When I was home in Dallas this past March, all my mother did was watch the news.
“I just don’t see how people can sit there all day and watch this mess. It’s so depressing! All they do is cycle the same 5 sad stories every hour,” I said frustrated.
I don’t get it, and trust me, I’ve tried. At one point in my life, I forced myself to take an interest in politics, and the harder I tried, the more bamboozled I became. It left me reeling in circles, trying to figure out what was fact and what was opinion, who was “better” for the job, how to understand the government, etc. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that it’s just one big cesspool. Everyone is self-serving. It was much easier to settle on that notion than to try and wrap my head around the rhetoric. Then there was one moment in my life when I wanted to become one of those people who was adamant about fighting every ism and schism that hurt humanity: female circumcision, Daesh, racism, sexism, xenophobia, police brutality. I wanted to help so many people, and save the Black family, and restore the hood, and wipe out depression, and calm tsunamis, and inspire children, and care for abandoned babies, and end domestic violence, and help someone see their light, and help my people overcome, and hold myself together at the same time. All that did was take me out emotionally, spiritually, and damn near physically. I guess it is true what they say: ignorance is bliss. I felt like there was so much going on in the world, and if I couldn’t present a passionate opinion about all of it, then I was a part of the problem for turning a blind eye.
Experiencing life from other perspectives has chipped away at what was once a tough shell. I feel myself becoming much more tender and empathetic, yet much bolder in what I say and for whom I stand. As I hear about more stories of mass killings, police brutality, acts of racism, and folks misusing their energy for evil, I can’t help but feel dissonance. For a few months now, I’ve been stuck between how to manage being aware and wise, without being resentful or angry at those who have purposefully done harm to myself, my people, and others who are oppressed. How do I continue to choosing to see the good in humanity there are many people who make that so hard to do? I used to scoff at those who declared Love in times of war. Did they not see what was going on? In times of injustice, most of us don’t want to hear, “Can’t we all just get along?” In moments when life is taken away, most of us don’t want nothing to do with forgiveness.
When I am sharing my words with you all, I am speaking to myself, as well. So, in an attempt to find the words, here’s what I’ll say about this dense dimension we’re living in. Take care of You first. I had to get to a low point in my life to overstand this. Like the health of a mother when she carries the baby in her womb, I am first. Like if my breath if the oxygen mask drops from the roof of the plane, I am first. It’s okay to want to be a light for others. It’s okay to want to do good and do right and treat others with respect, but by all means, take care of you, first. Turn off the television if you have to. You are not ignorant for wanting to preserve your mental health. Don’t repost that video, don’t even look at it if you feel you can’t take it. Cry when you have to, be upset and angry if you need to be. Stay out of your head. Start feeling everything as it is. Take a day off. Again, cry. Do whatever you need to do to protect your spirit. It’s getting rough out here, man.
I spent so much time quarreling with the idea of living in Love, and feeling foolish for even thinking of doing so that eventually, it completely broke me down. One day, I found myself crying ’til I was out of breath and surrendering to it. As I grow to accept who I am unconditionally, I’ve come to the realization that hate cannot dwell in my heart anymore. The burden is way too heavy to bear, and if I want to elevate higher, I have to let it go. It takes a great deal of pain, torment, self-hate, and from those things, wisdom to overstand balance: when to fight and when to withdraw, when to forgive and when to walk away. I’m grateful for being able to feel what it’s like to hate, to resent, and to be bitter. I’m glad I had a chance to see how it eventually wore me down and damn near tore me apart. I am grateful I had a chance to experience the Dark Night of the Soul. All of these things taught me that when I am standing on the front line of a spiritual war, Love is the armor. It may not be the only one I need, but it’s certainly the most important. I want to continuously be blessed abundantly, so that I may be a blessing to others. I want to use my God nature to unite, strengthen, and inspire. I want to be patient, kind, and loving without being foolish. I decided on Love. I want to feel it, I want to be it, I want to give it, and I want to receive it.
I decided am already the embodiment of that very beautiful thing.
I feel such a dense presence in the world right now. If you can, please find it in your heart today to take time out and pray, meditate, chant, drum circle, whatever it is you align with spiritually, and send out some positive vibrations. We all need it.
Peace to those who are weary of the ways of the world, and Love to the victims and families affected by the recent Manchester attacks.
photo by www.khorenlawson.com