One day I was out walking my dog and I started talking to one of my neighbors. I explained that I’ve had my dog since she was 5 months old and she is now eleven years old. She explained she has a bird that’s she had for twenty years. I was surprised a bird lived that long. But another part of me was sad because that bird was caged for twenty years.

That bird was doing the exact opposite of what God had designed for the bird to do.
Granted, she probably took care of the bird very well. Made the bird feel loved. Provided the bird with everything the bird could ever want or need. And she probably gave the bird the most beautiful cage one could give a bird but at the end of the day, she was interfering with the bird’s purpose.

If God wanted the bird to be locked in a cage, it would have come with one. If God didn’t want the bird to fly and enjoy the beautiful sky, it would have been a bird with wings that weren’t designed to fly. If it was meant to be something we admired as a workout of art, it would have been a work of art.

Having a bird in a cage for twenty years may be a great achievement and shows consistency but to remember the bird’s purpose to fly and to have it in a cage for twenty years is a disservice to the bird. It’s a disservice to God.

On the other hand, maybe I’m just as guilty for having a spayed dog for eleven years. When we go outside, she has to go out on a leash. We only go out on long walks when the weather permits and when I have the desire to walk a couple of miles. Sometimes I don’t give her the love and affection she likes so maybe I’m doing her a disservice.

Maybe I’m doing a disservice to God.

Maybe I’m doing myself a disservice for knowing I’ve considered rehoming her for years but because I’ve had her for so long, I would hate to dump her on someone who may not be able to take care of her as I’ve had.

Maybe she has her bird because she doesn’t like to be alone and I have my dog because I don’t like to be alone and the only difference between her and I is, her bird is in a cage and my dog is on a leash.

Maybe we’re both doing God a disservice because we fail to realize He is all we need. We don’t need a bird, a dog, or a person to keep us company because He is always with us. Maybe it is our lack of understanding that causes us to cage birds and leash dogs when we should let them be free to be what God intended for them to be instead of us keeping them for our own selfish reasons.

Maybe if we were more focused on being who God wanted us to be and living out the purpose God designed for us, we wouldn’t be worried about being alone. So maybe, the bird and the dog are a symbolism of where we are subconscious. Maybe.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill,
of things unknown, but longed for still, 
and his tune is heard on the distant hill, 
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

Like Oprah Winfrey’s character Sofia in the movie “The Color Purple”, I felt like all my life I had to fight. I was always struggling for some reason. Going from one bad situation to the next.

If I didn’t have problems at work, I had problems in my relationships. If I didn’t have problems with my relationships, I had problems with my family members. It was always one issue after another it seemed.

After doing some reflecting, I had the idea that perhaps I should walk away. Maybe I should quit that job. I should end that friendship. I should ignore that family member. I should just go about my business.

And that’s what I did.

I didn’t look back and I had no regrets. I could quit a job in no time. I could end a friendship without a second thought. I could stop speaking to that family without any remorse.

I honestly didn’t care how they felt. As long as I felt good about my decision, that was all that matter. My peace of mind was my priority.

Talking it out with the supervisor and addressing my concerns wasn’t an option. Having a sit down with that friend wasn’t worth my time. Speaking to that family member about how I felt wasn’t even a thought. Everybody on the chopping block had to go.

I said what I said and did what I did, and that’s that.

It felt good being able to walk away from people and/or situations that I felt weren’t conducive to my wellbeing. I enjoyed that perceived moment of peace. I felt liberated.

But in reality, I was just avoiding. I was avoiding the opportunity to grow and to have a real conversation without waiting until I was filled to the top. I was avoiding having to speak up with kindness, love, and sincerity. I was avoiding the need to address the problem and not the person.

The more I avoided those situations, the more of them I would attract. I would continue to repeat the same cycle, meet the same people, and have the same problems. The only difference was, it would be different faces in different circumstances but the same thing over and over again.

It would take some time for me to realize, I gave up too easily and walked away too soon. I didn’t give myself or the other person a chance. I didn’t extend grace. It was my way or I’m out of here.

Thankfully, I befriended someone who was not afraid of having those tough conversations. She spoke her mind and did not back down when she needed to say what she needed to say. She made it a point to encourage a sit-down and talk. Not when you’re upset. Not when you’ve had enough, and not when you’re angry. Speak up for yourself.

The more I started to speak my mind, the more I realized God allowed those situations to take place so I could grow. I needed to grow in those areas because if I didn’t, I would continue to repeat them. I would go through life running away. I would go through life blaming people for my shortfalls.

I needed to learn how to be tough but kind. I needed to learn how to be direct but respectful. How to speak with love and not in anger.

What I thought were battles were actually attitude adjustments.

Is your story similar to mine? Do you find yourself dealing with the same situations? Do you think they’re battles are perhaps an attitude adjustment? Share your thoughts.

While searching through old emails, I noticed how many applications I had filed for employment in the past and many of them didn’t lead anywhere. I was practically begging complete strangers to hire me and give me a chance so that I can earn some money and make a living. I would have taken the first offer.

Last year this time, I was unemployed and was soon to be homeless. My house was on the market and under contract. Someone had purchased the house and we were doing the necessary inspections and repairs for the bank to finance the loan. Even though nothing had been finalized, there was no going back without the buyer or myself being in default to the contract agreement.

Fast forward a year later, I am in a beautifully decorated apartment working from home. I literally wake up in morning, make my bed, take a shower, walk my dog and start working away at 8 am in the morning. I made a complete 360 degree turn from last year and this year. I went from good to better.

I find it fascinating how things can turn out completely better for us but sometimes we take it for granted. We ignore the many blessings by allowing our temporary outlook to cloud our understanding. We allow our lack of gratitude to complicates our lives. And it’s an easy thing to do.

Looking through old emails gave me the reminder that I needed to remember how God came through for me. I prayed for this and He answered me. God did His part and it’s only right for me to do my part by being grateful.

Do you find yourself forgetting to be grateful? Have you prayed for something, got it and now it means nothing to you? Find a reason to be grateful for what you have because the Lord gives and the Lord can take it away.

  • How you see yourself, how you treat yourself, what you say to yourself and about yourself is the message you’re sending off to the rest of the world. You have to believe in the good that is in you before other people will. It’s not their responsibility because it’s you that have the power.