Why Giving Up is Selfish!

16 Apr


Hey, y’all!

Sorry it’s been a few days since we last chatted. I’m actually on vacay with the fam so downtime has been scarce. I’m sitting on my mommy and daddy’s bed now though, away from all NINE nieces and nephews, and I have a clear head and moment to get my write on. So, you know how as children we’re bold with our ambitions? Our innocence allows us to dream with no limits and we say all that we’re going to do and be: a firefighter, a beautician, a doctor, a singer, a dancer, a preacher, an inventor, owner of a restaurant. Some of those dreams are temporary products of our wild and crazy imagination (like the time I told my grandma I was going to be a mailwoman just for one day so that I could ride in the car with no doors), and others are real passions that our Creator purposely set in our pure child hearts to prepare us for what He’d eventually use us to do. We dream so freely, but as time goes on, many of our imaginations dim more and more as that thing called life happens. Upsets, missteps, failures, misjudgments, poor decisions and people telling us we can’t start diluting our once bold dreams. “I’m a mom now”, “I’m too old now”, “I can’t dance like I used to” and so on goes the list of negatives that we start speaking, hearing and believing.

It’s a natural reaction to second guess yourself and all your grandeur after you grow up a little and see that life is way more complicated than deciding on chicken nuggets or fish sticks. That picture perfect future with the police husband, white fence, two kids, doggie and chef career you wrote about in your diary at 10 years old seems like an unachievable fairy tale after your seventh year in college or unplanned baby number three. But all those sayings like “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and “everything happens for a reason” hold truth, and I was reminded of that when I watched Sarah Jakes’ Lost & Found webisodes.

At 13 years old, the daughter of worldwide minister Bishop T.D. Jakes found herself pregnant. As a divorcee and mother of two, Sarah is now 25 and all grown up as this beautiful young woman, candid author and all around media personality. She openly dishes on it all, from the teen-pregnancy to waitressing at the strip club to life now and learning how to love herself. As I was watching her webisodes yesterday, I was so inspired by her story and all the people that it’s touching. What if she’d given up? What if she had let the shame of being a teen mom keep her quiet? What if she didn’t have the guts to admit there was a time when she felt like she didn’t belong and she didn’t love herself? All of those people that she was predestined to touch and minister to would have to try and muddle through their own troubles all alone, never knowing that someone who’s now so accomplished and victorious was once just like them.

When we throw in the towel and let our setbacks win, it’s a selfish move that only considers us. Our fears and worries have us so consumed in our own embarrassment and hurt that we don’t even stop to think that someone else may relate to our story and be better off for it if we would just press through. I strongly believe that our purpose is not our own, but it’s given to us that we may service and better the world. Whether it’s the people in your own family, your neighbors, co-workers or a mega audience, there’s somebody or some bodies that need what you have, and only you can give what you have.

If you know with everything in you that your life’s calling is to be a singer, then who are you to say “It’s too late” just because you’re 34 now and married with two children? Who are you to make that call? There are so many people out there who are missing out on not just your voice, but the audacity of you to still use your voice even after label heads and execs told you that you were no longer marketable. So what if no one wants to sign you? Start a YouTube channel and go the indie route so that your voice is still heard. (This actually reminds me of a later post I’ll do on alternate routes to your dreams.) No one can stand in the way of your fulfilled destiny except for you. Conquer the fears, heal the hurts and get on with your life because other people are depending on it. Whether you’re supposed to open your heart in a book like Sarah Jakes or open your heart in a two-minute conversation with the girl in line at Starbucks, you have work to do and people to inspir—so don’t be selfish and don’t give up!

*Order Sarah Jakes new book Lost & Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life! So excited about ordering mine next week!

Love you much,

Essy ❤

P.S. I was browsing Oprah.com and I love this clip! I especially love when Fairy God-Mommy O asks Joel Osteen, “Isn’t it true that as long as you are still here, you are ordained by God for a purpose?”


4 Responses to “Why Giving Up is Selfish!”

  1. Christi April 16, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    When I tell you this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear/read this morning! My dreams/goals/ambitions scare the life out of me…just thinking about the what ifs (what if I fail?). But you’re so right! People are depending on me! These passions were placed in my heart w a specific purpose! Who am I to give up on them when the One who placed them there has already equipped/is equipping me with the tools to succeed! Thanks for this and for not giving up on your passions/purpose! Gorgeous pic btw!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Essence April 16, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

      Thanks for reading Christi & so glad it resonated with you!


  2. Dhane St. Jean April 16, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    I absolutely LOVE this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Essence April 16, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

      Thank you & I absolutely LOVE your avi pic! Simply gorgeous 🙂


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