Tuna

On this journey, tuna is a good friend.

Tuna salad and beets for dinner.

Can’t sleep

Sometimes I hate when God uses late night hours to speak to me.

I haven’t had a good night of sleep in a couple months. I hear the call. I feel the push.

I gotta do it.

Maybe then God and my ancestors will let me sleep.

Ministry

As a trans man who is called to ministry, I’ve been slacking.

I’ve been afraid.

I’m not afraid anymore.

Now I’m hustling and building. Challenging systems and cistems. I’m grinding.

It’s not about me.

It’s not about the money.

It’s all about the message.

God is love.

God is in all of us.

We should be love.

In My Feelings…

I’ve heard it said over the years that it’s okay not to be okay.

I have often wondered if that was true.

Like, is it really okay to not be okay? Is all the mess that comes with not being okay allowed? If we’re honest, in the larger society, it is NOT. We live in a world where there is so much pressure to have these picture perfect lives. Lives that, while they may be a little messy, should not be too messy for a good selfie, filter, and obligatory social media post.

This bleeds into our personal lives as well. Statements concerning legitimate concerns are often met with, well intentioned, toxic positivity. You know the type where our friends and neighbors tell us to smile through it or that “the Lord” won’t put more on us than we can bear. Honey…… Let’s just be real. Being not okay will often get you written off as negative, lacking faith, or weak. The kicker is, the negative messaging about these totally valid feelings/states of being are so ingrained in our minds that when it really gets rough, the criticizing comes from within.

What are we to do about this? How can we take a breath and actually acknowledge that we are not okay?

It’s tough but over the past month I have learned how to do just that. It came at a moment in which I was overwhelmed by what seemed to be stressors coming at me from every angle. Typically, I paste a smile on my face and keep it moving but this time……. this time I couldn’t. This time, I could not even find the will to get out of bed in the mornings, let alone do anything productive. I had pushed myself and pushed myself until I had nothing left.

Finding myself in this state sparked a lot of negative feelings toward me from myself. I felt worthless. I felt like a failure. I started to remember every negative thing that anyone had said to me in the past few years and play it over and over in my mind. The more I had these thoughts, the deeper into the darkness and self-condemnation I went until I had a moment of clarity as a result of speaking with my wife. The words she said to me were simple. “It’s okay.” I paused…. cried a little….. and thought about that statement. Now, I’d be lying if I said that I instantly felt better about being a mess in that moment because…. I didn’t. I did, however, change my internal narrative and gave myself permission to not be okay. I gave myself permission to feel every bit of what I was feeling and to process it.

It was hard ya’ll. There were days when all I did was sit on the couch and cry. There were days when I had to wrestle with myself and with God over some things. I had to get to the root of what was sending me into this seemingly endless cycle of not being okay. I had to face some ugly truths about my past, about some of the relationships in my life, and about aspects of my personality that I developed as a result of years of trauma. It was, and continues to be a humbling experience. It is one that is necessary if I am to become the kind of man I need to be.

You see, in giving myself permission to not be okay, I made space for ME. I made space for myself to show up exactly as I was in that moment with no apology and just be present with myself. Though healing has come from this, healing was not the original goal. The goal was just to take a moment to acknowledge that I was not okay and just sit with myself in that state without judging myself for being in that state. Make sense?

Now, I’ll get into the healing journey in future posts but, for now, I just want to encourage anyone who may feel that the weight of the world is on your shoulders and you’re tired of pretending to have it all together. Take a moment to make space for that. Take a moment to be gentle with yourself for a few moments and acknowledge where you are. Love on yourself in that moment and reassure yourself that struggle is a part of being human.

In case you didn’t know before reading this. It really is okay not to be okay. Learning to be gentle with yourself when the world is beating up on you with pressure from all sides can be the beginning of a renewed relationship with YOU.

Until next time.

I love you.

~ Bash

Water & Lemon

This week, I have a confession to make. I’ve been on partaking in sweet tea, soda, & other beverages which I have no business drinking. I’ve been doing very well with my food choices but I need to get my behavior around everything I’m taking into my body in order.

For that reason, I’m giving up the bad stuff and moving toward water and water with lemon for the majority of my liquid intake. The last time I lost a lot of weight, this was part of my methodology.

Notice, I said mostly. I will be ingesting things like smoothies with almond or oat milk as a base, hot tea with no sweetener, pre-workout, coffee with a splash of cream (non-dairy) and ACV. These things are a part of my daily routine as I increase my activity levels and engage in strength and resistance training.

Today is Monday and I will check in this weekend with results. For context, I am currently on a low carb eating plan. For the most part, I eat fruit, veggies, and either lean meat or plant based “meat”. I am doing this because I am, in addition to working to achieve weight loss, working to reverse my Type 2 diabetes. I’m not tracking my weight right now. I’ll get weighed at my next appointment at the end of the month. Instead, I’m watching how my clothing fits and whether or not I deal with inflammation on a daily basis.

*I am not a medical professional, I am merely documenting my personal journey with Diabetes Type 2*

Day 21: Silence

Silence is amazing. It gives me space to sift through my thoughts. It grounds me.

I find that by intentionally seeking out quiet moments, I am able to lead a more thoughtful life. I am able to not have knee-jerk reactions to life as it comes at me.

Take 5 minutes each day to sit in silence. Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply. It may change your life.

I love you.

~Bash

Day 18: Knowing Your Value

For this coming week, I’m going to reassess my worth. Presently, even while working a job that’s paying me the most money I’ve made in my adult life I’m still making far less annually than I should for a person with my education and experience. This is something I’ve accepted for far too long.

I owe it to myself to not accept less than what I should be making. I owe it to myself to stop letting “bonus potential” convince me to take jobs making far less than I should be. I should be able to afford to live in a great neighborhood. I should be able to pay all of my household bills on my income alone. Moving forward, I’m holding myself to that standard. I’ll be dedicating the next 5 calendar days to solidifying what that should look like and my plan for getting there.

I’ve had enough. I deserve better from myself. My wife deserves better from me. I will realize my potential.

Day 15: I Love Bamboo

One of my challenges to myself has been to eat healthier. Working from home has made this a bit more challenging because of the temptation to snack while working. I’m a big guy and I love snacks….. Just being honest.

Yesterday I decided to make some tuna salad to have lunch for the next few days. The recipe was as follows:

3 4oz cans tuna in water (drained) , 6 hard boiled eggs chopped, 2 tsp. olive oil, 3 tablespoons mayo, 2 tablespoons pickled yellow peppers, dash of pink Himalayan salt, a dash of black pepper, 1 10.5 oz can of bamboo shoot strips.

I absolutely love how it turned out because the bamboo added a nice crunch while taking on the flavor of the rest of the dish. I’ll be able to eat off of this at least until lunch tomorrow which is exciting. There are not a lot of calories in this so I’m not worried about gaining weight and the bamboo made my food a lot more filling so I’m not hungry after a meal.

This new relationship with bamboo is off to a good start. I’ll let y’all know what’s next.

I love you.

~Bash

Day 13: Healing

Healing can be painful. This weekend I’ve taken time to revisit old wounds with the intent of healing them.

There are things I wish I could undo. There are events I wish never happened. There are things that were beat into me that I now have to unlearn.

One day at a time family. One day at a time.

I love you.

~Bash