Rachel O’Reggio is a 25-year- old woman of vision. Born in New York, raised in Michigan, with strong Jamaican, Puerto Rican, and Bajan roots, she has always embraced her culture and is the definition of a multi-dimensional, multi-faceted woman of color. Rachel currently resides in Maryland where she works for a member of Congress and strives to dedicate her life to the arts and to creating healthcare policies. Rachel is a staunch believer in the fact that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. As an alum of Christian Education (Pine Forge Academy, Oakwood University, and Andrews University), and an alum of the University of South Florida, Rachel has never lost sight of her love for God and her mission as a Christian, which is to love others with a pure and genuine heart.
After barely getting through another failed relationship, I decided to sit down and retroactively analyze my past situations so that I could honestly learn from them. I learned that going through bad relationships can be terrible and getting over a bad relationship can be even worse. But with support from good friends and family, finally getting through and over heartbreak is in fact possible. In the midst of pain and suffering it almost always seems impossible to get through. But with a little sunshine, support, and self-love (triple s-threat) what seems impossible becomes possible. Like the great Nelson Mandela once said: “it always seems impossible until it's done.” Furthermore, I recognized the fact that God’s love and plan for my life were so important that no matter what situation I went through, it would never deter me from this plan.
With this self-realization, I came up with my book idea, “It's Not That Deep.” The purpose of this book is to support and empower fellow women of color by sharing our stories of how we overcame situations that we thought defined us. I want to inspire that we can, and we will make it through because it's not that deep.
*Below are four anonymous excerpts from Rachel's upcoming book, "It's Not That Deep." Stories have been edited and condensed for this post, but stays true to its origins.
When I was younger, I attended a bible retreat where the dialogue of sex was often about waiting until marriage. So at the age of thirteen, I promised God that I would stay pure until I was married. Well as the years went by, my definition of purity would stretch more and more. I went from “it’s just a kiss,” to “ it’s okay if he touches me there” to “ let’s see how far we can go, without me losing it.“ I mean I was still technically a virgin, but was I pure? No. Knowing that made me feel incredibly guilty because I thought I went too far.
When I first vowed to save myself for marriage, it was more about pleasing God and following what the Bible said because God always knows best. But as the years went by, with my friends starting to have sex, I just wanted to be the different one and to be able to say that I still didn't do it. I still haven’t had sex ( not actively seeking to either), but my thoughts toward sex have changed as I’ve matured.If anyone would’ve asked me, even a couple of weeks ago, what my reaction would be if I had sex before marriage, I probably would’ve responded very dramatically, with something along the lines of me having a mental breakdown. I know, extreme right?
My view on premarital sex was so dishonorable that I thought I would lose my mind from all the guilt I would experience. Yes, sex is a powerful action, and I still believe that God’s advice for us to wait until we are married to have sex is for our protection, not solely for our bodies, but also to protect our hearts. But is premarital sex the biggest sin that one can ever experience? I don’t think so anymore. Do I think we should be bussin’ it wide open on a weekly basis with anything that breathes? Personally, no.
You shouldn’t feel extreme guilt as if you’re the worst person in the world because you slipped up and had sex. The Bible says that no sin is greater than the other; however, we should all strive for greatness with God and aim to please Him in all that we do. If you do fall, God is gracious and forgiving. He can make you whole again, and His love for you will never decrease.
#it'snotthatdeep #butitcouldbe #stilllearning
A BAD DAY
I got shitted on today, no literally. I was twirling a little kid around and didn’t realize that their diaper was full of poop. One hard spin and all that poop got all over me. I almost cried.
After a shower, some good food and some smooth jazz, I was gucci. #it'snotthatdeep
OUT OF MY SYSTEM
You gave me Chlamydia, HPV, PID, and slapped me across my face. I thought I would never recover from the contamination of you. It took me a long time to clear you out of my system. You became apart of me. I even began smelling like you.
I thought I would never get over you. But here I am, two years later, filled with love and joy. There’s no room for you anymore. #it'snotthatdeep
Once I get my self-esteem back;
Once I understand how to manage self -doubt;
Once I understand how to manage self-criticism;
Once I understand how to manage self-consciousness, it’s over for you bitches.
The tolls of being with a man who tries to undermine your self-confidence.
*It's your turn to submit your story! Head over to Rachel's Instagram to get info on how to submit a story for her upcoming book, "It's Not That Deep."
*Illustrations by Lamae Nembhard