What Chains Are You Breaking

There is always something keeping you from taking that big leap of faith. Is it fear, lack of faith, bills, or not remembering why you even started this work in the first place? We sing songs that say that we want to break free from our chains or that we just want to be free, but we have not identified what we want to be free from. You have to be direct about your intentions and free yourself of the bondage that may be holding you back.

I know that I can start my own successful business right now. My apprehension comes in when I start thinking about all of the money I have invested in past projects that have not reciprocated financially. Additionally, I have a large amount of student loan debt looming over my head, heart, and handwork. So when I get energized to move forward in my personal projects I forget about those things, but when I see how much I put out every month to pay my students loans, I lose that fire and start thinking of ways to work harder and not smarter.

We have to recognize situations that drain us and not allow those things to control our thoughts and actions. At the end of the day, no matter how hard I work,  I will never pay off my student loans. The only way that I can ever rid myself of the debt I incurred to get two degrees is to work smarter and not harder. I cannot let the idea of defeat resonate in my mind and drain me of all of my energy every month. I have to pay it and let go of the idea that I could use that money to build an empire. Without my education, I would not be where I am today. I may not see the full return on this investment right now, but eventually I will.

Identify the chains that need to be broken. Name them. Decide that you will no longer be controlled by the thought of these invisible strongholds. Move forward in being excellent. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

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Who Are You? 

Nobody could have told me this is who I would be ten years ago. I had to find myself through all of my ups and downs. I had to retreat from the noise and search for the best me many times. I had to look at myself in the mirror and face my weaknesses. No one can tell you who you are. People can speak life or death over your life, but you are the ultimate connection between whether you will succeed or fail.

Never take the words of someone and use them as the catalyst to your success or the excuse to fail. Do not quote someone else in your weakest moments. Listen to what God is saying to you. The message is personal and will get you out of that dark space much faster than quoting others who have succeeded. 

The truth I live is mine to profess and to share. I hope that it inspires you to find your truth, share it, and inspire those around you. Many of us are hanging on to the tailwinds of successful people’s words instead of searching for our own deeper connection. You cannot get to the top off of someone else’s fumes. Create your own path and see how easier it is to navigate to the next level. 

When I ask who you are, I am not asking for physical attributes, personal characteritistics, or family ties. Those things are a piece of the puzzle, but who you truly are lies in your purpose. The greatest and only reason you were created on this earth. You have to find that reason and live it. The confusion we have at forks in the road is because we are trying to follow someone else’s path instead of knowing who we are and following the path created for us. 

I stopped praying for material things many years ago. I never asked God for a house, a car, or money. I asked that His will be done, that favor rain down upon me, that my steps be ordered and for peace and wisdom. These intangibles have opened up more doors than having tangibles that weren’t going to get me closer to my truth and purpose in life.  The material things will come when you are where you are supposed to be. 

Many people want the manifestation of the work before they put in any labor. You want to look the part, but refuse to live the part. Who are you mirroring yourself after? Who are you trying to prove yourself too? Why must people see you? When you have a gift and you are walking in your truth, your gift should be the priority. Like a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. When you are walking along your own path, everyone will be able to see you. When you are walking down the crowded path, you have to fight for attention. You have to talk loud, you have to dress loud, and assimilate to those who surround you. 

I realized I did not have to fight when I was where I was supposed to be. I did not have to break down doors and compromise my vision to be in a room full of shells. I could run in circles of power without feeling uncomfortable about where I was and where I was headed. There was no hierarchy. We all deserved to be here as can only help each other go higher. 

Everyone will not believe in your dream, but the few special people who do are the ones you have to cherish. The amazing souls that can see the flicker in your eye and sense your heart beating faster when you speak are your assets. The company you keep should reflect where you are going, not where you came from. Know who you are and focus on fulfilling your purpose. Everything else is a waste of time. 

Who are you? Who am I? Ask yourself. Accept the answer. Ride to the moon. No limits. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms. 

I am Finally in the Place

I am finally in the place where everything is working together for my good not because I deserve it, or because I earned it, but because I endured it. 

My boss told me to listen to a T.D. Jakes message (Do It) and spoke about how it motivated him to move forward on some major things in his life. I listened to it last week and for the most part it was just a good message. But when the message hit the 57 minute mark, I knew why I needed to listen until the end. It was Jakes’ last point on triumph that spoke to my current situation. The message was so powerful that I had to listen to that message again and again it spoke to my spirit in a special way. 

I can walk through this phase of my life fearless, because even if someone attempts to take my spot they cannot take my place. Although I am careful of who I share my ideas  and future projects with, I know that this is my time and my success does not hinge on someone else’s failure. There is enough room in the kingdom for everyone to prosper, so others may replicate but it will simply be a copy of something that is not going to get you to your place. It is not my battle to worry about others and to simply focus on the task at hand. 

I can look back and appreciate all that I went through was not mere punishment, but God moving me closer to this place.  Those situations were not even blessings, but place markers that show me how far I have come.  I speak often of growing up without my mother, having no relationship with my father, struggling to pay for college every semester and feeling alone even when I was surrounded by people. Every time I asked why, I never received an answer, but I would always receive encouragement that it was all going to work out for my good. So here I am basking in the glory of His promises. 

I never focused too long on what was going on and could not even fathom why these things were going on, but this trip has made me see that Gods plans were greater than my imagination. I told my husband yesterday that no one could have told me this is where I would be at 28, and I know in a few weeks, months, and years I will be in a house that I did not build, in vineyards that I did not grow, and harvesting crops I did not plant. 

It is not always about the specific acts, but the manner in how you carry yourself through the valleys and over the mountains. Sometimes we wonder why our actions don’t lead to results, big we never question our attitude. Your attitude can be your glass ceiling. Fix it and watch how the glass begins to break before you even reach the top. 

I no longer look to be a copy of anyone else’s dream, but an original of my own. I no longer expect anything in return for what I put out, because my expectation can limit my blessing simply because my mind is thinking too small. I no longer worry if it is going to work out, I understand that it is already done, I just need to get to that place. 

Live your truth. Walk into your blessing. Get to your place. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms. 

This Little Light of Mine

When I was going through a huge moment of spiritual growth, I began to learn about the inner light.  The inner light is the glow of your spirit that shines even when you do not speak, illuminates a dark situation, and radiates and attracts people to you in ways you cannot understand.  That light can be so powerful that it attracts great things, but at times it can attract people or situations that want to steal or dim your light.  Your light is your power.

I always loved people and being around people, but learning about my inner light allowed me to permeate into the lives of strangers without them even realizing that they let me in so quickly and so deeply.  As a healthcare provider, it puts families and patients at ease when they are in your care, your colleagues trust you, and you leave an impression no matter how long or how short you are in a place.  Your light is your power.

It is hard to put in words how I discovered my light, but once I understood it, embraced it, and used it naturally, I had to learn quickly that I had to protect my light.  Light does not only attack good things, but it also attracts negative things and people.  I went through a rough period where it seemed that life was trying to dim my light.  It was one bad situation after another bad situation, and yet even if it dimmed for a minute, I centered myself and allowed my light to shine through my situation. Your light is your power.

I have interacted with people who have tried to dim or turn out my light, but I learned how to detach from those who sought to snuff out my light and recognize those characteristics early.  Many times it is hard to detach, because the light thieves are the ones who should be protecting your light or teaching you how to protect your light.  Relationships, jobs, and financial situations can all come as darkness and overshadow your light, but when you know your power, purpose, and position you remove those things or you remove yourself from those situations to ensure that your light is always illuminating at its full capacity.  Your light is your power.

I have met some of the most amazing people in the past 3 months.  I have reconnected with many amazing people I met growing up and all that remains between us all is that they don’t overshadow or attempt to steal my light, and their light is shining just as brightly as mine.  The power of presence is within your light.  Everyone has a light.  How brightly you allow it to shine is up to you.  What you put out in life will always return.  Light will produce light.  Darkness will produce darkness.  Enhance your light by putting out light.  Protect your light by disengaging with darkness.  Your light is your power.

This little light of mine.  I am letting it shine.  My light is my power.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

Jealousy and Envy

Daddy issues. Mommy issues. Color issues. Self-Image issues. Body image issues.  Inferiority complexes.  All of these things spew out of our hearts with disdain for others, when in reality we are jealous and envious of what they may have.  I used to see people with their parents and hate the way they took them for granted.  I would think, “If that was my mom, I would…” or “If that was my dad, I would…”  I hated myself for not having those relationships, and I disliked others who did not understand how great they had it.  There are many people who have Daddy Issues, a lot of people who have Mommy Issues, and then the smaller group of us who have both.  The concept of being parentless is so painful and exclusionary at times.  You feel that you do not have an anchor or a home base, because you are not connected to at least one of the people who brought you into this world.

I pitied myself and self-loathed for being a sort of orphan and wore my wounds externally.  I constantly poured salt into my own wounds and made sure that my pain was visible.  I carried myself as a victim of circumstance and clung to the concept of being different for all of the wrong reasons.  All of this boiled down to being jealous and envious of people for reasons they could not control.

Rehashing this sounds so silly, but as a child that longed for connection, it was my reality.  Although I did not battle long with my color issues because I went to a HBCU where I was surrounded by multicultural and multicolored beauty, I did look in the mirror and tear myself apart.  I longed for a sense of perfection that made me say, “You are not pretty enough,” “You are not tall enough,” “You are not short enough,” “You are not skinny enough,” “You are not thick enough,” “Your hair is too short,” “Your face is too round,” and it played out in times of failure as if any of those things were connected to my outcomes.  I look back now and long for my college physique, but at that time I felt that certain aspects of me kept me from achieving my goals.

I am not sure where my epiphany came, but I remember getting into a friend’s car my Sophomore year and she said that I looked different, prettier, happier even.  My inner self had changed and I had accepted me for who I was and that allowed my inner beauty to enhance my outer beauty.  Prior to this moment, I had failed to realize that my self-doubt and criticism of irrelevant things were the only thing keeping me from achieving my goals.  I had nothing to lose, but my personal, self-imposed chains.  The freedom that came with acceptance allowed me to change my energy and attract light with light.  I no longer yearned for what I did not have, but I highlighted my strengths and let them overshadow my weaknesses.

Life is a learning process and it takes time to become the best us.  There is always a better version of us waiting to be tapped into.  The depth and complexity of who I longed to be was tied to many things, but released by the power of love.  I had to love myself enough to know that I was more than enough today, and will be more than enough tomorrow.  I appreciate my experiences more, because I am able to connect with those who may be going through a similar situation.  I can now give hope to those who may feel that the lack of something is a stumbling block, when in reality it can be used as a stepping stone.

Jealousy and envy is more than just wanting someones lifestyle or material items, it can go deeper than that.  The desire to have what someone else has or had will not bring those things to you, but accepting your circumstance will allow those voids to be filled with the things that you need.

You will not get what you want, but you will get what you give.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.