Check my latest spoken word about being alone and feeling lonely.
I think sometimes we become way to self-centered in our lives, which leads to having fixed perspectives and being opinionated. We get to a place in our lives where we think and behave a certain way and have accepted that this is just who we are. I’m all about self-acceptance and self-love. I think it’s a beautiful thing when someone truly loves themselves, can accept all of their imperfections, and can live their life with self-confidence. However, I think at times we become so assured and comfortable with who we are that we forget that there’s room to grow.
No one is perfect. The fact is sometimes we’re wrong even when all of our live we’ve always thought we were right. We can’t be so set in our ways and in our views that we can’t improve on the individuals we are. Loving and accepting yourself is great but sometimes you have to be able to analyze who you are as a person to really understand who it is that you’re deciding to love. If I’m a selfish and rude person who “accepts me for who I am” then how can I progress and become a better person? We are living in a time when everyone wants to “keep it 100” and/or be honest with everyone but themselves. Some also don’t like when others respectfully correct them because they confuse that humbling feeling with belittlement or thinking that someone is “hating” on them. We’re to prideful to admit that at times we are the ones in error. Sometimes we are the problem, sometimes we’re horrible people, sometime we’re the bad guys but we aren’t humble enough to realize that. People don’t get stuck in their ways because they become older in age, people get stuck in their ways because they’ve never learned how to adapt and evolve as individuals.
I’ve mentioned in some of my older blogs that I have trust issues (See “Trust” blog). There was a time when I would tell you that I’m not a trusting person and that’s just who am so take or leave it. I knew that was no way to live and that I needed to change. I had to go through some personal growth in order to allow myself to trust again. I had to change who I was and go through some growing pains. Although I’ve learned from my past experiences and still keep a guard up because that’s a wise thing to do, I’ve learned to trust again. I’m nowhere near perfect and still have some growing to do but I’m humble enough to recognize that. I saw that the person I was needed to be upgraded to something better and sought to make that happen.
Don’t be afraid to look for flaws in your character. It’s not a matter of experiencing a guilt trip but rather figuring out how to become the best version of you.
As a spoken word artist and a musician I love what I do and have confidence in my abilities, but I still go back and watch my videos to see what I can improve on. Why? Because I want to become better and improve on my skills. It’s the same thing with who you are and how you develop as a person. Look at the way you think, the way you treat others, the decision you make in life, and so forth. Take a step back and see if there are areas in your life that you can improve in. You can do this while still loving yourself and being happy with you are. When you take hold of this mentality the person you are today will always be better than the person you were yesterday.
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You know what really sucks? Pain! I’m not talking about physical pain though; I’m referring to emotional hurt. Whether we like to admit it or not, we’ve all experienced disappointment, having our feelings hurt, being rejected, hurt pride, etc. Maybe you really believed in a passionate idea you had and it didn’t work out. Maybe that person that you’ve liked for a while turned you down and started dating someone else. Maybe you really looked up to someone and they let you down. Maybe you’ve been lied to, cheated on, played for a fool, I could go on with countless examples but I think you get the point. We hate how we feel when going through situations that cause us pain and hurt and therefore do everything we can to avoid them.
Since this is my blog I’ll go ahead and admit that I feel like I’ve experienced quite a bit of emotional pain in my life. Now before I go on, let me say that my life is far from the worst and I’m not about to tell you some super sad story that’ll have you tearing up like the end of Toy Story 3. I know that I am truly blessed and won’t complain about my life. That being said, the pain I’ve experienced has come from different situations in my life that I know a lot of you have been through as well. I’ve had a close friend date and sleep with “the girl of my dreams”, I’ve been led on just to be let down, I’ve been rejected repeatedly, I’ve failed, I’ve been cheated on, I’ve been lied to, I even had one girl deny that we were together to someone else because I no longer fit the image of a “cool” boyfriend. Each time I felt pain from these situations I always found myself shutting down and feeling depressed. I didn’t really tell people how I felt. I pretended nothing bothered me, that I was happy, and just absorbed the blows. Even now it’s hard for me to express my feelings because I’m so used to handling it on my own. I would always think “What’s wrong with me?” or “What I am doing wrong?” after ending up in similar situations.
As I get older and gain more experience I’ve come to realize that this whole time I was looking at pain the wrong way.
You probably know this but feeling emotional hurt is normal and natural (Yes even for us men!), it’s something we all go through. Matter of fact without experiencing the pain I’ve felt I would not be the person I am today. It’s like working out at the gym. When I lift with some of my close friends (shout out EJ and Kendrick) and we always challenge each other to lift heavier than we did before. The next day or two I’m always soar and hurting but when I go to lift that same amount of weight again, it’s a little easier. I’ve learned that ME + PAIN = GROWTH! Without my painful experiences I could not have grown into who I am at this very moment. I’ve learned to let toxic people go, to be humble, to be assertive, to walk away, to keep certain people at a distance, not to judge and to choose carefully who I allow to be a part of my life. All of these lessons are the results of me feeling pain.
Today, whenever I experience pain, the feeling sucks but I can’t help but look for the new lesson(s) I’ve learned from it. No one enjoys feeling pain but we have to realize that we have to go through it, and not just go through it but see the value in it. I hate pain but I love the lessons I continue to learn from it. I can tell you that I am no longer afraid of pain. I no longer play the victim to pain. I use pain to evolve and conquer. Pain, if you can hear me…..Bring it on!