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I am officially on vacation. This means that I am doing my favorite thing: traveling. I had a ball in North Carolina and my next stop is Alabama to visit the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration. I also just had a birthday. Since I turned 31, I thought of 31 life lessons I’ve learned to date. Some of them I am still working on (like my patience) but they are lessons life has taught me were important nonetheless:
- Always put Yah and Yahoshua first. YAH is faithful. He can and he will.
- Be yourself. People don’t have to like you and you don’t have to care.
- If it doesn’t feel right that’s because it’s not right.
- Remember, the more you know, the less you speak. Sometimes the loudest one in the room is also the weakest one in the room.
- Watch everything. Let nothing go over your head. Listen to body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. Hear everything people don’t say in words.
- Establish boundaries, let people know what those boundaries are and remind them when they have transgressed them.
- No is a complete sentence. You are allowed to turn down a commitment without feeling guilty about it.
- Marriage is sacred. Protect it. Remember that everything doesn’t belong on social media. Learn to experience something beautiful and tell no one.
- New beginnings. It’s never too late to begin again.
- Love all. Trust few.
- Be patient with yourself.
- Call your mother. You only get one.
- Pay attention to yourself. Your actions reveal your heart.
- Speak up. People don’t know how to love you if you don’t show them. If something irritates or annoys you, say it.
- Never sacrifice your integrity no matter how enticing the opportunity.
- Don’t chase people. If someone wants to be in your life, you’ll know.
- Because of the increase in lawlessness, the love of the world has grown cold so be kind, be gentle, be considerate.
- Karma is a real thing. If you don’t want it to happen to you, don’t do it to others.
- “Some people say that cucumbers taste better pickle.” < See how this statement makes no sense? Just because something sounds deep, doesn’t mean that it is.
- Be a fool for no one.
- Friendships are sacred. Don’t go around calling everyone you friend or sister. Make them prove it.
- Remember to check on your strong friends.
- Assume nothing. Validate everything.
- Laugh. Let joy rub off on you. One day you won’t have the privilege of being in a good mood. One day things won’t be so joyous and you’ll just have the memories of when they were.
- Make memories.
- Don’t ever look down on someone for not knowing what you know. There was a time when you didn’t know either.
- You don’t know what you don’t know.
- Spend time alone. Get to know yourself.
- Be willing to walk alone, than with a thousand snakes.
- Remember the homeless as if chained to them. Let their condition be a reminder of your humility. Your life could always be worse.
- Remember that there is a way of correcting people without telling the whole world. Educate, but do not make people feel less than they are. Even if someone is wrong, give them the tools they need to be successful but leave them with their dignity.
#1: Celebrate Along the Way
After everything Yah created, he stopped to praise the work he had done. When he created the lights, it was good. When he created the expanse, it was good. When he created the land and the waters and the sun and the stars and so on, Yah stopped to acknowledge that what he had just created was good. In our own lives, we must learn to celebrate our success along the way and not just what we consider great successes but small ones too. And when I say small I am talking about being able to get out of the bed in the morning. When I say small I mean getting your children ready for school. When I say small I mean cooking for your family. When I say small I mean being able to have a warm cup of coffee in the morning or a cool glass of wine in the evenings. This is surplus. Anytime we can have more than the bare minimum, it’s surplus. Its extra. So when I say small I mean being successful at just getting through the day without going insane.
Miserable people will try to criticize your joy. They will say things like, “ain’t nobody happy all the time.” While you certainly won’t be happy all the time, you don’t have to be happy to be thankful. We must learn not to just promote praise among those finished projects but to also see the good in the unfinished. We must learn to be grateful during the bad times, the tired times, the frustrating times, and the sad times because these are the most important times. In fact, these hard times are probably even more important than the good times because the hard times are cultivating something in you. You are being prepared for something. You are being strengthened for a work. Additionally, being grateful for what you have and celebrating on the way to where you are going builds healthy self-esteem. When you stop and give praise for everything that you have, even if you don’t have what you want, you begin to feel better about yourself, about your life and about who you are.
#2: It’s a Process
Certainly, the Almighty Power could have created everything in one day. Certainly, he is powerful enough and more than capable of doing it but instead, Yah took six days. He took his time making sure that the world was perfect for those who would inhabit it. In our own lives, we must understand that everything is a process. You cannot expect to have everything figured out at one time and you can’t expect to have everything you need at one time. You may find one piece of the puzzle today and the next piece may not come until next month or next year. The next piece may not come until you are mature enough to receive that piece. It may not come until you are in a place mentally to receive it.
Greatness doesn’t just happen. It is a result of years of work, of trial, of failure, and of learning. It is a culmination of experiences and setbacks. It is a process. We must learn to allow ourselves to be nurtured and to be prepared for our destiny and our purpose.
The creator of everything certainly does not need to rest in the way that we do and as previously stated, certainly he could have created everything in one day and be done with it. But he didn’t and I believe it was to show us something. After six days Yah rested on the seventh day and set this day apart. In our own lives, we must understand that there’s no such thing as this 24-hour working life we see on social media and television. You cannot expect to work until you are exhausted and still expect to have enough energy to be productive. Rest and vacation have become a privilege in this world and that’s a shame. Rest is not some privilege. Rest is a necessity. We cannot expect to be 100 every single day. That’s not realistic. Rest is just as important as work is.
Sleep plays an important role in your physical health and is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Going without sleep or rest is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. This is because our bodies are designed to refuel during rest. This is when we get our wind back. You can run non-stop until you are out of breath and falling over or you can walk and pace yourself so that you have enough endurance to make it to the end. We can try and mimic the “hustle” and “grind” of everyone else and run our health into the ground. Or we can take some time to rest our bodies, our hearts, and our minds.
I love this song. The lyrics are beautiful. I love music. When I am music I am ocean. I am sea. I am one racing body of water. I am tucked between the words and feeling every psalm with my soul. This is that kind of song.
Really enjoyed this interview with Lewis with the Breakfast Club. She got me pumped to finish my own memoir! I may be quiet and reserved but I love realness and I love people (as an introvert, extroverts keep me balanced lol). I love real people because life is real. The rest of ya’ll can walk around with your noses in the air and your high horses but I ain’t got that kind of time. Be real with me. I am the closest to people who just keep it 100 and this interview is pretty much that. I haven’t read her memoir yet but I am about to go get it. (Note: I try not to use profanity and posting this video should not be taken as consent that I condone it. Lewis is hilarious though.)
My favorite quote:
“Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes.”
Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday! It’s been a minute since our last one so I am excited to be back. If you are new to this blog or new to this segment, please refer to the original post HERE. In brief, this is the day of the week when we do not whine, complain, or criticize. How have you done so far? You know us. We complain before getting out of the bed!
How often do we attribute complaints to others? Probably about 95% of the time. Someone is always doing something to us, offending us or thinking badly of us in some way. But is it always others or is it us?
The truth is that it’s easier to think more about others than we do about ourselves and let’s face it, that’s a good thing on the surface. You don’t want to be a “lover of self” (2Tim 3:2). But balance is important in every aspect of our lives. It’s important to be there for others but it’s not cool to leave ourselves behind. I’ve learned that complaints are rooted in some form of unhappiness within ourselves. We aren’t the weight we want to be, we aren’t fulfilled at our jobs and relationships, and we are just not happy with ourselves in some capacity.
“As perfectionists, we tend to own other people’s problems. We tend to be fixers and doers. We are attracted to those that need help because of the accomplishment that we feel from helping others. This co-dependent behavior is unhealthy, and often leads to our own unhappiness.” – Source: http://imperfectionistblog.com/2015/04/be-there-for-others-but-never-leave-yourself-behind/
When you are not happy with yourself, everything annoys you and you complain more. The truth is like Dr. Phil said, we can’t control others. We can influence them. We can motivate them. We can inspire them, but we cannot control them. The only people we can control is our own selves. Spend some time with yourself and discover what it is about you that will make you happier and more fulfilled. Take some time to be a little bit selfish. I admit I have been. I have not written many reviews this year and I have not been as supportive as I know that I should. This is not because I have not wanted to. This is because I went through some hurtful things and I needed to make sure that I was good too (without projecting that onto you). I needed to refuel myself and do things that made me happy so that I can be there for others. I needed to take my own advice and keep myself just as full as I was keeping others. I needed to do this because being there for others without being there for myself meant leaving myself behind and leaving myself empty. And when you’re empty, what can you give? Only after you have dealt with you can you sincerely help others.
I hate to have to be the one to tell you this
after all, you woke up today optimistic
and here I am
feeding you words that I know you do not want to hear
but I wouldn’t be much of a friend if I didn’t tell you the truth
about how the world loves you.
The world will love you
only after the soil hugs your flesh
when the breath leaves your body for that place it will now call home
the world will bring you home
on the backs of T-Shirts
and tattoos that kiss cuzo’s flesh
in a frame on grandmother’s wall
and in museums
popularize your name in a post
speak to you in a language that you will never understand
and in a voice that you will never hear
the world will love you
after the fact
like they did messiah
on their living room walls
force a crown of thorns around your head
sacrifice your body to social media
on their Facebook walls
hashtag your legacy
they will celebrate you
like they never even did at birth
I warn you
they will throw you parties
bigger than anything your eyes could behold
in their memories like a nightmare
from which they cannot awake
you will haunt them
and they will love it
the world will love you in caskets
and in prayers
tell you secrets in the grave
they will confide in you
like a man to a woman’s hips
when the world loves you back
it is in flowers
and candlelight vigils
it is in marches, street corners, and pictures
the world will love you in laughter
and in memorials
in memory and regret
and I apologize that I have to be the one to tell you this
after all, you woke up today optimistic
but I wouldn’t be much of a friend if I didn’t tell you the truth
about how the world loves you
only in death.
This poem is inspired by “When the Hood Loves You Back” by Steven Willis. You can watch the video to my poem below. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for notifications of more poems.