The best kind of challenge to undertake is one with yourself, for yourself. It’s worth it to you to circumvent roadblocks, push past fear or doubt, seek knowledge to help you grow, and love yourself as you are, so that you’re prepared to step into all you’re becoming. Envision that version of you and welcome it.
This is an era where waiting, watching and listening are among the best things we can do, so why not do them well?
Don’t just wait at others’ whim; grow your own patience. Don’t just watch what’s on the TV or your device; also watch your words, your actions and their impact.
Don’t just listen to what others say, pay attention to your own inner compass, soul needs, and heart.
It’s not as easy as it sounds, for sure; but it’s for sure worth the effort and intention. Make the best of this time, because either way, the time will pass. Get to know yourself and love yourself. Your efforts will pay dividends that last.
A few weeks ago my athlete son proudly told me about his 4-mile run in the “very safe” neighborhood that surrounds the university he attends. My anxiety level instantly rose.
I reminded him, yet again, that he has to be careful, because unfortunately, some of those neighbors may simply see “a black man running” and do some harm.
It is hard for him to see himself as other than how he describes himself – a good kid – in a world that continues to see skintones and complexion first. It is also hard for me to have to repeatedly burst his bubble.
I am mindful that many are struggling with similar concerns and have been triggered by headlines (the accosted Army officer; the shooting in Minnesota) and other ugly realities this week. I’ve talked to young and older, male and female, in my circle and have tried to offer support.
And I am intent on remaining an optimist, helping realize the day when my son and your son and all of us can jog without worry, drive without fear and simply exist without pause.
We owe it to ourselves and future generations to keep trying to manifest this more just world, so that all mothers and fathers, and aunts and uncles, and godparents and friends, and spouses and partners can sleep well each night, without stressing about a loved one’s ethnicity impacting his or her ability to make it home.
Love is a word that’s often misused or misunderstood. But it’s also a reflection of giving, serving, leading, and leaning into doing your best to be part of others’ peace, fulfillment, joy and growth.
Love is hard, especially when it’s being executed by imperfect beings. Yet, given that it’s the foundation of all humanity, it’s also worth it – even when it means persisting at it, or letting go, or being more vulnerable, or standing tough.
Work hard at loving yourself more deeply so that it becomes effortless to give the best TO yourself, and in the process, pour out a more authentic, loyal and lasting love to others. Hate won’t end until we push harder to help love win.