Some Thoughts About Motivation

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I am, as Carrie Fisher used to say about herself, an over-sharer. I have been jokingly referred to as, the Queen of T.M.I. I share liberally and personally. I process out loud, frequently about my health issues, how I wrestle with depression, anxiety and PTSD, abuse I have taken the brunt of, family, life experiences.

Sometimes people balk or take offense at this. They tell me it’s too personal, that I should keep it to myself, that what I share is inappropriate for Facebook or a blog. This used to be something that occurred more frequently. But now, I think the people who were offended have gotten used to it, given up or it’s just finally sunk in, why it is appropriate.

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I do it for me.

I learned a long time ago that returning the shame to the person it actually belongs to, means no more secrets and no more silence. I don’t have to name names, but speaking about my experience out loud makes it real, makes it less painful and it means I am no longer a conspirator. I separate myself from the person who put me through the trauma and become the person surviving it. Why should I be ashamed for what was done to me (or for the resulting life issues) or worry about embarrassing the perpetrator? I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed and embarrassed about. That shame belongs to them!

And when I do this for myself, I am also doing it for others; as support for those who have been through or felt similar things and also to bring awareness and help those who haven’t been through these traumas to understand.

Much of this is also the motivation for my project, The Empress Dammit, which is a definitely a rough work in progress, and deals with how I started to finally build healthy self-esteem, post age Forty.

A lot of strangers run across things I have written and respond favorably. Lately, I’ve been trying to get more of my personal friends, especially those that have said they appreciate my writing, to follow my writing blog. I think it will motivate me both to write more and to actually post it.

Tonight, I was going through past posts and saw something I posted that underscores all of the reasons for why I do this. There have been people in my life that I will never meet that have saved my life with their art, with their openness and with their shared experiences and feelings that mirror my own. Two people I can think of, immediately are Amanda Palmer and Carrie Fisher. If I can move someone, make them laugh, make them aware that they are not alone, that even if they are damaged that their voice, experience and their very SELF is VALID, then it was all worth it.  

So, here is the post, from a couple of years ago; I can’t recall what post the comment was in response to. :

YES THIS! This is why I air out all this “private,” painful, embarrassing stuff. This is why I blog and this is why it’s worth it. When I get comments like this from readers who are absolute strangers that touch me to tears of my own:

” I am very literally crying as I type. I very desperately needed to read this and see my experience put in someone else’s words (so much validation for so many things). I honestly felt my skin crawl reading your experience. In all seriousnesss, it matched my own so closely that I felt irrationally paranoid…still am a little…Regardless, thank you. Thank you so damn much. May I please share this? “

I hate so many things about the life I have had. It hurt and still hurts so much.
At the same time it is a huge blessing, it is a valuable tool to help others and I am so filled with gratitude.

I guess we are all seeking motivation from without and from within. I write, largely, because I have to get it out. If I don’t, it hurts. That goes for the personal content as much as the poetry, stories and other creative bits. But, that internal motivation is not enough for me. Motivation is usually a good thing. It isn’t always pleasant and it’s not guaranteed to make things easier, but it is a tool that can help you do things that give your life purpose and make it both meaningful and satisfying. At least that’s true for me. When I get a response or a message, even a “like” on a post on Facebook, it lets me know I’m not alone out there. My words have reached someone. And I know for every person that lets me know they read something, there is probably at least one person who read and didn’t leave any clues behind. Dare I hope more than one?

Thanks to those who like, follow, message and comment. Thanks for motivating me to make more content.

Cheers!

 

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Beasts of No Nation

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“Sun, why are you shining on this world? I am wanting to catch you in my hands, to squeeze you until you cannot shine no more. That way, everything is always dark and nobody is ever having to see all the terrible things that are happening here”

-Agu (Beasts of No Nation)

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I made it a good way through the film as a witness, without shedding a tear until this haunting monologue, exquisitely executed by young marvel, Abraham Attah. I hope we are going to get to see more of this brilliant young actor who holds his own with Idris Elba!

I’m not going to go into the plot of this film much as it’s pretty straight forward. Like the novel, it describes the loss of innocence and experiences of a child soldier in Africa, like those of the, “Lost Boys.”  What I will say is this. You MUST, must see this film!

Beasts of No Nation is showing in the smaller arthouse theaters and you can also see it on Netflix! Netflix produced this film. It is breathtakingly beautiful, hopeful and heart crushing. The acting is superb. It’s not easy to watch, but it’s well worth your time and you won’t feel emotionally manipulated or as if you’ve been shown violence or gore for the sake of it. The violence is not gratuitously graphic. Neither is it glossed over.

As someone whose childhood horrors forged my PTSD, I have so much empathy for these child soldiers who are ripped from their families and molded into monsters. You do what you have to do to survive and if you are tenacious, lucky and can hold on to some of the better pieces of you humanity you come out the other side with the ability to be happy.

Thank you Netflix for adapting this novel by Uzodinma Iweala. Even though the country and conflict are fictional the turmoil and circumstances are very real in some parts of Africa. I hope the film makes more people have compassion, awareness and to desire an understanding of situations in other countries that we like to pretend aren’t our problem or don’t affect us. And bravo to Netflix, not only for tackling a subject that is not pretty but is also not about white people. How marvelous to see a film, and an important one at that, about people of color where white people haven’t been injected into it! Huzzah!

Here is the trailer for Beasts of No Nation

Really, go see this film or watch it at home! That is all!

Trickle

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desert
I am weary of being scared. Fear is simultaneously very real and just plain pointless. Fear is a bully!
 
Freedom is at once with me and illusive. I would like to be free but freedom without the means to choose my situation is just another kind of trap. I keep thinking there has to be a way; a way out, a way ahead, a way through or even a way to accept, Yes, I keep thinking there has to be a way, but I have not found it yet,
 
I keep thinking if I was younger, prettier, more energetic and able; if I was less ethical I might be able to use those things to my advantage. However, I am not any of those things.
 
I have tools. I lay out the tools I have on the table in front of me but my fingers merely fumble with most of them.
 
I look back over my shoulder into that dark and treacherous place and I refuse to go back. I look forward into the shifting fog. I look up at the blinding sun. I look down at my feet and I can for fleeting moments I can feel my roots. I am strong and grounded. Then the earth cracks, breaks and rumbles to remind me that it is difficult to keep my balance. I look inward at my wounds, some healing, some tenaciously festering and I see where I have been. It is a place and time where angels covered their ears and would not tread.
 
I find myself marvelling at all the brutality I survived with astonishing resilience. How did I manage to keep opening up my heart? How did I determine to keep trying to trust, to forgive, to love? Yet, now my heart finally closes, hardens, becomes wary, cynical over much smaller offenses! The clock is winding down and I have more happiness yet more frustration than ever before.
 
All I ever wanted was to be loved and cared for. All I ever wanted was to give love, to share, to help others by word, deed and through my art and music. I wanted to let all this creativity and care flow to the ocean in a torrent but all I can do is let it trickle through a straw in the hopes that someone who is thirsty will find it and drink.
 
-LM September, 2015