How to “pass” the past. In 12 steps.
Step 6: Free.
[So I am halfway there. I’m halfway through the process. I’ve taken a first step, I’ve acknowledged the things that needed to be acknowledged, I’ve told the things that needed to be told, I have identified what certain issues are and that I am not alone in dealing with them, and I have studied myself and my past in a way that has allowed me to open up my mind and heart to being free from what the torments of my past once were. Now is time to free myself and free others from having to suffer the sabotage, the secrets, and the silence, which were all once part of the way I dealt with, handled, or coped with my life and my issues. It is time to allow the freedom of my being to open up my eyes, mind, hands, arms, and self to opportunity. It is time to allow healing and closure and resolution to happen in my life. It is time for me to take control of myself and live in that power. It is time to free!]
It seems so easy to suggest that being “free” allows a person to function in the mindset of freedom. If YOU are free then YOU are supposed to get to do the things and enjoy the activities of free people. Freedom should allow YOU deciding power over YOUR choices and the decisions that come YOUR way. Freedom is the absolute right and entitlement that guarantees YOU the opportunity to experiment and experience with the enjoyments of abundance and overflow and promise of what life has to offer.
Holding on or staying in YOUR past will stop all of that! YOUR past, good or bad is a cage. YOUR future, good or bad, is a cage. If YOU do not relinquish the attachment that YOU have to what happened, or what didn’t happen, or who did it, or who didn’t help you, or where the problem was, then YOU will certainly ensnare YOURSELF inside of a cage that will keep YOU locked away and far from reaching any potential that ever was for YOU. It is the same as being so broken in any sense that YOUR only hope is for the “future”. Sometimes we get so displeased with what has gone on or happened in our past or present lives that we separate ourselves from what is, or can be, by holding on to a what could be or what should be future that we begin to imagine for ourselves. The major problem is that in hoping for that future we ofttimes neglect to deal with or handle our issues with the past or present and only continue to create or foster the environments and conditions that hold us hostage. Some “dreamers” have this issue to a detriment. They become permanent dreamers and never get to “do” the things that are necessary to be done in order to realize those dreams. Dreams should be “naps” in YOUR life, short moments that create the atmosphere and opportunity to plan and rest, not long slumbers that keep YOU hoping or imagining a thing or some things that YOU could have experienced if YOU were “woke” per say. I have a line in one of my poems about Dr. King that reads:
“They needed us in a permanent dream,
that needed us in a permanent sleep,
they killed him
His dream survives permanently…”
In the broader scope of Dr. King’s life I completely understand and respect that he “did” and was about action that produced what he had envisioned and desired for humanity. I revere and respect him with a resolute affection for his stance and willingness to keep going and keep moving for what he had determined was his purpose. I have a great deal of love and admiration for his ability to press forward in the face of danger and difficulty that was, in his day and time, quite lawful and legal. He pressed forth for a bigger picture for us, those for whom he fought for. His dream should have been realized by now, but maybe as a people we are in the permanent sleep of it and haven’t done what was needed to “do” in order to realize it.
I refer to Dr. King in no manner to disrespect or disregard the legacy of such a man. The fact is that Dr. King accomplished many feats and was a part of the movement that made great strides in achieving certain freedoms and rights for people. I use him as a reference because Dr. King’s life was on the heels of slavery, a past that haunts this country and many people affected, to this present day. The horrific chains and cages and whippings, separations, lynchings, and murders all destroyed and devastated an entire race of people. And that past, that terrible past still exists for the truth that it is still held onto and remembered and carried on through the spirit by tradition and habits learned and experienced in those days. In secrecy and silence was how slaves communicated. When YOU are enslaved by YOUR past, YOU communicate in secrecy and silence. The slave mentality also justified the “not as bad” frame of consciousness that led to a mindset of thinking that perpetuated certain past realities into almost permanent presents.
Like “chitlins”, best way I can explain it is by using “chitlins”. I looked up chitterlings and found this:
“Chitterlings made from pigs are still occasionally eaten in the southern U.S. Consumption of chitterlings is uncommon today in the developed world, and is usually associated with poverty and in the black community.
In colonial times, hogs were slaughtered in December. When slavery was practiced in America slave owners commonly fed their slaves as cheaply as possible. At hog butchering time, the best cuts of meat were kept for the masters and the remainder, such as fatback, snouts, ears, neck bones, feet, and intestines, given to the slaves.”
Chitlins was what they gave slaves as nourishment after the good meat and parts of a big were eaten by the masters or better people. Chitlins was the best they, the slaves, could get. And the course stayed on menus and at the dinner tables of the south for generations now. To some, chitlins is a delicacy! I have never eaten them in my life. The smell alone is enough to prevent me from ever trying them. But knowing the history of them and that they are not healthy nor good for you, angers me that we keep on cooking up the chitlins. And the “fatback, snouts, ears, neck bones, are feet” rest assured on tables in our homes year after year.
Chitlins are not good for YOU. Chitlins are not necessary for YOU. They are the past and we have kept them going for all of this time. Chitlins are like the N-word.
Or YOU get free!
The “free” step is about accepting that YOU are able and capable to engage in new and different things than YOU may have been accustomed or acclimated to. Some of the negative things that we hold onto from our past are connected to the positive or good or desires that we hold and hope for. Chitlins are associated now with holidays which bring us together with family and friends and celebration and gift and love and togetherness. So they are continuously enjoyed by the virtue of tradition and culture and engrained in the memories of our identities. Never mind that they are unhealthy or not good for us. Doesn’t matter that they are what they always were, the trash of the hog, given to who were considered the trash of the time. And with the N-word, it was given just as chitlins was, and we began to identify with it and define ourselves, some of us, with and by it.
The “free” step is about being vulnerable and open to adjustment and learning new things. It is about being willing to forgo some of the old habits and traditions, not to completely distance YOURSELF from who YOU were or are but to create an identity that compliments who YOU know YOURSELF to be. YOU get to become and begin. YOU get to breathe and YOU get to live. YOU get to be healthy. YOU get to be free. YOU get to be free in YOUR speech and in YOUR thoughts. That freedom opens YOUR world up to opportunity and experience and relationships that aid YOU in the process of developing the life that YOU want. Being “free” as it pertains to a mindset opens up YOUR cage of the past and let’s YOU out. It unlocks the cage into YOUR future. it keeps YOU open in the now. And NOW is where YOU can best achieve and excel in what being “free” is.
Free YOURSELF up. Free YOUR mind. Free YOUR energy. Free YOUR life. To love and to live and to lead. To be and become. To dream, then DO!
To get a chance to presently be YOU! YOU have been “catching it” for too long, it is time to pass the past.
©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers