Monday, August 16, 2004

"Devoid"

-- August 17th, 2004 --



A recent post entitled, "Black Love, Pt. III" -- was the finale in my thoughts and concerns about Black relationships. But... the apex of a united relationship by Black men and women is through religion. The belief that God, Allah, Jehovah or whatever title you give belief towards will stand by your side through the thick and thin, as you would want your significant other to do as well.

Almost every facet of Black culture is a conduit of "soul" or spiritually of some sort. Why? Because God reigns supreme. That is very true. But what about those "lost" souls that wander the streets at night or even during the day? The ones who feel uneasy in religious surroundings because either they don't fully believe or wholeheartedly trust in the words of Man. Is it because of a misunderstanding of the Word -- not truly just putting all of his or her faith in the belief of a higher power or is it just the sheer lack of self-awareness to see the signs that are pointing you in the direction of a positive calling?

I ask myself these questions, in addition to you, the reader. I am a 21 year old Black male living in Corporate America (my belief is that while a white hand does hold the green dollar, the green dollar decides the playing field) -- and for these past 21 years, I am digressing on the life led and the paths that I choose to follow. This may be my most sincere post -- maybe one of my most soul-revealing.

Growing up seemed like an ever-changing mystery. Full of revolving door friends, close-minded awkwardness amongst classmates, and never really having an understanding of who I am nor where I came from. The specifics would make it even harder for anyone to read but in simple terms -- I felt different. Not in the sense where some guys wish to define their sexuality or why they chose to do heinous acts committed as an adult. I just felt different. Through the years of avoiding confrontation -- because of not feeling strong enough to win, creating an alternate story for myself -- because it seemed like the reality of my life was not on par with the rest of those whom I was surrounded amongst, and being silent, because I felt my voice shouldn't have been heard -- I established a barrier, a wall, that few dared or even cared to climb.

Knowing that, even accepting the fact that people were not only leery of me, I was leery of them -- created a sort of caged-animal-in-the-zoo feeling. Where both parties treaded lightly amongst the other for so long that it became routine. The friendship was false. But the friendship was mainly one sided. See, feeling like a straggler amongst a running pack created a need to detour others to flow alongside my pace. The life led at home wasn't any better -- so, why not? Why not attract others to who I am? Still feeling empty...

A point came in my life where things were running on cruise control -- had established a core group of friends who were there for me and I for them. Confidence grew within my voice and was expressed in my demeanor. Even had a female try and attempt to scale the barrier that I put up as my own Heart's defense. All was crumbling down around me and it felt good again to breathe easy.

With this significant other whom I developed a long relationship with -- I had gone to Church with her, foregoing any experience that I had endured while attending the one in my neighborhood. An experience wished not to be relived. While being there with my S.O. at the time -- it was an eye-opener. Only problem was I wasn't ready to wake up and open my eyes. There were moments when I would feel the words that flowed out of the Pastor's mouth and felt as if he was speaking directly to me. An emotion would cascade over my being -- something that I immediately shook out of my head as being a sign of weakness. Maybe that was a sign of the truth. I have learned that there are events that are shown to those who can't pick up on things subliminally. That was me. Tears would try and flow -- only to be held back by my determination of thinking that, "men don't cry..." God is definitely a connection to Life -- and as my relationship enriched with Him, so did with my S.O. at the time. When I displayed feelings of opposition, the end followed suit. I believe that not continuing my relationship with God ended a lot of things that I have yet to understand. I still feel different.

Is it my blindness to not accept the things being shown to me? Am I a fool for even thinking this? I do not know too many devout people -- the type to praise His name at any chance, to sing in the Choirs, and attend daily in order to hear the Word. When this was presented to me, awkwardly I would look at them because within myself I did not feel that presence. I believed to be empty, devoid of something that I need in myself to really feel whole, complete as a Black Man in Corporate America (which is also devoid, but errected a false idol to keep things in motion). Can a soul be stubborn? Can I figure out my life? Or are the pages already written with the chapter waiting to be turned anew? I still feel different...

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