QUESTION 20 – Why Are We Here?
QUESTION 14- Am I Strong Enough?
I’ve endured a lot of things in my 30’s so far. People say I’m strong, but at times I don’t feel strong. It’s the God in me that helps me get through. I don’t need to question my strength because I can rely on His.
What does it mean to be strong?
Being strong means knowing when to ask for help, and not being afraid to.
Being strong means facing your fears–doing it afraid.
Being strong means moving forward based on faith and wisdom even when circumstances tell you otherwise.
Being strong means doing what’s right even when everyone else tells you you’re wrong (or you can get away with it).
Being strong means speaking your truth even if it’s not popular with the masses.
Being strong means that you remain kind and not allow evil people or ugly situations get the best of you.
Being strong means walking in your purpose.
Men and women of character can. What kind of person are you?
How do you show your strength?
Celebrity choreographer Laurieann Gibson was on The Mo’ Nique Show recently, talking about her latest reality dance show, Born to Dance, where 20 young women compete for $50K and a strong start to a professional dance career. Y’all know how I love to dance. I was surprisedly inspired by her profound statement regarding female self-image and the negativity that comes with the competitive, “cast-off”-types of reality shows:
“We collectively decided that I would not use the word “elimination,” because when you say, “you’re eliminated,”… I didn’t wanna speak that into their spirit–into their purpose. Eliminated means to cease not to exist, to go away. Eliminate, eliminate, eliminate…. When you’re young and you’re pure, that gift that purity… you know it’s like if that little doorway opens up with such a word as “elimination…,” “you’re eliminated…,” it begins to chop away at your gift, at your desire, and it starts to attach negativity onto your purpose. So we don’t say “eliminated” on this show. We say “you’re moving on,” and in moving on, God continues to cover you and prepare a way. Yes it’s only that this situation will only allow me to give one girl the money and the opportunity, but in moving on, you’re moving on fulfilling your dream and when you leave, you’re moving on with lessons, with information, with a sense of self, with the idea that there is no shortcut. And you must never sacrifice your self-worth as a young woman for any man or any career or any opportunity.”
I agree that it can be very discouraging to get so close to a dream and then be… eliminated. We have to be careful of the things we speak into someone’s life, and to choose our words carefully.
Yesterday, Spelman College and Written Magazine presented “A Conversation with Tyrese” at the Sister’s Chapel at Spelman. Written’s publisher Michelle Gipson conducted the 80-min interview with singer/actor Tyrese Gibson about his new book, How to Get Out of Your Own Way (Grand Central Publishing, 2011), a memoir/self-help book. Journalist and CNN commentator Jack Johnson joined them onstage as well. Gipson encouraged audience members (Spelman students, grown women, and a few men!) to submit questions on notecards or tweet with the hashtag #WritMagAskTyrese.
Note: This post is written almost like a full-featured magazine article, except that I’ve also included my own thoughts and explanations to provide context. So it’s long, even though I left some things out. . . but I think you’ll enjoy it regardless.
It’s no surprise that when the tall, dark, and dapper 32-year-old Tyrese appeared onstage, the girls went crazy with screams and frantic camera-phone picture-taking. It took awhile before he could speak–partly because of the love from the crowd, and partly because he was nervous. But after his initial “Hello,” the girls (and Tyrese) were able to collect themselves, and I was able to take more than three pages of notes to capture teachings from “The Temple of Tyrese,” as Jet magazine called it in their April 4, 2011 issue.
Continue reading “Teachings from the Temple of Tyrese”
So many people have died in recent months in the news and, I’m sure, in your own lives. Death reminds us of how short life is. How do you want to be remembered? What do you want your obituary to say? What will your legacy be?
You are going to die someday, and it may not be when you are old and gray and at peace. That’s not morbid– it’s just the truth. Your life may end suddenly or unexpectedly. You may not see it coming. Our days are numbered, and only God knows when He is ready to take us home. What will we leave behind when we go?
It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane, routine activities of life and forget about our dreams or passions, or even just let them take a back seat to the pressing matters of each day.
I would encourage people not to think on thoughts such as “What if I can’t do it?”, but rather, “What happens if I DON’T?” I read a great quote recently that said, If you’re going to do it, don’t worry, and if you’re going worry, don’t do it (Deena Katz). So many people wonder what will happen if they step out on something and fail, but what about if they never try? What if they stay stuck in the same dead-end situation for another 5 or 10 years? To me, THAT is what’s scary.
In the past 4 years that I’ve been living in VA, I have overcome several obstacles and fears. Those fears could have paralyzed me and stopped me from becoming the more confident young lady that I am today. I am free from all the mess I’ve been through. I will always remember situations and the scars are there. Now I wear my scars with honor, knowing that it can’t stop me from my destiny—the only one who can stop me is me! I share my story whenever I believe it can help someone—to to brag on myself, but to brag on what God has done for me, and encourage others.
No one can get in your way if you are staying true to yourself and following your purpose—no one but you.