Tag Archives: Gravity

The Resolution of Fear

I, like the rest of the world, have been battling internal dualities my entire life.  On one hand, there’s this immobilizing fear and on the other this peaceful acceptance of my future success.  How does that work? It doesn’t. It’s completely dysfunctional and destructive. My fear has always suppressed my desire to achieve. I’ve burned bridges, buildings, and whole communities because of that fear. It’s kept me up at night. It’s swung over my head in relationships. It was wearing me down.  But in a recent conversation with my friend, I finally put the pieces together. Stay with me here.

I’m comfortable with private failure. You know the bottom. You can stand on that. Public success? It’s like being suspended in air. The higher you go, the worse the impact if you fall. I know that my success will only come when I’m 100% authentic to who I am. My fear of success then, is actually the fear of being known and if that’s the case, my fear is a pretty empowering thing.

Wait, what?

I know. Are you ready for the kicker?  My fear of success is a fear of myself. Why? Because deep down, I know I already have what I need to succeed. I’m responsible for whether or not I grab the brass ring.

Now that might not have been as earth shattering for you as it was for me. We hear shit like this all the time.

“You have the power!”

“You’ve got the secret!”

“Law of Attraction!”

“You’ve got the golden snatch!”

I…may have made that last one up but you know exactly what I’m saying here. We’re inundated with these uplifting messages everyday but everyday we’re crushed with the near insurmountable weight of the world. I’ve carried that for some time. I’ve lusted over the freedom to change and cowered at the fear of that possibility. There was always a reason not to and I’m sure you could show me your laundry list of why it can’t for you either. So what’s the disconnect if it’s so accessible?!

You, baby girl. YOU.

The bullshit and burdens we carry, WE carry. You can dump it on the side of the road or develop stronger shoulders. It’s up to you but as an adult you realize your life is exactly that… yours. I’ll expand on this a little more in the next post but growing up I did everything for the appeasement of others. My boundaries, my perceptions, everything was based off of the expectations of others. I had no sense of self so obviously I didn’t know how to live for myself. Y’all don’t want me to preach! But I will because I suspect that some of you are struggling with a similar problem.  I had no sense of self so obviously I didn’t know how to live for myself. “Me” was unchartered territory and just like a human I was deathly afraid of what I did not know.

So in that moment when I made the connection for myself, a light didn’t just go off, my entire world shifted. It was like a supernatural experience. If my fear was darkness, my faith was constant illumination. I finally understood what my father meant by,” Faith above fear.”  I didn’t feel like a victim in fear’s grasp. I felt infinitely powerful. I felt that underlying peace circumvent that fear. Fear of ridicule, fear of not making it the first or thousandth time, fear of showing people my naked soul. Most of it converted into this unshakeable confidence that I have NEVER had y’all. Ever. I felt alive. I looked to my future comforted by the notion that it’s going to be fucking phenomenal. I haven’t felt that way…ever. I thought at first it was just a fleeting feeling associated with the upcoming new year but it’s still with me, almost as if my intuition morphed into stone. It’s resolute and now so am I.

This of course was a long process but that’s because I’m hard headed as HELL. If you’re really ready, here’s the simplest way to streamline it.

1) Confront Your Shit:Know how I said it took me years? Yeah, 99.9% of that time was stuck on this step. Open up that closet of horrors. Look every failure, consequence, demon, skeleton, ghost, haunt, whatever’s lurking in there in the eye. Call it out by name. Realize that you shouldn’t be afraid of it but it should be afraid of you. Anxiety does not control you, your depression will not defeat you, your past will not destroy you, your failures will not define you. The greatest defense against fear is total self-awareness. (Go’head and tweet it babe, you know you want to!)

My friend Doyin wrote a fantastic piece on this here.

2) Create a plan: Now what? What do you want to be, where do you want to go, what do you want your legacy to be? Don’t be discouraged if you’re at point A and your destination is point Z. It will take time but the journey is just as important as the destination, sometimes more-so. Most people don’t even get to their path so recognize the beauty that you’re on yours.

3) Commit to yourself: Plans are like maps, they’ll help guide you but the course can and will change. The driver in this case, does not. Don’t pull an Olivia Pope but actually trust your gut. Listen to your instincts, block out the noise, and trust yourself. You’re smarter than you think. You’re so much more than what you give yourself.

4) Claim It: Do you want to make an album? Start your own fashion line? Launch your own consulting firm? Become a parent? Write it down, call it out, it doesn’t matter how you do it but birth it into existence. If that’s your vision, if that’s what you want, say so. You don’t have to tell everybody but you must tell somebody. Why? To keep you accountable when that fear starts to creep back up. People of course will have their opinions and advice, you choose whether or not to receive it or not. All that really matters is that this is yours.  Want an example of how easy it is? I’m writing and publishing a book in 2015. Boom. That’s what I’m claiming as my own.

I’m hoping you’re as pumped as I am at this point. What are you claiming for 2015? What’s something fear  you’ve kept from yourself because you were afraid? I’m no judge so feel free to share!

As always, feel better, do better, and be better!

MM-Signature

Who Loves You?

MM-WhoLovesYouWPMainOoo y’all, I apologize for the delay. I moved…back to my parents’ house (hooray for extended adolescence) since I’d been waiting for my lease to be renewed in August. YEAH. Long story short, I decided against renewing almost 6 months after the fact and moved in with the raddest roommates in the world in the meantime (or forever, let’s not got caught up in details or judgments here).

If you want a little taste of my hellish moving experience, head over to my dear friend Evelyn from the Internet’s Vlog on Youtube. She’s hilarious and one of my nearest and dearest friends.

Ok, back to the task at hand. I wanted this to be three separate posts but for the sake of time, I’m going to combine this into one so we can move on to the fun-introspective-inner dialogue-gut wrenching-reflective-traversing our soul, stuff sooner. Yippee! Emotions! I can tell you’re just radiating with enthusiasm. 🙂


If you read my post on letting go you know that it’s easier said than done. Especially when it comes to intangible things like feelings and negative thoughts but what about people?

IMG-RuhRoh

It’s not fun and it’s far from pleasant but you will find out it is necessary. We can’t always keep everyone right where we want them forever and honestly, we shouldn’t. That’s right. Some people may “fall by the wayside” as my mom would say. As an Army brat, I have always struggled with that concept. I didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want to forget. As I’ve grown, I realize that letting a person go may be better for my own mental health in the long run than it is to hold on to them. Tough decisions have to be made but that’s why I’m here to help. I wouldn’t expect you to walk through the fire alone.

One of my nearest and dearest friends always jokes about how we first met. We were opposites in a lot of ways. She was forward and direct, I rambled and avoided confrontation like that plague. Eventually we grew closer and I came to see her like a sister but I was always thrown by one of her rules. She called it the “care wagon.” Think of a wagon train or a car trip, where you only have so much space. Some things have to get sold, donated, or left behind. That same concept applied to people. Not everyone can come with you. Similar to my analogy in my last post about holding on to things in your hand, you only have so much space in your heart, and it’s your responsibility to make sure you fill it with the right people.

Again, this concept was foreign to me initially. Your love is boundless and should be available to everyone you meet! Everyone deserves your love! Right?…Right?!

No girl, they don’t.

GIF-NoGurl

While she had her limited availability policy, I had a revolving door policy. You could leave and return whenever you wanted, you could barge right in, you could come in and rob me blind and I would still let you back in with no sense of discernment. Some of you will call that love but it’s not. When you allow people to use your time, energy, love, talents, things, anything of yours willingly and without consequence, it’s like setting out a mound of fresh steaks outside your door, you’re going to attract a lot of stray dogs. You can’t feed everybody! As cute as they may look, they can still bite you. What you exude, you will always attract. People can sense when they can push you around and pull you down. That’s why you have to set some healthy boundaries and remain consistent with them. They aren’t meant to keep you from the world, they’re meant to keep you safe.

But what if someone has to let go of you? Shet man. None of this is easy. It’s not comfortable and it sucks to feel rejected and abandoned but take that as a sign that it’s time to self-evaluate. Did they let you know why? Do you agree with the reasons? Or are they just full of shit? Whatever direction you’re coming from you still arrive at the same conclusion, if someone doesn’t want you, is it worth your emotional energy to try and keep them? I’ve never heard of a healthy, satisfying one-sided friendship. That’s because they don’t exist. If someone’s letting go of your hand, it’s not a sign that you should grasp on tighter and claw into their flesh like your life depends on it. All you can do is gracefully accept that reality and move on.

I know for a lot of you there may have been some people that you had to leave behind in 2014. Hell, there may be some folks you left behind yesterday. It doesn’t have to feel good but it should feel right. I remember an excerpt I read in a Suze Orman book a few years back ( the financial stuff clearly didn’t stick as well in the ole noggin’). She was talking about this invasive anxiety she had about some relationships. She was tired of it so she made a list of all the people she was having problems with, called them up, and told them the deal. They either worked it out or she moved on, either way the anxiety was gone once she was done. Do you need to let go of some folks in your life? Here’s a free worksheet with extra goodies I made to guide you through the process.

If there’s some relationship worth salvaging, and both parties are willing to do the work, get in there and fight for it. But remember not everything is worth saving and not everyone can be saved.

I’m so excited by the topic and I really want to continue the conversation. Digest and then let’s discuss!

Let It Go [but please don’t sing the song]

MM-LetItGoWPM

“Let’s imagineer a narrative.” ***

Wherever you are, try to grab as many things as possible with one of your hands. When it’s full, try to grab one more thing, were you able to hold it? Or was it overwhelmed with the task?

As a child, my mother would lovingly inquire why I held on to her so tightly. When she’d lay me down for a nap I would cling on to her neck for dear life, deathly afraid that she would let me go forever. I would grasp my dad’s hand so tightly he wondered if I was afraid or angry. Most teen sisters would be annoyed by the near constant presence of their loud baby sister. I became their proverbial cling wrap. I was so afraid of loosening my grip on people and of losing control.

Control that is...and Tom.
Control that is…and Tom.

As an adult, that constant need for emotional intimacy has translated into a string of bad relationships, both platonic and romantic, and all miasmic. If my life were a scrapbook, there’d be whole pages with trash adorned with stickers and glitter. As an Army brat, I’ve always had a difficult time letting go. I need people, things, and information to fill the void inside me. I’m not a bad judge of character, I’m just so extremely afraid of feeling the cold, stale air of that void on my skin, that I surround myself with irrelevant relationships, things, and distractions. That impulsive reasoning has come at a cost.

But times they are a changing. This time last year I couldn’t imagine my life without my soon to be boyfriend and one of my closest friends. As 2015 creeps nearer, those positions have been left vacant. At first, I did what I always do, grip tighter, hold on harder, and pray to God that I wouldn’t lose anyone. When that failed I tried to haphazardly find things and people to fill their place. I went on date after date, made out with guy after guy, and tried to forcibly convince myself that that was enough. It wasn’t.

Then the uncomfortable truths came up. That cold, stale air surrounded me and I realized that every detrimental thing I held onto had cost me something beneficial. Why? Seeds can’t take root in poor soil. Flowers can’t bloom in a garden overrun with weeds. Let go of the bad so you can embrace the good. My self-esteem, self-worth, goals, drive, all got put on the chopping block because baby girl was dickstruck, heartbroken, and afraid to be alone.

You heard me Latrice.
You heard me Latrice.

But now that more time has passed, I realize that my fear of being alone kept me from learning how to be comfortable with myself.  The internal problems I was and am struggling with cannot be resolved with external solutions. It isn’t the fact that I had a defunct relationship but the fact that I attracted, sought out, and pursued one. I needed it because it made me feel whole. But the only person responsible for my fulfillment is me. I can’t expect people to love me the way I need to be loved if I don’t set the precedent by demonstrating that to myself first.

I’ve spent my whole life searching for the missing piece in trivial, superficial things. I’ve invested in shitty relationships, my closet, my whims, but rarely have I invested in myself. By refusing steadfastly to let go of bullshit I’ve gathered, my collection has evolved into full on fuckshit. Anxiety, insecurity, perfectionism, dwindling self-esteem, fragile self-image, and a knack for lowering my standards for anyone who pays me the slightest attention. That shit ain’t cute. 

Clearly I love Latrice
Clearly Latrice is bae.

So how does one let go? It was much easier than I thought. You just:

1) Recognize your grasp

2) Identify the contents

3) Sort it out

4) Let it go

I’ve followed this for the past month and have cleared out a lot of bull. I went through my phone and deleted guys I knew there was no future with, the friends who I always contact and never seem able to contact me, and the people I haven’t seen or heard from in years. I cleaned out my email, my social media, my car, computer, and I’m about to start my closet. All the while I felt my mojo return, my confidence shoot through the roof, and my focus re-align on my goals and vision. It wasn’t easy but it was definitely worth it. The simplest solutions are often the most difficult decisions you can make, but you have to let go of the things that are holding you back if you’re ever going to moved forward in your life.

What are you holding onto? What are you ready to let go of?

 

 

***Watch The Thick of It. Malcolm Tucker’s reads are Drag U worthy. 

Head Under Water

MM-HeadUnderWaterWPM

“Come out here Jordan!”

My knuckles were white from gripping the ledge of the pool. My feet weren’t touching the bottom.

“Just let go and swim to me.”

There was no way in hell. My legs tried to latch onto the wall. I held on for dear life but I couldn’t get a good grip. I was slipping.

“Here, take my hand.”

Still clawing to the wall, afraid of the black hole I was sure would swallow me up if I let go, I turned my head to see my friend reaching towards me. I started to weigh my options. My arms were sore. I had scraped my chin. My legs were cramping. I couldn’t cling to the wall forever. In a single move, I lunged towards him. But before I could get to his hand, my legs started to sink, my arms flailed, and I was gasping for air as my head bobbed underneath the water.

I was drowning.


I thought I wanted this. My friends were able to do it seemingly unscathed. But here I was lying in bed with a man that I did not care about and I didn’t care to know.

Long hair, short hair, green eyes, brown eyes, strong chest, broken smile, it was becoming a blur of features. Nothing was learned. The only thing gained were a few moments of control. The whispers were sweet, the mood saccharine, but the reality was fractured. I could see it and I wondered why they refused to.

I didn’t know what I had expected. Some kind of awakening? Some kind of revelation? I did not feel a loss of innocence like I was told countless times in Sunday School. I did not feel any less valuable but with each horizontal exploration I felt a vertical descent into something else and further away from myself.  I was being reckless, but it wasn’t with my body.

“I think I love you.”

My back was to him when he told me. I tried to pretend that I was still asleep. But I had heard. He sat in the silence. I broke because of it. I wasn’t some femme fatale seductress. This wasn’t a game with pieces to move across the board. This wasn’t Sex in the City. This was real life. I was so willing to do anything to regain some sense of control in my life that I’d become emotionally reckless. I felt sick.


The water was starting to fill my lungs. I couldn’t make it up to the surface as much. I was growing tired. The fury and panic were beginning to subside.

Where was Joshua? Where was the lifeguard? Why wasn’t someone coming to save me?

I felt myself going under and I knew it was for the last time. No one was coming to get me. There was no use in fighting. My eyes were closed as I felt myself drift further down. It seemed like an eternity passed before I felt my feet hit the bottom. My head was pounding and my lungs burned as they tried to hold on to the last bits of oxygen they had left.

“Kick.”

I swore I heard someone speak directly to me.

“Kick, damnit.”


The truth is your greatest ally in obtaining happiness. It stings because the truth is often inflammatory. The longer we stray, the worse it burns. I’ve been running from mine for ages. I learned at an early age to lie to people in order to make them comfortable.

When I was being molested in the 5th grade and my mother would ask how my day was?

“Great.”

When I started having panic attacks and my sorority sisters wanted to check up on me?

“No problems here, everything’s great.”

When I would daily contemplate my suicide mere minutes after hanging out with my friends?

“Just dandy.”

I don’t communicate the bad. None of us do. We post our filtered photos and inspiring tweets. We blog about our great travels and moments but when it really counts, we retreat from our vulnerabilities in order to appear stronger than we are. But hiding from the root of who we really are and what we really feel is what’s cowardly. If the past few months of death, mass protest, outrage, and violence has taught us anything it’s that we all have our demons. We all have secret parts of ourselves that we hide from people but in the long run it doesn’t do us any good.  Our warts and scars concealed with a flick of our wrists and a layer of foundation only mask the reality of the situation. The pain of a secret isn’t vanquished by the shadow of its concealment but my the illumination of its unveiling.

In the past three months my PTSD has gotten a hold of me. Insomnia, anxiety, mood swings, and impulsive decisions have led me on a downward spiral. I retreated from the people I loved the most, the things I loved to do, but most importantly and regrettably, I retreated from myself.

It’s easy to look at the timeline and think this was all a hysterical reaction to a breakup but this has been brewing inside me for some time. I was running out of options for how to distract myself. Years ago, I found it in the rigidity of litigious religion, then food, then in school, then in alcohol, and I’ve recently returned to men. But with each distraction, the realization that “it” was still there rushes in like the water in my lungs. I’ve been drowning for a while, expecting these external treatments to lift me up and out. But how can anyone help you if they don’t even know you’re in the pool?  At some point you have to  to fight yourself for yourself and that’s ok.

Don’t let your fears misconstrue your strengths as weaknesses. There is no shame in feeling lonely or broken. There’s no shame in feeling afraid or left behind. There’s no shame in feeling like a ship without an anchor. These things are what define us and propel us to our greatest joys. These pains are how we learn to find our way back to each other and inevitably ourselves.

Instead of masking it, instead of running away from it, run towards it, crash into it, proclaim your arrival and wrestle it to the ground, defeat it, or just

…kick.

 

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I was sitting there across from him, staring at the hardwood floor I’d become accustomed to coming home to everyday. We sat across each other in the chairs he bought the second month we were dating. We used to sit next to each other, now we were on opposite sides of the room. I kept my eyes on everything but him. I could always concentrate my eyes on something different.  Not so with my ears.

“…you’re incredible. I just have so much going on right now…”

He still hadn’t dusted the blinds or cleaned off the table. It was always messy. Somebody was doing something on the television. The sound was inaudible. Sort of like this conversation.

“ …you know? There’s so much I have to deal with. I need to grow up…”

Had he taken the clothes out of the dryer? He always did a second cycle to get the wrinkles out even though he had the steamer. I bet his room was a mess. The kitchen was abysmal. There was a list on the counter for the groceries still. He hadn’t gone yet.

“I should have said something sooner.”

Ah, there was the period.

For the first time in the eternity stretched ten minutes, I looked at him. I looked into him. I was looking for the person I loved. The one who would sing me “Tiny Dancer” comically, at the top of his lungs when I was having a bad day. The one who bore his soul to me. The one who took care of me when I was sick. The person I fell in love with under the stars. The person I laughed with daily. I stared hard into those eyes and found a haziness where there was once light. I had given him my words. My words. The most intimate form of affection I could offer, I had given to him and now I was left wanting, waiting for an explanation, for a why to the whirlwind that had been the last few weeks of dismissals and confusion. I closed my eyes. It wasn’t haziness I’d seen but a vacancy. He wasn’t coming back.

I looked up once more and saw the smirk on his face. I got up to leave.

“Hey, don’t be like that. Stay. We can talk some more.”

The air was thick outside. My back was to him. I paused. I could try and convince him. I could shake him until he came back to his senses. I could pinch him so he could wake up. But the only person who needed convincing, who needed to be shaken, to be pinched, was me.

“There’s nothing left to talk about…thanks for the explanation.”

Fuck.


Breaking up is more of an evaluation of yourself than they are of your former partner. You’re forced to wrestle with your issues with commitment, communication, abandonment, the ghost of your parents’ divorce, the burden of public perception, and everything in between. There’s this vacuum that appears that you can easily get sucked into. You’re feeling abandoned, alone, maybe unworthy, unloved, definitely angry, and ridiculously hurt. You question conversations and words. Everything that was once sacred and beautiful suddenly becomes a cruel reminder of a future obliterated. You have two options at this point, heal or hurt. You can suppress it and run away to another relationship, another bed, another bottle, another joint, whatever you can use to defer it but the feelings come back to collect, with interest. You have to wade through them eventually.

Many times, people don’t allow themselves to process the feelings hitting them. They run away because they’re afraid. They avoid them because we’re conditioned to believe that vulnerability and feelings are weaknesses when they’re our source of strength. They regress so far inside themselves that no one will ever be able to get to them from outside the fortress they’ve created. I’ve witnessed that multiple times in the people I love over the years. You can beat your head and you hands against those walls for hours, days even. You can scream and cry and kick. But all you’re met with is the echo of your own pain. The only way that person leaves is if they open the door. For some people that will never happen because they’re afraid of what they might find on the other side.

There’s something inside of us that is scared to death of confronting …ourselves. We’re afraid of our own shadow, of our reflection, we’re afraid of the truth of who we are. The allure of a relationship is that in the beginning, you can lie. You don’t have to look in the mirror, all of those flaws can be written off temporarily, hidden. Your demons don’t usually follow you to your third dinner date. But the true beauty of finding someone is that they illuminate all the things you were trying to hide. They bring a fuller awareness of who you are and let you know that it’s ok, that all of you is beautiful and worthy of love. This can be a season of growth.

It was for me. I learned a lot about myself in the process but mainly felt like I had gained access to an exclusive club. Nothing says you have your life together like a monogamous relationship in your twenties. At least that’s what I’d been told. I was excited about our partnership, about our emotional growth; I dived head first into love and chased it down a rabbit hole. I felt happy. I was coming into all of these new awarenesses about myself. I felt like I was blossoming and I was, under the light of my own love, not his. I hadn’t really noticed that he was a flowering weed.

Pretty soon, I spent all my time with him. I practically lived with him. He went from being my world to being my Sun. I convinced myself that he was the one. So what if he has severe family dysfunction? So what if we have completely opposed core beliefs? So what if he has kids? So what if he doesn’t have friends? So what if every other human relationship he has and has ever had functions on dysfunction? So what? I would rebuff every resonating doubt with that question. Who cares? Love can conquer anything. Love can win every battle. Love can overcome every obstacle. But what happens when only one person is operating with an understanding and experience of what love really is? What then?

You can’t give something that’s never been demonstrated to you. Sure, you can fake it for a while. Movies and music are a great source for all the right words to say and all the right gestures to give. You might even convince yourself that you give love. But love isn’t saying the right things. Love is offering compassion when you deserve none. Love is the liniment you put on after you’ve been emotionally burned and broken. Love is not an affection, it’s an effect. It’s a conscious choice. It’s a commitment. It’s a faith. It’s a light that guides you when all else has gone dark. Before you can offer that kind of healing to someone else, you have to offer it to yourself. Otherwise what you’re giving is the equivalent of counterfeit money. It can look like it, almost feel like it, but once you put it under the light you’ll see it’s worthless.

So I took my initial resistance to wanting to feel and I threw it out the window. I was patient with myself. I was kind. I demonstrated love to myself, so that I wouldn’t lose my ability to demonstrate it to someone else later. I felt my feelings. I didn’t put a container on it. I didn’t put a limit on it. I just felt the full truth of everything I was feeling. I got angry, I cried, I acted out of turn, I sought out “replacements”, I wailed, I sobbed, I accepted the rejection, the foolishness of not realizing what I was doing sooner, the loneliness, I went through the full range of everything that I felt. I was a zombie for a month. Then, slowly, I came out of it. I realized I dodged a colossal bullet, that breaking up was not an indication of my worth, love, or intelligence. I recognized that if anything, I learned a lot and maybe that was the point.

I could have remained bitter. I could have drowned in sorrow like I’d done before after breaking up with an ex. I could have blamed him for everything. But eventually I let it go. I allowed myself to be human and surprisingly I still am. Relationships have very little to do with the other person. We project our fears onto them and expect them to conquer each one. We quickly discover every flaw they have without realizing they’re actually ours. We demand all of them but only give a portion of ourselves. We tell them we love them so we can hear it back. We require a static state of perfection but constantly evolve, devolve, and fluctuate from who we originally were to them. We expect forgiveness, understanding, and patience without ever having to return the favor.

We’re so afraid to bare our souls to each other because we’ve never taken the time to look at it naked. Confront your reflection before you focus on someone else’s.

[This song helps too :)]