Allowing Others to Dictate Your Life

This seems to be a very popular topic among us these days. As free as this country is said to be, we all are controlled by rules, systems, jobs, family, and friends to some extent. Last year, I wrote an article about this very situation (read it here), but I wanted to come back and share a bit of my story with you. I was controlled by others for the majority of my life, and one day I decided that I would change that. I come from a very strict, religious background. In my church, the pastor spoke very boldly and told the congregation what to do with their children, their money, their jobs, their education, their hair, and so on.

As a young girl, I knew that I wanted something different…something more than what others seemed to settle for. I refused to believe that as God’s children, we were sentenced to suffering through life, being broke, depressed, and waiting for the day that we get to live happily in heaven. I just didn’t know how I would break free from that life. I sat, almost daily, daydreaming about being a singer who traveled the world, but where I come from, that was a ridiculous dream to have after I reached a certain age. Though education wasn’t a major focus in my family, the elders knew that education was attached to money, so they pushed us to get one. From the pulpit, we were told to study something in medicine or business, because those were the ‘two industries that will never die’.

I’d been in all of the Gospel choirs in middle school, and performed in show choir in high school. After high school graduation, I felt pressured to give up my art and music background and face the real world where all grown-ups were serious and had boring jobs. I majored in business and failed miserably, because I wasn’t the slightest bit interested in the field. Accounting, what? Economics, huh? Nothing left room for me to be creative. I had to sit out of school for a couple of semesters, and that’s when I started getting bold. Some things were changing, and I had the support of my parents. I went back to school, changed my major to English, and started excelling immediately. I was on the Dean’s List and everything!

Soon after my creative juices were flowing again, I jumped back into my first love…music. I spent a lot of time learning what not to do, but eventually, I found my stride. Years later, I make beautiful music with my husband, and we travel, spreading our gifts to everyone that we can reach.

Had I continued to let my religious leaders dictate my life decisions, I never would be here, living the life that I dreamed of as a little girl. At some point, we all have to establish our own spiritual selves, and walk in purpose. What or who is holding you back from accomplishing the very things you desire? How can you pull away and live your best life on purpose? When are you going to make that change?  

I propose today. Time is something that we can never get back once it’s spent. Don’t waste anymore of it. Go after what is rightfully yours. We don’t dream by happenstance. We are all given talents and visions for a reason. Because we are all connected, you could be holding someone back from their breakthrough, because you aren’t doing your part to help and inspire through your work. Snap into action!

What are your goals and dreams? How have you or will you change your life to see them come to life?

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