Sitting here, I am, inspired by the tag of a new popular song--Best Part by Daniel Caesar. The tag is simple but not easy. It is— If you love me, won’t you say something?…
Press Your Way Out Of It!
Life will always bring us good days and bad days. Accepting that truth about those days is often the hardest thing to do! We tend to forget that we were never promised that trials and tribulations would not form, but rather that we could overcome them and that the intentions of negativity against our hopes, dreams, purpose and destiny, though formed, would not prosper. That being the truth, on those bad days, when it feels like you want to give in, press to get through and fight to get up!
First things first, feelings of defeat will always come. No one is exempt from them. They usually arise when life does not happen the way we think it should. The thing that often causes feelings of defeat is the fact that we aren’t able to get people to respond the way we want them to (a characteristic that has a whole other giant to tackle in another blog). This inability, to most, feels like failure and who in their right mind ever sets out to fail? Truth is, no one in the world owes you anything! Creating that perspective during a time when few want to have to work for anything and most want to place the blame on others for their lack of success; understanding that when someone is nice and kind or generous to you, they are acting out of surplus because no one owes a-n-y-o-n-e a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. Furthermore life, doesn't owe us anything. Life gives us what we give it and people give us the opportunity to plant a garden that feeds us good in times of need.
Once we accept this reality, we can appreciate knowing that making the decision to do right by people always only results in positive rewards! Choosing to do what is right will always add a star to your side of the board. Thing is, your reward may NOT come from the recipient of your good deed. We will, however, always reap what we sow. While people often repeat that popular phrase, hardly do we really process its truth. Think about it. I can say in my life alone, when I have sown seeds of kindness, I have seen the rewards show up from complete strangers or at the most unexpected times. For example, when after buying a meal for a homeless man I did not know, weeks later, a friend opts to do my hair for free just because… Or, after helping a friend move, someone fills my car tank with gas, at just the right time when funds were low. I can remember getting a gift card once, just in the nick of time, to shop for an unexpected event where my name popped up in someone’s mind to attend a conference that connected me to others, making the invite and gesture that much sweeter.
The benefit of doing right despite how you feel is, even though what you expect in return may not come from the place you’d hoped, your reward is usually, nine times out of ten, going to be equivalent if not greater than that which you have given or done. That being said, a major reason to press through when you feel like giving in is because you never know what gift is waiting on the other side of your press.
Speaking of coming through, when you are being processed there are only two options: staying in the same place and never changing or evolving and possessing change. The power of pressing through is the beauty of a very magnificent word—Results! When you set out to do something, you don’t always achieve the thing you expected on the level to which you expected, but what you do have is the ability to mark that goal as something completed! The power of completion is irreplaceable. It sets a mark or standard. It can create motivation and inspiration. It documents the success of having tried and most importantly it confirms you ability to be and to do and offers tangible lessons for continued growth. Starting anything that does not have an end (even if the end is the decision to end) is like committing suicide (no pun intended). Failure to come through (no matter what it is) is like killing your own-self in the midst of process.
Lastly, once you have pressed pass the feeling of wanting to give in to the struggle between what you know and how you feel; and have the accomplishment of coming through, the next step is opening your eyes to the dawning of a new day! Every moment is an opportunity to be better. Our job is deciding how many moments we will give to our feelings before we step into a second chance. Keep in mind that second chances are first steps towards your best and God’s original intention for your life. While the word second implies a since of inferiority or subordination, second chances offer the opportunity for a new move, nut new is only new when you decide to do something different with the chance you’ve got! Today, do something different from yesterday, or even different from seconds ago, for that matter. Every second of each moment, when the exam called life presents you with multiple choice questions, decide to respond differently than the old you would before your decision to come through… Add a star to your side of the board with the right answer—one fueled by wisdom and a desire to do right! Chose a response that says I have scars to prove I have taken this course and this time, I know what to do…. I know how to come out because I’ve already come through. I know how to stand up because I have been pushed down but I choose to fight and today, I’m better for it!
Fight again, Warrior! Get up! I believe in You!
I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist. I was the girl who thought there was only one truth and one way to get to the truth, but boy was I wrong. I detested that old saying— “live a little, you’ll see… “ It’s the go to statement for anyone older than you with a mission to prove that more years of life have made them wiser, more knowledgable and ultimately smarter than you. I would cringe at even the thought of the cliche because my life has often been full of serving as a supervisor to those who were older than me, and perhaps more seasoned… Obtaining their respect and attention had always been difficult, hence I’d overcome that obstacle by not telling my age and shunning anything that felt remotely like “peer pressure.” I’ve come to learn, though, that part of that age-old statement is in fact true. You do live and learn, and living does create experiences that will show you just how inexperienced you are.
As a result, with living (and not age) you learn. While it is true that age sometimes acts as a buffer for life experiences— can’t enter adult clubs before your 18th birthday, can’t drink alcohol unless the age on your photo ID says 21 years-old, age does in someways protect us from the realities of life; however in a day and time where those protectants can all be breached in some form or another, “living or the trials and errors that come from it,” despite age, is ALSO real. That’s the truth I’d always hoped the “wise ones” would have admitted. Cigarettes and drugs are getting into the hands of children, sexual experimentation is tangible for young people(some voluntarily and others involuntarily) these things are happening but just because they are happening, that does not mean that people are learning. Living or experiencing does not always equate to learning.
By Webster's definition, excellence is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good—distinct, superior, brilliant, great, accomplished; a master. As I began to reflect on this definition, I did not see the word perfect anywhere!
That reality is what brought about a new-found perspective for what it means to be excellent. Excellence is the art of EXCELLING (or growing). I recall the moment that life taught me how to rethink excellence. I was on the bed, confused, trying to gather myself after yet another break-up and after speaking with many friends, praying, talking to God, to myself and my niece’s dog—London (as I was pet-sitting while my niece traveled); I realized the very thing I had been doing to obtain closure and understanding of my recent separation was actually me acting in excellence. The pursuit of understanding coupled with the intentional act of anting and learning to change (me) is what produces excellence. Your commitment to the process and to being processed is the beginning of excellence. The habitual reoccurrence of that same cycle is how we walk in continuously as Excellence.
People who are not willing to think, to gain understanding, to learn from their mistakes, to view/admit and overcome their mistakes as opportunities to be better will not challenge themselves to do just that, be better. They will not achieve excellence. In order to be excellent we must respect and submit to process. I guess that’s why I was always offended by those who’d shut me down because of their age-superiority for what they thought was my lack of experience. In many ways, they seemed to speak from a place that said, they’d arrived and had known it all; not knowing what I’d experienced and what experiences had taught me. Needless to say, I had in my pursuit of “perfection” become just like them—limiting the power of process and the reality that process is eternal and constant. It never ends. So for the 65+ year-old mother whose father left the family when she was 6 years-old, the process of understanding how to be a daughter or how to submit to a righteous authority, is still a process… For the 30 year-old man who never received nurture from his mother; knowing how to treat a woman or a wife or a sister, for that matter, is still a process, and for the baby who has only crawled across the kitchen floor, walking is yet, still a process. The awesome thing about process is after learning to walk, you get to learn to jog, and then to run, to sprint, to skip, to leap, and dive; until life happens and you find yourself deep in your years having to learn to crawl, all over again; except this time on another level.
Life is about process and process is about becoming outstanding or extremely good—distinct, superior, brilliant, great, accomplished; a master on your level because of your willingness to learn, in your own unique way, and at God’s perfect timing.
That said, the moral of the story is, as you continue on this journey of life, what ever you may be going THROUGH (or coming to rather)— a break-up, divorce, separation from a child or loved-one, or maybe a transition in your career that has forced the need to reassess your life and your self, whatever, it may be—do not forsake process, for your growth-intended yes to the process is your journey towards the wonderful promise of being EXCELLENT. So, say yes and vow your “I do” to you!