The title of this post is the title of one of the books by renowned preacher Joel Osteen of the Lakewood Church, Houston Texas. He’s a multi #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and heads one of the largest Christian congregations in the United States.
One of the things he’s known for is his wide and beautiful smile, he’s even known as the smiling preacher. In one of his books (I can’t remember which right now) he talked about feeling insecure about his smile and tells us how he was even mocked for it but had to rise above the mockery and the insecurity.
Timi of the livelytwist.com has been running a series titled shifting gears (if you don’t visit her blog for your Sunday-Sunday tonic- you’re on a long thing). I’d been following the series and loving the posts until this Sunday. Sunday’s post was beyond epic! As I read it, I kept saying “Yes!” Every word seemed to have been written for me, chronicling my own (different though) struggle with accepting certain things about me.
When I saw Nedu’s picture at the bottom of the post, I almost kissed the screen. Nedu can write! She knows how to weave words to form beautiful tapestry, the kind that mesmerizes. I left a comment on the post about how I let myself be so bothered by the stretch marks on my shoulders (I was even slim then) that I refused to wear clothes with mini sleeves. The memories of the beautiful (in many cases even free) clothes that I refused to put on my body almost makes me ill. Nedu, being the epic, awesome woman that she is, left a beautiful reply that I will share a snippet here.
Well, I didn’t find any cute Thank You cards in my mail box for not blinding them with my yams nor for shielding them from cringing and sniggering. So, to what end? Lol
I laughed and laughed at the thought of getting a thank you note from someone for not offending them with my “unsightly” body. No one does that, no one really even cares enough about things like that to “condemn” me about it.
The people who make nasty comments do that because they’re nasty people and have their own deep-seated issues that make them lash out like that but majority of the people I meet every day will not go into shock because they can see the stretch marks on my shoulders and upper arm.
It is funny how we let ourselves be limited by “public opinion”, often letting what people will say or think stop us from going the distance and achieving set goals. It’s funny how we think that others will make fun of us for not being good enough, hip enough or pretty/handsome enough and we let that limit us.
Earlier in this series- finding my way, I shared how I didn’t write for years just because I didn’t think I was good enough. I can’t express joy adequately about breaking that mind-set and how fulfilling writing has been for me. I can see the growth in my writing and I know I can only continue to get better and better, instead of getting discouraged when I see phenomenal writing. I smile and realise that one day- I too will be phenomenal, it’s only a matter of time and effort. I don’t mourn the lost years, they’re gone forever however they serve as a lesson to me not let anything stop me from taking the first step.
Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from being the phenomenal version of yourself. There will be obstacles and times when it’s easier to give up than hold on, when they’d be no one in your corner and the journey ahead seems bleak and hopeless. Those would be the times to remember Thomas Edison’s countless failed experiments, Helen Keller’s triumph over blindness and deafness, Wilma Randolph and countless other people who have excelled thru staggering odds. You can live your best life if you are willing to stay on course and refuse to listen to the hecklers.
The 15 for 15 challenge is winding to a close, I have to say a huge THANK YOU to Adolphus Duru Jnr for literally taking my hand on this journey. He would call, send WhatsApp messages and Facebook reminders just to get me to fulfil my obligations to this series, I couldn’t have done it without his support.
There are just two posts left… a review of another blogger’s entries and my wrap up post. I also have to say THANK YOU to you who is reading this post, if I didn’t have you at the other side then writing would be miserable, lonely business.