Tag: change

Dark Fountains

In this the fourth month, eighteen years into the new millennium, my heart has an ache, it’s as heavy as stone (I Cover The Waterfront-Billie Holiday). In this most rainy month, with the freak weather the Midwest had over the holiday weekend, perhaps it is fitting this month I talk about, the contributing staff talk about, is this uptick in black children, young children, committing suicide.

Suicide.

Ending the life not even two decades old!

Consider this an introduction to a portion of Black life, the Black experience, we don’t talk about often or often enough. We fall victim to the invincibility of our own mythos. Too often we despise and detest the frailty found in ourselves, but accessible to non-people of color. Psychology and coinciding therapies are or may be seen as stuff “white people do.”

Indeed.

But we’re supposed to fight through it? Because we saw our mothers, fathers, grandparents and alienated family fight through it? From that legacy, we get children whom wander through these dark orchards, eating of these bitter trees.

We see children now, the children that hold and bear our reflections, in a place of learned helplessness, panic, isolation and apathy. If the police aren’t murdering their neighbors and family members, they get made fun of at school for being smart like 12-year-old Storm, in Washington, D.C. in January of this year!

Black children are expected to deal with trauma, death and suffering like no other demographic of children. They are supposed to be impervious to bullying, immune to billets and illiterate to the world around them! The emotional soil tilled in the life of black children in this nation is hard, rocky and neglected. Today, I will start tilling this ground, planting trees and gardens to offer help, safety and space to not be okay.

We who are alive and remain can no longer sit as if this slow catastrophe is not happening! We must be proactive in the lives of children who do look like us, whose struggles we know and have overcome. The time has come and now is for us to pay attention!

The children are crying, but they keep covering their own mouths to muffle their own screams of pain. Why? It’s what they have been taught to do.

 

Share this post often.

Share the suicide hotline number.

Life is all our responsibility. Help someone keep living. Thank you.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

 

[images from Google]

The Parable Of The Water Glass

It’s just a glass.

 

Melted and shaped rock that was formed and that I can drink out of. This glass was given to me by the Director of FLOW: Where Writing Moves, one amazing Ms. Amanda Wells.

I have not drank from it, and cried when she said I could have one of the many she has on a brown shelf on the wall in her cozy office. I turned it over and over in my hands, tried not to cry. One would ask, “Why cry over a glass? It’s just a glass.” These are the people whom cannot relate to me–they are not acquainted with loss or pain or passions.

It was about two years ago when I decided to forgo nursing school, the goal of becoming a nurse, in favor of pursuing what I loved: writing.

I decided to let go of the safe to do the extraordinary, the unsafe and unheard of. I listened to my heart and the leading of God and have seen my life transform. Since giving up nursing school, the false self, I rediscovered my artistic bent and nature. I began to love me again. I loved creating and words again…I found me.

On this journey, I found myself in rooms I did not unlock, with people I would have never met, and was allowed to have this little Dollar Store water glass.

Which I am allowed to fill…

All my years of trying to please people, of not being accepting of all I was, allowing other people to define me and what I needed–has ended.

I define me now. And only me.

This glass sits in a place where I can see it daily. It reminds me of my potential, my power, my choices and beliefs. It holds only what I allow, and releases only what I say and will. I reminds me that my journey is not over…only just beginning.

And I shall be brave enough to finish it.

 

 

[Image belongs to author]

Mirrors On The Wall

The most radical thing you can do in the land we now inhabit is to love yourself. I mean really, love yourself. That type of love is beyond selfies, ‘Gram posts, video hits and likes. It’s beyond the reach and opinion of other people. This love cannot be defined by the witness and presence of other people.

Love is defined in three ways. Two are nouns:  (1) an intense feeling of affection of (2)  a person or a thing that one loves. The last is what is called eros, erotic or romantic love. However, self-love is or can be defined as to “love of self” or “regard for one’s own happiness or advantage” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Whereas this would be seen as selfishness or vanity, it is not. It’s not a bad thing to be aware of yourself, your needs and wants. It is not selfish for you to be aware of yourself. It is not selfish to be aware of your hurts, fears and frailties.

None.

It is not vanity to be introspective. It is not vanity to be self-aware and present–present in your own life. It is not vanity to acknowledge your own presence, participation and contribution to the life you lead. In acknowledging your entire self, in all parts, you become a sentient being. A being with autonomy, passions, history and future. You indeed are you.

The act of self-love is radical. It involves what a good friend of mine calls *shadow work. It’s unpleasant, it’s hard, and it’s freeing. It is the gathering of the broken pieces of yourself in order to be whole again–recognizing them as still pieces of yourself, and you are worthy of healing and not weight. In loving yourself, you have to become able to love the things you don’t like about yourself, the dirty secret things you will never reveal to even your Creator. Forgiveness is a part of shadow work. Being able to look at whatever you have done, and own it. It is a portion, not the definition, of whom you are.

When you can love yourself when it is hardest to, this is a portion of what it means to love yourself. When you can begin to see yourself as entire being of and for value, this is the beginning of loving yourself–practicing self-love and care.

Life is a journey dear one, do not fear it.

There will be times where the hardest thing to be is yourself–however, that is the only person you cannot do this life without. The beginning to love yourself is to remember you cannot do life without you.

(Luke 1:37:  For with God, nothing shall be impossible.)

*-There will be a post about Shadow Work later this month.

Going From Here

The first thirty-one days of the new year are almost over.  I used to hate January. Like, hate January. I would sulk, and be standoffish and wish it were warmer. Missouri winters can be just harsh and dark. I’m a summer baby, and I thrive when it’s warm and covered in light.

This year was different.  I cannot tell you how and why, but it determined before December 2017, that I wouldn’t be sullen in the new year.  I determined that all I had used up in 2017, I wouldn’t  bring its remnants into 2018. Part of that is in conjunction with my participation in The Awakenings Project. The basis of this project is self-determination outside of the labeling of society.

That’s powerful.

The word I used for the previous cycle was ambition. Ambition is my rocket fuel. When I decided my word, that was a seed unknown that pushed me to examine what it is I wanted, wanted to do, and how I was going to get it. More importantly, it challenged me to see what I could do without:  what could I leave behind? What couldn’t go with me?

I decided the sullenness couldn’t go with me. The waiting couldn’t go with me. Waiting for time to be perfect couldn’t go with me. I had to be determined to leave behind what weight I carried. The weight I carried was who I thought I wanted to become.

I had to let go of the dream of–everything. This identity I made for myself, and tried to maintain before I became a wife and mother. I had to forgive myself for the her that I was, and embrace the she I am becoming. I had to embrace what I lost:  time, energy, people, money and be content knowing this is not the end. Even the Bible says better is the end of a thing than the beginning.

The beginning.

Those thing we say we need, we try to get back, and need one more of. But will you take the step of giving yourself grace and love and acceptance to start over without benefit of a new year?

From right where you are now–right now–can you let go of whatever has plagued, promised  and passed? Are you willing to let all that doesn’t serve you–go? If you can, this is the first step towards the crucial thing we never give ourselves:  credit and forgiveness.

Credit allows you to be confident in what it is you desire to do and admit that as your decision. Forgiveness allows you to accept yourself where you are, and for whatever you did and move forward!

That is today’s impartation:  move forward.

Stagnation mires.

Change frees.

We all sometimes need a do over–but what are you will to part with to get yours?

Help Yourself

It is always easier to assess what is wrong with other people. This is because of a word most people embrace or run from:  involvement.

There is something that happens when you discern what is wrong with other people, and how they can change to do better, but you will not apply that same wisdom to old or new situations. It is always easier to tell what is wrong with other people, what they should do, need to do, and ought to do, because it has no effect on you. Those free opinions are just that:  free opinions. The cost nothing to give, and nothing to receive–there is no involvement. There are no consequences.

However, when it is your or I whom are forced to face these righteous opinions according to life and self, we come indignant or suffer from amnesia. In this space, being on the receiving end of your personal involvement and accountability to your own life, you have to understand, embracing the things you don’t like about yourself, or the things your desire to change, are essential. Awkward enough, those things are sometimes best seen by people with no involvement in your failure or success.

Your responsibility in that space is to discern what is being told to you is applicable and accurate to your own life. If it is, you have the responsibility to incorporate it or let it go. In letting it go, you decide it is of no use to you, and you hold no accountability to what is being told you and will not use it. Nothing about your life will change.

However, if you decide that there may be a modicum of truth told, there is something to this new information which you believe can be used to make your life better? You have the responsibility to use it! Therein lies the difference–in order for change to be evident, you must be involved with its outcome. You must be willing to give up what is or may be comfortable in favor of what is beneficial to you.

Will it be comfortable? No, not always. Change is not designed to be a source of comfort, but of transition and transformation. These two things, require stamina and focus. Stamina is sustained strength over time, focus is to be goal-oriented and to envision a larger outcome.

You must be a participant in your own life…no matter what the larger opinion.

Dying Of The Light

One of my favorite quotes in all of literature or poetry is this by Dylan Thomas:

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light…”

This poem Do Not Go Gentle is written about aging, and by virtue of aging living bravely until there are no more days in which to do so. I am fond of saying there are only some things which are only, can only be expressed through ink:  tattoos or otherwise. I think our dear Mr. Thomas captures that quite incredible.

It is easy to give up, dear ones. It is comfortable to say what you cannot do, will not overcome especially as you wander through this life with the grace of age. It is easier to abandon dreams in favor of what it practical, safe and tangible. However, there is an element to this life which as you age, you will encounter more than once. I call it the knock.

My best friend and co-collaborator says often “step into your greatness” and “don’t get stuck the weeds.” Simply stated, this means don’t let you stop you.

Don’t let you stop you.

In this new year 17 days old, you have every opportunity set before you to manifest all you desire to become. No one will shove you towards this ideal self, but there will always be hints as to what you are supposed to do. There are nudges that guide, and there is the knock.

This incessant intrusion into the life crafted perfected which as you ignore will soften, and urge. This sense there is more to this life than that which you have crafted for yourself. The longer your ignore it, the more push it away, the harder the knock will become when it resurfaces. It will make itself known as it did for me–I decided nursing could not be all God wanted for me. The clothes of a nurse no longer fit–my power, my talent for healing was found in words and storytelling.

Walking away from what I knew to be safe an lucrative was liberating. Indeed, flying without a net. Yet, this was the thing I had done since I was 8, and committed to do at 16. The knock, my knock, was steady, it was certain and I knew once I admitted this was what I was supposed to do, I ran after it.

I raged against the dying of the light.

The years I lost towards becoming an alien in my own life, I was determined to not lose another second on my journey.

I won’t say it’s been easy. It has been one of the most difficult things I have had to do. Yet, I had no choice. Why? The knock. This divine resonance which the Almighty wouldn’t let me give up on, and push me towards, and sustained me until I could hear it again.

Don’t fear the critics, beloved. They come because that’s all they can do. They criticize to remind you to focus. They come so your God can set the table in the midst of your enemies as He promised you He would. Critics cannot stop you, they can only equip you.

You don’t see eagles in henhouses.

Not all whom are for you, are for you. Yet there more people waiting to see when you will answer your knock. You are more than what you know. You have all you need to do all you seek. The first thing you need to do is listen–in the listening, you can then open the door. You are not too old. It is not too late.

It’s not too late.

Knock. Knock.

Sun & Bells

You’ve heard the expression Whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee by the poet John Donne–and the Hemingway book of the same beginning clause. Check this explanation:

“…for whom the bell tolls definition. An expression from a sermon by John Donne. Donne says that because we are all part of mankind, any person’s death is a loss to all of us: “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

What is death except the ultimate change and and letting go. What we forget is the impact life, and its loss, has on us as individuals and humanity.

In the space of grief and acceptance, we have to be reminded to live. We must live and continue to live as best we can. Sometimes, this needs a reminder. There needs to guideposts and other people whom love you to continue to remind you life has not ended because one life is not present.

It is trite to say ‘live and do how they would have wanted you to live.” Death does not take or replace personal autonomy. You still own the outcome of your life.

So own the outcomes.

Own the uncomfortable places, the secret things, indeed every outcome. Do not be taken hostage to the dreams of people whom never voiced their own or could speak to yours. Do not be persuaded from what you desire in favors for what may have been hoped for in another person.

This life, and all is sorrow and boundless wonder, is yours. Do not live as if your presence offends people. Do not live your life for the dead. Live your life because it is yours, it is excellent, and it is waiting.

Mirror, Mirror

The only constant thing in this world is change.

The only thing scarier than the unknown is change.

So what do you do?

This conundrum is what stifles people into stagnation and the rut of doing absolutely nothing. On the flip end, it is the same force that rockets people into whom they will become.

What’s the difference?

MOTIVATION.

You have to know what it is you want, and how  you want to achieve it. Make no mistake, changing course from what you know as familiar is frightening. Not scary, frightening. When you embrace change, you give up comfort and control. These are two elements human beings strive for, hold fast to, and chase after. Comfort is the thing that allows us to be familiar and control what goes on around us. Comfort is the enemy of change. Comfort whispers to you, This is okay, I like this–this never has to change. If it changes, I won’t be in control anymore.

Dear ones, you cannot become what you desire, you will not effect change, you will not live or love unless you change. Unless you are able to embrace what is new and beneficial to you, nothing else will come to you.

There are some people whom believe and practice, The Secret, the Law of Attraction. Even this requires change! You must realize nothing in this life will just beat down doors for you.

Nothing.

Even to leave a room you have to get up and go to a door—ergo change position and vantage points. If change is what you desire, it begins with a change in position. Before you change position, ask yourself two questions:

1.) What am I trying to change?

2.) Why must I change it?

Notice the wording. Why must you change it? Only you can answer this, dear one. Only you can. In answering it, you give yourself freedom to think about what will benefit you in and towards changing. In its inception, change will always benefit you first.

I won’t be trite and say what it means to change, and how fabulous it is. Beginning change of any type is hard and it hurts! However, what you must recognize is which is worse, remaining where you are or not.

Happy New Year.