Updated: Oct 4, 2020
My most difficult season (and still difficult) is not necessarily the part of finding my purpose, but the part of living it out boldly.
Transparent Moment –
I have comfortably failed all of my life. If there is anything that shows complete failure, and that I am in control of, I will control it to not completely fail. When I was a baby, my daddy would always take me off the tables or countertops (I was such an adventurous kid) before I had the opportunity to fall. Of course, that is exactly what good parenting is—protecting your offspring, but perhaps, because of his dangerous experiences, he was highly protective, and it has made me avoid falling and avoid deep hurt.
I questioned for so long how come in basketball I NEVER took a charge. Never! Because I was terrified of falling. Terrified of the unknown hurts.
I wondered how I had so many friends that knew so much about me, yet I STILL felt distant from every single one. Because they knew the easy things about me, but not the vulnerable things about me. I even struggle with facing how toxic and unprepared I was in friendships and relationships, so I subconsciously chose friendships/relationships that wouldn’t get deep so I wouldn’t have to heal and challenge my deepest ideals. Now that I have close interactions, it has been a challenging enrichment opening up and healing instead of avoiding and running for their sake (and mine too).
I wondered how I was in a relationship with for eight years and just NOW feeling scary feelings about opening up…I was never vulnerable with him. I just disclosed un-risky details about me, disguised as being transparent. I truly convinced myself that I loved him so much based on the sole fact that I disclosed more to him than anyone else, but in the end he still could never see me because I wasn’t transparent with the things that were closest to my heart.
"I was never vulnerable with him. I just heavily disclosed un-risky details about me, disguised as being transparent."
I would take jobs and positions that I know would serve me a benefit of comfort for my life, but never took the jump to do something that could really fall flat on its face. Now, that’s not to discredit my ability to achieve things I go for, because they are tough things and I definitely earned them, but it did make me realize that I didn’t necessarily measure my next move by the altitude of the jump, but by the attitude in my heart.
It took me years to disclose some of my struggles with mental health because it was one failure I refused to face, and something I could barely control. In fact, sometimes I tried to take my life simply so I could avoid the pain and healing.
In my journey, I have been in a place of avoiding deep pains, deep wounds, and exposing my deepest fears. This also means I have avoided deep satisfaction, fulfillment, and being my full and best self. Imagine a flower never opening its petals because it is afraid of being destroyed, yet inside it has so much shine, color, aroma, and nutrients waiting for the world to see. So, because it won’t open its petals, just out of this fear, it never gets light it needs (and deserves), never feeds the bees, never blows in the wind, never experiences….and eventually dies away. Waste of gift just from fear, right? But, don’t we do that too?
We have this great business plan but it doesn’t seem feasible in the work market, so we let it die. We are an amazing artist but that isn’t a logical career so we let our passions rot inside as we become empty and bitter. We fall in love with someone who the world doesn’t approve, so we throw the relationship away to save our face but eternally break our hearts. We want to move to another place but told that money won’t support that, so we spend forever in a place of regret in doubt. Playing it safe, because it’s not “too bad”, when in fact it’s just another chance that we missed of receiving more than we can imagine.
So many of us have those moments where we did not open our petals in fear and worldly shame, so in convenience of not feeling exposed or rejected, we feel a long-lasting, subtle (meaning you barely feel it, but it’s slowly deteriorating you) hurt and emptiness.
Once realizing who you are destined to be and stepping into your purpose, the most important stage is to open your petals and show your unique color to the world, boldly and confidently. Of course, this stage is the hardest because it comes after so many stages of planting, watering, pruning, fertilizing, and growing through the tough grounds and into your light. Meaning, you have gone through and endured so much to get here. The last thing you want to experience is rejection or lack of appreciation. Or even worse—exposure that you may not be able to handle. So, often, we hide our beauty and inner gifts because it hurts more to show your true gifts and walk in your true journey than someone rejecting your false identity.
Let me tell you, living hidden in your false identity is WAY WORSE.
So, I want to share some ways that you can step boldly in the brave battle of transparency and allowing yourself to bloom and be present in the fields and allow everyone to experience your beauty.
Prepare for failure. Let’s just get this out the way—you are going to fail. In fact, you will fail hard. That is the beauty of life. We are all resilient creatures who will fall, take a break, get up, improve, and try again. Prepare for this. Prepare for the worst comments on your youtube video. Prepare for your response to not having any sales for the first six months. Don’t expect—prepare. Also, prepare for when your business explodes. Prepare for when you are proposed to. Prepare for it all.
Often, we look for success, expect failure, and prepare for neither. Prepare your heart, spirit and mind that BOTH are part of the process, so both are on the journey to your success.
Practice falling and failing. Practice is key to everything. This means consistently allow yourself to go through the process. Each time, evaluate what went well and what could improve. From there, pick up and try again. Remember how your landing was when you fell, and evaluate how to fall less destructive next time.
Soon, falling becomes part of the routine and you begin to barely notice it. But that place only comes from practice.
Positive thinking helps. Always find the lessons. It is definitely hard, but continue to remind yourself of what you did right and what went well in your journey. Positive thinking produces healthier bodies, more informed decisions and evaluation, and motivated action. Remember the times when you did something difficult and there was a positive outcome. Believe me, you will need that toolbox when things start to get really hard.
"Positive thinking produces healthier bodies, more informed decisions and evaluation, and motivated action."
Build Intimacy. You need your healthy village. The true word of the hour. Intimacy (specifically with God, but also with yourself and others) is the ability to deeply connect, mostly based on the barrier of trust. YIKES. Meaning, if I have doubts in God, doubts in myself and what is meant for me, and doubt in those I try to build relationships with, I cannot experience that intimacy. The opposite of intimacy is isolation. The opposite of love is fear. So, when I fear, I isolate myself from God, from MYSELF, and from others. Is this the life we truly want? Connect to build understanding and confidence in yourself and the things that will fuel you!
"The opposite of intimacy is isolation. The opposite of love is fear. So, when I fear, I isolate myself from God, from MYSELF, and from others."
Trust yourself. This will probably be on every blog. At the end of it all, you will not bloom unless you believe that you can and will bloom. You must believe in the gifts and talents given to you in order to use them correctly and give yourself and this world what it deserves! You have the strength, talent, and permission to be who you are destined to be.
Trust that, trust the process, and trust you.
Now, this isn’t a campaign to sign up for the worst hurts possible, but it is allowing ourselves just as much chance to succeed as we calculate to fail. Allow yourself to grow, develop, and remold from the opportunities you took, versus never stepping in that learning experience at all. If I took more charges in basketball, perhaps I would have gotten hurt once or twice, but I would have also gotten us a lot more possessions and built more confidence as a player. So, in this season, I have been challenged to be a lot more brave. And I want to share that with you. Perhaps, there is something on your mind or spirit to participate in or become that you know is your passion but terrified of the ramifications. Today, we are going to work towards that faith jump. Bee Brave.