Tag Archives: vulnerability

Notes on 4:44: Black Male Vulnerability

You know I thug em, fuck em, love em, leave em 
Cause I don’t fuckin’ need em
Take em out the hood, keep em lookin’ good
But I don’t fuckin’ feed em 

-Big Pimpin

Jay-Z

Everybody wants to be needed on some level

Chris Rock

 

My brother was the one who brought Jay Z into my world. And a lot of what my brother paid close attention to when I was growing up inevitably entered my consciousness as well. X-Men comic books, metal ninja stars, GI Joe, Hip Hop…

I remember my brother buying a lot of Jay’s albums and a long landscape poster of Jay Z on his bedroom wall. I didn’t think he was attractive. He just looked like a regular dude to me, whatever that means, but his confidence was undeniable. And I remember thinking, who is this guy? What capital does he have to impress me with if he’s not super good looking? When I listened to him, I got it right away. He was not unlike like Sinatra who was also no studio heart throb. That didn’t matter though. He was gonna do it his way.

Continue reading Notes on 4:44: Black Male Vulnerability

Dropping into my Heart

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Let go of all sense of not being in your heart. The thought of a problem can become the problem. Ask yourself “If I knew what I might notice were I to listen to my heart, regardless of what anyone else might suggest, what methods of dropping into my heart might I discover?

I get emotional plenty. I cry in reaction to movies, books, babies, people I care about…orgasms. But I’m not always comfortable about all that. In a culture where intellect and smarts and thought processes are basically taught to us as the thing that will get us more money, power, position, attention and love, the heart is really only focused upon as a marketing tool, particularly on Valentines Day. But actually using our hearts is pretty foreign and largely marginalized  and looked down upon in our society, in much the same way as being feminine, soft, yielding, giving and vulnerable is attributed to weakness.

It’s hard to let go of primarily brain centered living when the whole of society tells you, you have to use your head to get ahead and people will take advantage of you if you “wear you heart on your sleeve.” However when it’s convenient, who are the people we turn to first when we are wounded and need to be held and loved and soothed and made to feel better? Usually some pretty heart centered people. Not the cold, distant, detached, aloof people. And I’m not ashamed to say that on occasion I have appeared to be or behaved as if I was one of those cold people but not because it’s who I really am. No one is really like that. We learn to be that way. We learn a lot of incorrect behavior on our journey towards becoming who are.

Thinking only when it’s necessary and feeling or dropping into my heart the rest of the time hasn’t been easy. This is going to sound weird but the kitten has really helped me with that. He’s all action. He likes to hunt, play, eat, sleep and be held. Simple. The moment I first picked him up out of his cage I also experienced something very simple, the joy of being needed in a way that for the first time did not feel like a burden. In fact the more I take care of the kitten, the fuller I feel. I’m really fighting the urge to say ewwww right now. Or I guess I should say, my ego is.

But honestly, my husband and I have the most fun watching him do really simple stuff, like dive at and chase cat toys, discover new ways to get to high pieces of furniture and sleep with the kind of abandon that we can only assume means he feels safe. I can only imangine that if we all felt that safe, not so much in our surroundings but in our own hearts and souls, life might not seem so scary. There’s no way to really be safe in your head because its meant to fluctuate to your detriment by design. So much of what goes on there is just the ego’s way of asserting it’s identification as you. And we are easily conditioned to believe that intuitive heart space is misleading, unreal, risky and unsafe instead of the other way around. There’s no balance, no cooperation. The head has been oppressively manipulative and monopolizing for so long. As a result we have faster, slicker, high functioning, specialized toys, degrees, positions, corporations and more with which to create and share information, to control and to commodify but not nearly enough regard for the feelings we have about our successes or lack thereof in order to address the accompanying emptiness.

All I’ve been doing after work for the past week and an a half is coming home, hanging out with my husband, cleaning, taking care of the cat and generally taking it easy. No lofty ambitious goals there. Very little anxiety either. Domestic contentment. It’s one of my new definitions of success.

Stay tuned for more. : )