I try to live my life by a few simple and easy tenets:
1. Never forget that niggas gon' nig.
As fucked up as that maybe, it helps to keep expectations in check when dealing with certain types of people. Expecting anything other than a motherfucker to do exactly what they've always shown themselves to do is not their fault, it's my fault. I'm not impervious to this either. I've got my ways about me. I know this and I try to do better, but to echo the refrain of people everywhere failing with intentionality, "God ain't done with me yet."
2. Don't let anybody steal your joy.
This one speaks for itself, but it always bears repeating. There is nothing worse than allowing another person to have control over your emotions to the point where your day/life is ruined and because niggas gon' nig, they're on Cloud 9 because they are living in their misery-inducing happiness. Hurt people hurt people and haters gon' hate. It is called esteem of your motherfucking self for a reason; its your joy, own it. If you want to have a shitty day, cool. Just make sure it's because of something you did.
3. Be okay being a bad person.
I don't mean this is in the literal, Hitler sense of the term. But sometimes you're going to have to eschew what's right in order to get justice. This is where being petty comes in. I'm a fan of being petty, though I'm not a fan of being mean. Some people only learn lessons the hard way that might mean you have to be okay with hurting a feeling or two in the process. I struggle with this at times because I don't like hurting feelings, but because I'm a Gemini, when I do hurt feelings its over board. It's like im fat because I can't stop eating, and I can't stop eating because I'm fat. It's a vicious cycle.
It's not a vicious cycle.
And the reason we're here today church is because of this last life tenet:
4. Don't take it personal; it's rarely about you.
This is the hardest lesson I've had to learn but one that brings the most peace. I'm human and we are by nature a selfish brood. We all like to think we're unique so if you are coming at me sideways, I like to believe its because I have personally caused you the type of strife that would induce such sideways comeage. It's actually annoying to think that you might do this same shit with everybody because then I'm no longer unique. We call this being a woman.
I kid, I kid.
Quick turn: people suck. I'm a people, I definitely suck sometimes. And people usually show up that way in your life, ya know, sucking. Of course, there are people who ruin the living fuck out of folks they meet, but they almost always end up on Snapped. The rest of the people you meet are showing up with 20-30 years of baggage that has molded them into the person they've become. This can be a positive and/or a negative.
Rarely do we need to remind ourselves that shit isn't personal on the positive end. Sure, we should remember that if something is too good to be true, it probably is and maybe somebody is selling wolf-tickets; if they've done it once, they've likely done it a million times. But the feeling is priceless, and as long as you remember that niggas are gon' nig, and that you shouldn't let anybody steal your joy, you can probably come out on top with some positive personal shit.
But when it comes to the negative, this is where life gets difficult. We're all taught to be unicorns. So this belief that what is happening to me isn't because of me is a hard one to swallow. This person is being an asshole to me might be accurate, but why they're being an asshole might be because of somebody else. It's not personal in that sense even if it feels that way.
If you want to see who people really are, toss a little adversity into the mix. Then the truth comes spilling out like Teairra Mari in a bikini. What you'll also see is all of their issues flying at you while you try to figure out what in the hell is happening. It's happened to me and I'm sure its happened to you.
Somebody brings up an issue and you can't fathom why but they're blaming you or forcing you to address something that has nothing to do with anything you've ever brought to the table. This might happen at a picnic. Heheheh. And yet here you are, down here in hell with a person trying their best to blame you for their past. And it's normal. Nobody wants to be the reason their life sucks. Accountability is a bitch. But there's also this other problem:
Many people are out here living their best life as the person they think they are, while forgetting that it helps a whole heap if who you think you are and who you are meet in the middle. We're all intimately familiar with who we'd like to be. We spend a lot of time trying to convince other people of this. In fact, it's the main reason why I almost NEVER believe a person who starts off a sentence with, "I'm not the type of woman/man/person to do this or that…" That just lets me know that you just might be the kind of person to do whatever it is that you're trying to convince me that you won't, but you're hoping I don't put you in the position to be exactly who you are.
But this is also why shit is rarely personal. If you don't even know who you are (shouts to Rafiki), how can you tell me who I am? I mean, how do you know where I'm at when you haven't been where I've been? Understand where I'm coming from? Unfortunately what that means is that many of us are forced to deal with people who are delusional and making choices and decisions based on this even if they're doing their best to tell you who they believe themselves to be.
Aloe Blacc had one of the biggest songs of 2014 with, "The Man". You've heard it. Everybody's heard it. Grandmother's and babies know this song. Well there's a line in that song that stands out to me above all else: "I believe every lie that I've ever told…"
That shit is deep right there. And further proves why I can't take shit personal. If you believe what you're telling me even if it flies in the face of every conceivable piece of evidence *coughB.o.B.cough* then how can I take it personal? That's about you and your non-sense, not me and mine.
(To be fair, two people can show up at the same time at the same place with the same level of non-sense. We call this dating.)
And since I tend to believe that most people's issues aren't about me (unless I have explicitly brought the issue to the table, I'm fairly self-aware even if I play a doctor on TV) AND that they believe everything they're telling me even if its inconceivable, then that's on them and I'm going to just keep living my best life. Now, it's taken a while for me to realize that rarely is shit personal, but once I learned that, it made life a bit easier.
Of course, its easier said than done. But keep this in mind: niggas are gon' nig whether you like it or not, so its pointless to let somebody else steal your joy because it's rarely personal, so be a bad person and tune them motherfuckers out do you, boo.
Life, or something like it, is a much happier place that way.
Anything else is uncivilized.