“We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what we see in the mirror? And, according to our light, according to our understanding, according to our courage, we will have to say yea or nay — and rise!”
“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”
Maya Angelou’s poetry always moved me, but I didn’t quite appreciate the beauty and simplicity of her words until recently.
My journey- sometimes impossible but always worthwhile- continually forces me to confront my past, my fears, my choices and my vision of a life that I am working so hard to shape each second of every day.
It’s not easy. Nothing worth having, ever is.
But Angelou’s words always seem to appear when I needed them most, as a reminder to strip down the obstacle to it’s barest core and walk away from it with a lesson instead of a burden.
I’ve worked myself into the ground, trying so hard to do everything I can to move past this point in my journey and get to the next level towards my higher purpose. It’s as if I’m trying to make up for eight years of stagnant growth in a few months.
I ignored my body’s urgent messages, namely exhaustion and lack of focus, to slow down and committed myself to a grueling schedule.
I made excuses for skipping the things that actually make me feel good, like exercise and healthy eating, and told myself that it would have to take a backseat to what was necessary in the moment.
I forgot that experiencing the journey moment by moment was the whole point here, and the destination is only a byproduct.
We work ourselves into the ground or up against a wall and grind ourselves down even further until there’s nothing left. It’s become a silent disease that cripples us and stifles our passions. But we sacrifice it all for a vague dream or a status quo, never taking the time to stop and ask ourselves:
Is this what I truly want?
Maya Angelou was a remarkable woman in so many ways. She left a permanent mark in the world with her brilliance and her dedication to teaching us the most important lessons in life: self-acceptance, equality, kindness, dedication, love.
I’ve given up so many times in the past at exactly the point that I find myself now. I get so tired and the vision that appeared so sharp and bright when I began, suddenly gets blurry and confusing.
But if there’s anything I’m grateful for this week, it’s that I’m hitting that turning point and choosing to ask myself the important questions so that I can continue moving forward, not backward.
Get a workout in. Skip the piece of cake and reach for fruit instead. Go to bed earlier to get quality sleep for the day ahead. Saying no when I possibly can’t get it done. Saying yes when fear tells me not to. These are the little steps I’m taking to get there, bit by bit.
Do you take the time to take care of yourself?
What are you thankful for this week?