“Don’t live in fear and love yourself first.” – Mecca Wise, 2012
I’m thankful to have been strong enough to not only survive the trials I’ve endured but to continue teaching through them. Even when all I could teach was by my own example as I traversed every tragedy imaginable. You either spend your moments in fear or in love. Like you’re either seeing things for the negative or the positive and it’s based on your perception more than the reality of it. If you caught glimpses of it, they were a look into the man behind the books, the life of not a teacher, but a practitioner of the principles I want you to use to survive your own struggles.
I’ve made success, stability, and above all, peace and happiness… Out of this dark mountain made of broken pieces of myself and all I’ve cared about. It’s no castle in the quicksand. I make the darkness shine like melanin. I had a terrible temper. Never been even-tempered and grief made me worse. I was always aggravated or anxiety-ridden after Mecca died.
Not grief, but anxiety. I didn’t get a chance to grieve for a while. Instead, I had to secure our future. I wasn’t ready to be a single father, but I had to grow to become good for them. It took us some years.
Besides the mountain of debt to tackle, I couldn’t enjoy anything for myself until I’d made sure our children were okay emotionally. Raising children alone is truly a journey. I had two beautiful girls who ain’t wanna live no more. Like for real. One was 19 and the other 7, each dealing with their own trauma… Shit was real surreal. Hell, I ain’t wanna live either, but they needed me!
Nobody was around for that part. Most of my friends don’t even know about those parts. It’s a lot I couldn’t share because we were still struggling to survive. Then I healed. I had to learn to stop seeking validation in those who listened to me vent and instead start spending healthier time with myself!
One thing I’ve learned is that nobody is responsible for how YOU feel outside of YOU. Handling yourself changes almost everything, but be ready to make a LOT of changes! So only now do I really feel like I can teach again. Everything else was just getting through. The fact that I can tell this story now, a couple of years removed from the hardest part, is a beautiful testament.
Whatever you’re going through, you and yours can make it through. So what should you choose? What does it make sense to choose? Misery or joy? Find the positive in every moment.
If nothing else, following me has shown you that a motherf*cker can survive. We have to get over it all so we can get through to us all. Learning to teach with pure love I had to let all my own hurt go to do so. We are empathic. We feel the pain in all we see, but the solution begins with understanding the nature of the problem.