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90s Rap: When I need to get back up, keep fighting, and bring balance to my spiritual life

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Years ago, I went so far in the direction of “high-vibe, spiritual life” that I got rid of every CD I had, that was even remotely “bad.” balanced life

This included my extensive collection of rap.

I grew up in the 90s with some really great rap music, and always resonated with it.

I resonated most with the attitude: The “f you” attitude–in the face of constraints, control, injustice, etc.

eminem, till i collapse, motivation, get back up

Eminem’s music has picked me up off the floor many times. This song in particular, “Till I Collapse,” has motivated me to continue. Not just the lyrics, but the energy that wrote them; the energy of Marshall Mathers, who does, indeed, get back up and keep fighting. Excerpted from the song: “‘Cause sometimes you just feel tired, you feel weak. And when you feel weak you feel like you want to just give up. But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength And just pull that sh*t out of you and get that motivation to not give up. And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you want to just fall flat on your face and collapse.”

 

I resonated with it especially when I needed to emote. I’m an empath, a Gemini chameleon, and a kinesthetic—I learn through experience and I feel deeply. The energy of certain rap allowed me to express the things that teenage me couldn’t otherwise get out.

As a teen, where exactly do you go to vent your anger?  Not in class.  Not at home.  Maybe with friends.  Definitely in the privacy of your Jimmy…music cranked, singing along to some expressive lyrics.

So rap was part of my life for a long time.

 

My Own Hypocrisy

Enter the spiritual life, though, and I realized one day that the lyrics and some of the energy went contrary to everything I believed, and all that I was trying to change in the world.  balanced life

Specifically, I’d been listening to one of my favorite songs by Raekwon, simultaneously mad at a guy for his misogynistic behavior, and was hit with the fact that I was supporting such behavior–albeit passively–by singing about it.

I was part of the problem.

So I literally destroyed and threw away every CD that was contrary to the end goal–a world of unity, respect, compassion, and equality.

And then I waited for the “new world” to arrive. And waited. And waited…

I waited for years like this, denying myself anything that wasn’t “pure” and loving.  Holding space for the rest of the world to come up to where I was.  (I know, it was perhaps misguided.)

 

Too High(-Vibe)

Finally, I was genuinely too high—barely in the body, barely walking the Earth.  I needed something to bring me back down here.

I bought a couple dozen rap songs off of iTunes.

And I thoroughly enjoyed being reunited with the homies.

And now, these songs keep me balanced.  They keep me grounded and connected to the energy of who I was, at the times when the purely spiritual life is a little…bland?

 

Focused, But Also Balanced and Realistic

Today, specifically, I’m reliving some fun (and clean) memories from high school, with Westside Connection.

Straight outta Compton…and my high-school days.

 

Balance matters.

We’re working towards a better, more equal, more just, and more fulfilling world. But that’s a) not here at the moment, and b) not likely to arrive in the near future.

So we stay committed to the path, but maybe take a detour every once in awhile.

How do you integrate spirituality into your life?

How do you stay balanced in both worlds?

 

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