Friday, June 18, 2010

On Becoming a Pure Gold Lady

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“Though we are tried like silver in the fire, we come out as pure gold.” ~The Clark Sisters

Despite all the negative noise in the media about black women, there are several of us who are either pure gold ladies or pure gold ladies in-the-making. To me, a pure gold lady (PGL) is a woman who is sure of herself, continuously works to improve herself, and makes the most of tough situations in life. This woman knows that she is responsible for her own contentment. She motivates herself and inspires others. She is on a mission to live her best life.

Last year, after the end of a long relationship which culminated in an engagement, I found myself at a crossroad. I knew that I could either let myself sink into depression or I could commit to using the circumstance as an opportunity to take a hard look at myself. Once I decided on the latter path, I had my work cut out for me. There were many dark days but through them all, I persevered in doing what I felt was necessary to become a better person.

At the beginning of this year, I upped the ante and decided that my major mission for the year would be dubbed “Operation Positivity.” This mission involves removing negativity and negative people from my life. I had already begun doing this but formalizing the mission was a way for me to add an element of accountability. The hardest part of the mission has been weeding out the negativity within myself but I have developed a growing uneasiness with complaining and gossip (both of which I am guilty of engaging in like most people).

Becoming a PGL is hard work. I believe that the first step in any process of self-improvement is honesty. We lie to ourselves, we lie to others, and sadly, we often begin to believe our lies. When I began to write on a daily basis and actively seek inspirational material, I became aware of many areas of my life that needed improving. Once I acknowledged the truth, I was ready to move forward.

Determination is also required for personal development. At this stage it is crucial to overcome fear or learn to master it if the fear is great. Affirmations and a healthy dose of perspective are helpful here. I like to ask myself: how many wonderful moments in life have I deprived myself of due to fear?

Daily fuel is needed for those of us aspiring to be PGLs. Personal growth is a life-long endeavor – it's a marathon, not a sprint. I keep a copy of a book with affirmations that my mom gave me within close reach and I have learned to use my writing as motivation. Since I was young, I've had a habit of writing to myself. As an undergraduate, when I was particularly stressed, I would email myself the night before exams and write words of encouragement. When I revealed this to some friends they found it dorky but I have continued the practice whether in the form of blogging or journaling.

Finally, perseverance is the linchpin that gets us results. It is a wonderful feeling to wake up and discover that you have blossomed into someone you actually like. We don't change overnight and there is no fast-track to becoming a PGL but it is possible. Let's see ourselves in the future states we wish to be in, then use our thoughts and actions to move us there. There is a pure gold lady in all of us.

- Pure Gold Lady

PureGoldLady writes at Pure Gold Lady

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