Last Thursday I had the pleasure of hosting a panel discussion (at North Clayton High School) for the second time with an amazing organization, Project Inspire. This organization serves a purpose to enlighten the younger generation (high school students) through community service, panel discussions and empowering events. The best part about this organization is the fact that it’s ran by a group of men-black men at that!! These guys are so incredible, so successful and they all come from different backgrounds.
The organization hand picks men from the community to sit down as panelists and speak with the high school men about their background, what inspires them, how they were in high school, etc. The high school boys get the opportunity to speak to men who are business owners, bankers, educators, realtors-just successful black men in general who worked hard to become who they are.
As I MC’d the discussion it was very intriguing listening to their stories. Just imagine, every story is different but they all had one thing in common-they were inspiring. I was very proud to be apart of something that uplifted our boys and gave them hope for a brighter future. It motivated them to go to college-the first time I hosted for Project Inspire at Charles R. Drew High School I over heard some of the younger boys talking about how they didn’t even plan on attending college mainly because they didn’t know where to start as far as preparation. However, with the presence of these men they received advice and help.
This is what I live for-witnessing growth in our community and documenting it. It truly was amazing serving as their host.
Just breathe. Sometimes I feel that we as people beat ourselves up for silly mistakes we’ve made in the past. I get it. Trust me I know. The thoughts of the decision you made really crowds your mind and you start to think less of yourself. When are we going to let it go? When will we learn to control how we view ourselves at our lowest points?
The mistake you made does not define who you are if you choose to learn your lesson and promise yourself to never turn to that decision again, but you have to actually practice this promise. Quite frankly, you should be thanking yourself for that experience and that minor setback. It will help you grow into a better you.
I once made a big mistake. Several actually! But one particular mistake I made in the past could have hurt the ones I loved. I really downgraded myself for the decision I made and you know what, I was very afraid of what others would think of me. I put myself down and thought negative things about me. Do you know that this is actaully bad for your spirit? The mind is very powerful and it is important that you control your thoughts because you are what you think of yourself. Because of that simple mistake I made I was able to be firm with the type of person I wanted to be and promised to never be faced with the same mistake.
It takes time getting over something that you’re disappointed with yourself about. But remember that what you did does not make who you are. If anything it gives you the opportunity to explore personal growth. While forgiving yourself be optimistic and nurture your mind with positive thoughts.
So you know how they say God will give you just what you asked Him for? Well believe it please! A few weeks ago I asked God to teach me patience, love and peace through this season he’s taking me and Tuesday he hit me good with a little lesson of patience.
I just moved back home from Albany so I’m trying to learn these Atlanta roads-when I left for school I didn’t have a car of my own so I didn’t do too much driving outside Gwinnett-and I ALWAYS use my GPS to navigate me when i’m traveling. To be honest without my GPS I feel lost. I don’t know where i’m going nor the names of streets and highways. So Tuesday I was leaving an interview from Atlanta and trying to head to Fairburn. For some reason when I put in the address my GPS kept trying to give me directions as if I was coming from Albany. I’m like what in the world, what is going on? I’m trying to get to another location and i’m about to basically get lost. I didn’t know which highway to take let alone how to even get on the highway! I found myself just getting on any highway trying to trust my instinct and memory. As I kept failing at knowing where I was and feeling lost I started to get irritated and emotional, I was about to break down in that car driving on that highway with cars flying past me. It took me realizing that I need to stay calm and not let my emotions get the best of me (which I blogged about a month ago. You can read it here: https://dejanethompson.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/sometimes-life-will-knock-you-down-but-you-defeat-it-by-taking-control-of-it-emotionally/). When I held my emotions together I told God I trusted him and I knew he wasn’t going to get me lost headed to Macon or Augusta lol. So I called my boyfriend to see if he was able to assist me with directions. He didn’t quite know where I was coming from but he was very helpful. I was able to get on track and be lead in the right direction. How amazing is that. Here I am, this young woman in Atlanta, not very familiar with streets, was depending on technology to get me places, it failed on me so I started to freak out as if I was going to be lost. But I found my way thank God!
Do you notice how much this experience connects to our everyday life being guided by God? For one, we depend on things, others and in my case, technology to guide us instead of listening to God’s direction. Those things fail us easily but He will never let us down. Secondly, I was about to give up and have an attitude with myself because I was lost. You will get lost sometimes when God is guiding you. We are humans, we make mistakes and we aren’t perfect. So you can’t beat yourself up and get all emotional. Keep your spirit high and have faith that everything is going to work out. Don’t sweat that small stuff. Third, call on a friend when you need help! I said Travis (my boyfriend) didn’t have a clue where I was coming from but God had him help me. God is going to send people your way so that you can stay on track and get to your destination. They may not know where you came from but they will get you where you need to be, trust and believe it. Finally, the next day I was more comfortable traveling. My GPS failed me again but I took the steps I learned from God’s teaching and was able to maneuver my little self around. I trusted God. I wasn’t scared because I knew I was going to make it with a breeze.
Take my experience with you and remember it because I promise you that you will run into something similar. Just remember to stay calm, call a friend and most importantly trust his lesson.
One of my biggest weaknesses is being overly sensitive. If things don’t go the way I planned for it to go or if life gets too difficult for me to handle I cry. And when the tears start rolling down my face there is no way for me to control them at all. It’s like I’m a little punk being bullied by life. I’ve always been like this, ever since I could remember. But you know what, I’m realizing that life can actually knock you down, you may not be able to get back up but you can control your emotions. If there is anything that you can control in your life it would be your reactions and your emotions. Ultimately God has command over the paths you take in life because at the end of the day He will direct you to your destiny, no matter what decisions you make. He sends you storms for a reason but you have a final say so of what you do with those storms emotionally. Are you going to let it consume you negatively or are you going to remain joyful, unbothered and trusting God? This is what I asked myself when I realized the feeling that was beginning to take over me after receiving some not so good news.
For the past week I’ve been waiting for my job to give me my check. I deleted my direct account link a week prior to payday because I closed out that account so on payday I was expecting a check. Friday I didn’t get it and spoke to the Human Resource Manager about what happened to it. Apparently the company did a direct deposit anyways to my closed account and the Manager expected it to bounce back. It didn’t so I called the bank and they didn’t even receive it. Moving forward to the following week, the company said it would take 3-4 business days before I could receive the check due to it already “depositing” in the account. So I made prior arrangements with my landlord to hold my rent check until after the 1st since that is when my Human Resource Manager and I expected the check. Long story short the check still didn’t arrive, my landlord did not hold it until I gave her the okay and sent it off to the bank on the 2nd. When I informed her that I was still waiting on the check she basically said if it bounces back I would have to pay the late fee (must I mention that I’m not the type of person to submit anything late dealing with bills). So I made it my business to go to the job myself and wait for them to cut the check and have the Manager let Corporate know that I have to pay my rent. Further into being there for 2 hours corporate didn’t email her back. I felt the emotions overwhelming me. It was like I couldn’t breathe (yeah I’m that sensitive.) All I could think about were the bills ahead and calling corporate and letting them know they need to add some money on my check for the trouble. When I got in the car I was reminded that sometimes life WILL knock you down but you defeat it by taking control of it emotionally.
This may be a situation so small compared to others but it’s still just as important and could lead to events that causes others to fall into depression. Some things in life we just can’t control and it’s okay. These things or so temporary but you can make it permanent if you don’t continue to smile and be happy. When something like this comes across your path try to do something you enjoy doing. For me it would be taking a run, listening to some neo-Soul, talking to God, or going for ice cream lol. But you can’t dwell on the bad…make them good.