Monday, October 11, 2010

21 Days in Labor

It's official!

My proverbial water broke on the evening of Friday, October 8, 2010.  Thankfully, I was among family old and new who call the Lucy Florence Cultural Center in Leimert Park, home.  When Patty Kamson exclaimed "now is the time...", I knew exactly what that meant for me.  My spirit was in agreement.  Now is the time - my time - to birth this baby.  And just like that I induced labor.

No one seemed to notice that my water of intentions had broke.  Then again, I was in the presence of women whose lineage birthed civilization.  These, the Daughters of the Dust, are innately gifted in the African tradition of welcoming Spirit home. No need to panic.  I just stated my intention over and over again...

"Now is the time to birth
Must Love Chocolate
Now is the time to let it flow
through me and onto the pages.

Now is the time!"

A pregnant man definitely needs an incredible midwife.  I immediately turned to natural born healer, Rhonda Kuykendall-Jabari.  Diagnosis? Good to go and open to flow!

So I thank you God.  Thank you, even when I didn't understand divine interruption of my flow.  I was close to finishing my first book when You whispered "there's a book that precedes this book."

What?  Do you know how long I've been working on my book?

So I resisted... and insisted... and explored... and tinkered with... and got excited about your idea.  I wrote like crazy... in my head, but your words never quite made it to the page.

Thank you for stoking my passion even higher with living, breathing examples of the love you wanted me to display.  Chocolate-covered dreams of love and companionship really do come true!  Yet, even with my new found levels of excitement, that dang blinking cursor - naked in a void of whiteness - haunted me.

And when I anguished over my good but not great title, you sent me 5600 miles to bask in the spirit of Shakespeare and Company.  Talk about a Parisian paradigm shift... Magnifique!

That's love.

I thank you God for your love. It is unto You that I submit these next 21 days of laser-focused intention of birthing your idea, one stroke at a time.

Welcome to Day One of my 21 Days of Chocolate Labor.  Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why Men Leave

I've never met a man who hasn't thought about leaving.  Some just talk about it, while others lace up their Nike's and just do it.  Me?  I'm no exception.  I've done both.

Contrary to widely held beliefs, men don't leave for the other woman.  They don't leave for the other man either.  They don't leave because "you deserve better."  Not even the lack of sex or an acute midlife crisis will cause a man leave.

I know why men leave.

Men won't leave, even when we feel our world takes us for granted.  There are days when we feel like we're losing ourselves to our employers, mates, children, dates, friends, deals, panhandlers, bills, homework, housework, "yes, I'm still unemployed, ya jerk!"  Our investments remain underwater with ballooning notes, not to mention the crazy IRS folks... unemployment's a joke, on & on & on & on... this list don't stop until...!  Where's my time?  When do I get to do something for me?"  We may stress out and/or act out, but we won't leave.

I know why men leave.

Show me a man who believes that his dream is dying and I'll show you a man on the precipice of leaving everyone and everything.  I'm not talking about your garden-variety dream, i.e., big house, financial riches, etc.  No, I'm talking about THE dream.  THE LIFE MISSION - the reason why we're here.  It is a divine deposit that demands our withdrawal for circulation into and for the betterment of the universe at-large.  Once we acknowledge and embrace what it is, it becomes our reason for living.  But, if we aren't sure what it is or the demands of life appear so overwhelming that we can't envision it or question if we're even worthy of receiving the blessing, all Hell breaks loose!

I can't think of anything more capable of sending men to the brink of leaving.  But, we won't leave.  He can even find meaning in his discontent.  As Mary Morrissey stated in Building Your Field of Dreams, "Honor Your Discontent.  Respect the feeling inside you that's nudging you toward a greater experience.  This is God's greatest gift -- your life -- speaking to you.  Your inner friction rubs and rubs, creating a divine spark that will ignite your desire into a potent idea."

So, why do men leave?

Paternal Order

I believe a man's father is the driving force in his life.  Whether he is active in our lives, makes infrequent appearances or has never been in our lives is of no consequence.  He is the driving force (mother's guide/father's drive).  Some of us aspire to be like him.  We do great Dad imitations, tracing his steps, his path and his legacy at the expense of neglecting the development of our true identities.  Other men vow to never be like him, over-correcting to the point of losing our true selves.  Every man knows the elation of seeing ourselves in our dad; and I dare say most men know the horror of seeing his own life previewed in the failures and setbacks of his father.  All of this transpires unbeknown or unacknowledged by us because we are our own man.

But the day comes when a man realizes that this invisible, paternal force does indeed affect his life, his decisions and his emotional well-being.  His father can't calm turbulent seas, can't provide immediate relief from the overwhelming stress, can't understand nor help you live your life mission.  That doesn't make our father's weak, incompetent or useless.  It makes him human.  It is then that we come face to face with Paternal Order, that our earthly father is not the alpha male. God, the Father, is.   God doesn't just reign at the top.  God reigns over all... everything... everywhere.

Understanding Paternal Order will cause every man to leave... leave his father's footsteps and embark on his divinely created path as ordained by God, the Father.  In Him, we must seek wisdom, guidance, comfort and fuel for the journey.  He alone is our Creator and He alone created every aspect of our universe and our being.  In the past, a man may have enjoyed or resented people proclaiming how much he is like his father.  But, he'll leave that paradigm the moment he embraces that "I and the Father (God) are one."

No matter how great and wonderful our fathers may be, we are not our father.
No matter how invisible our fathers may be, we are not our father.
No matter the level of success our father's may have achieved, we are not our father.
Your path is uniquely yours.  Your life mission? Uniquely yours too.
As Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith recently stated, "Our life is a Master Piece, not a copy.  Any questions, insights, clarifications should be directed to the Creator of the Master Piece." Everything that you need - EVERYTHING - has already been provided.  Just ask and you shall receive.

I told you I know why men leave.  Women, too.  And to God Almighty be the glory!

**********************

Given the Paternal Order of things, this is my last post as That Johnson Boy Said What?  I created the moniker to honor my Dad, whose name I proudly carry.  The spirit behind the name will always be with me.  But, my personal path awaits me.  So, help me welcome into the world & just cover me with prayer, as I bid farewell to That Johnson Boy and Greetings to PROVERBIAL SUN!!!

Friday, July 02, 2010

The BEST 4th of July Present EVER!

Please take a few minutes to listen to this young brother's Graduation speech. POWER-FULL!!!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

What To Give The Mom Who Doesn't Deserve a Damn Thing!

Damned if I do / damned if I don't
Mad if I do / guilt-ridden if I don't/
Call when I know she's at church
or just... whatever.
Happy? Mother's Day!

     Welcome to a world that I know all too well.  I've spent years treading this debilitating riptide of anger and resentment.  But alas, Mother's Day - the perfect platform to unleash my turmoil with calculated precision.  Not pretty, is it?  Breaches between parent and child never are.  Petty perhaps, but pretty?  Never.

      Lost in the madness is the dichotomy between love and anger.  I actually love my Mother.  But, unresolved issues from our past often produced conflicting waves of anger and resentment.  Even in our happiest times the war between love and resentment waged on.  I've prayed about it, attended professional counseling, created pacts with self to just say no to anger and the punishing emotional blows. Yet, time after time I found myself in relapse, mired in a war with no end, in a battle that I seemingly could not win.  That's how it appeared to me, up until Mother's Day 2008.


     I set out that weekend to have a wonderful time with my Mom.  We shopped 'til she dropped, dined and shopped some more.   We worshipped together and acknowledged that our first ever weekend excursion was mutually gratifying.  But that's not what made it special.  What made it truly special is the gift that we shared that weekend.  I gave my Mom the gift of... 
Forgiveness


     We didn't speak it, nor did we write it.  Yet, we both understood the spirit of forgiveness offered from the soul.  On that day, our life began anew.  I had attempted to forgive many times.  It was the logical thing to do.  But on this day, my soul said yes, forgive her and... forgive yourself for punishing her.  Mind you, my forgiveness wasn't based on understanding.  I still didn't have answers as to why things happened in the past.  I forgave her simply because she is my Mom, the first Lady in my life and the first Love of my Life.  In forgiving her, I set us both free.

     During the train ride back to New York, I pondered a new dilemma:  what will I tell my circle of like-me's?  Like me, they were mired in dysfunctional parent/child relationships.  Like me, we found comfort in our mutual understanding and empathy.  Friends, like me, who would promptly slay anyone offering a fix, a scripture or medicine for our wounded souls.  What will I say?  I'll tell them the truth as it came to me while gazing at my reflection in the train window:


"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put away childish things." (1 Corinthians 13:11)

Had you shared this scripture with me just 48 hours earlier, I probably would've dealt with you.  Seriously.  But on that train ride home, this scripture illuminated my  past in ways I never sought to ask.  


What will I tell my friends like me?  I'll tell them to love their Mom and forgive her, without reason.  I'll tell them that the words of Paul Boese ring true:  "forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future."  I'll tell them that true understanding and illumination comes after the act of forgiveness.  


I'll tell them that we were right.  We won't do to our children what our Mom did (or didn't do) for us.  I'll tell them that we'll be better parents because of our Mothers and their journey.  I'll tell them what they already know deep inside their spirit - that the child in us lashes out about what should've been.  But the adult in us knows that life is about choices - complex, life-altering choices and the ramifications of each choice.  We may not follow Mom's path, but each of us have managed to blaze our own path down ramification alley.  May our own offspring be merciful in their judgement.  


I'll tell them to fight every spirit of resistance with the spirit of love.  I'll  tell them to spend time getting to know the woman behind the Mom title.  I'll tell them to be patient as old wounds remain tender long after the skin appears mended.  And if their Mom is no longer with us, I'll tell them it's never too late to heal the relationship.  Speak the healing power of forgiveness, on Earth as it is in Heaven. 

Lastly, I'll shut the heck up.  Like-me's can only handle so much!  But, I'm a living witness that the loving relationship you desire with your Mom is but a forgiving spirit away - risk everything, open your heart and go get it!!!  Life begins with a whole heart.


To my own Mother, thank you again for loving me, even when I made loving me so difficult.  You are my First Lady and First Love and I'll always love you.  To my other Mom, there aren't enough roses to show you how much I love you.  And to my wife, who is allowing me to spend Mother's Day away from her, I love you LadyBug.  Me has a surprise for you!


And to all my Moms and their big babies, Happy Mother's Day!