humanity is suffering from a self-love problem

What is more tragic than wasted potential? I don’t know! Tell me!! Please god, tell me, because I am feeling really fucking tragicked-out lately from noticing all the lost fucking potential everywhere I fucking look – its like, people really don’t give a shit do they; we are actually settling for less as a collective species and are OKAY WITH IT!!!! (wtf is going on yo). It takes meeting a lot of different types of people to understand that there is so much that we have to offer as human beings – so much creativity and inspiration and intrigue and love – and it also takes meeting a lot of different type of people to understand that the basicness fucking abounds, yo, and it don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

And what a fucking tragedy that is because, for those of you who are reading this now (and myself who is writing it), we are alive NOW, our own life-track has already started, and we aren’t getting back any of the time that we have passed. And because we are alive that means that death, our physical death, is now inevitable; we are not the yet-to-be-born who can perhaps spend their idle time not worrying about life on this (decreasingly) green planet, who can sit in waiting hoping that things will be a little less wasted-potential-y when they finally arrive. No; we are here already, and hopefully we are not stupid enough to take for granted any time that we may have left in our own infinitesimal lives. After all, people die everyday, and one day that will be you, and me.

So we must ask ourselves: are we really going to wait until we are on our deathbeds to fully appreciate what it was to live, to have our life play out in a loop in our heads while we count all the regrets that we had and all the “should-have-dones?” Are we really going to wait until we have cancer to start selling meth to support our families??? (Yes, I’ve been watching a lot of Breaking Bad lately) – the point being that, there are all these great lessons to learn and we learn them too late, there is all this gratefulness to be had, and we are having it too late.

And how do I know this? I know this because, well look a-fucking-round you, there is so much wonder in this world and there is so much more that we are just letting lie dormant for lack of love for ourselves and conviction that we can be (that we are) better than this. We are better than this. Do you not believe it? Just as any Oprah-approved advice would tell us, happiness begins and ends with the self, self-love is the key to happiness, and dare I say: freedom. When you love yourself you are free, free from every source that would tell you otherwise, that would tell you: you are not actually good enough as you are or worthy of love simply by being a part of the human community; you/we/ are not worthy.

Why are we all falling for this shit? And what makes us think that happiness is actually attainable through accumulation and control and power over others (and even ourselves)? The biggest myth of all time and we are just accepting it because seemingly we actually don’t think we deserve any better individually, or collectively.

The world is not the way it is now because it has just always been like this and oh well what can you do? We are the world now – the world is made up of us, and it is the way it is because of us. Everyone jumps at the chance to show that they “really care” but none of us actually do (do we). Or else things would not be like this. There is more capital in the world now than happiness. There is more power in the world than love. (I’m not even sure of this last statement actually but, could we really be sure of the inverse either?) How tragic is it that, instead of allowing ourselves individually, and therefore collectively, to flourish, we take the less-expensive but shittier version of things and choose power over happiness and oppression over love? We would rather entertain ourselves with empty notions of fulfillment than actually be fulfilled? WHY, PEOPLE?? This is the greatest tragedy we are committing as human beings – to ourselves – and damn if it ain’t the most tragic shit you done ever heard —

Imagine if we had more love for ourselves as a collective species of humanity. Imagine all the music and all the movement and all the creations and all the real, actual happiness that we could experience. We could see new colors. This is all we are missing out on by being co-conspirators in our own collective imprisonment. It is not enough to say that you care and still not love yourself and your humanity enough to not allow yourself to be free. FREE YOURSELF: of judgement, of self-hatred, of oppression, of death. Don’t fall for it!!! Life is too fucking present for us to continue succumbing to the temptations of death. Stop selling yourself short: be brave, stand up for yourself and others – KNOW WHAT WE DESERVE – and let love enter your soul and equalize your being within the universe. We only have so many years left on this planet, and even less years of our own lives – why are we still wasting our time?

for Kesha

 

 

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where are all the men?

But for real though, like, where are y’all?

Straight men suck. That’s already been established, and its also (just) my opinion. (My established opinion). They suck in the same way that white people suck though, and I’ve met a few white people who are least *trying* not to suck so bad. (Most of them are women..). These are the people who, along with other areas of our social lives that they see to be unjust, unfair, stupid, fucked up, like whaa-, are doing their best to somehow someway counteract some of the negativity that comes with being part of a (socially constructed) race of individuals who are given ridiculous amounts of privilege over people of other races just because, I don’t know, yolo? People who may or may not identify as anti-racist, people who spend part of their self-expression (in whatever way) advocating for others who they have no readily apparent reason to advocate for. People who -dare I say? – may even feel the pain that comes along racism and oppression, even when on the “right” side of it; people who cry with us (dare I be so hopeful).

A lot of these white people that I know are women, but some are men. Correction. One is male (and I appreciate you, homeboy!). Obviously I don’t know enough people. Still, what I’m wondering about today are not the white people who are out there getting involved with BLM, what I’m wondering about are the men who we as women can look to to be by our sides when shit (inevitably) goes unfairly for us, or even just annoying. Where are all the men who are like, unafraid? I have yet to ever be in a situation where a man has said something on behalf of gender equality unprompted. (Okay there was that one time my homeboy from above spoke out against domestic violence at our student senate meeting: props, nigga). But I can’t recall a situation, for example, where a joke was made or a judgment was made or a show was watched, all in the same thread of you-know-it-when-you-see/hear/experience-it straight up bullshit sexism, and a man said something, or did anything. I would remember something like that. I want to remember something like that!

There’s lots of men out there who actually probably have considered this stuff, even more who feel that it is unfair. But where are the ones who are pushed by their own sense of self-ascendancy to be unpopular and say things that they are not supposed to say (in the presence of other men might I add)? I see bravery all of the time in individuals who say fuck it and do their own thing, and so often this courage comes packaged in the bodies of those who are already thrown aside in some aspect or another. Oppression breeds courage in those that resist it, but that is a different post for a different day. I am trying to find what breeds courage in those that don’t need to be courageous because the whole arsenal of weapons is on their side. Like didn’t you guys all watch Star Wars? (The Force Awakens) What bred courage in stormtrooper homie Finn to say fuck this shit and gtfo out of the First Order? Whatever it was, I’m trying to hand this shit out in spades to all the male-identified individuals out there (shoutout to my queer boys though, because y’all be holding it down for a sista sometimes) so they may feel the courage to maybe say a fucking sentence next time some other stormtrooper dude is fucking shit up for the rest of us (read: women).

Star Wars analogies aside, really men should not be doing this for us (women) or for any primped up notion of their “future daughter” or whatever. Men should be doing it because it’s better. Take that how you choose, but white people who get over the whole “white” thing learn that this side, while we may be so much more oppressed (in the context of race), is a lot more fun. Upholding oppression requires denying humanity, and humanity, in all its tragedy and wonder, is actually a lot more fun than contrived connections with other humans based on some dumbass framework we are all supposed to follow (it is a lot more realistically terrible too).

Men should want to not fuck with sexism because it frees them. Love frees you, and how can love exist in the context of domination? Why settle for the bullshit that sexism has to offer you when you can experience your own humanity so much deeper than that – yeah you may not enjoy the “benefits” as much anymore (like you can’t abhor sexism and still consume female bodies in the same male-gaze-y way), but instead you can find true connection, true communion with another human being who is so different than you as to offer you a whole other way of understanding the world. Creativity is borne of communion between (within) oneself and others, and men are missing out on a whole world of potential within themselves and in the world when they only think the things, only agree with the things when they are said, only feel “bad” when something happens that isn’t right or fair. Be braver than that gentlemen! (Aren’t y’all supposed to be the brave ones anyway..) You are suffering differently from this system that sells you short by telling you that ownership and dominance are what are worth your humanity – there is so, so much more out there, but we need y’all to be brave.

Be a badass in a different way. Sure, its cool to be the strongest and the most clever and the one with all the bitches, but that shit ain’t revolutionary. Revolutionaries are the true cool people of the universe, and everybody knows that.

love/death

love is devastating. Not devastating sad, like “oh, I broke up with my lover, I am so devastated,” no – devastating as a feeling to feel, if I could even call love a feeling more so than an energy; love (the only word that seems fitting) is an energy that makes me feel as if I am made of tissue paper, held together by the delicate pressing of hands, fragile in my composure and at times falling apart at every seam. The falling apart part only happens for a moment, a really fleeting spatter of seconds in space where life and death are one in the same and it must be what it feels like to die – at least if all that “life flashing before your eyes” stuff is true. Love makes me feel as if I am barely being held together; that my physical body is just a clever scheme that gives the illusion of together-ness but is really just this mass of atoms that don’t actually ever touch and are only held together by chance. When love devastates, I feel as if my atoms are about to break apart, the contents of my self to be strewn in with the others.

so interesting (yet relevant) to juxtapose love and death side by side… perhaps it is love that is the opposite of death and not life. After all, how much of our living selves are walking death? Love as energy awakens the parts of us that have yet to animate, so love is the real yang of death, not life. (But did we already know that?)

I usually write from the vantage point of death: in the deep well of my most intimate and painful remembrances of it, I write about love as a way to quell my grieving and to do something in those moments where everything seems to come together and compress into a tiny little stone of exquisite incomprehensibility in my mind.. like love, those moments are fleeting, but powerful in their ability to make me feel completely incapacitated. Perhaps in those moments we are truly one with the world, and existing fully as human atom-masses on our beloved space-speck called Earth; perhaps in those moments we get a chance to experience a different part of our consciousness, or even, our whole consciousness..!! Could you imagine? What it must feel like to access your entire range of consciousness and feel synergy with the universe as an organic being? It’s like being taken apart only to be put back together again, but this time with the memory of the slight exposure of our insides to the outside. Or perhaps it’s only a matter of having dopamine on the brain, but I’m going to go out on a universe-synergy limb and say that there is more to it than just “science.” I take drugs to science my brain into accessing different consciousness, but love is the elusive drug of the universe which breathes oneness into us if we are blessed enough to even experience a moment like that in our lives.

And perhaps that is why love can feel as devastating as death can to the soul. In those pebble moments that render me incapable when I grieve I am in the most unison I ever am in with the universe, and in the corresponding pebble moments when I am lovestruck I am also in unison at my highest level.. so maybe love and death are not so different from one another, or at least they exist in dialectical suspense: no light without dark, no love without death. If we do indeed live our lives within ourselves right before we die, then it isn’t a far suggestion to expect that in the moments when we are on the highest frequency of living – when the hit of lovedruguniverse rushes into our veins in fleeting specks of time – that we are experiencing the side effects of death. We die in our love as we live in our death.

Today I felt love and oneness with the universe, and I felt like I was dying.

L.

 

Surviving Whiteness

Why is it so difficult to find a survival guide of “how-to” survive white people/ whiteness/ white spaces?? Can a sister get a motherfuckin bone, people??? I have been in Bangor, Wales for exactly 3 days now and I am feeling well in need of a how-to survival guide, because I can feel the whiteness impeding upon my soul as we speak, and it ain’t right. My usual shining-in-glory nubian queen self (lol) has not seen the light here; it’s as if there is no space for me in a place that prefers to keep things neat and orderly, with people who do things like cook with margarine.

I’m trying to write my own survival guide but I am learning as I go – and quite a strange thing too considering that white space is my native space; I’ve spent most of my life navigating white spaces and becoming quite skilled at it, so why then am I feeling all brand new all the sudden now that I am confronted with my nativity? Spending a year away from all of this gave me relief, but now that I am back in it, my feelings of discomfort are at a level that is… too uncomfortable. It’s also that my anger and grief have taken different forms now, they are not as ready at the helm to help me burst out of myself out of necessity, not giving a fuck about what anyone thinks about what I say or do, saying a big fuck you to all the stupid things that don’t matter, like whether my hair is too “wild” or how people will feel if I say the word “nigga.” I actually still don’t care what people think when I say nigga, but then why haven’t I said it once since I’ve been here (I hear myself replacing it with the more family-friendly “homie”)…. like…wut?

It’s hard to be your full shining nubian self when there is no support behind you, and the very settings that you are placed in are configured for a completely different model of human being. You feel yourself trying to stand up straight in a room that is already crooked – crooked for you, not the others. There is the simpler route to take, to try to stand up straight in accordance to the angles of the room, which in reality is still you standing up crooked, but it could feel right for a time because you will have aligned yourself with the room. But what the fuck would I want to do that for? I didn’t do all this “self-work” or whatever, I didn’t struggle this much only to be forced back into having to adjust my own posture (to the detriment of my own health) whenever I am in a crooked room – which, let’s be real, is damn near the whole planet – I didn’t say all this bullshit about self-love only to not love myself and love the room instead.

So how do I stand up straight in a crooked room? Where’s that survival guide? And it is a matter of survival for sure. I am telling myself to remember where I come from, to remember what is inside of me, to remember what drives me, to have a Kendra-esque attitude of, “girl, fuck these niggas, bitch,” but it is harder than it seems and my survival guide is still “in progress.” In the meantime I need to light me up a fatass blunt and start feelin a lil niggerish again… I’m sending up S.O.S. signals y’all! The queen has yet to arrive.

Until then.

and after the numbness comes…..

…what?

I heard fear in my younger brother’s voice for the first time today, heard his tears on the other side of the line and could do nothing in my miles and miles away

and even if I could have what would I say? Don’t be scared? No. Don’t worry, I am here? No. The feeling of powerlessness and helplessness perhaps is the most frustrating of all, because after all: what can you do?

I read the news today and I felt something I haven’t felt before: nothing. My friend told me about it, and it doesn’t really matter what news it is I read does it, because it’s all the same every day, ain’t nothing changed. 2015, 1955; tell me the words have gotten different, ok, but the content has not. So I read the news, and it was almost as if I didn’t read it. A year ago I would have been overwhelmed with anger and ready to take out any motherfucker who said shit to me, six months ago I would have brooded. Three months ago I would have cried – no, wept – with such grief that it would have felt like I would never stop crying. Today the news just is. I read it, then I read more, then I heard the truth in my brothers voice, to which I lent some tears, but couldn’t completely give in because if I can’t do anything else for him at least I can pretend I am strong, right?

And I am strong, because I am surviving, and I am still here somehow, yet to have gone insane with the absurdity of it all, but who cares? Strength hasn’t saved us. Nothing has. All the strengths and the hopes and the “positive thinking” bullshit manifestations we can delude ourselves into having do nothing for us when our skull is pressed against the trigger, or maybe when we’re lying on the ground ten feet away from the trigger – it don’t matter. Nothing really matters, right? I can’t even care about feeling hurt anymore. I can’t even care about caring. My brain and my body are simply responding in a natural way to the trauma that is continued helplessness in the face of violence that reaches such a point of absurdity that I keep having to stop myself from laughing because it feels like a joke… a joke which – if I don’t laugh at, I cry, and if I don’t cry, am I angry? And if I’m not angry, then have I just realized that the sanctity of life is a bullshit conception? I feel violence in my blood; maybe numbness is the ability to do violence to others, and if so then they better be glad we’re still animated enough to protest, because after the numbness, comes…

…what?

In memory of Rekia Boyd and Laquan McDonald.

Let Love Prevail

As the world continues to crash and burn, it can be challenging to weed through the myriad ways that all this chaos manifests itself in our own day-to-day lives, lives of those of us who have the time, space, and equipment available to even access this very blog post, to sit in our leisure and read the words of someone whose livelihood isn’t being violently ripped away from them… at least not directly.

But there are plenty of ways that my livelihood is being stolen from me although I don’t wake up to see homes smoldering around me. The most basic shit, the shit we should all be on our fucking knees with gratitude for having the ability to experience – even the most basic shit becomes so difficult amidst the fogginess and confusion of inhumanity. I should be sitting here feeling like the most fortunate motherfucker in the world for all of the things I have – yes, shelter, food, all of those things, but really love, Love, LOVE: love for people around me and the people I care deeply about, and reciprocation of that love. When love is what the world is most devoid of, I should be cherishing this shit like water droplets in the desert (which honestly it feels like it is); I should really be allowing myself to revel in the glory of love and then channeling that energy outwards to inject even just a little bit back into the world… I know that sounds like some Jesus shit but it’s true. Love > everything.

The part that gets difficult to admit and even infuriating, is that it isn’t easy for me either to let love flow through me like a channel, because I, too, am blocked in different areas from allowing myself to just give into it; I am blocked by fear, fear that comes from the knowledge of a lack of love and the deeeep cutting pain that comes from it. That knowledge, and that pain, prevent me from living my life as full as possible and letting love transform me into something more human; the only force really, that can transform our humanity in a world so dehumanizing and violent.

When we devalue any life anywhere then we are automatically devalued along with it, because we are no different from one another regardless if we are the ones sending the bombs written “From Paris, with love” or the ones whose children are receiving it; the forces of hate and dehumanization do not only exist in certain places – it’s just that it is easier to feel as though they don’t exist when we can be distracted with the so-called “luxuries of life…” But we’re no different. There is a reason why it is so hard for us to love ourselves as human beings when there is so much showing that humanity is not worthy (look at the fucking Bible ha!), and no amount of anything will make it easier until we start to truly value humanity wholly and understand our sameness with one another.

It is hard for me, someone who at many levels is on the side of violently desecrating the humanity of others through forced complicity, and at so many other levels having the same thing happen to myself, to love myself fully and therefore allow the power of love to transform my being. It is hard for me to believe that I am worthy as a human being because I am lack of examples of what that looks like. And how fucking stupid is that? I may be black and I may be other things but goddamn if I don’t have the time to sit here and ponder it, and that ENOUGH should make me feel driven with a feverishness to soak up all the love possible; to put what I know in my head into my heart because we don’t have TIME, we don’t have any time anymore to not be about love and only love and nothing else, I mean – look what is happening all around us!!!!

I can’t let my fear of not being worthy keep me from whole-heartedly running in the direction of love when I can sit at a vantage point that sees how fucking destructive the lack of it is. We all owe it to ourselves and our humanity, especially those of us who get to sit at this vantage point, to not spend any more time letting fear creep into the spaces that instead should be filled with love, it is the least that we can do (or the most?) to in any way resist the forces of oppression/destruction that are being wreaked with flourish across our precious universe

We DON’T HAVE ANY MORE TIME.

In fact, time ran out quite a bit ago, so we have to work extra hard to undo the accumulation of destruction, and fear. Do it for yourself, do it for others, do it for humanity… do it for Syria. Those little moments that scare us, the fear that prevents us from glowing with love, fight against them with every fiber of your being, because if not, we are just as dead as the rest.

 

The Burden of Oppression

There are many ways that oppression creeps into our daily lives and causes us undue stress and anxiety, pressure that would otherwise leave us space to be free to do the things that fulfill us and feed our souls. Unsurprisingly, the burden of oppression is most felt by the oppressed; it just wouldn’t be sustainable that those that benefit from the oppression of others (as most all of us on this earth do at varying degrees) would be left with the responsibility to carry the weight of something so energy-draining and distracting – why, that wouldn’t be a benefit at all!

One of the most taxing ways that we are being kept as oppressed people is through the burden of heartbreak. If we look at any system of oppression, it is clear that the feeling of being broken-hearted is being held by those that are at a disadvantage, and this acts as a major mechanism of separation between the acting parties. We can see this between men and women in a system of sexism and patriarchy, between whites and people of color in a system of racism and white supremacy, even in more specific examples such as between the Israelis and Palestinians in that system of who-knows-what-the-fuck – I could point out endless examples if I chose to, but these are the ones that are closest to my own heartbreak.

Without even delving into situations of oppression that leave me feeling extra helpless, I can look into my own relatively super-privileged life and see the ways that the burden of heartbreak that I carry acts as a barrier between myself and those in my life who I struggle to come to closer understandings with, those that inhabit the other side of this heart-break barrier because of whatever reason. Relationships between men and women are already so convoluted within our shared (and taught) understandings of how things are supposed to work, without even adding in the heart-break factor – and when we do consider the role that oppression plays then it is no wonder that magazines like Cosmopolitan can continue to make a profit trying to “decode” the whole mess of things… I cannot speak for all women but I do speak as a woman when I say that one of the things preventing me from holding my brothers (and by brothers I mean men, male-identified individuals, not my actual fraternal brothers) a little closer in our shared understanding of what it is to be human is their lack of understanding what it means to be heartbroken by the oppression of sexism. This is not to be misconstrued as a belief that men do not suffer from heartbreak under a system of sexism, nor a belief that men cannot be heartbroken because of sexism. Rather, that the experience of being a woman and being told what that means (in relation to sexism) in itself constitutes heartbreak – how can it be anything but heartbreaking to grasp at any level that you are designated as less-than, as second class to a class of beings that is supposedly more valid that yourself? (As an aside, this reminds me of my younger, actual brother, who is currently going through the process of discovering that he is black and what that necessarily means in a world of white supremacy… and honestly, thinking about anyone’s self-discovery of their second-class status brings me to depths of heartbreak that I cannot even access through tears –

Although I often talk about things in a very abstract manner, the evidence of the heartbreak barrier between men and women (for example) is something that we see play out in concrete ways all the time. We see it in the reactions that we have as women, whether constructed or real (and honestly is there any differentiation on that anyway?), to the things that those men of particular importance in our lives do within our relationships of particular importance – the relationship of salvation that is set up for us women: our romantic relationships that are supposed to save us from invalidity as human beings… To be more clear what I mean is that being loved, or claimed, by a man is touted as what is supposed to validate us as women, as evidenced by, well, I don’t know, look a fucking round you (hint: everything). This is how sexism works (and fuck me if it isn’t a hell of an effective system): tell women we aren’t worth shit, then tell us that to actually try and fight for being worth anything we must do so through the eyes of a man/men, i.e. be valued by men to be valuable as a woman. As long as whatever we happen to be doing is being understood through a (constructed or not/ whatever) male-oriented framework then we are oppressed as fuck, and I honestly can’t even wrap my head around the scale of our oppression because it is so entrenched in everything, or rather everything is entrenched in it, or really I don’t even know (both!). This is why it hurts us (me!) as much as it does when the men in our lives (the men that are given that particular importance of saving us from our worthlessness) do things that can be perceived as having little to do with us; and no I am not saying that our romantic male partners must have their life revolve around us, but that it can be anything, literally anything, that feels threatening to their us than the other way around (issues of appearance fit into this larger framework of sexism along with concepts of scarcity). This is why it hurts so much differently when a man “cheats” on a woman than when a woman “cheats” on a man, not because it doesn’t hurt to both men and women, but because for women that is putting into question our whole validity as humans within the larger, accepted context of sexism. This is why we can’t compare, thinking of a different form of oppression, the words “nigger” and “cracker” as if they carry the same weight. Yes, they are both racially-charged terms, but one doesn’t come with the history of invalidating the target race’s entire fucking humanity like, forever.

There are so many articles out there on sexism, racism, this and that, about where we see it and who and what, where/ how/ why. They are all very important, but they don’t help me to navigate my heartbreak any better. Where are the resources that are telling me that yes, we are heartbroken too, and this is how we are getting through it (?). I’ve given up on the possibility that the man of that particular importance in my own life (of whom, by the way, I am doing my best to not give him the importance of saving me, as 1: I am actually worthy and valid as a human being already because we all are, and 2: I don’t need anyone but myself to understand that) – that he will understand the pain I feel tied to different events within our own relationship or even within the greater world, because as much as I explain to him my feelings, he has not taken on the legacy of heartbreak that comes with being told he is less-than (in terms of gender) and so he can never relate emphatically to matters of that. Just as white people will never know what it is like to not be white, as much as they can intellectually conceptualize it in their heads, men will never know the heartbreak of being a woman, and this is a barrier to our truly understanding one another.

But human beings find connection through shared experiences, and so we do not need to completely be each other to know each other. We only need to have known suffering, and laughter, to understand the people outside of us. If we understand that pain and joy are universal experiences of humanity, then we can extrapolate our own experiences of these things to see that we are no different than one another, then treat ourselves and others accordingly. This is how we can comprehend the humanity of even the most hateful individuals, or whomever individuals are hardest for us to love in our own lives (by understanding that their pain is the same as our pain) and how we can love even deeper those who cause our hearts to flutter, by understanding that their joy is our joy. We all suffer from oppression in this world, and the sooner that we can see that we are all the fucking same the sooner we can connect on more meaningful levels with one another.

It is important to remember though, that the most necessary part of the equation is self-love. Self-love is important because no one is going to save us from our heartbreak but ourselves, and because it doesn’t matter how much same-ness we see if we cannot learn to love our humanity for what it is. And ultimately, isn’t that what oppression is trying to prevent? Self-love is resistance to oppression. Let us redeem ourselves through self-love (and consequently self/other/love) and emancipate ourselves from heartbreak slavery; none but ourselves can set us free.