Love on YOU.

I’ve mastered many things in my life but self love ain’t among them. For most of my life I learned to be a chameleon for my own safety and the real me got lost in the process.

Now that I’m at a place in my life where I can live out loud, I sometimes struggle with being kind to ME. Working on my manuscript has brought me face to face with my need for some good loving from myself. That can be tough but I’ve decided to be intentional about it.

To start, I’ve dusted off my dreams and interests. I’ve made some needed investments in those things that bring me joy like dystopian novels, strong coffee, time alone, motivational lectures, etc. It’s necessary.

Why?

Those of us who are called to bring light into darkness and speak truth to power must first learn to heal ourselves. We must learn to accept ourselves. We must be comfortable with loving on ourselves. We must do this in the face of the many years of programming which told us that who we are is evil and disgusting in the eyes of the creator. We must do this even when relatives and friends walk away. We must do this so that those whose lives we are called to touch can be impacted positively because our service will come from a place of healing and not a place of bitterness.

Love on yourself. It’s okay.

Love on yourself. It’s necessary.

Love on yourself until you understand that you are worthy of unconditional love just because you exist.

I love you.

-Bash

Reading

Tonight I’m taking the time to read my manuscript and notes as a whole for the first time since I started editing. The words on these pages span a decade. I’m moved to tears and I’ve only just started.

I’ll be self- publishing this one. I don’t want this work to be perfect. I want it to be raw with a little polish on it. 😉

I’ve needed to break my silence on my journey for a long time. Now seems to be as good a time as any.

I’ll continue to share my thoughts here as I work on this project. I hope that by sharing my journey I can be a blessing to someone out there who is struggling to lift their voice and speak truth to power.

Writing

I’ve been wrestling with my manuscript lately….. and myself.

How does one tell their story and not care what people think? People pleasing is something I’ve struggled with for a long time but, it won’t win. It can’t win.

What good has this journey been if I’m not going to strive to make the world a better place for others like myself.

May God give me the strength to bring these words to the light.

Relax….

For my day job, I’m currently working in sales. I do this to make sure that my bills get paid while I pursue purpose, Today was not my best day in sales but it’s one in which I learned a valuable lesson about how counterproductive stress can be.

For context, I’ll go ahead and say that I’m in my 3rd week on the sales floor for this position. During my 1st week, I was stressed out and didn’t believe I could close anyone so…. I didn’t. 🤷🏾‍♂️

In week 2, I closed one person. I immediately started stressing out about not having more because the people who had been in my training class were way ahead of me. I started to beat myself up for not performing to the same level as everyone else. At best, this was counterproductive. At worst, it was anxiety inducing. On Friday, I had a conversation with my manager and he told me what I already knew. I was being WAY too hard on myself. I had a head knowledge of this but I was not sure how to control the stress of it all. I spent the weekend thinking about this and figuring out how I was going to be on top of my game on Monday morning.

The answer I found was simple. I remembered the words wise people I’ve known over the years and the uniform message that worrying does not fix anything. If anything, worrying will cause you to be worse off because the energy you could be placing on doing your best in every moment, is being channeled in a negative direction.

But how to apply that in the workplace?

Take every project, task, call, etc, one at a time.

I did this today and what could have been a day in which I closed 0 interactions, I was able to put points on the board by taking the job one sales call at a time. It was almost time to get off, I was exhausted & I didn’t want to be in the office anymore. I wanted to spend the rest of my shift killing time (something that is tempting for sales folks to do) but I chose, instead, to make a few more calls and give each call 100%.

The 1st caller was not interested. Nobody picked up on the 2nd. The 3rd call was one that I closed. I didn’t do anything special I the interaction. I just put forth the effort and decided that I was going to deal with each interaction with a mindset of doing the best that Bash could do. This eliminated stress because I was only focused on what I had control over. I couldn’t force the people I was interacting with to be nice to me. I couldn’t force them to be interested in what I was offering. I could, however, show up in the interaction with my game face on and exhibit excellence in my behaviors.

It wasn’t a great day for numbers but it was a great day for my confidence.

Thanks for stopping by,

~Bash ♥️

Pain

Tonight I am hurting.

I am longing for what cannot be because of what I am.

Living honestly is expensive.

I’ve counted and paid the costs time and again.

I pay it each day I don’t hear your voice. Each day you don’t acknowledge my name.

I miss you.

I’ll never stop hoping that someday I can make you proud.

I miss you.

But I cannot pretend to be that which I’m not.

I miss you.

I love you.

Pain

Tonight I am hurting.

I am longing for what cannot be because of what I am.

Living honestly is expensive.

I’ve counted and paid the costs time and again.

I pay it each day I don’t hear your voice. Each day you don’t acknowledge my name.

I miss you.

I’ll never stop hoping that someday I can make you proud.

I miss you.

But I cannot pretend to be that which I’m not.

I miss you.

I love you.

Unconditional Love

It’s 2020 and yet people are still Hell bent on being pissed off at parents who love their child unconditionally. Dwayne Wade has accepted his daughter’s truth and people are bent out of shape.

I saw statuses and posts about it on various social media platforms today at my day job and tonight, with a malt beverage in hand, I’m going to address it.

Trans people have been here since the dawn of time. We have been in every civilization and the fact that your limited understanding of the trans experience is where it is, does not excuse the foolish arguments that find their way to the light each time a story like this is in the limelight.

It would take much more time than I have tonight to address all the stupid things people fix their mouths to say so I’ll address one. There is no LBGT agenda to destroy the black community. If half the folks who say shit like this KNEW their history, they would be ashamed. Black and brown people of LGBTQ+ experience have been on the frontlines for progress and movement building for generations. One of the most brilliant minds behind the African American Civil Rights Movement was a gay man.

We’re in your families. We’re in your churches. We’re in your communities & we’re not going ANYWHERE.

I, for one, am glad that the world can now see what unconditional love looks like. The world can see parents loving a child and just letter her be HERSELF. I can only imagine what the world would be like if more parents would choose loving their children more than their ego and programming. Maybe the number of LGBT youth who take their own lives would drastically decline. Maybe the rate of homelessness among LGBT youth would decline. Or maybe, maybe parents who love their programming more than their children wouldn’t be missing out on relationships with amazing human beings.

🤷🏾‍♂️ I don’t know.

But I can imagine that the next generation of LGBT youth would be better off if we could get our collective shit together and educate ourselves.

-Bash

p.s. Don’t blame your bigotry on God. They made LGBT folks and have no issues with us living in our truth.

Change…

Over the last few years there has been a LOT of change in my life. I’ve moved across the country, married the love of my life, walked with my love through a cancer battle, changed jobs/ careers….. and much more.

Lately I’ve been feeling exhausted. Anxiety and depression have been trying to have their way with me. I’ve been fighting the urge to just settle into a dead end job and stop trying so hard. I was having a really low moment today and so I took a cleansing salt bath and reflected on why I chose this path in the 1st place. It took a few minutes but I found my why again and took the time to look at how far I’ve come on this journey. I looked at the lesson in every experience and concluded that the journey so far has been worth it.

I am the man that I am today because I decided a long time ago not to live a scared lie anymore. Sure, I lost people and community that I’d spent years building. I’ve had a good bit of money and I’ve been broke to the point of homelessness and hunger. I’ve cried myself to sleep many nights and there was a time when the only comfort I could find was in a bottle because I had bought into a theology which said that God rejected me for living honestly. This pain is not pain that I would wish on anyone. I cannot pretend that it has not hurt because it has BUT I get to choose what I do with the pain. I get to choose to push past the pain so that others won’t have to endure what I have. I choose to use the pain as fuel for my purpose.

I choose life.

I choose love.

I choose me.

Not Abominations

There is a lie being told that has to be addressed. It has to be addressed because it has done a lot of harm to a lot of people. It has to be addressed because there is blood on the hands of those who continue to tell it.

What is this lie?

It is this: That God would create LGBTQ+ people and then damn us to Hell for living our truth. It’s not true now and it never has been. The fact that your pastor or your family believes that it’s sinful to be gay or transgender does not make it true.

What is true, however, is the fact that teaching this can cause harm. It can lead to homophobia, transphobia, & bullying. Hiding behind religion as a means for justifying the spread of a gross misinterpretation of scripture does not make it okay.

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I want you to know that you are not an abomination. We have been here since the dawn of time and it is only in the last hundred years or so that it’s become trendy to beat us over the head with clobber passages. Your queerness is just as valid a part of you as anything else and should be celebrated. Live and love out loud. You have every right to.

Go in peace.

~Bash