Men + Myself + God

Tag: god

Left…

by P. Braithwaite


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Is it just me, or does the world feel like a pressure cooker? Maybe it always has. Or maybe I’m old enough to feel tension crush my bones. We talk privilege and injustice. We trade binaries — sharp lines. We argue, repost, unfollow and overshare. We intellectualize heartache and scream across our newsfeeds. We love…we grieve…we yell at one another.

And I, disoriented, don’t know where to put my voice.

I still don’t know how to use my voice.

I’m still the 7 year old girl who reads in trees (though she might fall). I’m still so shy I want to hide when I enter rooms alone. I still cry when I think I’ve made a bad impression. I’m still the girl who wants a love so deep she’d suffocate to find it. I haven’t yet escaped my own self-loathing.

No one taught me I’m entitled to love the sound of my own voice…

-p

image credit: Bells Design

What We’ve Forgotten…

by P. Braithwaite

I’ve forgotten what it means to write for myself. So much of my writing journey has been about longing: longing for my father to respect my craft, yearning to be paid for my work, yearning for more readers and recognition. The longing was palpable, it would keep me up at night or force tears from my eyes, but the irony was that the longing was an incubator. The yearning was safer than the achievement of my goals. Though I wanted more (and still do), I was content being ignored. There is a freedom that comes with no one to disappoint.

There’s something pure about the ability to easily please yourself.

I’ve forgotten what it means to write for myself. I’ve forgotten that, at the core, I am a kid with a stutter who uses letters to articulate the sounds she can’t pronounce. I’ve forgotten that writing is my safe space, and if there is anything that life has taught me it’s that we must be fierce about protecting the places we feel safest.

The world is large and challenging. People are holograms disintegrating and reorganizing before our eyes. Our communities are unstable, and it’s not going to mellow out anytime soon. We must protect the ports we find within our storm. We must anchor ourselves to the things that help us through. We must never forget our own gratification because the paradox is this: the more we indulge ourselves, the more helpful we are in the world.

I don’t know if I believe in religion. I don’t know if I will ever find a path, but what I know is that if you have a pathway to your inner temple it’s time to make the pilgrimage, and if you know where the altar is: be it within yourself, your yoga mat, your journal or your blunt, kneel before it in supplication.

Reverence is never a bad thing. All things are spiritual and filled with joy making potential.

I’ve forgotten what it means to write for myself.

Luckily, I’m beginning to remember…

 

Where’s your safe space?

On Standby

by P. Braithwaite

ON NOWI will never forget the feeling I had when The Besticle came back the second time (only to disappear months later). I was so primed. I was so ripe and ready to be loved. I had done months of soul-searching and my heart was ready to explode. He called. I answered.

He was forgiven before he even asked.

The night we reconciled, I was a goner. The truth is, I felt love in the tips of my big toes. I’d felt love in my head before and I’d felt the warmth of my heart, but there was a tingling in my big toe that felt like glitter. It was warm and shinny. Intoxicating and exciting. I felt like I discovered my own magic.

I floated into my apartment that night, and stretched myself across the bed; then I called my three best friends.

“I feel love in my toes,” I babbled incoherently. “I’m going to go all into this. And so I need you all to hold the fear. I need you all to be on standby if this goes horribly wrong.”

My friends were gracious. They held my caution (and their tongues). They’d seen me through the first breakup, and they were happy I was happy. They knew, however, this would probably go wrong.

And, of course, it did. It went horribly horribly wrong…

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