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Believe in yourself and others will believe in you!  Lately this has been my motto.  As a formerly shy girl and admitted ex-introvert, I had the bad habit of doubting my talents and skills and listening to negative talk and the nay-sayers. 
Well fellow readers and poets, always remember even Maya Angelo occasionally writes a bad poem and everyone makes mistakes.  Never let anyone kill your dream.  Keep working and honing your craft. 
Always work to be winner.   Never stop and never quit!

For Formerly Shys, Introverts, Peeps working on Courage, and to Anyone With Occassional Bouts of Shyness
I've noticed that shy people have the tendency to hide their feelings and ideas in the name of NICENESS.  We don't speak up, we agree with everything and hide our true personality.  I've learned I have a right to have an opinion, to disagree, to speak up, and to be assertive.  ( Tactfully, of course). 
Even after Junior High School ends you will still encounter bullies.  They'll always be people who attempt to intimidate you, control you, sabatoge your efforts, and generally ruin your life. 
If any of you readers relate, always remember to "Love Your Enemies" and to "Be Courageous". 
Loving your enemies means treating people who do you wrong with kindess while not allowing them to walk all over you. 
Lately, I've seen women who stay with men who beat them, abuse them, lie to them, cheat on them.  But they stay in the name of love. 
Ladies, love don't hurt.  If a man is giving you black eyes. that AIN'T love.  Love is giving you flowers, attention, and good health. 
So let's love ourselves by not allowing people to hurt us just to avoid lonliness.

The Myth of the Strong Black Woman
All my life I've heard about how us black women are strong.  We don't take no mess.  We're able to be the mother, father, brother, sister, daughter, all in one.  We don't take no junk off any one. 
Now, I'm not saying our women aren't strong.  We have worked and raised families all alone.
We're tough and strong.  On the other hand I know women who are insecure, face depression, bouts of extreme sadness.  We work as hard as men and we get tired. 
I've learned to recognize part of being strong is discovering my weakness.  I've had to realize sometimes I have fears and I get scared and it takes strength to figure out why and correct it. 
It takes strength to be bold when it doesn't come naturally. 
It takes courage to realize that sometimes we as sisters are divided.  We compete over men, over skin tone, over who has a weave, or real hair. 
Yes, this pettiness still exists. 
It's taking my strength to write about it and to say to everyone regardless of race that I love everyone because we're all humans. And it takes courage to admit our mistakes.
Readers, enjoy the current issue of You Speak... and Remember to hit the guestbook with feedback.