I was pretty convinced that my heart was hardening. To be honest, it was… and it was worsening by the day. I thought I had the people that I was closest to figured out. Primarily, I was holding on to the pain that I thought they caused me and refusing to let go. I had a vice grip of the highest order on that pain and I wasn’t really willing to let it go.
Then, earlier this evening, my uncle and I had a profound discussion. He said that after the Man Utd v Liverpool match on Sunday, he noticed that I was a bit sad a couple of hours after we had gotten back from the pub and wanted to know what was on my mind. I tried dismissing it and saying that it wasn’t important but eventually, he got me talking.
I had told him that there is still a lot of emotional crap and excess baggage that I had to sort through. Of course, he asked for examples. I told him there were many things that I was holding onto; many things that have caused me pain that I wanted answers for. It all boiled down to one main question: why did I feel so underappreciated and unwanted?
Uncle smiled and then told me of his personal battle against the demons that terrorized his own soul. He then said to me: ‘Remember what I asked you the last time we chatted?’ I nodded and replied: ‘You asked me “Joseph, what kind of human being do you want to be?”’ He smiled and nodded.
After all of the personal things we shared with each other, which were very similar, yet unique experiences; after all the pain that I had held on to and the bitterness that billowed inside behind the confines of my ribcage, he then confirmed what I didn’t believe to be true: ‘Joseph, you did the best you could for these people you loved so much… and so did the people that were once in your life that you believe hurt you.’ Almost instantaneously, the most sudden calm came over me. No tears. No typical inner rebellion or uncomfortable feeling that came about after hearing something that people other than myself thought to be true about my character and/or my actions. Just… peace and serenity.
I now know what it is that I want as a human being: I want inner peace and will stop at nothing to keep this serenity I’ve discovered. I am a good person. I do have a lot to offer. I don’t need to second guess the things that I’ve always believed about myself by comparing and contrasting my beliefs about my own character with the thoughts and beliefs of others, because - at the end of the day - I really don’t give a toss about what other people think.
There truly is something remarkably beautiful in learning to let go of it all. I am what I am. The people who are and aren’t in my life are what they are. It’s what is.
For the first time ever, I can confidently say that I like the man that I am, I like the man I’ve become, and I look forward to being the man that I’ll become in the future (God willing).
I am okay now. I am at peace now. I am casting out all the self-doubt and doubts of others. Now all I have to concern myself with is keeping up the fight against my inner demons rather than listen to them.
and as he checked the unread messages in his brainpan, he stands and nervously rubs his hands, deleting each of the vocal memos, each idiom as piercing as the last finally, after disconnecting, he finds himself accepting the fact that the time is now… he rubs the wrinkles turned crevices turned chasms that formed on his brow, asking aloud:
"how did my heart and my mind end up in this unified state? am I really ready for this?”
a searing, nagging sensation raced from body cavity to cavity, immediately answering his question. acknowledging the internal lesson as learned, the cascades again yearned for his presence. he could ignore the plea no longer; as the inherent disturbance only grew stronger, he exhaled, pushed open the gates to redemption and made his way to the ends of the earth; all the while, composed… yet excited.
his delight only increased once he blessed his eyes on the horizon… as he closed his eyes and extended his weary arms, he started to rise off the ground… the sweet, salty breeze softly caressing every inch of his tattered body and soul O, the anxiousness was excruciating! and yet, still he rises, slowly inching away from land’s end and towards the ocean deep the eyes once wide shut suddenly opened… the remainder of his journey was clear… and as tears of joy rained from his eyes, he cried:
and plummeted from the skies.
the speed of the fall increased intently as he was falling free… the seas extended her loving arms, he crashed into the azure waters with a triumphant splash… the sea closed her benevolent limbs around him, encouraging his decent… joyous tears transformed into celebratory bubbles. the bubbles rose rapidly as he continued to sink
eyes wide open slowly closed and her voice, ethereal and melodic, filled the cerulean void, saying:
"for a moment there, i thought you weren’t going to jump.”
and at that moment, he felt peace at that very moment, he felt loved
This is a Best Of that I was going to leave till the very end (because it’s probably the best I’ll do); however, after receiving a postcard from Nicolay this morning, I thought it would be the perfect time to publish it with the release of their 3rd album rapidly approaching. The story behind the creation of The Foreign Exchange is definitely the most special in modern day music and is something that you should research if you don’t already know about it. Throughout the past 6 years they have become my favourite group/label in the world and the chemistry between Phonte and Nicolay has produced some of the greatest music of all time. Yes I said it - all time. Connected was a revolutionary album for both Hip-Hop & Soul; however Leave It All Behind is one of the most incredible albums I’ve ever listened to and one day I can see it becoming my favourite album of all time. They make timeless music from the heart that I can enjoy with my mum, dad, sister and gran - that is a very rare quality in music these days. Zo!, Yahzarah and Darien Brockington all play a huge part in making the FE family so special and 2 of them have already released albums this year, which are streets ahead of any other R&B/Soul music that is out there at the moment. I could honestly talk all day about these guys, but it’s sometimes best to just let the music do the talking. Cannot wait to hear Authenticity next month. Hopefully you all fall in love with their music like I have. Tracklist and download link after the jump.