Over the weekend, one of my girls handed me a copy of Psychology Today. While there is definitely still a black woman issue moratorium on their reckless blog, the print issue remains one of our favorite glossies to pass around. Writing it, I realize this may sound strange but truthfully, it’s the kinds of friends we are.

The article on the cover was about self-sabotage- a topic my girlfriend said made her think of me. I should mention here that we also have the kind of friendship where this did not offend me- after knowing each other since our bubble in our plaits days, I trust her instincts because I know she always has my best interest at heart.

After pouring over several pages of the piece, there was one concept that struck me the most. The author explains why we often make choices that hurt us in the end, writing that we often make choices that ultimately hurt us in the end because initially it just feels good.

While I am not entirely self-destructive, like any other person there are moments when I have a hint of those tendencies. We’ve all made choices that were ultimately hurtful to us in the long run, justifying them by how they make us feel today. I’ll just stay at this job that’s not right for me because at least they’re paying me something. I’ll just stay with the man who is wrong for me because at least when I’m with him I feel something. I’ll just stay with this group of people who don’t care about me because at least I’m around something.

The thing is that those small choices can leave us with a big life we never wanted. No matter the initial feeling, ultimately we’re left with pain or worse nothing. Often we can see clearly what the healthier choice would be but don’t make it because of what it would mean right now. But what if being on your own, alone, or out on a limb right now would mean happiness later? Would knowing that happiness was guaranteed make the choice easier to make?

While no one can fully guarantee their outcome, we all know that walking the path we were meant to be on will ensure a better journey than wondering down a road that is not our own. Often we miss the blessings and things meant for us because we are busy walking down someone else’s road and not taking the steps on our own. While there is no one that an tell you whether either will lead you to a better place, missing the moments can often leave you with an empty journey. And in a life without many sure answers, sometimes the rewards of the journey are what we really need.

Today, stop missing your fulfillment walking down someone else’s path. Take your own journey, even if the first steps are hard and know you’ll be rewarded down the road.

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