Self-Actualization in America

During my early college years I studied about educators and psychologists who had similar lines of thought – that each individual’s primary goal in life is to reach the pinnacle of self-actualization. You know, that moment of clarity where you understand the purpose of your life and your role as a part of the collective called humanity. Each person’s subconscious desire is to reach this nirvana of understanding within us.

I spent the last two weeks grappling with understanding what I was witnessing in real time. Murder, mayhem and lies broadcast far and wide. George Floyd was murdered. By law enforcement. Nothing can justify that. The collective of law enforcement had refused to even arrest the officers involved – that is – until massive amounts of people spoke out about it. Murder. And law enforcement shrugged like – eh, it happens.

So the first amendment allows for freedom of speech and the freedom to peacefully assemble. So the people did just that. Assembled peacefully. Law enforcement took to the protests as though it were a war cry and suited up in military-grade tactical gear (wait, where’d the money for the upgrades come from when there’s no money for education?) complete with tear gas, shields, batons, rubber bullets and fireworks. Yes, they were shooting fireworks at people!

Agitators were sent in to disrupt the protests (which spilled across the nation from coast to coast), pallets of loose bricks were left in plain view (and not near any construction or demolition sites), and police used their bikes, batons, horses and cars to assault protestors. Even the reporters felt the attacks. One reporter was shot in the face with a rubber bullet and lost her vision in one eye. Several protestors from across the nation decided to form a group for those who lost an eye from being shot with rubber bullets (as of 6/9/20 there were at least 8 who had found each other on Twitter).

The devastation caused by gross abuse of power is a major and deadly deterrent to achieving self-actualization. How can we become our best versions of ourselves under the domestic terrorism of our law enforcement whose sole purpose is supposed to be to protect and serve the public?

Photo by Pexels

To My Children…

Thank you for choosing to begin your journey through me. As the vessel to nurture you and bring you forth into this world, I accepted the responsibility. Not a light one either.

Each day from the moment I knew of you, my decisions have caused me anxiety. Am I teaching you the right things? Am I nurturing enough? Do you REALLY know how much I love you?

Even now, as the ‘original kids’, you have reached that milestone of adulthood and I am terrified. Did I show you enough love? Was I affectionate enough? Did my failures in love dissuade you from seeking it? Did I inadvertently pass down hurts that were passed on to me?

My alpha and omega, Tyrice and Chava

Motherhood is a strange emotional ride. The never ending roller coaster. More so for me as I am still trying to figure out my combination lock to life. It feels like the calculus class I took multiple times as a freshman in college and never passed. Some days I feel like I am drowning in the center of the ocean and other days I feel like I am sprinting down the coast with warm sand under my toes.

Amidst the tears, uncompromising expectations (of self) and unpredictability, I wouldn’t change being a mother. It took 20 years to appreciate my stretch marks, but I earned every one. Thank you to all of my children for choosing me to be their mother.

Changing Times

I haven’t written in a while. Since the last time I’ve written the world has seen a global outbreak of the corona virus that has shut down entire countries. Here in Pennsylvania we are under a loosely followed stay-at-home order. Stores and businesses had to close and millions of people were laid off.

During this time even the schools shut down for the remainder of the school year. The school district began the transition to distance learning for the remainder of the year. Chromebooks have been distributed to the students so they could finish the school year.

Meanwhile, many occupations were deemed essential along with the medical professionals and emergency professionals. As a staff member of a homecare agency, our staff was also considered essential meaning we were to remain open and operating.

During this time of quarantine I have had to re-design some of my goals. Some were accelerated. During this time I have had to utilize online ordering more than I used to… In light of that, I have had to re-order copies of both of my books, Entangled Hearts and Reflections: Past, Present, Future. I have since designing my website: http://www.markishabunn.com and now both of my books are available on my website.

Although many are affected by this pandemic there is some good that can come from this. I look forward to seeing the outcome of this pandemic. Squeeze the most out of each day while you have it.

Black Violin Groove

Happy Friday! We are at the end of February and boy did this month fly by! I have been grooving these last couple of months on music from my favorite violinists – Damien Escobar and the duo, Black Violin.

Only those super close to me understand how deeply music touches me and many of Black Violin’s tracks have touched me in a way that can only be felt, not explained. Let me start by suggesting some of the tracks in my current rotation:

* Triumph

* Virtuoso

* Magic

* Showoff

* A Way Home

* Impossible Is Possible

Now all of these tracks can be found on YouTube so don’t fret. This group is also on twitter and instagram (I know because I gave them shout outs a few times). Who knew violins could get so… deep?

I kept thinking these last few years that this is the time for the strings as in the early 2000s the saxophone had everybody grooving in the jazz listening circuit (especially me) but I have always had a love for the strings and bass. I guess that influence comes from seeing my father’s guitar as a child and being fascinated with Prince in the Purple Rain movie.

Back to Black Violins… I love how they pull you in with their openings and then wrap you up in their melodies. They will be in concert in Wilmington, DE on March 28th. That would be awesome to see them play live! The way their music makes me feel…

Dear Why Yet…

First, I have to apologize to you. I have exposed us to years of unnecessary heartache and pain through allowing your innocent vulnerabilities to be taken advantage of. You are a loving and powerful woman. I did not trust you enough to allow you to spread your wings and grow. My fears kept you bound to those who could not give you what you needed and deserved to fly.

My fears kept me from believing there was anything better for you out in the world. You deserve the world. Your smile cheers up those you share it with and you share freely even when you are crumbling inside and I appreciate that. I love you for that.

You put others before yourself when they are in need. You give even when you are in need. You are fiercely loyal to those you love, even when they hurt you deeply. And when you want to retreat and heal I have interfered, and for that I am sorry. When you needed to sever ties and heal your heart I interfered and for that I am sorry.

Even in pain you still emit a celestial beauty through your writings. Everytime I read your poetry I feel your memories and cry your tears. Thank you for sharing your words, not only with me but with the rest of the world.

Continue to shine your brightest light because I need it. I thank you for being the woman you are.

Love,

Why Yet

Self-Care and Sitting Still

Life is still moving at a break neck pace. Physically I can keep up until my body makes me sit still. My mind, on the other hand, doesn’t stop. Ever. Which is why I need to incorporate more self-care into my daily routine.

My thoughts fly even while I sleep. All of the conversations I want to have but can not usually surface during my sleeping hours – most times interrupting my sleep. I wish I could have these conversations awake so the thoughts and emotions could leave me alone. Yet some of those conversations would be fruitless anyhow.

The most random thoughts surface usually when I force myself to sit still. I feel the need to always be ‘doing’ something so I’m not viewed as lazy or irresponsible. That makes me feel scattered and unable to relax. What I really want… Well, what I need is for these plans to coalesce like pudding and go down smoothly. Still working on how to ensure that happens.

What ways do you sit still? What is self-care for you?

Mountain Screams

My pain led me – no dragged me – along a path I dared not go but needed to venture. “I’m fine”, I said, trying to shake the pain loose. With a shake of her head Pain continued dragging my resistance to a destination unknown to me.

Adjusting my dress and fixing a smile I spoke firmly – “I’m fine. Release me.” Again Pain shook her head and continued pulling me over sharp-edged terrain up a cliff face on the side of a mountain. My fear of heights spoke then, screaming, “Wait! Where are you taking us?”

Silently Pain continued on, now her light hold turned into a firm grasp – no longer gentle. Rough, angry yanks to keep me moving cause me to stumble over my steps. My thoughts are disjointed, memories colliding, unlocking more pain and ripping open more wounds.

Falling on my hands and knees I yell, “I’M FINE!!!”, trying to force Pain to release me.

Pain spun on her heel so quick that she was a breath away from my face and spoke:

YOU. ARE. NOT. FINE.

That is why I am here. You are consumed by hurt even though you love – your pain is too great so I am here to carry it and you until you let go releasing us all.

Pain stepped back and before me lay the bluest sky I had ever seen. I realized at that moment the weight of what she said. So I screamed. All of the hurt from all of the years of believing I wasn’t enough rushed to the surface in a blood curdling holler. Dropping to my knees, I felt weak and hollowed out.

Tears blurred my vision and streaked my face as Pain knelt beside me, “Good girl”, she said as she kissed my forehead in a motherly fashion, “Rest now. My job is done.”

That One Voice

Yesterday was a culmination of bad days for me over a span of a few weeks.

Emotionally, mentally and physically draining and straining. You know how you have that one person that you can talk to when the entire world goes crazy and just the sound of their voice calms you down? I needed to hear that calming voice.

That “good morning” that would have made everything calm and quiet. I couldn’t hear that voice and the reality of it sank in as I drove to work. The suffocating, smothering thickness of that reality threatened to choke out my breathing as though I was stranded in the deep end of the pool. And then YouTube played Thursday by Jess Glynne.

That song said what I had been thinking and feeling and burying for fear of what it meant about me. So I cried. And screamed. And questioned. Everything. And then one thought flittered across my emotional meltdown at this red light. All I am right now is a mother. That’s all I have. And that broke me.

Financial Fridays – Life Insurance

Many people are suspicious when they hear life insurance. Images of sheisty salesmen similar to the car salesman that will sell you junk at a high price comes to mind more often than not. Before I dispel some of that information I want to share that it’s Life Insurance Awareness Month. I just found out it’s a thing yesterday.

I’m glad it is a thing because we need the facts on life insurance so we can make educated decisions when (not if) we purchase life insurance. Note to the hecklers, life insurance is least expensive when you’re young and healthy.

Many people mistakenly purchase life insurance believing they only need enough for burial. When the idea of life insurance came about there was no such thing as funeral expenses. Life insurance was created as an income replacement in the event the husband died unexpectedly. The widow left behind doesn’t have to work and can still manage the household and child(ren) without becoming destitute.

How many of you have insurance on your electronic devices? Why do you insure objects? For those of you with some life insurance: are you fully covered or covered enough to get buried? Would you underinsure your home? Would you underinsure your car? Why would you feel ok with underinsuring your life with too little or no life insurance?

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