Saturday, January 25, 2014

Let It Go. . .

Sometimes your worst enemy is yourself. You may be one of those people who hold onto negative energy and anger because someone has wronged you.  And hey, I can definitely understand and relate, but is that healthy for you to do?  Remember, the person you're holding hostility toward may not even know it, but guess who it hurts--You!  Your so-called enemy is probably sleeping well and moving on with life, but are you?

Anger is poison plain and simple.  Being mad at someone doesn't accomplish anything toward the one you're directing your energy toward, but it's damn sure venomous to you.  Hating another individual isn't helping you to grow and be the best person you can be.  All you manage to do is keep yourself down from blessings that could be coming your way.

I used to hold a great deal of anger toward my father.  I couldn't stand the man.  I hated him so badly that my mother was afraid to tell me the good traits I received from him because it would anger me to no end.  I carried that anger with me through my childhood, teen years and early adulthood.  In other words, I carried hate in my heart for a man that helped create me for over twenty-five years.  Why was I so angry with him, you ask?  Simply, he wasn't a father to me.  I felt abandoned by him.  There's a reason that two people make a baby.  To me, having a child wasn't meant for only one parent to have to carry the burden.   If that were the case, I believe God would have devised his plan that way, but the most High didn't do that!

My anger and hatred toward my father made me a bitter and angry woman.  I refused to date men that were his complexion.  I suppose that's why I love dark, chocolate men. I don't have anything against my fair skinned brothers, but at that time, I always held their complexion against them because I felt they would be like my father.  That's crazy, isn't it? Hmmph, I can laugh about that now, being much older and wiser, but at that time, you couldn't tell me any different.  My anger consumed me so much and I think about all the time I wasted hating this man who was my father.  I didn't want his DNA coursing through my veins for it would make me be something like him, and I wanted no parts of him period!

Funny, when I was a little girl, I used to write poetry all the time and I very rarely ever shared my gift of writing with my family.  My mom was very shocked to find out all the things I had written when I was young.  She mentioned to me that my father was a poet.  Of course, that was the wrong thing to tell me.  I also discovered I had musical talents and I enjoyed singing and playing the Flute.  Of course, my mother said my father played the trumpet.  Well, just kill me now!  I always have been a sports fanatic, and of course, so was my father.  When I was in school, I found out that I enjoyed lifting weights, and guess what, you already know, my father did too.  One day while playing a game of ping-pong, my gym teacher realized how good I was at it.  I took to the sport so quick, we used to have competitions, and I beat every one of my opponents.  Wouldn't you know it, my father was a great ping-pong player.  Can you see the steam coming from my head!

How dare I possess the same character traits of the man who abandoned me?!  What kind of joke was God playing on me?  I didn't want to have anything in me like him.  This could not be happening to me.  I hated this man.  He was pure evil in my mind, that is until a very unfortunate incident happened that changed our lives forever.  My brother passed away. Isn't it amazing how a death can change your life in ways you never knew were possible?

Here I was going through my life doing what I needed to do, with anger closely hanging in the balance waiting to strike at any moment, and I got the shock of my life when my baby brother left this world.  Everything that I thought meant something to me, suddenly came to a screeching halt.  The air literally was sucked out of my lungs and life looked grim and hopeless.  I wasn't even sure my father knew his son had died, and of course, I was the one to tell him.  I didn't want to call him, let alone have to speak with him, so I was so happy when his answering machine picked up and I could talk to it instead of to him directly.  He called me back a couple days later, in just as much shock as me, and we talked.  I hadn't spoken to my father in so many years, and it was weird talking with this stranger who happened to be my father.

We must have talked for three or four hours that night.  It was like he was a long lost friend. I found myself laughing and talking about the past, sharing stories of my brother.  After we got over the initial shock of my brother's passing, we continued to talk at least three or four times a week.  All those great traits my mom had tried so hard to get me to realize were great things I inherited from my father were finally being discussed between he and I.  My father was just as surprised to find out how much we had in common.  It tickled us greatly.

But the biggest gift we both shared, besides our love for music, was writing.  He told me about all the short stories he'd written and about the poetry he used to write to my mom when they were courting.  I believe my mom still has the poetry my father written to her somewhere in the house.  We talked about writing all the time.  No matter what subjects came up, writing always managed to sneak it's words into our conversation.  My father and I began sending each other our writing material.  I sent him my first poem that won national attention, and he showed it to all his friends.  He said how shocked he was that we were so similar in our styles.  Mind you, I hadn't been in this man's life very long, but as my father joked, "there's power in the seed!"  That became a huge joke to us and we would laugh about it every time we spoke.

I told him how angry I had been through most of my life, and how much I hated him, which he understood.  He listened to everything I had to say, and I also listened to his reasons for why things turned out the way they did between he and my mother, which ended their marriage in divorce.  I was in my thirties by this time, so I was able to talk to my father objectively and hear things from his view.  I don't know if I would have been able to do that had it been years prior.  Needless to say, all the anger I held toward him, which was wasted emotions, began to slowly disappear, and a great friendship was born.  I was just sorry it had to happen over the loss of my brother.

My dad wrote some of the most beautiful poetry I have ever read.  I'm so thankful he shared his poetry with me.  It was so fun to share our work with each other.  We'd talk about a subject and see what poetry would come forth.  He'd mail the poems to me and I'd do the same, and then we'd laugh when we found out how similar our writing styles were.  He was so proud of me when I competed in a poetry competition in Washington, DC.  My poem placed fifth overall, competing against other countries.  That was a huge feat, and my dad's chest was booming.  

The reason I'm sharing this story with my readers is to prove a very important point. Through all of those years of living with hatred, stifled my growth as a person. There is so much I could have done, but I allowed my anger to cloud my judgment and decision making. I share multiple talents that I inherited from my dad (you notice I didn't say my father, because when I spoke with him, I always referred to him as 'Dad'), and they are great traits to have.  Our friendship came to an end much too soon, but God had other plans.  But I'll say this, God gave me my Dad for nine whole months.  That's the same time it takes for a baby to be born.  So I like to think of my relationship with my Dad as our rebirth.  We both learned a great deal about each other in those nine short months, and it's a time of my life I will never ever forget nor will I regret.  My Dad was sorry about all the time we'd missed out with each other, but I'm positive he enjoyed our short time together to learn one of the most common traits we share, our love for words.  

I wish he could have been here to see the two books I'd written, but I know he's smiling down on me.  You see, if I had put that anger to the side, while my brother was still living, my father and I could have possibly repaired our relationship as a father and daughter, much earlier, but due to all the hatred I carried in my heart, and being stubborn, we lost out on time we could have had.  We'll never get the chance to know, but my story of my Dad taught me a huge lesson, and it's one I carry with me every day.  I no longer let anger dictate the course of my path.  Don't get me wrong, I get angry sometimes, but I refuse to let anger carry me away from my best.  This is why we are sometimes our own worst enemy.  When you look around, time has gone, people you love are gone, and there's no going back to patch things up or say the things you wish you could have said.  Dad and I were lucky!  Sometimes you don't get that chance!

So, if there is someone you've hated for most of your life, or someone who has pissed you off so badly, or done you wrong in some way, you've got two choices.  Either let that person know how they are making you feel and work it out, or just learn to let it go!  Holding onto anger and hatred makes you a prisoner in your own personal jail.  Life's too short, people! And time is not always on your side!  Learn to let go of negative energy!  I should know, I used to be one of those people.  Let it go. . .so you may blossom into the blessing God wants you to be!

I hope my personal story helps you to grow!  God Bless!  Keep it Movin', Folks!

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet

Never Let Anger Be your Guide!