I have always tried to follow my intuition. Today is difficult because I’m being asked to put myself ‘out there’ – to expose myself to John and Jane public. In a recent interview – Natalie Cole talks about her life and why God puts her in certain situations that are incomprehensible to her. Like the time she was with her dear sister Cookie, who was in a coma and she received a call that they had got a kidney for her. She dismissed the doctors and returned to her sister’s side. But the doctor’s called again and insisted. She had to leave right away. Her sister passed while she was having surgery. She concludes that perhaps God just wants her to be the one to tell the story – to talk about faith, and trust and hope.
And that’s where I find myself – sharing something I wrote on the first of September 2007. I am not sure why but perhaps someone out there needs to see this raw side of life that sometimes leaves you feeling like ‘what’s the point?’ – But perhaps there is a point! So here’s a slice of my life four years ago:
What is the value of a second effort? I asked myself this question only because I am on that upward climb to fifty and sisters Oprah and Maya said that fifties are the new forties – well I wondered if I had in fact done all that I could and made my mark yet?
Then came a short quote by Vince Lombardi who is credited with the birth of the “second effort” and I thought – Hmmm now what would happen if I gave my life a second effort? How would my life look? Here I was, basically unemployed or is that self employed for the last ten plus years approaching the month’s end with the anticipation of a whale about to be harpooned – but seriously. Here I was, just last night deciding that I was going to start publishing newsletters for a living. That what I really wanted to do was write – and write well, mind you. And I knew that I didn’t want to be in any stuffy meetings and speak in the way corporate types expect you to, and I only wanted to help people who really wanted to be helped and not those that engaged you only for a sparring competition as to who knew more. God, I thought this is all possible! Would you give me another chance? Do I get to go at this life again with whatever is left in me?
And then I remembered the projects I had outstanding – and quite frankly, got depressed and wondered how the “F” did I get here? When the little voice deep inside mentioned – the money – and of course we all remember why we say yes to things because in the backdrop of our mind, seldom on wings, are the numerous bills waiting to be paid. More like heavy fridge magnets difficult to remove.
So it means that I must first tend to the backlog before I can begin my new adventure. Mind you, as a little aside and a chuckle for you, I declared today a day of no interruptions – so I switched off my cellphone but could no longer be kept in suspense…decided to switch them (oh yes I have two) back on only to be further depressed as there were NO missed calls or messages – WOW! “I must be really not be that important” my mind goes. So now I am in a good funk! Did I mention that it is now 11 o’clock and I am yet to have my shower? I didn’t think so!
Anyway I find my way upstairs to find inspiration from one of my many books. And my hands reach out for the tiny purple package that Og Mandino has so accurately titled “The Choice”. Life is about choices isn’t it? Oh I am getting ahead of myself. Before I started my upstairs journey I was going to journal about something that I found interesting within the pages of sister Iyanla’s Until Today. She was quoting a book Love Without Conditions by Paul Ferrini who wrote ” If you do not take responsibility for bringing love to your own wounds, you will not move out of the vicious cycle of self attack, self defense, self imposed guilt and self imposed blame.” In other words do your very best to see the right beneath your wrong. I then thought that I would go to the empty page and draw this out in a circle. But I skipped that and went upstairs.
So now it’s Og and me and I turn to the very end of the book and come across a speech by the main character of the book titled “the key to a better life”. Did God abandon us somewhere along the way? I myself am asking this question and then he asks the following:
Are you in control of yourself? To which I reply “nope”
Are you at peace with yourself and those around you? “Nope” I say, a little put out.
Are you proud of your life’s accomplishments? “Hell NO!”
Are you and your family enjoying the fruits of your work? “Hey I can hardly enjoy the fruits produced from the tree that seems to be dying far less for my family!”
Are you happy and contented? “Hey buddy have you been following me here?”
He then gives a couple of paragraphs at the end all starting with “I choose a better way to live!” And so I have given myself the gift of a second effort today. Today I choose a better way to live. I am damn fed up of the life I’ve been living so far. Yes guys the damn nail has finally got to me and I am getting up!
So while Al Jarreau sings to me that I should tell “uncle misery goodbye”…I think how appropriate. Because what I did as well was record the “I choose” paragraphs so that I could play it first thing every day from my brand new MP4 player. Hey, don’t hate the player…this black woman is moving on up! Now go find your own epiphany…I’m rooting for ya!
Today of course I am living a much different life. My life’s purpose is to give the gift of possibility and inspire change – my own life perhaps an example of the possibility to change regardless of how disorganised and out of focus things could seem in the moment. Brene Brown articulates precisely how I feel today in her book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are — “As it turned out, the work I had to do was messy deep. I slogged through it until one day, exhausted and with mud still wet and dripping off of my travelling shoes, I realised: “Oh my God. I feel different. I feel joyful and real. I’m still afraid, but I also feel really brave. Something has changed — I can feel it in my bones.” And that is my wish for you too – have courage and give your life a second effort. You’re worth it!