My life has been dedicated to encouraging and serving. Some would say that I was too giving, too compassionate, and too open regarding my life challenges and my realities. Sharing my life stories was all that I had including writing a paper about me as my final project for my Black History college course. To me, I was a success. I beat the odds graduating college with not one, but two babies. I did it. I was off welfare and working. No more food stamps.
As my story continues, graduating college and practicing dental hygiene was not enough even though I was a sought-after hygienist. One doctor even moved my family back to Alaska to continue working with and for him. This was great, but not enough. My hunger and thirst came from using my life challenges and the obstacles that I had overcome to change someone else’s life. I loved to talk and to write. I wanted to use my natural gifts and talents to change the world. So, to me, success was not cleaning teeth and treating gum disease. Success came when I started tapping into the hearts of people, transforming their lives through my books, coaching, and speaking.
I met Pastor S. through one of her church members. Pastor S. was frustrated and broken when we met. I was her sunshine that made her laugh and smile while it was raining all around her. She was able to bask in my freedom while searching for hers. We often ate at a local restaurant while I sipped on margaritas and she drank iced tea. Pastor S. would pour her heart out, and I would offer soft suggestions that would move her forward in her thought processes and in the physical. We continued month after month. Pastor S. was now able to tell me the basics – what color she liked; who she was; and what she had to offer to her congregants and fellow clergy. She was no longer a pushover, but instead was now able to say one simple word: “NO.”
When it came to dating, Pastor S was lost. She hadn’t dated in many moons and was oblivious to the current dating culture. I had dated and been married multiple times and was a pro. I took her hand and gave her the basics of dating – don’t be too needy; date different men; and write down your list of negotiables and non-negotiables. Pastor S. has rediscovered herself and her value. She is an example of one of my success stories. I am honored that she chose me, and that spirit led her to me. Pastor S. is happy and thriving with a new talk show soon to be released.
Success has no real definition because success is individualized. It comes in many forms and with many personalities. Success should offer you a sense of accomplishment and hope. It should say to you personally, “You did that,” or “You made it!” Success comes in as many colors and it shines bright on everyone it reaches. It makes you grow, glow, and go! Success is a stream that keeps flowing and is continuous. Do you want it? You can have it! To your success!
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The Future of Connection for Women