Dear Son: A Written Interpretation of a Spoken Word Piece by Urban Thoughts.

Urban Thoughts released a video interpretation of his poem “Dear Son” on last week. He asked me to write about it. So here is my written interpretation of this piece. Watch the video below, then read the rest of this post.

“The video became my healing. After I went into the Ozark mountains to finish some other writing, I ended up editing “Dear Son” with the film maker Jason Hall. It became the final poem. But I realized I hadn’t forgiven myself yet. The video became my forgiveness and redemption.” –Urban Thoughts 

For the men who have lost themselves in an abortion…

It’s never easy to say goodbye. Especially when another life is in your hands, another soul, another body. But when your life isn’t the only one at stake here, it becomes impossible.

While watching this video, I asked myself, “What would you do?”

I honestly couldn’t come up with an answer for that. But when you’ve lived your life for others, decisions never seem to be yours anymore.

When the decisions that you told yourself you’d never have to make are looking you in the face, it’s hard to make a choice.

When you’ve contemplated taking your own life, the idea of taking another seems like murder suicide. Because a small part of you dies as well. There’s a saying that with death comes new life. But it’s hard to live a life when you’re missing a piece of it.

But at some point you had to make a decision. Do you give up your future so that your son can have one? Do you change the course that God laid out for you, simply because you weren’t ready. It makes you wonder if readiness isn’t overrated. Nothing ever happens when you want it to happen. You’re never actually ready to be responsible for a new life.

But they say that everything happens for a reason. Even this. There’s a lesson in the pain. There’s a lesson in the regret. You don’t have to punish yourself for something that a younger you did. If we asked you today, that decision may have changed. But who knows how anything else would have turned out.

Even the smallest change in the past disrupts the climate. It changes the course of time. When you’ve given your all to a woman and she starts to harbor a piece of you, she becomes you. That pain that you felt, she felt it too. Women are incubators. Whatever you sow into them turns into something remarkable. You gave her a piece of you and even though she didn’t keep it. Even though that piece didn’t have a chance to grow. Her heart didn’t stop growing.

You asked a question… “Did you fight, like I should have fought for you?” You said that “[you] were reminded… that they say sons are like their fathers.”

If your son was like you, he knew the difference between a murder and a sacrifice. He knew the difference between a victim and a martyr. You weren’t a policeman or a Mr. Zimmerman. You were a young man who ran out of options. You were a young man who hadn’t gotten life figured out yet.

You were a man in love with a woman who hadn’t gotten life figured out yet. You were a young man who learned what it meant for silence to grow into constant yells and screams. Screams that grew from grief. But grief that led to prayer. Prayer that brought you closer to a God of forgiveness. That same forgiveness that you’ve learned to gift yourself. Because in reality, we’ve all done things we’re afraid to admit. We’ve all done things of which we’re ashamed. We’ve all done things that have taken us years to forgive.

They say that time heals all wounds. But I say that time exposes the scars. Those scars tell a story of why we’re still here. They tell the memories that we try to forget or the ones that we hold onto. Some memories we hold onto for dear life. Some scars we cut open so that the pain doesn’t disappear. We feel that if the pain leaves, so does the memory. But in that comes growth. Those same scars grow back stronger even when we try to make them wounds. Eventually they’ll all forgive themselves. It’s only right that you do too.

 

Credits:

Harley Quinn on (background vocals)

Poetic Sun and Suavo J (actors)

AC Dutch of 224 Studio (recording)

Jarvis Sumlin (J.D. Daltry) of KneeBraceMusic (audio production)

Tundrea Lyons (voiceover on the phone)

 

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Finding Your Happy: When What You Can Get Isn’t Good Enough!

 

enjoying life

Photo cred: Michael Butler Jr. of one901

 

“You made this choice, so you have to take what you can get.”

When you’ve been hearing this your whole life, you start to wonder if you’re making the wrong choices. But you were also raised by a strong woman who taught you to go after what you wanted and to never take no for an answer.

But there’s nothing wrong with telling yourself no sometimes, especially when it’s for your own good.

We go through life wanting to be accepted. When we’re not, it hurts. It also hurts when people misunderstand you. You spend time getting to know people and you show those people your surface. After all, everyone isn’t built to see your heart.

Everyone won’t understand how you can love so deeply even when people don’t love you back. They’ll turn your good deeds into selfish acts. They’ll diminish who you are. They’ll misinterpret your nonchalant nature that protects your open heart from getting damaged for lack of care. And that couldn’t be farther from the truth. You actually care too much, so much that you’ve sacrificed a lot of your dreams for friendships that didn’t last more than a month.

You’ll cry, you’ll pretend not to. You’ll spend most nights feeling like that fifteen year old girl who no one liked. The girl who fell in love too quickly and gave too much. You’ll wish those memories didn’t exist. You’ll be reminded by your best friend that those memories remind you to never go back to that place. You’ll cry on their shoulder. You’ll send them messages in the middle of the night because you know they’re not awake to read them. You’ll wake up the next morning to a love letter in the form of praises and honesty from one of the few people who actually get you.

“You’re beautiful,” they’ll say. “You’re important and forget anyone who thinks otherwise. They may not need you. But you need you. I need you. Fight through this!”

You’ll feel embarrassed because as hard as the night before was, you’ll find joy in the sunlight. You’ll find joy in waking up in the morning. You’ll realize that your emotions are real, even the fleeting ones.

You’ll find your happy in small moments, in passing smiles. You’ll find a smile in your dreams. Peace lives there. You’ll learn to wake up with your dreams still on your heart. Because most days it’s the only thing that’ll keep you going.

You won’t accept “take what you can get.” Because whose right is it to tell what to take. People will force themselves into your thoughts. They’ll try to tell you that you’re less than everything you know to be. They’ll point out your flaws in hopes that they will overshadow the good in you.

You put good things into the atmosphere. You give all the love you can, in hopes that it’ll come back to you. Even when it doesn’t, you’ll know it wasn’t in vain. Because one day there will be a moment when all of the happy that you were looking for, will show up out of nowhere wearing your hopes and dreams proudly. It’ll show up dressed in confidence and beauty. It will be all that you prayed it would be and then some. It’ll remind you of all those nights that you spent wanting to feel accepted. And you’ll see that it never mattered. Because in the end, you found your happy and what you have now, is everything you’ve ever wanted.

For Scott Mescudi, Other black men who suffer, and the ones that didn’t make it.

for-kid-cudi

I know that it’s difficult and that sometimes it’s hard to find the words to say how you feel. I know that when you finally get the courage, it’s hard to find someone who will listen. You should never be ashamed of your truth. Get help when you need it. If not for anyone else, do it for you.

It’s hard to focus on your mental health when the world only focuses on your gifts and talents. It’s hard to wake up, put on a cape, and be a hero, when you don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning.

If you don’t feel like getting out of bed this morning, Don’t! The world will not collapse on the account of you missing a day.

If you don’t feel like talking to anyone today, Don’t! Put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode, place it inside of a box. Don’t open it until you’re okay. Do something that makes you smile. Do something that no one else knows you enjoy and do it alone! Spend time focusing on you.

If you don’t feel like going to work today, Don’t! Call in sick. Tell them that you need the day off. Take a mental health break. Let someone else do your job for the day. You deserve it.

Stop taking care of everyone else for once. From now on, do what makes you happy. Do what satisfies you. Do the very thing that brings you peace.

You’re forced to look out for yourselves in a world that doesn’t care whether you make it home or not. But we need you to make it home. We need you to be okay. When you’re not okay, we’re not okay.

I’m sorry that no one noticed your sadness. Oftentimes we’re too busy dealing with our own issues, our own depressions, our own grievances.

We’ve all lived lies. We’ve all kept secrets that we didn’t want people to know. No one wants the world to see our scars. We cover scars in hopes that no one will notice. Then those scars turn into phantom aches begging for our attention again. But those scars make us strong. They don’t make us weak. When we develop a wound, it heals itself. That self-healing mechanism causes our skin to grow back tougher and more capable of enduring a stronger force that may hurt more next time.

There is strength in acknowledging that you need help. I pray that you get all the help you need. I pray that you do nothing else without, first, taking care of you. I pray that you’re able to find your peace.

Find peace in knowing that we’re here for you. We’re standing in the gap where you feel that you fall short. We want you to be okay, we need you to be okay. We need you here. For the ones who didn’t make it, we need you to survive. We need you to overcome the stereotypes. Depression is killing us faster than old age, faster than natural causes, faster than racist cops on the street.

I know that there’s a lot to make you depressed. There’s a lot for you to be anxious about. There’s a lot to make you think. But the next time you’re sad think about all of the things that make you smile. Think about tomorrow. Today may be bad. But tomorrow will be better. If you’re not here to see it, you’ll never know.

So, for me, for us, for all of the people rooting for you, for all of the ones who didn’t make it, let’s make it through the day. Make it through tomorrow. Let today be a test. Let the nighttime bring you rest. The sun will be brighter in the morning.

We love you!

Sincerely,

A Queen who suffers, but made it!