Somewhere deep inside of your soul is a person waiting to be set free.
I’m not referring to a physical form but a consciousness that speaks within to help make prudent life decisions.
Call it intuition, a gut instinct, or a vibe. Either way, it’s the voice that you rely on when times are tough.
In the Black church, I knew it as the Holy Spirit. And every Sunday, the Sanctuary, filled with an ensemble of joyful songs, a tambourine to accompany the harmony, and a congregation, singing and shouting as they rose to their feet.
Not long after, the Pastor approached the pulpit. Face glistening with sweat and hands clasped to the Bible. We sensed that just by observing his quiet thunder, the sermon would be excellent food for the soul.
As he uttered his first words, the echoes of the amen commenced the Sanctuary. Yet, again, his tranquil roar met our expectations.
But among his soothing words of comfort (and sometimes doom if you anger God) lies an unkindled feeling. A void shroud with a longing for something more.
Between growing up in both denominations, as a Baptist and AME (African Methodist Episcopal) member, I felt the spirit moving every inch of my being, and at the same time, lacking a critical aspect to satisfy an unspoken truth.
The problem: I didn’t know what truth it was.
I felt I lived all the hallmarks of being a good Christian girl: going to church, studying the Word, and praying morning and night.
In contrast, I felt trap like I’ve fallen into the wilderness. Or at least, suggested I’ve fallen deep into an obscured abyss.
Over and over, I asked why all the time despite not fully understanding such a request.
Why am I this, or why am I that? Instead of stopping for a minute to listen to my heart.
No amount of hallelujahs could help find this truth. Nor could my beautiful children or supportive parents. It’s a matter I needed to learn myself.
Then, one day, I took my boredom and mental anguish to social media, hoping to find anything on the timeline to uplift my mood. I scrolled, scrolled, and scrolled. Nothing stood out, as usual.
As I focused on the screen on my cell phone, my grandmother had on the radio listening to her gospel music. A voice then pierced through the speakers during a commercial, asking, “What is your why?”
I shifted my focus from the phone to the small boombox as if I needed clarity from the mysterious person.
“My why?” I whispered aloud.
What on earth did that mean?
Behind Your Why
It sounds like a possession, something to be own, right?
Well, it is.
This particular “why” is the unspoken truth. Perhaps of years of searching and yearning for that spark missing from your life.
It represents a statement of your calling, your desires, and your goals — a passion revealing a purposeful living.
You don’t have to find religion or be deep in Spirituality to understand your “why.” The question and answer are ingrained within.
That day when I heard that woman’s voice reverberating through the speakers, I asked myself over and over what did it mean. And how would I go to find my “why”?
Did I have to travel far off in a quest to find this truth or spend an exuberant amount of money on hiring an expert?
No, and no.
It’s a matter of being still and listen.
Your Why: The Unspoken Truth
There’s a distinct difference between listening and hearing.
I don’t need to go into the definition with either two because anyone knows one requires critical thinking and comprehending. Whereas the other is focusing solely on sounds.
So, ask yourself these three things:
What are my strengths?
What are my likes?
How can I utilize these answers to something special?
Remember, there’s no right or wrong way or a time limit of listing these truths; they’re yours. And once you’ve gathered your facts, your why will stand out.
“But how will I know it’s real or wishful thinking?” you ask.
Your heart is your best set of eyes. Not only will it listen as you analyze situations, but it’ll see things with clarity.
Of course, your natural eyesight (one of your powerful five senses) can lie. It’s unreliable because not everything is what it seems.
The phrase “looks can be deceiving” is a great example:
You meet a stunning or handsome person, and you want to know them better. But, in your gut, something is holding you back from introducing yourself.
Eventually, you approach them with a simple hello, leading to a beautiful conversation. Things go well, yet to discover later after many dates, this person isn’t for you.
That same voice from your gut (instinct) is the same you’ll listen for your why.
Your Why Matters
Take it from me: the same woman who discovered her why in her late thirties and taken years to cultivate her strengths and likes into a passion is satisfied on her new journey.
Your why should be a marathon, not a sprint, since all great things need time and patience.
It’s also about refinement and taking new directions amid the process. It’s about accepting the fact that mistakes will happen — and understanding by falling once, you’ll need to get up several times to do it again and again and again.
Some days your why will be silent. And other days will be rambunctious for much-needed motivation.
Still, your why does not require explanation to anyone. It’s the template to a dream, a goal, or an expectation for desired results. It belongs to you, and only you.
So, protect your why and make your magic happen.