Perceived Complications

Recently, I read the following “…we don’t need to complicate all the reasons behind our emotions…it’s much simpler than that, there are only two categories, good feelings and bad feelings.” Now, think about that for a second. There are only good feelings and bad feelings.  You and I could easily come up with more, but ask yourself this one question, “Have I ever felt good and bad  – At The Same Time?”  No, you have not.  Now, the writer above said to keep it simple and really, I understand this need to complicate things more so than what we need to.  Nevertheless, life on many levels really is that simple.  You can not feel bad and good at the same time!  And that extensive list of emotions that we are sure to develop is sure to fall within the range of  “Good Feelings” or “Bad Feelings”.  Whatever you are dealing with, a problem, a decision, a job, family, a married man or woman or both, (Oh, yes, I did go there, don’t make me blog “Perceived Complications Part 2”)…try to determine exactly what it is that you are feeling.  If it is bad, then you’ve some work to do. But then, if the feelings are good, you still may have some work to do, right?  I mean, look at it this way…She is still married!  He is still married!  I don’t care how he or she makes you feel…they are still married.  There is nothing complicated about that.  So quit playing!  Make up your mind to be at peace.  Remember, we have visited this topic of peace before.  Good feelings sometimes come with a price, but is it a fair trade-off to your self-respect or peace of mind?   There are no complications, Period, Case-Closed!

Turning Inward

“Silence is a quiet space within where dialogue between the self and the soul happens.” from the book, Mediation Within, by Laura Ward Holliday.

I am learning more and more how to take the above statement literally.  Some may call it prayer, others may call it meditation, still others may call it quiet time, my time, me time, etc, etc.  Call it what you will, but would you agree with me that today, seemingly more than ever we need that “quiet time” to become certain about that which is uncertain to us, to embrace the idea of clarity over confusion and/or truth over the lies?  If you’ve not had the opportunity lately to just “be”…then, keep living, and should you become overwhelmed with the lower realities of life, then recall this conversation about “turning inward”.  Yes, Laura, therein all the answers lie…Period, Case-Closed!

Keep My Love As a Gift

Ok, I thought I was finished for today, but then, I was compelled to pull out this lovely book once again.  I opened it, flipped a few pages and this is what I read.

I gave into love, I gave into pain, I gave into you.  I gave away everything I had, everything I am.  I even stepped outside of myself in a desperate attempt to prove my love and exposed myself to more disappointment than my tolerance of pain.  When the price of love is yourself – the cost is too high, so I’m taking me back.  Keep My Love As A Gift To You.  Do this for the remembrance of me.  Now – Please, pardon me while I be myself!  — from the book, “Pardon Me While I Be Myself”, by Doris Colona Travis

I think we all can benefit from that statement, whether its a job, that significant other, a child, husband or wife, friendship – bills, discontentment, disappointments…take yourself back, excuse yourselves from the situation, Pardon yourself and Be Yourself, Period, Case-Closed.

Tyler Perry’s, “I Can…All By Myself”

Last evening, I went with a couple of friends to see Tyler Perry’s new movie, “I Can Do Bad All By Myself”. In all honesty, the movie was great.  It was inspirational and motivational.  And in an economy like ours, in fact, the world, and with all the madness…and bad news…the movie is just what so many people need in terms of getting a little motivation and inspiration.  The music was wonderful. It was a good mix of secular and gospel.  I did enjoy the music and I did get the message.   If Tyler’s intent was to minister to the audience, certainly on a spiritual level, and socially, he succeeded.  The movie made several statements, one of the biggest of which was after the wedding at the end of the movie.  There was a wedding reception and block party…and I noticed people of all races, religions, gay, straight, young, old – I don’t think that was by accident.  In fact, I loved the church scenes.  The church scene was an audience of mixed races where the great Marvin Winans was starred as the minister.  And his message was universal.  He was in his element…and the message was real.  And for those who do not know, Marvin Winans is actually a gospel artist and minister – I think today, he may carry the title of Bishop.  Marvin is the eldest of a clan of singers who I have heard coined as “gospel royalty”.   The Winans and I go way back.  Well, at least I and their cassette tapes (remember those?).

I found the music to be a good balance of inspiration as well as R&B.   But then, can’t a song be both?  Think about it!  Nevertheless, I can’t wait to buy the soundtrack.  You are going to love the song “Lord, I want you to help me”.  It is one of those old spirituals.  And then when Mary J. sang the song, “I can do bad all by myself”, which is the title track to the movie, I could have gave benediction.  She sang the song.  And my words to you are “Get ready, you are about to make some changes in your life.”  The movie was not too long nor was it too short.   There weren’t “too many things going on” as sometimes will happen in a movie when a writer is attempting to share too many problems about too many people in a very short period of time.  That isn’t to say, necessarily, that I have found this to be an issue of Tyler’s in the past, but it is refreshing to continue to see his finished work and say, “He’s done it again!”  There is so much more to discuss, but I will reserve further comment until I see the movie again – oh, yes, I will certainly see the movie again.

So, until then, go check it out.  You will be glad you did, Period, Case-Closed!

An Apology

We often feel the need to apologize to other people when we have done them an injustice, but we never extend the same courtesy to ourselves.  I OWE ME AN APOLOGY!  I owe me an apology for the emotional abuse I’ve allowed me to suffer.  I owe me an apology for believing in someone more than I did me.  I owe me an apology for not listening to me.  I owe me an apology for ignoring my needs.  I owe me an apology for hurting my feelings by sometimes not wanting to be me.  I owe me an apology for denying my body nourishment as I overwhelmed my mind with mental anguish.  I owe me an apology for the embarrassment I have caused myself.  I apologize for all these wrongs I have inflicted on me and ask myself to recognize my shortcomings.  To understand and forgive me for the long suffering and pain.  I never meant to let me hurt.  I APOLOGIZE. 

From the book, “Pardon Me While I Be Myself”, by Doris Colona Travis.  Now, please, go back, read this post again, this time with a greater sense of Conviction, Period, Case-Closed!

Oprah-Whitney Interview Pt2

Bravo!  Bravo!  Bravo!  That was a fantastic interview.  That was as good as it could get.  Whitney did a great job! Yes, of course she did not tell all, admittedly.  I give you that, but some things are just left unspoken.  Some things are just none of our business, right?  But to be spat in the face…what more needs to be told?  Well, I will tell you, I know what it feels like to be spat on.  Oh, yes.  Yes, I was spat on, right smack in the face.  And there were bricks and pipes and bottles – things that  could be used as weapons all around us.  My friends were standing there startled, not knowing what I would do.  And for a split second when that back was turned, in that split second I could have splattered…well, anywho, But for His Grace, I am telling you, But for the Grace of God, I would have taken that life into my own hands.  All behind drugs.  Drugs are a terrible, terrible thing.  It turns beautiful, ordinary, kind, gentle, talented men and women into monsters.  They do crazy things.  They become aliens to you and to themselves.   I am encouraged by Whitney’s story.  And it did not appear to me that she was Bobby-Bashing.   She admitted faults of her own.  Faults have been universal when it comes to drugs.  Drugs are drugs are drugs…they deceive and rob, every person that befriends it.  Drugs are so crafty…they paint a wonderful pictures through rose-colored glasses.  They are wicked.

How many times have you seen or heard the story, how many different ways have the story been told?  It has the same ending, careers destroyed, young and old.  Lives taken, young and old.  Lives destroyed, young and old.   Stories of pain, sleeping on the street, eating out of trash cans, the loneliness, and the embarrassment and all the while conscious of whom you are and where you are but could not make that change.  I will tell you, heretofore, I have never had a drug problem, but that’s a testimony in and of itself.  It’s certainly nothing to boast over, but do you mind if I say, “I am grateful…” because it certainly could have been me.  So, I appreciate Whitney’s testimony.  I appreciate her candidness.  It appears that she have released those demons and moved to another place.  And then she sings in the end, “I didn’t know my own strength”.    If she would have said another word or sang another syllable… swear I would have run straight up out of this house and down Memorial!  It was moving moment.  She said some heavy things straight from her soul.  I am encouraged.  See, when you have been so low, so dog – gone – low – low – down – down – low down low and there is no one else there, BUT God (you will have to excuse me…see I got to tell this thing).  I don’t care who you are or what you believe…but if you have never, never, not ever heretofore had to depend on God for anything…if you have never, ever, ever been in “that place” when all else and everyone else have failed you;  if you have never been so utterly disgusted with you and your life; you look around and there is no one else and you wanted to quit; you even gave up on yourself, BUT God Showed You Your Own Strength. I tell you, if you have never been in “that place”, Keep Living.  Life will visit you sooner or later.  And when it does, know that He Will Show You Your Own Strength! Oh, I know it is true.  I am feeling this thing.  I gotta go…

Period, Case-Closed!

Kanye’s Outburst

Last evening, Kanye West obviously had a breakdown.  I’m not quite sure of what his intentions were, but that was immature, out-of-place, – wrong on so many levels.

And Taylor Swift, despite the embarrassment, I think she handled herself maturely.  And I didn’t get to see Beyonce’ invite Taylor back up on stage as I was informed.  But Wow!  That was class!  I will not spend much time on Kanye.  Prior to last night I had a healthy respect for him.  Now, well, let’s just say, “…this would be a good example of a much needed apology and maybe some sort of community service, say, putting that mike in his mouth and making him go sit backstage in a corner.”  Period, Case-Closed!

Oprah-Whitney Interview Pt1

The Oprah and Whitney interview completed not long ago.  I was not happy about the interview starting late because of the Federer and Del Potro tennis match.  We had been watching the match all evening, well, I was spot watching.  However, I did watch the last 45 minutes are so of the match as I was anticipating Oprah to start at any moment. I was moved by Del Potro’s couple of requests to get his award amounts stated in Spanish.  Del Potro is from Argentina.  And he wanted his winnings to be announced in Spanish.  I could have sworn the announcer dissed Del Potro.  Sidebar:  I don’t miss much – trust me!   And then when asked again, he had the audacity to say, “…we are almost out of time…”.  I mean the audacity.  Mr. Announcer you have taken 45 minutes of my personal time with Oprah and you are concerned about what, a couple of more minutes of lime light for this great player?   “…we are almost out of time…” No sir, you are mistaken; you were out of time at 7:00pm.  That was half an hour ago. How dare you?  I personally do NOT mind giving a couple of more minutes of my Oprah time to allow Del Potro his moment of fame.  I mean no one comes between me and my Oprah, but this was this man’s moment!  Period, Case-Closed!

But any who, I have digressed!  I did watch the entire Oprah-Whitney interview.  I believe the interview was honest, open – candid.  Whitney looks great and I am looking forward to the next part of the interview.  However, I just could not help thinking about the GREAT talent Whitney was back in the day.  I don’t mean “was” in any sense to be negative or to take away from Whitney.  Whitney will always be Whitney to me.  I can always go back to listen to the old songs on any day.  But she IS the standard!  She IS the voice, as Oprah so well put it.  And just as there will NEVER be another Michael Jackson, there will NEVER be another Whitney…well, hold up, I recant that statement.  Never say Never, right?  I mean both Michael and Whitney have set a standard.  They two are the Standard in their respective genres.  They have set the bar.  Now if there is anyone out there with any amount of perceived talent, I wish you the best in becoming the New Standard.  You have your work to do, Period, Case-Closed!

Make Up Your Mind

I discovered this in my journal just now.  It is surprising as I’d written this over eight years ago and a dear friend made a comment recently, I think on yesterday, which was almost identical to the situation below.  I provided a comment, but oh, how I wish I could have recalled this one.  It’s uplifting – humorous – simple.  

Your in a situation.  And you commenced to explain to me that you take two steps forward and then you take two steps backward.  And you ask me, “…oh great one, what great wisdom do you have for me regarding this situation?”

I gently respond, “…my child, please, explain to me once again, but shorter.  I am advanced in years and am patient for details.” 

You then restated the situation, shorter, but rather hurriedly, “…Here’s the situation, I take two steps forward and then I take two steps backward.  What should I do?”

And my response was, “Dearest, you need to make up your mind!” – Irvinism