Restraints

Restraints: (n) the act of restraining, holding back, controlling, or checking; the state or fact of being restrained; deprivation of liberty; confinement. (Dictionary.com)

I am at a place in my life, where I am trying to break free of every restraint that is holding me back from giving of my self to God. My first step has been to discover what the restraints are. Unfortunately, there are a few, and they are obstacles.

Two restraints that I have recognized that really affects the decisions that I make or have made have been:

People and Money

Now of course with the first one, the response is “Girl ignore those people!” But if you look within your own life, you’ll realize that it is easier said than done.

It goes beyond people making comments on the sly or people simply stating that they don’t agree. It contains the people who look at your resume. It contains people who are influential in your life. It contains people that actually make a difference in your life.

Last week, my husband and I were having a conversation about degrees. Now don’t get me wrong, having a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate are GREAT! But my question becomes “Why did you get those degrees?” Did you stay in school 6+ years so that you can earn the approval of people or because you loved that subject so much you wanted to spend multiple years studying it? Now if it’s the latter, I applaud you. You decided to stay and study because that’s what YOU wanted to do no matter who was going to look at your resume or not. That was what you wanted and you went for it. For those of you that are a part of the former statement, we need to have a conversation 🙂

When are we going to stop getting pieces of paper for the approval of someone else when it’s something we really don’t want to do? Now I know how hard we work for that piece of paper, but if you’re not invested in the piece of paper, why did you spend all that time going to school for someone else to be impressed if you aren’t even going to be impressed with it? Sleepless nights, hard work, blood, sweat, and tears has just gone into a piece of paper that you’re going to show to someone and still sit back and hope to God they even give you a job.

When are we going to stop doing things to make others look at us with approval? When will we begin to look inward for the approval we need? When will YOU be enough for you? When will you look at your own resume and be impressed? When will you simply look in the mirror and approve YOURSELF?

After my current job, I am determined to work for myself so that no one else has to look at my resume and approve of me again. I approve of me.  I approve of where I’ve been and what I’m doing. I approve what college I went to, my degree. And I am giving MYSELF a job because I’m the best candidate for the job!

On to the next restraint; money. The mean green. The root of all evil.

How long will we allow money to dictate what and when we do things? How long will money dictate when you will walk in your purpose? How long will money dictate when you will bring your dreams into reality?

Now of course we do need money to make things happen. It takes care of our daily needs like food and clothing, But it is not meant to dictate our purpose being fulfilled in the Earth. It is not meant to dictate when we will say yes to God.

I don’t want to keep making decisions based on my income. I don’t want to stay at a job I hate just because it pays good and I need the money and don’t know what else I can do to earn the same amount. I don’t want to keep putting the visions God has given me on hold because I don’t have the funds to start it. Money will not discourage me from moving in purpose. Money will NOT be my determining factor. Please don’t let it be yours.

Don’t let money dictate how you live your life. Don’t live safe because that’s all your paycheck allows you to do. God’s visions and plans for your life extend beyond your paycheck. Don’t let it run your life.

What are some of the other restraints you have in your life?

~Allyson A.

The Mediocre You

Most of you who follow me on Facebook probably figured I would write a blog about this since I just made my status about it. I wasn’t going to, but I felt the need to.

The inspiration comes from my Mr. He might catch a slight attitude because of this article, but he’ll get over it. Part of my life, part of my ministry babe!! (Love you :))

My husband is a great man. He’s amazing at what He does… when he decides to do it. Now in no way am I saying that I’m always up and handling business 24/7 because I’m definitely not. So this article isn’t just about him, it’s about me too… He just so happens to be doing what I’m about to discuss.

I can think about a few people in my life that I know are GREAT and AMAZING and IRREPLACEABLE at what they do, but they were 1. Lazy and 2. Afraid to be more successful than those around them 3. Don’t want to lose friends. It’s like those people you meet in school that smoke weed, drink everyday, don’t study, but seems to ALWAYS get better grades than you do. I couldn’t stand people like that. I would bust my butt (sometimes) and study, and would barely make a C and they were popping A’s out.

I think about those friends and I wonder how far they would be if they had truly taken charge of the greatness within and did all the things they should have and could have done to get them into some amazing areas as far as careers go. But one things I can say all these people had in common; they had a group around them that wasn’t as successful or as intelligent as they were.

Many times we like to dumb ourselves down because we don’t want to make others uncomfortable. I know for me I would hate to show my significant other affection when single people were around. I would just feel bad because they were single and I wasn’t, so I’d try to be respectful, when in reality, I was just trying to make someone else comfortable, though it brought me discomfort. Now of course I don’t mean tonguing him down… that’s just rude (lol), but any affection at all. I would feel bad for the single people. So I’d rather suffer so they could be comfortable, when in reality they probably weren’t thinking twice about me. We do so much to make sure everyone around us is doing okay and isn’t offended by what we do, when they really aren’t looking at us, paying us any attention or letting us affect them at all. So we end up feeling bad for those who don’t feel bad at all.

Many of us limit ourselves so that we don’t lose friends, companions, support systems, etc. We’re afraid to be successful because we know everyone won’t be happy. We know that our friends who are happy with mediocrity will probably leave us alone and stop talking to us and start talking about us… if they don’t already do so. We’re afraid of the things we’ll lose on the front end of success. When it starts to slowly pour in, we watch our friends slowly dim out of the picture. We’re afraid to lose them, though they obviously aren’t friends anyway. We’d rather dumb down and just be mediocre so everyone can be comfortable around us, though we ourselves are uncomfortable.

Some of us don’t want to draw attention to ourselves. We’d just rather sit in the background and be normal. We’ve had experiences where when attention was drawn to us, it didn’t turn out too well, or we were talked about, or we messed up when all eyes were on us, so we’d just rather step back and sit down. We’re afraid to be out where everyone can see us succeed because we don’t want to mess up, or get the wrong attention. Why do we allow fear to set us back and cause us to crave mediocrity instead of success, which is so easily attainable? How long will we sit back in fear and not be great because we’re afraid of what might happen? Will we constantly live in this fear, and then when we’re old and grey fall into a depression because we didn’t take the chances to be great and successful when it was so easily attainable?

And then many of us are just lazy. We just don’t want to do the work to be successful. We figure if I can do the bare minimum and pass, why work harder? Is it worth it.

YES. 

If you are halfway succeeding doing as little as nothing, then what makes you think that a little bit more elbow grease can’t get you a little further in life? Turning off the TV and reading a little more to gain a little more knowledge. Getting off Facebook for a few seconds and reading the news or preparing an outline for a paper you haven’t written yet (Mr. Robinson… lol) Throwing a little water on your face to stay up a few extra hours or get up a few hours earlier to learn a little bit more for class so you’re not as far behind.

We sit up and we envy those who are doing what we want to do. We covet after their lives, their clothes, their money, their career, when we have the opportunity to be that and more if we just put in a little more effort. If anyone told you that it was going to just fall in your lap… they lied.

So what if you’re making good grades by doing nothing? What’s wrong with gaining a little more knowledge if you want to make a successful career out of it? Nothing. It’s better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it. 

Take that extra few steps towards success. Forget what others have to say. People will talk about you if you live a mediocre life, and they will talk about you if you succeed, so it’s a lose-lose situation anyway, why not get some great things accomplished in the process of enduring? Forget fear. Do you really want to get to a point in your life when you can’t and you sit back and wish that you did? It’s right here. Right now. You can have it, just move past fear and take chances and make mistakes. The true failure is in not trying. And if you need a little extra push understand this “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7. And Forget about being lazy!! How is that helping you at all? Why continue to do things that lead to nothing, when you can gain things that lead to success and joy? If you read my last note, sitting up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter isn’t healthy anyways! You sit there and want someone else’s life while hating your own. Someone I know said a great quote. The grass will always be greener on the other side… until you water your own. Makes sense right? lol

I leave you with this quote by Marianne Williamson:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

~The Mrs.