I just had an epiphany!! Extremely personal and such a shift in my perspective that I have to share! (Cuz I only share personal things on my blog. Lol.)
So remember “that place” I keep talking about? Well I realized that it’s evolved over the years. It’s never been the same “place” but there was always a “place” that would bring up heaps of emotions and I would freak out and it literally paralyzes me every single time. It has been there since I was like 5. Maybe even earlier.
I’ve always, and I mean ALWAYS, used it as an excuse to give up. Or like one of my mentors says, “to not take a swing”. Referring to baseball, he shares a story about his childhood. He was too afraid to swing so he never did. It was his crutch. If he didn’t swing then he would be right in the sense that he ‘knew’ he couldn’t do it but then he could also tell himself that he ‘didn’t’ try hard enough. It was a double whammie to his self esteem. He told himself be couldn’t do it, so he didn’t do it, but then he knew he ‘didn’t try his best’. How redundant does that sound???
But we ALL do that. We refuse to take the swing because we believe we can’t do it, and obviously we don’t (“you miss all the [swings] you never take”), but then we try to make ourselves feel better by saying “well that wasn’t my best”.
I do this a lot. Like A LOT.
For example, (and I’m gonna regret admitting this cuz I know some of y’all are gonna hold me to this, but that’s ok. I’m ready to be accountable. I think.) I can’t play sports. Or at least I tell myself that. I tend to hurt people or get hurt while playing. Growing up with siblings as talented as mine are, and being as prideful and competitive as I am, I refused to do anything I knew my siblings could beat me at. If you know my brother Fatso, aka Ofa, then you’d know how wickedly talented that kid is. Especially in sports. It was like he didn’t even have to try. So I decided not to. At least not with the best attempts (or attitude). I would fail or not be “good enough” simply because I didn’t “swing” when it came to my turn at the bat. And it developed into me hurting people (never intentionally) or getting hurt. Then I decided I wasn’t good at sports.
Here’s how I know that was a lie. Every time I would attempt or like half try (a little bit more than not trying) I was told that I had potential. ‘You’ve got a good lay up, just don’t pause before you go up for it’ or ‘you can set pretty we, you just need to practice and get used to it’ and even ‘your form was perfect on that high jump, why don’t you join track??’ Time and time again, I’ve been told that with practice I could play. I had the talent but not the skill to do it. But because I wasn’t as good as the girls who had been playing half their lives, I told myself I wasn’t good enough. I refused to even try because I wasn’t where everyone else was at, not realizing that they were in my same position or maybe worse off than where I was at before.
Another reason why I know this is because of my sweet baby Maria. (Things have changed a lot in my head since her birth/death.) After I had her, I realized how short life really is. A year ago I got into a car accident. I crossed the freeway from the entrance and ran into the divider and rolled a couple times. I landed upside down and thankfully I was wearing my seat belt (I learned my lesson! That thing saved my life!) and walked away with a bruise on my knee. I was panicked and almost insane for a few days because I realized I could have died. I should have died. But I was spared. I was saved. After Maria it finally hit me that I won’t have forever to do what I’m supposed to be doing. Part of which is being alive. LIVING! Not just hangin around hoping death doesn’t come to take me before I do what I want.
So I decided to make a change. I started the 100 days of running (which I stopped because of New York and another program I’m doing). For the longest time I have been so attracted to the idea of being a “runner”. Mind you, I have not done anything athletic besides dancing. And that I always did half-kine anyways. I had asked for advice before and someone told me ‘you just start’. I was mind blown because I don’t ‘just start’ anything. I always wait for the perfect moment, with the perfect set up, and the perfect weather and the stars to align… Oh wait. That’s right. I’ve never started anything. Ha. At that moment I decided to run. And every time it would come up, I just did it. I didn’t think about it. I didn’t analyze. Sometimes I didn’t even prepare. Yes I paid for it with my side cramps and dry throat but I always finished my 30 min. Now I realize… I can be a runner if I want to. I just have to DO IT.
(my first mile under 15 min! Woohoo!)
(Wow this post is turning out long. I swear there’s a purpose to it, I promise!)
With these new ideas turning in my head, 1) I need to “swing” every chance I get in life, 2) I won’t know my best unless I actually try my best, and 3) make like Nike and Just Do It, I have had a shift in my perspective. (Or paradigm, if you listen to or read any of Stephen R Coveys stuff). That perspective has given me a whole new light on “that place”.
So this place I keep referring to is my pity party. It’s all the shoulda, woulda, couldas that I’ve had in my life. I shoulda done that and this woulda happened then I coulda had something else! Well these last few years, that place has had to deal with my marriage. It was/is humiliating, annoying, stupid, and just a whole lotta CRAP. Things happened that I completely overlooked and refused to see and when I finally did, I have been kicking myself in the shins for it. Actually that’s an understatement. I have been beating the living crap outta myself and totally hating myself. And today I found out why.
I read a post by the Reverend of Revolution today that talked about attachment. I don’t know who I was talking to but I was talking about women. I said, “women don’t ask questions to test you. They ask a question with intentions of not being attached but women are always attached and therefor they get angry and upset.” I am a woman. I’m more than a women. I can’t even watch movies without getting attached to characters. I get way too attached. Especially to my past. I let one moment of failure (in my eyes), one sad line in my whole book of life, determine everything else in my present and future.
With sports, it was not being as good as everyone else and half trying. With my family, it was cuz I’m not as perfect as my mom was. Or sister. Or every sibling at that. In my own fashion style, it was because my parents never had the money to buy the clothes that I wanted so I just didn’t care and never even tried. I’m still like that.
But out of everything in my life, my marriage has been the worst ‘half-kine swing’. I will be with this man til forever. I made that choice. I committed. Even after our drama and all the reasons I could leave, I stayed. We both did. But even now, 2 years later, I am beating myself up over the shoulda, woulda, couldas of our marriage. I am so attached to my past, I can’t enjoy the present or even hope for the future.
I was afraid of writing, afraid of becoming successful, afraid of having influence, because I didn’t want anyone to know about my past… About our past. I wanted to hide it. I didn’t want people to see that side of me or my relationship.
But I realized that if they can’t let go of the past and want to stay there and see me that way, they can. Go ahead. I’m not perfect. Never have been. I’ve made some stupid choices. And so has Joshua. But we all do. And pointing fingers and shaming people is just as bad as holding them to their past mistakes. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing. To myself.
I can’t change any if the mistakes I’ve made, or anything about the past. I can learn from it in hopes that it never happens again. I made tons of mistakes, some much of which I have been paralyzed with the fear of people using them against me or seeing me different. In reality, it doesn’t matter if they hold it against me. I, myself, have moved on. I no longer make those same mistakes or choices. I make different ones.
The shift happened when I realized that I don’t have to be paralyzed by that fear. I can swing and swing again until I hit my homerun.
Ayo they could never make me hate you
Even though what you was doing wasn’t tasteful
Even though you out here looking so ungrateful
I’m a keep it moving, be classy and graceful
I told ’em it’s no friends in the game
You ain’t learned that yet
All the bridges you came over, don’t burn that yet
People want respect, but people ain’t earned that yet
Self-righteous, and entitled
But they swearing on the Bible that they love you
When really they’re no different from all your rivals
But I still don’t wish death on them, I just reflect on them…
Yo, people will love you and support you when it’s beneficial,
I will forgive, I won’t forget but ima dead the issue,
Soon as you get out the peoples lives in when they start to miss you,
They see you doin good now it’s kinda hard to diss you,
People be sick when they remember all the bad they wished you,
People be mad when they can’t come and love lavish with you
But I sped off in the Benzy
I see the envy when I’m causing a frenzy…
(I usually don’t quote Nicki Minaj, but when I do, it’s practically her whole song. Lol.)
I love that it’s about forgiveness. I relate it to others and myself. I can’t be mad about my past or be afraid anymore. I can’t let it paralyze me from becoming what I know I can be. I also can’t do the same thing to others. I can forgive and love myself and allow others that same love and forgiveness. I admit, things sucked. I am still posses that certain things happen. I want to punch certain people in the face and I get all pissy if they come into my presence. But… I can’t expect love and forgiveness from others if I don’t love and forgive myself first. Yes, I didn’t “swing” when I should have and I coulda had a home run if I woulda just tried. I can forgive and I wont forget but I can dead the issue. My issues, their issues, his issues, her issues, everybody’s issues. I can hold others to the standard I hold myself. Obviously I won’t be stupid like nothing happened, but I can still love and forgive and move on and be classy and graceful. (Man that song is like the story of my life. Not the 1D story of my life but the story of Heilalas life.)
So what now? Now that I’ve learned and perceived differently, what happens next?
We all swing for… Home runs! Lol
But seriously, now there’s still the fear, the anxiety, the “place” creepin up, whatever it is in your case… You swing anyways. You do it. You just do it. Whatever it is for you, just do it.
I have been.
I’ve been runnin, I’ve been writing, I’ve been sharing about my energy work, just recently I got into a new business… That’s right, you just do it. Whatever “it” is for you… Do it! My past has been my crutch, my reason to not swing. I’m swingin every chance I get now.
If people won’t forget my past and decide to hold it against me, then they can be mad that they can’t come and live lavish with me. My life ain’t lavish yet, but I love every piece of my heaven on earth. My husband, my kids, our own families, my nothing-short-of-amazing friends, my church, my neighborhood, my everything in my life… I love. And I feel blessed to have. I’m grateful for my past and all that I’ve learned from it. I guess I have been making this shift in perspective for a while. The changes I’ve made just in the last two months have been crazy!
I know it’s Fathers day. It’s also the 2 month anniversary of when we buried my sweet little girl… Both Joshua and Maria have changed my life in ways I never thought possible.
For my Joshua:
I love you. Sorry I’ve been a pain about our lives and the past and.. You know what I’m talking about. I love you. Thank you for being the best daddy for my perfect little angels. Happy Fathers Day..
And to you who is too afraid to swing.. If I can swing and blog about the personal things of my life, you can to. I DARE you.