Half truths

Half truths never surprised me, because I’ve always known where they came from. We often hear “yeah, I’m busy tonight” instead of “I don’t want to hang out” or “you look pretty today” just to dish out a compliment that we may not mean. But it sounds good. All of these statements come from fear of disappointing. Then there’s the half truths that we all live with and accept without realizing. Palm trees aren’t actual trees, but a form of grass. Tomatoes are really fruit, but we still place them in the vegetable aisle. We are content with being told what something is, and just believing it. If you question everything, then you’re perceived as intolerant. “Why can’t you just go with the flow?”

I don’t find myself telling half truths very often, and I also don’t have to take pride in it. It just is. It’s only seldom that I feel the need to twist the truth to protect someones feelings. I know that protecting peoples feelings has become a socially acceptable normal, but I’m not here for it. I’m only here to guard my own. I use to think that putting yourself first was selfish. I use to think that being humble meant allowing people to give those half truths. Staying polite. Keeping the peace.

I have learned that a part of me carries many introverted characteristics that won’t allow me to add things to my life that don’t add to me. But again, I’m aware that half truths come from a place of fear; so I’m more understanding of people acting out on fear.

But as I grow, I notice that every now and then I have to look around and let go of my ego. And so, you should let go of yours too.

Here’s something, living in your own bubble is easy. I have to tell myself to not allow half truths to harden me. I don’t want to be apart from displaying who I am. My mistakes. My accomplishments. My love. They are all a part of my whole truth, and give it when necessary.

And so I’m still practicing. I ask myself will by telling half truths build me up or break me down in the long-run. It’s okay to slip up. It’s okay to indulge, but notice those moments. Find the time to know grace and live in that state.

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Mindfulness

I think it’s important to remember mindfulness. Actually, I know it is. I know that if I’m not mindful my mind will wander into places I don’t want to go. I know that my actions affect everything else around me. I know that it’s important to remember to breathe. Inhale. Exhale. And repeat. I know all of these things.

What I don’t know, is how to get the people around me to know mindfulness as well. I watch people do the same routine everyday without a goal. So, they’ll being that for the next twenty years. It saddens me. I watch people be together physically, but mentally their minds are engaged with applications and text messages. I watch people stand in front of beautiful scenery, while never capturing it with their minds. They walk away from those unforgettable moments not even remembering being there.

Then, I watch people burst out into anger, not realizing that they could be triggering someone’s anxiety; their need to escape to quietness. I watch people talk of more bad than good, not registering that you receive what you put out, that negative attracts negative, and that I don’t want that shit.

You have to be careful with your walk. Know your steps and how you’re moving. Today, try being mindful that every moment is precious. Don’t go wasting it on anger, not living in the moment, and going through the motions. Remember, what is not growing…is dead.

Good Religion

Good religion
spilling your soul to the people you love
without thought
on whether you should or not
with Good religion
love becomes spirituality
and love is all that’s needed.

Good religion
requires focusing on yourself
before distributing half of you
to someone else
You must remain whole
like our world,
in our universe,
in a space unknown.

Good religion is saying
‘I love you’
because I know that
I love me too
Loving me enough
filling me up
so that no one has to do it for me
but your company is pleasurable,
non-measurable,
and so I’m glad that you’re here.

Good religion
is knowing that self-love
isn’t a destination,
but a journey
to draw the people around you
closer.

There’s power in a practice
that teaches you not to practice
and just be good
because you should.

Attracting all of the good things

Such a relief to know that we are not only on planet earth that provides everything that we need, but inside a galaxy in which everything works in relation to everything else. The law of attraction is said to be at work in every decision we make, through the people that we meet, and anything that you can imagine encountering in your lifetime. Although the law of attraction has been a topic in the last decade that people put faith in just as if it were a religion, it has been supported by science for centuries. It’s the idea that like attracts like. We attract the things that we want by focusing on the end goal. All things work the way they do because of action and with action comes reaction. The initial decisions that we choose sets the outcome. Nothing ever exist entirely alone.

I like to think of the law of attraction as the universe supporting me, just as long as I’m honest and working towards something that benefits me and the world right back. However, the LOA can feed the negative if you’re putting out negative. Every area of our lives are affected by the law of attraction. Some mornings I can wake up and say “Today is going to be good” and I can more than guarantee that it will be just that, simply by giving life through my voice to it. I proclaim something that I faithfully believe in, setting my brain up for a positive outlook throughout the day.

Eleven months ago I found myself working a job forty-five minutes away from my home, while also finishing my senior year of undergrad. This forced me to only work on the weekends due to the distance; which caused a huge decrease in my income. I initially took this opportunity because it definitely moved me to an area in my career that I am now still proud of. However, I hated that the opportunity wasn’t closer to where I lived and how much it interfered with school.

During my employment at this company, I was also offered to move to a higher position that would more than support my monthly expenses and lifestyle. The catch was I could not finish school, or I would have to wait and hopefully the opportunity would be there when I did finish. For a few weeks, I was conflicted on which route to take. I knew that school was always a goal I had set for myself, but I couldn’t seem to envision making enough money after I graduated to support myself. I can remember growing unkind to my workplace because I felt that it wasn’t giving me back what I deserved in an easy way. I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t lining up perfectly for me.

A few weeks into the school-year, I decided that finishing school was more important to me, after spending thousands of dollars and hours of hard work. I also realized that driving to that job was no longer something I wanted to do, because I felt that I was wasting money. I really loved the brand that I worked for, and so I began to search whether there was something closer that would allow me to still work with the company but closer to my home. I wanted so bad to find relief from something that no longer fit into my life. Long story short, I tweeted that I was giving myself two weeks to find a new job. I tweeted this without fear nor doubt that I could find a new job, and so quickly.

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I wholeheartedly feel that getting that new job was the direct affect of the law of attraction. In this case, I wrote my vision down. I believed in it. I slept through it, knowing that it was already taken care of for me. Seven days later, I felt like I had done something amazing for myself. That is, just believing in what I wanted. Also, I was given a new job while still being able to work for the brand I loved so dearly.

This is just one example of my experience with the LOA. I could seriously go on and on about how letting go of notions has brought me closer to getting the things that add so perfectly to my life now, but in such healthy ways.

I lead a fairly positive life, but I am not always happy. I do not always get the things that I desire. I am aware that the universe works for me and will not bring me the things that I do not need. I am aware of life’s flow and how it can wear down on me if I am not careful. I am not a hippie or smiling at you because I’m high. I choose the good because I know that all of the good things comes from that. And that makes it so simple for me.

Techniques to hold on to:

When you’re feeling low, write it down. After you’ve gotten it all out, make a list of the things that you’re grateful for. Those will be the things that will add positive light in your mind when things seem shitty.

I know this is cheesy, but if you’re a visual being then make a vision board. Cut out, draw, paint, write the things you want! Do this without naming the road or obstacles it will take to get there. Place this board in a space that you frequent so that you’ll always be reminded that you’re working towards something great!

Affirmations are so important. Speak the truth and speak the future. Say “I am happy” versus “I wish I wasn’t sad all of the time”. Say “My relationship is healthy” versus “Things will never get better”. Look in the mirror and say “You are beautiful” instead of “I wish I didn’t have scars on my face”.

You have a life where if you don’t like something, you can always change it. Just be aware that complaining solves nothing, so you might as well put your energy into something good so that you can be good. Focus on the things that you do want and not on what you don’t want. Remember that obsessing over the outcome leads to doubt and disappointment. Let go of your expectations and trust!

Taking people for granted.

In a world that influences selfishness, more than selflessness; it is easy to take people for granted. I’ve done this, and you’ve done it too. Luckily, I found myself doing this when I was much younger, so now I’m able to recognize the importance of valuing the people that are here around me and for me. That is, being here purely without expectations of receiving something in return, understanding that we individually have a set amount of time that should be appreciated when shared, and realizing that in seconds it could all be over.

We’re told to keep trying with people, because we are all humans with many mistakes made. Here’s where I’ve always allowed people to take me for granted. Here’s also where I’ve taken people for granted. I have never known when to stop giving. I’ve noticed a pattern of pushing limits. It’s interesting to see how long you can get away with doing the minimum before someone calls you out on your shit. And sometimes, they never call you out and you know this. But I’ve learned that I never want it that way. If it is hard to appreciate me when I’m doing so much for the people that I love, then maybe something should be eliminated from the equation?

But who are we kidding? Eliminating something from the equation doesn’t pair well with loving people. Our perception of love is a parallel idea with the term unconditional. When you decline to separate yourself from the idea of how this goes, you’ll never experience a situation where you’re valued. People will use you to try and fix things about themselves, and it has nothing to do with loving you. But there you are, pushing through and accepting things from people that you know you aren’t comfortable with because “there should be no conditions”. There you are, questioning your character over and over.

I think that people think that gratitude can only be shown through gifts or giving in to what another person wants fulfilled. The best moments to see are the ones where someone admits their lack of appreciation, and backs away because they know they won’t allow themselves to be a better person for you. I always think that if that person could just be a better person for themselves, then it would fix so much about their interactions with people long term.

Being gracious can often be as good as saying “thank you” or “I appreciate you”. However, these phrases can sometimes become robotic and rehearsed, just because it sounds good. I struggle with holding people accountable. At some point you will feel like you deserve more, or as if something is missing. That is your intuition letting you know that you’re not okay with being taken for granted. You can either push it away and accept it as routine, or you can free yourself from a situation that’s held your enthusiasm for given your all captive. Sometimes you will also find that people will try and make you sound crazy or needy; probably because the receiver is comfortable and satisfied. The relationships that we form everyday with people should always be a mutual give and take. A person that is taking you for granted is taking and taking. The logical conclusion here is to stop being the giver. Then, they’ll have nothing else to take.

As a giver, I’m aware that it’s easy to manipulate me into these kinds of situations. However, I’ve accepted my strength in giving, and I’ve chosen not to change that about myself. I notice everything that is going on around me, so I never feel like I’m being fooled. I know when I’m being treated good or when something seems unfair. I have found comfort in putting my good energy into the things that will flow good energy right back to me.

When we aren’t careful, the people we hold on to become such a huge part of us. It’s then difficult to think that they’re taking you for granted when you’ve always seen them as a reflection of who you are. If you know yourself, as a giver, then you’re aware that you could never drain someone in that way.

Sometimes, the people that love you may not be aware that they’re taking you for granted or that you feel unappreciated. You have to hold people accountable for their actions so that they’re able to do better. In the moments when they still don’t understand the issue, then maybe you should reevaluate what’s important to you and if you can compromise or not. Just remember that you’re not wrong if you decide that a friendship or relationship doesn’t work for you anymore.

Remember to say I love you, I appreciate you, and I’m grateful for you to those that would stand shoulder to shoulder with you on your best and worst days.

My talents are mine, and yours are yours.

Maybe you think I’ve taken my talents for granted- singing, writing, making people laugh, connecting with people. But one thing should always be made clear to yourself, and that is your talents are yours. I always felt a need to perfect my talents so that it would appeal to what other people wanted from me. Am I singing too loud? Do I sound like they want me to? Like, their favorite artist? Am I writing things that people want to read? Should I share this or that? Am I making them laugh? The looming questions of what other people want, is a recipe for never figuring out what you really want and need.

I use to limit myself to one talent. Singing was my passion from the time I was able to vocalize and imitate sounds from my moms stereo that played Tina Turner “What’s love got to do with it?” over and over. I remember standing in the middle of the living room singing with her when Alicia Key’s album Diary came out. We slow danced together for what felt like an eternity of melodies. She looked down at me and said, “Wow your voice is amazing! Sing more!” I belted from my belly, words that I couldn’t understand; but I felt them. In that moment, I experienced what being in love was like years before I would ever comprehend it.

Writing has also always been my undying passion. I always felt like there was never a space to say everything I wanted to, so I created those spaces by entering writing contest, publishing my own children’s book when I was in the fourth grade, and watching my older brother win countless awards for junior writing contest. I’ve always been really good at word-play. That is, finding various ways to fit words in sentences that they would otherwise never be in. Words are so expansive. Words can be used to manipulate and persuade, and to tell a story to fit archetypes. Words are so expansive!

Much like words, we are expansive beings. It’s like we go hand in hand with a language curated perfectly for us. As expansive beings, I’ve found that there will be many things that I might be amazing at, but it doesn’t mean that that one thing will define me in this lifetime. After hundreds of vocal lessons, music teachers that never fulfilled their dreams, choral concerts, and “good jobs”, that singing wasn’t something that I wanted to capitalize off of nor put all of my energy in. My heart wasn’t in it and I feel like that’s so important as a creative.

However, I now find myself singing every moment of the day, just as I write every moment of the day. My goal is to continue to find ways to write professionally as a career. But I also set time apart to be a writer in my own space, with words that will probably never be shared with anyone. I wish someone would have told me that I could do it all. That I could arrange what I wanted for my life in as many categories as I would like. There were many people, including my parents, who wanted me to use my voice and share it with the world professionally. I can understand now that as parents they might have known just the surface of being a performer.

I’m writing this to say to you, it’s when we look at the things that truly make us who we are, that we tend to enjoy them and have a long lasting connection with them. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t add things or remove things that no longer work for you. In my case, singing is still very much something that I love and enjoy and just because I’m not sharing it with everyone doesn’t mean it’s not here in the world. It provides relief for me, especially after a long day when I can sit on my floor and put on instrumentals that feed my soul. Although I never see this happening, writing could someday be in the same space as singing. But I do know that in some moments in my life, it will be a reflection of me. Therefore, I work hard at it and I support myself through the process of putting all my energy into it.

I’ve always felt that people were disappointed in me because I wasn’t fulfilling the dream that they wanted me to. I’m learning to bring forward the real parts of me, while also being open to the universe giving me other talents that I might gain in the future. I’m appreciative of the time I’ve spent with music, because it has healed so many things about me. You never know what I may revisit. And in the moments when I fear that I’m running out of time, I just remind myself that there are so many more experiences that will make me, me. Remember, your talents are yours- use them how you want.