Living Life Purposefully

Where Purpose Meets Passion

Tag Archives: Breakthroughs

In God’s Time

“Don’t worry, Baby. It will happen in God’s time!”

This was a phrase I used to hate hearing. In these moments, I could understand the person who said them meant well, but it usually left me feeling like, “Well, shit. If it’s going to happen anyway, why do I have to go through all of this mess?”

But that all changed one day while I cooked dinner for my family. Standing in my kitchen, my countertop was cluttered with the various things that would go into the meal. I had raw chicken, uncooked rice, vegetables that were in the process of being prepped, various seasonings to enhance the flavor, and the tools to actually prepare the meal. Mentally, I went over the order of the steps to take to make sure the different components of the meal would finish at the same time. Reaching over the stove to turn on the appropriate number of burners I’d need, I thought to myself, “OH MY GOD!”

I stepped back and once again surveyed my counter. I realized I had all of the ingredients for the meal but I did not have the meal itself. I also had all of the necessary tools to make sure I’d have the meal I wanted, but I had not yet used them. In that moment, I understood exactly how I would interpret the phrase, “In God’s time!” moving forward.

You see? When we talk about our purpose and living purposefully, we fail to realize we are a lot like the ingredients for a meal. We fail to realize the trials, tribulations, and devastating events we experience in our life are a lot like the stoves used to prepare food for consumption. Finally, we fail to realize that being stuck in a place or meeting the same obstacle is a lot like the time it takes to actually cook the meal.

Knowing now that God’s timing is all about preparation for a task ahead has changed the way I think about my personal struggles. Speaking candidly on one issue in particular, I have found myself in the same kind of job environment for the last ten and a half years. It’s been a struggle to reconcile the dissatisfaction stemming from the understanding I’ve worked for the same kind of managers in the same kind of job cultures. The tapes recorded throughout my job experience had started to play a devastating message in my mind: “I wasn’t in the right places doing the right kind of work and having the right kind of impact.”

The struggles I felt and still face today led to a lot of self-loathing that I work daily to unpack. I thought maybe, just maybe, I was the problem.

Until this realization clicked for me.

Knowing what “God’s timing!” is actually about has allowed me to move forward with more conviction about what it is I’m here to do. Sometimes, I fumble things when I share new ideas with more people, but I’m always reminded of the importance of “God’s timing.” In the moments where I’m not as sure of myself as I wish to be and things around me still feel completely devastating, I tell myself I’m still on the stove. It’s practice and the bits I’m prompted to share are just me allowing others to taste what God wants them to have.

That’s why I’ve decided to share this personal reflection for others to see. If you find yourself facing challenges while trying to move forward on the path you know God has for you? If you find yourself wondering if you’re supposed to be in those rooms talking to those big people but worry they’ll think you’re a fraud? If you find yourself asking the question, “But why is this happening to me?” Don’t give up. It doesn’t mean you’re not supposed to be there. It just means you’re not yet ready for where you are to go.

Your time is surely coming.

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The Power of Relationship

“The nature of the relationship dictates everything!”

As I sat at my work desk attempting to remain present-minded enough to do my work, that phrase rose in my spirit. I realized I was caught in the uncomfortable familiarity of walking a thin line of depression while wedged between job dissatisfaction and the inability to just quit. Once again, I felt stuck – and feeling stuck left me feeling trapped.

In this body I inhabit as a Black Woman in the USA, I find myself often revisiting the idea of freedom. That is what I crave. That is what I clutch onto when any semblance of it lands in my hands. With a low-paying job, high student loan debt saddled to my back, and a bunch of other stress-inducing issues? I was often left feeling like I am a walking embodiment of unrealized potential; and this moment was no different.

I had become a star that burned too strongly. Too brightly. Too soon.

As I sat as my work desk a few days after my 32nd birthday, I was almost brought to tears by the magnitude of this quiet realization. My Soul was reminding me of the kind of wisdom you bring with you into life. The kind you just know without it being explained. It dawned on me that the conundrum is we often forget this knowledge because it isn’t explained. We are taught so much about what’s acceptable that this is the wisdom we forget to apply to life.

“The nature of the relationship dictates everything!” The voice reminding me of this was resolute. In my confusion, I paused long enough the voice was able to follow with, “And everything in life is relationship.”

Now I said before that I was almost brought to tears. In my mind, I saw my life move in reverse as though God, my Inner Self, or some other deeply revered source of wisdom flipped through a picture book. I started to see pivotal moments and the barrage of emotions – ones I can name and some I can’t – poured over me. To feel everything at once without any way to stop it left me stunned. Similar to other moments where small realizations are posed to become significant breakthroughs, my Spirit asked, “And what will our relationship with life be going forward?”

What will my relationship with life be going forward?

Answering it quietly in my heart, I made up in my mind to find myself and reclaim my power. My life feels like a tapestry of grief being held together by very thin threads of punctuated joy. I know going forward that I have to prioritize recoloring those experiences. In other words, what was once soft grays, biting blues, ominous blacks, and occasional threads of gold? I will look at those very same experiences as a canvas and choose to repaint parts of it in my heart with the vibrant colors signifying who I wish to become.

I am here.

And my relationship with life going forward will be acceptance, accountability, and peace.

This is my toast to life and what’s to come.

Honesty Is the ONLY Policy

The past nine days have been intensely emotional. That’s the sentence that captures exactly what I’ve been going through. For the past three years, I’ve been on a personal journey to clear myself of negative energy and release toxic emotions from my being. It’s not easy and at times, this process of clearing energy moves way slower than I want it to.

On Sunday night, I had a particular experience that led me to watch a recorded episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass (this one had Bishop T.D. Jakes as a guest and took place at MegaFest). After about 17 minutes, I found myself asking, “WHY DID I THINK THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?” While the focus was on “fatherless children,” there was something that struck me about the pain of having an absent parent. For a while (and this is a story I won’t get into — gotta save something for my tell-all autobiography), I’ve buried the pain of being the child that was overlooked and abused and forgotten about. The thought that came to mind about why I’ve remained wounded in life was that, “Even if people do the best that they could have done, it doesn’t lessen the hurt.”

That statement is true. It doesn’t lessen the sting of being at a Family Reunion (on my Dad’s side) and having to be introduced to family members only to overhear one of them say, “I thought he only had one daughter.” To be an outsider was hard.

And I have spent the majority of my adult life trying to feel the opposite of that. I’ve found myself in situations where I’ve essentially done things because I knew that for a fleeting moment, I’d be the one that they (my parents) would have to pay attention to. Then I read something on Monday morning that talked about letting go of hurts and the biggest impediment to doing so. Before I got to the end of the paragraph and had a major “AHA!” moment, I was sure that the impediment was going to be something like, “We can’t get over our hurts because people won’t acknowledge that we can feel the same way.” That thought process is something like, “You want me to extend my empathy to you but you can’t do that for me.” That’s blaming. That doesn’t work.

That was also NOT the answer.

The biggest impediment to getting through our hurts is that we ask the question, “Why?” The answer is very simple, “Because they could.” It doesn’t mean that they meant it intentionally. It doesn’t mean that they thought less of you. It doesn’t mean that they set out to contribute to the misery in your existence. It just happened. And it happened because they behaved in a way that they could.

With that being said, I’ll share that this realization brought about the biggest sigh of relief and then the largest cloud of panic I’ve been engulfed in since I watched an apartment burn to the ground. For me, I felt good because it suddenly clicked that I’m amazing and that I’ve always been amazing. On the other hand, it was absolutely terrifying because I realized that (1) I haven’t been living in my fullest potential AND (2) if I live in my potential and embrace the amazing and succeed, it would mean that I was the reason life has been so difficult in the past few years.

I decided to call this post “Honesty is the ONLY policy” because it means that I can do things that I’ve always wanted to do because I approach life with a zeal and understanding that I deserve the good things. And that’s okay. But I also realized four things:

  1. I am at an exciting time in my life.
  2. I choose to stand in my authenticity.
  3. I am all of that and MORE!
  4. My past gave me the foundation to be great. Not mediocre. GREAT!

With this new policy, taking on my baggage doesn’t seem as scary. I can only come out better anyway.

Have you had a moment that changed the way you thought about yourself? If so, share in the comments.