Growth With You

This year I turned 31 and I’m still trying to figure out how to be myself. I realized even now that I try to be myself by simply staying to myself and not having to give much of myself to others—other than through my writing.

I use to say this  happens because I’m an introvert and I don’t really want to be around people. But, those who know me know that I’m also an extrovert. So, while I love my me time – in fact I need it to function; I also really enjoy people.

Then what’s wrong with me? Why am I still unsure of myself? Why do I feel unsettled?

Normally, I would just brush these questions away by becoming busy with day to day things. Today however. I want to examine them, because in examining I will come to the answer I believe I already subconsciously know.

I realized a part of the reason I’m unsettled because I have been doing more introvert-ing and defining myself in solitude than I have been defining myself around others.

And, this is an important step.  Why is it important?

Well it’s easy to define yourself when you’re alone. There is nothing around you to challenge the idea you have presented to yourself. You can be as unrealistic as you like when you are alone with yourself in a room stating to four walls that you are this person.

You don’t have to develop that person to see if there are levels to that definition of self. In solitude, you don’t get to see if that person you decided to become is dynamic or static. You don’t know how that person you want to become reacts under pressure or when they’re in the amidst a crowd and caught in the moment.  When you’re developing yourself in solitude, there is no one around to help to stretch you – to nudge you into more or pulling back so that it’s less and a better balance for your well-being.  THere is no one around to say ‘ but didn’t you say you aren’t that kind of person’. Or, ‘ hey– this is something you’d like.’

While reading that paragraph over,  my mind is asking me well why is that important?

Maybe for some it isn’t.  Maybe they are really good at examining themselves and looking at all angles to craft themselves into the person they want to be.

But, for me that external shaping and molding is important. I need the challenges provided by those around me. I need people questioning me. It is through the questions that I stop and think about who I say I want to be.  Those moments remind me that I must be intentional in my words and in my actions. I can’t have these grandiose ideas and then not be able to back them up.

The reality is we can say anything to ourselves in private about who we want to be. But, can we stick to those things in public through various situations and circumstances? Have we practice being that person, because it is through the practice that I know I become. That is why for me it is so important to have that interaction with people, so that I get the opportunity to practice being who I want to be.

For instance, if I say I am a writer the first thing someone is going to ask is oh do you have a book? A blog? Is your writing out there? What are you working on? And, their inquisition isn’t to make me feel bad—I think it’s more to remind me that if I’m a writer, than I should be writing. I should have something to say I am actively doing–being these things that I claimed. If I don’t have writing, then I’m not a writer. I want or dream of being a writer, but without the products how can I claim to be one? Where am I a writer? In my head?

This is what I’ve been missing.

And, in missing this I’ve been missed being held accountable. Accountability holds me to the standard, image, to the person I determined I want to be.

Right now, the person I want to become is completely open. I have sketches of who I want her to be, what I want her to look like. But, I am open to the defining process.

That means that I’m open to meeting new people, having new experiences. It also means  I must be open and willing even if I’m afraid. It means I must be open to living beyond and outside of my comfort zone. And, that means I have to learn to go outside the four walls of my room and my house, my car and my work. I have to be out there in the community investing and being a part and allowing it to tug at me, while I mold the shape I want to be.

So, here’s to the moments that will come and the ways I am shaped from them. Here is to being intentional with creating the woman I want to be. Here is to the people that I will meet that will question and push me into being.

I hope she, the woman that emerges, is everything I envision her to be.




Addressing the Number 1 Pitfall

We are our biggest pitfall. All of us.

I have been my biggest pitfall. It’s taken me awhile to actually see the ways I have created the mess in my life. Messes I’ve created through various means. The first by having doubts about myself. And, I don’t mean the I don’t look good in this dress doubts.  I mean serious gut wrenching, stifling, keep me stuck in a rut of my own making that I can’t get out of doubts. It makes me wonder one very large questions.


I can’t remember any time in my life that I actually started doubting myself, I just know at some point I did. And, I did it a lot. I think I especially felt this way because I was so emotional and everyone around me seemed so detached, or more capable of controlling their emotions. I eventually began to think that I was either always going to give to much or not be enough and I found myself second guessing everything I said, or starting with a disclaimer, or apologizing for feeling the way I was feeling. I created this pattern for myself and it has been a pain in the butt. The thing with patterns is that they are easy to form and so darn hard to get rid of.

Another reason that I can say I’ve been my biggest pitfall is because I have a fear of failing. I don’t want to do anything I won’t be good at. I don’t want to try it if I can’t see a positive outcome in my favour. And, I realize I have missed out on so much things as a result of these two things.

TWO things that developed in my subconscious without my permission but they have been dictating the process of my life, for years. YEARS! I want them out. I know you do. I know you want them out, but getting them out. Getting them out is the hardest. It’s like a war on every thought you have and the ones that you don’t have, that seem to be lurking in wait just to pop up. You literally have to go to war with yourself.

It is tiresome work. And, it is easy to simply fall back into the pattern. I mean it is comfortable there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve slipped back.

A million and one would be the correct number, if we were estimating.  Every time I slipped back. I would just call myself the meanest words. I would say the meanest things to myself. Oh, you know you can’t do that. Why do you even try. You don’t have the ability to do that. It’s hopeless.

And, so I realized I can’t begin fixing some other thing, when I had this big pitfall glaring in front of me. I had to change how I saw myself, how I see myself. I have to be the one to put the dirt in the pit I created. Things have really begun for me know that I know I must address the way I speak and think to myself and about myself– not to others, but to me. This battle isn’t dependent on anyone else. It’s all about me. I’ve allowed myself to play the hero and the villain. It seems I am apt at the villain role. If I were obtaining an award it would be for that role. I am far better at downgrading myself than uplifting. I don’t know if anyone else has that ability. There may be one area that I just couldn’t get together in my life, then suddenly all of the moments in life come flooding back as evidence that I am just not good enough. And, that one incident is just another one to add to the collection. On the other hand, I am often left with blank spots when I look for positive moments.

It is ridiculous.

It is a habit of my own making, and I know that I am the only one that can stop it. I know it begins with me. I have no idea how things will go, or how many times I will become frustrated with myself, but I do know that I must try. I do know that I must stop digging these pits for myself to fall in. I know it begins with how I see myself. I know that is the best place to start.

I know that I’m not willing to let myself fall again. I know I am not ready to give up on me. I’m not willing to throw in the towel.

I know I am ready to stop being my own pitfall.

Allowing The Individual to Be without Me

The society we live in sucks. No, it really does.


I will acknowledge that  we have wonderful individuals that do not suck living in our society. A big shout out goes to them. Please keep doing the things you do!


But, I’m not simply talking about  people. I’m talking about the social structures. I’m talking about the way we live our lives on a conscious and subconscious level.


The way I see it  we live in a society that tells you be an individual! BUT, that individual has to  fit into a specific mould. And, that mould has to meet the specifications of all the other ‘unique’ people within the mould. So, in essence life keeps shaving pieces of who you are off in an attempt to ‘accept’ you. It literally keeps knocking you off your feet, while holding a hand out and telling you how wonderful you are because you fit in somewhere, in some way.  It is a vicious, heart wrenching process that just exploits the need of the human to be accepted.


At the end of the day, that’s it for us. It can be one or it can be ten people. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that we find someone who takes us as we are, wherever, and however they find us at that point.  And, we need that person or people to understand that as time passes we will grow and change, but we still need them by our side during each process.


Does it really have to be so darn hard?


It shouldn’t be, but unfortunately it is


People are under some misconception that individuals outside of themselves won’t change. That we will always be the same and that we should always be that person they met– when we first met them. I find this is the root of the problem, because people have no problem accepting change within themselves, but they find it unforgivable, or fake when then encounter change in someone else. They say that person was not real or they were never for them or a large mass of other derogatory phrases meant to bring that person down in their eyes and in the eyes of others.  


It’s as if most individuals don’t understand that no one person is going to stay the same forever. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE. You shouldn’t demand or ask it of any one. Nor, should you accept someone who asks you to be the same you forever.


But, people do ask us to remain the same. They ask us, as society tells them to, to remain the same for them. It doesn’t matter if we’ve experienced some major change in our life that shakes our very core– our very foundation. They ask us to remain the same. I find that disheartening. I find it ludicrous. Essentially, the message we send to people with this behaviour and belief is that you shouldn’t change, you shouldn’t grow. And, we know at the core of human living is growth and evolution of self. It has to happen. But, people legitimately demand that we deny ourselves change, so they can be content about our place in their life, or their place in ours.  


What that  says to someone like me, who has major shifts in my mood every day, is that a person like me is not welcomed and will not be accepted.


The truth is simply that people often say live out the box and be free — but, that is only true or reserved  for them. They carry boxes for the rest of us and neatly put us into them– while freely going about their ‘non-box’ existence. They are being ‘true’ and real, while the rest of the world is fake, flimsy and undependable.


If you’re honest with yourself,  you can say that you  do it. I do it, especially when I’m not actively aware of my thoughts. I just automatically shift a person  into a specific mould. It takes time for me to actually remember that people are dynamic– round characters. They are never static or flat. It takes a while for me to remember that people have an entire life outside of the time I spend with them that shapes and moulds them, and that I am but a tiny fraction of influence.  I think that is really the reason we put people in boxes. It’s the reason friendships and relationships don’t last.


When we are no longer the sole reason for change, or when we are not involved in the moment of change– we disconnect from that individual. We do not wish to learn why they become who they have become because they have done it without us. SO— into a box they go. This is much easier with strangers. They automatically go into a box marked unknown. We don’t have rules of engagement with that particular box because we know nothing about them. Nothing about their life fits the life we’ve created. We acknowledge them, just barely, as individuals.


It’s those boxes we have hand in crafting, the ones we line with memories and expectations that are the ones that are the harmful ones. They are the ones that damage us the most because we want the individuals in those boxes, the people we love to stay just the way we need them to. Just they way they are in this box and it is hard to adapt to changes from those people.


As I age, I’m learning not to detonate the people in my life by the relationship I have with them. I’m learning not to think of them by titles, but instead acknowledge them as individuals. People that exist outside the box I have placed them in. Monique is a brilliant woman with so much creative talent in her, she also happens to be my mother. But, she is not only my mother. That is only one aspect of her life and I refuse to limit her to ‘just’ anything. I am refusing to label anyone to just anything. It is a journey one I am passionate about embracing.
I hope one day, you will be passionate about it too.

Why I Get Back Up

After being knocked off my feet (literally) at flag football practice I had to revisit the all too important message of learning to get back up again. During practice, after colliding with a teammate, I remember just why some people find it so hard to get back up again. Your breath is literally slammed out of you. It’s traumatic.  

I say that to draw this parallel to life and the reality that sometimes the problems of life come at us full speed, while  we have on no helmet or protective gear. We have no other person there to shield us or no other obstacles to slow the wreck that’s coming our way down. Finally, when the impact happens we find ourselves not standing up, but on the ground looking like a raggedy anne doll– legs stretched out body bent forward with our hair hanging in our face and stars dancing in our eyes. After a few minutes of utter daze and maybe a blackout or two, we find ourself sitting there  trying to figure out just what happened. How the hell did we end up on the ground? And, the next question …how the hell are we gonna get back up?

That’s the hard

Getting back up.

If you’re lucky, you have a collection of hands extended to you to help you on the journey back up and onto your feet. But, that’s rare, and a blessing. Most individuals don’t have the family structure that is prepared or equipped to help them back on their feet. And, there is only so much our friends are willing to pour into us befor they too become frustrated with our ‘I’ve fallen and can’t stay up’ pleas for help. And, this is the reality faced when you’ve GOT those hands extended.

What about those people that have no hands extended? They have no one around to offer to help them get through not one phase of the hardships they face.

So, how they hell do they get back up?

I honestly don’t know.

I would love to make some grand post about it being determination and sheer will power that brings us up out of the ashes. That I know that there is some grand reason why people refuse to stay on the floor. Perhaps in some instances there are. But, when you’ve had the wind knocked out of you. When you find yourself on the floor dazed and disoriented by the curve balls life has thrown at you, it’s not so easy to simply get back onto your feet because you have a ‘plan’ or even a ‘purpose’. Sometimes, the only thing you want to do is sit right there on that floor.

I know that there are people out there that don’t have the energy to get up one more time. It’s as if all their life they’ve been forced to get back up. Over and over and over again, it has become a relentless battle of being knocked out and then finding the courage, the strength and the faith that getting back up is the right thing to do. Then, one day they’ve been hit and it’s like– that’s it. I’m not gonna get back up again one more time. And, who could fault them for feeling that way? I sure can’t.

Yet, some how after whatever taking the time they need to recoup, they stand up. They decide: this situation, or person, the days or months or years, won’t be the reason they stay down. They look at life and they take that sucker punch. They take the bruises, black eyes and broken bones and get back up.

I am in awe of those people. They, not some great or grand purpose for my own life, are really what keeps me going.

For me, there is no greater motivation than the story of someone that got back up when it didn’t make sense for them to even try. I love idea that they  decide within themselves I have to get up. I can not stay here and let this define me. This is not who I am.

I know, in theory, we all say these things, but them getting up shows their belief in those words. And, life has given them tons of reason not to believe it, but they give life themselves over and over again and say hey– PROVE ME WRONG. Prove to me that I should stay on the ground. Hit me with something harder because that stuff you tossed out aint enough to hold me! WHAT A TESTAMENT TO  THE HUMAN SPIRIT.

That testament, that drive, that slap this problem in the face defiance that they display is enough for me. That is enough to get me off the ground every time.

So, this post is dedicated to those people in, around and completely removed from my life. The individuals who stand in front of every obstacle that comes their way and demand that, that obstacle prove that they aren’t the strongest, smartest, innovative, creative, loving and capable individual.

To you I say, “You have and forever will be my reason for getting back up, again”.

Wants Vs. Needs


I think we’ve got this wants and needs  gig confused. We separate them and the separation is illogical.

As humans, you know  we always have this habit of elevating one thing over the other. It gives it more importance, makes it stately. Examples? A cell phone over a house phone. A bike over a car. A bag with a name brand over a bag with none. We constantly put things in competition.

We’ve done the same thing with wants and needs. We set them side by side and try to determine which one is more important. Then we create studies to bash one over the other. We expose one as a weakness and the other as something essential to human living. But, I’ve been wondering if it make sense to separate the two?

I’ve ‘learned’,wants are universal. At this point, i’m sure there can be a big argument over that statement, but from my perspective that’s a truth. We all want comforts and pleasures in life. It is what we strive for consciously and unconsciously. Let’s break it down to the most common want– a relationship (romantic relationship). WE ALL WANT ONE. Every human I know, desires a relationship even when they’ve been hurt over and over again, they still desire one. Some may never enter into a relationship again after experiencing a horrible one, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want one. And, the others– well they can’t seem to stay away from relationships.They even play relationship ping pong, going from one relationship to the other without batting an eye. So we all WANT a relationship. That’s one thing I know.

For myself, every time I’ve entered a relationship it was based on a want. I ‘wanted’ companionship. I ‘wanted’ to feel loved. I ‘wanted’ to share my life with someone. Based on those wants– I could have found myself hooking up with anyone really. I mean any individual person I met after laying out these basic ‘wants’ could have made me happy.

But, I didn’t just want; I needed. After years of being in relationships and having my heart hurt a time or two, I realized I couldn’t just want anything. I needed a few things along with those wants. I needed someone who didn’t treat me as if I were some woman to fill their needs. I needed to be accepted and respected. I needed to be valued, trusted and listened to. I needed to be loved and cared for in return.

You see, I wanted a relationship, but i didn’t need to feel like I was desperate. I didn’t need to feel as if I should be grateful just because I had someone that didn’t make me feel lonely. This need was just as big for me as my want.  I realized when I didn’t have needs in place, I  allowed myself to be neglected. I allowed too many compromises. Yes, I wanted a relationship. But, I needed to be valued.

And, this is just one example. I could go on and on with my list of wants and needs and the way they merge. But, I really want to focus on the way we make the logical things that are not opposites at all compete so that we can point fingers at people and say— hey you’re not living right because you’re perusing a ‘want’ over a ‘need’ or a ‘need’ over a ‘want’. It is utter foolishness, but we do it anyway.

Wants and needs don’t compete with each other. They enhance each other. They compliment each other.

When I want to get to work on time, I need to go to bed early.

See…compliment not competition.

I think it’s time we remove ourselves from the easy patterns of repeating what we’ve been taught or what we’ve heard. We have to figure things out for ourselves. The simple things, like understanding the relationship that exist between our needs and wants that work together to make us who we are.

For me, this year is all about figuring out the wants for myself present and future and then listing the things I need to do to get me there. I hope your experience with merging your wants and needs leads you along a prosperous road.

Keeping Yourself Grounded

The things I’ve been thinking lately.

Sometimes we get caught up in getting to know a person that is exciting, new and refreshing that we lose ourselves. We get lost experiencing life the way they experience life. All the things we did now seem dull and boring. Suddenly, we’re invited and urged  to go to places, to seek things beyond ourselves. Life is rejuvenated and we’re suddenly on a mission to explore every inch of living with this new zest we have. 

This new world seems to open us to so many ideas and experiences, it’s like being born again. There are so many directions that we find ourselves pulled in. We’re drawn in by the lush colors and opportunities. Taking time to sit down and figure out which direction we should take is far removed from our conscience. The only thing we’re interested in is exploring. Venturing into this world that had been closed off to us. We open our arms wide welcome the world.

Now don’t get me wrong, such exposure helps us to grow and to become better. It is sometimes needed. We learn to see things in a new light and this is important, but that’s not entirely what I’m speaking of.

I’m thinking of the relationships where we become ensnared by the idea of a ‘new’ life. We find ourselves actively immersed in the constant pattern of going and doing. We live off the thrilling rush of companionship and activity.  It’s possible to live off this high for a very long time if we allow ourselves.

Sometimes, this new way of living is just what we need to urge us to get moving on some task. But—– then there are times when it’s nothing more than a distraction, a web we managed to lock ourselves into. A web that we eventually have one heck of a struggling getting ourselves out of. One day, we may wake up and all the new has become familiar, but strange. Strange because we find ourselves stuck in a place unfamiliar to the person we’d been intentionally moving towards. It is in that moment we realize we’ve lost our self.

We wake up (figuratively or literally) in that moment and realize we’ve taken a major detour in the road. Sometimes, it’s been weeks-months- years when we finally realize we’ve been living someone else’s life instead of our own. We take stock and realize we are so far away from the goals and dreams we’ve set. As we emerge, it is clear that we have no idea what to do. There is no clear path directing us back to ourselves, whatever and whoever that may be.

And, in that moment we also understand that we can’t go back. It’s pointless for us to return to the person we had been. The experiences we have had–change us. I know! I know it can send us into a panic and we automatically think, “I’ve WASTED so much time!” But, that’s not really true. What you have GAINED are really important lessons.

The lessons?

  1. Don’t lose yourself.
  2. Never take you for granted– you are someone wonderful and exciting.

I can really sum this up by saying; Don’t lose yourself by taking who you are for granted!

Yes, this does happen tons of times during our life time. We have moments where we think we aren’t good enough. Or, that we can’t do this. Or, that no one will be around if we revealed our true self. But, it’s not true. It really isn’t.

The reason I think we lose ourselves is because we see ourselves as boring, dull — without luster or shine. We don’t know what it is about our life or about us that is appealing. And, so we want to become someone alluring. Someone that draws in a crowd. We want to be someone who can make people stay around them. Maybe then, we won’t be lonely. Or, we won’t feel unloved. Maybe then, we’ll be accepted.

You’ve got to think positive thoughts about yourself. GOT TO! You have to know (not think–KNOW) that you are amazing and that you have something to offer. When you know your worth, you can never take you for granted. You will never willingly allow yourself to slip into someone else’s life and neglect your own. You’ll never be willing to leave behind the relationships you’ve built with those around you and the time you’ve genuinely spent creating your world– for a thrill. It just won’t happen.

Maybe that is also the problem.

You’ve never really put an effort in creating you. You said with luster and flare– this is who I want to be. But, you’ve never really buckled yourself down and began that process. That’s been one of my downfalls. It’s been why I found myself looking in the mirror a time or two wondering who was looking back at me. And, it’s okay to have those moments– they demand a course of action. Either you continue on that path, or you take a step back and figure you out.

Sometimes you just have to take a step back and figure you out. Rekindle your own light– not so much to overpower. But, just enough to always give love and warmth from the inside out.

If you’re reading this post– take this as one of those moments. Let these words be your mirror.

” Stop it, if it makes you uncomfortable. Don’t go. Don’t feel guilty for returning to yourself. It’s your home.”

How You Love

I’ve been thinking about the way I love people in my life.

Normally, the way we love is determined by what we say to those we love or how we make people we love feel. There was a period in my life when I battled what was more important. The saying or the showing.

It came together somewhere in my twenties that hey…it’s both. They come together as a package. There should not be a separation of the two. You can’t simply tell a person you love them without the action, and actions are not enough to translate the internal thoughts and dialogue you have about a person. The combination of both is what really sets the environment for building and sustaining love.

Living the past four years as a teacher, I’ve seen the effects of both sides of this separated love. I’ve seen kids whose parents tell them they are loved, but have never shown love. And, there are kids that have parents go beyond and above to give and show love, but they’ve never said to their kid I love you.

Some may argue, well at least the kid who is shown love can function better than the one that hasn’t ever felt that love. I have to disagree.

Kids (nor adults) think oh because someone wakes up in the morning and makes breakfast — they love me. Normally, if we’re around someone and they do something that is loving — we deem it NICE. It doesn’t register as a love gesture.

The only time a ‘deed’ is registered as a love gesture is when we’re doing the gesture. That is because we KNOW the intent of the gesture. We know where it began in our thoughts and why it manifested in our actions. So…how does an individual who has no access to your thoughts know why you’re doing the things you do? Well…you’ve gotta tell them.

I’m not writing this article to encourage a spree of actions or words of love to make a person feel you love them.

Showing or rather teaching a person that you love them is not an easy task. It takes more than just adding the words I love you, or folding down the clothes because you know they appreciate that. There are tons more relationship building skills required to teach a person they are loved by you.

What I hope I’m doing is making us (readers &myself) aware that sometimes those we love need to see our love in our actions. Sometimes, they need to hear that love professed from our lips.

I’m not just making these claims –I know that it’s true. The benefit is when we love it teaches others how to love us. I’ve seen this during the past two years.

I’ll use my students as an example. They know I’m big on hugs. It’s how I express my love. So, whenever they see me they hug. They’re accessing the love language I’ve taught them. They reach out to me in a way that I understand. With a hug, I know that they’re saying I love you. They’re saying it directly to me.

And, they’ve all taught me how to reach out to them. Some need me to check in on them first thing in the morning and late at night. Some prefer distance put little moments to say hello and have a chat. Others require face to face chats. They all differ, but even in the midst of figuring out the actions of love– we tell each other ‘ I Love You’.

We understand that telling is just as important as our interactions. So there are days when I say…I love you and they say…I know you love me. And, I’m like yeah…how do you know? The answer is always…you tell me and you show me. It’s never one or the other. It’s both.

Tell & Show.

I understand this is scary stuff…telling and showing. There is so much fear and anxiety with telling a person you love them. It’s always safe to show, because the other individual decides what your actions mean. But, there is nothing more satisfying than knowing someone wrote you a letter not because they wanted to be nice. They wrote it because they loved you and you know that because it’s right there in front of you. It’s said explicitly.

That direct -straight shooting is awesome. It confirms something deep within that just restores a sense of self and purpose.

I believe love explicitly tells and shows
so that we are reminded
that we’re here for a purpose and maybe that purpose
is to be love.

When We Face Ourselves

Cracked, and bruised at the bottom of the list of things we were to do and people we were to become, I  face my self.

It is here I realize I am whole and not broken. I realize the person I envisioned can never compare to the person that emerged.

I have been battered by this world and the people in it. I have tortured myself with memories and what I believed were possibilities.

I have felt too much and cursed myself for it. Cried at the evilness and allowed it to taint me. I have cursed this existence and wished death on more people than a loving woman should.

I have held my heart hostage until it tore its way through skin and bone. Now it is twice its original size.

I have adopted  daughters that make me pray for people I’ve never met to soften their hearts enough to love them more than I ever could.

I have screamed one cuss too much, but they still make my lips heavy.  Staining the image of the lady I tried to portray.

I have lost my zest for books. This world is enough.

I have removed myself from one too many people. Have been neglected far too many times, but there is always understanding and forgiving. Still allowing them that part of me that has always held their name. But, I have run out of candles to hold them to me. So I leave them to the wind, to blow, to come and go as they please. It is better for their guilt. And, my heart.

I have refused to give away my location.  I don’t want another to be feel entitled to my life. Heard this from an elderly lady and I realized I have a long journey to wisdom. But, I hope to get there and be free of trained obstacles.

I  have realized there is no force. They will either stay or they will go. Love will never hold a person in place. I have learned there is strength in letting go, beauty in cuddling what was and making room for what will be.

I have become intentional with my heart, with this cavity of bone and blood.

I have decided to love the world with mind and heart. I have decided not to be blind, but to heal with this double sized heart  I inherited, while sitting at the bottom of who I was to be. Looking up all I can see is the sky and it is endless….it is me, it is life  and this love I contained.

The Real McCoy

How do you generate happiness?

There’s a lot of information and ideas circulating regarding the topic/theme happiness. In this era, there is a movement where people are becoming more attuned to creating a healthier life for themselves. They’ve determined that happiness is something that must be sought after and maintained constantly as a prerequisite for a healthy living. It is the emotion that must be attained at all times.

I find this projected ideal detrimental.

In the constant journey for happiness, a realm of isolation and separation is created. The human constantly searching for happiness will rush beyond the plethora of emotions within them in search of a constant high. They are like kids after candy. More than the thrill and the feel of happiness, they are after the acceptance that comes with being a ‘happy’ person. Society encourage this obsession with happiness as if it were the only emotion worth connecting with. And, those that are not constantly happy are seen and treated as outsiders. We give them labels and pills and look at them funny when they aren’t smiling as they walk down the street.

There is the movie called Pleasantville that comes to mind as I write this blog. It’s about a community that only lives on certain emotions. The world is either black or white. When I think about society and its new drive for happiness, I think of that movie. I think of the way happiness is the elite emotion. There is no room for understanding that life and the circumstances within create emotions that expound and exceed the sphere of happiness. But, we do not wish to explore the circumstances that create those unwarranted emotions. In fact, we encourage people to get over them with time. We encourage them to suppress and ignore as much as possible the emotions that we find more complex, emotions that need examination, effort, communication and understanding. No one who is happy is ever told oh well you need to get over that. Yet, someone who has suffered personal struggles, death or abuse are expected to get over it. Or, better yet, to let time heal their wounds.

How ridiculous are those words in the ears of someone going through such a life changing experience! The person uttering them seems is detached from the struggle and pain of their friend, family member, stranger. In the end, it only confirms what the individual has known all along…no one is willing to listen and no one truly wants to understand.

Reality sets in. They are now on the outside, the fringe of society.

Society only expects one thing of them and that is for them to find their way back into the group. They must find their way back to happiness.

And…the individuals do. Or, at least they try their very best to.  In the end, they…correction we find ourselves living within a community of pretenders going to extremes to rid ourselves of emotions. Emotions we were told not carry around. In the end , they lose everything, including happiness.

Where does this leave them – us? Me?

I’m frustrated and a bit disgusted with myself. I keep thinking of moments when I substituted one emotion for another to make someone else happy. I could see the very steps that made me loose very important parts of myself in an attempt to constantly…be happy. It has shaped me so much that I can no longer honestly answer the question, ‘what makes me happy?’.

But, I do know that pretending to be happy doesn’t increase my happiness. Ignoring other emotions that I experience on a day to day basis, doesn’t make me happy. What I am beginning to understand is our happiness can never be a fixed thing. As, we change so will the way we react to various situations and experiences in life. As I change my happiness changes. It isn’t stagnant. Instead, it develops as I do! What this tells me is that no matter where I find myself I am not leaving happiness behind. There will always be an opportunity for me to experience it. This is a relief for me.

I know that many will do what is dictated by society. They will constantly search for happiness and substitute what they’re feeling with some imposed elation, laugh or smile. I understand that, that is their right. I salute them on their journey.

For me…from this point on, my goal is to experience the moments in my life with emotion that is a true expression of me. Through this expression of self I hope to find authentic happiness whenever I experience it.