Am I enjoying my life? (Am I enjoying the life that I am?)
Am I enjoying my life? If not, why not?
I was able to identify three areas that were preventing me from “enjoying my life.”
I determined that daily exercise—walking for 30 minutes and/or water aerobic classes— combined with a plant-based diet, was something that I could immediately institute. However, to sustain this plan I had to go within for guidance from Spirit. As with everything, attitude is crucial, and I was reminded that I have complete control over my attitude. Specifically, it is necessary to weed, prune, transplant my garden of relationships—children/their children; siblings; kinfolks; friends; communities; neighbors—so that nothing toxic can take root to damage my physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual health. It is my intention to be clear and transparent in what I allow into my personal space; thus, it helps to prevent misunderstandings, misconceptions, and confusion. I am reminded of Don Miguel’s 2nd Agreement: "Don’t make assumptions." To which I added: “Be brave enough, or humble enough to ask questions.” By having control over my attitude (staying in my lane) and practicing clarity and transparency, I can avoid taking on other people’s drama. The stress produced from toxic relationships is the root cause of every health problem.
By going deep within, I was guided to spend more time in the States, where it is easier to be involved in my spiritual, artistic/creative, politically active communities. Additionally, it is necessary for me to devote at least two hours, every day, to write. Loneliness can be debilitating when fueled by feelIngs of inadequacy. In a society where the cult of youth/beauty is continually, and aggressively promoted, it is difficult to accept your body if it doesn’t meet the standards set by a society determined to profit financially from those standards and to retain its privileged status. For African Americans, this is particularly troublesome. The psychological damage of enslavement—to deny the enslaved any sense of themselves as human, based on their physical appearance—has never been acknowledged by the enslavers. Instead, the victims were transformed into villains whose natural tendencies are “uncivilized” and “criminal.” Loneliness indicates a lack of access to others of like mind and heart. Again, because of the brutal breakup of family and community during the capture and enslavement of their ancestors, African Americans continue to suffer. Yet, centuries of familial and communal traditions survived to keep alive the desire to create strong family and community ties; consequently, African Americans have built religious, civic, social, educational, entertainment, athletic, and secret societies that provide comfort and a sense of security.
(The psychological damage caused by enslavement is not limited to those whose ancestors were enslaved on present-day American soil; it can be seen throughout the African diaspora, as well as on the Continent, itself.)
Lack of companion
The intention to be clear and transparent requires a degree of honesty and vulnerability that has pushed me to risk climbing out of my ‘comfort zone.’ Yet, if I am to be truly free, Spirt guides me to shed the layers of appearing ‘unapproachable,’ ‘judgmental,’ ‘uninterested,’ or ‘unavailable’ to explore romantic possibilities. Therefore, dear reader, I’ll be looking into dating sites, cruises/tours with groups, such as Tom Joyner Cruises, and “Road Scholars.” Word to the wise: I am open to someone whose imperfections match mine; in other words, a man perfect for me. That means someone who not only knows who he is, but is also willing to get to know who I am.
Finally, one of the characters from my short story, “Down, But Not Yet Ready to go Gently Into That Goodnight, succinctly captures elderly resistance against becoming invisible in a society blinded by the illusion of perpetual youth, in describing the advice an elderly man gives to his grandson:
My grandfather died when I was 16, but not before advising me about dealing with old age. ‘If whatever is working, works, then keep at it. Most of all having sex. God gave us the equipment and I be damned if some holier-than-thou missionary types are gonna take it away. Eat and drink whatever you want to if it lets you sleep easy at night. And be respectful of yourself and anyone else who deserves it.’
The response to the question, Am I living the life I wish to live? will be addressed and posted on my blog, next week.
Deepest gratitude for your loving words, and kind attention.