The Therapeutic Cue

Don’t do it for them.

Everything in front of you was not meant for you. Social media, the hype, the trends, the interacting you do with people out of habit rather than out of true want of company; none of that was meant for you. I do not write to criticize. I do not write this to undermine how you and your path are currently moving. I write this in hope that you think before you do something you believe is healthy for you. I want you to pause and consider one thought: “Am I doing this for me?”

Now the initial thought you may get is “Yes, I like doing this, it makes me feel good”, etc and that is ok. That’s natural. Rather, that’s the unnatural becoming more natural. We are conditioned (from God knows when) to do things we do not want to do, to do things that make others happy. To me, doing things for other people is not happiness. No other feeling is more selfish than happiness, and that is how it is supposed to be. Happiness is a feeling that comes from you. A feeling is a construct of your perceptions and summation of the current and past experiences. Basically, happiness is a feeling  made from your desires. So how could it be happiness if it comes from other people? If you let them have the power to shape your perception, let them write the summary for your current and past experiences, letting them create your desires…that is how.

So now I ask, what makes you happy? Is what you do on a regular basis a genuine source of happiness for you? Your happiness is not owed to anyone but you. You do not owe anyone any time, you do not owe anyone emotion, you do not owe anyone your happiness if it drains the source of your own. Take some time out to yourself to find what your happiness is. Know that it comes in many shapes and forms and sometimes it may not have a shape or form at all. Actually, you probably have already tried to do this without knowing. I have found myself withdrawing from people and surroundings and for the life of me I could not figure out why. Why would a person who has love from so many sources need to get away from those sources? Isn’t love happiness? I asked myself this but it never changed what I did and still do.

I do not have a solid answer for this yet, only a theory. What if I am getting away from those sources of love because I have always relied on those certain things for my happiness? If I have done that then I’ve have been guilty of letting them give shape to my happiness, in other words I do not know my own happiness. What if I am getting away from those sources of love my soul, my essence is craving the solidarity needed to find the happiness I do not currently have? If that is the case I would have to admit happiness is selfish, to leave others who need/love me to find what you have been missing. But is that selfishness not warranted? Maybe this is something to revisit after later thoughts.

The ways you choose to be happy, are they of your own creation or desires? Do you want to go  to that happy hour, or would you rather just go home and do what you normally do? Do you want to go out every night, or do you want to do something alone or with less people involved? Do you want a iPhone, or do you just want what is accepted? Do you want to stand in line for overpriced shoes/clothes, or do you buy these types of items so other do look at you funny for not having? Do you want to hashtag the trending topic because you are interested in it, or because you do not want to feel left out? Whatever is the case, whatever you decide to do

Don’t do it for them.

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Build or Destroy.

build or destroy-neon- plex and enamel paint MARTINEZ

What ever happened to “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? Yea, no one goes by that anymore, in fact today it’s more like “If you have something mean to say, say it”. Positive words are underrated and a negative word usually replaces it. In today’s world it’s so easy to spread hate that it becomes second nature after a while. Not only is negativity second nature, it is contagious.

I recall a time while I was in the 8th grade. I was interested in playing baseball for my school. My older sisters played softball at the same school and were pretty good, legends by name, so I figured I would try baseball and continue that legacy. I never played organized sports before so as you could imagine I was a bit nervous about going to try out. My friends told me “Go for it, you got it!” and my sisters encouraged me as well. With all that positivity I was ready to see what it was about. I went into the locker room after telling the coaches I wanted to tryout and was talking to the team. Most of the guys were from last years team and were already guaranteed a spot. They asked me what position I was going for and I said “pitcher”. Immediately they start laughing at me, saying stuff like “no way you can be a pitcher, look at you”. I left out, did not come back the next day. I am not sure if I would have been any good at baseball, one thing I do know, is that all the positive momentum I had inside me was destroyed in a few moments.

I was devastated, and completely embarrassed. “Why would I even think I would be good enough to even try?”. “Maybe I should not try out for anything else, I wasn’t good enough for them so why would I be good at anything else?” and so on. All these thoughts of doubt not only stopped me from trying baseball, but they also carried over to other things. In class I would hesitate to raise my hand. I would hesitate to ask for something I needed. All this stemmed from one incident of negativity. Negative words are designed to attack positive thoughts.

When you were going in for an interview for a job you really wanted and you were nervous, you probably called someone to calm your nerves. That same somebody is probably reliable, dependable for giving you some positive energy when you need it most. That same person could have told you that you are not good enough, that you should give up and go home. Instead they gave you encouragement and you went into that interview with positive thoughts and got the job. Where would you be if that person you relied on for positive energy gave you negative instead?

The Five-Percent Nation believes in a simple rule that I like to apply to my life to make sure I stay on a positive path.

Supreme Mathematics 8. – Build or Destroy
To Build is to elevate the mentality & material of one’s self, others & the planet. To Destroy is to ruin the mentality & material of one’s self, others & the planet by allowing negativity to outweigh the positive.

If you Build, you create positive energy and if you Destroy, you create negative energy and there is no middle ground in that belief. People are different, we see things differently and move as such. We soon forget that there are times in our lives that we needed some positive words and never got them but got negative in return. How did that affect you? As I stated before, negative thoughts are contagious, which means people passed those negative thoughts and words onto the next person, and so on. The cycle of negativity will not stop until one person decides they want positive. Life is hard, and talking bad about someone different or on a different path than you only makes it more difficult. Give something good back and watch your life get better. In the words of rapper Jay Electronica: “You either build or destroy, where you come from?”

  • Inspired by my fraternal brother Isiah

The Difference A Man Can Make.

A man is a powerful being. Man has created himself and destroyed himself throughout history, and whether you agree with mans’ methods one thing is for certain: Man is effective at being man. I write this not to boast on being a man or how I feel we are superior to the fairer sex, but rather to explain what a man is composed of. What goes into developing a male into a man varies from culture to culture, but one constant is the influence of other men. I feel that there is no more influential presence for a man to have than the men around him.

Personally, I have had a strong male presence in my life and while I sat back on the thought about who I am currently, I found the men who were/are in my life shaped it greatly. I grew up in a two parent house hold, mother and father, no blood brothers. My father passed a month before my 18th birthday and while I feel he was taken too soon from me, the lessons he taught me were invaluable. My father was not one to tell me a whole lot, rather he taught me and my two sisters by example. He was the type to never show pain, but yet you knew he cared, he never yelled but you knew he meant what he said. The way he moved about his life on a daily basis taught me the lessons of inner strength. He taught me that a man is not what he says he is but rather a man is what he does. My father taught me that you must have strong foundation so that the strong winds of conflict that this world has, does not blow you down to the ground. No matter where you go in this world, your inner strength needs to be an anchor, ready to keep you in place when the tide has every intent to capsize you.

Although I was not blessed with blood brothers I found brothers in bonds, both forged by intent and by consequence. In the 5th grade, I became friends with a group of boys that would grow to be one of the biggest parts of my world. As youths, we grew together, did fun and stupid things, but in all that we learned more about ourselves and each other. This group I became close with were from different cultures. We taught each other our view points and through this I learned the importance of accepting people who were different from you. When I went to college, like most who leave home for the first time, I felt out-of-place. I joined a fraternity, while it may seem cliché to say this, they became actual brothers to me. I learned a lot from them, the most valuable lesson is how to act. I do not mean stage acting, but how to form thought into action. Before meeting my brothers, I just let things happen. My fraternal brothers taught me the lesson of aggression, how to make what you want to happen, happen. My fraternal brothers taught me that you can either just sit back and let the wave try to capsize you, or you can push the waves back.

With all that I have said, I want you to sit back and think of the positive influences that the men in you life have had. We are not all blessed with fathers in our lives, or brothers to have our backs from birth. If you just sit and think about it for a minute you will likely find that a man helped shaped you in some way; some will be positive influences and unfortunately some negative. No matter the influences the man in for life had, know this statement to be true: A man is an incredibly valuable thing. If matured properly he has the power to move mountains and crack the sky.

How, White?

wall-175686_1280Imagine you are choking on some food that was force fed to you. The person who forced the food down your mouth, refuses to acknowledge they did that, and not only do they refuse their fault they also refuse to help. The same person also looks at you as if they cannot understand why you are choking. Your throat begins to feel more constricted as you struggle to take in air. Quickly, you begin to beat your chest in the hopes of dislodging the food and catching your breathe. The person who crammed the food down your mouth tells you “That’s not how you should save your self, try something else!”. As your throat tightens further you bend over a chair  to hit your diaphragm against to loosen the food. As you act, you hear the person who pushed the food down your throat say “This offends me! You should stop and try a different way to save yourself!”. You look over and see laughter, laughter as you struggle to live as you struggle to breathe. So what do you do? Do you listen to the only voice you hear as it tells you the way you handle your struggle is wrong, or do you continue to find your own way to salvation? Survival is not promised either way and the longer you wait your chances of survival worsen. All this, and you are still wondering why the food was shoved down your throat in the first place. What do you do? How do you do?

That is how it feels to be black in America.

Instead of people trying to help you, they would rather critique the way you are progressing. Instead of finding a solution to the problem, they find ways the idea wouldn’t work. Since when has inactivity become progress? Since when has judging one’s methods of progress become a solution in itself?

When you tell black people they should change #BlackLivesMatter to #AllLivesMatter you are drawing focus away from a legitimate cause and including yourself in it, when this cause does not include your struggle. That is inconsiderate and an insult to the people who have actually experienced, or hell even seen, the racial injustice America and the systematic racism that has been in place for centuries.

One of the hardest things to do in life, is to get people to see your perspective, to have people understand your feelings to the point they want to change their own perspective. In today’s world with the over saturation of news outlets and opinionated pieces confused with factual educated statements; it can be hard to differentiate between truth, fiction, and reliable sources. For those who take the time to read the article and not just the headline porn, I salute you. For those of you that take the time to understand that there will always be more to a story then what is first presented to you initially, I salute you. For those of you that realize that there may actually be a real racial inequality problem and also understand those affected will not sit back and let others decided their fate, I want to shake your hand and have a discussion sometime over coffee (or liquor, depending on the time of day).

I do not believe in excuses, nor do I believe in blaming others for your problems. What I do believe in is acknowledging that there is a problem and trying, putting forth effort, to fix the problem. We should appreciate those that have the courage to put their own faces out there in hopes of sparking or leading change, that courage seems to be dwindling. To fix a problem you must have the courage to face those that do not see that there is a problem.

Lastly I want to say this:

Would you show up to a breast cancer rally and tell the people involved they should stop collecting money for a cure and focus on cancer as a whole? No, no you would not. Instead, you wear pink for the month of October in support of the cause. You acknowledge that the cause is valid by such support. So why can’t black people have their own cause and it cannot be seen as valid? Why can’t #BlackLivesMatter have your support? How are are black people supposed save their own lives when everyone has an opinion on how they SHOULDN’T do it?

Let Us Begin

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Hello. Not much more I want to say besides hello. Admittedly I can be short for words at critical times, so hopefully hello will suffice for how much I appreciate all who take time out of their day to read my thoughts. I want to welcome you to the world I am trying to create for myself; the thoughts I want to get out. I want you think, I want you to question, but most of all I want you the get positivity from what I write. With all of this said, welcome to The Outer Thought.