2015 Leave Behinds
There have been two major losses which have significantly, not only changed how I live my life, but have also changed how I view the world. The first loss was someone I loved soooooo very much. The second one was someone I didn’t know at all. Those two losses were beyond my control, nothing I could have foreseen or prevented. And yet, both could have been prevented. Both deaths, after coming out of the cloud of disbelief and resuming movement after being paralyzed with pain and heartache propelled me to do more, go harder.
I have heard people say, I have said, “Life happens”. Things occur that distract or interrupt plans or actions. This year, I realized that “People happen” that cause me to lose focus and momentum. It often results in my questioning myself, my worth, my purpose. The human mind is coldblooded. Twenty people can give me accolades and say what an integral part of the team I am. And yet, one person’s criticism will play on a loop in my head. Charles M. Blow gave me life yesterday in the form of a tweet.
His tweet reminded me of the commitment I made to self and have wavered on. Charles M. Blow tweeted, “Thinking about the new year, I don’t do resolutions, per se, but I do ‘leave behinds.’ Not everything in ur life is supposed to be…”
I reread it a few times and reflected on the melancholy mood I have been in the past few days. A few years ago, when I turned 50 and following the tragedies and traumas of the previous few years, I decided to live my life in an unapologetic way. Saying no to the the things I didn’t want to do. Not offering explanations to the things I said yes to. In many ways, most times, I have stuck with that decision. I have learned it really is a conscientious effort to to do so.
As 2015 comes to a close, I am definitely doing some much needed “leave behinds”. I am leaving behind people, things and habits. The first folks getting left are the ones who are more critical than encouraging. You never have anything positive to say? A number of years ago, when I was unemployed, I made a conscious effort to not complain. I choose to not get my chones in a bunch over things which I have zero control. Therefore, I am definitely not trying to hear other people complaining. All the time.
For all you Super Spiritual people, leaving you behind too. There are things I feel and go through that have nothing to do with a lack of faith, believing in what God can do or anything else. Guess what? Depression is real. I never hear those Super Saints telling folks with high blood pressure not to “claim it” or question their faith when they take medication. Living my life focused on my personal relationship with Jesus, my witness and my ministry has been freeing. Some of y’all so saved you don’t even know anybody who’s not.
The other people who are getting left in 2015 are those who don’t walk that talk. I have given you the benefit of the doubt. I have been patient cause we are all a “work in progress”. However, since now I’m wondering about your integrity and truthfulness, I’ma go ahead and opt out with you in 2016.
2015 has been an incredible year in my professional growth and development. I have also grown and came to term with some personal relationships. Interpersonal relationships more often than not are complicated. Whether they are familial, colleagues, friends, romantic or a combination of any. The only person who needs to understand my relationships is me and the person I am in relationship with. She’s my Soul Sister; she’s the other half of Double Trouble; he’s my VBFF; I’m her Nana; he’s Blue; I’m Coach and so it goes. We know and that’s all that matters. Stop explaining your life.
The fact that you share DNA doesn’t mean you are required to have people in my life. It definitely doesn’t mean their thoughts, opinions, criticism matter. I learned a while ago, people either really, really like me or they really, really don’t. I once heard a preacher say, “People don’t like you. They don’t even know you but they don’t like you. They don’t like your face as if you ordered it yourself”. Can you be okay with that in your life? It can be liberating.
Thus, I win by losing with the leave behinds. I can give zero air time (or zero expletive for my profanity using friends lol) to things that are inconsequential to the daily struggle against a system that kills with impunity; that disproportionately under educates children based on zip codes, socio-economic status and skin color; that maintains school/foster care/sex abuse to prison pipelines. Changing the world. I’m about that life.
Writing this post on this third day of Kwanzaa, thinking about the meaning of today’s principle.
- Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together.
Imagine what community would look like if we all made this (and the other) principles a way of life.
I encourage you to look over 2015 and purposely leave some people, things and habits behind!!!!!
- Posted in: Uncategorized