I feel like we say “oh I can’t believe time is passing by so fast” so often, it seems like we acknowledge the passing of time all the time. I remember being younger and couldn’t wait to grow up with my grown up plans and for life to be like….. S I K E! Thanks, Life. Earlier this summer, Auntie Maxine, Congresswoman Maxine Waters coined a political statement forever in our urban hearts, “Reclaiming My Time”; it was all the rage. However, (and no shade, because I love Auntie) I’ve literally been saying that to myself for months. Due to the shenanigans of the internet, it seems like everyone is jacking it, when in reality, that’s just the season we’re in: reclaiming our time.
It seems like life is happening so fast, society is in an uproar, Mother Earth is really tired of us not listening and a plethora of other things are going on, mostly simultaneously. On top of all the physical around us, we still are dealing with our own internal issues and navigating through our personal lives. This year, i’ve been super big on self-accountability and it has helped me tremendously in every area of my life. How? My time is not given freely, nor am I choosing to waste it on doubt and self pity. I’ve had a pretty strange year (for me): changed jobs, step into entrepreneurism in between jobs, had a bad break up (if you want to call it that 🤔), joined the gym (this is major for me), moved back home and started the process of navigating my purpose driven life. What sticks out most to me is that most, if not everyone I personally call a friend is or has gone through the same pruning process.
A few weeks ago, I was talking with a phenomenal woman I met in college. She shared with me the chaos in her life, dealing with rejection, family hospitalizations, mental illness, distractions, more family (mother, wife, daughter, sister), 60+ hour work weeks, purpose and side businesses. Looking at this woman, she has her stuff too-ge-therrrr. Not to take away from what I thought was her togetherness, her candor of everything going on in her life, propelled me. Challenged me. Called me to sacrifice. She had to sacrifice some personal ambitions and goals to obtain clarity, purpose, love and unity in her life. I’d been contemplating sacrificing something I really cherished and would probably be judged on, but it would propel and feed my purpose. One thing i’ve learned which becomes apparent each season: we must always be sacrificing something (maybe someone) to advance. If we’re going to be a living sacrifice, we can’t care about the thoughts and opinions that others may have of us, our decisions and most importantly, our purposes. Meeting with her further made me realize that life will not be easy, your purpose will not be sprinkles and ice cream—it’s going to be uncomfortable, you’re going to shift and you will have to sacrifice.
Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
Matthew 16:24-26 MSG
Where Are You
A few weeks after, I was talking to one of my dearest friends, Marcus. We’ve known each other for….going on fifteen years 👵🏾. I stopped by to take a nap at his place while driving home from Atlanta and we ended up talking for hours. As we were catching up, he was in disbelief that I’d sacrificed something that I really loved to obtain peace and clarity. Marcus sprang a question on me that was so simple, yet so loaded. Now, i’m on a self accountability journey, so i’ve gotten accustomed to being raw with myself, but I had to ponder on this one. “Where are you?” And as he repeated the question, I was super fumbley with my words. I talk things out at a rate that it runs on, just as I write (sorry), so I sat there and talked it out with my friend. Non-judgingly, he passed me some Kleenex as I expressed my contentment with where I am, but the longing for more. I was crying because……well i’m a water baby. Seriously, I realized that things I talked about a year ago pained me to tears and made me angry, but through sacrifice and healing I could talk about it with expectancy.
So where am I? I’m forever in a state of growth and infilling. It was (and sometimes still is) hard for me to receive authentic love. Receiving love can be in the form of compliments, gifts, assistance or affections. Another friend, another Marcus complimented me on something not too long ago. I immediately want to reduce compliments, but being accountable to myself, I have to learn to continue to grow in this area; especially being in and of service. I don’t want to be (nor am I) a timid person with false pride and false humility. That type of self deprecating thinking tends to create a false sense of confidence that can be elevated into a prideful and entitled spirit.
Who can keep us away from the love of Christ? Can trouble or problems? Can suffering wrong from others or having no food? Can it be because of no clothes or because of danger or war? The Holy Writings say, “Because of belonging to Jesus, we are in danger of being killed all day long. We are thought of as sheep that are ready to be killed.” But we have power over all these things through Jesus Who loves us so much. For I know that nothing can keep us from the love of God. Death cannot! Life cannot! Angels cannot! Leaders cannot! Any other power cannot! Hard things now or in the future cannot! The world above or the world below cannot! Any other living thing cannot keep us away from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:35-39 New Life Version
It can be so tempting and easy to give up or give in, but I want to
encourage challenge you, don’t go back to old ways or immature thinking patterns. I remind myself that I made a commitment to myself that I can’t survive nor achieve my purpose by being the same doubtful, skeptical, self deprecating, depressed, prideful person. I don’t like that person. I like this escalated and evolved version.
Be open transparent with yourself. Get raw. Address your ugly and make the necessary preparations to cut anything from your personality and attitude that will be contrary to your growth, your purpose. We spend a lot of time complaining about things, we even find other outlets to blame. What if that person, situation or thing wasn’t to blame? What if being fired was to propel you to your next position or give you the freedom to pursue your purpose? That bad break-up…what if it was saving you from being Harted or Ushered? Stop allowing rejection, disappointments and pain to dictate your emotions, plans and purpose. If you don’t like what you’re reaping, change what your sowing. Ask yourself this: Does __________ affect my ultimate goal/purpose? Does _________ stop God from fulfilling His promises? NO. The path might change, the will will not. (If it’s written, does the path change or do we need to alter our perspective?)
If you haven’t noticed, Life is not going to wait on you or me. Don’t allow the pitfalls to waste your time. Someone is waiting on you to step into you destiny!