Sometimes I feel like Miss Sophia in that infamous scene from The Color Purple, "All my life I had to fight!". I mean, dang, I always feel like I'm fighting. Fighting to be heard. Fighting to be seen. Fighting to be counted. Fighting to matter. Fighting to be me. Fighting to write this piece. Fighting, well, ME! It's exhausting, perplexing and frustrating. I feel like most of my life has just been one big, not-quite-welterweight fight (I'm a little bit outside of that weight group, but who cares, it sounds good).
I fight to expand. I fight to give. I fight to have. I fight to love. I fight to give a crap. I F-I-G-H-T!!! Now, I know the tone may sound angry but it's not anger rather than the process of striving. Striving for anything can make you tired, but striving for YOU is exhausting. Have you ever been in a place where you're just striving for you, to be you? How does it feel? How is it working for you? It's not, right? You're working for it, that's the problem.
Yes, there are things in life worth fighting for, especially your own, but I soon realized that I was fighting the wrong way. Let me offer you a more excellent way, a better strategy, to "fight" for you:
You Don't Have to Fight
To fight or not to fight? The answer is, not to fight. When you fight for something, it's implied that it's not yours. You're either fighting to get something or fighting to keep something. The issue with this thought process is that you were never anyone elses to begin with. You've always belonged to YOU. You don't have to fight for what you were given at conception and that was everything that you were ever going to need to be YOU and fulfill purpose.
2. Offense Is the Best Defense
Show people betta than you can tell 'em, honey! Some times, people believe that they have the authority to tell you who you should be because you have not clearly demonstrated who you are. Don't be afraid to, well, BE! It's in the BEing that you are empowered, confident in your superpowers (i.e. talents and gifts), develop your core values for your life and create clear lines of demarcation of who you are. When you are clear within on who you are, it will easily manifest and you will be without the need to defend yourself. TOUCHDOWN!
3. Only You Pay the Price to Be You
Only you have to feel and deal with the affects of being you. You have to do what what needs to be done to secure your own peace and that means being at peace with yourself. When you make the decision not to start that business or write that book because of what someone said you should do instead, you have to live with that decision, not them! You feel the disappointment in yourself. You feel the regret. You pay the penalty of disobedience to your life's work. So while you're dealing with all of these things "those people" are chillin' sippin' on sex on the beach, laid back with their feet kicked up with a cool breeze blowing across their care-free face AND conscience. Only YOU have to pay the price to be you so you might as well do it in peace. It may be challenging but peace makes it possible.
The bottom line, Tribe, is that the battle is not yours, but God's (2 Chronicles 20:15). He made you and He knew what He was doing when He took the time to fashion you out. As I heard said one time in church, "You are God's Idea and He knows how to express Himself." Rest in knowing that you and your personality are not a mistake but purposeful. Save your energy for the things that matter like advocating for more women and little girls who don't know what you now know so that we can be individually and collectively powerful in our own lanes.