Posts Tagged With: relationships

BROKEN


Ughhhhhhh!!!!!! 😩

My heart hurts. My mind is full of anger, confusion, and worry. I want to CRY and SCREAM and RUN and FIGHT… and hide, all at the same time. As I told someone else, I don’t have the emotional bandwidth to engage with people right now. So there will be no debate here. You either hear me, or you don’t. But that’s up to you. What I know is that I have been unable to sleep, and in my time of reflection, there have been myriad thoughts swirling around in my mind. Up until now, I have not spoken freely. But this must change.

And so, I will no longer remain silent.

To say that we reside in a nation divided, would be an understatement. It hinges upon readily observed and documented injustice, along with a perceived hopelessness, perpetuated by the repeated occurrences of mistrust, brutality, prejudice, and discrimination that I fear have now come to define the character of our country, to its citizens as well as the rest of the world.

These attributes have been affixed to the very nature of who we are as a population, brought about by the actions of those who have been appointed, and thereby obligated, to be the benevolent and compassionate custodians of liberty, safety, and justice for all.

But somewhere along the way, the vision was lost, or perhaps it was intentionally discarded.

We have become a nation in which the pursuit of wealth and success comes at the cost of compassion and consideration of others. We are teaching our children that it is socially acceptable to be selfish and obtain their definition of happiness by any means necessary. And in so doing, I fear we have developed a culture that prizes possessions over principle, money over morality, and status over solidarity. In a country whose very name embodies cohesion and promotes collaboration, The United States of America, we now seem to encourage divisiveness and egocentric aspirations.

We have been broken.
Broken promises.
Broken relationships.
Broken trust.
Brokenhearted.

I’m not sure how much more my heart and mind can endure. I used to think that civil dialogue could help heal the wounds between us. But in this current civilization, civility is not always possible. I learned a long time ago that people motived by feelings, who take action before considering the consequences of those actions, are NOT interested in talking. They are only interested in purging their emotions by any means necessary. There is no reasoning with them.

But I’m tired.

Tired of being the black man who is all too conscious of the fact that wearing glasses makes me appear less threatening. Tired of being the one who some people point to as the example of a “good black person” (wth is that anyway??). Tired of being the father who is constantly updating the Minority Rules of Social Engagement, and reinforcing them to his fives sons and one daughter, as a contingency against the very real possibility that their lives could one day depend on them.

I am a black man in America. And to some, that means I am a life without value. Disposable.

But my life has value as much as any other human being. And I will do everything lawfully within my power to uphold that right and recognize that value, in myself and others.

As I sit here in tears, I’m thinking about how I used to avoid making such precise statements about my feelings for fear of people misunderstanding me, unfriending me or taking offense. But I will say this without reservation, your approval of me will never be worth more than the welfare and well-being of my family. I’m committed to finding solutions and taking action. But I will not sit idly by while the world descends into chaos.

If I lose friends over this… ask yourself, were we really friends?

Categories: commentary, current events, opinion, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shattered Boxes


I always find it interesting how we create these images of various people we’ve met. You know, we have a particular idea about how they probably behave, talk or react to the world when we’re not around. This inevitably puts them in a particular box that we are none too quick to release them from. So much so, that when they do or say something that goes against our established image of them, we think it’s “out of character” or that “something must be wrong”.

Personally, I think people are multifaceted beings that have a propensity to exhibit behavior that could seem contradictory in nature. What it really means is that there is more to each of us than we share with every individual. For instance, some people know me for my writing, while others know me for my music. And there are others who have absolutely no idea that I write OR sing. For them, finding out that I do either (or both) would completely shatter their image of me.

Which is a bit sad considering those particular things have always been a part of me, even if I haven’t shared them.

So yeah… there are parts of me that I share with some people and not with others, depending on the context of our discussion and the depth of our friendship. And so it goes, that in getting to know people, we discover other parts of who they are.

To me, that’s the most exciting part about developing relationships… there is always the potential for surprise.

Categories: relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Personal Thunderstorms


Have you ever had one of those seemingly endless seasons when you’ve gone through an incredibly rough time? You know, it’s not just a bad day, but it’s like you’re standing under your own personal storm cloud. We become completely engrossed in and preoccupied by the trial we’re facing. So much so, that we can’t see or enjoy the people around us.

As an empath, I sometime fight to resist taking on the struggles and pain of others. My heart genuinely breaks for those being mistreated, suffering abuse, or battling addictions. Thing is, people are rarely going through the same thing at the same time. For each of us, there is usually no storm “harder” or “worse” than the one we’re currently facing. And I get that.

In truth, we vary so much from circumstance to circumstance and from history to history (how we grew up or the particular experiences we’ve had), that one person’s thunder storm could easily be another person’s slight drizzle.

One thing I’m sure of is that every person’s struggle is different. And we never really know what someone is actually going through. Even if on the outside things look fine. We can’t always see the turmoil within.

So I would just encourage us to show a little more compassion to our family, friends, and colleagues. Be kind…

…on purpose.

Because we never know how hard it may be just to get through the next minute for the person standing right in front of us.

Categories: relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Seeds and Desire


I’ve had the privilege of knowing some awesome women, who over the years have given me an earful of priceless information from the female perspective.  Some of them are in great relationships, while others are still searching for one. Still others are enduring a bad relationship simply for the sake of being able to say they’re in one.

One thing that I find interesting is that in all of these cases, to be loved was of the highest priority.  I don’t mean sexually (it’s sad, but without that disclaimer some people would assume as much).  It seems that from childhood women will often seek affirmation through “expressions” of love.  Whether it be gifts, or letters, or time spent together…

…the underlying desire is to be loved.

What seeds were planted in your childhood?

Material things aside, many of the women I know have said that they would be very happy knowing that someone thinks they are the most wonderful, most beautiful woman in the world.  However, this love needs to be demonstrative, without any ulterior motives.  They want to feel needed and special.  They want to be a priority in someone’s life.

Some of the women I know have even said that any rebellion exhibited as teenagers had more to do with their feelings of being unwanted, unaccepted, and made to feel unattractive, more so than just wanting to get into trouble.  I was told that if someone had loved them, the way they needed to be loved… they would have most likely become very different people.

I recognize the effects on women who grew up without a father, or whose mothers were inattentive.  Some of them have dealt with it. Others are still struggling to come to terms with their childhood.  Unfortunately, this can deeply affect their current relationships with both men and women.  Some of my female friends have confided in me that it seems hard to find a good man, mostly because they tend to run at the first indication that any man possesses characteristics similar to their absentee fathers or estranged mothers.  Friends who exhibit these traits are unceremoniously dismissed as well.

Honestly, I think both men and women truly want to be loved, though we may act otherwise.  Men are just more prone to hide this fact than women.

WOMEN: What has been your experience, if any, with your childhood affecting your desire to be loved, and the way you receive love?

MEN: What things have made you reluctant, if at all, to communicate your desire to be loved? 

Categories: commentary, intimacy, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What’s Real


I used to wonder why people run to the scene of a car accident, or overload web search servers when the latest celebrity photo scandal breaks. But then I realized that it has more to do with the fact that we are drawn to situations that are outside of those to which we are accustomed. Car accidents happen, but they don’t happen to most people everyday. There’s a good portion of the population that are foolish, but 99% of us are not people in the public eye who decide to take naked pictures for our boy/girlfriend-of-the-week only to feign disgust when they sells them to TMZ.

Perfection should never be the goal.

What’s my point? My point is that what should be a simple 1 + 1 = 2 thought process is not computing for the masses. If our collective attention really is drawn to what is uncommon, atypical or rare (1), and people have long since mourned the demise of healthy marriages (+ 1), then why are some people uninterested (or so quick to dismiss) the discussion or promotion of successful relationship? (= 2).  We still focus on the relational train wrecks, the adulterous politicians, the bed-hopping socialites, and staged “reality” drama in the form of The Bachelor(ette)’s bevy of eligible (and some emotionally broken) men and women. Maybe it’s just a form of entertainment for people? A necessary distraction?

This is one of the reasons I purposely post stories about my marriage and my kids, because I believe that exposure to positive relationships has been completely overshadowed by recurring themes of hurt, fear, hopelessness, betrayal and despair. I do realize that we’ve all had bad experiences. Maybe it has to do with the old adage that misery loves company. Or perhaps people have such low expectations that they buy in to the belief that relationships are destined to fail.

In the past I’ve gotten private messages accusing me of making up the stories about my wife and kids. I’m like, really?? It blows me away. Honestly, I wouldn’t have the attention span to dedicate the necessary time to such an elaborate hoax. I barely manage to balance time to write here, work and invest in my family. A full time gig x3 for sure.

That being said, I am a huge proponent of promoting healthy relationships and will always encourage questions and responses on this topic. I don’t think we can have enough of them. I can’t speak for anyone else here, but I’m all about being real. REAL stories about REAL people experiencing REAL success.

As most of us have probably heard before, what you see is here is DEFINITELY what you get.

No life filters here.

Categories: opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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