Help Yourself

It is always easier to assess what is wrong with other people. This is because of a word most people embrace or run from:  involvement.

There is something that happens when you discern what is wrong with other people, and how they can change to do better, but you will not apply that same wisdom to old or new situations. It is always easier to tell what is wrong with other people, what they should do, need to do, and ought to do, because it has no effect on you. Those free opinions are just that:  free opinions. The cost nothing to give, and nothing to receive–there is no involvement. There are no consequences.

However, when it is your or I whom are forced to face these righteous opinions according to life and self, we come indignant or suffer from amnesia. In this space, being on the receiving end of your personal involvement and accountability to your own life, you have to understand, embracing the things you don’t like about yourself, or the things your desire to change, are essential. Awkward enough, those things are sometimes best seen by people with no involvement in your failure or success.

Your responsibility in that space is to discern what is being told to you is applicable and accurate to your own life. If it is, you have the responsibility to incorporate it or let it go. In letting it go, you decide it is of no use to you, and you hold no accountability to what is being told you and will not use it. Nothing about your life will change.

However, if you decide that there may be a modicum of truth told, there is something to this new information which you believe can be used to make your life better? You have the responsibility to use it! Therein lies the difference–in order for change to be evident, you must be involved with its outcome. You must be willing to give up what is or may be comfortable in favor of what is beneficial to you.

Will it be comfortable? No, not always. Change is not designed to be a source of comfort, but of transition and transformation. These two things, require stamina and focus. Stamina is sustained strength over time, focus is to be goal-oriented and to envision a larger outcome.

You must be a participant in your own life…no matter what the larger opinion.

Dying Of The Light

One of my favorite quotes in all of literature or poetry is this by Dylan Thomas:

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light…”

This poem Do Not Go Gentle is written about aging, and by virtue of aging living bravely until there are no more days in which to do so. I am fond of saying there are only some things which are only, can only be expressed through ink:  tattoos or otherwise. I think our dear Mr. Thomas captures that quite incredible.

It is easy to give up, dear ones. It is comfortable to say what you cannot do, will not overcome especially as you wander through this life with the grace of age. It is easier to abandon dreams in favor of what it practical, safe and tangible. However, there is an element to this life which as you age, you will encounter more than once. I call it the knock.

My best friend and co-collaborator says often “step into your greatness” and “don’t get stuck the weeds.” Simply stated, this means don’t let you stop you.

Don’t let you stop you.

In this new year 17 days old, you have every opportunity set before you to manifest all you desire to become. No one will shove you towards this ideal self, but there will always be hints as to what you are supposed to do. There are nudges that guide, and there is the knock.

This incessant intrusion into the life crafted perfected which as you ignore will soften, and urge. This sense there is more to this life than that which you have crafted for yourself. The longer your ignore it, the more push it away, the harder the knock will become when it resurfaces. It will make itself known as it did for me–I decided nursing could not be all God wanted for me. The clothes of a nurse no longer fit–my power, my talent for healing was found in words and storytelling.

Walking away from what I knew to be safe an lucrative was liberating. Indeed, flying without a net. Yet, this was the thing I had done since I was 8, and committed to do at 16. The knock, my knock, was steady, it was certain and I knew once I admitted this was what I was supposed to do, I ran after it.

I raged against the dying of the light.

The years I lost towards becoming an alien in my own life, I was determined to not lose another second on my journey.

I won’t say it’s been easy. It has been one of the most difficult things I have had to do. Yet, I had no choice. Why? The knock. This divine resonance which the Almighty wouldn’t let me give up on, and push me towards, and sustained me until I could hear it again.

Don’t fear the critics, beloved. They come because that’s all they can do. They criticize to remind you to focus. They come so your God can set the table in the midst of your enemies as He promised you He would. Critics cannot stop you, they can only equip you.

You don’t see eagles in henhouses.

Not all whom are for you, are for you. Yet there more people waiting to see when you will answer your knock. You are more than what you know. You have all you need to do all you seek. The first thing you need to do is listen–in the listening, you can then open the door. You are not too old. It is not too late.

It’s not too late.

Knock. Knock.

This Ally Ship

This story came across my desk as I was out of town this weekend. Am I surprised? No. The fact this doctor did this is amazing. What is odd, which probably shouldn’t be at this point, is the mother of one of his patients reported this to the hospital and Dr. Gu was put on paid administrative leave.

Think about that.

The mother of one of the patients he was taking care of didn’t like his political views, and told the hospital. This is asinine. The article does not detail the race of the woman that did this, knowing her son was his patient, this sounds like white privilege and its exploitation of minority people.

She didn’t care what he did as long as he saved her son. Once he had outlived his usefulness to her, she all of a sudden wasn’t comfortable with him kneeling.

Kneeling.

But I promise you, she will swear up one wall and down another that she isn’t a racist and is, what is the phrase now, but ‘concerned about the state of the country and doesn’t think the workplace is the right place to express political beliefs.’

If anything, those whom call themselves allies or practice allyship need to understand progress and change are not catch phrases or trends. There is a level of agreement you commit to which you remain vigilant to those you agree to help. You don’t just abandon that because it gets hard or something else cooler comes along.

Take a cue from Dr. Gu and the God’s Son album, track 12  (Revolutionary Warfare):

“..and listen more, and talk less…”

“…be ready to die for what you believe in and ride all the time, not just when convenient.”

Being an ally will cost you something. Being a part of a things greater than yourself will require you to do things greater than what would expected of other people. It will demand you understand what you agree to support will require your support. Allyship is no respecter of time or situation.

Your support, if it is true, will require you to do something. It will require you to be comfortable with being uncomfortable–and that may cost you. However, if the goal is change and that is achieved by disruption, that is great gain.

Don’t lose sight of the goal.

Thank you to all those who support the movement (not just the moments), and desire to see the world change to benefit and protect all people.

Thank you.

If I Don’t Get There With You

Reproclamation.

This act is defined by the reannouncing of something public and official.

According to USA Today in January 2016, here is history as to the legislative history around Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:

On Nov. 3, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill marking the third Monday of every January, as Martin Luther King, Jr., day, according to the center. The holiday was to begin in 1986. In January 1986, the first national Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday was observed.

Coincidentally, 1986 was when I began my elementary education. Moreover, every president since Regan signs this proclamation every year, ergo it remains a holiday. Seems redundant.

However, in keeping with the man and the honor expected of today, I offer the same wisdom he did half a century ago:

It’s expected to say something today to be encouraging and profound today. The life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  is encouraging and profound. However, there are portions of his life and work, that don’t qualify him as ‘the good Negro’ he is sometimes classified as.

The work, social justice, civil equality, dismantling of systems of oppression, is not easy and is thankless. We see now the lust towards the power certain white people had generations ago where words and looks could, would end the lives of people of color. We see a march towards the reversal of things equitable, just and fair in favor of reestablishing what white supremacy has dictated to be the most right way. We see those using coded language for its implementation–and the silence of those whom have seen such an incarnation before, yet do nothing–because whiteness, its privilege and the profits gained or granted therein.

There is a romance to racism this country worships and imbibes  which I’m sure that my grandmother could better explain, and my mother endured as a nurse at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Being alive to see this, it is easy to be afraid, and look for the rescue from the slow march to national destruction from Washington, D.C. Even one of my writing sheroes, Roxanne Gay, in an article from the New York Times details that no one is going to save us from this administration.

She’s right.

However, there was no one to protect us in administrations prior. We as a people began to do that–creating our own schools, businesses, and edifying one another. And we still had to fight to get a cat up off you because in the words of Barack H. Obama “Folk wanna pop off…”

On today, I want to know that you are valued, you are worthy, you are entitled to all this life has to offer. Today is a celebration of the life of a man that embodied one aspect, one facet of a movement meant to uplift and encourage people, and change the face of this nation. This work, social justice, civil rights, equality for all people, dismantling of systems of oppression is on-going. Now, in this dispensation it is our turn, my turn, your turn to fight. The rescue is in your mouth and resources–and what we as a people are willing to pull together to create the better we so desperately want and know what can have.

Today, we celebrate the life of a man who dared to look this nation in the face and call it a lie:   in word, in action, and in deed. Today, we celebrate a forged path able to withstand those that walked with him, ahead of him, and us coming after. Today, remember your power is service–even when no one calls your name or sees you.  You must remember the rescue you seek, you can create.

Today, let no one tell you that you cannot. History has proven that you can, you shall, and you will. We shall overcome indeed, but sometimes, you need to first acknowledge you first must get over.

 

RUNITBACK FRIDAY-1/12/18

Don’t never let people tell you what you cannot do.”

-My Daddy, Richard L. Bush

#RESIST #SHITHOLECOUNTRY #DONTGETMAD #DOSOMETHING #Equip #WorkSmart #ChangeTheSystem #PUSH #ProtestUnnecessaryStiflingHumanity #PleaseUnderstandShitsHectic #PutUselessShitdaHellaonsomedamnwhere

Black people have always had to save America. When Roland S. Martin said this yesterday on his podcast, I shouted. It’s always been minorities and people of color to challenge these insane principles and force this nation to grow up and do everything it says it will for all people.

The American Dream is a fairytale born from the blood of the poor and working class.

I’m not going to rehash what the Chief Alligator of the River that flows through Hades said. He is exactly who he is. He is the racist, useless, shiftless grandson of a pimp whom is now trying to pimp the nation. The GOP in relentless pursuit of erasure and power, they keep bending over for Daddy, don’t they?

Register to vote.

Get involved with resistance work.

Find a passion and work with people of similar passions or start a movement yourself.

He is who the (bleep) he has always been.

But who are you if you remain silent when crises hit?

Who will you become if you don’t?

#AuntieO #H&M #OprahWinfrey #Family #PUSH #GoldenGlobes #Awards #WeShine #BlackBoysAreNotMonkeys #TeachPrincesHowToBeKings#TeachThePrincessesHowToBeQueens

#Solidarity #Election2020 #OprahIsBetterThanPresident

Stop asking Auntie O to be President!

Stop! Effing! Asking!

Oprah has found her niche and doing her work. Don’t give her something else to do. Do not give her something else to do–you find something to do! And as far as H&M is concerned? This is not a mistake. There is no retraction, no apologies, no ads to reshoot…

Black boys are not monkeys.

What am I saying?

We as people of color must remember to value ourselves, and consider what it means to be an ally. Oprah is Oprah and needs no help! However what talents and skills are you harboring which would influence those around you so they are not subjected to exploitation by companies like H&M?

I made no mistake about how I felt about the Golden Globes. I have made no secret about me being unapologetically black and any space I inhabit is a black girl space.

Any space.

However, this is not the time to add energy to crazy. We are in a time of upheaval and change and we must be able focus on vision not agenda. When we don’t focus, that’s when we get these Ls and these political and emotional fades. Don’t fall for it.

Teach the Princes how to be Kings.

Teach the Princesses how to be Queens.

Simply stated–teaching and impartation are essential to equipping towards where you must go.

Luvvie Ajai says she owns her status as a professional troublemaker or a starting domino. You have have be brave enough to begin–in the beginning we find the place where it is we’re supposed to go–in that going, we leave a trail to follow.

Blaze a trail.

Find a work.

Or like me, start a fire.

What It All Means

January 7, 2018, Oprah Winfrey was awarded the Cecil B. de Mille Lifetime Achievement Award. On my Facebook page, that Sunday, I posted this picture that I screenshot from LoveBScott’s Instagram page (Shouts to BScott!):

It brought me to tears. I boycotted the Golden Globes, due to my feelings heard ’round the world about Jordan Peele’s masterpiece to date being nominated as a (bleep) comedy. You can read that saucy recanting here.

I watched as Denzel Washington won it a couple years ago, and all women in me rejoiced. But to see Oprah Winfrey win? It reminded me of a quote of hers some years ago, when she was accepting an award:

“I told God, do what you want with my life…”

-Oprah Winfrey

You must understand what this means on two levels. I make no apologizes for my faith or the part it is played in my life thus far and in the future.  When she said this quote, my soul rejoiced. Here is why:

1.) According to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, all you have to do is ASK for what you want. (A-Ask. S-Seek. K-Knock.) Read this in the Gospel of Luke–it’ll bless you.  The Creator respected you so much that He gave you free will. In that free will, when you ask Him to do what He desires in your life, because He knows what He has for you? That is powerful.

2.) In being that accessible, you make room to bless and to be a blessing to everyone you come across. You remove the overwhelming tendency to doubt and put God in charge of all outcomes. This trust between you and the Creator is beyond intimacy, and is rocket fuel to continue to do what you believe you are positioned to do.

When I decided to make writing a career, I was scared out of my mind. However, I trusted what I believed God had for me, and would do with every single gift that I have–believing the outcome He told me I would have.

I have made room for God to move in my life, and as He has, I cannot tell you the peace I have gotten, and the doors which have opened. I keep on this path because…if He can do it for Oprah, maybe he could do it for me.

Sometimes going along unbeaten paths, you look for any hint you aren’t alone and are going in the right direction. Often times, God doesn’t give you someone on the same path, but someone on a parallel path. There will be evidence those same travelers continued in spite of going alone, with only intuition to guide.

We know fear and faith cannot coexist. Fear is a weight, and weight is never needed to continue on a path of urgency. Faith quickens the step, makes sight keen and your goal in sight.

Follow the path. Keep the goal in sight. If all else fails, just keep going.

Just. Keep. Going.

Sun & Bells

You’ve heard the expression Whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee by the poet John Donne–and the Hemingway book of the same beginning clause. Check this explanation:

“…for whom the bell tolls definition. An expression from a sermon by John Donne. Donne says that because we are all part of mankind, any person’s death is a loss to all of us: “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

What is death except the ultimate change and and letting go. What we forget is the impact life, and its loss, has on us as individuals and humanity.

In the space of grief and acceptance, we have to be reminded to live. We must live and continue to live as best we can. Sometimes, this needs a reminder. There needs to guideposts and other people whom love you to continue to remind you life has not ended because one life is not present.

It is trite to say ‘live and do how they would have wanted you to live.” Death does not take or replace personal autonomy. You still own the outcome of your life.

So own the outcomes.

Own the uncomfortable places, the secret things, indeed every outcome. Do not be taken hostage to the dreams of people whom never voiced their own or could speak to yours. Do not be persuaded from what you desire in favors for what may have been hoped for in another person.

This life, and all is sorrow and boundless wonder, is yours. Do not live as if your presence offends people. Do not live your life for the dead. Live your life because it is yours, it is excellent, and it is waiting.