An enlarged image of yourself having this or that are all static goals and therefore don’t empower you. Instead, make sure your goals are dynamic, that is to say, point toward an activity that you are engaged in and through which you are connected to other human beings as well as the whole. Instead of seeing yourself as a famous actor and writer and so on, see yourself inspiring countless people with your work and enriching their lives. Feel how that activity enriches and deepens not only your life but that of countless others. Feel yourself being an opening through which energy flows from the unmanifested source of all life through you for the benefit of all – Echhart Tolle
I feel like I’m learning to breathe for the first time. It’s such a strange feeling because I’ve accustomed myself to certain emotions, until like a cancer, it consumed me. I normalized depression and convinced myself that this was the way I was ‘wired.’ That was a lie. An injustice, not only against myself but more importantly, an injustice to all those who loved me and supported me. Our loved one’s pay a steep price for our actions too.
It hasn’t been just one event that has pulled me from the pit of that hopelessness. It’s been an amalgamation of circumstances in my life, from the amazing people, to the important realization that this is our one shot through this life and I must live every moment. Yes, there may be other lives after this one, but this is my only venture through the story of Alberto.
I used to dislike my name. Mostly because people didn’t know how to pronounce it and there was only one person that ever sounded genuine when they called me Albert. Now I love my name, I embrace it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m like Kramer from the show Seinfeld, when he tells Jerry about how he’s been running from his name, Cosmo, all his life, but no more. “I’m Cosmo, Jerry. Cosmo Kramer!”
I know it sounds like I just went off on a tangent but it’s all a part of the larger puzzle. The understanding, the acceptance, and the forgiveness. I’ve broken free prison, the prison of the mind.
Hello world, my name is Alberto and I’m here to help in any way that I can.
How are you today? I hope you’re doing well. I’ve been good, no, I’ve been great. Things are changing, life is wonderful and I’m in love.
I think of you still. Any time I eat a brownie, watch the movie Friday After Next or listen to Candle box on rainy days. These things don’t make me sad like they used to, if anything it renews my sense of purpose and brings a small smile to my face. You know the one.
I haven’t forgotten any of the promises I made. I’m working hard, small steps, but steps towards the future I told you I’d build one day, you know me, “The world chica and everything in it.”
The family is good, my boy’s beautiful and I’m constantly in awe of his mother. I finally understand what it is to truly appreciate the blessings of one’s life and I thank God everyday for the opportunity to create new memories with them. Oh, by the way, your prayer worked. Remember the one you told me about, the one you’d say every night before bed, your prayer for peace and love? You know, “Dear Lord, guide my path, and my will for I desire peace and your forever love in my life…” Well, I said the prayer every night for years and then one day a panda bear came along and stole my heart. She is wonderful, a little jealous but what can you do, she’s a Scorpio.
So, I’m working, plodding along, doing what I can to make a difference. There’s so much left to do. I know things haven’t always been easy for you but you are strong, stronger than I think you know and there’s nothing you can’t overcome. I hope you find someone to love you as deeply as you deserve to be loved, make you laugh until you can’t breathe and carry you when you’re down. Never forget how much you love to sing, how you like to skip when you’re happy or that there are people out there with five heads instead of foreheads.
I don’t know your dreams anymore, but I hope they’re filled with laughter, amazing people and a love that cannot be contained. Also, I need you to do me a favor and remember a few things. Like it may get dark and you may feel lost on a starless night, but the sun will rise again. There is so much beauty in this world and like an orchid, it comes in so many forms. Every moment is another chance to turn it around and start writing a new chapter, one in which you’re the hero and all your drams come true. You’re amazing and capable of so much, so don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. You matter. Your dreams matter. I believe in you hummingbird.
As for me, I’m going to get back to work. Drop a line if you ever need to talk, you know where to find me. You saved me once and I won’t ever forget that. Oh, and if you’re ever down and need to laugh, just find a mirror and do the five-head salute, because you know we got German shepherds and flashlights over here 😊
Take care and let love hold you.
“I have also known non-feminist women who have looked long and hard at masculine society and its competitive, paranoiac rules and who say, ‘there’s something wrong here. Better to stay at home, where at least some semblance of emotional life remains, than go out there and become another emotionless flunky.’ For them the choice is based on old assumptions. Either you stay at home where you can hope to express tenderness, give and receive warmth, behave spontaneously and generously, or you enter the male world and play the game like a man: the game being central, impassivity, ends above means, exploitation.” – Adrienne Rich
The other day I overheard a few “white guys” complaining about their plight as white males and how no other people had it like they did, so the other races in this country should quit their whining and get on with it. How everyone is equal now, so people should just shut up and get over it.
I’m not writing today to litigate race relations in this country, I’m just using it as an example to better illustrate my point. In this current tidal wave of women coming forward to tell their stories, calling out men for their deplorable behavior and keeping crimes against women in the forefront, it seems like there may be a paradigm shift occurring in our society. But wait, not so fast.
If the 2016 election has shown us anything, it’s that there are still many unresolved issues, bubbling just underneath the surface. I remember seeing videos of kids in school telling their fellow Latino classmates to “go back to Mexico” and very angry white males screaming at rallies, as if the collective class of minorities had been persecuting them for years.
There is something changing it might even be the monumental reworking of our societal “norms,” which we need to bring about equality. But again, not so fast, let’s not be naïve and think this is somehow the end of the patriarchal society, because it’s not, not by a long shot. Men still hold all the cards.
The keys to the doors are in the pockets of very powerful men who wont just give up the status quo, which has afforded them endless benefits and power.
We must stay vigilant. This is a milestone but in no way is this e\the end of the struggle for equality. The Alabama senate race, which featured Roy Moore as the so-called paragon of virtue (his supporters words), is a clear example of how deep these patriarchal power structures are rooted in the solid of our democracy. Even women are quick to denounce a woman that accuses a powerful man, especially when politics are involved. Stay woke, keep fighting and one day we’ll get there.
In any culture, it can be hard to let go of an archaic belief system, when it’s gone on for millennia. Under this current patriarchal design; customs have been cemented in, laws have been written to suit the power structures and wars have been fought in the name of male deities to keep in place and justify these outdated ideologies. But to what end?
What is our purpose here? What are we moving towards with these beliefs, these systems we’ve created and now calcified into the bones of our communities? We can’t be afraid to question and stand up to these structures of power and domination. We can’t allow ourselves to become complacent and no better than those who hold the keys. Just because millennia of male-centric ideals have ruled the world, does not mean it’s the best way or even the right way. Look around the world, this can’t be humanity at its best.
Virginia Woolf once asked, “What is ‘civilization’ in which we find ourselves? What are these ceremonies and why should we take part in them? What are these professions and why should we make more out of them? Where in short, is it lending, the procession of the sons of educated men?”
Men, we’ve had our chance. Don’t fear living in a woman’s world, let’s be equal partners in creating a better future. It’s okay. Let’s give them the keys and let them drive.
“I know the pain of wanting to be changed and yet being distrustful of changes, of wanting to be worked on, but being suspicious of the intentions of the worker… However, messing it may be now, however confusing and scary it appears, however endless the task may seem, we will some day be beautiful, glorious, alive! There is much tearing out to do- a lot to give up. No thin coat of new paint, no shallow, pretty piety will do. It’s not good enough to cover up imperfection, it must be corrected… These things take time.”