Recently, a client and I were conversing over breakfast. I shared an idea with him for a book that could be used to help market the business of a friend of his. In that conversation, he shared that he was growing very disappointed with another friend who has been "threatening" to start a book for about a year now - yet continuously has excuses or hesitation about doing so.
As I cut my country gravy drenched chicken fried steak (don't judge me I don't eat it often), I said to him - "I want you to give it up now. Give up the notion that the book is ever going to get written. The interest is only there because you continue to bring it up."
He nodded,"You are probably right. But ..."
"No buts ... it ain't happening!" I assured him. "Not unless you are going to write it and right now we need to focus on getting your work and writing consistent." I went on to tell him something that I have learned and continue to learn (unfortunately) the hard way ... sometimes the potential we see in others is really not there, and if it is there perhaps it is not our duty to pull it out - but their responsibility to release it.
There is a saying that relates to the strength of friendships or partnerships - "ride or die". The term implies that whatever the connection is - it is strong until the end. That end could be riding to the moon or dying in the process. I only want to be one person's ride or die and that is God's. That may seem strange being a single mother, but I understand that if I ride and die with God - then all will be abundantly sufficient and overflowing for my boopsie (oops - son). Often when we become ride or die - we get killed in the journey because we fail to understand that the nature of that kind of relationship does not include being bold enough to tell someone to turn left instead of right, or getting out of the car all together. It simply means - you ride or die with me, according to how I do, what I do and when I do.
Almost, in a stroke of unconsciousness, we do this in so many of our friendships, partnerships and relationships. We jump into the car or feel the wind blowing across our skin on the back of that motorcycle and we begin to support and promote someone else's agenda to the point that we are more involved and invested in it than they are. We have become the ride or die sidekick. In fact, we have put ourselves into the drivers' seat on their journey and we get disappointed, upset and even angry when we realize they are sightseeing while we are navigating, estimating costs, investing everything that is needed, planning the next leg and driving.
I have done it and so have you. I have done it when it came to business ideas of friends and family, when it came to lovers and even as it related/relates to some of my clients. I pull and pull and pull and say when and when and when - I am yelling as professionally and tactfully as I can - COME ON WE ARE RIDING TOGETHER REMEMBER! What I should be doing is some serious interrogation to determine if the journey has in fact died and I should simply leave the car parked at the next exit and get out and head back on the journey mapped out for me and my companies and/or me and my life.
We should absolutely help others; but we should also understand that help must be defined and often it should be sought. When we move into an unsolicited situation we open ourselves to the possibilities of enforcing our passion into another's vision which will lead to disappointment. When help is solicited, we must then only provide what we are divinely instructed to, within the confines of what we can, so that assistance is sincere and pure. We must also understand that helping and pushing or pulling others into their destiny is also as much about God's perfect timing as it is God's perfect will and purpose - and our interference creates imperfection.
As I write this I realize I am behind the wheel of several vehicles that I can no longer drive or even be a passenger in. I have to be the big girl that I am and say, "I ain't (yeah I am liking that word this time around) your ride or die chick." I am the co-pilot in my own journey and I cannot keep taking detours to get others where they are not willingly, diligently with purposed perseverance and keen interest ready to go. So what am I saying? I am saying as difficult as it may be there are some in your familial, platonic, romantic, professional, church, business or other circles that need a hard kick with an even harder statement - ride or get out of the car! You see the other thing I have learned is those who will not drive their journey also have no problem riding on yours and providing all kinds of sharp, negative and judgmental criticisms.
Are these the passengers needed as you travel? How much more laborious and distressing your trip then becomes! You need to tell yourself in some of your relationships and you need to tell some others in your relationships, that it is time for a passenger check - and one of us needs to ride or get out of the car and it is okay because in every journey just as you embark, at some point along the way, disembarking - is always a viable option.
A Georgia girl that loves quiet, a good neo-Soul, R & B or gospel song, and a chilled tall class of diet cola.