How to Be in Pain and Not Fall Apart

There is a fine, fine art to being in pain and not falling apart.
I have had several challenges in the last month. I was facing deadlines,
different areas of my life were flatlining, others were soaring,
it was real.

There are about four things that I have identified that have been
integral to being able to be in pain and not fall apart. They are
faith practices, a community of healing, self care and time.

Faith Practices
What ever your faith practices are, you will have to rely on
them a little more than usual and perhaps get into them a little
more intensely than you normally do. When your spirit is sideways,
and you have been brought to your knees, in many ways faith is all
you have.

Community of Healing
I don’t go to the hardware store for bread, I wouldn’t go to the zoo to
get a loan. I try and go to the proper places for the proper help which
means that try and see out folks who are a little more spiritually advanced
than I am when crisis mode has me against the wall.
I have about six people
who are more spiritually more grounded than
I am who I can reach out to
when I am trying to make sense of something.
This is new for me. I learned
last year that I needed these folks in my life, when I saw a friend who had
his own community of healing and realized that he dealt with things entirely
differently than I did, and he was far more sane and stable.

These six people are comprised of friends and family, others are people
in a self help fellowship
that I am a member of and then there are folks in my faith
In terms of being in pain, the only way through it is through
, and I hate it. Not above, under or below, but through. There may be
moments where you feel like you are falling apart,
and that is okay, it is
a part of the process.

Just like my dear friend and colleague Tracey Rose mentioned
to me today, “You have to sit with the feelings because as long
as you fight them,
they continue to get stronger.” I was floored.
I looked at the phone, like, she crazy. However, I didn’t disagree,
I listened and it helped.
I sat with them, listened to some Al Green
and some new Kanye, it was uncomfortable, but ultimatly I felt transformed.

Self Care
Self care entails doing kind things for yourself. This may be watching
The Cowboys, making cinnamon rolls or going to the movies. There is also
an element of not beating up on yourself when things don’t go the way
you expected them. In many ways there is a kind of grace to it. For
me the ultimate self care is a pedicure and brunch, but with the economy
being what it is, the $30 spent on a pedicure and fancy eggs and toast
can used on a cell phone bill, a metro card, or my perpetual
library fines
. The general idea is that you take some time to be kind to

Being in pain and getting through it takes time. Giving that the holidays
are upon us, being around family can be both comforting and amazing,
however it can trigger old wounds. Getting through the pain takes time
and in many ways, being around family shows us that if we don’t deal
with it, it will be sitting there waiting for us, whether we like it or not,
year after year. The notion that all this takes time is arguably, one
of the most challending for me to deal with, and perhaps for you as
well. For me it entails accepting that I only have control over myself,
my actions, my thoughts. While I may want things to happen in the
time that I want them to, I simply can’t make them. Thats a fact of life.
So I struggle. I struggle with sitting with it, getting the work done that
needs to be done, and I am so grateful for when the pain is lessened
a bit. When that happends, it feels like a boot has been removed
from my throat, and
dios mio am I grateful.

I hope that these help you. I’d like to hear what you think
about my suggestions.

How do you cope with pain?
The big three, alcohol, sex, rage?
Do you shut down?
If you have tools, who taught you?

Biany, Joseph, Marquette, Matthew, Pathanapong,
Salina, Tracey, thank you for inspiring me to write this.

Houston has a Ghetto Hand Book.


Sounds like my kind of book.

A school district police officer has been suspended as the district investigates his distribution of a “Ghetto Handbook” and a three-month lapse before top district officials were informed about it.

The eight-page booklet was subtitled “Wucha dun did now?” and was handed out to about 15 Houston Independent School District police officers at a May roll call meeting, spokesman Terry Abbott said.

A supervisor immediately collected the booklets, Mr. Abbott said, but district officials said they didn’t learn about the incident until someone made a complaint to the district’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office in mid-August.

The booklet billed itself as a guide to Ebonics, teaching the reader to speak “as if you just came out of the hood.” It included definitions such as “foty: a 40-ounce bottle of beer”; “aks: to ask a question”; and “hoodrat: scummy girl.”

The booklet names six district officers “and the entire day shift patrol” as contributors. Mr. Abbott said a preliminary investigation has cleared those officers of involvement.


Language-diversity training in action.


Obama Runs Brooklyn.

They poured into the room, blacks and whites, a few Hispanics. Most of them were young, and all were there to get a look at this presidential candidate who has been in the U.S. Senate for only three years and, at 46, is the youngest one running. The rap against him is that he is too young, too dark, and too inexperienced to win. But he is still three years older than John F. Kennedy was upon his election in 1960. And like they did for Kennedy and his brother Robert, the crowds gather around Obama, who generates the kind of electricity political consultants pray for.

Those attending the Brooklyn event paid $25 a head; the student rate was $15. This kind of retail politics is not supposed to be terribly effective for raising the millions needed to run a big national campaign. Last quarter, however, Obama raised $31 million for the primary, $10 million more than Hillary Clinton, the New York senator who leads almost every poll. Obama’s average donor gave $202. The maximum allowed is $2,300. Although it is supposed to be Clinton country, Brooklyn represents potentially ripe pickings for the candidate. With 2.5 million people, a third of them black, the borough would be the nation’s fourth-largest city if it stood on its own.

He OUGHT to generate buzz. He IS running for president!


Cornell West kicks it with Prince.

“I went to Paisley Park some years ago,” says West. “You know, [Prince] has those xenophobia conferences every year. He brings in people from all around the world. He pays for it, actually. They’re there for three days. There’s dialogue during the day on all the various forms of xenophobia. I gave a lecture. And then that night, I remember seeing Norah Jones before she was big. Of course, Sheila [E.] was there. Maceo [Parker] was there. Chaka Khan was there . . . “

And there’s more:

“50 Cent, Snoop, Game, Nelly,” West says, as if he’s writing their names on the board. “On one level, I love those brothers, because their artistic and aesthetic work is a part of who I am . . . . On the other hand, I challenge those brothers because I’m just against misogyny. I’m against homophobia. So somebody can be in my house and in my community and I still have to present a moral critique, because I’m just against those things. I just think they’re wrong. “So the question is,” West continues, “how do I deal with the love and embrace of them as artists and at the same time respectfully challenge them? So in that sense, I’m not really with the crowd that trashes hip-hop. I can’t stand that.

Where in the F*CK is Birkhold?

Oh. There is more. N* GGAS, DYSON and Huckleberry Finn:

Dyson: We have to use the n-word, even if we agree ultimately in it being retired. There is not yet the point in our culture when we can afford to surrender that word. One of the reasons I deploy that term is because I wanna remind white folk and other bourgeoisie negroes who have looked upon me . . . as “that nigger,” but refuse to say it to my face: “I know [what] you’re saying about me, so I’m gonna put it on front street.” We may be using the same term, but we’re not using it the same way. We’re not giving it the same meaning.

West’s response: Take a text like Huckleberry Finn. The word “nigger” is used over 100 times. It’s a work of art. The work wouldn’t be the same without that word. You could make the same case for Tupac’s art and the use of that word . .

Birkhold, birkhold, where for are thou Birkhold?

I know you have hot words.

To readers in general, whats wrong with a little so called Ebonics handbook?

I mean, it DOES make for better policing for popo to understand what we are saying?


Wasn’t it Baldwin who said that Black English grew out of Black
Folks need to speak to each other AROUND popo without the latter
understanding what the f*ck was being said?

Sh*t. Looks like the man is catching on:)

Baldwin, so eloquently states:

People evolve a language in order to describe and thus control their circumstances, or in order not to be submerged by a reality that they cannot articulate. (And, if they cannot articulate it, they are submerged.) A Frenchman living in Paris speaks a subtly and crucially different language from that of the man living in Marseilles; neither sounds very much like a man living in Quebec; and they would all have great difficulty in apprehending what the man from Guadeloupe, or Martinique, is saying, to say nothing of the man from Senegal–although the “common” language of all these areas is French. But each has paid, and is paying, a different price for this “common” language, in which, as it turns out, they are not saying, and cannot be saying, the same things: They each have very different realities to articulate, or control.


And here is the Baldwin quote that I so horribly paraphrased above.

There was a moment, in time, and in this place, when my brother, or my mother, or my father, or my sister, had to convey to me, for example, the danger in which I was standing from the white man standing just behind me, and to convey this with a speed, and in a language, that the white man could not possibly understand, and that, indeed, he cannot understand, until today. He cannot afford to understand it. This understanding would reveal to him too much about himself, and smash that mirror before which he has been frozen for so long.

Negros ARE bi-dialectical.

I know for one I am. And you are too, OR you probably know someone who is.

Not a Negro BUT bi-dialectical! LOL.

I also know that my language is so intimidating to majority members
in positions of (relative) power that (my)education/the way that I speak, is a liability.


To be a member of the majority!
Shoo’ll must be fun.


Would you give money to Obama?

Have you, and if so how much?

You voting? If so for who?

For the record, I haven’t decided.