When I sit down to write for the internet to consume – whether it’s 1 reader or 500 – I’m deliberate with word choice and execution. However, today is one of those days where I need to let my heart speak. I have things that I’ve been wanting to share but have been waiting for the right moment or rather, the proper post do so.
I’ve grown a decent readership in the past few years so by all means if you’re expecting eloquence, you might want to ignore this 1 and head over to Medium for my latest piece.
So I’m currently embarking on a 40 day fast where I’m spiritually cleansing my life. It started after my pastor delivered a message where he spoke about reaching the point where you feel like you can’t take it anymore. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can watch it here. (Fast fwd to about the 15:00 mark)
There are parts of my life in need of a hard reset and purging. I don’t want to wait until the new year. I don’t plan on doing a recap or one of those “year of review” style posts so here it goes.
Knowing what your triggers are tied to means you can develop a way to counteract them and be proactive and more self-aware.
When it comes to dating, I keep meeting the same type of woman – has her life together, incredibly smart, successful, financially independent, educated, basically a hell of a catch. Most recently, the young lady was cool but I had a moment where I thought I wasn’t good enough on paper as I was. My insecurities were talking me out of a potentially good thing. And so we had one of those “check in” conversations about how I was feeling.
I tweeted a few days ago about how women underrate the importance of reassurance to men. I didn’t grow up being showered with love, attention and all that positive reinforcement stuff. Having been married, there was very little confidence boosting that wasn’t attached to sex. Here’s the thing…even when you want something, finally getting it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll cling to it. I remember someone once said I was used to being treated badly. It stung because it was true. So this young lady is doing things that implies she likes me and my brain is like
To be honest, her compliments weren’t even stellar. But given she respected my space awhile back and didn’t side-eye me when I said I needed to get another woman out of my system, knowing her interest was genuine meant something.
I’m not going to stress myself over finding the one anymore. For now, my heart is after God. I want to be the man God wants me to be. I’m nowhere near done maturing in Christ. Sure, I’m fit to be a great husband and father. However, I don’t think I was put on this Earth to be just that. I want my impact to be something different.
Nonetheless, my prayers have expanded to include God working on my future wife. I mean how many times have you really asked God to bless the life of your future spouse, wherever he/she may be? Every night I ask God to protect her, guide her, pour into her, teach her, etc. Whatever He speaks to me, I say those for her. If you’re single and desire to be married, can’t hurt to pray for your future spouse.
Over the summer, I set the goal of running an 8 minute mile. I haven’t done that since my 20s. I ran on the treadmill during the week because running in 95% humidity isn’t smart. Towards the end of the summer, I’d try to get in extra time at night. At my best, I got down to about 9.5 minutes.
One night, I decided to go running my neighborhood. If you live in a subdivision, you know there’s all types of twists, turns, and detours you can take. I took a shortcut back to my house and it wound up being a terrible decision that pushed me into a dark place mentally.
To make a long story short, I encountered a cop who was probably just doing his due diligence. However, him doing his job was a trigger for me as a black man who’s been stopped by white cops too many times. I went home angry and embarrassed, despite this happening at nearly midnight with no one around. I vented to my best friend who was supportive as she always had been. But I paced the floor for hours. I couldn’t sleep. That night, and for days after that, I sat in my bedroom with a loaded gun in my lap. The thought that ran through my head? They’re going to kill me eventually anyway.
Call it paranoia. Call it hyperbole. That’s how I was felt. We’ve seen it happen regularly these past few years. I’d seen it happen years before social media and the internet existed. I was tired, man. And this time there was no one to save me. So why am I still here? I don’t have the answer.
The quote wall in my house helps me stay focused on uplifting thoughts when I leave and when I come home. Ever so often, I take a break from social media because niggas are exhausting and the news is depressing. It’s crucial that in trying times we feed our spirits all things love.
Be intentional about the energy you allow around you. If you need to separate yourself in order to protect yourself, do it. Release negativity so that positivity can bloom.
What actually prompted the 40 day fast was something professionally related. I was thisclose to quitting one of my jobs. I wasn’t getting enough sleep and feeling like literally all I did was live to work. In my pastor’s sermon, he started off talking about the Roberto Duran-Sugar Ray Leonard fight where Duran gave up and said “No Mas”. Now, aside from the obvious immediate Jay Z reference, his point was tied into the Bibilical source 1 Kings 19: 1-18.
One of the points he made was we react incorrectly because our equilibrium is out of sync. For Elijah, he was alone when he gave up. For some of us, it could be the same thing. If you’re not connected to the body of Christ, you’re overreacting to things because you don’t know anything else. If you are in church, it could be that your relationship with God isn’t as tight as it could be. Or a lot of times, you’re easily distracted or overwhelmed by the big things. For believers, I don’t think it takes much because we’ve been led to believe that’s how Satan works. Some religious leaders spend so much energy teaching you to be on guard for the big, scary stuff that you miss the subtle attacks on your life every single day. On the flip side, we tend to dismiss God in the little blessings.
I prayed on it and realized that having two jobs wasn’t the problem. It was the fact that I was doing too much too fast. What did I really need the money for? To fix up a new, perfectly fine house that was gonna be mine for at least the next 5 years. There was no rush. I was pressuring myself for no reason. This message in this season was telling me to chill the hell out.
So I sat down with my boss and we talked about my work schedule. Surprisingly, he was more than accommodating about it. He’d actually been figuring out a way to tell me he needed to scale back my hours since traveling back and forth was getting pricey due to the holiday season. The issue that had been causing me anxiety turned out to not be worth quitting over because it was negotiable.
Most things in life come down to one simple fact; stop making excuses and have faith that God will work it all out.