371 days ago, I did a thing. I walked away from my vocational choice as a full time ordained pastor and went a completely different path. While it has been a journey, I don’t regret my decision one bit. I call it a decision because it was based on something else while choices are things we decide to do based on nothing more than our desire to do them (you’ll see me use choice later). This decision was based on my inability to live a fully free and authentic life along with my inability to live my deepest purpose regardless of how deeply theological and humanitarian it may be. Ultimately, my allegiance is not to any institution or establishment but to the spirit of the Great One that lives in within all of creation. I am responsible for honoring that relationship, for living my purpose, for being authentic without excuse. Walking away was a part of that.
It is easy to be content when we are in places of comfort. There is no material comfort to console the soul when it seeks to live out it’s true purpose other than to have the freedom to live it. Its own inclination towards such path keeps it accountable to stay on track. There is a burning desire I possess to see people free that makes no logical sense. But how do I help the poor if I’m poor too? How do I lead someone to freedom if I have not walked the path myself?
Transforming the world is an inside out job. We are required to first make a living witness out of ourselves through personal experience by willful subjection. Too often, we are too afraid to commit to doing the hard work because it hurts. It requires of us to submit to pain that we would otherwise rather avoid. And it is this fear that breeds contentment.
It is this fear that breeds mediocrity and purposeless because not enough of us have something to work for, to live for, to die for. We haven’t made time to find it. Hopelessness becomes ingrained in our subconscious and fail to even try for the big wins. We do what we are told because we don’t have to think about that. All the while, we become further disconnected from all that we truly are and are destined to become.
If we didn’t function like this as individuals, our society would reflect a very different reality. Our communal and societal climates are reflective of our individual temperatures. They are mirrors to one another. No matter how we try to argue that fact, it is what it is and personal choice is the culprit. We can choose to be great or choose to be ‘normal’. Normal in American culture is mediocre, indoctrinated or otherwise brainwashed and selfish. We’ve got the potential to do different if we could choose different. It is our responsibility to redirect our power and make better choices for our lives and our futures. What we do today needs to inform and create what will become tomorrow. A wise one once said, “the best way to predict the future is to create it.”
On one day, I did one thing. This one thing has blessed my life in so many ways. I chose myself over everything else. As selfish as that may sound, I had never done it before, not in an intentional, dedicated fashion. Making this choice also didn’t mean an immediate honeymoon. It did mean unlearning and relearning. It meant sitting in some painful places of my memory and experience long enough to heal through them. It meant acknowledging how stifled I had become in the name of my own contentment so that I could name a new direction and begin to walk that path. I experienced death to my old ways of thinking. Now, I know what it means to have new life. And it’s so much easier on this other side because my faith doesn’t have to be in something externalized. My faith is in myself and the God that lives within me because I have submitted to the process to know what type of magic we make together. This is when knowing informs our belief.
At the end of it all, the lesson wasn’t just to choose myself but to also trust myself. What good is it to know who God is if you cannot access God within yourself? How can you know who God is if you don’t know who God is in you? Because if you know, you live like it. In the process you attract other people who live like it and people who don’t will often loathe you or try to learn from you. Take those as landmarks for the journey.
There is no feeling like being free. There is nothing that compares. Find your purpose. Walk in it. And don’t let anything hold you back. Don’t let fear or comfort supersede purpose and passion. Don’t deny yourself you soul’s desire. Every day we get a new second chance to start anew. Time is precious. We don’t have the luxury to waste it. Take one moment on day and make one choice. Bet on yourself! Everything you need is already within you.
So, here’s an update because I’m often asked about where I am in life today:
- Just relocated back to Dallas, TX
- Certified Life Coach building my practice
- Professor in Humanities at Philander Smith College Online
- Successful small business co-owner of REVBEADS (promoting wholeness, transformation and balance)
- Executed my first few deals in real estate investing
- Freelancing in education, conference design, event planning, cultural curation and a host of other serial entrepreneurial endeavors
- Healing from all of my childhood and adolescent trauma
- Happily married for one year on August 22nd
- Traveling the country (and more of the world here soon)
- Preparing the curriculum to homeschool my 7-year-old daughter
- Lost over 50 pounds and getting back into shape
- Actively visioning and planning for the next 10-20 years of my life including being retired by age 40
It’s not a perfect or an ideal life but it works for me and my dreams. We all have to figure out what we need and what works for us without being concerned whether it looks like everyone else’s around. I used to be so hard on myself. No win was big enough. The best grace that I have experienced came when I extended it to myself. Be gentle with yourself and love on you. Let your tribe love on you too. If you don’t have one, vibrate high and attract one valuable for where you are growing and going. Get what you need on this journey. Then give. Find your purpose and passion so you can give yourself to it. What you create from that give it to the world. And capitalize on it in the process. When it comes to freedom, there are a million ways to be it. But it starts with you, making one choice on one day. Choose you. Define your own joy. Create your future.
To support or learn more information about REVBEADS, visit: www.revbeads.com