Tag Archives: self-awareness

The Mason Betha Devotional: Book of Harlem World, Chapter Six

Every Monday I will share an anecdote and/or existential life lesson based on teachings from your favorite rapper’s favorite pastor, Ma$e.

“If you got a girl, don’t be real committed. ‘Cause Ma$e will hit it. You got-ta deal with it.” 

In 1997, the Player Hater’s Parable, also known as “Lookin’ At Me,” was considered groundbreaking. While dancing around a convertible, his name in lights, and next to a woman buried in sand, Betha revealed several life lessons from a first-person perspective. Without faith and following P. Diddy who made him pretty, the rapper of the cloth never would have had to ask a hater “Why you don’t like me? Because I’m mad fly and icey?”

Contrary to Genius’ claims, Rev’s last two lines of the second verse were not a tale of his ability to take “your” girl and get to know her in a biblical sense. The message was one of self-awareness and one’s place within the universe. It was the Harlem way of saying “Faith without works is dead.”

Whether we believe in a benevolent and omnipresent supreme being or the spirit of the cosmos, something and someone out there is guiding us all. No ideas are our own; the Universe puts ideas into the air and it is up to us to complete them. 

You ever have that million dollar idea and for one reason or another sat on it for too long? Shortly after, someone always makes a ton of money-or acquires success-with the same vision as yours. Well, the answer is simple, you didn’t commit. 

M-A-Dollar-Sign-E knew this from a first-hand experience. He knew that his life’s work would be to deliver souls with a powerful message the youth could dance to. However, as a member of the Children of the Corn[er], he fashioned himself as the baby-faced gangsta, Murda Mase. A chance meeting with prophet Sean “Puffy” Combs changed everything. Hip Hop’s landscape was changing and Puff needed a messenger more palatable-and less hideous looking-than Craig Mack to balance Biggie Smalls.

At first, Mase was hesitant of changing his image and needed convincing. Had he not bought into the program, Puff would have found someone else to preach the truth and the light while frolicking in shiny leather suits. Without acting on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Mason Betha could have been in his apartment on 140th St and Lenox Ave, seeing someone else saving souls on in Las Vegas on BET. With or without the good reverend, “Feel So Good” was coming to fruition. 

While there are many lessons to learn from “Lookin’ At Me” aka The Sermon by the Bentley, its overall message is one of self-awareness. Even if a player hater is over there looking at you while ya girl-or man-is standing there, you have been correctly following the path that the divine has set for you. If not, someone else-Mase-will and you’ve got to deal with it.

Be blessed.


Meme Crush Monday: The Truth About Overthinking


Today’s Meme Crush Monday is sponsored by…I don’t remember because I’ve had it saved in my phone for quite some time.  So, thanks to whomever my Facebook friend is that posted it.

Overthinking is self-explanatory.  Often, thinking excessively about one particular circumstance gets a bad rap.  It has a negative connotation because typically, when people overthink, the result is unhappiness.

The mind is incredibly powerful.  We have experiences that continuously shape our perspective of the world, yet often we become a slave to our thoughts.  Dwelling for an extended period of time often begins a chain of thoughts that lead to downward spiral in one’s happiness.  First, an event occurs.  Then it affects us.  We then have to process how we feel about it.  We recall similar instances that have made us feel a similar way.  We relive all of these moments, including the most recent incident…and typically this is where everything ends until there is a new stimulus.

Everyone has an inflated opinion about themselves.  We think that we are both more amazing than we truly are and we also perceive ourselves to be lesser, as well.  People seek to validate both the yin and yan that creates this balance.  This hyperbolic sense of self motivates us to do the things we do.

Here’s an example: I often say that I have a phobia of commitment with regards to relationships.  It’s a blanket statement that is incredibly inaccurate.  Most of my behavioral patterns scream commitment.  I have been writing almost five times a week for this site for nearly four years, I am raising my daughter to the best of my knowledge and ability, and a million other things.  The truth of the matter is that I am very choosy about what I commit to.  So until someone comes along that I deem worth it, I’ll attract temporary “situationships” that are riddled in drama to validate the self-fulfilling prophecy of “I have a phobia of commitment.”

Knowledge isn’t power…applied knowledge is.  If you were to type “overthink” into Google, a million articles, think pieces, and memes would be advising you how to not do so.  Fuck that.  Overthinking is a part of human nature.  Our brains are wired to meticulously analyze data and there is an emotional bi-product from it.  Suggesting that people shouldn’t overthink is like saying “you shouldn’t take a shit when your stomach hurts.”

Overthinking is the cause of unhappiness because people often stop at overthinking into unhappiness.  Some of the most revered music, literature, art, and so on have been inspired by dark moments, deep reflection, and *pauses for dramatic effect* overthinking.

I overthink almost everything.  I pay attention to what people say, show they say it, the timbre in their voice, their body language, what they were wearing, how they were standing, if someone said something in a text message I am trying to read it in a manner based on their behavioral patterns to keep myself from interpreting something with bias, etc.  Hell, the way that I process everything is that I run the gamut of possibilities and then predict outcomes based on the behaviors of the people involved.  If the outcome I desired-or didn’t predict or seventeen other things-didn’t occur, I will analyze every little thing trying to figure out what I missed so that I can be aware if something similar happens again.

I allow myself to go through the gauntlet of emotions that come along with overthinking.  Processing data excessively is one of my greatest assets.  I will put myself through the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical gauntlet until I come up with a plan.  If this is something that I do naturally as a human being and by nature, have conditioned myself to process information this way…why stop at the unhappiness phase?  Fuck that.

If you overthink-of course you do because you’re human-do that.  If you need to talk to someone, then do so.  If one person is tired of hearing about it, find someone else.  If there is no one else to talk to, write it down.  If you can’t write it down, pray about it.  Mull over everything over and over and over and over again.  Eventually, you’ll come up with a brilliant plan..or the “Aha moment,” as Oprah would call it.  Whenever that internal light bulb goes off, it’s almost always a happy moment, right?

Overthinking is mental judo.  Wrestle with it and use its own momentum against itself.  You are just simply the facilitator.