We do not believe …..

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

E.E. Cummings
I love you.

Love and Happiness,

Jloz.

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Big Sister…

When you lose all hope in people. In humanity. The disappointments pile up and the hope is pushed to the bottom of the pile. It’s pushed to the bottom of the pile until you don’t see the hope anymore. Despondency.

Disappointment. It’s an important word. It can be the needle in the haystack. It can be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Or it can be the ending of the beginning or the beginning of the ending.

Last year I went to the big sister/ brother organization to try to be a big sister. I really wanted to give back. I wanted to help another kid. Since I was adopted and came from the foster care system I always wanted to help other kids but didn’t always know how. Anyway I tried to become a big sister. People said when your really sad a great way to get out of that is to help others so I tried. I went to the Big Sister/ Big Brother office for an interview and they really liked me. They liked that I was in the arts and was a singer. The girl who interviewed me was super sweet and we really hit it off.

When I filled out the application I felt the need to be extremely honest when the health part came up. You have to be honest so I told them I had bi-polar depression but I was under a doctor’s care.

They said that shouldn’t be a problem but we do have to check with a therapist if you’re seeing one and I had just lost my therapist because she left the office. They reached out to a woman I had only seen once or twice. Well that was a mistake because she didn’t know me.

She told them no. Don’t let her be a big sister. That was so wrong. This ” therapist” was very odd and after I saw her three times I stopped. She didn’t believe anything I told her. I told her I was a singer. She wouldn’t believe it. All she had to do was google my name and she could see I was a singer. It’s not like I was saying I was Aretha Franklin. How is she going to help me if she doesn’t believe anything I tell her about myself. She kept talking about Jesus All the time, not even knowing if I was a Christian or not which is extremely unprofessional. She wasn’t gonna he able to help me so I stopped seeing her. She didn’t believe me, she assumed I was delusional for some reason. I wasn’t and the prior therapist knew that.

I asked her why she told the big sister people NO and why I shouldn’t be a big sister and she said because it isn’t about you. I said I know it isn’t about me, it’s about the child and I want to help a child. I think I can offer them something good.

So long story short I was told by the big sister organization that they unfortunately had to decline my application because of what this ” therapist ” said. They said they really thought long and hard about the decision and they were so sorry. All because of Someone I had seen twice or three Times. ..I was so disappointed.

Disappointments.

They came and often. So much that I decided to expect them. I probably invited them after a while. It became what was comfortable. It was like an old friend that I despised but also kept inviting back to my home. Why?

I didn’t know how to stop inviting this old friend. It was familiar. It became part of my routine, a daily occurrence. They were welcomed along with anger and sadness and loneliness and frustration and hopelessness. After a while I knew no other way. I was so tired. All the time I was tired.

Was my lack of success self-imposed?  Something Denzel Washington said in the movie Roman J. Israel Esq. I connected with that statement. Probably partly so although I did try. I did try so hard to succeed. A Great movie by the way if You haven’t seen it yet. So good. Denzel  Washington was at his best playing a “socially awkward” on the Autistic Spectrum Character and what chaos that can bring even with a super-sized heart. He said, “I’m sick of doing the impossible for the ungrateful.” I felt the same way.

There comes a time where you realize you break free from your own chains of chaos and destruction or you drown. You have to find a way out or you don’t. It is up to you.

I went to the office for a training for big sister / big brother and I was just as qualified if not more to be a part of this organization. I had more love in my heart than most of the people in that room, I could feel it.

I could have omitted that I was bipolar on the application form but that would be untruthful. Dishonest.

At the time I was so sad about this decision but I decided to let it go and maybe try again at a different time. I still haven’t found a good therapist. It is almost impossible to find one because I have tried. They are over whelmed with patients. There is so many that aren’t very good and the good ones either don’t take your insurance or they can’t fit you in or they are just too expensive. The rise in people seeking therapy has risen dramatically of late and the market is flooded.

Disappointments. I’ve had a few.

I can say at one time I didn’t think I would make another day. Not one more day. But I kept on truckin’.

I had to let it play out because what if one day something wonderful were to happen.

What if one day a dream would come true. Sometimes I stayed alive to please others. I didn’t want to hurt my parents. If I left the earth the people I left behind would pay the consequences and sorrows of my decisions and the complexity of that stayed in my mind. I felt it not fair to them. So I kept on truckin’.

I’ve always been a Robert Crumb fan. Lol.

Sometimes I tried to indirectly end my life in self-destruction and self loathing. That didn’t work. I was still here.

Disappointments.

I learned people will disappoint you. Almost always. There were a few who didn’t and I will cherish them to the day I do leave this earth. Very few but there were a few. I had a couple of north stars in my life. Thank god.

But even with that I learned that I would have to pull myself up first. There is no one else really. It’s all up to me.

That’s when it changed for me. The light inside turned back on and I decided it’s me and me. We are either gonna do this or not do this. If we are gonna do this we need to do it right.

As Soon as I decided that I realized another level of internal strength I didn’t know I had. It was almost like a door that opened to a new floor that had been locked all these years. A floor with golden doors and plush carpet and lots of purple and kittens and puppies.

Romans 8:18

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”

A door so bright and so vivid that I still needed my sunglasses. This floor was there all the time. I just didn’t have the right key to unlock it.

People say it’s only you that can make you happy. I think that is true because you have to love yourself before you can love someone else but once you get to that floor things are clearer. Love is there. Loving someone and having them love you back is an amazing gift. And as Nat King Cole taught us there is nothing greater than to love and be loved in return.

I thank god every day for the gifts I am receiving now. The love I am receiving. The love I am giving. I am so full of gratitude and on some days I cannot stop smiling. I am so happy I decided to keep on truckin’ because if I gave up and gave in I would never have experienced the gold doors and the plush carpet and the purple colors that are blinding me with righteousness and brightness and glory. I have seen the eye of god and the eye of the devil. I have seen them both. I looked them both dead on and saw the reflection of myself in their eyes. I had to choose… more disappointments or more love. I chose love.

I am a big sister now metaphorically and I am so happy to be one! I am a baby sister. I am a friend and a lover and a daughter. I am me. I am in love. I love my neighbors. I love my brothers and sisters. All kinds. I love all the animals and the trees and all that is living and sharing this planet with me. I am so grateful and full of gratitude.

I hope one day you will find the key to the floor with the golden doors if you have not yet found it. It is there waiting to be unlocked. I know. It is waiting for you.

I love you.

Love and Happiness,

Jloz

Like Water ‪…….

Sometimes you can’t even explain what you feel for a person. It’s like trying to explain what water tastes like , it’s impossible. –

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To be sure…I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of Roses under my Cypresses ” ~~~ Friedrich Nietzsche.    

———————————————————————

Blame Nobody.

Expect Nothing.

Do Something .

“Sometimes it’s to your advantage for people to think you’re crazy” – Thelonious Monk

The man with the Angel Tattoo.

So I think its time for this blog to be written. I was thinking about a lot of things yesterday, in my head and then something very special happened. I was driving and  picked up a customer, he was waiting on the side of the road. He was handsome, nice smile. He was friendly. As I was driving him something very special happened.

He decided to tell me his story. I believe when someone shares something very personal with a complete stranger that it is a gift. Some people find it strange or weird but I think it is an offering of some kind. A glimpse into their soul.

I accept it when this happens to me; I actually  treasure it like a beautiful shell or smooth piece of sea glass I find on the beach. Little gifts from god.

I don’t know if this man will ever read this, probably not but I want to thank him just the same. He shared a traumatic story about his childhood and how it affected him as an adult. He told me how he handled it and how his anger overtook him for a large part of his life. I cannot tell you his complete story but I will tell you part of it. This man was given looks, athletic ability, high IQ and intelligence. But he was angry. Very angry and he never really understood why. He had suppressed the events that happened to him for years. But all of a sudden he remembered. And he cried.

One day he decided  to kill one of the people who had hurt him very badly as a child.. So he bought a gun, he drove to the person’s house and sat there, sober and aware. He said he waited a few hours getting the nerve to commit a murder and as he was about to get out of the car, a 90-year-old black woman with white hair, came up to his car and knocked on the car window.  He rolled down the window and she gave him a piece of paper of some kind. It said you are loved, God loves you. As he was looking down at the paper to see what it said, she said what was written there. She said You are loved. God Loves You. He  looked back up and she had vanished. just vanished, into thin air. He said he had that piece of paper for years in his wallet and it eventually fell apart from showing it to people and telling them the story. He told me his friends and people he told  didn’t believe the story and said he probably was seeing things and he was delusional. He said she was real and no way could she have walked away from the car that fast, she was very old. He said she was an ANGEL. He said he didn’t do drugs and he wasn’t drunk and he knew it happened.

After she gave him that paper, YOU ARE LOVED, GOD LOVES YOU. He felt someone had reached into his insides, his heart and pulled all the pain that was in his body and pulled it out. The weight had been lifted. This is all true, this is what he told me. The pain was gone. He put the gun back in the glove compartment and drove home. He didn’t murder anyone that night and all he had left to prove what happened was this piece of paper and his memory.

He said no one believed him. But he stopped drinking so much, He stopped getting into bar fights and he found comfort in a Christian church and was happy for the first time in his life. As he was telling me his story it was hard not to get goosebumps. I listened and when we got to the destination I turned around. I took his hand and I thanked him for his story, for his offering into his soul. I said it meant so much to me that he shared it with me and as I was holding his hand I noticed his angel tattoo on his forearm. It was quite large.

I looked at it and he saw me staring at it and he said that was there before I met my angel. The old black lady with the white hair. I said your soul called her to you. I believe the angel story because I have some of my own. He gave me some caring advice that he thought I needed to hear and got out of my car. I was very emotional. I cried.

Sometimes you have to be broken open before you can be healed. I think he had been broken open and I feel I have been as well. A kind woman gave me this book once, it’s a great book and I recommend it to anyone struggling to breathe. Before you can be stitched back up you have to forgive and be forgived. I realized then that it was time to say I am sorry. I have been thinking about this for a while. It’s time. So here it is.

I AM SORRY.

No excuses this time. No Buts or Whys. Just Sorry.

I am sorry if I hurt you in any way.

I am sorry if my words were harsh or insensitive.

I am sorry if I hurt you in my inability to communicate correctly. ‘

I am sorry if I hurt your feelings in my own confusion or lack of understanding.

I am sorry if I hurt you when I was unbalanced or mentally ill.

I did my best with what I had to work with. I tried to help myself but it took me 45 years to figure it all out, My heart was always in a good place but I had trouble communicating that sometimes.

I AM SORRY.

I ask you to get to know the me in front of you today. I am a living evolving human being with a open heart. I ask for your clemency.

I hope you can accept my offering of apology and I hope you can forgive me as I forgive.

I forgive it all.

I thank the Man with the Angel Tattoo as he never did give me his name but he did give me his soul, a piece of it anyway and I thank him for that. We all have our stories.

I also want to thank all of my Angels. All of you. Thankyou!

As for the rest; This song is for all of you. I love you all.

Love and Happiness,

JLOZ.

Walkers with the Dawn ..

There are many reasons I love Langston Hughes. Many of the same reasons we all love Helen Keller. I learned about Helen Keller in highschool, I didn’t learn about Langston Hughes until I found him on my own. Both are heroes to this world. They both offered such beautiful insight on how they see the world, both courageous , both beautiful, both inspiring. Both could be from a place of Extreme darkness or enlightened walkers of the sun and morning. These two poems were on my mind today. I pray for all the children that are crying and suffering. I pray for them and their parents. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even believe in god anymore but I pray anyway. I am a spiritual Christian and sometimes my faith is tested when I see such atrocities and how the world is going. Sometimes I feel that the churches have been so passive in action when our brothers and sisters needed action. Even During the Civil Rights movement , why didn’t more white churches help? These were and still now our brothers and sisters. They are not illegal aliens. They are US. I hope their darkness ends but I know too well how unjust this world can be but I will pray just the same to any god that will listen for their safety and to stop the cries and suffering as soon as possible. I pray that they have strength to continue the journey wherever it may lead. My eyes are red because children are crying for their mommy and daddy and it is one of the most horrific things to listen too and our world is getting smaller and the news is getting harsher. How can we repeat history? Horrible atrocities should never be repeated. I pray they get to see the light again. I pray for the babies to once again be in the arms of their parents. I pray they find a way to survive together. I pray they have strength to survive. I pray they are walkers with the sun and the morning.

Walkers with the Dawn

Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
Walkers with the sun and morning,
We are not afraid of night,
Nor days of gloom,
Nor darkness–
Being walkers with the sun and morning.

by Langston Hughes

Helen Keller

She,
In the dark,
Found light
Brighter than many ever see.

She,
Within herself,
Found loveliness,
Through the soul’s own mastery.

And now the world receives
From her dower:
The message of the strength
Of inner power.

Langston Hughes

The World is like a Prism

This morning there was a video on the news of: Protesters inside Columbus Circle globe in front of Trump Hotel. All these comments came up on the video where people were saying go get a job, all sorts of mean comments about the protestors. I don’t care if you support Donald Trump but we the people have the constitutional right to protest. You all like to throw the constitution at us all the time. Just because your protesting doesn’t mean you’re not working. Not everyone works 9-5 which backs up my point of this post. Just because you work 9-5 doesn’t mean the rest of the world does.

But what strikes me about these people is their inability to see anything from a different point of view other than their own. The world is s like a prism and it has many angels. viewing the world from only your angle, is short sided and I would say even cruel. .

We need to LOVE from all angles. We need to SEE from all angles. Not just the angles we can see from where we comfortably sit. I try every day to try to see things from other people’s point of view. I make mistakes and I say the wrong things sometimes but my heart is real and I try to walk in the shoes  of my brothers and sisters. I try to walk in the footprints of  our ancestors for we stand on their shoulders and  we should’nt let their sacrifice and  wisdom go to waste.  If I consciously make a decision to do this every day; then I can truly love our differences instead of being fearful of them.  And we already know that there is nothing  to fear but fear itself.

Love abd Happiness,

Jloz

D for Deranged. 

When I started this blog I knew I was going to be honest about my life and mental illness. I knew it would be cathartic and cleansing for me. I also knew there would be some backlash. I told myself to be honest even if it gets scary. I told myself to tell the good and the bad because that’s life. Even when bad stuff happens I know there is a nugget of truth or wisdom I can take from it. God knows that’s the truth. If there’s one thing I learned in all of the pain; I learned that if you survive it;  it produces something genuine and sinuous. There is a gracefulness of movement in my body and my mind. I don’t mean in the traditional sense but a new-found comfort with myself and how I move emotionally and physically. It’s hard to describe but I am doing the best I can.

I went to a Jam the other day to sing. It was the first time going there and it’s was super fun. I will definitely go back. I met a lot of nice people, musicians etc. When it was my time to get up and sing I was telling everyone what key I was going to sing in so I said Born under a bad sign in D like dog.  Then the Drummer looked at me and said, you mean D for Deranged. I said, what did you just say? I said interesting choice of words.

He just had this weird smile on his face. I was smiling, positive and then he said that. It does hurt because I’m sensitive. It hurts because I try so hard to start over and live a peaceful life. I don’t do well with people attacking me. Especially people I don’t know. If your honest about having a mental illness whether you’re in recovery or not you will have to expect this. I don’t know this man and he damn sure doesn’t know me so he had no right to say that because I am certainly not deranged. The other part of this is I am a woman who does speak her mind. I also let others speak their mind and I will listen but A lot of men hate on that. They call you all sorts of names and your just supposed to take it, like woman aren’t supposed to have an opinion. I told a friend the other day; I said no one is letting me be the new me and it’s so frustrating and he told me to write it down. Yeah write that down. So I did.

It took me a long time to realize how to help myself  but I did. It’s a lot of suffering and a lot of work but I’m doing it and that’s why comments like this is so hard to take. So I wrote it down. No one is letting me be the new me.  I looked at it over and over and I realized why he told me to write it down. I think he told me to write that down because he was telling me they don’t get to choose. You get to choose. You get to choose what and who you react too. What and who you give power too. I already know this. It’s up to me; not them. I know this in my brain but in my heart; it is still not sure; its latent and slow. I might be a bit of a Pollyanna and want to live in a world where everyone loves each other. I never thought Pollyannaism was a bad thing.

I have talked about this before that the stigma for mental health is so severe and negative compared to someone who is suffering from cancer etc. I can focus on the wonderful people I met that night or the few guy’s who weren’t so kind. I was warned by some people that there might be some people there to try to hurt me. It’s up to me what to focus on. I am training my brain to focus on the positive people and forget about the angry negative cruel ones.

Everyday I am getting better, stronger and a little less sensitive. I will always be honest, I will probably still say the wrong thing sometimes but my heart is in the right place. I will apologize if I hurt you and I will still love you no matter what. I love the guy that called me deranged and I love the others guys that stood in front of me when I sang and told me how old I looked. I knew they were trying to intimidate me and that’s cool. If that’s how they want to spend their evening so be it. Sometimes I get mad and forget what it is I’m trying to do. But when I am alone and with myself in solitude I realize then again that I love you all.

I have no room in my heart for any hate; it’s puffed up with love. Peace.

Love and Happiness,

Jloz