“If an egg is broken by outside force, life ends. If broken by inside force, life begins. Great things always begin from inside.” ~ Unknown
There are some days when you feel like you can simply crack at any time. You can go through a myriad of emotions from one extreme to the next and not know what to do or where to turn, but you just know you have to do something because you feel trapped. Yep, after losing count of those days of entrapment, you know you have to break out of your shell because you can’t stay where you are if the path to a new adventure is what you’re looking for. Have a FANtabulous day everyone!
As our country approaches The 4th of July weekend, or Independence Day, I think about how the word “independence” is taking on a whole new meaning these days. It seems like we have, in more ways than we think, exchanged our independence for a new diluted version. We are free from something, but we are chained by wayward and narcissistic attitudes leading so many astray. We watch how the word “choice” is conveniently crumpled up like a piece of paper in the hands of individuals who weaponize its meaning.
Today, this is simply my opinion because I suppose I am exhausted trying to understand how people have compromised the virtues of ethics, compassion, unity, empathy, and love. I watch as people don images of our flag on their clothing, cars, motorcycles, boats, houses, buildings, on the back of airplanes, or wave them in the air. I wonder if our patriotism has somehow become a spectator sport? Have we redefined what independence is? Have we recognized how much the integrity of independence has been compromised? I reread the Declaration of Independence again and again, and for me, I discovered that the provisions contained in this document seem unrecognizable.
So, as we enter this holiday weekend, one has to ask if all citizens, in our moments of celebrating our freedom, justice, and independence, are the lines of these celebratory moments marred with stains that we can no longer pretend aren’t here? We must think about and ask ourselves if we have now become the very things that we fought to be independent of. Sometimes it feels like we are just waiting for the gauntlet to fall…again. Yet, as flawed as we are, there is still hope and possibilities, not to simply return to where we were, not to play the inferiority/superiority card, but to be better, more productive, more unified, and more loving than we’ve ever been.
When I began researching my family tree, there was so much of the past, many unanswered questions that I am not sure I will ever uncover the answers to them. While I achieved a lot regarding education and my exposure to things my ancestors never experienced, I realize they were exposed to horrifying treatment and made sacrifices I could never fathom. I do not take my gratitude for granted. Looking back, I realize that my freedom is not free because a huge price was paid by those who came before me, whether they were family or not.
It’s rather sad to witness some who have expressed eliminating the discussion of pivotal historical events that may not have occurred in the most positive light. They believe that people need to get over it and stop discussing it by rewriting more sanitized versions or completely eliminating certain parts of history from history books in school. I have to ask how these individuals who express such self-sensitivity do not think about how much the atrocities that happened to so many oppressed people, whose descendants cannot erase nor forget about their history, must feel. Do these individuals ever embody a sense of compassion to understand the scars people from many oppressed cultures suffered for the sake of the exaltation of a self-chosen few? I liken these discussions to the scene in Poltergeist where the bodies buried underground begin to surface and haunt more people, all because someone decided that what folks don’t know won’t hurt them. But people don’t forget, including the stories about their unsavory historical moments. We must vow to do better and be better.
Juneteenth, short for “June Nineteenth” marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865. The troops came to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were set free. The arrival of the federal troops came two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Many ask if the physical freedom of those enslaved individuals included emotional and spiritual emancipation too.
Let’s face it, you cannot erase history no matter how much you may try to sanitize it. Even if you choose to ignore it or avoid having a conversation about it, you still can never erase it. No, in our current social climate, we won’t suddenly have a kumbaya moment. If we don’t, however, shed light on healing from the atrocities that occurred in the past, those atrocities may only repeat history in a new and unsanitized way, sooner or later, and probably be far worse than it was in the past. For now, we celebrate with unshakeable resolve.
An old typewriter and scrabble tiles can create magical poetry. When I came across the above image, and read the poem typed on it, I thought about Maya Angelou’s autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” and the song, “Born Free.” Even though this poem is about an origami bird folded within the heart of the poet, the poet eventually releases the bird as the cage of their heart is opened and this bird rises to unlimited freedom. 🦅 Click on the image to enlarge.
While we celebrate the final days of National Poetry Month, this does not stop us from continuing to release the words folded within our hearts, to fly high with no restrictions, and invite others to ride on your wings of universal freedom.
When you feel empty, and you’re throbbing in pain as you suffer from the aches but can walk straight through it when we are weak, wearing out and deeply frazzled, wondering if our inner person can be strong, not delusional we learn that faith without works is dead being alone.
Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” ~William Shakespeare
Do you sometimes feel like you are suffocating in an unbreakable bubble, suffering from that dreaded emotion called dissatisfaction? Just one tiny simple step, away from the fangs of doubt and fear, can be liberating and motivating to conquer that traitor called doubt that has taken residence in you.Stepping away may not be as hard as you think. Put one foot in front of the other!It’s time to get moving if you’ve been sitting idle for a while.
Life can easily wear us down, and there’s no doubt about that. If you live long enough, you will experience emotions that you never thought you’d face. I don’t know why last week presented flashbacks of some soul-stirring music from my college years, but the songs aroused my senses, making me pause, reflect, and chill out.
This morning, I thought about a verse in the 1977 song “Easy” by The Commodores, and even though this song started as a breakup about a relationship, the following words once again sent off an enchanting alarm of realityinmy mind and spirit:
Why in the world would anybody put chains on me? I’ve paid my dues to make it Everybody wants me to be What they want me to be I’m not happy when I try to fake it! no!
Ooh, that’s why I’m easy I’m easy like Sunday morning
Currently, I’m in a smooth, ruminating, sentimental mood. With a cup of tea in tow, I am releasing a buildup of tension and stress, like mildew that sometimes accumulates in the corners of my shower.So this morning, or at least for today, take a sip or gulp of relaxation and release anything that is causing you anxiety because honey, it’s no telling what we will face as we enter this new week. Build up your strength because you’re probably gonna need it.
In the midst of the confusion and chaos that seems to float across the globe so rapidly these days, it’s easy to find ourselves locked into a state of anxiety, confusion, frustration, sadness, and anger. While things seem to be crumbling like a broken cookie all around us, this song by the Steve Miller Band came across my mind. It was released in 1976, the year I graduated from high school. It’s called “Fly Like An Eagle.” These are the main verses that resonated as a humanitarian reminder for me:
Feed the babies Who don’t have enough to eat Shoe the children With no shoes on their feet House the people Livin’ in the street Oh, oh, there’s a solution
This song is about helping people and reaching higher heights when we feel exhilarated about benefiting others. So, for today, let’s keep hope in our hearts, even with the chaos that’s taking place in our nation, and around the world. Stay encouraged everyone and have an awesome-filled day. Don’t waste time…it’s slipping into the future!!!