written by erykah badu
Some day I will be free of this pain. The agony of fear. I am ashamed. It is who we have become. It has given us identity. We have inherited this thing.
It lives deep within us and is there to cradle our heads like a womb we know well. It is our familiar. The pain it brings with it has become a sweet unhappiness. We have become addicted to its ways .
It brings us to our VICES that keep us in complacency. It has defined who we are when our wills retreat . It has no mercy on the weak. It has introduced us to jealousy and hatred and self loathing and greed and prejudice and racism and hate and shame. It makes us old and ugly .
It covers our heads with bags and ties our hands and brings us to our knees.
It tells lies in a truth disguise.
It has taken our Power.
It has chained a Champion..
Love has been forgotten.
We have become comfortably numb.
Even our worship of “GOD “has become an act to satisfy one another.
We hate together.
But there is A FORCE.
The GREATEST OF ALL.
That which turns KINGS TO SERVANTS and changes the face of time with nothing but a choice .
It belongs to you.
It wears a simple smile.
The choice to love.
Love has the face of joy, a happy child, a giving hand.
It is made of acceptance and encouragement and sharing and compassion And forgiveness.
It Does NOT JUDGE the weak nor the poor or those who are different. It does not hurt or embarrass.
We have lived . We have adapted to fear . We have forgotten.
We are innocent.
We are Good.
Because the two ( fear and love) can not occupy the same space at once, only one of the two can be applied in a single CHOICE.
It is ours. It is a journey we walk alone.
We are accountable.
Fear will not give in to easy tho.
It wants to blame others when WE Choose NOT to love.
It is a self ran program that has fooled us into believing we Need it to be identified as one of the ” many”.
But only the few know this:
FEAR FEARS YOUR LOVE.
It will die without your energy.
It holds tight like good loving fleeting in the night .
We must Fight.
And Never Give Up.
your power is yours to keep. it exists within your thoughts, feelings, and choices. it belongs to you. donâ€™t give it away. and donâ€™t condemn others when you choose to give your power away because they chose not to. choose again. empowerment never comes from an external source.
suffering is a decision.
perception defines the inward experience of anything. choose better.
sit with that. feel it out. take it in.
to imply that choice alone is the difference between feeling bad, good, or great, or between feeling powerless and powerful is almost tauntingly, if not deceptively, simple sounding. however, it is simple, but not necessarily easy. the trick is that a half-hearted commitment won’t suffice. there is no middle ground.
here are some things that have helped me retain my power:
here’s to happy living!
My heart, filled with sorrow, is heavy right now. Something about the Trayvon Martin case touched me from the beginning. I was in Nicaragua, sitting in a tree, looking at a volcano, when my sister told me about his murder. After we got off the phone, all I could do was cry. I didn’t know him, but he could’ve been anyone I knew or was related to. That recognition drew me to him and made me so sad and angry that he was killed and that the case was being ignored in the media.
Fast forward a year and some months later, Zimmerman is on trial and as much as I want to watch it, something in me draws back, scared for my sensitivity.
At the same time, Nelson Mandela is in a hospital on life support. He may not make it to see his 95th birthday, but he’s lived a very full and meaningful life. He dropped out of college to join the African Nationalist and anti-apartheid movement and eventually spent 27 years in prison for fighting for what he believed in. For being true to himself and standing with himself. Twenty-seven years.
Race is such a muddled conversation in this world, but especially in this culture where it’s implicitly acceptable in every faction of the culture, thus omnipresent, but explicitly discouraged, thus rampantly covert. A video of celebrity chef Paula Deen revealing her racism was made public and she lost her job and several corporate associations. There is no honest conversation about race happening, how it originates, permeates, recreates and flourishes; just a very public and expensive slap on the wrist.
George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin because he was suspicious of Martin, not because of any suspicious activities the boy was engaging in necessarily, but because the mere presence of black men, specifically, was a cause for suspicion, prompting the automatic belief that they were up to no good and that the situation was unsafe. This situation essentially repeated itself only months later in the same state of Florida with the 17 year-old Jordan Davis and 45 year-old Michael Dunn, who also refers to the Stand Your Ground law in support of his professed innocence. Where did these men get that idea from and how can/will we work to change that thought association?
Black people are not safe in a world with white supremacist ideology and systems. Children, born with no say over their life circumstances, are not safe. There is an assault on their bodies, minds, and spirits, so even if they aren’t physically eliminated, they are psychologically and psychically damaged.
As Mandela lays in a bed, in critical condition, I review his life and the meaning he attached to it. This man made a sacrifice and he sacrificed himself for his ethics. There are so many people who wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice 27 hours, days, or weeks to stand up for what they believe in, even when that essentially means standing up for themselves and this man sacrificed 27 years.
What are we giving? To whom? And for what?
We are worth the investment of our own time and our own lives for our own benefit. You are worth the investment of your own time and your own life for your own benefit.
Let it not be in vain. Let it not be for mere comfort and its illusion. Fill your time and your life with meaning to make a positive difference. Some are never fully given that option. Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis were completely robbed of that opportunity and if we care, then we have to do something more than sit in the comfort of our homes being outraged. We need to act and take advantage of our gift of life.
Everything we need to experience joy is inside us. When we seek it outside of ourselves, we miss the mark. When we defer the responsibility to someone else, eventually we find that they will repeatedly fail at the task — because it isn’t their job; it’s ours.
So many of us are looking for happiness in books, things, relationships, experiences. While they can, indeed, provide a sense of satisfaction and might even be part of our individual recipe for fulfillment, they’ll never fill the gap that remains when we don’t ourselves tend to the work of satisfying our inner lives.
It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to assemble and share my thoughts, but I’m prompted to do so now and must submit to that urge. Too often, we get caught up in doing whatever we’re doing, maybe even doing things we don’t really want to do, and ignore the internal push guiding us elsewhere. For far too long, that’s been the case with not just writing and my dedication to this craft I repeatedly abandon, but other equally and more important tasks like creating the life I want to live.
Doing so requires commitment. Tireless commitment. And the passion necessary for dedication.
I’ve wasted too much time, fearful, doubting, wavering, uncertain. And the odds are in favor of me correctly saying “so have you.”
Let’s get clear and let’s forge new and unique paths that uplift and illuminate us and those around us.
This year has been an amazing testimony of what’s possible and I see so clearly now that I’ve got to get out of my own way and you’ve got to get out of your own way so we can be so great, truly. Individually and collectively. It must happen.
Stop allowing yourself to be distracted. Focus, commit, and succeed.
How willing are you to do what it takes to get it?