F*CK YOU AND YOUR IVORY TOWER

I refuse to apologize for this post to anyone except my mother, for whom the title may be too offensive. But as I’ve enlightened even her as to her cushy seat up in the Ivory Tower of White Privilege, I give zero f*cks. Except for maybe my language but that’s what happens when you’ve absolutely had it with society.

I work in customer service and that generally means two things: 1) It’s my job to be helpful and 2) It’s my job to be polite. Unfortunately both requirements apply to everyone, even the openly bigoted ones. And boy have they been having a field day lately, all out in the open frolicking hand-in-hand as they make literally all. of. us. uncomfortable. #CheckYourselfBeforeYouWreckYourself

A “field day” event happened today and it blew the cap off of the lid I’ve been trying to keep on my emotions post-November 8, 2016. A customer, flanked by her bougie daughters and aloof husband, had been steadily getting on my last nerve ordering me around and talking to me as if I were beneath her. But then this happened as she was attempting to describe the sales associate that was helping her before I was:

Customer: She had dark hair. It was kind of long.

Me: Was she young?

Customer: Yes…and she looked not-American.

Me: …you mean Latina?

As I mentioned earlier, it’s my job to be polite and my job was not worth losing due to this woman’s disgusting display of bigotry. So I held my tongue and refrained from giving her a piece of my mind. And I swallowed hard when she later scrunched up her nose at a fellow human and walked away from them because they were—God forbid—scratching their head and presumably of a lower socio-economic status than her (she who was obsessed with sales and discounts, riddle me that). And I tried to not lash out when another associate, who happens to be an immigrant from a European country, said this woman had refused her assistance before she found me at my register. But I had it when she inferred that not-American is synonymous with Latina. And now we’re here.

Last time I checked, Americans come in all shapes, sizes, and skin colors. But the problem lies when well-meaning white people open their mouths in an attempt to be our allies after situations like the above happen. Confused? Let’s back track.

If you, in your odd curiosity, have ever asked me, “Are you adopted?” as if my lily white mother would never willingly have a baby with my deep bronze father; or “Are your parents still together?” as if a black man is incapable of willingly showing up as a husband and father; or “Are you and your sisters all the same skin color?” as if you’re hoping I break out some on-trend ombre family photo that’ll make you feel cultured; or even “What race do you identify with?” as if I choose who I am in the same reductive way you choose your socks in the morning, I’ve got news for you: you’re part of the us vs. them problem. If you seek reassurance that age-old tropes and stereotypes about my race don’t apply to me and my family because we’re on your List of Good and Okay Minorities to Associate With, you’re perpetuating said stereotypes. Sorry (not sorry).

If you, after saying something uncouth, have ever had the words, “I’m not racist, my (insert personal relation here) is (insert minority here),” come out of your mouth, I’ve got news for you: you’re racist. If you have to associate a race with a person in your life that you’re fond of in order to justify your feelings for other members of that race instead of just seeing said race as part of the larger collective of humans in general and treating them kindly, then you’re racist. Sorry (not sorry).

You can’t fix a system that you (unconsciously?) perpetuate. So, allies, if you’re still with me, I have a charge for you. But…before you get too fussy about what I’ve written so far, you must know and accept what we’ve come to know and accept: you can’t fix the behavior or mindset of Mrs. Cold Spring Harbor up there (yes that’s the town she lives in #OnBlast #NoShame). She and the many people like her are too far gone. But you can fix the small ways in which people like you go about their business in the world. If you boldly change your line of thinking and acting—and you’re a white man or woman—then other white men and women have a higher likelihood of following suit. Because sadly, that’s how it seems to work.

But before you ask for help in changing your ways, here’s me (all of us?) saying, “Nah, b. We’re tired. Figure it out yourself.”

Sound harsh? Tough.

Sincerely,
That Fly on the Wall You Didn’t Realize Was Biracial

Advertisements

THE WANDERING, WAYWARD DAUGHTER: A MEMOIR, OF SORTS

I keep talking about and focusing on how long it had been since I sat proper and did a bible study in my trusty Life Application Study Bible (New Living Translation). Perhaps I am trying to level myself lest my head get too big (which is ridiculous). Or perhaps I am attempting to differentiate myself from others that I deem more godly than I (which is also ridiculous). Either way and for whatever reason, it is something that I do.

I focus on the time I spent separated from the bible version of God’s word and the pursuit of Him in a Christian sense. Which means I ignore all the other ways I’ve found God these past two and a half years in the pursuit of a meditation practice, yoga, healing herbs and teas, the energy in a beautiful crystal, good food and wine, hiking in nature, and the study of the religiously-neutral, spiritual, indescribable yet palpable energy that connects every and any thing.

In those two and a half years, I became a member of the People’s Church of Necessity, a phrase I use to represent God’s uncanny way of placing you in situations that seem so. wrong. amongst people that are too. different. (read: hedonists and nihilists and heathens) in order to heal you. Through the healing, God is dismantling your ego* brick by brick until all you see around you is rubble. Then slowly but surely, God shines Its light upon one brick at a time and you find yourself elbows deep in the dirt building and building. And one day, the rubble is gone and around you is a beautiful Home to dance, sing, play, and rejoice in.

* It is the ego that keeps us separate from God and others. Because it is the ego that drives our desire to be a Special Snowflake and the ego that drives our fear that we are Too Much/Alone/Different/Weird/Needy/etc.

I also came to understand how insignificant our human concept of time is to God. In Psalm 90:4 we read, “For a thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” A thousand years is a day. Can you imagine? I sure can’t. And that’s exactly why I take upon my heart the largely inaccurate persona of the Wandering, Wayward Daughter.

When I read or hear the Word—in any text or conversation which was inspired by Divinity— and it rings as Truth, I see my thoughts for what they are: a (needless, unnecessary, ungodly) shame cycle meant to feed my ego and keep me separate from God.

But when I read Psalm 107:2, “Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!,” I am reminded of all my conversations with the heathens and nihilists and hedonists in which I would start clapping like a giddy child while pouring out Truth after Truth after Truth of our Grand and Loving Creator of the Universe.

And when I read Jeremiah 31:12, “They will be radiant because of the Lord’s good gifts,” I am reminded of all the times I left yoga, glowing in said radiance, with a desire to only eat foods that would nourish me, and have conversations that uplifted others, and be kind and gracious to my neighbors.

And even when I read, “Happiness is the lost paradise. Humans have worked so hard to reach this point, and this is part of the evolution of the mind. […] Moses called it the Promised Land, Buddha called it Nirvana, Jesus called it Heaven, and the Toltecs call it a New Dream,” in Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements, I smile knowingly because I know that the God of Everything is, and has always been, in everything that truthfully brings us closer to Joy. No matter what you call it.

And just like that, the shame cycle is finished.

THE CREATORS

God is the presence of power inside all people that gives the ability to make the impossible happen.

It is not outside of us, orbiting around in the sky. It is within and around.

We can move mountains and manifest our dreams and heal our bodies. But it is skepticism that keeps us cut off from this power.

You, we, are meant to design our own lives. We are not but spectators or passive participants.

We are creators.

WINK

My heart pines to live a forward life, backwards. To know all that will happen and to choose tribulation anyway.

But alas, our lives do not work in such ways. Instead, our hearts ache, our minds fear, and our souls panic. And then we break plans, we break hearts, and we create again.

Though its true that life itself moves forward, the universe only winks in reverse.

AN UNWANTED SILENCE

I’m sure you’ve experienced the sting of not being listened to. Whether it was carefully crafted advice that fell on deaf ears, hopes and dreams squashed by an authority figure or an expert opinion passed over at work, we’ve all been there. After too many instances, you learn to keep quiet. You reason that there’s no point in speaking up; you stop caring. Shortly thereafter you all but forget what rejection feels like or what your voice sounds like. Your ideas fall into bins before they’re given much thought. Your feelings slip under heavy rugs.

And finally, all is silent. Frustratingly silent.

Your soul — your very essence, your intuitive guide through life — experiences the sting of not being listened to as well. Each time you stopped crafting advice, stopped following your dreams, and stopped sharing your expert opinions, a little piece of you cries out. As a young 20-something, I’ve realized that the reason I often feel without direction is because, after hundreds of little instances where I didn’t respond to the tug, my soul stopped speaking out loud.

But it’s okay.

Because we all wander through life hearing our soul clearly and not so clearly. Life is all about the journey of coming back to yourself. So just open your ears and do what you are being gently guided to do.

Again.

 

RESCUED, REDEEMED, AND RENEWED: A RELIGIOUS MEMOIR OF SORTS FOR HONESTY’S SAKE

Never once did I ever imagine myself praising human sacrifice but in search of truth, I was baptized and washed in innocent and sacrificial blood. I clung to and praised an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent force that made sense of chaos. I was told I was flawed and broken – a mere sinner who should worship at the feet of the Highest of the High. I did good deeds with a pure heart, turned my life into a vehicle for advancing the Kingdom, and hoped I would gain admittance to paradise upon dying. I sang loud with raised arms and woke up early to pour over prayers and meditations to keep my heart guarded and my mind pure.

As your modern day evangelical bible-believing Christian doing her thang, I was strangely at peace. And it was all perfect until it wasn’t.

I began crying over the beautiful people I knew who weren’t Christian out of fear of their eternal damnation. I started feeling guilty for being “favored” while others were suffering. But then a beautiful thing happened: though I lost myself tumbling in this world of blacks and whites, I woke up once I finally hit the ground.

I saw in the stories what I knew in my heart as a child: this God was terrifying in his absolutism – in love one minute yet flying into murderous rage the next – and I didn’t like him. I wondered how much of “what was written” was open to artistic interpretation but I no longer trusted the Word. I shook off the chains I put on in search for freedom; in love of all things good, I walked away.

In these three years I’ve stayed open, taken many deep breaths, let go (and picked back up over and over), and crafted my own manifesto*. I like to say that, I became me once I dropped belief in the three.

And to that I say, amen.

*: We are here to love each other. To be a source of light. To ease each other’s burdens. To flow in perfect harmony with our truest selves. To understand and accept one another yet also bring forth change. To create new and beautiful things. To ensure that the generations that we birth have a safe place to call home. To free ourselves from the egos that wish to separate us. To see that every thing, from sky to sea and in between, is one and realize that severing even one fragment renders the whole hurt and incomplete. To appreciate those many different pieces for what and who they are. To connect to all that is good. To respond with grace to that which challenges you. To relish the beauty of existing in this world. To have faith in others. To trust that everything has good in it. To shift your mind to see it. 

MEMO RE: A CAFFEINATED SPARK

Subways and crashing waves and cicadas were the soundtrack

To nights spent under trees and stars and skyscrapers

Where cold hands clutched colder hands

And Instagrammed memories seared onto my soul.

He guided me away from past associations

And led me back to my wild heart

Yet through it all we remained unable to attain

A full sense of each other as one.

And so it went

Ripped apart, a holy day,

Then loose ends tied back together.

Ancient paths lay between us and

Fate’s strings led our swift birth and slow death as

We were created to destroy

Old ties and birth new beginnings and

To take one another to grand heights and new lows.

And though it is true that now

My heart is with another, his arms around one too

I still wonder if I will ever lose this taste

Of my mouth wondering why covenants cannot be broken.

A BATTLE OF CONSCIOUSNESS

“Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by Regina George.”

Jokes aside, let’s talk about egos. The creators of black and white thinking, us versus them, and all other me-centric fear-based behavior. The ego smashes happiness, creates a toxic environment where love cannot grow, and keeps you away from living the life you deserve.

I’ll offer myself up as an example. I have been on-and-off blogging since my junior year in college. [That’s 4 and a half years, for those of you not privy to my age.] You’d think that by now, I’d have a consistent following and/or thousands of posts. But alas, I do not.

Not for lack of time. Not for lack of insight or grievous grammatical errors or an empty wellspring of ideas. Quite honestly, I often find myself on the brink of a great idea, midway through a post deleting the draft and closing the window or attacking every phrase with the backspace button. But why?

The sad truth is that the only reason I do not write regularly is entirely due to an over-infestation of ego-based thoughts roaming around my subconscious.

Let’s use the thirty minutes prior to posting these very words as an example:

Ego: I have nothing to say.
Truth: You’re constantly ruminating on life and the human experience. You have, at the very least, one poignant conversation a day. The posts that begin in your head only seem inadequate to take up space on this infinite home of ideas, 1’s and 0’s we call the Internet because your ego says they are. The idea’s point of origin finds it quite remarkable. Write furiously…and do it now.

Ego: Who am I to write like I’m some sort of expert?
Truth: No one knows your life better than you. You are an expert on you. And after all, we all only write about our own thoughts, be they imagined or about life that is unfolding in the physical realm. Your experiences have the power to meld with another person’s experiences and create an amazing chain reaction of life, love, light, and beauty. Who are you to hold back such potential wonder?

Ego: No one will read it.
Truth: The person who needs to read it most will stumble upon it in the most miraculous way. Have faith in the flow and just write.

When we live our lives based on what our ego tells us, we deprive ourselves and others of the gifts and stories we possess deep within.

Moral of the Story: As a collective whole, we need to say, “Oh ego, just relax. Shush with your tiny mad ideas. I’m going for it.” a lot more often. Let’s begin to silence fear and jump on board the Love Train every day. After all, it’s due time we got on board.