home is where my habits have a habitat
I am grateful for space where I can be myself freely, express myself freely and be appropriately critiqued and molded into excellence, or a shadow of it, whatever and however excellence might mean or be in the eyes of The Creator.
say no to run-on sentences, aish!
One of the recurring themes in my work, my social life, among family, everywhere around me, is the idea of self comfort and maintenance of a constant state of existence – no change, just constant. I see this manifested with…
I’m just doing me. That’s who I am. It’s me…
Love me or leave me alone…
I’m gonna keep doing what I do. period.
This is how it’s always done…
and of course, in the words of the late Baatin
While our inclination is to just “be me” and “do what we do”, I don’t believe in complacency and stagnancy. I do believe in achieving and maintaining a balance between recognizing and celebrating who I am, while also challenging myself to be better. If the goal is excellence, a lifetime can be spent exploring what that is. But that’s just for me – what about those around me? How do I encourage excellence around me without encroaching on the personhood of others? In my role as a criminal immigration attorney and adviser, I have to lay out options for a client and their advocate, making recommendations. In my role as an elder in the Ndugu-Nzinga Rites of Passage Community, I heed to the wisdom of my elders to guide those who come after me.
I believe in transformation.
I’ve had clients insist that this
insert illegal and or unwise behavior is just what they do, an essential fabric in the makeup of who they are… And no amount of pleading and warning of the risk of a suspended license, jail time, employment collateral consequences or deportation will change that. I’ve had family members maintain practices that are financially and emotionally devastating, but are so tied to this notion of treasuring tradition over self-preservation.
I believe in transformation.
I also believe in a place of comfort, where you can honestly be who you are, recognize your flaws, even wallow in them for a bit. But that space shouldn’t be infinite… And someone, something, some force should be available to mold me, challenge me, tell me that they accept me, but that they are looking for an opportunity to celebrate continued, increasing excellence. HOME. I am so grateful for a home where this can happen, where my habits have a habitat, but are not allowed to consume me. I am welcome, I am celebrated, I am “pushed and cajoled”.
“Here’s coming a better version of me” – Fiona Apple
Your poigant question “How do I encourage excellence around me without encroaching on the personhood of others?”, is one I ask myself all the time. I attempt to motivate people and believe I have a gift for doing so. I find happiness in seeing the success of my people. That being said, I used to get vex with people who would (IMO) take the easy way out. Why would you not want to better yourself, help your family, improve your situation etc… I would try various forms of motivation and reasoning to show the errors in their joy of complacency and land of content. I have found that the most effective way to motivate the disenchanted is to lead by example and plant a seed in the form of a brief to mid-length conversation that can take hold for the individuals we are trying to motivate.
I think not having a space to be me for the better part of the day is a major cause of my discontent. Sure, once I get home and around friends I can be me, and for the most part, my friends push me to venture out into different things, but it is hard to feel like you are suffocating in a work world that you feel no attachment or joy towards. It is also extremely difficult to not let the work angst (a place where most of us spend the majority of our day, life) encroach upon the private life. I’m still trying to figure this out while hopefully moving out of what has become a toxic work situation.
Hold on tight to your habitat!
We all do need that space of peace honor and integrity. I love the fact that we can be transformed and result in growth. God molds us into what he desires of us. Its up to us to submit to his will an allow that transformation to happen.
I’ve been struggling with bad habits. But i’m learning through articles like this we can all be transformed.
Thanks for the inspiration.
“I also believe in a place of comfort, where you can honestly be who you are, recognize your flaws, even wallow in them for a bit. But that space shouldn’t be infinite… And someone, something, some force should be available to mold me, challenge me, tell me that they accept me, but that they are looking for an opportunity to celebrate continued, increasing excellence. HOME. I am so grateful for a home where this can happen, where my habits have a habitat, but are not allowed to consume me. I am welcome, I am celebrated, I am “pushed and cajoled”.”
I’ll be using this paragraph as an inspiration of sorts… meditating on this for the month of August as I work to further develop and grasp my sense of identity through all of life’s changes. Happy to have found your blog through #31WriteNow.