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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Ice Cubes…Love and Empty Chocolate Boxes

Like I say all the time…it is so funny how things happen to me.  It’s always the smallest of things that spawn the biggest thoughts in me.  I was sitting in my car on campus the other day…actually it was the third anniversary of Ronya’s death…just kinda collecting myself before I went into the library to work on a paper for one of my History classes.  With this indifferent feeling on the day combined with a superabundance of thoughts…the place I was in mentally was really jacked.  As I attempted to sort through all of these different emotions just trying to find a median so I can get started with my day I started to think about ice cubes.  I can laugh now (I actually am while I’m typing) but at that moment ice cubes didn’t make any sense to me…until God did what He always does to me…BAM….

I was actually 4 years old when my parents got married…I was the ring bearer in the wedding and my sister was the flower girl.  Now I won’t bore you with the details of the wedding but I will give you this…Backdrop…my parents were married on New Year’s Eve of 1980…so that was a loooong time ago.  I can remember everything about that wedding down to the horrendously looking maroon blazer they made me wear.  It was uglier than the shag carpet and hanging beads that accented one of the rooms at our house…anywho, the wedding and reception was at my aunt’s house.  My aunt had this really nice house tucked off in the Northwest part of Dayton…I dunno why they had it there…I was only 4 and my guess would be that they were probably cheap…hahahaha.  Okay back on track now.  My aunt had this refrigerator that spewed water and chopped ice cubes from the outside.  Now-a-days that is a common occurrence…but to me at 4 years old in 1980, I had never seen anything like that.  I was truly amazed.  See I had this glass of Coca-Cola that was halfway filled and I decided to test the fridge out…are these like “regular” ice cubes or is there something special about the?  So I reluctantly put my glass under the lever and pressed it…tah dah…three ice cubes fall and I removed my glass.  I look down at it in amazement because these are magic ice cubes…I now have more soda than I originally did.  I’m tripping so I run and go get my sis and show her…both in amazement I proceeded to add more ice and the more ice I added to more the soda filled to the top.  Can you imagine that as a 4 year old child?  You start out with a little soda and these magic ice cubes gives you more…aww lawd…this is the greatest.

Then it happened…I drank the soda…and it was gone extremely fast.  Huh?  How can I drink that much soda that quick…so I pour out those ice cubes…add more soda and some new magic ice cubes…my sister and I are super happy…but the same thing happens again…At this time I so confused…fast forward now.  I’m 22 years old living in Omaha, Nebraska…I’m involved with this young lady.  The entire dynamic of this relationship was unstable and I should have paid attention to the warning signs…but me young and dumb, I wanted what I wanted.  Nobody could tell me anything about this women.  I was in love…this was my destiny.  We were gonna get married, raise children together and be the Obama’s…before the Obama’s. 

I was working second shift at a company there in Omaha and it was Valentine’s Day…now I have never been a huge V-Day guy…but what the heck…lets try something new.  I was scheduled to get off of work at midnight, but we had overtime and I maybe got off at 2ish.  I get over my friends house and she has this box of my favorite chocolates on the couch for me with a card.  I really wanna get at the chocolates first, but I know etiquette and I’m supposed to read the card first.  Okay with that out the way it’s time to dig into these chocolates…I open the box and two my surprise it is completely empty…wth?  How can this entire box of chocolates be empty?  You guessed it so I won’t say it.  I was really Po’d…kinda like that feeling I had back when I was 4 years old and the magic ice cubes made my soda disappear quick.

What’s the purpose of all of this…life is about ice cubes…love and empty chocolate boxes…i.e…perception is not always reality.  See as a child I perceived that glass actually had more soda in it…when that is not the case.  Even though the ice gave the appearance of more soda in actuality it was still the same.  There was no substance to what I perceived…it didn’t matter how many times I poured the ice out and added more soda…it was what it was…at the end of the day my glass was empty like that box of chocolates…the lack of contents in that box was the reality of what our relationship…but the physical attributes of the box were my perception of what I thought we were.  At the end of the day when you opened our relationship it was empty…there was nothing there.  No different than me looking at that “full” glass of soda and realizing that there was actually nothing there.

Understand this…how we perceive something is not actually what it is.  We use our mind to jade and twist from what the facts really are.  We allow perceptions everyday to shape the fabric of our lives…opposed to being patient and allowing reality to manifest.  When you perceive you are unable to truly achieve that which is meant for you.  Yep perception is not always reality.

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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Relationships

 

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1917 miles…36 1/2 hours…the Chesapeake Bay and Compasses…

When working with or on me God always uses the simplest of things to grab my attention. The last 48 hours of my life has not been any different. I want to share an experience or three with you from these hours. I don’t know how this might come out…it might be raw…informal…personal…edited…I dunno…it might be a combination of all of these…it might be kinda long…or I might chop it into several…hell I so don’t know so I’m just going to write and I guess we’ll see….

“Thank God for giving me this moment of clarity…this moment of honesty…the world will feel my truths…through my hard knock life times…my gift and my curse…I gave you volume after volume of my works so you can feel my truths” – Jay Z

I was taking my “oldest” son to Norfolk, Virginia this past Saturday evening after a whirlwind of events had transpired when these lyrics smacked me in my face. I was driving down a 10% grade decline in some mountains somewhere in West Virginia. Hmmm…lemme back up for a sec…my day actually started at 6 a.m. all the way back in Middletown, Ohio. Me and my boys woke up kinda early because we were travelling to Columbus to see the boys state basketball championship…see the school my “oldest” son and I coach football at was playing in the Finals at 10:30…so it was important for us to get out kinda early to beat parking and all that mess. We knew we had a long day ahead of us because after the game we were travelling back to Dayton and then down to Virginia…lets see…fast forward now….

“Thank God for giving me this moment of clarity”…as I’m maneuvering down these mountains and crazy looking towns in West Virginia the sun sets…and the weather starts to change…its raining and sleeting a bit. The twist and turns of the mountains are absolutely crazy….as I come up on a decline that lyric hits me along with a phrase… “Emotional Compass”…I’m not too sure what that is about…but okay…I’ma roll with this God…you have never steered me astray. Midway down this slope it hits me….BAM… “Emotional Compass”…we as people…well lemme talk about me and maybe you can relate…me as a person I’m constantly driven my emotions…I’m an emotional being. I don’t too much make brash decisions anymore…but the vast majority of decisions that I have made was strictly based on my mood at that moment. I allowed my “Compass of emotion” direct the path that I decided to take. Now sometimes that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing…because I should “trust” my gut…but what happens when raw emotions infiltrated “my gut”…Yeah…that usually ended up all bad.

So as I’m travelling down this slope I’m kinda hesitant…because for one…it’s a slope in the middle of some big ass mountain with no lighting around…and for two it is raining profusely and I’m not about to make some channels nightly news in my haste. Emotional compass…it hit me…how often have I made a decision and I have got caught smack dead travelling down a slippery slope and there was no turning back…wow! Kinda like the raining…slick slope I was actually driving down. That’s crazy….well maybe I’m the only one that gets it…He uses the little things to get my attention.

As I get thru this part of the mountain I’m kinda in another emotional place. I can feel that He is working on me in this very moment…giving me “moments of clarity” that are much needed. At this point we approach another stretch where here are these absolute crazy twists and turns…which kinda made me start to think about my life. How life has all these turns…this stop and go traffic…these twist…that are uncontrollably controllable…Now you might say what does that mean…walk with me for a sec…See the conditions and the state of the roads were uncontrollable (on my part)…but I was able to control and dictate my actions while driving thru them…uncontrollably controllable. That is how life is…full of curveballs…its nothing you can do about the type of pitch thrown…but you can do what you need to do to be able to hit a homerun…Okay…maybe that one was for me too…lol. You can’t let you “emotional compass” navigate you…you navigate your compass.

Eventually we get through this terrain…but the vast majority of the time we didn’t have a GPS signal…hmmm…no GPS signal…no phone signal…NOTHING. This is extremely interesting…I remember before I left I googled the directions just to take a look…to familiarize myself in the direction that I was to travel. I’m coming back to this later.

We finally make it (ahead of schedule)…but behind schedule because we actually hit the highway almost two hours later (does that make sense?). It’s time to depart in the morning…just a few hours of sleep because I have a 9:45 class in the Monday morning (the first day of Spring Quarter). Say my goodbye to my boy…wish him well and all that…it’s raining like crazy again leaving…but ooh well I gotta go. As I am driving my mind is wondering back to the “emotional compass” thing again….and I so happen to look up and I am in MARYLAND…hahahaha…how the hell that happen. I’m like, “Damn…ain’t this a sack of shit! (apologize for the words…but I’m just being real)”…Not paying attention I done ended up at the Chesapeake Bay…man that is sooooo funny. I gain my composure and continue to drive. Now my route has drastically changed. I went from going back through VA and WV to going through MD, PA, WV and OH…hahahahaha….yep route altered…one of those curveballs I talked about. One thing that happened as I drove through Maryland….the clouds cleared…it became sunny and it was so beautiful. It was unlike that crazy feeling I experienced the night before driving through West Virginia.

As I took this alternate route the more I drove…the better I felt. It finally hit me (now I’m coming back to that “googled” thing). See before I left Dayton I googled the directions and glanced at them…I didn’t want to be solely depended on the GPS…I just wanted to know in advance…that is how God works…what would have happened if I was solely dependent on the GPS…I would have been completely lost…but I had the foresight to glance over the directions before I left. Its like this…we as people depend on the most convenient things…the easy way out (GPS systems) opposed to good old fashioned directions (the Word). GPS got me in the vicinity…but the directions got me to the destination…WHOA!

Walk with me one more minute…Even though the ride through going back was 2 hours longer than the ride going to…it was more subtle. It was comfortable…it was beautiful. I had the ride of my life…its like this…I went thru the storm the night before…but the next day I experienced bliss…

Psalms 30:5 “…weeping may endureth the night…but joy cometh in the morning…..Lord thank you for this moment of clarity….thank you for guiding my “emotional compass”…it took me 36 1/2 hours…1917 miles…a slippery slope…Chesapeake Bay and 4 toll booth to realize it…what’s it gonna be for you?

 
 

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Maturity is more than age….

I’ve been holding to this for a minute…but for some reason today I just can’t hold it in…so I think its better out opposed to in and via this post I pray that someone is blessed…

Its funny how people complain about their circumstances and situations…but where they are is solely based on the decisions that they have made throughout their lifetime.  We have to understand that we are expressly accountable for our actions…furthermore, it is imperative to know that regardless…good, bad or indifferent every action has a reaction. This is something I share with my son constantly…and he seems to get it (and he is only 14)…but we as “grown” adults can’t begin to grasp the concept. 

Maturity is defined many a ways…but my favorite definition would be:  termination of the period that a note or other obligation has to run :  state or condition of having become due.  See maturity is a process…it is not an unalienable right given to a person when they become a specific age.  In order to become mature one must go through a period of being “immature”.  Meaning that adults can still be trapped in an adolescent mentality….maturity is an intangible quality that not everyone will posses because either A) They are stuck in a time warp of their past and are too afraid of the future…B) They are afraid of responsibility and accountability…or C) All of the above.

Childish thoughts impregnate adolescent behavior which births immature actualizations.  One must flee from those immature actualizations.  Ask yourself this…are you still doing things that you did when you were 16, 18, or 21 years old?  Each day in one’s life there should be a forward press to do things better than the previous day.  Yes, we are all human and we will make mistakes…but that is not an excuse for making the same mistake.  Example: when one starts a new relationship…one doesn’t allow the dynamic of their previous relationship to rear its head into your new one…the past is called the past for a reason.  It what generally happens is a person will lose the very thing they covet the most because of the “immature” decision making of their past.

At some point in our lives we must evolve thru the period of immaturity we have to run in order to achieve the condition of being mature….when one makes the decision to “grow-up”…watch what circumstances and situation cancel from ones lives.  When you align…whats for you aligns as well.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2011 in Change

 

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