Today, I am kicking off More to Life Mondays which is a part of my Weekly Wisdom Series. If you didn’t get a chance to see what More to Life Mondays are all about, click here for more info.
I am proud to start this part of the series off by sharing with you all this quote by one of my favorite writers, Alice Walker.
I truly love the stance that this quote abides by because we as humans have so much power. However, if we allow ourselves to continuously wallow in self doubt or pity it is easy to give that power away to others. But, I want you to take these 3 tips and apply them to your life.
1)Stand in your STRENGTH.
Now this might sound strange but strength and power are not the same thing. In fact, strength is defined as the amount of force a muscle or group of muscles, can exert against an external load. Strength is also known as a quality of a person or thing.
So essentially our strength lies in how much we can take based off the physical or mental muscles that we each have as individuals. Having different strengths from others does not make one weak or weaker than the next. This is why we must learn, understand and accept the strengths that we all have. It is unhealthy to try and apply what someone else has to your life without first realizing your own strengths. Your homework is to create a list of your top 3 strengths.
For example, I would make my list go something like this: 1) I can make people laugh, 2) I am a pretty decent cook (nervous lol still learning) and 3) I am really good at keeping calm
2)Stand in your POWER.
Power is our ability to influence the behavior of others or the course of events that a place at a given time. Now this one gets a little tricky. As a Black woman I can easily say I am strong, no not because of the stereotypical of “Strong black woman.” Rather, I can say that because I as a woman who is also Black and other Black women, we have endured some of the harshest treatment in this country since its inception. Now can I say I am powerful? I mean based off of what American society would have you believe, I cannot be powerful because not only is my race oppressed but so is my gender.
Regardless of what society might assume, I do believe that I am and we as Black women are in fact very powerful. I also believe that power can sometimes be misconstrued as an entity reserved solely for those who are commonly in positions of “power.” This is what causes many of us to feel as if our voices cannot be heard in front of the masses, and therefore we begin to feel powerless. Then we end up giving this power away like Walker stated in her quote because we believe we don’t have any.
For Black women, and anyone out there who has ever thought this way, I want you to take some time to do some reflecting on why this is actually detrimental to our very lives. If you constantly feel as if you have no power simply because others have deemed you powerless or an entire system has you are doing yourself a disservice. It is not an easy mindset to remove by yourself and trust me I am not saying you are to blame for having this mentality. There are many reasons why people feel they are powerless and those reasons are very valid/real. But, what I want you all to understand is that there is power within all of us. If you search you will find it.
More homework: What is your power? Write that down under your list of strengths. (i.e. my power is my singing, writing, or my education)
3) Lastly, but most importantly, stand in your GREATNESS because trust me it exists within you. It is simply waiting for you to free it into the physical realm of the universe.
Just like the power that exists within us, there is also greatness. It may take the people who are in your close circle to see it first or maybe even for you to see it in someone else first. Now when I say for you to see it in someone else, that does not mean you go around comparing your current situation or life in general to others. (BIG RED FLAG) What I mean is that you may notice you also have a desire to sing, act, dance, hell go to the moon and you see someone else doing it, and now you are inspired. Regardless of how you find it, trust and believe me it lives inside of you. Your soul is always trying to give you the steps towards unleashing that greatness into the world but only you have the key to open that gate of great.
With that said, Alice Walker is definitely the perfect piece to fit into this puzzle of More to Life Mondays posts. She embodies the power and passion that it takes to push past life’s misfortunes. Often times whenever we hear the stories of successful public figures, there are certain pieces to their success puzzle that is left out. Thankfully in the case of Alice Walker this is not the case. After doing some research I was shocked to find out what led to her love for literature. While my connection to literature also started as a child, what drove her towards it was totally different than my own experience.
Anyhow, in several interviews Walker has expressed that at the age of about 8 or 9 years old she was accidentally injured with a BB gun while playing with her brothers. The injury resulted in blindness in one eye which led to emotional issues due to the physical impact following the accident. As a coping mechanism, Alice found herself enamored with a new found love for reading and writing. She later insisted that this moment of “isolation,” was a contributing factor that led her on the path to her passion for literature. She spent a lot of time away from the world which helped her to develop a more introspective view on life and in turn helped to build her muscle in terms of writing.
While that incident took place much earlier on in her life, I would like to use that as an example to help encourage those of you reading. Since that incident, Walker’s books went on to be awarded several best sellers, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and other literary accolades. Now, imagine if little Alice had determined from that one incident that she would no longer try in life.
While that situation in itself could have caused death, it didn’t. Rather it caused immediate physical damage and later emotional damage as well. That same damage became converted into positive energy which helped her land a partial scholarship for college. Just as she stated in the video, “You can’t even be mad at your misfortunes because it led you somewhere.” Y’all I’m telling you, sometimes you biggest blessings comes out of your biggest setback. Also, a quick side note Walker also graduated as Valedictorian of her class AND was voted prom queen. I’m sure she never imagined those two factors would come to fruition when she was going through her season of insecurity as a child.
Nevertheless, it would be wrong for me not to acknowledge the fact that as humans we all deal with emotional baggage differently. So in this moment, I want you all to understand that all coping comes in different forms. Sometimes coping comes in the framework of negative behavior such as acting out, taking your anger out on others or self-harm. However, there are times when people cope in a more positive manner for a number of reasons. I won’t get too deep into that because I can dive deeper into that in a later post.
The point that I am aiming at here is that our mindset has to be set on success and the techniques that it takes to get there. If we are solely focused on the negativity going on in our personal life, or what else can go bad in the world, 9 times out of 10 something will go bad. While this may not apply to every situation due to external variables such as racism, sexism, classism and all the other isms; we do have more power than we think we do.
Energy is a very powerful tool, and we must learn to use it wisely. So tell me, are you going to remain in a negatively energetic mentality or a one full of positive energy? Regardless of what negative thought dares to pop up, you have to get a hold of those thoughts and remind them that you have the POWER. Then use that reminder to remind the world as well. Exert your strength to exhibit the power that exists within you in order to release the greatness that you also have inside of you!
Serenity, Smiles and Positive Vibes to all,
Shout out to all the sources used for this post: