…Confess…

TAKE ME (3)

Most times, people do things that they know are wrong because it feels right/good but what causes us to do what we know is wrong even when it feels wrong/bad?  Perhaps, you’ve never indulged in this sort of behavior…but regardless of if you have or haven’t, the question still lingers – why would we do a thing like that?

I was wrong. I’ve owned that since the first time. Frustration followed me as I forfeited reason and righteousness…the outcome of a repetitive cycle that begins in wrong doing is bound to get you to feel like you’re wrong, sooner or later. I met ‘later’ seemingly slowly but our encounter has made me evaluate what I’ve claimed/owned as wrong. There I was, all in my feelings and doing right wasn’t how I felt, doing wrong was hoovering and my choice seemed to suit me, at the time…I did nothing.

Have you ever had options but none of them really appealed to you? I’m sure you have and maybe you just chose one to choose but I decided differently and I can confess…while doing ‘nothing’ isn’t something I would recommend, it has provided me with the opportunity to seek clarity and gain a sure footing before I make another move that separates me from satisfaction. Doing nothing didn’t make me feel as if there was a void in my life that needed to be filled but it did make me feel voided of my superficial sense of success. Why was I even trying to entertain the choices I did have? What was I after? What did my pursuit mean? Many believe that lacking action – being stagnant – is a terrible place to be in. I’ve come to see it as a neutral zone because although I didn’t complete what could have offered a better outcome, I’m still not in the quick sand of results that could have been detrimental. Call me indecisive. Call me unsure. Call me what you will, but this is my confession and now I know, for sure, I can have whatever I’m willing to put my all into. I can be excellent and successful, just when I decide to and am willing to endure, even slowly, to accomplish what’s meaningful for me.

Live and let live. Be clear about what you want and live in your ‘why’ of it all. The necessary can’t be negotiated, so when you’re ready to give what your ‘why’ requires – choose what will allow you to give it all you’ve got.

***This post is part of Write Your Ass Off April, a Twenties Unscripted 10-Day Writing Challenge #WYAOApril***

Ignite

TAKE ME (2)

My writing has vanished and there’s an emptiness there in its place. My consistency has vanished and there are excuses of needing to be prepared to begin again. Where has my life been hiding? I remember the last time I felt like I accomplished something. The significance wasn’t great, to many, but I was proud of me…and I’ve been searching for that feeling for what feels like forever.

I sit in silence some days and wonder about if what I have tried to do matters and while I think it does, I’ve gone numb. While my reason is functional, it seems that my capacity to feel has been held captive by my desire for seeing significance in the mirror where my mistakes rival with my reality. I survived the making of my mistakes but I’ve been living in them, today. I acknowledge and own them. I may have even delayed my own departure from them but I’ve been parked long enough. I need to move. I need whatever is necessary to ignite transformation in me – through me – for me, to be better than I’ve been.

***This post is part of Write Your Ass Off April, a Twenties Unscripted 10-Day Writing Challenge #WYAOApril***

Losing the Directions but Getting Located

TAKE ME (1)

You were seemingly always lost…and it seemed that my directions to get to you, often led me everywhere else. I’d been looking for you and it was all because I thought I saw you once, but you left before I could really recognize you.

Love, I’ve imagined you as safety. I’ve been told that you are more than mere feelings and it takes work to have and keep you but, I’m afraid to say, our paths must have crossed, cut each other off and created confusion where certainty should be known. I’ve not been led to you because many haven’t met you, yet; they’ve named other things ‘love’ but there’s no resemblance of you in or on them.

All of these directions and I end up nowhere and everywhere, without you. This was the end result of starting my search, for you, with others’ short cuts. The ways that I’ve taken, according to others, have been crowded by detours and speed bumps and malfunctioning street lights. I’ve encountered much on my way to you, even more than I thought I should have had to endure but that’s exactly when I was introduced to you. Do you remember saving me from myself? All this time I spent frustrated trying to get to you and you found me. You called me by name, told me you knew who I was and that you’ve been waiting for me to stop, long enough for you to speak…or was it for me to listen? Either way…you told me that I was looking to recognize something I never knew and I just listened. You told me that you didn’t leave before but I just got distracted by the accident I saw my cousin in. You told me you were forever but I wondered about right now…how could you want to be lost with me…I didn’t know the way back.

You showed me another way. You patiently waited until I was ready to leave being lost. You introduced yourself to me and made me recognize…see myself. Love, you are the manifestation of every part of my imagination’s eye that has contact with truth. I know you, without doubt. You are what I need when I don’t want anything and you are just enough when I want more. You found me when I was lost and I love you because you’ve stayed. You embrace me even when I’m empty. I just pray that you can recognize me when you look in the mirror. You must be forever, love.

***This post is part of Write Your Ass Off April, a Twenties Unscripted 10-Day Writing Challenge #WYAOApril***

 

When Hindsight’s Teases Teach You [ROAR]

TAKE ME

I’ve heard it said, “hindsight is always 20/20”, this has always troubled me to a certain extent. Why is it that we must wait until after we’ve survived things, in order to understand them – gain some clarity? We all have gone through something that frustrates us…

One of my greatest voids, I found it, in college. Hindsight doesn’t always shine in 20/20 for me, I mean, it wasn’t like I woke up one day and thought, “it would be good for you to live in a cycle of frustration that you, alone, will cause.” All I can remember is a feeling of wandering.

Dear education,

What ever happened to my desire for you? Where did my effort find a place to hide? Who am I becoming without accomplishing in your sphere of influence? When will I learn?

I didn’t do well in college…I haven’t even finished, yet but hindsight’s teases of how I could have done things differently to live differently now, ring loudly for me, now. The thing about this is that I could have done differently, been accomplished inside of the classroom (a scholar, even) and that feeling of wandering could still linger; the outcome of what could have been will never be realized. The lessons that I’ve learned from hindsight are: when you feel something, it’s ok to feel it but do what’s right, regardless; understanding isn’t equivalent to mere knowing and don’t give up because your ‘not yet’ is more prevalent than your ‘next thing’.

I obeyed the roar of my emotions over and against reason. I did nothing because I didn’t feel like it and I’ve learned that doing nothing is never enough. Time has passed but opportunity hasn’t. I can’t give up on what can be because of what was. It’s time for me to go back different and differently, change it and have whatever hindsight teases me about – obey me; I have some things to teach my past.

***This post is part of Write Your Ass Off April, a Twenties Unscripted 10-Day Writing Challenge #WYAOApril. Learn more by visiting: http://www.twentiesunscripted.com.***

#ProcessingPurpose: Carline Pierre

6

  1. When did you first believe in yourself? Do you still do?

I can’t remember a time that I truly believed in myself, until recently. In this season, God told me, “Before I take you to the next level, you need to know FOR YOURSELF who you are, who YOU are IN me and how much you are valued.” And part of this process, thus far, was learning that I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. As I apply it and accomplish things in him, I begin to believe more and more.

  1. Are you sure of what your purpose is? How?

It is funny because I was just watching a sermon by one of my favorite Pastors, Cornelius Lindsey, on passion and purpose. (You can find the sermon on YouTube, if you’re interested). Anyway, he said that we have been given two purposes; a common purpose and a specific purpose. A common purpose is a common ministry that leads to the same goal. A specific purpose is a distinct ministry that, often times, uses particular God given gifts that ultimately lead to the same goal.

Your question was, are you sure of what your purpose is? How? Yes, I am sure of what my purpose is. Our (everyone who has accepted the Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior) common purpose, is to do what we were created to do and that is to bring glory to our Father in heaven by preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

How do I know this? Well it’s in the bible, lol!! Mark 16:15, “Go ye into the world and preach the gospel to all creatures!” Now, everyone who becomes a believer will be given a spiritual gift or gifts as per the Holy Spirit and then there are the talents or natural abilities that everyone is born with. These are your specific purposes or your distinct ministry that should still lead to the same goal, as mentioned above which is to ultimately bring glory to God.

  1. Do you do what you do for money, alone?

No, I do not do what I do for money, alone. If that was the case, I would have a job unrelated to my field that was paying waaaaay more than what I earn. But, I know what I’m going toward and I have to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and put myself in positions that will develop the talents and gifts. I have faith that His grace is sufficient and He will provide all of my needs.

  1. Do you envision greater for yourself? How are you preparing for it?

As I start to believe in myself through Christ, he shows me all of the possibilities that we can accomplish together if I just allow him to manifest certain fruits, talents and gifts that He has given me. I prepare for this by waiting on the Lord and learning from Him what it is I need to work on. Currently, He is teaching me diligence, hard work, patience & selflessness.

  1. What advice would you give to someone who is unclear about what his/her purpose is?

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you” It begins with God, your Creator. If someone gives you a device you’ve never seen a day in your life and you’ve never heard of it, you are going to want to know what it is, what it does or what the purpose of it is. So what would you do? You would find the instruction manual or the maker of the product to answer those questions for you. And it’s the same way with us. You have to go back to the source of your life which is Jesus Christ. Only He can help you. Not me, not blogs, not books, not speakers, not TV, not the Internet, ONLY Him.

So it starts with you accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior. Have you done that? Well, how do I do that? It’s simple. Romans 10:9 says, “because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Then get to know him. Read the gospels.

Get to know who you are in Him and what is required of you and that IS your purpose. I’m going to leave you with this,” God gives us certain gifts that ultimately help us recognize our purpose. If God commands us to do something he will enable us to do it by giving us the ability to accomplish it.” – Cornelius Lindsey

Well Carline, I don’t know what my gifts are!! Help!! Well, what are you naturally good at? How can you use this to edify the kingdom of God? In James, 1:5 says: if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to you.” So ask Him in faith.

So let’s pray this prayer together:

Heavenly Father, I love you. And I just want to do what’s pleasing and honoring in your sight. Forgive me for thinking I could figure this all out in my own way and in my own strength which is futile without you. I’m sorry for leaving you out when it is you that I should always lift mine eyes too…. It is you that I should run to when I am confused. I need you. I need to hear from you. Show me thy ways and teach me thy paths. Unveil my eyes so I can see the gifts and talents that you so graciously bestowed upon me so I could use them to further your kingdom here on earth. Teach me what I need to learn in order to carry out those purposes. I am your humble servant. All glory and honor forever belongs to you Lord, in Jesus name, Amen.

Interviewee: Carline Pierre

Connect with Carline:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carline.pierre.58

#ProcessingPurpose: Raegan Mathis

8

  1. What has been your greatest investment in yourself?

Choosing myself and my own endeavors. This sounds a bit crazy, however, so many times I’ve placed the needs of others in front of my own. I used to shrink back in order to fit in, make sure I didn’t offend anyone or that everyone is happy. As a result, I lost myself – or at least my original self. Experience, heartbreak and loss taught me quickly – my endeavors are important. Likely, the most important. Especially when I began to hit certain milestones in my life and had been missing the goals I most wanted to achieve.

Getting serious about getting my smile corrected. It was one of those things I’ve always wanted fixed.  When I made the leap to get things done, I had a little work done and then my dentist pulled the “hey if you want the rest of this work done, you have to correct your smile.”  I was a little heated (cost and I mean – braces). It was also the second time I’ve had them. However, it has been one of the best things I’ve done. It was small and large at the same time. When you begin to take care of yourself the way you should, it gives you the courage to face other obstacles. Honoring the small promises to yourself reinforces your value to yourself. If there’s something you want to change, work on and improve, do it. It’s freeing.

  1. How do you forgive yourself for mistakes you’ve made along your journey? 

At first I didn’t. [insert and redact a string of curse words about tomfoolery and such] I tried for a very long time to sabotage myself and prevent myself from all of the good things God has for me and experiencing the things life has to offer. At some point I realized that was really dumb. LOL! No matter which God you pray to, there’s a factor of forgiveness there. Who am I to say that God’s forgiveness can’t cover my own?  I’m certain if God can forgive me, then I can forgive myself.

I also tried to make sure I was diligent in my efforts to be the best person I could be. By making sure my actions were in line with the things I wanted the most, it meant everything else could begin to fall into line.

As an added note, forgiveness of myself is a continual process. I screw up often. I often have to “rewind and be kind” as I’ve heard before. This is sometimes daily, hourly. It’s easy to give in and give up, tell yourself you deserve hard times or less than a stellar life.

  1. How do you define purpose? What’s yours?

Purpose, for me, is intertwined with passion. What am I passionate about? What are the things I feel the need to fix, make better or do in the world? Why? Do I want to create, offer help, heal, etc.? What pulls me out of bed in the morning? Who do I love?

Purpose is what gets you up in the morning. Sometimes, we don’t discover it until later in life. Sometimes, we’re afraid of what our purpose is (too big, seems impossible, we’re listening to the naysayers). Sometimes, we believe what looks like a small thing is so small. it’s inconsequential. It’s not. Everyone has a purpose – or several. My purpose? To love, encourage and share. I believe part of it is to show others how to cope and create their best lives. I do that through creating my own, through sharing, conversations, writing…really you can do it in so many different ways.

  1. Could/Can you deny your purpose; do something else & still be satisfied?

Yes, I believe you can. Many of us don’t believe we can turn what we love into something that supports us. Some of us put that purpose/passion on the backburner. Some of us just consider it a hobby. I’ll say this, if you’re spending all of your free time doing something, you seem to be extremely good at it, you don’t mind putting in the hours and hustle, it’s likely it could be part of your purpose. You may have to hone it and tweak it. It may lead you to a larger endeavor. I honestly believe we can have various purposes in our lives. At one phase of our life our purpose may manifest in one way and the next phase, it may shift and be used in another. Different careers, passions. Choices. Different purposes. It’s all good. If I don’t know anything else, I can say we all have many different lives we can lead. Choose the best for yourself.

  1. What’s your life’s mission?

I’m still working on this one. I honestly don’t know if I’ll know until the end of my life. As long as I’ve made a positive difference, helped others, loved deeply and been loved deeply, fostered my relationship with God? I believe I will have achieved my goal.

Describe your process to discovering purpose. 

Trial and error. Trial and failure. Being drawn to something. Paying attention to the things you do without anyone having to ask you to do it. Understanding things you enjoy. It’s a process. It’s exploration. It’s asking questions. It’s laughing and having a great time. It’s the not so great moments and being able to rise from them.

Quick story on discovering your purpose:

I went to Nigeria in 2009. Epic trip. I was taking photos with a Canon point and shoot. It was great. The battery lasted until the very last day I was there. My good friend I’d been to see had to often keep me in the car. It was then I knew I needed to buy a DSLR. I didn’t. Instead I came home and kept taking photos with my phone. I never shared them. In late 2013 I decided to finally gift myself with a camera. I thought it would be a low cost way to keep myself entertained, meet people and take walks, etc. and do things. Turns out I was right. It also turns out – I was extremely passionate about it. If I roll back to 1994 in college, I took a photography course. The teacher told me I had a gift. But I was on track for a biology degree – which just so happened my scholarship was attached to it. I never thought much about making it a career. Now? I just enjoy capturing moments and sharing them with others. I never knew it would be something others cared about but the response I’ve had has been amazing.

Interviewee: Raegan Mathis

Connect with Rae:

Blog: http://www.untitled1975.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vermillionpearl

#ProcessingPurpose: Valerie Wilbon

3

  1. What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far (that makes you proud)?

My greatest accomplishment thus far would have to be attending and graduating from college. As a kid, school came very easy to me. I am a person who thrives off of regiment and structure, both of which are engrained in our school system, so grade school was very comfortable for me. College was the first time in my life I encountered real autonomy, and I struggled tremendously with it. It was the first time I was solely responsible for my time and my schedule. It was the first time I was forced to really think and analyze, instead of just memorize and regurgitate. It was the first time I wasn’t rewarded for just showing up. It was the first time I was forced to figure out what I believe and defend those beliefs. College provided me with many of my adulthood “firsts”. I’ll never be done growing and learning but it was the first significant hurdle of my life. College was a real growing and pruning process for me, not just academically, but socially and spiritually as well, and to be able to say that I endured and passed that process is something I’m extremely proud of.

  1. If money weren’t a factor in your life, would you be doing something else (to make a living)?

Absolutely! Right now I’m not where I want to be professionally, but I’m taking steps to make my passions and my profession to correspond.

  1.   Could/Can you deny your purpose?

I believe your purpose is something that is innate. Its embedded like your DNA. Purpose will always be a part of who you are. It unexplainably brings you the feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction. I also believe that your purpose can manifest itself in different ways. I don’t believe that you always have to do or be one certain thing in order to be fulfilling your purpose. However, I do think the things you do, in order to fulfill your purpose, will connect and intertwine. Finding your purpose can be a scary thing because purpose has such a vast connotation to it. So I think it’s an easy thing to try to deny your purpose once you’ve identified it. You can run from it, pretend it doesn’t really interest you, and act like you don’t have those feelings inside. On the surface, you can deny and avoid your purpose, but internally you are at war. I don’t think you can ever fully deny your purpose.

  1. What always excites you?

I feel my best when I am involved in service. I have always enjoyed community service activities and “behind the scenes” work. I feel my best when I have helped someone else fulfill a need.

A close second to that would be music. Music is another language to me. Lyrics and genres aside, music always communicates and emotes where we are as people in society. I love how different music is influenced by each other and I love hearing those influences and learning about how in turn, music shapes our society as our society shapes and is reflected in music. Music is an integral part of my self-care routine, and always makes me feel alive and peaceful at the same time.

  1. What do you want to explore more?

Currently, I’m exploring where my interest and occupation can be combined. I want that professional dream where work doesn’t feel like work, where I do what I love, and get paid for it, and I’m exploring what training I need to do – what moves I need to make in order for that to happen.

       Describe your process to discovering purpose.

Discovering purpose is a continuing process for me. I know what fulfills me and makes me happy, but I feel the need to figure out how to incorporate that into more than just my leisure time.

Interviewee: Valerie Wilbon

Connect with Valerie:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/valerie.wilbon