Do you remember that one time in fifth grade when you had to read your fiction novel in front of your entire class? Well, maybe it wasn’t a fiction novel. Whatever it was, do you remember how nervous you were? If you have a fear of public speaking, you probably recall those moments from childhood and carried them into adulthood. The fear of failure from the past has lead to perfectionism in your adult life. You know that has to stop, right? Here’s why it’s imperative for you to resist the need to be perfect.
Have you ever gotten played so much that you thought maybe you had a problem? Maybe you weren’t funny enough or attractive enough or talented enough. Maybe that’s why time and time again, you’ve received nothing but rejection?
The lights grew dim as wristbands began to illuminate the arena. A voice low, yet robust filled the atmosphere. Women excitedly cheered on as they recognized the familiar voice speaking. I could barely hear what she was reciting over the roaring applause. And then, like a vision of a burning sun, she rose from within the stage. We all lost our minds! It took me a second to realize that I was watching Oprah Gail Winfrey walk on the stage. Tears began to well in my eyes as it hit me: I was seeing Oprah in the flesh.
“Prayers are prophesies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life.” The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson
In 2005, I was 20 years old. I moved off campus and into my own apartment – all 602 square feet of it. I had no living room set, no cable, but it was my cozy home. As the frigid months approached, I realized that I was in way over my head. At the time, I was working part-time at a daycare making $7.25 an hour. I was a full-time college student. I had $1000 a month in bills to pay. I fell into a deep depression that year. Routinely, I would have a pastor friend of mine wake up at 6am and pray for me before I went in to work. Looking back, I know that it was only God that got me through that year.
One who has finally learned that it is in the nature of objects to come and go without ceasing, rests in detachment and is no longer subject to suffering. —Ashtavakra Gita
I have a problem: I think I’ve grown attached.
Recently, I found myself lamenting to a friend about being alone. I cried about not having anyone. Yes, I have a few friends, but they have husbands and wives and boyfriends and girlfriends and kids and dogs. That’s the sucky part about growing older. Everyone starts pairing up and you’re just crouched in a corner ripping the crust off of stale bread. Or whatever. Maybe you want what they have, maybe you don’t. All that matters is that you’ve become painfully aware of your aloneness as you mature.
So naturally, you try to find someone or something to attach to. You become attached and you want to do everything with that person. That’s not always possible or logical. So what do you do? You smack yourself in the face and say, “Self, get a grip and grow up.” People are not possessions and situations are not permanent.
I spent my Saturday with my delightful god-daughter. Those of us without children know how every opportunity to spend time with someone else’s child is either practice or prevention. Luckily, my little princess is not that bad, lol. She’s actually very intelligent. Little did I know, I would leave her a little wiser.
It’s actually pretty sickening how much I actually talk about Beyonce on this blog and with friends.
I’m not talking about, “Oh, Bey real cute on the streets today.” kinda talking but complete dissertations of every song since 4came out. Because really, that’s when Beyonce finally came into her own.
Over at Pledge to Be Bella (where I am a contributor), we’re discussing how to have a Beyonce Year; how to achieve Beyonce-esque greatness. Now, I know I have the same 24 hours as Beyonce but c’mon folks, we all know that Beyonce is the by-product of an IMMACULATE team. Beyonce + her team = greatness. She does what she wants [now] without fear. And that’s what a Beyonce Year is all about.
I thought long and hard about what I would do for this Ford Fiestasocial activism post. I thought about volunteering or highlighting an entrepreneur’s business. All of those are well and nice things to do, especially during the holidays. Giving back is good for the soul. But as I was getting ready to go, an uneasy feeling made me pause in my tracks.
I decided that I was going to a nursing home yesterday. I was listening to Beyonce’s new album and the track, Pretty Hurts, immediately resonated within me. For the past few days, it was the first song on my mind when I woke up. As I struggled to find something to wear, I realized that I didn’t really want to go. I know, that sounds really horrible.
How can I not want to spend time creating a care package for someone who probably never receives visitors?
Sometimes I think we use charity as a way to feel good about ourselves – to feed our souls.Let me spare this dollar to a homeless person. There, I’ve done my good deed of the day. Or, You really want that sandwich? Don’t worry, I got you. Because I’m just a good person like that. But really, are you a good person? Shouldn’t doing and giving come natural to you? To us?
I’ve read a lot of books that have shook me up inside and most recently, that has been The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s a quick but poignant and necessary read. I felt it in my heart to give this to one of you, my faithful readers, as a gift. I know it blessed me tons so I want to share the knowledge.
There was a woman, for example, who was intelligent and had a very good heart. She had a daughter whom she adored and loved very much. One night she came home from a very bad day at work, tired, full of emotional tension, and with a terrible headache. She wanted peace and quiet, but her daughter was singing and jumping happily. The daughter was unaware of how her mother was feeling; she was in her own world, in her own dream. She felt so wonderful, and she was jumping and singing louder and louder, expressing her joy and her love. She was singing so loud that it made her mother’s headache even worse, and at a certain moment, the mother lost control. Angrily she looked at her beautiful little girl and said, “Shut up! You have an ugly voice. Can you just shut up!”
The truth is that the mother’s tolerance for any noise was nonexistent; it was not that the little girl’s voice was ugly. But the daughter believed what her mother said, and in that moment she made an agreement with herself. After that she no longer sang, because she believed her voice was ugly and would bother anyone who heard it. She became shy at school, and if she was to sing, she refused. Even speaking to others became difficult for her. Everything changed in the little girl because of this new agreement: She believed she must repress her emotions in order to be accepted and loved.
Whenever we hear an opinion and believe it, we make an agreement, and it becomes part of our belief system. This little girl grew up, and even though she had a beautiful voice, she never sang again. She developed a whole complex from one spell. This spell was cast upon her by the one who loved her the most: her own mother.
Wow, what a revelation. After reading this passage, it dawned on me that at one point in time, I held on to similarly disparaging words.