Throughout my life, I have witnessed the ways that we often choose people or spaces that do not choose us. Sometimes we do this to prove something to ourselves, but most times we do this to prove something to our egos. When we allow our egos to dictate what we do and how we do it, we do ourselves a disservice by leading with pride rather than love. What exactly does it mean to lead with pride rather than love?
When we lead with pride, we allow the ego to become centered in all of our behaviors and actions, leading to extreme acts of bias and shortsightedness. It is hard to collectively work with others when our egos are at the center. When we lead with love, we learn how to decenter ourselves in order to collectively and consciously work with others. If we could see beyond one another’s differences, we could radically change the world. Seeing beyond one another’s differences does not mean that we ignore our differences, rather that we embrace and accept them as part of various individual identities and cultural ways of knowing and being.
There are some people in our lives we do not get to choose, such as our biological parents and blood relatives. However, we know that as we get older, we can choose who we allow into our spaces. We can choose friends who see the best in us and motivate us to become better people. We can choose romantic partners that honor our full authentic selves. We can even create the families that we desire that does not necessarily have to be bound by blood. The point is to remind you that we all have a choice in who want to be. Our lived experiences may look different. The way we move through the world may be filled with more privileges than others or less privileges than others. However, how we choose to use the privileges we do have will determine the overall quality of our lives.
I want you to pause right now and ask yourself the following questions:
· Do I choose people who choose me? How do I know?
· What does it mean to push my ego to the side and not lead with pride?
· What are some of my biases and how can I use kindness to unlearn some of my unconscious and conscious biases?
· How can choosing people who choose me elevate my life?
When you ask yourself these questions, please be honest with yourself. What can you do more of? What support systems do you need in place to help you choose better so that you can do better on a daily basis? Remember, doing better does not mean that you seek perfection, rather that you understand that life is filled with tests and testimonies. We often pause when we fail the test without understanding that without the test there is no testimony. I want you to look in the mirror today and repeat this Self Love Life 101 Daily Mantra:
I choose kindness over my ego.
I choose to love myself enough
to choose people who choose me.
I have everything inside of me
to elevate my life.