she wrote what would become a defining blog post, a point from which she marks time.

Encouraged, lifted above those dangerous waves by her faith and a recent venture back to her love for the written word, she fatefully penned, “When I grow up, which is NOW, I am going to be a writer.”

Six days later Aisha Willis learned she was losing her job.

- - - -

You don’t know how to give yourself any grace.” The words of Judy Horton, best friend, mentor, and other mother comforted like nothing else.

It was May 2013, and Aisha was still fighting an old darkness.

Standing in the lush green and cobblestone courtyard, on her cellphone, the conversation’s soundtrack was the falling water splashing behind her in the fountain. The Architecture building towered over her physically and emotionally.

“I didn’t finish. Now I’m here for writing, she complained.

Aisha, you made all A’s your first semester after 14 years and you want to talk failure?”

The idea that she was heartbroken over not being an architect while exceling at communication suddenly seemed absurd.

I can’t afford to fail again.” It had taken more courage than she knew she had to return to school. She felt this was her final chance to succeed.
You won’t. Your dream is alive and kicking. And I’m here with you to help you. I love you.

- - - -

The sun had just set April 20, 2014 as she prepared to leave. Easter dinner was at her sister’s house and hugs with the adults were complete.

As she spoke with her soon-to-be 10-year-old niece, Lauren, Aisha heard an odd tone in her own voice. Next Kennedy, the youngest, whose eyes never quite met hers during the conversation,
turned for a quick kiss and ran away with a “Bye!”

It was the next conversation that rang the alarm inside. Jordan, the 7-year-old, middle child, exhibits characteristics of autism and born with an extra chromosome, Down’s syndrome.
She is affectionate, but her attention is usually elsewhere and when she speaks, it’s on the level of a 3- or 4-year-old. That night she looked into her Aunt Nikki’s eyes as she spoke with a big smile. Without prompting Jordan joyfully said, “I love you Aunt Nikki!” and wrapped her little arms around Aisha’s neck. The haze was broken.

Aisha could see her destructive thought pattern. But she chose to focus on the arms holding her as tears disappeared into Jordan’s wavy mane of brown hair.

She was saying final goodbyes to the children, to ensure Lauren took care of her little sisters, that Kennedy listened to her parents and that Jordan was always careful.

Life was too much of a trial and she felt the pursuit of her dream was killing her. She was ready to let it.

I’m a failure. Life, I hate you.

The weight of waiting had taken the air out of her lungs. She was underwater and ready to drift into the darkness.

- - - -

The difference in her was marked. Her head was down, eyes not as bright and she wasn’t reaching the heights expected personally or from others.

“The first time I heard her, she struck me as a different kind of student.” Mindia Whittier recalls over a cup of tea in her office. She’s a senior lecturer of public relations at University of Texas at Arlington.

She is referencing an impromptu speech given by each student on the first day of class.

“Aisha was eager to present and her delivery struck me. She is the kind of person who has an influence on others.”

But the Aisha she witnessed in late April 2014 was not the same. She had only submitted one graded assignment and appeared to be distracted. This behavior was inconsistent with her participation and conscientiousness about her performance.

During a one-on-one session Whittier asked permission to ask a personal question. That was all it took.

As Judy said about Aisha, “She loves and lives like a child. Once she determines that someone is
safe, she throws her cards in and will trust them.”

Having decided that Whittier was “safe,” she shared the issues she was facing. Most of it stemmed from the financial burden of not working for two years. This inability to perform in a profitable workplace made Aisha hesitant in school.

She was working for the student newspaper but everyone knows you don’t go into journalism for the pay. She was facing the possibility of four F’s for the semester and eviction from her home. She felt as though she failed. Again.

The gloom was the water she had been treading. But somehow in that moment she saw a light. This woman across from her, an instructor who had no obligation to her, seemed to care.

It was April 22, 2014, and she with her head down and in a quieter voice than normal, told Whittier of the dark thoughts she had been thinking.

- - - -

Your picture will go here.The MacBook’s display showed the company’s “Leadership” web page. Aisha’s picture and story would live there soon. “Do you want to give me the copy?” Jeremy asked with a bright smile.

No.” The ink was still drying on an agreement for her to serve as the content and communications manager for his company. At his inquisitive glance, “I think you should write it. I want to know what made you pick up the phone to select me. Your why will be others reason to trust me too.”

He nodded, still smiling. The partnership was off to a good start. The first client to benefit from this connection arrived.

The gentlemen discussed while she began the research process to craft the best message. Aisha chimed in with aspects to consider from the communications and sales standpoint.

As the three discussed business in the sun-filled seating area, Aisha couldn’t help but marvel internally. Was I really that close to the edge four months ago? I’m on leadership team of this company and can envision a future for my own team.

The wonder of it all nearly brought her to tears but she chose to express with words. Taking to Facebook she penned another set of defining words.

Apparently you can, in a short space of time, go from surviving one of your nightmares to living out a dream. Time to put in more work.”

She smiled as she thought, Life I’m coming for you.