When it comes to making mistakes, we have all been there, done that and got the T-shirt! I challenge you, as we come to the close of another year and look forward with anticipation to 2015, to look at your mistakes with new eyes. It’s only a mistake if you make it twice. The first time is a lesson. Once you get this message you will stop beating yourself up for things that show up in your life to grow you. Everything you go through is to help get you to where you’re going to. The sooner you learn the lesson the sooner you can move on to the good stuff. I’m reaping the benefits of all my mistakes, and the good stuff is here! Some of the lessons took a while to learn, but I got it now. I am ready to sit down at the table. Yes! What I mean by this is, a lot of times we feel that we have nothing to bring to the table. We feel that our experiences are not legitimate enough to join in the conversation. Often times we think we need more education, more intellect, more something! Not so much. You never know who is looking for what you have to offer. So speak up and join the roundtable!
Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it. We know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As a breast cancer survivor, that is the busiest speaking time of the year for me. Well this year I had five speaking engagements in October, three of which included a vendor table with my books, plus a “Book Launch” in September. You talking about a tired sista! I was so worn out that I decided November will be my reflect and relax month. I’m not trying to make anything happen. If somebody calls me and ask me to speak, then I will jump for joy. Otherwise, I will be relaxing.
When I made the decision to take some time just for me, I realized that part of my tiredness came from my expectations of myself and others. It was not so much the speaking and writing as it was me stepping outside of my zone to create the perfect setting. Rather than focus on my gift, I spent an enormous amount of time trying to make sure that every one knew I was speaking and was planning on coming to see me. What I failed to remember is, my speaking is not a show. By the time I got ready for the last engagement, I realized that people have lives outside of what I am doing. I set myself up for disappointments and created my own stress, to the point where friends were calling me on the day of the event to find out the time and location. Obviously my event was not important enough for them to plan ahead and know the details of when and where. A valuable lesson learned again. Our expectations arise from our inability to experience things as they are. My speaking engagements were a huge success although some of my friends were not there. So, as I take November to reflect and relax, I will move forward knowing that the people who need to be in the room will be there. Everybody can’t go where you are going, so stop trying to take them with you.
What’s in YOUR bag?
We have all heard the popular Capital One commercial, where Samual L. Jackson asks, “What’s in YOUR wallet?” Well I’d like to know “What’s in YOUR bag?” Talking about our pocketbooks and tote bags ladies. The stuff we carry around, just in case! Our bags have been described as having everything in them except the kitchen sink. If we could get the kitchen sink in there we would probably put that in too. We just want to be ready for whatever comes up. When our kids were small we carried things we thought we might need for them, especially stuff to keep them quiet in church or in the store. As they got older, we starting carrying other things that we thought we might need or others might need, such as safety pins, or needle and thread. It made us feel good when someone asked if we had something and we could reach right down in our pocketbooks and pull it out. Nothing wrong with being ready. But let’s talk about carrying everybody else’s problems in your bag. You spend day and night trying to figure out how to keep people from acting a certain way. We need to learn how to listen without commenting when people bring us negative information. We need to know how to shut it down. Because if you listen long enough you are going to hear something that will make you comment. And then there’s the unnecessary stuff in our bags. Nothing wrong with being ready, but sometimes we can be more than ready. Always preparing for the worst. Ladies you know how we are. We had our hearts broken before, so this time we play the game a little differently. When he calls us we act like we are not excited to get the call. And when he tells us to call him back another day, we take our time because we want to make him wait. And then there are ladies who can’t seem to keep a man, and people have told you that no man is going stay with you, so you don’t expect any man to hang around. Then you treat every man you meet as though he won’t be around long. Self-fulfilling prophesy as he walks out the door. But we ready! Ready for him to leave. Sometimes we need to go with the flow and see where God takes us. Your blessing may not come wrapped in a beautiful package, but it may be just what the doctor ordered.