From the corner spot of my brother’s sectional I sat watching my son play super heros with his older cousin. Pulling out superheroes one by one my son called the roll! Hulk..., Captain America, Iron man... the excitement grew as my son dug into his cousins toy chest to see what other treasures were within his little two year old grasp. Giggles and love saturated the atmosphere as everyone became lighthearted at the sight of the children enjoying themselves. Suddenly it dawned on me, they’re building relationship.
Relationships are the glue that holds every detail of our lives together. Our language, culture, perceptions, attitudes, even our successes and failures are directly linked to our relationships. The truth is, we are designed to crave meaningful interaction with other people from the moment we arrive on the planet. It’s our innate passion for relationship that attract us to those who inspire, empower or ensnare us. Relationships connect us to those who push us & entangle us to those who plumage our value and serve as the gravitational pull that keeps us stuck in mediocre places. The beauty and sometimes the pain of life is that we get to choose who we’ll be in relationship with. As the saying goes we don't get to choose the parents we're born to and you may find yourself attracted to the “wrong type” or perhaps you simply feel pressured to connect yourself to painful situations but relationship is a choice and choose you must!
I think back to a time when tried to pick a fight with God….bad idea!
At the time, I was single and way too involved in a personal relationship that wasn’t mine (sometimes it’s better to simply mind your own business). I was in a room with a young couple who decided to make their personal problems public. As I sat in the middle of their heated debate I could feel my own feminist edge hot button rising up. Personally, I felt like the husband was being an immature, egotistical bully; I wanted to slap him for her. When I could no longer take the foolery I got up, stormed out and began “picking a fight with God”!! I remember shouting up to the heavens, “ if that’s your idea of marriage you can keep it! Why in the world would you tell women to submit themselves to something like that!” I’d had a full blown temper tantrum in the driveway. I fell asleep feeling robbed of some personal power I felt had been taken away.
The next morning I was wide awake at 5 am. I was so annoyed to be up that early on a Sunday but found it impossible to fall back asleep. I got up and decided to read the Bible, as I stumbled on Ephesians five, I felt like a big fool. That day I was reminded of two things; one, my place in the universe, lol….and two, that everyone gets to choose who they’ll be in relationship with! The responsibility of the power of choice to completely left in our hands... therefore; we must choose wisely.
In order to take flight and take hold of success, prosperity and destiny we must continually take inventory of the company we keep. As the saying goes, you don’t get to choose your family...but you do get to choose your spouse, friends and anyone who gets close enough to have influence and impact in your life. Being selective in relationships can mean the difference between soaring or staying stuck on the ground. So as we strengthen our wings and take flight remember, choose wisely.
You Must Show Up!
During one of the most difficult nights of my life a friend offered me some of the strongest but most necessary advice I’d ever received. We were sitting in the parking lot of a local fellowship we were attending at the time. The soft leather of her Mercedes coupe was the only thing hugging me as I sat balling my eyes out, I had just had experienced one of the most painful and humiliating episodes to date. Before she had arrived I’d gone inside to do my usual meet and greet with the women of this fellowship, these women were like family to me.
I’d become accustomed over the years to greeting them with warm hugs, kisses and well wishes. I had gotten used to the intoxication of their acceptance and routine compliments of how good I looked and how special I was, except this night I had walked in to a rude but divine awakening! Instead of being greeted with love and acceptance I was overtly rejected and ostracised. I couldn’t believe how quickly the tide had turned on my relationships with these women, I was crushed. I walked out and hopped into my friends car an emotional wreck! With tears streaming down my face I began to speak my pain and injustices, I had made up my mind I was done with "those people" and I was never setting foot in that place again!!!
I expected her compassion, I expected her comradery….I expected her pitty. She gave me none of the things I expected, instead she gave me something far more valuable...THE TRUTH!!! I’ll never forget her words, “Yvonne, now you can sit in my car as long as you need to; you can cry and be angry, you can pray and do whatever you need to do! But after your done, you need to wipe your face, get yourself together and go...back ….inside.” God said all you need to do is show up, this battle is not your it’s HIS, and HE’s going to bless you!! All you have to do is show up !!!
How many blessings have we left on the table simple because we refuse to show up? Intimidation is an equal opportunity bully. It doesn’t care if your wealthy or common, old or young, woman or man; intimidation will take life circumstance and turn on you. How many times have you had a great idea but feared no one would understand? Wanted to share some untold truth but bit your tongue in the moment of opportunity? Or simply wanted to venture out into a new level of creativity but stepped back in fear because of a lack of confidence? The fear of rejection or the painful fear of doing something outside of your realm of experience can be paralyzing.
Most of us can think back to a time where we felt that nudge to move forward into the unknown or to confront a situation head on only to find ourselves pushing down that gut gnawing erge into a compressed place of rationalization. Surrendering our will to intimidating thoughts and imaginations will leave us full of regret, remorse and regurgitating a daily life of habit and mediocrity. Developing your wings and taking flight requires a heart surrendered to courage! Facing that group of women wasn't easy but walking back into that room was the first step to emancipation from my former self. Greatness happens one step at a time determine in every situation to show up, get up and lift up into flight!