It has been challenging to transcend programming that critiques based off what is ideal, socially acceptable, attractive, normal, and so on. Pain and fear are so rooted into this, it ends up determining so much of how we live (or maybe that' just me). If I am to accept and love myself for who I am, and continue working and refining myself into the person I want to be, how do I turn this stuff off? Especially in light of reminders of the fact that no matter how "good", or "positive" I can be, I am not guaranteed to be subject to good treatment. I am just as subject to disposal simply for being. It hurts to think that no matter how hard I try (and for those who know me well, I have lived most of my life trying to be a model citizen) nothing positive is likely to result.So what is the point of improvement?
I wrote a letter to my son that references current events surrounding the deaths of black people at the hands of police and Earth Wind and Fire's That's the Way of the World . Notably with this song, I referred to children, flowers and pearls, and hearts growing cold. It forced me to think about experiences I've had and how the ways of the world have worn me down time and again. It made me think about how I can keep my heart revived, warm, and loving, so I can be just as good a model for my son as he continues to grow.
Being a good model for him means full engagement in this process of recovery and growth of self. As I continue on, it helps to intentionally understand and love myself more while doing the same for others regardless of who they are. Who I think I am and hope to become is key in this process.
What I think of myself is this: At my best I am happy, goofy, hopeful, intelligent, creative, wise, thoughtful, helpful, generous, loving, caring, and kind. Along the spectrum, I am naively gullible, self-conscious, absent-minded, moderately patient, stubborn, and tolerant of a lot. At my worst I am defensive, hurtful, gloomy, pensive, brooding, distant, and hard-headed. Picking my battles has therefore been a lifelong struggle.
So, what is the point of improvement having wandered this far? Why try? Maybe it's knowing and having experienced the kind of good worth giving to others. Maybe it's doing what I can to make sure others do not suffer as I have. Maybe it's as simple as belief in a better tomorrow--something I can help begin to manifest through my work, my acts, and my self. I'm a creature of habit and one my longest lasting ones--besides nail-biting--is being hopeful. Living to love, become, and do better in spite of the ways of the world is a hope I have for my son. I won't live as vibrantly as he does and will, but I want there to be the kinds of loving spaces that allow for others to live justly.
My hope for the New Year? Besides a better world, to continue finding teachers in the people and world around me that help me get closer to realizing my purpose, my hopes and dreams, and myself. I hope to continue being of benefit to others and the world around me (but not of the doormat variety). As I continue to find my voice and my way, I hope to actualize my recovery and manifestation of a strong mind and soft heart so that I can be more than I currently am. Current challenges: compassionate responses to troubling things, trust, and faith in my instincts. The ways of the world consider me disposable, but my stubborn self will continue on in spite of that because I choose to believe in and be something different. This is my act of refusal, and one I hope my son will take on, the will to shine on regardless of a status-quo that wants us to believe we are disposable.