love, life, and the pursuit of liberation
I’d like to say that guilt and fear have been my guiding forces for much too long. But that’s not quite true. The truth is that the addictions to guilt and fear– the habit that I default to without conscious choice– have been the superseding guide. Particularly as a woman, a black woman, an eldest child, an empath, a Christian (sort of), my first learned inclination was to take care of everyone and to put my needs last. Like Celie in The Color Purple, my adage was,“This life be over soon. Heaven last always.” But that doesn’t serve me anymore. What does? That’s what I’m on a mission to find out. This is what I’ve uncovered so far.
Truth: Direct, honest, complete truth is essential. The first step is telling it to yourself, removed of any shoulds or guilt. The second step is telling it to those who can be affected by your truth. It’s scary, it’s risky, and it makes you feel vulnerable. But you can’t have integrity without it. This need for truth begets the second core need for integrity.
Courage: Let’s face it, telling the truth means that you might be rejected for it. Courage means standing in that space and doing it anyway. It means risking the scary parts because you know that you and your spirit are worth it. That’s not about anybody else but you.
Presence: What do you do when your stomach clenches up and the fear sets in? You simply let it flow through you. You can’t avoid the scary parts and you can’t sacrifice your integrity to get around it. What you can do is know that you will get through it, you have gotten through it. And you are still here. This too shall pass, so just be. It’s far easier to let the waves carry you then to fight against them.
Magic: God is so much greater than the sum of us. So much greater. When you think there are only options A, B, or C, God will whip out option omega. That’s that possibility you didn’t even know existed. So it’s not always a matter of fear or rejection. You absolutely never know what can and will happen as a result of acting with spiritual integrity. At the very least, you can face yourself for being true to you. At the most, the blessings and abundance you will reap will make you question why you even bothered with fear and guilt in the first place.
Faith: At the end of the day, truth, courage, presence, and divinity are all predicated on our ability to have faith that it matters. No matter what we’ve been through, how we’ve been hurt or beaten down, the fact that you are still breathing and put just one foot in front of the other means that you have at least the faith of a mustard seed. And that’s enough.