aspiring to evolve out of pain—especially when you’ve experienced utter devastation more than once—is initially very appealing. This idea that we can evolve perfectly, that we can respond perfectly in any given instance, instead of being emotional or ‘imperfect’ at times. The notion that we should have this ability to smile and wave goodbye, in peace, at someone we loved deeply, despite not getting the relational outcome you wished for—if we only were perfect enough; perfectly ‘enough’.
just a few weeks ago i got my hopes up about something that momentarily let me down. in that moment i had a thought ‘i have to find a way to never feel this pain of disappointment ever again’
where does pain come from?
we hold onto things in life,
just to get by.
we place our hope in sandcastles that the wind-of-truth inevitably blows away, or at least shakes really hard until we finally decide to start searching for some cement to build our home with and solid ground to lay that foundation on.
for me though, finding my own solid ground hasn’t meant achieving some idea of ‘perfection’ in my emotionality; rather it has meant an assured confidence in myunderstanding; understanding of myself and the way i experience the world around me.
i am allowed to feel; however i feel in any given moment. it’s all valid and it is all my responsibility.
why is it hard to feel pain?
one thing that i have learned about the self is that feeling your life—the entire thing—can be hard. However, it is only through allowing our feelings to pass fully through us that we can come to new conclusions about ourselves and the world around us and ultimately creates more room within us to express and experience love. but in so many ways we run away from our emotions. scrolling on any social media outlet is a great example of that.
i can remember a time when i first moved to los angeles. i had been running from a certain feeling for a while, with busyness. it was as if this great big cloud was following me everywhere. it was filled with rain and it wanted me to feel it. i ran and i ran but it always stayed in eye view of my sprint. one day finally decided that i was just going to stop running and i was going to feel it. i lay in my bed one sunny day in los angeles, under my covers. i was afraid of what might happen if i felt that cloud, but i was feeling brave. my emotions bubbled to the surface. this is the moment when i would usually run but instead i stayed still. i laid still. in my cool bedroom of the fourth floor of my apartment building. my emotions rushed in and i cried, then i got really angry, then a subtle trembling came over me, i felt shame, it was very very painful. i was afraid but i didn’t move. and eventually it passed on. the cloud broke up and some light came in. i have never felt that way since. its been years.
my EP is named Phoenix
Phoenix is my exploration of what it would mean for me to be ‘okay’ on my own terms and by means of my own definition. In my search, i didn’t find that i simply lived with a smile on my face at all times. I found that hard emotions benefitted good emotions and that i had to discover healthier ways to allow my self to feel my painful feelings. they were signaling me to go deeper and in some instances they were signaling me to fight back, but either way my response always had to be proactive because time itself doesn’t solve anything.
the sounds are fun + retro + romantic but the words tell a deeper story.
a story about feeling your entire life
ps. I would love to hear your thoughts on feeling your entire life. Do you have a healthy relationship with pain? not according to anyone else’s standards but your own. sound off in the comments below ❤
play this softly while you read my blog, for its full effect.
religion isn’t my thing anymore, i can only do relationship. theology isn’t my thing anymore, i can only do experience. it wasn’t a conscious decision i made, but the foundation of my religion inevitably crumbled because its foundation was faulty and i had no choice but to walk towards what my soul was craving; something authentic, raw, messy and real. when i walked away from religion and towards grace i walked away from living my life for other peoples approval. that is when i began to experience a spirituality that made me come alive in every moment. it showed me that i can only experience and express the amount of love i have first Received as i live my life interaction by interaction and at the whims of a loving God’s will.
it is a spirituality that has led me to follow my bliss in LA. many people have told me how brave i am to have left so much behind: social status, a good and consistent pay check, a 401k and the approval of society. yet i feel like i let go of nothing and gained everything. (no shade to my old boss if you’re reading this)
so many of us live life as if we’re not going to die one day. and yet that as well—death—means nothing. nothing significant.
” listen my beloved; has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom James 2:5 “
here in LA i spend all of my days around the ‘poor in the world’: children because i substitute teach 8-12 grade to pay my bills, artists because i am one (writer and dancer if you’re new here) and soon i will be getting paid to help a woman with disabilities run her errands.
working with children has taught me how to forgive. it has taught me how to be more generous towards the state of our humanity and to separate making-bad-choices from being-a-bad-person. even bad choices are rooted in pain, so while it is my choice to set boundaries where i see fit at the days end i know that no one has the capacity to attack me, but to only attack themselves.
artists have taught me how to love myself, choose myself, believe in myself and to not make excuses for not being my best. living out that dream that God has placed inside of my soul has developed my self-confidence and subsequently my sense of humility; i don’t try to prove myself much these days. the shinier the more damaged. i feel surrendered from worldly success and i feel that the greatest success i have/will ever achieve is to become filled with God and surrendered to Him.
surrender is all about control and control manifests itself in so many ways: unforgivness is control, pride is control, bitterness and anger and vengeance are all control. other things are control as well because control is all about intention.
preparing to assist this disabled woman is really exciting for me because of this book i recently read titled ‘broken open’ by elizabeth lesser. it is a book that is all about pain, extreme tragedy, sudden death and sudden life altering illnesses. it is one of the most beautiful pieces of literature i have ever read. every person in this book-of-true-stories, after experiencing tragedy always recounts that they did not become full of life until after God ripped the carpet from underneath their feet. for them, tragedy made more room for peace and gratitude in their lives. people with physical disabilities and terminal illnesses are forced to look at their mortality in the face every single day; what a gift. they also have the gift of considering pain on the regular and how to perceive it in a fashion that gives way to life–to being alive. and yet we are all at the risk of death in any given moment, not just the terminally ill. and yet that too—death—means nothing. nothing significant.
the last thing i want to speak on is love. for me, nature is the best reflection of God there is. God being love. the stunning sun always rises every morning and changes places with the captivating moon every evening, both blessing us with their beauty and presence. the ocean continues to sway and provide food and oxygen for us, the rain comes right when we need it, animals don’t hold grudges; all are consistent and loving no matter what idiocracy us humans commit. if God’s love for us is the greatest love there is, then today right now in this very moment i have everything i could ever dream of. moving to la has really taught me how to be at peace. i don’t want any of those job titles i just want to love myself and be loved by God. whatever manifests out of those relationships is a cherry on top.
my ability to realize that we are all equals
and that i have committed the same misguided choices–
as others have.
if i am unable to see myself in the flaws of someone else,
it is my own suffering that is blocking my vision.
when i forgive, i say:
“have i made that mistake before?”
“and am i still a good person?”
when it is hard for me to envision myself in the flaws of someone else
i am in denial and therefore blinded by my own pain
that has yet to surface.
when it is hard for me to believe that another is still deserving
of love, despite their misguided choices
i am saying that it is hard for me to believe that i am still
deserving of love, despite the misguided choices that i
all suffering is equal.
all mistakes are equal.
all pain is equal; whether it is momentary or prolonged,
it has become from one source of general dissatisfaction.
falling in love
is so arbitrary.
we are all equals, and therefore
have equally enchanting qualities
to offer each other.
it is all based on our
depravity and unconsciousness.
those special people out there
who have the unique ability to
brush up against the
broken parts of ourselves,
will lead us to our pain
and then to our healing.
we don’t want the relationship that
is easy because we want freedom,
and only suffering can lead us to freedom.
and that is why we are attracted to what
brings us pain; because we subconsciously know
that only it has the capacity
to set us free.
A few months ago I set some personal goals and decided that singing at open mic’s was going to be something I wanted to do regularly. I googled ‘local open mic’ and found one that was up the street from my apartment every Monday. Monday approached and I decided to check it out first before singing. Upon my arrival I noticed that the coffee shop was occupied by mostly hipsters: women with bald heads, men with long beards, man buns, both genders typing at an actual type writer and or typing at a laptop adorned with stickers protesting all-things-mainstream. I walked down stairs to a dimly lit cave-like open-mic venue and it was packed. The stages back drop was very artsy and the nights performers together were very eclectic. Noticeably, before almost every performer spoke-or even during their poetry reading,-each proclaimed in one way or another that they were “anti-religion” and simultaneously drenched in emotional dysfunction. “I’m not a Christian even though thats what my parents wanted me to be” one performer resentfully shared.
After hearing theses sentiments consistently throughout the night my initial thoughts were about how evangelical Christianity has made many of us feel that we aren’t good enough to be loved by God; If you are a Gay, have had premarital sex, drink and don’t go to church every Sunday, date someone who is not spiritual like you—you are not good enough for God’s love. If you’ve lied, been manipulative or are a jealous person, you are not good enough for the love of God.
But as time has passed I’ve realized that self-acceptance is what we are really searching for.
So many times we project onto others that which we cannot do for ourselves. We get mad at our grandmother for not believing in our dreams and then demonize her and give her a one-dimensional identity of ‘bitch’. I mean, no human is any one thing. Our humanity is so vast. Additionally, if we believed in our own beauty and in our own ability, the opinions of others wouldn’t matter. If we believed that we were adequate and valuable, the ending of a relationship would not have the capacity to be because you lack of value and are inadequate.
We can really live in a personalized hell if we choose to. If for the duration of our lives we refuse to come to terms with who we are that’s exactly what this life will be; hell on earth. So many of us live in a constant state of anxiety, fear, depression, self-hatred, suicidal thinking, panic attacks or secretly struggle with addiction. We tourture ourselves with outlandish fears and negative thinking. Many of these habits and states are on behalf of the false beliefs we have about ourselves, false beliefs we have about others, or false beliefs we have about what others think of us (which is what you think of yourself). We are so afraid of love and peace and are addicted to pain and self-sabotage.
The Fall season is here and many of us humans fall into a depression around this time of year. Why? because of what we think of others, because of what we think of ourselves, because its fucking cold. Theres an alternative to living this way. But it takes mental reprogramming and in my experience constant self-care practice and self-love rituals. I’ll share more about how i’ve developed a healthier sense of self with my next installation. Part II if you will.
There’s a rate-race-dating-mentality
that’s super prevalent among my fellow twenty-somethings
no ones saying how they really feel
quick to give up
to force things
why give up so easily?
let go, sure
but why, give up?
men are all predisposed in the same fashion
women are all predisposed in the same fashion
we only vary by the level of our mental and emotional health
one of my best friends and I we’re on the phone a few days ago
discussing her love life
and after a divorce and a messy relationship with a substance abuser, she’s finally met someone who’s healthier than most
but even so, they still have troubles.
it really stuck with me when, during our conversation she said to me
–in a deeply confused tone
“I don’t know what a ‘good’ relationship is”
She meant this in the perfectionist sense
why all the judgement?
the rigid rules on how to ‘be’
we’re all in process after all
why not relax
& enjoy the moment
why not try
with all of the light inside of you
to see the truth of another
to see if you can help them
to see if you can accept them exactly as they are
laugh with them
and then let them grow and figure out how to heal themselves
and you do the same, take care of yourself
allow space within the process
find your own completion and play by your own rules
on your own terms