Front Camera

How many times have you taken your phone out to take a picture of something, you click on the camera icon, and somehow the camera is already on the front camera, rather than the back camera? Or maybe you take your phone out to take a picture and you accidentally flip the camera to the front camera?

It always looks weird doesn’t it? You get this magnified version of yourself that shows how many hairs you have in your nose, every pimple you have had since 5th grade, your double chin, your lips that need a little chap stick, and so on. If you are like me, your first response is, “Uuugggh. It’s on front camera” and you quickly flip the camera because it is not always the best sight. Lol You are just there, looking crazy, really crazy. 😂

You all know exactly what I mean. I know I am not the only one that this happens to. In fact, it happened to me this morning, and that was my exact reaction…probably even worse because I was just waking up…😂😂

Hmmmmmm…Go with me. I’m going somewhere with this. God used this to minister to me and oh how it blessed me.

It is so much easier to look at life through the back camera isn’t it? The picture is so so much prettier. The focus is not on us. We are not the subject at hand. We are not in the spotlight.

The toughest part comes when it’s “LIGHT, CAMERA, ACTION” for us, when we have to flip the camera to see ourselves…to look at our faults, our flaws, our insecurities, to look at the mess we have created…but wait before we are ready to “see” us, we want to “fix” ourselves so that the camera portrays what we want to be seen. (CATCH THAT)

When the camera is on the “front camera”, it becomes very uncomfortable because there is no one else in the picture…but self. There is no one to point the finger at. There is no one to blame.

See, we are quick to want to flip the camera from the front camera because instead of dealing with self, it is so much easier to blame it on what mama did, what daddy did not do, the circumstances we were born into, the childhood we endured, who walked out on us, and so forth. As a whole, we have become comfortable with playing the “blame game”…because the more I point the finger at Jim, Sally, Jane, and John, the less time I have to look at myself…when in reality, we are the only responsible party, even if it means being responsible for our perspective about it, how we handle it, how long we hold on to it, or how we allow it to affect us.

See, the enemy never wants us to use the “front camera”…and he definitely never wants us to become comfortable with using it because he knows that with using the “front camera”, self-reflection starts, and with self-reflection, growth is inevitable…and yep, his goal is to impede our growth.

Hmmmm…..God said, “Flip the camera to the front, Erica, and take FULL responsibility for the person who is there. That is where growth starts.”

Was this just for me? Or was it for you as well? ❤️

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Not bending…

My freshman year at Delta State University, I took Dr. Elizabeth Sarcone for English. I hated that class. For three reasons- One, the obvious, it was not an easy class and she graded extremely hard. She would catch every single tingle wingle mistake. Lol….reason number two, she was obnoxiously sarcastic. THE QUEEN OF SHADE!!! I mean, she could embarrass you and you would not realize it until two days later. You would be sitting in your dorm room and it’ll hit you. “Did Dr. Sarcone suggest without suggesting that I need to return to high school 9th grade English?” Lol…and the last reason, in high school I was always an “A” student in English, but Dr. Sarcone had a way of reminding me that I was barely a “C-“ student. 🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️ Talk about college hurt…😥😥 I cried after every class that she gave us graded papers…I mean ugly cries too. See, leaving high school, I wantED to be an English professor….so yeah, she crushed those dreams. QUICK!!!! “Yeah, maybe I do not want to be an English professor after all.” 🤦🏾‍♀️🤣

…but you know what? As much as I hated the class, I loved her. I could not quite figure that one out. She was like the boyfriend who hurt my feelings by constantly cheating on me but I kept taking him back. I took her twice for English- 101 & 102, both times I got a C, BARELY. 😥

It wasn’t until I went to see my advisor for the preregistration of my Sophomore year that I realized how much I loved this toxic relationship Dr. Sarcone and I had. You would think I would be happy to get away from Dr. Sarcone right? INSTEAD, I asked my advisor to place me back in her English 102 class for a second dose. I was determined to get more than a C out of that l class! I was determined to conqueror this beast. Nooo, not her 🤣…but the class…

The first day of my sophomore year of me retaking her class, she called the roll, called my name, looked at me and said, “You’re back huh?” and moved to the next name. Every one looked at me with a smirk. Talk about getting off to a bad start already…YEAH…but I was determined to stay the course. It was something that this lady possessed that I needed. At the time, I did not know what it was.

Stay with me. I’m going somewhere with this…

As the semester progressed, same results “C-“ “C-“ “C-“. I cried to my advisor, but she reminded me that I chose that fight and I would have to stick with it.

I finally built up the nerve to go see Dr. Sarcone in her office one day. She was leaving which forced us to walk and talk. I voiced my concern…with tears in my eyes… and asked her, “What do I need to do to get more than a C- on your papers?” Her response, “Do more than C- papers I would think ”…and sarcastically laughed…and gave me the location to the Writing Center in the Keithly Hall on campus. 😥

I went to the writing centers a couple of times…still C- papers, LEGITIMATELY. She always provided explanations with every mistake along with the rubric sooooo she was not just “giving” me a C-. I was earning it….and that’s the part that hurt.

Fast forward to the end of the semester, I received a C again.

I know you probably was expecting I worked hard and eventually got an A ending right? Nah…

I tried though…at least that’s what I had “fooled” myself into believing.

Hmmmm…

Later in life, I realized what I loved about Dr. Sarcone. She was teaching me lessons that had nothing to do with English…and I have carried those lessons with me throughout life. She taught me that, for one, past success will not transcend future endeavors without effort, and most importantly, she taught me that you should have standards…and those standards should never change because of someone’s inability to meet those standards or in my case, because of someone not putting forth the effort to meet those standards. See, what I failed to mention about getting a “C-“ on every paper is the fact that I was waiting until the night before the paper was due to start…the fact that I was not using the suggestions from previous papers…the fact that I was riding on my high school “A’s” and felt that I did not have to work as hard. See I thought just by retaking her class would show her that I was determined enough.

Negative!! #CatchThat (There are some people in your life who believe that just because they are “around” that’s enough. News Flash!!!! It takes more than your mere presence alone.)

Do not apologize for having standards. It’s okay to have standards! Those who are going to meet those standards, WILL. Those who are not, WILL NOT. To You (who this may be for) you often wonder why no one seems to stick around…. or why you do not buy into the fake effort or….why you can walk away from things and people easily, you’re a Dr. Sarcone. You know your worth. You inspect what you expect. You are who you expect and you have a level of expectation that does not bend. ❤️