Need a pick-me-up or some spiritual nourishment? Written by transgender advocate and warrior woman Ja’briel Walthour, “Live Your Best Life” is ELIXHER’s inspirational column.
As queer women of color, we have discovered our identity and, hopefully, have embraced all that it entails. While most of us no longer hide behind the bleak masks of uncertainty, many others yet struggle to find their place or purpose within the community. Some have chosen the role of advocate and others have simply decided to sit on the sidelines of apathy. As part of the initiative to help you “live your best life,” I encourage you to build upon your strengths and to search for your niche, or forte, in life.
Most people, queer and straight alike, have yet to tap into what it truly means to live on purpose, while defining who we are and what we stand for. Our place or position within society is often skewed by the bigotry of others, who have mentally and/or emotionally incapacitated even the “strongest” among us. Consequently, it is our duty and obligation to support our sisters, and to redefine our role as “victors” and not “victims” of the struggle. Together, we must stand in solidarity for a legacy, rich with hope and endearment.
One way you can build upon your strengths is to create a collage or destiny board, which reflects your past, present, and future objectives. As the old cliché asks, how do you know where you’re going, if you don’t know where you’ve been? Though this question may sound a bit redundant, it is crucial to the process of finding your niche. Some things you may consider while contemplating this project include family history, educational and employment backgrounds, present relationships, and future endeavors. Ask yourself, what am I passionate about? What drives me in life, and how can I make a difference? Truth be told, it’s just as important to know what you don’t want out of life, as it is to have a clear vision for it.
There are several ways you can search for and identify your forte in life. For me, volunteering with the American Red Cross and other non-profit organizations have served a great purpose and have helped to develop my core beliefs and principles. I also found inspiration through surrounding myself with positive and supportive people, and taking the time to nurture my physical body and spiritual being. These are just a few examples of what sustained me and stirred me in a direction that would better serve my life, and my community.
Many people find meaning in life through taking up a new hobby, joining a fitness class, or learning a new language. Whatever your path to purpose may be, just know it’s well worth the journey. If you take the time to figure out what motivates you, your life will surely thank you later.
Though searching for your forte presents its own array of challenges, always remember, “the sweetest peach is highest on the tree.” With prayer or meditation and perseverance you are certain to go much farther than you ever anticipated. Set your goals high. Trust your gut, let go of all fear (or regrets) and, ultimately, “live your best life.”
– Ja’briel Walthour