I had a long drive this morning and when I have long drives, I typically do one of three things: listen to inspirational information, jam to old school Motown music or think deeply. Today was a think deeply day. As I was thinking, I was also looking at how beautiful the sky was and it hit me—I could actually see clearly through my windshield. Well, looking through your car windshield is probably not the most exciting thing for most people but for me, today, I let out “Hallelujah”. You see my mind went back…way back to undergraduate years in college. I was home, which was about one hour from the university, when a huge snow storm hit NC. The snow storm was rough but class was still in session. Despite having a “raggedy” car I needed to return to the university for classes and my not one but two jobs.
My raggedy car did just what a raggedy car does (sometimes does), get you from point A to point B, nothing more and nothing less, including defrosting my windshield. Because my defroster did not work, I had to literally get out of the car every five minutes to physically clear a small spot so that I could see where I was going. After I cleared the round spot, I had the pleasure of watching it disappear as the frost slowly but surely took up its space so that my vision was completely obscured again. I did not even bother with the back window. My hands were freezing and I had to ignore the people who beeped and yelled choice words to a struggling sister. In the end I made it back to campus, numb hands and all. A few months after this experience, my car died and it was back to the drawing board with the financial aid check, money from giving plasma and job hustles to pay for the next vehicle. Driving my 2015 car today, I had a moment….I did not have to worry about the defroster, the heat, the reliability. I could simply drive and count on this car to not only get me from point A to point B but also enjoy some luxuries during my travels, such as heated seats. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. After praising to the top of my lungs, I saw something else clearly in my mind’s eye.
For the past few months, I have been working with women who are either current or aspiring entrepreneurs who have shared many circumstances far worst than dealing with a raggedy car. From homelessness to being ostracized by university leaders for being gay to having to send all of their financial aid money back to their homes while struggling themselves in graduate school—these are untold stories. These are stories that need to be shared because although these ladies had these experiences, they overcame every single challenge and they can inspire others because indeed, there are others. But subconsciously sometimes these experiences can lead to constant comparison to others and an imposter syndrome that all too often shouts, “You don’t deserve to be where you are.”
Last week, I met with one of my clients and we talked about her growing business. We were surprised to find out that we had very similar household circumstances and college experiences. She is the entrepreneur that shared that she been homeless while in graduate school. She also mentioned that admired me when I spoke to her class years before we ever personally met. In amazement, I congratulated her on overcoming such difficult circumstances and then I told her that I wish we would have met earlier but strangely I did not remember her being in a class that I had spoken to. That is until, I could see clearly through that windshield…her face came to me in my visual memory allowing me to see her in my mind’s eye. She was in the back but did not comment or ask questions while I was present. She smiled when I made eye contact but she was quiet the entire class. What was going through her head that day? I can only imagine but I can see clearly now—the orchestration of God on her life. The spirit that allowed her to push through homelessness and graduate from one of the top graduate schools in the nation is the same spirit that will help her be successful in her business, even when the challenges arise. And she can see more clearly now too because she just emailed me to share her new website and how her business is being blessed! Check out: Galberth Health!
Sometimes, circumstances cloud our vision of who we are. We say to ourselves because: I am from a divorced single parent home, because I am poor, because I don’t fit in….. leading to thoughts of because I am less than. These thoughts then manifest into behaviors and actions and the vision becomes even cloudier. I CANNOT SEE MYSELF being successful or powerful beyond measure. I just CANNOT see it. I am guilty as charged myself—at times I have struggled with thinking I am not where I need to be, I downplay every accomplishment and easily become awe struck at what everyone else is doing.
But what if, because we are still moving forward in spite of being from a single parent home, in spite of being economically challenged, in spite of simply being different, we choose to see ourselves as more than conquerors! We choose to not allow our past to define our future. We choose to think about how much stronger we are because we have overcome challenges. I know what happens when we choose to think this way, we soar and I mean really soar! We become unstoppable and we know that we know that we know that there is a vision for our lives and we begin to see it clearly! Hallelujah!