Thursday, March 31, 2016

Leaving the Land of the Status Quo and the Valley of Settling for Less



Near the latter part of 2015, I was super excited about coming to you daily with my gratefulness journey and got off to a pretty good start. However, it didn’t take too long for me to realize that much of what invokes the spirit of gratitude within me is of a much more personal nature that the world could probably care less about, given my status as a non-celebrity. However, in this particular moment, I am blessed to be filled with a spirit of hope and expectancy for the future.

I will be the first to admit that I am currently dealing with a number of questions for which the answers seem to be lost somewhere in the land of snail-mail, but one thing that I KNOW FOR SURE is that the perfect responses will come in Divine Time and set the course for the rest of  my days.

Unfortunately, there are too many people walking through the world who do not feel the same way. They have taken up permanent residence in the Land of the Status Quo or the Valley of Settling for Less. These are the “believers” who pray but don’t truly believe. Or the people who constantly complain, but won’t embrace making a change. Or the ones who blame others, but won’t take the time to accept responsibility for their own actions. Or the folks who seek counsel, but come up with a million reasons why viable solutions won’t work.

Truth be told, we’ve all been there at some point in time in our lives. However, when a person chooses to set up camp in “that town where nothing (good) ever happens,” it’s painful to observe. Especially when it’s someone that you love. Or the person that is staring back at you in the mirror.

I recently had a conversation with someone that I have known for most of my life and I was deeply saddened by her outlook on both her present circumstances and her future possibilities. She recently ended a relationship, so she is experiencing the emotions that most of us go through after a breakup. I expected to hear the blues, but what I wasn’t expecting to hear was a funeral dirge.

You see, my friend has decided that because she is of a certain age in her life, she should consider reconciling with her ex (who doesn’t have a good track record with women, in general) simply because she’s afraid that “love” may never find its way to her again and she doesn’t want to be alone. She talked about all of the ways in which he somehow makes her want to be a better woman, but couldn’t provide me with any evidence of his desire to become a new and improved man for her. She was honest in admitting that he has a lot of issues but, with the full knowledge that she cannot change him, she would be willing to marry him if the opportunity were to present itself in the future.

I did my best to make suggestions on how she can work towards getting her groove back in ways that had nothing to do with jumping into another relationship, like revisiting her entrepreneurial goals or focusing on her health or finding new social outlets, but she had a counter-attack/excuse for every solution that I offered.

By the end of the conversation, I came to the conclusion that she chooses to lay on the rusty nail and holler when she could take steps to rise up, get healed and allow the scar to serve as a reminder that settling for less than what you deserve in life is NEVER the best option.

After replaying the phone call in my mind, I began to think of all of the times that I let the fear of the unknown and a lack of self-confidence keep me stuck in places where I didn’t belong. Like my sister-friend, I, too, have remained in situationships, friendships, jobs, organizations, etc., way beyond their expiration dates, all while weeping and wailing and waiting for changes to come, but not taking actions to bring about said changes.

What I failed to realize is that by settling for less, I put others in the position of determining my value (and sometimes my fate), when I should have been defining it for myself. It is also during those times that the woman in the mirror became barely recognizable; reflecting the agony of defeat versus the joy of a victorious life.

As Maya Angelou used to say, “When you know better, you do better,” so I am committed to kicking complacency to curb and saying a hearty “NO!” to the status quo! I WILL NOT SETTLE for anything less than the best that the Creator has in store for me and my prayer is that you (and my friend) will step out on faith and make settling a thing of the past.



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