Stay 'Woke

The more that I become stressed in my life, the more I tend to disconnect. I shut off. Shut down. Turn completely cold as stone. I don't want to hear what anyone has to say. I don't want to care about what anyone else is feeling. I can barely engage in a conversation; my once limitless font of verbiage and sarcasm runs dry. I can barely gather the strength to just “be,” and I don't think I'm alone in that.

The trouble is, we can't afford to be that way. Not even for a moment.

I refuse to allow myself to wallow in comfortable melancholy. I refuse to allow myself to only see the familiar. I will no longer be okay with wandering, a vacant, aimless husk. I will no longer allow my heart to grow hollow, a dusty, barren landscape where compassion once blossomed in abundance.

There's just a lot going on in our lives, at all times. My mom seemed exasperated recently when she said, out loud: “We’re all just so...busy.” And we really are.

We are bombarded, beyond capacity, on a daily basis. Our bosses hover over our backs, never trusting, always questioning and demanding more and more. That lack of satisfaction carries us into the perception we create of ourselves. Never enough. Count that calorie. Measure yourself up. You're never enough. We resort to weak media that numb us, literally scrolling endlessly, hoping to find something to really shock us or change our lives. But it’s never enough to make it all vanish completely; we can blur the images and mute the sound but that doesn't stop the fact that it’s still there. Outside of us. Lurking.

If you've gotten this far in this passage, you might relate, but have the thought: “And? So what?”

So we need to stay connected. Stay grounded. Find the things you love in life and do them. Then, forget them and try other things. Challenge yourself. Use spices you've never heard of on your food. Listen to a playlist of music you've convinced yourself is not in your taste. Wear things that you can defend to yourself that you like for reasons that only harken back to impressing yourself. Treat yourself. Constantly. Make a habit out of treating yourself with the utmost respect, like you would for a friend you are ridigly chained to being with for every ticking moment for the rest of your life. Write someome something heartfelt out of the blue. Get involved in something greater than yourself. Spend time devoted to other creatures than the human species. Look into the eyes of an animal and understand their purpose and yours. Do something you hate. Have a conversation with someone you can't stand.

We need to have these interactions to remind us that we are alive; we are fluid, dynamic beings capable of limitless change and evolution, and we can harness that power to mold the world. You just have to be ‘woke enough to see it.Stay ‘Woke


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