Written on Saturday, November 24, 2007
Where was the love?
I read somewhere…
“Where there is hate there can not be love. LOVE & HATE can not dwell in a house at the same time!”
I usually start writing by creating lists for my thoughts and ideas - - often it could be a list of words to help bring out what I want to convey. WORDS I want to incorporate in a particular piece.
The words that jumped out the most for me from my weekend away and the time spent with people in my life are about how unhappy they seem and the way they speak to each other.
Words I heard this week:
This is my space!
Not in this house!
There’s a right way and a wrong way to do things!
This is how you should live!
She’s never gonna change!
When will they ever learn?
I’m sick of it!
I don’t want to forgive her!
I’m piss’t off!
I can’t live like this!
The sense I got internally with all that surrounded me was there was a lot of:
Lack of acceptance
People demanding respect but not giving it
A deep pain
A dark cloud
There was an overwhelming feeling of sadness; a lack of individual acceptance and respect for each others views, thoughts and beliefs, there was a lot of DARKNESS and a great deal of pain. I found myself remembering a time when I allowed darkness to be my most dominant emotion.
So today when I read my meditation on AFFIRMATIONS - - I was thinking about the words I use to affirm myself daily. I couldn’t help but think of all of the words I heard used to address people who supposedly love each other just this week. Most of the discussions and conversations escalated into fighting and yelling. I felt the pain of the blows that were thrown with words.
I’m not going to use there real names - - I’ll call them:
Miss They Say I’m Never Gonna Change (NGC)
Miss Doesn’t Do Anything in the House (DDA)
Miss All Too Controlling (ATC)
Miss Yelling at the Crack of Dawn (COD)
From the moment I saw Miss All Too Controlling I new she was carrying so much built up anger just on her face and that she was looking for the moment to release it. She has a low tolerance for the things that tick her off and there’s plenty to choose from. She has much to say about the running of her house - - and how the rules should be adhered to. I got the feeling of WOW - - how must it feel to feel like an outsider in your own home - - or worse a prisoner in your own state of being.
Then we have Miss Never Gonna Change who acts selfish and the family feels like she’s inconsiderate of their feelings. And as an outsider looking in - - I can see why they feel that way. They feel she only does what serves her and not the greater good of the family. NGC and ATC butt heads quite a bit as ATC isn’t a fan of how NGC chooses to live her life and ultimately how her actions affect the house.
Miss Yelling at the Crack of Dawn - - does just that from the moment she wakes up – she seems to wake up resentful and angry to start the day (not without reason - - because she is in her right to be angry). I kept thinking what would make her happy? When is she happiest? Why don’t they hug each other first thing in the morning? Why don’t they greet the day with I love you’s?
And finally we have Miss Doesn’t Do Anything in the House - - and her name should say it all. This is the problem the house has with her. Its in how she keeps her room - - how she doesn’t pitch in with the house - - the complaints about all the things she could do better. Because nothing she does meets the house standards.
I was left wondering is there something in the air in the city I was visiting. Are they all doomed to a lifetime of misery and unhappiness? Its interesting - there are people who say and believe that Rhode Island is a non progress state and I have personally felt that way on more than one occasion (especially when I lived there) that as long as I was in RI - - I would never accomplish anything. I was just thinking would I have known that I was born to be a writer if I stayed there?
A friend of mine just said to me that living in Providence is like being a caged animal - - there are perimeters to where you can go. This hit me hard - - I was just hearing him out as he went on and on about why people come to RI and the kinds of people that are in RI. (That conversation is for another piece). But I’m really curious to know - - what does it feel like to be a caged animal - - WOW that shit is deep!
Do people really wake up feeling like - - THIS IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS…and because its as good as it gets - - do people settle for the little they got and do they believe this way of thinking? I can’t say that the entire state has this black cloud that follows them because that wouldn’t be fair. What I will say is that most of the folks I came across during my weekend spent the majority of their time looking miserable and just disrespectful to one another.
I try to feed myself the most beautiful words of encouragement and support. But on a few occasions I caught myself saying some pretty rude things - - even though I said it in jest - - I still meant what I said and it was pretty rude. A woman I was sitting near during a football game made fun of me for not knowing the sport or understanding the terminology and different plays… the first rude comment I let slide - - the second I told her to shut the F up… it wasn’t very nice - - but I got the feeling she wanted me to be rude to her.
So back to trying to say loving words…
The wonderful thing is that it seems to have rubbed off in my home - - because my daughter gives me beautiful words daily - we feed each other - its truly amazing - - we affirm one another constantly - - sometimes we can be a little conceited but its all in fun - - like right now we are in Providence, RI on Thayer Street at Au bon pain - - getting our work done - - I am writing my blog (its about time - - I haven’t written in four days) and she’s sitting across from me reading a book called A Separate Peace… and out of nowhere I said to myself - - man I love myself - - she just looked at me and smiled and went right back to reading.
She gets it - she gets what I am doing. I can say I am loving myself because the fact that I am sitting here right now at my computer typing these words - - shows me how much I really love myself and those around me. Writing makes me so happy. Writing is how I honor me. So as I think about how happy I am in my present state - - in most of the areas of life - - and in my day to day encounters I feel that I am walking happiness - - and that I bring that with me everywhere I go (for the most part).
I was reading my book, One Day My Soul Just Opened Up, she quotes Maya Angelou – its about the power of words - - saying that WORDS are like little energy pellets that shoot forth into the invisible realm of life. Although we cannot see the words, she said, words become the energy that fills the room, home, environment, and our minds. Maya described how words stick to the walls, the furniture, the curtains, and our clothing. She believes the words in our environment seep into our being and become a part of who we are.
MAN if that is true… then words can cut deep.
How do you suck out the words that cause hurt and pain?
How do you remove the hurtful way you speak to one another?
How do you remove the negative words you say to one another?
I can’t help but think about the people I am surrounded by – those people in my life who are NOT happy. There were stolen moments of happiness but they are not completely happy. From the moment I arrived to Rhode Island on Wednesday it was constant fighting. I wanted to leave the moment the yelling began.
I remember DARKNESS being a place I used to be at regularly with my family, my parents, my sisters, my ex who ever I felt to be a threat to me - - because I was always so angry – I was angry at world and the cards that were dealt. I constantly judged peoples actions, telling them how they should or shouldn’t be (I felt I had some right because people always judged and criticized me) - - I told people what the right way is for them to do a particular thing - - like speak to one another…
Although during this trip I refrained from saying anything to anyone about what I saw - - these days I’m just an outsider looking in - - and while I was feeling every blow of every punch that was thrown at one another with words. I also knew that in a few days I would be leaving those words behind.
Those words that I hear that were not out of genuine love - - but of criticism - - that every discussion turns into a debate or argument - - that when issues do affect a specific individual it does affect all members of the house – but there are ways to say things - - very loving ways - rather than come up with a solution to help the person it becomes attack mode – topped with examples of past flaws that the person might have committed. No words that were being said contributed to forward movement or growth as a unit… growth in love…
I was just thinking how I would love to moderate a conversation between these 4 women - - so they can really see what it is that they do to one another - - they are all guilty of hurting one another. I would love for them to really hear what the other is saying without forming their rebuttal in their minds - having them repeat back what they just heard - - and what they think the other meant by what was said… communication truly is an art (and I certainly DO NOT profess to be some sort of expert - - my daughter could attest to that) but as the outsider looking in - - what I will say is the current way that they communicate is not working - - its not bringing them closer together - - its further separating them.
I wish they could see the affects of their words on one another - - for every good moment gets outweighed by all the bad moments… as this outsider looking in - -imagining myself as a permanent player in these surroundings - - I would feel disrespected, devalued, and demoralized just by the words that float in the house. If you’re told so often that you will not amount to anything - - you tend to believe it…
I should know because this is what I believed for much of my life… that anything I wanted was impossible to have – my goals unattainable - - I believed I was unworthy, not to be respected and would never be taken seriously – that I would never find love - - where did I get these ideas from? Who told me these things? And why did I believe them? So for me being the angry biatch - - served me because I fought people for respect. That’s the thing I wanted the most - - and now I have respect for me - - so I no longer need to fight for it… (Alright so I didn’t remember that during the game - - I’m human).
The conversations weren’t spirit filled - - love filled and part of me just wanted to stay silent… and that is hard for me to do… to just hear them out - - because everyone truly wants to be heard and they deserve to be loved… I only hope that I served them the best way I could by showing them love. There is incredible healing that I see needs to happen and must happen for each of them individually - - in their own ways - - so they can come together and heal their home. I pray that they will come together in peace and love and find loving words and honor one another for who they are. There is value in everyone.
It doesn’t matter who leaves the home - -who is forced out - - the words are already in the carpets, in the walls in the pictures - - all the figurines - -the stairs - - each floor of the house - - reflected in the windows and mirrors…as a writer everyday I understand more and more how powerful words are… the words we use to address those we love – the words we choose to go off on someone we feel has dishonored us - - shit one of my favorite words is the F word… I can admit that when I am angry it feels good to release the F bombs… but once I have released it… what I am left with is the after effect of that word - - and the experience of where and who I used that word on - - who I might have assaulted with a word.
Does it make me feel good after?
Sure it does!
It feels good when I release some of my rage in the heat of the moment - - when I’m not thinking about the aftermath of the words I choose to use.
But do I feel good putting my rage on someone else? Letting them have it with my words - - because this is in effect what I am doing - - I am transferring my poison on someone else and that my friends is really shitty. It certainly isn’t very loving. In dishonoring you - - I dishonor me… so NO it doesn’t feel good to disrespect anyone - - because when I disrespect someone I am disrespecting me. And I CAN NOT and WILL NOT have that in my space.
Everyday I learn more and more how powerful words are - - how they guide my actions - - the words I heard were translated into negative perceptions of me - - perceptions that I chose to believe about me - - perceptions I chose to live up to. The words I heard in the past broke me – today and everyday I have an opportunity to say new words - loving words - - words of truth to myself. I flood my mind with positive thoughts about me…
Here’s what I say to me:
I am worthy of loving me all day everyday.
I speak words of truth, love and every good thing I desire to experience.
I am a divine reflection of universal love!
I am whole and complete!
I am unlimited and abundant - - my life is so good!
I am joy in motion and give my words as gifts.
I am all that I am, and life is graced my presence.
The truth of who I am cannot be altered or changed.
The way I treat myself determines how others will treat me.
So to the women I love:
I want you to remember who you are… a gift in my life…
Miss All Too Controlling - - you are strength. You made it seem flawless - - handling your darkest hour - - you pushed all your personal feelings aside to walk in love - - you really showed what you are made of…whatever the dark clouds are that are following you – LET THEM GO - they do not serve you - - you cannot have the happiness and love you so desperately desire unless you release the demons that have a hold on you.
Miss They Say I’m Never Gonna Change - - dream big, pray big, leap big, believe big! You are following your dreams and with every step you take - - I see how badly you really want this and I know that you will have it… you are showing me a fearlessness I have never seen….clean up the past - - because while you may want change in your life to happen - -it can ONLY happen when you are ready - - and if it doesn’t come - - its just a delay - -it can only come when you are fully ready… so keep getting ready - -there is still some work to do where you stand…
Miss Doesn’t Do Anything in the House - - you are LOVE - -you may be young but you possess a maturity that you are never given credit for - - I see how much you love your brother - - you treat him as if he was your son - - know one should worry about you because you have it more together than the adults you live with. Don’t allow anyone to tell you what you can and can’t have – there is nothing you can’t do - don’t hold yourself back for a boy - - don’t keep you from having your dreams come true - - don’t stay in a state for your friends or a man - - because chances are if they were given an opportunity to make their dreams come true they would leave you in a minute. Nothing is forever – there is not a second to waste - - get off your ass and make it happen for yourself. And yes girl - - please pick up your room. But do it for you…
Miss Yelling at the Crack of Dawn - - you are the ROCK - - the glue that holds the house together. You are the reason we go to your house, meet at your house, party at your house. Every good quality the family has is because of you. Rather than look at the things that anger you - - look to those beautiful things that you have created - - because every member of that family came from you. I love you so much.
ACCEPTANCE is so necessary… acceptance is recognition… acceptance takes you out of fear and anger…
We all want to be accepted… especially by the people we love…
Here is what I offer each of you from Iyanla:
“Acceptance is the essence of respect for ones self and others. When you accept the reality of your life, thereby demonstrating your willingness to make a conscious choice, you honor the wisdom, strength, and tenacity of the divine spirit within you. When you accept the reality of the choices others have made, realizing, although you may not like what is going on, that you have the strength and the courage to live through it, you honor the right of others to choose without blaming them for your wounds. It is acknowledgement that there are needs and circumstances other than your own.”
We do not know the damage our words have on those we love…
Who have you hurt with words?