#GrowUp On Forgiveness and why feeling good and right again is great…but not enough

if you have been hurt, and you have undertaken the work of healing, there will come a time in your process when you begin to feel strong again. after you’ve sorted through who did what to whom, accepted responsibility for your part, made some kind of peace with what went down if not how it went down, you will begin to feel like yourself again. you may begin to feel…winning. this is especially in situations where on the face you look like the ‘loser’. you may realise that though everybody contributed to a situation, under no conditions would you act in whatever way the other person acted and you may start to feel…right, and righteous. and you may even feel unafraid of running into them because finally, FINALLY, you have yourself in hand and can handle whatever that moment brings. while its good to enjoy that moment and the feeling of filling out your own skin, its important to remember….you’re not there yet. yes, you are much further along in your healing process than you were before, but the point is not just to heal, it is to ascend. the point is not just to balm up the wounds, but to become the type of person who would not attract, create, or remain in the kinds of situations that would inflict such wounds in the future. and that requires not just strength, which thankfully returns, but forgiveness.

Image

it requires that you mark this moment when you’re feel strong and at peace and righteous…as just a moment, and be willing to let it go in pursuit of something much more complex but also much simpler and much more important…moving past wrong and right…or even righteous…to forgiveness. to put the person and the situation down completely. to move to the space where you don’t care whether they appear or not, because it is no longer an issue, no longer a thing you have to handle. so….if you’ve done some of the work, and you’re feeling fired up….use some of that steam to push you, because there’s still a little ways to go. your end goal is a return to something that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. a return to love. not of the person. but of the self. a whole and forgiven self, which requires complete forgiveness of the other. #keeptrodding

NEWVLOG Valemtime’s Special- wah valentine’s shoulda REALLY name

well it was my intention to load this on Matey Valentine’s

(aka di first satdeh after…if you were celebrating belated valentine’s for no ‘good’ reason….you might be the matey)

but FLOW said NO

so it went up likkel after

we can talk bout weh Valemtime’s day wudda name if we did  honest bout wah gwaan panni day?

happy drinking wine straight from the bottle and watching Sex and the City Day

Happy me buy yu present a Fontana day

 

Carla Grows Up (CGU): Criticism widout suggestion a just beatin up yu gum.

It’s easy to criticise. Not just that it comes easily to us but in reality, when you didn’t do something yourself, it’s easier for you to see places where things could have been done differently than it is for the person who did it. Quite possibly the person who did it tapped out their creativity or budget or time on the existing ‘finished’ product. Also they probably had challenges that you don’t know about. Either way it’s easy to spot where things are not to our liking or where things could be improved. So criticism is easy, and can be useful. But how often is it constructive, productive, or even necessary?

Very often our criticism stops at ‘i don’t like’ or ‘den jeesam she cuddn just’ or ‘me God, den dem never have somebody weh cudda tell dem nuffi’…and etc etc etc. We come to an event that somebody has planned and murmur about having to stand up. We come to somebody’s house and cuss bout how dust deh everywhere, we eat something somebody has cooked and grouse bout how it ital or salt, we see somebody’s outfit and marvel at how dem feel dem coulda wear summn like dat wid a body like dat! But what would you have done differently? If you had to deal with all they were dealing with,what could you have done differently? Moreover was it necessary to do anything differently…does it really need to be ‘improved’ or just tailored to you? And are there any useful suggestions you can make for improvement?

For criticism to serve any purpose other than making us feel slightly better about ourselves, or to fill the gaping silence that looms between us and whatever person we’re talking to, it must have some use. But better than that, it must be necessary. Very often we don’t do the work to separate out our own personal….very personal preferences, or our desire to do things the same way every time….from what really needs improvement in a situation. For example, if we’re at an event and chairs seem short, perhaps the planner did that because they didn’t want people sitting, let’s go play the party games or *eek* meet new people! Perhaps the person is cooking with less salt because they’re hypertensive or trying to live healthier, maybe we should try the likkle ital food and flash imaginary locs. Perhaps they’re wearing that outfit because they bought it and they like it, it may not be to our liking, but neither is it on your or my body nor will we have to deal with any backlash that may come. And our criticism, though we may call it that rather than ‘finding fault’ to make ourselves feel better, is actually the very same thing, finding fault and offering no solutions.

Bitter words can be tasty. Talking trash about people and things is the fastest way to make ourselves popular at parties and in life. Everybody loves a little shade throwing. But, eventually, we’ll all have to stop and look at what we’re contributing to the energy in our lives and the lives of others. Eventually we’ll have to see about ourselves instead of looking at others. What can we do to make a situation different, other than talk about it, which is easiest but most useless? What can we do to make sure that something is better the next time around or better after we’ve left…in a real way?

Action.

Criticism must be accompanied by action and good intent if it is to be anything but bitterness. And to get to a point of action and good intent takes energy from us. Physical energy to make changes to situations, mental energy to find solutions to the ‘problems’ we see and to figure out why we’re criticising. Why does that bitterness taste so good? And can we learn to live and be engaging without it?

It’s as simple as this:

You see that someone needs a better version of something and you know who has one, suggest the name, put the two people in contact with each other.

You come to somebody’s house and you see that they’re run ragged trying to work and do school and maybe take care of some person or animal or whatever at the same time. Wash the glass you just drank out of and if you’re close enough to them….wash the rest of the dishes in the sink. THEN resist the urge to walk and tell people that you did it and to judge the person for not being able to balance it all by themselves.

You see that somebody’s pants split open or their strap burst, instead of snickering and wondering how long the clothes inna closet and how many moths are homeless because them tek it out, offer the pin you have in your pocket or in your car, go get it and pin them up.

You have energy? Share it. In a way that involves more than beating up your gums.

I’m guilty, I can bitter a person with the best of them, but I try not to talk about the things that are personal and the things I know the person may really be struggling with. Either way, bitterness can be fun but it can’t exist on it’s own. There’s work that has to be done as well.

So from now on I am challenging myself. I will throw a little shade…me nah tell yu say me nah go shade people, but I shade responsibly.

But I am challenging myself to be more active. To actively share my energy with people in a way that improves their lives. To challenge myself to expend the mental energy necessary to think up solutions before I speak. To speak carefully and with caring when I do. To care in the first place. I am challenging myself to realise that I wasn’t promised a life full of rest and I should not resent giving a little of my energy or time to working with/or for another even after working a full week. If my friend is cleaning house, gimme a broom. Mek we buss few joke while we a dweet and a a tin a bulli beef when it done. Di work get done twice as fast and we can go par. If di food ital, me try di ital life, or ask di smaddy why, suppose summn a gwaan inna dem life weh me nein know? If seat nuh deh bout…me stan up and mingle…and chat bout summn odda dan wah ‘wrong’ wid di party.

Di whole a we a live, but we need likkle more purpose. Likkle more usefulness. And yu wudda shock how di sweetness a dem summn deh can replace plenty a di bitterness weh we swallow a day time and smile. And most importantly, dem action deh move tings forward, move we forward, move people forward ad up.

Criticism with suggestions become just that, suggestions. And suggestions help.

On the flip side we all need too learn how to receive suggestions without tekkin offence. To say we are not perfect is an over simplification but is anodda blog post dat.

Happy Monday Fambili. Peace and Happiness be wid yu fi da week yah.

Carla Grows Up: Dreaming widout planning is like cooking wid no food. y’a go hungry

Carla Grows Up: New Blog Segment where I invite you to come with me as I try to get on my hustle, find my path and generally grow into the human I am meant to be. And, share wid me how yu stay and how yu feel. MT Massive a more dan ki ki ki ki skin teet’. We a fambili too.

 

praying for what i need today: guidance, focus, clarity of vision and knowledge of self. I often have huge dreams and many, many hopes. But many of them don’t come to fruition or don’t become all they can be. And i feel shortchanged or like i’m selling myself short somehow. And i don’t like it. I’ve been doing a little introspection and I realise my weakness is in planning. I don’t have a plan. I know (kind of) what I want to do, but more than anything I hope the universe will provide a way for it to happen. But then I also don’t even commit to wanting it so universe, spirits, God, ancestors, friends, family….all who could help me achieve it, don’t even know what to help me towards. So today i pray for guidance, more people and energies to help me, because I cannot do it alone. I pray for focus, to help me do my part to carry these plans to completion. I pray for clarity of vision so I may perceive road block or challenges and as much as I can avoid them. And i pray for knowledge of self so that I may actually ask for the things I truly want, in a real way, not the things I think i should want or the things I faddish-ly want in this moment. I pray for help from all angles, I pray for opportunities to help those around me and I pray that my path continues to reveal itself to me and I grow into myself to begin to walk it courageously and at a speed and with an intensity that befits my capabilities. one time. amen.

What do you ask for?

NEW VLOG: Don’t be a Duppy Bat Ep 3: why man feel say ooman mus know say ‘come watch movie’ mean ‘come gimme some sex’

me nuh really sure
is like when yu come do wah dem say yu fi come do
dem have yu up
how it go?

NEW VLOG: Duppy Bat Ep2: Ray J, Kim K, and telling lie pon people p*m p*m

no man

smaddy need fi answer Ray-J and all a him combolo dem near and far weh a carry lasco enermax belly fi people p*m p*m

di only ting weh last fi eva is salvation

so nuh feel seh caw you hit it first yu imprint like Twilight and it belong to u fi eva

Stink!

and fi all a di res a man weh a tell lie pon people…TAP!

 

on monogamy, polygamy and the threat of the new anti-oppressive norm

 

http://fabianromero.tumblr.com/post/43364003643/thinking-aloud-why-i-stopped-calling-myself-poly

i was just talking to somebody about this yesterday
about the way we think about monogamy, and the fact that we only think of it as oppressive because of how it came to be a part of how we think about relationships, and because of how it has functioned for most/many people.
monogamy does not come easily for many people.
but polygamy does not come easily for some people
and we exclude monogamy from the the discussion in totality, at the risk of creating polygamy as some new kind of ‘norm’ and not allowing for people who don’t feel the same way about it.
and we all live the trouble with ‘norms’
and i don’t think it matters how a person gets to being monogamous.
if we can do away with fixed points (as most ‘radical’ thinkers have) then we will have to accept that polygamy and monogamy exist along a continuum we must respect people who inhabit all points along that continuum.
if a person has experiences that make polygamy feel unsafe or untrue to them, we must respect that too, without making them feel as if making that choice proves that they are damaged goods or that they haven’t dealt with the trauma of those experiences. and like if they just sorted through that trauma they could be poly…which is the supposed right way to be.
people choose the lives they choose, the ones that make them happy, based on their experiences. and experiences that happen in the sexual/emotional realm are a part of that. it does not make them a victim if those experiences shape their lives and their future relationships. it is still about their comfort.
so yes polygamy
and yes monogamy
when people who do the critical work to understand the roots of oppressive structures begin to hold up the alternative as doctrine they run the risk of recreating the same kind of babylonian regimes that they hope to take down.

about the IMF and how it’s nothing new… and me and you a part a di problem

so,

as you may or may not know Jamaica is about the enter Tax Armageddon as a part of a)trying to ‘save’ the country and b)the IMF  ‘deal’ that we may or may not get.

I use the quotation marks to imply the highest levels of shade possible and I hope they are read just like that. I am not an economist, but I have done a bit of reading on the IMF and Jamaican’s economic history, either way i’m  not speaking as an economist, i’m speaking as a Jamaican.

IMF is the modern day incarnation of babylon and yet another imperialist mission into the countries of the Third World. Very few countries that sign IMF deals ever get out of them and stay out of them.

Add to that the fact that through the IMF the powerful countries get policy making power in the so-called developing countries, especially those in the global south. Now, i know some people are thinking ‘dat mek sense, black man cyaan run country, look how Jamaican mash up’, or some variation of that. And there are those among us who would gladly re-welcome the Queen because her Majesty and her kind are much better at fiscal affairs than negroes. You know what, fair enough. Based on what you see, I can see why you would say that.

But what about what you don’t see or don’t remember? First, yu memba when Jamaican did stop focus pon growing banana and sugar and start deal wid alumina and bauxite cus di world say industrialisation? Yu remember when a whole heap a farrin money did invest inna Jamaica and we start depend pon di money fi carry we? Yu memba how di heap a farrin money and di fact say we start depend pon it did mean say we haffi play all kinda nice wid di farrin country dem lest dem cripple we by withdrawing? Yu memba dat? Farrin involvement inna we country and we lose sovereignty ova we own decision making. Who fault? Partly us, di govament go follow up everybody else wid di industrialisation and figget fi grow local industry while dem a dweet. Is a trend weh a go haunt we. But di odda side of it is di farrin companies were all too happy to come down here and take our local resources for their personal gain, yu tink we mek half a di money offa red dirt weh dem mek a sell di finished product? NO. If dis nuh bun yu yet, think bout di Garmex freezone. Yu tink we mek half a di money offa sewing sleeve and button weh dem mek offa selling Tommy Hilfiger finished product. NO. But the Caribbean is a place weh yu can pay likkle, get nuff, and den tun roun sell it back to dem and dem will buy it, and dem govament will mek it gwaan, partly because on top of other things, the government does not have the support of the people nor are they accountable to the people. The people depend on the government too much but also they watch them to see if they will fail so they can turn around and cuss them for not doing their jobs. And you wonder why ‘black people can’t lead’.

So all a dis gwaan now and we jus reach independence. Independence come and di two party dem set up, but nuttn never change. We never decolonise we thinking, we did still have di same attitude dem from before independence and to be honest di new leader dem did carry some a di backra massa attitude wid dem. So it was still all about power, only instead a it clearly being black vs white it became black vs brown. Den wah happen, oil prices spike. All a fi we money a come from one place so we nuh have no likkle buffer. So wah, Manley go to di bauxite people dem and say hey, more money, caw we have bills fi pay. Bauxite people say but yu bright likkle black bwoy! a try tell big First World country weh fi do? yu stink! And dem leff. Nuh only dem leff, dem spread it say Jamaica unstable so odda people start leff too. So why Jamaica unstable? 1) Manley did a push Federation. I am not PNP but I am pro-Jamaican and pro- Caribbean Regional Integration, I am also pro-poor people,  and pro-actual independence, pro-decolonization. What was so wrong with the idea that the Caribbean should turn its eyes inwards, look to ourselves instead of out. Yes, some tings never good wid plan, but what was so offensive about it? What was wrong with it is it would have taken away some of the First World’s power over us, and they don’t like it. A ‘black’ nation trying to stand on its own two feet, a Third World nation trying to make its on its own, is unstable because the people in it have an idea that they are equal, that they are good enough, that maybe they are stable by themslves. And these ideas will make them feel they can talk back to the big countries in the North. This is a problem when the Third World country is where the First World countries rape and pillage for raw material, get cheap labour, get a ghetto slam, test out new medications, set up their torture chambers. When these Third World countries get the idea that they are OK without the First World then the First World loses something they need: the ability to take and take and never give back. So, YES, declare the country unstable. Take your support. Cripple the country. And make their leader an example for any other uppity n*gger who would ever try to side with his own kind over bowing before the First World again. And what happened on top of it, the country people will turn against him, since they too are accustomed to being mommy’d and daddy’d by the First World and are very comfortable with it. So now, the government can’t win, and the First World looking like a better option to come lead our countries again. Everybody fly out. Brain drain lick, some a fi we brightest people gone go build fi dem country. Crime rate a rise. And so it goes.

We still nuh sign di first IMF deal yet. But we will. Election will run and IMF deal will sign. Austerity measures a go lick fus, not even tin milk deh pon di shelf. One last try. People even more frustrated. IMF a go sign. Neoliberalization under IMF mean what? Freeing up yu market. Dem mean free up market fi trade within the region?  Nuh really. So wah dat mean? Farrin good can come through.  Regional goods will never as cheap as farrin goods because farrin set up shop inna Third World countries like Jamaica weh dem basically use we as slave labour fi mek di same products dem tun roun sell back to we. So freeing up a market always benefit dem more dan anybody else. And memba say as a part a di cut inna government spending, agriculture tek a lick so wah…fi we farmer dem cyaan compete wid di farrin goods, dem nuh have di backitive agen. Even when we a do we internal trading, a imported goods we a trade so once again, di oil prices a kill we off. Deal after deal after deal. Poverty increase because of the IMF, and again, people lose faith in the government. Dis prove it! Black people cannot lead! On top of it the populace never properly prepared fi di new kinda market, so dem nuh know how fi function. Hustlin and crime rise.

Wah again? The likkle trade agreement weh we did have wid di European Union, dem lick dat weh because USA waan access to di market. Dem flood fi we market wid fi dem goods but still nah free up fi we. Better yet dem mek fi we agriculture industry dead and tun roun start grow crops di way we used to grow crops and a sell it at 15 times di price say it organic. And on and on it goes. Now it come to a point, di country nuh have no money, so dem waan black list yu now. Govament fool like all di rest, dem only know how fi put out hand too. But a nuh jus di fool dem fool, dem inna a sticky situation because of international fren and company business. On top of everything else, di IMF acts like a big brother organization for the countries with agreements. Dat is to say, even though yu nuh have money, if yu have a IMF deal people will do business wid yu because IMF basically say nuh worry man, we will keep a eye pon dem. So govement kinda stuck.

And see we yah, right back a di beginning. Di likkle ‘black’ country wid di farrin masters a give an eye pon dem. And we still a run it down, we waan di watchful eyes a di master because we never learn/nuh waan learn/too fraid fi look fi weself. And we never learn fi whistle and ride, tek di IMF money but gwaan develop fi we local tings same time so dem can contribute to di economy and hopefully help we pay off di loan. And yu know di worse part, half a di people dem weh coulda help do dis, gone work inna farrin land and di odda half inna di country so frustrated dem nuh interested fi do nuttn. See we yah.

Yu know a nuh dis me did intend fi write. Me did intend fi write bout di newspaper article dem bout di new tax packages and how it write inna gibberish weh normal people cyaan undastand. But dis mussi did deh inna me soul.

A few tings come up over and over agen. 1) international over involvement in local affairs and our willingness to let them be so involved. 2)poor decision making on the part of the government 3)over reliance on the government by locals 4)no accountability required from the government by locals, we leff dem fi do wah ever dem waan do so longs goat run come election time 5)no support for the government, we leff dem fi sink or swim and kinda hope dem sink so we can cuss dem 6)persistent racist thinking among locals that maintains that black people cannot lead.

Is a lot of things, and some may seem to conflict, but Jamaica has always been a complex place to live and to lead. If you look at it closely it all goes back to the plantation.

I don’t know what are the ways forward, or even what to suggest. I do know all these big words and fancy financial talk in the paper not doing nuttn fi help people understand nuttn and we still nuh know weh kinda wickedness a come fi we. But this is where we are today, and have been for a while.

 

on fear and why it should not be trusted

(a few people have pointed out to me that its been one year since i started vlogging. today is actually one year to the day. Family Day in Canada. Funnily enough this blog/vlog would not have happened if i hadn’t taken the conscious decision to move out of the way of my own fear. or rather to do it despite my fear. a year later i see where i could have done even more if i had really mastered not being scared, but i am happy with where i am, especially as compared to where i could be. I’ve been thinking about fear recently, for a number of reasons. below is what i’ve come to, thus far… thank you to everyone who has come on this journey with me, and who has encouraged me along the way. i am forever in your debt)

fear itself is useless. what is behind the fear, however, or disguised within it may provide some of the answers you seek, or answers you didn’t know you were looking for. very often what is buried in fear is ‘i don’t think i can do this’ or ‘i don’t want to do this’ or ‘what if i fail’. fear also often hides comparisons, unfavourable comparisons ‘i think so and so would be better…i’m certain they are’ or better yet fear sometimes hides confusion, not knowing where to start. sometimes fear is fear….very often fear of the unknown, fear of something new…but even these are not simply fear…it is the feeling of not knowing what to expect and how to plan for it that is motivating the fear.

Fear can sound like all these things but when you wake up in the morning you won’t hear them, what you will hear is ‘i am afraid’ and then you will go to your crutch. the thing you do to deal with the fear, not to evade it, but to rest comfortably with it. Admit it or not we often hug up our own fear rather than dispelling it, because keeping our fear close keeps us in comfort, we never have to step out. we stay. so we procrastinate, allow opportunities to pass us by. so we grow cross or depressed and push away people who could help us beat the fear. so we grow silent, never voicing the truth about the fear. never opening the sac in which the fear lives, exposing the content to the cleansing light. we let it fester. and very often after, we complain that nothing goes our way, no opportunities come to us. life hard. but we say it in a different voice that we usually do, because even we know there is more we could have done. we know we blocked ourselves.

so what now? you have an inkling that what is beating in your head and making you malice your bed is not just fear….what now? now you have to sit with yourself and figure out what it really is. this may be the scariest part of all because inside your own mind there are no roads, just paths, overrun by brush and full of rocks and you might head in there to find one thing and stumble upon or over another. upending yourself and landing face down in something you’ve been avoiding for years. and maybe several other fears. but the only way to figure if that siren in your mind is you not knowing where to start or a sign that this really isn’t the opportunity for you is to go in there, make a quiet space in your own mind and talk to yourself. talk to people around you, elders, people who think just like you, people who think nothing like you. but talk to yourself also. none of them know your specific situation like you do. none of them. you have to go into your mind in search of your own truth if you want to learn to keep walking with and through your fear. and i say with and through because there’s no guarantee that you will be able to dispel it completely. sometimes those bats flapping around in your head keep flapping. and the butterflies play percussion below. but the point is you have to move. through the fear. and the first step is finding out what else is in there mogglin’ as fear.

life is full of dreams and decisions and choices and opportunities and challenges. and all of those, including the opportunities, have the potential to bring up fear. my crutch is procrastination. i waste time until the opportunities fly by, and then i never have to find out if i would have failed or succeeded at whatever was placed before me. even blessings can bring up fear. it doesn’t mean you’re ungrateful. it just means you haven’t spoken to yourself long enough to have a plan. fear itself is useless. but the things that hide behind it are often the sign posts that lead us to new parts of ourselves or away from parts that we no longer have any need for. listen carefully to yourself. do not take your fear at face value. know what you can gain from it, but do not trust it on sight. keep moving.