Updated: Feb 8, 2019
"You can't win the war against the world, if you can't win the war against your mind." - Will Smith
I can come up with a lot of ideas. Some of them are horrible. Some of them are good ideas, where I get lost, is in the details. I fail to plan them out. Or, I’ll just talk myself out of it. Like this idea, I had to go over my Grandma house. Once a month, she would teach me how to make my favorite dishes and I would record our conversations. Like this idea, was great! I even talked to her about it, (not the recording part) and she said that she was down for it! She told me all I had to do, was get the groceries. I had her blessings, the recorder, but guess what? I never followed up. I never went, not one time. Then she got sick, then better and now she’s gone. I will never be able to follow up on that idea again. Ever.
When is the last time you talked yourself into something? You know what, a better question is, have you ever thought about the number of times you talked yourself out of something? Like for real? If you can’t think of anything, I know that there have been plenty of things that I talked myself out of, both good and bad. Like eating fast food, yoga, going out, staying in, you name it. Will Smith has an Instagram story on YouTube (Here), where he talks about the power of the mind and self-discipline. In summary, he says: You can’t win the war against the world, if you can’t win the war against your mind. The mind is a powerful thing and if we don’t get control over it; it can and will control us. It can give you a brilliant idea and in five minutes, dismantle the entire thing. The mind is a machine who sole purpose is to store, question and figure shit out.
I thought about this a lot when I was in the hospital. For three weeks, one of those days, including my twenty-ninth birthday; I was unable to eat, drink and do simple things, like go to the bathroom by myself. But, still that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was the unknown. I’ve never had a flu, never broken a bone or even gotten stung by a bee. But this was happening, my appendix was leaking toxins in my body. I went from never being in the hospital, to having not one but two major surgeries.
Mentally, I was fucked. It felt like out of nowhere my entire life was turned upside down. My life was put on a stand-still. My body was experiencing a trauma, it had never felt before and there was nothing my mind could do about it. I couldn’t think my way out of this pain. I couldn’t even pray it away. I had to simply be. For the first time in my life, there was no time to plan. No time to weigh the options or even worry about the future. I just had to live in the present and hope day by day, I would get better.
Six months later, that time in the hospital seems like years ago. As I move through my yoga classes, it’s only the scar down the center of my belly, that reminds me of what happened. The scars reminds me of all the things, I had to overcome. Has anything like this ever happened to you? Have you ever lost someone suddenly? Well, for me, this is the third time that something like this has happened to me. And it always happens, when I’m in a rut. When I’m trying to plan every single step, predict every obstacle; and end up missing out on the original plan. For me, each time it has been a wake-up call. It’s as though, the universe is purposely shaking me up to say: Look, you’re fucking this up! The difference between this time in the others? Three weeks in the hospital. Mama O has said it plenty of times on her show:don’t miss the clues of your life. I’m not trying to see what would happen, if I fail to listen and act this time around!
This situation has taught me to be present and to trust the universe, fully. Without fear of failure. Looking back on it, I was doing way too much. In the hospital, I made a vow, that I would not go back to doing the same thing. Or living the same way. I made a vow to myself that, this last year of my twenties, are going to be fully about me. I vowed that I won’t be like those people, Will Smith talked about. I would live my best life or die trying. For the past twenty-nine years, I have lived for my parents, my peers, and pretty much anybody but my damn self. I changed for past lovers and dimmed my light around certain “friends”. I can recall so many times when I ignored my own needs, simply because I didn’t want to be viewed as a “bad person”. If I’m being real, I’ve allowed social pressures, to cause issues in my relationship. Simply put, while everybody else was losing fucks to give, I was picking them all up. I gave a fuck. A lot of it.
The truth is, I’m a handful and difficult as fuck. I’m a shine-a-rella. (As my Mom loves to call me). I’m a nerd and thanks to Issa Rae, I now recognize, that I can be a tad bit awkward. I’m dramatic, selfish, and territorial with the people I love. But allof these things, makes me, me! I’m thankful for my time in the hospital, because it showed me just how short life can be. Just how quickly things can turn on you and you really have no control. It showed me that these things that I was driving myself crazy for, in the grand scheme, can go on without me. The people, that I’m so scared to fail in front of, doesn’t even notice when my life is at a stand-still. The fear of failure, was doing nothing, but keeping me stuck.
What ideas have you’ve been sitting on? What things do you want to do? What places do you want to explore? Why do you keep talking yourself out of shit? Is it fear of failure, fear of success? How many times are you going to say “next year”? What if “next year” never come? Don’t let it take three weeks in the hospital for you to wake up. Please don't wait for you to lose someone, for you to make a change. Every single day, we wake-up, we get a chance to try and get it right. So why not make today, your day? Can today be the day, you do the one thing, you’ve been talking yourself out of all year? The most powerful change you can make is the decision to change yourself. So, why not, become the change you want to see in the world?
Until next time: “Dream those dreams. Then man-up and live them dreams, because a life withoutdreams is black and white. And the universe flows in technicolor and surround-sound.”- The Great Combat Jack!
Honestly Sis, is a bi-weekly newsletter. See you in two weeks!