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Musical Instruments

I had an epiphany the other day, but I’ll start with the back story first.

When my mother asked me which instrument I wanted to play as a child, I told her “the harp.”

“Girl! The harp ain’t in the band. Pick something else!” I chose the flute. Within a week, I was helping my flute teacher teach the flute class. I guess you could say, years later, I was a bit of a flute master, but harp was my heart. All the while, I was playing the piano on a daily basis & singing in church on Sundays with my gospel-singing mother.

When I attended college, I decided to take harp lessons, and picked that up quickly too. I didn’t realize until about a month ago, when I had an experience with this entity which spoke to me about music, that this ability to pick up instruments & learn them was a gift.

The epiphany: musical instruments are merely other voices or textures from which to speak. The voice is an instrument. The flute is an instrument. The harp is an instrument. One should experiment with different textures (instruments) to make their point. That’s what I plan to do. I’m stepping into it.

The pen is an instrument as well. Instruments can be weapons, depending on how it’s used, that can be used to lift up or tear down.

The entity’s name is “Inspiration” and when it presents itself, you have to roll with it.



I’ve been in this place of silence and reflection the past month or so and I’ve come to the conclusion that each person should look back to his/her own childhood and see “what worked for them.” For example, when I was young, even though I was a big child, I was active, healthy. I had a thick, toned body as a result of all the swimming and bike riding I’d do. I’d ride my bike for hours–to friends’ houses, uphill, downhill–and genuinely enjoyed it. I’d go the neighborhood indoor pool and swim all day if my mother allowed. I also spent a lot of time alone, whether locked up in my room playing video games, or reading books on Egypt and other parts of the world, as a child–unbeknownst to myself–alone time “worked for me.” I was in tune with peace, in tune with myself. I hardly ever had friend drama, if any at all.

My childhood, up until the past couple of months, was in stark contrast with my adult life: I stopped being as physically active, and if I did work out, it was more burden than enjoyment; I wasn’t spending as much time alone, or if I was, I was incredibly distracted by my own drama or the drama brought to me by false friendships; I was too busy playing counselor & supportress to everyone, carrying their burdens instead of dealing with my own.

A few months ago, around the time my sister got married to her now husband, I had a breakdown. My soul cried out through tears and I realized how heavy I was with grief, my own unresolved burdens, and the burdens of others. I decided to take my Buddhist practice seriously, and spend more time getting into me. (A series of “it was then” moments will follow: disclaimer.) It was then that I realized how disorganized & out of tune with myself I was. It was then that false friendships begin to reveal themselves. It was then that I realized how much more productive I could be if I’d work on discipline, time management, & order. Website, poetry, book, song, art ideas began to flood my soul; Music confronted me, letting me know I “would” play instruments again, whether I wanted to or not; and, most importantly, the truth spoke to me: I could have and do all of these things, but only when if I seriously committed to MYSELF. Then the revelation hit me: I’d been doing this, as if it were second nature, when I was a child. What happened?

Socialization, cultural norms and growing up (like in the Peter Pan movie, “Hook”) happened. I believe very heavily that as children, we operate in the most pure versions of ourselves. We spend the rest of our lives trying to get back to this pure state. When we’re children, people either rub us the wrong way, or don’t. Children are the kings and queens of what the church calls “discernment.” It doesn’t take children long to figure out if someone loves or hates them, what they want, don’t want, etc; and somehow, as we age, we lose this “sense” for the sake of having “compassion.” Sure, the sistah girl at your job was an utterly annoying, self hating, gossipin’ bitch, but culturally & religiously enforced “compassion” led you to see the good in her and invite her into your inner circle; whereas, the child version of you would have said, outright, “I don’t like her,” and would have steered clear.

We are a society of people so in tune with other people that we lose ourselves. Religion teaches us to put up with bullshit in favor of turning the other cheek, and I am here to say, it’s not natural. How can one serve others when one’s soul is full of chaos, confusion, the weight of other people’s issues? It’s draining. I know, because carrying the burdens of others without cutting the cord–through quiet time and some other sort of spiritual cleansing–led to my having anxiety attacks. The spiritual manifested itself in the physical, and the next thing I knew, I was taking anxiety medication when all I needed to do was get back in touch with how I was in my childhood and spend time with myself.

Since receiving this revelation, I’ve spent a lot of time clearing myself of the clutter of life: draining friendships, relationships, fear, doubt, etc,. I began to spend more time alone, less time answering my phone, more time focusing on what was going on in my soul. I was “clearing the space” or my sphere, and as a result, I’ve been rewarded. I’d decided, based on how healthy I was in my childhood, that I wanted a bike, one I didn’t have to pay for, and guess what? God/Universe granted me a bike…a FREE one. I have no doubt that as I continue to look back at my childhood for other things I was doing that “worked for me” and as I continue to stay in meditation, prayer/chanting, more will come, more favor, more open doors, more peace and blessings. I pray this also happens for you.

I have asked Shulamit to submit her thoughts on sexuality, sensuality, spirituality and how it all relates. What follows are her words & perspective, all of which I find very relevant to today’s sexual culture:


I am 34 years old now and I must say that in my sexual experiences, I have only had two men bring me to a rapturous place during sex and one did it over and again. I used to be a prude when it came to sex. I watched women trade it for favors as I grew up and a very important woman in my life, was raped on a continuous basis by an abusive partner and to this day she still will not admit that fact.

For so long I had such a perverse awareness of sex. For me, sex was about domination. I denied myself love, compassion, healing and a spiritual awakening that I was meant to gain through a sexually fulfilling life. It was not until my thirties that I began to have the sexual awakening that I needed. Do not get me wrong; there were a few incidences along the way that led me on this path. Although, I was not overtly sexual, I was very sensual. Unfortunately, I did not know at the time that you needed both to be complete.

One incident that took place was when I was 26 years old. I was visiting a friend in Mobile, Alabama before starting a new life in New York City. When I told her it had been five years since the last time I had sex, she took me to a sex shop, bought me a vibrator and then took me back to her home, threw me in the bathroom and told me I could not come out until I understood my body and had given myself an orgasm. Yes, I know this was a drastic occurrence, however it was one that I needed to happen because it started me on a road of discovery, a road that has taught me that I should never settle for a quick romp and unsatisfying experiences when it came to sex; that it was ok to deny a man sex if I believed I would not derive any pleasure from the act; that until I found mutual love and affection, I should seek out paramours—true lovers—those who truly believe in the lost art of seduction and mutual pleasure. As @Sheponderings once said, “If I cannot feel or even see your soul when I am having sex with you then we need not have sex at all.” To have this attitude is to have respect for oneself, body, mind & soul/spirit. It would also eliminate the tendency of having multiple sexual partners to satisfy a need that one excellent partner could.

The other issue is this illusion of the women’s liberation movement, which was not a movement of freedom but a movement that further subjugated women’s sexuality and sensuality. Of course we can now have sex with whomever we want, however we are not given the authority to deny a negative sexual encounter or even remark on one. We must take what is given to us and be happy that we are receiving ‘it’. To utter a complaint is to deny ourselves future sexual encounters.

Unfortunately, we have not understood that we have relinquished our power to a gender and force that would deny the very fact that a woman is truly as sexual and sensual as any man. The goddess of sensuality was indeed a woman named Venus. And the god of sexuality and rapture was Bacchus aka Dionysus. True seduction, is accomplished when a woman knows that she is safe with her partner, when she knows, that that man will do whatever it takes to satisfy her every need. In fact, her satisfaction is indeed his supreme goal. He himself finds gratification in her sighs, moans, eruptions coursing through her body and the faint heartbeat between her thighs. This is truly the act of seduction that Renaissance author, Boccaccio, and Renaissance seducer, Casanova, were able to accomplish in writing and in deed.

Another reason that I was sexually repressed was “RELIGION” with a capital “R.” Religion will screw you up, make you feel guilty about something that was meant to be beautiful and enjoyed; something that was put into place for humans to experience the complete joy of being. Sex is the only act that, if exercised correctly with another, produces a profound experience of ecstasy. This ecstasy cannot be reproduced with a drug, chant, song or prayer. It transcends all things in the physical and brings us to a higher dimension, a place where our senses are heightened beyond what we can ever comprehend, making sex a spiritual act. It takes our breath away, it makes us laugh, it makes us cry, it makes us see stars; and at times, causes us to leave the realm of space, time & logic—something the French would call “le petit mort.”

Before this revelation, I was caught up in the religious dogma of the Church. I was taught that sex is dirty outside of marriage, and within marriage, it should only be used for procreation. Sex was always discussed as something the male sex needed or struggled with. For women to struggle with sexual desire in the church was taboo. Then I became a Jew, which taught that sex is also the woman’s right, was considered a double mitzvah (blessing) if done on the Sabbath—with your spouse and should be used for pleasure as well as procreating. Jews also believe that the more spiritual you are, the more sexual you are. Sexuality and spirituality are married. They are one half of the other’s whole. This newfound understanding of sex opened my eyes to many things.

It is unfortunate that people are afraid to openly discuss sex, that sex is still taboo in an increasingly sexual society. This unhealthy attitude towards sex and sensuality is what has brought about the porn culture and “fuck” buddies—for which women usually are left with the short end of the stick. Our music lacks sensuality and our love scenes lack passion. We now have a generation, even two, completely oblivious to true sensual sexuality. Believe me, neither can abide without the other.

Masturbation: A Tragedy

I have a love-hate relationship with Masturbation. In the early days, one couldn’t keep me from masturbating. I was a virgin, back then, when I was accidentally introduced to this self-loving practice. I’d been chatting online and a very erotic man had written me a fantasy so arousing, I felt the heartbeat between my legs. I didn’t know what to do to relieve myself of this sensation—being the naïve virgin of 13 that I was—so I asked him what I should do. He educated me about masturbation, and from that moment I was hooked! I began giving myself 13 orgasms a day, off and on, for a while. At one point, I believe I was addicted. I owned about 5 different toys and couldn’t put them down. My only conflict at that time was Jesus: I was a Christian; and according to the Church—depending on which church one attended—masturbation was the demon spirit Incubus or Succubus declaring war on our Christian souls. I tried to stop, but couldn’t. I even went on masturbation fasts and attempted to have the “spirit of Masturbation” exorcised out of me. I then graduated to sex at the age of nearly 25.

Being a Scorpio—according to an astrologer friend—I get the most enjoyment out of sex when it’s an experience shared with another. I’ve found this to be true for me, maybe not for every Scorpio or woman in the world, but my truth. After having experienced fabulous sex, my relationship with Masturbation changed. Masturbation, once my sexual comfort during the night, had now become the bane of my existence: I resented it. Presently, I’m annoyed by masturbation like the annoyance that comes from a man with a little dick who feels he can please me. Having had such an experience with a very average male—both in girth and length—I can say he was quite good; however, with his penis not being necessarily average in girth or length, my mind was ever present. I never lost myself, lost control, during the act, and so it is with masturbation. It may get the job done, but that’s not good enough. Touching myself does not feel the same as another touching my body. During masturbation, I control the pleasure, and even though I have a toy, I am in control of how said toy pleases me. No phallic object can make a satisfactory substitute for the male appendage, nor the connection that comes from two, warm blooded, flesh and bone humans coming together in search of sexual bliss & rapture. A toy can’t simulate that, will not simulate that, in my opinion. Sure, toys serve their purpose, and every once in a while, I find myself using one—or my companion, the showerhead—in a tight spot, but everything in my being prefers the real; and being a sign of extremes, my relationship with Masturbation ends up being in limbo, a constant battle between love and hate.

I love the power of not having to settle for less than spectacular sex because I have my fingers or toys to fall back on; at the same time, my ego & internal sex goddess feels as though sex is something I deserve & should be having, therefore I shouldn’t have to “depend” on myself to get my pleasure. I love how masturbation teaches me about my own body, and how knowing my body properly through this solo practice enables to me help a man learn how to please me; and at the same time, I’d rather my body be the terrain a man discovers for me, and I his.

When I tell friends or acquaintances how little I masturbate—which is normally between twice every two weeks and 4 times a week, depending on my sexual cycles and moods—they’re shocked, but it makes perfect sense to me. In a way, I feel masturbation is beneath me: I shouldn’t have to masturbate! I should have a lover, not necessarily a boyfriend or husband, ready & willing to take many sexual adventures with me; yet in this world where touching knees and toes or doing the jackhammer is king, true lovers tend to be few (or far in distance). I can’t afford to settle…so masturbation it is.

As posted on:

Today’s male perplexes me. I consider myself a very upfront, independent woman. I love traveling, languages, music & sex. Being in a relationship isn’t something I’m in need of right now until I am more established or have accomplished a few things. There are many women who feel like me, women who are willing to wait on relationships for a while. When it comes to casual sexual relationships, I tend to tell men upfront “I’m trying to study abroad in the next year-and-a-half, so I need consistent sex without the emotional attachment.” In the beginning, the men are overjoyed, but down the road, something happens: they get emotionally involved and begin playing the part of The Stoic Male. The Stoic Male is a man who rarely shows or feels emotion and tends to be a horrible communicator. I believe the Stoic Male stereotype is something pushed by society & the media at large to cripple men in the areas of the emotions & communication, which also leads to strained communication between the sexes; but bear with me for a moment as I give, you—the reader—a few examples.

I’d been involved with a man for about 3 months before things changed for the worst. Before this three-month mark, we were having sex regularly, enjoying each other with no strings attached. Although our chemistry in the beginning was extraordinary, the sex started getting longer and more intense around the 3-month mark. As a woman, I was overjoyed. With the way women are wired, we end up having our best sex with someone with whom we feel safe, a partner who takes the time to familiarize himself with our bodies. I’d argue that this is why casual sex is to our detriment, since casual sex often means racking up several partners who don’t stick around long enough to know our bodies, but that’s another blog. The point is, this man was definitely familiar with my body. He knew where to touch, how, and when. Our sex quickly got to the place of transcendence, where I’d black out and feel as though I were floating with the stars: pure ecstasy. Then, he took us to a place I wish he’d never taken us to.

After one such transcendent experience, my partner decided he wanted me to observe his son sleeping in the next room. I was shocked and a little concerned, but obliged him. Maybe this is what sex partners do, I thought. I complimented him on his son’s adorableness, and made for the door when I hear him request my presence in his living room. I obliged him yet again. This time he did the unimaginable: he pulled out his family photo album. I was convinced at this point of two things: I was good in bed, and the casual relationship would soon change if not end. And change it did! I saw him one last time for horribly distant sex and he disappeared shortly after, but I wasn’t surprised. Sex is one of nature’s glues; in other words, sex has the potential to bond people together. Sex can make a person who’s considered average and annoying graduate to beautiful and tolerable: it’s that powerful. When we add sex to a casual acquaintanceship or friendship, one cannot be surprised if a partner catches feelings over time. Consistent sex makes both partners familiar and comfortable with each other, and in time, emotional walls do come tumbling down. A study done by Dr Louann Brizendine suggests that when it comes to men’s emotions, they do feel things just as strongly as women; however, 2.5 seconds after feeling an emotion, the face changes to hide it. Whether this is due to nature (the way the brain is naturally wired) or nurture (the socialization process & gender roles) is up for debate (although science now says the female brain has evolved in order to handle everyday stressors better), but the “why” made sense to me, although the lack of sex made for one cranky woman. All I wanted was a consistent, honest sex partner, and all he had to do was communicate his feelings to me, like an adult.
Another source of confusion is the need of the opposite sex to say unnecessary things they don’t mean. The other gentleman I’d been involved with was a professional and presented himself as a sweet, simple man in search of one consistent, no strings attached, sex partner. After my most recent fiasco with the last partner, I figured I’d give him a try. After having a glorious sexual experience with him, he decided of his own free will to say, “I must have you at least once a week. I’ve never been so tired after sex in my life.” I agreed, only as the weeks went by, I’d heard nothing from this man. I deleted him from my phone, and decided to move on when I’d received a random phone call from him asking to see me again. Being the libidinous woman I am, I decided to accept his invitation. Upon seeing me naked, he said, “You might as well go ahead and just marry me.” Fortunately for me, I’m not one of the female sex to take male banter to heart right away. I merely smiled and seduced. He made the mistake of adding me to one of his social networking sites shortly after waking up from his sex coma, telling me I should have his babies; I say “mistake” because I tend to observe people’s profiles. Again he disappeared, this time, for a month. Curious as to what had happened to our “once a week” agreement, I checked his page and found a gaggle of women leaving comments all over his page, one in particular being fiercely territorial, leaving messages of ownership on his home page and pictures. It was rather clear to me where my once a week was going.
Was it necessary to bring up marriage and babies, or lie about desiring to be sexual with one partner? Was it necessary to form a “sexual agreement” by stating “I must have sex with you once a month” if that was never the intention? Absolutely not! But some men do it. Was it necessary for the first man to get distant and disappear for fear of getting emotionally involved? No. In both cases, communication and consistency were the issues, but I blame society, the media and our culture for this shortcoming in men. It is my opinion that women are leaps ahead in the area of communication, as far as articulating & handling emotions, because of the stereotype still upheld by society: women are emotional beings ever-seeking relationship; therefore it is absolutely necessary that women know how they feel and how to communicate these feelings, a stereotype I’d argue isn’t true for all of the female sex. Women have benefitted greatly from what I will call “the Oprah culture” where the topics of self-help, getting in tune with psyche, the connection between emotions & physical health are the norm to the point of being cliché; sadly, we have not paid this same attention to men. As a society, what we’ve neglected to give more attention to is, men are just as emotional and in need of developing their communication skills as women. As long as we give in to these stereotypes—the ever relationship-hungry female & the Stoic, emotionally evasive male—relations between the sexes will continue to be mysterious and strained. As a result, it makes even the most casual sexual relationships, such as a woman finding a decent lover, as difficult as finding a very fine needle in a stack of hay.
Face of male changes after 2.5 seconds:

Evolution of the female brain:

Men & Women equally emotional beings:

Other interesting reads:

This is my girl’s FB note about social networking. It’s how I feel right about now. Her website is:

“Ending my addiction to social networking sites
by Odissea Italiana

Hey friends and fam,

I have decided to do away with my social networking sites. Yesterday I saw so much on Twitter that just grieved my heart and I realized I moved to Italy to finally live and not be inundated by images and languages that completely devoid of meaning. Instead I have been spending way too much time on FB and Twitter, when I should be living life, dating, writing, cooking, learning, working out, traveling, and actually practicing my Italian. Truth is I feel uncomfortable in my skin at the moment–unusual for me–so i avoid human contact..

But I have realized I have to break the cycle and stop being a spectacle of myself and practicing modern day voyeurism and get off the net. These social networking sites keep us distracted and detached from the real world. That is what they are set up to do.

If you wish to keep in touch with me you can by email at, skype @ XXXXXX or by following my blog @ —which by the way is the best thing and it will build my viewership.

I have a couple of projects that I will be working on and once they are on their way I will post info on my blog.

I will miss reading everyone’s crazy statuses and posts but I must do this for me. My FB accounts will be up for another 4 weeks so everyone can get this note but I am starting the new year, technology ‘free’

I love you guys for all of your support. You are the bestest.

Truly yours,

Odissea Italiana”

I have a confession to make…

I apologize in advance to all you “I love Houston/Texas/the South” folks but I must speak how I feel. I F*CKING HATE HOUSTON! I want out.

I know I had this glorious plan in place: transfer to University of Houston, get my BA in English within the next year & a half, graduate, do a masters in cultures/languages in France, right? And, let’s not get it twisted–the plan was always to pimp Texas for what it’s worth…get my degree and get out.

The PROBLEM is, I’m now at the point where I wake up DAILY with this PIT in my stomach.  As soon as I come out of my sleep, the minute I open my eyes, I’m aware of my existence in Houston. I hear the Metro bus #5 go by, I hear the ignorant nigger folk with their loud ass music drive by at 8AM each morning, I ride the bus to school, I see the same crackheads walking in the middle of the got-damn street OR asking for change; along the way I meet random people who swear they’ve seen me around campus and thought I was African. We talk about life, I bring up the benefits of sex–ALL clinical and scientific evidence–and people look afraid or stare like I’m speaking Cantonese; I get told that I talk about sex a lot (by so-called friends), or I get told that I am unique looking because “no one wears a natural these days…isn’t that kinda old-school?”, or my vibe, the way I talk, how free I am just freaks people out; and then it finally hits me: “Hello Sheponderings. YOU are in the SOUTH! YOU are in the BIBLE BELT! SEX before marriage is the devil. SEX is not celebrated. You are living in TEXAS Sheponderings…WEAVE central…the MECCA of women who hate their natural selves…what were you expecting?”

Well, shit, I was hoping to get my degree and then leave this country, but you know what? I am UNHAPPY in Houston. I am UNHAPPY in Texas. I am UNHAPPY in the States. I don’t feel there is anything for me to do here, and I am tired. It’s muggy, so muggy, in fact, that one’s sunglasses can fog up from the humidity. Let’s not even go into the Houston PENIS! I’ve lost all desire to have sex in Houston. I simply hate it!

All this time, I’ve made myself content, but I’m getting to the end of my rope.

SOOOOOO, while I’m stuck in Houston, I will be looking into ways to either speed up the process or finish my BA abroad. I NEED to be traveling. The less I travel and see the world, the more depressed I get. I’ve got to figure out something.

Anyone who knows me KNOWS I do NOT fit this State, nor do I fit this country. I’VE known this since I was 8 years old, which is around the time I stopped saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Now it’s time to figure something out.

I’m a free spirit, an artist, a creative person. I compose, I play instruments, I (now) write poetry–I joke now and say that poetry is the stuff of depressed people, since in my depressed or unhappy state I seem to do the most poetry I’ve ever done in my life–and I plan to write books as well. I’m going to dabble in the realm of erotic literature. YUP I am! AND I DONT SEE MYSELF DOING IT HERE! ALL OF THIS does not FIT in HOUSTON!

All I can say is thank GOD for GONGYO!!


The bitch who hates Houston!

I see the trees

Each day I wake up, now, belongs to me. My phone is out of service, so I’m not obligated to talk to or text to anyone. I don’t have the internet, so I can only check it when I come to my school’s campus. It’s my life, and I am taking ownership of it.

My blessing and curse is that I am sensitive to people, sensitive to their woes, their journey, and very sensitive to their energy. I am a fixer. If someone continues to struggle with the same issue over and over again, I will give my two cents in a loving way. If they continue to go through it, and share it with me, I feel as though my energy is being drained from me. In the past, I’ve allowed people to dump their issues on me. I’m learning to distance myself from this sort of behavior, as it weighs heavily on me. My fix-it nature cannot understand why people would not want out of their repetitive issues, but, for me to function, I cannot be around the issue or hear about it. Not having a phone has been a blessing in disguise. It’s giving me time to regroup.

I’ve decided to continue working on music–writing, recording, etc,. I will not, however, be performing until “me” is in order. I eat much better these days, but I still need work when it comes to committing to a work out regimen. Because I’ve been so emotionally involved with other people’s issues, i haven’t been able to focus on myself.

Since realizing these things about myself, I’ve decided to check my email sparingly and take a break from having a cellphone indefinitely. I feel as though the cellphone acts as an umbilical cord, attaching me to people–some good, some unintentional or intentional energy vampires–and their issues: it’s time for me to take a break.

It’s been a day since I got the epiphany about my need to be alone and regroup, and already life is more beautiful. I can see the beauty in things I ignored in my overwhelmed and distracted state. I can feel and appreciate the wind blowing against my face; I appreciate the silence that being alone brings; and although I hate Houston, I see and appreciate the beautiful trees here.

I’ve been without a phone since the 25th of August. At first I was concerned, but I’ve since realized that being too broke to afford a phone has its benefits, especially for someone with my personality. I rejuvenate when I unplug from people, from the world; and whether I wanted to admit it or not, even HAVING a cellphone was causing me a lot of stress. Sure, I can opt to avoid answering the phone, but then there’s the issue of receiving texts, and there are just some texts not worth reading. To me, having a cellphone is still leaving the doors of communication open. I’ve realized, at least for me, the cellphone was one of the reasons I was experiencing “anxiety.”

Living peacefully without a cellphone has given me a different perspective on communication, and just how much unnecessary rambling we do, as humans first, and as women. I feel–and this may be extreme–that the cell phone industry with its unlimited nights and weekends has made it easier for us to open the door to rambling, unnecessary chatter, co-dependency, and other issues. Have you ever had those 4-hour conversations with a girlfriend or two (by way of 3-way calling) only to think to yourself “what did we really talk about? Was all that necessary?” I know I have. And then there are the girlfriends who are still going through the same family/man/work/(insert topic here) drama they were going through a year ago. Let’s not even discuss the girlfriends or family members who get offended if you don’t pick up your phone or respond to their text in a timely manner. And I swear, where my friends were once excellent problem solvers of their own issues, it was always my phone ringing with “what do I do? How should I feel? What should I say?” I’ve since come to the conclusion that the cellphone industry has contributed to the lack of being able to solve one’s own problems, that co-dependency thing I was just talking about. Cellphones are both great blessings and great curses. So how can one live without “Le Portable” (Cellphone in French)? I’ve brainstormed a few, but feel free to leave comments and add your own and I’ll update as often as possible.

So here are some thoughts:

Q: I can’t live without a cell phone because I may need the numbers. How could that work?

A: Get a planner. Remember those guys? No cell phone attached, but a calendar, phone book, and many other things all in one.

Q: What if I want to talk to people, just not all the time and not for hours?

A: Get a phone card with 500 minutes on it. Each time you talk to a friend, you can say “hey, I only have “x amount” of minutes so we can’t talk long. What’s up?” That way, the expectation is that the chat will be short and NO aimless chatter. Cut straight to the chase. “Here’s what’s going on in me life. What are your thoughts? What’s going on with you. Goodbye.”

Q: How will I stay in touch with all of my friends without a cellphone?

A: I would say open up a Facebook, email, use a phone card.

Whether we realize it or not, even something as simple as listening to someone–whether in person or on the phone–requires energy and can be an energy drainer depending on the person and what they’re talking about. Energy vampires are real! I’m a fan of having pen pals. Some folks are much easier on the eyes than they are the ears.

This was meant to be a personal FB message to my FB fam:

“I’m absolutely positive that my own mommy/daddy issues have everything to do with it.  Before I get started, my father and I have a great relationship now, so please do not think I’m airing the family’s laundry AND/OR being messy. I write this from a place of love. Some perspective.

I grew up in a home with a mother and father figure. Sounds pretty ideal, right? It wasn’t. My father was verbally abusive, but I think what was more painful for me was that my mother ACCEPTED his behavior. She didn’t have to. I’m absolutely certain he was abusive before I was born, but out of respect for my family, I will not divulge all of the family secrets.

I recall telling my mother at the age of 9 that my father did not love her, that she needed to leave, “at least” I would say “until he has learned to treasure, love, and talk to you like he loves you.” She didn’t listen. She stayed in her marriage for many reasons, one of them being fear of being labeled an adulterer by God and the church; the other reason being her potential remorse over breaking up her family. I knew, secretly, that none of these reasons were THE reason for her staying, just excuses. Part of it was because she didn’t believe she could do better.

I resented my mother for years. In my young mind, not only was her staying an acceptance of my father’s treatment of her, but an acceptance of my father’s treatment of me as well. Instead of her being my protector, I was hers. Instead of getting love and reassurance of her beauty from HIM, I was her love, her self-esteem. I was and am the strength my mother lacked. This is not how a family is supposed to run.

So, you see, when I see my friends or family members going through situations similar, accepting less than acceptable behavior from their significant others, it hurts me much more than they know. As I write, I’m in tears. My mother is in her 60’s and still does not know what PURE, UNCONDITIONAL love feels like, and it hurts me. It hurts me when I see my friends/family following in similar footsteps, opting to accept relationships that are tearing them down instead of building them up, when they DON’T have to; and I will admit right here and now, that my upbringing may have everything to do with it.

My grandmother, a preachers wife, died of a broken heart. Gave her existence to his calling only to have him leave her for her best friend. His new-found relationship was the cause of her death, her life wasted, brokenness being her finale. I don’t want that for any of my friends.

I keep saying “Life is short” because it is. TOMORROW is not promised, therefore live EACH day like it’s your last. FULFILL purpose, get the BEST in life. I’m trying to live this by finishing my degree, working on my health (I eat better but I need to work out), pursuing music–whether I get famous or not–and not accepting nonsense from bullshit men. I owe it to myself, because you see if I don’t love and respect myself, WHO WILL?!

I write this note, briefly, to give perspective to my status updates and Twitter topic, which have everything to do with marriage. I do not write these things to be spiteful, hateful, vindictive. I love you, each and every one of you, I have love for you, and I want whats best for YOU. My only hope and prayer is that you want whats best for you too.

I know I have my own healing and process I am going through, so if you are married or in a relationship, unless you want the stone-cold truth, I am asking you to not speak to me about your personal relationship. I want to respect your process, and I understand, at times, I may seem to lack compassion about loved ones in your lives; but please know that what I say is not out of meanness or lack of compassion or understanding, but out of loving you so much, maybe too much.

I do not hate the people who have caused you pain. I believe ANYONE is capable of change. The realist in me, though, feels that a person is only changed when they’ve shown PROOF of change. What do their actions say? Words don’t mean shit.

I write this in love. Please respond in love.

Thank you.”