We all seem to forget. Your exit is just as important as your entrance and in some cases, it trumps it. Any foolish one can arrive auspiciously just as any one with a little common sense can plan an entrance. However, there is the detail of the exit.
For it is in our exit that we show our capabilities in conducting ourselves no matter what has happened in the space between a beginning and an end. It also shows our care and respect for a situation. For example, the lack of a proper ending is as sloppier than the pants that sag to the ground leaving one to just trip, fumble, and ultimately fall.
To put it another way, does a sunset ever lack brilliance or the ability to cause awe because it is not the sunrise? Are autumn leaves anything less than amazing because of their indication of summer’s end? In other words, nature has managed to recognize the importance of a proper conclusion and we can learn just by observing this fact. Thus, regardless of how it appears that an ending has been decided for you, you can still choose an artful and audacious departure.
If I had to admit to having a drug or weakness, it would be passion. Its the soil that helps me to bloom, the foundation for the estate that houses my soul, and gives me the greatest high. I am often willing to risk combusting into a glorious blaze of flames as a result of curiosity and the need to come alive in moments birthed by passion. These moments that lacked forethought or encouraged going against so-called wisdom brought forth many gifts and experiences bigger than the dead vibration of words. I’ve not known any other way to exist nor any greater reward than that caused by….PASSION!~S
Peace and happiness? Well a good start might include ending our desire of what we want for others. We (and I am the biggest offender) get a kick out of wanting things for others that they may not want for themselves. We are often well intentioned about the hopes/wishes/dreams we have for other people. However, what if our wanting of those things for someone else causes more harm than good? Places more pressure upon the individual than ease? Within that wanting is still a measuring stick for success that is defined by us and not by the person we are “caring” for.
Peace and happiness? I think the road to it begins when we allow others to want what they want and not what we want for them. (S)
While I am not a comic book aficionado I realize that I am drawn to this genre the same way I am attracted to myth, legend, fairy tales, and the like. The overall theme of metamorphosis or transformation is a powerful recurring human story. We all have within us the power of becoming but it is a question of how, when, and what we will become. Sometimes it is a choice. However, in some instances it is a set of unfortunate circumstances that encourages a certain formation/becoming over another form of evolution. On rare occasion, the timing of our shape shift is of our own choosing but often we do not have any power over when we begin our transformation.
Ultimately, it does not matter if our newly formed selves will be considered to be an alter ego that is or does good or a manifestation of a dark side that is perceived as bad. I think what comic book characters and other similar genres teach us is that we need the light to see what is obvious and the dark to uncover what may be hidden or silenced. Without both of these things, we will not become or ever be.
If someone were to ask you to describe yourself, what would you say? Not in an online dating sort of way, but how would you describe your face, body, and spirit to a total stranger? Would you focus on that which you see as your most beautiful and lovely traits or would you focus on the things you would change?
While I am not a big fan of Proctor & Gamble products, Dove did a brief project exploring these questions. Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketch” compared how individuals saw themselves versus how other people observed them.
What I find most touching is the reality that we truly do not see ourselves as the world sees/experiences us. We may have old tapes playing in our heads about negative feedback we have received over the years about our physical and internal appearance. This is further layered with the reality that most of us look in the mirror and immediately focus on signs of aging, pimples, balding, blemishes, and many other “flaws” as opposed to admiring our own beauty. So for today, as we all take a look in the mirror or move around in the world, let us truly see the grandeur of ourselves.
“It is absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like in order to go on spending things you don’t like and doing things you don’t like and teach your children to follow in the same track! See, what we are doing is bringing up children and educating them to live the same sort of lives we are living.” Alan Watts
Every week, I participate in a multi-age dance class. Towards the end of one of the classes a couple of weeks ago, we somehow stumbled upon the topic of adulthood, life, and family. In reaction to one of the discussion points about traveling and building family, one of the teenaged girls exclaimed “No! At the age of 40 you are working a job and raising kids. Unless you are cool, then you get to travel.” Her passion and raw emotion about the certainty of what happened based upon a specific timeline struck me. She was several years away from coming into her own adulthood. Yet this young adult was not blind to observing the trite social formula that includes: do cool things in your youth (including bump into some irresponsibility) and eventually become the responsible adult via a 40+ week job, raise children, pay bills, etc. However, according to her observation, if you are “cool” then you escape this hamster wheel.
I had to steady myself to avoid laughing off the comment or dismissing it due to age. Amidst the sassy delivery I found her observation to be insightful as well as a sad reality. We spend a lot of time talking to young people about the opportunities of life, yet most of us only repeat the same pattern that we observed as young adults. Her comment reached back to touch one of my greatest fears that I’ve encountered as an adult–becoming society’s perception of “responsible” via the completion of various daunting tasks which include everything from getting an education to home ownership and starting a family. If one is 40+ years old and traveling, we want to justify it by saying they paid their dues-successfully raised children, accomplished securing a home, worked a career, etc. If they happen to be doing it just because-then we bag that into the “irresponsible” category especially if you lack some of the markers of “responsible” adulthood. Thus, there are very few options to becoming that “cool adult” mentioned earlier and doing so involves some risk.
I left the class that evening thinking about her words that made me smile yet continued to bring attention to my own insecurities. This young woman’s later statements hinted to her hope of following the same “social formula” of eventually starting a family in her 30s. This more than anything else touched a bit of sadness within me as a number of questions (old and new) surfaced. How can we all be the adults that we actually want the next generation to mimic? How do I stay off of that hamster wheel and continue to surround myself by others who have done the same? It is no surprise to discover that I don’t have the answer but the events of that evening reminded me of the same social responsibility that Alan Watts discusses in one of many youtube videos. Becoming that “cool adult” who lived from passion instead of fears based on socially prescripted formulas is in fact a moral obligation we have to our children, our children’s children, and ourselves.
“Sometimes the joy of giving is not in expecting to receive because it may never happen or it might not ever measure up to what you consider an equal return. Instead, the enjoyment or your return from the giving of yourself, resources, or anything else to a situation or person comes from another place. The true joy of giving to another is in appreciating that you were in a position to give what another could not. ” (s)
Over the past week, it has been one of the main buzzes in the newsrooms, blogosphere, and everywhere else in between. The “it” I am referring to are the latest rap lyrics in Rick Ross’s new song ‘U.O.E.N.O.” in which he states:
“Put Molly all in her champagne/ She ain’t even know it/ I took her home and I enjoyed that/ She ain’t even know it”
The Huffington Post shared a video and a short blog entry of Rock Ross discussing these lyrics and clarifying his stance against rape. In other words, this was all just one big misunderstanding. Perhaps I can accept his apology and applaud his attempt to explain. However, what I have trouble with is most of the uproar this has caused especially given the long list of any range of song lyrics (in all genres) that seem to condone mistreatment of women and other groups. Song lyrics, especially as used in Hip-Hop, have been an ongoing debate and certainly I am not advocating for this song to receive positive support. What I am suggesting is that we start taking a look at ourselves as co-creators of the overall culture which births this into being.
There are some stations that have pulled the song, many articles that have protested the lyrics, and many social media conversations about it. As a woman and a consumer of many genres of music and various types of media, I see my role as an accomplice in helping to create this culture. In fact, many of us are just as guilty through the various ways we show our support. Song lyrics, television shows, video games, or the magazines in the grocery store should not be the scapegoats for our social ills. Society, media, or in this case Rick Ross, are not separate entities. We have all played our part in helping to create all of the things that seem to horrify us within our culture. Thus, the response to this is not about pulling records or banning specific songs from the air waves. It is about each of us acknowledging that we are the society we like to blame. We are media (especially with the rise of reality television). It is about time that we accept our responsibility and our participation in helping to create our discontent.
For some time, I have been noticing a common theme among all of us. Once we have been hurt, scorned or burned by an experience (friendship, loveship, professionally, etc.) some of us allow that experience/situation to change the landscape of what we want. Hearts become hardened, confusion sets in, brain patterns are solidified, and the overall numbing process is initiated. Why? Sure, we may slightly adjust approaches, or polish our desire with more craftsmanship, but why allow the negative experience to take away what we want because that situation did not work? In my opinion, it allows us to stay boxed, trapped, and stagnant. Thus, giving someone or a past circumstance the power to ride off into the sunset with with our soul’s desire.
Let’s break our bondage and take flight from that which attempts to scar, maim, or hurt our deepest desires.