Closure is overrated…

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Closure……every time one of my friends or I go through a break up it’s the main thing we are looking for when all the dust settles. I effing hate closure! There I said it. Ok wait, I don’t really HATE closure but I hate the generally accepted idea that without it (especially because it’s mostly dependent on another human) I won’t be able to peacefully move on. I, like many of us have been taught time and again how important it is to have closure and to close the book on painful emotions and or experiences.

That is all well and good until you cross horns with someone who is unwilling or emotionally not stable enough or the person may be dead and therefore unable to provide the much needed and often elusive closure we seek. The worst of them is what happens when the other person is willing to provide us closure and we are unable to accept it leaving ourselves in a sort of emotional purgatory.

So what other options do we have? It sounds like getting closure is a waste of time and energy if the conditions are not JUST right for us to obtain it. Well all hope is not lost, at least that’s what I have discovered over the last couple days.

It started when one of my friends reached out to me this week about how painful it was to be going through her most recent break up and how much she missed her ex. She was having one hell of a time moving on and felt that it was completely her fault that they had to break up. She decided to reach out to her ex however, since it was not a bad break up and wanted to talk. Soon after their conversation ended she texted me to let me know that she was glad they talked and that it gave her closure.

When people say it like that “….it gave me closure.” it’s almost as if right after the talk some guy walks out with a box marked ‘closure’ and you merrily go on your way into joy and peacefulness as if the hurt never happened at all. Well to me that sounds like bullshit, sorry it just does…well I’m not really sorry but it sounded good to say (type).

Anyway, as I read the text from my friend I felt something inside reject the idea that their talk gave her closure. It bothered me that I was rejecting this idea mostly because it didn’t concern me at all. It didn’t take long to see that in fact it did. I was dealing with the feelings and sense of loss associated with a break up myself. I hadn’t really broken up with anyone but there was a person I was interested in and cared a great deal about. We loved one another but decided that we were not compatible, wanted, needed different things neither of us was able to give the other.

Would I be able to get any closure from her? Did I need to? Was it something that without it I would feel incomplete and or unable to date someone else and move on? So many questions and just one answer. The answer was NO! I did not need closure that was dependent on another person. My friend going through the break up realized that herself as well when we talked more about it. The closure any of us seek is dependent on our willingness to accept that, although we wanted it to be one way, it is in fact another way.

I don’t need to have a long or for that matter a short conversation with anyone about my feelings or theirs in an effort to obtain closure. We can have those talks but it isn’t the only way to feel closure. I first get to accept that I did my best or hell maybe I didn’t but whatever the case….it’s done. Whatever the case, what the other person did is done too. I get to accept feeling hurt, angry, lied to, happy, excited, relieved or any number of emotions coming up for me. In short, I get to process, embrace and release. Self-closure is the most rewarding of all. The other person or people involved may choose to join in and participate in that with me or I with them. But at the end of the day, it’s a personal choice no one can take away from me. I get to choose to feel and embrace the peace I need or not.

If any of this resonated with you, do me a solid and scroll on up to the top of this entry and drop me a few lines. I love to hear from folks uncovering and discovering their greatness as well. You’re also welcome to join in a community of dope people doing the same thing on Aziza Binti Live via Facebook with lots of empowering personal videos from me, articles and more. Trust me you’ll love it, we’re dope!

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It’s Now or Forever

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Like many people I have spent a great deal of my life dreaming of a better future for myself and of the goals I would like to achieve. There is nothing inherently wrong with dreaming and goal setting but the challenge comes when that’s all we focus on void of self-care. Some beat themselves up for where they are especially if they think it’s a long way from where they would like to be. Others, like myself often ignore the need to celebrate where we are and how far we’ve come. We trade that off for negative self-talk that says we should be further along, have more money, more influence, more degrees and the list goes on. We’re conditioned that this way of thinking helps achieve goals and that we should only celebrate upon reaching them.

There’s one big problem with always being future focused. First there is NO future without the very necessary steps that take place in the present. There is no other time in our lives that has more power and has a bigger impact on how well we do in the future or how well we perceive the events of the past. Not only that, the present is more important than all the experiences that have brought us here. Without proper understanding of the present we’re more likely to view the past as victims of it rather than as thriving overcomers that have made it through, while still capable of creating healthy lives.

I was reminded recently when I wrote my first blog, to break it up a bit. She told me that people get readers fatigue and the paragraphs need to be properly broken up on the screen for readers so they feel as if they’ve accomplished something after each break. As I was writing this blog, following her advice, I thought about that same person and how she does not really give herself the kinds of breaks she gives readers of her work. This woman is dope and a very accomplished poet and author. Although she doesn’t always think so, trust me she’s a beast. Hell, I’m having a love affair with her first novel right now lol. Anyway, her advice made me think about how I can do a better job of recharging, celebrating  and giving myself a break too. We all deserve and need breaks. We can enjoy healthy ones if we allow ourselves to see that its not slacking off but restoring our energy so we can be even more effective, creative and amazing.

Now I am not saying that you can’t achieve great things pushing yourself and ignoring self care, rest and celebrating yourself along the way. Many people all over the world manage to do a lot and they treat themselves like trash most of the time, so let’s be clear about that. What I am saying is that if you don’t focus any energy on WHO you will be and how much of you will be left once you achieve your goals, then it’s not really worth it. So many work tirelessly for goals and once they get to wherever it is they were going, it’s as if they have no energy to even celebrate. If they do celebrate, in an instant their celebration is over, feeling as if that goal wasn’t quite big or good enough. Soon they are on to another goal, trusting it will make themselves feel more worthy.

You are already worthy. You’re worthy of working toward your goals and certainly worthy of feeling amazing on the journey and when you arrive. Those things are not mutually exclusive as I have been reminded several times this year. Focus, set your intention, push past your fears, step out, find your new personal best each day as you move toward your goals AND put yourself on your ‘To Do Love List’. The world needs as much of you to survive the journey to great accomplishments as possible. Show us what it looks like to live bold, bright, accomplished AND whole. Either you love on yourself now or you’ll forever be in the space looking for a goal, a person or some thing to give you the love only you can share with yourself.

Start with something small a walk in a park you love at least once a week, a long bath (I had one today OMG it was awesome!), or a steaming hot shower with the lights off and candles going, watch an old TV show you loved as a kid, color, sing a song you love, dance naked in front of the mirror or with your favorite jeans on. Whatever you do….if it’s YOU focused and you enjoy it DO IT. Unless it’s crack, don’t do crack OK. Get in the habit of putting you on the list, celebrating your presence on the planet. Let’s face it, you’re fucking dope and I’m glad you’re here reading this blog about how much you deserve to be celebrated. You got this, trust me, if I can do it….I know you can. We’re in this together remember.

So do me a solid and scroll up to the top of this entry and leave a comment about what you plan to do to celebrate YOU today. Come back in a week or whenever and drop some lines about how it’s going for you. Aye, if you’re really a boss do a 15 second dance party celebration twice a day, set your alarm on your cell to remind you, then slip into the bathroom at work or home and rock out for 15 seconds. You’ll laugh and over time you’ll wonder why you never did it before. Take it up a notch and title the alarm something dope like “You the shit, NOW dance!” or “Show me your sexy moves in 15 seconds.” Have fun with it OK. You are worth it. Peace!

“Get free or die lying…”

I am admittedly the baby of my family and the only girl as well as the baby of my first tier inner circle (more about what that means in another blog). Although I have lived on my own since I was 21 and worked since I was 18 there still seems at 38 years old to be this desire among my friend group to “protect” me in many ways. My friends are protective of me in the sweetest ways but at the same time will give me the business and keep it 100 with me even if its going to hurt my feelings. The point where protecting me and being honest meet isn’t hard to spot. Ultimately my friends agree that keeping valuable growth information from me isn’t the best way to protect me. 

As I began the journey to being more openly vulnerable it really came out of a deep depression, anxiety and the fear that without intervention I would soon take my own life. I was at the end of my rope and the top of the rope was tied around my neck. I could not see a way out other than through. Through the emotional challenges that were keeping me up at night, through admitting that as I continued in poor romantic relationships I was becoming more and more like my emotionally abusive step-father and justifying my behavior. Through the pain of not having the love and support of my biological father. Through the belief that I was and would never be good enough for my very loving and supportive although demanding mother. I had to make my way through all the lies I’d told myself over the years about why I could not be as successful as I wanted to be. It was time to take full responsibility for where I was and who I was and to do it with as little blame and judgement as possible. I was doing my best, but my best alone was killing me and I needed help. I was either going to get free or die lying.

Blame, judgement and vulnerability seem not to have a lot in common with one another. Of course blame and judgement seem to kick it in the same room but how does vulnerability fit in? It’s the NOT being vulnerable, seeing vulnerability as a weakness and judging it as something to be avoided that put all these words in the same room battling for position. For me it was important to seek out just how being vulnerable would bless and shift my life. I began years ago listening to the Ted Talks with Brené Brown. Her talks about just how powerful we become when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to put a spot light on the areas inside that need healing, in short, saved my life.

As I journeyed through the muck of lies built upon lies and agreements made with mediocrity, a true version of myself began to emerge. Early last year I made the decision to take my journey with vulnerability a step further. This decision was made after a meditation where the term “Healing in community.” entered my heart. The idea being that by choosing to be vulnerable we are also trusting that our community has resources, gifts, and insights that can help us heal faster and with more wholeness as a bonus. It means trading some level of anonymity for vulnerability and trusting that we will in fact be just fine and that no one can really destroy us even if it feels like it. It does NOT mean emotionally dumping on everyone or vomiting our deepest darkest secrets all over the internet or in person.

Healing in community is a thoughtful introspective process allowing us to self correct, pay attention to and lovingly interpret the information the Universe is providing. It’s about developing  a clear understanding that we know JACK SHIT about what we really might need to heal or see things correctly. We get to trust that we know nothing about how any situation or person is going to bless us. Instead we walk through each day with a wide eyed optimism trusting that even if we don’t get it, even when it feels like people are trying to destroy us that we are in fact blessed. Its the practice of doing whatever, however, whenever to be open to healing and judging ourselves as little as possible for the perceived failures we experience along the way. It’s about seeking out the help we require to feel more whole and recover from the deep emotional scars of our past or present.

Some of my friends expressed concerns for my safety while on this journey. None wanted to keep me from saying or doing any of the things I was doing, their concern was that they felt protective of me. They wondered if I was allowing people to know me too deeply. What was so funny to me about that is, I sensor a great deal of what I say for energy content but to people who are not nearly as vulnerable as I am, it seems like overkill. Listening to their concerns offers an opportunity for them to be more vulnerable since that is in fact the topic of discussion. Many people feel a deep love and trust in me just after meeting me for a short while and this can be unsettling for them if it’s never happened before. I believe they feel this due to how much the desire to be vulnerable inside of them seeks to connect with mine, even if they still see vulnerability as a weakness. There is still the loving part of them that wants to join with the loving part of me. During these “You are sharing too much…” sessions with my friends or partners they get to say out loud how much their fears are coming through when I open up about things that they worry will overexpose me. At the end of the day I have not chosen this path without great consideration and meditation. I am in a constant state of self corrective processes, growing and living based on information provided by the Universe through others as well.

Should you decide to begin the same journey I am on, you should know a few things. First not everyone will get it. In fact people might think you are just doing the most and need to have several seats lol. However, there will be a larger number of people, often secretly at first who will marvel at and admire your willingness to find the strength in vulnerability. It’s there for everyone but not everyone will want to risk all that will be required to be this free. You’ll risk being right all the time, you’ll risk keeping how deeply you love others to yourself. You’ll get to give up the idea that you are alone and have special problems that only special solutions will resolve. You’ll get to cry over how tightly you tried to hold on to your smallness and burst at the seams with how much you desire to share love with others even those you do not personally know well.

In short, you get to give up all the bullshit you thought made you who you were. You GET TO get free and yes some of the journey will hurt, there’s no denying that. But it does NOT have to hurt as much as you think it will. And it is more about allowing, willingness and understanding that YOUR understanding, your knowing is NOT necessary to heal, your understanding of the process, results and freedom that will flow is not necessary at all. You don’t even have to believe that healing in community and strength through vulnerability is a real thing. BUT if you will begin the journey, try it out, you will see the results. You’ll see and feel how uncomfortable you are with staying where you were. Then, you won’t have to believe it….you’ll know it! Suggested readings for this journey….The Way of Mastery, A Course of Love and A Course In Miracles. Check out Earl Purdy on Youtube and http://www.EarlPurdy.com to get access to free video lessons of those healing in community while studying these teachings. Wishing you the best on your journey. Feel free to comment here and share your insights. We’re in this together!

Peace-