It was 6:30 P.M. I was uncomfortable because I usually know exactly what I want to talk about. I usually know what I want to say to you because this writing? This is liberating. This is fulfilling to be able to share my heart with you and to be able reach out to you through the strokes of the keyboard that sound like music to my soul because I know that at the end of this- I feel better and hopefully you do too.
It was 7 P.M. The pasta dish I made was a little dry, I was wrapping up a business call and my brother dashed in to tell me goodbye, kiss me on the cheek then make a quick departure. And me? I still did not have anything to talk about that I felt was “it”. Don’t get me wrong. A lot of “stuff” happened just in the past two days that had given me some material. I had a laundry list of “things” that I could complain about although not as long as my list of blessings, and yet, I still had nothing that I wanted to share that drove me to my office to sit down in front of the screen and begin to type.
It is 7:30 P.M. (probably an hour or two later once you read this), and it dawned on me: just share. Now anyone who knows me and my tendency to plan everything, especially my writing, would know how much that idea did not work in my head. I had not thought it out, and it had not come about the way it usually does- like lightening striking from a distant cloud- that BOOM! THIS is the idea! THIS is the topic! The idea to just share had been a still small voice that had to override the meticulous planner in me and give me permission to open up- unplanned and unexpected- just share– share my thoughts, my lessons, my dreams and hopes…share ME.
I had been thinking lately about my circle of friends. At a very uneventful time in my life, I prayed and asked God to align me with the right people- people who thought like me and wanted more out of life than just a job and a paycheck that barely got them through to the next week without leading them to the nearest cash advance establishment. I had grown tired of hearing the same complaints from the same friends year after year but never seeing any movement toward change. Please don’t misunderstand me. I didn’t think I was some successful kick fear in the face and grab life by the horns phenom. I just knew that I wanted more, and I wanted to be around people who wanted more. I quickly learned that if your thinking doesn’t change, then YOU won’t change, and if YOU don’t change then neither will your life. I know that life is a delicate balance of letting it happen and making it happen (I didn’t make that up, but it is so fitting right here), but complacency kills. It kills your potential to be the best you that you are designed to be, and it kills your dreams. Being content with being “average” satisfies you enough to the point where going for “it”- whatever your “it” is- fades with every excuse and everything that is seen as an insurmountable obstacle. Never EVER sacrifice your dreams for your comfort zone. NOTHING good grows there. NOTHING.
It is 8:05. The Cavs game is on, and it makes me think about winning- in life and in love. WINNING. PERIOD. I mean overcoming- being an underdog and beating the odds. Sad to say that some people think that just showing up guarantees victory. Wouldn’t it be nice if we got paid or applauded just for showing up? Wouldn’t the world be a wonderful place to live if everyone was declared the winner or seen as fabulous just because they showed up? NOT. Tonight Lebron can’t just get on the court and stand there. He has to perform and not only does he have to perform, but he has to show out, as the old folks would say. When you show up in life- SHOW OUT! Look your best! Do your best! Think your best! If you don’t know what that looks like, find someone to mentor you and to teach you. Be willing to learn. Be humble enough to say that you need help! Do what you need to do in order to be the best you that you can be. Pretending that we don’t know what to do is over. We can thank technology for that. There is always, and I mean ALWAYS, a way and a resource to help you cross the bridge from “I want to be…” to “I am…” ALWAYS.
Love can be hard. I think that statement is pretty simple yet even in its simplicity, it is complex. I have learned to love myself. Let me say that I did not just wake up loving myself. It wasn’t a sudden realization or destination where I arrived happily excited about the journey. I learned that I needed to love myself from some of the mistakes that I made. I took time to look at the reasons why I had gotten myself into the predicaments that I did or why I responded the way that I did when faced with certain decisions. I did it because I did not love myself, and it was not just a 20-year old young girl phase that I went through. I was in my 30’s NOT LOVING MYSELF- thinking that I was not worthy of loving myself. Reread that. What kind of damage did I do while I played the tape that said that I didn’t even deserve my own love in my head? I caused some turmoil in my life! Why? Because I could only love others to the extent that I loved myself, and since I did not love myself, I could not love others in the way that true love commands.
The world is full of people who don’t see self-love as a necessary balm to heal ourselves and then be able to extend that healing to others. We live in a world where we are trying to love others, and we are not FIRST loving ourselves, and that is backwards. Check out Mark 12:31 and see for yourself. When I can love ME better, I can love YOU better. We’ve been taught religiously to love others, Love Others, LOVE OTHERS!!! But how- when we do not love the one we see every time we look in the mirror? IMPOSSIBLE. So we live in a world that has seen a rise in every crime that stems from a lack of the right kind of self-love– from human trafficking and racism and sexism to divorce, domestic abuse and abandonment- because we have been taught the love principle in the wrong way, so we live it in the wrong way, and it appears- to even the smartest of us- that love does not work, but it does. God is love, and His love is unfailing, resolute, strong and redeeming. I have seen it in action in my life and in my heart, and it keeps me stubbornly convinced, even when life hurts, that LOVE WORKS.
Did I tell you that writing this every Sunday is just as much a gift to myself as I hope it is a gift to you? With as many words as there are that can formulate a thought, I still have not found the right ones to express how much writing means to me. It soothes me. It cleanses and moves me. It leads me and uplifts me. It purges me and clarifies my way. It shelters and protects me and at times redirects me…to a better me. That is my ultimate goal- to be able to give the best version of me to others. It sounds simple I know. I think that I like the simplicity of it.
I have only shared a fraction of what life has taught me here tonight, and writing this brought me one step closer to being that better version of me that I get to work towards every day. I hope that it brought you one step closer to a better YOU too.