Tag Archives: Trust

Love Is… (Relationship)

There is definitely a period or season in which your relationship will be even, where it should be even. “Even” in a sense of and respect to accord and assurance and automatic access to agreement. There is a time where everything seemingly always goes together in a symbiotic unity that is all spectacular and in the space of magical amazingness.

It is supposed to be like that.

For a period, for a season.

But relationships that actually last and have depth and definition and detail and evolve into destiny aren’t “even” all the time. Not even most of the time.

There is always an issue, some challenges, some changes, disruption and delay, confusion, chaos, hurt and hell to go through. There is always a problem, a decision, a choice, an obligation and a responsibility to pick a side. There is always question and instigation and accusation and controversy. There is always mess and frustration and misery demanding to sit in your company. There are moments of lack and lethargy, discontent and so much noise.

While the work has to be done.

While the bills have to be paid.

While the home has to be kept.

While the kids have to be raised.

While the time keeps passing by.

And still, more importantly still…

The soul has to be uplifted.

The spirit has to be nourished.

The mind has to be stimulated.

The romance has to be maintained.

The peace has to kept.

Your mate has to be considered.

Love is not just love. Love is everything more than love. Love is all the things more than love. Love is sacrifice and surrender whilst satisfying self. Love is particular and specific and yet ambiguous and wide. Love is gentle and firm. Love is intelligent and understanding. Love is complete yet open, comprehensive and curious.

And relationships require the steadiness of the unknown to abide its journey into fate. Ever heard of the good fight? The good fight is a relationship. The good fight is an ever-ongoing battle for the sake of someone else. The good fight is sleepless and exhausting and turbulent and demanding and constant. It always is. There is no time or room for the expectations or ask that a relationship is anything other than that.

Those seasons of complete congruence are the ultimate reward for complying with a confrontation that is compliment of your courage and cause. That good is a direct result of how good you become in the tantrum of this dynamic. You will absolutely know the days that are fantastic by the default of what those terrible times demand of you!

You’ll find “odds” more often than not. What you will achieve good at is deciding when to debate and when to defer. Compassion and patience are outfits that should align the wardrobe of your wants. Love is tender. Love is an acute mandate that you honor and embody to stay in the way. To be available for the fight. To be present and aware to the unknown. Because you chose this and for as long as an iota of desire rest in the two of you, you are obligated to take arms and forge into the fisticuffs of faith and action.

Through it all. For as long as it takes. And that is matrimony. That is what marriage really is. That is a relationship. Arduous and audacious and ambitious and abundant and adamant.

For each one of you.

Because on both sides, bookending that “season” of total compliment is life. And life requires that differences be met with diligence and discipline. And life requires decision. You decided on a relationship.

This is what you have to do.

-see

@seethepoet

©2018 Cornelious “See” Flowers

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Trust that you… [POEM]

I trust that you…
should, can, will
well-knowing you
could stand still
and it is your choice,
whichever way
if and when you decide,
whatever you say

I trust that you…
won’t follow suit
ignoring the trap of tradition
so it doesn’t swallow you
there are options,
truth be told, there is time
as life is sure to unfold
never be scared, you’re alive

I trust that you…
Go, Do, Be
it is up to you,
don’t you see?
you get to leave or love
at your desire and decision
just know the moments,
whether forgiveness or permission

I trust that you…
try for yourself
the point of having wings
is to fly for yourself
there is everywhere
and anywhere you choose to be
that is most important,
and what matters to me.

-see

©2015 Cornelious “See” Flowers
@seethepoet

No question, Needed… [POEM]

I couldn’t afford her…
only bought her closer to him
what I wanted for us
was closer to them
a fat chance
was closer to slim
it was never a fair fight
I wasn’t supposed to contend,
but I did
left and right
marks that I left at night
I left a mark,
that will be left for life
no reason to be dark,
she left for light
left for love is left alike,
I don’t feel left,
she left me right,

settled

pointed in a good direction
manual shifting is work,
versus automatic transmission
I had to leave her sick enough
in order for him to come get her
I’d always known his presence,
knew the him that come with her
knew the deeds that had been done
knew the dude that outdid her
knew the lie she tried to tell herself
knew the tricks to outwit her
so I knew that out with her
I had to be dude that was not with her
had to leave room for him
knew that my room would not fit her
wasn’t a matter of tools,
or which dude would best fit her
what happened had nothing to do with it
it was due that I get hurt
rules don’t apply to you
is what a fool says to prevent worse
this ain’t just the truth
it is approved,
a proof that approval is how you get work

and still I could end up being labeled
like I shouldn’t feel a kind of way
or I wouldn’t be able
to call it like I see it
been there, been through it, been burnt too much
been rejected, been disrespected, been hurt too much
been used, been abused, been made to bare
but baby girl you’ve been building up resistance,
you might as well be there

remember me for what ifs
remind him with my aura
next time he puts you through it,
remind him that I was boring
only willing to move as you ordered
but I get it,
no need to sort it,
or explain
you did this for self,
not esteem
I can dig it,
not a seed
bloomed already
the problem with us
was that I assumed already
and we happened way too soon,
so a future loomed all heavy
should have stayed in the cocoon
neither me, or you
were all ready
wings weren’t fully developed
so those pretty things
were just all heavy,
and the potential weighed us down
tried to play dress up,
the costumes made us clowns

a good performance
but a circus nonetheless
a whole audience entertained,
didn’t pay off,
but I can say I did invest
and I would like to suggest…

… She is still breathing
yup, and she is still leaving
who says, “I told you so”?
just remember that I told her, “Go”
changed my mind when I told her “No”
and held on,
after I was told to throw
because anyone can play catch
someone deserves to know
that watching someone else’s process
is how you learn to grow
and a lesson like this
is how you learn it, so…

I’m willing to believe now
because of us, I can believe how
so it was what it was,
nothing to leave out
if you’re going to try it once
it’s better to leave now
no telling for the future
she’s going to breathe out
not holding it in anymore
and I played a part in that,
easy to SEE how…

… Broken hearts build better men
and LOVE is better, than,
then

and when you’re ready for it,
walls don’t fall because you’re headed for them
you have to crash
and once you know what it feels like to hurt,
you won’t have to bask
if you don’t go for a present
you won’t have a past
your reason to concede it
is enough to get you pass
you won’t be the first,
you won’t be the last,
no question needed
you don’t even have to ask.

-see

©2015 Cornelious “See” Flowers
@seethepoet

How…

How…

Heartbreak is the only reason to keep on loving

Or trying to find love where there is no pain….

Or finding patience in pain because pain attracts healing and cures

And forgiveness becomes a reason to be hurt again or an excuse you can use to justify why you do any of it…

Sex is how you explain it

Because words can’t and no one seems to speak your language when it comes to things that matter

And since sex seems to matter you make it a matter-of-factly type of means of communicating when you can’t

And it seems that you never do

But you keep trying…

Trying to make love to make sense to make something better because the thought makes you feel good

Or a memory makes you feel good

Or a fantasy makes you imagine that it will feel good

And maybe it does, if it does, when it does

But it does absolutely nothing to change anything significant

Because sex is definitely not significant

When it comes to love

It just magnifies heartbreak

And makes things difficult

And different

And makes fools of people who think that they are smarter than love

Or heartbreak

Or pain

Or anything that requires you to surrender possibility to the probability

That you will inevitably feel absolutely nothing as it overtakes you

Blame it on the chemical avalanche that rushes you and depletes you of rationality…

Yes, it’s a mess

Trying to fix broken people with broken means, things you picked up from other broken people,

Who are just being

The truth is that you only want to when you have no choice but to and that will only make things seem more important than what they really are until you realize that the only things that matter are the things that don’t mean enough to distract you from what gives you a chance to love

Without questions

Or sufficient answers

Or expectations

That judge mistakes

And circumvent adventure

With the chance to wait

Your soul doesn’t care what happened nor what is next

It cries out to give its best

To illuminate from behind the desk

That contains all of the files you’ve amassed and collected and repeatedly over-checked for where you could have done different

And maybe some type of map that could lead you from this prison

That holds you hostage and forces you to listen

To the sound of echoes that beckons you from assumption

Your memory only knows where it once was

Not where you’re going to be,

Heartbreak is the only thing that will make you able to see,

Just how foolish it all had came to be

Until you care enough to remain at ease

And breathe

The real sigh of relief

That makes you free.

-see

©2012 Cornelious M. Flowers III

A GOD to my liking.

Tuesday (10/16) was an old friends birthday. When I got up and started to write this morning, I had no idea what I was going to talk about or whether I should at all. My last few blogs have all been “catheters” that have been supportive of me releasing years upon years of “buildup” and for the last couple of days, I figured that I may need a little rest. I was actually just going to write a poem or insert one of my quotes from my last book as a “Today’s -see” but as I started writing, I saw the date and remembered that his birthday had past and well, there IS something that I need to talk about.

Today’s -see

A GOD to MY “liking”.

I am very specific and anal about certain things. Some people call me picky and finicky and even conceited. Others have called me ignorant and selfish and rebellious. I’ve also been tagged stupid, irresponsible, careless, and just down right obnoxious for the way and means by which I operated in action along parts of the years of my life. I admit, with a heavy acknowledgement towards understanding the perception and reality of my causing, they were right. I was. I did. That was me.

When I was young, probably like 9 or 10, it was discovered that I had a “gift”. Before this time I had been announced as “special” via my demeanor and disposition relative to how I interacted with life and the individuals in it. They said I had special qualities about me that should and could warrant me success in growing up. I had these outrageous ambitions and dreams that were consistent. I spoke optimistically about EVERYTHING. I loved to draw and care about people. I loved to sing and interact with others. I loved to inspire and perform. I loved an audience but I had this ability to be in a crowd of people yet almost nonchalantly appear attentive to each and every person individually. I gave eye contact and I had this smile, I was just downright AMAZING! (This is my story, I can say amazing!)

Around 9 or 10 years of age I also began to write. I would write poems and stories and being that we were being raised, force fed actually, in the church, it was natural that my mother would ensure that I channeled all of these “gifts” into the guarded and guided instruction of the church. And we went to church RELIGIOUSLY, like clockwork. Every Sunday for Sunday school and worship service and evening program, if any, every Tuesday for choir practice, every Wednesday for bible class, and every opportunity for church sponsored or involved events that were held any other day in the week. To be honest, I thought that I hated it and I used to swear off church in my future abilities to make decisions. I would declare, “I ain’t going to church when I grow up. I won’t make my kids go to church.”

But WE went. My mother was on the nurses board, worship committee, and fellowship staff. I think she was an usher or liaison to the ushers as well. She “loved” church. When I look back at our lives and analyze, from my perspective, the situation, I think that my mother found in church a sort of distractive measure that substituted her engaging in lifestyle and activity that was adverse to responsibility. My mother liked to gamble and she drank socially and she cussed like a sailor at points in her life. I watched her faith in GOD “deliver” her from those things, to a point. I saw church occupy her time away from those “distractions” and give her replacement in the form of an identity in the church. Church gave her new friends and different conversations. Church gave her hope and regulations that aided her in raising her three children. Church was a refuge and respite from some of the difficulties and struggles that were “life”.

And like I say, we went to church.

And I performed for the church. Every play or concert or program that I can remember, I was made available. I say “made available” because my mother MADE me AVAILABLE. I enjoyed the attention though. I knew that one day I was going to do that (speaking and performing) or something like it. Most people spoke over and into my life that I was “supposed” to be a preacher but I didn’t much agree with that. But I loved getting up and performing. I really loved sharing my words with others and being received as I was, special. Over time I began to realize myself that I had “something” and I began to realize just how “amazing” that something was. I also celebrated the fact that my foundation was in GOD and I spoke the LIFE that was made available through GOD. I have gained an audience over the years that accepted and expected of me a perspective that is very akin to that of a minister or pastor for the most part. One of the things that I have been told very consistently over these years is that my “message” is amazing in that you can take it ANYWHERE! And I have been many, many places with it. To date I have done radio, film, and theater, I have published 3 books, had a line of t-shirts, had my work featured on all kinds of products, been featured on an internationally released cd, recorded a spoken word album, traveled and performed across the country, been written about in the Wall street Journal, USATODAY, Entertainment Weekly, to name a few publications, and I have met and spent time in the company of some spectacular individuals as a result of “my gift”. It and I have done some wonderful things, and I think that we are just getting started.

In all of those things that I have been able to do and be apart of I found a kind of struggle within myself that caused a great deal of concern for myself from myself and others have identified as well. There is something about my story that wasn’t “real”.

I have heard for years about “how far” I should have been by now. People always, while measuring my progress, compare me to entertainers or speakers or celebrities and attempt to impress upon me that I am “behind” in some fashion for the fact that although I have done these “many” things, I am relatively “unknown”, I am definitely not “wealthy”, and I’m in more debt and deficiency than should be the case with such a “talent”. And although I’m not much for the comparing my life to others, I do believe that I could have been “better off” than this (my current state) financially, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and spiritually had I “known better” or been shown the SPECIFIC areas in which I lacked the proper channels to thrive and been conducted towards that direction. I would venture to say that I am behind because I didn’t “know better” and everything before now was really the “process” to which I had to engage in order to get “where I am SUPPOSED to be”. (“Supposed” is a dangerous word to use in a sense like this, sometimes it threatens that you are not “right” where you are and that gives you the impression that you are not “doing enough” or not measuring up per say. It is a very unhealthy concept in bringing others into alignment with “assignments” because it is astronomical pressure and undue influence and it will block many from “going” anywhere.)

My mothers’ GOD.

To be honest, I don’t think that I really believed in GOD for the first 25 or so years of my life. I said His name and I had been baptized and I went to church and I was familiar with the bible and I knew all the “right things” to say when I engaged audiences that held faith in GOD but I don’t think I really “knew” Him. There have been miracles that have happened in my life, UNEXPLAINABLE to or by mankind, that have happened to and for me that I have definitely given “GOD” responsibility for but somehow I wasn’t 100% convicted nor convinced. I had “issues” with GOD that I couldn’t quite put my finger on but they were ever present and quite the albatross in the way of an authentic relationship with GOD for me.

That friend I was mentioning.

About 4 or 5 years ago I met this guy in the barbershop. At the time I was living in Atlanta and going about the “motions” as it were and just not quite focused on pretty much anything. I had recently left Chicago AGAIN and was “out” from my family AGAIN and just living in the wind AGAIN and I had decided to go back to cutting hair AGAIN. I was just “there” if I may use that term loosely because I didn’t really have anywhere else, in my opinion, to be. So again here I was, hiding in plain sight.

The guy came into the barbershop and asked, “Can anyone cut this type of hair?”… He was a white man and had walked into a “black” barbershop so of course it was natural for him to inquire as such. I responded, “I can do everything but make it grow!”, he smiled and sat in my chair. Over the next couple of months – he only got a cut maybe once every three weeks or so- we struck up conversations and the premise for a friendship. There was something about this dude that just really impressed me. When I first met him I had no idea what he did, who he was, or where he had come from. He liked the haircuts enough to come back though. I was really impressed by everything about him. Everything that he talked about intrigued me and really because of his energy and enthusiasm for the life he has. When he talked about his wife or his career, his boat, his daughter, his hobbies, his interest, his loves or dislikes, or anything regarding the University of Tennessee (where he attended school and is a BIG supporter of UT anything) there was so much passion and commitment. When he talked about his friends or his church his eyes just lit up like with everything else that he shared. About the third or fourth time that he came in I couldn’t hold it in anymore and so I asked,…

“Describe “your” GOD to me.”

Mike -that’s his name- and I haven’t spoken in quite awhile. I accept responsibility for that fact. I didn’t hold up to my end of our friendship. I didn’t do the requirements necessary to ensure that he could be confident in any hope that I ever would live up to the expectations we had for me or any I had for myself. I was not committed to my word and that forced him into positions that endangered and somewhat jeopardized the opportunities that were possible for us. I had no idea how to communicate most of the issues that I had and definitely no strength or courage to learn. So I just existed. I squandered the resource that he was to me and I voided the transaction of our friendship by being “bankrupt”, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

But the first question that I had asked was, “Describe your GOD to me.”

When I look back at it now, our “season” makes perfect sense. Losing that friendship and a few other relationships that I forfeited in the time surrounding it forced me into the seclusion and alienation that started the process that I undertook that began to “show me the way” out. Mike taught me some things that have broadened my understanding and perspective and have given me great qualities that are the reason, or at least part of the reason I can expose myself as such I am. The really wonderful part about it is something very small that happened around the time I met him that had a minor impact then but a major one later on.

I was quite hesitant to trust ANYONE for a very, very long time. My trust issues are severe. Even now as I write this and as I am being delivered out of the captivity that has been the prison of my mind, I have to be honest and say that I still have a long way to go. I’m still fond of some of the habits and reflexes that enabled the perpetuation of what pain my “issues” caused/cause. I’m honest about this. It would be easy to say that I’m over it or that I’m prepared for change or even that I’ve made up my mind to do differently but the reality is that “old habits die hard” and what is familiar to you is very difficult to un-remember. I’m dealing with these facts and truths HONESTLY and I expect change, so I am confident that CHANGE WILL COME!

But back to the subject…

So one day around the time that Mike and I met I had this feeling that he was “GOD-sent” into my life. Before and after I met Mike, pretty much all of my life, my trust issues had frustrated any clear thinking about people so I had come to rely on this “instinct” in order to at least gauge a sense of purpose and identity with others when they “appeared”. Often I get a “word” in my spirit that either confirms or denies access to my heart and so I looked for that feeling when I met him. One night I was on my way home from the barbershop and he had called me just to check up on me. When he got off the phone I said to myself, “If he is for real, he’s going to give me a book to read.” THE VERY NEXT DAY MIKE CALLED AND SAID, “Hey SEE, I got a book that I read recently and I think that you may need to check it out.”

I was at a loss for words.

The book that he recommended was “The Shack” by William P. Young. Great book! PHENOMENAL READ! I could write 3 novels on the subject matter (I probably will).

If nothing else that Mikes’ presence in my life is honored for, it is the perspective that I achieved subsequent to the end of that season. The book is an awesome book in regards to giving you a different way of “looking” at GOD and the relationship that can be achieved with GOD. I shared the book with a lot of people and many of them were greatly affected and appreciative of it. I read it 3 times; In the beginning of Mike and I’s friendship, during its height and soon after I hadn’t spoken to him for a while. The book represented how important and viable Mike was to me. Soon after I had read it for the 3rd time I was sitting around just reminiscing and reflecting, damn near depressed about my “results” in life, and contemplating something that Mike had once said to me about being “practical”, I came up with something that I felt passionately curious about yet I have not been able to write or “right” until now.

I only “knew” my mothers GOD. I was familiar with GOD through the reference of her relationship and regulation. I measured GOD on the standard of her past and her predicaments. To be honest, she had become the GOD of sorts in my life and I martyred her death in an observance according to that belief.
I recognized “GOD” when he reflected things that made me remember her and vice-versa. I made her “word of GOD” the barometer and gauging method by which I tried to comprehend “the” Word of GOD (bible) and I walked in this vain. I operated under the guise of these notions because it protected my mothers memory from being tainted by the revelations that I became aware of after her death that were totally contradictory to how I perceived that she had lived her life. The real conundrum here was that I am very intelligent and had to really “dumb down” to function this way. I knew better. My conscious held confrontation with my subconscious daily on this fact. But this was a “safe” place. I felt comfortable in the mediocrity of this place because it maintained a level of order that did not disrupt the only remnants of relationship that I had left. Or so I thought. I kept up this facade through defense mechanisms that I created in an effort to shield me from having to be vulnerable to the “elements” of the situation.

WOW.
(Writing that caused me to pause.)

In a previous blog post I wrote about how my mother had taught me, or rather I had learned from her, secrets. I had been shown privacy. I had been given an example that, when I registered it into the school of my thinking, was not equipped to deal with what was really going on or necessary for me to “move on”. I modeled more of the “bad” things externally because they were the visuals that were more obvious and familiar to me. Certainly my mother instilled in me good, GREAT, qualities and traits that are and will always be of great benefit to my life and I am not ashamed of my mom or anything about my mom BUT I have come to realize and recognize that I took on certain attitudes and beliefs based on what and how I saw things. A lot of the means by which I functioned in the past were unhealthy. But I held onto these things because they kept me familiar with a period of time that I wanted to hold onto.

WOW again.

My relationship with GOD and how I perceived Him fell prey and victim to this in a way that really had stagnated my growth in certain areas. What I had learned from “The Shack” was just how “off” we can be in our perceptions of GOD and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. That book aided me, as has the last few years, in “waking up” from the slumber of such seasons that hibernated me from wholeness. I had no REAL relationship with GOD. GOD meant secrets and lies just as much as He meant truth and transparency, just as much as He meant Love, just as much as He meant confusion, just as much as He meant pride and joy, just as much as He meant murder (my mother), just as much as He meant birth (my son). So I communicated this hypocrisy in my actions, and probably some of my words. I had a very turbulent relationship with “church” after my moms murder and have fought with that for the 18 years it has been since. I developed an ignorance and reluctance to trust ANYONE because of this and other factors that were the only things I “knew” of or how to deal from. Because I had so dangerously attached my mother to GOD in my mind, I gave her no chance to be human and God no chance to forgive. This was my “great sadness” (If you ever read the book, you will understand that somewhat more) and it blocked, from flowing in me or through me, life.

How I dealt with people and the way I sabotaged relationships is probably the biggest regret of my life. I’ve really hurt some people and the opportunities that they gave me because of the way I handled their presence. My lack of communication has often been cited as why things didn’t work and I know why I lacked it. I was hurt. I felt betrayed. I was confused and the thing that I spoke that was supposed to be clarity was entrenched in confusion. The GOD that I “liked” was the GOD that was my moms and I had no idea of what their relationship really was. I don’t know the conversations that she had with him nor the depth to which she understood him. But I made a really big mistake by holding her “humanness” responsible for the reasons that GOD seemed to be ineffective for me. I held her to a higher standard and GOD to low expectations. Devastating. I attached to GOD the “things”, mistakes, and lacks of what I perceived were detrimental in me being able to heal or help my mothers memory, to GOD. So He was an imperfect GOD. He was a selfish, maniacal, deceitful, manipulative, unconcerned deity with power and options that always seemed to take advantage of me. I saw my mom as perfect but troubled because of Him. This train of thought only gained speed as I moved about and around. From place to place and person to person, this motion gained momentum and traction and carried me far. And then I hit a pothole. It was more like a sinkhole but nevertheless, I fell, the train stopped, I had to realize the damage.

There was a whole lot of damage.

Today I am a very different person than I was back then. I’m very different from the me that was 3 years ago. I am growing and learning at an accelerated clip and the awareness that I can appreciate in me right now is profound to say the least. I understand my mother differently now. I realize that we all have issues and struggles and the best thing that we can do is the best we can do. We can’t make others believe for us what we want to believe nor can we hold against them how they believe because they believe or act differently. We shouldn’t hold against people the “way” they believe in the sense that we have to be considerate and recognize that we are all human. I struggled with my faith and belief in GOD because I hadn’t sought for myself the fullness and fellowship with Him that would allow me to enter into authentic relationship with Him. That was further delayed because I hadn’t been true to myself. I hadn’t been true to myself attempting to be “real” in an effort to keep up an idea. The idea wasn’t even real.

So I decided to meet GOD on my terms. I threw away most of the things and methods by which I habitually sought after him and started to “find” myself first. One of the first things that I discovered was that I had been “using” GOD as an escape from acknowledging what was real. As long as the GOD that I sought disappointed me I was going keep up the nonsense. GOD was a troubling issue to me and so everything that happened “to me” became acceptable because I almost EXPECTED the nonsense and drama. You know where the bible says, “As a man thinketh so is he…”, well guess what, IT IS TRUE. And boy did I “think” some stuff.

Liking where I am.

Yesterday one of my clients came into the barbershop. He sat in my chair and we were just talking about the day and his plans for the evening and the usual rigamarole that accompanies most haircuts. This client has been a client of mine for about 8 or 9 years off and on, because I have moved, stopped cutting, relocated, and now back in a shop I was at many years ago. He’s about 10 years younger than I am and so some of my purpose in his life was that of a mentor. I used to do a weekly announcement at his grade school over the intercom when I was doing a lot of the community work that I was involved in back then. He admired and actually found it cool that the guy doing the poetry on Fridays over the intercom was his barber. Over the years I’ve watched him grow into a young man that wants more and strives and just like many of us struggles with “life” and EVERYTHING that comes with “living”. And we have had A WHOLE LOT OF CONVERSATIONS about “life”.

About two weeks ago we had a conversation and I just started talking about how GOD has become “accessible” to me based on me making certain changes in my approach to Him. I was talking about how I stopped going to church a couple of years ago. I told him about me not pressuring myself to live up to unrealistic standards as I had for so many years. I talked about a bunch of things and just how “I” had finally begun to make peace with who GOD is and how AWESOME it is to know him.

I didn’t know to what extent my client was listening.

While we were talking yesterday, he looks up at me and says, “Hey Bro, I wanted to tell you,… Because of our last conversation a couple of weeks ago, I gave my life to Christ.”

FLOORED.

In all of the years that I have been “speaking”, “ministering” in churches, and “performing” out in the streets or in barbershops or through my talents and “gifts”, I’ve never once had someone tell me that as a result of me speaking into their life, that they decided to give their life to GOD. Never. I’ve wanted to be able to make that impression. I’ve heard that my words inspire and motivate that impression but I’ve never seen it or heard it verbalized. More importantly is who it came from, someone who has watched me grow. This young man, who I believe in, I have spoken into his life for years that he materialize and manifest the abundance of life that is healthy and well and whole. He looks up to me. We talk, honestly, about everything. I have tried for all of those 8+ years to input into him what I see is possible to come out of him.

But I was trying for most of that time to give him my perception of what I had hoped was best and not ever being authentic in my transparency because I was mired in the frustration as I have spoken of. I didn’t “know” better myself but I offered to him “better” all the time. I ADMIT, many of our talks over the years was an attempt by me to get him “in line” with what I thought that I saw GOD wanted from him. Expectation, Pressure, Obstacle. (That’s what I was really giving him.)

But this time, our conversation, from my perspective, was not an invitation to Christ. It was me being real. It was me being honest. It was me giving someone else the truth that is my life and just speaking my journey. It was comfortable, it was not pressuring, it was not overwhelming, it was not condemning or obnoxious or “preachery”. It was natural. It was everything that I remember about Mike talking to me. It was selfless. It was pure. It had light. I had hope. It had meaning.

It was to my liking.

-see

©2012 Cornelious M. Flowers III

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The meaning of the word. (What it means to you)

The meaning of the word. (What it means to you)

I was in a relationship a few years back that had, like MOST relationships I am familiar with, entered into a season of threatening turbulence. At the time of this “situation”, rather by the time of this situation, we had began to exist outside of the immediate “sensation” that is the genesis of most unions and were beginning to enter into the period in which if it was worth something to either of us, it was time to fight for it. We had gotten past that initial “like” phase and we had gone through the “can’t separate us phase” and the “sex makes everything better” phase was wearing thin as was the “everyone is looking, lets keep up the appearance of symbiotic perfection” finding its way out of the door too. We were coming to the point where you really “meet the person you met”. We had come to the point where you really begin to know someone, if that’s what you REALLY want to do.

So here we were.

To be honest, I was never fully committed to the relationship in the first place ( I base this conclusion on hindsight and the resulting maturity that I have undergone) but I knew that my “weaknesses” were still STRONGER than any capacity of which the woman that I was with could handle. She was fascinated by things about me, that she interpreted were just for her, that were just things I do naturally. I am naturally a comforter, naturally a mediator, naturally an optimist, naturally passionate, naturally sexual, naturally considerate, and naturally sweet-talking, and so the qualities that she “felt” were those that guaranteed her place and space in my life were just “par for the course”, it was not special or especially for her, it was just who I am. She had qualities like this that I admired (and interpreted for me) as well. She was so nurturing and caring, so attentive and inquisitive, so sexual and interested into my sexuality, so “open-minded” sexually, so ambitious, so “trusting” (or so it seemed) and just SO DAMN CUTE to me. These qualities were not all that we shared but they were a lot of the “anchor” traits that distracted us from really dealing or having to deal with the “real” issues. These things kept us from dealing with each other.

That “word”.

One night we were in the car and her pager went off. (Yeah, it was that long ago) This was no big thing, her pager going off, even as late as it was, and I didn’t have a problem with the pager or who might be calling it. But then it went off again and after about 3 minutes, again. Now at the time we were actually in the midst of a minor argument about something TOTALLY different but the pager just set off an “alert” in me and I demanded she respond to the person who was calling. She refused. Ooooooooh, why she do that! So I grabbed the pager and I called the number back from my cell phone. By the time the guy answered I was already “hot as fish grease” and there was probably nothing that he could say or she could not say that was going to calm down my state. When he heard my voice he grew quiet and I could tell he was about to hang up the phone. I said, “No Bruh, here she is…” And I handed her my phone. She hung the phone up. I grabbed my phone and called him RIGHT BACK! I said, “I’m sorry that she hung up on you, here she is…” And I gave her the phone. She hung up on him again. Immediately after I went into this berating, angry, frustrated dialogue towards her actions and there was not much that she should have been able to say but low and behold, she argued back. The AUDACITY! And then she said, after about 2 hours of back and forth, this:

“People cheat, they deal with it, they work it out and they stay together.”

Sigh.

You ever been somewhere that you didn’t belong but you’re there and the fact that you’re there is playing on your pride and ego so much so that you can’t leave or walk out because it would look “bad” or so you think and so instead of leaving you make yourself as “comfortable” as discomfort will allow but the entire time you are just there “physically” but all of your other “self” has long departed and what’s worse is that the shell of you that is in attendance has no power to fight off the environment as you need to so you find yourself, or what is left of you, becoming more a part of the “situation” than you would condone even becoming a “leader” of the pack in terms of “owning” the nonsense, habits and traits, and even beginning to defend the stupidity and ignorance that YOU KNOW this situation or place is but by this time you’re invested, at least in “time served” and that selfishness, of not wanting to walk away “empty handed” is corroding the quality of the value that you once “thought” you had?

Yea, that’s what I felt like right then.

And she followed that bizarre statement with, “I love you.”

I’ll forward past the years and time spent after this because the point is that I stayed. Why or how I stayed is irrelevant to this particular message but I stayed. I give this part of the story as background for what I am about to say now.

Now is about the meaning of the word and what “that” word means to YOU.

—–

Love, by definition, means:
(According to the dictionary)

Noun
An intense feeling of deep affection: “their love for their country”.

Verb
Feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone): “do you love me?”.

—–

When we most often talk or think about love it is almost always in a more “complete” and specifics driven definition than the above definition gives. Love from our general understanding requires pages upon pages to detail the “all” that it encompasses. Love is a “trickling effect” type of word that is small in stature but is BIG in statute. It means so much. It represents that much more.

Love to me:

The woman that I was with back then, who is still a friend of mine and very much in agreement with my viewpoint and recollection of our time together, had a very “different” idea and definition of what “love” was. What I learned from her life “before me” I didn’t really understand until “after us”. Her experiences and dealings with “what love represents” caused a train reaction and subsequent mindset towards how to deal with men. Her mother and aunts had illustrated to her and the other younger women in her family that men were not to be trusted and monogamy was no requirement for “relationships” to work, that sex is a tool used in every negotiation of a relationship, that expressing your true feelings is a “deal breaker”, and that communication is best handled via the power of sex. Love to her was sex. When she said, “I love you”, it meant, “You can have my body”. Because a lot of men reciprocate being given sex with conformity and generosity, she had experienced and witnessed this phenomenon work. So “love” to her meant “sex” and because “sex” had most times meant “cooperation” and/or personal “power” or gain of some sort, “love” meant relationship. But because of what she had been taught via the generational doctrine that had been passed down to her, love didn’t require honesty, trust, loyalty, or many other NECESSARY qualities to facilitate POSITIVE benefits of an AUTHENTIC and TRUE representation of LOVE. When she said to me that people cheat and they get over it, it was because she had seen that example. She had seen that example, if not work “properly”, work out at least to the extent that from it their family was formed. So in “bad” was “good” and some are reluctant to separate these components for fear of destroying a “foundation ” that is all they know. Tragic.

And I learned from this what the word love “meant” to me.

I was taught secrets. I was shown privacy. I was given the idea that love meant power and control. I too was shown that sex was the major component of “loving” someone. I even saw this twisted concept intertwined in familial relationships. This is where the dark secrets of molestation and inbreeding that pervert our families fester. I had been exposed to some of these perversions, a victim even. And these things were followed by, “love”. I was NEVER given the example of a man and woman, as husband and wife, living cohesively as a family. NOT ONE IN MY FAMILY, immediate nor close. But what I was shown, was always somehow categorized as some type of love. Whether it was boyfriend/girlfriend, abused, manipulated, “comfortable”, “expected”, and so on. Love was the secret of homosexuality that I witnessed as a child but was not taught about. It was the “excuse” given to justify why two people (of the same sex) spent so much time behind closed doors. I had questions about that but I was told that the “love” of GOD encompassed an understanding that I may not “understand” at that time. Confusing enough for a child, huh? The only “married” men I knew of in my family were the ones who had babies with women in my family but stayed with their wives. But I always heard love somewhere in the telling of these truths. So love for me became questions and misinformation and lies and manipulation and audacity and acceptance (primarily of bullshit and lies) and secrets. The crazy part is that I saw homosexuality as a better visual, in terms of example, of what love was supposed to be. The gay people that I grew up seeing had stuck together and had friends and showed emotion and affection and trusted one another. As I grew up that confused me. I’ve never understood how or why someone would be gay, but I’ve always had a comfort with people who were.

(For the idiots that will somehow get out of this writing that I am or was gay or this is my coming out, NO I AM NOT GAY, I HAVE NEVER BEEN GAY NOR HAVE I EVER BEEN INVOLVED IN ANY HOMOSEXUAL RELATIONSHIP OR SEX ACT. I was proof reading this blog with a friend of mine who writes and when I got to this part he says, “Man, I thought you was about to come out.” He had a straight face. I could only laugh.)

I am telling all of this stuff because of what I used to think “love” was.

My mother loved me. I LOVED my mother. My mother was murdered when I was 15 years old and I discovered her body on Monday, March 28, 1994. After her murder, I went into a depression and desperation that had lasted for almost 2 decades. So many things that I felt and held onto (as ideas and mind sets) are the causation of the core deficiencies that my character suffered from.

And I am about to explain a little of it…

A couple of years after my mother was murdered I was told that she was gay. (This statement has/had not been confirmed by anyone relevant but it was whispered and submitted into the atmosphere.) I was even told by the authorities that investigated her death that they suspected a “relationship” of a lesbian nature had played a role in the circumstances leading to her death. I was also told by members and even clergy of the church that we grew up in, that had withdrew their support and presence from our lives subsequent to her death, that they had not much “experience” in the circumstances of our situation and that the lifestyle choices my mom had made even more complicated their ability to “stand in front of” the issue. And some friends and family members offered commentary that promoted the non-fiction of these reverberations as well. Me, at the time, I vigorously denied that any of it could be true. I loved my mom and she loved me and she should have told me if something like that was true. But here I was at 15 trying to defend the story that “I thought I knew” that was behind the story others “saw” and even some allegedly knew more about. But no clarity, no closure. Instead there were just more questions.

Because some of the things I dealt with immediately after her death deserve blogs on their own, I’m not going to venture off topic too much. I’m just going to release in this moment things that have to do with this.

The depression that I had endured for a very long time after my moms death really hinged on one thing. I felt betrayed. I felt betrayed because of trust. I had trusted because of care. I cared because of “love”. Love was a lie.

Everything that I said before now was just a snapshot of the bigger picture that has been my understanding of the word love. I had to mention the things as I did because they represent the catalyst that formed the impression that “love” imprinted upon me. The “dark” truth about it is nevertheless the only truth that will produce the light that leads me out of the states and situations that dog my ability to move on. The crazy part is that I used the word love so frequently and with such ease for a very long time. I said the word and it was accompanied by all of the passion and poise and pain that once permeated my conceptualization of its meaning. So when I said the word, with all of those other things as a backdrop, it was felt. It came off as genuine because it was the truth, based on facts as I knew them, formed from events and emotions that led me to that conclusion. But it was a lie. The lie was that most times my “definition” of the word was not how the other people that I was using it with or in regard to had identified love, instead they defined it an entirely different way. Like the relationship that I was in, my definition of love and her definition of love, though both il- informed and totally dysfunctional, were just not the same and neither of us at that time had the wherewithal to learn a new meaning or submit to our partners interpretation of it.

Where did this get me?

At some point my subconscious and psyche developed this mechanism for dealing with love as it was defined by me. So the words love or trust or care or feel all became “triggers” for me to revert to the parts of me that found it more feasible to play out the dark elements of my personal definition of these words and to almost mimic the events that I had observed, though painfully, from my past. So love and trust primarily become the words that prompted me to withdraw and question and second-guess and doubt which then led to manipulation, lies, and deceit. I knew love as confusing as so it confused my being even when there was nothing available to frustrate. I’ve had the “perfect” situation many times over, in business, personally, and spiritually, but I ruined it because I deemed it something other than what it was. That alienated me from my friends and my family and really played a part in altering my future, as was the reality that I’ve lost and gained, good and bad, with no consistency.

Until I walked by the bathroom mirror about a year ago and there, totally naked, I said to the person that I saw, I love you.

This has been a very long journey for me. In this journey I have been exposed to myself with unadulterated measure. Having to examine MY definition of love, the definition that I was taught, the biblical definition, the societal definition, the barbershop definition, the media’s definition, the musical definition and take into account the varying definitions based on EACH & EVERYONE ELSE’S interpretation of each one of these definitions! Yea, that’s a whole lot to chew on. But I was asked once, “How do you eat an elephant?”…

One bite at a time.

And I now know what that means.

-see

©Cornelious M. Flowers III

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