Living Beyond Expectations

All of us have had expectations of others, and we’ve had others place expectations on us. I remember that when I was younger, I was fascinated with doctors.  I would ask my doctors a lot of questions. I thought for some time that I would one day become an MD. After working at a nursing home one summer, and after not doing as well in college as I’d hoped, I came to the sad reality that becoming a doctor wasn’t something I had the stomach to do. My less than stellar grades were a part of it, but I always felt helpless as people got very ill or passed away. I would grieve the deaths of my nursing home patients as if they were family members, so I knew it would be too much for me to continue in that field.

When I broke the news to my family, they did not take it very well at first. The disappointment was palpable, and with no clear Plan B, I was uncertain of what the future held for me. I tried to find other ways to earn approval, since what they had hoped for would not become a reality. I tried to be the model daughter and granddaughter. I tried to be patient, respectful and responsible. The pressure started affecting me, and I could feel the weight on my shoulders.

This heavy weight of expectations spilled over into my romantic relationships, where certain criteria was expected to be displayed by my suitors. I cried for a very long time after letting go of someone who meant everything to me.

Do you realize the significance of the role that expectations plays in our lives? Our decision-making process typically includes, “What would my children think?” or “Would Mommy approve?” or “Would my boys laugh at me if I did this?” There are moments when we feel the desire to get away from the litany of expectations, spoken or unspoken. Things like, “We value education here. Everyone MUST have at least a Bachelor’s degree in this house.” Or, “No babies before a wedding.” Or, “Don’t you know what our name means in this family and in this community?” Those who don’t fit in are left floundering and struggling. Many times, the misfits are so uncomfortable that eventually they leave the nest to start their own lives, separated from people whom they’ve loved but who now struggle to love them in return.

Many have gone to tremendous measures to “keep the peace” or to preserve the family name, or to minimize ridicule from friends, even when their hearts were beating to a different drum. Joining in on a bullying session with friends so they don’t turn on you. Or, agreeing to an abortion because of the family rule: no children without a wedding ring. Or, hiding secret passions or pursuits that you know your crowd wouldn’t understand.

Well…..It’s been years since I had to break the news to my family that I wouldn’t become a doctor, and I believe that was the best decision I had ever made. I had the ability to pursue whatever career path I wanted, but I was not passionate enough about medicine to continue. Now, all these years later, I’ve found my voice. My keyboard has been my passion outlet, whether it’s through blogging, posting on social media, editing books, writing books, or encouraging a friend. My keyboard has helped me meet people I would not have met otherwise, and has open doors for me. My passionate writings and posts have inspired many people around the world. I’ve received inbox messages and phone calls that testify to this.

So here’s my advice: Don’t allow anyone to take away your voice because of expectations. Our lives aren’t meant to be lived in cookie-cutter mode. We are meant to live like snowflakes, as no two flakes are alike. We are uniquely created to live out our purpose. And, if you are unsure of your purpose or where to begin that journey, I wrote a short book that can help you. Visit HERE to order your copy. Then get a pen and a notepad, settle down, and begin the journey.

It’s never too early or too late to shrug off the expectations of others and pursue who you were created to be.

See you “there!”

Advertisements

Another Black and Married with Kids.com Article: “Does Real Love Hurt?”

Hi again,

Here is another newly featured article on Black and Married with Kids.com! Feel free to visit and comment!

http://www.blackandmarriedwithkids.com/2013/09/does-real-love-hurt/

Another Black and Married with Kids Article!

Here is my newest post on Black and Married with Kids.com. I pray it encourages all who read it. http://www.blackandmarriedwithkids.com/2013/08/the-pain-was-unbearable-my-journey-to-healing-after-divorce/

Another Black and Married with Kids.com Article – Overcoming Loss

Hi everyone,

My article on Overcoming Loss is now being featured on the Black and Married with Kids.com website!

http://www.blackandmarriedwithkids.com/2013/08/now-i-am-free-the-steps-i-took-to-overcome-loss/

Free to be ME!

There were times when I hesitated to say or do something for fear of what others would think about me. I’m now at a place where I’m freer than I’ve ever been. It took some time for me to get to this place because of instances where I felt I couldn’t be myself at all.  After hiding from others for years (not because I had anything to hide, but just for self-protection), it’s refreshing to look at others and share exactly what I’m thinking without “coding” it first.

Being ridiculed for my ideas or thoughts was something I lived with for many years, mainly by peers and during my marriage. (I shared about this in my book, “It’s My Life and I Live Here: One Woman’s Story“.) I am thankful for the freedom that I’ve experienced as I’ve found my voice again. I can tell someone how I feel and not fear being rejected or laughed at. I can be myself and not wish I was someone else.

I am FREE to be ME!

 

 

“Are You Ready for Love?” on the Chat Kafe Blog

Hi everyone,

I am STILL writing! Check out my latest post on the Chat Kafe Blog:

http://chatkafeonline.com/are-you-ready-for-love-by-michelle-cameron/

Pursuing What Counts in 2013

This blog was first launched on December 29, 2010. Two years of triumphs and tragedies have passed since then, and I am thankful that I am still here to share this special moment with you – the end of yet another year.

We’ve seen significant changes financially, spiritually, socially, in politics, and in our communities all around us. We’ve buried many children due to violence, like the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School horror in Newtown, Connecticut (USA) and Trayvon Martin’s untimely death in Florida. Some cities like Chicago, Illinois (USA) have buried over 500 people in 2012 due to violence alone. Wars have erupted in the Middle East and in other world regions as governments and regimes fight for various rights or privileges. People crush each other any moment they get a chance (on social media, in the workplace) because of the fierce competition that is now ensuing.

What about our futures? What type of world are we creating for the generations coming up behind us? Are we proud to show our children how materialistic we’ve become? Is having all the latest gadgets, clothes, shoes and cars the only way to show that we’re “really living”? Do we make the effort to extend ourselves to help others, or are we content with the “us four, no more” mentality?

When we are at work, can anyone say that we genuinely care about their well-being, even if we are managers? Or is self-preservation the name of the game?

What about our church circles? The shame and embarrassment seems unending when news is broadcasted about our issues. Are we willing at all to step aside and allow God to take full control of our private appetites so they do not boil over and become public disgraces?

We need a revival of our souls. We are thirsty and are reaching for things that will never satisfy us!

2 Chronicles 7: 14 – 15 (NKJV, Holy Bible) states:
“….if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.”

I have such a spiritual hunger and thirst deep within me now that I cannot truly explain. I’m at a place in my life now where dressing in the latest labels and designs are a nice-to-have and is not required. Driving the latest model car means nothing to me now; I’ve done that twice before. Living in the “right” zip-code means very little; I’ve done that before too. What I NEED, more than anything else, is more of GOD. He speaks to me in the small things and in the big things. His care is evident. His love is precious. He speaks to my soul in ways I cannot describe adequately. Dreams, desires and ministries are birthed when we submit our lives into His hands.

As we embark on a new journey that begins in just a few hours (less than 12 hours), let us stop the busyness, step away from our electronic devices for some time and give God our undivided attention. He longs to commune with us. His presence gives us unexplainable peace of mind. His presence brings divine revelations on how to proceed in our lives. His love envelops us and heals us of past hurts and disappointments. These are not just cute sayings; these are REAL results when we stay and pray. Meditation on the Bible is vitally important in growing and developing us as living examples. Reading biblically-grounded books help as well. Take notes as you meditate, read and reflect. Allow God to push you into your next place of blessing (or testing).

I want to worship God with ALL my heart, mind, soul and spirit. I want to worship Him as I approach a new year with new challenges and new blessings.

Will you join me?

I wish a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2013 to you and your families!