I can vividly recall the first time I was introduced to this concept of “dreams,” and “passions.” I was probably around 8 years old and was a 3rd grader at Palm Beach Public Elementary. My teacher passed out worksheets that asked us “What do you want to do when you grow up?” There were no limits, no formulas, or even rigid rules to base your idea on. You could say just about anything and nobody would ridicule you for it. Of course among the general answers some of my peers wrote down “Doctor,” or “Fireman.”
Among all of these promising careers, several students claimed the reason why they chose these careers was based on the fact that “I like to help people,” or “I want to make a lot of money,” the latter was met with toothy grins full of hope, with no doubt in them.
However, even though a lot of us wanted to make money, we usually based our answer off of wanting to be helpful to others. What about the world had we been exposed to at such early ages that made us want to be so selfless? Our future concerns were already committed to the loyalty of the well-being of others, many of whom we had yet to even meet.
What had we been conditioned to see within the scope of society that caused us to feel so comfortable to say “When I grow up I want to be a nurse or a teacher because I like helping people and making them smile.” A similar comment was made by 8 year old me.
Now you may be wondering, “Well what the hell does this have to do with me? I clicked on this post for me.” To that I respond “Slow ya roll homie. We’re almost there.”
Eventually that 8 year old grew up to be 11 and in the 6th grade. During an English class assignment, once again about our dreams but this time in the form of learning how to write poetry, she realized that the one thing she truly wanted was to win an Emmy award and walk the red carpet. Her desire to be at the Emmy’s developed from an obsession with watching Soap Operas with her siblings at a very early age.
This dream was also born out of her admiration for the one and only Oprah. This was born out of love for seeing people who looked like her on TV. People who had the same tint of browness in their skin. There wasn’t nearly enough to be quite honest.
Now we have arrived to our point. You may have clicked this post in hopes of finding out how to live in your light, right? Okay, maybe some of you didn’t. Regardless, you are here. I spent the majority of this post discussing what dreams/living in my light meant to me as a child. Nowhere did I really focus on the reader or audience at hand. Rather I centered it around myself. There’s a method to my madness here…hold on.
Whenever we center our dreams and our focus on that of others, we lose sight of our own vision. (Ding! Ding!) You cannot expect to arrive at the destiny of your purpose or your passion by setting you eyes on what other people have. If you are constantly focused on Tanya, Randall, and Betsy’s life, when do you find time to truly focus on yourself? Last week’s Focus Friday’s centered around the actual definition of the word focus. If you read it, try to think back to which definition you applied to your life. If you didn’t read it, here’s your chance. Go look at the definitions of focus then come back to this.
For this case I will use the verb form of the word which states
- (of a person or their eyes) adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly.“try to focus on a stationary object”
Each of us were designed with a specific type of light enveloped within our souls. Now does that mean one’s light may be brighter or darker than others? Nope. What it means is that our light is a reflection of what our purpose on earth is. When you set your mind’s eye onto constantly viewing and trying to adapt to another person’s light, you’ll become blinded by it so much so that you will be unable to see your own light. Once you refocus your eyes on your own light, only then will you, as the definition stated, “become able to see clearly.”
I cannot see your light, try to apply that same frequency of energy onto my own and expect my individual purpose to manifest. Just like one can never grace the stage in equivalence to the way that Josephine Baker, Nina Simone, Michael Jackson, Prince, Tupac , Selena Beyoncé, or Whitney Houston did. While each one of these entertainers were/are internationally known for their talent, they all had different styles. Each one of these artists brought a new light to the world that others weren’t aware of until they arrived on the scene. Although they can be mirrored, I can guarantee you that none of them can ever be duplicated.
Which leads me to my next issue, here is the major problem that I have with social media and technology. Not only does the internet give individuals free will and space to create an entirely new persona that they may not necessarily have in reality. But, social media also gives us this false sense of awareness about everyone else’s life, when in fact we know little to nothing about what is really taking place in the lives our “friends.”
You might see Kate in a pair of the latest heels, or rocking a dress that resembles cloth worthy of the red carpet, but what you don’t see is Kate busting her ass every single day at the local coffee shop. What you also don’t see is Kate is one helluva bargain shopper. At the end of the day, YOU don’t know what anyone is actually going through unless they make that known to everyone. So tell me what exactly are we doing when we compare ourselves to other people?
We all need to understand that there are simply certain pieces of one’s life that won’t ever and should never be apart of their profile’s timeline or newsfeed. While some individuals feel the need to expose every key detail of their life, even some illegal activity, it is okay to be discreet. Your privacy, my privacy and yes even the privacy of celebrities matters. It might be a little bit difficult to believe that with a new celeb drenched reality show premiering on VH1 every month. BUT, it is true.
Make it a point to focus on your own light because the next person’s light has absolutely nothing to do with your own. Refrain from standing in the shadow of another person’s light simply because you assume it shines brighter than yours. Find your own light, it’s in you, I promise! But, only you can make flip that switch on. Don’t be blinded by what everyone else has because we each have the potential to achieve our own level of success. In the words of Outkast back in 94′, “Man you need to Git Up, Git Out and Git somethin’/ How will you make it if you never even try.”
P.S. Thanks to this post, I just realized that Bone Thugs-N-Harmony did a cover of that song in 2002 with 3LW as some of the main vocals (very random). As a Hip-Hop head I am rather pleased 🙂
Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,