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Moment Of Clarity

The Value of Living on Purpose

We were standing in line at Victoria’s Secret and I was reading some updates on my Facebook page when I turned to my husband and said, “When it’s time for me to go, don’t try to save me. Let me die.”

He looked puzzled, as if I had been keeping some secret from him. “I mean it could be tomorrow, in five years or in fifty. I’m just saying let me go home; I’m ready for that. No hospitals, painful treatments or machines.”

I don’t know where that came from; it was out of the blue, but it was definitely my soul talking and I meant it – I still do. I thought about that statement all night and the following morning and then it clicked.

For a good chunk of my life, I had been living for the approval of my parents, my husband(s), in-laws, children, patients, clients, and colleagues. I had lost myself in the conflict of Shakespeare’s timeless, “To be or not to be, that is the question.”

Ten years ago, I decided “to be” in my own truth and “not to” live for others. I began with divorcing my first husband and faced some of the most wretched demons that took residence within me. The truth is that I should have never married him, but after journeying into the 9th circle of hell, I have made peace with our marriage … and him.

The rest of my journey has been relatively easy. I mean, it is still difficult, but nothing surprises me. It is just as painful, but not frightening. I still have to walk it alone, but I am never lonely.

The last ten years of my life was spent making peace with my choices and myself. Every time I make a choice, I’m reaffirming my commitment to my happiness and living in my truth, without the need to save others from it. By accepting my truth, I defy cultural logic and etiquette, which helps me keep a lovingly tight circle. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1) Everyone isn’t for everybody, so stop trying to please people.

2) Family is often unrelated to you, so see people for who they are and respond accordingly.

3) Few want to see you happy, so seek your own opinion first.

4) Most people break their promises, so keep the ones you make to yourself.

5) Don’t take things personally, because a lot of people dislike themselves. So the chances of them genuinely liking you is small.

By accepting these truths, I have allowed myself to have the following: 1) Love, 2) Trust, 3) Contentment, 4) Comfort, and 5) Freedom.

While I have yet to become a Buddha, I am definitely at peace with others and myself. Allowing others to be who they are without judgment is a direct result of being able to do the same with myself. My ability to understand, have compassion, and forgive is pretty high, which allows the process of letting go to be smoother.

So, going back to Victoria’s Secret. My husband still looked confused so I said, “In other words, I want to live the rest of my life on purpose, so I’m ready whenever it’s time for me to go” and, like a man he nodded and told me we were next.

With love and light … I wish you all pleasant and purposeful journeys!

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW

Do you have a question for our “Moment of Clarity” JET Therapist, Jinnie? Email us at digitalpitches@ebony.com. We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential. 

Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in clinical and spiritual psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, Yhandi and RoHun.  Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter, join her on Facebook and Twitter, or view her self-help books!