Honoring, You.

A song that’s been on repeat for me is called “Enough” by Kelela, ft. Ahya Simone.

As she sings into my ears while the harp follows her melodies, I can’t do anything except feel at peace. She whispers towards the end, “Just hold on… hey” and it plays through my ears like a distant lullaby- chills run up and down my spine every time.

Between Kelela and Solange, I have discovered a significant amount of peace while entering my 20s. I have learned that honoring yourself… is making a million mistakes (if not more).

“I heard a voice saying you deserve joy. Applause from my loved ones and heroes wasn’t gonna do. Another voice, a critical one, said you got a lot of nerve chasing joy and freedom when you already have so much, but I went for it anyway.”

Solange Knowles

That quote from Solange, changed my perspective by a lot. It’s interesting how things people can say impact you. I’ve found myself chasing joy often. I find myself settling. I find myself looking for instant gratification or validation. But, I’ve also found myself looking through old journals. Watching anime. Playing pretend with my baby cousins.

I seek joy still, but now from the lens of gratitude.

As I sit with myself and reflect, I realize that a lot of the shit I do and say- is not actually aligned with honoring who I am. I figured out that pride and ego had a lot to do with it, but also a lack of voice. Communication for me looks like fear sometimes. I fear that I will lose love or validation if I speak my truth. I fear that someone’s opinion of me, will interrupt other’s interpretations and yes, sometimes I fear perceptions.

Insecurity has acted as martyr in my life.

As I grow into who I am, I am reminded that I am no where near perfect. Never gonna be. I am reminded that love is something I chase, but I am so greedy that sometimes I’ll take it in any form- whether that be quick, temporary, toxic or abundant.

But what I’m really here to say is that: I’m tired of condemning my character.

I now choose to honor my mistakes because I make the effort to grow from them. I honor my body because I am aware that I am trying to treat it better. I honor my heart because I make the effort to put the pieces back together every, single, day. And I honor my existence because life is precious and I know that.

I give so much thanks to inner-standing who I am (because “under” standing doesn’t actually make that much sense does it? Thank you Marques). I give so much thanks to the act of healing- that in itself is not easy.

Screaming at God used to my favorite vice until I realized that I was only shouting at myself.

As we live in this world, amongst all of the bullshit- we decide to wake up every day and walk for our feet. We decide to eat for our bodies. We decide to breath for the air. We give our hands less recognition although they are able to hold us together. We give our knees less attention, although they keep us on our feet.

But hey, I’m not here to praise ableism but I am here to remind myself and whoever may read this that: giving gratitude to the little things is a huge life hack, especially if something little to you- is big to someone else.

I wanted to close out this post with a poem I wrote:

Beneath Me. 

I caught a cockroach crawling on my bathroom floor at 3 a.m.
It startled me, but the thought that followed caught me even more by surprise:
"Just catch it, then give it back to the world."
Catch it, and then give it back to the world?
Why not stomp on it? 
Why not kill this ugly thing invading MY home? 
In MY bathroom?

Catch it, and then give it back to the world.
A revelation in my mind, I felt like my head was going to explode 
because of all the joy I felt in knowing that 
THAT,
Was my first thought. 

I let this lovely thought dance around in my head for a while 
because for the first time, I didn't jump or scream. 
I accepted that another form of life crossed my path and that was it.
I accepted. 

Trust me, I've seen a lot of insects party in this bathroom- 
from pincher bugs, to daddy long-legs, to ants, to beatles 
and to those nasty little cockroaches- 
(not actually sure why they're so nasty or why they're invincible) 
And that's not because our bathroom is dirty or anything like that. 

It's because insects, like people, get lost crawling through the darkness
While rising from the cracks into light- 
Searching. 
I'm sure a mix of curiosity and the pure pursuit for survival 
Drives what they do so, 
Who I am to be so... mad at that? 

I've found myself in many places that I didn't want to be in. 
I've found myself at the hands of someone trying to save me-
In the arms of something beneath me. 
I have found light in darkness, all because someone decided to just
Turn on the light,
Hanging right 
Above me. 

-Appreciation.

How ever you decide to digest that, I hope it finds you well. This is one of the first poems I’ve written in months.

To me- it offers a new side of healing as I learn to accept (perhaps the uglier sides of me), and console them. I build a new world inside of this one we walk on and have council meetings with every part of me that I cannot stand. It’s an interesting process and it sucks 90% of the time but those moments of gratitude make up for it. Those moments where it’s 2 a.m., and I’m reading about Solange dancing on tree-trunks but still innerstanding that joy is more than just the excitement that freedom alludes to.

It’s patience. It’s practice. It’s stillness. It’s fuckin’ SOBRIETY at the function and still throwin’ ass like you’re 10 shots deep. Joy is literally getting up every day, wiping the crust from your eyes and drinking a glass of water. It’s honestly whatever you choose to make it. That’s what I’m learning atleast.

Xoxo

-Ash

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