The Separation of Friends

“A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer 
separates intimate friends.”  Proverbs 16:28

“It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.”  Confucius

My mind’s intrigued with fickle people concerned only with the direction of the winds of gossip. They blow this way and that, regardless of the benefit given by myself. I’m wary of this crowd, of the hearty followers, of the “humble” acquaintances in my life, for those by my side in friendship today are at my throat, without hesitation, tomorrow. All that’s required for this shift from friend to foe is discomfort in their lives. Whether financial, physical, or social unrest, it gives them impetus to turn the trust into a sword and cut without mercy. “He deserves it because….” – this is the mantra that sears their conscience.

They’re masters in this game, the game of turning the opinions of those around me to their benefit. It’s no disgrace this art of war, but it bears repeating that those closest to me, those I help the most, will grow to hate me, if for no other reason than I have and they have not. Despising that they asked for my help, or owe me something, or just hate that I excel in some way, they desire to quench their envy and jealousy by disposing the one to whom they are so envious or indebted. These master players will be burned by their own hand and it won’t be long after starting many fires that they’ll make a mistake and corner themselves with the flames. As for me, I learn to encourage myself, and with this one thing I’ll rise above the petty crowd – after all the hate shown towards me, I’ll still be good to people and serve my friends and leaders with undying loyalty.

09262012
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Running On Empty

“Work hard for what you want because it won’t come to you without a fight. You have to be strong and courageous and know that you can do anything you put your mind to. If somebody puts you down or criticizes you, just keep on believing in yourself and turn it into something positive.” – Leah LaBelle

Running On Empty
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Days pass and years go by, then I realize, I’m getting older. This isn’t a brilliant discovery but as I age, the days seem to whisper louder about my mortality and the lack of energy to do what I normally could do is most evident. If I can sense physical fatigue, what about mental fatigue? I struggle with severe mental issues (peruse my blog and you’ll see it plainly) which result in the weird trait of arguing with people who aren’t there. Not arguing with a vision, but rehearsing in my mind what was said and what I should or shouldn’t have said. I spend an hour or so cussing people out and yelling at them when they have long left the building. In the same way, I’ll rehearse an embarrassing or shameful moment over and over in my head years after the fact. These all drain away mental and emotional energy, the ability to take of the here and now. There is a finite amount of emotion and mental convolutions that I’m able to bear. After my resources are exhausted, depression rushes in to fill the void. An apathy and usually a self destructive habit looms in the setting sun of my mind and pulls me out of the thoughts and into another hellish position.

The answer? I stop when I find myself talking to someone who isn’t there, or for that matter, who doesn’t care what I think. I stop thinking about the embarrassing moments and faux pas that crowd my mind. Then I take my antidote and think about the something that doesn’t drain me, but encourages and fills me with hope, things that are wise and spiritual. Not necessarily all holy and Jesus things, but mainly wisdom and advice I’ve gleaned from searching for escapes from the insane asylum in my head. For instance, there are places and I’ll paraphrase, in the bible where God has said, “don’t be afraid of their faces or what they say, and I’ll be with you.” Instead of thinking about an insult said to me, or about how I really screwed up this or that, I think about how my Big Daddy (my affectionate term for God) is going to help me through this and give me a decent life. That’s how I’m learning to walk instead of crawl out of anguish. Peace my friends, it’ll work out for you, don’t stop trying, don’t stop believing.

Obsession

“When you live with voices in your head, you are drawn inextricably to voices outside your head. Very often the voices work to confirm your worst suspicions. Or think of things you could never have imagined! There are only so many hours of the day to hate yourself.” Emma Forrest, Your Voice in My Head
 
templeofdamneds

 Obsession, a compulsive often unreasonable idea or emotion. My obsession is a self imposed attack on my body that’s not only pervasive, but changes it’s angle of assault every 4 -6 months. My mind, whether from a comment, a look, a misunderstood text, or a bad day, will berate me about a particular body feature without mercy. After I became completely obsessed with it, even making unreasonable changes, the area of obsession would change. I’d literally drop all thoughts concerning that body feature or action and begin a new regimen of torture around the next perceived “fault”. This led me to believe that the problems weren’t in my body but in my self-perception and what I perceived others thought of me.  Most of the time what I thought they thought about me was wrong. That “look” that they gave was totally unrelated to who or what I am. My egocentricity caused me to believe that I was the topic of every thought process in those around me. The plain truth? Most of the time no one cares enough to think that long and hard about me. To take the offensive against my renegade thoughts, I knew I had to be happy with my body and refuse to interpret what I believed others where thinking (which likely wasn’t true). I recognized the futility of conforming to a constantly changing standard of appearance and found that happiness with who I am, is the greatest compliment to my being. Holding my head high, I’ll be confident and sure, no matter what I think you think about how I look.

01282012

Imperfect

“I realize the imperfections in this composition, and I left it so because we’re all imperfect and need to accept the message of who we are and not what they say we are.”

I wish I were clay
then I could change myself
everyday

Today I should be this and
tomorrow I should be that
and for the moment
society says I’m fat

But not so long ago and
in other royal cultures so
this was a good to go

But merely because times
have changed and lenses
have different colors

I’m resigned to serving
like slaves in chains
I’ll be your skinny mistress

I am whatever you say I am (Eminem)
and that, by the whims of
a psychotic society

And even in writing if I forget
to dot an I or a comma I relent
of that you’ll never forget

I’ll be forever judged and that
it’s a fact of this life
YOU WILL NEVER BE ACCEPTED

Except by those who understand
that hats turned back and
hats turned to the side
are all a part
of the same ride

Wisdom’s Seven Pillars – Pillar #4 Quietness –

“Wisdom has built her house, she has carved out her seven pillars:”
Proverbs 9:1.
The aim of this series is to present a non-cliche, non-religious point of view of wisdom. I do subscribe to some religious interpretations of the subjects addressed, but wish to here, only point out the common understanding of the principles.
 
 “Those who know do not talk. Those who talk do not know. Keep your mouth closed… this therefore is the highest state of man.”
– Tao Te Ching 56
 
“One who will not accept solitude, stillness and quiet recurring moments…is caught up in the wilderness of addictions; far removed from an original state of being and awareness. This is ‘dis-ease.”
T.F. Hodge,
From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with “The Divine Presence”

More harm is done to both reputation and relationships by my words more than any other thing I do. My first inclination should be quietness, calmness, and contemplation of the matter at hand. When I’m offended, hurt, or angry, I must keep my mouth shut, at least initially. Keeping the secrets and confidence placed on me, holding my thoughts and tongue, I protect myself and others. Talking about injustices done to me only keeps the hurt alive and fans the flames of anger. Quietness is a refuge, in contrast expressing my opinion at every turn is never necessary. There are times to express myself, but only when these conversations are governed by wisdom’s pillars. I must show restraint when my heart bursts to speak, when my stomach aches to exact verbal revenge on those who are against me, when my pride wants to tell everything I think I know. Holding my tongue and keeping knowledge and opinions to myself produces confidence and inspires the same in others around me. In quietness and confidence is my strength.

Contentment In Success – Making Time For Others

 “No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank
“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery  
 

Contrary to popular opinion, getting what I need by ignoring the needs of those around me is a sure path to unhappiness. There’s a spiritual principal that determines my happiness is dependent on giving time, energy, or provision to those around me. When I focus on helping others along the way, I’m equipped to be happier and more content then ever possible. This isn’t so that my happiness and goals are dependent on other people but it’s to consider the needs of others along the way to my goals. When I lay down my plans to assist someone along my way, when I give place to compassion, I discover a key to all success (with success being defined not only as an increase, but as contentment in that increase). Take time today to look outside your world, look beside your path, and find those that need help. As you help them, you are helping yourself to find the best life possible and be content in your success.

01252012

Stepping in It –

“There’s no point stepping up to the golden platform if you’re going to repeat yourself.” 
abaltimoreblock

I stepped in it again. Tried that fancy “side-step-catch-myself-before-I-put-my-foot-in-it” move, but to no avail. That’s just the beginning. I know it stinks. I don’t even have to smell it, I know from experience. The thing is, I didn’t see it. I thought I was looking out for it, but sure enough, “squish”. There it is. All up in my stuff. Regardless of my intentions before hand, I’ve but one goal now, get it off! Some relationships are like that. I know I had my guard up, I was well defended. Then, squish! Right between my emotional toes and I find myself in a big stinky mess. What do I do? I wash it off! I don’t wallow in it, spreading the foul mess all over my life, I get rid of the smelly crap! The longer I stand in the crap, the more likely I’m gonna spread it all over and then I’ll really have a job of cleaning it up. Yes it sucks. Never mind figuring out the how and why of my stinky step, I need to just get out of it, clean myself off and move on from that spot. I know it’ll stink, even if I’m clean, just by standing next to the mess, so pick up, clean up, and move on.

10/30/2011