Saturday, 18 November 2017

The Root. . .

What's wrong with the truth?. . . .

You can dig all day and never find the root
You're gonna get dirty child digging for the root
If you're looking for an answer what's wrong with the truth?
Keep digging child, looking for the root

Have you spent enough time getting to the bottom of the issues you face?
Sometimes you're not sure whether what you are being tasked with facing is something that you've created inadvertently, something you have to clean up or something that has crossed your path because you haven't dealt with it effectively in the past.  If you find it hard to find the root, it may be because people are deliberately withholding information, blocking the truth from reaching you or trying to protect themselves in the process. If people continue to do this to you, why do you continue to hang around?  Do you not have a choice in what's happening in your life?  Maybe you do, maybe you don't.  Whatever reasons you have chosen to stick to whatever brand of truth that you have allowed in your life, sit back for a minute and consider long and hard whether this is how you want to live your life.

Look for love
It must be love
Look for love
It must be love

What are you looking for?
You might get distracted looking for the wrong things in life,  the wrong types of love.
What you might think is beautiful and pure, is in fact tainted with things that you have yet to see in its authentic form.  We can never really see what is in front of us unless we are taught to see things as they are, what they represent and the effects that they have.  I have learned to avoid putting myself in situations where I thought love lived.  I have become more discerning about the right places that love lives in and I guess this is why people ask me about where to find love for themselves.  I can tell you, it can be pretty draining trying to explain to others why they persist and continue to chase ideals that are not even part of their destiny.  They might be confused about what real love is.  All they need to remember is that if they are being disrespected, abused and treated in ways that they don't like to be treated - then they have their answer.  Asking for my opinion doesn't change the actions of who is doing all the damage.  Not my circus, not my monkeys.

To be born is original

Original is a sin
And noone who can fix it 
Is forgiveness in the end

No matter what happens in our lives, we must at least try to prepare for outcomes that we want.
I don't know how responsible we should feel at the end of the day - for actions that people take.  I don't know how responsible we should feel for solving problems that are not of our making.  I long for days that bring peace and joy.  We cannot rely on others to do this for us, and if we do, we are sorely mistaken and deluded.  I think it's important for us to look inside ourselves to check that we are in perfect working order for ourselves, that we know what needs to be done for ourselves before we can help others.  If you are the type of person that continually drops everything to help others, friends and family out of a strong sense of loyalty - have a think about whether there is reciprocity in that space. If there isn't, then do yourself a favour and pull back.  These people seek forgiveness that you cannot give, but that which they should be earning by sorting out their own dilemmas.

We keep reachin', reachin' for the fruit
We keep digging, digging for the root
Looking for the answer, what's wrong with the truth
Keep digging child, looking for the root

How much time have you spent digging for the root?
You might be starting to bear witness to so many injustices in your life, where you are either yelled at, blamed or mistreated for things that people try to hide.  In professional circles you might be struggling with maintaining an air of professionalism because people talk about you behind their backs, and rather than talking to you about issues that relate to you - they would rather talk to others about you, rather than to you.  This might happen because people don't know how to talk to you, that those people have no idea about their actions (or lack of actions and lack of courtesy) in being able to have proper conversations with you.  You might have left other jobs to seek career advancement or new challenges to extend your skills, but then find actually, jobs are the same wherever you go.  White privilege exists everywhere you turn but you never speak up because you want to believe that institutionalised racism will not affect you.  You want to believe that you can take the verbal abuse that you are subjected to from others, because you know that if situations were reversed and you were to do the same - acting in a belligerent or defiant manner in phone calls or emails - would have you hauled into human resources because you're brown.  So you continually take the moral high ground.

Look for love
It must be love
Look for love
It must be love

So we mustn't be distracted by this quest for love from others.
The most important form of love is first, to seek within yourself, the love for yourself.
If you are lonely or alone -  do things that make you happy, engage in activities that give you joy and keep you fulfilled.  Get to know yourself and learn about the vulnerable qualities that you possess - learn how to convert those weaknesses into strengths.  If others continue to bring their problems to your doorstep to solve, shut it down.  It is important to shut it down if they persist in talking about the same problems, as they already know what to do but need constant reassurance.  There will be others who try to bring their problems to you in secretive ways but continue to hide their real intentions.  These people will reveal themselves in the end and you won't need to do anything when that happens.  We just all need to remember to treat everyone with love, even when they don't deserve it.  Even when they have wronged you in the past, even if they are all saccharine sweetness to your face but have different intentions behind your back, how you react or respond to all of that - think about acts of love instead.  Be kind to yourself and you will act accordingly.

It must be love
Look for love, 
Look for love, love
Oh yeah
Keep on lookin
Keep on reachin' reachin'
Diggin' uh huh
Love is love, love
Look for love, find your love
If you're looking for that answer, what's wrong with the truth?
Keep digging child, looking for the root

Long gone are the days for justice.
We should no longer be thinking about who is in power, who is in control and our own sensitive, precious issues that do not culminate in acting for the greater good of all.  I have lost all patience for people who persist in living this way - to show others what hierarchy is all about if it is entrenched in forms of tyranny - however they choose to disguise it.  It's like putting lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig and besides, pigs thrive better in their natural environment without the fake facade of trying to make them human in that way.  We need to just keep looking within ourselves, keep reaching within ourselves and keep pulling the best of ourselves out in every situation.  I don't know how things are going in your world but for me at least, I know that the answers I seek are connected with truths that people are too afraid to make public, too afraid to admit out loud, too afraid to confront for themselves as they look in the mirror.  So my advice to myself - to thine own self be true, trust my instincts and know that I need to just keep digging child, looking for the root. . . . 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Someone to watch over me. . .

Where is the shepherd for this lost lamb? . . . .

There's a saying old, says that love is blind
Still we're often told, "seek and ye shall find"
So I'm going to seek a certain lad I've had in mind

I love old songs like this one.  I think it reminds me of the jazz standards that we played back in high school when I was in the jazz band playing trumpet.  We didn't play this particular song, but I do remember it from Mr. Holland's Opus.  Which certain lad (or lass) do you have in mind?
You think you know exactly what you want in a person, or you think you understand what you have right now.  But nothing is ever is it seems.  I don't think we should go searching for anybody to fill any type of void in our lives, until we have figured out who we are as individuals.  I've seen it too many times before.  Seen it fail too many times when you rely on someone else for your happiness.

Looking everywhere, haven't found him yet
He's the big affair I cannot forget
Only man I ever think of with regret

We may look back in our lives and think about the lost loves, the past connections we have had.
We may find that those sepia tinted memories are exactly that.  Just memories. In the cold harsh light of reality, it wasn't as romantic as you thought it was.  Things may surface that you never noticed before and what you thought was mysterious and dreamy, may actually be hiding the truth that you needed to know all along.  They say we shouldn't live a life of regret, that we shouldn't become bitter; and we shouldn't.  So what should we do?  Learn from those big affairs.  Learn from those regrets that simmer beneath the surface.

I'd like to add his initial to my monogram
Tell me, where is the shepherd for this lost lamb?

It should take a lot for you to add someone's initial to your monogram. Why you ask?
Because your monogram is your insignia, something that everybody will be able to see and take notice of, so you want to be able to display those initials proudly. Does that mean if a monogram is a personal possession of yours, that by having their initials placed on it, does it make them your personal possession too?  I guess you could put down some fake initials if you wanted to hide your connection, or just be obscure and use the fake initials of a pet name.  Ah, it's just too much hassle isn't it.  I question if the initials on your monogram would be the same person as the shepherd?

There's a somebody I'm longin' to see
I hope that he, turns out to be
Someone to watch over me

Who have you been longing to see?
When you yearn and long for someone, it is because they are not currently with you.  They not be able to be with you because they just can't.  Physically, mentally, emotionally, whatever reasons they can't be there.  I'm not sure if who you're longing for is the same person who should be watching over you.  What do you think?  I guess it depends on why we long for them.  The real reasons.  We can delude ourselves into making excuses that suit our purposes, but we have to stop looking out the window and start looking in the mirror and confront our current reality.  What decisions are you making for yourself that have created your current situation?  If we hope that just maybe, on the off chance that somebody will be the possible someone to watch over us, is that blind love, some kind of hope that we can't possibly let go?

I'm a little lamb who's lost in the wood
I know I could, always be good
To one who'll watch over me

I guess it also depends on whether the person who watches over you is someone who actually has good intentions for doing so.  I mean, having someone stalk you because they're obsessed with you is not a healthy scenario to describe someone who watches over you - they just watch you.  Maybe we should start being good to those who watch over us in ways that make our lives better.  Those who we have forgotten to acknowledge along the way, the ones we go to in our dire times of need constantly, hoping to talk some sense into us, taking away all of the fears and worries that we carry with us everywhere.  Are you that guardian for others in your life?  My older brother used to say to me when we were young - it's really hard to be good.  I have never believed that on so many levels until I was faced with situations that required me to be good, even when I didn't want to be, didn't need to be, because I had been mistreated.

Although he may not be the man
Some girls think of as handsome
To my heart he carries the key

The only thing that matters is that whoever watches over you, knows that they are doing a stellar job.
Physical attributes aside - they can be reassured that those are not the qualities that you wish for in a man.  If he is secure with himself in the knowledge that he is able to "embrace his own vulnerability, and to use emotionality as a radical tactic against a society which teaches you that emotions are a sign of weakness" (thanks Female Collective) then it is no wonder that he will have the key to your heart.
There is nothing more attractive to me than a man who knows his own beauty in how he lives his life.

Won't you tell him please to put on some speed
Follow my lead, oh, how I need
Someone to watch over me

I hope that whoever watches over you in your life, that you are able to create more magic moments.  There are so many stresses that life brings and if we're not careful, we can let them consume us when we're not looking.  I understand now that I am a serial emotional being of platonic intimacy - and that's a good thing.  At times it might threaten others because they don't understand what that means and how absolutely non-threatening it actually is - but that says more about their own insecurities about intimacy, which they may only think can be physical.  I had a music friend tell me once that he was emotionally unavailable and I replied me too.  I don't think he was expecting me to agree with him, but that's life isn't it.  Just when people think they have you pegged, that they have you sussed out, you go and keep them guessing and surprise them with the different layers of you.  Maybe that's why sometimes, even when I totally resist it, I might need someone to watch over me. . .

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Ordinary heart. . .

But I'll give it more than anybody. . . 

Baby I don't want to lead you on
Feed you empty promises and not follow through
There's a lot of things that I do wrong
If you're looking for the perfect one this ain't for you

When people seek you out, whether intentionally or accidentally, you have to find ways to deter them.
I guess it has more to do with knowing when to give up or let go or move one, whichever seems the more likely of the three outcomes that suits your particular scenario.  When someone has settled their sights on you and they are not part of the plan that you have for yourself, they are not part of the routine that you know derives not only success for you but success for everyone (not just them) then there is no wonder that you might be doing so many things wrong to accommodate their needs and forsaking all of yours. That should be a sign already that this is not something worth pursuing.

'Cause what I've got is just an ordinary heart
But I'll give it more than anybody
You can always trust this ordinary heart

What kind of heart do you have?
An ordinary heart implies that it is something that is simple, uncluttered, untroubled and clear.
An ordinary heart implies that it is open to being bruised and battered, thrown around and tested for its resilience.  An ordinary heart implies that there is nothing sinister, nothing secret, nothing hidden that could obscure your view about what is inside.  You are under no illusion about what this ordinary heart can bring.  If you can trust this ordinary heart, it is for all of these reasons and more - that tell you that transparency and honesty live in this ordinary heart.  

Maybe I don't want to let you down
Tell you that I'll always be around and miss my cue
I can be a lover and a fool
Every now and then I lose my cool that's what I do

When you don't want to let people down, you have to consider whether in the act of not letting them down, that you don't let yourself down.  You should not be sacrificing yourself in the process.  If there are things and other people that you should be attending to - make some tough decisions.  The number one person that you need to look out for you is yourself, particularly if you're the type of person that people normally gravitate towards.  You can try to keep yourself together and be the understanding type, but do people not understand that there is a limit?  That you are not a well of unlimited indulgence, that there is a point at which you need to be able to replenish yourself without losing yourself.

'Cause what I've got is just an ordinary heart
But I'll give it more than anybody
You can always trust this ordinary heart

When you give your heart so freely or make it freely available because you care so much, you must be prepared to either have it bruised and hurt.  I think once you learn resilience and learn not to care so much, at your own expense, this is a much better state to be in.  We can often spend far too much time worrying about things we cannot control, worrying about feelings that we cannot shift, especially if they belong to others - and people can't help the way they feel - that's what free will is all about.  The choices they make that either make your heart rejoice, or choices that break your heart into a million pieces.  If you know that you cannot love someone the way they deserve to be loved, then the best you can do is let them go and live your own life and stop sabotaging their chance at happiness.  Which heart would you trust?  An ordinary heart that has no secrets or an extraordinary heart that keeps you guessing all the time?

I know you're scared that I might change

Or even worse I'll stay the same, I'll stay the same

You might be seeking reassurance or some sort of signal that people don't change.  That promises kept will never be broken and allegiances sworn that are untested by time.  What if people don't stay the same even though they promised?  What if, even worse - you start to change yourself?  What we are most scared of is the inability to gain in love, because we have so much to lose if we engage in it - self respect, pride, self esteem, faith, hope - all of it - so we must be careful who we choose to hold our hearts.  I guess that's what makes it ordinary or extraordinary isn't it?  That no matter what happens, what scenarios or situations seem to come your way - you can always count on how your own heart will behave - or not.  You should be more scared of yourself changing into someone you might not recognise.  
'Cause what I've got is just an ordinary heart
But I'll give it more than anybody
You can always trust this ordinary heart

I hope that you are able to be in healthy relationships, rather than situationships.
That ship shouldn't even be docked at your bay.  Push it out to sea, or better yet, stop being a lighthouse that signals to them that you're nearby so that they stop. Let them crash on the rocks instead.  No point in setting out in rough seas if they're going to keep relying on others to save them all the time.  A good sailor or a  seasoned captain knows when to venture out or not.  Take it from someone who knows more than they shouldn't in this regard.  You can always trust this ordinary heart. . . 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Ascension. . .

If you don't know then I'll say it. . . 

Oh. . .
It happened the moment when you were revealed
'Cause you were a dream that you should not have been
A fantasy real
You gave me this beating baby, this rhythm inside
And you made me feel good
And you made me feel nice and loved
Give me paradise

Sometimes you listen to music because you like how it sounds, rather than anything else.
One of the things that I love about the music, is the power of it to make you move.  This is one of those songs.  It has always been on the radar of the soundtrack of my life, and there are other songs of Maxwell that I do enjoy, but this one is definitely one of the feel good songs that I associate with summer jams, and summertime is preparing to hit Aotearoa New Zealand shores at this time.  That being said, what do the lyrics mean to you? For me they conjure images and memories associated with times I have danced with friends and dance partners I don't recall names of at various events that time has helped to elude specificity.

So shouldn't I realize
You're the highest of the high
If you don't know, then I'll say it
So don't ever wonder

What things are you just starting to realise in your life?
Are there things that we are meant to be paying attention to in life right now that we haven't paid attention to in the past?  What should you be realising now?  I learn daily what I should be realising.  I connect the thoughts and intentions of what I had planned to do with follow through, with actions that are meant to show evidence of those thoughts and intentions.  I probably do this more so for myself than with other people, because it is best to focus on honing your particular sets of skills, gifts and talents, rather than relying on others to pull through with things that they might not necessarily be focusing upon. 

So shouldn't I realize
You're the highest of the high
If you don't know, then I'll say it
So don't ever wonder

What does it mean to be the highest of the high?
Rather than it meaning a conflated sense of ego, it's more to do with you being more aware of your spiritual self, that someone recognises you have mastered your sense of self, when they have interacted with so many other people - you just seem to stick out from the crowd because you have a stronger sense of self, you know yourself so innately that you find other people's ways of looking at themselves via comparison as being irrelevant.  Being the best version of yourself is something that people should be striving to be, for themselves, not because it's the trendy thing to do, or because everyone else says it, but doesn't do it. 

So tell me how long
How long it's gonna take
Until you speak, babe
'Cause I can't live my life
Without you here by my side
You gave me the feelin'
Feelin' in my life

When people are expecting you to speak, but you don't - whose fault is that?
Sometimes you might not have the words to articulate what you really want to say, they might lack the hearing or listening skills to understand what it is you have to say.  If they are asking themselves how long things are going to take, then they lack the patience to understand you, to truly get to know you in ways that you deserve to be known.  If you don't want to speak, that's totally your prerogative.  If people cannot live without you in their lives, they need to take a serious look at what is important in their life.  If they constantly rely on you to be the person to give their life meaning, to understand why they make the same mistakes or help through the same problems that they actually constantly attract through no fault of your own - then it is little wonder that you aren't speaking.  Why would you?

So shouldn't I realize
You're the highest of the high
If you don't know, then I'll say it
So don't ever wonder

I hope that if you are the one who has mastered your own ability to ascend, that you continue to distance yourself from people who try to imitate what you're doing so they can go on their own journey.  If people are trying to compare their journey to yours rather than living their own - they need to direct their mirror towards themselves.  People will continue to gravitate towards you and marvel at what you have achieved, but know the difference between people who take from your life, rather than add value to it.  I have people in my life who are in there because they want to see me succeed and know what value I bring not only to their lives, but to the lives of friends I have yet to make.  I am grateful for these friends and acquaintances who even if they don't know me as intimately as they think they do, but at least they have said it.  I realise that for sure, so don't ever wonder. . . 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Beautiful. . . .

And show the world the love in your heart. . . 

You've got to get up every morning
With a smile on your face
And show the world the love in your heart
Then people gonna treat you better
You're gonna find, yes you will
That you're beautiful, as you feel

People are mistreated wherever you look.
There will be instances where you have either been the person who has been mistreated, you have witnessed others being mistreated by others, or you are the person responsible for mistreating others.  I wonder sometimes whether we are truly conscious of the impact of our actions on others - not just on people in our immediate vicinity and people we might know, but on others that we might never get to meet, but who we might impact in some way, if our actions have a kind of domino or ripple effect.

Waiting at the station with the workday wind a-blowing
I've got nothing to do but watch the passers by
Mirrored in their faces I see frustration growing
And they don't see it showing, why do I?

If you take the time to observe people and take notice of them, you learn so much about what's happening - not just to them, but also what they are attracting into their own lives.  Do you wonder about the levels of frustration that people express in their daily lives?  It's probably something that I have been learning to refine over time, throughout the many phases of learning cycles that I have, particularly when I think about interactions with people.  You have to wonder if the frustration stems from things they have created, or that people have done to them.  In most cases, I have seen that frustration grows from being planted in situations that people cannot control or feel that they are valued in.  You might be witnessing people who are being rewarded for things that they haven't earned and you feel that life is passing you by.  If you're seeing frustration mirrored in their faces, is that because it's being mirrored from your own face?

You've got to get up every morning
With a smile in your face
And show the world all the love in your heart
Then people gonna treat you better 
You're gonna find, yes you will
That you're beautiful as you feel

When you get up in the morning, it is easy to think about the problems that you have, the issues that continue to plague your life. When you have to get up in the morning, are you conscious of your intentions for the day - what things are you looking forward to achieving?  What challenges do you know that you're facing?  Do you have things in hand and know what to do to minimise any distractions or interactions with people who will wipe that smile off your face?  How else will you be able to show the world all the love in your heart - if you don't first acknowledge love for yourself?  It is important to feel good - about yourself, about your life, about the things that matter the most to you.  Only then will you be able to feel as beautiful as you feel. So pay attention to how you feel.

I have often asked myself the reason for the sadness
In a world where tears are just a lullaby
If there's any answer, maybe love can end the madness 
Maybe not, oh, but we can only try

We all have various reasons for being sad.  It is how we choose to let that sadness become part of the fabric of our lives that allow us to think - are we able to move through this sadness, push past it or let it overwhelm us.  Sometimes there is a thin line between madness and sadness.  It's sometimes hard to figure out which one comes first if we choose to look at these emotions as belonging to some sort of emotional cycle.  I guess it depends on what emotional cycle you are currently processing in any given situation.  In any case, we need to be open to our feelings, know how to express them in healthy ways, and know what we don't know about them.  I guess we can only try. 

You've got to get up every morning
With a smile in your face
And show the world all the love in your heart
Then people gonna treat you better
You're gonna find, yes you will
That you're beautiful
You're beautiful
You're beautiful as you feel

I hope that if you are mistreating others, that you understand what needs to happen so that you treat others better.  If you choose to continue doing this, then you should actually stop.  You need to know that if you continue to persist, then you will only attract opportunities to feel what it is like to be mistreated yourself.  You might scoff and think, no, not me.  I am untouchable, I am invincible.  But mark my words, everyone eventually gets their comeuppance.  It might take time, but just know that you will be found out, you will pay for mistreating others.  Why?  Because those people deserve a chance to shine and to never diminish who they are, to make you feel better.  I mean, isn't this why you oppress them in the first place?  Once they realise that you have no power over them, they will know.

I hope that if you are being mistreated, that people are going to treat you better.

You don't need to be a victim in your life.  You don't need to be someone that you're not.  It's all a question really of how well do you know yourself?  Who do you want to be?  What do you want to do with your life?  Do you know how beautiful you actually are?  Get feeling good already, get feeling good today. All you need to know is that you're beautiful, you're beautiful as you feel. . . 

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Better days. . .

It's only a season that you're going through. . . 

Sometimes it feels cold
And you feel all alone
But hold on, better days are coming

It can be rough in this world
I know it ain't easy but hang on in there
Because better days are coming

There are very few songs that I can have on repeat, on constant loop - this is one of them.
When Le'Andria Johnson wails on the very first word of the song, you just know it's going to be an epic song.  I've just finished watching Season 2 of Greenleaf and this song is featured in the final episode when Charity is on tour as a backup singer.  The song is used quite cleverly during a montage and it almost serves as a summary to date about what has transpired throughout the season and leaves you wondering whether any of the scenes that it shows will be resolved in this finale.  You never feel the coldness of a situation quite as keenly as when you are isolated and alone.  You will start to question whether there is anything or anyone worth holding onto.  It will be a test of your inner strength and your own self esteem as you try to make sense of the life that you are leading.

You seen good, you seen bad
You've been happy and sad
But just remember that better days
Better days are coming

Friends, friends will leave you 
All by yourself
But don't you cry
'Cause better days are coming

Life is not one straight line.  In fact, if it was, it would be some type of boring.
The emotional phases that you will find yourself in will either be brought on by decisions that you made that affects someone else or others.  You might be the type of person that attracts drama or feels that subconsciously, drama is important in your life because if you aren't struggling through something, then you aren't truly living.  That's not healthy.  If you are someone who always has to fight every single battle that arrives at your doorstep - because you either invited it or someone else is expecting you to fight their battles - then you shouldn't be waiting for friends to leave you alone, you should be walking away from that instead.  As I've said in previous blog posts, there will be no shame in your game, if you feel that your fears need to be shown by tears.  It is a cathartic release to let go of the frustration and anger of a life that always seems to be at odds with you and what you're trying to achieve. 

Better days (better days)
I feel it, I see it, better days
Better days are coming

It's only a season that you're going through
But stay focused and 
And never lose sight

We need to work on practical solutions and positive outcomes that give us joy and happiness in living.  What do you need to do in order to feel it?  What do you need to do in order to see it?  It might take a few home truths and some well meaning honesty in a few challenging conversations to let people know what's really going on.  We must remember that despite things feeling quite desolate or we think that life just isn't cutting us a break, we must never lose sight of hope.  That is what I keep feeling, that is what I keep seeing.  I am encouraged by the glimmer of hope in the little moments that unfold before my eyes, that help to reassure me that the next best thing is only around the corner, that I must continue to persevere and do my best in all that I'm doing, that I'm on the right track, but that I just need to believe in what God has installed for me, because what He has in store for me is greater than I could have ever imagined.  Don't doubt your destiny and where you're headed.
Just know that this too will pass, that you will only be in this space for a reason, for a season.

I know people, people, people, people
They don't see the hurt you feel inside
But keep on smiling 'cause everything will be alright

Better days (I can see it)
Better days (I feel it)
Better days are coming (you've got to believe in better days)

Why don't people see the hurt you feel inside?
For the most part they probably don't want to see that in some way, they are partly responsible for you feeling that hurt.  They might also not see that hurt because they haven't really use any opportunities to get to know the real you.  Instead they have used their time to have you fix whatever problems they are going through, to be at their beck and call, to be at their disposable. That's just it isn't it - you have served and cater to their every whim.  When you hold people to account about their actions - they will either deny that it was what they're doing, or they will acknowledge is and make promises not to do it again.  But hands up any of you who are sick of excuses and broken promises.  In this final episode of Greenleaf Zora must face facts that her abusive boyfriend keeps making excuses and keeps breaking promises that he will never hurt her.  How many of us stay loyal to people that do this to us?  Maybe they're not even aware that they do this?  Maybe they expect you to be loyal because they think you are the same - but you're not.  You don't willingly set out to hurt or abuse others.  Instead you keep on smiling like everything is alright.  Stop doing that.  Be real.

Better days (it's here now, it's here now)
Better days
Better days are coming

Hey yeah
All my help comes from the Lord
Better days are coming
Better days are coming soon. . . 

I hope that we continue to have hope.
We must continue to feel as if hope is definitely here.  We just need to find it in those darkest places where there are few opportunities for hope to live.  If you look hard enough you can see those tiny points of light. If you look hard enough and seek the light, no matter how much darkness threatens to envelop you, light will be there.  Hold onto hope, grab it as hard as you can and never let it go.  As soon as we let doubt start to creep in, we start to question everything we've done, what has been done to us and make judgements about things in our past that we not only cannot control - but continue to do.  We will make mistakes in our lives, but what drives us to continue to make the same ones?  Even if we get presented with the same situations, with whispers of similar scenarios - why do we continue to make poor decisions?  Why don't we think about the consequences of our actions instead of the feelings that we think are so real at the time?  It's simple.  We want to feel good.  We want to feel loved.  But none of it is real.  The hollowness of the bubble that we keep wanting to stay in - is not real.  All of the help that we think we are getting, pales in comparison to the real help that you will get from the Lord.  Just know that hope is here.  It is looking at you, staring you in the face, not only daring you to see, but confronting you so that you can reflect on the real person inside the fake one that you might be presenting to the world.  If you feel like giving up, remember that better days are coming, better days are coming soon. . . 

Monday, 30 October 2017

Rose colored boy. . .

Low key no pressure, just hang with me and my weather. . . 

Rose colored boy
I hear you making all that noise
About the world you want to see
And oh, I'm so annoyed 
'Cause I just killed off what was left of the optimist in me

Life will throw so much at you and you have to make some tough decisions.
You have to decide whether you will take it all lying down or you stand up and pick up what gets thrown at you and hurl it back.  If you've played King Dodge or Dodge Ball as a kid for gym class or physical education - you know exactly what I'm talking about.  I can still visualise those round red rubber balls, just a bit bigger than the circumference of our pre-pubescent pelvis' - that were often deliberately or accidentally stung by said rubber balls.  Is this how you live life?  Running around trying to avoid being hit by these rubber balls, or do you try and catch them on the full and throw them back?  There will be some that you can easily avoid, but you have to take courage, take that chance and grab hold, fling it back in the faces of those who seek to continually oppress you.
I had to break it, the wars are raging on
And I have taken my glasses off
You got me nervous
I'm right at the end of my rope
A half empty girl
Don't make me laugh, I'll choke

People will mean well when they try to offer you some advice - but sometimes it misses the mark.
They don't understand that they shouldn't be comparing their first world problems with yours, because if they knew what your life was like - they wouldn't try to seek to comfort you by belittling your crises with insignificantly way-off examples of empathy that just piss you off even more.  So they should be prepared when you get snappy and tell you to just not to do things, to walk away from things.  Because in all honesty, while you're busy fixing their lives and getting drawn into all of the things that take up your headspace, energy and at its worst - even your will to live - hopefully they will realise that they are responsible for you being the half empty girl that is standing in front of them.

Just let me cry a little bit longer
I ain't gon' smile if I don't want to
Hey man, we can't be like you
I wish we were all rose colored too
My rose colored boy

Crying is not a sign of weakness.
If you are upset about something and you can't afford to be angry and go throwing chairs around the room (I've heard that helps sometimes) then you have to find some other ways to exercise that cathartic release.  We can't all be like perennially rose coloured people, and sometimes it isn't as simple as looking at the bright side as well.  Sometimes we need to stay in the funk for a little bit - not too long mind you - just enough so that we start to understand what it means to be grateful for people and things in our lives that bring us both blessings and pain - because we can't have the good without the bad.  It's how we react to the bad that pushes us to create some solutions  - or rather some pathways - to move forward.

I want you to stop insisting that I'm not a lost cause
'Cause I've been through a lot
Really all I've got is just to stay pissed off
If it's all right by you

There is nothing worse than someone telling you what to do.
For me it's when people try to tell you how to feel.  That's the absolute worst.
If I had a dollar for everytime someone said - don't be mad, don't be angry, don't be like that, you shouldn't feel that way - I would be a millionaire.  There is nothing more irritating than someone who doesn't understand how you feel - telling you how you should feel.  To these people I say - step back thanks.  Nobody asked for your five cents.  These types of people who feel entitled to offer their opinions about your feelings should be told to leave you alone. Such people though, are almost always the same people who can't even sort out their own damn feelings - so why have the nerve to tell you how to feel?  Smh.  I say, if you want to stay mad about something or someone - stay mad long enough to help you push through to a breakthrough.  If you stay too long, that only opens the door to another pathway that leads to destruction and you might not be able to recover from that.  So choose wisely.  Know yourself enough when to pull yourself from the brink.  Stay away from people who think they know you better than you do.  Chances are - these people are partly responsible for pissing you off in the first place. Ha!

Leave me here a little bit longer
I think I wanna stay in the car 
I don't want anyone seeing me cry now
You say "We gotta look on the bright side"
I say "Well maybe if you wanna go blind"
You say my eyes are getting too dark now
But boy, you ain't never seen my mind

I hope that you are able to give people space who need it the most.  Have a think about how much you can support someone through their crises (yes, as they might be multiple, but you don't even know) and just be a good friend that way.  If you can take care of your own business and can pull yourself together, then maybe they might be prepared to accept from you, being low key no pressure, just hang with me and my weather. . . 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Bring mana to your name. . .

Will our memory live on?. . . 

We each have a name given to us
One we must protect 
And they will leave a legacy
Of values we hope are kept
A memory of who we were
Who we belong to and what we lived for
And when we are all gone
Will our memory live on?

This is my 1000th blog post on the homepage of my blog.
I had been mindful of this milestone for a while (probably the last ten blog posts building up to this) and I hadn't decided for sure what the track would be. I only found this particular track a few days ago and knew that this would be the one.  In light of recent events, this song has now come to mean so much more than I could have imagined.  I believe that I am very lucky when I think about the familial connections on both sides of my family.  I am very lucky that I have had access to both my parents together with the learning that comes from generations of knowledge and values that we must continue to uphold.  The hope is that regardless of where we go to in our lives, that we never forget what we carry inside of us, who we carry on our shoulders as progress through achievements and excel at every turn.  I would like to think that we teach the next generation what we believe is important to hold onto, to sustain a future that allows others to build on and extend from our vision.

What I do with this name is up to me
Will I honour my name and my family?
Oh you can decide now
We can make our tupuna proud

Will you make the right decisions to honour yourself and your family?
If you have not been taught the value of responsibility in being a knowledge holder, you can be forgiven for thinking that you do hold an important position in your family.  Far from it.  Everyone has their part to play in order for you to learn, and wade your through until you reach a point where you no longer learn, but just experience the fruits of all the labour that you have put in.  You might start to ask yourself, how will you know if you bring honour to yourself, your family or your tupuna?  We forget that the works that we produce with our hands, have ways of traveling, whether they continue to bear fruit for other people to enjoy, or provide seeds that others can plant once they have learned what you have had to teach.  Your tupuna will visit you in your dreams. to make sure that you know whether you have made them proud, or at least be aware of what your destiny is.  

Kia tiakina to ingoa
In all of your days
Be true to your name
Kia tiakina to ingoa
Don't be afraid (don't be afraid)
Stand up and bring mana to your name

How can you be true to your name?
The most authentic thing about you will be your name.
In Pacific cultures we value our names quite highly because you will most likely be named after someone, whose name is gifted to you because there is an intent that you carry the qualities of that ancestor.  I like to think that when families are consulted about prospective names for newborn children, they consider which ancestor's traits are missing within the family - and they agree on a name.  This can be true for when the name has been gifted to you, and it has been given to you because you have a role to fulfil within your family and wider community.  

(We live), We live in a world of fear and sorrow
(Let's join),  Let's join the fight for a brighter tomorrow
(Let us) Let's bring strength to our name
Don't be discouraged, don't be ashamed
(If we), If we just reached up to our fallen brother
(And he), And he will learn to reach out to another
Strong and true to our name
(That's why) Together we can make a change
We can decide now, can make our family proud

I can't help but think that with the change of government in Aotearoa, this song is a great way to think about what legacy political parties want to leave behind, what MMP - the electoral system we abide by in this country can be used in a way to benefit the most vulnerable of our society.  The last government bragged about the strong economic growth of our nation, but it was done at the expense of those in our society who needed protection the most.  A brighter tomorrow needs to be one in which people can help to support each other and learn how to collectively strong together.  Why would you want to subject people who are less fortunate to sanctions that continue to put them into further poverty.  Education is the one area in which those who are considered from the lower socio-economic section of society - can rise above their perceived position.  (I should know, I'm a product of a system that I wasn't supposed to be successful in).  The irony of being seen as a success in mainstream society in my country is that people that I am meant to represent, are always seen negatively.  The stereotypes don't do us justice at all.  We can use our names as vehicles to allow us to stand strong.

Kia tiakina to ingoa
In all of your days
Be true to your name
Kia tiakina to ingoa
Don't be afraid
Stand up and bring mana to your name
Mana to your name

It is very easy to be subsumed into larger parts of society and classify people like me as belonging to places that label me as lazy, ignorant and uneducated because of my skin colour.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Is this what it means for us to be true to our name?  Even those who are of mixed heritages and may accidentally be classified as enjoying the benefits of white privilege, being the lighter shade of tan, chocolate, cinnamon, umber, burnt umber even - should we continue to be afraid and stuck in places that do not accept us whichever way we might turn?  

Kia tiakina to ingoa
Don't be afraid
Stand up and bring mana to your name

I hope you take into consideration what your actions do and how your thoughts translate into actions.  We live in terrible times right now.  I use the word terrible to mean things being extremely serious - where things that we thought would be preposterous, suddenly don't seem to be anymore.  Our current normal was once thought to be that of fantasy and fiction, but yet, here we are.  There is no time to be wasted being afraid of what we cannot control.  We also cannot stand by and allow terrible things to happen that could also be prevented.  What if people are misinterpreting what bringing mana to their names actually means?  Mana is defined as as a Polynesian, Melanesian and Māori belief meaning an impersonal supernatural power that can be transmitted or inherited.  I question the use of the word impersonal, because I think mana is most certainly the complete opposite of impersonal.  How will you choose to transmit mana?  How will you take the mana that you have inherited and make your family proud?  It doesn't matter where we are, what journeys that we are on - just make sure that you stand up and bring mana to your name. . . 

Monday, 23 October 2017

More than one of you. . . .

This blog post is for Austin Mason 
Thanks for sharing this song with me. . . 

Make it level
Don't misunderstand
Make it level
On the other hand

Trying to understand where you fit into the scheme of things comes from a place in trying to understand your relational self.  I've been seeing this pop up every now and again in the research literature I've been reading and I guess it's something that's fascinated me for a while, particularly when I was teaching and now that I'm involved in working with principals, senior leaders and teachers in schools.  There are three types of selves: individual self, collective self and relational self.  The toughest to try and work through is of course, the individual self, because it forces you to take a long hard look in the mirror, to really examine who you are, what it is that you know about your sense of self, and whether what you know about yourself can be transferred into how you contribute to your respective collective self, where you learn to be part of a group and relational self, how you connect with significant others in interactions that require you to participate.  How do you make it level?

Every age is a different colour
Deeper for the memory of the sun

When you think about the significant periods of your life and how quickly things change or people change, you would probably be able to see things in different colours, in different hues.  Things could become brighter and provide more contrast, or they become more dull and fade in the harsh light of the sun.  What memories will the sun hold of your significant times?  You might even argue that no, there hasn't really been any significant times to be honest.  You keep expecting the other shoe to drop, for some calamity and disaster to take hold and ruin everything that you are trying to plan - so what do you do?  You shut down and then stop planning anything anymore.  We find that it is much easier to just let things fall away and never understand that we have a chance to live our best lives, should we choose.

If you want to take your place
Find a present everyday
If you want to answer yes
We don't have to double guess

Our indecision to commit to things, to ourselves in our journey means that we don't really want to do anything meaningful with our lives.  We might want to live a life without pressure or pain, but that would mean that you would live an unexamined life.  I'm not saying that life should be a series of trials, exams or pressure tests, but I would like to think that people would try to find the goodness that exists in their life - and produce more of that to help them move into the future.  If you want to pursue something that is worth doing - and you want to say yes to it - go and get it.  There are too many barriers that we construct for ourselves as excuses to getting to where we need to be.  We shouldn't be comparing us to our peers or people that we admire - granted they make for great role models - so appreciate them in that way.  Don't hate other people who are genuinely doing what they do for themselves.  I'm pretty sure people don't wake up and think - right, today I'm going to piss off so-and-so and post it all over social media so I can gloat about being who I am.  Gees. Really.  Is that what we're doing today?  It comes to intentions.  If they are clear and genuine, nobody would have to double guess about you, double guess what you do.  Instead of talking about it behind your back - they would approach you and just ask.

There is more than one of you
But only one of them is true

In Japanese culture they talk about this notion of omote (the public face) and ura (the private face).  Everybody practises this. There's no point in denying it. We exercise this all the time when we host people at events in our home or at public functions where we want to present our best, show our hospitality and use that as opportunities to put our best foot forward.  This is when we choose to show our omote - the public face, the image that we want people to see.  The ura or private face is the actual reality of our lives.  It focuses on the myths and lies being stripped away and we are laid bare.  Think of it like all the skin care commercials that we've grown up with over the years - when all of the makeup and gunk from the day comes off and you are left with your bare face, where the honesty seems to be easier to see.

Make it level (make it level)
When you take a breath
Make it level (make it level)
There is enough time left

It might take you a while to figure out how to make it level.
We get so impatient trying to get to our goals, or to try and find some goals to live by, that we don't take the time to breathe.  When was the last time that you took the time, to take a big long deep breath?  We need to be more mindful these days you know.  Take the time to listen to yourself as you breathe in, listen to the sound you make as you inhale slowly.  Hold your breath and listen for the stillness around you.  Then release that breath slowly back into the air around you.  There is enough time left to practice taking such breaths.  We need to just pause for a moment, and connect with our surroundings and know where we are in the moment. 

If you want to take your place
Find a present everyday
If you want to answer yes
She'll follow you right into bed

How do you want to take your place?
You might have to figure out where your place is.  Too many things might have gone by, might have happened to steal your confidence in your decision making.  Do you even know where your place is?  There might be people who want to oust you out of a place that someone else has afforded you.  Sometimes you don't ask for special treatment, in whatever way possible.  You're just being yourself and it makes people suspicious of your motives, or they make up things in their head that don't even exist.  But that is entirely possible right?  Someone would only blindly follow you somewhere because you weren't completely honest.  You might have made promises that were far outside the scope of your actual capabilities.  Why did you switch into build ups mode?  Who wants that person to turn up.  Nobody.  That's who.

But there is more than one of you
But only one of them is true

If you really think about it, you do have to question whether there is even a true side to yourself.
There are so many facades of you that nobody really knows which one is real, which one is meant for them and which one you were sucked into, in the first place.  So what now?  Be selective about which one of you that you want to put forward.  Which one do you feel comfortable looking at in the mirror?  Which one is the most accurate representation of you?  Which one is the one that you are most proud to show the world?

Running around her
Knowing that 
There is more than one of you
But only one of them is true
Only one of them is true
Only one of them is you

I hope that you realise that you don't need to run around anyone.
You can acknowledge all the different types of you that exist, and decide which one you want to be.
Be around people that ensure that you don't have to keep showing those different sides of you that are the furthest away from your authentic self, the furthest away from the person you actually are.  If you have to pretend so much and try to please people all the time, you are not really living your best life.  Know which people in your life value you, value what skills you have that make you unique.  Make time for people that know not just one side of you, but know all that there is about more than one of you. . . 

Sunday, 22 October 2017

You don't do it for me anymore. . .

So don't hate me when I say. . . 

I see the future without you
What the hell was I doing in the past
A love just like ours wouldn't last
I won't fall for your games
So don't hate me when I say

The more you learn about yourself, the more you start realising a few things.
Are you clear about who you see a future with?  Granted you can't really predict who you will surround yourself with and who the important people should be (they might be there right now or not).  If you're someone who has been constantly dragged into other people's games and played the fixer, like you're some kind of Olivia Pope (without the scandal) then you'll understand perfectly where I'm coming from (or at least what this blog post is about).

That you don't do it for me anymore
No you don't do it for me anymore

When someone doesn't "do it" for you anymore, you might want to be clear about what they actually "did" for you that makes you think that it's not worth doing.  Whatever stuff you were expecting to get from people to fill the void in your life, you have to start to question things about yourself.  Why do you have to rely on others to get what you need to instil for yourself?  The biggest thing is definitely around self esteem. I remember watching a comedy show by Katt Williams once and one thing he said about self esteem.  It's that joke where a woman blames a man for destroying her self esteem :

Woman: You f***ed up my self esteem!
Man: Bitch, it's called self esteem. It's the esteems of ya mutha f***in self bitch! How did I f*** up how you feel about YOU!

Despite profanity (which don't get me wrong, sometimes when you're really angry about something, it's always easier to just let it rip with a couple of curse words to get the emphatic meaning of your intention across without any misinterpretation), it's the last line of that joke that gets me every time.  How did I f*** up how you feel about YOU! The only reason we allow our self esteem to be diminished by others - is if we allow them to do so.

Money won't pay for your problems
You gotta fix them yourself
Vices and pity won't solve them
Stop feeling for bad for yourself
I won't fall for your games
So don't hate me when I say

I have probably written so much on this topic before, particularly when someone always expects you to fix their problems (that they created - you didn't create them) because you're just good at fixing things and making their situation better.  If you are doing this for someone - who continually keeps doing it, making the same mistakes, asks you for advice and doesn't take it, but still repeats those same mistakes (you've lost count how many times), then that makes them an askhole.  These people should stop asking for help - when obviously they don't know how to fix themselves - or clearly don't want to, because you will always be there to fix it.

That you don't do it for me anymore
No you don't do it for me anymore

You should also be at a point now where you are also sick of trying to fix things for the other people in the equation who also want help, but then they really don't.  It's not the askholes, but the other parties who want to be featured quite prominently in the askhole's life, when in actual fact, they have a life of their own - so we're talking about cake-eaters here - those who want their cake and eat it too, but there are gluttonous cake-eaters - who are the next level and eat other people's cakes as well.  This sense of insatiable appetite from an identified cake-eater is someone that you want to avoid.  That gluttonous cake-eater has no idea that they have a problem and continue to build their self esteems by stealing other people's as well (I know, gifted right?) to fuel their insatiable appetite and gluttonous behaviour.  So, askholes, cake-eaters and gluttonous cake-eaters are people that should most definitely not, do it for you anymore.

I'm not sorry for honesty I could not bear
To lie to, to lie with you
I'm not sorry
When I lie with you

There are other minor characters that are attached to the scenarios for these askholes, cake-eaters and gluttonous cake-eaters - but they aren't really worth mentioning unless they become a huge feature of the real life drama that you find yourself co-starring in.  I had a good conversation with an old friend who now lives in Australia and we talked at length about people and how we interact with each other.  He talked a lot about the idea of healthy cynicism and asked me if there is such a thing.  I replied - sure there is, it's called skepticism.  He laughed about that.

You don't do it for me anymore
No you don't do it for me 
Don't do it for me

I hope that you know what you need to do with your life.
We need to focus less on what we can do for others and what others can do for us.
We must instead focus on what we need to do for ourselves in order to make a positive impact on people and collaborate together in a more meaningful and healthy way - for all involved.  We shouldn't be relying on others to do it for us anymore.  We must do it for ourselves and as hard as that might seem for the time being, it is something that you must prioritise and learn if you are to reach your full potential - not someone else's potential - your full potential.  Otherwise what's the point in living?  We are born for a specific purpose, to live a specific destiny that brings specific impact to those who need our light the most.  So learn to recognise what you do for yourself.  Because I certainly will not be holding onto people who don't do it for me anymore. . .