Do what makes you feel good.
My Life: Life will test you and take you to places you do not want to go. Lord, do I know this one all too well! Since I was aware of the world, I have been pushed, pulled, led, and walk into many scenarios I was not ready for. I have been down so many dark, stank, ungodly paths that I began to think that was the norm. It was the norm for me because I didn’t know how to change my circumstance actively. Being an Advocate (BBB# 27) for yourself is not a black and white concept. Like most things in life, it has many shades and hues that it comes in. I have gotten jobs where I knew that was not where I was supposed to be in the first year. I lacked the faith needed to step outside of that institution for fear that I would not take care of my family financially. Being the breadwinner had taken its toll on me. I became resentful that I had to make these choices instead of realizing that I didn’t have to make them.
I needed to realize that I had the power to change my circumstance, no matter how they presented themselves. I was not and am not a prisoner to life. There is a vast consciousness of choices and decisions. What I had was a limited reaction to life, and if I opened myself up to learn another way, I would find that my path would change slightly. Every choice we make is more important than we think. Especially when it comes to our reaction to things, it is up to the individual.
Lucky for me, I have prayer because I didn’t believe that I had the power to do anything but take whatever life dished and be thankful. Yes, we are taught as believers to be grateful, but there is nuance in that. It doesn’t mean be thankful for everything. You may need to find the good in a situation not to allow negative energy to consume you, but you have to look at things with clear and open eyes. Being thankful doesn’t mean we act as a terrible situation is a gift, but it might be the lesson learned from that terrible moment that brings thanks. I thanked the wrong parts of my story for so long that it made me bitter and resentful. It didn’t make me feel good to thank my abuser, but it feels good to thank myself for surviving and not giving up. Looking back, I was missing giving myself credit. I should have had faith that I was meant to live prosperously. I was not born to suffer. I needed to realize somehow that my life had meaning, and I had to choose what that meaning was.
Reflection: You know when you’re tested because of the energy in the room changes. It is up to you to notice it, slow down, maybe even step away and give yourself time to process it. So often, we forget to be purposeful. We are looking for the world to tell us who we are, validate our existence. The problem is, validation is for self. We are to validate our existence, find a purpose and walk in it. Once we make those two decisions, the rest becomes easy and natural. That is not to say that life will be a cakewalk. There will still be challenging times, but that is life, right. You have to take the ups with the downs and make the best of it all. Grow, do better, be better, love harder, more comprehensively, and have faith that you are not alone. You can see the world around you – so of course, you’re not alone. Even though the world is continually moving around you, there are still times as individuals we feel alone. Alone in our thoughts, ideas, actions, illnesses, etc. Reach out, have a conversation, and you will find a village (BBB#39).
The Test: Yes, life will test you, but it is up to you to pass or fail. How will you know that you passed? It will feel good, make you happy, and it will build you up. If it does the opposite, then you know you have made a wrong choice. Guess what? You can change the circumstance as soon as you realize that you made a mistake. That is the great part of living, change. Just like change can work against you, it can also extend you grace by allowing you to right your wrongs. That doesn’t mean that you will be able to go back to the exact circumstance, person, or problem and fix it. Most of the time, it means that you make a different choice as you move forward and are presented with this again.
Your emotions (BBB# 36) are your compass to the world. Spending time with yourself and your emotions will help you make better choices in life. They will direct you to where you need to go. The more you follow them, the surer your steps will become. They will guide you to love. They will help you hone (BBB#49) in on your gifts. Your emotions will even help you find your purpose and bring you income. When we stop listening to the world and spend time listening to ourselves, we will find that life becomes more manageable, happier, and more fulfilling.