Ever since we’ve entered experiencing this devastating pandemic last year, some people are living in a melancholic mindset that caused them to find ways to cope with their woes. Equally important, the ways these people find to alleviate the cumbersome mind of negativity usually isn’t by communicating with friends/family or even a therapist if things get too overwhelming. Adverse times never stop coming and it’s better to endure them together than alone, so being there to listen and allow that friend or family members to confide in you will uplift their spirits, determination, and most importantly confidence. Even though I’ve never seen a therapist, during my college days I would visit my academic advisor and I would sometimes confide in her with any issues I had outside the classroom that could negatively influence my performance academically, and just like a clinical therapist, she always listened without passing judgment. Whatever you’ve been through, going through, or know someone who is trying to do their best to endure an obstacle, do your best to be open to listen and be that lifeline so to speak when someone you care about is in a dilemma. None of us are perfect and sometimes I might not always be willing to or in the mood to communicate with friends, but I always do my best to return their initial outreach. Some people think they’re unlucky with the company they keep but it’s not their fault, humans are selfish and will prioritize themselves. It takes more effort to be selfless than selfish and it also takes a lot of effort to love than hate, and believe me with the negativity we see online and in real life, hating always leads to attention, which usually leads to controversy.
“For decades I thought power was based on how much weight you could lift and how many men you could knock out. Now I realize anyone untrained can lift a dumbbell or break a jaw. But real power is when a man can navigate through the pressures of this world without succumbing to negative emotions. To feel something painful and not push it away. To cry, just cry. Like a man”. (Wilson, 200)
Cry like a man : Fighting for Freedom from Emotional Incarceration by Jason Wilson is an extraordinary book that covers the trials and tribulations he had to endure living in Detroit in the 1970s and 1980s. Wilson takes the reader on a journey and takes on and breaks down black masculinity and masculinity in general in a perspective that some might perceive as a sign of weakness and that’s being vulnerable to be more specific being unashamed to cry. He explains ways through his story to the reader and messages to young men on how to express their anger, fears, desires, temptations and so forth without being condemned, and straying from hope.
From the first chapter which grips the reader into a story about his grandfather’s lynching to dealing with a verbally harsh and absent father, it created resentment at an early age but it all worked together to shape Jason Wilson’s mission in life to take on challenges and come out with strength even though he felt all the pain going through it. Wilson used his love and trust in Yah (God) once he accepted the Christian faith to guide him through all the blessings and adversity. Even though he does use his Christian faith and teachings in the book, any person of any faith can empathize and appreciate his candidness and journey to becoming a better man. Furthermore, Wilson is the founder and president of The Yunion an organization that unites families and provides young boys with guidance and development so they become successful in any endeavor in their adult life. With that said, Wilson solidified his transformation to becoming a man of God and leader by encouraging and equipping young black boys in his program The Cave of Adullam Transformational Academy (CATTA) which he is the director of, and he gives them daily challenges that test them physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually into manhood.
This book is well written and is a page-turner for the lessons he provides to the reader in terms of determination, overcoming adversity, grief, and happiness. Having said that, it all culminates to a great epilogue that brings everything full circle for the reader to know how his life is today with The Yunion and CATTA mentoring and guiding black youth to manhood. I’m glad I got this book for free, not saying I wouldn’t have purchased it because it’s worth every penny for the value it brings to not only young black men but men in general who hide behind a machismo mentality when behind that tough exterior is a vulnerability that is being held down, but that vulnerability will eventually become awakened when hardships happen, and the healing process will begin in order to become a stronger better man and human. I highly recommend this book and below I will show you some of the work Mr. Wilson has done to teach young black boys in Detroit to become the man he and they want to envision.
My rating for the book : 5/5
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We’re living through peculiar times due to this COVID19 Pandemic and we’re unsure if and when we’ll return to living our everyday lives without any hassles. With that said, once the pandemic hit we were in lockdown and people had everything they were working towards become halted and for some stagnated, but one of the serious issues that arose from the lockdown were increases in domestic violence, suicides, depression and so forth. And this can happen again in vast amounts if certain states mandate another lockdown to quarantine. I remember seeing a video of a white woman on camera talking to who I assumed to be her friend give hand signal as a warning sign and cry for help because she was being abused. Her friend after seeing that hand signal was well aware of the situation she was going through and her facial expression signified that. She went from a half-smile due to being excited to seeing her friend to a worried looked. I’ll post the video at the bottom of this post so you can see it in action, and from my understanding, this is a PSA and I don’t know if the woman is in distress is a paid actress or an actual victim of domestic violence but the message the video is sending is imperative nonetheless.
Life always comes with different shades; it is not always blissful and beautiful. Even before the pandemic, we’ve always had to endure challenges in our daily lives and they never stop coming, the only changes are its new difficulties; they are made be overcome and make us stronger and wiser. The year isn’t even over and we’ve had to endure many challenges, more than any we had to in the past decade and some have found living with melancholia has diminished their motivation to see better days and it’s unfortunate they reached their breaking point and the outcome ended with their lives being taken by themselves. This year has been a major setback and some have deemed it a failure, but failure shows us many different ways of trying out things. In other words, it lets us think about the unimaginable and makes us work out of our comfort zones to make a difference. We’re always closer to success than we believe we are, and a little step can do wonders if you remain persistent.
Leave a like if you enjoyed reading this and comment if you’d like to chime in. Give my page a follow so you can stay up to date with my future posts. I’m leaving down two links to the things I spoke about in this post and I hope you take a look at them for better context. As always peace and keep it real.
Photo credit – it’s me neosiam,
She would inhale irrational fears that gripped tight and wouldn’t let go, Feeling the oxygen evade her lungs with every squeeze
As it suddenly sets off a panic attack galore,
An abused mindset that found no choice but to act defensive
When called crazy,
Battling valiantly daily to eliminate the individuals
That stigmatize her behavior and would tell her to act “normal”
Razor sharp scrutiny slices through her confidence,
The last vestige of her self esteem bleeding out
As she desperately searches for any kind of tourniquet to alleviate the pain,
Motionless amidst the ongoing ridicule that whispers for her to change,
These voices would call for her attention but she would always dial back her tone from a full blown outburst,
Consoled by midnight silence, as anguish tears soak her cheeks
slowly lulling her to a deep sleep
Eventually she had enough and found solace through chronicling her struggles,
Bursting stubborn “crazy” bubbles that filled her life with nothing but trouble,
Coming full circle as she found the resilience to relinquish the grip of “craziness“,
And with every burst of those bubbles I knew
She wasn’t suppose to be perfect,
Just beautiful the way she was and always will be,
Humility and vulnerability became alluring when she showed her true self to me,
Encouraging her to let this resolution to express yourself unapologetically be within you forever
As she finally bursts the remaining remnants of a turbulent past, transferring her adverse times into stanzas,
Composing poems as an outlet for her to release her dilemmas with no regret,
In the process cherishing her new found inner peace that’s still a work in progress
- I became aware from one of my followers on Twitter that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and that gave me the idea to write this piece. Even though, some of us can’t fully comprehend the excruciating pain most sufferers of numerous illnesses go through I felt this piece would shed some light onto it. I can recall numerous occasions where I felt anxiety or depressed, one of them being recent when multiple family members and a good college buddy past away all within a span of 3 years, but those instances built calluses in my brain so to speak to find a way to push through the pain and move forward. If you don’t know where to begin, surround yourself with the people you care about the most and use (family members, friends, etc…) as a stepping stone to heal your mind with their positive energy. Lastly, ever person copes with adversity differently so if the above solution does not bring enough closure, then go see if you can seek some professional counseling. Some people find it difficult to move forward to seek help because they feed into the stigma of people with mental illnesses are deemed “crazy”, which discourages them to find a resolution. All in all if you are that someone or know someone with a mental illness, be around them whenever they need your company and lift their spirits because one day it could be you on the opposite end wondering where has the people in my life I care about went? That’s all I want to say, Peace and Love – RhymeRula