Ever been in a situation, be it a relationship, friendship, or job, that was no good for you? Everyone other than you knew you could do better and encouraged you to move on. But for reasons that were oblivious to you at the time, you remained. I’ve had my fair share of experiences such as these. In my latest article for MUSED, “I Was Too Blind To See,” I talk about a past relationship that had run its course. I ignored all the signs. Yet, I stayed… And paid dearly for it. But as I say in the article, “I’m grateful because that experience was crucial to bringing me forward.” To learn more, read the article on MUSED.
Major thanks and props to Drew-Shane Daniels, Neo Huxtable and the MUSED family for featuring the article!
The chatter never ceases when being flooded by joyful memories of a bygone era. You’re in a trance when nostalgia captures you: Wide smile, happy, sparkling eyes— A lift in the tone of your voice, so evident in the jubilant recap of your experiences.
There’s nothing wrong with reminiscing about the past. The chapters in the book of the past made way for the books of the present and the forthcoming books of the future. It’s important that we look to our past because it’s our personal history. When we’ve learned from our history, there are slim chances of blocking the blessings of the future. We just have to remember not to dwell too long in the past.
Can’t bring back what we had then. But we can reexamine our lives now, and figure out what it will take to create the good ole days of today— To make them just as memorable, just as impactful as they were then.
We have the power to make great changes in our lives. Our power, in this vein, can manifest in both good and bad ways. At times, we can be our best champions or our worst detractors. And when we detract from ourselves—time to recover and recoup can be lengthy. After a certain phase in our lives, it matters not whether others or we were to blame for our misfortunes. That’s because the responsibility for the outcome and our personal resolution(s) remains with us. This responsibility cannot be placed elsewhere. No scapegoating or excuses, because our power and our choices will be at play. It’s imperative that we use our power and make choices wisely. We must get beyond the blame.
When it comes to other people and other people’s problems – there’s only little we can do. It’s up to them to make the changes and transitions necessary for improvements in life. You can advise, counsel, support, and love them all you want. But if they don’t want things to be better for themselves – you might as well proceed like it’s business (your business) as usual.
A few weeks ago I came out to one of my best childhood buddies. We’d known each since the fourth grade. Though we lost touch a few times along the way due to distance, we never lost our bond or connection. It seemed to grow stronger over the years. We went through and experienced a lot – individually and collectively. And he’d been there with me – through most of it.
So I have no idea why I waited so long to come out to him. There’s a part of me that didn’t think he’d have a problem with it and that he’d be fine. I thought, “Hell, he probably already knows – he’s just waiting for me to tell him.” And then there’s another part of me that was hesitant. When I was away in college, he became a born-again Christian. And I thought that there’s a great possibility that he either won’t accept me or if he does – he might rub the sin, scripture, Bible, Christian thing at me.
I wanted to speak with him in person or at least over the phone about this. But due to hectic schedules, we kept missing each other. So I opted to do it via email (not my mode of choice, but hey…). Here’s a portion of his reply to my email:
You know I look at you as a brother and really want you to live a long, prosperous, joyous & blessed life. You also know my religious views being a Christian rapper and all I’m sure you know where the Christian belief stands on homosexuality. The bible tells me that it’s a sin against God, but it also says that no sin is greater than another and that sin (including homosexuality) can be forgiven. You see God loves is greater than anything sin and His love is the definition of unconditional… My beliefs will not allow me to celebrate what the Word of God calls sin HOWEVER just as God still loves you; so do I. It doesn’t mean that the bond of friendship is any weaker on my end…
I just don’t know what or how to respond. I was both angry and somewhat content with the response. Content because this is what I was expecting him to say and this is why I was hesitant in telling him anyway. Angry because I’m so sick and tired of hearing this sin bullshit. And I’m sorry but it’s bullshit. God made me the way that I am for a reason. My being gay is not a choice or something that I can just turn on and off like a light switch. It’s part of me. It doesn’t consume me and it doesn’t cloud everything that I do. But you cannot acknowledge me in totality without acknowledging that part of me. And as a lifelong friend, I guess I was just thinking that he’d be able to see completely beyond this and accept me totally, wholly. Maybe I’m asking for too much. Maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing. Maybe I asked for it. But at what point do you get beyond the scripture to the realness in life and the substance of the realness staring in your face….in all of its divinity? What would you do?