I haven’t written in a while, but I have to admit that since the last time I wrote there has been a level of frustration unlike any I have experienced before. It seems that frustration introduced itself into my workplace, my personal life, my church responsibilities, my familial relationships…everything! I found that in the midst of this situation, though I have some that I can call friends, and though I have leadership at my church who are well equipped to assist, I found that there was no one I could really talk to about the frustrations except God himself. I tried talking to my husband, but no matter how much he loves me, I could see that he did not really understand. I tried telling a friend, but they provided temporary relief. After the conversation I was assaulted again with the frustrations that persisted in trying to choke out any remaining joy or strength I possessed. I realized that even surrounded by people there are some things that I am meant to go through alone so that no one else can get the credit for helping me to get through it. I had to confront the reason behind my increasing frustration, and once I did so, I found that my frustrations stemmed from things that ultimately are not under my control. I had been seeking control and trying to make things work out as I thought they should. As a result I felt as if my efforts were not producing the desired results. The frustration of this present moment is that it does not look like what I have seen it will be. In my haste to see things appear now as I have seen them in my future, I was becoming discontent and not living the here and now. Don’t get me wrong, some of my frustrations are valid especially as it relates to my workplace, but I cannot allow my frustrations to stop me from pursuing what I know is meant for me to have. What I had to realize is that today is a frustrating rollercoaster, but tomorrow could be the day that I actually come face-to-face with all that I have dreamed of. So, while it is frustrating in this moment, in the next breath I could be able to inhale a wave of relief. Do not get stuck in your now–in believing that because it has been like this for some time things will never change. You have too much vision in you…too much desire in you…too much fervor and determination in you…to allow the flame carrying your dreams to be extinguished due to the rain of today. If we just take a moment and look back we will see that we have been in a frustrating place before, but we have come through and grown past that moment. Just because this moment threatens you, just means that you have to stand up and face that which is trying to intimidate you. You are stronger than your fears and your frustrations. You have power over them. Frustration is a temporary situation, so don’t allow temporary frustrations to disqualify you from a lifetime of dreams.
Today is an interesting day…I feel like a new woman, yet I still feel like I’m uncomfortable with getting comfortable with the new me. I know that sounds funny, but that’s the best way I can describe it. Even so, I have decided that I will embrace all that is a part of this new me.There are some things that we get used to–a certain way that we’ve gotten used to doing things–a certain way that we talk to others–a certain way that we look at life–and all of these “certain” ways come about by experiences in life. Some things have happened to me that made my perspective in life shift, and the shifting was not always positively. To be completely honest, in some ways I thought less of myself, and I began to see myself as less than who I really am. I had to have a perspective transformation. I was reminded recently that all that has happened in my life-whether it happened a long time ago or more recent-is over! Because it’s all over, I no longer have an excuse to see things the way I’ve been seeing them. I no longer have an excuse to think of myself as less than who I am. Because it’s over I can move forward without looking back. Just like we wash our hands literally, we have to be able to wash our hands figuratively. All of that mess that tries to keep us bound no longer has that power unless we allow it. The funny thing about us is that we tend to hold on to our bonds even after we’ve been released from them. I did that for a long time. Everyone else has moved on, but we still hold on to what has happened. By doing so we neglect to realize all that is before us. By the time we realize all that we are missing it may be too late. It is time for us to release ourselves from our self-made prisons. Yes it happened, and no it may not have been a good situation, but know that it strengthed you. It may still seem that no good thing could come of what has happened in your life, but know that if you believe and you allow yourself to move forward, then you will see the good and be thankful for the bad. All that has happened is over…so you get over it…and move forward!
She was on a roll with words flowing like water. Nothing could stop her as she wrote words that seemed to materialize out of thin air–and she almost kissed herself because if no one else liked what she wrote she loved that her words spoke back to her. With each new day came new revelations, and she began to surprise herself with the words that tumbled off the tip of her pen. One day all that stopped. She was flowing and then she was not. She had run straight into the proverbial brick wall, and she could not see enough to know that on the other side of that brick wall was the rest of the journey. What happened? Well, she began to doubt herself because of others’ seemingly disinterest in her words and what she spoke. She began to believe that she was not interesting enough to have people want to listen to her. She almost decided to give up and turn away from all that was before her because of a moment of doubt and discouragement…but she had to remind herself of the journey it took to get to this point in her life. She had to remember that what she was doing was not about herself, but it was instead to reach people even beyond the scope of her imagination. What would happen if she was to stifle the words, and settle for doing something else in which she had no voice? Total chaos. When she thought things over, she realized that it’s great to have people want to read what you write and listen to what you have to say, but you have to be able to keep doing what you love even if no one else seems to care. She realized the power in words, so right then she decided to keep writing and to keep speaking because she needed to speak to herself. She decided that she would keep pressing and keep being all that she is supposed to be. She decided that she would not allow discouragement and doubt to keep her from accomplishing the goals that she had set to accomplish. She knew that she would only be happy and free if she chose to do what she did best: write and speak, encourage and enlighten. We have to get to a place where regardless of what it looks like, and regardless of the fact that we may feel like we’re on our own island looking out at everyone else around us, we are confident in who we are and what we do. There is no room for doubt, and even if we do get a little discouraged, there will always be one person who will unknowingly encourage us and give us a boost that will propel us forward. We have to keep pushing past doubt and press towards that which we need to accomplish–regardless of obstacles–regardless of self.
I thought I’d change things up a bit and let you all in to a private, public moment I had some time ago…poetry is something I also love to do but do not do as much as I would like to anymore, however, I hope that you can enjoy the poem below:
Who Are You?
Who is that woman staring back at me?
She seems sad,
Why does she stare at me in such a way,
as if I could step up,
take her hand,
and lead her through her pain?
Why does she look just like me,
with the same caramel color in her eyes,
and the high, smooth cheekbones?
Why do her lips seem to curve,
almost in a perpetual smirk, just like mine?
Alas I realize that I’m standing in front of a mirror,
and that smirk and those eyes are really mine,
so it’s up to me to pull myself out of this moment.
So began that slow journey,
that uphill climb,
to get back to a face that I recognized,
and finally when I looked again in that mirror,
which had previously been my enemy,
I found a friend that reflected back to me,
a sparkle in the eyes,
a smile on the lips,
and someone who truly looked like me.
I know this topic seems completely random, but I promise you it’ll make sense in the end. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and this thinking has brought me around to thinking about the fact that we are so used to having options to choose from. For instance, when we go to a birthday party we are usually asked do we want cake, ice cream, or both. Most of us choose to have both. Then we choose the flavor of the ice cream and the size of the cake slice that we would like to have. It does not seem out of the ordinary for us to be able to choose, so when we are presented with two options it is hard to make one choice because we want to be able to choose both. I’ve learned that we cannot always eat everything that is on the plate before us. One of the items may cause indigestion, and the other may not be good for us, but the one thing that is good for us, though it may not taste good to our palate, is the one thing that we refuse to eat. We mess ourselves up because we will have one thing that works well for us, but when something else comes along we begin to second-guess what we already have in pursuit of that other thing that seems more appealing at the moment. We allow ourselves to have too many options when we need to be content with the one thing that is good for us. Too many options that are really no good for us can cause cavities in our lives, and it is nearly impossible to get rid of cavities once they have manifested. We need to learn that if we eat that thing that is good for us, then we will flourish.
I’ve been out-of-town the last few days for a much-needed break, but now I’m back and better than ever! While away I was talking to someone about shopping in a souvenir shop. They asked me how I was able to go in the shop and come out so quickly without getting anything. I told them that it doesn’t take long for me to figure out what I want. They asked me how do I find something if I don’t really take the time to look. I responded that something may catch my eye, but then as I’m looking at that item what I really want may be on the same rack. I just now began to think about that conversation and how my responses correspond to how I conduct my life. I realized that with many decisions I’ve made in my life they have been quick decisions because I have known what I wanted and gone after what I wanted. I haven’t really second-guessed. In a way it’s been a blessing to be able to make quick decisions, but I’ve realized that I cannot do everything that way. There are some things that we have to take a moment to think about–every decision cannot be made in a minute. Every decision should NOT be made in a minute. There are some things where a quick decision can irreversibly and detrimentally change the course of our lives. It’s great to know what you want, but there has to be a balance. Many times we find that if we take the time to think we’ll make a different choice, and by taking the time to weigh all the options, or “look through a rack of clothes,” we will actually come to the right choice for us!