Kobe Bryant. What is it that I really like about Kobe? It’s what I call the Mamba Drive.
Sure I thought I could never love another after Magic Johnson retired. Nobody could take his place! But, then I saw this art in the making. I begin to make room in my purple and gold heart for this…”Kobe.” Before we knew what “it” was we knew “it” was something that could not be denied. It was called arrogance but, I called it youth. It was called cockiness but, I called it confidence. It was called selfishness but, I called it trying to fill the shoes he was given. Was it those things at times? Sure. We watched Kobe grow and mature. But, what I have come to realize is those things displayed at the moment he made the shot or scored all of those points was simply the way HARD WORK in the DARK manifested on the court (LIFE). It was the pay off of the gift executed by hard work. He took his gift seriously. He never took it for granted. He never played it shy either. I like that.
It’s the tirelessness. It’s the practice over and over and over again. It’s the work he put in on his own time. He said “He was born for it (basketball).” It’s the comeback kid in him. It’s the leave it all on the court…simply relentless. It’s the learning how to lead and letting your teammates shine. It’s the becoming of WE without giving up the ME. It’s the let them talk about me but, I will not say I am not GREAT so they can feel comfortable. I worked hard to be GREAT. It’s the I came to work TO WORK now stop talking because we are on the clock. It’s the MAMBA DRIVE. THE MAMBA DRIVE produces a MAMBA ZONE. That is what you saw on the court. That is what you see in life. You see a person that won’t give up and then you them in a zone.
The MAMBA DRIVE is created through perseverance. You earn the right to say I KNOW I AM GOOD AT THIS because I work hard to be the BEST at this. I study every angle. I come to dominate. I came here to be competitive in my calling and yes…to talk a little trash along the way. The MAMBA DRIVE doesn’t give up or in. It disregards what others have to say because the MAMBA DRIVE demands a close relationship with self. You know your own voice. It is the voice you listen to all the time. Make this move. Go that way. You got a little more left in you. You’re tired? Your opponent is not tired. Lead. Rest. Don’t stop. Don’t quit. Don’t look at the score board. Don’t listen to the critics. Listen to me. The MAMBA DRIVE.
I remember when my Uncle Sunny passed away. It was the year I graduated (ages ago). My dad would go over to his only brother’s house and take care of him, bring him food and take care of business for him. I would sit in the living room on those firsts few trips until Uncle Sunny would tell me to come in and see him. Sometimes my daddy would tell me and then I just started to go on in on my own.
Uncle Sunny was this strong Veteran. My dad is too and has a Purple Heart. But, when my Uncle Sunny was young and up until he died, he had these big muscles and always wore a white tee and jeans. Well, at least that is what I remember. I also remember his house was like a museum filled with odds and ends. For my graduation he gave me a $100 bill. The most money I’d ever had. My dad thought it was too much but, Uncle Sunny didn’t!
I remember them (the family) cleaning out his place and I saw the jean jacket and I saw this silver object that said LOVE. I asked if I could have those and they said sure. I lost the jacket at a game and I cried for weeks about that jacket but, I never lost my LOVE. It has been everywhere I’ve moved and I always find a place for LOVE. It’s a keepsake of the uncle I never really got to know but will always remain a symbol of strength…and LOVE.
I can speak for many parents, but today I am speaking for single parents who were never married when they had their child or children. Our child or children are our JEWELS in our crowns TOO. In spite of the way they were brought into this world, they are no less loved and no less cherished. Regardless of whether a father is present or absent, they are no less important, their dreams and education are no less important to us. We may live with a certain DOUBLE stigma due to the way society and the religious sector is set up, and so may our children from the overly righteous and the morally perfected of society. When we step back and take a look at the faces of our children as they thrive in spite being raised in a one parent household, as they glitter with becoming “good human beings”, we are filled with pride. There shines our JEWELS.
I have had my moments before RA and Fibro where I didn’t want to be bothered but usually, like everyone else, I was going through something or simply moody. You eventually come out of that and get back to life. Well, this isolation that occurs with chronic illness and chronic pain is a different slope. A very slippery one that can have you sliding down a slope into deep dark valleys of depression or becoming a permanent hermit. Whether you know it or not neither one of those scenarios is going to improve your pain in the long run. It’s going to make your suffering worse and often facilitates it.
Yes, we all need time alone and some of us more than others. However, I have learned that if I don’t eventually turn that ship around I am headed into the deep waters. The truth is we need human interaction. Some of us can’t get away because be have a spouse or children or family or all three to take care of. We find ways to isolate ourselves by skipping family outings and gatherings. This is okay but, when it becomes all too often and never getting out what are you really shrinking back from?
We have to address the mental toil our illnesses take on us and not let it get the best of us. I found myself drowning numerous times in isolation because of the pain, because I KNOW no one understands and to avoid certain things I thought “people” thought about me REAL or PERCEIVED. Alone time and isolation are two different things and I think you can be isolated even if you have a spouse or family. You can be there but NOT there mentally and emotionally. I urge you to get the help you need by finding a good therapist to help you cope ,understand or deal with whatever you are going through. Many of us feel the same way. You are not alone.
Of course I did the research on this proverb that Jesus quoted in the Bible “Physician, heal yourself” but, I want to take a different perspective on this proverb. What if we are all Physicians in this day an era when it comes to HEALING not only our bodies but, our minds, hearts, and souls? Meaning what if we have the knowledge, the information, the “wherewithal” (just wanted to say wherewithal because I have never used that word! LOL) to heal whatever ails us?
We KNOW making healthy choices and giving up bad habits can help heal our bodies. We know that meditation, a spiritual life and prayer can help heal our souls. We know that talking with a good therapist, wise friend or good leader can help us repair the mental anguish we suffer from. For all we know, all of these things combined can work miracles. We are miracles! Developing a listening ear for you body, your heart, your mind and taking heed…(please take heed) can make us better physicians to heal ourselves. Oh yeah, and a good physician knows that what works for her or him may not work for others.
In a relationship, we may have been taught to TAKE more than we GIVE. I wanted to gear this blog post towards women doing the taking and men doing the giving but, when I think about it that is not all ways the case. I think we can find many situations in our relationships where one person is doing the taking and not giving back as much as they take. Perhaps, they can’t help it and the person that takes it is well aware and equip to handle it. But what about those who take and never think to give back in some kind of way?
Sometimes we berate our partner’s ears with our woes and complaints but we never give the same ear to their woes. We ask “Well, how was your day?” while we wash the dishes, sweep the floor or whirl around the bedroom preparing for the next day simply nodding and saying “Mmm. Un huh. You don’t say.” Or while we sit in front of the television we ask ” So what’s going on?” Never truly hearing or feeling what they are saying.Yes people want you to HEAR and FEEL what they are SAYING. EVEN MEN!!!
We complain and we complain about everything they do but when do we give compliments? I think if you compliment more than you complain those complaints may not be worth talking about at all or maybe the things you don’t like that they do may diminish. Or just maybe….maybe you will discover they are not going to change that and you will give it a final resting place.
What about GIVING interests in the things that interests them? What about GIVING quality time? What about GIVING them a break? Take a few moments and reflect where you can GIVE more of these things in your relationships. Sometimes it’s as simple as GIVING then space. I am a creative being and sometimes I just need space to create.
I feel. I have tried not to feel or to be as “feeling” as others wanted me to be. I was told I was too emotional. I have tried to shut down my feelings. Pretend I don’t have any feelings. I have tried to emulate others who are TOUGH because you are TOUGH if you don’t feel or show any emotions…RIGHT? You are weak if you do. RIGHT?
I won’t answer those questions. They are thoughts fed to you as facts by others. You can answer them for yourself. God created me to feel. God told me so. I was created to have a heart for the people. I couldn’t be a writer or as nearly creative if I didn’t feel. I couldn’t rush to the side of the underdog if I couldn’t feel. I was not created to pretend to be something I am not.
The insight given to me in questioning God as to why I was made like this was this:
“I created you in my image. I feel. I feel more than you feel believe it. However, you are in a place where you can’t take on everyone’s battle. There are lessons for them to learn. I created you emotional. Your lessons with your emotions or feelings is to learn to MANAGE them not to get rid of them. How to care but not so much it drowns you. The lessons for the super tough “I don’t feel nothing” is to learn to feel and open up. Be who I create YOU to be and be proud that you are a person that FEELS openly and honestly.”
Once I got that eye opening insight I am learning to MANAGE my feelings. I am also no longer trying not to be emotional. I am who I am. Ya’ FEEL ME?