Monday, August 27, 2018

Fuel From My Mama

My mother called me at 6:44 this morning. It's not unusual but when she puts in an early morning call to me, something is usually weighing on her. When the calls first began years ago, I used to think to myself, "why don't she call one of her lil friends"? Like she used to tell me back in my early teen years when I wanted to talk about teen things. But as time has moved forward and the calls started to come more frequent I realized more and more her motive for the calls. Somedays she calls me just to shout the blessings of the Lord and I do mean SHOUT 😁 then there are days when the weight of her world is heavy and she has to talk it out. Either way, it requires a large part of the time with just me listening.

Early morning conversations with mama are like fuel for my soul. Her stories are mere reflections on the many complexities that we will experience in this life. Her sharing let's me know that it's okay to experience the wonders of this world; be they happy one day and sad the next. Too many times we go through life shielding others from our typical day to day emotional life and I've learned that it's not healthy or allows us to grow.

Conversations with mama are intimate and it allows us to bond and allows me to gain wisdom for the days to come.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Stop Feeding the Monsters

We are not growing properly; plain and simple ... right? Truth is, we have either grown accustomed to pain or conformed to laziness at it's worse levels.

How many times have you sat quietly and watched destruction either before the fall or after and not move a muscle? I have...more times than I care to admit. I can think of a myriad of reasons why I sat idle ranging from -- not my business to that's what he/she gets. As I reflect, I unconsciously welcomed that type of karma into my own life. When we do nothing or say nothing, we are not only ignoring our fellow man, we are ignoring ourselves. It comes to our doors and no one speaks up for us ... there is no hero to save the day.

We are far more connected by disconnect than we know. I found my self disappointed in a co-worker last week because I found out that they passively listened to an off color remark and said nothing. I was so sure that they didn't care if people of another ethnicity was spoken so I'll of. But in the budding era of "me too", how often can I honestly say that I've sat quietly as well. Well pot meet kettle!

I'm also struggling with "being kind" after being felt used and wronged. After much burying my head in the sand, I finally faced that a guy really wasn't that into me as I had hoped, although he's been to chicken shit to come out & say it. Truth is, it makes him feel better to not own up to his wrongdoings so instead he's ignored the conversations that I've asked for clarity and continues to send funny text messages to somehow soften the BS he's served time and time again. I had realized I've been conditioned to "take the high road" and always respond in love. But I know what LOVE is and its correction. It's not this passive shit to make you feel better about your BS! I found the courage to say, thanks but no thanks and here's why and move right along. We must learn to voice our pain and wrongdoings for that matter in order to GROW wiser and better. When we turn passive and discontent to those who violate the feelings and rights of others, we are feeding the monster.

Stop feeding the monster!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Fall Harvest

My favorite season is by far Fall. If you really look at the seasons carefully, the Creator tells us all we need to know about the very seasons of our lives. The rich colors of the foliage as they are dying is magnificent! We have been conditioned to only focus on the pain of death that we fail to see the beauty of it. After Fall, there is Winter, a season where coldness forces us to retreat and seek warmth. The warmth is the Spirit of God. After we've embraced and healed from the cold, comes Spring. A rebirth of those very living plants that left us in the Fall. Many of us will witness all the work that goes on in Spring. From the bees buzzing, the falling rain to the cultivating of soil to prepare for the rebirth. Ah, rebirth!

2016 has served as a season of Fall for me. I've experienced so many deaths that made me at times wonder what in the world God is doing. And as much as I have always loved Fall, it has felt like Winter because the pain has been so cold and so unapologetic. Somehow I know that Spring will usher in a ton of cultivating. We have to realize that a plentiful harvest requires not only painful sacrifices but tons of work.

Work is what will bring us fruitful; for faith without works is dead. Although things may be tough, people and situations may be dying all around us, we must know that the harvest is near! Hold on to the seasons, watch and pray. We are coming into a season of abundance.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Lessons From Grief

Mornings are the worse. Reality has been patiently waiting ready to get in a quickie as soon as you leave the slumber of sleep.

The beginning of almost anything requires the most work. All the "firsts" are hard. The amount of sacrifice,  pure grit & determination that you put in first will impact the process & outcome. Same rings true for grieving. You have to approach it directly, heads-on and hard in the beginning or it will sit, stew and grow into something toxic.

People love their rituals! They will serve as both gifts & curses.

People enjoy seeing pain up close and personal. It's something about seeing it unfold that's addictive. It's true reality tv.

The greater the love, the greater the pain.

Complete healing is a myth, it never shows up, no kind introductions, you'll forever read about it in books and fairytales. You won't receive this gift until this life is over.

If you've never been formally introduced, you will soon come to know that Pain is now your nigga for life! Once he shows up, you have to make room for him or else.

Words are razor blades. Hearing and saying "I love you" will never feel the same again. Saying that "it takes time" does not lend comfort. Not saying a word will forever be the sweetest taboo when comforting a grieving person, try it.

The little everyday things are what you will miss the most.

If anyone grieving ever asks you for anything, do it & do it immediately. The concept of time is very volatile. They are basing everything in measurements of time.

If you are so compelled to just "do something", make it short & quick and don't ask what they need. You cannot, I repeat, cannot provide any necessities at this time.

Quit asking about damn food! No, we don't care to eat, have to taste for anything or have any dietary concerns. Bring something that you know they will eat of you don't know what they like, bring bottled water or money.

Any visit over 30 minutes is exhausting. Never ever ask how'd a loved one died or if there was sickness.  Answering this question forces the grieving person to relive the death in their hearts & minds repeatedly.

It never gets easier, it just becomes bearable. Pain either builds strength or destroys you.

When others are in the early stages of the grieving process, do not take the opportunity to share your memory of the loss of a loved one that happened years ago. It is not encouraging, it's dismissive. This isn't a contest of who will grieve the best.

Grieving the loss of a loved one will leave a hole especially when that person held a permanent position in your life. Although they are irreplaceable, the hole will fill with other things or the hole will become a darkness that will grow bigger.

Sharks always come when there is blood in the water. There will be people who will try to pimp grief. Folks will pretend to grieve for a numerous of reasons; common reasons are attention, money, access and revenge. They will circle you, watch you & strike in moments of weakness. It's okay to not return calls or talk to certain people.

The grieving process is different for EVERYBODY! There is no handbook or quick tips on surviving the pain.

You must find laughter, it ushers in healing.

Accept that some days will be better than others. You'll find yourself getting into a groove of having really good days back to back then one moment will come along and derail you completely. It's not a setback, it's reality, just keep going. The only way to manage grief and pain is to plow through it. Regardless of how you feel, never allow yourself to wallow long, it can get way too comfortable there.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Importance of Being Earnest

I've been reflecting on this year alot lately. I've been attempting to pinpoint both failures and triumphs all while trying to find growth opportunities. The one area that I've personally noticed is my lack of bringing more earnesty into my actions and train of thought.

Oscar Wilde once wrote, "the good ended happily, and the bad unhappily, that is what fiction means." Although The Importance of Being Earnest is satirical, it is riddled with the truth. The good seems to end rather unhappily or unnoticed more often than happily nowadays. Bad gets all of the praise and attention in today's world -- yesterday's too for that matter. I believe we all play a major role in the decay of good getting its just desserts.

In grade school, positive behavior,  action, outstanding work and effort is positively reinforced, praised even. As we age & life introduces itself to us, we tend to shrug at the responsible, stellar feats, andextraordinary efforts of others unless it lends some sparkle to our own dulling shine. I've witnessed so many people run to the rescue of those who are victims of poor decision making & irresponsible behaviors. We don't praise or encourage those who have the courage to do the right thing day in and day out. Why is that?

As I mentioned earlier,  it's all about the sparkle that we'd like to show off to others. The easiest way in this world to shine is by going into darker places or situations so our sparkle can glimmer a lil brighter and gain some oh-so coveted attention. We've missed the mark -- I've missed the mark. I'm making a concerted effort to be present in the brighter places. I'm going to support positive feats of those around me no matter how small. By doing so,  our sparkle isn't dimmed or dismissed, it actually sets us up to strengthen our own shine! Positive energy is POWER, we can recharge each other and keep the momentum going if we'd simply give attention to the ones who are actually accomplishing greater things.  Things that make them grow, give light and shoulder personal responsibility. Adults need it more than ever.

My actions moving forward will involve me actively supporting & appreciating the positive actions of those I may come in contact with.  My attentions will be more focused on encouraging people's good decisions rather than trying to reverse the damage of the bad. Through earnesty, we can put Good in the driver's seat and hope for a better destination.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

All We Have Is Now

There is no time like the present for tomorrow is promised to no man or woman! Be empowered to have the courage to pursue the desires of your heart. It's so easily said but so very hard to perform. How many times have I second guessed my first mind? It's been so many times that I've lost count. Truth is, I got caught up in the results of someone else's failures or triumph that I was busy comparing my story to theirs. Truth is, to activate such thinking is blasphemous. Who are we to believe that our Creator made us all the same? True, we are made from His image which is ROYAL. So who are we to compare ourselves against any being other than the Most High?

Don't worry, I'm guilty of it too. So many times I've refrained from pursuing the passion in my spirit due to fear. I'm so thankful that our God is not only faithful but persistent. Oftentimes, I see Jonah surface in my own self. I run from the voice that has made a commandment of me and end up in the belly of a beast. The end of that story is, even though I may have appeared to have been defeated and in the midst of darkness with no way out, the end result is always deliverance.

I often think of tomorrow as if I know it's coming when in fact, it's merely a figment of my imagination. It's never been promised my friends. The key is to know that the PRESENT is the right now, this very moment. That moment is to do the will of God and not man. If we are granted tomorrow, it's a second chance to do just that, God's will. I truly believe that our guiding purpose is to LOVE and if we truly love God, we will feed His sheep.

Don't look to hard at the exterior, don't focus too much on tomorrow, all we have is now; for every moment is fleeting.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Missing the Moment

One of the most therapeutic and enjoyable outlets that I have is writing. But the caveat is, I rarely make time to do it. As I sip on a glass of red wine blend, I want to address a topic that I rarely discuss openly and that is taking photos. Anyone who knows me well knows that my biggest pet peeve and aggravator is posing for photos. Now if you look hard enough, you can find images of me whether on Facebook or even some printed marketing material that’s in the universe, but nevertheless, I have a strong disdain for them.

In today’s society, we’ve become with obsessed with what I call the “one-up”. We want to show people (who really could care less) that we have arrived, that we matter, and that we have arrived! We want to show the world that we are doing something with our lives, that we are having fun. But the reality is, we are decaying at a rapid rate. We’ve become too consumed with the “one-up” that we have forgotten to enjoy the ride, bask in the many experiences of life because we are too busy showing the world that we are doing something that they aren’t.

Truth is, we need to take a good hard look in the mirror, not the photo. Photos are mere snippet of life; they will never reflect the true depiction of life. Photos are a way to hide behind the hurt, the disappointment, the fear, the uncertainty, the disappointments that life can bring.  I have learned that we spend most of our lives hiding our true selves from others because of reluctance of being judged, ridiculed and the most hurtful, rejected. We have gotten so caught up in the opinion of others that we have forgotten to bask in the beauty of a moment of happiness. We are missing the joy that God created for us to enjoy. We have let today’s digital technology and media hype destroy our sanity. We are becoming so dependent on the connectivity of a manmade persona that we have forgotten to smell the roses.

Life was always intended to be lived. It is best experienced when we actually lose ourselves in the beauty of a moment. There are so many things that God wants to reveal to us that no one else will understand but if we are so consumed with showing off, those moments will be few and far between and everything we photograph will be superficial.  Retrain yourself to stop interjecting a cell phone camera into your lives. Some things make much better stories than pictures.

My personal testimony is, I would much rather have you enjoy my company than take a photo of a partial glimpse of my presence. Take the time to bask in the joy of my humor, my love, my spirit and my message. There are some parts of me that are never to be shared with the masses.