Chapter Twenty-Two: Blame It On…

When things don’t go our way we want to know why. When we are engaged in arguments we want to know why. When someone hurts us we want to know why.

Wanting to know why is cool. I encourage it because it will lead to a full understanding of each problem. I think emphasis should be put on what you did or said, not the other person.

In most situations we don’t try to find out the why, we try to find out who we should blame.

You may think that place of blame is important, if not necessary. Think about this, if you hear a rumor about you and pinpoint it back to the source, how would you handle it?

There would be a lot of “you” statements. “You spread lies about me.” “You knew that wasn’t true.” “You did this on purpose.”

What does that solve? In theory the person upset you, however what really upset you is what they did.

If we focus on the thing, not the person, who upsets us we would be better equipped to solve problems. We may even be more understanding of factors (see responding v. reacting). There is also a chance that we would remain unbiased during the situation.

By detaching the problem from the person you might be able to see different perspectives and come up with some really great solutions or a mutual understanding.

I’m learning this daily. A lot of times we want to bring up someone’s past, especially in relation to us, in order to seek justice on our behalf. I’ve found that by removing the person and dealing solely with the problem, it’s easier to pinpoint where things went wrong. It also allows for a more efficient way of going about it.

I’m not saying it works for everyone and everything. I’m saying, it at least deserves a try. You’d be surprised what you learn about yourself and others.

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Chapter Twenty-One: I See the Youniverse Inside of U

I’m exploring. Exploring who I am and how I fit into this world. Exploring what I’m supposed to do while I’m here. Exploring ways to make my interactions meaningful.

This may sound “far out there” but whatever.

You ever look at a sunrise or sunset and have it resonate with your soul? Like it’s a reflection of yourself?

Well, me too!

When you’re facing challenges remember what’s inside. Remember that the youniverse is confusing and beautiful and even terrifying. All the things you are.

Remember that the youniverse has seen birth, death, change, growth, implosions, rain, hail, and anything else you can think of, but it’s still here.

You’re still here.

I’ve had a ton of things go wrong, but I’ve also had a ton of things go right. Looking back on it, everything was aligned so that I could be right here, writing this post trying to give hope where it seems to have all but vanished.

Remember who you are. What you are. Keep going, especially when it’s hard to do so.

And always, ALWAYS, be gentle with yourself.

Chapter Twenty: If It Makes You Happy

Let me just start by saying that two weeks ago I was empty and today my mind is blown by the things have taken place since then. So please, let that serve as a great testament that it truly does get better!

I never doubted it would.

Two weeks have brought upon transformation with my personal and work life. Maybe it was the full moon and the wonderful full moon ritual I was blessed to take part in. And maybe the Universe saw fit to shine down on me a little more than usual.

I can breathe.

These last couple of months have been full of bouts of being stuck and figuring out just what I’m made of. I’ve been a supervisor before, but I’m in a different setting now that pushes me beyond my limits. I’ve been tried and tried again. I have remained constant, direct, and immovable on things that have caused great push back. Y’all I’m stronger (in my Christina Aguilera voice).

In my personal life I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do. What makes me happy. What I can make time for. And that is why this picture is important. While I’m still taking donations for a new camera set (via cash app using $plberry), I was able to purchase some lightly used cameras. I’ve discovered just how happy photography makes me. Playing with lighting and shadows. Catching nature in moments where it’s vulnerable and most beautiful. Man! Y’all I’m hyped. Yeah it’s not the best camera, but it’s definitely a start.

You gotta start something to be able to finish it.

I also purchased two film cameras that I’m going to learn to work with. They’re classic and I’m ready to take on the world!

These things make me happy. In the next couple of months I will be diving deep into guitar now that I’ve found a couple of people, and even a friend, who are willing to teach me.

Do things that make you happy! The happiness you create for yourself can’t be taken away. Do things for yourself, not for others. Make sure you’re okay before you make sure someone else is okay. Love yourself. All of you. Every crevice. Every flaw. Discover your passions.

Be unapologetically you.

Two weeks ago I was empty and now I’m so full I just may burst. Because so much is happening. I didn’t allow life to kick my ass. I acknowledged what was going on with me. I addressed it. I allowed myself to feel. And then I didn’t give up.

It wasn’t easy by any means. And it definitely takes practice. I’ve had to realign some chakras and meditate. Do some yoga and take time to myself to be by myself and acknowledge my issues. I had to rebuild the confidence that was slipping away and create some new tactics to deal.

If it makes you happy

It can’t be that bad

If it makes you happy

Then why the hell are you so sad?

Chapter Nineteen: Sometimes I’m Empty

Sometimes it’s super hard to get out of bed.  Like no matter how much sleep I get it’s never enough.

Sometimes I don’t have much patience and am easily irritated.

Sometimes I just want to fill the space, the air, the molecules, around me with every inch of my body.  Because if I swell up enough I’ll fill the void of interaction.

Sometimes I just don’t have the energy to talk.  Or smile.  Or think.  Or do.

Sometimes I’m empty.

Like I have nothing to give.

And in those moments I fold within myself.  I scream on the inside and try to rationalize.  I try to make sense of what I’m feeling and why.  I try to figure out the next move.  I just need to feel.  Feel what?  I have absolutely no words and negative energy to put forth actions.

What am I trying to accomplish? 

I have no damn idea.

What I give you is real.  There are times when I fight the words as I type them because, why am I giving so much of myself?  

So sometimes I’m so quiet I forget I exist.

And this may be one of those times.

But I always, ALWAYS, have hope for tomorrow.

 

Be gentle with yourself.

Chapter Eighteen: I Choose

I don’t know what to call this phase of my life.  I’m rediscovering who I am and making the connection between the three parts of me.  Who I used to be, who I am now, and who I aspire to be.  I’m filling in the blanks with a pencil because, for the first time in my life, I truly understand that it’s okay to make mistakes.

Earlier this month I drove to Colorado.  It was so beautiful!  I mean the journey, the site when I got there, the way people live.  I had never experienced anything like it before.  I fell in love with mountains that I hope to one day climb.  I was amazed at how genuine everyone was.  I love my city, but anyone from Chicago (proper) knows that we tend to keep our guard up.  That says a lot because I’m always open to people until they prove that I shouldn’t be.  But even in this situation I realized that I’m not as relaxed with others as I thought.

The drive back is what really got me thinking.  

I am horrible at driving at night.  I have glasses but didn’t think it was necessary to get the anti-glare lens.  Everyone speeds twice as much and seems to know where they’re going.  It literally makes me anxious.  Now add that with being on foreign road with little to no lights.  

I was a little pressed to say the least.

There are all of these turns and hills.  At one point I literally hit the brakes because the road was curving and I couldn’t see in front of me.  It was as if the road was leading me to the pits of hell.  I was going to fall off the earth.  

But the road kept going.

Driving at night, for me, is like going through life.  I don’t always see the next patch of the road.  In fact, sometimes I feel like I’ve reached the end and if I take one more step it will be my last.  There are times when I slow down or abruptly stop because I don’t feel prepared or am experiencing too much stimuli to assess the situation.  Sometimes I go faster than I should because the path ahead is clear.

I’m learning to keep going.  Because being stagnant or turning around because of fear isn’t the life I want to live.

This week, I’m going to leave you with another song.  A song that has helped me over the last two weeks to really keep going.  A song that has helped me see the beauty of who I am and who I’ve been.  A song that gives me hope for the person I want to be.

Because you never know where life is gonna take you and you can’t change where you’ve been.  

But today, I have the opportunity to choose.

And I choose to be the best that I can be.

I choose to be authentic in everything I do.

My past don’t dictate who I am.

I choose.

-India.Arie

Continue to be gentle with yourself.

Chapter Seventeen: Be Alright

There’s always been those times when I needed a breather
When I might need a quick break from being the leader
Cause I’m just human, you gotta feel that
We’re all just here to learn and everyday we are put up to bat
If you feeling down, no you ain’t alone
And if you feeling all confused, no you are not on your own
Don’t stress, yeah we’re too blessed

Someone once told me babe when the tide gets high, you just get low
Hold your breath and take it slow
Yes I might get wet, I might get thrown
But I’ll resurface all on my own

I’ll be alright, be alright
Just go with the tide
I’ll be alright, be alright
I’ll be doing fine
Be alright, be alright
Just go with the tide

Life is full of ups and downs.  Lefts and rights.  Triumphs and defeats.  This could be happen on a small or large scale.  It all depends on the person.

I have difficulty, at times, with accepting my mental health issues.  I have anxiety, mild OCD, and an evolving form of depression.  There are days when I’m proud of myself for overcoming and pushing through the obstacles I’m faced with because of my mental health.  But there are also days when I’m “stuck” and don’t want to own it.  Because, at that time, if I own it then I feel like I’m labeling myself as unworthy of a lot of things.  I’m labeling myself as less than.

I’m more than worthy.  I’m far from less than.  Every day is a fight and as long as I keep fighting, I’m winning.

Today is one of those days.  You know how your day starts off bad?  For me it’s like everything is bloated and moving at a slow pace.  I can’t see past the current moment because I’m stuck in a mess of emotions.

It’s okay.

The Universe will give you want you need, and most times, what you want.  Whenever I’m in one of these moods.  Whenever I’m having this kind of day, this song comes on.  

Okay, first let me just say that Kehlani is life and you need some of her in your music library.  But this song is before she cut a deal.  This song comes from a real place.  This song reminds me that I’m human.  I’m allowed to feel every range of emotion.  I’m allowed to take time to myself.  I’m allowed to mess up.  But in order to keep getting better I have to also remember that life isn’t linear.  The most common theme of my blog, change is inevitable, will always be something I go back to.  So when I’m drowning, I have to learn to swim.  I have to learn to relax and float before life swallows me.

It will be fine.

A lot is changing for me right now.  A lot realizations are happening on different levels.  At any given moment, I may be a mess.  

But I’m not giving up.  And that’s what I want you to take away from this.  It will be alright.  You will get over and through whatever you’re going through.  And you aren’t alone.

Also, don’t forget to be gentle with yourself.

Dear No One,

I’m none of the things you thought I would be. You can say it’s because of you or you can admit it’s because I was never yours.

You planted a lot of hateful seeds. Like you tried to set me up for failure. But I spent my childhood building up a fortress against your attacks.

So thank you for being everything I didn’t need. For being everything I didn’t want. And for being the darkness so that I could find everlasting light.

Dear No One,

I remember wanting to be just like you. You were (hashtag) goals! I never really had anyone to look up to and it seemed that you entered my life at just the right time.

You were the best at everything and required nothing but that.

And then I came along lol.

I’ve never wanted to be the best. I’ve never cared to be the best. I never will be the best.

But that’s okay. I’m okay with being who I am. And that took a long time.

I love and respect you for all that you’ve done.

Maybe one day I will love and respect you for letting go.

Dear No One,

I remember hating you. I remember thinking you would mess everything up. Or maybe I would mess everything up. I had never had anyone like you in my life so I didn’t know how to adjust.

But you’ve remained warm and caring and always remind me that you’re there.

Thank you.

Dear No One,

I used to bargain with God. I used to pray for your safety. I used to ask Him to bring you back so things could go back to how they were.

Then I had to pray to stop hating you.

I get it now and I choose to believe that you did this out of love. Knowing what you could and couldn’t do, you chose the best option for me.

So now I don’t pray for you at all, I just wish you well.

Dear No One,

It’s been too long. Every year I search for you. Every year my heart gets heavy wondering if you’re searching for me as well. And every year that goes by are filled with tucked away memories I hope to share with you one day.

I’m sorry I didn’t fight for you. It took me too long to realize that children are anything but weak. That children can change the world. That children change people. That children are more than capable of making a difference.

I’m sorry and I will never stop looking for you and loving you.

Dear No One,

You’ve always been supportive and I’ve never had to question our relationship. Maybe we were really meant to be related. I’ve always admired you because you’re one of the sweetest and most outspoken people I know. You loved that part of you early on and it’s made you my sheroe.

Dear No One,

We were close. But the longer I stayed away the more we drifted apart. I needed your love, but I needed me more. So now when I see you, I recognize our history and that we may never have a future.

Dear No One,

I love you. I’ve loved you from the moment we formally met. I’ve loved you since the first time I saw you smile and heard you laugh. I’ve loved you from the beginning and I fought it because I didn’t want it.

You have helped me explore parts of myself I was afraid to even acknowledge. You have helped me stay grounded. You have taught me more things than I can count.

You are the breath of fresh air that I needed and free spirit I needed to help me explore.

If I have to lose you now at least I know what it means to love, be loved, and be free.