YOU are bigger than any loss that YOU will ever take!
The “gain” in “gone”.
Life constantly reminds us of change. Look around, look out the window, gaze across your view. Look at the sky or to the ground, observe the seasons. Look in the mirror. Really look in the mirror. There is the biggest example of change that YOU will ever know!
I took a 6 hour train ride and a 17 hour bus ride over this past weekend. There was once upon a time when trips like these were first nature to me. I could ride the rails and the greyhounds of transportation with such an excited patience and stillness. I enjoyed the views, the landscapes of the horizons and the fertile abundance of earths plentiful splendor. I could spend hours gazing off into sunsets and rises, at mountaintop or water views, I’d stare endlessly into the trees and fields and plains. Wherever I was going would be a distant thought as I would wander in the travel and moments of my routes. Wouldn’t notice any of the noises or sounds amongst me. I’d barely even see, let alone hear the people in the cars or seats right next to me.
Not this trip.
I heard every baby crying. Every snore, sneeze, cough. I think I smelled every unbathed, non-deodorized, fart. I heard every silly, ignorant, or stupid conversation. Every “crazy” antic and outburst. I heard every phone conversation, each broken word, curse word, inappropriate for public consumption word, every angered, frustrated, delusional word. I smelled every popcorn, peanut, flaming hot cheeto, White Castle burger, mild sauce, and the bus breath that comes with it. I smelled every opening of that bathroom door. And I looked out the windows, but all I saw was a long, very long, way to go.
But I changed…
These things were probably always here. I’m sure they were. I’m sure people always talked like this. And smelled like that. And babies cried endlessly, and hysterically, like that. And I’m sure that people have always eaten, and relieved themselves on the buses, or on the train. I’m sure of it. And I had the patience and perspective to be able to enjoy it all. Until I was a parent. And my bills were past due. And my personal life was in disarray. And I was dealing with severe health issues. And family issues. And dealing with obstacles and challenges and problems that at 35, I can’t run from as I did in my teens and twenties. Mortality was not a factor back in the day. I had energy and excitement reserved for being able to leap and tower over and beyond whatever I was going through. Not today. Today that energy has to be compartmentalized and rationed accordingly. Today I am frustrated with the “resolve” I have that I once knew as a reflex. Back then, these were decisions that I made. Today they are but the choices I perceive as my only options.
Or not. Or I choose to think positively.
So on the 2nd leg of the bus journey we get this driver, James. James is a 54 year old man from Chicago who has been driving Greyhound for 24 years come March 2014. James likes tea and lemonade. James tends to think that he is also a comedian. Or at least equipped with a great enough sense of humor to control the room of his bus. I know these things because James frequented the mic and stage by taking full use of the intercom during our trip. And for the first 6-7 hours, I thought James was pretty damn annoying! And he would end every “set” with this…
“And remember people, if you want to stay positive, stay around positive. Stay around positive people. Stay around people that keep you thinking positive. And if they are not positive, well, thank God for caller ID and voice mail, and the unfollow button.”
And James said this about 4 or 5 times during the first 7 hours of the trip. I barely heard him. Especially over, well all those things that I was seeing, and hearing, and smelling.
And then I started smiling. And then I looked out the window. And then I saw some mountains that I remembered. And a lake that I recalled. As a matter of fact, I stopped at that lake before while driving this trip with my son about 6 years ago. And then I started remembering those trees and the look of the sky, and all that field.
And none of my problems went away, but I put them in perspective.
Today is today. Yesterday was today, yesterday. Today is always a chance to start over. Yesterday is always a chance you had. Today is new, always new. Yesterday is old, it will always be old. And the more today’s that you take advantage of, well the older and unnecessary it becomes to have so much faith or fantasy in what was, yesterday. These trips were once so peaceful and serene to me because they were the moment that I had and I reveled in them. It wasn’t that I didn’t see or hear what was going on around me, it was that what was going on in me was more important. I believed, I hoped, I had faith. I was so positive.
And slowly and surely, life happened. And mistakes were made. And problems occurred. And time passed. And regrets accumulated. And options seemed to narrow. And opportunities began to slow. And as an adult I have surrounded myself with more people who offer their views on reality from a sense of practicality as opposed to the younger version of me that sought out the dreamers and the doers and them that had perpetual optimism and hope. I spoke “life” and tolerated nothing less from anyone around me. And I took my bumps and bruises with a smile because I knew then what James has helped me remember now, today is a new day. Today is a new start.
On the way to my destination, one to which I have traveled many times before, there is this open field of farms. I always remember these lands because of their length and width and neat uniformity. Whether they are filled with crops or in the planting season. It is one long area of this purpose. And today I saw the fields and it’s all just dirt and openness. But I remembered that I’ve seen it like this before. I’ve seen it with just the dirt. I’ve seen it full of vegetation. And today I realized that both are life. Of course the crop season is life, growing and ripe, picked according to its fullness. But so is what I see today. Because underneath that ground is a process. A process of planting and fertilizing and nurturing. A process of steps. And that is a positive thing.
And before you know it, the bus was quiet.
Or I didn’t notice that it wasn’t. And I’m sitting there smiling. I’m sitting in the realization of the moment. A new opportunity to DO! A chance to change. A reason to try. Or try again. A reason to think, feel, and be positive. And if no one around me is going to be that for me, then I will be that for them! And maybe that’ll help a little bit. Maybe not with the smells, but life is a garden, and gardens use fertilizer, and fertilizer is, well, I guess the bad smell has a purpose too!
©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers
Love YOU “loved”…
YOU must love YOU. Because “loving” or being “loved” by anyone else is only possible when YOU know what love is for YOURSELF. DO YOU KNOW WHAT LOVE IS? Knowing is what happens as a result of experience and exercise. YOU have to DO love. YOU have to practice love. YOU have to perform love. For YOURSELF! Perpetually. Love (for others) is possible when YOU know and recognize love FOR YOU. That happens when YOU know love IN YOU! YOU must be the bar and standard for how love is translated, transpired, and transported, in YOUR life. No one can love YOU if YOU don’t love YOU. They can love “on” YOU, they can have love “for” YOU, and they can attempt to give love “to” YOU. But it can only be properly received and reciprocated if YOU know it for YOURSELF. YOU must be able to identify and define love as YOU see fit by having tried love on. YOU have to wear love, YOUR own specific love. The love that suits YOUR individual taste and take. Because love is a uniquely specific entity that is as it reflects. Love is the liquid of life, it conforms to whatever container it is placed in. And so just as cups with no bottoms can hold no water, or tiny cups hold tiny amounts, YOU must be able to receive the love poured into YOU and YOU must be able to accommodate the volume of love by being big enough to handle it. Or that love will just run through YOU. Or spill out. Or just make a mess. Of everything.
Today is a great time to learn love. For YOU. While we bask in the revel of this celebration that is to be symbolic of love and appreciation. As we are reminded of our haves and have nots by the constant imagery and marketing that today is. While we “smell” the roses and “taste” the chocolates of today. While we engage in the romantic gestures and ideas of what love is or said to be. While we send and receive notes petitioning and proclaiming our “love” for others, and for all. While we example to those that are watching us that today is all about “love” and the enumeration of ways in which to portray love. Or while we don’t. Or have not. Or sit alone. Or wait at the windows or doorsteps of opportunity for love. Or while we sit in the closets of our own abandonment and condemn love. For hurting us. Or leaving us. Or letting us down. Because that idea of love has done these things.
Today YOU get to love YOU. And tomorrow as well. And everyday after. And YOU get to love YOU forever. And YOU get to celebrate that love. And YOU get to express that love. And learn from that love. And that love will teach others. It will teach others just as it teaches YOU. To love. And what love is. And how love works. And why love works. And what to expect of and from real, true, and authentic, love. And it will be an experience. It will always be an experience. And YOU will be able to share that experience. And what comes with it. With everyone. On so many levels. In so many phases. And ways. And degrees. And stages. Through whatever. YOU, wholly, being and becoming an example of love. in the celebrations, in the challenges. Full. With more to give. Because YOU know what YOU can afford to pour out and where to refill.
Once YOU know love.
©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers
At some point we are going to have to realize that we reached “some point” some time ago. We are beyond that point now. There is no fixing this, at this point, as it is. We must stop. We must stop trying to do what has not worked to this point. “They” must stop. We must stop them. We must recognize who “they” are. Some of us are “them”. “We” are working for and against ourselves at the same time. Some of us need to realize who “we” are. Some of them are going to be for us while some of us will never.
We are not going to survive much further if we do not identify and define these roles. “They” have a specific interest in our survival. They have a plan for us. They will always find an “us” to use.
We will always find a “them” to blame.
Or we could do what we have to, ourselves, for ourselves, by ourselves.
At this point.
©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers
It is almost impossible for people to show how happy they are for you when they are not really happy for you.
Sometimes it is not your truth that they can’t handle, it’s their own lies;
Some people are only in your life because they believe that they can change you into what they want you to be. They may even go as far as changing themselves temporarily to fit in the space that grants them access to you, hoping that you will let your guard down and become who or what they see as “best” for you (for them).
And some will do this in the name of love. They will confuse and attempt to fool you with the comfort and conveniences of your trust, of your past, of your feelings, and of your emotions. And you will probably fall for it for as long as it takes for you to realize that you don’t owe anyone the sacrifice of your happiness and peace for the satisfaction of their presence. That is not consideration, that is control, and you don’t deserve anyone or anything like that, ever.