OPINION: A Student of Life | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

OPINION: A Student of Life

If we know that life is a constant lesson, we must also understand that we aren't always going to be teachers. There will be times when we must be the student. A time will come when it's time to face a new challenge. File Photo

If we know that life is a constant lesson, we must also understand that we aren't always going to be teachers. There will be times when we must be the student. A time will come when it's time to face a new challenge. File Photo

In April, when I left my secure job to dance in risk and long hours, I paid close attention to my soul. See, after a decade or better on a job, I knew there was something happening around me, for me, to me. I refused to miss any part of it. I wanted all questions answered, even if the answer was uncomfortable. I was forced to fall back and remember what it was like to be a student of life. While the lessons I've already learned in life are secure, the shift still happened, and the teacher became the student.

The air I breathed whispered relief and freedom, but I didn't really know how to breathe it. I often tickled myself because I thought, "This can't be my air. Somebody must have let their good air leak out, and I'm catching it." I didn't know air could feel like that. By November, I'd caught my stride, and I was focused, busy, no time to evaluate or spend time with my soul. As soon as things settled, and my mind took a back seat to my soul, I began to regurgitate emotion like a pregnant woman with morning sickness.

This energy was unapologetic. It was unforgiving. It was determined, and it was aggressive. My soul was preparing for the birth of a new soldier, one that could not carry the characteristics I'd taught myself were necessary for peace—tenderheartedness, selfishness, fear, angst, affirmation, understanding, encouragement, support. The purge was necessary to thicken my skin and make the cause more important than my own feelings or desires. A leader who refuses to get out of their own way won't lead long.

If the charge is to elevate people, then the reason can't be about the person doing the elevating. The reason has to be about the people. My assessment is that those who are charged to improve and impact the lives of others in some way, shape or form would serve themselves best by not being meek and mild. I've never been completely meek and never mild, but I was timid. But sometimes the calling upon your life doesn't make room for timidity. My soul tells me that I should gear up to raise hell regardless of whether it is easy to digest or not. But I'm cool with that. It takes a lot of effort to chip away at a hard truth when you can easily just throw a punch.

Truth is the truth whether you sugarcoat it or not. It doesn't change the facts if you write it down on a notepad with hearts and smiles, won't change the meaning if you sing the words or speak slowly. Most people don't respond to those methods anyway. But it's not just about delivery and presentation; one must also determine that even in the roughest of times, they will still hold tight to their passions, convictions and dedication. One must decide that they will go all the way, even if the way is narrow and full of obstacles.

There comes a time in our lives where we shift from who we have been in preparation for who we are becoming. So often we think that receive our life tasks early, and that's all there is to it. But tasks evolve, and we have to be on a course to stick to the right path. We can't become complacent because it's comfortable. If we know that life is a constant lesson, we must also understand that we aren't always going to be teachers. There will be times when we must be the student. A time will come when it's time to face a new challenge. We must always be open to growing and willing to be obedient to the growth and understand that these energy shifts come to move us to the next phase of our journey. It is our charge to hear it, learn to recognize it and plan to be obedient. No one said it was easy. But it is necessary.

Funmi "Queen" Franklin is a word lover, poet, a truth yeller and community activist. She is the founder of an organization that promotes self love, awareness and sisterhood. Plus, she has a wicked addition to Lemonheads. This column does not necessarily reflect the views of the Jackson Free Press.

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