“Vanity” a poem by Shanelle Gabriel


I found this video on youtube last night. (Yes, I couldn’t sleep again) But I feel that maybe I was meant to find this video and share it with all of you. The video shows a performance of live poetry by Shanelle Gabriel from Brooklyn, NY. Not only did I identify completely with her words and experience, but I love to see strong women living with lupus who use their experience to share and inform others. She shared her lupus story with creativity and a little Sass. I loved it! For me the best part is when in the middle of the poem she shares about her diagnosis of lupus, and all of a sudden you can hear the whole audience go from laughing to silence. You can hear the reaction of the crowd and you can almost “feel” by watching it that her poem touched every person in that room.

The month of May is Lupus Awareness month. I write and speak out about my lupus story. Shanelle performs her experiences. What do you do to express yourself creatively about your lupus story? I think finding your “voice” and sharing it can be very theraputic. It doesn’t matter if you paint, scrapbook, sing, journal, etc. just try something. Remember the great thing about art and expression is that it can never be wrong!

  • Nina

    Shanelle, you hit the nail right on the head girl. I have learned, dealing with lupus you have to have a positive attitude, along with Gods grace. It will take you a long way. Thank you Shanelle.

  • TeresaNC

    That is such a POWERFUL testimony to God’s goodness and to her listening to God and her using what could be very negative for a very positive experience to touch others. It has certainly touched me. Thank you.

  • Thank you all so much for the love and positivity! I wish you all the best of health and the best life you can possibly imagine living! Take care of yourselves, be strong, stay blessed!

    Shanelle Gabriel

  • Aimie


  • Colleen

    When my niece lost a breast to cancer at 36, she said, “It’s all a question of attitude.” She was right.

    I have Sjogren’s Syndrome, which is a cousin to Lupus and as my immune system breaks down it means that my white blood cells are attacking my moisture glands. Shanelle was right on. I thought I was some kind of superwoman. Always there for everyone, running around constantly while raising two children.

    The fear of the unkown makes us uneasy, but if we concentrate on that, we would let the disease win.

    Shanelle – be proud of yourself sweetie! You’re a strong woman and the way you spoke to the group shows your self-confidence.

    It’s all a question of attitude. God bless you Shanelle for passing the word on in such a creative, gut wrenching way.

  • Elisabeth Long

    I am sitting here in tears. What an awesome way of describing and educating others with such strength and grace. I can totally relate, and will find a way to send this on to my precious daughter who is going through every bit of this right now.

  • Dottie Hanussak

    This lady’s poem could have well been said about me. So many times we put ourselves aside as women and keep tending to business. We all have got to learn we have to set time aside for ourselves each and every day.

    Like Shanelle said, I have lupus, it doenot haveme.

  • Patti

    Awesome testimony for all of us who fall into the “superwoman” mode and forget to take care of ourselves.

  • Jen Martin

    Amen!! She is awesome. I got goosebumps listening to her!!

  • Fran

    wow that is awesome she if very strong…

  • Shanelle, so young and yet so brave. Great message for Lupus fighters and to everyone to love themselves and take care of their bodies. When I was first diagnosed, have to say I fought the fatigue. Now I rest without feeling guilty. It is a unique balance. Can relate to this poetry

  • Karen

    You can read more about her (and buy her CD) at her website. http://www.shanellegabriel.com/

  • Sarah Beasley

    Shanelle, you are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

  • DB


  • Janilee Mourning

    What a wonderful woman! What a wonderful poem. Any links as to where I can buy her cd? She’s so insiping.

  • Dottie Balin

    Thank you for sharing this !!! Wow, as I was listening I could feel everything she said. My eyes started to water as I could feel myself in her shoes. You can definitely relate with all of her words. Very powerful. Thank you Shanelle Gabriel !!!

  • km

    Oh. My. Word. That was powerful. I just found this site. A friend linked to it today. I’m struggling with DRs trying to find what is making me hurt. Among other things, my blood panel included a test for lupus. That came back negative. I’m relieved. But, we’re still searching for an answer. Thanks for promoting awareness. I know that I wouldn’t have known about lupus if I hadn’t just been tested. And I know…that I wasn’t listening to my body for a long time. It’s when I couldn’t get out of bed that I finally started looking for some answers.