How to live a life of authenticity

At some point you have to start being who you want to be. If you want to be a business person then you have to go out there and start that business. If you want to be smart then you have to learn. If you want to be thin then you have to put in the effort. Whatever you want to be, you can be it if you do the work. At some point you have to do the work, you have to start being you, the you you dream of being. You can only pretend for so long, only live small for so long, only shrink for so long. That’s no way to live. That’s not abundant life, no matter how many pairs of shoes you own, or how many holidays you can afford in a year. Your ability to generate income, perhaps even wealth, and your successes as a in that area – all these are good things but they are external, outside of yourself; these things do not make you you.

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Who are you?

For much of my teen and early adult years I struggled with my identity. I didn’t know who I was and I wasn’t quite sure of who I was becoming, and if I liked her. My relationship with my father is so broken that it doesn’t even merit that title, so when I think of who I am, ‘L’s daughter isn’t an identity that comes to mind.

My mother? My mother was my life. Losing her is still a shock to me. I still can’t believe she’s gone. It hits me not like a sharp pain, but more like what I imagine having a mountain fall on you would be like. Flat, heavy, thudding into you in deep waves of sadness and pain. She’s not here. I’m no longer her daughter. That’s no longer an identity i can claim.

I love my son so much. But let’s face it, he’s living his own life. He’s becoming himself. I can’t let my life revolve around his because I don’t want to raise a damaged son who thinks that he has a right to expect another human being to give up their life for his convenience. Nah, I’m not raising that man. Is he going to be perfect? Of course not. Perfection would be a very stupid goal. I’m human, he’s human, and we’re all a little damaged. Mothers, your sons are not your friends, they’re your children. Raise them to be men, not to be entitled brats of adult age. If I say that I am my son’s mother, what does it mean? Is that who I am? Or is it what I am?

I’ve started enjoying the colour pink lately, and yes that’s a big deal, because I used to loathe pink. I hated pink so much it was almost a physical aversion. What does this have to do with anything? Well, I have a baby daughter. And the day she was born is the day I fell in love with pink – I kid you not. I don’t know what was wrong with me before and I don’t know how it got fixed, because I am ‘suddenly’ enjoying pink things and pink thoughts, these days. Finally finding my femininity, me. I am convinced that my relationship with my daughter did that, is doing that. Mothering a son is changing me, growing me, but mothering a daughter is change and growth at the speed of light. No, that’s not it. That makes it sound like it’s better than mothering a son and that’s not what I mean to say at all. Mothering a son is increased self-awareness; mothering a daughter is increased self-love. I’m actually not every woman though (despite what you may have been made to believe) so naturally, YMMV: every woman’s experience of being a mother will be different. Not better or worse, just different.

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All of this, does it mean that who and what I am is mother? Is that my identity? Is that who I am? Or is it what I am? Whatever the case, what is true is that at some point we all have to start just being. There is no way to be, without being authentic. The time will come when you stop pretending, when you start to live and walk and talk the way you want to, because not being authentic and not doing what you have determined to be good and right and true has been understood clearly and without error to be a waste of life. You are going to, one day, stop wasting your life. In other words, you’re going to find your truth and love it, and you will start to live it. What if that day is today? Start being the person you dream about being. Stop making excuses, make shit happen. The universe responds to authenticity.

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I’m too angry to write, and I’m tired of being angry

I tried to write today, and I failed. Hard. I must have gotten up to document seven, averaging around 500 words each, before I gave it up as a bad job. I kept getting angry. I wanted to write about an aspect of romance, but I found myself getting so worked up at the bullshit men pull, I had to push away from my desk.
Then I thought, we need to talk about Serena, but I just couldn’t deal with the level of ire raised by the hate she receives for being GOAT while black. #icantevendeal

Something lighthearted then, perhaps the way my heart swells when I think about how much I love my daughter, or just how wonderful my son is, as in literally causing me to be full of wonder, but that too degenerated into waves of fury at the thought of the black woman’s burden in this world where #ifidieinpolicecustody is an actual thing. And if it is bad for black women, what must it be like for black men, emasculated as they are in a world where the alpha male is and can only ever be white, straight, and wealthy. To be anything else is to be less-than and to always have to explain your existence, and be unable to protect your people from those that seek to harm, destroy and erase them. What is a man if he cannot be those very things that define manhood – provider and protector?

I’m getting angry as I type this, because I’m thinking of the backlash to come if I had readers who have bought the lie that to be equal is to be the same, when in reality men and women are equal but different.

I can’t write these days, because I get so angry, and I’m so tired of being angry. Who wants to read anger? I think the world is past that. At any rate we seem to be over it. Why else would things be happening the way they are? Isn’t it because we have become tired of being angry , because we have been angry for so long, at so many injustices, that we have crossed the Rubicon into death, even while we walk in our bodies?

Why else are we not angry, angrier than posting on Fb, when those who are supposed to lead us encourage us selling off our girl children? Why aren’t we angry when people we know and love are arrested and killed just for living and for trying to live – surely there a better way? Why aren’t we angry when we are forced to raise our children in ways that contrary to what we know to be true -we all turned out fine, why are we discarding the tried and true methods of parenting, for methods we see fail each and every day? When you understand the difference between speaking and beating, you will be a mature parent, raising normal children. Please stay seated if you had discipline problems with your children. Don’t tell me how spanking is bad when NOT spanking has led to a generation of entitled, spoilt, sick twisted little twerps. How many times have you said ‘kids these days’ forgetting that these days kids are being raised by these days parents, who are just failing, period. If you grew speaking more than one language and your kids only speak one, or speak one and another that the older members of your family are not 100% comfortable with, I’m judging you. All those mothers and fathers who think that having children who speak English and nothing else is a sign that they’ve made it, I’m looking at you.

But I digress.  I’m sorry. I got carried away for a minute there, and that is why I can’t write.

Proverbs 8: An ode to wisdom

Proverbs 8: 22-31

The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of old.
Ages ago I was set up,
a
t the first, before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth,
before he had made the earth with its fields,
or the first of the dust of the world.
When he established the heavens, I was there;
w
hen he drew ca circle on the face of the deep,
when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
then I was beside him, like a master workman,
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the children of man.

Sometimes i read the daily chapter and … suddenly, nothing happens.

Other times though – other times i feel a stirring in my soul;
I feel like i’ve come into contact with the Father of all.
They are not rare, these occasions, but neither are they commonplace.
It’s just that sometimes, sometimes with Spirit I come face to face.

Today is one such day you see,
Yes, I heard Voice speak to me.
What was said was neither deep nor profound,
Neither shallow nor trite but it was, you best believe, Biblically sound.

All this time we’ve been talking about Wisdom,
But I think not a word have we said about freedom –
Which is ridiculous you know, because after all,
What is there to be wise for if not to be master (mistress?), even now after the Fall?

-Wisdom was there in the very beginning
Of Her bright light there can be no dimming –
I wax lyrical about wisdom, i could go on and on,
For it is right that over Her we should fawn –

But I wont: the writer of proverbs does it so much better (scroll up and re-read the verse posted). I just want to remind you of something we’ve already covered and for today that will suffice:

Proverbs 4:7

Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get Wisdom: and in all your getting, get understanding. 

(link opens in new window)

Need i say more? Let those who have ears hear.

Proverbs 7 – your harlotry revealed

i’ve often heard comments such as “so&so is a stumbling block for me” but i’ve never, ever, heard anyone confess to being a stumbling block for another.

Reading Proverbs 7 led me to pondering my impact on the lives of others: the following verses refer:

And behold, the woman meets him,
dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.
She is loud and wayward;
her feet do not stay at home;
now in the street, now in the market,
and at every corner she lies in wait.

i’m thinking about my colleagues – am i being ‘salt’ to them? am i a branch bearing the fruit of the original vine? honestly, i think i can do better. there is a lot of room for improvement in that area. what about my friends  outside of work? what kind of influence am i? am i enticing them to bad behaviour, or am i the good company that brings value to their lives? am i like the harlot mentioned in this chapter – loud and uncouth, drawing the innocent to their death with ill-conceived ideas?

you see, the woman mentioned in these verses is a prostitute, or very close to one. she is also a married woman, and yet we see her making plans to spend the night with a man other than her husband.

this passage isn’t just about men avoiding harlots and prostitutes and not sexing women who are bent on cheating on their husbands. no. i believe the Word goes deeper than that. the ‘harlot’ is a substitute for anybody who is trying to draw you away from who should be your first love: Christ, and through Him God the Father.

do you have such people in your life? do you tolerate them because well, you’ve known them for years and they’re good people, and they were there for you when no one else was? i’m not saying cut them off, i’m just saying examine your relationship with them and tighten what needs tightening; loose what needs loosening.

more importantly though, and more relevant for me right now, given my other projects: am I that person that somebody needs to cut off? am i out here causing others to stumble, leading God’s chosen to sin? am i?  are YOU?

i dont know about you, but i’m taking a hard look at what i do and the people i do it with and i’m asking God to show me, by His Holy Spirit, how i can be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ in the world, and how i can better use what talents i have to bring Glory and not dishonour to His name.

you know that verse that talks about how the Word judges even those innermost thoughts? it is so true that the Word does this. when you feel convicted then the Word is doing it’s job. don’t fall for Satan’s condemnation though, that’s another story altogether.

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

…and there is also this:

clean heart

Amen.

Proverbs 6 – easy peasy lemon squeezy

it’s been a difficult couple of weeks, what with starting work again, Grace Curly (my baby girl) deciding she no longer wants to be a big girl and sleep through the night…and don’t even get me started on the supreme annoyance that is a laggy keyboard on a touch screen.

for a minute or two i entertained the idea of giving up on Proverbs but then i thought – let me do one thing and finish it, even if i do so weeks behind schedule. Aluta continua *raises fist*

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there is much to say about Proverbs 6, much of which i’m sure you already know and should be working on, if you aspire to excellence in all things:

– watch your mouth for the words you speak carelessly can lead to your demise
– don’t be lazy
– God hates it when we give in to our baser instincts, and journey through life as thieves and liars, among other abominations
-don’t have sex with people you’re not married to – there is no restitution you can make for that and you’ll find yourself in a world of trouble with no way out

Proverbs 6, like every chapter so far, is a veritable mine of wisdom and you’d be doing yourself a favour if you took the time to study and apply it’s teachings.

i feel that the verses of Proverbs 6 don’t need a detailed exposition, the advise seems simple enough and the concepts easy to grasp.

go forth, read and apply!