Hearts Don’t Lie

The heart is the organ that gets all of the honor and glory for keeping the body alive. Despite the brain operating in concert with the heart and the lungs, the heart owns our feelings, drives our will, and is held accountable when the brain makes rational decisions. It’s a travesty if you think about it.

Lungs are impacted by both the heart and the brain. Even though the lungs are paired, they are impacted by the conditions that they have no control over. And yet, poor breathing conditions impair the lungs, the heart, AND the brain. Over time, the decision to live in polluted communities or even smoke, vape, or breathe fire will wreak havoc on our quality of life.

Alas, our bodies are no circus attraction! Tattoos, piercings, dyed hair enhance our appearance, but they don’t make our heart beat any better. Skin is an organ too! But it also falls victim to the brain.

Come to think of it, the brain and heart work together AND against each other from time to time—mostly on matters of Love.

“The Heart Wants what the Heart wants…” is a ridiculous excuse to make bad decisions. This may merely be a euphemism for other organs that we won’t discuss here (except to say that they cause the most life-altering circumstances).

Darn it! The heart isn’t even the same shape as what we traditionally market on cards, candy boxes, and plush gifts. Those bulbous hearts actually represent other explicit body parts (that we also will not discuss)!

It’s so easy to get distracted while pondering the importance of the heart…and more specifically that the heart LIES. Yes, yes! It lies, it’s lied to, and it is manipulated by the other organs in what can only be described as a coup d’etas!

Alright, alright! Maybe that’s a little too enthusiastic. Charge it to my heart, and not to my head. (Do you see what just happened there?)

Please consider this matter when emphasizing how important your heart is to making day-to-day decisions. It can be stressful. And THAT is not good for the heart either.

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Ami Ego

Mon frère?

Mon ami??

je parle français dans ma tête, mais je parle entièrement ma vérité dans une autre langue

mon ego a mûri et je reconnais que mon énergie se concentre au-delà de moi

mon frère n’est pas mon ami, mais être mon propre frère c’est être mon propre meilleur ami

un jour où je cesse d’être, sache que je n’ai pas eu de meilleur ami que l’ami en moi

être mon meilleur ami et être mon propre frère c’est avoir un alter ego, et ça me va

ma santé mentale sera remise en question, mes actions apporteront des réponses, et ce que je laisserai sera ma preuve

J’aimais plus que moi-même, et l’amour de moi était assez grand pour deux; parce que l’amour de deux est supérieur à un

peut-être que je parle français, mais je pense en anglais.

il est peut-être perdu dans la traduction, ou peut-être devrais-je parler en espagnol

mon ego était juste mon amigo

Doing Things I Said I Wouldn’t

Eating left-overs

Harboring guilt

Sitting in the dark

Judging others wearing leggings

Wearing pajamas all day

Ignoring ashy elbows and bushy eyebrows

Compensating for the other parent

Buying a brand new car

Surrendering debt

Reconciling…

Hoarding old polo shirts

Raising my voice to children who choose poorly

Doing things half-assed (for fun)

Dedicating myself to something meaningless

Debating religion and politics at the dinner table

Letting myself go…

Caring too much

Caring more for myself

Caring less

Binge-watching

Mid-day napping

Asking for opinions

Ignoring good advice

Equanimity

Regretting

math for the empath

Caring about someone does not give you ownership over their condition. Caring about someone means that their condition impacts your feelings. But try not to get too bent out of shape when the people you care about make decisions that are upsetting to you.

Their decisions are theirs. Your decisions are yours. Caring for someone is YOUR decision. If caring about someone hurts you, it is your decision to continue to have those feelings. Caring is not easy. It may seem inherently instinctual. With it comes a gamut of emotions ranging from happiness to sadness. Hurting is natural. But recovery is a decision too. It’s natural but requires effort.

It hurts to care sometimes. If someone else’s decisions hurt you, you have a decision to make.

Stop caring in order to stop hurting?
Stop hurting to feel better?
Feel better for self?

These hurt feelings will drive other decisions that you need to make. But demanding that they change their behavior to satisfy your feelings is an indication that your heart may not be in the right place. Decide for you, not them.

Caring more for others than yourself has another name too. It’s called love. And it’s the reason that love hurts.

For the visual learners:

🤗 ~ 💗
💗 ~ ❤️
💗~ 😔
💗~ 😠

🤗(❤️~😔~😠)=💗
🤗(💗)=💗

🤗 = 1

Guilt

Lately I’ve been feeling guilty—which is ironic because I am unapologetic. I wake up in the middle of the night having experienced hopelessness in a fantas(tic) world made up by my subconscious whims. And yet I am well rested. My reflections suggest that I should have done more in this world so that I can feel more empowered in my dreams.

Why do I feel guilty? Is it because of the crimes I’ve committed in the real? Oh my crimes are not against humanity. My crimes are against self. The delicacies that I’ve consumed, or the indiscretions I’ve endured—either way I felt secretly entitled to experience a life that is neither secret nor privileged.

My guilt stems from indulging in those wonderful prohibitions—those things that I’ve convinced myself that I’m not supposed to have access. When I look around, everyone else is reserved and conserved and absurd in their properness. So I pretend to be like them to satisfy an audience that does not exist.

I nurture my plants and groom my pets with the upmost empathy, but I care less for my self because I pretend it doesn’t matter. I sneak a peak at the chocolates that are hidden away, but I’ll deliberately eat one olive to taste the bitterness of abundance. Is there such a thing?

My guilt is not enough to condemn me. There are no handcuffs or trials awaiting my soul. Nope. Just sleep. As the sun rises, I recognize the missed rest that was taken by the busy dreams and hopeless nightmares that medicine won’t remedy.

My guilt is heightened by indulgence in the midst of a pandemic. The divot in my couch exposes excessive emptiness, motionless consumption of junk news, junk food, and fiction because I will not step outside to smell the freshness of ungroomed gardens or the stench of unremoved trash.

My guilt is wriggled with inability to move amidst the protests. My struggle to remain still when the earth has been shaken. The battery on my phone runs low because the charger is upstairs. That alone should be enough to motivate me. But upstairs is where the bed resides! And that ascent will be rewarded with another remote and an empty glass of wine. No! The guilty pleasures are for the others! I shall stay put (with my limp phone) and my aroused (emotions).

I’m not guilty. I’m fat! Glutinous and unkept. Unexercised and oozing with ideas. Ponderings and anxiety hanging on my follicles like foliage from my fangs, which only get brushed once a day now, by the way. My liberties are wasted on what I don’t want to do rather than on what I should be allowed to do.

Those entitled and “privileged” people who show off their skills are flaunting their own guiltless follies while I watch in disgust. My guilt is doing everything the opposite of what they’re doing wrong. But that doesn’t make me wrong, right?

As I wake up, my dry knuckles scratch the crusty mucus from my moist eyes. No make-up for this face because black and white selfies can’t reveal grey hair any more than color photos can expose bad breath. Day 100 of a lock-down when everyone refuses to calm down, sit down, or slow down. My obedience is surely someone else’s disobedience. Therefore my guilt is their pride.

I don’t know. Pass the butter.

[Common] Sense for Sale

This public service announcement is brought to you by rational people in an irrational world who are trying to make sense out of the decisions made by people who do not have common sense.

Below you will find a list of warning labels created because someone demonstrated that their injury could have been prevented if they had been warned. Books have been published using these and any MANY other warnings for pure amusement, but it must be noted that the individuals who need these warnings often overlook them.

As you read these warnings, please consider the circumstances by which these warnings were created. Think about other products that might warrant similar warnings. Pay homage to those who were insightful enough to conceive these warnings in time to save lives; and mourn those who weren’t fortunate enough to heed this warnings. And finally, accept the challenge to find similar warnings that are in dire need in these troubling times.

Please share this with a friend. And remember, it has never been a case of how it will end; only how we will start over.

Dream With Me

Last night, I had a dream that was magical and fantastic. I was surrounded by my teacher friends who’d lost their jobs because the schools were no longer needed—not because society had learned all that it needed, but because the virus prevented us from returning.

We were forced to revisit our failures and improve upon those ideas that were abandoned too soon. We were asked to share spaces with doctors and lawyers. But those spaces were small and shrewd. Unlike the other professionals, we were excited for the opportunity to reinvent ourselves. Around us, we saw prototypes that were near-completion. Automobiles, electronics, furniture—all with the most interesting architecture—stretched the imagination. What could the designers have been creating? How would these products meet society’s needs? Why weren’t they completed? The educators were brought in to answer these questions. The doctors and lawyers were there to facilitate the applications of these projects.

The world as we knew it had ended. The politicians served no purpose because the government was ineffective. There weren’t tax monies to budget for because the income-earning electorate no longer had jobs. Democracy had crumbled in lieu of individual’s needs to recreate. Trust had been lost, but panic was abandoned. Individuals resurfaced from the ashes as sloths, eyes wide open but slow to recover.

Surreal approaches to rebuild had all but failed. Everything was new. New ideas, new relationships, and new approaches to build a world that should not resemble anything like the past world.

As educators, we toured the facilities hoping to identify the missing components. For it was supposed that we taught the last generation. We had the best connection with the youth. We held their hands through multiple curriculum evolutions. We taught them to think and to imagine, and we were the last ones to speak to their imaginations before they were quarantined with their families (who had previously abandoned their development). Those children never returned. Those children became an incarnation of their own dreams—incomplete drawings on scrap paper, science projects, and book reports, essays, and class notes, love letters, and prom invitations; class trips postponed and spring breaks un-refunded, graduations cancelled and college applications never sent. We were there when all this happened. We felt it. Their pain hurt us too to our core.

We would carry a torch. We would rediscover those souls through the evidence they’d left behind. As we searched through the rubble, our passions re-ignited every time we uncovered a gem. Alas, they never left. They are watching and waiting patiently to be energized as if they’d been playing a game of “freeze-tag” and knew that we were coming for them.

Hands extended, we will find them. We will find them.

Fixers, Closers, Watchers

I’m starting to believe that we are expected to be the fixers, the closers, and the watchers. We fix what was broken. We close the deals that someone made without our input, and we watch those deals manifest until the next problem occurs. We are called educators to mask the lie.

My opinion is based my observations and the world as I see it. When the circumstances change, I’ll adjust my opinion.

To be a cynic while I continue to hold the title for which I’m paid allows me to wade through the hypocrisy with integrity. I’m intelligent enough to know when things aren’t they way they’re supposed to be, but I’m wise enough to know that there are opportunities to change the trajectory. It’s important that I exercise my faith often enough to keep hope alive.

Every trial offers me the wisdom to make a better decision next time. The problem is: “how many more times will I encounter the same problem before I realize that there isn’t a viable solution?” What I can’t do is repeat procedures hoping for a different outcome. What I don’t have is the energy to reinvent myself every time a new problem occurs. All I’m able to do is apply yesterday’s lessons to today’s challenge and hope that tomorrow is smoother.

Without the intelligence, I’d have no content to teach. I’d have no discernment. I’d have no skill set to adjust my instruction.

But tomorrow is rarely smoother. I’d love to not sweat the small stuff, but there’s enough big “stuff” to make that distinction. I long for a day with “small” stuff.

There aren’t enough copays to tell my therapist how I feel—or what I do to get through the day. My colleagues will listen as long as I listen to their woes too. This can be a daunting task not too different from spicing a wound with salt AND pepper. My family hugs me in disbelief and prays that I can make it just a little bit longer. I’d tell my pastor, but he already knows because he teaches me weekly to seek the source.

The source knows. And weather you believe in an external God or connect with a god within, to recognize that there are an infinite number of things outside of our control is merely the beginning of a path to self-healing. There’s a faith that develops when we can no longer rely on intelligence and wisdom. It’s that disbelief that propels us into a world of unpredictable outcomes. And although some are inspired by this, others stumble blindly and recognizing that their fate will be determined by someone else.

Will my fate be determined by my students, my supervisor, or a society that has demanded that we fix, close, and watch?

Absence Makes the Heart…

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder…”

There’s varying opinions on this. Google the phrase and you’ll get this:

The proverb “absence makes the heart grow fonder” describes the feeling of greater affection between friends and lovers who are kept apart. It is a phrase that, in on one form or another, can be traced back for millennia—the Roman poet Sextus is credited with the earliest version of the phrase.

Or this:

Does absence make the heart grow fonder? Study says yes

Or even this:

Absence Doesn’t Actually Make The Heart Grow Fonder

But remove the science from it. Ignore the opinions. Draw from your personal experience. Think about the people that you’ve left behind. Focus on those individuals that have moved on from their relationship with you. Whether it was a friendship, a partnership, or family, some bonds were never intended to endure.

Once we stop asking why and begin to accept that there are reasons beyond our understanding, we can release responsibility for the decisions that were made (whether those decisions were our own or not). It’s difficult though.

Time not only heals, but provides distance between “then” and “now” and affords us the opportunity to feel less. Consider the process numbing. It’s the absence of intense feelings that allows us to respond to other things in our lives. The strongholds that once consumed us loosen their grip. The absence allows for distractions. We become more aware of other things in our lives. We stumble across alternatives and focus on other things that stimulate us. Soon we are no longer numb. We begin to feel again.

It is this kind of absence that makes our hearts fonder. Our hearts have but one purpose–to pump blood through our veins and to keep us alive. When we are consumed with others, our focus is not on our own survival, but on the well-being of others. Sometimes we love so much that we loose focus. We neglect ourselves, our responsibilities, and other things that are essential to our growth. And although a healthy relationship requires a balance, it is the absence that our heart needs to thrive.

The heart is fond of the absence. It is the mind that yearns for the presence. It is the mind that develops awkwardly when it is not stimulated. It’s a lonely mind that longs for companionship.

Until we can completely separate the heart and mind, then we aren’t likely to resolve this dilemma. And so instead of absence making the heart fonder, it is the distance that makes the mind wander.

Miss Ogyni

She trusted at an early age

consensual surrender,

resulted in tears at a clinic

Three months later

She trusted another

Hoping he’d be more capable

She wasn’t empowered

She had no mentor

Her submissive mother was no lover

And had no experience in these things

Her second lover

Planted his seed

Knowingly and deliberately

Her consent would undo the previous

Mistake

Or so she thought

A doctors visit first

Cohabitation a week later

A proposal and a diamond ring

Before the first week of spring

Wedding bells rang

A mix tape for a DJ and

An alcohol-free reception

Because baby was on the way.

She has no intentions of entrapment

She hadn’t yet learned to manipulate

She was simply managing situations

From day to day.

But she wasn’t happy

Her diploma wouldn’t be enough

Expired, her father’s tuition offer

Because she had her husband’s stuff

For the same man who tried to restore

Her purity

Was now a witness to her insecurity

Another baby’s arrival

before their departure

from each other.

At any time should could have harmed him

But she listened to how she could own him

For the rest of his life

The lawyers would help her

swindle what was never there.

The fortune she thought they had was

No more than

the imaginary kingdom

that they’d begun to build.

The looks were deceiving to her

But to no one else

She had no idea that what she already had

Was more than many other women

Had ever hoped for.

Because love and trust are invisible

They can be felt

But not seen.

And she traded it in

For a life she thought she should have.

She acted on entitlements

That neither of them had earned

She planned to steal away

With something that was never there

And he began to see this

He began to hurt

He began to hate

He worked harder to hide

He began to create…

New relationships

That were better

Safer

Genuine

He had nothing more to give

Broken and paranoid

He sighed relief

When the marriage was dissolved

He would no longer

Watch the disaster unfold

From now on

All he knows is what he’s told

Online dating

Bouncing from home to home

Dragging the children behind her

His heart turned to stone

He became the philanderer

That she once accused him; a swine

With no ties to anyone

With children gone half the time

He watched from afar

His “once-love” shack

With swingers,

drug-users,

Momma’s boys,

And then back to her parents.

Despite minimal family court interference

Family interventions

Co-parenting interactions

Court order infractions

The power she gained was not

From what she took

Instead twenty years of blood

And tears

Resulted in a new job and a home of her own

Where she could raise her children

The way she wanted

Paint the rooms– the way she wanted

Pay someone to mow the lawn

And invite over whomever she wanted

Cook for him

And tend to him

Until he no longer wanted

to leave

And the power she now had

Was not from another man

But the power she now had

She used to rule over another man

But this man she could not tame

For this man would plant a seed of his own

And he would not leave

And he would not propose

And they would not suppose

How their life will be when their baby turns

Twenty

And now she hates him

And the him from before

She fights with the latter

But complains about the first even more

She models independence to her daughter

She warns of submission to the son

She lies about how she does it

She pretends that she the only one

That she’s a single parent…

That deadbeats owe her more…

That no one can tell her what to do!

That their dad is rotten to the core.

But she keeps her married name

For reasons all her own

Her kids look and behave like him

And now her 💜 turns to stone.

Her hate 𝐅or him

Is incomprehensible

To him

But his forgiveness of her

Frustrates and angers her

Even more confusing

Is that he is not telling the story

She is

Miss Ogyny