Happy Mother’s Day everyone. This is my tribute to my mom-
Mother taught me by frs
Mother taught me
Mother taught me to respect everyone No matter the hate they spewed across the universe No matter the differences in opinion they may have had No matter if they showed me disrespect or torment Mother taught me
Mother taught me to smile Even though I was dying inside Even though I was severely depressed Even though I was haunted by constant memories of heartache, abuse, and pain Mother taught me
Mother taught me to rise above the nonsense and ignore others’ opinions of me Even though the words cut deeper than the physical attacks that left cuts and bruises Even though they beat me down like a stray dog that was stealing food from a child Even though they bullied me to the point of exhaustion, to the point of death Mother taught me
Mother taught me about inner beauty and identity Even though my family deemed me a black sheep and pushed me aside Even though I feared looking in the mirror every day to see a hideous creature staring back at me Even though I am reminded by my past every time I see the scars on my face Mother taught me
Mother taught me how to be a human being, rather than a societal example of manhood Even though I was taunted by others who deemed me too feminine Even when I tried to change and become a socially masculine stud Even when I knew I was living a lie that destroyed me inside Mother taught me
Mother taught me to stand up for what I believe in and to always do the right thing Even when the corrupt preach superiority and Darwinist dogma Even when our political leaders fail the people whom they are elected to serve Even when it is not popular to advocate for the vulnerable, needy, and disenfranchised Mother taught me
My mother taught me it was ok not to be perfect My mother taught me by example My mother taught me forgiveness Mother taught me
By Forrest Robert Stepnowski (From soon to be released “Broken Beautiful”)
How much more are we willing to tolerate?
How many more heartbreaks must our tribe endure?
We’ve become reclusive
Self-care becomes, a mystery
Almost a pipedream
We are glued to the news and social media
Witnessing crimes against humanity
Witnessing deaths from the virus, suicide, and violence
Violence on people who look different from the heteronormative Anglo-Saxon “beauty”
When does the chaos end?
When will the reality check finally sink in?
When will the political system stop apologizing without action?
Today, George can find peace
His truth has prevailed, and his family can find comfort
Today, justice has been served after many decades of cover ups and “justifications”
The system has started to correct itself
But this is not enough
Where are our points of light?
Where are those individuals who brought us joy, encouragement, and inspiration?
You knew them well…
Points of light are the prismatic stained-glass windows of our soul
They gleam positivity, hope, and unconditional love
They radiate a rainbow that touches our souls, hearts, and minds
In our isolation, we have lost our light
When will our society begin to heal and find comfort in one another?
No matter what differences we are perceived to have
No matter our culture
No matter our skin color or shape of our eyes
No matter our differences
We all bleed red
We need to abolish the chaos of hate and indifference
We need to inhale commonsense deeply and exhale the toxicities our forebears “taught us”
Our history is not our broken crutch or “story of victory”
Our history is our journal, so that we may learn from our mistakes
And move forward into a journey of discovery and progress
Our history is a tool to do better and not our “how to live life for dummies”, or a roadmap
Roadmap to travel down the same yellow brick road, just because Aunty Dorothy did
She would expect more from us
She would expect us to ride the rainbow away from the dark
She would expect us to continue the stories and help others grow, in solidarity
To tell stories that share both good and bad
To reach the human heart in order to achieve greatness and innovation
Honest dialog, not whitewashed…
It is not our history that holds us back
But our belief that its education is our pathway to our future
We the people…
We the people were born from immigrants, with different skin colors, religions, and experiences
We the people were misogynists, slaves, slave owners, masterminds of genocide, or interned captives
We the people must learn that our past is NOT our future
The past are the bricks that our forebears laid on our cobblestone roadway
The roadway we continue to march on in protest, in celebration, and in unity
In search of our points of light, once again
Thank you for stopping by! Please stay tuned for the upcoming release of my new poetry collection “Broken Beautiful”. “Broken Beautiful” is a poetic reflection of our lives over the past year. The collection is filled with positive affirmations, perceptions on the state of our society, and reflections on our well-being related to living through COVID-19.
My site “Forrest takes a journey” is a safe place for all to explore their feelings about recent events, self care/positive affirmations, and other controversial topics. Please feel free to comment below, but please remain respectful and accepting of others who may have differing views.
Stay tuned for the next #Vlogcast “Forrest takes a journey” Episode 2 ‘Say Their Names” on Saturday April 24, 2021 on both YouTube and IGTV. Look forward in talking with you all!
As some of you know, I have on a journey to become healthier and more fit after a long year of making poor eating choices. In reality, it’s been a lifetime of making poor choices, just saying.
Today, #Noom had me do an assignment related to “writing my story”. One would think this would be right up my alley, however, I found it more difficult than one would expect. I had to publicly become vulnerable, which I think is hard for many of us.
Noom had the story assignment broken up in three parts- below is what I wrote today, and I hope my truth resonates with all of you as you read it.
“While dealing with the rapture of Covid at my facility I work at, I made food choices that were convenient instead of healthy and became significantly obese. I became ashamed at myself and couldn’t even look in the mirror.
My long distance partner lives three hours away, my coworkers and care team I manage, and my housemates friends have all become supportive of my decision to become healthy. They are positive cheerleaders right now. I am my own worse critic however. I have allowed my own thoughts get the better of me and fooled myself into thinking what I believe others thinks of me. Unfortunately, I did received some criticism about my journey to promote healthy living and help inspire others. They said, “you are a joke”, or “you are not accomplish your goals”. I had to return back to a quote I used to live by, “other’s people perception of me is none of my business”. This quote comes from Author and motivator, Lisa Nichols.
It’s not the fear of failing that hinders me, it’s the fear of success. I find myself trapped in a world that comes from the negative voices from my past. The ones that said, “you can never make a difference”, “you will never become a writer”, or “you will never become an innovator and motivator”. I believed these voices for a very long time. Even though I have two poetry anthologies published, even though I run a healthcare program that many said could not be achieved that specializes in long term care behavioral memory care, and even though I have survived so many things in my life, I still await the past to drop a hammer on all that I have achieved. Even though I am now 248lbs from 307lbs, I still have the fear of “what will happen when I get to my goal weight and fitness goals? In reality, I have a great support system. In reality, I have forgiven the people from my past who abused or verbally scarred me. This is about the scares themselves and not the control others had on me at one time. It’s about not being afraid to publicly and privately celebrate the accomplishments and embracing my strength that has always been there to not fear, but embrace the positives.”
Reflection: Some people may wonder why there is not a conclusion to this message. That’s because my story is still moving forward. My story does not end just because one chapter has ended as another begins. For you see, life is a revolving door and although there are some who try to close the door on you, keep walking through that doorway . My journey to health and well-being does not end with me reaching my goals. It ends with all of us by continuing the the stories we jointly hold in our hearts, minds, and souls.
As some of you know, I have been on a journey to become a healthier person. This is more than becoming physically fit, but mentally fit as well. I have survived much in my life, but this does not mean I am not broken sometimes.
I have fought depression and PTSD most of my life. Some of my junior and high school friends can vouch for some of this as some of them saw me at the worst time of my life. I have even entered in toxic relationships because I was fearing loneliness and silence. Silence sometimes is the best medicine.
At 46 years old, this is probably the first time I have truly focused on my own well being. I take medications, and have been to the therapy a few times over the years, but now I am practicing what I have preached for a long time. Self care…
This is me telling my story not for pity, but to spark inspiration and to show others they are not alone. To inspire others to treat themselves with kindness and self respect. I do this through my poetry, blog posts, and coming soon, my vlog YouTube posts.
My hope is that I am laying groundwork for my friends, family, and loved ones that are struggling now with either mental illness or physical illness, so that they will do what they need to do to take care of themselves. For those who do not know how to start, there are resources for you. I am always a call or message away.
I hope you are remaining safe and healthy. This past year brought many ups and downs for all us. Many of my friends and colleagues have struggled with loneliness, depression, and anxiety for many different reasons. For me, I began a new journey on February 1 and have started the Arbonne 30-day health challenge. I have also joined NOOM to assist my journey this past week. I have even cut out dairy and gluten, which has surprisingly increased my energy levels, and my own battle with depression.
At the end of January, I weighed the heaviest I have ever weighed in my life, peaking over 300#. Last week, I reweighed myself and was happy thus far with the result, weighing in at 292#. I am still a work in progress and have a long way to go. My health, wellness, and mental state are my priority, and for the first time I do not feel selfish about it.
I have been writing a journal about my path, and plan on sharing the excerpts as time progresses. I know I am not the only only one going through this struggle, but my hope is to inspire others to take the challenge and focus on their own well being.
On another note, I have almost completed the first draft of my new poetry collection, “Broken Beautiful.” For those who have been asking when it will be completed, it should be out sometime this spring. I will keep you posted. #shamelessplug
I hope everyone has a blessed day. Be kind to others, but above all else be kind to yourself. There is only one of you and I can guarantee there is someone or someones in your life who look to you for positivity, love, and support.
New poet works- hope you enjoy. It’s a little bit of inspiration for all of us.
Year of the Fire By Forrest Robert Stepnowski
I sit here wondering my self worth, gifts, and strength Fighting demons that once tried to tear me down Fighting my past failures Fighting my present doubts and mental fatigue So I may rise up in my future Am I beautiful? Am I sexy? Am I intelligent and compassionate? Am I a voice of reason, hope, logic, and power? Yes I am the reimagined flame that fuels change and opportunity I am all the colors of the rainbow, vibrant and filled with the auras of confidence and competence I am the written word that inspires many to greatness I am the Phoenix who has risen from ashes and dust, over and over again I am the guardian of the silent and vulnerable I am the year of the fire The fire that burns away sadness, darkness, and negativity The fire that destroys and defies the bullying voices of time wishes it could forget The fire that ignites within my body, mind and soul Yes Queen! I am THAT fire