Wednesday, June 24, 2020

How a SUD or Two Inspires Me into Action

I love quotes. There are some quotes that I use when I meditate. There are some quotes I post throughout my office as inspiration. And all these quotes, to some extent, help me to understand me--my emotions, hurts, pains, happiness--and make me better.

My most favorite quote is one that, literally, fits in EVERY SITUATION IMAGINABLE, and it comes from the late great tennis player and humanitarian, Arthur Ashe:

In both a professional and personal manner, this quote wedges in and lifts me from the muck--whether that muck is not writing or living in our current world.

image by pexels through pixabay

SUD in the Professional
For this example, I will use writing, specifically, writing this blog post.

Start where you are. I'm in a space of insecurity. I don't know if I can be effective as a writer. If I want to be. If anyone would even care if I was. Lately (and by lately, I mean a really long time), I haven't had the energy or care to write--not in any significant way. There are way too many reasons why, but the point remains that I haven't written, and because of that, it can make me feel anxious, make me believe that I'll never write again, that I'll never have another important thing to write again. And of course, these feelings, thoughts only continue me on the path of not writing. But there are times, like right at this moment as I write this post, that I think about Ashe's quote, and it pushes me to, well, write.

Use what you have. On the flip side of "where I am," I have facts: I help others write better, I have been an editor for over 20 years, I am the person people come to when they need something written to exact change. I.E., I got words and the ability to put them together for some purpose.

Do what you can. I have a quote that moves me to do things. I have words and the ability to use them. Thus, I can use those words and that ability to write this post about how my favorite quote moves me into action. Job done, eh? :)

image by geralt through pixabay

SUD in the Personal
For this example, I use, well, our current state of dismantling affairs.

Start where you are. I am heartbroken. I am angry. I fluctuate between sobs, screams, rampage, and rants throughout the day over the current goings-on of our world. Some days, I want to blow it all up and start anew. And on other days, I want to hug it so tight that I squeeze out all the hate once and for all. I am lethargic. I feel voiceless. Breathless. This world makes me wanna holler... and tear it asunder. And it also makes me want to curl up into the tiniest ball imaginable until I poof! from existence.

Use what you have. I have an empathic heart and mind. I want people well and whole. I want justice and equality and the reassurance that we all have an equal footing based on what we do and not what we look like. I have social media platforms. Again, I have my words, and I have my ability to use them. I have allies who can retweet and share and comment on these words in a way that brings about a connection that grows into meaningful exchanges and changes. I have information and the ability to craft and disseminate it to others.

Do what you can. I may not be writing novels or short stories these days, but I am doing some forms of writing. I write #loveaday posts that promote self-love, self-care, and mental health. I post (and write about) quotes, mantras, and affirmations that do the same thing. I release my hurt into meaningful posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so that others can see what this Black woman's story is, what she is feeling and believing, and my story is part of a collective of black voices that want to be heard--truly heard.

image by geralt through pixabay

How are you feeling, doing--personally and or professionally? Have you stumbled and can't seem to find your way back up? Have you lost a job and feel hopeless about what to do next? Are you enraged and saddened over the fact that in so many ways black lives don't seem to matter? Do you feel ineffective in what you love to do... or what you would like to do to help yourself, others, the world?

Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.

Things might not change overnight, but with this quote in true practice with each step you take, a change will come.

Shonell Bacon is an author, editor, and educator with 20 years of experience in helping all levels of writers become better writers. When not editing, Shonell is writing (mysteries, literary, non-fiction) and crafting digital products for people who love planning and organizing their lives. You can learn more about Shonell and her works on her linktree page.


  1. This is brilliant, Shon. Thank you so much for getting these words down and for sharing this quote by Arthur Ashe. Since I got a sneak peek at this a week ago I have been mulling it over and applying it to different scenarios I'm currently facing, and it's really such great advice. You're so right: it does fit every situation, and provides such clarity.

    Much love to you. I hope today is a good day for you, and tomorrow, and onwards, step by step.

    1. I blush. Thank you for your kind words, Elle. :)

      I am so glad you like Ashe's quote. The minute I read it years ago, I thought, "Well, of course." But as we all know, knowing and doing are two different things.

      Sending love right back to you!

  2. This is written with such elegance and so much heart, Shon. You obviously have not lost any of your ability to use words meaningfully and passionately. The first-person presentation inspires me as I read it to apply the words in many ways to my life, my situation. Thank you -- and welcome back! I've really missed the wisdom and lessons in your posts. I hope you're here to stay. :-)

    1. Your words to me always make me smile, Linda, thank you!

      I am back to stay, yes. Time to spin some words again.

  3. I wish I could have put together so many fine thoughts in such a fine manner, Shonell. Life is hard for a lot of people these days, and I have a difficult time sorting it all out. You, personally, matter to me. I want you to be okay.

    1. Thank you, Patricia; I appreciate you and your comment. And just in case you didn't know, you matter to me, too. :)

  4. You've expressed what many of us feel. I feel lost which is making it hard for me to concentrate on my own work. I feel like I'm rubbernecking an accident, not wanting to look or read what's going on, but powerless to stop myself. I will try to use your quote to organize myself into accomplishing something, anything right now. One thing I'm doing more of is reading because it is taking me away from what I don't want to see or hear. Sending hugs and warm thoughts to you in this incendiary time.

    1. Thank you so much, Polly. I think we are in a time where trying to find and do the things that bring us some peace and balance is paramount.

  5. You are an inspiration, Shonell... Thank you for your words and thoughts during this very difficult (and crazy, crazy) time. The quote is perfect. Hope to see you here at BRP again, very soon!

  6. I absolutely love this post, Shon. I had been about to shut down my computer for the evening, but I decided to take a peek at the BRP blog and see what's new. I'm so glad I did, and I echo everyone else who has missed your posts here and missed you. Take care and be safe. Hugs!


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