All Articles Tagged "purpose"
Facebook Envy: How I Learned To Stop Making Myself Miserable By Comparing My Life To That Of Others On Social Media
We increasingly seem NOT to be able to filter through what we see on social networks. Our Facebook events are loaded with graduation parties, weddings and new job celebration dinners. Our Facebook “friends” are uploading photos of their new homes, their exotic summer vacations in Bali, the newest degree to hang on their walls – while we scroll aimlessly through it all and sigh. No matter how right things might be going in our lives, sometimes we let social networking get to even the best of us, and make us long for something more because well, “they” seem like they’re happy and they’ve got it all.
We torture ourselves with social networks and wonder why we’re miserable. Life coach, Christine Hassler of TheDailyLove put it best in referencing speaker, Steven Furtick: We are often looking at “someone else’s highlight reel while we’re knee-deep in our own behind the scenes footage.” What we see is calculated and controlled. And what we feel when we see everyone else’s perfect lives splashed across our timelines should be conditioned to that very fact.
I had a hard time with this when I first came home from completing my MBA. I thought I would immediately find a great salary, apartment, and car and be living the same happy, go-getter, jet-setting lifestyle that quite a few of my friends had been fortunate enough to find directly out of college. I was very wrong.
That wasn’t the course my life took. Regardless of how many rings of employment I threw my WELL-qualified hat into, more often than not I never even heard back once I applied. I fell into depression without even realizing the depths to which I was sinking. I was angry all the time. I refused to leave the house. I sat around in my bathrobe, with a mug of hot chocolate (even during the summer months) watching The Food Network and reruns of A Different World. I scrolled through my Facebook and Twitter timelines aimlessly, watching everyone else live while I felt like I was dying inside. I felt like a failure. Why? Not because I actually was. I had gained two degrees within the course of seven years, gained three years worth of invaluable work experience within a dynamic graduate assistantship, and had gotten over my fear of driving. By any fair standard, I was no failure, but by comparison and low self-esteem I was a complete failure. I had allowed others’ highlight reels via social networks to mash my view of myself into a tiny bit of a thing, thus cementing the fear that I would never get out of this jobless, bathrobed slump.
What was my cure? Getting so busy living my own life instead of vicariously living every controlled moment of someone else’s. It really was that simple. I deactivated my Facebook account quite a few times when I felt that I was getting sucked into the comparison game. I looked at my life – where my strengths, gifts and passions were and decided to make the most of those things. I created my own website geared to the empowerment of young women of color and began to look for women from all walks of life with inspiring stories to tell and interviewed them.
It was the most liberating and life-affirming thing that I had done in quite a while because I was using my gifts, my values, to be a catalyst for inspiration. To help other young women avoid the very things I had previously succumbed to. It mattered very little now what others were doing. I was happy for “them.” But I was truly excited for me.
The times that we are most down on ourselves and envious of others’ lifestyles are when we’re too lazy, too fearful, too overwhelmed to get up and make something of our own lives. And I had been all of the above. What we then admire and envy in others is not their experiences, but their fortitude, their courage, their drive, their freedom to live.
Social networks are great tools when used for what they were originally intended: to catch up with old friends, to network, to market products, to share ideas. It’s when we internalize what we see via these networks that things begin to go left. If we simply choose to live well and fully, there will be no time for comparison because life will unfold into a blessed experience we could never have imagined.
La Truly’s writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change among young women through her writing. Check her out on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly and AboutMe www.about.me/latruly.
Unnecessary is the only word that actually comes to mind when I think about the references made to R&B songtress, Lauryn Hill in Wyclef Jean’s latest memoir, Purpose: An Immigrants Story, which hit bookshelves back in September. The book appears to cover various aspects of Jean’s life; however, the most talked about and seemingly most relevant story told is the one where he makes reference to his love affair with the former group member. Although this toxic romance was one that most Hip-Hop heads were already aware of, he took it a step further when he proceeded to drag old skeletons out of the closet surrounding their relationship, going as far as to say that he was deceived into believing that Lauryn’s first born child, Zion, was his. Now, whether his accusations were true or not, those are some pretty damaging words, especially considering the fact that the affair was now water under the bridge and he was now discussing a child who is old enough to understand what’s going on. But, whatever, this isn’t a Wyclef bashing session.
Many waited with anticipation for Hill to shoot out a rebuttal through her publicist either confirming, denying or even expressing her feelings on her former group member’s accusation, but for nearly two months she remained silent. And finally, when the hype around the memoir had died down and she felt like she was ready to speak on it, she broke her silence during a concert in Dallas. I respect the fact that she didn’t allow anyone to force her into responding and that she didn’t react in an emotional fit of rage. She was calm, cool and collected:
“A lot of misunderstanding out there. A lot of miscommunication out there. A lot of false information out there. And notice, out of all the people who talk talk talk, who’s the silent one.”
“There’s a lot of chatter, but me…. And you know why? Let me tell you why I don’t chat back. Because I know that my brothers and my sisters are often times pawns in a bigger scheme so when they, under pressure, attack me. It’s called the high road. Try taking it sometimes.”
Her level-headed and sensible response did something for me deep down inside. It was much deeper than me being a big Lauryn Hill fan and feeling content because she got the last word. In that moment I realized that it didn’t really matter if she ever responded to the claims because she was at peace with herself and the situation and furthermore, she doesn’t owe anyone an explanation. She represented a woman who knew how to let go of the past and refused to slop around in the mud with someone who no longer held a position of importance in her life. It was eye-opening. It was liberating. It made me take inventory of how I handle the Wyclefs in my own life. Most of all, it got me to thinking and wondering how much happier and freer so many of us would be if we embarked on this high road as well.
I’m sure we all have at least one person in our lives running their traps about us. But, whether their statements are valid or not, we are not obligated to go tit for tat, especially when it comes to exes. Men sometimes have the ability to be extremely insensitive once a relationship is over and the things that come out of their mouths can be hurtful, but getting into petty disputes over it and always feeling the need to make sure people know “how it really went down” is only a backwards way of being dragged back into the relationship. In doing this, you ultimately limit yourself from moving past the situation and hinder your heart from fully healing. It is easy to feel as if you’ve lost when you’re not spitting hot venom back at those who are slamming you, but sometimes silence says so much more.
Jazmine Denise is a writer living in New York. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
While everyone has been throwing shade at Wyclef over his new memoir “Purpose” and wondering how Lauryn Hill and her son Zion will react to Clef’s allegation that he initially thought he was the Zions father, no one has even considered how Rohan, Zion’s actual father, might feel about all this. Well, leave it to TMZ to get the exclusive from the son of reggae legend Bob Marley who essentially says Wyclef is on one.
“[He] knew from jump that was my son from the day [Lauryn] was pregnant,” Rohan told the site.
Though he may need to take off the rose colored glasses on this point, Rohan doesn’t even think Lauryn and Wyclef were messing around at the same time that he was involved with the “miseducated” singer. From his view:
“They were definitely not messing around, or he would never have given me the okay.”
That would be kind of messed up for Wyclef to tell Rohan to date Lauryn if he was still sleeping with her, but considering Wyclef was cheating on his wife at the same time, we can’t expect too much from him. As far as Rohan is concerned, Wyclef is ”just saying false things to get book headlines.” Wyclef on the other hand is sticking to his story, telling TMZ:
“There is no way that I would have shown up in the hospital in that circumstance to wait for a baby to be born if it was not mine. The idea of a memoir is to tell the truth. I know that often the truth hurts, but a lie hurts even more.”
Um, so does that mean Rohan wasn’t at the hospital when Zion was born? This whole situation is getting a little too twisted.
Whose story do you believe?
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A lot of Lauryn Hill fans have a bit of a bone to pick with Wyclef now that they’ve gotten word of his new memoir and the details about the questionable paternity of the singer’s first son, Zion, included therein. Yesterday, Wendy Williams got Wyclef to have a little seat on her couch and explain why he was digging all this dirt up 12 years later, and when Wendy asked the former Fugees member if he gave L-Boogie a heads up about the book, he said this:
No I didn’t call Lauryn because Lauryn knows the story. There’s over a thousand people who know this story. What I wanted history to document was the truth.
When Lauryn did “The Miseducation there were a lot of Lauryn Hill fans saying, “Clef done broke Lauryn Hill’s heart.” After Wyclef Jean, Lauryn had five kids and my responsibility is to apologize for sins in my twenties, but we all have to move forward as adults. If you read the entire book, I am not disrespecting Lauryn in any form, in any sense.
Wyclef went on to say that the chances of the Fugees getting back together after all of this drama are slim to none, and also said he doesn’t have any contact with Lauryn Hill at all — just as his wife would have it. According to him, in his book he’s just telling his own truth.
Are you going to check out Wyclef’s “Purpose” memoir?
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In the last 72 hours, two men from Lauryn Hill’s past have come out the woodwork to talk about their relationship with the troubled singer and they aren’t portraying her in the best light. On Friday, we told you how Rohan was subtly putting Lauryn on blast about some behavior that he just couldn’t accept as a man; now, her former bandmate Wyclef wants us to believe that L-Boogie tried to pull a Maury Povich on him and declare he was the father of her oldest son when he isn’t.
The allegation is exposed in Wyclef’s new memoir, “Purpose,” in which he talks about his extramarital affair with Lauryn during the same time she was involved with Rohan Marley. As we know now, Rohan is the father of Lauryn’s son, Zion, but Wyclef claims she initially lied and told him otherwise.
“In that moment something died between us,” he wrote. “I was married and Lauryn and I were having an affair, but she led me to believe that the baby was mine, and I couldn’t forgive that. She could no longer be my muse. Our love spell was broken.”
Now I’m not trying to say Wyclef is lying, I just want to know why he’s talking about this in the first place. He claims that Lauryn’s lie is what broke up the Fugees in 1997, but there’s really nothing to be gained from revealing this information—other than increased book sales, of course. It’s sort of hard to take a man who was cheating on his own wife seriously about his love spell with another woman being broken because of a lie she told. I need him to spend as much time analyzing his own shortcomings and the lies he told his own wife in his memoir rather than exposing someone else’s, particularly when a child, who is now 12 years of age and old enough to have access to this information, is involved.
What do you think about Wyclef writing about Zion’s paternity in his new memoir?
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Dear Single Sistahs,
I am writing this letter to my Single Sistas who desperately desire a relationship, to those whose biological clocks are ticking, to those who are at the end of a relationship, to those who feel as though they will always be a bridesmaid and never a bride, to those who are currently playing the dating game, on a hiatus from it or have simply retired from it, to those who are moving out and moving on, to those who fear being alone, to those who are settling for less, to those who are divorced and refuse to open their hearts, and finally to those who have lost a love, and feel as though they can never love again.
I write this letter to each and every one of my Single Sistas to encourage and lift your hearts, minds and spirits to let you know that being single is not a curse; but it is a celebration of a season often short-lived and over looked by seeking out a relationship. As I write this letter to all of you I want to let you know that this time of singleness that you have is a gift that should not be taken lightly. Your season of singleness has a distinct purpose, and it is not to seek a relationship with the immediate hopes of marriage, but it is to build a profound, individual and distinct relationship with your Creator and yourself. This is the time in your life where you can discover who you are, why you were created, and what you should be doing at this particular time in your life.
Being single is a valuable journey in life we often take for granted because we have often been led to believe that if we are not in a promising relationship, engaged or married by a certain age then something must be mentally, physically or emotionally wrong with us and our value as an individual seems to decrease.
However, what many people fail to realize is that being single is a part of life that should be celebrated and honored as much as marriage. This stage in life should be celebrated as much as marriage because this is the time of life where the knowledge of who you are as an individual grows daily. This is the time where you find out who you truly are and stand firm on that knowledge so when the time comes for a relationship you will remain who you are and not morph into who someone else wants you to be.
I know it gets hard sometimes when we see couples holding hands, walking, and out on dates; and I know it is particularly hard when a friend or family member gets engaged and asks you to play a part in their wedding festivities! I also know it’s hard when we see a woman who is not half the woman we (you) are with not only a fine man, but a good one! Hell, it’s even hard to see Facebook and Twitter posts about someone recently engaged to be married! I know all of these things are difficult because as I write this letter to all of my Single Sistas, I am writing it to myself as well.
She was a thriving young professional whom I’ll call *Shelley. One year, when she was working in the marketing law department of her downtown firm, Shelley was assigned to advise a bright-eyed Ivy League law student during his stint as a summer associate at her company.
“I figured he was one of these smooth brothers who could talk straight and impress people. So we had lunch, and he had this bad sport jacket and a cigarette dangling from his mouth, and I thought: ‘Oh, here you go. Here’s this good-looking, smooth talking guy. I’ve been down this road before.’”
Shelley, a woman who was not one to fall all over a man at an instant, had already formed an impression of her mentee.
“His car had so much rust that there was a rusted hole in the passenger door. You could see the ground when you were driving…It would shake ferociously when it would start up. I thought, ‘This brother is not interested in ever making a dime,’” she said. She also mentioned that “he had no money; he was really broke. He wasn’t ever going to impress me with things. His wardrobe was kind of cruddy.”
When her mentee continually offered to take her on a proper date, Shelley often rebuffed his advances on the basis of professionalism. Not that Shelley was materialistic; she was simply making moves. With student loans to repay upon graduation and an exposure to the working-class life of her parents, she accepted a hefty starting salary at a large firm. She worked hard, but as her brother often noted, the high standards Shelley maintained in her professional life bled into her dating life as well.
When it comes to the dating game, I’ve heard this type of narrative a time or two, sometimes from the mouths of my girlfriends and other times through my own teeth. We were never without a flurry of reasons why Mr. Interested and Mr. Persistent weren’t up to par. “I don’t think my standards are too high,” the conversation goes. “I’m just looking for someone who’s a little more established” or, my personal favorite, “I just want someone who is on my level.”
The problem with this discussion? My girlfriends and I often based our “levels” on things that are fleeting: jobs that could be lost in an instant, titles that could be stripped away, and clothes that were likely purchased on maxed-out credit cards. At one time, those things signified a sense of ambition to us, and because we had earned our way to bright and shiny lives, the men who stepped to us would have to have done the same. How could it have been shallow and unreasonable? After all, we weren’t asking for more than we were able to give.
“People tend to look for status in a mate when they should be looking for potential,” writes Hill Harper in his 2010 book “The Conversation: How Black Men and Women can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships.” Harper notes that without “the window dressing” of flashy cars and cufflinks, men and women are deflated. A disheartening consideration, since without an intrinsic sense of passion and purpose, we allow the sheen of our on-paper lives to make or break us.
Men are not absolved from the search for status either. Just as fleeting as the coins and corner offices are the standards of beauty and hot bodies that men seek when they’re looking for the right woman. The concept of status for men, Harper notes, also involves the notion that some men don’t like to share status with women. A woman “with her own money and some authority can be intimidating to some men,” Harper writes. “If she’s the boss at work, that might very well mean that she’ll expect to be the boss in their relationship.”
Shelley’s mentee seemed to subscribe to Harper’s counterpoint on the subject of status: that a man should be inspired by a woman who can stand on her own two feet. Soon after the summer associate was hired, he and Shelley began trading personal stories in her office after business hours, with him sitting on the edge of her desk as she relaxed into the nook of her office chair. Interestingly enough, she learned that they shared a similar background and that he had a heart for serving the community. While his pursuits were not the most lucrative, he was insistent on seeking his passion and purpose at a grassroots level.
Shelley eventually obliged him in his request to take her to the art museum and to see Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing at the local movie theater. The two became an item. When Shelley took him to meet her family, her brother liked her new suitor, thought he was a nice guy, but likely to be among the men whom his sister would see a couple of times and never again. Eventually, Shelley and her former mentee were married, had two children, and settled into a white picket fence life that would be anything but.
Today, Shelley –whose real name is Michelle Obama— stands by her former mentee, Barack Obama, as he seeks re-election as the President of the United States. What was it that drew her to him in those early years? “He was always special, you know? And not special, like, ‘He’s gonna be important, he’s gonna be president.’ He was special in terms of his honesty, his sincerity, his compassion for other people,” the First Lady told Katie Couric in 2009. She went on to extol a few words of advice for single women:
“Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. Look at how the guy treats his mother and what he says about women. How he acts with children he doesn’t know. And, more important, how does he treat you? When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good. You should never feel less than. You should never doubt yourself.”
With this understanding and the benefit of our own hard-fought experiences, my girlfriends and I have learned to shift our focus to the things that count in a man. While success is the result of hard work and there’s no problem with enjoying its spoils, we should place more value on a potential mate’s sense of purpose than on his current position. Is he driven solely by material gain, or does he have a heart for something deeper? His passion could be coupled with an understanding that success doesn’t come in an instant and that he may have to work in the mailroom for a while, earning his way to the top floor by learning his field from the bottom up. It could mean working as a community organizer to get a sense for the individuals who would eventually comprise his constituency. (Even at that first family dinner nearly twenty years before his inauguration, President Obama told Michelle’s brother Craig that he’d set his sights on the White House.) More than “What does he do?” and “Where does he live?” the questions my girlfriends and I ask each other are about how our men make us feel, where their passions lie, and what makes our men special.
How do you gauge passion and purpose in a potential mate?
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It would be a shame to spend your life toiling away at a job that doesn’t align with your purpose in life.
If you’re looking to make a change in careers, to do something you’d actually enjoy, head over to Black Enterprise.com for their eight part series on the steps you need to take to find your purpose, if you haven’t already, and land a job that complements it.
Check the first principle, Using your dashboard at Black Enterprise.com.
Have you ever wondered what it feels like to do something that you absolutely love for a living? Do you ever imagine how your life would be if you were getting paid to do something that you would happily do for free? If you answered yes to either one of these questions then it’s time for you to find a way to start living your calling, aka, getting out your dreams. Your calling is your purpose and your passion alive and thriving. It’s what fuels your fire and rocks your boat. While your career may be a good one and helpful in paying those bills of yours, the real secret to happiness is answering your calling when it phones. Many people either ignore their purpose out of fear of change and failure, monetary worries or they just never tap into it. In order to identify what your true calling is you must pay attention and be in tuned to what comes to you naturally or what always seems to find its way to you. Sometimes the universe conspires with us to answer our calling by placing people, places or things in our paths so we can clearly see what we were put on this earth to accomplish.