Comforting Words: Choices

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


“You will never make it,” she declared to me.

It was as if she threw down a gauntlet and I was no chicken. Too much had already happened in my life by age 18 for me to be otherwise.

This was just one more challenge to prove that I was not worthless, not going to be a whore or destined to live a life riddled with abuse of all nature and types.

There were too many positive women influence in my experience by then. The now Prime Minister of Jamaica, Mrs. Portia Simpson-Miller, had spent many hours in my mother’s house strategizing for elections in a constituency where my mother was extremely active.

I had heard too many speeches by and heard too many accounts from my mother about her interactions as a community leader with the former first lady of Jamaica, Beverley Anderson-Manley.

In her own way, misguided and confused about her identity as she was, my own mother is possibly the most positive influential woman in my life -- in a very twisted way. This is something I can only recognize now – today February 27, 2007 after spending the last two days witnessing the effects of evil intentions. But that is for another post.

It was my high schoolmate back in 1983 who told me that I could not make it after hearing my glad tidings that I had been awarded a scholarship to pursue a Masters Degree in the former Soviet Union.

Looking back, this was probably the first time 'that something' , i.e., my heart, started communicating with me, trying to tell me, “Enough of people telling you what or who you are!!”

That something returned this afternoon (February 27) after spending a sleepless night worried for someone (and her important friend both of whose life, ironically, I was instrumental in saving) who clearly is not concerned about me. I knew this as I called after the nightmare and had the phone hung up on me when I asked after the injured.

I was also feeling like a hole was pierced through my heart by the misfortune of a woman-friend - who despite my pleadings - made the wrong choice.

That something was talking to me as I drove to work this morning listening to Lance instructing me on my cell phone (yes, he instructed me in no uncertain terms) to declare as dead to me (mentally, emotionally and spiritually) the women who have had the opposite effect to Mrs. Simpson-Miller and Mrs. Anderson Manley.

That something jumped off the page of the book “One Day at a Time in Al-Anon [Alcoholics Anonymous]” that my Spiritual Director handed to me. She gave it to me as she felt it was relevant. The reading for today had this quote from Thomas Merton’s book “No Man is an Island.”

“Although all men have a common destiny, each individual also has to work out
his personal salvation for himself …We can help one another find out the meaning
of life … But in the last analysis, each is responsible for ‘finding himself’.”

That something came to me in its totality as I cried on the phone, relating to my woman-friend in the Bahamas what took place since last week Wednesday, culminating in a poor choice and decision to murder by someone driven literally to insanity; a literal hijacking and threatening of me; a wounding and one now sitting in jail, awaiting trial.

My life has never been unexciting. The excitment started from the day I was six weeks old and my mother ‘fled’ the home she and her partner built until now. However, ‘excitement’ is not adequate to describe what took place since last Wednesday (incidentally – it was Ash Wednesday).

Drama of no mean order is what best describes these last few days, filled with television soap opera type manipulation, outright deceit and lies, deepening betrayal of everything sacred that had the hoped for effect (and I would dare say expected as I have experienced, first-hand, a similar attempt back in October 2006) of pushing another over the edge. In fact, I am still experiencing it as I write this -- with my phone ringing and getting another piece of evidence from a reliable source that bears witness of renewed attempts to push me towards the edge.

I knew that my woman-friend in the Bahamas was worried about me; worried that my fate may be the same as a dear friend of us all, who committed suicide some years ago in the midst of the gay community back in Jamaica.

That something spoke in my voice, reassuring her that I will never give the one who so much wants me to disappear – and will do anything to do anything to help me along as was demonstrated back in October in words and deed - that pleasure. In fact, to this minute she continues. Her wry smiles and baleful looks does not deceive me. I now fully understand the pattern as she has done this before. Neither am I blinded by lust, fear of emotions or material pursuits, nor am I a coward or a plodder.

“P," I said, "I will be the brightest light in Edmonton and/or in Canada! I will not fail, instead I will shine beyond all imagination – speaking truth always and defending what is sacred – in honour of myself, my history, my child and now my woman-friend who a terrible wrong has been done to!”

“They will one day have to pay to hear me speak – either in a large hall or through their television service. I am not going away! That light that I am will either blind them or help them to see what they have done, be able to speak truth the first time and come to understand the real meaning of life!”

That is my Responsible and Conscious Choice. I have asked myself the questions Gary Zukav posed and which were outlined in my last post. My answers are:

  • My choice will produce and demonstrate honesty, justice for the oppressed; feed the hungry, give spiritual sight to the spiritually blind and shine the light of truth in dark corners (minds).
  • Yes, I really want to help create in people the realization that life is more than material stuff and physical and temporary pleasure (sex, alcohol, drugs). My choice will demonstrate the real meaning of loyalty, caring, compassion, and again speaking the truth the first time.
  • Yes, I am ready to accept the consequences of this choice – as I will be able to continue looking in the mirror with no shame, no regrets, guiltless and with no remorse, as I would know that I did the right thing by the Divine – I would have walked the talk of true love.

Legal issues prevent me from going into any detail except to say that the last two days have been life-changing. Over the last four months, I watched as, pleaded with and even had to walk away at times from a decent, intelligent and talented human being desperately trying to hang on to her sanity. She lost the fight as she was daily, smilingly and wily, pushed to the edge.

Clearly as Merton wrote - I could not save her. That human being made a choice that I would never have made but could have made. We were both in a similar place of despair and anguish and she lost the battle to one who continues to deceive - smiles, baleful looks and all.

The 'war', however, is not over. It will continue for me as it has since October 8, 2006 – on the spiritual front, with this piece of Scripture as my shield: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper and every tongue that rises against you in judgment [shall be] condemned.” (Isaiah 54:17)

Her final choice was wrong and I would never and did not condone it to the extent that my own life and my personal freedom were at serious risk. My choice to ‘disobey’ her command and do the right thing was not an option.

Again, Zukav writes about having a reverence for life in his book “Seat of the Soul,” and to me that means, even the life of those who wish; actually do or cause me harm – whether physical, financial, professional, personal and/or psychological.

When the time comes, I will continue to speak the truth – that’s not an option. But it will be the whole truth as uncomfortable as that is for some. I have learned that lesson well that despite feeling fear, one should never hide from the truth – either hearing it or expressing. The price to pay otherwise is too high.

Your 'money’ is better spent on creating and maintaining relationships that promotes growth in all respects not just in one area – on a physical level only - but where it truly matters (in the heart) spiritually. And please do not confuse spirituality with religiosity.

I end with a reminder – that what goes around must come around – it is the LAW.

Be careful what you wish for, be careful of the choices you make – you might surely get it and more than you expected!



P.S. The picture above was taken last year July as I delivered a speech in Toronto. I thought it relevant to use with this post, as this was the time that this drama of betrayal really started to come together - -I know that now. It is also relevant because it depicts how this drama will inspire and shape my life – bearing a bright light in all places of darkness, using what the Divine has blessed me with – the gift of a big mouth (as can be seen in the picture!)

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