Recently I watched an episode of Oprah’s MASTERCLASS which airs on her OWN network and in my opinion its coming along very good. What Oprah is trying to do with her network I totally get. She wants to enhance the lives of people by raising their consciousness which is how we encounter paradigm shifts in our lives. Which I applaud Oprah and her team for because if we as individuals never shift in our paradigm we will remain stuck in the drama junk and nonsense that we and the people around us have created for us to live in. It’s time we take control of our lives and live life in purpose on purpose. So I watched this episode of MASTERCLASS which if you’re not familiar is a show where Oprah gives a platform to interesting and insightful people to tell their story of success or triumph in such a way that we the viewing audience walk away with life lessons, principles that will help us in our own journey of success.

This particular episode featured Jon Bon Jovi who is the founder and lead singer of the all star rock band Bon Jovi. I must admit I am familiar with a few of his songs but I wasn’t a fan until I watched this show. His journey to be where he is today was a remarkable one and one that I could identify with immensely. Something he said struck a chord with me. He said in so many words that he in his early years of developing and learning music wasn’t necessarily supported in his decision to be a musician. But he made up in his mind he’d rather be a I tried and failed person than a I should’ve could’ve would’ve person. When he said this something in me stood up in agreement because this was something I said to my own self many years ago. You see, I’ve learned that people who are determined to be all they can be or determined to live life with no chains are usually people who are singled out as being peculiar, daring or sometimes simply different. And when this self expression is found in you early in life especially when you are a creative being as many musicians, writers, artist and designers are you will find yourself with labels that are put on you by people who really don’t get you.

Understand in this world we live in people want to be able to define everything. We see it all the time you’re at an event and someone walks in the room people, immediately based on the self expression of their dress, hair, walk, face begin to classify that person as smart, dumb, gay, straight, approachable, unapproachable, mean, loving, wealthy, poor, articulate or inarticulate and the list goes on and on. What this does is it helps us protect ourselves from potential danger and in other cases it helps us to feel superior particularly if we think the person is less educated or affluent to us. Why do we do this? It is simply because we have somewhere down the line been taught to judge a book by its cover and with the lack of social expression we have, if we are able to label a person prior to engaging in conversation with them we protect our own self expression because now there is no one there to challenge it. We can make ourselves feel better than because so and so carries themselves like a ignorant ghetto ‘round the way girl when you are clearly (in your own mind) a well educated, classy young lady from a well to do neighborhood.

Many of us have been labeled in life and many of you like me were labeled early in life because people just didn’t get you and rather than trying to get to know you they forced a label upon you based on what they felt was your truth. Sometimes my friends that is a hard road to travel because it plays on our psyche as children we don’t understand why people do what they do so as a result all the negative things they have labeled you with become the things you begin to believe about yourself. And even if you don’t believe them you feel such a since of rejection that you digress in life you internalize the self expression that you were destined to share with the world. You become afraid of being your authentic self and before you know it you have spent years in fear of the potential rejection that you may receive. Because all you can think about is how you once expressed yourself freely and you were teased or mistreated and maybe even abused because of it and you move into your adult life afraid of those emotions, you don’t want to feel that pain again. As a result you subconsciously and sometimes consciously decide to live a mediocre existence; you dumb down in order to appease people. Never realizing your dream never seeing the vision you once had for yourself manifested and my friends that is a miserable life.

To me that’s like taking a plastic bag and putting it over your own head and smothering yourself. Never allow anyone to dictate to you who you are. You are great and you have a great work to do and although you may be at a disadvantage because no one understands you do it anyway. Even though you may be saddened because no one believes in you, believe in yourself. You may also be petrified because the pain of your past threatens to unveil itself with the mere thought of you doing something extraordinary, different or unusual. Do it anyway, even afraid. Don’t succumb to the opinions and insecurities of other people; that is the only reason they labeled you in the first place because you caused them to see their own insecurities and as a result they projected their personal pain and inferiority on you. You are somebody great that’s why you have always felt that way. You are somebody special even if no one has ever told you so. You are loved and appreciated even if you can’t quite see it right now. Understand my friend that the very person that is ridiculed and made mockery of for being true to their greatness is the very person that years later is sought after for advice, encouragement and information because they had the courage to live their life with no chains both intrinsic and extrinsic.  So many people spend the latter years of their life singing the blues. That all too famous song “I should’ve, could’ve would’ve” don’t let that be you. Let your light so shine be the ray of God’s glory that you were predestined to be even if you have to do it afraid. Blessings to you always!

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