God Is Being Me

God Is Being Me

I sort of envy people who live according to the Bible. It makes things so easy in many ways. If you can believe in predestination it makes life a lot more palatable.
Sometimes I miss being that person. Especially the eagerness of it all, the ‘hope and a future’ to anticipate.
And yet I find myself striving not to build my faith as I used to do, but instead to get closer to that within me that is God, to find and become friends with the Divine in me.
That is my religion, finding God in me, in everything that makes me, me. In my womanhood, in my mothering, in my writing – I want to be that which is godly and communicates God to the world. Because yes, I too have met God, and She is beyond black and white. If you know, you know.
My religion is to seek that which will introduce me to my godhood and teach me to embody my divinity wholly.
I am the universe contained in this skin, the vastness of the ocean and the sky and everything between and beyond coalesced into the consciousness that moves through the world as me.
That is my religion.
I dream my dreams and I write, and I learn from others, from the collective Dream. I give and I take and I seek and find and lose – yet I go on. I am still here. Still standing.
God is being me and I desire every day to learn a little bit more about what that means in the real world, in the world that my spirit has created in this place, in this time; my world. I also want to know why some days, some many, many days, being me ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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On Truth and Freedom

I am a lover without a lover. I am lovely and lonely and belong deeply to myself. -Warsan Shire

From the age of about ten to around thirteen I read quite a chunk of child psychology (I had problems) and was able – thanks to my brother’s membership at the British Council Library – to navigate my way through the trauma of being an abandoned daughter. I don’t claim to have come through unscathed – I have scars for days – but dammit I came through the fire; scars are kinda par for the course. Trust, it could have been worse.

Though my father’s legacy is one of deep-seated fear of abandonment and a tendency to self-negate in attempts to find security and stability I’m realising, now, that the lesson of men, the masculine and romance is about trusting my intuition and standing against fear. It’s been a hard lesson and I can’t say I’ve been the fastest of learners but still, I’ve learnt.

I’ve learnt to listen to me first because the heart really knows.
I’ve learnt to love inner intimacy and authenticity more than I fear rejection and abandonment.
I’ve learnt, above all, that I am surrounded by divine love such that even when I seek to immerse myself in the lies of men, the truth eventually makes itself heard. The truth may feel like dying a death but it always brings freedom and for that, by God! – I am thankful.

The truth will set you free but first, it will make you miserable. -James A. Garfield

Value from gurus

If you’ve been seeing the same coach for a while and your life has not changed significantly, change your coach. Either that, or commit to coaching yourself because girl, you’re too smart to keep throwing good money after bad.
If you’re paying anyone or anything for its products or services, then you ALWAYS want to make sure that you’re maximizing the value that you’re getting from the experience.
If you hire a coach, mentor or invest in a training program, there is a RESPONSIBILITY on your end to ensure that you’re getting value. The coach, mentor, and training program has a responsibility to deliver, as promised, and provide value, however, it’s up to YOU to receive that and get the most out of it.
Being lazy, not showing up on time, not taking notes, not asking questions, not taking action – these are all things that are within YOUR control that will determine the results you get.

1. First, Know Thyself

Self-awareness will be the fence that stops you from spending more money than you should on yet another course, seminar, retreat or coaching bundle. You need to know yourself in terms of what learning intervention will give you the most bang for your book. For example, I doubt I’ll ever pay for a mega seminar by a well known guru. Why not? Because if I ever went to one it would be to network or just have a dat/night out, but because I don’t learn when I’m not connected to the teacher, I would not get value if I wanted to learn. Another is podcasts. I don’t spend money on podcasts that require money to sign in because it’s too easy for me to get distracted. Listening without visual stimulation just doesn’t work for me. But who knows? I might surprise myself. If you must buy something but a book. The gift that keeps on giving.

2. Sense of direction

3. Be humble

4. Be open to learning/growth

5. Embrace change

6. Monitor your progress and review your performance regularly (stay on track)

For Women and Girls Who Might Otherwise Die Lonely

There are people who are showing and telling you that they want to be excused from your presence but your needy, thirsty ass is holding on and calling it ‘love.’
Girl nah.
Love isn’t a synonym for doormat.

Loving someone – really loving someone – is being happy for them even when their happiness doesn’t include you.
Love allows the other person to be, without restriction.
If they want to leave, wish them well.
Love is not laying down and handing people knives with which to stab you and then getting in your feelings when they do.
That’s just being foolish.
For the love of all that’s good don’t be foolish.

Sometimes you have to place that DNR sign on the friendship and move on without guilt or regret.

Just like a man can tell you you’re his one minutes after leaving another woman’s bed (or on the way to it), friends (!) can mouth ‘I love you’ while treating you like the tissue they just used to wipe away snot.
They are not the problem.
You are the problem.
They are doing what works for them and you are too busy doing what works for them too. At your expense.
How sway? (No I don’t know what that means I just kinda sorta know how to use it).

If you feel used, that’s on you.
Face your resentment and work through it. Learn to forgive even when there is no apology. Be an adult and deal.

Learn how to release people with love.
Learn how to love safely, not foolishly.
Stop equating love with martydom – you ain’t the christ.
Stop burning yourself to warm the masses. That shit will age you before your time and make you cold, bitter and needy.
Imagine that.
Maybe you don’t have to.
Maybe you know exactly what I mean.

Release dead relationships with love and gratitude.
Thank people for their time and for the lessons and forgive them for perceived wrongdoing.
Check yourself.
Maybe you *are* the reason it ended.
Forgive yourself too.
Say thank you for the love that was and then girl, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move tf on.
Your tribe will find you and you will find them.
Everyone isn’t meant to be forever and that is ok.

It Hurts In All My Words

1. Sowake wezwa kusithi uhlanze ngenxa yobuhlungu?
Pain-induced nausea, one might say.

Angikhulumi ngobuhlungu bokukhubeka uzwane olukhulu ngesikhathi somqando kumbe obokutshaywa liwindi enkanda usithi uyasukuma – lezo zinto zibuhlungu sibili zihlaba umxhwele kanti lenyembezi zale ukwehla ngoba ukukhala kungeke kusize. Ngiyabazi ubuhlungu obunjalo kodwa ngikhuluma ngobuhlungu benhliziyo edabukayo phezu kokudabuka, kudabuke umoya kuqhezuke inyama lomcabango.

Ubuhlungu bakhona buthi bungafika ufise lokuvula isifuba uthobe inhliziyo kodwa ngoba lokho kuyinsinda-menzi uzithole usuguqe phansi ugomela, ukhama inyembezi zisala, uqhinqa isililo esingela mkhosi ngoba umlomo usehluleka ukubumba amazwi angachaza inhlungu – njalo uyazi ngeke uvuse abantwana wethuse labomakhelwane ngesililo hlezi bakuthwalele eNgutsheni sahlanya olubona izinto bengazi ukuthi hatshi, ungumuntu kuphela uhlatshwe yisihlabo senhlungu zomoya.
Khona vele uzakhala uzithulise?
Yikho ke lokho ukwehluleka empilweni: bakuphi abakumisa isibindi bakuqinise amadolo? Nxa umuntu engumuntu ngabantu wena mahamba-yedwa ungumuntu nhloboni?

Ubuhlungu lobu buthi botoza isifuba usifina-finathe ingathi ungayiphulula inhliziyo uyiphe ukuphola, uze ufithizele isandla uyizwe itshaya ufise ukuyimisa mhlawumbe kungaba ngcono kodwa kuyize, ingani inhliziyo ngokwayo ithi yona akuzame okungcono. Zikuhlabe inhlungu zenhliziyo zithutshe emgogodleni...

2. I know what it is to hurt.
To hurt so badly that ‘heartbreak’ is not hyperbole but a real phenomenon, pain manifesting as a nausea-inducing throb. Sowake wezwa kusithi hlanza ngenxa yobuhlungu benhliziyo?

Pain like I feel now, having woken up from a dream of my mother.
Pain in theta state that brought me sobbing awake,
Pulled me gasping breathless into the darkness of this morning,
Sharp lance piercing my chest exiting my back, Traceable path of grief in this flesh,
Indescribable –

I feel like throwing up it’s so bad;
Like cutting because the body will ‘forget’ pain for greater pain;
Like wailing to release it if I only knew how: the first wail of my life must have been when I entered this world, the second and last at her funeral – I lost that setting then.
Now hours after waking my heart is sore I would do anything to wail that pain away, to dissipate that still present, aching, throbbing hurt –

Pain that they try to tell me I’m imagining because you know what can’t measure this pain? An EKG machine.

I know it starts in my mind but I also know it’s real.
Real like the pain of hearing I love you from someone who never speaks to you again.
Real like ukutshayeka ewindini usithi uyasukuma except more real than that, even, because it doesn’t have a material cause: you can’t rub it away or take ‘brufen’ to ease the swelling and inflammation.

This pain is real and I’m afraid that one day it will kill me.

Five Years Nine Years Twenty Years Dead

After her passing I left the home, the city, the country I shared with her. Packed up and ran to the other side of the world and started a shiny new life. Oh happiness, joy!
I thought I could leave Grief behind, put enough distance between us to become mere acquaintances but Grief snuck into my luggage and then somehow invaded my body and resides now in my very blood, sucking the life out of me.

I thought vodka would exorcise Grief; that whiskey would burn it out of me; that wine would drown it, do what talk therapy and new friendships and marriage and marijuana and Xanax and Valium and prayer and verses and Psalms and words upon pages of words had failed to do. Vodka failed. Whiskey failed. It all failed.
Family, I thought then. It was a mistake to run so far from family. And time, I added. Let me surround myself with family and give myself time.

*

I read somewhere that it takes about five years to process the death of a loved one. Maybe I dreamed it. Dream or fact, I waited. Dressed myself in the pretences of wellness and kept the right phrases ready to support the act, waiting waiting for the mask to drop. And then suddenly, right around year five, sometimes I could talk about her without a lump forming in my throat and sans the pulse of Grief in my chest. Sometimes I could share her stories and laugh and miss her and not semi-collapse from the heaviness of it all. My God, I got there. I made it. I got to five years. I sighed. Relieved. I began to thrive – finally – in my work. In my life. I was free. Alive. Healed. Only sometimes, but I hoped sometimes would become most times.

*

Choose life. Choose life.

*

They were right, I thought. I said. Five years and I’m fine. Finer. Strong. Stronger.

Time heals everything in time. Yes, it gets better. You will heal. I healed. It doesn’t go away, there’s nothing like complete healing but you will heal nonetheless. That pain does get better. You will heal. You will speak of the gone ones and not pass out from the pain. You will hear others speak of them – some kindly, some not, and you will find comfort in the kindness and disregard the cruelties. Yes, you will get better. You will heal. I healed.

I said.

I lied.

*

I wanted so badly to believe it for myself and for other motherless daughters and sons.
I wanted – badly – for that five-year mark to be my salvation.

*
I want to not get angry when the unworthy speak her name and presume to speak on her life, dreams, motivations, fears. They’re entitled to their perceptions.

I want to be forgiveness and light like she would have been.

I have waited and waited for the day when I will be free of this pain, this heavy thing named Grief, and it has not come. That freedom day has not come and I’m tired tired tired of pretending it has.

*

Today I concede defeat.
Today I say grief has won.
Worn me down till I cannot raise my head let alone stand.
Broken my mind and my body and my soul bit by bit, one day one year at a time.

*

Today I give up the fight.

*

Today I say take me, take me Grief and do as you will. Destroy me and if you never rebuild me well who can question the victor? Who can stand before the conqueror and dare ask why?

Not me. Today hail Grief, lift Grief up and cheer for a job well done.

*

Today I am not fine and today I accept that I may never be fine and that is what it is.
Today don’t ask if I’m ok, I’m not ok.
Today don’t tell me you’re there for me.
You’re not. You can’t be.
How can you be, when what I carry can never be laid down?

Can you breathe for me? Feel for me? What is it then to be ‘there’ for me?

There, where?

On the phone, making me speak meaningless that doesn’t help?
Meaningless like ‘I’ll be fine. I’m fine.’
Meaningless like ‘I appreciate it.’
Meaningless like ‘I was just being dramatic, rough day, haha, you know how it is, lol,’ and an emoji or three.
Meaningless like visits that require emotional labour I don’t have energy for?

Today, no meaningless.
Today, just me and Grief taking our rightful places in this realm. Grief leading and me submitting to a power greater than any other I know.

*

Nine years! Five years and then four that’s how long it’s been. Has anything helped?
Denial?
Anger?
Trading sobriety for numbness?
These words I’m writing now won’t help either – they never do – but at least in reading them you’ll understand why today I’m not here to listen to you ‘being there.’
Today don’t call me
don’t text me
don’t inbox me
don’t visit me.
Today, just for today, accept what’s true – there’s nothing you can do.

*

This is my war.

*

Today let me accept what is true: all I can do is listen to Grief and watch, hold, carry, breathe and finally accept Grief. Is not acceptance of what is the key to fulfilment?
Let me accept, today, that Grief has won.

If I Could I Would

A young Dr. Maya Angelou

I would write you a letter my love and speak to you of that morning when we fell apart laughing, your fingers tangled in my hair.

It was funny that a man like you would be ill-prepared for the taking of a Nguni woman with wild Nguni hair; odd that when presented with grabbable hair you did not know what to do.

I would write of how we came together again: your lips claimed mine and I swallowed your words even as my body swallowed you whole.
It was right and good that tasting and feeling till I was gasping and writhing beneath you.

I want to write you a letter my love and tell you of that morning when you made me believe again in the magic of making love.

I would ask if you felt my trembling as I stood before you naked and unashamed; if you knew it was pure desire that fuelled a holy ache to be eased only by you.

I would ask you how it felt when you thrust deep and deeper still as my wimpers turned to moans and I begged you to take it all and give me more.

I would tell you about the heat of your hands roaming my body, cupping flesh, holding tight; I would tell you about the leg-shaking that commenced when your hand wrapped around my throat, how I felt no fear only ecstasy when you whispered my name and I love you followed…

Oh my love would that I could write you a letter of that morning when we made such wonderful love, when your arms felt like home and you fit like you belonged.

But oh my love, with all your love for me and mine for you how strange it is that you do not love to read and I, my love, I do not love to write.