Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Reinventing Ourselves: Don't Get Stuck with Your Old Self

When we were born we were what our parents expected: Precious Babies with a lot of promise. Even if we came into this world with a visible defect our mothers and fathers still wanted us to be more than a mediocre human being. The expectation for us unattractive - but cute to our parents - newborns was: to be the best we could/can be. This has always been someone’s wish. A wish that for so many turned into a nightmare or a beautiful story that will be told once we leave our physical selves, and become one with the spirit realm. So, as this year closes I have a question for you: Have you become the best you could/can become?

Usually around this time of the year we hear or read messages that prompt us to reevaluate our decisions and assess where we are in life. We spend countless minutes trying to tally up the good we have done, analyzing the pain we have caused, and we spend an enormous amount of mental energy regretting. I recall years ago saying to myself, “Brian, you shall not have any regrets in this life – so live!” At that very moment I decided to live a life worth singing and dancing about as I listened to someone besides myself sing that song that has the following words in it: “As I look back over my life…”. Now, that I have lived a pretty decent life (according to my evaluation) I still yearn for the day to come when I can say with confidence: I am the master of my world, controller of my destiny and ruler of my fate. Will I ever be in a position to say this? Will you? If we begin or continue to reinvent self, we will. But, if we stay in that same drastically unfulfilling, tediously monotonous, and unchallenging place we will travel the slow and boring road of mental/spiritual death instead of flourishing in every imaginable capacity.

I hear ya: ‘Another motivational speech from another person who has no clue what my life entails.’ This is how I sarcastically respond when a stranger starts to insinuate what I need to do to live a fulfilling life. Perhaps, it is my arrogance that somewhat shuts me down or maybe it is my passive approach of not facing the TRUTH? For me, honestly, it has been me evading the truth. Dodging the reality of my life. What is the personal truth that you have failed to address?

Are you doing what Frankie Beverly sings about: Running Away? If you are you are not alone. This is the reason we have New Year Resolutions. All year, we knowingly ignore what is RIGHT for us, and at the end of the year we somehow decide to face the music. This is our way of ‘starting over’ when in fact we never seriously began anew. No, we just go along with this end of the year commercialized process - some of us with good intentions – because everyone else is doing it, and believe it or not creating a resolution helps us feel better about our failures, short-comings and/or personal defects. Failures that occurred, and later helped me remember this: ‘God did not make no mistakes.” This often blurted-out statement from momma was enough for me to ‘get back up’.

On December 31st we will make another commitment to get it right – but how long are we going to spend ‘getting it right’? Shouldn’t there be a litmus test or a thorough analysis of where we are with the promises we made twelve months ago? Perhaps, we are taking the WRONG approach if the resolutions are a repeat of 2007’s.

Reinvention vs. Promises

What are we doing to reinvent Sherri, Patrick, Brian, and Sabrina? For the sake of a better you, me, and the world it is our responsibility to become a different and improved person each and every year that we live. A better parent, friend, sibling, business owner, employee, etc. If we take the same actions (promises) in 2008, we are truly a fabrication of what our parents expected. We are nothing more than a precious little baby in an adult body who fails to truly be the BEST he or she can be. We are nothing more than a ‘being’ that’s passing through life, and a human void who’s not having any impact on changing lives simply because you/me refuse to become a new and fresh individual (reinvention).

Don’t ya wanna get rid of that old self?

Examples of Reinventions:

Arthur Ashe – once a tennis player – died a committed civil rights activist
Queen Latifah – was a rapper – now an impressive vocalist
Sidney Poitier – once an actor – now a compassionate humanitarian
Iyanla Vanzant – was an abused spouse – now a dynamic speaker
Muhammad Ali – once a boxer – now an international peace icon
Maya Angelou – was a madam – now a phenomenal poet

…and all those men and women who are not notable celebrities. Those REGULAR FOLK! They are within our communities. Let’s become one or either search for them.

Take a look at the most popular New Year’s Resolutions. Should I be surprised that honoring the Golden Rule is not on the list?

How can a concept that’s woven into the moral fabric of all civilizations, most religions – but be obviously irrelevant to most of the world’s population not make the list? Are we really trying to LOVE one another?

The Ethic of Reciprocity is universal:

Written by Muata. Inspired by those souls who have been taking advantage of Self-Reinvention.


Muata said...

Reader Responses:

Wonderful piece.


This is awesome piece that allows us to once again......THINK........simple as that......


You always hit it on the head.


The Queeen has "reinvented' herself. I love her! Thanks for sharing.


I hope 2008 is a better year for black men. It has been a tough one. Those in the public eye.


Continue to do what you do. But find a way to chill. Stop worrying bout thangs you can't control.


FREEDOM said...

There are many things in this world that we cannot control. However, what we can DO is try to improve and control ourselves. The only person I can TRY to control and improve is ME, MYSELF, and I. And, that is touch and go at times.

B.E. Payne continue using this passion that is in your heart to (let us all say it together) enlighten, inform, inspire, challenge and POSITIVELY frustrate….LOL!

This year has been a blast! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns with this world. Your reader was right about not “worrying” about things that you cannot control. Nevertheless, keep writing about them so that we as a black community may continue to have a platform to discuss our key issues regarding self, love, relationships, economics, and new age slavery.

You know I am all about LOVE. Therefore, keep doing what you believe in your heart is your way of spreading LOVE. You have accomplished so much this year with the publishing of your first book. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!! I am so proud of you. Keep up the phenomenal work.

Do not ever think that what you are doing by sharing yourself through your thoughts via writings is not appreciated by us all (I guess I will be the spokesperson) lol! Just continue to inspire and challenge us. We Appreciate U and Thank YOU!!

Have a Happy and Safe New Year’s!!

May ALL your DREAMS come TRUE!!!

Much Love,


Muata said...

Reader Response:

I just read your article again on reinventing yourself. And I've come across a lot of reinventors lately, here are a few! .

Ice Cube
Ice Tea
Trya Banks
Whoopie Goldberg


Jinx said...

Better than Wonderful! I have read this piece several times and each time, I come away with something different.

For me, reinvention is a requirement through growth. As we move through our daily lives we encounter new and different situations, we meet new and different people, we set new and different goals for ourselves, and it is only through growth and reinvention that we can achieve those goals and grow from these experiences. But for many, reinventing oneself is looked upon as trying to be something you are not. For they only see themselves one way, behaving in a way that upholds that image. Reinvention, if only we all realized that it’s the requirement for success.

Great article!