My mom and I and religion.
I started going to a therapist at the end of 2018. At one of our sessions, my therapist made an observation of me that up until then, I never really thought about or even considered but when he said it, it made all the sense in the world. He said it seems you love your mother but don’t really like her.
When I thought about it, something clicked and it was like a light bulb going off.
I’ve had such a roller-coaster type relationship with her. I love my mom dearly but at times we get in to these confrontations that just seems like F&@K!!! Why can’t we get on the same page about certain things.
She definitely had her outlook on life and the way it should be lived. Find a career, get benefits, and be self-sufficient. Have a backup plan just in case something goes wrong. Definitely nothing wrong with that.
Me on the other hand, I’m more of a free spirit. I want to pursue goals and dreams. Living a 9 to 5 life has always been a challenge for me.
Like I previously said, I wanted to be a rapper and box.
My mom always reminded me of ending up like Muhammad Ali if I was a boxer and back then, rap wasn’t as big as it is now. A career in the music industry especially rap music, was an unrealistic goal according to my mom.
It was actually hurtful to me. I didn’t see a person who had a conservative outlook on life and just wanted the best for me.
I saw it as my mother not having the faith in me that I couldn’t make it in this world doing something I loved. I think she just wanted me to be prepared for life because goals like mine didn’t have a lot of success stories and the chances of making it regardless of my talent was slim.
Anyone could be teachers or work in a post office but the odds of making a career in something as unpredictable as the music business isn’t that easy and boxing is a whole other animal. My carefree, optimistic ass thought I could do both.
I still make music. I’m dope. Hopefully at some point I can come up with a way to get my music to the masses.
However, boxing like I said is different. I loved to train, hit the heavy bag, and still good on the speed bag once the rust comes off but getting in the face…….. Hard…… Makes you truly appreciate the ones who participate in the sweet science for a living.
I’ve seen loving relationships between mother’s and sons. My mom and I wasn’t really that. There were definitely good times but my mom was never the most affectionate person towards me.
Maybe it was a life thing.
A person starts off optimistic and positive but when life happens and in her case a child, me, plans, goals, aspirations and dreams can be put to the side which can cause a bitterness to arise in a person.
I once heard a speech from Les Brown. In the speech he said the greatest talent and potential in the world can be found in the grave yards.
People who were blessed with gifts and talents often took them to the grave because they were too afraid to live life on their own terms. I’m definitely not quoting this great analogy word for word but hopefully you get my point.
People are unhappy and unfulfilled.
They’re stuck in jobs or careers that they can make money in, and in relationships where they can have company and sex but are not fulfilling their potentials or seeking they’re main purposes in life.
This scares me. It’s always scared me. I never had the depth in my past to articulate it in this manner but looking back on my life, I started to realize how unhappy and unfulfilled I became.
That state of being is truly magnified when you realize that you are the creator of your own reality. The only one responsible for your present condition is the one you see in the mirror every day and that can be an overwhelming feeling.
It wasn’t until the last 2 or 3 years or so that I began to search within myself and really discover why I’m here and what I’m supposed to do about it.
I’ve had a rough time in the past few years but I could probably go back as far as May 2, 2008. That was the day my mother passed away.
It was a complete shock and came out of nowhere. She had a few health issues but apparently more severe than I knew. That being said, still, 58 was too young for me.
I was struggling financially before then but slowly started to put things together with my life. I met the woman who is now my wife and after a somewhat on and off again relationship for a year or two, we decided to move in together.
She had children already but I loved her and welcomed the task of being a step dad. My mom began to look at me in a different light. In fact, not long before she passed, she told me that I’ve turned into a good man.
That was the most beautiful and relieving thing I had ever heard from my mother about me.
Our relationship seemed to be moving in a great direction. My mother and my wife had begun to develop a great friendship. We’d invite her to our place and we’d take the kids visit her.
The day we found out my then girlfriend was pregnant, I called my mom. I was so happy. It was the first time I was able to call her granny. I’m my mother’s only child and my son would’ve been her first grandchild.
For the period of time between the end of March when the pregnancy was confirmed and May the first, my mom and I finally got on the same page. Then May 2 my heart was completely broken.
What made that time between March and May so special to me was I knew how far me and my mom came as a mother and son.
Our first major fall out was came back when I was 17 and joined the church. My mom was never a major church goer. I can’t answer to whether she was a Christian or an atheist. She never really did any spiritual practices in front of me.
I’d never seen her pray before but she told me from time to time that she was always praying for me. Her seeing how serious I was about church, looking back now, had to be a puzzling thing to her. Might I even say a high level of confusionment.
First shes raising this outgoing son with a lot of friends who is engulfed in music, boxing, and girls. Now all of a sudden, I’m not hanging out with my friends as much, I’ve almost completely stopped watching TV and especially boxing.
Instead of being annoyed with Run-D.M.C, LL Cool J, and Public Enemy blaring from out of my room, Gospel music and religious sermons were heard.
I’m not sure but she could have felt she was losing her son to a degree or something more sinister could be taking place. She told me that she thought I’d been brainwashed. I can’t remember my response but I definitely didn’t like hearing that from her.
It seemed like this was yet another thing that she didn’t believe I could do.
At this point, I’d been learning the Bible at a pretty fast pace. I would often stay after church service and spend an hour or so doing Bible study with the pastor’s son. (The only reason I won’t say his name here is because since I’ve made the decision to leave religion, we haven’t had a conversation since. I, to this day hold him in the highest of regards and although we have definitely come to a fork in the road, at some point in the future, I would love to have a conversation to clear the air. I still love him as a big brother. However sometimes the little brother has to make a path for himself).
Anyway, between the private Bible studies, listening to the pastor’s sermons and doing my own studying I began to really feel a confidence in myself I never felt before.
Because I was a rapper, I had no problem with public speaking. Sometimes during testimony service when I would want to speak for 2 to 3 minutes to thank God, but sometimes it became a 10 to 15-minute sermon.
I loved sharing what I learned.
My mom who rarely came to my church to witness all this, one evening sat me down to figure out “what was wrong with me”.
She asked why I stopped rapping. I told her that it was worldly and God didn’t want me rapping anymore. I offered to show her scriptures in the Bible but she seemed dismissive. She couldn’t accept her teenage son speaking to her in this grown religious way.
It was hard for her to wrap her mind around the son she raised compared to the one who was now quoting scriptures. The discussion began to escalate into an argument. I really hoped to explain things in the Bible, then invite her to church.
I wasn’t officially a minister at the time but it was definitely a goal of mine. My pastor was a Bishop and he had already told me that in due time as I proved myself, he would be the one who could issue me a Minister’s License.
At the height of the argument I told her that God wants us to live Holy and if we’re not living holy, were going to hell. She took that as me literally telling her that she’s going to hell.
It was definitely a conversation that I don’t necessarily regret, but I wish I was more equipped to answer her questions and secondly just been calmer and more collected under that severe pressure.
I felt so pushed in a corner and not getting the same respect I was giving.
She agreed to meet privately with my pastor. To this day I don’t know the full details of their discussion but I know she told him exactly how she felt about me participating in church and my pastor at least let me know that he told her that I would be taken care of and if at any point she wanted to come to a service or their home, she was more than welcome. My pastor built his church next door to his home.
I did reach my goal of being Minister. My mom did come to hear me preach a sermon once. I learned how to play the drums while I attended church and along with preaching, I wanted my mom to feel good about what I was doing.
After that whole scenario, the argument, and my mom having a discussion with my pastor, as far as me going to church, my mom and I had a silent agreement so to speak.
Since she knew I was somewhere she could always find me and as long as I respected the rules of the house, she left me alone about it.
I mean hell, an 18-year-old church boy really has only four places he usually goes. Church, work, out to eat sometimes and home. For a span of about 2 in a half years I didn’t even say a curse word. But after those two in a half years saying the word F&#K for the first time felt so good it was almost orgasmic. 😂😂😂😂
Back to my mom, it took quite a few years for us to fix the whole church altercation. She said things I felt were hurtful and I said things that I’m definitely not proud of. Even after I had gone to the military, been on my own and done things for myself, that scar was still there.
Through the years, we’d have minor conversations about it but it was more along the lines of just remembering that period of time.
I think after my mom thought about it, although she’d probably be reluctant to admit it to me, I did earn a measure of her respect from for standing up for myself and something I believed in.
That short period of time between March and May of 2008 allowed us to be that loving mother and son I had always wanted us to be.
At that point, I had been far removed from preaching. Because I moved around quite a bit in life as an adult and many times out of the state, my visits to church were sporadic at best.
I still continued a relationship with certain members of the church. Some were actually bloodline family members. I had never gotten myself back to the point of preaching again but during certain phases in my life, especially in times of trouble, I held the word of God dear and near to me.
Eventually I began to make music again. I began to get back in the gym. While I was in the navy, I was able to really get in the best condition of my life. I was able to spar for a good 6 to 8 rounds. I had a good buddy that actually made it to the all navy boxing team that I helped prepare.
When I left the navy, I definitely kept pursuing it until I had the experience that most people have when trying to box. They say the boxing ring is a truth finder and at some point, your going to be faced with the harsh reality of can or can’t you do it. Are you willing to pay the price and make the sacrifices that you need to be a success in the squared circle?
I failed. But I at least tried. I got my ass whooped in a sparing session and the next day when I was supposed to go back to the gym, I found an excuse not to. Then the day after that and after that and so on.lol
You get my point.
As far as my music, like I said, I’m dope and I will continue to make music as long as I live in some capacity or another. If I never make it to the big stage, Ill always create. Ill always produce and who knows, maybe Ill get a break at some point.
As far as my last words about my mom in this chapter and on that chapter in my life, we found ourselves together again after individually going through this maze called life.
The universe has its way of aligning things to keep the proper order. I will never understand why she wasn’t allowed to meet her first grandchild. For years I carried a bitterness about it.
We had our odds and got back together like most people do when they love each other, then, just like that, she’s gone.
Kinda makes this whole religious thing seem so petty when you look at it.