Hate It When You Love

Something is terribly wrong when someone doesn’t want you to love yourself.

When your friends (or that inner voice) begins to say those indelible words “Molly, you in danger girl” it’s already too late. Not too late to make changes. Sure. But you’re already in a critical situation in a relationship when one can laugh at this notion and the other not find it funny in the slightest. At the core, it’s a trigger for all sorts of issues. However, we sidestep these complexities and dismiss the idea that someone we care about should match Care with equal understanding. Actually, this is what we complicate, that our expectations are not at the foundation of what we continue to build with someone. That we accept who someone is and will grow older with them. But do we ask ourselves if we’ll grow with them? Let them grow?

Change is scary. As a default, fear emerges and whispers that this person will abandon us. They will judge us. They are the most of anything that I have. But this is not true. It only serves to reflect pity on oneself. To offer and receive slanderous statements and egregious dictates that lead down a tangent of tangled paths that never needed treading. Do you know what I mean? If you respect me, you’ll let me care about myself. If I respect you, I will let you care about yourself. Without judgement or restrictions on time. Can this be said out loud? Would it be possible to risk someone’s happiness for time and space?

Self Love and Loving Kindness apply to any relationship. Always, beginning with YOU. Your heartbeat. Your breath. Your consciousness. Once this setting is in place, you can offer these principles to others. Whether or not they *pick up what you’re putting down* they are now responsible for their interpretation and reaction. Not you. It may seem finite that you consider creating boundaries if your precepts of Self Love are breached. Boundaries can remind some of us of rejection and isolation; if we call upon our values and that restricts the other person then we may risk conflict. Or worse, their absence.

While boundaries are healthy, walls serve as impenetrable separations that are not meant to work within Self Love. While SL is honest, walls “make good neighbors.” They smile and maintain sides. They are polite but not kind. Being polite requires adherence to social norms that may include a heavy dose of ignoring truth and avoiding conflict. It is absolutely important to put oneself first. Still, this is not the avoidance of problems but finally facing them. If there is resistance, experience it, but don’t put a stamp on it. Allow the trigger to bring up what needs to be felt and released. Otherwise, the Self Love going on is more performative than praxis.

I love theater, but not everyday of my life.

We are not starting from scratch. You’re here, already, with what has been laid behind you. Use Self Love to heal old wounds. It does not require membership or a college degree. It asks that you start where you are, with yourself, for yourself and lastly, for others. The “for others” part is hard if you’re always trying to fix things and people. But this isn’t about the External as primary source, this is about the Internal informing others of what is possible. That is “fix” enough. Offering a way for people to alleviate self doubt and superficial competition.

Long ago I imagined a forest. It was thick with trees. The trees were tall. I was not afraid. I walked until I found a clearing. The clearing was a circle. The circle was filled with the light of the sun. I looked around to see that the forest continued in all directions. Thick and filled with darkness. I made it to the clearing and got stuck there. Trying to live in the little bit of light that circle could hold. Often I would look around. Rarely would I look up. Looking forward was facing the darkness of the forest. But I had imagined it. I had made it through a portion of the congested space. Why couldn’t I proceed?

I was lacking in Self Love. My spiritual practice was the only thing keeping me alive, but I was not nourished. I was not practicing correctly because to do so was to have to live with such a ferocious honesty I would be self righteous. And that’s performance too. As if I am better than you. I know better. I should do better. So it’s not the standard that has to be lowered, but the way in which we are able to express what needs to be fixed. Shifted. Altered. Changed. True change does not come overnight. That’s merely an epiphany. And you probably knew IT already. The way some people want to live is a projection through clothing choices and hairstyles. A hologram of what they would be if they could be. But if that’s what you are, be IT fully.

I think this is why some of us attach ourselves to certain people and resort to the same habit behaviors. All we do is add a New Self on top of the old paper doll and call it adulthood and maturity. Suffering isn’t unique to one person. Our traumas should not be the reason we hold on to something else that is unhealthy even if it is familiar. It is possible to change the karma that attracts the lessons that are still unlearned. It is possible to pray for others without sacrificing Self. It is possible to remain a mystery to yourself and those around you and still be fully loved and understood. It may be rare. But it’s there.

Parasite: “This is so metaphorical”

There are plenty of reviews of the South Korean multiple award winning film Parasite discussing it’s clever delivery of class relationships through the lens of a tragic-comedy.

SPOILERS: possibly, depending on what you consider to be something spoiled.

There are numerous moments of note. I could probably dissect every scene because it is so metaphorical. A quote referenced by the son of the Kim family, Ki-woo. But the moment that struck me the most was from his sister, Ki-jung.

From the beginning she is truly an ensemble character. She is the sister of the guy that is approached by that other guy that never shows up again (first red herring). But immediately Ki-woo enlists the assistance of Ki-Jung to establish and, later, embellish his plan. She’s amazing. She’s got talents. Even under guise, she takes to each development like a chameleon. Her abilities and intellect make it possible for her entire family to find, what seems to be stable work. But the Kim’s don’t necessarily want stable work. Who does? An improvement on stable work would be not having to work at all. And, like the Lady of the House, settle cozy into shallowness; be aloof enough to appear to need wealth to satiate anxiety.

Establishing their new roles in the Park home, the Kim’s settle in for a night of drinking. The Park’s have gone camping for their son’s birthday so the house is open for their pleasure. Finally, the Kim’s get to let their hair down; and let it down they do. The mother, Chung-sook, laughs at her drunken family, content in their momentary desires, and says that they would all runaway if the Park’s suddenly returned home. They have no plan. Just amusement. This point is drilled in as she reiterates a motif found throughout the story, her husband, Ki-taek would scurry like a cockroach.

Ki-jung interrupts, in a drunken tequila slur with some expletives and yells “we’re the ones who need help. Worry about us, okay?” “Dad…just focus on us.” The declaration interrupts the conversation. Idiomatically, it came out of nowhere. But there was a place. And quite literally it made the weather worse. Which led to a series of unfortunate events. The end. But this question. This request. These simple lines from a drunken girl seem easy to overlook, and they are, by the audience who is wondering why does she care right now? Why do we need to be angry drunk…we can’t get to Sober fast enough. Ki-jung needs her family to answer this question. She needs her family to remember they are a family. As pests, they can’t get the smell of poverty off of them. They cannot release the shame they are reminded of by their mere presence.

The rock they could tie themselves to — and be weighed down or drown. The rock they can put down and not pick up again. The rock that will erode your life but cannot be destroyed. Daughter/Sister/Ki-jung attempts to warn them that they are feeding the wrong wolf. Her family is too consumed with the fantasy of luxury, they cannot see the things that matter most are right in front of them. Each of them, where they were, at that moment, because of their separate abilities; there was no gratitude. There was no reverence for their successes.

This is why Ki-jung’s fate is fitting. This is why Ki-woo’s fate is fitting. This is why the Kim parents fate is fitting. They are metaphors, symbols for what we maintain when we forget that love, recognition and gratitude are valuable. That self respect and respect for others strengthens bonds. Since it is the heart that matters most, Ki-jung’s request of her family spurred the falling action and denouement. For those seeking an ending that is both satisfying and uplifting, look to your own lives. See what keeps you trapped, no matter how many times you work your way out of the maze. What turned you around? Did you recognize where it happened? When? Why? Did you bring others with you? Did you help them in? Can you get them out? Can you get yourself out?

Get Out of My Train

It is easy to convince yourself that you know what’s going on. That you can control the outcome. That there is an outcome. There’s just an ever-going-on of happenings that changes, alters daily. And we forget. This is meant to forge us; melt and bend and beat into shape something that thought itself Shaped.

I created this blog so that I would have a space to write. I created this blog because I had lost a position at a job and hoped becoming a wedding officiant or event planner would be a new outlet. A space where I could share… but apparently everyone else is sharing too. Trying to creep into a billion dollar industry that sees inter-generational differences between being married multiple times and never being married at all. 

Those of us coming from the most authentic corner of ourselves can create the audience for whom the words are meant. I didn’t do that. What I did do was create a space to remind myself to celebrate. To celebrate the births and the deaths. To celebrate partnerships and anniversaries. Ultimately to offer a service to the underserved and often ignored LGBTQIAA community, who, through adversities of all kinds, want to be married and cannot find someone to perform the rites.

I used Twitter. When I wrote a blog post I would send it out and see if the World would notice. Even one person was enough. But the tweet that got me the most attention was for the death of one of my students. And that notion is not lost on me. That at that time, my most noticeable contribution was to mourn a student I couldn’t save. 

This is not an advertisement. This is a reminder that we all want different things and that sometimes we walked paths that took us different places. The stars in the heavens telling us that we missed opportunities and that we may have to wait years for the fortune to manifest again. I do not have years to wait for my fortune to manifest. I am my fortune. 

The Jewel has been sewn into my robe this entire time. I knew it. You probably know how unique and special you are too. That you’ve had your gifts the entire time. Now, what are we going to do with them?



3s: The Suns We’re Seeking or My Brother and Me

ONE.

I recall the time I was helping my mother outside, there was a hose in hand, probably watering azaleas. Talking about nothing in particular. Probably trying to pry the past out of her. My parents never reveal a thing. You must have had to have been there to know something about them. So I ask my mom about the baby she had before my brother. She tells me he died at birth. Well really before birth. It was a still birth and she carried him to term, named him after my father and buried him. I gulp. She’s opening up, I think to myself. So I say to her I say it’d be nice to have an older brother, a brother older than my other brother, to keep him in line. And she smirks. Laughing subtly she says to me you probably wouldn’t be here if he was. I may have intended to say oh I could…you could have had three (like everybody else raising “middle” children). And she said no I’m pretty sure we agreed to have two. That agreement being between she and my father, not the rest of us or the Universe.

So I wasn’t meant to be. Or rather I obviously was meant to be…but unwanted? No. Yes. I get it. I was probably a teenager. I don’t have a timeline of personal moments with accurate ages because they’d prefer it if we didn’t have to talk about it. I assumed that people who don’t talk about things might also omit the deep seeded feelings they have about those very things. Save me sorrow and give me the idea that I wasn’t just left overs. I wasn’t the baby born girl, damn! a girl is such trouble and well, maybe. A girl. Or trouble. Maybe.

TWO.

We are Black. We are black. We are mixed. No denying this. One Drop Rule despite mom. No matter. That’s how the world sees you and treats you. They’ll be afraid of what you look like. He was afraid of what I’d look like. He was afraid of what I looked like. He was afraid.

Being this nice genetic split in two. Down the middle of mom and dad, we sat being told who we favored. We favored both of them in equal and odd measure. I sound like my mother and walk like my father. My brother stands like my mom and explains things slowly like my father. We all have pregnant pauses. Way past the due date.

Maybe due to the lack of direct discussions in race and ethnicity or the passing and colorism or outright internalized racism, we, my brother and me, created obnoxiously diverse groups of intersectional friends. Out of many came two. Each of us had two best friends growing up. Why? So ridiculous. Why not one, for either of us. Just a different combination. But no. We each had two friends we were closest with throughout elementary and high school. And we each sat in the middle.

Were we creating a sense of balance? Were we off-kilter? Was this the beginning of us not having an”other half”? Were we in thirds this whole time and didn’t know?

We’ve since shed these friends and friendship triads. And we are no closer to one another. As if a middle piece is missing. We can see each other across the divide. We wave. We say hi. Then goodbye.

THREE.

I have about one decent week out of each month. One week when I might feel a sense of normalcy. Three other weeks full of physical, emotional, and spiritual upheaval all contained in a five foot body. And the truth shoots out of my eyes. My brain can’t hide the roller coaster ride colliding with self control and logic. People see anger. My eyes blur. Who is in front of me if not myself? If you are my soul can’t you see this fight is for you, absolutely. It is not you I need to fight with, but the amassing of space and time between our memories.

I have about three days in me before I lose my shit. Three hours to decompress from a day that hit like a ton of bricks. Three more hours I could possibly work. Or wake up at the witching hour to see how much I hurt.

I have three names. The government makes me use two. I go by one. And that one name is the wind wrought branch on a tree with limbs that reach up more than they reach out. It is always the sun they’re seeking.

808

“One man's constant is another man's variable.” Alan Perlis

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