The Urgency of Self-love

The Urgency of Self-love 

It’s a new era in this generation called “millennials”, the tech generation, the free spirits, and the “self-loved”. I am 100% pro learning to love yourself, I would love to see everyone who I cross energy with to experience the peace and joy that accompanies self-love, however, I think many people miss the purpose of what that (self-love) means. In this new era I’ve noticed a lot of the claims of self-love are coming from a sort of narcissistic, selfish, sometimes fearful place. The “I’m going to love me because no one deserves me” people, the “I’m going to love me because no one else will love me” people, or the “every time I’ve tried it fails so I’m all I got” self-love type of people. These are dangerous philosophies. 

The urgency of self-love that I believe people miss is the purpose to elevate the love for oneself in order to love someone else the way you love you. With unrepentant sincerity. Everyone wants a great love but we cannot for the life of us be one. We cannot give what we don’t have and so, often times, we create these affectations of love lacking the truth of it. We do good in order to get back, we love those that are easy to love, the ones that we agree with; there is no real sincerity in that kind of behavior. This is a generation that is constantly looking on the outside trying to find meaning for what’s on the inside; their desire to be loved, not realizing the lack of real love within is the cause of their confusion. You see people trying to satiate this desire with things and other peoples superficial attention, you notice they have no real sense of joy or peace because they aren’t being their authentic selves and they get exhausted. Some of these people often say things like “I don’t trust anyone”, “I’m focused on me”, “I’m about the money” and the like. They adopt principles that isolate instead of invite, keeping them from having to express humility or sincerity all the while exhorting “self love”. They are often overly sensitive, easily offended, inconsistent, uncommitted, and show no real interest others happiness if it doesn’t include a reward for them. 

There are those who are on the right path of self love but they struggle because of the company they keep. They wish to be influential love givers to the people they love and care about but those people don’t love and care about themselves the way they should to have the capacity to receive the truth of love they desire. These people usually end up corrupting their idea of self love that they are practicing simply because of their stubborn unwillingness to change their environment. I believe very firmly that you cannot learn to be different in the company of people desperately trying to stay the same. Those people want the benefit without the effort. A part of self love means severing connections with dead weight, destructive influences, and toxic relationships. You can only love people based on the quality of love you have for yourself and the quality of love people believe they deserve; these things have to match. Unfortunately, we have people who are dying trying to save people who can only be saved by themselves.

We forfeit our right to love for a twisted affectation of love that’s at best, and in part, sensually masturbatory. What I mean by that is we focus on just pleasing ourselves and feeling good. We stroke our own egos for a climactic attention high all the while holding on to a cynicism about love that includes anyone else because that kind of love has been defeated within us. We forfeit humility for pride because no one ever lifted us up, we forfeit courtesy because no one ever put us first, we forfeit patience because being offended is way easier than trying to understand, we forfeit honesty because we have been lied to when we allowed our hearts to lead, we forfeit forgiveness because we need to remember the pain in order to justify our condition, and we forfeit self-control because we feel like we deserve to revel in our lust for feeling good. These things corrupt our character, they corrupt the idea of love in its entirety and leaves us with a void of longing that will never be filled. We will become angrier, more bitter, more contemptuous, self seeking tyrants, turning into the very people we were betrayed by in turn betraying ourselves. 

Self-love embodies the character traits of humility, courtesy, patience, honesty, forgiveness, and self-control. It cannot be defeated by the decisions of other people, it cannot be swayed by their opinions, it will not lack in provision for you, and it surely will not keep you from loving other people. When we learn to accept the trials of life and learn to overcome these toxic philosophies that keep us prisoners to doubt and fear our perspectives on love will begin to change. We will stop feeling guilty for things that have nothing to do with us, but everything to do with the condition of other peoples minds. Love is not the romanticized happily ever after that’s beat into our minds. Its rough, hard and takes time and effort that doesn’t always feel good. It’s a lifestyle that takes practice and study, it has to be who you are before it can be something you do. Although we may fail at it enough to frustrate us to the point of giving up, one thing remains true about love and its that love done wrong may hurt for the moment but love done right heals for a lifetime. That’s enough to keep going. 

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Let’s be outlaws, partners in crime

Let’s piss this country off by stepping out of the white lines

Let’s make a little more than noise when we open our mouths

Let’s make them acknowledge our voice

Until we are free in this land let’s stand and be brave

Let’s be outlaws even if they chase us to our graves

Let’s go out on a limb and lynch this oppression

Let us remind them that freedom doesn’t lie and equality doesn’t come in the form of blue collar professions

Let’s be outlaws and sing our own anthem

With fist held high and tight

Voices of the martyrs rise up for the fight

Let’s be outlaws and rebuild what they tore down

Oh say can you see it’s not time to back down

As when they slept peacefully till dawns early light

Our families planned our survival through the night

Therefore because of them I execute my right, I fight.

A Black Mans Mission For Manhood

 It’s truly a shame how a boy is raised so incomplete. So ill-equipped to deal with the true trials of life. He isn’t raised to be a man of valiant character who is wise, understanding, or patient. He’s taught to seek pleasure, dominance and material stature. He’s taught that he must first be given in order to give. Not to forgive but seek vindication. He’s taught that knowledge makes him an outcast but having many women makes him more manly and worth something. He’s not taught to be a father, a trustworthy friend, or even a husband but a hustler, a fashion statement and a trendsetter. He grows into a lost man-child with walls placed around his vulnerability. His capacity to overcome his pride is diminished significantly because it’s been strengthened his whole life. His manhood lost in the deceptions of other broken men who were blinded by broken examples.

  
We nurture superficial qualities in our boys and expect them to meet standards that they aren’t equipped for. We tell them that crying and emotional expression is for girls and thus reinforce silent resentment and repression. We teach them to be obstinate, to be angry and disobedient to authority, and to surreptitiously betray the women who love them. They spend their lives fixated on proving their fruitless manhood because deep down inside of them is a void they are unconscious of. 
The spirit of a man lives within all our boys but it’s starved and left emaciated and powerless. It calls out to them at every waking moment but it’s voice is but a subtle whisper distorted by the loud cries of a child seeking instant gratification. With no one to nurture the man in him he never learns to control his sensuous, carnal desires. He grows into an impulsive, prideful, and incorrigible force of destruction. The man in him still starving, dying and pleading for an opportunity to bring him peace and joy. 
A boy only grows into a man once he finds an example of one. Once he witnesses for himself a different choice for his life, once something or someone begins to speak life into the man in him. It feels as though he is reborn, that cry that once was so loud becomes silenced and the voice of the man in him is recognizable. Responsibility, honor, character, and integrity become valuable and exciting to him. He’s no longer the angry child he once was but a man of a confident countenance. 
  
The mission for manhood in our black men is not just a personal mission, it’s also a mission of brotherhood. Those who have achieved the enlightenment of manhood are responsible to enlighten those who are still blinded by the same struggle they overcame. Like the old saying goes “it takes a village to raise a child” it takes a man to show a boy how to be a man. To correct his brother when he is wrong and to be a constant figure of positive influence. Black men must take up the call for manhood and be true to their natural ability to lead. It’s not a mission that will always have a personal reward but a mission that rewards the generations to come.  

 

Thank you 2014 but GOODBYE!

Wow, its already mid December anddirection I can’t say I’m sad about it. This year has been the most difficult, crazy, heartbreaking, most exciting year of my life. I’ve learned more about me in the last 12 months than I have in my whole 26 years of living, mostly because of a tremendous fall I had to take and the difficult climb to make it back to sanity. 2014 began with heartbreak. The kind where you lose yourself trying to figure out what the fuck just happened, blindsided by your own trust and life had no safety net for you. THAT KIND!

Needless to say I recovered! I got responsible, the strength I took from that experience made me a whole new man. All things do work together for the good to them that love god. I got focused and began writing again, I got back in school, and surprisingly I was asked to be the leader of the mens group at my church. I started studying the word of god more and I’ve been learning more and more about what being a man of god really means. To be excited about responsibility, commitment, and love. To expect that this world is designed to test and temp me in the areas that I am weakest  so I have to guard myself accordingly. I stopped “Turning up” as much and I got in the gym. taking better care of my body became very important to me as well as a stress reliever.

My desire to live a purposeful life grew into joy and I became committed to that. I discovered that finding myself required me to give more of what I already possessed and not keep it in. The hardest part about that was being able to admit when I had an emotional response to something that upset me. I’ve always been the indestructible nothing could hurt me type of person B-Epiphanyand I knew more than anyone that wasn’t true. I tried to find the easiest ways to express those negative emotions until I had to just say F#*k it and just say it raw. Freedom came with that kind of openness because I no longer had to lie to myself or anyone else by saying “I’m fine”. I couldn’t live like that and say I’m committed to growth, it’s difficult but its making me better.

The thing I have to say I’ve despised about 2014 is the dating life! its like I have been in a coma and come out to discover relationships have been broken down into sex, food, and money. chivalry isn’t dead but it sure is in critical condition, so much so that if you are even half-decent your motives are highly questionable because people are so accustomed to the relationship goal of laying in a bed full of tax money. No one speaks of marriage or having found someone they are comfortable being vulnerable with. Relationships have become a game of who can last longer without being the one to blame when shit hits the fan. I am not about that life.

2014 has been very much hated and appreciated. I am grateful to still be alive, to still have the opportunity to get closer to my true self, and to still have a heart made for loving. I’ll be taking my lessons into 2015 and leaving the other baggage in 2014 where it was made. Thank you 2014 but GOODBYE!!

let-go