Filed under: Chapter Next, Reflections of a Black Girl | Tags: lessons, New Year Resolutions, Rising Up, The Roots
Music: Rising Up // The Roots
Happy New Year to ya! Hopefully your evening and day were spent exactly as you saw fit. As for myself, I partied with some friends at the Ritz and brought in the year surrounded by all of the very people that I will continue to remain connected to in the new decade. Aside from the partying, I also launched a new business and spent most of my new year’s day tarrying over things to do, people to get on the phone with and ish like that. But in the midst of my busy state I thought about you and this blog and wanted to share some words for your 2010.
You know I’m a list girl, lol. And in the midst of my planning and to do’s I began thinking about all of the lessons I’d learned this year. There are so many, but for the sake of brevity I’ll give you my absolute top five. Hopefully you can take something away for yourself as well.
…in no particular order
1. Master the art of doing more with less. I lost a lot this year, only to gain more and greater in the end. This lesson was necessary for me because during those times of loss and shortage I found myself devising new and creative ways to do more with the what I had. And ironically I came up with ways to obtain and build more with what I had, which is crazy to me, lol. Learning to live and enjoy life on the bare minimal is a character builder. A skill builder too, but when you mentally master of the art of doing more with less, you’ll have the skill and know how to manage and keep the excess that is destined to come your way. It’s all apart of the process.
2. Understand the value in every relationship. I’ve always been guilty of hanging on to people or connecting with folks that may not necessarily have my well being as a priority in their minds. This year I really learned to understand the value in every relationship and connection in my life. Value would be defined as anything “good” that happens as a result of the connection, even if you are not the direct recipient. When I began to look at the people around me in this light, I shed a lot of dead weight and ended my 2009 with a close group of valuable relationships that I will continue to build and grow in the years ahead. Contrarily speaking, if you cannot see the value in the connection whatsoever, let. it. go.
3. When in doubt, build, build, and build some more. I can’t tell you how many times I second-guessed and questioned my path throughout the year. I was on something new and treading unfamiliar territory, so I was unsure of what to except along the way. And I admit I was a little scramble headed trying to figure I all out! Lol. But the one thing that I continued to do was build even when I didn’t know much else at the time. I’m not saying build something on shaky ground, I’m saying that when you are in doubt, build on what you know because chances are you know it for a reason! Build and don’t stop, the rest will take shape. I am a living witness to that.
4. Don’t think big, think broad. I’d like to think of big as anything larger than what it is compared to. Usually taller, maybe wider, right? We really can’t pinpoint it we just know its bigger than something else. But, just because something is big doesn’t mean that we can see it in its entirety. What we’re thinking about may be too far over our heads to wholly understand, or there may be something on the other side of that big that we may not necessarily want to fool with. But when I think of something broad, I think of it as being long range, wide, but at eye level so that you can see a lot more with the basic turn of your head. Can’t see that far in the distance? Get some glasses, some knowledge. It just seems smarter to think broad in order to be big. Thinking big is a little less specific, but thinking broad gives us a long-range front, rear and side-to-side view of our lives. It also takes a lot more skill and strategy than thinking big, which is easy. I’ll definitely be focusing on the broader picture in 2010.
5. Love. I know its something so simple but I learned a lot about love this year. Not the boo’d up R-Kelly kinda love, but the love that you share with your family and friends and carries a ,”No matter what, now matter how” disclaimer. As in no matter what happens, no matter what you do, that real kind of love will be there when you need it most. If you don’t have access to that kind of love and you are not able to offer it yourself, work on that ASAP. Get past your issues, amend the mistakes and have your sorries because in the end its that real kind of the love that will get you through the most challenging times
Filed under: Matters of the Heart. | Tags: courage, divine, faith, joy, lessons, love, wisdom
I had contemplated about whether or not to even talk about this because I didn’t want to put energy into something that has already come and gone. But now that I’ve taken some time to think about it I think I should because this is what I blog for. I thought that my 30 day journey to spiritual fulfillment was over but in fact it had only prepared me for the greatest vice of all that I needed to let go because I wasn’t being honest with them or myself. Here are the lessons learned…
People only take what you give them. If you choose to sacrifice what you feel is most important then you cannot be mad at them for taking you up on the offer. They don’t know what is your best or your last. I sacrificed a lot because I wanted to. Because I truly cared and I wanted to the see them grow into the person I knew they were supposed to be. I saw things about them that even they hadn’t come to realize, and I felt my purpose was to be that catalyst and help them realize the royal bloodline that was waiting for them to take over. There is nothing wrong with this, but when you allow the term sacrifice to take away from what you want and need for yourself it becomes depleting and draining. Before you know it you end up in a place that you never intended to be and the reciever never knew it was happening or had a clue. You become a weaker and more vulnerable version of your normal self. But while you’re in it, you never realize what’s happening until the end draws near and your sight begins to restore. I made a mistake and I understand exactly why I did so. In him I felt the connection that I’d needed all of my life. Something I’d starved for. When you are starving you become desperate and will do anything to nourish that need and keep it there. Being emotionally starved isn’t fun and it makes you do things you normally wouldn’t do, sacrifice things you normally wouldn’t. Use solid reasoning and practice preservation of yourself. You’ll last a lot longer and keep those around that are most important to you.
The end was a painful process. As it neared I began to notice what was happening and I finally understood the truth. When you see the truth and understand that something or someone has a hold on you it is very difficult to simply walk away in order to get YOURSELF right. I tried, but every time I did I didn’t keep the courage long enough to let go and cut the cord. I second guessed myself and didn’t have faith enough in myself to understand that I was right, and the way I felt was justified. The most high can only show you so much, but when you are blinded by emotions they’ve summoned you rarely see or accept the truth. It is only when the emotions fade and reality is restored that you understand that sacrifice does not mean sacrificing the essence of who you are. People very rarely ask you to give up your soul unless they are the devil. He was never that and I gave freely – I just needed the courage to say what I felt without being afraid of losing something in the process. No matter how hungry you are or pray for help. Just as the most high listens to your prayers, so does the most low, lol. I’ve prayed for help all of my life, it always came. It just didn’t come in the way I wanted it to and in a lot of cases was a decoy. Because of that I felt dissatisfied which caused me to desperately search for fulfillment. I just wanted to eat, be happy, be full. Honestly, the process of breaking away has been long and rough. I tried during my ‘detox’ but I just couldn’t let go of that aspect of our relationship. I tried to undo every thought and emotional thread I’d used to weave a cloak of ignorance. Ignorance in a sense that I was giving too much. Too much time, resources, myself…to my own detriment. But when you wish and hope that things will be different despite the way they are you invest to facilitate change, not accepting what is being put before you and was there all along. I’d twisted a chord between him and I so tight that cutting it would require a lot more effort and hurt than untwisting each piece one by one. I didn’t realize that it had to be all or nothing at this time. But it got to the point where I saw the truth and myself in it everyday and it made me cry…ALOT. The truth of what I felt was rejection and not being wanted or desired the way it used to be. I hid it from most because I knew I was not loving myself enough to walk away from a situation that wasn’t what I wanted. I just accepted it because I was so damn hungry and would do anything to get fed. Even if it was morsel by morsel and I was never fully satisfied. Always have the courage to speak up, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how different things can or could have been.
I held on for so long because I had faith that things would change, that I would be the last one standing and finally receive the reward for my sacrifice and effort. That reward being love, acceptance and most importantly to be full every single day with the joy in knowing that the goodness of my heart would finally put me where I wanted. I wouldn’t starve another day in my life. But where was the faith and respect in myself? Putting your faith in anything external is dangerous and can end up in disaster. That puts pressure on people and yourself which is never fair. You have to be careful and above all keep faith in yourself enough to know that the most high speaks to you and you are worthy enough to hear. He/She tells you everything you need to be full and never hungry without relying on someone else to feed you with a slave mentality. You are worthy enough to receive everything spiritually that a religious figure can. You are no different, you just need faith enough to listen and move. Whether it’s nowhere, somewhere or somewhere else for a moment or lifetime. Just listen.
I was wrong on a number of levels and I knew it. My issues and lack of love for the majority of my life put me in a fantasy bubble, where I was unwilling to accept things as they were, evaluate them, determine if they were the best for me, and walk if I needed to with courage and faith. I always say that good people are not excluded from the woes of life just because they have a good heart. We are a product of our decisions, and that is why I accept responsibility for letting things go as far as I did and concealing my feelings. I accept him for who he is even though he is now gone, and I accept the fact that who he is is not right for me in that regard. I just wasn’t able to accept that he wasn’t in love with me like I wanted him to be, but he gave me everything I needed to facilitate that feeling – none of it was tangible. Acceptance applied with courage and faith gave me what I needed to understand that I was giving too much of everything when I felt there wasn’t an equal exchange. I was wrong in that sense because in reality he gave me exactly what I needed.
Sometimes we don’t always get what WE want out of a situation, but we always get what we need. He’s one of the main reasons why I started this blog, which has become one of the most fulfilling projects I’ve ever done. As a result it has created a wealth of opportunity that continues to push me along as the writer that I knew I was but never had the courage or faith enough in myself to be. For that I accept the new season and am thankful for the last and the role he’s played in my life.
We give a lot to a lot of different things each day. We give our attention and focus to what we need to but most often what we want to for pleasure or whatever it is that we FEEL we need. For me, I wasn’t giving myself the respect and love that I sought from outside sources and people. I wasn’t giving myself credit for the great woman I was and the value that I brought to myself and lives of others by just being me. Spending the majority of your life in giving mode because you feel it is better than taking is a hard habit to change. I didn’t have a balance of the two. My independence and pride kept me foolish in a sense that I didn’t teach myself how to ask or speak up. I just gave hoping that they would follow the lead. It is a dangerous habit and we all must set limits in order to reserve energy and time for ourselves. This situation taught me an important lesson in the art of giving and how it should be applied to our everyday lives. It is ok, but never at your own expense. Its not fair to you nor them when you are not honest in terms of what and how much you can give. People accept what you give but you have to set the limits, not them.
I hope he understands that I’m not mad at him despite my blast of frustration and anger because the reality he was trying to show me was one I couldn’t accept and in turn burst my bubble. In this case it was only after it was too late. People only do what you allow them to and at the time I felt like he was all I had so…I let him do and control the situation just to keep what I thought was right for me. I wasn’t doing things on my terms. I was too weak to be assertive so I just accepted what was being given. I did what I thought was right and tried to put that part of us aside because the friendship meant so much more. For that I am sorry and I never meant to lie, but it was only to hide a truth that I knew he didn’t want and that I prayed each night would go away. I didn’t want to think of him as the lover I’d spend the rest of my life with anymore, I just wanted to be his friend and move on in my quest for love. Thoughts become things right? Didn’t work this time lol.
I was so angry at myself for not accepting a truth he painfully reminded me of whenever I tried to discuss my feelings. The history of anger is long. I was angry at the person that I felt abandoned me at the most impressionable years of my life that in turn created the life I live today. I was angry because I felt disadvantaged and left to learn love essentials by trial and error. I never had an example, I never knew what was right and what was wrong. I just had to figure that shit out, eat or get eaten. The bite marks are big. And on top of that I didn’t feel good about myself because if I were so good he wouldn’t have left along with the others. I was pissed for putting myself in compromising situations just to figure it all out. That was all I wanted to do. Figure it out so I could teach my seed and give them 10 up on the game which would be 10 more than what I ever had. I was thinking about how this anger affected me and how it showed its ugly face to the source of the moment. Everything I said was how I felt right or wrong, but the great blow up lacked grace and ownership. Honestly I wanted to make things bad enough so they couldn’t be undone and I could go on knowing that I’d never be able to go back to it again. I wanted the bridge to burn in an inferno of harsh words and resentment because of how I felt. I went back and explained myself calmly because that’s just me. I never like to leave someone I cared about on a bad note. Even though the bridge cannot be crossed ever again, I know that I could see them on the other side and wave ‘hey’ instead of flicking a hearty ‘fuck you’. I just wanted to take accountability for the mistakes I’d made as well as offer a sound piece of advice and explanation to someone I knew deserved and had the capability of being better. I wish people in my past would have told me why. Maybe I wouldn’t have felt the way I did. Maybe I wouldn’t have done the things I’d done repeatedly. But if it were meant to be a different way it would have been. So out of all of this I’ve learned to forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made and the events that transpired because of them. With that I am ok.
It’s hard to continue with business as usual when you feel like someone you were divinely connected to is suddenly a distant memory. When they were the person you talked to and exchanged the inner most parts of yourself with every single day. When you are in the moment you think they will be there forever. But the only thing that’s forever is the soul that dwells within you. Any external factor is there to strengthen the soul in order to carry out your duties as an angel here on earth. Even though I felt like I had gambled my last dollar and lost, I’d gained my courage and faith in order to push forward with forgiveness and hope. Hope…something I will have to work at restoring because all I’ve gotten and seen from the men in my life was wrong. Partly because I made the wrong choices. But I know that my strength is great and I can’t deter from the path I was put on to accomplish what I came here to accomplish. With every day I take another step forward regardless of how painful, and with faith in myself that I can make the right decisions for myself and my family. Although it took longer than expected, my detox is finally complete and I move on in love, not hate.
…I aint mad atcha and even if we never see each other again, the lighthouse is never too far away.