Love Thy Family – by G. D. Grace

I love my family, even when I don’t love my family. Family has the upper hand when it comes to knowing you, and your character flaws. It’s because, for the most part, they’ve been around you all your life. For the longest time I struggled with depression and a poor sense of self-worth — struggles which led to a very bad addiction to cocaine and alcohol.

For many years this addiction took precedence over everything. Every move I made was centered around having enough money to score some dope. Fortunately there was enough of the original blank slate left of me, so I was able to find my way back to a clear head and a better spiritual disposition. One thing very real to me was the fact that, if I continued down the path I was on, I would not only be spiritually broken, I’d be all the way dead.

Much of my reflections usually include recounts of my struggles with addiction. I suppose it’s because, even with over 7 years of sobriety, I always want to remember to be grateful for my life, my happy life. That said, I am still on a path of continued growth. My sister and I got into a heated argument early last year about the care of our aging mother, and in my anger I lashed out at my sister in text. I said some pretty horrible things in that text — things I wish I could take back, but was too prideful to take back — at least at that moment.

It took damn near a year for us to get back on speaking terms, and I was the one that made the initial attempt; however, my sister was receptive to talking to me. During our first discussion you could feel the chill between us, but as the days, weeks, and months moved on, we eventually got back on full speaking terms. During our spat, my sister did say something about me that stuck with me to this day; she said I was too judgmental — said that’s why I didn’t have anybody, romantically, in my life. For whatever reason I chose to accept her honest assessment of me.

This whole sobriety thing for me is about growth, and I embrace personal critiques better than I ever have before — especially if there might be a smidgen of truth to them. I discovered I am not a perfect person, that nobody is perfect. I also know that not every perception of me is always correct, but I do try to decipher which is and which is not.

Above all else I do my best to remain humble and grateful about the blessings I have — blessings in the form of people, places, and things.

GD

Infamous 2020

Vivid images of the year 2020 are now etched in my mind along with the countless other images stored there, all from a life I am still living. In March of 2020, I remember watching transportation reservations dwindle, as people cancelled trips to the airport, vacations, wine-tours, quinceaneras, wedding arrangements, and just about every other public event that would require transportation. I watched the transportation business I worked for in early 2020 cease to be the thriving company it once was.

COVID-19 hit the globe like a rouge asteroid and just about everything came to a complete halt. To add insult to injury, in May of 2020, the recording of a black man named George Floyd being murdered by a white Minneapolis, Minnesota cop went viral, and Black Lives Matter protests erupted around the globe. Decent people of all races and all nationalities were enraged by what they saw, and they took to the streets by the thousands in protest against police brutality of black people.

As both of these global events shook the world, I found myself immersed in the media coverage on CNN. I watched more news during 2020 than I had in my entire life. Then, on November 3rd, the Presidential Election took place. After several agonizing weeks of voter fraud accusations from the Trump administration that bled into 2021, Joe Biden & Kamala Harris were finally certified as the new President & Vice-President elect.

And just when things seemed to be looking up with the new administration’s electoral-college certification being confirmed, Trump incited an insurrection up the road from the Capital. Thousands of angry white Trump supporters (with a splash of people of color in the mix) flooded the grounds of the Capital causing destruction and mayhem inside and outside the building. Law-makers were sent scurrying, running for their lives as the racist crowd infiltrated the sanctuary.

Of all the things that Trump had done, this was the final straw. He had already been impeached once, and he made history again by being impeached a second time. I only pray that the inauguration events are more peaceful — but, I won’t hold my breath.

GD

USA COVID Statistics:

Total cases: 23.4M
Deaths: 389K

Mask It, or Casket It!

Rather than post this on Facebook, I decided to make it an entry in my blog.  A couple of mornings ago I was standing in line at a small local market — which is a liquor store (thank God I’m 7 years sober).  Two hispanic gentlemen walked in and neither one was wearing a mask.  Needless to say it had me feeling some kinda way.  When they approached the line carrying their 211 beer laughing and speaking Spanish I asked them why they weren’t wearing a mask.  The taller one immediately retrieved a mask from his coat pocket and put it on; however, the shorter one responded in a nasty tone, asking me if was going to buy him one. He continued speaking Spanish to his friend, and I felt the anger building up in me.

In that it was 8:30am I realized that they were both drunk and had probably been drinking all night.  An older white lady who I always see there whispered to me that to engage any further in a conversation with them wasn’t worth it. Reluctantly I stayed in reserve mode as I listened to the short one continue to speak on the subject in Spanish.  Even though I don’t speak Spanish, I knew he was talking shit.  I wanted to bust him in his fucking mouth, but that would have just escalated into a situation I didn’t need.  After purchasing my things I sat in my car scratching on one of the scratchers I had just purchase.  When they exited the store, neither one of them made eye-contact with me, which was a good thing.

In this day and age you have to be careful.  You never know if someone is carrying a gun.  This whole situation with mask defiance just irks the hell out of me — especially when the Corona Virus is spreading like wildfires globally — especially in the USA.  If this whole pandemic has taught me anything it has taught me that we live amongst so many selfish, irrational people.  I have no empathy left for them; however, I do feel for the innocent people that will be subjected to them when they return to their homes.

This Pandemic has taken so many lives.  It is disheartening.  I will say this though, the environment is finally getting a chance to heal because millions of commuters have had to halt their daily routines, polluting the air.  I also like the fact that parents are getting an overdue opportunity to spend time with their families.  I feel for the businesses suffering as well — especially with the high unemployment.  I know that from an economic standpoint things are getting pretty serious, but I still believe in my heart that this is just one great big reset for humanity.

What will we learn from it?

COVID-19 & Black Lives Matter

Today is Monday, July 13, 2020. We are in the midst of a global pandemic called COVID-19, and the good old USA is leading the pack with 3,464,720 people infected, 138,095 deaths, and 1,541,580 recovered. To put that into perspective the global number of people infected is 12.9 million, the number of deaths is 571K, and the number recovered is 7 million.

The statistics are alarming — especially since we are supposedly a superior presence in the world; however, based on the defiant behaviors of many USA citizens I pretty much disagree.  Quite a few people in the USA are downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic climate — they refuse to follow social distancing requests, and have all out tantrums when asked to wear masks that would help in the prevention of infecting themselves and others.

In addition to the pandemic, the USA and many other countries are dealing with blatant acts of racism.  Here in the USA, the Black Lives Matter revolution is now in full effect because of all the senseless murders by the hands of corrupt police officers and racist whites that are now being recorded. Thanks to cameras on smartphones which thousands now possess.  They can no longer deny the murderous attacks on blacks when the heinous and inhumane events are now being captured by cameras.

I’m not sure how well written my self-expression is, but I felt compelled to write something in my blog about the events taking place in 2020.  The global economy is very fragile right now.  The citizens of other countries seem to be dealing with the pandemic better than the USA.  The utter arrogance of many people in the USA has really been eye-opening and a disappointment.  The current leadership in this country has failed miserably in handling things.

All we can do is hope for the best, and vote in numbers when November 2020 comes.

2019 – Year of Prosperity & Growth by G. D. Grace

As 2019 draws to a close, I reflect on a year that brought me clarity, prosperity, and an inner-peace I have always longed for. It with great humility that I say what a blessing existence is at this point in my life.

I understand now that it is okay to love yourself — love yourself and know that you are, indeed, deserving of being a powerful force in life. I learned that it shows strength to emerge from the background of others, and step into your own great individual self.

2020 will continue my personal spiritual growth, and I have relinquished attempts to hold onto one-sided relationships. You needn’t chase anyone for friendship or love.

God Bless Everyone,

GD

“All Things New” by G. D. Grace

My life has been filled with many new beginnings.  It has been through countless wars that have left their battle scars on my spirit. It has crossed over, under, around, and has heard to best wisdom from a variety of reliable sources.  Sometimes it lingered a bit too long in certain circumstances that neglected to properly feed the spirit with positive food for thought. It has spun out on countless roadways along harrowing curves and treacherous bends, yet has always managed to straighten out and proceed, bruised, but hopeful.

Always there has been a gift of renewal within — a renewal that rinses and cleanses the soul. It has granted me the opportunity to recover from bad decisions and life threatening experiences.  It kept me safe when I didn’t have sense enough to do so myself.  It opened my eyes and raised my consciousness about the dangers of bad relationships — relationships that weren’t in my best interest to have.  It celebrated along with me when I finally broke free and began a new way of living.

On this journey I have been blessed to see All Things New, and I am stronger for having been through times of strife and struggle.

I am more

I am better

I am a survivor

G|||Dv

 

In Memory Of – by G. D. Grace (2015 Reflection)

2015

Gratitude encompasses so many things these days — these days post active substance abuse.  This year has been a year of continued growth, sobriety, and loss.  Loss is never easy — especially when you have loved the heart, mind, body, and soul of a person.

Three of my good friends passed on this year — passed on and over to the hereafter.  First there was Robert Devell Bassett who was killed in a tragic auto accident on a Northern California Highway earlier this year.  It was a shock because it was nearing the time for both of us to come together and catch up.  The later years of our friendship were spent apart as we both grew on our own individual spiritual paths.  Thank God for the earlier years — the years we spent together as creative friends.  We were inseparable.

Next was Kulaea Tavake.  We were co-workers at IKEA of East Palo Alto.  She was a bright light in the IKEA Family — always helpful, always on it, and always loved. She was funny, caring, and loving. A wife, and the mother of 3 beautiful children.  During my 2 year stay she and our IKEA family achieved a first for that store — we achieved a profit.  It was because we all loved one another, worked hard, and made it happen for the customer.  The work was physical, but what made it fun was people like Kulaea. She organized my goodbye party, and it was a night I’ll never forget.  There were folks lined up wall to wall.  She lost her battle to cancer earlier this year, and it was truly a blow to all of us who loved her. She will forever live in our hearts.

Lastly, Richmond Milton Brock; my friend, my sponsor, the man who took me under his wings during early sobriety and took me through the 12 steps.  Days after my 2 year sobriety anniversary during 2015, he went in to surgery and never came out.  Before he left he gave me a 2 year medallion, and I remember just as plain as day visiting him at his real estate business.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, he was preparing for the worst post surgery.  He had pictures lined up around the table — pictures of family, friends, and of himself on fishing trips, as well as, at a host of other events.  The slide-show at his memorial service is when it hit me — he knew he wasn’t going to make it, and had made peace with it.  To be allowed those last few minutes with him days before he passed on is something that I will never forget.  He was a lion among men, and a life force that continues to inspire me.

I AM grateful for their lives

I AM one who will always miss them

I AM better for having known them

 

CHECK IN – by g. d. grace

6913-beautiful-mountain-viewsCHECK IN

Where I am is where I have striven to be.  I arrive home at a reasonable hour and have adjusted to clean living and the sudden bursts of inner-peace.  I may watch a television show or two, indulging in my love for cinema, entertainment, and art.  Between OWN Network, BET, FOX, Centric, TV ONE, HBO, and STRZ, I have a wealth of inspirational, dramatic, comedic, and musical shows to appease my vivacious hunger for escapism.

As an artist myself, I have nothing but admiration and respect for others in the field of entertainment.  This past summer — the summer of 2015, I conducted 7 interviews on my Blog Talk Radio show A Touch of Grace.  I had planned on doing more, but life kept showing up and showing out.  I had service obligations to others in the powerful fellowship I am a part of.  I also made time for friends and family, so my off days didn’t really belong totally to me like that had in the past, but I’m gearing up to do more  shows.

This blog entry is really just about checking in with the supportive folks that have followed it since its inception back in 2009.  I cannot believe some 30K + people have dropped by to pay my blog a visit — people who have actually helped give my blog a net worth.  It’s not thousands of dollars yet, but I’m working on it.  I am also trying to pull together my next self-publishing release.  It will be my 6th, and I’m pretty stoked about re-entering the literary world. I’ve many novels in the making — some are more than 1/2 way through, however, I believe this 6th release will be more of a spiritual collection from many of my writings.  We shall see.

My girl, Janet Jackson, is on her “Unbreakable,” tour currently, and is about to drop her new CD in fall 2015.  Now she is a fighter if ever there was one.  Even after the powers that be tried discrediting her after that Superbowl incident, the fans — we, showed our love for her.  It was  a damned boob for Christ’s sake.  Nevertheless, they couldn’t stop the powerful force that she has become, she is truly an ICON.  Love you, Janet.

Oh well, time to wind down.  It has been nonstop since I returned from my vacation.  I even had a bit of a bug riding with me inside of my body and didn’t realize it.  I slept until 11am today — not something I do these days — sleeping so late, but that nasty cough is gone.  THANK GOD.

So, my friends, I am signing off until next time, but I want to leave you with this.  It’s one of my favorite quotes by the late, great, Dr. Maya Angelou;  “When someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them.”