Category Archives: Grief-Depression

Finding Your Inner Light to Get Through Dark Times

by Ami Dye Gori

“I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” ~Hafiz of Shiraz

One week before my twenty-ninth birthday, the love of my life broke up with me. The pain of it was agonizing, heart-stopping. I could not think. I could not eat. I could not sleep. I could not breathe.

I expressed and released pain, anger, denial, guilt, sadness, and on and on, until I exhausted myself. The bottom had dropped out of my life, and my sense of self was left shattered.

If I could be so wrong about something I had felt such certainty about, I thought, then there was nothing that I could possibly be right about. I was tragically flawed and inevitably doomed.

So I did something desperate and extreme. I dropped out of graduate school, gave away all my furniture, threw away most of my belongings, and moved across the country.

My intention was escape: to run from the darkness, as far and as fast as possible, and to somehow exchange my old, broken life for a shiny new one.

It didn’t work the way I expected it to.

Instead of the dynamic new life in a vibrant city I had envisioned, I created instead an involuntary retreat into solitude and self-reflection.  

Moving far away changed only my environment; it didn’t change my internal landscape at all. After the excitement of change of scene faded, I was left with the one thing I couldn’t leave behind: me.

Because I didn’t know anyone, I spent a lot of time alone. This was back in the days before social media, before the Internet was what it is now, and way before smartphones.

I put pen to paper and wrote, a lot, just to purge the thoughts from my head. Many days passed for me in silence, simply because there was no one to talk to.

In my search to understand why something so unbearably horrible had happened to me, I embraced with passionate zeal every tradition or tool for healing and self-knowledge I could find.

I meditated, I did yoga, I breathed; I learned about the Saturn Return, the chakras, flower essences, fasting, mantras, shamanism, dream work, the I Ching.

All of this helped, but still, I was left with the dull, leaden weight of my loneliness.

I didn’t know how, but I was determined to find a way out. I clung to that intention for dear life: not the belief that it would get better—I wasn’t quite there yet— just the possibility that it could.

After a few months of existing from moment to moment with my solitude, I began to see myself more clearly, stripped as I was of everything familiar and alienated from everyone I loved. And slowly, surprisingly, and strangely, I began to notice qualities in myself that I didn’t know I possessed.

Because I did everything by myself, I learned self-reliance. If I got lost while driving, I had to navigate my way out of it. If my car broke down (which it did), there was no friend I could call for help.

I learned to take risks. Because everything I did was fraught with uncertainty, I realized that I could go out on a limb and figure out how to deal with it.

But even more than that: I found out that eating one perfectly ripe peach on the way back from the farmers’ market was an exquisite experience when performed solo and in silence. I could enjoy watching a fantastic movie even if I had no one to talk to about it when it was over. I could walk on a beach at sunset and appreciate the beauty without aching for someone to share it with.

My internal landscape had become, to my amazement, rich, complex, andinteresting. The gradually dawning knowledge that I could not just survive alone, but feel whole and happy—even in small bursts—was a revelation to me.

Out of the ashes of a devastating personal loss, I found an unlooked-for self-respect and a renewed excitement about living my life. Gradually, a vision of myself emerged, contrasted against the darkness that had enveloped me.

Since then, of course I’ve had other experiences that have pushed me to an edge, but I’ve found my way back to center each time by drawing on the essence of who I am.

It doesn’t mean I’ve lost all my flaws or figured it all out. I am always me in those ways, too. I can still be critical of myself or get distracted by life’s endless dramas or get wrapped up in anxiety and worry. But I know that I have a map that can get me back to where I want to be instead of being stuck someplace awful.

It can take time to find the way back, but you can be sure of the way by keeping just a few things in mind.

When something unthinkable happens, the question isn’t Why? The question isWho?

Who are you? That’s the only thing you can really know. Let what is inexplicable be inexplicable. You can’t change what has happened and you can’t control other people. But you can choose to let adversity teach you something about yourself.

If you lose everything, you are still you.

Nothing that happens, no matter how bad, can erase who you are. You are always you, no matter what happens. Experiences may change you, but deep inside there is always that shining seed of self, the blueprint of who you truly are, guaranteeing the possibility of renewal.

Loss allows space for something else to take root in you. You can let it be wisdom, not bitterness.

When everything else has been taken away, you have a choice to mend the pieces that are left or to stay in the shadowlands. When you move in the direction of wholeness, the power of your intention can ignite your own personal revolution.

An open mind and an open heart can turn the key.

It is hard work to generate gratitude and serenity when you are suffering. Luckily, just wanting to be that kind of person can be enoughWith your intentions set in the right direction, peace and contentment will find you.

In persevering through my own darkness, I found a self—call it my authentic self, my immortal soul, core being, my heart center and sanctuary—who can survive whatever life throws at me.

My experience has taught me that the human capacity to endure—and to do it with grace, courage, and joy—does not really depend on anything outside of ourselves. Even when life seems impossible, the brilliant light inside yourself is enough to see your way through your own darkest nights.

 

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What happened to Black Wall Street on June 1, 1921?


Many racists in America like to point out that African Americans should become entrepreneurs and build their own communities for prosperity, rather than rely on government assistance and settle for low-paying jobs. If you don’t know history, if you don’t understand the climate to prevent blacks from getting an affordable education today, housing, fair loans and not be herded off to prison for crimes overlooked for whites, you could not possibly understand that blacks HAVE successfully been independent of the system and thrived. All that was destroyed, not just in Tulsa, OK, but in several other communities. Jewish communities are all over the U.S. We have the Amish doing the same thing. Look at the Mormons. But blacks doing for themselves?  Oh no, we can’t possibly allow that. Yet these people and politicians will continue to point fingers and say blacks are lazy and apathetic.

Every American who cares about this nation should read this story. It will explain so many questions about what happened after slavery, Jim Crow and the escalation of racism today. It’s a story about power, envy, jealousy, hate, oppression…and evil. ~Marion Young


What happened to Black Wall Street on June 1, 1921?
San Francisco Bay View

Black Wall Street, the name fittingly given to one of the most affluent all-Black communities in America, was bombed from the air and burned to the ground by mobs of envious Whites. In a period spanning fewer than 12 hours, a once thriving Black business district in northern Tulsa lay smoldering – a model community destroyed and a major African-American economic movement resoundingly defused.

 The night’s carnage left some 3,000 African Americans dead and over 600 successful businesses lost. Among these were 21 churches, 21 restaurants, 30 grocery stores and two movie theaters, plus a hospital, a bank, a post office, libraries, schools, law offices, a half dozen private airplanes and even a bus system. As could have been expected, the impetus behind it all was the infamous Ku Klux Klan, working in consort with ranking city officials and many other sympathizers.

The best description of Black Wall Street, or Little Africa as it was also known, would be to compare it to a mini Beverly Hills. It was the golden door of the Black community during the early 1900s, and it proved that African Americans could create a successful infrastructure. That’s what Black Wall Street was all about. 

The dollar circulated 36 to 100 times, sometimes taking a year for currency to leave the community. Now a dollar leaves the Black community in 15 minutes. As for resources, there were Ph.D.s residing in Little Africa, Black attorneys and doctors. One doctor was Dr. Berry, who owned the bus system. His average income was $500 a day, hefty pocket change in 1910.

These are Black-built, Black-owned buildings that were occupied by bustling Black businesses before envious whites rioted and destroyed them.

It was a time when the entire state of Oklahoma had only two airports, yet six Blacks owned their own planes. It was a very fascinating community.

 The mainstay of the community was to educate every child. Nepotism was the one word they believed in. And that’s what we need to get back to. The main thoroughfare was Greenwood Avenue, and it was intersected by Archer and Pine Streets. From the first letters in each of those three names you get G.A.P. And that’s where the renowned R&B music group the GAP Band got its name. They’re from Tulsa.

At the end of the day, June 1, 1921, this is what remained of Black Wall Street. Lost forever were over 600 successful businesses, including 21 churches, 21 restaurants, 30 grocery stores, two movie theaters, a hospital, a bank, a post office, libraries, schools, law offices, a half dozen private airplanes and a bus system.

Black Wall Street was a prime example of the typical Black community in America that did business, but it was in an unusual location. You see, at the time, Oklahoma was set aside to be a Black and Indian state. There were over 28 Black townships there. One third of the people who traveled in the terrifying “Trail of Tears” alongside the Indians between 1830 and 1842 were Black people. The citizens of this proposed Indian and Black state chose a Black governor, a treasurer from Kansas named McDade. But the Ku Klux Klan said that if he assumed office that they would kill him within 48 hours.

 Here, the businesses that had been the economic engine of this most prosperous Black community in the U.S. are identified.

A lot of Blacks owned farmland, and many of them had gone into the oil business.

The community was so tight and wealthy because they traded dollars hand to hand and because they were dependent upon one another as a result of the Jim Crow laws. It was not unusual that if a resident’s home accidentally burned down, it could be rebuilt within a few weeks by neighbors. This was the type of scenario that was going on day to day on Black Wall Street.

When Blacks intermarried into the Indian culture, some of them received their promised “40 acres and a mule” and with that came whatever oil was later found on the properties. On Black Wall Street, a lot of global business was conducted.

The community flourished from the early 1900s until June 1, 1921. That’s when the largest massacre of nonmilitary Americans in the history of this country took place, and it was led by the Ku Klux Klan. Imagine walking out of your front door and seeing 1,500 homes being burned. It must have been amazing.

Survivors we interviewed think that the whole thing was planned, because during the time that all of this was going on, White families with their children stood around the borders of their community and watched the massacre – the looting and everything – much in the same manner they would watch a lynching. The riots weren’t caused by anything Black or White. They were caused by jealousy.

A lot of White folks had come back from World War I and they were poor. When they looked over into the Black communities and realized that Black men who fought in the war had come home heroes, that helped trigger the destruction. It cost the Black community everything, and not a single dime of restitution – no insurance claims – has been awarded the victims to this day. Nonetheless, they rebuilt.

 We estimate 1,500 to 3,000 people were killed, and we know that a lot of them were buried in mass graves all around the city. Some were thrown into the river. As a matter of fact, at 21st Street and Yale Avenue, where there now stands a Sears parking lot, that corner used to be a coal mine. They threw a lot of the bodies into the shafts.

Read the rest of the story here.

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How to handle your feelings about the Sandy Hook Shooting

From the age of four, which is as far back as I can recall, my life has been one crisis after another. With the past still haunting me well into adulthood, being a sensitive empath didn’t help. To this day, I FEEL almost everyone’s pain. While I have done much work to protect my mind, body and spirit from the shockers that still come in life, the news of the 20 small children shot down in Friday’s Newtown CT massacre had me reeling. As with many of you, it was horrific and painful, but I managed to pull through it faster because of tools I use to snap back from a dark hole.
 

Via article:

“There is no right or wrong way to feel when it comes to tragedy. And we all experience it in our own way, at differing degrees. But there are tools that can greatly guide you through your emotions and help you find power in a powerless situation. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and deeply emotional about the shooting in Newtown, these tools can help.”

 

 

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Children of Newtown CT…We will never forget you

Painful as this is, I want to look at each child’s face and try my best to remember their names. How many can remember action movie stars names who act in violent movies? Something is wrong with us too if we can remember these actors names over children who were massacred. And let us remember the young black men assassinated over the years throughout US history. They are somebody’s children too.

The Militant Negro™

Here are a few more reasons Americans must have no legal Constitutional rights to handguns and assault weapons:

 

 

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Victims of Sandy Hook Shooting
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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