Will Your Circle Be Unbroken
“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”
These words were spoken by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, who is an African-American Historian and Musician. She’s known for her rendition of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and her legendary career with Sweet Honey in the Rock.
I chose to start this blog with her quote because it rings true in the ears of so many people that I know; including myself. Sometimes, breaking circles are a good thing, if you are breaking them for the right reasons. Let’s find out if this is true for you.
I think that I know myself pretty well but, at times I find it difficult to tell myself that life is hard. I am challenged on many levels everyday and I have to choose to either succumb to those challenges or try to rise above them and learn from them in order to avoid them and not have to deal with the issues again. In a perfect world that would be easy but, this is our very imperfect world.
You know the term, “If you don’t know your history, you’re doomed to repeat it.” Then why do so many of us fall into the same traps that we’ve already overcome?
Debt. Bad relationships. Poor health.
Many of us have experienced at least one or all of these and from them, lessons were learned. Why is it also likely that you’ve gone through these over and over again? Do we enjoy the feelings that we feel when we are faced with failure? Of course not, then why do we continuously do the same things over and over again that put us right back in the pickle jar? Inquiring minds want to know.
I do not like failure or struggle. One of my favorite quotes by Frederick Douglass is, “Without struggle, there is no progress.” I totally get it and I love you Fred but, can a brother get a break? I’m tired of struggling, tired of living check to check and bill to bill. The debt carry over in our lives from one month to the next month is alarmingly high. I’m not just speaking about myself am I? This could also apply to you or someone you know, someone you love or someone you hate. We all have experienced financial challenges in our lives that we’ve overcome but, went right back into it.
Now, I’m no financial planner but, I plan to better my financial situation. I’ve read books about people that have money and how they earn it manage it and use it and I have to say, it’s a very painless formula to follow, I’ll share that with you at the end of this blog.
Let’s not make this blog about only financial challenges. There are other challenges in life that are way more exciting and equally painful than discussing our dividends; love, life, family and our health.
Dieting sucks! I’ll scream that right off the bat…No Thank You to diets. Nonetheless, we say we are on a diet when we realize that there are a couple of extra pounds in places where they shouldn’t be. A lot of people think that losing weight is a quick fix or a trendy thing; trust me, it’s hard work! Lifestyle changes are typically harder than most of us expect but, with realistic expectation and a desire to accomplish your goals and face the challenges of changing your life, you can be very successful without going under the knife; now that’s cheating. Don’t cheat yourself!
As a non-custodial parent, I find that one of the biggest challenges for me is to deal with being a non-custodial parent. Typically, that means that holidays and privileges are mandated to certain days or times by prickly agreements between parents or a sentence from a judge. In my case, a little bit of both. Not seeing your children when you want to see them is hard; especially if they live far away. Not many men would admit it but, it hurts and we cry and we stomp our feet but, no one sees us. We’re MEN, we are creators not caretakers…is that right? Am I off base?
I’m way off. There are lots of MEN out there that take care of their children with little to no fanfare or recognition. Many of us don’t do it for accolades or handclaps or for anything more than the mothers of our children would deserve.
Always kiss your children goodnight, even if they’re already asleep. ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
I dream of an opportunity to one day kiss my children goodnight, every night and send them off to school, pick them up, make dinner and just be the Father I’ve always wanted to be but, didn’t have the chance to. It’s not easy to live like this but, I persevere. I look the challenges in the face; make the long drives, deal with teen frustration and deal with the limited amounts of time I have with them. There are a lot of domestic-men that fit into the role of all around dad, I used to feel that I could be that all-around go-to-guy that could do anything I wanted to with and for my children but, again falling into the trap of neglecting responsibility, has led me to a sad and difficult place.
Speaking of difficulties, how about the workplace? It’s a challenge to get up every day and put your feet on the cold morning floor, shower, dress, and drive and end up at a destination where there’s no spiritual compensation. Of course, we can make lots of money, quickly advance up the corporate ladder; we may even get to see the world. However, what percentages of us truly have these opportunities? It’s reserved for a select few…Why not you?
Maybe, you didn’t accept the challenge to work hard to achieve these ideal opportunities in the workplace. Maybe you didn’t challenge yourself enough, doing the bare minimum to get by without being noticed or terminated. A lot of folks self-sabotage themselves at the workplace. Harvey MacKay said, “Find something you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Most of us work jobs that we can’t stand and are unhappy from when we punch in til we punch out. Most of us also know what truly make us happy but, fail to do anything about it. We don’t accept the challenges to do what it takes to make ourselves happy. Fear, Les Brown says, “When you face your fear, most of the time you will discover that it was not really such a big threat after all. We all need some form of deeply rooted, powerful motivation — it empowers us to overcome obstacles so we can live our dreams.”
How important is living your dream to you? One thing that I can attest to when I began in the non-profit world, I wanted to move fast and hard. Big dreams meant BIG moves and my biggest moves were establishing who we were. I started working on a logo right away, created a facebook page, created a website, created a twitter account, and started planning events and so on. I was moving at a pace that I felt was needed and it paid off. Not literally, as in monetary paid off but, my little organization after four years is still standing. Sometimes we need a reason or a season to realize that, “It’s time!” Time to work towards your goals and dreams and stop self-sabotaging your life. Accept the challenge!
What about your personal relationships. The one with yourself and the ones you have with others? How’s your love life? Do you love yourself enough to have and enjoy a love life?
I’ve known men and women that are unable to comfortably answer that question. You would think that loving yourself would be an easy thing and most of us claim it but, don’t live up to it. We do things, to again, sabotage our lives, our homes and even our jobs in order to be on the arms of someone that you really don’t care for or you give them too much and they give too little to you. This is common in relationships but, it doesn’t have to be this way. Many of us are afraid to walk away. The fear of being alone outweighs everything else and we settle. Complacency with partners with low standards, no ambition or any promise, is a plague all around the world and in your living room, the bedroom or the kitchen; that person you’re looking at is just as tired of you as you are of them and yet no one moves. That type of set up screams fear and lack of understanding-self or an unwillingness to challenge yourself and say, “I deserve better, this is not where I want to be.” (Affirmation)
Challenge yourselves to do better by yourself. Spend some time with yourself and try to understand that there is nothing wrong with waiting for and working for exactly what it is that you want.
So, will the circles of repetitiveness be broken? Yes. Will we break out of the cycles that afflict us and cause the same problems again and again? Yes! You can do it and you will. Affirm within yourself that you will make the necessary changes in your life to break this circle that needs to be broken and incorporate into your lives a new circle. Make it one of progress and success, health and wellness, freedom and happiness. If you don’t do it, no one else is going to do it for you. Good luck!
Winding up this blog, I really wanted to get into more of a motivational speaker tone and I hope I did well. Any feedback is greatly appreciated (and it lets me know people actually read what I write, lol) I completely understand that there will be those times when we just want to look the other way and take what’s coming at us and deal with it when we when we can. Let’s try facing our difficulties and say, “Hey, I’m ready, I’m not going to let these issues sneak up on me and take me out.
I will put my best effort into doing whatever I have to do to overcome any struggle.” (Affirmation)
Here are the painless money saving tips that I promised at the beginning of this blog. I hope that it helps you and gets you on the right track!