In horse racing, it is not uncommon to see a horse with blinders on. As the horse is racing, blinders keep the horse from seeing what is beside them and what is behind them. The blinders help the horse to focus on the finish line ahead. Without the blinders the horse could get easily distracted by the crowd, or by the other horses around him. With the blinders, the horse is insulated from distractions and can focus on what is ahead. The blinders that the horses wear are a good example of how we should be. All too often we get distracted by those around us in the crowd. We allow them to throw us off track with their opinions. We get caught up in trying to win others to our “side” or trying to gain acceptance and admiration. In the same light, we also get distracted by those running the same race as we are. On one side we have someone talking in our ears telling us that we will never win the race. On the other side we have someone who is trying to make us stay back with them. Either way, there are too many distractions and too much temptation to stop the race and go back the way we have already come. I found myself doing some self-evaluation this weekend, and I realized that the times when I have been most distracted were the times that I was seeking others approval. I wanted to be accepted, and I allowed the hurt of not being accepted to get me off track. I learned that nothing and no one should ever distract me from my goal. All that I do is for a purpose beyond me, but I almost allowed outside distractions to stop me from crossing the finish line. In our lives we will have people come and go. Some will like us while others will not. Some will shower us with attention while others may ignore us…and it’s all ok. Our lives should not be based on others, and if there is a goal we need to reach we should try with everything in us to reach it. In the words of some friends of mine from the Gospel Rap Group Duo TnT, “Got my blockers on; I don’t even see you; When I’m in my zone, all that dramas in my rearview…” It is crucial that we get our blinders or “blockers” on and reach for our goal-whether it is with a crowd of supporters, or standing alone.
This post will not be long, but I figured it has been a while since I have written, so here I am writing again. I still say that I am in a place of intense transition. It has not been easy, but it has all been necessary. I have had some exciting things happen to me in the past couple weeks, and I have begun to see the things to come in my life. It is almost like I am a mother pregnant with a baby, and it has come time to push. I am excited, but I also know that I have to get through the hard work ahead to produce that which has been growing within me the entire time. Sometimes there are complications, and just when you think the pushing time is over, the doctor says push again. I hear all around me the words of encouragement, and the prodding of the “doctor”, and I think of that which I am pushing out. These things keep me motivated. This push is not just about me. In the same token, whatever it is that is within you that needs to be birthed out, please keep pushing. Even when complications arise, and it seems that you will be in labor forever, know that you will forget all about the pain when you hold what you have birthed out in your arms. The outcome is well worth the process, so keep pushing. You have almost delivered.
Yesterday was a transition for me from what I had been to what I am supposed to be. I was reminded yesterday that somewhere along the way I’d lost focus. I was still moving forward, at least that is what I thought, but I ran into reality yesterday when I found myself reflected in someone else’s words. So often I have told myself and others to keep moving forward, and on a superficial level I had been doing just that. Somehow though, I had allowed a small part of me to remain in the past. This small part was the part that was keeping me from truly being free of the past. So yesterday, as I listened to the words infiltrate every crevice of my being, I felt within me a release. At that point I knew I was truly free. Some part of me had held on so tight not wanting to let go. In that piece there was validation for me to have “low” days. There was validation for me to not be all that I am supposed to be. There was a sense of righteousness in being able to hold on to my guilt so that it lent me a false sense of humility. I did not realize that who I am is because of that piece of me, but that piece of me does not dictate all that I will be. Because I was so focused on keeping that piece alive, I lost focus on the things that truly matter. Every time I prepared to step out in the unfamiliar, part of me wanted to retract due to me not allowing myself to be free. I lost focus on what mattered, and was focused on the inconsequential. Yesterday was my reminder that I have too much to do to be focused on what was, because focusing on what was stops me from being what I am supposed to be. While I was moving forward it was at a slower pace due to that piece of the past that I held on so passionately to. When I released it I knew within me that I would never be the same. So after the bruising words I encouraged myself, and I realized that I hadn’t released what was because I had to get to a point where I really wanted to let it go. That way it would really be gone, and I wouldn’t keep trying to conjure it up after I let it go. In this same way I encourage each of you to recognize the pieces in you that need to be released. Recognize what is holding you back from your greatest potential. Understand that what you’ve gone through does build you even while it hurts you, but it does not have to hold you back and interrupt your potential. Refocus your attention on what you need to so that you can continue to move forward. In this moving forward, even try to forget the memory of what may have happened. That’s easier said than done, but it can be likened to locking up the experience and hiding the key. At some point, once you’ve stopped returning every so often to open up the locked box, you’ll probably even forget where you left the key…and that’s ok. Sometimes the only thing stopping you is yourself. Refocus.