I’ll never forget one of my cousins saying to me, “You have to know your why.” She was referring to how she reminds her family of “the why” to motivate them and bring into focus the big picture. This has been heavy on my heart lately, so here we are.
Everyone won’t understand it, but it’s important for you to understand your why.
Remember the curiosity we had as children? Longing to know the why of everything? When you don’t know your why, it’s like throwing things on a wall and seeing what sticks or projecting your unresolved issues onto someone else. It’s not useful and in some cases can create a cycle of hurt. It’s easy to revert back to your upbringing and justify why you do what you do. We were all raised in a variety of ways, but as we get older it’s essential to evaluate what needs to stay and what should go. What worked in a particular time may not be the best thing for now and for the people in your life now. And to keep it all the way real, some things didn’t work then. We don’t have to be forever committed to stay as we are just because that’s all we choose to know. What happens when we stop exploring the why? In my opinion, nothing of fulfillment. We dig into a place of the familiar and never get to the place of new possibilities. How will we ever grow staying in the same space? I repeat, it’s important to know your why.
Writing this makes me think of how we view someone who changes their mind in our society. Often times, that person is seen as flighty or unreliable. Who decided that this should be the narrative? Who’s to say that once we have a new experience or learn something that we didn’t know before, our minds shouldn’t shift to a place of re-evaluation? One day you want this, another day that. You go into life with a vision of your wants. Then, you change your mind. Decide this isn’t what you want or need. As we grow and experience, our lens changes. Maybe what we thought we needed or desired no longer aligns with the person we are or who we are becoming. Or the place we are living within no longer supports that vision. We are capable enough to discern who’s not dependable. We should also be in tune enough to see those who are actively seeking and growing and choosing.
Often times, we make choices based off of how we were directed without taking the time to make sure that it represents our most authentic selves. Ultimately, we end up in a place of having to truly decide, and sometimes the chosen path isn’t popular. But it’s honest. It’s what feels right in your soul. Most times, we don’t even recognize that not making the honest choice is self-betrayal— if we ever do. It’s ok to change your mind when it honors you. It may disappoint others but it may be the thing that leads you to your next level of purpose.
I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Masterclass on the Calm app last month. She said something that resonated deeply with me. She said, (I’m paraphrasing) “Don’t fight fear, you’ll never win. Hear it out but then use your true voice and rationale and clear thinking.” For me, this includes faith. There’s clarity under all of those feelings, and faith has to lead my path. I know trusting God will always get me where I need to be. Fear keeps me stagnate. I wear a necklace every day that reads, “Faith over Fear.” It’s a daily reminder that everything I need is already within me. I just have to trust myself enough to listen to my intuition and live fully with joy.
T.D. Jakes said it like this in one of his sermons, “Don’t kill the voice, turn the volume down.” I know that at times, the why can be fear. We struggle in so many ways with fear. That voice which tells us to doubt ourselves, question our abilities and choices. The voice that keeps us from true freedom when we give it more power than it deserves.
As we grow personally, we will be able to distinguish when we are making choices and speaking from a place of lack and fear vs. a place of abundance and joy. It feels different. It aligns with your soul.
I challenge you to explore your whys in life. Break them down, explore them and choose the voice that empowers you to live a life that you love and that reflects your truth.
Tiffany Reneé is a writer, poet and activist based in New York. She is a free spirit who loves to truly connect with others. She believes that life gives us opportunities to learn and grow daily if we are open to see the beauty in the expansion. Family time, deep conversation, wine, cooking, music, laughter and travel are a few of her favorite things. She’s a soulful dreamer from the Midwest who has always been drawn to the city lights and the possibilities that exist in choosing “more” of what allows you to live a life that you love.