"The tears we cry let us know that we alive." - Beyonce
My whole life, all I wanted to do was "know." Know the future and how life would turn out. When I was a little girl, whenever any preacher broke out into prophesizing mode, I would sit up in my seat, hoping that the preacher man would prophesize over me. Each time the preacher would glaze over my eager eyes and pass over me to someone else. Each time my heart would drop, and I would be sure that God forgot about me. Then one Sunday, we had a visiting preacher stopped by. His words moved me so much that when he did altar call, I got up and gave myself over to the Lord with tears in my eyes.
I couldn’t remember his words. I just remember how it made me feel. When the preacher began to prophesize, my little heart sped up. I knew that day would be my day. I was at the altar, with my head down crying when I felt a presence over me. The presence wasn't physical but an energy. I lifted my head, and the preacher was standing there, smiling. He chuckled into the mic. That chuckled turned into a whistle, and then he broke out into song: “Yes, Jesus loves me,” he sang with a single gold-capped tooth. "Yes, Jesus loves me." He repeated it, and the choir began to sing with him. As the choir song, he removed the mic from his mouth. Leaning forward, he looked me in the eye and said: “Oooh, God loves you." He said with a whistle and smile. Then he left and went back to the altar call.
The moment was quick and hardly made sense. But for some reason, it stuck with me for the rest of my life. That day I gave my life over to Jesus Christ. I know that I probably shouldn't think of myself as special. But I do. Besides having a mole in the center of my forehead, there have been things that have occurred in my life that just can’t be explained away. Stuff that if anyone were seriously paying attention would be called supernatural. But my specialness never stopped me from going through trials and tribulations.
I'm not sure where I got the idea that life was easy. Maybe I read too many books or watched too many movies. But the truth is- life is hard. We often think that life is a steady climb—a series of events that get you to that one moment of victory. Then you live happily ever after. But the truth is that life is a continual series of ups and downs. Like the slides of a triangle. You enjoy the thrill of chasing the goal, but you have to come down. Eventually, that once shiny penny will dull. That juicy apple will rot. What do you do when your crown loses its sparkle? You put it down and find a new one.
To truly live life. You must be willing to go through life challenges. Be ready to climb new mountains to face new heights. The best way to think about life is to look at it as a video game. There are challenges, obstacles, milestones you have to reach until you get to the next level. But often, what happens is when people hit a wall instead of figuring out how to get over it. They get comfortable where they are and live in the glory of the old days. Have you ever run into someone who was still bragging about shit they did in high school? But they were damn near 40?
Apply that same disgust to your trauma. I had to look at myself in the mirror and realize that I was walking around with those same high school labels on me. I was still walking around, waiting for people not to understand me or to pick on me. Despite all this "self-developing" I was doing, there was still a fundamental belief that "I'm not good enough." I was waiting for the world to tell me that I’m special. But then I heard this quote from Osho, and my life was forever changed. To summarize: “The natural desire of the human mind is to become special- Unless the desire to be special disappears, you will never be special. Unless you relax into your ordinariness, you will never relax.”
That quote made me realize that I was in this endless battle with myself. Not the world. I told myself enough is enough. I'm not that same little girl who refuses to stand up for herself. I am not that bummy girl that got teased in high school. I am not my past. I had to release these labels. As well as, release this need for people to understand me. I am who- who I am.
Slowly, I started to see myself- like truly see myself. I began to see the talents, gifts, and knowledge that I have cultivated over the years. I was able to see how much I've indeed grown. I was proud of that growth. I am proud of myself. I cut the cord to my past and made a vow to just be myself. Since that realization, I've been feeling different and moving differently. I've already seen how it has attracted new people and experiences in my life. It's not drastic, but it's exciting. I'm learning not to be so calculated and to live inflow. Not to judge my life by what's "right or wrong". But on what feels right.
I am also learning that none of this social media shit is real. Especially the shit with couples. People who are truly happy in their life don't have time to post or brag about it on social media. Take your cues from Beyoncé and stop letting these people gaslight you. Don’t be sad or ashamed because you haven't gotten life figured out. That is life. The biggest secret in life is knowing that no one has it all figured out. We make our own rules, and we build our realities. So, take none of this shit seriously.
I thought that because I was "obedient," the road would be easy for me. But God never promised that. He didn’t promise that to any of us. He only promised that it would be worth it. I recently ran across a snippet of a WNBA player who had many injuries in her career. The interviewer asked her did the injuries stop her from being a better player. The player said, "Yeah if it weren't for the injuries, I would have been a better player. But I am a better person because of them."
I didn't understand that the twist and the turns are not only what built your character. But it’s what makes the journey worth taking. Think about the movies you love. The books you read. Would you love it if nothing happened? Or better yet, sports. How many championship games can you remember that was a blow-out? I can not think of one.
But I can tell you about LeBron coming back from a 3-1 playoff loss to win the championship. Adversities make you and your story better. So if you are experiencing a challenge in your life. Don't run from it or pretend it's not there. Face it head-on, so that you can move on to the next level of your life.
What are the stories you tell yourself about your childhood?
What challenges are you avoiding right now? Why?