PUMEQ3

Letter to My Future Son (Part 1): Life is About…

A letter to my future son,

Son, when you turn a certain age you start saying phrases like, “Life is about…” I recently turned 27 and I’m very certain about certain things now. So son, life ain’t about how hard you hit -it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward -how much you can take , and keep moving forward -that’s how winning is done. Lesson number one when it comes to being a man: when you fall down, get back up.

Cause you will fall down… Son, do you understand? We all fall short, fail, and fuck up in many ways. But life is about loving your life despite imperfections -despite what others may think -let that sink in… I didn’t learn this lesson till I turned 27 -early autumn to be exact. Son, it’s a simple fact that some will like you and others won’t. Don’t spend time chasing people who are running away. Learn to focus on the few who choose to stay.

By the way, life is a gift so don’t take your gifts for granted. ‘Cause the things that make you special have potential to change the world. Some men chase money. Some men chase girls, but in reality we’re all chasing ourselves. I need you to learn this lesson: chasing possessions is like rolling rocks up a hill… It feels like trying to fill holes as they spill from the bottom… We all become rotten by allowing bad apples in our circle. When it comes to choosing friends… I’m telling you to be careful.

I realize I’m rambling, but this next point is important. Son, It’s time I talked to you about flowers.

To be continued…


Part 2 of the Letter to My Future Son series “When it Comes to Flowers” coming soon!

Hop in them comments: let me know what you think about fathers, sons, or this post!


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Full-time grad student. Part-time blogger. Natural hair enthusiast. Auggie is focused, man. Follow him on Instagram at Auggie_89

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Protective Styles

The night is late and the day is done… I wonder what you look like in your comfy clothes -your cotton shorts and t-shirt, that no one knows you own. No one’s seen this side of you… You’re usually covered up... No one’s seen the side of you that’s unbuttoned, and untucked, and undone, and unlaced, and let down…

I wonder how you wear your hair when you’re being natural -when no one is around or there to care or question if it looks professional? I understand the need for protective styles, but I wonder what it’s like when you let your guard down?

Queen, I’m curious if you wear your crown 24/7? Or if you hang it on a coat hook when you’re home? I’m curious what books are on your shelf -what thoughts on your mind after the hours of 9 and 5 when you’ve arrived at your apartment? How is your time spent when you have time to yourself and you’re dressed for comfort rather than war?

I have an inquiring mind… I’d like to know more…I’d honestly like to see the side you don’t show… When the night is late and the day is done. When glass ceilings have been broken, battles won, patriarchy overcome between the hours of 9 and 5. When striving has ceased for the day and you’ve finally found some time to take it down, take a seat, relax and release, remove your heels, quench your hunger, hang your clothes back on the hanger.

The night is late, the day is done. Who does the queen become?


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Full-time grad student. Part-time blogger. Natural hair enthusiast. Auggie is pretty lit, once you get to know him. Follow him on Instagram at Auggie_89


 Shoutout to svnnyw__ for the dope visual. Follow her on Instagram!!

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Chava

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I’ve been trying to put this into words…

To describe the beauty of dark skinned women.

Imagine my anguish: words like pretty and cute fall flat.

I realize that her beauty, while not beyond words, is different.

Not greater or less than…

The moon is not more beautiful than the sun

The mountain no less majestic than the ocean.

The essence of one is dissimilar from the other.

Yet after much thought,

I finally found the word -the adjective that does justice to the feeling that I feel as I stand transfixed.

Mesmerized by the contrast between smile, lips, and skin.

Impossible! You embody the hue of coffee beans, chocolate, charcoal, oil.

Yes, oil – – your skin even glistens like so lihj.png

The color black is not supposed to glow!

Yet here you are…

Here you are in all your, transcendence.

You remind me of Chava: surely the first woman possessed an abundance of melanin.

Transcendent: deeply human yet reminiscent of divine.

Transcendent: beauty that cannot be defined by standards of colonized minds.

I’ve spent a lifetime watching, ruminating – – waiting for my way with words to mature like a farmer awaits the harvest.

I had to become a man before I could describe you.

There were lessons to learn – – concepts to understand before I could covey the manner in which you transcend mere sight, sound, and touch.

You transcend petty comparison and the fetishistic.

For only a fool would compare yellow to the color purple and declare a winner.

The color black is not supposed to glow…

Yet here you are in all your resplendence.

You are beauty on the fringe of words.

You are transcendent.


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Educator. Blogger. Natural hair enthusiast. Auggie is an English teacher and works as an Uber driver on the weekends. He lives in North Jersey (home of the least approachable women in America). Follow him on Instagram at Auggie_89

 

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Several Reasons Why 2016 is the Year of the Black Nerd (Blerd)


blerd

A nerd who is of African American decent. A BLack-nERD.

Turk: “My cousins a blerd” 
Carla: !?!?!
 
Turk: A black nerd.
 
-Scrubs

There’s never been a better time to be a Black Nerd (Blerd). Whether you’re defeating your arch nemesis with clever memes, participating in the #Blacklivesmatter movement, or effortlessly navigating the waters of America’s knowledge based economy, 2016 is looking to be a promising year for the bookish type.

Here’s why:

  1. Meek Mill –he killed it for street dudes (dark skins took a major L as well). I couldn’t find a good picture of Meek, so here’s a picture of an L instead

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2. 2015 was already the year of the light skins. Meek Mill’s loss to Drake was only the tip of the waffle-colored iceberg. Other notable light skin victories in 2015 include

  • The Golden State Warriors (I know… Draymond Green, smh)
  • Empire (Mr. green eyes himself, Terrence Howard)
  • Jenna? (You know… dude from “Classic Man”)
  • Zach Lavine (update: Dunk champion 2 years in a row!)
  • Tre from Kick Genius (shout out to those guys)

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3. Knowledge economy. The days of earning a decent living from a manufacturing job and a high school diploma, are long gone (Reagan).

See, the way the ‘conomy is set up right now, there’s literally never been a better time to be a Black nerd, because we don’t really have a choice anymore! Seriously, start brushing up on your anime right now my G!  If you can’t rap, you’re not nice at ball, and have an aversion towards nefarious activities, you need 21st century skills in order to swim. These skills include:

  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Information, media, and technology literacy (all the literacies, y’all)
  • Strong communication skills

Luckily, these are all things that blerds (nerds in general really) are very adept at.

TL;DR: 2016 is the year of the Black Nerd because they sent all the labor jobs to India.

4. Being a nerd no longer means being socially awkward. As great as these 90’s shows were, Family Matters, Smart Guy, and Saved by the Bell really set intellectuals back a couple decades. Jaleel White’s character especially, Steven Q. Urkel, was very smart but also very annoying, weak, insufficiently masculine, and socially awkward (specifically around the ladies… Although he did bag Myra… Still, awkward. Yuck). Anyway, men have a deep-seated distaste for looking weak in any way, shape, or form.

 

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I have a sneaking suspicion that little Black boys, growing up watching these shows, secretly swore to themselves that if being a nerd meant being like that, then it just wasn’t worth it. Nowadays tho, blerd no longer equals un-cool, or weak, or unattractive. Notable blerds are:

  • Blerd Captain –President Obama
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • J. Cole
  • Lupe Fiasco
  • Myron Role
  • Janelle Monae
  • SZA
  • Rhonda Rousey (she’s not black but she’s a HUGE anime fan and an MMA fighter!)
  • Jordan Carlos
  • The guys from Kick Genius 
  • Huey from the Boondocks (I don’t care if he’s not a real person)

I know what you’re thinking: “But Auggie, most of the people on this list are rappers or athletes. Doesn’t that contradict your previous point?” No. No it doesn’t. These are just people you’ve heard of.

Anyway, the point is that you can be a nerd and still be cool… “At the same damn time!” See what I did there? Rap reference –that was cool, right?

5. Black America is WOKE! In my humble (African American Studies minor) opinion, the early 2000’s created a false sense of security –that racism was largely an issue of the past –that we were living in a post-racial society. Well, our collective sense of activism, protest, “you’re not gonna do this to us”, has sure been fired up again. 2016 is only 2 months old, but consider these examples of Black America being woke af rn:

  • Beyonce said, “Negro nose with Jackson 5 nostrils” during the HALF TIME SHOW at the freakin’ Super Bowl!
  • Kendrick Lamar. Grammy’s. Wow.
  • Call for Boycott of the Oscars

I know what you’re thinking: “But Auggie, just because entertainers are doing Black things all over TV, that doesn’t mean the majority of Black America is woke.” Please refer to my previous point. I’m naming people you’ve heard of. Stop coming for me yo…

6. You need Black intellectuals at a time like this. Building off of my previous point, that activism has been reawakened, I’d like to point out that there is no activism without intellectualism. Black intellectuals –reader, writers, thinkers, and creatives –are needed more than ever:

  • Police are killing unarmed people in the streets with impunity
  • There’s a growing chance that Donald Trump might actually win the Republican nomination
  • The Civil Rights generation, those who came of age during the 60’s and have shouldered the brunt ever since, can’t carry us forever.

The last and most important reason why 2016 is the year of the Blerd –the year of black intellectuals and creatives –is because it has to be. It just has to be. It’s getting real out here.

Being a Blerd isn’t just about loving superhero movies, listening to “white people” music, maintaining an outrageous GPA, and attending Afro Punk.

Black nerds have a powerful legacy of creating lasting change, not just for Black people, but for humanity.

It’s no coincidence that the co-founder of the Black Panthers, Huey P. Newton, also had his PhD. It’s no coincidence that Martin Luther King Jr., also had his PhD. Am I saying that you have to have a degree in order to be a Blerd? No, because Malcolm X Shabazz didn’t graduate from high school.

If you consider yourself to be a blerd, don’t just keep it to yourself. Realize that your creative and intellectual gifts were meant to be shared with the world and to improve the world. Let your light shine, fam.

Shalom,

Auggie


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Educator. Blogger. Natural hair enthusiast. Auggie is an English teacher and works as an Uber driver on the weekends. He lives in North Jersey (home of the least approachable women in America). Follow him on Instagram at Auggie_89

 


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Damned If You Do

Damned if you do…

Damned if you don’t…

Put your hands in the air. Pray that they won’t.

Resist!

Surrender!

Stay!

Leave!

“I’m unarmed, don’t shoot!”

“I can’t breath! I can’t breath!”

Acceptance letter in his pocket –mistook it for a gun.

“I’m just reaching for my wallet” –mistook it for a gun.

Damned if you go…

Damned if you come…

Father, brother, son: run Black boy, run.

Pull your pants up while you’re at it. It’s tragic in the hood

Trayvon didn’t say a word. All he did was wear a hood.

And Emmett dared to whistle…

Rodney wanted to get along…

But you can never be right, when your skin color is wrong

Obama forgot his keys –locked out of the White House gates

They tried to arrest him too, just like Henry Lois Gates

Police report says that he resisted –reached for the officer’s gun

He left them with no choice…

Run Black boy, run.

An original poem by Augustine Joseph

Shalom,

Auggie


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Educator. Blogger. Natural hair enthusiast. Augustine Joseph works as an english teacher and Uber driver on the weekends. He lives in North Jersey (home of the least approachable women in America). Follow him on IG: Auggie_89..

 


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Don'tmeme copy

The Secret to a Healthy Relationship

Like you, I’ve been bumpin’ Trap Soul heavy in the Nissan Rogue! Bryson Tiller’s down-to-earth, jaded yet vulnerable sound, is the perfect winter sound track for life in North Jersey (home of the least approachable women in America). He’s like Drake without the… Drake. Plus, those high drums tho: ttt-ttt-ttt-ttt- TAH-ttt-ttt-ttt!

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Anyway… the song “Don’t” is my jam. Still, there’s one line I disagree with: Bryson say’s. “If you were mine you would top everything.” While that rhymes nicely with, “Suicide in the drop switchin’ lanes” men who approach relationships with this mindset (that their S.O. is the important thing in their lives) eventually find themselves single again. Why? I’ll tell you why:

An emotionally healthy woman doesn’t actually want, like, or respect a guy that makes her his number one priority.

If you want a healthy and successful relationship, it is crucial for you to understand that space and time apart from bae, are good things.

Nothing grows well without space and air

 Relationship expert Meghan Rafael puts it this way:

In a healthy relationship, each person flourishes when there is a mix of time spent together as a couple, and time spent alone or with someone other than our partner. We also, though, have the responsibility to treat our partner with respect when arranging for space. We need to understand taking time to pursue individual hobbies or interests, spend time alone, or connecting with others impacts those we love. It’s important to recognize and respect this while not being constrained by it.

Basically, healthy adults don’t make other people the center of their lives. Notice that I said adults –it’s different for kids. Children are completely dependent on the people around them in order to get their needs met. Unfortunately, if a child’s emotional and physical needs aren’t met, they will often bring those unfulfilled needs into adulthood and attempt to “fill the void” with other people.

Bruh, it’s okay if you’d rather chill with friends this weekend. As a matter of fact, it’s healthy. As a matter of fact, it makes you more attractive to the person you’re with. I’ll let you in on a secret:

No woman actually wants to be number one in her man’s life! Does she want to be important? Yes. Does she want to be a priority? Absolutely. Does she want to be the most important thing in his life? Never.

It puts an unrealistic and unfair amount of pressure on the other person. Take her off the pedestal, bro. This goes for women too: although it sounds romantic, he shouldn’t be your everything.

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So What Should You Do?

I’m glad you asked. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Develop your relationships with other men. There are certain things that you can only learn from other men. Also, even though society tells us otherwise, you can (and should) get just as much love, fun, and fulfillment from male relationships, as you do with female relationships. The majority of men who seek validation from women have very few male friends. As a matter of fact, they tend to relate better to females. Here’s a secret: women are attracted to men with a lot of male friends. It let’s her know that other men respect you and that she’s got herself a winner! You’re welcome.
  2. Find your passion. Easier said than done. Still, you won’t have time to worry about the approval of women, if you’re busy enjoying your life. Part of the reason men seek validation from women is because they don’t have any worthwhile goals. If you need help finding your passion, here’s a good place to start: How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes.
  3. Deal with your issues. If this post resonated with you, you probably have some issues from childhood that you need to deal with. However, working on yourself is the most important work, even if you don’t get paid (shout out to Big Sean). You can start seeing a therapist, or, you can do what I do and read self development books. Not a big reader? Give Audio books a try. The point is, very few of us emerge from childhood unscathed. It’s important to deal with your issues so that you can be the best man, and eventually, be the best father that you can be.

Last but not least, if you’re tempted to make your S.O. the most important thing in your life, in the immortal words of Bryson Tiller, “…………………………………………………………………..…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Don’t”.

 

So what do ya’ll think? Is it true that no woman wants to be number one in her man’s life? Is Bryson Tiller’s album overrated? Is space and time apart healthy for a relationship? Like, comment, subscribe below!

Shalom,

Auggie


 

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Educator. Blogger. Natural hair enthusiast. Auggie works as an english teacher and Uber driver on the weekends. He lives in North Jersey (home of the least approachable women in America). Follow him on IG: Auggie_89.

 


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jrqmaido

Self Sabotage: Why Meek Mill Didn’t Just Stop Tweeting

It’s one thing to be an up-and-coming rapper, it’s another to have “ALL EYES ON YOU”. There’s “LEVELS TO THIS…” and with the release of his new album, relationship with superstar Nicki Minaj, and world tour, Meek Mill was on the cusp of a level of success that he hadn’t known before… So why ruin it all with one tweet? For the better part of late July, I was glued to my TL and Instagram, wondering what the heck was going to happen next with this crazy Drake/ Meek Mill Beef. As I witnessed Meek Mill destroy alter the trajectory of his career via social media, I wondered, “Why doesn’t he just stop tweeting?” As time wore on, I began to realize that Meek’s social media activity demonstrated classic signs of self-sabotage.

Bro’s self-sabotage is a HUGE but rarely spoken-of issue among Black men. In this post you’ll learn

  • 3 classic signs of self-sabatage
  • Why self-esteem is crucial for maintaining your your love life
  • Why you shouldn’t count Meek Mill out

Let’s get to it.

Self-sabotage: to have personal interest in a goal or cause of your own and to undermine it with action or activity that injures the outcome of the goal or cause.

Because this a men’s blog, and because I’m an English teacher and can’t ignore this opportunity for culturally relevant pedagogy, here’s “Self Sabotage: Why Meek Mill Didn’t Just Stop Tweeting” (adapted from article “The Seven Deadly Sins of Self-Saboteurs”).

  1. Self-saboteurs focus on the negative and ignore the positive: you’ve had the number one album in the country for two weeks –you’re dating Nicki Minaj –you’re on a world tour your girl’s tour. Why are you upset that Drake hasn’t tweeted your album? Self-saboteurs are most comfortable in the midst of struggle. They’re used to chasing dreams, i.e., Dream Chasers, but not actually catching them. They’re used to the pursuing but not actually achieving. They are most comfortable when involved in drama and negativity. If you can’t seem to enjoy success –if you always find a reason to complain –if you’re known for picking fights… You might be a person that practices self-sabotage.wpid-wp-1438444936603.jpeg
  2. Self-saboteurs are masters at procrastination. Nuff said, but I’ll say more. Do you find yourself consistently waiting until the last minute, no matter how important a project is? Do you have a pattern of waiting until there isn’t enough time to turn in your best work? Maybe you’re not procrastinating out of laziness… Maybe you’re procrastinating because you fear failure (or even more sinister) maybe you fear success! A lack of timely responses was the trademark of the dispute between Meek Mill and Drake. Meek’s response was promised (by him) and expected on July 27th (my sisters birthday –shoutout to Claudia); and yet, there wasn’t a response until July 30th (my birthday –shoutout to all my Leos). In case you need reminding, check out this recap of the entire beef. People who procrastinate usually do so because they’re trying to escape the fear and pressure that comes with performance. The thinking is, “I can’t fail if I don’t have enough time to do my best”. Remember, the response was promised by Meek Mill himself; therefore,  failure to deliver could only be the result of procrastination. After not meeting the self-imposed deadline, Meek suggested that “cashing out” (making money on tour) was the reason he didn’t record. However, why create that deadline in the first place unless you initially planned to meet it? The stakes were pretty high to produce a great record at this point. Perhaps out of a need to escape the pressure, procrastination ensued.
  3. Self-saboteurs drive people away. Are you the type of person who’s had life-long friends, or do people constantly come in and out of your life? In your romantic relationships, do you have a pattern of shutting down, becoming emotionally withdrawn, numbing your emotions, or pushing her away right when things start to get serious? If you do, maybe they didn’t do anything wrong. Instead, maybe you’re pushing them away because you fear being rejected. Meek trolled his fans. After failing to deliver the record that was promised on July 27th (procrastination). Instead of explaining why (or not saying anything at all) Meek trolled his fans by posting 15 seconds of somebody screaming. The thinking here is, “They can’t reject me if I reject them first”. People who engage in self-sabotaging behaviors don’t understand why they do the things the do, but if you look at their actions, it’s easy to see where it comes from.

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What can you Learn from Meek Mill?

Bros, this is important. Just because you achieve success (dating, financial, etc.,), it does not necessarily mean you’ll stay there. If your success and self-image don’t match up, you’ll always find a way to stay true to who you think you are –“As a man thinketh, so is he… (Proverbs 23:7)”. Self-sabotage is real, and it affects Black men in big and small ways, both individually and as a community.

There is a reason why 70% of people who win the lottery end up broke within 7 years. If you win 10 million dollars, but have a 10 thousand dollar attitude, you’ll always find a way to return to what you know best.

She might be the most beautiful, loyal, #fingersinthebooty (I’m talking to you Kanye) woman on the planet; however, certain men will always cheat. Why? Self-sabatage. Deep down, he doesn’t think he deserves her.

Self-acceptance and self-esteem are a pre-requisites if you’d like to maintain any type of success. It always comes back to your relationship with yourself and what you think you deserve. If you’d like to know how self-acceptance plays a role in your success, read this post.


Robert Rahmeek Williams (aka Meek Mill) has witnessed a very ugly side of humanity lately. To all of you who continue to practice compassion and refrain from participating in the mean-spirited things that are said about him, you’re doing the right thing.

To Robert Rahmeek Williams: I’m not counting you out. I know your story. You took yourself, your family, and your community to a higher level. You’ll bounce back. I hope all of this makes you better, stronger, and wiser.

What do y’all think? Did this entire feud happen because of self-sabotage? Does Meek Mill have a legitimate beef because Drake allegedly doesn’t write his own raps? Comment below!


Educator. Blogger. Natural hair enthusiast. Augustine Joseph works as an english teacher and Uber driver on the weekends. He lives in North Jersey (home of the least approachable women in America). Follow him on IG: enyo89.


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Your Confidence Will Never Grow Until You Start Practicing This (Part 1)

Chris’ parents seemed to notice every single mistake he ever made. There was always so much emotion and intensity when it came to pointing out his mistakes; but, when he did something good, they barely noticed –much less celebrated. Even their compliments were had a hint of judgment: “Good job… Why didn’t you do that all along?”

As an adult, Chris works extremely hard to “be somebody”. His co-workers admire his work ethic but wonder why he can’t seem to enjoy himself. Eventually, Chris receives a promotion and the office throws him a party to celebrate. For some reason, being publicly recognized always made him uncomfortable (compliments in general make him uncomfortable). After straining to make small-talk and “enjoy the moment”, Chris manages to sneak back to his office. He is exhausted. “This promotion is everything I’ve been working for” he wonders to himself, “I thought I’d be… happier.”

What Chris doesn’t realize is that he’s still trying to win his parents approval –that’s why he works so hard. Even more important though, he doesn’t have his own approval –that’s why he can’t enjoy his success.

There is a step zero when it comes to building your confidence. It is the sine qua non —meaning that without it nothing is possible –of being a bold and attractive man in the world. If you practice this, you’re more likely to take risks, have satisfying relationships, recover from setbacks. Also, as a Black man, if you practice this, you’re less likely experience depression, shame, guilt, and anger due to the micro-aggressions we encounter on a daily basis. Now if you don’t practice this… Well, you’re less likely to find satisfaction in anything that you do (yes, it’s that deep).

Before I give it away (see how I’m putting my English degree to work?) let’s do a test to see if you have it. Repeat the following phrase to yourself, then, take note of your immediate thoughts, feelings, and body language afterwards. Ready? Here it is: I LOVE & ACCEPT MYSELF FOR WHO I AM.

What happened after you said that? Did a smile slowly spread across your face? Did you nod your head in agreement? If you had a positive reaction… Well-well, mighty full of ourselves, aren’t we? JP. If not, you probably experienced one or more of the following:

  • Cringing
  • A general feeling of being uncomfortable
  • “I’ll accept myself once I…”
  • “Yeah, but I still don’t…”
  • “I can’t right now because…”
  • “Not until I..”

Guessed it yet? The thing you need to practice before you can grow in confidence, is Self-Acceptance. I like this definition by Dr. Leon F. Seltzer:

Though related, self-acceptance is not the same as self-esteem… self-esteem refers specifically to how valuable, or worthwhile, we see ourselves… When we’re self-accepting, we’re able to embrace all facets of ourselves–not just the positive, more “esteem-able” parts… Self-acceptance is unconditional, free of any qualification. We can recognize our weaknesses, limitations, and foibles, but this awareness in no way interferes with our ability to fully accept ourselves.


If my aim is to prove I am “enough,” the project goes on to infinity –because the battle was already lost on the day I conceded the issue was debatable.

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Bruh, your self-acceptance is not debatable or optional. Ideally, we’re supposed to gain our  self-acceptance from our parent’s unconditional acceptance of us. If you didn’t get that however, as an adult, you’re responsible for developing this within yourself.

Ever wonder how celebrities who achieve success, wealth, and fame could still be unhappy, or worse, commit suicide? The reason why is because it’s hard to enjoy your success when you were never on your own team to begin with.

If we wait to win our own approval, we’ll always lose. There are no shortcuts: the only way to gain self acceptance is by choosing to love and accept yourself for who you are, each and every day. No matter where you are in life, despite what you have or have not accomplished, whether you’ve lost the weight or not, even though you’ve made bad choices… YOU MUST MAKE THE DECISION TO BE ON YOUR OWN SIDE FROM HERE ON OUT. This is step zero.


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Here are 3 benefits of practicing self acceptance

  • You’ll find out that you were actually pretty great all along. What if you don’t need to add anything to your life in order to build confidence? What if you just have to uncover the confidence that was already there? Confidence is having a healthy sense of your strengths; however, It’s psychologically impossible to have a healthy sense of your strengths, if you have an unhealthy sense of your weaknesses.  Some men refrain from accepting themselves because of character defects. Their thinking is, once I change this, I’ll accept myself. However, by shunning yourself because of the bad, you’re literally also keeping yourself from seeing the good. We all have things we don’t like about ourselves. We should work to correct them. However, being overly critical of yourself is keeping you from gaining what you’re seeking in the first place. Confident men don’t underplay their strengths. By practicing self acceptance, you’ll reap the confidence that comes from actually being able to notice your strengths. They were there all along… Other people see them… Shouldn’t you?
  • You’ll be better with people: The only relationship you’re ever going to have with someone else, is the relationship you’re already having with yourself. If you shun yourself because of your own flaws, how do you think you’re going to deal with other people’s? Here’s a question: do satisfying relationships come from dealing with people who don’t make mistakes? Or do they come from accepting people in-spite of their mistakes? If you’re not satisfied with the relationships you currently have, maybe the answer isn’t finding new friends. Maybe the answer is learning to accept yourself, flaws and all (shoutout to Bey) so that you can do the same with others. You may come to find that you’ve been sitting on a goldmine of love this entire time.
  • Racist comments, stereotypes, and micro-aggressions will bounce off you like you’re wearing body armor. Let’s face it, unfortunately, there are forces and institutions that profit from Black men who don’t love themselves. Your lack of self-acceptance is a billion dollar industry. Athlete, entertainer, criminal: without self-acceptance –these are the 3 options society will give you. With a strong sense of self-love though, you’ll be free to express the unique individual that you were created to be. When you do encounter the ugliness of racism, stereotypes, and micro-aggressions, you won’t be affected. It doesn’t matter who hates when you already like you.

This is Part 1 of my series on self-acceptance. If you enjoyed what you read, make sure to follow, subscribe, and comment on the blog below.


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Shalom,

Auggie


This post features the photography of:  _chinkz & onedonbeatz. Follow them on instagram!


Here are some resources if you’d like to find out more about self-acceptance

“The Six Pillars of Self Esteem” –Nathaniel Brandon

Psychology Today article

Psycho Cybernetics –Maxwell Maltz


 

Educator. Blogger. Natural hair enthusiast. Augustine Joseph works as an english teacher and Uber driver on the weekends. He lives in North Jersey (home of the least approachable women in America). Follow him on IG: Auggie_89.


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Maintain Your Boundaries: 3 Reasons You Need to Become Like a Gated Community

A gate sends the message, “Theres something in here worth protecting.” If you don’t have boundaries, what message are you sending?

In life, there are two types of men: 

  1. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
  2. GATED COMMUNITY

Which type are you?

Think about places that are truly open to the public – – where people come and go unsupervised – – parking lots, parks, alleys, beaches, the woods, etc. If you stick around these places long enough, if you take just a slightly closer look, what do you usually find? Garbage – – they’re tagged up – – nefarious activities take place, and occasionally… You find urine.

In the same way, open-to-the-public-type men have very loose, or maybe no qualifications for the who they allow in their circle. They excuse others who mistreat them, don’t define or communicate their needs, and often act against their values in order to please others.

Even though open-to-the-public men are seeking happiness by being overly-agreeable to everybody, they are actually unhappy because first and foremost, they don’t agree with themselves.

Ironically, even though nobody really hates this type of dude, nobody really loves him either –they’re “meh” about him. Also, just like any place that’s largely unsupervised, he’s vulnerable to figuratively getting pissed on by manipulative people who take advantage of his “kindness”…  See how I came back to that metaphor?


Characteristics of a gated community: exclusivity and a code of conduct. Every gated community has a code of conduct. The members of this community gladly adhere to and enforce this code of conduct. Also, they revel in the exclusivity of their neighborhood.

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The gated-community-type man behaves in the same way: he has a code of conduct that is meticulously defined, communicated, and enforced. Because of this, members of his circle gladly follow the code of conduct – -they know the expectations – – more than likely have those same expectations for them selves, and as a matter of fact, they view being associated with this man as a privilege.

Which would you rather be, open-to – the-public, or a gated community?

THE 3 REASONS YOU NEED TO BECOME LIKE A GATED COMMUNITY:

  • Save yourself time, energy, and frustration. It’s a misconception that people with strong personal boundaries are closed off, stuck up, and unfriendly. Their not. Rather, there is a code of conduct that benefits everybody involved. Don’t believe me? Think about the last time you were in a place that you knew you didn’t belong…  Did you enjoy it? Weren’t you frustrated? Didn’t you start thinking up ways to change the environment so that it better suited you? In the same way, people who don’t belong in your circle will not enjoy their stay there (AND NEITHER WILL YOU). They’ll be frustrated, uncomfortable, and will start thinking of a number of ways to change things (AND SO WILL YOU). This is because boundaries exist for a reason. They let people know where they belong and where they don’t. By maintaining strong boundaries, you’re actually being kind to people who don’t belong in your life because (A) you’ll either save them time and frustration, or (B) YOU’LL MAKE THEM TO STEP THEIR GAME UP IN ORDER TO RUN WITH YOU! I need to say that again:

MAINTAINING STRONG PERSONAL BOUNDARIES WILL CAUSE PEOPLE TO STEP THEIR GAME UP IN ORDER TO BE IN YOUR CIRCLE. IRON SHARPENS IRON.

  • You’ll know what it feels like to be cherished. The people who dwell in your circle will take pride in the exclusivity of their relationship with you –they’ll actually work to maintain your boundaries. Want proof? Try dating a girl with high self-esteem. Not only do you have to pass her tests, you also have to pass with her friends, family, mentors, pastor, and twitter followers (JK). Seriously though, the people in her circle cherish her; therefore, they won’t allow just anybody in the circle. IT SHOULD BE THE SAME FOR YOU!  Don’t you want that for yourself? Don’t you want the people in your life to g-check anybody trying to dwell within your gates? This only comes with maintaining strong personal boundaries. You’ll never know what it feels like to be cherished, until you start cherishing your own time and values.

BY MAINTAINING STRONG PERSONAL BOUNDARIES, PEOPLE WILL WORK TO MAINTAIN YOUR BOUNDARIES FOR YOU. WANT PROOF? TRY DATING A GIRL WITH HIGH SELF-ESTEEM

  • You’ll be a far more attractive man. When I say attractive, I don’t strictly mean in the romantic sense –although that’s true too (-; … What I mean is that you’ll attract the people who belong in your life at a much faster clip (think regular magnet vs. electro-magnet). This is because people who are willing to live by your code of conduct more than likely have the same code as well. They see themselves in you; therefore, they want to be around you. There is a universal law which states, YOU ARE WHO YOU ATTRACT. The people who dwell in your life are a reflection of some aspect of your character, one way or another. And yet, if you’re not a clearly defined person –if you don’t maintain strong convictions and boundaries –if you’re vague… People will only be vaguely attracted to you. Are you the type of person who has had life-long friends, or do people constantly come in and out of your life? Do you find it difficult to make new friends or become friends with men you admire? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you probably need to do some work defining your boundaries. In an attempt to be well-liked and to gain friends, sometimes we’re passive and let people abuse our boundaries. However, ironically, by not being clear about who we are and what we stand for, we actually repel people. This is no surprise because we’re literally not giving them anything to like… The most attractive things in life  are exclusive, you should be as well. Vague people get vague results. If you want stronger relationships (counterintuitively) build stronger boundaries. The people who love you will REALLY love you; however, be warned, the people who don’t like you will REALLY not like you as well. The good news is, you won’t care.

THE EXCLUSIVITY OF GATED COMMUNITY MAKES PEOPLE WANT TO BE THERE AND STAY THERE. IF YOU WANT STRONGER RELATIONSHIPS (COUNTERINTUITIVELY) BUILD STRONGER PERSONAL BOUNDARIES.


So, you’ve just read my 3 reasons why you should behave as a gated community, instead of open to the public, they are:

  1. You’ll save yourself time, energy, and frustration
  2. You’ll know what it feels like to be cherished
  3. You’ll be a far more attractive man.

The one thing I want to make clear is that having boundaries isn’t an excuse to treat people poorly, or keep everyone at a distance. Some people seem like they have boundaries, but really, they’re just insecure. They have an attachment issue and close everybody out because they’re afraid of being hurt once they let people in. That’s vastly different from what I’m talking about.

Do you agree or disagree? Should we be more like gated communities? Like, comment, subscribe below.

It’s very important for bloggers to recieve likes, follows, and subscriptions – – that’s how the blog grows and and the content improves. You wouldn’t leave a restaurant without tipping the waiter would you? Please tip the blogger and like, follow, and Subscribe below!

~Shalom~

If you’d like to read more about establishing boundaries.

  1. Check out my future blog post: How to Establish Personal Boundaries
  2. Checkout the book/ audiobook “Psycho-cybernetics” by Dr. Maxwell Maltz/ “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Educator. Blogger. Natural hair enthusiast. Augustine Joseph works as an english teacher and Uber driver on the weekends. He lives in North Jersey (home of the least approachable women in America). Follow him on IG: enyo89.


PS: you gonna hop in them comments, or naw? Is you gonna like, share & subscribe, or naw? Or naw? Or naw?