“Life After Death” – The Notorious B.I.G.

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Oh, Christopher Wallace, how I adore thee. Y’all were selling dope as a kid, and you moved up to millionaire status with your music. You kept a realistic self-image and stayed honest. You left us too soon, bud.

 

This is good business/life advice, dealer or not.

Number 3, never trust no-bo-dy
Your moms’ll set that ass up, properly gassed up
Hoodied and masked up, shit, for that fast buck
She be laying in the bushes to light that ass up

Number 6, that goddamn credit? Dead it
You think a crackhead paying you back, shit forget it!

Niggas bleed just like us
Picture me bein’ scared of a nigga that breathe the same air as me
Niggas bleed just like us
Picture me bein’ shook
We can both pull burners, make the muthafuckin’ beef cook
Niggas bleed just like us
Picture a nigga hidin’
My life in that man hands, while he jus’ decidin’
Niggas bleed just like us
I’d rather go toe to toe with all of y’all
Runnin’ ain’t in my protocol

Err…actually, my entire in real life protocol is based around runnin’…But I can dream, can’t I?

Emit a thick cloud of love like an octopus squirts out ink

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It was a wise old queen—Bobo, we called her—who taught me that I had a duty to live and to bear my burden proudly for all to see, to conquer prejudice and ignorance and hate with knowledge and sincerity and love. Whenever you are threatened by a hostile presence, you emit a thick cloud of love like an octopus squirts out ink . . .

-William S. Burroughs

“Love after Love” – Derek Walcott

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The time will come when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving at your own door,
in your own mirror and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here.
Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

“All the Hemispheres” – Hafiz

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Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out
Like a welcomed season
Onto the meadows and shores and hills.
Open up to the Roof.
Make a new watermark on your excitement
And love.
Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness and giving
Upon our intimate assembly.
Change rooms in your mind for a day.
All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.
Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
Back home.
All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire chatting
While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of
You.

Forgiveness

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Forgiveness is a crucial part of learning how to deal with difficult people. You must forgive the difficult person, and you must forgive yourself for feeding into their behavior. Before you get upset, let me explain. As a society, we have been taught that forgiveness is a sign of weakness. In truth, it is the total opposite. It takes real inner strength to forgive and let go. Forgiveness doesn’t free the other person from the consequences of their actions. Instead, it releases you from the negative cycle of emotions that difficult people use to perpetuate abuse.

“Difficult People: Strategies for Dealing with Toxic People”, Luke Gregory