I am The Prince of Hearts. Love has always been the current that has carried me throughout my life. When I think of the question “Who am I”, nowadays the first thing that comes to my heart is love. I am beautiful and divine as is everyone around me. I no longer just think of myself in terms of one person but truly innerstand the South African saying “I am because we are”. As I like to say “I see no one but myself”. There’s such a beauty to see there’s no separation and that we are all connected. Everyone is my divine reflection. Yet each of us is unique and have our own stories to tell. My story begins in Oakland California. Born on the day of March 14th in the year 2000. The year of the dragon. A Pisces(sun), Cancer(moon) and Scorpio(ascendant). All of the water signs in one. A mix of Fire and Water. Pisces are said to be the oldest sign of the zodiac and inherit traits from all the signs. This always resonated so much to me. I have always been highly sensitive. Fluid like water adapting to any environment and being able to connect with anyone. For as long as I can remember not only have I always loved people but people always loved me. My calm aura allowed those around me to be themselves and tell me their deepest darkest secrets. Something that I am honored to say. I’m blessed to say I’ve been there for others when they needed me. Simply having someone to talk to. What people always loved about me is the fact I know how to listen. I listen because I care. Love is in the details. A lot of things I do for others are without thought and I do it because I simply have a good heart. I can put my own problems and troubles aside to be there for someone I love. It is because it hurts me to see them suffer more than it does myself. I am blessed to be a natural healer. I should also note I am literally a naturally goofy person, my mom told me I was born with a smile on my face. No joke. I wasn’t born crying. I was born laughing. This sums up who I am. In a beautiful and symbolic way. I’m a child that finds joy in the littlest things. I quite often have a smile on my face. Clever and wise but never unteachable. Never unopened to knowledge gained from others no matter what walk of life they come from. Forever a student of life.
I have always been very intelligent yet for a long time I was lost in the dark. Knowledge without wisdom proves to be of no real use and value. Such is the blessing and curse of the mind. For so long I have always been a prisoner of my mind. Trapped in the cage of my own head. My own ego. The monkey in my mind plagued me for so long. I desperately wanted to master my mind. I wanted to be in control of my thoughts. I would constantly overthink so many things, the greatest thing being myself. The question of “Who am I” arose naturally as I wanted to be in control of my mind. To be the master of anything you have to be the master of yourself. You must know who you are. For so long I was lost in the dark because I wanted to discover who I was. I dealt with depression and anxiety as a result of this. Both of which are quite natural. The plague of being a human being. One that I took on to the utmost. The journey of discovering my true self led me down a colorful road that was both very dark and light. In one of my darkest moments I completely lost myself and became frightened to a level I never experienced before. I was in a total state of panic. I was having my second panic attack ever and this one was leading me to believe that I was terribly suffering and in a process of somehow being critically ill or dead. It felt like I was dying. Physically, spiritually and mentally. This has always been one of my worst fears. Losing control. Falling apart. And at that moment I felt like I was falling apart into a million pieces. It felt like I was losing sense of reality. I suffered throughout the years of my life in more subtle ways. One heavily being in my communication with others. I constantly overthought everything to the way they would perceive me to the way my voice sounded. I questioned myself all the time. It led to me having low self esteem that I disguised as being humble. At some point in my life I became very afraid of myself. Afraid of my intelligence. Afraid of the light that shined so brightly within me. Afraid of my own power and potential. It seemed all too good to be true. I honestly struggled with the weight of knowing how great I was. Such is the blessing and curse of having knowledge without wisdom. I constantly held myself to such a high standard that was impossible to meet. Even worse, I was attached to this idea of what I thought I needed to be. I held myself to these ridiculous expectations and everytime I didn’t live up to them…I hated myself. I hated the fact I couldn’t be the man I knew I could be. I hated how much of a coward I was. I hated how I lived in fear instead of facing it. In the belief that I wasn’t good enough by my own standards. It ultimately led to my abuse and eventual addiction to substances.
I finally stopped running from myself. The only enemy I ever lost to in life was myself. Running away from the light I was afraid of so much. I was immersed in the dark for so long it felt like. It felt like when I hit rock bottom that there was no way to ever recover. Till this day I truly wonder how I ever got myself to get out of that rabbit hole. I hold it true in my heart that the biggest inspiration was love. Specifically my desire to be with my true love. The one I want to spend my life with. “Love is never small to those who discover it for the first time.”(His Dark Materials(HBO)). I knew in order to ever truly be with the girl of my dreams that I would have to be worthy of such a blessing. I knew I was a mess and falling apart. Asleep to myself. Afraid of my own light. Thus I began my healing journey. I decided that I wanted to be the man I knew I could always be. It wasn’t an overnight transformation by any means. I swore to myself that I would change time and time again. I broke my word more times than I can remember. I lost faith in my own word so when I finally made that change it wasn’t so much of me saying I would just change but I swore to myself that my actions would reflect my words. That I would take it one step at a time. For too long I hesitated on walking the path because I couldn’t get past the shame of me being in the position I was in in the first place. Internally I felt like I just wasn’t worthy of all the power I had. If I were then how could I ever fall so low in the first place? I didn’t know just how wrong I was in that thought. For years I couldn’t get myself to take that first step. My 10th grade chemistry teacher once told my class something that has always stayed with me. He said that in order to ever make any real change, you have to make that change in the moment it’s most hardest to do so. The moment you really don’t want to. It’s in that moment that taking the step is the most necessary in order to walk a new path. Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be a warrior. More so I wanted to be a hero. In mind, body, and spirit. I was ashamed of the fact that due to me dwelling so heavily in the spirit and mind that I neglected my body around the age of 15. I was terribly out of shape and wanted to respect my body as a temple. I started to train and condition my body again. Connecting with nature is one of the most therapeutic ways of healing I discovered. I always loved nature to an extreme of sorts. I consider myself to be a nature boy and it was with the company and love of my dog I got at 19 that really gave me peace and strength. Taking those walks with my dog. Seeing the joy and energy he had awakened the beast within me. The wild kid that loved climbing trees and running as fast as he could. Connecting with nature brought me back to trusting my instincts and not using my head so much. I started to explore the depths of my heart like never before. This healing journey wasn’t just about one day falling in love with the girl of my dreams… It was about falling in love with myself. Not holding myself to the past versions of who I once was. So with my dog by my side I slowly but surely started to improve my physical condition. Exercise and conditioning was a big part of it but even more so was my step away from smoking and popping pills. The reason I loved those substances so much was because for those few but powerful moments in time where I was “high”…nothing else mattered. I could be anything I wanted in the safety of my own imagination. I love my imagination and I started to build a cage inside my head that led me away from reality. A part of me wanted to bring that feeling of bliss and joy to everyday life. I wanted to actually achieve my dreams. So I quit taking ecstasy pills at the end of 2021. I was addicted to those pills for a few years. It started mid 2018. To truly heal and recover from all the damage I put myself through as a result of my addiction; I decided to stop smoking as well. In total I was sober for 6 months of 2022. Something I could never have imagined I’ll do. Presently I have completely stopped popping pills and started to intentionally smoke. Affirming that I love myself, I honor myself, I respect myself, I trust myself, and last but not least I value myself. Smoking became a ceremony that aligned with healing. Song and dance became a sacred prayer. One formed from within my heart. I pray everyday. If I claimed to have any religion it would be love. When I sing it’s a prayer, when I dance it’s a prayer, when I write it’s a prayer. When anyone asks me how I ever quit my addiction…how I ever changed my life for the better…my answer will forever be love.
Once I stopped letting my head stop my heart from moving. When I started to trust my gut and intuition again. When I started to love myself again. When I stopped running away from my light and I finally let it shine. Overcoming the grip my mind and ego had on me ultimately led to my death and rebirth. I went to the edge and fell hard but the person who managed to climb back up was completely transformed. The new me stopped trying to control all my thoughts. The new me didn’t care about the opinions of others. I no longer was a prisoner of others’ thoughts or my own. I started to let my thoughts flow. Little by little the noise in my head didn’t bother me anymore. I started to use my mind in ways I never did before. The concept of Zen and “No Mind” definitely influenced me into being present in the moment. To allow myself to grow and change. I realized that the whole time I thought something was missing…everything was already within me. I rediscovered the power I had within me. I knew I successfully overcame my struggle with mental health when I finally let go. Let go of all the expectations I held on too far too much. There’s nothing wrong with having expectations and desires. What was wrong was me being attached to them. I no longer hate myself for not living up to any expectation. I only hold myself to staying true to all of who I am. The pretty. The ugly. The dark and light. I love all of myself unconditionally. There is nothing I can do to ever hate myself again. I realized that I am human. One that will fall a thousand times but will get up each and every time. “The only true weakness is of the spirit”(A Flame In The Mist)). Once I accepted all of who I was, there was nothing that could ever break my spirit. All my life I was in a constant war with myself. The greatest opponent I ever had to face. The monster I was afraid of. Always looking for answers outside of myself. Watching all these amazing warriors in movies and shows. Especially anime. I knew I was capable of being just like my favorite characters. My dream was always to a true warrior. A master. Naruto was my first anime I ever watched and his dream was always to become the Hokage. The leader of his village. A hero. His decision to live out his childhood dream definitely inspired me on my own journey. I grew up seeing many many other characters that proved that it’s never too late to rewrite my own story. I started to see what made them so special to me was their spirit. I finally stepped into my own power and became the hero of my own life.