You Are Not Special And That Is Okay by Nova Giovanni

okaytobenormal_novagiovanni

In a world that tells us we are all unique and special and can be anything we want to be, it isn’t hard to tell that the world is lying. Look at how many people are into the same things, believe the same lies, aspire (and many times never become) the same person. Are you in denial about your mediocrity? There is nothing wrong with being normal. I know the trend is “weird is cool” right now, but is it really? To appear weird is cool, but most people really aren’t too accepting of those who REALLY are weird. I was once riding the DC Metro train (red line, for those curious) and saw a man in the back take a dump in the back of it and wipe his ass with a newspaper. That was weird, but very uncool. Why? Because there is a sense of normality most of us possess of what is acceptable and what isn’t. That is why we dress a certain way, speak a certain way, and even conduct ourselves a certain way. There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with being normal. Who says you have to be this millionaire musician who will probably end up suffering from depression and become addicted to some hard drug? Who says you have to be this intellect that wears ankh and studies everything Egyptian even though your ancestry may not trace back to Egypt at all? Who says you have to be an entrepreneur in this flailing economy in which people are spending less and less because they have less to spend? Who made these rules to being part of the unruly? A lot of people force all of these things anyway… the musician that really doesn’t know music, the intellect that collects and takes pics of books but have never opened and actually read them, the entrepreneur that really isn’t very entrepreneurial. It is because a lot of the people projecting these images of themselves aren’t these people at all. Attention is a helluva drug. Amen.

Truth is, most people are very generic in their thinking, logic, goals, and aspirations. Most people think normally and will die very normally. No, you probably won’t do anything that those outside of your circle see as significant. That is okay. After your death, you will probably only be remembered by your immediate family for a few generations. That is okay. You will probably live a very mediocre life, most of us do. That is okay. I’m not saying not to try to excel or be different if that is who you are. However, if you’re not, don’t beat yourself up about how average your life is. Average is, well… Normal.

Peace.

Nova Giovanni

http://www.NovaGiovanni.com

“Thinking Out Loud” coming soon…

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I Love Myself Too Much To Hate You by Nova Giovanni

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grudgefist

I used to hold grudges. I’d like to think we all hold grudges from time to time. Maybe we all don’t and just me and those who continue to read this hold grudges. Either way this is for us.

Nowadays, I try my best not to hold grudges with anyone. I’m not saying there aren’t a few people I don’t still feel hate for to this day, I just mean I don’t hold a grudge to the point that I exert my energy in “getting even.” You see, the best you can show someone is love, worse is hate, but the VERY WORST is indifference. Love says “I care for you and want the best for you.” Hate says, “I don’t like you and let me show you I don’t like you.” However, indifference says, “I don’t like you so much that I don’t even value you enough to waste my time showing you how much I don’t like you.”

You see, when you hold a grudge openly with some people (especially people not used to attention), they can interpret you showing your dislike toward them as some sort of rivalry or it may give them the idea they are somehow worthy of something they may not be worthy of.

Forgiveness is freedom, but sometimes forgiveness isn’t realistic. In some cases forgetfulness is freedom also. Ignore and forget some people until you are free.

A Native American wisdom story tells of an old Cherokee who is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good–he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The fight is going on inside of you–and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee replied, “The one that you feed.”

Peace.

Nova Giovanni

www.NovaGiovanni.com

The book, Thinking Out Loud, soon come.

Do We Hate Ourselves?! by Nova Giovanni

tapedevil

I was driving through West Philadelphia last week listening to a song promoting drug use, rape culture, and random acts of violence. Which song? I can’t remember the title of it, but I’m sure you can think of at least a thousand rap songs that fit the description and use it in place of the example I have given. It was a perfect 72 degrees out, so I rolled down my windows, and turned the music up like I’ve done a hundred times in the past. However, this time was different. I actually LISTENED to the lyrics and felt irresponsible and enabling by projecting this message on others by turning up the volume. This is in no way an assault on rap music, I have been listening to it since I can remember. I know rap has provided a lot of opportunities and jobs to people who wouldn’t have had it if it wasn’t for the music genre. Furthermore, I know the message in these songs are only an outward manifestation of what is happening inside of the artists and/or the success it garners reflects the mindsets of the people liking and buying it.

There are all types of rap music, but which is most popular and why? It is the rap music promoting drug use, rape culture, random acts of violence, and everything else detestable to the tune of a catchy hook and nice instrumental. Some will give a conspiracy theory like, “that is all the White man signs record deals for and promotes.” Even if that claim is the case (which I’m not debating or supporting), there is no denying that it is popular. Why would such filth be so popular unless we are in a way filthy ourselves? When we really think about it with an analytical mind, we may see things differently than before. Don’t you find it kind of uncivilized to go to a nightclub and dance to music and have “a good time” to music telling us to kill ourselves and each other? DO WE HATE OURSELVES?! Of course we don’t (I hope we don’t), but our actions sometimes say otherwise. I’m not saying we should stop listening to this type of music, but with a new way of thinking comes a new way of walking. Hopefully, we can put (or keep) this kind of entertainment where it belongs and see it for what it is – entertainment. We should allow no rapper or entertainer spewing self-defeating rhymes provide us with a melodic blueprint for how to live righteously or right. Nova Knows.

We have to see the bigger picture when looking at smaller issues. I won’t make this a long and detailed post by going into detail about why and how self-defeating behavior and self-hatred is promoted and popular among us (see video below). However, let us look at what purpose it serves. When we use drugs, kill each other, and demean women, someone gets paid in some way. Whether it is the drug dealers (not talking the young man you see on the corner, but the millionaire businessman with the boats and connections), the criminal justice system (police, lawyers, judges, correctional officers, etc.), and so on and so forth. Enslaving our minds has proven to be just as profitable as enslaving our bodies.

We are only free in this country to do the wrong things. We say freedom is being able to do what we want to do-but ask yourself – What makes you want to do a thing? Your wants and desires have been induced. What we want and desire maintain the system of domination and destroy us as a people. Our problems, behavior etc. have a political and economic function. – Dr. Amos N. Wilson

Peace.

Nova Giovanni

http://www.NovaGiovanni.com

Loose Lips Sink RelationSHIPS by @mirafen

 

LOOSE LIPS, SINK RelationSHIPS

Who do you turn to when things get confusing or down right frustrating in your LOVE life? God, Your Mom, cousin, best friend? All of the above? Or, how many times have you heard something like this in your voice mail, over drinks or in your text inbox: “Girl, call me as SOON as you get off, let me tell you what (insert on and off again boyfriend’s name here) did THIS time”.

The listener and the deliverer of the “news” has a responsibility to uphold certain boundaries in all relationships concerned. The bearer of the news should stray from demonizing the subject of concern, and the listener should not be openly accepting of slander. Regardless of the fact that this is your friend or family, keep in mind, that some people are only searching for an ally outside of their situation. This behavior is simply not healthy for anyone involved.

HONOR THE CODE:

Before you runteldat, ask yourself; “with whom does my loyalty lie?”  Is it with yourself, your friends, or your man? Lets make it easy for you: Loyalty to your relationship should be a PRIMARY concern of yours, otherwise why are you in it?  Yes, he is frustrating and yes you are confused about some of the things involving this person you love so much. However, he is the one you chose! Running to anyone BUT him about the issues you have concerning him wont resolve anything. When you communicate that you need to resolve the said issue with him and he doesn’t respond in a compromising way. It is then up to YOU to make a decision regarding the direction you want to take it.

Too often, we as women revert to this victim role while dealing with a disagreement with the men in our lives. We sometimes feel a need to find an “ally” in our best friends, moms, and THE INTERNET! Have some loyalty about you! You’re sitting here telling EVERYBODY about the issue BUT the person you have the issue with!

DO NOT DEMONIZE HIM!:

You demonize him, exaggerate, or tell straight up true details of a situation that you were trusted with to keep to yourself. Now, after the dust of your lovers quarrel settles, you are back with the love of your life! Not with out injury however, to his image, in the eyes of all those people who sided with you when you were playing the “victim”. Now, if you are at all a considerate person, you have to worry about how your family and friends view your “boo”.   Just because you were quick to forgive him because he bought you some “I’m sorry” flowers, shoes, or jewelry doesn’t mean your friends or family will be.  I know you’re thinking “well, its not their business” or ” They are my friends they should just be happy and support my decisions” yes, that is all well and good and yes, to an extent, THAT  is what friends are for, to listen to your problems. Just not painful details about your relationship!

YOU’VE BLURRED THE BOUNDARIES:

Once you have shared this information and sought guidance about it, it gives them a sense of “ownership” and or “stock” in your situation. What you are doing is blurring level of trust between you and your significant other. Your friends and family will see the lack of respect you have for your relationship and they will respect it less and less the more you bring your issues to them.  As you continuously bring to them your issues and you are not realizing the detriment you could ultimately be causing between you and your significant other.

Who is to say that one of your more aggressive friends wont get fed up with the things you are telling them and decide to confront your man for you about his behavior. Now, he knows that you aren’t loyal to the relationship you two share. Although he may not show it, realizing you have been sharing his and your personal information with other people may leave him embarrassed, betrayed, and disgusted.

CONSIDER EVERYONE:

Your friends and family care about you and the last thing they want to see is you hurt. So, constantly coming to them with ALL the ways (insert on and off again boyfriend’s name here) has hurt you is going to weigh on their emotional state as well. After depicting him as such a monster, how could you expect your “ally” to give you an unbiased opinion or suggestion? Eventually, the love they feel for you will have them tell you “Leave that devil alone if he’s causing you such pain”

EXPECT BACKLASH:

From who? EVERYONE that you involved!! Your “boo” who made “Po lil Tink Tink” (You) mad will feel angry and betrayed because you put him out on the streets as the devil himself so you could get victim points. Your friends and family(the ones who love and care for you) will feel burdened, saddened, and frustrated that you didn’t follow their advice. They won’t be able to help feeling some kind of hurt knowing the(miserable) situation you are walking back into.  Lets not forget the INTERNET!  Well, they are all gonna laugh at you…. b/c you spilling your issues online was a spectator sport for them because they don’t CARE and don’t wish the best for you anyway! Stop doing that!!!

BE REALISTIC:

To avoid all of these issues, remember that no two people will ever agree on everything everytime. and the ones we love the most have the power to push us to new limits we never knew we even had. When we do have disagreements with the ones we love, we tend to feel very alone. Embrace this moment of being alone as a blessing. Think, clear your mind to YOURSELF and examine your judgement. Remind yourself of what role YOU played in the current situation and examine whether or not he has your best interest at heart.

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY:

Keep your relationship afloat! Running into this instant victim mode will NOT satisfy the situation you are faced with. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of both of you to be happy or miserable in your relationship. Stop spreading your misery to others!!!! Especially when you KNOW you either have a good thing or you know that you will more than likely go back!!

With Much <3, Your Girl, Mira!!

www.SleepingOnSaturn.com

Twitter – @mirafen

 

Acknowledge, Accept, Understand by Ayana Ellis

 

The things that women endure in life can make or break us. This is very true. We sometimes live our lives according to our past and our upbringing instead of living for today. Instead of learning from our mistakes, we yearn from our mistakes. Most women suffer from nostalgia. We want what we once had back. We want to go back in time and fix things and make it right. We want to be who we once were. We want a do over and life isn’t so. And then we hold on to our hurts, we sometimes find comfort in our pain and we stay there, too afraid of going for the gold, (our happiness), because we don’t believe we deserve it, or we are too afraid to lose it once again so we never bother going after it. We wear our pain as a badge of honor, ready to tell any man our story and how we got through it and what we will and won’t do ever again in life. With that behavior, we harden as time goes on. We hide behind the things that hurt us and we are afraid to be who we were born to be…women. But what you need to know is that, there ain’t no nostalgia to this shit. When it’s done it’s done and we have to learn how to NOT be emotionless, but how to move on. There is a certain grace period that a woman should have to mourn over a man. Acknowledge the loss, Accept it, Understand it then move on—Next 15 one coming. What we need to learn overall is that most of the things that happen to us are not personal, so we shouldn’t beat ourselves up. Sure, we are responsible for things we do, people we let into our lives etc. but we have no control over what people do to us! However, we do have control over how we react and how we allow it to affect our lives after it’s all said and done. We give “pain” too much power and the more we dwell on the hurt the more it dwells inside of us and the harder it is to shake that shit. Some of us wallow in self-pity because we think that it’s going to lure a man in to save us. WRONG. That’s not the kind of attention you want from a man. You are nobody’s sob-story. You are a success story! Move on from your past hurts and stand tall! Stop wondering what you did wrong and just acknowledge and accept that it is not working, whatever it may be! That bitterness your feeling is being felt by every and any one you encounter and then you wonder why you can’t receive love or happiness. Some of us are so mad and angry we don’t know how to speak like ladies anymore. We shut out anything good that is meant for us because we spit venom, we spit pain, and we spit resistance, all because of past hurts, fear, upbringings and insecurities. We’ve all been through hell ladies and with that being said, shouldn’t you have a blue print by now on how to get out of hell once you get there? I mean a woman who has been through hell and back should know her way around that bitch pretty well so she shouldn’t be there but for so long, should she find herself going through hell again. So stop feeling sorry for yourself. Stop waiting around for someone to save you from this pain. You are the only person responsible for you, nobody owes you anything and nobody is going to give you a map and guide you out of hell. You have to find your way around that place and remember the short cuts for the next time you unexpectedly wind up there.

What you also need to know is that you cannot hide from yourself and your thoughts become your actions when you start believing it. Without even knowing it, we don’t realize how we’ve pushed people away from us because of our negative energy. That energy spews out of us whether we know it or not and someone with the opposite energy will go the opposite way be it a new female friend or a potential mate. The people that are bad for us will be attracted to us because that is the energy that we give off. Eventually we find ourselves surrounded by so many people who are just as miserable as we are and we don’t think anything of it. We think it’s the norm because there is no one around us to tell us that we are in a barrel of crabs. Women have gotten too hardened when it has always been our place to be graceful, feminine, and respectful of our minds and bodies. Every other word is fuck that nigga. We are running around here reckless without a purpose. Ask yourself what your purpose in life is and are you fulfilling it? The next time you decide to sit around and dwell on past pains, ask yourself if the person that hurt you is sitting around dwelling on how much he or she has hurt you. They probably aren’t.

A lot of our insecurities about men and friends stems from what we feel about ourselves inside and the things that we have done and allowed to happen to us. Once you have yourself in check you will then be more than capable of building solid and honorable relationships with others. Don’t ever tell yourself that you don’t give a shit about being in love or wanting that feeling again because you know and I know that it’s a lie and it’s poisonous to think that way. If you keep telling yourself that, you will inevitably begin to live that way and you will get exactly what you asked for! Every woman wants to be loved and bigger than that, we want to love someone. We deserve to love someone. It’s what we do. We love, we nurture, we nurse, we provide, we hug, we kiss, we make love and we adore. Don’t let anyone take the gift of giving away from you! In love, you have to take your chances and though it’s a crap shoot, it is what it is!

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger right? And though it hurts, find out what went wrong, learn from it, laugh at your pain when you can. It helps to have people in your life that aren’t judgmental and that you can be straight up with. Hiding what you go through will do you more harm than good. Talk it out, let it out, get answers, different perceptions from people who understand you. Don’t be afraid to move on! Find the blessing in it all and always look at the glass half full! Maintain your femininity and softness and believe that no one deserves happiness more than you, So slow down and smell the roses, smile through your trials, dance in the rain and laugh through your pain. So long as you acknowledge, accept and understand what it is you have gone through you can move on and start over. Stressing and harboring anger makes you bitter and old before your time and once something goes sour there’s no sweetening it back up. Our grace, our ways, our touch, our mind, our words is what makes us women and if we lose that, we have nothing. You don’t want to surround yourself with individuals who have accepted defeat in one way or another, especially when you know deep down inside that you want to win again, or that you want to fulfill that dream, or that you want to rekindle that friendship. Our hearts are our joy and though we need to guard it and be mindful of who we give it to, it doesn’t mean to guard it so much so that nobody gets to experience the beauty of the love you have inside of you.

You have to take risks in love. No matter how great you think your mate is, they are human and they can hurt you so your job is to protect yourself by also being human and understanding that shit does happen and that when it does, you have to know how to move on. To give love is the greatest love, more so than receiving. It’s about balance and knowing yourself so that you can understand the people who are around you and in your life. Some heartache we can’t help; but some we can certainly avoid. It’s about being real with you! The blessing in being a woman is our ability to love over and over again even though we’ve been hurt over and over again. Don’t let anyone block that blessing! Once you Acknowledge your pain instead of trying to deny it, it will then force you to Accept it. Once you accept the issue that you are faced with then you can take the time to Understand it. Once you understand it, you can move on with that knowledge and take the necessary precautions to avoid having to go through it again.

Ayana Ellis is the author of King and I, Don’t Be a Dumb Bitch, King Me, Full Circle, Love Changes, Girls From the Hood 4

Twitter: @AyanaEllis

Instagram: BourgeoisBrooklynLife

Facebook.com/AyanaEllis

 

He’s Mr. Wrong… But You’re Ms. Something Is Wrong With Me Too by @LaughCruz


By Dave Cruz

 

This goes out to the beautiful girls…

 

Too often I hear statements which echo a similar sentiment, something along the lines of:

Oh I just know he’s my Mr. Wrong, but it’s so hard to turn away from him…”

If you’ve heard a statement like this before from a female friend, coworker, or family member, then you know of the age-old story which depicts a female who is apparently aware that her male partner is “Mr. Wrong;” a guy who has no redeemable qualities, and serves no positive purpose in her life.

Quite often, this so-called Mr. Wrong also happens to wreak havoc in this female’s life by cheating, misusing her money and time, causing a riff(s) within her family, and never valuing her opinion/worth. This causes her to deal with constant emotional distress, and leads her to the understanding that he is indeed, a “Mr. Wrong.”

If the fact that men like this exist isn’t bizarre enough, we find an equally bizarre set of circumstances when it comes to said female’s handling of Mr. Wrong. To the average logical human being, it is 100% clear at this point in the story that Mr. Wrong should be ejected from the woman’s life, thus ending her emotional distress and freeing her from all the trouble he has caused her.

But no! According to these women, it is “too hard to turn away from Mr. Wrong” because there is some mysterious, unexplainable force keeping them from ever breaking up with him. So, we often find the female putting up with Mr. Wrong’s nonsense – while consistently adjusting her lifestyle and her psyche so that she might fit him into her life in the most comfortable way possible, all because there is “just something about him.”

To this strange phenomenon I offer a simple, yet important solution:

 

Cut the crap, hoes.

 

Do you really think that all of us in the world are as dumb as you are to believe that there is a so-called Mr. Wrong in your life, but you can’t seem to push him away because there’s something about him? Do I look retarded?

There are two major issues at play here, and the first concerns this idea that you, as a female, can recognize and acknowledge the fact that this man is Mr. Wrong in your life but yet you refuse to remove him.

Nothing (and I mean NOTHING) is dumber than hearing someone say that they KNOW something is bad for them, but they can’t get rid of it.

Tell me, woman: if you had a cancerous tumor in your body, and you KNEW it was going to kill you, would you keep it around because there was something unique and interesting about the tumor? According to your Mr. Wrong equation, the answer is yes. “Oh there’s something so mysterious and unique about the way this tumor makes my body sick and forces me to get chemotherapy. Even though I hate being bald now, there’s something about this tumor that I can’t put my finger on… (Especially since I’m too weak to move my fingers now anyway).”

Again, if this guy is so wrong, anyone in their right mind would not hesitate to drop the mufucka like the New Year’s Eve Ball at Times Square. But not you. You don’t have a right mind.

Which leads me to my next issue…

Implicit in a statement like the one mentioned above is the idea that this “Mr. Wrong” is with a woman who is apparently a Ms. Right… Right?

I mean, how else would he be a Mr. Wrong if you weren’t the Ms. Right he was never meant to be with? If you were Ms. Wrong, you wouldn’t be complaining about Mr. Wrong ‘cause y’all obviously got married, since you carry his last name and all.

See, the problem herein lies with the notion that this guy happens to be such a screw-up, but you honestly believe that, on the flipside, none of your screws are loose.

WRONG.

The fact is: He may be Mr. Wrong, but you, young lady, ain’t Ms. Right.

You are Ms. Something Is Wrong With Me Too.

The sooner you can understand this, the better off you’ll be. In no way am I discrediting the idea that this man in your life, despite all his hang-ups, may be special to you in some way. If we refer back to my example: it’s true, you might actually LIKE tumors in your body, who knows. Hey, go nuts. I don’t care. Some people enjoy pain, and some people just don’t know what’s best for them.

However, I will not allow you to believe that you are this “Ms. Right” who deserves my pity and attention because you’re unfortunately stuck in some inescapable whirlwind of confused love. Stop that bullshit. You’re just as fucked up as he is, and you should embrace it, like the crackhead who holds up a sign saying “Please give me money so I can buy more crack. God Bless you.”

I respect the honest crackhead more than I respect the delusional crack pot who thinks she’s right and he’s wrong. If he’s a thief, you’re his getaway driver. If he gets a 740 on his SATs, you’re the fucked up calculator he was using during the math portion of the test. If he’s out on the street eating peoples’ faces, you’re the one in Rite-Aid buying his bath salts. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and in this case y’all ain’t right at all. Y’all are just one big ass Wrong.

 

In closing, I quote Mary J. Blige from her song, so aptly titled, “Mr. Wrong”:

Me and Mr. Wrong get along so good (so good)
Even though he breaks my heart so bad (so bad)
We got a special thing going on
Me and Mr. Wrong (mister wrong)
Even if I try, no, I never could
Give him up cause his loves like that
Ain’t no way that I’m moving on
I love my Mr. Wrong

Well spoken, Ms. Blige.

That’s why your dumb ass will never be Aretha Franklin. R-E-S-P-E-C-T bitches!

With Love,

 

Dave Cruz

 

p.s – This was not written to be a humor piece. This is something that actually bugs the shit outta me.

p.s.s – If you have a friend like this, please feel free to let her know, explicitly, that she’s a dumb ass. This is ok for two reasons; a) it’s true, so who cares what she thinks, and b) you’ll be fine because she’ll probably do some dumb hoe shit in response anyway, like post an angry status on Facebook about the whole situation, i.e. “Deez NUT a$$ b!xtchez oUt huRr qoinq @ MAH nek BuT dEY ScAreD 2 C mee inn da sTreeTz doe”

Follow me on Twitter to discuss this and more: @LaughCruz or twitter.com/LaughCruz

**Special thanks to Nova Giovanni for being a great resource, and an inspiration to share thoughts with people all around the world